A Comfortable Place to Grow
Our middle school is a vibrant place. At this stage students have the ability to make impressive academic progress while learning what it means to contribute to the life of the school. Our rigorous program challenges middle schoolers and supports their growth through a rich and varied curriculum, which includes both Latin and a modern language beginning in fifth grade.
Class sizes are kept small. Teachers, students and parents work closely together. Dedicated and talented faculty foster clear, thoughtful communication between home and school, forming a partnership that values educational excellence.
Advisors monitor student progress weekly, and maintain a close relationship with advisees, paying attention not only to academic achievements and challenges, but also to the development of study skills and of broader responsibilities within the school community.
As part of a close and supportive community, students take the risks required to learn and grow into strong individuals.
Focus Speeches: Every Tuesday morning, the entire Middle School gathers for a Focus assembly featuring two or three eighth-graders taking their turns to stand up in front of their peers and talk for several minutes about an important personal experience. From fifth grade on, students know that one day they’ll have their turn. They work carefully with their advisor to develop great ideas and deliver poised, and often moving, speeches.
Clubs and Activities: Students can choose activities such as the Spokeskid newspaper, the Fall Play, LEGO Robotics, Math Counts, the Sustainability Club, or Destination Imagination, a creative problem-solving competition.
Advisors and Advising: Every student is matched with a faculty member who sees members of his or her Advisory Group every day and also meets with them each week for advising sessions. Advisors are a source of guidance and support and an excellent contact for parents.
Serving and Learning: Each middle school grade has a community service focus, whether on children and education, hunger, or the elderly. Students sponsor fundraisers for causes in our community and around our world, engage in clean-up efforts in local parks and canals, and share their time and talents while learning about the people they are helping and a range of societal issues.
In fifth grade, students may develop skills in clinics run by middle school head coaches. In six, seventh and eighth grades, students may join our extensive interscholastic sports program.
Fall — cross country, field hockey, soccer, tennis
Winter — basketball, fencing, ice hockey, volleyball, squash
Spring — lacrosse, skating, softball, track and field
Fall — cross country, football, soccer
Winter — basketball, fencing, ice hockey, squash
Spring — baseball, lacrosse, skating, tennis, track and field
Every year in mid-February, daily course work is set aside for a special one-week, interdisciplinary experience. Students choose from a menu of cultural, scientific and historical studies on such topics as the Amish, Gettysburg, theater production, chocolate, and Cape Cod. They spend the week in focused, experiential study, visiting museums, farms, marine research institutes and historical parks to learn firsthand about their subjects. The approach encourages them to make connections across disciplines and grapple with complex, real-world issues.
Our Middle School arts program is exceptional in both opportunity and quality.
We believe the Arts foster more flexible, creative, and humanistic minds. McAneny Theater is bustling year-round with concerts and plays featuring student performers and our hallways are lined with student art exhibits. Such public celebration of student work showcases the rich learning in our Arts programs.
The curriculum in art engages students to create works that involve the mind, the eyes, and the hands. Students build skills in the studio and also deepen their understanding of art and its connections to society. All students take art each year, and in eighth grade choose from several electives. The level of accomplishment in their work reflects the strength of the program.
Each year students take courses in the design arts, including drafting, woodworking, and architecture. They study woodworking in fifth and seventh grades and drafting in sixth grade. In eighth grade they choose from electives including both woodworking and architecture.
Middle schoolers have ample opportunities to study music in class; to take private instrumental lessons, which are offered before, during, and after school hours for an additional fee; and to join ensembles, which include a strings group, two levels of band, and several choruses. Eighth graders can also join the 8th Notes select chorus as an elective.
Theater is part of every student’s experience each year. Classes practice scenes, working from scripts and engaging in improvisation. The program builds to the eighth grade musical, a full staging of a Broadway show in which every student takes part, either on stage on behind the scenes.