A Catholic, independent, college preparatory school for girls, Grades 1-12, with a co-educational Preschool, Pre-Kindergarten, and Kindergarten.

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Academic Program

The Middle School Academic program is designed to be comprehensive in nature with an emphasis on providing a nurturing environment and proper support as students transition from the lower grades and prepare for life in the Upper School.

English

The language arts curriculum offers a strong program of sequenced and integrated skills in vocabulary, grammar, writing, spelling, speaking, critical reading, and research. Students learn to write coherent paragraphs, well-developed multiple-paragraph essays, short stories, poems, literary analysis papers, and fully documented research papers in which they follow the Big6 method and use state-of-the art technology for information retrieval and synthesis. Students in every grade engage in research projects, some of which are coordinated with other disciplines. The reading of short stories, novels, nonfiction, poems, and plays hones their critical reading and literary analysis skills. During the Middle School years, students acquire excellent communication and critical thinking skills that enable them to be successful in all subject areas.

Foreign Language

While the study of French begins in our Lower School, Middle School students can opt to continue their study of French or begin Spanish in fifth grade. Emphasis is placed on the development of skills of speaking and aural comprehension skills, reading and writing with special attention paid to pronunciation and intonation. Classes are conducted in the target language. Students are expected to complete Level I of French or Spanish language prior to their entrance into our Upper School.

Mathematics

The Middle School mathematics program progresses from higher elementary mathematics through pre-algebra to algebra I. The curriculum encompasses comprehension and practical applications. The use of hands-on activities, calculators, and computers add variety and enjoyment to the mathematics classroom. Students are expected to advance to geometry and Algebra II once they enter our Upper School.

Religion

The religion curriculum in the Middle School presents a comprehensive study of Catholic tradition and doctrine. Each grade level is attentive to scriptural, traditional, and historical development of Catholic experience. The ongoing presence of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit is acknowledged, appreciated, and celebrated in the academically oriented curriculum. Liturgies are student-planned under the direction of the Campus Minister and religion teachers.

The campus ministry program allows students to share in faith-filled activities. The worship life of the school is reflected in school and class liturgies, as well as morning prayer in assembly. Campus ministry also provides additional regular and seasonal opportunities for service. The Mother-Daughter Liturgies are special highlights in the spiritual life of the Middle School.

Social action is an integral part of the academic and spiritual life at Stone Ridge. Students participate in a number of activities that help raise their awareness about the needs of their community and of their world. Social action activities are an essential part of the advisory program. Providing food and clothes for a homeless family shelter, working with a group to sew hats for children with cancer, partnering with another school and celebrating the holidays are some of the ways in which students respond actively to the needs of others.

Science

Fifth grade covers a wide range of scientific disciplines including biological, physical, and earth science. The curriculum focuses on classifying organisms and allows students to compare and contrast different animals.  Sixth graders participate in a physical science program. The curriculum focuses on the metric system as well as force, speed, energy, motion, momentum, velocity and acceleration.  Seventh grade covers life science with concentrations in biology and anatomy.  The curriculum focuses on cell processes, genetics, and organ systems. Eighth grade science covers earth science and chemistry. The curriculum focuses on a large geology unit that examines the physical earth in detail, a meteorology unit and chemistry. 

Throughout all grades, the emphasis is on experiential, hands-on learning. In addition, the seventh and eighth grades compete in a spring science competition. This project allows them to rely on their mechanical science and engineering skills to construct a project during class time. Students then compete in various categories on a science type field day.

Social Studies

The social studies program in the Middle School is a broad examination of the human condition from the earliest world civilizations to modern societies. Focus changes periodically to emphasize particular areas of the world. Various research and study skills are reinforced throughout the program. Students also study the people of the world and explore the earth in all its variety by learning to how to use geographic tools such as maps, globes, graphs and charts.

Technology and Innovation

Stone Ridge is committed to preparing students with 21st century skills for creativity, communication, information fluency, and critical thinking to embrace the use of technology and become ethical digital citizens.

The Technology and Innovation Program is fully committed to the integration of technology across the curriculum, and emphasizes project-based learning, adhering to nationally recognized standards for technological literacy for students and teachers. Middle School students are provided a Lenovo ThinkPad (Yoga) and take a Technology and Innovation class once a rotation. In the Technology and Innovation class, students learn a wide variety of Web 2.0 tools for work flow, productivity, resource curation and presentation creation. Students are also introduced to coding as well as design tools to help print items in our 3D printers. This class gives students the resources and knowledge to utilize and choose hands on and technological tools to benefit them in their other classes.

Learn more about our Education Technology and Innovation team and program.

Fine and Performing Arts

The Middle School art program seeks to encourage students to take creative risks, develop an artistic voice and practice important problem solving skills. Students explore a wide array of media including, drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, and mixed media. At times, class projects are cross-curricular in nature with other disciplines to help enforce important concepts. The program also helps students to establish a lifelong commitment to the arts by hosting visiting artists and exposing students to art in a museum setting. The drama program develops and encourages an individual, vivid, presentational style by introducing performance techniques, working on self-awareness and exploring effective and affective behavior. The students work with costumes, props, scripted material, and improvisation, at the same time stressing disciplined approaches and respect for each other’s work.

The general music program focuses on the development of music literacy, theory and performance skills. The instrumental/vocal curriculum is influenced by the pedagogy and philosophies behind Orff, Suzuki and World Music Drumming. The Orff curriculum includes both solo and ensemble experience with recorders, voice, percussion, xylophones, and movement. World Music Drumming allows students to engage with a variety of musical cultures, while developing an understanding of key concepts such as community, focus, balance, respect, and teamwork. Music Mind Games is used to learn and enhance music literacy skills. It is a hands-on system that accommodates visual, aural and kinesthetic learners. Eighth grade students may concentrate in a yearlong course in instrumental music, drama, dance, visual art, and multimedia.

Learn more about the Arts at Stone Ridge.

Physical Education

The Middle School Physical Education Program attempts to recognize the differences in each individual student’s physical potential and limitations in order to set realistic goals for herself. Improvement and effort are rewarded and a value for fitness is nurtured.

All grades participate in a wide array of sports including: field hockey, soccer, track and field, volleyball, basketball, softball, lacrosse, and tennis. The Grade 8 curriculum delves into nine additional sports, ranging from flag football and multicultural games, to golf and archery. Swimming is part of the physical education program for all Middle School students, and students are required to pass a swimming safety test. The School's physical education student is a well-rounded, intelligent, and fit athlete, with the program strongly promoting the Sacred Heart ideals of a sound body and a sound mind.

In Grades 6-8, students may try out and participate in an organized sports team during the fall, winter, and spring seasons. Students who participate on a sports team will not take physical education, yet will practice or compete during the allotted time for physical education classes and the athletics program.

Learning Support

The Middle School at Stone Ridge recognizes and strives to accommodate the learning diversity of our students. Academic support is viewed as a shared responsibility that includes the efforts of advisors, teachers, learning specialists, counselors, and parents. In each subject area classroom, through direct instruction, guided practice, and differentiation, teachers work to meet the needs of their students. Additionally, during Study Hall periods, students have the opportunity to meet with their classroom teachers in either small groups or individually to receive prescriptive instruction and reinforcement of core curriculum skills. When alternative, learning support is required, the learning specialists will determine an individualized course of action and intervention.

Middle School Learning Specialists:

  • Work as instructional coaches in collaboration with classroom teachers to offer strategies for curriculum design, differentiation, and direct instruction.
  • Offer instruction in learning strategies to all students during Study Hall periods.
  • Serve as liaisons between students, parents, and teachers for students with learning challenges.
  • Recommend psycho-educational testing, tutoring, and academic coaching when appropriate.
  • Create individualized Student Success Plans based on submitted documentation.
  • Present individual student profiles to teachers and oversee the implementation of academic accommodations.
  • Provide individual and small group instruction in learning strategies to students with documented learning differences.

Learning Specialist Team:

Sarah Bramble     
Learning Specialist  (Grades 5 & 6)

Maryann Will

Learning Specialist  (Grades 7 & 8)