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Middle School

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Welcome to the Middle School at Roeper, Grades 6–8

Youth at this age experience tremendous change with a broad array of individual differences. Our experienced Middle School faculty personalizes instruction and focuses on the social, emotional, physical, and intellectual needs of gifted students in a state of transition. The Middle School curriculum includes a thematic approach to humanities, mathematics, science, world language options, computer science, the arts, physical education, and health.

Susannah Nichols, Middle & Upper School Director

The breadth and depth of our academic program, our appreciation for the inherent dignity and emotional complexity of each student, and our authentic partnership with children in the learning process help gifted students realize their potential and their impact on the world.

115+ Middle School courses to choose from each year

The Middle School program is designed to provide the academic challenge and the social and emotional support needed by gifted students as they navigate the transition from childhood to adolescence. Small homeroom advisory groups are a centering place for students as they manage academics, relationships, emotional wellbeing, and the increased freedom and responsibility of the Middle School environment.  
The Middle School curriculum includes English literature and composition, social studies, world languages, mathematics, science, computer science, fine and performing arts, physical education, and health.

Roeper’s diverse elective offerings allow students to delve into areas of keen interest and, at the same time, investigate unfamiliar territory. The pace of our academic program and its conceptual depth are well matched to our able learners. Middle Schoolers have opportunities for advanced work at the Upper School level or may pursue independent study with the support of a faculty mentor.

Middle School Academics

List of 10 items.

  • English

    Our English program aims to empower students by helping them understand that their learning is not just an isolated experience, but rather a part of a larger conversation with the world. By teaching them how to analyze and respond to texts, we enable them to examine the world around them in a more curious, critical, and empathetic way. This experience becomes even more enriching when students engage with other talented students in a community of learners. We believe in striking a balance between studying the works of others and developing students' own voices, focusing on improving their clarity and conviction.

    In Middle school, our English program goes beyond teaching reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. We also aim to cultivate students' understanding of the world they live in and how their actions can shape their environment. In sixth grade, we focus on helping students understand themselves, their school, and their local community. In seventh grade, we delve into the study of national systems and external communities while continuing to encourage introspection. By eighth grade, we build on this foundation to explore global systems and the importance of taking initiative. Our curriculum emphasizes purposeful writing, research, and interdisciplinary projects. Students also have the opportunity to choose from dynamic elective courses that cover niche topics such as the History of Horror, Songwriting, and Comedic Studies. These electives are constantly evolving based on student interest and the expertise of our instructors.
  • Forensics

    Middle and Upper School students who join the Roeper Forensics team participate in competitive speaking competitions locally and in the state tournament. Roeper has a very enthusiastic and supportive group. Students may choose to compete in several categories such as: presenting an original, student-written speech; dramatic readings of prose and poetry; dramatic delivery of a famous speech; dramatic interpretation of a portion from play or film by a single student or in small groups. For our Middle School students, Forensics is an elective. 

    The Roeper community can enjoy these amazing performances at the Middle and Upper School Forensics Nights held in winter and spring.
  • Health & Physical Education

    Our Health/Physical Education program is an important component of students developing a strong sense of self-awareness. This agency allows students to be more capable of making sound decisions that will affect their physical and mental well-being.  

    Students take a quarter-length, grade-level health class for each of their middle school years, and a semester-long health class in the upper school (usually during sophomore year). At all levels, course activities require students to develop collaborative skills and effective communication strategies. A variety of instructional methods are used to meet student needs, including discussion, research, journaling, group activities, surveys, and presentations.
    Physical Education can be taken as an elective class in the middle or upper school, and students can select from more generalized offerings emphasizing movement and gameplay as well as specialized classes in archery and strength training. In all classes, students receive encouragement, support, and care in developing their abilities, whatever their starting abilities may be.  
  • Makerspace and Robotics


    Our makerspace is a collaborative space containing tools and materials that students can use to bring their ideas to life. It is a place where they can safely experiment and create. It provides innovative learning methods that allow students to express their learning in their own unique way.  
    Students program drones to fly autonomously through obstacle courses, create interactive art, make wearable technology, and create game controllers out of pencil drawings. They create digital designs and use the laser cutter or CNC router to cut or engrave cardboard, wood, and acrylic. They run computer code to bring designs to life, embroidering those designs onto clothing with the programmable sewing/embroidery machine. And so, so much more.  

    Much like the making process itself, we build, evaluate, and reinvent the space over time. We examine how we can best use it and which equipment best serves our students. This significantly increases technology integration in the classroom and prepares students for the unknown.


    Our robotics program nurtures student passion for robotics and engineering. Our inclusive team comprises members of various skill levels, from amateurs to experts, who collaborate as equals.

    In our Middle School robotics program, we utilize VEX Robotics, fostering creativity, teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving within groups. VEX IQ teams consist of 2–4 members, each with their unique strategies, goals, and missions. Students can opt for the Robotics elective course during school hours and participate in frequent after-school meetings.

    Both Middle and Upper School students partake in Robofest, a thrilling local event hosted by Lawrence Technological University. Robofest features autonomous robot competitions and activities, where students learn STEAM principles and fundamentals of computer science. Students design, construct, and program robots using any robotics kits and programming languages.
  • Math

    The Math Department strives to provide each student with an opportunity to maximize their potential as a mathematician and truly understand the concepts and process of math rather than simply learning to compute and master content in a rote way.

    Students are placed in classes by ability rather than age or grade-level, and our faculty endeavors to meet the needs of different learners within these classes. Students also have the opportunity to take advantage of a math clinic, and advanced students also frequently return to help out in this space as peer advisors.

    A typical Middle School math class focuses on fundamentals and applications of math skills, and the subsequent linear path of math classes will progress from Pre-Algebra through Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Pre-Calculus, and several levels of Calculus.
  • Performing Arts

    The heart of the Roeper dance program is that students develop their own choreography by learning exercises, techniques, and concepts, and emphasizing improvisation and emotional expressiveness.

    The kind of experience fostered by Roeper’s long-standing dance program is one that is especially attuned to the needs of the individual and to the school's philosophy. In the words of Karen Roeper, daughter of George and Annemarie, “When we see ourselves more kindly and clearly, we can move more powerfully in the world.”

    • Dance Fusion
      Jazz Hip Hop
      Modern Dance
    Instrumental Music
    In the instrumental ensembles of the Middle and Upper Schools, students develop an understanding of the elements of music: melody, harmony, rhythm, tone color, texture, and form. On their instruments, students discover how to combine these musical elements with expressive qualities to create a rich, balanced ensemble sound.

    Repertoire for the different ensembles is chosen based on the instrumentation of the group, student input, and to highlight individual strengths. These performance-based ensembles participate at scheduled concerts throughout the year, participate in MSBOA Solo & Ensemble Festivals, and observe musical performances given by professional performers in the community.

    Beyond these elements, a major part of our instrumental program is that we have a curricular jazz program. The jazz bands meet regularly during the school day, affording the ability to play a wide variety of styles and go into more depth. There is also no restricted instrumentation in our jazz bands. Want to play jazz clarinet? Come on in—let's hear you!

    • Upper School Concert Band
    • Upper School Percussion Ensemble
    • Intermediate and Advanced String Orchestra
    • Upper School Jazz Band

    Vocal Music
    The Vocal Music program at Roeper School offers students a vibrant platform to unleash their creativity and empathy through music. In this inclusive and supportive environment, students explore a diverse range of musical genres, considering their historical and stylistic contexts. They learn to sing songs in various languages, enhance their musicianship skills, master vocal techniques, and develop sight-reading abilities. Through participation in concerts as soloists or ensemble members, students gain valuable performance experience.

    Roeper's choral groups have a remarkable track record of success, consistently earning top honors at the Choral Festival. These groups foster individual growth by emphasizing the importance of each voice in creating a unique ensemble texture. Students also learn to sing with accompaniment and a cappella, collaborate on arrangements, and explore choral literature spanning pop, jazz, classical, Broadway, and world music. The vocal groups perform at Winter and Spring Concerts, as well as various special events throughout the year.

    • Small Choir (9th-12th grade group, a cappella focus, auditioned group)
    • Concert Choir (9th-12th grade larger group, no audition)
    • TrebleMakers (6th grade choir)
    • Accompanied Minors (7th/8th grade choir)

    Roeper Theatre Company

    Students have their choice of several classes to explore the diverse facets of theater, including Stage Makeup and Theatre and Social Justice, as well as hands-on opportunities to participate in Tech. All RTC projects place an emphasis on the unique insight into oneself and one's community that is gained through theatrical collaboration.
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  • Science

    The MS science program builds foundational biology, chemistry, and physics knowledge by developing strategies for researching scientific concepts, furthering understanding of the scientific method and experimental design, and the use application of conceptual knowledge for problem-solving and scientific explanation of events.

    Students broaden their understanding of the scientific investigative process. They develop greater skill in observing, researching, communicating, classifying, measuring, hypothesizing, inferring, designing investigations and experiments, collecting and analyzing data, and drawing conclusions. Students develop greater understanding in the areas of biology, physics, and chemistry through the completion of group and individual project-based learning. Science-focused thematic units are often used to develop 21st Century Skills: critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, information literacy, media literacy, technology literacy and use, flexibility, leadership, initiative, productivity, and social skills.
  • Social Studies

    In Middle School, students explore civilizations from classical to contemporary. They are encouraged to explore multiple perspectives, work with primary sources, and express their own voices in historical and contemporary discussions. Elective courses such as Indigenous History and Culture, Model United Nations, Human Explorers, and Current Events complement the shared grade-level curriculum.

    Throughout, students develop skills in writing, mapping, interviewing, research and analysis, and investigating ancient and modern contexts. These studies focus on active student participation within their communities, locally to globally. The goal is to nurture engaged and considerate citizens who positively contribute to their environments.
  • Visual Arts

    The Middle and Upper School Visual Arts Department is an open, creative environment where students have opportunities to explore traditional and untraditional methods of artmaking. Learning about the motivations, processes, and ideas explored by professional artists is an important aspect of study.

    The visual arts curriculum is designed to balance instruction of technique—whether in photography, painting, drawing, ceramics, fibers, or other media—with fostering each student’s interest and creative visions. Students can elect classes in a wide variety of disciplines.

    Students’ ever-evolving abilities to contribute creative solutions, collaborate with their peers, and assess their own efforts are a critical part of the program goals.

    Art Gallery Coming Soon
  • World Languages

    In Middle School, students can continue their French or Spanish studies from the Lower School, and different entry points become available for studies of Latin and Chinese. Upper School students may choose to continue their studies or begin a language at the introductory level. In both divisions, students take courses that correspond with their skill level rather than their grade level. Students may also opt to include the study of multiple languages in their coursework.

    In keeping with best practices of second language acquisition, we use the communicative method in the target language as much as possible. Latin takes a more traditional approach, focusing on vocabulary and textual analysis, but all languages focus on a multi-modal presentation of material. In all language courses, students engage with authentic texts and resources to connect with different cultures and learn vocabulary in meaningful contexts. Observing and analyzing aspects of other cultures widens students’ perspectives and provides a more critical eye for one’s own culture and norms.  These practices align with our philosophical tenets of preparing students to cope with a global society, as well as teaching cultural competency.

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  • A Sampling of Middle School Electives

    • Architecture & Art
    • African American Literature
    • Bioethics
    • Chemistry Exploration
    • Dance Fusion
    • Foundations of Computer Building
    • Independent Study
    • Inventor’s Workshop
    • Journalism and Yearbook
    • Math Counts
    • Model United Nations
    • Parody & Satire
    • Pottery

Student Experience

The Roeper Middle School Faculty & Staff

  • Encourage independent thought and individual expression within a framework of consideration for others and respect for community. 
  • Foster independence and interdependence through choice, collaboration, and community-building experiences. 
  • Recognize the unique educational needs of emerging adolescents. 
  • Meet the special emotional needs of this age group.
    • Middle School Faculty & Staff
Educating and inspiring gifted students to think as individuals and to engage as a community with compassion for each other and this world.

Bloomfield Campus

Lower School and Administrative Offices
41190 Woodward Ave Bloomfield Hills MI 48304
PHONE  248.203.7330

Birmingham Campus