Our General Studies Department offers a well-rounded program in Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, American History and Science, with specialty teachers in the areas of Music, Art, Physical Education, Library, and Computer Science.
Ultimately, academic success is determined by a student’s command of language arts. Because of its importance, language arts and related topics are integrated throughout the curriculum.
In the early grades, children are encouraged to write and “publish” short stories. Beginning in kindergarten, they present or perform original and published plays and keep daily journals. First and third graders host an “Authors Tea”, reading for the visiting parents the “published” books that they have written and illustrated.
Second graders read original compositions and poetry at their annual Teddy Bear Tea. Along with reading texts, the students learn spelling, phonics and handwriting.
The intermediate and middle school Language Arts curriculum includes sophisticated anaylsis, synthesis, and evaluation of written works. Classic works of literature, such as The Pearl, Romeo and Juliet, To Kill a Mockingbird, Huckleberry Finn and selected short stories, are introduced in seventh and eighth grades. The curriculum is often integrated with other disciplines. Writing skills are stressed in all the grades with emphasis on creative expression and descriptive form.
Located at the very center of the school, the Hebrew Academy library serves as the school’s “hub”, with children passing through throughout the day. Many opportunities allow for interaction among the different grades. For example, each first grader is paired with a fifth grade “book Buddy” for the purpose of reading and discussing special library books.
The math program follows a logical progression through the grade levels following a common core of set standards.
The goal of the Hebrew Academy mathematics curriculum is to make mathematics a natural part of the learning process and applicable to the real world. Problem solving, visual/spatial discretion, ordination and algebraic concepts are introduced at appropriate grade levels.
In Kindergarten, where math activities are integrated in the center-based curriculum, children learn to identify, write numbers, count, measure, sort and classify.
In grades one and two, topics include telling time, charts and graphs, customary and metric measurement, addition, subtraction, and the introduction of multiplication and fractions.
Grade three focuses on multiplication and the introduction of division, decimals, and geometry.
As the children’s skills increase, student assignments are tailored for individual skill development. Life skill units focus on the application of mathematical skills to real-life situations. Double digit multiplication, addition, subtraction, fractions and decimals are reinforced in grade four.
Grades five and six focus on coordinate and space geometry, the theory of probability, plus points and percentages.
Grade seven prepares students for the mastery of algebra and eighth graders study either Algebra or Geometry depending on their level.
Excitement is generated each year with a math bee for the younger students a math carnival organized by the middle school students and enjoyed by the entire school
The Academy’s Social Studies program focuses on history, geography, civics and economics. In addition to traditional textbooks, a variety of formats designed to stimulate interactive learning are used, including videos, hands-on projects, field trips, and newspapers.
Beginning in preschool, the social studies curriculum is designed to broaden students’ awareness of the world they live in, helping them to understand their place in it In the early grades, children learn about
themselves and others; family and culture; the concept of neighborhood, including social functions such as education, production, consumption, communication and transportation; and sharing the earth with others. The concepts of community are introduced, as well as the study of the states and our nation’s capital.
As students progress, they embark on a regional study of our country, developing basic map and globe reading skills. They focus on the development of the United States as a nation, including an in-depth study of the diverse Native American populations (before the arrival of Columbus), explorers, the revolution, and westward expansion.
The sixth grade program continues to develop the social, political, economic and cultural history of our nation.
Seventh graders study the geography and topography of the western hemisphere while the eighth grades study the eastern hemisphere
Highlighted by a spacious, fully equipped laboratory, the science curriculum addresses three major content areas: biological science, physical science and earth science. Skills taught include observation, measurement, classification, prediction, communication, interpretation of data, experimentation, the recognition and control of variables, and the formulation of hypotheses. Mathematics and language arts are integrated with science whenever possible.
Science units in the younger grades include many hands-on discovery activities. Major topics for kindergarten are season/weather and magnets. First grade emphasizes animals, plants, earth forms, space, matter, sound, machines and energy. Second graders study amphibians and reptiles, weather, oceans, sound, light and motion.
Third graders study animals, plants, rocks/soils, space, heat, and change, magnetism and electricity.
The fourth grade curriculum emphasizes the changing earth, weather, light beams, machines and energy.
In fifth and sixth grades topics include motion and forces, the planets, living versus non-living systems, and ocean phenomenon’s. On seventh and eighth grade, animals and micro-organisms are highlighted, as well as their varied and unique environmental and biological systems.
Eighth graders explore the earth.
The Hebrew Academy’s Science program holds its annual glider, bridge building, or invention competitions.
Students in a all grades are encouraged to work independently, in consultation with their teachers, to create exciting and innovative projects.
The Hebrew Academy’s strong commitment to computer literacy begins in our Early Childhood Center with computers in every classroom— from our three-year old program on up. In addition, the Hebrew Academy boasts a computer lab containing 20 computers with internet capabilities. This year the Academy installed a state-of-the-art server system that promotes student collaboration in both the classroom and at home. The server allows students to to have access to all the software available through the school whether they be at home, in the classroom or on the road.
Every classroom in the school is equipped with a SMART interactive whiteboard allowing teachers and students to be become more involved and engaged in classroom activities and lessons.
Students at the Hebrew Academy are exposed to a variety of software via the web and through the school’s own software library. Students in grades K-2 familiarize themselves with the computer as a whole, and improve basic math, literacy and art skills through activities on a variety interactive websites.
Students 3-8 are required to perform weekly keyboarding practice which in turn leads to students learning Word Processing, building Powerpoint slideshow presentations and manipulating data in both tabular and graph forms. Starting in 4th grade, students create print publications, showcasing creativity and design skills. Grades 5-8 begin to master more advanced skills such as photo manipulation (Photoshop), Publication design (InDesign) website creation (HTML CSS and WordPress). The 8th graders are responsible every year for designing and creating the school yearbook using the skills they have mastered throughout their years at the Hebrew Academy
The Hebrew Academy’s sports and physical fitness program is modeled after the Presidential Fitness Program (www.presidentschallenge.org) and emphasizes the development of leadership skills, sportsmanship, and a strong self esteem.
Students learn important lessons about respect for others, team dynamics, camaraderie and individual accomplishment. Emphasis is placed on the development of motor and cognitive skills, through movement exploration and participation in games and sports.
The students are exposed to a wide array of sports, including softball, basketball, volleyball, soccer and football.
Special school-wide events, such as Lag B’Omer field day, Color War, foster enthusiasm for physical fitness and complement the fitness curriculum.
Music activities are designed to develop leadership, poise, and self confidence. Beginning in pre-school and throughout the primary grades, the music curriculum provides students with basic experiences that help them develop both an appreciation of, and skill in, music. Musical works from around the world in English, Hebrew and Yiddish are studied.
The playing of the recorder is introduced in the fourth grade to help students develop an interest in playing an orchestral or band instrument.
Students in the fifth grade present an annual musical production that helps them develop poise, confidence and a healthy self-image, while working together as a group toward a common goal. The production, a Chanukah tradition, is performed at a gala, schoolwide dinner.
The seventh and eighth grades are introduced to various forms of music and composers and develop their own percussion band that perform during the year.
Our school has a school band and choir and each perform in community and school wide functions .
Drama is encouraged as an expression of self. Skits are created as outgrowths of stories the students have read. Plays by recognized authors or student authors are performed for small groups, other classes and the entire student body.
During the past four years we have performed the musicals “Joseph and his technicolor dreamcoat” , “Annie”, “Alladin” and “Annie” (again)