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8th Grade Electives

App Creators

App Creators (AC) from Project Lead The Way introduces students to the field of computer science and the concepts of computational thinking, through the creation of mobile apps. Students are challenged to be creative and innovative, as they collaboratively design and develop mobile solutions to engaging, authentic problems. Students experience the positive impact of the application of computer science to society as well as other disciplines, particularly biomedical science.

The goal of AC is to provide students opportunities for self-expression. Teams identify a personal or community problem of interest to them that can be solved with a mobile app solution. The problem can address issues such as health and wellness, the environment, school culture, emergency preparedness, education, community service—the options are endless!

Although taking Computer Science For Innovators & Makers before App Creators is not a requirement, App Creators is designed to take graduates of the CSIM course to the next level. Furthermore, App Creators is designed to prepare students for the High School freshman course titled: Computer Science Essentials.

Art 2

Over the semester, 8th grade students will experience a variety of media.  Students will begin by working on drawing techniques and skills, learning strategies to draw more realistically.  More complex processes like linoleum block printmaking, ceramic and paper sculpture, and fiber arts will also be covered.  Students will learn color theory and how to effectively mix their own paint from the three primary colors, as well as tints and shades.  We will make cross curricular connections, learn about art history and contemporary artists, as well as build our artistic vocabulary.  

Artist Workshop (Yearlong)

8th grade artists will have the option to take a yearlong art class.  Dividing our focus quarterly, students will begin with drawing skills and media.  The second quarter will focus on watercolor, tempera and acrylic painting, along with linoleum block printmaking techniques.  Along with 2D arts, students will experience a wide range of sculptural options during the 3rd quarter which may include plaster strips, paper mache, ceramics, and found objects.  Finally, in the 4th quarter, students will create a series of artwork using the media and subject matter of their choice.  Additionally, this class will take a field trip to the SF Museum of Modern Art to experience and discuss many of the works we have learned about in class.

Band: Beginning and Advanced

Aptos Junior High is starting a concert band program for this coming school year.  If you have been thinking about learning an instrument, this is the time to begin. There is still time to sign up before school starts.  If you are not sure what the instruments are in a band or what they look like and sound like, please review the attached sign-up paper. All you will need to do is complete the form and get it back to us here at AJHS as soon as possible. Our district has instruments available to be loaned to students, so there is no cost for the program.  Come see the exciting musical possibilities!

Beginning Band: This course is offered to incoming 7th graders or 8th grade students with no previous band experience.

Advanced Band: This course is offered to continuing AJHS students that completed band during the 2017-18 school year and or students coming to us with band/music experience.


Choir is comprised of students of varied skill levels representing both 7th & 8th grades.  Beginning singers will develop fundamental skills in music reading, rhythm, and vocal technique.  More advanced singers often audition and perform solos.  All singers perform a wide variety of music on and off campus several times per semester.  Choir feels like a club because in addition to learning to sing songs, students spend time making strong friendships, playing games and creating great concerts together!

Computer Science for Innovators and Makers (CSIM)

Computer Science for Innovators & Makers (CSIM) from Project Lead The Way teaches students that programming goes beyond the virtual world and into the physical world.

Students are challenged to creatively use sensors and actuators to develop systems that interact with their environment. Designing algorithms and using computational thinking practices, students code and upload programs to microcontrollers that perform a variety of authentic, real-world tasks.


The goal of CSIM is to broadens students’ understanding of Computer Science concepts through meaningful applications. Teams will select and solve personally relevant problems related to wearable technology, interactive art, or mechanical devices.

Although it is not required to take CSIM first, CSIM is designed as an introductory course to be taken prior to App Creators.

Course Outline

Culinary Arts

 ROP Culinary Arts is designed to be a career-focused, intensive cooking and kitchen management class. The course prepares students with employment skills for entry-level positions in culinary arts occupations and the hospitality industry including food preparation worker, cook, baker and other skilled entry-level positions. Classroom instruction includes topics such as, food theory as a foundation for hands-on kitchen lab activities; selecting, purchasing and preparing of quality food and food products; menu planning; safety and sanitation skills; nutrition; use and care of commercial equipment; understanding and management of the different food-style establishments. 

Graphic Design

Graphic Design is a course that explores the drawing techniques and tools used in computer art and graphics. Emphasis is placed upon the practical aspects of commercial art and how this art is used in publishing, design and illustration, photography and multimedia presentations. A systematic and structured approach is used to complete a wide range of projects. 


 Leadership class is a class designed to promote a positive culture at AJHS.

 Students will organize, lead and participate in spirit days, assemblies, and lunch activities.  Students will also create and participate in Public Service Announcements and community service projects to encourage a safe and inclusive school.  To be admitted for the first quarter, students are required to complete a form.  Please see Ms. Elerick in room 20 to get the form.

Library Practice

Prepare for the real world... no, not the TV show - the real world! Discover the excitement of power searching, apply your computer skills and effectively assist your peers. This class is a fun introduction to the Library Media Center. Be a star in your life as you learn the skills necessary to excel in the information age.

Office Practice

Candidates must demonstrate the following characteristics: Leadership, Responsibility, Cooperation, Initiative, Self-motivation and Respect. Students are required to preform the following duties: collect attendance, deliver messages, run attendance sheets, filing, assist office personnel, log tardies, complete forms, make copies and maintain confidentiality. Students must also demonstrate the ability to maintain average to above average grades in all classes. One male and one female student will be selected for each period of the day among students who meet the aforementioned characteristics.

Teacher Aide

Students assist the teacher they are assigned to in a variety of ways. Responsibilities may include : Peer tutoring, record keeping, organizing of classroom supplies, classroom/campus projects and bulletin board design.