Middle School at Beth Tfiloh is a state of mind that embraces the special energy unique to emerging adolescents. The curriculum is full of opportunities for students to grow socially and emotionally as they build their intellectual skills. Faculty and staff devote countless hours and limitless amounts of energy to provide students the kind of support and understanding they need as they grow from new fifth graders to eighth graders preparing to enter High School. They work in our Middle School because they enjoy the particular challenges facing young adolescents and welcome the chance to help them grow.
In creating a strong foundation for High School, the Middle School program emphasizes critical thinking, academic skill development, creativity, independence, and responsibility. An advisory team assigns a teacher-advisor to every student to address student concerns, serve as a mentor, and provide academic, social, and emotional guidance. In addition to the core curricular areas of English, Social Studies, Mathematics, and Science, Middle School students may explore modern languages, music, theater, dance, visual arts, and health and wellness.
Building on the basic skills of Hebrew and Chumash (Bible) text study, Middle School students are introduced to Neviim (Prophets), Mishna and Talmud (Rabbinic literature), and Israeli history and culture. Students who have no previous day school background attend a lateral entry program tailored to their skill level in Judaics and Hebrew language to help them integrate successfully into the Middle School.
Computer proficiency is an important component of the Middle School curriculum. Beginning in fifth grade, students learn core technology skills by using computers in both General and Judaic Studies classes. The school has a full wireless network and Internet access. The goal of the computer program is for students to develop not only the proficiency in the skills they need for middle school work, but to ensure their ability to work with technology in high school.
Middle School students at BT are encouraged to be well-rounded individuals by developing their talents in a variety of extracurricular areas. They broaden their horizons while building community as they celebrate holidays and theme days, prepare and attend special assemblies, and participate in field trips and overnight programs. Seventh and eighth grades are years filled with bar and bat mitzvah commemorations as we honor every student with special recognition in school. Student government, Middle School publications, theater, instrumental and vocal performing groups, and a full range of interscholastic athletics for boys and girls offer numerous opportunities for self expression, teamwork, and leadership.A variety of service projects provides avenues for living the Jewish values of tzedakah (charity) and chesed (kindness) that our students learn in class.
Social and Emotioanl Development
Social and emotional growth is built into the daily life of the Middle School. Our program ensures that the academic, social, emotional and behavioral needs of each child are being met and fostered. The development of the character skills, “responsibility for self and others”, is integrated into the students’ daily lives- through interactions with peers and teachers, in the hallways, classrooms, routines, and assemblies. “Responsibility for self” includes self awareness, self regulation, self advocacy, and resilience. “Responsibility for others” includes kindness, derech eretz for children and adults, including others, empathetic thinking, effective communication, and healthy conflict resolution.
Beth Tfiloh’s Creative Arts Department provides a far-ranging curriculum in creative and performing arts, including visual arts, dance, film production, instrumental and choral music, and music theory. Students may also choose from a variety of extracurricular vocal groups, instrumental ensembles, and theater projects that give performances throughout the school year.
- English Language and Literature
- American Government
- World Cultures, Geography, and History
- Earth Science, Life Science, and Physical Sciences
- Hebrew Language
- Torah Study with primary sources
- Introduction to Talmud
- Prayer fluency and understanding
- Character Education
- Shabbat and Holidays
- Foreign Languages
- Creative Arts
- Physical Education
Special programs and leadership opportunities:
- Student Council
- Tikkun Olam Committee
- Writer in Residence
- Color War
- Shabbatonim Shabbat Celebrations
- Weekly Community Building
- Friday Assembly
- Post B’nai Mitzvah Torah
- Reading Opportunities
- Jewish Holiday Assemblies
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration
- Musical Production
- Jazz Band
- Genesee Valley Outdoor Adventure
- Class trips to Williamsburg, Virginia; Washington, DC; Philadelphia, and New York
Our competitive Athletics Department encompasses interscholastic and intramural teams, youth leagues, and clinics, as well as a regular Physical Education curriculum. Beginning in sixth grade, boys and girls compete on a variety of sports teams:
Fall: Soccer, Cross Country, Volleyball
Spring: Lacrosse, Tennis, Softball, Baseball, Track and Field
The Beth Tfiloh Youth Center is a hub of extracurricular activity for the entire school community. An extensive calendar of Shabbatonim, holiday programs, Sunday Fun Days, and family activities provides many opportunities for participation.