Our chosen model, used by innovative schools nation-wide, is called ‘mixed-age grouping’ or ‘cohorts’. This type of grouping removes the age-old construct of classifying children by grade. We have three learning communities: the younger cohort which includes students that are 5,6, and 7 years old. The middle which has 7, 8, and 9 year olds, and the upper cohort which includes 9,10, and 11 year-olds. Pedagogical research has shown that intellectual, social, and emotional development is not strictly age-based. There are numerous advantages to cohort-based learning environments:
SJCS’ integrates Academics, Jewish Values and Traditions, Social Emotional Learning (SEL), and Specialty Subjects to support and nurture each child’s intellectual, creative, social emotional, and spiritual growth. We know that confident children who possess a strong sense of identity and belonging are better prepared to challenge themselves academically, to assume leadership roles in their future communities, and to interact fully and positively in a diverse and ever-changing world.
In each cohort, a General Studies. Judaic Studies, and Specialty Studies teaching team works collaboratively to facilitate continuity and growth for each student. Hebrew Language is taught by a dedicated Hebrew Specialist. Teams purposefully connect secular and Jewish learning to help students draw meaningful and complex connections between diverse subject areas. Our integrated approach emphasizes thematic as well as skill-based connections across all academic areas, bridging secular and Jewish studies to provide students a rich and textured approach to learning supported by a strong, positive sense of identity.