Our Academic Program
The Middle School’s academic program focuses on providing students with a challenging, highly-integrated, experientially-based, and developmentally appropriate curriculum. A strong Advisory component emphasizes the importance of social and emotional development during the middle school years. Our faculty works to create community and critical thinking by challenging students to ask and answer important questions, develop connected understandings across and within disciplines, and engage students in thoughtful consideration and communication of ideas through individual reflections, class discussions, and various forms of assessment.
Our Faculty Makes the Difference!
Our middle school teachers recognize the challenge before them when students walk into their classrooms. Middle schoolers are at a time of tremendous transition. They enter the middle school as elementary school students and they exit as high schoolers. Throughout their time in the middle school, students are continually faced with emotional, physical, social, and academic challenges as they seek to understand who they are and how they fit into the world. It is frequently difficult to know what outward behaviors are caused by which challenges. In order to attain the goals we have laid out for our students, teachers must continually seek to navigate a series of delicate balances: between dealing with symptoms and addressing the underlying problem; between setting high expectations and making sure they are achievable; between providing support and promoting independence; between enjoying the unpredictability of the age group and encouraging greater degrees of focus and maturity; between loving with compassion and mercy and loving with discipline and accountability; between providing concrete learning experiences and developing abstract thinking. Our middle school faculty has the rare blend of high levels of academic expertise, deep care and concern for each child, keen understandings of middle school kids, and a heartfelt commitment to making the school the best it can be. It is this blend of talents that makes the difference at SDS.