Academics

The Northgate School District Middle School curriculum provides students with rich and robust learning opportunities in the areas of English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies for students in both 7th- and 8th-grade. Our middle school students also rotate through classes in Art, Music, Physical Education, and Library. Students are also able to choose two electives, each elective is one semester long. Our Middle School Advisory program meets each day and is designed to provide our students with intensive support during this pivotal transition period.

English Language Arts

The goal of our English Language Arts curriculum is the development of critical readers and proficient writers through student-centered instruction with meaningful and appropriate text and tasks. In addition to a core reading resource, students engage with a variety of texts, including in other courses through the use of interdisciplinary themes. 

The English Language Arts curriculum is divided into the following broad categories:

  • Reading Informational Text and Literature
  • Writing and Conventions
  • Speaking and Listening

Mathematics

The Mathematics curriculum provides a comprehensive mathematical experience incorporating the five strands of mathematical competency. These include conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, strategic competence, adaptive reasoning, and productive disposition.

Students are provided opportunities to problem solve and think creatively using technology and manipulatives. These components of our elementary Mathematics program develop an understanding of basic skills and fundamental algorithms as well as providing opportunities for students to construct mathematical knowledge. Our mathematics program encourages students to work cooperatively, communicate mathematically, and make connections between important mathematical topics and the real world.

Our Mathematics curriculum consists of the following broad categories:

  • Numbers and Operations
  • Algebraic Thinking
  • Geometry
  • Data Analysis and Probability
  • Mathematical Practices

Science

The Science curriculum provides a comprehensive mathematical experience incorporating the five strands of mathematical competency. These include conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, strategic competence, adaptive reasoning, and productive disposition.

Our Science curriculum consists of the following broad categories:

  • Space Systems Exploration
  • Electricity, Waves, and Information Transfer
  • Energy, Forces, and Motion
  • Matter and Its Interactions
  • Weather and Climate Systems
  • Genes and Molecular Machines
  • Structure and Function
  • Earth’s Dynamic Systems
  • Ecosystems and Their Interactions

Social Studies

Social Studies is the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Our general social studies curriculum establishes a foundation for the subsequent, more specific classes that students will take as they move through the grade levels. 

Our Social Studies curriculum consists of the following broad categories:

  • PA History
  • World History
  • U.S. Geography

Art & MusicĀ 

Students are offered rich learning experiences that integrate the arts with the general curriculum. All students in grades 7-8 receive formal instruction from certified art and music teachers as part of our 9-week rotation program. 

Our certified art specialists encourage aesthetic awareness through observation and visual re-creation of the world around us. The art curriculum includes sequential lessons in the areas of drawing, painting, sculpting, ceramics, printmaking and crafts. Classroom teachers and the art teacher collaborate on themes to create interdisciplinary units.  

Our certified music specialists provide formal instruction that encourages participation through singing, rhythmic movement, and aesthetic awareness. Music instruction is often integrated with the general curriculum, which both enriches the learning experience and helps children form connections between the arts and other subjects, such as math and science.

Health & Physical Education

The goal of our Health and Physical Education curriculum is to expose students to a wide variety of activities that promote “life-long fitness” in an environment that values sportsmanship and respect for all. In alignment with state and national standards, our secondary Health and Physical Education programs provide students with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to achieve and maintain a physically active and healthful life.

In conjunction with our Health and Physical Education curriculum, our district-wide Wellness program strives to develop an environment to support and promote active lifestyles, healthy food choices and positive decision-making.

For More Information

Director of Curriculum and Assessment
Dr. Chris Caton
ccaton@northgatesd.net
412-732-3300 Ext. 1101