Math: All students are on an advanced track in mathematics. Fifth graders complete one final year of Saxon math. Sixth graders move away from the spiral approach and spend a year in a rigorous and comprehensive general math course before moving to seventh grade. Math courses are taught with a top-down approach, keeping in mind where students are headed. In seventh grade, pre-algebra curriculum is embedded with pre-AP concepts to provide a strong foundation for future studies. The majority of students receive their first high school math credit for level one Algebra in eighth grade, some as early as seventh grade.
Science: Students have many hands-on opportunities for exploration of science in project-based classes. The general science studies of fifth graders provide an introduction to chemistry and living things with an emphasis on botany, including a year-long gardening project. Sixth graders study our physical earth (geology, meteorology, oceanography, astronomy), while our seventh graders receive an introduction to biology. Eighth grade students receive a unit of credit for physical science, an introduction to chemistry and physics.
Social Studies: There are many opportunities for group and independent project work in social studies classes. Fifth graders begin a study of the history of our world. Our sixth grade students focus their studies on the history of America from the perspective of our state. Seventh graders use a research and project-focused class to study the geography of the world. Eighth grade students, in Global Studies, study the history of our world through the Renaissance.
English: Oakbrook’s language arts curriculum focuses on four areas. Reading Comprehension is built through the purposeful teaching of reading strategies and text analysis of works of classic authors as well as contemporary authors. Vocabulary is increased through contextual study and through the instruction of vocabulary-building strategies. Writing is developed though assignments which relate to selections read in the literature text. Supporting an opinion, comparison/contrast, and research skills are emphasized. Grammar is consistently addressed through reading/writing assignments as an integral part of the clear communication of ideas.
World Languages: Fifth, sixth, and seventh grade students study their chosen language (Spanish or German) two or three days per week. Students continue to improve their understanding of the spoken language and begin to work more with the written language. This rigorous study of vocabulary and grammar is combined with a fun-filled study of Spanish or German culture. Eighth graders receive a unit of high school credit for their daily in-depth level one study of their chosen language. Students have the opportunity to practice their skills in the annual World Language Literary Meet.
Technology: Fifth, sixth, and seventh grade students attend computer class two or three times a week. Students become more proficient at using computer tools and learning to apply those tools in the classroom. In addition to the computer lab, students use iPads to access most of their textbooks and use various Apps to enhance their productivity and understanding. Students also may participate in graphic design or choose robotics class as an elective and/or be a member of the robotics team.
Fine Arts: All students have the opportunity to explore their visual and/or performing arts interests in classes such as band, chorus, drama, art, graphic design, and dance. Students in Middle School may also audition for our annual spring musical.
Physical Education: All Middle School students have the opportunity to participate in fitness as an elective class. Students are also encouraged to be an active member of one (or more) of the school’s sports teams.
Bible Class: In Middle School, students build upon the Biblical literacy and training received in Lower School and delve deeper into the study of the Old Testament. Christian Education at the Middle School level is designed to help students develop a historical understanding of God’s Word and how the truths learned apply to us today. There will be a continued emphasis on missions and Biblical justice in our local community and internationally.
Chapel: Middle School students gather together for a weekly Chapel service. Each service includes a time for worship through music and a message from a speaker. Speakers get their inspiration from our yearly theme. Oakbrook also enjoys opportunities to gather the entire school population together for a special service such as National Day of Prayer, See You at the Pole, or Ash Wednesday.
Devotion: All students start their morning with a devotion and prayer with their homeroom class. This is a special time for students, providing an opportunity from students to form bonds with each other and their homeroom teacher that will last for years to come.