The core subjects taught in grades fifth through eighth are: religion, language arts, literature, math, science, and social studies.
The religion program has a strong spiritual foundation and is embedded in the liturgical calendar. The program focuses on the Church and responses to common religious questions by presenting Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. It includes all basic topics of ecclesiology, history of the church, and a special program for the preparation of the sacrament of Confirmation. Students also participate in retreats and service activities.
The goal of the Middle School Language Arts program is to bring the students’ communicative, functional and academic proficiency to a higher level. Writing skills are further developed through writing assignments that are focused on current events and project-based learning activities through the use of iPad technology. The language arts curriculum encompasses the following aspects: grammar, comprehension, fluency, vocabulary, spelling, composition, and handwriting. This program consists of focusing on reading for comprehension and exposure to all literary genres. Students are actively involved in identifying plot structure, literary elements, figurative language, narrative styles, character analysis, poetic language, setting and mood of stories. Students are assigned numerous writing projects that require speaking in front of an audience and using proper speaking techniques. IPad, productivity apps and SMART Board technology are used in a variety of projects throughout the year to foster independent learning, encourage in-depth exploration of the content, and build the skills necessary for high school readiness.
The math curriculum for the sixth grade focuses on the mathematical operations involving whole numbers, fractions and mixed numbers. It also incorporates computation processes, and the writing, interpreting, and usage of expressions and equations, as well as involving these properties in word problems and geometrical definition. It reviews the operations with whole numbers and decimals in order to introduce the integer numbers. The students get a better understanding of the proportional reasoning and applications, algebraic, geometric, and developing and understanding of statistical problems.
The seventh and eighth grade math focuses on pre-algebra and Algebra I with emphasis placed on real numbers, properties, linear equations, and practical applications.
The seventh-grade curriculum includes developing understanding of and applying proportional relationships, operations of rational numbers, solving problems involving scale drawings and informal geometric constructions, and drawing inferences about populations based on samples.
The eighth grade is presently participating in a “Dual Enrollment Algebra 1” course. The students enrolled in this program are instructed in expressions, equations, language: simplifying and solving with an emphasis on work with word problems, graphing linear equations and function notation: graphing and set notation of inequality solutions, systems and polynomials, and rational expressions and equations and simplifying radicals.
All instruction in Math for the Middle school is based on a 1:1 iPad program.
The social studies curriculum for the sixth through eighth grade encompasses American history, world history, American government, world geography, and current events. Students use their iPads to connect to textbooks, access history resources, and complete assignments. There is an annual history fair that is developed by themes, such as the Renaissance, Medieval times, art history, history of the Church, to name a few.
The science curriculum grade sixth through eighth includes astronomy, physical science, life science and earth science. The curriculum is inquiry based following the scientific method. Instruction is differentiated using varying reading levels and lab activities in order to meet the individual student’s needs. The middle school students participate in academic competitions and science fairs district wide. In the science program full inquiry is encouraged. Students are provided hands-on activities in the science lab. Basic biological concepts are taught, and students are encouraged to observe closely objects and materials in their environment.
The students attend special subject areas which include art, Spanish, physical education, music and computer. Teachers regularly work together on strategies that can be implemented across the curriculum for the benefit of the students.
Students are encouraged to use their critical thinking and creative writing techniques to expand their knowledge in all subject areas. Teachers evaluate students’ progress through tests, quizzes, projects, observations, rubrics, portfolios, oral communication, and class participation. In addition, the teacher regularly gives the students opportunities to work cooperatively in groups to meet specific objectives. This enables the teacher to monitor social development as well as academic growth.
The following are examples of the special activities provided in the Middle School:
- Planning and participation in liturgical celebrations including: Christmas Nativity, Stations of the Cross, May Crowning, and more
- Religion, History, Geography, and Science Fairs
- National Junior Honor Society
- Student Council
- Safety Patrol
- Christmas Shows
- Musical Productions
- Art Shows
- ACC sports participation