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High School electives are typically courses that fall outside of the main core academic subject areas. These courses are not required, but a student chooses to take them. Electives may reflect a student's interests, introduce or improve skills, or be directly related to a future career.

STJ offers the following electives: 

Art 1
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 9-12
In Art 1, there will be a healthy mixture of drawing, painting, ceramics, mixed media, photography, along with some art history and learning of techniques. Any student is welcomed and encouraged to take Art 1.

Advanced Art
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 10-12
Prerequisites – successful completion of Art 1. This class will do all of the above types of art, but will have more freedom of decision making. This class is for the serious student that is interested and wanting to learn more intently about all things art, or a specific medium of art. This class will be graded harder than Art 1, but is very rewarding and very fun too.

Art History
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 9-12
Students will examine works of art from diverse cultures and the relationships among those works, and develop an understanding of global artistic traditions.  Students will expand their knowledge of history, geography, politics, religion, languages, and literature as they explore the story of people as told through the art they created.

1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 9-12
The band will provide the diversity of Marching and Concert Band. It serves to enrich and reinforce the basic marching and instrumental music skills through performance with emphasis on success and improvement. Student participation in competitive individual and ensemble events will be required for some activities. Fundamentals of instrument mastery and care are a large part of this course. Students will enhance their instrumental skills through music theory and varying styles of literature. Students who enroll in the band will be expected to attend outside of school time rehearsals and performances.

1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 9-12
The choir program is structured to meet students at their musical level by offering training and advanced levels of choral music. Annual concerts in the community, at Christmas and each spring are a few of the performance opportunities offered to the students. Competitive events are also offered – state solo contest, concert and sight-reading contests and festivals.

Digital Art, Animation & Audio Design
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 10-12
A fun and practical hands-on course where students draw, animate art and create music using cool computer apps. Students learn technical skills in digital art design, 3D computer animation, audio creation and sound editing techniques. They will use a computer to do independent and collaboration projects.

Dual Credit Electives
Grades 10-12 ~ Prerequisites – achieve the Texas required scores on either the SAT, ACT or TSI and be in good academic standing at STJ. 
Junior or senior status preferred, although younger students may be approved on an individual basis.  Students must be self-motivated and diligent in their study habits in order to be successful in a dual credit class, especially those taken online.  The student MUST meet with the counselor individually and follow instructions for getting enrolled in a class prior to the deadline given. The current cost for a 3-credit hour class is ~$300 with textbook.

Engineering Your World - Design
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 11-12
Engineer Your World uses a curriculum developed by The University of Texas in collaboration with NASA engineers. This course will engage students in authentic engineering design and computing practices in a problem-solving, inquiry-focused, project-based environment. Students discover the engineering design process, make data-driven decisions, and work in multi-level teams to solve complex challenges.  They explore mechanical, chemical, civil, electrical, and aerospace engineering through design challenges. Through the work on these projects, students develop engineering habits of mind and skills needed for the 21st century – creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and collaboration.

Engineering Your World - Computer Science
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 11-12
EYW: Engineering Applications of Computer Science is an engineering course that engages students in programming and computational thinking to solve hands-on engineering design challenges. For students with an interest in engineering, the course provides opportunities to design computing-enabled solutions to engineering problems. For students with an interest in learning to code or to apply coding skills, the course’s hands-on, human-centered approach motivates the development of programming and other computational thinking skills. For both groups, the course sparks curiosity and provides valuable experiences with computing, design, and problem-solving that will benefit all students, regardless of their future goals.

Film Production
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 10-12
This course uses professional caliber equipment and is designed to be a total immersion into the filmmaking experience. Students will have the opportunity to see and analyze a number of feature films and documentaries that make filmmaking a truly special art form. Students in this class will also learn how to write a logline, how to pitch a project storyboard, and how to write a film treatment. This class will give students an opportunity to learn how to create a video podcast from the beginning stages to the end. Students will continue to work on a wide variety of filmmaking projects designed to strengthen the high school portfolio.

Film Studies
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 12
This elective course for juniors and seniors will focus on the history of filmmaking, cinema as an art form, the rise of the documentary, and the relationship between film and culture.  All work and activities will be done in class.  We will watch various genres of film from various time periods.  We may watch films that have an R rating, but they would be chosen for their artistic and cultural value, not for any gratuitous or inappropriate reasons.

Foundations of Law
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 10-12
This class will examine civil, criminal and administrative law as well as the different roles and professions within each.  One semester will focus on civil and administrative law and what that encompasses, while the other semester will be devoted to the criminal justice system.

Fundamentals of Personal Finance
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 10-12
Personal Finance is designed to equip students with vital skills and strategies as they take on the responsibility of managing their finances and planning for their futures. The curriculum is authored by Dave Ramsey and correlates with state and national standards. Some of the concepts presented include: managing personal finances to achieve goals, budgeting, avoiding identity theft, personal taxes, compound interest, consumer decision making, terms of loans, amortization, managing and eliminating debt, investing, and building wealth.

½ credit, 1 semester ~ Grades 11-12
This one semester course is an introduction to the global perspectives, basic concepts and fundamental questions of geography, with a focus on geography, religion, achievements, politics, economics, and social structures.

German 1
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 9-12
In this world language course, students will be introduced to German culture and learn to read, write, and speak basic German. Students will study our area's rich, local German history and dive into current events.

German 2
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 10-12
Students will resume building communication skills through listening, reading, writing and speaking in German. Learning of the language structure will be deepened and new vocabulary and grammar will be mastered. German culture and history will be covered and discussed. More emphasis will be placed on speaking the language. 

German 3
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 11-12
The student will negotiate meaning through the spoken & written exchange of information in rehearsed and unrehearsed situations in a variety of contexts.  The student will use a mixture of short statements and sentences using appropriate and applicable grammar structures and processes at the specified proficiency levels, as well as comprehend culturally authentic print, digital, and audiovisual materials.

Introduction to Guitar
½ credit, 1 semester ~ Grades 11-12
In this one semester class, students will be learning the basic fundamental skills needed for learning to play the guitar. Students will work on beginner music theory, finger mechanics, rhythm, melody, chords, and building their ears to excel in music. Students will need to provide their own guitar. Class size is limited. 

1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 10-12
This course is designed to provide students with industry-standard journalism skills and the ability to apply those skills to the actual production of the yearbook. Students will learn the Walsworth Online Publishing Design Program, as well as marketing skills through advertising, contacting local businesses for yearbook sponsorships, and promoting the sale of the yearbook.

Mid-Coast Construction Academy
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 11-12
Students will attend the Mid-Coast Construction Academy from 8-10 am every morning (two class periods). Students can decide to focus on Electrical trades or Plumbing. Tuition paid to Mid-Coast by the student is $1100 per semester.

Modern Warfare
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 10-12
This course will survey global conflicts in the last century, including World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the War on Terror, and the ongoing conflicts of today. The course will look at military conflicts, the homefront during these conflicts, and how these conflicts are portrayed in books, television, and movies.

Multimedia Literacy and Digital Citizenship
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 11-12
We live in an age with easier access to information than ever before. While this is an exciting reality, it also means that we need to be more responsible with how we access that information and what we do with it.  The Multimedia Literacy course will focus on developing responsible media habits and critical analysis of a range of media such as political cartoons, advertisements, film and photography, music, television, social media apps, news media, artificial intelligence, and more. Historic and contemporary uses of propaganda will be explored as well. Discussion and research of current events and contemporary pop culture will also be a core part of the curriculum. The course will be primarily project-based and will work collaboratively with the Advancement Office and other academic departments in order to help spread awareness of the importance of media literacy among the broader STJ student body. 

Music Appreciation and Theory
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 9-12
The Music Appreciation and Theory course will look at the history and theory of Western music from the Baroque Era to the present day. All genres of music will be explored. Students will learn about musical concepts such as musical notation, major and minor scales, harmonic progressions, chord structures, and more. Basic keyboarding on the piano will also be covered. Students will also develop their listening and aural skills throughout the year. No knowledge of how to play an instrument or how to read music is necessary as a prerequisite for the course. Students may opt to take the AP Music Theory Exam at the end of the year as well if they wish to try and receive college credit.

1 Credit~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 10-12
Prerequisites – successful completion of Art I and preferably Advanced Art. Painting is a year-long visual art course where students will explore and experience a variety of painting techniques, media, and historical approaches to art. Painting is a problem-solving course dealing with form, color, line, and texture (figurative and abstract). Through the use of the world outside the classroom, models, drawings, photographs and imagination, students interpret and express the painter’s world in a variety of materials, including acrylic and water-soluble oil paint, watercolor, ink, paper, and canvas as well as a variety of experimental media. Work outside of class will be required.

Spanish 3 Honors
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 10-12
Spanish 3 is an honors course that continues the student’s understanding of and appreciation for the Spanish language.  The primary focus is the student’s improvement of their listening, reading, speaking and writing skills in Spanish.  Students will continue to learn new vocabulary and grammar, but will also further explore the vibrant cultures of Spanish-speaking countries and peoples through studying, analyzing, and discussing various media including film, music and literature.  The course is fast-paced and assumes that the student has a firm grasp of most concepts taught in Spanish 1 and Spanish 2.

Spanish 4 - AP
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 11-12
AP Spanish Language and Culture is equivalent to an intermediate level college course in Spanish. Students cultivate their understanding of Spanish language and culture by applying interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes of communication in real-life situations as they explore concepts related to family and communities, personal and public identities, beauty and aesthetics, science and technology, contemporary life, and global challenges.

Speech & Debate 
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 10-12
This class exposes students to various types of speeches and argumentation in a basic and straightforward manner. In addition to preparing original speeches, you will learn to speak off-the-cuff and give prepared speeches. You will learn how to give and accept an award, write and deliver a eulogy, and win arguments. Students also study competitive forensics, which will introduce students to competitive public address speeches and interpretations of prose, poetry, and drama. Students will learn how to structure speeches, and be taught how to characterize and present a piece of literature for competition. They will also learn how to critique each of these types of presentations. Students will be able to participate in contests and tournaments.

Spirituality & Ministry
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 11-12
This practical course offers a blend of teaching, discussion, experiential exercises, activities, and opportunities for service.  We will explore various approaches to spirituality and ministry and ways to animate spiritual, social, and service activities on campus. This course is open to Juniors and Seniors who are interested in being involved with Campus Ministry at STJ.

Starlighter Dance Team
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 9-12
The St. Joseph High School Starlighters Dance and Drill Team is a year- round activity beginning in late April with annual tryouts. All girls that have been accepted to attend St. Joseph High School for the following year and have met all pre-requisites are invited to try out. In the summer, the team hosts two Kiddie Camps for children ages 3-14. The team performs at all varsity football games during the fall, as well as some volleyball and basketball games. Immediately after football season, the team begins to prepare for their competition season and the annual spring preview. In addition to all the practice hours, they are very active in many service projects both for school and the community. 

1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 11-12 
This is an introductory course to the study of statistics and probability and will provide students with the basic concepts of data analysis and statistical computing.  Students will learn to interpret the numbers in surveys, election polls, sports, and medical studies.  They will use graphs such as histograms, stem plots, time plots, and scatter plots to display data, using numbers such as median, mean, and standard deviation to describe data, evaluate data distribution, and calculate probability of events.  Topics include sampling, surveys, experimental design, organizing data, distributions, probability and inference.

Strength & Conditioning
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 11-12
Students will learn the relationships between physical activity, physical fitness, group interaction, cooperation, an appreciation for the abilities and limitations of self and others and various health-related outcomes.  Through the course, students will gain knowledge and skills needed to develop a lifelong pattern of physical activity.  Students will also learn the basics of treating sports related injuries.  By the end of the course, students will improve their physical fitness by participating in group fitness classes, weight training, walking, jogging, aquatic fitness, nutrition and other activities.

Theatre Arts
1 Credit ~ 2 Semesters ~ Grades 9-12
The Theatre Arts class is designed to introduce students to theater basics, technical theater, elements of acting, creating a character, producing, directing, and playwriting.  Students in the class MUST be able to:

  • Attend all auditions, even if the desired position is only backstage
  • If cast in a production, must be able to rehearse for 6 to 8 weeks in the evening, Sunday through Thursday.  If not cast in the show, must attend rehearsals two weeks prior to the show to learn how to work the set, etc.
  • Perform scenes within the classroom, memorizing lines and blocking.  Must work collaboratively with others in the class.