Ignite the Mind
The middle school years are a transformative and lively time of immense intellectual, physical, social, and emotional growth. Alice and Nahum Lainer School's Middle School program embraces and celebrates this unique developmental period, providing an environment that carefully transitions students from childhood to adolescence while preparing them for the challenges of high school. Our experienced faculty members, who have specifically chosen this age group to teach and guide, work to move students thoughtfully and sensitively through the special challenges and opportunities presented at this stage of development.
Our program is rigorous, relevant and engaging. Our curriculum gives students a solid foundation of skills and content in all academic areas while fostering the use of critical and higher order thinking skills necessary to face the demands of an ever changing world. Students learn to set priorities, develop decision-making skills, and build the habits of mind that lead to life-long learning. Trips include camp experiences, the seventh grade trip to Washington, D.C. and our eighth graders' transformative two-week trip to Israel.
Ignite the Spirit
Daily t’fillot, holiday rituals, immersive Hebrew, Jewish history, critical analysis of Torah and rabbinic texts and active engagement with Jewish thought and the land of Israel root Alice and Nahum Lainer School students in their Jewish heritage and inspire them to contribute to our cultural narrative. Focused and ongoing projects with local, national and international organizations and communities help our students repair the world and light the future with their courage, compassion and commitment to helping others. In our Middle School, we emphasize analytic Hebrew reading and writing, critical thinking, making informed civic decisions, and persuasively presenting and supporting opinions. Students continue bible studies and begin learning Mishna and other rabbinic texts.
We are partnering with local, national and international businesses and universities—with a special focus on American Jewish innovators and Silicon Wadi in Israel—to bring the most current, challenging STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) practices to even our youngest learners, and all through a Jewish lens. Our technology education doesn’t just happen in a lab, but is integrated seamlessly across the curriculum. Our children become inventors and problem solvers in real contexts. Yes, even the five-year-olds. Click here to watch a video about the J-STEAM program and vision.
Ignite the Body
All Alice and Nahum Lainer School physical education is taught as part of an overall curriculum that emphasizes wellness and physical fitness. We have an Athletic Director plus PE coaches. Our facilities include a hardwood gym with regulation-size basketball court, an indoor/outdoor gym with basketball courts and a large climbing wall and a shaded rooftop playground with a wide-variety of athletic equipment. Middle School students have twice weekly PE.
The Alice and Nahum Lainer School Jaguars sure can roar! Our basketball, soccer, volleyball and flag football teams are frequent championship winners and, more importantly, foster sportsmanship, leadership and collaboration. Even better? We have league teams for all different levels so that kids who want to play can.
This Is Not Your Bubbe’s Homeroom
Building on Responsive Classroom in the Lower School, the Advisory program in our Middle School supports students’ social, emotional and academic development and helps create a safe, supportive school community. Through small-group clusters, potent relationships with teachers, student-driven activities and tikkun olam projects, each middle schooler is recognized as a unique and valuable member of Alice and Nahum Lainer School.
6th graders experience a J-STEAM elective rotation that exposes them to different forms of creativity and design. Every student takes three trimester-long courses in visual art, music, and technology. The J-STEAM rotation includes a unit in which all students work with VEX IQ Robotics in the newly opened Innovation Lab. Students will build on the skills they acquire in this rotation throughout the rest of their middle school career in the electives program.
The 7th grade elective program offers courses selected by the students to complement their general and Judaic education. All seventh grade students take a required trimester of public speaking as an elective. In this course, students learn to craft a speech that clearly reflects their point of view as well as tackling debate and learning the formal process for presenting an argument and countering. This class builds students’ confidence in their ability to present their ideas in front of an audience as they enter the bar and bat mitzvah season and prepares them to interview for high school admissions. The other seventh grade course offerings are part of our J-STEAM program and include filmmaking, VEX IQ Robotics, and Mathcounts.
The 8th grade elective program invites students explore their individual interests and talents in a thoughtful and enjoyable manner. As an educational institution, Alice and Nahum Lainer School is committed to introducing students to the wonders of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics, as taught through a Jewish lens. Accordingly, 8th grade elective course offerings include filmmaking, VEX IQ Robotics, and Mathcounts. Students are also able to participate in popular electives including Yearbook and Volunteerism at the Early Childhood Center.
Our Middle School Student Council provides an opportunity for students to develop strong leadership skills and become active stakeholders in their own school. Student Council members play a crucial role in creating a vibrant, healthy environment in our middle school. Student Council is responsible for planning Spirit Days, running the Student Store, organizing Pizza Fridays, and coordinating middle school social events like our Bowling Party, Sports Night, and End of Year Dance.
Technology in our Middle School fosters higher order thinking, creativity, collaboration, and problem solving. We use technology to support the overall education we provide our students; incorporate J-STEAM and design thinking principles into our instructional practices; provide data-driven and individualized instruction; and, to develop creative, effective and ethical users of technology.
Alice and Nahum Lainer School requires all middle school students to bring a laptop computer to school daily.
Click here to sign-up for a tour!