Welcome to The Kew-Forest Middle School! The Middle School years are a time of rapid and significant change physically, socially, and intellectually. Puberty begins and students go from being outgoing, eager, structure-loving youngsters to being moody, sensitive, and more abstract in their thinking; from being social to being more social, where parents and teachers are no longer cool and peers rule. They become more independent. In short, they start growing up!
So much change is both necessary and requires great resilience as students transition into Middle School, begin to clarify their talents and interests, develop essential study skills, and take on increased responsibility as members of the school community. They start learning to be autonomous students and individuals, equipped with the tools, skills, and knowledge to begin making choices that are right for them. To support these changes, the skilled and dedicated faculty at Kew-Forest carefully provide structure, freedom, and new experiences that create an emotionally, intellectually, and physically safe space in which Middle School students can learn and grow.
There is much that is new in Middle School -- getting lockers, transitioning between classrooms and teachers, having advisors, having access to a range of clubs and athletic teams, understanding individual class expectations, and more -- and our faculty help students navigate these new experiences. Through a combination of challenge, support, and small classes (with 150 students in the Middle and Upper School, the student/teacher ratio is 6.5:1), Middle School faculty differentiate instruction in the classroom to reach all learners. They build on our Lower School’s effective integration of core academic subjects with music, art and physical education, and actively prepare young adolescents for the challenges that will arise when they move to the Upper School.
The Middle School curriculum, guided by professionals experienced in teaching adolescents (89% of whom also teach in our Upper School and are thereby equipped to best prepare our Middle School students for high school), empowers students to appreciate a range of perspectives in order to deepen their understanding of the rich diversity of our world and the global society. Students progress in a program that is designed to offer opportunities and challenges at each grade level, and in classrooms established to be effective and dynamic learning environments. Emphasis is placed on the development of skills to reinforce the importance of study, research, and discipline. Core courses include English and literature, science and mathematics, history, the study of modern and classical languages, and computer science. These courses are complemented by our rich co-curricular program.
Our advisory program fosters interpersonal relationships and social-emotional learning while teaching executive functioning skills, and our students receive gender and sexuality education through our Health Education program. Responsibility to the broader community and cooperative learning are emphasized in our community service programs, our assemblies, and our interscholastic and competitive athletics program. Leadership opportunities, too, emerge formally in Student Council and athletic teams, and informally through clubs and other activities.
Ultimately, The Kew-Forest Middle School is where students become skilled and independent lovers of learning, committed to themselves and others in a diverse and close-knit community. We welcome you as active partners in this journey!
Tiffany D. Trotter
Head of Middle and Upper School