Middle School is one of the most significant times in a child’s development, and the CCES Middle School is dedicated to providing students with an active, engaging environment that encourages and challenges students to think independently and to become lifelong learners. The Middle School prioritizes critical, independent, creative thought and expression in the classroom and has high expectations for students. This is all accomplished by a faculty and staff that truly understand the needs of children as they journey through adolescence.
A Safe, Nurturing Environment
We provide a safe, nurturing environment guided by caring adult advisors who enjoy teaching at the middle school level. We offer a wide range of intellectual, social, and physical experiences uniquely designed and adapted for adolescents. The child, not the program, is the focus of our efforts, and teachers provide many and varied opportunities for students to succeed. We teach students how to learn, and we help them to develop mental processes and attitudes needed for constructive citizenship, lifelong competence, and effective leisure.
The Opportunity To Succeed
The environment we provide stimulates students to excel, to think critically, and to develop lifelong interests. Our extraordinary creative arts programs allow students to develop their creative talents through music, drama, and visual arts. We prepare students for the challenges of the Upper School through a curriculum that teaches them how to study. CCES Middle School students consistently earn national and state honors for their performance on such measures of academic achievement as the National Spanish, French, and Latin Exams and the Continental Math and American Junior High Math exams. Each year students in the seventh-grade receive Grand or State Recognition in the Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP), which provides scholarships and other opportunities for academically gifted youth. Summer reading requirements, the Accelerated Reader program, advanced and honor course offerings in math, and the opportunity to begin foreign language instruction in Grade 5 are among the opportunities that contribute to our expectation that students can, and will, succeed.
The Opportunity To Serve
Every student in the Middle School participates in community service through yearlong, grade-level service learning commitments, as well as through special projects and volunteer activities. Students are expected not only to raise money, but also to give of their time and of themselves, whether delivering Meals on Wheels, constructing door frames for Habitat for Humanity, or raking leaves for homebound seniors through Diligent Hands Gracious Hearts. The opportunity to serve is not extracurricular – service is integral to the school’s philosophy and is reinforced in a variety of ways in Christian education classes, civics lessons, and throughout the curriculum.
Teachers As Role Models and Advisors
Character education is as intrinsic to the Middle School curriculum as forming young minds. Beginning in Grade 5 all students sign an Honor Code. Both academic and athletic programs emphasize cooperation and personal growth as well as competition. Our teachers respect and understand adolescents, and their approach to assignments and privileges lets students know that with increased freedom comes increased responsibility.
Reinforcing all these activities is the formal Middle School Advisory Program, a values-based curriculum. The advisory program provides a “home base” for students and also utilizes a grade-specific curriculum developed by our faculty to address the developmental needs of our students. Social and academic issues, including cliques, rumors, cooperation, and “the celebration of differences among us,” are among the topics covered through the advisory curriculum. Through this program our faculty serve as role models as well as advisors.
As the Director of the Middle School, I can assure you that the educational experience we offer will prove invaluable to your child’s development and future. I invite you to explore the opportunities of a CCES education and to contact me if I can answer your questions about the Middle School.
Nick Hinrichsen, Middle School Director