The Upper School (often referred to as Middle School in other academic settings) imbues students with self-advocacy in a Christ-centered learning environment. The cornerstones of the Upper School are leadership, respect, community, and service. The faculty is constantly evolving to meet the needs of adolescent students, develop a sense of self in each student, and provide academic guidance. Students switch class, gain additional independence and leadership each year, join clubs, and prepare for high school.
The Upper School employs a cross-curricular approach (social studies, literature, art) by teaching a specific topic from complementary perspectives. For example, students study ancient Greece by learning about customs and traditions in social studies, reading The Iliad in literature, and creating a Greek artifact in art. Students in the Upper School are also offered differentiated math beginning in 6th grade, with many 8th grade students taking high school algebra.
Successful Upper School students are academically and socially competent; able to work collaboratively with adults and peers; comfortable in their own ideas and opinions; and possess strong character and work ethic. Saint Agnes graduates attend the area’s outstanding Catholic, private, and public high schools. In 2011, ten percent of the class were accepted at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, widely acclaimed as the #1 high school in the country.
Highlights of the Upper School include:
- Focus on personal growth, leadership, time-management, self-discipline, and incorporating faith into daily life.
- Students gain responsibility as members of Student Council, Prayer Partners to younger students, and peer mediators.
- Eighth graders lead school-wide celebrations such as the Christmas Prayer Service and Living Stations of the Cross.
- History comes alive as students dress as Roman plebeians, create Civil War memory boxes, and host a Roaring 20’s party.
- Many eighth grade students study Algebra 1 and test into accelerated high school math.
- Students participate in Science and History Fairs; Spelling and Geography Bees; and the Diocesan Shakespeare Festival.
- All Upper School students participate weekly in clubs, including yearbook, peer mediation, chorus, greenhouse, and knitting.
- Outstanding faculty includes three male and several bi-lingual teachers.
- Seventh and eight grade students participate in InnerQuest, a day-long team-building program