Raised to the power of Mirman

Upper School 4

Upper School 4 (Eighth Grade) is the culminating year in students’ Mirman experience. As they participate in beloved traditions such as a weeklong historical and cultural tour of Washington, D.C., the US4 musical in the spring, proving their athletic prowess against Mirman’s teaching faculty on their final Field Day, students and their families are also understandably looking past these milestones to the future. Through a thorough and guided “applying out” process involving the student, their family, the Head of Upper School, and Head of School, students will begin to write the next chapter in the story of their education. You can read about the incredible placement success of Mirman alumni to both high schools and colleges/universities by clicking here and scrolling to the final item of our Admission FAQ.

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List of 10 items.

  • Electives

    Upper School students further pursue their passions in elective offerings ranging from science fiction to coding to political science. Some offerings run all year long, while others rotate. Electives are offered based on student interest and faculty expertise, and as a result there are many offerings from which to choose! Please click here to view a list of some recent offerings (note: not all electives are offered each year).
  • English

    English in US4 is designed to ensure students are fully prepared for high school. The focus is on mastery of the essential skills of inference and deduction and critical analysis. In the first semester, students read and respond to a wide range of American literature including Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, John Steinbeck, Pat Mora, Claudia Rankine, Emily Dickenson, Ashley M. Jones, Robert Frost, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Beyoncé Knowles. Students consider the extent to which these writers hold mirrors or windows to them as readers and citizens. In the second semester, students read a range of literature from around the world, including "Romeo and Juliet." In addition to analyzing Shakespeare’s language, structure, and form, students explore the play’s context, universal themes, and determine its relevance to today. English class is also where the US4 students craft and polish the individual speeches they each give on their graduation day.
  • Future Impact

    The purpose of Future Impact is for the US4 students to take the knowledge and skills they have learned throughout their time at Mirman and to apply them towards a global issue that they are passionate about. They will find meaningful and impactful ways to design and push solutions towards issues facing the world today.
    The course guides the students through identifying a problem, thinking exponentially and globally, brainstorming solutions using various methods for research, analyzing data, and working towards a unique solution and prototype. Finally, they will put together an insightful presentation with a summary of their findings.
    Students will feel empowered in what they can accomplish here and also beyond to make a societal impact. The main thing is it starts with their passions and what they care about. This inquiry project will promote advocacy amongst students and a connection to their community.
  • Global Studies Perspectives

    Global Studies is a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary course for students to explore past and present events that have impacted the development of our current "global society." Through an in-depth study of critical events, students begin to understand how cultures, languages, and customs are shaped by the interactions of diverse individuals, communities, and nations as systems of power (and privilege) and governance shift. Students trace the developments of how varying cultures and national identities are diverse within and across space/time, and how each identity interact and influence the “global society”. Global studies focuses on the interconnections of diverse individuals, communities, and systems at the local and global level through detailed scholarship in history, politics, and multicultural education.
  • Mathematics

    Mirman’s Upper School math program is a comprehensive and flexible program that begins with Math Innovations as a foundational middle grades curriculum and progresses through Algebra, Geometry, Algebra 2, Precalculus, and Calculus. Based on their prior experience and current rates of acquisition and retention, students enter and exit the program in different places. The most typical progression is for students to take Innovations 1 in Fifth Grade, Innovations 2 in US2, Algebra in US3, and Geometry or Algebra 2 in US4. Students who demonstrate readiness for courses outside of the normal progression have the opportunity to take Precalculus and Calculus before graduating from Mirman. All Mirman math classes emphasize mathematical analysis, problem solving, strong communication skills, depth and complexity, and continuous reflection about mathematical practices.
  • Photography and Graphic Design (Art IV)

    Students develop critical thinking skills in planning the design and creation of their photographic and graphic design artworks, using leading-edge computer hardware and software from the Adobe Creative Suite. Students will become proficient in operating a digital camera and manipulating those images using Photoshop. By the year’s end, they will have produced a stunning portfolio of personally meaningful imagery and portraiture.
  • Physical Education

    Athletes in US4 have the choice of participating in either organized athletics (practicing with their teams during class time) or working with their PE teacher. Students continue engaging in Project Adventure outdoor activities, practice Martial Arts and Yoga for self-defense and stress relief, and continue FitnessGram testing.
  • Physical Sciences (Science IV)

    In US4, students explore chemical and physical concepts and how they relate to energy and energy transfer. Students begin the year delving into chemistry, developing lab-based protocols and skills. Physics is then explored with an emphasis on how forces and energy apply to our everyday lives. Students integrate mathematical concepts into testing predictions to prove established formulas. Students will also focus on ways science is used to enhance their everyday lives and the impact of scientific advancements on their world.
  • Theatre IV

    This US4 theatre course culminates in a full-length musical performance, developing students’ performance and technical skills including working with lighting, sound, props, run-crew, and costumes of a show. Students engage in the holistic production process from auditions to reading and understanding music, learning choreography, and developing their understanding and embodiment of characters through their acting. Cooperating with instructors and accompanists from the Music Department, students work on their singing voice, projection, diction, and embodiment of character through song.
  • World Languages

    Our World Languages Department is focused on creating proficiency-based courses, with curriculum aligned to the standards and guidelines of the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages). Teachers are dedicated to providing a dynamic, student-centered language acquisition experience. Students in Upper School may choose Latin, Mandarin, or Spanish, and progress one level per year.
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