Middle School (Grades 5-8)

Middle School (Grades 5-8) Home Academics Middle School (Grades 5-8)

The Middle School years are an opportunity for remarkable growth. During this stage of development, students are naturally academically curious, while at the same time, a tremendous amount of social and emotional learning occurs. This combination gives us an opportunity to challenge our students with a vigorous, student-centered curriculum. Our Middle School intentionally spans grades five through eight. That structure affords the students a four-year period in which to develop organization, independence and autonomy.

Students are engaged by having supported choices throughout Middle School in arts, academics and athletics. They select class electives such as Entrepreneurial Design Institute, art, music, and drama and debate. They have the opportunity to choose various projects for events like National History Day, Drop Everything and STEAM Week, and many other cross-curricular exercises. Each grade level has a rigorous curriculum that includes Project Based Learning. This provides in depth explorations of the concepts learned in class. We have a strong physical education program that will help develop skills that are important in our Middle School years and beyond to prepare students for Varsity athletics if they choose. As for clubs - we offer Model UN, Band, Jr. Thespians, Forensics, FIRST® LEGO® League Robotics and more.

In the Middle School at Shorecrest, students engage in authentic Service Learning that is tied directly to the curriculum. Each grade has at least one major, cross-curricular project that includes a service component.

  • Fifth grade students build upon the learning they do while reading the historical fiction novel “A Long Walk to Water” about Sudanese children whose lives are impacted by war and water insecurity. Students work to raise awareness within the school community about the issues of water insecurity and the importance of water conservation.
  • Sixth grade has a cross-curricular Heroes Project built around a hero’s journey which culminates in work in the community with veterans.
  • The seventh grade delves into our Florida history and communities, and investigates how our past influences Florida’s communities today. We incorporate this curriculum in every discipline – literature in English; Florida nature and habitat, as well as disease, in science; math concepts; and even a world language focus with French and Spanish influences. The project is further developed during our trip to St. Augustine.
  • Finally, there is The Entrepreneurial Design Institute in eighth grade. Students identify problems in their community and use design thinking, ideation and action to develop a unique solution to the real world issue. Learning modules develop the student's entrepreneurial mindset, allowing them to have the freedom to add economic and/or social value to their community.

Kristine Marquez Grant, Head of Middle School at ShorecrestAll students are supported through an advisory program called Circle of Power and Respect (CPR). Each morning Middle School students at Shorecrest start their day with an advisory group that bolsters their social and emotional development. Community Time also provides grade levels with extra time to engage in cross curricular projects and team building activities.

The CPR experience is continued through grade-level field experiences. The eighth grade travels to Washington, D.C. for an amazing four-day trip to our nation’s Capital. This allows for a more hands-on experience of American History and current events. The seventh grade spends three days in St. Augustine, Florida, studying early American History and its ties to our state. Fifth and sixth grade students share local team building activities.

Our Middle School is a place where we engage, support, challenge and problem solve daily.  Come visit us and see for yourself!

Kristine Marquez Grant
Head of Middle School

Program Hallmarks

  • Our Middle School Center for Arts and Sciences includes spaces for technology, visual arts including a patio with a kiln, music and drama rooms, science labs, classrooms, and a covered, outdoor pavilion.
  • Interdisciplinary, grade-level teaching teams provide a stimulating and integrated course of study.
  • An advisory program provides every student with a faculty advisor who becomes their point person for academic, social and emotional issues.
  • Vibrant service learning program.
  • Wide slate of safe, on-site extracurricular activities.
  • Students are respected for their differences, and encouraged to explore new activities in a welcoming, non-judgmental environment.

Subjects taught: math, science, social studies, English, Spanish, French, language fundamentals, art, drama, music, technology and physical education/health. 

Curriculum Guide

Social Emotional Learning & Advisory

Personal growth is nurtured through Middle School advisories. Each student is assigned an Advisor, a teacher who functions as a “homeroom” mentor for a small group of students. Advisory groups meet every morning for the Circle of Power and Respect (CPR).

In CPR, students build social skills, get to know each other better, and work together while discussing subjects that are important to them and playing games. It also allows students to do what they most want and need to do: connect with their peers. Prepared activities during CPR focus on empathy, impulse control, building community and problem solving. Strong advisories promote open communication.

From daily morning meeting to the language teachers use with their students, what’s best for students is at the heart of each student-teacher interaction at Shorecrest. Advisors might address overall academic progress, social concerns and absences. Strong advisors are problem solvers and advice givers.

The advisory extends beyond daily morning meetings; advisories meet again for a Study Hall period when students can work on homework and classwork, ask teachers questions about assignments, and Advisors can check in with students.

All Advisors and students at Shorecrest Middle School are supported by the school Guidance Counselor, Kate Fierce.

The Project Approach

Project-based learning is an in-depth study or investigation of a topic or theme that allows students to follow their questions and to learn about a given topic of interest. Through these projects, students learn how to learn, how to make sense of what they are learning, how to apply what they learned, and how to share or teach from a place of authority about what they have learned. Projects are typically interdisciplinary, meaning they aren’t confined to simply one subject area.

Sample Project:

After studying Ancient Mesopotamia in Social Studies, Shorecrest sixth graders built a scaled model of a Sumerian city-state in Minecraft. The students spent two weeks planning, designing and building their cities.

Entrepreneurial Design Institute

The Entrepreneurial Design Institute (EDI) is a signature Middle School elective at Shorecrest in which Chargers address community needs through entrepreneurial thinking.

After students identify problems/issues in their community, they harness the power of design thinking, idea generation, ideation and action to develop a unique solution to a real world issue. Learning modules cultivate each student's entrepreneurial mindset, allowing them to have the freedom to add economic and/or social value to their community. Students explore concepts and develop skills through both short term and long term projects.

By the end of the year, students create a minimally viable venture idea, explore a variety of tools to develop the venture, and learn effective communication ideas through writing and giving pitches -- all while practicing the entrepreneurial mindset.

Goals for the program include developing a personal mission statement, an entrepreneurial mindset, critical thinking skills and problem solving skills. The course was developed and is taught by Middle School Curriculum Dean Chris Scoby and Head of Middle School Kris Grant. Guest speakers complement the lessons.

The program continues to expose students to technology as a tool to develop ideas, build empathy through human centered design, and teach students to problem solve and think critically - in line with much of the project / problem based learning on the Shorecrest campus.

Field Experiences

Students in Grades 5-8 participate with their teachers in extensions of classroom learning through overnight field experiences. These programs provide real-world opportunities through integrated learning.

Eighth Grade: Washington, D.C.

A four-day/three-night excursion to our nation’s capital. Eighth grade trips to Washington DC are a rite of passage in many independent schools, and our trip is an important link to our students’ understanding of our country, our culture, and America’s role in the global community. This trip builds beautifully on two years of global studies in Grades 5 and 6 social studies and two years of American experience in Grades 7 and 8. Integrating social studies, English, world languages, art, architecture, math and science, students visit historical sites such as the Capitol, historical monuments on the Mall, and many museums including Smithsonian sites.

Seventh Grade: St Augustine, Florida

A three-day/two-night experiential history and environmental studies opportunity located in and around St. Augustine, FL. Students explore the Castillo de San Marcos, Old Town, Fort Mose, and other historical sites in America's oldest city. Students will also study the North Florida environment and how it related to the development of the area. A major focus second semester in seventh grade is the class project on disease and history, and the field experience provides students the opportunity to explore the impact of disease on the Spanish colonial town.

Sixth Grade: Pathfinder Outdoor Education

Pathfinder Outdoor Education is a non-profit organization dedicated to building personal, social and environmental responsibility through the power of shared experience. Their experiential educational programs develop leadership, increase self-confidence, and enhance communication through trust and team building activities. Canoeing, high ropes courses, and outdoor living skills are just a few of the fun, outdoor activities participants can do, working together to gain new skills in problem-solving, resolving conflict, listening, observing, and working effectively in a group.

Fifth Grade: TreeUmph! Adventure Course

Group bonding and learning from risk taking on challenging terrain and hundreds of aerial adventure games in the trees.

Fifth Grade at Shorecrest

For your child, early adolescence is a period of great change and opportunity. We recognize that at this age children have a unique need for greater independence while still requiring support and nurturing. This is one of the reasons why fifth grade is a part of the the Middle School at Shorecrest. While many students begin Middle School in sixth grade and have little time to transition to the structure of a new school, our students have a year of “Middle School on training wheels,” as our teaching team is known to say.

Fifth grade students gain freedoms and responsibilities, like lockers, more lunchtime menu options, and the use of an iPad as required course material. Students are introduced and supported through each change incrementally, allowing for comfort in the familiarity and excitement in their own growth. Our nurturing fifth grade faculty understands the transitions students are going through developmentally and work together to ease students into Middle School so they are ready to hit the ground running in sixth grade.

Some fifth graders at Shorecrest take part in Forensics / Debate club, FIRST LEGO League Robotics, band, after school clubs and intramural sports, Battle of the Books, and the annual National Geographic Geography Bee competition.


Schoology software provides a user-friendly web space where teachers can securely post photos and announcements about classroom activities and assignments. It can also be used to monitor assignments and grades online, class events and other student resources.

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