making connections

That’s the intent behind our interdisciplinary approach to learning.   

We know girls learn best when they can engage with each other and connect academic concepts to real-world experiences. That's why our faculty works across disciplines — connecting themes and topics in multiple subjects — to create a meaningful and immersive learning environment. When her school experience is created through the lens of what's best for girls, she feels empowered to stand up, speak up, and reach higher.  

Themes Through the Grades

Grade 5: Stories & Structures

How do stories and art connect us to each other and to history? How are writing, language, and physical buildings structured? 

Grade 6: Settings & Systems

How are people’s perspectives and ways of life impacted by time and place? What is a system, and how can systems — natural or human-made — solve problems?

Grade 7: Culture & Connections

What concepts are shared by all cultures? What are the connections between various languages? How do elements connect to our physical world?

Grade 8: Home & Voice

How do we define “home”? How can we sustain our homes? Who has a place at the table, a voice, in the homes that we’ve created?

Signature Programs in Middle School


5th Grade Musical

FIFTH GRADE: Each year, the fifth grade class showcases their yearlong study of music, art, and theater with a culminating performance. Through this creative project, students build important skills: collaboration, problem-solving, cooperation, and communication. So when they’re working together to design sets and costumes, learning blocking and choreography, and practicing scenes for the final performance, they’re actively building foundational skills that apply to all academic areas.

Medieval Night

SIXTH GRADE: Medieval Night brings together English, history, art, and music. Students read books and texts set in the Middle Ages, explore feudalism in Europe, create large narrative paintings, and learn songs and dances of the era. Girls create family crests, craft costumes and giant puppets (think dragons and Attila the Hun!) and enjoy a feast with their families to celebrate all they’ve learned.

World-Building Week

SEVENTH GRADE: During Culture Week, small groups work together to invent a culture – exploring what makes a culture, how and where people live, their energy sources, and music and dance traditions. Each girl takes on an assigned role – architect, scientist, artist, marketer, and more – then develops a related aspect of their newly-formed society.

Building Biomes

EIGHTH GRADE: In their final year 
of Middle School, students design sustainable biomes suited for particular locations on an Earth-like planet. Each plays a role in her group, from organic farmer to renewable energy engineer, as she develops food and power resources for the community of new-planet settlers.


About Our Schedule

Rotating Schedule

Beginning in fifth grade, all Middle School students have a seven-day rotating cycle. Each day is identified by a corresponding letter of the alphabet, A through G, with specific classes occurring five out of seven days in a given cycle. While most class periods run 45-60 minutes,  fourth period serves as a "long period" lasting 70 minutes to allow for more hands-on, activity-based learning opportunities.

Daily Schedule

8:05 a.m. Parliament or Assembly
8:30 a.m. Classes begin
9:30 a.m. Snack
9:55 a.m. Classes resume
11:30 a.m. Lunch
12:10 p.m. Study Hall, Chorus, Ensemble, Assembly
12:50 p.m. Classes resume
2:50 p.m. Study Hall (5th & 6th), Sports practice (6th, 7th, 8th)
3:35 p.m. School ends

Parliament

Middle School's advisory program, called Parliament (which is the name for a gathering of Owls), are small group forums where students build relationships with teachers and each other, discuss what it means to be a community, reinforce the school's values, and promote character education. Parliament meets several mornings per cycle. On non-Parliament days, the Middle School attends assembly.

The teachers push you to work to your potential and support and encourage you along the way.

Sage, Class of 2026

Service Learning

Students continue to learn the importance of being engaged citizens through service learning. Highlights include: the eighth grade class partnering with a West Philadelphia elementary school; supporting Cradles to Crayons by packing books, sorting toys, and writing notes to children who will receive the donations; raising funds for KIVA loans; and participating in school-wide initiatives such as the MLK Day of Service. All Middle School girls participate in a canned food drive, and our sixth grade students collect, pack, and deliver the donations to a local food pantry.  

Connecting Through Language

Modern and Classical language studies in Middle School focus on writing and speaking skills, as well as the language's cultural influence. In fifth grade, students take a semester of Spanish and semester of French, and in the spring, decide which language they would like to continue to study in sixth grade. In seventh and eight grade, students add Latin to their schedule, learning the distinctive rhythm and flow of the language, understanding Latin vocabulary terms and its influence on the English language, as well as an examination of Roman culture and civilization.