Welcome from the
JCDS is a remarkable place of learning where children can grow into the best version of themselves. Our joyful, intellectual, and spiritual atmosphere nourishes young hearts and minds, and our Intentional Jewish Pluralism means that you have a place here.
Following are some of the highlights of a JCDS education:
- Academic Excellence - We are proud of our outstanding national test scores and of the respectful, challenging, and nurturing environment that is evident from the minute you walk through our doors. Our families share a commitment to ensuring that their children have a thorough grounding in Jewish texts, history, and traditions, along with an outstanding general studies curriculum. To help promote these goals, each member of our staff is trained in differentiated education to assure that classes are taught in a way that reaches students with various learning styles and talents.
- Intentional Pluralism - JCDS is an intentionally pluralistic school that welcomes families from across a wide spectrum of Jewish beliefs and practices, including diverse religious affiliation and observance, and secular expressions of Jewish life. Visitors regularly delight in our skill at bringing together such diversity in a single institution.
- Integrated Curriculum - At JCDS two full-time teachers, one an English speaker and one a Hebrew speaker, staff each Lower School classroom all day every day. These partner teachers work together to realize their common curriculum goals. In Lower and Middle School alike, students’ knowledge and understanding is enhanced as they learn across subjects. The results of this approach, when done with the planning and thoughtfulness that typifies curricular design at JCDS, are long remembered by our students. Whether they are comparing Hebrew and English texts, combining math and science, or the arts and history, they are deeply engaged in their learning.
- Hebrew as a Language of Instruction and Conversation - JCDS is a flagship institution for Hebrew language instruction where students achieve a quite stunning degree of fluency. Hebrew at JCDS ensures authentic access to contemporary Israeli literature and culture, an essential bridge to classical Jewish texts and history, and a common language with Jewish people throughout the world.
- Joyful Learning Community - Our students, parents, and staff form a strong community. A sense of joy is evident in our classrooms and halls throughout the day and in the celebrations and commemorations that mark the year, including Jewish holidays, American holidays, and milestone events (in which we celebrate our students’ learning each year). On these special occasions song, art, and study are usually woven together with student participation, creating a joyful cadence throughout the year.
Our graduates go to many high schools. We often hear about our former students from the staff at those schools. They tell us repeatedly that our students are well prepared for advanced classes, that they truly know how to engage with texts in Hebrew and English, that they know how to work in a science lab, how to write well, and how to ask questions. Importantly, we also hear that our graduates have a profound sense of decency and kindness. They are good community members, with a sense of verve and good spirits. We are proud of what our graduates know and equally proud of the people they are.
So I welcome you to the JCDS website. Although these pages capture a lot about the school’s distinctive culture, education, and spirit, I invite you to visit the school to fully experience what makes JCDS unique.
Dr. Susie Tanchel
Head of School