Welcome to the Upper School Language Arts, Social Studies, Math, and Science classrooms!
Mr. Trapasso's Language Arts and Social Studies:
Mr. Trapasso is a critical thinking specialist. He incorporates the Elements of Reasoning and the Standards of Reasoning into his daily interactions with the students. He asks students to reach a higher level of metacognition as they engage in Language Arts and Social Studies. Mr. Trapasso teaches students how to use flowcharts to analyze a scene, theme, or character motivation, and students become eloquent writers under his guidance. Many class novels are tied to the historical periods being discussed. Middle School students cover US History, Civics & the Constitution, and World Issues (a study of societies and modern world countries). International Studies and mapping skills are also taught through hands-on activities. Grammar, Latin & Greek roots, Literature, Vocabulary, Speech, and Debate round out the Language Arts curriculum. Participation in the annual Spelling Bee, Geography Bee, and International Fair are fun ways to interact in these subjects, and students also take a variety of field trips, too! Mr. Trapasso is also our Eighth Grade homeroom teacher.
Mr. Yurman-Glaser's Math and Science:
Science comes to life, from hands-on and interactive demonstrations to labs. Students get dirty learning about Science! Middle School curriculum includes Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy, and Environmental Science. Students take many field trips and also utilize our lush campus and neighboring mountain to take samples, conduct experiments, and experience first-hand learning. When it comes to Math, students are met at their levels, and the classes are designed to meet their needs. Students may take courses in Arithmetic, Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra 2. An integration of Math and Science happens as students chart data after conducting an experiment or do statistical analysis using excel. The Science Fair is a major project in the fall, and all students work toward eligibility in the San Mateo fair on up to the State fair! In 2011, an Eighth Grader placed 4th in State and in 2016, an Eighth Grader placed 3rd in State! Mr. Y-G is also our Seventh Grade homeroom teacher.
Ms. Reda's Sixth Grade Homeroom & Digital Literacy Classes:
Ms. Reda guides our students in their initial entrance to Sixth Grade. As the homeroom teacher for this year, she removes the scaffolding provided to our children, one layer at a time, so that they can navigate middle school with ease and grace. Under her expertise, Sixth Graders will study Pre-Algebra and US History (including slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution). All middle school students have Ms. Reda for Physical Education, their specialized digital projects, Ethics, and Service Learning.
Outdoor Education experiences are a critical element for growth and learning, and boy are they fun!
4-5th Graders attend 3-4 night trips to Motherlode, Web of Life Field School, Gateway Mountain Center, or Mosaic Project. Here they learn about Science, Nature, and Team-building.
6th Graders take a trip to Ashland, OR to experience the Shakespeare festival and acting classes.
7th Graders take a week long backpacking trip in the Sierras where they build environmental and self-awareness.
8th Graders take week-long adventures to Washington D.C. for enrichment in Science, History, and Culture.