Middle school is a bustling, vibrant community of teachers and sixth through eighth graders. These “middle” years are a time for students to take on increased responsibility in academics but also to enjoy increased involvement in community service, student government, sports and a dizzying number of extracurricular activities from which to choose.
Along with clubs, activities and sports, middle school also offers students leadership opportunities to give them a voice in the daily operation of the school. Some clubs and organizations become involved in community service projects, while others may focus on the environment or the arts. In essence, the middle school is committed to helping young people grow and mature in as many ways as possible.
Click on the links below for course details.
All middle school students are assigned to an advisory group, which meets each morning during the homeroom time slot. The advisory program plays a critical role in monitoring and supporting academic and social progress so that each individual feels known, heard and understood. Advisory groups are small, grade-level packs where each student has automatic membership.
Advisory groups focus on issues that relate to students in their roles as people, as learners, and as members of the community. The ultimate goal is for students to understand themselves better and to explore topics as varied as developing personal goals, celebrating accomplishments and avoiding making bad decisions. Advisors are also available to meet with families as the need arises.
The Ambassadors Club promotes friendship, service, and school spirit as the “face of Keith” in the school community. Members volunteer at various admission functions throughout the school year, conduct shadow visits, and act as hosts at events such as the BEK Scholarship Exam, Information Fair, and new student orientation. The Ambassadors Club is open to middle and upper school students.
Each fall Keith eighth graders and fifth graders head off with their faculty advisors for team building, leadership training and outdoor education at Camp Timber-lee. This experience offers a wide variety of activities for students to be exposed to hands-on learning in the outdoors. Zip lines, camping, climbing towers, archery, boating and much more are all part of the experience.
Ceramics Club gives current potters an opportunity to practice their art under the guidance of renown Raku artist, Robert Sunday. The club is also open to students interested in learning pottery. In addition to pottery, the club also works on sculptures and other ways to work with clay as an art form.
Certamen is an oral team competition with a format which is a cross between that of College Bowl and that of Jeopardy. It requires a broad-based knowledge of the classics. Questions cover the Latin language (vocabulary, grammar, derivatives), as well as classical mythology, history, and culture. Teams of four students compete in four levels: Junior High, Latin I, Latin II, and Advanced (Latin III-V). Keith has been a member of the Illinois Certamen League for several decades, competing annually in three meets with schools in the Northwestern Illinois Regionals.
The Honor Council is a group of students responsible for enforcing the ideals expressed in the school’s honor code. Students are elected by faculty and class vote at the beginning of the school year. The representatives in this group are expected to set the example for upholding these ideals themselves. The structure of the honor council is as follows:
* three representatives from the senior class (one non-voting chair)
* two representatives from each of the other high school classes
* a vice chair (senior)
* two secretaries (one a senior or junior, the other a junior or sophomore)
Interact is an international organization of service and social clubs for young people of secondary school age that fosters leadership and responsible citizenship and promotes international understanding and peace. The name was created by combining the words “international” and “action.” Interact Clubs are sponsored by Rotary Clubs as a program of Rotary International. Rotary Clubs provide guidance and inspiration, but the Interact Clubs are self-governing and self-supporting. Clubs take a variety of forms, both single-gender and mixed as well as large and small. The membership base of a club can be drawn from the student body of a single school or from two or more schools from the same community.
Keith middle and upper school students have opportunity to compete in high level mathematics competitions. Seventh and eighth grade students participate in MathCounts, an event designed to inspire excellence, confidence and curiosity in middle school students through fun and challenging math programs. Students participate in regional MathCounts competitions once a year.
MS Quiz Bowl/Scholastic Bowl
Is your brain filled with tons of facts, information, and trivia? Then this is the club for you! Quiz Bowl is a middle school activity where four-person teams compete in an academic competition. Competition material comes from social studies, mathematics, language arts, health, current events, fine arts, sports and popular culture. The quiz bowl season runs from the winter to late spring. There are teams available for a variety of grades and skill levels so any middle schooler is welcome to participate.
The Middle School Scholastic Bowl is an academic competition with a quiz-bowl format designed to encourage and promote academic excellence. Teams consists of five players who are asked questions that demand quick recall of facts from all academic areas, as well as general knowledge, current events, sports and the arts. Based on student interest, up to four scholastic bowl teams will participate in any given season with the top team competing at the end of the season in both regional and statewide tournaments.
Both Quiz and Scholastic Bowl teams will usually practice weekly. Regular season matches usually take place after school but the teams do occasionally compete in tournaments too.
Middle School Student Government
Have you ever thought of running for office and making a difference in the middle school community? Then MSSG may be the place for you! MSSG is the middle school student council and is an elected group of class representatives that meets weekly to organize middle school social opportunities such as dances, rec nights, fundraisers, open gym nights, off campus social events, and team building projects. There are two “Middle School Class Representative” positions open for each of the 6th, 7th, and 8th classes. The offices of Treasurer and Secretary are open to 7th and 8th graders and the offices of President and Vice President are open to 8th graders. MSSG class representatives and officers are elected by their classmates in September for a one-year term of office. Consider running for office and serving the middle school in this fun leadership and character building organization.
Ping Pong Club
The Ping Pong Club is a fun Friday activity for students to hang out after school and play ping pong on the third floor of the middle and upper school building. This activity is open to all students.
Tri-M Music Society
Tri-M is an upper and middle school music honor society. It is designed to recognize students for their academic and musical achievements, reward them for their accomplishments and service activities and to inspire other students to excel at music and leadership. The Keith chapter, run by the students but supervised by an advisor, is one of 4,500 participating in several countries.
Washington D.C. Trip
Experience our Nation’s capitol with your classmates! This trip is offered every other year to 7th and 8th grade students. Students will spend four days in the Washington D.C. area seeing exciting places like the Smithsonian, the White House, Gettysburg, Arlington National Cemetery, Fort McHenry, the Spy Museum, National Monuments, the National Archives, and dozens more sites during this action packed trip. Details and preliminary signups for the April, 2014 trip will be available in February, 2013.
The middle school organizes and runs school-wide “mock” elections during election years. All middle schoolers are welcome to participate and help organize the election, create the voter awareness assembly, “register” student voters, work the election booths, and give speeches for political candidates. It is a fun after-school activity, and all middle schoolers are most welcome to join! We will meet throughout the month of October in preparation for the Keith 2012 Mock Election.
Three times a year, middle school advisory groups perform community service projects. Student groups rotate to different venues each time, providing the students with a variety of experiences to appreciate the diverse needs of the community. These projects are designed to promote philanthropy and prepare middle school students for the 90-hour community service requirement needed to graduate. Additional goals for the program are to:
1) To develop character by providing services to those in need.
2) To appreciate the diversity of the global community and to accept responsibility for the development of that community.
3) To foster the spirit of volunteerism as an integral part of the American way of life.
4) To share the resources and talents of the Keith student body while acquiring new skill as volunteers.
In a fun and relaxed environment, you will have the opportunity to utilize and further refine your musical skills by being grouped with other musicians to form a rock band. It doesn’t matter if you are a novice or an advanced player; Summer Rocks is an exciting environment to sharpen your skills, whether you play guitar, bass, drums, or vocals. Each day is planned with time to learn, time to rehearse, and time for fun.
Summer Rocks is about helping you pursue your rock music dreams by offering both instrumental master sessions and group rehearsals to enhance your playing skills while giving you some inside tips on how to interact musically with other band members. Best of all, it gives you the opportunity to experience actually being in a rock band. You name the band, you pick the songs. This camp gives you a chance to express your individuality as an artist while exposing you to some performance fundamentals that will develop your confidence and stage presence. For more information on Rock Camp, click on link on www.summer-rocks.com.
Summer Rocks Goals
- Provide useful musical instruction to students of all skill levels
- Develop practice skills and discipline to set goals
- Build self-esteem and confidence
- Promote teamwork
- Create an opportunity for collaboration and networking with fellow musicians
- Encourage and nurture the love of music and performing
- Perform in a live concert setting
- Learn and Have FUN
Rocks the Park Concert
A Summer Rocks highlight! Each Friday night, the young musicians who have participated in camp that week will perform in the Sinnissippi Park Band Shell. Selected songs will be rehearsed during the week to showcase the students’ progress. Friends and family are welcome to attend.
Students are introduced to the techniques needed to play the music they love – rock! Campers attend classes and rehearsals each day, focusing on their chosen instrument during their morning master class and switching to a group emphasis during the Band Basics afternoon classes. Instructor-coached rehearsals throughout each day will cover the material for the Friday night concerts. In addition, special guests from the music industry will present discussions on their area of expertise. Past guests have provided instrumental clinics, tips on how to promote your band and insight on being successful in a rock band.
Our student to staff ratio is 6-to-1 and our student to teacher ratio is 8-to-1. (Staff includes teachers and counselors.)
Playing with Bands
Campers play in bands under the direction of a faculty coach. Summer Rocks will make every effort to group students into bands by age and musical preference. Teachers guide their groups through a team-oriented process of learning, rehearsing and performing their selected music. Campers may request in advance to be placed in bands with their friends, and we will do our best to make this happen.
Camp is intended for current middle and upper school school students (grades 6-12), and is limited to 38 students per week.