St. Apollinaris Catholic School provides a departmentalized middle school where students transition between teachers and classrooms to prepare students for the responsibilities of high school. A block schedule is utilized to provide students longer periods of time to immerse themselves in the curriculum. Beginning in sixth grade, students use lockers, participate in middle school dances, and learn to serve others through the service hour program. Students continue to build the mastery of Chromebooks as an educational tool in a 1:1 setting, to participate in fine arts, technology, and foreign language, and to develop their physical self through PE and athletics. The middle school team of teachers works in collaboration with each other to ensure the rigorous academic program and the success of all students.
St. Apollinaris Catholic School uses McGraw-Hill textbooks based on California Common Core standards for middle school mathematics. Students are tested into 6th grade course 1 or accelerated course 1; 7th grade into Pre-algebra or accelerated Pre-Algebra and 8th grade into Algebra 1 or accelerated Algebra 1. Accelerated middle school mathematics courses work at a faster pace and include more writing opportunities. All students work on group projects, read Scholastic Math magazine articles and use Renaissance Freckle math assignments. All students also participate in the annual California Mathletics League math competition. Students taking accelerated 8th grade Algebra can test into Honors Geometry at Justin-Siena High School.
English Language Arts
The middle school language arts program uses the Common Core aligned California Collections Program which teaches key skills while also exposing students to various types of literature. In addition, teachers build literacy skills through book reports, novel studies, class discussions, annotations, grammar practice, and the writing process. Students develop their persuasive, narrative, and expository writing skills throughout their middle school experience. In seventh and eighth grade, students have the opportunity to place into an accelerated language arts class which further differentiates the curriculum to challenge students. Through our rigorous curriculum, many St. A’s graduates place into advanced language arts classes in high school.
Students in middle school are taught that the virtues and the sacraments are practical ways to receive and grow in God’s Grace, which will help them live the moral life in which Christ calls them. St. Apollinaris Catholic School uses the Faith and Life Series to teach the Catechism of the Catholic Church. To further engage students and instill these values, the middle school employs the Credible Catholic, Theology of the Body, Monthly Saints and Virtues, and the Circle of Grace programs. Students are required to serve others through the service hour program that is rooted in Catholic Social Teaching. Unique to the eighth grade class, students are developed into leaders of our faith community by leading the school wide morning prayer through proclaiming God’s word and leading our Faith Family school wide activities.
Starting in sixth grade and culminating in seventh grade, students continue to develop their faith through a deeper exploration of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and how to live out their faith through the Sacrament of Confirmation. The Chosen curriculum is used to guide students, parents, and sponsors on the faith journey. The school works in conjunction with the St. A’s parish to provide a one-day sixth grade retreat, a two-day seventh grade retreat, and required parent meetings. Seventh grade students receive the sacrament from the Bishop of the Santa Rosa Diocese in the spring.
Science at St. Apollinaris Catholic School focuses on the Next Generation Science Standards for Catholic Schools, which establishes meaningful expectations for student performance and achievement in science while promoting our Catholic identity and faith in the lives of our students. Through our interactive science curriculum students will be able to analyse and interpret data, develop critical thinking skills, problem solve and connect ideas across all science domains. Students will explore core ideas of Life, Earth and Space, and Physical Sciences which will be expanded upon as students progress through grade levels. Students at St. Apollinaris Catholic School participate in hands-on STEM based activities which reinforce ideas learned and help students make real world connections. Our 6th and 7th grade Science Fair allows students to apply knowledge of scientific and engineering design processes and then share their work with the community. A high majority of 8th grade students have been successfully placed into the Honors Physics classes at Justin-Siena High School through math placement testing each year.
In Sixth Grade we focus on Ancient Civilizations, move to Medieval History in Seventh Grade and finish out Eighth Grade with U.S. History. Each year students participate in interactive simulations, STEM projects, and both hands-on and digital projects to create a richer experience. In eighth grade, we also cover important current events as they are happening.
Students in 6th - 8th grades work in a variety of mediums in Visual Arts and are introduced to a number of different styles and artists from different time periods and cultures. Foundational skills are reinforced while creative problem solving and critical thinking are encouraged. 6th grade students wrap up their Performing Arts education with a review and deepening of the fundamentals as they write and create music as individuals and in groups.
The 6th - 8th grade Physical Education curriculum teaches manipulative skills, rhythmic skills, team sports and the importance of incorporating exercise regularly and healthy eating habits.