St. Augustine said, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Imagine traveling with your best friends and teachers on a trip away from your school. At Sage, all Middle School students have just this opportunity.
It all starts in the sixth grade with a key component of our transition to the Middle School experience. During the first full week of school in September, our students travel with their teachers to YMCA Camp Beckett in the Berkshires or to Outward Bound on Thompson’s Island where they camp, climb, sail, and/or paddle together, sharing challenges, goal setting, poetry, and team building. They return to school with shared memories, a sense of team, and readiness to tackle all the new challenges of Middle School.
In the spring, seventh and eighth grade students extend their classroom experience to destinations outside the typical schoolroom. An important extension of the humanities curriculum since 1999, trips now also include extensions to further language study. Destinations have included: Costa Rica, Germany, London, Paris, Spain, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Puerto Rico, New York City, Washington, DC, Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto, and a Civil Rights Tour to Alabama and Georgia.
Enrichment activities represent a major component of most curriculum models in gifted education. Likewise, providing extensive depth of content and opportunities for study beyond chronological age expectations are primary goals in The Sage School philosophy of gifted education. The availability of travel opportunities for our Middle School students represents one component of our response to providing well-rounded experience for the gifted learner.
The trips are transformative. Shy students who were once reluctant to step up to do a problem in class suddenly develop self-confidence. Lifetime friendships and connections are forged in the memories, and students expand their appreciation of the world around them.