Junior High Grades 7-8

The Junior High Department consists of three seventh grade homerooms and three eighth grade homerooms.

Students take seven classes each day including one specials class.  The specials classes include Spanish, art, and music which rotate on a six-week schedule.  Computer and physical education rotate on a nine-week schedule.

Our Junior High students focus on preparing for high school and beyond.  Upon eighth grade graduation, our students are expected to reason logically, read critically, write correctly, express thoughts articulately, analyze thoroughly, and question vigorously.

RELIGION

The seventh grade religion course focuses on deepening the students' understanding of the Church's liturgy and sacraments as a prayerful celebration of God's love for us.  In addition to studying the liturgy and the sacraments, the students study the covenants made between God and man found in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, the Parables of Jesus, and the Beatitudes.  Students also take a look at Catholic beliefs, practices, and attitudes and are challenged to live out the Catholic faith in their daily lives.  During this course students are given opportunities to explore prayer through formal prayer, spontaneous prayer, journaling, and visiting the adoration chapel.  The end goal of this course is to encourage students to "own their Catholic faith" as they begin preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation during their eighth grade year.

Eighth grade students study the Catholic Faith Handbook for Youths, which is a reflection of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in preparation for the sacrament of Confirmation.  At the request of Bishop Hartmayer, the Diocese of Savannah has provided a Knowledge of Faith Assessment tool for use with candidates for Confirmation.  This tool allows for an extensive review of information that has/should have been learned throughout a child's catechetical formation.  The sacrament of Confirmation will then be conferred upon the students the following year (ninth grade).  In addition, the students study Church history and work on seasonal projects such a Rosary project and an Advent meditation.  Reading and discussing articles in the Maryknoll magazine are also included in the class activities. 

All Junior High students attend Mass on Mondays.  An all-school Mass is attended on Holy Days of Obligation, for special events, and on the first Friday of each month.  Junior High students serve as Mass buddies for the kindergarten and first grade students at all-school Masses.  Mass buddies help the students during Mass and model appropriate Mass behavior.

MATHEMATICS

Junior High mathematics consists of seventh grade math, eighth grade pre-algebra, seventh grade advanced math (pre-algebra) and eighth grade advanced math (Algebra I).

The focus of Junior High mathematics is to transition students into high school.  Concepts covered include all operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) within the set of real numbers including whole numbers, decimals, fractions, and integers. Students work with linear functions and equations, radicals, exponents, order of operations and basic geometry concepts to build a solid background in all areas of mathematics.

LANGUAGE ARTS

The language arts program encompasses an integrated approach with two components:  grammar/vocabulary and literature.  Using Writers Choice by Glencoe, the grammar program thoroughly covers all areas of mechanics and usage.  The overall goal is to enable students to become better writers and communicators.  Vocabulary is based on Vocabulary Workshop by Sadlier.  Both grammar and vocabulary are taught together in one class.  Literature class combines reading comprehension, literary focus, and the “6 + 1 Traits of Writing.”  The 6 + 1 Traits curriculum provides a common language for teachers and students to communicate about the characteristics of writing and establishes a clear vision of what good writing looks like.

LITERATURE

The Holt Elements of Literature, Second Course is the text used in the eighth grade. This text includes such well-known literary favorites as “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Monkey’s Paw,” and The Diary of Anne Frank. Written analyses (essays) as well as class discussions identifying literary elements such as theme and literary devices are incorporated into the program.  Additionally, work outside the textbook, such as reading the novel The Giver, rounds out the students’ literary exposure.  The study of these classic literary works often leads to valuable questions and examinations of the human condition and the students’ response to life.

SCIENCE

The area of study for the seventh grade science is Life Science: From Bacteria to Plants, Cells and the Microscope, and Genetics and the Human Body Systems. The area of study for eighth grade is physical science: pressure, mass, Newton’s Laws of Motion, chemistry, and the Periodic Table of Elements.  A multi-modal approach to learning is used, incorporating reading, didactic lectures, note-taking, and hands-on experiments. The eighth grade science classes participate in the Future City Competition, which is a national engineering competition.  Relevant field trips are added, when possible, in order to provide opportunities for additional experiential learning.

HISTORY

In seventh grade, the Eastern World textbook (Hold McDougal publishers) is currently used.  The seventh grade history class studies the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.  The countries' cultures, religions, and geography are incorporated into the curriculum.  Students also learn a variety of note taking skills, how to write historical synopses, how to document primary and secondary sources, and how to build upon and strengthen study skills.

In eighth grade, the textbook is entitled, Georgia, Its Heritage and its Promise.  Students study Georgia history for its colonial days through present-day government.  The curriculum is designed to achieve several goals (1) to learn about the government, geography, economy, and history of the state; (2) to gain a new appreciation of the state's land and resources and its people; (3) to recognize the state's uniqueness while also seeing how it fits into the larger context of the region, nation, and, increasingly, the world.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Junior High Girls' Prayer Group
  • Diocese of Savannah Vocations Essay Contest
  • Country Reports:  Research Paper and Oral Presentation
  • PAGE Academic Team
  • National MATHCOUNTS Competition
  • National Catholic Math League Contest
  • Future City Competition
  • National Geographic Society Geography Bee
  • Scripps Spelling Bee
  • Induction into the Junior Beta Club (for eligible students)

FACULTY

John Allen, 7th & 8th Grade Science, 7 years of experience
Debbie Fain, 7th & 8th Grade History, 28 years of experience
Barbara Lewis, 7th Grade Literature & 8th Grade Grammar/Vocabulary, 45 years of experience
Jennifer Roberts, 7th Grade Grammar/Vocabulary & Religion, 2 years of experience
Donna Skidmore, 7th & 8th Grade Math and Advanced Math, 19 years of experience
Mary Frances Weber, 8th Grade Literature & Religion, 33 years of experience