The Religion Program begins in grade six with a focus on the Hebrew Scriptures and God’s plan for salvation as recorded in the Bible. The covenant between God and His people is seen as an enduring sign of hope. Students learn that the Old Testament expresses God’s love and that Jesus Christ is the greatest expression of that love. Seventh grade takes up the study of the Christian Scriptures with a synthesis of Catholic beliefs. Students understand the importance of the dignity of every person and study the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus in the New Testament. Morality is defined and seen to be rooted in God. Grade eight studies Church History and continues the discussion of how to lead moral and ethical lives. Instruction is supported by Christian literature, contemporary books, a family life series, assemblies, speakers, retreats, and attendance at school liturgies.
The English program is a combination of literature, writing, vocabulary and grammar. Students continue to learn to apply the rules of grammar, the various types of sentences, correct usage, mechanics, and punctuation. Writing skills are enhanced in the areas of idea development, organization, sentence fluency, voice, word choice, and proper grammar. A vocabulary text focuses students on developing the knowledge of new words and using them in their written and oral presentations.
Classical, traditional, and modern literary selections are read and discussed within literature groups. Throughout the year students delve into a variety of literature genres – short stories, novels, poetry, and drama and demonstrate an understanding of plot, character development, setting and point of view. Theater trips, student dramatic presentations, films, projects and assemblies supplement classroom activities.
Students are offered the opportunity to master computational skills and learn a systematic approach to problem solving. Such areas as numeration, multiplication, fractions, decimals, percent, geometry, ratios, abstract ideas, proportions, and probability are included in the sixth grade curriculum.
A pre-algebra course is presented in grade seven, linking the sixth grade curriculum to the eighth grade study of algebra. Competencies developed include solving for variables in an equation, graphing, substitution, and using inequalities.
Eighth grade presents a traditional algebra course for the stronger math student. Included in the course of study are the language of algebra, rational numbers, polynomials, factoring, square roots, and quadratics.
The middle school math program has two student groupings: students approaching grade level performance and those ready for a more accelerated program. Prior performance in math, standardized test scores, and teacher recommendations determine initial placement, which can change based on student performance in the course.
Students in grades 6, 7, and 8 have a trimester each year of physical science, earth science, and life science. Science labs support concepts learned in the classroom.
Sixth grade science covers scientific processes, vocabulary, and lab skills. Topics include growth and habitats of living things, cells and ecosystems, energy, space exploration, and the light spectrum.
Seventh grade students focus on oceanography, atmosphere, weather patterns, the laws of motion, energy, simple machines, and human body systems.
Eighth grade students study the physical/chemical properties, scientific measurements, tectonic plate movements, earthquakes, volcanoes, genetic codes, heredity and the periodic table. SMART Board technology, field trips, assemblies, speakers, and film supplements course resources.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities are also included throughout the year. Students engage in various problem-solving activities in small collaborative groups, brainstorm possible solutions, test their ideas by designing and constructing a prototype, evaluate the outcome, and make necessary adjustments. STEM activities help to promote the development of the life-skills students will need to compete in the global marketplace.
The Middle School Social Studies program uses a 21st century mode of learning via the Social Studies Tech Book published by Discovery Education. This online style to learning enables students to access course content anywhere and at any time. The approach to the Social Studies curriculum is an inquiry-based approach to learning with a plethora of primary and secondary documents to be used by the students which are engaging and ignites curiosity in the learner. Delving deeper into history allows the students to better understand the past, and the world in which we live today.
The sixth grade curriculum covers the ancient civilizations including Mesopotamia Egypt, Greece, and Rome. The Medieval and Renaissance Periods are also studied during Grade 6. United States history is a two year course for Grades 7 and 8 and includes topics ranging from Exploration and Colonization to the post World War II era. Students are encouraged to seek understanding of events, think critically, and look at varying points of view. Current events both national and international are discussed and related to the student’s life. A Junior Scholastic Magazine exploring current events, history, and maps is also included in the course of study.
The Spanish curriculum embraces a broad spectrum of communication skills utilizing the five C’s of essential foreign language education: Communication, Culture, Connections, Comparisons and Community. The goal of the curriculum is to develop positive attitudes and excitement toward learning the Spanish language.
This program is designed to accommodate varying levels of language learners as they progress through the stages of the National Foreign Language Curriculum with readiness, foundations and essential objectives. Additionally, elements of the Catholic faith tradition are integrated into this Spanish curriculum in order to provide a meaningful language and cultural experience.
The goal of the middle school Spanish program is to help students develop the skills necessary to communicate in a second language and to prepare students for continued language study at the high school level. The middle school Spanish courses follow a comprehensive three-level program utilizing the Buen Viaje book series. During each year of study, students will develop increased competence through practice in reading, writing, speaking and listening.