Electives

Students in Junior High have the opportunity to take a number of Electives each year. Our goal is for students to be able to participate in those classes that most interest them. To that end, when students register for classes, they will be asked to prioritize their choices. We will then use that information and work to ensure that students have as close to their ideal schedule as possible. Please note that scheduling and the selection of certain Electives will limit some choices.

Guidelines for Electives:

While students will take Electives each year, state and accreditation standards and TNS graduation requirements mandate certain classes will take up some elective slots.

The state of Arkansas requires all students to take at least one online course before graduation. Students are expected to complete their Health course online to meet both requirements at once.

Art

Graphic Design I

Grades 7 and up

Prerequisites: None

This course introduces the interaction of text and image and the fundamental components of graphic communication. Students will develop and hone skills in working with text and image as they create solutions to a series of design problems. Visual literacy will be increased through exposure to contemporary art and design issues and graphic design history. Students will be expected to expand their proficiency in all aspects of the design process, including the use of formal design principles, type as image, creative brainstorming, conceptualizing, critical thinking, collaboration, and presentation. Students will also examine graphic art as a component of contemporary society and culture and develop design skills, using programs such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.


Visual Arts

Grades 7 and up

Prerequisites: None

This course introduces students to art-making strategies in a variety of forms, including mixed media (combinations of traditional and experimental art materials), drawing, painting, and printmaking. Through a series of studio assignments, students will learn to generate creative ideas, explore materials and techniques, and develop artwork that communicates their ideas. Students will also develop an appreciation for art history and contemporary art from exposure to artists and art movements throughout time.


Graphic Design II

Grades 9 and up

Prerequisites: Graphic Design I

Graphic Design II is the second course in the Graphic Design curriculum. It is an intermediate level course that expands the skills and knowledge acquired in Graphic Design I. Knowledge of and exposure to contemporary design issues and graphic design history will be an important component of this course. Students will be expected to expand their proficiency in all aspects of the design process, including creative brainstorming, conceptualizing, critical thinking, collaboration, and presentation. The course emphasizes practical assignments that examine applied problem solving and professional solutions for graphic designers using typography, image, and symbols. Specific themes/topics for the course include visual grouping and hierarchy, visual identity development, and application of Gestalt theory. Students will develop design skills using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Acceptance into Graphic Design II requires completion of Graphic Design I.


Health

Health

Grade 9 and up

Prerequisites: None

Notes: Required for Graduation

Health and Wellness is a one-semester course that provides content and learning experiences in nutrition, disease prevention, human growth and development, healthy life skills, personal health and safety, community health and promotion, decision-making skills, interpersonal communication skills, and information regarding the use and abuse of medications, alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. The course content focuses on personal health and wellness and the practice of health-enhancing behaviors to avoid or reduce health risks. This course encompasses the Health and Wellness Content Standards defined by the Arkansas Physical Education and Health Curriculum Framework.

Music

Ensemble

Grades 7 and up

Prerequisites: None

Ensemble is a beginning instruments course that teaches students how to perform using musical instruments such as flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, and percussion. Students learn the skills necessary to play an instrument with others. No previous experience is required. The New School will provide each student with his/her own instrument. In this class, students will have opportunities to perform for their friends & family, compose songs to record in a studio, and play music from genres ranging from Classical to Rock.


Songwriting & Composition

Grades 7 and up

Prerequisites: None

In Songwriting, students will explore the inner workings of music and learn the skills necessary to compose music for any instrument in any genre or style of music. In this class students will compose their own music, learn how to record songs using various pieces of technology, create film scores for movies, and, finally, have their music performed for a live audience by professional musicians.


Songwriting & Composition II

Grades 9 and up

Prerequisites: Songwriting & Composition


In Songwriting II, students will learn increasingly advanced techniques for music composition. Areas of study will include compositional techniques for the classical and modern era, working with professional audio software, and a more in depth look at music composition in the professional world, i.e. commercial music and music for television/film. The semester will conclude with a performance of the student's compositions performed by professional musicians.


Oral Communications

Oral Communication

Grades 9 and up

Prerequisites: None

Notes: Required for Graduation

Oral communication focuses on listening, speaking, and presentation skills. This class covers developing confidence, the communication process, guidelines for becoming a better listener and speaker, understanding an audience, how to research and write a speech, and how to use visual aids to improve the presentational value of a speech. Areas of study include Informative, Persuasive, and Demonstrative Speaking as well as casual speaking and competitive speaking.

Technology

App Development

Grades 9 and up

Prerequisites: Python Programming

Students will learn app development for iOS using the Swift programming language. Skills will include: setting up the development environment, mastering fundamental data types and operators, and building the visual interface. Once the basics have been mastered, students will work to reverse engineer basic app types to understand complex actions and then use those skills to build and launch their own apps.


Python Programming

Grades 7 and up

Prerequisites: None

In Programming, students will build on the concepts from 6th grade technology class, by learning to plan and build programs with Python. The course will center on learning the syntax of the language, as well as the structure of complex games and applications. For the final course project, students will build and publish a game.


Web Design

Grades 7 and up

Prerequisites: None

Web Design class will provide a basic understanding of the methods and techniques for developing a simple to moderately complex website. Using the current standard web page languae (HTML), students will be instructed on creating and maintaining a simple website. Students will also use both CSS and JavaScript to add style and usability to their sites.


AP Computer Science A

Grades 9 and up

Prerequisites: Python Programming

The design and implementation of computer programs to solve problems involve skills that are fundamental to the study of computer science. This includes the development and analysis of algorithms and fundamental data structures, and the use of logic and formal methods. Computer Science A emphasizes object-oriented programming methodology with an emphasis on problem solving and algorithm development and is meant to be the equivalent of a first-semester course in computer science. We utilize the Java programming language and focus on the basic principles needed to design and build applications.

Woodworking

Grades 8 and up

Prerequisites: None

This course is designed to expose students to the fundamental elements and skills of basic woodworking. Students will understand the safe, effective and efficient use of both hand and power tools while emphasizing craftsmanship, planning and finishing. As students progress, they will create various woodworking projects that reinforce and challenge skills while exploring areas of functional object making.

Interest Dependent Electives

Creative Writing

Grades 7 and up

Prerequisites: None

In Creative Writing, students will refine their skills in creating poetry, fiction, scripts, and creative nonfiction. Over the course of the semester each student will produce a digital portfolio, which will constitute the capstone project for the class. The class will be focused on the entirety of the writing process, including conceptualization, pre-writing, drafting, revision, and, most importantly, workshopping.


Introduction to Drama

Grades 7 and up

Prerequisites: None

Introduction to Drama will give students an overview of the basic elements of both acting and the technical side of theatre. Students will learn about a variety of theatre related topics including, but not limited to, acting techniques, script writing, script reading, line memorization, improv, and technical theatre. Students will also produce scripts for a “black box” theatre production. These will be entered into a competition, the winner of which will be produced during the spring semester, utilizing students from throughout the school.


Publishing

Grades 7 and up

Prerequisites: None

A combination of yearbook and journalism gives students the opportunity to create and run a student newspaper, while also building the all-school yearbook.