St. Paul's School for Girls

Grades 5-12 All-Girls Middle and Upper School

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Leadership and Character Education

At SPSG all girls learn to lead and advocate for themselves and others. We prepare girls for leadership by integrating communication, collaboration, advocacy and decision making throughout our Middle School program.

Advisors foster each girl’s confidence and connection to the school, and our dedicated Middle School faculty cultivate a vibrant and respectful learning community. Students are encouraged to express their voices and to celebrate their individuality while learning to value multiple perspectives.

Whether participating in the Middle School student government association, preparing an eighth grade speech, volunteering to be a Green Key (admissions) host, captaining a team, performing in the middle school musical, contributing to the middle school yearbook, or serving on a school-wide advisory board for environmental initiatives or community service, our Middle School students develop the confidence to take healthy risks, demonstrate initiative, and serve as empathetic, ethical leaders.

Advisory

Supportive student-teacher relationships are the cornerstone of our community. Through such relationships, our advisory program cultivates the development of confident, joyful, and healthy young women. Each student is assigned an advisor annually, and together, with seven to ten other students in her grade, the group navigates the academic and socio-emotional elements of its middle years. Advisors facilitate discussions surrounding life skills and diversity, as well as report cards, goals for the year, and hopes and dreams. SPSG’s signature character education curriculum is delivered through this program as students and faculty explore the Middle School Value themes of the month together Themes include confidence, empathy, inclusivity, leadership, mindfulness, respect and more. Advisory is also a place for celebrating SPSG traditions and individual accomplishments. The advisor serves as the point person for the student and her family.

Chapel

Similar to all-school Prayers, Chapel is a unique opportunity for all students, faculty, and staff to join together on Tuesday mornings. Chapel is led by the school chaplain and student acolytes. Its structure is guided by Episcopal tradition, though an effort is made to represent all major religions in various ways. The theme of each week’s chapel service is set by the Chaplain, who often partners with student representatives, the school counselor, diversity coordinator, and other administrators to identify topics that speak to all students. Themes range from friendship and empathy, to inclusion, self-awareness, and respect.

Diversity & Equity

We strongly believe that a diverse and inclusive environment is the best learning environment for our girls, as it prepares them to live, work and thrive in an increasingly global and multicultural community. The themes of diversity and equity are intentionally woven into the School’s character education curriculum, which is implemented through the advisory program, life skills classes, outside speakers and core academics classes. Lessons lay the groundwork for developing a common language about diversity, and creating an atmosphere conducive to open and honest dialogue. Students also have the opportunity to be a part of the Middle School Student Diversity Leadership Group, where they are tasked with helping to develop a community where each girl's individual story and experiences are heard and embraced. The members of this group will be trained on facilitating difficult conversations as well as encouraged to find ways to celebrate the differences within our community.

Life Skills Program

Students in grades 5-7 take part in a semester-long enrichment class dedicated to character education and navigating the middle grades. The class is discussion based and focused on helping students develop self-awareness, empathy and a greater understanding of adolescence. The curricula for each course is set by the school counselor with input from students.

The 8th grade participates in special programming that aims to prepare them for the transition to Upper School. With the assistance from Upper School peer educators and outside speakers and our school counselors, 8th grade students continue to develop confidence and sense of self.

Prayers

All SPSG students (grades 5-12) join together for Prayers on Monday and Friday mornings. This student-run convocation allows us to begin the day as a community and enables middle and upper school students to share in the celebration of SPSG traditions, such as senior speeches, "Fun Fridays", and theatre and dance previews. It is also a venue for school-wide announcements, guest speakers, special performances and recognition ceremonies.

Middle School students enjoy a separate Middle School Prayers every Wednesday morning. It is similar to that of all-school Prayers, but is run by the Middle School Student Government Association. This helps middle school students begin to develop their leadership skills on a smaller stage.

Religious Studies

The Religious Studies program occupies a unique space within the middle school program. Study of sacred texts offers students the opportunity for self-reflection and spiritual exploration. In their religious studies classes, students engage in meaningful dialogue, collaborative assignments and individual reflection. Looking at religious interpretation from different viewpoints and traditions exposes students to a variety of perspectives and ideas, while allowing them to understand the role of religion in life, society, history and today.

  • The 5th grade curriculum focuses on developing cultural literacy and the five major world religions. 
  • 6th grade narrows its scope of study to Christianity as students begin to build a foundation of understanding of our School history and the Episcopal faith. 
  • 7th grade introduces students to the structure and the content of the Bible, specifically the Old Testament.
  • 8th grade focuses on ethics, leadership and service using the New Testament as a springboard for discussion.

Service

Founded in the Episcopal tradition, St. Paul’s School for Girls embraces service and outreach as a major component of our program. Year-long service projects provide a depth of understanding about local and global issues, and we encourage the students to think outside of themselves and empower them to fuse creativity, empathy, and leadership skills to affect change. The 5th grade focuses on homelessness, food, and hunger and partners with Paul's Place to help meet the need in the Baltimore community; 6th grade expands their understanding of the needs in the community to include sustainability and healthy neighborhoods through its work with Habitat for Humanity and Real Foods Farm; 7th grade turns its attention to the young and the elderly and works with lower school students and residents of Pickersgill Retirement Community; 8th grade advocates for students with disabilities and works with the Ridge Ruxton school.

Student Leadership

 

Student Government Association 
The Student Government Association is a group of 8th grade leaders who have been elected by their peers to guide the division. Students develop initiatives to enhance student life and participate in the decision-making process throughout the year. The SGA president plans and runs Middle School Prayers each week, taking care to inform the student body of upcoming events, highlighting the character or value theme for the month, supporting 8th grade speeches, and engaging the rest of the division in "Wacky Wednesday" games and trivia. SGA officers model the qualities of empathy, inclusion, positivity, joy, stewardship and community activism. The SGA also participates in a series of leadership workshops with peers from the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women.

Student Diversity Committee
The Student Diversity Committee is dedicated to promoting inclusion and dialogue surrounding diversity at SPSG. The group partners with both the school counselor and the faculty advisor to plan advisory activities, discussion groups, and division-wide programming throughout the year. Middle School students may self-select to be a part of the committee.

8th Grade Yearbook
Members of the 8th grade class are invited to join the yearbook staff during the second semester of their final year in middle school. Student co-editors team
with the 8th grade dean to produce a full-color paperback memoir that reflects highlights from the class's time in the middle division.

Athletics
Middle School athletics at SPSG provides students with the opportunity to learn leadership skills outside the classroom. The goal of the program is to help students realize the importance of a positive attitude, a great work ethic and a strong commitment to the team. Coaches work with each athlete to help instill these qualities and develop confident leaders.

Arts
The stage provides a venue for honing leadership skills such as collaboration, communication, problem solving, resilience and more. SPSG middle school students have the opportunity to participate in small and large-scale productions throughout the year. From performing in homologues and one-act plays, to joining the cast of the joint middle school musical with St. Paul's, or singing in the spring choral concert, opportunities for leadership through the arts are prevalent in the division. 

Green Key 
Middle Schoolers have the opportunity to serve as ambassadors for the School, hosting prospective students and giving tours throughout the year.

 

Reading Buddies
Middle School students are paired with students in the Lower School at St. Paul’s for the Reading Buddies program, which affords each the opportunity to serve as a leader and role model for the younger boys and girls. Students join together to read books, practice math skills, and enjoy downtime. 8th graders are paired with 4th graders, 7th with 3rd, 6th with 2nd, and 5th with 1st. Students stay with their buddies throughout Middle School, which allows them to develop strong bonds over the course of the four years.

 

Peer Mentors
The peer mentoring program allows about 8 selected 7th grade students with a diverse range of interests, backgrounds, skills and talents, and character traits to actively teach and talk with younger students in grades 4-6 throughout the year. Leadership is one of the nine core values used in our signature character education and advisory programs and is a mission driven hallmark of our community. Peer mentors are trained to teach students lessons related to the middle/lower school value themes, participate as reading buddies in the SP Lower School, continue to improve and implement a 4th grade transition program, and more. Peer Mentors also work closely with the SP Middle School Peer Mentors to create and teach lessons grounded in our mission. These collaborative efforts build a strong on-campus community as well as team-like atmosphere at our schools.

Peer Mentors are coached by the Middle School Counselor and are expected to maintain strong character and sound decision making in order to set positive examples.

 

 

ST. PAUL'S SCHOOL FOR GIRLS
11232 Falls Road
P.O. Box 8000
Brooklandville, Maryland 21022
TEL: 410-823-6323
SECURITY: 443-862-2294
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