The Middle School day begins at 7:50 a.m. each morning with a "Deck meeting" when all students and teacher assemble on the deck to share daily announcements, news and other happenings. Each morning, students attend core classes on a rotating schedule (so they never have the same class first thing in the morning), with a nutrition break around 9:45 each day.
A gourmet lunch is delivered each day from the Dunn Kitchen around 12:15, which is available to students for $7 per day. Once a week, the kitchen prepares an international tasting menu, which is available to students for free. And on Fridays, 8th graders can eat in the Upper School dining hall for free, to experience a taste of life as a high school student.
After lunch, students spend time in a variety of ways that really sets Dunn School apart from its peers. Students have "family time" twice a week, when they meet with a group comprised of their peers across the three grades and a faculty advisor. Every day (except for Wednesdays), students attend their enrichment classes -- electives of all sorts selected by faculty to gently encourage students out of their comfort zones. These days end with P.E. class or sports practice. On Wednesdays, students particulate in longer enrichment activities -- like surfing, nature hikes, museum trips, or other experiences that take longer.
Each day ends at 3:30, when students must be picked up from school. However, Dunn also offers Homework Heaven -- a supervised study hall at no cost to families from 3:45 - 5 p.m. for families who cannot pick students up at the end of the school day or for students who need extra help and support with their homework.
Throughout the year, the teachers also plan a lot of special learning opportunities. Co-curricular events include:
- Science Fair, a tried and true opportunity for students to make a scientific case for an everyday phenomenon
- Hero Day, when 6th graders bring their heroes to school for a special luncheon.
- Day of Caring, a school-wide volunteer day when students work on the school campus or in the local community
- Student Internships, when students partner with local business owners, government officials or non-profits to learn about a "day in the life" of a workplace.
- Pancakes and PJs, an annual tradition when dads cook breakfast for students, who get to come to school in the pajamas. The day includes an annual chess tournament.
- Social Studies Fair, a student-produced festival that focuses on one time period they learn about in social studies classes.
- El Mercado Spanish-language Fair, an opportunity to learn about Spanish-speaking cultures and practice what they learn in Spanish language classes.
My daughter graduated two years ago and says ‘Dunn was the best thing that I ever did.’ I think my current senior will say the same.