The Middle School for Dialectic continues some of the curriculum paths begun in the grammar school. As students change, however, our instructional methods change with them, helping them to take responsibility for their own studies and encouraging their growing sense of independence. Instruction in math, Latin, and literature is given to boys and girls in separate sections.
Latin & English Grammar
The New Covenant curriculum is adjusted in several ways for the Middle School level. First, English grammar is combined with Latin grammar. We like to say that Latin is not a foreign language; it is part of our own language that we have to learn! Since Latin grammar underlies the students’ mother tongue, we believe that facility with both languages is best achieved by teaching them together. (To help transferring students become acclimated to this approach, we provide a summer Latin Camp; details are covered in the admissions process.) In seventh and eighth grades students take Latin I, for which they may log high school credit.
Middle School is also the point at which New Covenant students are introduced to logic. They also participate in mock trial, mock local government, class debate, and a classroom environment that fosters discussion and inquiry.
Students in middle school meet three times each week in a small group advisory. The advising instructor is responsible to assist the student as a mentor and is the first point of contact between the school and parents. Advisors help students with practical matters such as organization and responsibility for their studies. They also teach a curriculum that instructs in peacemaking and conflict resolution, life-long skills that students will draw upon far into the future.
There are many students who might never go out for co-curricular sports. Nevertheless, we believe that physical exercise, structure play, and competition is healthy for all students. All middle school students, therefore, are required to participate in intramural athletics. These activities provide instruction in several sports, such as soccer, flag football, floor hockey, badminton, ultimate frisbee, and basketball, as well as running and conditioning. While the context is organized and competitive, students are are not placed in competition with other schools; they are required, however, to learn the sport and be physically active. These activities take place during the school day, and no extra travel is required by parents. (Of course, students in middle school may play competively on athletic teams in co-curricular programs.) Tournaments are held quarterly in selected sports.