Earlier this week the Parents' Association welcomed Cristina Young as she presented Understanding the Teenage Brain: The Keys to Improving a Challenging Relationship. Ms. Young, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Therapist with 25-years of experience, led an authentic discussion on the challenges and joys of parenting teenagers in today's environment.
Welcome to the Middle School
The Middle School program supports self-exploration, encouraging early adolescents to discover their academic, artistic, and athletic talents in a way that helps students achieve their personal best while fostering self-awareness and overall wellness. Students emerge as their best selves - as self confident thought leaders who are able to analyze, synthesize, and communicate their knowledge in ways that demonstrate engagement and connection.
"Our expert faculty guide student learning and foster a growth mindset encouraging students to take healthy risks in order to learn. Middle School students know how to self-advocate, gaining confidence through our Lifeskills classes, Advisory System, and student led parent conferences."
Alex Weiner, Interim Head of Middle School
We invite you to learn more about one of Stamford's top-rated private middle-schools, explore the benefits of our program, browse our rigorous academics and check out the Middle School in Action Stories. We look forward to welcoming you on campus!
In the Middle School, the key to academic excellence stems from:
- Opportunities for students to engage with a thoughtfully designed, sophisticated program in the liberal arts and sciences that requires students to be active, in-depth learners
- Support by Exceptional Faculty
- A Kind, Respectful Community
Commitment to Academic Excellence
A typical day might find you analyzing a Shakespearian soliloquy, dissecting a sheep’s liver, writing script in Python, or debating the appropriate role of the United States in global affairs. The course level options ensure you are challenged, with MS students often qualifying to take high school mathematics and language classes by Grade 8. You will be paired with a Faculty Advisor who knows you well and can provide guidance. LEARN MORE.
Delve into STEM as you learn to think like a scientist, use technology as a creative tool, and develop a passion for math. You'll enjoy project based experiments and presentations as you build a rocket and work with LEGO robotics. In Computer Science and Digital Applications' classes, you will more deeply understand digital photography, filmmaking, 3-D printing, robotics, and coding in Scratch and Python. LEARN MORE.
Reading and Writing
You will approach texts from multiple perspectives, strengthening your inferential skills. Your writing and thinking will evolve as classroom workshops and whole-class novels help you gain more abstract understandings of text. Active classroom debate will enable you to sharpen your speaking skills. LEARN MORE.
Self-exploration is a key component of the MS program. You prepare for high school while exploring your academic, artistic, and athletic talents in a way that fosters balance and overall wellness. Whether you’re developing a working catapult or an analytical essay, filming a historical documentary, performing at the Berklee Jazz Festival, performing in the spring musical, competing with one of our 19 MS sports teams, or working with Student Council, King MS will help you expand your interests and build your talents.
Our private middle school Faculty are dedicated to being experts in their subject area and in the field of adolescent learning and development. Our teachers relish the opportunity to engage with you in an exploration of complex academic topics, but also understand how to help you organize your materials and time, and how to guide you through your middle school career with kindness and perseverance. MEET OUR FACULTY.
King's Approach to Teaching and Learning
Our teachers know the power of using their students' interests, learning patterns, and personal goals to drive rigorous academic exploration. MS Faculty use the latest educational research to guide student-centered instruction. Our comprehensive Student Learning Profile System deepens faculty understanding of each student’s learning strengths, challenges, and goals, and our MS teachers actively contribute to and draw from this rich knowledge base to support our students’ development over time as they move through our challenging academic program and strive to achieve their personal best. LEARN MORE.
Our deep belief in the King Virtues -- Integrity, Kindness, Perseverance, and Respect -- support you as a valued member of a community where you can feel appreciated for your contributions while also feeling comfortable learning from your mistakes and taking academic risks. You will develop a deep understanding of and respect for diversity, and the wide variety of cultures, ethnicities, and perspectives that comprise the human experience. You can volunteer each week with the MS King Cares Service Club. LEARN MORE.
The Middle School program provides for continuous academic progress through the development of basic learning skills, application of organized information, pursuit of personal interests, and integration of varied subject material. Often an entire unit is built around a central question, and subsequent lessons become a student-directed quest for answers.
We have identified communication, intellectual processing, character development, and personal growth as key concepts required for students to pursue lives of learning and accomplishment, personal fulfillment, and social responsibility. Teachers, Advisors, and Coaches carefully thread elements of these four areas throughout all lessons over the middle school years.
Students are self-disciplined so that they:
- Take initiative, persevere, and follow through with a task.
- Work cooperatively and independently.
- Take reasonable risks.
In acquiring these competencies, students are able to recognize their strengths and weaknesses, accept criticism, and identify personal learning styles. These characteristics enable them to proceed to the next level of intellectual growth. Students recognize that the product is a reflection of the process; by the end of Grade 8, students must realize how to manage the process in order to arrive at a quality product.
As part of the intellectual process, students are able to use technology as a means of expression, communication, and investigation.
- Students make independent interdisciplinary connections and relate their studies to a changing global environment.
- Students develop competence in, as well as an appreciation of, the value of visual and performing arts and how they relate to other disciplines.
- Students have a clear awareness of themselves as individuals and how to support each other; show compassion; accept diversity; and have a sense of community. By doing so, they develop a sense of moral character. Furthermore, they set standards and act as role models for the entire MS student body.
- Standards of accountability and responsibility for one’s actions help foster self-esteem.
- Students participate regularly in physical activity and learn to value its role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In addition, they learn the value of sportsmanship and team play.
- Learning environment is an atmosphere of supportive nurturance that takes students to the middle level of their academic, social, and emotional development.
- Teachers are role models who teach overtly through instruction and covertly by personal example. They pattern skills of time management, organization, and the foundation for exercising critical thinking skills.
- A hands-on methodology and personal interest approach are key ingredients to helping students progress through challenging and complicated course work and concepts.
- Generally, development of basic skills through application in content areas is emphasized, rather than a strictly content-oriented “sage on the stage” approach to learning.
Teachers are ever-present to provide support, encouragement, and opportunity to capture teachable moments to promote a student’s personal growth and character development.
- Our Grade 7 program continues the work that began in Grade 6. No longer new to the middle school world, students are given greater responsibility and they see an increase in expectations. At the same time, they are surrounded by faculty who have developed a program that ensures success for these adolescents.
- A continued focus on developing writing, reading, and study skills drives this program.
- Through grade-sponsored community service, grade level meetings, and advisory discussions, students are given the tools to show greater empathy for others and to come together as a more unified class that focuses on setting and achieving both individual and collective goals.
By the end of the year, students are prepared with the skills and self-confidence necessary for success in the coming years.
- The Grade 8 year is dedicated to developing the whole individual. Our students have a natural curiosity and enthusiasm for life that is nurtured through exciting programs, educational projects, fun trips, and community service.
- In the classroom, King presents a diverse and challenging curriculum that emphasizes skill development, high standards of achievement, good study habits, time management, and personal responsibility. It inspires students to pursue deeper levels of understanding, to work cooperatively, and to foster the critical thinking that is so highly valued.
- The traditional subjects offer a solid foundation for college-preparatory work in the Upper School. Students also are asked to take ownership of their academic growth by participating in student-led conferences, and they receive the encouragement and support of their teachers by assertively advocating for their needs.
King presents a challenging and supportive environment for all students to realize their academic potentials.
The Student Support Team (SST) is comprised of the Middle School Counselors, the Director of Teaching and Learning, and the Dean of Students. This group meets regularly to review program, student progress and wellness, and parent education. The SST also collaborates closely with advisors and Team Leaders to ensure consistently or programmatic implementation through Advisory and Life Skills curriculum.
Movement between and among our programs is quite fluid and is dependent upon the relative areas of strength for each student. Students have opportunities for honors placement in Math, Science, and World Languages. Minors: Computer Science/Digital Applications, Choral and/or Instrumental Music, Visual Art, Drama, Life Skills, and Creative Arts. Athletics is also part of the required program for all MS students. When applicable, we distinguish between the various levels of course offerings in the following ways:
THE COLLEGE PREPARATORY PROGRAM
The College Preparatory Program is the fundamental program in every given discipline. In some subjects, such as English and History, this standard-level offering is the course that all students take at a particular grade level.
THE ACCELERATED PROGRAM
The accelerated designation exists solely in our Math sequence and seeks to differentiate between the college preparatory and honors offerings to provide an appropriate level of mathematics instruction for all MS students.
THE HONORS PROGRAM
The Honors Program takes College Preparatory courses to a more sophisticated, advanced level. Honors classes are offered beginning in Grade 6 in Mathematics and Grades 7 and 8 for World Languages and Science.
Middle School Course Offerings
Read more about our academic philosophy and view detailed descriptions of all courses.
Because of the variety of course offerings available, middle school schedules can vary dramatically from student to student.
*College Preparatory and Honors Levels offered
- World Languages
- Performing and Visual Arts
- Additional Courses
The English faculty encourages students to explore and understand how language is used to express the thoughts and feelings of English speakers interacting with their world and reflecting upon the challenges of being human. At each grade level students are empowered to develop and refine their skills of reading, writing, thinking, speaking, and listening, as they encounter increasingly challenging texts from a number of literary periods and genres. In particular, the English faculty is committed to developing authenticity of personal voice in each student and to fostering a love of the written word and pleasure in the act of reading.
Grade 6 - Memoir, Myth, and Journey: Understanding the self in a global context
Grade 7 - The American Experience
English 8 - Civic and Personal Responsibility
The Mathematics faculty works to enhance and expand student understanding of pattern, order, relation, and structure, and the development of abilities of logical analysis, deduction, conjecture and proof, and calculation within the context of these patterns and structures. Students learn that the process used in obtaining a solution is at least as important as a correct answer. The faculty also works to ensure that each student is thoroughly familiar with analytical, computational, and problem-solving methods, as well as logical patterns of reasoning.
600 level – Finishing the Foundations
700 level- Transitioning from Concrete to Abstract
800 level – Algebra *, Geometry
Advanced Number Theory, Algebra, and Probability
(ANTAP is a course intended for advanced students primarily in Grade 7. This course invites students to spend a year exploring advanced problem solving and algebraic thinking before progressing on to Geometry. This will involve a deep dive into number theory and probability, topics not typically explored in standard mathematical progressions. While the goal of ANTAP is to expand student numeracy more broadly, the trajectory of ANTAP will likely take its participants to multivariable calculus and linear algebra in the Upper School years)
The Science faculty provides a collaborative educational experience in which to study the physical world by reviewing current knowledge, manipulating variables or components, and interpreting phenomena. Students are challenged to expand their knowledge bases and develop the ability to use inquiry, problem recognition and resolution, critical thinking, and research while interacting with technical information. Students are exposed to all three basic sciences to enable them to perceive the world through multiple perspectives, make connections, and see patterns within and between disciplines.
Grade 6 - Earth Science
Grade 7 - Exploring the Web of Life
Grade 8 – Conceptual Physical Science
The History faculty guides students in the close examination of the written record of human civilization, human action, and interaction, via primary documents and secondary sources. Research and debate form an integral part of our studies, and special attention is placed on showing the controversy and complexity of historical study as students learn to synthesize and interpret opposing points of view while formulating their own conclusions.
Grade 6 - Global Perspectives
Grade 7 - A More Perfect Union: American History and Civil Rights
Grade 8 – United States and the World
The World Languages faculty empowers students to understand and appreciate the diverse values, beliefs, biases, and worldviews of non-English speaking people. Students explore linguistic systems through a variety of culturally authentic materials. The faculty employs multimedia resources to expand and refine exposure to the art, literature, and history of the Spanish and French and Chinese-speaking world. Through the acquisition of another language and a more intimate acquaintance with other cultures, students are better equipped to perceive and interpret the world and their place in it.
Level 1: Spanish, French, Chinese
Level 2: Spanish, French, Chinese
Level 3: Spanish, French, Chinese
See guide for details on each level.
The Middle School has a tradition of creating various clubs that provide students with an opportunity to explore interests that do not necessarily fall into our core programming. All MS students participate in one club actively. Clubs are both faculty-generated and student-generated. Most clubs are held during our activity period or after school.
Saturday, April 13 was the fourth annual King Cares Family Service Day. Over 250 students, parents, family members, friends, and staffulty came together to support 10 of King's partner organizations, and the day concluded with the US student Midnight Run. The mission of the King Cares Service Program is to support the values-based education at King School. This Program reinforces the School's belief that service to the broader community, both local and international, is central to educational excellence.
At King, we empower students to think for themselves, respect other opinions, and find their voice. Thank you to Grade 8 student Kareena Pasumarti for her reflections on her grade's recent trip to Washington DC. This trip offers a valuable bonding experience for the students and also provides meaningful curricular connections.
Congratulations to the members of our Math Team who competed in the State Competition, which took place on April 4 at Haddam-Killingworth High School. Out of all "Small" schools in the competition - there are 22 schools in this category - King placed second behind Christian Heritage. Also, Cam Raker '19 achieved a perfect score for the second year in a row.
The King Community took a trip around the world last week and never left the LS gymnasium. It was an afternoon filled with memories of faraway places where the roots of our community began; delicious food once shared by families much like our own; and the differences that bring us together.
The US Gymnasium was transformed into a processing plant on Wednesday, March 6, as Diana Degnan '20 lead the charge to pack over 100,000 meals for the Feed My Starving Children organization and feed nearly 300 children for a year. At the end of the day, Middle and Upper School students and Staffulty helped exceed the goal and packed 101,304 meals (469 boxes) in total. This ambitious undertaking was part of Diana's Capstone Project for Global Studies and the effects of her work will be felt thousands of miles away.
King is excited to host its fifth annual El Sistema Residency April 6-8 when talented musicians from our Middle and Upper Schools collaborate in intensive music workshops with visiting students of various El Sistema USA programs, including Stamford's own Project Music. The overarching focus of the residency is to inspire a connection between communities of different socioeconomic backgrounds, using the music ensemble as the vehicle through which to inspire deeper communication.
In late January, Grade 7 students enjoyed a day of service and activities at Building One Community: The Center for Immigrant Opportunity, Long Ridge Rehabilitation Center, and Trap't Escape Room. Students worked with local communities for a morning of meaningful service and collaborated as a team for afternoon activities.
The student became the teacher on Wednesday night as three US students guided guests through the new Innovation Lab and provided instruction on the equipment. The event served as the grand opening of the Lab and included a ribbon cutting ceremony and donor appreciation reception for a group of faculty, students, and donors.
The Grade 8 exchange program with the Greenwich Japanese School (GJS) has been part of the King MS curriculum for ten years. "The most fascinating aspect of the program is the way the students interact considering the language differences. Alternative communication in the way of gestures, smiles, and laughter always make the experience all the more enlightening and enjoyable."