"The highest-level executive thinking, making connections, and “aha” moments of insight and creative innovation are more likely to occur in an atmosphere of joy and enthusiasm." — Judy Willis, M.D.
The IDEAL School provides the correct balance of nurture and challenge for enthusiastic, inquisitive middle school students, from field trips, Skype experiences, guest experts to service learning, class productions, and interdisciplinary design projects ( S.T.E.A.M.), our brain research based innovative program is designed to ensure the 21st century learner excels in academics and life.
At IDEAL we are aware that students must be prepared for tomorrow’s challenges with a rigorous academic curriculum. IDEAL brain-based teaching methods result in IOWA national assessment scores ranging from 2-6 years above grade level, proving brain-based “best practices” are extremely effective. Mindful leadership, robust teacher training and a community ready to embrace innovative thinking creates the advanced educational environment at IDEAL School. However, at IDEAL, these achievements only form the foundation for sustained academic success.
At IDEAL School, our goal is the true understanding of questions and problems. We rely on more than just textbooks to convey information. By teaching through relevant experiences we ensure our students don’t memorize facts, but develop a genuine understanding of the curriculum. Each day teachers turn familiar middle school topics into memorable celebrations to ensure true understanding.
- School Days: Mon-Fri 8AM - 3PM
- Advanced Brain Based Multiple Intelligence curriculum created by school founder Wendy Soderman B.A., B.Ed.
- Our middle school students average 2-6 years above grade level on standardized tests.
WHY IDEAL MIDDLE SCHOOL?
IDEAL learning experiences are relevant, intriguing, enchanting- they are novel hooks that draw your child in to an intellectual adventure full of passion and joy.
The IDEAL Responsive Classroom and practices are built on the fundamental belief that every growing person is driven by the need to belong, to feel that their presence is important, and to participate in playful, engaging experiences. Establishing a democratic classroom that focuses on the developmental social and emotional needs of our students is fundamental to the creation of self-regulation in children.
Walking into an IDEAL Responsive Classroom on any given day, you will see the enchanting effect of these central principles in a variety of ways; from the teachers choice of positive words, to active modeling of expectations, to collaborative choice, and student- owned approach to classroom rules and conduct. The IDEAL teaching team models and inspires our students with the C.A.R.E.S. approach: Cooperation, Assertion, Responsibility, Empathy and Self-Regulation. These principles are nurtured within our students every day in every, IDEAL School learning experience.
The IDEAL School’s key initiative is to enhance innovative learning for every student by connecting the science of learning – how the brain works, to ALL aspects of the child’s educational journey. We as a school continue to learn and implement important findings from neuroscience at this pivotal point in time wherein the apexes of both educational theory and brain research overlap.
Educational neuroscience tells us that students benefit from instruction that does not restrict ideas to conceptual deserts stranded by textbooks and standardized tests.
Learning is transformative and engaging by the expressive stimuli that all of the Multiple Intelligences create when incorporated in an enriching learning experience.
Curriculum Concepts for Understanding
At IDEAL School, curriculum concepts are represented in all eight Intelligences to allow for individual differences and provide a greater opportunity for understanding.
Rather than a single generalized ability called “intelligence”, IDEAL believes that all children possess multiple intelligences (MI). IDEAL believes that intelligence is not fixed. In fact, recent brain research now proves that intelligence can be strengthened and that stronger intelligences may be used to strengthen weaker ones. Not all students know, understand, and learn in the same way. Each student possesses all eight intelligences and it is IDEAL’s goal to develop each intelligence to its full potential. Therefore, IDEAL’s philosophy of education focuses not only on how “smart” a child is but rather how is the child “smart”.
For example, when teaching Boyle’s Law (Science Concept), the IDEAL School teacher:
- Gives a written definition (Linguistic)
- Gives the students a mathematical equation (Logical-Mathematical)
- Has the students fill their mouth with air and then squeeze it to release the air (Bodily Kinesthetic)
- Has the students stand in a group and then step closer and closer (Interpersonal)
- Has the students think of a time when they had to go from multiple lines to one (Intrapersonal)
- Has the students picture squeezing a pimple on their face (Visual-Spatial & Intrapersonal)
- Has the students sing the definition to the tune of a familiar song (Musical Rhythmic)
- Has the students think about a diver coming up from a dive (Naturalist)
We employ Multiple Intelligence lessons that bring interaction and relevancy to math to build understanding, self-esteem and confidence.
Mathematics at IDEAL is based on the Pearson enVisionmath2.0 curriculum. This curriculum addresses the latest teaching strategies and ensures students are fully prepared for their mathematic futures. EnVisionmath2.0 drives the effective use of new technology to personalize learning and improve outcomes. More dynamic, interactive content objects offer expanded support of the instructional model as an authentic learning experience.
IDEAL math lessons actively engage learners, provide in-depth instruction, and translate math concepts to real -world applications. There is a teacher and assistant (as needed) in each math class during instruction and skill practice. Students who demonstrate a high level of mastery in mathematics are moved to the next grade level for math instruction and application.
*Advanced IDEAL Middle School students have the opportunity to take high school math courses such as Algebra and Geometry.
M.I. Language Arts
With a consistent focus on reading, writing, and presenting, IDEAL School’s comprehensive and challenging Language Arts curriculum prepares children for success in their future academic endeavors.
The Language Arts program is centered on a unique and carefully designed curriculum that develops students’ reading, writing, speaking and listening skills through differentiated Multiple Intelligence instruction. These engaging thematic lessons aim to develop and enhance the critical and creative thinking skills needed to become lifelong learners and innovative thinkers. The program is carefully crafted by a creative and experienced group of professionals, in order to provide continuity throughout the scholar’s educational career, as well as, foster a love of learning.
At the middle school level, students take the skills they have learned in previous years and apply them to higher level concepts using a variety of genres in literature. Students continue to use self-directed and cooperative learning to deeply explore both modern and classic literature, while still developing and strengthening the technical skills needed in both writing and reading.
At this level, scholars are given a more Socratic approach to learning wherein the child uses critical thinking skills to answer “bigger questions”, rather than be provided an answer. This inquiry-based learning approach prepares the learner to become an independent thinker and engaged problem solver in an ever-changing world. Through thematic lessons, students are exposed to a variety of rich text, as well as, a multitude of oral and written activities that develop the skills needed in preparation for entering secondary level education and beyond. Teachers incorporate differentiated instruction as needed, while promoting growth and independence in the areas of reading and writing.
*Students who demonstrate a high level of mastery in language arts are advanced to the next grade level.
The foundation of Science education is learning through hands-on exploration and experimentation. Students at IDEAL School are encouraged to develop research-based hypotheses and to achieve results through peer collaboration and ongoing faculty mentorship.
Students develop critical thinking skills and experience a sense of accomplishment by asking questions and reaching academic goals through the use of whole-brain learning techniques and the Multiple Intelligence Theory.
Each year, students learn about a new facet of science. The IDEAL School curriculum focuses on Earth Science, Physical Science, and Life Science while developing strong scientific literacy and foundational skills of scientific experimentation using the scientific method.
Students immerse themselves in scientific reading and writing tasks, research opportunities and engineering challenges. Each lesson incorporates hands-on experiences, which are supported by innovative technological tools and expert faculty guidance. Additionally, off campus learning and Skype talks with experts in various scientific fields, help to take learning beyond the classroom and to encourage students to reach their academic potential.
Finally, IDEAL School students are awarded participants each year of the Palm Beach County Science Fair.
M.I. Social Studies
At IDEAL, social studies is integrated with all the other areas throughout the school day and in conjunction with the social studies curriculum.
Challenging multiple intelligence Social Studies instruction includes internet global partnerships, debates, discussions, field trips, projects/presentations, active role-playing, and simulations that are engaging and require critical thinking. The program allows students to explain relationships with other people, institutions, and with the environment, and equips them with knowledge and understanding of the past to become responsible local, national, and global citizens.
During the three years of middle school social studies, students will study different aspects of the world. In each course, the goal is to encourage students to use their critical thinking skills and deductive reasoning to understand the world that we live in and how it continues to grow and change.
Students use primary and secondary sources to study geography, civics and finally, American history. Using these sources, the students create a variety of products to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts. Students work collaboratively on many assignments, building their interpersonal skills while working to grasp the topics of study.
The focus in Sixth Grade turns to geography. Students will study the world and the people living in it by using a variety of different resources. Seventh Grade spends their year studying the American government. The students begin by learning about the different types of government in the world; that information is then used to understand our government, how it was established, how it works and how citizens can get involved. In Eighth Grade, we return the focus to American history. During the course of the year, the students will study a variety of events beginning with the American Revolution and ending in the 20th Century.
The afternoon continues with Co-Curriculars (Physical Education 2x’s a week), Art, WIT Wheel Rotations (Project-based Learning) or EQ and IQ Electives (i.e. Guitar, Glee Club, Forensics, Hip Hop, Sign Language, Painting and Sculpture, Fashion Design, Yoga, Health & Fitness).
We believe, athletics teach skills and provide valuable experiences that cannot be replicated in other areas of school life. Physical education prepares children to be physically and mentally active, fit and healthy…for life.
In addition to the positive health effects, physical education aides in motor skill development, facilitates self-discipline and student responsibility for health, develops leadership and cooperative learning skills, strengthens peer relationships, improves self-confidence and improves academics.
The purpose of the elementary and middle school physical education program is to develop and enhance each student physically, socially, and emotionally. The physical education curriculum includes a variety of individual and team sports, fitness, dance, and cooperative team-building activities. We provide students will regular, healthful physical activity two times per week with our qualified coaches.
Coach Yamon Figurs, a former, professional NFL wide receiver directs our Physical Education Program for grades 5-8. This summer Coach Figurs is busy training as a member of the US Olympic Rugby Team! Students are put in a competitive and challenging, yet safe and healthy, environment in order to enhance their skills. Every student is encouraged to challenge themselves and reach new levels of physical fitness and acquire new sport skills.
Motor Skill Development
Responsibility for Health
Cooperative Learning Skills
Strengthens Peer Relationships
The IDEAL Art program offers the opportunity to think creatively and express ideas as well as learn problem-solving skills and communication skills. Students will have fun designing, constructing and evolving into mini Picassos all while enjoying the process of creating art…and having FUN!
The early program focuses on building a solid vocabulary based on the elements of design and composition. Children will create using a variety of media and study the work of master artists such as Georgia O’Keefe, Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Kandinsky and Rousseau. Our budding artists will embark on new adventures while exploring art genres and learning new techniques.
As students advance to dream bigger in the art program, they will be given the opportunity to unleash their creative energy and innovation. This is achieved through student exposure to various artworks, tools and media in a nurturing studio environment where imagination and artistry manifest freely in the works that are produced.
Under the tutelage and thoughtful direction of IDEAL’s theater arts teacher, Flint Keller, students in Dream Drama learn basic stage notation, stage terminology, and roles in a staged production.
Further training includes expressing character through movement and voice, and understanding plot structure and character change. While cooperating in teams to solve problems, students develop deeper sensory awareness and personal creativity. When students place themselves in other contexts—walk in others’ shoes—this bolsters empathy both in life and in reading. Dream Drama is a program students will always remember.
Each grade, fifth through eighth, will spend approximately 30-35 sessions creating a theatrical production that will be memorable for students and audiences alike.
IDEAL School utilizes the Trajectory curriculum which features Microsoft Office and Google Drive. The Trajectory curriculum includes four comprehensive units per year designed by technology experts with years of experience teaching K-8 computer literacy.
Each unit is designed to integrate current classroom studies and global issues as the academic focus. For example, students may design a brochure about their favorite explorer from their social studies curriculum. The Trajectory curriculum provides a plat-formed process designed to build technology skills from year to year that exceed national standards. Detailed, age-appropriate lessons enhance classroom content integration and allow both teacher-led and student-led activities.
Trajectory is based on a technology scope and sequence that identifies 350 learning objectives in 10 different technology areas including word processing; spreadsheets; databases; desktop publishing; graphic design and multimedia.
These literacy objectives establish the framework for a technology program that ensures continuity as students age. It also ensures that students don’t just learn the software applications, they seamlessly apply it to all aspects of the coursework.
Learning a second language starts by loving it. At IDEAL School, we provide meaningful and fun experiences for children through a range of Multiple Intelligences activities to create wonderful memories with the new language.
In addition to learning essential grammar, verbs, conjugations, vocabulary, and expressions, students are also encouraged to translate and work on pronunciation; Middle school grades are exposed to current Latin musical influences in every class, they have the opportunity to attend a Hispanic Flamenco Ballet show and to learn and practice Latin dance. Our students also have the chance to do Skype conferences with Spain and learn about their friends’ lives on the other side of the ocean.
MIDDLE SCHOOL SCHEDULE AT A GLANCE
- Festive Entry
- Emotional Intelligence Time
- Study Hall and Tutorial Period
- Core Academic Subjects (40min/each) *including Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and Spanish. With the exception of Spanish, all core classes experience a double period, block scheduling with Math and Language Arts daily.
- Fine Dining
- Co-Curricular Activity #1 (60min)
- Co-Curricular Activity #2 (60min)
- Recapitulation and Reflection – A joyful creative recall and summary of enchanting day
- Dismissal – The final component of the IDEAL day is our joyful gathering in the Village for dismissal