Challenged and Supported: How Your Middle Schooler Can Benefit From Our Focus on Faith, Virtue, and Excellence

There are a handful of big transitional times in a person’s life. Graduating high school and college, becoming a parent, and retiring from a long career are a few. But one of the most significant transitions children experience occurs during middle school. It’s a tricky time when they are no longer a small child, not yet established as young adults in high school. Their bodies are changing, their identities are forming, and all of those factors can make this a highly complicated season of life.

In many institutions, the difficulty of the middle years is compounded by the school’s inability to meet their students’ individual needs. The public school system has been forced to comply with state testing standards, and classrooms are so overrun with students that the kids suffer as a consequence. One of the tremendous benefits of operating a private school is our ability to shut out the noise and concentrate on creating a supportive environment where all middle school students can thrive.

At St. Barnabas Episcopal School, we model our community off of our values, the most foundational of which are faith, virtue, and excellence. From these tenants, we build our holistic curriculum that meets students where they are and encourages them to stretch.

Why Holistic Education?

In our school community, we do our best to address all aspects of our student body. Our rigorous academic program is a central part of the education we provide, but it’s not our sole focus. We also lean into faith teachings and extracurricular activities that help students become intelligent and well-rounded. We all know that being smart or well-read can take you only so far in the real world. Characteristics like resilience, kindness, and strong moral character also factor into a person’s long-term success and happiness.

To have virtue is to maintain high moral standards. As members of a relatively small school community, our students are regularly practicing virtuous living. Unlike in larger school environments, our students cannot easily slip through the cracks or hide in the shadows. They are seen and known by one another and their teachers, and that creates an environment in which virtue is built and nurtured.

As a Christian school, faith practice is vital to our organization. Our students attend chapel regularly, and faith teachings are woven throughout our curriculum. We see year after year how students in this wild transition we call middle school feel peace and security through their personal faith journeys, and we are happy to join them through our commitment to practicing faith as a community.

We are a school where the pursuit of academic excellence is at the center of all we do. Our teachers and students partner in challenging yet supportive classroom environments that invite our students to stretch themselves beyond what they thought was possible and achieve more than they could have imagined. Our students leave here with a high standard of academic excellence, but that is not where we draw the line. Excellence is an overarching theme in everything we do. We encourage students to pursue excellence in their extracurricular activities, faith practice, and how they engage with their peers.

Middle school is a biologically and socially complicated time. A lot is changing in the minds and bodies of students at that age. And while we do our best to use this transition for students, sometimes the most important thing we can do is, give them a safe and supportive place to land. Contact our office today if you’d like to learn more about sending your student to St. Barnabas Episcopal School.

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