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Taking the Lead, Creating their Future.

Upper School

At Town, we educate the whole child. Our Upper School is made up of a community of highly trained professionals who are passionate and dedicated to addressing the developmental needs of young students.

To build community and nurture belonging, students participate in activities and programs designed to address social and emotional growth, as well as to build community during their middle school years.

Students construct meaning in English, social studies, math, and science and express themselves through language, art, music, dance, theater, and academic passions. Additionally, students and teachers explore the use of technology in the classroom to extend opportunities for learning.

Through the lens of experiential learning, our pedagogical approaches focus on cultivating independent students who confidently engage in collaborative learning, student agency, and meta cognition. This approach allows each student to feel empowered and meet the high expectations intentionally focused on developing skills for meaningful participation in and beyond the Town Community.

Alexis Williams
Head of Upper School

Division Overview and Parent Partnership
Upper School Curriculum At-A-Glance
High School Life Beyond Town

Division Overview and Parent Partnership

Our rigorous Upper School curriculum encourages students to think critically, read with care, write with conviction, and apply their knowledge to new challenges. We support ambitious academic goals by incorporating essential study skills and time management components that are vital to success for middle-schoolers.

Leaders of the school.
Upper School students set the tone for our school community by how they act as students, leaders, and citizens. As the senior-most students at Town, they run student government, plan assemblies, organize service projects, create and edit the yearbook, and form special committees to explore issues of interest, such as national current events. 

A unique guidance model.  
At Town, each Upper School student is guided by a dedicated advisor who oversees their academic, social, and emotional well-being. Advisors track students’ progress, and help them build organizational skills, manage their time effectively, and set goals.  

Parent-Teacher-Student partnership.
Parents meet with their child’s advisor twice during the year in December and June and receive written reports that include an evaluation of the student’s skills, work habits, and portfolio.

Upper School Curriculum At-A-Glance

Our comprehensive English curriculum combines literary analysis, creative and expository writing, and the study of vocabulary, grammar, punctuation, and syntax. Language arts skills are reinforced by daily analytical discussions, grammar exercises, individual conferences with teachers to refine writing skills, and multiple editing and proofreading sessions for written work.

Real-number operations are continually reinforced to advance mathematical knowledge and understanding. Curriculum emphasizes reason, inventiveness, and technical proficiency to solve mathematical problems. 

Social Studies
The Social Studies curriculum centers on diverse communities from early cultures through contemporary government and society. Course content begins with the study of ancient civilizations in 5th grade and culminates with American history and government in 8th grade.

The Science curriculum develops critical thinking skills, improves laboratory techniques, and solidifies students’ ability to use the scientific method. Through labs, projects, class discussion, and designing their own experiments, students become scientific thinkers and learn to use data to draw conclusions.

World Languages
The Upper School language program is equivalent to a comprehensive first year high school course. The classes are taught almost entirely in French/Spanish in order to build fluency in both speaking and listening. As the study of grammar becomes more rigorous, classes focus on conversation. Latin is added in 7th and 8th grades, focused on learning the language as well as Roman culture and history. 

In Upper School, technology tools such as Google Apps for Education and the Schoology learning management system are used to support collaboration and learning across subjects. Students are given wider and more independent access to technology and each receive a school-issued iPad to use at school and at home. Coding activities become more sophisticated as students tackle new challenges such as robotics, learning a simple programming language, and understanding how coding can be used to meet different needs. 

The Upper School arts curriculum is interdisciplinary, hands-on, and focused on drawing historical connections between the various disciplines. Discovery, appreciation, and development of technique are a common thread throughout all arts classes.

Physical Education
The Physical Education curriculum focuses on skill-building, sportsmanship, and teamwork. Athletic teams for soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, and track and field begin in Upper School. 

High School Life Beyond Town

Town graduates are well-rounded, articulate, confident, and ethical individuals who are prepared to meet the challenges of a demanding secondary education and continue on the path of lifelong learning.

Our N–8 curriculum is thoughtfully designed to prepare students for high school—and beyond. Everything we do at Town primes our students for entry into an impressive array of the top high schools in the New York City area. 8th grade students approach the transition to secondary education with confidence and self-awareness, the same qualities that are critical to the college application process. 

A true team approach.
At Town we take a true team approach to the high school application process. Our High School Placement Director, Upper School Head, and faculty provide continuous support and guidance to families throughout the process so that they can make the best possible decision for their child’s high school education. 

Individualized placement process.
In the spring of 7th grade, Town families begin working with our High School Placement Director to learn about the mechanics of the high school application process. During the summer between 7th and 8th grade, families spend time exploring schools that suit their child’s interests and preferred learning style. 

In the fall of their 8th grade year, students go on school visits and interviews. They attend weekly “Decisions” classes throughout the fall application period where they receive dedicated support and guidance with the application process, and practice for interviews. From September through December, students and families continue to research schools, meet regularly with the placement director, work on essays, and narrow down their final application list for December deadlines.

Student voice is essential.
Our 8th graders are challenged to think seriously about themselves as individuals and use their voice to express who they are as people and as learners. Each November, members of the most recent graduating class return for a panel discussion with the 8th graders to share their reflections on the placement process and the first months of high school.

Prepared for the future. 
Town alumni/ae go on to attend the best schools in New York City, including independent day schools, performing arts academies, specialized public high schools, and boarding schools in the tri-state area and beyond.  High schools consistently remark on how well-prepared Town students are academically, and how quickly Town graduates become active members of their new school communities. 

Upper School Curriculum Guide

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