be encouraged. become confident.
MIDDLE SCHOOL There’s nothing like the satisfaction of facing a challenge and finding the answers. Adolescents do that every day. At MPA, we encourage Middle School students to follow their curiosity, deepen their connections with others, and pursue their talents with purpose. Middle School is challenging and engaging—students’ ideas unfold as part of a remarkable big picture. Facts and figures are not an end in themselves but instead form a foundation for creative and critical thinking. MPA is a place where learning comes alive, where students are challenged and pushed to excel and succeed, and where it’s cool to be smart and perfectly okay to make mistakes. Small class sizes allow impressionable adolescents to spend one-on-one time with their teachers and collaborate with their classmates. The result? Well-rounded students who know their teachers and actively participate in their own education. Our exceptional Fine Arts, Physical Education, and World Language programs take off in Middle School. Outside the classroom, there are over 70 extra-curricular activities for students to choose from as they begin to make more decisions about their life at MPA. These programs support these transitional years and give our students an opportunity to call Middle School their own.
Your Pathway â€˘ 5th Grade Academy Our 5th Grade Academy ensures that the transition from Lower to Middle School is developmentally appropriate and meets our studentsâ€™ social and academic needs. The main focus of this unique transitional program is the learning and practice of both organizational and study skills. These skill sets help to prepare our students not only for the remainder of their Middle School experience, but also for Upper School, college, and beyond. In 5th grade, students meet in Advisory at the beginning and end of each day. The goal is to provide academic support, develop social skills, present community service opportunities, and encourage a nurturing environment. The result is a well-laid foundation for Middle School independence and success.
Your Opportunities Our Middle School thrives because of its intentionally small size. Here, students can truly do it all. What do you get when students can fearlessly experiment, explore, experience, and improve? A joyful community of well-connected youth.
Your Options Band Boy Scouts Chess Club Fencing FIRST Lego League Girl Scouts Math Bee Math Counts Math Masters Middle School Play Orchestra Quiz Bowl Speech Spelling Bee Sports Club Spring Musical Student Council World Language Contests Yoga
Your Community Community service and global responsibility are deeply valued in the Middle School. Students are responsible for all-school recycling and play a key role in maintaining our community garden, our community courtyard, and our cafeteria. We reach out to our local community through visits to a nearby nursing home and picking up trash in our neighborhood. We also give to our greater community when we package food for Feed My Starving Children, host collections and raise money for food shelves and other charities, and teach basic skills one-on-one in an inner-city school.
Your Role Models Middle School teachers expect a lot from each student. They push in gentle ways and encourage students of all ages to take responsibility for their academic journey. Our teachers help students prioritize and balance their responsibilities, they understand the pressures and stress of being a Middle School student, and they help our children keep a healthy perspective. 44% of faculty members have advanced degrees 45% of faculty have been at MPA for 10+ years 26% of faculty have been at MPA for 20+ years
Your Schedule The sample schedules below will give you a glimpse into what everyday life is like in Middle School. We operate on a block schedule so that students are able to experience a variety of different subjects each day, but also spend a substantial amount of focused time in each class.
7/8 Sample Schedule
5/6 Sample Schedule
Your Adventures From bike trips to overnights to canoeing on the St. Croix, our students are often outside of the walls of our school, engaged in exploratory learning. We value trips that focus on community service and bringing lessons alive in the real world. In the past year we have taken Middle School students to Costa Rica, Quebec, and Washington DC. Our service learning trips include volunteering for Feed my Starving Children and collecting seeds for the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary.
“I don’t have to try to fit in at MPA. We’re all different, and my teachers and classmates support me and respect my individuality.” - Middle School student
AN EXEMPLARY MIDDLE SCHOOL Whole child education. It’s a concept that is easily clichéd and often presented without a clear definition. Not here. Our students take a wide variety of classes, all with incredible depth. The range of courses and activities—from science and Honors Geometry to art, drama, world language, and physical education—promotes student development of an eclectic group of interests. We understand the power of a hands-on curriculum that is supported by extensive exploratory learning. Our students receive emotional support through advisories, health classes, counseling services, and the close interactions that are the result of our small class sizes. Understanding thoughts and emotions is an important consideration as staff help students deal with emotional changes. Responsibilities and expectations are clear to Middle School students. They accept the responsibilities given to them and work hard to be supportive of each other and the MPA community in general. Visit our interactive Middle School curriculum page for more information about day-to-day life in Middle School classes.
Music, Visual Art, and Drama
every semester in Middle School
GRADE LEVELS (5, 6, 7, 8)
8th Grade EXPLORE Testing Results
English Mathematics Reading Science Composite Score
15.2 15.9 15.0 16.8 15.9
19.8 19.1 18.6 19.9 19.5
Clubs & Activities
Band, Boy Scouts, Chess Club, Fencing, Girl Scouts, FIRST Lego League, Math Bee, Math Counts, Math Masters, Middle School Play, Spring Musical, Orchestra, Quiz Bowl, Speech, Spelling Bee, Sports Club, Student Council, World Language Contests, Yoga
MIDDLE SCHOOL Middle School Traditions
Nostalgia Week, Book Festival and Middle School Café, Middle East Peace Conference, Lip Sync Contest, Illustrating and publishing a book, Spelling and Math Bees, Camp Ihduhapi, Audubon Center of the North Woods, Washington, D.C., Middle School Play, 5th & 6th Grade Halloween Party, 7th & 8th grade dances, 8th grade Moving Up Ceremony
Over 20 Athletic Programs participation beginning in 6th grade