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King School

An independent day school educating students PreK-Grade 12

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Setting the Tone for Grade 8
Grade 8 Retreat
Grade 8 Retreat

As they embark on the final year of their middle school journey, Grade 8 students assume the leadership role for their division. The Middle School has structures in place to help the students thrive in this new position by creating opportunities to collaborate and set intentions.

This year, the middle school faculty hosted the inaugural Grade 8 Retreat to help the class understand responsibilities to themselves and others. The retreat took place in the Middle School on Thursday, September 7, and Friday, September 8, offering students a chance to connect with their peers, set expectations, and share their vision for the year ahead.

Grade 8 Retreat

"We want students to understand the importance of culture and their role in building a strong middle school community,” said Ken Lewis, Grade 8 Team Leader, emphasizing the significance of this initiative.

The primary goal of the retreat is to set a positive tone for the year and help students understand the significance of being good and caring citizens both in the Middle School and in the broader school community. Students are also encouraged to be strong and respectful role models for younger students who look up to them.

The first day of the recent retreat began with students considering two essential questions:

  • What do I need to do to make this a successful year?
  • What obstacles exist that could prevent this from being the most successful year?
Grade 8 Retreat

Using the questions as a starting point, students wrote their thoughts anonymously on notecards allowing them to further reflect on their hopes and fears.

Complimenting the written exercise, students created paper-doll-style illustrations depicting their personal perception of a Grade 8 student at King. Later discussion in advisory groups revealed many common themes that resonated with the group.

“It was very interesting to find out that my classmates and I struggled with similar topics while also having the same hopes and aspirations,” said Evan Minaidis ’28.

On the second day, students enjoyed lunch from Reddi Rooster and participated in a team-building Scavenger Hunt. The hopes and fears notecards from the first day were posted around the Middle School Commons, where students used sticky dots to indicate which resonated most with them. This activity sparked further discussions about shared experiences and emotions.

Grade 8 Retreat

The program concluded with students sharing their voices in a moment of self-reflection and calmness.

“The retreat gave us a chance to understand the changed responsibility we now have as eighth graders and how we need to help others become better people, including ourselves,” said Vicky Krishnan ’23. “It was a good experience, and it taught me what to strive for in eighth grade.”