Speech and Communications

Ninth graders must fulfill the public speaking graduation requirement by taking one of the following: Communications Applications, Oral Interpretation, or Debate.

Tommy Calais
Amy Grisbee
Kathi Thompson
Kate Wright, Communications Chair


Speech and Communications Courses

This course offers a study of communications. The course emphasizes speaking skills. The application of the techniques will be presented through a variety of speeches. The objectives of this course are for students to develop public speaking abilities and to become more effective communicators. This course will focus on speech research, organization, physical and vocal delivery, reducing apprehension, and other aspects of effective public speaking. Through this course students should develop their speaking abilities to a point that will allow them to organize and deliver an effective speech with a minimum amount of apprehension. This course also emphasizes media literacy.  Students will critically examine the messages sent to them by various media outlets.  By monitoring the messages we are receiving, we are able to decide what messages we chose to accept and what messages we choose to reject.
Offered in the summer to incoming 9th graders. Also offered in fall and spring.


860 JOURNALISM (1 credit)
This is a workshop course in which students produce the school newspaper, The Columns, and the SAA BUZZ website. They learn every aspect of newspaper reporting, writing, editing, publishing and advertising. Students learn journalism concepts and terminology through hands-on work with each phase of newspaper production. Students learn how to use computer software for desktop publishing, specifically InDesign and Microsoft Word. All journalism students are required to master this software in order to perform the writing, editing, and layout phases of newspaper publishing.
Application required. Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

This course is an introduction to developing broadcast stories using the power of visual arts through a lens, communication, and non-linear editing.  Whether your interest is documentaries, short films, commercials or broadcast stories you see on the 6:00 news, this class covers it all.  You will learn the proper technique for using a video camera (including the iPad), framing and conducting interviews, and lighting in the field.  The students will then edit their video using iMovie and Adobe Premiere Pro.  Some projects will be shown across the Strake Jesuit campus on the SJ Morning Show.  Students will have the opportunity to learn basic skills for being in front of the camera.  This includes developing a compelling broadcast voice and demeanor, along with a strong and comfortable on-camera presence.  We will also study the history of broadcast television, and how the role of film and television has shaped and grown with society over the years.
Junior and senior level elective. Taken at Strake Jesuit.

870 YEARBOOK (1 credit)
The purpose is to publish the yearbook. All aspects of yearbook production will be taught using the computer. As a team, the students will combine their skills of layout and design techniques, photo journalism, copywriting and fitting, advertising graphics, marketing and ad sales to make the yearbook staff function as an efficient business. The students will learn to work and plan toward deadlines and to work with each other, as well as with the photography class in the production of a quality yearbook.
Application required. Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

875 ORAL INTERPRETATION (1/2 credit)
This course introduces the dramatic study of literature through performance. Building off of basic communication skills, students will further develop their understanding of verbal and nonverbal communication using various forms of literature including prose, poetry, plays, etc. Interpretation of literature will include the development of character, movement, and voice in order to communicate the entirety of the text. Participation in 3 tournaments per semester is required. Tournaments take place on the weekends. Students will earn ½ credit for every semester the course is taken. This class will also provide you an opportunity to become a member of the National Forensic League. 
Offered in the fall.
Course fee: $125

876 DEBATE (1/2 credit)
This course is intended to give students an opportunity to learn more about high school forensics. This is a performance class premised on the principles of LEARNING BY DOING. You will have the opportunity, in a supportive environment, to develop the skills and self-confidence necessary to speak effectively in front of groups through the vehicle of speech and debate tournaments. Participation in 3 tournaments over the course of the semester are required. Tournaments take place on the weekends. Students will earn ½ credit for every semester the course is taken. This class will also provide you an opportunity to become a member of the National Forensic League. The students will choose from Lincoln-Douglas, Public Forum, and Congressional debate. Students will also participate in individual events with a focus in extemporaneous speaking and original oratory. (Interpretation events are also offered.)  
Offered in the fall.
Course fee: $125

879 STUDENT LEADERSHIP (1/2 credit)
This course provides opportunities to study, practice and develop group and individual leadership and organizational skills. These skills include decision-making skills, problem-solving techniques, communication skills, leadership roles, human relation skills and understanding of the need for civic responsibility. Students enrolled in the course will apply these skills in dealing with peers, school administration and the community. The course will be a hands-on, active learning approach to leadership. 
Sophomore, junior, and senior level elective.

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