In addition to the core curriculum, middle school students also study art, drama, and music throughout the school year. The art program exposes students to drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, and fabric arts. Grounded in the principles of Orff Schulwerk, our middle school music program offers students the opportunity to engage with music through improvisation, composition, and performance on a variety of instruments. Drama students move through a social justice and performance-based curriculum. They explore topics such as acting, playwriting, scenic and costume design, dramaturgy, and direction.
CDS middle schoolers also rotate through two additional specialist classes each year, spending one semester in each. This rotation consists of Innovation Lab and Food and Agricultural Sciences (FAS). In the Innovation Lab, or iLab, students tackle design and engineering challenges using a variety of equipment, including a laser cutter, 3D printer, circuit-building materials, and numerous carpentry and metal-working tools. In Food and Agricultural Sciences, students investigate the science behind where our food comes from as well as social justice issues related to food and nutrition.
A weekly “Navigating” class period dedicated to study skills, social-emotional development, and media literacy supplements the advisory program. In 8th grade, students also use “Navigating MS” class time to prepare their high school applications.