Placerita Junior High

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Placerita students are given the opportunity to explore a variety of classes including music, dance, home arts, industrial arts, visual arts, world languages, yearbook, A.S.B., and even CSI (Crime Scene Investigation).  The following classes are a one-year commitment:  Chorus, Band, Orchestra, Dance, and Spanish. The exploratory wheel classes include:  Art, Home Economics, Industrial Arts, and CSI. These classes rotate every quarter so that students are exposed to a variety of enriching experiences.  All exploratory courses are designed to encourage creative thinking and allow students to investigate what they may want to pursue as careers in the future.
 

ART - Mrs. Schindewolf

Art is a quarter-long course which introduces students to the visual arts. In this class, students will develop their visual and technical skills and gain experience using many media. An emphasis will be placed on learning the elements of art and the principles of design while encouraging students to discover their own unique and expressive style. Vocabulary and artists from various periods, styles, and cultures will be incorporated into the projects.

DANCE - Mrs. Sucheck (Dance Website)

Beginning Dance is a year-long elective that explores several areas of movement, with a strong emphasis on hip-hop and basic jazz technique. This course is designed to introduce and promote the art of dance and encourage physical, social, emotional, and artistic growth. Students will also be able to explore their own creativity through various performance opportunities and choreography projects. Experienced and non-experienced dancers are welcome to take this elective, as it will prove rewarding and challenging for all levels.

Intermediate Dance is a year-long elective for students who have successfully completed Beginning Dance or have auditioned to be in the class. Intermediate Dance picks up where Beginning Dance left off. It is designed to improve technique and performance, while promoting physical, social, emotional, and artistic growth. Students will gain an extensive “dance vocabulary” and will also explore their own creativity through various performance opportunities and choreography projects. 

Advanced Dance is a year- long elective designed for students who have an extensive background in dance. Students must audition or gain permission from the teacher to be in this class. Advanced Dance has the same goals and objectives as the other courses, but moves at a faster pace, covers a variety of styles, and involves more difficult choreography.  Advanced Dance students are expected to maintain good grades, be actively involved in performances and productions, and to be responsible for representing/promoting Placerita’s dance program. Advanced Dancers will have several performance opportunities throughout the school year.

CULINARY ARTS - Ms. Cowell

Culinary Arts is a class of edible education! Students can look forward to preparing cookies, breads, pizza, sauces,egg dishes and soups as well as learning proper safety and sanitation in the kitchen.

Our main focus is on the following topics.

  • What does a good chef bring into the kitchen?

  • How does food choice affect nutrition?

  • How are nutrients affected by the methods of processing, preparing and storing food?

  • How does food quality affect cost?

  • What do various marketing terms used on food labeling really mean?

  • What advances in processing and packaging have affected our food supply?

  • What is a sustainable diet?

  • Why is meal planning important?

  • How do we interpret nutritional labeling?

This course will provide an overall understanding of the many aspects that go into the Culinary field.

 

INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY - Mr. Hampton

Industrial Technology class offers students a hands-on experience through the building of projects from different materials, such as, woods, metals, and plastics. Drafting (Technical Drawing) is also a big part of the curriculum. The different projects challenge students to develop problem solving skills. In addition, School-to-Career pathways are discussed, explaining to students that to advance into the trades a student must have a well- rounded educational foundation.This foundation can only be achieved by staying in school and attending a community college, trade school or four-year university.

MUSIC - Ms. Spula (Music Webpage)

Beginning Band is a two quarter introductory course designed to develop fundamental skills necessary for playing an instrument and reading music. Instruction is provided for woodwind, brass and percussion instruments. All students are provided with a school-loaned instrument. Members of the Beginning Band graduate into Intermediate Band after completing   the requirements of the B-band curriculum. B-Band members participate at the Annual Winter Concert scheduled at the end of the semester.There is no prerequisite for B-Band.

Intermediate Band is a continuation for musicians who have completed the semester prerequisite at the beginning band level. Music reading is fun and challenging! Students have the option of using their own instrument, one provided on loan from the school, or renting one. Intermediate Band members participate in the Annual Spring Concert scheduled at the end of the semester.

Advanced Band is a one-year commitment that offers the experienced musician a variety of musical advancement in the areas of tone refinement, intonation, rhythmic skills and performance. Fun and challenging band literature is studied with an emphasis toward mastery in musical performance.The Award- Winning Advanced Band participates at school concerts, area band competitions, community performance and the District JH Honor Band if selected. 

Chorus is a one-year commitment to vocal ensemble performance. Members of the chorus develop skills in vocal performance. Students are introduced to musical notation and basic vocal techniques. The chorus performs various styles of choral literature for school concerts, community programs and local choral festivals. Requirements include exemplary citizenship and a positive attitude. Prior experience in recommended but not required.

Orchestra at Placerita is designed for the musician with three or more years of experience playing violin, viola, cello, bass or piano. This one-year commitment to Orchestra enhances technique in both reading and music performance. The Award- Winning Orchestra participates at school concerts, orchestra competitions and community events.

WORLD LANGUAGES - Mrs. Baker

Spanish 1 is a four-quarter, high-school level course for 8th graders which introduces students to the language and culture of the Spanish-speaking countries.  Emphasis is placed on vocabulary and communicative-based activities.  Students will begin to develop speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in Spanish. Prerequisite: 3.0 grade-point average in English class. With teacher recommendation, successful completion of this course with a “C” or better will fulfill one year of the high school foreign language requirement.

EXPLORING COMPUTER SCIENCE - Mr. Carr

Exploring Computer Science is a 1 quarter long class.  This year we are working with code.org's Computer Science Discoveries curriculum. Computer science Discoveries is an introductory computer science course that empowers students to create authentic artifacts and engage with computer science as a medium for creativity, communication, problem solving, and fun.

Other Electives

ASSOCIATED STUDENT BODY (ASB) Leadership with Mrs. August is for the student interested in learning basic concepts of democratic government, leadership, parliamentary procedure, group process, speaking and writing, and organization in practical school situations.  8th graders may pre-register for ASB and 7th graders may be eligible for ASB after the second quarter. ASB students must have good grades, good attendance, and good behavior. They must maintain a 2.5 GPA or higher and have no D's and F's. An interview is a prerequisite to enter the class.

CSI (Crime Scene Investigations) with Mrs. Soto introduces students to the scientific methods that crime scene investigators and forensic scientists use to solve crimes.  Students work collaboratively in a lab situation to collect and analyze data. Students are asked to think like scientists in order to make logical deductions and develop explanations based on evidence.

STUDENT SERVICE opportunity is provided for responsible 8th graders with a 2.0 G.P.A. to serve as assistants in the office or library. Also, students may be utilized to assist teachers in classrooms or physical education classes. 

YEARBOOK with Mr. De Felice teaches students the essentials of digital photography while creating the school yearbook. Students will become an important part of Placerita’s history while they learn journalism techniques and the value of working as part of a team. No experience is necessary. This elective requires commitment and is for responsible students only.