Why Make the Investment in Middle School at Saddle River Day?

Why Make the Investment in Middle School at Saddle River Day?
Beth Meleski

If you think about it, one of the most important jobs parents have, from the day their kids are born, is to set them up to successfully conquer their next milestone. As babies, we try to feed them (operative word here is “try”) healthy food so their brains and bodies will grow, we read to them, sign them up for enrichment classes, and ensure they get enough sleep. As they grow, we do all that and enlist professionals and specialists to help them achieve their goals whether it be in academics, athletics or the arts. Quite frankly, it’s a lot of work. So, it’s nice when your kids attend a school like Saddle River Day School where they are held to the same high standards and expectations you have, in a place where the educators are willing and able to partner with you to help your child achieve them. 
 
Nowhere is this more evident, or important, than in the Middle School at Saddle River Day School. These transitional years, from grade 5 – 8, are critical in the development of students as scholars, communicators, and citizens of the world. As such, the mission of the educators and staff of the SRDS Middle School is to prepare their students for the demanding curriculum of the Upper School and beyond, while also challenging these developing young adults to try new things, confidently step outside of their comfort zones, and develop an awareness of the world and the people around them. 
 
Advanced track programs in math and science give the most ambitious STEAM students the ability to take high school level classes while still in the Middle School. Enrichment classes, clubs and extracurriculars including Odyssey of the Mind and Robotics offer students insight into new areas of study to which they have not yet been exposed, often sparking a new hobby or future career path. Project-based learning modules, debate club and inter-disciplinary presentations give students experience working as a part of a team, examining complex issues for nuance, articulating their findings and presenting them to a group. These learned skills and higher level thinking are hallmarks of the SRDS experience, immediately differentiating our Middle School students from their peers. Rounding out the Middle School experience, the Advisory program, in which students meet in small groups with a trained faculty member, allows students to examine social/emotional, cultural, and societal issues in a safe, age appropriate setting with adults who are fully invested in their well-being.
 
Students from the SRDS Middle School move on to the Upper School with the confidence that they have been well prepared for the fast pace and rigor of any top notch college preparatory program. They have a toolkit of skills and strategies that complement their intellectual curiosity and academic scruples. They are ready to take on the next challenge with poise. They, in short, have been set up to succeed as they conquer their next big milestone. Which is exactly the outcome we, as their parents, have worked so hard to achieve.  
 
A limited number of spaces remain in grades 5-8 for qualified students for the 2023-2024 school year. For more information about the Middle School at Saddle River Day School, or to begin the application process, please contact Kristine Sweeny at ksweeny@saddleriverday.org.