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Charlotte Jewish Day School to Become a K-8 School

Charlotte Jewish News April 2021

By Gale Osborne

“Will you ever have a middle school?” This question has been asked by both our current parents looking to have their children remain beyond fifth grade and new families looking at CJDS as a potential choice for their child’s elementary education. It was the single most asked question in our most recent, pre-pandemic parent survey, and COVID has not weakened the excitement for this possibility. Parents are looking for an alternative to current public and private offerings. They are seeking a smaller middle school with differentiated instruction and an emphasis on the whole child, especially at a time at which teens are experiencing additional workloads, class changes, and new peer pressures.

Over the past 18 months, a committed group of parent lay leaders has continued to survey our parents and hold grade-level meetings. Our administrative team investigated curriculum, created budgets, and discussed elective offerings. Our growing community of parents voiced its confidence in the quality of a CJDS education, understanding that the children are developing skills beyond the expected benchmarks in the areas of reading comprehension and literacy, math, science, and technology, all accomplished on a canvas of Jewish beliefs and deep Torah study. We’re excited to be able to say that the possibility of a middle school has become a reality!

Beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, CJDS will institute a sixth grade and will add an additional grade for the next two years. By 2025, CJDS will be a K-8 school. Already, 27 students have signed agreements and made tuition deposits to ensure that enrollment continues for all three years. The secular academic curriculum will meet national and state standards and be comparable to that of independent schools in the area. New faculty will be retained, with expertise in higher-level math, biology and chemistry, and English. Judaic education will be a seamless continuation of the current K-5 curriculum of Hebrew language, Jewish life cycle, and Torah studies. Additionally, the students will participate in community service and student advisory and will take electives. Elective courses will take advantage of the community at large, sometimes taking our students to off-campus locations, other times, bringing the experts in.

We are humbled by the message of confidence from our parents and excited about this expansion for our school. The addition of older students, coupled with our recent growth in enrollment, creates new opportunities for student leadership and engagement and a vibrant new energy that all our students will feel and benefit from.

You don’t need to be a current CJDS student to attend our middle school. The new middle school program is open to students from both public and private schools. For more information, call (704) 366-4558 or email Gale Osborne at gosborne@cjdschool.org. See how a CJDS Middle School education can work for your family!