Welcome to the Dawson Middle School!

As an educator, I often ask myself how do we as a community raise confident, resilient, and happy children? Young people who push beyond their comfort zone, and do so with poise, determination and a smile? 

A strong middle school embraces the challenge of guiding children on this journey, and we relish our role as your partner. Seriously, we love middle schoolers! Whether in the classroom, on the athletic field, performing on stage, strategizing in a robotics competition or serving our communities, together we are raising children at Dawson who do not simply “take chances” but who enthusiastically “grab” them. Our middle school students are encouraged to grow and be brave. And, we believe our small class sizes, dynamic program, and caring student support team provides the perfect balance to both nurture and challenge our students. 

We believe each student will flourish and discover their voice during these three years, and each year of the Dawson middle school is uniquely crafted to launch students on a spirited trajectory to high school and beyond. Through a comprehensive advisory program, engaging afternoon co-curricular offerings, hands-on learning opportunities, and memorable trip experiences, students are met with care and support by our amazing faculty. Teachers who are not only educators, but also inspiring, enthusiastic mentors and coaches to our students. 

We look forward to meeting you and learning about your children in the months ahead. As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions!

Jay Parker
Middle School Director
It’s an exciting time to be a Dawson Middle School student!

When we think about educating our students, four imperative skills come to mind: creativity—the ability to think outside the box; collaboration—the ability to work together and learn from one another; critical thinking—learning how to evaluate and synthesize information in our increasingly digital world; and communication—understanding written, verbal, and body language to more effectively work with others.

Empowering Students

Teachers are finding multiple ways to empower students to utilize these skills, whether they are making an iMovie project using the preterit tense in Spanish, researching malaria and making plans for distributing mosquito nets to villages in Botswana, creating an iBook or a video game about the nervous system, or building polyhedrons out of gumdrops and toothpicks.

The Dawson Virtues

For kids to really feel comfortable taking risks in the classroom, on the stage, or on the athletic field, we encourage them by modeling our four virtues:
  • Respect: we want our students to work collectively in support of one another.
  • Compassion: we want our students to recognize that they are part of a larger world and to be positive stewards of their community.
  • Courage: we want our students to take risks and step outside of their comfort zones.
  • Integrity: ultimately, we want our students to do the right thing.
At the start of each year students put these virtues into action with the creation of a Middle School Constitution, which is signed by all members of the community and displayed as a daily reminder in the Kiva.

A Sense of Community

Our Middle School is a wonderful community of innovation and inclusion. The culture of the Middle School is such that students feel a strong sense of belonging and know that the community supports them. This enables them to take risks with a willingness to fail and learn from their mistakes.
    • Jay Parker, Middle School Director