With small class sizes and outstanding teachers, IDEAL Middle School students learn through experience, discussion, and exploration and develop creativity, critical thinking, and collaborative learning skills to prepare them for high school and life.
Middle School is a time of transition, and students experience significant physical, social, emotional and intellectual growth during these years. Nurturing student-teacher relationships foster the unique talents and skills of each individual and inspire students to achieve in and out of the classroom. Each day begins and closes with students meeting in small advisory groups led by co-teachers who act as students’ in-school advocates and support their academic and social growth. Throughout the day, subject-area teachers and learning specialists partner within and across disciplines to plan and differentiate curriculum and to ensure that each and every student is inspired, nurtured, and challenged.
The collaborative learning that IDEAL Middle School faculty model, IDEAL students mirror. At the very core of our mission is our research-based understanding that diversity strengthens academic and individual growth by exposing students to multiple perspectives, highlighting varied approaches to problem solving, and celebrating the gifts of each individual. In our interdisciplinary humanities, arts, and global language classes, students compare multiple sources and perspectives, as they learn critical thinking and develop informing questions and opinions of their own. In hands-on math and science classes, students actively seek knowledge rather than simply memorizing formulas, and, in our varied arts electives, students develop voice and confidence. STEAM projects woven into the curriculum encourage design-thinking and problem-solving, using technology as a tool to further classroom conversations.
Our unique Diversity Curriculum is a core component of multicultural education at IDEAL. In student-led assemblies and Community Time, middle schoolers discuss current events, deliver IDEALTalks, celebrate their successes in the arts and on the field, and engage in conversations focused on cultivating anti-bias perspectives. Students are encouraged to develop leadership skills by forming clubs, performing in plays, concerts, and ArtBeat, and participating in APEX sports. The Civil Rights Journey, a capstone experiential learning opportunity, brings the eighth graders together to travel in the footsteps of America’s great civil rights leaders; students share their experiences with the entire Middle and High School community in blogs, film, and other tech-based projects.
Students graduate from IDEAL’s Middle School with a strong foundational knowledge in the core disciplines, the confidence to advocate for themselves, and the empathy and voice to lead their peers to greater achievement. In addition to excellent academics, IDEAL’s Middle School equips students with leadership skills that will last a lifetime.