Middle School

The middle school educational experience seeks to provide for the intellectual, physical, emotional, social, and cultural needs of students in grades 6-8. Allowing for a smooth transition from childhood to adolescence and from middle to high school is a priority.

ENGLISH
The reading and writing curriculum is aligned to the Virginia State Standards of Learning. Daily instruction encompasses four literacy strands: Communication and Multimodal Literacies, Reading, Writing, and Research.  Middle school students will evaluate, analyze, develop, and produce multimodal presentations while incorporating effective communication skills.  Students will explore the study of word origins to expand vocabulary development.  Technical reading and writing skills will be emphasized through explicit instruction using grade-level fiction and nonfiction texts.  Students will read, write, think critically, and respond both orally and in writing.  As writing is integrated daily, the focus at this level is on the process of writing multi-paragraph essays.  Critical thinking skills will continue to develop as students display responsible use of information by selecting appropriate resources for oral, visual, written, or multimodal research products.  The Virginia Department of Education believes these skills are essential for success in future postsecondary education and workplace environments.

 

Link to English Virginia Standards of Learning and Curriculum Frameworks


MATHEMATICS
The mathematics curriculum is aligned with the Virginia Mathematics Standards of Learning. Emphasis is placed on the mathematics process goals which include mathematical problem solving, mathematical communication, mathematical reasoning, mathematical connections, and mathematical representations. The focus of middle school mathematics is building conceptual understanding while developing computational fluency. Strands include Number and Number Sense, Computation and Estimation, Measurement and Geometry and Probability, Statistics, Patterns, Functions, and Algebra.  

Link to Mathematics Virginia Standards of Learning and Curriculum Frameworks

SCIENCE 
The science curriculum is aligned to the Virginia Science Standards of Learning. Emphasis is placed on students investigating the natural world and the practices that scientists and engineers use as they design and build models and systems. Additional emphasis is necessary skills to examine scientific explanations, conduct experiments, analyze and communicate information. Areas of focus include Scientific and Engineering Practices; Force, Motion, and Energy, Matter; and Living Systems and Processes; Earth and Space Systems; and Earth Resources. 

Link to Science Virginia Standards of Learning and Curriculum Frameworks

HISTORY AND SOCIAL SCIENCE 
The history and social science curriculum is aligned with the Virginia History and Social Science Standards of Learning objectives, which include strands that are specific to each history content area. Additional emphasis is placed on historical thinking skills that provide opportunities for students to become critical thinkers of local, state, national, and world history.  Historical thinking skills include but are not limited to analyzing and interpreting artifacts and primary and secondary sources, interpreting charts, graphs, and pictures to determine characteristics of people places, or events, determining accuracy and validity of information, comparing and contrasting historical, cultural, and political perspectives, determining cause and effect relationships that impact people, places, or events, and investigating and researching to develop products orally and in writing

Link to History and Social Studies Virginia Standards of Learning and Curriculum Frameworks

HEALTH AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION
The health and physical education program is an integral part of the middle school concept.  A team of instructors follow the state requirements for providing both activity-oriented instruction and health instruction.  Participation and activities are stressed in the program.  Health and Physical Education is taught on an alternating schedule to allow for health instruction.  Students are required to dress out for physical education classes when specific restrictions for COVID are released and are expected to participate regularly. 

Link to Health Virginia Standards of Learning and Curriculum Frameworks

Link to Physical Education Virginia Standards of Learning and Curriculum Frameworks


CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Career and Technical Education’s purpose of the exploratory program is to emphasize the development of personal skills and to introduce students to technology and technological careers.  Students are assigned one exploratory course each nine weeks in the sixth and, possibly 7th grades. Some students in the seventh and eighth grades will rotate through four exploratory courses over two years or four semesters.

The Career and Technical Education curriculum is aligned to the Virginia Department of Education’s standards, industry certifications, and task competencies. Emphasis is placed on communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creative thinking, & citizenship (5C’s). Career and Technical Education courses deepen student learning through real-world connections and interdisciplinary content integration. Additionally, our Career and Technical Education's exploratory programs allow basic exploration of career clusters as students begin investigating career opportunities with an emphasis on workplace readiness skills. 

Link to Virginia Career and Technical Education State Competencies

FINE AND PERFORMING ARTS
Students may choose to take art, band, strings, or chorus as exploratory courses.  Art is offered as a quarter (6th grade) or semester (7th/8th grades) course.  The focus of art courses are to gain an appreciation for art and learn basic art techniques and skills. Band and strings are structured programs requiring daily instrumental practice at home. Fine Arts courses focus on the development of skills for exploration of band, chorus, orchestra, and visual arts and preparation for advanced coursework at the high school level.

Link to Fine Arts Virginia Standards of Learning and Curriculum Frameworks

WORLD LANGUAGES
Students may choose to learn about world languages in the 7th-grade foreign language exploratory (FLEX) course.  This course exposes students to multiple languages and cultures, allowing students to decide what world language they may want to study more in-depth in the future. In the eighth grade, students have the opportunity to study either French I or Spanish I, preparing them for more advanced study of either language during high school.

Link to World Language Virginia Standards of Learning

Additional information about the middle school program can be found in the Suffolk Public Schools Middle School Parent Handbook