Middle School Curriculum

ETR Students working on laptop computers.

The intent of this Course Description Guide is to provide students and parents with descriptions of the courses offered at E.T. Richardson Middle School. Students who wish to change a course and/or a level within a content area must follow the guideline provided by administrators for this change. Refer to Secondary Course Progressions for advancing.


Our educators craft curricula to be standards-based, academically rigorous with an emphasis on immersing students in literacy initiatives, and mindfully integrates technology for our 21st century learners.



A = 90-100
B = 80-89
C = 70-79
D = 60-69
F = below 60




Each course has assessments anchored to Pennsylvania State Standards. Benchmark testing has been embedded into most courses offered. Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) testing and Classroom Diagnostic Testing (CDT) are administered throughout the year to determine student growth and provide educators with a guide to addressing student learning. The annual Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) is a standards-based, criterion referenced assessment used to measure a student’s attainment of the academic standards while also determining the degree to which school programs enable students to attain proficiency of the standards. Middle School students in grades 6-8 are assessed in English Language Arts (ELA), Reading, and Math PSSA tests. The PSSA Science exam is administered to 8th-grade students only.


A Philosophical Summary


The goal of Springfield School District (SSD) is for its graduates to enter postsecondary programs ready to achieve without the need for remedial college courses. Furthermore, we want a higher percentage of SSD graduates to successfully complete their postsecondary education within a six-year period. The elementary schools have set the foundation with a strong reading program bolstered by the ‘Go Blue’ initiative. The responsibility of E.T. Richardson Middle School (ETR) is to ensure all students are prepared to participate in the rigorous academic program at the high school level. ETR will accomplish this goal with a focus on learning through writing. Writing is knowing. This is the tenet upon which we base our program, The Writing Center. Writing is a skill that students need not only while in school, but one that can carry them through college and career. To be college and career ready, a student must write well.

Working with the University of Pennsylvania Penn Literacy Network (PLN) and the Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project (PAWLP) fellowship, our faculty has embedded opportunities within each content-area to engage students in the writing process across all of the ETR curricula. The 6 Traits of Writing (ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions) is reflected within content specific writing, assessing writing, giving feedback on writing, and using technology to support writing. Our students will be encouraged to celebrate their writing in various ways such as: contributing to a personal writing portfolio, essay contests, school displays, and culminating projects illuminating their growth as a writer.

At ETR, we are The Writing Center. We look forward to guiding your student as they develop their thoughts and reflect on their learning as a writer. Curriculum documents are being updated for online format and posted below as they become available.

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

Unified Arts Courses

Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen.

- Willa Cather

Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer.

- Barbara Kingsolver

“We write for the same reason that we walk, talk, climb mountains or swim the oceans - because we can.

- Maya Angelou

Don't worry when you're not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.

- Abraham Lincoln

Music is the major form of communication. It's the commonest vibration, the people's news broadcast, especially for kids.

- Richie Havens

One thing life has taught me: If you are interested, you never have to look for new interests. They come to you. When you are genuinely interested in one thing, it will always lead to something else.

- Eleanor Roosevelt

Don't worry when you're not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.

- Abraham Lincoln

And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.

- William Shakespeare,
A Midsummer Night's Dream

He says, you have to study and learn so that you can make up your own mind about history and everything else but you can't make up an empty mind. Stock your mind, stock your mind. You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a palace.

- Frank McCourt,
Angela's Ashes

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