Early adolescents can love school
The adolescent years are a period of extraordinary intellectual and personal growth. Our Middle School is a close-knit community designed to support and challenge students to reach for excellence, take appropriate risks, and embrace their inner voices. Featuring small classes, seminar-style discussions, intensive interdisciplinary projects, enriching elective offerings, and a robust advisory program, our program helps students build critical academic knowledge and skills, while simultaneously developing the essential elements of their characters in areas such as resilience and integrity. Our students are seen and respected for being themselves, and in turn they embrace their role as scholars with questioning spirits and a deep love of learning.
Increase autonomy and responsibility
Many intellectual, physical, hormonal and social changes occur during adolescence. The brains of 11-to-14 year olds are literally “under construction” in both the frontal lobes, where decision making and organization takes place, and also in the neural circuitry and synaptic connections throughout the brain. Early adolescents still need the loving support of caring adults while they are asserting new levels of independence, and also kind and firm support when they struggle. Our experienced faculty understand this complex neurological state and relate well with children at this stage of life, bringing equal parts playfulness and seriousness to the classroom and social environment as they inspire creative, ethical and intellectually curious students.
An education designed to play to their developmental strengths
If you spend time with middle school students, you’ll quickly learn that they are highly focused on social interactions, eager to be hands-on and minds-on in the classroom, and intensely concerned about what is fair and just. That’s why our program emphasizes collaborative learning experiences, active learning and project-based curriculum, and lots of authentic connections to the real world outside the school. We also know that sometimes children need to take a break from class debates and group projects to have focused time for individual work! And they need explicit instruction in study skills, including organization, tracking assignments, management materials, time management, test-taking skills, and more.
High expectations and strong support are the best preparation
Gateway’s Middle School prepares young adolescents for the most rigorous high school curricula by meeting students exactly where they are developmentally. Curriculum is matched to their knowledge, skills, and capacity for abstract thinking. Content is made relevant and meaningful to their lived experiences and their consumption of news and media. Developing strong character as people of integrity and compassion works in concert with our academic program. Our graduates are accepted at the most competitive regional private and public high schools and are known for being confident, self-directed, engaged and excited students.
Melding innovation and experience in the classroom
Read more about how our program uses real-world, interdisciplinary learning below.