The purpose of Middle School Electives is to give students a voice and choice in their own learning and let them explore areas of interest. Rather than the Elective options simply coming from topics which teachers know about and are comfortable with, data on what classes to open is gathered directly from the students. Throughout the course, students then take on the lead roles, while teachers play a facilitating and mentoring role. Electives take place four times every two-week cycle, as well as on Stretch Days.
Elective options include for example: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Cardboard Art, Claymation, Creative Writing, Duke of Edinburgh Award, Fantasy Geopolitics, Introduction to Sign Language, ISP TV, Mythbusters, Stress Less, A World with Zero Waste and Yearbook. Alternatively, students can choose Personal Exploration, where they follow their own interests individually.
The Middle School Advisory Program is designed to promote healthy social and emotional development and support academic success, as well as provide a safe and friendly space for students to be heard, take risks and practice important life skills. All students participate in the advisory program throughout their tenure in the Middle School. Advisories are small groups of around 10-12 students and one teacher that meet 4 times for 30 minutes in a 10 day cycle. They engage in small group activities and discussions, whole grade activities and annual field trips, such as Outward Bound or Ski Week.
The topics covered in Advisories are based on the Second Step program. The topics spiral through each grade and include: Mindset and Goals, Values and Friendships, Thoughts, Emotions & Decisions, and Serious Peer Conflicts.