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Academic Vocabulary

Peterson Academic Vocabulary Words
Common definitions used by all staff in all departments, to help support our students with a special focus on our EL students.

ANALYZE:  To separate into smaller parts and examine for meaning

APPLY:  To put to use

CLAIM:  A statement that may be called into question

EVALUATE:  To judge or determine the worth or value of something

EVIDENCE:  Supporting data; proof

EXPLAIN:  To make clear or understandable

IDENTIFY:  To name, label, or recognize

INTERPRET:  To show meaning by using your own words

MODEL:  A demonstration or example

SIMPLIFY:  To make easier to understand

SUMMARIZE:  To state briefly without losing meaning

Academics at Peterson

Academic Policies

It is the intent of Santa Clara Unified School District to provide a high quality middle school experience.  That experience should also prepare students adequately to move on to the next grade level or to a successful high school career.  In order to move on, middle school students must maintain a 75% passing rate:  passing 18 or 24 possible quarter grades.

Every effort will be made by Peterson Middle School teachers and staff to ensure the success of our students.   In the event that we/they are unsuccessful, sixth and seventh grade students who have not met the academic standards may be retained or placed on academic probation.

Students who have not met the academic standard for eighth grade will be assigned to an alternative ninth grade program or retained in eighth grade.


An Academic Awards program is held annually honoring those students who have been nominated by their teachers in specific academic areas.


Peterson is a large school with almost 800 students.  To help students share more personal learning and social experiences, there is an interdisciplinary team at the 6th grade level.  There are grade level teams for the 7th and 8th grade.

Time is set aside every Wednesday for teachers on each team to prepare lessons and/or meet together to discuss their students and the program.  Appointments may be arranged through each individual teacher or by phoning the school at 408-423-2800.


Academic teams may plan educational field trips.  These trips are designed to recognize students for appropriate behavior during the year, build team spirit, improve students' social skills, and foster positive working relationships between students and staff.