Boys Middle School
Middle school is a vital period of transition and presents a great educational and social challenge for students. At Torah Academy, we help guide our student through those challenges by engaging students by way of a rigorous combined general and Judaic studies curriculum.
The secret to the exceptional success of the Judaic studies program in Torah Academy is the influence of a devoted teacher, or rebbe, who painstakingly develops and guides the unique progress of each individual student. Learning Torah with one’s rebbe is not just another academic subject to study, master, and matriculate in, rather the study of Torah is presented to each student by their rebbe as the key to his Jewish identity and his link to his forefathers, a link that literally connect and binds him with all Jews, the Land of Israel, and Sinai as well.
One overarching goal of our Judaic program is to develop each student in a way that he will be an eager, passionate and active member of Jewish communal life. The boys themselves actively coordinate the school’s daily Minyan, serving as the gabbaim, ba’alei kriah, ba’alei tefila, as well as other important roles. There are also many programmatic elements throughout the year that encourage students to continue their davening with a Minyan, Torah learning, and acts of chessed even when school in not in session.
In middle school, students are introduced to their first years of Talmud study. Students are asked to analyze, challenge, question, and plumb the depths of the complexities that Talmud study offers. One of the primary curricular goals of our Talmud program is to guide students to be independent Talmud learners, which requires a very high level of comfortably with the Aramic language, as well as the Talmud’s unique rhythm of comments, queries and intricate discussions. To this end, there is a great emphasis on assuring that each and every student individually masters the linguistic and cognitive challenges that learning Talmud in the original Aramic offers.
Students also learn to be careful readers of Chumash and Navi in our Tanach class. In our study of Chumash, a special emphasis is given to acquiring the advanced skills that will allow our students to have the ability to read and translate Chumash and Rashi independently, as well as gleaning and applying the life-lessons that are ever present when one studies Torah. In Navi, Sefer Shmuel I is studied, with the main emphasis on mastering the storyline, and relating the lessons from the Navi to one’s own life.
Jewish Law, Halacha, is learned daily. Students focus on the laws that are particularly relevant to them, contained in the Kitzur Shulachan Aruch. Students are responsible for an increasingly independent review of the weekly Parsha, as well.
Modern conversational Hebrew is taught as a dynamic living language. Lessons revolve around themes such as family, friendship, traveling, and food.
The essence of Middle School General Studies program is the balance between rigor, collegiality, camaraderie, fun and structure. The students in the Boys Middle School thrive on challenge, working together with one another, and the support and guidance they receive from their teachers and administrators. In our General Studies program, the students receive top-quality instruction designed to be creative and yet rigorous and structured to accommodate a variety of learning styles and modalities. The boys explore information, delve into factual topics, analyze data, and learn the skills necessary to be productive and successful citizens in high school and beyond. Our teachers design their lessons to incorporate the state and national curriculum standards with their own special, creative and engaging flair. No matter the subject, one must only visit a Boys Middle School General Studies class for a short time to feel the excitement and the witness the smiles on the students’ faces as they invest themselves in their daily learning endeavors.
Certainly, no matter the subject, our secular studies program is second to none and builds the skills, develops the confidence and provides the foundation for all future successes. And yet, it is not the excellence of our classes that makes this program the success that it is. Rather, it is the way our students are empowered daily, given powerful voices, work together and meet our myriad of challenging expectations academically, spiritually and socially that define the excellence of this program. We invite you to look deeply at our program. We encourage you to explore its many facets. We welcome you with pride in our program and in the girls that shine daily!
Mathematics: In our Mathematics program, the students solidify their basic computation and analytical skills and move into Pre-Algebraic and Algebraic learning and reasoning. With a differentiated approach to instruction and learning, our math classes meet the ability and challenge level of each individual student.
Language Arts: In this multi-faceted course, students are immersed in skills, content and literature. Our novel studies and writing expectations require the students to expand their horizons, challenge themselves, express their intellect and represent themselves in academic and yet creative ways.
Social Studies: Whether in the 6th grade World History and Cultures course or the two-year, in-depth study of American History in 7th and 8th grade, the students are given the knowledge necessary to understand geography, historical significance, citizenship, and other skills integral to a well-rounded American. Incorporating projects, textbook learning, cooperative grouping and a strong reliance of the development of notetaking and study skill strategies, our Social Studies classes are lively and yet challenging.
Science: Developing an awareness and mastery of Earth, Life and Physical Science concepts and skills, the students are challenged in this subject. Learning about the world around them and the forces that are in unseen motion, the students are immersed in this interactive and yet rigorous subject.