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Signature programs of study

Students in Middle School at Mead are engaged in several year-long deep-dives into subjects that are both foundational, and particularly relevant today.  

Mead 6th Graders spend a year studying marine science and environmental stewardship.  In the fall, there is an emphasis on fieldwork, largely performed on the Long Island Sound, and including  quadrat- type surveys of shoreline creatures and plants and water quality testing using digital probeware and water chemistry test kits. The class actively contributes to monitoring the health of the coastline at Stamford Cove and finishes with a project report of research findings.
The second trimester project focuses on marine mammals, with students conducting research on a whale of their choice and write a formal research paper.  Classes in the third trimester include a unit on hurricanes, climate change, and coastal resilience, and the year ends with a four-day trip to Cape Cod to reinforce the ecology concepts covered throughout the year, and go on a whale watch.

7th Grade at Mead is the kick-off of a two-year study of Social Justice with a deep dive into immigration.  Students study immigration to America, and the immigrant and refugee experience in a variety of time and geographies, via primary and secondary sources.  Curriculum is interdisciplinary, with students reading historical novels on themes of immigration.  The immigration study culminates in a poster presentation of individual ancestry projects, and all of the students take the US citizenship exam.

In 8th Grade, students tackle civil rights, beginning with the framing questions "What constitutes social justice and how does change happen in America?" The focus zooms in on voting rights, with special activities including a reenactment of a voter registration experience from the  period of the Mississippi fight for voting rights, a research project focusing on the use of primary source documents, an oratory project, and a study of the sources of oppression, power, and privilege.