GCA's Early Middle School
Grace Christian Acacemy Executive Team

The Grace Christian Academy Administration has unveiled a new divison for the school beginning in fall 2018.  This development will offer a more seamless transition for students as they move from the lower school years, through middle school, and on to upper school.

At the last GCA Connection Cafe of the year, Principals Tim Holland (MS/US) and Amy Henderson (LS/EM) unveiled a new division of Grace Christian Academy that will open up a new realm of possibilities for students in the 2018-19 school year.  What exactly is the new "Early Middle School" and what does it mean for your child?  This blog post is designed to answer those questions and communicate the value of this exciting new development for GCA.

Beginning in the 2018-19 school year, GCA will move to four divisions with the creation of Early Middle School which will include 5th and 6th grades.

Rationale

For some time, we have recognized the disparity between 5th grade’s inclusion in Lower School and 6th grade’s inclusion in Middle School. Both grades bear a resemblance to one another and the developmental needs of these students required a fresh take. After reviewing a variety of forward-thinking school models, the GCA team began a series of conversations. The outcome of those discussions led to the conclusion that Early Middle was right for Grace Christian Academy.

Academic Program

The Early Middle division will be led by Mrs. Amy Henderson. Our 5th and 6th grade teachers are united in their support of this transition and have expressed a great many ideas on how to best meet student needs. While continuing the traditional instructional practices that these teaching teams have become known for, a heavy emphasis will be placed on the development of crucial skills Early Middle students will need as they make their way to Middle School and beyond. This includes study skills, use of lockers, time management, social engagement, and host of other executive functioning tasks.

Enrichment and Extracurricular Activities

Students will continue to have a variety of fine arts opportunities including the chance for 6th graders to participate in our annual Storytelling competition for the first time. Students in 5th grade will now be able to participate on certain GCA sports’ teams. Additionally, Early Middle students will worship in a separate, dedicated chapel each week.

This new division will be further developed in the upcoming months and will afford new opportunities and possibilities to our students.  Grace Christian Academy is excited to see how the Early Middle School provides greater development for our fifth and sixth grade students during such a pivotal time in their young lives.