Elective Courses Spring to Life

Elective Courses Spring to Life

As ODA grows and expands, its course offerings do too. This spring, students have lots to choose from. Choose wisely. Read the course description and take a look at some of the personalities that will be guiding your learning.

Registration sheets are due by Tuesday, December 10. You need your advisor’s signature and your parents’ signatures on the sheet. Remember, you can’t rearrange core classes to make an elective fit. Electives must fit into your schedules elective, free, or study hall time. You’ll need at least six classes total.

Introduction to Psychology (Ms. Lloyd), H Period

This semester electives will focus on introducing students to the systematic and scientific study of human behavior and mental processes. Emphases will be placed on biology and behavior, cognitive processes, human development, personality, motivation, emotion, psychological disorders, and social psychology.


Photography I (Mrs. Garasic), F Period

Prerequisite: teacher approval
Lab Fee: $50.00
Students supply their own 35 MM manual or digital 35MM camera and photo printing paper

This course aims to introduce students to photographic practices and techniques within a creative studio environment. The primary objective of the course is to provide students with intensive hands-on technical experience with B&W photography while also familiarizing them with the critical and theoretical debates surrounding photography in general. The students are given an introduction to the tools, procedures, concepts and application of photographic imaging. Students will use cameras, meters and digital editing to meet the requirements of a series of assignments. These assignments are designed to develop specific skills, competencies and points of view and to stimulate the students’ creative capacities for personal expression, communication and, self-understanding.

Photography II (Mrs. Garasic), E Period

Prerequisite: Photography I and teacher approval
Lab Fee: $50.00

Students supply their own 35 MM manual or digital 35MM camera and photo printing paper

This course provides an introduction to advanced techniques, tools, procedures and concepts of photographic imaging. Several “alternative” techniques and processes will be discussed and demonstrated. Students will make images for a series of conceptually advanced, project/series-oriented assignments to stimulate the student’s creative capacities for personal expression, communication, and self-understanding.

Photography III (Mrs. Garasic), E Period

Prerequisite: Photography I & II, teacher approval
Lab Fee: $50.00

Students supply their own 35 MM manual or digital 35 MM camera and photo printing paper

This course is a continuance of advanced techniques, tools, procedures and concepts of photographic imaging, with an emphasis on photography as a fine art. Students will be required to create images for a series of conceptually advanced project/series-oriented assignments. The objective of this course is to stimulate the student’s creative capacities for personal expression, communication, and self-understanding.


Marine Science (Ms. Walsh), E Period

Students will study the marine environment and marine organism with a primary focus on the Gulf of Mexico and Florida wetland habitats. Students will participate in hands-on activities and regular field trips to further their understanding of marine biology.

Environmental Science (Ms. Walsh), G Period

Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry

Environmental Science is a study of the interrelationships between organisms and their physical surroundings, focusing on the effects man has within the worldwide ecosystem. This course provides students with knowledge to evaluate choices that can reduce the negative impact man has made on the environment and optimize worldwide living standards. The course emphasizes the development of scientific principles, that allow students to identify and analyze environmental problems and associated risks. Students also examine solutions that can resolve/prevent ecological problems through critical and creative thinking skills.


Advanced Ceramics (Mr. Madres), E Period

Prerequisite: Ceramics I

Working with ceramics requires very specific skill sets and techniques that need to be learned step-by-step through demonstration, trial, error, and repeated practice. An advanced ceramics course would explore complex techniques of constructing ceramic works beyond the basic methods covered in the introductory course such as slab, coil, slump and hump molding, and throwing pottery on the wheel. More focused and independent exploration of the infinite possibilities of decorative styles using glazes, under glazes, dry carving and other

techniques would also be encouraged. Along with more challenging studio production, academic exploration of past and contemporary practices in ceramics from a variety of cultural approaches would take place through research, art historical writing, a class presentation and coinciding group critique.

3-D Art (Mr. Madres), F Period

In this course students will learn various traditional and contemporary sculpture techniques. Through individual hands-on projects, they explore three-dimensional form through a process that includes sketching, model making, and the use of a variety of tools. Students will develop the skills of critical evaluation in critique sessions and class discussion, and they will also explore historical references and antecedents through the use of audio-visual materials.


Advanced Computer Graphics (Ms. Kozak), D Period

Prerequisite: Computer Graphics and instructor approval

This class continues to explore art used to communicate ideas by combining images and text. Students will examine packaging and production of real world situations, and we will also explore Rotoscoping; an animation technique in which animators trace over footage, frame by frame, for use in live-action films and commercials.

Drawing (Ms. Kozak), G Period

This course teaches basic drawing skills and techniques from direct observation. Direct observation for this course is defined as drawing from still life, landscape, and architecture. Students will explore measurement and perspective, the representation of form and space, value, volume, light and shadow. Verbal skills are developed through critiques and class discussions.

Advanced Drawing and Painting (Ms. Kozak), H Period

Prerequisite: Drawing, Painting.

This course is designed for those students wanting to further improve their painting and drawing skills. The student will continue to explore various techniques through different mediums and subject matter. Students will study foreshortening, perspective, light sources and shadows, along with various ways to mix and use color. Students may choose their own focus of drawing or painting, or can pursue both subjects.

Exploration Through Drawing and Painting (Ms. Kozak), H Period

Prerequisite: Advanced Drawing and Painting, and instructor approval

This course is a self-directed, self-paced class in which the student pursues drawing, painting, or both skills into their own personal vision. A student may focus on a specific artist or time period, a specific technique or style, or may want to create a concentrated series of works. This class is for students focused and self-motivated.


AP US Government and Politics (Mr. Woods), C Period

Prerequisite: Recommendation of department

This is a one semester course designed to give students an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. Students will study the constitutional basis of government in the United States, as well as the institutions, groups, beliefs and ideas that constitute U.S. government and politics. This course is ideal for those who have a keen interest in politics and who pay close attention to current affairs. The course will culminate in the Advanced Placement examination which is taken early in May.


Robotics (Mr. Shamp), B Period

Prerequisite: Algebra II or higher. 11 & 12 graders. (10th graders may be considered by the department)

Robotics I is an introductory courses in building, programming, and debugging robots to accomplish basic tasks. This course incorporates elements of engineering, computer programming, and physics. The students will construct individualized robots in order to solve novel problems. All assessments are results based, as this is a course that heavily depends on the student’s ability to design, program, build, and refine their ideas in order to accomplish a given list of tasks. Curiosity, independence, and dedication to the task are the only requirements for this course, though a firm understanding of math and physics will be helpful.



National and International Economics (Mr. Seldis), G Period

In this course students will start off by examining globalization, in particular the economic arguments for and against international trade, trade blocs and protectionism. We will then focus on national economics, looking at how economists measure an economy’s output before examining the five primary economic objectives of governments: low inflation, low unemployment, sustainable economic growth, stable government finances, and an improving balance of payments. Finally we shall learn about and evaluate the three key policy tools at a government’s disposal to reach those macroeconomics objectives: fiscal policy (taxing and spending), monetary policy (interest rates and money supply) and supply-side policy (deregulation and privatization). The course will be global in nature, examining national economies from around the world, being unbiased towards any particular economic philosophy or theory.


International and Community Development (Mr. Sommers), F Period

Community and International Development will focus on raising awareness of challenges facing both our global and local communities. Through case studies and empirical experience, students will then identify the various stakeholders and approaches to meeting these challenges. Students will then search for an issue of personal interest and author a case study of their own. Finally, students will take on a parallel initiative identifying local non-profits for a local foundation’s pilot project. This will ultimately allow them to play a role in crafting and evaluating grant applications.


Storytelling: Sight and Sound (Ms. Giraud & Mr. Gass), A Period

Grade level

10-12 (12th graders in the course will not participate in the film festival element)

In this course, students will study the art and the craft of storytelling through several media from short fiction and oral storytelling, to image and film. Students will identify elements of structure such as hooks, shifts, tone, mood, character and conflict development, cinematography, pause, theme, and resolution. In creative exercises, students will practice finding their voice and modeling their understanding of the concepts presented in class. In conjunction with the Sarasota Film Festival, the course will welcome local film experts to help students to develop sophisticated approaches to viewing and evaluating short narratives for the festival. Students will be invited to walk the red carpet at an event specifically designed for young critics and storytellers in the community.


Keyboard II (Ms. Young), C Period

Prerequisite Keyboard I

This class will continue to develop the skills learned from Keyboard I. We will explore different styles of music, such as classical, pop, and jazz. This class will expand on the different types of keyboard playing, including note-reading, chart reading, and improvisation. The class size is limited to eight students.


Anatomy and Physiology II (Mr. Newhams), B and D Periods

Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry

Recommended: Physics and Anatomy I
In layman’s terms anatomy is the physical structure of an organism, and physiology is the study of how the physical structure functions. To fully appreciate one, you need to understand the other. Their scientific definitions can get fairly complex; however, the course will keep their basic definitions as its main focus. The beginning of the course will focus on defining what will be covered in the course and the terminology that will be used. Some basic biology and chemistry will be reviewed. Organ systems will be covered separately and how they integrate with other systems. No other course can show the importance of science in our everyday lives more than Anatomy and Physiology. Everything discussed is going on in our bodies right now, and now, and even… well you get the picture.
Each course is one semester and can be taken independently of the other. However, it is recommended to take Anatomy I first.


Introduction to Computer Programming (ONLINE) (Ms. Barrett), Offered Blocks A-H

Permission from the Instructor is required for enrollment.

Grades 9-12 (Elective)

Introduction to Computer Programming is intended to be a first course in programming for students regardless of programming experience. Students will utilize different software packages and environments. Students will work individually and collaboratively on programming projects of increasing complexity. Students will also have some readings about technology as it impacts our society. Students will also be expected to write short papers including but not limited to hacking, inventors, security and the influence of technology. Students will be given the opportunity to learn about algorithms and logical thinking. This course will be taught online by the ODA instructor. There will be lessons and assignments that will be accessed via the internet housed on school and hosted resources. Students taking this course will need a computer and internet access (iPad alone will not be sufficient) as students will be required to download and work in development environments when needed. Students will have required periodic appointments with the instructor throughout the semester (minimum three that may be scheduled outside the traditional block schedule). They will be expected to work independently by following tutorials prepared by the instructor at a logical pace. While these interviews will serve as a minimum, students are reminded that they have access to the instructor throughout the semester by appointment.

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