Incoming 8th Grade students can expect a year that provides the final preparation for High School. This preparation for whichever High School awaits is the focus of the school year. The goal of the Woodside Upper School is to prepare its graduates for whatever challenge awaits and for each student to succeed in any type of learning environment.
8th grade students have much to look forward to as they near High School. The Washington, D.C. field trip, Operetta, the Exit Project, and Graduation are just a few highlights of what to expect.
Woodside School's 8th grade students take part in project-based learning that is naturally differentiated. In addition, a collaboration between Middle School teachers allows for the integration of Design Thinking and Social-Emotional Learning.
8th grade students are placed into ability groupings for mathematics. Small class sizes and the grouping of students who are similar in their mathematical development allow for differentiation. All math groupings are made based on several assessments, including SmarterBalanced testing, MARS assessments, MDTP results, and grades. Students who achieve beyond or below their ability group will be moved when appropriate. Most 8th grade students take the accelerated High School Algebra I course, while a small group of students will take High School Geometry or grade-level mathematics. For more information, please visit the Upper School Math Pathways page.
Students in 8th grade take two electives each trimester, and each incoming student ranks his or her favorite electives. Each student will be placed into as many of his or her highest-ranked electives; however, with class size limits and scheduling conflicts, it is impossible to accommodate every request. For more information on electives, please review the Eighth Grade Electives page.
In addition, all 8th grade students participate in the school's annual Operetta. This musical performance is a tradition that has captivated the town of Woodside for decades. Each 8th grade student will participate in Operetta during the elective time for the entire third trimester.
All Upper School students follow a modified block schedule. Students have eight 43-minute periods on Mondays and Tuesdays, seven 43-minute periods on the early release Wednesdays, and four 86-minute double periods on Thursdays and Fridays. These longer periods allow for important instruction, such as Science labs, projects, etc.
8th grade students can expect to take the following classes:
Ability-Grouped Accelerated Mathematics (Algebra I or Geometry)
Mandarin or Spanish
Music (Percussion) and Physical Fitness - One Class Only