Academics

תוכנית הלימודים

At Hannah Senesh, our core curriculum is built on a strong foundation of knowledge and skills acquisition, a model of critical-thinking and open-inquiry, and is constantly enhanced by teacher-developed materials on current themes and topics. Our dual curriculum of general and Judaic studies offers students a stimulating and challenging approach to learning. Our classes are rigorous yet nurturing, rich in content, and creative in experience. The fundamental tools for learning, which are introduced in the early years, continue to be reinforced and expanded at every grade level.

Multiple and varied experiences, in diverse settings, contribute to children’s growth as learners, and provide tools for developing strong and positive self-identities. As a Jewish community day school, we are committed to helping our students achieve their fullest potential as they learn to navigate the waters of the American Jewish world and beyond.

Learn more about our Lower School and Middle School program

 

Lower School

Each classroom at Hannah Senesh is a joyous community of learners. We believe that attending to the development of social and emotional skills is an essential part of a successful learning environment. From the very beginning, our youngest students learn to be respectful, kind, responsible, and empathetic classmates. Equipped with these critical tools and values, students dive into learning. Their lively conversations fill the classroom, their stories spill across the pages of their notebooks, and their vibrant artwork covers our walls. Students exhibit their hard work throughout the year in culminating, collaborative performances such as living museums, publishing parties, and poetry readings. Thoughtful, brave, and bursting with ideas, our Lower School students buzz with energy and excitement for learning and growing.

Enduring learning experiences take place in and also outside of the classroom. Beginning in kindergarten and all through the grades, students embark on monthly field trips in Brooklyn and in the greater metropolitan area. These trips to museums, farms, theaters, conservancies, and historical landmarks enrich our students’ learning and academics. Field trips provide students with active, hands-on engagement that is fully integrated into units of study, both in the Judaics and general studies curriculum.

Our mixed-grade buddy program is a special part of the Hannah Senesh experience. Every child entering kindergarten is matched with a fourth grade buddy. They remain as buddies through third and seventh grade, respectively. Buddies travel to school events together, share reading time, and learn and play together throughout the year. Students develop relationships that last to graduation and beyond.

Middle School

Middle school is a time of tremendous cognitive and emotional development. Concrete thinking expands to include more abstract approaches to problem solving and the changes in social life. Students are strongly supported throughout this exciting transition. Close relationships with teachers help students navigate increasingly complex academics and embrace assignments that require rigor and independence. There are many new and exciting elements of the Middle School experience that differentiate our Middle School from our Lower School. These include weekly mixed grade electives/chugim and Friday afternoon advisory groups. The advisory groups provide an opportunity for students to reflect on their week in an intimate and safe environment with a peer group and a teacher mentor. Scheduled office hours built into the week provide students with an opportunity to catch up on independent and group work and meet with their teachers. There are also afterschool clubs and athletics that change with each semester and with the needs and interests of the students in the Middle School.

In Middle School, trips reflect the growing independence that adolescents are developmentally ready for. In fifth grade, students explore New York City in a day-long adventure. Sixth graders spend four-days away at Teva, a Jewish environmental retreat in Connecticut where students experience learning about nature and sustainability while building strong class bonds. The seventh grade has a three-day trip to Washington D.C., where students tour the Capitol Building, perform at the Shakespeare Folger Library, and experience the Holocaust Museum. Finally, the eighth grade’s culminating experience as students at Hannah Senesh is a two-week trip to Israel, where so much of what they have studied in Hebrew, Judaic Studies, and humanities is experienced in a life-changing way.

As the oldest students in our school, Middle Schoolers have leadership opportunities to guide and teach younger children through afterschool activities, special events, and intergrade programs. Working and playing together across grades encourages meaningful social and emotional growth and helps students develop a stronger sense of themselves as learners, thinkers, and leaders of a greater community.

-   English Language Arts


Walk into any English language arts class in our school and you will find students engaging in lively discussions about literature. From kindergarten through eighth grade, our curriculum exposes children to fiction, non-fiction, short stories, plays, and poetry from different time periods. In the early grades, students explore language arts through read-alouds, independent reading, partner reading, word work, and writing workshop. As they advance, students learn how to read through an analytical lens, examining story elements, textual evidence, explicit and implicit information, and the choices authors make.

Students write and read every day in all their classes, not just English language arts. Critical reading skills are also nurtured in science, math, and Judaic studies. As a result, they learn to articulate ideas clearly and confidently, to employ a range of writing forms from research papers and persuasive essays to poetry and short stories, and to be sensitive readers and interpreters of text.

+   Social Studies
+   Math
+   Science
+   STEAM
+   Technology
+   Judaic Studies
+   Hebrew Language
+   Israeli History and Culture
+   Performing Arts
+   Visual Arts
+   Music
+   Physical Education