The upper middle school of the SLO Classical Academy is a natural extension of the goals of the entire school, namely, to establish a foundation of learning that will nurture and motivate independent, analytical thinkers. These natural leaders can effectively communicate and support their ideas orally and in written form. In order to do achieve this, students, parents and teachers all work towards:
Strong Academic Skills
Continued support of basic skills in all areas of learning continues at this stage, but more emphasis is given to cultivating the students’ developing logical thinking skills. Students are taught formal logic at this level to strengthen their independent thought while grounding it in well-reasoned principles. The goal of this stage of learning is to make use of the growing independence. Ownership of their individual ideas is emphasized even more at this stage as students grow in their independent rational capacity. Students at this stage maintain a desire to understand the why and how of the subjects they learn. Students continue to study English grammar and use writing skills persuasively and with greater eloquence. Longer papers are assigned at this level requiring planning and greater synthesis of ideas. In math, students strengthen their abilities to think abstractly and logically through algebraic functions. Students read more complex novels and primary texts and are prepared to dialogue intelligently regarding major themes and ideas presented by the authors. While parents are still integral to motivating the Upper Middle School students, the goal for this stage is to enter high school as independent learners who appreciate the value of their own education. In Latin, the students use various methods to help achieve a mastery of grammar, vocabulary, and translation.
Strong Analytical Skills
Using our history, literature and science as opportunities for discussion, students are challenged to apply ideas from the past to the present. As students have mastered the simple absorption of information, they will be asked to critically analyze what they read, hear, and speak. Teachers create lessons that build on thoughtful processing and synthesis of conceptual understanding.
As they prepare to enter high school, the upper middle school students are the upcoming role models for rest of the student body. As such, how they act and treat others is of paramount importance. Community service, behavior accountability and discussion will help the students grow towards autonomy and responsibility.