ART Grades 6, 7, 8
Description Students receive a total of ten weeks of Visual Arts education for each year they are at Suffern Middle School. The curriculum and projects for the sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade art students are designed to encourage creative thinking and expand their visual awareness. The curriculum is designed to be appropriate for specific grade levels. The goal is to create an encouraging art experience that will allow the students to explore their personal creativity.
AVID Grade 8
Description AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. This college readiness course is intended for motivated students who are in the academic “middle”. Overall, the goal is that each student who is accepted into the program develops a sense of achievement gained through hard work and determination. Students must apply and be accepted into this elective.
Description We provide language support to our English language learners through push-in and pull-out programs. We work on helping students to acquire the English language through reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. Through our varied approaches, students are challenged and excited to learn.
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCE (FACS) Grades 6, 7, 8
Description As technology advances and societies change, the basic needs for food, clothing, shelter, and the desire for nurturing human relationships and satisfying work remain. FACS is a NYS mandated program at the middle level that helps students to develop, practice, and strengthen skills that will help them manage life now, as well as in the future. The FACS middle school program is offered for 10 weeks in 6th, 7th and 8th grade. Units of study include skills for decision-making, media literacy, consumerism, nutrition awareness, food safety and preparation, financial literacy and career exploration. Each course is experiential, hands-on and uses engaging strategies to make real-world connections. FACS affords all students multiple opportunities to read, write, and compute in the context of real-world situations that are relevant to early adolescents. To support the goals of the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) for all students, the FACS department has integrated the NYS/National FACS Standards with the CCLS to support student success across the disciplines.
HEALTH Grades 6, 8
Description Students receive a total of 20 weeks of Health Education at Suffern Middle School. In the sixth grade, the course meets every other day for one semester. In the eighth grade, the course meets every day for one quarter. Each course is designed to promote healthy habits that are relevant and appropriate at each of these two grade levels. The course is activity and skills-based. The goal is to promote the attitudes and skills that are necessary to live a healthy lifestyle.
Band Grades 6, 7, 8
Description Sixth-grade band is for those who play brass, woodwind or percussion instruments. Band class meets every other day during school. In addition, there is an after-school Band rehearsal once a week. As a member of a performing ensemble, students will be required to attend two evening concerts during the school year (January and May/June). Seventh-grade band is for students who are already playing woodwind, brass and percussion instruments. We work to develop tone quality, rhythmic accuracy, advancing technical skills and musicality. The class is team-taught by two teachers. Students have a small group lesson experience to develop their individual skills. There are no after-school band rehearsals or pull-out lessons. Students are required to perform at a concert in January and May/June. The eighth-grade course is a continuation of the seventh-grade band curriculum, designed to attain ensemble performance at NYSSMA level III. It will prepare students for the High School band program. We work to develop tone quality, rhythmic accuracy, advancing technical skills and musicality. Studies show that these musical skills enhance academic learning and creative thinking. Students will perform in January and May/June.
Chorus Grades 6, 7, 8
Description In sixth-grade Chorus/General Music, many elements and concepts of music will be presented, as well as developing music reading and singing skills. The Chorus is also one of our performing ensembles in the Middle School music program. As a member of a performing ensemble, students will be required to attend two evening concerts during the school year, one in January and one in May/June. In seventh-grade Chorus, many elements and concepts of music will be presented, as well as developing music reading and singing skills. Chorus is also one of our performing ensembles in the Middle School music program. As a member of a performing ensemble, students will be required to attend two evening concerts during the school year, one in January and one in May/June. The eighth-grade Chorus class cultivates a love of singing through techniques for singing correctly, as well as development of music literacy. Students are expected to participate in both a winter and spring concert. Students are offered the chance to participate in the All-County Music Festival and NYSSMA.
Digital Music I & II Grades 7,8
Description In Digital Music I, students will learn how to use Garageband to make their own recordings on the computer, work with a synthesizer, and develop some basic piano skills. Students will produce a full-length album as their final project, and their work will be presented on various district websites.
Digital Music II is for the students who took Digital Music I in seventh grade. This course will continue to use Garage Band as well as the professional recording program, Logic Express, to write music and sound effects for movies, commercials and video games. Students will also produce remixes of popular music, using the latest techniques.
Guitar I & II Grades 7, 8
Description Students learn the guitar and are part of a nontraditional playing ensemble. Students learn basic guitar skills including playing scales and chords, basic songwriting skills, and improvisational playing. Guitars are provided during class. Various musical styles such as blues, rock, and classical are introduced. Students will participate in a spring concert.
Guitar II is a continuation of Guitar I, where students will increase their guitar skills in all areas. Students will participate in a winter and spring concert and it will prepare them for the High School guitar program.
Media Arts Grade 8
Description For students interested in creating original multi-media artwork utilizing iMac computers, artistic software applications like PowerPoint, Photoshop Elements, iPhoto, iMovie and combining it with the state of the art technology of digital photography and video. The course counts as a music elective; students will still take art class.
Orchestra Grades 6, 7, 8
Description The sixth-grade Orchestra, for those who play string instruments, meets every other day during the school year. In addition, there will be an after-school Orchestra rehearsal once a week. As a member of a performing ensemble, students will be required to attend two evening concerts during the school year (January and May/June).
The seventh and eighth-grade Orchestra classes are for students who are already playing a stringed instrument. Through a wide variety of repertoire, students continue to refine skills, develop advanced technical skills and musicality. There are no pull-out lessons or after school rehearsals. Students are required to practice consistently at home and to perform in 2 concerts (January and May/June). Other benefits of participating in the orchestra include teamwork, task commitment, cooperation, problem-solving, goal setting, concentration, responsibility, organization, ability to follow directions, increased self-esteem and self-confidence, and appreciation of the arts.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION Grades 6, 7, 8
Description At Suffern Middle School, Physical Education is an integral part of the total education program. Physical Education provides an opportunity through activity, for physical, mental and social development. At Suffern Middle School, students receive PE every other day for 42 minutes. Throughout the school year, students will be exposed to a variety of activities that will focus on lifetime sports as well as team-oriented games.
TECHNOLOGY Grades 6, 7, 8
Description Through topics like robotics, flight and space, energy and environment, middle school students engage their natural curiosity and imagination in creative problem-solving. Suffern Middle School engineering program is a strong foundation for further STEM learning in high school and beyond, challenging students to solve real-world challenges, such as cleaning oil spills and designing sustainable housing solutions. Using the same advanced software and tools as those used by the world’s leading companies, students learn how to apply math, science, technology, and engineering to their everyday lives.