Answers to the most commonly asked questions about Beaver Middle School are answered here.
Middle school classes begin at 8:00 a.m. every day except Monday. On Monday, classes begin at 9:05 a.m. to allow for faculty meetings. (Students may arrive as early as 7:00 a.m. every day and eat breakfast and study quietly in the Dining Hall.). The school day ends at 3:45 p.m. every day, and most students leave at that time. If a student has an away sports game or a late drama rehearsal, he/she may not be able to leave until later in the afternoon.
Assignments completed outside of class meetings take on many different forms. Students are asked to work on collaborative projects, read and annotate texts, practice math exercises, and edit essays, to name a few. Homework is an extension of the work happening during classes and an opportunity for students to gauge their understanding of material. Time spent on homework varies by student. Parents can check the assignment calendars on their child’s Beaver account or on the parent PowerSchool account regularly to make sure the student is keeping up with due dates.
R-TIME is required time for Middle School students to complete work, receive extra help, and meet with teachers. R-TIME is organized by advisory and meets three days a week. The Enrichment Center is also available during R-TIME.
Students are given multiple opportunities to show their understanding of course material and they are assessed in various ways in each of their classes (tests, projects, papers, presentations). Students receive ongoing feedback about their academic work and parents also have access to grade data throughout the school year.
Middle School advisors meet every afternoon for Advisory Check Out and for longer Advisory meetings on Fridays. Advisories are grade specific and switch from year to year. There are usually 7-8 students in each group. During these meetings, students participate in planned activities or have some down time and relaxation. Advisors provide academic and social support and can meet with students individually.
Parents have the opportunity to meet each teacher at Open Studios and at parent-teacher conferences in October and February. There are also advisory meetings with parents and students in August and May. Parents can make appointments to see their child’s teacher or advisor whenever there is a need.
Students with diagnosed learning disabilities may qualify for extra time on their tests and examinations. In order to take advantage of our test accommodations, students must have a learning disability diagnosed by an accredited professional, and this document must be on file with us. To ensure validity and relevance, we recommend that this evaluation be updated every three years.
Extra help is available during R-TIME with teachers and/or Enrichment Center staff. For a student requiring more assistance than a teacher’s schedule can allow, sessions with a tutor, usually from outside the school community, can be arranged during the school day. Although the charge for such services is arranged between the tutor and the family, a request for tutoring should go to the Associate Director of Academic Services or the Middle School Director who can facilitate appropriate support.
Beaver has a dynamic Middle School focused counselor, Tammy Graham, LMFT, who is available to meet with students to discuss more sensitive personal issues and to offer support and counsel. The Counseling and Student Life department functions within a preventative and wellness model. Its primary role is to serve and support students, families, and faculty and to promote an environment that allows students to thrive emotionally in school. The counseling department is also responsible for all of the health and wellness education programming.
The Dining Hall is reserved for Middle School lunch. Lunch is free. The lunch menu includes a hot lunch (with a vegetarian option and soup), a salad bar, cold cuts for sandwiches, and fresh fruit. Students also enjoy the panini maker. A cold breakfast (cereal, toast, bagels, yogurt, fruit) is offered before classes begin (starting at 7:00 a.m. daily). A snack is also offered in the morning and the afternoon. Gluten free options are always available.
Yes, the Middle School gathers as a group every Tuesday for Middle School Meeting. Middle School students also attend a monthly All-School Assembly. These assemblies provide time for guest speakers or performers, student presentations, and announcements.
Contact is limited by the different schedules and the physical layout of the building. Most Middle School classes, except for science and the arts, take place in the Middle School wing. The Middle School has its own lunch period, and Middle School teams practice earlier than Upper School teams. The entire school comes together monthly at the All-School Assembly. There are instances when Middle and Upper School classes collaborate on projects and activities with Middle School classes under the guidance and instruction of their teachers.