Welcome to the St. Mary's Middle School
Our Middle School begins in 5th grade and is the program you wish you had been able to attend. Individual attention, the freedom to be curious and to explore, and the affirmation of each student's voice and growth are hallmarks of the St. Mary's experience. Middle School is about learning important content and skills in a challenging, supportive community that stresses critical thinking and incorporates project-based learning. Small classes and an open, accepting community nurture a strong sense of belonging among our students.
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 Carrico Center, 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.
We understand that our kids need strong social-emotional skills to confidently face the challenges of high school, college, and beyond. We teach these skills in Adviser Group, which is an important part of the Middle School experience. These daily meetings, first thing in the morning, feature a structured, consistent program of greeting, sharing, and a game or activity to build community, trust, mutual understanding, and to get the school day off on a positive, happy note.
Beginning in 6th Grade, Middle School students have a class each day that's known as an X-Bin. These are elective courses that meet daily for one mod. These classes, which are homework-free, give kids the opportunity to explore, be creative, and to try new things. Examples of X-Bin courses include Digital Photography; Basketball Player Development, Airborne Drone Engineering; and Speech and Debate.
Middle School Sports
Our no-cut policy in the Middle 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
Our 5th Grade program provides children with a strong start on being successful and independent learners throughout their St. Mary's experience, into college, and beyond. Courses are inquiry- and project-based, as they are throughout the Middle School. Our goal is to create a safe and nurturing child-centered program that fosters a love of learning and exploration. Please click here to see more detailed information.
Students take four full-year (7-mod) classes: Literature and Writing; Integrated Science II; History of the Ancient World; and Math. In addition, they take specialty classes in German; Modeling and Design; Religion; Music; Studio Art; and Physical Education. They also have a daily X-Bin course.
The theme “The Ancient World” coordinates the study of art, literature, history, and writing in the 6th 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 Mod, 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 Eureka Math curriculum.
Students take four full-year (7-mod) classes: Literature and Writing; Integrated Science III; World History; and Math. In addition, they take specialty classes in Mandarin Chinese; Religion; Health and Wellness; Creative Computing; Modeling and Design; Studio Art; and Physical Education. They also have a daily X-Bin course.
History class picks up where 7th Grade left off. We study the Islamic world, Asia; Africa; and medieval and early modern Europe. 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 Literature and Writing, 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.
Our Integrated Science curriculum includes explorations of earth and space science, energy and matter, and life science.
7th Graders take either Pre-Algebra, using the Eureka Math series, or Algebra I.
One of the highlights of the 7th 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.
Students take five full-year (7-mod) classes: Literature and Writing; Integrated Science IV; American History; Math; and a World Language. In addition, they take specialty classes in Religion; Health and Wellness; Studio Art; and Physical Education. They also have a daily X-Bin course.
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 Algebra I or Geometry.
One of the highlights of the 8th 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 the Columbia River Maritime Museum and learn about the economic and cultural history of the region.