General Studies

Semester Courses

Introduction to Computer Science

Seventh and eighth grades
First semester

Students learn fundamentals of computer science, with a focus on computational thinking, programming, and the problem solving process. The course emphasizes a conceptual understanding of core computer science principles and common programming constructs and their applications in practice. Projects may include developing a personal website and learning programming by creating simple animations, interactive art, and games. Students may program in HTML, Blockly, Javascript, and/or other languages. In this introductory computer science course, students will create authentic projects and engage with computer science as a medium for creativity, communication, problem solving, and fun. No prior coding experience necessary.

Journalism

Seventh and eighth grades
First or second semester

Students produce the Middle School newspaper. They learn journalistic writing, photography, and digital production. Students may take the course more than once and advance to more responsible positions on the newspaper staff each time they take it.

Mobile Apps and the Internet of Things

Seventh and eighth grades
Second semester

Students learn fundamentals of computer science, with a focus on computational thinking, programming, and the problem solving process. Projects may include developing an individual mobile app for personal use, and a team project where small groups work together to identify a need that they care about, prototype ideas before creating a working mobile app, and test solutions with real users to get feedback. Other projects may include using simple hardware and sensors, along with software, to create a simple IoT (Internet of Things) smart device of their own choosing. Students may program in Blockly, Javascript, Arduino, and/or other languages. In this introductory computer science course, students will create authentic projects and engage with computer science as a medium for creativity, communication, problem solving, and fun. No prior coding experience necessary.

SchoolHacks

Seventh and eighth grades
First and second semesters

This course provides support for executive functioning, organization, study skills and self-advocacy. Students participate in a small group with an Integrated Learning Specialist to complete planner checks, Schoology reviews, assignment management and teacher communication. Students receive direct coaching on particular study skills related to their classwork, including note taking, reading comprehension strategies, and test preparation. Students share weekly tips using the #schoolhacks tag on Schoology and Twitter. We encourage a weekly announcement at Middle School assembly to teach what is learned and make this information more accessible to all students. A 3:1 teacher:student ratio provides the opportunity for individualized support. Class size: three students. Additional cost of $2,000 per semester required. Enrollment subject to approval of instructor.

Intensive Courses

Global Link American South

Eighth and ninth grades
First intensive

Global Link American South is a domestic travel-exchange program to Atlanta for eighth and ninth graders. This course is a comparative look at social justice movements in the Pacific Northwest and the American South, covering topics of historical and contemporary social justice issues including the Civil Rights movement in both regions, youth-led grassroots organizations, and environmental justice. Building on our long-standing emphasis on cultural immersion and cultural competency, this program also incorporates many features of existing Global Link programs including pre-departure training, home stays, and Bring It Back activities.