Jordan Middle School

8th grade Guide

8th Grade Course Selections

7th graders will enroll in each of the following content areas for their 8th-grade year:


  1. ELA or ELA Advanced or ELA GT
  2. Math or Algebra 1 (Must have completed 6th & 7th grade advanced math courses)
  3. U.S. History or U.S. History Advanced or U.S. History GT
  4. Science or Science Advanced or Science GT
  5. PE or Dance 1 or **Dance 2 or ***Dance 3 or ****Athletics
  6. *****MAPS/Communication Application or ******AVID 1
  7. Elective Course
  8. Elective Course


**Students must have already taken Dance 1 in order to be in Dance 2.

***Students must have already taken Dance 2 in order to be in Dance 3.

****Students must have a coach's approval in order to be in Athletics. Contact one of the coaches for inquires:

Students in Athletics must have a completed physical form. The form can be found below:


Physical Form




The following two high school credit courses (MAPS & Comm Apps) are each semester classes combined to make a one year course.


*****MAPS: This course supports a successful transition into high school by developing the skills necessary for a successful academic career. Students will develop the specific strategies to achieve personal and professional goals. Based on individual learning styles and interests, students will develop critical time management, organization, and study skills, with a focus on character education and leadership. ******Note: This course satisfies an elective requirement for high school graduation.


*****Communication Applications: Students will identify, analyze, develop, and evaluate communication skills needed for professional and social success in interpersonal situations, group interactions, and formal and informal professional presentations. ******Note: This course satisfies the NISD Speech requirement for high school graduation.


******AVID 1: Is an academic elective course that prepares students for college readiness and success. Each week, students receive instruction utilizing a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, tutor-facilitated study groups, motivational activities and academic success skills. In AVID, students participate in activities that incorporate strategies focused on writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading to support their academic growth. Students in AVID 1 must take at least one advanced course.

~Prerequisite: Application and interview

~Note: This course serves as a substitute for Communication Applications and Methodology for Academic and Personal Success (MAPS). Students who successfully complete AVID 1 will fulfill the NISD Speech requirement for high school graduation.


Please contact pamela.watson@nisd.net for AVID inquires.

Advanced Courses

Northside offers many Advanced courses to middle school students. Participation in advanced academic courses is a foundation of college readiness. Students who participate in advanced coursework are more likely to complete a bachelor’s degree in college and typically have higher grades in college.


Northside ISD recognizes the value of student participation in rigorous academic coursework and encourages students to graduate from high school with at least one advanced academic course credit such as Advanced Placement. Our collective purpose is to ensure

student success in middle school Advanced courses and provide opportunities for higher levels of learning in future grades.


Advanced courses are intended to develop students’ literacy, problem-solving skills, and analysis. These middle school classes are designed to challenge students through rigorous instruction and complex learning tasks in order to prepare them for success in future Advanced classes, AP classes, and college courses.


***If you would like for your student to earn high school Algebra 1 credit in 8th grade, your student must have already been following the sequence below:

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Gifted and Talented

Identified GT students may choose ONE GT content course each year in:

  • English Language Arts or
  • Science or
  • Social Studies.


Each year’s course selection is independent of the previous year. GT courses emphasize strategies such as depth and complexity, creative problem solving, and critical thinking. These strategies are integrated throughout the curriculum in order to foster leadership and maximize opportunities for independent thinking.


In addition to GT content courses, students may also select Math Advanced courses in which both enrichment and acceleration opportunities are available.


Course selection is not guaranteed due to campus enrollment and staffing. Please give careful consideration to GT content selection.


***To request for your child to be GT tested in 6th grade, please contact: martha.gonzalez@nisd.net

8th grade Electives

8th graders will have two elective classes and will be in these classes for the entire school year. Due to class sizes and teacher assignments, Jordan cannot guarantee a student's first choice. Students will select two alternative courses for this reason.


8th Grade Elective Options:

  • Beginning Band or Intermediate Band or Advanced Band
  • Beginning Orchestra or Intermediate Orchestra or Advanced Orchestra
  • Beginning Choir or Intermediate Choir or Advanced Choir
  • Beginning Theatre or Intermediate Theatre or Advanced Theatre
  • Dance 1 or Dance 2 or Dance 3 (must not be enrolled in the P.E. credit class)
  • Beginning Art or Intermediate Art or Advanced Art (HS Credit) or Art 1 (HS Credit)
  • PBS Future Lab 8 (Cannot currently be in PBS Future Lab 7)
  • Principles of Human Services (HS Credit)
  • STEM Future Lab 8 (Cannot currently be in STEM Future Lab 7)
  • Principals of Applied Engineering (HS Credit)
  • Journalism (Yearbook)
  • Spanish 1 (HS Credit) or Spanish 2 (HS Credit) or Spanish 2 Advanced (HS Credit)
  • Office Aid (Application required)
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Beginning Band

Band Beginner Level is designed to teach students how to play a woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument. No prior music experience or knowledge is required. Students will learn to read music, produce good tone quality, learn rhythm skills, and perform music. Students can develop skills at their own pace. Band concerts allow students to experience live performance. Students earn awards for individual outstanding skill mastery.


Instructor: Chris Esparza- chris.esparza@nisd.net

Intermediate Band

Band Intermediate Level is designed for students to continue developing music fundamentals on woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments introduced in the beginner level class. Students build skills at their own pace. Band literature is more advanced and promotes increased teamwork, kinesthetic development, expression, leadership, and problem solving skills. Band concerts include music of all styles. Students earn awards for individual and ensemble mastery of skills.


***Prerequisite: Beginner Band

Advanced Band

Band Advanced Level is designed for students to apply sound music fundamentals on woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments to music of all styles. Students build skills at their own pace. Band literature is advanced and promotes extensive collaboration, expression, creativity, and problem-solving techniques. Students engage in multiple concerts. Students earn awards for individual and ensemble mastery of skills.


*Placement is determined by directors.

Beginning Orchestra

Orchestra Beginner Level is designed to teach students how to play a violin, viola, cello, or string bass instrument. No prior music experience or knowledge is required. Students will learn to read music, produce good tone quality, learn rhythm skills, and perform music. Students can develop skills at their own pace. Orchestra concerts allow students to experience live performance. Students earn awards for individual outstanding skill mastery.


Instructor: Sarah Hayter- sarah.hayter@nisd.net

Intermediate Orchestra

Orchestra Intermediate Level is designed for students to continue developing music fundamentals on violin, viola, cello, and string bass instruments introduced in

the beginner level class. Orchestra literature is more advanced and promotes increased teamwork, kinesthetic development, expression, leadership, and problem-solving skills. Orchestra concerts include music of all styles. Students earn awards for individual and ensemble mastery of skills.


***Prerequisite: Beginner Orchestra

Advanced Orchestra

Orchestra Advanced Level is designed for students to apply strong music fundamentals on violin, viola, cello, and string bass instruments to music of all styles. Students build skills at their own pace. Orchestra literature is advanced and promotes extensive collaboration, expression, creativity, and problem solving techniques. Orchestra concerts are extensive. Students earn awards for individual and ensemble mastery of skills.


***Prerequisite: Intermediate Orchestra

Beginning Treble Choir or Beginning Tenor/Bass

This course is designed to teach students how to sing properly. No prior music experience or knowledge is required. Girls are assigned to the Treble Choir and boys are assigned to the Tenor Bass Choir. Students learn to read music, produce good tone quality, learn rhythm skills, and perform. Students can develop skills at their own pace. Choir concerts allow students to experience live performance. Students earn awards for individual outstanding skill mastery.


Instructor: Patricia Balmer- patricia.balmer@nisd.net

Intermediate Treble Choir or Intermediate Tenor/Bass

This course is designed for students to continue developing music fundamentals and singing skills introduced in the beginner level class. Students build skills at their own pace. Choral literature is more advanced and promotes increased teamwork, development of vocal tone quality and range, expression, leadership, and problem-solving skills. Choir concerts include music of all styles. Students earn awards for individual and ensemble mastery of skills.


***Prerequisite: Beginner Treble Choir or Beginner Tenor/Bass Choir

Advanced Treble Choir or Advanced Tenor/Bass

This course is designed for students to apply strong music fundamentals developed in beginner and intermediate level courses. Students build skills at their own pace. Choir literature is advanced and promotes extensive collaboration, expression, creativity, and problem-solving techniques. Students engage in multiple concerts. Students earn awards for individual and ensemble mastery of skills.


***Prerequisite: Intermediate Treble Choir

Beginning Theatre

Beginning Theatre is an introductory theatre course designed for the student to experience the basic elements of drama. No previous theatre or drama experience is required. Beginning acting and technical theatre techniques will be explored along with the basic skills needed to create a theatrical performance.


Instructor: Priscilla Villanueva- priscilla.villanueva@nisd.net

Intermediate Theatre

Intermediate Theatre is a more in-depth study of theatre where students continue to build upon skills learned in Theatre 1. Students are introduced to additional skills that are necessary to become a theatre artist. Dramatic structure, acting, and technical elements are expanded in both production and scene studies.


***Prerequisite: Beginner Theatre

Advanced Theatre Arts

Advanced Theatre is an advanced theatre class that requires students to enhance skills learned in Beginning and Intermediate through analyzation of theatrical concepts and practices. Students engage in research, creative thinking, problem solving, and improvisation that is transferred to collaborative production.


***Prerequisite: Intermediate Theatre

Dance 1

The first dance course in middle school is designed to give students the opportunity to develop and execute beginner skills in ballet, jazz, tap, modern dance, musical theatre dance, and world dance forms. Various dance genres and styles will be explored while improving students’ technique, self-confidence, creative ability, and concept of wellness. Dance students will have ensemble performance opportunities. No prior dance experience is required.


*Middle School Dance may be taken as an elective, or as a fulfillment of the PE requirement. Students who wish to use MS Dance to fulfill the PE requirement should NOT enroll in this course, but should rather enroll in Dance MS 1 PE (#5091)


Instructor:

Dance 2

The second of three sequential dance courses, Dance MS 2 is designed to give students the opportunity to develop and execute intermediate skills in ballet, jazz, tap, modern dance, musical theatre dance, and world dance forms. Various dance genres and styles will be explored while improving their technique, selfconfidence, creative ability, and concept of wellness. Dance students will have ensemble performance opportunities.


***Prerequisite: Dance MS 1


*Middle School Dance may be taken as an elective, or as a fulfillment of the PE requirement. Students who wish to use MS Dance to fulfill the PE requirement should NOT enroll in this course, but should rather enroll in Dance MS 2 PE (#5092)

Dance 3

The third of three sequential dance courses, Dance MS 3 is designed to give students the opportunity to develop and execute advance skills in ballet, jazz, tap, modern dance, musical theatre dance, and world dance forms. Various dance genres and styles will be explored while improving their technique, self-confidence, creative ability ,and concept of wellness. Dance students will have ensemble performance opportunities.


***Prerequisite: Dance MS 2


*Middle School Dance may be taken as an elective, or as a fulfillment of the PE requirement. Students who wish to use MS Dance to fulfill the PE requirement should NOT enroll in this course, but should rather enroll in Dance MS 3 PE (#5093)

Beginner Art

Beginner Art MS 1 is concept-based. Curriculum units include drawing, painting, printmaking, three-dimensional art forms, fiber, and digital art. Content will include student originality and creativity.

Intermediate Art

Intermediate Art MS 2 is concept-based and curriculum units build student skills developed in Beginner Art 1. Curriculum includes drawing, painting, printmaking, fiber art, three-dimensional art forms, and digital art. Development of artistic originality, creativity, and study of artists and art periods is incorporated.


***Prerequisite: Beginner Art MS 1

Advanced Art HS (High School Credit)

This high school credit course is designed for the middle school student who has completed Beginner Art MS 1 and Intermediate Art MS 2 and wishes to continue the study of art at a rigorous level. Students investigate and apply techniques in drawing, painting, printmaking, 3-D art forms, fiber, digital art and compositions of mixed media. Students work toward mastery level in originality and creativity. Students personalize their learning and design their curriculum to enrich peaked interest in mastery of art skills. The course is designed for students with high interest in rich art experiences.


***Prerequisite: Intermediate Art MS 2


Students who successfully complete this course will earn 1.0 high school credit.

Art 1 HS (High School Credit)

High School Art I is concept-based and is an exploratory introduction to high school art. Curriculum includes all art media to allow students to acquire a general understanding of the elements of art, principles of design and expressive qualities. Content will include problem-solving, originality, creativity, and the study of artists and art periods.


***Prerequisite: None


Students who successfully complete this course will earn 1.0 high school credit.

PBS Future Lab 7

(Public & Business Services Related Careers) This is a lab- and project-based course in which students will participate in experiences that model real-world industries. The goal of this course is to create a foundation for success in high school, future studies, and careers in Business, Industry, and Public Service. Career and Technical Education clusters addressed include Agriculture, Business/Finance, Culinary, Education, Fashion, Health Science, and Marketing. Students will research labor market information, learn job-seeking skills, and practice professional communication skills. Career and Technical Education instruction provides content aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant technical knowledge and skills for students to further their education and succeed in current or emerging professions.


***Prerequisite: None

Principles of Human Services (High School Credit)

Students will assess the relationship between health and wellness and personal and professional achievement. Students will evaluate the effects of crises, stress, and domestic violence on individuals and the family and recognize appropriate responses and management strategies. Students will identify the basic needs of children as well as caregiver guidelines that promote safe and healthy child development. Students will create meals according to dietary guidelines. Students will create written and electronic records of client services for cosmetology, fashion design, and interior design.


***Prerequisite: None

STEM Future Lab 7

(Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Related Careers) This is a lab- and project-based course in which students will participate in experiences that model real-world industries. The goal of this course is to create a foundation for success in high school, future studies, and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Career and Technical Education clusters addressed include Architecture, Arts & Audio Video, Construction, Engineering, Information Technology (Cyber), Law (Forensics), Manufacturing, and Transportation (Automotive). Students will research labor market information, learn job-seeking skills, and practice professional communication skills. Career and Technical Education instruction provides content aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant technical knowledge and skills for students to further their education and succeed in current or emerging professions.


***Prerequisite: None

Principles of Applied Engineering (High School Credit)

This course provides an overview of the various fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and their interrelationships. Working on design teams, students will use multiple computer hardware and software applications to conduct research, design and create projects, and present ideas related to biotechnology, electronics, robotics, and automation. Students will use appropriate tools and demonstrate safe work habits.


***Prerequisite: None


Students who successfully complete this course will earn 1.0 high school credit.

Journalism/Yearbook

This course provides the study of current print and digital trends in yearbook design, layout, and publishing in order to develop and produce the school yearbook. Coursework includes gathering and analyzing information, photography, and specialized writing.


***Prerequisite: None

Spanish 1 (High School Credit)

This course focuses on developing speaking and listening comprehension skills. Students are exposed to basic reading and writing skills. Students are introduced to the people, their customs, and other aspects of their culture. Students have the opportunity to work in pairs and small groups to role play real-life situations using the target language.


***Prerequisite: None


Students who successfully complete Spanish 1 will earn 1.0 high school credit.

Spanish 2 (High School Credit)

This course continues to focus on opportunities for students to expand their speaking and listening comprehension skills in addition to developing their reading comprehension and writing skills. Students continue to study the culture, the people, and their customs. Students will continue to role play and perform dialogues and skits in a variety of everyday situations and topics using the target language.


***Prerequisite: 70 or higher in Spanish 1, or 80 or higher on the Credit-by-Exam.


Students who successfully complete this course will earn 1.0 high school credit.

Spanish 2 Advanced (High School Credit)

This course exceeds the level 2 requirements by including many independent activities requiring performances in the target language. The students will continue to refine the four modes of communication by being exposed to an enriched and accelerated curriculum.


***Prerequisite: Recommended 90 or higher in Spanish 1, or 90 or higher on the Credit-by-Exam.


Students who successfully complete this course will earn 1.0 high school credit.

Spanish 3 Advanced (High School Credit)

Students continue to work towards proficiency in speaking and listening comprehension. The study of some condensed literary works will incorporate the development of reading comprehension and writing skills. Culture topics are integrated throughout the curriculum. Students will do independent, paired, and group work to allow for more creativity and the use of higher-order thinking skills.


***Prerequisite: Recommended 90 or higher in Spanish 2 or Spanish 2 Advanced, or 90 or higher on the Credit-by-Exam.


Students who successfully complete this course will earn 1.0 high school credit.

Jordan Contacts

Reach out to your student's counselor for any questions or concerns!


Tania Perez

6th grade Counselor

tania.perez@nisd.net

(210) 397-6178


Erica Parra

7th grade Counselor

erica.parra@nisd.net

(210) 397-6176


Ryanne Barecky

8th grade Counselor

ryanne.barecky@nisd.net

(210) 397-6177


Laurel Graham

Counseling & Grade Reporting Secretary

laurel.graham@nisd.net

(210) 397-6182