Our Jr. High is completely departmentalized in order to prepare the children for high school. We have an extremely challenging and structured Jr. High program where students are respectful and work diligently to meet our high standard of academic excellence. In addition to their core classes, middle school students have Art, Spanish, Computer, Guidance, Library and Physical Education in addition to their core classes.
Students in seventh and eighth grades are allowed to Bring Their Own Device (BYOD) for note taking and research during class. Students are monitored to ensure that only appropriate websites are being accessed. Students are very well prepared for their high school experience with many advancing to honors classes.
The majority of the eighth grade class continues their education in the Catholic school tradition. They primarily attend St. Agnes Academy, St. Pius X High School, St. Thomas High School, Incarnate Word Academy, Duchesne Academy and Strake Jesuit.
Language Arts: Sixth and seventh grades concentrate on the mastery of the eight parts of speech; the writing process; writing mechanics; simple, compound and complex sentences; diagramming sentences; various forms of writing including how-to articles, personal narratives, business letters, friendly letters, persuasive writing, and poetry. Eighth grade learns complex sentences and compound/complex sentences, creates media projects, delivers oral presentations, conducts peer evaluations, writes a properly MLA formatted research paper that is typed in the computer lab complete with a works cited, and masters verbals including infinitives, gerunds and participles. All junior high students participate in an archdiocesan writing competition through the University of St. Thomas and the writing section of the St. Pius X academic rally.
Literature: The students read a minimum of 500 pages from the summer reading list, and write a short report on each book completed. In addition, the students participate in the Kidblog for our classes, writing observations and commenting on other student observations. The students have created a friendly, thoughtful atmosphere. All comments must be approved before posting. Inappropriate posts or comments will be deleted. The Kidblog is a good way to get to know the other students through their ideas about books. All conversations should relate to what the students are reading.
We work hard to develop each student’s enthusiasm for reading and writing. While reading a class novel and various kinds of non-fiction texts that support and inform our reading of that novel in class, students in small groups will choose from a selection of novels about the same time period, in the same genre, or otherwise related to the main novel. These novels are read at home, during free time in any class, and whenever they can steal a few moments to read. We will be looking at art and listening to music that relates to the theme for each nine weeks. We will write many forms of texts – essays, poetry, short stories, letters, and journal entries, to name a few. We will occasionally create our own art work to further respond to what we have read. No matter your interests or talents, there will be many opportunities for the students to connect personally to the texts we read.
It is our goal that the students graduate from SAS with all the reading and writing skills you need to excel in high school and university, and that they carry with them a passion for reading and learning that will enrich their entire life.
Science: Classes reference a textbook, rely on other supplements, many beyond grade level and are given various projects to enhance their learning. Eighth grade students complete Integrated Physics and Chemistry. Examples of Hands-on experiments include making ice cream, building Cartesian divers, building accelerometers and using triple beam balances. Seventh grade students learn Life Science and participate in a variety of microscopes labs that include animal dissections. Favorite projects include making an edible plant or animal cell and creating models of the organ systems. Sixth grade students study Earth Science. They complete a comprehensive weather unit (including building barometers and psychrometers) and create extensive 3-D and paper models throughout the year.
Social Studies: Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade Social Studies classes follow the curriculum as set forth by the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese. The sixth grade curriculum includes world cultures and geography. Seventh grade studies concentrate on Texas History. Eighth graders study American History in depth. This subject gives students an opportunity to use various resources in technology as well.
Math: A two-tracking math program begins in sixth grade. There is an on level sixth grade Math class and an advanced level sixth grade Math class. The sixth grade completes challenging problems in the Progress in Mathematics program. This program emphasizes that math principles are used in everyday living and provides examples of such. Seventh grade continues the two-tracking program – IPA (introduction to pre-algebra) and PA (pre-algebra). The two-track program in eighth grade offers an Introduction to Algebra and Algebra class.
All assigned math projects are designed to encourage teamwork, cooperative learning, and the application of math facts to real-world situations.
Religion: The sixth grade curriculum is based on God and the story of His people. It covers both Old and New Testament Bible stories, as well as, our relationship with one another and with God. Seventh graders study the New Testament and cover the seven Sacraments more in depth. Eighth grade focuses on Church History and Morality, with includes the study of the Ten Commandments.