The Middle School addresses the distinctive needs of students in Grades 5 through 8. We appreciate and understand their joys, challenges, and developmental changes. We also recognize their vulnerability and learning differences during this remarkable transitional period.
The Middle School offers a challenging and joyful experience that supports students along their journey from dependent to independent learners. Our multifaceted and evolving program fosters perseverance and promotes balance for healthy development. By modeling empathy and cultivating responsibility, we encourage our students to be good citizens and advocates — engaged in the world around them and ever mindful of the experiences and needs of others.
Our program provides the support and guidance that allow students to develop independent thinking, intellectual integrity, and physical, personal, and social maturity.
Acting as a bridge between the Lower and Upper Schools, the Middle School reinforces and applies previously learned skills and stimulates each student's emerging ability to think abstractly and reason logically. The program emphasizes the development of healthy work and study habits to ensure success with the ever-increasing demands of academic studies, and it offers students the opportunity to explore and make choices as they mature.
Just as important, the program helps students develop the following social skills, which enable students to be happy, contributing members of the school community:
- A positive attitude
- Kindness toward others
- Pride in self
- Working well within a group
- Respect for others
By the time students leave the Middle School, they are expected to have mastered the guidelines put forth in each academic discipline. We also expect that they will have become confident and capable students in all spheres of their learning. The curriculum is designed to help students strengthen the following study skills:
- Preparing efficiently for class and for tests
- Managing time successfully
- Using various tools, including the Internet, for research
- Taking notes
- Following directions
- Having a good sense of organization.
Middle School students at RCDS are full members of a strong learning community that offers an age-appropriate balance of structure and freedom unique to each young adolescent’s needs. Faculty advisors, grade-level deans, and systems of student progress monitoring—both social and academic—are at the core of the support we offer to students on their journey to becoming independent learners and good citizens. As our students mature, they enjoy more freedom of academic and extracurricular choice, including options for electives in various disciplines and the opportunity to participate on interscholastic athletic teams over the course of three seasons. Students have many opportunities to explore their passions, spend time with friends, and contribute to the community in meaningful ways.