JLA Upper School Curriculum Overview
Upper School at a Glance
Upper school 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.
Credits required for graduation: 44
Distinctive Upper School Experiences
Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement. Golda Meir
9th Grade – Ninth grade students will participate in a health and wellness seminar for one semester as a part of their weekly advisory class. This seminar will focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, disease and injury prevention, drug and alcohol abuse in addition to appropriate social behavior. Students in grade nine will also benefit from Navigating True North, a program designed to encourage them to think critically about their values, goals and future endeavors.
10th Grade – Tenth grade students will have the option to participate in the highly regarded Outward Bound Program. This experiential, outdoor education program will foster personal growth and social skills by challenging students with expeditions in the outdoors. Sophomores will also become inventors when they participate in the JLA Entrepreneur Program. Students will be placed in groups and work collaboratively over a nine week period to create and market a product or service. At the end of the quarter each group will present their idea to a panel of faculty members and business leaders for evaluation.
11th Grade – Eleventh grade students will have the opportunity to participate in JLA organized college visits to the Boston area, New York, Washington DC and Los Angeles. In addition, during the second semester every junior will spend considerable time writing and editing their college essay with oversight from the English Department and Guidance.
12th Grade– Seniors will participate in first semester college guidance seminars and representative visits held on campus. During the second semester seniors will propose, create and present a senior project as part of JLA’s graduation requirements, and they will also have the opportunity to lead Morning Joe seminars throughout the year. Moreover, seniors have the option of taking advanced classes for credit through the Global Online Academy.
Distinctive Upper School Programs:
August In Israel : High School 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.
JLA Entrepreneur Program: Sophomores will be placed in groups and challenged over a nine week period to create and market a product or service. At the end of the quarter each group will present their idea to a panel of faculty members for evaluation.
JLA Wilderness Expedition: Sophomores will participate in the JLA Wilderness Adventure, a program which employs the beauty and challenges offered by nature to promote self-advocacy, personal growth and teamwork through “Torah and the wisdom of the wilderness.” Rabbi Tani
Global Online Academy: Global Online Academy is renowned for offering courses that allow students to take deep dives into areas such as Abnormal Psychology, Entrepreneurship in a Global Context, International Relations, and Problem Solving with Engineering and Design. GOA courses earn graduation credits and are included on transcripts.
Center for Talented Youth, Johns Hopkins – CTY is focused on challenging the very brightest minds, and as such JLA has established a relationship with John Hopkins in order to offer our students the equivalent of college level courses while in high school. Admission to the program is highly selective, and grades earned will be factored into the overall GPA.
True North: Students will participate in a one semester course during the advisory period that will encourage students to think critically about their values, goals and future endeavors. Areas of study will include high school success planning, self discovery, financial and community literacy, personal branding, and career exploration.
Option 9: An optional block of time in the daily schedule dedicated to additional learning choices that will provide students with the opportunity to pursue study in an area of interest.
Nesher Project: 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.
Morning Joe: A student directed seminar held each Friday that encourages students to participate in robust discussions focused on local and global issues of importance.
JLA 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 such as children, the elderly, the environment, education, hunger, etc., 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, and the most outstanding JLA service projects will be given the opportunity to mature into full-fledged, student run, 501c3 organizations.
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 taught as 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. Among these opportunities, our JLA Speaker Series is focused on granting students in-person access to real-world leaders from various fields and disciplines.
Elective courses are offered in Art, English, Spanish, Social Science, STEM, and Physical Conditioning. Some classes are offered during the school day, and many more are available after school during OPTION 9.
Creative Writing-The Novel
Debate 1 & 2
Digital Art and Design Intermediate
Digital Art and Design Advanced
Drama 1 & 2
Music Production and Sound Design
Weight Training & Cardio
Health and Wellness
Psychology (one year)
History of the Middle East
Ancestry: My People
Destruction and Rebirth: Modern Jewish History (From Sovereignty to Exile: Rabbinic Jewish History)
Ashkenaz and Sephard: Medieval Jewish History
Mystics and Mavericks: Early Modern Jewish History
History of the Americas
Game Theory Advanced
Math and Music
Health Science and Medicine Advanced
Anatomy – Head to Toe
Marine Science – A World of Blue
Environmental Science and Sustainability-Greening the Planet
Geology – Rock and Roll
Genetics & Ancestry
Hydroponics & Aquaculture
Meteorology & Weather Science
Coding 2, 3
Video Game Design
IOS App Design
Virtual Reality(VR) & Augmented Reality
Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
Introduction to Engineering
Principles of Engineering
Engineering Design and Development
Robotics 1 & 2
Conversational Hebrew 4
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