Grade 8 students have the opportunity to participate in a Network Exchange Program. The selected student(s) will attend classes with her host, live with the family and steep herself in Sacred Heart heritage and tradition as it is lived out at the Network school. The primary goal of this experience is not for sightseeing, but rather to experience the rhythm of another Network School and make a connection that may last a lifetime. As part of the experience, the student who participates in this exchange will host a student, allowing for a reciprocal exchange and a strong bond between the girls to form. To participate in this experience, students complete a written application and personal interview.
Middle School for Girls students are offered a wide variety of activities and programs throughout the year. Guest speakers broaden the students' horizons through presentations and performances.
Faith in Action
In keeping with Goal One – a personal and active faith in God – spiritual life is blended into daily activities. The advisory groups offer opportunities for intentions and prayer, as well as beginning morning assemblies with prayer. Prayer services take place during each six-day cycle. Liturgies are all-school events where students and adults participate musically, act as altar servers, share in the intentions and serve as readers. Monthly service projects are present throughout the year to focus on ways to improve the lives of those in our community and around the world. Each class also participates in an annual retreat. Reflection and prayer, combined with active participation, creates hope for change and students' futures.
Based on the Middle School philosophy and the Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart, students meet several times per week in their advisory groups. These groups are created by dividing each class into smaller groupings. The advisory groups allow students to form a personal relationship with a teacher outside the larger community. Students have time to talk, share both talents and concerns, present ideas and participate in activities. This precious time allows students to express feelings and share thoughts within a safe environment.
Committees are an opportunity to empower students to take action and responsibility for building a stronger Middle School for Girls environment. As part of the learning process for building leadership skills, students are asked to look at the MSG community, determine a need or desire and create a committee to address the matter. Once those needs are named, students learn to take their ideas from brainstorming, through planning to execution. Students organize, set up a plan, and implement that plan under the guidance of the adult facilitator. The goal is to learn some of the skills of leadership as well as how to examine failures and successes (Goals III and V).
Opportunities for Growth
i-Explore is student-centered, passion-based learning. Experiential learning is a cornerstone of middle school philosophy. Students problem-solve, incorporate a variety of critical thinking skills, and use their imagination. The heart of this model is to recognize the individual needs of the students as they embark on individual learning plans. Each student creates a log of her progress, pitfalls and successes. Final output projects utilize technology, integrating 21 Things 4 Students, an educational and online resource to help students improve their technology proficiency as they prepare for success in the 21st century.
Middle School for Girls adds educational travel experiences for each class in the spring to extend their learning beyond our own local area to visit various locations around the United States. Grade 5 explores the city of Detroit, Grade 6 takes a two-day trip to St. Louis to learn about our Sacred Heart heritage, Grade 7 participates in an advanced outdoors program at Camp Tamarack and Grade 8 enjoys Washington, D.C.
Interscholastic athletic competition begins in middle school. Team sports include: basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, tennis and volleyball. The “no cut” athletic policy provides an appropriate placement for every student who has the desire and commitment to participate on a team, whether by learning the basic skills of a sport or through spirited competition. Teams play other area and independent schools.