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Middle Level Education Program Requirements

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;
  • Career and Technical Education, one and three quarters unit;
  • 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.