MIDDLE SCHOOL ACADEMICS
Dynamic economic and social landscapes demand that students are prepared to think critically, adapt readily, learn new technologies efficiently, communicate effectively, and persevere through difficulties. With the future in mind, the Marymount Middle School brings students into the heart of 21st Century education, blending core content with inquiry-based learning, promoting leadership and collaboration through Advisory and Elective programs, infusing each class with purpose-driven technologies, and emphasizing core values.
With emphasis on inquiry and multi-media presentation, students delve into geology, oceanography, heredity, cellular biology, bio-chemical processes, human anatomy, physics, and chemistry. Supported by the tech department, students learn to adeptly wield applications and presentation formats to communicate understanding. Hands-on learning outside the classroom, including trips to Arroyo Hondo, UCSB Materials Department, Santa Catalina, The Sierras, and Iceland excite student learning experientially.
Center for Creative Design and Engineering
Opened in 2016, the CDEC is a space that students can delve deeper into hands-on learning in Design Thinking, Engineering and Science. Design Thinking makes students consider the perspective of a specific person or group. With that person or group’s needs in mind, students design a product or work to find a solution to a problem facing that user. Students use traditional and technologically advanced tools to transform their ideas into physical prototypes that others can interact with. Design Thinking is much more than an exercise in creativity. It teaches students empathy and requires effective communication and constructive collaboration between peers. It can also be woven into all areas of a school’s curriculum. At Marymount, students design science video games and apps for young Cancer patients. Not only does this help reinforce the science concept but also builds empathy in our students. With our 3d printer and laser cutter, opportunities arise for students to work with an amputee stunt man to design a bone that accurately splinters in a fight scene. The flexibility of the open space allows teachers and students to be creative and collaborative.
English classes compel students to participate in analytical and subjective discussions about contemporary issues; read critically; support written and spoken ideas with evidence from history, literature, and experience; and develop greater understanding and respect for others’ perspectives. Literary works are chosen for their thematic concerns, namely themes that incite the reader to consider his or her own experience or society and historical context. Opportunities abound to hone creative expression through poetry and prose and to deepen understanding of the writing process.
Through a balance of historical inquiry, lectures, primary sources, and textbook lessons, students study ancient cultures, world civilizations, and United States history. Students access a wealth of historical content, while examining common themes that run through historical eras, geographies, and societies. Emphasis on close reading techniques and study skills helps develop student readiness for high school and beyond.
Infused with technology, multi-modality learning, and Singapore depth, Marymount Middle School develops students’ conceptual foundations and procedural competencies in Algebra and, for some students, in Geometry, through leveled math courses, designed to meet the varied skills and aptitudes of middle school students. Nearly all Marymount math students matriculate to Honors Geometry or Algebra 2 in 9th grade.
Marymount students take Spanish through 8th grade. Students who enter Marymount in Middle School with limited to no exposure to Spanish have the opportunity to learn Spanish through leveled class offerings. The Native speaking instructor blends conversational, multi-media, and textbook learning to ignite student fluency and understanding of cultural traditions from Spain and Latin America.
the 6th grade Bible as Literature course, a particular emphasis is placed on Bible
stories that are frequently alluded to in literature and in everyday
parlance. In the 7th grade Ethics course, through studying moral parsimony,
philosophers like Plato and Socrates, and the foundations of moral
frameworks, students learn many new world views while finding stable
ground on which to plant and grow their own moral framework. Students in the 8th grade embark on a yearlong journey of study that
sends them to various places of worship throughout the Santa Barbara
community. Recognizing that our youth today are global citizens, Marymount graduates of all religious backgrounds learn to
respect themselves and others.
Marymount Middle School students have the opportunity to enhance their rigorous secondary-prep curriculum with a variety of elective courses. Electives cover a variety of academic, cultural, and practical subjects, and are designed to be both educational and enjoyable. Each Middle School student has four different electives each year and is encouraged to take at least one term each of elective art, computers, drama, and student leadership classes. Recent offerings include Video Game Design, School of Rock, Zombies, Robotics and Surfing.
Theater is a part of life at Marymount. Students are exposed to the dramatic arts on a regular basis, whether through trips to local theaters or through regular school assemblies featuring professional actors, singers, and dancers. The Middle School students star in full-scale professional-quality junior productions of Broadway shows and musical revivals. production each year tailored to their particular strengths, talents, and interests. Each year the production is tailored to their particular strengths, talents, and interests.
The joy of music is palpable at Marymount and permeates every aspect of our lives. We celebrate many holidays with an array of musical performances. Middle School students can elect to learn contemporary songs through Marymount Soul, a small choral performing group, and in the musical productions of the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. At the heavily attended Halloween and Spring Sing concerts, students of all ages seize the opportunity to perform publicly to the rapturous appreciation of their peers and the thunderous applause of their parents.
In the spacious and sun-filled art room, students get their hands messy while immersing themselves in creative activities that develop their skills in numerous areas such as: spatial reasoning, innovative problem solving, critical and abstract thinking, and color theory. Throughout the school year, students revisit the core elements of artistic composition (line, shape, color, form, texture, value, and space) and the principles of design (repetition, emphasis, contrast, unity, and balance). Building on this foundation, they experiment with a wide variety of two and three-dimensional media in challenging and exciting multi-step art projects that encourage their unique interpretations. Lessons incorporate strong multicultural components to foster students’ abilities to place art production within historical and cultural contexts. Exposure to the arts cultivates self-confidence, creative risk-taking, appreciation for cultural diversity, and aesthetic awareness.