SALT LAKE CITY — Saint Vincent de Paul Parish School in Salt Lake City has many exciting opportunities in their middle school. Students are offered a variety of elective class options, which this quarter included classes on cooking, writing a children’s book, computer coding and Google Suite App challenges.
“I like that there are a lot of different choices,” said eighth-grade student Tatum Trentman. “Some of the choices help to get us out of our comfort zone. Some people don’t like cooking, but they could get that class and end up enjoying it. I was put in ‘Writing a Children’s Book’ and didn’t think I was going to like it, but I actually have loved it!”
Trentman and her student partner, Sofia Andrews, are collaborating on an illustrated book about a potato and tomato, which they will share with the kindergarten and first-grade classes.
The middle school teachers have created activities that address social-emotional learning throughout the school year. These needs are met through the House/Advisory Program. The House System is based on British house systems, similar to “Harry Potter,” and involves a mix of students from sixth, seventh and eighth grades.
“It’s fun to interact with other grades,” said Corinne Simao in eighth grade. “It’s nice to see how sixth-graders have felt about middle school, and it’s nice to get and receive advice. We can also work together to achieve things.”
The students are designing shields to represent their houses and different activities will happen throughout the year to build community. Advisory is set per grade level, with two teachers working within the classrooms to review grades, impart social/emotional/character/study skills, and give time to catch-up and relish.
“Catch-up and Relish” is a new activity suggested by faculty member Christina Eischeid. In this activity, students who need to work on missing assignments are given time to do so. Students who are current with their assignments are given time to relish, or choose how to enjoy their time.
“I like Catch-up and Relish because it’s nice to be rewarded for hard work, and it’s also nice for people who missed work to have time to catch up,” said Simao.
Courtesy of St. Vincent de Paul School