A vital destination of its own.

For too long, Middle School has been seen as a passage between Lower and Upper Schools—a transition to endure, rather than its own unique experience. At Nightingale, Middle School is the center of our students’ journey, where hard work brings joy, and community inspires confidence.

Nightingale fundamentally knows that intellectualism and happiness work best in tandem. Students learn joyfully, and in turn, develop individual voices that emerge from the crowd. They begin to assume leadership roles and head up teams. At the same time, Middle School builds in scheduled time for play and creative freedom, which allows the students to relax and explore new interests with intention. Nightingale students emerge from Class VIII as eager, enthusiastic learners who are ready for the challenges of Upper School.

Being anonymous is impossible at Nightingale. The faculty, advisory, and dean programs create a sound scaffolding for each student’s academic and social-emotional needs. There is a constant focus on equity and inclusion, embracing others' differences with empathy, and becoming an ally. Nightingale has upended the prevailing narrative about Middle School and turned an oft-overlooked passage into a vital destination of its own.

Middle School Highlights

Spread Your Wings

Minimesters are a week-long pause in classwork where students engage in immersive, interdisciplinary experiences that give a real-life context to the classroom’s content. From pitching and marketing new businesses to practicing stage combat with theatre professionals, minimesters let teachers and students experiment with activities and ideas beyond what they typically engage within a given school day. These all-day sessions between semesters refresh the way students connect and learn.

Immersive, interdisciplinary experiences that give a real-life context to the classroom’s content.

A Unique Opportunity to Be Heard

Nightingale is the only all-girls school in New York with a Middle School Debate Team. Students compete locally, regionally, and nationally. Middle School debaters get experience competing against 400 boys and girls from around the city and are often ranked in first, second, or third places. Class V takes debate upon entering Middle School so they can get practice negotiating with others, articulating their ideas, and voicing their opinions while feeling heard in a supportive environment.

Nightingale is the only all-girls school in New York with a Middle School Debate Team.

Choose Your Adventure

Going beyond the traditional curriculum sets Nightingale apart from the pack. Students take minor classes in everything from social psychology to the power of language to museum education to identity. It’s a holistic and interdisciplinary approach that builds on critical skills and concepts. By taking non-traditional electives, Nightingale students will not merely be the ones answering all the questions; they will be the ones creating them.

Nightingale students will not just answer all the questions; they will create them.

The "How" and the "Why"

Middle School prioritizes teaching students how to become organized, curious, and efficient learners. The "how" and the "why" are pursued with vigor across the curriculum, as the students learn study skills, time management, how to argue effectively, and why it all matters. Developing these core competencies is crucial to development at this level and beyond.

Middle School students are taught to argue persuasively and understand why it matters.

Years at a Glance

Programs & Curriculum

Discovering oneself and supporting others

Middle School encourages each student to learn where her real strengths and interests lie, and to grow in competence, confidence, and initiative.