BlueSky Middle School

BlueSky’s Middle School program brings quality online education to its students while recognizing the unique needs, interests, and skills of each individual. Our approach is centered around three key tenets, which are designed to provide relevant and meaningful learning experiences, develop lifelong success skills, and create compassionate relationships.

Students enrolled in BlueSky’s Middle School program are expected to participate in weekly live class sessions with each of their teachers while following a weekly assignment completion schedule. In addition, students will participate in an advisory program designed to build personal connections to their learning and to develop relationships between students and staff.

Important information

Middle School Schedule

Staff are generally available from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday. The expectation for staff is to respond to communications within 24 hours during school days. Students and parents/guardians are also expected to return communications in a timely manner.

7th Grade Schedule
9:30 – 10:50 | Advisory & Core Classes
1:00 – 1:50 | Elective Classes
*Individual and small group support as scheduled

8th Grade Schedule
11:00 – 12:20 | Advisory & Core Classes
1:00 – 1:50 | Elective Classes
*Individual and small group support as scheduled

Independent Work Time

Students are expected to work on their assignments outside of live lesson times. Work should be submitted daily in each subject area, with all weekly assigned work being submitted no later than 11:59 PM Saturday. Work submitted after 12:00 AM on Sunday will count for attendance for the next week.

Communication Expectations

Due to the nature of online education, communication is critical to the learning environment. Students are expected to respond to all staff communications with 24 hours, excluding weekends and holidays. Students may also be expected to attend live, online support sessions with teachers and other support staff. Students need to arrive on time and prepared. Students should contact their teacher if they need help in a class.

Workspace and Supplies

Students must have their own device (laptop/desktop) available to complete their work. We strongly encourage having a designated space to work from on a daily basis. High-speed internet access is required (minimum upload speed of 1.5 Mbps/minimum download speed of 3.0 Mbps). Students and parents/guardians must have an alternate plan for accessing online school if their equipment is damaged, malfunctioning or internet service is disabled/disrupted.

While you are an online student, we recommend having notebooks, pencils, a calculator, and any other school supplies you would need in a traditional setting available in your workspace. Students are required to have a webcam, headset or speakers, and a microphone in order to participate in live classes and individual support sessions.

Student Support Team

Advisor/Counselor: The Middle School Advisor/Counselor is your go-to person for help with classes, navigating school, scheduling questions, and any support you need while at BlueSky. The Advisor/Counselor is here to connect you with the right person/people to help you succeed.

Teacher: Your teachers provide you with daily instruction and individual help in classes. They are specialists in their area of instruction and can help you with understanding assignments.

Social Worker: All students have access to a school Social Worker. They are here to assist with school, family, and personal concerns – anything that might affect your well-being. They can provide resources and referrals and are also available for crisis assistance.

Case Manager (optional): Students who have an active Individualized Education Plan may work with a case manager who will provide support in meeting individual goals and needs.

Home Learning Coach

Support at home is critical to the success of middle school students in an online setting. All middle school students are required to have an assigned parent or responsible adult to act as a learning coach in the student’s home. The learning coach will be responsible for learning how to use BlueSky’s systems, monitoring student progress, and having weekly conversations with the advisor.

7th Grade Core Courses

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Language Arts 7

Year: 2019 – 2020   •  Grade Level(s): 7  •  Term: Semester 1 and Semester 2

In Language Arts 7, students cover all of the required state academic standards for language arts. Lessons include reading for information, speaking and listening, media literacy and provide exposure to a variety of literature. Projects and assignments encourage real-life connections. Live class sessions are on Tuesday at 9:30.

Pre-Algebra 7

Year: 2019 – 2020   •  Grade Level(s): 7  •  Term: Semester 1 and Semester 2

Students will learn 7th grade math topics in the areas of numbers and operations, measurements, geometry, algebraic concepts, and data analysis and probability through hands on activities, interactive lessons, and practical math applications. Live class sessions are on Monday at 9:30.

Science 7

Year: 2019 – 2020   •  Grade Level(s): 7  •  Term: Semester 1 and Semester 2

This course will provide students with enlightenment and instruction on the nature of science, using a discovery process to teach the scientific method, and the use of metric measurements in scientific investigations. It covers the study of the Universe, stars, constellations, and objects in the Solar System. Movement and pathways of the Earth and Moon are investigated, with natural paths uncovered as students discover just how large the universe really is. Next, students will discover how Earth materials are formed and what they can teach us about Mother Earth’s past as they investigate the natural processes that shape its ecosystem, the landscape and the creation of different environments on Earth. The course then covers basic concepts of force, motion, and equilibrium. Concepts of human biology are also uncovered, with emphasis on body systems and those amazing functions that contribute to our wellness. Agricultural science and its impact on biotechnology is introduced, along with its effect on human interaction with the earth. Finally, the basics of environmental science are covered, and through the use of stunning photography and lively animation, students will interact with endangered species, learn about natural resource use, environmental health, pollution, and biodiversity. Live class sessions are on Thursday at 9:30.

American Experience 7

Year: 2019 – 2020   •  Grade Level(s): 7  •  Term: Semester 1 and Semester 2

Students in American Experience learn about people, issues and events of significance to this nation’s history from 1800 to the current era of globalization. They examine the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and Supreme Court decisions for their lasting impact on the American people, economy and governance structure. Students study civics and economic principles in depth, drawing connections between these disciplines and history to explain the impact of various policies on how people lived, worked and functioned in society. They create and use detailed maps of places in the United States and conduct historical inquiry on a topic in the nation’s history. Live class sessions are Wednesday at 9:30.

Health & Wellness 7

Year: 2019 – 2020   •  Grade Level(s): 7  •  Term: Semester 1

This course provides students with the opportunity to explore a variety of sports and sport related movements in addition to health and fitness concepts. Health topics relate to nutrition, fitness health and wellness, mental and emotional health, and stress reduction. Physical education units will include co-curricular activities around activities in the United States. Live class sessions are on Monday at 1:00.

7th Grade Electives

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Art 7

Year: 2019 – 2020   •  Grade Level(s): 7  •  Term: Q3

This course offers students an introduction to art appreciation as well as preparation for high school art. The elements and principles of art will be studied and applied to personal expression in two and three-dimensional projects. Students will explore the creative process through projects and by studying works of individual artists. Analyzing and judging works of art is ongoing. Live sessions are Wednesdays at 1:00.

Behind the Music 7

Year: 2019 – 2020   •  Grade Level(s): 7  •  Term: Q4

How do instruments work? What makes that tune stop you in your tracks? Students will study music through the ages learning about Classical, Jazz, Movie music, and more. Daily activities will include listening and responding to music, and the study of basic music theory. Requires media player & ability to hear sound on the computer. Live class sessions are on Wednesdays at 1:00.

FACS 7

Year: 2019 – 2020   •  Grade Level(s): 7  •  Term: Q1

Come explore the exciting world of Family and Consumer Science! In FACS 7 you will learn awesome new things to help you with daily living! Refresh on safety tips and tricks for babysitting and being home alone, how to build friendships and self-esteem, make delicious food and do your own laundry! Students will be responsible for providing their own ingredients for recipes. Live sessions are on Wednesdays at 1:00.

Intro to Film 7

Year: 2019 – 2020   •  Grade Level(s): 7  •  Term: Q4

This elective course will introduce students to the history of film. Through movies, students will examine elements of plot, setting, style, and point of view. Class activities include viewing, listening, researching, and analyzing film. Students will also learn how to discuss and write about films critically. Live sessions are on Mondays at 1:00.

Keyboarding 7

Year: 2019 – 2020   •  Grade Level(s): 7  •  Term: Q3

This course is designed to introduce the basics of computers and keyboarding skills. Students will develop and enhance touch skills for entering information using a keyboard to compose and produce personal, educational, and professional documents. Live class sessions are on Mondays at 1:00.

Minnesota Melting Pot 7

Year: 2019 – 2020   •  Grade Level(s): 7  •  Term: Q2

What is a melting pot, and how does it apply to our great state of Minnesota? The culture of Minnesota was created, and continues to be influenced, by immigrants. Students in this class will be introduced to the different cultures and people that live in Minnesota. In addition, students will explore their own culture and discover how they fit into the melting pot. Live sessions are on Wednesdays at 1:00.

8th Grade Core Courses

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Language Arts 8

Year: 2019 – 2020   •  Grade Level(s): 8  •  Term: Semester 1 and Semester 2

The Language Arts 8 course promotes critical reading and comprehension across genres. Course assignments encourage effective writing for a variety of purposes while course materials provide real-life connections relevant to daily life and future academic and career goals. Live class sessions are on Wednesday or Thursday at 11:00.

Algebra 8

Year: 2019 – 2020   •  Grade Level(s): 8  •  Term: Semester 1 and Semester 2

Students will learn 8th grade math topics through hands on activities, interactive lessons, and practical math applications. Areas studied include linear functions and graphing, trigonometry concepts, probability and statistics, measurement, and geometry. Live class sessions are on Wednesday or Thursday at 11:00.

Science 8

Year: 2019 – 2020   •  Grade Level(s): 8  •  Term: Semester 1 and Semester 2

This course provides a rigorous and comprehensive foundation for the 8th-grade student about to enter high school science. It covers the relevant topics in all the major disciplines, building on prior knowledge and expanding on subjects introduced earlier in middle school. Students begin with a review of the scientific process and get more into depth with the idea of critical analysis of theories and experimental research. They will move on to discuss principles of physical science and energy. In the life science portion of the course, students will cover structure and function of organisms, genetics, and evolution, and tenets of ecology. This will flow into the environmental science topics including earth’s cycles and environmental problems. A brief discussion of the solar system will also be covered. Students will learn about the assigned topics through interactive activities, experimentation, discussion, and engaging text and animations. Graded assignments will be stimulating and thought-provoking, hopefully paving the way for future interest in the scientific disciplines. Live class sessions are on Monday or Tuesday at 11:00.

Global Studies 8

Year: 2019 – 2020   •  Grade Level(s): 8  •  Term: Semester 1 and Semester 2

Students in Global Studies explore the regions of the world using geographic information from print and electronic sources. They analyze important trends in the modern world such as demographic change, shifting trade patterns, and intensified cultural interactions due to globalization. Students participate in civic discussion on contemporary issues, conduct historical inquiry and study events over the last half century that have shaped the contemporary world. They analyze connections between revolutions, independence movements and social transformations, and understand reasons for the creation of modern nation states. They learn that governments are based on different political philosophies and serve various purposes. By learning economic principles of trade and the factors that affect economic growth, students understand why there are different standards of living in countries around the world. Live class sessions are on Monday or Tuesday at 11:00.

Health & Wellness 8

Year: 2019 – 2020   •  Grade Level(s): 8  •  Term: Semester 1 or Semester 2

This course provides students with the opportunity to explore a variety of sports and sport related movements in addition to health and fitness concepts. Health topics relate to nutrition, fitness health and wellness, mental and emotional health, and stress reduction. Physical education units will include co-curricular activities around from around the world. Live class sessions are on Tuesday at 1:00 (semester 1) or Monday at 1:00 (semester 2).

8th Grade Electives

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Art & Technology 8

Year: 2019 – 2020   •  Grade Level(s): 8  •  Term: Q1 & Q2

In this course, students will explore basic art fundamentals through the use of technology. Students will learn the connection between art and technology and incorporate technical skills in the development and creation of various forms of artwork. Participants will learn the fundamental concepts of art, how to look at and evaluate art, and the intended function of art through hands-on activities, discussions, written assignments, and objective assessments. Live sessions are Wednesdays at 1:00 (Q1) or Thursdays at 1:00 (Q2).

Career Exploration 8

Year: 2019 – 2020   •  Grade Level(s): 8  •  Term: Q2 & Q4

When you think about your future, what careers do you see? This class will help you examine how to choose the career that is best for you based on your own unique personality and interests. Career Explorations will help you prepare for your future now! Live class sessions are on Wednesdays at 1:00 (Quarter 2) or Thursdays at 1:00 (Quarter 4).

FACS 8

Year: 2019 – 2020   •  Grade Level(s): 8  •  Term: Q3 & Q4

Come explore the exciting world of Family and Consumer Science! In FACS 8 you will learn awesome new things to help you with daily living! Refresh on safety tips and tricks for babysitting and being home alone, how to build friendships and self-esteem, make delicious food and do your own laundry! Students will be responsible for providing their own ingredients for recipes. Live sessions are on Thursdays at 1:00 (Quarter 3) or Wednesdays at 1:00 (Quarter 4).

For the Love of Animals 8

Year: 2019 – 2020   •  Grade Level(s): 8  •  Term: Q1

“The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.” Charles Darwin

As animals play an increasingly important role in our lives, it’s critical that we learn more about their health and well-being. Taking a look at the pets that live in our homes, on our farms, and in zoos and wildlife sanctuaries, this course will examine types of animals, animal care, animal behavior, animal welfare and animal careers. If you love animals and want to learn more about them, this course is for you. Live sessions are on Mondays at 1:00.

Introduction to Spanish 8

Year: 2019 – 2020   •  Grade Level(s): 8  •  Term: S2

This is an exploratory Spanish language and culture class. Students will learn the fundamental structure of the Spanish language and conversation with the introduction of basic vocabulary. Cultural activities introduce students to the customs and geography of the Spanish speaking world. Live sessions are on Tuesdays at 1:00.

A microphone is required to complete speaking assignments.

Pixar in a Box 8

Year: 2019 – 2020   •  Grade Level(s): 8  •  Term: Q2

Take a behind-the-scenes look at how Pixar artists do their jobs. You will be able to animate bouncing balls, build a swarm of robots, and make virtual fireworks explode. The subjects you learn in school — math, science, computer science, and humanities — are used every day to create amazing movies at Pixar. This collaboration between Pixar Animation Studios and Khan Academy is sponsored by Disney. Live sessions are on Tuesdays at 1:00.

World Rhythms 8

Year: 2019 – 2020   •  Grade Level(s): 8  •  Term: Q1 & Q3

How many percussion instruments are there? What influence or involvement have they had on history in different countries? This class includes listening and analyzing musical examples of percussion instruments from the drum set to the piano. Students will study different musical styles from marching bands to jazz music and how percussion affects history and culture. Students will learn to read rhythms and possibly musical notes, write and perform their own musical songs, and build their own musical instrument. Requires a media player and the ability to hear sound on your computer. Live class sessions are on Thursdays at 1:00 (Quarter 1) or Wednesdays at 1:00 (Quarter 3).

Other Options

Students looking for other options may enroll in high school elective courses with the exception of our Career and Technical (CTE) courses. In most cases, students will be able to earn high school credit toward graduation. Contact your counselor for more information.