Unique electives at Indy


Grace Butler

Two yoga students sit on yoga mats during class.

Introduction to Yoga

Prerequisite: 9th and 10th grade Physical Education

Introduction to Yoga is a year-long beginner course focusing on the foundations of yoga. The course was brought to Independence by Ms. Madisyn Graham, a health and physical education teacher, during the 2021-2022 school year. No previous yoga experience is required for the course, and yoga mats are provided to students who choose not to bring their own.  

The class usually begins with a slow introduction to prepare for the flow. Students will meet in the wrestling room, where the lights are kept off and soothing music plays. Ms. Graham then leads the class in a yoga flow, which ends with a savasana meditation.  

Junior Alexa Kessler shared, “I like yoga because when I get really stressed, it’s a nice way to take a break. You should consider taking [yoga] if you’re interested in learning about [it], and if you’d like a break from the stress your year may bring.” 

Fashion Careers I

Prerequisite: none

Fashion Careers I is a year-long introductory course into the fashion industry. Ms. Erin Giambi, an Independence CTE teacher, teaches the class. Throughout the year, students will learn about fashion history, important terms, fashion trends and marketing, as well as elements of design. Students will also develop skills such as reading a pattern, machine and hand sewing and clothing design. 

Senior Anna Garcia enjoys the course because “You get to be really creative and express yourself through clothing and style.” 


Prerequisite:  Open to 10th-12th grade students

This is a year-long course that introduces students to the basics of accounting. The course is taught by Ms. Tasnim Shah, an introduction to business and marketing, personal finance and economics and accounting teacher at Independence. During the course, students will complete financials for service businesses and merchandising companies through the online application MindTap. Students will be able to practice their skills before completing one minor summative application problem and one major summative at the end of each chapter in MindTap. Students will also be certified QuickBooks users by the end of the course by completing the necessary exam. 

Senior Carly Hansen likes the class because she gets to “learn about [a] real career and life skills that can [be applied] to everyday life.” 

Shah shared, “Recently, a CFO visited our class. Whether you want to be an accountant, engineer, entrepreneur or astronaut, he stated that accounting is for everyone. Many people have the misconception that accounting is a lot of math. Accounting is not a math class; it’s the language of business. It’s basic adding and subtracting that builds a foundation for being successful in life and in any career.”

Newspaper Journalism I

Prerequisite: None

Newspaper Journalism I is a year-long course modeling a real newsroom. The course was brought to Independence by Ms. Sarah Sheridan, an English teacher as well as Yearbook and Newspaper advisor. No previous journalism experience is required. Students work together to pitch article ideas before deciding on one to work on. From there, students will start writing their article and begin interviewing relevant people. Once the article is done, it goes through an editing process and is published on The Prowl. Students covering school events for the newspaper get backstage, on-field and exclusive access to Independence’s biggest events. The newspaper also does video form content for their Instagram page and website

Senior Olivia Danley likes newspaper journalism because “you’re allowed to be very creative, and you can work with other people to be creative.” 

“Newspaper helps you develop a lot of life skills. Even if you don’t think you are going to pursue writing specifically, it’s always good to be a strong writer, and it helps you develop your people skills. Also, we have a lot of fun,” Sheridan shared. 

Advanced PE Team Sports

Prerequisite: 9th and 10th grade Physical Education

This is a year-long course that allows students to play tournament style sports. The course is taught by Mr. Ryan Webb, Independence Head Swim Coach and Physical Education teacher. At the start of each unit, students will participate in a scouting/combine day where they will be able to scout potential teammates for that unit’s tournament. Four to six captains are then chosen, and they are able to draft their team. Once teams are formed, the regular season begins and the unit ends with a tournament style championship. Students are assessed on their “participation, sportsmanship and teamwork” to determine their grade. All equipment for the class is provided. 

Senior Gabe Nieves shared, “Team sports is definitely my favorite class this year. I love the competitiveness that gets brought into class for all the sports we play. If you love to compete in sports, I highly recommend this class.” 

Webb wants potential Team Sports students to know that the “class is meant for people who are competitive and love all sports. [It] is also a great class for students to relax their mind and just enjoy time with their peers.”