LEARNING AT RASHI
The Rashi Academic Program
The Rashi Approach to Education:
Tell me and I forget.
Teach me and I may remember.
Involve me and I learn.
Learning at Rashi is vibrant, active, and engaging. Our students explore how to learn: they discuss, dramatize, experiment, build, write, reflect, share, create, connect, collaborate, model, animate, and dream.
Rashi’s mission is to develop students who are “passionate about learning, inquiry and discovery” and who meet high academic standards. We are committed to teaching our students to think critically and to challenging and supporting them from kindergarten through eighth grade. To achieve this goal, we focus on:
- Addressing the Whole Child
- Offering an Integrated Curriculum
- Knowing Each Child as an Individual Learner
- Providing Strong Academic Content
- Encouraging Inquiry
- Fostering the Development of Individual Voices
Rashi students learn and grow as scholars, as citizens, as friends, as individuals, as Jews and, therefore, as whole people. Embracing that growth in each child means knowing them as individuals, with unique strengths and challenges, and engaging them academically, emotionally, spiritually and physically.
Our curriculum weaves Jewish studies, including social justice, which is uniquely emphasized at Rashi, seamlessly into the secular curriculum – integrating on the basis of skills taught as well as by subject matter. For example, as our third graders study the Earth’s moon in science, they simultaneously learn about the lunar-based Jewish calendar. An integrated curriculum allows children to build authentic connections, echoes, and harmony between their Judaism and general studies.
The hallmark of Rashi teachers is that they really know their children. Every child is different. Rashi teachers assess what each child is capable of, design learning experiences to fit the individual learning style, and tap into what interests the child, thereby investing the child in the learning experience. This is called Differentiated Instruction.
Our academic program is strong and vibrant. We teach Jewish studies, Hebrew language, math, language arts, science, social studies, and specialty subjects (art, music, theater, physical education and, in the middle school, Spanish). In each area, we have defined 115 enduring understandings that our graduates will take away with them. That means, by the time students graduate from Rashi, they will have explored over 800 areas of learning at their own pace.
Like Reform Judaism, education at Rashi is based on inquiry – asking questions and making informed choices. Observers often notice the tendency of Rashi students to ask many questions. In the classrooms, teachers encourage students to ask questions, learn about the topic, and ask more questions. Our goal is for our students to seek out ever more expanding areas of learning.
A hallmark of a Rashi education is that students find their own voices. At Rashi there is the space, the time and the engaged teacher to embrace, listen to and connect with each child. Our students learn to speak and to write with a strong and clear voice. When students leave Rashi, they are able to analyze and articulate personal meaning from Jewish text and general studies learning.
Results of a Rashi Education
Our students learn, in-depth and in-breadth. They learn critical thinking skills, writing skills, math skills, science skills and more. Every measure confirms this – from our classroom assessments, to our standardized test scores, to our graduates’ experiences in high schools.
A Rashi graduate has not only the tools to succeed academically, but also a knowledge of self, a confidence to try new things, and a Jewish foundation that informs choices and viewpoints. Students at Rashi learn core skills and values that will serve and guide them for the rest of their lives.