Academics

Many voices are heard in the vision of our educational program. As an educational community, we are committed to critical thinking in our classrooms through the process of asking questions and evaluating answers. In both General and Judaic Studies, we teach skills that empower students to form a coherent understanding of themselves in the world and to search for solutions to problems through dialoguing with peers and teachers.

Learning should and does reflect the developmental levels of our students. We allow students to be guided by teachers and to learn through discovery. Students make meaningful connections to what they learn, to articulate opinions and evaluations and to collaborate with their peers in problem-solving – sometimes leading and sometimes being led. The texts of the Jewish tradition and the history of the Jewish people are fundamental resources for developing ideas, beliefs, and values to shape and inspire our students and families.

Curriculum

Learning in the Lower School should and does reflect the developmental levels of our students. We allow students to be guided by teachers and to learn through discovery. We want students to make meaningful connections to what they learn, to learn to articulate opinions with respect, to collaborate with their peers in problem-solving, sometimes leading and sometimes being led. In our early grades, there is a focus on literacy and a love of learning, with an understanding that children learn at different paces and in different ways. Teachers provide clear and regular communication with parents to maintain this critical partnership, setting the foundation for the future success of our students: ensuring their life at school is filled with challenges, and growth within a warm and supportive community.

Addlestone Hebrew Academy Middle School develops students in preparation for high school and the 21st century. Our Middle School culture promotes Jewish values and leadership, wherein students learn to live and work with others, aiming toward the best practices of learning and middot (character). Our Middle School program provides the conditions in which students are motivated to learn; excellent student/teacher ratios and a superior faculty provide the support, which is critical to the development of successful young adults. Continuing our partnership with parents, we provide opportunities for greater independence and responsibility.
AHA provides a warm, caring environment in which young children can safely grow and learn. We recognize and respect that children grow and develop skills and abilities on individual timetables. We believe it is the role of the educator to protect and nurture each child’s individuality and diversity.

We build a curriculum that balances the important skills taught in both General Studies and Judaic Studies. Framing our pedagogy with Reggio Emilia and Creative Curriculum, our educational environment offers a developmentally appropriate curriculum that utilizes experiential education, a rich and differentiated learning environment, and a depth of understanding supporting children’s individualized learning pace.

We endeavor to provide a curriculum that reflects the culture and beliefs within the Jewish community and at the same time recognizes the importance of secular education. We are committed to the development of the whole child. Our school environment enriches and educates through meaningful learning experiences that foster the emergence of caring, autonomous individuals. The environment offers a developmentally appropriate curriculum that consists of many hands-on activities, a rich learning environment, and flexibility that allows each child to develop at his/her own pace.elisheva

It is the educator’s role to be knowledgeable about each student and to design a program that recognizes and evaluates each child’s learning styles and abilities. A variety of learning choices are offered by using a center-based approach, teacher guided activities, and a developmentally appropriate curriculum.

The program recognizes the importance of parents being the first teachers of their children. Cooperation and communication are vital for a child’s overall success and well-being. Through ongoing communication, the implementation of parent education and involvement opportunities, the program seeks to strengthen and enrich the families and the community of the children that we serve.
Grades 1-4 learn Hebrew and Judaics using the Tal Am curriculum, which is taught via Hebrew immersion. Tal Am uses songs, posters and beautiful workbooks to teach Hebrew, Jewish Holidays, Chumash (Bible) and Parsha (Weekly Torah portion). It is amazing to see how quickly and enthusiastically our students read, understand and even speak in Hebrew.

On Fridays, grades 1-4 have an Oneg Shabbat celebration, when they come together to sing Jewish songs and to welcome the Shabbat. Throughout the year, our students have special projects and programs to celebrate the various Jewish holidays. Additionally, we have a special “Middah of the Month” theme for each Jewish month, where every class in the school focuses on a special character trait on which they can improve.
5th grade is a transition year for Judaic classes. The students no longer use Tal Am, but have classes in Chumash (Bible), Navi (Prophets), Hebrew and Judaic holidays, with most taught in Hebrew.

6th to 8th grade Judaic classes are combined and split into two sections; a text-based class, where some classes are taught in Hebrew and are focused on classic text learning, and experiential, which does not include Hebrew and allows students who do not connect with text-based learning to learn Judaics with a project and discussion based approach. Both sections include classes on Chumash (Bible), Yediot Klaliot (General Jewish Knowledge) and special courses taught by our community rabbis.

Our experiential section allows for students to transfer to Addlestone in Middle School and to learn Judaic material, despite their lack of Hebrew fluency. All students continue taking a class in Hebrew language, with a beginner’s Hebrew offered for transfer students.

On Fridays, grades 5-8 have an Oneg Shabbat program, when they come together to for a parsha themed activity. Throughout the year, our students have special projects and programs to celebrate the various Jewish holidays, such as Color War and Purim Carnival. Additionally, we have a special “Middah of the Month” theme for each Jewish month, where every class in the school focuses on a special character trait on which they can improve. The culmination of our Middle School experience is our 8th grade trip to Israel, where our students spend two weeks in Israel, solidifying their Jewish identity by seeing the stories they’ve learned come to life.
The Addlestone Jewish educational experience culminates with our 8th grade trip to Israel. For almost two weeks, our 8th grade tours the length and breadth of Israel, as they hike the land, tour holy places, visit museums, swim in Israel's waters and walk the places where the Biblical scenes they've learned about in class took place, allowing the stories to come alive for them. These two weeks allow our students to solidify their Jewish identity by connecting them with their homeland and enabling them to discover which of the many flavors of Judaism speaks to them as individuals.