Monticello Middle School curriculum changes are announced

By Josh Larsen
Physical Education/Health Teacher

Traditionally, Monticello Middle School students have had one semester of health education in eighth grade. With the addition of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) class to the eighth grade curriculum health will now be disbursed throughout all three years of Middle School in several areas.
Students will get most of their health content during their physical education time. Students will have three units of health each year intermixed with their physical education curriculum. This allows students to obtain knowledge to make responsible decisions in difficult situations much earlier than their eighth-grade year.
Each student will receive a final health letter grade at the end of each school year based on daily work, participation, projects and tests. This grade will be separate from their physical education grade. Sixth-grade units will include: Introduction to Health, Tobacco, and Alcohol. Seventh-grade units will be: Mental Health/Stress, Mental and Emotional Problems, and Non-communicable disease. Eighth-grade units will include communicable disease, drugs and conclude with students  making their own health portfolio of everything they have learned throughout middle school.
Saxon Math is unlike a traditional math curriculum in which students are taught and expected to learn an entire mathematical concept in one day. Instead of practicing 30 problems of the same kind, Saxon Math builds mastery through daily practice of skills and concepts taught in that day’s lesson as well as skills and concepts from earlier lessons. Concepts are split into small, easily grasped increments so that the focus of each lesson is on that one new skill while continuously reviewing previously introduced skills. Our hope is that middle school students will better be able to retain those math skills and be able to utilize their knowledge in all sorts of problem-solving situations.

Editor’s Note: This article was submitted by the Monticello Middle School Public Relations Committee.