Middle School Academic Program
The ACS Middle School is committed to providing a balanced program focusing on the development of the whole student. Our goal is to prepare students to become leaders in meeting the ever-changing needs of the world and equip them with the knowledge to face challenges in a cross-cultural environment. We are dedicated to providing our students with high standards of academic instruction and performance, opportunities for service to others, and a well-rounded program of activities directed toward the development of their skills, talents, and self-confidence.
Our Middle School students will:
- acquire an academic foundation that promotes continuing scholastic success and personal growth;
- feel confidence in their learning ability;
- develop problem-solving and higher-order thinking skills;
- communicate effectively and develop environmental and global awareness;
- have the opportunity to experience foreign language and culture study;
- develop an appreciation for the fine, applied, and performing arts;
- understand and practice sound personal physical health;
- recognize the relevance of current schooling to future learning and living;
- explore a variety of educational, social, and personal experiences, and/or interests;
- contribute to the development of an honest and trusting school environment;
- acquire an awareness of technology's role in their future and develop the skill to utilize and expand that awareness.
At ACS we believe that one must not only learn to appreciate the arts but must have rich opportunities to actively participate in creative work. The universal language of the arts cuts through individual differences in culture, educational background, and ability. The Middle School Arts Curriculum is based on the National Core Arts Standards of Creating, Performing / Presenting / Producing, Responding, and Connecting.
The Middle School Arts Program is structured to enable students to explore a variety of visual and performing arts which include Drama, General Music, Movement / Dance, Visual Arts, and Digital Photography. In Grade 6, students explore four different art forms and narrow their focus each subsequent year. Students are provided with opportunities to take creative journeys through these artistic areas. These exploratory experiences nurture students to develop into creative leaders who are able to meet the challenges of the future.
The Middle School English program at ACS is designed using the AERO standards to challenge and inspire students by asking them to reflect deeply about themselves and the world they live in. Students explore themes in literature while honing their writing skills and improving their reading proficiency. Students are encouraged to think creatively and critically, and express their ideas in both oral and written form.
The English program at ACS emphasizes a development in student voice in both reading and writing. Students read and analyze self-selected and grade-level appropriate texts, write for a variety of audiences and forms, present their work orally and in writing, utilize technology to enhance their understanding and their communication, follow the conventions of English language grammar, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation, and make connections within works of literature, poetry, and informational texts.
The Middle School Mathematics program at ACS builds upon basic skills to develop a depth of conceptual understanding and fluency of procedural skills. Students make connections between numbers, variables, quantities, and shapes through authentic tasks that relate to their real-life and enhance their critical thinking abilities. They learn to communicate their thoughts and ideas using proper mathematical reasoning, terminology, and language.
Mathematics in Middle School focuses on helping students to develop mastery of the AERO Common Core Standards of the following topics: Number Sense, Ratios and Proportional Reasoning/Linear Functions, Expressions and Equations, Geometry, Statistics, and Probability. Students engage in learning opportunities to collaborate, express their ideas, and develop their mathematical thinking.
The Physical Education program in the Middle School is designed to educate the body and mind with knowledge and skills that help students pursue a balanced lifestyle and make positive choices. The program follows the SHAPE America, a standard-based curriculum targeting a variety of skills suitable for their age.
Through a broad selection of physical activities, students will learn and apply several social skills such as cooperation, teamwork, and problem-solving. The program exposes students to various fitness tools that allow them to understand their physical abilities and learn how to improve or maintain their fitness level. There is an individualized approach to the program in order to meet the different needs and abilities of students.
The Middle School science curriculum is a three-dimensional curriculum that adopts the Next Generation Science Standards Framework (NGSS). Students in the science program engage in experiences that provide the opportunity to be scientists or engineers every day in the classroom. It is a rigorous curriculum where the three dimensions of Knowledge, Science and Engineering Practices, and Cross-Cutting Concepts are blended together in authentic situations that are investigated through various activities.
Students are challenged to face any question or problem and understand how to go about designing and performing an experiment, designing and building a prototype, or simply designing a solution to a real-world problem. The science curriculum targets 21st-century skills such as Problem-Solving, Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, and Visual Programming.
The Middle School Social Studies program at ACS aims to bring the regions of the world alive through a course of study that provides for the learning of concepts and skills through the AERO standards. Students are challenged to develop critical thinking skills through the use of inquiry and student-led exploration of subjects. Students will gain an understanding and awareness of global issues, past and present, determining the continued relevance of these issues and reflecting on their role as global citizens.
Teachers work with students to present arguments and claims, discuss various perspectives, and debate opposing views. Students build their conceptual knowledge through developing proficiency in research, reading, and writing skills. Social Studies at ACS focuses on collaborative learning and emphasizes approaching new concepts and ideas with open-mindedness and compassion.
Modern Standard Arabic (MSA)
The Modern Standard Arabic program is designed for students who are native or near-native speakers of Arabic and adopts the QRTA standards for the Arabic Language. It is a literacy-based program that aims to enhance and strengthen the students’ reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. Students in this program are expected to function with increased proficiency in reading comprehension and writing.
Students in the MSA courses engage in a reader-writer workshop that exposes them to a variety of literary genres. They read level-appropriate books, stories, and essays and produce various forms of writing such as short stories, articles, invitations, descriptive texts, speeches, and plays. Students also engage in listening and speaking activities that promote their oral communication skills.
Arabic as a Foreign Language (AFL)
The AFL program is designed for non-native speakers of Arabic and adopts the AERO World Language Standards. The main aim of the program is to introduce the students to the Arabic language and culture. Students in AFL courses engage in oral and written activities that promote their three modes of communication skills: The interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational skills.
The program is offered in Middle School at two proficiency levels: Novice and Intermediate. Students at the novice level are introduced to basic vocabulary and grammar, which allow them to engage in simple conversations and write simple sentences on familiar topics.
Students at the intermediate level learn vocabulary, grammar, and simple language structures and begin to develop an ability to read and produce simple written tasks independently.
French as a Foreign Language (FFL)
The MS French Language Program is based on AERO World Languages Standards. It is offered as a foreign language program in three proficiency levels: Novice, Intermediate, and advanced. Students at the novice level are introduced to the language; they acquire basic vocabulary and are able to express themselves using simple sentences. Students at the intermediate level continue their acquisition of the language and are able to use it in a range of simple life situations. Students at the advanced level have a strong level of competence in the target language. They develop further acquisition of the language through a variety of written and oral activities that promote their communication skills: interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes. The program provides students with the opportunity to learn about and expand their knowledge about the culture of the French-speaking world.