BYDS specialist programs provide students with additional opportunities to lead, imagine, create, and shine during the school day. All specialist courses support and enhance the core curricular lessons taught at each grade level, and in each grade they integrate with core instruction for certain major projects.
The Student Support Team (SST) is one of the important ways Beth Yeshurun ensures that all our students receive accurate and successful educational support services. Our School Counselor and Director of Student Services work closely to ensure students individualized needs are met. Once a student is referred for needing either enrichment or intervention, there is a plan put in place: a weekly meeting is held to discuss students who need support in some capacity, be it academic (both accelerated and remedial), behavioral, or emotional in order to be successful in school.
Life Skills & Wellness Program
Our life skills activities include morning energizers, focused lunch, Mensch of the Month, and leadership opportunities. Our morning energizers incorporate a short and fun “brain break” to help start our day with a positive, ready-to-learn mindset. During our focused lunch, we play peaceful music in the background as students quietly focus on eating and nourishing their minds. We have already seen great improvement in lunchroom behavior as well as better use of manners. Mensch of the Month will be incorporated with a new twist. Using the five life skills, one student per grade will be nominated by the grade level teachers for demonstrating the five traits throughout that month. Receiving this award is a huge honor, and these students will be recognized on Friday afternoon during Kabbalat Shabbat services. Students can receive this award more than once for consistently displaying these traits, but not all students will receive Mensch of the Month.
The technology program instructs the students in the optimum computer skills to enhance, enrich, and reinforce the grade-level curriculum in each classroom and ensure readiness for middle school and beyond. Students learn everything from effective keyboarding to digital organizational and research skills to Microsoft Office, including PowerPoint. Computer programming is also introduced. The teachers instruct about safe and appropriate use of technology for each age group.
You will find art everywhere at BYDS, not just inside our art room, which has full natural light exposure and features a separate room with a kiln for ceramics. Our hallways are decorated with student work that resembles the likes of Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet, Warhol and other significant artists. As they exercise creativity and self-expression, our students learn the concepts of composition, color and shapes while working with relationships between space, form and line. Projects emphasize hand-eye coordination and fine motor control as they utilize different artistic tools, including tempera paint, watercolors, printing ink, crayons, pastels, clay, wood, assorted paper and collage materials.
The music program at BYDS instills an appreciation and understanding of different styles of music. Emphasis is placed on the songs of the Sabbath and Jewish holidays. Each grade level leads a beautiful Shabbat service once during the school year. The children also prepare for our annual Thanksgiving program and other special events throughout the year. Musical theory and basic note reading are introduced to our 4th and 5th grade students. Students in grades 2-5 have the opportunity to join choir — an extra-curricular ensemble that performs throughout the school year at synagogue occasions, school programs and community events.
Beth Yeshurun has a beautiful science lab dedicated to enhancing the science curriculum with hands-on discovery. Students have opportunities to explore beyond the regular academics into other worlds, such as paleontology and forensic science. Students conduct experiments and document their findings as they learn to apply the steps of the Scientific Method. The science lab includes centers where students can engage in self-directed study and practice the skills of observation, measurement, classification, interpreting data and making models.
The physical education program is designed to provide children with the knowledge of wellness and healthy lifestyles. This is accomplished by instructing the children in physical fitness exercises that focus on cardiovascular, flexibility and strength training. Children are taught appropriate skills to succeed in various sporting activities, where they are encouraged to participate and strive to do their best. Our students are expected to demonstrate good sportsmanship and cooperation.
The library is an instructional center and service agency that supports the curriculum of the school. It reinforces the school’s philosophy, goals and objectives. The library staff works with teachers, administrators and parents to design and implement programs to enhance the learning process. Our library provides a “Book Fair” twice a year to our families. The librarian selects books appropriate for the reading levels of each grade. A “Young Authors’ Celebration” is planned yearly, bringing published authors, illustrators and creative artists for young audiences from across the country to our school to provide interactive workshops. The library also hosts Celebrate Texas Day and Young Authors’ Celebration every spring. It is truly the hub of our school.