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Academic Extension

Academic extension carries out the HMS mission statement by “providing opportunities for individuals to discover and develop their interests and gifts” and it “nurtures the spiritual, intellectual social and physical development of all learners.” (Quotes from HMS Core Values.) By necessity, the bulk of classroom learning focuses on the average learner. We strive to meet the learning needs of struggling students with academic support; academic extension would meet the learning needs of advanced students. The academic extension program at the middle school level is designed to:

  • provide additional academic challenge in the areas of students strengths
  • develop social skills
  • provide opportunity for like-minded students to meet together
  • develop higher level thinking skills
  • retain and develop an inquisitiveness in daily life

Students will be evaluated on the following criteria for inclusion in the program:

  • above average intellectual ability based on achievement tests, InView scores and grades
  • teacher recommendation
  • parent assessment (using a checklist)
  • ability to complete tasks independently
  • interviews with students

The program includes both group activities and time to explore individual projects at length. Because students have strengths in different academic areas, the emphasis of the program changes each marking period.  Examples of emphases for each marking period are:

  • Science and Math/Technology
  • Social Studies/History
  • Writing/Literature/Arts

Students, along with their parents, have the option of choosing how much they would like to participate. They may choose to participate only in the sessions which emphasize their strengths, or they may choose to explore additional areas in which their abilities are either unknown or undeveloped. However, students are requested to sign up for a trimester at a time. (This will allow students working on individual projects time to complete these projects.)


The size of the group would be limited to a maximum of 15 students in grades 6-8.  If the number of students interested in a given trimester is more than 15, administration and teachers would make case-by-case decisions on how to proceed. If fewer than 6 students are interested in a given trimester, the program will not be offered.

Students are given a progress report with their report cards, but it is not considered a grade.