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Our Philosophy

Leave a Place Better Than You Found It is the motto of the Middle School. We like to think of our Middle School as a vibrant and joyful community where students are happy to come to school. Teachers are also happy to come to work because they have the freedom to develop and implement exciting and engaging curricula. They also genuinely like Middle Schoolers; unlike other Middle Schools where high school and elementary school teachers "cross over" to teach Middle School, Wheeler's Middle School teachers are dedicated experts in the age group. They are also dedicated in the sense that their collective goal is to know every student as an individual. It is the norm that a teacher has detailed mental list of a student's strengths and weakness as well as knowing the her dog's name and ice cream preference. Students thrive knowing that while the academic, social, and individual standards are high, they are an integral part of a community of adults and peers who will support them.

This educational philosophy, outlook, and approach results in exciting and innovative programming. Unique to the Wheeler Middle School is the Sixth-grade Farm Program, a unique educational opportunity that takes education out-of-doors to our nearby property in Seekonk, Massachusetts. Other distinguishing features of our program are a series of courses on Unity & Diversity, an emphasis on environmental action, and our initiatives in place-based education, using the city of Providence to inform curriculum.

Daily Life in Middle School

Daily life in Wheeler's Middle School is an exciting mix of serious work and serious fun. Classes engage students and inspire their curiosity. The daily schedule of a Middle Schooler reveals much about daily life. School starts at 8:00am with an emphasis on community either in homerooms or in assemblies. Sixth graders spend a majority of time in their homerooms with their homeroom teachers in Language Arts, Social Studies, and homeroom periods. Other classes offer a time to travel to other rooms and sometimes other parts of the campus. In this way, 6th grade is very similar to an elementary school model but with a Middle School twist. Their older counterparts in 7th and 8th grade travel more from class to class and spend less time in homeroom. Modern Language and Math meet every day. All other classes meet either four days a week (English, History, or Science) or two days a week (Art, Performing Arts, Physical Education).

Students end their day not in classes but in either a study hall, extra help sessions with teachers, or in elective classes offered by the Aerie Enrichment Program (see department list above). For some students the school day doesn’t end at 3:00pm. About half of our students, depending on the season, participate in after school athletics at Wheeler’s Farm. The day begins with a sense of community and ends in the same way. In between, students engage in rich and engaging learning, connect closely with one another and their teachers, and have fun.

Young Un, Middle School Head

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