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Middle School students are introduced to the world of ideas and the kind of rigorous thinking that serves a the foundation for their years at Severn, and the life beyond. We require one unit of English, Fine Arts (music/art), Social Studies, Math, Science, and Foreign Language each year, and we also offer enrichment classes and electives like Life Skills, Public Speaking, Dance, Chinese, and Outdoor Education.


When I was in middle school, I spent my summers fishing with my grandfather in North Carolina. I didn't know it at the time, but during those fishing trips I began developing a philosophy for good teaching. While my grandfather steered his boat through big swells, he would have me get the lines ready. He would do his best to keep the boat just steady enough to challenge a boy who was beyond elementary school, but not yet a young man.

In my professional life, I have come to know that middle schools are not accelerated elementary schools, nor are they miniature high schools. During middle school, children go through dramatic changes emotionally, physically, and intellectually; a middle school's philosophy must address what is developmentally appropriate for each and every student.

Grandpa's patience when I tangled a line or lost a fish, his explanation about why it happened, and his coaching on how to avoid it the next time was as important to my learning as his challenges. He looked at every mistake as an opportunity for improvement and never failed to give me encouragement. Students are best supported when they feel recognized and trust in the relationships they develop with their teachers. To that end, Severn's Middle School believes in developing a strong advisor/advisee program where every student has an opportunity to closely know and be mentored by a faculty member.

A teacher's positive spirit, enthusiasm, and attitude are aspects of teaching that nurture a love of learning. My grandfather exuded these qualities and they are what inspired in me a lifelong passion for the sport he taught me about. As a Middle School, we believe that students learn best when they are intimately involved in the spirit, the life, of their school. We encourage all of our students to actively pursue extra-curricular activities and to bring credit to themselves as honorable citizens of the school community.

Dr. Gray Smith
Middle School Head
2013-2014 Middle School Curriculum Guide
2013-2014 Middle School Curriculum Guide
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