SPECIAL ELECTIVE COURSES

Courses that ignite student passions.
One of the many things that sets MUSE Virtual apart from other online learning private schools, is our special elective courses available to students. This is what sparks creative thought and provides an outlet of imagination that students of all ages crave.

SPECIALISTS COURSES AVAILABLE TO ALL STUDENTS

Performing Arts

The MUSE Performing Arts Program gives our students the opportunity to engage in all aspects of theater and film, including acting, writing, directing, design, editing, dance and vocal performance. By encouraging students to explore the performing arts, not only do we aim to create informed and skilled theater / filmmakers, but instill self-confidence, imagination, team work, empathy, concentration and communication skills, while providing a fun and often much needed emotional outlet.

Visual Arts

MUSE Arts curriculum includes exercises that develop skills such as artistic perception, creative expression, and aesthetic value. As skills improve, art classes incorporate different techniques and mediums. Students engage in reflection and observation of how and why art is created in different cultures.

Seed-To-Table

The Seed-to-Table Program at MUSE is a hands-on way for students learn about the connection between their everyday food choices, their health, and the health of our environment.

Virtual Cooking

Students of all ages are invited to attend weekly virtual cooking classes with MUSE Chef, Robin Swallow. Young cooks will explore plant-based alternatives to their favorite comfort foods and new cooking methods.


ADDITIONAL ELECTIVES FOR ELEMENTARY STUDENTS GRADES 3–6

Spanish

Spanish at MUSE Virtual is offered weekly as an exploratory course to introduce students to the language, culture, and art. The kids learn about colors, numbers, animals, feelings, weather, seasons, foods, hobbies. They learn to share and communicate who they are, their passions and their interests. Students are challenged to speak and read words with correct pronunciation and write words and short sentences. Also, they learn interesting things about some Spanish speaking countries, singing songs and reading stories.

ADDITIONAL ELECTIVES AVAILABLE TO MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

Leadership

Leadership is an opportunity for students to explore and embody their unique approach to Leadership through school organization, activism, and community service. Leadership skills are developed through group and independent projects where unique perspectives are welcomed, risk taking is encouraged, and “failure” is embraced as an opportunity for growth. Course curriculum includes a study of notable leaders in history, contemporary politics, community engagement, organizational leadership, service, and activism. Students explore the difference between ethical leadership and the many alternatives. They also explore the many different profiles of a leader — meaning that leadership does not always require someone to be outspoken, gregarious and charismatic — some of the best leaders are those who lead from behind the scenes. Students play a key role in determining the direction of the curriculum, based on their passions and interests.

Throughout the year there will be a blend of projects — some within groups and some independently — ranging from organizing school events and activities to instigating community service projects to skill building assignments like public speaking, negotiation, pitching projects proposals and ideas, debate, etc.

Yearbook

Students learn basic principles of yearbook production and develop skills that include writing copy, captions and headlines; digital photography; desktop publishing and using appropriate technology tools for media production.

Meditation

During weekly Musory classes and after school enrichment, Meditation is offered to students attending MUSE middle and high school. Meditation has been scientifically proven to improve one’s quality of life on virtually every level — it calms and steadies the mind, soothes the nervous system, helps us process complex emotions, and provides the body deep, nourishing rest in a concentrated amount of time. It helps us develop a relationship with ourselves beyond the limited ways the world attempts to define us.

Meditation grants us access to the part of ourselves which remains untouched by our thoughts, feelings, and life experiences. This grants us unfailing access to clarity and peace. Natalie’s teaching is rooted in the Himalayan Tradition of Tantric Hatha Yoga and Meditation.

Creative Writing

Creative Writing explores three genres: Fiction, Poetry, and Non-fiction. Within these exist several subsets: “flash-fiction,” short story, haiku, prose poetry, autobiographical, and reportial writing. Students read published pieces — that are accessible as well as sophisticated — discuss, and then compose their own work. The class is run mostly as a workshop, a collaborative learning environment where students learn how to identify strengths, as well as areas for improvement in each other’s efforts. There are five required “finished products.” (On-going work is encouraged and the teacher is available during the week for reading and comments.)

Dance

This weekly dance class features different styles of dance on various levels, based on the experience and desire of the students. The curriculum consists of a warmup/workout, dance technique and learning choreography of various styles.

Asana Yoga Practice

This weekly class offers a space for students to learn and practice fundamental breathing techniques and basic yoga movements. Each class has an intention based on a word such as arrive, anchor, balance, or love. Students are invited to make entries in their journals before and after each class. This is an open space for students to come once or weekly or anything in between.

Ethical Entrepreneurship

Ethical Entrepreneurship provides hands-on, real-life experience developing a vision for a business, a business plan, an investor pitch deck, a marketing strategy and more. Throughout the semester, we explore the many considerations an ethical business must take into account and how we can contribute to healing the planet and its people while creating a sustainable, viable way to provide for ourselves. This class is an exciting opportunity to dive more deeply into what our students’ unique purpose may be and how they can develop that purpose into a way to make a living.

Storytelling

Storytelling is based on NPR’s “The Moth Radio Hour” — a show where people tell true stories of struggle, triumph, and everything in between. Students listen to relevant and appropriate episodes from the show and over the course of a semester every student constructs three stories to tell. They are revised, rehearsed, and presented to an audience of peers and teachers.

Digital Photography

Students explore the principles, styles & practicalities of digital photography. Creating and sharing work and inspiration is the keystone of this class. Vocabulary, methods, resources and editing techniques are also examined and practiced.

Script to Screen

Students in Script to Screen class create their own short film, from concept to completion. We start the year with a concept and explore producing, writing, storyboarding, shooting and editing, finishing the year with a screening of the films.


AVAILABLE TO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

American Sign Language

Students will be able to engage in conversations and correspondence in American Sign Language to provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions. They will also demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices and perspectives of American Deaf culture and the issues the deaf community faces. By the end of each year, they can use American Sign Language within and beyond the school setting.

French

Students learn French interactively by listening and speaking. They practice French pronunciation, build their vocabulary and acquire basic grammar skills. This all comes together and they start understanding and saying full sentences later on. Most learning happens through the use of authentic audios, videos, songs, games, and magazine articles in French. On top of language, the French course also includes learning about the francophone cultures (food, holidays, social interactions, activities…) since cultural understanding is as important as language acquisition to better understand the world. Students also work on connecting their passion with the French language and francophone culture.

Spanish

Students learn about greetings, introductions, hobbies, health, home, school, daily life, professions, transportation, technology in the modern world, environmental, geographic, climate in the natural world, historical figures, art, and technology in the cultural world. In reading and writing, they are able to write vocabulary content in the present, present progressive, and future tenses. They are able to demonstrate understanding of context, key ideas, and important details in authentic texts.

Ocean Conservation

Ocean Conservation explores current ocean threats, such as; overfishing, coral bleaching, ocean acidification, and marine debris. Students search news articles and discover current problems within our ocean. After reviewing articles such as the dissolving of Dungeness Crab shells, students create memes to show a visual to spread awareness. Students learn about the five layers of the ocean, as well as the top five ocean habitats. They also learn the importance of biodiversity within ocean habitats. Students also choose a species within the ocean and present physical traits and threats towards the animal to their present to their class.

Climate Crisis & Action I + II

Climate Crisis I
The first year climate crisis class emphasizes the fundamental causes of climate change based on environmental evidence. Pertinent biology, chemistry, and biochemistry fundamentals are reviewed in order to deepen the understanding of the complex relationship between humans and the Earth. Students study various books that cover several aspects of climate change: history, science, psychology, human rights, and politics. Research projects allow students to pursue specific areas of environmental stress. Mathematical modeling is used throughout to make predictions of the eventual equilibrium of various ecosystems and organisms.

Climate Crisis II
Climate Crisis II is a solutions based special elective course. Several causes of the climate crisis that are outlined in Climate Crisis I are explored and potential solutions are evaluated. The research projects focus on solutions and outcomes. The potential solutions are evaluated from both environmental and human rights perspectives. Global gender, racial, and economic disparities are emphasized. Students discuss current climate news stories and update the timeline for various environmental calamities. Mathematical modeling for the carrying capacity of humans on Earth is updated throughout the course.

Human Rights A + B

The MUSE High School Human Rights program approaches the study of social justice from three perspectives: building a knowledge base of the history of human rights and contemporary local, national and international developments, creating awareness of human rights issues and concerns in the world and in our school community, and understanding the value and purpose of advocacy through service opportunities and direct action.

Senior Writing

This special elective course is your go-to class for college prep. It covers college essays, resumes, cover letters for job applications, an “elevator pitch,” and forms of writing necessary in life after high school.

Post MUSE Virtual Life Skills

Students learn about general life skills like balancing a check book, identifying sexual harassment, handling roommate issues, interview skills, and how to manage other situations that occur in early adult life.

 

 

MUSE Virtual School Silhouette