Adolescence brings mind-bending questions that intrigue Middle School students. Who am I? How do I fit in? What is the right thing to do? How can I make the world a better place? Middle School is where important questions get asked—and students are challenged to seek out answers. At MPA, we encourage our Middle School students to follow their curiosity, become more independent, and pursue their talents with purpose.
Easing the Transition into Middle School
The advisory program is an essential component of the Middle School program. The advisor pays attention to each advisee’s overall care and progress both academically and socially. Advisees make connections, share responsibility, and form a group identity.
Fifth and Sixth Grade
In fifth and sixth grade, a student’s early Middle School experience is carefully adapted to make the transition developmentally appropriate and meet students’ academic and social needs. Advisories, which consist of 10-15 students, meet for 40 minutes at the end of each day. Advisory goals include academic skills-building and individual support, social skills development, community service, homework assistance, and a nurturing environment. Advisory teachers facilitate student-led conferences and act as a liaison for parents, students, and teachers.
Seventh and Eighth Grade
In seventh and eighth grade, the advisories remain the same size, but seventh and eighth graders are mixed together. These advisories meet two or three times per week depending upon the week for 35 minutes each session. During this time, students receive academic guidance, participate in character-building exercises, discuss topics such as bullying and peer relationships, and do community service. Peer Leaders from the Upper School also meet with these advisories on a regular basis to mentor and lead discussions.