The Middle Grades Program was developed to provide a comprehensive and challenging academic curriculum that is appropriate for the personal and spiritual growth of young adolescents. In this program, sixth, seventh and eighth grade students expand their knowledge by exploring the world in which we live.
The Mission Basilica School middle grades model is based on key elements and conditions that are common to successful schools:
- An academic core that is aligned to what students must know, understand, and be able to do to succeed in college-preparatory English, mathematics, and science. All students in the middle grades need academic core curricula that accelerate their learning, challenge them, and appeal to their interests.
- A belief that all students matter ~ Each student needs to have personal relationships with the faculty and staff that take an interest in his or her successful learning, goal-setting, educational planning, and spiritual and personal growth.
- High expectations and a system for meeting those expectations ~ Students learn in different ways and at different rates. Middle grades students need the patience, time, and help to meet more rigorous, consistent standards for all eighth-graders. The total curricula of the middle grades program should focus on accelerating achievement for all students.
- Classroom practices that engage students in their learning ~ Young adolescents need varied learning activities linked to challenging academic content and opportunities to use newly acquired skills and concepts in real world applications.
- Teachers working together ~ All teachers need time to collaborate, plan together, develop and coordinate learning activities, and to share student work and achievement among themselves.
- Support from parents ~ Parents must have a clear understanding of and must support the higher standards for performance in the middle grades.
- Qualified teachers ~ Middle-grades teachers must know both academic content and how to teach young adolescents.