Academics

Middle School (Coming in 2021)

An ICS Middle School program will launch in September 2021, building on and honoring the legacy of previous and current programming
for sixth through eighth grades while also looking forward to new, innovative, and signature experiences. 


In structuring our Middle School program, we will also evolve our Lower School and Upper School programs
as we narrow the focus of the developmental phase that each  ‘neighborhood’ serves. 

Information about the future of these programs will be posted on the Planning for 2021-22 page. 


Middle School Overview:
The middle grades years at ICS provide a positive, joyful, and meaningful learning experience at this critical time in development. In September 2021, approximately 110 middle school students will come together in their dedicated “neighborhood” on campus each day – 30 students in Grade 6, and 40 students each in Grades 7 and 8. Students will partner with expert teachers who, because of their small class sizes, really know each student. The Middle School community is a perfect size: small enough so that every student is known, knows everyone else, and feels a strong sense of belonging, yet large enough to be able to provide wide programmatic offerings.  

Every aspect of the Middle School program at Indian Creek School is designed with middle grades students in mind. This includes: 
  • A curriculum that incorporates learning and skill development in both disciplinary and interdisciplinary frameworks. 
  • A middle-grades-specific schedule that is developed with adolescents in mind, includes a “late start” based on neuroscience research, gives a long block for Math and English, and features long blocks for collaborative project-based and problem-based interdisciplinary learning. Students will take year-long classes in their core subjects and have the opportunity to take electives ranging from 5-week BLincs to ½ year and full year courses. 
  • Community-building activities such as regular Middle School Meetings featuring eighth grade speeches, outdoor class events focused on leadership development, overnight class trips, social events, and more. 
  • An Advisory program in which students build strong relationships with peers and faculty members as they are supported in their academic and personal development. 
  • A Human Development course in which students explore identity, physical and social-emotional development, and civil discourse. 
  • A Learning Lab course in which students develop the tools and strategies to become effective independent learners who achieve academic success.  
  • Leadership opportunities such as clubs, outdoor teambuilding and confidence-building activities, student government, and more. 
  • Early arrival and extended day options run by ICS teachers.  
  • And an expert faculty that is passionate about Middle School education 

Our sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students are met right where they are developmentally – in other words, they’re allowed to be kids. Physical movement throughout the day, as well as daily recess time, gives adolescents much-needed breaks to optimize learning. We prioritize open channels of communication among students, teachers, and parents. 
 
Core Beliefs of the Middle School Program:
  • The middle grades (Grades 6-8) are critical years in students’ intellectual, social, physical, and emotional development, and all elements of ICS’s middle grades program are designed around the unique needs of adolescents with the goal of developing self-management, independence, and a passion for learning. 
  • Middle grades students learn best when engaged in active and meaningful work.  The academic program in the middle grades stimulates the natural curiosity of students at this age while building a solid academic foundation, captivating them as they see the connections between the content and skills they're learning and the needs of the world around them. Middle grades learning takes place in several contexts: subject-specific disciplines, interdisciplinary projects, blended opportunities, and experiences such as travel and outdoor education. The ICS middle grades program emphasizes problem-solving, civil discourse, and developing skills to become independent and effective learners. 
  • Middle grades students learn best within an inclusive environment in which they feel safe and supported as they explore, discover, and develop their sense of self and understanding of others. As they grow in their self-understanding, students learn more both about their passions and about how to maximize their physical and mental wellbeing. As they grow in their understanding of others, the fundamental expectation of kindness towards others broadens into a deeper understanding of others’ experiences and the ability to communicate effectively and empathetically. At ICS, we always ask the questions: “Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?” 
  • Middle grades students learn best when they are taught by teachers who understand and have expertise in their developmental needs and strengths, and who find joy in working with this age group and facilitating their transition from children into young adults. 
  • ICS middle grades students are known for their skill in communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and effective learning.  Through joyful engagement, ICS middle grades students contribute to their communities with confidence, creativity, and passion. 
 
Academics in the Middle School: Students in Grades 6-8 experience an innovative and stimulating academic program, taking year-long courses including English, Math, Social Studies, Science, Art, Music, Spanish, and Physical Education. The Middle School schedule will include 45-minute to 60-minute blocks for yearlong classes, and a weekly long interdisciplinary block for humanities teachers to collaborate as well as a weekly long block for STEM focused problem-solving and project-based learning. All Middle Grades students will take Learning Lab and Human Development.   
 
Indian Creek middle school students will have dedicated classrooms and teachers for core academic subjects and dedicated time to access the state-of-the-art Learning Lab and Academic Resource Center, science/STEAM labs, visual and performing arts facilities, athletic center/turf fields/tennis dome, and more. Middle School students have all the benefits of a dedicated middle grades experience with the added benefits and resources of a PK3 - Grade 12 campus.  Middle School students have access to Middle-School-specific Global Online Academy courses, and students who are ready for higher level courses can challenge themselves with select courses from the Upper Grades course catalog. 
 
Transition to Upper Grades: ICS Middle School students will, by the end of Grade 8, be ready for a challenging Upper School academic course load and experience. The close-knit community of the ICS Middle School fits within the context of a spirited and connected all-school community, making the transition to the Upper School as simple as walking down the hall. 
 
More information coming soon: Please visit this website for prototypes of the Middle School schedule, more information about the Middle School curriculum, and updates on the Middle School leadership team.