Middle School

We focus on the mind and heart of all students. Essential to what we do is ensuring communication between all partners (students, faculty and parents), is strong, and that students are being engaged whether they are introverts or extroverts or a combination of the two. We focus on understanding who our students are as learners and as adolescents. We focus on their strengths as well as their stretches, their needs as well as their wants, and what they believe and what confuses them. We need to think about what grit means for each student, what mindset each one holds, and what the ever-changing landscape of relationships and friendships looks like at any given moment. With time, practice, patience and a lot of energy, we develop some wonderfully powerful young adults who can show compassion, collaborate well with others, create in isolation or with a team, and be the change that makes the world a better place.


List of 7 items.

  • Health

    The health curriculum is a trimester program for 6th and 7th graders designed to engage students in learning all facets of health and life skills.  Classes are designed to encourage discussion around a wide variety of topics, and place an emphasis on current issues in health. The main format of the classes is Socratic Seminar.  They also incorporate a fair amount of role playing and group collaboration.  Eighth grade incorporates health into the science curriculum.
  • Humanities

    Humanities is the study of social studies and English in a way that combines ideas, concepts and skills from a variety of disciplines.  Students are encouraged to make cross-curricular connections as well as connections to their own lives throughout the course.  Students become better readers, writers, speakers and critical world thinkers as they explore a variety of literary, geographical and historical themes.
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  • Languages

    Students entering Middle School are offered French, Mandarin and Spanish. The language program is designed to develop listening, speaking, and writing and reading-comprehension skills.
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  • Mathematics

    Sixth grade math emphasizes computational skills that were addressed in Lower School and provides exposure to real-world problems that require strategy and analysis. Students are divided into three mixed-ability groups, and are given benchmark assessments at the beginning, middle and end of the year to measure their progress. Select students can be placed in 7th grade advanced math positioning them to take geometry in 8th grade.
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  • Performing Arts

    Band is open to all students who wish to learn a musical instrument, regardless of playing level. The instruments students play include flute, clarinet, oboe, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, baritone, tuba or percussion. Band students learn to play a variety of musical genres and cultures.

    Students from all three grades in the Middle School are eligible to participate in chorus. Here students study a variety of music from various styles and different cultures, and learn proper singing technique, harmony singing and basic music theory. The Middle School chorus performs at two concerts each school year.
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  • Science

    Sixth grade science students explore life science topics that encourage curiosity, inquiry and creative problem-solving. Units of study include living things and biological classification; the cell and how it works; the world of viruses and bacteria; the protist and fungi kingdoms; the lives of plants; and the anatomy and physiology of animals and endangered species. Students continually develop their academic, collaborative and critical thinking skills during class discussions and group labs, learning to distinguish between observation and perception. The also improve their ability to organize scientific information and express their ideas in writing while working independently.
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  • Visual Arts

    Visual arts are trimester classes in Middle School. Our student-artists consider a number of factors when it comes to studying and constructing a piece of art. They learn the importance of planning and discussion in the progression of their work and are introduced to new concepts and tools with which to do this. Middle Schoolers are encouraged to take initiative and demonstrate how they transform artwork from the idea stage to a final product. Class discussion and constructive criticism also plays an important role in helping students develop an analytical relationship to their work while discovering their own art making process. 
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Barry Fulton
Middle School Head

North Shore Country Day School is a junior kindergarten through 12th grade, college-preparatory school founded in Winnetka, Illinois in 1919.  With rigorous academic pursuit as the cornerstone, North Shore provides many opportunities for all students to excel – in the classroom and the laboratory, on the stage and the playing field, in their communities and beyond.