Academics

EIGHTH GRADE

Core Block
Algebra 8  - This course is aligned to the PA Common Core Standards and is the second part of a two year course designed to cover all Algebra I topics. Prior to taking Algebra 8, students should have a solid understanding of the concepts covered in Pre-Algebra 7.
 
Algebra I - This course is aligned to the PA Common Core Standards and is designed to cover all Algebra I topics in one academic year.  Students taking this course will be required to take the Algebra I Keystone Exam.  Prior to taking Algebra I, students must have a solid understanding of the concepts covered in Pre-Algebra 7.
 
English - The goal for this course is to develop skills essential to comprehending, analyzing, and interpreting literary works from a wide range of genres related to fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.  Students read short stories, novels, poems, and song lyrics to help develop these skills.  Students work with Tier 2 academic vocabulary words.  More specifically, students examine the structure and purposes of literary works with emphasis on close reading as a primary strategy.  They are exposed to text-dependent analysis prompts that develop their ability to compose focused, thoroughly developed, and thoughtfully organized written responses.
 
English (H) - The goals for this course are the same as English 8; however, the pace is faster and more challenging text is used.
 
Foundations of Math - This course is modified based upon individual need, but is aligned to the PA Common Core Standards.  Students will be provided remediation of previous skills and additional supports for new skills in their effort to meet the state standards.  Special emphasis will be placed on algebraic processes, reinforcement and application of skills, and mathematic vocabulary. 
 
Foundations of Reading - During the course, which is aligned to grade level common core standards, students will read, understand, and respond to informational text daily, with emphasis placed on acquiring vocabulary and citing textual evidence. Students will read and respond to literature at their instructional level through literature circles; making meaningful connections between texts, questioning the text, analyzing characters, making inferences, and utilizing visualization techniques.  
 
Foundations of Writing - This course, aligned to the PA Common Core Standards, covers the writing process from prewriting strategies through publication. Students will develop narrative, informational, and argumentative essays, focusing on the introduction, body, and conclusion, while keeping the audience in mind. Grammar skills and vocabulary development will be integrated into the curriculum through mini lessons.
 
Integrated Science 8 - This course is aligned to the PA Common Core Standards.  The basic outline of the class includes units covering scientific method, geology, astronomy, basic chemistry and force/motion.  The course is heavily centered on labs and projects that develop the concepts in each of these areas of study.
 
United States Cultures - In this course, students will examine the political, economic, technological, and social developments of the United States from the exploration period through the Civil War. This includes the impact of expansion on the country’s development.  An emphasis is placed on the development of critical thinking and reading skills, geography skills, writing skills, and communication skills.
 
Writing Workshop - This course helps students enhance their writing skills in a variety of genres.  The writing process is practiced and refined (pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing).  An emphasis is placed on the traits of good writing: ideas, voice, conventions, sentence fluency, word choice, organization, a presentation.
 
Humanities Block
Art - This course will further build upon the clay hand-building technique, additive construction with the introduction of complex pattern development and increasing product scale.  The second unit of study will expose students to a variety of drawing and painting mediums as they master drawing and painting techniques.   The Elements of Art and the Principles of Design will be woven into all lessons. 
 
Music - Students will create movies, “radio” dramas or plays this year.  Students will compose, perform and record the presentations. 
 
Band (elective) - Students will learn necessary components for instrumental musicianship development: scales, key signatures, rhythms, and expanded technical items.  Each student will participate in a weekly 30-minute lesson.  Students may participate in small ensembles, which meet during scheduled lesson periods.  Beyond study and performance skills, band members will learn how to work together in order to perform at least four concerts a year.
 
Chorus (elective) - Students will perform and study a variety of compositions to prepare for our concert season.  Chorus students may take group vocal lessons, which are scheduled during the lesson periods. 
 
Fitness/Wellness Block
Family and Consumer Science -Building character and stressing the importance of personal responsibility is studied in this course.  Students learn about finance and resource management.  The importance of staying healthy and fit with the Food Guide Pyramid as our guide helps students make better choices
 
Health - Following PA State Common Core Standards, eighth grade health classes focus on health and safety.  Students cover information on tobacco, alcohol, and drugs.  Students will study the reproductive system and discuss HIV and AIDS.  
 
Physical Education - Eighth grade physical education classes, following PA State Common Core Standards, focus on fitness.  Students work on psychomotor movements and learn fitness theory.  They create a total body fitness plan they can use at home after physical education class is over.
 
Technology Block
Computer Applications 8
 
STEAM - This exploratory course introduces students to basic electrical components and how they function in a circuit.  The engineering design process is taught and utilized throughout projects that are completed in small groups.  Students also explore STEM-related fields and beyond through various career exploration activities and career interest inventories.  
 
Tech Ed (Intro to Engineering) - Students explore the different methods of mechanical and CAD engineering drawing and design.  The class will emphasize the following: measurement and tools used in design, basic math and geometric construction, one-view drawing, multi-view drawing, and isometric pictorial drawing.  Students will construct drawings with traditional engineering tools and with the newest version of AutoCAD software.
 

SEVENTH GRADE

Core Block
Pre-algebra -  This course is aligned to the PA Common Core Standards and is the pre-requisite for Algebra 8. Topics include geometry, statistics and probability, equations and expressions, number sense and proportionate reasoning with a focus on multi-skill, multi-step problem solving opportunities.
 
Pre-algebra (H) - This course is aligned to the PA Common Core Standards and is the pre-requisite for Algebra I.  Topics include geometry, statistics and probability, equations and expressions, number sense and proportionate reasoning with a focus on multi-skill, multi-step problem solving opportunities.
 
English/Writing - This course is aligned to the PA Common Core Standards and covers the following genres of writing: descriptive, narrative, informational (“how to”), and argumentative.  Additionally, students will write to daily journal prompts, learn new vocabulary and spelling words, and refine their proofreading, revision, peer- and self-editing skills and techniques.  Twice a month students will have the opportunity to share their writing with the class in a sharing circle where constructive criticism and feedback will be given via evaluation forms students complete on each other.  
 
Foundations of Math - This course is modified based upon individual need, but is aligned to the PA Common Core Standards.  Students will be provided remediation of previous skills and additional supports for new skills in their effort to meet the state standards.  Special emphasis will be placed on algebraic processes, reinforcement and application of skills, and mathematic vocabulary. 
 
Foundations of Reading - During the course, which is aligned to grade level common core standards, students will read, understand, and respond to informational text daily, with emphasis placed on acquiring vocabulary and citing textual evidence. Students will read and respond to literature at their instructional level through literature circles; making meaningful connections between texts, questioning the text, analyzing characters, making inferences, and utilizing visualization techniques. 
 
Foundations of Writing - This course, aligned to the PA Common Core Standards, covers the writing process from prewriting strategies through publication. Students will develop narrative, informational, and argumentative essays, focusing on the introduction, body, and conclusion, while keeping the audience in mind. Grammar skills and vocabulary development will be integrated into the curriculum through mini lessons.
 
Language Arts -  In alignment with PA Common Core Standards, the goal of this course is to develop skills essential to comprehending, analyzing, and interpreting literary works from a wide range of genres related to fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.  More specifically, students will examine the structure, perspective, and purpose of literary works with emphasis on close reading as a primary strategy.  As well, they will be exposed writing prompts that develop their ability to compose focused, thoroughly developed, and thoughtfully organized written responses based on their analysis of assigned texts.
 
Language Arts (H) - This course maintains the same goals and genre coverage as Language Arts.  However, at times students enrolled in this course will experience more challenging text options and work with advanced literary concepts. 
 
Integrated Science - This course is aligned to PA Common Core Standards and covers basic laboratory skills incorporated into the chemical, physical and biolgocial/environmental sciences.  This course uses the “flipped” classroom approach which involves a student-centered, hands-on  environment  with a heavy emphasis on modern scientific technology.
 
World Cultures - In alignment with the PA Core standards, students will examine the political, economic, technological, and social developments of the United States from the exploration period through the Civil War. This includes the impact of expansion on the country’s development.  An emphasis is placed on the development of critical thinking and reading skills, geography skills, writing skills, and communication skills.
 
Humanities Block
Art - This course will introduce students to the clay hand-building technique, additive construction using a slump mold.  The second unit of study will expose students to a variety of drawing mediums as they master basic drawing techniques. The Elements of Art and the Principles of Design will be woven into all lessons. 
 
Music -  Students will learn how to play keyboard percussion instruments.  Students will use iPads to compose music. 
 
Study Skills - Students will investigate a variety of methods to study that will help them identify the best way they can process information to gain knowledge.  
 
Band (elective) - Students will learn necessary components for instrumental musicianship development: scales, key signatures, rhythms, and expanded technical items.  Each student will participate in a weekly 30-minute lesson.  Students may participate in small ensembles, which meet during scheduled lesson periods.  Beyond study and performance skills, band members will learn how to work together in order to perform at least four concerts a year.
 
Chorus (elective) - Students will perform and study a variety of compositions to prepare for our concert season.  Chorus students may take group vocal lessons, which are scheduled during the lesson periods. 
 
Fitness/Wellness Block
Health - Following PA State Common Core Standards, seventh grade health classes focus on health and safety.  Students cover information on all three sides of the health triangle, personal hygiene, and safety.  In addition, students learn the basics of CPR.  
 
Physical Education - Seventh grade physical education classes, following PA State Common Core Standards, focus on fitness.  Students work on psychomotor movements and learn fitness theory.  They create a total body fitness plan they can use at home after physical education class is over.  
 
Technology Block
Computer Applications 7 -
 
STEAM - This exploratory course introduces students to basic electrical components and how they function in a circuit.  The engineering design process is taught and utilized throughout projects that are completed in small groups.  Students also explore STEM-related fields and beyond through various career exploration activities and career interest inventories.  
 
Tech Ed (Manufacturing Technology) - This course allows student to explore the fundamentals of manufacturing technology.  After completing safety and performance exams, students will manufacture a useful product using woodworking machinery and tools.  Students will also incorporate the use of a laswer engraving machine to include a personal design to their product.  Students will finish projects with stain and polyurethane.
 

SIXTH GRADE

Core Block
Writing/English - This course is aligned to the PA Common Core Standards and encompasses the following genres of writing:  narrative, descriptive, argumentative, and informational.  The course is designed to enhance the student’s ability to communicate through writing, speaking and listening skills.  The students will be assessed through writing, grammar, vocabulary, and journal assignments.
 
Mathematics - The sixth grade math course is aligned to the PA Common Core Standards and is taught via the Everyday Mathematics curriculum.  Topics include statistics, data analysis, ratios, rates, and proportions.  Introductory algebraic skills are emphasized as well and incorporated into geometry concepts.  This course encourages problem-solving application and integration of skills and concepts
 
Reading - This course is aligned to the PA Common Core Standards and focuses on several reading strategies such as visualization, questioning, inferencing, synthesizing and summarizing.  Students implement these strategies while reading a variety of genre.  
 
Science - This course is aligned to the PA Common Core Standards and covers the basic concepts of scientific method/investigation, sources of energy, characteristics of water, movement and properties of the air and atmosphere, river systems, environmental issues and animals.  This course uses an inquiry –based learning approach.
 
Social Studies - The sixth grade social studies curriculum focuses on world geography and the culture of the four ancient river civilizations. The way in which the ancient groups reacted to their environment, including their customs, technology, beliefs, and art of the individual civilization is studied. Reading strategies such as identifying main ideas, summarizing passages, note-taking, and research skills will be key components to understanding the social studies content.  
 
Humanities Block
Art - This course will introduce students to the fabric art process of batik.  Students will learn basic color theory as they create their batik works. The second unit of study will expand upon clay hand-building techniques by constructing pinch pots as additive construction techniques and concepts are introduced.  The third unit of study will expose students to a variety of drawing and painting mediums as basic drawing and painting techniques are introduced using technology, such as iPad Art Apps.  The Elements of Art and the Principles of Design will be woven into all lessons. 
 
Band (elective) - Students will learn necessary components for instrumental musicianship development: scales, key signatures, rhythms, and expanded technical items.  Each student will participate in a weekly 30-minute lesson.  Students may participate in small ensembles, which meet during scheduled lesson periods.  Beyond study and performance skills, band members will learn how to work together in order to perform at least four concerts a year.
 
Chorus (elective) - Students will perform and study a variety of compositions to prepare for our concert season.  Chorus students may take group vocal lessons, which are scheduled during the lesson periods. 
 
Music - Students will learn how to compose and perform rhythmic percussion compositions.  Compositions are performed, assessed and discussed with the entire class.
 
Fitness/Wellness Block
Physical Education - Sixth grade physical education classes, following PA State Common Core Standards, focus on fitness.  Students participate in a variety of games that work on critical elements of traditional sports.  Also, students are introduced to the fitness center and learn the importance of heart rate during exercise.  
 
Family and Consumer Science - This course is designed for students to experience basic cooking techniques along with guidelines for healthy eating. A brief introduction on child development and babysitting techniques IS addressed as well as pointers in balancing family, community and responsibility.
 
Technology Block
Computers - This course is designed to introduce students to fundamental technology skills including keyboarding, word processing, internet research and safety, graphic and presentation skills.
 
STEAM - This exploratory course introduces students to basic electrical components and how they function in a circuit.  The engineering design process is taught and utilized throughout projects that are completed in small groups.  Students also explore STEM-related fields and beyond through various career exploration activities and career interest inventories.  
 
Tech Ed (Intro to Technology) - This course is designed to introduct students to technology by exploring systems of architecture and robotics.  Students will complete hands-on activities that consist of customary measuring and ruler application, a unit of residential floor and elevation drawing, and a robotics activity dealing with automated Legos.