- Experience and explore U.S. History during a week-long class trip to Washington, D.C.
- Gain leadership skills as an officer in student council, Admission Office Student Ambassador, participant in Trail to Service, and as a returning member in a variety of interscholastic team sports.
- Observe, investigate, collaborate, analyze and discuss challenging scientific concepts through extensive hands-on lab experimentation.
- Cultivate interests through participation in a wide range of elective courses including: robotics, acting improvisation, world drumming, creative writing, farmhands, pottery on the wheel.
- Progress as a written and oral communicator with the many opportunities to research, evaluate write and present on various topics throughout all coursework.
- Pursue enhanced learning opportunities in Spanish, Latin, visual arts, technology, music, library and media, service learning, physical education and swim.
- Collaborate in edible education cooking lessons to develop kitchen skills while applying science concepts and learning about Spanish and Roman cultures.
Students gain confidence as communicators. They continue to expand their vocabulary with new words that help them relate to characters, assess qualities and clearly express ideas and beliefs. Students complete a poetry anthology, reflect on their choices, and learn to thoughtfully evaluate the work of their peers. With class reading assignments, students explore many topics, from heroes and heroines to human nature and society. Students explore classical tragedy with the works of Shakespeare. They also read a variety of short stories including mystery, horror, adventure and fantasy. Students then complete and present projects that deepen their understanding of these diverse topics. Students continue perfecting their writing, speaking and listening skills and gain the ability to meaningfully discuss and evaluate characters and themes.
Latin students engage in a more rigorous study of Latin through acquiring more academic language, while continuing to engage in conversations and readings that are student driven. Some cultural topics covered in the 8th grade year include the ancient Roman military and warfare, literature, religious practices, and important events of the Republic and the Empire. Students also continue their grammatical studies in the 8th grade year. The year is culminated in two projects: the writing of a Latin children’s book and a research project on a topic of the student’s choice.
Students continue their studies in one of three courses, determined by pre-requisite completion and competency. Algebra B1 is a continuation of Algebra A1 and establishes a solid foundation on which students can begin Algebra 1 in high school. Algebra B and Geometry are equivalent to high school level Algebra 1 and Geometry courses, respectively. In Algebra B and B1, students will use written and mental methods and calculators to estimate, compute and solve equations involving real numbers, scientific notation, square roots and exponents. They study linear equations in graphic, symbolic and tabular formats, then graph, model and solve problems. Students also study some applications of geometry, probability and statistics. In Algebra B, students extensively study quadratic equations, including application to real life situations. In the Geometry course, students explore and experiment with geometric concepts through a variety of activities and real-world applications, including formal geometric proof. Students utilize a compass, ruler, and computer technology to aid them in communicating and understanding advanced mathematical concepts.
In chorus, orchestra, band, world drumming, handchimes and stage acting, students advance their understanding of performance concepts, improve their talents, and gain an appreciation for various composers and genres . Their skills are assessed with written, and playing or vocal tests throughout the course. All students are challenged with learning and playing unique pieces across many genres. Students work individually and in groups to develop their performance techniques. Students in all four Performing Arts courses prepare for performances once per semester. They are also given the option to participate in the Ohio Music Educators’ Association Solo and Ensemble Adjudicated Event as soloists and/or as part of an ensemble. Additionally, select band and chorus students have the opportunity to participate in an additional Honors Band and Choir event at The College of Wooster.
Students in Grade 8 return as experienced athletes and team leaders. They participate in an advanced level of interscholastic competition or choose to participate in elective instruction activities or sports. Students practice during class time, with matches or games taking place after school. Team sports for both boys and girls include tennis, lacrosse, cross country, swim team, basketball, and track and field. Girls can also play field hockey and boys can play soccer. Instructional activities include: international games, volleyball, fencing, table tennis, yoga, outdoor and water initiatives, biking and instructional basketball. All students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary in an emergency situation. They become certified in CPR and also demonstrate the use of early defibrillation equipment.
Through a substantial number of hands-on lab experiments and activities, students interact with and gain a deeper understanding of a wide range of challenging topics. In Grade 8, students work individually and collaboratively to study a range of topics including: matter and the structure of matter; atomic theory; interpretation and use of the Periodic Table; chemical reactions; the history of evolution and natural selection; engineering and design theory. Throughout the course, students complete a variety of interactive studies. They design their own investigation, by organizing, creating, performing and evaluating an experiment from start to finish. They study famous scientists and their discoveries, and construct and exhibit a unique art project that requires students to develop their own unique creature that will thrive in a set environment. Students conduct labs (using high grade equipment) to study chemicals and their interactions.
Students learn the intricacies of U.S. History beginning with the founding of Jamestown. They study life the English Colonies including the effects of religion, leadership and government, slavery, Native Americans, trade and economy. They explore the concepts of independence, liberty and freedom as they cover the American Revolution, the launching of a new government, The Constitution and the Bill of Rights, The Civil War and Reconstruction. Students complete numerous projects that allow them to reflect on the subject matter. Students discuss what it means to be an American as well as a citizen in their school community. They apply their knowledge of political concepts by comparing and contrasting the leadership styles of early and modern day American leaders. Students also complete special coursework in preparation for their class trip to Washington, D.C.
At Old Trail, the World Language classrooms have evolved in response to research on language acquisition and best practice so that every student can find success. Spanish classes are executed with comprehensible input in mind – the idea that language-learners must be provided with spoken and written messages in the target language that are easily understood. Outdated, grammar-based practices have been replaced with genuine engagement in the target language. The language acquisition program culminates in middle school, where the challenge is increased to meet the students' growing proficiency. In lieu of grammar textbooks, students are exposed to more high-frequency structures and more complex native-like expressions and structures. They engage in natural conversations about topics that are relevant and interest them, such as their daily lives and the world around them. Topics align with the standards set forth by the college board, ACTFL and Ohio Seal of Biliteracy program. Students are able to make connections between their culture and the culture of the languages’ native speakers. They read both classic works as well as contemporary novels that strategically weave high frequency and complex structures that help our students move beyond the typical proficiency levels. When appropriate, they write their own narratives. Students are consistently in contact with language that is meaningful, comprehensible, and authentic and develop a native-like sense of when something “sounds” right.
Art Making - Through close observation and sustained investigation, students develop individual and global perspectives on art; utilize the principles of art; solve design problems; and explore perspective, scale and point of view.
Developing Art Literacy - Students hone observation skills and discuss works of art; develop visual arts vocabulary to describe art making, the tools and techniques used to produce art, and the elements and principles of design; read and write about art to reinforce literacy skills; interpret artwork by providing evidence to support assertions; and reflect on the process of making art.
Making Connections Through Visual Arts - Students recognize the societal, cultural and historical significance of art; connect the visual arts to other disciplines; and apply the skills and knowledge learned in visual arts to interpreting the world.