Middle School is a time of discovery and transition for students in Grades 5, 6, 7, and 8 who are going through important personal stages of development — socially, physically, intellectually, and emotionally. During the Middle School years, students gain the skills, discipline, and confidence they need to take on growing responsibilities and to prepare for Upper School and beyond.
In a challenging and supportive academic environment, students take courses in major subjects of English, Math, Social Studies, Science, and World Languages as well as in non-major courses such as 3D Design & Woodworking, Art, Coding, Health, Music, Physical Education, Religion, and Theater. Middle School students learn to use technology, to prepare for tests and projects, to organize themselves, and to participate in creating a strong Middle School community. Each middle school student is carefully placed in a small advisor group with a grade-level advisor. The advisor’s role is to function as the primary point of contact for parents of their advisees, and to be an advocate for their advisees while at school. During the 2016-17 school year, the Middle School will launch its new, enhanced advisor curriculum. Students spend two class periods during our six-day cycle with their small advisor group discussing issues related to social-emotional well being, community values, and study skills.
Many other activities round out the Middle School experience. Students may sing in the choir, play an instrument in the ensemble, or contribute articles to the Middle School newspaper. Beginning in Grade 6, students may compete on interscholastic athletic teams in soccer, field hockey, basketball, lacrosse, tennis, and baseball. Outside of the classroom, Middle Schoolers enjoy a number of field trips, including a three-day and two-night Grade 7 outdoor education program at Stokes Forest, as well as 5th, 6th and 8th grade trips during the six day Intensive Learning period.
A dedicated and highly qualified faculty provide an exceptional experience for our middle schoolers. When asked why they do what they do, here are some of the responses from MFS Middle School faculty members:
- I have the opportunity to encourage independence and responsibility and help students see that they can own their world and change it.
- I help students discover their strengths and strengthen their weaknesses.
- I love relaying the importance of physical fitness and activity to students of all ages.
- I work with a sense of purpose and meaning and with kids at a critical time in their development. Ideally I make a difference in helping them grow positively.
- I love sharing a part of who I am with the students. In my class students get out of their comfort zone and break out of their “bubble.”
- My favorite thing about teaching middle school is how engaged and excited the students get when they learn something new. They are eager to participate and they are not afraid of trying something new.
- I want Middle School students to see first hand that they are able to learn from their mistakes.
- I want students to witness my interest in their activities – sports, theater, music.
- I want my students to know that I think they matter. I care about what they have to say. I believe in them and I believe they can succeed.
- I love the students and their curiosity and I enjoy the community of people here.
- Kids are wonderful people. They are interesting and will change the world.
During the Middle School years, we help students develop strong critical thinking and decision making skills. In addition, we challenge them to grow in self-confidence and integrity and to acquire a passion for learning as they discover the diversity and beauty of the world and people around them.