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Middle School

Your student takes her first intrepid steps into adulthood during middle school.

These years find adolescents engaging in focused, critical thinking and deepening their emotional and social awareness.

Parents often approach their students’ middle school years with apprehension (if not outright dread), expecting them to look like a version either of their own adolescent experiences or those we see all too often in pop culture: physically awkward, socially cliquish, rife with the growing pains that distract from academic work and from the equally critical work of healthy self and social development. (Let’s be real — concentrating on the Pythagorean Theorem while navigating the confusing new realities of adolescence requires Herculean effort!) Most of us somehow just survived, much less thrived, through these years — intellectually disengaged, emotionally perplexed, and socially intimidated.

At MSR, you find a very different reality: young people excited about school, really being (and becoming!) themselves, puzzling through and appreciating each other’s differences, focusing, competing, performing, critiquing, and inventing — while also meeting and regularly surpassing the highest academic standards.

We know it can sound too good to be true. But when you think about the way we approach education, the difference starts to make sense. We take a more complete approach to ensuring that your student is ready to achieve and succeed in high school, ensuring not only that he’s academically prepared but that he also enters these intensive college-prep years confident in who he is, comfortable in how he relates to peers and adults, deep into the discovery of what he’s passionate about, and precociously competent in his ability to manage and direct his own work.

As the ground shakes beneath his feet, we apply all that we know about middle schoolers in general and about your child in particular to make sure these years solidify rather than disrupt your student’s sense of himself as docent of his own learning and engineer of his own authentic and fulfilling life. Because, ultimately, MSR is here not just to help your student prepare for the future, we’re here to help him practice a way of life now that will shape how he lives and works for the rest of his life.

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Students who have successfully tackled serious themes and advanced subject matter, developed critical thinking skills, have learned to independently identify and pursue their own personal fascinations with discipline, and developed a strong and realistic sense of self-reliance are ready to set meaningful and ambitious goals for their future in MSR’s Upper School (grades 9 to 12).