Middle school is a particularly challenging portion of any child’s development. The only time in our lives that human beings undergo more physical and cognitive change is during the first six months of our existence. At Saddle River Day School, we are poised to meet the needs of every unique adolescent that passes through our door. We believe that disciplines and departments are porous, and we are responsive to the needs and learning styles of all of our students.. We encourage students to learn, access, and use skills that will benefit them across the curriculum. The content of the curriculum is the vehicle through which we communicate these skills, but at the heart of the Middle School education at SRDS is the belief that we aid in the child’s journey from student to scholar, and from adolescent to adult.
To aid in their multifaceted development, every middle school student is part of an advisory group which meets regularly and discusses academic as well as social concerns. Advisory provides students with a time to fit in, to recognize that they do not travel this journey through adolescence on their own, to connect with the adults in the building on a different level, and an opportunity to interact with students not only in their own division, but also across the lower and upper schools. The advisory system is complemented by the peer leader program, during which middle school students meet in small groups with two or three upper school students to build community, develop interpersonal skills, and address issues from a different perspective. The goal of advisory and peer leaders is to provide young teens with many opportunities to interact with peers and adults as they adjust to becoming young adults.
Middle school classes in the traditional core areas and world language are required each year. Spanish is offered each year with French available to eighth-graders. In addition to academic classes, students participate in physical education and the arts – with electives of art, music, and band. Students have nightly homework in most subjects and are expected to do their best on each assignment. Extra help and support is available and advisors help to steer students toward that support when it is needed.
There is much more specific information about the middle school curriculum in the links below. I hope you will be frequent visitors to this site, and I encourage you to read through this information and more importantly to come and visit our school. You will see for yourself how each of our students is known, respected, and supported to reach his or her goals.