Life Skills

During morning flex on A, B, C, and D days, the life skills program in the Middle School provides students with the tools needed to help them navigate their adolescent years with awareness, confidence, independence, and self-reliance.

The goal is to build skills they will need as 21st-century citizens. The life skills courses are listed below and are organized by grade level.


All students take health class. Classes focus on:

  • drug and alcohol education with added areas addressing nutritional, spinal cord and brain health
  • sexual abstinence and safety skills
  • practical knowledge on responding in emergencies
  • self-esteem building
  • resiliency development
  • daily refusal skills

See health curriculum guide for more specifics. Teachers: Carrie Blank and Kristin Ogard

Library Skills

The ability to use the library and all of its resources, including electronic resources, is essential to student success in an increasingly digital age. Students will explore these tools and apply them to current class topics. Teacher: Lynn Silbernagel


What is positive leadership for middle schoolers? When is it best to lead and when to follow? How can student communication and collaboration lead to better understanding and community-building? This rotation provides time to examine and practice leadership. Teacher: Len Carr

Study Skills

Using a planner, taking notes, planning long-term projects, and reading actively are but a few of the ongoing skills we stress during middle school. This rotation provides a dedicated time to explore these skills directly and connect them to ongoing curriculum. Teacher: Paul Andrichuk


PE type games -- running, dodging, jumping, throwing, tossing, traditional games and less traditional games are played. Kids learn that staying physically fit during their middle school years is essential. Futhermore, our kids love staying active and participating in PE activities. There is a clear positive connection between physical activity and brain development. Teachers: Brian Gant and John Hamilton

Media Awareness

Our students live in an increasingly digitally connected world. They consume and create media constantly. How do they discern the content they consume? How do they protect themselves when creating content when texting and using social media? These questions will be addressed appropriately at each grade level. Teacher: Brendan Gill

Study Hall

Study Hall provides students time during the school day for quiet, focused study. Teachers help students as needed, but study hall primarily provides middle schoolers a chance to work on classroom work. Middle School teachers share the responsibilty as Study Hall facilitators.
An independent pre-K through 12th grade day school in Portland, Oregon
8825 SW Barnes Road,  
Portland, Oregon 97225   |  
503-297-1894   |

Explore why Catlin Gabel is a national leader in progressive education.

We annually welcome more than 100 new families to our inclusive community from the Portland area and beyond.

A demanding and engaging program in which each student is the unit of consideration

Playing sports involves life lessons in determination, grace, and resilience. We invite everyone to be part of a team.

Extensive support ensures our students are successful.

Learn about Catlin Gabel news and events on campus and beyond.

We foster a community that appreciates our differences and recognizes our essential unity

Every gift benefits our students. Every volunteer hour builds our community.

powered by finalsite