Co-curricular programs, student support structures, and other varied opportunities round out the Middle School experience for students and families. Faculty and administration work closely with counselors, learning specialists, and community partners to ensure that our students are afforded developmentally appropriate enrichment programs, leadership roles, and volunteer opportunities. Through such components of the Middle School program, students forge relationships and receive the support they need, while gaining social awareness and appreciation for perspectives and experiences that differ from their own.
In sixth grade, Newman Middle School students are matched in groups of ten to twelve with an advisor who is responsible for facilitating their growth in academics, leadership, service, and self-advocacy over a period of three years. Advisory groups meet daily, have shared experiences such as the planning and execution of school assemblies, meet during the school day for meals and games, and create long-lasting bonds that supplement those in their other peer groups. Many Middle School students describe their advisory group as their school family.
Sixth through eighth graders participate two to three times per week in Enrichment classes. The nature of the classes varies, but the topic of every lesson is a valuable one that does not fit squarely within the traditional academic curriculum. In Enrichment, members of the administrative team, the Student Support Team, and the faculty facilitate lessons centered on health and wellness, academic support, and other topics or skills such as financial literacy, digital citizenship, and even keyboarding or letter writing.
The Middle School partners with international organization High Resolves to enhance our day-to-day efforts to offer citizenship and leadership learning opportunities for our students. Students experience grade level workshops, with a focus on identity and purpose, as well as smaller group reflections during advisory time. The High Resolves experience culminates each year with real world application of these principles of global citizenship, such as the impactful Videos for Change project.
Field Trips and Overnights
The Newman Middle School offers a rich and varied palette of field trips and overnight excursions, some of which are yearly events, others of which vary from year to year. Each fall both the seventh and eighth grades go on extended overnight trips – the seventh grade to Percy Quin State Park in Mississippi for three days and the eighth grade to the Mountain Trail Outdoor School at Kanuga in North Carolina for eight days. Both trips are built around team building and leadership development.
Besides day trips that are unique to particular courses, whole grades and combinations of grades participate in day trips to New Orleans Museum of Art, the National World War II Museum, the New Canal Lighthouse, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, Fontainebleau State Park, and Bayou St. John.
Project-Based Learning and Design Thinking
Newman’s motto is that “we learn to do by doing,” and this hands-on approach is exemplified in Middle School by a strong commitment to Project-Based Learning and Design Thinking, approaches that promote critical thinking and student ownership of learning. From projects such as the Trash Trek and Chapbooks, to annual events like International Festival and Half-Time Day, Newman students are engaging in a variety of dynamic learning opportunities throughout their Middle School careers.