ur curriculum in grades 5-8 emphasizes a balance between essential learning skills and subject-area knowledge. Each is vitally important when it comes to the content we teach and the habits of mind and body we foster in the classes students take. Subject-area content serves as a vehicle through which students develop their capacities to think, read, write, speak, and listen thoughtfully, as well as their abilities to manage their time, materials, and ideas.
Middle school students tend to enjoy and retain learning best when they see strong connections between the content they’re learning and its real-world relevance. As a result, teachers build their curricular units around areas of student interest where possible, and a high degree of collaboration exists among faculty to grow interdisciplinary and theme-based units that will make classes more interesting and learning objectives most attainable.
Teachers’ expectations increase and curricular focus narrows from one grade level to the next in middle school, reflecting our belief that the developmental needs for children change as they mature. Consistent throughout all grades, though, is our belief--supported by recent findings in brain research-- that the best learning takes place in relationships. We intend for students to see their teachers, advisors, and coaches as advocates in their learning and growing and to make good use of these adults as key resources in their growth as students and people.