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Blog

Life at the Middle School

Mark Foster; Gaëlle Feliz
We’re taking advantage of this school year to build bonds among our school community — between students, teachers and our staff! Read some snippets of Middle School social life that help cultivate our sense of belonging.
Starlight Cinéma
We re-launched our movie nights at the Middle School, which we’re calling Starlight Cinema this year. Watching movies is a great way for our kids to de-stress with their friends after a long week of school. Plus, organized school activities, like movie nights, allow our students to deepen their social relationships outside of school hours in a safe environment. Students vote on which movies they want to watch and the Student Council organizes snacks for sale. In September, we screened  our first movie of the year, The Princess Bride, to great acclaim. In October, we did a special screening of Stand by Me with the G5 class as part of our relationship building with the Lower School. 

At the beginning of November, we held a “throwback film” night.  Out of five options that were at least 25 years old (ancient in our Middle Schoolers’ eyes), the Middle School Student Council selected the Robin Williams version of Jumanji. In a week, we’re hosting another special G5 and G6 event, where we will be showing the French movie Azur et Asmar, an animated film by the creator of the movie Kirikou. To promote literacy and comprehension for our IT students, this movie will be in with French subtitles.

Lunch with Doc — Getting to know the Interim Head of Middle School
Getting to know our Middle School kids in a meaningful way can take time and energy. This year, Interim Head Mark Foster (Doc) launched an informal Friday lunch program, called Lunch with Doc, in order to interact with and get to know each student in depth. Every week, four students are invited for a pizza lunch in the Head’s office—so far this year, 30 students have participated. These lunches provide an opportunity for check-ins — Doc asks what’s been going well, what problems students are facing, and they discuss one change they would like to see at EB. 

Some kids are exceedingly gregarious, others tend to be more reserved, so it’s great to have an intimate, non-academic space to allow kids to express themselves fully. Doc hopes to create an environment where our students feel seen and heard. According to Doc, “It’s wonderful to be able to address the needs and concerns of virtually every young person, plus I’m getting to see a different side of each student outside of class.”

Theater (aka Drama) is Coming Back!
Theater can be a powerful educational tool for young adults. Not only does theater help students develop a strong sense of self and identity, but it can also build empathy and a love of learning among peers, while broadening their meaning of the world around them. After a long hiatus courtesy of the pandemic, the drama program is coming back to the Middle School! The theater team is considering kick starting the program with Ed Graczyk’s, The Rude Mechanicals, a one-act comedy for ten actors, loosely adapted from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The show will be co-directed by Diane and Mark Foster, who both have experience in the world of theater and have previously run high school theater programs in Connecticut, France, and Jordan. Auditions are planned to be held after Thanksgiving, to gauge how many students might be interested in participating—we look forward to seeing our Middle Schoolers on stage!
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Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley does not exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject any individual to discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin. This policy applies to all programs, services, and facilities, including applications, admissions, and employment.