Grade 6 – Grade 8
Development of religious knowledge – In junior high religion classes, our students focus on the history of the Catholic Church. In sixth grade the figures of the Old Testament are studied more in depth. Students learn about the Hebrews and the basis for the Catholic faith. The New Testament and the life of Jesus are the focus of the seventh grade year. Church history and learning about and receiving the sacrament of Confirmation are the focus for eighth grade. One of the highlights of eighth grade year is the production of the Living Stations of the Cross for school and parish members.
An attitude of service – In keeping with the teaching of service as a hallmark of the Church, junior high students are required to log service hours. Sixth graders must complete ten hours of service. In the seventh grade, students must perform twenty-five hours of service and in eighth grade, fifty hours of service. Service learning projects continue to be incorporated into the curriculum helping students make the connection that embracing their religion and faith can produce acts of service for others.
Content area classes – Our classes are small, and because our students have the same teachers all three years, a strong bond can grow between teachers and students. Classes are departmentalized and teachers are certified in their area of content. In addition, technology is a crucial part in student learning. On the junior high floor there are 50 Chromebooks available for student use. All content area classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboard technology. Classes incorporate web-based spelling and reading programs. The grade level math program uses Big Ideas Math, which has internet resources and tutorials for students to access. Beginning in sixth grade, students can test into an accelerated math program which allows them to take algebra, or possibly geometry, as eighth graders, with the opportunity to earn high school credit.
To ensure they are prepared in the area of language arts, junior high students take two periods of language arts each day. One class period is devoted to reading and the other to English grammar. Students are provided multiple experiences in public speaking, storytelling, and debate. Eighth graders are taught to write a detailed research paper in preparation for high school.
Saint Thomas offers a full-size teaching science lab where students have ample experiences with hands-on science activities. Students participate in a seventh grade science fair with the school winners moving on to Diocesan competition.
Other extras offered:
- Before-school and after-school homework assistance available
- Eighth grade play
- Academic competitions starting in sixth grade
- Student Council (Seventh and eighth grade students can run for Student Council office)
- 3D printing
Enrichment Classes – All junior high students participate in enrichment classes in the areas of physical education, music, art, library, Spanish, and computers on a weekly basis to learn skills in the various areas.