Middle School

 graduation 2019

The Middle School experience prepares students for success in high school and beyond with a unique and academically rigorous curriculum that is focused on addressing twenty-first century learning skills, while developing critical thinking, problem-solving capabilities and providing authentic (real-world) learning opportunities.  Most importantly, the curriculum is designed to maximize each student’s academic experience and to inspire young Catholic leaders.

The greatest testimonial to the excellence of a St. Cassian education is the continuing academic success of our students and graduates.

  • Students score in the top 15% on national standardized tests

  • 100% of graduates are admitted to the area’s most prestigious secondary schools, with many entering honors and advanced placement programs

  • 60% of graduating students receive scholarships to high school

  • 95% of our students are inducted into the National Junior Honor Society

A trajectory of success is fostered through our unique gifted and talented academic approach to instruction. Our core curriculum, which includes Math, Science, Language Arts, Reading, Social Studies and Religion is enhanced by the following middle school curricular experiences:             

Engaging in S.T.R.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics): Students are empowered to envision solutions to global challenges by creating engineering prototypes and awareness campaigns to address solutions to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. The project-based learning activity begins by focusing on a Sustainable Development Goal (as identified by the United Nations) and engaging in research.  The students then develop a solution to a UN Sustainable Development Goal, while focusing on a particular village, city or area of the world.  They create an informational trifold, an engineering notebook, an oral presentation and an engineering prototype or solution model, which is displayed at St. Cassian's annual S.T.R.E.A.M. Fair.  Several projects are also selected to participate in the Archdiocesan STEM Expo.

Mini Model Congress Program: The students engage in lessons that that allow them to exercise leadership and build an impressive knowledge base of the legislative process.  

Through the Mini Model Congress Program students:

  • Understand the process of forming/creating and passing laws

  • Learn how to write and present an original bill

  • Learn the role of representatives in Congress

  • Learn the use of parliamentary procedure

  • Learn research skills and the process of examining more than one point of view

  • Understand their role as a citizen in a representative government

  • Develop the skills of communication through speaking and writing

  • Enhance debating ability

  • Cultivate self-confidence, self-awareness, and leadership skills

  • Learn non-violent ways of resolving conflicting views

The program culminates with a visit to the State House in Trenton, where students debate original bills on the House floor.

Civics:  Students engage in learning about the foundations of law and democracy and then deemed legislators and take on the mantel of fixing an identified problem through research and community outreach, culminating in crafting, debating and voting on legislation. 

Justice System:  Students learn about the American law system and engage in writing an original trial. They then engage in the Mock Trial process while working with lawyers and judges. 

Forensics:   Public speaking is an important component of the middle school curriculum. Students practice the different genres of public speaking including: dramatic interpretation, duo interpretation, original oratory, and persuasive speech and are encouraged to enter Forensics (Public Speaking) tournaments.

Leadership: Encouraging and assisting students in developing as moral and productive young Catholic leaders is at the core of our St. Cassian School mission. During the school year, students are provided with opportunities to tangibly connect faith to real life situations through service projects that help them to grow in empathy and responsibility.  Writing and reciting poems for veterans, performing for seniors, and creating a Giving Tree for the needy are just a few examples of the individual and group service projects that help to foster these traits.

All middle school, students also participate in the Inspiring Leadership Program, which entails integrating leadership, character development, problem solving, decision-making and strategic planning into the regular academic curriculum.  In addition, the program also includes talks from experts in different fields of leadership.

Research shows that adolescents who are spiritual, involved, and valued in their community fare much better with life’s ups and downs; hence, the program integrates faith and aims to develop Christian leadership.

Middle School MIAD (Multiple Intelligence Arts Domain) Electives: The school offers electives at the middle school level that promote high-level thinking, integrate the arts and highlight learning through S.T.R.E.A.M..  Some of the courses offered at the middle school level include Musical Theater through a partnership with Bergen Performing Arts Center, Coding, Engineering, Architecture, Robotics, Design and 3D Printing, video production and many more.

Sacramental Preparation: By eighth grade, our students are prepared to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, which builds on the sacraments of Baptism, Penance, and Holy Communion and completes the process of initiation into the Catholic Church. 

In summary, our middle school experience encourages students to embrace their strengths and interests, to maximize their learning through unique opportunities, and to develop as conscientious and resilient leaders.  

The following is the profile of  a St. Cassian graduate:

  1. Understands the teachings, doctrines and practices of the Catholic faith and fosters a commitment to building the kingdom of God
  2. Embraces and models moral and Christian /Catholic values, ethical standards of conduct and basic integrity
  3. Expresses Christ’s love through service to others
  4. Demonstrates leadership qualities through academics, service and citizenship
  5. Appreciates the diversity and uniqueness of human culture
  6. Respects the rights of other individuals and groups
  7. Analyzes and solves complex problems
  8. Expresses thoughts in a clear cohesive manner through verbal and written expression

 


 

 

 

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