Middle School is a time of constant inquiry, both intellectual and emotional. Our focus is the growth of the whole child, not only as a student but as a socially aware human being. We are a community that respects, demands, and celebrates this growth process. This is a time of self-discovery, personal growth, and community support.
The middle school experience at Breck (5th-8th grades) is dedicated to providing a safe environment for students to navigate their individual journeys as they establish a more defined sense of self: as academics, artists, athletes, and members of a larger community. Guided by an accomplished and veteran faculty, students in the Middle School actively engage in a program designed to appropriately challenge and support the individual. Our students participate in Breck's signature MindWorks program, which teaches students not only how their brain works but also strategies to bolster their learning by leveraging current strengths to both hone their affinities as well as to explore new challenges. Through intentional community partnership time and experiential learning opportunities, Middle Schoolers learn to appreciate their place in the world and understand their role in supporting the common good. Upon completion of Middle School, students are poised, confident, and ready for what awaits in the Upper School.
- Interdisciplinary Learning
- Advisory Program
- Be A Mustang
- Life Skills
- Community Partnerships
- Performing & Visual Arts
Breck's teachers work together to identify opportunities in their respective curricula in which the learning experience can be enhanced by including another discipline. Some units include:
- Interdisciplinary study on ancient Greece
- Historical and statistical study of the slave trade
- Human rights project
As part of our commitment to nurture the whole child, we assign each student a faculty advisor who serves as a formal, personal and academic advocate. Advisors:
- Provide formal and informal weekly meetings during the week with students
- Work with students on studying and organizational strategies
- Help process personal relationships
- May address any grade-level issues and topics of interest
- Facilitate effective, efficient communication among faculty, students and parents
Our Advisory also includes the Be A Mustang and MindWorks programs (see subsequent two tabs).
An invaluable piece to our Advisory, this program gives students practical experience in actively dealing with such issues as emotions, peer relationships, decision-making, and goal-setting. Our students:
- Learn to understand their role in our community and internalize the rewards of being helpful, respectful, and inclusive
- Improve communication skills
- Resist negative peer pressure
- Set reasonable goals
- Make thoughtful, informed decisions
- Increase their self-confidence and motivation
Our signature MindWorks program empowers students to develop self-awareness through understanding themselves as learners. Students learn how the brain works and develop personalized strategies that foster resilience, reflection, and self-advocacy. Topics include:
- Cognitive flexibility
- Executive Functioning
All students are required to take four age-appropriate, life skills classes each year giving students the tools and habits they need to serve them well long after graduation.
We believe health education is an essential part of student growth that gives them the knowledge and skills to promote physical, social, and emotional health. Topics include:
- Positive behaviors/lifestyle choices
- Prevention of injury, illness and disease
- Stress management strategies
- First aid and CPR
- Conflict resolution
- Understanding one’s growth and development.
Teamwork. Leadership. Pushing boundaries. Physical Education classes at Breck are an opportunity to play, cooperate, and achieve while developing an affinity for an active, healthy lifestyle.
The Middle School’s Project Adventure teaches students the foundational skills of leadership and followership in a group dynamic. From team building exercises to individual challenges, our students learn how to take risks, problem solve, be resilient, and work together as a team. Breck’s indoor and outdoor High Ropes Courses serve as the Project Adventure classroom.
We are a place of shared values regardless of our beliefs. The more we can learn about others’ spiritual journeys, the better informed we are of our own.
Rooted in our mission is the importance of instilling in our students a deep sense of social responsibility. While this work is accomplished in a number of ways, a signature aspect of the Middle School is our monthly Community Partnership time. Our students leave campus each month for two hours to partner with organizations around the Twin Cities. Some of our sites include:
We recognize the uniqueness of having a four-year middle school experience. Throughout the year, organized and impromptu opportunities arise for the entire middle school to gather. From the seats of the Cargill Theater to the slopes of Afton Alps, there is much to celebrate in this vibrant community.
- Community Meeting
- Community Partnerships
- Ski Day
- Awareness Day