EDS offers a vigorous and enriched middle school curriculum designed to help students develop the habits of mind, heart, and body they will need for school and beyond. Our students are competitive academically and active in the arts, with many opportunities for exploration and growth in our program of clubs. We enjoy a strong after-school athletic program, offering eleven sports throughout the year for the student athlete. During their transitional middle years, we delight in helping students know themselves as loved and gifted by God, capable of wise choices and meaningful lives.
English Language and Literature: Students read and respond to classic and modern novels, plays, short stories, and poems with thematic connections. Vocabulary study with emphasis on classical roots is part of every grade, as is attention to English grammar. Students have many opportunities to develop public speaking and presentation skills, and to hone and practice the craft of writing. Through a pilot program, Touchstones Discussion Project, students build discussion, critical reading, and analytical and creative thinking skills in weekly discussion seminars.
Mathematics: The middle school mathematics program focuses on student outcomes of conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, strategic problem solving, and application. All students complete Pre-Algebra in seventh grade and Algebra 1 in the eighth grade.
Science: In a research-based program that promotes inquiry, hands-on experience, scientific thinking processes and literacy, our students build conceptual knowledge and an awareness of science in everyday life and world issues. Students study life science, earth science, and physical science successively in grades six through eight.
Social Studies: Using a variety of resources beyond the texts, students grow in the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to continually learn about the world and its peoples, the complex themes of social studies and history, and the practices of good citizenship. The three-year study of world geography, world history, and American history and government culminates in a significant research paper for the National History Day contest. Our students regularly place in the top three spots regionally and at the state level.
Spanish: All students study Spanish daily, developing both language and cultural competencies. Students complete, at minimum, the requirements for high school Spanish I, and most EDS graduates are placed into second-year high school Spanish classes. Every year, a number of our students receive top honors on the annual National Spanish Exam.
Religion: Religion classes engage students in a significant study of the Old and New Testaments in sixth and seventh grades. Our students develop strong biblical literacy skills and an understanding of the place of Hebrew and Christian scriptures in western civilization. Eighth grade students examine “Christian Faith in the World” through a study of ethics, philosophy, and world religions.
Sixth Grade Annual Experiential Trip: The sixth graders enjoy a busy and educational week at Driftwood Education Center on St. Simon’s Island. Some of the fun and stimulating activities included dissecting squid and fish, holding snakes and alligators, identifying plankton they catch, exploring the beach at night, and using the tools of the Timucuan Native Americans. Most sixth graders say that their favorite activities are romping around in the marsh mud pit and challenging themselves to scale the High Ropes Course. In addition to the wonderful activities on St. Simon’s, they spend one day hiking around Cumberland Island and one day canoeing in the Okefenokee Swamp.
Seventh Grade Annual Experiential Trip: On their trip to Nashville, Tennessee, seventh grade students explore their personal capabilities and challenges through team building exercises on a high ropes course; discover their own connections to American history at the Hermitage and the Grand Ole Opry; explore their inner selves at All Saints Chapel and the Memorial Cross at University of the South; and explore the ageless wonders of our planet at Tellus Museum and Ruby Falls.
Eighth Grade Annual Experiential Trip: Eighth grade students enjoy a whirlwind tour of Washington, D.C., the epicenter of America’s power and influence. From the Lincoln Memorial to the White House, and many monuments in between, our students are both humbled and inspired by some of our country’s greatest cultural treasures, renowned museums, and moving historical sites. The annual trip to our nation’s capital offers a wonderful firsthand experience of United States history.
Eighth Grade Outward Bound: Eighth grade students spend five days in the fall hiking through the mountains of NC, learning how to survive off of God's gifts and leave no trace behind.
Fine Arts: The MS art program is composed of various art projects that allow students to seek a means of personal expression and find their artistic style. Students learn about art history, explore contemporary artists, experiment with numerous techniques and materials, maintain daily sketchbooks, write artist statements, and build up art portfolios. Class critiques are given throughout various projects and students learn how to analyze artwork by giving helpful feedback. Rather than memorize and be tested on principles of design and elements of art, students prove their knowledge by implementing these concepts into their artwork as they manage classroom time and work toward their set goals.
Leadership: What does leadership mean? What is the relationship between morality and leadership? What makes someone an effective – or ineffective – leader? How are leadership and followership related? Thinking about the big questions helps our students to understand that while our role and responsibilities may change from situation to situation, basic principles of leadership remain unchanged. While we study leadership principles through case studies, practical application sessions examine how we hear directions, perceive real and imagined limitations, and the influence of those around us on our behavior – and the influence of our behavior on others.
Physical Education: The physical education program at EDS is taught with the hope of stimulating a love for physical activity and life long fitness. Through various activities, each student is allowed to progress at his or her own rate. The focus is on creating a positive, supportive, non-threatening environment where each student is encouraged to be the best that he or she can be.
Computer: The technology curriculum emphasizes tools, techniques and processes that promote productivity in the 21st Century. The use of technology in the classroom supports and enhances all areas of the curriculum and is used as the basis for developing skills that support learning, personal productivity, and decision-making in daily life while also developing real-world skills necessary in continuing education. Technology's benefits best emerge when integrated into project-based curricular activities that further higher-level thinking skills. The following skills are incorporated into classroom activities: 1) gathering of information, 2) problem solving, 3) communicating knowledge, and 4) safe and ethical use of technology.
Health: Students take a health class for one quarter each year. Units and topics include: Tobacco, alcohol, drugs, puberty, Learning Styles and Self-Awareness, Skin Care, Nutrition, Eating Disorders, Refusal Skills, Decision Making, Self-esteem, Sexuality, STD’s, Teen Pregnancy, and CPR/AED skills.
Co-curricular / Enrichment
Outreach is essential to our life at EDS as a Christian school. All of our students participate in outreach in various ways, such as school-wide projects, including Operation Christmas Child, gifts for children in third world nations, coat/clothing drives, Thanksgiving Food Drive, and dress down days to raise money for a variety of causes.
Middle School students participate in our Beyond EDS outreach program. Each student must complete fifteen hours of community service, helping those in need. However, most of our students go above and beyond this minimum requirement in cheerful service to the wider community. The goal of the program is to give our students an opportunity to recognize the blessings of their own lives by giving to others and to nurture in them a life-long commitment to compassion and service.
The Academic Team: enjoys competitive opportunities against public and independent schools in regional and state tournaments. At last spring’s tournament in Eatonton, the team won the tournament Sportsmanship Award.
Student Council: is open to all students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades. This body of students is led by student officers who are voted into office by their peers. In addition to organizing dress-down days several times a year to benefit various local, national and international charities, Student Council members are tasked with improving the school culture and celebrating school spirit by organizing events such as spirit week, pep rallies, dances and on-campus improvement projects. Student Council members also fill various student leadership roles throughout the year during special events, acting as speakers, mentors, and student guides. The EDS Student Council is a member of both the Georgia Association of Student Councils and the Southeast Association of Student Councils. Student Council officers and selected members at large are given the opportunity to be delegates at annual leadership conferences sponsored by these organizations.
STARs (Student Tour Admissions Recruiters): student leaders give tours for visiting families and guests of the school and address prospective parent groups at Open House events.
Art Club: students work in teams to brainstorm, teach, and manage various arts/crafts related projects. Each year, Art Club members participate in service opportunities where they impact the community with their art. Last year, Art Club painted a 5 story mural in the Children's Hospital. Art Club puts together school-wide fundraisers by selling their creations to raise money to support local charities.
Chess Club: Students learn and practice strategies and compete against each other in tournaments.
Drama Club: The Drama Club at EDS is designed to enhance student education and provide students with an opportunity to explore performance through theatrical means. Drama is a bridge to the creative thinking strategies that develop language, sensory motor and cognitive skills. As students participate in dramatic activities, they have an opportunity to access and enhance their individual interests and talents.