Signature Programs

At Canterbury School, we've designed programs for each grade level that focus on discovery and exploration, growth and challenges, and the opportunity for students to change their community and their world.

Throughout Middle School years, students are starting to come into their own. They're learning to embrace their full potential, hone their emerging talents, and stretch their imaginations. They're also learning the importance of community. Our Middle School Signature Programs are intentionally designed with this important time in mind, as students are empowered to explore the US Constitution, global concerns and human genetics and what it means to them.


Grade 5: We the People

Our country's foundation becomes Grade 5's foundation. We the People is an intensive study of the US Constitution, where fifth-grade students write as many as 22 essays. They realize its relevancy, and understand its impact on occupations, by interviewing community members. With the guidance of social studies teachers, the Middle School librarian, and the technology specialist, students craft mini-documentaries. The dramatic oratory teacher coaches students on their presentation skills, building up to a mock congressional hearing at the Allen County Court House in downtown Fort Wayne. More than a social studies program, We the People is training for tomorrow’s informed citizens.


Grade 6: Challenge 20/20

Challenge 20/20 is a national social studies program that connects US schools with those in other countries. Students work in groups to identify local solutions to a global problem. In a globally based, experiential curriculum, students develop cross-cultural competency and communication skills as they connect, collaborate, research and learn with their partner schools. The technology specialist assists students in using technology to chart each phase of the process in a documentary form, while the librarian assists in researching, assessing implications, and connecting with experts both in our community and around the world.


Grade 7: Understanding Human Genetics

Seventh-grade students participate in this project-based learning unit to further their understanding of human genetics. Students are given a medical case study, written by a genetic counselor, that contains patient information, symptoms and family history. Then, they collaborate to diagnose their patient, based on the information provided, assuming different roles and responsibilities throughout the process, such as hospital administrator, genetic counselor, physician or public relations director. Along the way, students meet people from the medical community, hear from patient advocacy groups, and tour the Parkview Mirro Center for Research and Innovation. Finally, they present their project to a panel of experts, including physicians, genetic counselors and prominent community members.


Grade 8: Student Cam Project

Eighth-grade students dive into national politics through StudentCam. In the fall, they travel to Washington, DC, where they gather firsthand knowledge of, and perspective on, our nation’s capital. When they return to Indiana, the students begin designing and producing a research-based documentary video for C-SPAN's national StudentCam competition. The project encourages students to think seriously about issues affecting our communities, and our nation, as they research the C-SPAN database and gather video clips to address a topic of national significance. Students hone their technology and analytical skills, and they' voice their opinions in the political discourse of our country.


Middle School: Educational Partnership with Eagle Marsh

One special program unites all four Middle School grade levels: The Educational Partnership with Eagle Marsh-Little River Wetlands Project provides a dynamic collaboration in the restoration of local wetlands. The project incorporates hands-on scientific activity related to Canterbury’s science curriculum for each grade level, as students pursue answers and solutions to wetland-related problems.

At Eagle Marsh, students participate in hands-on, real-world applications of our science curriculum. Projects include water quality testing, ridding the wetland of Canadian thistle, examining healthy and unhealthy ecosystems, and planting milkweed to attract monarch butterflies. Data from experiments is shared with the Little River Wetlands Project staff members. These valuable, practical experiences, and the school’s educational partnership with Eagle Marsh, provide students with opportunities to develop their scientific skills, while making a real difference for this important community resource.