An Independent Episcopal Day School for Ages 3 Through 12th Grade in Burlington, New Jersey

Curriculum Guide 6-8



Middle School
Course Selection Guide


Course Descriptions

Choosing Your Courses


2018-19

MS Arts

At Doane, 7th and 8th grade students are encouraged to choose an Arts Major course and an Arts Minor course in order to immerse themselves in the Arts, express themselves creatively in multiple ways, and make connections across different artistic disciplines. Courses designated as Major meet for one hour three out of every six school days while courses designated as Minor meet for one hour two out of every six school days. 7th and 8th grade students may choose only a Major or Minor option unless otherwise noted. 6th grade students can choose to participate in lower school Band. All 6th grade students take Art and Music throughout the school year.

Band Class (rehearsals)

  • Instructor: Adrienne Mazar
  • Grade Level: 6 (Lower School Band), 7-12 (Upper School Band)
  • Duration: Full-Year
  • Major/Minor Designation: Major

In band classes (rehearsals), the ensemble will study music theory and read and prepare a variety of concert band music which has been selected to be appropriate for the playing level of the band. In addition to attending all rehearsals, band students are required to take one music lesson per week given by the band director.

Ceramics

  • Instructor: Jackie Bak
  • Grade Level: 7-8
  • Duration: Full-Year
  • Major/Minor Designation: This course can be selected as either a Major or a Minor Arts option.

Students will learn to build functional pottery using low fire/earthenware clay. Students will use the slab roller, extruder, and potter’s wheel to create bowls, vessels, and sculptural pieces. These pieces will be kiln fired and glazed.

Jazz Ensemble

  • Instructor: Adrienne Mazar
  • Grade Level: 7-12
  • Duration: Full-Year
  • Major/Minor Designation: Minor

All members of the Jazz Ensemble must be enrolled in Concert Band as their primary performing ensemble. This performance class is an extension of the larger ensemble experience. Students wishing to perform in the Jazz Ensemble must be approved by the director and be proficient on their instrument in at least four sharps and four flats, chromatic scales, and some modes. Percussionists must be able to adequately perform on drum set and traps in multiple styles, including swing, Latin, rock, funk, and fusion.

The Jazz Ensemble reflects traditional Big Band instrumentation (saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and rhythm section). Through listening to recordings, critiquing, analyzing, discussion and application, students will learn a variety of jazz styles found within this genre. Students will understand the history of jazz and be able to associate specific musicians to distinct types of jazz. This is a performance class; therefore, students are expected to attend all rehearsals, sectionals, and performances. Students must be enrolled in Band in order to enroll in Jazz Band. Auditions are required.

Middle School Art: Drawing Fundamentals

  • Instructor: Jackie Bak
  • Grade Level: 7-8
  • Duration: Trimester
  • Alternate Courses: Middle School Drama: Adventures in Theater

This beginner course provides a solid understanding of how to draw simple objects working from a still life. Students will complete drawings from life using vine charcoal and graphite. Students will stand at the easel while learning gesture drawing and other visual exercises. The course is designed to help students build the skills they will use if they choose to take the Upper School Studio Incamminati Program in future years.

Middle School Drama: Adventures in Theater

  • Instructor: Ginger L. Agnew
  • Grade Level: 7-8
  • Duration: Trimester
  • Alternate Courses: Middle School Art: Drawing Fundamentals

This course is part of both the 7th and 8th grade cycles. Please note that students who choose to take the Middle School STEAM Cycle have the option of taking that course for two trimesters and then taking Middle School Drama during the third trimester.

Middle School Drama affords students the opportunity to enjoy an intense, imaginative experience as they explore the world of live theater performance. The course will enhance confidence, creativity, and imagination and improve memory, focus, and concentration. Through it, students will develop listening, problem-solving, and performance skills as they collaborate with their classmates in a safe and caring learning environment.

After learning the basics, students will dig deeper into the world of live stage performance by reading plays, working with partners to create scenes, and presenting monologues. Improvisation skills will also be a focus. The course will culminate with a final production.

6th Grade Music - Lower School Choir

  • Instructor: Shelley Zuckerman
  • Grade Level: 6
  • Duration: Full-Year
  • Major/Minor Designation: This course can be selected as either a Major and/or a Minor Arts option.

In 6th grade, Music is approached as an artistic, holistic experience of body, mind and heart. All Grades have an emphasis on singing, and repertoire is prepared for concerts both on and off campus. As a class students discuss their emotional and experiential connection with music that is sung. Students sing in multiple languages and learn music from their own and other cultures. Music is often chosen to make interdisciplinary connections with the 6th grade curriculum, and students learn to use music as an aid to memorization. Body percussion (clapping, drumming, stepping) is used at all grade levels to embody music rhythmically.

Upper School Choir

  • Instructor: Shelley Zuckerman
  • Grade Level: 7-12
  • Duration: Full-Year
  • Major/Minor Designation: This course can be selected as either a Major and/or a Minor Arts option.

In this course, students learn proper vocal technique, basic music theory and sight-singing, choral repertoire, and some music history. In Choir, students prepare music for performance at two annual concerts, Chapel services, and other venues.

Yearbook Design

  • Instructor: Jack Newman
  • Grade Level: 7-12
  • Requirement Information: Fulfills .5 of 1 required Fine/Performing Arts credit when taken in high school
  • Duration: Full-year
  • Pre-Requisites: None
  • Alternate Course/s: N/A

In this working studio class, students learn to solve visual problems using Adobe Photoshop CS and Yearbook Solutions’ online proprietary program through demonstrations and hands-on work, as we work as a team, to build the school’s annual yearbook. Students will work as a group on traditional design layouts and learn to solve the problems which arise when creating publications. All students will participate in the following: working with basic magazine-style/layout, type selection, and color and theme selection as related to yearbook production. Additional instruction may be given in photography and copy-writing.

This class requires a substantial commitment to working outside of the regular classroom time on material collection and creation, whether that be to take photographs, gather quotes, create and complete surveys, or attend games or other after-school, night, and weekend school-related events.

Honors Requirements: N/A

MS Cycle

In grades 6 through 8, students work to develop “personal character” skills. They learn to express themselves creatively and in written form. They build the personal organization, inquiry, and design skills necessary for becoming reliable, trustworthy, and productive individuals. They develop an understanding of what it means to live a healthy lifestyle and begin to explore the complexity of trying to live ethically in an ever-changing world.

Sixth grade is an incredibly dynamic and important year in a child’s development into a “strong ethical leader” at Doane Academy. Students find themselves immersed in new social situations and presented with challenging coursework that helps them develop key real-world skills necessary for success in Upper School and beyond. One such critical skill is the ability to effectively communicate with others through written word.

As such, sixth graders enrolled at Doane take not one but two English courses per day. Students focus on developing their critical thinking skills while also engaging in a wide variety of text. Having English twice a day also provides students with a supportive style workshop environment in which they learn to express themselves in various genres of writing and to provide positive, constructive criticism to their peers.

The English 6 curriculum also includes a close examination of ethical leadership, academic integrity, empathy and social justice.

Health I

  • Instructor: Enid Flagg
  • Grade Level: 6
  • Duration: Full-Year

6th grade Health will provide a year-long overview of a variety of issues pertaining to physical and mental health. To support students' transition into middle school, special emphasis will be placed on social and emotional wellness. Students will learn about different types of human relationships that impact their lives throughout adolescence, including family, friends, peers, and teachers. To strengthen these relationships, effective communication strategies will be discussed and rehearsed. Students will learn strategies to appropriately express their emotions and manage stress, as well as how to detect and respond to common mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Topics within puberty and adolescent development, including physical and mental health changes for both boys and girls, will be presented. Students will have the opportunity for small discussion groups that allow them to explore their personal questions and concerns about puberty and personal hygiene. Basic information about human reproduction, reproductive anatomy, and how pregnancy occurs will be covered. Students will additionally learn practical ways to care for their bodies and minds through nutrition and fitness education. Important themes such as personal safety, digital citizenship, and illness prevention will be interwoven throughout the year. To maximize students' grasp of the material, class will include many group discussions, partner work, personal reflections, and projects that allow students to explore their own special interests within a given topic.

Health II

  • Instructor: Roxane Blow
  • Grade Level: 7
  • Duration: One Trimester

In 7th grade health, students will build on the knowledge and skills introduced in 6th grade with a continued emphasis on physical, social and mental/emotional health. Students will learn more about how to develop and maintain personal wellness, which requires an ongoing effort to modify lifestyle behaviors and make positive decisions about one’s health and safety. Students will analyze their eating and fitness behaviors and how they impact personal wellness. They will also further analyze how mental illness affects physical and social well-being, and what factors support social and emotional health. Students will understand that effective interpersonal communication includes respect and empathy for individuals regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, religion, and/or culture. Students will learn about the importance of early detection and treatment of common illnesses. Seventh graders will learn about the physical, social, and emotional changes that occur during puberty and how responsible actions regarding sexual behavior impact the health of one’s self and others. Substance abuse will be discussed, including different types of drugs and their effects and effective intervention strategies and treatment options. Students will also learn about basic first aid procedures and how to maximize their safety at home and at school.

Health III

  • Instructor: Kirk Lombardi
  • Grade Level: 8
  • Duration: One Trimester

As a culminating experience to the Middle School Health program, 8th grade Health students will learn how to become knowledgeable self-advocates for their personal health and wellness. Students will learn about nutrition, exercise fitness, anatomy, disease, and sex education and behavior. Students will understand the difference between sports performance and fitness and how they are related to leading a healthy life. Discussing the specific muscles for each individual activity will give the students a better understanding on how their body works when practicing a specific sport or activity. Through group projects, readings, class discussions, and presentations, students will have a variety of opportunities to learn and share information. Students will research risk factors associated with being sexually active, such as STIs and pregnancy. They will also defend a position on a health or social issue to activate community awareness and responsiveness. Students will evaluate their personal stress levels and explore a variety of management techniques to alleviate their stress. They will explore the qualities of healthy relationships and carefully evaluate the interpersonal connections in their own lives.

Leadership Foundations I

  • Instructor: Katie Sereduk
  • Grade Level: 7
  • Duration: Trimester

In this course, students will work to develop the core study skills necessary to lead themselves in school and beyond. They will focus on honing their abilities with personal organization, interpersonal communication skills, academic preparation, and self-advocacy. Class discussions and activities will foster self-awareness and self-reflection as well as engage students as they become more autonomous in their efforts to balance their workload and the demands of life as a teenager and an Upper School student at Doane.

Leadership Foundations II

  • Instructor: Ran Holeman
  • Grade Level:8
  • Duration: Trimester

This course helps students better understand the relationship between leadership and the communication of one’s values and character. Students will develop a stronger sense of their identity and reflect on how they present themselves in personal interactions and public spaces. After units on the connection between one’s online footprint and one’s authentic self, active listening, and basic presentation skills, students will identify a person whom they admire for their values and accomplishments and give a “This is Heroism” presentation to their classmates. In exploring how this person changed the world around them for the better, they will begin the lifelong process of determining how they can make a similar impact.

Middle School Art: Drawing Fundamentals

  • Instructor: Jackie Bak
  • Grade Level: 7-8
  • Duration: Trimester
  • Alternate Courses: Middle School Drama: Adventures in Theater

This beginner course provides a solid understanding of how to draw simple objects working from a still life. Students will complete drawings from life using vine charcoal and graphite. Students will stand at the easel while learning gesture drawing and other visual exercises. The course is designed to help students build the skills they will use if they choose to take the Upper School Studio Incamminati Program in future years.

Middle School Drama: Adventures in Theater

  • Instructor: Ginger L. Agnew
  • Grade Level: 7-8
  • Duration: Trimester
  • Alternate Courses: Middle School Art: Drawing Fundamentals

This course is part of both the 7th and 8th grade cycles. Please note that students who choose to take the Middle School STEAM Cycle have the option of taking that course for two trimesters and then taking Middle School Drama during the third trimester.

Middle School Drama affords students the opportunity to enjoy an intense, imaginative experience as they explore the world of live theater performance. The course will enhance confidence, creativity, and imagination and improve memory, focus, and concentration. Through it, students will develop listening, problem-solving, and performance skills as they collaborate with their classmates in a safe and caring learning environment.

After learning the basics, students will dig deeper into the world of live stage performance by reading plays, working with partners to create scenes, and presenting monologues. Improvisation skills will also be a focus. The course will culminate with a final production.

MS English

Middle School English students learn to be strong communicators and analytical thinkers, with a particular focus on the development of reading and writing skills. Through the study of different works of literature, students develop their analysis skills and learn to communicate their thoughts effectively. Students learn about the many steps of the writing process and focus on creating and argument based on textual evidence. Learning activities focus on research, technology skills, effective communication and presentation strategies, and digital citizenship.

Our small classes and emphasis on seminar style discussion allow students and teachers to build strong relationships and help every student make their voice heard.

English 6

  • Instructor: Allison Baratta
  • Grade Level: 6
  • Duration: Full-Year

In 6th grade English, students will work to become a community of empathetic readers, writers, thinkers, and leaders. The course, which will also align with Doane’s mission to develop strong, ethical leaders, will explore themes in literature such as resilience, courage in the face of fear, developing a sense of integrity, citizenship, and social justice. Students will read a variety of texts and genres, such as graphic novels, mythology, science fiction/fantasy, drama, poetry, and historical fiction. Texts may include Zeus: King of the Gods by George O’Connor, selected poetry, Gibson’s The Miracle Worker, Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, and The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis.

As writers, 6th graders will explore the following questions: Who am I as a writer? What are my writing habits and hang-ups? What do I find most challenging about writing, and what do I find most enjoyable? What inspires me to write? Students will frequently use the texts they are reading as models, while also studying their own writing and their classmates’ writing. Students will improve their writing through daily grammar exercises, short writing assignments, major writing assignments, self-reflections, peer review, poetry composition, creation of personal narratives, and composition of a formal character study.

Learning activities will focus on collaboration, communication and presentation skills, and digital citizenship. In order to fulfill all of the course’s instructional objectives, English 6 will meet twice a day.

English 7

  • Instructor: Paul Howe
  • Grade Level: 7
  • Requirement Information:
  • Duration: Full-Year

This course builds foundations for success in high school classes through an emphasis on grammar, vocabulary, and writing skills. Strong reading skills are essential for academic success, and English 7 introduces students to strategies to aid reading comprehension. The literary readings revolve around themes such as the imagination and the development of identity. Creative writing, presentations, and group projects provide a variety of ways for students to learn and be assessed. Texts may include Jack Schaeffer’s Shane, Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth, Milred D. Taylor’s Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, and Edith Hamilton’s Mythology.

English 8

  • Instructor: Kath Brandwood
  • Grade Level: 8
  • Duration: Full-Year

In close conversation with a range of texts, both fiction and nonfiction, students in English 8 will explore the theme of neighborhood: What makes a good neighbor? A bad neighbor? How do we define the boundaries of our neighborhoods? Whom do we allow in? Whom do we attempt to keep out, and why? How can we use empathy to challenge those boundaries and make our communities more inclusive? To anchor discussions of these thematic questions, students will practice close reading of specific textual details to develop and support ideas in seminar-style discussions and in written work. In addition to building arguments, students will practice public speaking skills, write creatively in poetry and prose, continue to build a rich vocabulary, and practice concepts in grammar and usage. Literary texts may include To Kill A Mockingbird, Romeo and Juliet, A Raisin in the Sun, and selected short stories.

MS Health

Health I

  • Instructor: Enid Flagg
  • Grade Level: 6
  • Duration: Full-Year

6th grade Health will provide a year-long overview of a variety of issues pertaining to physical and mental health. To support students' transition into middle school, special emphasis will be placed on social and emotional wellness. Students will learn about different types of human relationships that impact their lives throughout adolescence, including family, friends, peers, and teachers. To strengthen these relationships, effective communication strategies will be discussed and rehearsed. Students will learn strategies to appropriately express their emotions and manage stress, as well as how to detect and respond to common mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Topics within puberty and adolescent development, including physical and mental health changes for both boys and girls, will be presented. Students will have the opportunity for small discussion groups that allow them to explore their personal questions and concerns about puberty and personal hygiene. Basic information about human reproduction, reproductive anatomy, and how pregnancy occurs will be covered. Students will additionally learn practical ways to care for their bodies and minds through nutrition and fitness education. Important themes such as personal safety, digital citizenship, and illness prevention will be interwoven throughout the year. To maximize students' grasp of the material, class will include many group discussions, partner work, personal reflections, and projects that allow students to explore their own special interests within a given topic.

Health II

  • Instructor: Roxane Blow
  • Grade Level: 7
  • Duration: One Trimester

In 7th grade health, students will build on the knowledge and skills introduced in 6th grade with a continued emphasis on physical, social and mental/emotional health. Students will learn more about how to develop and maintain personal wellness, which requires an ongoing effort to modify lifestyle behaviors and make positive decisions about one’s health and safety. Students will analyze their eating and fitness behaviors and how they impact personal wellness. They will also further analyze how mental illness affects physical and social well-being, and what factors support social and emotional health. Students will understand that effective interpersonal communication includes respect and empathy for individuals regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, religion, and/or culture. Students will learn about the importance of early detection and treatment of common illnesses. Seventh graders will learn about the physical, social, and emotional changes that occur during puberty and how responsible actions regarding sexual behavior impact the health of one’s self and others. Substance abuse will be discussed, including different types of drugs and their effects and effective intervention strategies and treatment options. Students will also learn about basic first aid procedures and how to maximize their safety at home and at school.

Health III

  • Instructor: Kirk Lombardi
  • Grade Level: 8
  • Duration: One Trimester

As a culminating experience to the Middle School Health program, 8th grade Health students will learn how to become knowledgeable self-advocates for their personal health and wellness. Students will learn about nutrition, exercise fitness, anatomy, disease, and sex education and behavior. Students will understand the difference between sports performance and fitness and how they are related to leading a healthy life. Discussing the specific muscles for each individual activity will give the students a better understanding on how their body works when practicing a specific sport or activity. Through group projects, readings, class discussions, and presentations, students will have a variety of opportunities to learn and share information. Students will research risk factors associated with being sexually active, such as STIs and pregnancy. They will also defend a position on a health or social issue to activate community awareness and responsiveness. Students will evaluate their personal stress levels and explore a variety of management techniques to alleviate their stress. They will explore the qualities of healthy relationships and carefully evaluate the interpersonal connections in their own lives.

MS History

The history department seeks to empower students with the knowledge that individuals can affect, alter, and shape the world around them if they understand what the past can teach us about the nature of change. The curriculum helps students acquire information about the major figures, movements, ideas, events, cultural patterns, and beliefs that have defined the human narrative and then challenges them to make connections between these pieces of raw data with the goal of discovering critical historical lessons and enduring sociological insights. Faculty guide students through the development of strong note-taking skills and help students learn to train their memories to retain essential details. This culminates with written assignments that require thorough analysis and independent thinking. Students’ studies begin in 6th grade with a study of government and economics. In 7th grade, students learn and gain an appreciation of various cultures throughout the world. In 8th grade, students’ studies begin with the dawn of recorded history and continue up to the beginning of modern times. As an Episcopal school, Doane Academy encourages students to view religious faith as both a personal journey and a driving force of historical events. Consequently, 8th grade students learn about the development of the major world religions throughout history.

Civics

  • Instructor: Colleen McCormick
  • Grade Level: 6
  • Duration: Full-Year

This course is designed to give sixth grade students an overview of the United States government and economy. Through use of the textbook, internet resources, and class discussion, students will gain a greater understanding of the US government and economy. Many hands-on simulations will be a part of this course. Topics covered will include: citizenship, American values, voting and elections, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the three branches of government, and our market economic system.

Cultural Geography

  • Instructor: Mary Ann Williamson
  • Grade Level: 7
  • Requirement Information: Required for all seventh graders
  • Duration: Full-Year

The goal of this course is to study the relationships between people, places, and the environment. The course is designed to give students a broader view of the world that will help shape their attitudes and lives in a constructive way. Using the text as a resource, as well as the Internet, the library, newspapers, and videos, students will explore issues which affect different countries today. In order to process geographic information, students will acquire the skills necessary to read maps and globes and see these in relation to themselves and their environment. Students will identify and understand the physical and cultural processes which create patterns on the surface of the earth, such as climate, erosion, urbanization, and transportation. These skills will be learned and demonstrated through text assignments, map study, research projects, and writing assignments.

Ancient World History

  • Instructor: Colleen McCormick
  • Grade Level: 8
  • Requirement Information: Required for all eighth graders
  • Duration: Full-Year

This course will focus on major events and concepts in world history beginning with the first civilizations and continuing into the Italian Renaissance. This course provides the foundations for Modern World History, which Doane Academy students take in ninth grade. During this course, students will learn how to write a historical research paper.

MS Mathematics

The Mathematics department at Doane Academy is dedicated to the advancement of the mathematical reasoning skills critical for fostering quantitative and deductive thinking abilities in our students. We strive not just for competency with concepts necessary for effective citizenship, but also for recognition that mathematics is a vibrant field of study that can serve as a powerful and exciting tool in this ever-evolving world. We seek to develop students who are courageous in mathematics, unafraid to work collaboratively and take intelligent risks while developing their problem solving skills.

Our focus on problem-based learning and our small class sizes afford our students with a tremendous opportunity to tackle challenging, multidimensional problems with the help of their peers and their instructor. Those students looking for even greater challenges may participate in S.T.E.A.M. classes and competitions and Math Club.

Foundational Mathematics

  • Instructor(s): Hillary Rupert
  • Grade Level: 6
  • Requirement Information: N/A
  • Duration: Full-Year
  • Pre-Requisites: N/A
  • Alternate Course(s): Transitional Math, Pre-Algebra, Placement based on Instructor’s recommendation

Foundational Mathematics marks the start of a transition for students away from arithmetic manipulations and toward complex problem solving using algebraic techniques and algorithms. Students will begin the year mastering arithmetic operations, number properties, fractions, exponents, and variables through hands-on activities, real-world applications, and interactive lessons. They will then begin their explorations of linear equations and expressions by solving equations, graphing on the coordinate plane, and interpreting statistical information visually and numerically. They will also apply these new skills to solving geometric problems involving angles, area, and spatial reasoning. By mastering these concepts, students in Foundational Mathematics will be ready to tackle the challenges of Transitional Math and beyond.

Transitional Mathematics

  • Instructor(s): Michael Russell
  • Grade Level: 6 - 7
  • Requirement Information: N/A
  • Duration: Full-Year
  • Pre-Requisites: N/A
  • Alternate Course(s): Foundational Math, Pre-Algebra, Placement based on Instructor’s recommendation

Transitional Mathematics introduces topics that lay the groundwork for future algebraic studies as well as revisiting topics seen in previous years of mathematics classes with more depth and sophistication. The course prepares students to start their formal study of Algebra, beginning with the Pre-Algebra course, by challenging them to apply the concepts and math facts mastered in previous courses to advanced problem solving efforts. Topics explored include Basic Number Theory, Statistics, Geometric Constructions, Coordinate Geometry, Linear Functions, and Linear Inequalities.

Pre-Algebra

  • Instructor(s): Andrea Anza
  • Grade Level: 6 - 8
  • Requirement Information: N/A
  • Duration: Full-Year
  • Pre-Requisites: Transitional Math
  • Alternate Course(s): Foundational Math, Transitional Math, Algebra I, Placement based on Instructor’s recommendation

Pre-Algebra bridges the gap between mathematics learned during the elementary school years and high school math courses. This course is designed to provide students with fundamental skills that will be needed throughout the rest of their mathematical career. First, after a quick review of basic number theory and arithmetic operations, students will tackle developing a deeper understanding of functions and inequalities - how to define them, evaluate them, and interpret their graphs - in preparation for a thorough exploration of polynomials. Then, they will begin exploring linear functions and their graphs, graphical analysis of statistical data, and parallel and perpendicular lines on the coordinate plane. Last, the class will explore some of the core concepts of sequences, series, and probability.

Algebra I

  • Instructor(s): Jillian Rosencranz
  • Grade Level: 7 - 9
  • Requirement Information: Fills 1 of 3 required Upper School Mathematics courses
  • Duration: Full-Year
  • Pre-Requisites: Pre-Algebra
  • Alternate Course(s): N/A

Algebra I is where students begin to build the conceptual knowledge base necessary for conquering complex problems using mathematical reasoning. Through collaborative work groups and heavy emphasis on the “how” and “why” of concepts, students will build a foundation of mathematical knowledge and problem solving techniques that will help them in future math classes and beyond. Concepts covered will include solving complex equations and inequalities, linear functions, and systems of equations.

Honors Requirements:

Honors students are expected to delve deeper into the concepts mastered during class by completing weekly Honors-level homework assignments and tackling more difficult problems on graded assessments. In addition to this, Honors students will complete one project per trimester related to a topic covered during that trimester.

Geometry

  • Instructor(s): Jillian Rosencranz
  • Grade Level: 8 - 10
  • Requirement Information: Fills 1 of 3 required Upper School Mathematics courses
  • Duration: Full-Year
  • Pre-Requisites: Algebra I
  • Alternate Course(s): N/A

Geometry students are challenged to examine the world around them and deconstruct it into the geometric structures that form the building blocks of their daily experiences of “space.” Students will learn to apply mathematical logic when doing so, assembling logical progressions of facts that prove the fundamental theorems they will utilize throughout their explorations of triangles, polygons, congruence, similarity, trigonometry, circles, and polyhedra. Students will also build on the skills gained in Algebra I by analyzing geometric problem sets with algebraic concepts. As participants in a heavily visual course emphasizing the development of spatial reasoning skills, students can expect to be frequently challenged to apply their conceptual understanding of course material to a variety of topics including art, science, architecture, and more.

Honors Requirements:

Honors students are expected to delve deeper into the concepts mastered during class by completing weekly Honors-level homework assignments and tackling more difficult problems on graded assessments. In addition to this, Honors students will complete one project per trimester related to a topic covered during that trimester.

MS Physical Education

Physical Education

  • Instructor: Kirk Lombardi
  • Grade Level: 6-8
  • Duration: Full-Year

Physical Education is required in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. The focus of this physical education program is to provide an opportunity for students to participate in a wide variety of physical activities and experiences that promote the mastery of the core skills introduced at the elementary school level. Middle School physical education will build a framework for lifetime activities and healthy living. Middle School is a time of transition, which may bring about an upheaval in physical, emotional, social, and intellectual worlds. To successfully bridge this transition, students will explore and apply information, as well as participate in activities that empower them to assume responsibility for their own lifetime health, wellness, and fitness.

MS Science

Doane Academy’s Science department seeks to engage students in the practice of doing science as a means of engaging scientific theory. Our inquiry-based approach to curriculum design challenges students to explore concepts through experimental design, projects, tinkering, data modelling, and more. We firmly believe that students learn best by “doing.” As such, we emphasize hands-on, real-world experiences which encourage our students to understand the nature of scientific inquiry and how it applies to their daily lives.

The department seeks to provide opportunities for students to participate in interdisciplinary lessons that encourage them to blend content from various subject areas in pursuit of their personal interests. Thus, students are taught through their lab experiences to include what they’ve learned in their other classes as a part of the scientific process. They will explore how scientific breakthroughs have changed the course of history, use concepts learned to inspire artistic representations, apply statistical methods to manipulate data, and take advantage of available technology to enhance their laboratory experience.

Integrated Science I

  • Instructor(s): Andrea Anza
  • Grade Level: 6
  • Requirement Information: N/A
  • Duration: Full-Year
  • Pre-Requisites: N/A
  • Alternate Course(s): N/A

The Integrated Science curriculum at Doane is dedicated to preparing our middle school students for conducting scientific investigations and analyzing scientific phenomena through cross-curricular explorations of key topics in the Earth, Life, and Physical science fields. In this class, 6th grade students will explore living organisms and how they interact with the world around them in a hands-on manner through labs, projects, and modelling simulations. Students will learn to classify plant and animal organisms, study human biology, analyze the interdependence of life within ecosystems, develop an understanding of the impact Earth’s climate has on the environment, and learn how humans have used their understanding of forces to create their own ecosystems.

Integrated Science II

  • Instructor(s): Andrea Anza
  • Grade Level: 7
  • Requirement Information: N/A
  • Duration: Full-Year
  • Pre-Requisites: N/A
  • Alternate Course(s): N/A

In their second year of Integrated Science, students will explore how the systems they studied in 6th grade can change. Through a series of projects, labs, and collaborative problem-solving challenges, students will explore how the evolutionary theory, migration, thermodynamics, chemical reactions, climate change, linear motion, and energy transfer have transformed the world at both the micro- and macro- level. From roller coasters to the Arctic, from tectonic plates to evolution, and from the advent of human life on Earth to humanity’s impact today, students will apply what they have learned to understand how the Earth - and life on it - has changed throughout history.

Physical Science

  • Instructor(s): Andrea Anza
  • Grade Level: 8
  • Requirement Information: N/A
  • Duration: Full-Year
  • Pre-Requisites: N/A
  • Alternate Course(s): N/A

8th grade Physical Science engages students in an exploration of the nature matter and energy. The course is divided into two main parts, one physics-based and the other chemistry-based. Students will explore the periodic table, the structure of the atom, and the results of chemical and physical changes. They will also analyze the various ways in which energy is transferred, including forces, work, motion, heat, sound, light, electricity, and magnetism. Labs are frequent and will task students with recognizing how to investigate systematically physical phenomena using available data and trial and error. When possible, students will be encouraged to modify lab procedures to test their own hypotheses.

MS S.T.E.A.M

Doane Academy’s S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) program is dedicated to developing a community of young tinkerers ready to tackle the 21st century with their creativity, individuality, and unique passions. Our S.T.E.A.M. courses seek to accomplish this by providing students with open-ended, collaborative class structures which encourage them to pull content knowledge from a wide variety of other subjects in pursuit of problem solutions which they can truly call their own.

For many schools, “S.T.E.M.” education is the push for more math, science, and engineering majors going into college. At Doane, we include the liberal arts. We insist on including the liberal arts - History, Band, Theater, Poetry, and so on - because they drive the creative and entrepreneurial spirit that can lead our Middle School student to new discoveries. As such, our S.T.E.A.M. curriculum is as much about learning the engineering design process as it is about providing our students with the opportunity to test their own ideas in an environment that allows them to develop a growth mindset, make mistakes, refine designs, and eventually create a product which addresses the complexity of any problem.

STEAM - Engineering and Technology Applications

  • Instructor(s): Patrick Gibbons
  • Grade Level: 6-8
  • Requirement Information: N/A
  • Duration: Full-Year
  • Pre-Requisites: N/A
  • Alternate Course(s): STEAM - Robotics and Programming; Arts Minor Courses (7-8 only)

This full year arts minor will introduce middle school students to a variety of technological tools and applications as they explore engineering design projects. During the first half of the year, students will collaborate to compete in the annual Science Olympiads competition, which tasks students with demonstrating their knowledge in a variety of science and technology fields as they take tests, complete experiments, and build contraptions to complete tasks. Students will learn to use Computer Assisted Drawing (CAD) modelling software to create designs, make use of the 3D Printers to create pieces for their physical models, and create simple electrical circuits powered by Arduino to control moving parts on their models. In the second half of the year, students will build on their skills gained by participating in the national SeaPerch submersible drone competition. They will build experimental apparatuses to test their drones, learn to solder complex circuits to control their drone’s hardware, and develop and 3D print additional components for their drone to complete the competition’s various tasks.

STEAM - Robotics and Coding

  • Instructor(s): John Baunach
  • Grade Level: 6-8
  • Requirement Information: N/A
  • Duration: Full-Year
  • Pre-Requisites: N/A
  • Alternate Course(s): STEAM - Engineering and Technology Applications; Arts Minor Courses (7-8 only)

This full year course will introduce middle school students to the basic principles of programming. During the first semester, students will collaborate to compete in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) robotics competition, which tasks students with building and programming LEGO NXT robots to complete a series of tasks on a game board. Additionally, each year the game revolves around a theme and the competition also involves a research project. Students will compete in scrimmages and a qualifier tournament in the fall and early winter. During the second semester, students will build on the programming skills learned in LEGO's Mindstorm block-based language by learning to write programs in a Scratch. They will learn how to use algorithms, variables, controls, and procedures to develop programs for completing a variety of tasks. If time allows, they will take what they have learned and construct their own video games in Scratch.

MS Classical and World Languages

Spanish 6

  • Instructor: Michelle Dewey
  • Grade Levels: 6
  • Duration: 1 Year

In this course, students will focus on the four skills necessary to learn a new language: listening, speaking, writing, and reading. Students will participate in a variety of interactive activities to practice these four skills, including daily conversations in the target language and several cooperative learning tasks. Learning goals include appropriately using common classroom phrases to maintain communication in the target language, naming body parts, describing articles of clothing, describing others’ personalities and physical appearances, describing houses and chores, expressing likes and dislikes, and exploring the music and dance of Spanish-speaking countries.

6th grade Language Cycle

  • Instructor: Anna Hall/ Julian Cook
  • Grade Level: 6
  • Duration: Full-Year

All 6th graders participate in a Language Cycle during which they will explore both Latin and Spanish at the introductory level. By taking both Latin and Spanish during the Language Cycle, students will be able to make an informed decision when they choose their language course of study. This decision will be made at the end of the second trimester after students have completed trimester-long courses in Latin and Spanish. Students will have the opportunity to learn about Roman history and culture and the diverse cultures of Spanish-speaking countries. In both courses, students will examine various aspects of language structure, grammar, and vocabulary in Spanish and Latin which will enhance and reinforce their understanding of English.

1st Trimester: Introduction to Latin, Part I:

During the first trimester, all 6th graders will take Introduction to Latin 1, Part 1, in which they will be introduced to the Latin language and Roman culture. A focus on grammar will provide students with insight into the structure of an inflected language that will contribute to their understanding of English as well as any further study in Latin or the Romance languages. Students will study the roots of many English words which are derived from Latin and improve their command of their own language by adding to their vocabulary. This course will provide students with a basis for further study of the Latin language by introducing them to concepts such as case, declension, and conjugation. In addition, students will learn about the Latin language through the historical lenses of life in the Roman Empire, a time period with vast influences on modern concepts of philosophy, art, architecture, law, and political science.

2nd Trimester: Introduction to Spanish, Part I

In this course, students will be introduced to Spanish language and culture. They will learn the phrases necessary to maintain communication in the target language during class, including greetings and goodbyes, pleasantries, telling time, giving the date, and talking about the weather. Students will learn to identify and describe the people and places at Doane Academy, tell where people are from, identify class subjects, and express opinions about their classes and extracurricular activities. Students will identify and describe the countries where Spanish is spoken. They will also compare schools and student life in the United States with those in Spanish-speaking countries. Students will build oral proficiency through interpersonal and presentational communication.

Learning activities will also include interactive writing assignments, as well as reading and listening comprehension tasks.

3rd Trimester: Introduction to Latin, Part II, OR Introduction to Spanish, Part II

Upon thoughtful reflection and after two trimesters of language courses, students will choose their 3rd-trimester class. In 8th grade, students will continue to study the language they select at this time.

Introduction to Latin, Part II:

In this course, students will continue to build upon the foundation laid in the first trimester. They will further their study of grammar to include tenses of verbs, more complicated sentence structures, interrogatives, and comparative adjectives. Cultural topics studied will include various forms of Roman entertainment, including theater, gladiatorial shows, public games, and baths. Students will also continue to read about life in the town of Pompeii prior to the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.

Introduction to Spanish, Part II:

In this course, students will continue to build on the skills and knowledge introduced during the 2nd trimester. Through cross-cultural comparison, students will understand the cultures of Spanish speaking countries in relation to their own. Topics of study will include: Talking about family members and pets, describing a house and apartment, describing rooms and furnishings, identifying and expressing opinions about school and extra-curricular activities, describing a school uniform, shopping for clothing and school supplies, and talking about daily routines.

Students will also learn about the difference between food and meal-taking customs in the United States and Spanish-speaking countries.

Students will participate in a variety of oral presentations to improve their oral fluency and pronunciation. Learning activities will also include interactive writing assignments, as well as reading and listening comprehension tasks.

7th grade Language Cycle

  • Instructor: Julian Cook/Anne Hall
  • Grade Level: 7
  • Duration: Full-Year

All 7th graders participate in a Language Cycle during which they will explore both Latin and Spanish at the introductory level. By taking both Latin and Spanish during the Language Cycle, students will be able to make an informed decision when they choose their language course of study. This decision will be made at the end of the second trimester after students have completed trimester-long courses in Latin and Spanish. Students will have the opportunity to learn about Roman history and culture and the diverse cultures of Spanish-speaking countries. In both courses, students will examine various aspects of language structure, grammar, and vocabulary in Spanish and Latin which will enhance and reinforce their understanding of English.

1st Trimester: Introduction to Latin, Part I:

During the first trimester, all 7th graders will take Introduction to Latin 1, Part 1, in which they will be introduced to the Latin language and Roman culture. A focus on grammar will provide students with insight into the structure of an inflected language that will contribute to their understanding of English as well as any further study in Latin or the Romance languages. Students will study the roots of many English words which are derived from Latin and improve their command of their own language by adding to their vocabulary. This course will provide students with a basis for further study of the Latin language by introducing them to concepts such as case, declension, and conjugation. In addition, students will learn about the Latin language through the historical lenses of life in the Roman Empire, a time period with vast influences on modern concepts of philosophy, art, architecture, law, and political science.

2nd Trimester: Introduction to Spanish, Part I

In this course, students will be introduced to Spanish language and culture. They will learn the phrases necessary to maintain communication in the target language during class, including greetings and goodbyes, pleasantries, telling time, giving the date, and talking about the weather. Students will learn to identify and describe the people and places at Doane Academy, tell where people are from, identify class subjects, and express opinions about their classes and extracurricular activities. Students will identify and describe the countries where Spanish is spoken. They will also compare schools and student life in the United States with those in Spanish-speaking countries. Students will build oral proficiency through interpersonal and presentational communication.

Learning activities will also include interactive writing assignments, as well as reading and listening comprehension tasks.

3rd Trimester: Introduction to Latin, Part II, OR Introduction to Spanish, Part II

Upon thoughtful reflection and after two trimesters of language courses, students will choose their 3rd-trimester class. In 8th grade, students will continue to study the language they select at this time.

Introduction to Latin, Part II:

In this course, students will continue to build upon the foundation laid in the first trimester. They will further their study of grammar to include tenses of verbs, more complicated sentence structures, interrogatives, and comparative adjectives. Cultural topics studied will include various forms of Roman entertainment, including theater, gladiatorial shows, public games, and baths. Students will also continue to read about life in the town of Pompeii prior to the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.

Introduction to Spanish, Part II:

In this course, students will continue to build on the skills and knowledge introduced during the 2nd trimester. Through cross-cultural comparison, students will understand the cultures of Spanish speaking countries in relation to their own. Topics of study will include: Talking about family members and pets, describing a house and apartment, describing rooms and furnishings, identifying and expressing opinions about school and extra-curricular activities, describing a school uniform, shopping for clothing and school supplies, and talking about daily routines.

Students will also learn about the difference between food and meal-taking customs in the United States and Spanish-speaking countries.

Students will participate in a variety of oral presentations to improve their oral fluency and pronunciation. Learning activities will also include interactive writing assignments, as well as reading and listening comprehension tasks.

8th-Grade Spanish

  • Instructor: Michelle Dewey
  • Grade Level: 8th grade
  • Duration: 1 Year
  • Pre-Requisites: Successful completion of the 7th grade Language Cycle at Doane Academy
  • Alternate course: Spanish I

This course is a continuation of the 7th Grade Language Cycle. Students will read, write, and speak in Spanish and develop listening comprehension skills in the target language. Students will review the phrases necessary to communicate in day-to-day situations in Spanish. Through the study of vocabulary, grammar, and cross-cultural comparison, students will explore the following topics: talking about meals and snacks, identifying food and drinks, ordering food and beverages in a restaurant, talking about soccer, basketball, baseball, and tennis, describing a sports uniform, identifying colors, describing personalities, health, and emotions, communicating with a doctor, talking about summer and winter weather and activities, discussing leisure activities, and shopping for food and clothing. Students will narrate events in the present tense and express likes, dislikes, and preferences. They will also talk about past events with the preterite tense. Students will be expected to participate during class in the target language, and students’ oral proficiency will be frequently evaluated via formal and informal presentations. The textbook Así se dice, Level 1 will be used in 8th Grade Spanish. This course will prepare students to take Spanish III in 9th grade.

Latin 8

  • Instructor: Anna Hall
  • Grade Level: 8
  • Duration: Full-Year
  • Prerequisites: Introduction to Latin, Part 2
  • Alternate Course: 8th-Grade Spanish

This course builds upon the foundations introduced in the language cycle and covers the initial principles of Latin grammar and sentence construction. Adhering to the Standards for Classical Language Learning, students are introduced to the basic forms and syntax of this highly inflected language, including six cases for the first three declensions of nouns, all four conjugations of verbs in the present and imperfect tenses, adjectives of three declensions, and the passive voice. Students develop techniques for memorizing vocabulary and word forms in order to acquire effective translation skills and enhance their command of their own language through increasing their knowledge of derivatives. Students will gain exposure to some of the greatest authors of Latin literature through reading adapted texts from authors ranging from the Early Republic to the Late Empire. In addition, students will study the mythological stories and the cultural lives of the nation that shaped Western Civilization. The textbook used for 8th-Grade Latin is Latin for the New Millennium, Part I.

Latin I

  • Instructor: Sam McVane
  • Grade Level: 8-12
  • Duration: Full-Year
  • Alternate Course: Spanish I

Latin I is a full-year introductory course that covers the initial principles of grammar and sentence construction. Adhering to the Standards for Classical Language Learning, students are introduced to the basic forms and syntax of this highly inflected language, including six cases for the first three declensions of nouns, all four conjugations of verbs in the present and imperfect tenses, adjectives of three declensions, and the passive voice. Students develop techniques for memorizing vocabulary and word forms in order to acquire effective translation skills and enhance their command of their own language through increasing their knowledge of derivatives. Students will gain exposure to some of the greatest authors of Latin literature through reading adapted texts from authors ranging from the Early Republic to the Early Empire. In addition, students will study the mythological stories and the cultural lives of the nation that shaped Western Civilization. The textbook used for Latin I is Latin for the New Millennium, Part I.

Spanish I

  • Instructor: Michelle Dewey
  • Grade Level: 8-12
  • Duration: Full-Year
  • Alternate Course: Latin I

This course provides an introduction to the study of Spanish and is designed for students new to the language. Students will read, write, and speak in Spanish and develop listening comprehension skills in the target language. Students will learn the phrases necessary to communicate in day-to-day situations in Spanish. Through the study of vocabulary, grammar, and cross-cultural comparison, students will explore the following topics: greetings and goodbyes, pleasantries, telling time, days of the week, months, seasons, weather, giving the date, identifying and describing people and things, telling where someone is from, expressing opinions about classes, talking about family members and pets, describing a house and apartment, describing rooms and furnishings, school activities, school supplies, extra-curricular activities, describing a school uniform, phrases that indicate location, talking about meals and snacks, identifying food and drinks, talking about soccer, basketball, baseball, and tennis, describing a sports uniform, and identifying colors. Students will narrate events in the present tense and express likes, dislikes, and preferences. Students will also be introduced to a variety of study skills to help them learn a new language. Students will be expected to participate during class in the target language, and students’ oral proficiency will be frequently evaluated via formal and informal presentations. The textbook ¡Qué chévere! , Level 1 will be used in Spanish I.