Middle School (6–8)

Harding Academy’s middle school program seeks to provide an academic link between lower and upper school, continuing student training in a Christ-centered environment. The middle school program aims to train students in the necessary life skills, work habits, and academic standards for future success.

Welcome to Middle School

We are excited about the start of the school year at the new Harding middle school. There will be many new aspects to the middle school, and we want to give you a clear but brief glimpse of what to expect in the coming year. It’s going to be great! If you have any further questions, please contact Dr. Scott Frizzell, middle school principal.

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> Why Middle School

This is a special time in your student’s life. It presents unique challenges socially and is a key time for building study skills that will be vital throughout high school. Harding middle school will address this important time through specific scheduling, programming, and mentoring. We hope that students leave middle school more confident in themselves and better prepared to succeed at the next level and beyond.

Specifically, middle school is a very important time for the development of a student’s faith. At this age, many are asking questions as they develop their personal relationship with God. As teenagers begin this important spiritual maturation process, Harding middle school can guide them, helping them to see their school subjects, personal interactions, and community involvement through the lens of their spiritual walk with Christ. Through Bible classes, chapel offerings, an exciting character formation rotation class, and the presence of Godly examples from our faculty and staff, Harding middle school can be an additional support in aiding these young teenagers at a pivotal moment in their development.

> Block Scheduling

Along with upper school, the middle school utilizes a modified block schedule. This type of schedule boasts several key benefits while maintaining the strengths of our previous schedule. In middle school, students will see core area teachers (Bible, mathematics, social studies, English, science) four times a week—three times for forty-five minutes and once for ninety minutes. While continuing the consistency of our old bell schedule, the larger ninety minute block will allow our teachers to try creative new teaching techniques and take deeper dives into topics or discussions that a forty-five minute period would not have allowed.

Additionally, chapel time will remain shared with upper school. The vast majority of chapels will be with all students in grades 6–12 in the auditorium, planned by our campus ministers. Occasionally, middle school may break out for our own chapel, targeted at middle school issues.

> Houses and Friday Fundays

Every middle school student will be sorted into a mixed-grade House. Houses are named to honor specific values and traits of our city, school, and faith. Students will compete in their Houses throughout the year with other Houses for a House Cup. Points are awarded for behavior, outstanding academic success, service, and other events. Each House has a faculty sponsor who will oversee his or her House. Your student’s House affiliation and sponsor will remain the same throughout his or her time in middle school to allow for a more personal connection. Ideally, there will be at least one adult on our campus with whom your student spends regular time throughout his or her time here.

Additionally, we will take time on sporadic Fridays throughout the year to host contests among the Houses based on school spirit, academics, athletics, or creative thinking. The purpose of Houses and Friday Fundays is to build camaraderie, teach valuable life lessons, practice interpersonal and group work skills, and create a fun environment of friendly competition.

> Course Selection and Rotations

Every middle school student will take one section of each of the five core subjects (Bible, mathematics, social studies, English, and science). Middle school students will also take two electives. Options include band, chorus, visual art, intro to theatre, improv theatre troupe, horticulture, mad scientist, fitness. Eighth graders also have the choice of taking Spanish I or French I. Sixth graders only have one elective, as all are required to take SEAL, a leadership, ethics, and organization course. Students ranked preferred electives in May and have been sorted into those classes based upon their rankings. Although not all students were able to get their top two selections, we have done our best to honor their preferences.

Additionally, throughout the school year in the homeroom slot on the schedule, middle school students will take part in a rotation of classes including interest-based electives (offerings still under construction, but include baking, nutrition, and disc golf). In addition to the occasional interest-based offering, all middle school students will spend time each semester in a class focusing on test-taking strategies and study skills.

> Canvas and RenWeb

This year the entire Harding system utilizes Canvas and RenWeb for student services. RenWeb will be the primary location for information regarding student grades and conduct marks. On Canvas, you will be able to monitor daily classroom agendas, assignments due, and missed work when absent. Parents can create accounts on both sites.