Head of Middle/Upper School: Kate Howell
    • 20180524_Kate_Howell_03


In Grades 4 and 5, our students are challenged academically to master more complex areas of study, and supported socially to develop the skills necessary to negotiate relationships, solve problems in teams, and better understand their role in the world they inhabit.

The Middle School Program

List of 3 items.

  • Academic Curriculum >>

    In Derby’s Middle School, children are undergoing the exciting, yet often uneven, transition from basic cognitive, emotional and social development to more sophisticated intellectual learning and interactions with peers. We believe each child makes this major life transition at his or her own pace. Recognizing this, and to help all students succeed, we focus on providing strong adult guidance and a safe environment in which they can confidently take intellectual risks.

    Students develop self-reliance and realize through project-based learning in Grades 4 and 5, that cooperation is as important as competition. Varied and ample opportunities in the arts, sports, extracurricular activities, community service and student leadership all provide a well-rounded experience for each child.
  • An Interdisciplinary Approach >>

    Through an interdisciplinary approach that engages the whole child, units integrate science, social studies, technology, P.E., art, music, World Languages and our social curriculum.

    Our focus is on the cognitive, social and physical development of children combined with competitive, exciting and innovative ways to learn, which inspires a curiosity in children reaching well beyond the classroom.
  • Social Curriculum >>

    We are committed to actively guiding and supporting the social and emotional needs of our students in Grades 4-8. In a general sense, we accomplish this by providing on a daily basis age-appropriate structure, clear behavioral expectations and personal guidance in a safe learning environment. Further, we actively maintain connections between our Lower School and the older grades by incorporating the tenets of the Responsive classroom and by having Middle Schoolers serve as “big buddies” for our youngest students in our monthly PALS program.

    Our social curriculum consists of a number of highly effective programs: weekly advisor-advisee sessions (with a student : teacher ratio of about 6:1); weekly grade-level class meetings; tri-weekly morning meetings for Grades 4-8; and an annual outdoor education activity for each grade that culminates in a three-day, two-night trip at a New Hampshire wilderness center for the eighth graders. Additionally, sixth graders take part in the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program which teaches students “how to resist peer pressure and live productive drug and violence-free lives.” Several times throughout the year seventh and eighth graders meet in small groups with a consultant from Wellness Collaborative. At these meetings, students learn strategies for dealing with peer pressure, stress and the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.

    We also offer service experiences for students so they may develop a stronger of social responsibility. Examples include monthly trips to the Father Bill’s Shelter for the Homeless (Quincy) and the Cradles to Crayons program (Boston). Participation in student-intiated fundraising projects through our two students councils or World Awareness Club provides additional opportunities for Middle and Upper Schoolers to be connected to the greater community outside of their school.

    Through all activities mentioned above, we believe our students successfully learn to negotiate relationships, to manage peer pressure, to solve problems in teams, to grapple with ethical issues, and to understand their emerging responsibilities to themselves and to the world they inhabit.

View our Curriculum

Middle School Highlights

  • Strong language arts curriculum
  • Everyday Mathematics Curriculum (1-5)
  • Laboratory science
  • Specialist teachers in physical education, music, art, Spanish, sewing, woodshop and drama
  • Open Circle- Social Emotional Curriculum
  • Student Council
  • Cross-Grade Peer Mentoring Program
  • Chorus, Strings and Band
  • Field Trips
  • After School Programs
The best educational choice on the South Shore for Pre-K through Grade 8 education.