Grades 7-8

Our goal is to design and implement learning experiences in which students investigate, research, build, and present work that intersects with the real world. We want learners to be immersed in projects that are personally engaging and help cultivate the skills and habits they will need to do well in high school and beyond.

From the first day of school, students begin establishing a strong sense of community through team-building and problem-solving. They generate shared “norms” to help define our classroom culture. Students are also encouraged to begin thinking about how they learn and how to advocate for themselves in pursuing goals.

The middle school curriculum is based on interdisciplinary learning expeditions—projects—built around a central theme. Projects are anchored by science and social studies and integrate the arts, literacy, and mathematics as much as possible. Each project will focus on core state standards for content, skills, and work habits.

Over the course of a learning expedition, students research, write papers, take quizzes, and complete various activities to ensure they are making progress. To construct and synthesize their learning, students create “artifacts”—tangible products that illustrate their knowledge and skills. Projects culminate with an “exhibition” in which students showcase their work and achievement to an authentic audience. Through it all, we view the world as our classroom; interdisciplinary projects will include opportunities for fieldwork and service projects that occur beyond the school walls.

We try and design projects that are relevant to students and encourage them to take an active role in guiding their learning. For example, a student who exhibits a strong interest in agriculture or the outdoors would have the flexibility and support to create artifacts that intersect with those spheres. A student who loved the arts would be encouraged to design arts-infused products. The goal is to cultivate opportunities that are engaging while helping students develop content knowledge and practical skills.

During their middle school years, we would like all students to improve their confidence and skills in public speaking. To that end, students will frequently share their work with a broader audience—be it parents, community members, or other Cabot students. This experiential approach cultivates skill development, reinforces content knowledge, and provides students with a life-long platform for becoming resourceful learners.

Many students may feel shy about sharing their ideas publicly, but it’s an important aspect of one’s personal development. As a culminating element, 8th-grade graduation includes a “passage presentation” in which each student shares a personal reflection highlighting growth and challenges during their middle school years.

7-12 Program of Studies
The Program of Studies for grades 7-12 is currently undergoing an update. 


Peter Stratman, Humanities
Mike Crocker, Science and Math
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