The middle school program focuses on preparing students with the skills needed to succeed in high school. The students learn to change classes throughout the day. There is also a need for students in the middle school to be challenged according to their individual learning profiles. As such, the faculty focuses on meeting the individual learning needs of the students in the classroom through differentiation. There are also opportunities for students to extend their learning beyond the prescribed curriculum by taking challenge courses.
In addition to the academic emphasis, the students work on organizational skills through the use of their agenda, and they are also introduced to online organizational structures such as Google Classroom and the Google Suite for education including slides and sheets. These educational resources are taught so that students know how to navigate these tools for learning as they enter high school.
Reading is a foundational skill for all other academic disciplines. In Reading, students will have the opportunity to build their reading analysis skills through the study of various writing styles including poetry and prose. The students are expected to read non-fiction, as well as short stories and novels during their course of study. Students learn to determine key information from a text, to address a critical questions and to develop new ideas.
Writing and Speaking
Writing and speaking are foundational skills which are developed during middle school. In writing, the students focus on three main styles of writing: story telling, persuasion, and expository writing. There is emphasis on the writing process which includes preparing to write, writing a rough draft, editing and revising, and then producing a final product. The students will also gain the skills needed to write a successful research paper.
The students work to build their speaking skills by learning to ask high quality questions and answering questions fully. They also practice presentation skills so that they are able to present research or persuasive topics to a crowd effectively. These skills include tempo, eye contact, volume, and inflection.
The mathematics program in the middle school recognizes that students may need to be placed in various math levels so that each child is appropriately challenged. The standard course of study is sixth grade math, pre-algebra in seventh grade, and algebra I in eighth grade. However, there are also opportunities to take honors pre-algebra, honors algebra I, and geometry. . The placement in these sections is determined by standardized test scores as well as teacher recommendation.
In sixth grade, the focus of study is the Old Testament so that students become well versed in God's promise to His people. In seventh and eight grade, the students take a course of study that also includes preparation for Confirmation. As part of the Confirmation preparation, the students in seventh and eighth grade are asked to research a saint, increase their prayer life, and participate in service projects. The children receive the sacrament of Confirmation in 8th grade following completion of all requirements.
In conjunction with the religion program, the middle school students have the opportunity to engage in social justice work off campus. The students have the opportunity to learn about justice issues in our community. They then visit organizations such as Reachout Women's Pregnancy Center and Casa Maria to witness social justice in action.
The focus on science during middle school is to help students learn how to think like a scientist by being able to pose scientific questions and then look for answers to those questions. Each year, the students participate in the SARSEF Science and Engineering Fair. The topics of science that are studied during middle school include life science, physical science, earth science, and basic chemical science concepts. Through the exploration of these topics, the students are able to explore the world and build upon their scientific reasoning skills.
Social Studies asks the students to explore history and examine how it impacts their lives today. In sixth grade, the studied topic is ancient civilizations which gives students a framework for how civilizations were formed. Then in seventh and eight grade, the students study American History. As part of the social studies curriculum, the students learn to read and interpret primary source documents, and they also build upon their research skills.
Our Committed Faculty
Reading: Mrs. Hartman
Writing: Mrs. Semblante
Math: Mr. McHugh
Social Studies and Religion: Mr. Krautscheid
Science: Mrs. Johnson
Religion: Mrs. McKenzie
God calls us to grow in faith, lovingly serve, and grow in knowledge.
Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic School 1800 S. Kolb Rd. Tucson, Arizona 85710