The foundation of the Middle School is built on students learning to advocate for themselves, learning to organize themselves and their materials, and learning the skill of time management; all things that allow students of this age to really own their education.
The Middle School follows the curriculum as laid out by the Diocese of Arlington Office of Catholic Schools. Students have advanced math opportunities, take Spanish as a World Language, participate in an elective program and are part of a House System.
Advanced math opportunities are provided to students who show readiness for advanced math placement. The Middle School faculty includes two full-time mathematics teachers and course offerings include grade-level core math, pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry.
The Spanish program taught over 6th, 7th and 8th Grade, culminates with the completion of High School Spanish Level 1. All 8th graders take the Diocesan World Language exam at the end of the year and depending on score may be eligible to take Spanish 2 as a high school Freshman.
All Middle School students are required to participate in the elective program taking an art, music and technology elective over the course of each academic year. Course offerings evolve and change from year-to-year based, in part, on student feedback.
The Middle School House System fosters camaraderie between the students and teachers with its intent to recognize and reinforce students’ positive actions and behaviors that serve the greater good of their House and overall school community.
Beginning in 6th grade, each student is randomly assigned to a House where he/she “resides” for the next three years. House meetings take on a variety of topics from academic skills, to leadership skills, to service projects, to fun and engaging activities meant to build overall community.
Houses are named after Saints and have a motto based on one of their Saint’s quotes or writings. Students can earn points for their house through acts of kindness, thoughtfulness, and going above and beyond what is expected. Houses may earn points during various advisory activities that focus on teambuilding and cooperation. Monthly, houses with the most points are recognized and each house nominates a “star student” who best reflects their house Saint. These students are recognized within the school community.
Additional information about the Middle School electives below.
Art Electives: Graphic Design (6th grade elective) focuses on elements and principles of art, studying and critiquing contemporary artists. Students incorporate techniques into their own artwork by making a graphic novel in collaboration with the Literature Teacher who assigns each student an ancient myth studied in class. Recycled Art (6th grade elective) uses everyday objects to recreate Masters of Art pieces. The students plan out pieces using teamwork, a variety of tools and materials and their imagination. Historical Art Elements (7th-8th grade elective), students study art forms and their development throughout time as well as how culture and geography affected each type of art. Students then make their own pieces, incorporating the themes identified through research. Sculpture (7-8th grade) encourages students to think creatively and problem-solve to create one of a kind 3-D art using a variety of materials. Set Design (7-8th grade) supports the Spring Musical by creating sets, props and costumes. Students paint, construct, and assemble everything needed for the show. Art from a New Angle (7-8th grade) focuses on perspective and selected artists.
Music Electives: Offerings within the Music electives focus on a specific instrument or musical skill and are meant to encourage the well-rounded development of all students and allow for opportunities to enhance performance skills. Electives include Handbells, Introduction to Musical Theater, Introduction to Chorus, Keyboard, Spring Musical, and Ukelele.