Curriculum and Instruction

Program Requirements for the Middle Grades (Grades 5 – 8)

Grades 5 and 6:

All students shall receive instruction that is designed to facilitate their attainment of the State intermediate learning standards in the seven general curriculum areas: mathematics, including arithmetic, science, and technology; English language arts, including reading writing, listening, and speaking; social studies, including geography and United States history; Languages other than English (pursuant to section 100.2(d) of Commissioner’s Regulations); the arts, including visual arts, music, dance, and theatre; career development and occupational studies; where student need is established, bilingual education and/or English as a second language; health education, physical education and family and consumer sciences with health education pursuant to section 135.3(b) of Commissioner’s Regulations and physical education pursuant to section 134.4(c)(2)(i) of Commissioner’s Regulations.

Grades 7 and 8:

All students shall be provided instruction designed to enable them to achieve, by the end of grade eight, State intermediate learning standards through:

  • English language arts, two units of study;
  • Social studies, two units of study;
  • Science, two units of study;
  • Mathematics, two units of study;
  • Technology education, one unit of study;
  • Home and career skills, three-quarters of a unit of study;
  • Physical education as required by section 135.4(c)(ii) of Commissioner’s Regulations (basically, every other day);
  • Health education, one half unit of study as required by section 135.3(c) of Commissioner’s Regulations;
  • The arts, including one half unit of study in the visual arts, and one half unit of study in music;
  • Library and information skills, the equivalent of one period per week in grade seven and eight;
  • Languages other than English pursuant to section 100.2(d) of Commissioner’s Regulations;
  • Career development and occupational studies.

Flexibility Available to All Schools with Middle-Level Grades in Section 100.4 of Commissioner’s Regulations (Model A)

  • Unit of study (seat time) vs. unit of credit (achievement). Units of study, not units of credit, are applicable to the middle grades (specifically, grades 7 and 8).
  • Unit of study requirements for the middle grades are to be met "by the end of grade 8."
  • The unit of study requirements for technology education and/or home and career skills may be initiated in grade 5, provided that such subjects shall be taught by teachers certified in those areas.
  • The unit of study requirement for languages other than English may be initiated in any grade prior to grade 8.
  • Students who have been determined to need academic intervention services may have the unit of study requirements for one or more of their subjects reduced (but not eliminated).
  • A student may meet the required half unit of study in music by participation in a school’s band, chorus, or orchestra, provided that such participation is consistent with the goals and objectives for the school’s music program for grades 7 and 8.
  • The half unit of study requirement for health education may be provided in grade 6, provided that such subject shall be taught by teachers certified in health education.
  • Library and information skills instruction provided the equivalent of one period per week in grades 7 and 8.
  • Students in grade 8 shall have the opportunity to take high school courses in mathematics and in at least one of the following areas: English, social studies, languages other than English, art, music, career and technical education subjects, and science courses.
  • Incidental teaching assignment.

Additional Flexibility Available Under Section 80-5.12 of Commissioner’s Regulations:

(NOTE: This flexibility is not automatic; districts must apply for it)

When a school district is granted an Experiment in Organizational Change (or, as it is commonly called, "Experimental Middle School Status") under Section 80-5.12 of Commissioner’s Regulations, the assignments permissible pursuant to this regulation are:

  • A certified elementary school teacher (i.e., a teacher of the common branch subjects) may provide instruction in one or more of the common branch subjects exclusive of those defined as special subjects in grades seven and/or eight of a middle or intermediate school; and
  • A certified teacher of a secondary academic subject may provide instruction only in the academic subject for which he or she is certified in grades five and/or six of a middle or intermediate school.


Last Updated: April 14, 2011