One of the most distinctive factors of our middle school are the Middle School Houses. Each middle school student is placed into one of four Houses that are comprised of 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. The Houses, EagleSoar, EquusRun, ShepherdWatch, and WolfStride, give middle schoolers and teachers the opportunity to build connections and community across grade levels while fostering leadership, service, and spiritual transformation in our students. House activities include the Big Reveal, monthly House competitions, weekly House meetings and service opportunities for students to work together with their fellow Housemates. Points are earned and a House Cup is awarded each month to the House that earns the most points. These friendly competitions lead to an excitement among our students and teachers and extends to the whole-school community.
Language Arts and Math are classes where students are placed according to their ability - on grade level or advanced. The leveling of these classes provide our students with more individualized instruction in their area of readiness for the content. Specific criteria is used to determine class placement for these subject areas. The content progression for Language Arts is: 6th grade language arts or 6th grade language arts advanced; 7th grade language arts or 7th grade language arts advanced; 8th grade language arts or 8th grade language arts advanced. The content progression for Math is: 6th grade math or 6th grade advanced math; 7th grade math or 7th grade pre algebra; 8th grade pre algebra or Algebra I Honors. Students enrolled in Algebra I Honors, Physical Science Honors and Spanish I may receive high school credit.
Elective courses are extensions of the core academic program and allow our students the opportunity to expand their educational experiences. Elective courses are typically one semester in length with a grade given for completion of the course. All elective courses are mixed grade levels (6th, 7th and 8th) with the exception of Spanish I Honors. Examples of elective courses include: Marine Biology, STEAM, Robotics, Art, Chorus, Musical Theatre, Physical Education, Yearbook and Digital Media.
6th Grade Wheel
Sixth grade wheel courses are designed to meet the developmental needs of the students during this transition year to middle school. The exploratory wheel courses allow students to gain exposure to critical components of a well-rounded education. Students are enrolled in one wheel course per quarter. The wheel classes are: Success Skills, Public Speaking, Latin, and Personal Finance.
Middle School Retreat
Every year, the middle school students participate in an overnight retreat to kick off the beginning of the new school year. This retreat helps cultivate lifelong relationships, facilitate team-building, and develop leadership skills in our 6th-8th grade students. Students take part in activities designed to promote growth in social skills, leadership and spiritual formation. Activities are designed for students to spend time with their House, with their grade level, and with their friends. There is also a time for group worship and lots of FUN!
Integrated field trips, service projects, exploration of our downtown campus and surrounding venues, scientific investigations, creative think-tanks, public speaking, Physics Day at Busch Gardens and visiting the Holocaust Museum are examples of how learning is extended beyond the classroom in middle school. Community service activities provided throughout the school year provide our students the opportunity to demonstrate their love for others. Class trips in 6th, 7th and 8th grade are designated for team-building, character-building, service and missions. The 8th grade class trip to the Dominican Republic serves as the culminating experience as our students engage in missions outside of the US.
Middle School Chapel and Advisory
Middle School Chapel
All students attend daily chapel; however, one day each week middle school students come together and create their own unique chapel program. The Middle School Chapel includes students leading music and worship.
Each student in 6th-8th grade is assigned an advisory teacher. Advisory groups meet together one time each week in either boy or girl groupings to discuss topics that are part of our focus on spiritual formation and leadership.