8th Grade

In addition to rigorous academics and community service learning through the advisory program, 8th grade students prepare to become community and global leaders. As students depart St. Joseph School at the end of their 8th grade year, they should be faith-filled individuals who have a strong set of academic, social, and emotional skills which will promote success in high school.

8th Grade Curriculum


In the 8th grade, the focus is on Catholic Social Teaching, Church History, and Morality. Throughout both grades there is an emphasis on the Liturgy, the Liturgical Calendar, the sacred times of Advent and Lent, and what it means to Live as a Catholic Christian in the world today. Students demonstrate learning through daily work, reflections, tests, and projects throughout the year. Students work towards being able to look at the world using their faith to guide their decisions. Catholic teachings and traditions will be reinforced to give students a base on which their faith can continue to grow and be enriched in the future.The hope is that the students become more engaged in their faith journey and become inspired and confident enough to live out their faith in an often challenging world.

Language Arts

To prepare students for the challenges of high school level English, 8th grade English Language Arts (ELA) will: engage students in intensive hands-on writing instruction to model and demystify the writing process; teach students about audience and purpose in writing; encourage growth through meaningful feedback; and use their understanding of grammar, usage, and mechanics to produce written pieces that address Common Core learning standards.

Current 8th grade students should review the summer reading assignment for the first week of school.


8th grade literature students turn outwards and engage with diverse, globally-focused narratives. The goal is to encourage students to broaden their view of the world and engage with text in a critical, analytic, and academic manner. All class texts have a specific emphasis on social justice and inspire students to think of their individual role and impact in the world. At its foundation, 8th grade literature focuses on identity versus society. Specifically, how characters--and all of us--relate and are sometimes challenged by societal expectations and norms. Students participate in weekly reading seminars, honing their critical questioning and discussion skills. Over the course of the year, the literature class integrates reading and writing skills, vocabulary, and literary terms and genres. All curriculum is Common Core aligned and prepares students for high school level English.

Current 8th grade students should review the summer reading assignment for the first week of school.


8th grade mathematics focuses on the number system, expressions and equations, functions, geometry, and statistics and probability. For more in-depth information, visit Kathy Marion's Weebly site.


With a splash of U.S. geography, a dash of presidential impact, and a dollop of innovation during wartime, students delve into the tumult and the prosperity of America's history. Students read from primary source documents, continue their development of writing skills, and engage in critical thinking discussions, such as those based on Supreme Court Landmark Cases. Through the study of all the presidents, presentations on the expansion of the nation, and researching and writing short biographies, students will gain an greater appreciation of American history.


8th grade science includes a half-year, exploration in Life Science followed by a half-year study of sound and light. Both courses are standards-based and emphasize hands-on learning to activate the intellectual curiosity of adolescent learners through guided inquiry. Students develop their inquiry skills as they explore science concepts. Students will be asked to observe, infer, predict, collect data, communicate, collaborate, and problem solve around science topics.

Graduation Information

In preparation for official graduation, 8th grade students participate in various fun, reflective, and celebratory activities. These activities include a faculty/staff sports game, a reflective retreat, an evening of celebration, baccalaureate mass, graduation, and a graduation party.

Students and parents receive updates regarding graduation events through the 8th grade homeroom teachers and the school website in the Spring.

High School Information

The high school application process begins in the fall of your students' 8th grade year. All of the area public, private, and independent schools post their application information online as well as host informational nights in the fall. Below is an outline of the process and a helpful checklist and student worksheet.

A. High School Visits
  1. Make a reservation with the high school you intend to visit.
  2. Student needs to take a High School Visitation Form around to their 8th grade teachers prior to their school visit. After the visit, students must complete post visit questions and submit them to their homeroom teacher.
B. Applications
1. Fill out the Confidential Teacher Evaluation & Confidential School Report/Transcript Request
2. Give all forms to Ms. Marion by Friday November 30, 2018.

Catholic SchoolsPrivate Independent SchoolsGreater Seattle Public Schools
Archbishop Murphy

Bishop Blanchet


Seattle Public Schools

Eastside Catholic


Highline Public Schools

Forest Ridge

Seattle Academy (SAAS)Shoreline School District
Holy Names

The Northwest School

Bellevue Public Schools

Kennedy Catholic

University Prep

Mercer Island Public Schools


Issaquah Public Schools

Seattle Preparatory School

Renton School District


8th Grade Retreats take place twice a year; in September of new school year and the last week of eighth grade.

The first retreat focuses on developing leadership skills and pushes 8th grade students to take ownership of their new role as change makers and leaders at St. Joseph School.

The retreat at the end of the year is a culminating reflective experience for students. Lead by Fr. John Whitney, students engage in reflective activities, mass, and group sharing with a St. Joseph School staff member.

Service Hours

Each eighth grade student is required to complete 20 service hours before receiving their diploma in the Spring. The students are not allowed to count Service Day hours towards this commitment. Students have usually volunteered with the St Joseph Parish or other local schools. However, they have the freedom to work with any number of organizations.

Scott Hess

Scott Hess

Job Title: 7C
Kathy Marion

Kathy Marion

Titles: 8A
Charlie Wood

Charlie Wood

Titles: Math/Science