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:
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.
The goal of the middle school mathematics program is for students to understand mathematical concepts and procedures; to be able to apply procedures, concepts and processes to the solution of challenging problems in a variety of settings; and to prepare students for the continued study of mathematics in high school and beyond. The fifth grade curriculum focuses on general mathematical operations and their application while in sixth grade the study of Pre-Algebra commences. In seventh grade students have the opportunity to test into Algebra 1 or continue with a more advanced study of Pre-Algebra. Eighth grade students take Algebra 1 or Geometry depending on their placement the previous year.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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 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.