- English Language Arts/ Literacy
- Social Studies
- Performing Music
- Health and Physical Education
- World Language
- Cycle Courses
- Music and Drama
- Guidance - Advisory Curriculum
Remedial instruction is intended to provide additional support in ELA for identified students in grades six to eight. Families will be notified as to whether their child qualifies to receive such services.
English as a Second Language (ESL)
English as a Second Language Novice is for students who have a basic understanding of English. Students will learn about the English language as an art form and as a tool to communicate using appropriate English conventions. Students will enhance English skills in all four domains: reading, listening, speaking and writing. Students will strengthen critical thinking skills as well as how to apply those skills for success in the classroom and beyond. Each unit includes both authentic and adapted materials and resources. Students will also produce work based on these models while conforming to both NJ Student Learning Standards for ELA and WIDA Language Development Standards.
Intermediate ESL builds on beginning levels of ESL instruction with greater focus on further developing levels of linguistic complexity, language forms and vocabulary usage through the use of literature, research, presentation and discourse. This class is designed to help students improve their level of English language proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Students will work to refine their academic vocabulary and grammar skills, in addition to improve their reading skills and apply strategies to increase comprehension. Students will be expected to read and write across genres. This course emphasizes the development of writing skills, focusing on how to properly express and support ideas in preparation to compose narrative and expository text for a variety of purposes. ESL Intermediate corresponds to ACCESS levels 3.0 - 4.0
To function effectively as citizens and consumers, all students need to learn to enjoy and appreciate the value of mathematics and develop the mathematical skills they must have for varied educational and career options. Strong foundations in number sense and numerical operations form a basis for the successful use of mathematics.
Students best acquire mathematics skills when they are engaged in activities that enable them to discover, understand, and apply mathematical concepts. When students are challenged to use mathematics in meaningful ways, they develop their reasoning and problem-solving skills and come to realize the usefulness of mathematics in their lives. The Board of Education has set a goal to make Summit the leader in STEAM education. STEAM--Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts (design) and Mathematics--is an integrated way to deliver curriculum and instruction offering problem-based authentic opportunities for learning. This approach is reflected in many courses across the curriculum.
Students preparing for careers in the information-based economy of the twenty-first century must be able to solve real problems, reason effectively, and make logical connections. To enable all students to gain the necessary mathematical skills, understandings and attitudes, instruction needs to focus on the “whys” and “hows” of mathematical learning:
- Pose and solve real world problems.
- Effectively communicate mathematical ideas.
- Make connections within mathematics and between mathematics and other areas.
- Provide opportunities for active student involvement.
- Use of technology.
When math is taught in a problem-solving spirit, students are interested in what they are doing and are more likely to understand the material. Instructional strategies that allow students to talk and write about math helps to clarify and solidify their thinking and develop confidence in themselves as mathematical thinkers.
Mathematics learning is not dependent on special abilities but can be achieved by all students by using organizational strategies such flexible grouping, cooperative learning, individualized and whole class instruction, differentiating instructional strategies, and by developing achievable high-level expectations.
Students will develop positive attitudes toward mathematics when they are taught in a supportive, developmentally appropriate environment, when all students’ mathematical learning embodies the notion that engagement in mathematics is essential, and where decision-making, risk-taking, perseverance, self-assessment, and self-confidence are frequently the keys to success.
Math 6 builds upon students’ understanding of whole numbers, fractions, and decimals. Students expand their knowledge of geometry, percent, and probability. Hands-on experiences provide a foundation for the understanding of abstract mathematical concepts. Problem-solving strategies, mental mathematics, and applications of data are practiced.
Accelerated Math 6 is intended for highly motivated students who demonstrate mastery of basic computational skills and display problem-solving ability. In addition to extending whole number, fraction, and decimal skills, students work with positive and negative numbers, ratio and proportion, percent, algebraic equations, and geometry.
Math 7 reviews, reinforces, and extends computational skills to include fractions, decimals, and percent, as well as an in-depth introduction to integers. Building a solid foundation of understanding of the number system is a major goal of this course. Units of study include geometry, statistics, and algebraic thinking.
Pre-Algebra 7 is designed for highly motivated students who possess excellent quantitative skills. Students study traditional topics in numeration and computation using an algebraic approach including geometry, applications of ratios, proportions, percent, and statistics. Concept development and problem solving are a critical focus.
Pre-Algebra 7 Enriched is intended for mathematics students with excellent quantitative skills and demonstrated capacity for dealing with abstract concepts. Algebraic and geometric concepts are taught in an interrelated manner. Arithmetic procedures involving fractions, decimals, and signed numbers are solidified. Units involving statistics and geometry are also presented.
Pre-Algebra 8 is intended to encourage students to think mathematically and is designed as preparation for future studies in Algebra and Geometry. Skills required for algebra, geometry, number theory, patterns and functions, data, and problem solving are studied. The instructional approach balances the skill-focused units with problem solving-based applications designed to develop a more algebraic approach to thinking and reasoning.
Foundations of Algebra was developed for the students who are prepared to begin their exploration of Algebra 1obtaining mastery of the skills, techniques, and concepts necessary for success in future mathematics courses. This course includes an exploration of the properties of the real number system, fundamental operations with real numbers and variables, solving equations, inequalities, linear and non-linear relationships, and linear systems. Students develop these concepts numerically, graphically, and analytically. In addition, students will apply their skills in all strands of mathematics through authentic problem-based experiences that focus on the connections between algebra and topics involving geometry and data analysis.
Algebra 1 Enriched provides a challenging, in-depth experience with the three key elements of Algebra: equations and inequalities, graphing, and interchangeable use of words and symbols. An important goal of this course is to lead students toward more independence in their learning through continuous previewing and reviewing of concepts. Complex applications of Algebra are introduced as the traditional skills are developed. Strands involving informal geometry, probability, statistics, and discrete mathematics are interwoven throughout the course.
Math Strategies 6 - 8
The Math Strategies program is designed to support students who need additional support in mathematics. Through small group instruction, students learn strategies to help them achieve according to the NJ Standards. The course will provide students with differentiated instruction and varied opportunities to work toward improving achievement. The program recognizes individual learning differences and strives to build students’ competence and confidence. The district is committed to providing instruction that aids students in displaying academic growth in order to be successful in all aspects of the curriculum.
Science is a process of investigating the natural and physical world. In the 21 st century, the major objective of science education is to promote the development of scientifically literate citizens. These citizens understand how science, technology and society influence each other. Science literacy includes the ability to:
- Find or determine answers to questions derived from everyday experiences.
- Describe, explain, and predict natural phenomena.
- Understand articles written about science.
- Engage in non-technical conversation about the validity of conclusions.
- Identify scientific issues underlying national and local decisions.
- Pose explanations based on evidence derived from individual work and research.
The scientifically literate person has a knowledge base of facts, concepts and process skills that enable them to think logically and critically. Science process skills include communicating, measuring, observing, predicting, identifying variables, formulating hypotheses and experimenting.
In addition to the NJ Student Learning Standards for Science, the English Language Arts (ELA) Standards include supplemental guidelines for literacy in science and technical subjects. Teachers of science use their content area expertise to help students meet the particular requirements of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and using language effectively for college, career, and life readiness. Using primary and secondary sources, students are challenged and asked questions that push them to refer back to and to apply what they’ve read, emphasizing critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills. Within our curriculum documents the standards are addressed at each grade level with increasing rigor and in greater depth.
From the elementary grades through high school, science education is designed to provide learning outcomes that prepare students to use science to make everyday decisions and to solve everyday problems. Science education stresses the process and spirit of scientific inquiry. As a result, the methods of learning science reflect the methods of doing science. This approach allows students at all grade levels to become active participants in the process of scientific investigation.
The Board of Education has set a goal to make Summit the leader in STEAM education by 2018. STEAM--Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts (design) and Mathematics--is an integrated way to deliver curriculum and instruction offering problem-based authentic opportunities for learning. This approach is reflected in many courses across the curriculum.
Over the past 4 years, there has been a Science program revision reflecting an integrated and spiral design providing students with science courses that are relevant, cater to student interest, and provide authentic opportunities for problembased instruction. The new courses are designed to integrate all three Sciences (Life, Earth, and Physical) at each grade level with an inquiry-based, hands-on approach. This interconnected approach to learning is necessary to prepare our students for the 21st Century skills that are required of scientists. As concepts are reinforced throughout the year and across multiple years, students should show increased engagement and mastery of the content. The integration of all three sciences give students a broader understanding and appreciation of the interrelationships between the physical and natural sciences.
This course provides students with a thorough, relevant, and engaging standards-based curriculum that focuses on implementing the scientific and engineering practices, as well as the cross-cutting concepts based on the core ideas outlined in the standards. Problem-based learning experiences, 21st century skills, and engineering design processes are emphasized. Specific topics that are studied include Matter and its Properties, the Water Cycle, Cell Structure and Function, the Interdependence of Biotic and Abiotic Factors in Ecosystems, Energy Interactions, and Plate Tectonics. A hands-on approach promotes investigation and discovery in learning the fundamental skills of observing, classifying, measuring, predicting, forming hypotheses, interpreting, and experimenting. Technology tools are used for research and to reinforce and extend curriculum concepts.
This course provides students with a thorough, relevant, and engaging standards-based curriculum that focuses on implementing the scientific and engineering practices, as well as the cross-cutting concepts based on the core ideas outlined in the standards. Problem-based learning experiences, 21st century skills, and engineering design processes are emphasized. Specific topics that are studied include the Relationship Between Forces and Energy, Chemical Reactions, Photosynthesis/Cellular Respiration, Symbiotic and Interdependent Relationships, the Energy and Matter Cycle, and Weather and Climate Patterns. Students work both individually and in cooperative teams solving problems, using decision-making skills, applying math skills, and planning and conducting experiments. Technology tools are used for research and to reinforce and extend curriculum concepts.
This course has students continue to develop science skills and an understanding of science concepts through the investigation of planet Earth and our Universe. Emphasis is placed on the interrelationships among astronomy, meteorology, geology, and oceanography. Concepts studied in grade eight are more abstract than in those in sixth and seventh grade. Current issues in environmental science and technology are blended into the curriculum. Activities are designed to extend and clarify basic information from materials and classroom discussions. Technology tools are used to reinforce and extend curriculum concepts. Students learn to apply scientific principles to research and solving problems.
The Summit Public Schools shares the vision of the NJ Student Learning Standards for Social Studies to provide all students with the information required to become informed and responsible citizens who are able to contribute to society. The standards provide a framework to foster in students the development of an understanding of the world as our shared home, and an appreciation of our American heritage. The objectives identified are attained through the achievement of student literacy in four major social studies disciplines: civics, history, economics and geography. While each discipline contributes its own unique perspective of the world as our home, it is their integration that produces a truly literate understanding of history and social studies.
In addition, the English Language Arts (ELA) Standards include supplemental guidelines for literacy in history and social studies. Teachers of history and social studies use their content area expertise to help students meet the particular requirements of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and using language effectively for college, career, and life readiness. Using primary and secondary sources, students are challenged and asked questions that push them to refer back to and to apply what they’ve read, emphasizing critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills. Within our curriculum documents the standards are addressed at each grade level with increasing rigor and in greater depth.
Because every learner is an individual with specialized educational needs, the Summit Public Schools presents its rigorous curriculum through the application of differentiated instructional strategies. Direct and explicit instruction as well as the application of research-based instructional strategies, such as problem-based learning, cooperative learning techniques, teacher and peer modeling, and the regular implementation of formative authentic assessments are fostered.
This course introduces students to the origins and development of world societies and culture. The course, The Mapping of Man, explores the ways in which geography has influenced the origins of human civilization through an interdisciplinary and analytical approach. Additionally, the development and characteristics of culture, daily life, belief systems, transportation, economics, and communication systems are studied. Current events are discussed as they relate to the curriculum and the development of the student’s ability to become a critical thinking citizen in a democratic society.
This course continues building on the student’s education in the history and political system of America begun in grades four and five. The course is primarily an American history course with a strong focus on civics. Geography, economics, and social studies skills are woven into the curriculum and support the historical theme. Students cover our history from the time of early exploration to the period of Reconstruction. The development of the American political and legal systems and how our economy works is also studied. New Jersey’s part in this process is examined, as well as the importance of the contributions made by Native Americans, African Americans and the various culture groups that have become part of the legacy of our nation. Students learn to utilize textbooks, primary sources and other varied resources to complete assignments. Current events are discussed as they relate to the curriculum and the development of the student's ability to become a critical thinking citizen in a democratic society.
This course is dedicated to addressing the United States and global civics and citizenship strands of the NJ Standards by exploring Government and Citizenship, People, Politics, and Issues that Shape our Society, Law and Justice, and Economics and the Connected World. Activities including the design of mock political campaigns, campaign finance, mock trials, stock and trade simulations using real-time data, case studies, political debate, and the creation of public service announcements interwoven into instruction throughout the year. Students build upon what they already know about world geography and history while exploring issues and topics important to them as global citizens. This course is a student-centered, hands-on, technology-infused course. To add to the value and relevance of the course, natural and frequent cross-content connections are made throughout the eighth grade curriculum. Current events are discussed as they relate to the curriculum and the development of the student’s ability to become a critical thinking citizen in a democratic society.
Band, Orchestra, and Chorus
The Summit public schools provide an enriched arts experience for all levels of education that is aligned to the standards. In addition to the study of fine and practical arts, the study of performing arts in the curriculum enables students to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, organizational, planning, goal setting, research, idea formation, and observational skills, while also nurturing creativity and innovation. Through the arts, behaviors of sustained engagement, self-discipline, and persistence are developed that can then be applied to any subject and any aspect of life. Artistic experiences are provided at all grade levels and at all levels of artistic ability to develop the creative potential in each child and to allow for maximum individual differences in expression and growth.
At LCJSMS music ensembles are scheduled five times during a three-week period. Students may elect to participate in only one of the three Performing Music courses for the entire school year. Band and Orchestra have a rotating lesson schedule. Grades 7 and 8 students choosing Band or Orchestra also have the option of participating in Lunchtime Chorus to obtain a vocal music experience.
Grade 6, 7, and 8 Band is available and beginning lessons are offered to students who have not had previous instrumental music experience. Through special exercises and graded materials, students develop techniques of individual and group performance. The bands successfully perform a variety of ensemble literature, as well as the works of noted composers, popular songs, and contemporary compositions. Other performance opportunities include the Jazz Lab Band, Stage Band, Flute Ensemble, Morris-Union Jointure Commission performing groups, Region Band and Orchestra, and All-City Music Masters. Band groups perform frequently at assemblies, evening concerts, community programs, and music festivals.
Grade 6, 7, 8 Orchestra provides opportunities through special exercises and graded materials for students to develop techniques for individual and group performance. Ensemble participation aids in developing discrimination in matters of intonation, rhythmic accuracy, tone quality, and dynamic contrast. Other performance opportunities include the Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School String Quartet, Chamber Orchestra, Morris-Union Jointure Orchestra, Region Orchestra, and All-City Music Masters. Orchestra groups perform frequently at assemblies, evening concerts, community programs, and music festivals.
Grade 6, 7, 8 Chorus is a performance-oriented course that aims to develop knowledge and use of basic principles of good singing, appreciation of a variety of musical styles, enjoyment of a wholesome leisure-time activity, and a sense of accomplishment through participation in group musical performances. Self-discipline and cooperative learning are stressed. Chorus training includes part-singing, with attention to diction, tone quality, balance and blend, dynamics, and precision of attack and release. Special attention is given to the changing voice of the adolescent boy.
All students are welcome to audition for the select choral group, Bel Canto. This group performs both in school and in the community. Members are coached for excellence in vocal and performance skills. Additional chamber groups may be formed when there are sufficient numbers of students available. Outstanding vocalists may also receive the opportunity to participate in Region Chorus, Morris-Union Jointure Chorus, and All-City Music Masters.
Mr. Thomas J. Maliszewski, Supervisor of Fine, Practical & Performing Arts, K-12, 908-273-8856 or email
Comprehensive Health and Physical Education is an integral component of 21st century education. As part of New Jersey’s initiative to prepare students to function optimally as global citizens and workers, health and physical education focuses on taking personal responsibility for one’s health through an active, healthy lifestyle that fosters a lifelong commitment to wellness, and focuses on the development of knowledge and skills that influence healthy behaviors within the context of self, family, school, and the local and global community. As part of this vision, the NJ Student Learning Standards for Health and Physical Education provide a framework for Summit’s curriculum development, instruction, and assessment that emphasizes interdisciplinary connections and fosters a community that:
- Maintains physical, social, and emotional health by practicing healthy behaviors and goal setting.
- Engages in a physically active lifestyle.
- Is knowledgeable about health and wellness and how to access health resources.
- Recognizes the influence of media, technology, and culture in making informed health-related decisions as a consumer of health products and services.
- Practices effective cross-cultural communication, problem solving, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills.
- Is accepting and respectful of individual and cultural differences.
- Advocates for personal, family, community, and global wellness and is knowledgeable about national and international public health and safety issues.
The standards topics for grades 6-8 include Wellness, Alcohol, Tobacco, and other Drugs, Family Life, and Community Health Skills during Health classes, and Wellness, Movement Education/ Rhythm, Cooperative Games, Individual Activities, and Team Activities during Physical Education classes.
All students in NJ in grades 1-12 are required to participate in a comprehensive, sequential, health and physical education program for at least 150 minutes per week each year.
Summit’s Health and PE program has been designed to provide learning opportunities for the physical and emotional development of individual students. Lessons are intended to motivate and educate students to protect, maintain, and improve their own health and that of others. As a department staff strive to meet the physical, mental, emotional and social needs of children through a wide variety of experiences, individual and group activities selected and conducted in accordance with the needs, interests, and maturity levels of the individual students and with the needs of the community at large.
The Physical Education curriculum is organized to include a planned progression of skills and activities. Units are sequenced to target essential skills and build upon these skills as each school year, and cumulative school years progress. Through participation in the program this progression encourages student development of fundamental skills, cardiovascular awareness and fitness, individual responsibility, self-discipline, strengthened peer relationships, and leadership qualities. The goal of our program is to provide activities where self-expression, self-confidence, and physical and mental poise can be attained through perseverance and the mastery of physical, mental, and social tasks.
Other benefits of our Health and Physical Education program include:
- Opportunities to teach character traits such as sportsmanship, teamwork, cooperation, encouragement, kindness, responsibility, self-esteem, and respect for others,
- Areas for students to excel beyond academics. Additionally, students who struggle in the classroom may find increased self-respect and a new sense of admiration from their classmates for their competence in PE.
- Physically and mentally healthy students are more likely to be prepared to meet daily challenges, and are more likely to make appropriate choices about lifestyles.
- Long-term health and wellness is promoted by making health and fitness fun, and by incorporating lessons on the importance of movement for overall health and disease prevention.
- Increased standardized test scores, (http://www.sparkpe.org/resultsSallis.pdf)
- Improved and reinforced learning across the curriculum,
- The involvement of every student, with each student instructed at his or her level of ability.
- Encouragement for students to increase their knowledge of health and wellness and how it affects their lives.
- Providing students with the foundation to maintain their physical, social, and emotional health.
Every student in Grades 6, 7, and 8 must complete one quarter of Health. Students are scheduled during their Physical Education period. Topics explored are relevant to students' social, emotional, and physical development including personal grooming, safety and first aid, nutrition, mental health, family living, prevention and control of disease and health problems, sexuality, growth and development, drug education, community and world health, general health, and body systems. Problem-solving, decision-making, and consumerism are included in all areas of study. State-mandated drug, AIDS, and family life education are included at each grade level.
Health curriculum emphasis is body systems, smoking and drug prevention, safety, and wellness.
Health curriculum areas of emphasis are mental and social health, wellness, alcohol and other drugs, and the D.A.R.E. Program. The D.A.R.E. Program consists of ten of the health lessons. The health teachers work collaboratively with the local Summit Police D.A.R.E. Officers to teach this part of the program.
Health curriculum areas of emphasis are growth and development, developing responsible relationships, human sexuality, disease prevention, and wellness.
Mr. Michael Sandor, Supervisor of Health and Physical Education, PK-12, 908-918-2100 x 5633 or email
In order to learn about the National Standards for World Language Education, "The Five C's" (Communication, Cultures, Comparisons, Communities, Connections), click on the link: National Standards Goals
The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL) revised its proficiency guidelines for speaking, listening, reading, and writing in 2012. The guidelines describe the tasks that students can accomplish at each of the 5 major levels of proficiency. The five levels are: Distinguished, Superior, Advanced, Intermediate, and Novice. For more information, click on the link: ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines
The study of languages is an integral part of every student's academic preparation. Students in Summit have the opportunity to study Spanish from elementary school through grade 12, study French, Mandarin, and Latin from grade 6 through grade 12, and/or to choose a second world language in high school. Students are encouraged to further their knowledge and use of their respective languages beyond the classroom through cultural activities offered throughout the school year.
The primary goal of world language study is communications proficiency. In addition to enhancing understanding of English and connecting other disciplines to the world language course of study, students learn to communicate through practice and presentation in all four skill areas including reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Course content is presented thematically, with the newest curricula written using the Problem-Based Learning model, linking learning outcomes to dealing with real-life issues and situations. Units of study may include vocabulary, grammar, conversation, reading passages, writing samples, listening activities authentic media, and videos all designed to develop students’ ability to use language authentically. The cultures of the countries where the world languages are spoken are also studied through readings, authentic media, videos, and class discussions. All world language students are expected to use the target language to present information, interpret authentic materials in meaningful contexts, and to communicate with each other, as well as with native / heritage speakers. All students are expected to use language to connect to other communities and to view cultures from different perspectives.
Summit’s world language curriculum is aligned to the NJ Student Learning Standards and to the National Standards for World Language Education, as well as, with the proficiency guidelines established by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL). The program provides students essential knowledge and skills to be informed, contributing members of the global society.
There are many good reasons to study world languages. According to the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, D.C., students who study even one year of foreign languages:
- Score up to 250 points higher on SATs
- Perform better on measures of verbal and non-verbal intelligence than their monolingual peers
- Develop greater cultural flexibility and sensitivity towards others
- Have larger vocabularies
- Have higher developed listening and retention skills
- Perform better on tests of reading and math
- Are more creative
- Display more highly developed thinking skills
- Possess skills critical to the national defense
- Possess skills critical to the national economy
- Are better able to compete in a global economy
Language and communication are at the heart of the human experience. The United States must educate students who are linguistically and culturally equipped to communicate successfully in a pluralistic American society and abroad. This imperative envisions a future in which ALL students will develop and maintain proficiency in English and at least one other language, modern or classical. Children who come to school from non-English backgrounds should also have opportunities to develop further proficiencies in their first language.
Statement of Philosophy from The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
Novice - Grades 6 and 7
Novice language learners in Spanish, French, and Mandarin Chinese engage in conversations, present information, and interpret authentic materials in meaningful contexts on a novice level. Novice Latin students focus primarily on demonstrating understanding of spoken and written communication, as well as learning to use Latin within the classroom. Students participate in a target-language rich immersion classroom environment and learn to communicate about the essential topics of home, family, school, friends, activities, and self.
Novice French students also study various Francophone cultures.
Mandarin Chinese students learn spoken language, as well as the unique characters that comprise the Mandarin Chinese written language.
Novice Latin students learn classroom expressions, explore the wide influence of Latin on other languages, read and translate Latin text, and begin to discover what is known about Roman life, culture, and mythology.
Emerging - Grades 7 and 8
Emerging level students in Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese, and Latin continue to improve understanding of the target cultures and to develop communicative language skills. Students are provided ample opportunities to engage in conversations, present information to a known audience, and interpret authentic materials in the target language within a meaningful context. LCJSMS teachers work collaboratively to provide challenging and authentic learning experiences for the students.
French, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese students work in a target- language immersion environment.
Latin students work in a Latin-rich classroom.
Intermediate - Grades 7 and 8
Grade 7 and 8 students may enroll in Emerging, or Intermediate levels of Spanish, French, Latin, or Mandarin Chinese. Students continue to develop communicative language skills in target-language immersion classrooms. Culturally appropriate tasks enhance student understanding of the target cultures. Reading authentic texts, viewing current events from the Internet, and directed compositions are some of the challenges that prepare students for high school language courses. Intermediate Latin students continue to develop skills in communication, reading, and writing with an emphasis on history and mythology of the Greco-Roman world. Students read, analyze, and translate short selections in Latin.
Ms. Ana Ventoso, Supervisor of World Language, PK-12, 908-918-2100 x 5531 or email
The Art program in Grade 6 focuses on developing creative problem-solving skills, increasing artistic vocabulary, gaining insightful use of the elements of design, self-critiquing, expanding skills in computer graphics, and learning about various artists and cultures. Exposure to specific exercises in drawing, painting, sculpture, computer graphics, ceramics, and art appreciation is emphasized.
In Grade 7 students build on skills learned in sixth grade and experience in-depth exposure to design problems and the use of diverse materials. Engaging in drawing, painting, fabric design, computer graphics, and art appreciation students create several personal projects based on the art of specific cultures. Self-critiquing, use of elements of design, and development of an artistic vocabulary are continued.
The focus of the Grade 8 art curriculum is the development of skills enabling students to make conscious choices and apply technical proficiency as they learn to use the elements and principles of art. A student-centered learning environment motivates and challenges students’ creativity and self-expression around a unifying theme. This problem- based course culminates in a gallery opening filled with students’ self-selected body of work featuring the student as the unifying subject. Students also have opportunities to reflect in writing on the creative process, themselves, and the world through the eyes of an artist.
Mr. Thomas J. Maliszewski, Supervisor of Fine, Practical & Performing Arts, K-12, 908-273-8856 or email
Gr. 6 Film Studies
Literature is an incredibly effective way to teach children, but it does not reach all students. Whether they are struggling readers, cannot connect with the subject, or simply do not enjoy reading. Simply stated, books can cause some students to shut down. Although they are not adequate substitutes, movies present alternative ways of telling a story. They also appeal to students who with visual and auditory learning styles.
This course will examine the history of film ranging from silent films to moderns classics. Concurrently key concepts from other disciplines will be included into the curriculum in an attempt to lay foundational knowledge, reinforce existing understanding, or deepen understandings of topics related to the students’ core classes.
Gr. 7 Media Literacy
The article “ Children, Adolescents, and Advertising” reveals that the average American adolescent views 40,000 advertisements a year on television alone. This staggering number screams to the need for students to develop an understanding of the persuasive techniques advertisers use, as well as the effects and implications they have on our lives. Since advertising has become so deeply woven into our society, it is now necessary to develop an awareness of how it shapes one’s perception of themselves and the world. It is only with this understanding that we will be able to remove the blindfold advertising has upon our lives.
Advertising is not the only challenge posed by the media to our students. Students must also be educated on how to actively read the news and interpret reporting through a critical lens. The internet has increased access to a tremendous amount of perspectives. Some of these points of view are objective, some biased, and others completely false. Our students must learn how to weigh other’s opinions, as they begin to form their worldview.
The ultimate goal of this cycle is to create an awareness of the influence of media on our students’ lives to promote decision making unburdened by the growing deluge of information they are exposed to on a daily basis.
Gr. 8 Current Event
The course will provide students with opportunities identify and explore the roots of contemporary social issues/current events by researching the various components that exist within single topic.
Due to the constraints of curriculum and timing, students are frequently not afforded opportunities to explore current events and other contemporary social issues on a regular basis. This cycle will attempt to both expose students to issues that affect their lives as well as instill within them an understanding of the complexity of these issues. In doing so, students will discover how science, history, technology, and language interact in the real world. Further, students will explore the existence of bias in the media as they research and discuss news from a variety of sources.
The course will use a variety of student-centered approaches to explore a particular issue. The process of examining each issue will remain consistent; however, time spent on individual topics will vary depending on the issue’s complexity and student interest
General Music is designed to develop appreciation and further stimulate creative thinking and interest in music in Grades 6 and 7. Students are given a hands-on introduction to the language of music through the use of MIDI (Multiple Instrument Digital Interface) keyboards with an emphasis on right-hand playing, and are also exposed to music theory and music history, significant composers and basic methods of composing, which they practice on Sibelius, a computer software music notation program. Students have the opportunity to perform original compositions and ensemble pieces on the keyboard.
The Drama cycle encourages students in Grades 6 and 7 to open themselves up and, by working closely with one another, learn about other people and themselves. The use of theater games, monologues, two-person scenes, examining theatrical time periods, and theater history, helps students to:
- Stimulate their imaginations;
- Develop their powers of observation;
- Foster the use of their senses;
- Promote critical thinking;
- Encourage self-expression;
- Stimulate discussion;
- Broaden their understanding of human behavior;
- Develop their language skills;
- Motivate reading; and
- Foster group-work skills.
In Grade 8, students engage in the creative process, developing, designing and performing in a musical production and building upon previously acquired skills in music and drama. Working in collaborative groups, students mount a polished production of an original or adapted musical consisting of short scenes and musical numbers that allow for solo, duet, and group performances. Given a global theme, students explore social, multicultural, and human issues, and incorporate them into their unique role within the musical presentation. The history of musical theatre provides the basis for in-depth study and application, and students are given the opportunity to become the playwright, composer, lyricist, actor, musician, dancer, choreographer, director, designer, or technician. Students have the opportunity to reflect on their contribution to the creative process and final performance through self and peer assessment.
Mr. Thomas J. Maliszewski, Supervisor of Fine, Practical & Performing Arts, K-12, 908-273-8856 or email
Introduction to Technology
Introduction to Technology in both Grades 6 and 7, is an activity-based course nurturing and encouraging the 21st century skills of critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration and leadership, agility and adaptability, initiative and entrepreneurship, effective oral and written communication, accessing and analyzing information, and curiosity and imagination. Work readiness skills are identified and applied in a collaborative environment. Problem-based applications provide content and interdisciplinary activities. Introduction to Technology presents six distinct learning modules:
- History of Evolution
- Problem Solving/Critical Thinking
- Research and Design
- Manufacturing and Construction
Innovative Design Challenge
The focus of the Grade 8 technology curriculum is the development of skills that provide students with insight into the technological world and expand their knowledge and interest beyond the classroom. This student-centered course allows for identifying a problem and creating solutions which could be a local/personal need or a community/global concern. Working in collaborative teams, students design or construct an innovation or invention to solve the identified problems using the seven-step design loop to guide their use of engineering and design technology. Students have the opportunity to reflect on their work and present their solution to an audience.
This one-marking period course is designed for students interested in learning about photojournalism as a means of communication and its impact on today’s digital society. Photojournalism is the practice of creating an honest and impartial visual representation of a newsworthy event with several dynamic photographs that employ images to tell the story of that event. Social media has raised digital photography to a level that stresses the importance of being able to evaluate and decipher the message of images presented to an audience. Through new advances in technology, individuals, not just news outlets, are able to manipulate, reproduce and transmit images for a specific purpose and audience (citizen journalism). It is important for students to be able to not only access photos from reputable sources, but also to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate the intended message. These are essential skills to promote digital citizenship and master 21st Century learning skills. This course will explore the history of photojournalism, the legal and ethical responsibilities of the photographer, as well as the social and emotional impact of photos to tell a story. Students will also receive basic instruction of camera use and effective photography techniques. In understanding the power of digital photography, individuals will choose to tell their own story through a portfolio or other forms of visual storytelling (including social media) and receive an appropriate critique of the media.
This nine-week cycle course introduces the students to the digitalization of our world and its impact through the guise of news media. The digital presentation of every part of our lives builds the need to provide students with guidance in reading, reviewing, and publishing news on the internet. Digital journalism is the focus for representing the basic principles of responsible digital learners. The students will engage in the process of gathering factual information, organizing their ideas, formatting their writing, and editing it for digital publication.
Before students will have the opportunity to learn how to use appropriate educational technology systems and understand their inner workings, students will take time to examine their own digital footprint and analyze their behavior in terms of digital media. Students will critique media and technology systems, as well as the manner in which we act and behave, both responsibly and intelligently, in a digital world. In addition to studying our influences of technology and digital media, students will also begin to examine technology systems in detail and learn how to use them responsibly. These tools include Google Apps for Education and Microsoft Office Suite. Once students gain knowledge and insight into basic technology tools and how best to use them in education and beyond, students will begin to dig deeper and gain an understanding about how these technology tools actually work and the science behind their design. Students will have the opportunity to explore modules in coding, computer programming, and many other facets contained in STEAM projects and standards.