At 2nd Nature Academy, it is our belief that all learners thrive in an environment where they are encouraged to inquire and explore. Middle school is a unique period in a student’s academic career. The middle school years are marked by distinct physiological and emotional growth. Students in middle school benefit from being in an environment that includes mentor relationships with teachers, small class sizes that allow for individualized instruction and attention, and flexible, interdisciplinary curriculum that allows for active and personalized learning. Similar to all programs, our middle school program (grades 5-8) at 2nd Nature Academy is deeply rooted in inquiry and problem-based learning, with skills based, integrated and multi-sensory curriculum. The middle school program emphasizes the importance of social-emotional wellness, interpersonal skills, and conflict resolution. In addition, teachers intentionally and deliberately incorporate cooperative learning, community outreach, and environmental awareness and responsibility where appropriate. As with every grade level, critical thinking skills that are age and developmentally appropriate are developed within the classroom. Middle school course curriculum is designed to serve as the framework for specific content taught, which may also be influenced by student and teacher interest, school wide activities and current events. There is heavy emphasis on developing independence and strengthening executive functioning skills.