In Middle School, our mission at LCCS is building on the solid academic work students have done in the lower school and helping them prepare for High School and beyond. While the lower school is about teaching the CIRCLE values (Community, Independence, Respect, Courage, Leadership, and Effort,) – Middle school is about mastering these values, and connecting them to the wider world.
We recognize that the Middle School years are crucial for cementing good habits of learning, and for reaching students who both struggle and excel. We understand that this is a time of great change, as students grow from their childhood into teen years and we see their social and emotional growth as important as their intellectual and academic growth.
In Middle School, the academic model focuses on leadership, collaboration, and authentic learning. What does that look like?
In an English Language Arts class, students might examine the news of protest over a high school with a Native American mascot, and then write persuasive essays for each side in the debate. In science, students could study bacterial growth by taking samples from around the school, growing bacteria in a culture and documenting their findings.
Older students often teach what they have learned to younger peers: In middle school, they learn about physics, and then partner with Pre-kindergarten students who are studying balls. This “peer to peer” teaching focuses students on what they are learning and cements what they discover.
Coursework in Middle School is almost “paperless” with students becoming more and more adept at working in the cloud, which provides ample opportunities for input from instructors and collaboration with peers.
Students also benefit from programs like Touchstones, an innovative and nationally recognized curriculum that encourages students to lead discussions on important issues, in a Socratic environment. Teachers facilitate a discussion, but do not lead it, allowing students to take the reins. Last year, in one study, students were analyzing a passage of the classic French text, “Democracy in Action,” by Alexis de Tocqueville.
With an approach that addresses the whole student, that nurtures collaboration, and encourages independence we know we are providing an education that helps our students excel.