A Focus on 21st Century Skills
In a world of instant information, students are expected to master an unprecedented and ever-growing body of knowledge. Competency in reading, writing, and mathematics is necessary but not sufficient. Students must be prepared for a highly technological world where skills such as information management and critical thinking enable them to sift through and synthesize relevant information. They must acquire individual competencies by understanding their own learning styles as well as acquiring the ability to work well in groups. MWJDS provides a strong foundation towards realizing these goals.
MWJDS is committed to ensuring academic success of all our students. In order to do so, we measure our students’ learning as well as our teaching. We use a variety of techniques to assess progress including homework, quizzes, portfolios, teacher evaluations and standardized assessments in language arts and mathematics. MWJDS uses the AIMSweb system to be able to leverage Response to Intervention (RTI) and Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM) approaches to provide frequent formative assessment. These assessments become part of the routine in the classroom, thus providing more frequent progress reports as well as reducing the “high stakes” nature of typical standardized testing.
At MWJDS, students develop a portfolio of their work beginning in Kindergarten. Each year, students and teachers select pieces in all subject matters that best reflect children’s progress. Students continue to add to their portfolio throughout their time at MWJDS, so that when they graduate, their portfolio shows their growth over many years. Our annual Portfolio Day is held each spring and allows our students and their families to explore their entire portfolio together. Through this process, we can see the real growth in each child we serve.
Social Justice is an essential part of our community at MWJDS. Our hope is for students to develop their unique sense of purpose and direction for a life long contribution to improving the world. Our commitment to tikkun olam (repairing the world) is integrated into all levels of our curriculum. We provide students with many opportunities to make a difference, take action, and have empathy for others. Our students inspire many of our community wide mitzvah projects.