Middle School (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.


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.


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.

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.


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.

Theatre - 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 - 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.

Chorus - 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.

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.

Mr. Matthew Trump
Head of Middle and Upper School

  • July 2019
    • SatJul13 ACT - National Testing Date
  • August 2019
    • MonAug12 Varsity Fall Sports Begin
    • MonAug19 Middle School Sports Begin
    • MonAug26 New Student Orientation
    • TueAug27 First Day of School
    • TueAug27 YCP Classes Begin
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