Wisdom Begins in Wonder. -Socrates
What is the electives program?
Friday afternoons at Polaris are wonderful. Students have the opportunity to choose two different 50 minute elective classes each quarter. A goal of the electives program is to let students choose their own classes based on their interests and passions. It’s a great chance for students to experience new subjects in areas such as art, sports, and languages. This unique program serves to invigorate and motivate students while also expanding their educational experience beyond the standard classroom topics. Without exception, every student at Polaris looks forward to Friday afternoon electives.
Who do I contact about Electives?
Deb Aruca, Electives Coordinator
When is the electives program?
This program runs on Friday afternoons for two 50 minute sessions during the school day. The 1st hour is from 1:35-2:25 and the 2nd hour is from 2:30-3:20. It is free for all students and is one of the few comprehensive enrichment programs in the city that is part of a student’s academic day.
What are the dates for the program for the 2018-2019 school year?
- 1st Quarter Dates: Sept. 14th, Sept. 21st, Sept. 28th, Oct. 5th, and Oct. 12th
- 2nd Quarter Dates: Nov. 2nd, Nov. 9th, Nov. 16th, Nov. 30th, and Dec. 7th
- 3rd Quarter Dates: Feb. 15th, Feb. 22nd, March 1st, March 8th, and March 15th
- 4th Quarter Dates: April 5th, April 12th, April 19th, April 26th, and May 3rd
How do students register for their elective classes?
Students will sign up for their electives classes at school with their classroom teachers. One of the goals of the elective program is to let students choose their own classes based on their interests and passions. Each child will be given the opportunity to select several choices. Every effort is made to ensure that students are in classes that they have chosen and that they will enjoy.
Who teaches in the electives program?
Each quarter and year is unique as the elective classes are taught not only by the teachers but also by volunteers and parents who step forward to share their skills.
Do I get to pick what I teach, how many kids are in my class, and do I pick what age groups the class is offered to?
Yes, to all of these! We want you to teach something that you enjoy and feel comfortable sharing with our students. You also get to decide what grade levels to offer the class to and the number of students in your class. I can also help guide you in this process. We want you to enjoy your experience!
I can help! How do I sign up to teach a class?
We would love to have you! Please email the information below, or enter it on the 1st Quarter 2018-19 Polaris Electives Spreadsheet.
We will need to know:
- Class Title
- Grade class will be offered to
- Which hour you would like to teach: first, second, or both
- Max # of students in class
- Class description (two or three sentences directed toward the students)
- Special room or material requirements (in any)
Note: If you have taught the class before you do not need to make up a new description as we have your previous description on file. Please just note that you want the same description and the elective team will fill in the information. Also please remember that the spreadsheet is a working document and does not display the final list of classes that will be offered.
I can help but I don’t know what to teach or don’t feel comfortable teaching?
If you don’t feel comfortable leading a class, no problem! I can always use assistants. If you just don’t know what to teach, no worries! I can help you find something in your area of expertise. Just email me so we can chat about a class that fits your level of comfort.
I cannot make all the Fridays in a quarter but most of them and I want to teach.
We would recommend that you partner with another parent and co-teach an elective. Together you can cover all the Fridays, plan your classes, and enjoy the children together.
I cannot teach an entire quarter but can help out one or two Fridays in the year.
GREAT! Please contact me directly and I will match you with another volunteer/s and help you choose a topic of interest to you both. New this year we will be designing prepared sequential lessons on a common class topic.
I am available some Fridays afternoons but don’t know my availability until close to the date.
GREAT! We are also in the need of subs and will email out for help just prior to the date needed. Please just email me and let me know you would be willing to be a sub and I will put you on the list.
I am not available on Friday afternoons. How can I still help?
We have several behind the scenes jobs that can be done on your own time such as record keeping of volunteers, writing thank you cards for teachers, and baking goodies for teachers and volunteers. If you are willing to help, we will find something that works into your schedule.
I cannot teach on Fridays but I would be willing to financially sponsor a class.
With a limited budget of $5,000 for the year to run the electives program, we are limited on compensating outside teachers for their time. We pay a very modest stipend and many outside organizations charge a per kid rate that does not work within our limited budget. If you have a teacher that is willing to work within our limited compensation and you would be willing to sponsor the class please let me know. We can work together to bring in another exciting course offering.
What will happen if we don’t get enough classes by each quarter’s deadline?
Although we have never had to do this, any one of the below actions could happen – all of which would be very disappointing to the Polaris community.
- Delay the start of the quarter until there is enough classes/slots for all students.
- Drop to only 1 hour of classes on Fridays. Less options and less enrichment.
- Cancel a quarter and have electives for two or three quarters during the school year instead of all year.
- Most unfortunately – cancel electives.