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MIDDLE SCHOOL ACADEMICS

Girls are at the center of our educational design.

Girls thrive in our classrooms because they are afforded a sense of agency and a platform where they develop their voices and learn how to use them effectively to have a say in their own education.

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, we teach wellness and study skills, and require community service to instill a sense of 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.

History: Ancient Worlds
Latin: Foundations of Language
English
Ecology
Foundations of Math
Visual and Performing Arts
History: Modern Cultures
Spanish 1A
French 1A
English
Pre-Algebra
Biology
Visual and Performing Arts
History: American Identities
French 2
Spanish 2
English
Algebra 1
Science 8
Visual and Performing Arts
Speak Out Series: a culminating activity where students present an original speech to the Middle School community

Signature Activities

On-Campus Apiary

Under the guidance of a master beekeeper, students study at Walker's on-campus apiary to determine if a hive can be productive without a queen, why bees make honey and the structure of the hives.

Creative Non-Fiction

In the 7th grade Creative Non-fiction unit, students write magazine articles about topics that are of interest to them and to the rest of the Walker’s community. Articles are combined into a digital magazine to share.

Speak Out!

Every eighth-grade student delivers a three- to five-minute speech in front of the entire Middle School. Each speech is written in her authentic voice regarding a topic that the student is passionate about.

Middle School Seminars

Digital Literacy

In the Middle School “Digital Life” Seminar, students explore how mobile digital devices, the Internet, and social media impact the ways that we live and learn.

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.

Girl Talk

Girl 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.

Library and Information Studies

Library Research Studies 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.

Middle School Faculty

At Walker’s, our faculty design curriculum specifically with girls in mind. By combining traditional classroom learning with hands-on, experiential opportunities, the curriculum comes alive with girls fully engaged in their studies and becoming stewards of their own learning. Our Middle School faculty bring an enthusiasm for teaching at the middle school level that is fueled by the chance to witness the intellectual and developmental growth in our students.

  • Megan Mulhern, Department Chair
  • Catherine Reed
  • Kim Thacker P’24, ’27

  • Carol Clark-Flanagan P’93, ’97
  • Kathleen Minahan, Department Chair

  • Daniele Ness P’24, ’25

  • Julie Greshin P’12
  • Suzanne Piela P’22

  • Mary Beth Conley, Middle School Study Skills
  • Sarah Edson, Digital Life
  • Ned Edwards P’07, ’10, Social Justice
  • Nishette Isaac, Library and Information Studies
  • Joan Skelley, Girl Talk

  • Corina Alvarezdelugo – visual arts
  • Ben Barker – photography
  • Marisa Forde – ceramics
  • Shannen Hofheimer – theater
  • Laurie MacAlpine P’08 – music
  • Cheri Soule, Department Chair – dance

  • Isabel Ceballos, Spanish
  • Todd D’Alessandro P’19, Spanish
  • Noël Grisanti, Foundations of Language, Latin
  • Catherine Reed, French
  • Chris Semk, French

Social Justice and Inclusion

MLK Day Middle School At 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 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, Middle School Social Justice seminars explore 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 week-long 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.

In a Middle School Lacuna class called “Empanadas and Entrepreneurship: Designing a Latin American Food Truck, students study cooking, multiculturalism and business. The class culminates 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. For some, in the “Storytelling for Social Justice” class, 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. Some students partner with faculty to create original curriculum on topics that matter the most to them.

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

Photo of Middle School students using recylced materials to make fashion.

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 reading to younger students at a local school.