Students in grades 6, 7 & 8 participate in the Pathways Program. Every Friday afternoon, for two periods, the students take a class in an area of interest. The program usually runs for 9 weeks. Students choose from a selection of 5 classes and each group is made up of a combination of the three grade levels. This fall semester's course selection includes: Carpentry, Chess, E-Commerce, Shakespeare and The Stock Market Game. Other courses offered in the past included: The Art of Light and Shading (art), Baking, The Art of the Deal (Negotiation) Banking, The History and Making of Jewelry, Medical Medley and Golf.
Students in grades 6, 7 & 8 are encouraged to join our Drama Club. Students typically practice twice a week from January to March followed by an evening performance. Previous productions have included "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", "The Poisoned Apple" (an adaptation of Sleeping Beauty), "The Little Mermaid" "Beauty and the Beast" and "Peter Pan."
Students are selected to participate in our Math 9 class in lieu of Math 8. The criteria for acceptance includes state test scores, the Iowa standardized test scores, report card grades and teacher input. Upon completion, students take the Math 9 Regents. The successful score on this exam affords them the opportunity to enter Math 10 as freshmen in high school.
Students in grades 7 & 8 are selected to study under the guidance of our parent attorney, Mrs. Marchese, in the tenets of the legal system. This study of a case prepares the students for the experience of presenting themselves as the prosecution and the defense at St. John's University Law School before a judge competing against other Catholic school students.
Students in grades 6,7 & 8 are given the chance to write and publish the School Newspaper, The Scribe. Students interview people, write the copy, edit and publish the newspaper under the direction of our Librarian. The Scribe comes out three times a year.
The students in grades 4 through 8 comprise our Student Council. The President is elected from 8th grade, the Vice President from 7th grade and the Secretary from the 6th grade. Each class also elects a representative to be a member of the Council. Student Council collects money for Estiven, our adopted boy from South America, holds Food Drives, Diaper and Baby Wipe collections for Momma's House and many other service projects.
Our student techs,in grade 8, assist in the computer Labs by helping to update the computers, turn them on each morning and generally support whatever needs arise in the Labs on a daily basis.
Students in grades 6,7 & 8 are responsible for helping the Librarian to shelve books and various other tasks as needed. Library Club meets one day a week.
Soccer: Students in grades 6,7 & 8 are invited to join our Soccer Teams, which are a part of the Catholic Middle School Sports Association. Games are played once or twice a week and we typically field a boys' team and a girls' team. Games are played against various other Catholic Schools in the area.
Basketball: Students in grades 6,7 & 8 are eligible to join the Basketball Teams. Again, we usually have a boys' team and a girls' team, which are a part of the Catholic Middle School Sports Association. The team is coached by our Physical Education teacher and also play about twice a week.
Our students in grades 6, 7 & 8 are participants in a Science Fair, which takes place in March. Projects are completed using the Scientific Method: developing a hypothesis, asking questions, gathering data and drawing conclusions. Students in all grades are invited to view the projects during the day and parents are invited in the evening to come and see what our students have investigated.
Every year, during Catholic Schools Week, the 6, 7 & 8 grade students participate in a Math Bee. Trials are held in the classroom and three students are picked from each class to be in the Bee. Mental math problems are given to the students and they are challenged to solve these problems in a short period of time. Trophies are awarded to first, second and third place winners.
Every year, in the middle of May, our students in grades one to eight take a bus to the Garden City Athletic Field on Stewart Avenue to take part in Field Day. Students play all sorts of races, activities and athletic competitions by grade and lunch is provided by McDonalds. Ribbons are given for participation for all students and class mothers provide water and snack for the day.
St. Patrick's Day Carnival
Each year, St. Joseph School celebrates St. Patrick's Day with a carnival. Each grade attends at their specified time and spends some time playing ring toss, bean bag toss, piggy races and other assorted carnival games at booths manned by parent volunteers. Students may also use raffle tickets to bid on prizes which are raffled off in the afternoon. Baked goods are available during the lunch period to help celebrate the day.