Welcome to Middle School at YHIS! The middle school years are full of transition and change. At YHIS, our goal as educators is to meet students where they are, both academically and socially, to aide them in becoming lifelong learners and world-changers. We hope that every student will leave YHIS knowing that they have purpose, that they are loved, that they are cared for, and that they are valued.
Children between the ages of 10 and 14 experience tremendous physical, social, and cognitive growth. We are first and foremost an academic institution, but we take great care to help students reach their full potential as their minds, bodies, and social circles expand. We recognize that while middle school serves as a bridge between elementary and high school, there is so much more richness and depth that is necessary in the middle school experience.
To those who already have children in middle school at YHIS, thank you for sharing your students with us. To those who are looking at YHIS as a potential school for their child, I hope that you take some time to consider walking down the road of education with us in the near future. We would love you as part of the YHIS family.
Jonathan Van Santen
Secondary Lead Teacher
The YHIS curriculum provides a holistic program that balances the development of concepts, skills, and character. Our approach focuses on the total growth of the developing child addressing social, physical, emotional, and cultural needs in addition to academic welfare.
Our program focuses on guided inquiry, collaboration, and communication as approaches to teaching and learning to provide an environment that fosters the development of problem-solving and critical thinking as well as subject competencies.
Language Arts, History, Geography, Science, and Mathematics are taught by the classroom teacher. Whenever possible, transdisciplinary links are made across subjects to maximize learning connections.
Chinese, PE, Music and Visual Arts are taught by Specialists to form a comprehensive, varied and rich Lower School experience. Technology is used as a tool that enhances and broadens the scope and quality of student learning.
The language of instruction is English, with additional support for non-English speakers.
In 6th grade science, students explore the Earth's structure and its place in the universe by working individually and in groups. They look at space, weather phenomena, geology, energy resources, and tectonic plates. Students in 6th grade are introduced to the processes of gathering and analyzing scientific data, creating models, and formal nonfiction writing.
7th grade Science is an overview of common strands in physical science that involve the various forms of energy. Students learn how this energy affects chemical and physical changes, chemical interactions, properties of light and matter, and motion and forces. Students connect the scientific inquiry processes to everyday problem solving through culmination projects in which they apply the concepts they have learned. Through these projects, they also develop organizational and communication skills as they share their findings. Additionally, students reinforce their observation and analytic skills through hands-on and virtual labs.
8th grade Science focuses on Life Sciences and introduces the concept of scientific inquiry through laboratories. It examines the wonders of living organisms and the complexity of cellular structure and function, organization of living organisms, and the interaction of life forms. Students are able to apply this scientific knowledge to their daily life and discuss its effect on the world at large. The highlight of 8th grade is the study of body systems through hands-on labs, dissections and guest speakers.
English Language Arts are an integrally important part of our middle-level program that all students study. Students are challenged to grow, from their individual starting points, in their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills all in preparation for a successful high school learning experience. The program uses a good mixture of both nonfiction and fiction texts as well as a heavy focus on writing and grammar.
6th grade math combines the practice of foundational math skills with an exploration of basic pre-algebraic and geometric concepts. Topics include whole number operations, integer, decimal, fraction, percent computation, variables and variable expressions, data displays, congruence, similarity, and geometric figures.
In 7th grade, students begin Pre-Algebra by reviewing negative numbers and variables. The focus of the course then shifts to solving equations, starting with simple one-step equations and building to more complex, multi-step equations. Additional topics include fractions, rates, ratios, proportions, percentages, probability, data displays, and geometry, with an emphasis on the inclusion of variables. To prepare students for Algebra, we cover linear equations and basic graphing techniques.
In 8th grade, Algebra I builds on the work accomplished in Pre-Algebra. Students explore increasingly complex linear functions and equation and inequality manipulation including solving systems of equations and inequalities. Students also explore exponential and quadratic equations, FOILing and factoring, and properties of exponents. Geometry
Geometry introduces and explores logical and spatial reasoning through the use of both inductive and deductive reasoning. Two-column proofs are introduced and applied to prove lines parallel and triangles congruent. Algebra is a necessary prerequisite for this course, as students often use geometric principles to set-up and solve algebraic equations, as well as graph lines. Additional topics covered in this course include the Pythagorean Theorem, similar triangles, relationships in triangles, properties of quadrilaterals, the area of polygons and circles, trigonometric ratios, and surface area and volume of geometric solids. Connections are made between the concepts and their applications in the real world.
This class is an introduction to artistic creativity. This class introduces the elements and principals of design and teaches basic drawing painting and sculpting skills so that students can understand process and materials. The goal is to help students move through the multistep development of an idea to develop creative problem solving, idea generation and artistic expression. This class will not only provide them with the tools for artistic expression in their personal life but will also lay the foundation of skills they will need for jobs in the art field as well as jobs in design and engineering.
Middle school choir is a class where 6-8th grade students come together to share the joy of singing. In class, we learn vocal technique, music theory, and sight-singing as we explore a variety of songs and choral literature. As a choir, the students develop musical abilities as an individual and as part of a group. Middle school choir performs two times each year - at Christmas and Spring concerts.
The middle school physical education program gives our students a physical outlet during the school day and teaches them foundational skills for participation in competitive and recreational athletics at YHIS Students also use our fitness room to learn more about strength training and cardiovascular health. Classes are held in the school gymnasium, outdoor turf field and the fitness room at YHIS. The goal of the middle school PE program is to create an inclusive atmosphere where students can participate in new sports and build the confidence to take part in YHIS sports at a competitive level.
The best learning is active and engaged. It can be found in ordinary places, and co-curricular activities are great learning opportunities for students. These activities energize students and help them to see the holistic connections between mind, body, and spirit. Activities outside the classroom are not merely add-ons to the core curriculum. They are a continuous enrichment, a way to sustain and deepen learning.
At YHIS, we believe that co-curricular activities are an important part of education that extends beyond the classroom. Co-curricular activities provide motivation for learning, character building, physical growth and creativity while developing confidence and educating the whole child. Students are encouraged to participate and explore all opportunities that interest them. Students who are involved in Co-curricular opportunities become more invested in the school experience, therefore increasing the opportunity for higher academic performance and social well-being.
YHIS has a fantastic athletics program that grows our students in the knowledge of the sport and then teaches them how to compete at their highest levels.
In middle school, the students are given equal playing time in games and tournaments. The emphasis is on students learning the rules, skills, and strategies of the sports they are playing. We currently feature soccer, volleyball, and basketball for the middle school.
CONCERTS & PERFORMANCES
Public performance is a fantastic way for young learners to develop confidence and is an integral part of our program. Throughout the year, Middle School students showcase what they’re learning for peers and parents at seasonal performances in the winter and spring. When students graduate from Elementary school, the goal is that they have a strong knowledge of the written mechanics of music and a greater sense of the community, character, and creativity that are built by singing, playing, and creating music together.
Clubs are a great tool in our aim to develop well-rounded students. The school sponsors a number of activities that give Middle School students an opportunity to explore and excel in a particular sport, hobby, or area of interest.