Middle School Special Programs
Class Trips (Tiyyulim)
|Fifth Grade||Genessee Valley
Part of the orientation process to fifth grade is the trip to Genesee Valley. Featuring a challenge course that focuses on team building, as well as other exciting outdoor activities, the day’s goal is to build identity as a class and forge stronger connections between students and between staff and students.
Fifth graders and their parents visit Independence Hall, the Museum of Jewish History and Mikveh Israel—a Spanish-Portuguese congregation founded in 1740 and known as “the Synagogue of the Revolution.” This trip neatly ties general and Judaic studies together.
|Sixth Grade||“Teva” Experience
The 4-day sixth grade trip to the “Teva” program at the Pearlstone Retreat Center gives our students a chance to explore nature and environmental awareness, all through a lens of Jewish texts and Jewish values. They bring their knowledge back to our certified green school, and make us even greener!
|Seventh Grade||New York City
The 3-day trip to New York connects students the immigration experience that they are studying at school with visits to Ellis Island and the Lower East Side. Mixed in are opportunities to enjoy Manhattan’s many sites and take in a Broadway show.
The 8th grade year culminates in a two-week trip to Israel with Ramah Israel Programs. As they travel the land, connections are made with their years of Hebrew and Judaic study. As they forge even closer bonds with each other, the entire country of Israel becomes a classroom for them whether they are participating in an archaeological dig, swimming in the Dead Sea, or hiking in the Negev. Learn more about the Israel trip here.
Havdalah and Basketball Night
On a Saturday night in the fall, the 5th and 6th Grade familes get together to mark the end of Shabbat and shoot some hoops. Family members are invited to attend.
Students in 5th Grade commemorate the birthday and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a moving assembly. With the help of their Language Arts/Social Studies teachers and the choir director, students study the work of Dr. King and his hopes for increasing equality and compassion in the lives of his fellow citizens. During the presentation, students share their dreams for the future. A sample of our most recent presentation can be viewed here.
Jewish Family History Night
In the 7th Grade, students turn the lens of history on their own families’ experiences as a way of understanding the Jewish immigrant experience. They research their genealogy as they create extended family trees. They also explore the origins of their last names and try to learn more about the places where their families lived prior to immigrating to the United States. All this hard work culminates in a delightful evening presentation of family history and stories. Parents, grandparents and siblings join the students as they share their findings with one another.
Eighth Grade Play
Every year, the entire 8th Grade class takes on the responsibility of pulling off a full-scale musical production—entirely in Hebrew. The play culminates years of Hebrew study but, also, the intense preparation that goes into the show cements the bonds students make over a period of years at KSDS. Its special place in the hearts of our students shows in the alumni who pack the auditorium, along with eighth grade parents, siblings, grandparents and friends. Recent productions have included “South Pacific,” “The Pajama Game” and “Guys and Dolls.”
Tickets sell out quickly and will be available in March. Call the Middle School “Box Office” at 410-824-2053 for reservations.
Held annually in the Krieger Auditorium, the Instructional Showcase highlights the year’s learning and celebrates academic excellence. All our families are invited to the program, which features Science Fair projects, original inventions, multimedia presentations, geometry posters and presentations, Judaica projects, Art and Woodshop projects, and much more. You’ll also enjoy performances by our 6th, 7th and 8th Grade music ensembles. Please join us for this exciting evening! Check the calendar and save the date.
Mid-Winter Learning Festival
In mid-February, students and faculty step away from the formal curriculum and spend three full days exploring a common theme. Guest presenters, field trips, hands-on activities, and multimedia projects are all part of this popular educational event. One of our goals of the Learning Festival is to connect students with their community.
Arts Coffee House
Held annually in the Krieger Auditorium, the Arts Coffee House is run entirely by students. Students do all the preparation for this wonderful evening, from decorating and cooking to creating menus and advertisements on the computer. Students also provide the entertainment, which can range from monologues to live music. It’s a major showcase of students’ hard work and artistic talent.
Purim at KSMS is never complete without the 7th Grade Purim shpiels. These short skits are based upon the 7th Graders’ study of Megillat Esther. Each group is assigned a section of the story, a style to present it in (such as horror movie, children’s show, western), a catch phrase that needs to be said (like “some enchanted evening”), and a prop (like a parrot or a coconut).
Students write the scripts and produce and direct the plays with faculty supervision. Our guest judges rate each shpiel in a variety of categories, including usage of their prop, catch phrase and faithfulness to the text. Each shpiel is presented with a special award and the overall winning shpiel is announced at the end. It’s some enchanted evening!
Middle School Student Council
The Middle School Student Council provides many leadership opportunities for our students. It offers a creative outlet to organize events, fundraisers and social activities, all of which boost school spirit and enrich our community. By participating in Student Council, students learn the ins and outs of planning events and becoming more responsible. Being a part of the Student Council allows students to build confidence and prepare for future leadership roles.
Middle School Choir
The Middle School Choir, under the long-standing direction of Erika Schon, invites all interested students in grades 5-8 to sing and have fun together. The KSMS Choir provides the emotion and energy for many school and community-based events, including observances of Holocaust Memorial Day, Israeli Memorial Day and Israeli Independence Day. Choir meets once a week during the school day. If you like to sing, come be part of the MS Choir community!
Winter Lunchtime Clubs
Clubs are offered throughout the year. Students choose from offerings that may include stock club, literary club, computer club, chess, knitting, Israeli dance, origami and more.