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MCDS Middle School

Developing Critical Thinking Skills

The Miami Country Day Middle School is a vibrant place where students make connections between schoolwork and the real world as they develop their independence and identity.  

Students are encouraged to join an athletic team, learn to play a musical instrument, build a robot, take part in a theatrical production or try out different elective classes like our outdoor education program.  

The academic program is challenging, focusing on critical thinking skills and the application of content. 
    • Developing Critical Thinking Skills

    • Middle School

      Miami Country Day Middle School Life

Dr. Nima Rouhanifard   Director of Middle School & Director of External Partnerships
Dr. Nima Rouhanifard has recently completed his second year as Director of Middle School at Miami Country Day School (MCDS). Prior to MCDS, Nima was with Avenues: The World School, where he served as Director of Student Life and Learning for their Virtual Campus, grades 6 through 12. Nima is described by those who know him well as an exceptional relationship builder and a decisive problem solver, particularly through times of change. Nima holds an undergraduate degree in Economics and Spanish Literature from Vanderbilt University, a master’s degree in Education Policy and Management from Harvard University and an Ed.D. in Educational and Organizational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. Nima’s history of academic distinction, real life, tangible knowledge and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion honors the core values of Miami Country Day School. 
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Curriculum For
MCDS Middle Schoolers

Today’s children have the ability to access information instantly with their electronic devices. Our goal therefore is to focus on the application of knowledge, so that our students know how to use information. They become skilled critical thinkers that ask “why” or “how”.

There are more than 38 elective offerings to encourage our Middle School children to try new things. Leadership and service-learning opportunities are built into the program.
    • Curriculum For MCDS Middle Schoolers

    • Middle School Advisory

MCDS Middle School Advisory

The role of our advisors is to oversee student progress, plan activities and trips and provide a safety net as they monitor every student’s academic and social/emotional progress.

Advisors answer parents’ questions about a student’s progress and contact a parent in case of any issues or concerns.

With advisors, students can discuss school and/or social issues with an adult in the community who is there to listen and offer advice that does not involve a grade.

Community Time

We understand the importance of the Middle School years as this is the first time students being to reflect critically about the world around them. As a result, this is also when strong values begin to be engrained in habits and routines. All of our students have a robust curriculum tied to current events led by advisors to help students develop skillsets that transcends context. Themes of the advisory curriculum are also directly tied to our school’s core values of Honor, Respect, Compassion, Wisdom, and Purpose. There are discussions about life skills such as:
  • Conflict resolution
  • Decision making
  • Understanding oneself and others
  • Identifying goals and values
  • Substance abuse
  • Human sexuality
Students have the opportunity to practice coping and problem-solving skills. The guidance counselor also offers specific techniques for promoting self-esteem and respect for others.
    • Learning Life Skills

Life On Campus

Students have a 20-minute break in the day and a 45-minute lunch period where they decide what to do, where to go and with whom they will socialize.
    • Life On Campus

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Our 8th grade peer counselors work with students at lunch for students to talk with each other about issues that relate to their lives at school.  

Students have multiple after-school activities to choose from, including athletics, drama rehearsals and club meetings, as well as activities organized by the student government and leadership classes.

Artistic Expression

The arts program is all about empowering students and challenging them to push themselves as artists and performers.

Our arts students make things happen on the stage, behind the scenes and in our Center for the Arts gallery. From dance and theater performances to concerts and more, our students are participants in creating and exploring their artistic potential.
    • Artistic Expression

    • Athletic Training

Athletic Training

Our athletics help to foster team-building skills, problem solving skills, self-discipline and self-confidence. The program also promotes a healthy lifestyle with physical activity.

Through the development of these skills it is believed that our student athletes will become confident, contributing members of the community. While they are developing their character, they are also learning the techniques to become skilled in any of the many sports we offer.

Field Experience Through COEP

The Comprehensive Outdoor Education Program (COEP) program challenges students in:
  • Academic skills
  • Outdoor and physical tasks
  • Leadership development
The goals of COEP are to complement and enhance traditional education by offering hands-on experience. The curriculum uses a standard class schedule and includes areas like camping and backpacking skills, using a compass, first aid and survival skills.
The year-long course develops field experience through weekend trips that actively develop our students’ practical skills.
    • Field Experience

Student Leadership

The Student Leadership Elective is one of the platforms that allows students to have a voice in designing their experience at MCDS. In addition to supporting service opportunities for the school, members of the Student Leadership Elective plan interactive assemblies and all of our Field Day activities designed to deepen connections across all grades and between all members of the middle school community. When students are tasked to lead these charges, they effectively curate content that is most relevant and frame it all in a way that will ultimately maximize engagement.
    • Service Learning

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Twice per year there is an additional morning of service where students choose from service opportunities such as visiting a school to work with the students, cleaning a park or visiting a nursing home. Many Middle School students also pursue or develop their own service projects. 
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