Seventh grade students have new and exciting opportunities, more independence, and additional responsibility as they continue their journey through Middle School.
There are additional elective courses available to seventh grade students, a
weeklong leadership camp experience on Catalina Island in Southern California, and
coursework that focuses on individual value as well as respecting and celebrating the
strengths and beliefs of others.
Our seventh grade program is designed to support students in this important phase of their development. The curriculum presents demanding academic core classes balanced by a broad selection of high-interest elective courses.
The school day consists of seven 50-minute periods with five core subjects — English language and literature, mathematics, social studies, science and physical education — along with two elective courses.
Character education and service learning and leadership time is integrated into the weekly schedule for all Middle School students.
English language & literature
- Mastery of writing through narratives, summaries, comparison essays, how-to essays and a 4-6 page research paper. "Write Source" textbook is used as a reference. Use of descriptive and figurative language is encouraged.
- Extensive conferencing and peer editing help students refine the craft of writing.
- Study of grammar with focus on parts of speech, complexity of sentences and clauses.
- Novels include "The Giver" by Lois Lowry, "Uglies" by Scott Westerfeld and "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card.
- Project-based work requires students to work collaboratively to evaluate themes, symbolism, and moral dilemmas, uncover characters' motivations, and make connections to their own lives, which is just what they are eager to do developmentally.
- "McDougal Littell," Pre-Algebra
- Students build the skills and conceptual understanding to move into Algebra.
- This program develops each student’s ability to learn by working through problems of increasing difficulty, abstraction and levels of application.
- Integers, fractions, exponents, equations, inequalities, nonlinear functions, geometry and polynomials are all explored as students prepare for the next level in math.
- Thinking, talking and writing clearly about math.
- Throughout the year, projects and investigations focus on real-world application, using math to analyze and suggest solutions to social justice issues.
Engaging and encompassing a global perspective, 7th grade history covers the rise of the modern world, which connects the 6th grade ancient cultures curriculum and is the ideal bridge to the 8th grade U.S. history course. Units include:
- The Middles Ages in Europe
- The Rise of Islam, Byzantium, Medieval Warfare and the Crusades
- Imperial China, Feudal Japan, South American Empires
- The Renaissance, Protestant Reformation, and The Enlightenment
- Focus on biological and life sciences, including cells, genetics, the systems of the human body and animals.
- Weekly STEAM/STEM-based science labs in a dedicated Middle School laboratory, including dissection of frogs, squid, earthworms and owl pellets; dissection of chicken wings to see how muscle is attached to bone; and the creation of edible cell model.
- "CPO Science Middle School Life Science" textbook
- Visit Science in Middle School for more information on specific activities.
Character and Competence Program
The focus of the seventh grade Character & Competence curriculum continues the development of the Mission Skills and centers on recognizing the value of the individual: respecting the beliefs of others and celebrating student's strengths. Regular class meetings start with appreciations, when each student has a chance to recognize what someone else in the class has done for him or her, or for the class as a whole.
Each seventh grade student gets to choose two elective courses per trimester. Seventh grade is the first year that students can choose the Yearbook elective.
While day trips to various stops may change year to year, the favorite overnight excursion is the trip to Catalina Island.
Catalina Environmental Leadership Program
Our seventh grade students attend the Catalina Environmental Leadership Program (CELP) on Catalina Island. This weeklong outing offers lessons in biological sciences, environmental science and issues relating to ecosystem interdependency, resource management and conservation, chaperoned by ACDS faculty and led by trained Catalina naturalists. Students enjoy daily adventures – kayaking, snorkeling, hiking and exploring the island’s incredible natural beauty, culminating in a leadership challenge ropes course.
Our All School Student Exhibition and Talent Showcase (ASSETS) has been a popular ACDS tradition for more than a decade. This three-day event is a lively celebration of student success and skills in a wide variety of activities and exhibits.
Free Dress Fridays
Our Middle School students have the opportunity to earn a Free Dress Friday if they are properly dressed in uniform all week. This perk for Middle School students is a treasured tradition and helps distinguish the older students on campus.
Middle School Socials
There are four Middle School socials throughout the year, supervised by ACS faculty: Halloween, Winter Holidays, Valentine's Day and Graduation. The focus is on having fun with friends outside an academic setting.