tEnglish Language Arts is a core subject all students must take. Our current program, myPerspectives, helps students explore many different avenues through a student-centered learning environment. They will learn how to analyze text, cite evidence from a text, and respond critically to their learning. In each unit students work through the process of goal setting, reflection, collaborating, presenting, and choosing and completing an independent reading selection. This is accomplished through different literary genres, multimedia presentations, essential questions, and ways to respond to text. Overall, students will develop reading, writing, and thinking skills that will help them become successful throughout college and career.
Physical education provides the opportunity to teach students about movement, strategies, teamwork, problem solving and health related fitness. This class will expose students to various physical activities, sports, and methods of fitness that can better provide enjoyment of physical activity as well as build social and cognitive skills. We strive to safely provide the means for students to enjoy physical activity, become more confident with their abilities, increase their knowledge of health related fitness, and help them find ways to continue to be physically active.
The Portola Math Department is structured around the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to guide curriculum development and assessment. Teachers work collaboratively to share experience, knowledge and resources and are committed to help all students develop their potential in mathematics and make learning accessible. Our classrooms create learning experiences that promote problem solving, higher order thinking, collaboration, and technology. These tools are used in order to prepare all students to adapt to an ever-changing society and prepare them for college and careers. In addition, students have an opportunity participate in S.T.E.M. activities, tutoring program, and Family Math/Science Night. The mathematics teachers here at Portola are committed to helping your child succeed.
History is the most interesting of all subjects! It is the story of humans, and it helps us understand how our society we live in came to be. Any time we want to understand something about our world today, we have to look back at past events. At Portola Middle School, 6th graders learn about the Ancient Civilizations of the world; 7th graders learn about life during the Middle Ages; and 8th graders learn about American history from when settlers first came to North America until the early 1900s.
In science class, students will become more aware of the natural world around them and think more like scientists. In addition to learning the multiple core ideas in physical, life, earth, and space science, students will understand the underlying themes and crosscutting concepts that are in these disciplines of science. Some of the scientific and engineering practices students will use to help build their mastery in science are: asking questions and defining problems, developing and using models, planning and carrying out investigations, and constructing explanations and designing solutions. With the use of technology in their science classes, students will learn about engineering and the applications of science. Students will discover how relevant science is to their lives and the importance of studying it.
ASB (Associated Student Body) is a very fun and educational class where you will learn leadership skills and learn to become more responsible. The ASB students organize the school dances, spirit days, pep rallies, fundraisers, and manage the school’s money. There are different positions in ASB such as, president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, dance commissioner, and commissioner of pep. ASB students also help with things around the school such as open house, parent teacher conferences, family math, and science night. If you would like to take part in any of these activities please consider joining ASB.
Art is an amazing elective! Art is a great way to express your feelings and keeps you entertained. There are multiple things you are going to be able to do - projects such as drawings, paintings, sculptures and other artwork that will be memorable. You may also be given the opportunity to paint a mural on the school wall. Each mural has been painted by students and all of them have different meanings. There are murals about famous authors, athletes and Renaissance artists and they will be painting additional murals in the future. Art is one of the most fun electives at Portola Middle School and anyone can join.
Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), is a program that helps students prepare for college. Our AVID instructors are positive role-models to our students and continue to lead our students in the right path toward college. Our AVID program helps students to achieve academic and personal goals. The AVID program assists students to maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher by having small-group tutoring group sessions twice a week and teaching students how to be organized. Our AVID program also includes field trips to local colleges, college and career activities, and guest speakers.
Our instrumental music department refines students through a high-quality music program as part of a well-rounded public education. We strive to help students enrich their talents and express themselves while fostering a lifelong appreciation for music. Our comprehensive music department offers String Orchestra (beginning and advanced), Band (beginning and advanced), and Guitar (beginning and advanced). Our hard-working music director, Mr. Rodriguez, leads our students through performances in our Winter and Spring concerts, pep rallies, Olympic Day, and in front of audiences at our local elementary and high schools and on stage at Knott’s Berry Farm in the Spring. Every student has the potential to succeed and grow their musical abilities and our program is always open to any student ready to take on the challenge of working hard and performing in our ensembles!
The yearbook class produces Portola’s annual yearbook. Students learn photo composition, basic rules of journalism, and how to create visually interesting page layouts in the school’s yearbook. Students also learn how to work in teams, which promotes the school’s motto: Matador Might! Yearbook students demonstrate Motivation, Imagination, Grit, Honor, and Teamwork in yearbook on a daily basis. Students do this by taking hundreds of photographs, and then sorting through them for the best ones to create the school’s only permanent record for the school year. If this sounds like a fun class, it's because it is!! Please consider enrolling in this interesting elective.
¡Bienvenidos a la clase de español!
The ability to communicate in a foreign language, especially Spanish, is an increasingly desired skill in our global society. We offer Spanish for Spanish Speakers and Spanish for beginners. All classes offer students a culturally enriching experience where they learn about local traditions, music, and art from Latin America and Spain. In addition, students gain knowledge and the ability to communicate about familiar topics including family, clothing, food, school, travel, and hobbies. Classes are challenging and fun, where students apply logic and problem solving which will benefit them in all of their classes and as they progress in their education.
Student will learn more about everyday technologies in STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Math). The STEAM lab helps students explore the many technological opportunities available in today’s global economy. The premise of the STEAM lab is to cultivate and capture the students’ creativity and imagination and then use hands-on experiences to apply it to real-life situations. This class will help students expand their knowledge of computers, programming, engineering, design, flight simulators, and other areas. Students will also learn about STEAM related careers such as foley artists, programmers, and architectural and engineering management. STEAM lab will help prepare students for an ever changing technology filled world.