The Middle School Division at Shalom Torah Academy offers a superior education. With the use of the most current technology, our departmental instructors efficiently disseminate knowledge to prepare our students for the high-tech, fast-paced world. Our General Studies curriculum surpasses the New Jersey State’s Learning Standards. We place a great deal of emphasis on developing higher-ordered thinking and reasoning skills so our students can apply their knowledge in real-life situations. Our comprehensive departmental instruction ensures that students achieve mastery in all of their studies. Our Middle School students:
Shalom Torah students are fully prepared for advancement to schools of higher learning as they enter young adulthood with confidence, knowledge, and skills for future academic success.
On par with our General Studies curriculum, our Judaic Studies subjects are diversified and challenging, and provide intellectual lessons meant to imbue students with a solid foundation in values, ethics, and morals, as well as an understanding of mitzvos and an appreciation for their Jewish heritage. They study in-depth analysis of Biblical texts with its commentaries as they plumb the depths of Talmudic discussions, learning to master the Aramaic texts.
Our students master Torah texts, both the understanding as well as the ability to independently read the original sources. Our students will move on from our Judaic Studies program with the skills necessary for a full life of lifelong learning.
Shalom Torah Academy has adopted the Zekelman Standards for Chumash, developed by the Menachem Foundation. The standards incorporate the methodology of Understanding by Design and include all levels of critical thinking as outlined in Bloom’s Taxonomy.
Students master the academic skills necessary to eventually become self-sufficient in Torah study and be prepared to pursue joyful lifelong Torah learning. They further develop their skills of reading and translating the text of the Chumash, and demonstrate comprehension of the storyline and key concepts as well.
Instruction focuses on the Rashi commentary, as students develop their ability to read and understand this formative work in its original form.
Our Oral Traditions, the Mishna and Gemara, are the interpretation of the Written Torah, and the mastery of these texts is an integral part of our Jewish observance.
Students in Middle School are introduced to the Mishna and Gemara using a scaffolded approach.
Students are grouped according to skill development and are engaged in stimulating debate which is the hallmark of Talmud study.
Our Middle School students study and explore the vast, rich world of the Torah's values and approach to character development. Our Students will develop a real understanding of right and wrong as well as having the tools necessary to understand themselves and grow as people. The world of character development, in the Jewish Mussar tradition, is not just taught, but rather it is explored. Students are encouraged to question and challenge in order to more fully understand the lessons and values of the Torah.
To create a lifelong love for Torah and instill a positive Jewish identity, the curriculum is enriched with a variety of programs that focus on Shabbos, the Jewish Holidays, and middos (character development).
Through assemblies, contests, songs, and school-wide events, students develop a firm, lifelong appreciation for our rich Jewish heritage and mitzvos.
Because we believe that cutting-edge science and math are best not taught in a vacuum, we have instituted the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) method of education combining both of these areas into an integrated curriculum that teaches students the application of classroom material and methodology in real-world areas. It combines physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, robotics, electronics, mechanical engineering, information sciences, astronomy, optics, and atmospheric sciences, with educational and instructional technology to bring learning material to life. The focus of the STEM curriculum is to bring all of these areas of study to all of our students rather than restricting them to only advanced placement students.
Students are exposed to a variety of genres and quality literature as they read several trade books throughout the year in addition to the Literature Anthology. Students learn to cite text evidence, determine a theme, compare and contrast a story and video, analyze story elements, and more.
Developing a robust vocabulary is encouraged through Vocabulary Workshop activities, and students learn strategies to determine word meaning through context. Units of Study are supplemented by ongoing units of poetry and informational text.
The writing curriculum includes three main genres of writing each year, with in-depth lessons on the specific areas of focus using mini-lessons. An emphasis is placed on developing powerful essays as students are required to write across the curriculum.
Our middle school science curriculum focuses on learning Earth Science, Life Science, and Physical Science. Students have the opportunity to visit our state-of-the-art science lab to conduct experiments, bringing concepts to life and allowing them to hone their inquiry and develop problem-solving skills.
In Mathematics, students use EnVision 2.0, a blended math program that provides the rigor and real-world applications needed to meet state standards. Tracked math classes in eighth grade allow students the option to take Prealgebra or Algebra I, based on ability.
Students learn computer coding through an online coding program. All middle school students receive computer instruction focusing on using Microsoft Office as well as Google Apps.
What makes Shalom Torah Academy different from other schools is the warm, nurturing, and inclusive atmosphere as well as our caring staff. Schedule a private tour to experience firsthand what it is like to be part of our community!