Elective Course Descriptions

Opportunities abound for students to develop their talents and step outside their comfort zone. From State Championship Athletics to community service, to fine arts programs and clubs, San Tan provides a safe, supportive environment to develop their passions and leadership skills.

The San Tan Charter School High School experience includes a state-of-the-art elective building housing a full culinary arts classroom, video arts lab, music studio and more. Our Junior High and High School students share the same Electives options listed below, allowing students to explore their interests starting in the 7th grade and continue advancement through graduation.

Our 7th and 8th grade students will not only have an elective choice but will be assigned an Exploratory Elective each quarter. The Exploratory Electives are intended to broaden the student experience with various career and educational paths.

Please Note: Elective enrollment and course availability is based on minimum student enrollment count and available staffing.

General Electives

Academic Decathlon

There are lots of wonderful academic competitions out there.  You can go prove you’re the best writer, or the best physicist, or the best speller. Academic Decathlon isn’t about any of that, though. It’s not about demonstrating how good a student you already are. It’s about daring to push your limits, to master college-level material and to practice skills, like public speaking, that might be wholly new to you. It’s about the people you’ll meet along the way—the coaches who will mentor you, the competitors who will challenge you, and the teammates who will become your lifelong friends.

As Decathletes, you’ll learn an exciting new theme each year, themes like Russia, World War I, and New Alternatives in Energy: Ingenuity and Innovation. You’ll explore seven subjects connected to that theme, from art and science to math and economics. You’ll learn to move an audience not just with facts and rhetoric, but with confidence. And you’ll never do any of this alone. You’ll be working with a team—a team composed of students with a wide range of grades but a single shared goal.  There will be homework, after school participation and travel obligations for students that take this course.

ACT/SAT Prep

The SAT/ACT preparation course is designed to familiarize you with the structure and style of these two tests, build key vocabulary frequently found on the SAT, and practice questions using authentic SAT and ACT test items. Students will also receive valuable test-taking strategies and knowledge-building strategies to help improve their score. When students complete the course, they should be able to: Organize thoughts for a timed essay · Interpret selected reading passages · Use diverse vocabulary · Determine the necessary skill needed for a question In addition this course is designed to: · Determine the student’s strengths and weaknesses · Drill with practice quizzes · Review techniques that will help one identify question types and apply appropriate strategies for success · Monitor your progress and chart your improvements · Build the real confidence to tackle the verbal and writing sections of the SAT.  Preference for enrollment will be given to Juniors and Seniors.  This class is only available to High School Students.

JROTC/Military Science

The Military Science (JROTC) program prepares students for leadership roles while making them aware of their rights, responsibilities and privileges as Americans. The mission of JROTC is to motivate young people to be better citizens. The program promotes graduation from high school, and provides instructional opportunities which benefit the student, community and nation.

Wearing the military uniform once a week is a requirement to participate in JROTC. While in uniform, cadets must meet the minimum appearance standards listed in the appropriate regulation, including haircut standards.

Mathematics for Mathematicians

In this course students will discover what mathematicians see in mathematics; clearly, since mathematicians do it for fun, they see something in it that most people don’t. These mathematical wonders have typically been hidden deep in courses that only math majors take… until now! This course will teach students to love mathematics, and to treat it like the art form that it is. Mathematics is full of beauty and elegance for those who look in the right places, and this course shows students where to look! Requirements: An open, inquisitive mind. A solid understanding of basic algebra (Algebra I, or a good performance in Math III).

Model UN

The purpose of the San Tan Charter Model United Nations course is to increase student knowledge about international issues, policy making and the activities of the United Nations. Students will also gain valuable skills in public speaking, research and writing, negotiation and powers of persuasion, leadership, organization, and interpersonal communication. Students will gain these skills through course assignments, class activities and, most importantly, by playing the role of United Nations delegates. Students may have the opportunity to represent STCS as a MUN delegate at Model UN conferences.

The Model United Nations (MUN) course is a unique class because it is a blend of student-managed club and academic course. Students are the primary decision-makers and leaders for the organization. By choosing to participate in this challenging but rewarding class, students will gain valuable knowledge and skills, and join a committed and highly motivated group of students.

Odyssey of the Mind

In this course, students learn how to think divergently by answering open-ended problems in a team setting. Embedded in the process are the skills necessary for student readiness for careers and colleges such as creativity, innovation, problem-solving, critical thinking, global awareness, interpersonal and collaborative skills, self-direction and adaptability.  There will be after school and travel obligations for students that take this course.

Natural Talent Development

This course is an opportunity where students are able to use their natural talents to ‘create’.  Writers may write, designers may design, engineers may build, mathematicians may calculate, Philosophers may ponder, Artisans may craft, etc. The expectation is for this elective is to let loose and allow student creativity and create something new. Students will be expected to brainstorm, plan, goal set, and execute with the guidance of a teacher to help along the way.

Speech & Debate

This course will prepare students for college forensics/speech and debate competitions. Students will learn speech writing, argumentation, philosophy, research and delivery skills as well as literary analysis, interpretation and current events. Students will participate in at least two tournaments per semester.

Career & Technical Education

Business & Marketing

This course provides students with the framework for future marketing courses and allows the students to discover how a business works and how it impacts lives on a daily basis. • Obtain the framework for future marketing courses. • Learn the fundamentals of marketing, planning, pricing, promoting, selling, and distributing products and services. Marketing adds value to products. • Learn how marketing affects our economy and standard of living. • Explore target marketing, market segmentation, marketing mix and customer profiles. • Develop marketing and business plans, identify economies, and the business cycle. • Understand the basics of our free enterprise system; personal property, competition, risk and profit. • Demonstrate communication skills through technology, social media, role plays, workshops and competition.  Marketing education and the career and technical organization, DECA (an association of marketing students), are co-curricular and membership is required.  Students will have afterschool and travel obligations in this course.

Career Explorations

This course will concentrate on career exploration and post high school planning in the areas of education, training, and employment. Students will participate in various career and personal interest assessments and explore career options for the future. By the end of the course, students will learn how to analyze their personal skills and strengths as they relate to current and future jobs, explore different careers through interviews and observations, and discover what it means to be successful at work.

Coding

In this course, young students enter the world of computer science by learning how to create animations, computer games, and interactive projects. The course will show students how to make and import objects, create audio recordings, and use them to develop interactive projects. At the end of the course, students create their own phone app.

Computer Technology

This class will be an introduction into the world of computer technology. Through Windows Office Suite 2010, the students will explore relevant and emerging technologies, the role of computers in society, discussion of social and ethical issues related to personal computer. Students will explore careers related to the Information Technology field. This includes computer repair, web design and development, software development and video game development.

Computer Technology – Advanced

This course will address the use of technology that most individuals will encounter in their life. This course will explore emerging technology and its uses. It will help students become proficient with today’s technology and model skills that will help them be better 21st century learners and citizens. Topics will include blogging, digital learning portfolio, Google applications, wikis, voice threads, podcasting, videos, vodcasting, Really Simple Syndication (RSS), web design, personal learning networks, and digital citizenship.

Culinary Arts

Find out if the Culinary Arts industry is for you in this hands-on class where foundation standards are stressed. You will obtain your food handlers, CPR, and First Aide cards preparing you for industry standards. Learn knife skills, how to work in a commercial kitchen ways food leavens, plus in-depth nutritional concepts. This course will focus on math skills in measuring metric verses standard, scale operations, baker’s percentages, determining food costs, knife sharpening angles, graphing with fats and oils, and change counting.

Culinary Arts II & III

Students will study Hot and Cold Foods (fish/beef/pork/poultry) as well as sauce and stock preparation. This course will focus on math skills in measuring, menu pricing, ratios with stocks, edible portioning, percentages with meat fabrication.  Students will gain skills in Breakfast Foods and Garde Manger* (*cheese, eggs/sandwiches/salads/dressings/hor d’oeuvers). Students will obtain knowledge and practical culinary skills in Baking and Pastry (cakes/breads/pastries).

Family & Consumer Science

This course provides a foundation for managing individual, family, career, and community roles and responsibilities. Students apply problem solving and leadership skills as they explore areas such as personal goal achievement, responsibilities within the family, accountability for personal safety and health. Students learn skills related to financial management, clothing maintenance, food preparation, positive relationships with others, and self-assessment as related to career exploration. Mathematics, science, English, social sciences, fine arts, and technology are integrated throughout the course.

Forensics

This class is an elective, inquiry-oriented science class that will focus on criminal forensics. Through a sequence of lab based activities, students will gain an understanding and appreciation of the role of science in solving crimes. These activities will include fingerprinting, ink chromatography, and an introduction to DNA analysis

Introduction to Engineering

Introduction to Engineering that is appropriate for students who are interested in design and engineering. The major focus of the IED course is to expose students to design process, research and analysis, teamwork, communication methods, global and human impacts, engineering standards, and technical documentation. IED gives students the opportunity to develop skills and understanding of course concepts through activity-, project-, and problem-based (APPB) learning. Used in combination with a teaming approach, APPB-learning challenges students to continually hone their interpersonal skills, creative abilities and understanding of the design process. It also allows students to develop strategies to enable and direct their own learning, which is the ultimate goal of education. (Pre Requisite:  STEM)

Introduction to Entrepreneurship

In this course you will learn the basics needed to plan and launch your own business. Do you have what it takes to start a new business? Do you have an idea for a business but need the tools to get started? This course will provide you with the core skills you need to become successful. In this course you will study the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs. You will also learn about self-employment and basic economic concepts related to small businesses, such as competition and production. This course will also walk you through the steps of setting up a business, including developing a business plan, a mission and a vision, attracting investors, and marketing your company.

Introduction to Video Game Design

This course provides an introduction to concepts of the technological and creative aspects of video game design in an easy-to-follow format. In the end, you will demonstrate learning by constructing an original game build.  Future Business Leaders of America career and technical organization, FBLA are co-curricular and membership is required.  Students will have afterschool and travel obligations in this course.

Life Connections

This activity-based class is the beginning step in preparing students for adult life in culinary arts, child development, education and many other workplace opportunities. Students will gain skills in leadership, job seeking, decision making, nutrition, parenting, money management, and safety/sanitation in the work-place. Students will learn how to budget, plan and run a household. Students will continue learning career explorations, what is necessary to apply for college, and apply for scholarships. Students will learn to write a resume and cover letter.

Photography

Students in Photography will develop and expand their skills in producing both artistic and commercial photographs using digital DSLR cameras and equipment. Photography meets the credit requirements for Career and Technical Education (CTE), Fine Art, and elective graduation requirements. Students learn to take artistic digital photos following rules of composition, light, exposure, elements of art and principles of design which also enhances their ability to produce quality commercial work. Adapting and updating student’s skill set to the ever changing software and hardware technology is a constant goal of all the photography courses.

Robotics

In this class students will use robotics to explore the fundamentals of engineering and electronics. The course will consist of lectures including principles of engineering, physics, electronics, mechanics, and computer programming. Laboratory experiments will require students to build simple robots to demonstrate these principles. While building the robots, students will learn the function of basic electronic components such as resistors, capacitors, and transistors. The design process will be emphasized as the robots are tested and their designs are modified.

Sports Broadcasting

This course will be a study of the principles of writing news and information for Radio, TV, Podcasts, and Livestreaming. Basics of television news and broadcast style will be discussed and practiced. Emphasis is placed on the fundamentals of television studio production. Production and direction of multi-camera studio television programs, as well as, field packages and multi-camera field direction will be covered. This course provides a bridge between production and engineering. It emphasizes the importance of understanding technical processes as they apply to creative decisions. Students will learn how video cameras make pictures, how light and lighting instruments affect aesthetics, how edit systems function, how audio signals are created and how to plan and design facilities. Students gain practical experience in media news gathering, working as part of a team to produce news reports and complete newscasts. Students at the end of the class will be able to demonstrate accurate, fair and factual oral and written communication skills in reporting, revising, covering and editing of relevant news stories acceptable by professional journalism standards, conduct effective research, interviews and evaluation of news and demonstrate knowledge of fundamental concepts and theories in the presentation of news. Students will also create a digital portfolio to display all their work.

Show Choir

Show Choir is a mixed ensemble that combines the movement of dance and singing. Through this course, students will develop greater musicianship, proper use of breath support, phrasing, interpretation, postures, stage presence, and the other important musical disciplines. In this class students will study and perform vocal music in the Jazz, Pop, and Swing styles. Students will learn the art of movement and dance as well as the enhancement of the vocal rendition of various works. Show Choir is appropriate for all abilities and is a fantastic way to step into the art of music! Special concert attire may be worn. Students are required to participate in performances and it is a part of their grade.

STEM

This course challenges students of all levels to develop higher order problem solving skills by stimulating creativity in a hands-on learning environment. Academic subject disciplines such as applied physics, algebra and geometry powerfully come alive as students design, build and test modern structure and vehicle prototypes. Students acquire 21st Century Skills through project based learning. (This class is only for students who have not previously taken a STEM class at the middle school level.)

Yearbook/Graphic Design

If you love to take pictures and are interested in learning how to write like a journalist, then this class is for you.  Learn more about layout design, photo angles, backgrounds, foregrounds, cropping and action shots.  This class will address advanced techniques of retouching and printing of photos in addition to exploring various aesthetic domains such as portraiture, landscape, architecture and documentary photography.

Fine Arts

Art & Design I

This course is an introduction to art with the basic elements and principles of design.  Students will learn drawing techniques emphasizing line, positive/negative space, perspective, value, texture, lettering, and portrait proportions.  Students will also explore studies in color and advanced drawing and painting techniques.

Art – Advanced

This course is an advanced level art class with advanced elements and principles of design.  Students will hone the skills they have learned in Art & Design II and finish the class with a portfolio of art work.  Pre-Requisite:  Art & Design I

Band

Band provides opportunities for the skilled band student to play a wide range of musical forms and styles. Emphasis is placed on improving individual reading and performance skills. This ensemble will prepare and perform concerts each semester, some of which may be other than during school hours. Special concert attire may be worn.  A minimum of a half an hour a day of homework practice is required for this course.  Students are required to participate in performances and it is a part of their grade.

Pep Band

This fun and performance-based course provides students with a variety of pep band experiences. Though this band is not officially a “Marching Band”, members will participate in at least two parades a season and basic marching techniques will be taught to aid in these performances. This ensemble performs at football games, pep rallies, parades and other community events scheduled at the discretion of the director. Extracurricular commitment is a necessity. Traditional and non-traditional band instruments are used in this course (i.e. flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, tuba, marching percussion instruments and front ensemble).

Show Choir

Show Choir is a mixed ensemble that combines the movement of dance and singing. Through this course, students will develop greater musicianship, proper use of breath support, phrasing, interpretation, postures, stage presence, and the other important musical disciplines. In this class students will study and perform vocal music in the Jazz, Pop, and Swing styles. Students will learn the art of movement and dance as well as the enhancement of the vocal rendition of various works. Show Choir is appropriate for all abilities and is a fantastic way to step into the art of music!

Strings

This course will be a group performance group oriented with emphasis on string instruments.  Special concert attire may be worn.  A minimum of a half an hour a day of homework practice is required for this course.  Students are required to participate in performances and it is a part of their grade.

Foreign Language

Spanish I

Introduces students to the basic vocabulary of the language and components of the culture of the countries in which the Spanish is spoken. Prepares students to begin to read, write, speak and understand the language.

Spanish II

This course is an in-depth study of Spanish, requiring the student to think in the language.  The class will help students to become more fluent in the language while continuing to learn about the culture.  Grammar and conversation will be emphasized.

Sign Language I

This American Sign Language course will introduce basic sign vocabulary with an emphasis on developing fluency in expressive and receptive signing and finger spelling.

Sign Language II

This course will be an in-depth study of American Sign requiring the student to think in the language.

Physical Education

Advanced Weight Training

This course provides students with a variety of different lifetime activities to improve their overall fitness and health.  Students will focus on muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular, and flexibility.  Coaches will work with athletes for their specific sports in order to engage in activities that help meet their personal goals. Prerequisite:  Successful completion of Boys/Girls Weight Training

Athletic Physical Education

This physical education class is for those students who play a competitive sport.  Athletes may enroll in this course with the permission of the head coach of a school sport, or by permission from the school’s athletic director.

Beginning Dance

This introductory course will include an introduction to various dance techniques and styles.  Studies will experience and understand technique/skill, knowledge, history and improvisation of multiple dance styles.  Students will participate in performances during the school year that are a part of their grade.  Students will use dance to enhance their overall physical fitness

Boys Weight Training

This course provides students with a variety of different lifetime activities to improve their overall fitness and health.  Students will focus on muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular, and flexibility.  Coaches will work with athletes for their specific sports in order to engage in activities that help meet their personal goals.

Girls Weight Training

This course provides students with a variety of different lifetime activities to improve their overall fitness and health.  Students will focus on muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular, and flexibility.  Coaches will work with athletes for their specific sports in order to engage in activities that help meet their personal goals.

Health & Wellness

This course provides students with an overview of good nutrition principles that are necessary for physical and mental wellness as well as a long, healthy life. The class will include discussions of digestion, basic nutrients, weight management, sports and fitness, and life-span nutrition. The Health and Fitness class is a life time wellness course that emphasizes an understanding of today’s food and eating trends and gives students the capacity to intelligently evaluate all available sources of nutrition information and make informed decisions. Unit topics include a course introduction, wellness and food choices, digestion and major nutrients, and body size and healthy lifestyle management in addition to physical activity.  This course will also include creating a physical fitness and healthy lifestyle plan that students will implement and follow with parental and school staff support.

Physical Education

This class will incorporate some of the many ways to stay active and healthy. Team sports such as baseball, football, soccer, volleyball, badminton, and more are incorporated. Strength training, flexibility, and cardiovascular improvement are also emphasized. Quarterly Fitness Assessments will be administered to show the yearly progress.

Strength & Conditioning

This course is designed to give students the opportunity to learn fitness concepts and conditioning techniques used for obtaining optimal physical fitness. Students will benefit from comprehensive weight training and cardiorespiratory endurance activities. Students will learn the basic fundamentals of strength training, aerobic training, and overall fitness training and conditioning. Course includes both lecture and activity sessions. Students will be empowered to make wise choices, meet challenges, and develop positive behaviors in fitness, wellness, and movement activity for a lifetime.

Peer Leadership / Student Government

This course will provide training to students to be sensitive listeners and to use communication skills to encourage positive problem solving and behavior. Peer counselors will act as role models, peer tutors, big brothers and sisters to elementary and junior high students, as well as encourage and monitor students with attendance problems.  This course will also emphasize leadership skills. A major part of the course will be performing the duties of Student Council.  This course provides opportunities to study, practice and develop group and individual leadership and organizational skills. These skills include decision-making skills, problem-solving techniques, communication skills, leadership roles, human relation skills and understanding the need for civic responsibility.  Students enrolled in the course will apply these skills in dealing with peers, school administration and the community. Students will demonstrate a hands-on, active learning approach to leadership.

The topics studied are:

1. The Structure of Leadership
2. Organization and Managerial Skills
3. Responsible Citizenship
4. Goal Setting
5. Group Process
6. Communication
7. Evaluation

Exploratory Electives

7th – 8th Grade

Junior High students get to enjoy a new exploratory each quarter!  Teachers share their expertise and passion in these fun classes.  Students are randomly assigned to an exploratory wheel to experience a wide variety of avenues for the future.

Some course offerings may be:

1. Career Exploration
2. Physical Education
3. Choices and Challenges
4. Computer Fundamentals

Catalog Download

2018 – 2019 High School Course Catalog
This catalog contains detailed information concerning school guidelines, graduation requirements, grades, extracurricular eligibility, and course descriptions.

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