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Cultivating Character

MS Trip

Be kind, polite, respectful, and expect excellence—this is the mantra at the Middle School which guides our culture. Character unfolds naturally in our challenging yet supportive environment. Teachers expect students to express God's unlimited ability—and students rise to that expectation. In addition to fostering academic excellence in the classroom, we nurture each individual’s growth in character with a strong focus on qualities like leadership, communication, and collaboration. Weekly chapels, School-spirit activities, and community service projects contribute to our caring culture as well.

House System

The Middle School House System provides students with another level of support and engagement in the School community. Character deepens and leadership skills develop organically in a culture of inclusivity. Throughout the school year, students focus on team-building in house groups. Through sessions that involve thoughtful discussion as well as playful competition, we set and share norms, goals, and expectations. Walk through our hallways, and you’ll see evidence of all the students and teachers having identified how to be their best for the semester or year. 

Three multigrade houses allow students to bond and develop a group identity distinct from their grade level. This system also encourages responsibility, as houses are regularly tasked with organizing or hosting different events—dances, sports competitions, and other activities. Each house has student captains which provides opportunities to develop leadership. 

Learn more about the School’s House System.

Middle School Retreat

Near the start of each school year, the entire Middle School participates in a three-day retreat at the Dana Brown Center at Shaw Nature Reserve. This is an important time for students to reinforce culture, connect with curriculum, work on team building through outdoor experiences, and strengthen relationships—individually, by grade, and by house.

Canoe

Catch

To support the unique needs of the Middle School age group, Principia dedicates time for students to organize their learning before going home each day. This “Catch” period in the school day provides time for faculty to mentor students in character and academic growth. Additionally, students have the opportunity to consolidate their homework, connect with teachers for help, and get a jumpstart on assignments. 

MS Classroom