MIDDLE SCHOOL ELECTIVES | 2020 – 2021
*Condensed list for 1st semester
We are working to finalize schedules for the fall and, as part of that process is registration for elective, or Core Plus (Core+), classes.
In an A-B schedule, it is critical to focus on essential content and to not overwhelm students with multiple subjects. We understand “critical” to be English, Math, Social Studies, and Science, with Religion, taught in conjunction with prayer and reflection activities. Languages; math assistance and acceleration; safe music offerings, and science-related coursework are the important elements of our Core+ offerings. Our Study Hall elective allows students to complete their work so they can go into their non-class day with greater readiness and confidence. Our Middle School hybrid schedule also requires flexibility, which is supported by an early release option for those families who prefer their child to leave school when core classes are dismissed.
Middle school electives for the 2020-21 school year will all be included in both the A Day and B Day schedules during the 6th and 7th periods. Our foreign language and Music Theory courses run for the full school year, and the remaining courses are offered for the first semester only. Electives for 2nd semester will be organized in January 2021.
Every effort will be made to get each student in a class of their choosing, but classes do in some instances fill up. Please work with your middle school student to review the attached course description document and then go to our Elective Survey to choose 3 elective classes. Our registration team will review each student’s choices and balance them with class availability.
Please complete the survey with your student’s selections by Monday, July 6, 2020.
We continue to work with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Department of Health about the possibility of expanding our elective offerings for the second half of the year.
As always, don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.
FRENCH 1 (Madame O’Reilly) This class will be a conversation-based class for students to learn elementary, conversational French. French 1 is also designed to introduce the student to the French language and culture, including art, geography, and history. The student will be able to communicate at a basic level in real-life situations both orally and in writing and will be able to understand simple written texts, songs, and conversations. Students will use various forms of technology to gather information necessary to complete individual and team projects and/or activities. French 1 is a full-year course.
FRENCH 2 (Madame O’Reilly) This class will be a conversation-based class for students to expand on their first year of French studies. French 2 is also designed to expand grammar, vocabulary, and conversational French, and expanding studies of culture, including poetry, art, geography, and history. Students will begin to read at a more advanced level and will focus on multiple tenses and the formality of language. Students will use various forms of technology to gather information necessary to complete individual and team projects and/or activities. French 2 is a full-year course, and completion of French 1 or a teacher recommendation is a prerequisite.
INTRO TO STEM ( Mr. Albaugh ) This exciting elective will engage highly-motivated, independent thinkers in research, testing, and refinement of solutions to global and creative challenges. Applying both the engineering design process and environmental awareness, students will independently and collaboratively tackle challenges that could potentially improve living standards and solve answers to community and world-wide problems. A specific supply list will be sent to those students enrolled in STEM.
MATH LAB (Mrs. Johnson) This self-guided, non-homework class offers teacher support and assistance to students seeking extra resources in order to excel in their core math classes.
MUSIC THEORY (Mrs. Lewis) Music Theory is offered for those students who want to bring their musicianship to the next level and further develop skills in reading and notating music. The goal is to acquire mastery of the rudiments of musical theory: key signatures, clefs, major and minor scales, intervals, triads, diatonic 7th chords, and modes. Also includes a study into the history of western music and music in liturgy, foreign languages, the physics of sound, the physiology of the musician, cultural geography, music arranging, literature, and ethnomusicology. Student musicians of all disciplines (vocal, string, wind/brass, piano, percussion) are encouraged to take this engaging course to continue their musical journey. This is a full-year elective.
SPANISH 1 and SPANISH 2 ( Señora Gasper ) Would you like to communicate in another language? Here is your opportunity! Research shows that our brains are more open to learning a second language while we are young. Learning Spanish does take effort. The instructor will help students step outside their comfort zones and challenge themselves in new ways. In groups, students will practice the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing as much as possible. Class activities will build upon existing language skills in both English and Spanish, emphasizing vocabulary and expressions useful in basic conversation and beyond. Students will practice language skills while exploring the history, traditions, and geography of the Spanish-speaking world. The class will also play games, watch videos, host guest speakers, celebrate Latin American holidays, and have fun with music, art, and small cooking projects. Expect 15-20 minutes of Spanish homework 4 days a week, usually interactive practice online, writing exercises, or studying.
Spanish 1 and 2 are full-year courses. The two-year sequence is designed to allow students to enroll in second-year Spanish classes as high school freshmen. Spanish 2 assumed Spanish 1 has been completed. To begin Spanish 2 without Spanish 1 completion, a teacher recommendation is required.
SPANISH 3-ADVANCED SPANISH ( Señora Gasper ) This class will offer an uninterrupted sequence from Spanish 2 into high school Spanish focusing on the further development of oral and written use of Spanish utilizing the grammar and vocabulary learned in Spanish 1 and 2. Students should expect a significant demand for self-direction through online language programs including DuoLingo and Rosetta Stone. Each semester there will be a culminating group oral presentation on the culture and geography of Spanish-speaking countries. Advanced Spanish will be scheduled concurrently with Spanish 2 but students will often work in the computer lab. Lunch-time class meetings with the teacher will be scheduled 3-4 times per month. Advanced Spanish is a full-year class and will require a teacher recommendation and/or completion of Spanish 2.
STUDY HALL (Faculty) Supervision will be available for self-directed students who desire the opportunity to work independently on school work.
UKULELE INSTRUCTION (Mrs. Lewis) Start playing your favorite songs on the ukulele in no time! This course is designed with the complete beginner in mind, although those with prior band, orchestra, or choir skills will really enjoy getting in on the fun. This class will provide the student with the tools and guidance necessary to start playing with relative ease, including some of these most important skills for any musician: how to hold and tune the instrument, chords and fingerings, strumming patterns, rhythm, and tempo, reading music notation, and basic music theory. This elective can be taken for one or two semesters.
School ukuleles are available for participants’ use, however, students may choose to obtain their own instrument. Information on selecting an appropriate instrument will be provided for all who register for the class.