Academics

Curriculum Philosophy

The assumptions underlying the Campbell Hall curriculum are that students and in the process of developing the power to reason; that they are evolving a pattern of faith for daily living, part of which involves their emergence as decent and caring human beings; that they are preparing for further education; and that they are learning to become responsible and informed contributors in society.

Furthermore, the school assumes that learning is best when associated with students’ individual needs, with their natural curiosity, and with their desire to be challenged; that learning encourages risk, requires self-examination, and promotes the understanding that humans, while interdependent, must ultimately take responsibility for their own lives; that learning manifests in the joy of discovery, in the pride of accomplishment, and in the satisfaction of personal growth; and that learning is fostered by supportive relationships with teachers.

The curriculum, based upon these assumptions, offers a systematic progression of required and elective courses. The formal course of study serves to build a knowledge base and both intellectual and personal skills, which nurture the development of reasoning and independent critical thinking; the ability to play, work, and learn cooperatively; the use of language in effective communication; and aesthetic, emotional, and social growth.

In addition, the curriculum reflects the school’s commitment to students’ spiritual lives and to their growth as persons of faith, to their engagement in experiential education and interdisciplinary study, to their understanding of cultural diversity and of issues related to gender, to their sense of the past and of human traditions, to their participation in community service, and to their physical well-being.

Learning Expectations

These learning expectations were prepared by Campbell Hall faculty and administration in order to link the experience of learning at Campbell Hall to the goals of the Campbell Hall mission statement.  Many teachers have these expectations posted in their classrooms.

Campbell Hall wants its students to:

  • Work collaboratively and independently
  • Discover relationships and commonalities
  • Communicate effectively
  • Think critically and creatively
  • Appreciate and respect diversity

Campbell Hall wants its students to be:

  • Competent in a core body of knowledge
  • Guided by spiritual, moral and ethical values
  • Socially responsible
  • Technologically skilled

Courses by Department


Computer Science

Elective and Pull-Out Courses for 7th and 8th Graders
The Power of Programming

The Power of Programming introduces students to the world of programming. Students will create games, digital art, discover solutions to puzzles, 3D print, and control robots. Throughout the course students will be empowered to create programs that bring them joy and laughter and solve problems in their lives. No prior programming experience necessary, and students of all technology levels are encouraged to take this course. Learn to demystify computer science and use some powerful new tools that will make you smarter and more knowledgeable about the world around you. (A one-year pullout for 7th and 8th graders.)  

Rockets, Robots, and Gizmos: Maker Lab
Have you ever wondered how companies like SpaceX can launch a rocket into space, bring it back into the atmosphere, and then land it on a platform in the ocean? If so, then Maker Lab is for you! In Maker Lab, students will have the opportunity to work with some amazing gizmos like weather balloons, rockets, and robots. Students will learn about microcontrollers and how they function through hands-on lab work. Students of all programming levels are welcome. Join me in an adventure of learning more about electronics and how computers and programming make it possible to create anything you can imagine. (A one-semester elective for 8th graders.)

English

Required Courses for 7th & 8th Grade Students
The Story of US: American Literature

Taken in tandem with The Story of US: American History, this course will teach students to become powerful communicators, divergent and reflective thinkers, and positive contributors to our world. By exploring texts that enrich their work in the history portion of The Story of US, students will learn to think critically and to make meaningful connections. Through constant engagement with non-fiction and fictional texts, active student-led discussions, and frequent writing across a variety of genres, students will gain a broader understanding of themselves, society, and the world. (A one-year required course for 7th grade students.)

 

One of the options below is a required course for 8th grade students
English 8: The Hero's Journey

What is a hero? Is it a boy wizard who risks his life to fight against evil, or is it the son of religious extremists who must challenge everything he’s been taught in order to save others? Is it a teenage basketball star who overcomes adversity both on and off the court, or is it a kid who leaves the Indian reservation he grew up on to search for a better life? The answer, as we find in English 8: The Hero’s Journey, is “all of the above.” The literature in the course—including Unwind, Night, Every Day, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and Macbeth—explores the path all heroes take according to Joseph Campbell’s monomyth. In reading and writing about the literature, students explore the journey they are on as individuals, and how their unique paths ultimately shape their identities. The goal of the course is to help students strengthen their critical reading skills while also helping them discover the joy of reading as a lifelong pleasure. Formal essays and analytical writing assignments are done in class with continual feedback from the teacher, while creative assignments, which include creating a soundtrack for a novel, writing a rap battle between two Shakespearean characters, and designing a unique Harry Potter-style wand, are assigned as homework. Grammar in the course focuses on editing and proofing skills, while vocabulary units help students better understand the assigned literature as well as prepare them for standardized testing. (A one-year required course for 8th grade students).

English 8: Monsters, Madness, and Mayhem (Accelerated)

In the eighth grade course English 8: Monsters, Madness, and Mayhem, students read and write about the nature of being human and consider the essential question in the face of monsters, madness, and mayhem, what makes life worth living? The literature in the year—including The Princess Bride, Lord of the Flies, and The Night Circus—provides answers to this question and explores how humans’ efforts to cope with their world can result in the manifestation of monsters, madness, and mayhem. As students discuss and write about great themes in literature, they hone their critical thinking and analytical skills. Grammar in the course focuses on editing and proofing skills, while vocabulary work broadens students’ base of words while also preparing them for standardized testing. (A one-year required course for 8th grade students.)

 

Optional Course for 7th Graders
Language Arts

Language Arts is a year-long course designed to increase proficiency in areas of reading comprehension, reading fluency, and written expression. Students develop strategies to deepen their comprehension of texts in all subject areas and to articulate their thoughts through the written word. Because the class is focused solely on skill development, the content of the class is high-interest and changes each year to meet the needs of each new class. (A one-year optional course for 7th grade students.)

 

Elective and Pull-Out Courses for 7th and 8th Graders
Screenwriting

Screenwriting is a semester-long elective in which students learn to tell stories for the big screen. If you have dreams of writing the next Avengers or creating a romantic comedy for Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, this class is for you. We’ll watch scenes from classic movies and read excerpts from the scripts they came from and learn all about structure, character, dialogue, and pacing. By the end of the semester you will have created an outline for a feature screenplay and you will write the first act of your script. Toward the end of the semester, we will film trailers for each student’s screenplay. (A one-semester elective for 8th graders.)

Speech & Debate Pull-Out

In this class, students learn how to win debates and speak confidently in front of audiences. Students will learn the basics of effective verbal delivery and persuasion, the art of negotiation, and methods of reasoning. While working collaboratively in teams, students will compete in tournaments against other middle schools. Join this pullout if you are competitive, argumentative, and energetic! (A one-year pull-out class for 7th and 8th grade students.)

History

Required Courses for 7th & 8th Grade Students
The Story of US: American History

Taken in tandem with The Story of US: American Literature, this course will teach students to become powerful communicators, divergent and reflective thinkers, and positive contributors to our world. By exploring texts that enrich their work in the history portion of The Story of US, students will learn to think critically and to make meaningful connections. Through constant engagement with non-fiction and fictional texts, active student-led discussions, and frequent writing across a variety of genres, students will gain a broader understanding of themselves, society, and the world. (A one-year required course for 7th grade students.)



One of the options below is a required course for 8th grade students.
Social Justice for a Changing World (Accelerated)

This course in global citizenship is designed for students who are interested in creating a more just and sustainable world. Students develop their own awareness of the wider world by seeking to understand how the world works geographically, economically, environmentally, politically, and culturally. In addition, students also cultivate a respect for diversity by exploring complex issues of global significance through multiple perspectives. Lastly, students participate and engage in ways to make the community - both local and global - a more equitable and sustainable place. (A one-year required course for 8th graders.)

World Cultures

In World Cultures, students deepen their understanding of cultures and how they have formed throughout history and the contemporary world through projects, activities, research papers, discussions, and geographic studies. The year begins with an exploration of what makes up a culture, how geography affects cultural development, and the reasons one culture may be different from another. The course then delves into specific cultures, beginning in the Middle East and spanning the world through Africa, India, China, and Latin America. Topics covered may include aspects of civilization, governments and religions of the world, technological ingenuity, and pertinent current events. (A one-year required course for 8th grade students.)



Elective and Pull-Out Courses for 7th and 8th Graders
Just Build It!

In this class we explore the history of great inventions and innovations that changed the world by building replicas and working with materials that revolutionized the world. The catapult, steamboat, hot air balloon, and even yarn and silk all represent major technological innovations. These innovations won wars, made civilizations extremely wealthy and powerful, or even just allowed people to survive. We will learn about these tools by working with them and recreating these inventions on your own. Projects will include: spinning yarn from raw wool, concocting your own perfume, creating and launching stomp rockets, building your own crystal radio, and inventing our own solar-powered marshmallow roasters. The history of innovation is extremely fun, especially when you build it yourself! (A one-semester elective for 8th graders.)

Human Development

Human Development
Human Development is a trimester-long course taught by faculty experienced in presenting this material to 7th grade students in both lecture and discussion-oriented formats. Students learn factual material about each of the topic areas through lecture, reading, films, guest speakers, student teacher discussions and written work.

Human Development is approached from a holistic standpoint, addressing the moral, emotional, physical, spiritual, and intellectual needs of students as they encounter the naturally occurring issues, challenges, and changes of pre-adolescent and adolescent life.

Students will explore together their “Hero/Heroine’s Journey” of adolescence. Students and the teacher co-create a classroom that values collaboration, self-exploration, and inquiry. Students leave the class with a knowledge and self-understanding that will propel them into this exciting and critical stage of development. Students will develop skills of self-reflection and self-awareness as they embark on their adolescent journeys, understand and appreciate their own unique path, build internal resources with which to navigate their journeys with increasing independence and practice skills of emotional intelligence. (A one-trimester required course for 7th grade students).

Survey of World Religions

This two-week mini-course is part of the Human Development rotation and examines the world’s most extensive and historically significant religions. Students will study the origins, foundational figures, scriptures, beliefs, and practices of the major religious traditions of the world: Hinduism, Buddhism, religions of China and Japan, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. (A two-week required course for 7th grade students.)

Math

Mathematics

Mathematics placement examinations are administered in May to all incoming 7th graders and new 8th graders.

The criteria used for mathematics placement are as follows: Campbell Hall placement examination; teacher recommendation, standardized test scores; and past performance (report cards).


Math 7

This is a traditional foundation course with pacing designed to promote success at the 7th grade level. The class is intended to provide ample opportunity and time for students to master the topics of arithmetic. This one year course reviews arithmetic concepts, properties of numbers and number theory using whole numbers, decimals, and fractions. Students will explore operations for evaluating algebraic expressions and solving linear equations. Students will work with integers and rational numbers in a problem-solving context and graph functions on the coordinate plane. Students will be exposed to introductory geometry topics, including the study of polygons, solids and their properties. Projects, group activities, calculators, and computer software are used to enhance and to illustrate the topics covered throughout the year. The curriculum emphasizes connections within mathematics and to other disciplines. The course develops concepts through real world applications, and encourages independent and cooperative learning. (A one-year course for 7th grade students.)

Pre-Algebra

This is a one year traditional foundation course requiring a strong mastery in all areas of basic mathematics. Students review arithmetic skills, properties of numbers, and number theory using whole numbers, decimals, and fractions. Linear equations, coordinate graphing, square roots, exponents and properties of equality will be studied. Students will also solve ratio, proportion and percentage problems. Students are encouraged to explore these topics by interpreting real world data into mathematical statements and analyzing the answers based upon realistic context. Projects, group activities, and computer software will be used to enhance and illustrate the topics covered throughout the year. The curriculum emphasizes connections within mathematics and to other disciplines. The course develops concepts through real world applications, and encourages independent and cooperative learning. (A one-year course for 7th grade students.)

Math 8

This course is a continuation of Math 7 and part of the curriculum includes percentages, fractions, decimals, ratio and proportion. Students will apply previously learned concepts to word problems and real-life applications. Basic algebra techniques and problem-solving strategies will be covered in Math 8, which include solving algebraic equations, using properties in simplifying algebraic expressions, performing operations using signed numbers and graphing on the number line and Cartesian coordinate plane. Radical expressions and equations will also be explored. Students will continue their study of introductory geometry, which includes the topics of parallel lines, perimeter, area, volume, congruency and similarity. (Prerequisites: Successful completion of Math 7)

Algebra IA

This is a one-year foundation course designed to cover all aspects of Algebra I. This course introduces the concepts of functions, systems of linear equations, powers and exponents, quadratic equations, factoring polynomials, and radicals. In addition, students will solve multiple step equations and inequalities including absolute value. Word problems using distance, mixture, investment and age are emphasized. Group activities using an abstract approach to problem solving are emphasized in this course. (Prerequisites: Successful completion of Pre-Algebra)

Algebra IB

Algebra IB is a one-year course covering all standard topics of a first-year algebra course. This course introduces the concepts of functions, systems of linear equations, powers and exponents, quadratic equations, factoring polynomials, and radicals. The course incorporates the use of calculators and computer software to enhance and to illustrate the concepts presented throughout the year. The curriculum emphasizes connections within mathematics and to other disciplines. The course develops concepts through real world applications, and encourages independent and cooperative learning. (Prerequisites: B+ or higher in Pre-Algebra)

Geometry B

Geometry B is designed to prepare students in the investigation, understanding, and application of plane geometry. Course topics include parallel lines, congruent triangles, quadrilaterals, similarity, circles, polygon area, right triangle applications, and volume and surface area of solids. Throughout the year, students incorporate the writing of formal, two-column proofs to further investigate geometric concepts. This course is designed for students who use a more abstract approach to the topics in Geometry and provides the opportunity for students to explore geometric and trigonometric topics in depth. Students use algebraic techniques as an integral part of the exploration of geometry. (Prerequisites: B+ or higher in Algebra 1B)

 

Honors Courses
Pre-Algebra Honors

This course offers a challenging study of topics designed for students who have done exemplary work and showed mastery of sixth grade mathematics topics. Students begin the year with a quick overview of arithmetic operations, properties of numbers, and number theory using whole numbers, decimals, and fractions. Linear equations, coordinate graphing, square roots and exponents will be studied as well as translating word statements into algebraic language and multiple-step equations. Students are encouraged to explore these topics by interpreting real world data into mathematical statements and analyzing the answers based upon realistic context. Projects, group activities, and computer software will be used to enhance and illustrate the topics covered throughout the year. Topics are presented in more depth and assessments require students to synthesize information and use critical thinking to answer open-ended questions. (A one-year course for 7th grade students.)

Algebra I Honors

Algebra I Honors in the middle school curriculum is a one year course designed for students who have demonstrated strength in Pre-Algebra and the commitment to succeed at an accelerated level. This is a challenging one-year course designed for mathematically talented students who performed at an exemplary level in Pre-Algebra. This course stresses both the symbolic structure of algebra and the development of problem-solving models. Students become adept at solving and graphing linear equations and inequalities involving one or two variables and compound sentences. Students are introduced to solving absolute value equations and inequalities, rational and radical equations, as well as quadratic functions with the incorporation of geometric foundations. Topics are presented in more depth and assessments require students to apply concepts to real-world applications and synthesize information. (Prerequisites: A- or higher in Pre-Algebra; B or higher in Honors Pre-Algebra; Mathematics Department Chair approval)

Geometry Honors

Geometry Honors is the second course in a challenging 5- course series designed for students seeking a more rigorous approach to mathematics. This Euclidean plane and solid geometry course extensively studies the properties, measurement, and relationships of points, lines, planes, angles, 2- dimensional shapes, and 3-dimensional solids. Special attention is given continually to the reasoning and logic needed to understand and display proof. Throughout the year, this course is infused with algebra and enriched with geometry’s historical origins and contemporary applications. Transformational geometry, the foundations of trigonometry, and an in-depth study of coordinate geometry are included. Computer applications and the graphing calculator assist in discovering, visualizing and verifying results. Topics are presented in more depth and assessments require students to think critically and synthesize information. (Prerequisites: A- or higher in Algebra 1B or a B or higher in Algebra I Honors; Mathematics Department Chair approval)

Performing Arts

Performing Arts/Dance

Student may choose dance to fulfill the physical education requirement of 4 semesters in middle school. However, students should recognize that the dance program has rigorous expectations for dress code, participation, and etiquette. There are classes for various skill levels, from the beginning to the advanced dancer, but expectations are consistent across class levels.

Dance 1

This full-year coed dance class is offered to all students who are either new to dance or who have had a gap in their dance training. Students will actively engage in learning ballet technique the first semester and modern-based contemporary technique the second semester. The ballet dance history included in this course covers the late 16th century. The modern dance history included in this course covers the development of modern dance in the early 20th century. The class incorporates strengthening and stretching exercises and includes two group choreography assignments, one for ballet and one for contemporary, and a written performance review. Students will regularly complete self-assessments of their technical skills and progress. (Grades 7-12)

 

Ballet Courses
Dance IIB

This full-year coed dance class is for students with some previous dance training. Students learn intermediate-beginning ballet technique, and, for the student who is ready, begin pointe work during the second semester. The emphasis of the class is to continue to learn and refine the student’s comprehension and application of ballet vocabulary and movement. Students focus on the study of body placement, correct alignment, developing musicality, and proper transfer of weight. Students begin to take responsibility for memorizing combinations quickly. The ballet history included in this course covers the 16th-17th centuries. Students will regularly complete self-assessments of their technical skills and progress. The dancers will have at least one performance opportunity, which will include the Spring Arts Festival Dance Concert. It is not uncommon for students to spend more than one year at the same level. (Grades 7-12; prerequisite: Dance I and/or department approval)

Dance III

This full-year coed dance class requires at least two current years of focused ballet training. This advanced-beginning course allows students the opportunity to learn ballet and pointe technique. The focus is to continue to learn and refine the student’s comprehension and application of ballet vocabulary and movement. Students learn to take responsibility for memorizing combinations quickly and accurately and are expected to attain a sufficient degree of mind-body awareness in order to self-correct during exercises. Throughout the year, students work to understand and control the turnout of their hips, the placement and control of their arms, and the line of their bodies. The ballet history included in this course covers the 18th century. Students will regularly complete self-assessments of their technical skills and progress. The dancers will have at least one performance opportunity, which will include the Spring Arts Festival Dance Concert. It is not uncommon for students to spend more than one year at the Middle School Course Descriptions Performing Arts Dance 88 same level. (Grades 7-12; prerequisites: Dance IIB and/or department approval, females en pointe and/or department approval)

Ballet Company Apprentices

This is a full-year coed beginning-intermediate dance class. Students are introduced to new movement vocabulary; increase physical strength, flexibility, and stamina; and learn proper company etiquette. Due to the fast pace of the class and performance requirements, students are expected to retain corrections and choreography. The ballet history included in this course covers the Romantic era in ballet. Students will regularly complete self-assessments of their technical skills and progress. The dancers will have at least one performance opportunity, which will include the Spring Arts Festival Dance Concert. It is not uncommon for students to spend more than one year at the same level. (Grades 7-12; prerequisites: Dance III and/or department approval, females en pointe and/or department approval)

Ballet Company Corps de Ballet

This is a full-year coed intermediate dance class. The class moves at a quicker pace and combinations become longer. The class works on movements such as double pirouettes and simple jumps embellished with beats. Pointe work becomes increasingly advanced and students are expected to wear their pointe shoes more often. Students must be en pointe to enter this class. Students will also learn the history of the Classical era in ballet. Due to the fast pace of the class and performance requirements, students are expected to retain corrections and choreography. Students will regularly complete self-assessments of their technical skills and progress. The dancers will have at least one performance opportunity, which will include the Spring Arts Festival Dance Concert. It is not uncommon for students to spend more than one year at the same level. (Grades 7-12; prerequisites: Ballet Company Apprentices and/or department approval, females en pointe)

Ballet Company Soloists

This is a full-year coed advanced-intermediate dance class. This class moves at an accelerated pace as students incorporate and build upon skills learned in the previous levels, learn new and more challenging ballet vocabulary, develop their artistry, and dance en pointe more often. Due to the fast pace of the class and performance requirements, students are expected to retain corrections and choreography. Students must be en pointe to enter this class. The ballet history included in this course covers the Russian influence in the early 20th century. Students will regularly complete self-assessments of their technical skills and progress. The dancers will have at least one performance opportunity, which will include the Spring Arts Festival Dance Concert. It is not uncommon for students to spend more than one year at the same level. (Grades 7-12; prerequisites: Ballet Company Corps de Ballet and/or department approval, females en pointe)

Ballet Company Principals

This is a full-year coed advanced dance class. Students learn new and challenging ballet vocabulary at an accelerated pace and dance en pointe every class. The dancers also have monthly assignments to discover current dancers, choreographers, and dance companies. Due to the fast pace of the class and performance requirements, students are expected to retain corrections and choreography. Students will regularly complete self-assessments of their technical skills and progress. The dancers will have at least one performance opportunity, which will include the Spring Arts Festival Dance Concert. It is not uncommon for students to spend more than one year at the same level. (Grades 8-12; prerequisites: Ballet Company Soloists and/or department approval, females en pointe)

Pointe/Variations

The objective of this full-year class is to teach our most advanced and serious dancers how to express their individual musicality and artistry. Throughout the year the students learn variations, short dances ranging from 1-2 minutes, from Romantic and Classical era ballets such as Paquita, La Bayadère and Raymonda. Students are assessed by their performance of each variation. Students are also given monthly physical strength/flexibility assessments as well as being expected to keep a journal of personal reflections of their own progress, their thoughts on inspirational videos of professional dancers they study, etc. Students dance en pointe in every class. The dancers will have at least one performance opportunity, which will include the Spring Arts Festival Dance Concert. (Grades 11-12; prerequisites: seniors should have spent one year in Ballet and/or Contemporary Principals, juniors must be concurrently enrolled in Ballet Company or Contemporary Company Principals, and/or department approval)

 

Contemporary Courses
Dance IIA

This full-year coed dance class is offered to all students who have had some previous dance training. Students receive an entire year of Graham technique. The emphasis of the class is to continue to learn and refine the student’s comprehension and application of beginning-intermediate modern vocabulary and movement. Students focus on the study of body placement, correct alignment, developing musicality, and proper transfer of weight. Students begin to take responsibility for memorizing combinations quickly. Students will also have the chance to experience improvisation and performance. Students will regularly complete self-assessments of their technical skills and progress. The dancers will have at least one performance opportunity, which will include the Spring Arts Festival Dance Concert. It is not uncommon for students to spend more than one year at the same level. (Grades 7-12; prerequisite: Dance I and/or department approval)

Contemporary Company Ensemble

This full-year coed dance class requires at least two current years of focused modern-based contemporary training. This advanced-beginning course allows students the opportunity to learn Lester Horton technique and understand its significant contribution to dance. The focus is to continue to learn and refine the student’s comprehension and application of contemporary vocabulary and movement. Students learn to take responsibility for memorizing combinations quickly and accurately and are expected to attain a sufficient degree of mind-body awareness in order to self-correct during exercises. Throughout the year, students work to understand and control the turnout of their hips, the placement and control of their arms, and the line of their bodies. The dance history included in this course covers the middle of the 20th century. Students will regularly complete self-assessments of their technical skills and progress. The dancers will have at least one performance opportunity, which will include the Spring Arts Festival Dance Concert. It is not uncommon for students to spend more than one year at the same level. (Grades 7-12; prerequisites: Dance IIB and/or department approval)

Contemporary Company Soloists

This is a full-year coed advanced-intermediate dance class. This class moves at an accelerated pace as students incorporate and build upon skills learned in the previous levels; learn new and more challenging modern-based contemporary vocabulary, focusing on Cunningham technique and frequent contact work. The dance history included in this course covers the Post Modern influence in the 20th century. Due to the fast pace of the class and performance requirements, students are expected to retain corrections and choreography. Students will regularly complete self-assessments of their technical skills and progress. The dancers will have at least one performance opportunity, which will include the Spring Arts Festival Dance Concert. It is not uncommon for students to spend more than one year at the same level. (Grades 7-12; prerequisites: Ballet Company Corps de Ballet and/or department approval)

Contemporary Company Principals

This is a full-year coed advanced dance class. Students learn new and challenging contemporary vocabulary at an accelerated pace. The dancers also have monthly assignments to discover current dancers, choreographers, and dance companies. Due to the fast pace of the class and performance requirements, students are expected to retain corrections and choreography. Students will regularly complete self-assessments of their technical skills and progress. The dancers will have at least one performance opportunity, which will include the Spring Arts Festival Dance Concert. It is not uncommon for students to spend more than one year at the same level. (Grades 8-12; prerequisites: Ballet Company Soloists and/or department approval)

 

Performing Arts/Drama & Music
Required Courses for 7th Grade Students
Introduction to Drama Mini-Course

In this course, students explore how the skills in acting are helpful in the everyday life of a middle school student. Students are introduced to basic improvisation, pantomime, and theatre games. Students begin to develop their imagination and self expression, performing for their peers in class, and learning about the relationship between the script, the actor, and the audience. (A four-week required course for 7th grade students).

Introduction to Music Mini-Course

This mini-course focuses on music technology, basic elements of songwriting/composition, basic musicianship, and creative expression. Students will be able to bring their own musical interests to the curriculum, as they will complete short composition projects based on songs or pieces of their choosing. To solidify musical concepts and interpret them in their own voice, students will Garageband software to complete short composition projects. The course will culminate in a small composition project and class recital. (A four-week required course for 7th grade students.)

Introduction to Public Speaking Mini-Course

Students learn how to speak confidently and eloquently in front of audiences. The course teaches the basics of effective verbal delivery, the art of negotiation, and methods of reasoning. Students also write and perform creative speeches, such as special occasion speeches and short creative sketches. (A 4-week required course for 7th graders.)

 

Elective and Pull-Out Courses for 7th and 8th Graders
Beginning Band Pull-Out

Ever wanted to learn to play an instrument? This is the course for you! Flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, and trumpet are offered in this class. During the first class meeting, students will have the opportunity to try out different instruments to decide on the right one. (A year long study hall pull-out course that meets once a week.)

Choir Pull-Out

Students will experience the joy of learning a variety of classical and pop songs. The choir will participate in a wide variety of performance opportunities including school chapels and assemblies. No previous singing study required. (A year-long study hall pull-out course for 7th and 8th grade students.)

Introduction to Acting Pull-Out

The Introduction to Acting pullout class meets alternatively with study hall. Beginners and seasoned performers are all invited to this fun class of exploration and experimentation. Students are introduced to character development and script analysis while honing basic tools for performing live in front of an audience. In a safe and fun environment, students perform scenes and monologues and have opportunities to create their own material. There are two performances in front of a live audience: Catacombs in October, and Scenes in February. There are in class performances where the focus is to learn from one another, gain skills, and learn basic theatre vocabulary while having fun. (A year-long study hall pull-out course for 7th and 8th graders.)

Introduction to Theater Technology Pull-Out

This year long course provides students with an opportunity to gain "hands on experience" with all the technical elements of live theatre production. Students are introduced to: set design and construction, theatre lighting and sound, prop design & construction, stage management, running crew, and script analysis. Students in this class are invited to participate in the after school middle school productions. All the "behind the scenes" production elements (stage management, light board operator, running crew, etc) will be run entirely by Theater Technology students during the Middle School Winter play and Middle School Spring Musical. Afternoon and evening commitments will be required in preparation for these productions.

Jazz Band Pull-Out

Saxophone, trumpet, trombone, guitar, bass, drum, and piano players work together to rehearse and perform fun and exciting jazz charts and develop improvisational skills. Students will learn how to improvise, “comp,” and apply basic theory knowledge to their instruments, as well as perform for various concerts and assemblies. Audition required for guitar, bass, drum, and piano players. (A year-long study hall pull-out course that meets once a week.)

Jazz Workshop Pull-Out

Rhythm section players (guitar, bass, drum, and piano) work together to rehearse and to perform fun and exciting jazz charts and to develop improvisational skills. Students will learn how to improvise, “comp,” and apply basic theory knowledge to their instruments, as well as perform for various concerts and assemblies. Audition required for guitar, bass, drum, and piano players. (A year-long study hall pull-out course that meets once a week.)

Orchestra Elective

From “Pirates of the Caribbean” to Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro,” the CH Orchestra is an exciting class for string, woodwind, and brass players interested in performing and improving their musicianship. Ensemble playing, rhythm reading, ear training, and music interpretation are a few of the skills learned in this fun performance class. (Grades 8-12; prerequisite: two years of experience on an instrument. No audition required)

Orchestra & Wind Ensemble Pull-Out

From “Harry Potter” to Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro,” the Orchestra and Wind Ensemble is an exciting class for string, woodwind, and brass players interested in performing orchestral music for concerts, assemblies, chapels, and other special events. (A year long study hall pull-out course that meets once a week.)

Steel PANdas

This 8th-grade music elective course offers students a hands-on opportunity to play the newest acoustic instrument invented in the 20th century, the steel drum. Students will review the basics of music notation, a cultural and historical context of the steel drum, an appreciation for how the steel drum is built and tuned, instrument setup and care, rhythmic feel and coordination drills, mallet techniques, basic ensemble and musicianship listening skills, and ultimately learn how to play several traditional and popular songs on these converted oil barrels in a full orchestra of steel drums. The group performs at various campus events, chapels, and is featured in the biannual Popular Music Concerts. Come experience the tropical sounds of the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. (Grade 8; no prior experience necessary, only a focused attitude and a good work ethic.)

Theatre Workshop Elective

This class explores the craft of acting for the theatre in a fun atmosphere. Students learn how to better express themselves through story telling, imagination, character analysis, improvisation, and games. If you loved the mini-course, this elective goes deeper in the concepts that were introduced: body language, improvisation, text vs. subtext, the power of emotion and story telling through dialogue. Come and learn while having a lot of fun! No prior experience in acting is required. (A one semester elective for 8th graders.)

World Drumming Pull-Out

This unique 7th-grade pullout course meets once a week for a hands-on experience in playing authentic non-pitched percussion instruments from around the world. Rhythmic styles are presented in a cultural context with a focus on replicating and preserving folkloric rhythmic styles mainly from West Africa, Brazil, and the Caribbean. Both stick and hand drumming techniques are incorporated as well as coordination and tone development. The ensemble meets concurrently with the High School World Drumming Ensemble oftentimes collaborating together on large group arrangements. The group performs at various campus events, chapels, and is featured at the required bi-annual World Music Concerts. This course requires no musical experience but is a great supplement to anyone who already plays drum set or any instruments. (A yearlong study hall pull-out course for 7th graders. No experience necessary.) 

Physical Education

Required Course for 7th & 8th Grade Students
Physical Education

The emphasis of these two classes is on lifetime sports. A variety of lifetime sports including tennis, soccer, volleyball, basketball, softball, football, golf, yoga, hockey, and lacrosse involve students in activities in which they learn techniques, rules, and advanced strategy of play. A physical training program, including strength development, flexibility, and endurance, is followed by the Presidential Physical Fitness Test. (A one-year required course for 7th and 8th grade students; may also be fulfilled by participating in dance.)

Middle School Competitive Team Sports

This after-school activity involves a strenuous routine preparing team members for competitive play. The boys’ and girls’ athletic teams compete in the Middle School Delphic League. Each student who is interested must try out for the team at the beginning of each season. When necessary, cuts will be made. Students who choose to participate in the after-school athletic program may elect to take study hall instead of PE for the duration of the season in which the student is participating.

Athletic Offerings

Fall Season

Winter Season

Spring Season

7-8 Co-ed
Tackle Football

7-8 Boys’ 
Basketball

7-8 Co-ed
Track & Field

7-8 Co-ed
Cross Country

7-8 Girls’
Basketball

 7-8 Boys'
Baseball

7-8 Girls’
Volleyball

7-8 Boys’
Soccer

7-8 Boys’
Volleyball

7-8 Girls’
Tennis

7-8 Girls’
Soccer

7-8 Girls’
Softball

7-8 Co-ed
Equestrian

7-8 Co-ed
Equestrian

7-8 Co-ed
Golf

7-8 Co-ed
Cheer

7-8 Co-ed
Cheer

7-8 Boys’
Tennis 

 

 

7-8 Co-Ed
Equestrian 

Science

Required Courses for 7th & 8th grade students

Science 7

Focusing on life, this course emphasizes organisms and activities based on body structure, environment, and ability to adapt. Lab activities enable the student to develop important inquiry and laboratory skills using the scientific method of problem solving. Using microscopes, students examine slides of plant and animal tissues. The application of life science to decisions in health, medicine, nutrition, and agriculture is discussed. Students explore their relationship with and responsibility to the living world with specific reference to diminishing resources and the need for positive environmental management. (A one-year required course for 7th grade students.)

 

One of the options below is a required course for 8th grade students
Science 8

This lab-oriented course provides opportunity for students to study a wide range of topics in the physical sciences. Students become skillful in using scientific instruments while doing laboratory experiments in the study of Physics, Chemistry, Earth Science, Astronomy, Oceanography, and Meteorology. After learning about the periodic table, elements, compounds, states of matter, types of chemical bonding and basic chemical reactions, students will gain a better understanding of our current knowledge of the atom and how chemistry influences everything in their daily lives. Physics concepts include Newton’s laws, velocity, acceleration, and gravity. Students study the earth-moon system, causes of seasons, eclipses, and phases of the moon. While studying Earth’s atmosphere, clouds, weather patterns, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, ocean currents, waves and tides, students gain a better understanding of how all of the physical sciences are related and how they all affect the physical world that we call home. (A one-year required course for 8th grade students.)

Science Investigations (Accelerated)

This course is for students with a passion for science and a desire to explore individual interests more deeply through inquiry-based, original scientific research and experiment design. Students will learn the same curriculum as Science 8; however, this course will require an additional investment of time. Students will have the opportunity to participate in extra curricular competitions where their work will be evaluated by independent organizations with science initiatives. Upon writing an original problem question and testable hypothesis, students will be guided through a series of incremental steps in experimental design that might require the development of tools to assist with data collection. Students will write their own hypotheses, design their experiments and create new tools to showcase their work. (A one-year required course for 8th grade students.)

 

Elective and Pull-Out Courses for 7th and 8th Graders
Mechanics of Injuries

This course is designed to teach students the biomechanical explanations of injuries. There will be concise anatomy lessons, which will provide the foundation for understanding. Students will be able to watch video clips of various injuries Middle School Course Descriptions Science 104 sustained through athletics, dance, or recreational activities and be able to hypothesize the different diagnoses that have resulted. Since 8th grade students will be taught concepts such as force, momentum, and acceleration in their science classes, this will prove to be supplemental in understanding the mechanics of injuries. (A one-semester elective course for 8th graders)

Visual Arts

Required Courses for 7th Grade Students
Introduction to Art Mini-Course

This course explores artistic media and ideas through different projects for each class meeting. Students will explore perspective through drawing, color theory in painting, and photographic techniques with nature prints. This course is designed to allow students to experiment in a variety of different ways, learning some of the many different approaches to artmaking. In this course students are also exposed to different contemporary artists and art movements. (A twelve-week required course for 7th grade students that will fulfill the prerequisite for any high school art class.)

 

Elective and Pull-Out Courses for 7th and 8th Graders
Ceramics Elective and Ceramics Pull-Out

This ceramics class is designed to develop skills of observation and artistic perception as well as advancing the students’ individual expression. The students will build confidence in their ability to solve problems of design and construction while learning to value the skills involved in the ceramic process. (A one-semester elective course for 8th grade students and a year-long study hall pull-out for 7th grade students.)

Drawing Pull-Out

Do you like to doodle? Do you find yourself drawing all over your homework and tests? Then this is the class for you! The course will focus on developing technique in the fundamentals of drawing, while encouraging students to hone their personal style. Using materials such as pencil, charcoal, graphite, pastel, and ink, students will build skills in line, composition, perspective, shading, and observational drawing. In addition, the course will cover the diversity of experimental and nontraditional techniques. (A year-long study hall pull-out course for 7th and 8th grade students.)

Filmmaking Elective

In this course we'll look at filmmaking techniques, creating short film sequences that allow us to explore composition, lighting, editing, and visual effects. We'll also explore the use of a green screen, allowing us to use virtual locations as backdrops. By the end of the course students will have a solid understanding of the basic tools of movie-making and editing, and an appetite to further explore the possibilities that new technology has opened up to filmmakers. (A one-semester elective course for 8th grade students.)

Painting Elective

Learn amazing painting techniques in water-color and acrylic! Students will do independent projects and group projects in many different styles of painting. Learn how to paint still lives, portraits, landscapes, and experimental compositions in different styles from traditional to contemporary. No previous experience necessary! Come get your paint on! (A one semester elective course for 8th grade students.)

Sculpture

Do you like to tinker, build, or make things with your hands? Experiment with ways of building in this sculpture class! We’ll learn the hand-building, glazing, and surface decoration techniques of ceramics as we make functional and sculptural clay pieces. We’ll experiment with different sculptural materials such as rigid (wood), plastic (ceramic clay, modeling clay, wire), and additive (plaster, paper mache). We’ll build the tallest freestanding structures and carve the smallest miniatures. We’ll make hanging sculptures, kinetic moving sculptures, and cast objects. We’ll experiment with forms in space (this is basically the broadest definition of sculpture there is) and have a lot of fun doing so. (A one-year pull-out course for 7th and 8th grade students.)

Storytelling Through Photography

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and in this elective, 8th graders will prove that there’s a compelling story behind every photograph they take. While learning basic digital photography techniques such as composition, focus, and lighting, students will capture the stories surrounding them as they build their own portfolios through a series of creative projects. We will explore the fundamentals of documentary and photojournalism with a tribute to a loved one and a series of portraits. On the narrative side, students will dive into the magic of films like Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Lego Movie as they create a stop motion movie of their own. We will also study the mesmerizing images in children’s books like Knuffle Bunny and Bent Objects, and students will set to work creating their own picture book. All that’s required is a love of taking pictures, a sense of curiosity, and a desire to create. (A one semester elective course for 8th grade students.)

World Languages

Course Requirements for 7th & 8th Grade Students
Chinese A

This course introduces students to the Mandarin Chinese language. While the focus is on oral communication, students are also taught to read and write in Chinese. Students learn about Chinese culture and heritage in order to provide context for their language acquisition. (A one-year course for 7th grade students.)

Chinese B

This course is a continuation of Chinese A and includes the study of fundamental Mandarin grammar and vocabulary. It includes the reading of simplified texts with emphasis on oral expression and further study of Chinese history and culture. Chinese B continues to develop students’ language skills by producing meaningful, authentic communication and further develops cultural understanding. To increase proficiency in the domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, students actively communicate about topics like sports, weather, shopping, and transportation. Students who successfully completed Chinese B will enter Chinese II. (A one-year course for 8th grade students. Prerequisite: A grade of C- or higher in Chinese A or placement examination and departmental approval.)

French A

This course invites students to explore a new cultural world and introduces them to the French language using varied and fun methodology. Oral communication is strongly emphasized but students develop skills in reading and writing as well. Classroom activities are based on a communicative and interdisciplinary approach and integrate modern technology. (A one-year course for 7th grade students.)

French B

Taught in the same cultural and communicative approach as French A, this course builds on the linguistic skills acquired in French A. It prepares students for upper level language by developing skills mainly in listening and speaking but also in reading and writing as well. Successful completion of the course prepares students to enter French II or French II Honors. (A one-year course for 8th grade students. Prerequisite: A year-long average of C- or higher in French A.)

Japanese A

This course introduces students to the Japanese language and culture. Although the focus is on oral communication, students are also taught to read and write the main Japanese alphabet, hiragana. The nuances of the culture are emphasized, as well as the similarities and differences to American culture. (A one-year course for 7th grade students.)

Japanese B

This course continues to build on the linguistic foundation that was begun in Japanese A. It prepares students for upper level language by emphasizing the importance of the written language. Students expand their writing skills by learning katakana, the Japanese syllabus that is reserved for words of foreign origin. Students further develop their communication skills through role playing activities, pen pal letters, and storytelling. Students continue to learn about various aspects of the culture, which aids in their study of the language. Successful completion of this course, along with departmental approval, prepares students to enter Japanese II. (A one-year course for 8th grade students. Prerequisite: A grade of C- or higher in Japanese A.)

Spanish A

A first year Spanish course for students with limited or no foreign language background. This course develops basic conversation and written skills, and promotes an awareness of Hispanic culture. (A one-year course for 7th grade students.)

Spanish B

Spanish B builds on the vocabulary and grammar skills attained in Spanish A. Knowledge is applied to everyday conversation and situations stressing sentence structure, idioms, and verb conjugations (present and past tenses). Students study the cultures of Spain and Latin America via readings in the Spanish text. Confidence in speaking is fostered by roleplaying, oral reports and classroom discussions in Spanish. (A one-year course for 7th and 8th grade students. Prerequisites: A grade of C- or higher in Spanish A, or placement examination and departmental approval.)

 

Courses to meet the 9th-12th Grade Language Requirement (Satisfactory completion of level III in one language required for Graduation.)
Chinese I

In this beginner's course students learn the fundamentals of the Mandarin Chinese language by developing the basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Oral communication is strongly emphasized, promoting the practical use of the language in daily life. Students learn about Chinese culture and heritage in order to provide context for their language acquisition. (Grades 8-12)

French I

Students learn the fundamentals of French language while developing the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Oral communication is strongly emphasized as well as the cultural background of the French-speaking world. Classroom activities are varied and aim to stimulate all the senses, promoting practical use of the language in a contemporary daily life. (A one-year course for 8th-12th grade students.)

French II

Students expand their knowledge of French language and culture, learning the past, present, and future tenses and the most common pronoun structures. Frequent use of French in the classroom develops skills in listening comprehension and oral expression. There are also regular written compositions and reading assignments. (A one-year course for 8th-12th grade students. Prerequisite: A year-long average of C- or higher in French I or B and departmental approval.)

Japanese I

This course introduces the fundamentals of modern Japanese. The objective is to enable students to develop the four basic language skills: listening, reading, writing, and speaking with special attention to the acquisition of conversational skills. These skills are taught within the context of Japanese culture, making it an important component of the class. In addition to the development of sentence patterns, students are required to learn the reading and writing of two sets of syllabary, Hiragana, and Katakana (46 letters each). (A one-year course for 8th-12th grade students.)

Japanese II

This course covers a more extensive study of modern Japanese. Building on the foundation acquired in Japanese I, the course emphasizes the development of communication skills that allow students to understand Japanese spoken at natural speed, and to communicate their thoughts and ideas naturally. Students continue their study of Japanese culture to ensure that they can use the language in culturally appropriate ways. The focus is on student interaction, with class, group, and individual activities. Students begin learning Kanji (Chinese characters) in addition to the previously learned syllabaries. (A one-year course for 8th-12th grade students. Prerequisites: A year-long average of C- or higher in Japanese B or Japanese I, and departmental approval.)

Spanish I

In this first year course, emphasis is placed on the acquisition of four basic skills: speaking, reading, writing, and comprehension. Special attention is given to oral understanding and communication. Written grammatical exercises introduce and reinforce knowledge of present and past tenses. The class includes a study of the cultural background of Hispanic peoples. (A one-year course for 8th-12th grade students.)

Spanish II

This second year course continues the development of the four basic skills learned in Spanish I. Basic grammar concepts are expanded, and there is an increased emphasis on vocabulary and idiom acquisition. Knowledge of vocabulary is applied to role-playing situations, with conversation based on actual daily experience. Essay writing in Spanish is introduced, and students are exposed to reading selections in Spanish for study and discussion. (A one-year course for 8th- 12th grade students. Prerequisites: A grade of C- or higher in Spanish I or Spanish B.)

 

Honors Classes
French II Honors

This second-year course continues the development of the four basic skills begun in French 1. Students develop an ability to express themselves orally and to comprehend French when spoken by a native. They also begin to craft paragraphs using varied sentence structure and vocabulary. Basic grammar concepts are mastered and additional readings, stressing the culture and civilization of the French-speaking world, are added to develop the student’s ability to fully comprehend common written French. (A one-year course for 8th-12th grade students. Prerequisites: A- or higher in French I or French B, B+ on placement test, excellent conduct and work habits, and departmental approval.)

Spanish II Honors

A continuation of Spanish I Honors, this accelerated course stresses the oral approach. Students develop an ability to express themselves orally and to comprehend Spanish when spoken by a native. Basic grammar concepts are mastered, and additional readings, stressing the culture and civilization of Hispanic peoples, are added to develop the student’s ability to read Spanish with full comprehension. (A one-year course for 8th-12th grade students. Prerequisites: A grade of A- or higher in Spanish I or Spanish B and/or teacher recommendation, or B in Spanish I Honors, excellent conduct and work habits, and departmental approval.)

Computer Science

Alex Roberts

English

Kathleen Lawton-Trask

History

Kyle Clower

Human Development

Sarah Huss

Math

Shawn Watanabe

Performing Arts

Brandy Curry

Physical Education

Chris Holland

Science

Karl Frank

Visual Arts

Jill Schulman

World Languages

Landry Tagliere