Middle School

Daily Life in the Middle School

Guidance Counseling

The School Psychologist and/or Social Worker serves as a resource to students, families and faculty members. This professional works to optimize the learning and emotional well-being of all students, through a range of both direct and indirect services. The psychologist or social worker reports directly to the Director of the Middle School and works collaboratively with other administrators, learning specialists and classroom teachers.


6th and 7th Grade Grade Dean System

The 6th and 7th grades have their own Dean assigned to support the individual students on their journey through Middle School. The Deans collaborate with the Middle School Director and Assistant Director to advocate for the social-emotional and academic interests of the students in their respective grades by frequently interacting with the students, their teachers, the School psychologist and their parents. They are critical to shaping the life of the Middle School by creating a sense of community through the advisory program, student government and other community building activities and programs. 

Service Learning and Philanthropy

Middle School students regularly participate in meaningful service-learning activities. The goal is to develop social awareness through direct and indirect service learning. Middle School students deliver meals to the elderly with CityMeals and visit Goddard Riverside to speak to Goddard’s Director about what services the Center provides and who it serves, and then spend time at the Center’s elderly home and day care center. Students run bake sales and donate the money raised to carefully selected organizations. The Middle School also invites guest speakers from charitable organizations, including: the Fresh Air Fund, Ready, Willing and Able (The Doe Fund), Make A Wish, The Foundling Hospital, International Rescue Committee, Pencils of Promise, CITTA, Safe Horizons, Special Olympics, ABC (Association to Benefit Children) and the New York Center for Law and Justice.

Middle School Sports Teams

CGPS offers the following club sports for 5th & 6th graders:
Fall: Soccer, Cross Country
Winter: Basketball 
Spring: Soccer, Volleyball, Baseball, Track & Field

 Our club sports are primarily instructional with our main focus on improving individual skills and teamwork. There are scheduled practice times after school (3:00 - 4:30pm) with intra-squad scrimmages, however, we do not compete against other schools.

Extended Day/Lion's Den

The Middle School offers an extended day program, affectionately known as “The Lion’s Den”. It provides a safe structured environment where students may do their homework, read, study, relax or socialize with their peers. The Lion’s Den runs from 3:00-6:00 pm Monday through Friday. The program is housed in multiple locations, depending on what activity is taking place. These locations include the first floor cafeteria, computer room, Grammar School gymnasium and the Middle School rooftop play yard. The Lion’s Den is organized and broken down into various segments, which include:

  • Mindfulness Mindfulness is a practice used to detach oneself from anxiety and stress. As an important component of The Lion’s Den, this ten to fifteen minute transitional period is strongly recommended but not mandatory.
  • Homework Helper Homework Helper encourages students to do as much of their homework as possible during a 60 minute period. Homework assistance is available for students who may have clarifying questions. For those students who do not have any homework on a particular afternoon, worksheets or packets that reinforce current material will be made available for students who would like to practice their skills. Current books being used in each class will be made available. 
  • Table Tennis/Board Games Table Tennis involves pairs of students who are taught how to run forehand and backhand drills. Occasionally, round-robin matches are conducted, and students have the opportunity to engage in friendly, healthy competition, while having lots of fun at the same time. This experience fosters the strengthening of their gross and fine motor skills. Tables in the cafeteria will be utilized for TT, but twice a month students play on regulation-sized boards in the Underground Theater. Students not interested in table tennis will have access to various board games and bean bag toss. 
  • Physical Activity During Physical Activity time, a form of vigorous supervised activity will be facilitated. This activity may include basketball, football, wall-ball and dodge ball to name a few. 
  • Structured Downtime In the last half hour of the day, students may read or have quiet conversations. They may play appropriate computer games, board games or cards.  Students may decide what they want to do as the day comes to a close and they wait to get picked up by their parents/guardians. This time may be best described as “supervised free time.”

Student Government

The purpose of the Student Government is to provide citizenship experience for CGPS Middle school students, thereby encouraging student participation, a sense of pride of place and school spirit; and to sponsor activities which further these goals. Responsibilities of the Student Government include sponsoring social and extracurricular activities, representing the student body when necessary, and raising money for varied organizations.

Lion Link

Lion Link is a Middle School leadership program in which students apply and must be accepted in order to participate in this highly selective program, which pairs a new incoming Middle School student with a current CGPS Middle Schooler. The expectation is that the Lion Link members will act as a mentor to their new student buddy. Lion Link members may be asked to help at various Admissions events throughout the school year.

Lion Link teacher advisors are responsible for differentiating new students and connecting them with teachers and peers. The program recognizes the importance of social connection and, as such, it guarantees that new students belong to a peer group. The program educates new students on strategies for how to succeed academically and socially. It also promotes and facilitates communication and coordination between home and School.

Advisors are responsible for checking in with their advisees in-person or by email twice per week at the beginning of the school year and once per week after the students have acclimated. They inform new students of such beloved School traditions including: Columbia Cares Day, Halloween Party, Columbia On Ice, Pajama Day, Holiday Assembly & Food Drive, Middle School Book Swap, Spirit Days, Field Day and Moving Up Day. Advisors meet with their advisory group on a monthly basis to foster a connection between the Advisor and the advisees as well as between the students themselves. This relationship building may be breakfast together or participation in a group activity. Advisors also introduce new students to the myriad of opportunities in the Middle School which include: the fifth grade play, the sixth and seventh grade musical, Select Chorus, Jazz Band, student government and athletics.