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: Students must be fully committed to improving their art skills as the objective of the course is to have student work entered into local, regional, state, and/or national art competitions.

    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. Home practice is required and is part of each student's grade. 
     
  • 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 are performed throughout the year. Some after school commitments including concerts and other performances are required for this course. Additionally, home practice is a part of each student's grade. 
     

Language Arts/Speech & Debate Center of Excellence

List of 7 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: FILM CRITIQUING

    Subject Area: Language Arts

    Pre-Requisite: N/A

    Description: This course introduces students to diverse styles of media. Students deduce and decode through scene analysis reasons on why the director selected particular settings, lighting, colors, and music in order to create the tone of individual scenes and the film in its entirety. Students are encouraged to think critically and independently about the films selected for analysis. Additionally, students cultivate a range of proficiencies that affect their knowledge in other areas including synthesis and assessment as well as real-life critical thinking.
  • 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 on the 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: CURRENT EVENTS RESEARCH

    Subject Area: Social Studies

    Pre-Requisite: N/A

    Description: This course is based on current events as they occur around the world. Students research topics and situations to find their historical origin in an effort to interpret and understand them from an objective, fact-based point of view.  
     
  • Course: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS/MODEL UNITED NATIONS (MUN)

    Subject Area: Social Studies

    Pre-Requisite: N/A

    Description: This course provides students with the opportunity to learn to function effectively in a global community, understand the nature of the modern national state, national goals, and how nations communicate and negotiate to facilitate these goals. Content include origins of the state system, role of power in politics in the nuclear age, world population, environment, human rights, terrorism, cultural differences, world trade, and technology. This course integrates the Model United Nations curriculum and builds a strong foundation for students interested in the Model United Nations club.

STEM Center of Excellence

List of 5 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 take their robotics and programming skills to the next level by creating and programming sophisticated robots such as GyroBoy, Robot Puppy, and participating in the Sumo Robot Challenge.
  • Course: AEROSPACE SPECIAL PROJECTS

    Subject Area: Science

    Pre-Requisite: N/A

    Description: This course introduces students to the project management tools used for the design, manufacturing, integration, testing, and certification of the WeissSat-1 satellite. Students become familiar with the NearSpace Launch (NSL) and GlobalStar satellite communications network. Students 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. Students have the opportunity to support the development and testing of WeissSat-1, the CubeSat chosen by NASA to fly in space.
  • Course: INDUSTRIAL DESIGN

    Subject Area: Science

    Pre-Requisite: Students must have a desire to learn about product design. Sketching and artistic skills are helpful for this course.

    Description: This course is for students who are interested in learning about inventing and product design. The elements of feasibility, viability, and desirability are addressed. Students develop their 3D design ability using the SolidWorks program and are required to design and build a small product, conduct critical design reviews, develop a business plan, and pitch their idea to mock potential investors.
  • Course: ROBOTICS AND MECHATRONICS SYSTEMS

    Subject Area: Science

    Pre-Requisite: N/A

    Description: This course provides students with the opportunity to use the Lego EV3 Robotics System and design and build robots and necessary attachments to carry out a multitude of progressively challenging tasks. Students will learn how to connect and leverage Lego building elements to accomplish certain tasks and learn how to program using sensory control and feedback to optimize robot designs. This course uses the yearly FIRST Lego League Robotics game as the focus of missions to be accomplished. Students may repeat this course if desired to improve skills as the Lego League game changes each year that provide students with different challenges.
  • Course: SPECIAL ENGINEERING PROJECTS

    Subject Area: Science

    Pre-Requisite: 
    Students must have a desire to learn about engineering. The ability to draw in SolidWorks or the desire to learn SolidWorks is required.

    Description: This course is for students who have a mindset for engineering to design and optimize solutions to problems. Special emphasis is given to systems integration including designing and building electro-mechanical devices from scratch, learning about tool care, the use and safety of tools, and working with a variety of materials, processes, craftmanship, and quality.

Foreign Language Center of Excellence

List of 4 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: Placement in the specific Spanish course is determined by a student’s proficiency level and teacher recommendation.
     

    Description: These courses present the structure and grammar of the Spanish language and encourages conversation in Spanish. The various Spanish courses offered include: Beginning Spanish, Intermediate Spanish, Advanced Spanish, and Native Speakers Spanish.
     
  • Course: SPANISH IN THE MEDIA

    Subject Area: Foriegn Language

    Pre-Requisite: N/A

    Description: This course exposes students to authentic Spanish through short videos, commercials, advertisements, newspaper headlines, and short excerpts. All these features are present in all levels of the language; however, this course focuses more on the receptive skills of listening and reading.


Taekwondo Center of Excellence

List of 5 items.

  • Course: TAEKWONDO - BEGINNER

    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 Green belt. Besides the physical training of basic moves and combination drills with technical details, this course also includes Taekwondo history, philosophy, customary Do-Jang etiquette, and Korean terminology. Enrollment in this course counts towards training hours for rank advancements.
  • Course: TAEKWONDO - INTERMEDIATE

    Subject Area: Taekwondo
     
    Pre-Requisite: Must have achieved a Taekwondo belt between a Purple and Brown belt.
     
    Description: This course is a continuance of the Beginner course and covers techniques designated for the intermediate level 5th – 3rd Geup trainees. Enrollment in this course counts towards training hours for rank advancements.
  • Course: TAEKWONDO - ADVANCED BLACK, RED & BROWN

    Subject Area: Taekwondo

    Pre-Requisite: Must have achieved a Taekwondo belt between a Black and Brown 2 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 basic Weapons Poomsae 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 Red 3, Deputy Black, and Black belt levels.

    Description: This course is a leadership course for the Advanced Taekwondo student approaching the Red 3, 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 issued toward rank advancements and 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.