The Middle School team supports PA’s philosophy by allowing students to meet our academic challenges and expectations through exploration and creativity. The Middle School instructional team is passionate about the subjects that they teach. The team works closely with students and families to create a strong sense of community within the middle school. Our teachers are mindful of the adolescent learner by
Peoria Academy graduates excel in demanding post-elementary programs such as IMSA, Richwoods IB (International Baccalaureate), Peoria Notre Dame and Dunlap AP and honors courses.
The Peoria Academy Middle School English Program encompasses literature, composition, and critical thinking. The teaching of these components is integrated across the curriculum.
The objectives of the literature program are:
The reading units focus on exploring thematic connections among works selected from a range of reading levels that align with our social studies curriculum.From the reading unit selections, each student will engage in a variety of activities where he/she will explore and discuss the connections with his/her personal experiences, history and current events, and other literary works. Independent reading assignments will serve to enhance and support the reading skills that students practice in class. Class study of major literary works provides guided practice in analysis through discussion and writing. The reading list includes classic literature as well as more contemporary works, short stories, poetry, and nonfiction.
The writing program offers students a variety of writing experiences arising from the study of literature and includes both creative and analytical writing. As students move through the grades, greater emphasis on expository writing prepares them for the demands of their later academic lives. The teaching of grammar and its application to the mechanics of writing is sequentially organized and reinforced. Instruction in spelling, sentence structure, punctuation, and parts of speech is applied to editing and revising skills.
At Peoria Academy, we recognize that each student’s math achievement is unique. Our primary goal is for students to gain both confidence and competence. Beginning in 5th grade, our program uses Springboard curricula and supplementary resources to provide individualized instruction appropriate for a student’s skill level and learning style. Our math instructor is a subject area specialist with sixteen years’ experience teaching middle school math. Students develop critical-thinking, problem-solving, communication and collaborative learning skills.
By the end of middle school, the Peoria Academy science program seeks to provide for all of our students not only a grasp on the basics of what science has uncovered about the world up until now, but also the dispositions and habits of mind required for doing good science. Furthermore, all of our students will develop the laboratory, inquiry, and analysis skills needed for furthering their education at a higher level.
To accomplish this, our first and primary goal is to cultivate each student’s sense of wonder at the amazing world in them and around them, so they that will continue pursuing scientific knowledge and understanding for the rest of their lives, out of sheer curiosity and enjoyment. Second, we explicitly teach the nature of science. The ways of questioning and reasoning in science are such that they can enhance every aspect of one’s life, simply because the goals of science are to figure out and to deal with the world the way it really is. We do all of this here at PA through hands-on investigations in and outside of the lab, argumentation—both informally in class discussions and more formally through oral presentations, creative projects, individual and group research, field work, current events, history of science, documentaries, citizen science, and much more.
Social Studies at Peoria Academy addresses a wide range of topics; through the study of history, civics, geography and current events, students develop an understanding of both past and present civilizations and cultures. Students are challenged to think critically and creatively through a variety of projects, research papers and oral presentations. Special attention is given to research methods and the evaluation of primary and secondary sources. Middle School Social Studies classes work closely with Language Arts to reinforce curriculum concepts and skills in writing and reading comprehension.
The Middle School Spanish program seeks to encourage, support, and provide a positive classroom environment where students have the opportunity to learn the Spanish language, as well as to develop a greater understanding of both Spanish and other Hispanic cultures. Using the student’s instinctive qualities of curiosity, creativity, and participation, our program’s goal is to fully prepare students for subsequent high school Spanish and instill a love for language acquisition. Instruction is offered in a progressive, challenging, and sequenced manner given. Reinforcement is achieved through repetition, memorization, and progressive immersion. Assigned readings, textbook, workbooks, project presentations, skits, plays, role-play, games, songs, art, videos, food days, holiday celebrations, guest speakers, and planned outings to Mexican restaurants are some of the learning practices used to engage students at every level of their learning experience. Finally, subjects such as Spanish art, geography, famous people, current events, history, and research on various cultural topics are explored to help the students develop a greater global understanding and cultural sensitivity.
STEM refers to the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. However, STEM initiatives are not science, technology, engineering and mathematics in isolation. Rather, STEM is the integration of courses, programs or linked learning opportunities using an interdisciplinary approach through exploration, discovery and problem solving. Students are given the opportunity to discover new interests through computer coding, robotics, problem-solving, engineering and inter-disciplinary projects. Blended-learning curriculum and project-based activities encourage our students to reach beyond the traditional definition of academic success. Students are actively engaged in hands-on minds-on activities through which they realize the application and relevance of their STEM education experience.
Peoria Academy is alive with art! Our students are fortunate to experience an array of artistic mediums before they graduate on to high school!
As middle schoolers, students will deviate from the twice a week class and monthly mediums, to a more rigorous five day-a-week (for one quarter) rotating curriculum. This set of curricula will span all four years of middle school, with mediums changing every year. Built into the middle school curriculum there is also an art history program in addition to a critique series.
As a part of Peoria Academy’s exceptional art program, the school puts on both an art show and an art fair. The art show displays art work created by each and every student in the school and is exhibited at a local gallery. PA’s art fair is a fun carnival-like event that highlights the arts, with pottery demos, student performances, a kid’s art tent, and even a band. It’s a fun event that the whole family can enjoy!
As part of Peoria Academy’s mission, we strive to foster the intellectual growth of well-rounded children. The fine arts department is no exception! Our school emphasizes the importance of the arts and their significance in nurturing the whole child.
Middle School Music is a comprehensive curriculum that promotes interactive learning.
Middle School Music is designed to develop an appreciation of all types of music through listening, analyzing, evaluating, and presentation skills. The curriculum in fifth through eighth grade encourages students to develop an understanding of music genres throughout history and their impact on society then and now. Students showcase their knowledge and skills learned through original, creative projects. By sharing their knowledge in a variety of ways including Keynote-style presentations, performing live and recorded compositions for one another, and presenting about a composer, musician, or band(s) life and contribution to music history, classes are able to leave Peoria Academy with a solid musical foundation.