Beyond the Classroom
Our Strong Community Builds Leaders
Middle school is a time when you develop your identity. Doing that in a supportive community is a gift. Belmont Day’s strong community is the deliberate result of extensive planning and effort by faculty and staff. Outside of class, our middle school students have a myriad of opportunities to practice their leadership skills on athletic teams, in the arts, and through cross-graded and school-wide activities. The non-cognitive skills built in these arenas are vital for future success.
In sixth, seventh, and eighth grades, students are organized into advisory groups. Led by faculty advisors, these groups meet throughout the week to discuss a variety of topics important to adolescents in their lives both in and out of school. The advisor plays an important role as student advocate for both academic and social-emotional issues and serves as a parent liaison. Advisors also run, along with students, the parent-teacher-student conferences in October and March.
Wellness and Choices Curricula
Middle school is not an easy time. So much in life is changing. The challenges to be faced and questions to be answered can be daunting. The health and wellness curriculum helps middle school students confront and understand many of these complex issues. In sixth grade, students learn about being a community member, maintaining healthy friendships, and explore the physical and emotional changes associated with puberty. The Choices curriculum for seventh and eighth graders centers on making good choices in life and putting your best self forward. Students work with a team of four faculty members to explore such issues as: friendship, inclusiveness, LGBTQ+ topics, drugs, and adolescence. Interviewing and preparing for high school and on-demand writing are also covered.
At Belmont Day we teach students to “take responsibility for themselves, each other and the world around them.” In addition to our annual Community Service Day held in May, students in every grade engage in community service activities throughout the school year.
Recent activities undertaken by our middle school students have included:
- working in the school garden
- organizing the school's Trick or Treat for UNICEF efforts
- collecting winter coats for Cradles to Crayons
- participation in the Belmont Day chapter of Roots and Shoots, a youth service organization founded by the Jane Goodall Institute
Younger students look up to our middle schoolers, whose community is broadened through partnerships for cross-graded activities. Middle schoolers gain so much from these alliances, as they rise to the responsibility of nurturing, encouraging, and inspiring their younger partners.
The arts are integral to Belmont Day, embedded in the academic program and valued by the community. In addition to their classroom experience, students are offered the opportunity to participate in musical ensembles, which provide the experience of learning, practicing, and performing in a small group. Guitar, orchestra, wind, and world drumming ensembles meet once a week, either before or after school. Chorus meets during the school day.
Middle School Meeting
Once a month, middle school students gather as a community to share information and engage in activities geared towards building a strong middle school community. Students are also divided into smaller, cross-graded groups—led by one or more eighth graders—which participate together in a variety of activities throughout the year.
Each year, within the first several weeks of school, class bonds are forged through off-campus orientation activities. Sixth grade spends three days at the Farm School in Athol, Massachusetts, working together to tackle the responsibilities of a farm. Seventh grade spends time at Cardigan Mountain in New Hampshire hiking, engaging in outdoor education, and strengthening group dynamics. Eighth grade students engage in adventure-based leadership development activities at Project Adventure.
Learn More About Ensembles