PACE Opportunities

Primary Enrichment and PACE Opportunities

Grades 1 & 2: Primary Enrichment

  • 5-6 week mini-units which reinforce classroom curriculum
  • Students are grouped based on style of learning and/or skill set
  • Teacher nomination
  • 12-15 students per unit

Grade 3: *PACE Humanities:

  • What is a country?
  • Year-long thematic project
  • Increase in depth and rigor of the grade 3 classroom curriculum
  • Focus on problem solving process and strategies
  • Parent/Teacher nomination and placement process
  • About 30 students

Grades 4 & 5: *PACE Elementary 4 (Invent a Product) & *PACE Elementary 5 (Road Trip to Disneyland and Dr. Seuss)

  • Year long thematic project
  • Increase in depth and rigor of the grade 4 and 5 classroom curriculum
  • Focus on problem solving process and strategies
  • Incorporation of STEAM lessons and activities used to complete projects
  • Parent/Teacher nomination and placement process
  • About 30 students
  • Students bussed to Stevens

*Overarching themes in PACE Humanities, and PACE Elementary 4 and 5 is based on the NYS Social Studies framework.

Flexibility

The BH-BL academic departments recognize that all children do not develop at the same rate.  Some children may be ready for higher-order thinking skills and more difficult concepts much earlier or much later than their peers.  Therefore, the department(s) constantly monitors the progress of all students. If it is determined that a student would be better served or challenged in another program, the parent will be contacted and the placement process will be initiated.

We also have provisions for new students entering the district.  Upon entrance, a committee reviews the records and an appropriate placement is made.  Each new student is monitored very closely to ensure placement is accurate.

It is the goal of the ELA, Mathematics, and Science departments to meet the needs of and to challenge each and every student.  We will do our best to work with you to see that your child’s needs are accurately and appropriately met.


O’Rourke Middle School PACE Opportunities

Attributes of a Successful PACE Student

  • Strong critical thinking skills
  • Ability to persevere, demonstrate determination (grit) when faced with challenges or challenging material
  • Intrinsically motivated to succeed
  • Willing to work on school related assignments outside of school
  • Willing to independently study certain topics beyond the core curriculum
  • Willing to seek extra help on difficult and/or challenging topics
  • Passion for learning and interest in the subject matter
  • Willing to engage in debate and peer/self assess
  • Able to receive constructive criticism and reflect

Literature & English:  Grades 6-8

General Literature 6

Students read, discuss and write about books, articles, and poems that are at the sixth grade reading level.  Students expand their understanding of Latin and Greek word cells. They expand their knowledge of literary elements and build their understanding of theme, central idea, and author’s purpose.  Additionally, students are expected to independently choose books and read at home, on a daily basis, as part of Readers Workshop.

General English 6

Students read, discuss, and write about a wide variety of topics using short stories, articles, plays, and poetry.  Students learn, practice, and apply sixth grade grammar rules. They write an autobiography, learn research skills, write arguments, build vocabulary, analyze poetry, write creatively, and strengthen both their verbal and nonverbal communication skills.

PACE 6 consists of two separate classes and meets for two separate periods each day. To be a member of PACE 6, students must first qualify and then participate in both PACE literature and PACE English classes.

PACE 6 literature reads, discusses, and analyzes complex and above grade level material.  Students read short stories, epic poetry, novels, and plays. A sampling of reading material that

PACE 6 students will read is: “Flowers for Algernon,” The Iliad, Beowulf, Arthurian Legend, and Hamlet.  Students are expected to read four or more self-selected books each quarter as part of Readers Workshop.  Students also learn above grade level vocabulary through the books read in class, Latin & Greek vocabulary units, and SAT word lists.  Emphasis is placed on analyzing how authors create meaning within their texts through the use of literary elements and techniques.

PACE English students learn and follow the same curriculum as the general education English 6 class, but go beyond grade level requirements by being expected to write a minimum of one hour each week to create a quarterly Showcase Portfolio of their independent writing.

On average, PACE 6 students will spend 45-60 minutes each night of the school week completing both short term and long term writing assignments.

Students enrolled in PACE English must earn an overall 90% in both the PACE English and Literature classes.

Advanced Literature is a literature course that follows a similar curriculum to PACE 6 but is only one class instead of two. This class serves as an opportunity for sixth grade students to try a PACE level class while also taking a general level English 6 class.

Students read, discuss, and analyze the same complex pieces as PACE 6 including “Flowers for Algernon”, The Iliad, Beowulf, and Hamlet.   The caliber of work expected for this class should be PACE level or students should be working towards that.  Students should have a genuine interest in literature as well as writing. Students enrolled in Advanced Lit must earn an overall 90% in both the regular English class and the Advanced  Literature class.

PACE English 7

Students participating in PACE English should have a love of reading and writing, critical thinking and problem solving skills, and a willingness to commit additional time and effort to PACE English assignments.  For the third year in a row, we will offer two sections of PACE English 7. Last year’s changes to the O’Rourke Middle school schedule will allow us to continue to provide these opportunities to our students. It is important to note, students are expected to maintain an overall average of 90% in PACE English 7.

PACE English 8

Students participating in PACE English should have a love of reading and writing, strong critical thinking and problem solving skills, and a willingness to commit additional time and effort to PACE English assignments.  The two sections of PACE English 8 have an enriched curriculum, that upon successful completion of their 8th grade course of study, students will have the option to continue with high school honors English classes.  Students can remain on the honors English track with 9th, 10th, and 11th grade Honors English courses followed by a choice of multiple college credit-bearing electives in their senior year.  Please note, Honors English classes in grades 9, 10, and/or 11 are not prerequisites to advanced electives in grade 12.  It is important to note, students are expected to maintain an overall average of 90% in PACE English 8.

PACE Math:  Grades 6 – 8

The O’Rourke Middle School mathematics program is designed to prepare all students to meet high school graduation requirements, which now include taking 3 years of high school level mathematics and passing the Regents in Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra 2 to achieve a merit diploma.

PACE Math 6

This program is for the exceptional student who loves math and will spend extra time on homework and extra investigations in mathematics.  In order to be eligible to continue in the program, students in this class will need to maintain an overall average of 85% or above.  If your child successfully continues in the Middle School PACE Math program, by grade 8, your child will be one year accelerated in math.

Admission to this program is limited and based on stringent criteria including:  teacher recommendation, work habits, study skills, attitude towards math and learning in general, previous performance in mathematics and standardized test scores.  It is important to note, this is a one-year qualification.  Students entering the Middle School PACE Math program will be successful because of his/her mathematical abilities, strong time management skills, personal responsibility, and consistent efforts both in the classroom and at home.  If your child meets these expectations, he/she will have the opportunity to move into the Accelerated Math program in 7th grade.

Math 7 Advanced

This is a rigorous course that essentially combines regular Math 7 and 8 into a one-year course. After successful completion of Math 7, Advanced, students will take the first high school course, Algebra, as 8th graders.

Accelerated Science:  Grade 7 and 8

The O’Rourke Middle School Accelerated Science program is a two-year commitment comprised of two classes, Accelerated Physical Science in grade 7 and Regents Living Environment in grade 8.

Accelerated Science Grade 8

The O’Rourke Middle School Accelerated Science program takes place during 8th grade and provides our students with the opportunity to take high school level science as an 8th grader.  Students who participate in acceleration as an 8th grader should have a passion for science, strong critical thinking and problem solving skills as well as a willingness to commit additional time to their learning and lab assignments.

  • Living Environment: As eighth graders qualifying students will take a High School level credit bearing course, Regents Living Environment (formerly known as Biology).  This course will culminate with the NYS Living Environment Regents exam, which students will take in June.

It is important to note: While the 8th grade course is similar in content to High School Living Environment, certain topics are examined in greater depth and the class moves at a significantly accelerated pace.  It is expected that students will be self motivated to complete significant work outside of class. Students must complete a minimum of 1200 minutes of hands-on, laboratory based learning.

The Living Environment final average and regents score will appear on your child’s high school transcript.