Middle School

Learning in the middle years at Williams extends and enriches the academic, social, and emotional strengths of our students while helping them explore new ideas and enthusiastically embrace new challenges. Designed with the unique needs of adolescents in mind, the Middle School program at Williams is dynamic, student-centered, and rich with opportunities for individual and collaborative achievement. Passionate, expert, and wholly invested in the academic and personal success of each student, our teachers play an enormous role our students’ development and the dynamic nature of our Middle School.

The academic program in grades sixth through eighth consists of English/language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, World Language, art, music, and physical education. In each course, students experience student-centered methods to engage, challenge, and support all learners providing opportunities for extension and enrichment in areas of personal interest. Teachers use assessment data to provide targeted support or extension as needed for every learner. Critical thinking, problem finding and problem finding, simulated experiences, active engagement, collaboration, and academic honor are at the heart of all courses.

Middle School

Middle School Curriculum

The core academic program in grades six through eight is designed to challenge, engage, and support all students. All students take the same core courses each year:

  • English/language arts (literature studies, grammar, vocabulary, written and oral expression)
  • Mathematics (core and advanced mathematics)
  • Science (Life, Physical, Earth)
  • Social Studies (world history, world geography, and U.S. History)
  • Health and Physical Education as well as daily recess

Students have the option of studying French or Spanish beginning with an exploratory experience in grade six with levels I and II in seventh and eighth grades respectively. Students who need academic support may opt for a resource class in lieu of taking a World Language.

In addition to this rigorous and differentiate core academic program, students have a number of ungraded, specialized courses at each grade level to extend, enrich, and support learning:

Math Lab - The williams school

Math Lab: Students in grades 6-8 participate in weekly sessions with a math specialist who works collaboratively with the students’ math instructor to plan each Lab session. Math Labs are intended to provide differentiated instruction for all students. Students have the opportunity in Math Lab to participate in lessons that provide scaffolding, practice, one-on-one support, peer tutoring, or enrichment based on their needs as evidenced through their mathematics class. Students may opt to get support on class or homework, work with the teacher or other students on tasks or projects, and in some cases acceleration and enrichment are provided in this ungraded class.

Tutoring: All middle school students have time in their weekly schedules to determine the best use of their time and to act accordingly. Students may choose to help others through community service or peer tutoring while others may need the time for study hall, including work with teachers.

Study Skills: All sixth grade students work with the school counselor in weekly sessions on transition topics and skills as they move into secondary school. Topics for exploration and focus are collaboratively developed by the students and the school counselor Study Skills is ungraded and not on the report card.

Global Issues Seminar: Students collaboratively determine global focus topics and apply research skills to uncover answers to questions of their own design. As a collaborative team, students then develop a product and share their work with an audience of their choosing.

Capstone: This 8th grade only project-based learning experience is a year-long focus that is student-driven and collaborative. Students find a problem in the world that they want to research and develop a solution in order to enhance their community (locally, nationally, or globally).

Students are also able to select ungraded courses based on their interests. Many can be repeated and the opportunities change based on the interests of our students. In 2023-2024, the interest-based options for students to select include:

Band Students in grades 4-8 have the option of taking band. Instruction is embedded into the weekly schedules for all grades and will not be offered at the same time as other optional enrichment courses.

Global Issues Seminar - The williams school
Public Speaking (Forensics) - The williams school

Public Speaking (Forensics): A program dedicated specifically to the art of public speaking, this elective will also be used to coach students, grades 4-8, who choose to participate in the Forensics program.

Book Club: This middle school elective is a student book club and based on student interests. A close reading and discussion on a book decided by majority vote. The novels will change each term.

Art Studio: Art Studio in grades 6-8 will embrace the world of art through a variety of mediums and techniques. Different trimesters will focus on different art concepts, artists, and projects.

Chorus: students who choose Chorus will participate in this class focused on voice coaching, breathing, musicality, harmony, and will perform once per term. chorus composed of cross-grade level singers who will work together as the Williams Choral Ensemble.

Web Design: Focused on design and layout of effective web pages using marketing and graphics skills more so than code.

Design Thinking: As an extension of innovation, students will find solutions to a single problem statement. Using the five major points of design thinking, students will identify a problem and then proceed to empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test their solutions.

Photography: Using iPads or other digital cameras, students in grades sixth through eighth will learn about composition, focus, and exposure for digital photography.

Debate: Following the generally accepted Middle School Public Debate Program, students will engage in civil discourse on a variety of topics to hone their logical reasoning skills.

Web Design - The williams school
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