Middle School

Student Life, Clubs, and Activities


At Poly, our Middle School believes in a student-centric view of education.  Encouraging students to explore, research, investigate, encounter, collaborate, and lead are essential values.  We also ensure that Middle School students have the opportunity to participate in Poly’s extensive after-school program of activities because such peer-to-peer and peer-to-mentor interaction is vital to the Poly experience.  Advising, homeroom, and "Form" time are also key components of the non-academic portion of our rigorous yet supportive Middle School program.

Learning Beyond the Classroom Wall

Middle School clubs and activities range include African Dance Club, Art Club, Concert Band, Form II Leadership Group, Math Olympiad, Middle School Senate, Photography Club, Science Olympiad, the Tower Times (newspaper), sports, instrumental music lessons, and performing arts groups.  

Poly Fosters Character & Service

Service Learning is an essential component of the Middle School program, with students planning and leading community service efforts through the advisory program. Each student is assigned an advisor who is an essential point of contact for Middle School parents, along with two Form Deans who work with each grade.

Poly is Student Leaders

Poly Prep's Middle School also encourages student leadership in many ways, among which is Middle School student government. (For Poly Prep's mission, which includes student leadership as a central goal, click here.)

Middle School Senate

The Middle School Senate is an organization composed of one representative each from Grades 5 and 6 and from Form I and II homerooms, and a president (from Form II) elected by the entire Middle School.
“Middle School Senate is an organization dedicated to enrich the lives of the Middle Schoolers by representing their interests on a weekly basis,” said advisor Liane Dougherty P’06, ‘12 (Middle School History Coordinator). “Issues are brought to the meetings and solutions to problems are discovered. Middle School Senate also teaches students how to be real leaders in their community through experience. Senate reps and presidents are expected to be role models and lead with integrity, thoughtfulness, and kindness.”

“Middle School Senate also encourages a strong bond between the younger and older students,” Dougherty continued. “Community service is an important and vital part of our job in Middle School Senate. Throughout the years, Middle School Senate has taken the leadership role in many different types of charities. Senate collected supplies after 9/11 for firemen and their families. Students collected blankets, pillows, and other supplies for the wounded in the military at Walter Reed Army Hospital. Senate collected money for the American Red Cross after specific disasters like hurricanes, collected money to pay for the Cambodian School (Mitapeap School), and for the Japan Society after the tsunami (in 2011).”

Currently, the faculty advisors for the Middle School Senate are Liane Dougherty (History) and Ann McCartney (History).

Clubs & Activities

List of 22 items.

  • African Dance and Drumming

    Grades: 7-8
    Day: Wed. 4:00 PM - 5:45 PM
    Place: Room 122

    The Poly Prep African Dance Club is open to all students who would like to explore the many techniques of dance from all regions of the continent of Africa. With a focus primarily on West African dances done to a range of drum orchestras, the club often practices to live drum accompaniment while students also learn about the meaning, history, and songs that will deepen the experience of the young learner. All levels are welcome, and no dance or performance experience is necessary.

  • Art Club

    Advisor: Helena Elko
    Grades: All are welcome!
    Day: Thurs., 3:45 PM - 4:45 PM
    Place: Art Studio
    Students in the Art Club work on drawing, painting, collage, and sculpture projects of their choice. They also participate in collaborative installations, including a series of mosaics that can be seen around the Middle School hallways. Art Club student work has also been featured in the Winter and Spring Art Shows.
  • Classics Club

    Advisors: Ms. Windham
    Grades: All are welcome
    Day: Mon., 4:00 P.M. - 5:00 P.M.
    Place: Room 227
  • Creative Writing Club

    Advisor: E. Freeman and Ms. Caldwell
    Grades: All are welcome
    Day: Tue., 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    Place: Room 228A
    The Creative Writing Club encourages imagination and fosters support for students interested in developing and practicing their creative writing skills. It's important for writers to consistently engage in their craft and listen to feedback from their readers. This club is designed for the writer who wants to set aside a regular writing routine in his or her busy schedule; it also offers an opportunity to share current work and ideas. This is a truly supportive community of writers who believe that words are powerful vehicles for expression and change.
  • Girl Up (Poly Prep Chapter)

    Advisors: Phoebe Aberlin and Ms. Bean
    Grades: 5-8
    Day: Thurs., 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    Place: Room 217
    Girl Up is an innovative campaign of the United Nations Foundation. Their mission is to give American girls the opportunity to become global leaders and channel their energy and compassion to raise awareness and funds for United Nations programs that help some of the world’s hardest-to-reach adolescent girls. Our aim is to educate our community about issues and challenges faced by girls in developing nations. From child marriage, illiteracy, and no schooling, to a lack of health and medical resources, Girl Up is changing the future by addressing these matters one at a time and by making a real difference in the lives of young women across three continents. At Poly, we will conduct fundraisers, learn about world issues, invite guest speakers to address us, and empower others to get involved and take action. While building leadership skills and bonds of friendship among themselves, our MS Poly girls will ensure that their sisters across the globe have access to hope and the chance to lead independent, safe, and healthy lives.
  • International and Global Cuisine

    Advisors: Mr. Wong
    Grades: Grades 7 and 8
    Day: Thu., 3:45 P.M. to 4:45 P.M.
    Place: Room 226
  • Kaleidoscope

    Advisors: C.Fabella
    Grades: 7-8
    Day: Mon., 3:30 PM to 4:00 P.M.
    Place: Room 207A
  • Logic Club

    Advisor: A. Oransoff
    Grades: 5 and 6
    Day: Mon., 4:00 P.M. to 5:30 P.M.
    Place: MS Tech Lab, Room 219
  • Magic: The Gathering Club

    Advisors: Mr. Lorenzen
    Grades: All are welcome
    Day: Mon., 3:30 PM to 5:30 P.M.
    Place: Room 123
  • Making Things

    Advisors: Ms. Comer
    Grades: All are welcome
    Day: Wed., 3:45 P.M. - 4:45 P.M.
    Place: Room 211
  • Math Olympiad 5&6

    Advisors: Kate Flahive, Sabina Laricchia
    Grades: 5-6
    Day: Tues., 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
    Place: Room 221
    Beginning in October and finishing in May, the Math Olympiad Team allows participants to experience math enrichment exercises and to share problem-solving strategies. This club is open to 5th and 6th grade Poly students who enjoy the challenge of math puzzles and problems and whose enthusiasm for intellectually challenging mental activities spills outside the regular class curriculum. Part of the experience involves preparing for and competing in the five Olympiad challenges that occur monthly from November to March of the school year.
  • Middle School Senate

    Advisor: Liane Dougherty, Ann McCartney
    Grades: 5-8
    Day: Mon., 3:30-3:50 PM
    Place: Room 103
    The Middle School Senate is the student government organization for grade 5 through Form II. The Senate consists of a representative elected from each of the Middle School homerooms and a Middle School President. The Senate provides a forum for students to share concerns with one another. They sponsor the social activities including dances, spirit days, and movie afternoons. The Senate’s most important work, however, is on charity events. The Senate organizes a toy drive annually and invites the students from a preschool in Brooklyn to come to our campus for a holiday party in December to receive these toys. In May these preschoolers have been invited back for a carnival organized by Form II representatives. Other charitable activities have included collections for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti, Hurricane Katrina, the tsunami in Japan, the collection of funds to start our own sister school in Cambodia, a drive to gather school supplies for needy children in New York City schools, and a children’s book and pajama collection for New York City homeless shelters. In the past, the Senate invited the group “Global Concern” to Poly to work with the Middle School on a “Day of Concern” where students worked together to learn about disasters such as the Haiti earthquake and plan disaster relief missions throughout the world. We continue to focus on doing good works of kindness, as well as strengthening the Middle School community.

  • Mindfullness

    Advisors: Ms. Ginty
    Grades: All are welcome
    Day: Thu., 3:45 P.M. to 4:30 P.M.
    Place: Room 229 and Outdoors
  • MS Play & Musical

    Advisors: J. Bolstridge
    Grades: 7-8
    Day: Mon. to Fri., 3:45 P.M. to 5:45 P.M.
    Place: Richard Perry Theatre, Memorial Chapel, Dance Studio
  • NY Math League

    Advisors: Mr. Bates
    Grades: 7-8
    Day: Mon., 4:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.
    Place: Room 205
  • Photography Club

    Advisor: Guy Devyatkin
    Grades: All are welcome
    Day: Wed., 3:35 PM - 4:45 PM
    Place: Room 209
    Members of this club are from grades 5-12. We study both technical and artistic aspects of photography and learn about the effects of varying focal length, shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. We also concentrate on composition and lighting, using natural as well as artificial lighting. Subjects include the Poly campus, architecture, landscape, nature and still life, as well as portraits of family members, friends, and pets. Most work is done on digital cameras, but vintage film cameras also may be used on occasion, with negatives scanned and edited as needed. We learn how to use some basic and advanced tools in Adobe Photoshop and some video will also be incorporated into our work. Each member builds and maintains an album on the course’s Google site and a selection of work may be displayed during an assembly or for the Spring Arts Show. Any camera can be used, but if you do not have a camera, one can be borrowed for in-school use.
    *Some students may elect to leave by 4:00 if they need to make the early bus.
  • Robotics Club

    Advisor: Vinson Huang and Michael Rossenberg
    Grades: 7-8
    Day: Wed., 3:45 PM - 4:45 PM
    Place: Maker Space
  • Science Olympiad Team

    Grades: 6-8
    Day: Thurs., 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
    Place: Rooms 212
    Led by coaches Marie Corkhill (Science),  and Linda Aponte (Science) students will prepare to compete in the New York City Regional Science Olympiad Tournament, which is held in March. Events range from engineering projects (designing and constructing a device meant to accomplish a specific task), to research projects (studying a topic and demonstrating your knowledge at the competition), to becoming an expert in experimental design. The regional competition is open to 6th grade and up, but 5th graders are welcome and encouraged to join; they will participate in activities that will prepare them for future competitions and may assist the older students with their projects.
  • Squash Club and Varsity Squash

    Grades: All are welcome
    Day: Tue. and Thu., 3:45 PM to 5:30 P.M.
    Place: Squash Courts
    The Poly Prep Middle School Squash Club takes place in the spring from March-June and offers students court time to continue to learn, participate, and compete in squash every day after school. The structure of the club is designed for students to engage with squash through skill-based clinics that teach the fundamental techniques and strategies of the sport. These sessions will be open to all Middle School students and offer them the opportunity to develop their racquet sport skills and hand-eye coordination, fitness, and conditioning in a supportive and nurturing competitive environment.
  • Tower Dancers

    Advisor: Ashley Hacker
    Grades: 7-8
    Day: Mon., 4:45 PM - 5:45 PM
    Place: Dance Studio
    Young Dancers and Tower Dancers are after-school opportunities for students who want to increase their involvement in dance at Poly Prep. Their purpose is to broaden the students’ experience in dance, increase their technical level of dance, and help students continue to find their self-expression through movement. The programs create safe environments where students can take risks and trust each other as they become an ensemble that creates and contributes together. The classes will use creative movement, jazz, and modern dance styles in the warm-up and beginning exercises. The second part of the classes includes learning combinations and creating combinations that further the groups’ learning of dance, ultimately resulting in a dance to be performed by both clubs in the Spring Dance Concert.
  • Young Actors

    Advisor: Cynthia Babak
    Grades: 5-6
    Day: Wed., 4:45 P.M. - 5:45 P.M.
    Place: Room 201
    Young Actors is an acting club for 5th and 6th grade students. Young Actors meets on Wednesday from 3:45-5:15 PM (one 45-minute rehearsal within that time, opposite Young Singers). Students in Young Actors explore the fundamentals of acting and theater through games and exercises. Students in Young Actors devise their own scenes to showcase at the end of the year.
  • Young Dancers

    Advisor: Ashley Hacker
    Grades: 5-6
    Day: Mon., 3:45 PM - 4:45 PM
    Place: Dance Studio
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