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Academics

We believe that a strong middle school curriculum lays a vital foundation for the academic challenges of high school. As a student’s maturity and talent evolve, we evaluate and determine the course placement that will best challenge and inspire each student to achieve academic excellence. Together, teachers, students, and parents design a proper course of study to fit the students' needs and ensure that students can thrive and succeed in their chosen high school academic track.

Core curriculum includes mathematics, language arts, science, social studies, leadership and world languages. Elective subjects include music, visual arts, speech and debate, computer science, engineering, dance, theater arts and physical education.

Students in our middle school program are active participants in their learning through independent inquiry as well as teamwork. Our dedicated and talented faculty members foster clear, thoughtful communication between home and school, forming a partnership that values parental participation and educational excellence.

Middle School Curriculum

English


The primary goal of the Middle School English Department is to instruct and inspire our students to become effective readers, thinkers, writers, speakers, and listeners so they may express their ideas while understanding and evaluating those of others.

The English curriculum at the Middle School level incorporates studies of literature, grammar, vocabulary, and a variety of writing styles to set the foundation for skills in critical reading, writing, and thinking. Literary analysis, such as studies on theme, characterization, conflict, setting, and plot, is taught to build the base for successful analytical writing. Grammar study further develops the skills of recognition and application of the parts of speech, phrases, and clauses in a variety of sentence structures. Vocabulary development, focused on words used in standardized testing, teaches students the understanding of words based on context clues and word origins. The focus of writing includes the mastering of several modes, such as literary analysis, expository, narrative, persuasive, free response, and journal writing.

Course Offerings

English 6 - Grade 6
English 7 - Grade 7
English 8 - Grade 8
English 8 honors - grade 8
Grammar 7 - Grade 7
Grammar 8 - grade 8
grammar 8 honors - grade 8

History / Social Science


The History/Social Studies Department contains courses concerned with both the study of the past and the relationship between the individual and society. Its courses help students develop their critical reading and writing skills. In their time at Quarry Lane, students progressively become more acquainted with methods of historical research and analysis, argumentative and persuasive writing, and the oral and audiovisual presentation of research. In particular, the department pushes students to explore the relationship between historical cause and effect, to think about the relevance of contemporary events, and to place events and ideas in their historical and/or social context.

Course Offerings

HiSTORY 6 (ANcient Civilizations)-Grade g
HIstory 7 (Ancient civilizations cont.) - GRADE 7
History 8 (American history) - GRADE 8

Mathematics

The Quarry Lane School Math Department aims to shape independent thinkers who are able to discover, understand, and apply mathematics in their lives. We believe that the mathematical learning process is most effective and engaging when the creative aspects of the subject (exploratory problem-solving, modeling) are balanced with enough conceptual rigor and technical facility to enable forward progress. Thus, both these sides of mathematics are incorporated at every level of the QLS curriculum. All topics are studied verbally, visually, and symbolically, with the aim that students learn to communicate mathematics in all of these modes.

Course Offerings

pre-algebra a/b - Grades 6-8
algebra 1 - grades 7-9
geometry - grades 8-12
algebra 2 - grades 8-12
algebra 2 honors - grades 8-12

Engineering & Technology

The Quarry Lane School Engineering and Computer Science Department aims to shape independent thinkers who are able to discover, understand, and apply engineering and computer science in their lives.

Students in our middle school program are introduced to more complex engineering concepts, allowing them to build upon the skills and interest fostered in the Lower School years. Computer class in the middle school years includes exposure to NXT Mindstorm Robotics using SimpleC, video game design, and more. Students also work with CAD software and 3D printers. Eight grade students may choose our Pathways to Engineering elective where students work with Arduino and learn about circuit, electrical engineering and coding. Our Pathways to Engineering elective allows our students to discover both the design principles and underlying science in engineering.

Course Offerings

Computers 6/7 - Grades 6-7
Middle school robotics - grades 6-8
pathways to engineering - grade 8


Science

The Quarry Lane science curriculum affords students an introduction into the foundational sciences in grades 6 through 8. We hope to expose students to the broad array of information available in these fields, foster their individual interests, and nurture their fascination with the world around them. As they progress through the curriculum, students will have the opportunity to take elective courses in the Advanced Placement and IB series including: Physics (AP/IB), Chemistry (AP/IB), Biology (AP/IB), and Environmental Science and Societies (IB). These advanced courses will give them an appreciation of not only the impressive breadth of material in these disciplines, but also allow them to dig far deeper into some of the topics through extensive hands on work in the lab and in the field.

Course Offerings

Earth science - Grade 6
life science - grade 7
physical science - GRADE 8
physical science for engineering - GRADE 8

Leadership

As part of our commitment to providing a well-rounded, supportive education, we have developed a middle school leadership program that promotes civic responsibility, instills confidence and fosters Quarry Lane's core values of compassion, courage, honesty, respect and responsibility. Middle school students are given the opportunity to lead and work as part of a team as they plan and organize community service projects. In addition, students organize social events that foster a positive school atmosphere and social development across grade levels. The goal of the Leadership class is to have each student develop the skills required to be a leader of positive character who understands his or her responsibility as a member of the school community and as a citizen of the world.

Speech and Debate


What began with two students with a passion for public speaking and debate and the dedication of their mentor, has grown into one of Quarry Lane's most popular and decorated programs. The Quarry Lane Speech and Debate program begins at the middle school level where students learn the fundamentals of public speaking before branching out into many different categories of competitive speech and debate based on their interests and expertise. Students are encouraged to experiment while honing important communication and research skills that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.

At the competitive level, the Quarry Lane Speech and Debate team has established themselves as top-level competitors, consecutively advancing to state and national level of competition. Our middle school competitors consistently compete at the high school level, building impressive profiles as they continue into our high school program.

In 2017, Quarry Lane was granted charter status in the National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA), achieving the highest NSDA membership honor by demonstrating excellence in our speech and debate program. By earning this distinction, Quarry Lane’s speech and debate program is placed among the best and most stable programs of its kind in the nation.

Course Offerings


Speech and Debate a
speech and debate b

Visual and Performing Arts


By studying the visual arts students develop technical ability and an understanding of both traditional and contemporary aesthetic practices through multi-cultural perspective. Reflective of the Quarry Lane School’s institutional philosophy, the Visual Arts serves as the foundation for creative exploration, communication, cross cultural understanding, global citizenship and autonomous learning.

Course Offerings

art 6 - grade 6
Art 7 - grade 7


The Quarry Lane School theater arts program focuses on developing language and communication abilities, problem solving skills and the creative process. The class lessons focus on concepts that promote positive self images, social awareness, empathy, values and attitudes as well as an understanding of theater.

Course Offerings

DANCE 6 - GRADE 6
DANCE 8 - GRADE 8
THEATER 6 - GRADE 6
THEATER 7 - GRADE 7

The Quarry Lane Upper School music program serves a number of important functions in the yearly cycle of events on and off campus. The performance groups, such as Jazz Band and Cougar Choir, give students the opportunity to play or sing music in an ensemble setting, creating important skills beyond music making itself, such as working together in a group and multitasking (such as listening and playing at the same time). Music classes are focused on practical music learning, with the intent of building skills that are useful to all students regardless of what their career path may be. Listening, performing, and composing music are a major aspect of all student projects; based on a conviction that all people are inherently musical, and dedicated to helping students find a purpose and enjoyment for music through their entire lives.


Course Offerings

CONCERT BAND - GRADES 6-8 (GRADES 9-12 WITH APPROVAL)
JAZZ BAND - GRADES 6-12
CHOIR - GRADES 6-12

Physical Education

The middle school physical education (P.E.) program at Quarry Lane offers students a variety of sports and athletic experiences with an emphasis on health, skill building, cooperation and sportsmanship. Students learn the fundamentals of both team and individual sports, as well as physical fitness and the development of healthy living skills. P.E. is required for all 6th grade students and becomes an elective in 7th and 8th grade.

As part of our Upper School, middle school students also have the opportunity to participate in Quarry Lane's Athletic Program where a variety of team sports are offered per season.

Learn more about Quarry Lane Athletics

World Languages


“Language is a key to opening minds and attitudes. To speak, read, write, and understand another language is the beginning of understanding other people.”

-Senator Paul Simon, The Tongue-Tied American, 1980

Studying foreign languages helps students broaden their understanding of different cultures and people and helps students to develop a global mindset. In our middle school world languages program, students may select from either Mandarin Chinese or Spanish. Throughout their course(s), students develop the ability to communicate about themselves and their immediate environment using simple sentences containing basic language structures. This communication is evidenced in all four language skills – listening, speaking, reading, and writing. In order to develop better conversational fluency and understanding, students are required to participate in class using the language of study.

Course Offerings


Mandarin 6,7,8 - Grades 6-8
Spanish a - grades 6-7
Spanish b - grades 6-8
spanish 1 - grades 8-12
spanish 2 - GRADES 8-12

ESL


The Quarry Lane English as a Second Language (ESL) Program provides students with the opportunity to achieve fluency in English and gain a solid foundation in English reading, literary analysis, writing, speaking and listening. The goals are to prepare EL/ESL students for higher level EL/ESL or mainstream English language courses at Quarry Lane School, and to have fun while doing so.

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