Middle School Overview
MIDDLE SCHOOL CURRICULUM & STUDENT DEVELOPMENT
· As with the other grades at St. John School, the Middle School (Grades 6-8) curriculum follows the Diocese of Norwich/Archdiocese of Hartford standards.
· There is a focus on continual development and the three R’s: respect, responsibility, and resourcefulness.
· Teachers also emphasize the importance of time management, organization, study skills, and effective writing.
· The main goal is to empower each student to become an independent learner so that they can succeed as life-long learners.
HIGH SCHOOL PREPARATION
· The Middle School teachers are in contact with area middle and high schools to make sure that the St. John School curriculum allows for a smooth transition to local private or public high schools.
· Saint John School students have received academic scholarships to private high schools, such as Mercy, Xavier and St. Bernard’s due to high scores on their entrance exams.
· When alumni return to visit their SJS Middle School teachers, they report back that they were well prepared for high school.
MATH – Students in 8th grade will take either Algebra I or Math 8. All 7th grade students are in Pre-Algebra and grade 6 students have a general math review. Students use the IXL self-directed math program on iPads for accelerated or review learning.
ENGLISH – The program covers vocabulary, grammar and the all-important writing process. Students also participate in a speech contest, a research project, and a spelling bee.
LITERATURE – Students cover a variety of genres, including novels, poetry and folk literature. Works are analyzed, discussed and applied to everyday life.
SCIENCE - Middle school science concepts are presented in age-appropriate, engaging ways so that students can attain the necessary background to be prepared for a highly scientific and technological society. Sixth grade covers physical science, seventh grade explores earth science, and eighth grade studies biology.
SCIENCE LAB - Students perform hands-on experiments in a well-equipped Science Lab. They work on creative projects, lab reports, and lab binders to supplement classroom learning. Labs progress from Physical Science’s separation of mixtures lab, to Earth Science’s ecological footprint calculation, to Life Science’s squid, fetal pig and sheep's heart dissections.
SOCIAL STUDIES/HISTORY – The purpose of the middle school program is to develop a purposeful sense of the world, through the study of elements of world history and the history of the United States. Sixth grade focuses on early Western civilization, seventh grade studies the first peoples through the end of the Civil War, and eighth grade picks up at the Reconstruction and continues into modern American times.
RELIGION – The 6th grade studies the Old Testament, 7th grade focuses on Jesus and the gospels, and the 8th grade reviews the history of the church and morality.
SPANISH - Three times per week for grade 6 & 7 and daily for grade 8.
Classrooms for grades 6, 7, 8 and the Science Lab are located in the Middle School wing of the school. Students follow a rotating class schedule, beginning the day with homeroom, then switching classrooms for each subject The teachers have the flexibility to adjust the schedule when needed for a particular grade or subject matter. The Middle School staff meets weekly to review the upcoming schedule, discuss teacher concerns and meet with parents when requested.
CURRENT TEAM OF TEACHERS (2023-24 Academic Year)
Sister Gabriel - Grade 6 Homeroom & Religion for Grades 6 - 8
Mr. Simoncini - Grade 6, 7, 8 Social Studies/History
Dr. Paecho - Grade 7 Homeroom Grade 6, 7 Math, Grade 8 Algebra I & Pre-Algebra, Grade 6, 7, 8 Science/Science Lab
Mrs. Konieczny—Grade 8 Homeroom & Religion, Grade 6, 7, 8 English, Grade 7 & 8 Literature
Specials: Spanish, Gym, Art, and Music. Computer lab & Library are utilized as needed.
HOMEWORK/EXTRA HELP/GRADE MONITORING
Nightly and weekend homework is assigned, including long term essays, research papers and individual or group projects. Teachers can be available before or after school to offer extra help as needed. Individual student grades for all assignments and tests are posted on the password protected PlusPortals system.
EXTRA-CURRICULAR (Use links for more information.)
ATHLETICS - Middle School students are members of the Jr. Varsity and Varsity athletics teams and clubs.
CLUBS & ACTIVITIES
The Middle School students are the more experienced students, often taking on leadership roles in school clubs which begin in 5th grade, such as Advanced Band, Robotics Club, and Drama Club/Production. Student Council and Math Counts meet weekly and are open to any Middle School student.
FUNDRAISERS AND ACTIVITIES
Fundraisers such as Dress Down days and the Spaghetti Supper offset the cost of 8th Grade graduation activities: Class Trip, Class Night Award Banquet, and Graduation Mass & Reception.