Middle School

Dare to be your best.
BCD’s Middle School offers an innovative, challenging curriculum that balances rigorous inquiry into core academic subjects with in-depth pursuit of students’ interests in the Arts, Health and Physical Education, and Design/Technology.  The program presents students with age-appropriate challenge in a nurturing environment that cultivates independence of thought, habit, and mind.

BCD’s middle school program not only meets the diverse needs of our students during these critical, middle years, but also provides excellent preparation for Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate high school programs. Watched carefully and guided by skilled, experienced 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.
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. The IB program fosters the development of skills for communication, intercultural understanding, and global engagement, qualities that are essential for life in the 21st century.

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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.

The IB Academic Disciplines:

List of 11 items.

  • Individuals and Societies

    World History and Geography form the core, but with emphasis also on how the concepts studied connect to art, architecture, and literature. The 8th course of study includes American history.
  • Sciences

    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.
  • Language and Literature

    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.
  • Language Acquisition

    A modern foreign language studied at school; in the case of BCD, all students take French or Spanish every day, as well as Latin every other day.
  • Arts, Physical and Health Education, Design

    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.
  • Mathematics

    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.
  • Physical and Health Education

    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.
  • Arts & Music

    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.
  • Design

    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.
  • Community Service

    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.
  • Capstone Community Project

    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.

IB Learners strive to be:


What the research says

Research shows that students participating in the MYP:
  • build confidence in managing their own learning
  • learn by doing, connecting the classroom to the larger world
  • outperform non-IB students in critical academic skills 
  • consistently have greater success in IB Diploma Programme examinations
  • thrive in positive school cultures where they are engaged and motivated to excel 
  • develop an understanding of global challenges and a commitment to act as responsible citizens

A Day in the Life at BCD Middle School

List of 12 items.

  • Advisory - 8:00am

    Each middle school student has an Advisor, and Advisory groups are typically 8-12 students in their own grade. Advisors are advocates and point persons for communication and assistance in any way. Our Advisory curriculum has a study skills and social-emotional focus and melds the tenets of Developmental Designs for Middle School (DDMS) and the traits of the IB Learner Profile, which includes habits of mind, such as, being Balanced, Caring, and Open Minded. Advisory groups meet on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. On Tuesdays, each grade meets together for advisory, class announcements, and support.
  • Town Hall - 8:00am

    On Friday at 8:00am we have a Town Hall meeting led by the Middle School Head and Student Council Representatives. We share announcements, celebrate good news, talk about upcoming special events and schedule changes, emphasis our motto and respect, and, always sing Happy Birthday to students who have grown older that week. Town Hall is followed by our whole school assembly.
  • Core Class - 8:20am

    Our schedule consists of 6 Core Academic Periods that begin after Advisory, Town Hall, or Assembly. All students in these six periods take Math, Science, History, English, a World Language, and Latin/STEM, which share a period and meet every other day.
  • Core Class - 9:05am

    See above.
  • Core Class - 10:00am

    See above.
  • IB Arts & Physical Education - 10:50am

    Each day students alternate between one of five arts courses (mixed grade) and PE/Health (by grade). Classes are year long and provide an in-depth study opportunity. Arts class include Spotlight Singers (choir), Wind Ensemble (band), Media Arts, and Visual Arts.
  • Core Class - 11:40am

    See above.
  • Lunch and Recess - 12:20pm

    Students need to eat and exercise, of course, and we have a lovely lunch room and outside patio where students eat. 8th graders enjoy their own special lounge for lunch – a perk and privilege of our eldest students. After lunch, students enjoy playing basketball, football, 4 square, soccer, or playing on the playground equipment in our outside areas.
  • Core Class - 1:00pm

    See above.
  • Core Class - 1:50pm

    See above.
  • Exploratory - 2:35pm

    After morning classes we change gears and students enter their first Exploratory class.  For the first two terms, Exploratory classes last roughly 17 days (three mini-classes per trimester) and allow students to explore an area of interest on a small scale in the areas of Art, Music, P.E., Design (Technology), and Study Hall. Sample classes have included Sailing, Archery, Songwriting, Documentary Film, Ukulele, Chamber Music, Figure Drawing, Sculpture, Stock Market, and others. In the spring, we offer in the same period a Deep Dive Exploratory class in these same subject areas, and students select one class to take every day for the whole spring trimester. One choice that is always offered is the spring musical.
  • Dismissal - 3:17pm

    After a fun-filled day of learning and living, it’s time to go home or to athletic practice!

What our students have to say

List of 13 frequently asked questions.

List of 1 items.

  • My favorite part of BCD is the togetherness and the sense of community.

    I am a Bulldog
    - BCD Middle School Student

Exploratories video

8th Grade Capstone Project

As part of BCD’s Middle School curriculum, 8th grade students complete a Capstone Project. Capstone Projects are a yearlong experience that encourages students to dive deeply into a subject of personal passion. This experience develops in-depth learning in the presence of an experienced mentor. 8th grade Capstone projects are a culmination of students' BCD experience bringing together the key elements of passion, innovation, and service. It is always exciting to see the range of interests and directions the students take. Student projects each year range from art installations, to designing head bands for a cure, to piloting a plane, to stage fighting.

Inside the classroom

Boulder Country Day School    4820 Nautilus Court North • Boulder, Colorado 80301 • Phone - 303.527.4931 • After-hours x229 •
Boulder Country Day School, where academic distinction meets education with character. BCD is a top-rated, accredited private school in Boulder, Colorado where every child has the opportunity to discover his or her own unique excellence. Distinguished by small class sizes, outstanding faculty, rigorous curriculum and a focus on community, our preschool, elementary and IB middle school teachers strive to create a well-rounded educational environment that balances traditional subjects with the arts, world languages, athletics and project-based learning.