Middle School students begin to grow physically, emotionally, spiritually and cognitively at different rates in Middle School. Up to this point, student growth has been fairly constant. Students in 6th - 8th Grades begin to look at the world as individuals. Their emotions guide their choices. Cognitively, they move from a purely concrete way of thinking, where everything is in polarized camps of good and bad, to more of an abstract one, where things are no longer as neat. And spiritually, Middle School is where their faith begins to become their own. Needless to say, there is a lot of change occurring in these critical years, which speaks to the need for a Middle School that addresses these changes.
As Shannon Forest, our goals in Middle School are rooted in preparing students for our High School, for life and for eternity. One of the first areas we have identified as a need is the attention to fine tuning the executive functional skills - organization, time management and study skills of our students. This is a need that all students must have today. The onset of technology has created a void in the area of developing executive functional skills for all students. Our Middle School will be designed to instill in each student these skills in ways that are unique to them. This will be done in a non-evasive, informal way that flows out of their day and puts no additional pressure on them.
Secondly, our Middle School will create a safe, student-oriented space where students can be Middle School students. Middle School is a way in which our 6th - 8th Grade students can be known in a more intimate way. These students need an advocate, an encourager, a motivator, and a leader who understands who they are and where they are in life. We aim to provide those people for our students.
Third, the spiritual development of Middle School students is vastly different than those of Elementary students or even High School students. Middle school students begin to examine their world through their own eyes; they begin to consider questions never before contemplated. Our Middle School will be a place where students can begin to crystallize a worldview that will guide them through life.
And finally, our Middle School will be enhanced to prepare students for our High School and beyond. We begin with our 5th Grade students - preparing them for the transition to 6th Grade. Crusaders Crossroads is designed specifically for that transition. We have found that when rising 5th Grade students have a context of what is coming the next year, their anxiety levels go down. Once students enter Middle School they will enter a school with an intentional plan for each grade designed to prepare them for the next grade, High School and life.
In closing, it is impossible to communicate all that will take place in our Middle School. We want to encourage you to come to us with your questions and comments. The enhancement of this program is an extension of our partnership with all parents. We have intentionally made the process a slow one in order to fine-tune our Middle School program in step with who we are as a school and who you are as parents. Our door is always open.
Thank you for your partnership with us in the education of your children. Blessings to all of you!
Craig L. Bouvier
Head of School