Middle School (6-8)
As students enter middle school, they desire more independence and strong connections with others. Kaleidoscope supports students through the middle school transition by having two sixth-grade teachers, one who teaches language arts and social studies, and the other who teaches math and science. Then when students begin seventh grade, they are more confident and ready to switch between four core teachers.
Kaleidoscope's middle school overnight field trips allow students to create strong bonds with their classmates and core teachers. These field trips are connected to what students are already studying in class and are as follows:
- Grade 6 - Deep Portage Learning Center
- Grade 7 - Osprey Wilds
- Grade 8 - Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center
We recognize that middle school is a transition between elementary and high school. Our middle school students often play gaga ball outside during daily advisory time, enjoy movement breaks, and participate in team-building activities. Yet we also set the foundations for high school success with rigorous instruction and built-in support. Beginning in sixth grade, students receive instruction in AVID, whose mission is to prepare students for college and career readiness. (Read more about AVID below, under High Expectations.)
What You See When Walking Our Halls
Small Class Sizes: Most visitors notice how small our class sizes are compared to neighboring middle schools. This allows students to build strong relationships with their teachers and classmates. As middle schoolers become more independent and seek to define who they are, these connections are incredibly important in providing guidance and support.
Critical Thinking: Critical thinking skills must be taught like all other skills. Kaleidoscope teaches critical thinking through discussion, research, and real-life applications, such as Junior Achievement BizTown in sixth grade.
Integrating Content Areas: Our collaborative teachers intentionally plan opportunities for content integration. One example is the Future City Project, which combines science, social studies, and language arts. Students’ experiences become more meaningful, and they are more likely to remember the material when it is integrated across multiple classes.
High Expectations: Character development remains a high priority. Students learn to stand up for others, view others’ perspectives, and act with intention and kindness. Additionally, Kaleidoscope begins AVID in sixth grade. The AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) approach “fosters a safe and open culture, high expectations for teachers and students, and collaboration in all classrooms." Students develop leadership skills through student goal setting and agency (learning through meaningful activities that are self-initiated with appropriate support from teachers). We recognize and foster the potential in each student.
As a public school, Kaleidoscope Charter School’s curriculum is guided by the Minnesota Academic Standards, which lay out expectations for what students should learn and be able to do during each year of their schooling. The Minnesota Department of Education creates the standards, which you can view by visiting the Minnesota Academic Standards (K-12) website.
Our specialist courses utilize many different curricula resources and units created by Kaleidoscope. Our middle school specialist courses are as follows:
- Physical education
- General music