Middle School Academics
In the tradition of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat who would have founded the Society of the Sacred Heart for the sake of one child, Sacred Heart's educational program provides a holistic approach to learning with a curriculum well-grounded in basic and special courses. Sacred Heart offers a traditional approach to education taught in contemporary ways in a manner consistent with the five goals for a Sacred Heart education.
- Middle School English and Language Arts
- Middle School Mathematics
- Middle School Science
- Middle School Social Studies
- Middle School Theology
- Middle School French
- Middle School Physical Education
- Middle School Music
- Middle School Art
The Middle School English Language Arts curriculum supports the school-wide goal of fostering and developing a lifelong love of learning. Students continue to build upon the essential skills of reading, writing, listening, speaking and vocabulary development. With an emphasis on higher level thinking skills, students learn the importance of analyzing and reasoning. They are exposed to a variety of literary genres and stretched to find their identity as competent, lifelong readers. Through the writing process, students hone their skills and learn the importance of communicating effectively for a variety of purposes and audiences. In English Language Arts classes, they learn to engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions on topics, texts and issues. Lessons utilize Web 2.0 tools in order to assist students in becoming media literate. Every aspect of the classroom encourages individuals to recognize their full potential to lead and make a difference.
The Middle School Mathematics curriculum is sequential and is founded on knowledge of the basics. Beginning in the fifth grade, students progress from basic arithmetic skills including decimals, fractions and percentages that are reinforced through the use of word problems. As the students progress throughout middle school, they study integers, algebraic expressions, linear and quadratic equations and graphing. These courses are enhanced through the use of technology.
- Curriculum based on New Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
- Technology, Engineering and Math are incorporated at all levels (STEM)
- Engaging laboratory sections, with seventh and eighth graders scheduled for classes in the high school labs
- Special activities and events during National Engineering Week and National Science Week to apply content and skills learned in class
- Student access to a variety of laboratory equipment in preparation for high school lab environment and to promote technology literacy
- Real-life experiences through the study of Women in Science and their contributions and to create awareness of science-based careers
- Climate change, environmental protection, genetics, drug education and nutrition are some of the current issues weaved in the science instruction
- Affiliation with Project ASTRO, incorporating local astronomers as guest instructors and faculty mentors
- Trash less lunch program driven by Middle School students
- Demonstration of science concepts through hands-on projects such as: Science Bowl, Earth Day, Planet Project, Element Assignment, Stargazing Party, Cell Blueprint, Element Fashion Show, and the Great Egg Drop
Middle School Science aims to establish a foundation in scientific knowledge through experiential learning while fostering the ability to question and gather evidence to solve problems. The following are highlights of the Middle School Science program:
Students study early world history and ancient cultures, explore non-Western society, including Africa, Latin America, and Asia, and, finally, in grades seven and eight, study America. Throughout these courses, students learn research and writing skills, content reading strategies, and critical thinking. They also progress to writing short reports and finding and evaluating information for presentation. Much of their work is completed through individual and group projects and activities in conjunction with English classes. Social studies classes explore history, geography, government, and economics, where students are exposed to and prepared for a world of cultural, ethnic and religious diversity.
Educating to a personal and active faith in God, Goal I of the Goals and Criteria of the Network of Sacred Heart Schools, provides the foundation for the theology curriculum. We teach from a framework that is Catholic-Christian, with a commitment to inclusivity, ecumenism and interfaith dialogue. Through research and writing students learn about saints, popes and the titles of Mary. Middle School students will become familiar with the books of the Old and New Testament, by exploring the Bible through reading, reflecting, journaling and other activities. Grade Six will prepare to receive the sacrament of Confirmation in their parishes. Students will study the work of Jesus, as well as the life, influences and practices of the Church and what it means to be Catholic. Theology, at its best, connects with everyday life. Above all, we strive to help students speak credibly about their faith and understand and interact with the world in the 21st century.
- Grade Five: Sacraments
- Grade Six: Old Testament
- Grade Seven: New Testament
- Grade Eight: Church History
Emphasis is placed on the four fundamental skills of language acquisition: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students write stories, perform skits, create dialog and participate in communicative situations. The Exploring French and Bien Dit series is used to reinforce grammar, vocabulary, geography and culture of French speaking countries. Class activities and projects afford students the opportunity to explore various aspects of the French and other Francophone cultures.
.50 credit value
The students meet for physical education 2x a cycle for 40 minute periods.
Individual and team sports are an integral part of the middle school curriculum. Involvement in these sports and activities promotes a well rounded and adjusted student socially and emotionally as well as physically. This interaction through sports creates a positive environment toward physical activity for a lifetime.
Sports that are offered include: Field hockey, soccer, basketball, kickball, wiffleball, flag football, capture the flag, softball, pickle ball, floor hockey, dodgeball, and many more.
The middle school music program serves as a four-year comprehensive study of music. The general music courses cover a variety of music, periods of music, music techniques, music theory, and other topics. Students also experience music as a performing art form through their participation in chorus.
Each grade meets once a week for piano instruction in the school’s state-of-the art piano lab. Students work in pairs according to ability. Each quarter the students set a goal for themselves. Every quarter ends with an all-class recital at the performing arts center, where each student is required to play one of the pieces they have been working on.
Middle School Choir
Students meet several times throughout the semester. They learn to read music at an appropriate level and are introduced to basic vocal technique, including proper breathing, diction, and focus. Students work on preparing two- and three-part choral pieces for the Christmas and spring concerts.
Middle School Ensemble
This is a volunteer opportunity open to all middle school students. The ensemble offers an opportunity for some of our instrumental students to come together and work on music to be performed at the Christmas and spring concerts, and during various liturgies throughout the school year.
Middle School Guitar Club
The guitar club is open to any student in the middle school who has basic guitar skills, and her own instrument. The group meets once a cycle and works on music to be performed at the Christmas and spring concerts, and during various liturgies throughout the school year.
Private Music Lessons
Private music lessons are offered to students of all ages. Lessons are offered in voice, piano, guitar, violin, viola, cello, drums, music theory, and song writing. Lessons are generally scheduled with one of our instructors after school. Lessons are scheduled for a half hour, once a week, and the cost is $35 per lesson.
Middle School students are naturally energetic and look forward to being challenged; they can be surprisingly curious, quizzical, and enthusiastic about expressing themselves. Yet, in their quest for personal expression they often look for rules to follow - at least when it comes to making art! Thus, the Middle school art lessons are taught from a Fine Arts perspective. Experimenting with spontaneous and analytical line, scale and proportion, and light and shadow helps the students to understand the fundamental principles needed to create the illusion of three dimensions in their two dimensional works of art and increases their understanding of the forethought needed to develop actual three dimensional artworks. Giving our young students the tools and rules to draw and sculpt what they actually see is a stepping stone in giving them the confidence needed to make artworks that intentionally alter and/or exaggerate a subject for greater personal expression.