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A middle grades experience like no other - challenging students academically while helping them explore their passions, new social dynamics, & their desire for greater independence.


  • Small Middle School experience and smaller class sizes than typical schools

  • Rigorous academics preparing students for high school and beyond

  • A broad array of elective choices in Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Environmental Science, STEM, Spanish, & Physical Fitness

  • Athletic program that emphasizes teamwork & sportsmanship

  • Adventure sports opportunities allowing students to foster independence & appreciation for the natural world

  • Ample time in nature EVERY day

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FernLeaf helps students to hone their leadership skills by providing numerous opportunities to take on increasing levels of responsibility.



Monthly field trips, domestic and international travel opportunities, and regular hands-on learning opportunities strengthen the school community and give students access to rich & meaningful experiences that support their education & enrich their lives.

FernLeaf Middle School Athletics

5th-8th grade students are able to participate in a wide range of athletics & adventure sports after school opportunities.

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Personal growth & development is supported through daily class meetings, regular mindfulness practices, Counselor-led classes, & an ongoing school-wide focus on social and emotional learning.  FernLeaf students learn and develop skills to help them build healthy and supportive relationships, navigate life’s challenges, and build compassion and empathy for others.


FernLeaf recognizes the importance of friendships & relationship building during the teenage years & provides numerous opportunities for students to socialize both in & outside of the school day.

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Students choose 2 electives a trimester. Electives include STEM, Music, Theater, Art, PE, Spanish & Environmental Science options.

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As academic content builds in complexity in Intermediate and Middle Grades, FernLeaf teachers utilize the Ready North Carolina Curriculum that is directly aligned with the NC Standard Course of Study as the foundation for academic success.

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In addition to leaving Middle School prepared for High School, FernLeaf students are well-prepared for the challenges of life through experience, curiosity and loving to learn.

FernLeaf is the most incredible community. Students, staff, and parents are mutually respected, and the standards held for all are incredibly high. Everything that the school says that they stand for is incorporated into daily decisions. Students get personalized instruction with a strong emphasis on their social emotional growth.

Sample Intermediate & Middle School Daily Schedule

8:00 Home Crew Morning Meeting

8:35 Academic Block A

9:30 Academic Block B

10:30 Elective 1

11:00 Academic Block C

11:50 Lunch/Outside Time

12:20 Academic Block D

1:25 Study Hall & Independent Study

2:00 Elective 2

3:00 Dismissal

Sample Elective Options

Visual Arts | String Orchestra | Coding & Robotics | Physical Fitness | Theater | Spanish for the Adventurer | Watershed Studies | Game Design | Astronomy | Chorus | Visual Journals | And more!

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Middle Years at FernLeaf

Intentional groupings of 5th & 6th Grades for Intermediate School and 7th & 8th grades for Middle School allow for safe and developmentally appropriate social & academic experiences while preparing students to successfully navigate high school.

The Intermediate and Middle School years are formative years in every student’s life. Since FernLeaf strives to nurture the WHOLE individual, not only will your intermediate and middle grades student thrive academically, but they will also grow into thoughtful and compassionate members of their community.


Once students reach 5th grade, they are eager to dig deeper into their own unique passions and aptitudes.  The dedicated staff at FernLeaf facilitate this deep learning through project based learning, meaningful field work, a wide variety of extracurricular activities, as well as a myriad of elective course offerings. 

FernLeaf recognizes the importance of friendships and relationship building during the adolescent years and provides numerous opportunities for students to socialize both in and outside of the school day. During the school day students participate in daily classroom community meetings and team building experiences.  In addition, they are provided with an extended lunch and extended passing periods between classes.  Outside of the school day, students are provided with numerous fun and engaging social activities that provide supervised, safe, and structured environments for them to socialize, build relationships, and hone interpersonal skills that they will carry with them throughout their lives.


FernLeaf's middle school academic program expands upon the foundational skills that have been learned in elementary school and helps students gain new levels of confidence and academic fluency. Through increasing levels of academic rigor in all subjects, students are provided numerous opportunities to utilize their rapidly growing intellectual capacities and hone in on their unique passions and aptitudes. 

In addition to traditional academic courses and comprehensive elective offerings, FernLeaf provides advanced middle school students opportunities to take high school courses for credit including Math I and English I, increasingly sophisticated and engaging project work, as well as independent study opportunities.​


All of these opportunities come together to create a student who is not only ready for any high school experience, but also LOVES learning and has the skills necessary for building healthy and meaningful relationships that will shape their teenage years.

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