During grades 6-8, students experience a dramatic shift in their cognitive abilities as they move from a concrete mode of thought to an abstract level of thinking. To foster this growth, the curriculum is structured to guide students in making connections and identifying relationships among content areas and beyond the classroom. Instruction in critical thinking and study skills is integrated into interdisciplinary units and projects. Independence and organization are stressed throughout the Middle School program as students learn to do research and utilize technology to enhance the acquisition, analysis, communication and presentation of information.
Middle School is a time characterized by diverse physical, emotional, social and intellectual changes. In order to be effective, it is important that our program be responsive to the unique needs of this particular age group. Consequently, we base our program on the following beliefs:
- An effective program is balanced between the extension of basic knowledge and skills and student-centered activities that encourage creative exploration and experimentation
- Integrating creative thinking, individual expression, community service and international understanding into the curriculum is essential
- Student-centered activities should be designed to enhance personal, emotional, academic and social development through participation and cooperation
- Students need opportunities to explore and confront real-life moral and ethical issues
- Extensive opportunities should be provided that ensure student success and recognition both in and out of the classroom through differentiated instruction designed to meet the varied needs and learning styles of our students
- The environment of the school should be encouraging, respectful, challenging and fun
- Our students will exit the Middle School program as self-actuated young learners who have strong writing and reading skills, learning interests and critical thinking skills needed to promote future success in a global society
- A focus on community service and the Six Pillars of Character leads our students to become caring and compassionate global citizens
The Middle School program is designed to focus on the unique needs of Middle School-aged students. In a modified block schedule, students in grades 6-8 experience classes in Language Arts, French, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and PE / Health; as well as an exploratory wheel that includes fine and performing arts classes.
Middle School students are encouraged to become involved in extra-curricular clubs, organizations, sports teams and community service projects. AISB is exploring ways to expand this important part of a student’s education.
An advisory period is scheduled 4 times a week for students to meet with their advisers to plan events, hold focused discussions on such topics as study and organization skills, career exploration, communication skills, decision-making, problem-solving, friendship and more. The advisory period is also a time for students to focus on global issues, critical and creative thinking.
Middle School Grading Scale
During the first week of school, teachers will distribute a course syllabus to students that explains the assessment criteria and measures for each course within the school’s established percentage ranges. The grading scale for the Middle School is as follows:
93-100% A Excellent
87-89% B+ Commendable
77-79% C+ Satisfactory
67-69% D+ Poor
Below 60% F Failing