As a small school, Bethany prioritizes respectful and compassionate relationships. The expectation is that we do things together: learn, work, serve, and worship. Teachers look for opportunities not only to support students’ academic growth, but to challenge and encourage them along the way. In middle school, teachers help students build strong relationships.
Students learn best when they feel known and loved at school. Each child is known and cared for here, and special attention is given to create a positive classroom dynamic. All of these elements work together to ensure the holistic and healthy growth of each child—emotionally, academically, socially, and spiritually.
Curriculum for grades 6-8 is based on Indiana state standards and consists of language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. Grade 6 core courses are taught between two teachers in a collaborative environment; grade 7 and 8 core courses are taught by teachers specializing in each subject area. The robust enrichment curriculum for all middle school students consists of Bible, physical education, choir, band, orchestra, family and consumer sciences, digital communication, and visual arts.
The middle school offers many distinctive opportunities including:
Wilderness Experience: Every fall, students enjoy two days at a nearby camp where they participate in canoeing, archery, wild edibles, animal signs, and cooperative games. Grade 6-7 students stay overnight in cabins while grade 8 students learn survival skills, camp in tents and cook all their meals over a campfire.
Advisory: Each 7-8 grade student is placed in a mentoring-style advisory group with a small group of peers and one faculty member. These groups are designed to help build relationships and facilitate important conversations that are relevant to students’ understanding of themselves, others, and the world around them. Every few weeks, students meet one-on-one with their faculty advisor to talk about academic progress, relationships at school, faith, extracurriculars, and so on. The underlying goal of the advisory program is to support each student’s learning and growth, while also forming personal connections that often last far beyond school. This advisory program continues throughout high school.
Interterm: Students in grades 6-8 take a break from their regular school days to participate in hands-on, experiential-learning courses 3-4 times each year. Recent middle school interterm offerings include beginner ukulele, disc golf, board games, crafts, cooking, sports card collecting, hiking excursions, and local service projects.
Chapel: Middle school students have a weekly chapel service. This dedicated time allows our community to come together to share our stories, sing, be inspired and challenged in our faith, and learn more about the broader world through celebrations such as Christian holidays and events in the liturgical calendar, Hispanic Heritage Month, Indigenous Peoples Day, Earth Day, and more.
Service and Field Day: Each spring, middle school students take the opportunity to serve their community. Sixth and seventh graders spend a morning at various community organizations such as Pathways Retreat Center, Eighth Street Preschool, Salvation Army, The Depot, and others. In the afternoon, students come back together for a fun time of volleyball, tennis, and lawn games on the Goshen College campus.
Ski Trip: A much-anticipated, annual winter outing for all students grades 6-8 to spend a school day on the ski slopes in Michigan.
Eighth Grade Trip: The eighth grade trip caps off the middle school experience by giving each student a chance to celebrate with reflection and togetherness. The trip begins at Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, MI, where the students experience amazing art and engage in some self-reflective spiritual exercises. Then the group travels to another location to enjoy each other's company and simply have fun together - in the past few years locations have included a zoo, an arcade, a bowling alley and miniature golf course.