In addition to Hillel Academy’s core subjects of Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Hebrew, and Judaic Studies, extracurricular activities ensure students have a well rounded experience that includes creative, language, and physical education.
Physical Play and Education
For children to be the very best students they may be, it is essential that they are given plenty of opportunities to move their bodies and get fresh air throughout the day.
Two to three times a week students participate in a Physical Education (PE) class with a certified PE instructor. Students are guided through lessons that exercise their agility; practice teamwork; and teaches them the ins and outs of all kinds of sports and games.
Middle School Competitive Sports League
Hillel Academy is part of the West Coast Florida League in which middle school students play competitively against other private schools in sports such as soccer, volleyball, basketball, flag football, and cross country running.
Unstructured Outdoor Play Time
Depending on the age of the students, children have morning and afternoon recesses on our 12-acres of beautiful land that includes playgrounds, gardens, fields, gaga pit, and an outside basketball pavilion. The magic of Hillel comes alive at the daily lunchtime recess when students in Kindergarten through eighth grade all have recess simultaneously and the lines between grades are blurred as all children play together.
Fine Arts Education
Study in the fine arts provides learners with non-academic benefits such as promoting self-esteem, motivation, aesthetic awareness, cultural exposure, creativity, improved emotional expression, as well as social harmony, and appreciation of diversity.
Kindergarten through 8th grade students work not only with a certified art instructor, but an artist in her own right. Together, students exercise their creativity while learning about such things as color, technique, and medium. They also learn about specific artists and art history and then create works inspired by them. Additionally, Hillel’s art teacher collaborates with the general, Hebrew, and Judaic studies teachers to integrate their subject matter into the fine art experience.
Musical Arts Education
While the musical arts allow children to develop creative passions, they simultaneously teach children language and communication skills, helping them to communicate effectively with others with confidence. With improved self confidence and self belief, comes a natural pathway for children to go on to master many more skills that will equip them for life. nStudies have also indicated that children who participate in musical arts can enjoy improved performance in more traditionally academic subjects such as mathematics and English.
Through fifth grade, students focus on Hebrew, Judaic, and English songs and vocals that they learn, rehearse, and perform for each other, parents, and community members. In addition, they study music theory by learning how to play percussion instruments through 2nd grade, ukulele in 3rd grade, and recorder in 4th and 5th grades. In middle school, students may elect to participate in a piano lab.
Spanish / Language Lab (7th & 8th)
Hillel Academy partners with Florida Virtual School (FLVS) to teach students a third language in the 7th & 8th Grades. In addition to the teacher provided by FLVS, Hillel Academy staffs a Language Lab Facilitator to keep the students motivated and focused on their individual learning progressions. While it is recommended that 7th Grade students begin with Beginner’s Spanish and 8th Grade students take Spanish I and earn a High School language credit, students are at liberty to take any language taught by FLVS and those with background knowledge in a language (e.g. a student speaks Spanish at Home) may start at a higher language level (e.g. skip Introduction to Spanish and start with Spanish I).
Executive Functioning and Study Skills (6th)
Once a week, students in 6th-Grade learn, practice, and reinforce important executive functioning and study skills in order to be more successful navigating the middle and high school model of education. Students work on such skills as time management, organization, Steven Covey’s Habits of Success, and note-taking.
Working creatively and collaboratively, Hillel Academy’s 8th-Grade students envision and execute their vision for the annual Yearbook they create to memorialize their time at Hillel and the year they graduate. Each student is assigned a specific role to perform, such as “Editor,” “Photojournalist,” “Sales Person,” etc… Additionally, each student is assigned specific pages and sections to design and they must adhere to mandatory deadlines otherwise delay the entire Yearbook.
- Write copy and captions in appropriate journalistic style for yearbook
- Use good photojournalism techniques
- Design a professional, attractive theme-based yearbook
- Write effective headlines and captions
- Edit, proofread, and evaluate their own and other’s work
- Work cooperatively within time constraints (DEADLINES) and budget limitations
- Learn and use effective sales and promotional techniques
By the time children are in middle school, many have existing passions and others are starting to identify and show interest in activities that will become passions. In that spirit, middle school students have the option to select an elective in an area that brings them joy.
Over the course of the first four weeks of the school year, middle school students will take an introduction class to each of the offered electives. After test-driving each class, they will be asked to choose one that they want to study and experience further during the school year.
Current electives include:
- Advanced Art (in addition to their regular art class)
- News/Media Production
- Piano and Vocals Lab
- Sports Wheel (in addition to their regular PE class)