Middle School Program
On their journey from elementary through middle school and into high school, early adolescents experience tremendous change. With a Sacred Heart perspective, Villa Duchesne Middle School guides students through these formative years with multi-faceted and developmentally responsive programs and activities designed to meet the unique needs of early adolescents. A distinct middle school environment offers support for personal growth as well as appropriate rigor in the areas of curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
Leadership Students at Villa Duchesne are expected to become leaders and to take risks in our educational setting. The single-sex environment encourages girls to become confident learners and active classroom participants.
Exploration Villa capitalizes on the innate curiosity of young girls. Students have both classroom and extracurricular opportunities to explore the fine arts and athletics. Students also select from an array of clubs that meet weekly to foster skill development as well as community-building.
Service The award-winning Villa Duchesne Service Learning Program begins in grade seven and continues through high school. Eight times a year during the school day, students work with pre-school children at Head Start sites. Preparation and reflection are essential components of this program.
Faith Formation Students continue to strengthen their faith foundation in a theology class which is a dedicated part of the core curriculum at both seventh and eighth grades. They participate in liturgies, annual days of prayer, and daily community prayer.
Academics Villa Duchesne helps students develop the habits which support critical thinking. Our academic program is a continuum of skill development that bridges elementary experiences and the college preparatory high school program. Opportunities to excel in mathematics, foreign language, social studies, and science are offered for all students. Through the individualized conferenced English program, students also develop exceptional skills in reading and writing.
College Readiness Villa Middle School develops study skills and test-taking strategies which build a strong educational foundation. The EXPLORE assessment, a preliminary ACT, is administered to all 8th grade students. Through this assessment, students and their parents can monitor skill development, academic programming, and early college and career planning.
Personal Development At Villa Duchesne, girls experience significant personal growth especially in the areas of responsibility, self-esteem, and communication. We plan activities which emphasize goal-setting, healthy decision-making, and self-discovery. Technology Skills Through the individual tablet PC program girls become proficient in using technology to enhance their learning. They also become wise consumers of technology. Appropriate use of the tablets both in and out of the classroom is emphasized.
Transitions Villa Duchesne places great importance on transitions to and from our middle school. From the "Survivor - Villa Island" in seventh grade to the "Girls' Night Out" in eighth grade, the school sponsors activities that promote safe and meaningful transitions for all students.
Student Success Support systems are in place for student success. Individual meetings with teachers, older students, and adult tutors offer support for students. For family and personal support, a full-time certified counselor is available. The counselor advocates for students with specific needs or concerns; consults with parents, teachers, and other helping professionals; and makes referrals to community resources on behalf of students. The counselor also plans and implements Villa's nationally recognized middle school advisory program with an emphasis on positive psychology.
In Personal Ways We strive to help each student feel that she is a valuable member of the Villa community. Class sizes are small to enhance student learning and to promote close, trusting relationships among students and faculty. In seventh and eighth grades, students belong to small advisory groups where they participate in weekly community-building activities.
In Professional Ways The middle school faculty, many of whom also teach in the high school, offer subject area expertise combined with the teaching skills to maximize learning at the early adolescent level and beyond. They meet regularly as a teaching team to pay special attention to each student's personal/academic growth and progress.