Middle School is a pivotal time of intellectual and social-emotional growth for young people. Our experienced faculty members are chosen specifically for their skill, experience, and love of working with this age group. Over three years, they provide students with the organizational skills and confidence to transition from the self-contained environment of Lower School to the more self-directed culture of Upper School. Throughout this critical time of personal development, Buckley students experience gradual increases in personal responsibility and are encouraged to try new things and challenge themselves as learners, performers, and teammates.
Based in adjoining classrooms, sixth grade students begin to experience the transition of moving to different but nearby classrooms for instruction in language arts, science, Chinese, and social science. They then leave this homeroom area for physical education, one of four tracts in math, and arts rotation classes that alternate between music (band, orchestra, or choir) and a choice of art, dance, theatre, computer science, or journalism. All Middle School students choose to participate in either a regular physical education class or a sports team with a no-cut policy. Everyone plays and is grouped according to ability. Students also participate in an outdoor education program at each grade level, which provides opportunities for real-world learning and helps build class unity.
In seventh grade, students are given the option to continue with Chinese or to take French, Latin, or Spanish. Seventh grade students are also given the choice to continue with a favorite elective at a higher level or pursue other selections that include video production, scriptwriting, or robotics. There are more choices for seasonal sports including cross-country, golf, and tennis. Every seventh grade student is required to take a Life Skills class, in which they learn about everything from the history of the school to the dangers of substance abuse. Good decision-making skills are taught and emphasized. The seventh grade outdoor education trip occurs early in the school year and provides additional opportunities for new students to develop friendships with their classmates.
We respect the eighth grade students' ability to mentor younger Middle School students while also recognizing their need to prepare for the rigors of Upper School. Eighth grade students serve as the elected president and vice president of Middle School student council and hold leadership roles on the athletic
field, in the classroom, and during extracurricular activities. Eighth grade students take Voices and Choices, an adaptation of the seventh grade Life Skills class where students engage in discussions about peer relationships and responsible decision making. Voices and Choices addresses the essential themes of empathy and respect, while also focusing on a variety of topics including digital citizenship, identity, stress management, and more.Thank you for your interest in Buckley's Middle School program. All of our divisions are located on a single 33-acre campus, which means students can transition from Lower to Middle and eventually to Upper School while maintaining a sense of comfort and community. I hope you will have an opportunity to visit us soon.Sincerely,Neal Roden