Upper School students at Tucson Hebrew Academy actively participate in a journey of intellectual, academic, spiritual, cultural and social growth. In our 5th through 8th-grade classes, students are energized and challenged to think critically, communicate effectively, and make the world a better place. Our secular academic program excels in quality and content of instruction in science, mathematics, language arts, and history; our Judaics academic program continues building modern Hebrew language proficiency, expands the knowledge of Jewish culture and values, and provides uniquely powerful experiences of living Jewishly, culminating in our 8th Grade Israel Experience.
Science THA provides students with an exciting, hands-on, challenging science curriculum that introduces students to all aspects of science and develops critical thinking and problem-solving skills which are beneficial to their futures regardless of career choices. Upper School students are challenged through our rigorous science programs which include human anatomy and physiology, introductory biology, introductory chemistry, biochemistry, and introductory physics. Throughout the trimesters, students brainstorm on real-world solutions for global warming, pollution, and alternative fuels. Students investigate concepts such as DNA replication, protein synthesis, and cellular respiration. Students also do an in-depth examination of chemical processes, digestive enzymes, and temperature regulation. Participation in the Southern Arizona Science and Engineering Fair and hosting Tucson’s premier school STEAM festival round out the THA outstanding science program.
History and Language Arts A highly integrated approach supports the learning of these topics. Where students study historical events from a specific time period, they also read literature from that time. Reading content in both topics, from eye witness historical records to novels of classic literature, is used to hone critical and creative thinking skills as students dive deeply into reading comprehension strategies and the development of an impressive array of vocabulary. Mastering a range of writing styles – from narrative to persuasive to non-fiction – is also accomplished through writing across both curricular domains.
Math Our goal is to create students who are confident, challenged, excited, who understand underlying mathematical concepts and apply their problem-solving skills to real-world applications. Students learn pre-algebra through advanced algebra and geometry, probability and statistics, and how to use technology to complement their findings. We encourage our students to present their methods of problem-solving, justify their reasoning, and formulate questions to gain insight into their thinking. Students participate in regional math competitions, math club and other opportunities to enrich and extend their math experiences.
Hebrew Language Students continue to build on (or begin) their knowledge of modern Hebrew in four key areas: reading, writing, listening and speaking. A blended approach uses a combination of online and classroom learning. Students are supported in both developmentally appropriate and ability-based instruction as they strive towards mastery of the mother tongue.