Middle School

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0%
More than
> 54
0%+

of our EDS graduates leave with

3 high school credits

EDS graduates have become their high school

Valedictorian or Salutatorian

of 9th grade students placed in

honors level math

0%

of our EDS graduates leave with

3 high school credits

More than
> 54

graduates have become their high school

Valedictorian or Salutatorian

0%+

of 9th grade students placed in

honors level math

At EDS, we understand middle schoolers and love them through this high-growth time. We seek to bring stability when they are uncertain. We provide direction as we encourage their increasing independence. We offer confidence and belief in the face of their self-doubt. We mix grace with accountability, balance high expectations with appropriate levels of support, and seek to know students better than they know themselves. Together with students, we strive to build a community of kindness, respect, and purpose, ensuring that each child is known and appreciated, cared for and supported, engaged and challenged. 

For middle schoolers, our mission to help students discover their place in God’s world for lives of wisdom, love, and service is manifest through what we ask of students. We guide students to find their voice for leadership and draw on compassion for service. We challenge them to reflect and learn from their mistakes with humility and perseverance. Whether tackling a tough math problem, conquering fear on a high ropes course, writing a National History Day essay, or facing the next challenge during a wilderness week, students discover they can push themselves to accomplish more than they could imagine. 

Please visit us to find out how your child can thrive in our middle school.

Dr. Anne B. Andrews

Head of Middle School

Academics

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. 

The middle school mathematics program focuses on student outcomes of conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, strategic problem solving, and application. Students generally complete Pre-Algebra in seventh grade and Algebra 1 in the eighth grade.

In a research-based program that promotes science proficiency, students accomplish performance expectations that intertwine science practices, cross-cutting concepts in all domains of science, and core content knowledge at each grade level. With relevant applications and problem-solving, 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. Our student-centered approach at each grade level fosters vital 21st century skills that promote student success in and out of our science classrooms.

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 four-year study of early American history, 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.

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 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.

Experiential Learning

Middle school students participate in a number of experiential learning activities that leverage our access to an 8.5-acre forest grove adjoining our larger 30-acre outdoor campus. Teaching and learning at our Flowing Wells campus includes powerful routines that foster a foundation of exploration, discovery, and wonder in nature studies that include all disciplines. In addition, thematic-based learning at each grade level foster the habit of critical thinking and building character values essential to problem-solving. Fifth grade students engage in hydroponics gardening as they investigate the future of food, while sixth grade addresses the critical environmental challenge of fresh water availability. Seventh graders work toward promoting a sustainable society by increasing awareness and proposing solutions, and eighth graders use opportunities to participate in leadership activities and develop engineering solutions to the everyday challenges of students at EDS. Our Flowing Wells Campus provides meaningful learning experiences and a beautiful space for students to explore, wonder, study, and play.

Fifth graders enjoy several day trips locally with a math and science focus as well as excursions to explore colonial Georgia. 

The fifth-grade musical, a 39 year tradition, is this grade’s major project. Students become part of a musical theater company of their design, working on all aspects of the production for a performance in late April.

Sixth grade’s experiential learning trip to UGA’s Marine Education Center and Aquarium on Skidaway Island focuses on fostering stewardship and sustainability, with a particular emphasis on Georgia’s coastal marine environments. Students participate in field studies in the marsh and beach, interact with live coastal animals, and explore specimen collection and examination.

Our 7th graders’ trip to Green River Preserve in North Carolina consists of a residential outdoor program which offers instruction from trained naturalists focusing on ecological respect and stewardship. This enrichment experience aligns with our learning in science and at our Flowing Wells campus, as students engage in a mix of guided forest instruction, hiking, zip-lining, rock climbing, and field games.

Our 8th graders’ trip to Green River Preserve in North Carolina is a backpacking expedition through the Blue Ridge Mountains of the Appalachians where students learn how to set up tarps for sleeping, cook their meals on the trail, and read maps in order to plan hikes each day. Students are given leadership roles in the group and are responsible for sticking to Leave No Trace principles, while learning their vital role in protecting our natural ecosystems.

Co-curricular & Enrichment

The middle school visual art program is composed of various 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 art portfolios. Class critiques are given throughout various projects and students learn how to analyze artwork by giving helpful feedback. Whether in 2-D or in our ceramics program, students prove their knowledge of principles of design and elements of art by implementing these concepts into their artwork as they manage classroom time and work toward their goals.

The middle school music program equips students with foundations in music theory and appreciation so that they are well-prepared to enjoy music and use music to engage in their communities. Whether responding to music or performing music, students are challenged to think critically about the structure of music and the cultural context surrounding music in the past and present. Students enjoy using their musical gifts to lead in chapel worship and brighten corners of our community, such as at the Ronald McDonald House of Augusta. 

Students experience a breadth of music (various styles, genres, time periods, etc.) using a variety of instruments (drums, ukuleles, xylophones, glockenspiels, djembes, and guitars) and explore many music styles.  In weekly music classes, students build on prior music literacy skills and concepts and have the opportunity to create and perform their own music in a variety of ways. National music standards are followed emphasizing conceptual understanding in areas that reflect the actual processes in which musicians engage. The standards cultivate a student’s ability to carry out the three artistic processes of creating, performing, and responding.

Thanks in part to our collaboration with Jessye Norman School of the Arts and the priority we have given to this opportunity in the schedule, our 7th and 8th graders are able to choose among four to five elective offerings in the Arts each trimester. The options fall within a variety of areas: theater, instrumental music, vocal music, 3-D art, 2-D art, and potentially digital art with photography and graphic design.

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.

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.

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 learn and practice digital citizenship and support their use of technology in the classroom.

Fifth and sixth graders spend focused time learning strategies for organization and effective studying through the SOAR study skills program.

Health lessons are woven into the sixth and eighth-grade science curriculum. Taught by the school nurse and science teacher, units and topics appropriate to the age group include tobacco, alcohol, drugs, puberty, skincare, nutrition, eating disorders, refusal skills, sexuality, STDs, teen pregnancy, and CPR/AED skills.