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our curriculum

Middle school grades 6-8

We work hard daily towards the mission of our school—to guide our students to become respectful, responsible, and productive citizens through quality academic instruction that is grounded in Catholic teachings and tradition. With you as your child’s primary and most important teacher, we are here to help you build a solid foundation of academic and leadership success.

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Academics by subject

With a focus on the study of Catholic Church teachings, core subjects, and more

Students at J.E. Cosgriff are challenged with meaningful, rigorous instruction. Click on each of the subjects below to see what the curriculum entails for the various different academia.

Language and Communication

Literacy skills are integrated into all subject areas. Teachers and staff work as a collaborative group to meet the needs of each student. Our curriculum includes:

  • English Language Arts Common Core
  • K-8 leveled reading library
  • Vocabulary Instruction
  • Step Up to Writing strategies
  • Small guided reading groups used to target students’ individual reading levels
  • Spanish language offered in grades 7-8
  • Latin grades 6
  • Mock Trial grades 7-8
  • Student Leadership Council 7-8

Religious Instruction

Religion is integrated into all subject areas. Our curriculum includes:

  • Daily prayers and intentions
  • Study of Catholic Church Liturgical calendar
  • Regularly scheduled religion classes
  • Weekly Masses on Wednesday and Holy Days
  • Visits by school pastor
  • Liturgical Choir program offered for grade 6
  • Liturgy and Music director engages students in meaningful reading and song during the celebration of the Mass
  • Sacramental preparation for First Communion, First Penance, Reconciliation and Confirmation
  • Altar Server training
  • Once a month class participation during Sunday Mass at St. Ambrose
  • Through the Circle of Grace Program, educators assist students to recognize God’s love. The goal of the Circle of Grace program is to educate and empower students to actively participate in a safe environment for themselves and others.
7th science

Math and Science

Math and Science skills are integrated into all subject areas. Teachers and staff work as a collaborative group to meet the needs of each student. Our curriculum includes:

  • Common Core Standards in Math
  • Math in Focus/Singapore Math researched based strategies designed to build mathematical understanding, reasoning, and problem solving skills through a concrete-pictorial-abstract approach.
  • NGSS-Next Generation Science Standards set the expectations for what students should be able to do. Developed by states to improve science education for all students.
  • Multiple forms of assessment give students experience with state-standardized tests. Powerful intervention tools integrated into every chapter and every lesson. Algebra readiness begins early in the program to provide students with the strong foundation they need for success in algebra.
  • 7th and 8th grade students compete in school, diocesan, and Salt Lake Valley Science and Engineering Fairs.


Technology classes meet one to two times per week. Our classrooms are equipped with smart boards, document cameras, iPads and ChromeBooks. Our technology curriculum includes:

  • Teaching students vital computer skills while supplementing the core curriculum
  • Students learn Google Classroom
  • Students learn Microsoft programs such as Word, Powerpoint, Excel, and Publisher
  • Provide research opportunities to facilitate classroom curriculum and assignments
  • CLICK HERE Middle School Chromebook Policy/User Agreement

Cultural and Fine Arts

  • Music theory and application instruction for grades K-8
  • Violin 3-5
  • Art instruction for grades K-8 once a week
  • Liturgical Choir program for grades 4-6
  • Optional Concert and Cadet Band program for grades 4-8 before school twice a week
  • Study Shakespeare’s many works with a play performance grade 8
  • After School Drama Club grades 6-7

Community Service

The J.E. Cosgriff Student Leadership Council carefully selects monthly service project for the entire school community to support. Some past projects include:

  • Thanksgiving dinner baskets for St. Patrick’s Parish
  • Collecting food and item donations for the Utah Food Bank, YWCA, and the Road Home
  • Fundraising for foundations and organizations such as the Humane Society of Utah, Homeless Youth Resource Center and Catholic Relief Services
  • Students also perform for Parish Senior groups and knit scarves and hats for the St. Ambrose Parish Giving Tree and Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Sports and Athletics

Physical education Toddler-8th is based on the national stand standards for physical education. Physical education provides cognitive content and instruction designed to develop motor skills, knowledge, and behaviors for physical activity and physical fitness. Physical education daily can provide students with the ability and confidence to be physically active for a lifetime. There are many benefits of physical education in schools. When students get physical education, they can:

  • Increase their level of physical activity.
  • Improve their grades and standardized test scores.
  • Stay on-task in the classroom.

Our students:

  • Have PE Classes once a week for grades Toddler-8
  • Participate in the Presidential Fitness Award Program for grades 4-8
  • After School Ski Program 3-8
  • Participate in Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) sanctioned volleyball, basketball, and baseball for grades 3-8
  • Can participate in afterschool Tiger Track Club in the Spring

Special Programs

Learning Resource Center: Student can receive additional help to catch up, keep up, and get ahead. Testing reading and math is available. Students who qualify receive more explicit reading instruction.

STAR Reading Program: One-on-one tutoring for reading practice. Lessons supplement classroom instructions. Students benefit from increased reading time and targeted practice.

Counseling Program: On-site Student Family Advocate available by appointment

Homework Club: Students are able to ask questions and get extra help with their homework. Homework club is available for all students in grades 4-8

MindUP is the signature program of The Goldie Hawn Foundation, a not-for-profit organization created in response to the global epidemic of childhood aggression, anxiety, depression and suicide. Based firmly in neuroscience, MindUP gives children the knowledge and tools they need to manage stress, regulate emotions and face the challenges of the 21st century with optimism, resilience and compassion.

MindUP has helped teachers create an optimistic classroom, that promotes mindful attention to oneself and others, tolerance, empathy, gratitude, and connection to others. Knowing that social emotional learning is as important for students as academic learning, the entire Cosgriff school community adopted and implemented the MindUP curriculum. Each class learned about their brains while also learning skills to become more mindful. Lessons encouraged students to allow their brains time to process the input and deal appropriately with the message. The curriculum provided creative lessons to help the students slow down and concentrate on one specific sense at a time. Students are able to take control of their emotions and feelings.

Additional Resources

We're here to help if you have any additional questions

If you have additional questions after perusing our Admissions links, please feel free to email Heather Burns at
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