Discovering Their Passions
Middle school is about students feeling loved and known, engaged in their learning, developing as leaders, and discovering their passions. A robust, well-rounded curriculum including project-based learning, experiential trips, and a 1:1 Google Chromebook program, prepares our middle school students to be critical, creative thinkers and problem-solvers. Beyond challenging each learner, we also recognize that middle school is a time of great social and emotional growth. Our mentoring program, Forge, as well as our student house system, homeroom advisory periods, and co-curricular opportunities allow us to journey alongside our students during these formative years. Based on research, we believe daily middle school recess is integral to a curriculum, allowing students a chance to refresh, socialize, and absorb the day’s learning.
As new members of the Middle School, students are given their first real opportunity to more deeply explore their interests. We begin our honors program this year and all students spend 90 minutes each day on English Language Arts, developing as writers, public speakers, and readers. There are co-curricular opportunities in athletics, theater, and fine arts. Sixth graders take quarter-long elective courses in visual art, music, robotics, and service learning — a course designed to allow students time to perform service and to learn why we serve.
The philosophy of educating the whole child continues in seventh grade, where we seek to allow a child’s natural gifts and interests to be cultivated. In addition to co-curricular opportunities in athletics, theater and fine arts, students are offered a wider variety of electives in visual arts, music, wellness, and digital literacy as well as honors courses in Math and ELA. A hallmark of the seventh grade curriculum is the week-long, interdisciplinary Camp Greenville trip every fall in which they learn vital lessons in science, conservation, the humanities and their faith.
Eighth grade is a time for leadership. The benefit of a preschool-8th grade school is that it entrusts leadership to students at an early age. In addition, our curriculum is designed to prepare students for the academic demands of high school and beyond. Students continue on their math, Spanish, and language arts pathways, while again choosing among a range of honors courses and electives, including public speaking. The peer tutoring elective, popular among our students, allows eighth graders to help younger students grow academically. We strive to offer our 8th graders a special year that includes monthly celebrations for “8th on the 8th” and a capstone trip to Washington, DC, that features a visit to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
– Keegan Smith, Middle School