We foster an atmosphere in which students feel comfortable in seeking different intellectual avenues.
Building Essential Skills for Higher Learning
In Middle School, a continued balance between academic vigor and a nurturing learning environment endows students with essential skills for higher learning, and further reinforces the love of learning instilled throughout Lower School. Core academic subjects include English, mathematics, history, science, and foreign or ancient language. Enthusiasm for learning, curiosity, and mastery are the goals at all grade levels, with an emphasis on executive functioning and problem-solving strategies. Overnights are a unique and traditional feature of the middle school experience, with students enjoying a variety of enriching and exotic trips with their classmates and teachers.
Middle School Language Arts
Middle School English classes focus on reading, writing, speaking, thinking, and listening skills. Literature is aimed at familiarizing students with enlightening, current, and age-appropriate novels that foster an appreciation of reading. A wide variety of authors speak to the Middle School students including Kwame Alexander, Pablo Cartaya, Matt de la Peña, Jack Gantos, and Carl Hiaasen. Writing focuses on developing expository and creative writing skills. Emphasis is placed on essay writing throughout the middle school; the program culminates in the traditional eighth grade speech and a research paper on a topic of choice.
Middle School Social Studies
In Middle School history, students learn about the past as a way of understanding who they are and where they come from, as well as a way of examining how they might improve the world for others. Current events and geography are a focus as well as study skills, mapping, discerning good resources, note-taking, and research. An overnight to St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States, is a tradition that accompanies a unit on Florida’s history and European exploration and settlement. History and social studies is further enhanced by a trip every other year to Montreal and Quebec City in Canada.
Middle School Science
The Middle School Science curriculum is based on: biology, ecology, chemistry, geology, and physics. Each area is presented in depth so that students can gain a firm scientific and technical foundation, and then broadened to highlight its importance and connection to the natural world. On an overnight to the Everglades, students visit a Miccosukee Indian Village, go on guided kayaking tours, see a variety of Florida wildlife, and bike around Chokoloskee Bay. Students also explore the natural wonders of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. For oceanographic studies, students cross Route A1A to our private community beach and the Atlantic Ocean, and travel to the Crystal River to swim with manatees.
Middle School Foreign Language
In grades five and six students study Latin. In grade seven they may choose to continue studying Latin or switch to Spanish. The goal is for all students to compete Level 1 of Latin or Spanish by graduation, however many students satisfy the requirements for Level 2 and even Level 3.