Our challenging standards-based curriculum emphasizes the development of essential skills, the understanding of important concepts, and the ability to apply learning to real-world problems.
Our curriculum includes courses of study for all students in English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, world languages, music, visual arts, physical education, and health. In addition, students take grade-specific trimester courses in technology, research, and study skills which are designed to support their integrated learning experience.
Students at ASMS experience science through the inquiry-based, FOSS curriculum. Each grade completes three to four 6-14 week curricular units which have been sequenced to align to national science standards. Although the emphasis for each unit of study is different, unifying concepts and processes including form and function, scale, conservation of matter, transfer of energy, measurement, and engineering design are addressed at each grade level. Throughout the curriculum, emphasis is placed on the importance of the scientific method; in-class hands-on experiments, student-designed investigations, and participation in national science competitions provide opportunities for students to develop and advance their understanding of and ability to apply the scientific method. When students leave ASMS, they should be confident in their ability to understand the world from a scientific perspective and well-equipped to make informed decisions as citizen-scientists.
Resources: Full Option Science System (Delta Education)
Students begin the sixth grade year with a combination unit, Variables and Electromagnetic Force, which allows them to discover relationships between objects and events by designing and conducting controlled experiments. They will also learn about electricity and magnetism by investigating magnetic fields, building a basic circuit, designing an electromagnet, and examining the energy transfers involved. At the end of the first trimester, students will complete the first of three engineering design challenges. These challenges introduce students to the processes involved in engineering a solution to a given challenge. In the second unit of study, Diversity of Life, sixth graders learn about characteristics that are common to all living organisms and become familiar with biological structures and functions at different levels of organization. Students learn to use microscopes and proper slide preparation techniques to explore several microorganisms. Students complete their first year of middle school at ASMS with the Earth History unit. They investigate the dynamic processes that wear away and build up the earth’s surface to discover clues about Earth's history. Students use their observations and experimental data to make inferences about organisms, environments, and events that occurred over Earth's history. They year concludes with field experiences, where students discover a wide variety of organisms and classify them into the appropriate kingdoms, as well as explore form and function in a natural environment.