All Yeshivah of Flatbush students are enthusiastically encouraged to actively read, ask probing questions,look at the world with more curiosity and make intellectual discoveries. English at the Yeshivah of Flatbush Joel Braverman High School focuses on literacy, the correct use of language for personal and public reasons and the development of an appreciation for a plethora of literature genres. Each year’s curriculum is designed to intensify formerly learned skills while broadening the student’s exposure to the realm of literature. Our curriculum also gives students the skills and tools to be able to write coherently in college and beyond.
Freshmen English focuses on advancing reading and writing skills as well as vocabulary from elementary school ability into more sophisticated use. During the first semester students read novels, short stories, non-fiction and poetry that concentrate on thematically on coming of age, the building of relationships, and the pursuit of dreams. The second semester includes mythology, an examination of Greek theater and Shakespeare. Writing assignments include summaries, essays, poems, and an in-depth research paper.
Sophomore English focuses on developing and strengthening analytical skills in both reading and writing. During the first semester students examine Gothic literature by reading novels, short stories, non-fiction and poetry of the genre. The second semester includes a variety of reading materials but focuses on plays and playwrights, from Sophocles to Ibsen to Shakespeare. Writing assignments include summaries, essays, poems, and a major paper that includes both research and literary analysis.
Junior English focuses specifically on students solidifying their formal and informal forms of written expression. Twice a week, students meet in small writing workshops to brainstorm, plan, write, conference and edit their writing portfolio. They are expected to effectively complete literary analyses of innumerable forms of literature including non-fiction, essays and at the end of the year the college essay. Students write extensively and read five or six full-length novels, plays, or memoirs as well as a wide range of poetry, short stories and nonfiction selections designed to build upon the literature, composition, vocabulary, and other communications skills addressed in 9th and 10th grade. The first semester focuses on American literature while the second semester builds on their enjoyment of drama.
AP Language and Composition – 11th Grade
AP English Language and Composition replaces 11th grade English for students who qualify for this course. According to the College Board, the course is “designed to help students become skilled readers of prose written in a variety of rhetorical contexts and to become skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes. Both their writing and their reading should make students aware of the interactions among a writer’s purposes, audience expectations, and subjects as well as the way generic conventions and the resources of language contribute to effectiveness in writing.
English focuses on preparing our students for college and the world of work. With an emphasis on World Literature; students are expected to be able to comprehend and analyze various forms of literature including essays, nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. A strong focus will be on formal written expression through essays and literary analyses. In preparation for college, students are expected to complete a research paper along with a formal oral presentation to defend their thesis.
AP English Literature and Composition – 12th Grade
AP English Literature and Composition (12th grade) typically replaces 12th grade English for those who qualify. According to the College Board, this course is “designed to engage students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, students can deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. As they read, students should consider a work’s structure, style, and themes, as well as such smaller-scale elements as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone.
In social studies classes students confront questions about the wonder and excitement of humankind in the world. How have humans defined themselves and made meaning of the world? What does all of humankind have in common? Who are we as a nation and what are our values and traditions? How did we get to be the way we are? How have we found unity in the midst of our diversity? Which individuals and groups contributed to our development? What are our great achievements as a nation? Where have we failed and what do we need to change? What is our place in the world? In short, social studies classes help students understand their roots, see their connections to the past, comprehend their context, recognize the commonality of people across time, appreciate the delicate balance of rights and responsibilities in an open society, and develop the habits of thoughtful analysis and reflective thinking. In helping students answer these questions, social studies courses engage students in the study of history, geography, economics, government, and civics. Instruction draws on other disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, political science, psychology, religion, law, archaeology, philosophy, art, literature, other humanities subjects and the sciences. Courses of study will give students the knowledge, intellectual skills, civic understandings, and dispositions toward democratic values. Ultimately, social studies instruction should help students assume their role as responsible citizens in America’s constitutional democracy and as active contributors to a society that is increasingly diverse and interdependent with other nations of the world.
Social studies courses will provide students with the background to conduct research in order to make informed decisions, with the skills to place conflicting ideas in context, and with the wisdom to make good judgments in dealing with the tensions inherent in society such as the enduring struggle to find the proper balance between protecting the rights of the individual and promoting the common good.
In Grades 9 and 10 Social Studies, students will examine Global History and Geography. The two year sequence is arranged chronologically beginning with the Paleolithic Era and continuing through the present. Grade 9 begins with the Paleolithic Era and the development of the first civilizations, continues with an examination of classical societies, and traces the expansion of trade networks and their global impact. The course emphasizes the key themes of interactions over time, shifts in political power, and the role of belief systems. Grade 10 begins with a brief look back while focusing on the early 1700s and provides a snapshot of the world circa 1750. The course continues chronologically up to the present. Several concepts are woven throughout the course including industrialization, nationalism, imperialism, conflict, technology, and the interconnectedness of the world. The last four key ideas focus on global issues and a more thematic approach is taken. In addition, a six-week intensive course on Zionism is taught in the spring semester.The course covers the historical connection of the Jews to the land of Israel, the development of modern political Zionism, the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, the post-Independence period until the current geo-political situation today.
Grade 11 begins with the colonial and constitutional foundations of the United States and explores the government structure and functions provided in the Constitution. The development of the nation and the political, social, and economic factors that led to the challenges our nation faced in the Civil War are addressed in 12th grade. Industrialization, urbanization, and the accompanying problems are examined, along with America’s emergence as a world power, the two world wars of the 20th century, and the Cold War. Students explore the expansion of the federal government, evolving social beliefs and behaviors, and the nation’s place in an increasingly globalized and interconnected world.
“The Economics of Free Enterprise in a Global Economy” examines the principles of the United States free market economy in a global context. Students will examine their individual responsibility for managing their personal finances in a global economy. Students will analyze the role of supply and demand in determining the prices individuals and businesses face in the product and factor markets, and the global nature of these markets. In addition, students will explore the he stock market operates and its impact on the U.S. economy. Students will study changes to the workforce in the United States and the role of entrepreneurs in our economy, as well as the impact of globalization. Students will explore the challenges facing the United States free market economy in a global environment and various policy-making opportunities available to government to address these challenges.
In addition to the regular 12th grade history course, all seniors take the Israel in World Relations course, which addresses Israel’s crucial role in 4,000 years of world history, ideology, religion, and politics. The course emphasizes critical thinking and analysis of complicated and polarizing topics that are part of learning about Israel. One central aim is to encourage students to uncover facts, see both sides of an issue and evaluate the strength of competing arguments. The course shows why learning about Israel is relevant to our understanding of world relations, and to our own personal identity as Jews and citizens of western democracy. After completing the course it is expected that students will be informed to respond substantively to claims that criticize or condemn Israel in university lecture halls, at work or in the media.
The Foreign Language Department is at the forefront of language instruction. We have embraced the Common Core approach and our main goal is to instill in our students a passion for languages as well as the communities and cultures that they represent. In a 21st Century evolving globally interdependent world, languages play a major role. Therefore, our main goal is geared towards communication skills in three tiers: interpersonal, interpretive and presentational. We combine the expertise of native language teachers with a multimedia technology infused classroom experience. Our students gain proficiency in reading, writing and speaking in the target language in preparation for future careers and top positions. In addition to Spanish, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian and Latin are offered to students.
We are the only Yeshivah in the tri-state area that participates in the prestigious National Spanish Exam given by the AATSP with exceptional results in medals as well as honorable mentions. We celebrate an Annual Spanish Heritage Day in October combining activities, presentations, as well as typical dishes to strengthen students understanding of the language and culture.
Our main goal for the first year of language instruction is to familiarize students with important topics of everyday language interaction such as: food, clothing, school, sports, family dates and special events. Students will also learn basic grammatical structures in order to communicate using the vocabulary learned. This component included the Present and Past Simple tenses as well as the present progressive.
Throughout the year, students also complete projects based on a specific theme and incorporate different vocabulary and grammar components.
Electives: Any freshman who is a heritage speaker in another language such as French, Russian, Portuguese, Arabic or Dutch, may be eligible to take an independent course additionally.
The goal of the second year of Spanish is to solidify and deepen students knowledge of the Spanish language. Students will learn more complex grammatical structures such as the imperfect the Future and Conditional tenses, and basic Imperative Mode. Additional vocabulary about travel, medical emergencies and practical knowledge is taught in order to enable proficient communication.
Students learning at this level are required to keep a journal to help hone their writing skills. Each student also prepares a Smartboard presentation based on the weekly Torah portion with vocabulary pertaining to Jewish topics.
At the end of the Spring semester students complete two group projects including a cultural research project based on a Spanish country of choice and a live or filmed oral presentation based on a vocabulary group of choice.
Students taking additional independent heritage language modules, may continue to the next level.
Foreign Language can be taken as an elective class in the Junior year. Students interested in furthering their knowledge of the Spanish Language may continue onto Spanish Level 3 which encompasses Pre-AP learning of Language and Culture according to the new format of the AP Spanish and Culture exam.
Students may also choose a different language course such as introductory level in French, Portuguese or Arabic as an elective.
Seniors who took Spanish III may continue to the Advanced Placement course in Spanish Language and Culture and are able to take the AP Exam which provides college credits.
Alternately, students who took an introductory course in another language may continue to Level 2, or students may take an introductory course level 1.
Many of our graduates have come back to tell us about the wonderful experiences that they had all over the world communicating in the Foreign Language learned. This enables them to connect with other cultures and values, which constitutes the essence of tolerance. It gives us great pride to provide our students with an invaluable tool to acquire better jobs and positions in their communities and the world at Large.
The math department at Yeshivah of Flatbush High School provides our students with a strong foundation of knowledge necessary to succeed in today’s society. Students are required to take three years of high school math including Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II and Trigonometry. Students are encouraged to take a fourth year of math as an elective and can choose from PreCalculus, Calculus, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, and AP Statistics.
The National Mathematics Advisory Panel, in their 2008 report, stated that “Students who complete Algebra II are more than twice as likely to graduate from college compared to students with less mathematical preparation.” Math plays a key role in many disciplines including engineering, medicine, technology, business, psychology, and economics. As a problem solver, armed with the appropriate technology and the ability to communicate our findings we have an added advantage in any field we choose. The math department at Flatbush is here to provide that advantage.
This course forms the foundation for future math courses in high school and in college, and is offered to Freshmen. Topics covered include algebraic expressions and equations, number systems, patterns and sequences, ratios and proportions, verbal problems, inequalities, Venn diagrams, functions and their graphs, probability, statistics, regression, operations with polynomials, exponential functions, factoring, quadratic equations and the quadratic formula, solving systems of equations, trigonometry, fractional expressions and equations, variation, and matrices.
This course, open to Sophomores and accelerated Freshmen, introduces students to the process of inductive and deductive reasoning as they begin to explore geometry in two and three dimensions. Topics covered include logic, congruent and similar triangles, angle relationships, transformations, parallel and perpendicular lines, quadrilaterals, circles, constructions, and three dimensional geometry.
This course, open to Juniors and acceleration Sophomores, builds on the student’s knowledge and problem solving abilities to further investigate Algebra and delve into the world of Trigonometry. Topics covered include rational numbers, real numbers, imaginary and complex numbers, relations and functions, quadratic functions, sequences and series, exponential and logarithmic functions, trigonometric functions, graphs, identities, equations, and applications, probability, statistics, linear and non-linear regression, correlation, and the binomial theorem.
The goal of the Science Department of the Yeshivah of Flatbush High School is to create an environment that ensures student success in understanding current concepts in science. What we call ‘science’ today is exciting and all-encompassing in that ‘science’ teaches us to think, a particularly critical skill for the 21st century. We expose our students to every aspect of this field and provide a niche for everyone with our broad course offerings. By providing awareness of the wide-ranging variety of topics that can be explored using scientific analysis, we prepare students to engage in any field and certainly in science, medicine, engineering, and technology.
The Science Department boasts a wide range of course offerings from the Living Environment Regents Course to Advanced Placement Physics. You can learn nutrition, forensics, earth science or chemistry; or study physiology, research techniques, coding and engineering. We have courses at every level and offer all the available science Advanced Placement courses.
All freshmen take the New York State Living Environment/Biology Regents. This survey course emphasizes ecology, scientific method, homeostasis, molecular biology, evolution, and reproduction. Each of these topics is enriched and additional topics such as biochemistry and physiology are included. A major goal of the course is scientific literacy, increasing the vocabulary and comprehension of all students. The Accelerated Biology Class and the STEM Biology class have additional enhancements.
All sophomores take the New York State Physical Sciences/Chemistry Regents. This course includes classical chemistry: atoms, formulas, stoichiometry, physical and chemical changes, the periodic table, kinetics, acid-base chemistry, organic, and nuclear chemistry. There is an emphasis on critical thinking and problem solving.
Introduction to Scientific Engineering-STEM I
This course is the first course of engineering. It is for students who want to introduce themselves to and broaden their knowledge in all areas of science, technology, math and engineering. Students work independently as well as in teams, learning to solve problems using their newly acquired skills. The lessons are highly interactive in which students build electric circuits, construct and program Lego NXT robots, write computer programs to command Arduino’s electronic interface and much more.
The Art curriculum at the Yeshivah of Flatbush cultivates visual literacy for all students. For those who are choosing a career in the arts and design, it offers the resources for that purpose.
The Freshman art curriculum introduces students to the language of art and visual communication. Concepts covered include: color theory, linear perspective, art history and personal expression.
The Sophomore art curriculum builds on the skills and concepts covered in the Freshman year. In addition, students will investigate theories of visual perception and the ways images influence and shape culture and identity. All sophomores will also learn how to use the Adobe Creative Suite to design and produce original artwork.
Music Appreciation is taken by students during the senior year. It provides an overview of musical history from early civilization to current trends in classical, popular and jazz. Students are introduced to both the lives and works of various composers, while studying musical forms and elements, such as rhythm and melody. Students will heighten their enthusiasm, curiosity and love of music through exposure to and discussion of musical masterpieces.