“Eighth grade at SMCDS was amazing. At a time of life where everyone thinks you are just a teenager, we got to be the leaders of the school, captains of the sports teams, Presidents of Student Council, and care-givers to the Preschool students during buddy time. It set me up with the confidence I needed to know I could go anywhere and be a leader.” SMCDS Alumnae, Class of 2007
Eighth grade completes the middle school experience for our students. While the primary focus is still upon academic challenge and developing self-initiating, independent students, we cannot help but look ahead to their next transition – secondary school. As such, teachers seek to develop their understanding of their role as leaders in the middle school community as they contemplate who they are, who they will become, and where they will be for the next four years.
Students are given the freedom, the responsibility, and the opportunities to explore new interests, test themselves, discover their talents, and gain self-knowledge in each area of study. They are encouraged to understand the power of literacy and the difference writing can make in the world. They are led through a study of the challenges in a democratic society based upon seminal events in history like the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, and The Holocaust and the complex factors that shaped those events.
Math students learn increasingly intricate algebraic formulas in honors algebra. In science, students are asked to solve multifaceted problems in chemistry and physics. Language students refine the fundamental skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking in third level French and Spanish classes. Students are asked to be leaders in arts classes and on the fields and basketball court.
In all, St. Michael’s strives for balance and, in doing so, hopes to maximize the potential of its eighth graders as students, as athletes, as artists, and, most importantly, as human beings.