A Message from the
Head of the Middle School
It is my great pleasure to share information about Packer's Middle School with you. This page will be updated throughout the year with information about the program, events and activities, and news for current Packer families. Please check MS Resources and Downloads for important documents, notices, and permission slips.
In Packer's Middle School, we care about three things above all.
The first is the intellectual growth of each student. While we care deeply about content that is rich and compelling, our primary goal is the development of skills. It is vital to understand the pivotal role that Middle School can play in the development of life-long learning. Lower School is often too early to instill such crafts as note-taking, time management, and comprehensive research methodology. By Upper School, students are often too independent and settled into their own routines. Is is our conviction that Middle School represents the single most important opportunity to foster – and explicitly instruct – academic skills that will last them a lifetime.
The second priority is to recognize that it is vital that there continue to be a central adult in each student’s life who, as much as possible, knows "the whole child." As students move from self-contained classrooms to departmentalized instruction, and as children grow into increasingly private young adults, it is vital for us to continue to focus on the "whole child." In the course of the hiring process, we inevitably stress that each Middle School teacher at Packer is here to teach the child as much as we are to teach a specific subject. This attitude, coupled with the ascendant importance of the advisor, allows us to go beyond a more one-dimensional view of the student – and to see them and be able to communicate about them more completely, as the three-dimensional individual that they are.
Finally, we care very much about encouraging students to discover and to develop passions – and to give them ever-wider audiences for their own explorations. Through a growing number of activities like Model Congress and theater, community service and art shares, science symposia and digital portfolio presentations, we want students to be able to share their work with members of the larger community. Passions may come and go. But the capacity for passionate interest seems to be an abiding quality in truly successful students. As they grow through the years of the Middle School, it is our hope that they will increasingly find doors opening – inward on personal interests and talents, and outward onto the increasingly public arenas of the world.
This is a Middle School steeped in values, with a commitment to each child. We care deeply about establishing successful partnerships with each student and each family. If there is anything you would like to know or discuss, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We share the same aspirations for the children who are entrusted to us. And our doors are always open.
Middle School Head