Answers to the most commonly asked questions about Beaver Middle School are answered here.
What are Middle School hours?
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.
How much homework do students get?
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.
What is R-TIME?
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.
How are students assessed and graded?
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.
How does the advisor system work?
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.
How often do parents meet with teachers?
Parents have the opportunity to meet each teacher at Open Studios and at parent-teacher conferences in fall and winter. There are also advisory meetings with parents and students in the beginning and end of the year. Parents can make appointments to see their child’s teacher or advisor whenever there is a need.
What academic services are offered?
Terri Flannery, Associate Director of Academic Services, works with students and teachers to ensure our students can successfully navigate their academics. For a student requiring more assistance than our schedule allows, sessions with a tutor, usually from outside the school community, can be arranged. Although the charge for such services is between the tutor and the family, a request for tutoring should go to the Associate Director of Academic Services who can facilitate appropriate support.
Terri Flannery also oversees student’s neuropsychological evaluations and writes Learning Profiles to clarify extra supports some students qualify due to diagnosed learning disabilities, such as extra time on their tests and examinations. To ensure validity and relevance, we recommend that this evaluation be updated every three years.
What counseling services are offered?
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.
When do students eat?
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.
Are there school assemblies?
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.
How much contact with upper school students do middle schoolers have?
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.