I DO so many things every day that encourage me to think big and dream bigger.


(ages nine through twelve, grades four through six)

The charge of the Upper Elementary program is to reinforce and solidify a student’s long-term responsibilities to be engaged and active learners, good citizens, and caretakers of the global community. Maturity and the development of abstract reasoning skills allow students to explore new aspects of their interaction with the learning environment, peers, and curriculum. Students at this level want to apply their knowledge and experiences to new challenges and are ready to be campus leaders.

  • Core studies include mathematics, geometry, language, creative writing, literature, science (both biological and physical), history, civics and technology.
  • Lessons are taught with an aim to making learning relevant, authentic to real-world experience, and guided toward student ambitions and passions.
  • Instructors teach to individual learning intelligences and assess learning in a variety of ways.

In addition to these studies, Upper Elementary students also rotate through four skill-based seminars during the course of their Upper Elementary years. These seminars are a semester-long intensive study in specific 21st Century skills and include Leadership and Service, Innovation and Technology, Global Science and Stewardship, and Economic Literacy and Entrepreneurship. Each seminar is designed to empower students with the skills necessary to make a positive impact on the world. Through the seminar work, students gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the interconnectedness and interdependence of concepts and ideas
  • environmental sustainability
  • economic development
  • diversity
  • human rights
  • change management (understanding the reasons why and ways communities experience change in the past and present)
  • conflict resolution and peace building

The MSD Upper Elementary learning environment is experiential, socially interactive, challenging, collaborative, reflective, and student-centered. Students learn the social cognition skills necessary to build a classroom community that is supportive, inclusive and respectful of individual ideas and learning. Overall, the program promotes confidence and achievement, reinforcing the importance of responsibility, service, ownership of knowledge, and integrity. Students in the Elementary programs attend school from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm.