Portland Jewish Academy is a beneficiary agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland and is proud of our partnership with them in strengthening our local Jewish community as well as the global community.

Curriculum Overview

Kindergarten - Grade 2

For children, the years between Kindergarten and Second Grade are a time of tremendous growth. At PJA, the Kindergarten – Second Grade curriculum nurtures that growth in an environment that engages students in their own learning and provides a foundation for academic success in the years that follow.

During these years, students develop a strong sense of themselves as part of a classroom family while also becoming increasingly independent learners and self-starters. A major focus of the school day is supporting students’ developing literacy and mathematical skills. Students also learn the Hebrew aleph-bet, grow their Hebrew speaking vocabulary, and begin to read and write in Hebrew. They explore their world through units of study that integrate social studies and science concepts with other skills, and begin the formal study of torah. Each year, students go on field trips, celebrate Jewish holy days and festivals, perform in plays and other presentations, and spend time with students from their older “buddy” class.
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Grades 3 - 5

Third through Fifth grade is a time of growing independence, skill acquisition, and abstract thinking. At PJA, we support the natural curiosity of students in these grades through a project based curriculum that encourages students to explore new interests and develop the skills and self-confidence for academic success in the years that follow. During these years, technology plays an increasing role in the learning process and is integrated throughout the curriculum. Students receive direction instruction in keyboarding in Third Grade and have access to class sets of laptops in Fourth and Fifth Grades.

Our Third through Fifth Grade curriculum nurtures a love of reading and helps students develop comprehension strategies that support their learning across subject areas. In mathematics, students deal with increasingly larger numbers, become more fluent in the basic operations, and develop more efficient strategies for problem-solving and mathematical reasoning. As their Hebrew listening and speaking vocabulary grow, so does their ability to read and write in Hebrew. Each year, students develop a deeper understanding of the major Jewish holy days and learn more of the prayers associated with those holy days and of the morning, afternoon and Shabbat services. They delve further into Torah; go on field trips related to their social studies, Jewish studies, and science curricula; perform in plays and prepare presentations; and serve as “buddies” to students in younger grades.
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The Middle School Years

Students in the Middle School at PJA have a very rich program that is designed to meet the unique needs of young adolescents. Students have 90 minutes of Humanities each day and an average of 45 minutes a day of Math, Science, Hebrew, Jewish Studies, and, starting in Seventh Grade, Spanish. Each student’s schedule also includes PE and quarter-long classes in the arts and technology.
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