Junior High at Saint Hilary School is a safe and supportive place, where the uniqueness of each child is recognized. Saint Hilary School is large enough to allow for a breadth of interpersonal experiences and access to a variety of teachers and support staff, yet intimate enough to ensure that all teachers know all students.
While preparing our students for High School, each student’s talents are nurtured as they are led to care deeply about each other and the world. This balance of personal growth and achievement, as part of a socially responsible community, provide our students the tools they need to lead meaningful and successful lives.
The Junior High setting encourages interpersonal experience and wide access to a range of teachers, yet one that provides a supportive environment where teachers know their students well. Small class size, averaging at 30 students per class, is enhanced by one-on-one and small group instruction.
Our Junior High Language Arts and Social Studies Program implements a project based approach to the interpretation of literature, writing composition, and the study of history. Students are encouraged to read while trying to identify the author’s voice and bias. In our writing program students are taught to write with purpose while considering their audiences’ potential bias. Utilizing cloud technology, students are able to collaborate, critique, and complete writing assignments at home and at school. Saint Hilary teachers and students look at the study of the past as an opportunity to build a better future. Students demonstrate comprehension through Socratic seminars, culminating projects, and formal assessment.
Saint Hilary School’s well-rounded approach to Mathematics instruction emphasizes a balance of mastery in computation, problem-solving, and number sense. These domains are interdependent. Developing number sense depends on learning to compute. Solving problems depends on computation, and deciding whether an answer is reasonable, an important aspect of problem solving, draws on a student’s number sense. Affinity in each of these domains allows our students to apply mathematical concepts in multiple contexts and fosters creativity in mathematical thinking.
In Grade 6, we use the University of Chicago School Math Project’s Everyday Mathematics Program, which includes a conceptual understanding and problem solving skills in arithmetic, data, probability, geometry, algebra and functions, hands-on activities and builds fact power through daily oral practice, conceptual activities and games. In Grade 7, we use the University of Chicago School Math Project. The program has the ambitious goal of preparing each student to be placed in the equivalent of a high school course in Algebra One in their eighth grade year. For this reason, many standards of higher grades are introduced in lower grades. The majority of our students are placed in Algebra One in their eighth grade year, and this course is offered with all of the rigor and demanding content of a high school Algebra course. The great majority of students who pass this class achieve advanced placement as freshmen in high school. In addition, we also offer the grade level course, Grade 8 Math, which also uses curriculum from the University of Chicago School Math Project. The goal of this course is to further develop students’ understanding of mathematical concepts and acquisition of a greater command over the skills in their repertoire. The students in this course are continuing their transition from more concrete levels of functioning to the abstract.
Our Religion program works to prepare students to enter the 21st century with a firm grounding in Christian values as well as an understanding of the Bible. In Grade 6 students study the Old Testament, in Grade 7 students study the Gospels, and in Grade 8 students complete confirmation and learn about the history of the Catholic Church.
While strengthening their knowledge and lived faith experience, students learn about other world religions, bolstering their identity as spiritual beings who appreciate other faiths. In Grades 7 and 8, students complete service hours, to experience the rewards of assisting others. Tutoring, helping the homeless, and assisting in warm clothing drives are some of the many community service opportunities provided through the very active Parish outreach.
A comprehensive Physical Education program challenges students to participate in athletics, identify their strengths, value sportsmanship, and work as part of a team. In addition, many elements of school life encourage students to stretch their knowledge and skills in ways beyond the standard curriculum.
Art Studio is led by a professional artist and talented teacher who challenges each student to explore his or her artistic talents and create lasting works of painting, photography, sculpture and more.
In addition, the Junior High's comprehensive curriculum includes Science, History, Social Studies, Spanish, Music, and Public Speaking. Critical thinking, role-playing, and hands on, in-depth projects lead students beyond rote learning into true understanding in all of their classes.
Overnight field trips provide unique opportunities for learning and community building. In Grade 6, students spend four days in an Outdoor Education Camp, and in Grade 7, students take a spiritual retreat to Yosemite National Park. In Grade 8, students go behind-the-scenes exploring the festival during three days at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Leadership Student Council is a highlight of Junior High. Ten elected students attend a summer leadership camp in preparation for their upcoming term, during which they lead all-school assemblies, plan Spirit Days and other fundraising and fun-raising activities.
All students in Junior High are paired with “buddies” in Kindergarten, and Grades 1 and 2, a mentoring program which bridges the gap between Elementary and Junior High, and helps younger students become part of the Saint Hilary School community.
The balance of personal growth and achievement, as part of a socially responsible community, prepare our students for success in High School and throughout their academic careers.