Middle School

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Middle School Facts

Landon Middle School infographic, average class size 14, 15 mini-mester classes offered

Your Middle School Experience

Who leads the Middle School?

Landon Middle School leader, sitting on a wall with three students, in conversation

Erin Duffy, who has served the Landon community since 2007, is the Head of the Middle School. She has worked as the assistant head of the Middle School, a dean, technology coordinator, history teacher, and basketball coach among other positions. 

The power of community is one reason Duffy loves J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. "I enjoy delving back into the world of Harry Potter because it is set in a school, there is a constant sense of adventure, and the characters of Harry, Hermione and Ron remind me of the inherent goodness of people," she said. "Their actions are inspired by a sense of love and spirit of teamwork that offer compelling models for kids and adults."

Before arriving at Landon, Duffy worked at Mercersburg Academy (PA), Wilbraham & Monson Academy (MA), and St. Brendan School (CT). She was a four-year member and captain of the women's basketball team at Williams College. Duffy also graduated from Taft School (CT), where she earned 12 varsity letters playing soccer, basketball and softball.

What will my day be like?

Students arrive around 8 a.m. to catch up with friends in their homeroom or talk with teachers, and classes begin at 8:05 a.m. Landon School has an eight-day class cycle, so your schedule changes from day to day. That means you will take subjects at different times each day to experience every class when you are energetic and focused.

To make sure you are ready to learn when you are in the classroom, you will never have more than two classes in a row. In addition to daily recess and lunch to break up your classes, you will have study halls, school meetings, a long advisory period (where you meet with your designated faculty advisor and other advisees), and a small-group discussion about ethics. We have dedicated reading and book club time each week, and each day ends with sports from 2:30–3:40 p.m.

Landon middle school boy at work, concentrating on creating a painting

What classes will I have?

The Middle School curriculum is made up of five core academic subjects: English, history, math (honors options available), science, and a world language of your choice (Chinese, French, Latin or Spanish). You will also take a studio arts class and either meet regularly with a music group or take a theatrical arts class, depending on how you choose to fulfill the Middle School’s performing arts requirement.

Grade 6 students take a “foundations” course to teach them important study skills, learn about U.S. history from the 1830s to the present in social studies, and learn about the human body and how to program robots in life science class.

Form I (Grade 7) boys explore the greater world and its diverse cultures in geography class, and learn about meteorology, geology, astronomy and more through hands-on investigations in earth science class.

Form II (Grade 8) students learn about ancient history through the early Medieval period, tackle algebra, learn to become master writers in English class, and take a once-a-cycle health and wellness class.

Do I get my own computer at school?

Landon Middle school boy works on a touch screen tablet with their teacher

Landon is rolling out a new technology program for 2019-20. This year, students in Grades 6-7 will have computers provided to them in school. Grade 8 students can participate in our Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program, which means you can purchase your own computer and bring it to school.

In 2020-21, Landon will own and provide a Microsoft Surface Pro computer to each Grade-7-8 student, while Grade 6 students will each have a Chromebook. Students will take these computers home as needed, but all devices will be turned in at the end of the school year. In 2021-22, all three grades will be issued Surface Pros for use at school and home. 

What if I need extra help with schoolwork?

We understand that every boy learns differently. If you need extra help, your teachers and the Middle School specialist from our Center for Teaching and Learning Resources will work with you and your parents to develop a plan tailored to your strengths and needs so you can improve academically, complete your work on time, and develop a sense of confidence in your learning style. Please click here to see our Center for Teaching and Learning Resources policies and accommodations.

How will I keep track of my grades?

In order to help Middle School Bears manage their academic lives, you will have access to your grades online. We want you to have greater ownership as a student and take the lead in your academic experience, and to develop skills essential to your development as confident, self-sufficient, and communicative young men. Advisors, grade level deans and learning specialists are eager to help you learn how to handle academic conversations with teachers as this will be a skill you will need in college and beyond.

 

Where do I sit for lunch?

Landon middle school students and teachers enjoy lunch in the restaurant

Lunch tables are assigned and change every month, with one teacher at each table. Twice a week, there is free seating, and you may sit wherever you want. Sixth, seventh and eighth graders eat lunch together at 11:40 a.m. Lunch is included in the cost of tuition. Our provider, SAGE Dining, offers three different hot meal stations each day, as well as salad, soup and fresh fruit. Dessert is usually served once a week on Friday.

What sports can I play?

Landon soccer team in action on the field

In addition to daily recess, every Middle School boy plays sports from 2:30–3:40 p.m. each day. You can choose from several interscholastic options each season or play intramurals, which include a variety of sports and games. Our 13 interscholastic options are listed below.

  • Fall: Cross country, football (tackle and flag), soccer, water polo
  • Winter: Basketball, ice hockey, squash, street hockey, swimming, wrestling
  • Spring: Baseball, golf, lacrosse, tennis, track and field

Do I have to play sports every season?

Yes. At Landon, we believe sports are a fun way for you to bond with your classmates and learn about the values of perseverance, teamwork, and healthy living. That is why every middle schooler participates in athletics — interscholastic or intramural — every school day. There are 13 interscholastic options so you can test your skills against other schools. You can also choose to participate in intramurals, where fitness and friendly competition with classmates are the focus. Click here to see a full list of options by season.

Can I do both sports and art?

Arts, like sports, are a required part of your day. You will take a studio art class each year that you are in Middle School to develop your skills in painting, drawing, sculpting, and other mediums.

To fulfill your performing arts requirement, you have two options. First, you can participate in a music group of your choice — Band, Chorus, Handbells or Strings — that performs for the school, the greater community, at competitions near and far, and at noteworthy local venues such as the Kennedy Center. You can also audition for the Jazz Ensemble, which is made up primarily of Upper School boys.

Landon student ringing hand bells

Second, you can take a theatrical arts class that provides in-depth acting training, as well as instruction in behind-the-scenes areas such as lighting and set design. Whether you take this class or not, you can — and are encouraged to — take part in the two Middle School plays staged annually with your peers at Holton-Arms. Recent productions include Oliver Twist, the Disney musicals High School Musical Jr. and The Lion King Jr. , and Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Is community service required?

While community service is voluntary at Landon, we offer a wide range of opportunities to serve others, and most boys participate in at least one project. The Middle School partners with 17 organizations to provide you with community service options, and nearly 40 events are scheduled for the 2019–20 school year. You can work with Special Olympics athletes during basketball games hosted in Landon’s gym, serve meals to the homeless with Thrive DC, help organize household items for families-in-need at A Wider Circle, or clean up local trails for the good of the environment.

Landon teacher in the classroom with a group of students

Are there field trips?

Landon boys on a field trip

 

Our location in Bethesda, close to Washington, D.C., provides so many field trip opportunities, and you will take both day trips and overnight trips to extend classroom learning and have fun with your Bear brothers and teacher-coach-mentors.

For example, each grade takes an outdoor adventure trip in the fall where students both bond with one another and learn that they are capable of far more than you know. Grade 6 does a two-night trip to Echo Hill, Form I does a day trip to Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School, and Form II participates in camping, hiking, and environmental education through Experience Learning in West Virginia.

Each spring you will participate in our two-day Mini-Mester program, where you select a course of study that interests you and often travel to locations around the D.C. area — including the U.S. Naval Academy, the National Mall, the Spy Museum, the National Air and Space Museum, and Great Falls — to learn outside the classroom. And Form II students close out their time in the Middle School with a rafting trip in June.

Are there extracurricular clubs?

Each year, members of our faculty and staff sponsor several extracurricular clubs that meet before or after the regular school day at no extra cost to families. Clubs, which usually meet once a week. change from year to year. In 2019-20, we have Math Club, Jazz Band, Junior Bearitones (singing), Strategic Games, Debate Society and the Multicultural Student Alliance.

Are there fun events?

Middle school students bond and celebrate at one of the fun events at Landon

Each Halloween, Middle School boys compete against each other and students from the Lower School in our annual Pumpkin Races, where they race pumpkins they have decorated and outfitted with wheels. Another highlight of the year is our Mini-Mester program, when you have a special two-day program on topics ranging from superheroes to spies. 

You will also bond with Bears from the Lower, Middle and Upper Schools when you all work together in our One Landon Days program, which includes a field day, service events, and special performances. Our annual Azalea Festival offers middle schoolers the opportunity to enjoy rides and games. And our Bears attend football and other athletic events, see drama and concert performances, and enjoy school dances throughout the year. 

Who can I ask if I have questions?

Landon teacher and student working together in the classroom, both smiling

Landon teacher-coach-mentors will always be there for you. The same men and women who teach you in the classroom also coach you on the athletics field, advise you on the Student Council, lead after-school clubs, and direct you on the stage.

In addition to your teachers, you have a faculty advisor, a grade-level dean, a dean of students, and a guidance counselor to talk to. You will meet with your advisor several times during an eight-day cycle — both one on one and in groups with other students — to discuss what is happening at school, in your life, or in the world around us.

Will I have the opportunity to travel internationally?

Landon boy carries another Landon boy on a field trip to Belize

If you'd like to expand your horizons internationally and immerse yourself in a foreign culture, you can participate in one of our summer "Global Journeys." Grade 6 students have the opportunity to travel to the Spanish-speaking Central American country of Costa Rica, live among locals, engage in service activities, and explore what makes the country unique. Activities include a waterfall hike, coffee farm tour and surfing lessons.

Students in Forms I and II (Grades 7 and 8) from both Landon and Holton-Arms have the opportunity to travel to English-speaking Belize to live among indigenous peoples in four different communities. Activities include visiting Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve and Xunatunich Mayan Ruins National Park, taking surfing lessons, and snorkeling in the Caribbean Ocean at night to learn about local marine life.

How will I make new friends?

Landon boys laughing, standing in a row arm in arm, with spots of paint all over their shirts

Our class sizes average 14 students in the Middle School, so you will get to know your classmates well. Sports, theatrical arts, music groups, lunch, clubs, and advisory groups offer other ways to meet and bond with new people from your grade and others. We have assigned tables for lunch, we require athletics and arts, and there are dances and other special events to help you meet as many people as possible and make connections with friends, teammates, castmates, teachers and other members of our community.

At the start of your Middle School career, you will participate in an orientation to help you get to know other new students. You will also be named to one of eight Bear Teams, made up of approximately 30 students (7–10 from each Middle School grade), and stay on that team throughout your Landon career. 

 

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Middle School Calendar

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Mondzac Performing Arts Center

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