Electives & Specials

Extending the Core Curriculum

At Stargate, we believe that opportunities for appreciating and creating art or music, learning a new language, experiencing physical activity and finding ways to harness technology are as fundamental to our students’ personal development as learning how things work by creating science experiments, solving mathematics problems with multiple approaches, or reading and analyzing fiction and non-fiction books.

Our Specials and Electives programs are an essential part of the educational experience for all Stargate students and a vital extension of our core academic curriculum.

In addition to the subject matter knowledge gained in Specials, these programs:
  • Promote enthusiasm, motivation and engagement in learning – for all subjects
  • Sharpen perceptual, spatial and spatial-temporal skills, as well as analytical abilities
  • Nurture the creativity and imagination necessary for innovative thinking and problem solving
  • Increase student focus, especially with inclusion of physical activities vs. a largely sedentary curriculum
  • Awaken student interest and passion
  • Foster an appreciation of diversity in people and ideas
  • Deepen a student’s understanding of culture and history
  • Foster the fluency in languages and technology required for 21st century success
More Information

Visual Art (K-12) provides Stargate students opportunities to practice their visual "Habits of Mind" - observing, reflecting, envisioning,expressing, persisting, exploring, developing craft and understanding the art world. We not only learn ways to discern and convey visual meaning, but we also make many connections to other fields of knowledge, including language , history, science, and mathematics.
General Music (K-5) includes singing songs, music appreciation, basic elements of music (rhythm, melody, etc.) and performing concerts. Older students can participate in guitar, choir or electives that include topics as diverse as rock and roll history, songs from the Middle Ages and the functions of Troubadours in society.

Instrumental Music (K-5) students begin with the basics of rhythm, sound production and the instrument families. Over time, they progress to melodic note reading and rhythm while learning about instrument families in greater depth. In addition, they learn about prominent composers of the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and 20th Century eras. Students are invited to try instruments – starting with hand bells and recorders and moving to traditional band and orchestra instruments - to experience sound and note production.

Band and Orchestra (6-12) students participate in at least five performances throughout the year and can learn a woodwind, brass, percussion or an orchestral string instrument. In the beginner ensemble, students learn basic notes, rhythms, technique and how to perform as an ensemble. As students progress, the Concert Band and Symphonic Orchestra provide opportunities to learn extended techniques and notes and complex rhythms. Students also focus on learning how to tune, blend, phrase and how to thoughtfully listen to the music. In addition, the ensembles perform annually at the Elitch Music Festival and, in 2012, participated in their first CHSAA ensemble festival. Both the band and orchestra have traditionally earned gold ratings at the Elitch Music Festivals.

Physical Education (K-12) provides students the opportunity to learn and experience the world of fitness and health. We not only learn to play several team and individual sports, but we also emphasize things such as nutrition, the human body and how it works as well as what teamwork, tolerance, sportsmanship and perseverance truly mean.

Elementary Spanish (K-5) provides students with the basics of the language through storytelling and other interactive activities. Through various cultural activities, including a simulated "Amazing Race," students also gain an understanding of the culture and history of our Spanish speaking neighbors to the south and throughout the world, as well as right here in our own community.

Spanish / French (6-12) teaches vocabulary in ways to meet the needs of all students. In addition to traditional vocabulary units, we use short stories to help students acquire language in a more natural way. Classes are taught primarily in Spanish or French and involve constant repetition of elements that the students already know, as well as addition of new material and vocabulary expansion through reading, geography and writing stories. 

Technology (K-5) incorporates students’ classroom studies into technology learning. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, students expand their knowledge of technology by using it as an educational aid. Students also learn appropriate keyboarding skills, including posture and how to use the home row keys, as well as basic coding skills.

Technology (6-12) students leverage prior knowledge to expand their technology skills with communication, life skills and “real world” applications. In the upper grade levels, emphasis is placed on keyboarding accuracy and speed, as well as application of technology.

“Did you know that the heart in your body looks nothing like the pictures we draw? It’s actually a muscle. And, you have to exercise and eat right to take care of it? I learned that in PE today. How cool is that?”

--kindergarten boy