The Scott Alexander Middle School offers a unique educational experience characterized by the balance and breath of its curriculum and extracurricular learning environment. The curriculum balances exposure with in-depth pursuit of a student's interests and challenges students within a nurturing environment to develop independence of thought, habit, and mind.
The Boulder Country Day Middle School is an authorized International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program. The IB Middle Years Program (MYP) emphasizes intellectual challenge and encourages students to make connections between their studies in traditional subjects and to the real world. It fosters the development of skills for communication, intercultural understanding, and global engagement, qualities that are essential for life in the 21st century.
Delivered by our experienced teachers, our middle school program not only meets the needs of our students but also provides excellent preparation for Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate high school programs. Advisors, the grade-level dean and team of teachers, and the Middle School Director monitor the progress of each student. Watched carefully and guided by skilled teachers, our graduates are well prepared for success in any quality high school.
Knowing that the world needs well rounded learners, the Middle School also invites students to explore competitive athletics, student government, clubs, and after-school programs to round out their development as citizens of our community and the world.
IB Middle Years Program
The aim of all IB programs is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.
The Middle Years Program (MYP) is an internationally acclaimed educational program that supports BCD’s Mission and underscores the four tenets of BCD’s Philosophy: Rigor. Relationships. Relevance. Responsibility. The MYP exhibits the characteristics of interdisciplinary teaching and learning, favors a focus on concepts rather than merely on content, and provides a rich, inquiry-based model of introducing and exploring concepts within and across the disciplines. The MYP’s focus extends beyond the notion of knowledge as an accumulation of content to include connectedness in learning and the big ideas that bind people and civilizations together. The learners that emerge from our program are well-prepared for today’s world, which is information-filled, fast-paced, and demanding of 21st century skillsets such as communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity.
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My favorite part of BCD is the togetherness and the sense of community.
Students encounter a spiraling model that increases in sophistication and depth each year, with concepts of Earth Science (geology), Life Science (biology), and Physical Science (physics and chemistry) forming the core of our lab-based classes.
The student’s best or native language, which is also the primary language of instruction at the school. In Language and Literature students engage in building a solid foundation in reading, writing, vocabulary study, and analyzing texts in English.
Classes in these disciplines take place in our Exploratory classes, with two distinct areas of focus in the morning and afternoon. In the morning, students select from a variety of classes to explore units in the areas of Art, Music, PE and Design. In the spring, also in the morning, students select an area of study to focus on more deeply for a full trimester. In the afternoon, students have foundational classes that focus on critical skillsets associated with each of these disciplines, with each year building on the foundations erected the previous year.
Students encounter classes along the mathematics continuum based on their developmental and mathematical readiness. Most students begin middle school with Pre-Algebra and complete Algebra 1 in 7th and 8th grade as a two year sequence. Those ready for additional challenge may complete Geometry and (in rare cases) Algebra II during middle school. A committee determines math placement based on class performance, summative assessments, report card grade, teacher recommendations, and ERB scores.
Morning classes have included units in basketball, volleyball, judo, ultimate Frisbee, team sports, floor hockey, and international sports. Afternoon foundations classes include fitness and wellness activities as well as a health curriculum that coordinates with our Science and Counseling departments to focus on human reproduction, sexuality, and good decision making. A special 8th grade class led by the school counselor focuses on navigating the decisions related to the transition from middle to high school.
In morning Exploratory classes students engage in classes such as weaving, textual/typography, songwriting, theater critics, guitar/ukulele, jazz choir, painting miniatures, and others. In the afternoon, students experience a trimester long class that focuses on the foundations and fundamentals of Art, as well as a trimester long course in either Choir or Band.
Morning classes have included Foundations in Digital Media, Internet Safety, Digital Citizenship, Green Screen, Stop Motion and Your TED Talk, and others, and afternoon classes include a trimester long Computer Coding class. In addition to the core IB academic curriculum, the BCD program includes S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) class, which focuses on instilling the 21st century skills of collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and communication. With an interdisciplinary focus, the class leads students to explore their world and their own place in it, now and in the future, to connect learning among all core subjects.
As part of completing our IB curriculum, our middle school students must complete 20 hours of community service each year. Of this service, 10 hours each year must be outside of the BCD school community.
Before they complete Year 3 of the MYP and graduate from BCD, Eighth grade students must complete the Capstone Community Project, a year-long research project aimed at helping students explore an area of interest, contemplate the relationship of the project to the community, and present their findings and experience before their peers, parents, and other guests. During the process, students work with a supervisory adult at the school as well as a community mentor from outside the school.