Student Led Conferences
Twice during the school year, we invite students and their families to attend formal Student Led Conferences (SLCs). SLCs are attended by the student's parent/guardian, student's advisor, and other adults the student would like present. The advisor facilitates the meeting, but the student is in charge.
During the conference, students explain their progress toward and mastery of both academic (content/skill) and character (habits of work and learning) learning targets. Students justify their progress by leading their families through a portfolio of assignments they've selected from their classes. SLCs support students in public speaking and provide them agency, allowing them to take control of their own learning and progress.
Extended Learning Opportunities
A Viable Curriculum
We create curriculum that is shared across each grade and department. This guarantees that important, agreed-upon content and literacy skills are actually taught to every student, regardless of the teacher they are assigned.
A Coherent and Content-Rich Curriculum
Our curriculum is based on a progression of skills in reading, writing and speaking, carefully designed to grow more complex from grades six to eight. Teachers of the same grade plan curriculum in their subject that complements and builds on curriculum being taught in other subjects throughout the grade.
Argumentative writing is our instructional focus because when paired with a polarizing question, such as, "Should Britain return the Rosetta Stone to Egypt?" it encourages students to analyze different viewpoints, choose a side, and support their thinking using evidence from multiple texts.
A Curriculum Rich In Authentic Literacy
"Literacy is 'the most important single goal of schooling in any nation' because it both requires and further enables the acquisition of knowledge." (Hirsch, 2010)
It is for this reason that reading, writing and speaking are the primary activities in every lesson we teach (click these links for diverse books for students and families).
We concentrate our literacy efforts on:
Building students' knowledge through content-rich nonfiction,
Reading, writing, and speaking grounded in evidence from texts, and
Regular practice with complex text and its academic language
Electives and School Day Clubs
We are excited about the fact that we are one of the few middle schools in the City that allows students to choose which classes they will take. In addition to their core classes, students can choose from debate team, band, spoken word, creative writing, Lego Robotics, science research, theater, psychology, and Hispaniola History, just to name a few. Click here for the full listings of all of our clubs.
Relearn and Revise
It's our goal to ensure that all students feel competent, experience success, and learn.
For this reason, students are encouraged to revise essays and retake exams to improve their work.
Lunch and Learn, After School and Saturday
Each week, students are administered a quiz in core content areas. If they score less than an 80%, they come in during lunch, after school, and on Saturday to relearn the material and retake the quiz, or revise the writing assignment to illustrate the progress they've made toward mastering the skills and content.
DOWNLOAD OUR SATURDAY ACADEMY CALENDAR HERE!
We also run a comprehensive summer enrichment program during which each students is lent an iPad and an e-library of over 800 books so that they continue reading throughout the months of July and August.
Humanities (10 periods per week)
Math (10 periods per week
Science (5-6 periods per week)
Advisory (2 periods per week)
Art (1period per week)
Music (1-4 periods per week)
In-School Clubs (3 periods per week)
Gym (2 periods per week)
Health (1 period per week)
Algebra I (open to all students, class meets 3 periods per week after school)