Our Middle School Learning Program is designed to meet the unique needs of developing Middle School students, who are undergoing enormous physical, academic and emotional growth. Classes are aimed at providing students with authentic learning experiences that develop key concepts, competencies and character traits. As they move through Middle School students are encouraged to develop increasing independence in their learning, an ability to think critically and creatively, and a sense of metacognition to reflect on the process of learning.
Students receive instruction in Literacy and Numeracy every day. In addition, they receive classes in Social Studies, Science, Spanish Physical Education and during the course of the year are exposed to four exploratories: music, art, drama and design technology. They are also given an elective each semester in one of the following courses: Global Issues Network; Video Game Design, Theater Production, Photography, Band (year-long) and Advertising and Marketing using Technology. Additional support classes, including Number Sense for those needing additional math support and the MS Learning Support Center, also take place during this elective block.
Middle School has a Mentor Program, which is designed to build a strong sense of community and belonging, foster wellness and balance, build school spirit, foster a spirit of compassion, and develop the skills needed for success in middle school. Sessions focus on age-appropriate topics related to character, team-building, and academic support. Students meet with their Mentor, an adult with a global perspective of the students, and with their small mentor groups (10-12 students per group), every day.
The program focuses on three key areas:
- Building Foundations
- Strengthening relationships
- Meeting challenges
Students are also given time to archive and reflect on their growth and learning, celebrate success and acknowledge the work and support of others, through digital portfolios, assemblies, demonstrations of learning and other presentations.
The mentor program draws on the philosophy and training of the Tribes program.
Middle School Schedule
The schedule is organized around A days and B days with 6 classes each day. Classes begin at 7:50 am and end at 2:50 pm on regular days and 12:00 pm on shortened days. On Mondays, students meet for 40 minutes in their mentor groups to work on study skills, team building, social-emotional wellbeing, and community projects. These are tailored to the needs of each grade level. On Thursdays, students meet for 40 minutes to plan and work on service learning projects.
Shortened days occur approximately twice a month, on Wednesdays, when school finishes early at 12:00 pm. On these days students will follow a modified schedule as below: