MIDDLE SCHOOL COHORT
6th - 8th Grade
Our students enjoy a calm, compassionate, stress-reduced learning environment where students receive individualized academics in a community of peers who respect and encourage each other.
Personal changes and challenges abound within this unique age-group, which is why, for many students, a small, supportive, community-oriented environment better supports overall academic development and mental health than a traditional setting. Without the external pressures of huge classrooms, endless homework, and all too often, bullying, our students maintain (and/or regain) the confidence and self-esteem needed to be successful learners.
Our middle school program focuses on the core values of character, community, collaboration, and conservation. Academically, we meet students where they are, tailoring each student's curriculum to meet their personal challenge point and allowing them options for acceleration or recovery. Flexible seating, engaging instruction, hands-on learning, and ample social and enrichment opportunitiies make learning pleasant and...dare we say...enjoyable!
DAY IN THE LIFE
Our mixed-age environment lessens the tensions of traditionally competitive grade-level settings. Our students understand that they are part of a community of diverse learners, each of whom deserves demonstrations of kindness, support, encouragement, and respect.
Upon arrival, our students enjoy a few minutes to exchange warm greetings with friends, chat casually with teachers, and get settled in for the day. Students then break into small learning cohorts and participate in their first class. It is our experience that students actually like to work....especially when they are given the time and independence to do so. This is why we offer short bouts of instruction followed by extended periods where students can delve into meaningful learning experiences that move fluidly between independent or paired "input" opportunities (researching, reading, watching, etc.) and "output" opportunities (application and practice of of knowledge through computing, writing, , answering, creating, building, etc.).
Each class is followed by an opportunity to decompress through movement, socialization, or a snack break.
While traditional middle schools shift students from class to class, with little connectivity between teachers or subjects, we offer an interdisciplinary, inquiry-driven approach to learning that is orchestrated by one or two teachers who deeply understand your child's learning gifts and needs. We strive to integrate language arts with rotating science and social studies concepts as this provides opportunities to deepen topical knowledge while adding purpose to skill-based learning through practical application.
With state standards and high school readiness in mind, we have meticulously created a 3-year instructional cycle that rotates through all the core concepts traditionally taught in middle school, but in a sequence that allows for interdisciplinary integration, dynamic and engaging theme-based projects, and increased opportunities for developing students who think deeply, globally, and critically.
In addition to academics, our students receive rich guidance in developing skills in leadership, collaboration, conservation, community-building, and more.
Math abilities vary dramatically from student to student. Therefore, we offer families the choice of selecting a teacher-guided experience or a self-teaching/self-paced online curriculum for their student. We will be happy to discuss these options with you to determine which method suits your child best.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS
Like math, reading and writing are skill-based subjects, and require a substantial amount of individualization. Our program is designed to meet students where they are, while challenging them to progress to their full potential. Our ELA program is formulated using the Georgia Standards for Excellence as a guide and includes each foundational skill in reading, writing, language, speaking, and listening, while aligning to concepts in Science and Social Studies to deepen authentic learning. Throughout the year, students will read and analyze both informative and literary texts, learn grammar through practical application, and develop organization and structure in their own writing by participating in numerous writing opportunities that span the creative and informative spectrums.
The Power of 5E
Our science curriculum uses the "5 E" model of instruction, a research-based learning method that puts the responsibility for learning in the hands of students. Student questions drive inquiry-based learning and help them to build a scientific skill set through the "5 E's" - Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate.
Science concepts are delivered in a carefully designed 3-year instructional cycle to allow for interdisciplinary integration.
We believe that Social Studies is so much more than the study of history. Therefore, we integrate meaningful, hands-on explorations in world cultures, geography, conservation, global issues, local and global economics, US history, and more! Similar to our science curriculum, we use an investigative, student-driven learning model where students are challenged to work through questions and concepts by conducting authentic research and investigation and participating in an array of projects that range from writing experiences to cultural art projects. Our curriculum is carefully curated by our own teachers using an array of quality materials.