Middle School (7th & 8th Grade)

Overview Technology Requirements

Academic Program 

The academic program of the middle school provides broad training in the liberal arts and sciences and stresses creativity, independent and collaborative thinking, writing, critical reading, and character education. It is meant to prepare students for high school through a challenging and nurturing academic program. The school underscores its commitment to our students in a community that is grounded in faith, moral responsibility, and academic excellence. The faculty provides an effective, safe, and controlled learning atmosphere and provides support for each student.  

Language Arts 

The middle school language arts program is a cohesive, four part curriculum. This program is centered on the study of grammar, composition, vocabulary, and literature. It addresses both written and oral abilities. Middle school students are assigned novels of various genres to be read during the summer and throughout the school year. Creative and critical writing assignments focusing on expository, narrative, persuasive, and descriptive formats accompany each unit of study. In addition, in seventh grade Latin and Greek root words are explored with the primary objective being to strengthen vocabulary and sharpen analytical skills.  

Math  

Grace Episcopal Day School students work to fine tune their computation skills and to develop the ability to problem solve. Students are encouraged to think and to gain confidence as mathematicians. At GEDS, each grade level schedules math at the same time, allowing students to attend the class for which they are best suited. Students are grouped according to their SAT 10 results, student initiative, and teacher recommendation. 
Pre-algebra is designed to aid students in making the transition from elementary mathematics to algebra. The goal is to present the prerequisite skills, concepts, and problem-solving processes needed to help students become comfortable and successful in algebra.   
Algebra I is designed to develop critical thinking and creative problem-solving processes that can be used to solve a variety of real world and mathematical problems. The curriculum addresses the common core state standards. 

Science/Health 

The seventh grade course affords an in-depth look at life science, specifically cells and heredity, including genetic disorders and viruses and bacteria.    Students explore the concepts with interdisciplinary connections in history, geography, technology, and the arts. Lab work integrates cooperative learning and a “hands-on” approach to discovery.    Seventh graders also study the nature of science through a 9-week forensics unit. Some topics include handwriting analysis, counterfeit checks, fingerprinting and reading dental impressions   Health topics include building self-esteem through successful decision making and goal setting. A positive balance between physical, emotional, mental, and social health is explored, as well. The curriculum also includes a human growth and development component that is gender specific when appropriate. Students gain an understanding of the physical and emotional changes that come with puberty. There is a focus on positive character traits and God’s plan for physical intimacy as a part of a loving marriage. Students learn the importance of setting boundaries and being assertive under pressure.   In eighth grade, health concepts stress healthy relationships with families, the community, and friends. The ill effects of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs are taught, as well as the effects of infectious and non-infectious diseases and disorders.   Physical science is an eighth grade focus. Topics include chemical building blocks, motion, forces and energy, sound and light, and electricity and magnetism. Laboratory investigations apply and extend key concepts. 

Social Studies 

The seventh grade social studies program concentrates on World Geography. Students will learn about the people, places, and environments of different countries in the world.  Their text is World Geography by Holt McDougal. Classroom materials include the Junior Scholastic magazine, U.S. and world maps, atlases, computers, the internet, and National History Day resources. The seventh grade class attends theater productions and museum exhibits that relate to the different cultures that are studied. 
The eighth grade social studies program concentrates on American History from the Exploration and Colonization period to the Reconstruction period following the Civil War. Their text is History Alive: The United States Through Industrialization. Classroom materials include U.S. maps, computers, the internet, and National History Day resources. Recommended field trip: Tallahassee to visit the state house to support learning about government. 

Spanish 

In seventh grade Spanish, students become familiar with the lifestyles and elements of culture from Spanish speaking countries. In addition, students will further their Spanish vocabulary and be introduced to basic Spanish grammar. This course is the equivalent to the first part of Spanish I at the high school level.   
Eighth grade students learn to use Spanish in every day conversational settings. Students also explore the various cultures of Spanish speaking countries, in addition to learning to speak, read write, and understand Spanish at a beginning level. There is an emphasis placed on expanding the students’ Spanish vocabulary along with learning new grammar concepts. This course is equal to Spanish 1 at the high school level and is aimed to prepare students to enter into Spanish II as high school freshmen. 

Christian Education 

Our chapel services are rooted in the Episcopal tradition.  The entire student body attends weekly chapel services and a monthly scheduled “flag ceremony,” which includes recognition of various accomplishments and highlights school wide service projects. Our middle school curriculum reinforces Christian values and meets students “where they are” at this time in their life. Lessons are relevant, geared to life application, and instruction is across the curriculum. 

Technology 

Technology is incorporated into our curriculum and is part of our daily work. Students learn to create individual documents and presentations as well as cooperative shared work,  Cybersafety, Netiquette, research and communication skills are emphasized. Each 5th - 8th grade student is assigned a school email address through Google Apps for Education to be used for educational purposes. Each student is to bring their own device. 

Music

Our middle school performing arts program teaches our students three aspects of music: music theory, history, and performance. Our students learn a functional overview of music notation and how to perform a piece of music. They also learn important historic musical figures and their roles in shaping music as we know it today. As part of this program, our students perform in three programs throughout the year.   Students also study public speaking. Through studying vocal intonation, posture, physical gestures and facial expressions, they gain an understanding of how to most effectively use non- verbal and verbal communication. Our students present a speech on a historic musical figure and why he or she is important to the evolution of music. 

Physical Education 

The middle school PE curriculum follows the guidelines of the Florida State Standards. The students participate in team activities, as well as individual activities, to improve their health, their knowledge, and their character. Students learn skills, rules, and team interactions for each sport or activity. Some of these activities include flag football, volleyball, and the Presidential Fitness Challenge. 


Electives 

In addition to the core classes, the middle school curriculum offers electives twice weekly. These courses reflect student interest and promote physical fitness, the arts, and critical thinking. Each semester, students make two new selections. 


Overnight Study Trip 

The seventh grade students and teachers will participate in a five-day team trip to North Carolina. This trip occurs in the first quarter of the year and provides a team-building approach to foster a sense of community among our new middle school students.  
The eighth grade students and teachers conclude the year with an overnight trip to Orlando. Students are provided with a visual and kinesthetic experience of the physical science concepts learned during the year. A scavenger hunt at Epcot’s World of Nations allows students to immerse themselves in the world cultures that were studied in geography. 

Campus Life  

Extracurricular activities enrich the lives of the students and provide them with opportunities to express themselves  through the arts, athletics, service organizations, and clubs. Clubs may meet before or after school. Students interested in  starting a new club must meet with the head of school for approval. 

Athletics 

GEDS has an interscholastic athletic program. The school is a member of the JCAL League and subscribes to all the rules and regulations of the league.   

Fall:  soccer (co-ed), cross-country (co-ed)   
Winter: basketball   
Spring: track (co-ed), flag football (boys)