Middle School Identity, Connection, and Change Program (ICC)

Identity, Connection and Change (ICC) is our academic theme in the Middle School. Curriculum for English, History and Science is based on an interdisciplinary approach. Throughout the year, students will develop a sense of their strengths as they learn new material and master new intellectual, social, emotional and physical skills. The curriculum provides opportunities that promote the transition from concrete operations to a more complex thinking process in a supportive, academic environment of mutual respect. Students in ICC will consider diverse ideas, develop respect for their peers, engage in community service and cultivate sensitivity to the needs of the larger community. The Middle School experience builds upon the skills students developed in elementary school and eases the transition to Solebury’s Upper School. Learning involves writing and speaking, exploring, collecting, sharing, questioning, analyzing, creating, editing, and presenting. To enhance the learning process, we will schedule field trips tied to the curriculum each trimester. Our curriculum is also enhanced by classes in the arts.

ICC English: Local and Global Voices: The goal of this class is to expose students to the ways in which expressions of identity can be transmitted through the written word, and to develop the skills necessary to both analyze and produce narrative. As part of the ICC program's integrated curriculum, this course will encourage students to explore the connections between literature and cultural identity. Students will learn how to engage in textual analysis in order to better understand and interpret both fictional and nonfictional works. The year is divided by trimester into three thematic units, focusing on the diversity of literature and experiences in our global community: Local Voices, Voices of the Americas, and Global Voices. Throughout the year, students will work on writing and grammar with a variety of self-reflective, creative, and expository writing assignments as well as pointed vocabulary lessons to deepen students' understanding of the course readings. Required. ICC English is intended for 8th graders. 6 credits.

ICC History: Local and Global Perspectives: The goal of the ICC History class is to encourage students to think critically about increasingly complex material in a fun and creative environment. We will look at the key questions raised in the ICC program through historical and literary lenses (the English and History will offer complementary content), and there will be an emphasis on critical reading to understand perspective and bias. In the 2018-19 school year, ICC will focus on the role that immigration has played in the development of the North American continent and the United States. Through the lens of immigration, resistance, and tyranny, students will examine the values, structures, and conflicts that have shaped this continent and nation. Students will engage in the process of interviewing, evaluating resources, and writing research papers, and they will explore geography and cartography. Due to ICC’s integrated curriculum, students will benefit from interdisciplinary experiences and complete projects drawing from work in their English, history, and science courses. There is a mandatory summer reading assignment and skills work. Required. ICC History is intended for 8th graders. 6 credits.

Chemistry in the Community: “ChemComm” is a conceptual course that introduces students to the foundational topics and basic mathematical concepts of chemistry. It is structured around community and environmental issues related to chemistry, putting chemistry into the context of students’ everyday lives. Students will gain skills in scientific inquiry, problem solving, and laboratory techniques, setting them up for success not only in future chemistry courses but also for any future science course they take. ChemComm is intended for 8th and 9th graders. 6 credits

Mathematics: Some middle school students may be ready to take more advanced mathematics courses for high school credit. Please refer to the Mathematics section of the Academic Bulletin for course offerings.

World Language: Some middle school students may be ready to take high school level Spanish or French. Please refer to the World Language section of the Academic Bulletin for course offerings.

Supporting Program for the Middle School

The Middle School Introduction to the Arts program is designed to expose students to the various types of arts classes that they may take in Solebury’s upper school. Each year of middle school, students will participate in several branches of the arts.

In the fall, students will take Introduction to the Arts: Studio Arts. This is a great way for young students new to Solebury to spend time working in the art studio. Projects will expose students to 2 and 3- dimensional design, color theory, and art appreciation, incorporating skills learned in drawing and painting along with other materials with room for the students to express their creativity. Prerequisite: None. Required. Introduction to the Arts: Studio Art is intended for 8 th graders. 1 credit

In the winter, students will take Introduction to the Arts: Music. This is an introduction to Gamelan. This course will focus on the musical and artistic traditions, culture and history of Indonesia. Students will develop skills in listening, memorization, competent musical technique, concepts of orchestration/composition, and teamwork. As with all art, part of the process is sharing the product of one’s work so this course will culminate with a musical performance by the students. Prerequisite: None. Required. Introduction to the Arts: Music is intended for 8th graders. 1 credit

In the spring, students will take Introduction to the Arts: Film. The Middle School Film Class is designed to give a hands on approach to learning digital filmmaking. Students will begin by working in small groups to generate a short story. The stories will be turned into script format using Celtx, a free online scripting software. Students will learn the different elements of a screenplay and how to describe what they imagine, creating a script for the movie. The next phase of pre-production is planning. Participants will generate an outline that includes a timeline, a list of equipment, crew, actors, props and sets. A storyboard is made to provide a visual representation of the script. A shot list is then created with details about each set up to help communicate how each scene will be produced. During production, students will first learn how to use a video camera, lights, sound recording equipment and other production tools. Two groups will be formed and one group will be the actors and the other group will serve as the crew. Footage will be reviewed and critiqued after each production day and once all the necessary shots are finished students will work in pairs to begin the post production process of editing. Films will be screened on the final class period. Prerequisite: None. Required. Introduction to the Arts: Film is intended for 8th graders. 1 credit

Middle school students may choose to take up to two art upper school electives each trimester. Please refer to the Art section of the academic bulletin for course offerings.