Creativity. Challenge. Structure.
Enthusiasm and Engagement
Our Delta teachers "get" tweens and teens. Boisterous, brainy, challenging, introspective – our teachers welcome it all and help kids learn how to channel their creative energies into scholarly inquiries and meaningful experiences.
The excitement of early adolescence offers an unparalleled opportunity to ignite students' growing curiosity, and we want our middle school students to catch fire! We also want them to remain whole, happy and academically engaged as they journey into young adulthood. We believe a positive, successful middle school experience can make all the difference.
Our Students Want to be Here
Success in our middle school also depends on the student: the Delta classroom is for students who know they want to be at The Schoolhouse and are willing to commit to our values as a community. When applying, new students can expect to be asked why they would like to attend, and we hope they will think about the question seriously.
Delta 1: 6th grade
Delta 2: 7th grade
Delta 3: 8th grade
Class size: 15-17 students
Teachers: 7 teachers spread among subject areas, 1 Associate Teacher
Growth with Strong Roots
The Delta program builds upon the same integrated structure and values found in our elementary and preschool programs: small, multi-age classes, a focus on critical thinking and hands-on academic engagement, opportunities for independence and leadership, and an explicit commitment to social and emotional learning.
Although our middle school curriculum is independent of the elementary program, the basic principles are the same and the two programs remain connected. At a time in their lives when Deltas need freedom and new challenges, they also benefit from secure relationships with space to grow into new roles as leaders and mentors. Middle school and elementary students have lunch and recess together, and several times a week Deltas join the all-school circle that begins and ends each day. Like their elementary peers, they have reading buddies (preschoolers), and they also have daily jobs (such as collecting recycling and compost). They share in the responsibilities for the whole school space.
Class Structure and Organization
Delta learning falls into several general categories: Humanities, Science, Mathematics, Project-Based Learning, Music, Foreign Language, Art, and Sexuality Education. As in the preschool and elementary programs, the curriculum encompasses explorations of environmental and social justice across subjects.
The middle school joins in all-school celebrations such as the Harvest Meal and Halloween party. They also participate in the four Displays throughout the year but may have different themes/topics, and their Display research and presentations reflect their more mature skill level. For the annual school play, they have many ways to contribute, including technical support (sound, lighting, digital recording), musical accompaniment, set design, stage and prop management, costuming, and performing.
Assignments are differentiated according to students’ academic needs, making sure that the work is challenging and moves each student along to their next level of achievement. Most work is designed to be completed during school hours, when teachers are available to provide guidance. At times students may be asked to expand their ideas or reconsider work that is less than their best effort.
Preparing Students for High School
All subjects are taught as both discrete and interdisciplinary fields of learning, and students have many opportunities for independent study. Teachers provide strong step-by-step scaffolding to build executive functioning, help make important connections, support young teens’ desires for broader community engagement, and academically prepare students for their next learning environment after Schoolhouse.
Advisory and Newsletters
Each student is paired with a faculty advisor, to check in every other week or as needed. Digital advisory logs are open to teachers, grown-ups and students, and contain notes from the meetings, tutoring information, or other helpful write-ups. Delta teachers also send out a weekly newsletter and update an online photo album.