Most middle grade students have been with us for a while. They understand, and have benefited from the Howlett Way, and the mastery approach to education. (We do welcome a few new students to these grades every year, and they soon get the hang of it.)
Concepts are still broken down into manageable increments, but the concepts are more complex. They still touch upon all core subjects: Math, Language, Science & Technology, Social Studies, French, Personal Development, Health & Physical Education, Music and Visual Art.
The work - individual and class - is still reviewed and corrected on a daily basis and the goals, expectations and results are still logged daily in each student’s journal. Expectations, however, are higher both as to the quality of the work, and the way that it is presented.
Middle grade students are taught to set the example for the younger grades in quality of work, deportment and community involvement. They write and produce the Howlett Howler, the annual student publication with political commentary, special interest articles, and reviews, as well as one other publication that they can call their own – poetry, short stories, fables – that is then distributed to each student and family in the school.
Perhaps most importantly, Middle School students prepare for their post-Howlett education. They set goals as to the schools they would like to attend, and commit to the work required to achieve these goals. Preparing for the SSAT is a major part of that process. The results, we are pleased to report, speak for themselves.
“Selective private schools tout the accomplishments of their graduates, but I doubt any elementary school – public or private – sees more of its students accepted at schools for the academically and artistically gifted than Howlett Academy. This is particularly impressive because Howlett doesn’t select students for any kind of ability. Rather, many arrive at the school having fallen behind at schools that charge and promise more. Howlett students aren’t born “gifted”; they are just taught well. They are taught in the ways that help many students learn best, and which inspires them to learn more and more. The teachers’ patient and unrepentant focus on mastering the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic is the key. It explains the phenomenon of their students’ accomplishments and their wealth of options at graduation.”
– Claudia Hepburn