When you think of Middle School, does the word “joy” come to mind? For us, it does. Where some see the uncertainty and awkwardness of the “braces years,” we see past them to the extraordinary opportunity for growth, friendships, burgeoning identity, and, yes, joy. It’s a deepfelt joy that is both the cause and effect of authentic engagement in learning, and it’s the goal of all we do in Middle School, in class and out.
Joy is why our demanding curriculum is not just broad and deep, but also designed to teach curiosity, creativity, empathy, ethics, resilience, and teamwork alongside literature and languages, math and science. Our students build meaningful academic and life skills, extensive knowledge, and a thirst for more.
Joy is why our classes are student centered. Whether sixth graders are creating their own sustainable communities in the Green City Design Challenge or eighth graders are making connections between historical and current events in the Our History Today Conference, students are excited about their learning because they are driving it.
Keeping school joyful is why we are dedicated to helping students develop socially and emotionally as well as cognitively. It’s why our advisory program is woven into Middle School life, why hourlong lunch/recess fosters independence and self-determination, and why we offer so many fun activities, like overnight trips, talent shows, a student-faculty basketball game, arts day, author visits… even a summer in December barbecue.
Just as important, our students form strong bonds with their teachers, who are experts on the transition from tween to teen and who find mentoring middle schoolers an absolute joy.