Middle School Focus On Riverdale Country School

by NYC Private Schools on November 8, 2012

Riverdale Country School has been examined here before, but the unique team teaching approach to middle school offers an interesting twist that needs further examination. Riverdale Country School considers the 6th through 8th grades to be the middle school level even though they share much of the school and faculty with the upper school.

Riverdale Country School takes a team teaching approach to math, science, history and English. Teachers are able to coordinate lessons in an effort to give students a more well-rounded focus to the subject matter. Offerings in English literature deviate from the standard classics into more modern literature such as detective fiction and historical drama. This is done to help instill a love of reading in students as well as to introduce them to various types of literature. Math and science are designed to act as foundational classes for future academic success with students being expected to complete Algebra I before entering the upper school.

Language study continues Riverdale Country School during the 6th grade and students may choose from Japanese, Chinese, French, Spanish and Latin. The addition of Japanese to the curriculum stands out as few schools offer this language at the middle school level.

At the 6th grade level, students meet in a home room period twice daily. That drops to once a day for the 7th grade, and the 8th grade students are assigned an adviser to help with class choices or any issues that the students may have.

Here are the current requirements for grades 6-8:
Grade 6 Requirements
Arts: Fine Arts, Band, Chorus, or Chamber Ensemble
English: English 6
History: The History and Cultures of New York City
Language: French, Latin, Chinese, Japanese, or Spanish
Mathematics: Math 6
Science: Science 6
Physical Ed.: Seven periods every two weeks
Health: Three periods every two weeks

Grade 7 Requirements
Arts: Studio Art, Drama, Chorus, Band, Strings, or Chamber Ensemble
English: English 7
History: The Meaning of America: Promise and Reality
Language: French, Latin, Chinese, Japanese, or Spanish
Mathematics: Math 7*
Science: Life Science
Physical Ed.: Seven periods every two weeks
Health: One period per week
Organization Plus: One period per week for two quarters
Technology: One period per week for two quarters
*An honors course is available at this level.

Grade 8 Requirements
Arts: Wind Ensemble, Drama, Vocal Arts Ensemble, Orchestra, or Visual Art
English: English 8
History: Ancient and Medieval Civilizations
Language: French, Latin, Chinese, Japanese, or Spanish
Mathematics: Algebra I*
Science: Earth Science
Physical Ed.: Six periods every two weeks
Health: Three periods every two weeks
*An honors course is available at this level.

For more information, see the middle school website of Riverdale Country School.

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