Upper School Grades (6-8)
Faith, Knowledge, Service
– the St. Catharine School motto is more than just words.
The adolescent learner is more capable of meaningful introspection and is ready for my detailed explanations instead of just yes or no answers. The Religion curriculum therefore, guides them to make sound moral judgments based on Christian principles. They are ready for and seek a more personal relationship with God and understand the Church as a community of believers. Small group projects, discussions, meditations and service projects are all ways the upper school student is prepared to live the faith.
Reading, analyzing and interpreting literature as well as informational text is one of the goals of the Upper School ILA program. The students continue to expand their horizons through the reading of time-tested classics as well as newer quality young adolescent literature. Students are also prepared to write multi paragraph informational pieces, persuasive pieces that include a clearly stated position and supporting statements. During the writing process, the students are constantly revising their work with an eye to logic, organization, and the conventions of the English Language.
The consistency and structured framework of the spiraling math curriculum creates a common language of math concepts and ideas that the students build on as they develop more sophisticated math skills. The students in grades 6-8 are building these skills through critical thinking and focusing directly on the math. They grow into better and more confident problem solvers as they advance through the lessons. In grade 8, Algebra I is offered to students who have tested into the program.
From the Ancient World to the New World, the Upper School students learn to make the connections from the past to the present and gain a greater understanding of the human story. Current events spearhead many discussions and projects as the students apply the lessons they have been taught. A keen awareness is developed of their role and responsibilities as citizens of this country as well as citizens of the world.
The middle school science learner follows the scope and sequence of the diocesan science curriculum, integrating the scientific inquiry method. Physical, Life, and Earth sciences are studied utilizing various media and levels of interactivity. Scientific literacy and STEM are included to expand and enhance the students' problem solving and global critical thinking skills.
The 1 to 1 laptop initiative is a big part of the Upper School experience. The privilege of having a laptop for every student’s exclusive use every day allows the teachers to provide a 21st Century classroom experience in all subjects. Note taking, research, collaboration, the writing process, test taking are all enhanced through the use of the laptops. The quality of the students’ work demonstrates the benefit of this investment in our children and our future.
Two out of three of the following achievement benchmarks must be met:
A NP of 90% or higher on the Normative Test assessment for specific subject area
93% or higher final grade point average for specific subject area
Cumulative average of 85% or higher on Mid-Term and Final Exam for specific subject area. (current 6th graders will only be assessed based off of their ILA and Math Final Exams and/or Placement Exam)
Students currently placed in an accelerated course will continue to be placed in an accelerated course as long as they have maintained a 93% or higher final grade point average for the school year. If a student fails to meet this requirement, they will be given the opportunity to be screened again, based off of the initial three sets of achievement benchmarks. Any student failing to maintain a weighted average of 85% by the scheduled progress report of the First Trimester will be removed from the accelerated course. This will result in a change of schedule for the student, likely affecting majority of their scheduled classes.