SOAR courses for grades 7 and 8 differ from traditional PALCS courses. Each grade level will be completed in half a school year, accelerating the transition to high school. Content areas will be blended together: English language arts and social studies both taught in one Canvas course, and math and science both taught in another Canvas course. While foundational skills and concepts of each content area will be taught in separate lessons or modules, thematic units and projects will use a cross-curricular approach, combining content from multiple disciplines.
Students in grade 7 have the option to complete SOAR 7 in the fall, and SOAR 8 in the Spring (OR complete SOAR 7 in the Spring, and SOAR 8 in the following Fall semester, with the goal of beginning high school courses in the Spring of their grade 8 year).
Students in grade 8 have the option to complete SOAR 8 in the fall and beginning high school courses in the Spring of their grade 8 year (OR complete SOAR 8 in the Spring, with a projected goal of completing high school in less than four years).
All SOAR courses for grades 7 and 8 will utilize Project-Based Learning, an engaging, student-centered approach that allows students to gain knowledge through exploration and investigation of real-world problems.
- learn content according to grade-level PA Core Standards and Assessment Anchors;
- review foundational skills and concepts in each content area;
- apply skills and knowledge through the development of personalized projects that are student-driven, inquiry-based, and relevant.
Project topics/themes may include, but are not limited to:
- career exploration and planning for the future
- self-improvement and personal goal-setting
- diversity and global awareness
- environmental/conservation issues
- invention/product development
- civic duty and involvement
- social justice