Leander ISD offers certain courses students can take at the middle school level to further prepare them for Career and Technical Education in high school.

Leander ISD offers these middle school experiences:

Business, Marketing, and Finance

Entrepreneurship (mixINCedu) 7th & 8th grade

Students will be empowered with the tools and mindset to explore what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Students will evaluate the world around them to identify a problem to solve, create a product concept or solution, sell/test the product or service in an e-commerce marketplace, evaluate the performance of their business idea, and iterate based on market learnings with the e-commerce selling experience.

English Electives

Speech/Debate

Exploring Speech/Debate 6th grade

Students will be introduced to effective communication skills to further their academic pursuits and to prepare for interaction in social, civic, and professional roles. Competent communicators develop skills focused on five identifiable functions of expressing and responding appropriately to feelings, participating in social traditions, informing, persuading, creating, and imagining. Students will identify and practice skills in using verbal and nonverbal communication, and listening in interpersonal, group, academic, and public contexts. Students will also be exposed to skills to approach controversial issues by practicing argumentation and debate.

Speech/Debate 7th & 8th grade

Students will develop effective communication skills to further their academic pursuits and to prepare for interaction in social, civic, and professional roles. Competent communicators develop skills focused on five identifiable functions of expressing and responding appropriately to feelings, participating in social traditions, informing, persuading, creating, and imagining. Students will develop and apply skills in using oral language, nonverbal communication, and listening in interpersonal, group, academic, and public contexts. Students will also acquire skills to approach controversial issues by practicing argumentation and debate.

Debate I for HS Credit 8th grade

Debate students learn various formats of high school competitive debate. Students will prepare and present speeches on opposing sides of a resolution (topic) to convince an adjudicator to vote in their favor. Students will improve knowledge and understanding of important social issues of our time, develop and use valid approaches for affirmative and negative cases based on research and/or philosophy, and use skills to debate propositions of value and policy. Students will learn refutation skills, burden of proof skills, and evaluation skills. UIL and Texas Forensic Association competition is required.

*Students successfully completing Debate I at middle school will receive one high school elective credit, but the course grades will be excluded from the student’s high school grade point average (GPA).

Introduction to Creative Writing 6th grade

Young writers will be introduced to a variety of creative writing styles and forms. Over the course of the semester, writers will venture into the basics of short story writing, explore the different styles and forms of poetry, and sample other various creative writing mediums: comics, commercials, one scene plays, flash films, and more. Writers will read several mentor texts from a multitude of authors, with a focus on style and craft. By year’s end, writers will compose a portfolio of their finest work for publication.

Creative Writing 7th & 8th grade

Continuing from Introduction to Creative Writing, young writers will enhance their knowledge in the writing process: planning, drafting, revising, editing, and ultimately publishing their work in a variety of genres to different audiences. Writers will delve into a multitude of genres: realistic fiction, horror, dystopian, science fiction, and fantasy. Additionally, students will analyze mentor texts from some of the finest authors in literature. For poetry, writers will learn the individual building blocks of the craft, analyze the work of famous poets, and create original pieces using several eclectic formats. Over the course of the year, writers will produce a variety of creative projects, including but not limited to; a horror story podcast, an original play (performed by advanced theatre) and a short film. By year’s end, writers will hone their personal style and grow their technique. Students may only take this course one time.

Journalism

Journalism: Yearbook 7th & 8th

Students will learn several software programs to publish the school yearbook. Students will work to develop their photography skills, marketing skills, and journalistic writing skills. This publications class is generally limited to twenty-five students. Students must be responsible, self-motivated, reliable, and prompt.

Student enrollment form may be required for placement in Journalism: Yearbook.

Journalism: News Media 7th & 8th

Students will learn skills to create, manage, and produce school news media that can be published using a variety of print and digital formats and platforms. Students will develop skills in journalistic writing, interviewing, research, photography, layout and design, and editing. This publications class is generally limited to twenty-five students. Students must be responsible, self-motivated, reliable, and prompt.

Student enrollment form may be required for placement in Journalism: News Media.

Journalism HS Credit 8th grade

Journalism provides an overview of the fundamentals of journalism including how to write news stories, features, editorials, sports stories and captions. Other topics to be covered include the elements of dynamic journalism, photography, advertising, essentials of layout, design, style and typography. Students will also be given an opportunity to examine the roles of radio, TV and film through changing times and produce original work relating to their special fields of interest.

*Students successfully completing Journalism will receive one high school elective credit, but the course grades will be excluded from the student’s high school grade point average (GPA)

Leadership

Exploring Foundations of Leadership 6th grade

Exploring Foundations of Leadership is an introductory course that will develop leadership skills in an interactive atmosphere. Students will learn personal responsibility for their own actions, attitudes, and behaviors through role play, creative activities, and daily discussions. They will learn that leadership is about being your personal best and supporting others.

Leadership 7th & 8th grade

Students will develop leadership skills in an interactive atmosphere. They will learn personal responsibility for their own actions, attitudes, and behaviors through role play, creative activities, and daily discussions. Students will also develop communication and public speaking skills, and they will be directly involved in community service projects. They will learn that leadership is about being your personal best and supporting others. Students may only take this course one time.

Advanced Leadership 8th grade

Prerequisite: Exploring Foundation of Leadership or Leadership

Advanced Leadership provides students the opportunity to apply leadership knowledge and skills learned in Exploring Foundations of Leadership and Leadership. These skills include, but are not limited to: decision making skills, problem solving techniques, communication skills, leadership roles, human relations skills, and understanding the need for social intelligence and civic responsibility. Student enrollment form may be required for placement in Advanced Leadership.

Leadership: Leadworthy the Course HS Credit 8th grade

Leadworthy The Course is a curriculum designed to develop personal responsibility, leadership, and professional skills through explicit social-emotional participatory learning experiences. The course provides students the opportunity to develop an awareness of personal image, a healthy self-concept, and healthy relationships. Students learn the concepts of consequential thinking and principle-based decision making. Students examine their awareness of social media, the effects of peer pressure and bullying, along with effective strategies to counteract those effects. This course will provide students opportunities to improve their public speaking and communication skills and their personal vision, mission statement, and goals. They will develop an understanding of what it means to be an effective member of the community through community service.


*Students successfully completing Leadership: Leadworthy The Course will receive .5 high school elective credit, but the course grades will be excluded from the student’s high school grade point average (GPA).

Leadership: Leadworthy the Course HS Credit 8th grade: Year at a Glance

STEM

STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

Exploring STEM 6th grade

Students will explore how science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and design are used together to help to address different issues faced by society. Students will develop solutions to real world problems using 21st century technologies in a problem-based learning environment. This will be a survey course of topics such as computer science, 3D modeling, robotics, electrical engineering, biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, and aerospace science. This course is recommended but is not a requirement for students wanting to take Gateway as 7th or 8th graders.

Gateway: Computer Science/Automation and Robotics (HS Credit 8706 & 8707) 7th & 8th grade

In Computer Science Innovators and Makers students discover computer science concepts and skills by creating projects that include computer programming blended with the creation of a physical product. Students will program using Microsoft MakeCode and have their code interact with the physical world using micro:bits.

In Automation and Robotics students trace the history, development, and influence of automation and robotics as they learn about mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation, and computer control systems. Students use the VEX Robotics® platform to design, build, and program real-world objects such as traffic lights, toll booths, and robotic arms. Programming the robots is accomplished using Robot

*Students successfully completing Computer Science for Innovators and Makers/Automation and Robotics will receive .5 high school credit, but the course grade will be excluded from the student’s high school grade point average (GPA)

Gateway: Design & Modeling/Green Architecture (HS Credit 8708 & 8709) 7th & 8th grade

In Design and Modeling students discover the engineering design process and develop an understanding of the influence of creativity and innovation in their lives. They are then challenged and empowered to use and apply what they’ve learned throughout the unit to design a final project. 3D designing is accomplished by using TinkerCAD online software. Today’s students have grown up in an age of “green” choices. In Green Architecture, students learn how to apply this concept to the fields of architecture and construction by exploring dimensioning, measuring, and architectural sustainability as they design affordable housing units using Autodesk’s® 3D architectural design software.

*Students successfully completing Design and Modeling/Green Architecture will receive .5 high school credit, but the course grade will be excluded from the student’s high school grade point average (GPA).

Gateway: Medical Detectives/Science of Technology (HS Credit 8710 & 8711) 7th & 8th grade

In Medical Detectives students play the role of real-life medical detectives as they collect and analyze medical data to diagnose disease. They solve medical mysteries through hands-on projects and labs, measure and interpret vital signs, examine nervous system structure and function, and investigate disease outbreaks.

Science of Technology students apply the concepts of physics, chemistry, and nanotechnology to STEM activities, experiments and projects, including making ice cream, cleaning up an oil spill, and discovering the properties of nanomaterials.

*Students successfully completing Medical Detectives/Science of Technology will receive .5 high school credit, but the course grade will be excluded from the student’s high school grade point average (GPA)

Fundamentals of Computer Science HS Credit 8th grade

Recommended Prerequisite: Credit for or concurrent enrollment in Algebra I.

Fundamentals of Computer Science explores computing tools that are used every day. Students will foster their creativity and innovation through opportunities to design, implement, and present solutions to real-world problems. This course takes a wide lens on computer science by covering topics such as problem solving, programming, physical computing, user centered design, and data, while inspiring students as they build their own websites, apps, animations, games, and physical computing systems.

*Students successfully completing Fundamentals of Computer Science at middle school will receive one high school elective credit, but the course grade will be excluded from the student’s high school grade point average (GPA).

Technology and Multimedia Applications

Technology Applications

Introduction to Technology Applications 6th grade

Sixth grade Technology Applications is an exploratory course that introduces students to a variety of
computer applications. Students will sample graphic design, desktop publishing, website development, photo editing, animation, video editing and coding. Students will learn digital citizenship, digital organization, vocabulary and keyboarding skills. Students will use Office 365, G Suite and other applications.

Technology Applications 7th & 8th grade

Seventh and eighth grade Technology Applications is a more in-depth study of computer applications emphasizing creativity and student success. In addition to building keyboarding skills, students will explore Adobe Creative Cloud and acquire tools for photo editing, animation and video editing. Students will also develop skills using Office 365 and G Suite. Desktop publishing, graphic design, coding and digital citizenship will be examined and refined. No prerequisite is required. Students may only take this course one time.

Multimedia Productions 7th & 8th grade

Multimedia Productions introduces students to the digital video production industry and focuses on the student exploring the many hardware and software tools used to create professional-level video products in various formats. The class is for students interested in learning about broadcast journalism and storytelling through video. Studio & set lighting, camera functions, Elements of Art and Design, shot composition, script writing and other production techniques are introduced and practiced.

Second year students will create and manage a production studio environment, creating custom productions for various clients on campus. The primary focus for these students is to produce daily/weekly video announcements/broadcasts for the campus student body. Multimedia Productions provides a great foundation for the broadcast and AV Production sequence of courses available in high school.

Principles of Arts, A/V, and Communications 7th & 8th grade

Principles of Arts, Audio/Video Technology, and Communications allows students to explore and understand the various and multifaceted career opportunities in this cluster and the knowledge, skills, and educational requirements for those opportunities. Students will be introduced to topics such as audio/video production, graphic design and illustration, and animation.

*Students successfully completing Principles of Arts, A/V and Communications at middle school will receive one high school elective credit, but the course grades will be excluded from the student’s high school grade point average (GPA).


To learn more about the courses offered at your students middle school check out the Middle School Course Catalog.

Campus specific course interest and student information request forms as noted in the course catalog can be found on each campus Counseling Services website: