The Junior School at MBA targets the needs and interests of the seventh and eighth grader. Curriculum is designed to develop study habits, engage and challenge intellectually, and provide common learning experiences. This nurturing program looks to the emotional, social, and moral growth of the young man as well as to his intellectual growth. Traditional curriculum is enhanced by its inclusion of the fine and performing arts, education in responsible living, computer skills, and other educational experiences.
The focus of the academic course of study is on skill building within each discipline. Writing, scientific experimentation, problem-solving, and logical and creative thinking are emphasized by a faculty that works closely with each young man. Individualized help is readily available.
The Junior School is designed to meet the particular needs of our seventh and eighth grade boys. This comprehensive program attends to the emotional, social, and moral growth of our youngest men, as well as to their intellectual and athletic development. We recognize that every boy is a Gentleman, Scholar, Athlete in training, and the Junior School provides the tools and support he needs to realize his full potential in the areas of integrity, academics, creativity, and physical fitness.
Boys begin each day in their homerooms where they are greeted by an advisor, who also teaches their first period class. The role of the advisor is to identify and respond to their students’ academic and personal needs, serving as both advocate and mentor. A partnership among students, their families, and teachers is formed based on mutual communication and trust. Frequent e-mail correspondence, in addition to phone calls and conferences, facilitate timely and meaningful contact among the MBA community. Teachers are available 30 minutes before school to provide the boys with additional academic attention.
The core curriculum of the Junior School is fully integrated with that of the High School. Courses are designed to build the foundation upon which all high school academic study is based. Consequently, students in the Junior School have more options available for advanced study in grades 11 and 12; 95 percent of our National Merit Scholars, and the majority of our valedictorians and salutatorians, have had their start here. To complement the core curriculum, a wide variety of enrichment courses are available: choral and instrumental music, forensics, art, and newspaper and literary magazine publications. The rich and varied offerings are designed to reflect and expand upon the diverse academic backgrounds of the incoming students. A typical class, representing educational institutions throughout Middle Tennessee, is comprised of over 30 different public and private schools.
Boys excel in extracurricular activities such as Science Olympiad, and MathCounts. The MathCounts team has won seven state championships and fourteen boys have progressed to the national level. Our Science Olympiad teams are recognized state and national competitors as well.
A devoted faculty of men and women appreciate the vibrancy of students this age; they know how to harness an adolescent boy’s enthusiasm to en-sure that learning will be both meaningful and productive. Skills in writing, language, critical and creative thinking, scientific experimentation, and problem solving are emphasized within a curriculum that is both focused and flexible. Junior School teachers prepare the boys for high school by helping them develop strong study habits, organizational skills, and a sense of personal responsibility.
Physical activity plays an important role in the lives of boys; the athletic program offers a full range of grade-level interscholastic sports throughout the year, as well as non-team activities and intramurals. The goal is to provide many levels of competition while promoting a high level of physical fitness. The Junior School has its own marvelous fields and athletic facility at 42nd Ave. Located only a mile and a half from campus, these fields are used solely by Junior School teams for practice as well as competition.
The Junior School is made up of 15 classrooms, a commons room, administrative offices, a conference room, and a student study area in the Jack C. Massey Building. Using Massey Hall as the hub, students take courses in music, theater, and forensics in other buildings on campus. The Ingram Science Building, for example, houses sophisticated laboratory classrooms designated for Junior School students, as well as a research lab, botanical areas, and a lecture hall.
Junior School traditions create lifelong memories. Seventh grade students ride to school with their senior big brothers on registration day; the Camp Laney retreat encourages bonding among new students and teachers at the start of the school year; and the eighth grade graduation trip celebrates the entire Junior School experience. Collaborative events with the Harpeth Hall Middle School offer age-appropriate academic, social, athletic, and service activities throughout the year. Events that bring the Junior and High Schools together include weekly assemblies and activities that encompass service projects and pep rallies.
The spirit of camaraderie among students in the Junior School is remarkable; the boys have an uncommon appreciation for the achievements of their classmates, and they truly enjoy one another. There is a sense of common purpose in all that they do. Whether the boys are debating a current event, rehearsing for a performance, or studying Latin, the Junior School of Montgomery Bell Academy is a special place for boys at a special time in their lives.