The middle school years are a critical, and potentially turbulent, period of development for students – physically, emotionally, socially and academically. Therefore, it is essential that parents and teachers of our 5th through 8th graders communicate frequently in a collaborative effort to cultivate the following skills and traits:
- Intellectual curiosity that yields proficiency in subject matter, problem-solving, abstract thinking, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship
- The appreciation of differences in culture, ethnicity, spirituality and religion, gender, the structure of our families and the ways we learn
- A willingness to persevere as a means to both productivity and self-fulfillment
- The immense value of the roles respect and responsibility play in our lives as citizens of a democracy
- The ability to determine right from wrong and the courage to act accordingly
- A deep and complete understanding of empathy; concern for those less fortunate, coupled with action.
- Physical and mental fitness, including a self-image of confidence and worth
- Technological savvy, with emphases on safety and etiquette, that allows students to use tools for learning, native to their generation, for research, communication and production
The core curriculum courses of English, History, Mathematics, Science, Spanish and Physical Education
are taught by subject area specialists on a traditional secondary schedule. An Advisory Period is also a component of the daily schedule, allowing students to consult with teachers and/or each other, work on individual or group projects, or get a head start on homework. Student Council and National Junior Honor Society typically gather during this time.
Daily core courses are supplemented and enhanced with semi-weekly Elective Courses and ELI Modules
, some of which last for a quarter, others a semester, and a few for the full year. Elective Courses include Fine Arts and Performing Arts
. ELI (Entrepreneurship – Leadership – Innovation)
Modules include Creative Construction, 3-D Art, Philanthropy Lab, Google Earth, TED Talks, Computer Coding, Laptop Help Desk, Lego Robotics, Design Thinking and Ethical Dilemmas. Middle School Seminar occurs once weekly for purposes of class meetings, guest speakers and special interest projects that cross grade levels.
The Middle School Athletic Program
at the Academy enjoys a long history of enthusiastic participation, with approximately 85% of the students choosing to register for competitive, inter-scholastic sports in each of three seasons. Offerings are football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, track and field, baseball, softball, golf and cheerleading. The Academy purports a no-cut policy – all students who wish to play may join a team. Team sports enable students to build camaraderie, work toward a common goal and learn to win and lose with style and grace.
Out-of-town, overnight class trips in grade six (South Texas Coast), grade seven (Texas Hill Country) and grade eight (Washington, DC) enrich classroom content, strengthen collaborative abilities and build community among grade level peers. These travel experiences also allow students to better know and appreciate their teachers and administrators.
The bars for academic achievement, respect and responsibility are set high, and our students rise to those expectations. At the end of middle school, Academy eighth graders are highly sought after by premier high schools in our area with 99% of them matriculating at their family’s school of first choice. Academy graduates enjoy a reputation of being extraordinarily well-prepared, academically and personally.