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Course Offering Guide 2019-2020

This course offering guide has been designed to provide parents and students with an overview of the Westminster Christian Middle School curriculum. Due to the academic, extra-curricular, and policy information contained in this guide, its careful review is strongly encouraged.
 
The school day for the middle school student is divided into seven periods. During the school day students will take two electives and the following core academic courses:
  • Bible
  • English
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies

These core courses will provide each student with the opportunity to develop a solid academic foundation. This foundation goes beyond acquiring academic content by also including the development of positive study habits. Such habits emphasize personal organization, time management, and study skills.

Students are given the opportunity to choose two elective courses each semester. Elective courses may be semester or year-long and are offered during the school day. Choosing the elective classes is a first step in assuming responsibility for planning one’s schedule. Therefore, elective classes should be chosen with personal interest as well as with academic benefit in mind.

Special Notes

  1. Westminster Christian Middle School offers advanced sections of Math for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders and advanced sections of English for seventh and eighth graders. The selection of students for placement into advanced sections is based upon class performance, teacher recommendation, and standardized test scores. In order to enroll in advanced classes, a student should have at least an A- average in the current class and should score in the 90 percentile on standardized testing. For a student to remain in an advanced class, he/she should maintain at least a B average.
  2. Information regarding enrollment in the Course Achievement Program (C.A.P.) classes should be obtained from the middle school guidance counselor.
  3. To be academically eligible for interscholastic sports competition and participation in fine arts activities and extracurricular clubs, a student must maintain an overall grade point average of 2.0. Consult the student handbook for more detailed information.

Bible

List of 3 items.

  • Bible - Grade Six

    #178

    This course concerns God’s redemptive history in the lives of His people through the birth and ministry of Christ. The curriculum incorporates a comparative study of the Gospels, as well as a survey of the scene of Christ’s labors and the preparation for His ministry, the life of Paul, and the Acts of the early church.
  • Bible - Grade Seven

    #180

    This course is concerned about the how and why God chose His people. The subject matter includes thorough Bible education from Genesis to the death of Solomon and the poetic books of Psalms and Proverbs. Areas of study include the patriarchs, the exodus, the wilderness experience, the conquest, and Israel’s early history.
  • Bible - Grade Eight

    #182

    This course begins with a brief review of the Old Testament from Adam to Solomon, emphasizing God’s faithfulness to His people through a covenantal relationship. It then continues God’s redemptive story with the Divided Kingdom to the Intertestamental Period. The course includes information on the kings and prophets in Israel and Judah, days of exile, and the return from captivity.

Science

List of 3 items.

  • Science - Grade Six

    #450

    This course deals with the dynamic interactions between living systems and abiotic processes on earth. Topics include: astronomy, zoology, the earth’s interior and exterior features, geology, and the nature of oceans and weather.
  • Life Science - Grade Seven

    #452

    The major concepts taught in Life Science are: the metric system, cell processes, classification, microscopic organisms, vascular and nonvascular plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates. The human body, its systems, diseases, and related nutrition will be a major component of the course.
  • Physical Science - Grade Eight

    #454

    This course is an introduction to basic concepts of matter and energy as they apply to the laws of chemistry and physics. Major topics to be covered are chemical bonding, the atomic model, radioactivity, forces, heat, electricity, and magnetism.

Social Studies

List of 3 items.

  • Social Studies - Grade Six

    #460

    Students will study Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Rome, Medieval Europe, and the Renaissance and Reformation. A strong emphasis will be placed on organization, responsibility, following directions, and note taking. Students will develop geographical knowledge of the world through the use of maps. Students will study current events to become more aware of what is taking place in the world.
  • United States History - Grade Seven

    #494

    This course presents a chronological survey of American history from the early explorers to the post-Civil War Reconstruction period. Units to be covered include: Exploration and Colonization, American Revolution, the Constitution, Growth and the War of 1812, Jacksonian Democracy, Manifest Destiny and the Mexican War, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.
  • Modern History/Civics - Grade Eight

    #414

    The first semester students will study the basic foundations and operation of the United States Government as well as the responsibilities of Christian citizenship. Units to be covered include: the Purpose of Government, Origins of American Government, the Constitution, roles of the Three Branches of Government.
     
    During a two-week interval between Civics and History, geography will be emphasized. State capitals and locations will be identified. A project will ensue to develop the student’s ability to plan a trip, budget, and develop map reading skill to process directions.
     
    During the second semester, students will study the history of the United States in the modern world (1900+). Units to be covered include: the First World War, Roaring Twenties, Great Depression, the Second World War, the Cold War, Vietnam and the 1960's, Nixon and Watergate, and here and now.

English/Language Arts

List of 8 items.

  • Language Arts - Grade Six

    #378

    In this course students are challenged to become careful readers of a variety of genre including short stories, novels, non-fiction works, poetry, and drama. Students develop a growing appreciation for both classic and contemporary literature while improving their written and oral communication skills. Technology is incorporated into nearly every facet of reading, writing, grammar, and vocabulary development. In addition, book reports are required at regular intervals.
  • Language Arts - Grade Six – C.A.P.

    #380

    This course covers similar material as Language Arts Grade 6, but at a less rapid pace and in a smaller classroom setting. Space is limited to 12 students.
  • Advanced English - Grade Seven

    #272

    This course covers the same material as English - Grade Seven, but with more detail and at a faster pace. Also included are literary studies such as J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tim Sawyer.
  • English - Grade Seven

    #270

    Each unit is enhanced with technology and creative projects including first person performances in costume. Emphasis is placed on the analysis of literature and figurative language. The writing portion of the class stresses the development of vocabulary, mechanics, and grammatical skills to communicate effectively. Expository writing including the five-paragraph essay is stressed. Finally, the students are divided into teams and are challenged to read a list of diverse novels in preparation for a Jeopardy style reading competition.
  • English - Grade Seven – C.A.P.

    #274

    This course covers similar material as English Grade 7, but at a less rapid pace and in a smaller classroom setting. Space is limited to 12 students.
  • Advanced English - Grade Eight

    #278

    Offered for those students exhibiting superior ability in both the written and oral use of the English language. In addition to the regular curriculum, students will be required to read several classics, to explore various research topics, and to present knowledge gained through their research and independent reading. Poetry selections will be committed to memory.
  • English - Grade Eight

    #276

    Reading comprehension, vocabulary development, research, memory work, and the writing of essays are all important parts of this course. The emphasis is on the in-depth analysis of a variety of classic novels, diverse short stories, plays, and poetry. Expository and persuasive writing including the five-paragraph essay are stressed. Finally, the students are divided into teams and are challenged to read a list of diverse novels in preparation for a Jeopardy style reading competition.
  • English - Grade Eight – C.A.P.

    #280

    This course covers similar material as English Grade 8, but at a less rapid pace and in a smaller classroom setting. Space is limited to 12 students.

Mathematics

List of 10 items.

  • Advanced Math - Grade Six

    #396

    This course consists of a review of basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division skills. It includes solving equations, introducing the metric system, decimals, fundamental geometric principles (i.e., area, volume, surface area), and working with fractions, ratios, proportions, percentages, negative numbers, and scientific notation.
  • Math - Grade Six

    #394

    Students review whole numbers, properties, and place value; decimals and metric units; whole number and decimal addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division; data graphs and statistics; addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of fractions and mixed numbers; basic geometry; fundamental ratio, proportion, and percentage; integers; measurement; probability and introduction to algebra.
  • Math - Grade Six – C.A.P.

    #398

    This course covers similar material as Math Grade 6, but at a less rapid pace and in a smaller classroom setting. Space is limited to 12 students.
  • Advanced Math - Grade Seven/Accelerated Six

    #402

    This course consists of a thorough review of all computational skills with whole numbers, decimals, fractions, percents and ratios. It includes instruction in many geometric concepts as well as solving algebraic equations, proportions, and word problems. It also involves practice in simplification problems, including positive and negative numbers, exponents, and algebraic expressions.
  • Math - Grade Seven

    #400

    This course consists of a review of basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division skills; solving equations; introduction to the metric system; decimals; fundamental geometric principles (i.e., area, volume, surface area); and working with fractions, ratios, proportions, percentages, negative numbers, and scientific notation.
  • Math - Grade Seven – C.A.P.

    #404

    This course covers similar material as Math Grade 7, but at a less rapid pace and in a smaller classroom setting. Space is limited to 12 students.
  • Geometry 1 – Accelerated Grade Eight

     #308 – 1 H.S.  graduation credit

    This course allows students to discover geometric properties by inductive and deductive reasoning. There is an emphasis on definitions, theorems, and postulates dealing with lines and planes.
     
    Two-column proofs written in various styles, congruence and similarity of figures, basic triangle trigonometry, geometric equalities and inequalities, simple logic, constructions of geometric figures, area, and volume are emphasized.
  • Algebra I – Grade Eight/Accelerated Seven

     #148 - 1 H.S. graduation credit

    This course deals primarily with solving linear and quadratic equations. Major topics include algebraic properties, linear equations, lines, linear systems, word problems, geometric concepts, polynomials, factoring, square roots, exponentials, quadratic equations, and inequalities.
  • Math - Grade Eight

    #406

    This course consists of a thorough review of all computational skills with whole numbers, decimals, fractions, percents and ratios. It includes instruction in many geometric concepts as well as solving algebraic equations, proportions, and word problems. It also involves practice in simplification problems, including positive and negative numbers, exponents, and algebraic expressions.
  • Math - Grade Eight – C.A.P.

    #408

    This course covers similar material as Math Grade 8, but at a less rapid pace and in a smaller classroom setting. Space is limited to 12 students.

Enrichment Courses

  1. Students in the middle school have the opportunity to take two elective courses each semester
  2. The Administration strongly recommends that students do not repeat electives, except for Fine Arts, Study Hall or Physical Education.
  3. For placement in the correct level, students need to contact: Mr. Carlson (band), Mr. Gordon (orchestra), or Mr. Shafer (chorus), before completing their selection forms.
  4. Those students enrolled in music class will be required to participate in ALL public and school performances (both on and off campus). Students must maintain a 2.0 grade point average to be eligible for travel to competitions and festivals. Rental of a school-owned instrument is $75 per instrument per semester/$150 per year, not including summer rental which is $25. Students using Smart Music will be assessed a yearly fee of $45. Tuxedo jacket, pants, cummerbund and bow tie are provided for male music students; their own tuxedo shirt will be purchased through the school for $30. Replacement bow ties are $5 each.

Grade Eight

List of 4 items.

  • BioMed Engineering/Design

    Year-long - #236

    Prerequisite: Aeronautical Engineering or Environmental Engineering. Students discover the design process and develop an understanding of the influence of creativity and innovation. Students also play the role of real-life medical detectives as they analyze genetic testing results to diagnose disease and study DNA evidence found at a “crime scene.” They solve medical mysteries through hands-on projects and labs, investigate how to measure and interpret vital signs, and learn how the systems of the human body work together to maintain health.
  • High School French I

    Year-long - # 296 – 1 HS graduation credit

    Prerequisite: At least a B- in 7th grade English. An interactive course focusing on the French language and culture through the study of vocabulary, subject-verb agreement, pronouns, and verb tenses with the emphasis on listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
  • High School Sign Language

    Year-long - #459 - 1 HS Graduation Credit

    This course is designed to introduce students to the target language and its culture. The student will develop communicative skills in all three modes of communication and cross-cultural understanding. Emphasis is placed on proficient communication in the language with introductions to culture, connections, comparisons, and communities.
  • High School Spanish I

    Year-long - # 464 - 1 H.S. graduation credit

    Prerequisite: At least a B- in 7th grade English. A formal Spanish course integrating listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills through vocabulary, subject-verb agreement, pronouns, and verb tenses.

Grades Seven & Eight

List of 6 items.

  • Advanced Band

    Year-long - # 110

    Prerequisite: Permission of the band director. Open to students in grades 7 & 8 who have completed two or more years of instruction on a band instrument and/or have obtained the permission of the band director. See information regarding rentals and GPA.
  • Advanced Drama

    Year-long - #113 - Audition Required

    This course is designed for experienced drama students. Students will concentrate on expanding drama skills previously learned which will be put to practice in Drama competitions, chapel performances, and a Middle School Spring play. Auditions will be held at the end of the school year to determine membership in this select group. Students may repeat this course.
  • Aeronautical Engineering

    Semester - #232

    Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Engineering or student is in 7th or 8th grade.

    Students explore the science behind flight and space and use their knowledge to design, build, and test an airfoil.
  • Environmental Engineering

    Semester - #234

    Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Engineering or student is in 7th or 8th grade

    Students explore sustainable solutions to our energy needs and investigate the impact of energy on our lives and the world. Students design and model alternative energy sources, as well as evaluate options for reducing energy consumption.
  • Spanish: Conversational Level 3

    Semester - #470

    This course will enable students to develop, maintain, and enhance proficiency in the Spanish language by reinforcing and acquiring skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, including the fundamentals of Spanish grammar.
  • Spanish: Conversational Level 4

    Semester - #472

    Emphasis will be placed on developing presentational speaking skills through oral reports on literary and cultural topics, current events, and personal experiences. Interpretive writing is enhanced through compositions using correct language structures.

Grades Six, Seven, and Eight

List of 24 items.

  • Advanced Orchestra

    Year-long- #124

    Prerequisite: Permission of the orchestra director.

    Open to students in grades 6, 7, and 8 who have completed two or more years of instruction on a string instrument and/or permission of the orchestra director. See information regarding rentals and GPA. Weekly private lessons are required.
  • Art: Three-Dimensional Sculpture

    Semester - #120

    Students create three-dimensional art from clay, cardboard, paper, and found objects.
  • Art: Two-Dimensional

    Semester – #116

    Students create two-dimensional art from observation with an emphasis on painting using media such as, but not limited to, watercolor, pastel, acrylic paint, mixed media, and more.
  • Battle of the Minds

    Semester - # 168

    A class designed for students to explore and participate in a variety of intellectual and stimulating experiences to enhance their speed, dexterity, wit, critical thinking skills, and concentration levels.
  • Concert Choir

    Year-long – # 223

    Girls will perform a variety of three and four-part choral literature from the classics to Broadway, popular, and folk idioms. Students will learn the fundamentals of singing and music reading and perform both at school and at FVA sponsored events as well as Dinner Theater productions. No audition is required for participation in this group.
  • Dance

    Semester - # 230

    Dance students will focus on basic techniques, performance qualities, and working together as an artist and student. This course is designed to explore various styles of dance while preparing the students for a higher level of performance and training. No audition is necessary. There will be a minimum of one performance for this class.
  • Debate

    Semester - # 228

    Students will debate issues and topics that are currently important to our culture. The course will include discussions in analyzing the message in popular TV shows, movies, and songs, and how this message compares to what the Word of God teaches us.
  • Fundamentals of Engineering

    Year-long - #231

    A beginner’s engineering course teaching the steps of the engineering design process through PLTW modules. The first module focuses on mechanism and microcontroller based automation. The second half of the course focuses on simple programming in a C based programming language. Students will program and construct automated machines.
  • Guidance Remediation Academic Support Program: G.R.A.S.P.

    Year-long - # 309

    A program using cognitive and perceptual techniques to strengthen deficit areas as identified by outside educational evaluations. The goal is to allow the student to function more efficiently in the classroom. There is an additional cost for this program. Students must be approved for this class through the Guidance Office.
  • Guys' Ensemble

    Year-long - #292

    Students will perform a variety of musical styles appropriate for the middle school vocal range including popular, barbershop, Broadway, patriotic, folk, sacred, and classical. Students will learn the fundamentals of singing and music reading and perform both at FVA sponsored events. No audition is required for participation in this group.
  • Intermediate Band

    Year-long - # 352

    Prerequisite: Permission of the band director. Open to students in grades 6, 7, and 8 who have completed at least one year of instruction on a band instrument and/or have received permission from the band director. See information regarding rentals and GPA.
  • Intermediate Orchestra

    Year-long - # 356

    Prerequisite: Permission of the orchestra director. Open to students that have completed one year of instruction on a string instrument. Students will be required to participate in all on and off campus performances. See information regarding rentals and GPA.
  • Introduction to Theater

    Semester - # 357

    An introduction to the world of drama. Students will develop and concentrate acting skills by working with monologues, in duets, and full scenes.
  • Life Management

    Semester - # 390

    A course that focuses on practical skills such as etiquette, budgeting, succeeding at the stock market, entrepreneur skills, vacation planning, completing college applications, first aid, CPR training, nutrition, cooking, and cooking with culinary master Chef Francisco.
  • Movie Maker

    Semster - #415

    Learn basic digital editing on the Surface Pro using Adobe Pro Premier. This class will take you through the entire process of editing and producing videos, as well as transitions, titles, and effects.
  • Newspaper

    Semester - # 416

    Students will learn newspaper terminology and the inverted pyramid method of writing various types of newspaper articles. A student newspaper will be produced consisting of student-generated copy.
  • Physical Education

    Semester - #430

    This course is designed to provide each student with the opportunity to participate in a variety of team sports and physical fitness activities. Physical education is a repeatable course.
  • Pins and Needles

    Semester - # 440

    A great course to learn the basics of stitchery through sewing and cross-stitching. Students will be introduced to the use of a sewing machine.
  • Science is Funtastic!

    Semester - # 456

    The activities may include crystals, rockets, and microscopes. Students will also explore crime scene investigation through the analysis of evidence by means of fingerprints, blood type, and many other techniques used by forensic scientists.
  • Servants R Us

    Semester - # 458

    We will explore ways to be of service to our school and community. Students will be involved in activities such as one-on-one tutoring with elementary students, and assisting teachers with projects.
  • Spanish: Level 2

    Semester - #468

    Builds on the skills developed in Level 1 and leads to simple story telling. Emphasis on manipulating the language in a variety of communications.
  • Spanish: Level I

    Semester - # 466

    Introduction to Spanish comprehension utilizing group activities. Students will grow in speaking, reading and writing.
  • Study Hall

    Semester - # 482

    Designed to give students a structured supervised environment in which to work and study on class assignments. Please specify which semester(s) study hall is requested.
  • Study Techniques

    Year-long - # 388

    A study skills class, incorporating organizational skills, self- advocacy, and monitoring of current classroom achievement. Students must be approved for this class through the Guidance Office.