Beginning in 5th grade, students are blended into a departmental setting with core subjects: language arts, math, social studies, and science. In 5th grade, students begin to study Latin along with Spanish, and students begin to work with different teachers for each subject. In 7th and 8th grades, students study physical science, biology, pre-algebra, and Algebra I, courses they are likely to encounter when they enter high school. Students may also join our Math Olympiads or our Science Olympiad teams. Our teams compete in events throughout the year, and our Science Olympiad team routinely wins first place in the regional competition and does well in the state competition.
Music, art, religious studies, technology, physical education, and outdoor education courses round out the curriculum. Opportunities in the arts abound at St. Paul’s. The walls are filled with the works of our young artists, and the sounds of our talented musicians echo through the hallways. Any students in grades 4 – 8 with an interest in music may join the choir; no auditions required! Students may also join the St. Paul’s studio band. Both our choir and our band perform at several events throughout the year.
Technology is a major component to our curriculum with faculty infusing our state-of-the-art media lab into their classrooms. Technology teachers also utilize our media lab to develop the students’ skills in the rapidly-changing high-tech world. Students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades also bring their own devices (tablets or iPads) to school, and the use of technology is integrated throughout their classes.
PAWS to Work
PAWS to Work
is our unique middle school program that puts into practice the school’s commitment to sustainability. With faculty serving as mentors, students rotate groups throughout the year and learn the importance of taking pride in their school and giving back to their community.
8th Grade and Beyond
We are especially proud of our 8th grade curriculum and all the exciting components that enrich it. As we prepare our students for high school, 8th graders take Algebra I (for which some students may qualify for high school credit) and also work at an accelerated pace in other subjects. The homework load is somewhat increased to prepare students for high school but also allows students to explore extracurricular activities and to balance out their lives.
The 8th grade class takes two major class trips. The first trip is to the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, where students spend a week in the mountains hiking, white water rafting, camping, and rock climbing. On this trip, students learn how to push themselves, work as members of a team, and problem-solve in a unique and challenging environment. The 8th grade class also travels to Memphis, Tennessee as part of their social studies unit on Civil Rights.
In the annual 8th grade musical production, every student has a singing and acting part in the 8th grade play. Students choreograph their own musical numbers and design and build their own set. By setting so many challenges for our 8th graders, St. Paul’s prepares our graduates for the challenges they may face in high school and beyond. St. Paul’s graduates have learned to face tests in the classroom and tests of their character, whether it is sleeping outside in the mountains of North Carolina or singing a song before the whole school community.
St. Paul’s Graduates
Our 8th graders typically get into their first choice high school, and you can find St. Paul’s alumni in a variety of high schools throughout the greater New Orleans area. Whether they enroll in a Catholic school, a public school, or an independent school, St. Paul’s students are often heralded as the leaders of their 9th grade classes. Often, the 9th grade curricula at other schools feature units and concepts that may have been introduced at St. Paul’s as early as 7th grade.
Countless St. Paul’s alumni have returned to our campus over the years, and they all emphasize how critical the 8th grade year and St. Paul’s as a whole was in their personal development.