Administrator’s Corner: Southwest offers more electives than many others

Published 8:00 pm Friday, October 15, 2021

Administrator’s Corner by Tyler Jonson

Our school district’s mission is to ensure individual academic, social and emotional growth that leads to engaged citizens and lifelong learners. Southwest offers a variety of elective classes to help our students achieve this.

Tyler Johnson

This is my first year as principal of Southwest Middle School. One of the many great things that stood out to me about Southwest this summer was when I was working on the master schedule and saw the quality and the number of electives our sixth- and seventh-grade students have the opportunity of taking in their two years at Southwest. Elective classes are classes that students aren’t required by Minnesota state law to take and more often than not students get to choose which elective classes they would like to take.

The number of elective classes our students here at Southwest Middle School are offered exceed what many other middle schools offer. One example of these electives is a class called The Game of Life, in which students work through different life skills such as managing college loans, career projects, balancing bank accounts and buying a house/car. Our sixth-grade students all take part in an elective class that teaches them social and emotional skills to help them problem solve and use in their everyday lives. Students have also been able to choose from a number of different art electives such as drawing, painting, mixed media and sculptures and ceramics. There is also a wide variety of technology electives offered here at Southwest such as coding, digital citizenship, automation and robotics, or fundamentals of design where students design and work with our 3-D printers. Our music electives of band, choir and/or orchestra are offered to all sixth and seventh graders as an elective, also.

This is why the election on Nov. 2 is so important. When districts have to make cuts, many times the first cuts to classrooms involve cutting elective teachers and therefore elective classes. If the referendum vote passes on Nov. 2 we will be able to continue to offer a wide and extensive variety of elective classes here at Southwest. By providing this variety of elective classes, it helps ensure individual academic, social and emotional growth that leads to engaged citizens and lifelong learners for all of our students who attend Southwest.

Tyler Johnson is the principal at Southwest Middle School.