ACADEMICS: CESJDS students thrive academically because they are challenged to succeed.

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The powerful technologies and information systems now available to students have had a dramatic impact on the educational landscape. Our students are the first generation to live their entire lives in a digital world, an experience that affects the way they work, play, think, communicate, and learn. It impacts how they find and receive information, how they process it, and even what’s important for them to know. At the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, we understand that the students we teach need to learn new and evolving skills as we are prepare them for a future that will be vastly different from the world we see today. Today’s students aren’t simply living and learning in different, more fast-paced surroundings.  Research shows that their brains develop differently to process the more – and more varied – information around them.  Their futures will require them to be creative and collaborative, globally-focused, resourceful and adaptive.

Among the many things that set the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School apart is our transformative commitment to technology integration in the classroom. Technology is not an end unto itself, a gimmick, or a separate academic discipline that happens in a computer lab. It is instead a tool used in every classroom to help students make connections – connections with ideas and information, with classmates and teachers, and with both the local and global communities. Students at CESJDS connect in new and modern ways to their heritage, to the voluminous richness of Jewish scholarship, to Hebrew language resources, and to the State of Israel.

Success in the digital age requires students to learn and refine a new set of skills. With the abundance of information available on the internet, students must learn to research effectively.  At CESJDS, we teach students to be discerning in finding, authenticating and managing information. They learn to work collaboratively – to seek input from more and more varied sources – and to use it effectively to refine their ideas and work product. Students learn to use digital communication and presentation tools and to use the internet effectively to advocate and share their ideas. They are trained to use the internet safely and to protect themselves from manipulation or harm. Through the integration of technology into the curriculum, we ensure that these and other skills are taught and reinforced in the classroom and become part of the fabric of our learning environment.

With information so readily available, the teacher’s role in the classroom is evolving as well.  Where teachers were once primarily disseminators of information, they now teach students how to ask good questions and discover information. CESJDS teachers use technology to promote intellectual curiosity, creativity, and problem-solving abilities. From kindergarten through grade twelve, technology widens our students’ experience of the world, and thereby increases their capacity for critical thinking, for confidence, and for the excellence that makes a CESJDS student.

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