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A Dean’s Philosophy: Warren Delmolino, Dean of the Middle-School
The Montverde Academy Middle School division consists of Grades 6, 7, and 8.
At the Middle School of Montverde Academy, the faculty and staff are committed to continue to develop the academic foundation and maintain the excitement for education that was instilled at the Lower School division. The Middle School curriculum is designed to foster maximum growth in the intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, physical, and cultural areas. Every effort is made to understand each student’s particular learning style. The teachers use visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile teaching methods in the classrooms in order to engage, motivate, and stimulate each student. Middle School students will be expected to be more independent and accept more responsibilities as they grow. The Middle School experiences are planned with the knowledge of where the students have been at the Lower School and where they will be going as members of the Upper School division.
During the sixth grade year, much emphasis is placed on the student’s need to develop a good academic background in the areas of language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science. Foreign language, technology, art, music, after-school activities, drama, character education, study skills, life skills, and library are also part of the curriculum. The core curriculum at the sixth grade level is presented within a seven-period day schedule with materials being presented by sixth grade teachers with a wide range of learning opportunities being offered.
During the seventh and eighth grade years, each student is offered a wide range of learning opportunities. Much emphasis is placed on the student’s need to develop a good academic background in the areas of English, mathematics, social studies, and science. Foreign language, technology, art, music, after-school activities, sports, drama, character education, study skills, life skills, and library are also part of the curriculum. Students at these grade levels are involved in changing classes during a seven period day schedule with different instructors teaching each of the core and the enrichment classes.
The comprehensive nature of the McDougal Littell Language Arts Program provides instruction in reading, grammar-syntax, vocabulary-spelling, and writing within the English objectives. The language arts curriculum uses a literature textbook to expose the students to many different genres of writings and authors which is grade level appropriate. The students use a vocabulary workbook to increase their vocabulary, spelling, and skills in this area; the students also use a grammar workbook to improve the students’ understanding of punctuation and sentence structure.
Our Middle School mathematics curriculum consists of courses in Math 6, Math 7, Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra I (Honors), Geometry, and Geometry (Honors). The program offers a very thorough approach from the basic mathematics concepts to the more involved concepts of Algebra and Geometry. The comprehensive nature of the mathematics program meets the needs of each student. It also allows our students to easily transition from one level of mathematics to the next level within the Middle School division and then into the Upper School division.
Our science curriculum in the Middle School is both exciting and hands-on. The sixth grade course is a laboratory-based inquiry course in which students spend a considerable portion of their class time doing experiments to investigate first hand how nature behaves. Sample topics include characteristic properties, sizes and masses of molecules and atoms. The seventh grade course is a life science course that concentrates on the study of living things from the microscopic to the macroscopic. Laboratory work compliments each unit studied. Sample topics include cell structure and human body systems. The eighth grade course is a physical science inquiry course that focuses on some of the basic ideas of physics and provides insight into the way scientific knowledge is acquired. Sample topics include forces, waves, and energy. Students are required to keep a well-organized laboratory notebook. During the laboratory experiments the students work independently or in teams of two for collaborative learning. The Middle School science curriculum satisfies the National Science Curriculum guidelines.
The 6th grade social studies course covers early history, ancient world, and geography of the Eastern hemisphere. Students will learn about the beginnings of civilization, the development of human history and migration, and evolution of civilizations and technology. Sixth grade students will acquire map skills as they learn the physical features of the Four River Valleys. Students will also learn the basics of geography as well as major capitals and landmarks. The 7th grade social studies geography course tracts the evolution and history of the United States of America up to the Civil War. Topics of inquiry include the First Americans; taking a look at Colonial America; what was required to create a Nation; the Constitution of the United States; launching the Republic; and nationalism and sectionalism. In addition, the physical geography of North America is examined. Students will acquire map skills as they learn the physical features in North America as well as the political division of its countries.
Our geography curriculum examines the Earth’s physical, cultural, historical, and political geography. Through lecture, discussion, written assignments, current event studies, and hands-on projects, students will acquire map skills, examine the geological science and the five themes of geography, and broaden their understanding of global issues that include ecological, demographic, and economic study. Modern 20th Century United States History for the 8th graders is a year-long course, starting at the Civil war and continuing through modern history, which include the overview of various but essential people, time periods, ideas, and events. Class discussion, role-play simulations, mock trials, cooperative group assignments, current event discussions, and topical lectures help facilitate both content level mastery and higher level thinking skills. Upon completion of this course, students will increase their ability to think critically, ask significant questions, and research and read historical materials.
Throughout the Middle School, students experience a variety of activities and curriculum related field trips are instituted to enhance the learning experience, foster independence, develop responsibility, and increase self-control. Much emphasis is placed on the student’s need to develop good organizational skills and study habits that will facilitate future success in the Upper School.