Each year, Mt. Helix Academy Jr. High students are administered the Standford Achievement Test, version 10 (SAT-10). In recent testing, 63% of our students scored in the top quartile of the SAT on at least one subtest; 32 % scored in the top decile.
On graduating from Jr. High school, Mt. Helix Academy students read and comprehend literary works that students typically would not see before high school. Their writing skills are equally impressive. Students complete written compositions in a variety of genres, including creative writing, poetry, and exposition. Our students conduct research on issues of their interest by formulating problems, gathering evidence from a variety of sources (e.g., print and non-print texts, artifacts, interviews), evaluating and synthesizing the evidence, and then communicating their findings to their intended audience. Their resulting essays, which involve comparing and contrasting, persuading, and exposition, are of consistently high quality. Because writing is an important component of all areas of the curriculum, the writing process becomes fluent and effortless for our students.
Jr. High students who are ready for advanced mathematics are taught at that level and go on to more advanced courses in high school. Mt. Helix Academy Jr. High students participate in a variety of challenging supplemental math activities, such as the on-line World Math Day and Pi Day contests.
Physical Science 8 Grade-Mt. Helix Academy’s eighth graders review the scientific method, standards of measurement used in science, and communicating and interpreting scientific data in a variety of graphical forms. They further their understanding of the scientific method by completing the preliminary steps of their science fair project for the upcoming San Diego Science and Engineering Fair. Each student develops a research paper, hypothesis, and experimental procedures. Students also learned a breadth of concepts from physical chemistry including: atomic particles, charges and atomic structure; molecules, energy levels and types of bonds; identifying organic compounds and writing chemical formulas.
Life Science-7 Grade-Mt. Helix Academy’s seventh graders learn to: apply scientific methods to problem solving; distinguish between living and non-living things; identify what living things need to survive; describe experiments about spontaneous generation; explain how scientific methods led to the idea of biogenesis; explain the system of binomial nomenclature and how similarities are used to classify organisms; identify the names and functions of each part of a cell; compare tissues, organs, and organ systems; compare simple, compound, and electron microscopes; summarize the discoveries that led to cell theory; explain how a virus makes copies of itself; identify the benefits of vaccines; investigate some uses of viruses in medical applications.
Earth Science-6 Grade – Mt. Helix Academy’s sixth graders learn to: describe scientific methods; define “science’ and “earth science”; compare and contrast scientific laws and theories; explain why science is always changing; discuss the limits of science; distinguish among the common phases of matter; identify phase changes and the temperatures at which they occur; explain heating by conduction, convection, and radiation; describe the earth’s movement through space; relate the earth’s position to changing seasons; differentiate between orbit and rotation; describe pressure areas caused by moving substances; explain movement caused by dynamic pressure; identify the relationship between density and temperature; trace movement through a convection cell.
Mt. Helix Academy students are carefully taught many important study and organizational skills which support their academic achievement both in Jr. High and later in high school. Our graduates frequently report back to us that the study skills they learned at Mt. Helix Academy have made completing their assignments in high school easy for them.
At Mt. Helix Academy, students in Jr. High receive instruction in Spanish five days per week. Most of our students place into advanced Spanish classes when they enter high school.
Our Jr. High students also take a computer literacy class five days per week. In addition, students use their computers to facilitate learning in all areas of the curriculum. Students demonstrate the skills they have acquired through a variety of computer projects, including Power Point presentations, webquests, multimedia presentations, and digital photography portfolios. In addition, students work on coding and programming at above-level standards.
Students at Mt. Helix Academy also demonstrate strong achievement in the critically important area of social skills. As a part of the Jr. High School character education and social skills program, being a good citizen is promoted and recognized. For example, students who are observed doing good deeds for others and acts which help promote our positive environment are awarded a star. The stars are entered into monthly raffles and the homeroom with the highest number of stars for the month also receives recognition. In addition, students receive social-emotional learning instruction using the Second Step Program.