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MIDDLE SCHOOL ACADEMICS

Girls are at the center of our educational design.

Girls thrive academically because our classrooms are intentionally designed to afford student agency and a platform where they develop their voices, while encouraged to take academic risks to further challenge and expand their intellectual capacity and curiosity.

Math, science, history, English, creative arts, and World Languages (Latin, Spanish, or French) are the core of the Walker’s Middle School curriculum. Hands-on learning is used extensively to build engagement and enhance skills. Alongside academics, our seminar and community partnerships programs are designed to further instill confidence and personal balance.

A Look Into Your Day

Explore the classes The Ethel Walker Middle School has to offer by clicking through offerings by grade level, or by taking a look through our more in-depth curriculum guide.

Humanities
Spanish 1A (Language placements may vary based on experience)
French 1A (Language placements may vary based on experience)
STEAM 6
Foundations of Math
Visual and Performing Arts
History: Modern Cultures
Spanish 1B (Language placements may vary based on experience)
French 1B (Language placements may vary based on experience)
English
Pre-Algebra
STEAM 7
Visual and Performing Arts
History: American Identities
French 2 (Language placements may vary based on experience)
Spanish 2 (Language placements may vary based on experience)
Latin 1
English
Algebra 1
STEAM 8
Visual and Performing Arts
Speak Out Series: a culminating activity where students present an original speech to the Middle School community

Signature Trips

All Middle School Retreat

This retreat kicks off our school year! In partnership with Empower Leadership, students participate in carefully designed programming for girls to bond, learn about themselves, and bolster one another.

8th Grade Retreat

This retreat takes place at the start of the school year, a ritual that honors our 8th grade students as new leaders in their Middle School. Students learn to explore, take healthy risks, and support one another.

Washington, DC Experience

Designed by our faculty, this trip is thoughtfully planned to complement the 8th grade curriculum. This trip to our nation’s capital is a wonderful learning experience and another opportunity for our students to bond.

Success Leadership Program

This program begins with a three-day conference in Vermont and works with our 7th grade students as they learn to become leaders within our school and the community. It concludes with a day of service with a nonprofit.

Middle School Seminars

Middle School Digital Finance

Students are introduced to the fundamentals of how a market economy operates. Students learn about the stock market and personal investment, while also understanding how investing affects the economy and how the economy affects investing.

Middle School Social Justice

Rooted in building communities of belonging, students work to understand identity and stereotypes through introspection and perspective. Students explore the many ways identity is formed by reflecting on their own identities, assumptions, stereotypes, and prejudices.

Let's Talk

Let's Talk is part of a national program with a very simple premise: high school girls mentor middle school girls to help deal with the triumphs and trials of the early teenage years.

Middle School Research Skills

Research Skills helps students to expand their knowledge of literary forms and describe their characteristics as they read and interpret works of literature for curricular and leisure reading.

Middle School Study Skills

The Study Skills Seminar is designed to improve study skills and test-taking strategies within the context of the class curriculum. Students participate in skill-building activities designed by SMARTS Executive Function Curriculum.

Speak Out!

8th-grade students have the opportunity to work together as they become confident using their voice through public speaking. Students present their speeches to the Middle School community and gain a sense of independence through the power of their voices.

Walker’s History

Walker’s History is an introductory course about the history of The Ethel Walker School. It gives students an in-depth look at the origins of the campus and surrounding area, including Ms. Ethel Walker herself, finding connections between history and the present.

Social Justice and Inclusion

MLK Day Middle SchoolAt Walker’s we strive to create and sustain communities where each and every student can experience belonging. Students lend a crucial voice to shape and drive this work forward. Students are at the center of the Walker’s experience and their multiple social identities prepare them for full and intentional lives within and beyond our school.

In the Middle School specifically, Walker’s curriculum is designed to develop thoughtful and intentionally-engaged students committed to understanding the impact of identity and stereotypes. The exploration of identity and stereotypes allows our students to build self-awareness in an attempt to create social change and transformative impacts in our community and beyond. Our community’s identity is informed by empathy, culturally responsive teaching and reciprocal learning. We acknowledge the value of diversity within our community and weave Social Justice and Inclusion into the fabric of who we are and what we do. This work lives in our classrooms, in the dorms and on the fields, and it is central to our identity as a school.

Rooted in building communities of belonging, the Middle School Social Justice seminar explores identity and stereotypes through introspection and perspective. Students explore the many ways identity is formed by reflecting on their own identities, assumptions, and socialization in our community and the world.

A team of administrators, faculty, staff, and students come together each year to plan an all-school assembly followed by grade specific workshops. Middle School student topics have included Art and Justice Movements, Women of the Civil Rights Movement, and Young Activists from the Civil Rights Era and Today. Students focus their learning on young women of color and how their voices were used to create change rooted in racial justice.

Lacuna

Lacuna (noun); a gap; an interval

Each winter, the entire Walker’s community engages in a series of unique and immersive classes during a school-wide Lacuna. Middle school students come together from across the grades to experience classes outside of the traditional classroom disciplines. Previous Middle School Lacuna class called Empanadas and Entrepreneurship: Designing a Latin American Food Truck, students studied cooking, multiculturalism, and business. The class culminated with an event where the girls market their empanadas to the community, calculate their profit and loss statements, and explore the origins of the dish through an examination of its history. Other students have taken the Lacuna class, “Storytelling for Social Justice” class, where they explored the power and voice of storytelling using poetry, essay, song, music, video, and the visual arts to tell their story about what moves and motivates them. At most schools, a gap in the schedule means a loss. At Walker’s, a lacuna —or gap —means a chance to dig deeper into new and relevant topics without the confines of a typical classroom experience.

Previous Middle School Lacuna class called Empanadas and Entrepreneurship: Designing a Latin American Food Truck, students studied cooking, multiculturalism, and business. The class culminated with an event where the girls market their empanadas to the community, calculate their profit and loss statements, and explore the origins of the dish through an examination of its history. Other students have taken the Lacuna class “Storytelling for Social Justice,” where they explored the power and voice of storytelling using poetry, essay, song, music, video, and the visual arts to tell their story about what moves and motivates them.

At most schools, a gap in the schedule means a loss. At Walker’s, a lacuna —or gap —means a chance to dig deeper into new and relevant topics without the confines of a typical classroom experience.

Community Partnerships

Our Community Partnerships program aims to develop students’ sense of empathy and explore what it means “to look beyond ourselves and recognize the needs of others,” a verse from our school meditation that guides us. In addition to providing service to the community, Walker’s Community Partnerships program allows our students to gain valuable skills while also serving others. Students begin participating in community partnership program in sixth grade and continue through the Upper School where they can create new partnerships based on their individual interests or serve as part of an established program.

Under the guidance of the Middle School Head of Community Partnerships, students participate in an array of activities including gardening and playing board games on the weekends at a local retirement community.