Middle School | Grades 6-8

We cultivate compassionate and engaged citizens rooted in the core values of diversity and inclusion, who continuously strive for personal excellence through innovation and creativity, and who are committed to the Pilgrim School and Los Angeles communities.

Our Middle School program supports students in developing identity, a sense of belonging, and personal agency through opportunities to explore and achieve in and out of the classroom.

Our Middle School program is designed to challenge and excite students while supporting their social-emotional development in this critical period of transition.  Students will learn to navigate new levels of independence and freedom, changing friend dynamics and increased responsibility. Middle School is a time of rapid personal growth, and students thrive in our caring and supportive environment.

Our core academic programs in English, mathematics, social studies, and science are supplemented with opportunities to dive deep into the arts, world language, and STEM through our electives and explorations courses.  Students will expand their ability to think, reason, problem-solve, and communicate while also being given the space to explore and find their creative voice.

Curriculum Overview

List of 9 items.

  • English Language Arts

    The goal of the English Department is to develop clear and meaningful communication through reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Students learn to think critically, effectively express ideas, and examine varied interpretations of literature through reading for information and pleasure. We engage in a diverse selection of texts and regularly update the pieces that students read.
    6th Grade English focuses on developing foundational skills necessary for success in middle and high school. Students analyze people, events, and ideas in texts and learn to annotate literature as they read. They work on developing a claim and writing organized paragraphs with textual evidence.
    7th Grade English builds on the foundation set in the previous year. Students will explore various literary techniques and poetic devices while developing reading comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary. Students explore their imagination and voice through creative writing and continue to build skills in composing effective paragraphs.
    8th Grade English prepares students for the materials and rigor of the high school curriculum. Critical thinking, reading strategies, and understanding of literary elements are enhanced through sophisticated core texts. The curriculum is also supplemented with essays, short stories, and poetry throughout the year. Through these works, students explore their own identities and the nature of the society they live in, and they are challenged to examine society from different perspectives.
  • Mathematics

    The Mathematics department strives to create critical thinkers who embrace problem-solving as a creative process by encouraging students to explore first. Students use their failures and successes to develop learning pathways that are meaningful, interesting, and inspiring. They understand mathematics as a global language and engage in authentic applications across borders and boundaries. 
    Students in middle school develop a foundation in the core concepts across number sense, algebra, geometry, and statistical thinking. All students entering Pilgrim take an assessment to determine the appropriate course level. Students may take a more advanced course in middle school in consultation with school leadership.
    Middle School students have taken the following courses in mathematics:
    Middle School Math 1 (6th Grade Targets)
    Middle School Math 2 (7th Grade Targets)
    Middle School Math 3 (8th Grade Targets)
    Algebra 1
    Algebra 2
  • Science

    The Science Department prepares students to be curious, creative scientists knowledgeable in scientific processes, precise in their measurements, thoughtful in their conclusions, and skeptical of scientific claims. Students engage in authentic, self-directed inquiry to develop a global, ethical, and robust understanding of scientific principles and problem-solving strategies. Through independent and collaborative work, students find meaning and connection with the world around them.

    6th Grade - The Dynamic Earth
    What are the natural processes of the world and how do they affect the world around us?

    7th Grade - The Living Earth
    Why is Earth such a special place, and what impacts do humans have on our surroundings?

    8th Grade - The Physical Earth
    Why does matter important and how do interactions between energy and matter impact them both?
  • Social Studies

    The Social Studies Department facilitates students’ development toward becoming engaged community members at all levels. Students form their responses to thematic questions in social sciences through an inquiry-based curriculum, research projects, and analysis of primary sources. Students engage with multiple perspectives - traditional narratives alongside historically excluded stories and voices. Students will build an understanding of the relationship between past and present to shape a better future.

    6th Grade - Introduction to Social Studies
    What is Social Studies and how do people in those disciplines contribute to our understanding of how societies work?

    7th Grade - World History
    What are the long-term changes and recurring patterns in world history?

    8th Grade - U.S. History
    What do we mean when we say “we” in American history?
  • World Language

    The World Language department immerses students in the target language and culture of the course. Language learning is an opportunity to expand knowledge while gaining respect, understanding, and enjoyment worldwide. In addition, students use the language to communicate with others and take pride in their ability to do so.
    Students can take either Spanish or Mandarin. Students enter Middle School beginning at either our introductory course or taking a placement assessment to determine the appropriate level within the target language.
  • Explorations

    The goal of the Explorations program is to provide students with an opportunity to explore a variety of different subjects and topics during their time in Middle School.  The Explorations that students take in Middle School lead directly to more extensive programs in High School.

    Explorations courses have included:
    Artificial Intelligence
    Written Out Loud
    Engineering Design and Modeling
    Studio Art
    Theater Arts
    Digital Video 
    Creative Writing
  • Electives

    Middle School students choose one Elective course that they take for the entire school year. Electives are an excellent way for students to dive deeper into the subjects where they are most passionate.
    Current Elective courses include:
    Beat Lab
    Theater Arts
    Studio Art
    Creative Writing
    Environmental Science
  • Physical Education

    The Physical Education department empowers the vision that everyone is a student-athlete. Through interdisciplinary design and strategy/teamwork, our coaches look to facilitate continuing education in the world of play and athletics.
    Middle School students take a PE class that meets every other day and can also participate in after-school athletics. To learn more about Pilgrim Athletics, click here.
  • Advisory

    The Advisory program in the Secondary School is a weekly, small group time for students and advisors to work together to strengthen community relationships through conversations and activities. The focus of advisory is building interpersonal relationships, communicating and having discussions, responsible decision making, global understanding, and emotional intelligence. Advisory is an open and safe space for students to approach topics of concern within the school, their lives, or their community with the support of an invested and engaged adult.

Middle School Leadership

List of 6 members.

  • Photo of Ryan Grady

    Mr. Ryan Grady 

    Director of Secondary School
  • Photo of Gabriel Perkins

    Gabriel Perkins 

    Secondary STEM MS Faculty; 6th and 7th Grade Dean
  • Photo of Jonathan Woods

    Jonathan Woods 

    Secondary-History Faculty; 8th and 9th Grade Dean
  • Photo of Ryan Oishi

    Ryan Oishi 

    Secondary-STEM Faculty; Dean of Student Life
  • Photo of Jason Ickovitz

    Jason Ickovitz 

    School Counselor & Advisor
  • Photo of Nora Kiely

    Ms. Nora Kiely 

    Director of Student Services