Middle School (6-8) Program
Our Middle School program (Grades 6-8) focuses on preparing our students for a variety of high school options while continuing to remediate and reinforce each student’s foundational skills in all areas and developing a notebook of strategies to enhance learning. As our students move through our two to three year program, they develop independence in applying learning strategies to all subjects and increase their responsibility for their learning. Our middle school students also have the opportunity to develop leadership skills through participation in the Student Council Association as representatives or officers, committee chairs or members, Color Guard, Morning Crew and Reading Buddies. They also have the opportunity to work with younger students as role models and mentors.
Homerooms contain up to 13 students who may all be in the same grade or a mix of grades (i.e., 6th and 7th graders in one homeroom). Each homeroom has two teachers who are trained to work with students who have learning disabilities. Two homerooms team together to allow us to provide four reading groups and four math groups with students assigned to homogenous groups at their instructional level. These small groups for Mathematics and Literature/Language Arts allow for intense, targeted instruction and individualized attention in these core subjects.
The Middle School program is designed to prepare each student for as many high school options as possible. Our students have attended a variety of public and private schools in the area, as well as boarding schools. We work with parents to help them find the best fit possible for their child.
Literature/Language Arts instruction continues remediation for students’ decoding as necessary through the use of various methods based on the Orton-Gillingham sequence of skills. As students develop greater consistency with the six syllable types, the instruction moves on to the study of morphemes for use in decoding and building vocabulary. Understanding the Greek and Latin roots of words, as well as the prefixes and suffixes attached to them, enables students to decode and comprehend higher level vocabulary. This instruction is integrated into all subject areas as students encounter these same roots and affixes in science and social studies vocabulary. Learned comprehension strategies are consistently reviewed and applied; instruction in new comprehension strategies is a vital part of preparation for high school reading across content areas.
Written Language instruction, as part of Language Arts, includes using the writing process for developing a five-paragraph essay. In preparation for high school, our students learn the process for writing a five-paragraph essay based on research on a specific topic. By expanding this process, students are prepared to write longer papers in high school.
In small groups at the same instructional level for Math, students learn computation and math concepts using multisensory methods. While learning math facts and algorithms is important, understanding the underlying concepts and being able to apply these to problem-solving is crucial. Computer programs and on-line projects reinforce students’ knowledge and application of these skills. Calculators are used to support problem-solving. Consistent practice and review of concepts allows for strong foundational skills.
Studying in larger groups of up to 13 students for the content areas of Science and Social Studies enables students to prepare for the larger high school settings. The focus of these content areas is in developing strong study skills. Students learn various notetaking strategies, how to apply active reading strategies to a textbook, and how to study for tests. Textbooks are used as one resource for learning. Experiments, multisensory activities, and hands-on learning enhance our students’ understanding of the material and the way they learn. The use of technology increases, as does the expectation for independent and efficient use of technology resources.