Middle School | Gr. 6-8

Welcome to Severn's Middle School!

At Severn School, we know and value the middle-school child beyond measure. Built on a foundation of valuing, nurturing, and challenging students, the Middle School serves as the crucial educational bridge that students travel to maturity and to ensure they are well-equipped to handle the demands of the Upper School.

Achieving Success in the Middle School Years

We believe and have seen that the most enriching middle school experience develops from our unique vision that is the compass to our programs, our learning goals, and our culture.  The middle school at Severn thrives on three pillars:

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  • Best Educational Practices

    Built upon a foundation of research from the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), our Middle School embraces their recommended principles of best practice in action and professional conduct for middle school education. These practices include:
    • Close collaboration with parents through parent education programs to inform adults on the strategies to address the heightened challenges of school and middle school children, such as study skills and environment at home; partnering with school in supervision and using technology appropriately and effectively, using technology and our learning management system (MySevern) to support and facilitate executive functioning skills, and to help parents with the transition from lower school and to upper school, in addition to parent education to address the social-emotional health and wellness of middle schoolers.
    • Our Middle School teachers have a thorough understanding of the developmental needs of each grade-level of middle school.
    • Our faculty employs an array of teaching methodologies to teach skills and content, including project-based learning, direct instruction, and especially grade-specific integrated learning units. For a recent example, read this story about the 7th Grade integrated unit.
    • We create opportunities for students to join and belong to a number of programs, affinity spaces, and clubs that affirm and cultivate young adolescents' personal identities. 
  • Classroom Cultures of Thinking

    Our Middle School is very intentional about classroom time.  We have hour-long classes that convey what we value about middle-school learning: the process. 

    Rather than solely focusing on the “what” and “how” of each school subject, Severn School takes a distinct approach by utilizing the classroom to nurture and prioritize modes of thinking–critical, collaborative, analytical, imaginative–to solve problems and design solutions.

    We recognize that young adolescents are in varying states of cognitive development and that each student processes information at different rates, and thus, our faculty provide time for thinking in classes. This is accomplished by asking further probing questions during discussions, by pausing after a deep question is asked, and most of all, by facilitating collaborative work so students may go from concrete to abstract problem solving. 

    Our teachers intentionally encourage thinking in classrooms by making the following choices:
    • Design assessments that ask for and cultivates deeper thinking
    • Form specific thinking tasks in each class
    • Forming intentional collaborative work groups
    • Providing thoughtful choice and fostering student autonomy
    • Varying ways to evaluate and assess students
    • How to use assessment outcomes and data to have students reflect and for teachers to utilize results to inform corrective instruction.
  • Relational Learning

    At the core of our Middle School are educators who excel in connecting with and effectively engaging young adolescents. The bedrock of these relationships is a very strong advisor program and a faculty that has deep knowledge of this age group and finds true joy in working with them. They know when it is more important to reach a child than it is to teach a child.
    We uphold the concept that classrooms of trust, support, and quality relationships are the foundations of exceptional learning.

    We develop relationships in which young adolescents know that they matter. You will immediately sense this ethos when you walk through our middle school. 

    We also know relationships with teachers and among peers cultivate a sense of belonging in each of our students. Our Middle School is a space where every child discovers their rightful place and experiences a deep feeling of community.

Middle School Requirements and Schedule

Learn more here about Severn's course requirements, dress code and what a typical daily schedule for a middle school student includes.

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  • Course Requirements for Advancement

    Required Eighth Grade Courses to Advance to Ninth Grade
    To advance to 9th grade, 8th graders must satisfactorily complete:
    • English 8
    • Algebra I or Geometry*
    • Science 8
    • History 8
    • Foreign Language
    • Fine and Performing Arts: one semester art, one semester music, or the Eighth Grade Musical
    • Physical Education or play three team sports
    • Enough electives to complement a full schedule

    *Pre-Algebra in sixth grade, Algebra I in seventh grade, and Geometry in eighth grade are considered out-of-grade placements.

    Required Seventh Grade Courses to Advance to Eighth Grade
    To advance to 8th grade, 7th graders must satisfactorily complete:
    • English 7
    • Pre-Algebra or Algebra
    • Science 7
    • U.S. History
    • Foreign Language
    • Fine and Performing Arts: one semester art, one semester music
    • Physical Education or play three team sports
    • Enough electives to complement a full schedule
    Required Sixth Grade Courses to Advance to Seventh Grade
    To advance to 7th grade, 6th graders must satisfactorily complete:
    • English 6
    • Math 6 or Pre-Algebra
    • Science 6
    • Geography
    • Foreign Language
    • Fine and Performing Arts: one semester art, one semester music
    • Physical Education
    • Grammar and Composition/Study Skills
    • Health and Wellness and other electives to complement a full schedule
  • Curriculum Guide and Clubs Information

    View the Middle School Curriculum Guide and Clubs Information sheet here.
  • Daily Schedule

    Class Rotation
    The Middle School daily schedule rotates through four academic periods. The purpose of this is two-fold:
    1. To allow students a chance to have each class at different periods of the day so that no one class always occurs during a time of day when they are tired.
    2. To ensure that students/athletes do not miss the same class all the time on game days.
    Typical Daily Rotation Schedule
    8:10-9:10Period 1
    9:10-10:10Period 2
    10:25-11:25Period 3
    12:00-1:00Period 4
    1:30-2:15Period 7 (PE for 6th grade)
    Period 8 elective for 6th grade, dismissal at 3pm

    Period 8 sports for 7th & 8th grades
  • Academic Policies

    A full schedule for students in grades 6, 7, and 8 consists of six academic periods, one elective or enrichment period, and four quarters of Physical Education or participation on a team. Students must be enrolled in a course in every period. Students may not repeat elective or enrichment courses.
  • Dress Code

    The dress code in the Middle School is just one example of the high standards we expect from our students.  Dress code details can be found here.

    The goals of the Middle School dress code are as follows:
    • Help students distinguish between dress for school and dress for informal activities
    • Prevent competition over clothing
    • Decrease the time spent pondering over what one should wear
    • Decrease the time spent on enforcement of the dress code in order to concentrate on the core matters of learning and teaching
    • Provide neat and comfortable student dress options
    • Increase pride in appearance and in Severn School
    • Promote modesty in appearance (school clothing is expected to fit and to be worn appropriately - at the discretion of the Middle School faculty and Middle School Head)

MS Curriculum Guide

Featured Programs


Learning in the Digital World

We believe that technology should be used to enhance student learning, improve communication, and efficiently manage information. Teaching with technology not only prepares students with increasingly necessary life skills but also broadens and deepens student learning.
We use technology to enhance our curriculum, when and where appropriate. Our responsibility is to teach our students how to evaluate technology for its usefulness, to choose the right tool for the right job and to use technology to communicate their ideas effectively. We believe in using tech with purpose.
We use digital tech to promote collaborative learning and design thinking, to improve research skills and information literacy, to develop critical thinking skills, to encourage creativity and to individualize learning across the curriculum. Our students use different tech in different classes, learning how to be flexible and adaptable. They learn that tech for tech’s sake has little value, but as a tool to enhance their learning and ability to connect with others, technology plays a vital role in preparing for the future.

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  • Middle School Technology Program Overview

    For the ‘23-’24 school year, the technology policy is as follows:
    • Middle School Students will have access to iPads through the classroom sets. Each teacher will have a full classroom set of devices, and when the lesson plan/class assignment requires or is enhanced by the iPad, they will be handed out to students.
    • The Learning Resource Center and After School Program will also have iPads available for students.
    • Middle School students will not bring iPads home; all iPads will instead remain with their classroom set and will be charged overnight and ready for the next day’s learning.
    • Homework assignments may or may not be completed on a device.  Each family will need a device (computer or tablet) at home for some assignments.


Featured Facilities


Middle School Faculty

Lower School

Upper School