In Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of the English Language, Webster defines Intermediate as “Lying or being in the middle between two extremes.” While elementary and high school may not be considered “extremes”, they are the bookends of a traditional school. Right in the middle are unique years of growth and development for students. Recognizing an opportunity to create a program designed specifically to meet the needs of 5th and 6th grade students, Stillwater Christian School launched the Intermediate School.
The Intermediate School is designed as a step up from the self-contained classrooms of elementary and a step down from the demands and rigor of junior high school, providing a more seamless transition between the two. Rather than spending all day with the same teacher, students change classes between two core teachers. Rather than classroom cubbies for storage, students have lockers in the hallways. They move about the secondary building as “big kids” while still providing the guidance and structure necessary for 10 and 11 year olds. The entire design exists to foster appropriate growth in responsibility and self-discipline, providing the experience and time necessary for success in junior high and high school.
As exciting as launching a new program is for us, it is even more exciting to launch it in brand new classrooms. New construction, completed in the nick of time, has allowed us to tailor the spaces in ways best suited for our goals. The newly constructed teacher team is a fantastic group that assisted in some of the design work. They are developing as a strong, cohesive team and are effectively tweaking the design to compliment the needs of their students. As this part of our school grows in excellence, it will provide that ideal “bridge” that our students need, building on the foundation of the elementary school and preparing them for high school.