Day in the Life of Middle School

Check out the Video Lesson Library and filter for “Middle School” for more Park Day videos!

8:10am - 8:25am school drop off (morning care opens at 7:30am)

Middle School is a time for each student to discover their unique academic and social strengths and lean into their stretch zone. With support from their teachers, students begin to take more ownership for their learning as expectations rise and opportunities to dive deeper into the curriculum present themselves.  Classes, clubs, advisory, service learning projects, opportunities to take on school leadership, along with competitive sports, Friday night dances, overnight trips, and day trips, help students define who they are in community and in the world. Our goal is to support students academically and personally before they take their next steps in high school, college, career, and life.

8:30am First Class of the Day!

After dropping their bags in their lockers, students head to their first academic class of the day. Schedules vary daily and may kick off with a Humanities or Math/Science block in 6th grade (each taught by one lead teacher), or in 7th and 8th grades, begin with individual subject level classes like English, History, Math, or Science.

9:25am Second Class of the Day

Math at Park Day School is taught with frequent small group collaborations and partner work. 7th graders follow a pre-Algebra curriculum and 8th graders complete Algebra 1.

The scope and sequence of units, activities, and representations are designed to help students develop a deep understanding of mathematical concepts, build fluency with procedures, and solve mathematical problems that reflect their lived experiences, all while holding students’ ideas at its center.


10:15am Break!

Short break time to go to lockers, get a snack and spend time with friends.

10:30am Arts Classes

Park Day offers drama, visua; arts, and music classes three times per week.

Drama includes scene work, musical theater, script writing, improv games and more. In art class, students learn various artistic techniques and engage in creative project supported by art history and theory. Music class incorporates Orff and the Kodály method, and provides an opportunity for instrumental ensemble performances.

11:25am Clubs or Consultancy

Clubs are a hugely popular part of the Middle School schedule. At the beginning of every semester there is a Club Fair where students choose between clubs like Podcasting Club, Pickleball, Dungeons & Dragons, Board Games, Student Council, Yearbook, Adulting 101 and many more.

Consultancy is a time when each Middle School student meets with an academic teacher to seek help on specific projects or concepts, or take their interest in a particular academic topic area further. The emphasis in Advisory and Consultancy is on helping students become better self-advocates, upstanders within their personal and global communities, and to support their evolving sense of self — academically and personally.

12:15pm Lunchtime

Hot lunch is everyone’s favorite. Our on-campus chefs create tasty, balanced meals featuring salad bars and plenty of choice. Students eat and hang out outside, at the ping pong tables or Gaga courts, or take time in the middle school quiet room to finish homework.

1:10pm Advisory

Students meet in small advisory groups of 13 – 14 students three times a week for 50 minutes a day. Their designated advisor mentors and guides each small grade level group for all three years of Middle School.

Advisory is a safe zone where students give voice to academic and personal goals, discuss important issues in their immediate and larger communities, and form relationships with peers. Other activities that take place in Advisory: preparation and mentorship as students design and lead conferences with their parents twice a year; Service Learning field work; Advisory Olympics; other Middle School activities and games. It’s a time for connection, bonding, growth, and silliness!

1:45pm Physical Education, Spanish, or Study Hall

Physical Education is offered twice a week (learn more here), and frequently alternates with Spanish class (3x per week) or Study Hall (2x per week).

Middle School Spanish focuses on conversational skills while learning about world culture in spanish speaking countries. Many graduates place into Spanish II in high school. Study hall is supported through an additional twice weekly Consultancy class during which teachers are available to support students with specific assignments and concepts (learn more about Consultancy).

2:40pm Last Class of the Day

In Middle School, students engage in multiple types of literary and historical analysis while flexing and improving their writing and persuasive skills.

The curriculum is comprised of written responses to literature and history,  character analysis exercises, map explorations, expository writing, persuasive writing, creative short story, and more. Park Day’s progressive approach also includes mock trials, historical re-enactments, writers workshops, peer reviews, and the Harkness method for student led class discussions. Hands on projects that require students to dive deeply into the material and develop personal connections to it help spark creativity and connection.



3:30pm Dismissal & Competitive Athletics Progam

65% of Middle School students participate in after school competitive athletics program and compete with other sports teams from fellow Bay Area schools in flag football, soccer, ultimate frisbee, basketball, volleyball, track, and cross country.

Transition to High School

The goal of our High School Transition process is to help each student and family find the school that is a great match for THEM! Students begin to think about high school at the end of 7th grade when they receive an Orientation to the High School transition process. During the fall and winter of 8th Grade, students participate in High School Advisory, where they can learn about various types of schools, hear directly from high school representatives who visit, and receive support preparing for the private school application process (writing application essays, preparing for interviews, etc.). In addition, students are invited to set up additional 1:1 meetings with the High School Transition Counselor to get support and advice.

Along the way, Park Day offers support for parents, and the High School Transition Counselor works closely with Park Day faculty and staff so that our 8th graders find their way as they navigate the transition out of Park Day and into high school. Learn more here.