An independent day school serving grades K-12 | St. Paul, MN

Grade 7

Grade 7 is a time when children begin to need more independence, but still need adult guidance, acceptance, and supervision.

The transition from Grade 6 to Grade 7 often means that adults give less advice and direct instruction, and in contrast, encourage students to self-advocate, explore their own issues, and find solutions for overcoming obstacles. The Grade 7 faculty strives to balance steady academic challenge and growth with the need for students to take risks, engage in their communities (academic and social), and feel confident in their abilities to solve problems and to succeed when things don’t come easily or naturally.

Students receive letter grades in their academic courses for the first time in Grade 7. Grades and trimester reports in Middle School help students understand their own learning styles, which allows them to set goals for their academic progress. The overall grade in a course reflects a student’s performance on assessment measures, but also reflects his or her ability to manage time effectively, complete homework in a timely manner, collaborate with others, and participate in the daily activities of the classroom. As a result, there is typically room for reflection, self-awareness, and growth as Grade 7 students learn the underlying skills of becoming an effective student. These skills are deepened through experiential learning opportunities which are highlights of the Grade 7 year, particularly the week-long class trip to Camp Widjiwagan in Ely, Minnesota.

We encourage parents to explore letter grades with their children beyond the grade itself and look at the process, or components, through which the grade was calculated. There is no grading curve in Middle School. This means that students will be able to identify a direct correlation between their work habits and performance and their resulting grade.

Overview

Subject Areas

Field trips are incorporated into the academic experience in order to enhance classroom lessons and provide hands-on learning opportunities. In Grade 7, that means traveling to the Minneapolis' Lock and Dam No. 1 to learn about the Mississippi River and dam's engineering.

Every January and February, Grade 7 students travel to Camp Widjiwagan in Ely, Minnesota for a five-day overnight retreat. The Widji trip is an experiential program of outdoor education and community building that marks the mid-point of students' Middle School experience.

Each spring, Grade 7 students learn about wild pollinators in their last unit of science and for their final project, they design and build pollinator shelters for bees to use to rest and lay eggs.