Our Middle School is composed of roughly 100 students in Grades Six, Seven and Eight organized in two teams: the Blue Team and the Gray Team. Students from each grade level are divided relatively evenly between the teams with decisions grounded in student learning needs while also taking into account social dynamics and other factors. Every attempt is made to keep students on the same team throughout Middle School so that students form meaningful relationships with peers and instructors during their tenure at Springer.
Classes are designed to contain students of multiple ages as often as possible. We believe this both provides consistency for students coming from the Lower School and also allows students to develop friendships and bonds with students of varying grade levels and ages.
Our students need academic remediation, 21st century school programs, and a little bit of… space! Middle School students in many schools may struggle to settle in socially, but not at Springer. Learning struggles prior to coming to Springer are a commonality that bonds our students together more quickly than many parents would have thought. Once they are engaged in classes, they realize they can have academic success because they are in the right system to meet their needs.
Springer’s “Independence” system allows Middle School students to earn privileges such as the ability to listen to music during independent work time, to travel freely to and from specials classes, and to earn a hall pass that is entered into a weekly raffle. “Independence” is earned through consistent demonstration of timeliness and responsibility for classwork and homework. Taking part in student council, community service opportunities and a school trip to Washington D.C. every other year help round out a Middle School education at Springer.
Thoughtfully-designed rigor. After a morning Homeroom/Advisory period Middle School students have six classes throughout the day, each of which is over 50 minutes in duration. Morning classes conclude with students going to lunch, enjoying a recess period, and being led by a teacher through a short period of reflective time that allows them to collect themselves before re-engaging in afternoon classes. All Middle School students take courses in Mathematics, Literature, Science, Social Studies as well as attend Unified Arts classes such as Physical Education, Art and Music throughout the week.
Additionally, Middle School students attend one period of reading remediation or supplemental math instruction. Academic assessments, teacher input and background knowledge of the student help us to understand the primary remediation needs of individual students so that they are placed in the appropriate course.
A system designed for success. Springer’s Middle School classrooms are all comprised of both a lead Classroom Teacher as well as an Instructional Assistant who provides additional support for learning. Instruction takes place in both large groups as well as in small group settings, allowing for students to be confident sharing their thoughts and comfortable asking questions. Classrooms typically contain 12-15 students, granting each student access to individual support as well as space to work independently or with peers.