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    Academics Overview

    6th Grade
    7th Grade
    8th Grade
    Enrichment Classes

    Our Academic Philosophy

    • Small learning communities
    • Common teaching teams
    • Common planning and professional development time for teachers
    • Focus on relationships, rigor, relevancy and results
    • Monthly house assembly and student recognition
    • School spirit days
    • Beginning of the year team building experiences
    • An academic schedule which reflects the diversity in student learning which includes Special Education, ELL, Spectrum and Advanced Math

    Commitment to improving our instruction and practice in the following areas which support our professional development:

    • Writer’s Workshop
    • Reader’s Workshop
    • Math Studio Days
    • OEL Science (Observing for Evidence of Learning)
    • Study Groups

    Focus on academic success for all students in core subjects of Math, Language Arts, Science and Social Studies.

    Expectation that all students will be at or above grade level in core subjects when they move on to high school from Whitman.

    6th Grade

    At Whitman, each grade level has required CORE courses. For 6th grade,they are block classes with the same teacher for Social Studies/Language Arts and Science/Math.

    7th Grade

    In 7th grade, Core courses are math and science,  Language Arts and Social Studies. As the students prepare for high school in 8th grade, they enter the traditional rotation for all classes.

    8th Grade

    As the students prepare for high school in 8th grade, they enter the traditional rotation for all classes. Core classes will include Social Studies,Language Arts, Math and Science. Electives.

    Enrichment Classes

    Enrichment courses (formerly electives) are offered in 3 different lengths; Full Year (36 weeks), Semester (18 weeks) and Term (9 weeks).They are designed to give students exposure to the following areas at all three grade levels.

    Video Production

    • Digital video camera, electronic editing and music production concepts and skills.
    • Plan, write, act, direct, film, and edit short productions.
    • Media literacy concepts to encourage students to become "critical viewers.”
    • Work on individual and group projects include journalistic news reporting, producing short films, music videos, documentaries, and multi-media presentations.
    • Self-directed and teacher directed projects.
    • Basic camera and digital production equipment
    • Video production concepts
    • Perform basic screen test interviews and book/movie reviews
    •  Semester (18 week) course, letter grades.


    • Explore various art subjects and materials.
    •  Subject matter includes still life, landscape, fantasy, abstraction and sculpture.
    • Elements of Art and Principles of Design may be based on the art of World Cultures and encompass 2D and 3D experiences.
    • Materials to be used include pencil, ink, charcoal, pastels, watercolors, tempera, and printmaking.
    • Term (9 week) course.


    • 6th Grade - Health will focus on learning about yourself physically and emotionally in order to make positive and healthy life choices.
    • 7th Grade - Health will focus on becoming leaders who promote a healthy school environment.
    • Health will focus on learning about the human body and how diseases affect it.

    String Orchestra

    • For students who want to play a string instrument (violin, viola, cello, or bass.)
    • Learn to play concert music, scales/arpeggios, method books.
    • Study basic and advanced note/rhythm reading.
    • Become proficient in tuning and vibrato.
    • Work on music theory and complete regular practice minute logs.
    • School instruments available, personal instruments encouraged.
    • Full year course, letter grades.

    6th Grade Enrichment Classes

    Beginning & Intermediate Band

    • All 6th grade band students are placed into one of the two bands.
    • All levels are welcome, especially total beginners.
    • Both bands play in all concerts and have additional trips and performances.
    • Instruments include trombone, baritone, French Horn, trumpet, saxophone, clarinet, flute, and percussion.
    • Full year course, letter grades

    6th & 7th Grade Enrichment Classes

    Unified Music (Beginning Strings)

    • For students with no experience to learn to play a string instrument (violin, viola, cello, bass) with emphasis on low strings
    • Learn to play fluently in first position
    • Learn basic note and rhythm reading as well as beginning music theory
    • School instrument provided, but stay in classroom

    7th Grade Enrichment Classes

    CAD (Computer Aided Drafting)

    • Introduction to different methods of drawing objects, using circles, polylines, arcs, & lines.
    • As they progress & learn, they will be able to explore & create their own 2D & 3D objects.
    • Involves the application of physical laws, scientific principles and mathematical skills to design objects in the real world.
    • Semester Course (18 weeks), letter grades.

    7th Grade & 8th Grade Enrichment Classes

    World Language 1 and 2 Spanish, Japanese, French

    Two year elective class offered beginning of 7th grade year and continuing on in the 8th grade year.
    • Two-year time span allows a slower pace while also providing more enrichment activities.
    • Designed to cover beginning vocabulary, phrases and grammar with emphasis on meaningful communication.
    • Develop reading, writing and listening skills in foreign language.
    • Exposure to culture through crafting, authentic texts, food, video, music and geography.
    • Must complete Level 1 with a "C" or higher to continue on to Level 2.
    • Same content as a first year high school course. Students who complete both years successfully prepared for second-year foreign language at high school level.
    • Full year course, letter grades.


    • Students who are more advanced on their instruments and are ready for advanced playing new time signatures and key signatures in sharps
    • Prerequisite is 6th grade band or an audition with teacher.


    • Test Taking Strategies in English (pdf)
    • Test Taking Strategies in Mandarin (pdf)
    • Test Taking Strategies in Spanish (pdf)