Our Upper School at Foothills consists of our 5-6 class and Junior High (grades 7-9). Our Upper School educational program stresses critical thinking and we ask a lot of our students. We want to know what our students think and believe. Foothills wants them to learn how to think for themselves and support their ideas with research and evidence. We want them to learn how to listen to opposing points of view with an open mind. And while challenging them intellectually, we try to balance that rigor with a warm, supportive learning environment in classrooms, where students feel safe to take intellectual risks.
Students in the Upper School read challenging books and expand their writing and mathematical skills daily. Their science and history classes start requiring more of them, and they also have more social opportunities as they enter Junior High. For example, our 7-9 class has a student council that organizes social activities, like dances, class parties, and spirit week.
Our Upper School students have rich, amazing experiences in Performing Arts and Visual Arts, Spanish, Music (5-6), Debate (7-9), and service-learning as part of their regular schedules, where they learn to express themselves in many different ways for different audiences. Students in the Upper School also focus more purposefully on projects with a social justice component, and actively give back to the Boise community.
It’s not unusual to see Junior High students laughing and enjoying themselves while engaged in compelling discussions about difficult texts, like The Brothers Karamozov, in their Language Arts seminar class. Our students want to be challenged--without being stressed out--and really enjoy their learning, and that’s what we want for them too.