Middle School (Gr. 6 - Gr. 8)
Middle School is a unique time in the development of a child. The adolescent brain is continuously evolving and changing and children are riding a roller coaster of emotions every day. At Dunecrest, we provide a stable and caring environment for Middle School children so that they may safely take risks, explore, and discover themselves as individuals.
Our Middle School program is designed to inspire students to achieve their academic goals and to develop their abilities as self-directed learners. It acknowledges the power of their ideas, develops their ability to collaborate and to think independently, and challenges them to find solutions to problems in order to build a better future for themselves and their communities.
At Dunecrest, we don’t believe that worksheets foster a curious mind, or that textbooks alone can inspire creativity and enthusiasm. Through the integration of project and problem based learning, including ideas from the “Maker” movement, we will connect what we want to see in the world with what we do in school every day.
In addition to the wide range of academic courses, Dunecrest’s Middle School offers an extensive range of athletic and co-curricular options. Through participation in sports, clubs and activities, students have many opportunities to grow and learn beyond the classroom.
The Middle School program at Dunecrest follows the AERO Common Core Plus Curricular Standards for Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, World Languages, Music and Art, the SHAPE standards for Physical Education, and the ISTE standards for technology.
Middle School students participate in year-long courses in language arts, math, social studies, science, Arabic, Islamic Studies, and physical education. In addition, students are encouraged to try out a variety of electives to determine where their passions lie. Many electives are offered as semester-long courses so that students have the opportunity to pursue a broader range of subjects. Electives include options in the arts, computer programming, robotics and world languages.
The curriculum is designed in interdisciplinary, project based units that challenge students to become critical thinkers and problem solvers.
Students are given time during the week to engage in independent inquiry based on the model of what is known as ”Genius Hour.” During this time students have access to the school's maker spaces, where they engage in experimentation to develop their own solutions to real world problems. Several options for projects are provided, or students can choose to bring their own ideas to develop. Students are encouraged to enter their ideas and designs into local competitions.