The Open Window School Middle School program is designed to challenge, engage, and nurture students in their adolescent years. Stimulated by the intellectual challenge of an advanced curriculum tailored specifically to the needs of gifted children, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth graders are supported by caring teachers and a positive peer group. With approximately 125 students, the Middle School is large enough to provide a vast array of learning opportunities, yet small enough that every child is known, valued, and has an opportunity to develop his/her unique talents.
Middle School students are engaged in learning by having the opportunity to do work that has an impact beyond the classroom. Learning on campus is supplemented by many off-campus community partnerships that support and provide an authentic context for the work that students do in the classroom. From designing experiments
to be conducted aboard the International Space Station to working with a lobbyist
to guide a bill through the state legislature, Open Window students are active learners rather than passive consumers of information.
Students are grouped into small grade-level families, called "advisories." Every day begins and ends in advisory, where students can check in with a staff member who knows and understands them. Supported by two counselors, the Middle School has a strong commitment to Social and Emotional Learning where students learn to recognize and manage emotions, care about others, develop positive relationships, behave ethically and responsibly, and make good decisions. As the oldest students in the school, Open Window middle school students have abundant leadership opportunities. A recent educational study
published in the American Educational Research Journal
indicates that the K-8 structure provides significant academic and social benefits for middle schoolers over being in a 5-12 or 6-12 school.
In addition to humanities, math, science, and Spanish classes, students have the opportunity to explore a wide-variety of interests through a broad arts and movement program
, exploratory classes, and after school activities. The school's exemplary technology program is supported by a state of the art Innovation and Technology Lab. Students have the opportunity to play on school athletic teams and compete in chess, debate, and Lego robotics. The school year culminates for each grade with a spring Hallmark Trip that expands learning opportunities and develops confidence and independence.