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Our mission: The Raleigh School is a cooperative community of children, parents and teachers that fosters a love of learning in an atmosphere of challenge, inquiry and respect.

Preparing for Middle School

Preparation for middle school truly begins in the early elementary grades as we work to instill a deep love of learning in our students and intentionally focus on skills such as cooperation, self-reflection, and the ability to set realistic goals all of which help ensure future success long after students leave The Raleigh School.

Introduction to concepts

More focused preparation for middle school takes place in the upper elementary grades, when teachers strive to expose students to the concept of grades, how to study and prepare for tests, and the importance of developing strong organizational skills while remaining true to our own mission and values. In fourth grade, for example, as students become adept at converting fractions to decimals and percents, they also learn the grade equivalent of their numerical scores on teacher made tests and quizzes. Grades are explained and students come to understand the role grades may play in future experiences. Discussions with students begin to focus more on the importance of time management and organizational systems and teachers scaffold long term projects to help students internalize these valuable skills. These intentional efforts on the part of teachers combined with our school’s mission allow students to leave us well prepared for what they will face in middle school and beyond.

Feedback from sixth-graders

Results of our annual middle school survey, administered in a student’s sixth grade year, consistently indicate that students and parents alike believe that The Raleigh School well prepared students both academically and socially for the experience of middle school. Comments such as this from TRS parent Edie Cagle are not uncommon: "I can't imagine a preparation better than what we received at TRS. Her elementary education was worth every penny. Thank you for making her education so fulfilling to her."

Anecdotal information gathered from families, graduates, and faculty at various middle schools also indicates that our graduates perform well academically and often take on leadership roles within their new environment.

Finding the best match

While preparing students for middle school is an ongoing process, we also work closely with families of fourth and fifth grade students as they explore different options for their child’s middle school years. We believe that it is important that each family and graduate finds a middle school program that best fits their individual needs. Each year an informational evening is held at the school to provide parents with details regarding the range of choices that are available to families. Former graduates and their parents are invited back to serve on panel discussions, sharing their personal experiences with families. Finally, teachers and administrators meet with parents offering input and guidance to help ensure a smooth transition for all students. Our goal is that each of our graduates meets with continued academic and social-emotional success as they continue their educational journey.

MIDDLE SCHOOLS ATTENDED

Cary Academy

Durham Academy

The Exploris School

Martin Middle School

Daniels Middle School

East Cary Middle School

Centennial Middle School

Ravenscroft

St. Timothy's School

High Meadows School (Atlanta)

BEYOND MIDDLE SCHOOL

In high school and beyond, The Raleigh School graduates continue to excel. Just in the past two decades, our graduates include:

  • Three Morehead Scholars at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • A Robertson Scholar at Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill
  • A Park Scholar at N.C. State University
  • Two Fulbright Scholars
  • A Presidential Scholar at Appalachian State
  • Members of NCAA championship sports teams and athletic scholarship recipients
  • Graduates of Harvard University, Williams College, Duke University, Cornell University, the U.S. Military Academy and a wide array of colleges nationwide


I was always encouraged to expand my knowledge beyond what we learned in class. Never was I told to restrain my curiosity; with loving assistance I got to explore as far as my mind could reach.

Hope Ferris, TRS alumna

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