Middle School (Grades 6 - 8)

We believe it is important for Middle School students to learn skills in context. In particular, we teach critical thinking and study skills in each discipline rather than teaching them individually. At Sandia Prep, we want our students to discover the connections between subjects and to use these discoveries to explore and understand the world around them.

Our Middle School is a lively place where students develop close relationships with teachers and with their fellow students.We believe this web of relationships makes it possible for our students to take risks in a variety of areas.
They can learn where their talents lie and develop the skills they need to grow intellectually and academically.

6th Grade

Our 6th grade program focuses on fostering a joy in learning and teaches our students the academic skills necessary to succeed at Prep and beyond. We believe it is important for students to have a solid background in reading and writing; therefore, our students meet for an extended class session in language arts. With its focus on culture and geography, our social studies course allows students to explore the connections between their community and the larger world. In science, we provide hands-­on activities and stimulate students’ curiosity as they deepen their scientific literacy.

We hone students’ fundamental skills in our math program and introduce them to more sophisticated mathematical concepts. Our art and media rotation exposes students to a variety of experiences and skills in drama, visual arts, music, and computer skills, and explores the relationship between leadership and environmental sustainability. Our physical education program stresses the importance of lifelong fitness and team skills while developing overall fitness.

7th Grade

Our 7th grade program is designed to provide students with a multitude of opportunities to explore their relationship with the world around them while, at the same time, developing and refining the skills necessary to understand and negotiate the many worlds they encounter, including both school and community.

8th Grade

The focus of our 8th grade program is two-­fold: to enhance and strengthen the skills students have already learned during middle school, and to prepare them for the rigor of high school.Core courses include: History, a study of the U.S. political system; Science, comprising physics, chemistry and fundamental lab skills; Math, which is primarily Algebra 1, the foundation of all high school math courses; English, a combination of classic and contemporary literature; and Modern Language, emphasizing communication and oral proficiency in French or Spanish. In keeping with Sandia Prep’s Five-­A philosophy, our Physical Education, Arts and Elective offerings allow students to explore the varied realms of athletics, music and art.

Engineering & Coding

Sandia Prep's Engineering & Coding classes begin in the 8th grade and continue through senior year. Students build on a foundation of engineering concepts and basic coding taught in 8th grade and progress to Mechatronics and longer, more complex strings of code. Read more about Sandia Prep's engineering and coding classes here.

Sample Middle School Course Descriptions

Life Science

This course is designed to teach students the basic biological concepts and laboratory skills essential to the life sciences. We encourage students to become scientists and naturalists through experimentation using the scientific method, recording field observations, and conducting library research. The course emphasizes units in botany, genetics, ecology, evolution, human biology, and health and wellness. It includes projects that link our students with the community.


This course strengthens students’ mathematical skills through practical problem-solving application and thoroughly develops the abstract foundations necessary for the study of Algebra. We investigate integers, graphs, variables, open equations and inequalities, basic geometry, statistics, word problems, formulas, rational numbers, and measurement.


Students will learn robotics concepts by building robots with LEGO EV3 hardware and programming with LEGO Mindstorm software. They will work in teams to design, build, program and document their progress. Students’ robots will accomplish specific tasks and compete in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) competition.

Advanced Guitar

This course is open to any middle school student who has had at least two years of guitar study; however, students with less experience may be admitted with the permission of the instructor.Students will continue to study the techniques learned in the previous two years with continued emphasis on advanced music theory, creative improvisation, and more intricate ensemble playing.

World Cultures & Geography

Our primary goal in this class is to encourage students to appreciate and learn about people and places, and to develop their geographic and cultural literacy.Atlases, almanacs, novels, films, computer databases, and the internet are among the resources used as we “travel” around the world.The classroom and library provide the setting for learning and practicing research and note-taking skills, engaging discussion and critical thinking about local, national, and international topics. Unit projects and assignments foster expression of personal opinions and evidence of learning.

Curriculum Guide

Suggested Reading List

Saunders Library

Sandia Prep's Saunders Library gives students access to all the resources they need for classes, research, and exploration. More than just books.

Susi Hochrein
Middle School Head