Middle School

Welcome to the middle school at the American Cooperative School of Tunis. At ACST’s middle school, we consider it a privilege to work with your children every day to help them be their very best selves. We believe that each and every student has a gift to share with the world, and we work hard to unlock their highest potential. We have high expectations of our students, and we have high expectations of ourselves to help our middle school students learn and grow into well-rounded citizens and critical thinkers. ACST aims to develop leadership skills, social and emotional skills, and academic skills to prepare students for success not only in middle school but also in high school, career, relationships, and life-long learning.


ACST middle school students will be taught to view themselves as learners and to think about what it looks like to be a good learner and thinker. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are as important as content knowledge. ACST students will be service minded. Taking action and helping make the community and lives of others better is a priority for ACST middle school students. At ACST, we value our partnership with parents, families, and the community, and we invite you to take an active part in helping your students to achieve their full potential.

Kevin Thomas
Secondary School Principal

Core Educational Program

Middle school students attend five core classes: English/language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, and world language. English/language arts classes utilize a workshop approach, dedicating time for students to engage in authentic reading and writing experiences while developing essential literacy skills. Within the workshop, students participate in targeted mini-lessons, read individually and in book clubs and write in a variety of genres. Our middle school mathematics classes are concept-based, fully engaging students in daily problem-solving and reasoning while building essential content knowledge and fluency. Newly-designed social studies courses are developed from an inquiry-based framework that anchors learning around year-long themes and promotes the application of disciplinary knowledge and skills through case studies. Each course features a "Tunisia Through Time" unit that incorporates fieldwork experience and culminates in a learning exhibition. Performance-based science courses provide students with multiple opportunities to model, investigate, develop explanations, and argue with scientific evidence. Engineering design is integrated into our middle school science courses. All students take a world language class and can choose from French, Arabic, or German.

Electives

Elective courses, offered in both our middle and high school, help support the growth of a holistic learner and provide opportunities for students to follow a passion, learn about a subject of interest, or expand their expertise. Our students can study an additional World Language (Arabic, French, or German)or choose a course in Music (Band, Choir, Music Exploration), Visual Arts, Film & Media, or Multi-Sports. Elective courses run for the duration of the year, but students have an option to switch their elective at the end of the first semester. 

Falcon Time

Falcon Time is our middle school advisory block. Each week, for two 30-minute blocks, students focus on the development of social-emotional skills. Students are assigned to an advisory teacher who leads their group of 6 to 10 participants in age-appropriate topics of adolescent exploration and development. Falcon time is also used to bring grade levels together in assemblies, which are often student-led. These assemblies focus on a division or school event or a culminating celebration of learning.

Student Services

ACST provides counseling services for students who seek support with social and emotional needs and with academic guidance/course selection and a targeted focus on the university application process.  

ACST provides learning support to students who have learning difficulties.  Professional support is a combination of a push in and pull out model.  All learning support learners have regular check-ins from our Learning Support specialist and parents are a part of the goal setting and progress reports.

ACST provides English as Additional Language support to students who are in the process of acquiring proficiency in the English language.  Professional support is a combination of a push in and pull out model.  All EAL learners have regular check-ins from our EAL specialist and parents are a part of the goal setting and ongoing progress monitoring.

Technology

ACST has a 1 to 1 laptop program in the middle school and high school.  In grades 7 - 12 students bring their own laptop computers to school.  In grade 6 students use a school-issued Chromebook which remains at school overnight.  We believe grade 6 is the bridging year for our students to use a laptop computer to support their learning.  ACST students are permitted to use Mac or Windows supported laptops.  ACST has on-site tech support for most computer problems or for supporting software updates.  

Tunisian Studies Fieldwork

Each middle school grade engages in multi-day, on-site fieldwork at different locations in Tunisia as part of our Tunisia Through Time program. Anchored in the social sciences and integrated across the curriculum, Tunisian Studies Fieldwork invites students to bring learning alive while being fully immersed in Tunisian life. In Grade 6, students explore the Cap Bon region to study the geographical impacts of the rise of civilizations. In Grade 7, students see first-hand, the legacy of early globalization through a study of the Roman Empire, visiting El Jem, Sousse, and Monastir. In Grade 8, students reflect on the cultural intersections that have had a lasting impact on the people and culture of Tunisia. With visits to Kairouan, Douz, and Matmata, students experience Tunisian life from the perspective of the many groups of people who call Tunisia home.

Opening Minds

At ACST, our learning is increasingly based on inquiry, where students take an active, rather than a passive role. Instead of the traditional model of a student as an empty vessel needing to be filled with knowledge, we are moving towards putting the student in the driver’s seat as he or she leads the learning.

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