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Our School » Academic Excellence

Academic Excellence

From Kindergarten through fifth grade, we, at Jewish Academy of Orlando, are committed to Academic Excellence by kindling a love of learning, a passion for the arts and empowering our students to challenge themselves to go out and change the world!

A Grade (or 2) Ahead

As a testament to our school’s high academic standards, our students, year over year, on average, perform at least 1-2 grade levels ahead of their peers nationwide. The test scores are taken using the nationally recognized Iowa Test of Basic Skills® (ITBS®) – commonly known as the “Iowa Assessments.” The Iowa Assessment is a nationally standardized achievement test for K-12 students, allowing our school to compare JAO students’ scores to national norms in Reading, Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science.  As a school, we are always grateful to see our students’ scores and are proud that Jewish Academy of Orlando is a top-ranking school, not only in Orlando but in the nation.  The Iowa Assessments rank the students’ scores by grade level equivalents. As a general guide, a score of 8.4 for a 5th grader means the student is testing on an achievement continuum at a level equivalent to an 8th grader in their fourth month, or also reads they are 3 years and 4 months ahead of their current grade level. 

The test is used by a large number of private schools and various states to measure grade-level performance. It is often paired with an IQ instrument such as WISC®-IV or the CogAT® for entrance into gifted and talented programs and National Honor Society.

Teaching to the student, not the test

Teaching to the test is not the practice of the Jewish Academy of Orlando. Rather, we use this test for a variety of reasons. One is to get a glimpse of how our student body is performing against national norms. It is one of many indicators teachers use to gauge how well students have mastered benchmarks at each grade level.  These tests also allow us to understand where we need to refine and review our curriculum to stay competitive. Our scores prove that we have been able to combine our teaching techniques, philosophies, and instruction to ensure our students reach their full potential.

Differentiated Learning

We challenge every student to the best of their ability.  Differentiated learning provides students with instruction, which adjusts learning, projects, homework, and classwork to meet the needs of each individual student. Through differentiated learning, it’s not just about the speed at which a student covers the material; more often it is about the depth of their study. This often means including opportunities for instruction beyond their current grade level to more challenging material.

Leveled Math

Students in grades 1-5 are tested regularly and are placed in math classes that are on or above grade level, depending on the student. This allows our faculty to teach each student at their own pace.

Small Class Sizes

Small class sizes allow our faculty the ability to meet the children where they are academically and socially.  Our students are given individual or small group instruction every day. 

Academic Excellence and a Whole Child Focus

In addition to our school’s strong academics, we provide a multi-faceted whole-child development program.  We truly believe in educating the whole child, and we have a dual-focus as educators.  We foster both academic excellence and social-emotional growth, cultivating values of kindness, self-awareness, mindfulness, and character.

Students that are ready for the world

We are extremely proud of our students’ academic achievements; we are focused on graduating children that are happy, confident, love to learn, and know how to get along with their peers; students that are ready for the world!

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