VCMS Academic Departments

Art

Department Chairperson: Kathryn Foti

  • Grade 6 Art
  • Grade 7 Art 

Art courses provide to students activities that foster creative expression. communication through artistic endeavor, and appreciation of culture and heritage.  Activities may include those that enable students to refine their technique, increase their artistic vocabulary, express themselves and their world view, make connections to other content areas, develop their own aesthetic and strengthen their critical abilities.  Although typically involving the visual arts (drawing, painting, sculpture, crafts), these courses may also include other forms of art, for example, dance, music and theater.

Computers

  • Computer Applications: Grade 8
     
    Students acquire knowledge of and experience in the proper and efficient use of previously written software packages. These courses explore a wide range of applications, including (but not limited to) word-processing, spreadsheet, graphics and database programs, and they may also cover the use of electronic mail and desktop publishing. Students also explore STEAM concepts in computer class.

English Language Arts

Department Chairperson: David Mossey

Students in grades 6 through 8  read a balance of literature and informational texts, both full-length and shorter works, including; stories, drama, poetry, fiction, and  biographies, autobiographies, books and articles about science, art, history, social studies, and information displayed in charts, graphs, or maps, in both print and digital sources.
Texts. include discipline specific material (both full-length and excerpts) written for a variety of audiences. Examples include texts written for students, such as textbooks and trade books, as well as those written for the public, including blogs/websites, books, films, and magazine and newspaper articles. 

Foreign Language

Department Chairperson: Kelly Napolean

NYS Middle School Requirements for Foreign Language are satisfied in the eighth grade year.   Students have a choice to study Spanish or French. Foreign Language courses emphasize the language arts skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) necessary to communicate in a foreign language. Grammar and syntax, vocabulary, and applicable accents typically are studied so that students have the knowledge and ability to express themselves and understand others. Students usually explore the customs, history and art forms of the people whose language is being studied.

Health

Grade 6

Health and Fitness courses cover topics such as nutrition, stress management, substance abuse prevention, disease prevention, first aid, and so on with the intention of conveying lifelong wellness habits.

Grade 8

Health  and Life Management courses focus on health topics such as the evaluation of consumer information and advertising and personal health topics such as nutrition, stress management, drug/alcohol abuse prevention, disease prevention, and first aid. Course objectives include helping students develop decision making, communications, interpersonal and coping skills and strategies. 

Home and Careers

Department Chairperson: Melissa Toromanides 

Home and Career Skills is a New York State mandated course taught in the discipline of Family and Consumer Sciences. It is a course designed to prepare students to meet their present and future responsibilities as family and community members, consumers, home managers, and wage earners. The goal is to educate students to think constructively, make sound decisions, solve problems, and manage resources.

Math

Department Chairperson: Kristinna Crowe

In Grade 6, instructional time focuses on five areas: (1) connecting ratio and rate to whole number multiplication and division and using concepts of ratio and rate to solve problems; (2) completing understanding of division of fractions and extending the notion of number to the system of rational numbers, which includes negative numbers; (3) writing, interpreting, and using expressions and equations; (4) deepening understanding of area, surface area and volume; and (5) developing understanding of simple probabilities and statistical thinking. 

In Grade 7, instructional time focuses on three areas: (1) developing an understanding of and applying proportional relationships; (2) developing an understanding of operations with rational numbers and working with expressions and linear equations; and (3) drawing inferences about populations based on samples.

In Grade 8, instructional time focuses on three areas: (1) formulating and reasoning about expressions and equations, including modeling an association in bivariate data with a linear equation, and solving linear equations and systems of linear equations; (2) grasping the concept of a function and using functions to describe quantitative relationships; (3) analyzing two- and three-dimensional space and figures using distance, angle, similarity, and congruence, and understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem.

Music

Department Chairperson: Micheal Gonzales

Middle School provides many opportunities for students to develop musical skill and understanding. Students may elect to participate in one or several of our performing ensembles. In addition, 6th and 7th graders have the opportunity to focus on music theory and history in our general music courses.

  • Grade 6: Required to complete one quarter of general music. The guidance office will automatically schedule students for one period of general music, which will meet every other day for ten weeks. 6th Graders may also elect to participate in Band, Chorus, or both.  
  • Grade 7: Required to complete one full year music credit. Students may fulfill this requirement by participating in Band, Chorus, or both, if their schedule permits. Students who do not participate in a performing ensemble will complete 7th grade general music. Each of these courses meets every other day for the entire school year.
  • Grade 8: May elect to participate in Band, Chorus, or both, if their schedule permits; however, there is no 8th grade music requirement. 

Physical Education

Department Chairperson: Paul Cummings

Physical Education courses typically involve the acquisition of knowledge and skills that provide the foundation for sport, a physically active lifestyle and social development through physical activity. Activities include those that increase strength, endurance and flexibility; reinforce safe technique; teach the rules and conventions of games and sports; and explore the relationship between physical activity and health. 

Science:

Department Chairperson: Melanie Monda

Science courses include subject matter from several strands of science, including earth/space sciences, physical sciences, and life or environmental sciences, and may organize material around thematic units. Specific content depends upon state standards for grades 6 through 8.  All 8th grade students take the NYS Science Assessment in May and June. In May, students take the Performance Assessment portion of the State Exam.  During June, students take the Written portion.  Students will be provided with a review book to help prepare for the exam.

Social Studies

Department Chairperson: Tim Faulkner

Social Studies courses provide a greater understanding of social studies disciplines, including history, geography, civics and government, and economics.  These courses often focus on history, culture. and government of various specific world societies in grade 6 and in American society in grades 7 and 8.

Technology

Department Chairperson: John VanFradenburgh

Technological courses expose students to the communication, transportation, energy, production, biotechnology, and integrated technology systems and processes that affect their lives. The study of these processes enables students to better understand technological systems and their applications and uses from wood chips to computer chips.  The requirement for Technology education is satisfied in the 7th grade year. 

Viking Academy

Valley Central Middle School’s Viking Academy is designed to provide an alternative educational experience for 8th grade students who have had difficulty in the traditional middle school setting.  The Viking Academy is a curriculum STEAM-based program. Therefore, students who attend the Viking Academy will be required to complete the same core curriculum as students enrolled in the main middle school campus via project- based learning.

Advanced Courses

Valley Central School District offers advanced classes in the following subjects: English (7-12), Social Studies (7-12), Science (7-10), and Math (7-10). Accelerated classes in the areas of Math, Science, Foreign Language and Art are offered in Middle School and have the potential to result in High School credits.