Every Middle School Should Be This Good

The transition from childhood to adolescence presents well-known changes and challenges for young people. Fortunately, CFA teachers are experts at helping students understand and navigate this unique time in their lives. A comprehensive Middle School Advisory Program is the cornerstone of a curriculum that fosters healthy physical, social, emotional, and academic development. This is when students learn to truly embrace the rigor of a college-preparatory curriculum that includes English and literature, social studies, math, science, world languages, fine arts, and character education. Performing arts, athletic, and extracurricular programs keep students active and engaged while providing boundless opportunities to discover their passions in North Carolina’s premier Middle School Program.

CFA Middle School Mission

Believing that middle school is a unique period in the lives of students as they transition from childhood to adolescence, Cape Fear Academy Middle School is committed to providing a developmentally responsive, academically challenging, and empowering community so that our students advance to our upper school as confident, responsible learners.


Middle School Curriculum & Highlights

HIGHER STANDARDS AND THE SUPPORT TO ACHIEVE THEM  The middle school at Cape Fear Academy maintains a rigorous academic curriculum that embraces purposeful learning by providing programs and activities that are integrative and relevant to the pursuit of advanced content in the upper school. Each student has daily extended instruction in English/literature, math, science, social studies, a world language, and a choice of elective offerings.

  • Achievement test scores average 89th percentile nationally
  • Essential Questions format guides humanities instruction
  • Accelerated and differentiated math curriculum
  • Mandarin and Spanish language study
  • Video game design, graphic design, 3D design and broadcasting classes
  • 70% of our 7th grade students over the past four years have qualified to take the SATs as part of the Duke TIP program


Leaders For Life

Leadership. It’s never been more critical to a student’s success in school, at home, in the community, and later in life.
By weaving leadership traits into our academics, advisory, and extracurricular activities, and by teaching behaviors, instilling confidence, recognizing outcomes, and championing the best leader each student can become, we shape leaders today, and build rewards that last a lifetime.
Distinct among our regional and national peers, Leaders For Life goes beyond skill development to inspire minds, build character, enrich perspectives, and celebrate leaders who will one day change the world.

Read more about Leaders For Life

Speaking For Success

There’s a presenter in all of us. Our Speaking For Success program has been carefully developed to bring every student’s inner orator out.
We believe that when a student speaks often, they gain a lot. That’s why the opportunities to become a confident and inspiring presenter are embedded into our academic, social, and extracurricular programs from the very beginning of a student’s career.
From presenting a color study as a Little Explorer to giving a Ted Talk as a senior, Speaking For Success allows students to master the art of public speaking one support-filled experience at a time, gaining powerful skills that will benefit them throughout their college, professional, and personal lives.

The primary focus of the middle school advisory program is to nurture interpersonal relationships and social responsibility. We aim to cultivate an awareness of circumstances and differences that extends beyond the student’s typical classroom or home experience.  This is achieved by providing  group engagement and proactive programs that focus on our core values and character development. Led by mentoring faculty advisers, close-knit, multi-age groups of peers meet 3 times a week to focus on developing the skills and confidence that form the basis of productive and successful lives.  These advisory groups also provide students with a safe place to ask questions, take risks, and be themselves. Also, they include an element of our Leaders for Life program, through a variety of leadership clubs.

Each CFA Middle School student takes either Spanish or Mandarin Chinese.  Daily instruction includes language acquisition skills as well as cultural and global awareness.  

The math department at Cape Fear Academy has carefully considered the scope and sequence of course offerings. Starting in 6th grade, if developmentally and academically prepared, students have the opportunity to take more challenging math classes that will prepare them for the challenge of AP courses and exams. At the same time, it is possible for students to switch tracks if they meet their math milestone later in Middle School or Upper School. This pacing guide leads to a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts and to outstanding AP scores.

This Math Flow Chart can provide a visual for the various paths that can be taken.

The purpose of the Center for Writing and Reasoning is to support students in grades 6-12 in areas of writing, reading, and critical thinking across the curriculum. The Center also serves to elevate and highlight writing/reading opportunities outside of the classroom by sponsoring contests, special speakers, and more.

The Center for Writing and Reasoning (CWR) primarily offers one on one support to middle and upper school students on writing they are working on in or out of the classroom. A teacher is available for 25 minute or longer sessions to provide feedback guided by the writer’s questions on the piece. The CWR is also available to work with students on building reading and thinking skills in all areas of their study. Students (or teachers) primarily schedule appointments during a student’s free period or during select after school or before school sessions. The CWR also supports teachers across the curriculum by coming into the classroom to provide whole class, small group, or individualized instruction on any topic related to writing or reading.

The Math Lab offers all students in grades 6­-12 assistance with mathematical thinking. Open throughout the school day, during lunch, and after school, the math lab offers homework help, test preparation, further mathematical concept explanation, and additional practice of math skill application. Students may drop in or schedule appointments ahead of time.

The Center for Writing and Reasoning is available, at no additional cost, to Middle and Upper School students who need assistance with writing, reading, organization, or study skills. Students can visit the Center for help at any stage in the writing process and with any writing assignment, from homework questions to full-­length essays. Students may also visit the Center for help with critical reading, organization of materials, or for study strategies. Hours of operation will be throughout the school day, and the center will be staffed by faculty members. Sessions are available on a drop-­in,appointment, or teacher-referral basis. By providing this resource, students become self­advocates and take ownership of their understanding and success in writing.

Our 1:1 laptop program in grades 6­-12 ensures students have a laptop for use in all classes every day. With the constant change in technology, we aim to keep abreast, but more importantly, to use technology as appropriate to the task. With consistent laptop access, students become proficient in various applications which allows them to focus on the content and subject matter.

CFA’s exciting learning choices and elective course options provide our students with an array of unique opportunities that encourage each student to find his/her passions as a scholar, artist, and athlete.  Daily, semester long elective courses include award-winning Band and Chorus classes, Physical Education and Health, Theater Arts, Visual Art, Technology courses including Video Game Design I and II, 3-D design, Graphic Design, and more.

Student Life

The Middle School at Cape Fear Academy responds to the nuances of adolescence with age appropriate opportunities for students to take risks and safely grow creatively, socially, physically, and intellectually.

The middle school at Cape Fear Academy supports a diverse community while developing in students’ self-awareness, values, and ethics, enhanced by the partnership between home and school.

The Middle School Student Government Association or MSSGA of Cape Fear Academy is the student organization that serves the Middle School student population by advocating student concerns to faculty and administration, coordinating social events and dances, and facilitating community service initiatives. The MSSGA relies heavily upon energetic and invested student representatives who are elected annually from the student body. 

Field trips offer students the opportunity to explore the world beyond the walls of Cape Fear Academy. Annually, students in grades 6 and 8 go to overnight camp in the fall to forge new friendships, bond as community, and apply their leadership skills. Chaperoned by the teachers, who get to know each student in a unique and special setting away from campus, students return with a new perspective and appreciation for their peers. Beyond camp, other trips are taken throughout the year.  Students visit the nursing homes, deliver gift baskets for pilgrim’s promise, and explore our community in ways that connect to the curriculum.

At CFA, we believe that service not only makes a difference in the lives of others, but it also allows our students to solve problems, teaches our students to empathize, and strengthens our community.  From beach sweeps and soup kitchens to nonprofit races and the Special Olympics, our students are active in the Greater Wilmington area and happy to help.

Interscholastic sports start for students in grade 7 and are all-inclusive.  Students are encouraged to try a sport they’ve never before experienced as a way to discover new talents.  Additionally, daily Physical Education/Health class is an elective option for students in grades 6-8.

MIDDLE SCHOOL AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM The Middle School After School Program (ASP) is designed for our students from sixth-eighth grades. Students come to the ASP at 3:20 pm. A snack is provided followed by homework time, recreational time outside or in the gym, games, and free time. Middle School ASP Monthly Fees (based on 9-month program): A.  $105/month daily 3:20-4:30pm B. $175/month daily  3:20-5:30pm