Junior High

Junior High Recognition Program

At Joseph M. Demko, we believe it is important to highlight the talents and skills of our students. We do this through a variety of activities and awards that recognize student success in academics, athletics, options and citizenship. 


Each semester, students are celebrated for their academic achievement and overall effort with our Achievement lunch. This lunch recognizes students who have strived for excellence in their core subjects and option classes. Students are recognized in the based on the following criteria:

  •  Attained an 80% average in their four subjects, with no ‘3’ effort codes in any subjects
  •  Attained all ‘1’s’ in effort 

A pizza lunch and/or certificates are given to the students after each semester. 


At the end of the year at our Awards celebration, we recognize students outstanding achievement in the following: 

  • Options: excellence in options based on the following criteria: 
    • Positive leader
    • Solid achievement
    • Talent
    • Effort
    • Demonstrates JMD Core Values and Pillars 

These are given in grade 8/9 in each pillar (Joy, Mindfulness and Diversity)  

Criteria for Citizenship - Grade 8/9 Award:

  • Exhibits qualities that are in our pillars (Joy, Mindfulness and Diversity) and Core Values  
  • Service oriented
  • Positive member of clubs or sports teams
  • Contributes to making JMD a better and happier place
  • Efforts are all consistent
  • Takes academics seriously


These plaques and/or certificates are given to junior high students who have shown growth in athletics or in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the athletic program.

Junior High Options

The junior high school program consists of two parts: a core program which is common to all students at each grade level (Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies and Physical Education/Health) and a complementary course program (options). The student selects which complementary programs appeal to their individual passions. This gives the students the opportunity to experience, participate in and strengthen learning in areas of special interest to them.

Students have a choice among several different and unique options. Complementary courses are offered in a variety of categories – career and technology, fine and performing arts and information technology applications. This information is intended as an overview of the course offerings. Please note: 

  • All courses are offered as sufficient numbers warrant. 
  • Some complementary courses have fees or special equipment/materials requirements.
  • Options will be semestered (September to January, February to June), so students will have the opportunity to choose up to four options, two per term.
  • Options may combine grade levels and programs together.
  • Options may only be taken once per year.


Fee: $10

Literacy/numeracy support, time management, test-writing and note-taking skills. 
Looking to improve your academic success and get a head start on organization? The Academic Coaching option provides class time for you to complete assignments from other subjects. You will also have opportunity to develop time management, study strategies, and organization skills to be a more successful student in all core subjects.

Fee: $30

Advanced Science is an option that allows students to explore and be challenged beyond the regular science curriculum. Students will be busy and active while exploring a variety of different STE²AM activities, like engineering challenges, problem solving puzzles, coding and robotics. Students will develop critical thinking and enrich their understanding through experimentation. Topic progressions may  include Forensics (crime scene evaluation), Marine Biology (studying sharks and aquatic organisms), Renewable energy projects, Science Olympics and Science Fair.

Fee: $40

Students in Art will engage and experiment with various mediums, while learning the fundamentals of drawing, painting and sculpting. They will acquire new skills that will encourage and support self-expression and experimentation through their own unique art-making process. Students will participate in individual and collaborative projects that involve creative thinking, planning and execution. No prior art experience is required.

Fee: $65

Band provides students with the opportunity to explore the incredible world of ensemble performance. The full year course focuses on individual musical development through group rehearsals and performances. Mentorship will be provided with regards to individual practice techniques, small group practice techniques, performance preparation, instrument maintenance and music theory. Students may choose, with the assistance of the band director, from a variety of brass, woodwind and percussion instruments. This is a performance-based option and students will be performing in a variety of concerts over the course of the year. 
Beginners and advanced players are welcome to take this course.

Fee: $30

Digital Citizenship, responsible use of tech, computational thinking to create products/projects using digital tools, and communicate about their learning.

Fee: $10

Students in Digital Arts will create unique digital compositions with programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Google Drawing and various iPad art apps. They will have the opportunity to create their own digital art compositions, manipulate and enhance images, while drawing inspiration from different artists and styles. Students will be involved in the online creation of our school yearbook. No prior experience is required. 

Fee: $40

Do you ever wish you had more confidence? Drama is both an art form and a way to teach and learn while developing the whole person. Drama gives you the confidence to be who you are and express yourself effectively while having a lot of fun. It helps you to learn to work with all kinds of other people cooperatively in a supportive, joyful and accepting community where every voice is heard and every person belongs. Active, open-minded and positive participation in the disciplines of Movement (including Pantomime), Speech, Improvisation, Acting, Theatre Studies and Technical Theatre (lights/sound/make-up and more) will enable participants to connect with each other and our communities and cultures, develop and affirm identity, and explore various forms of communication and expression both to entertain and to make meaning of experiences, ideas and our world. Both the creative process and the final products are important in Drama! No prerequisite is needed except a willingness to participate with a “Yes, let’s” attitude and a commitment to work effectively as individuals and in groups.

Fee: $50

Fit for Life is an exciting option for the student who enjoys being physically active. Students will engage in a broad range of sports, games and athletic pursuits that will challenge them physically, mentally and socially.  Kickboxing, yoga, ultimate frisbee, spikeball and capture the flag are just a few of the activities you’ll get to enjoy in this option. You will learn to communicate and strategize with your team to overcome obstacles. Our Fit for Life students will have leadership opportunities where they will be able to cross-age with our elementary students on functional fitness and cooperative games.  Students will participate in activities that may include swimming, running, biking, golf, floor hockey, volleyball, basketball, badminton and dodgeball.
If you love to be active, have a positive attitude and value co-operation and good sportsmanship, Fit for Life is the option for you!

Fee: $45

Students will participate in a broad range of labs and explorations to develop a greater understanding of a variety of cuisines and the nutritional implications of meal plans and eating patterns. Through active participation in various cooking labs, students will explore baking basics, appetizers and simple meal planning. Students will also examine the newly-issued Canada's Food Guide and Food Truck operations.

Fee: $30

Learn French in a dynamic and engaging environment. While learning French vocabulary, students will be challenged to communicate in a variety of school, home and recreational contexts. Students will explore Francophone culture both in Canada and abroad. Students will experience a field trip to our very own French quarter in Edmonton. Bienvenue! 

Fee: $20

Interested in learning how to play the guitar? Here is your chance! Guitar option provides you with the opportunity to learn to play the guitar in an exciting and safe environment. Whether you are starting from scratch or are an advanced guitarist, this course is designed to accommodate and challenge all student skill levels. No music experience is necessary to sign up. All that is required is your desire to learn and your commitment to practice!
Do not miss out on this great opportunity to learn one of the most popular instruments in the world and make great friends doing it! The Demko Music community welcomes you!

A standard size acoustic guitar will be provided to each student for use during the course duration.

Fee: $40

Students will first complete a safety module before moving into the main areas of our lab which include woods, metals and plastics. Project planning and the safe use of the tools and machines in the lab will be highlighted. Subsequently, they  will develop their planning skills and craftsmanship, while progressing through more challenging projects. Students who enroll in this course more than once are encouraged to work in new areas, so they can produce different projects and be presented with new challenges. Experienced students may move to more advanced machines that integrate technology and produce more professional projects.

Fee: $10

This is an option that focuses on the skills and tools needed to proactively address an umbrella of life issues. Students express a need for tangible learning opportunities that will enhance their likelihood of building strong habits pertaining to finances, character building, career opportunities and psychological and physiological comprehension.  Students will deepen their understanding of financial management, career navigation, self reflection/wellness, and life tasks specific to their age.

Fee: $15

Students will develop the skills necessary to use music as their own means of artistic expression while also developing positive attitudes towards music as an art form. Students will explore music with a focus on performance through collaborative work and ensemble development. The performance aspects of the music program will include voice and instruments which are augmented by theory, ear training, music history and responding components. 

Fee: $70

If you love the outdoors and enjoy nature, this is the option for you! Outdoor Pursuits offers a wide range of opportunities for students interested in outdoor activities and environmental pursuits. Some of the topics and activities include archery, orienteering, cross-country skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, biking, canoeing and outdoor games. Students have the opportunity to go fishing, learn how to climb on a bouldering wall and develop camping skills such as fire and shelter building.  Students will learn about animal safety and necessities for survival in the wilderness.  Come enjoy the great outdoors!

Fee: $45

Have you ever watched TV or movies and wondered how actors your age got their start? Chances are, it was a drama class! Play Production is for those highly-motivated and dedicated students who are committed to drama and want to take their learning to the next level. This course will give students an introduction to a range of possible occupations in both acting and technical theatre. Students will work as an ensemble with their director/teacher to  learn how to audition for, block, rehearse, fine tune and perform a play in a collaborative, supportive atmosphere. Students will have both acting and technical theatre roles, so that the final production is truly their own! Mounting a full production in a semester requires individual motivation to learn lines, blocking, choreography and group willingness to complete technical jobs and commit wholeheartedly to the every aspect of the process. There is nothing quite like the thrill of taking that bow at the end of a performance, soaking up the applause, and knowing you and your ensemble gave your creativity form and shape as a gift not only to your audience, but to yourselves.