Middle School Additional Programs
In the Innovation and Design Lab, students prototype solutions to real-world issues through a process of empathy research, ideation, and design. Students utilize laser and 3-D printers, coding software, and robots to engineer models and experiment and test their solutions. Interdisciplinary projects provide students with opportunities to apply and synthesize concepts studied in STEAM subjects. Field trips and community partnerships are fostered to enhance students’ exploration and understanding of concepts.
All students in the Middle School are invited to join Chorus. Vocal and rhythmic skills are developed to prepare for public performances on campus and within the greater New Orleans area.
In grades 5 through 8, teachers implement study skills within each unit of study. Summarizing, note-taking, outlining, and content reading are taught and reinforced as the need arises. Students are introduced to organizational skills, study strategies, listening skills, and the art of being an active learner. Students assess their own learning styles and learn the skill of applying new information to a given situation. The seventh and eighth grade students enroll in a study skills and standardized test preparation elective. The course teaches executive function skills and test-taking strategies.
As part of the transition into Middle School, an academic advisor, an assigned faculty member, works closely with students to build confidence in academic, social, and emotional learning. Working closely with the Dean of Students and Counseling Department, the advisor meets regularly with the students to help students achieve their academic and personal goals, to act as liaison between school and home, and to serve as a support on campus.
The goal of the Developmental Counseling Program is to aid students in meeting the challenges of modern life secure in the knowledge of themselves, the world around them, and the skills to formulate, articulate, and actualize their uniqueness. Trained counselors provide individual sessions for students of all ages. Classroom sessions are provided within the framework of the schedule for Middle School. Small groups may meet with a counselor to explore issues and problems important to each respective age group.
Peer Support is a mentor program developed for eighth grade students and is now in its 34rd year at Sacred Heart. The foundation of this mentor program is built on findings of developmental research demonstrating that adolescents listen, relate, respond, and learn best from their peers. Each year, a group of junior and senior applicants, who exhibit exceptional leadership skills and a natural inclination to help others, are selected to act as peer mentors to the eighth grade students. Peer Support leaders receive training in professional counseling skills from local clinical psychologists and therapists, in addition to receiving continuous supervision and instruction by the Upper and Middle School counselors. The Peer Support leaders meet with the eighth grade students roughly twice a month.
All grades are taught to understand that social action is integral to their lives as active, faithful members of the Catholic Christian community. They learn that social action is a continuing commitment to and involvement in caring for those in need. Actual involvement of all students is encouraged and conducted through Student Council, Campus Ministry, and community outreach.
The Middle School student body elects officer and representatives for Student Council. Through retreats and regular meetings, students develop leadership skills and learn the practical application of the democratic policy. The students serve as liaisons between faculty and the student body by planning events and leading activities to build community and school spirit.
Athletic & Theater Program
Athletic and theater after-school programs provide opportunity for students to participate in various community building teams and productions. Students in seventh and eighth grade are invited to tryout for junior varsity and varsity sports including basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. Middle School sports teams in grades 5-8 include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. Fifth grade students are invited to attend various clinics throughout the year, and participate in track and field, softball, and tennis at the Middle School level.