Academic Courses

English Language Arts

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.



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.

Physical Education

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.