How do you describe a middle school student? This complex transitional stage in life embodies so many changes. At Banner, our experienced and dedicated faculty addresses these developmental needs by nurturing and challenging each child to reach his or her potential. Whether in the science lab or on the soccer field, Middle School students are fully engaged. Banner Middle School students have spirit – the spirit to examine, explore, reach, ponder, demonstrate … and achieve. In so doing, they gain self-confidence and a mastery of skills in Language Arts, Math, Science, History, Spanish, Technology, Visual Art, Health &Physical Education, and Music & Performing Arts.
The Banner Middle School incorporates grades 5 through 8, based in homerooms with a 6-period day. Technology integration, band, performing and visual art, as well as P.E., are scheduled year-round along with the core academic subjects. Field trips off campus as well as special assembly speakers throughout the year complement the program.
Highlights Of Our Curriculum
All 8th graders present a final project known as “Capstone.” This year-long endeavor begins with the selection of a topic by each student about which he or she is passionate. Executed with the guidance of mentors both on campus and in the greater community, the project includes a research paper and the compilation of a project notebook, and it concludes with a presentation, with a required multimedia component, before a review panel that includes the Head of School and invited guests in the spring before graduation.
Eighth-grade students enrolled in the accelerated math program receive Algebra I credit upon graduation, while our Spanish students are prepared for high school Spanish II. Each year they perform a Shakespearean production for school and local audiences as well as have the opportunity to participate in the spring Middle School musical. The eighth graders also create a short original film in computer class that is presented at our annual Oscar Night.
Our science curriculum features an instructional sequence emphasizing physical science in 6th, biology in 7th, and chemistry during the 8th grade year with integration of all sciences throughout each grade level as well. Lab experiments, field studies, and science fair projects enhance higher-order thinking skills and develop a genuine love of science in students. Our Outdoor Classroom provides opportunities in horticulture, environmental planning and archaeology.
Through guided exposure to a wide variety of literature, instruction in grammar, and extensive experiences in writing, our students acquire skills necessary to express themselves with clarity and competence. Debates, discussions, and dramatic readings and performances enhance their speaking and listening abilities.
Social Studies projects, re-enactments, field trips, debates, and discussion enhance our students’ appreciation for diversity, whether it pertains to different cultures and traditions, political systems, or simply opposing opinions. Frequent opportunities in research and essay writing enable our students to develop a position and support it using reference material from a variety of print, human, and electronic resources.
In addition to our academic program, we foster social and emotional growth and leadership skills through a variety of experiences. We include students in 6th through 8th grade in school-wide adopt-a buddy partnerships and service-oriented projects. Seventh- and eighth-grade students have the opportunity to serve lunches at the Rescue Mission in downtown Frederick. Students are also seen assuming leadership roles in many other facets around the school, be it making announcements at our weekly All-School Assemblies, producing the Yearbook, organizing recycling projects for the National Junior Honor Society, or assisting with after-school interscholastic sports programs. Our team is the Banner Bobcats, and we have Banner Spirit!