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School isn’t only about reading, writing and arithmetic.
At Rocky Mountain Academy of Evergreen, every school day for the middle school is also about the electives — everything from Adulting 101 to juggling, grilling, film studies, creative writing, origami, trail running and more.
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At the beginning of the school year, teachers determine the electives they want to teach and the RMAE middle schoolers rank their choices. Each day, students attend a different elective. Most electives run for a quarter of the school year, though some are year-long.
Teachers like offering elective classes that are different than the curriculum to give students fun choices.
Sixth grade teacher Nicole Kruse teaches Adulting 101, explaining everything from ironing and doing laundry to writing checks and addressing envelopes to money matters such as budgeting.
Recently, Kruse taught ironing, bringing in her own clothes for students to practice on. She explained to her class that they needed to read the label on each piece of clothing to get washing, drying and ironing instructions.
She showed them how to put water into an iron, select a temperature setting based on the kind of material and how to move the iron on the material to keep from scorching.
Eighth-grader Hannah Flanagan said she liked taking the Adulting 101 class because it makes students worry less about becoming adults since they learn some concepts early.
“We’re getting (this) in our brains at an early age,” she said.
In the robotics elective, it was controlled chaos as students worked individually or in small groups to create. Teacher Sev Gutierrez explained that he assesses students’ robotics knowledge and then lets them get to work. It’s a chance to use STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — principles in creative ways.
For the students, it’s a chance to build robots.
The students in the Student Council elective were busy creating trees and other props for their “Alice in Wonderland” themed Haunted Hall activity. It is one of several activities throughout the year, and having a Student Council elective allows them to work together during the school day.
Student Council adviser Katrina Glaser likes that teachers can show their interests to students, and students learn different activities and skills. Glaser is offering a knitting and crocheting elective, for example.
“This is what makes RMAE unique,” Kruse said of the electives.
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