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 6-8) 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.
The high school program operates on both an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary model, and is heavily rooted in both inquiry and problem-based learning. An interdisciplinary approach teaches concepts and skills from two or more disciplines that are tightly linked so as to deepen knowledge and skills. A transdisciplinary approach requires students to undertake real world problems and projects, and apply skills and knowledge from two or more disciplines. This allows for a more authentic and purposeful learning experience, challenging the efficacy of traditional teaching methods and engaging students in real world problem-solving and experiential learning. Student autonomy and student driven learning support increased motivation, improved decision-making abilities, and enhanced critical and creative thinking capacities. The high school years are a unique period of social emotional development, rooted in identity and independence. The high school program at 2nd Nature Academy fosters independence, responsibility and strengthening executive functioning skills in a safe and supportive environment.