Program : Middle School : Other Features

As a Middle School student, you have many opportunities to expand your horizons beyond the academic classroom. Here are a few.

Advisory program: [top]

During Middle School advisor time small groups of students get to know one another and their advisor through hearty discussion, service projects, conversations about character and ethics, and problem-solving activities.

The goals of the advisory program are to:
  • Support and enhance academic success
  • Promote improved peer relationships
  • Enable teachers to know students well
  • Promote self-esteem
  • Nurture service-oriented thinking and acting

    Athletics [top]

    All Middle School students participate in interscholastic sports, including soccer, basketball, volleyball, swimming, and ultimate frisbee.

    Ethics class [top]

    Students in Grade 8 take part in a class on ethics, led by a member of the Board of Trustees, who is a trained facilitator in the field of ethics. The curriculum grows out of the Institute for Global Ethics. In this class students learn about making choices and how those choices impact others. They discuss and develop shared core values and establish a class code of ethics. They learn a variety of ways to determine right from wrong and consider the need for moral courage in today’s society. Our students learn to think and act based upon values and reasoning. Participation in this class leads students towards meaningful leadership roles in Middle School and beyond.

    Forum [top]

    Every four or five weeks Middle School students come together for Forum, a program designed to broaden their view of the world and enrich their learning. When appropriate, Lower School students attend as well. Forum generally occurs once every four or five weeks. A few of the participants in the program over the last 3 years have included:

  • Andy Young, a Chicago-area performer of Irish music
  • Alistair Willis, a symphony orchestra conductor
  • Fern Davye, a nationally recognized performer of poetry
  • Maggie Pelton, a former dancer with the Alvin Ailey Dance Company
  • a brass quintet from the Elgin Symphony Orchestra
  • the Kenyon College Chamber Singers
  • story teller Oba Williams King
  • a high school music student
  • current parents who shared about Muslim and Hindu traditions
  • editorial cartoonist Roger Schillerstrom
  • several environmental education speakers

    The speaker series has included presenters from service organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the Heifer Project, Canine Assistants, and Humanitarian Services Projects. Students and teachers also make special presentation during Forum time.

    Spanish [top]

    Students in Kindergarten through Grade 8 learn Spanish. They have class twice each week through Grade 5, three times per week in Grade 6 and daily in Grades 7 and 8. The Middle School Spanish program is designed to prepare students to enter a high school Spanish 2 program.

    During their years of Spanish study students engage in a variety of class activities that incorporate all four areas of communication; reading, listening, writing and speaking. Students are also exposed the cultures of Spanish-speaking countries through videos, magazines, projects and literature. There is an emphasis on the joy of learning about other cultures and new ways to communicate.

    Study skills [top]

    “The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.” (Plutarch)
    Study skills are the fire that kindles the knowledge that is already inside of you. By studying the correct way, using critical thinking, and breaking down what you are learning, you can learn anything and enjoy doing it! Sixth graders have a regularly scheduled class where the focus is on study skills in the context of the Middle School curriculum.

    Trips [top]

    Middle School students have some special travel opportunities. The school year starts with a leadership trip at a camp in Michigan. Field trips take place throughout the year. In June students have a culminating experience that is linked to curriculum. These trips have included visits to Washington, D.C., and a trip to Costa Rica’s rain forest.

    Work program [top]

    Middle school students develop a sense of ownership, responsibility, and self-motivation by taking part in regular, brief work program sessions. Advisor groups work together to improve the campus environment by doing such tasks as running the campus recycling program, helping preschool and kindergarten at lunch time, and doing some outside yard work. Students take pride in their school and in contributing to a sense of community.

  • 1600 Dundee Ave. | Elgin, IL 60120 | phone: 847-888-7910 | fax: 847-888-7947