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Electives

AP Computer Science in Java - Grades 10, 11, 12

Pre-requisites: Must have completed Computer Science with a B+ or higher


The AP Computer Science Java course is a year-long course designed to help students master the basics of Java and equip them to successfully pass the AP Computer Science A Exam at the end of the school year. The curriculum has been pre-approved by College Board's AP Course Audit as meeting or exceeding the curricular expectations colleges and universities have for this subject. There is a fee of $100 for AP exam.

  • Year
  • 10 Credits
  • UC Approved

Computer Science - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: Must have completed the Intro to Computer Science Course or must be enrolled in Algebra 2 Honors


The Computer Science curriculum teaches the foundations of computer science and basic programming, with an emphasis on helping students develop logical thinking and problem solving skills. Once students complete the Introduction to Computer Science course, they will have learned material equivalent to a semester college introductory course in Computer Science and be able to program in JavaScript.

  • Year
  • 10 Credits
  • UC Approval Pending

ASG Leadership - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: Must be an elected ASB or class officer or commissioner and obtain teacher approval.


This is a year-long course designed to empower the elected officers and commissioners for the coming year. Students in this class will be encouraged to attend leadership camp during the summer months. Class time will be spent in planning, organizing and implementing school activities and maintaining an activities calendar.

  • Year
  • 10 Credits

Creative Writing - Grades 10, 11, 12

Creative Writing is a semester-long course open to students interested in exploring writing as an art form. The course builds on composition skills, plot structure, methods of characterizations, development of setting and theme, journal writing, cluster techniques, free writing and development of voice. Students will participate in individual writing exercises, brainstorming sessions, and peer and critique groups. The course includes the study of contemporary poets and fiction writers.

  • Semester
  • 5 Credits
  • UC Approved

Freshman Communications - Grade 9

This introductory, freshman-level course equips students with the requisite skills to be successful in high school. This course is broken into three components: introduction to JSerra, grammar and writing, and logic and critical thinking. The JSerra component includes JSerra history, computer and Bistro registration, basic computer skills, review of dress code, the plagiarism and honesty policy, email correspondence, and study skills guidance. The grammar and writing component covers the building blocks of strong written correspondence and argument: dependent and independent clauses, comma use, pronoun-antecedent agreement, and correct modifier usage. Students compose analogous, causation, and persuasive essays. The logic and critical thinking component covers those skills necessary for structuring clear and convincing arguments: premises and conclusions, consistency, using reliable sources, analogies, causes, correlations, and oral arguments.

  • Semester
  • 5 Credits

Health - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

This semester course is a requirement for graduation. The course covers a vast array of health related topics including personal health, family and social health, individual growth and development, communicable and chronic diseases, consumer and community health nutrition, alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse, environmental health, and injury prevention and safety. Students will gain knowledge in these areas through the use of a text, reading materials, lectures, research papers, and technology integrated instruction.

  • Semester
  • 5 Credits

Introduction to Computer Science - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

The Intro to Computer Science course is a first computer science course introducing the basics of programming with Karel the Dog, the basics of designing a web page, and how information and images are represented with computers. Students will learn to code using blocks to drag and drop, but they can switch between blocks and text as desired. Students will create a portfolio on the web of projects they build throughout the course.

With a unique focus on creativity, problem solving and project based learning, Computing Ideas gives students the opportunity to explore several important topics of computing using their own ideas and creativity and develop an interest in computer science that will foster further endeavors in the field.

  • Year
  • 10 Credits
  • UC Approved

Photojournalism/School Newspaper - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: Overall GPA of 3.0 and teacher approval


Journalism/School Newspaper provides the student a hands-on experience in planning, writing, editing, and producing the monthly JSerra school newspaper. This course is a one-year course focusing on how to effectively communicate with the greater JSerra community. The class emphasizes logical thinking, interviewing skills, accurate and concise journalistic composition, editorial writing, original photography, and layout. The newspaper will be produced digitally on the computer via Macintosh, utilizing a variety of software programs, and output as both an electronic file and as a traditional printed piece.

  • Year
  • 10 Credits
  • UC Approved

Literature of the Sea - Grades 11, 12

This is a semester-long elective course open to juniors and seniors. The Sea inspires adventure; undeniably mysterious and forbidding, calling out to explorers seeking the compelling forces of the soul. "Literature of the Sea" highlights past and current works of authors such as J.London, J.Steinbeck, and H.Melville, and to create connections to the sea and modern society. We will visit Dana Point for an overnight excursion on the 17th century operational ship, the Spirit of Dana Point. Student work includes a website of poetry and creative writing complete with accompanied media.

  • Semester
  • 5 Credits

Military History - Grades 11, 12

Military History is a course designed to provide the student with a comprehensive survey of the history, principles, effects, practices, and the profession of armed conflict. Students will use skills in cooperative learning, project development, and excellent standards of technical reading, writing, research, decision-making and public speaking as they study the processes and principles of warfare in the context of the complexities of modern day foreign policy. Students will develop an awareness of the awful realities of war through eyewitness accounts, oral histories, film video, pictures and literature. They will also apply knowledge and skills in tactics and strategy in the context of historical situations, and through the use of computer simulations, to learn the lessons of military history in relationship to today's unpredictable global environment.

  • Semester
  • 5 Credits

Psychology - Grades 10, 11, 12

This semester course will provide the student with an introduction to the concepts, theories and research findings of modern psychology. This survey course will also address the biological bases of behavior, sensory and perceptual processing, learning and memory, human growth and development, social behavior and normal and abnormal behavior.

  • Semester
  • 5 Credits
  • UC Approved

Speech and Debate - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

Speech deals with the communication process as a whole in our daily lives through group discussion, and public speaking. Students will learn how to conduct interviews and group discussions. Students will learn how to prepare and deliver informal, argumentative and persuasive speeches, as well as speeches for occasions such as commemoration, dedications, awards presentations and acceptances. Students will practice giving memorial speeches as well as humorous speeches and dramatic monologues intended for entertainment. Students will also write and perform radio and TV public service announcements, editorials, commercials and newscasts.

  • Semester
  • 5 Credits
  • UC Approved

Study Skills - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: Must have a psycho-educational evaluation on file and enrolled in SERP


This program is designed for students who have been identified through private testing or school district testing as needing specific accommodations in their educational endeavors. Students can receive a maximum of 20 credits of Study Skills that can be used towards their elective graduation requirements. The grade for this class is factored into the student’s total GPA, but not the student’s academic GPA.

  • Year
  • 10 Credits
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