Recent studies suggest that people who master more than one language build a more resilient brain, are more proficient at multi-tasking, and are better able to set priorities. Chicago Jewish Day School students begin learning Hebrew from day one, and these young minds quickly gain proficiency in a second language. This not only provides them with a sound cultural foundations, but also wires their brains to accelerate learning in all academic subjects.
Chicago Jewish Day School’s dual curriculum teaches our children both knowledge and values, in both Judaic and General studies. We seek to nurture students who are not only literate, but who also are empowered to become educated members of the Jewish and general community through the skills, values, and experiences that they acquire. The use of Hebrew as a spoken language coupled with our progressive, integrated and experiential curriculum develop children’s capacity for complex learning. The study of sacred and Biblical texts develop critical thinking and analytical skills. Managing a dual curriculum promotes organizational and time management skills which lead to solid study habits. Chicago Jewish Day School’s challenging and thought provoking curriculum prepares graduates well for advanced study. Most of all, however, Chicago Jewish day School promotes and fosters ethical and moral identity development in each individual child
General and Judaic Studies classes rotate between morning and afternoon sessions with both disciplines woven throughout any given day. This creates more flexibility, and also addresses the impact the time of day has on learning. At CJDS, we have similar academic goals for both General Studies and Judaic Studies – deeper understanding, critical thinking, and real world application – and believe that what we learn in each area enhances and capitalizes on our learning in the other.
We believe in the importance of integrating all these disciplines throughout our day. In addition, CJDS has specialists in music, art, P.E. and technology who work with each grade multiple times per week.
Our students have recess twice each day. This is just one of the wonderful opportunities for children of different grades to interact with each other socially. Our New Campus allows our students to have two areas for our outdoor play: our new natural playscape and a sports field.
Our student teacher ratio is 5:1. Our classes typically range from 12-16 students per class and most grades have two classes per grade. In Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes, they have two to three teachers in each classroom. In our Grades One through Five, each class has one General Studies teacher and one Hebrew/Judaic Studies teacher. In middle school, our students rotate from class to class with a different, specialized teacher for each of the academic disciplines.
At Chicago Jewish Day School, we take our cue from our students – and are particularly attentive to student individuality. The question, “What is best for the student?” is at the core of all decisions. Each student is unique. Therefore, policies as well as learning and behavioral expectations are established in a broad manner that allows for individualized decision-making that reflects our respect for the individual students and their needs, both those needing extra support and those requiring enrichment. Differentiation is embedded in our curricular choices and teaching methodology across the subject areas. We celebrate the developmental stages of learning and provide for each student’s unique timetable for unfolding their abilities. In addition, the teachers in our Reach department provide additional support to students in order to address a wide variety of student needs.
Chicago Jewish Day School's New Campus is located in the family-friendly neighborhood of Irving Park! The campus is a 2.6-acre property that includes multiple buildings with state-of-the-art classrooms, central worship and learning space, a gymnasium and outdoor athletic and recreational facilities--all designed to enhance the school's commitment to academic excellence and foster continued growth.
Chicago Jewish Day School offers a bus transportation option for our families to and from school. We currently offer bus routes that make a variety of stops throughout the city and suburbs to accommodate our families. Currently, about 70% of our students take the bus to and from Chicago Jewish Day School. Carpooling is also very popular at Chicago Jewish Day School. Upon enrolling, you will receive a school directory to help facilitate this process. Additionally, our Director of Admissions, Cortney Stark Cope, is happy to help connect you with other families in your area.
As a convenience to our families, we offer both Before Care and After Care (J at School) services on our campus.
After Care Options
After Care at CJDS is available Monday-Thursday (3:00-6:00 p.m.) The After Care staff guide children through entertaining activities, assist with homework, and provide a nurturing, safe environment where kids can learn and grow.
CJDS values and respects the varied approaches to the laws of kashrut (keeping kosher) that exist within our community. Our observance of kashrut is guided by the concern that all members of our community feel comfortable eating at school functions. Therefore, we ask parents to send in a dairy/pareve (prepared without meat, milk or their derivatives) snack and lunch for their child on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays and to send in a kosher meat/pareve snack on Thursdays and Fridays. Optional catered school lunches are available for purchase through Marla's Lunch program, coming directly from area kosher restaurants.
As a multi-denominational day school, we are proud of the fact that our families hail from diverse Jewish backgrounds. While many of our students come from families that are Reform, Conservative or Modern Orthodox, we also have many families who do not identify with a particular denomination. All of our families come together in the desire to ground their children with a strong sense of Jewish identity and knowledge. At Chicago Jewish Day School, our students understand that there is not just one way to be Jewish and celebrate and respect the different ways we all come to our Jewish identity and practice.
At Chicago Jewish Day School, we take pride in the fact that our graduates have choices. 95% of our graduates gain acceptance to their first-choice high school, including Chicago’s competitive selective enrollment and private schools, where they become leaders in their schools and communities.
Chicago Jewish Day School is accredited by ISACS (Independent School Association of Central States). This prestigious and highly sought after accreditation puts us in a community of excellence with other top independent schools in the Chicagoland area. Additionally, we are part of the Prizmah, NBOA, NAIS, and ASCD networks. We partner with and are supported by the Jewish United Fund.