JLA Curriculum Overview
Middle School at a Glance
Middle grade students will be enrolled in eight periods daily Monday through Thursday, including Judaic Studies, English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Science. They will also be required to take a language course in Hebrew and a Judaic Studies elective two days a week. Additional requirements include a daily workout (physical conditioning), Art, STEM, and the option to enroll in a ninth period class for enrichment and exploration.
The Friday schedule is unique and will include an advisory period, Parshat HaShavua, community service, leadership seminars and an independent research project.
MS Promotion Requirements
6th, 7th, 8th Grades
Distinctive Middle School Experiences
6th, 7th & 8th
An optional 9th period at the end of the school day dedicated to additional learning choices that will provide students with the opportunity to pursue study in an area of interest.
An hour of time each week devoted to project and inquiry based activities designed to encourage students to problem solve and think critically. Students will select a passion of their choice related to a school discipline. During this period, students will question, research, and develop a personal area of interest that encourages imagination, innovation and independence.
A student led seminar held each Friday morning that encourages students to participate in robust discussions focused on local and global issues of importance.
JLA Community Service Programs:
The meaning of life is to find your gift.
The purpose of life is to give it away. Pablo Picasso
JLA believes that, in the true spirit of Chesed, one of the most sacrosanct acts is that of giving to others. Thus, JLA students will be actively engaged in community service as part of the core curriculum during the school day. Designed to complement the extensive selection of academic, athletic and extracurricular opportunities, community service at JLA allows for choice. Students will select a service program each semester focused on an identified area of need, and they will work closely with other students to find a way to offer service. By providing choice, class time, and faculty support, JLA Service Programs grant students the opportunity to become deeply involved in a service project that is authentic and personally meaningful. Moreover, every student may seek a leadership position within a program once they have met the requirements.
JLA Leadership Training:
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
The overarching theme prevalent in each aspect of a JLA education is leadership. Whether one is in the classroom, on the field, or serving the community through one of the various programs, every student is actively working at developing and exercising their leadership skills. Moreover, students participate weekly in leadership training, where compassion, communication, inspiration, reasoning, cooperation, and self-evaluation are considered the stepping stones to becoming a respected leader. Developing these skills takes place through role-playing activities, group programs, exercises in character development, and additional opportunities embedded in the JLA curriculum which are designed to assist each student in uncovering their leadership potential. Among these opportunities, our JLA Speaker Series is focused on granting students in-person access to real-world leaders from various fields and disciplines.
6th & 7th
JLA’s STAR Summit is the launching point for every student’s JLA career. Beginning in mid-August and running through the first week of September, the STAR Summit is a mandatory three-week immersive educational experience designed to help 6th and 7th graders discover themselves as students and as Jews, prepare for the rigors of a JLA curriculum, and connect deeply with their peers and mentors.
By running concurrently with our August in Israel program for 8th through 12th grade, the STAR Summit allows us to focus the energy and attention of our full faculty solely on our 6th and 7th grades. The program will begin on campus with a variety of activities orienting new students to life at JLA, while providing returning 7th graders with their first opportunities to assume leadership roles in onboarding their new classmates. From orientation and placement, the STAR Summit will move toward short but deep project-based dives into the study and organizational skills that will allow students to thrive in an academically challenging environment. Opportunities will also be provided for “bootcamp” experiences for students who may need to catch up to their peers in areas such as Hebrew language or Math or who want an introduction to a new area of study. These intensive experiences will be mixed with experiential learning outside of the classroom intended to build camaraderie and community, while inspiring students to ignite their inner spark and aspire to become their very best selves. The STAR Summit will culminate in an overnight experience that will bring the various elements of their learning together and help set the tone for the academic year to come.
August in Israel: Eighth grade students will spend the first 3.5 weeks of school every year studying Hebrew, Jewish History, Tanach, and contemporary Israel in an immersive, real world setting in Israel. This annual study abroad experience will not only serve as a catalyst for student bonding to each other and to the State of Israel, but will allow for a greater focus on the school’s General Studies curriculum throughout the remainder of the year.
Middle School Option Classes
Option classes are offered in the areas of Art, English, Spanish, STEM, Social Science, and Physical Conditioning. Some option classes will be offered during the school day, and many more are available after school during the Option 9 period.
The Wisdom of our Fathers: Pirkei Avot
The Art of Jewish Prayer
Sibling Rivalry: From Isaac to Joseph
From Slavery to Redemption: The Exodus Story
Lessons in Leadership: The Trials and Travails of Moses
Heroines: From Sarah to Esther
Hashem: The Jewish Concept of God
Loving Your Neighbor: The Obligations to Assist
The Jewish Community: From Ancient Time Until Today
Becoming a Bat Mitzvah (Girls Only)
Becoming a Bar Mitzvah (Boys Only)
Introduction to Print -Journalism
Introduction to Broadcast-Journalism
Foundations in Drawing and Painting
Foundations in Sculpture and Ceramics
Acting: Set Design
Steps and Styles
Introduction to Instrumentation/Groove Workshop
Introduction to Vocalization/Harmony House
Introduction to Digital Music Production
Introduction to Digital Photography
Digital Branding & Responsibility
Graphic Organization: Visible Thinking
Game Theory 1
History of Mathematics
Gameopoly: Math Challenges
Adventures in Health Science and Medicine
Intro to Video Game Design
Intro to IOS App Design
Robotics: Nuts & Bolts
FABLAB: Designers and Makers
Join us at our Open House!
Sunday, October 30th
FIU Biscayne Bay Campus
9:30 a.m. – Session is Full
1:30 p.m. – RSVP now