Elementary School

KINDERGARTEN at Gesher is a full day program, designed to nurture the child’s emerging academic and social skills.

We encourage individual curiosity while developing awareness of others, we work to create a highly academic environment and age appropriate classroom where continual learning through active play and constructive activities is constant throughout the day.

Students reach important milestones in both reading and dual language acquisition as their year progresses. Our kindergarten classroom, consistent with Jewish values, fosters a cohesiveness based on our belief that each child has something special to offer.

 

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (GRADES K-5) advances the cognitive, social, and spiritual development of each child in a nurturing and innovative learning environment.

Individual learning needs are accommodated through differentiated instruction and by creating small learning groups within the classroom. Students have weekly lessons in art, music, computers, and library. Physical education is taught twice weekly. The values of kavod (respect) and tikkun olam (repairing the world) guide our school day. The classroom calendar is filled with field trips and special events that bring learning to life.

Curriculum Highlights

Our elementary school has brought in Singapore Math and moved to the Marshall Cavendish Primary Mathematics Series because of its strong emphasis on skills and number sense and its alignment with our middle school curriculum.

In grades K-3, students and teachers have access to a cart of Chromebooks set up with Google Classroom, the G Suite for education, and age-appropriate technology websites and tools.

Gesher students in grades 4-8 have purchased Chromebooks or are using personal laptops to achieve a 1:1 ratio of devices. All Gesher students have access to a set of iPads which are loaded with a suite of educational and creative applications. These devices are used across the curriculum to enrich instruction, processing, and learning. Learn more about Gesher Technology.

We have implemented the Lucy Calkins reading and writing workshops as well as examining the scope and sequence of our research skills instruction. This work is focused on identifying appropriate grade-level benchmarks and preparing to implement a standards-focused grading system.

We have introduced the Orff instructional method, which integrates music and movement. This method has significantly shifted the design of music classes, the middle school band program, and school musicals, and has enhanced students’ musical learning.

Music is central to a balanced curriculum. Children need to appreciate, understand, create, and critique products of the mind, voice, hand, and body. These products (musical experiences) serve to enhance the child’s sense of self-worth and dignity. The goal of the music program at Gesher JDS is for students to become skilled and enthusiastic music makers and composers, while developing appropriate concentration and cooperation skills that pave the way toward confidence and enjoyment. As a discipline, music has an exceptional potential to foster learning while having fun. A strong music program promotes and develops individual aesthetic potential. It transmits our cultural heritage while providing a sense of historical perspective.

In a world of constant exchange of information and diversity, it is important to prepare our students to become effective communicators and to increase their global perspective and cultural understanding. Gesher’s Hebrew program is driven by the belief that mastery of Hebrew will promote students’ understanding of their history, culture, and tradition, excite them about lifelong Jewish learning, foster a sense of belonging to the Jewish people, and cultivate strong ties with the State of Israel.

The multi-dimensional program focuses on four major communication skills – listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Student language acquisition is promoted through immersion in the target language and exposure to everything from classical Hebrew texts to Israeli music, and from historical documents to poetry and drama. In upper grades, lessons are centered on themes of interest to the children.