Welcome to the St. Mary's Middle School
The Middle School is a great place to learn! St. Mary's students work together with their teachers to explore, create, and make connections. Kids are well-known in the Middle School, and everyone has the opportunity to participate actively in the daily life of our community.
The Middle School day begins at 8:10 a.m. and ends at 3:15 p.m. Many students stay on campus after dismissal, working on homework in the Callaway Library, getting help from a teacher, attending sports practice, or just hanging out with friends.Students moving up from our Middle School to high school:
- are resilient, flexible learners with a solid skill base
- understand that they play an important role in their communities
- are eager to learn, both independently and with others
- have the hearts and minds of explorers. They will persevere.
Service to the community is an integral part of the St. Mary's experience. Middle School students are required to complete at least ten hours of service per year.
Every Middle School student is assigned an Adviser who is also a Middle School teacher. Adviser Groups meet during the first twenty minutes of the day. The intent of the Adviser system is to foster a sense of belonging for each student, to build community, and to ensure that each student has an adult who knows him or her well and can serve as a resource and point of contact.
Middle School Sports
Our no-cut policy in both the Middle and Upper School means that anyone can play. The emphasis for all teams is skill development, participation, and teamwork. We participate in the Small Schools division of the Southern Oregon Middle School Athletic Conference. Teams include:
Fall: volleyball, football, cross country
Spring: track and field, baseball
The theme “The Ancient World” coordinates the study of art, literature, history, and writing in the Sixth Grade. Our studies begin with the migrations of peoples and progress through the settlement of the river valleys, with a focus on cause and effect in settlement patterns and development. We also examine the age of empire building. In the third quarter, we spend more time with the “classical” ancient cultures of China, Greece, and Rome. We end the year with a closer look at ancient Africa and South America. In each quarter, we incorporate reading, composition, speech, and art into the Ancient World context to build and reinforce knowledge and skills.
Our integrated Science curriculum includes explorations of earth and space science, matter and energy, and life science. Math class uses the Connected Math 3 series. English, History, Math, and Science all meet daily the entire year.
In addition, all students take a semester of Spanish. Instrumental Music and Physical Education meet on a two-day rotation all year, as do Religion and Art. Students also take an introductory computers class called Digital Tools for Learning.
Students take five every-day classes--History, Science, Math, Physical Education, and English--and four every-other-day classes in Art, Religion, Music, Creative Computing, and Mandarin Chinese. Music options include Choir, Orchestra, and Band.
History class picks up where Sixth Grade left off. We study the Byzantine Empire, the development of Western Europe and the Renaissance, Asia, Africa and Islam. World geography is an important aspect of the curriculum, and we finish up the year by drawing a free-hand map of the world.
In English class, we study poetry, short stories, and historical fiction and develop writing and oral presentation skills. The reading and writing assignments in this course are thematically linked to the History curriculum, covering the Islamic world, Asia, Africa, and medieval and early modern Europe.
Our integrated Science curriculum includes explorations of earth and space science, energy and matter, and life science.
Seventh Graders take either Pre-Algebra, using the Connected Math 3 series, or Algebra I.
One of the highlights of the Seventh Grade program is the annual four-day trip to OMSI's Hancock Field Station, near the town of Fossil in north-central Oregon. We study arid lands ecology, geology, and paleontology in the renowned John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Going on the trip in the first few weeks of school provides a great opportunity to kids to get to know each other and build friendships.
The humanities in the Eighth Grade curriculum are centered on American history. English class is based on American literature, and History is a thematic look at the United States that focuses on significant inflection points from the Revolution forward. Students participate in a semester-long oral history project in cooperation with residents of the Rogue Valley Manor, a local retirement community.
Our integrated Science curriculum includes explorations of earth and space science, energy and matter, and life science. Eighth Graders select one of three world languages (Mandarin Chinese, German, or Spanish) to pursue for the year. They also take Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, or Geometry.
In addition, Religion, Health, Art, and Physical Education meet every other day. Elective choices include Band, Orchestra, and Creative Computing 2.
One of the highlights of the Eighth Grade year is the annual four-day community service trip to the north Oregon coast. In addition to working for a local community land trust, we visit Fort Clatsop in Astoria--the winter encampment of Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery.