Middle School at a Glance
The middle school curriculum offers students a large array of opportunities to help them prepare for their future. Teachers follow the curriculum prescribed by the Diocese of Harrisburg, which will integrate the Common Core Standards into the current curriculum.
Religion pervades all aspects of the curriculum, but students in the middle school study the Old Testament and the New Testament, especially the Gospels, and finish 8th Grade with Confirmation preparation and an overview of Church history. Students also have the opportunity to share their faith with younger classes through the Buddy Program, which matches each grade with partners who meet once a month to share their knowledge and faith through fun and engaging activities. Middle school students also grow in faith through service by participating in Student Service Council activities.
Integrated Language Arts purposefully combines the study of literature, grammar, writing, speaking, and listening skills. Reading classic literature, as well as contemporary authors, helps students to find their own voice, relate grammar skills, and improve their own writing skills. Students delve into the excitement of drama and stage puppet presentations created around characters made in art classes. Students can put their knowledge to practical use by competing in multiple writing competitions, especially Scholastic Writing, as well as Diocesan spelling bees and speech competitions.
Through social studies, students are exposed to ancient civilizations from cuneiform of ancient Mesopotamia and mummies of ancient Egypt through the excitement of gladiators of ancient Rome in 6th Grade. Students travel through the world in their study of geography in 7th Grade. In 8th Grade, students learn about our country’s laws through an introduction of civics and study our nation’s past from the settlement of the West through the present day. Multiple projects and research experiences and the introduction of National History Day allow students to understand history through creative, practical means. Middle school students are also offered the opportunity to complete in Diocesan and National Geography Bees.
Science follows a spiral curriculum introducing students to the wonders of the earth, space, physics, biology, and chemistry. Reminding students of the importance of becoming stewards of God, environmental education allows students to see the impact of their lives and actions on the earth upon which we live. Multiple laboratory experiences offer students the ability to check their basic knowledge, question and test what they have learned, and evaluate new evidence in light of their labs. Although it is the basis of the 7th Grade curriculum, the study of the scientific method pervades the classroom at all levels and culminates in spectacular science fair projects. Students in 6th Grade participate in a statistics competition offered through St. Francis University Science Outreach Center to introduce them to the process of the scientific method. High-level 8th Grade students enjoy the chance to spend a day at Hershey Medical Center, learning about advances in medical technology and biological systems.
Middle school mathematics is a continuation of all skills learned through the intermediate grades, including proportions, rates, operations with decimals, fractions, and rational numbers, and data and statistics. For advanced students in the 8th Grade, algebraic concepts are introduced and explored. Students with an aptitude for math are encouraged to join the MATHCOUNTS team, which meets weekly and competes against other Pennsylvania teams.
All grade levels participate in special classes, including physical education, art, technology education, foreign language, and music.
Teachers use fun and informative field trips to intensify the learning of their students. Technology is used to enhance the curriculum in all disciplines.