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Middle School

Middle School

Private Middle School Excelsior, MN

Introduction

Middle school is an exciting time, where we will stretch your child’s mind, as well as their heart. At Our Savior School we offer a rigorous academic program that encourages students to exceed beyond their own expectations, while strengthening their walk with the Lord.

Educating students with confidence

Accredited through the national office for National Lutheran School Accreditation (NLSA), Our Savior School (OSS) engages students in a proven curriculum designed with the integration of technology and media to confidently prepare students for high school and beyond.

OSS teachers continually review the curriculum and evaluate it for effectiveness and relevance. In addition to core curriculum, OSS students experience S.T.E.A.M integration, Spanish, music, art, physical education, health, band/piano, and technology education.

Our Savior School creates an atmosphere of caring and sharing where students learn to respect one another while building the necessary social skills that will enable them, with God’s help, to attain success as useful and productive Christian leaders.

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I want my children to learn in an environment where their faith is just as important as their academics.
OSS parent

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Academic Assessment

Middle School students participate in the Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®). This adaptive reading, math, and language arts test identifies a student’s instructional level. Teachers are able to personalize instruction in order to maximize every students’ academic growth. Parents receive feedback to better equip them in helping their child excel in school.

A student’s RIT score, an estimation of a students instructional level, can be compared to those of students across the state at the same grade level. Average test scores from OSS students consistently rank above the state of Minnesota average.

Individual Academic Plan (IAP)

OSS recognizes that not all students learn at the same pace. OSS’s IAP program provides collaborative/consultative support for students who show high potential, as well as those who need extra support in the classroom. Contact Fred Limmel, Principal, for more information on how this program works.

Multi-grade classrooms

Our Savior School maximizes learning through the use of multi-grade classrooms. Our goal is to establish a nurturing community for academic and social excellence.

There is little strength in starting over when it’s not your choice… few teachers would choose to face each year at a different school, with different students, different materials, and different procedures. OSS understands that students benefit more, both academically and socially, from establishing a relationship with their teachers over the course of several years.

Multi-grade classrooms are beneficial for students, educators, and parents.

Benefits for Students

  • Positive, nurturing environment
  • Peer support, mentoring
  • Opportunities to grow leadership skills
  • Personalized learning
  • Small group instruction
  • Longer time to build relationship with teacher
  • Increased self-esteem, confidence
  • Lasting friendships with students in multiple grade levels
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Benefits for Educators

  • Stronger relationship with students and parents
  • Better able to address individual student needs
  • Longer time to monitor students to recognize effectiveness of teaching
  • More stimulation, creative work environment
  • Fewer discipline problems in class

Benefits for Parents

  • Stronger relationship with teacher
  • More opportunities to take an active role in child’s education
  • Child more positive about school
  • Child is given appropriate support/challenge depending on their individual achievement level
  • Child learns to be pro-social, independent and responsible
  • Child learns to self initiate
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Chromebook integration

All students are equipped with current technology that will empower them to access information, work efficiently, enhance communication and collaborate with teachers and other students. Each classroom is equipped with SmartBoards to enhance learning experiences.

Upon entering middle school, each student receives a Chromebook as one of their primary learning tools. They have access to a Google Drive account and learn a number of applications using Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, and drawing tools.

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Putting these devices in the hands of students becomes a teaching opportunity for “equipping students to be mature disciples of Christ” in the technological world they are entering – not to mention added excitement in learning.  Students engage with their Chromebooks in all their subjects.

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Welcome to a next-generation of learning Science. Interactive Science makes learning personal, engaging, and relevant for today’s student. Middle school students see Science unfold before their eyes, as they engage with robust animations, videos, and interactivities from a simple swipe of the screen. Interactive Science features an innovative write-in student edition that enables students to become active participants in their learning and truly connect with Big Ideas of Science in their world. This program holds the attention of media-savvy students seamlessly with the write-in student edition to create a unique experience for all learning and teaching styles.

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Students “engage with the page” with a write-in edition allowing them to keep a personal record of their learning. Now they can read, write, draw, graph, and self-assess all in one place maximizing understanding.

Containing more inquiry in more places, Interactive Science features a variety of hands-on and minds-on inquiry options to keep students engaged.

Our commitment to Technology

Our Savior School is committed to using technology in a way that will maximize learning and promote the responsible use of electronic media in the life of a student.

Simply being able to use technology is no longer enough. Today’s students need to be able to use technology to analyze, learn and explore. Digital age skills are vital for preparing students to work, live and contribute to the social and civic fabric of their communities.

The technology vision of OSS is to provide all students, faculty, and staff with current technology tools that will empower them for information access, work efficiency, enhanced communication, and collaborative activities. This will help students in:

  • Becoming more proficient in reading, writing, mathematics, and critical thinking
  • Developing competency with current and changing technologies
  • Being prepared for the next level of education
  • Successfully attain the skills and proficiencies required of today’s work force
  • Developing a wide range of communication skills
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Technology offerings

1:1 Chromebook

integration into various curriculum activities

SMARTBoards

in every classroom – large interactive touch screens that allow teachers and students to view and interact with lessons from the computer

IXL.com

a Web-based, self-paced tool to help students excel in math and language arts

Google Classroom

E-mail, calendar, access to google sites, google drive, google groups, and google contacts

Web-based resources

a robust e-learning environment where students can access classroom and learning resources anywhere, anytime

Internet Safety

SonicWall filters functionality when accessing the internet

Our Savior School follows and builds upon the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). These standards evaluate the skills and knowledge students need to learn effectively and live productively in an increasingly global and digital world.

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standards focus on six areas of education:

  1. Communication and collaboration
    Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.
  2. Creativity and innovation
    Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.
  3. Research & information fluency
    Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
  4. Critical thinking, problem solving & decision making
    Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.
  5. Digital citizenship
    Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.
  6. Technology operations & concepts
    Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations.
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Why are standards important?

Technology has forever changed not only what we need to learn, but the way we learn. The ISTE Standards set the bar for excellence and best practices in learning, teaching and leading with technology in education.

The benefits of using the ISTE Standards include:

  • Improving higher-order thinking skills, such as problem solving, critical thinking and creativity
  • Preparing students for their future in a competitive global job market
  • Designing student-centered, project-based and online learning environments
  • Guiding systemic change in our schools to create digital places of learning
  • Inspiring digital age professional models for working, collaborating and decision making

STEAM

Our Savior School is excited to introduce STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) into our curriculum. We believe the integration of STEAM into students’ daily life is important to their future… it’s a collaborative project based education model that allows students to work together to creatively come up with solutions to problems that allows them to think outside of the box.

Our Savior School provides learning experiences that develop problem solving skills, enhance curiosity during the discovery process, allow an open-ended frame work for exploratory learning, and create a collaborative structure in which every student is actively engaged in the process.

STEAM
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  1. STEAM lessons will focus on real-world issues and problems.
  2. STEAM lessons will be guided by the engineering design process.
  3. STEAM lessons will immerse students in hands-on inquiry and open-ended exploration.
  4. STEAM lessons will involve students in productive teamwork.
  5. STEAM lessons will apply rigorous math and science content our students are learning.
  6. STEAM lessons will allow for multiple right answers and reframe failure as a necessary part of learning.
  7. STEAM lessons will involve students in the use of elements of art design so that their products are attractive and appealing.

Specials

Spanish

Our Savior School offers an exceptional Spanish program. Spanish is taught to all students on a weekly basis starting in Preschool through 8th grade.

OSS students are guided to learning more Spanish through hands-on activities, games, visuals, participation, movement/following directions (Total Physical Responses), music/singing, dance, dialogues/skits, guest speakers, listening, repetition, memorization, reading, writing, speaking, and cultural activities.

Music

At the start of middle school students explore the elements of music; rhythm, form, melody, timbre, texture, and harmony. The activities presented allow students to gradually increase their musical skills while making and performing music.

In 7th and 8th grade, students explore music history, beginning with the Baroque period, traveling through the classical, romantic, impressionistic, and contemporary periods. The following year students begin studying American Music History. They begin with American Folk music, follow the movement of gospel, jazz, blues, rag time, swing, the big band era, rock-n-roll, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s music, including disco, rap, hip-hop, and contemporary Christian music.

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Physical Education

Daily physical education provides students with fundamental movement skills in a variety of games, dances, and movement activities. This program enhances students’ personal fitness and provides them with the knowledge and skills necessary to engage in a variety of physical activities. Additionally, this program reinforces students’ personal and social responsibility, self-directed learning, problem solving skills, and the desire to lead a physically active life.

Health Education

During health class, students utilize their interactive Life Science tools. Students learn God’s role in the creation of their bodies through topics that focus on an introduction to the human body, the many systems of the human body, human reproduction, and how our body works to keep us healthy.

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Arts Attack Program

The goal of this program is to teach every child how to express himself/herself through art. This demands that the students learn to see and experience the world in a different way. The language of art, like the language of words, requires the learning of skills and concepts that will allow the free flow of expression.

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The Art instructors teach the elements and principles of art and drawing in a developmental and sequential way, as well as to study the art of other artists, cultures and historical periods. In all areas of study, the emphasis is on motivation and self-expression.

Recognizing that children learn what they are excited about, the subjects of the Arts Attack lessons have been selected through years of working with students in the classroom. The focus of the hands-on lessons is to utilize the process of visualizing, synthesizing and expressing through a wide variety of media.

A unique strength of this program is that it has been created not in theory but in practice in classrooms with the help of dozens of teachers and thousands of students.

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Music

The music program at Our Savior School encourages every student to develop an appreciation for the gift of music. Students explore concepts in making music weekly. Middle school students participate in Chime Choir, and have the option to participate in piano and band.

Chime Choir

Students in middle school participate in a chime choir ensemble. Students meet weekly and focus on musical terms and notation, while learning to play the chimes as a unit. Students prepare secular and sacred music.

The chime choir performs at Wednesday Chapel, Sunday worship services, school programs, and other events as opportunities present themselves.

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Piano

Students have an opportunity to learn to play the piano through in-house piano lessons taught by a professional piano teacher. Students meet weekly for a 30 minute lesson. Middle school piano students perform throughout the year at the Our Savior School Christmas program, Annual Ribbon Festival, and an end of the year Spring Recital in May. Additionally, Middle School students have an opportunity to compete at the annual Midwest Music Festival with over 700 other students.

Band

Middle school students have an opportunity to be in band. Band students meet once a week for 30 minutes with the band instructor from Mayer Lutheran High School. Band students have the opportunity to participate in Monday night band, which is an ensemble where students prepare music for concerts with other students in Region II Schools. Students perform at Christmas time and a Spring concert in May. (A minimum of four students is required.)

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Curriculum Overview

Middle School (5th – 8th grades) is departmentalized. Students have several teachers during their school day that are specialists in a particular field of study. Each class also has a home-room teacher charged with monitoring the overall academic, social, and spiritual progress of individual students as well as the class as a whole.

Religion and Confirmation

Students will study the word of God through Religion classes (grades 5-8), Confirmation classes (grades 6-8), and Chapel. Each lesson centers on the cross of Christ and is grounded in the word of God.

Language Arts

The 5th grade READING curriculum has six themes of reading material. Stories hold students’ attention and help them to connect with the world around them. Students in 6th – 8th grade continue their course of study in reading through an in depth study of LITERATURE.

The ENGLISH curriculum structure includes reviewing the parts of speech, sentence structure, paragraph writing, story writing, poetry writing, and research papers.

Students will learn the basic SPELLING principles by using phonetic or vocabulary principles.

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Social Studies

In 5th and 6th grade students study MINNESOTA HISTORY one year and WORLD CULTURES the next. MINNESOTA HISTORY has been designed to capture students’ imaginations with the stories of people who have come together to share, create, and be transformed by the place we call Minnesota. Whereas WORLD CULTURES helps students understand God’s influence in our world’s history and what we can learn from it.

In 7th and 8th grade students study US HISTORY one year and GEOGRAPHY the other year. US HISTORY discusses the many ways in which God has blessed our great nation. The curriculum will focus on four major events in US history. WORLD GEOGRAPHY provides a unique step-by-step way to help students learn where the world’s countries, major cities, and major landforms are located.

Math

In 5th and 6th grade, MATH is designed to be accessible to students using a systematic, step-by-step approach to developing mathematic concepts and skills in computation and problem solving techniques and applications.

OSS understands all students have varying abilities, so we’ve created a program that assesses those abilities and allows students to move forward within the curriculum as appropriate.

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In 7th and 8th grade students are fully immersed into ALEKS – a ground-breaking technology that allows for individual learning. For most students, this will prepare them to take Geometry or Algebra II upon entering High School.

ALEKSAssessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces, is a Web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system from McGraw Hill Mathematics. ALEKS uses an artificial intelligence engine that assesses each student individually and continuously. The instructor is able to simultaneously monitor progress as students perform in order to offer assistance for understanding if students are struggling on a concept.  ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn’t know in math, and then instructs the student on the topics they are most ready to learn.  As a student works, ALEKS periodically reassesses the student to ensure that topics learned are also retained. ALEKS math courses are very complete in their topic coverage and ALEKS avoids multiple-choice questions.

In ALEKS students study the following skills:

  1. Introduction to Algebra
  2. Work with real numbers
  3. Solve equations and problems
  4. Polynomials / Factor Polynomials
  5. Fractions and applying fractions
  1. Introduction to functions
  2. Systems of linear equations
  3. Inequalities
  4. Rational and irrational numbers
  5. Quadratic equations
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Science

In Middle School students are introduced to INTERACTIVE SCIENCE which enables them to explore an overview of general science topics. In 5th and 6th grade students rotate years between GENERAL SCIENCE and EARTH SCIENCE. In 7th and 8th grade students rotate years between LIFE SCIENCE and PHYSICAL SCIENCE.

Students utilize their write-in student edition as part of their e-learning environment that includes the student’s edition of the text, interactive vocabulary development and games, as well as inquiries or virtual labs that deepen a student’s science experience and mastery of concepts.  The digital course work also includes review and assessment tools for students to use both at home and in the classroom, as well as content specific videos and tutoring.

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Technology

Students will use technology to develop skills in keyboarding, coding,  and research.

Students also learn about functions of the computer, and learn the various functions of Google Docs, Google Slides, and Google Sheets.

Athletics

Students have the opportunity to compete against other teams in the west-metro conference through league and tournament play.

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Our Savior School offers middle school students a range of sports to effectively balance the goals of:

  • teamwork
  • participation
  • skill development
  • competition
  • wellness
  • sportsmanship
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Additionally, OSS teams with Mayer Lutheran High School to provide students with a greater opportunity to participate in sports that may not be offered at OSS. The Knights program began in 2007 as a way to offer sports and other educational opportunities for young people in our community. Mayer Knights programs are offered to youth to develop and advance their interest and skills in various sports. Together, OSS and the Knights program strive to provide a Christ-centered environment where young people learn, compete, and grow with a level of character, intensity, enthusiasm, and sportsmanship consistent with our Christian faith.

Sports programs offered through the Knights program include:

  • Knights Tackle Football
  • Knights Travel Basketball
  • Jr. Knights Basketball
  • Jr. Knights Volleyball
  • High Voltage Volleyball
  • Knights of the Arrow
  • Knights Baseball
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All the extras

Our students are enriched daily with experiences that go above and beyond our core curriculum. As part of our mission to be a welcoming, equipping, and sharing family of Christ, we strive to enhance our students’ learning experience with a variety of opportunities that include, but are not limited to:

Extracurricular

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Art Fair

Social & Science Fair

VIP Day

Spelling Bee

Yearbook

Walk-n-Roll Marathon

Eagle Olympics

Carnival

Robotics

Play Day

Track and Field Day

100-mile Club

Fuel Up to Play 60

Serving the Lord

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Weekly Chapel Group

Raking for a Cause

Feed My Starving Children

MOPS assistance

Operation Christmas Child

National Lutheran School Week

Christmas Musical

Pennies for Patients

Adopt a Student

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Field Trips

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Washington D.C.
(7th/8th grade)

Camp Omega
(5th/6th grade)

MN History Center

Guthrie

Park Square Theater

Highland Ski Trip

MN Landscape Arboretum

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Frequently asked questions

Must we be Lutheran in order to attend Our Savior School (OSS)?

Our Savior School is open to all who desire to have a Christian education for their children.

With what Lutheran School system is Our Savior School affiliated?

OSS is part of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod which operates over 2,000 preschools, elementary schools, and high schools, along with 10 universities and two seminaries. LCMS schools are supported and networked by several professional organizations and advisory groups.

What hours do you operate at OSS?

K – 8th grade school hours are from 8:15 am to 2:45 pm. Before and after school care is open at 6:30 am before school until 6:00 pm after school. All day summer care is also available.

What are your classroom capacities in middle school?

The classrooms will comfortably hold approximately 18 – 20 students.

How much is your tuition?

Tuition is $3950 per child per year. Student enrolling in Kindergarten receive a full scholarship. Financial Assistance is available through an application process.

How does OSS decide their curriculum?

OSS’s curriculum is based upon state and national standards, local trends, and needs of our students. Our district and national officials also advise us through in service workshops, and conferences. National Lutheran School Accreditation reviews all curriculum to ensure compliance with accreditation standards.

Does OSS offer bussing?

Yes, OSS does have bussing through the Minnetonka School District. Contact the school office for more information (952-474-5181 x218).

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