Middle School

Our Everyday

Middle School students at St. Margaret’s are exposed to a rich and vibrant program that enables them to explore challenges in diverse arenas. Our students thrive through their participation in academic, athletic, artistic, and leadership programs.

Middle School Block Schedule

The Middle School follows a patterned tumbling block schedule. Each block is 60 minutes long which allows for a variety of learning activities within the block. Breaks are spaced throughout the day so that students never meet for more than two blocks in a row on any given day.

The weekly schedule also provides opportunities for the entire Middle School student body, grade levels, and advisory groups to meet each week. These “Community Times” are designed to build school culture, engage with our Episcopal identity, provide access to teachers during tutorials, gather grade levels together to talk about specific topics for their grade level, and for advisory groups to meet to focus on our social-emotional curriculum and diversity, equity and inclusion goals.

The Middle and Upper Schools follow a similar weekly schedule enabling faculty to teach in both divisions as well as allowing Middle School students to accelerate, when appropriate, into Upper School courses. 

Middle School Leadership

Middle School students are given many opportunities to demonstrate leadership. Opportunities range from formal, elected positions on the Middle School Student Council to student designed and led lunchtime clubs. The culture promotes and encourages student voice and engagement with the school experience.

Middle School Service Learning

Each grade level in St. Margaret’s Middle School has established themes for its service learning focus of the year.
The grade 6 theme is “Navigate our environment.” This theme is a focus of grade level class meetings as the team of sixth grade teachers helps our youngest Middle School students understand the logistics and culture of the Middle School. Their retreat day takes place off campus at the beach where students deepen their advisory bond with each other and their teachers, try new things and enjoy the Tartan community experience. In the fall the grade 6 students serve Second Harvest on the farm, support the all-Middle School project with Head Start Preschool and deepen their understanding and knowledge of the Tartan community and their family history through a cookbook project. 
The grade 7 theme is “Know and understand our community.” As seventh graders work to develop their own identity, this theme provides students with opportunities to enhance their empathy and build the skills of cultural competency. With their focus on equity and hunger, the grade level will work with the local Head Start program, Capistrano Senior Living, our St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church and several other community partners. Their fall retreat will take place at the Irvine Spectrum and will allow for advisory groups to really enjoy some fun, quality bonding time together. 
The grade 8 theme is “Respect the past and influence the future.” Students work throughout the year to understand and support our troops and veterans. Work with our local Operation Help a Hero provides tangible experiences to connect with the needs of our current troops. Veterans Day presentations by local veterans and a project to interview a veteran further connect students to the importance of supporting our troops and honoring our veterans. Their fall retreat will be a day trip to Catalina where sunshine and adventure will pave the way for a fun day of community building. The end of the year class trip to Washington, D.C. provides a meaningful capstone experience.

Middle School Chapel

The Chapel service is integral to a St. Margaret’s education. Our Episcopal tradition guides that regular participation in communal worship is the key to making individual spirituality blossom. Bringing our expansive diversity of backgrounds from each child into one unified presence in Chapel embraces our differences and creates the habits of prayer, compassion and devotion that are the foundations of worship to all views of a higher power we call God. Students are encouraged to participate in Chapel services in a variety of roles, including acolytes, readers, Eucharistic ministers and speakers. The Middle School attends Chapel services two times a week.

Middle School Deans

The structure of leadership in the Middle School provides for a dean at each grade level. These grade-level deans play a large role in the culture and communication for their respective grade levels. They organize and run class meetings, help with the cadence and events of advisory meetings, communicate regularly with teachers and students, and have a recognized and valuable voice with the Middle School administration. Due to their close relationship with the students and teachers in a given grade level, the deans are an important point of contact for students, parents, and teachers whenever the need might arise.

Middle School Advisory

The Middle School Advisory program is designed to provide each student with an adult mentor on campus who knows, cares for, and assists the student in navigating the academic, social and extracurricular experiences in the Middle School. These mixed-gender advisory groups will range in student size from 10-14 students. By being part of an advisory group, students have a guided opportunity to enhance their understanding of themselves, to expand relationships with other students, and to participate in programming that supports physical, social and emotional well-being.

Middle School Clubs

The Middle School has multiple teacher- and student-led clubs which meet during various lunch periods throughout the school year. These student-driven clubs provide students with the opportunity to organize and engage with an interested group of students. All clubs have a teacher as a support and guide, but the students themselves organize, lead and execute the club meetings.

Middle School Tutorial

Tutorial is a weekly period designed to allow students to meet with teachers to seek extra help or ask questions on classwork. Sometimes, teachers require students to attend tutorial to make up work, provide further guidance, and to check for content understanding. When students do not need individual time with a teacher, they are able to use tutorial to complete homework, study or work on long-term projects. To prepare students for the Upper School and life beyond, they are given increased freedom in how they choose to use their tutorial time as they progress through the Middle School.
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An Independent Preschool Through Grade 12 College-Preparatory Day School in Orange County California

Non-Discrimination Policy
St. Margaret's Episcopal School does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, sexual orientation or national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational, admission, financial aid, hiring and athletic policies or in other school-administered programs.