Middle School

In the NPES Middle School, each subject is taught by a different teacher.  Expectations and work-loads increase significantly as students prepare academically for the high school application process and for the rigors of high school itself.  Students switch classes for each subject.   On Tuesdays, students choose among a variety of elective options. Options change quarterly.

Middle School students complete two significant cross-curricular projects each year.  Project guidelines and expectations increase with each middle school year.  One significant project is a project fair and the other is a MLA documented research paper.  Students are expected to complete work in class as well as at home.  The project fair and the research paper are designed to provide students with cross-curricular study, as well as to build independent study and time management skills.  Additionally, all of the skills taught in conjunction with the projects build preparation for high school history and science fairs.  During project night each year, students invite friends and family to present and to especially show-off their enormous accomplishments.

The project fair topics vary by grade and are:

  •  6th grade: World Religions
  • 7th grade: Science Fair
  •  8th grade: Graphic Novels and Math

The research paper topics vary by grade and are:

  • 6th grade: Historical Person
  • 7th grade: Historical Event
  •  8th grade: Free Choice Topic

6th Grade

  • One Shining Moment for sixth graders is a cross-curricular unit combining Language Arts and Social Studies -- a celebration of India.  Parents and friends are invited to celebrate the culmination of this unit with India Day.
  • Language Arts stresses the reading and writing workshop.  Students complete extensive creative writing and short story units.  Students also do varied literary circles covering topics such as “reflecting on your past” and India.  Among varied novel selections, students read J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.
  • This is the last year that math students use Everday Math. Topics covered include: algebra and variables, data and chance, geometry and spatial sense as well as other age appropriate topics. Math advances significantly in order to prepare for Pre-Algebra and Algebra for 7th and 8th grade, respectively.
  • Science class moves to the science lab where students study units including Electro-Magnetism, Body Organization, Astronomy and Living Things from Bacteria and Animals.
  • Social Studies is purely focused on World Cultures and Religions.  Students travel through time and around the world learning about the religions, culture and geography of Japan, India, China and Egypt. 

7th Grade

  • Seventh grade for Chicago students is notoriously difficult.  Academic grades and test scores matter significantly in order to place in the city’s most competitive magnet and selective enrollment programs.  Curricula are designed to support students as they prepare for the CPS and high school entrance exams.
  • Language Arts stresses the reading and writing workshop.  Students complete a narrative writing unit where they interview a relative.  Reading selections include a science fiction literary circle and Harper Lee’s controversial tale of Scout Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • Math is transitioned to Pre-Algebra in 7th grade. Students learn the foundation for algebra. They learn algebraic notation and problem solving, order of operations and properties of the arithmetic operations.
  • Science class begins the year with a unit called What is Science? Students complete an independent experiment, create a two-fold board and demonstrate their findings.  Seventh graders also study units on Atoms and Bonds, the circulatory and respiratory systems, Geology, Minerals and Rocks and an extensive cell unit.
  • Social Studies begins with European expansion and ends with the modern world and the Industrial Revolution.  On alternate years students study the Illinois constitution or the US Constitution with trips to either Springfield, IL or Washington DC respectively.

8th Grade

  • Eighth grade culminates the student experience at NPES.  The highlight of eighth grade is the graduation ceremony.  Students spend weeks designing, writing and practicing their graduation speeches where the entire NPES community is invited to their commencement ceremony.
  • Language Arts stresses the reading and writing workshop.  Students complete an extensive graphic novel unit.  Reading units include literary circles based on an utopia theme, holocaust theme and WWII theme.
  • NPES 8th grade math students study algebraic terms and operations, binomials, polynomials, exponents, order of operations, absolute value radicals, solving algebraic equations of the first degree, inequalities, factoring and solving quadratic equations, solving simultaneous equations and inequalities, algebraically and geometrically.
  • Science class begins the year with a unit on Scientists and Physicists, Energy and Heat, Healthy Eating, Digestive and Excretory Systems, Geologic Time and Paleontology, Evolution and Alternatives of Evolution and ending of the year Cell Division and Genetics.
  • Social Studies begins where 7th grade left off with a unit on reform and expansion, and continues throughout history studying turning points in each decade until the 1970s.  On alternate years students study the Illinois constitution or the US Constitution with trips to either Springfield, IL or Washington DC respectively.


Contact Us

North Park Elementary School 2017 W Montrose Chicago, Illinois 60618
Phone: 773.327.3144      Fax: 773.327.0331     NPES_info@npeschool.org