The 8-9 Division bridges the nontraditional structure and close supervision of the 6-7 Division and the more traditional, college-preparatory structure of the 10-12 Division. The foundation of teaching and guidance in the 8-9 Division is a developmentally appropriate curriculum, emphasizing personal and academic growth in a safe and structured environment.
During their time in this division, students begin to develop discipline that is internal rather than external. To help foster this, we gradually increase privileges and responsibilities in the classroom, in social settings, and in extracurricular programs, and we begin to integrate discretionary time, when students may choose to complete homework, socialize, or enjoy some downtime, helping them develop time-management skills and learn to make healthy, responsible choices.
With a burgeoning sense of wisdom and self, students in 8-9 begin to define themselves as independent actors in the world around them. Students are encouraged to seek new challenges and persevere in the face of the inevitable setbacks inherent to this complicated life stage. Ever conscious of hormonal changes and the social, emotional, and cognitive impacts, we strive to provide a safe environment that allows students to try on different personas to discover what feels authentic so they can move from a more self-centered identity to one that evinces a broader and more inclusive perspective.
McKinnon Hall houses the 8-9 Division. Except for science, visual arts, and performing arts, most classwork takes place there. A number of activities take place outside the classroom, including school-sponsored dances, ice cream socials, and other activities designed by students in 8-9, for students in 8-9.