The foundation of the Wesley Middle School program for grades 6th through 8th is the core academic classes in English, mathematics (pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry), integrated science, history, and Spanish. Each grade level has 36 to 40 students split in two separate sections with an average size of 15 to 19 students in each academic class. Teachers facilitate student engagement with stimulating curriculum and innovative pedagogical practice. Students develop responsibility, independence, and strong critical thinking, interpersonal, and communication skills.
Regularly scheduled physical education and a wide variety of enrichment and elective classes in music, art, performance, and technology enrich the core curriculum. Students learn and utilize crucial skills to effectively transition from lower school into middle school and successfully matriculate at a wide range of different high schools.
All families have access to an online system called Blackbaud/Net Classroom, a digital grade book for teachers, in order to monitor to their children’s ongoing progress and grades. Each teacher curates a current webpage that provides important information on curriculum, assessments, and assignments.
Sixth grade is an important transitional year, and students have three primary teachers, who work closely to coordinate the program and manage the individual progress of each student. With a focus on integrated curriculum, classes are discussion based with extensive group work to support students’ development of critical thinking and problem solving skills with additional emphasis on introductory study of expository writing. With a broad range of required enrichment classes in art, music, technology, and movement over the course of the school year, 6th grade students benefit from exposure to a variety of creative elements and basic skills that enhance and inform their experiences in enrichment and elective classes in 7th and 8th grades.
In the departmentalized 7th grade program, teachers work collaboratively to develop organic cross-curricular connections as they shepherd students through the first year of comprehensive two year high school level courses in English, history, math, science, and Spanish. Students are challenged to become more individually independent and active in their academic experience as they develop strong interpersonal and communication skills in inquiry-based classes. Students participate in a combination of enrichment and elective classes in art, music, technology, performance, and design that appeal to their individual interests and stimulate creativity and collaborative skills.
Our 8th grade students, as our “seniors” on campus, are tasked with the substantial responsibility of acting as our student leaders, setting a positive example academically and socially. With the same program structure as in 7th grade, 8th grade students are further challenged with high school level classes and an increased expectation in level of independence, responsibility, and self-advocacy. Based on the high level of academic rigor, many students place into advanced level classes in the variety of high schools at which they matriculate. The 8th grade experience is enhanced by a range of elective classes each trimester.
Advisories are led by teachers and administrators who serve as students’ mentors, advocates, and primary links between home and school. Advisory groups meet together twice a week, and each individual student has a standing scheduled one-on-one meeting with the advisor each week. Students develop close relationships with their peers and with adults they trust. Advisory is a safe, supportive forum in which students explore their own identities, enjoy bonding with their classmates, and engage in critical thinking. In the process, they develop a clear sense of self, academically, emotionally, and socially.