• English Language Arts

    Following the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts, eighth graders develop skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language through experience with print and digital resources.  Students read a wide range of text, varying in levels of sophistication and purpose.   Through print and non‐print text, they further develop comprehension strategies, vocabulary, as well as high order thinking skills.  They read a balance of short and long fiction, drama, and poetry with a focus on comparing how two or more literary elements create effects such as suspense or humor. 

    Eighth graders approach informational text such as articles, arguments, and essays with the intent of citing textual evidence, analyze points of view and presentation, and evaluate the accuracy and relevance of details.  Experience with a variety of text types and text complexity helps students develop a knowledge‐base essential for recognizing and understanding allusions.  Students learn about the writing–‐reading connection by drawing upon and writing about evidence from literary and informational texts.  Writing skills, such as the ability to plan, revise, edit, and publish, develop as students practice skills of specific writing types, such as arguments, informative/explanatory texts, and narratives.  Guided by rubrics, students strategically write for a variety of purposes and audiences, and each student’s writing and product samples are compiled in a portfolio.

    Eighth graders also conduct short research projects, drawing on and citing various sources appropriately.  Eighth graders hone skills of flexible communication and collaboration as they learn to work together, express and listen carefully to ideas, integrate information and use media and visual displays to help communicate ideas.  Students learn language conventions and vocabulary to help them understand and analyze words and phrases, relationships among words, and nuances that affect the text they read, write, and hear.  Students are encouraged to engage in daily independent reading to practice their skills and pursue their interests.


    The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics consist of two types of standards – Standards for Mathematical Practice that span K–‐12 and Standards for Mathematical Content specific to each course.  The Standards for Mathematical Practice rest on important “processes and proficiencies” with longstanding importance in mathematics education.  They describe the characteristics and habits of mind that all students who are mathematically proficient should be able to exhibit.  The eight Standards for Mathematical Practice are:

    Common Core Math 8

    • The Number System: Know that there are numbers that are not rational, and approximate them by rational numbers. 
    • Expressions and Equations: Work with radicals and integer exponents; understand the connections between proportional relationships, lines, and linear equations; analyze and solve linear equations and pairs of simultaneous linear equations. 
    • Geometry: Understand congruence and similarity using physical models, transparencies, or geometry software; understand and apply the Pythagorean Theorem; solve real–‐world and mathematical problems involving volume of cylinders, cones and spheres.
    • Statistics and Probability: Investigate patterns of association in bivariate data.
    • Functions: Define, evaluate, and compare functions; use functions to model relationships between quantities.

    Common Core Math I (for High School Credit)

    The Common Core Math I course offered in middle school is a compacted course comprised of a portion of the Common Core Math 8 standards and all the Common Core Math I standards. This course deepens and extends understanding of linear relationships, in part by contrasting them with exponential and quadratic phenomena, and in part by applying linear models to data that exhibit a linear trend.  In addition to studying bivariate data, students also summarize, represent, and interpret data on a single count or measurement variable.  The Geometry standards that appear on this course formalize and extend students’ geometric experiences to explore more complex geometric situations and deepen their explanations of geometric relationships, moving towards formal mathematical arguments. 

    The Standards for Mathematical Practice apply throughout the course and, together with the content standards, require that students experience mathematics as a coherent, useful, and logical subject that makes use of their ability to make sense of problem situations.  This course fulfills the North Carolina high school graduation requirement for Algebra I. The final exam is the North Carolina End–‐of–‐Course Test based on the Math I Standards.  *High School Mathematics courses taken, successfully completed with a passing EOC score in Middle School will count as credit toward high school graduation.  However, the grade will not contribute to the student’s GPA. 

    1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
    2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
    3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
    4.  Model with mathematics.
    5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
    6. Attend to precision.
    7. Look for and make use of structure. 
    8. 8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning. 

    Common Core Math II (for High School Credit)

    Recommended prerequisite(s): Common Core Math I In Common Core Math II, students continue to deepen their study of quadratic expressions, equations, and functions; comparing their characteristics and behavior to those of linear and exponential relationships from Common Core Math I. The concept of quadratics is generalized with the introduction of higher degree polynomials.  New methods for solving quadratic and exponential equations are developed.  The characteristics of advanced types of functions are investigated (including power, inverse variation, radical, absolute value, piecewise–defined, and simple trigonometric functions).  The link between probability and data is explored through conditional probability and counting methods.

    Students explore more complex geometric situations and deepen their explanations of geometric relationships, moving towards formal mathematical arguments. Important differences exist between Math II and the historical approach taken in Geometry classes.  For example, transformations are explored early in the course and provide the framework for studying geometric concepts such as similarity and congruence.  The study of similarity leads to an understanding of right triangle trigonometry and connects to quadratics through Pythagorean relationships. The Standards for Mathematical Practice apply throughout each course and, together with the content standards, require that students experience mathematics as a coherent, useful, and logical subject that makes use of their ability to make sense of problem situations. This course fulfills the North Carolina high school graduation requirement for Common Core Math II.  The final exam is the North Carolina Common Exam for Common Core Math II.


    Traditional laboratory experiences provide opportunities to demonstrate how science is constant, historical, probabilistic, and replicable.  Although there are no fixed steps that all scientists follow, scientific investigations usually involve collections of relevant evidence, the use of logical reasoning, the application of imagination to devise hypotheses, and explanations to make sense of collected evidence. Student engagement in scientific investigation provides background for understanding the nature of scientific inquiry. In addition, the science process skills necessary for inquiry are acquired through active experience.  The process skills support the development of reasoning and problem‐solving ability and are the core of scientific methodologies. By the end of this course, the students will be able to:

    • Understand the hydrosphere and the impact of humans on local systems and the effects of the hydrosphere on humans.
    • Understand the history of Earth and its life forms based on evidence of change recorded in fossil records and landforms.  Understand the hazards caused by agents of diseases that affect living organisms.
    • Understand how biotechnology is used to affect living organisms.
    • Understand how organisms interact with and respond to the biotic and abiotic components of their environment. 
    • Understand the evolution of organisms and landforms based on evidence, theories and processes that impact the Earth over time. Understand the composition of various substances as it relates to their ability to serve as a source of energy and building materials for growth and repair of organisms.
    • Understand the properties of matter and changes that occur when matter interacts in an open and closed system. 
    • Explain the environmental implications associated with the various methods of obtaining, managing, and using energy resources.

    Social Studies

    Historical study connects students to the enduring themes and issues of our past and equips them to meet the challenges they will face as citizens in a state, nation and an interdependent world. Pursuant to the passage of House Bill 1032 An Act Modifying the History and Geography Curricula in the Public Schools of North Carolina, the new essential standards for eighth grade will integrate United States history with the study of North Carolina history. 

    This integrated study helps students understand and appreciate the legacy of our democratic republic and to develop skills needed to engage responsibly and intelligently as North Carolinians. This course will serve as a stepping stone for more intensive study in high school. Students in eighth grade will continue to build on the fourth and fifth grade introductions to North Carolina and the United States by embarking on a more rigorous study of the historical foundations and democratic principles that continue to shape our state and nation.  Students will begin with a review of the major ideas and events preceding the foundation of North Carolina and the United States.  The main focus of the course will be the critical events, personalities, issues, and developments in the state and nation from the Revolutionary Era to contemporary times.  Inherent in this study is an analysis of the relationship of geography, events and people to the political, economic, technological, and cultural developments that shaped our existence in North Carolina and the United States over time.