We are so excited to welcome you to the Intermediate School! The IS is a wonderful place to learn and grow. Our students' two-year experience is characterized by the freedoms they enjoy, the academic challenges they face, and the special events and traditions that they love. Below are some of the highlights.
In Intermediate School, advisors teach their advisees. As such, students have one advisor in grade 7 and a different one in grade 8. The advisory selection process begins during the summer before each IS grade. In consultation with a team of advisors, the IS leadership team assigns each student to an advisor and homeroom (made up of two advisories). A typical IS advisory group includes one advisor and eight to ten advisees; homerooms are two advisors and approximately 18-20 students.
The athletic programs in the Intermediate School offer students a full range of opportunities and experiences. Students participate in sports four days a week during each season, and they benefit from their introduction to the many educational merits of interscholastic competition. A full range of sports are offered, including non-competitive options for each of the three seasons during the year.
Students in Intermediate School are issued a Chromebook at the outset of their IS tenure, and use it for almost every segment of their academic life. The Chromebook travels with the student from home to school, and from class to class during the day. At times, IS can feel like an almost paperless experience! Through having a computer that is their very own throughout their time in the IS, students develop increasingly well-honed technological skills, as well as the responsibility to take good care of a powerful tool.
Students in seventh and eighth grade crave opportunities to be leaders within their community, and the Intermediate School offers several ways in which children can get involved. Students collaborate with a faculty advisor to produce an IS-specific newspaper, The Intermediate Insider. The Insider is published several times a year. In addition to having features on trends, events, and activities, it is known for its probing articles on current events and school policies. Students can run for and be elected to the IS Student Council, which meets weekly to address issues of importance to the IS student body. The Student Council’s voice is truly heard; significant recent changes to the dress code were the direct result of a Student Council presentation to faculty. The IS Robotics team is a vibrant part of after school life, with both seventh and eighth grade teams competing with other schools using the VEX IQ platform. Students spend time developing both tasks for their robots to perform, as well as presenting on topics of importance to an outside jury.
Students participate in a range of service learning experiences intended to broaden their understanding of the lives of others within their community. Sandwich Day is a longtime Potomac tradition and a cornerstone of our service learning program. Students in all divisions make sandwiches on the first Wednesday of each month, to be delivered to Martha’s Table, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance for individuals and families in need in Washington, DC.
Caroline Furnace: Each September, the entire seventh grade class takes a four-day trip to Caroline Furnace Camp in Fort Valley, VA. During this exciting excursion, the seventh grade engages in a host of outdoor education activities while forging connections as a class.
Eighth Grade Evening In: In September, eighth graders enjoy a night on campus with pizza and team-building games. It is a terrific way to build camaraderie for the eighth grade advisories.
Fall Frolics: The annual Fall Frolics Carnival is one of Potomac’s most beloved and anticipated traditions. The event, held on a Saturday in October, is in part managed by our Intermediate School students, who play an integral role in supervising many of the carnival booths.
Seventh Grade Square Dance: During the fall, all seventh grade families are invited to school for supper and square dancing, presided over by a professional caller! It’s a wonderful time for the IS community to put on blue jeans and shake a tail feather with other parents and students.
Winter Musical: Every winter, a group of Intermediate School actors presents the junior version of a well-known musical in our Langstaff Auditorium. Recent productions have included Thoroughly Modern Millie, Annie, Guys and Dolls, and The Pirates of Penzance. Students perform the show once for their classmates and then for a weekend run: two evening performances and one matinee.
Eighth Grade Independent Projects: Near the end of their Intermediate School career, eighth graders choose a topic of interest and develop a project in one of six forms: service learning, design/construction, persuasive speech, original data collection, a “how-to” lesson, or original artistic performance. Then, students decide upon a presentation modality and showcase their learning for their fellow students, their parents, and faculty.