SMS offering electives classes

September 24, 2012

Sweetwater Middle School to start offering elective classes

In the midst of their technological transition, Sweetwater Middle School is making even more headway by announcing a wide range of electives classes to be offered at all grade levels.
Starting on Monday, September 24, the elective classes will take the place during the regular tutorial hour--fifth period, with the mindset of learning more about students' "unique experiences, interests and learning styles" in order to "guide, support and motivate" them.
SMS Principal Jeff Withrow noted that these classes aren't "traditional academic classes". The hope is that they will be "fun and exciting for the student and teacher", while also being relaxing and expanding students' knowledge in various fields.
"We want to bring a little joy and fun to the Middle School campus," said Withrow. "We have been so focused on the academics the past few years we forgot that education can be fun."
Various guidelines are in place for the electives classes, which will either run for six weeks, a semester or the entire school year, depending on the class. They will be offered Monday through Thursday, with Friday designated for study hall / UIL.
Students will have to demonstrate responsibility and commitment during their elective class, as there will be a pass or fail grade given. Once they have selected their elective class, they will not be allowed to change until the next elective session. For those in the six-week programs, once their class is completed they will be able to select another elective.
In the event of too many students in an elective, a random drawing will be held to place the students in the class. At least 12 students must be signed up in order for the elective class to begin.
Behavior expectations are also outlined for students, in a pamphlet distributed to parents. Should a student fail the first three weeks of any class, they will not be allowed to participate in an elective, but attend tutorial class.
The student will be reevaluated at the end of the next six weeks for another chance to take an elective, but any failing grade on a student's report card will result in the placement of a math or reading tutorial class during that period.
According to Withrow, the student will have the chance to get back into the elective class by having a passing grade in all of their classes on the next six-weeks report card.
Nineteen electives are being offered to meet just about every interest of students--ranging from science, math, music, computers, arts and crafts, athletics and so much more. Several of the classes will even take part in outside events as well.
"Students that participate in our elective classes will develop fundamental skills that will help them in their everyday life," added Withrow. "Many of our new elective classes...are designed to be fun and enriching and give the student a well-rounded educational experience."
Withrow also shared that throughout the year, more elective classes will be added. Next semester, SMS is hoping to offer Drivers' Ed, but in the meantime, he hopes that all students will get involved and participate in the electives classes.
The following is a list of the electives offered at SMS for the fall 2012 semester, with the instructor(s):
Six Weeks:
Bling it On! - Coach Locklar
Book Club - Ms. Cleckler
Broadcasting - Mrs. Allen / Ms. Walker
Cheerleading - Mrs. Crain
Chess Club - Mr. Walthall
Creative Writing / Poetry Club - Mr. Perry
Culinary - Ms. Wood / Ms. Guernsey
Dance - Mrs. Harrison / Ms. Armstrong
Golf - Coach Mercer
Jump Rope - Ms. Howard
Photography - Mrs. Tabor
Scrapbooking - Mrs. Whittenburg
Web Design - Mrs. Kitchens
Woodworking / Mechanics - Mr. Withrow
Semester/Year:
Robotics - Mr. Arpin
Theater - Mrs. Hamlin
TMSCA (Texas Math and Science Coaches Association) - Mr. Hopple
Year:
Pops Sensations - Ms. Fox
Jazz Band - Mr. Faucett

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