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Celebrating Girls, Celebrating Boys

No other three-year period in a young child’s life contains more growth—of mind, of body, of social awareness, and of character—than the middle school years. At Cranbrook Schools, we welcome and embrace this period of change by providing the ideal situation: a single-gender educational setting for boys and girls.

Parents understand there is something intrinsically different in the way girls and boys learn. The education of boys and girls is something Cranbrook has been committed to since its founding. Our single-gender middle school model ensures that boys and girls feel free to take constructive risks in those critical years.
"At the Middle School for Girls, we focus on girls and how they learn. We have intentionally created a learning environment that nurtures confidence, creativity, leadership and character development."


"Energized and curious, middle school boys are primed for learning and doing. We shape the program to address the ways that boys develop their range of abilities and depth of understanding. We are preparing them to be good citizens."


Explore Our Curriculum

Core Academic Courses

List of 5 items.

  • English

    The Middle School English Program develops students’ skills in a variety of ways.  During the three-year program, students read a diverse selection of literature, including novels, short stories, poetry, plays, and biographies.  As students progress from one grade level to the next, they develop a more thorough understanding of the complexities of the elements of literature (plot, character development, themes, etc.)  They develop their analytical abilities by applying a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. 

    Students use the writing process and develop writing skills through exploring a variety of genres: expository, narrative, descriptive, persuasive, and critical (i.e. responding to literature).  Projects, speeches, skits, debates, and regular group discussions develop speaking and listening skills.  Grammar and usage concepts become more complex each year, and vocabulary study is derived from literature.  
  • Global Studies & History

    The Middle School Social Science Program promotes a deepened understanding of the heritage of civilization, cultural diversity, democracy and civic responsibility, global interdependence, and relationships between humans and their natural environments.
    Students gain competence at processing information, reasoning, expressing their thoughts, and participating in society. They become equipped to participate responsibly in the political process of a free society and to work cooperatively with their fellow citizens.
    Students develop a heightened respect for the rights and dignity of all. They learn to consider various solutions to social problems, to make rational judgments about public issues, and to act in accordance with the values of a democratic society.
  • Mathematics

    The Middle School mathematics program is committed to placing students in classes where they will thrive and be challenged to the best of their abilities. We do not have any remedial math classes. Teachers are available for extra help to students experiencing difficulties.

    The Math 6, Math 7, Pre-Algebra 8 pathway provides a rich mathematical experience with significant guidance and support. A major goal in this sequence is continual review and reinforcement of basic math as well as new concepts, thus creating a comprehensive program that prepares students for Algebra I in the ninth grade.

    The Honors 6, Pre-Algebra, Algebra I pathway is designed for students who are developmentally ready for the challenges of a complete algebra curriculum in eighth grade. It is a challenging curriculum requiring more outside preparation and student independence. Students following this sequence are expected to keep at least a B average to advance to the next class.

    The Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Geometry pathway is designed for those students who have already mastered the math skills and problem-solving strategies central to the study of Pre-Algebra when they enter in sixth grade. This pathway requires students to meet the challenges of an algebra curriculum in seventh grade, and the developmental readiness for Geometry in eighth grade. This intensive study of mathematics requires significant outside preparation. Students following this sequence are expected to keep at least a B average to advance to the next class.

    Math placement is not an exact science. We work very hard to place each student in a math class where they will thrive and be challenged. However, developmental changes in students require us to be flexible, and students may need to change pathways. We believe the best fit is found when school, parent, and student work together.
  • Science

    The Middle School Science Program emphasizes learning through a combination of teacher-directed lessons and interactive lab activities.  Throughout their three years students learn ways to improve their use of the scientific method.  Students are provided with regular opportunities to use their skills of observation, prediction, measurement, and drawing conclusions.  An emphasis is placed on integrating classroom technology into appropriate lessons and labs. The Cranbrook campus provides teachers the opportunity to leave the classroom and visit other unique locations for lessons.  These sites include the Cranbrook campus, the Cranbrook Institute of Science and other regional points of interest.
  • World Language

    The Middle School World Languages Program is composed of grade-level courses, which constitute an introductory curriculum.  Students entering the sixth grade choose to study French, Latin, or Spanish and continue with their choice through the eighth grade. Students entering the program in the seventh or the eighth grade will be assessed on an individual basis for placement. The world languages curriculum develops an appreciation for foreign culture and promotes the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing in the target language.  The student’s performance and achievement will culminate in a recommendation for continuation in the Upper School program.  Students entering the ninth grade may follow the recommendations and/or pursue another language.    

Semester & Elective Courses

List of 4 items.

  • Human Development

    Human Development is a comprehensive three-year health program, designed to teach students about important issues that are confronted during adolescence. The curriculum focuses on the physical as well as emotional changes that accompany this stage of life. The lessons encourage questioning, self-exploration, and classroom discussion. The overall theme is making positive choices and developing decision-making skills. 
  • Performing Arts

    All students enrolled in performing arts classes participate actively in classroom rehearsals and, in most cases, perform music and theatrical selections in public.  Plays and vocal or instrumental music are selected primarily for the quality of the literature.  Interest in the appreciation of diversity not only allows but encourages reading stories of all races, religions, and nationalities, as well as, singing songs and playing culturally-based music. Better understanding comes through sharing the musical heritages and interests of others.
  • Physical Education

    All middle school students participate in physical education every other day.  Emphasis is on participation, sportsmanship, and skill development rather than competition.  The program includes specific activities associated  with health, fitness and activities such as:

    Flag football
    Floor hockey
    Ultimate frisbee

    Field Hockey
  • Visual Art

    This course gives students a hands-on exposure to a variety of studio arts, both two-dimensional and three-dimensional.  The students practice basic techniques and psychomotor skills that lead to the completion of projects in a number of studio areas.