Middle School Academics
The elements of the Middle School academic curriculum include the following:
- Modern Language
- Visual Arts
- Music, Theatre
- Arts and Dance
- Computer Education
- For course descriptions, see the Breck School Curriculum Chart.
Special Middle School Programs
Each grade level in the Middle School offers a daily Life Skills class consisting of programs in the following areas: nutrition, physical education and fitness, peer, family and community relationships, collaborative and cooperative skills, and religious studies, spiritual values and ethics.
Fifth and sixth graders begin to learn the rules of team and dual sports. Activities may include developmental tumbling, swimming lessons and dances. Other areas of concentration include soccer, flag and touch football, tennis, volleyball, ice skating, badminton, basketball, gymnastics, baseball, softball, track and field, posture-diet-functional exercise, physical fitness work, simple games and relays.
Seventh and eighth graders advance their skills as well as learn new sports. Emphasis is placed on strategy, form, teamwork, rules, sports vocabulary and the individual’s responsibility for his/her own progress.
Health education is essential to enable students to acquire the knowledge and skills to promote personal, family and community health. Fifth through eighth graders study the relationship between positive health behaviors/lifestyle choices and the prevention of injury, illness and disease. They also learn about stress management strategies, first aid and CPR, conflict resolution and dealing with grief and loss. Each student will learn to develop his/her personal health plan.
Be a Mustang Program
This course is taught to students in all grades each year. It is designed to involve students in actively dealing with such issues as emotions, peer relationships, decision making and goal setting. Activities provide practical experiences in improving communication skills, resisting negative peer pressure, setting reasonable goals and making thoughtful decisions. The ultimate goal for this program is to help students increase their self-confidence and motivation, and to internalize the rewards of being helpful, respectful and inclusive.
The Middle School’s Project Adventure, the first such program in Minnesota, offers students tremendous opportunities for community and personal growth. It is an integral part of the Life Skills block. With a commitment to “challenge by choice,” each student has the opportunity to stretch according to his/her needs and definition, take a risk, and try something very difficult while enjoying the wonderfully sensitive support of a group of knowing peers.
The Middle School religious studies program reinforces a spirituality of care and concern for self, others and our planet. Students have academic coursework each year and they are involved with service opportunities and chapel preparation.
Spiritual growth is not simply a matter of personal beliefs; it requires outreach to other people in a spirit of relationship building. Students become more aware of others’ needs and differences through community service projects integrated into the curriculum at all grade levels.
Twice a week, our students gather in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit for simple worship services, which are times for deepening our relationships with God and celebrating community values. We have monthly schoolwide celebrations of themes such as Advent, Christmas, Passover, Easter, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, reverence for the earth, thanksgiving for our grandparents and the beginning and end of the school year. Chapel liturgies draw their inspiration from many sources, including our own Episcopal heritage, and include prayer, music, drama dance and listening to religious and secular speakers.
Middle School Advisory is a system by which each student is assigned a faculty advisor who serves as a formal, personal and academic advocate. Students and their advisors meet both formally and informally during the week. There are days on which Advisory periods are utililzed to consider important themes of Middle School life (studying and organizational strategies, personal relationships, grade-level issues and topics of interest or concern, etc.). The Advisory program also facilitates more efficient and effective communication among faculty, students and parents.