Helping Your Child Take the Lead
In the Middle School, student success is all about empowering learners to take the lead in their education, career, and their life!
Your child’s team — comprised of a principal, assistant principals, certified teachers, nurses, school counselors, family support coordinators, and more — works collaboratively to create a plan that allows them to grow as independent learners and to take advantage of the expertise of specialized teachers.
If your student is looking for a challenge, then we have what you need! Our programs are designed to offer more rigorous coursework for advanced learners, while challenging yet supporting students who need extra assistance.
Middle school students learn how to set goals, assess their own progress, and reflect on successes and challenges. To keep students engaged and provide opportunities to develop leadership skills, our certified teachers use the rigorous Stride K12 curriculum to make learning interactive for students.
Over the span of grades 5 through 8, Middle School students explore the following topics that are integrated across subjects:
- Business, Computer, and Information Technology — accounting, career management, communication, computer and information technologies, entrepreneurship, finance and economics, global business, management, marketing
- English Language Arts — grammar, vocabulary, reading comprehension, literary analysis, composition, spelling, writing, punctuation, research skills, literary genres, communication skills, sentence structure, portfolio building, informational and persuasive techniques
- Family & Consumer Science —balancing family/work/community responsibility, child development, financial and resource management, food science and nutrition
- Math — expanded multiplication/division, fractions, proportions, decimals, ratios, data analysis, multi-step word problems, geometry, 3D figures, graphing equations, statistics, linear models and equations, functions, etc.
- Science — geology, oceanography, meteorology, astronomy, atom structure, taxonomy, animal physiology, plate tectonics, solar system, gravitational pull, cell biology, periodic table of elements, genetics, chemical reactions, etc.
- History — Civil War, civics, economics, Native American civilizations, European exploration, American Revolution, Industrial Revolution, Renaissance, prehistoric civilization, classical civilizations, world religions, scientific revolution, Russian and Asian civilizations, etc.
- Physical Education/Health — monitoring heart rate, choice of physical activity, aerobic and anaerobic exercise, strength training, fitness testing, heredity, personal hygiene/health, nutrition, safety awareness, harmful substances, emotional well-being, etc.
- Art — realistic and abstract art creations, impressionism, cubism, weaving, art historians, architectural models, sketches, medieval and Renaissance art, principles of design, applied arts, prints and paintings, etc.
- Music — understanding music concepts, music theory, authentic recordings, creative movement, singing & dancing, real & virtual instruments (recorder, tambourine, etc.), focused listening skills, etc.
Honors Program and Advanced Work
For students seeking advanced work, the Middle School's honors program is designed to encourage and support outstanding students who display exceptional academic ability and desire rigorous learning opportunities. Honors program courses delve more deeply into the content, move at a rapid pace, and have elevated expectations for both quality and quantity of student work.
- Students in the program take advanced courses in all of the following subjects: English language arts, math, science, and history.
- Those participating in the program may be required to complete additional reading, research, writing, and individual/collaborative projects. Teachers use the Imagine Learning (formerly Edgenuity) curriculum for all seventh and eighth grade honors courses.
- Want to earn high school credit? Seventh and eighth graders who qualify may be eligible to receive graduation credits for the honors English and math courses.
It's important for leaders to know when to draw on the expertise of other people — and middle schoolers at PA Virtual learn how to collaborate with others for even better outcomes!
- The PA Virtual Pillars Program offers academic help to those who need extra practice or just want to sharpen their skills.
- Our Family & Support Services Department offers a plethora of resources for students and families.
- Four dedicated Middle School counselors offer mental health programs, and work with students through small group meetings, classroom visits, and individualized assistance.
- Guidance counselors lead career exploration activities to help students with future goals.
At our grades 5-8 online school, we offer two instructional formats: synchronous and asynchronous. Families can choose a more structured schedule with live, teacher-led classes or a more flexible schedule with independent learning. The chart on this page outlines which courses are available in each format.
- Synchronous—Students log in to their virtual classroom with other students and attend live classes with PA-certified teachers. Teachers provide direct instruction, guide student work, and assess student progress. Classes occur Monday through Thursday; students work asynchronously on Fridays. View sample synchronous schedules >
- Asynchronous—Students work independently with their learning coaches each day. PA Virtual teachers plan the students' coursework, supervise their progress, and are available to support student needs daily.
During Orientation, you’ll further explore each of these formats to choose the option that’s best for you and your student.
Middle School Life
Want to see what a virtual class looks like? Hear from middle school parents, or teachers? Check out our Video Library!