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By the 7th grade, students are well into the "logic" stage of the classical curriculum. Middle school students are more interested in the "Why?" behind the facts. Students are capable of forming abstract thoughts and detecting causal relationships between topics. During these years, children are challenged to rationally explain a particular fact, connect it to another related idea, or even evaluate how significant the fact truly is. Writing composition is a key component of the educational model during these years. Creating thesis statements, paragraph construction, developing supporting evidence, and logically organizing a five-paragraph essay are highly emphasized throughout all of the humanities subjects. Expanding vocabulary is also extremely important in order to handle the rigors of college preparatory, liberal arts high school curriculum. In mathematics, students polish off their algebraic skills in order to take more challenging math courses by the end of high school. Students are also taught how to explain why a particular event or idea in history happened, and why it shaped the way we think today.
Iowa Tests of Basic Skills
Every spring a school-wide assessment is administered to measure student performance and reflect on areas where teacherscan enhance instruction. All students in grades 1-8 are required to take the examination.
The Iowa Tests offer educators a diagnostic look at how their students are progressing in key academic areas, and offers diagnostic data that can be used to create intervention groups and to drive curricular decisions.
Below is the school performance for grade levels 1-8:
Grade 7 Course Sequence
Grade 8 Course Sequence