Academics

Gan Aviv

Nursery (2 year olds)

5 days a week

8:30AM to 1:00PM or 4:00PM/ Extended Care Until 6:00PM
In our hands-on approach, our children learn to manipulate the world around them. The integrated Jewish and General Studies curriculum with its focus on play allows the children to actively develop their Language Skills, Social Interaction, Separation, and Independence in a warm, nurturing environment.

5 days a week

8:30AM to 1:00PM or 4:00PM/ Extended Care Until 6:00PM
Our children develop skills through theme-based units and free play and are encouraged to develop social and communication skills and number awareness. The children are introduced to rhyming, letter sounds, and the alphabetic principles. The children learn about their rich Jewish heritage through selected Torah portions and Hebrew language.

5 days a week

8:30AM-1:00PM or 4:00PM/ Extended Care Until 6:00PM
This Kindergarten Readiness Program focuses on your child’s Social/Emotional skills which facilitate their transition into Kindergarten. Gross-motor and fine motor skills are developed through structured and open-ended activities. Expanded development of number sense, patterning, phonemic awareness, and early literacy skills are incorporated into the daily activities.

The integrated Judaic and General Studies curriculum furthers Torah exploration, Holiday awareness and theme-based units that include units based on Jewish values. These activities continue to inspire the children’s innate creativity and curiosity.

Kindergarten

8:20AM-2:40PM / Extended Care Until 6:00PM

  • Toran/it-Classroom Helper
    Every week we will have two Toranim who will have special responsibilities, such as leading morning Tefilla and ringing the bells at the end of recess.
  • Sharing
    We will have sharing every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. On your child’s assigned day, please send in an item of his/her choice in a small bag. Have your child think of three clues and write them on the bag or put the clues inside. The item must begin with the letter of the week.
  • Birthdays
    We love birthdays! We will have one class celebration each month for all the children born in that month. We will organize the refreshments for the celebration.
  • Yoman Kria
    Over the course of the year, each child will get a chance to bring home theYoman Kria. After reading a Hebrew book, your child will draw a picture in this special notebook, describing  his/her favorite part. The child’s reactions to the story will be recorded by a parent, and shared with the class.
  • Spotlight Student of the Week
    Each child will have the opportunity to be a spotlight student of the week.  He/she will create and share an “All About Me” display.  This program starts in January.
  • Field Trips
    We look forward to several field trips this year: including, but not limited to, a trip to a local fish store, a farm visit, and two theater outings.
  • Homework
    The children will receive short, interactive take-home activities in Math, Jewish Studies, Hebrew, and Language Arts.

First – Fifth Grade

SPHDS is proud of its continually evolving curriculum which blends Judaics, Hebrew and General Studies. We work with each individual student to enhance their skills and support their learning style.

Judaics is a crucial leg of our academic program teaching our children about their rich heritage, educating them in Jewish practice and immersing them in Jewish text. The children are introduced to the siddur and Jewish prayer and receive their own siddur in a beautiful ceremony in first grade. Students are introduced to Chumash at the end of this year and truly begin to develop in Chumash in the second grade when they receive their own Chumash. Student continue to deepen their understanding and skills in Chumash through the eighth grade, adding Navi and Oral Law in 4th grade. From fifth grade to eighth students have a choice of either Talmud or Navi.

Our Hebrew program is a defining part of SPHDS and universally recognized for its excellence. We offer a special track for native Israelis or very advanced Hebrew speakers for which we import a curriculum from Israel. Even students who do not have a Hebrew background benefit greatly from the Ivrit B’Ivrit instruction. In addition to Hebrew, once the students reach middle school they are taught Jewish History utilizing a Hebrew book and curriculum as part of the Hebrew curriculum.

As a Modern Orthodox school, general studies occupies an honored place in our curriculum. Students are given a solid foundation in Science, Math, Social Studies and English using the state standards as a curricular guide.

We are accredited by the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS). The accreditation process gives us a chance to do an internal audit on curriculum, educational and non-educational structures. It also allows us to have external feedback and perspective.  

Sixth – Eighth

Beginning in 6th grade, SPHDS students are part of our Middle School.  Our program is a demanding but supportive one, combining rigorous curriculum in Judaic, Hebrew, and General Studies. Our Middle School graduates are well prepared academically and personally for all the competitive public and private high schools, and yeshivot across the country. They leave us grounded in Jewish tradition and ethics, and equipped with the academic and Torah knowledge and tools they need to succeed.

In middle school, students begin to have specialized classes in individual subjects with expert teachers.  Small class sizes (11-16 students in most subjects) coupled with the combination of students across grade lines, provides personal academic attention and a varied but supportive social setting during this critical time of development. Rounding out the Middle School schedule are Advisory, which provides students with a time to reflect and learn about social emotional issues, and additional elective offerings in areas such as robotics debate and leadership. In their final year the students travel to Israel as a capstone to their learning.