Academics

Middle School Electives

Middle School Elective Courses

At The Weiss School, all students in 6th-8th grade select their elective courses based on their individual preferences. Students begin the independent process of exploring their individual academic interests and potential career choices by taking a wide variety of elective courses that match their interests. There are no mandatory elective courses for middle school students as student choice and independence are traits that the Weiss School fosters for exceptional learners.

The individualization of each student’s schedule is a unique component of The Weiss School as the objective is to challenge, engage, and excite students about learning through the potential of their unique gifts. By being able to select from 21 different elective courses, Weiss School students are provided with a uniquely individualized educational experience that builds upon their academic and social strengths.

Prior to the beginning of each school year, Middle School students rank their elective course choices in order from 1-15. The selection of 1 is considered their top requested elective course choice while the selection of 15 is their least requested elective course choice. Few student schedules are the same as student choice drives the creation of customized educational experiences.

All of the Middle School elective courses are based on the six Centers of Excellence and descriptions of the courses are provided below. New elective courses are added to the academic curriculum each school year.

The Arts Center of Excellence

List of 3 items.

  • Course: ART FROM THE HEART

    Subject Area: Art

    Pre-Requisite: N/A

    Description: This course is designed for students who love art and are ready to get their creative juices flowing. Students work in a wide variety of mediums including drawing, painting, sculpting, and muraling. The goal is for student work to be entered into art competitions.
  • Course: PIANO

    Subject Area: Music

    Pre-Requisite: N/A

    Description: This course is designed for middle school students who are either interested in learning to play the piano or want to continue learning how to play the piano. Basic knowledge of reading music is helpful but it is not a pre-requisite for the course. In this course, solo music is explored in addition to music for recitals. This is a great course for students who want to expand upon their piano repertoire and experiences.
  • Course: SYMPHONIC BAND

    Subject Area: Music

    Pre-Requisite: Have played a musical instrument for at least 1 year.

    Description: This course is the top music ensemble at The Weiss School. In this course, concert band literature and solo/ensemble music is performed throughout the year. Teaching artists work with students on a bi-weekly basis. Some after school commitments including concerts and other performances are required for this course. 

Language Arts/Speech & Debate Center of Excellence

List of 6 items.

  • Course: DEBATE - INTRODUCTION

    Subject Area: Public Speaking

    Pre-Requisite: N/A

    Description: This course allows students to explore the world of competitive speech and debate. Events that are included in this course include Student Congress, Oral Interpretation, Public Forum, and Declamation. These events combine the interpretive and debate side of forensics and build organizational and research skills while teaching students to argue and listen effectively. While students are not required to participate in local and regional competitions, participation is encouraged in order to practically apply their skills in a real-world setting.
  • Course: DEBATE - VARSITY

    Subject Area: Public Speaking

    Pre-Requisite: Must have completed the Debate – Introduction course.

    Description: This course allows students to build upon previously learned skills and expand upon their competitive event experiences. Events that are explored in this course include Lincoln Douglas, Duo Interpretation, Extemporaneous, and Original Oratory. Students who are competing members of The Weiss School Debate team are highly encouraged to enroll in this course and class time is devoted to preparing for tournaments in their chosen events while also learning new concepts. Students who would like to compete in the National Speech and Debate Association, which is a widely respected national honor society of speech and debate, are also strongly encouraged to join the after-school debate program for additional practice to prepare for tournaments and competitions.
  • Course: FRIDAY MORNING SHOW

    Subject Area: Public Speaking

    Pre-Requisite: N/A

    Description: This course provides students with the opportunity to plan, develop, and produce the Friday Morning Show that is presented to The Weiss School students, faculty, and parents in the cafetorium 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Fridays of each month. In this course, students experience a behind the scenes perspective into the show production concepts of on-stage hosting, lighting, sound coordination, and theatrical performances.
  • Course: NEWSPAPER PRODUCTION

    Subject Area: Language Arts

    Pre-Requisite: N/A

    Description: Students enrolled in this course develop a school newspaper in an electronic format. The objective of the course is to inspire students to read and write in styles that encourage the awareness of factual language in real contexts which enables students to cultivate the proficiencies to write effectively. This course enables students to become active producers of authentic information through the process approach that follows the stages of prewriting, composing, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing.
  • Course: WRITING WORKSHOP

    Subject Area: Language Arts

    Pre-Requisite: N/A

    Description: Call for authors! This course allows students to explore and enhance their writing talents from multiple perspectives. From creative writing activities such as writing poetry, journals, short stories, and blogs to academic business style writing activities such as abstracts and proposals, this course facilitates student creativity. Collaboration with other classes and opportunities for publication and competition is provided.
  • Course: YEARBOOK

    Subject Area: Language Arts

    Pre-Requisite: N/A

    Description: This course provides students with the opportunity to study and practice the process of gathering and analyzing information, conducting interviews, and engaging in photography for the purpose of writing, editing, and publishing The Weiss School yearbook. This course emphasizes teamwork in which students work collaboratively to complete the process of publishing the annual yearbook.

Social Studies Center of Excellence

List of 2 items.

  • Course: HISTORY EXHIBITS

    Subject Area: Social Studies

    Pre-Requisite: N/A

    Description: In History Exhibits elective, students study the various steps necessary to create a professional museum-quality exhibit.  Students work as a team to research and interpret a local topic while working with academics and professionals in preparation of interpreting archaeological content, design study, and the production of a final exhibit.  The topic focus for the 2017-2018 school year is on the Ortona Indian Mounds in LaBelle, FL.
  • Course: NATIONAL HISTORY RESEARCH LAB

    Subject Area: Social Studies

    Pre-Requisite: N/A

    Description: This course provides students with the opportunity for extra time outside of normal class time to research, build, and prepare their pieces for National History Day.

STEM Center of Excellence

List of 4 items.

  • Course: ADVANCED ROBOTICS

    Subject Area: Science

    Pre-Requisite: Limited to 7th and 8th grade students who completed the Mechatronics/Robotics course.

    Description: In this course, students use the VEX Robotics System to build, program, and operate VEX System robots in preparation for the annual competition. VEX robots are larger, less modular, and turnkey than the LEGO robotics system and students learn more of the grassroots mechatronics side to robot design. This more accurately approximates the work of roboticists in the field and is the next step between FIRST LEGO League (Elementary) and FIRST Robotics Challenge (High School). Students who enroll in this course cannot be enrolled in the regular Mechatronics/Robotics course.
  • Course: AEROSPACE

    Subject Area: Science

    Pre-Requisite: N/A

    Description: This course provides students with the opportunity to consider the nature of and access to space and the benefits of a robust space program. The space environment and space-related geo-political relations are discussed. Students analyze and solve problems related to orbits and interplanetary flights, meet space professionals, consider ascent/descent principles, spacecraft subsystems, and space systems engineering. Student have the opportunity to support the development and testing of WeissSat-1, the CubeSat chosen by NASA to fly in space.
  • Course: MECHATRONICS/ROBOTICS

    Subject Area: Science

    Pre-Requisite: N/A

    Description: This course provides students with the opportunity to explore the concepts of mechatronics and robotics. Mechatronics is an emerging field of engineering which brings together the aspects of electronics, mechanics, and systems integration and control. This course emphasizes electronics theory and practice in addition to computer programming to develop electronic control of physical devices using the popular Arduino microcontrollers and the Raspberry PI microcomputers. This course also provides students with the opportunity to explore the concepts of robotics. Robots are reprogrammable devices which take repetitive or dangerous tasks and students control them with increasingly limited human interaction using tele operated, supervisory, or autonomous methods. In this course, students utilize LEGO EV3 and VEX robotics kits to master the robotics elements of mechanisms, sensing, and control to create effective robotics systems.
  • Course: SPECIAL ENGINEERING PROJECTS

    Subject Area: Science

    Pre-Requisite: N/A

    Description: This course provides students with the opportunity to build technology for the school including wind tunnels, vacuum chambers, augmented reality sandboxes, and other exciting technologies. Students are guided through the design and construction of special devices for the school to enhance programs. Students learn about tool care, use, and safety by working with a variety of materials and processes, craftsmanship, and quality.

Foreign Language Center of Excellence

List of 3 items.

  • Course: BEGINNING MANDARIN

    Subject Area: Foreign Language

    Pre-Requisite: N/A

    Description: This course is an introductory language course in Mandarin Chinese. The Weiss School Mandarin program uses a method of Chinese speaking which helps students develop their understanding and speaking skills of the Chinese language. In this course, a standard and logical Q&A pattern is composed of two or three questions that lead to negative answers, which then leads to a “what”, “where”, “how”, “which”, “who”, or “whose” question and answer session. Students also learn the Pinyin writing system and the fundamentals of Chinese pronunciation.
  • Course: INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED MANDARIN

    Subject Area: Foreign Language

    Pre-Requisite: Must have completed the Beginning Mandarin course.

    Description: This course focuses on simple Chinese words, phrases, and useful expressions for everyday Mandarin speaking. Students in the intermediate level become more proficient in the reading and writing of Chinese characters as pronunciation and speaking proficiency are emphasized. Students are introduced to the basic Chinese character components and the proper character stroke orders. Students develop skills in the four language skills of speaking, reading, writing, and listening in Chinese. Students also build and expand upon their vocabulary including topics such as colors, clothing, describing people, shopping, sports, and more. Students engage in oral drills that have an emphasis on reading and writing skills.
  • Course: SPANISH

    Subject Area: Foreign Language

    Pre-Requisite: Must have completed the Beginning Spanish course to be placed in advanced courses.

    Description: These courses present the structure and grammar of the Spanish language and encourages conversation in Spanish. Student placement in the various leveled Spanish courses (Beginning Spanish, Intermediate Spanish, Advanced Spanish, Native Speakers) is based on the Spanish course in which the student completed in the previous school year.

Taekwondo Center of Excellence

List of 4 items.

  • Course: TAEKWONDO - BEGINNING

    Subject Area: Taekwondo

    Pre-Requisite: N/A

    Description: This course is designed as training for students new to Taekwondo and supplementary training for students holding a rank up to a Brown 2 belt. Besides the physical training of basic moves and combination drills with technical details, this course also includes instruction on Taekwondo history, philosophy, customary Do-Jang etiquette, and Korean terminology. Enrollment in this course counts towards training hours for rank advancements.
  • Course: TAEKWONDO - ADVANCED BLACK & RED

    Subject Area: Taekwondo

    Pre-Requisite: Must have achieved a Taekwondo belt between a Black & Red belt

    Description: This course in advanced taekwondo focuses on the preparation for the official Kukkiwon Black Belt Certification. In addition to enhancing the expected technical performance, this course contains the required WTF/USAT Sports Poomsae, Self Defense, Leadership, and Weapons training for both the 1st-3rd Dan/Poom levels and the 2nd and 1st Geup trainees including other NGB requirements. Enrollment in this course counts towards training hours for rank advancements.
  • Course: TAEKWONDO - MENTOR

    Subject Area: Taekwondo

    Pre-Requisite: Must be approaching the Deputy Black and Black belt levels

    Description: This course is a leadership course for the advanced level Taekwondo student who is approaching the Deputy Black and Black Belt levels. Students learn to compose and lead Taekwondo classes for the lower color belts by assisting both individual trainees as well as smaller groups of students separated by belt levels. Training credit is only issued toward the obligatory leadership training hours for obtaining a Black belt certification.
  • Course: PHYSICAL EDUCATION

    Subject Area: Physical Education

    Pre-Requisite: N/A

    Description: This course equips students with the skills, knowledge, and attitudes essential to engaging in regular lifelong physical activity. Students participate in a variety of physical activities including general physical fitness and a variety of individual and team sports that promotes physical education, teamwork, and cooperation among peers.
The Weiss School is a co-ed private school that serves gifted students in PreK-3 through 8th grade in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. A Weiss School education prepares students to think analytically and creatively, act socially responsible, live vigorously, and create imaginatively in a warm and supportive educational environment.