Chapter 6

  • JUNIOR HIGH CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION

    GENERAL OVERVIEW

    Our junior high schools offer a variety of educational opportunities and support programs for all students. Our curriculum is aligned to the new Illinois Learning Standards (incorporating the Common Core Standards) and the District 15 Student Performance Targets. Learning Targets, which provide details regarding grade-level expectations for students, are available on the District 15 website, www.ccsd15.net.

    The instructional program includes the following subject areas:

    Language Arts (reading, writing, listening, and speaking)

    Students in both grades will participate in a double period of language arts each day (a reading class and a writing class). The curriculum balances the teaching and learning of reading strategies, writing processes, listening, and speaking skills.

    History

    • Seventh Grade—The social studies curriculum centers on United States history: the Constitution through the Civil War period.
    • Eighth Grade—The social studies curriculum centers on United States history: Civil War to the present time.

    Science

    • Seventh Grade—Students engage in the study of the life sciences, including cell structure, ecology, biological studies, genetics, and health.
    • Eighth Grade—Students engage in the study of the chemical and physical sciences, including chemical interactions, forces, motion, atomic structure, and health.

    Seventh-Grade Mathematics

    • 7th Grade Math—This course aligns to the 7th Grade Common Core State Standards with a focus on problem solving and application. Integers and rational numbers, proportional relationships and percent problems, equivalent expressions, equations and inequalities, sampling, probability, and basic geometry concepts are covered.
    • 7th Grade Accelerated Math—This course is a compacted curriculum of both 7th and 8th Grade Common Core State Standards which includes: number systems, rational number operations, ratios, proportionality, percentages, expressions, solving linear equations, inequalities, exponents and scientific notation, graphing proportional and non-proportional relationships, angles and angle relationships, circumference and area of circles, volume of cylinders, spheres, and cones, and the Pythagorean Theorem
    • 7th Algebra 1—This advanced 7th Grade algebra course introduces the fundamental principles of algebra. Course topics include linear equations, graphs and inequalities, systems of equations, exponents and scientific notation, simplifying and factoring polynomials, quadratic equations and functions, rational expressions, and introductory radical operations.

    For seventh-grade students who took Algebra 1 in sixth grade, these courses are also available:

    • Advanced Topics of Algebra 1 (see course description below)
    • Honors Plane & Solid Geometry (see course description below)

    Eighth-Grade Mathematics

    • 8th Grade Math—This course aligns to the 8th Grade Common Core State Standards with a focus on problem solving and application. Topics include the real number system, linear equations, modeling relationships using functions, bivariate data, identifying and solving systems of linear equations, transformations, solving problems including congruence, similarity, the Pythagorean Theorem, surface area, and volume.
    • 8th Grade Algebra 1—This advanced course introduces students to the fundamental principles of algebra. Algebraic symbolism, simplifying expressions, solutions to equations, the graphic representations associated with variables, and statistical variability are among the course topics. Additional points of emphasis include graphical representations, connection to related functions, and algebraic processes applied to word problems. Common Core State Standards provide the foundation for the course.
    • Advanced Topics of Algebra 1—This advanced course is designed to focus on problem solving, word problems and higher-order thinking. It incorporates previously learned concepts from 7th Grade Algebra and delves deeper into the material and application process.
    • Honors Plane & Solid Geometry—This advanced course is a comprehensive study of plane and solid geometry including constructions, formulas for measurement and formal proofs. It is based on the theorems and axioms that relate points, lines, planes, and solids. Topics are covered in great depth, especially area and volume of solids. Additional emphasis is placed on the integration of algebraic techniques in solving geometric problems.
    • Accelerated Algebra 2—This highly accelerated high school course is designed for students who have an excellent knowledge of algebra and geometry. M328 Accelerated Algebra 2 is provided at a high school location. The course briefly reviews concepts presented in earlier course work and then rigorously expands and applies them to other areas of mathematics. In addition, selected topics from pre-calculus are studied. Ideas presented in this course involve advanced techniques of graphing and solving equations and inequalities and prepares students to take Trigonometry/Calculus A. This course requires a graphing calculator.

    Physical Education

    All junior high students are expected to participate in daily physical education classes. A variety of physical activities are offered during the year. Children may be exempted from some or all physical activities with an excuse from parent(s)/guardian(s) for a period of up to three days. Students who need to be excused beyond that or for an extended length of time must provide a written excuse submitted to the school by a person licensed under the Medical Practice Act. Alternative activities and/or units of instruction will be provided for pupils whose physical or emotional condition prevents their participation in the physical education courses as determined by a person licensed under the Medical Practice Act.

    • 7th Grade Physical Education—The 7th Grade physical education/health course provides each student with the opportunity to participate in a comprehensive program consisting of skill development, lead up games, individual sports, team sports and physical fitness activities. Emphasis is placed on active participation and positive social interaction during fitness and sport activities. Activity in the moderate to vigorous level is expected, as this contributes to the overall physical fitness and academic success of our students. Fitness testing, as required by law, will be conducted during the year using FitnessGram. P.E. uniform and athletic shoes are required every day in order to earn participation credit. Good sportsmanship, safety, appropriate language, and following all rules and procedures are expected at all times. The 7th Grade health curriculum is conducted in conjunction with the physical education program. The curriculum covers the following topics: development of character; bullying prevention, mental and emotional health, body systems, healthy relationships, sexual health, tobacco, and peer pressure in regard to health and drugs. Upon request, materials are available for viewing.
    • 8th Grade Physical Education—The 8th Grade physical education/health course provides each student with the opportunity to participate in a comprehensive program consisting of skill development, lead up games, individual sports, team sports and physical fitness activities. Emphasis is placed on active participation and positive social interaction during fitness and sport activities. Activity in the moderate to vigorous level is expected, as this contributes to the overall physical fitness and academic success of our students. Fitness testing, as required by law, will be conducted during the year using FitnessGram. All students are required to dress in a P.E. uniform daily in order to participate. All students are evaluated in a number of areas including, but not limited to: general participation; the process of skill development; and game play activity levels. Good sportsmanship, safety, appropriate language, and following all rules and procedures are expected at all times. The 8th Grade health curriculum is conducted in conjunction with the daily physical education program. The curriculum is based on the Glencoe Teen Health series. The eight-week program covers the following topics: conflict resolution; violence prevention; safety; healthy environment; disease prevention, nutrition; physical activity; tobacco; alcohol and drugs. Upon request, materials are available for viewing.

    Physical Education Lockers—The physical education teachers assign PE lockers. Students should lock all personal possessions in the gym locker. The school retains the right to inspect gym lockers and their contents to assure that the locker is being used for the intended purpose.

    Physical Education Uniforms and Supplies—Students are required to have school regulation uniforms, which are available for purchase at the beginning of the school year. Uniforms are to be worn every day for classes. Students should take their uniforms home each week for laundering. Other supplies needed for PE include gym shoes, socks, and a sweatshirt for outdoor activities.

    Enrichment Offerings

    The Junior High Enrichment Program consists of courses in fine arts, practical arts, technology, and foreign languages. The Enrichment Program is designed to provide students with an exposure to some courses in the above areas.

    • French or Spanish I and II—French and Spanish classes are offered based upon minimum enrollment. Students will learn about the countries and the people who speak these languages. They will learn by listening, speaking, reading, and writing activities in the new language, and will learn to communicate in the target language by learning to count, greet people, and talk about daily activities. They will discover cultural similarities and differences, and will realize how much the French and Spanish civilizations have contributed to life in the United States.
    • Spanish for Native Speakers (SNS)—SNS is offered based upon enrollment. This class is for students who have an advanced oral level of Spanish. Students will discuss literary works, current events, and acquire advanced literary skills.
    • 7th Grade Band—Offered as a seventh-grade enrichment class to all students who have successfully completed intermediate band. Students are invited to continue their band experience on traditional band instruments. Band meets once during the school day as an enrichment class. Students are also required to attend one small-group lesson per week on a rotating schedule. Through the study of different time periods and styles, students will understand music as a form of communication which will expand their ability to listen, analyze, and discuss concepts. Through daily learning, the band prepares and performs at concerts and events during and outside the school day.
    • 8th Grade Band—Offered as an eighth-grade enrichment class to all students who have successfully completed seventh-grade band. Students are invited to continue their band experience on traditional band instruments. Band meets once during the school day as an enrichment class. Students are also required to attend one small-group lesson per week on a rotating schedule. Through the study of different time periods and styles, eighth-grade students will develop a relatively more advanced understanding of music as a form of communication which will expand their ability to listen, analyze, and discuss concepts. Through daily learning, the band prepares and performs at concerts and events during and outside the school day. Eighth-grade students will also have the opportunity to make connections with their appropriate High School band program, teachers, and students.
    • 7th Grade Orchestra—Offered as a seventh-grade enrichment class to all students who have successfully completed intermediate orchestra. Through the instrumental performance experience, students will prepare a variety of genres and styles of music that make connections to their lives. Through the study of different time periods and styles, students will understand music as a form of communication which will expand their ability to listen, analyze, and discuss concepts. The seventh grade orchestra meets every day throughout the school year. Students are also required to attend one small-group lesson per week on a rotating schedule. The seventh-grade orchestra performs at various events throughout the school year. Students are offered the opportunity to participate in various festivals and competitions.
    • 8th Grade Orchestra—Offered as an eighth-grade enrichment class to all students who have successfully completed seventh-grade orchestra. Through the instrumental performance experience, students will prepare a progressively more advanced variety of genres and styles of music that make connections to their lives. Through the course, eighth-grade students will develop a relatively more advanced understanding of music as a form of communication which will expand their ability to listen, analyze, and discuss concepts. The eighth-grade orchestra meets every day throughout the school year. Students are also required to attend one small-group lesson per week on a rotating schedule. The eighth-grade orchestra performs at various events throughout the school year. Throughout the year, students are offered the opportunity to participate in various festivals and competitions. Eighth grade students will also have the opportunity to make connections with their appropriate high school orchestra program, teachers, and students.
    • 7th Grade Music—The goal of this course is to give students a lifelong appreciation and understanding of the arts. To achieve this goal, students will review the basics of music notation, learn the elements of music, and explore music history. Student musicians will create, perform, and respond to music. This is achieved through authentic instruction using guitar, keyboards, voice, and music technology. Students will make connections to music through a variety of musical styles and genres
    • 8th Grade Music—This semester-long music course is unique to eighth graders. The focus is music technology or how music is used in and created for everyday life. Web-based applications, similar to Garage Band, on Chromebooks and/or iPads are used for a variety of project-based learning experiences. These projects are constantly evolving as new applications are created. Some project examples are: creating new music, remixing existing music, producing radio commercials, and even generating a soundtrack for a short film. In addition, students may have the opportunity to form their own rock band to compose and perform an original song. Through these projects and others, students gain a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the music they hear every day, as well as skills that can be used in future projects and presentations in high school, college, and the workplace.
    • 7th Grade Art—The seventh-grade semester long art course is designed to meet the Illinois state standards. The curriculum focuses on the study of art through the use and understanding of the Elements of Art including, shape, form, space, texture, value and color. The program encourages students to develop cultural and historical awareness through the visual arts. Students are exposed to a variety of art materials, methods and production opportunities. Students focus on problem solving, self-directed learning, peer collaboration and managing materials as they purposefully design, produce and present their own expressive works of art.
    • 8th Grade Art—The eighth-grade art curriculum continues to encourage creativity and a heightened awareness of the world. Students will apply their knowledge of the elements (line, color, shape, form, texture, value) and principles (rhythm, balance, unity, variety, pattern, emphasis, and movement) to create original works of art. Cultures are investigated and universal themes are explored to inspire personal responses that will be reflected in their own artwork. Students learn to problem solve, direct self, and manage materials. This curriculum is designed to meet state standards through experiences in art criticism, philosophical/aesthetic issues, and historical and cultural inquiries, as well as production in a variety of media.
    • Design & Modeling—Design and Modeling (DM) provides students opportunities to apply the design process to creatively solve problems. Students are introduced to a unit problem in the first activity and are asked to make connections to the problem throughout the lessons in the unit. Students learn and utilize methods for communicating design ideas through sketches, solid models, and mathematical models. Students will understand how models can be simulated to represent an authentic situation and generate data for further analysis and observations. Students work in teams to identify design requirements, research the topic, and engage stakeholders. Teams design products (i.e., design a toy or game for a child with cerebral palsy), fabricate using a 3D printer and test it, and make necessary modifications to optimize the design solution. Students will also learn how to use industry standard 3D modeling software to create a virtual image and 3D print of their designs that they can take home. Student Population: 7th grade students.
    • Automation & Robotics—Automation and Robotics teaches students critical thinking and problem solving skills through a series of hands-on design challenges. Students will learn mechanical systems and how they can be adapted to change speed, torque, and type of motion. Students will use this information to design, construct, and program autonomous robots that meet the criteria and constraints of a design challenge. They will learn and apply basic coding skills using RobotC programming software and construct their robots using VEX robotic kits. Student Population: On-level 8th grade students.
    • Medical Detectives—In the Medical Detectives (MD) unit, students play the role of a real-life medical detective as they solve medical mysteries through hands-on projects and labs, investigate how to measure and interpret vital signs, and learn how the systems of the human body work together to maintain health. Students will engage in a hands-on dissection of a sheep brain (with options for a more hands-off computer based dissection) to study how body systems work together. Finally, students will play role of forensic scientist as they analyze evidence found at a “crime scene” and diagnose a disease using DNA evidence. Student Population: 8th grade students.

    Additional Offerings

    Academic interventions or targeted assistance may be provided to qualified students based upon the consideration of multiple data points. These interventions or supports are provided within a student’s daily schedule.

    JUNIOR HIGH LOCKERS

    Students in junior high school are assigned a locker for storing coats or jackets, book bags or backpacks, and other personal items during school hours. Students may not change lockers without permission from administrative staff. Lockers should be kept locked and the combination kept confidential. The school assumes no responsibility for the loss of articles from a locker. School administrative personnel have the right to inspect lockers at any time.

    Lockers are on loan to students and remain the property of the Board of Education. Any damage to the locker is the student’s responsibility. Lockers should be kept clean and neat. No open food or beverage other than water may be stored in lockers. Scotch tape and masking tape may be used inside lockers, but stickers are not permitted, as they damage the paint. Lockers may be decorated before or after school for special occasions, but permission must be obtained from the office before decorating. No balloons, confetti, or hallway signs are permitted.

    HOMEWORK

    Homework is an important component of all academic programs because it gives students an opportunity to practice and apply the skills and concepts taught in the classroom.

    Homework assignments are due on the date specified by the teacher. Teachers will provide guidelines for their individual classroom expectations at the beginning of the year. Late homework assignments may result in a reduction in credit. Students who have excused absences are responsible for asking teachers for the assignments missed and completing them in the timeframe the teachers specify.

    The amount of time students should spend on homework will vary depending on their unique needs and the work requirements of each class. However, as a general guideline, seventh-grade students may be required to spend approximately 70 minutes daily on homework assignments and related reading, while eighth graders should plan on approximately 80 minutes per day of homework assignments and related reading.

    ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS

    Seventh-Grade Requirements—Seventh-grade students will be required to:

    1. Pass the United States and Illinois Constitution examinations.
    2. Satisfactorily complete assignments demonstrating knowledge of the academic standards of the state of Illinois.
    3. Pay all fines and fees (lost books, cafeteria, etc.).

    Eighth-Grade Requirements—Eighth-grade students will be required to:

    1. Complete all required projects.
    2. Satisfactorily complete assignments demonstrating knowledge of the academic standards of the state of Illinois.
    3. Pay all fines and fees (lost books, cafeteria, etc.).

    Graduation Participation/Probation (end of third quarter)

    Eighth-grade students who fail to meet the criteria below by the end of the first semester will receive notice that they are in danger of being placed on probation for the eighth-grade graduation ceremony and related graduation activities. Students who have not met the criteria below by the end of the third quarter will receive notice that they have been placed on probation.

    • The student must have a minimum cumulative (all subjects, all year) GPA of 1.5.
    • The student must have successfully completed all required courses and testing as designated by the state of Illinois (i.e., Illinois and U.S. Constitution tests).
    • The student must maintain an appropriate attitude and behavior during the school year. The administration reserves the right to remove any student from participating in graduation activities and/or the ceremony due to behavior infractions.
    • The student must be up-to-date with payment of all required fines and fees.

    Graduation Participation Requirements (end of fourth quarter)

    The culmination of two years of junior high school is graduation. The graduation ceremony and all other graduation activities are provided to recognize and honor students who have successfully completed the District’s requirements for participation. Participation is a privilege, not a right, so students participating in the graduation ceremony and other end-of-the-year activities will need to meet the following requirements:

    • The student must have a minimum cumulative (all subjects, all year) GPA of 1.0.
    • The student must have successfully completed all required courses and testing as designated by the state of Illinois (i.e., Illinois and U.S. Constitution tests).
    • The student must maintain an appropriate attitude and behavior during the school year. The administration reserves the right to remove any student from participating in graduation activities and/or the ceremony due to behavior infractions.
    • The student must be up-to-date with payment of all required fines and fees.
    • A student on probation may not have a U grade in the fourth quarter.

    At the discretion of the principal or assistant principal, a student may be placed on probation at the mid-term point of the fourth quarter if the student has displayed a lack of effort either academically or behaviorally.

    Honor Roll/Student Awards

    • High Honor Roll Award—This award is given to students who achieved a GPA of 3.76 to 4.0.
    • Honor Roll Award—This award is given to students who achieved a GPA of 3.5 to 3.75.

    INTRAMURAL & CLUB SPORTS

    Elementary and Junior High Programs

    In order to participate in an intramural or club sport at the elementary or junior high level, all students must have the following on file:

    • A current physical on file with the school nurse. Physicals are valid for 13 months.
    • Emergency Medical Authorization Card
    • Concussion Information Form
    • CCSD15 Code of Conduct Contract

    Students participating in these activities are still expected to adhere to the same Sportsmanship Expectations and D15 Code of Conduct as interscholastic sports participants.

    INTERSCHOLASTIC SPORTS

    Junior High Programs

    District 15’s interscholastic sports program includes girls and boys soccer, girls and boys basketball, volleyball, cross-country, wrestling, and track and field. Junior high school teams compete against other District 15 junior high schools as well as other junior high schools from nearby school districts.

    In order to participate, all students on an interscholastic sports team must have a current physical examination on file in the nurse’s office. There is a non-refundable $85 participation fee per student with a maximum of $175 in total sports fees per student per year. Practices and games are scheduled after school.

    For volleyball, girls basketball, boys basketball, girls soccer, and boys soccer, players are selected based on tryouts. Cross-country, wrestling, and track and field are “no-cut” sports open to all students.

    Player Expectations

    Each student athlete will:

    • Not be failing any class or have a D in more than one class to be academically eligible for the week. At the start of the second week of ineligibility, the student may be removed from the team at the discretion of the principal and coach.
    • Display respectful and appropriate behavior at all times in line with PBIS policies and show good sportsmanship.
    • Sign and return the D15 Code of Conduct Contract. Participation in extracurricular activities is a privilege, not a right. Therefore, compliance with the Code of Conduct is required.
    • Attend at least half the school day on the day of competition or practice. This includes absences due to a doctor’s appointment. Exceptions are made when attending a funeral.
    • Participate in P.E. in order to participate in any after-school scholastics or intramural activities.
    • Wear proper athletic shoes and socks. Wear the appropriate team uniform that is provided. Understand that, in the event the assigned uniform is damaged or lost, the parent/guardian must replace the uniform at the current replacement cost.

    Parent Expectations

    Parents/guardians of a student athlete will:

    • Have all forms and fees to coach prior to the first non-conference competition.
    • Submit the following documents prior to tryouts:
      • A current physical for your child should be on file with the school nurse. Physicals are valid for 13 months.
    • Return these documents prior to the first practice (they will be provided at tryouts):
      • Emergency Medical Authorization Card
      • Concussion Information Form
      • CCSD15 Code of Conduct Contract
    • Provide proper athletic shoes and socks.
    • Replace uniform at current replacement cost in the event the assigned uniform is damaged or lost. A team uniform will be provided to the student athlete.
    • Pick up your child promptly at the end of the event.
    • Communicate with the coach if the student athlete will be leaving an event with someone else, and who the responsible party will be.
    • Communicate any concerns directly to the coach prior to or after an event—not during an event.
    • Maintain good sportsmanship.

    Sportsmanship Expectations

    According to the Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA), and the Illinois High School Association (IHSA):

    • “Sportsmanship is playing fair, taking a loss or defeat without complaint, not gloating when winning, and generally treating opponents and officials with courtesy, generosity, and fairness.”

    Student athletes, parents, and others attending interscholastic sporting events will:

    • Applaud during the introduction of players, coaches, and officials.
    • Accept all decisions of officials.
    • Treat the competition as a game, not a war.
    • Applaud the performance of ALL participants at the end of the contest. Shake hands with the other team.

    Tie Breaker Rule

    1. Head to head play
    2. Highest point differential
    3. Total point differential vs. other District 15 schools

    Fall Sports

    • Boys Soccer—There is one team of 18 players made up of seventh graders, and one team of 18 players made up of eighth graders. The season begins in August and runs through the end of October with a District tournament.
    • Cross-Country—There are four cross-country teams: seventh-grade girls, seventh-grade boys, eighth-grade girls, and eighth-grade boys. All students may participate, and there is no limit to the number of participants. The season begins in August and runs through the end of October, closing with a District meet.
    • Girls Basketball—The season begins in August and runs until mid-October. There are girls basketball teams for both seventh and eighth grades. Tryouts are held in mid-August. Twelve to 15 girls are chosen for each team. Both teams participate in a District tournament in October.

    Winter Sports

    • Boys Basketball—There are boys basketball teams for both seventh and eighth grades. Twelve to 15 boys are chosen for each team based on tryouts. The season runs from mid-October through January, ending with a District tournament.
    • Wrestling—There is one team for both seventh and eighth graders, and it is open to all students. Wrestling season begins in December and concludes at the end of February with a District tournament.
    • Volleyball—There are separate teams for seventh- and eighth-grade. Twelve to 15 players are chosen for each team based on tryouts. Volleyball begins after Winter Break in January and runs through mid-March. Both teams participate in an end-of-season District tournament.

    Spring Sports

    • Girls Soccer—There is one team of 18 players made up of seventh graders, and one team of 18 players made up of eighth graders. The season begins in March and runs through the end of May with a District tournament.
    • Track and Field—There are teams for seventh-grade girls, seventh-grade boys, eighth-grade girls, and eighth-grade boys. Any student may participate. The season begins in April and runs through the end of May. A District 15 track meet is held at the end of the season.

    Activity Bus

    An activity bus is available for no charge for students who wish to participate in after-school activities. The activity bus departs at 4:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday. There will be no activity bus the day before a major holiday or when after-school activities are canceled due to inclement weather. Parents should be aware that activity bus stops are not always the same as the student’s regular bus stop.

    Hazardous Weather Guidelines

    District 15 is committed to the safety and wellbeing of our students. For that reason, D15 is aligning itself with the Hazardous Weather Conditions Guidelines of our surrounding high school districts 211 & 214, as well the Play it Safe in the Heat guidelines from IHSA—all of which use the WetBulb Globe Temperature (WBGT). District 15 weather guidelines will mirror the Mid Suburban League (MSL), Districts 211, 214 and IHSA to determine if conditions are appropriate for our students to participate in outdoor athletic activities. This includes intramurals, interscholastic sports and outdoor physical education activities. See www.ccsd15.net/sports-d15 for details.