Our Middle Grades program uses an original curriculum and focuses on building literacy across content areas, developing critical thinking, and learning how to learn together. Because we focus on building students’ abilities to think and communicate logically and analytically, our students excel in reading, writing, and math.
Additionally, we use a unique programming mechanism called Triple E, which stands for Enrichment, Extended Learning Time, and Electives. During this period, students might take creative writing, algebra, or mock trial. For more information about Triple E, please contact the administration.
Clinton’s academic program is focused on preparing all students for the IB Diploma Programme in 11th and 12th grade. We support students in preparing for the Extended Essay starting in 6th grade with a scaled down essay of 1,000 words, and we carry this work all the way through to entry into the IB program in 11th grade. Students ultimately complete a 4,000 word research paper, largely independently, by the start of 12th grade. Our students take Regents courses in 8th, 9th, and 10th grades.
Below, we outline academic subjects.
The end goal of our Social Studies curriculum, from 6-12, is to develop critical readers, writers, and thinkers who can see complex issue from multiple perspectives.
Social Studies at the middle grades level begins by connecting students’ own cultures and communities with those around the world. In 6th grade, students examine the development of societies through a global lens. In 7th and 8th grades, students explore what it means to be an American and how that identity has changed over time. The curricula is thematic, bringing students from the pre-Columbian time period through to the present. There is a focus on analyzing primary and secondary source documents in order to articulate and support an argument in a variety of formats, such as debates, Socratic seminars, argumentative essays, and performances.
Our students will be stepping into adulthood in a world that changes dramatically at an ever-quickening pace. The science courses at Clinton are designed to help students construct knowledge of the natural world, as well as learn how to engage in the process of scientific discovery. Every science class has a lab once a week in order to provide more time for students to work on inquiry-based and hands-on laboratory experiments.
Middle grade students are introduced to several different disciplines of science over the years. Every middle grades course begins science with a short unit about Scientific Inquiry so students can learn how to think critically and design experiments like scientists. Throughout the year, sixth grade students continue on to study Simple and Complex Machines, Forces and Motion Biodiversity, and Interdependence. Seventh graders continue on to study Matter and Energy, the Human Body, Genetics, and Dynamic Equilibrium in Plants and Animals. Eighth graders study Earth Science, including Planetary Science, Geology, Weather and the Human Impact on the Environment. At the end of eighth grade, students take the Earth Science Regents.
Our focus revolves around developing a deep understanding of algebra and the foundational concepts that allow students to succeed in upper level mathematics. Our classes frequently involve difficult contextual problems that challenge students to apply their mathematical knowledge in new ways. This can lead to frustration and a sense of uncertainty, but it is our strong belief that the deepest learning happens through supported struggle. Our central hope is that students show perseverance when attempting problems. We use the Connected Mathematics Project (CMP3) curriculum, which allows and encourages students to discover and experience concepts. Our classes center around collaboration and group discussion as we believe that students learn best from each other.
All students in the eighth grade are given the opportunity to take the Algebra 1 Regents exam. Our eighth grade curriculum is centered around the expectation that all students can be successful on this exam.
English Language Arts
Our ELA courses spiral across the grade levels, meaning that all courses are designed using the Common Core as a foundation. At each grade level, students read, write, and discuss a wide variety of genres and all grade levels study a piece by Shakespeare.
The 6th grade ELA course fosters independence and responsibility – as readers, writers, and learners – as students transition from elementary to middle school. Students create good habits of learning (“Hawk Habits”) that will carry students through the middle-school years and beyond. This course cultivates life-long readers and writers, teaches students how to speak with accountability and respect, and challenges students with academically rigorous material and high expectations.
What are we going to learn in 7th grade ELA?
Our theme for the year is “What is Truth?” We will explore this idea in a variety of contexts. We have begun the year by looking at how our experiences create personal truths and we’ll end the year by looking at how adaptations maintain the truth or the integrity of a story.
What types of writing will we do?
We are currently working on memoir as we explore our personal truths. We will also tackle historical fiction short stories, feature articles, monologues, book talks, persuasive essays, timed writing prompts, poetry, and graphic short story adaptations.
In this course, students will engage in rigorous literacy practices that will enable them to access meaning in texts with varying degrees of complexity, to write with clarity and effectiveness, and to collaborate with others through discussion. Each student will come to know that he or she is the key influence in his or her learning and will assume higher levels of responsibility for success.
In this class, students will develop basic listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills that will enable them to communicate about themselves, their friends, and their family in a foreign language. Students will also investigate aspects of culture and acquire study skills important for language learning.
Middle Grade Athletics:
Girls Volleyball (Fall)
Flag Football (Fall)
Boys and Girls Basketball (Winter)
Track & Field (Spring)
Ultimate Frisbee (Spring)
Girls Softball (Spring)