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aspire S t. Lu k e ’s S c h o o l

middle school G r a d e s 5 –8


“Students learn better when they feel connected in school to peers and adults. Knowing that they are known motivates students and gives them the confidence to work hard, to seek new experiences, and to take intellectual and extracurricular risks. “ M a r k D av i s , H e a d o f S c h o o l


From the moment you enter St. Luke’s Middle School until the day you transition to our 9th grade, you’ll be part of a dynamic community that will take you above and beyond your expectations and prepare you for the rigorous experiences that lie ahead. Actively involved in learning that instills confidence, inspires curiosity, and fosters creative thinking, you will aspire to more here. The relationships you’ll form with peers and teachers will provide the foundation on which you’ll thrive and excel.


togeth Our community drives student success. With the support and encouragement of teachers and peers, Middle School students flourish—both academically and socially—in a diverse environment that recognizes and celebrates individual contributions. As they grow, students gain the self-assurance they need to set high expectations and discover new interests. They develop strength of character, speaking up and speaking out on behalf of themselves and others. Our students root for one another: they want to do well and want their classmates to do well, too. Together, they learn, lead, and make a difference.

Using light photo gates, students test how motion changes over time, measuring speed to 1/10,000 of a second.


her Sixth grade students and faculty pitch in together to clean up a local beach.

Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve

“Teachers encourage us to be creative and use everything that we’re learning. They also teach us more than just academics—we learn how to work together, listen to each other, and be part of a community. “

Ask any of our students to recite our School motto, and they’ll tell you: Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve. These words, emblazoned above the School entry, are the cornerstone of all that we do. From the student-written Honor Code to stocking shelves at a local food bank to collecting cleats for an orphanage in Africa, our students are dedicated to making a difference—in their School, their community, and the world.

Perry g r a d e 7 , N o r wa l k , C T

All Middle School students participate in community service by class, focusing on the following themes: 5th – the elderly 6th – the environment 7th – homelessness and hunger 8th – children in need

www.stlukesct.org

communit y | 3


It all starts here. Balancing a traditional curriculum with interactive, hands-on learning and exploration, our 5th grade academic program successfully transitions students from elementary to middle school. Students in 5th grade benefit from their own hallway, separate yet connected to the rest of the School, where they feel comfortable to be themselves. Dedicated faculty get to know each individual student, identifying strengths and guiding

“Our 5th grade program gives students a jump-start on their path to academic excellence. They have the ability to look ahead, to aspire to more. The tools we provide enable them to take risks and experience new things. It all starts here. “ G a r e t h Fa n c h e r Head of Middle School

students to do and be more. Small class sizes ensure that each student plays an active role in the learning process. Step by step, students build confidence, form friendships, and succeed in all areas, on the playing field, on the stage, and in the classroom.

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A Day in the Life of a 5th Grader 7:55 AM Homeroom – review today’s schedule 8:00 AM Latin – “Salve, Magistra!” 8:50 AM Language Arts – edit essay on Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry 9:45 AM Break – share a snack with friends 10:05 AM Language Arts – create a “Found Poem” with quotes from Gettysburg trip 11:00 AM Lunch – eat, play a game of ping pong or soccer 11:35 AM Science – present lab findings to class 12:15 PM Social Studies – compare pre-Civil War economies of the North and South 1:05 PM Art – prep sculpture for the kiln 1:55 PM Math – solve the Problem of the Day 2:45 PM Afternoon Activities – ready for practice

“In social studies, we interviewed family members and recorded their stories, then posted them to the 5th grade blog. Once we were finished, we listened to five different podcasts and answered questions, such as, ‘What was most interesting about each person?’ It was a fun way to learn about different people and the things that are important to them. “ M a r y, g r a d e 5 , Sta m f o r d, C T

Citizenship Project What are the qualities of a good citizen? To introduce and welcome 5th grade students to the St. Luke’s community, we kick off the school year with the 5th Grade Citizenship Project. Students research and examine their place at St. Luke’s, within their own family, and in the world at large. They compile and present their research in creative ways, incorporating oral presentations, essays, and drawings. Fifth Grade Teacher Jane Olsen explains, “The theme of this project is ‘we all come from somewhere else.’ Students explore their

own origins through oral histories from family members, and we provide historical context for these stories in our lesson on immigration. They learn that they’re part of something much larger than themselves. “ Skills acquired: Research, writing, creativity, public speaking Added benefits: Friendship, a sense of belonging, integrated learning

“St. Luke’s is excited about each and every child. Teachers set expectations for the class, but treat students as individuals. From the moment I first met with the admissions staff, I’ve felt that my daughter could be anything she wants here. “ Bethany 5 t h g r a d e pa r e nt, N e w C a n a a n , C T

5th grade academics | 5


and you’ll find lively discussion and an interactive exchange of ideas. Students learn by doing and experiencing. Teachers integrate real-world topics into our traditional curriculum, challenging students to make connections, think critically, and find their voice. Collaborative projects allow students to take risks as leaders and problem-solvers. Whether the subject is a new concept in algebra or the global community, students have endless opportunities to explore—and develop the confidence to do so.

“Our team-teaching model allows the freedom to create a rigorous curriculum that forges real discussion. Students actively create, organize, debate, problem-solve—and just as important—make mistakes. In doing so, they not only build specific strengths, but also become responsible thinkers, presenters, and citizens. “ J e nn i f e r P o k o r n e y d i r e c to r o f m i d d l e s c h o o l c u r r i c u lu m & h i s to r y t e a c h e r

The Advisory Program Beginning in 6th grade and extending throughout our students’ years at St. Luke’s, our advisory program helps students navigate both the academic and social aspects of school. Advisors become students’ primary guides and an important link for students, parents, and teachers. Students meet with their advisors at least twice a week to discuss a range of topics, from academic performance and course selection to community service and citizenship. Advisory ensures that each student is known, resulting in an appropriate course of study and co-curricular activities.

with confidence

Walk into any 6th, 7th, or 8th grade classroom,


with confidence

Seventh grade students take advantage of the proximity to Long Island Sound to study biodiversity and local habitats.

Interdisciplinary Projects, Global Solutions Each year, St. Luke’s 7th grade partners with schools in other states and countries to take on a large-scale global issue and brainstorm solutions that can be implemented at the local level. Recently, students tackled biodiversity and ecosystem loss; they compared their local ecosystem to that of schools in North Carolina and Mexico, and posted their responses to a shared blog. Outside the classroom, students traveled to Long Island Sound to investigate its ecosystem and the effects of a nearby power plant. In history class, students put the pieces together as they examined how sustainable

choices can affect their health, as well as the health of their community. “This program shows students that we don’t work in isolation,” says History Teacher Chris Phelps. “What they’re learning in science has an effect on what’s going on in history, and what’s going on in history has an effect on English. We’re all in this together— not just in terms of academics, but in terms of the greater real-world picture. “ Skills acquired: Collaboration, cross-curricular thinking, leadership Added benefits: Global awareness, social responsibility, sustainable choices

8th Grade Declamations Who inspires you and why? This question is at the heart of the capstone 8th Grade Declamations. Focusing on an individual who has made a difference —Dag Hammarskjöld, Pat Tillman, and Maya Angelou are recent examples—students complete a rigorous, semester-long research and writing process, culminating with a speech to faculty, parents, and classmates. “Declamations tie together our Middle School goals on several levels,” says English Teacher Jim Decatur. “Students expand critical-thinking, organizational, and public-speaking skills. They reflect on the qualities they aspire to have, and those St. Luke’s instills, such as leadership and integrity. As students help and root for one another, they galvanize as a class. “ Skills acquired: Research, media literacy, written and oral communication

Sixth Grade Science Teacher Dave Havens leads instruction in our outdoor environmental classroom.

Added benefits: Self-confidence, pride, a sense of accomplishment

6th, 7th, & 8th grade academics | 7


From art to band to choir to theatre, Middle School students take advantage of the many fine arts offerings incorporated into the curriculum. In our one-of-a-kind Art House—solely devoted to creativity—students paint, sculpt, and enhance digital images; while in our state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center, students shine on stage and work behind the scenes as part of the tech crew. St. Luke’s showcases talents, and students admire and celebrate the artistic and musical

“Our music program gives students real-world skills, enabling them to pursue music in any capacity later in life, and instills in them an appreciation for music, developing future patrons of the arts. “ DALE G r i f fa m u s i c d e pa r t m e nt c h a i r

achievements of their peers. Essential to students’ growth and development, our arts program inspires creative thinking, gives students the chance to express themselves, and broadens their perspectives.

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Theatre for Grade 8 Commedia dell’arte Developed in Italy in the 16th and 17th centuries, commedia dell’arte is a style of performance characterized by improvisation and the use of stock characters, often in masks. This assignment asks students to investigate and analyze their characters, then come together as a class to write and perform a play. “Students in my class gain a passion for theatre; they feel excited about it, and are more likely to try out for a show,” says Jereme Anglin, Director of Theatre Arts. “They also become more comfortable with public speaking, which will help them with their 8th Grade Declamations. “ Three shows per year: The Middle School produces a play, musical, and theatre-in-the-round. Students are involved in all aspects of the performances, from acting to stage-managing to lighting and sound.


Events in the Arts • 5th Grade International Night • Blues Band Concert • Fall & Spring Choir Concerts • Winter & Spring Art Shows • Holiday Band & Choir Concerts • Middle School Fall Drama • Middle School Music & Poetry Performance • Middle School Musical • Middle School Spring Theatre-in-the-Round • Thespian Awards

“At St. Luke’s, art doesn’t just happen in the Art House. It runs through many of my classes, from the focus on nature in science to the study of Michelangelo in history to illustrating my own fairy tale in English. “ K i t, g r a d e 6 , N e w C a n a a n , C T

the arts | 9


your pas Everyone at St. Luke’s participates in an afternoon activity. Our Middle School philosophy is simple: everyone makes the team; everyone plays; and everyone has a leading role. St. Luke’s students are multi-dimensional, eager to try new activities and engage in new experiences, such as squash, chess, and computer animation. As students sing in the School’s musical or throw the game-changing pitch, they learn to be leaders in big and small ways. They take pride in their School, their accomplishments, and themselves.

Clubs & Activities • Art Club • Blues Band (Grades 7– 8) • Chess Club • Computer Animation • Dance • Drama • Environmental Club • Improvising through the Arts • Math Team • Middle School Musical • Music Club • Rock ’n’ Record • Technical Theatre (Grades 7– 8)

“In Middle School, I was able to try many different sports—so now in the Upper School, I know which sports I want to play. “ Griffin grade 9, New Canaan, C T


ssions Athletics

Ready for spring, the Environmental Club plants seedlings in front of the School.

One-hundred percent participation: all Middle School students play one sport or more during their years at St. Luke’s. • Baseball • Basketball • Crew (Grades 7– 8) • Cross Country • Field Hockey • Football • Ice Hockey • Lacrosse • Paddle Tennis • Ski Team (Grade 8) • Soccer • Softball • Squash • Tennis • Volleyball

Middle School students cheer on Upper School students as part of the 6 1/2 Man Club.

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co-curricular activities | 11


middle schoo By the time they finish 8th grade, students have acquired the communication and critical thinking skills they need to succeed in Upper School— and beyond. With teachers, advisors, friends, and teammates by their sides, they are engaged learners and leaders, confident in themselves and an integral part of our diverse community. On a daily basis, our students demonstrate the tenets of the St. Luke’s Honor Code: kindness, responsibility, honesty, and respect. Declamations serve as a rite of passage, as students push ideas to the limit, defend their findings, and transition to our 9th grade. With a strong academic foundation in place, they are well prepared to reach for—and achieve—more.

“Without my 8th Grade Declamation, I wouldn’t have had the chance to discover my passion for Dr. Paul Farmer’s work with Haiti’s health care delivery system. This has since become the basis of my study in the Global Scholars program in the Upper School, as well as one of my life passions and interests. “ McKenzie g r a d e 1 2 , R o way to n , C T, att e n d i ng s ta n f o r d u n i v e r s i t y


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“When I see the 5th and 6th graders at activities, they don’t view me as the college counselor; they’re just themselves, and I’m able to get to know them really well. When the time comes to talk about college, they’re comfortable, and I’m better able to help them through the process. “ sonia bell d i r e c to r o f co l l e g e co u n s e l i ng & e ng l i s h t e a c h e r

Middle School students team with Upper School students to win a Homecoming Week race.


Primary photography: Desiree Smock, St. Luke’s School parent ’12, ’15; other photography: Bob Handelman, Peter Mahakin, & Chi Chi Ubina; design & copywriting: studio-e.

377 North Wilton Road New Canaan, CT 06840 203.966.5612 | www.stlukesct.org


SLS Middle School Viewbook