Middle School

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Middle School Program

Students 9 years to 14 years of age in grades five through eight

At P. G. Chambers School, the middle school years mark the start of applying foundation skills to higher level thinking in the full academic program. In middle school the students use their foundation skills in reading, mathematics, self expression, science and social studies for creative writing, understanding written instructions, solving-problems and critical thinking, collaborating on projects, and exploring their world. Teachers and teams deliver instruction within a meaningful context to foster motivation, mastery, and application to everyday life.



Literacy remains a critical component of learning during these important years. Students read and understand a variety of print materials and develop an appreciation of current and classical literature. Literature is presented using traditional books as well as digital technology, pictures, dramatic representations, and music. Instruction in the skills needed for success in reading and writing continue using the same research-based curricula used in the elementary program.

The SPIRE Program (Orton Gillingham) is a multi-sensory phonetic approach for students with reading challenges.

The ALL Program – Accessible Literacy Learning Program from Penn State University is a technology-based phonetic program for students who rely on communication methods other than speech (augmentative communication devices).

Reading Milestones – incorporates sight word instruction with sign language and phonics for students whose learning style requires a more visual approach.


Math in Motion continues in the middle school where students can be found graphing functions in the hallways and competing in number facts relays. The Everyday Math curriculum continues to serve as a basis for academic instruction and problem solving while basic skills are enhanced using the Harcourt Math program. Skills are applied to everyday life while managing the P. G. Chambers School Store, calculating prices for groceries and mapping walking routes in school and the community.

Social Studies, History, and the Physical Sciences

Students continue their academic learning as they explore concepts in civics and government, history, and the natural world. In Social Studies, students apply lessons in civics to group problem-solving, decision-making and event planning as well as student representation in school wide initiatives. History lessons are brought to life through research projects, discussion, dramatization, and use of technology. Science lessons emphasize experimentation as students observe, hypothesize, and test their ideas. The advanced curriculum in the Foss Science program, provides hands on investigation in the physics of sound, the human body, magnetism, and solar energy.

The Functional Academics Curriculum* developed by Valletutti, Bender and Baglin is used to guide instruction that is chronologically age-appropriate and emphasizes immediately useful skills through application to real life experiences. For more information about the Middle School Program, please contact principal, Heather Gilliland at gillilandh@chambersschool.org or assistant principal, Judy Gallante-Hooper, at gallantehooperj@chambersschool.org

Physical Education and Arts

For many of our students, movement activities and creative arts offer important alternatives for self-expression and skill development.

The goal of our physical education program is to enhance lifelong health and physical fitness as well as body awareness.

Students participate in adapted sports programs, including basketball, baseball, and soccer, track and field, developing athletic skills, sportsmanship, and cooperation. Physical education includes exercise, a walking and fitness program, and cardiovascular activities. One physical education class per week is a yoga class and yoga is incorporated into daily classroom activities.

Students stretch, move, and learn about their own bodies, while engaging in breathing exercises and yoga postures.

Through the creative arts program, students explore fine arts in all mediums, including sculpting, painting with acrylics and watercolor, printing, sketching and pastels drawing, mixed media collage making, and weaving using a variety of tools to foster independence.

Student art work has been displayed at the Morris Museum and was featured at the Morristown Craft Market and Show. In the fall of 2012, Solo(s) Project House, Newark, NJ gallery and studio residence paired with P.G. Chambers School to launch a pilot professional art making program.  Again, in the fall of 2013, Solo(s) Project House artists in residence worked with P.G. Chambers School students to create one-of-a-kind pieces.

The P.G. Chambers School music program is a hands-on, multi-sensory experience encouraging creative and emotional expression while promoting social interaction, self-esteem, and community building. The Silver Burdett Making Music Curriculum  focuses on listening, moving to and creating music.

The music program promotes the natural benefits of music making, including improving spatial awareness, fine and gross motor coordination, and speech development. Students listen, move, play instruments and sing in the weekly classes. Each class consists of listening, movement, instrumental play, and singing.


*Authors, Vallerutti, P.J., Bender, M., and Sims-Tucker, B., The Functional Academic Curriculum. Austin, TX: PROED.Publication dates 1996, 2000.

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