Middle School

Building on the foundations developed in elementary school, HudsonWay Immersion School (HWIS) middle school students engage in a rigorous academic program aimed at producing bilingual, bi-literate, and bicultural global citizens prepared for the world ahead. In accordance with our Immersion Model in Target Language, students in middle school receive instruction in the target language for 40% of the day and in English for 60% of the day.

HWIS utilizes a project-based, inquiry approach to teaching and learning. It provides students with opportunities to develop their skills in research, communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and self-management. They use creativity to demonstrate their disciplinary competencies and are challenged to make connections across content areas as well as apply their learning to develop solutions to real-world problems.

Curricular Approach

Students deepen their learning in middle school guided by challenging academic standards and rigorous coursework. The core curricular subjects are each taught five days per week. HWIS believes that a strong foundation in the core subjects is essential for academic success in high school. To optimize learning in math and the target language, educators continue with the flexible grouping approach in the middle school.

The middle school core curriculum at HWIS includes:

• English Language Arts
• Mandarin or Spanish Language Arts
• Humanities
• Sciences: Earth Science, Physical Science, & Life Science
• Mathematics
• Arts: Visual Arts & Music
• Physical and Health Education

New Accelerated Learning Track for Incoming Middle School Students

Beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, HudsonWay Immersion School is launching a new middle school Accelerated Learning Track designed to support incoming 6th-grade students with limited prior exposure to Mandarin or Spanish. By the time Accelerated Learning Track students graduate from the HWIS program in eighth grade, these students will have developed advanced bilingual and biliteracy skills.

In this dual-language immersion track students will:

• Work towards a Global Seal of Biliteracy in either Mandarin or Spanish and English with the support of a dedicated middle school humanities teacher
• Learn alongside current language immersion students for math, science and English language arts being taught in English
• Learn in small flexible groups which enables students to progress beyond grade-level standards in math and language arts
• Travel internationally on spring break to participate in meaningful service-learning projects during the middle school years
• Have access to a guidance counselor to support 9th-grade applications to top-tier independent schools
• Pursue individual interests supported through a choice of electives, Genius Hour, and after school clubs

Scholarship Information

HWIS is providing scholarships for the first incoming class of the Accelerated Language Track, an award based on a combination of merit and financial need in the value of up to 80% of the full cost of tuition. The award can be renewed each year until graduation in Grade 8 in the year 2022.

To be considered for the award, students and their families must:

Submit the application, including a student-written essay on “Why I am interested in joining the Accelerated Language Track at HWIS” of no more than 600 words.

Once the application is submitted, the family will receive a checklist for the following items:

• Transcripts from the past two years of school
• ISEE scores from recent school year
• Student to meet with teachers and peers
• Parent meeting with admissions
• Financial aid application

Questions? Contact the Admissions Advisor for your campus of interest.

Advisory Program

During advisory meetings, students come together in groups of 5-8 to discuss areas important for social-emotional development. Groups are paired with a faculty member who will guide discussions about what it means to support one another, how we discuss feelings, and how to maintain healthy minds and bodies.

Genius Hour

Genius Hour is the time during which students are encouraged and supported as they develop a project based on a passion. They apply a practical approach to developing skills based on an open-ended problem and in so doing, learn how to research, make decisions based on data, develop a plan, and outline milestones.

Study Outside the Classroom

Each year, HWIS students engage in explorations beyond our classroom walls with field trips in and around the New York City area, as well as on longer trips to nearby cities such as Boston and Washington D.C. where we explore history and government.

Service Learning

Service Learning is emphasized throughout the middle school program at HudsonWay. Language immersion unique positions students for opportunities to apply their classroom learning and language competency to serve the communities in which they live.

5 Benefits to Middle School Language Immersion

1. Continued support for learning a second language: Most public and private schools cannot support high levels of language proficiency from grade 6
2. Advanced language proficiency: Students that remain in a language immersion program achieve more advanced levels of language proficiency and avoid regression
3. Longer cognitive benefits: Language immersion in middle school lengthens the cognitive benefits of immersion
4. Better positioning for high school: There are more spaces available at top-tier independent schools in grade 9 as compared to grade 6
5. Helpful for service-learning projects: Language skills support many service-learning projects that become available in middle school

Curriculum Overview

The middle school English and world literature curriculum fosters critical reading and expression using the Socratic seminar format. Exploring a variety of genres and literary forms, students analyze classic literary works to reflect on identity, perspective, culture, and community.

Students also develop powerful and analytical writing using the Writer’s Workshop approach with its focus on writing mechanics, exposure to various writing styles and supporting written statements with persuasive arguments.

Literature will include such works as:

• “A Long Walk to Water” by Linda Sue Park
• “Wonder” by R. J. Palacio
• “The Giver” by Louis Lowry
• “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller
• “The Odyssey” by Homer
• “The Canterbury Tales” by Geoffrey Chaucer
2Humanities & History
Taught in the target language, students continue to develop strong skills in listening, reading, writing, and speaking by discussing topics organized around themes.

Themes vary by grade.

Grade 5: Ancient World
Grade 6: Geography – Religions and People
Grade 7: Medieval World
Grade 8: The United States through Modern Times

HWIS strengthens the global perspectives of our students by incorporating authentic resources from around the world as well as using documents supporting multiple viewpoints.

At times, there will be combined units with English language arts and history that encompass the review of documentation from Stanford History Education Group’s “Reading Like a Historian.” Critical review and analysis are the focus rather than the memorization of facts.
3Target Language Arts
Mandarin learning will continue in middle school through the use of Better Immersion materials as well as authentic materials and literature.

Spanish learning in middle school will continue with Journeys as well as local literature and well-known works, For example, “I am Malala” is read and analyzed as part of the Grade 5 Spanish curriculum. The target will be to continue students’ progress in reading, writing, speaking and listening to the intermediate high and advanced low levels.
HWIS has the ability to put students into small flexible groups to challenge and support students at various math levels. Due to the effectiveness of this approach, our students are typically on a one to two year accelerated track for mathematics.

We use Singapore Math as a resource, and math is taught in English.

Here is an example of a students’ experience on a one-year acceleration math sequence:

Grade 6: General math
Grade 7: Pre-algebra
Grade 8: Algebra

Those on a two-year acceleration would complete Geometry in Grade 8.
Middle school science has an integrated curriculum involving earth, live and physical science with different aspects taught each grade. HWIS uses hands-on projects designed to help students experience science through the Five E Model: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate.

The goal of the HWIS middle school science program is to provide a basic understanding of scientific principles followed by an understanding of the skills used in scientific discovery and exploration.

Science fairs are organized each year, and students are encouraged to deepen their knowledge and practice in developing hypotheses. The science curriculum also challenges students to design experiments, construct data, and analyze results.
HWIS has a music artist-in-residence who supports each child’s learning of an instrument such as the recorder or the guitar, music reading, and the appreciation for different types of music. Students also develop skills in vocal arts and participate in concerts.
Students have an opportunity to continue deepening their enjoyment of art through experience drawing, painting, 3D ceramics, and photography. They are encouraged to draw comparisons between their work and historical or contemporary works of art. Students develop creativity, and self-expression through these studies.
8Physical Education
Students continue to develop well-rounded physical fitness skills and team sports experiences through the coaching of our resident physical education (PE) teacher. Each season, HWIS focuses on different sports—a building-block approach to skill development.

Fall: soccer, track/fitness
Winter: basketball, volleyball, dance, karate
Spring: baseball/softball, track
For a six-week unit every year, the HWIS health curriculum covers aspects of nutrition, reproductive health, and substance abuse (tobacco, vaping, drugs) as part of an ongoing discussion of what it means to be healthy.
Each year, students can select from a list of electives. The electives are taught three times per week. Examples of electives include: robotics/coding, drama, world language, debate, and Model United Nations.

Interested in learning more about HWIS?