8th Grade

Welcome to 8th Grade!

The 8th grade team is excited to welcome you and your child to our info page.  Here you will find information on our curriculum as well as 8th grade specific information.  You can also find information regarding 8th grade on our Classroom pages:

Parker Adair
Kristin Utterback
Amy Jaros

8th Grade Curriculum


Eighth grade English is a combination of vocabulary exercises, grammar studies, and writing assignments. Vocabulary will focus on learning Latin and Greek roots and how knowing those makes it easier to not only identify words but also remember their meanings. Writing assignments will vary from smaller, daily journal entries to larger narratives and descriptive pieces.  The largest English assignment is the research paper. Beginning in the third quarter and lasting into the fourth, students will research, organize, draft, revise, and finally submit a 5 to 7 page paper on a topic of their choosing.

Life Skills

A co-curricular class that doesn’t receive a grade, Life Skills covers a range of topics from academic honesty and bullying to drug and alcohol education, study skills, and service learning.  


Students will be reading fictional short stories and novels as well as non-fictional essays and poetry. Through these texts, students will be exposed to a diverse group of authors writing about a range of subject matter. One unit worth noting is the Holocaust education unit. Most years, a Holocaust survivor has come and given a talk to the eighth grade class.


Our Algebra I course focuses on setting a solid foundation for more advanced high school math classes. The students will explore and master basics operations with polynomials, equations, factoring, radicals, inequalities, and graphing. The students will experience the practical usefulness of algebra as they use these skills to take the guesswork out of solving word problems.


In 8th grade religion, there are two main areas of study: Liturgy and Morality. Students begin with a lesson on mission, where they review the mission statement of the school, as well as write personal mission statements for themselves. This leads into learning about the mission of the Church, and they spend the rest of the year discovering how the Church celebrates (through liturgy and sacraments) and what the Church teaches about how to live out our God-given mission (morality). Also, in preparation for Confirmation, students will have the opportunity to research a Catholic saint and create an informational website about him or her.


Science builds on previous years learning of the five major science disciplines – Earth, Space, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology.  Topics are interwoven into units along with current events, economics, and politics as they apply to the subject matter.  Students demonstrate their knowledge through research, building models, experiments, and expository writing.


We will continue with our textbook and will finish Spanish level I. We will watch a video series, “Eres tú María.”  Students will read short stories and a novela en español. 

U.S. History

We will begin the study of U.S. History with a brief review of the Colonial Era through the Revolutionary War. Our purpose is to set the stage for an in-depth study of the United States as an independent nation, with a focus on the creation of a national government as established by the U.S. Constitution. We will learn about the movement of Americans to the West, and how the nation was formed by cultural influences of people from many nations, as well as advances in technology. The goal is to study the history of our nation up to the start of the Civil War.


Eighth grade students will also attend specials classes which include Music, Art, and P.E.

Grading Scale and PowerSchool

The grading scale for 8th grade is as follows:

A+  =  99, 100
A  =  95-98
A-  =  93, 94
B+  =  91, 92
B  =  89, 90
B-  =  87, 88
C+  =  85, 86
C  =  79 – 84
C-  =  77, 78
D+  =  75, 76
D  =  74, 73, 72
D-  =  71, 70
F  =  69 and below

PowerSchool is one tool for you and your child to use when setting academic goals and monitoring progress. We encourage you to access your child’s grades regularly and talk with him or her about them. Encourage your child to bring completed work home and use it to review concepts and skills. You can check your child’s grades online with PowerSchool with your specific password. Email Mary Kay Nelson at [email protected] if you need your login information.


Eighth grade students should expect to spend between 60 and 90 minutes per night on school work. Some of that time might be spent reading textbooks, reviewing notes, studying for tests and quizzes, or written homework.

All homework is expected to be turned in on time at the beginning of class unless arrangements have been made with the teacher. Students can expect to receive no more than 85% of your earned credit on late assignments. Parents will be notified after 3 late / missing assignments in a specific class.

Mass / Reconciliation / Sacrament

Eighth grade attends Mass every week on Thursday. You are welcome to attend. Please check the monthly calendar for dates. All 8th grade students will participate in a Reconciliation service twice a year with the opportunity for individual confession for Catholic students.

Catholic students in the 8th grade class will go through the Sacrament of Confirmation. This takes place at both St. Pius X and St. Leo church, and it generally takes place the second Sunday of December.

Parent Communication

Eighth grade parents will be contacted via email by their child’s homeroom teacher or the grade coordinator as appropriate.

Discipline System

We use a PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) approach to discipline.  Students carry around a card that can be marked for undesirable behaviors that do not follow the ideas of Ready to learn, Offer respect, Achieve a safe environment, and Responsibility for self or others.  Students earn positive marks for meeting or exceeding school expectations.


The graduation ceremonies include a mass and breakfast at St. Pius X in the morning and the graduation ceremony itself at St. Leo in the evening.

Birthday Treats and Party Invitations

Students may bring a treat to school for their classmates to enjoy on or close to their birthday.  Please make sure the treats are peanut and tree nut free.  Please provide napkins or necessary utensils for the treat to make it quick and easy to serve at school.  Students are not allowed to pass out invitations in school.