The Savannah Country Day School

Service Through Knowledge and Character
Middle School

The Middle School Experience

So much of Middle School is about discovering who you are and what things you are most passionate about. In the Middle School we wants our students to feel safe so that they will feel comfortable taking healthy risks and explore their interests.  We want our students to feel secure in asking questions and stretching their boundaries.  We understand how important it is for our students to feel safe and have a sense of belonging or a place in which they can openly express themselves without feeling exposed or embarrassed. We want our students to learn how to handle small setbacks and failures as well as celebrate humbly when they find great success. Except during infancy, there is no stage of life when young people go through more changes in such a short time - and in every aspect of their lives.

At Savannah Country Day, we offer opportunities for our Middle Schoolers to grow confidently as individuals, to take risks, to solve problems, to make a difference, and to have fun in a safe, supportive environment. In Middle School, students are encouraged to try as many things as possible so that they can discover their place and uncover their true passions. Our faculty understand that interacting with such curious, energetic students requires patience, humor and sensitivity. Working in partnership with parents to see that every student experiences success is our top priority.

List of 7 items.

  • Middle School at a Glance

    - Eco-School: SCDS is one of the first schools in the U. S. to receive Green Flag status from the National Wildlife Federation's Eco-School program

    Innovative, talented and knowledgeable faculty. 3% with doctoral degrees and 77% possessing master’s degrees

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    Average class size:15 students

    - Teacher to student ratio: 1:7

    One full-time and one part-time Learning Specialist/SLD (Students with Learning Differences) teacher

    - A full-time guidance counselor supervises an extensive advisor/advisee program and helps students adjust to adolescence. 

    -1:1 (one laptop for every student) Laptop Learning Program focusing on collaboration, creativity and problem-solving

    - A diverse array of clubs from Beekeeping to the Diversity Club, to Math Team

    Honors Math program (Honors Math placements- Honors Pre-Algebra, Honors Algebra I, and Honors Geometry).
  • Leadership and Organizations

    The Middle School offers its students a wide array of co-curricular activities.  Virtually every teacher sponsors some club, activity, or sport.  Middle School students must learn to choose from among many opportunities, resisting the temptation to participate in everything and learning to budget time and commitments responsibly.

    A co-curricular activity provides a student with a different milieu in which to develop and "search for excellence."  The Middle School offers its students many leadership opportunities and gives them a voice in the daily operation of the school.  Some clubs and organizations become involved in community service projects largely due to student initiative.  This reinforces the belief, as expressed in the school motto, "Service Through Knowledge and Character," that helping our students acquire a sense of social responsibility is a primary goal. 

    Opportunities include Student Council, Quiz Bowl, The Buzz Club Beekeepers, World Wildlife, Chess Club, Tech Wizards, STEM Club, Honor Council, Boys/ Girls FCA, Math Team and Students Celebrating Diversity, among others. 

  • The Honor Code

    At the heart of the school stands the Honor Code, by which every student is honor-bound to refrain from lying, cheating, or stealing. Honesty and integrity are the foundation on which Savannah Country Day is built. Each year, Middle School students sign the Honor pledge, indicating that they are willing to live by our honor code.  Honor Council, composed of representatives from each class and two faculty representatives, uphold our honor system. Each student pledges on each graded assignment that he or she has "neither given nor received any help on this assignment.”
  • Advisor/Advisoree Program

    The mission statement of the Savannah Country Day Middle School Advisor Program is to assist students with understanding their own developmental needs so they can better make sense of themselves and the world around them, and become caring, responsible, ethical citizens. This is accomplished with a faculty advisor serving as an advocate to a small group of students assigned to him or her at the beginning of each school year. Each week, groups meet with their advisors to pursue issues pertinent to their age, or on a one-on-one basis to discuss personal or academic concerns an advisee may have a need to talk about. A major thrust of our program is hands-on community service, and each grade level participates in a service project.
     
    Additionally, advisor groups address community needs when emergency situations arise such as hurricane relief efforts, assistance to military families, or a family’s personal tragedy. During the school year major topics (bullying and respectful behavior, anorexia nervosa, role models, and accepting differences in others) are presented to a grade groups level or to the whole Middle School student body.
     
    A series of learning inventories is administered to all 6th graders with additional assessments added at 7th and 8th grades. The inventories include personality profiles, cognitive development assessments, multiple intelligence and other profiles that help students learn how they learn best. These preferences are accommodated in the instructional program in the Middle School. Teachers also take these inventories to learn their own learning and teaching styles.
  • Mini-mester

    Mini-mester is an amazing week of learning without worrying about grades -- experiential learning at its best. We feel strongly that it is important for middle school students to broaden their learning experiences and pursue their interests in a "low risk" platform through many interesting courses that students wouldn't normally have the opportunity to investigate. Most courses are meant to teach or expose students to "real-life" situations and skills. It is a unique opportunity for our teachers and students to explore something new and fun while interacting with students from other grade levels. Mini-mester encourages our students to be life-long learners and believe that self-initiated learning can be powerfully persuasive and lasting.
  • Outward Bound

    Eighth grade students have the opportunity to participate in a five day Outward Bound excursion in the Florida Everglades’ Ten Thousand Islands. During the week, students develop teamwork by navigating their way to sandy beaches, setting up camp, boarding up on canoes, cooking their own meals and learning ‘Leave No Trace’ techniques to minimize their impact on the land. Students must learn to put their heads together to decipher charts and use compasses to navigate their way through the maze-like mangrove tunnels of the Florida wilds.

    To learn more about the Outward Bound Experience, click here.
  • Counseling Program

    The period of adolescence is a time of rapid change and growth for students as they approach physical, mental, and emotional maturity.  During this stage they desire more independence. experience new responsibilities, and search for social identity.  With these new self discoveries, they readjust their role in their family, in their class, and in the world around them. 
     
    The Middle School Counseling Program nurtures and supports students during this transitional stage through a multifaceted program in which the Advisor Program serves as the nucleus.  The School Counselor oversees the Advisor Program assisting teacher advisors with the facilitative process and group dynamics, and leads many of the program activities.  The Advisor Program fosters a positive school climate where our students see their teachers as caring advocates who are interested in their lives and development as well as their academic growth. Our Middle School counselors also meet with each advisory group to teach lessons, lead activities, and facilitate discussions around the Habits of Mind as part of our Character Education curriculum. 
     
    Additionally, the counselor serves as a consultant and a resource for the teacher advisors, expanding this service to also include the parents as they readjust parenting methods to fit the changes occurring in their adolescent at home.  The counselor works with students who have difficulties with social, emotional and academic issues and maintains close communication with parents throughout the middle school years.