A Message from Dr. Lorraine Fulton, Head of Middle School
Welcome to Gerstell Academy’s Middle School.
Gerstell Academy is a nurturing and mentoring leadership school based on a strong value system. We are a college preparatory institution that provides rigorous physical training and Spanish fluency.
Our middle school students are provided with a rich academic background focused on the development of leadership skills that will last a lifetime. Through the application of our Leadership Principles and Attributes our students develop a clear vision of themselves and their responsibility to others.
It is our belief that the learning environment established in our middle school provides the opportunity for each student to develop and continuously apply the knowledge and skills that will prepare them for the rigors of Upper School and the competitive college entrance process.
We know you will enjoy learning about our Middle School and we look forward to seeing you at an upcoming Open House.
THE MIDDLE SCHOOL PHILOSOPHY
The Gerstell Academy Middle School provides our students with positive leadership development within a strong traditional academic environment. In addition to college preparatory studies, students develop fluency in a modern language and a life-long appreciation for the benefits of physical fitness.
The Gerstell Academy Leadership Model sets the intellectual, social, and behavioral standards for the school. Our focus on Leadership development defines the learning environment and the expectations for our middle school students and faculty. Gerstell Academy develops young leaders by challenging students with a developmentally appropriate Leadership curriculum based upon a strong value system and high academic standards.
Middle school students begin to undergo immense changes in their lives and experience significant intellectual, social, psychological, emotional, and physical adjustments. Gerstell Academy students are active, curious, engaged participants in the educational process who take increasing responsibility for their own learning. Like most Middle school students they are defining their personal identities, goals, and aspirations. They are lead through this process by caring teachers, coaches, advisors, and mentors.
It is our belief that the learning environment established at Gerstell Academy will allow students to flourish through these critical years. Each student will be well prepared to take advantage of opportunities to compete at the highest level in upper school and well beyond.
AROUND THE MIDDLE SCHOOL
THE MIDDLE SCHOOL PHILOSOPHY
The Gerstell Academy Middle School curriculum in sixth, seventh and eighth grade encompasses 11 courses that provide a solid foundation of content knowledge, skills and leadership development. Leadership development is infused in all aspects of our curriculum. Middle School students complete the following 11 courses each year of their academic experience.
- Physical Education
- Visual Arts
- Theatre Arts
- Computer Science
All “core” courses follow an A/B schedule. The Computer Science, Theatre Arts and Visual Arts classes all meet on a trimester basis with Physical Education classes meeting each day of the week.
To be an effective and efficient leader requires a unique skill set, a strong knowledge base and an awareness of self. The leadership program is both integrated throughout the overall curriculum and taught as an entity on to itself. Leadership consists of five academic areas of focus in the Middle School.
Traditional Leadership: those skills required of a leader such as public speaking, ethics, manners, social skills, analytical/critical thinking, study skills, negotiation, management, conflict resolution, effective writing, teamwork as well as moral, ethical and legal decision making.
History: a critical historical examination of the recent relevant history, based on the last 25-50 years, that broadens our understanding of the position of the United States as a world leader.
Environmental Science: the study of environmental issues and concerns emphasizing “Environmental Leadership” represented in the good Stewardship of our environment.
Adolescent Psychology: the study of human development and psychology allows students to explore who they are and how they develop as well as gain an understanding of group dynamics.
Comparative Religions and Cultures: Understanding the world’s major religions and their associated cultures is critical to increasing an appreciation for diversity and promoting a broad world view.
Upon graduation, Gerstell Academy students are expected to be functionally fluent in Spanish. Since Spanish speaking people constitute the largest minority in the United States, Spanish is the core world language taught in the middle school. Functional fluency in Spanish provides our students with a competitive edge to multiple countries and cultures in the work place.
Physical Training is comprised of Physical Education and Athletics. Physical Education is taught each day of the week and is designed to instill a life-long goal of physical fitness in our students.
Gerstell Academy Middle School Students are expected to graduate from eighth grade with the confidence, skill set and fundamental knowledge base to enter Upper School as a well-grounded, academically competent, physically fit young leader.
It is our belief that the Gerstell Academy learning environment, combined with Leadership development and the opportunity for middle school students to continuously test their knowledge and skills through action will insure that our students flourish throughout these critical middle years.