Middle School (Grades 6 through 8) is the time when students complete the transition from childhood to young adolescence. Developmentally, it is a time characterized by diverse physical, emotional, and social changes. In order to be effective, it is imperative that our program be responsive to the unique needs of this particular age group and so our Middle School program is carefully designed to cater to the specific social and emotional needs of developing adolescents.
ASOY is a candidate school for the International Baccalaureate’s Middle Years Program (MYP) and will seek full authorization from the IBO in the 2017-2018 school year. At ASOY we believe that students in grades 6- 8 are ready for increased academic challenges, and for the independence and exploration that they are exposed to through the MYP. By offering them a broad, balanced, and personally challenging education that seeks to attract and retain their attention and imagination, as well as foster a love of learning, we strive to expose our students to new ideas and ways of thinking that will allow them to mature into curious and questioning members of the 21st century. Our Middle School program is based on the belief that integrating creative thinking, individual expression, and international understanding into the curriculum is essential.
As students move from the elementary school to the middle school, they must adjust from having one core classroom teacher to having as many as seven different subject teachers. Our faculty are all well-versed in the needs of this particular age group. This is critically important as we know that teaching faculty are the most influential learning resource for students at the middle school level. The ASOY faculty are a caring, highly qualified and multicultural team, selected for their ability to make a positive impact on student lives and learning. Students experiencing the rapid growth that occurs in early adolescence flourish in an educational environment that is distinctly different from either the elementary school or high school settings.
Using the International Baccalaureate Middle Years framework, our Middle School courses include:
- Language and Literature
- Language Acquisition
- Individuals and Societies
- Integrated Sciences
- Visual Arts, Music, and Design
- Physical Education and Health
A focus on community service and the IB Learner Profile leads the pathway to our students becoming caring and compassionate global citizens. Our students will move into High School as self-actuated young learners with strong writing and reading skills, learning interests, and critical thinking skills.
Homework, and the use of formative assessment, is seen as an opportunity to practice what was already taught, to enforce skills, or as a chance to connect and extend what was learned in class with the outside world. We also benchmark our students’ learning against external, international norms by having them write the MAP (measures of academic performance) exams three times each year. Those tests not only tell us whether a student is achieving proficiency in language arts, mathematics, and science standards, but also if each student is experiencing the high levels of academic growth we hope they attain each year.
Students in need of learning support are referred to a team of faculty and specialists. This team addresses the student’s concern – whether academic, emotional, or another issue – in a collaborative manner, and together, take active steps towards the desired outcome.
The Middle School operates on a weekly schedule with class times rotating each day. There are five class periods each day, three with the length 80 minutes and two with the length of 55 minutes. Each subject will meet for two 80 minute and one 55 minute period each week. Students enjoy both a morning and afternoon break between blocks and a 45 minute lunch time.
A once weekly advisory period is built into the school day and all middle school students are assigned to an advisory teacher and meet with that teacher each week. We know that the advisory program strengthens relationships and develops the sense of community and belonging, which are so important to all we do. Their advisor is there to encourage dialog and discussion about a wide range of topics.
THE MIDDLE SCHOOL PROGRAM OF STUDIES (click to view)