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Upper School (5th - 8th Grade)

Upper School Overview

At Marin Horizon, the Upper School years are a time of exploration and development, both academically and as a citizen of the world. Students are encouraged to work on self-advocacy and academic resilience as they develop critical thinking skills. Students are encouraged to celebrate differences and share their perspectives in an expanding community.

Students gather in homeroom groups every morning, grounding their experience with an advisor and a group of peers. Longer advisory meetings happen weekly and create a sense of belonging within the larger community. Student-led Middle School Meeting is a gathering time to feel a sense of commonality while also celebrating the unique talents and interests of the student presenters.

All subjects in Upper School are departmentalized. Students travel from class to class in groups to learn from teachers in specialized subject areas. All classes offer some level of differentiation, depending on the range of skills of the students in the classroom. The curriculum is designed to help students develop new skills as they work towards mastering content. Project-based learning can be found across subject areas. There are also many touchpoints for integrating the curriculum across disciplines. Creative expression is fostered throughout the Upper School years. Students engage in all of the arts offerings in 5th and 6th grades and are then offered choices to pursue in the arts for 7th and 8th grades.

Science and Social Studies classes are taught in mixed grade groupings, opening up opportunities for academic interactions with a larger number of students and providing deeper levels of collaborative learning experiences.

Students are given many opportunities to grow and thrive outside of the classroom. Opt-in student clubs allow for participation in student leadership, environmental stewardship, service learning, and many other possibilities to explore. School sports give interested students a chance to participate on athletic teams. Marin Horizon Upper School students are also given opportunities to explore the wonder of the natural world during class outings, day trips, and overnight adventures.

Upper school is a time of extraordinary learning and growth. Have a conversation with a nine year-old and then with a 13 year-old and this will become quite evident. Marin Horizon offers a wide array of opportunities for successful development in both academic and social realms.

Above all, the Upper School endeavors to help students take ownership of their own education and graduate with a strong sense of self and a desire to contribute positively to the world.

Ben Fussiner
Director of Upper School

Non-discrimination policy: We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, gender, gender identification, disability or other category protected by law.