Middle School (6th-8th)

The goal of St. Joseph School-Fullerton’s Middle School is to develop an independent learner, who has learned to contribute and help others in our society.  We prepare our students for high school by encouraging time management skills, note taking, and ways to apply and refine their writing, critical thinking, and analytic skills across all their academic studies.  We ask our Middle Schools students to begin to accept leadership roles in our school community, by organizing community service projects for the needy, serve as mentors to their younger schoolmates, and serve our church at our weekly Mass and other school and parish events

Language Arts- The language arts curriculum ensures students deepen their critical thinking through independent and collaborative experiences.  Students build strong grammar and composition skills through descriptive, expository, narrative, and persuasive writing.  Reading comprehension is built through the analysis of poetry, plays, speeches, novels, and nonfiction.  Students build their vocabulary through word study and use in specific reading genres and writing. 

Math- Students are divided into groups to promote areas of strength and support individual needs. The seventh grade program offers pre-algebra, and the eighth grade program offers enrichment, pre-algebra, and algebra.  Historically our students have done very well on the High School Placement test due to their strong foundation and understanding of math.

Religion- In addition to studying morality and church history in class, students attend weekly Mass and plan liturgies during the year.

Science- The middle school is using the Lab Learner curriculum. This program is a nationally certified program that encompasses spiral learning through hands-on experiments. Our new lab includes college-grade microscopes, spectrometers, and other research based materials. The students will participate in many different activities that will serve as a vehicle for not only scientific concepts but also language skills, math skills, and valuable cognitive skills that will contribute to the students' education throughout middle and high school.

Social Studies- The social studies curriculum provides exploration of topics via text, class discussions, and multi-media projects.  Sixth grade students learn about ancient civilizations as well as the Crusades and the Renaissance.  Seventh grade students have an in-depth study of world geography.  Eighth grade students explore American History beginning with pre-Civil War.

Special Areas- All students attend Physical Education, Library, Computer, Art and Music class each week.

Clubs and Organizations- A variety of clubs and organizations are available for  students to join in both the Elementary and Middle Schools.  These include Band, COACH Class, Altar Servers, Lunch Helpers, School Safeties, Peer Mediators, Chess Club, Choir, Art Club, Cross Country Teams,  Student Activities Committee, National Junior Honor Society and many more!


Archdiocese of Baltimore Curriculum

Students in grades 6th–8th learn in a departmentalized setting taught by teachers who specialize in particular subject areas. A cross-curricula team approach is used in our middle school program.

Students learn time management skills, note-taking skills, gain self-confidence and ultimately are prepared in every way for quality high schools. In middle school, students move to separate classes for instruction by subject specialists.

Middle school students continue to pursue accelerated curricula in math, science (laboratory courses), and English.

Technology integration is achieved through project-based learning.

In language arts, students learn to apply and refine writing, critical thinking and analytic skills across academic studies.

Special Events & Programs

  • Junior Achievement BizTown and Finance Park
  • Archdiocese of Baltimore Spelling Bee Competition

Subject Areas

Found below is a listing of the areas of study for each grade level with example content and essential skills.


Religion

Released in 2011, “Bringing Good News” is the Archdiocese of Baltimore Religion Curriculum for Elementary Schools. This standards-based curriculum serves as a guide, a road map for both teachers and students as they embark on a journey, which will provide them with the knowledge and understanding of the faith as witnessed in the teachings and the traditions of the Catholic Church. The curriculum is built on the Six Tasks of Catechesis: Promoting Knowledge of the Faith; Liturgical Education; Moral Formation; Teaching to Pray; Education for Community Life; and Missionary Initiation and is aligned with the Assessment of Catholic Religious Education (IFG:ACRE).

By the completion of sixth grade, students will master a variety of skills including:

  • Explain that at the end of time, Christ will return and we will be held accountable for how we responded to the gift of faith and helped to build the Kingdom of God.
  • Trace the unfolding of God’s revelation through the history of the Chosen People ‐ the Jews.
  • Describe each of the seven sacraments as entrusted to the Church.
  • Indicate how the Decalogue relates to current moral issues and leads to greater understanding of the Gospel through the Great Commandment.
  • Discuss evangelization as central to the mission of the Church in which we all have a role.

By the completion of seventh grade, students will master a variety of skills including:

  • Recognize that the Bible has both divine and human authorship initiated by God to reveal the truths God intends.
  • Investigate the fruits of the Sacrament of Baptism to include forgiveness of all sins, birth into a new life, and a share in Christ’s three‐fold mission as priest, prophet, and king.
  • Explain how a well‐formed conscience is developed through the knowledge of Scripture and Church doctrine as well as the witness of Church leaders and faithful role models, past and present.
  • Explain the importance of Christians taking an active part in public life and promoting the common good.
  • Discuss the call to religious life in the Church which is identified in two forms: active and contemplative.

By the completion of eighth grade, students will master a variety of skills including:

  • Understand that Jesus’ paschal mystery, that is his life, passion, death, resurrection and ascension, are central to Jesus’ mission on earth and the fulfillment of revelation.
  • Explain that the context of moral decision‐making within the Catholic Christian tradition reflects the values of human dignity, God’s grace, the virtues, the Holy Spirit, and the teaching of the church.
  • Understand that our beliefs are sound and rooted in Apostolic Tradition and Sacred Scripture, as entrusted to the teaching office (Magisterium) of the Church.
  • Describe the progress and continuation of the Church’s mission through ecumenical councils, including, but not limited to: the Councils of Nicaea and Chalcedon, Vatican I, Vatican II, Fourth Lateran, Trent, Constantinople, and Ephesus.
  • Communicate that our respect of other Christians means that we can both recognize what we share in common but that we also need to be honest about how we differ.

Mathematics

Revised in 2013, the curriculum for all elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore include the following units:

  • Counting and Cardinality
  • Operations and Algebraic Thinking
  • Measurement and Data
  • Numbers and Operations in Base Ten
  • Geometry
  • Numbers and Operations

Catholic educators never forget that our schools exist to bring our students to Christ. By continuing to implement new standards that are challenging, we work to fulfill the promise of quality Catholic education that educates the whole child, both mind and soul.

By the completion of sixth grade, students will master a variety of skills including:

  • Understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems.
  • Reason about and solve one-variable equations and inequalities.
  • Represent and analyze quantitative relationships between dependent and independent variables.
  • Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, surface area, and volume.
  • Develop understanding of statistical variability.

By the completion of seventh grade, students will master a variety of skills including:

  • Analyze proportional relationships and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems.
  • Use properties of operations to generate equivalent expressions.
  • Solve real-life and mathematical problems using numerical and algebraic expressions and equations.
  • Draw, construct and describe geometrical figures and describe the relationships between them.
  • Use random sampling to draw inferences about a population.
  • Investigate chance processes and develop, use, and evaluate probability models.

By the completion of eighth grade, students will master a variety of skills including:

  • Know that there are numbers that are not rational, and approximate them by rational numbers.
  • Work with radicals and integer exponents.
  • Understand the connections between proportional relationships, lines, and linear equations.
  • Define, evaluate, and compare functions.
  • Understand congruence and similarity using physical models, transparencies, or geometry software.
  • Understand and apply the Pythagorean Theorem.

In addition, advanced eighth grade students are offered a higher level course in Algebra. That course of study includes the following units:

  • Relationships Between Quantities and Reasoning with Equations
  • Linear and Exponential Relationships
  • Descriptive Statistics
  • Expressions and Equations
  • Quadratics Functions and Modeling

English Language Arts

Revised in 2014, the English Language Arts Curriculum for the Archdiocese of Baltimore is designed using the Catholic, College and Career Ready clusters as its foundation. Through literature, this course of study fosters students' Catholic identity, shaping them to be models of Christian living for others. This curriculum is fully integrated with our Catholic faith. We provide students with a curriculum that is rigorous and rich in literature, oral and written language, grammar, writing, vocabulary, informational literature, and multimedia/technology.

By the completion of sixth grade, students will master a variety of skills including:

  • Use of the process in research writing.
  • Use of the process in essay writing.
  • Voice and tone in writing emphasized.
  • More Focus in Fiction, Genre, and Literary Elements.
  • Use of Grammar integration.
  • Collaboration, oral presentations, speeches, and technology components incorporated regularly.

By the completion of seventh grade, students will master a variety of skills including:

  • Students will be able to write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
  • Students will analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.
  • Students should demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
  • Students should acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

By the completion of eighth grade, students will master a variety of skills including:

  • Students use their knowledge of word origins and word relationships, as well as historical and literary context clues, to determine the meaning of specialized vocabulary and to comprehend the written word.
  • Students read a good representation of narrative and expository text (e.g., classic and contemporary literature, magazines, newspapers, online information).
  • Students write clear, coherent, and focused essays. The writing exhibits students’ awareness of audience and purpose. Essays contain formal introductions, supporting evidence, and conclusions.
  • Students progress through the stages of the writing process as needed.
  • Students write and speak with a command of Standard English writing mechanics including correct grammar and usage that is appropriate to this grade level.

Additional Subject Areas

The following subject areas are currently under revision across the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and if you would like more information regarding these standards and essential skills please contact the school directly.

  • Science
  • Instructional Technology
  • Social Studies
  • Visual and Performing Arts
  • Physical Education/Health
  • World Languages