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Lower School Specials
Golda Meir Lower School Special Area Courses

Through diversity of subject matter, the lower school offers a holistic education. Our lower school offers six “Specials” courses in physical education, library activities, computers, science, art and music.


The physical education program is based on the premise that the quality and productivity of each individual’s life can be enhanced through participation in a comprehensive, sequential physical education system that promotes physical, mental, social and emotional well being. A physically educated person is one who has mastered the necessary movement skills to participate confidently in many different forms of physical activity, values physical fitness and understands that both are related to health and a positive self-image.

The physical education program at the San Diego Jewish Academy enables students to achieve five goals. Each goal is equally important, and each interacts continually with the others. These goals are:

  • Physical Fitness: To develop and maintain an optimal efficiency level of cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, flexibility and proper nutrition necessary for participating in daily life and recreational activities.
  • Movement Skills and Movement Knowledge: To develop effective motor skills and to understand the fundamentals of movement through practice and analysis.
  • Self Image and Personal Development: To develop and maintain a positive self-image and strive to become the best a person can be through planned physical activities.
  • Social Development: To develop appropriate social behaviors by working independently and cooperatively with others during planned physical activity.
  • Appreciation of Physical Activity.


Library skills are taught to all classes beginning in kindergarten. Students attend weekly library classes in grades K-5 with the library media specialist. Most lessons are related to their classroom curriculum topics. The students are then encouraged to find books which interest them and are matched to their individual reading levels.

In grades K-2, classes are concerned with proper care of library books, the location of library resources and an appreciation of children’s literature. Throughout the grades, different authors and illustrators are featured. The Caldecott and Newbery winners are shown and discussed.


Computer instruction begins in kindergarten. The purpose of the computer curriculum is to help students develop computer skills that support learning and personal productivity. Students are introduced to basic computer operations, proper keyboarding skills, concepts and terminology. They begin with directed and guided activities and progress to working more independently.

As students progress, more of the curriculum is integrated with other grade level subjects and the technology becomes more sophisticated. Students learn to create word processing documents to present information and to enhance the presentation of curriculum assignments. Becoming adept at keyboarding and computer skills is viewed as an important component for success in today’s world.


SDJA's lower school science program is unique in a number of ways. It features a fully-equipped science lab that allows for a wide range of demonstrations and hands-on activities that enhance the curriculum. Working in a lab allows students to have time and space specifically devoted to science. The lab portion of the class features a Van Der Graph machine for static electricity, prisms, color spectrum glasses, microscopes, cows' eye and grasshopper dissections. It makes instilling a love of science very easy. Since the entire lower school curriculum is taught by an individual instructor, the concepts learned in the later years of the lower school build upon the knowledge the students receive in the lower grades.


The art curriculum aims to stimulate children to experience the world of art both physically by creating, and spiritually through understanding and appreciating the creations of others. This is accomplished by exercising a variety of art techniques while examining selected artists and topics in art history. In addition, students have the unique opportunity to integrate information from various academic subjects such as social studies, Judaic studies and language arts to create art projects that reflect their studies. Art is used to enhance and extend learning that culminates in various types of reports and projects.

In grades K-5, students become familiar with many different art terms and media. These include drawing (colored pencils, soft pencils, craypas, chalks), painting (watercolors, Tempera, oil pastels, fabric, acrylic), graphic techniques (calligraphy and lettering, paper cut outs, collage, origami, paper-mache) and 3-D projects (clay sculpture and pottery, paper relief, wire sculpture, metal sheet and foil manipulation).


A music specialist visits each class in kindergarten through grade five once a week. Students learn about rhythm and instruments, are introduced to classical pieces and composers and learn many songs that are integrated with the Judaic and social studies curriculum. The goal is to introduce students to various kinds of music and have them learn to enjoy music through listening, singing and making music themselves.

Aside from being a specialist in Jewish music, the music teacher has also completed the intensive Level 2 Orff Schulwerk training. She uses Orff instruments and the Orff methodology to lead the students to an internalization of musical concepts as well as a love of music. Students have many opportunities to perform for fellow students, families and the community at large as they participate in various holiday celebrations.

San Diego Jewish Academy | 11860 Carmel Creek Road, San Diego CA 92130 | (858) 704-3700 | info@sdja.com
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