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Notes for Prospective Students
An N-8 Structure
The nursery school through 8th Grade learning environment allows students time and space to retain the wonder of childhood while simultaneously offering leadership opportunities and experiences that other structures preclude. As students progress through the grades, Rodeph Sholom offers appropriate challenges along the developmental continuum. From required public speaking to student council, choir, band, and drama productions, students have a wide assortment of opportunities for leadership, risk-taking, and experimentation. Moreover, students learn how to become valued members of an extended school and congregation community and how to serve that community in a variety of leadership and supporting roles. Emphasis on character building stems from the Jewish ethos of the school and extends to the athletic fields where students learn the importance of good sportsmanship and being good team members. The structure of the school also allows for students to be mentored by the adults in the community and to serve as mentors for each other.
Rodeph Sholom School prepares students for the full array of New York independent and selective public high schools. From the early grades, students learn the importance of critical thinking and textual analysis. Students build strong foundations in math and science, the humanities, foreign language, and the arts. The program encourages students to master not only academic disciplines, but also to discover their own potential and to become resourceful problem solvers. Students acquire strong public speaking skills by delivering d’var Torah speeches, giving presentations in their classes, leading prayer services, and participating in a host of other active learning endeavors. Technology plays a central role in the classroom where students use SMART Boards and laptops for everything from learning geography to creating their own webpages. Rodeph Sholom students graduate with extensive foreign language experience; study of Hebrew begins in the early grades and continues through Middle School, where students also add pursuit of a Romance language.
An Integrated Secular and Judaic Program
In keeping with Reform Jewish practice, students learn to question in order to analyze Jewish texts and to develop positive Jewish identity and strong moral character. Through this habit of study, individual students are empowered to make informed choices with the benefit of the entire community in mind. Rodeph Sholom School offers a fully integrated program in which Judaics and Hebrew are incorporated throughout the school day in distinct Jewish Studies and Hebrew classes, in the secular studies, and in the fabric of the school community. Jewish values are embodied in classroom contracts, school procedures, and the expectation that students practice mitzvot in their personal behavior. Community service is firmly grounded in the developmental needs of the students and in the content of the curriculum to embody the concept of tikkun olam, repair of the world through social action. Students and their families are integrally involved in the life of the synagogue and, like the congregation, Rodeph Sholom School maintains a commitment to Israel and enhances students’ school experience with an eighth grade trip to Israel just prior to graduation.