Based on the idea that law is a captivating lens for learning, and that the skills necessary for a legal professional are universal, we offer a rigorous academic program that engages students through issues of law and social justice.
Courses include Forensic Science, Constitutional Law, and Participation in Government, as well as English, Math, Social Studies, Science, Health & Physical Education, Spanish; electives in visual arts, music, theater, and coding; and Advanced Placement courses in Environmental Science, Microeconomics, English Language & Composition, and Psychology.
Teachers plan collaboratively so that what students learn in one class is strongly reinforced by instruction in other classes. Work is project-based, challenging, and heavily infused with reading and writing. Evaluation methods are transparent so that students can track their own progress.
Because we are a small school, every student is known. Teachers are aware of every student's strengths and needs. Our belief in the importance of interpersonal relationships between students and staff is exemplified in our nationally recognized Advisory program, through which every teacher is a faculty advocate for no more than 18 students and is the liaison to those students' homes.
Additionally all teachers participate in Kid Talk, a weekly discussion in which two or three struggling students are discussed candidly and in depth so that the entire staff can intervene to give them the help they need.
Principles of instruction:
- Small class size ensures personalized attention for all students.
- Our highly qualified teachers are dedicated to each student's success.
- Law-themed curriculum includes debate and courtroom exposure to engage students and build their skills of reading, writing and argumentation.
- Students complete projects that help them understand the ways that law affects our lives now and the history of law in our country and in the world.
- Teachers plan collaboratively so that what students learn in one class is supported by the instruction in their other classes.
Teacher Habits of Mind:
- Why should my students know/understand this?
- Are my purposes transparent? Are my expectations high and clear?
- Have I considered my interests and the interests, abilities and needs of my students?
- Am I looking at the bigger picture (interdisciplinary connections, real world applications)?
- Does the way I developed this lesson reflect my values (active learning, collaboration)?
Student Habits of Mind:
At SLJ, we provide a wide range of intellectually challenging academic experiences designed to promote the development of students who are well prepared and highly motivated to pursue positions of leadership. We will encourage our students to ask questions of themselves when they approach problems or receive new information.
- What's being said? What's not being said? What is this really about?
- How do I know? What's the evidence? How reliable is it?
- So what? Who cares? How is this part of the "bigger picture"?
- How else can I approach this? What am I going to do now?