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Welcome to Middle School

Middle School is a time of growth, change, discovery and opportunity. This is a special time in your child’s life as he or she moves towards greater independence, maturity, and responsibility. It is exciting to watch as Middle School students begin to discover more about who they are in the world. At The Howard School, we value each child and their unique learning and personality profile. We focus on community and relationship building, using these strong bonds to help students better understand their own personal development.

Instruction is balanced to meet the different learning styles and profiles of our students, recognizing individual strengths and weaknesses. The arts, music, physical education, Habits of Mind, community service, and team building opportunities are seamlessly woven into the fabric of the core academic subjects. Additionally, we offer typical tween and teen Middle School experiences including field trip outings, overnight study trips, and dances. We agree with the research which states hours of nightly homework have little benefit. Typically, we assign a minimal amount of work to include independent reading and math practice, while encouraging students to participate in extracurricular activities.

At Howard, Middle School students actively participate in their own learning. Student led conferences in the fall and spring give students and teachers a chance to share with parents an ongoing portfolio of work celebrating the student’s hard work and individual progress. We know our students are capable of great things in many arenas, and we help them show what they know.

Hopes and Dreams for Middle School/8th Grade Students:

  • Students will know who they are as learners and their own underlying learning processes.
  • Students will reflect on and assess the quality of their own learning, and will advocate for what they need to learn best.
  • Students will capitalize on their strengths, and will identify and use tools and strategies in such a way that barriers to learning are diminished.
  • Students will demonstrate that they are learning the curriculum content and basic skills that support the big ideas and essential questions in the curriculum.
  • Students will express themselves in a variety of ways, including through the arts and movement.
  • To understand something “is to see it in its relations to other things.” (Dewey) Students will know how to use their knowledge and skills to solve new problems and to think critically about their world.
  • Students will extend the reach of their learning with technology, using it independently to research, author, and communicate.
  • Students will understand and act upon their responsibility to the communities in which they live.

Class Structure

Middle School and 8th Grade classes consist of a maximum of 12 students with a Lead and a Support Teacher. Additionally, the classes are supported by SpeechLanguage Pathologists, Literacy Specialists, a Math Lab Teacher, and Assistive Technology instructors.

Max 12

Students per class

Lead + Support

Teacher per class

In Middle School, advisory (homeroom) groups are a combination of first and second year (6th and 7th grade) students. During the school day however, students attend classes in academic groups based on learning needs. The Middle School follows a 2-year rotating curriculum in order to avoid repetition of curricular content.