For one week each March, regular classes are suspended for “Intensive Learning,” when Middle and Upper School students and teachers engage in an in-depth study of a specific subject, often involving off-campus research. This long-standing MFS tradition — which dates back to the mid 1970s — allows teachers and students to break out of the structure of formal class periods and traditional study for a time of experiential learning. Both students and teachers are encouraged to view themselves as life-long learners and students of the world around them.
Many of the programs focus on service learning. Groups of students travel to Camden or Philadelphia each day to engage with various service organizations, such as food banks and mural arts programs. Other groups participate in the local Habitat for Humanity, explore the Pinelands National Reserve, study Philadelphia’s architecture, or work in neighborhood gardens. MFS is committed not just to service work, but also to service learning, which means that students will study the causes of and possible solutions to the problems and issues with which they are engaged.
Middle School Intensive Learning
Art, Chinese culture, and a U.S. 19th century seaport: Students take one-day trips to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Chinatown, and a three-day trip to Mystic, CT.
Service and Adventure: Students explore local outdoor sites and spend the night at the Pocono Environmental Education Center.
Musical Theater: Students work on all aspects of a theatrical production and perform for their parents at the end of the week. The 2016 production was Food, Glorious Food!
Environmental Education: Day trips to the Adventure Aquarium in Camden and Palmyra Cove Nature Park, and a three-day trip to YMCA Camp Mason in Hardwick, NJ.