Newark Academy’s Middle School operates on the same six-day academic cycle that is used by the Upper School. The Middle School academic schedule for each grade level includes one class in English, Humanities (social studies/history), Math, Science, Physical Education and Arts. All Middle School students are required to have an arts course each semester. The final class period of each day (2:30 – 3:30 p.m.) is reserved for Middle School athletics. All Middle School students are required to participate in a sport in each of the three athletic seasons (fall, winter spring). For more information on specific courses check out the Middle School Curriculum Guide.
Once each academic cycle, Middle School students attend their “Co” class period, which is an all-grade meeting. “Co”periods are the time for a wide-range of co-curricular programming such as presentations on social/emotional health, discussions about opening up to new ideas and to people of different backgrounds, and fun activities to get to know other students in their class.
Newark Academy’s curriculum is designed so that students may accelerate and move on to higher-level classes that meet their needs. Newark Academy is unique in that it allows all entering students, regardless of grade level, to take placement tests for math and for language, in order to place each student in the course level that will provide both challenge and confidence. Sixth grade students develop their mathematical acumen by working on both their problem-solving skills and by taking on appropriately-challenging projects. Ultimately, our goal is for our Middle School students to reach their fullest capacities, and to appreciate the value of being able to view the world through a mathematical lens as appropriate.
Middle School students in language classes engage in an immersion-style classroom environment that emphasizes listening and speaking. Regular work habits and study skills are stressed as is the resilience required for a growth mindset.
Our balanced approach to a well-rounded education means that NA Middle School students have free time during the school day to start or complete some of their assigned work. Assuming that a student limits distractions (such as social media interaction and watching recorded programming), he or she should spend no more than two hours each night on homework.
We believe that students learn responsibility and good decision-making by receiving some level of freedom during the school day. Unstructured time is provided to Middle School students in the mornings prior to Morning Meeting (8:10 a.m.) and during the lunch period (11:25 a.m. – 12:25 p.m.). Free time in the morning typically includes doing school work or hanging out with friends in the Middle School Commons, which is overseen by the faculty. During the lunch period, Middle School students enjoy lunch in the Dining Hall and then are free to return to the Middle School Commons, schedule a meeting with a teacher for extra help or take advantage of the Middle School’s outdoor recreation space. In all locations, students are overseen by Middle School faculty and staff.
Many students and families take advantage of Newark Academy’s policy of allowing Middle School students to remain at school after the school day until 5:45 p.m. Students staying beyond the end of the academic day must sign-in at the Middle School Office, where there is an after-school supervising faculty or staff member on duty each day. There is no financial charge for this service.