Academics » Educational Philosophy

Educational Philosophy

BPY’s educational philosophy is guided by our focus on instilling confidence in our students so that they are motivated to meet all academic challenges and are comfortable taking risks to voice ideas and opinions. Students are encouraged, offered support or enrichment based on continual assessment, and assured that their school is devoted to helping them succeed. BPY’s commitment to small-group learning enhances our ability to focus on each child’s individual needs and learning styles. Our educational approach emphasizes hands-on and inquiry- based learning experiences to promote problem solving and to stimulate our students to think critically and focus on the ‘why’ behind answers in all of their subjects. At the same time, our strong BPY community empowers our students, giving them a secure environment that enables them to fully devote themselves to learning, and serves as a springboard to help them develop middot of which they can be proud.
 
The integration of limudei kodesh and general studies is a guiding principle in our curriculum development and implementation. Starting in our earliest grades, concepts taught in limudei kodesh are made more meaningful when applied to the general studies curriculum and vice versa, as a lesson on reading maps supplements a unit about Avraham’s journeys, and a study of weather leads into a discussion of Noach and the flood. By educating our children in this holistic manner, we strive to raise a generation of Jews who view the world through a single, integrated lens rather than through separate Jewish and secular eyes.
 
The home/school connection is a critical component of our program. By making parents our partners, we bridge the gap between school and home experiences and are able to educate the whole child. Among the many ways we accomplish this is through a weekly bulletin, weekly school-wide and class-specific newsletters, biannual anecdotal reports, picture emails, social media updates, and frequent telephone communication. Parents are encouraged to become active participants in our classrooms, complimenting teachers’ lessons by sharing their knowledge, talents, and traditions.
 
BPY is committed to offering a strong, well-balanced curriculum to our students – not only providing excellent instruction in limudei kodesh and general studies, but also by giving our students a variety of co-curricular and extracurricular programs to enrich their educational experience. We integrate an authentic Hebrew immersion program through the efforts of our shlichim and "bnot sherut."
 
Our program includes a variety of multiple intelligences as manifested in diverse classes such as art, music, drama, coding, middle school electives and physical education. Visual arts is an essential part of our students’ growth and development, and students are given frequent opportunities to explore various media and techniques, both in their formal art classes as well as in their regular classrooms. Early childhood and elementary grade students participate in formal music instruction. As part of the music program, students gain an understanding and appreciation for music, while also preparing for presentations and learning songs associated with holidays. In fifth grade, the students participate in the drama program and are introduced to important theatrical concepts and can become members of the Thespian Society. Students in elementary school and middle school can also choose to take part in the annual school play. Starting in early childhood, students are introduced to the world of coding. By the time our students reach middle school, they are given one-to-one devices which enhance their learning experience. Electives are offered to all middle school students to provide them with unique opportunities to focus on interests that may lie outside the typical academic course load. Physical fitness education is approached with the goal of promoting a healthy lifestyle and fostering self-confidence, self-esteem, age-appropriate athletic skills, and good sportsmanship. These same skills are reinforced during play-based learning activities, student exploration, free play during recess and throughout the various workshops and programs aimed at enhancing our students’ mental health.

 

TECHNOLOGY

Close collaboration between our Director of Technology and classroom teachers augments our students’ daily learning experience, and allows technology to be woven into daily learning in a variety of meaningful and transformative ways. Technology is used to enhance the educational experiences, giving our students access to resources and approaches to learning that would not otherwise be available. In grades 1 through 5, we have iPad and Chromebook carts and stations to be used for directed and project-based learning. Students begin to learn the skills needed to use technology as an efficient and meaningful educational tool. In the middle school, a one-to-one program provides every student (and teacher) his/her own Chromebook to help achieve mastery of the google suite and advanced use of the devices. At BPY, students use digital and online educational resources and carefully curated apps to extend and transform their learning, conduct research, create multimedia projects, and practice skills.

All BPY classrooms, beginning in kindergarten, are equipped with classroom display and/or interactive technology to meet the needs of the modern classroom. This includes smart boards, interactive LCDs and general LCDs as appropriate.

 

SCIENCE

BPY’s science program aims to nurture and broaden the curiosity inherent in every child. Encompassing Grades 1-8, our science program facilitates a deeper awareness of the world and provides students with the opportunity to engage in inquiry-based, hands-on STEM learning. BPY has designed a 1-8 science curriculum that is in alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

BPY students actively engage in the practice of inquiry and engineering design as they create scientific meaning through doing. Using the stream and wood ecosystem adjacent to school, the plethora of animals in the Discovery Room, or the wet lab in the middle school, student curiosity is tapped into and they are motivated to figure out how the natural world works (science) and how to design solutions to problems (engineering). Students build upon their skills year to year in using the scientific method as they plan and carry out investigations, solve problems, create models, analyze and interpret data, construct explanations, and design solutions. To facilitate this work, students are trained to use age-appropriate resources, lab tools and technology cooperatively and independently. In addition, they construct detailed models of phenomena and gain the ability to listen to and critique the explanations of others.

Complementing the explorative component of science class is an emphasis on fostering scientific literacy. Throughout the grades, students are supported in developing the ability to independently read scientific texts and to communicate scientific content with precision and detail. At BPY, we aim to raise students who are science citizens, able to discern the ways that science is implicit in so many factors of our world.