Middle school students are in a state of constant growth—physically, emotionally, and intellectually. It is not a consistent or predictable trajectory, and no two children are navigating the same set of circumstances at the same time. During this time of growth, students thrive in a rich learning environment with abundant opportunities for increasing self-awareness and creative expression.
Teachers here know their students well due to small class sizes that allow for individual attention, so students are always guided along the right path. From Grades 6–8, the academic subject areas of English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, religion, technology, and Spanish or French are taught sequentially with a curriculum that inspires inquiry and aligns to the Common Core State Standards and Massachusetts Frameworks.
Middle School Curriculum
Middle School Curriculum
Middle school students focus on grammar, vocabulary, reading comprehension, text analysis, and the writing process. Students explore and practice a variety of different literary genres in order to grow their capacity for self-expression alongside the development of practical skills. Following the current Massachusetts Language Arts and Literacy Curriculum Framework, students advance the four domains of language (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) with increasing sophistication throughout the middle school grades.
Students build their knowledge base of ratios, measurements, equations, and expressions through an increasingly complex curriculum. Students are guided to problem-solve independently and understand the “why” behind mathematical concepts.
6th Grade: Focus is on foundational skills needed for pre-algebra. Using the Course 2 Pearson Common Core, students learn the concepts and skills that will allow them to excel in any pre-algebra course the following year. Students become proficient and confident problem solvers in key topics including: measurement conversions, proportions, solving single-variable equations, operations with exponential variables, geometry, ratio, percents, fractions, probability.
7th Grade, Pre-Algebra: Using the Course 3 Pearson Common Core, students develop a foundational understanding of algebraic concepts required for any Algebra I course set to the Massachusetts Standards. By the end of the year, students are equipped to solve equations and expression related to rates, proportions, inequalities, multistep one-variable problems, basic linear graphs, geometry, probability, and polynomial functions.
8th Grade, Algebra I: Using the Algebra I Pearson Common Core Curriculum, students develop a thorough and dynamic understanding of Algebra and are prepared to apply multistep equations to complex real-life circumstances using algebraic equations.The curriculum aligns with the current Massachusetts Curriculum Framework for Mathematics.
Using the Spirit of Truth Curriculum by Sophia Institute, middle school students continue to integrate their growing understanding of the Catholic faith into daily life and demonstrate their understanding through personal expressions of God’s love.
Students develop their critical thinking and observational skills throughout middle school and explore thematic topics such as ancient civilizations, geography, and civics. They are challenged with a heavy emphasis on project-based learning, whereby students apply new knowledge to practical situations. Following the Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Frameworks, students in grades 6 through 8 use the McGraw-Hill Networks Curriculum.
Following the Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Frameworks, St. Mary’s middle school students build solid foundations in earth science, life science, and physical science that prepare them for deeper inquiry in secondary school. Through hands-on activities and experiments that correspond to each unit, students develop an understanding for the scientific method and the application of science to the natural world.
Spanish & French
Spanish & French
Students have the choice to study either Spanish or French language and culture in grades 6 through 8, preparing them for success in Spanish II or French II in high school. Emphasis is on basic grammar, conversational skills, and vocabulary.