Middle School Programs
The Middle School curriculum at St. Joseph Academy continues to support our students as they build on the strong academic foundation established in Elementary School while preparing them for sustained success in high school and beyond. Our Middle School faculty recognizes the learning opportunities unique to late childhood and early adolescent intellectual and social development. Our courses are structured to strengthen organizational and independent study skills and designed to engage critical-thinking skills as students grapple with the ideas and understandings of the world that surrounds them.
The goal of the middle school years is for students to develop study and learning skills that will prepare them for high school, college, and beyond. The Middle School curriculum is designed to: provide courses appropriate to the developmental level of the students, meet individual needs of students by providing enriched or support programs where appropriate, help students develop strong study skills, develop students’ communication skills in all subject areas, give students increasing opportunities for independent learning and provide opportunities for creative expression.
CORE PROGRAM COMPONENTS
Our Literacy curriculum incorporates the foundational skills of reading, helping students not only improve upon their reading abilities, but also improve their ability to comprehend and understand the material in front of them. Children are naturally curious, therefore providing them with opportunities to practice literacy skills as they explore their world, encourages engagement, improves understanding, and enhances their ability to retain information.
Everyday Mathematics is a research-based and field-tested curriculum that focuses on developing children’s understandings and skills in ways that produce lifelong mathematical power. Each grade of the Everyday Mathematics curriculum is carefully designed to build and expand a student’s mathematical proficiency and understanding. Our goal: to build powerful mathematical thinkers.
In Language Arts, sixth graders study a variety of fiction and informational texts. These encompass a varied complexity band, with scaffolding as needed. The curriculum integrates reading, speaking, listening, and writing skills to develop critical thinking and effective communication. Students also explore important historical events through reading and writing along with grammar and vocabulary development.
A few of the math curriculum components students will learn throughout sixth grade are:
- Use expanded notation, number-and-word notation, exponential notation, and scientific notation to represent whole numbers and decimals
- Use mental arithmetic, paper-and-pencil algorithms and models, and calculators to solve problems involving the multiplication and division of fractions and mixed numbers
- Choose and use appropriate formulas to calculate the circumference of circles and to solve area, perimeter, and volume problems
Seventh grade literacy engages students in high level applications of skills in critical reading, expository writing, oral communication, and linguistic and vocabulary development. Students are offered differentiation of the reading and writing activities in terms of acceleration, depth, complexity, challenge, and creativity. Students will read in multiple genres and be expected to demonstrate a strong command of language at a highly motivated and independent level.
Eighth grade language arts studies a variety of fiction and informational texts. These encompass a varied complexity band, with scaffolding as needed. The curriculum integrates reading, speaking, listening, and writing skills to develop critical thinking and effective communication. Students also explore important historical events through reading and writing along with grammar and vocabulary development.
ADDITIONAL MIDDLE SCHOOL CURRICULUM INFORMATION
The Elementary Physical Education class focus is for all students to have the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully participate in movement activities and healthy practices now and in the future. It is also important that students develop appropriate sportsmanship and social skills necessary to successfully participate in small and large groups. When students learn to enjoy a variety of movement and healthy practices now they are more likely to continue these practices for their lifetime.
Art is a universal language, a powerful tool for communicating ideas, expressing feelings, and recording history. Our young students learn by: looking at art, thinking about art, responding to art, and creating art. Students work collaboratively, sharing ideas and experiences. They learn to respect the different ways others think, work, and express themselves.
Our fully stocked library gives our students the ability to read and explore during their time in the library and at home. Students are able to check out books to read when they are outside of school.
Technology is everywhere, and we believe it is critical that your child become comfortable and experienced using a variety of technology tools. Students will learn how to navigate and save on the computer desktop. They will also be developing keyboarding skills and utilizing numerous software and Internet based applications in word processing, research, curriculum enhancement and multimedia presentations.
St. Joseph Academy provides music classes for all age levels. Music activities include singing and performing, moving to music, playing classroom instruments, listening and analyzing music, learning music notation, experiencing music from other cultures, singing folk melodies, and creating/composing. All students, with their classes, perform in both a Winter and Spring concert.