Would a Private Middle School Benefit Your Child?

By Maureen Leming

In one classroom, students are building Lego Mindstorm robots and programming them to move. In another, they’re using sock puppets to re-enact the short story "Tobermory" by Saki. In yet another, they’re solving math problems on the whiteboard tops of their modular standing desks.

This is what it’s like to learn and grow in a private middle school. It’s immersive and exciting and filled with opportunities for students to stretch their limits and fulfill their potential.

During a time in life that can be a difficult moment of transition for many young students, choosing the right middle school can be challenging. As a parent, you want to build on your child’s elementary skills and also prepare them for high school, college, and beyond — all within a short window of time, in an environment that is supportive and uplifting.

As you research middle school options, you may be asking, “What are the benefits of a private middle school?” Private schools – like The Hun School of Princeton – offer many advantages to supporting middle school students, including:

#1: Small classes and individualized attention.

Smaller class sizes typically allow for more personalized attention and interaction between students and teachers, which can lead to better academic performance and a stronger sense of community. Because Hun School’s typical class size is 13 students, our faculty can identify and address individual strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles, fostering greater academic growth and personal development. And with such a positive work environment for faculty and staff, private schools often have an easier time retaining high-quality teachers who are experts in their field of study.

#2: A focus on character development.

Many private middle schools prioritize character development in middle school. Values and qualities like respect, integrity, creativity, and resilience are often emphasized alongside academic achievement.

"At The Hun Middle School we always lead with kindness. A Hun student does the right thing even when nobody is watching"

Aidan H.

Middle School Class of 2023

#3: A blend of traditional college prep with project-based learning.

Because private schools aren’t mandated to teach from a certain curriculum, they can offer more challenging and comprehensive academic programs. Private schools typically have a more rigorous curriculum, more opportunities for advanced coursework, and specialized programs that provide students with a strong foundation for lifelong learning. For example, project-based learning in middle school, also called PBL, allows students to develop knowledge and skills through engaging projects designed around challenges and problems they could encounter in the real world.

#4: A rich array of arts, activities, and athletics – with enhanced facilities and resources.

Private middle schools typically offer a wide range of extracurricular activities and clubs — as well as the many leadership opportunities that come with pursuing and delving deeper into personal interests. With robust libraries, laboratories, and state-of-the-art athletic and arts facilities, private schools have the resources that allow students to gain a more enriching and well-rounded education experience that caters to diverse interests and talents. For example, The Hun Middle School's All-School Debate program helps students build critical thinking and communication skills in a fun weeklong program three times each year.

#5: A close-knit, supportive community.

Classroom connections aren’t the only collaboration happening at private middle schools. At Hun, opportunities such as advisory groups, guided self-assessments, and our after-school Learning Lab (where students can do their homework alongside a teacher), allow Hun middle schoolers to continue to develop skills, self-awareness, and meaningful relationships with students and faculty outside of class. Community isn’t limited to within the school walls either — private schools frequently encourage and facilitate active parental involvement. This can lead to stronger partnerships between parents and teachers, promoting a more comprehensive support system for middle school students.

While student experiences vary across different private middle schools, Hun Middle School has become well-known for its rich academic learning environment. The Hun Middle School cultivates a community where 100 students in grades 6–8 engage fully in the learning process, grow as unique individuals, and celebrate one another’s successes.

Several unique programs for Hun middle schoolers include:

  • Rad Days: A Hun Middle School tradition that allows students to spend three days immersed in a real-world topic.
  • Middle School Orientation: Students spend the first few days of the academic year learning about Hun’s culture and expectations during a program called The Hun Way. They engage in learning activities designed to equip them with a deeper understanding of their strengths, similarities, and differences, as well as our shared community expectations.
  • Study Strategies: This is a course offered to all 6th graders to teach the comprehensive executive-functioning techniques they’ll need to be successful in middle school and beyond. A six-week after-school refresher course is also offered to 7th and 8th graders.

Hun’s private middle school allows students to find new passions through both academics and extracurricular activities so they can thrive academically and personally and become well-prepared for their futures.

Wondering if Hun Middle School is right for your middle schooler? Visit our Admissions page to learn how to apply, or contact us at (609) 921-7600 or admission@hunschool.org for more information.