Junior High

The Junior High provides a unique environment at a time when girls are beginning to forge their own identities. Housed on a separate campus with its own dedicated faculty and staff, the Junior High has a rigorous academic schedule which is designed to prepare the girls for the greater demands of Upper School life. The faculty gear structured and unstructured class time to the individual developmental needs of each student. Academic counseling is an important part of academic life, and students are encouraged to begin thinking about college in specific terms. The school encourages students to develop their own identities and emphasizes the need to take responsibilities for their actions.

List of 10 items.

  • Fine and Performing Arts

    Grade Level: 7th and 8th
    This year long course focuses on implementation of the basic elements of art (form, line, color, value, etc.) as well as the principles of design (balance, contrast, unity, etc.).  Students will explore a range of media including graphite, charcoal, color pencil and watercolor in addition to methods of experimental drawing, and three-dimensional work as time allows. Basic drawing skills will be introduced as students concentrate on observational drawing. This course will prepare students for advanced studies in the Visual Arts.   

    Grade Level: 7th and 8th
    This course will enable students to understand the fundamentals of music including but not limited to basic music theory, sight-reading, ear training, and appreciation. Students will be able to identify various elements of music found in a choral music score, successfully read and notate music, and listen to, analyze, and describe music. Performance opportunities will be provided at least twice per year. Students will also be able to understand the relationship between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts, and the relationship between music and the world beyond the school setting.
    Instrumental Strings
    Grade level: 7th and 8th
    In this course, students exercise leadership skills through chamber music principles. Students develop technical mastery of bow strokes and planes as well as left-hand playing and intonation. Music theory is continually connected to relevant playing examples. Students learn scales and arpeggios and can name key signatures. Emphasis is placed on developing a fluent reading of music. Students expand musical vocabulary and learn about composers and pieces of music from different eras. The goal of the course is to celebrate masterful stringed instrument playing and to appreciate the rich history of its music while enjoying engaging musical experiences in the present from a place of true self-expression. 
    Instrumental Woodwinds
    Grade level: 7th and 8th
    In this course, students focus on mastering the fundamental techniques of their respective instruments. A majority of the time will be focused on music theory and how it relates to performance, and students will learn to be fluent with scales, arpeggios, and. note reading. Part of the time will be devoted to learning the history of music, listening to performances of professional flutists and clarinetists, and discussing the relevance of music as a necessary part of education. By the end of the year, students should be able to recognize all major key signatures, and additionally, be able to play at least half of the major scales. The students will perform in two school performances, one during the holidays and one in the spring. Other performance opportunities may arise. Time will be spent learning the music for these performances, but it will not be the only thing they will need to practice, as they will have technique exercises and etudes to learn. Individual practice at home will be key to success in this course, and all students will develop appreciation of music as an art.
  • Language Arts

    Grade level: 7th

    This course supports the student in strengthening her writing skills and techniques. The students practice both creative and expository writing and they learn peer and self-editing techniques. The course also reviews grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, usage and basic skills, as they are needed to accomplish various writing tasks. Vocabulary is enhanced using the Wordly Wise text and the literature studied. Tablet computers are used both in school and at home to facilitate writing, editing and researching. The literature portion of the class includes a unit of poetry, two novels and a play. Literature-based writing at this grade level is designed to teach the student how to take notes from a novel, read with greater depth, understand and develop analytical skills, and express oneself in writing. Oral expression occurs in groups and independently.

    Grade level: 8th

    This course covers the fundamental principles of both composition and literature. This course will emphasize the development of critical reading skills. The lessons within the literature portion will require both assigned and independent readings and will focus on the traditional elements of setting, plot, character, and theme within the standard genres of fiction, non-fiction and drama. The writing portion of the course stresses different organizational models and principles. It is expected that students will grow in their ability to write with clarity, fluency, and more sophisticated vocabulary. Additionally, basic grammar is regularly exercised to hone both critical thinking and writing skills. The laptop program will be integrated into the classroom via note-taking, Internet research, word processing, and class assignments/projects. Public speaking will also be a component of the program, wherein students will learn the skills needed to speak before a group and will present a three- to five-minute memorized selection to their classmates.
  • Mathematics

    Grade Level: 7th

    This course of accelerated mathematics instruction is designed to prepare talented seventh-grade students for the successful study of high school algebra in the eighth grade. This course of studies will further develop and strengthen the student’s understanding of mathematical concepts and skills reviewed in the sixth grade while providing a special emphasis and focus on pre-algebra and introductory algebra topics. In addition to the mathematical course content, students will receive training and reinforcement in mathematical study skills, organizational skills, academic, and personal responsibility as they prepare for their high school education. The special challenges inherent in this program require not just an above-average aptitude in mathematics, but dedication to the material, an excellent work ethic, and self-confidence.

    Algebra I

    Grade Level: 7th and 8th

    Algebra I is a high school level mathematics course which completes the transition begun in pre-algebra predominantly arithmetic concepts and skill development to a mathematical system involving variables, exponential values, relations and functions, radicals, logical reasoning, and advanced problem-solving techniques. In this course, students will be expected to understand the ideas in the course, know where these ideas come from and why algorithms work. Students will see relationships among the concepts they study and apply them to larger, engaging problems as well as to be able to do typical symbol manipulation and solve textbook/online problems. The usage of the TI-84 graphing calculator will be introduced to the student.

    Grade Level: 8th
    Geometry uses the language of mathematics to explore models of our physical world. This geometry course focuses on the main concepts of plane, solid, and coordinate geometry with an emphasis on application to real world situations.  Students will use mathematical terminology to formulate problem solutions, and they will strengthen their critical thinking skills while constructing algebraic and geometric explanations of the concepts they explore. Topics include an introduction to logic, informal proofs, parallel and perpendicular lines, polygons, perimeter, area, volume, similarity, congruence, transformations, circles, and triangle trigonometry.  Algebra I skills are integrated throughout the course, and students will further develop fluidity with algebra methods as those skills are applied to geometric situations.
  • Physical Education

    Physical Education
    Grade Level: 7th and 8th

    The Physical Education Curriculum aims at obtaining total fitness of both the physical and emotional well-being of the student. Using various activities such as team, individual, and recreational sports, the students will learn the concepts of teamwork, leadership, self-discipline, fairness, and decision-making skills. These activities will allow the students to explore and apply information that empower them to assume responsibility for their own lifetime health and fitness.
  • Sciences

    Life Science
    Grade Level: 7th
    The Grade Seven Science program provides students with a solid background in Life Science through inquiry projects and in depth units of study.  Using our indoor lab facilities as well as our unique outdoor campus, ecological topics focus on the biodiversity of our local coastal and marine environments. Classification and taxonomy will provide a lens to identify the variety of native and introduced species on campus. Cell biology/heredity and basic principles of modern genetics provide the structure to understand the complexity of our life systems. Biological concepts are further developed through our Pathfinders trip to study marine estuary ecosystems. There is a strong emphasis on developing laboratory skills and the ability to communicate findings through graphing and data analysis.
    Physical Science
    Grade Level: 8th
    Science is a process. In this course, students develop a deep understanding of this process and use it to discover important concepts in chemistry and physics. These concepts include the nature of matter, elements and compounds, the structure of the periodic table, the history of atomic theory, the conservation of mass and energy, and the relationship between kinematics and forces. Students are introduced to laboratory equipment and experimental techniques while safety procedures are stressed. In addition, students practice with experimental design, analytical skills, and effective communication of science. Finally, we relate the concepts of chemistry and physics to daily life and society by focusing on their connections to climate change and environmental sustainability.
  • Social Sciences

    American History
    Grade Level: 7th

    American History course covers American Independence through 1865. Typical course activities include map work, class debates, research into historical events, and writing exercise framed in a historical context. There are three major goals throughout the trimester: 1) foundational knowledge, 2) become critical readers and historically minded, 3) learn the historians’ craft of analytical writing.
    World History
    Grade Level: 8th
    World History covers the historical period between the Agricultural Revolution and the French Revolution exploring the recurring themes of human experience common to civilizations around the world. Students examine the historical roots of significant events, with an emphasis on the socio-economic hierarchies, state-building, expansion, conflict, form of governance, innovation, and trade. Analysis of common cultural traits of civilization will help students broaden their perspective as they explore the ways societies dealt with changes. Through inquiry into the past, students will gain appreciation and understanding of global interdependence and connections among world societies.
  • Technology

    Technology and Design 
    Grade Levels: 7th and 8th
    Students will develop their understanding of digital citizenship, computer science, 3D modeling, cloud computing, and introductory engineering principles.
  • World Languages

    French I
    Grade Level: 7th and 8th

    This course is an introduction to the French language and culture. It emphasizes communication, accuracy and stresses meaningful cultural contexts. The students will experience France and the Francophone world, communicate with confidence, extend and enhance their learning through integrated technology. The language will be presented in a suitable range of topics. Students will build a foundation for communicating in French and an understanding of various French customs and culture.

    French II
    Grade Level: 7th and 8th

    This course is a continuation of French I. Students will learn how to express themselves in a more creative way. They will be able to converse giving more details and descriptions including simple comparisons. Students will express themselves in a basic narration in the past and present tenses. They will continue to attain proficiency in the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. The language will be presented in a wide range of topics as students continue to build a foundation for communicating in French and an understanding of various French customs and culture.

    Mandarin I
    Grade Level: 7th and 8th
    This course is the continuation of 6th grade Mandarin. It is designed for students who have some degree of fluency in spoken and some basic formal training on reading and writing Mandarin Chinese with an emphasis on continuing developing the students’ communicative competence (listening, speaking, reading, writing plus typing skills) and real-life application in Chinese. Students will learn to express ideas orally using appropriate Mandarin Chinese. Students will also learn to use proper grammar and sentence structures verbally and in writing. In addition, students need to continue focusing on building up vocabulary and sentence patterns, reading and writing some simple articles in Chinese and demonstrating knowledge of Chinese Culture, customs, history, and geography. All students are expected to fully participate in the discussion session by using Mandarin Chinese.

    Mandarin II
    Grade Level: 7th and 8th
    This course is the continuation of Mandarin I. Focus is on all four-language skills listening, speaking, reading, and writing to improve communication techniques and real-life application in Chinese. Learning about Chinese customs and culture is a fundamental part of the course, and it is introduced and developed through authentic Chinese texts and audios. Through class discussions and presentations, written and oral projects, the students will further develop their critical thinking skills. Active participation and effort are strongly required. All students are expected to fully participate in the discussion session by using Mandarin Chinese.

    Spanish II
    Grade Level: 7th and 8th
    The course is based on the belief that the purpose of learning Spanish is to communicate with the people who speak it and to understand their cultures. To this end, the vocabulary, grammar and readings presented are organized around specific themes relevant to the student’s life. The classroom experience consists of daily conversation with the teacher and classmates in the target language. The course will ultimately enable students to interpret written and spoken language on a variety of topics.
    Spanish III
    Grade Level: 7th and 8th
    This course reinforces the skills acquired in Spanish II and continues to develop oral, listening, writing, and reading skills using individual, paired, and group activities. These activities, which may be oral, written, or project-based, serve to enhance language acquisition and knowledge of the literature and customs of the Spanish-speaking world.  
    Spanish IV
    Grade Level: 7th and 8th
    Spanish IV is designed to give students of Spanish a more in depth look at the language and culture of Spanish-speaking countries. Equal emphasis will be placed on six language categories: grammar, vocabulary, speaking, listening, writing, and reading.  The classroom experience will consist of literature analysis, integration of different media resources and authentic resources to enhance student learning.  Students will do research and presentations on various topics. This will be achieved in groups, with partners and individual practice. Emphasis is placed on conversation, reading, vocabulary, grammar, writing and critical thinking skills. Students should be able to apply the skills and knowledge acquired in the classroom into a fruitful experience that would enable them to be effective communicators in the Spanish-speaking world.
  • Religious Studies

    Grade Level: 7th
    The students will be introduced to the books of the New Testament with emphasis on the Gospels and the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. We will look at the Acts of the Apostles, the missionary journeys of St. Paul in the letters, and the Book of Revelation. Throughout the year, students will draw connections between the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and the worship of the Church, through the seven sacraments and liturgical seasons. The course also begins discussing the moral development of the human person through one’s conscience and roots the sacraments and teachings in a call for social justice. As part of their study, students will learn about saints and ordinary people who live out Jesus’ teachings. At the end of the year, we will look at the spread of the faith around the world through the apostles and each student will discover how faith is expressed in the universal Church.
    Grade Level: 8th
    The students will begin their study of Church history by learning about the four marks of the Catholic Church and designing a project to demonstrate their understanding of these essential characteristics. We will navigate the story of the Church throughout history, looking at key individuals who shaped doctrine and practices as well as the development of the Mass from age to age. Students will also connect lessons from Church history to the formation of their personal consciences and the need for social justice. At the end of the year, we will look at the Church in the modern world and each student will design a project applying Church teaching to the world around them. Throughout the course of the year, we will study the Sacrament of Confirmation preparing for reception of the sacrament.
  • Student Development

    Developmental Curriculum
    Grade Level: 7th and 8th

    The student development curriculum in the Junior High School encourages the students to acquire necessary social and emotional skills for everyday success.  These skills include self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, decision making skills, bullying prevention, personal safety, health, hygiene, and substance abuse prevention.
"For the sake of one child, I would have founded the Society."
-Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat