Required and Elective Courses
The Middle School program is designed to provide quality academic and social experiences in a supportive environment. Essentially there are two kinds of courses for all students; required and elective courses. The year-long required courses at all grade level are Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Physical Education. There are trimester-long courses also required, but they are different at each grade level and explained later in this handbook. Year-long elective courses include World Language (French, Spanish or Mandarin) and Band/ Choir/ Strings. Grade 6 students must take a World Language. Your child will have many other trimester-long electives to choose from, depending on their academic needs and previous choices. Students should have a wide variety of academic experiences in Middle School.
Each morning students begin the day with homegroup for fifteen minutes. The primary purpose of homegroup is to build relationships. Faculty sponsors get to know students and students develop friendships with those from other grade levels.
Homegroups are also used for management issues and school goals. Attendance is taken and the daily bulletin is read during homegroup. A homegroup consists of one faculty member and 8-11 students who are from all three grade levels, balanced by gender and nationality.
Our Teaming Structure
In the Middle School, students will be divided among teaching teams. The Middle School defines teaching teams as groups of teachers who collaboratively plan for the academic success and social welfare of a shared group of students. Teaching teams meet weekly to monitor the social and academic welfare of their students. Together, they plan integrated experiences and celebrations for their team and communicate with parents regularly.
Teachers develop a variety of homework assignments, which may included daily practice, long term projects, completion of class work and preparation for class activities, tests and quizzes. Students can expect regular homework to be assigned from each of their subject areas. Generally, homework should be between one and two hours each evening. Sometimes you can expect your child to be finishing up work not completed during class. Other times it may be work on a project, practice or reading.
Assessment and Grading
The Middle School issues report cards at the end of each trimester. Students receive an academic letter grade in all subjects. Student work habits will be assessed in effort, participation, behavior and organization. Reports reflect the students’ attitude, skills, knowledge and understanding.