THEMED STUDIES

A Four Year High School Curriculum

We are excited to share our broad vision for the Shulamith High School for Girls curriculum. When designing our educational program, we asked ourselves, “What is our goal for our graduates? How do we help each student find her mission and purpose? How can we create a school-wide culture focused on intellectual, emotional and spiritual growth?”

Gleaning inspiration from Tanach, we designed our curriculum around four overarching themes. Each year’s central theme informs our curricular decisions and impacts our teachers, from הלכה to History, from שיר השירים to Shakespeare. Our goal is for the faculty to create lessons and extracurricular programs framed by a defined message.

By the end of the four years, we intend to have instilled in our students an understanding and appreciation for themselves, their community and their connection to G-d. We believe these themes will help guide our students towards becoming their best selves.

FRESHMAN YEAR: IDENTITY
The focus of freshman year is identity or recognition of the self.
Essential questions that students will explore:
Who am I? What makes me unique? Who can I become? How can I develop study skills to successfully navigate high school? How do I find my voice, passion and confidence? How do I develop resilience? How do I build character and become my best self? How can I discover my inner beauty? How do I connect with my spiritual core?

Some examples from the curriculum:
● Public Speaking core curriculum
● Jewish Philosophy: Finding the צלם אלקים within each of us. How will we develop our character and middot?
● ספר שמות: Discovering strength in the face of adversity through an analysis of strong personalities: Batya, Yocheved, Moshe, Aharon, Miriam, and Pharaoh.
● History: How did Israel develop as a nation? Who are we as a nation?
● יום העצמאות and יום הזיכרון Programming: How do these commemorative days help us identify with and appreciate the struggles and triumphs of מדינת ישראל?

SOPHOMORE YEAR: FRIENDSHIPS AND RELATIONSHIPS
We are daughters, granddaughters, students, friends, sisters, and בנות ישראל. It is these relationships that define us. At Shulamith, our curriculum will help develop the tools to better connect with others and with Hashem.
Essential questions that students will explore:
How can I be a good friend? How can I respect and appreciate the צלם אלקים in others? How do I stand up to peer pressure and maintain a sense of self? How do I build trust with my parents? How can I gain respect from my teachers? How do I understand my role as a Jewish woman? How can I connect with Hashem?

Some examples from the curriculum:
● English: A Midsummer Night’s Dream- exploring the relationship between the protagonists and antagonists. How do our friends define us?
● הלכה: הלכות בין אדם לחברו: How we are expected to relate to one another and within society at large?
● Foundations Curriculum: Developing your spiritual potential.
● Learning Center: peer tutoring and writing workshops. How do I help my friends succeed? How does this contribute to my success as well?

JUNIOR YEAR: LEADERSHIP AND CITIZENSHIP
After two years focused on identity and relationships, students are ready to look outward, toward citizenship and the core values that motivate and inspire great leaders. As a Jewish nation, we are charged with a dual challenge. At times, we must live and lead by example (מַמְלֶכֶת כֹּהֲנִים) while at times we must live as citizens of a nation (גוֹי קָדוֹשׁ).
Essential questions that students will explore:
What does it take to be a leader and/or role model? How do I lead from my core values? How can I live an inspired life as an ‘עבד ה? How does Halacha act as a moral and ethical code for life? Exploring עריבות: what is my responsibility to עם ישראל?

Some examples from the curriculum:
● US Government and Politics: What makes a great leader? What are our roles as citizens. How and why should we participate in the democratic process?
● ספר במדבר: Understanding Moshe’s role. As a leader, how did he overcome adversity? How did we develop as a nation through challenges and redemption?
● תפילה: How do I grow through תפילה? What are our core values represented in תפילה? Why do we pray as a community?
● Color War: How do we work as a team? What makes powerful generals inspiring?

SENIOR YEAR: GOALS, DREAMS AND MAKING A DIFFERENCE
As high school seniors, students begin to reflect on their impact on the world outside the school building. Herein lies the ultimate goal of Shulamith: to guide young women towards becoming their best selves. We encourage our students to pursue mission driven lives – lives that are informed by תורה, מצות, חסד and Godly purpose.
Essential questions that students will explore:
How do I create lifelong goals? What career will I pursue? What obstacles will I face? Which have I overcome already? What tools was I given by G-d and how do I use them to better the world? How do I live with purpose? How can I give back to my family and community?

Some examples from the curriculum:
● AP English: What is the American Dream in The Great Gatsby? Is this dream fulfilled? Are all dreams possible?
● ספר בראשית: Dreams: Yaakov, Yosef, and Pharoah. What do our dreams say about who we are?
● Economics: How does charity affect the cycle of supply and demand? How do I balance family and career? How do I choose a career?
● AP Political Science. The Federal Bureaucracy. Should the people or the government be responsible for large societal problems such as healthcare and social security?
● Seminary and College Guidance. Which college and seminary are right for me? How do I navigate the application process?

JUDAIC STUDIES

Inspiring hearts, minds and souls.

TANACH
Our approach to Tanach is both global and personal.Students are provided with the language and analytical skills to read and analyze the text inside, tracing themes from one sefer to another and into their own lives. Our methodology challenges our students to explore the differences between pshat and drash. A Shulamith student will gain the ability to explicate rishonim, achronim and engage in parshanut. The girls develop a fluency in lashon hakodesh and the text comes alive as the classes are taught in Ivrit. Here, she will learn to appreciate the beauty of Torah to inspire.

Four years of required courses
Electives available to upperclassmen

Sample course offerings: Sifrei Breshit, SheImot, Bamidbar, and Dvarim. Yehoshua, Shoftim, Shmuel, Melachim, Yeshayahu, Yirmiyahu, Yechezkel, Chamesh Megillot, Tehillim.

HALACHA
In Halacha, the students will explore the source and development of Halacha, beginning with the Torah continuing to the achronim.Through their studies, students acquire the tools to understand the mesora and embrace the rules that are woven into the tapestry of our lives.

Four years of required courses
Sample course offerings: Hilchot Shabbat and Chagim, Kashrut, Brachot, Tzedakah, Kibud Av Va’em, Nashim B’halacha, Ishut, Understanding the Halachic Process.

IVRIT
Hebrew is our shared language, enabling tefilot to be meaningful and the words of Tanach to speak to the heart.As a Zionist institution, we aim for students to be comfortable in modern spoken Hebrew, from a casual conversation to a newspaper article. Our program affords students at varied levels to succeed. We speak, read, listen and write in Hebrew.

Four years of required courses
Sample course offerings: Hebrew I, Hebrew II, Modern Israeli Literature, Conversational Hebrew, Hebrew Poetry.

JEWISH PHILOSOPHY
In Jewish Philosophy, girls are invited to question, think, discuss, and analyze what it means to be an “ohr lagola.” Students work with concepts such as free choice, good and evil, and the role of women in Judaism. They will explore the meaning of tzelem elokim and its connection to inner beauty.

Three years of required courses
Sample course offerings: Pirkei Avot, Ethics, Foundations in Judaism, Finding True Happiness: Living an Inspired Life

JEWISH HISTORY
Jewish history gives us the opportunity to understand our place in the world today within the larger prism of world events. Beginning with Bayit Sheni and extending into the present, we explore the survival of the Jewish nation in the diaspora. We also study the development and function of the modern State of Israel.

Three years of required courses
Elective courses available to upperclassmen.

Sample course offerings: Medieval Jewish History, Rise of Chassidut in Eastern Europe, The Haskallah Movement, The History of Modern Zionism, Holocaust Studies.

SECULAR STUDIES

Futures without limitations.

MATH
Our math curriculum focuses on the beauty and logic in mathematics. Students will evaluate data and form sound conclusions. Students will learn to compute functions by hand and through the use of a graphing calculator. They will develop and master skills necessary for the ACT and SAT. Geometry, algebra, calculus, and statistics are
foundational skills for the future, helping them achieve success in all fields. Our classes include real life applications and allow for simplicity and clarity, engaging all types of learners.

Three years of required courses.
Elective courses available to upperclassmen.

Sample course offerings: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Statistics, Pre-Calculus, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC.

LANGUAGE ARTS
Language arts courses are based on the premise that reading is a source of continuous growth and knowledge, enabling intellectual progress across the spectrum. Through student-centered instruction, the girls are given the tools to express their ideas in analytical papers and creative pieces. Both reading and writing are opportunities for students to explore larger themes that apply to their lives.

Four years of required courses
Elective courses available to upperclassmen

Sample course offerings: World Literature, British Literature, American Literature, Shakespeare Theatre, The Art of Writing, Children’s Literature, Public Speaking, Journalism, AP English, Women in Literature.

SOCIAL STUDIES
Social studies provides students with the opportunity to think critically and analyze the ethical decisions that leaders, societies, and generations have made. People make choices and choices make history. We will evaluate those choices to become more informed and thoughtful citizens. Students learn to write persuasively and express their opinions in a cogent manner using primary and secondary sources. Students will explore a broad range of disciplines including geography, economics, history, and government.

Four years of required courses
Elective courses available to upperclassmen

Sample course offerings: Global History I, Global History II, American History I, American History II, Political Science and Government, AP Political Science, AP American History, AP European History, AP World History, AP Microeconomics, AP Macroeconomics, American Judicial System, Business Law, The Civil Rights Movement, Film in History

SCIENCE
This skills-based, hands-on curriculum fosters a deep appreciation for the splendor and complexity of the world in which we live. Heavily based on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering,and Mathematics), our students work in labs and the classroom to engage in technology-aided data collection and analysis. Our curriculum emphasizes independent thinking and allows students to delve into both theoretical and applied science.

Three years of required courses
Electives courses available to upperclassmen

Sample course offerings: Biology, Chemistry, Forensics, Physics, Genetics and Molecular Biology, Nutrition, AP Chemistry, AP Biology, AP Psychology, AP Computer Science

FOREIGN LANGUAGE
Communicating in a foreign language provides students with a broader cultural understanding of New York and our world. All freshmen are required to take Spanish I.

Two years of required courses.
Elective courses available to upperclassmen.

Sample course offerings: Spanish I, Spanish II, Spanish III, French, Latin, Sign Language

PHYSICAL EDUCATION
With our new regulation-sized gym, students can choose from a range of fitness and recreational games. Our curriculum will encourage our girls to develop a lifelong commitment to healthy fitness habits, sportsmanship, and positive body image.

Four years of required courses.

Sample course offerings: basketball, soccer, hockey, volleyball, softball, yoga, modern dance, hip hop dance, aerobics.

FINE ARTS
At Shulamith, we believe that every student can find her artistic and creative flair. Our courses challenge students to discover their inner creativity while providing them with the tools and vocabulary to develop and appreciate art across all media.

Two years of required courses.
Elective courses available to upperclassmen.

Sample course offerings: Introduction to Visual Arts, Drawing and Painting, Sculpture and 3D Design, Photography, iMovie and film production, Graphic Design, AP Studio Art, AP Art History, Fashion Design, Interior Design.

As a parent you can only dream about what your daughter will want to do in life, with a Shulamith education, she will be ready to become the architect of her dreams.