The middle school program at Fulton Science Academy Private School is designed to help our students find their passions while becoming successful learners both in and outside of the classroom environment. As a school serving Advanced and Gifted students, our rigorous program is designed to meet students at their individual needs
The middle school program at Fulton Science Academy Private School is designed to help our students find their passions while becoming successful learners both in and outside of the classroom environment. As a school serving Advanced and Gifted students, our rigorous program is designed to meet students at their individual needs. Our teachers strive to provide students with the support and challenges they need to grow. At FSAPS, we place a strong emphasis on the whole child in order to provide our students with the necessary skills to be successful in a world beyond FSAPS.
Students in middle school have a designated homeroom teacher and core group, but they travel to individual subject-area teachers for each of their courses throughout the day. Middle school students have the opportunity to take high school level courses, per placement tests, to gain high school credit for graduation. Foreign language is integrated into their daily schedule and in 7th grade their high school credit course begins. We offer a variety of clubs and academic teams that are integrated at the end of the school day and participation is strongly encouraged.
The middle school language arts curriculum at Fulton Science Academy Private School fosters literacy and lifelong independent thinkers. Our challenging, complex approach to teaching literature and language aims to prepare students to think critically in all areas of life, to promote reading as a source of acquiring knowledge, and to encourage reading for the simple enjoyment of it. This curriculum requires students to call on a wide range of strategies to comprehend, analyze, evaluate, and appreciate the written work of others and themselves. Teachers are guided by the Common Core State Standards as they create their courses.
For literature, students read works from multiple genres, modes of expression, experiences, and backgrounds while developing critical-thinking skills and effective communication skills. Through engaging, stimulating collaborative discussions, independent responses, reflective thinking, and written expression, students analyze and synthesize material. Houghton Mifflin’s Collections series directs students to study the interconnections of various kinds of literature within thematic units. Ranging from the canonical to the contemporary, the texts in this series ask students to explore the foundations of literature and communication. As students work through the various collections, they learn to navigate the complexity of increasingly challenging texts. Through a variety of approaches to discussion and analysis, students learn to express the purpose, meaning, and structure of written texts. In addition to selections from the text, novels and plays are studied. Novels such as Sounder in 6th grade, Animal Farm in 7th grade, and Anthem in 8th grade are read by all students. Students are introduced to Shakespeare in the 6th grade with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, read Much Ado About Nothing in 7th, and Julius Caesar in 8th. To reinforce reading skills and to foster independence, a book-a-month of the student’s choice is required. Students follow up this reading at the Whooo’s Reading website, where they demonstrate comprehension through analysis questions and a reading check quiz.
One important tool for literature study is writing. Middle school students continue to build on the writing process (pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading) they learned in elementary grades. Students compose a wide variety of pieces such as analytical, persuasive/argumentative, narrative, informative, and creative. Using the text Write Source and personally-created lessons, teachers approach the teaching of writing through the effective process method and check student progress throughout the process. Throughout the year, middle school students are assessed through the Write Score program, which identifies individual needs and areas for improvement. Students are also instructed on grammar, usage, and conventions while working through the process. Such skills are reinforced with the site NoRedInk, which also allows students to share drafts and receive feedback from peers and others.
Two other key components of the middle school language arts curriculum are research and vocabulary. Beginning in 6th grade, students learn to develop research skills throughout their middle school years. Presentations, projects, and researched essays are required, and students are introduced to such concepts as source-finding, outlining, attribution/citation, note-taking, and integration of source material. Middle school students use Wordly Wise as the anchor for their vocabulary study, but teachers also supplement these lessons with vocabulary studied in context from the assigned readings.
The vertically aligned, progressively more challenging Language Arts curriculum at our school prepares students not only to succeed on the college level but also to set a foundation for a life-long educational journey.
FSA has recently implemented Delta FOSS (Full Option Science System) curriculum, starting with 6th grade. We utilize the Next Generation Science Standards along with FOSS. This allows us to incorporate STEAM instruction into our daily lessons and activities. We place a strong focus on hands-on and engaging learning in the science classroom in order to help our students become scientific thinkers and collaborators.
The NGSS Standards focus on the three dimensions of science learning: crosscutting concepts, science and engineering practices, and disciplinary core ideas. These dimensions are combined to form each standard and work with each other to help students build a cohesive understanding of science over time. FOSS curriculum provides teachers and students with the materials, resources, and focus questions needed to make meaning and understanding of these scientific concepts. Classroom experiences are designed to engage all students with meaningful active learning and integrate robust reading and literacy strategies to support Common Core ELA. The active investigations provide engagement with science concepts and engineering practices through a variety of exposures.
Students in the 6th grade science classroom learn how to discuss their ideas with their peers, defend their thoughts, and contribute to the classroom experience. Small group work, large group discussions, and constant synthesis of new ideas ensure students learn the problem solving and critical thinking skills necessary to progress through future science courses.
7th grade students embark upon an exploration of the life sciences, following the Georgia Performance Standards. Students combine content learned in the classroom with hands-on lab work to explore the inner workings of living systems, expanding their understanding of the biological and biochemical processes that drive life. Students synthesize information, collaborate to expand upon their ideas, and communicate their findings and understandings of the life sciences.
Students learn about the following topics: the nature of science, atoms & water, introduction to organic chemistry, cellular systems and transport, DNA transcription and translation, genetics, bacteria, population, ecology, evolution, body systems, animals, biomes, protists, and fungi plants.
In 8th grade, students take high school level physical science, following the Georgia Performance Standards. This course provides students with the opportunity to discover if they prefer Physics or Chemistry before entering high school, while building a foundation of understanding in both of these sciences. The course offers a view for various topics in both subjects, exposing students to the material they will encounter at a deeper level in their high school science courses.
The course pairs content with formative lab experiments to introduce the students to the structure of high school science courses. Students learn the fundamentals of chemistry and physics while honing their data collection and observation skills as young scientists.
Upon successful completion of the course, students will have the knowledge fundamental to their success in their high school science courses, and they will have the skills needed to collect and interpret scientific data. Students collaborate and discuss the phenomena covered in class, cultivating the skills and work ethic necessary for success in the high school science classroom.
While each grade level description above is unique, FSA has begun the process of integrating the middle school sciences to ensure students’ understanding of the crosscutting concepts across all science disciplines. FOSS is an integrated curriculum that will be adopted in 7th grade next year and 8th grade the following year.
The life, physical, and earth sciences are intricately intertwined, relying heavily on one another for all modern advances. Integrated curriculum encourages students to think globally and allows them to identify patterns and relationships across the various subjects. Moreover, FSA focuses on developing thinkers who can collaborate and communicate with others, and these skills are transferable not only across the sciences but across all disciplines students will encounter throughout middle school and beyond.
For math instruction, FSA utilizes The Common Core National Standards for Mathematics as well as a rigorous curriculum, Math In Focus, to meet students at their appropriate math levels. The Math In Focus curriculum is designed to ensure every child is able to master concepts and apply mathematics. Problem solving is at the heart of this American version of the Singapore Math approach, and requires students to gain an understanding of the math concepts and apply these concepts successfully.
This curriculum works to leverage global next practices and research to create a unique approach based on visual models, hands-on activities, and a consistent pedagogical approach for grades 6-8, allowing us to best prepare our middle grade students by empowering them to develop the critical-thinking skills, positive attitudes, and confidence needed to set the stage for achievement for the more challenging math courses they will take in their higher grades.
At FSAPS, we offer a unique course structure of both typical courses, as well as hybrid courses, in order to meet the needs of all our students. This allows students who have a strong grasp of mathematical foundations to accelerate through math instruction.
Our middle school goals for social studies instruction are to teach our students to think critically, be good communicators and develop the skills necessary to participate meaningfully in the global community of the 21st century. The middle school curriculum in 6th and 7th grade focuses on global studies through an integration of geography, history, economics, civics and current topics of interest. In 6th grade, students investigate Europe, Latin America, Canada and Australia. In 7th grade students continue their global studies, focusing on Asia and Africa.
Our 8th grade curriculum provides the same type of broadly integrated social studies curriculum devoted to American Studies. This course provides students with a integrated thematic exposure to U.S. history, geography, economics, civics and current topics of interest. Our middle school curriculum follows the Georgia Standards for Excellence for Social Studies and the recommendations of the National Council for the Social Studies. Throughout middle school students develop information processing and literacy skills. Our social studies curriculum is enhanced through the use of the DBQ Project that promotes the development of high-level critical thinking and writing skills through the use of content-specific questions and evidence based analysis.
Beginning in kindergarten, we implement the Caring School Community Curriculum daily with our elementary and middle school students. We have dedicated this IMPACT time to meet the social emotional learning needs of our diverse student population.
Using the Caring Schools Community Curriculum, IMPACT lessons consist of research-based lessons taught by classroom teachers during a dedicated time of the day. Each week has a different SEL focus. This curriculum is designed to teach students to develop skills needed to interact with others in a constructive way.