Valley Catholic Middle School provides an outstanding Catholic education, enabling students to excel in scholarship, leadership, character development and service. Valley Catholic prepares young men and women to be lifelong learners and leaders in the 21st century.

Valley Catholic students attend school on one of the loveliest campuses in Oregon. A friendly, caring atmosphere enables students to receive personal attention from faculty and staff. Accelerated classes give Valley Catholic students the added edge to achieve at consistently high levels.

With a college-preparatory education beginning in sixth grade that speaks to the whole person, Valley Catholic promotes a strong academic tradition of critical thinking, intellectual curiosity and active social responsibility. Students in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades participate in a specialized program designed to provide them with an age-appropriate transition through the middle school years and to prepare them for the academic challenges they will face in high school and college.

The program’s curriculum follows the requirements outlined in the content standards for the Archdiocese of Portland and the State of Oregon. Curriculum and policies were developed after thorough study of the Valley Catholic High School program and consultation with area public and parochial middle and high schools. In addition, Valley Catholic Middle School has several project based learning projects that follow the standards of the IB Middle Years Programme, SUMMA and STEM programs.

Students learn the content outlined in this curriculum guide as part of the school’s program. Individual classroom teachers may add additional units in an effort to enhance the core curriculum. This information, along with any specific classroom procedures, grading policies, or class requirements will be listed on each individual teacher’s class syllabus distributed at the beginning of the academic year.

Our students score well above average on nationally standardized exams and we are one of the top schools in the area praised for creating students who are ready for high school.

Valley Catholic Middle School’s curriculum includes:

English

Four levels for each grade from grade level to advanced.

Math

Four levels for each grade from grade level to advanced.

Sixth Grade English Mechanics

Enhanced grammar,
vocabulary and study skills.

Fine Arts

Students may elect up to two classes a day.

  • Performing Art
  • Band
  • Choir
  • Musical Theater
  • Orchestra
  • Visual Arts
  • Bookmaking
  • Character Design
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Photography
  • Sculpting

Physical Education/Health

Daily courses that
include lifelong fitness skills, healthy life styles and
team building.

Religion

Faith development, history and ethics.

Science

Introduction to earth science, chemistry,
physics and biology.

Seventh Seminar

Project-based learning courses, Future
City competition, business project, study skills and
writing support.

Social Studies

geography, culture and history.

STEM Education

Regardless of location, size, or make‐up, an IB school strives to develop an internationally-minded person.

The Mission of the IB:

  • To develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people.
  • To create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
  • To work with schools, governments, and international organizations to develop challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment.
  • To encourage students worldwide to become active, compassionate, and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

All IB Programmes:

  • Value international mindedness
  • Emphasize language learning
  • Provide opportunities for actions and becoming responsible community members
  • Emphasize collaboration for both students and teachers
  • Develop key learning opportunities through Approaches To Learning (ATL) Skills
  • Value inquiry as a pedagogical approach

What is the IB Learner Profile?

The profile is often described as the IB Mission Statement in action. The ten attributes listed below are a set of ideals meant to inspire and motivate students, highlighting the inclusive nature of IB programmes, and showing the importance of learning communities, including families, teachers, school leaders, and other community members.

The profile aims to develop learners who are:

  • Inquirers
  • Knowledgeable
  • Thinkers
  • Communicators
  • Principled
  • Open-minded
  • Caring
  • Risk-takers
  • Balanced
  • Reflective

Inquiry-Based Learning

“We are teachers of skills and use our subject to build them” (ATL skills workshop)

A unifying thread throughout all IB units is teaching students how best to learn. Approaches to Learning (ATL) skills provide the foundation for independent learning and encourage the application of their knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts.

Developing and applying these social, thinking, research, communication and self-management skills helps students learn how to learn not just in the classroom but in a real world context. Teachers explicitly teach ATL skills that reflect the goals of their units and give students several opportunities to practice and refine these skills.

ATL Skill Categories

  • Communication
  • Social
  • Self-management
  • Research
  • Thinking

Concepts

Concept thinking is a shift from teacher-centered, fact based thinking to:

  • High level thinking
  • Deeper understandingConceptual planning and teaching is organized around broad, timeless, universal, and often abstract notions that transcend disciplines. This kind of learning gives students an opportunity to cross traditional subjects in a deeper, more meaningful way, appropriate for 21st century learners. Examples of concepts include system, perspective, force, interaction, logic, space, and value.Concepts and global contexts are used to develop inquiry statements or central ideas, which teachers use to support and justify a unit of study and inquiry questions (factual, conceptual, and debatable).

    Examples of inquiry statements at FAIS:

    • The availability of diverse cuisine reflects increasing globalization.
    • We depend on one another.
    • Building fitness requires a strategy.
    • Changes can be observed and measured.
    • The world is changed by exploration and discoveries.
    • Gestures reflect the traditions of a culture.
    • Migration leads to diffusion of language and customs.
    • We create systems to keep us safe and organized.

Assessment

A variety of assessment strategies are used by teachers to inform their teaching as well as to understand what students have learned. A key component of assessment practices includes both teacher and student reflection and self-assessment in order to provide feedback on the learning process.

Forms of Assessment:

Pre-assessment: Before a unit begins, teachers check in with students to determine their prior knowledge. This can be a discussion, a written response, or a hands-on learning task. This informs the learning community on the direction and focus of future learning.

Formative assessment: Integrated with daily learning, formative assessment may be class questions, journal entries, homework problem solving, short exercises or discussions and a variety of exit interviews. The purpose of formative assessment is to inform teachers on their teaching and students on their learning. Based on formative feedback, teachers and students reflect and make adjustments.

Summative assessment: This is the final task, generally at the end of a unit, in order for students to demonstrate what they have learned. Tasks can range from performances, exams and authentic projects to essays, dioramas, or presenting a poem. By the time a summative task is assigned, students have had ample opportunity to practice and become proficient at new skills and concepts.

Technology

  • Windows and Google platform labs
  • Apple one-to-one iPad program
  • Digital design
  • Digital citizenship
  • Access to a 3D printer
  • Exposure to coding
  • Technology skill building
  • Design thinking
  • Project-based learning

World Language

High School French I or Spanish I

Hands-only CPR Program

Valley Catholic Middle School was the first in the state to establish a hands-only CPR program in which students learn the life-saving skills and teach it to others. In partnership with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, Valley Catholic Middle School encouraged Oregon legislators to pass a bill requiring CPR training as a requirement for high school graduation. The bill became law in 2015. Valley Catholic Middle School continues to be a statewide leader in teaching hands-only CPR.

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