Junior High Curriculum Overview

At the beginning of each school year, students are assessed utilizing the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) to determine the course curriculum for each individual child for the upcoming year. Testing is done again in the middle and end of the year to determine if we are meeting the needs of each student.

Using students’ MAP benchmark assessments and the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) results from the end (spring) of the previous year, we focus on creating differentiated curricula and custom learning programs for each child.

To this end, our curriculum pulls resources from a variety of sources depending on the student’s needs. Below is an overview of materials and resources we use during the year:


Textbook: Blest Are We (RCL Benziger)

  • 7th Grade: The Life of Jesus
  • 8th Grade: Church History
  • Scripture Study
  • Church structure, the universal church, Church tradition
  • Stewardship
  • Social Justice
  • Service hour requirement
  • Called to Protect for Youth
  • Participate in spiritual activities and prayer
  • Host class Masses, Adoration in Chapel, Reconciliation
  • Saint presentation
  • Presentation of the Living Stations of the Cross
  • Participate in the “buddies” program; partner with a primary class to serve as role models and to foster a sense of community

Language Arts

  • Sadlier-Oxford Vocabulary Workshop Level B (7) Level C (8)
  • Literature-based curriculum
  • Accelerated Reader supplementary reading program
  • Novel studies focusing on literary analysis and literary elements*
  • Supplementary vocabulary program
  • Writing styles used in high school (Organization)
  • The Writing Revolution, Hochman and Wexler
  • The writing process (prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing)
  • Writing applications (analytical, persuasive, expository and narrative)
  • Editing & journaling experiences
  • Steps to Good Grammar (Walch Publishing)
  • Greek and Latin roots

*7th Grade Novels
Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
The Giver by Lois Lowry

*8th Grade Novels
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
The Orphan Collector by Ellen Marie Wiseman
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Mathematics — 7th Grade

Textbook: Connected Mathematics Project Grade 7

Connected Mathematics Project (CMP) is a problem-based curriculum. Students' active participation is central to learning, and lessons consist of launch, explore, and summarize phases. Students will typically solve one problem per day.

  • Generalizing and Using Properties of Geometric Shapes
  • Operations with Rational Numbers (integers, fractions, decimals, mixed numbers)
  • Developing Proportional Reasoning in the Context of Similarity (Scale Drawings)
  • Developing Proportional Reasoning in the Context of Number (Quantities)
  • Linear Relationships, Expressions, and Equations
  • Developing Proportional Relationships in the Context of Probability
  • Three-Dimensional Measurement
  • Making Comparisons and Predictions – More Proportionality

Pre-Algebra/Algebra — 8th Grade

Textbook: Connected Mathematics Project Grade 8

Connected Mathematics Project (CMP) is a problem-based curriculum. Students' active participation is central to learning, and lessons consist of launch, explore, and summarize phases. Students will typically solve one problem per day.

  • Linear Functions and Bivariate Data
  • The Pythagorean Theorem
  • Exponential Expressions and Exponential Functions, Non-Linear Functions
  • Quadratic Functions, Distributive Property and Equivalent Expressions*
  • Exploring Transformation
  • Reasoning with Equivalent Expressions and Equations
  • Systems of Linear Equations and Inequalities
  • An Algebra/Function Summary*

*Units considered algebra will be offered to students demonstrating algebra readiness.

Social Studies

Textbook: Savvas Learning Company’s My World Interactive: American History (7 & 8)

  • The social studies curriculum focuses on an in-depth study of American history spanning seventh- and eighth-grade years.
  • Topics include:
    • The Early Americas and European Exploration and Colonization
    • The Revolutionary Era
    • A Constitution for the United States
    • The Early Republic
    • The Age of Jackson and Westward Expansion
    • Society and Culture Before the Civil War
    • The Reconstruction Era
    • Industrial and Economic Growth


Textbook: McGraw-Hill Integrated Science (7/8)

Workbook: NextGen Science: Simple Solutions (7/8)

  • Introduce (7) and develop (8) the scientific process by using claim, evidence, and reasoning skills.
  • Observe, collect data, and generate hypotheses (7/8)
  • Study states of matter (7)
  • Cycling of matter (7)
  • Plate tectonics (7)
  • Cell structures and homeostasis (7)
  • Evaluate interactions in the living world (7)
  • Emphasize development and analysis of conclusions (8)
  • Observe and discuss chemical reactions (8)
  • Geological Time (8)
  • Synthesize knowledge in content area (8)
  • Utilize reliable sources, linking real-world science (8)
  • Study topics of forces and motion (Newton’s Laws) (7)
  • Changes through time, evolution, and genetics (8)
  • Natural hazards and geological events (8)
  • Model and integrate scientific concepts; utilize engineering processes by developing, using, and revising models to describe, test, and predict more abstract phenomena and design systems 7 & 8

STREAM (science, technology, religion, engineering, art, and math)

  • Scheduled classes 2 times a week
  • Create videos, web pages, 3D models, and computer programs
  • Develop internet research skills
  • Utilize WeVideo, TinkerCAD, and other software
  • Research applications in all subjects
  • Receive instruction in spreadsheet, presentation, database, and word processing tools
  • Use of Google applications and resources
  • Read more information about our STREAM program


Our classrooms are equipped with 1:1 student Chromebooks and a OneScreen touchscreen. We use the following technology-based programs in various subjects:

  • IXL (reading and math)
  • Accelerated Reader
  • Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Sheets, and more

Discipline with Purpose Skills

  • Listening
  • Following Instructions
  • Asking Questions
  • Sharing
  • Social Skills
  • Cooperation
  • Understanding rules
  • Completing a task
  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Organization
  • Resolving problems
  • Initiating solutions
  • Facts vs. feelings
  • Service to others

Student Learning Expectations (LASER Skills)

  • Life Long Learner
  • Active Catholic
  • Self-Aware Individual
  • Effective Communicator
  • Responsible Citizen


Students attend at least one of the various enrichment classes each day:

  • Physical Education
  • Spanish
  • Art