I understand your Middle School goes from 5th grade to 8th grade. Why?
Yep - this is true and it's not a mistake! It was a purposeful decision after years of observing our students in a different leveling approach. In classical education, kids move from the grammar stage of learning (gathering facts and pieces) to the logic stage at around age 10, or 5th-6th grade. Our 5th graders were generally transitioning to this development level and were stuck between their old and new ways of thinking. Likewise, our 6th graders were continuing this transition, chewing on more meaty ideas and logic, but not quite ready to run fully with the older middle school students. Thus, we gathered these two levels together to make our new lower middle school (LMS), where students are challenged to fully enter this stage, but are protected from the full embodiment of the logic stage at upper middle school (UMS), grades 7-8. The logic stage is when all the facts and pieces are analyzed, compared, argued, connected and made sense of. It is a time of "aha!" moments, lots of questions, probing the answers and moving towards independence. Let's take a look at how we approach this fun and critical stage of learning!
Do the 5th and 8th graders have class together?
No - the 5th and 6th graders have classes together, while our 7th and 8th graders are grouped together. The teachers work to challenge all students to reach their full potential depending on where they are academically and developmentally, regardless of their grade level. And in math, we place students in the class that best fits their math skills rather than their grade level.
What does a typical day look like for a LMS student?
The LMS student starts school on the playground with the rest of the community at 8:25. From there, he will go to the appropriate math class. The day will then consist of two hours of humanities (history, literature and writing combined), an hour of critical thinking and grammar, an hour of science, and an hour either of Latin or Art, depending on the day. Students have a "core" teacher they are with at least three hours daily.
What does a typical day look like for an UMS student?
The UMS student also starts school on the playground with the community at 8:25. From there, she attends math, followed by two hours of humanities (history, literature and writing combined), an hour of science, an hour of Latin, and an hour of logic. Students have the same 4-5 teachers throughout UMS years.
Can you help me understand the four day enriched hybrid?
Some families require or desire their student to have more time in the classroom. Beginning in our LMS (grade 5/6) and through our UMS (grade 7/8) families may enroll their student in our 4-day Enriched Hybrid program. These students attend their core classes two days a week, and then attend both labs and enrichment courses the other two days a week. They receive teacher contact time during their labs as they work on their math, writing, Latin and other assignments, and then are exposed to wonderful classes that expand and enrich their educational experience. These classes have included grammar, creative writing, poetry, film, nature, architecture, and photography.
Why do we call it an Enriched Hybrid? The involvement of parents, while reduced in time somewhat, remains essential in this program, and they remain integral to their students' education and success.
Are there enrichment opportunities for middle school students?
Yes, there are. We have a Running Club and Guitar Jam available at 2:30 during the week, and offer wonderful Academy Classes for middle school students, where they can round out their academic studies.