Middle School can be a challenging and rewarding time for many adolescents. Palisades Episcopal School recognizes the extraordinary potential of every young adolescent. By providing a range of academic, service, and enrichment opportunities, the Palisades Episcopal School middle school program nurtures its middle schoolers’ minds, bodies, and spirits.
Reflective of the classical approach, Palisades Episcopal School middle school students are regularly engaged in opportunities for rhetorical and Socratic thinking. Students are encouraged to question, debate, persuade, and think critically about history and their world. Academics stretch beyond the classroom as Palisades Episcopal School middle schoolers experience learning in authentic, real-world applications.
Service: Service learning is a critical component of the Palisades Episcopal School middle school program. Dialogue, awareness, and on-going service projects culminate with a week-long, faith-based, service retreat in which students give of their time, knowledge, and energy to assist others.
Independent Study: Palisades Episcopal School 8th graders participate in an independent investigation in which they utilize the knowledge and skills acquired over their Palisades Episcopal School years to explore a topic and career of their choice. In an apprenticeship experience, students work with a mentor to investigate and develop career-ready skills aligned to their own interests and talents.
Literacy: In addition to building upon their vocabulary, grammatical, and linguistic skills, Palisades Episcopal School middle school students are immersed in dynamic literacy experiences. Students read classic literature from world-renowned authors such as Mark Twain, Homer, Frederick Douglass, and Pearl S. Buck. Students explore the craft of writing through authentic writing experiences in which they hone their abilities to write expository, persuasive, poetic, and narrative pieces. Students also participate in dramatic performance and debate, reenacting Shakespeare and arguing current events.
Mathematics: Palisades Episcopal School mathematics utilizes technology and multiple resources to challenge students in algebraic, geometric, statistical, and mathematical reasoning. In addition to building students’ foundations and problem-solving skills, Palisades Episcopal School middle school students complete problem-based activities which challenge them to apply their mathematical skills.
Science: The Palisades Episcopal School middle school science program offers its students opportunities for experimentation and hands-on laboratory study. Students engage in a range of scientific topics from plate tectonics, to electromagnetism, to genetics.
History /World Study: History and World studies are integral components of the Palisades Episcopal School classical education. Through comparative studies of modern and ancient, Western and Eastern civilizations, Palisades Episcopal School middle school students examine history politically, culturally, and sociologically. Middle schoolers are encouraged to think critically and empathetically about world and historical events, to learn from the past, and to look ahead to the future.
Devotions: Middle School students are provided daily opportunities to explore religious devotions. In addition to biblical studies and comparative religious explorations, students will be encouraged to look inward to their faith as a source of truth and strength.
Languages: Latin study is a hallmark of a classical school. Palisades Episcopal School middle school students participate in regular Latin classes emphasizing Latin word origins and classical Greek and Roman studies. Latin students read major classical literature including The Iliad and The Odyssey, participate in Greco-Roman drama, and discuss Greek and Roman philosophy, culture, and politics. Middle schools students also learn Spanish in which they engage in conversational study and learn the essential skills to speak, write, and read Spanish.
Enrichment: Critical to a classical liberal arts education, Palisades Episcopal School middle school students have regular enrichment offerings in art, music, and physical education. In addition to the integrated technology like Smart Boards enhancing daily instruction, students participate in a year-long technology course in which they use multi-media software, web-searching, spreadsheets, and educational software to hone research and persuasive techniques. Middle school technology study culminates with the production of student-developed websites. Students also participate in weekly clubs such as health, drama, and Master Gardener designed to nurture their confidence and foster their sense of self and global responsibility. The highlight of club course work is a semester investigation with Athena’s Path and Heroes Pursuit, nationally recognized programs instilling confidence, conflict-resolution, and social-emotional development in adolescents.