The best place for middle school girls to learn

NDP's Grades 6-8
Notre Dame Preparatory School’s Middle Level program is the right environment for today's middle school girl, providing opportunities rich in age-appropriate challenge and responsibility, plus a focus on service and spirituality. This education is tailored to the needs of girls in Grades 6-8 and provides extensive curricular and co-curricular offerings. All courses provide for outstanding preparation for high school.

Find out what sets the NDP curriculum apart from other private middle school programs

List of 11 items.

  • Art

    Each student’s participation in the Middle Level Art Program provides a strong foundation in the visual arts. Creativity, visual communication, self-expression, innovation, and collaboration serve as the pillars of each unit. The teacher strives to empower the student and strengthen critical thinking skills with knowledge, creative expression, and self-reflection. This sequential program
    focuses on the process and understanding of a variety of media and techniques, art history, cultural context, and concepts. Idea development, planning, and creativity play an important role in the student’s growth and creative problem solving throughout the three years in the Middle Level Art Program. Interdisciplinary lessons are also included to heighten each student’s learning
    experience. Classes meet two times a week. Each student is invited to share her work in an annual art show in May.
  • English

    The English Program in grades six, seven, and eight enriches and extends the skills learned in elementary school while it strives to develop mastery of the English language based on the standards of the National Council of Teachers of English. Teachers encourage students to make connections between reading, thinking, and writing through intensive seminar discussions and individual and collaborative research projects. The program includes the study of a variety of literary texts (novels, short stories, plays, poetry, and nonfiction), writing, grammar, and vocabulary. Novels are chosen thematically in order to build students’ understanding of the human experience. Integrating literary genres, grammar, vocabulary, and writing skills, the sixth-grade English course builds on the components of language study begun in elementary school. The seventh-grade English course challenges the students to delve more deeply into the study of literature, and eighth-grade literature focuses on the study of non-fiction and several classic novels. Each year students develop their writing skills through reflective literary essays. All classes incorporate seminar discussion, multimedia, and collaborative and individual research projects in the learning process.
  • Guidance

    The Middle Level has a full-time school counselor who provides a comprehensive school counseling program that focuses on the academic, personal/social, and career development needs of each student. The counselor teaches guidance class at each grade level and meets with students individually and in small groups. The school counselor coordinates with parents, teachers and other school personnel to help each girl succeed and reach her full potential at NDP. 
  • Language

    In the Middle Level Language Program, students begin their language study in sixth grade with an Introduction to Latin as part of the Romance Language Program. In grades seven and eight, students choose to begin French I, Spanish I, or continue in the Romance Language Program (seventh grade Romance Language includes Introduction to Spanish and Italian; eighth grade Romance Language includes Introduction to French) that emphasizes speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills. High school Chinese is available for students in Grade 8 who demonstrate advanced ability. Students also study culture, customs, and geography.
  • Mathematics

    The sequence of topics for Middle Level mathematics is thoughtfully planned and designed to meet the current National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) standards for teaching math in the middle grades. Students begin in sixth grade studying the types of numbers and their operations and extend their knowledge to other disciplines to promote an appreciation of math. In seventh grade, students progress to Pre-Algebra or Algebra while continuing to practice and extend their knowledge promoting confidence. In eighth grade students progress to Topics in Algebra, Algebra I, or Geometry promoting confidence and mastery while building a solid foundation for the Upper Level math program. The math program emphasizes for each student her ability to think critically, to problem solve, and to learn to communicate and reason mathematically in a quickly changing technological world. Mathematics is integral to the Middle Level STEAM program which emphasizes hands-on, project-based learning.
  • Performing Arts

    All Middle Level students participate three times a week in their choice of band, strings, chorus, piano, or dance. These groups offer an opportunity for students to develop their technical, academic, and expressive skills while working with the group toward the common goal of a polished performance. Private lessons in voice and all instruments are available.
  • Physical Education

    Middle Level Physical Education stresses the joy of participation in physical activity and the importance of physical fitness. A variety of activities are offered and basic skills and strategies are taught. All Middle Level students take physical education and swimming. All eighth-graders take synchronized swimming. All Middle Level students are encouraged to participate in interscholastic athletics.
  • Religion

    The Middle Level Religious Studies Program in grades six, seven, and eight is a journey of faith covering Hebrew and Christian scriptures, and Catholic beliefs and practices. The program combines academics and spirituality to challenge the students to foster Catholic identity and relate it to today’s culture. This curriculum serves as an opportunity for students to understand the Catholic heritage, to become aware of others’ beliefs, to recognize the importance of local service and global justice in their daily lives, and to build a spiritual foundation for years to come.
  • Science

    The Middle Level Science Program begins with an introduction to the scientific method and measurement techniques as a basis for the next three years of scientific study. Sixth-grade students examine the diversity of life through a survey of living things and environmental issues and explore physical science through a study of sound and light. Participation in lab experiments amplifies and clarifies students’ understanding of the applications of the scientific method and the subject matter. Seventh-grade students study cell structure and function, cell processes, systems of the human body, and genetics. A more advanced understanding of the scientific method is developed through experimentation. Observation, the collection of data, and the interpretation of that data are stressed throughout the course. Eighth-grade students study motion, forces, simple machines, matter, energy, atoms, and the periodic table. Science and mathematics are integrated in class and lab work. Students demonstrate proficiency in the use of the scientific method in lab experiments and written reports.
  • Social Studies

    The Middle Level Social Studies Curriculum offers students the opportunity to explore historical and current events and ideas which continue to shape our world. Sixth-grade students study world geography, learn map skills, and gather knowledge about the diverse and rich cultures of our planet. This course provides important fundamentals that students will build on in the seventh and eighth grades. Seventh-grade students study world history, from ancient civilizations to feudal Europe. In grade eight, students focus on American History, examining the development of our nation from colonization to the 21st century. All classes incorporate class discussion, multimedia, and research projects in the learning process.
  • Technology

    Most computer instruction is integrated into regular classroom instruction. New Middle Level students participate in a Technology Workshop prior to the start of school. Students advance these technology skills each year through technology exploratory classes based on the National Educational Technology Standards and preparation for the Upper Level laptop program.

Meet the Middle Level Team

List of 4 members.

  • Photo of Christine Szala

    Ms. Christine Szala 

    Principal
    (410) 825-6202 ext. 1005
  • Photo of Jo Marie Tolj

    Mrs.  Jo Marie Tolj 

    Middle Level Director
    (410) 825-6202 ext. 1412
  • Photo of James  Lancaster

    Mr.  James  "Jim" Lancaster 

    Assistant Director Middle Level
    410-825-6202, Ext. 1027
  • Photo of Jennifer Casey

    Ms. Jennifer Casey 

    Academic Dean
    (410) 825-6202 x1502

Notre Dame Preparatory School

An Independent, Catholic Girls School, Grades 6-12, Sponsored by the School Sisters of Notre Dame