Education at the Middle School: Grades 5-8
At Prospect Sierra, we integrate mathematics, literature, writing, art, drama, music, science, world languages, social studies, service learning, physical education, and computer technology into a positive experience for each student. Our project-based curriculum is designed to promote understanding and thoughtfulness as students are asked to think deeply about facts, ideas, connections, and experiences.
In the middle school, the Academic Technology director works closely with library staff and teachers to introduce and support appropriate technology use across the curriculum. We work to empower students to make wise choices about technology as they delve into their curriculum, develop as learners and leaders, and create new ideas and plans.
Middle school students participate in visual arts, dramatic arts, music, and performance. Prospect Sierra’s art program encourages creative problem-solving and reinforces the importance of community. There are also middle school electives in vocal music and an after school Beginning Instruments Program.
Interscholastic competition is offered for all students in grades 6-8. These programs are an extension of the Physical Education curriculum offered in grades K-8. The goal of our interscholastic athletics program is to encourage participation while providing appropriate social, conceptual and skill development for each student.
At our middle school, students build on ecoliteracy lessons learned in elementary school, deepening their understanding of the complexity of environments and food production, and extending their commitment to service in the community.
The middle school’s 3,850-square-foot library facilities include a library classroom with computers, a quiet reading room, and a large central library space. The library’s mission is to enrich the school’s educational programs, to provide for the interests and needs of students, and to develop and nurture a love of reading.
The heart of the middle school service learning program addresses how we use our personal power constructively, compassionately, creatively, and courageously to solve problems within our school and our community. Students educate themselves to be informed global citizens, think critically about the issues, nurture a genuine connection to others, and appreciate the multiple stories that make up our world.
Human ecology, that is, how we relate to and care for ourselves and others, is our middle school’s social and emotional health curriculum. We move towards being stewards of our world, and we aim to recognize our own needs and the needs of others so that we can find ways to help one another grow and prosper.
Middle schoolers take advantage of the many leadership opportunities the school makes available to them. They develop friendships across grades and between our two campuses. Seventh and eighth graders even have the opportunity to teach their own elective!
Personal and academic growth go hand in hand. Our goal is to help students develop a positive self-concept and assume responsibility for their own learning. In so doing, we raise their awareness of their community and the world. Academic and personal counseling at Prospect Sierra is supported throughout the school by our teaching faculty, assisted by three credentialed learning specialists and a licensed psychologist.
Our students participate in an overnight study trip each year, allowing them to look outside our school environment to the larger world community. These trips deepen relationships amongst students and teachers through team building and class bonding activities.
Students at Prospect Sierra continue their study of world languages in fifth grade. In learning a second language, students draw on their knowledge of the world around them and on skills developed in the language arts program. In each grade, students learn in a safe environment in which, as often as possible, only the target language is spoken. Bridging from the elementary school Spanish program, fifth graders take Spanish. Sixth, seventh, and eighth graders take either French or Spanish.
Activities in the core AfterSchool program include academic support as well as free time to enjoy outdoor playtime, board games, and other fun social activities. A diverse menu of enrichment activities are also offered. A delicious healthy snack is provided each day, and the program runs daily from dismissal until as late as 6:00 p.m.