Fourth to Sixth Grade: The Middle School Experience

The purpose of our middle school program is to provide the necessary activities, lessons, and structure which will help young adolescents develop into responsible leaders of their school community, local community, and global community.

The overall goal for curriculum and instruction at the Middle School level is to capitalize on the students' mastery of basic elementary skills and provide the students with a three-year program which prepares graduates for their junior high-school experience. Upon entry into the middle-school program, students experience an increased sense of freedom and responsibility. This is evident as the students gain independence, utilize lockers, become responsible to multiple teachers during the course of one day, and move freely within the building to accomplish multiple academic tasks. Fourth-to Sixth-Grade students are also encouraged to develop and share their "independent voice" through student groups, such as our Peer Leadership Council and Raynor Knights. Furthermore, the entire student body of the middle school shares a cooperative recess period in order to foster social relationships between students of various grades and ages.

Several key elements contribute to our fine tradition of middle-school preparation. Academically, our middle-school day is structured to provide block scheduling which allows for all academic instruction to take place during the optimal morning periods. Therefore, all co-curricular, special-area, classes are held in the afternoon. This uninterrupted block of academic time contributes to a high level of differentiated instruction and student success. With a mastery of basic reading and comprehension skills, students are exposed to literary classics through our English Language Arts program. In addition, students learn to write in various literary genres including expository text, personal narrative, and poetry. In the area of Social Studies, students benefit from the cross-curricular units of study focused on the historic sites of Boston, Massachusetts; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Washington, D.C. In addition, history comes alive when students, staff, and parents travel to these destinations on overnight field trips. In the areas of Mathematics, Science, & Technology, students are provided with access to modern technology with daily use of wireless laptops and interactive white boards. Teaching staff work to integrate technology instruction as part of the academic day capitalizing on the development of basic keyboarding skills, the application of computer software, and the use of digital media.

Furthermore, middle-school students participate in weekly courses designed to facilitate academic study skills such as note taking, proofreading, grammar, organization, homework planning, and additional skills targeted by staff members as necessary. Also, sixth-grade students are required to participate in a local community service learning project prior to graduation.

Finally, the middle-school program is enhanced with student access to the following co-curricular areas:

  • Chorus Instruction
  • Senior Band & Instrumental Lesson
  • Music Theory
  • Art History
  • Physical Education & Health
  • Spanish Language Instruction
  • French Language Instruction
  • Technology Skill Development
  • Health & Social Awareness
  • Manners & Etiquette Instruction