Preparation for greatness

For most parents, private middle school is often not only about the time that their children spend there but also where it will lead, ensuring a solid foundation for a successful future, and gaining confidence in knowing who they are and where they will thrive.

Lourdes middle schoolers thrive in a culture of belonging, collaboration, and excellence, knowing they are loved and secure in taking risks to find answers.

private middle school: six graduating 8th grade students in graduation gowns with stoles in their house colors (yellow, purple, blue, orange, green, and red)

What to expect

Our middle school serves the unique needs of the middle school student by providing a departmentalized block schedule with high school credit opportunities in six different subject areas (Earth Science, World History, Spanish I, Spanish II, Algebra I, and Geometry). A cross-curricular team approach is used in our middle school program. Six-grade students have a dedicated study skills class to learn time management skills, note-taking skills, and gain self-confidence. Lourdes students are ultimately prepared in every way for quality high school programs.

The middle school curriculum is enhanced through block scheduling which allows for hands-on experiences through math and science labs and integration among the disciplines.  Leadership, decision-making, and critical thinking skills are developed through participation in community service, Student Council, science fairs, art shows, prayer services, and public speaking.

Religion class is taught as a separate block, and all students attend Mass each Wednesday, where middle schoolers have the ability to assist in leading the service.

Middle school students complete 20 hours of community service as part of their Religion class each school year as well as engage in public speaking and team building exercises. Middle school students also receive the honor and responsibility of mentoring a student in lower school as their prayer buddy.

They are also invited to consider leadership opportunities through our House Council or as a Mass helper, safety, or flag assistant.

Sixth grade students receive instruction in a sampling of resource classes through the year – PE, Technology, Music, Study Skills, Art, and Spanish.

Electives for 7th and 8th grade students include PE, Spanish I & II (for high school credit), and student-created classes (recent choices have included STEM, Engineering, Computer Science, Ceramics, Art, Leadership, Digital Art, and Music/Drama).

We believe recess provides an opportunity for middle school students to exercise, interact socially with friends, and clear their heads. Recess is an extended midday break that prepares the student for more study in the completion of their academic day.

Field Trips
When possible, teachers arrange for field trips and excursions which enhance the curriculum. These are usually taken during school hours and provide more context than the classroom alone. The outings are planned educational activities designed for students in their particular grade level. These are exciting events that help keep education exciting and fun for all students.

Homework is an important part of student development and is assigned on a regular basis at an age-appropriate level. The assigned work may be written, studied, or researched and is to reinforce the skills developed during the day. Teachers will coordinate the completion dates of long-term projects.

Overall evaluation of each student is based on teacher observation of the student’s daily work, class participation, effort, and performance on teacher prepared tests. Summative assessments include projects, portfolios, quizzes, and tests.  Parents of middle school students receive report cards at the end of each quarter. Middle school students in high school credit classes also take semester exams in December and May.

Grades 6-8 use numeric (percentage) grades in all subjects, which can make them eligible for the school honor roll. In addition, report cards include indicators for effort and skill assessment. 

We do not participate in SOL testing. Our students in Grades 2-8 are assessed through the NWEA MAP Growth program in fall, winter, and spring. This math and reading assessment provides the teachers and parents the feedback necessary to see proper progression throughout their school years.

Our small middle school allows for huge individual growth, personalized attention, and leadership opportunities.

Our capstone year leaves your student very well-prepared for high school, wherever they might go. See the entire Lourdes journey here!

Click above to the Class of 2024 Living Stations of the Cross presentation

Highly prepared leaders

of Lourdes' 8th graders are accepted to one of their top choice high schools.
35 %

After graduation, our students spread out across Richmond to our area Catholic schools, private independent schools, specialty centers, and public school programs. With local area high schools reporting that Lourdes students are among the most prepared for success, our graduates have a seamless transition to high school, continuing on to do amazing things for the world.

97% of 8th grade students that apply to a Governor’s or private school or specialty center are accepted to one of their top choices. The best-kept secret about our middle school is the high school consultations and conversations between students and their teachers. Our teachers are invested in helping your child take the next right step in their education.
Lourdes graduates are eligible to receive scholarships for high school tuition at Benedictine and St. Gertrude, among other schools. Many recent years have seen a Lourdes 8th grader receive highly competitive four-year private high school scholarships from The Steward School and Trinity Episcopal School!

Middle School course and elective pathway

Grade 6

  • Language Arts (everyday)
  • Math 
  • Life Science
  • US History to 1900
  • Religion
  • Elective Wheel (Art, Music, PE, Spanish/Technology)

Grade 7

  • Language Arts (everyday)
  • Math (Math 7, Pre-Algebra, Algebra I-HS Credit)
  • Physical Science
  • US History 1900 to Present
  • Religion
  • Physical Education
  • Electives (Spanish I-HS Credit, Art, Technology, STEM, Music)

Grade 8

  • Language Arts (everyday)
  • Math (Pre-Algebra, Algebra I-HS Credit, Geometry-HS Credit)
  • Earth Science (HS Credit)
  • World History I (HS Credit)
  • Religion
  • Physical Education
  • Electives (Spanish I or II-HS Credits, Art, Technology, STEM, Music)


Counseling on high school placement


Apply for MIddle School:

Preparing for high school and beyond


What are the defining features of a Lourdes graduate?

Showing Love:

  • A discerning believer formed in faith who celebrates and recognizes the signs and sacred mystery of God’s presence
  •  A compassionate individual who sees the need for and benefits of a diverse society
  • A caring member of family, school, and community
  • A responsible citizen of good character who promotes peace and justice


Lifelong Learning:

  • A reflective and critical thinker who solves problems, makes responsible decisions, and is able to adapt to a changing world
  • A self-directed learner who develops and demonstrates their God-given potential
  • A well-rounded person who recognizes that there are many paths to success and opportunities in their future


Leading the Way:

  • An effective communicator who writes and listens honestly and sensitively and responds critically
  • A comfortable public speaker who is able to share information on their thoughts and views with others in a meaningful way
  • A collaborative teammate who respects the thoughts and feelings of all and contributes to the common good

A Parent Perspective

Megan S.Class of '22 Parent
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My son, Matthew, attended Lourdes for his eighth grade year. You can imagine this would cause many kids anxiety coming into a new school at the end of middle school. Many of his classmates had established relationships for years, so we were unsure how Matt would adjust. In a short time, he had a sweet, friend group, formed relationships with staff and found his place at Lourdes. Though his experience may have differed from others because he was there for such a short time, there is no doubt that his short time was impactful. I have been an educator for twenty years, and I currently teach high school. Besides the love and support Lourdes’ staff offered Matt, the rigor was also evident. Matt wrote often and was challenged to explain his rationale. In a smaller school, these opportunities for mastery are plentiful. Overall, Lourdes prepared Matt for Atlee, not just academically, but they grew him spiritually and emotionally as well. I highly recommend Lourdes to any family who wonders if one year can make a difference- it will.

More Details

Click here to see the full middle school curriculum. 

Have Questions?

We welcome your questions about our middle school curriculum and opportunities for your student to excel at Lourdes.

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