Differences and Similarities Between Middle and Upper School
Posted 12/03/2021 01:15PM

Differences And Similarities Between Middle And Upper School

By: Owen Michalowski

Wooster is unique because students from grades 5-12 go to the same school. It is much more common for middle school and high school students to go to different schools. Even at Wooster, both levels of a students' academic career still have some important differences.

Some of the structure from Middle School goes away in Upper School to help teach us to self-regulate. A big example is phones, in middle school students do not have phones with them. However, in upper school students have to make their own decision about if it's an appropriate time for them to use their phones.

When I interviewed Mr. S'Chevalier, a middle school history teacher, he said that upper school students have free periods where they can take electives. Most middle school classes are required and students don't have much influence on what classes they take. He also told me about how 5th and 6th grade is separated from 7th and 8th grade because when the year started 5th and 6th grade could not get the Covid vaccine. Mr. S'Chevalier also shared some similarities with me such as how many middle school classes have a more advanced version in upper school.

When I interviewed Ms. McLeod, an upper school humanities teacher, she told me that upper school students are trusted with more freedom. There is a lot of responsibility that comes with this freedom. Upper School students are expected to act like responsible adults while middle school has more structure and mandates to force them to.

As a student who recently made the transition from middle school to upper school, I have noticed some changes. The work gets a lot harder and tests become more frequent. In my personal opinion, middle school is easier because you can learn with less pressure while having rules to help you. This is expected and even though upper school is more challenging, students can rely on their teacher for support and be very well prepared for when they go to college.

Overall, even though there are some differences between middle school and upper school, it is all still Wooster, which makes for an easier transition than most schools. I think Wooster is a great school for middle and upper school. Overall, both are important for preparing students for their future.


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