Middle School Program

Welcome to Connelly Middle School of the Holy Child!


CMS is the cornerstone of Cornelia Connelly Center, serving grades four through eight. We take girls previously struggling in school and bring them to grade-level, or higher, throughout their five years in our school.

Below, you can read about our curriculum and all the unique components that make our middle school so effective. Continue exploring our website for more information on our long-term support, and to see the pure

joy that our students exude every day.


I hope you are as inspired as I am each day.




Shalonda Neeley Gutierrez

Head of School


CCC offers a holistic education, with curricula that allows all of our students to succeed and become their best selves. Below are brief descriptions of each grade’s priorities. For more detailed descriptions, please reach out to our Head of School, Shalonda Neeley Gutierrez, at [email protected]


Our Lower School Curriculum (4th and 5th grade) is focused on accelerating student learning so that every student is prepared for a high school preparatory curriculum starting in the Upper School. 


The 4th grade curriculum prioritizes joyful civic engagement, collaborative learning, self advocacy, and problem solving. Students are joyful participants of math, reading, writing, history, science, religion, music, dance, art, and finally, a specialized health class called Girls Space. They also participate in an advisory program, which builds community and provides small group social-emotional support.  


The 5th grade curriculum is focused on courageously cultivating critical thinking skills through collaboration, inquiry, connection of ideas, and expression. Students take ownership of their voices by writing about new topics and problem solving with multiple strategies, meanwhile fostering a sense of community through historical discovery.


All Upper School students (6th-8th grades) actively participate in math, reading, writing, history, science, religion, music, dance, visual art, and Girls Space classes. Our students meet with an advisor and a small group of Upper School students two times per week. Students also take ownership of their own learning goals by practicing individualized focus skills during Math Lab and Learning Lab throughout the week. 


Our 6th grade curriculum is focused on a successful transition to Upper School, with confidence as the guiding pillar. Students learn a variety of strategies for solving challenging problems and celebrate mistakes as opportunities for growth. Students begin to identify as confident readers and writers, learning to communicate their thoughts in written and oral form.


Our 7th grade curriculum gives students the opportunity to explore identity. Students learn about diverse experiences, allowing them to better understand their own identities. Students continue to practice working in groups, collaborating with others, and writing and speaking about their thoughts and ideas with cheerfulness. 


Our 8th grade curriculum is rooted in leadership. As the leaders of our school community, students have opportunities to build leadership skills on a daily basis. In every class, students have a special focus on high school readiness and are working on developing as leaders of our school, city, and country. Students realize that their ability to collaborate, problem solve, write, and reflect can help them change the world. 


The Arts Program has two parts. In the Lower School, students are introduced to music theory with a strong focus on singing. They also participate in dance and visual art.  In the Upper School, students take a deep dive into three core areas each trimester: visual art, music, and dance.


The Advisory Program is a small group, inter-grade program that is designed to promote community and provide social-emotional support.  During Advisory, students are championed by their advisor who helps them establish and achieve goals. Each group meets with an advisor two times per week to review grades, goals, and build a supportive network. Advisory increases students’ sense of belonging at school and fosters relationships. 


Girls Space is a specialized health class focused on identity, self-image, and physical development. The class is taught by the school counselor. 


Religion is grounded in and directed by the mission of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus: “To rejoice in God’s presence and to help people believe that God lives and acts in them and in our world.” The curriculum cultivates joy– in prayer, verbal and written activities, music, and art. All grades seek to deepen their understanding of what it means to become young individuals of faith. Students grow in a loving faith that seeks to do justice, enriching their own lives and ultimately contributing to the lives of others. All students know that God is on their team and striving on their behalf. The religion classes are supplemented with the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies. 


A quick note on standardized testing: three times throughout the school year, all students take NWEA MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) in reading and math. MAP is an online assessment that is aligned to the Common Core standards and measures a student’s academic progress over time. In addition, students take the STAR Reading and STAR Math assessments each month. STAR Reading and STAR Math are standardized, computer-adaptive assessments created by Renaissance Learning, Inc. STAR assessments allow teachers to differentiate instruction in order to meet the needs of all students.