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Middle School

Grades 5, 6, 7, 8

Honoring Students as the Amazing,
Inquisitive People They Are

The hallmark of Harley’s Middle School is the close relationships our outstanding teachers forge with their students. Their passion for supporting, engaging, guiding, and challenging pre- and early teens can be seen in action every day.  

Our curriculum, both innovative and challenging, coupled with enriching electives, modified sports, and afterschool opportunities gives students a well-rounded school experience. Each child’s journey is different and our small class sizes allow students to grow positively as they develop. 

Social-emotional Learning 

We continue social-emotional learning (SEL) throughout Middle School. 

SEL is the process through which tweens and teens learn to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. This provides a holistic atmosphere which address adolescent development in many dimensions.

Areas of Focus:

  • self-awareness
  • self-management
  • social awareness
  • relationship skills
  • responsible decision-making

By continuing to practice and learn these skills, students become better equipped at managing feelings and peer relations and handling stress.

Middle School Experiences

Flex Time Electives

Our Middle School students can choose from a variety of flex time electives such as: podcasting, Harley Makers, digital drawing, running club, guitar, community service, and many more.

Modified HAC Sports

The Harley School and Allendale Columbia School maintain 18 Section V teams to provide a wide variety of athletic options for students of all levels.

Our teams provide your tween with an opportunity to develop physically, mentally, and emotionally while participating in  interscholastic athletics. 

HAC Athletics website

Middle School Expedition Week

Every year in the month of May, the entire middle school participates in “Expedition Week.” This is a week full of exciting activity designed to help students connect the dots between the ‘real-world’ and what’s learned inside the classroom.  

In addition to real-world learning, field trips fulfill an important social-emotional role. Research shows students who go on field trips become more empathetic and tolerant.

Experiential Learning

We emphasize hands-on, often cross-disciplinary projects, which allow students to be guided by curiosity, to be challenged by critical thinking, and to be engaged in deep levels of problem-solving.
Experiential learning is student-centered with an emphasis on flexible, open learning outcomes. A primary goal is to develop knowledge and skills through experience.

Our Middle School is a safe place for students to learn, develop, explore and grow. Our experienced faculty understand that this is a critical time of transition, and with it comes new experiences, new schedules, and new responsibilities.

Our class sizes are small and our faculty intentionally focus on each student as an individual, providing a challenging, hands-on learning environment that prepares our students for the social and academic demands of middle school, upper school and beyond.

MS foodlink

As members of the Harley community, students in our Middle School learn the importance of personal responsibility. They are expected to contribute positively to the daily life of the school as we work together to maintain a safe and healthy learning environment where mutual respect and civility are valued and practiced.

Middle School students are encouraged and supported, yet given the opportunity to apply the skills they have developed in the Lower School, while stretching them to further develop the skills they need for the Upper School. It is during these years that our students learn to fly–they are given the freedom to explore independence as they embrace responsibility.

Joy in growing. Middle School is a time to learn the art of being a student. We nurture and support our students individually, while providing academically challenging and authentic work.

MS Erosion table

At Harley, our program has strong roots in traditional education, focusing on academic areas such as mathematics, reading, writing, the sciences, language, physical health and the arts. But our unique approach takes each of these subjects one step further by emphasizing skill development, growth of the whole child, and helping students learn thematically while seeking and finding joy in learning.

Our students learn to develop oral and written communication skills, mathematical computation and reasoning, scientific inquiry, computer literacy, proficiency in a second language, and how to research, problem solve, and more.

And that’s just the beginning…

We discover together.

Our dedicated faculty work with Middle Schoolers by choice. They understand their students and embrace the notion that children this age (10 to 14-year-olds) mature at different rates, they learn differently, and they require individualized attention, care and concern.

We all participate.

At Harley, we believe that extracurricular activities are an extension of the classroom. For that reason, all students have the opportunity to join various clubs and enjoy flex time. And students are encouraged to participate in team sports. We create a safe place for students to try, fail, and try again both in the classroom and on the field, with a goal of teaching our students to live balanced, healthy lives. Learn more about Athletics at Harley.

7:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Hands-on learning with individualized attention is part of the daily Middle School experience.

We make a difference.

In Middle School, students get involved in meaningful service learning projects, helping them develop empathy and compassion through volunteer work and projects designed to raise awareness of issues impacting our society.

We challenge students to grow by placing them in charge of their learning. Through hands-on projects, challenging coursework, and opportunities to solve problems, students develop the skills, habits, and instincts to be successful at The Harley School and beyond. Students are encouraged to aim high, think differently, and to create their own path toward academic excellence.

Middle School Curriculum

Scheduling and Looping

Students enjoy a unique block schedule that provides time for in-depth learning at a pace that benefits students and allows teachers to employ different methods of teaching. In addition, both students and teachers are able to build strong relationships thanks to our two-year “looping” sequence, where students remain with the same teachers for both 5th/6th and 7th/8th grades.

Middle School students at Harley also benefit from Flex Time, a unique period at the end of the day where they choose to study a particular area of interest, seek out extra support from teachers, or independently work in a structured study hall. We believe students should be in charge of their learning, finding joy in what they discover and taking ownership of their education.

Perspectives: Middle School at Harley

7th Grade Cell Project

How the study of cells became an engineering project: A Harley School story of collaboration and 21st century skills at work.

Commons Teaching Kitchen Opening

The Harley School, a independent school, in Rochester, NY celebrated the opening of their new teaching kitchen with a cook off, ribbon cutting and celebrity food judges!

In Their Own Words

Uncompromising on strong academics and creating a caring, responsible community. Puts children first, always.”

—Cara Cardinale, P ‘26, ‘29

One of the best things about Harley Middle School is all of the staff and teachers, even the Head of the Middle School, are there to help you and make sure you understand everything. They all work hard to make sure everyone is included. We have fun, more freedom, and more choices in what we do in Middle School—and I love it!

— Zora S., Grade 6

Acorn Grants Are Now Available!

Interested in learning how to make a Harley education possible for your child? Acorn Grants are smaller grants awarded to families who may not be eligible for need-based financial aid.  It is a grant of up to $5,000 intended to put the Harley education within reach for your family. The Acorn Grant stays with your child until graduation. 

Thinking of applying?

Explore our enrollment and application process.

Financial Assistance Opportunities

A Harley education is possible for your child.

The Harley School

1981 Clover Street
Rochester, NY 14618
(585) 442-1770

©2021 The Harley School