The Foundation of Leadership
When given permission, children are natural problem solvers. Our thematic approach offers them the opportunity to take the lead in solving real scientific and social problems, utilizing math, language arts and empathy to find creative solutions and grow as citizens.
Asking Big Questions
Students at this developmental stage are ready to take on bigger questions. They begin to see more of the world, its diverse perspectives, cause and effect over time, historical and contemporary systems of oppression. This leads to more questions. Among the most profound is, “What can we do?”
Their studies are guided by social studies themes in two-year cycles with historical context and in-depth explorations into how historical events have repercussions in the world today, such as the lasting effects of environmental mismanagement, encounters between Native Americans and European colonists, and the Civil War.
They engage in creative problem solving to approach new challenges and produce meaningful work.
What It Looks Like
- In the Baker Business School, students design a product they believe the world needs, and then spend a year going through the entrepreneurial business cycle, from development to marketing and sales. In the second year, they explore the nonprofit world and donate their real profits to a cause of their choice.
- In the National Parks unit, they get hands-on with the natural world, as they analyze the impact of climate change, create advocacy projects and design artificial systems and structures modeled after biological ones. This is an exciting unit that features a visit to a wild animal refuge, where children get to play with wolf puppies, skunks and porcupines!
- The Buddy Program gives intermediate students opportunities to discuss important issues with children from lower grades. They meet together in “buddy classes” during, before or after assemblies. For example, 5th graders have met with 2nd graders to discuss ways to help Connections for the Homeless in response to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s message of service.
Take a Look Inside the Intermediate Classroom
Check out more innovative, student-led projects in our online student portfolio.