At Baker, art, drama, music, physical education, outdoor education and service learning are a vibrant part of student life, and are critical contributors to the understanding of the interrelated nature of all disciplines. Our co-curricular programs stand out as we strive to integrate academic enrichment across all disciplines. In addition, we give students more frequent and earlier exposure to enrichment than other schools.
Drama instills confidence in self-expression, and is a platform for critical problem solving and collaboration. Students take drama class early in their education, in fourth grade, which provides them with exposure to technical operating, costume design, set design, direction, and performance. Similar to art, the curriculum in drama is often integrated with class curriculum to enrich classroom thematic study. In addition, students play a key role in dramatic study. It’s not uncommon for Baker’s drama productions to be entirely written, developed, staged, and performed by students.
All students in grades Kindergarten through 8th grade participate in the music program.
While the content of the program varies by grade level, the overall program develops each student’s musical strength through singing, moving, listening, playing, speaking, creating, reading, writing, and analyzing. Special attention is paid to each student to identify and capitalize on their natural interests and talents. Multiple music electives are offered to Baker Middle Schoolers so they can explore music more deeply. In addition, students with an interest in musical performance can join Baker’s school orchestra starting in fifth grade.
The Spanish program imparts to the students a working knowledge of the Spanish language and an understanding of Hispanic culture. This is done by integrating Spanish instruction with classroom teacher units, while supplementing these lessons with others covering vocabulary, grammar, and cultural history as well as special projects.
As of 1st grade, technology is interwoven in the classroom curricula to hone basic skills such as touch typing, and to begin developing more sophisticated media skills such as animation, coding and design. In addition, all students as of first grade take a dedicated technology class twice a week. Middle schoolers are each issued a dedicated Chromebook laptop, and complete the majority of class assignments on it. Although direct technology usage begins in 1st grade, every classroom at Baker including preschool, is equipped with an interactive white board and access to school iPad carts.
Students are encouraged to exercise their skills in teamwork and coordination whilst simultaneously playing games and activities that have obvious fitness benefits. Additionally, Baker’s very own pool is at full access for first-eighth graders to learn the basics of swimming down to different strokes and watersports, such as water polo.
A fundamental aspect of the Baker educational model is the core belief that outdoor education is a beneficial and rewarding experience for all who participate. Faculty in all grades integrate outdoor education into their curriculum during the school day. In addition, beginning in fourth grade, students participate in overnight outdoor education experiences. These experiences enable students to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to the real world. In addition, students gain independence, confidence, and strengthen bonds with classmates and teachers.
The Baker Library is a learning commons and community space. With just over 24,000 volumes, the library is a launching pad from which students are empowered to pursue interests and excitement about learning. The library’s collection strives to reflect and be a resource for all members of the Baker community, as well as provide windows into the experiences of others. Baker students learn and practice the skills & dispositions of using and enjoying a library and its resources in a developmentally appropriate fashion, guided by library staff. Students are most of all encouraged to get excited about books and reading – however that looks to them!
Baker sponsors sports teams for students in 4th-8th grade including interscholastic basketball, flag football, soccer, and track and field. Teams practice after school and compete against peers from other local schools.
Our new World Languages program allows Baker Middle School students the unique opportunity to deepen their understanding of Modern Romance Language (Spanish) through the lens of the language from which it evolved, the Latin. Starting in preschool, Baker students learn Spanish through rich language interactions, songs, and engaging language activities.
Service learning is a fundamental part of a Baker education and provides opportunities for students of all ages to make a difference. Baker’s faculty regularly incorporate service projects into their thematic studies so that students can understand issues from multiple angles and serve as positive change agents. In addition, Baker’s student council leads school-wide fundraising efforts and service projects.