Our Intermediate Program begins the full departmentalization of the CBA curriculum. It is a big step up from our Primary School program, but one they are more than prepared to take. Students in grades 7 through 9 are given much more independence with which naturally comes a great deal more responsibility. They continue to use the CBA Literacy Program and participate in quarterly projects, but Regents prep begins in grade 7, allowing our students to sit for Regents exams in grade 8 and 9. We are very proud of our rigorous but supportive Intermediate School program, especially of our efforts toward building a cohesive, emotionally-sound program for these early adolescents who so frequently run into struggles during these years of life. Our teachers are masters of adolescent education, the kinds of people who truly LOVE all of the "crazy" that comes with being at this age level. Students in our Intermediate School are pushed and embraced simultaneously, giving them the support they need to grow at the rapid speeds at which these Intermediate brains are developing. These are enormously exciting years!
Our program grows quite a bit at this level, but students are still given enormous support in all academic areas. Our students with IEP's who have language exemptions spend a full academic period each day with our own, in-house special education teacher, working on their own personal SMART goals. This teacher also comes into the classrooms often, allowing for a healthy student:teacher ratio to be maintained even at these older grades. Office hours for extra help are also offered from 3:30-4:30 each Thursday across the subject areas, allowing 7th-9th graders to seek out support with any of their departmentalized instructors as needed. By increasing our student population in grade 7, we allow students at CBA to encounter new people, form new friendships, and become exposed to new ideas. We embrace our incoming 7th graders from other programs and quickly ensure that they feel like full members of the CBA family.
The start of 7th grade also allows for students to begin honing into their interests within the arts, selecting electives based on their own interests, passions, and goals. Students are guided in these choices by the arts staff, who eventually help them, in 9th grade, to determine whether they would like to declare a major within the arts. Because we firmly believe in honoring our commitments, we do require that students see through the choices they make regarding electives for the entire course of the academic year unless there is a really clear issue at work. Our Intermediate School students are exposed to much more carefully crafted training within each of the arts programs, with electives ranging from photography, art history, and architecture to vocal music, band, and music theory, as well as all styles of dance including pointe and both performance-based and craft-based disciplines in theater. The after school club offerings for students at this level are also very rich, including a coding, debate, crochet, spiritual healing, community service, 4H, and big brother/sister programs. They slowly step into leadership roles in our building during these years as well, increasing their opportunities for community service as their requirements also increase. These students have countless performance opportunities throughout the year, as well as age-appropriate and exciting opportunities for experiential learning. 9th graders eagerly await Ring Night and their promotion to the Upper School, where they embark upon their final step in the CBA journey, a step that they are well-prepared for and excited to undertake.