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Course Descriptions

Courses at Robert Eagle Staff

Descriptions

Semester-Long Exploratory Electives

Exploratory/Electives for the student’s school year are determined by the options sheets submitted the previous spring.  We do not do a second options sheet for Semester 2. 

Although Exploratory/Elective choices cannot be guaranteed, we try to provide students with their top preferences as much as possible.

We also work to ensure that all Exploratory/Elective offerings are engaging and rigorous.

Note: After students receive their Semester schedules, they can complete a schedule change request form and submit to the main office to request class changes. This schedule change request form must be completed and returned in hard copy form to the main office in order for the request to be considered.  Phone or email requests will not be accepted.

Creative Writing Students develop their voice and powers of expression by learning from mentor authors and engaging in a wide variety of student-driven writing projects:  fiction, non-fiction, and poetry in many forms—written, graphic, song/rap, podcast, etc.  Students may have an opportunity to mentor elementary students in reading/writing projects with a partner elementary school. 

Guitar: Great for beginning and more experienced musicians.  Students learn technique, music theory, musicianship, and develop a love of music.  Students work toward mastery of State and National Arts Standards.

Journalism: Students learn fundamentals of Journalism from researching, writing, and reporting to photography. 

Leadership:  Reading Empowerment:   Students develop their own power as readers and leaders while acting as reading mentors to students in partner elementary schools

Partner PE:   The Partner PE program provides an opportunity for students to be partners and supports for students with disabilities in their modified physical education class. The class offerings could include team sports, individual sports, and exercises. Principles taught in this class will follow the physical education core curriculum and enhance teaching and learning skills for students. Typically developing peers receive an equivalent PE credit meeting their yearly requirement.

Percussion/Drumline: Great for beginning and more experienced musicians.  Students learn technique, music theory, musicianship, and develop a love of music. Students work toward mastery of State and National Arts Standards.

Proyecto Saber: Students have the opportunity to explore their culture and identity as well as learn the positive impact that Chicanas/os and other underrepresented ethnic groups have had on World and U.S. history.  See Ms. Romero for enrollment information

STEM/Tech: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math come together in this exciting class.  Students engage in hands on, project based learning.  Students work toward State and National STEM Standards.

Visual Arts: Beginning and Intermediate.  Students work in a variety of media from drawing and painting to ceramics at the pottery wheel.  Students work toward State and National Arts Standards.

World Culture:  The Middle School World Culture course focuses on the interdisciplinary study of race, ethnicity, and indigeneity, and on the experiences and perspectives of people of color within and beyond the United States recognizing Native Americans/Alaskan Native, while indigenous, are not ethnic peoples but rather sovereign citizens/descendants of tribal communities. World Culture engages students in a dialogue about intersectional identities, historical perspectives on the roots of oppression, and the social movements that have challenged that oppression. Through the course students will study the following topics: The role of language, ancestry, race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and culture in different ethnic groups. Recognizing regional differences that have helped to define different ethnicities and cultures. Diverse collective expressions through literature, art, philosophy, music, theater, and film throughout history and the ways pop culture shape identity. Social movements, including: anti-slavery, education, labor, women’s rights, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and public health.

Advanced Learning (Spectrum) Services

Students identified as Advanced Learners may take the Math class that best matches their Math learning pathway.

All of our Language Arts and Social Studies teachers teach both HCC and Scholar sections so that all our students have opportunities to deepen and extend their reading, thinking, and writing in both HCC and Scholar (not HCC) Language Arts and Social Studies classes.

HC Services

We align our services with the other Seattle Public Schools Middle Schools that provide services for students identified as Highly Capable (HC): Washington Middle School, Hamilton International Middle School, Madison Middle School, and Jane Addams Middle School.  Our service models are consistent.

Students identified as Highly Capable receive their services and learning in blended classrooms. Our teachers are skilled at and committed to providing rigor, challenge, and relevance for all students.

Social Studies at Robert Eagle Staff

Social Studies is the investigation, analysis, and understanding of humanity’s ongoing relationship with the created and cultural environments. In order to provide rigorous, authentic, and deep learning in Social Studies we, along with Jane Addams Middle School and Washington Middle School, will be integrating all Social Studies classes beginning in September, 2019. Our teachers will be working in collaboration with professional coaches and colleagues from across the District to ensure appropriate support and challenge for all students. We are ready to do this because we believe it is what is best for our students, our families, and our community.

All students will be challenged to read, reason, and write at high levels, and will be learning side-by-side in Social Studies classes. We have worked with our leadership teams, including the Building Leadership Team, Instructional Council, and PTSA leaders, and are inspired and energized by the unified commitment to providing the best possible learning opportunities to all of our students.

Details: 

Students identified as part of the Highly Capable Cohort (HC) will continue to have their course identified as HCC on report cards and transcripts.

Japanese

Japanese 1A is a year-long course that is equivalent to 1 Semester of High School Japanese. This course prepares students to carry on basic conversation in Japanese , read and write simple sentences about familiar topics, and explores Japanese culture. Close attention will be paid to developing communicative skills that focus on listening comprehension and speaking, as well as written expression. At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to ask and answer questions; carry on simple conversations; express opinions and needs; read and write the 2 syllabaries Hiragana and Katakana as well as 30 Kanji. In addition, students will experience the Japanese culture through our exchanges and hosting opportunities with our Japanese sister school, Japanese food preparation, and celebrations of Japanese festivals and holidays.

Japanese 1B is a year-long course that is equivalent to 1 Semester of High School Japanese.  This course builds on skills developed in Japanese 1A.  Students will continue to develop their communicative skills focusing on listening comprehension and speaking. Students will learn to read and write 60 additional Kanji.  At the conclusion of this course, students will have a deeper understanding of Japanese culture and be able to engage in conversation about themselves, interests, their surroundings, school, and daily life.  In addition, students will experience the Japanese culture through our exchanges and hosting opportunities with our Japanese sister school, Japanese food preparation, celebrations of Japanese festivals and holidays, speakers from the Japanese community and local field trips to explore the local Japanese community.

Japanese 2 is a year-long course that is equivalent to 1 Year of High School Japanese.  Semester 1 is Japanese 2A, and Semester 2 is Japanese 2B. 

Japanese 2 will build on skills developed in Japanese 1A and 1B.  Students will learn 50 additional kanji.  We will focus on communication skills, and students will be able to sustain conversation on familiar topics by asking and answering a variety of questions with justification, expressing opinions, feelings and needs. Students will be able to understand a variety of authentic written texts and audio and video recordings.  Students will use their Japanese language to create skits, videos, treasure hunts,  and presentations, including video production using green screen and other technology to create advertisements. 

If students successfully complete 3 years of middle school Japanese, (Japanese 1A, 1B, and Japanese 2 (A&B)) they will earn 2 years of Japanese High School credit and may continue in high school in Japanese 3.

In addition, students will experience the Japanese culture through our exchanges and hosting opportunities with our Japanese sister school, Japanese food preparation, celebrations of Japanese festivals and holidays, and local field trips to observe college level Japanese classes and explore Japanese culture in our community.

Spanish 

Spanish 1A is the first part of a two-year middle school course or one year high school course that introduces students to Spanish language and Spanish-speaking culture. The course prepares students to carry on basic conversation in Spanish, read and write simple sentences about familiar topics, and explores how and where Spanish-speaking people live. Close attention will be paid to developing communicative skills that focus on listening comprehension and speaking, as well as written expression. At the conclusion of this course, students can ask and answer questions; carry on simple conversations; express opinions and needs; read and write short paragraphs; gain knowledge and understanding of Spanish-speaking culture. 

Spanish 1B is part of a two-year middle school course or one year high school course that introduces students to Spanish language and Spanish-speaking culture. Because Spanish 1 is a full-year course, the description for 1A and 1B are the same. In 1B students continue to build their language and culture proficiency in order to be prepared for Spanish 2. The course prepares students to carry on basic conversation in Spanish, read and write simple sentences about familiar topics, and explores how and where Spanish-speaking people live. Close attention will be paid to developing communicative skills that focus on listening comprehension and speaking, as well as written expression. At the conclusion of this course, students can ask and answer questions; carry on simple conversations; express opinions and needs; read and write short paragraphs; gain knowledge and understanding of Spanish-speaking culture. The Spanish curriculum guided by a set of rigorously vetted course objectives that span basic word recognition to using memorized phrases and familiar vocabulary to talk about oneself and their surroundings. The course objectives encourage students to talk about themselves, their friends and family, home, school, food, clothing, travel, and interests. This course prepares students for college and career through a carefully constructed course of study that builds language and culture proficiency. The course broadens students? global perspective as they learn to communicate with different types of Spanish-speaking people. As a result students are prepared to carry on short conversations in Spanish, read and write short paragraphs about a variety of topics in Spanish, and understand the products and practices of Spanish-speaking cultures. Through a structured progression of topics that are current, relevant and meaningful for them, students will gain the knowledge and skills that enable them to become global citizens. At the conclusion of the course students will have a ready command of basic communicative use of the Spanish language at the ACTFL Novice-low to Novice-mid level preparing them for the focus of more complex use of the Spanish language in Spanish 2.

Spanish 2  A & B is a year-long high school course that builds upon skills developed in Spanish 1. The course prepares students to comprehend and sustain a conversation about self, family, friends, interests, daily routine, health, school, travel and personal history. Students will read written materials on topics of personal interest and derive meaning from selected authentic text. They will write about familiar topics and explore how and where Spanish-speaking people live. Close attention will be paid to developing communicative skills. At the conclusion of this course students will be able to initiate and sustain conversation on familiar topics with pronunciation that does not interfere with communication; ask and answer a variety of questions with justification; express opinions, feelings and needs, providing solutions to problems; comprehend main ideas of selected authentic audio recordings, broadcasts and video and understand selected authentic written text; write short paragraphs, stories, skits, and dialogues on familiar topics (up to 150 words); gain knowledge and understanding of Spanish-speaking culture. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Robert Eagle Staff Middle School FAQs

Here are some answers to our most often-asked questions.

Q: When will my incoming student be able to choose their exploratory/elective classes?

A: In April when we receive our student names and information, we will send you a welcome letter with a course selection form. You can return this form by mail or in person. For students enrolled during the summer, course selection forms will be sent out in early August.

Q: What will my middle school schedule look like?

A: We have a 6-period day at Eagle Staff Middle School. All students are assigned to 4 year-long core classes: Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, and Math. This leaves two periods for exploratory or elective classes. Exploratory or elective classes can be full-year or semester-long. All students will be assigned to a semester of Physical Education unless they are taking two year-long electives.

Q: What are the year-long elective classes?

A: All Band and Orchestra classes; world language classes; Empowerment classes.

Q: What are the semester-long exploratory classes?

A: Visual Art, STEM (technology), Journalism, Guitar, Percussion, Proyecto Saber, Creative Writing Ethnic Studies, Creative Writing. (check out course descriptions on our Eagle Staff website) 7th and 8th graders can also be a Teaching Assistant in a classroom or in the main office.

Q: Can my student choose to waive PE?

A: Physical Education is a required class, and we have the best PE department in the district! However, if your student is taking two full-year exploratory/elective classes, she/he/they will not be assigned PE. PE can be waived for a) religious reasons, b) health reasons, or c) with documented “directed athletics” (significant team sport participation). Families can apply for a PE waiver, and PE waiver forms will be available late fall in the main office.

Q: How do we enroll 6th grade students in the right Math class?

A: To ensure that all students receive instruction in the foundational K-8 math standards that lay the groundwork for algebra and higher-level math courses that students will take in high school, all students in Seattle Public Schools are enrolled in the next math course in the sequence based on their previous year’s math course enrollment. Please note that skipping over a course or taking a course independently is not an approved acceleration progression in SPS middle schools. Additional information about math course sequence is posted on the SPS website at https://www.seattleschools.org/departments/mathematics/middle-school-mathematics/examples-of-math-progressions/

Visit the math department at SPS for more information about our courses https://www.seattleschools.org/departments/mathematics/

Q: How do we support students with IEPs? (Individualized Educational Plans)

A: We honor the spirit and vision of every student’s IEP. We read each one carefully to learn about student strengths, needs, and goals, and create a schedule with the best combination of support to meet those goals. We provide services in a continuum of large group, small group, and one-on-one settings, which could include: communication services, occupational therapy or physical therapy services, modifications and accommodations in a large class setting, services provided in a co-taught class, services provided in a study skills or social skills class, and/or services provided in a small-group academic class. Services will be based on the student’s identified IEP strengths, needs, and goals.

Q: How do we support students who are multi-lingual/ELL?

A: We honor the brilliance of our students who speak multiple languages! We provide supports in large classes with instructional assistants, as well as in smaller classes with more support in the student’s first language as needed.

Q: How do you support students identified as Highly Capable?

A: We align with other SPS Middle Schools that provide services for students identified as Highly Capable. Students receive their Highly Capable services in blended Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science classes. They have opportunities to deepen, extend, and accelerate their reading, writing, reasoning, and thinking, and our talented teachers will ensure that they are challenged and thriving. All students in Seattle Public Schools are enrolled in the next math course in the sequence based on their previous year’s math course enrollment. Please note that skipping over a course or taking a course independently is not an approved acceleration progression in SPS middle schools. Additional information about math course sequence is posted on the SPS website at https://www.seattleschools.org/departments/mathematics/middle-school-mathematics/examples-of-math-progressions/

Q: When is 6th Grade Orientation?

A: 6th Grade Orientation is usually the Thursday before the first day of school. Check our calendar for updated info.