Albany Academy for Girls

Middle School

Middle School students are part of a global community where they gradually take on more responsibility and develop into confident young women.

At the Academy, interdisciplinary curriculum meets the developmental needs of an early adolescent. Mixing content with process helps students understand and learn material in an authentic way. Making connections and exploring concepts across a range of disciplines allows students multiple opportunities to learn.
We also offer transition programs on both ends of our Middle School program that are critical for students both entering and exiting the program.

By learning in a challenging single-sex environment,

our students are able to develop a true sense of self-worth and self-confidence. They are encouraged to take academic and learning risks in terms of leadership within a supportive learning environment. Middle School students at the Academy learn in a comfortable place, have the chance to make mistakes, and learn and grow personally and academically.
Students take part in a collaborative, team approach where they are asked to create, design and figure out projects, concepts and ideas – allowing them to take on critical teaching and learning roles while demonstrating proficiency in a variety of subjects. Teachers serve as guides, leaders and coaches in their classrooms depending on the type of lesson and project the students are working on. Reading, writing, listening, speaking and critical thinking skills are at the core of our instructional process.

Meet the Director

List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Adam Collett

    Adam Collett 

    Director of Middle School
    (518) 429-2405

Our Curriculum

List of 7 items.

  • Arts

    The Middle School Arts Program at Albany Academy for Girls offers instruction in visual art, vocal music, instrumental music, dance and theatre. Student empowerment is the key to the success of the program. The goal is to help students, working individually and in groups, to realize their artistic potential.
    Students are given numerous opportunities to perform and to exhibit their art work. They are encouraged to view their participation in classes, rehearsals, public art exhibitions and performances as outgrowths of the classroom experience, as points in the learning process. Two main stage theatrical productions are held each year in addition to winter and spring orchestral and choir concerts and the annual Wassail dance and choral production.
    Middle School students build on the success of their Lower School years by continuing to participate actively in the arts as they deepen their knowledge of each art area. Their performances and art exhibitions reflect their growing abilities.

    Learn more about the arts program at The Albany Academies.
  • English

    Middle School English provides opportunities for girls to discover their creative voices while at the same time becoming more sophisticated readers, thinkers, and writers. As students move from Fifth Grade to Eighth Grade, they make the gradual, steady transition to reading more closely and more analytically; by Seventh and Eighth Grade, students are routinely asked to locate ideas in the text and to explain how the text embodies these ideas. This growth process continues right through the Upper School.
    Through process writing, Middle School students also develop language skills that become increasingly formal and correct. Research and the creative use of technology enable girls, often working in groups, to explore the background behind the literature to make that literature more relevant and personal to the students. Finally, Middle School students enjoy a wide variety of opportunities to develop their creative side in writing and in speaking.
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  • History

    The Middle School History Program at Albany Academy for Girls is designed to instill the skills and habits of historians, and prioritizes the connection of geography and history. Girls learn to form arguments to answer the whys of history, as opposed to memorizing and reciting a defined narrative of the past. This inquiry, facilitated through analysis of primary sources, critical reading of historical texts and collaboration with teachers and other students, helps girls build an understanding of the origins of their own cultures and of the contemporary world.
    Units are geared toward the particular strengths and needs of Middle School students, with emphasis on hands-on learning, skill development, connections with current issues, and depth of study. Students learn and use effective reading, research, writing, communication and study skills during their inquiry into key historical questions throughout the Middle School History Program.
    The Middle School curriculum includes courses in World History and Geography for the Fifth & Sixth Grades, followed by United States History in Seventh & Eighth Grades.
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  • Mathematics

    The mathematical experience at Albany Academy for Girls provides the lens for girls to raise their appreciation of the language’s ability to significantly transform our world, to become robust problem solvers who can communicate their investigations, and, through mastery of math’s internal processes, to instill the confidence to pursue quantitatively rigorous Upper School courses.
    The learning of mathematics is centered on the integration of visual, oral and symbolic tasks to fully develop the depth and breadth of a student’s cognitive abilities. The interactive classroom maximizes focused engagement through cooperative and meta-cognitive learning. Individual and group project investigations into the applications of the language to science, the arts, business and the home enable the student to discover meaning through use. 
    The Middle School Math program has several levels – comprehensive to accelerate – that allow girls to establish a pace commensurate with their current abilities and knowledge. However, universal is the objective of an intensive experience culminating in mastering the fundamentals of algebra. The daily commitment of teachers to provide the structure for success enables the student to embrace the wisdom of Aesop: “achievement belongs not to the swiftest but the persistent.”
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  • Physical Education & Health

    Physical fitness, skill development and knowledge of sports rules and team strategies are the goals of the Physical Education curriculum. Each student is encouraged to challenge his or her self, to learn the importance of teamwork, and to embrace the principles of good sportsmanship. For exceptionally skilled athletes who wish to participate on a junior varsity or varsity level athletic team, New York State has designed The Selection/Classification Program. This process screens students to determine their readiness to compete in interscholastic athletic competition by evaluating their physical maturity, fitness, and skill. The Athletic Director, prior to the start of the athletic season, administers the test. Parental permission, consultation with the Middle School Director and approval by the student’s physician are requirements that must be met prior to participation.

    In addition to general physical fitness activities, students will have the opportunity to develop sport-specific skills as related to each of the interscholastic sports offered in the athletic program beginning in seventh grade. Team skills, sportsmanship, leadership and cooperation will also be developed through lead-up type games and intramural competition.

    Learn more about the athletic program at The Albany Academies.
  • Science

    The Middle School Science program at Albany Academy for Girls is designed to provide opportunities and build upon interests of students fostered in our Lower School program and prepare them for the Upper School.
    The curriculum is designed to help students learn about living things and their world, in a way that best suits the learning needs of girls. Continuing the emphasis of the Lower School on hands-on experiences and a cooperative approach to problem solving, students are introduced to the process of scientific inquiry. Middle School Science students learn to formulate hypotheses, collect and evaluate data, and explain their findings to others, both orally and in writing.
    All Seventh & Eighth Grade students participate in the Middle School Science Symposium, presenting the results of their research to a broader audience of parents and local representatives of the scientific community.
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  • Technology

    The Middle School curriculum integrates state-of-the-art computing technology into all of the core disciplines. Students focus on various computer applications that enhance and build skills in word processing, desktop publishing, spreadsheets, and databases. Students use computer graphics, scanners, and digital cameras to create multimedia presentations by blending digitized graphics and sound with text and animation, and they access the Internet in order to obtain up-to-date information and to develop worldwide connections for the purpose of research and information sharing. Using this experiential approach to learning, students become proficient in all aspects of computing technology in the context of their various subject areas. The Computer Science portion of this discipline is taught using the Robotics program of study. This approach allows students to develop programming skills, work to solve engineering challenges and collaborate as a team. Robotics encompasses fundamental concepts of physics, programming and engineering. Students receive library instruction to enhance research skills, such as database searching, periodical use and source assessment as well as to increase their ability to independently choose books for pleasure reading.

Middle School Faculty

Upper School Campus

Lower And Middle School Campus

Schellenberger Alumni/ae Center