Philosophy

The CCES Middle School is an essential, transitional component of the school’s college preparatory mission. Here, students learn to meet the accelerating demands of the academic curriculum in an environment that is, first and foremost, student-centered. Here, each student has the opportunity to develop to his or her fullest potential—intellectually, creatively, socially, athletically, and spiritually.

As a result, our teachers serve as enthusiastic role models in all areas. They are responsive to academic concerns, within a framework of understanding of the physical, emotional, and social behaviors attributable to young adolescents.

The curriculum focuses on the “how-to’s” of learning, and is varied to meet the needs of different learning styles. The Middle School curriculum also reflects a broad range of opportunities and experiences conducive to the positive growth of our students.

Our service learning programs develop the attitudes needed for positive citizenship and an awareness of one’s environment. Our fine arts programs offer depth and variety, allowing students to explore new opportunities for achieving excellence and building self-esteem. Our expanding athletic programs, beginning in grade 7, emphasize skills, sportsmanship, cooperation, and team spirit.

 

Middle School Opportunities for Success

The CCES Middle School is committed to providing the following qualities and activities crucial to the success of our students:

  • an environment where the child, not the program, is most important
  • a home base with a feeling of safety and security for students created by caring adult advisors
  • experiences that allow students to practice problem-solving skills as well as to understand and control their emotions
  • service learning projects and volunteer opportunities that are age-appropriate and mutually beneficial and constructive
  • a program designed uniquely for and adapted to the needs of adolescents that includes a wide range of intellectual, social, creative, cultural, and physical experiences
  • opportunities for exploring and developing skills needed by all while making allowances for individual learning styles and interests
  • emphasis on guidance and human relations, and attention to the development of mental processes and attitudes needed for constructive citizenship, lifelong competence, and effective leisure
  • staff members who respect and understand the age group and possess tolerance, flexibility, alertness, energy, and a sense of humor
  • a core group of teachers who are able to create a sense of family
  • a climate that enables students to develop abilities, learn to love learning, find facts, weigh evidence, draw conclusions, determine values, and open their minds to new information
  • a beyond-the-campus educational program that allows students to experience their environment
  • a program that offers variety in the creative arts, music, languages, and leisure activities
  • opportunities for releasing energy
  • personalized, continuous, and specific evaluation of student work and regular student-adult sessions for support and feedback
  • a curriculum and methods of teaching that reflect a multicultural and gender-sensitive approach
  • an approach that teaches that with increased freedom comes increased responsibility
  • planned transition from a self-contained lower school learning environment to a departmentalized upper school approach
  • academic, fine arts, and athletic programs that emphasize the importance of cooperation and personal growth rather than solely competition
  • a curriculum that teaches how to study, how to do research, how to explore, how to think, and how to learn.

Note: This philosophy has been adapted from The Middle School Handbook by Harry Finks, with permission of the author.