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Overview – Middle School (grades 5-8)

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Students engage in longer, often interdisciplinary projects, with an emphasis on self-directed, rigorous academic study within the context of choice and opportunities for in-depth exploration of topics of interest. Middle School projects include Medieval Faire, Social Justice Data Fair, History and Science fairs and engineering/design challenges and Spanish and Library multimedia projects among others.

Helping students to develop their own interests and extend their project management skills prepares them for further academic work and at the same time creates habits of mind that can be widely applied to a variety of future life and work situations. Developing good study habits and taking full responsibility for assignments, projects and homework are part of the expectation for students by the time they leave for high school.

Learning extends well beyond the walls of the classroom in the Middle School. Whether it is an immersion in Nature’s Classroom in Wisconsin or in the Adirondacks of Upstate New York, language camp in Minnesota, or on the 8th grade trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, students experience learning in and about the real world to an unprecedented degree. Students also have many opportunities to meet with and learn from professional scientists, writers, and musicians in the field.

The Middle School Advisory program is an opportunity for our students to be seen beyond the lens of one subject area. Advisors focus on knowing the whole child; becoming the point persons for advisees, and tracking their academic progress, organizational skills, leadership abilities and social and emotional well-being. The advisory program gives students a venue and a voice to express their ideas and feelings and to work through the challenges that accompany ever-greater responsibility and independence. Middle School Advisory activities include student-led conferences in the 7th and 8th grades, the El Valor Service Learning project, a Sandwich Shoppe led by 7th and 8th graders, City Quests, and many cooking and community building experiences.
The Middle School experience at Ancona is designed to meet the needs of children as they stretch their growing capabilities and prepare to face the social, emotional and academic challenges of high school and beyond.