Middle School Academics

The formative years of Middle School are full of rich experiences and unique learning opportunities. During this time, our faculty continues to build upon the foundations established during Early Childhood and Lower School, while challenging our students to push their own limits and take risks. Being equipped to succeed in high school—as well as life in general— is only one aspect of a Middle School education. Our true goal is to shape individuals who will better our world, who are not afraid to test the limits, and who know how to overcome failure and move forward.

Our Middle School program includes overnight trips designed to enhance the curriculum and expand a student’s worldview. Fifth and sixth graders spend two days at Camp Allen to practice team building and participating in experiential learning. In seventh grade, Texas history comes alive as students visit San Antonio and Austin and experience firsthand what they have studied in the classroom. Our eighth graders revisit American History as they travel to Washington D.C. 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—beginning in 6th grade—becoming familiar with using a laptop for their coursework. The many “firsts” of Middle School often come with academic, social, and spiritual challenges. For this reason, each boy is assigned to an Advisor and Advisory group beginning in the 5th grade. These groups and their Advisor stay together for the entirety of their time in Middle School, sharing struggles, participating in team building, and constructing a support system.

Middle School Curriculum


English/Language Arts

5th Grade: 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. For the reading aspect, our students read two novels as a class. They also read one independent reading book each semester as a part of our Book Talks program for independent reading.  

6th Grade: 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. For the reading aspect, our students read three novels as a class. They also read one independent reading book each semester as a part of our Book Talks program for independent reading. 

7th Grade: Seventh grade ELA 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 semester. One highlight of the year is participating in the Writers in the Schools (WITS) program. Students practice reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of texts, reading four to five books as a class each year, as well as being required to choose independent reading books throughout the year as a part of our Book Talks program.  

8th Grade: Eighth grade ELA 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. Students practice reading skills and strategies, reading four to five books as a class each year, as well as being required to choose independent reading books throughout the year as a part of our Book Talks program. The students write journal entries and papers as well as complete projects each semester. 

Mathematics

5th Grade: In fifth grade, students solidify basic mathematical concepts and computational skills in preparation for algebraic thinking. The math curriculum strengthens the 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. 

6th Grade: Sixth grade mathematics is a time to solidify the computational skills of the students 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, percentages and a development of statistical analysis. There is also a heavy emphasis on problem solving and logical thinking. The Regis School utilizes components of various math programs to engage students through technology, hands-on learning and written activities. The Accelerated Math program helps reinforce previously learned concepts and allows for different learning styles. 

7th Grade: 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, percentages, 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. 

8th Grade: All 8th grade students take 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. 

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 students 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

5th Grade: Students are exposed to two foreign languages throughout the year, rotating through French and Spanish. Each course offers an introduction to the language and culture where students are exposed to the languages’ sound systems and common vocabulary.  

6th Grade: Beginning in sixth grade, students choose one language on which to concentrate their study through eighth grade. 

  • 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.  
  • 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. 

7th Grade: Seventh grade students continue the focused study of the foreign language chosen in sixth grade.  

  • 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. 
  • Spanish: Seventh 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. 

8th Grade: Eighth grade students continue the focused study of the foreign language they chose. 

  • 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. 
  • 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

5th Grade: Students engage in hands-on science learning that emphasizes critical thinking and science process skills using FOSS (Full Option Science System), Baylor College of Medicine science curriculum kits and the Rice University developed STEM-Scopes program. These 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. 

6th Grade: Students engage in hands-on science learning that emphasizes critical thinking and science process skills using FOSS (Full Option Science System), Baylor College of Medicine science curriculum kits and the Rice University developed STEM-Scopes program. These experiences guide the students in building their content knowledge. Inquiry experiences guide the students in building their content knowledge. During this course, the students explore planetary science, earth history, and electronics and robotics. 

7th Grade: Students engage in hands-on science learning that emphasizes critical thinking and science process skills using FOSS (Full Option Science System), Baylor College of Medicine science curriculum kits and the Rice University developed STEM-Scopes program. These experiences guide the students in building their content knowledge. During this course, the students explore cells, diversity of life, classification of living things, living systems and ecosystems. 

8th Grade: Students engage in hands-on science learning that emphasizes critical thinking and science process skills using FOSS (Full Option Science System), Baylor College of Medicine science curriculum kits and the Rice University developed STEM-Scopes program. These experiences guide the students in building their content knowledge. The goal of the course is for students to experience science, 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. 

Social Studies

5th Grade: Fifth grade social studies focuses on the story of place and people during the early history of the United States, including 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 their textbook and additional resources to put together the story of the time, place and people being studied. 

6th Grade: Sixth grade Social Studies is an overview of World History. This course gives an understanding of the emergence of the modern world through the study of its past. Students examine the social, political, economic and geographic aspects of the world at large. A strong emphasis is placed on connecting the past to current events. 

7th Grade: This course develops the seventh grade student’s historical knowledge about the unique formation of Texas and how the state continues to fit within 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. 

8th Grade: 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. 

Religion

5th Grade: 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 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. 

6th Grade: 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, 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. 

7th Grade: 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 students are continually encouraged to incorporate the Five Sacred Heart Goals in their daily lives. 

8th Grade: 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 students are continually encouraged to incorporate the five Sacred Heart Goals in their daily lives. 

Art

5th Grade: 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 students focused on while in the lower grade levels. 

6th Grade: In sixth grade, the students 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.   

7th Grade: Seventh graders choose either art or music as an elective. The principles of design become more prominent as the students develop their art skills throughout seventh grade. The students 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. 

8th Grade: Eighth graders choose either art or music as an elective. 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. 

Technology

5th Grade: 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 reinforcement of keyboarding skills. 

6th Grade: The laptop program begins in sixth grade. Students use their new laptop computers to learn the applications used in other middle school courses, including an introduction to 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). 

7th Grade: 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). 

8th Grade - STEAM: In eighth grade, students complete projects that incorporate science, technology, engineering, art and math. From making Rube Goldberg machines to programing Spheros, the students’ creations are only limited by their imaginations. 

Music

5th Grade: 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, they will continue to hone their musical skills. Students sing at liturgies and prayer services. 

6th Grade: 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. 

7th Grade: Seventh grade students choose either art or music as an elective. Seventh grade music focuses on advancing the students’ 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. 

8th Grade: Eighth grade students choose either art or music as an elective. Eighth grade music focuses on advancing the students’ technical skills and knowledge, as well as allowing them to discover new talents. 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. 

Physical Education

5th Grade: Fifth grade physical education develops individual athletic skills, introduces the rules and skills of team sports and promotes overall fitness. Throughout the year, the students practice skills to help them maintain good cardiovascular health and overall fitness. Before each Regis athletic season, the students 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 students learn the skills and rules for football, baseball and track. All P.E. classes are guided by the Achieve curriculum. Health is also taught during P.E.  

6th Grade: Sixth grade physical education develops individual athletic skills, introduces the rules and skills of team sports and promotes overall fitness. Throughout the year, the students practice skills to help them maintain good cardiovascular health and overall fitness. Before each Regis athletic season, the students 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 students learn the skills and rules for football, baseball and track. All P.E. classes are guided by the Achieve curriculum. Health is also taught during P.E. 

7th Grade: Seventh grade physical education develops individual athletic skills, covers the rules and skills of team sports and promotes overall fitness. Throughout the year, the students practice skills to help them maintain good cardiovascular health and overall fitness. Before each Regis athletic season, the students 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 students learn the skills and rules for football, baseball and track. All P.E. classes are guided by the Achieve curriculum. Health is also taught during P.E. 

8th Grade: Physical Education develops individual athletic skills, covers the rules and skills of team sports and promotes overall fitness. Throughout the year, the students practice skills to help them maintain good cardiovascular health and overall fitness. Before each Regis athletic season, the students 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 students learn the skills and rules for football, baseball and track. All P.E. classes are guided by the Achieve curriculum. Health is also taught during P.E. 

Study Skills

5th and 6th Grade: Study Skills lessons instruct students in successful study habits 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. 

Advisory

Starting in fifth grade, all students participate in the Advisory program. Each student is part of an Advisory group that meets daily for a variety of activities such as team-building, discussions of topics relevant to adolescent students, study skills, health lessons and more. The advisory members, as well as their advisor, stay together for the remainder of Middle School, creating close relationships and support structures and giving each student an adult who is particularly invested in them.