At a time in one’s life marked by so many changes – physical, social, emotional, and intellectual – our Middle School faculty, advisers, and coaches help each child navigate their journey through early adolescence. Grounded in the Student Competencies, we recognize that each child’s journey is unique. Our program focuses on student engagement and deeper learning, while at the same time building a respectful, collaborative, and ethical community. Our employment of Developmental Designs® assists us in creating the supportive environment this age group, in particular, needs.
Head of Middle School
BA, Amherst College
MAT, Tufts University
The design of our learning spaces encourages student collaboration. Seated around the Harkness™ table, our students have a front-row seat to develop their ability to share their ideas and opinions, to listen intently to their peers, and to collaborate more freely and effectively.
Considered the heart of the Middle School, the Advisory program, rooted in the Developmental Designs® model, builds the relationship between student and adviser. Grounded in the four needs that must be fulfilled if young adolescents are to be engaged—Relationship, Autonomy, Competence, and Fun—DD strngthens our sense of community.
In January and February of their 8th grade year, students deliver a TED-Style presentation to the entire Middle School community as part of our Expositions program. A capstone of the Middle School experience, each student selects a topic for their exposition at the start of the school year to research in depth and present before the full community, honing their skills as effective communicators.
With the Potowomut River estuary, Narragansett Bay, and woodlands of southern Rhode Island serving as classrooms, the Middle School launches the school year with Enviroweek, venturing outside of the school walls to conduct field surveys, collect and record data, and learn about each of these environments from many different perspectives. Enviroweek also serves to build community, incorporating Project Adventure initiatives and games, overnight experiences, and time for reflection and goal setting.
Learn, Explore, Envision, Present. These are the elements that create LEEP Week in the Middle School. During this week, students are placed in mixed grade groups, given a longitude and latitude location, and tasked with answering the following driving question: “How can Rocky Hill Country Day students develop sustainable solutions for global issues?” Each group must design a solution that addresses a particular issue or challenge in their designated location. Throughout the week, students hear presentations from innovators and entrepreneurs about the processes they followed to design their products. The week culminates with the student groups presenting their designs at the LEEP Week Expo, giving a one-minute pitch of their ideas to parents and faculty.
The Student Competencies
At Rocky Hill Country Day School, we inspire each student to become a...
Learns with nimbleness, adaptability, perseverance, and resilience, with a curious and self-directed approach.
Asks meaningful questions, gains knowledge, and challenges research, analysis, and interpretation to evaluate evidence, arguments, and beliefs.
Seeks ways to model good citizenship through kindness and respect for others, and serves as a responsible, engaged member of the community.
Skillfully expresses ideas in many modalities for a variety of audiences and is a poised and resourceful communicator.
A bold thinker, generating new and creative ideas, willing to take risks to solve complex problems, individually and as part
of a group.
A confident observer who understands their personal strengths and is attentive to their needs, empathetic to others, and honors their health and well-being.
An honest member of the community who speaks with integrity and has a focus on social responsibility.
An open-minded individual who values diversity and different perspectives with an understanding of global issues.
CLUBS & TRIPS
Students collaborate with faculty to design clubs based on their passions and interests which develops their leadership and organizational skills.
Each year, the Community Service Coordinator organizes initiatives directly affecting the greater community. These are undertaken on a regular basis, usually through classroom or advisory projects.
Rocky Hill Country Day School believes that the educational outcomes of its students are directly dependent upon the active recognition, support, and fostering of the student body’s diverse backgrounds.
E2 | EMBEDDED ENTREPRENEURS
Startup founders help students develop the Rocky Hill Country Day Student Competencies through modeling the entrepreneurial process.
IIR | INNOVATOR-IN-RESIDENCE
Innovators and artists from all sectors encourage students to connect big picture themes to classroom content using an interdisciplinary approach.
Rocky Hill Country Day collaborates with local and global organizations to enhance the learning experience and provide the real-world context necessary for deep learning.