Middle School (5-8)

Growing and Thriving in Middle School

Hear our students and recent alums talk about the impact of our Middle School program

Lila '18 on
Setting the Right Pace

Eve '18 and Finn '18 on
Being Your Best Self

Maven '18 and Abe '20 on
The City is Our Classroom

At Capitol Hill Day School...

Students are the changemakers, teachers are the guides, and the city is our classroom

We are fortunate to have our nation’s capital at our doorstep — a one-of-a-kind classroom in which our students learn through frequent field experiences and community engagement.

The middle school years bring profound developmental changes. That’s why Capitol Hill Day School takes a “whole child” approach to help students develop their academic and social-emotional skills.

After graduation, our alumni distinguish themselves in their education and lives, using their curiosity about the world to learn how to answer their own questions.

Middle school students sitting on a mountain.

Our high school placement program includes SSAT prep, interview practice, and long-standing relationships with DC-area private and public high schools.

Capitol Hill Day School's unique approach, rooted in progressive education, helps middle school students learn who they are, and become critical thinkers, compassionate leaders, and engaged citizens.  

Dive into our Middle School Program

Our program prepares students for high school and for life

  • Our graduates thrive at a wide range of outstanding high schools in the region.
  • Our alumni and high school faculty tell us that our graduates are well-prepared for high school coursework.
  • From rewriting the school’s dress code with gender-neutral language, to stocking a nearby food pantry, to organizing the school’s participation in the National School Walkout at the U.S. Capitol, our students serve as changemakers in their communities.
Five 8th graders working together, smiling. using laptops outside.
Five CHDS alumni from the class of 2018 posing for a picture in the Rose Window room of the School.

Our 5th-8th grade program is holistic and student-centered

  • Our progressive education approach gives students opportunities to understand multiple perspectives, and to use their voices to advocate for those around them.
  • Our tightly knit community allows our middle school students to learn in small groups and develop close relationships, supported by teachers who meet students where they are, and nurtured in a community where students feel safe to take risks.
  • Without the pressure and distractions of high school, our students grow into leadership roles and master the skills needed to succeed in high school and beyond.
  • We are intentionally PreK-8th Grade.  Research shows that middle school students thrive in an environment where they can mentor younger children. Similarly, younger students benefit from having older role models, and middle schoolers are more successful when they are looked up to as student leaders.

Learn More about a few key Middle School experiences

The departmentalized curriculum in the upper grades inspires trips closely tied to specific subject areas with different teachers for each. Overnight trips allow students to deeply engage in academic and social topics.

Sheridan Mountain Campus

Sixth and Eighth Graders experience different programs at the Sheridan School Mountain Campus in Luray, VA, designed to develop problem-solving skills and promote teamwork and trust among the students.

Student Led Conferences

Twice yearly Student-Led Conferences help students become more self-reflective and independent, as well as helping them gain important insights about the nature of learning, and motivation to set goals and work towards them.

Students present a work sample for each academic class, as well as a reflection on an "essential question" about their academic work. Students also answer questions about social and emotional aspects of school, and the skills they need to be successful.

6th graders presenting their research to students, teachers and family.

Chesapeake Bay Study

Seventh Grade students participate in an overnight science trip to learn about the Bay’s ecology and how our actions directly affect both the health of the Bay and the people who depend on it to survive. This trip is an important part of the Seventh Grade environmental studies curriculum in science. The ultimate goal is to raise the students’ awareness of the natural world, and help them gain a greater understanding of the sensitive balance of nature.