St. Patrick’s middle school program is characterized by a tight-knit student community, devoted faculty and staff who have chosen to become experts in early adolescent education, and rigorous academics scaffolded by instruction in non-cognitive skills.
Assistant Head of School and Head of the Upper School Dan Spector said, "Individually and collectively, the teachers know their students. They know their strengths, they know their areas of growth, and they know what is required to get the best from them."
And the teachers at St. Patrick’s are excited about the instructional opportunities designed into the space. As an Upper School learning specialist said, “The classroom layout offers space and opportunity for students to engage in independent and self-directed learning activities. Various activities can run simultaneously. This means more time for small-group work (student collaboration, a skill students will need in their academic and professional lives) and additional touchpoints with teachers and learning specialists, checkpoints for authentic understanding of the learning targets presented.”
The mix of flexible and more traditional instructional spaces enables St. Patrick’s talented faculty to meet the cognitive and academic needs of students at the same time that it enhances the strong sense of community that has become a characteristic of the current program. “The environment is built specifically for Grades 6, 7, and 8 students,” said Rochelle Hargraves, Assistant Head of School for Finance and Operations, who is deeply involved in the project. “And it is a superb place to learn.