Middle School Sixth through Eighth Grade-Preparing for High School

Our goal during middle school is to prepare our students for admission to local Catholic high schools. We are focused on rigorous academics, service learning and the school engagement required in local high schools. These students change classrooms every eighty-five-minute period and are taught by dedicated subject teachers. Students follow a block schedule, like many high schools do, which allows them to learn to balance their homework and extracurricular activities.

Curriculum Overview

Language Arts

In the middle school years, our students read diverse types of literature, analyze texts, increase their vocabulary, delve into sentence structures and learn the fine details of grammar and Latin roots. Students learn to present, listen for details and the skills of debate and peer critique. They create a magazine, write opinion pieces, and develop and revise a research topic.

Mathematics

The studies have taught us that math is developmental and that students will grasp the concepts at different paces. In that light, we level math in middle school to meet the needs of students. Our math instructors teach two levels of math using Eureka math. Students are divided into 4 groups. Two of the groups will complete Algebra I and two will complete the 8th-grade curriculum by graduation. Students are periodically assessed to make sure they are in a group that is at a pace that suits them.

Religion

Students study the Old Testament and learn the relationship between the Eucharist and Passover. They study and learn to appreciate the world's great religions. Students explore the Gospels and discover what it means to be a disciple. Students consider their own callings and gifts and how they will use them in their lives to serve the world.

Science

We have two science instructors focused on teaching students in the scientific method. We extend the Common Core with Next Generation Science to provide a higher requirement for experimentation. Students are taught a blend of Earth Science, Chemistry, Physics and Biology. Our science facilities include a dedicated state of the art Science Lab and large raised garden planters for each grade to support a hands-on science experience.

Social Science

From performing Greek plays to visiting our country’s capital, our middle school students take a journey through history. Our students experience the ancient world in the 6th grade and then travel the globe in seventh grade in World History, and come home to US History in the eighth grade.
DARE: As part of our Social Studies Curriculum, 6th grade students spend 11 weeks in a National program called DARE run by the Los Altos Police department. The program focuses on making good choices with regard to personal well-being including substance use and safety.

Foreign language (Spanish)

For Students interested in continuing Spanish, the course is offered as an elective in the sixth through eighth grades and is taught for 30 minutes daily. An alternative elective is a collaboration period elective for students to meet with teachers for additional support and to complete homework and projects.

Art

Our dedicated art teacher works with our middle school teachers to develop cross-curricular projects to create art that enhances classwork. The art curriculum is elaborate in the Middle School and includes studying artists, learning more complex art styles and creating more sophisticated pieces.

Physical Education

In preparing our middle school students for a life of fitness, our PE instructors focus on nutrition, exercise and the different needs for physical well-being. Students are taught a vast array of skills to prepare them to play sports on a team for personal fitness. We focus on the importance of being a team player and exhibiting the SAINTS attributes.

Music

Formal music instruction is not in the curriculum. Students have the option to be in the school band. Every class sings in the Christmas performance. The eighth grade manages and stars in the Christmas pageant including the stage management, acting, singing and dancing.

Service Learning

Service learning in middle school is focused on social justice and service leadership roles. Our students lead our younger children through service activities and go out into the community for a full day of service. Service hours are required for our middle school students. To learn more click the student life button.

Student Life
Field Trips

Every grade takes at least two field trips. Field trips support classroom learning. Some examples in sixth through eighth grade year include science camp, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Washington, DC.

SCHEDULE

7:55 am – 3:00 pm See calendar for special Wednesday schedule

Extended care available

FACULTY AND RATIOS

Each classroom is staffed by a full-time credentialed teacher 

Students start their day in homeroom, then subjects are taught by teachers with subject matter expertise 

Maximum of 36 children per classroom

TECHNOLOGY

Chromebooks are used to supplement learning

iPads and logitech pens are used for specialized work and in art classroom

LEADERSHIP

All of our students are given the opportunity to lead in various ways.  Each class is in charge of a Mass and students are asked to participate in reading and serving.  In Middle School, students may run for our Student Council or become a student ambassador. Our student council runs the morning assembly and many of our community events.  Student council and ambassadors are involved in our Open Houses and New Family events. The classrooms have jobs and responsibilities that require leadership. Classrooms also  have ambassadors that greet visitors or host new students. To learn more click the student life button.

Student Life

SPECIAL EVENTS

Example special events and enrichment activities include:  

First grade/eighth grade buddies

Sacrament of Confirmation