Signature Programs

Project-based learning brings studies to life for Wise students How do people build their homes in different places across the world? What elements would a sacred space require? These are questions constructed by students and teachers in the Wise Project Studio, a flagship center of innovation for our Los Angeles campus. An integrated convergence of art, technology, and science, Project Studio is a virtual playground where students engage in divergent thinking exercises using a variety of educational modalities. In this hands-on workspace, students participate in a process of inspiration, ideation and implementation, modeling the evolutionary creative processes of paradigm-shifting companies. We emphasize collaboration and “sparks of thought,” enabling students to build upon each other’s ideas using a diverse range of materials in an inspired, student-centric environment. Throughout the process, students discover their personal strengths and implement them.
Solving problems reinforces Wise students’ deep learning As the first Jewish Day School in Los Angeles to participate the international problem-solving competition known as Odyssey of the Mind, Wise School provides a unique opportunity for children to apply and demonstrate their deep learning. In Odyssey, teams of seven students from around the world select a problem, accompanied by a lengthy list of criteria, and develop creative solutions to the problem. The “solution” culminates in a one-of-a-kind performance that showcases not just an answer, but student creativity, teamwork, problem solving skills, artistic abilities, engineering aptitude, costuming preferences, and acting talents. Throughout the years, Wise School has sent many teams from our Los Angeles campus to state, national, and world championships, including 2015, when we sent two teams to the world finals.
Ready, set, debate! Even in its rookie year, the Wise School Debate Team made quite the splash on campus, placing second in competition among Los Angeles independent schools. This year, the team has its sights set on taking the crown. In debate, students learn to apply all the skills they develop at Wise School, including close and careful listening, critical thinking, analysis, and problem solving. In addition, by examining all sides of an issue, Wise School debaters develop empathy and the ability to see ideas from multiple perspectives.
At Wise School, students learn and live the benefits of a mindful, spiritual lifestyle. Living in the fast-paced culture of Los Angeles, parents, teachers, and students alike have discovered the importance of mindfulness. More than 30 years of research data demonstrates that mindfulness practices provide significant help with a variety of issues relating to mental and physical health. Meanwhile, new studies reveal that mindfulness helps students improve their concentration and emotional self-regulation. Our partnership with the UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Center allows Wise students to improve their approach to stress. Wise School students who participated in last year’s inaugural program reported a 43% improvement in classroom focus and a 78% improvement in their ability to calm themselves when upset. This year, we are excited to expand our program to the entire school, in addition to parent courses in the fall and spring.
Two cities. One people. The Wise School-El Harizi partnership brings the best of Los Angeles Jewish day school education to Israel and vice versa. Our brand new partnership with the El-Harizi School in Tel Aviv provides a relationship that will nurture our students’ responsibility, empathy, perspective, and character. Facilitated by the Los Angeles Jewish Federation, the partnership affects all facets of our curriculum, providing Wise students with opportunities to build close rapport with their Israeli counterparts. The culmination of this partnership arrives in Grade 6, when each school sends a delegation of students to experience Jewish life and Jewish education in their partner city. The exchange, coupled with the multitude of student interactions, enables us to provide a meaningful and personal learning experience, helping students deepen and explore their individual connection to Israel.
Wise School robotics brings scientifc learning to life. As part of our technology and engineering program, students in kindergarten through Grade 6 may design, build, and program autonomous robots using Lego WeDo, Mindstorms EV3 kits, and Wildcat Robotics. Students ages 6-9 can join our Junior FIRST Lego League enrichment program which meets after school and at lunch. This program features a real-world scientific challenge that students solve through research, teamwork, construction and imagination. Students in grades 4-6 may choose to participate in our FIRST Lego League team. Teams design autonomous robots and program them to complete a series of tasks based on a yearly challenge.