College Preparatory School for Girls Grades 3-12

Middle School

Grades 7 & 8

The Middle School program is centered upon the process of learning. In seventh and eighth grades, girls experiment with different strategies for studying and time management. In short, students learn how to learn.


With the guidance of a caring and dedicated faculty, Middle School students become more aware of the habits of mind that will yield success in the classroom. The focus of every class—English, world languages, mathematics, science, and social studies—is to provide challenge and support to our students. Through this careful balance, our students strengthen their self-esteem and confidence and become well-prepared to tackle the challenges of Upper School and beyond.

Outside-the-Box Days

Part of Holton’s Strategic Plan is to promote interdisciplinary and experiential learning opportunities for students, and the Middle School teachers have engaged in many a discussion about how this facet of the plan will look for seventh and eighth graders. One aspect of our MS program that came out of these conversations is the “Outside-the-Box” series.

An OTB day is one in which students draw connections between various subjects and/or connect more deeply with the myriad sites and resources of the Washington, D.C. area. An OTB day offers students a break from their regular class schedule, as they embark on activities designed to broaden their perspective and enhance the MS curriculum.

OTB themes include:

  • The Civil Rights Movement Eyes on the Prize
  • Great Age of Islam
  • Israel and Palestine - A Land Twice Promised
  • Mt Vernon
  • United States Supreme Court
  • Latin America Day
  • National Aquarium, Baltimore
  • Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History
  • Diversity Day
  • Community Service Day
  • The United States Capitol
  • Africa Day
  • Make Your Way Day

Learning Specialist

The Middle School has a dedicated Learning Specialist who works closely with students, their parents, and faculty in the assessment and support of students. Students may be referred to the Learning Specialist by the student’s parents, her classroom teachers, her Class Dean, or through self-referral. The Learning Specialist plays a pivotal role in interpreting test results and helping to implement accommodations and strategies with the student and her classroom teachers.


In Middle School, students are assigned to a small group advisory group that meets regularly through out the year.

These small groups meet to discuss life in Middle School and focus on an agenda driven by student needs and realities. This time is set aside as a break from academics and allows for relationships between students and adults outside of the academic day.


Middle School students are encouraged to use the Middle and Upper School library. The Alice S. Marriott Library’s collection consists of about 14,000 volumes and a large number of periodicals, newspapers, and other audio and video materials and equipment.

The library is fully automated and contains computer stations for student use. Library hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Every effort is made to provide a wide range of materials to satisfy the students’ needs and interests. More about library services.

The objectives of the Library Program include:

  1. Instructing the students in the use of the library and its resources: print, non-print, and electronic;
  2. Developing the students’ research skills in accessing information;
  3. Developing the students’ information literacy (i.e. not only accessing information but also learning how to evaluate the type, quantity, and quality of information needed and how to make best use of it);
  4. Stimulating the students’ interest in reading fiction and nonfiction as sources of pleasure and enrichment.


Middle school students are required to participate in Physical Education/Athletics within, or at the end of, the school day. Each season middle school students gather to choose one activity from a wide range of competitive interscholastic and noncompetitive individual fitness oriented options. With the exception of game days and other off-campus activities, practices will conclude by 3:30 p.m.

More information about athletics at Holton.

Fine & Performing Arts

Jazz Band and Chamber Orchestra musicians are selected by audition from the membership of the Middle and Upper School instrumental ensembles. These two groups meet before the school day and offer additional training and performing opportunities for highly motivated musicians.

More information about Performing Arts at Holton.

Student Council

Class officers for each Middle School grade serve one year. Eighth grade class officers are elected in the spring of their seventh grade year. Seventh grade class officers are elected in the fall. The class officers from both seventh and eighth grades form the Middle School Council. Candidates for class or Council office must be eligible for promotion to the next grade level. Under the guidance of faculty sponsor, Ms. Whitley, Middle School Council members strive to serve the entire Middle School community: they plan Middle School social activities, run the snack store, and foster school spirit in a variety of ways. Council acts as a forum for discussion of issues brought by students or teachers, and it responds to and initiates suggestions for change. Seventh and eighth grade class officers also conduct their respective class meetings and serve as leaders in planning class activities. Parent Grade Reps may help the girls with these projects.

Two students in middle school hallway

You feel so welcomed. You're supported by your classmates and your teachers are always there to help you become your best.

– Kat
Grade 8

Middle School teacher and students in classroom