Middle School

The Detroit Country Day Middle School is committed to providing a supportive environment that allows students to explore and develop their own intellectual, creative and physical abilities. Our goal is to create independent and resilient learners by encouraging failure and celebrating success in a community that values the student-teacher relationship.
 
These relationships are fostered through the advisory program, a foundation of the Middle School. Advisory provides students with a place of belonging, an adult advocate and a person that can speak to the development of the whole child. In small groups character is developed and social and emotional learning is valued. Through advisory each student is known and mentored through the middle years.
 
In the classroom, outstanding and dedicated faculty recognize that every child develops and matures at their own rate. Students are encouraged to think critically, collaborate, and make mistakes through an innovative program which includes English, mathematics, science, history, world languages, studio and performing arts and physical education. The rigorous Middle School program is built on engaging and developmentally appropriate academics, while preparing students for Upper School.

Average Class Size

Average Class Size

Small classes allow for individual attention in all curricular subjects.

Average Advisory Size

Average Advisory Size

Advisories provide the personal connection and bonding with a small group of individuals from the Middle School community.

Overnight Field Trips

Overnight Interdisciplinary Field Trips

5th grade goes to Space Camp, 7th grade goes to Florida, 8th grade goes to Boston

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The strong, supportive, and engaged DCDS community thrives on relationships. Relationships between the student, the teacher, and the student's family are essential to creating a partnership. The more engagement we can have with each of the constituents, the better we can educate our students.
~ Michael Jenkins, Middle School Director

Sample Courses, Electives, and Programs

   Core Curriculum   

The first academic priority in the Middle School is the development of thinking, writing, and study skills.

English

The Detroit Country Day Middle School English program focuses primarily on the development of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The program also seeks to foster the enjoyment of language, the appreciation of literature, the expression of creativity and the development of logical, critical thinking.
 
Middle school language arts teachers employ a variety of student-centered approaches to create activities designed to further develop students’ abstract, logical and critical thinking skills:
  • Directed independent reading projects
  • Student-directed literature circles
  • Emphasis on active reading, including directed reading activities, note-taking and reader response journals
  • Use of reading blogs to share thoughts about literature
  • Use of Google Docs to facilitate the writing process, particularly reader response and revision
  • Presentation of textual evidence in literature paragraphs and essays
  • Combining research evidence and personal reflection to defend a thesis
  • Film study

History

The goal of the Middle School history department is for students to develop a sound understanding and appreciation for people, places and events that have shaped the world in which they live today.
 
The history department believes that in order to foster and reinforce academic growth a variety of learning techniques must be utilized. Skills strongly emphasized and practiced throughout the history curriculum are: technical reading, identifying main ideas, note-taking formats, paragraph and essay writing, interpretive analysis and oral expression. Historical information and academic skills are explored through cooperative learning exercises, interdisciplinary activities, computer web quests, individual research projects, audio-visual aids and roleplaying activities. We are striving to develop students who will be able to take factual material and apply it to formulate thoughts, ideas and conclusions of their own.

Math

The Middle School math department offers a rich variety of course to meet the individual needs of the student. Emphasis is placed on applying computational skills to quantitative situations. The aim is to present concepts in a manner that is engaging and allows students to think critically while developing mathematical understandings and connections.
 
For students who complete the Middle School mathematics sequence early, advanced courses are offered within the Middle School and for some, the Upper School. The department provide numerous opportunities for students to compete in local, regional, state, national and international competitions.

Science

The intent of the Middle School science curriculum is to engage students with meaningful context of their science education at both a personal and global level. All classes are student-centered with emphasis on hands-on and intellectually engaging activities. Through cooperative learning students are challenged to think critically and creatively.

World Language

The majority of the students study at least one world language with the intent to broaden their horizons in terms of cultural and geographical awareness and increased understanding of one's own language.
 
All skills of language acquisition are targeted: reading, listening, speaking, and writing in conjunction with culture by native or near-native speakers.

          Electives          

Electives include a variety of offerings to meet the skill levels and interests of our students.

Music

The primary goal of the Music department is to provide excellent musical experiences through performance in instrumental music (band and orchestra) and choral music. Through its multi-level structure, the instrumental program offers the beginning student the opportunity to perform while giving the advanced players the proper environment in which to further develop their skills and express their musicality. The choral program is open to every studen who wishes to participate. Each ensemble offers a unique experience.

Physical Education

The mission, philosophy and purpose of the physical education program reflects the school's motto - Mens Sana in Corpore Sano (a sound mind in a sound body). Students are taught values of health and wellness in addition to be challenged to meet their individual potential.

Theatre, Dance, and Communications Arts

The Theatre, Dance, & Communication Arts department offers students the opportunity to explore their creativity in a nurturing and supportive setting. Courses offered include combined speech and theatre courses for each grade level in addition to an honors level for eighth grade students, and dance rotator courses for each grade level as well as a year-long course for the more advanced dancers.

Visual Arts

The Middle School Visual Arts department offers arts instruction for all students. At all grade levels there is a rotating art class offered. A year-long option is available for the upper grades.
 
The program embodies creativity in a collaborative, safe, approachable environment. The focus is to create artists by instilling the eight Studio Habits (Studio Thinking: The Real Benefits of Visual Arts Education, 2007). While core artistic skills are emphasized, fun and enjoyment of learning is an important element as well.

Specialty Programs

Specialty programs help our students assimilate to the Middle School community and grasp an understanding of the physical and emotional changes often encountered within this age group.

Advisory

The advisor/advisee program is based on sound counseling principles. Advisory groups are created before the start of school based on input from the teachers and student-peer history. Advisories meet regularly during the week. Meetings may be spent on formal programming, social or service activities. The advisor acts as a mentor and is a communication link between the home and school. The advisory program and responsibilities of an advisor is a high priority for DCDS faculty. The advisory program provides a supportive group for the student and an opportunity for individual growth and teamwork.

Clubs

Clubs are designed to offer socialization, as well as to allow students to explore interests, discover passions, and develop responsibility. Students may select from an approximately 40 competitive, academic, athletic, craft, artistic, hobby, performance and service options.

Library Services

Our Values

  We believe...
  • that intellectual freedom is a fundamental right for all
  • that literacy is an essential skill across all platforms and disciplines
  • that reading for personal information and enjoyment leads to lifelong learning
  • that respect for intellectual and creative property is everyone's responsibility
Our Mission
 
Teach, Inspire, Explore
 
The Library is staffed by a professional librarian, and it is open to all students before, during, and after school. Students draw from a diverse collection of print and digital materials, and the Destiny Library Catalog gives access to the library’s print collection and OverDrive ebooks. The Middle School Library website provides access to online reference databases from multiple vendors.
 
A crucial mission of the Library program is to collaborate with each department to support the curriculum. All students are given “just-in-time” instruction to meet their academic needs, and instruction emphasizes several areas:
  • Reading
  • Research skills and information literacy
  • Responsible use of resources

Real Life

The Real Life program introduces important health and developmental topics that will allow students to become better informed, helping them to make good choices and decisions which will have healthy, positive consequences. This curriculum emphasizes respect for self and others, becoming aware of health and wellness, and provides coping techniques to deal with all of the changes students go through in Middle School.

Sample for September 2019

The goals of the Middle School are to develop and promote:

  • A love of learning in a challenging, supportive environment
  • Creative, responsible and independent thinkers
  • Problem solving skills through human centered learning
  • Greater individual responsibility, social and moral awareness
  • A respect and appreciation for people of all backgrounds
  • A strong academic foundation that includes the fine and performing arts in preparation for the Upper School curriculum
  • A sense of well being through physical education, health awareness and competitive athletics
  • A well-rounded and conscientious individual developed through programs and experiences outside the classroom