At the middle school level, emphasis is placed on the mastery of content and the development of critical-thinking skills through discussion, debate, research and questioning.
Our literature-based language arts program encourages discussion, writing and creative expression. Novels, short stories and selections from reading anthologies provide the framework for mastery of reading skills and the development of students as critical thinkers, readers, and writers. Emphasis is placed on writing across the curriculum through content-driven integrated units. Students are encouraged to express their own voices within their writing. Opportunities for public speaking are built into the curriculum. Emphasis is placed on vocabulary, grammar and mechanics, literary skills and devices, and research. Students are exposed to a variety of genres in both reading and writing. Our goal is to develop life-long readers and writers.
The mathematics program, Progress in Mathematics, for fourth through eighth grade is a comprehensive program that focuses on critical thinking, algebraic reasoning and computational fluency. The program supports the standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and responds to the NCTM curriculum focal points. Advanced placement begins in grade five. All students complete pre-algebra. Algebra I is offered to advanced math students in eighth grade.
In our religion program, our students explore their faith in a more in-depth manner and work on articulating their faith and faith experience. Throughout the middle school years, students will explore Scripture, immerse themselves in the sacramental life of the church, uncover the events of Church History, and engage Catholic Social Teaching. Our outreach program offers every student the opportunity to interact with their outreach partners and reflect on their experiences. Students also are offered many opportunities to participate in the faith life of our community through liturgical celebrations and our community gathering.
Students are active in our Science Lab. It is where they learn best by “doing science.” Student investigations are supported by teacher explanations and demonstrations. A special concentration is given in middle school to each science strand: sixth grade – earth science, seventh grade – life science, and eighth grade – physical science. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is integrated within the curriculum. STEM projects are completed each trimester focusing on robotics, engineering and programming. STEM education fosters the development of problem solvers, innovators, inventors and logical thinkers.
Students learn their places as global citizens of the world by studying the past, making connections and discussing ways to make informed decisions regarding our future. Our Social Studies curriculum focuses on the history, geography, culture, people and economy of the countries of the world, with lively discussions and debates centering on current events. Special emphasis is placed on regions of the USA in fourth grade, Canada and Latin America in fifth, Europe, Asia and Africa in sixth, and United States history in seventh and eighth grades. Every eighth grader participates in the Model United Nations, sponsored by the World Affairs Council.
Technology literacy is an essential element of our students’ educational experience. Our program provides students with the opportunities and skills necessary to utilize technology for learning, problem solving, collaboration and creative expression. With access to laptops in every grade and SmartBoards in every classroom, technology is available all the time to students throughout their academic day. As basic computer skills are expanded, more advanced research skills are enhanced, and more Web 2.0 tools are introduced, the students are taught to use technology safely and responsibly as they become independent digital citizens.
Special classes such as art, music, choir, gym, library, Latin, and Spanish enhance the core curriculum. Study skills in sixth through eighth grades with special instruction in test taking strategies are also offered.