Middle School Academics

Curriculum Overview

At its core, our educational philosophy holds that academics should be active and engaging. To that end, we believe that

  • Learning is a lifelong process.
  • Each child can excel academically.
  • Children learn best through active learning opportunities.
  • Learning styles vary from student to student.
  • Academic success includes the development of self-confidence and appreciation for others.
  • Caring relationships between students and between students and teachers build academic confidence.
  • A strong partnership between home and school strengthens academic success.

Fifth Through Eighth Grades

In Middle School the emphasis is on preparing our students for high school and beyond. The following course of study is provided:

English/Language Arts
Students are taught mastery of appropriate grammar and writing skills, which are critical to success in high school, college and beyond. These skills are further enhanced through reading and responding to different genres of literature and informational texts, such as the classics and resources used for research.

General Mathematics, Pre-Algebra and Algebra I
These higher level courses focus on the fundamental operations with a variety of opportunities to apply these concepts to problem solving and critical thinking. Algebra I is completed by all eighth grade students.

Science
Students focus on a clear understanding of the scientific process and how to formulate hypotheses. Fifth grade classes study Earth, Physical and Life Science. The focus in sixth grade is on Earth Science, while seventh grade focuses on Life Science, and eighth grade's concentration is Physical Science. Robotics is a part of the seventh and eighth grade curriculum. Our new iMAST building provides the opportunity for greater integration of math, the arts, science and technology throughout Middle School.

History
Historical research, great personalities of the ages, religion, art, music, geography, simple economics, and scientific advancements are included in all history courses. Collaborative project-based learning, research and integration with other curriculum areas are important parts of the history program.

Foreign Language

  • Spanish - Proper pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, literature, songs and conversation are stressed at all grade levels, providing students with the opportunity to move into Spanish II in high school.
  • Latin - This course begins in sixth grade to enhance vocabulary development and grammar skills, along with an appreciation for the classical world.

Fine Arts
Art, Vocal and Instrumental Music and Drama extend the students' creative expression. Songs, plays and art relating to literature, history, and religion are explored in a number of different media. Middle School students in sixth through eighth grades put on a Shakespeare festival in the spring, sharing this part of their academic program with the school community. Students in eighth grade learn to play the hand bells.

Religion
These classes taught by the school chaplain reinforce the spiritual commitment of St. Michael's and give the students a historical perspective of religion in the development of civilization throughout the world. Emphasis is given to the Old and New Testaments of the Bible and ethics.

Technology
Technology is taught as an essential 21st Century skill and is embedded in all Middle School classes. In computer classes, students are taught skills they will need to use technology as a tool to enhance all academic pursuits, especially in research and the production of polished reports and assignments. In the Seventh and Eighth grades, iPADS are being integrated across the curriculum.

Physical Education, Intramurals and After-School Sports
St. Michael's offers a rigorous athletics program, consisting of daily physical education classes, noncompetitive games, and competitive sports. Outstanding sportsmanship and developing life-long athletes are primary goals of all of these activities.

By having P.E. four days a week, it allows me as a teacher to really get engaged with the kids to show them all the facets of why it's important to stay active on a daily basis."

— Steve Buzzard, Faculty, Athletics

Accreditations and Memberships