We teach kids how to think, not what to think. The ability to receive information, make sense of it, and decide what to do with it in different contexts around different groups of people. Using your voice in appropriate ways at appropriate times — that’s what I hope kids leave Middle School with.
We aim to create engaged, reflective students who are able to work hard, make connections, and find joy and value in their learning.
Packer's Middle School offers a rich, challenging academic program grounded in meaningful content and structured around the development of critical skills. Our goal is to foster students' creativity and curiosity and to help them develop responsibility, self-awareness, empathy, independence, the capacity to work collaboratively, think critically and develop their own voice. Our curriculum introduces students to increasingly nuanced ways of understanding the world and themselves. In 5th and 6th Grade, English and history are taught as an interdisciplinary humanities class. Math and science offer an inquiry-based approach rooted in collaboration, experimentation, and reflection. Students begin the study of world languages and explore our arts offerings, including dance, digital video, theater, visual arts, and chorus or instrumental music. Our computing and design classes offer essential experience in information literacy, creative thinking, and digital citizenship. Our health curriculum engages students in conversations about adolescence, decision-making, and social-emotional well-being.
As younger students develop their voices and grow into adolescents, they take on more responsibility and independence inside and outside of the classroom. Middle School teachers steer the discovery and development of each student, guiding their passions through a wide range of extracurricular opportunities, during and after the school day, including over 20 clubs and organizations, student government, publications, theater productions, and athletic teams.
Students can choose from over two dozen Middle School clubs and affinity groups, from the Justice League Club and Mock Newbery Award Book Club to the Knitting Club and the Tree Hugger Earth Club.
Building community is a major emphasis of the advisory and extracurricular programs in our Middle School. The unique spirit of our division bursts into an impromptu 300-person sing-along, an intense final round of a geography bee, or a somewhat less intense faculty joke contest. It’s the spirit of students and teachers sharing Chapel Stories. It’s Field Day, when mixed-grade teams led by 8th Graders compete in challenges that are athletic, academic, and just goofy (the famous rubber-chicken toss). At our best, we’re fearless and funny, awkward and ambitious, joyful and engaged, and happy just being together.
Packer students feel connected and inspired because we offer them a wide range of opportunities to explore their interests and participate in the larger community. Every grade engages in service projects throughout the year, identifying the causes and concerns that mean the most to them, and finding ways to get involved. Students select WinterSession courses based on their interests, ranging from meditation, architecture, woodworking, and the stock market. Those studying Spanish and French can choose Spring Break language travel programs. Students can join theatrical productions, musical ensembles, and a long list of clubs, including Model UN, Student Diversity Council, and the Middle School newspaper. Our athletics program introduces intramural and interschool competition, challenging students to stretch themselves while emphasizing teamwork, mutual support, and fun.
Get to know Packer's unique and historic campus and neighborhood using our interactive map.