The Middle School Division seeks to provide students with a challenging and engaging education within a nurturing community.
- Our challenging curriculum provides an intellectual stretch that is also developmentally appropriate.
- Our faculty maintains a high standard of academic excellence, supporting students of varying abilities striving to achieve their fullest potential.
- Students’ effort, initiative, and class contributions are seen as vital components of their learning process.
- Critical and independent thinking skills are developed through encouragement of lively classroom discussions, active exploration and open debate.
- Instruction emphasizes the development of a “toolbox” of study and thinking skills.
- Students learn reading, writing and communication skills in all areas of the curriculum.
- Students develop, practice and apply fundamental concepts and skills in increasingly complex problems.
- Teachers use a variety of methods to assess student work and learning.
- Students are encouraged to become risk takers and to accept frustration and failure as a normal part of the learning process.
- Teachers have the freedom to explore select topics in greater depth with their students instead of relying on the more common “survey” approach.
- Teachers promote curiosity and the excitement of learning in ways that also reveal their own intellectual passions.
- Interdisciplinary units allow teachers to collaborate on integrating topics and themes.
- Teachers connect the curriculum to real-world events, helping students appreciate the relevancy of what they are learning.
- Students often make their own choices in their learning, allowing individual interests and voices to emerge.
- Students have opportunities to reflect on their learning process and, guided by their teachers, make their own learning discoveries.
- Teachers respect and build upon the ideas and thinking of students.
- Projects and hands-on activities are important components of the curriculum.
- Multiple sources of instruction include textbooks, outside readings, technology, the community, manipulatives, experimentation and simulations.
- Students have many opportunities to learn and present their ideas in cooperative groups.
- Teachers present information in a variety of ways in order to support different learning styles.
- Teachers understand the developmental stages of adolescence and support their students’ emotional, intellectual and social growth.
- Students have many opportunities to shine.
- Our faculty is committed to the success of every student.
- Classrooms are safe places for students to ask questions, make mistakes and explore ideas.
- The School values and reinforces integrity and personal responsibility.
- Advocates create activities and prompt discussions of ethical and moral issues focusing on class relationships.
- Teachers emphasize ethical behavior and the development of confident, caring citizens, both in their curriculum and in the way classes are conducted.
- Grade-level teams meet regularly to share insights into their students. These teams review the homework load and pacing of tests and projects to help students manage their time and stress.
- The School values and encourages a close partnership with families through open and frequent communication.
- Students are encouraged to try new things, make new friends and discover or nourish a passion through a variety of enthusiastically supported extracurricular opportunities.
- Students develop close relationships with their teachers, who are available both inside and outside the classroom.
Note: This is a working philosophy that is periodically reviewed and revised by the Middle School staff and serves to promote reflection and discussion among teachers and administrators.