Middle School

Rooted in the joy and inquiry-based learning ideals of the preschool and elementary programs, the Middle School, which will launch in the fall of 2018, will continue to help students to find their voices as empathetic and active citizens of the world. In addition to a curriculum that strongly promotes student-based learning and academic rigor, the Middle School will strive to develop students into active members of the school as well as the local community. Families, students, and teachers will work together to establish a distinct and intentional learning atmosphere that they can be proud of.

In September 2018, we will open our new campus located at 644 Gates Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The three-story building will include classrooms for 250 students, a library, multi-purpose room, art and music rooms, a woodshop, and a rooftop recreational area with a garden.

Listed below are some common questions we receive about our school. Brief answers to them are provided here for convenience. Please contact our middle school coordinator, Kerry Roeder, to talk more about curriculum.

What makes The Co-op School’s middle school program unique?

Our commitment to a curriculum that is project-based, inclusive, and highly personalized will carry over to the middle school program and create graduates that can advocate for themselves, question the world around them, and collaborate with a diverse range of people. Projects will enable students to actively participate in their own learning, and to plan, develop and assess research to answer their own questions. Some unique programs our Middle School will offer include:

Advisory: Students will begin the day in small mixed-age groups that will be responsive to their academic and social-emotional needs. Organization, self-advocacy, and community building skills will be emphasized and then reinforced throughout the day.

Learning Lab: Teachers will work with small groups of students to provide highly personalized academic support on an on-going basis. These small learning communities will be responsive to student needs, empower students to take ownership over their learning, and promote equity in the curriculum.

Mindfulness: With dedicated time for mindfulness each day, students will work to create healthy habits of mind that they can utilize throughout their lives.

Reflection: Students will bring closure to their day by reflecting on what they have learned. Through metacognition, awareness and understanding of one’s own thought processes, they will deepen their understanding of material, identify challenges, plan for the following day, and witness their growth as learners throughout the year.

What are the Specials classes and how often are they taught?

Arts: Independence and agency are essential in middle school development and so students will be given the opportunity to choose from a series of electives each trimester. These electives will meet every other day and may include: Improvisation, History of Music, Photography, Studio Art.Arts: These electives will meet every other day and may include: Improvisation, History of Music, Photography, and Studio Art. These classes will expose students to a range of interests, while also supporting their understanding of the curriculum.

Reading: Students will have dedicated reading time every day in order to foster empathy, connections, and curiosity. They will also engage in regular conferencing, so that teachers can check for comprehension and be able to make meaningful recommendations.

Independent Study: Through short and long term projects, students will learn to find, evaluate, and present information they are passionate about. They will work independently and with teachers on these projects every other day.

Community Action: With a continued dedication to improving the community and beyond, students will meet every other day to work on service learning projects. They will use this time to learn about identity, diversity, justice and action through a series of age-appropriate activities based on The Anti-bias Framework.

Is there homework?

Yes. The Middle School will follow the guidelines of the National Education Association and the National Parent-Teacher Association and offer 10 minutes of homework per grade level per night (know as the “10 minute rule”). Research suggests that homework is most beneficial when it is authentic, meaningful, and engaging. As such, homework assignments will be given to support flipped classroom instruction, a blended learning model that has students cover the “lecture” part of a class at home (usually by watching a brief video), so that class time can be dedicated to active learning.

Does the Co-op School administer standardized tests?

Beginning in third grade students are given the CTP standardized test. This test was developed by the Educational Records Bureau and is the most commonly administered standardized test used in national independent schools.

What about Foreign Language?

Spanish will be taught 40 minutes daily.

Are there extracurricular community activities for my child?

Yes! Student council, chorus, makerspace, drama, and more will be available after school. A schedule of programming will be announced in the summer of 2018 before the semester begins.

How can I provide comments or suggestions about the Middle School program?

All comments and suggestions about the upcoming Middle School program are welcome and can be directed to the coordinator, Kerry Roeder at kerry@thecoopschool.org.