Middle School (Grades 6-8)

Our Middle School is dedicated to the education of the whole child in a
community that challenges and supports students academically,
socially, and emotionally. The curriculum focuses on critical thinking,
academic risk-taking, content mastery, and skill development. A vibrant
advisory system, engaging classrooms, and inclusive athletics and arts
activities allow students to discover their emerging talents and interests
With an appreciation of the developmental stages of adolescence, the
YCDS Middle School strives to create an environment that supports
students passions, encourages curiosity, and inspires tolerance.

List of 7 items.

  • Advisory

    Our Middle School advisory program is committed to the individual growth of the whole child in a supportive, encouraging environment that embraces the diversity of every student and models exemplary citizenship. The goal of advisory is to set each student on a path to success, anchored by a strong sense of self-efficacy. Students meet with advisors daily, both individually and in class groups.
  • Arts

    Visual and performing arts are a vital part of the Middle School curriculum. All students engage in the skillful practice and study of music, art, chorus, and theatre, and have the option to participate in the instrumental ensemble.
    Visual Art
    Through the elements and principles of design, students discover new art concepts, processes, artists, and cultures. Every student creates a portfolio and works in a sketchbook throughout the year to reinforce vocabulary, help understand concepts, and persevere in their individual ideas and pursuits.
    Students focus on actors’ tools as they develop both creative and technical skills for the stage. Class work includes improvisation, character development exercises, stage terminology, theatre games, monologues, and scene work. Emphasis is placed on the creative and artistic choices that actors make along with the practical application of stage movement for performance.
    In addition to nontraditional and small venue performances, all middle school students have the opportunity to participate in the middle school show. This production is a yearly highlight of the sixth through eighth grade population. The middle school show is a full scale musical theatre production, staged with our middle school students’ talents in mind.
    Music classes build music theory skills, with increased emphasis on sight-reading rhythms and intervals. Students apply their knowledge through performance on recorders, keyboards, and Orff instruments. The instrumental ensemble is open to all students and performs at the holiday and spring concerts, middle school closing, and occasionally at other events throughout the year. The group varies its repertoire according to instrumentation and utilizes custom arrangements to highlight student musicians. Students perform music in many different styles, including jazz, Celtic, classical and rock. Ensemble skills, intonation, dynamics and rhythmic accuracy are emphasized.
    Middle School Chorus introduces students to three-part singing. Students are introduced to many aspects of positive choral singing, including breathing techniques, proper posture, dynamics, and balance. Singers gain experience in reading octavos, following a conductor, and grasping melodic and harmonic contour for performance.
  • Curriculum

    The curriculum in grades 6-8 focuses on leading students to acquire the habits of mind and skills necessary for the college-preparatory curriculum of the Upper School and beyond. Students take classes in the subject areas of English, Mathematics, History, Science, World Languages, Music, Theater, and Visual Arts. Additionally, a health and wellness program and an advisory program help students learn to make responsible decisions for themselves and within groups. Developing teamwork and leadership becomes a focus area in core programs like chorus, ensemble, and physical education but also in cocurricular activities such as theatre productions, after-school sports teams, and student council-led social and civic events.
  • Digital Media

    Students have opportunities to learn about the fundamentals of videography, digital art, and sound design. Students create original content and use current software to edit and publish their final products that are shared with our community. Digital media curriculum includes topics such as design as concept, fusing technologies for original productions, and understanding copyright. 
  • Physical Education and Athletics

    Our Middle School PE program provides students with ample opportunities to explore a variety of sports, games, and wellness activities. Each student is supported and encouraged to develop the fundamental principles of team sports, basic skills necessary for sport participation, and a commitment to individual wellness and fitness. Middle School students are also encouraged to participate in one or more of the YCDS athletic teams.
  • Robotics and Engineering

    The engineering process as a means of problem solving is explored in elective courses in Middle School. Students also have the option to participate in the FIRST Robotics program in Future Lego League. Liz Charleston, our Director of Engineering and Robotics and certified FIRST teacher trainer, leads this program for our students. Beyond the construction and operation of robots to solve problems, students also explore a variety of programming, coding, and teamwork.
  • World Language

    Our Middle School world language program introduces students to the study of French and Spanish. When students advance into sixth grade they have the opportunity to make an informed decision to study the language of their choice; French or Spanish. Throughout Middle School students practice reading, writing, and speaking the language of their choice, while exploring history, literature, culture, and geography.
    • Dr. John D'Adamo

      Head of Middle & Upper School and Assistant Head of School