When students attend a private middle school, they are rewarded with the opportunity to dive deeper into areas that will benefit them the rest of their lives..
High Meadows has an amazing Debate program for students in 6th – 8th grades. Debaters learn and practice their skills during two mini-courses, one at the novice level as well as an advanced course.
“Debate provides a fantastic opportunity for our students to learn about a new topic each year, practice debating multiple sides of different issues, and engage in constructive dialogue with peers at High Meadows and in the larger debate community,” said coach Issac Wolf.
Here’s how it works:
- High Meadows students learn policy debate which deals with questions of change in government policy. Each year, a debate topic is chosen for the entire country and lasts through the school year. It’s called the resolution, as it is formatted as a proposal for change. Debaters receive a large packet of “evidence” – articles from which they will draw material to support or oppose the resolution.
- Debaters go to tournaments with a partner. Each debate round consists of a two-person team debating another two-person team from a different school. One team argues for the resolution – the affirmative. The other argues against it – the negative. Each team usually competes in four hour-long rounds, sometimes debating as the affirmative and other times as the negative.
Between 200 – 500 students from different schools attend a tournament, so students learn to work with and respect a diverse community of debaters who all work with the same evidence and debate the same topic. They learn from their peers and develop mentors in older debaters and high school or college-age judges. During their time in debate, many students get to know their opponents and find a larger group of friends in the community of debaters.
Fast Facts About the High Meadows Middle School Debate Program
- Started in 2003
- On average, 50 students take debate at some point throughout each school year
- About 30-35 students participate in weekend tournaments
- HMS participates in seven debate tournaments each year
- The school’s teams have won 17 total championships, with a streak of 13 years in a row of state championships that ended in 2017
- Most recently, HMS debaters were runners-up in the state varsity division
- Some HMS varsity debaters serve as teaching assistant in the novice debate class
- HMS Debate alums often serve as mentors in team prep sessions and as judges at tournaments
- Many HMS debaters continue debating in high school and college
Learn more today about our Middle School (Middle Years) curriculum.