The Middle School years form the critical transition period from students competent in the basics of reading, writing and mathematics to students launched into more serious academic study. For private Middle School students, our concentration is on maintaining and raising the standards of those basic tools learned earlier, becoming focused and independent as students and getting an increased conceptual understanding of how academic subjects integrate and relate to real life. Additionally, specific courses and projects are designed to raise the students’ willingness and ability to draw conclusions and make judgments about the information they’re learning. Delphi Florida has the best private middle school program in the area.
Delphi utilizes the concept of “Forms” rather than grade levels as a way of getting excellent results without forcing all students to move at exactly the same pace. We realize each student is an individual and needs to be addressed as such in his or her education. Thus, every Delphi student has an individualized program and may enroll in a Form at any time during the school year (space permitting). A student completes a Form upon accomplishing the requirements for graduation from that Form. In this way, each student can get the full benefits from the curriculum and keep advancing at their own pace.
Students generally enter the Middle School at the age of eleven and graduate to Delphi’s High School by fourteen years of age. The Middle School is Form 5 covering the equivalent of seventh and eighth grades.
Focus in the Middle School is on introducing new mathematics concepts and on developing greater degrees of instant response to basic arithmetic calculations. Students work more independently and learn more theory behind formulas and calculations. In addition to reviewing and increasing proficiency in all previous mathematics, the following new mathematical concepts are introduced at this level: division of fractions, ratios and proportions, probability and statistics, scientific notation and simple geometric calculations.
The students’ proficiency at instant response computational skills is developed and improved through Math Facts on the Computer (MFC), a self-run computerized program designed to achieve ever-increasing levels of instant response. Emphasis is on maintaining a high level of response on the four arithmetic operations through 12’s and conversions of fractions, percents, and decimals.
There are dozens of computers throughout the school for student use. In addition, our computer lab provides students with a wide array of technology resources for use on various activities and projects. All students learn basic computer usage, but additional classes are available where students can learn such things as computer programming and robotics. Controlled internet access is provided through the school’s high-speed T1 connection.
Knowing how to research effectively—to pose theories, make clear observations and draw accurate conclusions—is addressed at this level. Science curriculum in the Middle School includes courses covering elementary chemistry, anatomy and physiology, microscopes and microbes, and electricity.
Middle School students may choose to participate in the school’s annual Science Fair. Projects focus on investigative tools, the students’ own understanding of the scientific phenomena represented, and the students’ initiative and responsibility demonstrated.
Understanding the larger environment provides students with an important perspective on their academic studies and depends on the integration of the humanities, sciences and social sciences. Emphasis in the Middle School is on comprehending people, places, and events in a greater global context.
Students become thoroughly familiar with U.S. geography. In addition to studying history from the Ancient Egyptians to modern times, students will learn how individuals have influenced history throughout the ages. Two courses, entitled People and Ideas and Conflicts and Ideas, explore the patterns and motivations behind historical events.
Current Events Seminars are begun at this level, in which students participate in research and discussion on various current topics.
Students’ skills and understanding of mathematics & technology, the sciences, geography, history, government and current events is further developed and deepened. Students work their way through an extensive reading program while in Middle School, reading books of increasing difficulty from a list of fiction, historical fiction, biographies, autobiographies, and non-fiction.
There are practical requirements for Middle School students throughout their academic studies, providing them with important real-life experience in conducting experiments, making useful products, participating in activities that further enhance their understanding of the subjects taught or in learning a new skill.
Art and drama are offered throughout the year and are considered an important part of the student’s education. Theatrical performances are scheduled regularly during the school year, and we make it a point to display student artwork in as many places around the school as we can. Art and drama become electives at this point, so students are given an opportunity to advance themselves creatively in areas of their own interest.
In the Middle School athletic department, emphasis is on discipline, hard work, team spirit and fun. Throughout the year, our teams compete in volleyball, basketball, and soccer. Other activities include tennis, ice skating, swimming, canoeing, and bowling.
Students work their way through an extensive reading program while in the Middle School, reading books of increasing difficulty from a list of fiction, historical fiction, biographies, autobiographies, and non-fiction. The books also integrate with the texts utilized in the history courses. Students will read an average of five to ten books per month, depending on length and complexity.
Literature seminars focus on key literary works at a slightly more advanced reading level, encouraging students to broaden their viewpoints through group discussion. Periodically, students will read aloud to the teacher to demonstrate reading skills and comprehension. One-on-one discussions develop interest and understanding in books read.
Focus is on developing a strong writing discipline, including spelling and grammar, as well as clear, concise expression of ideas.
Grammar and punctuation are covered more in depth as students develop their formal writing skills. Research referencing and footnote techniques are covered as part of writing discipline. Students will write 2,000 words a month on a variety of subjects.
Students study a foreign language (usually Spanish) in seminar sessions. The focus is on a conversational understanding of the language and on building vocabulary.
Understanding the meaning of ethics, morals and their relationship to one’s life is an important element of the Middle School program. Health and first aid are also addressed.
Students will learn about the harmful effects of drugs, will become knowledgeable in nutrition and participate in engaging debates on the application of ethics and integrity.
Students do a thorough study skills class at this level and become more proficient at being effective students and overcoming study barriers.
There are practical requirements for Middle School students throughout their academic studies, providing them with important real-life experience in conducting experiments, making useful products, participating in activities that further enhance their understanding of the subjects taught or in learning a new skill. Practicals consist of both projects and skill development.
Getting out to observe or interact with the world outside Delphi is a big part of the program. In the classrooms, students are encouraged to connect what they are studying with the real world. Field trips help them to make that connection even more real. Middle School students generally take one field trip every month. Typical trips might include the St. Petersburg International Museum, the County Emergency Services Department (to see how the local government handles emergencies in the community) and the Federal Courthouse and other government facilities.
As part of the learning process, Middle School students will participate in a variety of practical projects. These may include planning and carrying out a three-day backpacking trip, running a simple business, participating in a community service project, crossing plants to get a hybrid, programming a computer, writing a short play or building a dome.
Delphi Academy has an active arts program. Fine arts and crafts are offered throughout the year and are considered an important part of the student’s education. In the Art Department, students create a wide variety of artistic pieces which are frequently displayed in our reception area. In the fully equipped woodshop, students who have been checked out on the equipment learn how to use the scroll saw, drill press, rotary tools, and electric sander to create their own bookshelves, furniture, board games, etc. students have the option of participating in a martial arts program as well.
Emphasis in athletics is on discipline, hard work, team spirit and fun. Delphi Academy is part of a sports league comprised of local private schools of similar size. Throughout the year, our teams compete in volleyball, basketball, and soccer. Other activities such as tennis, ice skating, swimming, canoeing, and bowling vary seasonally but are typically offered to all different age groups some time during the school term or summer camp. Students also participate daily in some form of physical exercise and games.
Be prepared for a schedule brimming with activity. From morning roll call to parents’ arrival, students are busy in the classroom, on field trips, active in our student government, on the sports field or involved in a variety of practical activities. Students will find it an atmosphere of both fun and challenge and will be invited to help create that atmosphere.
Middle School students put on dances throughout the year.
In the summer the Middle School students take off on a weeklong excursion to such places as New York City, Boston or the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The Middle School Spanish class takes a yearly trip to Ybor City where, among other adventures, they interview Cuban cigar makers and have dinner in a Cuban restaurant. Of course, the focus is to have fun and get lots of practical experience with the language.
Community service is an important part of the Delphi program. Middle School students have participated in a variety of service activities such as the “Say No to Drugs” race, “Winter Wonderland”, “Second Harvest” and our very own “Kids for Kids” tutoring program. “Kids for Kids” is a community-based, peer-led tutoring program run by the students and parent volunteers.
Through Student Council, students participate in the running of the school in various ways such as student events, fundraisers, and food sales. Student life for Middle School students features dances throughout the year, as well as Student Council fundraisers and events.
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