Academics

Transition to Middle School FAQ

List of 10 frequently asked questions.

  • What classes will my child take and what does the schedule look like?

    Students in Grade 6 will take the following classes:
    • English 6
    • Writing Lab
    • Math 6/Math 6 Honors/Pre-Algebra Honors (*see placement notes below)
    • Young Historians: Turning Points in American History
    • Earth Science: Our Sustainable Planet
    • Spanish Conversation and Culture
    • Fine Arts (Chorus, Band, Orchestra, or Studio Art)
    • Physical Education/Athletics
    Each class meets for 55 minutes six out of seven days. The Middle School operates on a seven-day rotating schedule, similar to that of the Upper School. Middle School advisors and faculty help students learn to manage the various transitions that take place throughout the school day.
  • How is Academic Placement determined in the Middle School?

    The Grade 6 schedule is designed to provide all students with a challenging academic course load while also building skills in the areas of time management, study skills, and academic resilience. Heterogeneous groupings help to ensure that students have the opportunity to work collaboratively with their peers in a variety of classes and settings, as well as begin to take on greater independence and autonomy as they move from Lower to Middle School.

    In Grade 6, all students are enrolled in both English 6 and Writing Lab class. These courses are designed to build upon the reading and writing skills taught in Lower School and provide a strong foundation for success in Grades 7 and 8. In addition to a continued focus on literary studies and reading comprehension skills, there is a strong emphasis on the writing process in the Middle School Language Arts program. Students are introduced to the 6 traits of writing and are guided through the process of brainstorming, drafting, receiving feedback and making revisions to deepen and strengthen their writing skills. In the spring of Grade 6, all students take the Writing Assessment Program (WrAP) test which provides feedback and data regarding student performance according to the 6 traits of writing. Upon completion of English 6, students will enroll in English 7 or may choose to apply for English 7 Honors.

    Students in Grade 6 may be recommended for Math 6 or Math 6H. Both courses are designed to build upon the mathematical concepts and skills taught in Grade 5 and prepare students for a rigorous Pre-Algebra program in Grade 7. Although all students are introduced to Pre-Algebra in the second semester of Math 6/Math 6H, special consideration may be given to students whose ERB/CTP testing is in the highest percentiles of the Independent School Norms and whose academic maturity supports enrollment in the Grade 7 Pre-Algebra Honors Course.
  • Which Fine Arts courses are available?

    In the Middle School, students are required to take a fine arts course each year. Students may choose from Band, Orchestra, Chorus, or Studio Art. Introduction to Theater is also offered in Grade 8. Each course is a full year commitment. In addition to these scheduled courses, students may participate in the Middle School Musical (Fall) and the Middle School Play (Winter). Fine Arts selections will be made at or around Lower School Conference time.
  • Can my child play on a CHC sports team?

    Students in the Middle School are encouraged to be a part of a team. Physical Education is the last class of the day (2:25-3:20 p.m.) and students may choose to take a regular P.E. class or play on a sports team. Participation on a sports team fulfills the Middle School P.E. requirement for that season. Team practices take place during the school day and competitions take place after school or on weekends. Students have the option of playing on a sports team or taking P.E. for each of the three sports seasons (fall, winter, spring). As students progress through the Middle School, greater opportunities arise for participation on more competitive teams based on physical and developmental readiness. Students in Grade 7 may try out for JV teams and students in Grade 8 may try out for JV or Varsity teams.
  • What does the homework, test, and quiz load look like in the Middle School?

    As students transition from Lower School to Middle School, they will find that the type and amount of homework looks different. On average, students in Grade 6 have 45 minutes to 1 hour of homework each night, with that load increasing to 1½-2 hours through grades 7 and 8. While a good portion of the workload in Grade 6 is focused on guided practice activities to review and reinforce key concepts, there is also an increasing amount of study time and long term project preparation that will factor into nightly homework. Management of independent reading assignments, preparation and revision of writing assignments, small group projects, and ongoing preparation for cumulative tests and quizzes all factor into the nightly homework expectations. Much of the rigor of Middle School comes from students learning how to organize and manage a more varied workload, as well as adapt to the expectations and requirements of the various courses they are taking.

    Tests and quizzes in the Middle School are managed on an internal test and quiz calendar. Teachers try not to schedule more than two tests, quizzes, or major assignment deadlines on any given day. Assessments in the Middle School tend to be more varied in style, structure, and frequency, with many assessments including reading and writing comprehension activities. In Grades 7 and 8 students will take final exams which are a weighted portion of the Semester 2 grade. Teachers take the opportunity with each assessment to integrate study skills instruction through the use of graphic organizers, study guides, and intentional discussions about test preparation.
  • What is Advisory?

    The Middle School Advisory Program is foundational to the success of our middle school students. Focused on the skills of resilience, time management, ethics, creativity, curiosity, and teamwork, the purpose of the Advisory Program is to give students the knowledge and skills necessary to become confident and productive members of the school community. During these three transformational years of adolescence, the advisor is there to help support each student’s academic, social, emotional, and behavioral growth and development. The Middle School Advisory program is single gender, and advisory groupings remain constant from year to year with the goal of strengthening and deepening student relationships. Students meet with their advisory group at the start of each day, as well as for 25 minutes before lunch. Advisory programming focuses on community building, academic support, executive skills development, service learning, social and emotional wellbeing, and providing an overall support system for each student.
  • Will my child have to complete summer work?

    Over the summer, all Middle School students (grades 6-8) are expected to complete activities in both reading and math with the purpose of reinforcing and extending foundational skills in both of these critical areas. All assignments are designed to be engaging and to support community themes and academic growth, while taking into consideration the many other activities in which students participate over the extended break. It is expected that all students will complete their assigned summer reading and summer math by the first day of school. Work that is turned in late or incomplete may receive partial credit at the discretion of the teacher. A special assembly will also be held at the end of the school year to walk students through the summer work requirements and they will also be posted on the CHC website prior to summer break.
  • What supplies and books will my child need? Does he/she need a computer?

    A Grade 6 Supply list will be posted on the CHC Website over the summer. All textbooks, consumable resources (novels and workbooks), and field trips in Grade 6 are covered by a Technology and Consumable Resources Fee. Each student in Grade 6 is assigned a chromebook laptop to use for school work on campus. It is not necessary to purchase your child a laptop to bring to school. However, it is important that students have access to a computer and high speed internet at home.
  • How is my child’s schedule created?

    Middle School schedules are created with the intention mixing students up throughout the day. With the exception of math classes, which are grouped by ability, all other classes are grouped at random. Advisory groupings are single gender and are created to balance the social and emotional needs of all advisees. While it is important for students to have friends in their classes and advisory, groupings are also created with the intention of giving students the opportunity to make new friends. Schedules are compiled over the summer and will be released in mid-August. Locker and Advisory information will also be released at that time.
  • Who should I go to if I have any additional questions?

    Mrs. Amanda Hayes - Head of Middle School
    Mr. Jack Effner - Middle School Guidance Counselor
    Mr. Greg Angilly - Director of Student Life (Grades 6-12)
    Mrs. Jeanne Short - Athletic Director
    Ms. Ashleigh Cake - Grade 6 Science and Advisor
    Ms. Kelly Christianson - Grade 6 English and Advisor
    Mrs. Leigh Anne Clay - Grade 6 Writing Lab and Advisor
    Mrs. Sherry Davis - Academic Center Instructor and Grade 6 Advisor
    Mrs. Stephanie Fluharty - Performing Arts Director
    Mrs. Amber Hecker - Grade 6 Math and Advisor
    Mrs. Marina Maroto - Studio Art
    Mrs. Jackie Melendez - Middle School Administrative Assistant
    Mr. Dashiell Quasebarth - Grade 6 History and Advisor
    Mrs. Carolina Roque-Camarasa - Grade 6 Spanish
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