MIDDLE SCHOOL AT Pardes Jewish Day School (Grades 5-8)

Developing future-ready students through an innovative learning model

When you think about the things your pre-teen needs to succeed in school, what comes to mind?

An engaging curriculum that keeps them excited about learning? A supportive community where they are seen, heard, and valued? A strong identity, rooted in their connection to Judaism?

If these are the things that mean the most to your family, we look forward to sharing more about our middle school program. The Kaufman Valdes Middle School at Pardes Jewish Day School exists to help students maximize this important season of growth and change. From fifth through eighth grade, students take on more challenging academics, navigate rapid social and emotional growth, learn how to lead, and pursue their passions through extracurricular activities.

At the end of eighth grade, they are more than prepared to thrive in high school, thanks to our:

  • Close-Knit
  • Safe Environment
  • Engaging Academics
  • High School Preparation
  • Dedicated Teachers

Wondering what your child’s day will look like at Pardes?

A Close-Knit Community

When you think about all the ways your pre-teen will grow in middle school, emotional maturity may be at the forefront of your attention. This is why a supportive environment is essential — one where your student will feel a sense of belonging and know they are surrounded by people who care. Here are a few ways we proactively build community at Pardes:

Responsive Advisory

A continuation of the Responsive Classroom model found in Lower School, social-emotional learning is integrated into our curriculum, which allows middle school students to work on skills such as communication, collaboration, and flexibility daily. As they listen and incorporate their peers’ ideas, manage differing work styles, navigate disagreements, and depend on each other for a collective outcome, they become equipped to thrive in high school, college, and career.

Kavod
(Respect)

We emphasize honor and respect for self and others. As students strengthen their own core values, they begin to understand different perspectives and treat all people with dignity. When eighth graders leave our campus, we know that they will be confident advocates for themselves and those they meet on their life journey.

Meaningful Relationships

Whether through teacher mentorship, our advisory program, or our buddy program, students will be poured into by caring adults and peers, as well as have the opportunity to invest in our younger students. Campus wide traditions strengthen connections across grade levels and create a strong community.

A Sense of Security for Learning & Growth

It may seem like all your pre-teen wants is greater independence, but we know that a sense of safety and security is just as important for middle schoolers. As the oldest age group on our campus, students in grades 5-8 serve as role models and leaders to our lower school students. They have their own section of campus, but remain very much involved with our campus wide events and celebrations. 

We value your child’s physical and emotional wellbeing. Campus police officers, surveillance cameras, locking doors, and well-thought-out barriers provide peace of mind for parents and students alike. The school counselors, a school nurse, advisors, and dedicated teachers walk students through any challenge they may face.

Engaging Academics

Middle schoolers at Pardes take on more challenging academics as our Project Based Learning approach keeps them active and engaged. This is a time when students often determine their favorite subjects, discover their unique talents, and express causes that they are passionate about. Their learning environment should encourage them to do much more than memorizing facts and passing tests — they should be developing transferable skills that they can use to change the world.

Critical thinking training

Through hands-on learning, opportunities to problem-solve, and collaborative projects, students gain the critical thinking skills needed for life.

Social and emotional learning

Using techniques like interactive modeling and logical consequences, we help middle school students thrive socially and mature emotionally.

Developmentally-appropriate lessons

We understand how the mind of a middle schooler works. Highly interactive lessons, autonomy in the classroom, brain breaks, and more ensure pre-teens are set up to thrive and can continue loving school.

Learn What Your Middle Schooler Needs to Succeed

Download our e-book, Inside the Mind of a Middle Schooler, and learn more about your pre-teen’s brain development and how to choose a school that will support their growth.

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Core Subjects in Middle School:

  • Humanities (Social Studies and Reading/Writing Workshop)
  • Science
  • Math
  • Spanish
  • Jewish Studies
  • Hebrew

Innovation Rotation

Middle school students have one trimester each of:

  • Makerspace
  • Performing Arts
  • Visual Arts

For a full list of course descriptions, please contact our admissions team.

Pardes Academic Icon

As parents of a current middle schooler, as well as a Class of 2019 lifer, we have been pleased with the strong education our daughters have received while part of the loving Pardes community. The depth of the middle school program in terms of both the development of critical thinking and analytical skills is one of the best parts of the school. There is a thoughtful build up in Pardes’ approach and by the completion of eighth grade, our lifer was fully prepared for the rigor of any high school. Also, thanks to the values instilled at Pardes, our daughters have a strong connection to their Judaism and a commitment to helping the world through Tikkun Olam. We can’t wait for what’s in store for both of our girls, and we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Pardes!

-Amanda and Scott Walker

Leadership Opportunities

Leadership starts with instilling a growth mindset in the classroom and skills are developed through a variety of clubs and activities. We encourage students to lead in areas that matter most to them, knowing that their contributions are unique and valuable. Parents love attending our student-led conferences when they are able to see their student’s areas of growth, strengths, and achieved goals. A few popular leadership opportunities include:

  • Student Council 
  • Student Ambassadors
  • Chief Science Officers
  • Buddy Program for mentoring younger Pardes students

Values Development

As middle school students develop their identity, they need a strong sense of belonging and a clear understanding of their heritage. By continuing to learn about Jewish thought, culture, and ritual, we help our students deepen their personal connection to Judaism and express it in ways that are meaningful to them. We understand that each of our families has a different level of observance, and emphasize the importance of respect and kindness.

Extracurricular Activities

Your student will be able to engage creatively in our school musical, compete in athletics, and join clubs that pique their interest. We also help our students connect with the greater community and apply their Jewish values through Tikkun Olam projects. When students complete our middle school program, they are confident in trying new things and ready to continue pursuing their talents.

High School Preparation

Thanks to our small class sizes, students receive ample personalized attention, ensuring they master key academic concepts and are ready to excel in high school. Pardes is an environment where middle schoolers feel safe to take risks — they view failure as part of the learning process and develop the confidence needed to take on new challenges.

A typical middle school day

follows a modified block schedule which prepares students for high school and offers more class time for projects and discussions.Our elective rotation allows for a trimester of performing arts, a trimester of visual arts, and a trimester of Makerspace. The school day runs from 8:15 a.m to 3 p.m., with after school activities available through a membership at the JCC.

The Pardes advisory program

provides mentorship and functional training to equip middle schoolers for the future. Your child will be assigned a trusted staff advisor and a group of peers to meet with every morning. The advisor helps students manage time, stay focused, overcome challenges, and prioritize their long-term goals.

Middle school teachers

can have a lasting impact on a child’s life. Our faculty has a deep understanding of how the adolescent brain is developing and what students need to succeed. They are committed to professional development and attend cutting-edge workshops around the country, bringing best practices back to our classrooms.

Pardes Academic Icon

See Pardes for yourself

We can’t wait to meet you and your middle schooler! Schedule a campus visit today to explore what we have to offer. Our admissions team looks forward to showing you around and answering your questions.