Sixth Grade Curricular Program

Our sixth grade curriculum is a well-conceived blending of tradition and innovation. Cross-disciplinary and exploratory in nature, the program is designed to meet students at their level of cognitive development.

Humanities:

Our humanities program is focused on the perennial truths and insights of western civilization and the complex interchange of ideas that occur in its encounter with the East. Our students explore the history, literature, and philosophy of the ancient Israelites, Greeks, Romans and medieval Europe as well as the rich theological and spiritual insights of Christians from the time of Christ through the Renaissance.

Arts:

In our arts program, our students come to appreciate and practice the art, music, and poetry of that western heritage.

Instructional Practice:

Though the subjects of their study in these areas draw upon our rich cultural heritage, the method of instruction and the means by which our students explore this heritage embrace the technological advances of the 21st century. Our students explore and investigate this heritage under the guidance of inspiring teachers who provide them with tools and strategies for research, analysis, interpretation, and presentation.

STEM: (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)

Our STEM program focuses on developing core competencies and knowledge in the context of real-world applications. Problem solving begins with an understanding of and application of the scientific method, but progresses to methods of observation and data gathering and analysis that support and illuminate scientific theory. Students may track the motion of a car on an incline plane aided by radar, enter their data into an excel spreadsheet, develop a graph, apply mathematical processes to formulae, and come to a better understanding of Newtonian physics in the process. Or they might analyze the biology of and take water samples from Allens Creek in nearby Corbett’s Glen Nature Park to discern humans’ impact on the environment. Some areas of attention are: Earth and the Solar System, Force and Energy, and Ecosystems.

Throughout the program, students are expected to use state-of-the-art technologies to access relevant and accurate information, to analyze that information, and to produce presentations that demonstrate a growing awareness of and competency in the conventions of written and oral communication.

Liberal Arts

This broad emphasis on the liberal arts prepares our students for more advanced study in 7th and 8th grade. It exceeds the standards set by the Common Core Curriculum. More importantly, it develops within our students the ability to see the interconnectedness of ideas, to apply skills creatively, and to exercise virtue and adhere to worthy values – attributes that will make them successful in academics and in life. Our goal is to transform lives and, by extension, the world.

FAQs Regarding 6th Grade

What is the Curriculum?  Do you follow the Common Core?

We are excited to offer our sixth graders an innovative curriculum that engages students in active learning in interdisciplinary courses.  These courses draw upon the richness of our cultural heritage while incorporating the discoveries and advances of our modern world.  

While we are conscious of the need to prepare students for state tests and, ultimately, for the SATs and Advanced Placement exams, all of which are geared toward the Common Core Standards, we do not let such standards limit our vision of what a well-educated citizen ought to know or how a teacher ought to instruct.

And, of course, Faith and the life of the Spirit is part of our Catholic Core.  There is a more detailed description of our sixth grade curricular program in our Program of Study and elsewhere in the Admissions tab of our website.

Will sixth grade students move from class to class for each subject as the seventh and eighth grades do?

Our sixth grade program serves as a transition between elementary school and the high school model of discipline-based courses that our grades seven and eight experience.  Grade six students transition between six courses a day.  The courses are interdisciplinary in nature, focusing on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), the humanities, the arts, and physical education.  The first two courses meet for longer periods of time to ensure that students can immerse themselves in research and projects that draw upon the theories and practices, knowledge and skills of multiple subjects in the Humanities and STEM.

Do you offer extracurriculars and clubs?

We offer a range of clubs that meet during a thirty minute flex period at the beginning of the day in addition to after school enrichment opportunities.  We will be gauging parent and student interest in a comprehensive after school sports, technology, and arts program.

Will there be sports teams for the sixth grade?  Are they competitive?  Will there by tryouts?

We are investigating various options for interscholastic play with our peer schools.  This will limited to specific events rather than a comprehensive program.  We currently offer our 7th and 8th grade students competitive sports that, for the most part, do not involve tryouts.  We usually field as many teams as we can to meet student interest and coaching availability.

Are the sixth grade teachers certified?

We hire highly qualified teachers who know their fields, are passionate about teaching, and create engaging lessons.  As a middle school which requires more subject-matter specialization than elementary schools do, we seek to hire faculty with high school certification, though a well-qualified teacher with elementary school certification can present themselves as a strong candidate.

How is transportation to and from school handled?

School districts must provide transportation to nonpublic school students residing in the district.  The distance to be measured is fifteen miles from the student’s home to the nonpublic school.  Districts measure this distance in any number of ways, as long as they apply a consistent system for all residents.  Some families choose to drive.

What is the tuition?

For 2016-2017, parish-sponsored families pay $4,850 for their first child, $3,550 for their second child in the school, and $2,550 for their third. Non-parishioners pay $5,950 for their first child, $4,550 for their second child in the school, and $3,550 for their third. There is a $650 discount for families with younger children in any one of the nine Diocesan elementary schools in Monroe County. More information is available on the school website under the Admissions tab.

Is there financial aid available?

Yes. In the 2015-2016 school year 36% of our families received $100,000 in financial aid.  

How do I apply to Siena?

Registration forms and the Family/Parish Commitment Form (required of those seeking the parish-sponsored discount) are available in the main office and online.  Submit these to the main office or mail them to Siena Catholic Academy, 2617 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14610.  Final acceptance is dependent on grades and standardized test scores.  In some cases an interview may need to be scheduled. There is no registration fee.

Why should I choose Siena for my 6th or 7th grade child?

Siena offers a unique educational opportunity for your child. It is the only free-standing, co-educational Catholic middle school in the Diocese. It offers an academic program and learning environment that bridges the gap between elementary school and high school. The early adolescent years are a time of transition from childhood to adulthood. Siena provides educational opportunities that are flexible enough to enrich their lives yet structured enough to satisfy needs common to all in a safe environment. Particular attention is given to the significant changes our students experience in their physical, emotional, intellectual, and social development in order for them to be able to realize their full potential. Our parents and graduates attest repeatedly to the supportive nature of the school and the growth in confidence and leadership that our students experience as a result of our program and climate.

What if I want my son or daughter to go to one of the Catholic High Schools for 9th grade… won’t it be easier for them to get in if they start there at grade 6?

Siena has an excellent relationship with all of our Catholic high schools. We have a long tradition of sending 85% of our graduates to our Catholic high schools each year. Of our 2014 graduating class, 24 went on to Aquinas, 11 to Bishop Kearney, 25 to McQuaid , and 43 to Mercy. Choosing Siena for your child’s middle school education offers a great transitional program from elementary to high school.  Students at Siena have opportunities to develop and exercise leadership immediately, they develop socialization skills in a co-educational atmosphere, and they build a strong foundation for academic success as proven by the stellar records Siena graduates have exhibited in their high school years. They regularly outperform the average student at their high schools of choice.  The data regarding National Honor Society membership, graduation rates, and awards and honors supports this.

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© 2017 Siena Catholic Academy   |   2617 East Ave., Rochester, NY 14610   |   Phone: (585) 381-1220   |   Fax: (585) 381-1223   |   office@sienacatholic.org