Middle School

Middle School is a time of rapid intellectual, spiritual, and social growth for students. Our Lady of the Wayside School provides for this growth with a curriculum tailored to emphasize academic excellence. The Catholic faith and love for God are woven into every aspect of education at OLW.

Religion: Faith and service are integral to the learning environment in Middle School. Students learn about the Old and New Testament, Church history and prepare for Confirmation in their classes. In addition, students take part in school masses, do service projects and also participate in a Buddy Program acting as a mentor with a younger class student. In the months of March and April they attend Adoration in the church by grade and in May they pray the Rosary in the church by grade. Eighth graders formed a prayer group that is is open to any one who wants to attend during recess.

Curriculum Resources include:
Sadlier: “Christ in Us”– grade 6
Benzinger: “Blest Are We”- grades 7-8
Sadlier: “We Live Our Faith” and Loyola Press: “Confirmed in the Spirit” – grade 8

Literacy: By incorporating best practice and research-based methods, the literacy curriculum in Middle School continues to build on the fundamentals of Balanced Literacy from Grade School. Students are exposed to a balance of novel studies throughout the year, including Whole Class novel study, Book Club novel study and Independent novel study. The focus is to deepen understanding, synthesize the text, analyze textual evidence and learn to apply these skills to their own reading. The writing program also enhances the novel studies. Six-Trait Writing is the focus of our writing curriculum, which enables the students to become authors and systematically identifies key components necessary for great writing.

Curriculum Resources include:
Reading: a variety of novels and short stories
Writing: Six Traits Writing by Ruth Culham

Math: The foundation of our mathematics curriculum is rooted in developing critical thinkers and problem solvers who are learning to communicate and reason mathematically. Instruction incorporates a variety of manipulatives and real world applications. The students are placed in a math class that best meets their development and ability. Pre-algebra, geometry and algebra are the big topics covered in the curriculum. Most of our students are placed in honors and higher-level math classes in high school.

Curriculum Resources includes:
Big Ideas Math (Cengage Learning)

Social Studies: The Social Studies curriculum focuses on history, but integrates geography, economics, government, citizenship, and culture. Units at each grade level provide our students with a comprehensive look at the world. In sixth through eighth grades, the program explores ancient world history and US history, from the Civil War through the present day.

Curriculum Topics include:
6th grade: River Valley Civilizations, Ancient Asia and Ancient Europe
7th grade: Constitution, Civil War and Reconstruction
8th grade: World Wars I/II, Cold, Korean and Vietnam Wars, and Conflicts to the Present

Curriculum Resources include:
Pearson: “My World History” – grade 6
Pearson: “My American Nation” – grades 7-8

Science: In Middle School, the students take their knowledge and experience from grade school science lessons to the next level by participating in hands-on, in-depth units in the school’s science lab. The seventh graders may opt to participate in an annual science fair, which teaches students how to apply their understanding of the scientific method to a topic of interest. Many students then advance to local and state competitions.

Curriculum Topics include:
6th grade:Earth Science
7th grade: Life Science
8th grade: Physical Science
Curriculum Resources include:
McGraw Hill/Glencoe: iScience 

Technology: OLW Middle School is a 1:1 technology program. All 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students have their own iPad. There is also a laptop cart, which allows for additional technology to be utilized within the classrooms for different curriculums. Each classroom has a new SMARTBoard. Students’ use of technology includes, but is not limited to: Google Suite for Education (Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Classroom, Gmail), Notability, plus other apps and web-based programs that are approved by the teachers. Many apps that the students use are the apps used at the nearby high schools. 

Additional Curriculum Offered in Middle School: The other courses that are required for Middle School students are: Physical Education, Art, Music, Health and Spanish are all required classes. 

Also additional options are offered either during or after school:
Student Council, FLL Robotics Club, Yearbook, and Scholastic Bowl