McAuliffe’s Electives


Photographer: Meaghan Fish

The McAuliffe Middle School’s 7th/8th Grade elective packet.

Meaghan Fish, Staff Writer and Copy Editor

Whether it be your first or last period, most students seem to look forward to this part of their day; their elective. You may have even wondered once or twice what makes electives the ‘fun part’ of our days at school or what students get to do in other electives. This story will provide a list and explanation of McAuliffe’s elective classes, so students can get an idea of what they are in for next year.  

Now, according to the McAuliffe Middle School official website and elective packet, the choices for sixth grade electives are Wheel, String Orchestra, Concert Band (Beginning Band), Symphonic Band (Intermediate Band), Jazz Band and Soul Men (Men’s Choir). In Wheel, sixth grade students get to experience four different electives (Music, Art, Drama and Exploring Tech) for each quarter to help them decide which electives they will choose in seventh and eighth grade. Nevertheless, you could take any of the bands or choirs as your elective for sixth grade instead of Wheel. However, according to the McAuliffe 7th/8th Grade Elective packet, “Some prior experience is required,” for String Orchestra and, “Audition is required,” for Jazz Band.

Once in seventh or eighth grade though, the bar gets set higher and the opportunities expand. Instead of just Wheel, the bands and the choirs, students may now choose from a larger variety of electives. For example, they may take Art 7/8 or Advanced Art 8 with Mrs. Tanaka, Drama 7/8 or Advanced Drama with Mrs. Armstrong, Stem II or Stem III (Prerequisite Stem II) with Ms. McGovney, Journalism 7/8 with Ms. Bellendir or Yearbook 7/8 with Mrs. Callaway. For foreign language options, the district offers Spanish I and II, French I and II, Japanese I, and German I. There are also more selective choices for band and choir, and eighth graders have the opportunity to be Attendance, Counseling, Office and Media Center Aides. Additionally, this year a new elective called Leadership was offered. This class will be replacing the ASB club and will be teaching students about student government, as well as organizing events on campus. 

Furthermore, there are no ‘most popular’ or ‘least popular’ electives. According to McAuliffe Middle School’s counselor, Mrs. Olmstead, “I think students choose electives based on their interest and academic pathway for future years.” Mrs. Olmstead also vocalizes, “With 1200 students, there is a balance between all electives because each students’ needs vary.  For example, foreign language options are popular for eighth graders because some choose to start their A-G requirements in middle school. Whereas, other students would prefer to enjoy the electives in the area of visual and performing arts.”

Some elective classes even have the chance to compete or go on field trips. For example, the Robotic Competition, which is a competition that Stem II and III students may participate in. Ms. McGovney, the teacher for Exploring Technology, Stem II and Stem III, states, [Stem] students work in teams to build robots that are then used for competitions. [Unfortunately], we weren’t able to put a team together this year, [though] hopefully we can for next year.”

No matter which elective you chose, it should be something you’ll enjoy and learn from, just like your other classes.