BEYOND THE CLASSROOM
At The Davis Academy, we believe that some of the most impressionable learning occurs outside of the walls of the traditional classroom.
While it is the people that make the learning experience so powerful, we also recognize the importance of an exemplary learning environment – an environment that appeals to and speaks to a diverse community with varying needs and styles of learning. The traditional classroom is just one of our students many destinations throughout the school day. Idea labs, media-scape rooms, digital studios, outdoor classrooms, computer labs, field trips, skyping with classrooms around the globe, leadership and community outreach opportunities enable endless hands-on, interactive, and engaging educational opportunities for our students.
Through meaningful global connections using technology and social media, we have opened pathways for our students, exposing them to a diverse set of cultures and unique learning experiences. Global Read Aloud, Vocab A-Z, Global Math Task Twitter Challenge, Math like a pirate, mystery skypes, and Google Hangouts are just a few of the tools that are used. Through each of these interactive experiences, students are developing empathy and truly understanding the value of sharing a common goal with others around the world, as well as developing their presentation and communication skills that are paramount to learning in the 21st century.
In addition to the global reach through technology, field trips to museums and cultural events and amazing overnight trips to rich cultural locations like Savannah, Charleston, and Washington, DC, also ensure students develop a greater awareness and understanding of the world around them. Nowhere is this experiential growth more evident than in the culminating and transformative two+ week trip to Israel that our Eighth Graders take in the spring of their graduating year.
To further nurture a global perspective and community mindedness amongst our students, The Davis Academy has developed a series of interfaith programming and partnerships. We have a long-standing partnership with Marist School, for our 8th grade interfaith program that combines learning, social action, and relationship building. We’ve also kicked off interfaith partnerships with a number of other schools, as seen in our 5th grade interfaith programming with Mount Vernon Presbyterian School. Additionally, our 7th grade students attend our Holy Sites Tour, visiting a local Mosque, a Hindu temple, and a Baha’I center to learn about the faith and their traditions. The lessons of acceptance, inclusivity and collaboration that emerge from these learning experiences further enrich the Davis Experience and provide our students with a better understanding of the world around them.
A Davis Academy education stresses the importance of living our menschlichkeit values. For that reason, what some schools call “community service,” we call tzedek (“righteousness”). The difference being that tzedek is one of the pillars of our school community rather than a collection of projects. When asked, “What does it mean to be a Reform Jewish Day School,” tzedek is an important part of the answer. One of the hallmarks of Reform Judaism is its commitment to carrying on, with tremendous passion and optimism, the work of making the world a better and more just place.
A variety of projects, programs, and curricular modules in every grade expose students to what it looks like, feels like, and means to act with tzedek. For example, our tzedek program empowers kindergarteners to protect animals, 2nd graders to spearhead our school-wide effort to support the Atlanta Community Food Bank, 3rd graders to stock shelves at our local Community Assistance Center, 4th graders to make blankets for Scottish Rite Hospital, and 5th graders to help inner city children have a summer camp experience at Camp Jenny. The list goes on. At The Davis Academy, you’ll find themes pertaining to tzedek woven into classroom story time, Jewish holiday celebrations, visiting guests, field trips and more. In fact, no Jewish holiday celebration at The Davis Academy is complete if it doesn’t have a tzedek component.
Beginning in 5th grade all Davis Academy students expand their understanding of tzedek through interfaith service learning with other faith based schools, field trips focused on the Civil Rights Movement, and direct interaction with philanthropic leaders and organizations while visiting Israel. In 7th grade students join together for Project IMPACT as they create a philanthropic organization that allocates approximately $6,000 to local, national, and Israel based charities of their choosing. From an outcomes perspectives, Davis Academy students make meaningful contributions of time, talent, and resources to dozens of organizations each year. These organizations consider The Davis Academy to be a valued and reliable partner in their work. To read more about our tzedek program click here.
Student leadership opportunities exist throughout every grade at The Davis Academy. As young as Mechina and Kindergarten, students are given “classroom roles” such as greeter, line leader and teacher helper, which introduce them to the concept of individual and communal leadership. Responsibilities and opportunities grow with every grade to include roles such as book buddy, class mayor and safety patrol. When students enter the middle school, they are primed and ready to take their leadership skills to the next level. Here, they are introduced to the Middle School Leadership Training Institute (MSLTI), a program for middle school students interested in learning about leadership and experiencing distinct leadership tracks: Jewish Life Leadership, Student Ambassadors, and Student Government Association. Selection is based on a variety of criteria, including character, leadership, achievement, and responsibility, as well as thoughtful and thorough responses on the application.
After School Enrichment and Extended Day Program
The After School Program at the Davis Lower School offers a rich variety of opportunities for our students to explore, create, express, play, and learn. Monday through Thursday, students can be found immersed in artistic creation, dance activities, fitness-oriented programs, innovative technology offerings and many other programs that allow our students to pursue passions and interests guided by experts in their fields. In addition to a wide variety of after school activities, extended care is available to parents from 3:20 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 3:20 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays. Students may do homework or engage in supervised activities. There is an additional fee for the Extended Day Program.
We host a variety of camps, from drama to sports, every summer. Click here for a full list and schedule of this summer’s camps.