Middle School Life
WDS is known as an idealistic and ambitious school with a strong culture, a commitment to its unique expression of progressive education, and educational traditions and classroom practices that require collaboration, planning, integration, and ongoing development.
In our Middle School, the fifth, and sixth grades are stand-alone classes. Seventh and eighth grades have two, 2-hour elective classes that are combined, such as media arts, creative writing, ceramics, art, music ensemble (rock band), or science.
- The day officially begins at 8:30 and dismisses at 3:15.
- The daily schedule runs on a five-day, seven-period schedule, allowing for numerous arts and elective classes to be offered during the school day.
Our intention is that students leave WDS with a strong foundation in the liberal arts, a devotion to the earth and all of its inhabitants, and the agency to learn about and actively engage in projects that are meaningful to them, be they related to career, personal goals or interests.
Our 40-acre campus has plenty of space for students to go outside, along with dedicated spaces for a library, art studio, science labs and physical education. All classes take advantage of the campus to experience nature up close, play, and learn.
- The fifth and sixth grades are upstairs and downstairs in one building. 6th Graders inhabit the top floor – a bright, light-filled space with a view of Overlook Mountain – and the 5th inhabit the downstairs with an adjacent locker room and easy access to the outside.
- The seventh and eighth grades have separate homerooms in the science buildings. They have lunch with the rest of the middle school students (5th-6th), although they take some classes in the upper school building.
- All classes travel across the campus for science, music, visual and media arts, and physical education, which are housed in separate buildings.
- Our priority is creating a warm and inclusive environment for students.
- We value the connections between younger students and older students, and have a buddy program in place to support these developing relationships.
- There is a closeness and connection among the students that is felt throughout the school.
- The co-curricular activities at WDS play a large role in the identity of the school and are exemplary. The Intensives, the field trips – including The Trout Fishing trip, Bard College-Germantown archeology site and the upper school camping event – as well as the musicals and related programs, are often touted by students as being the highlights of the year, and for some, the highlights of their entire middle or upper school experience.
Environment and Sustainability
Topics concerning the environment and sustainability are deeply important to us, and we are very conscious and thorough in teaching them both formally and informally. These are addressed through curriculum at all grade levels at Woodstock Day School.
- The library, art and science programs all have an environmental aspect and touch on sustainability through explicit instruction about issues or activists, as well as through exploration of and appreciation for nature.
- Sculpture from found-items is a favorite in many grades, as is building from natural materials, and using the woods as a subject for drawings.
- In the middle and upper schools, environmentalism and sustainability are addressed through most subjects.
- In history and geography classes, the use of natural resources is explored; in our media arts classes, environmentally pertinent films are viewed and discussed.