Future Wise Education at Akiva School

Grade 3 Israel Irrigation System

Grade 3 students work on a water irrigation system to help solve the water crisis in Israel.

May 9th, 2016: At Akiva School, educational experiences are focused on promoting learning that is relevant and meaningful in the today’s world.  Through innovative educational programming, Akiva students learn to apply knowledge to new situations, analyze information, collaborate, solve problems, and make decisions. Key skills such as critical thinking, global awareness, collaboration and communication are emphasized in a tightly integrated curriculum that empowers students to be able to take on real life challenges.  On the evening of Monday, May 9th, the school opened its doors to families to come and share in examples of hands-on learning experiences from Kindergarten to Grade 6.  Guests were invited to visit the different classrooms and stations in the school for the opportunity to see firsthand how Akiva teachers and students work together on some incredible “lifeworthy learning” work and projects.

“Our May 9th event gave Akiva parents and community members a little sample of the meaningful learning that students experience every day at our school.  At Akiva, our life worthy learning is learning that informs, lasts and enlightens,” said Jennifer Fraenkel, Head of School at Akiva School. “Studies tell us that students need to grasp and embrace a whole new skill set than twenty or even ten years ago. At Akiva, every aspect of our students’ learning has a lifeworthy outcome and purpose. We are committed to ensuring that our students are equipped with the tools they need to be successful in the future.”

Helping students be “life-ready”

Kindergarten - inventorsIn Akiva, students learn the basic three “R’s” (reading, writing and arithmetic) of traditional education through the lens of innovative programming  that allows them to apply content to real life context in all three languages (English, French and Hebrew).  For example, at the Lifeworthy Learning Event, in an integrated, bilingual (French and English) project, grade 1 classes rose to a real life invention challenge presented by a class guest speaker earlier in the year, David Sufer, robotics engineer.  Students built robots to come to the rescue of a company that needed some key organizational problems solved.

Educating for global competence outside the classroom

Globally competent individuals are aware and curious to learn about the world. Akiva School has built in a global awareness component across learning units in all grades.  Students work on learning themes such as civic, environmental or entrepreneurial literacy. Each unit includes a guest speaker or field trip and an outreach project where students can really see how their new knowledge applies in their lives.  From kindergarten to grade 6, Akiva students learn about the world around them.  At the Lifeworthy Learning Event, grade 4 classes showcased their project “A Day in the Life, Exploring Geography/Cultural Diversity” where, using Google Earth, students compare different cities and famous landmarks using the 3D buildings feature.

Meaningful Jewish studies programming

This year, Akiva School introduced a new Jewish studies program.  The program supports Akiva’s academic vision whereby students are engaged in Jewish learning that is meaningful and connects them to real life applications of Jewish values.  At our Lifeworthy Learning Family Event, grade 3 teachers and students showcased a special science project entitled “Water Crisis in Israel” in which students presented their prototypes of drip irrigation systems they built as potential solutions for the water crisis.

 “Unfortunately, Jewish day schools are often faced with the misconception by some that by choosing a Jewish education, you have to compromise on academics,” said Leila Roiter, Director of Academics. “At Akiva School, we understand how a Jewish education is an integral part of an excellent education. Our Lifeworthy Learning Family Event was a prime example of how our school offers unparalleled, cutting edge innovative academic programming as well as the added dimension of Jewish identity, values and social development.”