Preparing to Navigate Our Changing World
Middle school at MDCS is a very intentional progression designed to prepare our students for the challenges they will meet in high school and beyond. Our students become very accustomed to changing classrooms, registering for new courses, increased freedom, and the increased work load that come with academic “aging up.” Expectations are gradually ratcheted up to the point that our departing eighth graders are more than ready for the demands of high school.
We hold true to the principles of experiential education that the students have become used to during their elementary years. The outdoor education curriculum is a perfect example of this philosophy in action. Along with our content rich trips for 6th-8th grade, we offer two electives (including band) each quarter.
Students meet all of these challenges in a safe, nurturing environment. All of our middle school instructors teach all three grade levels. This, coupled with our middle school enrollment ceiling of 22 students per grade, means that our staff members get to know each student very well. This is vital to accomplishing our mission of educating the whole child. Character development lessons are much easier learned from instructors with whom the students are comfortable and is accomplished through teaching the Expeditionary Learning Design Principles, the Our Whole Lives curriculum, and capitalizing on the abundance of “teachable moments” that middle school students encounter.
Mountain Discovery Charter School is proud to offer the Our Whole Lives (O.W.L.) Curriculum to our Middle School Students. The O.W.L. program is a dynamic, life span character and sexuality education program. The purpose of the O.W.L. Program is to offer students complete, accurate, and age appropriate information, and to support them in making healthy, respectful decisions to navigate relationships express their sexuality in ways that are healthy and life affirming. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, Our Whole Lives provides not only facts about anatomy and human development, but helps participants to clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality. The O.W.L. philosophy respects parents’ roles as their children’s most important sexuality educators. One of the program’s goals is to open communication, so that by the time the children reach sexual maturity they can chat comfortably with parents about intimate issues.
We are proud to be able to offer such a rich middle school experience in our small setting and we are very proud of the students we send on to area high schools.