The Saratoga Independent School is committed to its goal of establishing a 6th, 7th and 8th grade Middle School, to open with its first 7th grade class in 2019. To that end, we are developing a timeline for growth that is realistic, fiscally responsible and allows us to remain true to our mission and to the children that we serve. The Board of Trustees thanks our families, faculty and staff for their ongoing support and enthusiasm about the future of our unique and strong school community.
By adding a Middle School that would encompass the 6–8th grades, we can continue our excellent curriculum of differentiated education throughout the critical adolescent years. The same philosophies of developing the whole child, creating individualized learning experiences, critical thinking and problem solving will be present as students move to the next stage of learning in the new Middle School.
The new Middle School will be an incredible opportunity for students and families who are seeking an exceptional educational experience for their children. Our increased presence will enhance the Saratoga community’s options for rich learning experiences and rigorous academics for students through 8th grade.
Middle School Philosophy
The benefits of an SIS Middle School education reflect our deep dedication to rigorous academics, low student-teacher ratio, and innovative teaching. Because students learn best through engaging experiences, we fill our days with opportunities for students to explore, create, question, and interact with challenging, higher-level concepts. Curriculum centers around a year-long theme which allows students and staff to make connections across disciplines and understand that real-world experiences rarely lie within a single subject.
|Grade 6||Identity and Origins||Personal narrative, molecules to organisms, heredity, ancestry, sixth-grade seminar|
|Grade 7||Communication and Silence||Reading both fiction and nonfiction, position papers, writing about reading, energy, waves|
|Grade 8||Local citizen, global citizen||Investigative journalism, Earth and human activity, dystopian book clubs|
Through the Columbia University Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project, writing instruction is woven seamlessly into the broader curriculum. Learning how to write well across all disciplines reinforces the importance of communication in all subject areas.
SIS develops avid and skilled readers, writers, and inquirers through the Reading and Writing Project curriculum. Middle School students begin to explore more sophisticated literature and nonfiction including poetry, historical fiction, and plays.
Our middle school themes broaden student perspectives on current and historical events, and place our local community into a global context. Project-based learning of US and world history engages students as they develop their own identity as citizens.
Singapore Math emphasizes deep understanding of mathematical concepts and is supported by consistent, formative assessments that guide instruction of each concept and skill until mastery is reached. All Middle School students will complete Algebra 1, at a minimum, allowing them to follow the full range of math courses in high school.
Inquiry, exploration, and discovery are at the heart of our project based science program. A strong focus on the clear, concise writing required to communicate scientific ideas rounds out the program, preparing students well for the rigors of advanced science courses in high school and college. Students have the opportunity to take the Earth Science Regents at the end of eighth grade.
Middle School students are ready to use technology both as a tool that enhances learning in all disciplines, and as a language, through coding and programming, that inspires creativity, invention, and discovery. Interested students have the opportunity for advanced tutorials in technology.
Study of Spanish language and grammar complements an exploration of Spanish-speaking cultures and helps students engage with our global society. Projects relating to the year’s theme enable connections across disciplines.
Fine and Performing Arts
Inspired by our yearly themes, areas of student interest, and artistic partners from the broader community, all students participate in music, theater, and visual arts. Exhibitions and performances give students confidence and pride in sharing their art in the public sphere.
Each term, students choose electives that allow them to build on strengths and explore new skills. Students and staff build connections as they explore common interests and work together in subjects such as coding, debate, and photography.
Physical Education classes take advantage of our beautiful 60-acre campus to offer students an array of fitness experiences. Students can compete on soccer or track teams through the interscholastic Friendship League. We offer an after-school ski program at West Mountain.
Middle School Matters
6th Grade launching in Fall 2018
7th Grade following in 2019
8th Grade in 2020
Middle School comes at a time of transformation for all students and can be a positive experience in the right environment: where students are encouraged to try new activities, explore new ideas, take on leadership roles, and share insights in class. SIS provides a safe space to learn and grow during some of the most challenging and exciting years of childhood.
Middle School students have the opportunity to prepare for high school (and beyond) in our own community with the best that the Saratoga region has to offer in partnerships with local arts, technology, and entrepreneurial organizations.
Leadership We empower our students to lead, and provide opportunities for students to face challenges and succeed.
Respect We demonstrate how to celebrate our differences and help children learn that they are responsible for their personal choices and behavior towards others.
Community We practice social and communication skills and work together to perform local and global acts of community service. A school-wide buddy program fosters relationships throughout the student body.
A Culture of Character
Our school motto is “We take care of ourselves, each other, our school, and our community.” We practice our motto every day by teaching the values of leadership, respect, and community.
More SIS Highlights
- After-school enrichment programs, including athletics, STEM, and fine arts
- 60-acre campus for hiking, snow-shoeing, and outdoor learning
- Low student-to-teacher ratio
- Advisory program to guide and support the personal and academic growth of each student
- Dedicated science and computer labs
- Wholesome lunch program in partnership with Healthy Living Market
- Extended Day 7:00 AM – 5:30 PM, including clubs and athletics
- Individual passcode-secured facility
Our Middle School experience equips our students with the knowledge and skills they will need to succeed in high school, college, and beyond.