Features of the Middle School & Junior High Years
- The language arts curriculum integrates reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The middle grade curriculum shifts in focus from learning to read to reading to learn. Increased emphasis is placed on reading and writing informational content. Strategy instruction focuses on constructing meaning from the text using a repertoire of comprehension strategies. Emphasis is placed on vocabulary, word identification skills, fluency, and comprehension. In 7th and 8th grade, the focus becomes literary analysis. Students’ written literary responses focus on this analysis and writing for different purposes and audiences. Our research curriculum provides the instruction and scaffolding necessary for students to use research ethically and to write a well-structured research paper. Analysis of student writing further guides teacher instruction of the application of language conventions.
- In the math curriculum, students progress from basic middle grade level competencies through a complete Algebra I course. Every student is taught to think critically, reason logically, problem-solve, and apply his/her math knowledge in real-world applications.
- The advancement of Science content and abilities promote scientific literacy in our students. In our annual Science Fair, each student conducts an experiment and researches a complex topic in a rigorous but rewarding experience, engaging in the scientific method. Students in eighth grade present their projects orally to the scientific community.
- Our goal is to develop students who are informed, socially aware, civically engaged, and able to approach the world with a global perspective. The culmination of study in our Social Studies curriculum is participation in a local history project about our township where students make a real connection between the location of our school and the history they study. Working with local historians, they answer the essential question of why the preservation of a local historical site is important and explore the location from a number of perspectives. Students compile their research, gained through interviews and site visits, to create a documentary which is shared back with the township for their use. This project teaches how to ask challenging questions, how to consider varied perspectives, how to draw upon prior knowledge.
- All students in fifth to eighth grade receive 95 minutes of Spanish instruction per week. Each level incorporates the following educational strands: culture, conversation, grammar, vocabulary, and real-world applications.
- The library curriculum provides quality literature, research resources, and information literacy skills. The curriculum follows the philosophy outlined by the American Association of School Librarians and the Association for Educational Communications and Technology. Students cultivate a love of reading and learn to be responsible users of information and library resources. Using current events, students learn media literacy skills to help them access and evaluate multiple media platforms, preparing them to participate as informed citizens and decision-makers in the world that awaits them.
- We join Cheltenham township’s sustainability initiative through school-wide sustainability goal-setting and efforts. Students learn through recycling, composting, waste-reduction, gardening, and energy education a deepened sense of responsibility for the environment and the impact of sustainable practices.
- Fifth grade students participate in both Mindfulness and Life Skills programs.
- In our Advisory program, the curriculum emphasizes digital citizenship, role playing for decision-making and conflict resolution, and the development of leadership and self-advocacy skills. The advisory program offers guidance for students during adolescence and fosters the development of self-esteem and resiliency. Students in grades six, seven, and eight meet in small groups once a week with an advisor.
- Service learning is incorporated into our rich curriculum with the intention of framing the students’ academic development in the context of helping to shape their community’s future and making a difference in our world. Learning and service are connected to the intellectual and moral development of each student at each grade level.
- 1:1 iPad program and Canvas Learning Management System connects students at school and at home with their studies.