The students of the Middle School follow a core curriculum that focuses on the academic and organizational skills necessary for success in the high school.
The fine arts program, an interscholastic sports program and a variety of field trips support the curriculum and help motivate the students to enjoy their work and achieve at their highest level.
The English language and literature curriculum focuses on grammar, a full range of writing experiences and a broad spectrum of literature. Students keep journals and study various formal writing techniques. The eighth grade presents a major research paper in the spring. Through written and oral reports students practice basic grammar and writing skills and they develop confidence in their speaking ability.
The history and geography curriculum is a combination of the two disciplines. In history students are expected to understand the purpose of knowing history and they should develop a worldwide appreciation of culture, religion, law, social structure and politics. Lessons begin with an examination of pre-history and early man and extend to twentieth century Asia, Latin America and early settlement in North America. Geography lessons focus on five themes: location, human environment, human interaction, movement and regions. Using a variety of assessment techniques, teachers lead students to understand the connections between history and geography.
The science curriculum emphasizes an integrated approach. Students receive a broad spectrum of exposure to a variety of disciplines. Sixth graders begin with a combination of earth science, life science and basic chemistry. Investigation is the key to their experience with a focus on proper science discipline. Eighth graders are introduced to physics and students finish with a sense of the diversity of science as well as the connections between the various fields.
In mathematics we emphasize process rather than result at all levels. The curriculum begins with general math in sixth grade and culminates with advanced Algebra I in eighth grade. Students focus on math fundamentals and the importance of problem solving as it relates to every day life. The program is flexible because students vary in aptitude, so our goal is to provide the utmost challenge and maximize ability.
The computer science curriculum teaches basic technology and typing and brings students into the world of programming, graphics, web design and ethical Internet use. The program strives to support the use of technology in all academic areas.
We place a special emphasis on our language program, which includes Spanish and French for all students. In addition, there are classes in German, Norwegian, Dutch, Chinese, and Arabic. The multilingual atmosphere of the school enlivens the atmosphere of all classes and activities.
Furthermore, the eighth graders embark on an outdoor education and camping program in Big Bend National Park for a week in the fall.