Middle School Life Skills Program
The Life Skills Program of Francis Parker Middle School provides students with tools and skills that help them navigate their adolescent years with more awareness, confidence, independence, and self-reliance. The end goal is to help them make healthy and balanced decisions in their lives. In order to be sustainable, the program is interwoven into the academic curriculum.
The Life Skills Program is designed to:
- encourage students to reflect upon their experiences
- help students develop healthy social relationships
- teach skills that help students become resilient and effective communicators, including teaching the value of personal reflection
- educate the whole child through consideration and discussion of formative aspects of adolescence
- integrate academic achievement with social and emotional well-being.
As part of the Life Skills program, Middle School students take part in a program of Character Education and Community Awareness.
Essential Questions by Grade Level
Each grade explores a specific Essential Question throughout their Life Skills Training. That question is explored in the context of personal management, organization and study habits, and health and nutrition in order to give Middle School students specific and easily applicable skills.
The Essential Questions by grade are:
Sixth Grade: Am I self-aware?
Seventh Grade: Do I know how to be a positive member of a group?
Eighth Grade: Am I ready for the challenges beyond middle school, including becoming a member of a larger, more global community?
The Life Skills Program Format
A six-week Middle School Orientation will kick off the Life Skills Program in grade six, establishing expectations, teaching sixth graders about middle school structures, and providing keys to success over the next three years. The majority of the program will be taught during the daily advisory period. During this orientation, a week-long emotional intelligence curriculum will be shared with the students. The essential question for the 6th grade Life Skills Program is: Am I self-aware?
The program will continue in seventh grade, turning its attention to engaging students in dialogue about what it means to be a member of group. Seventh grade is one of the largest intake years at Francis Parker during which the class community grows by more than thirty students. The essential question for the 7th grade Life Skills Program is: Do I know how to be a positive member of a group? Discussions in 7th grade LSP will revolve around healthy friendships, sportsmanship, healthy eating, group and community formation, identity development and personal integrity, life changes that accompany adolescence, and prejudice and stereotypes.
As the final year of middle school, in eighth grade the program will focus on identity formation, decision-making, personal safety, personal relationship management, and boundary formation and management. Discussions surrounding these issues will allow students to reflect upon themselves and how their personal experiences have prepared them for the challenges after middle school. The essential question for the 8th grade Life Skills Program is: Am I ready for the challenges beyond middle school, including becoming a member of a larger, more global community?