Two-Day Electives (Semester-long)
We have a diverse offering of electives for our students to pursue all their different passions, ranging from debate to programming and politics. These courses meet twice per week for a semester:
Students will have the opportunity to read a variety of genres and discuss major themes, characters, plot development, and symbolism present in the novels they are reading. We will also discuss ways in which particular works of literature apply to our lives today.
The competitive debate class is open to all students, including those without previous speech and debate experience. The focus will be on policy debate, which is a two-member team event, although students choosing to do LD (one-person debate) or Public Forum (two-person) are also encouraged to enroll. This year's policy topic is immigration. Students will learn basic round mechanics (putting together speech documents, time management, strategic positioning of arguments, cross-examination methods) and argumentation fundamentals. Students taking this class are expected to attend the two league tournaments per semester and strongly encouraged to attend at least two additional invitational tournaments.
Electronic Music Production
Delve into music making! In the first semester students will learn about the components of music and what goes into making a song. They will use professional level recording tools and programs to produce original electronic music. Note: In the Spring semester elective, students will be introduced to live performance.
Experiencing French Culture Through Cartoons and Animated Movies
Class is conducted in English and movies are projected in French with English sub-titles. There is no need to speak French. The main objective is to discover different aesthetics, different approaches to moral or social values. Students debate, compare, draw connections and solicit knowledge they already have in different areas (history, politics, art, literature) in order to foster critical thinking, open mindedness, comprehension of other cultures, multiculturalism, etc.
Feminist Theory, Literature, and Applications
This course introduces students to feminist theory and engages students in the process of looking at social issues through the lens of contemporary (young adult-friendly) literature and other media. Topics include: what is feminism; intersectionality; recognizing social-economic, racial, and gender privileges; and everyday experiences with gender bias as told by women and girls. Students enrolling in this course should expect to complete regular reading assignments outside of class in preparation for class discussions.
Introduction to French
This class will cover basic communication with learned phrases, simple questions and answers, simple descriptions of people and things, and simple narration in the present. Four components will be covered: listening, writing, speaking, and culture.
Introduction to Python
Learn the basics of programing with the Python language. All skill levels are welcome!
Let's Build A Computer!
Have you ever wondered how a computer works? Have you ever wanted to take a computer apart to see what is inside? Lets learn how a computer works and how to build our own!
The primary focus of this course is to prepare students for the MATHCOUNTS and AMC competitions as well as other math competitions. Along with frequent preparation, we will explore topics that foster our natural curiosity in mathematics and science. Students interested in mathematics are strongly encouraged.
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Music Performance and Songwriting
In this course, students will learn basic skills around general music theory, write original songs and play them as a group. There will be opportunities for students to write original music individually and compose a few songs as a collaborative group. Students will study song structure, musical elements and analyze lyrics throughout the semester. Students need to have prior knowledge and experience on at least one instrument (including voice).
The Public Speaking class is open to all students including those without previous speech experience. The course focuses on preparing students to compete in individual speech events including extemporaneous speaking, impromptu, original oratory, poetry, dramatic interpretation, humorous interpetation, and declamation. Students will also be trained in student Congress and S.P.A.R. (Spontaneous Argumentation). Students will work on speech construction with an emphasis on effective pacing and thematic development. Students will be taught effective presentation techniques including voice control, eye contact, facial and hand gestures, posture and audience engagement. Students who take this class are expected to prepare in two different event areas and to attend a minimum of two tournaments per semester. Most tournaments are held on Saturdays beginning at 8 a.m. and lasting all day.
The Wild West
In this elective, students will analyze sources, watch films and complete projects that illustrate the importance of the West in the American culture and mindset. We will explore the legendary traits and experiences of fictitious and historical characters who blazed the western trails of the 19th century while crafting characters and legends of our own.