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2014-2015 Gereau Center Course Guide of Studies

The Leonard A. Gereau Center for Applied Technology

& Career Exploration




















School telephone number: (540) 483-5446






The Gereau Center has maintained FULL ACCREDITATION by Virginia’s State Department of Education for their respective SOL test performance since 2002-03.



Dear Parents and Students:


          I want to take this opportunity to welcome you to The Leonard A. Gereau Center for Applied Technology & Career Exploration.  The Gereau Center is an innovative and creative learning center whose program is student centered, combining challenging academic standards and integrating critical thinking skills in a problem-based learning approach. Our curriculum incorporates the Virginia Standards of Learning to enhance the core subjects with applied, hands-on methods.  The program of studies offers students the unique experience of learning factual information about many different types of careers.


          Students are immersed in real problems, units of study and projects, guided toward practical solutions by instructors who function as facilitators.  This opportunity to apply content shows students the real world applications of their studies.  The school is designed as a corporate research center in which students learn.


          The Gereau Center will continue a strong STREAM (science, technology, reading, engineering, arts/media, and mathematics) emphasis in the curriculum.  Science and mathematics will be offered as core courses, with importance placed on STREAM initiatives in the career exploration modules.  Small investigative teams will be established which will examine solutions for student-identified problems. 


          It is the belief of the staff that what students learn at The Gereau Center should be relevant to family, community, and the workplace.  We are performance based and work closely with other educators, parents, and representatives from business, industry, and government.  We are excited to provide this experience to the students of Franklin County.  Please feel free to contact me for any question.






Matt Brain, Principal

The Gereau Center  



The Leonard A. Gereau Center for Applied Technology and Career Exploration will enable students to explore various career options and prepare them to make knowledgeable decisions about their future educational choices while supporting all divisional goals.


It is our belief that what students learn at The Gereau Center should:

¨     Be relevant to family, workplace, and community

¨     Be student centered

¨     Be performance based

¨     Stem from mastery of curriculum objectives jointly developed by educators, parents, and representatives from business, industry, and government, and be directed toward the mastery of the Virginia Standards of Learning

¨     Create and expand a knowledge base of career information

¨     Lead clearly and effectively into secondary and post-secondary educational programs available to all students





          Questions about course selection and student scheduling should be directed to the guidance department or the principal.  The guidance counselor at The Gereau Center is Mrs. Regina Johnson.


          Guidance counselors meet the needs of students as they face daily experiences of school, home, and community life.  Counselors seek to guide students toward a responsibility for self, a concern for others, and a curiosity to investigate the opportunities for a future career.  In addition to counseling students, the guidance counselor also assists with monitoring attendance, registration, scheduling, maintenance of up-to-date guidance materials and files, coordination of visiting teacher services, parental liaison, outside agencies, and special projects. 









Grade 8

The Gereau Center


Mathematics (year long)


Career Module #1 and #2 or Band or Choir

Career Module #3 and #4 or Spanish







Franklin County Public Schools offer three math courses in grade 8, depending on SOL test results and prior math experience. In each class, students use concrete materials, calculators, and computers as well as appropriate technologies.   The math classes are yearlong classes.   At the end of the first semester, students and math teachers will move to BFMS for the second semester of mathematics.  The classes offered to 8th grade students are:


·        Pre-Algebra 8:


At the end of the year, pre-algebra students take the grade 8 Math SOL Test.


·         Pre-AP (Honors) Algebra I:


At the end of the year, Algebra I students take the Algebra 1 SOL Test.



Refer to the BFMS section of this course guide for complete descriptions of the mathematics courses. 









Franklin County Public Schools offer two science courses in grade 8, depending on SOL test results and prior science experience.  Students in science classes will use instructional activities, laboratory experiments, and appropriate technology to master the standards for science in Virginia.  Students will also participate in ecological and environmental activities to enrich their education in science.


·        Physical Science 8:


Eighth grade science, Physical Science 8, is the study of physics (heat, light, sound, electricity, and magnetism) and chemistry (the atom, periodic table of elements, compounds, mixtures, formula writing, and balancing equations).  This course provides the foundation for high school chemistry and physics.   At the end of the semester, students will take the Standards of Learning test in Science 8.


·        Pre-Advanced Placement Science 8


Pre-AP Physical Science 8 incorporates the curriculum of the Science 8 class offered to all 8th grade students.  The pace and scope of the class is enhanced to meet the needs of the advanced student and to provide a foundation for students to apply for the AP science offerings in high school.  Students will have a minimum grade of a “B” in 7th grade science.  Students and parents will sign a contract prior to enrollment indicating a commitment to maintain an acceptable grade and complete extensive reading and writing assignments.  Interested students will complete an application and go through a selection process.  At the end of the semester, students will take the Standards of Learning test in Science 8.












The nine career exploration modules are designed to help students explore careers in each field.  The students will gain insight into their own interests and skills.  This insight will assist them in choosing courses in high school and preparing for post secondary options.



Aeronautical Science


The Aeronautical Science Module will be exploring aeronautics through a series of units that include major themes of aviation and space.  The core focus will take students through units about the science of flight, careers in the aeronautics and aerospace industries, and the challenges of living in space.  Lessons presented in this module are designed to strengthen understanding of core SOL subject areas, particularly science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; enhance problem solving skills; develop collaborative skills when working with a team; and to explore possible career paths.  The opportunities in this module are appropriate for young ladies as well as young men.


Students will be expected to use knowledge of flight dynamics to plan and execute flights, build and test airfoils, and develop skills in pilotage through flight simulation.  Many of the activities require understanding and applying the Scientific Method and design planning.  Research will also be an important component in helping students understand the advances that have been made in the field of aviation and aerospace.


Architectural Design


          This module allows students the opportunity to explore various career options in the fields of architectural design.  Specific activities include scale drawings and modeling, both by hand and digitally.  Students will explore various parts of design from product development to urban planning.   Participants in the architectural design module will investigate careers in the fields of product, interior, building, landscape, and urban design with projects and reflections as groups and as individuals.




Broadcast Media Design


       In Broadcast Media Design, students will be introduced to broadcast news and video production.  Emphasis is on digital media, using iMovie to create a variety of projects.  Students will learn how to operate a camcorder, and how to edit video on a computer.  Projects will include biographical videos, interviews, podcasts, commercials, documentaries, and news reports.  Planning and preparation is an important part of the process.  Students will also be part of a TV production crew to broadcast morning announcements throughout the school.  We will explore careers in broadcast media, such as reporters and anchors, and in other digital media, such as videographers, editors, and producers.


Digital Media Design


           Facebook®, Twitter®, Tweet, Blog, Glog, QR Codes, Skype®, podcasts, social networking, Apps, smart phones, iPads, iPods – it’s enough to make a person’s head spin!  This class is designed to help students learn how to effectively and safely make use of digital media while making the connection to future careers.  This class will investigate the role of social networking in communicating and transferring ideas and information – the advantages as well as potential pitfalls and safety issues.  Students will embark on a digital journey to learn how to make use of the various apps and productivity tools that exist on smart phones, iPads, iPods, and eReaders.  In addition, the students will use iWork, iMovie, Google Docs, Google Sites, GarageBand, and other Web 2.0 tools to create various business documents, presentations, web sites, and audio-video productions. 


Energy Engineering


          Students will study the nature of energy and its flow through an ecosystem, demonstrate an understanding of the sources of energy and the conversion of these sources in a manner that can be utilized by humans, examine modalities of energy consumption for transportation, electricity and housing, and explore new architectural solutions to pressing energy and environmental problems. Students will leave the class with an understanding of human influence on the planet due to human energy usage.






Forensic Science


          Is it a challenge for you to wait from week-to-week for the next episode of CSI, NCIS, or Bones? Do you wonder what it would be like to be Abby on NCIS or Lt. Cane on CSI Miami? Do you know what is really true on forensic TV shows and what is false? You’ll get answers in this course. Themes of study are in the field of physics, chemistry, biology, pathology, anthropology, and odontology. Students may explore trace and impression evidence, decomposition, DNA, fingerprints, forensic handwriting, ink chromatography, skeletal structure, questioned documents, crash reconstruction and other topics. Past guest speakers included local and visiting experts from The FBI, ATF, Secret Service, U.S. Marshalls, Sheriff’s office, State Troopers, Homeland Security, forensic nurses, Blue Ridge Regional Crash Team, experts in fingerprinting, handwriting analysis, and toxicology. Students will be required to maintain a lab book.


Graphic & Visual Design


The Graphic and Visual Design Module provides students with the opportunity to explore their own creative, individual expression as well as study art careers using state-of-the art technology.  The module’s technology introduces them to the principles of graphic design, computer drawing, animation, and photography.  The course includes instruction in the following software applications: Corel Painter, Adobe Photoshop, and iMovie. Students depart the class with a digital portfolio of their creative works.


Health & Human Services


          The Health and Human Services Module is designed to introduce students to careers such as Emergency Medical Services, Genetics, Psychology, Holistic Medicine, Nutrition, and Personal Fitness Training. Students will become certified in Adult CPR through the American Red Cross, make the connection between diet and disease, create a fitness program based on scientific research, use biofeedback techniques to manage stress levels, and use technology and math that will prepare them for the challenge of working in a globally geared environment. Topics of discussion include but are not limited to poverty, malnutrition, environmental instability, discrimination, human rights, access to healthcare, citizenship, and preventable disease. Throughout the course, we strive to build student strengths in communication, collaboration, leadership and initiative. Activities and projects challenge them take part in teaching fellow classmates using Virginia Board of Education standards, present work in a professional manor and show initiative in building a positive and productive environment.


Legal Studies & Criminal Justice


          Can students say what they want at school? Wear what they want? Is a search warrant needed to open a locker? In this class, students learn about the third branch of government - the judiciary - and its impact on students through class discussions, role plays, and participating in a mock trial. Students use a composite software program to draw a classmate as well as Microsoft Office programs. By hosting guest speakers, students can ask questions of experts in a variety of law-related professions. Previous speakers include the Blue Ridge Regional Crash Team (crash reconstruction), Judge William Alexander, lawyers, a bailiff, a court reporter, probation officers, a law professor, local law enforcement officers, a FBI agent, a forensic nurse, a forensic chemist, a questioned document examiner, and a toxicologist. Students leave this class with a better understanding of the rights and obligations of citizenship at local, state, federal and global levels.





In addition to the nine modules, the following electives are offered at The Gereau Center:


Spanish I


          A traditional academic high school credited course.  Students develop a vocabulary that enables them to carry on a simple Spanish conversation.  Students also learn essential grammatical structures that allow them to form present tense sentences.  The Spanish curriculum is supported by the use of software and Internet activities covering vocabulary and various cultural topics.   




          Students enrolled in band or choir will be transported to BFMS after 3rd period for instruction in these courses.  They will have Physical Education on alternating days.  This is a year-long program.