Mark Day School
39 Trellis Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903

Middle Division (Grades 4-6)

The essence of the program in grades 4 through 8 is to develop critical and creative thinkers in the core academic subjects who can also make links and connections across the four broad literacies woven throughout the curriculum: global education, media and information education, social-emotional and ethical education, and ecological literacy.

Upper School is divided into Middle Division (grades 4-6) and Upper Division (7-8). Middle Division students remain with their homeroom teachers, two per grade, for core subjects, visiting specialists for Spanish or Mandarin four days a week and art and music once a week. Social-emotional learning is integrated into the curriculum by the teachers.

The core academic subjects continue to challenge our students in Middle Division, and their academic experience is further enriched by greater integration with technology, focused study of their chosen world language, and an exciting curriculum in the arts.

Middle School Expansion (6th-8th Grades)

In 2018, we expanded admission to our 6th grade class to create smaller class sizes and improve opportunities for student voice, greater differentiation, and deeper relationships with teachers. We know that adolescents need strong relationships with adults for healthy development and also that they thrive in a slightly expanded social peer network. Additionally, research has established the positive effects of hands-on, project-based learning, a pedagogical practice that we embrace here, and smaller sections enable more depth in such practices. Diversity of all kinds has been proven to improve critical thinking, perspective taking, overall group decision making, and readiness for leadership in an increasingly diverse and interconnected world; the diversity added to our student population by expanding the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades offers positive outcomes. 

Families joining our expanded 6th grade this past year have noted a smooth transition, a welcoming parent community, and a supportive and comprehensive orientation process. Students are enjoying their leadership role in our 4th-6th grade Middle Division and are looking forward to joining the Upper Division community (7th and 8th grades) in the year ahead.