Academics and Programs
The STEM initiative represents a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics programs and curriculum that provides students with an opportunity to learn about careers in these fields.
At GHSA, we combine our comprehensive curriculum with creative teaching techniques with rich extracurricular activities. We believe in balancing academics, athletics and the arts for all of our students.
The instructional program for grades six to eight reinforces basic skills learned in elementary school with rigor and relevance and prepares students for more complex work that will be required in high school and beyond.
At GHSA we believe a great STEM curriculum, taught by teachers who know how to engage kids and “guide on the side” will produce more young scientists and mathematicians in the future. It serves as a true antidote for the most dreaded middle school malady: BOREDOM.
Middle School STEM Curriculum
Our STEM program fits neatly with the Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core State Standards, which emphasize science and engineering practices as well as reading and writing comprehension and skills through engagement with content.
To prepare our middle school students for success in high school, college and beyond, we focus on the following academic core requirements:
Mathematics (6-8) – Ratios/Proportional Relationships; Expressions and Equations; Geometry; Statistics and Probability; the Number System; Functions using the Common Core Standards as its curriculum (but not limited to)
Students use discovery activities to help see relevance of mathematics in their everyday lives. Students use a variety of tasks beyond memorization of rules and basic computation into stages of application and analysis.
Our goal is to create mathematical problem solvers using Math in Focus, 6-8, Singapore Math, Marshall Cavendish-HMH (but not limited to).
Science (6-8) – Science Curriculum enables students to use science, mathematics and technology to solve problems and make informed decisions in the areas of Life, Earth, and Physical Science – Units of study include (but not limited to) Earth Forces and Formation, Light and Sound, Environmental Science, Motion, Forces and Energy, Cells, Astronomy, Chemistry, Biology.
Our science curriculum embraces the 5 keys to rigorous Problem/Project-based learning (shown to result in deeper learning and engaged, self directed learners): Real-World Connections in Projects; Collaboration for Student Success; Student-driven Environment; Embedding Assessment throughout (integrating seamlessly into project-problem-based learning) – FOSS Program by Delta Education; McGraw-Hill Science; Pearson Science
Reading- English Language Arts program deals with the development of literacy. The Reading/English language arts program is committed to enabling all students to become life-long readers, speakers, listeners, and writers. This is accomplished through systematic instruction that focuses on the development of attitudes, strategies, and processes which empower students to become active listeners, proficient speakers, and independent readers, writers, and thinkers.
Early intervention opportunities are provided to foster students' reading and language acquisition. Students of GHSA will be able to demonstrate proficiency on assessments which measure program outcomes.
Literature, Information text and Language comprises the content of and frame the processes in the Reading/Language Arts program. The program integrates the processes of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Through writing and speaking students compose language to express, create, and synthesize knowledge.
Through reading and listening, students interpret language to derive meaning, to stimulate thoughts and feelings, and to learn. These four processes (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) are the vehicles for communication that provide the foundation for school success.
Social Studies (6-8) – SS curriculum emphasizes instruction in California’s and National’s core learning goals: History; Geography; Economics; Political Systems; Peoples and Nations of the World – Units of study include (but not limited to Ancient Egypt—Roman Empire—Early African Civilizations—Latin America—Canada, US, Canada, Europe and Russia—Growth of the United States, American Revolution
Health is a required course and focuses on students gaining knowledge about selected health topics. Communication, decision-making, goal-setting and negotiation skills are taught in the health course. Disease prevention and media awareness is integrated throughout the course.
World Language (Elective) Grade 8 is a fun, interactive course for 8th graders filled with diverse, multimedia language activities. Students begin their introduction to Spanish by focusing on the four key areas of foreign language study: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Introduction to Spanish is aligned to national standards set forth by ACTFL (the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language).
Homework is important to student learning at GHSA. The purpose of this homework plan is to guide teachers, parents and a student in ensuring homework is meaningful and supports the learning experience for all students.
Rules for Homework:
*Activities and assignments that students can complete independently
*Carefully constructed as to be completed within a reasonable time frame with minimal adult help
*Connected to grade level or subject matter curriculum
*Engaging, purposeful and relevant
*Consideration shall be given to quality over quantity
*Explain homework assignments to student prior to the assignment
*Teacher will (also) consider the student Individualized Education Plan or 504 Plan in regards to homework
*Teach techniques that can help students allocate their time wisely, meet their deadlines, and develop good personal study habits
*Communicate with parents to inform them about homework expectations, policies and procedures
*Communicate ways in which parents can best assist their children in doing homework independently
*Review, discuss and return, if collected, homework in a timely manner
*Complete homework as assigned
*Seek clarification from teachers when unclear about homework
*Record homework when assigned in class by the teacher
*Seek assistance from teachers when demonstrating an inability to complete homework
*Provide a quiet space and basic materials for homework completion
*Review school provided materials (student binder, class handouts/online resources
*Communicate with teachers at the earliest possible opportunity once the child has demonstrated consistent inability to complete homework. If necessary, parent may need to schedule an appointment
Homework Tips for Students
*Record homework in the same location each day--use the Binder Reminder
*Have a quiet space with basic materials for homework completion
*Make homework a part of your daily after school routine
*Take a break when tired; then resume work
*When you have questions about the homework given by teacher, place a note by it and ask the teacher the next day
Rest and appropriate activity are important for one’s overall well-being
Parents/Guardians, if you anticipate your child being out of school for an extended period of time (due to illness, travel, etc), contact your child’s teachers directly. Anything over 5 days should be directed to the main office.
Students who miss school work because of an excused absence shall be given the opportunity to complete all assignments and tests that can be reasonably provided. As determined by the teacher, the assignments and tests shall be reasonably equivalent to (but not necessarily identical to) the assignments and tests missed during the absence. Students shall receive full credit for work satisfactorily completed within a reasonable timeframe.
Students who miss schoolwork because of unexcused absences may be given the opportunity to make up missed work for full or reduced credit. Teachers shall assign make up work as deemed necessary to ensure academic progress, not as a punitive measure.