Middle School Experience
Step foot into one of our middle school classrooms and you will find a dynamic and engaging learning environment, promoting high levels of integration and hands on, project based lessons. Students recreate events from history, experiment with the world around them, and connect their reading or math content in a real-world context. Spaces move with the students and the academic content, with kinesthetic classrooms that are intentionally mobile for students to move and discover.
We recognize that when we focus on the right things - the things that define who a child truly is - their passions, strengths, and unique gifts, the outcomes of academic achievement, social connection, and a sense of purpose come as welcome byproducts. In alignment with Aspen Academy’s purpose of developing extraordinary leaders, our focus on leadership development, character education and service learning are integral parts of life at Aspen Academy. Our students learn that at the very least, they are accountable for leading themselves. Learn more about the Aspen Youth Leadership Institute (ALYI).
Aspen Academy evaluates each core content domain on a cycle of continuous improvement every five years. The domain is looked at from a national and international perspective to target the highest academic standards of performance. We take a look at the benchmarks and curriculum that are associated with those programs and implement them in every classroom.] Additionally, we ensure that students have real context for their academic learning. Leadership and entrepreneurship are inculcated into our everyday activities. We are committed to authentic integration, leveraging our students strengths and proclivities across domains from visual arts to physics, from algebra to athletics.
MIDDLE SCHOOL X FACTORS
- Students begin their school year with an unforgettable overnight retreat in the landscape of our beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains.
- Trips to Moab, UT, Washington D.C., San Francisco, CA, Costa Rica, or local options of Outdoor Education, Film and Video Production, Cooking, Coding, and much more! Check out the Adventure Week Catalog.
- High schools tell us that Aspen Academy graduates are “steady in their shoes” and ready for the challenge. They are comfortable and confident in who they are, what they know, and how they express themselves.
“I wish this place was here when I was in middle school!” Is often the thing we hear visiting families most saying.
8:00-8:20 Arrive for the day to be greeted warmly by a community of peers that abide by our one and only rule: Be Kind. Differences are celebrated and the unique worth and potential of every individual is recognized.
8:20-9:00 Who you are is always more important than what you know. This is the reason we begin each day with an intentionally designed leadership class. Lesson topics encompass a range of skills critical to the primary needs of a child in early adolescence and then extend to the development of skills we maintain through adulthood. Students may participate in Money Monday, Finance Friday, participate in a teambuilding challenge, or practice communication or stress management skills. The content is both deep and wide, promoting and honing the skills that extend far beyond the walls of a school building.
9:00-10:20 Math instruction begins and students are challenged in a performance level setting so they can experience mathematics instruction just as they need it. Students may take grade level offerings, or complete up to two years of high school math according to their readiness. Mathematics is highly integrated with our STEAM program, integrating real world projects, engineering challenges, and relevant games to help kids see it as a tool to accomplish their goals.
10:20-10:45 Go get some exercise or go get some studying done, your choice. We believe in the benefits of oxygen to the brain as a child’s body needs to move and so we have not done away with recess in our middle school. Students have the option to attend a monitored study hall for help from their teachers or get outside for some fresh air, movement and social time.
10:45-12:10 Teachers re-arrange the space with our movable furniture to create a “harkness style” table for a socratic seminar. Through intentional questioning and thoughtful conversation, students delve deeper into the meaning of an assigned text for better understanding in a Language Arts class. We see their communication skills from leadership class come through, as they exchange and discuss ideas with one another, not just with their teacher.
12:10-12:40 Gather in our dining hall style cafeteria for social time and delicious food.
12:45-2:05 Students join for a social studies or science course, rotating on a monthly basis. The block scheduling is deliberate for historical based simulations like our fifth grade civil war battle or our 8th grade mock election. In science, an 80 minute class period allows for experimentation daily, whether it is the building of a rocket for flight with pieces made from our 3D printers, or analyzing a chemical reaction with goggles and lab coats ready.
2:05-2:50 and 2:50-3:35 Elective Essentials Courses Begin! Students select four electives per semester from our Catalog (Link to Essentials/Elective Catalog) of over 40 unique course offerings. Selections include Advanced Spanish, Global Languages, The World Peace Games, Rock Band, Digital Music and Recording, Film Study, Broadway and Musical Theatre, Innovation in our STEAM Labs, Studio Art, and so much more.