Middle School

Appreciating the Strengths of Our Middle Schoolers

Classroom Ambassadors

I am continually impressed by our middle school students and the outstanding work our faculty do preparing them not only for middle school, but for high school and beyond. We have many indicators of this success—high school acceptances and success at the college prep level, test scores, awards and commendations—but occasionally I’ll find an indicator of this success when I’m not really looking for one.

I found one such indicator yesterday. It is currently the height of admission season for all schools and Elaine Chang, our Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management, and I have been giving tours of the middle school for the parents of prospective CAIS students, most of whom are applying to the preschool. Walking between classrooms on one such tour yesterday, a parent asked me about our Classroom Ambassadors, the students who greet the parents in each classroom during the tour and explain what is going on in class that day. Specifically, he wanted to know what our process was for selecting the students as he felt they were all polite, confident, and informative. He suggested that we must have some selection process as the Ambassadors were all outstanding and we must be using only our “best and brightest students.” I was delighted to be able to share with him that there is no selection process. Students simply volunteer and all who volunteer take turns serving as Ambassadors, and he was simply seeing typical CAIS students in that role. Well done Classroom Ambassadors and well done to the CAIS community, parents and faculty, for preparing such amazing middle school students!

A Salute to the Class of 2024

As I mentioned in the January 2022 Middle School Update, there is a milestone in January that is very important for one of our classes. The middle school years are a fleeting time and this January 13, the end of the first semester, also marks the mid-point in the middle school careers of our seventh graders, the Class of 2024. Most graduating eighth graders tell me that the second half of middle school, although a little stressful due to the high school application process, went much faster than the first half. I hope the class of 2024 takes time to recognize what a great class they are and that they enjoy their remaining three semesters as Firedragons.

Seventh grade can be a challenging time for many students. They are increasingly beginning to take on leadership roles on campus, our athletic teams begin to rely more heavily on their skills for success, and for the first time they are generating transcripts that will be evaluated by high school admission committees. Seventh grade is also a time when students may face more confusion and challenges socially. These challenges are completely age-appropriate, but that does not make them any easier to live through as seventh graders. That being said, the CAIS Class of 2024 continues to impress us as they navigate through their second year of middle school. I believe they will be outstanding school leaders when they move on to the eighth grade next year.