Upper School – 4th – 5th Grades

Transition from Elementary to Secondary

The Upper School program at IVMS is an innovative solution to support students as they transition from our elementary level to the increased independence of our secondary program. Students from 4th through 6th grades  participate in the Upper School program. At the Venice campus, learning environments (LE) 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7 will form the Upper School campus.  Students in LE 8 at the Sarasota campus will maintain a close connection to their peers in Venice through common field trips, performances, and other activities.

Balancing the Curriculum Between Core Subjects and Creativity

For Upper School students, the school day provides a balance of academic inquiry and opportunities for movement and creativity. Students will spend most of the day in their homerooms studying core subjects such as reading, writing, social studies, math, and science.They will gain proficiency with a variety of technologies ranging from word processing to online skills as they learn to express themselves and safely explore the digital world. Integrated into the afternoons, students will participate in various electives called studios. These electives may vary based on the interests of each group of students, but will include opportunities for focused study in areas of physical education, foreign language, visual arts, technology, drama, choir, instrumental performance, and general music.

Contracts of Work: From Work Plan to Syllabus

Students’ academic work will be organized using multi-week contracts of study (similar to a syllabus and extension of the one-week elementary work plan) listing a menu of assignments. Using the contract/syllabus, students will learn to schedule their time as they complete assignments ordered by interest and ability. The Upper School faculty encourage students to strive for excellence in all core areas as well as foster independence as students learn research skills and take responsibility for independent follow-up assignments. The faculty support this independence with individualized lessons and supplementary materials to engage and empower all learners. There is also time built into the day for exercises in leadership and community building such as class meetings, peer mentoring, and community service.

Finding Out More About the Upper School Program

The best way to learn more about our Upper School program is to visit the  class pages organized around the Upper School portal. This portal will be available in the Fall of 2015. While close collaboration is encouraged, each learning environment is unique. While we strive for every student to reach their academic potential each year, our long term goal is to provide a nurturing and holistic educational experience that honors individual abilities, passions, and talents.