In middle school, you will often find students writing papers in English, crunching numbers in math, learning American history in social studies, and testing hypotheses in science. These are the core subjects that have been and will continue to be the pillars of education. Beyond the core curriculum, the students choose electives that allows them to pursue their interests and passions or subjects that will better prepare them for success in high school and beyond. This process often elicits excitement and anticipation as they await their schedules!
“The mission of Chatham County Schools is to graduate globally competitive, well-rounded students by providing a rigorous and relevant curriculum in an effective, safe, and nurturing learning environment.” This mission is being supported at Margaret Pollard Middle School with the addition of two new classes, Spanish 1 and a STEM class.
Enrollment in Spanish 1 is a two-year commitment. Students will be enrolled in Spanish 1A for one semester in 7th grade and Spanish 1B for one semester in 8th grade. At the end of Spanish 1B, students will take a Spanish 1 end of course exam. Upon successful completion of the course and a passing exam grade, students will receive high school credit for the course. Ms. Stoneman will continue to teach the Spanish courses.
The new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) class is an option for 7th and 8th grade students. It will be offered during encore and will cover the following modules: alternative energy, computer graphics and animation, environment and ecology, mechanisms, robotics, intro into computer science, forensic science, and structural engineering. A new teacher will be hired for this class.
To be considered for the classes, the students or their parents must indicate that they are interested in taking the course(s). If there are more students interested in the classes than there are seats available, a lottery will be held.
When Mr. Perlberg was asked ‘why would it be beneficial for students to take these classes?’, he replied, “the advantage of students taking the STEM class is to help bring what students learn in Math and Science and tie it into real life and to learn about different kinds of careers the students may be interested in.” As for Spanish, “studies have shown that students who have, or are learning a second language increases their ability to problem-solve, increased memory, and may have enhanced concentration.”
These courses give the students the ability to take challenging coursework and to explore their passions that may peak an interest in their future careers.