Fifth Grade through Eighth Grade
In Fifth through Eighth Grade, our faculty and staff take great pride in the relationships that are fostered with our middle school students. Students are introduced to approaches in learning to help tackle complex and sensitive issues that middle school students may be experiencing during this period of adolescence. The academic rigor and breadth of the middle school curriculum allows our students to navigate towards the next stage of their education as confident, happy and eager to excel to the next level of their education. Students are encouraged to promote action and service to the local and global community, with the regular use of collaborative project-based learning which nurtures positive communication and problem-solving skills to equip our middle schoolers to transition smoothly onward. The 7th and 8th grade exciting annual excursion week promotes international-mindedness as well as develops life-long learners of adventure and thinking beyond the classroom walls. Conversations about and explorations of spirituality, religion, and ethics at Alverno Heights Academy are woven naturally into the fabric of school life. They occur in classrooms, among faculty and students in the hallways, and at our weekly prayer service with Deacon Manuel and monthly student-led masses.
Religion within the Middle School is a key component of the students’ day. Students in Middle School receive regular instruction in Religion that focuses on the principles of Catholicism and the integration of these values into our daily lives. It focuses on exploring and deepening the student’s relationship with God and with each other. They are taught about the Church, worship together, and prepare for the sacraments. This teaching promotes active learning that translates into active faith. An active faith also helps students work and learn about service and social justice. Our middle schoolers engage in a buddy program with our lower school students. Our buddy system helps students to feel valued and supported, teach important social skills and create a caring mindset in the school. We will continue on with these buddy classes through 8th grade so there is a strong bond between younger and older children for a period of 5 years.
English Language Arts Students are introduced to the works of great writers and the study of the major literary forms, including plays, short stories, and poetry. Students respond to the readings with written analyses and are guided through a process in which writing, proofreading, and editing skills are emphasized. Grammar and vocabulary lessons are incorporated into the analysis of text to provide students with a deeper understanding of the English language. Reading instruction is designed to produce life-long readers.
Mathematics in middle school emphasizes calculation, reading, and analysis. Students learn to communicate and reason logically, and they become independent problem-solvers Students devise strategies, taught test methodologies, evaluate results and revise plans for an exceptional math program. Students entering fifth grade may be recommended for an accelerated math progression.
Science offers an experience for exploring the world. A hands-on approach engages students and allows for independent discovery and learning. Using the 13 acres of the campus allows the teacher and students to explore our ecosystem within their own community. Middle School science integrates the three branches of science – life science, physical science, and earth science. Students learn best when actively involved, so an emphasis is put on investigations and demonstrations that help students in their observation, processing, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.
In the Social Studies curriculum, students explore the historical world in which they make comparisons, explore causes and effects, study historical figures, and begin to realize the importance of history and its path for the future within our won country and through the world. Field trips are planned to support the historical content of the middle school classes.
Students in fifth through eighth grade also receive weekly instruction in Art, PE, Robotics, and Music. Spanish is taught through a program designated for a Spanish 1 Course but split into four sections, leaving 8th graders able to test into Spanish 2 in High School.
Our Digital Learning resources provide teachers and students with the tools for applying technology on various levels throughout the academic day. The Computer Lab has 30 brand new iMacs along with a 3D printer, and RealTouch Interactive Display. Classrooms are equipped with tools to give teachers the types of media to integrate into their lessons. The 1:1 student iPads and iPad Apps are integrated into lessons where and when the use of the technology will enhance the learning of the objectives. Our Lower School classes use their iPads to attain increased engagement and differentiated instruction.
R.O.A.R, the after-school enrichment program, is designed to offer fun and creative activities for students on campus. Classes are held once a week for approximately 12 weeks and range from Sculpting, Engineering, Yoga, Chess, Mock Trial, Speech and Debate, Art, Cooking, Garage Band, Choir, and Archery.