Middle School

Welcome to Middle School!

AC’s Middle School program (Grades 6-8) challenges students to expand their worldview and helps students focus on their individual learning styles and strengths.

Curriculum at the middle level is specifically tailored to students aged 11-14 with a focus on critical thinking, making connections, creativity, and forming the group collaboration skills necessary to work with a variety of people on different types of projects and assignments.

At Allendale Columbia, we have four areas of curriculum that are interdisciplinary and have overlap with each other.

  • Foundational Literacies address the core competencies that all students will need now and in the future.
  • Invent Center courses provide a chance to create and learn the skills it will take to design the world around us.
  • Entrepreneurship is both a set of skills in basic business and also a mindset that Allendale Columbia is working to help develop in its students.
  • Global Engagement courses and experiences help to shape Middle School students’ way of perceiving the world, and they help our students expand their global IQ.

While these separate areas are taught in specific courses and experiences, much of this work is overlapping and interdisciplinary throughout the Middle School curriculum. Middle School is a chance to try out new things and get a taste of different experiences. Middle School students take both required courses and electives throughout sixth through eighth grade.


TRANSITION TO MIDDLE SCHOOL - THE 6TH GRADE EXPERIENCE
A crucial part of any successful middle school experience is a positive transition from Lower School.

Beginning anything new and developing a positive mindset can be anxiety-provoking and challenging for our budding middle school students. They often are consumed with questions and fears around new peers, homework, bathroom locations, lockers, new teachers, and new expectations before the year even begins. Without a thoughtful and supportive transition experience, these fears will extend beyond the “honeymoon” period of middle school.

For students at Allendale Columbia, our focus has always been around three key points when it comes to welcoming and supporting our new sixth graders:
  • Help our students develop a realistic and pragmatic expectation of what middle school will be like.
  • Provide a positive and successful first impression of their peers, schedule, school community, and teachers, and support their role as decision makers and community builders.
  • Ensure a successful introduction to the middle school experience from day one through meaningful and targeted coursework to support their unique perspectives.
The schedule and program of the entire sixth grade year is built around the concept of this transition, as we believe it extends far beyond the first few weeks of school. Faculty have been actively engaged in developing our sixth grade program into a truly unique experience that speaks to the needs of our youngest middle school students. 

Based on this work, we have developed several experiences, each lasting a quarter of the school year, which allows students to touch on various topics of interest. All these experiences foster self-care, collaborative thinking, teamwork, and self-advocacy



            

List of 5 items.

  • Foundational Curriculum

    Middle School students are required to be enrolled in seven courses at all times. This includes:
    • English
    • History
    • Math
    • Science
    • Language
    • Physical Education
    • Elective courses
  • Visual Art

    Students are required to take three semesters of visual art during their Middle School career. All students will take foundational visual art in the sixth grade. This course counts as one of the three required semesters.
  • Music

    Students are required to take three semesters of music during their Middle School career. All students take Foundational Music in the sixth grade, and this course does count for one of the three required semesters. All band and chorus courses also count toward this requirement. There are several music electives beyond band and chorus for students who need to fulfill this requirement. 
  • Health

    Students are required to take health in their eighth-grade year. Health is a semester course and is offered each semester during one of the elective blocks.  
  • Additional Requirements

    Beyond what is listed above, all Middle School students are required to do the following items:
    • May Term: Each student must participate in a full May Term experience each year. 
    • Clubs: Students are required to join at least one club during the club block. 
    • Advisory: All students are required to attend and participate in the Middle School Advisory Program.

*Students New to Allendale Columbia

For students who transfer to Allendale Columbia from another school, each situation regarding course scheduling is handled on a case-by-case basis with the Head of Middle School. Some courses that students have taken at other schools may count toward their required courses.

Middle School Courses at a Glance

List of 6 items.

  • Sixth Grade Courses

    • Welcome to Middle School Foundations Course
    • English 6: Literary Seminar I
    • History 6: International Investigations
    • Math 6: The Literacy of Numbers
    • Science 6: Energy of the Earth
    • Spanish 6
    • Physical Education
    • Advocacy
    • Art Foundations
    • Music Foundations
  • Seventh Grade Courses

    • English 7: Literary Seminar II
    • History 7: American History: The Roots of Democracy
    • Math 7: An Exploration of Numbers
    • Science 7: From Microorganisms to Mammals: All Things Living
    • Spanish 7
    • Physical Education
    • Current Events
    • Writing Lab
  • Eighth Grade Courses

    • English 8: Exploring Literary Lenses
    • History 8: American History: The Growth of the Nation
    • Math 8: Working with Math in Today’s Society
    • Algebra 1: Learning How to Function
    • Science 8: Physical Science
    • Spanish 8
    • French I
    • Physical Education
    • Current Events
    • Writing Lab
    • Health
  • Music Ensembles

    • Concert Band
    • Wind Ensemble
    • Middle School Chorus
  • Electives (Seventh & Eighth Grade)

    • FIRST Lego League
    • Ceramics
    • Intro to Rock Band
    • Musical Creativity
    • Acting Out
    • Digital Art
    • Voice Classes
    • Computer Science Discoveries
    • Mixed Media
    • Writing Across Genres
    • Study Skills, Time Management, and Work Organization
    • Ukulele
    • Songwriting
    • Photojournalism
  • HAC Athletics (Seventh & Eighth Grade)

    Fall
    Co-ed Cross Country
    Boys Soccer
    Girls Soccer
    Girls Tennis
    Girls Volleyball

    Winter
    Co-Ed Swimming
    Boys Basketball
    Girls Basketball

    Spring
    Boys Baseball
    Girls Softball
    Boys Tennis
    Co-Ed Track and Field

    Learn more about HAC Athletics
            

Upcoming Middle School Events

List of 2 events.

  • Aug
    29
  • Aug
    31

    Middle School New Student Orientation

    This event is for all incoming 6th grade students and students new to AC in grades 7-8. Students will run through a program to help them prepare for the first day of school. This will include getting to know their classmates and teachers, walking their schedules, and getting their assigned locker. Students will have a chance to ask questions, learn the physical layout of the school, and have fun with their peers.

    Admin Oversight: Tina Duver
View All Events

Have questions?

Contact Head of Middle School Tina Duver at tduver@allendalecolumbia.org.
            

Divisions & Courses

At Allendale Columbia, we prepare students for the world they will inherit. In our trusting and responsive environment, students in nursery through grade 12 grow in confidence and develop scholastic independence.