The Middle School program is designed to carry out Alverno’s mission by helping young people in grades 5-8 acquire knowledge and skills through conversation, discovery, and deep understanding. We strive to inspire, in each student, a love of learning, self knowledge, and meaningful community membership.
In the Middle School, Fifth Grade through 8th Grade, we take great pride in the relationships that we foster with our Middle School students and take great care to introduce approaches to learning to help tackle complex and sensitive issues that the students may be facing at this time. The academic rigor and breadth of our Middle School curriculum allow our students to navigate towards the next stage of their education, confident, happy, and eager to. As well as promoting action and service to the local and global community, regular use of collaborative project-based learning nurtures positive communication and problem-solving skills to equip our young adults to transition smoothly on to their onward schools. Our exciting annual excursion week promotes international-mindedness as well as developing life-long learners outside of the classroom to learn. 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.
Christ Our Life by Loyola Press is our series for Religion. Written by the Sisters of Notre Dame, Christ Our Life fosters children’s love of God while providing a rich knowledge of our Catholic faith. Christ Our Life comprehensively presents the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church and is the only program aligned with the Church’s mission for a New Evangelization, the NCEA.
Alverno’s Reading curriculum is Lucy Calkin’s Units of Study, a rigorous and highly effective program that explicitly teaches reading skills while growing students into independent and life-long readers. Additionally, we will also be reading several core literature books throughout the year. There is a strong focus on reading and writing in Middle School.
Our writing curriculum parallels reading as it is also Units of Study. Throughout the year, students learn the craft of writing through specific genres within a narrative, opinion, and persuasive themes. As is such in reading, student choice is vital to learning. Students learn to use their voice – that what they have to say matters and that it’s their story to tell. Additionally, we use Daily Grammar Practice and Word Study to enhance our knowledge of grammar and spelling rules.
Our Math curriculum consists of two programs that work hand in hand: Saxon Math and Simple Solutions Math. To master mathematics, students need to build on prior learning—what new concepts they can learn depends on which concepts they already know. Saxon Math provides a learning structure proven to advance students steadily and assuredly to higher levels of understanding. Simple Solutions Standards-Based Mathematics aligns with standards for Mathematics. These standards identify key ideas, understandings, and skills, and emphasize deep learning of mathematics concepts in each grade level.
In Grades 5-8, we utilize STEMscopes. STEMscopes was developed by Accelerate Learning Inc. in partnership with Rice University. STEMscopes uses the 5E plus intervention and acceleration learning model to provide an engaging STEM curriculum organized into customizable segments. Available in a digital format, enhanced by print materials, and brought to life through exploratory hands-on kits, our blended curriculum helps students improve student performance, through high quality, customized, standards-aligned, hands-on digital STEM curricula, and resources.
History Alive! The Ancient World introduces students to the beginnings of the human story. As they explore the great early civilizations of Egypt and the Near East, India, China, Greece, and Rome, students discover the secrets of these ancient cultures that continue to influence the modern world.