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Book and film titles like Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life, How I Survived Middle School, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid highlight the often-difficult growth and development that occurs in the pre-teen and early teen years. The truth is the amount of physiological and neurological development that occurs during the middle school years is second only to the first four years in a child’s life. The Trinity Valley Middle School has adopted an approach that considers this pivotal time and establishes an environment that not only accentuates individual strengths but also encourages students to step out of their comfort zones, building resiliency and perseverance throughout the journey.

Additionally, we strive to create a nurturing educational experience that meets the unique social, emotional, and cognitive needs of middle school students while fostering creative problem solving, innovative thinking, and community connection each and every day. We are much more than a bridge to our upper school. We are a foundation of independence and leadership, and through a blend of traditional and unique programming, we provide our students with the tools to be successful inside and outside of the classroom, and more importantly in life.

These outcomes are not possible without our incredible faculty, the most passionate and compassionate group of middle school educators I have ever worked with. They are constantly pushing themselves as teachers and innovators, and though they are each experts in their respective fields, first, and foremost, they are experts in student learning and engagement.

The vital connection between our faculty and every middle school student begins with our advisory program, which provides a trusted advocate and guide through each year of middle school. Our weekly assemblies are student-centered and celebrate the positive contribution that individuals add to the larger school community. Trojan Outdoor Experience (TOE) gives every middle school student the opportunity to practice individual and group-based decision-making amidst a variety of challenging activities in some of the most beautiful and rugged natural areas our state and nation offer.

Our fifth and sixth grade students study music, art, English, mathematics, science, social studies, and physical education, and once a week, they participate in The Skills for Tomorrow, a course that engages an experiential learning model to promote collaborative problem solving, empathic communication, and adaptability. In sixth grade, students choose one of two modern languages, Mandarin Chinese or Spanish, which they continue to study for the remainder of middle school.

Our seventh and eighth grade students add drama, choir, and Latin to their course of study, and English and social studies are integrated within humanities, a class enriched by the natural connections between these two disciplines. Once a week, seventh and eighth graders participate in Selectives, allowing students to choose from a variety of course offerings designed by our innovative teachers to encourage out-of-the-box-thinking, building and tinkering, and creativity. Equally important, is the addition of Trojan Athletics, which offers students participation on seasonal sports teams, further developing a sense of leadership and community contribution as students work toward a common goal.

Through this varied and dynamic programming, we seek to meet the unique developmental needs of middle school students while creating a community defined by young men and women of strong character, creativity, and intellect.

Jeff Snyder
Incoming Head of Middle School