Middle School (Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Grade)
By the time our students reach Middle School, they have developed a strong sense of confidence and responsibility. Our supportive environment encourages them to take risks and to engage in new and more complex areas of study in the sciences and humanities. The students utilize and continue to develop the critical thinking skills, independent and group work skills, and the self- motivation and independence that have developed in them and been nurtured throughout the elementary years. The teachers have developmentally appropriate expectations of the students’ ability to engage in process-based learning with a keener attention to organization, detail, complexity, and presentation.
Students engage in independent research and writing projects
that typically lend themselves to multidisciplinary presentations, models, and creations. The culmination of these projects are often an opportunity for a school-wide event and or festival. Students participate in every stage of the planning process, taking responsibility for all aspects of the execution of their plans.
Our Middle School students have a social responsibility as the oldest members of the student body, and therefore serve as role models and mentors to the younger students. The students lead discussions and learn to facilitate groups formed to solve problems that arise at recess or come to consensus on decisions that are needed for planning trips, projects and events. Middle School students have partnered with students in lower grades, assisted younger students with learning projects, and helped mediate and organize school-wide discussions, presentations and events such as Open Houses for prospective families.
Recess is an integral part of our students’ experience.
Morning and mid-day recess times are active opportunities for them to engage with each other and younger students in impromptu games of soccer, basketball, four square, and whole-school running, tag, and strategy games with the upper elementary grades.
The Middle School students perform in larger school dramatic performances and both a Spring Concert and an end-of-the year, evening play. These opportunities encourage the students to delve deeply into the process of creation and to take responsibility for many aspects of the production as their growing skills and talent allow.
We believe that as our older students’ awareness of local and international events naturally increases,
so should their ability to take action and participate in the occurrences of the larger world. For this reason our students regularly participate in community and international relief efforts, environmental clean-ups, and other events that empower them to use their voices for causes that concern them.
Middle School students also go on field trips and receive guest speakers, all of which further connects their studies to their understanding of a subject and its place in the world. Some field trips have taken them to cities of historical significance as well as nature retreats that enhance their group building and outdoor skills.