7th & 8th Grades


The Middle School years are a time of transition.  Anchor provides challenging Middle School courses, which continue our interactive, Classical approach to learning but challenge students to begin thinking at a deeper level and owning their learning.  These 7th & 8th grade years will prepare our students for the rigors and responsibilities that await them in the High School years and beyond.


To go directly to a course description, click on the course names below.

For easy viewing, click here for a Printable Middle/High School Schedule

For information on tuition and fees, clickHERE!

*In addition to the course and material fees listed below, each family will be invoiced for annual registration, building, and administrative fees* 

Middle School CLASSES

Let's Write About Maryland History!
INTRO to Chemistry & Physics


Middle and High School CLASSES

Visual Art: Tools of the Trade 1 (FALL)Fitness AnchorIEW Writing (7th-9th Grade)
Visual Art: Tools of the Trade 2 (SPRING)Photography(8th+)    Mapping the USA by Heart
Foundations of Pre-Algebra
Public Speaking
Boot Camp
ASL: American Sign Language
Lights, Camera, Action!


TUTOR:  Trisha Pellegrino

REQUIRED TEXTSApologia Exploring Creation with Anatomy and Physiology

CLASS LENGTH:  90 mins./32 weeks

CLASS TIME:  Tuesdays 1:00-2:30



COURSE DESCRIPTION: Human Anatomy and Physiology is a laboratory-based course that investigates the human body's structure and function. Topics covered will include the basic organization of the body and major body systems and the impact of diseases on certain systems.  This course will include dissections, microscope use, short oral presentations,  and hands-on activities to reinforce learning. Students will be using the textbook as a foundational resource, and the instructor will provide additional learning resources.  

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TUTOR:  Trisha Pellegrino

REQUIRED TEXT Apologia Chemistry and Physics Text and Journal Link

CLASS LENGTH:  90 mins./32 weeks

CLASS TIME:  Tuesdays 10:30-12:00


HOMEWORK LEVEL:  Low to Moderate

GRADE LEVEL: 7th-8th Grades

COURSE DESCRIPTION:   In this course, students will study the basic building blocks of creation, atoms, and molecules, and then journey through simple chemicals, the laws of motion, and energy in its many forms, before discovering concepts of electricity and magnetism.  Most of the class time will be used to review the topic, labs, and hands-on activities to reinforce the concepts.  Homework will include reading, review activities, and chapter quizzes.  Grades will be based on homework, lab participation, and chapter quizzes.        

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TUTOR:  Jessica Kruse 

CLASS LENGTH:  60 minutes twice a week

CLASS TIMES:  Tuesday 2:30-3:30; Thursday 9:00-10:00


HOMEWORK LEVEL:  Students must complete homework at least 3 days a week outside of Anchor class time.

PRE-REQUISITE:  Students should be working at a 6th-7th grade leve. If you are unsure if your student is ready, please email Caroline Allie at [email protected].com

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This class will focus on the skills your students need to prepare for Pre-Algebra. Two to three new skills will be taught each week, and the tutor will work closely with students to ensure comprehension of new information.   Students must complete assignments outside of class to keep up with the pace of the course.  During class time, students will be working independently and in groups and instructed to maximize involvement and understanding. Topics reviewed and reinforced will include:  positive & negative numbers, combining terms, equation & inequality solving, graphing, linear equations, and beginning geometry.

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TUTOR:  Cathy Backhaus

PREREQUISITE: Because this level of IEW moves at a more rapid pace, it is recommended that a student who is new to IEW be able to write an organized paragraph with a clear topic sentence and complete body sentences before enrolling in this course.  If there is uncertainty about the placement of a 7th grader in an IEW class, it would be beneficial to speak with Mrs. Backhaus before registering. 

REQUIRED TEXT & MATERIALS:  IEW (Institute for Excellence in Writing) U.S. History-Based Writing Lessons, Second Edition, November 2019 by Lori Verstegen  (Student Book Only)  Please note that this is a revised edition.

CLASS LENGTH:  90 mins./32 weeks

CLASS TIME:  Tuesdays 9:00-10:30


HOMEWORK LEVEL:  Approximately 30-45 minutes daily; varies from student to student.

GRADE LEVEL: 7th-9th Grades

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This class will develop composition, grammar, and vocabulary skills while students write about U.S. history. Incrementally, instruction will cover all the IEW models of structure and elements of style, including grammar rules, vocabulary, and stylistic techniques. We will be writing narrative stories, poetry, research papers, critiques, formal five-paragraph essays with proper formatting, and summarizing references. Daily journal entries to provide practice of written expression will be assigned every other week throughout the year.  Also, we will complete weekly FIX-IT Grammar editing worksheets, which will boost the students’ general ability to communicate through the written word.

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TUTOR:  Gayla Kingston

REQUIRED TEXTSTBD by the instructor

CLASS LENGTH:  90 mins./32 weeks

CLASS TIME:  Tuesdays 9:00-10:30



COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This class will explore nonfiction and fiction genres of Literature.  During the Fall semester, students will utilize essays, speeches, autobiographies, and biographies to explore nonfiction. Students will choose a biography to read and develop a presentation for the class at the Fall semester conclusion. They will also be expected to write a variety of essay types in the Fall semester. During the Spring semester, the focus will shift to fiction as we explore drama, historical fiction, science fiction, and mystery genres. Students will explore creative writing and literary elements in the Spring semester. Goals for this course include familiarization with the two main categories of literature and their respective literary works. Students will also have the opportunity to develop brainstorming techniques for different varieties of writing and presentation preparation and delivery. Students will be expected to complete weekly homework assignments and to read selections in advance of class when required. 

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TUTOR: Becky Van Rees- [email protected]


1.) A History of US: From Colonies to Country 1735 - 1791 by Joy Hakim

2.) A History of US: The New Nation 1789 - 1850 by Joy Hakim

3.) Our Constitution Rocks! by Juliette Turner

CLASS LENGTH: 90 mins. /32 weeks

CLASS TIME: Thursdays 1:00


HOMEWORK LEVEL: Moderate to heavy

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Students in this course will investigate the political and cultural forces that made America…America. This course will offer students the opportunity to investigate historical questions by analyzing primary documents. We will take a Socratic approach as we explore U.S. history from the Mayflower Compact to the Civil War seeds. Students will learn to look deeper into text and examine history for themselves through close reading, contextualizing, and collaboration. Students will demonstrate their understandings through rich oral discussions, writing, independent research, historical simulations, blog posts, and digital projects.

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TUTOR:  Nikki Phillips


CLASS LENGTH:  90 mins./32 weeks

GRADE LEVEL: 7th-8th Grades

CLASS TIME:  Thursday 1:00-2:30



COURSE DESCRIPTION: This class can be used as an English and History credit. This course will help students develop and build on their essay researching and writing skills. We will cover thesis statements, paragraph development, and transitions. We will also work on the fundamentals of writing.  The assignments will offer structure autonomy to give the writing purpose. The best part is all of our assignments will allow students to focus on Maryland and its rich history. We will accomplish this through written resources and field trips. These trips will require parent chaperones, and some will require admission fees.

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TUTOR: Dave Sylvain

REQUIRED TEXTS: TBD by the instructor

CLASS LENGTH:  90 mins./16 weeks

CLASS TIME:  Thursdays 9:00-10:30


HOMEWORK LEVEL:  Light to Moderate

Description:In this semester-long course, get hands-on experience with lighting, cameras, mics, and editing software so that you can start producing your own videos with confidence. This introduction to the principles of filmmaking will give you a solid foundation to build on as a hobby, a side hustle, or even professionally!

*A laptop with 16gb of RAM highly recommended, but not required.

Taught by David Sylvain. David is the Creative Pastor at NEWLIFE Church overseeing all communications, creative arts, and online elements of the ministry at NEWLIFE

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TUTOR:  Cathy Backhaus

TEXT USED BY TUTOR ONLY:  Mapping the USA by Heart by David Smith.  The student does not need to purchase the text.

REQUIRED MATERIALS:  Each student will need an atlas, which the tutor will order. 

CLASS LENGTH:  60 mins./32 weeks

GRADE LEVEL: 6th-12 Grades

CLASS TIME:  Tuesdays 3:00-4:00


Please note that a large portion of the Materials Fee will be used to purchase a complete set of student maps for each student and the graphing paper used for this course.


GRADE LEVEL: 6th-12th Grades

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  Students will learn to read and create maps of the world through David Smith's Mapping the USA by Heart.  This will be a hands-on class with students learning how to understand maps and will be able to create their own world map by the end of the year.  For more information, please refer to www.mapping.com. (No purchase necessary)

TUTOR: Kim Stolarik


CLASS LENGTH:  90 mins./32 weeks

CLASS TIME:  Thursdays 10:30-12:00



COURSE DESCRIPTION: Computer Science Fundamentals, designed by code.org, is a comprehensive introduction for students with no prior experience with computer programming. Some topics covered include Digital Citizenship, Sequencing, Loops, Events, Impacts of Computing, Binary Numbers, Data, and many other skills. We will use hands-on activities to introduce abstract concepts concretely before moving to the computer! Students will need a computer for the class that meets the requirements listed by code.org to run their program and videos. For technical requirements, please refer to the Code.org website.

TUTOR: William Pellegrino

REQUIRED TEXT:  Beginning Public Speaking Student Work pack link to textbook here!

CLASS LENGTH:  90 mins./16 weeks

GRADE LEVEL: 7th–12th Grades

CLASS TIME:  Thursdays 9:00-10:30



COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will provide students with a foundation in basic public speaking skills applicable to future courses and careers. Skills covered will include constructive critique, expository speeches, content & delivery, impromptu speaking, persuasive oratory, and current events. Students will practice writing and presenting various speeches to their peers to further their public speaking skills. Homework will include writing, memorizing, and preparing speeches.

TUTOR: Angela Somers

REQUIRED TEXT:  Provided by the tutor

CLASS LENGTH:  60 mins Tuesday and Thursday

GRADE LEVEL: 7th–12th Grades

CLASS TIME:  Tuesdays 2:30-3:30 Thursdays 2:30-3:30



COURSE DESCRIPTION: The primary focus of the course is to introduce students to American Sign Language.  In addition to learning ASL, students will be exposed to the fundamental aspects of the Deaf community.  By following the historical development of the Deaf community in America as its foundation, this interdisciplinary course will explore Deaf history, Deaf culture & community, American Sign Language, literature, and art.  In level 1, students should greet others, describe basic activities, types of weather, basic daily and weekly routines, tell where you live, name family members, friends, types of relationships, and I am happy to be adding Christian signs!  

TUTOR: Tina Jenkins

REQUIRED EQUIPMENT:  A computer with photo editing software of the student's choice; a DSLR Camera (IMPORTANT:  Point-and-shoot cameras are not allowed. The camera must have manual mode.) 

CLASS LENGTH:  60 mins./32 weeks 

CLASS TIME:  Thursdays 10:30-12:00 


HOMEWORK LEVEL:  Light to Moderate

GRADE LEVEL: 8th-12th Grades

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This is a fun, hands-on class with lots of activity.  We will begin the year with the history of photography and quickly progress to using our cameras in manual mode. Students will be required to upload images weekly to a class site.  We will work through photography basics in the first part of the year by composing technique photos. These will be compiled in an album created by the student on the Shutterfly website.  In the last part of the year, the students will collaborate to create a photo story utilizing their techniques. This photo story will also be created on the Shutterfly site, and a copy will be printed for each student to use in their portfolio review.  We will end the year with a photography exhibition. Each student will be required to submit two 8x10 matted prints for this end-of-year event.  This class will be graded by the tutor to encourage students to complete their assignments on time.  Important Note:  Students will be required to print their own album containing their technique photos at their own cost from Shutterfly.com.  The tutor will print the album with the collaborative photo story for the class. It will be an additional cost at the end of the year and depends on the length of the album and other factors, but the cost will be kept to a minimum.

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TUTOR:  Kayla Handly

REQUIRED MATERIALS:  Comfortable clothing and sneakers

CLASS LENGTH:  40 mins

CLASS TIME:  Thursday 2:30-3:15, 3:15-4:00 

COURSE FEE:  $85/semester

GRADE LEVEL: 7th-12th Grades

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This class will be 40 minutes of high-energy and fun-filled activity, starting with a dynamic warm-up, a series of exercises, and ending with games. By making exercise fun, students get excited to move around. Moving around results in becoming physically stronger and more energetic. It's a great first step on the road to cultivating a lifetime of health and fitness!

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TUTOR:  Kayla Handly

REQUIRED MATERIALS:  Comfortable clothing and sneakers

CLASS LENGTH:  40 mins.

CLASS TIME: Thursday 1:00-1:45; 1:45-2:30 

COURSE FEE:  $150/semester


GRADE LEVEL: 7th-12th Grades

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  Fitness Bootcamp is for anyone wanting to improve strength and stamina for any activity. This fun workout consists of sports drills, lightweights, jump rope, boxing, circuits, fun games, and interval training. A total of six individuals will be in this session for a more personal training experience.

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TUTOR: Laura Thompson

REQUIRED MATERIALS: The tutor will send a supply list via email.

CLASS LENGTH:  90 mins./17 weeks Spring semester

CLASS TIME:  Thursdays: 9:00- 10:30 or 10:30-12:00



GRADE LEVEL: 7th-12th Grades

COURSE DESCRIPTION: A deeper exploration of the creative process with tools of drawing, painting, wood-burning, and clay.                                            return to top

TUTOR: Laura Thompson

REQUIRED MATERIALS: The tutor will send a supply list via email.

CLASS LENGTH: 90 mins./17 weeks Spring semester

CLASS TIME: Thursdays: 9:00- 10:30 or 10:30-12:00



GRADE LEVEL: 7th-12th Grades

COURSE DESCRIPTION: A deeper exploration of the creative process with tools of pen and ink, paper collage, printing, and weaving.

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