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Middle Grades

Fostering innovative thinkers with an increasing sense of ownership for their own learning

The middle grades (6-8) are a time of dynamic transition and discovery for students—and at Avenues, a vibrant academic program encourages them to take increasing ownership of their learning while nurturing leadership and collaboration skills. In these years, students are challenged to go beyond their academic comfort zones in a program anchored by:

Engagement with increasingly complex real-world problems

An emphasis on creative and innovative thinking

Steadfast social-emotional support through the changes of adolescence


Personalized support and mentorship across the social and physical changes of adolescence

The deans at Avenues are full-time mentors whose sole responsibility is the social-emotional well- being and academic success of their students. Working closely with faculty and acting as a point of contact for parents, deans ensure that students are fully supported and appropriately challenged at school. In 6th grade, students are assigned a dean who will work with them through 9th grade.


An innovative program to build essential thinking skills through persistent practice

Based on the idea that the best way to cultivate lifelong skills is to spend deliberate time practicing with expert guidance, Avenues developed the High-Intensity Practice (HIP) program for students in the Secondary Division. In 20 minute bursts of creative and analytical freedom, students cultivate essential thinking skills—mental agility, empathy, creativity, and critical thinking— through persistent practice.


Laying the foundation for lifelong physical and mental health

Wellness and Movement (WAM) is Avenues’ signature health and physical education program, spanning grades 1-11 and reflecting our mission statement commitment to graduate students who are “emotionally unafraid and physically fit.” In the middle grades, students pursue a range of sporting and fitness-related activities and have opportunities to participate in interscholastic athletics. Teams, offered from 7th grade, include basketball, cross country, fencing, soccer, tennis and volleyball. Avenues students enjoy access to the facilities at nearby Chelsea Piers, as well as our 20,000-square-foot gymnasium and fitness center.


Consolidating the gains of language immersion with advanced instruction in Mandarin and Spanish

Students transitioning from our language immersion program continue to build cultural competence and linguistic proficiency in advanced classes that incorporate history, literature and social studies. Those entering Avenues in 6th grade are grouped according to proficiency and supported in introductory or intermediate classes.


An annual opportunity to learn hands-on skills and discover new interests

A highlight of the middle grades calendar, Minimester offers students the chance to discover new passions in weeklong special electives that dive deep into a particular subject, issue or profession. Courses change every year and have ranged from journalism to cookery, forensic science to wilderness survival.


Life-changing international experiences developed and led by Avenues faculty

Immersion in another culture, language and society is the most direct way to cultivate global citizens who are at ease beyond their borders. Avenues’ international programs are designed to push students beyond their comfort zones and develop the skills and perspectives necessary to understand and solve global-scale problems. In the middle grades, students may opt to take a Global Journeys program during the annual Minimester. Previous destinations have included China, Spain and South Africa.

The Fundamentals

The middle grades curriculum emphasizes depth of learning over breadth of exposure, and its chief vehicles are project- and inquiry-based learning. The curriculum includes:

  • Reading and writing
  • Math (including Algebra I)
  • Science: earth science and ecology, biology, physics
  • Integrated humanities and the World Course
  • Intensive Language: Mandarin or Spanish
  • High Intensity Practice
  • Art and design
  • Music
  • Wellness and Movement: on campus and at Chelsea Piers

A Global Curriculum for a World School

What do Avenues students learn? The Avenues World Elements table is our answer to that question. Designed by our research and development team, the Avenues World Elements is a global curricular system that defines the learning outcomes of Avenues students at all grade levels, at all our campuses.

Explore the Avenues World Elementsarrow


Find out more


Find your future at Avenues: join the growing team that’s redefining K-12 education around the world.


Explore timely insights into global education from our campuses on three continents.

Get in Touch

View our directory of contacts, including Avenues’ headquarters and our global campuses.


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