Middle School 

The Oakwood Middle School (grades 4 to 7) mission is to cultivate the students’ growing independence by offering a challenging academic curriculum that strengthens and develops their minds, collaborative co-curricular opportunities to nourish their physical and social development, and community service opportunities to develop an awareness of their responsibilities to a local and global community.

The Middle School curriculum at Oakwood is designed as a four-year journey from 4th to 7th grades in which students will develop a sense of academic purpose, sound study skills and habits, roots of self-knowledge, and a respect and concern for the needs of others. Students travel this course on an individual basis -- at different rates and sometimes with variations in their progress. Throughout the four years in Middle School, students experience a logical progression of content, vocabulary, and skill development in each discipline as well as increased expectations for academic responsibility and independent work. Highlights of our academic program include:

  • Challenging academic program with core classes in the areas of English, math, science, social studies, and Spanish that is developmentally appropriate and meets students' needs.
  • An extensive co-curricular program in the fields of STEAM, Fine Arts, athletics, and clubs. 
  • International and domestic travel opportunities that provide students with exposure to culture, language immersion, and history while highlighting areas of civic engagement. 
  • Instruction by highly-trained faculty who frequently engage in professional development opportunities to stay abreast of best practice and teaching methodologies and pedagogy through national and local workshops.

The Middle School years can be inherently challenging as students experience greater independence and become more self-aware and of those around them. Homeroom advisory teachers mentor students on a regular basis as they navigate this maturation and help students to discover and learn to believe in themselves and work with others. Their teachers, division coordinators, counselors, and all Oakwood staff are committed to knowing each student and appreciating their unique skills, talents, and contributions to the Oakwood community. To learn more about how the Middle School faculty helps our students to successfully transition this phase of their academic journey at Oakwood, please refer to the Middle School Division Coordinators’ letter.

Our Middle School Promise:  
The Oakwood Middle School enriches your child's growing independence and unique individuality with an invigorating curriculum, guidance from brilliant teachers, and extra-curricular opportunities that fortify them cognitively, socially, and personally.

Lower Middle School (Grades 4 & 5)

The Lower Middle School includes grades 4 and 5 and is led by a team of four lead faculty members who teach their subject of specialty.  They have created an intentional blend of structure and increased responsibility that guides students towards independence. Fitness classes as well as daily outdoor free time providing students time to move, run, play, and interact outside of the classroom.

Although a new world of lockers, class transition schedules, and personal iPads might seem to students (and parents) like a big change from Lower School, our teachers are seasoned educators skilled in shepherding our students through this process. Collaborative initiatives allow students to work as teams and to learn and appreciate the talents of others. A curriculum rich with content, hands-on activities, and thought-provoking discussions stretches students’ minds and prepares them for Upper Middle School.  

Upper Middle School (Grade 6 & 7)

The Upper Middle School, grades 6 and 7, is led by a team of four lead faculty members who teach their subject of specialty and introduce students to greater independence; new responsibilities, such as preparation for midterm and final exams; and additional opportunities for leadership. Fitness classes as well as daily outdoor free time provide students time to move, run, play, and interact outside of the classroom.

Upper Middle School students are valued as individuals, supported in developing personal awareness and a strong sense of self, while guided to understand their responsibility to the various groups to which they belong. They are taught in a culture that shows care, concern, and respect for others. Upper Middle School students become the mentors in the B.U.D.S. (Build Unity, Determining Smiles) program, which engages 4th and 7th graders as partners throughout the year. They also take the reins as the elected officers of the Middle School Student Government Association (SGA) where they lead weekly morning meetings of the entire Middle School division of students and teachers.  

The goal of the Middle School is to develop students who will emerge from the program as productive and positive citizens whose increased cognition, collaborative mindset, and social maturity make them prepared to tackle the academic, physical, and social growth, as well as college preparation rigors of Oakwood’s Upper School. 

Middle School Curriculum

Oakwood faculty, division coordinators, and staff are committed to the success of our students. Our teachers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on most days when not teaching class for individualized assistance as needed and for scheduled meetings with parents. At the beginning of the year, the school hosts a Curriculum Night for the Middle School parents to learn more about the programs and meet the faculty. The school regularly schedules Parent/Teacher Conferences at the end of the first quarter with the parents and core teachers to review progress. If additional support is needed, our teachers work with your child and the school’s Student Support Services. The Curriculum Guide provides more detailed information on the core academic subject areas and co-curriculars for grades 4 to 7.

Core Academic Subject Areas: 

  • English
  • Social Studies
  • Mathematics
  • Science (link info at bottom of this into a PDF)
  • Spanish

Co-Curriculars:

  • Art
  • Music
  • Dance
  • Fitness
  • Advisory
  • Information Technology

 

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Middle School - Did You Know?

What is unique about the Middle School at Oakwood?
The entire Middle School experience includes the following features:
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Academic Development
  • Specialized Faculty -- Teachers are specialized in discrete content areas.
  • Off-Campus Education -- Overnight curriculum-based field trips begin in 4th grade. Learn more about Off-Campus Education Week here.
  • Academic Clubs and Competitions – Students have the option to participate in school-wide, local, regional, and state academic competitions in math, science, geography, robotics and spelling.
  • Eagle and Scholar Awards – Each year Oakwood recognizes students in the Middle School Division based on their strength of character, their creativity, and their contributions that make a difference. Deemed the Eagle Award, Upper Middle School faculty can elect to award up to three Eagle Awards per grade. In the Lower Middle School, the faculty use the same criteria to choose one student in both grades 4 and 5 to receive the Junior Eagle Award. In addition to Eagles, Upper Middle School staff nominates and selects a student from both grades 6th and 7th to receive Oakwood's Scholar Awards. Students earning the Scholar Award are chosen for their class performance as well as scholarly attitude and thirst for learning in it's purest form - the love of knowing.
Co-Curricular Experiences
  • Fine Arts -- Comprehensive fine arts program with musical options (band, strings, chorus), weekly studio art classes, dance classes, theater classes, annual public displays of student artwork, and the opportunity to participate in an annual school-wide musical production. 
  • Athletics -- Athletic program are available with intramural options for grades 4-5 and competitive athletic teams for grades 6-7 with a no-cut policy. Fitness classes as well as daily outdoor free time provide students time to move, run, play, and interact outside of the classroom.
  • Experiential Seminar Days – On scheduled half-days, students spend an entire morning participating in activities of their choosing in which a faculty member is sharing one of his/her passions or facilitating a special learning experience.

  • Specialized Clubs -- More here.
Social, Cultural, and Community Building
  • Division Meetings -- Tuesday morning Division-wide meetings foster community among all Middle School grades led by the elected Middle School SGA representatives.
  • Mentoring Programs -- Organized throughout the year to build social connectedness and responsibility and ease the transition for younger grades. Examples include H.U.G.S. (Help Us Grow Successfully) pairing 5th graders with Kindergarten and B.U.D.S. (Building Unity, Determining Smiles) pairing 7th and 4th graders.
  • Advisory Groups – Weekly class period advisory  for 4th and 5th grades while 6th and 7th have daily advisory group exercises and conversations encouraging character development and fostering the sense of the “Oakwood family.”
  • Community Service – Students are engaged in grade- and division-level hands-on, student-initiated, and student-driven community service projects throughout the year. Proceed here to learn more about Community Service at Oakwood.
  • Dances.
Meet the Division Coordinators

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Ashley Blackmer
Lower Middle School Coordinator
ablackmer@theoakwoodschool.org
(252) 931.0760 EXT 1204

 

 

 

 

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 Anita Rish-Hodgkins
Upper Middle School Coordinator
arishhodgkins@theoakwoodschool.org
(252) 931.0760 EXT 1207

 

 

 

 

 

Division Coordinators' Letter: Transitions

Division Coordinators' Letter: Science is Fun Everyday!