Middle school students are at a challenging developmental stage with newly emerging interests and opportunities. Our program is designed to meet each student’s spiritual, cognitive, social-emotional and physical needs and development. Students are encouraged to develop their unique interests, strengths and leadership abilities as they navigate into young adulthood.
One hundred percent of Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy eighth grade students who apply to independent and exam schools are accepted with most receiving multiple acceptances. An impressive 85% of Academy sixth grade students are accepted to an independent or exam school.
The middle school program of instruction is designed to ensure opportunities for students to learn to high academic standards and to grow emotionally and socially into Christian young men and women.
Our smaller class sizes allow students to have small group attention to prepare for life beyond the Academy. The reach of our campuses has allowed our students to join together to build an Academy-wide championship basketball team. Students participate in annual retreats and outings. The Academy’s renovated science labs and media centers help students to be on the cutting edge of technology.
Teachers and guidance counselors also work with students to explore their next steps after the Academy. They help to ensure that 100% of our 8th grade students are prepared for the ISEE (Independent School Entrance Exam) and HSPT (High School Placement Test) for Catholic Schools as well as the application process. Strong partnerships between the Archdiocese’s Catholic schools introduce students to leading Catholic high schools with presentations as well as tours. Many students choose to pursue and obtain placement in our city’s prestigious exam schools.
Middle school students share a core curriculum with established academic benchmarks and Common Core Standards. Teachers use a variety of instructional strategies and assessments to provide a valued based and rigorous educational experience. Teachers work in teams and work closely with Guidance and Principals to serve the unique needs of middle school development.
There is a rotating schedule for middle school cohorts with different teachers for specialized subject areas. The group of students rotate between classrooms and teachers preparing them for their high school experience. The teachers works together to weave themes throughout the curriculum from art to science to english in order to spark students interests and expand their creativity.
Parents and teachers have opportunities to communicate daily or weekly, through email and online grading systems. The goal is to help middle school students to become independent and to begin to own and manage their learning and life. Parents and teachers must be in conversation to provide the structure and support to allow this risk taking and independence during this transition to adulthood.
All sixth graders play the violin and learn to perform before an audience. Their skills are showcased each fall and spring during a community concert. Students also explore Fine Arts and Theater Arts and Physical Education. In addition, there are a variety of after-school options for students that include homework help, tutoring, clubs, musical instruments, creative writing, math enrichment, and recreation.
At the Academy, grade six through grade eight classrooms utilize Sadlier’s We Believe followed by their We Live Our Faith curriculum. The lessons expand the Catholic Identity focus on spirituality and engage students in prayer, reflection, activities, discussion, and meditations.
READING & WRITING
Teachers work to expand students reading and writing skills to prepare them for high school and beyond. The Collins Writing Program continues to help emphasize and improve student writing and thinking skills across the curriculum using a common format and scaffolded approach to the art of writing. Middle School students are introduced to a more expansive genre of literary works and expand their writing skills. Students read books focused around culturally diverse and age appropriate themes. Students also participate in weekly latin and greek classes. Latin and Greek are the building blocks of over 60% of the English language and close to 90% of the vocabularies of medicine, law, theology and the sciences.
MATH, SCIENCE, SOCIAL STUDIES & TECHNOLOGY
Success in middle school math puts students on track and access and complete advanced math courses in high school. Math in middle school focuses on basic skills in Pre Algebra. In sixth grade, lessons are led by Pearson’s enVisions Math Program and, in seventh and eighth, EngageNY guides math plans. In our exciting science labs, students participate in hands on experiments testing their own hypothesis and showcasing their results. Parents and students are invited later to explore their science experiments during a fair.
Throughout the three years students dive into US History, Geography and Western Civilization. Through geography lessons students become aware of the relationships between people and their environments,. This past year students tested their knowledge against their peers during a geography bee.
Technology exploration unfolds during weekly computer labs as well as in intersecting science lessons.
The Academy is a legacy school of St. Angela, St. Ann, St. Gregory, St. Mark, St. Kevin, St. Margaret, Blessed Mother Teresa, St. Peter, and St. William parishes in Dorchester, MA.