Message from the Head
Dear Prospective Student and Family,
Stevenson's Middle Division is entirely unique. The daily schedule reflects our core values: a student-centered learning culture predicated on inquiry, intellectual wonder, care of self and others, and collaboration among the students and the faculty. With courses designed to bridge the development of learners between their childhood and their adolescence, the curriculum is fabricated to meet the students where they are: in-between. Students in and between Grades 5–8 are provided a learning environment that helps to shape both life skills and intellectual wonder to best ready them for the adventure of high school. Middle division students will be prepared to succeed in high school and will have had the experiences and inspiration to demonstrate the skills necessary to:
- Think critically and creatively and problem solve
- Assess, analyze, and synthesize information
- Communicate effectively, both verbally and in written form
- Morally and ethically guide and care for themselves and others
The middle division program at Stevenson has been carefully scaffolded to meet the students as effectively as possible at a stage of human development that is beautifully complicated. Children between the ages of 10-14 develop and mature in accelerated and often jagged bursts. Their rapid intellectual and emotional growth is often fraught with moments of some regression. It is our responsibility, as a learning community, to create a culture predicated on safety, trust, respect, belonging, and inclusion wherein our middle division students step into early adolescence with a safety net of values and shared norms that affords them the flexibility to grow and thrive.
The middle division learning philosophy is framed on the foundation of Jean Piaget and John Dewey and is applied and practiced using the Harkness philosophy of teaching and learning. This philosophy empowers students to be at the center of their learning experience. The faculty is charged with the responsibility of creating a learning culture where the experience, the problem, the equation, the poem, or the project—not the teacher—is at the center of the learning experience. Students are provided with a learning environment where they are expected to inquire of themselves, of one another, of the teacher, of the process. It is through joining inquiry with highly structured measures of assessment, layered cognitive development, and curricular development that our middle division students emerge from Grade 8 with a solid foundation in knowing how to learn, how to process, how to problem solve, and how to succeed intellectually, emotionally, and in life.
Our Middle Division is a place of warmth, inclusion, challenge, risk, and acceptance. I invite you to visit and experience our school for yourself.
Molly K. Bozzo
Head of the Lower and Middle Divisions
Students between Grades 5–8 are provided a learning environment that helps to shape both life skills and intellectual wonder to best ready them for the adventure of high school.