Introduction to Middle School
The Elisabeth Morrow middle school combines the best aspects of a small school – personal attention, knowledge of each student and individual support with the ideal qualities of a big school – a broad, accessible program that inspires and challenges students.
Middle school forms the bridge between elementary school and high school. The Elisabeth Morrow middle school program begins with an elementary model in fifth grade with students studying language arts and social studies with a homeroom teacher. As students grow in maturity and independence, the program becomes departmentalized with many electives. Both rigorous and supportive, the middle school program challenges students to do their best in academics, creative arts and athletics. Opportunities for electives increase as students progress from grade five to grade eight. The program provides options for students to feel a sense of belonging–including sports teams, musical groups, advisory groups and clubs.
Character development embodied in the 4 C’s (courtesy, cooperation, consideration of others and compassion) and community service is integral to the middle school program. Students are guided as they develop effective work habits and learning strategies. Through the advisory program and individually, the faculty works closely with students to help them become self-advocates and increase self-awareness. As well, The Elisabeth Morrow School realizes that early adolescence is a challenging time in life. A commitment to meeting the individual needs of students while providing a safe environment for social development is a hallmark of our middle school.
Graduates of The Elisabeth Morrow School attend a wide variety of secondary schools including independent day and boarding schools, the Bergen Academies and other public high schools, and parochial schools. Graduates have proven to be well prepared for rigorous secondary school programs. Please click here for more information on high school placement.
Advisory forms the heart of the Middle School program. In a middle school environment, where students assume increasing personal responsibility and independence, it is important to have adult advocates at school looking after students’ best interests. Students are introduced to advisory in homeroom groups in fifth grade. Beginning in sixth grade, advisory groups are composed of about eight students. Advisors are teacher/leaders who meet with advisees briefly every day and know them particularly well. In addition, there are two longer periods during the week when they work on areas such as organization, self-advocacy, team building, character education, peer relations, and community service.
Advisors maintain consistent contact with parents to collaborate with them as partners. Advisors hold parent conferences and manage the progress report process, including writing a cover letter summarizing students’ strengths and challenges as well as observations regarding social interactions. In grades seven and eight, students lead the advisor-parent conference. Additionally, eighth grade advisors assist students in managing the secondary school application process.