At All Saints, we celebrate the diversity of our students’ spirituality and acknowledge the unity of our human family through different traditions and practices. On any day you will hear the words “Mitakuye Oyasin” spoken at our school – a Lakota Indian expression that means “we are all related.” This phrase is lived out in our Middle School through special events, community service projects, daily traditions, and course work specifically designed to help students deepen their understanding of themselves and the world.
Fifth Graders take Comparative Religions as a continuation of the work started in elementary Community Time. At the Middle School level, this work is given a more academic approach as students read primary and secondary texts from the each religion studied, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Students also benefit from discussions with guest speakers representing each of the religions, field trips, and art projects. This survey of religions will provide important background information and understanding to analyze many of the conflicts of the present time. Students will address this theme specifically through the reading and discussion of Samir and Yonatan, an award winning novel written from the perspective of a Palestinian boy.
Spirituality & Ethics, the study of how we are to rightly live in the world together, is closely linked with the spiritual development of humankind. Sixth Grade Ethics provides the framework for students to have philosophical discussions and to think critically before forming their own opinions. Our inquiries will tie closely to topics covered in current events, history, and literature with meaningful situations that pertain directly to this time in their lives. As we move beyond the “who, what, where, when, and how,” students spend adequate time addressing the “why” of the situations. This course will seek to give students both a survey of the development of ethics from an historical standpoint, and practical ways of understanding their own individual ethical development as members of a diverse global community and as moral beings in their own right.
Spiritual Identity, the Seventh Grade spirituality class, is an opportunity for students to explore and express their own beliefs, values, questions, and concerns about spiritual matters. Utilizing a variety of books that focus on the spiritual lessons of the Wizard of Oz, such as The Zen of Oz by Joey Greene, and The Yellow Brick Road by Rev. William J. Bausch, students carefully consider cause and effect, conscious and subconscious, human interactions and bullying, leadership, the meaning and purpose of life, charity and service, and their own imaginings of the spiritual design of the universe. They will follow their own path along the yellow brick road, laden with meaningful literature discussions, self-reflection, and art projects. By the end of the year, students will have a rich visual journal detailing their own spiritual journey on the yellow brick road.
Rites of Passage, the Eighth Grade spirituality class, is exploration of rites of passage from around the world and throughout history, as well as the creation and completion of the students own rite of passage as they graduate from Eighth Grade. Students will explore and analyze basic principles that occur in most rites of passage. They will then reflect upon their own passage from early childhood, to the elementary years, and throughout middle school. In conjunction with their Inquiry & Action class, students will write a spiritual autobiography stemming from the school’s mission statement and their personal experiences at All Saints. Finally, they will prepare a multi-media presentation based on their autobiography to share at their graduation ceremony.
Curriculum/Middle School Program: Next Page Human Relationships and Sexuality