Our Middle School program is built around our curriculum, including subject area studies as well as social and emotional learning. We also foster growth through physical education and athletics, service, and opportunities in the creative arts.
The daily schedule is the basic organizing principle for the student day.
- Each morning begins with a silent period of Settling-In which serves as both a transition and a time to reflect on the day's happenings.
- Monday through Friday, periods are scheduled for language arts, math, social studies, the arts, and science. Periods are usually 45 minutes long.
- The remaining periods of the day on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and on Tuesdays and Thursdays are scheduled for electives which the student chooses during registration. These courses include traditional subjects such as science, math, composition and literature, as well as art, music, dance, and personal growth. Choosing courses provides the opportunity for students to explore areas of particular interest.
- The final period of the day is usually scheduled for a sports activity or a creative activity.
A hallmark feature of our Middle School is the Advisee Group. After the first two weeks of school, each student chooses from the full-time staff one teacher to be an advisor. Each teacher advises 10-11 students.
The advisor is the student's advocate in the Middle School — a role taken very seriously by the staff. Advisors remain in contact with parents, help students determine curriculum choices, and ensure that students have someone who is quite knowledgeable about them and know to whom to go for guidance and support.
The importance of this element of the Middle School program is reflected by the scheduling of time during the school day for the advisee groups to meet. These times are planned by the advisor and address a variety of needs and topics, some information-disseminating, some counseling, and some problem-solving.
This is a cherished tradition in the Middle School, bridging the gap between our newest and most experienced students. Every student who is new to the Middle School receives a fourth year Mentor. The mentor serves as a supportive partner in the Middle School. Mentors sponsor Mentor/Mentee lunch day and check in informally by playing together at lunch recess or connecting throughout the day. In many cases, a bond is formed that can last for years. As a Middle School, we believe that this program not only creates meaningful relationships among our oldest and newest students, but also strengthens the overall solidarity of the Middle School community.
All students in the Middle School take a conflict resolution course in their second year of Middle School. It is our belief that conflict is a natural part of human life and can be an opportunity for growth. We strive to prepare students with skills to manage those conflicts, both in class and throughout their years at CFS. Emphasis is placed on communication, trust, working as a team, and developing interpersonal skills.
In late May and early June, at a time when most students and teachers are counting the days until summer vacation, we're gearing up for some of the most rich, exciting experiences of the school year!
Exploratorium consists of three mini-sessions in the last three weeks of school. This is a time for students to choose from a wide variety of in-depth course offerings, lasting from three to five days each. Exploratorium enables students to deeply engage in a specific topic for an extended period of time.
Because of the unique format of Exploratorium, which features short, intensive courses, students are able to have a completely different, more intense school experience than they usually do. These experiences involve dabbling in new fields of study, delving deeply into topics that are of particular interest, taking risks, building groups, and exploring relationships with themselves and others.
Exploratorium offerings include overnight trips, scientific discoveries, community service and outreach, creative writing, career explorations, and the fine arts.
Learning to Lead and Support
While we work to help all students care for and support one another, we pay special attention to students who are new to our Middle School community. These students are paired with fourth year students who serve as their mentors for the year. These fourth years continually rise to the challenge of bringing their best selves to school in support of the younger students. Our fourth year leadership course helps mentors develop the skills to serve in this role well.