Middle School Program

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Middle School Program

The private middle school curriculum for grades 5–7 is designed to help students develop academic and organizational skills that will prepare them for the demanding BASIS Independent High School Program. Whereas the Primary School Program is primarily taught in integrated 85-minute blocks, middle school students move classes and subjects every 50 minutes, which presents an exciting challenge for students. We recognize that the abilities to organize time, and manage and control oneself are not innate: we must all learn these skills. Our Middle School teachers focus on this every day and help students fine-tune these skills.

In a very real sense, the BASIS Independent Middle School Program is the key to the success of the BASIS Independent High School Program. By introducing high-level content standards in middle school, we ensure students are exposed to these concepts early and often and have mastered the material by the time they enroll in Honors and AP-level courses.

Our curriculum in these grades is designed to provide one of the most advanced private Middle school programs available in the world, fully integrating the sciences, arts, math, language and reading. By the end of middle school, students have delved deeply into the critical importance of organization and time management, so that they can conquer the high school curriculum.

For a list of the courses required in middle school, see our course list.

Grade 5 Curriculum Detail

Math: Introduction to Pre-Algebra

  • Spiraled and incremental curriculum with daily practice of both new and old topics
  • Focus on computation/basic math facts, word problems, fractions/decimals, fundamental geometry
  • Introduction to algebra
  • Introduction to literary analysis using texts from multiple genres
  • Composition in varied formats
  • Traditional grammar studies support composition and reading comprehension
Physical Geography
  • Natural phenomena, geologic time scales, and Earthy system interactions
  • Studies of human geography including population analysis, cultural trade, and political boundaries
  • History of mapping technologies and applications
Introduction to Science
  • Practice with scientific methodology as it applies to critical thinking
  • Introduction to biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy
  • Laboratory methodologies and analysis of data and results
  • Focus on historical understanding of ancient cultures
  • Analysis of foundations of western civilization through narrative, text, and art
  • Objectives often integrated with English, Latin, and art classes for interdisciplinary learning
  • Broad study of Latin roots, prefixes, and suffixes to support vocabulary building
  • Roman culture and history supply key texts and points of interest
  • Latin grammar as a foundation for romance language acquisition
Visual Arts 
  • Study of art through history and development of media, technique, and style
  • Principles of design, color, shape
  • Collaboration and discussion skills enhanced in various projects
  • Performance of vocal and instrumental foundations in group settings
  • Rhythm, notation, and composition of important periods in musical history
  • Listening skills practiced in classroom and community settings

Grades 6–8 Curriculum Detail


Grade 6: Pre-Algebra

Grade 7: Algebra 1/Geometry 

Grade 8: Algebra 2/Geometry 


Grade 6–8: Biology, Chemistry, and Physics (all three each year)

Social Sciences

Grade 6: World History (Pre-History to Enlightenment) 

Grade 7: U.S. History

Grade 8: World History II, Economics 

English/Language Arts

Grades 6–8: English

Foreign Language

Grade 6: Latin 

Grades 7–8: French, Latin, Mandarin, or Spanish; AP optional 

Fine Arts, PE, and Electives

Grade 6: PE, plus Music, Art, or Drama (choice of one) 

Grade 7: Music, Art, Drama, or PE (choice of one)

Grade 8: General electives*, AP elective, or post-AP elective

*Minimum of one fine art elective required. 

Grade 8 Curriculum Detail

Grade 8 acts as a transitional year for students who have completed the BASIS Independent Middle School program and are preparing to enter high school. These grade 8 students continue to build their knowledge base with a wide variety of rigorous courses, including a full year of introductory-level Economics and the chance to enroll in advanced electives like Environmental Science, Computer Science or Psychology, which are aligned with the AP curriculum.

The Learning Enrichment Academic Program (LEAP)

Although BASIS Independent Schools provides a rigorous and accelerated program for all students, there are some students who are ready to move even faster in certain disciplines. In order to give these students the chance to move ahead to more challenging courses, and in order to further develop the advanced nature of the BASIS Independent Curriculum, we provide LEAP courses in select grade 8 core disciplines: Science and English. LEAP students must apply for entry to the course, obtain a recommendation from a teacher of that particular subject, and maintain an acceptable overall academic record.