Middle School Academics

The formative years of Middle School present a challenging time, full of rich experiences and learning. During this time, our faculty continues to build on the foundations established during Early Childhood and Lower School, while assisting students in expanding their academic skills, personal faith, service to the community and personal development. It is our goal for our graduates to be fully prepared for high school and beyond as Scholars and Gentlemen.

Our Middle School program includes overnight trips designed to enhance the curriculum. Fifth and sixth graders spend three days at Camp Champions-The Outdoor School. In seventh grade, Texas history comes alive as students visit San Antonio and Austin and experience firsthand what they have studied in Texas History. Our eighth graders revisit American History as they travel to Boston, Massachusetts for five days each spring.

Students experience many “firsts” in Middle School, including changing classes throughout the day, learning how to use a locker, honing organizational skills and experiencing our Advisory Program. Beginning in sixth grade, students use laptops throughout their classes.

Middle School Curriculum


Fifth Grade

Advisory Program

A system of small groups that meet once a week for the purpose of educating and caring for the whole student. These groups help foster a meaningful relationship with one adult in the school and a small peer group. Advisory lessons are designed to teach skills in the areas of responsibility, good judgment, self-discipline, service, respect for others, and other age level appropriate lessons centered around character development. They are generated by the Regis advisory committee and are tailored to meet the needs of the students of each grade level both proactively and reactively. The Advisory program at Regis plays a critical role in the middle school’s student support services.

English/Language Arts

Fifth grade English strives to build writers who refine their own writing. Students continue to expand their vocabulary and study parts of speech and writing conventions working toward mastery. There are many opportunities for expression through informal writing times. One highlight of the year is participating in the Writers in the Schools (WITS) program. The course includes an introduction to literary elements and analysis. The boys also read books outside of class to meet Accelerated Reading goals. Fifth grade ELA is a core academic class that meets five times a week.

Mathematics

Solidification of the basic mathematical concepts and computational skills and preparing the students for algebraic thinking are the primary focus in 5th grade. Math In Focus curriculum strengthens the mathematics concepts learned in elementary school while introducing new topics, including: decimals, variables, equations, data analysis, probability, and an introduction to integers. There is also an emphasis on problem solving and logical thinking. Fifth grade mathematics is taught daily.

Math and Reading Enrichment

We are pleased to have a Math Specialist, Math Resource Teacher, and Reading Specialist as members of our Regis faculty. These content area specialists partner closely with classroom teachers in all grade levels to further support all that our boys are learning. Our specialists are actively involved in daily classroom instruction and also instruct students in our STEM Lab, Math Institute, and the Cogan Reading Room.

Foreign Languages

Students are exposed to three foreign languages throughout the year. The boys study one language daily throughout the year, rotating through French, Spanish, and Latin. Each course offers an introduction to the language and culture where students are exposed to the languages’ sound systems and common vocabulary. The study of the Latin language includes making connections to words studied in English, French, and Spanish; the people and traditions of the Roman Empire; and the Roman Catholic Church’s connection to Latin. Spanish and French have a major emphasis on oral communication. Foreign Language instruction takes place daily.

Science

Students engage in hands-on science learning that emphasizes critical thinking and science process skills using the FOSS and Baylor College of Medicine science curriculum kits. Inquiry experiences guide the students in building their content knowledge. During this year, the students explore the topics of landforms, levers and pulleys, and weather and water. Science is taught daily.

Social Studies

Fifth Grade Social Studies students study the story of the place and people during the early history of the United States. This includes topics such as geography, Native Americans, explorers, colonization, the American Revolution, the development of the United States government, expansion and the Civil War. Throughout the year, students learn how to use the text book and additional resources to put together the story of the time, place, and people being studied. Social studies meets daily.

Religion

Fifth grade Religion seeks to deepen the students’ understanding of the truths of our faith contained in the study of the sacraments, the life of Jesus, the Sacred Heart Goals, and in the community of the Church. The students study the history of each of the sacraments and learn about being a member of the body of Christ. Religion is taught daily.

Art

Technology in art is a big focus for fifth grade. They will create works of art using photography, digital media, design thinking, ceramics, drawing, and more. These skills will be tied into the art elements and principles of design that the boys have been focusing on while in the lower grade levels.

Technology

In fifth grade, students learn the basic computer applications used in the curriculum of the other middle school courses. This includes an introduction to the Microsoft Suite (Word, Excel, and Power Point) and reinforces keyboarding skills. Students meet for computer instruction once a week throughout the year.

Music

Students continue to learn basic music notation while developing a rich repertoire of folk, patriotic, multicultural, and seasonal songs. Using Solfège Syllables and Curwen Hand Signs to sing scale-tone melodies, the boys continue to hone their musical skills. Students perform in our annual Christmas program and sing at liturgies and prayer services. Music class is taught once per week.

Physical Education

Fifth grade physical education develops individual athletic skills, introduces the rules and skills of team sports, and promotes overall fitness. Throughout the year, the boys practice skills to help them maintain good cardiovascular health and overall fitness. Before each Regis athletic season, the boys are introduced to that season’s sport: soccer at the beginning of the year, basketball in the late fall and rugby in the winter. In addition, the boys learn the skills and rules for football, baseball, and track. Physical education meets three days a week throughout the year.

Study Skills

Fifth grade Study Skills lessons instruct students in successful study habit and test-taking strategies. The students learn strategies for successfully answering true/false, essay, multiple choice, and fill-in-the-blank questions. Students learn how to be more productive and time efficient during their study time. Additionally, students reflect on and evaluate their work while setting short and long-term goals. Students meet for Study Skills instruction once a week throughout the year.

Sixth Grade

Advisory Program

A system of small groups that meet once a week for the purpose of educating and caring for the whole student. These groups help foster a meaningful relationship with one adult in the school and a small peer group. Advisory lessons are designed to teach skills in the areas of responsibility, good judgment, self-discipline, service, respect for others, and other age level appropriate lessons centered around character development. They are generated by the Regis advisory committee and are tailored to meet the needs of the students of each grade level both proactively and reactively. The Advisory program at Regis plays a critical role in the middle school’s student support services.

English/Language Arts

Sixth grade ELA focuses on continuing to build writers who refine their own work, including vocabulary development, grammar, and writing. The vocabulary program continues with the next level, and the study of grammar focuses on how the use of correct grammar helps writing be clear, correct and interesting. There are many opportunities for expression through informal writing times and discussion. The course also builds on the introduction to literary elements and analysis begun in fifth grade. Students write, discuss, and synthesize information into projects in response to novels studied in class. The boys also read books outside of class to meet Accelerated Reading goals. Sixth grade ELA is a core academic class that meets five times a week.

Mathematics

Sixth grade mathematics is a time to solidify the computational skills of the boys while preparing them for algebraic thinking. This course focuses on strengthening previously learned mathematical concepts while introducing new topics such as exponents, simple equations, integers, multiplication/division of fractions, rates, ratios, percents, and a development of statistical analysis. There is also a heavy emphasis on problem solving and logical thinking. The Regis School utilizes the In Focus Math program, which is a Singapore Math system which engages students through technology, hands-on learning, and written activities. The Accelerated Math program helps reinforce previously learned concepts and allows for different learning styles. Mathematics is taught daily.

Math and Reading Enrichment

We are pleased to have a Math Specialist, Math Resource Teacher, and Reading Specialist as members of our Regis faculty. These content area specialists partner closely with classroom teachers in all grade levels to further support all that our boys are learning. Our specialists are actively involved in daily classroom instruction and also instruct students in our STEM Lab, Math Institute, and the Cogan Reading Room.

Foreign Languages

Beginning in sixth grade, students choose one language on which to concentrate their study through eighth grade. Sixth grade foreign language classes meet four times a week throughout the year.

French: Sixth grade French is a formalized study of the language and culture. It assists students in developing grammatical accuracy, while at the same time working on oral and written proficiency. The students carry on beginning level conversations integrating new vocabulary and begin to formulate questions and answers in present and future tenses.

Latin: Sixth grade Latin explores the language through stories of ancient Rome. Students are encouraged to see the similarities in sentence structure and many English vocabulary words.

Spanish: Sixth grade Spanish focuses on building proficiency in the Spanish language through the knowledge and practice of correct grammatical rules, phonic awareness, and vocabulary reinforcement. Students become familiar with Latin American cultures through a variety of activities, crafts, programs, and presentations.

Science

Students engage in hands-on science learning that emphasizes critical thinking and science process skills using the FOSS and Baylor College of Medicine science curriculum kits as well as the online Glencoe textbook, Earth Science. Inquiry experiences guide the students in building their content knowledge. During this course, the students explore planetary science, earth history, and electronics and robotics. Science is taught daily.

Social Studies

Sixth grade Social Studies is an overview of the world’s history. It gives an understanding of the emergence of the modern world through the study of its past. This course examines the social, political, economic, and geographic aspects of the world at large. A strong emphasis is placed on connecting the past to current events. Social Studies is taught daily.

Religion

The emphasis of the sixth grade program is the study of the Old Testament as the revelation of God in the history of His people. The students utilize their text, the Catechism, the Bible, small group study, and prayer journal entries to enhance and expand their understanding of these subjects. While continually incorporating the Sacred Heart Goals, the students also learn about lives of the saints, examine the sacraments, and study the importance of religious holy days as they occur during the year. Religion is taught daily.

Fine Arts

Beginning in sixth grade, students experience an in-depth trimester of study in each of three fine arts: visual arts, drama, and music. Fine arts classes meet three times a week.

Art: In sixth grade, the boys will learn to demonstrate technical skills effectively using a variety of art media and materials to produce drawings, paintings, prints, sculptures, fiber-art, photographic imagery, and electronic media-generated art. They will illustrate these skills through themes from direct observation, personal experience, and traditional events. Students meet for art instruction once a week throughout the year.

Drama: Sixth grade drama focuses on developing and guiding the students in a method-based approach to the craft of acting. Lessons enable them to tap into their own sense of identity through the creation of a character and the telling of a story. The students increase their confidence in performance and public speaking. The drama trimester culminates with a performance.

Music: In sixth grade music, students develop their skills through studying theory, instruments, singing, creating and composing, and preparing for music performances. Additionally, brass hand bells are introduced in sixth grade. Technology is incorporated using a variety of music software as well as having the students create their own music video.

Technology

The laptop program begins in sixth grade. Students use their new laptop computers to learn the applications used in other middle school courses. This includes introducing the iLife Suite (iPhoto, iMovie, and Garage Band) and iWorks (Keynote, Numbers, and Pages) as well as reinforcing skills learned in the Microsoft Suite (Word, Excel, and Power Point). Students meet for computer instruction once a week throughout the year.

Health

Sixth grade health uses the Healthy Lifestyle Choices curriculum based on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), School Health Education Resources (SHER) initiative, and National Health Education Standards. This comprehensive program focuses on overall mental, physical, and emotional health. It encourages positive health behaviors and guides students in becoming advocates for their own health. Health class meets once a week.

Physical Education

Sixth grade physical education develops individual athletic skills, introduces the rules and skills of team sports, and promotes overall fitness. Throughout the year, the boys practice skills to help them maintain good cardiovascular health and overall fitness. Before each Regis athletic season, the boys are introduced to that season’s sport: soccer at the beginning of the year, basketball in the late fall and rugby in the winter. In addition, the boys learn the skills and rules for football, baseball, and track. Physical education meets three days a week throughout the year.

Seventh Grade

Advisory Program

A system of small groups that meet once a week for the purpose of educating and caring for the whole student. These groups help foster a meaningful relationship with one adult in the school and a small peer group. Advisory lessons are designed to teach skills in the areas of responsibility, good judgment, self-discipline, service, respect for others, and other age level appropriate lessons centered around character development. They are generated by the Regis advisory committee and are tailored to meet the needs of the students of each grade level both proactively and reactively. The Advisory program at Regis plays a critical role in the middle school’s student support services.

English/Literature

This seventh grade course focuses on vocabulary development, reading comprehension, review and reinforcement of basic grammar usage, and essential writing skills. The students learn the general skills and strategies of the writing process and how to use grammatical and mechanical conventions in written composition. They write journal entries and papers as well as complete projects each trimester. One highlight of the year is participating in the Writers in the Schools program. The students also practice reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of texts. They read one to two books as a class each trimester as well as being required to read Accelerated Reader books outside of class. English/literature is a core academic class that meets eight times a week.

Mathematics

Seventh grade mathematics continues the development of skills previously learned, building an understanding of the underlying principles of algebra and geometry. Topics include absolute value, equations, positive and negative exponents, indirect measurements, integers, percent, probability, and ratios. Through pictures, charts, graphs, and models, students make connections between concepts and explore and discover the importance of mathematics in daily life. Mathematics is a core academic class that meets six times a week.

Math and Reading Enrichment

We are pleased to have a Math Specialist, Math Resource Teacher, and Reading Specialist as members of our Regis faculty. These content area specialists partner closely with classroom teachers in all grade levels to further support all that our boys are learning. Our specialists are actively involved in daily classroom instruction and also instruct students in our STEM Lab, Math Institute, and the Cogan Reading Room.

Foreign Languages

Seventh grade students continue the focused study of the foreign language chosen in sixth grade. Seventh grade foreign language classes meet four times a week throughout the year.

French: Seventh grade French is a continuation of the formalized study of the French language and culture. It assists students in developing grammatical accuracy, while at the same time working on oral and written proficiency. The students carry on beginning level conversations integrating new vocabulary and formulate questions and answers in past, present, and future tenses.

Latin: Seventh grade Latin explores the language through stories of ancient Rome. Students are encouraged to see the similarities in sentence structure and many words in English.

Spanish: Seventh grade Spanish focuses on building proficiency in Spanish language through the knowledge and practice of correct grammatical rules, phonic awareness, and vocabulary reinforcement. Students become familiar with Latin American cultures through a variety of activities, crafts, programs, and presentations.

Science

Seventh grade students engage in hands-on science learning that emphasizes critical thinking and science process skills using the FOSS and Baylor College of Medicine science curriculum kits as well as the online Glencoe textbook, Life Science. During this course, the students explore cells, diversity of life, classification of living things, living systems, and ecosystems. Science is taught daily.

Social Studies

This course develops the seventh grade student’s historical knowledge about the unique formation of Texas and how the state continues to fit with the larger context of the national and international scene. The scope and sequence of Texas history begins with early exploration and colonization, moves through formation of Texas as a republic, and continues through to the modern Texas era. Emphasis is placed on the unique, multicultural character of the state along with the geographic factors that shape its course. Social Studies is taught daily.

Religion

The course of study for seventh grade religion is the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The course covers the teachings of Jesus during His public ministry and the sacraments He instituted. Additionally, the textual material presents Jesus’ challenge to each person to follow Him, to become His disciple, and to live His teachings. The boys are continually encouraged to incorporate the five Sacred Heart Goals in their daily lives. Seventh grade religion is taught daily.

Fine Arts

Seventh grade students experience an in-depth trimester of study in each of three fine arts: visual arts, drama, and music. Fine arts classes meet three times a week.

Art: The principles of design become more prominent as the boys develop their art skills throughout seventh grade. The boys will be asked to illustrate ideas from direct observation, imagination, personal experience, and school and community events. They will produce drawings, paintings, prints, sculptures, fiber-art, photographic imagery, and electronic media-generated art using a variety of materials and tools in traditional and experimental ways.

Drama: Students gain an appreciation for the importance of acting as a way to both entertain and enlighten audiences about the human experience. The course focuses on developing and guiding the students in a method-based approach to the craft of acting, enabling them to tap into their own sense of identity and expand on this sense of self in the creation of a character and the telling of a story. The students increase their confidence in performance and public speaking, creating work that is inspired and powerful. The drama trimester culminates in a performance.

Music: Seventh grade music focuses on advancing the boys’ technical skills and knowledge as well as allowing them to discover new talents. Students experience music by studying theory, instruments, singing, creating and composing, and preparing for music performances. Technology is incorporated using a variety of music software as well as having the students create their own music video. Brass hand bells are continued in seventh grade.

Technology

Students use their laptop computers to begin to master the applications used in other middle school courses. These include the Microsoft Suite (Word, Excel, and Power Point), the iLife Suite (iPhoto, iMovie, and Garage Band) and iWorks (Keynote, Numbers, and Pages). Students meet for computer instruction once a week throughout the year.

Health

Seventh grade health uses the Healthy Lifestyle Choices curriculum based on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), School Health Education Resources (SHER) initiative, and National Health Education Standards. This comprehensive program focuses on overall mental, physical, and emotional health. It encourages positive health behaviors and guides students in becoming advocates for their own health. Health class meets once a week.

Physical Education

Seventh grade physical education develops individual athletic skills, covers the rules and skills of team sports, and promotes overall fitness. Throughout the year, the boys practice skills to help them maintain good cardiovascular health and overall fitness. Before each Regis athletic season, the boys review that season’s sport, soccer at the beginning of the year, basketball in the late fall, and Rugby in the winter. In addition, the boys learn the skills and rules for football, baseball, and track. Physical education meets two days a week throughout the year.

Eighth Grade

Advisory Program

A system of small groups that meet once a week for the purpose of educating and caring for the whole student. These groups help foster a meaningful relationship with one adult in the school and a small peer group. Advisory lessons are designed to teach skills in the areas of responsibility, good judgment, self-discipline, service, respect for others, and other age level appropriate lessons centered around character development. They are generated by the Regis advisory committee and are tailored to meet the needs of the students of each grade level both proactively and reactively. The Advisory program at Regis plays a critical role in the middle school’s student support services.

English/Literature

This eighth grade course focuses on vocabulary development, reading comprehension, review and reinforcement of basic grammar usage, and essential writing skills. The students learn the general skills and strategies of the writing process, how to use grammatical and mechanical conventions in written composition, and how to use reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of texts. They read one to two books per trimester as a class and are required to read Accelerated Reader books outside of class. The students write journal entries and papers as well as complete projects each trimester. English/Literature is taught eight times a week.

Mathematics

Algebra: Algebra serves as a foundation aimed toward exposing students to the continued study of higher mathematics in high school. Students develop an understanding of variables, expression, and equations and their use in problem solving. The course also explores the foundations of algebra through the study of basic axioms, definitions, and properties. Algebra is taught six times a week.

Pre-Algebra: Eighth grade pre-algebra reviews previous material and continues to further the students’ computational proficiency while developing mastery of basic number concepts. The curriculum includes solving equations with fractions and decimals, solving and graphing inequalities, graphing linear equations, and solving motion and work problems. Pre-algebra is taught six times a week.

Math and Reading Enrichment

We are pleased to have a Math Specialist, Math Resource Teacher, and Reading Specialist as members of our Regis faculty. These content area specialists partner closely with classroom teachers in all grade levels to further support all that our boys are learning. Our specialists are actively involved in daily classroom instruction and also instruct students in our STEM Lab, Math Institute, and the Cogan Reading Room.

Foreign Languages

Eighth grade students continue the focused study of the foreign language they chose. Eighth grade foreign language classes meet four times a week throughout the year.

French: Eighth grade French is a continuation of the formalized study of the French language and culture. It assists students in developing grammatical accuracy, while at the same time working on oral and written proficiency. The students read and discuss short stories to practice conversations integrating new vocabulary. French grammar focuses on past, present, and future tenses.

Latin: Eighth grade Latin continues the study of vocabulary and grammar using the Cambridge Latin Course, Unit 2, supplemented by Wheelock’s Latin. Building on their study of culture and history in sixth and seventh grade Latin, eighth grade focuses specifically on the Imperial period of Roman history.

Spanish: Spanish in eighth grade is designed to give students a complete Level I high school course at the middle school level. It is a continuation of the formalized study of the Spanish language and cultures and assists students in developing grammatical accuracy, while at the same time working toward oral and written proficiency.

Science

Eighth grade students engage in hands-on science learning that emphasizes scientific thinking and science process skills using the FOSS and Baylor College of Medicine science curriculum kits as well as the online Glencoe textbook, Introduction to Physical Science. The goal of the course is for students to experience science and develop their understanding and knowledge of the natural world, to engage in scientific thinking and processes, and to communicate in a scientific manner. During this course, students are introduced to both chemistry and physics. Science is taught daily.

Social Studies

This course is an overview of United States history, government, and politics. The scope and sequence of this curriculum begins with European exploration and discovery of the New World, continues through American Independence and ends with the Civil War and Reconstruction era. An added component of this course is the study and discussion of current events through the use of contemporary media. Additionally, through chronological study, this course examines the social, political, economic, and geographic aspects of the United States. Social Studies is taught daily.

Religion

This course focuses on the teachings and traditions of the Church as well as Church history from its beginning at Pentecost. Topics include nourishing God’s gift of faith, ancestors in faith, what it means to be Catholic, Catholic morality, Catholic social teaching, and liturgical seasons of
the Church. The boys are continually encouraged to incorporate the five Sacred Heart Goals in their daily lives. Religion is taught daily.

Fine Arts

Eighth grade students experience an in-depth trimester of study in each of three fine arts: visual arts, drama and music. Fine arts classes meet three times a week.

Art: Students will select appropriate art materials and tools to interpret subjects or themes when producing drawings, paintings, prints, sculptures, photography/film making, and electronic media-generated art both traditionally and experimentally. They will apply design skills to their art to communicate effectively ideas and thoughts in everyday life. Students meet for art instruction once a week throughout the year.

Drama: In eighth grade drama, the students gain an appreciation for the importance of acting as a way to both entertain and enlighten audiences about the human experience. The course focuses on a method-based approach to acting. The students increase their confidence in performance and public speaking. The drama trimester culminates with a performance.

Music: Eighth grade music focuses on advancing the boys’ technical skills and knowledge as well as allowing them to discover new talents. During the focused trimester in Music, students will experience music through studying theory, instruments, singing, creating and composing, and preparing for music performances. Technology is incorporated using a variety of music software as well as having the students create their own music video. Additionally, brass hand bells are continued.

Technology

In eighth grade, students complete projects demonstrating their mastery of the applications used in other middle school courses. These include the Microsoft Suite (Word, Excel, and Power Point), the iLife Suite (iPhoto, iMovie, and Garage Band) and iWorks (Keynote, Numbers, and Pages). Students meet for computer instruction once a week throughout the year.

Health

Eighth grade health uses the Healthy Lifestyle Choices curriculum based on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), School Health Education Resources (SHER) initiative, and National Health Education Standards. This comprehensive program focuses on overall mental, physical, and emotional health. It encourages positive health behaviors and guides students in becoming advocates for their own health. Health class meets once a week.

Physical Education

Physical Education develops individual athletic skills, covers the rules and skills of team sports, and promotes overall fitness. Throughout the year, the boys practice skills to help them maintain good cardiovascular health and overall fitness. Before each Regis athletic season, the boys review that season’s sport, soccer at the beginning of the year, basketball in the late fall, and rugby in the winter. In addition, the boys learn the skills and rules for football, baseball, and track. Physical Education meets two days a week throughout the year.

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