A student’s Middle School years are a time of exploration, discovery, and questioning. In these significant years, Saint Maur seeks to capitalize on the wonders of the age, to foster a student’s movement from the concrete to the conceptual, to challenge students to go beyond expectations, and to provide a safe environment in which to question, to learn, and to grow.
Middle School students follow an established curriculum of English, Science, Math, Social Studies, Technology, Fine Arts (Studio Art, Music, and Drama,) World Language (Japanese + French or Spanish,) Religious Studies, and Physical Education (including Personal Health & Sex Education at Grade 7.)
Electives vary each year with students able to select from different course offerings. Additionally, students in Grades 6 & 7, also take an Organizational Skills class designed to give them the tools to be intrinsically responsible and successful students.
The Middle School offers a caring environment coupled with a rigorous curriculum that is designed to provide the information, processes, and skills with which reflective decisions can be made.
In a nurturing and supportive atmosphere, our students begin to embrace learning as a lifelong pursuit, to use inquiry as a means to discover and explore what truly inspires them, to use the print and digital resources available in a creative and progressive way, to grasp the importance of communication, both written and oral, to understand the necessity of attaining fluency in other modern languages, to explore the possibilities of extracurricular activities, and to recognize that increased freedom and independence come with heightened responsibilities.
Middle School students meet on a daily basis with their homeroom teachers for morning prayer and any announcements for the day. Each homeroom has two assigned teachers to care for students and monitor their overall school experience. Additionally, students meet with their homeroom for a whole period three times a cycle; time devoted to meeting and caring for the social-emotional developmental needs of the students.
This includes discussing relationship concerns or issues that occur within the class and may also include how to organize one’s time and set goals for being successful in the Middle School. This is also a time for bonding as a class and learning what it means to be part of a cooperative team; a team that is accountable to looking out for one another. Homeroom for Middle School students represents a safe place to discuss the challenges of school and problem solve how to handle the day-to-day stresses that come along with adolescence. We strongly believe in partnerships with parents for student success and foster that in our commitment to ongoing, formal and informal two-way communication.
In addition to the pastoral support students receive through their Homeroom experience, in Grades 6 and 7, students are assigned a teacher or an administrator as their advocate. As a school community we strongly believe that students need adult role models to be successful in school and in life outside of school, someone to look out for them and encourage them through the challenging times of adolescence. Students meet with their assigned advocate once each cycle during lunch recess time for the purpose of making such connections. This is a time of discussion and learning guided by the students' needs and interests.
Learning Support Program
Beyond having instruction differentiated within the classroom, students who are struggling or need additional strategies and interventions receive assistance in a number of ways including After School Academic Support and/or our Learning Support Program. Saint Maur also offers a content-based English as an Additional Language Program to assist students in acquiring both conversational and academic language.
Twice a year, all Middle School students go on educational field trips that relate to their classroom curriculum. Designed to give real-life cross-curricular connections, our educational field trips give students the opportunity to experience culture, the environment, technology, mathematics, and literacy beyond the classroom walls. Additionally, students in Grade 6 attend an extra excursion to Ryogoku to experience sumo culture and attend a sumo tournament.
Days of Reflection
Days of Reflection are themed days related to the Saint Maur Essential Outcomes and aimed at the development of Moral Citizens, Unique Individuals, Global Citizens, Balanced Learners and Lifelong Learners. Students are involved in a variety of tasks and exercises to raise their awareness of world issues, in a relaxed atmosphere, where different styles of teaching and learning combine to make an enriching experience.
As the culmination of Middle School, students in Grade 8 combine their fall educational field trip with their Day of Reflection in an overnight team-building experience at a camp in Nambo, Chiba. Biennially, our Middle School students are also invited to participate in a multi-day cultural experience in Ishikawa Prefecture where they explore Japanese life with local experts.