The connections classes allow students to explore a variety of areas of study that may be of interest to them. Students change connections classes each six weeks, with the exception of band and chorus, which are both year-long classes. The idea behind the connections classes is that students are exposed to a number of areas of interest throughout their middle school years.
The study of agriculture falls into two categories: exploring agriculture education and basic agricultural science and technology. In exploring agriculture education, sixth grade students are introduced to agriculture in the United States and Georgia, including horticulture, animal science, and agriculture career clusters. Seventh grade students focus on the importance of agriculture including agriscience, forestry and natural resources, and agriculture mechanics. In basic agricultural science and technology, eighth grade students are introduced to the Agriscience Pathway Program of Study, which involves scientific agricultural production and research.
Sixth grade art students explore the elements of art and principles of design and explore the benefits of multiple solutions to a common question. Projects include painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, and ceramics. Seventh grade art students learn to understand and apply elements of art and principles of design and explore how and why art is used in various cultures. Projects include painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, and art history. Eighth grade art students master elements of art and principles of design and explore careers in art. Projects include painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, art history, and art criticism.
Band students commit to a year-long course of study. Instruction helps to build music literacy sequentially. Sixth grade offers beginning band; seventh is called intermediate; eighth grade band is advanced. Band students may possibly participate in District Honor Band auditions and District Honor Band clinic, the LCMS Band Christmas concert, Solo/Ensemble, GMEA Festival, Football pep band, and the spring concert.
Chorus students commit to a year-long course of study. Chorus builds skills in music literacy sequentially. Using voice as the musical instrument, learning includes reading music with solfege syllables and counting rhythms. Sixth grade offers beginning chorus; seventh is called intermediate; eighth grade chorus is advanced. Chorus teaches body alignment, breath flow, vowel shaping and efficient vocal technique. Possible extra-curricular chorus activities include All State Chorus, select choir, Christmas and spring concerts, and a variety of honor choirs, choral festivals, and spring competition.
Business & Computer Science
Using project-based instruction, students are introduced to the principles of business in the 21st century while improving technology skills. This course should also help students to use computers effectively in their lives, thus providing a connection of computer science and business careers. The goal of this course is to provide all middle school students with an introduction to the principles of computer science, Internet safety and usage, and computer applications. Students will explore how personality traits and personal values align with career choices and will develop a career plan. Personal, professional, and ethical standards of behavior for the workplace will be examined and reinforced in the classroom.
The goal of Exploratory Class is to provide instruction beyond the academic classes that is designed to integrate and apply the skills and concepts taught in the academic classes. In Exploratory Class, students will participate in activities that will allow them to gain experience in brainstorming, visualization, modeling, construction, testing, experimentation, and refining designs by reinforcing critical reading, writing, and thinking skills. Exploratory Class reinforce the areas of math, science, social studies, and language arts through practical application and hands-on design challenges.
The goal of Health is to teach students about healthy lifestyles, how to interpret health information, and how to make choices to promote good health. Students are taught to generate and choose positive alternatives to risky behaviors. Sex education (including AIDS prevention) and instruction concerning alcohol and drug abuse are part of the curriculum. They learn skills to resist peer pressure and manage stress and anxiety. By the end of the course, students are able to relate health choices (e.g., nutritional, physical activity) to alertness, feelings, and performance at school or during physical activity.
The physical education courses introduce students to a variety of sports. Students learn the rules of play and have the opportunity to actually participate in the sport. Sports studied include diamond sports (baseball, softball), basketball, football, volleyball, soccer, golf, fitness, bowling, badminton, horseshoes, shuffleboard, and Frisbee. Weight training is a year-long course available to students in seventh and eighth grades.
Students learn the basics of beginning Spanish such as pronunciation, the alphabet, colors, numbers, and common conversational phrases. Each year the course emphasizes certain vocabulary and skills such as food vocabulary, phrases related to eating and order in a restaurant, and phrases giving basic descriptions of people. From time to time, various aspects of Hispanic culture are discussed.