The electives program for middle and high school students at New Roads School comprises a broad range of offerings from the arts to student government (leadership), radio journalism to surf science, sound engineering to creative writing. In many cases, these classes are taught by professionals in the field, giving students a real-world view of the subject at hand.

These offerings are “elective” only in the sense that students may choose which of the many possibilities they would like to explore. The classes themselves are an integral and required part of the New Roads secondary level curriculum. For more information about New Roads’ electives programs, Download Course Catalog Here (PDF)

Visual and Performing Arts

The diverse offerings of our electives program reflects our philosophical commitment to the value of the non-linear creative process, to the development of unique forms of individual expression, and to the exploration of cultural differences and our common humanity as expressed in artistic creation and perception.

Visual Arts:

In order to develop increased visual awareness and appreciation, students study the history of art and work in a variety of media, using shape, color, line, texture, and digital tools to explore the visual world. Classes include graphic design, drawing, sculpture, photography, book arts, cartooning, and more.


Our varied drama program seeks to teach students the skills of concentration, observation, awareness, characterization, rhythm, movement, and teamwork. Students learn to express themselves dramatically through creative play, theater games and exercises. Those who elect a dramatic production have the choice of musical and non-musical theater prepared and presented to an audience.


Located in the center of the entertainment industry, New Roads has taken advantage of the world class expertise of numerous professionals to create its film program. Students study film/video production and learn about special effects, lighting, sound and video editing. Each year the New Roads Film Festival showcases short films our students have produced in class, reflecting the imagination and vision we try to encourage.


Students build a sound technical foundation of basic skills such as proper placement, correct body alignment, strength, coordination and flexibility. With an eye to performance and demonstration, students build upon these basic skills to express music and themselves, and to become aware of movement as a cultural art form.


We offer music to our students as both an academic discipline (Music Theory, Music Appreciation and History, etc.) and a performance art (Jazz Ensemble, Chorus, Chamber Music, Pop Ensemble, etc.). In so doing, we hope to give students a springboard from which they can begin to specialize and to plant the seeds for a lifetime of enjoyment.

Creative Writing/Journalism


Students in the journalism class produce the school’s magazine, the JagRag, combining articles of timely interest with pieces of broader social and artistic commentary. In addition to developing critical and journalistic writing skills, producing the JagRag teaches students the many practical skills – design, technical, financial - required to produce and publish a magazine or newspaper.

The Art and Science of Radio:

Students participating in this class learn about the narrative and reporting potential of radio as well as techniques of successful interviews and panel discussions. In addition, using industry-standard ProTools editing software, students explore the multi-meadia aspects of radio, including editing and music-mixing.

Creative Writing:

Students participate in creating a true writer’s salon; sharing their work and feeding the creative process by reading, listening to, and commenting on the written work of others in class. Through exercises, readings, writing and discussion, students are guided to see language as a vehicle for exploring and expressing unique personal and cultural insights. Students who elect to take Creative Writing and Advanced Creative Writing are expected to prepare work for the literary magazine and for readings within the school community and beyond.