Welcome to Middle School
TRANSITIONS FROM CHILDHOOD TO ADOLESCENCE
Serving students in Grades 6, 7, and 8 between the ages of 11 and 14 years.
ISK is dedicated to meeting the unique physical, cognitive, social, and emotional needs of students as they transition from childhood to adolescence.
In order to prepare Middle School students for a rapidly changing world, we provide them with the knowledge and skills they need to take responsibility for their lives, to address life's challenges, to become responsible citizens, and to be creators of knowledge.
We recognize that students have different needs and learning styles, and teachers work to ensure that the delivery of the academic and non-academic programs allow each student to be successful. We believe that learners need a combination of care, challenge, choice, and opportunity at this age to help them achieve our mission successfully.
Our New Middle School Building
(Launched in January 2021)
In an atmosphere designed to foster empowerment, enthusiasm, imagination and collaboration in real-world contexts, our Middle School provides adolescent learners with opportunities to explore stimulating and engaging learning opportunities. A day in the Middle School is perhaps one of the most interesting experiences on the ISK campus. Classrooms and activities are filled with questions and curiosity.
Dr. Alexa Schmid, Middle School Principal
Overview of Middle School
The Middle School Program offers students the opportunity to develop core skills as well as nurture connections with peers and develop a strong sense of self within an ever changing world. Our goal is for students to be inquirers, connection-makers, perspective-takers, creators, communicators, collaborators, and change agents. The ISK Middle School offers a program appropriate for the age and development of middle level learners with exposure to a variety of academic, physical and creative activities. Our standards-based curriculum is concept-based and designed to foster innovation, critical thinking, and curiosity. We strive to support the emotional and physical growth of our students through our advisory program, health education, and a variety of co-curricular activities. Within our program, we embrace flexibility to meet the unique personal and academic needs of diverse learners to provide an inclusive and fun learning environment that fosters a passion for learning.
The Middle School program offers a core program of math, humanities, science, modern language, and physical and health education (PHE). Students are also offered a variety of Creative Arts courses each year which include drama, visual art and music. Additionally, we have a wide range of semester-long electives for students to choose from as seventh and eighth graders. These provide rich opportunities for students to find new passions and explore through project-based and service learning opportunities.
Sample Schedule in Middle School
Our Middle School is filled with a highly diverse group of enthusiastic and energetic learners. We provide a broad range of programs and support to this age group: academic, creative, social, and physical & emotional wellness. The Middle School operates a rotating block schedule that includes 8 blocks, with 4 blocks meeting each day. Pre-pandemic blocks were 80 minutes long, and each class meets 2 or 3 times in the week.
Middle School Advisory
The ISK middle school advisory program supports the development of the whole child. Through the advisory program, we create safe spaces to build community, develop relationships, to learn about our own identities, to develop social-emotional and other skills, and support all members of our community in maximizing our growth and learning potential. This space also enables the advisor to advocate for students socially, emotionally, academically, and provide mentorship as they navigate their experience in middle school.
The Role of the Advisor is:
- to provide guidance to the student in all areas of the school
- to act as a student advocate if academic or social issues arise
- to serve as the first point for questions that arise
The advisory program supports student development through the following concepts and topics: Social-emotional learning, including self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationships skills, and responsible choices.
Identity-development and awareness
Relationships and social skills, including social justice
Wellbeing and mental health
Safety, including digital citizenship and safeguarding
Organization and productivity skills
If you have questions about the advisory program please reach out to your child's advisor or Joe Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org), MS counselor.
Community Building: Assembly and House
In addition to advisory, the whole Middle School comes together every other week for an assembly. The purpose of the assembly is for community building and to celebrate student learning. We also have a House System, with the purpose of building community vertically within the Middle School. We have 5 Houses - Nyati, Tembo, Chui, Kifaru and Twiga - that provide opportunities for students to engage in fun games, challenges and community building activities.