This image is prominently displayed on our seventh grade dean’s website...
This image is prominently displayed on our seventh grade dean’s website. It’s a bit of comic relief to combat the bad rap that the middle school years get. And it is a perfect example of one of the goals of the new Grade Level Dean program in the Upper School (sixth-eighth grades) at Crane School - to add an element of fun to the social lives of middle school students.
The Grade Level Dean program focuses on the social aspect of the middle school experience at Crane. As a school we are constantly assessing what changes we can make and how we can better the education of our students - both the academics and the social aspect. As with all of our unique programs, we strive to balance rigor and joy.
While Crane operates beautifully as a K-8 school, we want to give our middle school students the physical and mental space to grow during what can be challenging years. The Grade Level Dean program aims to achieve many goals, including: elevating the middle school student voice at Crane, building strong communities at the grade level and throughout the middle school, fostering middle school spirit and pride, focusing on the social, emotional well-being of our middle school students, and developing open communication between students, Staffulty (faculty + staff), and parents.
We accomplish these goals through a combination of special events, advisory programs, and working collaboratively with the school psychologist, as well as the other administrators to build a welcoming, challenging, and unique middle school experience. To keep parents in the loop, the deans send a monthly Dean’s Dish newsletter to let them know what is going on in and out of the classrooms - everything from photos of science experiments and completed work in English class to trivia competitions in advisory and window painting around campus to spread spirit and cheer for the holiday season.
It takes a special individual to be an educator, and a unique educator to be a middle school teacher. Lucky for us, we have just the individuals to motivate, inspire, challenge, and care for our middle school students at Crane. The grade level deans wear many hats. They are cheerleaders, event planners, listeners, and liaisons.
It has been truly inspiring to watch this new program unfold. During a time of social distancing, increased rules, and less flexibility, this program is even more essential than we had originally anticipated when developing it. We have seen our middle school students thriving with the opportunities to connect with their peers and share joyful moments both virtually and on campus.