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Peterson+ is an alternative 6th grade choice program.  At its inception the intent was to serve as a one year transition from a Basics approach to the eventual heterogeneous format found in Santa Clara Unified's other middle and  high schools. As the need for that is no longer there, Peterson+ exists as a choice program. 

Peterson + provides an alternative approach to 6th grade curriculum in Language Arts and Social Studies.

  • Science is taught to all 6th grade students by teachers who hold Single Subject teaching credentials in Science.
  • Math is not included.  All 6th grade students will take Common Core Math 6 as determined by our district approved math pathway.

Why Peterson+?

Peterson+ is designed for the student who wants extra challenge and rigor. Characteristics of a student that will thrive in this program include someone who is self-driven, an avid learner, wanting to rise to challenges, and able to think critically. Students in the Peterson+ Program may have extra homework.  Please consider middle school choices carefully.

Below are some additional considerations about the program to help you and your student determine if they would like to participate in this program:

  • This is not an honors program, it is an elective program

  • This is not a pathway to honors courses in 7th/8th grade — any student may apply to honors courses as offered

  • This is not altered 6th grade curriculum; all sixth-grade classes follow State and District adopted curriculum.  Rather, this program offers an extended opportunity for learning. 

Core Content Areas

Language arts and social studies (not math or science)

Physical Education (PE) and Electives (to date)

Physical Education (PE) - 5 days per week

Elective Choices - 5 days per week

  • Orchestra - strings (violin, bass, cello)

  • Band - winds (flute, saxophone, trombone) & drums

  • Exploratory - a class where students explore different topics such as art, music appreciation and technology.

6th grade students will be asked to sign up for band/orchestra in the spring.  At this time, students who do not choose music will automatically be enrolled in the exploratory class.


Below is an example of a Peterson+ student’s day:

  • Period 1 - Social Studies - Peterson+ (Homeroom Teacher)
  • Period 2 - Math - Math or Partner Teacher
  • SSR 
  • Period 3 - Science - Science Teacher
  • Period 4 - Language Arts - Peterson+ (Homeroom Teacher)
  • Period 5 - PE - (Partner Teacher)
  • Period 6 - Exploratory or Elective  - (Homeroom or Band Teacher)

More information


Families opt into the program during the Open Enrollment period as advertised by the district Enrollment Center.  

There is no student application process.

Spaces are filled via a lottery system.  The process is facilitated by the district's Enrollment Center.


Students will be assigned to Peterson+ classes through a fair and random lottery process. The Peterson+ (6th grade) lottery will open at 9 a.m. on March 18, 2024, and end at 4 p.m. on March 29, 2024. If you live outside the Peterson Middle School boundaries, before entering the Peterson+ lottery, you must first apply and be accepted for open enrollment to Peterson Middle School. 

Visit the Open Enrollment webpage for more information.