The primary goal in the Middle school is to prepare the students for a successful four years of high school. In addition to the core classes of Religion, Social Studies, Language Arts, Math, Science, Computer, Spanish, Health and Physical fitness they are given opportunities to practice organization and study skills. Special focus is given toward the development of a more mature relationship with Christ through the Catholic Faith. This includes prayer, liturgies, scripture studies, Church history and the lives of the saints.
The student council is formed by Middle School students and given the opportunity to lead by example what it means to be a Christ-centered individual and a responsible role model. Student learning expectations are set in place to help guide each student to become a responsible citizen and life-long learner with strong Catholic values. Each Middle School grade has a homeroom in which they start the day and attend Religion class. Students rotate through varied elective classes each trimester.
In Middle School, the Religion curriculum focuses on three main parts: Old Testament, New Testament, and Church History. Students also use the Theology of the Body curriculum to learn about respecting themselves and others as made in the image and likeness of God. Students in the 8th grade participate in special classes that focus on curriculum preparing them for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Students who complete this coursework and go on to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation at St. Cecilia Parish do not need to attend all the classes, but rather partake in the retreat and community building activities only.
Middle School Language Arts is based on the three core components of Writing, Reading and Speaking. Every unit is designed to meet the criteria outlined in the Archdiocesan Curriculum Guide which meets or exceeds the Oregon State Standards. The writing component allows students the opportunity to practice all forms of writing including narrative, poetry, autobiographical, biographical, journalism and the like. There is heavy emphasis on high school preparatory writing: essays, short essay answers, reports, and research papers. The goal for each graduating eighth grade student is to be fully prepared to write successfully in high school. The reading component allows students the opportunity to read a variety of literature including short stories, poetry, novels, and the like through all the appropriate genres. Students study literary elements and themes. Students learn how to respond to what they read through discussion, writing, reporting, and projects. The speaking component allows students the opportunity to gain oral proficiency through debate, a variety of presentation styles, and The Vocabulary Workshop series. Students work on building oral and written vocabulary as well. Language Arts also incorporates technology. Students in the 7th and 8th grade use their tablet devices for writing, researching, and reading texts and novels. All students use technology to develop a variety of communication pieces including word processing, and presentations.
Middle school students are all split into two smaller sized math classes. Students in grade 6 are just split into two smaller groups so that there is a smaller teacher to student ratio. Students in grade 7 and 8 are divided into an accelerated math group or a regular math group. There are specific criteria that students need to meet to be placed in the accelerated group. All 7th grade students are placed in pre-algebra math. All 8th grade students are placed in algebra. The pace of learning the material is what distinguishes one group from the other. Ultimately, the curriculum covered is the same. All students use a digital textbook and platform where they access their homework, receive immediate feedback and even have the ability to click on video resources to reteach them anything they misunderstood from class or missed on a day they were absent.
St. Cecilia Middle School Science is a hands-on three year integrated overview of Life, Physical and Earth Science. Students get a solid foundation in science investigation skills including observation, measurement and data collection, analysis, prediction, experiment design, research, evaluation, and written communication. In science, we work on building organizational skills needed for academic success. Evaluation of student progress is based on lab activities & homework assignments, written and performance assessments, lab reports, and special projects.
At St. Cecilia School, every middle school student is able to enjoy learning science both on and off campus. The middle school students take part in outdoor school trips, visiting the Hopkins demonstration forest, and partnering with OMSI for more hands on experiences. Additionally, the St. Cecilia Science Expo is a great annual event for our student researchers to present their scientific questions.
In the Sixth Grade class the world of Ancient History is explored. The Egyptians, Greeks, and Roman Empires are studied in detail along with the European Middle Ages and Renaissance age. In Seventh grade the students have the opportunity to look into cultures from around the world by studying Geography. When examining the different parts of our planet both the cultural and physical aspect explored. The Eighth grade class takes a close look at our countries past in U.S. History. Significant figures, and events are studied so that the students can draw a connection from our past to our future.