Course Descriptions

Course Of Study Catalog 2022-2023

Click HERE to view Sierra Vista's entire course of study catalog

Elective options for 2022-2023

ADVANCED ART: (Grade 8)

**PrerequisiteSuccessful completion of Exploring Art and/OR permission from the art instructor.

This year-long class will build on the student’s foundation in art and basic skills, allowing them to explore favorite mediums in depth. Students will expand upon the elements of art and the principles of design with continued exploration of art media and techniques such as drawing, painting, and ceramics. Students are expected to present their personal point of view and think critically about the process while creating unique works of art.  Recommended donation*:  $60 for supplies for student projects which the  student will take home.

 

CHAMBER ORCHESTRA:  (Grade 7/8) 

**Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Chamber Orchestra is by audition and/or Sierra Vista teacher approval. 

*There are three orchestras:  Concert, Symphonic, and Chamber.

Chamber Orchestra is a full-year elective for string students of the highest caliber.  Participation is available to students by audition or music director invitation, for those interested in performing and studying high school level music literature. Class activities include performing in three concerts, IUSD Honor Orchestra audition preparation, the Instrumental Music Festival, and a field trip to Disneyland. Performing in concerts is an integral part of the course. 

 

CHORUS: (Grade 7/8)

Chorus is designed for students who have a desire to sing and participate in choral performance.  Choir students will learn to sing in a choral ensemble while improving competence in sight-singing, musicianship, and vocal skills.  A great deal of class time is spent on vocal/musical techniques and performance standards.  These skills will be demonstrated in several mandatory performances throughout the school year.  Students will learn and perform a wide variety of high quality choral literature that is appropriate for middle school performers and that adheres to the California Visual and Performing Arts Standards.  Choir students are eligible and encouraged to audition for the IUSD Middle School Honor Chorus. Recommended Donation*: $25

 

COMMUNICATION SKILLS: (Grade 7/8)

The functional communication program is a Special Education course that focuses on developing communication skills needed for success in school, work, and community settings. Students conduct class discussions, role playing, use of scripts, and solving daily problems. The course focuses on the continual improvement of communication skills in relation to peers, family, and the community. An individualized program is developed based on each student’s individual needs and IEP goals and objectives.

 

CONCERT BAND:  (Grade 7/8) 

*There are two bands: Concert and Symphonic

Concert Band is a full-year elective that offers instruction on piccolo, flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, trumpet, horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba and percussion. This class is open to any student who wishes to begin a new instrument as well as to those who want to better their skills. There are three performances each year, the IUSD Band Spectacular, as well as potential field trips to the Instrumental Music Festival, and Disneyland. Performing in concerts is an integral part of the course. A limited number of school-owned instruments are available for use.

 

CONCERT ORCHESTRA:  (Grade 7/8) 

*There are three orchestras:  Concert, Symphonic, and Chamber

Concert Orchestra is a full-year elective that offers instruction on violin, viola, cello, and string bass as well as a piano accompanist for performances. This class is open to any student who wishes to begin a new instrument, or for students who want to better their skills. There are three performances each year, as well as potential field trips to the Instrumental Music Festival, and Disneyland. Performing in concerts is an integral part of the course. A limited number of school-owned instruments are available for use.

 

CAREER & TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION (CTE) WHEEL: (Grade 7/8)

This course is a full-year course in which students take the following three classes for one trimester each.

  • CULINARY: This trimester course is for students who would like to learn food preparation, cooking, and baking skills and as a result, will often receive tasty treats from the good work they have completed.
  • DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY: Students will learn the art of photography and will learn the technical skills of editing software so they can take their masterpieces to the next level.
  • TECHNOLOGY: This trimester course will allow students to explore STEAM concepts as they use 3D printers, robots, and other technology to gain new understanding in this hands-on course. 

Each of these trimester-long electives give students a glimpse of what CTE options exist at our main feeder high school--Northwood--should they find a passion and want to pursue their interest further.

 

CULINARY(Grade 8)

This year-long course is for students who would like to learn food preparation, cooking, and baking skills and as a result, will often receive tasty treats from the good work they have completed.

 

DIRECTED STUDIES: (Grade 7/8)

This course is a special education class, consisting of specialized academic instruction, offered to support general education curriculum. In this class, students review daily assignments, organize and prioritize assignments, clarify directions, study for tests, retake or finish tests, learn study skills and receive assistance with long term projects. This class is designed to support IEP goals in the areas of organization, study skills, homework completion, classwork completion or overall executive functioning deficits. Enrollment in this class is based on a student’s IEP team decision that this class is appropriate.  

 

ELECTIVE WHEEL: (Grade 7/8)

This course is a full-year course in which students take the following three classes for one trimester each.   

  • ART: This trimester course is for students who would like to gain basic experiences in art such as drawing and painting. NO PREVIOUS ART EXPERIENCE REQUIRED. Recommended donation*: $20 for supplies for student projects which students will take home. 
  • ROBOTICS: Students will develop their skills in computational thinking and problem solving, begin to become literate in multiple coding languages, and learn to program robotics and 3D printers to solve specific design challenges.
  • DIGITAL ART/ANIMATION: Students create special effects, animation, or other visual images using film, video, computers, or other electronic tools and media for use in products or creations, such as computer games, movies, music videos, and commercials..

 

EXPLORE TECH: (Grade 7/8) 

This course is a full-year course designed to expose students to a variety of emerging technologies with an emphasis on collaboration and innovative technology. Students will learn various coding languages, build and code various robots, and utilize CAD software to create and print designs on 3D printers.  Skills learned include coding in multiple computer languages, building robots, and designing and creating objects with a 3D printer. Extensive group work required.

 

EXPLORING ART: (Grade 7/8) 

This course is a full-year course in which students learn the elements and principles of art and the basic skills and knowledge necessary to communicate in each art form, including clay work.  By experiencing various art activities, students will exercise their powers of observation, test their problem-solving skills, and use their creative imagination.  This course is intended for students who enjoy art and wish to expand their artistic horizons by working with varied mediums and exploring the history of art and various artists. NO PREVIOUS ART EXPERIENCE REQUIRED. Recommended donation*: $60 for supplies for student projects which students will take home.

 

ENGLISH LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT: (Grade 7/8)

This course is designed for English Language Learners so they have an additional support section in their schedule that will help guide them further in acquiring English Language skills.  Students enrolled in this course will practice reading, writing, and speaking regularly so they gain the skills necessary to succeed.  Students have been placed in this course based on their EL entrance exams, ELPAC, and/or teacher recommendation.

 

GUITAR:  (Grade 7/8)

This course is designed to teach the subject of music using the six-string classical guitar as the medium. It consists of students with varying abilities and experiences, including students who are beginners as well as repeating the course as advanced musicians.  The guitar class offers a comprehensive approach that will allow students to learn to read music; play solos and in ensembles; learn to apply music theory; develop self-discipline and a motivation to learn; and above all, gain a lifelong interest and participation in music. Recommended Donation*: $25

 

LEADERSHIP: (Grade 7/8) 

**Prerequisite:  Application (posted on our website)

Leadership is a year-long course where students act as role models and serve the school. As leaders of the school, they aim to promote and advance a positive school environment. Students learn various team building and leadership skills and how to apply them, including public speaking, teamwork, creativity, goal setting, planning, kindness, productivity, and problem solving. Students in the Leadership elective will also be responsible for organizing and planning the school dance parties, talent show, lunchtime activities, and spirit days to practice the leadership skills about which they learn in the class.

 

LIFE SKILLS FOR SUCCESS (formerly Academic Wheel): (Grade 7/8)

This course is a full-year course in which students take the following three classes for one trimester each.   

  • COMMUNICATION: This trimester course is for students who would like to build their speaking and listening skills so they can communicate more effectively with all types of people and audiences through various formal and informal methods and media.
  • PERSONAL FINANCE: This trimester course is for students who would like to gain skills necessary to take care of themselves financially and gain understanding of how they can begin to build their empire of wealth.
  • ORGANIZATION AND STUDY SKILLS: This trimester course is for students who would like to gain the skills and habits required to be successful in school and career.  This course will provide students with tried and true academic approaches while also building in oversight so the classroom teacher can ensure that work is completed and the student is organized.

 

LIFE SKILLS: (Grade 7/8)

This course is a special education course whose purpose is to learn essential independent living skills, community safety skills and the ability to make healthy life choices.  Daily living skills, such as cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking and mobility training, social skills, self advocacy skills as well various recreation/leisure activities will be emphasized to improve each student’s quality of life.  

 

    MATH LAB: (Grade 7/8)

    **Prerequisite: Teacher Recommendation

    The Math Lab course is an intervention course designed to help students fill gaps and enhance the understanding of mathematics, preview and review content related to their current math course, and prepare students for success in high school. Students are recommended for this course based on math teacher appraisal, grades, and/or STAR Renaissance test results. Students identified for this course are strongly required to participate, and will also be allowed to engage in an elective of their choice during the academic day.Additional focuses of this course include: reviewing material from previous math courses, developing a growth mindset, improving organization skills/strategies, time management, and developing study skills.

     

    MUSICAL THEATRE: (Grade 7/8) 

    This course is designed for students with beginning to advanced skills in musical theatre.  This class will provide students the opportunity to explore acting exercises, movement for musical theatre, and vocal music.  A great deal of class time is spent on creative drama, solo/ensemble singing, and performance standards.  These skills will be demonstrated in several mandatory performances throughout the year, including a major musical production in the spring.  Students will experience all aspects of musical theatre and acquire the necessary skills to succeed in the subject area according to the California Visual and Performing Arts Standards.  A major component of this class is experiencing the concept of ensemble and emphasizing the roles of all performers as a whole, rather than star performances. Musical theatre students are eligible and encouraged to audition for the IUSD Middle School Honor Chorus. Recommended Donation*: $25

     

    OFFICE AIDE:  (Grade 8) 

    **Prerequisite: All  “S’s” or “O’s” in citizenship, work habits, & effort in grade 7, Application (available on sierravista.iusd.org) and interview. 

    This year-long class gives students the opportunity to build their interpersonal skills and experience working in an office environment. Students handle incoming calls, greet visitors, perform office duties, run call slips and other errands to class rooms.  Students learn to troubleshoot and assist the office in the efficient running of our school. Students will develop strong communication skills and confidence over the course of the year. 

     

    PHOTOJOURNALISM: (Grade 7/8) 

    **Prerequisite:  Must have all “S’s” or “O’s” in citizenship, work habits, & effort in grade 6/7; and a teacher recommendation.  

    This course is a full-year course in which students will learn the basic principles of journalism and digital photography.  Students will develop skills that include writing copy, captions and headlines; digital photography; desktop publishing and using appropriate technology tools for media production.  With the help of publishing software, students will use their photography and writing skills to create the design, layout and content of our annual yearbook.  Students should be proficient in using computers, and have some experience with or interest in using photo editing and/or publishing software.  This course requires that students are creative, work well in a self-directed classroom (or throughout campus), and are able to meet established timelines for completion of work.  Recommended donation*: $10  

     

    READING LAB/READ 180: (Grade 7/8)

    **Prerequisite: Teacher Recommendation

    Reading Lab is a course that utilizes Read 180 © software and curriculum to increase student reading fluency and comprehension.  Using both fiction and nonfiction texts that tie to all curricular areas, students are able to work at their own pace to raise their Lexile and reading fluency.  The curriculum is engaging and high interest to keep students reading, which thus leads to higher Lexile scores and increased comprehension over time.  The more students access the software, the faster they can grow in their reading and graduate from the course.  The instructor guides the students by tracking their progress over time as well as doing group work and activities. 

     

    SCIENCE OLYMPIAD: (Grade 7 & 8) 

    **Prerequisite:  See information here.

    Science Olympiad is focused on helping students prepare for and compete in 23 different engineering, lab and science study events at the regional, state and national level. The class is designed to help guide students into becoming experts in different areas of science and using that knowledge to compete with their teammates at competitions.  The class is geared towards students who have a strong passion for science and engineering and are willing to spend time outside of school collaborating and learning with their fellow teammates. Since this is a student centered class each member should be highly responsible and be able to work independently in learning the subject matter.  Recommended donation*:$300

     

    SPANISH 1:  (Grade 8) 

    This course is considered a first year high school honors level course.  Students will study Spanish high school pace through reading, writing, listening and speaking. They will also explore the rich and varied Spanish cultures around the world. The course will be conducted primarily in Spanish. Students that are able to successfully demonstrate proficiency in the four domains of foreign language: reading, writing, listening, and speaking in all three trimesters; and successfully pass the End of Course Assessment with a “B” or above will be recommended for Spanish 2 as freshman in high school. A minimum of two years is generally required for four-year college entrance and three years is highly recommended (for UC colleges). 

     

    SYMPHONIC BAND:  (Grade 7/8) 

    **Prerequisite:  Enrollment in the Symphonic Band is by audition and/or Sierra Vista teacher approval. 

    *There are two bands: Concert and Symphonic. 

    Symphonic Band is a full-year elective for wind and percussion students whose playing is of the highest caliber. It is open to all students who are interested in performing the most challenging music available to middle school students. Class activities include performing in three concerts, the IUSD Band Spectacular, IUSD Honor Orchestra audition preparation, the Instrumental Music Festival, and a field trip to Disneyland. Performing in concerts is an integral part of the course.  
     

    SYMPHONIC ORCHESTRA:  (Grade 7/8) 

    **Prerequisite: Enrollment in Symphonic Orchestra is by audition and/or Sierra Vista teacher approval. 

    *There are three orchestras:  Concert, Symphonic, and Chamber.

    Symphonic Orchestra is a full-year elective for string students whose playing is of a high caliber. Participation is available to students by audition or music director invitation, for those interested in performing the most challenging music available to middle school students.  Class activities include performing in three concerts, IUSD Honor Orchestra audition preparation, the Instrumental Music Festival, and a field trip to Disneyland. Performing in concerts is an integral part of the course.  

     

    VIDEO PRODUCTION: (Grade 8) 

    **Prerequisite: Must have all “S’s” or “O’s” in citizenship, work habits, & effort in grade 6/7.  

    This course is a full-year course focused on learning and utilizing technology to create, produce, direct and edit short videos through hands-on learning.  Student learning activities will include montages, parodies, public announcements, commercials, interviews, industry standards and more.  Extensive group work required. 

     

    VOCATIONAL SKILLS: (Grade 7/8)

    This course is a special education course designed to help students develop employability skills and to help them get ready to work. Pre-vocational activities will be worked on in a classroom setting. Depending on each student’s individual needs and skill level the course offers students the opportunity to gain a basic understanding of essential job skills both social and academic.

     

    blended learning

    Blended learning is a 21st century learning environment where some of the learning takes place face-to-face in a school setting, and some of the learning takes place in an online environment. The online environment can be synchronous, meaning the students and teachers are interacting in a real-time environment (such as a live, online classroom, or through collaborative documents), or in an asynchronous environment, meaning students collaborate with peers, interact with multimedia content and submit assignments at various time during the school week.

     

    Blended learning requires a high level of personal responsibility, as the learner must take the initiative to show mastery of learning and complete certain course objectives independently. It is important to know that while blended learning allow for some flexibility in terms of when and where assignments are completed, students must meet certain checkpoints and remain on pace throughout the semester. Students in blended learning are expected to show academic integrity and use technology responsibly for the purposes of education.

     

    Students interested in the Blended Learning Program, please see the linked information packet. If you have questions or wish to register, please see your school counselor. 

     

    *Note Regarding Suggested Donations: While State law does not allow school districts to charge fees to students for educational activities, many of our elective courses rely heavily on financial contributions from participating families. Please know that a donation is not required to participate, and families that choose to contribute may do so at any amount. However, the suggested donation indicated for such courses will provide the amount necessary to sustain our programs at their current level. Conversely, insufficient enrollment and/or insufficient funding will negatively impact these educational opportunities.

     

    *Nondiscrimination Statement

    The Irvine Unified School District is committed to equal opportunity for all individuals in education. District programs and activities including membership in student clubs shall be free from discrimination based on race, color, ancestry, nationality, ethnic group identification, immigration status, age, religion, actual or potential parental, family, or marital status, or the exclusion of any person because of pregnancy or related conditions, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, or genetic information; the perception of one or more of such characteristics; or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.

    The District does not discriminate in enrollment in or access to any of the activities and programs available. Admission to these programs is based on age appropriateness, class space, interest, aptitude, and prerequisite coursework where applicable. The lack of English skills shall not be a barrier to admission to or participation in the District’s activities and programs. The Irvine Unified School District also does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices.

    This notice is provided as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the California Code of Regulations Title 5, Chapter 5.3 Nondiscrimination. Questions, complaints, or requests for additional information regarding these laws may be forwarded to the District’s designated compliance coordinators.

    Section 504 Coordinator: Sunghie Okino, Ed.D., Coordinator, Prevention and Intervention; 3387 Barranca Pkwy, Irvine, CA 92606, (949)936-7523

    CTE Coordinator: Patsy Janda, 5050 Barranca Pkwy, Irvine, CA 92604, (949)936-5000

    Title IX, Title 5, CCR Coordinator: Keith Tuominen, Director of Secondary Education, 5050 Barranca Pkwy, Irvine, CA 92604, (949)936-5047

    Title II, Title VI Coordinator: Tammy Blakely, Coordinator of Student Services, 5050 Barranca Pkwy, Irvine, CA 92604, (949)936-5000

    For assistance in translating this document, contact Language Minority Programs at (949)936-8500 or Lang-Minority@iusd.org

     

     

    ***Sexual Harassment – Students    Board Policy 5145.7

    The Board of Education is committed to maintaining a learning environment free from harassment, intimidation or insult, student-to-student or adult-to-student, on the basis of an individual's actual or perceived sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender expression. Positive action will be taken when necessary to eliminate such practices or remedy their effects.

    Sexual harassment, as defined and otherwise prohibited by state and federal statutes, constitutes an unlawful form of sex discrimination in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In addition, sexual harassment constitutes violation of the California Education Code, regulations of the State Board of Education, and District Policy. As such, sexual harassment may constitute just cause for discipline pursuant to applicable Education Code Sections. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries and complaints regarding the sexual harassment policy:

    Sierra Vista Middle School: Lynn Matassarin, Principal, 2 Liberty, Irvine CA 92620, (949) 936-6600.

    District Office: Title IX Coordinator – Keith Tuominen, Director, Secondary Education, 5050 Barranca Pkwy, Irvine, CA 92604, (949)936-5047.