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Shattuck-St. Mary's Middle School

When you enter the Middle School at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, you are greeted with the sounds and sights of a dynamic, energetic, and joyful school. 

Community, connection, and collaboration create a foundation for learning where our students take academic risks, learn to self-advocate, and support one another through the thoughtful instruction of our 6th-9th grade teachers. A Middle School education at SSM is filled with important challenges: learning to live and learn in a community, learning to juggle academic and personal commitments, and learning to push oneself to higher levels in classwork, all while also growing as creative and independent thinkers and as thoughtful and respectful community members.


Teacher with student at SSM Middle School
Our Middle School Director - Courtney Cavellier


Courtney Cavellier

Middle School Director

Associate Head of School

Our Middle School Director, Courtney Cavellier, and her family have lived at SSM since 2004. Once a learning specialist in the Center for Academic Achievement, she now teaches 6th and 7th grade English. She loves the energy, spirit, and community feel of the SSM Middle School.

Our Assistant Middle School Director - Sofia Viruly

Sofia Viruly

Assistant Middle School Director

Our Assistant Middle School director, Sofia Viruly, has worked in the Middle School for five years. She has taught all Middle School grade levels and started as a World History teacher before moving to the English department. She is from South Africa and lives with her husband and two cats in Faribault. She loves the curious nature of Middle Schoolers and appreciates the hard-working faculty and staff who support the MS mission.

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Caring & Nurturing Community

Student learning at Middle School with laptop

When we ask our students what they love about our Middle School, they point to the community. They love their teachers and coaches, and they love moving through the school day in a small, supportive, caring community. Whether it’s major special events like our Middle School Fall Fun Night or our Winter Walk for our local community or our smaller weekly gatherings, spending time in community is a core experience of our school.

At our Middle School, our students are kind, respectful, and welcoming to people beyond their close friend groups. This community feel is deeply important to our school because so many of our students also participate in our specialty Center of Excellence programs, where they focus deeply in an area of personal interest, passion, or talent. That means, our time together as a whole school is sacred for us. We hold a weekly mix-it-up lunch when faculty, staff, and students come together to connect. Each day our students have a recess after lunch, when they can play games or relax in our student lounges. Our students also receive a “free choice block” each week, where they can play outside or engage in planned activities inside, like writing notes of gratitude or participating in friendly trivia and bingo competitions.


Becoming Citizens of Integrity

Two students at SSM Middle School in hallway

One of the most important aspects of our mission is helping our students grow into citizens of integrity. In a small school like ours, we encourage friendship and connection with others, engagement in school activities, and living and learning together in a respectful and supportive environment. Our faculty, staff, coaches, and school counselors come together regularly to reflect on our school climate and plan activities for students around health and wellness, community, and service.

Our mission is reflected in the daily experience at the Middle School at Shattuck-St. Mary’s. We start the week with a community assembly, where we share positive stories, launch programming for the week, and dive into important themes and topics explored in our advisory program. We also come together as a school community for a chapel service, where we take time to reflect, grapple with big ideas, and explore mindfulness and spirituality. In our twice-weekly advisory time, our advisors guide through individual and group activities designed to foster connection, reflect on successes and challenges, set goals, and have fun. We also do monthly Impact Wednesdays, where we have a full day of activities focused around the theme of Citizens of Integrity.


Challenging & Engaging Academics 

SSM Middle School Teacher assisting student with homework on laptop.

Our academic classes encourage our students to take academic risks, collaborate with one another, and show initiative in their learning. Our English, Science, History, Arts, and weCreate classes provide a core, shared experience for our 6th - 9th graders. These learning experiences also helps build community as our students come together as grade level communities. 

For Math and World Language, students at the Middle School have flexibility to enroll in the classes that reflect their ability or interest level. Students in grades 6th - 9th are engaged in math from Mathematics to Advanced Pre-Calculus and in World Language from our very beginning Exploring World Language course for 6th and 7th graders through the advanced levels available at our Upper School. 

Our faculty in our Center for Academic Achievement and School Counseling programs provide important support, instruction, and care for our students as they navigate the challenges of Middle School academics and life. Together with our full teaching, advising, coaching, and administrative team, these specialists and counselors enhance the caring and connected community we strive for each day.



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Frequently Asked Questions

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Have questions? Interested in learning more? Just want to talk to our team about Shattuck-St. Mary's School?

There is nothing that our Admissions Team loves more than connecting with new families. Our team is passionate about Shattuck-St. Mary's School and we are here to help guide prospective families through every step of the admissions process. You can reach our team by submitting an official inquiry, request more information, or schedule a brief 15 minute chat by clicking the link below and selecting a time that works best for you. We can't wait to meet you and learn more about your family!