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Non-Departmental Courses

Accelerate Online Independent Study Program

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Non-Departmental Courses

  1. Affinity Mentorship
  2. Food Service Assistant
  3. Guitar Engineering
  4. Health Science
  5. Leadership - Associated Student Body (ASB)
  6. Learning Center
  7. Teacher/Office Assistant
  8. Unscheduled/Free Period
  • Non-Departmental

The Affinity Mentorship Course is a district-proposed and district-led course proposed to meet a need identified in the Racial Equity Board Policy; however, the origin of the course is the Piedmont Affinity and Mentor Program created and led by Jean Chen Takazawa in collaboration with Ina Bendich.

The course is designed to bring MHS and PHS students from similar cultural, ethnic, religious, and gender expansive backgrounds together with their elementary students at Beach, Havens, Wildwood, and Piedmont Middle School.  The goal of this course is to honor and celebrate the diversity of our student body and to create safe spaces for young students to have role models that share their similar identities.  We will do this in affinity groups where mentors foster conversation and community in a positive way. We teach our high school mentors the basics of Restorative Justice circles as an avenue to foster these conversations around our shared identity. We will form affinity groups with younger students based on who enrolls in our program at the elementary and middle school level. We will match high school mentors with younger students where they meet 2-3 times per month outside of course time. During this time together, mentors will lead conversations in an age-appropriate way. We will use books, videos, music, art and inspirational role models to help celebrate our diverse backgrounds.

The course will meet during an “8th period,” twice weekly.  The term “8th period” means at a time scheduled outside of the school day but is not an official time attached to the time when school ends.   The course will be graded on a Pass/No Pass basis.  Sign up for this elective course with your school counselor. Course may be repeated.

  • Elective
  • Year-long
  • Non-Departmental

Recommendation:  None

A practical experience for students,  Food Service TAs learn skills in baking, cookery, food safety, teamwork, multi-tasking, time-management, and cleaning as you go.  Food Service TAs receive real-life on the job training.

  • Elective
  • Semester
  • Non-Departmental

Prerequisite: Completion of Chemistry in the Earth System/Honors Chemistry in the Earth System, Integrated Math 2

This course looks at the design elements, manufacturing and assembly of solid-body electric guitars. Science, technology and engineering (STEM) concepts that relate directly to guitars are used to help students make an applied learning connection. Each student will construct their own electric guitar. The course will cover wood species and the environment, guitar headstock design features, chemistry of finishes, math applications in a guitar, physical science aspects of the guitar such as concepts of sound waves, string tension, fretboard layout, intonation, and electronics. Studio-style class, lecture and lab time combined throughout the course.

A large component of the course involves building skills in the shop and life skills. Students will be in an environment that fosters confidence and encourages students to take risks. For example, designing and building a speaker will allow students to practice soldering, making circuits and using the laser cutter before they utilize these skills on their guitars. Students need practice so they can take risks in a controlled environment prior to their build.

  • Elective
  • Year-long
  • Non-Departmental

Prerequisites:  None

This course is required for all sophomores

Health Science is a discovery course that focuses on helping teens arrive at informed decisions about how to take responsibility for their health and behavior.  Topics explored include health and wellness, managing stress, resisting peer pressure, communication skills, healthy relationships, human sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, diversity,  identity, and drug and alcohol abuse.

  • Semester
  • Non-Departmental

The Associated Student Body (ASB) Leadership class comprises of elected and appointed student council students from grades 9 through 12. This leadership council acts as a voice for the student body and a bridge between communities in order to create and sustain an enjoyable, enriching high school experience for all members of the Associated Student Body.  The council is responsible for such events as organizing the school-wide student senate, planning rallies and dances, promoting clubs, and managing fundraisers and drives throughout the year.

  • Elective
  • Year-long
  • Non-Departmental

Prerequisite:  Students must meet state eligibility criteria for special education

The Learning Center program provides individualized, structured instruction and focused academic support based on students’ educational needs and their IEP.

  • Year-long
  • Non-Departmental

A practical experience for students in most areas of PHS.  Placement is by mutual agreement between teacher and student.  Students are expected to develop communication skills, the ability to work with others and independently, develop employability skills, and understand the need for confidentiality.  A letter grade or pass/fail credit may be issued at the discretion of the teacher.  General locations for TAs are the Main Office, Library, or PHS teachers.  Office experiences include meeting the public, telephone etiquette, using office equipment properly and safely, filling out forms, making copies, filing, and delivering notes/passes to classrooms.  Teacher assistant experiences may also include preparation of teaching materials, filing, organizing materials, collating materials, distributing materials, setting up labs, assisting with course work, helping individual students, shelving books, and other duties as requested.

  • Elective
  • Semester
  • Non-Departmental

Only offered class periods 1, 6, or 7

An unscheduled class period at the beginning or end of the day may be used as extra time for sleep, study, or work.   Students may request morning or afternoon unscheduled periods, but no guarantee can be made that they will receive the period they request, due to placement of other classes in the master schedule.  Upper classmen are given first prioriirity.

  • Elective
  • Semester

Faculty

Hayley Adams
Teacher, ASB Adviser

Travis Brennan
Health Science Teacher
Dan Bonnin
Directed Studies Director

Marna Chamberlain
Guitar Engineering Teacher

Debora Hill
Tech Ed Coach, MTSS Rep.
Jean Takazawa
Affinity Mentor Program Teacher