Quite often, I find myself answering the question, “What kind of school is this?” Usually, it comes after I mention something I did with my students, like washing eggs or planning meals at the local grocery store. After describing Cornerstone, an expected follow up question is always, “Well, how do you think they will do when they leave your school?” With complete certainty, I can bet they are going to do pretty well.
Our middle school students have been involved in learning and service projects of all kinds: reading buddies, community cooks, archery, spelling bees, theatre, solar car races, and science competitions are just a few of the activities we will participate in this year.
Each year, the middle school list of extracurricular and competition-based programs expands, allowing our students to exercise their physical and academic capabilities in various settings. Why? Academic learning is only as valuable as a student’s ability to apply the things they have learned to various situations. At Cornerstone, the teachers are interested in seeing this happen with paper and pencil, projects, and academic challenges in the classroom, but sometimes we need another setting.
Our middle school provides a continuation of the student-centered learning our PreK through 5th grade students experience, and continues to infuse academic rigor into the curriculum. This is manifested every year through the accomplishments of our students. We have students who are:
- Leon County History Finalists
- Holocaust Art & Essay winners
- Top 10 state finalists in National Geographic Bee
- Top 5 in Leon County Spelling Bee
- Solar Car competition winners
- Duke Talent Search qualifiers
And that is just the students who choose to enter. The middle school faculty can be certain that, when students leave 8th grade, they have mastered many and varied concepts, and are on par with or exceed the level of their peers at other schools. We have seen them solve puzzles, take tests, challenge the material we present, ask what comes next, and develop skills of responsible citizens.
Cornerstone is beyond compare in the way students drive the curriculum and experience their learning. Iit is good to know that beyond our boardwalk, students are armed with the skills and ability to be flexible, open-minded problem solvers.