Fifth to Eighth Grades

Middle School


The mission of the middle school math department is to foster critical thinkers who experience the beauty and excitement of mathematics and recognize its power to describe the world around them. An Open Window School mathematician develops a growth mindset through perseverance and self-reflection, collaboration, and fearlessness in the face of new challenges. This is accomplished through a focus on mathematical and developmental readiness. Students at Open Window School develop strong independent study skills such as abstract and quantitative reasoning, attention to precision, organization of materials and thoughts, and modeling real-world problems with mathematics.

Students taking high school level classes are not guaranteed to earn high school credit (this is determined by receiving high schools); Open Window administers a standardized End of Course exam which serves as a tangible indication of successfully completing a high school level course.

List of 4 items.

  • Fifth Grade

    Discovering Mathematics is the fifth-grade course at Open Window School that introduces all students to the practice and concepts of middle school mathematics, building off the foundation laid in the lower school. Differentiated instruction allows students to be offered enrichment and support, as needed, on a unit-by-unit basis. Readiness for pre-algebra or high school level algebra is assessed at the end of the course. The following topics are covered throughout the year: 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional geometry, ratios, percentages, rational number operations, decimal operations, intro to expressions and equations, negative numbers and the coordinate plane, and introductory statistics.
  • Sixth Grade

    Pre-algebra provides a solid mathematical foundation to fully prepare students for the study of high-school level algebra. During the study of pre-algebra, students will develop their mathematical reasoning, algebraic thinking skills, and computational accuracy for future work in mathematics. The following topics are covered throughout the course: scale factor, proportions, percentages, negative numbers, expressions, equations, and inequalities, linear relationships, exponents and scientific notation, functions, and rational and irrational numbers with the Pythagorean Theorem.

    At Open Window School, a special sixth grade Algebra 1 course is offered to students who are both highly qualified and demonstrate outstanding study skills, mathematical interest, and maturity. This course covers all the content of a traditional pre-algebra course as well as the content required for a high-school level Algebra 1 course. By the end of the Algebra 1 for 6th Grade course, students will be highly flexible in their application of algebraic concepts; including: building and graphing linear relations and functions, solving systems of equations (both linear and quadratic), quadratic functions (graphing, factoring, identifying), geometric and arithmetic sequences, basic linear regression, and exponential functions.
  • Seventh Grade

    A comprehensive course in high school-level algebra is completed by all Open Window students. This course is either taken in one school year or as 1A and 1B across two years. Areas of study include expressions and equations, variables, function patterns and graphs, rational numbers, solving equations and inequalities, different forms of linear equations and inequalities and their graphs, systems of equations and inequalities, exponent operations and exponential functions, polynomials and factoring, quadratic equations and functions, radical expressions and equations, and simplifying rational expressions.

    Geometry at Open Window is offered to students who have successfully completed a year of high-school algebra curriculum. Students begin their studies of geometry with introduction to a specific ‘language’ of Geometry and the difference between inductive and deductive reasoning. They learn to deal with Algebraic proofs prior to moving into proofs of Geometry. In this course, students also learn about parallel and perpendicular lines, congruent and similar figures, proving triangles congruent, exploring isosceles and equilateral triangles, and specifics about right triangles, including an intro to trigonometry. Concurrent lines and inequalities in triangles, as well as the overlap of algebra and geometry in the coordinate plane are also taught in this course. Students examine areas of regular polygons, learn about circles, and explore geometric probability through learning about surface area and volume of 3D figures, and different types of transformations.
  • Eighth Grade

    Algebra 1b is the second half of the Algebra course, taken after completion of Algebra 1a. This is completed within one school year.

    Geometry at Open Window is offered to students who have successfully completed a year of high-school algebra curriculum. Students begin their studies of geometry with introduction to a specific ‘language’ of geometry and the difference between inductive and deductive reasoning. They learn to deal with algebraic proofs prior to moving into proofs of geometry. In this course, students also learn about parallel and perpendicular lines, congruent and similar figures, proving triangles congruent, exploring isosceles and equilateral triangles, and specifics about right triangles, including an intro to trigonometry. Concurrent lines and inequalities in triangles, as well as the overlap of algebra and geometry in the coordinate plane are also taught in this course. Students examine areas of regular polygons, learn about circles, and explore geometric probability through learning about surface area and volume of 3D figures, and different types of transformations.

    Algebra 2 at Open Window School is offered to students who have successfully completed the high-school level courses of Algebra 1 and Geometry. The focus of the Algebra 2 curriculum is on the application of algebra in the real world through the exploration of the idiosyncratic behavior of function families; including: linear and absolute value functions, quadratic functions and complex numbers, polynomials and polynomial functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, rational and radical expressions and functions. In addition, students will be introduced to new concepts such as linear programming, matrices, operations on polynomials, probability and data analysis. Trigonometry is covered if time permits.

Language Arts & Social Studies

The humanities department acknowledges that we are located on the ancestral land of the Duwamish people.

Historical studies focus on the goal of students developing a sense of compassion and empathy for others and deeper understanding of our community and our world. Students develop skills in social studies and language arts with teachers that specialize in these topics through a connected curriculum. Students delve into a broad offering of material, developing their critical thinking skills and learning how to evaluate primary and secondary sources. Students analyze both historical sources as well as literature, using these analytical skills to expand their ideas and use their knowledge to make positive change in the world. Courses in fifth and seventh grades center on global studies and in sixth and eighth grades on the United States. Strong written and oral communication skills are emphasized with the Six Traits of Writing serving as a consistent basis of the writing program in all four grades. Reading comprehension, grammar, and spelling are taught through interconnected topics as students discover authentic uses for these skills.

List of 4 items.

  • Fifth Grade: Ancient Civilizations

    Fifth grade humanities focus on the questions: what are the “major turning points” of history and how have they impacted the development of our modern world? Beginning with understanding how historians investigate the past, students explore the Paleolithic and Neolithic Eras, and examine the formation of early civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China, and Greece. While investigating these regions of the world, students recognize the distinctive characteristics of each civilization and can identify universal traits that these societies share.

    Language arts is taught through the lens of the Hero’s Journey and emphasizes writing, reading, and speaking skills. Understanding and utilizing the Six Traits of Writing is a major focus of the curriculum. Each trait is taught specifically in an individual unit, with informal writing prompts and larger projects centering on the current unit’s trait. Larger projects include expository essays and creative writing pieces, allowing students to further their practice as they incorporate all Six Traits into their writing. Students assess their own work, revising and editing to create a final product. Reading the novel New Kid by Jerry Craft and a variety of short stories, students work together in both small and large groups, as they share their ideas and ask questions of one another, building literary discussion skills and group dialogue expectations. Strengthening and diversifying vocabulary use for more sophisticated descriptive writing and discussion are additional key topics in this course.
  • Sixth Grade: Foundational America to Pre-Civil War

    Sixth grade humanities are rooted in geographical concepts and viewing history through various perspectives. Embedded in each unit, students use these key concepts throughout the year. Students will complete a study of Indigenous People of North America and the environmental ties between past and present. Students investigate life in Colonial America through in-class simulations, experiences, and research as they look closely at a variety of individuals, regions, and colonies. Through investigating key events, battles, and multiple viewpoints of the time, students explore the American Revolutionary Era before dissecting and analyzing foundational documents such as the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. This reveals and expands upon the origins and role of the American government structure. Students will approach the major theme of freedom and the delicate balance between liberties and security.

    Reading skills are centered around analyzing multiple sources, identifying evidence, summarizing relevant content, and two novel studies. Based on the Six Traits of Writing, and building on foundational skills from fifth grade, writing skills are displayed through in-depth vocabulary activities, grammar exercises, and various writing prompts. Performance of these skills creating a short novel for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), writing, and delivering debate speeches, and creating accomplished, thesis-driven five-paragraph essays that are key components of this course.
  • Seventh Grade: World Cultures and Contemporary World Problems

    The goal of seventh grade humanities is to better prepare students for work and life through a meaningful multicultural curriculum. To that end, the content is the vehicle through which we hone skills and grasp overarching concepts. The course explores the diverse cultures, political influences, major religions, and physical and human geography of Africa, Asia, Middle East, and Europe.

    This curriculum, designed specifically for Open Window students, is rooted in language arts, and emphasizes to what extent one’s grammar, vocabulary, and expression affect how one’s message is received. The Six Traits of Writing are incorporated into the curriculum as students write expository and persuasive essays along with a journalism project and a memoir.

    The course utilizes a variety of resources to examine cultures through an unbiased lens such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “Danger of a Single Story.” Students are exposed to a wide array of global perspectives from authors such as Anita Desai, Zhang Xinxin, and Ifeoma Okoye. Seventh grade humanities provide a multi-faceted platform where every student can access the material, capitalize on strengths, and explore what it means to be a citizen in a diverse and changing world. All work is inter-connected and culminates into a Model UN project at the end of the year.

    The goal of seventh grade humanities is to better prepare students for work and life through a meaningful multicultural curriculum. To that end, the content is the vehicle through which we hone skills and grasp overarching concepts. The course explores the diverse cultures, political influences, major religions, and physical and human geography of Africa, Asia, Middle East, and Europe.
  • Eighth Grade: American History through the Lens of Washington State

    Building on their knowledge of contemporary world problems and global solutions, as well as foundational collaboration and communication skills, eighth graders conduct an in-depth study of American History through the lens of Washington State. Students review American governmental systems, including federalism and the checks and balances between local, state, federal and tribal governments. They look closely at Washington State's government and follow a bill traveling through the legislature from start to finish. Students examine how throughout American history from the Antebellum Era to modern times, constitutional values have been upheld for some and denied to others. By looking at these issues through the lens of the Washington State experience, students recognize how global and national events affect them locally and develop a sense of citizenship to be able to make an impact in the world through the verification of historical and contemporary primary sources.

    The language arts component of the course emphasizes analytical and persuasive writing skills. Using the Six Traits of writing, students explore persuasive and expository essays, short stories, personal narrative, and poetry. Literary offerings connect to the course curriculum either chronologically or thematically. Students make cross curricular connections with what they read, developing a distinctive view about how different types of writing can form identity. Additionally, through regular studies, the students develop their vocabulary and conventions and integrate this knowledge into their speaking and writing.


A priority for our middle school science program is to develop critical thinking skills and foster an environment that promotes curiosity and a positive attitude towards science. A key element of this is balancing skill development and content depth with project-based learning to mirror how scientists work collaboratively to solve real world problems. Middle School Science topics include Energy, Ecology, Earth and Space Sciences, Human Body Systems and Nutrition, Neuroscience, Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics, and Biology. Students engage in scientific discourse with peers, as well as participate in experiential partnerships with scientists and researchers in a variety of fields to deepen authentic learning.

List of 5 items.

  • Fifth Grade Science

    The fifth-grade science program at Open Window School promotes scientific literacy by guiding students through meaningful project-based, inquiry-driven units of study. An emphasis on the building of scientific skills, integrating math concepts and boosting individual student confidence and joy in designing experiments to find answers to questions they have about the natural world are the key elements of this course.

    What Do Scientists Do?

    Our junior scientists begin by diving into scientific methodology (including identifying, controlling, and considering variables in a variety of engaging experiments), metric measurement and estimating, and graphing to better understand how scientists begin and conduct experiments in the real world. These important skills provide the foundation for the hands-on activities throughout the rest of the year.
    The Nature of Energy

    Students explore forms and sources of energy with a special focus on solar energy, where much of earth’s energy originates. Students demonstrate learning through hands-on energy and electricity investigations using materials specially curated for them.  In addition to designing, building, and testing the efficiency of solar ovens, students observe and measure energy transfers and consider and compare the potential of solar and other alternative energy sources o through meaningful collaborative projects.  Students conduct research as evidence in support of their positions during The Great Energy Debate, honing leadership, and teamwork skills. Award-winning literature (fiction and non-fiction) are offered as students learn to read and discuss science-based concepts in small book club groups.
    Human Body Systems & Nutrition

    Students investigate human body system structures and functions through a systems approach that includes hands-on investigations, text analysis, and simulations to support building concrete understanding from abstract concepts.  Students are introduced to the history of the microscope, learn how to prepare wet slides to study cellular structure and function, cellular respiration, cellular reproduction (meiosis and mitosis), and cell specialization in human body systems. Students select topics and present on the cardiovascular, digestive, respiratory, muscular, and skeletal systems. Researching and reporting on major scientific discoveries in medicine (and potential future breakthroughs) and connecting with professionals in fields connected to their research further deepen this learning. Through a study of neuroscience, students design and conduct investigations uncovering how the mind and body are indelibly connected and can affect their own performance and personal wellbeing.
    Populations and Ecosystems & Microscopy

    Featuring frequent laboratory experiments, simulations, field studies, interaction with local scientists, experiential exercises, and student-developed scientific experiments, students analyze the forces that shape the natural world. Connecting to their study of energy with the source of most life on earth: our sun, students study ecosystems, the largest organizational unit of life on Earth. Students recognize that every organism has a role in its ecosystem and has structures and behaviors adapted to allow it to survive. Opportunities to research, report on, and experiment with populations of organisms (such as macroinvertebrates), use microscopes and stereoscopes as well as computer simulations allow students to discover population dynamics and interactions over a range of conditions. This study includes limiting factors, heredity, inheritance, and natural selection as ways to understand similarities and variation within and between species. Fifth grade students design and conduct their own macroinvertebrate population studies comparing organisms inhabiting the local wooded areas and organisms found in other ecosystems in Washington such as the Olympic Peninsula.
  • Sixth Grade Science

    The sixth-grade science program encourages students to deepen their curiosity and content knowledge through authentic inquiry, engage as active members within a scientific community, design increasingly complex experiments confidently utilizing sound scientific methodology, and communicate scientific results to peers and the wider community as they deepen their collective understanding of relationships discovered through science.
    Earth Science (Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Geology)

    Throughout this introductory unit, students practice being a reliable and important member of a scientific community through engaging real-world simulations and applications that aim to bring more abstract scientific processes to students in concrete ways. Students study tectonic forces that cause earthquakes and tsunamis, create volcanoes, shape mountains, and forge rocks in a cyclical process called the rock cycle. The benefits and limits of modern prediction methods are explored and will give students opportunities to innovate and propose solutions to a larger scientific community. Students partner with local organizations to relate how their work in the classroom as it connects to current, cutting-edge research conducted by scientists around the world.
    High-altitude Weather Balloon Project

    Our study of earth science continues with the study of weather systems, including hurricanes and tornados, where students experience predicting events using authentic storm data in computer simulations. Featuring daily laboratory experiments, field studies, interaction with local scientists, and student-developed scientific experiments, student scientists analyze the forces that shape the natural world including a focus on how these forces have shaped Western Washington. During the high-altitude weather balloon project (HAB project), students build, test, fly, and analyze the data recovered from a BalloonSat to study scientific phenomena and local weather patterns from sea level to 100,000 feet in near space.
    Dreams Take Flight- Science Fiction to Science Fact

    From analyzing award-winning classic science fiction novels for scientific accuracy and diving into the lesser-known aspects of the Space Race, to building and testing flying machines to study the physics of flight, students engage in multiple opportunities to build confidence in their own scientific skills through design engineering challenges. Students connect with authors and scientists to enrich the conversation and to encourage a deeper level of curiosity about the process of human invention and innovation, therefore sharpening students’ scientific process skills through experimentation. Unique themes of study within this unit include designing experiments to explain observed phenomena and debunking myths or false claims through the use of discrepant events, experimenting with air pressure and the properties of air, uncovering the unique inspirations of some of today’s most influential innovators (how leaders like them can make dreams into reality!) and discussing/debating ethical decision-making in science by studying direct and indirect consequences of actions and policy.
  • Seventh Grade Science

    Seventh grade scientists at Open Window School develop increasingly sophisticated laboratory procedures, explore challenging scientific publications, and create complex and descriptive presentations for the learning community. Students are tasked with increasing responsibility as the stewards of their lab space and with greater levels of autonomy regarding what specific topics they wish to explore.

    Students examine the inner workings of the brain, focusing on how exercise, sleep, repetition, and stress impact learning. Using their lived experience as the basis for investigation, students reflect on the neurobiological effects of the happenings of today’s world. Transitioning from neuroscience to an exploration of the origin of the universe and astronomical topics including stars, galaxies and planets, students choose independent topics of inquiry, complete a in depth research project, and use spectrometers, flame tests, and spectrum tubes to explore the connection between elements in stars and the elements here on our planet and determine the composition of objects far afield.

    Foundational concepts of chemistry: atoms, the elements, the periodic table, and chemical bonds are explored. Students reinforce their understanding of chemistry with in-depth investigations into the characteristics of water, exploring its importance to life here in the Puget Sound and beyond. This broad consideration of ecological interconnectedness provides a compelling preview of the biology work to be completed in their eighth-grade science course.
  • Eighth Grade Biology

    Students are challenged to reflect on the impacts of scientific work on the greater community, with consideration given to ethical, economic, and environmental implications. Learners in this course conceptualize challenging and complex processes while taking further ownership of the specific subject-matter that they choose to explore.

    This year of science commences with deeper exploration of the human mind, building on the work completed in seventh grade. This brief neuroscience unit explores the inner workings of the brain, focusing on the structure and function of the nervous and endocrine systems and the impacts of stress and substances. Having bolstered their understanding of these integral systems, students commence with the year’s journey through the fundamental concepts of living organisms and biological systems.

    Using inquiry-based activities and authentic scientific research, students explore core themes of molecules and cells, heredity and evolution, and organisms and populations and engage in scientific discourse with peers as well as professional scientists and researchers from a variety of fields. Our scientists’ time at Open Window culminates with a thoughtful and comprehensive exploration of the beautiful and diverse ecosystem that comprises the Pacific Northwest.
  • Science Beyond the Classroom

    Middle schoolers at Open Window enjoy regular opportunities to partner with local and international organizations to extend their science learning in ways unique to Western Washington and beyond.

    A few examples of the many exciting experiences have included:
    • Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility and the Snoqualmie Hydroelectric Dam allowing students to interview and learn from professionals working in STEM fields related to energy conservation and renewable energy. (Fifth Grade)
    • University of Washington’s Brain Awareness Week (Fifth Grade)
    • Workshops with Kids in Medicine (Fifth Grade)
    • Weeklong trip to Nature Bridge Olympic National Park (Fifth Grade Hallmark Trip)
    • Overnight partnership to the Volcano School on the flanks of Mount St. Helens to study the causes and effects of the 1980 eruption. (Sixth Grade)
    • Workshops at the University of Washington’s Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSW) and Civil Engineering Departments (Sixth Grade)
    • Overnight trip to Ellensburg, WA, to launch BalloonSat experiments via high-altitude weather balloons (Sixth Grade)
    • Week-long sailing expedition on the Salish Sea (Sixth Grade Hallmark Trip)
    • Trips to various planetariums and observatories, including the Pine Mountain Observatory in Bend, OR (Seventh Grade)
    • Conversations with professional scientists from the University of Washington, Allen Institute for Cellular Science and Adler Planetarium (Seventh and Eighth Grades)
    • Field-based research project, designed by students and conducted in Costa Rica. (Eighth Grade Hallmark Trip)


The Middle School Spanish program builds on the Lower School’s exploratory program inspiring a passion for learning language while providing the opportunity to further develop speaking, listening, writing, and reading skills necessary to communicate confidently and proficiently in Spanish. Because learning languages is about celebrating multicultural diversity and humanity’s interconnectedness, the program aims to build cultural competency by expanding knowledge of the products, practices, and perspectives of the Spanish-speaking world. The Spanish program culminates with an eighth-grade Hallmark Trip to a Spanish-speaking country where students find an authentic experience to demonstrate their language skills and cultural competence as global citizens.

Using proficiency benchmarks1 as the basis for learning objectives, a primary goal of our program is to provide students opportunities to progress at their own pace and set individual communication goals for risk taking in the language. At the end of each year, students can assess their own proficiency levels in one or more communicative modes2 through the ACTFL Assessment Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL) and receive feedback on their progress.

Topics covered over this four-year program are based on those covered by the AAPPL and include:

  • Arts & Literature
  • History & Civics
  • Community Life
  • Hobbies, Leisure, & Free Time
  • Culture & Traditions
  • Home & Places of Interest
  • Current Events & Social Issues
  • People
  • Daily Life
  • Pets & Animals
  • Economy & Business
  • Professions, Careers, & Work
  • Education
  • Science & Environment
  • Entertainment
  • Technology & Innovation
  • Food
  • Travel & Vacation
  • Healthy Living
  • Who am I?

1 According to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign languages (ACTFL), proficiency benchmarks are “a description of what individuals can do with language in terms of speaking, writing, listening, and reading in real-world situations in a spontaneous and non-rehearsed context. The levels of the ACTFL Guidelines describe the continuum of proficiency from that of the highly articulate, well-educated language user to a level of little or no functional ability” (
2 According to ACTFL, the three communicative modes are Interpersonal (“active negotiation of meaning among individuals”), Interpretive (“interpretation of what the author, speaker, or producer wants the receiver of the message to understand”), and Presentational (“creation of messages”) (

List of 4 items.

  • Fifth Grade Spanish

    In fifth grade Spanish, students become curious learners that make observations, take risks in the language, and reflect critically and metacognitively on their own learning. Students focus on building listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in the present tense with the goal of communicating at a novice mid to high level of proficiency in the interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes.

    Engaging in learning about the cultures of Mexico, its rich history, traditions, and holidays further deepen language learning. Students learn how to engage in simple conversation when meeting new people; communicate about topics like tourist attractions, geography, weather, the calendar, holidays, and mealtimes; and describe clothing and animals. Additional vocabulary and grammar topics include dates, numbers, adjectives, food likes and dislikes using me gusta(n), subject pronouns, the present tense of ser, estar, tener, and hay, as well as an introduction to common regular verbs.

    Students are assessed on their interpretive skills through AAPPL at the end of the year as well as their interpersonal and presentational skills through classroom projects.
  • Sixth Grade Spanish

    In sixth grade Spanish, students gain a deeper understanding of the lexical content and grammatical structures of the Spanish language. Emphasis is placed on the fundamentals of Spanish vocabulary and grammar, continuing the development of the four basic skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing, with an emphasis on presentational writing. Students review how to greet others, count, talk about classroom objects, tell time, and navigate a city. They learn to conjugate regular and irregular verbs in the present, simple future, and imperative tenses; compare and exaggerate ideas using comparatives and superlatives and command vocabulary related to topics including personal descriptions, families, and pastimes. This course increases familiarity with Spanish-speaking regions and cultures, with a focus on Spain. By engaging with audio, web resources, readings, games, and other class activities, students practice and solidify course concepts. Learners are evaluated on accuracy through formative and summative assessments. Content is based on various texts and online resources, as well as ACTFL standards. At the end of the year, students take the presentational writing AAPPL assessment, with a target of the novice high range.
  • Seventh Grade Spanish

    Spanish 1A

    In seventh grade, students complete the first half of high school Spanish 1. Grammatical components of the course will include full proficiency in the present indicative, including regular, irregular, and stem-changing verbs. Students will also be able to form and use the present progressive, make comparisons, express obligation, use common idiomatic expressions, tell another person what they do regularly, explain what they like and dislike for entertainment, and shop for clothing. Short chapter book studies allow students to improve reading comprehension skills. Throughout the year, students focus studies on Latin America and its unique geography, cultures, histories, and politics. Additionally, students work with intention on their personal pace, pronunciation, intonation, and inflection in all speaking opportunities. At the end of the year, students take the presentational writing AAPPL assessment with a target of the intermediate low range.
  • Eighth Grade Spanish

    Spanish 1B

    In eighth grade, students complete the second half of high school Spanish 1. Students will study immigration from Latin America to the US and the effects this has on the individual, their family and society. Listening to testimonials, reading poetry, viewing art, and delving into various media allows students to explore the Latine voice in the United States. Students make connections to an author, read, and write biographies, and give their opinion. In preparation for future travel to Spanish speaking countries students learn to navigate through an airport, order food at a restaurant, share a meal with a local family, explain allergies, medical conditions or emergencies, express likes and dislikes, ask informational questions, connect with peers on common pastimes such as playing sports and games, talk about their family and discussing local flora and fauna. Other grammatical components of the course include giving and following instructions using formal and informal commands, using indirect and direct object pronouns, reflexive verbs, and an introduction to the preterit and imperfect tenses. At the end of the year, students will take the Interpersonal Speaking and Listening AAPPL Assessment with a target of the intermediate mid to advanced low range.
    *High school course credit and placement is determined by the receiving school and can vary from school to school.


List of 3 members.

  • Photo of Claire Poppleton

    Claire Poppleton 

    Middle School Math Teacher
  • Photo of Karey Stoltz

    Karey Stoltz 

    Middle School Math Teacher
  • Photo of Tracy Van Lone

    Tracy Van Lone 

    Middle School Math Teacher

Language Arts & Social Studies

List of 6 members.

  • Photo of Michelle Bowers

    Michelle Bowers 

    Middle School Language Arts Teacher
  • Photo of Ryan Brown

    Ryan Brown 

    Middle School Social Studies Teacher
  • Photo of Arren Ellingson

    Arren Ellingson 

    Middle School Social Studies Teacher
  • Photo of Ben Morgan

    Ben Morgan 

    Middle School Language Arts Teacher
  • Photo of Acacia Protsman

    Acacia Protsman 

    Middle School Language Arts Teacher
  • Photo of Jennifer Ross

    Jennifer Ross 

    Middle School Social Studies Teacher


List of 3 members.

  • Photo of Elaine Chao

    Elaine Chao 

    Middle School Science Teacher
  • Photo of Andrew Mechling

    Andrew Mechling 

    Middle School Science Teacher
  • Photo of Elliott Skopin

    Elliott Skopin 

    Middle School Science Teacher


List of 2 members.

  • Photo of Marcelo Sanjines

    Marcelo Sanjines 

    Middle School Spanish Teacher
  • Photo of Cinthia Chacón

    Cinthia Chac√≥n 

    Middle School Spanish Teacher

Partnerships & Hallmark Trips


Middle school classes spend several days each month off-campus in partnerships with various community resources. The primary goals of partnerships are to enrich current curriculum, provide a broader life experience through cultural immersion and community service learning, inspire students about new subjects or potential careers, and create lasting memories through experiential education.

Middle School partnerships relate directly to the core curriculum and grade level themes. Partnerships can occur both on and off-campus. Many of these experiences build on-going relationships with community professionals, leaders and service institutions which allows continuous authentic learning for our students working with passionate and active contributors in the field.


Middle School Hallmark Trips are an Open Window School spring tradition of grade level experiences that deeply enrich the curriculum and the relationships within our class community. These experiences build confidence, self-awareness, and empathy, and positive risk taking while broadening students’ understanding of the Northwest and beyond. The cost of these trips is included in tuition as we believe strongly that experiential and cooperative learning benefits all students.

With a value on authentic and timely learning spring Hallmark trips are chosen each year to enhance the needs of our current curriculum and community needs.

Past trips have included:

List of 6 items.

  • NatureBridge

    Students on this trip travel to NatureBridge in Olympic National Park, engaging in a number of adventure activities while also studying environmental science and conservation of natural resources. Students conduct team experiments and learn about the Elwha Dam Removal Project, the largest in history.
  • Salish Sea

    This trip is designed both to enrich classroom science curriculum but builds on SEL themes of “ship, shipmate, self” as students build personal and group confidence sailing in the San Juan Islands in Washington. Students design and conduct oceanographic field study as well as learn to independently sail, navigate, and prepare meals. Salish Sea Expeditions has been a longtime partner of our school designing custom and content rich programs for us that meet the unique needs of our group.
  • Shakespeare Festival

    Designed as a collaborative trip focusing on both the arts and the sciences students travel to the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon. While in southern Oregon, students study Shakespeare and partake in acting workshops at Southern Oregon State College, attend theater performances presented on the Black Box and Elizabethan stages, try their hand at playwriting, snowshoe at Crater Lake, observe stars and planets at the Oregon Observatory and go whitewater rafting complete with a warmup at the local hot springs pool!
  • Washington, D.C.

    Partnering with the Close-Up organization, eighth grade students travel to our nation’s capital to launch their studies of American government. While in D.C., students visit monuments to investigate different styles of governing; they meet with members of the government while on Capitol Hill; they debate current issues traveling through the legislature; and they have a chance to visit the breathtaking museums that the capital has to offer. On this six-day trip, students accumulate knowledge and unforgettable experiences that they will use throughout their eighth-grade year.
  • Costa Rica

    This eighth-grade trip culminates the experience at Open Window School as students travel internationally, immersing into a new culture, practicing skills in a second language, and engaging in many scientific and adventure activities. On this 10-day trip students are able to participate in a wide variety of activities which have included living with a homestay family in a rural town, immersing themselves in conversation with native Spanish speakers, completing a service project for a local rural school, conducting self-designed science experiments, visiting organic farms, beaches, rainforests, volcanoes, cities and towns, as well as ziplining, white-water rafting and snorkeling.
  • Winter Exploratory Classes

    Exploratory classes provide unique opportunities to expose students to topics outside of the traditional curriculum. These classes can fuel an existing passion or spark interest in something brand new! For eight-ten weeks special interest classes meet once per week and are non-graded. Examples of past classes include ballet, forensic science, Salsa/Merengue/Flamenco dancing, outdoor survival skills, jewelry making, knitting, the sport of cricket, stand-up comedy, and ukulele, filmmaking, introduction to marketing and product design, lacrosse, Minecraft, musical theater, rocketry, Roman architecture, tap dance, and woodworking. Teachers participate by teaching a special interest or by mentoring a student who would like to lead a class which makes this a special time for our full community to explore something new!
Open Window School provides a challenging academic curriculum blended with nurturing support from teachers that prepares students for long-term success.