- About MMS
Middle School Academics
Mount Madonna Middle School offers a challenging and well-balanced academic program while simultaneously emphasizing creative self-expression and positive character development. While academics in the Middle School do focus on preparation for high school we also want to encourage a continuing love of learning and intellectual inquiry.
At this age students are beginning to develop abstract thinking processes and are eager to explore new modes of self-expression. It is also a time when students begin to develop their critical thinking and writing skills, and become aware of themselves as part of a larger social system. Each year every student studies English, Spanish, Social Studies (World History, U.S. History or Geography), Science, and Mathematics. In addition to academic subjects, all students study Fine Art, Dance, Voice, Performing Arts, and participate in Communication and Advisory classes.
English study emphasizes the development of creative self-expression as well as critical thinking skills. Through reading, writing and discussion, students sharpen their abilities to clearly put their thoughts, ideas and feelings into words, both written and spoken.
In Social Studies the emphasis is on understanding the role of history in human culture and society. Readings, role-play, creative writing, video, biographies and art all play a part in making history come alive. A second emphasis is ethical inquiry. Students examine and reflect on past history in order to better understand and formulate positive values as responsible citizens and stewards of the current society and natural world.
The Spanish program is designed to foster an appreciation of the Spanish language and Latino culture. Students learn the basics of the language in preparation for further study in Spanish. They are encouraged to train their ear for language, to gain practical experience by learning to converse with one another, and to gain an appreciation for the cultures in which Spanish is spoken.
Math & Science
Mathematics is ability-grouped with students joining the High School level courses if they are ready. The sixth and seventh grade mathematics/science programs utilize a thematic, problem solving, and laboratory approach to understanding how the many strands of mathematics and science are integrated. The program is intended to give students an appreciation of the intimate connection between mathematics and science, and better knowledge of how those disciplines are applied in the real world.
The eighth grade mathematics program consists of a first course in algebra, covering all the traditionally related topics and introducing some advanced mathematical topics by the end of the course. Our daily classes are problem centered. The underlying principles of the class include developing critical thinking, reflections on students' own learning process, and problem solving. By developing their concentration and ability to focus on problems at hand, the students develop a better awareness and confidence in themselves as problem-solvers.