Our school system was created in 1893.

Let’s imagine something different!

middel-school-graphic2

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Middle School Reimagined

It’s Possible Here!

For the 2019-2020 school year. WCDS will be introducing a project-based learning environment for 6th grade. And will grow a 7th and 8th grade as this first class moves up.

itspossiblehere

We will continue to provide core foundations in math and language arts, while introducing them to project-based learning that challenges the students to apply all subjects (math, science, history, global studies and more) as they work together with each and on their own.

Traditional middle school was imagined to create a better force of workers in a growing industrial society. We have held closely to these methods even though our society has evolved. Your child deserves more. Unlock the power in them to learn…and to enjoy learning.

Proven Methods With Results

The teaching methods highlighted in the video have been used and proven for several years with great success. These teachers work with the students to find problem and work through a proven framework to solve the problem by using a variety of skills, such as (math, science, engineering, reading, and more) to find their own way to solving real-life problems.

 

Video courtesy of “Most Likely to Succeed”

FAQs

Is this the first time WCDS is venturing into the middle school years?

No. WCDS was a K-9 school for many decades. It is only in our recent history that we have capped this experience at 5th grade. We have also had 6th grade students remain for immersion in our Center for Multisensory Learning in the past few years.

Who is going to teach in the middle school?

In 2019 – 2020 we expect to make two new hires but the co-teachers for intersection projects will come from our current faculty. Hypothetically, we could see Mr. K and Mr. Jividen working together on a project that involves art and global studies with an adjunct expert advising on science or higher level math.

What will tuition be?

The Board of Trustees sets tuition for the following year each winter. We will follow the same format for the sixth grade.

Where will it be located?

In 2019 -2020 the 6th grade will learn in a separate space at 8 Park Road – specifically the Strauss Room. In 2020 we hope to open a second campus for the middle school.

My son is in fourth grade will his fifth grade experience change?

One of the reasons we want to open a second location is to keep the focus of preschool through fifth grade at 8 Park Road with the same privileges, responsibilities and experiences that make the capstone year of fifth grade what it has been for years.

What will class size be?

We want a critical mass for a group project of 5 -6 students and will expect two to three groups in the first year.

What are your ideas for transition into this model for students who attended a different elementary school and then out of the model into high school?

We will offer a summer experience to prepare for this authentic learning, which will be optional for everyone but required for those who need the support in transitioning to this model.

We plan to expose students to challenges, experiences and growth opportunities so that the transition to a larger school with a different educational structure will not be foreign to them.

I'm in...now what?

We will prepare contracts for 2019-2020 in December. We will extend them to our current families who have an interest in this model at this time.

What about the social element?

Support and scaffolding around the social emotional development that is crucial in middle school will be the cornerstone of everything we do. We know this question refers to sports, dances, etc. To that end we are working with other schools to see if our students could participate on their sports teams. We will not host dances, but will have other social functions for students.

Who will lead the school?

Elizabeth Hofreuter remains the Head of School for the entire program at WCDS.

Will this work for my son?

We all learn in different ways. There is no ONE right way to do it, but there is a way that each child learns best.

Will it be accredited?

WCDS holds an accreditation with ISACS. When we add the new program, they will review only that program to include it in the accreditation. Our entire school is due for full review in two years, so it will be reviewed again then.

Will you be continuing the co- teaching model?

Yes! The co-teaching model we use throughout WCDS will be employed in middle school as well. Co-teaching is defined as two teachers working together with groups of students and sharing the planning, organization, delivery and assessment of instruction and physical space.

For others who have done this model what has been hardest for them?

It is hard for people to think about school without expecting it to look like the school experience they knew. This doesn’t match that memory and raises questions among parents.

How will you decide what intersection projects kids will do?

We are developing partnerships with local colleges and universities and other independent schools to design the learning experience. We are also working with local public school districts to learn all that we can. We know the brainstorming will cause some great ideas to end up on the cutting room floor. All of that planning – thinking outside the box – will make us an even stronger school preschool through eighth grade.

Do you see other schools trying a new model?

Yes. The High Tech High group of schools established thi s model, which was the focus of the film, Most Likely to Succeed. Others are doing the work in different ways. For example, The Mastery Transcript Consortium is a network of schools developing apprenticeship programs and  creating a high school transcript that reflects the unique skills, strengths, and interests of each learner.

How will they prepare for standardized tests?

They will learn to present their learning is a multitude of ways. Test prep will not be part of the experience, but they will have the skills to prepare and the knowledge of how they best do that individually. It is important to note that over 180 colleges no longer require the SAT and Harvard has initiated a call to Turn the Tide on college admissions.

My daughter is in the CML, will this work for her?

Students who are dually enrolled in the CML will have dedicated time for the Orton Gillingham lessons that allow for students with language-based learning differences to achieve success in schools.

More Questions?

Ask us and we’ll get in touch.

Apply Early. Limited Spots Available for 2019.