EDS offers a vigorous and enriched middle school curriculum designed to help students develop the habits of mind, heart, and body they will need for school and beyond. Our students are competitive academically and active in the arts, with many opportunities for exploration and growth in our program of clubs. We enjoy a strong after-school athletic program, offering eleven sports throughout the year for the student athlete. During their transitional middle years, we delight in helping students know themselves as loved and gifted by God, capable of wise choices and meaningful lives.
English Language and Literature: Students read and respond to classic and modern novels, plays, short stories, and poems with thematic connections. Vocabulary study with emphasis on classical roots is part of every grade, as is attention to English grammar. Students have many opportunities to develop public speaking and presentation skills, and to hone and practice the craft of writing. Through a pilot program, Touchstones Discussion Project, students build discussion, critical reading, and analytical and creative thinking skills in weekly discussion seminars.
Mathematics: The middle school mathematics program focuses on student outcomes of conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, strategic problem solving, and application. Students complete Pre-Algebra in seventh grade and Algebra 1 in the eighth grade.
Science: In a research-based program that promotes inquiry, hands-on experience, scientific thinking processes and literacy, our students build conceptual knowledge and an awareness of science in everyday life and world issues. Students study earth science, life science, and physical science successively in grades six through eight. Grade five students enjoy general science units.
Social Studies: Using a variety of resources beyond the texts, students grow in the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to continually learn about the world and its peoples, the complex themes of social studies and history, and the practices of good citizenship. The three-year study of world geography, world history, and American history and government culminates in a significant research paper for the National History Day contest. Our students regularly place in the top three spots regionally and at the state level.
Spanish: All students study Spanish, developing both language and cultural competencies. Fifth graders have Spanish three times a week, and students in grades six through eight take Spanish daily. Students complete, at minimum, the requirements for high school Spanish I; most EDS graduates are placed into Spanish II or Honors Spanish II classes. Every year, a number of our students receive top honors on the National Spanish Exam.
Religion: Religion classes engage fifth grade students in the stories of the New Testament, and lead sixth and seventh grade students in significant study of the Old and New Testaments respectively. Our students develop strong biblical literacy skills and an understanding of the place of Hebrew and Christian scriptures in western civilization. Eighth grade students examine “Christian Faith in the World” through a study of ethics, philosophy, and world religions.
The Flowing Wells Campus: Middle school student participate in a number of experiential learning activities that span across the curriculum. Fifth grade students have an annual solar oven day where they take measurements to test the efficiency of the ovens they have constructed. They also do a variety of math activities in the raised bed gardens and examine the microbiology of the water in the pond. Sixth grade students explore geologic concepts by collecting soil samples from locations around the 28 acre campus. They continue to apply math skills they have learned in the classroom as they use fractions, decimals and proportions to conduct investigations in the gardens. Seventh graders will conduct a variety of investigations pertaining to the year-long study of life sciences. The fields, forests, and wetlands serve as an ideal learning lab. Eighth graders engage in citizen science as they conduct monthly chemical analysis at our Georgia Adopt a Stream water quality monitoring station. They also apply the chemistry concepts they learn in class to do annual soil tests in each of the 50 raised bed gardens.
Sixth Grade Annual Experiential Trip: The sixth graders enjoy a busy and educational week at Driftwood Education Center on St. Simons Island. Some of the fun and stimulating activities include dissecting squid and fish, and holding snakes and alligators. Most sixth graders say that their favorite activities are challenging themselves to scale the high ropes course and flying down the more that 200 foot zip line. In addition to the wonderful activities on St. Simon’s, they spend one day hiking around Cumberland Island and one day canoeing in the Okefenokee Swamp.
Seventh Grade Annual Experiential Trip: On their trip to Nashville, Tennessee, seventh grade students explore their personal capabilities and challenges through team building exercises on a high ropes course; discover their own connections to American history at the Hermitage and the Grand Ole Opry; explore their inner selves at All Saints Chapel and the Memorial Cross at University of the South; and explore the ageless wonders of our planet at Tellus Museum and Ruby Falls.
Eighth Grade Annual Experiential Trip: Eighth grade students enjoy a whirlwind tour of Washington, D.C., the epicenter of America’s power and influence. From the Lincoln Memorial to the White House, and many monuments in between, our students are both humbled and inspired by some of our country’s greatest cultural treasures, renowned museums, and moving historical sites. The annual trip to our nation’s capital offers a wonderful firsthand experience of United States history.
Eighth Grade Outward Bound: Eighth grade students spend five days in the fall hiking through the mountains of NC, learning how to survive off of God’s gifts and leave no trace behind.
Co-curricular / Enrichment
Fine Arts: The MS art program is composed of various art projects that allow students to seek a means of personal expression and find their artistic style. Students learn about art history, explore contemporary artists, experiment with numerous techniques and materials, maintain daily sketchbooks, write artist statements, and build up art portfolios. Class critiques are given throughout various projects and students learn how to analyze artwork by giving helpful feedback. Rather than memorize and be tested on principles of design and elements of art, students prove their knowledge by implementing these concepts into their artwork as they manage classroom time and work toward their set goals.
Leadership: What does leadership mean? What is the relationship between morality and leadership? What makes someone an effective or ineffective leader? How are leadership and followership related? Thinking about the big questions helps our students to understand that while role and responsibilities may change from situation to situation, basic principles of leadership remain unchanged. While studying leadership principles through case studies, students also engage in problem solving initiatives that challenge them to work together and experience the power of influence in practical ways.
Physical Education: The physical education program at EDS is taught with the hope of stimulating a love for physical activity and life-long fitness. Through various activities, each student is allowed to progress at his or her own rate. The focus is on creating a positive, supportive, non-threatening environment where each student is encouraged to be the best that he or she can be.
Technology: The use of technology in the classroom supports and enhances all areas of the curriculum and is used as the basis for developing skills that support learning, personal productivity, and decision-making in daily life while also developing real-world skills necessary in continuing education. Technology’s benefits best emerge when integrated into project-based curricular activities that further higher-level thinking skills. The following skills are incorporated into classroom activities: 1) gathering of information, 2) problem solving, 3) communicating knowledge, and 4) safe and ethical use of technology. Fifth and sixth graders take a co-curricular course to support their use of technology in the classroom, and continue to develop coding skills they learned in lower school.
Robotics: Seventh grade students take programming skills to the next level through a semester long study of robotics and its potential impact on the future. They use the Python based software to program the Edison robot to complete a number of autonomous tasks. Students have the opportunity to learn to code at basic, intermediate, or advanced levels.
Study Skills: Fifth and sixth graders spend focused time on learning strategies for organization and effective studying.
Health: Students take a health class for one quarter each year. Units and topics include: Tobacco, alcohol, drugs, puberty, Learning Styles and Self-Awareness, Skin Care, Nutrition, Eating Disorders, Refusal Skills, Decision Making, Self-esteem, Sexuality, STD’s, Teen Pregnancy, and CPR/AED skills.