ELA (English Language Arts)
The ELA class is a correlated reading and writing class. Each class reads and analyzes 6-8 novels a year as well as on-going informational texts that are aligned with the theme or topic of the novels. Writing assignments, essays, and research projects are connected to the literature or informational texts read. Writing is taught using Step UP to Writing, a structured approach that is supported in written work in science and social studies classes. The English curriculum follows the Common Core State Standards.
The Math curriculum follows the California state standards for each of the classes. There is a primary focus on the application of math in solving real world math problems. 6th grade focuses on fractions, decimals and integers, building up to using mathematical reasoning and algebraic equations with ratios, proportions, and percents. The 7th grade curriculum continues to build on each of these strands. The 8th grade is divided into a pre-algebra and algebra class to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of each student.
Inspired by Ignatian pedagogy, the religion curriculum incorporates the outcomes outlined by the Diocese of San Jose for grades 6-8. Middle school students explore the Gospel teachings through prayer, discussion and learning activities. Students participate in the planning of prayer services and school-wide liturgies. In addition, community service opportunities are available for our students to participate in through our Campus Ministry program.
The Social Studies curriculum examines the geographic, political, economic, religious and social structures of ancient civilizations (6th grade), medieval civilizations (7th grade) and the emerging United States (8th grade). The study of geography and mapping skills are also covered throughout the year. Our Social Studies curriculum is based on the California State Standards for Social Sciences as well as integration of the Common Core Standards for reading and writing. Students engage in project-based learning in small groups, whole class and individual work with an emphasis on current events.
The science curriculum is based on the Next Generation Science Standards. Hands on activities and constructivist learning is at the heart of each science class. There is a secondary focus on building an understanding of scientific language through the study of vocabulary in each unit of exploration. The courses follow the traditional study of Earth science in 6th grade, life science in 7th grade and physical science in 8th grade.