Starting in fifth grade students change their classrooms more frequently to be prepared for high school; they are expected to complete more assignments digitally and their grading percentage becomes stricter.
They receive six hours of mother tongue and six hours of partner tongue instruction with the possibility to take part in the Double Mother Tongue Program if they have passed the respective test in fourth grade. They can still be tested for the program and, if qualified, start the following semester. (Please see: The JFK Elementary Language Program)
Starting in grades 5 and 6 students receive science class instruction 4 times a week. Science classes involve hands-on activities such as experiments, collecting and analyzing data and building models. There are also science field trips around Berlin and expanding of science learning to our adjacent park. We incorporate STEM learning topics, especially engineering and building.
The embedded JFKS Elective Program starts in fifth grade with two hours (Wednesday and Friday) and continues in sixth grade with one hour (Wednesday) per week. Students sign up for either one year-long or two semester-long electives for each of these days choosing from different fields including music, sports or academics.
In fifth grade, there is also a special music elective giving students the opportunity to learn an instrument with the instrument and instruction being provided by the school. They will take part in either Beginner’s Orchestra or Band, advanced string players will join the Advanced Strings Group. Students who are already playing an instrument on an advanced level can also join the Advanced Orchestra or Band as their Wednesday elective. They as well as students who choose not to learn an instrument will receive an extra music hour as their music elective.
The 5th/6th Grade Choir can be chosen as their Friday elective by students in fifth grade, students in sixth grade can choose choir as one of their two music hours per week. (Please also see: Music in the Elementary School)
Starting in fifth grade students are eligible to become Peer Mediators. A class trip with the entire grade level is taken at the beginning of sixth grade.
At the end of the first semester in sixth grade the transition to the high school is being prepared. The class conference meets to make a preliminary decision which students qualify to go on to seventh grade (usually 98% do.) The second semester includes regular meetings with the middle school counselor who will support the students during their transition to high school and through ninth grade.
The end of sixth grade marks the end of the students’ elementary school career which is celebrated with the “Bridge Ceremony” on the last day of school. They cross the bridge between the elementary and high school buildings saying farewell to the ES principals and being welcomed on the other side by the HS principals.
The Friday before school starts again in August, new 7th graders take part in a special Orientation Day to become familiar with the high school.
The school day for fifth and sixth grade starts at 8:00 and ends at 15:00.
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