KIS middle school creates space for students to explore who they are, connect with others, and build academic and social-emotional skills. Growth happens in the middle!
We want our middle school students to be supported and secure in who they are as learners, confident in their resilience. We provide quality standards-based instruction, feedback, and assessment, recognizing that strong pedagogy and skills development help make standards and content relevant to students.
students sixth through eighth grade
languages spoken by middle school students
elective classes inspired by student interest
inclusive athletic teams
school day clubs
Another key facet of middle school is helping students develop their sense of self and to learn how to advocate for themselves. We listen. We give our students choices. Our role as middle school educators is to coach students through their challenges, helping them develop resilience and a growth mindset.
Weather Review and Sustainable Travel
What makes weather happen? Grade six science students practiced meteorology skills before using real data to determine what the weather would be at their travel destination. Students then researched three travel options to determine the most sustainable way to get to their destination. This inquiry opened a conversation about the importance of integrity when making decisions that affect our environment.
Students engage in project-based learning using the design thinking process – empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test – for application across content areas. The middle school team also collaborates with families to support student growth.
Community is integral. Each student belongs to a small grade-level advisory group that meets multiple times a week while multigrade house teams meet throughout the year for team building. Our co-curricular program enriches the KIS experience too, offering multiple ways for students to get involved.
Georgina Vilanova believes your daily choices can make change happen. Her middle school student leadership class is an intersection of KIS core values – and a perfect fit for her own desire to create more service learning opportunities for students.
Georgina Vilanova believes your daily choices can make change happen. Her middle school student leadership class is an intersection of KIS core values – and a perfect fit for her own desire to create more service learning opportunities for students. “I want to give voice to our students,” Georgina says. “I want them to think about what they can do with a good idea.”
The multigrade class chooses meaningful projects to build community in the middle school, like cultural events and holiday socials. Georgina learns alongside the students. She recalls organizing their first pep rally. “It was not so great,” she says. “But the second was much better.” Accepting a challenging process and trusting that you can accomplish a goal is important so Georgina coaches students to listen to one another and collaborate through problem-solving. She views the class as an introduction to service that gives students confidence in their capacity to contribute and equips them with problem solving skills to influence positive change.
Georgina’s own commitment to human rights issues informs how she speaks with students about their leadership and service. “Leaders can be anonymous. Most are,” she says. She wants students to understand that you can lead with compassion and humility, be largely unknown while effecting important change, including through everyday decisions. How do you lead and serve where you are?
Nico continues to build the community that first welcomed him!
When Nico started grade six at KIS, he wasn’t sure what to expect. His family had just arrived from a year in Beijing and before that, he’d attended school in Washington, D.C. Nico was nervous about finding his way around campus. “But then two students said hello,” he remembers and that connection helped him feel welcome.
As a middle school student, Nico enjoys making academic and co-curricular choices that match his interests. He also appreciates that each class has its own dynamic allowing him to get to know different students as they learn together. Two of his favorite classes – math and science – are interesting to him because they help explain how the world works. Another favorite class is PE which gives him a chance to try games from around the world, like Gaelic football.
Nico now continues to build the community that first welcomed him! At lunch he feels comfortable sitting with people he may not know well. “Everyone is nice and will talk with you,” he says. That sense of belonging is essential in middle school as all students develop friendships that nourish their social-emotional well-being.