MIDDLE SCHOOL DAY IN THE LIFE
We often say that at Flint Hill, we do Middle School differently.
A program that is designed to embrace middle schoolers' unique developmental needs is complemented by a broad range of extracurricular and social activities that encourage collaboration, leadership, service and self-expression.
MIDDLE SCHOOL LIFE
As part of a long-standing Flint Hill tradition, each eighth grader delivers a presentation on a personal or meaningful topic to their classmates. Following a process that is built into the school day and mentored by teachers and staff, students will engage in structured reflection, creatively develop their ideas, and learn and practice effective public speaking and presentation skills. In this tangible expression of our vision statement, we encourage students to be creative and true to themselves as they select their topic, refine their narrative, and craft their delivery. The Capstone Presentation is a community-building experience and the culmination of personal and intellectual development throughout Middle School.
Homeroom and Advisory
The Middle School day starts with Advisory. We believe strongly that relationships and community building are the foundation for academic learning, particularly in the Middle School years. Following the Developmental Designs model, each morning, students meet in their Advisory groups to engage in activities focused on social-emotional learning. By helping students feel safe, validated, connected and heard, we strive to create an inclusive learning community that paves the way for academic engagement.
Field Studies and Experiential Learning
Experiential learning takes many forms in our Middle School program, from hands-on projects to outdoor education. Through our Field Studies program, students in each grade level participate in off-campus, overnight trips.
In addition to Field Studies, global off-campus learning opportunities are a particular highlight of the Middle and Upper School programs. Middle School students have recently expanded their learning through trips to Rome and Athens, and Upper School students have traveled to Guatemala; Malaga, Spain; and the Galapagos Islands. Members of our faculty regularly travel abroad during the summer to gain a global perspective on leading-edge instructional practices.
Flint Hill’s core values are integrated into Middle School life through the division’s Social Contract. During the first few weeks of each school year, every homeroom and advisory drafts a Social Contract, which is then refined by grade level, and ultimately adopted by consensus and signed by each member of the Middle School. As a statement of beliefs representing the School’s core values and the desired social climate for the division, the Social Contract serves as the aspirational ground rules for every member of the Middle School community. To ensure that our actions align with the Contract, students and teachers continually work on modeling and practicing the expected behaviors and routines.
During Town Meeting, the entire Middle School meets together as a community. It is an opportunity to focus on the culture and climate in the Middle School, and to showcase student activities. Town Meeting also provides a forum for students to give presentations to highlight upcoming community service and School events.
The fall All-School Gathering is one of two opportunities during the academic year for the entire School community to come together. This event marks the beginning of the year with the lighting of a lantern that remains lit in the Office of the Headmaster until the final senior completes his or her requirements for graduation.
During the second all-school gathering of the academic year, we gather as a community to celebrate the anniversary of Flint Hill’s reorganization in 1990.
Closing Ceremonies and Eighth Grade Promotion
The end of the academic year comes to an end with Closing Ceremonies and Eighth Graders’ “promotion” to the Upper School. On the evening before the Eighth Grade Promotion Ceremony, students participate in a semi-formal dance.
Eighth Grade Service Fair
In eighth grade, as part of Flint Hill’s Community Service Program, students undertake an independent service project. Students must identify a need (i.e., hunger, homelessness, environmental degradation) within the community, choose a theme based on the need he or she has identified and find a non-profit project related to that theme. Students must then volunteer for a minimum of ten hours and design a poster (or other visual) describing their independent service commitment, which is used during a presentation to their peers during the Service Fair in early May.