Middle School

BELIEVE IN THE POTENTIAL.

What if educators unrelentingly assessed your adolescent as a work in progress, full of promise?

What if knowledge and character could flourish in a safe environment built on practical experience? What if measuring a parabolic curve was mastered by constructing a catapult rather than solving a test question? What if collaboration and experience served as the ultimate measurement of learning, and what if the report card described the social, emotional and spiritual growth of each child instead of just reporting numbers and grades? What if the culmination of learning was a joyful celebration of music, dance, craftsmanship, and drama? Relish the middle school experience at Presbyterian School where reflection, exploration, fortitude and celebration -and gracious adults- guide students toward great thinking and practical leadership.   

We learn through calculated exercises like
"drawing with an unconventional tool" that life
often requires unconventional problem solving. 

Charles Gramatges, Head of Middle School

1,399

miles traveled on class trips

Outdoor Education class trips are integral to the mission of building confident students. Our trips foster risk taking, team building, servant leadership, and spiritual growth. 

1:1

student to iPad ratio                        

Every student has an iPad in Middle School. Students are using foundational apps and acquiring digital habits of learning to help manage, complete and submit their schoolwork online. 

8

Odyssey of the Mind world champion teams

Each year the School sponsors several Odyssey of the Mind teams which are made up of 7 students who tackle a long-term problem for 6 months and bring its creative solutions to competition. 

1,282

hours of Spanish taken

Foreign language study begins formally in 7th grade. At the end of their middle school foreign language studies, our students have the option to place into Spanish 1, 2, or 3 in high school.

17

students in a class

Our small classes are more "high-touch" ensuring that our culture of intimate challenge and confidence in every child characterizes each family's experience.

meet Janice Kemp

6th Grade English Teacher
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, B.A. 
Eastern Michigan University, M.A.
University of Houston Law School, J.D.

As the importance of high-stakes standardized tests grew, my dissatisfaction with teaching in my district grew too. On a lark I enrolled in a summer workshop at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in hopes to get re-inspired. That decision was life-changing, and it evolved into my serving as a Museum Teaching Fellow in its middle-school initiative to use art as a keystone to enrich creativity and develop critical habits of mind. More importantly, I met some outstanding people associated with Presbyterian School. I learned of the School's interest in object-based learning and teaching habits of mind. I heard amazing programs and children, and I saw videos of PS students learning through art at the Museum. I knew using art was magic in the classroom, and I wanted to be a part of such a visionary community. The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled, and I see that vision at PS. So I joined the teaching faculty in August 2018.

I believe my job is not "just" to teach my students to read with discernment and joy or write with creativity and clarity but to teach those skills within the framework of values. Thus, I was drawn to the emphasis PS places on its core ideals and the whole child. I love how the school administrators and faculty understand that middle school children still need snacks and recess . . . and that teachers need to remember the importance of humor.

Use art to enrich creativity and develop critical habits of mind.

Janice Kemp, Faculty

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