the middle school moment

a culmination of the

st. mary's journey

In Middle School, increased importance is placed on organizational skills, study habits, and time management. Students are taught to balance their studies and activities, develop responsibilities, and work as members of a group or team. In addition to challenging academic courses and a full experience of enrichment classes, elective classes are also available to students in grades 6-8 during the school day. These are typically a semester long, and students have the opportunity to rank/choose their selections.

Leadership and responsibility are expectations placed on all of our students, resulting in strong, independent young adults who are keen to do well and to give of their time to help others. Students also experience the opportunity to play school sports at the junior varsity level in 6th grade and at the varsity level as 7th and 8th graders.

A formal headshot photo of Kristen Orsini.

Middle School Head: Kristen Orsini
Appointed: 2021


Middle school is the culmination of all the careful nurturing, development, and skills, learned  throughout a student's journey at St. Mary's. Our students move out of the 'comfort zone' of working with one or two main teachers, as in previous years, and into the traditional middle school environment of individual specialist teachers for each subject area.

By the time our students graduate from St. Mary's, they are fully prepared for their secondary school experience and are highly sought after by all local high schools. Our students are ready for the challenges ahead and carry with them the strong foundation they received at St. Mary's.


  • Global Studies II (6th grade)
  • U.S. History I (7th grade)
  • U.S. History II (8th grade)
  • Language Arts (6th grade)

  • Language Arts (7th grade)

  • Language Arts (8th grade)
  • Math (6th grade)

  • Pre-Algebra (6th grade) 

  • Pre-Algebra (7th grade)

  • Algebra 1 Honors (7th grade)

  • Algebra 1 Honors (8th grade)

  • Geometry Honors (8th grade)
  • Earth Science (6th grade)

  • Life Science (7th grade)

  • Physical Science Honors (8th grade)
  • Latin (6th grade)

  • Latin (7th grade)

  • Latin (8th grade)

  • Spanish (7th grade)

  • Spanish (8th grade)
  • PE

  • STEM

  • Performing Arts

  • Art

  • Religious Studies

  • Public Speaking

  • Flex

Electives catalog

In addition to their usual Core and Enrichment classes, all 7th and 8th grade students select one course elective at the start of each semester. The electives meet three times a week and are academic, artistic, or leadership-oriented. They're intended to give students a choice in the coursework they’d like to pursue and provide a deeper dive into an area of interest.

This elective is for Saintly Strings students who participated last year. This advanced ensemble will perform at Chapels, Assemblies, and Fine Arts Night. 

This elective is for students who have experience playing a musical instrument or singing.  This advanced ensemble will perform at many different events throughout the year.  Expect to perform at least once a month. Some of these performances will include Chapel, Assemblies, and many other events.


Have you always wanted to speak French or study two languages at the same time? This course will be conversation-based, and we will primarily speak in the target language (French), so be prepared to leave your English behind when you enter the classroom! We will use the Duolingo app as a guide, a tool which gives you the opportunity to learn at your own pace. If we achieve a minimum level of proficiency, we may practice our skills with French speakers around the world later in the year. If you want to take French in high school, this course will also get you started.

The world is your oyster! Being a Global Ambassador is a leadership opportunity that will help students build global knowledge, relationships, and skills. Ambassadors may meet people from other countries, make friends with students around the world, discover ways to improve the environment, support the global theme, and create ways to lead positive changes that begin at St. Mary’s. Activities may include making videos, interviewing guests, communicating internationally, drawing posters, teaching games, or possibly leading an assembly presentation. Students who participate will have input as to which activities they prefer. Students will hone skills and have fun as they add to their resume for high school. Please note: Each semester is limited to 12 students. Students will have the opportunity to participate both semesters, but 2nd semester priority will be given to students who have not had this elective.

Lights! Camera! Action! In this course students study the history of film; from the silent film era to the "talkies", through the Golden Age of the studio system, all the way up to today. Students will watch and critique age-appropriate films (or film clips) and learn how the movie industry as we know it came to be. They will be introduced to old movie stars and the films that made them famous. Students will create their own 5-minute short film from the genre of their choosing as a final project.

Be a part of St. Mary’s publications team and drive the creation of the 2023-2024 yearbook. This course is for students who are interested in learning more about design, photography, journalism, and the arts. Students will work collaboratively to design layouts, create content, and distribute the yearbook. If time allows, students may also explore creating social media feeds, crafting an online newspaper, and more. Please Note: This course is limited to 12 students. Students may sign up for the first semester only; however, second semester priority will  be given to students who participated in the first semester.  

This course is ideal for students who have a strong interest in art. The artistic process is emphasized, students will analyze and critique works of art, and there is a strong writing component. The elective is open to all 8th graders and requires a two-semester commitment. Students will earn a numerical grade which may count toward the high school GPA at public high schools. Local high schools have shared that the course will look impressive on a high school application and may allow serious art students to take more advanced art classes sooner in high school. Students have the option of dropping the class by the deadline of Friday, August 25 if they feel the elective isn’t right for them.

Scientific Research is an elective class in which students conduct individual and small group science projects with many opportunities for fun, hands-on activities. Students learn how to set up experiments, use science lab equipment, take care of plants and animals, analyze data, use computer apps, and learn other skills needed to produce a great research project.  Scientific Research students do their research at school with the help of our research teachers. This elective course is designed to supplement and enrich both the 7th grade Life Science course as well as the 8th grade Physical Science Honors course. Please note: Each semester is limited to 10 students. Students will have the opportunity to participate both semesters, but 2nd semester priority will be given to students who haven’t done this elective.

This course is for students with an interest in mythology, legends, and folklore from around the world. Which mythologies we choose to study will be driven by student interest, but could include Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Norse, Celtic, West African, Japanese, or others! We will learn about comparative mythology and discuss what different traditions have to teach us through ideas such as “the Hero’s Journey.” We will read, discuss, design artwork and skits, create timelines and pantheon family trees, and find other creative ways to deepen our understanding of the amazing stories we encounter. 

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