Middle School is a unique time in the brain development of a child. The prefrontal cortex, the area of decision making is not fully formed. In fact it will not be fully formed until a person is in their twenties. This is the part of the brain that makes decisions, analyzes information and predicts outcomes. The development of the prefrontal cortex controls impulses allows abstract thinking and perfects planning strategies. It is with these core understandings that the middle school curriculum is developed. Students are taught long term planning skills, organizational methods, introduced to abstract thinking concepts and given guided practice in analytical thinking.

Our core instructional belief is that all intelligences and learning styles must be addressed. Therefore assignments are designed with Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory in mind. Delivery of material is executed to address the multiple learning abilities in the classroom. Students are also encouraged to identify their own learning style.

Assessment is a cumulative affair at the middle school level. Students do not take final or semester exams. Instead they create an assessment portfolio which marks progress over the course of the year. Students learn to identify their own weaknesses in learning and begin to understand that grades are a way of marking understanding. This approach to assessment allows teachers to identify and remediate problems in learning. Students showcase their portfolios at different points throughout the year.