The 8-9 Division bridges the non-traditional structure and close supervision of the 6-7 Division and the more traditional, college-preparatory structure of the 10-12 Division. The advisory group, consisting of 8 to 10 students and an assigned adviser, is the central Academy group in this division. Early in the year, advisory groups eat lunch together daily; later, in addition to periodic group meetings, students and advisers meet individually.
The 8-9 Division schedule follows a nine-day rotation, with each day containing seven class periods. Some classes still involve interdisciplinary assignments, similar to those in the 6-7 Division, but many follow a more traditional single-subject pattern. Much of the course work in individual classes is project-based. There is also time for before- and after-school special interest activities and clubs.
The foundation of teaching and guidance in the 8-9 Division is a developmentally appropriate curriculum emphasizing personal and academic growth in a safe, structured environment. Students are encouraged to seek new challenges, persevere in the face of setbacks, and develop discipline that is internal rather than external.
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 the 8th Grade Retreat, Medieval Day, and the Dig. The Academy also sponsors dances, ice cream socials, and other activities designed by students in 8-9, for students in 8-9.
Community and Global Citizenship
The goal of the community service program in the 8-9 Division is for students to have a positive, engaging, and productive volunteer experience with a local community partner. Eighth-grade students must participate in two all-class service projects, and ninth graders are required to participate in one off-campus service project facilitated by the Community and Global Citizenship faculty. They are also required to complete one shift of on-campus service each year.
Coursework in Grades 8-9
Counseling and Human Development
Grade 8: Health Issues 8
Grade 8: English 8
Grade 9: English I
Grade 8: 8th Grade Retreat
Grade 9: Freshman Expedition
Grade 8: World History to 800 C.E.
Grade 9: World History to 1789
Grade 8: Pre-Algebra/Mathematics 8, Mathematics 8, or Algebra/Geometry for Eighth Only
Grade 9: Algebra I, Algebra I/Geometry, or Geometry/Algebra II for Ninth Grade
Grade 8: Earth Systems
Grade 9: Physics I and Chemistry I
Electives (grade 9): Visual Basic A, Visual Basic B, C++ I, C++ II, Graphics and Simulations, Java I, Mobile Robotics I, and Mobile Robotics II.