Eighth Grade

On any journey, the moments before you reach your destination are among the most reflective, memorable, and meaningful. That's true of Eighth Grade at ACDS. The conclusion of the Country Day journey is a year of achievement, excitement, and accomplishment. Children put to full use all the skills they have developed in the classroom, on stage, and in the outdoors. Eighth Graders choose either Environmental Science or Physical Science for year-long study. 

Advisory


leaders of the Middle School

In Eighth Grade, Advisory becomes a time and place to work out the many issues raised by the transition to high school. In small groups led by a Middle School teacher, Eighth Graders use Advisory time well. The groups meet three times each week: first thing Monday morning for a “connections” session, a second time for an advisory period, and a third time in a directed study hall. The Advisory program is designed to guide students in academic life, provide developmental guidance (both formal and informal), encourage supportive peer relationships and practice conflict resolution, promote character development and much more. See more about Advisory

 

Algebra


Ready for High School Math

All Eighth Graders complete an Algebra I course through the quadratic equation. As in the Seventh Grade Math program, we offer two classes, each paced to meet the developmental needs of Middle School students. Based on mastery of material, students either move on to Geometry or Algebra II in high school or spend another year in Algebra I to ensure a solid foundation for secondary school mathematics. See all Mathematics

Environmental Science


Systems & Solutions

The Environmental Science class incorporates earth, physical, and biological sciences to understand complex natural and human-induced processes. Students practice applying scientific knowledge to new situations through a structured problem-solving approach. In a project-based classroom, students explore topics such as the greenhouse effect, climate change, electricity, and alternative energy resources. See all Science

Physical Science


How it all works

Eighth Grade Physical Science is an introductory qualitative and quantitative course that prepares students for high school chemistry and physics. Students develop the tools necessary to explore and understand the physical world around them. They're exposed to quantitative science techniques and laboratory methods. The first semester is devoted to chemistry, and the second semester focuses on physics. See all Science

Humanities


Synergy of English & History

The Eighth Grade Humanities course is an interdisciplinary investigation of American History using the overarching theme of “The Journey of Innocence to Experience.” Through this lens, students investigate significant historical events that have shaped our nation. Students and teachers collaborate to “understand our past and put the present in context, so we can imagine a better future.” Students read and analyze complex fiction and non-fiction by learning to use the literal meaning to reveal the deeper intent. Anchor texts include Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies, To Kill a Mockingbird, and a variety of short stories and poems that depict the American Experience. In writing, students focus on developing more sophisticated essays by crafting powerful thesis statements supported by poignant and relevant evidence. Students work in small groups to prepare presentations, dissect literature, and synthesize information. Our grammar focus is on incorporating dependent clauses and complex sentences to capture the developing abstract thinking of young teens. See all English. See all Social Studies

Foreign Language


Entirely in the target language

French III and Spanish III classes are conducted entirely in the target language, and students are expected to refrain from using English in class. Students write lengthy pieces which may be magazine articles, children’s books, or literary analysis. Grammar focus includes, but is not limited to, preterit and imperfect, irregular verbs, and past participles. Students continue to develop their cultural understanding by viewing current events through the lens of the other culture; examples may include immigration or access to education. See all Foreign Language

Technology


Tech Tools put to full use

Middle School students use technology daily. Each Sixth Grader is issued a school Chromebook, which serves as the primary academic tool throughout Middle School. They access online text books, teacher blogs, videos, TED talks, primary sources, and other resources to curate the information necessary to participate in the curriculum in each class. They also use technology to create presentations which may include, Lucidchart, films, blogs, podcasts, or original TED Talks. Students can further their understanding of computer science or coding in the Electives program. See all Technology

Middle School Arts Electives


Investigating the arts and more

In Middle School, students have the opportunity to choose from a variety or electives. Most electives offered are in the traditional arts, yet the elective program expands to include other forms of creativity and innovation, as well as to offer more physical and leadership opportunities. Elective classes are multi-grade classes and meet two to four times per week. This year, we have several exciting new online offerings. See all Electives

Physical Education


On and off the field

Eighth Graders solidfy their skills in traditional team sports: volleyball, basketball, soccer, flag football, badminton, and hockey, with a focus on development of strategy and fair play. They are also introduced to Ultimate Frisbee and other non-traditional sports and games. In Middle School, students ski in multi-grade groups with teachers as chaperones; we ski every Friday afternoon from January until March break. See all PE

Outdoor Education


Capstone experiences in the wilderness

All Middle School students participate in the fall trip at Lincoln Creek. Students are put into multi-grade groups to develop bond among grade levels. In these groups, students participate in rock climbing, a ropes course, a hike, community service, and some orienteering. In the evening, students participate in activities and discussion to promote a sense of community. A highlight is a campfire with alums who return to provide insight into high school and how to keep the Middle School experience in perspective. Traditionally, Eighth Graders have capped their outdoor education career with a seven-day river trip on the Deso-Gray section of the Green River. The solitude of the environment coupled with the time away from distractions, electronic and otherwise, provides students the space necessary to consider their sense of self. On this river trip, the students draft their graduation speeches, putting their ACDS experience into perspective. Due to permitting restrictions, we will need to restructure this trip as our Eighth Grade class increases in size, though we are committed to providing a similar sense of place and space in the coming years. See all Outdoor Ed

Signature projects & traditions


A landmark year

It's amazing what you can accomplish when you put your heart and mind to it. That could well be the motto of the Eighth Grade year at ACDS. Students start the year with a Leadership Retreat right before school begins, then serve as role models for younger students on Middle School Outdoor Ed. They quickly move into preparing for the Humanities class trip to Washington, DC, and many participate in Sister Cities trips. Everyone is planning for high school, and in the fall and winter many take the SSAT (Secondary School Admissions Test) along with trips to visit boarding schools. Springtime brings the All-School Play; the Eighth Graders take center stage not only in performing, but also writing and designing the play. Then there's the landmark final Outdoor Ed trip in May, followed by a graduation where each Eighth Grader writes and delivers an original speech. It is a whirlwind year, full of growth and joy. 

Aspen Country Day School
85 Country Day Way Aspen, Colorado 81611
Phone: 970.925.1909
Time to consider ACDS

Our PreK to Eighth Grade school in the mountains of Colorado

The Way School Should Be

With a balance of nurture and rigor, children become their best

The Power of Three

Rigorous academics, creative arts, outdoor education

A welcoming community

Our motto, de amicitia: in the spirit of friendship

Out into the wide world

Alums carry the Aardvark spirit far and wide

A culture of generosity

Many ways to help make Country Day's future even brighter

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