The Middle School Experience
Our students are confident collaborators who find excitement and challenge in our integrated programming in an environment that offers choice, structure, support, and never-ending opportunity for intellectual inquiry.
At Hillbrook, we recognize that Middle School is a time for establishing independence and engaging in self-discovery. Our students are idealists who value fairness, and our teachers cultivate a healthy evolution of reliance on adults to reliance on one another. The Middle School curriculum is designed to present complex, purposeful experiences in which failure is a real possibility. Our students find satisfaction and meaning in the process – even in unexpected outcomes.
 
Our interdisciplinary Middle School curriculum builds on foundational skills, as students rise to the challenge of applying those skills to problems of ever-increasing complexity and in contexts that extend past traditional school subjects. Students sharpen their ability to communicate clearly, develop a concise argument, analyze someone else’s reasoning, think critically, and imagine real-world applications for what they’ve learned. Classes involve animated discussions and active learning–our students have ideas and opinions. They speak up, they respectfully disagree, and they learn from their teachers and from one another. It’s a process that builds confidence in their thinking as they discover who they want to be beyond Hillbrook.




About Our Schedule
The Middle School schedule incorporates time for skill-building and interdisciplinary, collaborative teaching and learning, as well as flexibility for student choice and individualization. “High-touch” subjects such as English, math, and world languages meet more frequently to establish fluency, while Integrated Studies blocks allow teachers to co-teach across disciplines and offer students extended time for projects, labs, debates, and other inquiry – so good conversations can get the attention they deserve. Students have choice in which elective classes and which Reach Beyond experiences they pursue, providing opportunities for them to explore diverse offerings and to tailor their educational journeys to their interests and passions. 
 
Students enjoy lunch periods for club meetings, getting help from teachers, and spending time (and eating!) with friends. Through specially designed programs, like our weekly Reach Beyond Block activities, annual Reach Beyond Week, and the 8th grade Capstone Project, our students have regular opportunities to partner with, explore and problem-solve with the community beyond campus. After school, our students can play team sports, including basketball, cross-country, volleyball, flag football, and more.


 Students were tasked with creating connections with their peers, and other students across campus, using their passions, skills, and tools. “We’ve been really missing connection with COVID precautions in place,” shares Associate Director of the Scott Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Hillbrook Matt Callahan. The students chose to make little zines as a way of connecting with others.

The goal was to combine their skills they’ve developed at Hillbrook, use a tool (in some cases design software and drawing apps), and respond to the question: how can we connect during a time of profound physical disconnection? Says Callahan, "This was a very artistically inclined group, so they gravitated toward zines and art as a way of connecting. I thought it was brilliant!"








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  • Photo of Amy Hand

    Amy Hand 

    Head of Middle School
    (408) 356-6116 ext. 310
An independent Junior Kindergarten -8th grade school in Los Gatos since 1935

300 Marchmont Drive
Los Gatos, CA 95032
 
 
(408) 356-6116 | info@hillbrook.org