Welcome to the Middle School!

Students in grades 6-8 are extremely aware, thoughtful, and engaged; they also need support as they start to define who they are and grow into who they will be. At Pacific Ridge, we embrace the joy, the energy, the curiosity, and the mess of middle school. Students develop at different rates and come to us from many different school experiences and backgrounds. It is our enjoyable job to get to know them, celebrate who they are, and guide them on their journey.
Our Portrait of a Middle School Student serves as a focal point in academic courses, advisory, and skills classes. We intentionally name and focus on happiness because of its importance in learning and growth. Students who are both challenged and supported in their sense of joy and play are more engaged and will learn more.   
Middle school students also grow by learning to take risks, to fail, and to evaluate those experiences. We believe the many relationships our middle schoolers build with other students and adults in our community create a safe environment in which to do so. In Harkness discussions, advisory activities, group projects, arts classes, sports, and PE, students can develop their identity and voice, and discover that mistakes are a necessary and important part of learning.  Through regular self-reflection, our students sharpen their academic, social, and emotional skills and build the confidence needed to thrive in middle school, high school, and beyond. 
We invite you to learn more about what makes our program unique.
Luke Michel Sarah Peeden
Head of Middle School Assistant Head of Middle School

How Our Middle Schoolers Grow

List of 3 items.

  • 6th Grade: Exposure

    Sixth graders immerse themselves in new experiences in the classroom and beyond. Our academic program introduces students to Harkness; problem-based learning in English, history, math, and science; multiple arts disciplines; and the three world languages taught at Pacific Ridge. Frequent cross-disciplinary projects encourage students to make connections between the subjects they are learning. Beyond the classroom, they can join clubs, try new sports, and participate in weekly service work that benefits the local community. In our sixth grade, students are “Wayfinders,” learning about who they are, what it means to be a Pacific Ridge Firebird, and how to navigate their academic and social worlds.
  • 7th Grade: Exploration

    Seventh graders continue to build their abstract and critical thinking skills, delving into real-world issues and exploring various perspectives held about them. Across subjects, students gain more choice in selecting and completing projects, select a world language to pursue, and continue to experience a range of artistic media. Regular skills classes, started in 6th grade, help students strengthen their academic performance while promoting self-awareness, social-emotional skills, and wellness. Clubs and service opportunities expand, giving seventh graders even more opportunities dig into new areas of interest.
  • 8th Grade: Leadership

    With an eye to becoming high school students, eighth graders take on increased challenge in their coursework and co-curriculars. Through this, they expand, refine, and reflect on the academic and life skills they have been learning while continuing to build their confidence and assert their independence. As leaders of the middle school, they serve as mentors to younger Firebirds throughout the year and practice being positive influencers. When they move on to high school, our eighth graders aim to leave the middle school better than they found it.