Students in grades six through eight receive a Christ-centered education. With an emphasis on academic and spiritual development, our rigorous curriculum encourages students to grow in their faith by maximizing their own unique gifts and talents. Together, with the family, we prepare our students for success in the classroom and beyond by encouraging a deep understanding of God’s great love for them.
Doors open at 8:35am; classes begin at 8:45am with dismissal at 3:50pm. Before and after school extended care is available for all students.
What sets middle school apart?
Students in middle school each have a school-provided Surface tablet, making SOTL a one-to-one school in grades six through eight.
Students in middle school have lockers and more independence as they change classes. SOTL has three middle school core teachers, each with subject-area expertise.
Middle school students may participate in band, sixth graders in beginning band, seventh and eighth graders in advanced band. Students are responsible for purchasing or renting their own instruments and supplies.
Shepherd of the Lakes is part of the Mid Michigan Independent Athletic Association which includes area private schools and small public schools. SOTL fields a cross country, girls volleyball, girls cheer, co-ed soccer, boys basketball, and girls basketball teams for students in grades five through eight.
Students have an academic enrichment time two to three times a week. During this time, middle school students work on study skills and organizational skills to help them transition to more independence in high school. Teachers are available to work with students who have questions.
Eighth grade students take an out-of-state field trip at the end of the school year. This year they are going to Washington D.C.
Read the testimonials of some parents.
Religion– The middle school religion curriculum is intended to teach students the core doctrines of the Christian faith. Sixth and seventh grade students use Concordia Publishing House’s One in Christ to explore God’s Word. Students learn about sin, forgiveness, and grace while focusing on the actions of God on behalf of his people. The curriculum centers on Christ so that students will have optimal opportunities to grow in their faith and Christian lives.
In eighth grades students are also taught how to defend the Christian faith against common arguments and how to apply it to every facet of their lives. Significant material is gleaned from God Connects produced by Lutheran Hour Ministries.
All lessons incorporate Martin Luther’s Small Catechism.
English Language Arts- Literature and writing are major components of the middle school curriculum. Students are required to complete a book challenge which has them reading from various genres. They will then take a deeper look into the different components of the fiction and nonfiction genres. Middle school students will cover creative writing, research papers, persuasive writing pieces, and public speaking. All middle school students use Prentice Hall’s Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes textbooks. Sixth graders use the Copper level, seventh graders use the Bronze level, and eighth graders use the Silver level.
The Accelerated Reader program provides individualized reading goals for each student.
Mathematics- Students in sixth grade use Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s GO Math!. Students in seventh grade study Transition Math. Students in eighth grade study algebra. Accelerated eighth grade students study geometry. Seventh and eighth grade students use UCSMP‘s curriculum.
Social Studies-Middle school students use TCI‘s social studies curriculum. During the three middle school years, students cycle through world geography, world history during the medieval and Renaissance periods, and U.S. history through industrialism.
Technology- Besides their personal tablets, students have weekly instruction in the computer lab. Students use basic Microsoft applications such as Word and PowerPoint. Students practice keyboarding and learn general computer operations.
Spanish- Middle school students use Prentice Hall’s Realidades to speak, listen, write, and read in Spanish as well as to learn to appreciate Hispanic culture. During their middle school years students have the opportunity to earn the equivalent of one year of high school language credit.
Physical Education- Fitness is emphasized with age-appropriate activities. Students are given basic instruction in lifetime sports, and fine and gross motor skills and coordination skills are practiced.
Art- Students use a variety of art media and techniques to explore the concepts of color, line, shape, texture, pattern, and design. They build off of these concepts each year through realistic and abstract art. Art projects are inspired by the masters, art found in our world, picture books, and their own imaginations. Student masterpieces are displayed in our spring Music and Art Fair.
Music- At SOTL we strive to instill love and appreciation for all types of music. Students grow their God-given abilities and talents through vocal and instrumental music. Students then share their gifts with others and in praise to our Savior. Students sing periodically in worship services, in the Christmas Cantata, in the Good Friday Cantata, and in our spring Music and Art Fair. Middle school students may choose to participate in band or choir or both. Sixth graders are members of beginning band. Seventh and eighth graders are members of advanced band. Students are responsible for purchasing or renting their own instruments and supplies.
Some special education services are available.
Read about more of our extracurricular activities such as sports and math club.