Middle School

The Barstow Middle School

Middle school is an exciting time for students—and parents. At this point in your child’s life, you have many opportunities to bond on a deeper level than you did when your child was younger. You can have discussions about their friendships, the core classes and electives they love and the future they begin to see for themselves.  
We want students to remember the significant impact teachers make on their overall development of mind, body and character. Our teachers encourage students to believe in themselves and to attain new academic heights. Barstow teachers create a rich, experiential curriculum to spark student engagement. Incorporating project-based learning and STEAM principles—science, technology, engineering, the arts and math—into their lessons keeps Barstow on the cutting edge of instruction that makes their education exceptional. 

                                                                               Liz Bartow, Director of Middle and Upper School 
                                                                               Joe Fox, Assistant Director of Middle and Upper School

Curriculum Overview

Barstow’s middle school meets the unique educational and developmental needs of students in grades six through eight. The curriculum promotes the transition from concrete operations to more complex thinking processes in a supportive academic environment. Students take risks that strengthen them academically and interpersonally through our Global Studies program. They consider diverse ideas, develop respect for their peers and, through community service, they cultivate sensitivity to the needs of the larger community.

Learning involves writing and speaking, exploring, collecting, sharing, questioning, analyzing, creating, editing and presenting. The experience expands upon skills students develop in lower school and eases the transition to upper school. A Barstow education fosters self-awarenessand supports emerging talents, interests and goals. 

Each student is required to purchase an iPad so that technology can be incorporated throughout the curriculum. STEAM learning—science, technology, engineering, the arts and math—is constantly reinforced in the classroom to give students critical 21st century skills.

Sixth Grade Electives

Sixth Grade Outdoor Education Day

Special Events

List of 18 items.

  • Debate Tournament

    On January 14, Barstow will host an after-school middle school policy debate tournament.  The tournament is part of the DEBATE-Kansas City league schedule. 
    Approximately 200 students from 12 schools from the metro area are expected to attend.  Anyone interested in volunteering to judge or help with the hosting duties should contact Coach Linda Collier by emailing her at linda.collier@barstowschool.org
  • EGG-citing Water Rockets

    All Middle School students design and construct a water rocket from a 2-litre bottle and launch them with a raw egg payload. The successes are met with cheers. Others become omelets.
  • Eighth Grade Boston Field Trip

    Each year the eighth grade class travels to Boston, MA, where history comes alive. They visit locations such as Plimouth Plantation, the Mayflower II, Salem, the USS Constitution, Fanueil Hall, Lexington-Concord and Walden Pond. This trip is directly tied to the curriculum of the eighth grade and allows students to make personal connections with the subjects they are studying.
  • Eighth Grade Graduation

    Eighth Grade Graduation is an exciting time as students leave the Middle School and prepare for Upper School. The graduation ceremony is a time for family and friends to celebrate with the students. Immediately following the ceremony is a dance for the eighth grade students.
  • Field Day

    Each spring our students have the opportunity to compete against one another in fun, athletic competions. These competitions include fourth through eighth grade students, and are a time for them to display the abilities they have learned in physical education in a fun atmosphere.
  • Forensic Tournament

    Each February the Barstow school is transformed into a stage as students from over 10 area schools converge to perform their speech and debate skills. Students participate in competitions including interpretation of literature, duet acting, poetry, prose, storytelling and debate.
  • Knight at the Races

    All Middle School students create a CO2 car in science class, then see their efforts come together as they race against other student’s cars in an evening of fast-paced excitement. 3-2-1 and off--from one end of the gym to the other inless than one second!
  • Mathematics Tournament

    The Barstow Middle School hosts a mathematics tournament each December. Students from around the area join together to test their math skills against students from the same grade level. As students await the results, Mr. Beier does science experiments for entertainment. For more information, please contact Charlotte Keith at ckeith@barstowschool.org.
  • Middle School Dance

    In April, the Varsity Gym is transformed as the Middle School hosts its annual dance. The theme of the dance is determined by the students through the Student Council, and has varied from “Glow in the Dark” to “Decades”.
  • Outdoor Education Days

    In the fall, students attend outdoor education days in grade levels. Physical Education teachers spend weeks preparing the students to travel to Shawnee Mission Park where they experience hiking and orienteering activities. 
  • Service Learning Trips

    Service Learning Trips provide students with the opportunity to go out into the greater Kansas City area to make an impact on the community. These trips can change yearly; in the past, grade levels have traveled to Harvesters, the park, and local food pantries.  
  • Seventh Grade Heifer International Field Trip

    The seventh grade field trip to the Heifer Ranch in Perryville Arkansas occurs early in the school year. Students spend two very active days immersed in activities designed to broaden their awareness of the causes of world hunger. After a day of team building activities, and reflections on the value of cooperation, all students are assigned to a Global Village experience for the night. Random assignments include living in Tibet, Guatemala, Thailand, Zambia, Appalachia, Urban Slums, or having a refugee experience. The simulations include planning and cooking a meal, transporting potable water, and sleeping in a typical village hut.
    Activities during advisory, before and after the trip, are dedicated to preparing the students for the issues and circumstances they will experience and then to reflection regarding the experience. These activities include guest speakers who are first generation immigrants, simulations that require sharing of resources and transporting water, as well as learning how to start a cooking fire.
    The Heifer Experience is one of the highlights of every student’s middle school experience and is part of conversations involving their fondest memories and most fun learning experiences.
  • Shakespeare Festival

    Springtime means flowers, showers ....and the First Annual Barstow Shakespeare Festival. Students will bring the stage to life with performances from Othello, Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Julius Ceasar, and Midsummer Night's Dream. In addition to acting, they can write their own Quarto, dance an Elizabethan Jig, or try Hammer Throwing, a popular Elizabethan sport. With costumes and period food, this festival brings together a semester of theatre and Shakespearean study for the entire school.
    Springtime means flowers, showers ....and the First Annual Barstow Shakespeare Festival. Students will bring the stage to life with performances from Othello, Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Julius Ceasar, and Midsummer Night's Dream. In addition to acting, they can write their own Quarto, dance an Elizabethan Jig, or try Hammer Throwing, a popular Elizabethan sport. With costumes and period food, this festival brings together a semester of theatre and Shakespearean study for the entire school.
  • Sixth Grade Cosmosphere Field Trip

    The sixth grade class travels to Hutchinson, KS to the Cosmosphere where they participate in activities with space flight simulators (including Falcon Shuttle Mission, Stress, 4-G Centrifuge, Multi-Access Trainer), robotics competition, crew mission patch design, an IMAX, a Planetarium show, a Goddard show, a museum scavenger hunt, and a Living in Space presentation with a Space Science Educator.
  • Theater Trips

    Each grade has a yearly trip to the theatre (past trips include Coterie and Folly Theater). These theatre trips tie together many of the concepts students have learned in core classes, as well as electives.
  • Timber Ridge Adventure Center

    As sixth graders at Barstow begin their journey through middle school, the entire team takes a trip to Timber Ridge Adventure Center in order to participate in a variety of problem-solving challenges together.  Not only is this a great day to get out into nature and get to know each other in a new setting beyond the classroom walls, it is also an opportunity for kids to show their talents in ways that are not easy to see from a desk.  
  • Winter and Spring Concerts

    Each year we are blessed twice with the beautiful sounds of our Middle and Upper School Choirs. Each winter attendees can hear the traditional “Twelve Days of Christmas” with participants from grades 1 through 12.
  • World's Fair

    This October marked the first Barstow World's Fair to celebrate both the unique cultures in our global community as well as the problem-solving skills our students will need in the world of their future.  Volunteers from the Kansas City Ethnic Enrichment Commission as well as musical performances from Kansas City Young Audiences enriched the day's experience with sights and sounds from places as far away as Israel, Samoa, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, Finland, Mexico and Ghana.  We also showcased our local talents with music, dance, drama, global service projects and robotics demonstrations from Barstow students and faculty.  The day involved traveling between activities like the French Waiter's Race and the art of Henna Tattoos as well as mathematical challenges in scale drawing and tower building in our Barstow Family groups so that students in grades 3-12 could learn as much from those with more age and wisdom as well as those with more youth and enthusiasm.  Not only did everyone have a glimpse into other cultures, but they also had the chance to think about their own place within the larger community; and as we continue to think about the world that our future generations will create, it is exciting to imagine the possibilities that we can explore within ourselves and further abroad.

The Barstow School

11511 State Line Road • Kansas City, MO 64114
P (816) 942-3255 • F (816) 942-3227