General Studies

Courses in this department:

Game Design

Seventh and eighth grades
First semester

Students design, test, and publish games in a variety of media: board games, physical games, and app/virtual games. To do this, students research historical, literary, and imagined environments upon which to base their stories, create multimedia elements such as graphics, audio and animation, and learn principles of user-centered design. No prior computer science or programming experience required.

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.

Introduction to Computer Science

Seventh and eighth grades
Second semester

Students learn fundamentals of computer science, with a focus on computational thinking, programming, and design. The course emphasizes a conceptual understanding of core computer science principles and common programming constructs and their applications in practice. Development environments may include Processing, SNAP, robotics, and Arduino. This course is designed for the student who wishes to pursue further study in computer science beyond the activities integrated into other courses.

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.

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.