Our Program

Middle School

A Middle School Curriculum That Prepares Students for Success

At York Prep, we believe that every student has the drive and ambition to achieve academic excellence and develop the skills necessary to succeed. York Prep's middle school enrolls students in grades 6 through 8, and allows them to directly transition to our high school program. York Prep middle school students have their academic progress monitored in small classes, with leveled offerings, and individual support. Our middle school curriculum is designed to motivate students to reach their full potential.  As a result of our academic tracking system, our students are always placed in classes that are rigorous yet accessible. Our teachers strive to foster critical thinking and intellectual initiative while also making sure that students feel supported in their academic pursuits. This allows us to ensure that every student enrolled in our middle school is able to prepare for upper school while enjoying everything that York Prep has to offer.


In 6th grade, students engage with literature, and they receive instruction in grammar, vocabulary, and writing. Students focus on discovering common themes among different literary works, making connections between literature read in class and our society today. Throughout the year students are introduced to various genres through the reading of literature, and they work with new vocabulary from the texts. Students are guided through the writing process and develop skills for communicating effectively through writing. In 7th grade English, students examine themes of identity through studying a variety of themes and genres. They are encouraged to discover their own voices through writing assignments and projects. Consequently, students gain an understanding of how storytelling shapes people’s personal and collective histories and how literature reflects the conflicts and obstacles of their times. Like the short stories, novels, poems, and biographies in the course, development in terms of writing is also a self-reflective process. Students self-assess throughout the year to better understand how they comprehend the grammar and vocabulary, which is integrated into the literature studied. They will also develop an understanding of the writing process and have opportunities to practice their writing skills.English in 8th grade focuses on character development, symbolism, themes, and other literary devices. Students read fiction and nonfiction, and they are guided through note-taking, annotating text, and responding to literature throughout the writing process. During the year, students think about main ideas, sentence structure, paragraph formation, and inference topics. Honors English 8 covers the same materials but in a much more in-depth structure and presentation of the literature.


History in 6th grade is a survey of the people and places of the world with the purpose of providing a broad global overview. In the process, students master the various geographic tools necessary to explore the regions of the globe and research the diverse cultures of its inhabitants. In 7th grade history, students study the early ages of human history through the dawn of modern civilization. Students begin in the pre-historic era with a look at human origins, examining with an “archaeologist’s eye view,” how humans migrated around the world and built societies. They explore the world’s first civilizations that developed in Egypt, the Middle East, India and China, concluding with an exploration of the classical societies of Greece and Rome. The students’ examination of the medieval period in the second semester traces the Silk Road, the development of globalization, the Renaissance, and the flowering of modern civilization. 8th grade history focuses on U.S. history, beginning with the establishment of the original thirteen colonies through the Reconstruction period after the Civil War. Students will analyze the causes and effects of the American Revolution along with the individuals who played an influential role in the development of the new nation. They will explore the development of American government and its impact throughout society. Students will examine the different movements and revolutions before the Civil War and their impact on the nation. Finally, they will study the causes and events leading up to the war, its importance, and the significance of Reconstruction


Sixth Grade Math is a course of assessment for mathematical readiness and preparation for future mathematics, as well as expanding student knowledge of foundational concepts and procedures. Students will improve their understanding of operations, data and graphs, patterns and variables, number theory and fractions, ratios, rates, percentages, numerical equivalency, equations and inequalities, geometry, integers, probability, and data analysis. Students work cooperatively to increase communication abilities and independent thinking skills, in order to apply mathematics in their real-world experiences. Seventh Grade Math reinforces middle school problem-solving concepts such as ratios and proportional analyses, operations with fractions, equivalency, geometry, and statistics while introducing the foundations of algebra. The course aims to increase student independence, communication, and cooperative learning skills to improve mathematical applications in the real world. Eighth Grade Math provides preparation for Algebra One. Learners encounter the fundamentals of Algebra through middle school math concepts such as integers, rational numbers, the coordinate plane, proportionality, percentages, equations and inequalities, geometry, measurement, and statistics. Students participate in activities designed to increase their mathematical understanding in the real world. Algebra I Algebra One is an in-depth course of linear, exponential, and quadratic expressions and functions, polynomials, systems of equations, roots and radicals, data analysis, and statistics. Students learn the fundamentals of parent functions while improving numeric reasoning, cooperative learning, and real-world problem-solving methods through applications of mathematics in science and math professions.

Reading and Writing

In 6th grade students take Reading & Writing Workshop 6-1, a course designed to teach core language concepts that will enhance a student’s ability to effectively read and write at a developmentally appropriate level. Targeted instruction for writing skills includes learning sentence level skills like incorporating conjunction words, appositives, combining and expanding sentences. By the end of end of the year, 6th graders in Reading and Writing workshop will be able to learn how to plan, organize, outline, draft, revise, and edit a well-crafted paragraph while integrating taught sentence level strategies to strengthen writing complexity. Students will learn skills and strategies to enhance their written expression guided by methods from The Writing Revolution (Hochman, Wexler 2017). Targeted instruction for reading skills will include practice on decoding, comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary study. In 7th grade, students take Reading & Writing Workshop 7-1. This course is designed to teach core language concepts that will enhance a student's ability to read and write at a developmentally appropriate level. Students master the concepts of key words and phrases, abbreviations, and symbols when annotating text, while also building on their sentence expansion skills. While mastering their sentence skills, students learn how to effectively use the SPO (Single Paragraph Outline) to plan and organize their writing for different text structures. Targeted instruction will include skills and strategies to enhance written expression guided by the methodology from The Writing Revolution (Hochman, Wexler 2017). Students will end the year mastering the body paragraphs of an MPO (Multi-Paragraph Outline). As a skills-based class, students will become stronger readers and writers through the examination of expository texts. In 8th grade, students prepare for high school with Reading & Writing Workshop 8-1. This course focuses on improving students’ writing skills using a variety of strategies starting at the sentence level and working toward multiple paragraph written compositions. Students will learn how to effectively use the SPO (Single Paragraph Outline) and MPO (Multi-Paragraph Outline) to plan and organize their writing for different text structures. Targeted instruction includes skills and strategies to enhance written expression guided by the methodology from The Writing Revolution (Hochman, Wexler 2017). As a skills-based class, students will become stronger readers through the examination of expository texts by enhancing their note-taking and critical thinking skills. Students master the concepts of key words and phrases, abbreviations, and symbols when annotating text, while also building on their sentence expansion skills to apply to written compositions.


Performing Arts
All 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade students receive classes in all 3 of the performing arts: Music, Drama, and Dance. The programs include digital songwriting, choreography, dance performances, theater games, dramatic writing exercises, and dramatic scene work. All middle schoolers can perform in various school-wide events, including The Halloween Dance, and are free to audition for any middle or upper school performing arts productions.

Visual Arts
Middle school art introduces the basic language of two-dimensional design through the mediums of drawing, painting and collage. The goal is to have a foundation level understanding of elements of design with assignments based on line, shape and mass, space, texture, color, harmony and variety, balance and rhythm, proportion and scale as well as composition. The second year of this class builds on elements of two dimensional design allowing students to become comfortable using watercolor and developing composition. Perspective is also visited as students work from observation of life including the human form and use references to complete a variety of assignments.

Physical Education

This course offers students the opportunity to develop competencies in the following areas: physical fitness, physical skills, social competence, and knowledge and understanding of team sports and activities. Physical education classes are co-educational. Courses includes instruction in the following activities: Two-Hand Touch Football, Soccer, Floor Hockey, Basketball, Volleyball, Badminton, Wiffle ball, Softball, Fitness unit, Cooperative Games and a Free Unit. The free unit gives students the opportunity to choose their activities for the week. Evaluation is on an individual level based on ability, attitudes, appearance, attendance, effort and participation. Grading will be based on the school Physical Education grading rubric.

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