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About Electives at St. Michael

St. Michael is proud to offer a range of career-technical education options and electives that help prepare students for their futures. St. Michael's electives are meant to complement our curriculum offerings and allow students to hone their creativity and unique passions. The purpose of such variety is to give ample opportunity to students to develop their skills and to make the school a stimulating and inviting place. 

Publications (Yearbook) – CP

Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 11 – 12
Prerequisite: Teacher approval
Description: A course designed as a basic course in journalistic style and technique, including the newspaper skills of writing, make-up, and copy reading. The intent of the course is the production of the quarterly school paper, with emphasis on developing specific skills for writing news stories, editorials, sports stories, and advertising copy.

Percussion Ensemble – CP

Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 9 – 12
Prerequisite: Student should be a percussionist
Description: Open to all intermediate and advanced percussionists. The class is guaranteed to keep percussionists motivated after the marching season and maximize individual and group potential through small ensemble work and winter drumline.

Advanced Band – CP

Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 9 – 12
Prerequisite: Beginning or Intermediate Band; audition and/or recommendation.
Description: Open to all wind and brass players who have completed a beginning or intermediate band course. The band director will fill, by audition or by recommendation, positions in this top band. Students must make an appointment with the band director for a recommendation and/or audition material.

Jazz Ensemble – CP

Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 9 – 12
Prerequisite: Audition
Description: Open to advanced instrumentalists who are interested in Jazz. Jazz band music is generally scored for saxophone, trombone, trumpet, and rhythm section, and participation is limited to these instruments. Students will work on jazz ensemble music, theory, and improvisation in addition to concert and marching band responsibilities.

Percussion Ensemble II

Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 10 – 12
Prerequisite: Student should be a percussionist
Description: Open to all intermediate and advanced percussionists. The class is guaranteed to keep percussionists motivated after the marching season and maximize individual and group potential through small ensemble work and winter drumline.

Percussion Ensemble III

Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 11 – 12
Prerequisite: Student should be a percussionist
Description: Open to all intermediate and advanced percussionists. The class is guaranteed to keep percussionists motivated after the marching season and maximize individual and group potential through small ensemble work and winter drumline.

Percussion Ensemble IV

Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 12
Prerequisite: Student should be a percussionist
Description: Open to all intermediate and advanced percussionists. The class is guaranteed to keep percussionists motivated after the marching season and maximize individual and group potential through small ensemble work and winter drumline.

Engineering I – CP

Level: College Prep and DE
Grade Level: 10-12
Prerequisite: Algebra I and Physical Science
Engineering Design and Analysis is a hands-on, design-based, inquiry-focused engineering course for all learners. In this course, students discover the engineering design process, make data-driven decisions, and work in multi-level teams to solve complex challenges.

Engineering II – CP

Level: Honors
Grade Level: 11-12
Prerequisite: Engineering I
Engineering Applications of Computer Science is an engineering course that engages students in programming and computational thinking to solve human-centered, technically challenging projects at the intersection of engineering and computer science. The goal of this course is to engage students in meaningful versions of the practices of professional engineers and computer scientists while sparking a passion for engineering, computational thinking, and problem-solving that will serve all students no matter what their future career goals may be.

Food and Nutrition – CP

Level:  College Prep
Grade Level:  11 - 12
Prerequisite:  None
Description: This one-semester course is offered in the fall semester only.  The course provides an introduction to the basic principles of nutrition, wellness, and food preparation.  The focus of the course is centered on healthy food and lifestyle choices.  The overall goal is to enhance student awareness in regards to personal food choices and physical activity.  Topics covered include digestion, the six major nutrients, basic food preparation, meal planning and etiquette, reading the nutrition label, safety and sanitation, measuring ingredients and reading recipes, and the relationship between diet and health.

Family Consumer Science I – CP

Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 10-12
Prerequisite: None.
Description: This introductory course is offered to provide experiences in the following areas of home economics: child development, consumer economics, food and nutrition, clothing construction, and textiles.

Adult Responsibilities – CP

Level:  College Prep
Grade Level:  11 - 12
Prerequisite:  None
Description:  This one-semester course is offered in the spring semester.  It is designed to build the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviors that students will need as they complete high school and prepare to take the next steps towards adulthood in today’s society. The course includes the study of personal goals and standards, the steps to finding and getting a job (the cover letter, resume, interviewing, and the interview follow-up), banking and money management, the use of credit, housing options, sewing on buttons, and clothing care.  The project-based approach utilizes higher order thinking skills.

Consumer Homemaking – CP

Level:  College Prep
Grade 10 - 12
Description: This course is designed to give the student an introduction to Food and Nutrition and Clothing with an emphasis on the rights and responsibilities of the consumer.  Topics include basic nutrition, meal planning and preparation, safety and sanitation in the kitchen, and making healthy choices.  The second semester focuses on clothing construction and wardrobe planning.  Topics include basic textiles, the sewing machine and equipment, simple sewing techniques as well as sewing on buttons and doing laundry.  Students will complete one clothing project.

Computer Science I – CP

Level: College Prep
Grade Levels: 10-12
Prerequisite: None
Description: Computing is now an essential tool in nearly all areas of study, from the sequencing of DNA to the analysis of ancient manuscripts. To use computers and their applications effectively, experts in all fields must understand how computers work, have an understanding of how software is designed, know how computer code is structured and tested, and be prepared to write their own programs when necessary. This class aims to teach the basics of programming (using the Python language), and beyond that, to impart an understanding of how the basic techniques used by computer scientists can be applied to a variety of other areas of study.

Beginning Clothing – CP

Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 11 – 12
Prerequisite: None.
Description: This course is designed as an introduction to concepts relating to fabrics, sewing equipment, the elements and principles of design and beginning clothing skills. Emphasis is on applying construction and design skills to apparel as two major projects are completed in the fall semester.   Students create a design portfolio and technique portfolio which is used as their personal reference source as they complete their sewing projects.

Advanced Clothing – CP

Grade Level:  11 - 12
Prerequisite:  Beginning Clothing
Description: This course is offered only in the spring semester.  Students will continue developing their sewing skills as they attempt more complex clothing construction.  Two projects will be completed during the semester; one must include a set-in sleeve and one must be a “challenge” for the individual student.  Students will add to their design and technique portfolios.  The major event for this course is the spring fashion show that showcases their clothing projects.

Child Development – CP

Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 11 – 12
Prerequisite: None
Description: Students take a look at the rewards, responsibilities, and challenges involved in the parenting role. Topics covered include relationships, family dynamics, readiness  for parenting, human reproduction, pregnancy, childbirth, and caring for a newborn.  The importance of decisions to become a parent is reinforced in each unit.  Students have the opportunity to experience parenting through participating in the Baby-Think-It-Over program which involves caring for a  computerized ” baby” over a designated period.

Advanced Child Development – CP

Level:  College Prep
Grade Level:  11 - 12
Prerequisite:  Beginning Child Development is preferred but not necessary
Description:  This one semester course, offered in the spring, introduces the student to theories associated with social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development from 1 year to 6 years. The course integrates theories with parenting skills recommended to foster all development as well as discipline options.  In addition, topics covered include child abuse, selecting child care, language development, and health care.

Art I – CP

Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 9 – 12
Prerequisite: None
Description: This course includes drawing, graphic design, painting, three-dimensional work, and the history of art.

Art II – CP

Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 10 – 12
Prerequisite: Art I.
Description: This course includes drawing, printmaking, painting, and three-dimensional work with more depth, complexity, and expansion of media than in the first course.

Art III – CP

Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 11 – 12
Prerequisite: Art II.
Description: This course expands the media experiences presented in the earlier years of art instruction. A greater variety of creative expression, use of color, and technique will be included as an approach to competitive products.

Computer Architecture – CP

Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 10 – 12
Prerequisite: None
Description: The focus of the Computer Architecture is to prepare students as entry-level service technicians with an industry standard certification. This certification will enable students to link electronics and Information Technology Departments. Core technologies in hardware maintenance and operating systems are at the center of all activities. Topics to be covered include, but are not limited to, the following areas: Operating systems: installation, upgrading, maintenance, and configuration; Hardware: installation, upgrading, maintenance, and configuration; and System Architecture: bus speed configuration, installing components, and external ports. It is the responsibility of a district that offers Computer Architecture to address the unique issues associated with this highly technical course. In particular, district personnel assume responsibility for (1) the identification and selection of appropriate curriculum (whether locally developed or vendor-specific), (2) securing necessary teacher-training and technical certification for the instructor, and (3) completing contractual and legal arrangements with vendors, if a vendor-specific curriculum is used.
CompTIA A+® Certification; CompTIA A+ certification is an international industry credential that validates the knowledge of computer service technicians with the equivalent of 500 hours of hands-on experience. Major hardware and software vendors, distributors and resellers accept CompTIA A+ as the standard in foundation-level, vendor-neutral certification for service technicians. The exams cover a broad range of hardware and software technologies, but are not bound to any vendor-specific products. The skills and knowledge measured by the CompTIA A+ exams were derived from an industry-wide and worldwide job task analysis. To date, more than 500,000 individuals have obtained CompTIA A+ certification.
Earning CompTIA A+ certification proves that a candidate has a broad base of knowledge and competency in core hardware and operating system technologies including installation, configuration, diagnosing, preventive maintenance and basic networking.

Multimedia Productions – CP

Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 9-12
Prerequisite: None
Description: Multimedia Productions is a course that combines text, graphics, sound, animation and video delivered by computer or other electronic means. The course focuses on the creative design and development of effective, efficient and appealing visual productions. Current and emerging technologies, such as digitized audio, digitized still and motion video, scanned images and CD technology are incorporated into multimedia projects as well as searching and downloading internet images and information. Extensive use of a variety of software will be used in conjunction with a digital camera and camcorders are incorporated into the course.

Media Broadcasting

Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 10-12
Prerequisite: None
Description: A program designed as a basic course to explore TV production, including but not limited to hands on training with media equipment, video taping and broadcasting school events, photoshop, technical support and remote broadcasting. The intent of this course is to expand our broadcast program and create a foundation that we can build on and grow every year.

Independent Study in Technology Applications – CP

Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 10 – 12
Prerequisite: Computer Architecture and permission of the instructor.
Description: This course is a natural follow up to Computer Architecture. It is essentially a lab course which allows students to further develop their understanding of technical tools and gives them real-world experience in configuration, use, maintenance and troubleshooting of standard technologies, including desktop operating systems, Microsoft Office Suite, print drivers, hardware, wireless and wired network and internet connectivity. Students will learn standard practices and become familiar with troubleshooting tools and techniques. The successful student will develop an intuition about technology by resolving problems with products with which they are not familiar. These students will serve as Student Help Desk workers.

Independent Study in Technology Applications B (1 semester) – CP

Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 10 – 12
Prerequisite: Computer Architecture and permission of the instructor.
Description: This course is a natural follow up to Computer Architecture. It is essentially a lab course which allows students to further develop their understanding of technical tools and gives them real-world experience in configuration, use, maintenance and troubleshooting of standard technologies, including desktop operating systems, Microsoft Office Suite, print drivers, hardware, wireless and wired network and internet connectivity. Students will learn standard practices and become familiar with troubleshooting tools and techniques. The successful student will develop an intuition about technology by resolving problems with products with which they are not familiar. These students will serve as Student Help Desk workers.

Leadership and Faith – CP

.5 Credit (Still a full-year course)
Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 12
Description: This is a half-credit, full-year course where students will form their spiritual lives and hone skills in order to become leaders in their faith both on and off campus. In conjunction with the Peer Ministry Club, students will form practical skills such as communication, small group dynamics, and witness giving in order for them to be a better, active, visible leader.

Liturgy Choir, Open – CP

Grade Level: 9 – 12
Prerequisite: Audition and approval of liturgy choir director.
Description: This course is open to those who audition for the choir director or are recommended by their middle school choir director. The chorus is a performance and competition oriented organization. Music covered in this course includes selections from great classical choral literature as well as standard choral works, show tunes, jazz-rock style pieces, popular tunes, and church music. The choir will hold performances both during and after school rehearsal. Such rehearsals and performances are a graded, required attendance.

Study Hall

No Credit
Grade Level: 12 – Administrative Approval Required
Description: Offered to those seniors who have met all prior course requirements. Priority scheduling given to seniors with a senior course load that includes multiple honors/advanced placement classes.

Theatre I

Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 9 – 12
Prerequisite: None
Description: A course designed as an introduction to theatre including improv, scene work, scene writing, the audition process, monologues, theatre history, and an introduction to technical theatre.  The intent of the course is to introduce the student to theatre while building self-confidence, boosting public speaking skills, and fostering group relationships, adaptability and flexibility.

Theatre II

Level: College Prep
Grade Level: 10 – 12
Prerequisite: Theatre 1
Description: A course designed as a performance-based theatre class which includes character analysis, monologue writing, performing Shakespeare, script analysis, and playwriting.  The intent of the course is to build upon skills learned in Theatre 1 with performances in class and with an audience.

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