The El Rancho Middle School Experience
For 6th, 7th & 8th Grade Scholars
Why should parents choose El Rancho‘s Middle School Program for their child? With so many options available to families, you might ask yourself why our parents choose El Rancho’s Middle School. There are several factors that convince parents that El Rancho’s Elementary School is the best one for their child and family.
The mission of the El Rancho Middle School is to provide each scholar a rigorous college-preparatory education and to develop a love of school and learning.
- - The development of new concepts and skills are maximized in our low teacher to student ratio.
- - Writing skills are developed to a high level of proficiency.
- - Technology is used to enhance lessons, creating excitement and interest.
- - Students develop independence, responsibility, time management and study skills.
Academic Excellence – We are known for our personalized and well-rounded education. Our teachers tailor instruction to the needs of each student. Our academic curriculum for the core subjects of English, mathematics, social studies, science and technology set the framework for the content of what is taught. Students engage in activities that build on their prior knowledge and skills in order to strengthen their skills. The core academic content and direct teacher instruction sets the foundation of all learning.
Proven Academic Record – At El Rancho School, the 15-year average on the Stanford Achievement Test in reading is the top 3.7% in the nation. This is at a time when California public school students are ranked third from the bottom in this country in student achievement. Student enrollment in our classrooms is one-third to one-half of public or church schools. Individual attention fosters higher achievement. In addition, fewer children in a classroom means there is less noise and fewer distractions to interfere with children’s concentration.
Project Learning – Our instructors extend the core content into project learning experiences. Critical thinking, creativity, teamwork, communication, technology and self-direction are several important disciplines. These are taught mostly through integration into other courses. Technology—including word processing, spreadsheets, power point presentations, research projects, and audio resources—is incorporated into the curriculum to support and extend learning. Public speaking projects form part of the curriculum each year in the El Rancho Middle School, developing confidence through the delivery of speeches they have written or memorized.
Specialty Classes – Spanish, art appreciation, music, physical education and health round out our curriculum. Visual arts, music and drama provide an opportunity for students to express their own perceptions and feelings and to appreciate the artistic expression of others. Physical education challenges and nurtures students, whatever their level of ability, as they refine their motor skills and apply them to sports and dance.
Reading and Phonics – Student’s read and understand a wide variety of literary and informational texts including novels, short stories, poetry, plays, myths, epic tales and legends. Our students meet with their teachers for small group reading instruction, in order to maximize comprehension skills, develop new vocabulary and analyze literature.
English and Written Conventions – English lessons include both instruction in proper grammar and conventional spelling strategies. Students compose a variety of written texts with a clear controlled idea, coherent organization and sufficient detail. Final drafts are typed and submitted via email/drop box.
Research – Our scholars learn to locate and use a range of relevant online sources and evaluate, synthesize, and present ideas and information. They also evaluate the validity of sources.
Oral Reports – Within the context of the class, students present and listen to their peers present memorized reports. They respond to the information of others, and contribute their own ideas.
Mathematics Programs – CPM (college preparatory math) includes algebra, geometry, number operations, patterns, statistics, probability and word problems.
Social Studies Programs
6th grade – World History and Geography: Ancient Civilizations, plus a review of US government
7th grade – World History and Geography: Medieval and Modern Times
8th grade – United States History and Geography: Growth and Conflict
Science Programs (including the scientific process and participation in the science fair)
6th grade – Plate tectonics and Earth’s structure; thermal energy; energy in the Earth’s system; ecology
7th grade – Cell biology; genetics; Earth history; structure & function of living systems; physical principals of living systems
8th grade – Motion; forces; structure of matter; Earth in the solar system; chemical reactions; chemistry of living systems; Periodic table; density and buoyancy
Health Programs – The topics include, but are not limited to nutrition, physical activity, injury prevention and safety, Red Ribbon Week (alcohol, tobacco & drug use prevention), personal & community health, making positive choices and anti-bullying. We believe that parents should choose when, what and how much to tell their children about sexual behaviors and birth control. In that way each family can personalize their conversation to include, or not include, beliefs based on religion, morality and responsibility. The school maintains a check-out library for parents who would like to get ideas about how to handle these sensitive conversations.
Service Learning & Character Education – Community service learning projects allow our students to create their own plan to meet a community need. Our character education program help students learn to treat everyone with respect and to resolve conflicts in constructive ways.
Foreign Language: Spanish – Structured and interactive introduction with a focus on listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students develop their ear for the language and work toward authentic pronunciation through songs, dialogues and short video clips.
Athletics – Coed physical fitness activities develop skills needed to participate in organized sports. Students are required to wear a standard PE uniform. Changing areas are provided for students to change clothes for PE. Middle school students will be on a team sport of their choice for a season or be enrolled in an athletic class (karate, gym, etc.) for a minimum of three months.
Technology Programs – At El Rancho School the use of technology is woven throughout the curriculum. Our classrooms have the most current PC programs and 46” teaching monitors. All middle school students will have a laptop that accompanies the student to school each day, and a printer at home, both that the family provides. It is up to each family to choose which platform they want to use, either an Apple or Android product. Each student will need an email account that the family sets up in advance of the school term. Students will create a multimedia presentation, complete assignments that are downloaded onto their device, create a variety of reports, submit work via email, and view streams as homework in preparation for class discussions.
Electives: Band, Choir, Yearbook, Photography, Student Government
Extended Field Trips
6th Grade: Sly Park Environmental Education Camp www.scoe.net/slypark
7th Grade: Yosemite National Park’s Nature-Bridge Program www.naturebridge.org
8th Grade: Monterey Peninsula in Pacific Grove/Asilomar Conference Center
Study Hall: After school, scholars may attend study hall on Monday-Thursdays. Our parents report that they have more family time in the evenings because their children complete most of their homework before leaving school.