4 5 In all Middle School classrooms, students utilize adjustable sit/stand desks. The health benefits that come with not having to sit all day are well-documented, but the added agency these desks give students over their learning is perhaps an even more beneficial feature. Each student is empowered to determine which position allows him or her to be the most engaged and attentive at any given moment, and both students and teachers alike have seen the positive impact in the classroom. Lower School students sit on ergonomically designed Hokki stools. Rounded on the bottom, the stools build core strength and allow for movement, which increases student focus and on-task behaviors—and the kids love them! Jack  Students in all grades also receive regular instruction in art, music, drama, and physical education. CURRICULAR HIGHLIGHTS In the seventh grade history classroom, Jack prepares for class by adjusting the height of his desk. He’s decided to stand, so his ergonomic stool sits unused behind him. The desks are in a u-shape as Mr. Girard leads an all- class discussion on feudalism, and then instructs the class to break up into groups of four. After quickly wheeling his desk over to his team, Jack lowers it to a seated height, grabs a stool, and gets to work. INDEPENDENT LEARNER MATH Students in Kindergarten through seventh grade follow the Math in Focus program, a version of Singapore Math, well known for its challenge and effectiveness. All eighth graders take Algebra I, and the most advanced level of this course introduces geometry concepts. For Middle School students with exceptional mathematical abilities, there is also an opportunity to receive additional challenge through an online program. SCIENCE The science program incorporates studies of earth, physical, and life sciences as well as health, biology, and beginning chemistry. STEM concepts are incorporated at each grade level and the entire sixth grade year is dedicated to STEM integration. SPANISH Students are introduced to Spanish language and culture in Kindergarten. In subsequent years, they strengthen and broaden their comprehension and expression skills, as well as their knowledge and appreciation of the cultures of the Spanish- speaking world. By eighth grade, students complete the equivalent of high school Spanish I and have the opportunity to put their Spanish skills into practice during a class trip to Puerto Rico. HISTORY Social studies teachers bring history to life and regularly teach through interactive simulations, field trips, and debates. Starting in third grade, we use the History Alive! curriculum. LANGUAGE ARTS Reading and Writing Workshop, an instructional approach developed at Columbia University’s Teachers College, is used to ensure that our students gain the necessary skills and knowledge in phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, writing craft, and mechanics, as well as spelling. There is also a strong emphasis on oral language development and public speaking in all grades.