Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 8:30am-3:45pm
Minimum Days (used to support parent conference periods twice per year): 8:30am-12:45pm
The middle school years, grades 6 – 8, comprise a unique period in children’s lives when they undergo rapid and profound developmental changes. Sensitivity of our response to both the educational and social/emotional needs of our young adolescents guides their development into young adulthood. Larchmont Charter Middle School embraces this opportunity and strives to meet the complex needs of every child, providing one of the best quality middle school programs available. In addition, middle school, a bridge to high school and college, continues our Larchmont Charter School model of excellence to ensure that all students have a pathway to the top 100 colleges in America.
Larchmont Charter Middle School promotes creativity, develops independent thinkers and invites every student to discover unrealized skills and talents. Curricula are designed around major content concepts and interdisciplinary themes at every grade level. Through an inquiry-based, differentiated and integrated academic experience, our students develop fundamental understanding in a multi-cultural environment, representing the diverse nature and social awareness of the real world.
A cornerstone to our academic program is the oral defense. The oral defense is an end-of-year presentation of in-depth curricular understanding that directly applies to the real world. The formal presentations of learning (POL) or oral defenses support critical thinking skills, public speaking skills, technology and leadership. Sixth, seventh and eighth graders will design their oral defense around a topic that directly corresponds to their subject matter and individualized learning plan with the support of their advisor and classroom teachers. The aim is to have students find clarity and confidence in their learning in ways that aligns and supports their path toward college and competitive workforce environments.
The emphases in English are two-fold: to teach students to read increasingly difficult material with deeper understanding and to encourage students to be life-long readers. Vocabulary development is extensive. Students use their knowledge of word origins and word relationships, as well as historical and literary context clues, to determine the meaning of specialized vocabulary and to understand the precise meaning of grade-level-appropriate words. A variety of materials are used. Students read novels, short stories, essays and poetry. Reading skills, literary analysis and higher-level comprehension work is incorporated while using the California State Standards as a guide. Students participate in extensive free-choice reading in addition to the required assigned reading. Classes are literature-based and thematically organized around the four domains: narrative writing, expository writing, descriptive writing, and persuasive writing. Emphasis will be placed on teaching students to become independent and critical thinkers. Students will show proficiency through written assignments, research-based projects, comprehension questions, and open-ended projects.
The goal of mathematics instruction is to produce students who recognize and appreciate mathematical components of their world and see mathematical fluency as an important contribution to the future. Sixth grade math begins to prepare students to be successful in twelfth grade Calculus. The LCS mathematics program is College Preparatory Mathematics (CPM), which supports students’ conceptual understanding of the topics at hand.
The curriculum is aligned with the state’s science framework. Emphasis is on making the connections and seeing relationships between concepts and ideas. The interdisciplinary thematic teaching approach helps students investigate high interest problems showcasing scientific thinking processes and the application of scientific principles. Students develop critical thinking skills with problem solving, decision-making, research and inquiry. As students move through the program, they are challenged by more sophisticated thinking processes using experimental manipulative and other laboratory-oriented projects that are related to current scientific issues.
The history curriculum is designed to include guiding questions that promote a culturally sensitive historical perspective and inspire civic-minded participation through community outreach. An in depth study of Ancient Civilizations is facilitated in order to help students apply what they’ve learned to create presentations, projects, simulations and productions. Last, students investigate historically based societal issue by researching the literature, media, and analyzing data of the time, and communicating findings in presentations and/or research papers.
This course will provide support for students who need strategic intervention or acceleration. Core teachers as well as the resource teacher will work together to plan differentiated, targeted support for all students. Instructional methods will include one-on-one and small group instruction, presentation of multiple representations, review and extended learning time, use of computer programs, direct instruction, and guided independent study.
Studying art helps students understand how people communicate their perceptions of and responses to the world. Study and practice of visual art helps students to hone their abilities to perceive aesthetically; to make connections between works of art, their lives, and the lives of others; and to make informed judgments about works of art from different times and places. In creating their own works of art, students apply techniques and concepts they have studied to express their own viewpoints. The visual art and humanities teachers collaborate to integrate the two courses. Art is offered every trimester.
Drama at Larchmont Charter provides students of various experiences the opportunity to develop and refine their stage presence, imagination, and self-confidence. Students study ancient to modern day theatre and performance. Students are encouraged to develop their skills around improvisation, storytelling and reenactments of stories. Drama is offered every trimester.
Science Olympiad is an exciting and challenging academic competition that tests the collective intelligence of peers. Students will have the opportunity to compete in different events that range from building the longest-flying propeller airplane to demonstrating knowledge of the evolution of stars or remote sensing on Mars. Competitive events call upon students’ ability to demonstrate knowledge of a particular science subject, solve problems as a team, and engineer trebuchets, circuits, elevated bridges, and electric cars. Science Olympiad is offered every trimester.
This class reinforces important organization and study skills as they become vital components of the middle school curriculum. This course also focuses on the introduction to the principles and techniques of creative writing aimed at developing the creative process. This course is offered every trimester.
This class reinforces important organization and study skills as they become vital components of the middle school curriculum. This trimester course is also an expansion from the literary works studied in English class. Students explore vital elements of literature with a focus on building an understanding of reading that includes analyzing and interpreting texts.
This course is designed for beginning Latin students. Emphasis is placed on vocabulary, grammar, sentence structure, competence in reading, and the relationship between Latin and English in vocabulary development. Basic cultural concepts of Roman civilization and culture are presented in order to provide a context for the linguistic studies. One trimester of Latin is required for every student at Larchmont Charter Middle School.
The course will be aligned to the California State Performing Art Standards for the students' grade level (6-8) and is therefore focused on helping students master the standards from each of the following strands: artistic perception, creative expression, historical and cultural context, aesthetic valuing, and connections, relationships, and applications. The middle school music course is designed to increase and refine students' knowledge and skills beyond those learned at the elementary school level. Students learn to read, write, and perform using standard music notation; to improvise melodies and arrange simple melodies for different instruments; to evaluate musical works of the past against established criteria; and to analyze the way that music conveys mental images, feelings, and emotions. Students develop their ability to sing and perform with expression, accuracy, and articulation. Choir is offered every trimester and has different themes per trimester. Students can opt to take Choir more than one trimester.
Physical education provides the opportunity to develop specialized movement and motor skills and to help students understand the importance of physical activity and personal fitness throughout their lives. The course emphasizes enjoyment, cooperation, conceptual knowledge, and while offering age- appropriate challenges. Students actively participate during class in a variety of sports and activities, which help them learn to use new equipment and master the rules of new sports. Health education, a component of the physical program, helps students to accept personal responsibility for lifelong healthy behavior, respect and promote the health of others, understand the process of physical, emotional, mental, and social growth and development, and to become critical consumers of health-related information, services, and products. One trimester of Physical Education is required.
Students participate once a week in an advisory class. Advisory groups are organized in grade level groups of 10-15 students each. Groups are divided by grade level so that advisors can focus on issues and programs specific to a grade level and/or age group. The diversity of our school calls for a forum to collectively discuss critical issues that affect our society. Advisory provides students with an opportunity to explore ideas and listen to the perspective of others, while also keying in on steps students and families need to take to ready students for high school and college.
We are excited about designing and developing the Edible Schoolyard as part of our Earth, Life and Physical Science curriculum. All 6-8th graders have the opportunity to participate in different aspects of the curriculum as it bests relates to their grade level curricula.