Middle School Arts & Electives
The WDS Middle School, Grades 5 – 8, are critical years in the development of creative thinking, leadership, and preparing a child for the larger outside world.
A rich assortment of arts classes and residencies, including music (students choose an instrument of choice to study), ceramics, studio art, drama, African drumming and dance, media arts, plus library, physical education, and weekly buddies round out the year of exploring, creating, inventing, and sharing across many domains.
- 5th Graders are also invited to audition for the Middle School play, the annual MS/US musical, and to join a MS interscholastic team, all of which take place after school.
- 6th Graders have the coveted role of making Book Trailers for the annual Book Fair, continue their life as musicians in our Beginning Ensemble; work in our art and ceramics studios each week; play sports in PE; participate in the African drum and dance residency; and enjoy library and weekly buddies. Finally, an Adolescent Issues unit with our Guidance teacher provides a comprehensive entree to understanding, compassion, and self-expression.
- For their arts, 7th Graders have the option to choose from semester-long electives, two per semester. Choices include Beginning Ensemble (our band program), vocal music, media arts, drama, ceramics, studio art, and creative writing. 7th Grade also has a weekly Adolescent Issues class.
- 8th Graders also select two arts courses per semester, each meeting for two periods per week. Students can choose from Beginning Ensemble (our band program), vocal ensemble, creative writing, drama, ceramics, and studio art.
- In Roundtable, which meets weekly, 8th Graders help explore their roles in their communities, who they are as learners and leaders, and how they are changing. This course includes a leadership development component, a community service component, a digital citizenship component, and an essential health component, including discussions of biological and social issues that early adolescents face. Roundtable integrates with Media Arts, giving 8th Graders the necessary skills to understand media arts, produce various types of media, and use media arts to communicate their ideas and creativity.
- 8th Graders also take Physical Education twice weekly, learning a variety of new sports and techniques, to help keep them active and healthy as well as increase their physical skills.
- Our 8th Graders are the leaders of our Middle School. Only they can run for President of the MS Student Government, and they serve as facilitators for the MS student-led clubs. As the oldest in the division, we work with the 8th Grade to set the tone and model leadership, sportsmanship, community-mindedness, and kindness for the rest of the middle school.
- Musical Theater is a proud achievement each year for both middle and upper school students at WDS. The majority of students have a role in the production and the performances are a highlight of the year.
- WDS fields MS interscholastic teams in soccer, basketball, and lacrosse, and offers a rich array of After School Enrichment courses, from Robotics to Stop-Motion Animation. Clubs are voted on by the students themselves, and are typically well attended.