The Hillside School middle school program provides students with differentiated instruction to ensure that all learners are challenged and prepared for high school and beyond. Strategies and assistive technology are used to support individual needs, and opportunities to strengthen Executive Skills are a critical component of the middle school program.
Strong and balanced literacy instruction is at the heart of the middle school curriculum, and is reinforced in all subject areas. This may take the form of writing a myth in social studies, publishing the results of an experiment in science, writing and recording a script in technology, or analyzing a word problem in math. Students are taught reading strategies to help them comprehend both fiction and expository text, and the EmPOWERTM method is used across grade levels and content areas to teach writing explicitly in a variety of forms and for a wide range of purposes.
Assistive technology encourages students to play an active role in their education and familiarizes them with programs and software which may continue to benefit them as they progress in their educational and professional careers. Each student is assigned a laptop and has the opportunity to use assistive technology for a variety of purposes like text-to-speech software to dictate thoughts, audiobooks online, and software to conduct research, take notes, and edit writing pieces to improve their quality.
Middle school students move between classrooms throughout the school day, and receive instruction from several content and specialist teachers. Core academic subjects consist of English language arts (reading, writing, speaking/listening, and research), math, social studies, and science. Students also have art, physical education, guidance, library, and technology classes on a weekly basis. Additionally, middle school students have the opportunity to explore their interests and develop social skills through participation in clubs, which are offered both during the school day and after school.