Previously called “exploratory classes,” 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 goal of these courses is to provide all middle school students with an introduction to the principles of computer science, basic keyboarding skills, Internet safety and usage, and computer applications including word processing, spreadsheet, slide show, and desktop publishing. In computer keyboarding the focus is on keyboarding skills, document formatting, and Internet searches. In computer basics, students continue keyboarding activities, create business documents, and explore career paths. In computer software, students build a knowledge base of computer applications including word processing, desktop publishing, slide show presentations, and spreadsheets.
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 East 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.
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.
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.
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.