General Studies

General Studies

Heichal HaTorah offers a rigorous and challenging four-year general studies program which focuses on core courses in English, History, Math and Science and which is based on a vision of what an educated high school graduate should know and be able to do. All of our courses are designed to foster the development of crucial academic skills, that is, the ability to acquire, analyze, synthesize and articulate knowledge. As students progress through the grades they are exposed to increasingly sophisticated methods of organizing and using acquired knowledge, and they learn to present that knowledge coherently both orally and on paper. Heichal’s general studies curriculum meets the requirements of selective colleges and exceeds the New Jersey State Requirements for High School Education. The curriculum has been designed with careful attention to the standardized tests required for college admissions and to the requirements of the colleges to which our students will be applying. Advanced Placement courses are offered in all four disciplines. Classes are tracked to meet the needs of different learning styles and abilities.

Mathematics
The math program is designed to meet students’ needs within the wide range of their math backgrounds. In all courses, students are given the opportunity to work at a comfortable yet challenging level. All students are exposed to all the necessary requirements for success in college math. Ninth graders begin with Geometry and, depending on math courses taken in middle school and on mathematical ability, move on to either Algebra I or Algebra II in tenth grade. Eleventh graders study Algebra II or Pre-Calculus. Twelfth graders take either AP Calculus or Finite Math. The math department is current with the math topics covered in the ACT and the new SAT, and will adjust as necessary.

English
English courses are designed to help students develop critical reading and writing skills and the ability to write clearly and correctly. Students are exposed to the best of classical and contemporary literature and to articles and works of non-fiction which they analyze, discuss and write about throughout their high school years. The primary focus of the department, however, is on writing and communication skills. Our strongest readers and writers are prepared to take the AP Language & Composition Exam.

Science
Students study Biology in ninth grade, Chemistry in tenth grade, and Physics in eleventh grade. Students in the honor sections of these classes are prepared to take an SAT subject test in June. Our strongest science students will take an Advanced Placement course in one of the sciences in Grade Twelve. Other students will have the opportunity to take a fourth year of science or an appropriate elective. Our goal is to move beyond the facts and figures presented in the textbooks and to teach our students to be critical thinkers. In an age of daily scientific advancement, it is imperative that we help our students achieve the scientific literacy that they will need to participate in intelligent discussions of science and technology, to understand the implications of technological advancements and, as adults, to make informed choices about scientific matters that, undoubtedly, will affect their daily lives.

History
The history program is designed to help students understand how we came to be as twenty-first century Jews, Americans, Westerners, and citizens of the world. Throughout the history curriculum, great emphasis is placed on the development of writing and researching skills, as well as the ability to extract both information and concepts from the text. Students begin with Ancient & Classical History in ninth grade, move on to a two-year sequence in American History (which includes, when appropriate, both the AP Exam and the SAT subject test), and then study Modern European History in twelfth grade.

College Guidance
Beginning in junior year, Rabbi Malavsky meets personally with each student and his parents to determine his goals for college acceptance and scholarship opportunities. Pulling from his three decades in high school leadership, Rabbi Malavsky crafts a personal plan to aid each student to meet his goals. This includes advice on standardized testing success, the application process, and extracurricular activities.

CORE REQUIREMENTS

English (8 Semesters)

(Language Usage, Composition Survey of American Literature, Survey of English Literature)

Mathematics (6 Semesters)

(Geometry, Algebra I, Algebra II, or Pre-Calculus)

Sciences (4 Semesters)

(Biology, Chemistry, or Physics/Forensics/Psychology)

Social Studies (6 Semesters)

(World History, US History I, US History II)

Physical Education  (8 semesters)

OPTIONAL ADVANCED PLACEMENT COURSES

  • AP Biology
  • AP Calculus
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP English Literature
  • AP Language Arts
  • AP Physics
  • AP Psychology
  • AP US History

OPTIONAL ELECTIVES

  • Business Math
  • Coding
  • Masechta Mastery
  • Ulpan