For Parents

What is the difference between a homeroom in lower school and an advisor in middle school?

Advisors serve as a student’s advocate and as the main source of communication between school and home. They also supervise a study hall for their advisees. Once a week, they meet for an advisory activity.

What are the requirements for music?

Students must choose a performing arts course each semester. They currently include jazz band, intro to instruments, choir, a capella, and improv.

How much homework is expected at each grade level?

Including study hall, students can expect an hour to an hour and a half of homework in 6th grade, and up to two hours of homework in 8th grade. This will vary by student and will depend on his/her reading speed, math competency, individual needs, and distractions.

What are middle school socials, and how often to they occur?

Socials are an opportunity for the three grades (6th-8th) to get together in a social setting, such as movie night, laser tag, dances, etc. They occur approximately 5-6 times a year.

What clubs are offered?

MathCounts, Power of the Pen, Interstellar Math, Chess, Improv, Quiz Bowl, and Student Government. These are all optional activities.

What occurs during advisory?

Numerous social activities and also SEL (social-emotional learning) activities, which are intended to assess the wellbeing of each student.

What occurs during study hall?

This is a time to work on homework and see teachers for extra help. This can also happen during the second half of lunch.

What is the Middle School policy for phones and other technology at school?

Phones must be kept in lockers during the academic day but may be used in case of emergency. We ask that students not receive calls between 8:00 a.m.-3:20 p.m.

What are the sign in/out procedures for early departure or late arrival?

In case a student arrives late or leaves early, he/she must sign in and out in the Middle School Office.

How often to parent-advisor conferences occur?

Parents meet with their child’s advisor twice a year at midterm and are student led.

My middle school child often loses his items. How do you handle this?

We have a lost and found bin and encourage parents to please label clothing, books, etc. Items that are not accounted for within a reasonable time period are donated to charity.

What is Project Period?

Project Period occurs at the end of the year and is a two week activity that is social studies based. It culminates in the second week with a trip. For more detailed information, please review the Middle School section of the website.

What is the testing policy in the Middle School? How many tests could my child have on a given day?

There is a test calendar outside the Middle School Office and also on the Middle School Google calendar, shared with current parents. Sixth graders are limited to one test per day, while seventh and eighth graders may have two.

How is math placement done?

Math placement is based on performance during the previous year.

What are effort grades and how are they assigned?

Effort grades are in addition to course grades and are based on observable behavior, however, there is a degree of “subjectivity” to them. The goal is to recognize hard work even if the course grade does not reflect “time spent.” There is a rubric describing each effort grade.

What kind of feedback can I expect from my child’s teachers? How often should I expect to hear from them?

Teachers will send out emails when necessary and also place periodic comments in the gradebook portion of MyBackpack.

What languages are offered in the Middle School?

During sixth grade, students have a chance to explore Mandarin, Spanish, and French. At the end of sixth grade, however, they must choose one language for a minimum of the next three years. This will take them up through Mandarin II, Spanish II, or French II. We divide the first year of language into two years (grades 7 and 8), so they can proceed at a pace that that is appropriate for middle school students.