San Domenico Middle School Curriculum
"The teachers are dedicated to their trade and to their students, very responsive, hardworking, and inspirational in getting the kids to think in different ways."
At San Domenico School, one of our mission statements is “to recognize what it means to be human in a global community, and respond with integrity to the needs and challenges of our time.” In the English department, we streamline our mission, modeling lifelong learning, individual growth mindset, and what it means to be human. We reinforce our core values of Study, Community, Service and Reflection.
We lay the groundwork for successful mastery of higher mathematics such as trigonometry, statistics, and calculus. Middle school math students develop fluency in basic computational and procedural skills, an increased understanding of mathematical concepts, and use reasoning to solve mathematical problems.
The middle school science program provides a thorough knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the basic concepts of the Earth, Life, and Physical Sciences. Classroom focus is on inquiry based learning, literacy skills, and integration of technology. Students are engaged in many self directed projects and involved in hands-on learning opportunities using our science labs, organic garden and extensive grounds of our campus. Through our emphasis on ecoliteracy students learn about connections between science and our everyday world.
Students are provided with the skills and tools they need to become responsible citizens and leaders, stressing problem solving and critical thinking; we help students understand the role of history in the human experience, become active participants in the democratic process, develop respect for and appreciation of their own culture and world cultures, and to develop an understanding of global needs. San Domenico uses higher-level thinking—analysis, synthesis, and evaluation—and the mastery of concepts, generalizations, theories, and historical connections in the social studies program.
The Spanish program helps students acquire conversational and academic language in as painless a way as possible. We help students learn to communicate in real-life situations, and understand themselves within a larger cultural context by examining diverse perspectives in terms of economic, social, political, and geographic realities. The Natural Approach method at San Domenico is communications based—allowing speech to emerge, rather than be forced through a complex system of grammatical rules.
Students explore art history, principles, theories, and techniques including drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, and design. The courses focus on the development of personal expression, intuitive process, and content in art. At the end of each year students present their works in the student visual and performing arts show Arts in Action.
At San Domenico, students explore their own religious beliefs and traditions and those of others in an ecumenical spiritual environment. They study the books of the Bible, lives of prophets and saints from many traditions, and the history of religions from around the world. The curriculum is based in our core values as well as the progressive ideals of our community, including social justice, service, and sustainability.
San Domenico School promotes skills development, physical fitness, and good sportsmanship—emphasizing the importance of physical activity in maintaining healthy lifestyles now and in adulthood. The program provides opportunities for students to realize their own special abilities thorough exposure to a variety of games and activities, focusing on both team and individual sports. Private instruction is also available in tennis, horseback riding and swimming.
Music / Dance Electives
Students may choose among choral music, woodwinds, strings, guitar, jazz band, orchestra, and dance. In addition to learning the respective instrument and practicing, each course covers the historical development of the discipline. Students enrolled in these electives perform at least twice each school year—private instruction is also available through the music conservatory on campus.
SustainabilityAt SD, ecoliteracy is interwoven into all of our classes and curriculum. We believes that as educators we have a responsibility to teach students about interconnectedness, patterns, relationships, and the web of life, so that they have the tools needed to create a sustainable world. San Domenico addresses these critical issues in concrete ways throughout our curricula, policies, and campus practices. Learn more about Sustainability at San Domenico.
Technology / Study Skills / Life Skills
San Domenico's technology program includes computer literacy, electronic multimedia, and integrated classroom technology. The 1-1 iPad program enhances all aspects of the curriculum, and builds student excitement about learning.
The study skills program focuses on the development of the core organizational techniques required for success in high school and college.
Both study skills and technology instruction are integrated into the core academic classes. The life skills program provides students with information and education in a range of areas essential to healthy social development, such as conflict resolution / anti-bullying, drug and alcohol abuse, nutrition / positive body image, responsible internet use, and human sexuality.