Junior High Curriculum Overview

The Junior High teachers foster an atmosphere of respect and integrity in our junior high students, which is evident when you meet them. The Discipline with Purpose school-wide program is employed to encourage responsibility and respect in our students. The last DWP skill of service to others is particularly emphasized in seventh and eighth grade.

Students also attend enrichment classes taught by certified teachers for Library, Art, and Physical Education.

Sixth through eighth grade are years of growing responsibility in preparation for high school. Students transition between various rooms for instruction; these years are the bridge between junior high school and high school. The students learn to study, take notes, and are fully responsible for their learning. They are taught and challenged to advocate for themselves.

At St. John Bosco, students are explicitly taught the Student Learning Expectations, known as LASER Skills: Life-Long Learners, Active Catholics, Self-Aware Individuals, Effective Communicators and Responsible Citizens. Developed on campus from grades Pre-K through grade 8, mastery of each skill is expected upon completion of eighth grade. They are defined as what students should know, understand, value and achieve by graduation.

Student planners are mandatory in seventh and eighth grade. Regular checks occur to ensure students have mastered the necessary habit of recording both short and long term assignments. In junior high, students practice the skills of goal-setting and time management, life-long skills that create independent, efficient and successful young men and women.

The Junior High team is dedicated to educating the whole child. Students are taught to strive for academic excellence and to instill the lifelong joy of serving others, all within the traditions of our Catholic faith. Through weekly junior high team meetings, weekly newsletters and RenWeb, an electronic grade book portal, consistent weekly communications between junior high teachers as well as parents, the primary educators, result in complete curriculum. Our students routinely test into honors courses and our alumni report being highly prepared for high school.

In addition to a wonderful faculty and staff, the teachers and students, are blessed with numerous resources including SmartBoards, one to one iPads and the Schoology learning delivery system. To enhance differentiated instruction, students utilize Accelerated Reader and Accelerated Math programs in addition to curriculum specific field trips.

Junior high teaches based on Diocese of Phoenix Curriculum Guidelines that include:

Religion 6/7/8

  • Textbook: Blest Are We
  • Scripture study
  • Church structure, the universal church
  • Stewardship
  • Gospel Value (6th – Focus on Scripture)
  • Gospel Value (8th – Trust in God)
  • Gospel Value (7th – Compassion)
  • Social Justice
  • Church History
  • Old Testament and New Testament Scripture
  • Coordinated service hours
  • Called to Protect for Youth
  • Support the Adopt-a-Family program
  • Participate in spiritual activities and prayer Lead Holy Thursday’s Stations of the Cross
  • Adopt a Godchild from Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos
  • Host class Masses, Adoration in Chapel, Reconciliation

English 6/7/8

  • Textbook: Prentice Hall’s Literature: Journeys (6)
  • Textbook: Prentice Hall’s Writing and Grammar (6)
  • Textbook: Prentice Hall’s Literature: Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes and Writing and Grammar – Bronze (7) and Silver (8)
  • Excellence in Writing Program
  • Sitton Spelling Program
  • 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
  • Easy Grammar emphasis on: Parts of speech, Sentence diagramming and Issues in writing
  • Writing styles used in high school (Organization)
  • 6 +1 Traits of Writing Focus
  • The writing process (prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing)
  • Writing applications (analytical, persuasive, expository and narrative)
  • Sitton Spelling Program
  • Editing & journaling experiences

Social Studies 6/7/8

  • Textbook: Prentice Hall's History of the World (6)
  • Focus on World History (6)
  • Textbook: Prentice Hall’s America-History of Our Nation (7 & 8)
  • The social studies curriculum focuses on an in-depth study of American history spanning seventh and eighth grade years.
  • Topics include:
    • Beginnings of American History
    • The New Republic
    • The Nation Expands and Changes
    • Civil War and Reunion
    • An Age of Industry
    • Moving Toward the Future

Mathematics 6/7/8

The math curriculum consists of three courses that are aligned to the Diocesan Standards. The students are grouped by ability and will take two of these three courses during their seventh and eighth grade year in conjunction with the Accelerated Math program.

Mathematics (Course 2)

  • Textbook: Saxon Math by Houghton Mifflin (6)
  • Operations with integers, decimals, fractions and mixed numbers
  • Solving one-step algebraic equations
  • Organizing and displaying data, including stem-and-leaf plots, bar graphs, histograms, box-and-whisker plots, mean, median, mode and range
  • Geometry topics include angles, polygons, circles, perimeter, area, circumference

Pre-Algebra (Course 3)

  • Textbook: Saxon Math by Houghton Mifflin (7)
  • Principles of algebra, such as evaluating and writing algebraic expressions and equations
  • Operations with rational numbers (integers, fractions, decimals, mixed numbers)
  • Solving one-step and multi-step algebraic equations
  • Ratios, proportions, similar figures, and scale drawings
  • Percents – including relating percents to fractions and decimals, percent of change, applications with percents
  • Perimeter, area, volume, and surface area


  • Textbook: Saxon Math by Houghton Mifflin (8)
  • Solving multi-step equations and inequalities, including ones with grouping symbols, variables on both sides, or with absolute value or radicals
  • Functions and linear equations, writing and graphing each
  • Slope, slope-intercept form, point-slope form, midpoint and distance formula
  • Solving systems of equations and inequalities
  • Operating with and factoring polynomials
  • Properties of exponents
  • Using the quadratic formula

Science 6/7/8

  • Textbook: Glencoe Earth Science (6)
  • Focus on Earth Science (6)
  • Textbook: McGraw-Hill Integrated Science (7/8)
  • Introduce (7) and develop (8) the scientific process
  • Observations, data collection and generating hypothesis (7)
  • Study states of matter (7)
  • Analyze light, sound and electricity (7)
  • Study topics of oceanography, earth science and human body skeletons (7)
  • Evaluate interactions in 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)
  • Learn debating skills and how to utilize reliable sources (8)
  • Study topics of forces and motion (Newton’s Laws), changes through time and evolution, & sun and moon systems (8)
  • Attend Mars Student Imaging Project through ASU (8)

STREAM (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Art and Math)

  • Scheduled classes 3 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


  • TPRS: Teaching Proficiency through Reading & Storytelling, foreign language acquisition curriculum.
  • Knowledge of grammar rules in particular; gender, noun-adjective and subject-verb agreement and application.
  • Expand knowledge of verb conjugation to include verbs ser, estar and regular present tense verbs.
  • Gospel Value focus is equality.

Sixth Grade Photos

Eighth Grade Photos