Our use of the Core Knowledge® curriculum, Mountain Trail's signature program, provides our students with a sequenced specific core curriculum that helps children establish strong foundations of knowledge. Mountain Trail is the only middle school in the Paradise Valley Unified School District to provide the continuation of the Core Knowledge® curriculum offered at the elementary schools within our boundaries. 

Core Knowledge® is based on the idea that elementary and middle school students- need a solid, specific, shared core curriculum to help students establish strong foundations of knowledge, create greater fairness, and achieve higher literacy. Our goal is to increase student understanding, promote excellence and fairness in learning, increase critical thinking skills, present a diversity of perspectives, and encourage and integrate the use of technology in school. This core curriculum is outlined in detail in the Core Knowledge Sequence®, beginning on page 174.

Homeroom Advisory

Every Wednesday and Thursday we will be running our “Mentoring” modified block schedule, which allows students time to learn about organization, citizenship and community building, study skills, self-awareness, and other relevant topics as well as study hall time that afternoon in which students may finish their homework, go to their teacher's rooms to make up tests and assignments, or read/study.

Honors Core Classes

MTMS offers honors courses to students in both grade levels. The Honors Core consists of English, Science, and Social Studies at an accelerated level and the appropriate level of Math as determined by a placement exam or success in the previous course. Students in the Honors Core are held to more rigorous performance standards. Honors courses provide enriching, sophisticated and complex curriculum that engages high ability and high achieving students. Honors students must have the potential to accelerate through content standards and commit to more in-depth study. They must have a willingness to overcome obstacles and find solutions. Instruction incorporates creative and productive thinking, problem solving, critical thinking skills, research, personal development, and communication. Honors courses prepare students for high school Honors and Advanced Placement courses. It is recommended that Honors Core students possess a solid foundation in writing multiple paragraph essays and have an advanced reading level.

Honors English, Science and Social Studies are enriched and/or advanced at grade level. Students qualify for placement in the Honors Core by meeting district requirements for placement in the gifted program or by a combination of previous success in the subject area, superior performance on related achievement tests, and/or recommendation by previous teachers of the subject.

Mandarin Chinese

Mandarin Chinese 1-2 

The course is designed to meet the goals of the U.S. Standards of Foreign Language Learning to promote cultural understanding and communicative proficiency in the three modes of communication: interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational. *This course offers a hybrid platform for both face-to-face instruction and teacher-guided online learning.

Full-year course. 

Mandarin Chinese 3-4

This class is offered to 8th grade students that have successfully completed Mandarin 1-2 during their 7th grade year. The second phase of this course will continue with instruction relative to cultural understanding and communication proficiency through interpretive, interpersonal and presentational formats. The course will be based on a hybrid platforms of both face-to-face instruction and teacher-guided online learning.

Full-year course. Teacher recommendation required. 


This elective class is for the beginning piano student. Through group instruction, students will be introduced to proper piano playing technique and both written and aural music theory. Topics of study include reading music, listening to various styles of piano music, two hand playing, scales, basics of chords, ensemble playing, ear-training and sight reading.
One semester course.

Study Hall

We strive to provide our students with a comprehensive educational experience during their two years at MTMS. With that in mind, every student is provided a 40 minute block of time in order to provide assistance with their academic classes. At MTMS, this is referred to as Study Hall. This will occur every Wednesday as a part of our block schedule.

All students are expected to spend their 40 minute Study Hall time actively engaged in the pursuit of academic success. This will undoubtedly look different for each student, as they all have different needs. Teachers will use this time to meet with small groups or individual students to provide extra support in the areas of remediation, enrichment, or to clarify concepts or instructions. Students can use this time to organize their work, complete assignments, work on projects, tutor a peer, read towards their reading goal, or study for a test. The intent is to provide our students additional opportunities to work towards and achieve academic success.