Upper School is a school of about 300 students in Grades 3 through 8. We pride ourselves on being a child-centered school with a dedicated staff. Teachers provide a nurturing environment that prepares children to be responsible, caring, creative, and life-long learners.
At Upper school, our teachers and school staff work hard to create a sense of community, one that fosters respectful exchange and supports our students. Utilizing the Responsive Classroom methods, our students understand that they are part of a community…a family. Each morning, students can meet in their classroom communities to talk about good character traits, build friendships with their classmates, and create a bond that fosters a feeling of acceptance.
The curriculum at Upper School fosters a passion for learning and discovery. Instruction promotes literacy in all subjects and lessons incorporate higher order thinking and problem solving. These inquiry based and discovery oriented approaches allow students to realize their full potential and make learning experiences meaningful, relevant, and individualized. Teachers in all subject areas are careful to differentiate their instruction for their varied population of learners.
Upper School continues to facilitate significant progressive change in all domains of teaching and learning. Complementary curriculum components are continually supported, especially researched based programs and pedagogical approaches that support differentiation. In third and fourth grade, we utilize standards- based report cards. The indicators on the report card represent the most important learning targets, and the scores on the report card represent the status of learning done at the end of each trimester. We encourage experiences that facilitate a growth mindset, which is one that “thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities” (Dweck, 2007). The district believes that Standards-Based grading will ultimately promote student ownership of education and enhance intrinsic motivation.
Additionally, Upper School has a Maker Space and Educate to Innovate Space. Our Maker Space allows students to create, invent, and learn. It also allows them time to be curious problem solvers and allows us to “prepare our students not for SOMETHING but help our students prepare for ANYTHING!” (Spencer, 2017)
Students have many opportunities to perform and share their accomplishments throughout the year, and they proudly exhibit their artwork in the halls and classrooms. Students participate in musical instrument instruction: recorders in grade three and an instrument of their choosing in grades four through eight. Choral programs and band performances are regular events. Our Student Council is dedicated to community service at the school, local, and statewide levels.
Upper School has two fantastic musicals each year. One for our third through fifth graders and one for our sixth through eighth graders. This is a time for our community to come and help us embrace the importance of the arts. Whether our students are on the stage, behind the curtain on the stage crew, creating props and scenes, or managing the sound board, there is a place for everyone to participate and shiine.
Upper School students are fortunate and benefit from tremendous community support. Parent organizations and community groups consistently contribute to the school in various ways. Just a few of the many examples would include: teacher grants from the Educational Foundation, numerous volunteer efforts from the PTO, and the implementation of the D.A.R.E. program from the Police Department.
The stakeholders of Upper School are proud of our quality educational program and high standards for all.