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Middle School Academics

Middle School

Our academic program is demanding and specially designed to attend to the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual requirements of boys and girls in middle school. The curriculum includes visual arts, performing arts, religion and weekly Chapel, modern and classical language, history, English, community service, athletics, technology, family life, and single-gender math and science classes as the core of our curriculum.

Students participate in a variety of athletic games, clubs, and student organizations, in addition to lunch and recess.

While in the Middle School St. Stephen's and St. Agnes students learn a work ethic that will allow them to achieve excellence at the next level, and they gain a sense of themselves and their role in the greater community.

SSSAS has been life-changing for him.  He has worked extremely hard to catch up in math, he's learned to play an instrument, and he comes home excited to tell me about his day, literally EVERY day.  In addition, he found that he is quite talented in football and is looking forward to playing for the upper school team next year. We are thankful for the connection you made with him during the interview process.
    - New grade 8 parent

Our Areas of Study

Grade-Level Signature Programs

The Academic Skills class is designed to equip every 6th grader with the tools and strategies necessary to navigate the Middle School. The Skills class focuses primarily on teaching students about brain science, organization, planning, listening strategies, study and test-taking skills, and many other essential executive functioning skills they will need to independently navigate their academic careers. In Skills class, students not only get to learn these important strategies, but they also get the opportunity to develop their capacity to use them within the curriculum.

This course is a gentle introduction to the fundamentals of computer programming, which is the foundation of Computer Science.  Using a visual arts approach, students will learn to code in Java by manipulating the pixels on a digital canvas.  Students will design, write, and debug computer programs. No knowledge of programming is assumed. Through a project-oriented approach, students will use a Java-based programming language to create interactive applications and systems. By collaborating in a hands-on environment, students will learn problem-solving, software design, and debugging strategies.  Additionally, issues related to digital citizenship will be woven throughout the curriculum.  This course lays the foundation for learning Java and moving towards completing an "AP Computer Science A" course at the upper school.

This course serves as a capstone of the Middle School program. Students are challenged to integrate knowledge from multiple disciplines and experiences with new methods of critical thinking, community engagement, and leadership. The goal is for students to make positive change in their communities and to serve an authentic purpose. Students learn to ask thoughtful questions that take assumptions, prior knowledge, observations, and credibility into consideration; analyze a point of view by mapping claims, reasons, and evidence and evaluating with intellectual empathy; assess themselves and others through an asset-based approach; define, analyze, and express a belief effectively in writing through “This I Believe” essay; design and enact a Capstone Project to synthesize learning and create a public product for an authentic audience.

Student-Led Conferences
The Middle School experience is a crucial time of growth and transition. Grade-level faculty advisers work in teams that discuss the progress of each student and are always available to speak with parents about their student's achievements or needs. During student-led conferences, students lead meetings with their parents and advisor to reflect on their school progress and set their own goals.

Supporting our Students

The Middle School Academic Center supports all of our students as they develop into effective, independent learners and self-advocates. Our learning specialists provide assistance with many different skills, including:

  • Organization and time management
  • Strategies for tracking and completing homework
  • Study and research skills
  • Reading comprehension
  • Implementing a strategic approach to writing assignments
  • Improving the implementation of Self-Advocacy strategies
  • Monitoring anxiety related to academics

Our learning specialists also facilitate communication between administrators, advisors, and teachers in order to provide support and monitor student progress. In addition, parent communication is an integral part of providing support and meetings are scheduled as needed.

Counselors on each campus are available for consultation to all students of the school community, and are also resources for parents with concerns regarding students or school-related issues. The Chaplains are also available to all members of the school community, students and parents, as well as faculty and staff who wish to talk about ethical or spiritual issues or personal relationships. During the year a variety of mental health and wellness programs are offered for students and adults.

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