AAS Middle School Philosophy and Guiding Principles

Middle School is a period of transition. To assist students in successfully crossing the bridge from childhood to young adulthood, the Middle School offers a wide range of exploratory and experiential opportunities - both social and academic. AAS provides a wide range of inclusive activities that encourage student involvement in the life and conditions of the school, and at the same time foster personal responsibility.
The Middle School is committed to the international community at large, placing value on outreach opportunities to increase cross-cultural awareness and promoting respect for all individuals. The program is designed to provide the best environment and opportunities for students to identify their own areas of success, to increase their competencies and to continue to define who they are, what they are capable of and what role they see themselves playing in a global society.

The AAS Middle School is developmentally responsive and believes in:

- Educators committed to young adolescents
- High expectations for all
- A holistic approach to education
- An adult advocate for every student
- Family and community partnerships
- A positive school climate

In order to meet the above, the AAS Middle School works to provide:

- Curriculum that is challenging, integrative and exploratory
- Varied teaching and learning approaches
- Assessment and evaluation that promote learning
- Flexible organizational structures
- Programs and policies that foster health, wellness and safety
- Guidance and support services
- Opportunities for personal development

We strive to provide an education that combines the acquisition of relevant skills and knowledge, along with the development of important attitudes and values. We also aim to provide students with many opportunities to develop their personal interests and social skills through special projects and extra-curricular activities.

Our Middle School program is thus based upon the following guiding principles:

- Learning in all subject areas is designed to provide students with essential understandings that will help them with their current and future educational settings and their teen and adult lives. These essential understandings include key ideas and concepts that will be the focus of major units of study.

-Through a broad, balanced curriculum, the students will gain a relevant knowledge base for future study, including opportunities to make links between the different subjects.

- Our overall program provides students with important skills related to higher-level thinking, inquiry, successful study habits, independent thinking, goal setting and reflection upon progress.

- Recognizing that students learn in a variety of ways, the curriculum provides a range of learning opportunities with different teaching approaches and styles.

- Students need opportunities to understand real-world issues and to understand the role they can have in providing solutions. Students are encouraged to develop their opinions, to communicate those thoughts and views in a responsible manner and to take action to realize their convictions.

- Both cooperative and independent learning are valued and students are provided with opportunities to work successfully within large group, small group and individual settings.

- Students will have opportunities within the school environment to learn more of their own language and culture and appreciate other cultures and languages, including our host country, Russia. Such a wide range of experiences helps to foster an appreciation and respect for the rich array of world cultures.

- Service learning provides the chance to work with people of other ages, nationalities and backgrounds.

- Staff will model positive learning, social and lifestyle choices.

- Learning does not take place only in the traditional classroom setting. Participation in a range of activities provides students with important communication, interpersonal, cooperative, leadership and social skills.

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