The Middle School years are a time of tremendous growth and change. As students transition from the Lower to the Middle School, their educational journey as lifelong learners continues.
At Morgan Park Academy, Middle School emphasizes independent learning in a nurturing environment. Our program establishes a student-centered approach that helps our students with the important transition from childhood into adolescence.
The Academy’s Middle School offers a strong foundation in English, mathematics, science, music, drama, art, physical education, social studies, world languages and technology for students. This continues the Academy tradition of being integrated and experiential, leading to both deeper and wider understandings and allowing numerous opportunities for individual expression. In Middle School, which encompasses grades 6 through 8, the faculty works closely with students to teach them to organize learning and absorb information into a meaningful whole that supports increased independence. As these skills are refined, students move toward mastery in the academic areas and become independent, resourceful thinkers. Small class sizes and a low student-to-teacher ratio help to establish a dynamic community of learners at the Academy. Within the intimacy of Middle School, our student-centered approach provides an environment in which students can flourish in academic areas and develop their leadership and interpersonal skills through co-curricular opportunities.
We also have an Advisory program to support our students through these years "in the middle."Middle School students meet with their faculty advisors in small groups and individually to discuss academic, social and personal concerns. The purpose of the Advisor group is to strengthen the student’s role within the Academy community by allowing advisees the opportunity to make personal connections, develop a group affiliation, and build their academic and interpersonal skills within the group. In addition to scheduled meetings, speakers, videos on topics of personal and social significance, and interactive sessions are planned throughout the year.
Middle School students also are encouraged to participate in other co-curricular opportunities. These include cultural immersion trips that supplement the Spanish and French programs, spring trips with their class, sports activities (soccer, basketball, softball, baseball, volleyball) and a variety of clubs (Math, Science, French, Spanish, Geography and Chess). Middle School students also have the opportunity to be involved in the Leadership Council that plans and organizes service and social activities for the school year.
Our Middle School faculty works together as a team, using a variety of approaches to challenge students with dynamic, engaging instruction at this critical stage of their development. This team approach draws on a range of pedagogies, methodologies, content, skills and the meaningful integration of technology. Through teacher collaboration, curriculum innovation, instructional reflection, creative projects and assessments, the Middle School faculty strives to provide an exemplary program that prepares students to be independent thinkers and global leaders in the 21st century.
A Day in the Life
Middle School students experience a full and challenging curriculum every day. Here is a sample daily schedule for a 7th Grade student.
8:10 a.m. — Teacher welcome and attendance 8:15 a.m. — World Language 9:00 a.m. — Math (grade level or accelerated) 9:45 a.m. — English 10:30 a.m. — Arts Rotation (one quarter each of Art, Music, Drama, or Computer) 11:15 a.m. — Science 12:00 p.m. — History 12:45 p.m. — Lunch and Recess 1:30 p.m. — Physical Education or Sports Team (Advisory groups meet twice monthly) 2:15 p.m. — Study Hall 3:00 p.m. — Dismissal
What Makes Us Different
The Middle School curriculum reflects rigor:
More than 70% of Middle School students achieve the distinction of High Honor Roll or Honor Roll.
More than 30% of Middle School students qualify for Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development’s Midwest Academic Talent Search.
All students participate in the World Languages program, taking either French or Spanish.
More than 70% of Middle School students average scores of two grade levels or above on their standardized test scores.
Hands-on science labs are an integral part of the science curriculum.
Students are exposed to extensive writing and a variety of genres in their study of literature, which includes reading contemporary and classic novels throughout the school year and summer.
Students choose from a variety of co-curricular activities.
Students can be elected to the leadership council.Competitive sports such as basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, and soccer are offered.
Students can become involved in the Middle School drama production each year.
Competitions such as the History Fair, Math Counts, Geography Bee and Spelling Bee provide opportunities for students to compete regionally or nationally.
A variety of field trips to the theater, museums, and exhibits supplement the academic curriculum.
Reflects global perspectives and understanding:
The school community celebrates Diwali, Ramadan, Eid and more.
International Day is an experiential learning experience.
The Middle School program emphasizes global perspectives through its integrated curriculum in social studies, world languages, English, and the arts.
Through the World Languages program students thrive in language and cultural experiences.
Accelerated math and world languages classes allow students to work at their ability level, with some students in Upper School classes.
Through the Advisory program, Middle School faculty members work closely with their advisees and parents to cultivate effective strategies for achievement.
The Middle School program includes the availability of a wellness counselor and school nurse.
The curriculum includes a variety of assessments, including traditional types as well as innovative, project-based designs to allow for varied learning styles and strengths.
Reflects state-of-the-art education:
Curriculum content is updated on a regular basis to ensure student achievement.
SMARTBoards in many classrooms allow for technology integration in the curriculum.
Two technology centers allow for scheduled computer classes in Middle School, and access for students during some study hall periods.
Teacher webpages are accessible from the school’s website and provide additional information about course content, class expectations and assignment deadlines.
The Academy’s Middle School offers a strong foundation in English, mathematics, science, music, drama, art, physical education, social studies, world languages and technology for students. This continues the Academy tradition of being integrated and experiential, leading to both deeper and wider understandings and allowing numerous opportunities for individual expression. In Middle School, which encompasses grades 6 through 8, the faculty works closely with students to teach them to organize learning and absorb information into a meaningful whole that supports increased independence.
As these skills are refined, students move toward mastery in the academic areas and become independent, resourceful thinkers. Small class sizes and a low student-to-teacher ratio help to establish a dynamic community of learners at the Academy. Within the intimacy of Middle School, our student- centered approach provides an environment in which students can flourish in academic areas and develop their leadership and interpersonal skills through co-curricular opportunities.
Learning flourishes in environments where students are encouraged to go beyond the normal classroom routine to explore their intellectual curiosity and express their individual interests and talents. The Academy’s Middle School supports this throughout the school year through a number of activities and events.
To balance academics, there are many co-curricular activities for students to engage:
Clubs and organizations include: Student Council, National Junior Honor Society, Leadership Council, Chorus, Band, French Club, Spanish Club, Yearbook, Math Club, Science Club, Sign Language Club, and Chess Club, and many more.
The performing arts program stages a full-length production each year.
The Academy is a member of the Independent School League and plays a regular season with member schools consisting of both home and away games.
Middle School athletic teams include soccer, volleyball, basketball, softball, and baseball.
At Morgan Park Academy, our teachers do far more than teach facts or school subjects. We cultivate our mission through our students’ learning every day in the classroom. Character education is both respected and reinforced through teachers’ daily interactions with students.
Morgan Park Academy places importance on its advisory program throughout the entire school. The idea that all students have someone advocating for them and guiding them through their education is crucial to their success, and plays a vital role in helping them feel part of a caring community. Having this “special faculty member” looking out for students is valuable at every grade level.
Each coeducational advisory group has eight to 10 students in the same grade. Advisory groups meet each morning and each Tuesday afternoon, with the purpose of sharing the challenges and milestones the students encounter on their educational journeys.
The Advisory Program strengthens student-teacher relationships, and keeps our community healthy. Advisors nurture, advocate for, and guide their advisees, and in return, students learn to share with a group of peers, and develop time management, organizational and team-building skills. The advisees develop a group affiliation, make personal connects with, and build academic and interpersonal skills within their group.