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Middle School Courses
Computers & Technology Courses
In this course, students become familiar with the basic principles of a personal computer, including the internal hardware, and software applications. Students will gain practice in using key applications such as keyboarding, word processing, Google apps and presentation software, as well as understanding the issues surrounding moral and ethical “Digital Citizenship” will be addressed throughout this course.
Students in this class use critical thinking, problem solving, and cooperative learning to design and create a variety of multimedia projects. Special areas of emphasis include, but are not limited to: Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel, digital video, graphics, Block coding and Google Docs. The issues surrounding moral and ethical “Digital Citizenship” will be addressed throughout this course.
English 6 is a comprehensive, literature-based course that focuses on grammar, writing, spelling, and vocabulary. Students read novels, use a literature anthology and a grammar book. The focus of the sixth grade curriculum is to develop an appreciation for literature. Students will develop their abilities to read for comprehension, to organize their thoughts and to express themselves both orally and in writing.
The English 7 course focuses on developing skill sets in these categories: collaboration, critical thinking, reading and writing, listening, and presentation. Anchor texts are based on the reading level and the interest of the class. Students will continue to develop a variety of academic writing structures and begin to engage in a more in-depth study of literature. Other units include: short stories (genre-based), poetry, novels, non-fiction, literary terms, and grammar.
The English 8 course is the culmination of the middle school program, as well as a preparatory course for the high school curriculum. Anchor texts are based on the reading level and the interest of the class. The course includes the examination of formal academic writing constructs and a variety of literary texts. Students will achieve mastery of academic writing structures, successfully participate in formal academic discussions (i.e., Socratic Seminar), and engage in a more analytical approach to literature. Other units include: research, short story (multi-cultural and genre-based), classical poetry, lyrical poetry, drama, and novel/non-fiction.
Fine Arts Courses
Sixth grade students will explore the elements of art while working with a variety of mediums. They will broaden their concepts of the elements by completing projects that focus on the world around them and by learning to critique their own work and that of their classmates.
Seventh grade students will continue to explore the elements of art while working with a variety of mediums. They will complete several different projects that will stretch across the curriculum to include other major subject areas such as Math and History.
Eighth grade students will enhance their knowledge of the elements of art and principles of design by exploring a wide variety of techniques with various mediums. The students will focus on using mixed media in individual artistic works, observational drawing, and proportional drawing.
Foreign Language Courses
With teacher recommendation, middle school students may request sign language as their required language.
This course offers the presentation of essential language concepts leading to the students’ familiarity and ease in addressing the study of Spanish. Students will become familiar with the cultural aspects of various Spanish-speaking countries. English is used for explanation of language formation so students can understand the rationale for the language structures. The students learn and practice a variety of phrases and concepts both orally and orthographically.
In this course students begin the actual study of the first level of the Spanish language. Students will learn basic communication structures concentrating on the present tense of the most frequently used expressions in the language as well as review and addition of essential vocabulary for comprehension. Students will initiate practice of the four skills needed for eventual fluency: reading, writing, comprehension and speaking.
Students experience the review and extension of the essential language structure to include the past tense as well as continued practice of the present tense and an increase in workable structures and vocabulary. Students will resume their practice with the four skills required for fluency.
Prerequisite: 90+ average in Spanish 7 or Spanish 7 Honors and teacher recommendation or Departmental approval.
Honors courses are made available for students with the requisite aptitude for success in advanced learning environment.
Ancient History is the focus. Akin to what students will re-visit in ninth grade, a study of the Paleolithic and Neolithic societies begins a journey toward the Renaissance and Age of Exploration. Specifically, this course examines the development of Classical Mediterranean and Mesopotamian cultures, South and East Asia, Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Pre-Columbian Americas.
This course will focus on American History beginning with early North American civilizations, moving into European colonization, the American Revolution, the foundations of an American system of government, the Industrial Revolution through the onset of the Civil War. The course will help to prepare students to develop critical thinking strategies and essay skills that they can build upon as they prepare for eighth grade coursework.
This course is the second part of a two-year study in American History. The students study the development of modern America from 1860 to the present. The emphasis is on student understanding and the gaining of an appreciation of the political, economic, and social forces that have shaped the United States.
Students in this course will be provided with mathematical knowledge and skills necessary to function in the world. The goal is for students to develop the ability to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them; reason abstractly and quantitatively; construct viable arguments of and critique the reasoning of others; model with mathematics; use appropriate tools strategically; attend to precision; look for and make use of structure; look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning. The topics presented include ratio and proportional relationships; expressions and equations; geometry; and statistics and probability.
Students in this course will develop a further understanding of topics from Math 6 to include analyzing proportional relationships in order to solve real world mathematical problems; apply and extend previous understandings of operations with fractions to add, subtract, multiply and divide rational numbers; expressions and equations; draw, construct and describe geometrical figures and describe relationships between them; draw and compare statistical inferences and use and evaluate probability models.
Prerequisite: 90 or better on placement exam in Mathematics AND 92+ in 6th grade Math.
This is an advanced mathematics course designed for students who have both the facility to master upper level math and the drive to complete the program with AP Calculus in the senior year. Students in this course will study all of the topics included in math 8 plus many of these topics will be developed in greater depth and explored at a higher level of difficulty.
Assessments will reflect this challenge level.
Students in this course will further develop the topics taught in Math 7 to include irrational numbers; work with radicals and inter components; proportional relationships, lines and linear equations; analyze and solve linear equations and pairs of simultaneous linear equations; define, evaluate and compare functions; congruence and similarity in geometry; Pythagorean Theorem; solving real world problems involving volume of cylinders, cones and spheres.
Meeting every other day, middle school band members are challenged by repertoires of 1 to 2.5 difficulty rating. Utilizing the same instrumentation of a Symphonic Band but on a smaller scale, the middle school band performs twice a year at Christmas and during the spring concert. Membership is determined by the band director.
Physical Education Courses
A variety of games and activities encourage individual fitness, conditioning, fundamental motor skills and movement patterns. Team work is emphasized through various sports as each student is invited to be a team player.
6th grade religion is two-fold. In the beginning the students are introduced to the Bible - the Old and New Testament and for whom they were written. They learn that while written by the early people, they were inspired by the Holy Spirit. The dual purpose of the story of Creation - to show God's power and also his love for mankind- is discussed. Students become familiar with Bible citations and how to use them to find the different passages.
Once students are comfortable with using the Bible, the course moves into the second objective which is to study the people of the Old Testament and how their stories impact the New Testament as well as their own lives.
The program used in the first half of the course is Breakthrough! The Bible for Young Catholics: An Introduction to People of Faith. Through the use of the book/Bible, outside readings, role-playing, and movies/the web students become familiar with the story and people of the Old Testament.
The Religion 7 course has been developed to allow our students the opportunity to have several “mini" courses rather than just one course for a full year. Each eight week course has been developed by experts in each of the selected topics. All topics and course materials are approved by the Catholic Church. Topics for the year are: Being Catholic, celebrating the Eucharist, making Decisions, Exploring the Story of Israel, and Exploring the Bible.
The Religion 8 course consists of a study of two key topics: Church History and Morality. In the first semester, the students come to understand the mission, ministry and history of the church as it developed from the time of Jesus to the present. The second semester helps students understand the concept of Christian Morality. The content centers on a deeper understanding of Christian beliefs and traditions. Both courses center on loving Jesus as students encounter him in their life experiences.
Emphasis is on interpreting and understanding the world in which each student lives. Investigation of four major earth atmospheres (geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere), when explaining earth’s formation, processes, history, landscapes, and changes over time, captures student curiosity. Exploration of how current actions by man interact with and affect change in the spheres – causing global changes – leads to keen interest in learning tools. Such tools, for example, include the scientific method, mapping the earth’s surface, unearthing minerals and rocks, studying plate tectonics, comprehending how tornadoes and earthquakes are triggered, exploring geologic time, and learning meteorology. Students participate in laboratory exercises, group activities, web-based investigations, rich class discussions, meaningful projects, and actual research.
Life Science invites students to take a comprehensive look at the complex change found in processes of physiological change, cycles, patterns in human development, and relationships in our world. Beginning with an exploration of cellular organization and the proper classification of organisms, emerging life scientists critically examine dynamic relationships among organisms, populations, communities, and ecosystems. Deploying the scientific method, students seek an explanation for nature using observation, testing, diagnoses, experimentation, models, evidence, and logic. Inquiry skills include mathematical analysis of data, manipulation of variables, and unearthing error within experimental processes.
Physical Science pursues an understanding of the nature and structure of matter. Further, this course explores the characteristics of energy. Emerging physical scientists will carefully consider the periodic table elements, physical and chemical changes, nuclear reactions, temperature and heat, sound, light, electricity, magnetism, work, force, and motion. Systematic investigation using repeated trials and the discovery of error in interpreting results from classroom experiments and written literature reviews invite validity and reliability of results.
Prerequisite: 90+ final course average in Life Science and Pre-Algebra and teacher recommendation
The content of this honors level course is similar to Course 481. However, due to the math and science ability of the students, the course pace is much faster and topics are covered much more in depth.
NOTE: students must maintain an 85+ average in order to remain in this class.