Review our Course of Study for Upper School

Review our Course of Study for Upper School
HIGHLAND SCHOOL
UPPER SCHOOL COURSE OF STUDY
2017-2018 (dated 070317)
(Please note that courses offered are dependent upon student enrollment and staffing.)
CLASSICAL LANGUAGE
LATIN
Latin I (full year) (course number 412)
Latin I introduces the concepts of an inflected language, lays the basis for future language study,
builds a sound basis of English grammar through the teaching of Latin grammar, and increases
English vocabulary. The curriculum includes exercises to develop students' language skills.
Extensive Latin passages, covered in class, are designed to increase students’ translation skills,
and frequent vocabulary quizzes expand their vocabulary in both English and Latin. The story
line of the text offers a complete treatment of Roman life in Pompeii, Alexandria, Egypt, and
Roman Britain. Complementing the language study are activities and projects on various aspects
of Roman culture, selected field trips, the National Latin Exam, and various other state and
national contests.
Latin II (full year) (course number 413)
Latin II is a continuation of the grammar and cultural study of Latin I. Latin II students begin the
year with a review of the material from Latin I and then continue their study of grammar
throughout the remainder of the year. Students build their translation skills through the story line
of the text, which continues from Roman Britain to the great city of Rome. During the second
semester students look closely at the Roman Republic, emphasizing its contribution to western
civilization. Complementing the language study are selected field trips, the National Latin exam,
and other state and national competitions.
Latin III (full year) (course number 414)
Latin III students begin the year with a short grammar review and continue working in Unit III of
the Cambridge Latin series, during which time they complete their formal study of grammar.
Culturally, students study the heroes, calendar, and baths. During the second semester, students
move on to a study of Julius Caesar, his army, and his Commentarii de Bello Gallico, followed
by a study of Roman emperors. Students compete in various state and national competitions,
including the National Latin Exam; additionally, juniors and seniors taking this course are
encouraged to take the Latin section of the SAT II.
Latin IV (full year) (course number 415)
In Latin IV, students begin the year with a short grammar review. Students then resume the
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storyline in Britain upon returning to the Unit 3 text. Students also study the city of ancient
Rome, including the Forum Romanum, Masada, and Roman engineering. In the Unit 4 text,
students examine the works of various authors, including Martial, Pliny, Vergil, Phaedrus,
Catullus, Cicero, and Ovid. They learn how to scan dactylic hexameter and analyze elegiac and
epic poetry. Students participate in the National Latin Exam and various state and national
competitions.
Latin IV Honors (full year) (course number 436)
During the first semester, Honors Latin IV students translate selections of Ovid's epic poem, the
Metamorphoses, and his elegies the Amores. In addition to studying the poetic devices particular
to Ovid, students conquer scanning dactylic hexameter meter and elegiac couplets. During the
second semester, students translate selected poems of the lyric poet Catullus and Petronius’ Cena
Trimalchionis. Students participate in the National Latin Exam and various state and national
competitions.
Latin V (full year) (course number 418)
This class gives students the opportunity to add an extra year of foreign language to their high
school transcript. Students translate selections from Virgil's epic, the Aeneid, and a comedy by
Plautus. Students end the year by translating Fabulae Mirabili, Harrius Potter et Philosophi
Lapis. Students compete in the National Latin Examination.
Latin V Honors (full year) (course number 452)
This class asks students to analyze and prepare college-level translations of several essential
Latin authors, including but not limited to Vergil and Caesar. Students review upper level
grammatical terms and rhetorical devices, and then they employ analysis skills to write
convincing college-level essays. Several creative projects allow students to delve deeper into the
texts and to understand the historical and literary context of the author. Unlike the AP
curriculum, this course will provide more flexibility of textual choice as well as a reduced
amount of Latin lines covered.
AP Latin (full year) (course number 416)
Students learn to read, understand, translate, and analyze Latin poetry and prose through careful
preparation and translation of Latin readings. Students translate the selections from Caesar and
Vergil which are required by the AP syllabus. They also reinforce the fundamentals of metrical
analysis and the most common figures of speech in Latin lyric poetry. They practice writing
essays on topics they encounter in their reading and complete several creative projects, such as
skits based on certain scenes, analysis of passages, or illustrations of the story. They also learn
more about the history, politics, and culture of the ancient Romans to deepen their understanding
of classic works of literature from this period.
CLASSICS ELECTIVES
All courses use the elective grade scale unless otherwise noted.
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Classical Mythology, The Gods (semester elective) (course number 445)
This class is an introduction to the Greek concept of creation and the primary mythological
characters and most important stories of Greek and Roman mythology. Complementing course
discussion and readings are contemporary films, documentaries, and selected field trips.
Classical Mythology, The Heroes (semester elective) (course number 444)
This class is an introduction to the heroes of ancient Greece and Rome, such as Heracles,
Theseus, Perseus, Jason, and Bellerophon and the myths about them. This semester-long elective
also includes a study of the Argonautica, the Trojan War, the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Aeneid.
Complementing course discussion and readings are contemporary films and documentaries.
COMPUTER SCIENCE
Advanced Placement Computer Science A (with permission) (full year) (course number 504)
This blended learning course provided by Edhesive is designed for students who are serious about
programming and who can work independently with an online course format. JAVA requires a good
mathematical background and strong problem solving skills. The course is designed to prepare students
for the Advanced Placement Computer Science exam, level A. Topics include: simple, user defined, and
structured data types; algorithm development, decisions, and loops; arrays, recursion, searches, and sorts;
data abstraction; and classes.
Game Development (semester elective) (course number 508)
For the first time, gaming has driven the development of the latest microchips, taking over from
Defense. The game industry is a multi trillion dollar business. This course is a single semester
introduction to game development. Basic ideas like graphics, audio formats, storage, design and
development are reviewed. Students create 2D and simulated 3D games using concepts and
creativity; they program using “point and click” tools. Logical programming and object oriented
programming concepts are emphasized.
Introduction to Programming (semester elective) (course number 527)
This course serves as an introduction to computer programming using Alice 2.0. Alice 2.0 is
designed for students at the high school or college level. Alice introduces object-oriented
programming in a modern programming environment. Students learn fundamental programming
concepts such as developing software methods, programming with logical structures, and
creating event-driven software while creating 3D animated worlds. This course is a prerequisite
to Programming I.
Open Programming Lab (with permission) (full year) (course number 533)
Open Programming Lab is offered to students at any grade level who wish to pursue computer
programming and who can work independently. Students define their own computer science
programming curriculum by taking an approved online class of their choice. Students proceed at
their own pace with defined bench marks. Students may enroll in this class multiple times, each
time taking a different approved programming class. The class will be shown on the Highland
transcript with an OL designation and credit will be awarded, but the grade earned will not be
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factored into the Highland GPA. Students are responsible for all fees associated with the online
class they are pursuing.
Programming I (full year) (offered to students who have completed Introduction to
Programming) (course number 521)
This course is a continuation of computer programming. Students explore advanced topics in
Alice 2.0 including lists, list processing, arrays, and recursive algorithms. Students then use this
foundation to further their programming and problem solving skills using Python, a general
purpose, dynamic language.
Simulations (semester elective) (course number 510)
Computation is used in a wide array of contexts to simulate the real world and thereby derive
insight into real world problems. This course introduces students to various software packages
that simulate some aspect of the world. Current software packages include: Capitalism II, which
simulates the business world; Real Lives, which models the lives of people from different parts
of the world; Zoo Tycoon, which challenges the students to design, build, and manage a zoo
including animal behavior; and SimCity 3000, which offers a realistic 3-D environment with
businesses and other facilities to control. The text, Entrepreneurship, teaches business topics in a
more traditional way, and is intended to support Capitalism II.
Technology Essentials (REQUIRED for freshmen) (two days per week for full year; only half
credit is awarded) (course number 531)
This class is offered to all freshmen to provide them with the technology skills, aptitudes, and
habits of mind they can use throughout their upper school career. Students will explore and
analyze research skills, communication skills, organization skills, presentation skills, and data
skills. These skills are taught in conjunction with their core curriculum to provide students with
a practical application.
Technology for the 21st Century (REQUIRED semester elective*) (course number 523)
Today's students are digital learners. This class is designed to prepare students for 21st century
learning. Students explore the role of technology in a global society as well as what it takes to be
information, media, and computer literate locally and globally in the 21st century. Students also
examine how to use applications/tools unfamiliar to them, Web tools, online help, as well as gain
an understanding of current computer terminology.
* Students have the option of taking the Technology for the 21st Century course for credit or
submitting an electronic portfolio to demonstrate mastery of the skills. Successful completion of
the portfolio allows the student to graduate but does not earn him/her a grade or credit on the
transcript. Interested students should submit a letter of intent to Ms. Patry by the spring of their
sophomore year. At that time, they get a detailed list of requirements for their portfolio, which
they complete independently. The portfolio must be completed by March 31st of their junior
year; otherwise, they are required to register for the Technology for the 21st Century course for
their senior year.
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ENGLISH
English I (intended for freshmen) (full year) (course number 001)
English I is a foundations course, presenting groundwork texts, themes, and skills that are
essential to the student’s high school and college careers. The major works are selected to expose
students to archetypal ideas and characters on which Western literature and thought is largely
based, and touch on fundamental questions of existence such as one’s understanding of self in
community and the nature of good and evil. Narrative, responsive, and analytical writing is
explored, in addition to special emphasis on responsible methods of reporting research.
Vocabulary and grammar are taught both in context of student work and according to structured
texts. Literary texts include Romeo and Juliet, The House on Mango Street, The Oedipus Cycle,
Lord of the Flies, and The Odyssey (Fitzgerald translation).
English I Honors (with permission) (full year) (course number 002)
English I Honors covers much of the same material as English I, but more is expected from
students in this class and they are assessed by higher standards of growth. In addition to the
works taught in English I, Honors students read The Odyssey (Fagles translation) and Maus.
English II (intended for sophomores) (full year) (course number 003)
In English II students develop an appreciation of different genres of world literature as they hone
their critical thinking, reading, and writing skills. Typical units covered include short story,
novel, drama, poetry, and nonfiction. Literary works covered include Beowulf, Things Fall Apart,
The Metamorphosis, Julius Caesar, Persepolis, and The Journey of Ibn Fattouma. Students
improve their writing skills by following the writing process of prewriting, writing, and revision.
Students use great literature as models of writing and write for different purposes including
narration, persuasion, and exposition. Grammar, learned by students in lower and middle school,
is now be used by students for self-editing to improve the clarity, unity, and fluency of their
writing. Through discussions, oral projects, and dramatic presentations, students enhance their
listening and speaking skills.
English II Honors (with permission) (full year) (course number 004)
English II Honors covers much of the same material as English II, but more is expected from
students in this class and they are assessed by higher standards of growth. Students explore the
relationship, in a given society, between the community and the individual. They also examine
the ways in which a culture’s concerns are reflected in its literature. In addition to the works
taught in English II, Honors students read Grendel and Hojoki.
English III (intended for juniors) (full year) (course number 011)
This course is an exploration of themes in American literature, from the optimism of its founding
to the stark existentialism of the twentieth century to the frenetic overload of the post-modern
era. Texts include The Catcher in the Rye, Of Mice and Men, The Great Gatsby, Their Eyes Were
Watching God, The Things They Carried, and Streetcar Named Desire. Students focus on
sentence and paragraph structure, logical development, rhetorical strategies, and narrative
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techniques. For the dual purpose of improving written expression and preparing for the SATs,
students study vocabulary and practice the two verbal sections of the test.
English III Honors (with permission) (full year) (course number 010)
English III Honors covers much of the same material as English III, but more is expected from
students in this class and they are assessed by higher standards of growth. In addition to the
works taught in English III, Honors students read selections from early American literature and
Ethan Frome.
Advanced Placement English Language & Composition (with permission) (full year)
(intended for juniors) (course number 006)
This intense course serves two distinct but complementary purposes. As AP language and
composition, it requires students to use a college-level mastery of language to critically
deconstruct non-fiction prose and compose analytical and artful responses that reveal a
comprehensive world view. The writing emphasis is persuasive analytical, with additional
attention given to responsible research practices. Vocabulary is studied in context and according
to a structured text; grammar is reviewed as needed. All AP students must sit for the exam in
May. Preparation for the exam begins in the first quarter and continues through April.
The texts studied for the above purposes are American, including the texts listed for English III
Honors and supplemental readings in literary non-fiction. As American Literature, the course
works chronologically to construct the development of our nation’s thought and understanding of
literature through all its major periods and styles. Students are exposed to a wide range of
historical, social, and cultural perspectives on what it means to be an American and wide-ranging
definitions of the American Dream.
English IV (intended for seniors) (full year) (course number 007)
English IV offers a brief survey of British literature including Hamlet, The Curious Incident of
the Dog in the Nighttime, and Frankenstein. Then students spend a semester previewing skills
they should expect in a freshman comp class. Students engage in high-level dialogue regarding
the assigned readings and respond to the texts in both personal and analytical writings that
proceed from draft form to a final product. Improving the technical use of the English language
and advancing vocabulary skills are additional goals of this course. Readings include fiction,
nonfiction, poetry, and drama.
English IV Honors (with permission) (full year) (course number 009)
English IV Honors covers much of the same material as English IV, but more is expected from
students in this class and they are assessed by higher standards of growth. In addition to the
works taught in English IV but in lieu of work on freshman comp, Honors students read
additional texts that offer a sweeping survey of British literature.
Advanced Placement English Literature & Composition (with permission) (full year)
(intended for seniors) (course number 008)
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This intense course is structured to prepare dedicated students for the AP English Literature and
Composition exam in the spring and to further train them as learners for their college experience.
As part of this process, students read, study, and critically respond to a survey of British
literature, including many of the classics from the Medieval Period to Contemporary times. Texts
include The Norton Anthology of English Poetry, Hamlet, Mrs. Dalloway, The Picture of Dorian
Gray, and Pygmalion, among others. This response “to” and “from” fiction, nonfiction, drama,
and poetry is done both orally and in writing. High-level dialogues, including Socratic Seminars,
aid students in exploring all components of the literary experience. Literature logs, response
essays, and longer analytical papers help develop the students’ readiness both for the exam and
for the many writing assignments that await them in college and beyond.
ENGLISH ELECTIVES
All courses use the elective grade scale unless otherwise noted.
All English electives are open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors unless otherwise stated.
9th Grade Intensive (semester elective offered to freshmen with a documented reading disorder
AND either a documented Language Waiver or writing disability as determined by a qualified
clinical psychologist) (pass/fail) (course number 096)
During the Intensive resource period, students receive direct, specialized small group instruction
from a Learning Specialist in a resource setting. They focus on critical reading skills, active
reading strategies, comprehension, writing skills, organization, and the process for completing
assignments from their History and English classes. Technology specific to each student’s needs
are incorporated throughout with an emphasis on gathering information and formulating a final
product.
10th Grade Intensive (semester elective offered to sophomores with a documented reading
disorder AND either a documented Language Waiver or writing disability as determined by a
qualified clinical psychologist) (pass/fail) (course number 097)
During the Intensive resource period, students receive direct, specialized small group instruction
from a Learning Specialist in a resource setting. They focus on critical reading skills, active
reading strategies, comprehension, writing skills, organization, and the process for completing
assignments from their History and English classes. Technology specific to each student’s needs
are incorporated throughout with an emphasis on gathering information and formulating a final
product.
Black Voices and the African American Literary Tradition (semester elective open to juniors
and seniors) (course number 078)
The African-American experience spans four hundred years from the European settlement and
establishment of the slave trade to the present day. This survey course focuses on the on the
voices of black Americans as they wrestled with issues of race and freedom in their writing. The
course, then, is organized around African American representations of self and the way in which
literature serves as a site for this struggle of definition. Organized chronologically, the first weeks
cover the historical/literary background of the modern black experience, while the bulk of
emphasis rests on the past one hundred years, from the Great Migration and the Harlem
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Renaissance to the twenty-first century. In addition to placing the readings in their historical and
political contexts, we pay particular attention to the way in which issues of gender, sexuality, and
class participate in a literary construction of race. While the primary emphasis is on fictional
representations of the black experience, texts also include non-fiction and poetry.
Creative Writing (semester elective) (course number 016)
This writing-intensive course offers students the opportunity to explore their narrative voices and
receive personal, critical feedback from peers and the instructor. Studying a wide variety of texts,
students develop the ability to articulate what makes writing powerful and to infuse their own
prose and poetry with the techniques of the masters. Students develop a writing portfolio, and
opportunities to submit writing to competitions and publications are presented. This elective
combines writing workshop and class instruction models.
The History of the Short Story (semester elective) (course number 088)
This course will study the most explosive, artistic, and modern of literary forms: the short story.
Students taking the course will read a wide range of short stories, from Gogol and Poe to the
fiction being published currently in The New Yorker and McSweeney’s. Along the way, students
will analyze how short stories communicate their meanings to readers. In particular, students will
return to an essential question: How do short stories use language and characterization differently
than novels do? The course is designed for students who wish to strengthen their writing and
improve their skills of literary analysis. Students will complete a number of writing exercises,
including stylistic imitations, short scenes, and literary analysis. Class time will be devoted to
discussion, writing activities, and workshopping student writing. For the course’s final
evaluation, students will compose an original short story. Since this is a course on a form of
literature, prospective students should be willing to complete reading assignments and writing
exercises as homework.
Introduction to Western Philosophy (summer class for semester credit) (course number 091)
This course seeks to introduce students to the major thinkers in the Western philosophic
tradition. Students will mainly engage with primary source writings from thinkers such as Plato,
Augustine, Descartes, Kant, and Sartre. Students will also study secondary source material about
both philosophers’ lives as well as their thoughts. The goal of the course is to introduce students
to philosophical thinking and so begin to produce young citizens who can engage problems
critically, creatively, and actively. In order to accomplish this goal, we will trace the “big
questions” of philosophy—Why are we here? Is there a purpose to our lives? How should we
live? What makes us human? How can evil exist?—in order to understand how others have
thought, and, ultimately, to begin to formulate our own coherent responses.
Media Literacy (semester elective) (course number 076)
The impetus for offering this elective stems from the desire to expand the notion of “text”
beyond the traditional printed word to other media, including photographs, film, television,
advertising, and the internet, with the goal of preparing Highland students for life in a complex,
media-rich, technologically dynamic environment. Using higher order critical and creative
thinking skills, students will explore issues of media influence, examine advertising from a
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critical perspective, and reflect/analyze visual approaches to narrative, thereby enabling them to
“read” media more effectively. In addition to photographs, advertisements, and websites, content
possibilites may include, but are not limited to: Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
(book and film); A. Huxley, Brave New World; Jean Kilbourne, “Killing Us Softly: Advertising
and the Image of Women;” “Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood.”
Myth and Legends (semester elective) (course number 024)
This elective provides an overview of multi-cultural mythologies with the exception of Greek
and Roman classical mythology. Ancient Egyptian, Celtic, Norse, Indian/Hindu, and other
mythologies are studied. Topics to be covered include: Development and Purposes of Myth,
Types of Myth, Deities and Lesser Spirits, and Mythological Heroes. Students focus their study
of legends on the legend of Dracula.
Reading/Writing Lab (summer class for semester credit) (course number 092)
Taught by history and/or English teachers, this course is designed for students who need
additional work on critical reading and writing skills for greater success in humanities classes.
Skills emphasized include annotating, using graphic organizers, reading for understanding, and
writing in a variety of styles (persuasive, narrative, expository). Note that this course may be
used to remediate a low English or History grade per Highland’s remediation policy.
Reading/Writing Lab for international students (semester elective offered to international
students in any grade) (pass/fail) (course number 093)
This course is designed to support students for whom English is a second language and who need
additional work on critical reading and writing skills for greater success in English classes. Skills
emphasized include annotating, using graphic organizers, reading for understanding, and writing
fluency.
Speech (semester elective) (course number 021)
In speech or forensics students learn the art and skill involved in oral presentations. Students
develop self-confidence through oral presentations and in-class competition. Students learn to
develop and apply criteria to evaluate, appreciate and respond to oral presentations by others.
They learn to work within time constraints and thematic possibilities of selected pieces of
literature. Finally, they demonstrate the ability to analyze literature and communicate their
understanding through their own vocal physical expression.
Writing Theory and Pedagogy (semester course for recommended juniors and seniors in
Honors or AP English) (pass/fail) (course number 079)
This course explores fundamental theories of teaching writing, with particular emphasis on the
role of the peer tutor, or “writing consultant.” Students learn to read the work of their fellow high
school students with a critical eye and to provide constructive feedback through written
commentary. Students also learn to hold one-on-one conferences with their peers in which they
assist writers with the editing process, and especially argument development, essay organization,
and clarity of language. Although such study will likely help students improve their own writing,
this is not primarily a writing course, but rather a course for strong writers to learn to assist other
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writers of all levels, abilities, and backgrounds.
Students who complete this class are encouraged to serve as “writing consultants” in the
following semester. Being a writing consultant requires them to spend one of their study halls in
the Library being willing to help peers with their papers. Given the significant time commitment,
the writing consultants will earn an internship on their transcript for that semester (but no credit
or grades).
EXPERIENTIAL AND SERVICE LEARNING
Leadership Studies I (semester elective offered to sophomores, juniors, and seniors) (pass/fail)
(course number 730)
This class is one of two electives that will satisfy the coursework component of the Certificate of
Leadership Development program. Throughout the course, students will reflect on their own
leadership strengths, values, and styles, learn different leadership models through the study of
historical and current examples, and consider ethical issues, communication styles, and
challenges in and strategies for working with groups. Throughout the course, students will hear
from guest lecturers and speakers to offer practical, real world perspectives on these topics. The
course practicum requires students to apply what they've learned by participating in Highland's
annual Leadership Conference and facilitating workshops with visiting students. A full
description of the Certificate of Leadership program is available.
Social Justice and Community Action (semester elective offered to sophomores, juniors, and
seniors) (pass/fail) (course number 735)
This course is one of two electives that will satisfy the coursework component of the Certificate
of Leadership Development program. This elective creates the opportunity for students to nurture
an informed, globally-aware conscience and also to take specific concrete action on issues such
as poverty, homelessness, hunger, education, and health care for at-risk populations locally and
worldwide. Students develop a fundamental vocabulary of social justice, study the characteristics
and leadership qualities of successful social entrepreneurs, consider the mechanisms for social
change, and reflect on how they can lend their personal values and strengths to impact areas of
concern. Students also identify issues of particular interest, researching the history of the
problem and efforts to both alleviate and solve it, joining the conversation of historical and
contemporary agents of change. The course practicum requires students to apply what they've
learned by participating in Highland's annual Family Service Day by helping to coordinate and
lead projects related to their interests.
FINE ARTS
PERFORMING ARTS
Advanced Jazz Ensemble (full year) (course number 677)
The Advanced Jazz Ensemble features auditioned musicians who study and perform more
complicated jazz music than the regular Jazz Ensemble. The course features written charts and
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improvisational studies which result in a high level Jazz Ensemble that is expected to perform
both at Highland events as well as at other venues in the community.
Advanced Placement Music Theory (offered to students who have completed Music Theory)
(full year) (course number 627)
In this course, students learn music terminology and notation skills, the concepts of rhythm and
tempo, concepts of pitch and pitch relationships, melody and harmony, including advanced
harmonic structure, basic and advanced ear training and basic and advanced sight-singing. They
also examine different periods of music, becoming familiar with the different eras and the impact
as musical complexity advanced. They are tested weekly, and they exercise their skills with
practice AP Music Theory exams. Ear Training, Sight Singing and Piano Exercises are
alternated on a daily basis. The course demands practice of skills outside of the classroom, and
students are expected to be prepared and on-task at all times. This is a very intensive course
covered in a very short time period.
Beginning Guitar (semester elective) (course number 619)
This class is for students who would like to learn how to play the guitar. Students are taught the
parts of the instrument, tuning, proper playing position, as well as basic chord structure.
Beginning notation and rhythm reading are practiced. This class teaches students how to play in
an ensemble as well as how to be a solo musician. The group performs in at least one public
concert during the semester.
Chorus (full year) (course number 602)
This active singing ensemble is for students who wish to learn and rehearse a wide variety of
choral music including arrangements of folk, classical, jazz, show tunes, pop songs, and
spirituals. The group performs in two concerts in the Highland Center for the Arts and also
participates in a music festival in the spring, usually in D.C. Other occasions for performances
include assemblies and high school graduation.
Chorus (semester elective) (course number 604)
This active singing ensemble is for students who wish to learn and rehearse a wide variety of
choral music including arrangements of folk, classical, jazz, show tunes, pop songs, and
spirituals. The group performs in a concert in the Highland Center for the Arts; second semester
students also participate in a music festival in the spring, usually in D.C. Other occasions for
performances include assemblies and high school graduation.
Guitar Ensemble (with permission) (full year) (course number 620)
This class is designed for students who have at least two years of experience playing the guitar.
It gives them the opportunity to perform in an ensemble as well as offering solo opportunities.
Students learn chords, notation, and other music theory concepts. Students perform in at least
two public concerts during the school year. Audition for seating placement is required.
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Intermediate Guitar (with permission) (full year) (course number 637)
This class is designed for students with at least one year of guitar experience (or two semesters of
Beginning Guitar) and some music theory knowledge who want to improve their skills and
possibly move on to Guitar Ensemble. Students further the skills they learned in Beginning
Guitar as well as learning the skills necessary to audition for the Guitar Ensemble.
Introduction to Acting (semester elective) (course number 662)
In this class students participate in one-act plays or selected scenes from longer plays. They are
involved in acting, lighting, sound, set and costume production. Assignments include line
memorization and other work that can be done outside of class, since class time is used for
production purposes and rehearsals. Students learn the fundementals of acting and are assessed
on their acting abilities, techniques, and skills learned in the class.
Jazz Ensemble (full year) (course number 635)
This ensemble is for students who wish to actively participate in a performing instrumental jazz
group. The main emphasis is to play musical instruments by ear, incorporating music theory into
the practical playing of jazz pieces, and to develop the ability to improvise in various scales,
modes, harmonies, and keys. The ensemble performs publicly at two concerts in the Highland
Center for the Arts; other performances are encouraged.
Music Theory (semester elective) (course number 652)
In this one semester course, students learn fundamental music terminology and notation skills,
the concepts of rhythm and tempo, concepts of pitch and pitch relationships, and melody and
harmony. They are also introduced to different periods of music, becoming familiar with the
major eras. Students practice sight-singing and ear training. This course is a pre-requisite for AP
Music Theory.
Sound Technology (semester elective) (course number 668)
This course teaches the fundamentals of live sound reproduction and studio recording. Topics
include microphone types and usage, cable requirements, correct connections, equalization, use
of effects and processors, gain stage and signal flow analysis, and live mixing techniques.
Students are introduced to computer based recording and the proper use and care of A/V
equipment in The Rice Theater and beyond.
Sound Technology 2 (semester elective open to students who have taken Sound Technology)
(course number 680)
Students gain further understanding of how to connect and execute the signal mixing of a live (or
recorded) performance. They also learn, with the equipment provided, how to assist with needs in
our theatres and at events requiring live or recorded sound. Students learn to understand video
signal routing and control movie projection from several sources. They even learn to use a
software based recording program to address the recording of sounds. Ultimately, they learn how
to use their skills to enhance, mix, and produce a higher quality final product.
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String Ensemble (two days per week for full year; only half credit is awarded) (course number
649)
This ensemble is for students who wish to actively participate in a performing string ensemble.
The main emphasis is individual performance improvement. The ensemble performs publicly at
two concerts in the Highland Center for the Arts; other performances are encouraged.
Theater Technology (semester elective) (course number 616)
This course examines the practical application of set and lighting design. Students are involved
in the building of sets for school productions, starting with drawings, model sets and the
construction of actual set pieces. Students also learn the basics of lighting and sound design, so
that they can take charge of the sets, lights and sound for all drama productions and Center
events. The course is taught through lecture, video and class participation. Some after-school
participation may be required.
VISUAL ARTS
2D Graphics (semester elective) (course number 666)
In this project based class, students learn various topics of Adobe’s latest versions of InDesign,
Illustrator, and Photoshop. This includes how to work with text and set up a document, how to
work with frames, and how to work with colors in InDesign; how to create text and gradients,
draw and compose an illustration, transform and distort objects, and how to work with layers in
Illustrator; as well as how to work with layers, make selections, incorporate color techniques, and
place type in an image in Photoshop.
3D Animation (semester elective) (course number 667)
3-D Computer animation is employed everywhere in our world today. Movies, games, and the
Internet are a few such arenas. This course introduces 3D animation. Students learn the basic
properties of 3D computer objects. Subsequently, they proceed to character creation and
animation. The software package for this course is Animation Master, an industry-strength
animation tool.
Advanced Filmmaking (semester elective open to juniors and seniors who have taken
Intermediate Filmmaking) (course number 655)
This course is a continuation of Intermediate Filmmaking with more emphasis on better story
development and higher production values. Students work as a team on a single documentary,
sharing the work of planning, critiquing, filming, lighting and editing. This resulst in the creation
of a longer, more complex film as well as teaching the students to work collaboratively on a
project by providing and receiving ideas, constructive criticism and feedback.
Advanced Placement Drawing (with permission) (full year) (course number 639)
AP Art in drawing is designed to take the student with a strong interest in art and develop that
interest into a college level talent. Students learn a variety of drawing techniques using a wide
range of media, and most importantly they learn how to think about art, bring content to art and
talk about their ideas in critiques. They place their work in context by researching similar artists,
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so they learn to think about their own work by thinking about the work of others. In the first
semester the students prepare a portfolio demonstrating a breadth of understanding of the
elements of art and principles of design as applied to drawing. During the second semester they
work on a concentration which will be a semester long series of projects all specifically related.
Photographic and computer-driven design is not permitted in AP Drawing. Students select five
of their best works for presentation. At the end of the year during AP exam week, in lieu of an
exam AP art students will be turning in a portfolio consisting of 24 separate works.
Advanced Placement 2-D Design (with permission) (full year) (course number 640)
This course is identical to the Advanced Placement Drawing course, with the only exception
being that photographic and computer-driven design is permitted.
Advanced Placement 3D Design (with permission) (full year) (course number 641)
AP Art is designed to be the culmination of a student’s high school art studies. Students are
expected to work at a higher level of art than in previous classes. The course is comparable to an
introductory college art course. Students study and use the elements of art and the principles of
design as a basis for self expression. Work begins during the summer before taking the course;
summer work and a paper are a requirement. Work in the course goes towards an AP portfolio,
which will be submitted to the AP Board during AP exam week in May. The AP portfolio
consists of at least 20 finished works to the College Board in lieu of a written exam as the
course’s culmination. The course is very demanding of both time and effort, but is very
rewarding. It is for serious art students who have taken at least Advanced Sculpture and/or
Ceramics III. Students may submit either a sculpture or ceramics portfolio, depending on their
experience and interests.
Beginning Filmmaking (semester elective) (course number 653)
This course serves as an introduction to filmmaking techniques and theory. Students will learn to
analyze films through readings and viewings, and recognize and understand the underlying film
techniques. This theoretical knowledge will be solidified and applied through shooting short
scenes and sequences around the school. Students will learn the basics of proper camera skills,
sound recording, and lighting as well as professional editing and post-production software such
as Final Cut Pro, Soundtrack Pro and Garage Band. This course is a prerequisite for Intermediate
Filmmaking.
Beginning Sculpture (semester elective) (course number 673)
In this course, students learn methods for creating three-dimensional art work and sculpture using
additive, subtractive, and constructional methods. Students explore common media associated
with three-dimensional art—their uses, procedures, and results. These include, but are not
limited to, clay, plaster, foam, found objects, wood, wire, and papier mâché. Projects are based
on seeing and using the third dimension, and ideas that separate three-dimensional art from twodimensional art.
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CAD 1: 3D Architecture 1 (semester elective) (course number 663)
3-D computer architectural modeling is employed everywhere in our world today. Movies,
games, the Internet, and scientific modeling are a few such arenas. This course introduces 3D
architectural design and modeling. Students learn the basic properties of 3D computer objects.
Subsequently, they proceed to CAD (computer-aided design). The software package for this
course is Chief Architect, a powerful industrial software package used for architectural
modeling.
CAD 2: 3D Architecture 2 (semester elective) (offered to students who have completed 3D
Architecture 1) (course number 664)
This course is offered as a continuation of 3D Architecture. Students use Chief Architect and
continue to learn some tools not previously covered; however, the course is mainly project-based.
Students are given different scenario criteria in a client-designer relationship environment from
which they build their sturctures. In addition to enhancing their CAD skills, students obtain realworld business experience as they input actual prices into their materials list. Students have
requirement rubrics which are used for assessment.
CAD 3: 3D Architecture 3 (semester elective) (offered to students who have completed 3D
Architecture 2) (course number 665)
This course is offered as a continuation of 3D Architecture 2. This class allows students to
continue to enhance their CAD skills and pursue their passion in architecture. Students desgin
their semester projects based on a list of higher level tools in Chief Architect. Students have
requirement ruberics which are used for assessment.
Ceramics I (semester elective) (course number 631)
In this introductory course, students learn methods and techniques for working with clay to create
art. They explore various hand building techniques, begin to work on the potter’s wheel, and
discover ways to bring the two methods together in a single work. Though they spend more time
on the wheel, this course serves only as an introduction to wheel-throwing. Students leave the
course with a basic knowledge of clay.
Ceramics II (semester elective open to students who have taken Ceramics I) (course number
632)
Students expand on their knowledge of clay in this intermediate level course after successfully
completing Ceramics I. More advanced wheel techniques are taught, as well as more methods
for using handbuilding techniques with wheel-thrown pieces. The primary theme of the course is
combining functionality with aesthetics and design. Students are expected to work more
independently and show more creativity with their pieces than in Ceramics I.
Ceramics III (full year) (with permission) (course number 642)
Students further develop their skills with clay on and off the wheel. The course focuses on
improving skills and techniques already acquired and learning more advanced skills. A good
understanding and application of basic wheel skills are essential in undertaking the coursework.
Students assume more studio responsibilities, including recycling and preparing clay, keeping the
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classroom clean, maintaining an inventory of supplies, and loading and unloading the kiln.
Through the skill development and added responsibilities, students learn more about continuing
with pottery on their own. Work is critiqued continuously over the course by both peers and the
instructor. The course concludes with a final project showing skill mastery.
Ceramics IV (full year) (with permission) (course number 660)
Ceramics IV, a year-long course, is intended to prepare ceramics students for AP 3D Design, or
to replace it for those students wishing to continue after Ceramics III but who do not wish to go
to the AP level. This course will be half teacher-directed (with assigned projects and techniques
taught) and half student-directed (with the students developing their own projects and ideas and
doing their own research). For pre-AP students, this course is optional but recommended if time
allows. It helps prepare them for working mostly independently as they would in AP, and gives
them an extra year to develop the content in their artwork and find their personal design
aesthetics. For non-AP students, this course allows them to continue to develop their technical
and design skills in clay without the pressure of an AP-level course. This course moves from the
more technical, craft-based instruction of Ceramics I-III to the design and content of fine art.
Students are required to take on some responsibility of studio maintenance, and required to tutor
beginning ceramics students.
Digital Photography (semester elective) (course number 676)
Photography has become an important part of our daily lives, so this course helps students
understand how to improve the quality of their photos and learn design skills. Students learn
elements of photographic composition, how to operate SLR cameras and their manual settings,
and how to use digital photo editing software (mainly Photoshop). Assignments involve learning
general artistic composition using elements of art and principles of design, as well as
photography-specific content such as depth of field and exposure. Appropriate and ethical use of
photography and digital editing are also discussed. The goal is for students to leave the course
with a portfolio of photographs using a variety of techniques. Note that students are required to
use their own digital SLR cameras during this course.
Drawing and Design I (semester elective) (course number 671)
Students learn the Principles of Design through drawings and projects. This class focuses on the
abstraction that lies under even the most realistic paintings. For instance, students learn how to
create deep space using only abstract shapes and color, instead of drawing a landscape. Students
work on methods to create lines, shapes and forms that are interesting and meaningful without
realistic subject matter. The class learns about the color wheel through exercises and then how to
use colors to create interest. Students learn how to make shapes appear to move, even though
they are just shapes, like art special effects. Finally, they create a book with their own designs,
such as fashion or buildings, based on the interests of each student. This may be the class for
students who love art but not drawing from life. This class also includes an art museum field trip
and an opportunity to exhibit the best work in the Highland Gallery.
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Drawing and Painting I (semester elective) (course number 670)
Students learn the fundamentals of art through drawing and painting exercises and projects.
Based on the elements of art and the principles of design, students learn concepts applicable to all
art through graphite, ink, colored pencil, marker, pastel, watercolor, and acrylic paint. The class
will learn to draw still lifes, paint landscapes, and do portraiture. This class focuses on skills
needed to draw realistically, such as perspective drawing and sighting. In addition students will
apply drawing skills to a linoleum block print. Students will create a book which will include
free drawings so that they can begin to pursue their own interests in art. The class will take a field
trip to an art museum and do projects based on what we see. The students will have an
opportunity to exhibit their best work.
Graphic Design/Yearbook (full year) (course number 675)
In this technological age, Graphic Design and visual images are everywhere – Facebook, Twitter,
Instagram, and Pinterest. This course exposes students to a basic understanding of Graphic
Design through the design of the Yearbook. Students are introduced to relevant Adobe software
and advanced instruction of InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator. This is a visual
communications class, focusing on typography, photography, writing, editing, and effective use
of design. Specific design skills are introduced, such as photo editing in Photoshop, logo design
in Illustrator, and page and template design in InDesign. Students utilize these skills to design the
Yearbook from start to finish. InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop are currently the premier
programs used by design firms nationwide. The goal is for students to leave the course with a
working knowledge of current software so they can take these skills to college and beyond. Note
that only seniors who have yearbook experience may enroll for this class.
Intermediate Filmmaking (semester elective open to sophomores, juniors and seniors who have
taken Beginning Filmmaking; sophomores need special permission) (course number 654)
This class is an introduction to the basics of making a short digital documentary, from concept
development to finished piece. Filmmakers plan, shoot, and edit their own individual short
documentaries. The class covers the essential technical skills, the categories of emerging styles of
non-fiction film, and how to experiment with a variety of documentary storytelling techniques.
The course format consists of individual video assignments, screenings, and critique.
Intermediate Sculpture (full year) (course number 674)
This course is designed for students who have completed at least one three-dimensional art class.
Students will develop skills already learned, as well as work with new media. Elements of art
and principles of design will be a focus of the class. Students are expected to exhibit greater
understanding of media and methods, and to produce more thoughtful and creative works.
Projects will involve additive, subtractive, and constructive methods. Students will also develop
ideas for projects on their own, choosing their own media and themes. This class is designed to
prepare students for taking AP 3D Design in the following year.
Open Studio (with permission to students who have completed Drawing and Painting I and
Drawing and Design I) (full year) (course number 672)
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Open Studio students develop drawing and painting skills and expand on their understanding of
visual language through studio instruction. Students will build on what they know about the
fundamentals of drawing, learning how to translate what they see into the elements of art. They
will also use the principles of design, such as proportion, perspective, and composition, to create
more meaningful art. They will work on projects using drawing, painting, and printmaking. They
will use watercolors, pastels and acrylics on paper or on canvas, prints and collages, working
realistically and abstractly. The work will be photographed and archived so it can be used to
create a portfolio for college applications or art shows. This class includes an art museum field
trip and opportunities to exhibit the best work of each student. Students may enroll in this class
multiple times until they are ready to enroll in AP Drawing.
MATHEMATICS
Algebra 1 (full year) (one high school credit) (course number 101)
This is the traditional college preparatory course that serves as a foundation for subsequent math
courses. Arithmetic skills and reasoning skills are developed, including arithmetic with integers
and rational numbers, and solving and graphing linear functions and inequalities. Students
master operations with monomials and polynomials, and they use that knowledge to factor
polynomials and solve quadratic equations. The students are introduced to radical equations and
probability. Problem solving is integrated throughout the course as connections to other subject
areas are made through practical applications. Models, manipulatives, and technology, including
the graphing calculator, are used when appropriate. Students are expected to use the language and
symbols of mathematics.
Algebra 1, Part 2 (full year) (course number 118)
This class is intended for the student who has satisfactorily completed Algebra 1, Part 1. It is an
in-depth exploration of linear and non-linear equations, polynomials, and radical and rational
functions. It serves as a foundation for subsequent math courses. Students are expected to use
the language and symbols of mathematics. Models, manipulatives and technology, including the
graphing calculator, are used when appropriate.
Algebra, Functions, and Data Analysis (full year) (course number 133)
In this course, students study functions and their behavior, with an emphasis on linear, quadratic,
absolute value, and square root functions. Students study systems of inequalities, probability,
and analysis of data. Students solve problems that require the formulation of linear, quadratic,
and exponential equations to model practical applications from science, business, and finance.
Students strengthen conceptual understanding in mathematics and further develop connections
between algebra, geometry, and statistical data representation.
Geometry (full year) (course number 105)
This is a traditional study of Euclidian geometry. Students perform a study of geometric
structures, their characteristics and relationships. The students describe and investigate
relationships within a geometric system using definitions, axioms and theorems in that system.
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Formal proofs and practical applications are used. This course is designed for students who have
acquired the skills of Algebra I and includes an introduction to trigonometry.
Honors Geometry (with permission) (full year) (course number 109)
This course is a comprehensive study of Euclidean geometry. Students perform an in-depth
study of geometric structures, their characteristics and relationships. The students describe and
investigate relationships within a geometric system using definitions, axioms and theorems in
that system. Emphasis is placed on mathematical argumentation through formal proofs and
practical applications. This course is designed for students who have mastered the skills of
Algebra I and includes an introduction to trigonometry.
Informal Geometry (full year) (course number 111)
The goal of this course is to teach students to think more analytically so that they can apply these
skills to problems involving space. Students explore angles and shapes, particularly triangles and
quadrilaterals, and identify characteristics of each shape. Study includes right triangle
relationships, and trigonometric identities. Emphasis is placed on applying rules and
relationships, not formal proof. Finally, they learn to attack challenging SAT-style problems
involving perimeter, circumference, area and volume.
Algebra II (full year) (course number 102)
This course provides the mathematical base for higher levels of math. This course introduces
different approaches to solving equations, inequalities, systems of equations and inequalities,
absolute value equations, and equations with radicals. Matrix operations are introduced, and
matrices are used for solving linear systems. Throughout the course, the students explore
quadratic and polynomial functions and develop skills in graphing and analyzing those
functions. Solving models of real world application problems is a component of this course.
Students in this class take Algebra III and Statistics the following year.
Algebra III (semester course) (course number 116)
This course is intended for students who have studied Algebra II through Quadratic Equations.
This one semester course is devoted to advanced algebra, beginning with a review of quadratic
equations and their applications. Students build on their knowledge of quadratic equations
through study of polynomial and inverse functions. They then progress to exponential and
logarithmic functions and use their knowledge of these functions to solve growth and decay
problems. Students study triangle trigonometry and develop basic knowledge of the six basic
trigonometric functions and their relationships. They also tackle sequences and series, arithmetic
and geometric, finite and infinite, their properties and their applications to problem resolution.
Throughout the course, students are encouraged to use the language and symbols of mathematics.
Algebra III (full year) (course number 132)
This course is intended for students who have studied Algebra II through Quadratic Functions.
This full-year course is devoted to higher order functions, including Summation notation and a
study of sequences and series, arithmetic and geometric, finite and infinite, their properties and
their applications to problem resolution. Students will build on their knowledge of functions and
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quadratic equations through the study of polynomial, rational and inverse functions. Students
perform combinations and compositions of functions, and will graph and verify inverse
functions. Students analyze and graph rational functions and their asymptotes. Students progress
to exponential functions and use knowledge of these functions to solve growth and decay
problems and study the rules of logarithms. The course includes a study of conic sections,
writing equations and graphing circles, ellipses, parabolas, and hyperbolas. Students finish with
an introduction to the unit circle and trigonometry. Throughout the course students use the
graphing calculator and the language and symbology of mathematics.
Honors Algebra and Elementary Functions (with permission) (full year) (offered to students
who have completed Geometry) (course number 128)
This advanced algebra course includes a comprehensive study of algebraic functions including
rational, exponential, quadratic, absolute value, piece-wise, and linear functions. Placement in
this course requires strong skills in factoring quadratics. Functions are modeled, described, and
represented in the coordinate plane. Writing equations to model word problems will be a major
component of this course. Students simplify radical and complex expressions, and solve
applications problems using matrices and logarithms. The course includes a study of arithmetic
and geometric sequences and series. This course moves at a rapid pace to prepare students for
the rigors of Honors Pre-Calculus or Pre-Calculus.
Statistics (semester course) (course number 114)
This course is intended for students who have completed Algebra II through Quadratic
Equations. This one semester course covers introductory statistics and probability. Topics
include experimental design, measures of central tendency, correlation and regression, and
probability and chance variability. Varied sampling methods are discussed as well as different
graphing techniques. Interpretation of data is stressed. Statistical applications to a wide variety
of subjects, such as the social sciences, economics, and business, are stressed. Students perform
a statistics project, including appropriate graphs and calculations for in-class presentation. The
graphing calculator is used extensively throughout the course while a balanced approach of
numerical and logical methods is emphasized. Throughout the course, students are encouraged
to use the language and symbols of statistics.
Discrete Math (semester course offered to students who have completed Algebra III) (elective
grade scale) (course number 127)
In Discrete Math students develop skills and understanding of the application of mathematics to
social sciences; students build a reference set for use in business, law, computer science, and
math. Topics to be covered include: Election Theory, Fair Division, Voting, and Apportionment;
Set Theory and Venn Diagrams; Map Theory; Konigsberg bridges; Networks, Euler Circuits, and
Critical Path Methods. Assessments include projects, tests and a semester exam.
Pre-Calculus (full year) (course number 110)
This course provides the mathematical background for a calculus class. It is a course intended for
students who have a solid working knowledge of Algebra and have basic knowledge of
Trigonometry. This rigorous course is intended to develop skills in graphing linear and non-linear
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function using different methods, get a deeper understanding of different kinds of functions and
their applications, extend the understanding of trigonometry and master skills in solving
equations and inequalities. The course focuses on skills and concepts and their applications in
real life by using models, relating to other subjects, and conducting real life projects. This course
enables students to approach a problem algebraically and graphically. Students develop their
quantitative thinking, reasoning, algebraic and graphical skills.
Honors Pre-Calculus (with permission) (full year) (course number 103)
This course provides the mathematical background for calculus classes and is a prerequisite for
AP Calculus AB and AP Calculus BC. It is intended for students who have advanced skills in
functions and factoring, and who have a working knowledge of Trigonometry and rational
functions. Students explore all of the topics of Pre-Calculus, but at a faster pace and in more
depth. Students in the Honors class also learn to solve problems analytically by exploring
analytical trigonometry and analytic geometry.
Differential Calculus (full year) (course number123)
This course is intended for students who have a solid working knowledge of algebra, geometry,
trigonometry and elementary functions. The purpose of the course is to prepare the student for
college calculus. The course covers differentiation of elementary functions as well as
applications of calculus to problem solving. The graphing calculator is used extensively
throughout the course while a balanced approach of graphical, numerical and algebraic methods
is stressed. Problem solving is introduced early and integrated throughout as connections to
other subject areas are made through practical applications. Models and technology are used
when appropriate. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to use the language and
symbols of calculus.
Advanced Placement Statistics (with permission) (full year) (offered to students who have
satisfactorily completed Pre-Calculus or to those who are currently taking Honors Pre-Calculus)
(course number 107)
This course is intended for students who have a thorough knowledge of algebra, geometry,
trigonometry and elementary functions. The purpose of the course is to prepare the student for
advanced placement into college statistics. The content of the course is driven by The College
Board Advanced Placement Course Development Syllabus. The graphing calculator is used
extensively throughout the course while a balanced approach of graphical, numerical and
algebraic methods is stressed. Students are required to complete a summer reading and problem
solution assignment prior to admission into the course. The assignment is due on the first day of
class. Problem solving is introduced early and integrated throughout as connections to other
subject areas are made through practical applications. Models and technology are used when
appropriate. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to use the language and symbols of
statistics.
Advanced Placement Calculus AB (with permission) (full year) (course number 104)
This course is intended for students who have a thorough knowledge of algebra, geometry,
trigonometry and elementary functions. The purpose of the course is to prepare the student for
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advanced placement into college calculus. The content of the course is driven by The College
Board Advanced Placement Course Development Syllabus. The graphing calculator is used
extensively throughout the course while a balanced approach of graphical, numerical and
algebraic methods is stressed. Students are required to complete a summer reading and problem
solution assignment prior to admission into the course. The assignment is due on the first day of
class. Problem solving is introduced early and integrated throughout as connections to other
subject areas are made through practical applications. Models and technology are used when
appropriate. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to use the language and symbols of
mathematics.
Advanced Placement Calculus BC (with permission) (full year) (course number 126; students
must also register for AP BC Calc Lab, course number 129)
Calculus BC course is a study of derivatives, integrals, limits, approximation, applications and
modeling. Topics include: work and fluid force; L'Hospital's rule; indeterminate forms and
improper integrals; partial fractions; Riemann sums; parametric, vector, and polar functions; and
Taylor series. Students are required to complete a summer reading and problem solution
assignment prior to admission into the course. Course work prepares the student for the AP BC
Calculus exam; a double period is required during the second semester in order to cover the
material.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION
Introduction to Athletic Training (semester elective offered to juniors and seniors) (course
number 706)
This course allows the student to learn about the athletic training profession. The course focuses
on the six domains of athletic training and incorporates a hands-on component. Throughout the
course the students also learn basic anatomy, kinesiology, and first aid. The six domains of
athletic training are: prevention; recognition, evaluation, and assessment; immediate care;
treatment, reconditioning, and rehabilitation; organization and administration; and professional
development and responsibility.
Sports Marketing (spring semester elective open only to seniors) (course number 702)
This class offers students a step-by-step journey through the world of marketing. Students learn
the basic functions of marketing and how these functions are applied to sports and entertainment.
In class, students discuss, research and evaluate marketing strategies that are used by successful
sports franchises. In addition, students become acquainted with people who have made their
career in sports, entertainment and marketing. Finally, the class looks at legal and ethical issues
that exist in the sports and entertainment industry.
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SCIENCE
SCIENCE FULL YEAR OFFERINGS
Environmental Science (full year) (course number 304)
Environmental Science is the study of how humans interact with the environment. Industrial
advances, booming economies, and an improved quality of life’s ecosystems challenge the
sustenance of the world. This course focuses on identifying environmental problems, learning
and practicing the scientific method, and understanding the different constituents of a healthy
environment. Laboratory and field experimentation are essential components to encourage
critical thinking and to help establish a scientific outlook. The role of humans in nature is
discussed, and students formulate possible solutions to environmental problems.
Biology (with permission) (full year) (course number 301)
Throughout the course of this introductory biology class students explore the various forms and
functions of organisms and how they interact with their environment. The scientific method is
employed to provide students the framework with which to question the biological world around
them. Classroom lectures are supplemented with various laboratory exercises, field trips, and
guest lecturers to create an experiential learning environment. The goal of this course is for
students to be familiar with major biological concepts, scientific methods, and current issues in
biological science so that they understand the importance of their input to the future of science,
regardless of whether they go into a biology career field or not.
Honors Biology (with permission) (full year) (course number 328)
Throughout this course students explore the various forms and functions of organisms and how
they interact with their environment through inquiry based labs, case studies, research, scientific
reporting and discussions. All topics are covered in greater depth than the regular biology class,
so the course serves as an excellent preparatory class for students considering AP Biology. The
course has the ultimate goal of teaching students how through biology and biotechnology they
might be able to solve global and local problems. A discovery approach is employed with the
instructor acting as a constructivist and facilitator to encourage a melding of both scientific
knowledge and inquiry with the end result being a deep understanding of and appreciation for
biology.
Chemistry (full year) (offered to students who have completed Biology) (course number 303)
Chemistry is the study of matter and energy. This class includes labs, demonstrations, projects,
and many activities designed to make chemistry interesting and understandable, while also
expecting students to think both critically and analytically. The course includes the properties of
matter, gas laws, nomenclature, periodicity, atomic structure and driving forces in chemical
reactions. The class uses a variety of means both to engage students and help them develop an
interest in chemistry.
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Honors Chemistry (with permission & completion of Biology) (full year) (course number 320)
Honors Chemistry is a quantitative, in-depth course recommended for students planning further
study in a science-related field at the college level. This laboratory-oriented course is designed to
prepare highly motivated students for AP Chemistry. Topics are explored through teacher
demonstrations, laboratory exercises, and student problem-solving activities. Students are
introduced to the shorthand of chemistry as they learn to use chemical formulas and equations.
Chemical properties are related to atomic structure as students learn to use the periodic table of
the elements. Stoichiometry, qualitative analysis, thermodynamics, and nuclear chemistry are
introduced.
Physics (full year) (offered to students who have completed Chemistry) (course number 305)
Physics is the most basic of science courses. As such, the purpose of this course is to provide a
fundamental understanding of the relationships between energy and matter in order to provide
students with a foundation for the study of additional science courses. Emphasis is placed on
development of critical thinking and problem solving skills. As with any experimental science,
laboratory work is an integral part of the learning process and is utilized where appropriate. The
five major topics to be covered are mechanics, states of matter, waves, electricity and magnetism,
and atomic and nuclear physics. Knowledge of algebra and trigonometry is required for this
course as well as a graphical display calculator.
Honors Physics (full year) (with permission to students who have completed Chemistry and
PreCalculus or concurrent course in PreCalculus at either level) (course number 330)
This primary objective of this course is to prepare students to take AP Physics. The class focuses
on teaching the fundamentals of mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and wave phenomena,
using the mathematical skills learned in Algebra and Pre-calculus. Applications of calculus are
introduced where appropriate, including derivatives to analyze kinematics concepts and integrals
to analyze dynamics concepts. Through labs students focus on discovering mathematical models
that govern the scenarios being proposed. Whenever possible, real world situations are analyzed
so students can better connect the material to the outside world. During the first semester
students investigate kinematics, dynamics and Newton’s laws, equilibrium, and work; during the
second semester students investigate the work-energy theorem, momentum and collisions,
electric circuits, and optics.
Advanced Placement Biology (with permission) (full year) (offered to students who have taken
Chemistry) (course number 302, student must also register for AP Bio Lab, course number 310)
The AP Biology course is designed to be the equivalent of a college introductory biology course
usually taken by biology majors during their first year. It aims to provide students with the
conceptual framework, factual knowledge, and analytical skills necessary to deal critically with
the rapidly changing science of biology. The labs done by AP students in this course are the
equivalent of those done by college students. This course covers three general areas: molecules
and cells; heredity and evolution; and organisms and populations. Course work prepares the
student for the AP Biology exam; a double period is required during the first semester in order to
cover the laboratory portion of the course.
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Advanced Placement Chemistry (with permission) (full year) (offered to students who have
taken Chemistry) (course number 309, student must also register for AP Chem Lab, course
number 313)
AP Chemistry is a rigorous, college level class. Major topics include electrochemistry,
equilibrium, reaction prediction, kinetics, chemical bonding, gases, phase changes, solutions,
acid/base reactions, thermochemistry, and electron configuration. Students complete the
recommended labs in the AP Chemistry curriculum and prepare for college level research.
Course work prepares the student for the AP Chemistry exam; a double period is required during
the first semester in order to cover the laboratory portion of the course.
Advanced Placement Environmental Science (with permission) (full year) (offered to students
who have taken Chemistry) (course number 314, student must also register for AP ES Lab,
course number 333)
The AP Environmental Science course is designed to be the equivalent of a one-semester,
introductory college course in environmental science. Environmental science crosses many
disciplines, including geology, biology, and chemistry, as well as a socio-economic facet to
incorporate environmental policy. The goal of the course is to provide students with the
scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of
the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made,
to evaluate risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for
resolving or preventing them. Course work prepares the student for the AP Environmental
Science exam; a double period is required during the first semester in order to cover the
laboratory portion of the course.
Advanced Placement Physics C: Mechanics (with permission) (full year) (offered to students
who have taken Physics and Calculus or concurrent course in Calculus of any level) (course
number 329, student must also register for AP Physics Lab, course number 311)
This course provides advanced, Calculus-based instruction in each of the following content areas:
kinematics; Newton’s laws of motion; work, energy and power; systems of particles and linear
momentum; circular motion and rotation; oscillations; and gravitation. As time allows,
additional topics such as thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism and quantum theory are
studied. Laboratory work is integral to the course, and students use computers with appropriate
software and hardware to collect and analyze data. Course work prepares the student for the AP
Physics C: Mechanics exam.
SCIENCE SEMESTER ELECTIVES
All courses use the elective grade scale unless otherwise noted.
11th Grade Intensive (full year elective offered to juniors with a math or writing disability as
determined by a qualified clinical psychologist) (pass/fail) (course number 337)
This intensive class is designed for juniors who actively participate in the Learning Center but
who continue to need learning support that is beyond the scope of what our Learning Center
offers. The teacher helps students with their core classes, focusing primarily on STEM courses,
as well as offering organizational and study strategies to encourage executive functioning and
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assessment preparation. Students attend their core classes as usual and are expected to complete
all assignments for these courses. All work is graded by their subject teachers. Although the
Intensive teacher spends some time helping with humanities classes, s/he mainly supports the
work being assigned in science and math classes by offering remediation of pertinent skills and
strategies.
Astronomy (semester course) (course number 331)
Astronomy focuses on the structure of the universe. The idea of the Big Bang is discussed, and
the formation of the solar system explained. Students discover the life cycle of a star, the
existence of black holes, and the natural formation of the elements in the periodic table. Students
also explore the constellations and their significant astronomical features.
Ecology (summer class for semester credit) (course number 322)
The objectives of this field sciences course are to provide an opportunity to apply scientific
methodology in field settings; to utilize a format that is not available during the regular school
year; and to take advantage of the resources in our greater region. This course lasts 14 days and
students spend nights either camping or in lodge type settings. Students are expected to
contribute to the tasks of the group which will include food preparation, camp or lodge
maintenance, and organizational tasks. This course is available to rising sophomores, juniors,
and seniors.
Engineering Capstone (semester course offered to seniors who are pursuing the PreEngineering Certificate) (pass/fail) (course number 336)
This course provides seniors time during the second semester of their senior year to work on their
capstone project, which is the culmination of the Pre-Engineering certificate and serves as the
Senior Project. The capstone project affords Pre-Engineering Certificate participants the
opportunity to forge an in-depth experience in a field of particular interest within engineering,
while also demonstrating the breadth of skills and practices acquired throughout his or her
Highland career. Students choose from a set of available options that take advantage of the
expertise of faculty advisors, and instructors offer feedback on the project throughout the course.
Pre-Engineering students present their capstone project to their peers and Highland faculty in lieu
of the Senior Project presented by other members of the graduating class. As such, it is essential
that the capstone project satisfy all of the requirements of the Senior Project.
Engineering Design (semester course offered to students who have completed Introduction to
Engineering) (course number 335)
This course is a team-based engineering design course for students not already participating in
robotics or VASTS as a part of the Pre-Engineering Certificate. Students work as a part of a
team to assess, design, and construct a solution to a challenge created by the instructor.
Human Biology (semester course offered to students who have completed Chemistry) (course
number 308)
Human Biology provides an overview of anatomy and physiology. The class includes an
introduction to the structure and function of the human body with an emphasis on health and
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disease. Students should leave this class with a firm grasp of how their bodies function. An
understanding that humans are a part of the biosphere and that human activities can have
environmental consequences is stressed throughout the course. Bioethical issues such as stem
cell research, performance enhancing drugs, and genetically modified foods are a few of the
topics students explore in class. Guest speakers, case studies, videos, labs, field trips, and current
event topics serve to enrich the curriculum.
Introduction to Engineering (semester course) (course number 334)
Introduction to Engineering introduces students to the nature of the engineering field as well as
the engineering design process and its application. Through lecture and experiential learning,
students learn the variety of engineering fields that exist and what the profession of engineering
looks like. Students also use sketches and 3D modeling software to help them devise solutions to
solve design challenges, they document their work using an engineer’s notebook, and they
communicate these solutions to their colleagues.
Marine Biology (semester course offered to students who have completed Chemistry) (course
number 307)
Throughout this marine biology course students are introduced to the biology, ecology, and the
physiology of marine organism. Topics include the chemistry of the marine environment; the
diversity of organism inhibiting marine environments, the study of major marine environments,
and the effects of human on the marine environment. Students also explore the specific
physiological adaptations, body types, and behavioral strategies that marine organisms have
evolved for survival.
Robotics Computing (semester course for eligible robotics build team members) (pass/fail)
(course number 326)
Designed for students who are invested in the build side of the School’s robotics program, this
elective focuses on computing as applied to robotics. The course provides team members the
time to enhance their Java and/or CAD skills. Students work together to foster a sense of team
building necessary for any collaborative effort. Guest speakers and mentors from the robotics
team at Highland provide guest lectures to aid student learning and show students how to design
and/or control a host of mechanical/electrical devices on the robot.
Robotics Systems (semester course) (course number 325)
This elective provides those students interested in engineering and robotics with a solid
foundation in mechanical and electrical systems. Emphasis is not placed on mathematical theory,
but rather hands-on project based applications to achieve a solution to an engineering problem.
Students work in groups to foster a sense of team building necessary for any collaborative effort.
Guest speakers and mentors from the FIRST robotics team at Highland make presentations to aid
student learning and show students how to think about stability of structures, how gear ratios
drive a bike or car forward, or how simple circuits work. Students also work in their groups to
review past US FIRST robotics challenges and brainstorm their own ideas and solutions to the
problems posed. With parts available, they then have the chance to construct the real-life
application of their ideas and see if their solution works!
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Science and Society (semester course) (course number 332)
Students in this course investigate the technology behind the development of the telephone from
its creation to the present, and the effects it has had on society along the way. The class will
recreate a telegraph and the original telephone. The class will also explore how increased
connectivity has presented new challenges to privacy, security, and independence.
SOCIAL SCIENCES
World History I (intended for freshmen) (course number 201)
World History I focuses on “Western” civilizations (or those centered around Europe) beginning
with the European Renaissance and continuing on to the present day. Modern European history
is the context used to help students develop critical skills key to success in the social sciences in
high school, college, and beyond. Objective analysis, critical thinking, and analytical expression
are key skills pursued in this freshman history course. Students also focus on practical skills
such as critical reading, note-taking, information ordering, analytical writing technique, and
strategic test-taking skills that will be critical to success in their academic careers.
Honors World History I (for freshmen with permission) (course number 232)
This course focuses on western civilization from Charles Martel through the French Revolution.
While the course content proceeds chronologically, the curriculum integrates historical themes
and process skills in its exploration of demographics, politics, war, economics, religion and
culture. Students are introduced to and practice pre-AP skills of primary source analysis and
identification of patterns and themes, in addition to increasing competency in the historical
curriculum and developing skills in historiography.
20th Century United States History (intended for juniors) (course number 234)
In this course, students will engage in a chronological study of the events and people who shaped
modern America in the 20th century. Starting with the inauguration of President Theodore
Roosevelt, students will track the steady progression of American influence in world politics and
affairs. Students will continually evaluate the evolving American identity as The United States
assumes more and more responsibility as a world peacekeeper. Student in this class will have the
benefit of studying the most immediate roots of current issues. By the second semester, students
will be able to investigate and discuss the roots of current issues in the Middle East and evaluate
policy in that region. Throughout the course, students refer back to the essential question: How
has the meaning of freedom evolved in the American consciousness?
Advanced Placement United States History (for juniors with permission) (course number 208)
The Advanced Placement program in United States History is designed to provide students with
the analytical skills and factual knowledge to deal with problems and materials in United States
History. The Curriculum begins with European Exploration and concludes with the Bush Era.
The program prepares students for intermediate and advanced college courses by making the
demands upon them equivalent to those made by full year introductory college courses;
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moreover, the AP curriculum stresses higher order thinking skills within a rigorous academic
context. Students are required frequently to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate primary and
secondary sources in addition to memorizing, comprehending, and applying facts. Students learn
to assess historical materials for their relevance, their reliability, and their importance, and to
weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship. In addition, AP US
History prepares students to pass the AP examination in May 2006, for which valuable college
credit can be earned. To achieve this goal, students should be prepared to spend significant
amount of time outside of class on homework and research.
Advanced Placement European History (for seniors with permission) (full year) (course
number 205)
This course prepares students for the Advanced Placement Exam in European History (1450present). It emphasizes acquiring the required factual knowledge, developing the requisite
analytical and writing skills, and practicing with the kinds of questions and formats used on the
AP exam. Students interpret primary sources, trace cause and effect chains, explore similarities
and differences across nationalities, time periods, and subject areas, and adjudicate for
themselves, the major historical controversies presented in the history of this fascinating and
turbulent period. The course emphasizes the integration of information across the fields of social
developments, politics, religion, intellectual concepts, technology, and economics.
Advanced Placement World History (for sophomores with permission; for seniors with
permission) (full year) (course number 228)
The purpose of the AP World History course is to develop greater understanding of the evolution
of global processes and contacts, in interaction with different types of human societies. This
understanding is advanced through a combination of selective factual knowledge and appropriate
analytical skills. The course highlights the nature of changes in international frameworks and
their causes and consequences, as well as comparisons among major societies. The course
emphasizes relevant factual knowledge deployed in conjunction with leading interpretive issues
and types of historical evidence. The course builds on an understanding of cultural, institutional,
and technological precedents that, along with geography, set the human stage. Periodization,
explicitly discussed, forms an organizing principle for dealing with change and continuity
throughout the course. Specific themes provide further organization to the course, along with the
consistent attention to contacts among societies that form the core of world history as a field of
study.
Government (semester course that is required for graduation) (intended for seniors) (course
number 206)
This introductory course in Government is designed to examine the role that American
government and politics plays in our lives, as well as to provide a better understanding of the
functions and responsibilities of our governmental system. In order to learn more about the
nature and context of American political institutions, students study various features of the
executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government, as well as the role of political parties,
interest groups, and the bureaucracy in our political system. Students gain an in-depth
understanding of the Constitution and how it is applied. In addition, students examine the
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purpose and evolution of the governmental and political system of the US and examine how it
differs from systems used in other countries. Students have a chance to propose and debate their
own ideas on what our government should look like and how it should be run.
SOCIAL SCIENCE SEMESTER COURSES THAT SATISFY THE SOPHOMORE
WORLD HISTORY REQUIREMENT
These classes may be taken by upperclassmen, but sophomores will have priority in scheduling.
Comparative Religion (semester course that satisfies the sophomore world history requirement)
(course number 212)
In this course students develop the background necessary for an appreciation of the basic beliefs
and practices of the world's religions. Emphasis is placed on historical origins as well as on
current beliefs. Students study Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism,
Taoism, and other belief systems.
Cultures in Conflict: Assimilation, Adaptation, and Extermination (semester course that
satisfies the sophomore world history requirement) (course number 221)
This class is dedicated to exploring the historical relationship between peoples of the Developed,
Developing and “Third” worlds, and the legacies left by clashes of “western” and “non-western”
cultures. Throughout history, cultures have come into conflict. Some cultures by their nature act
“aggressively” toward other cultures, replacing the other culture’s values with its own (even
though such effects are not consciously directed). The aggressiveness of one culture can have a
devastating impact on another culture, and the results of cultural conflicts are the assimilation of
the weaker culture into the stronger, the adaptation of the weaker culture to the stronger, or the
extermination of the weaker culture by the stronger. When finished with this course, students
will have an understanding of the inevitability of cultural change over time, of the factors that
make Western culture “aggressive” whether one wants it to be or not, and a feel for the position
of those who belong to a culture under attack by a more aggressive culture.
The Economics of Imperialism (semester course that satisfies the sophomore world history
requirement) (course number 236)
In this course students learn about the economic imperatives which drove imperialism. In
particular, they study Spanish colonialism in South America in the Sixteenth through Eighteenth
Centuries and British imperialism in India in the Eighteenth through Twentieth Centuries, so they
may compare and contrast economic motives, processes, and outcomes. Students will study the
geography of South America and South Asia, the economic/ethnic/religious/language
backgrounds of the modern populations of Latin America and India, with a special emphasis on
relationships between the elites and the masses, and the independence movements in Latin
America and India, with special emphasis on answering the question “why did India’s
independence movement end with creating a stable democracy, while Latin American
independence movements were a prelude to wars and dictatorships?”
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Tigers and a Dragon: East Asia Studies (semester course that satisfies the sophomore world
history requirement) (course number 238)
In this course, students learn about the origins of civilization in the Neolithic period, and trace
the development of the world’s oldest civilization, that of China. Students will study the
common elements of early civilizations and the unique aspects of China’s early civilization. They
will discover why so many East Asian nations (especially Japan, Korea, and Vietnam) adopted so
many elements of Chinese culture, and yet how they maintained distinct cultural elements of their
own. Students will come to understand why China dropped from the first ranks of the economic
and technological powers for two centuries, and how it recovered. In addition, students will
examine the challenges faced by modern China and predict what China will be like twenty years
from now.
Tribalism and Nationalism (semester course that satisfies the sophomore world history
requirement) (course number 237)
In this semester-long course, students learn about the challenges tribal cultures have faced in a
world of nation-states. In particular, they compare nation-building in the Middle East with
nation-building in Africa. They examine the concepts of identity and culture and, particularly,
how those have changed since the beginnings of the independence movements in these regions.
Students also examine how communications technologies (radio, TV, the internet) have allowed
both governments and anti-government forces to shape public perceptions of their tribes and the
nation. Ultimately, students will learn what created and motivates both the current and historical
radical groups in Africa and the Middle East, such as the Mau Mau, Interhamwe, Boko Harum,
and ISIS.
SOCIAL SCIENCE ELECTIVES
All courses use the elective grade scale unless otherwise noted.
All Social Science electives are open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors unless otherwise stated,
but note that these electives do NOT satisfy the sophomore world history requirement.
American History in Film (semester elective for juniors and seniors only) (course number 222)
This course examines twentieth-century American history, focusing on American culture and
society. The primary text for this course is Hollywood’s America: U.S. History through its Films.
Students view American films, ranging from early American classics like Citizen Kane to more
contemporary options. They critically analyze how American cultural and social conflicts are
reflected, portrayed, and resolved in popular films. By watching, discussing, and writing about
these films, students examine how motion pictures create a window into and a reflection of
modern American culture and society. Finally, students learn how to read American films as
cultural texts that help us better understand history and culture.
Economics (semester elective) (course number 218)
This course teaches students the basics of economic theory, the distinctions between public and
private sector economic decision-making, markets, labor theory, factors affecting national and
local economics, and personal finances. Students evaluate the impact of real world events on the
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supply and demand of various commodities and perform cost/benefit analyses of both personal
financial decisions and national monetary and fiscal policies.
International Flashpoints (semester elective) (course number 217)
International Flashpoints is a fast-paced and fascinating tour of various important conflicts
around the world. Although this course does by its nature focus on important events in the news,
students can also expect to cover such long-standing trouble spots as North Korea, Iraq,
Palestine, Taiwan, Kashmir, and civil wars in Africa. Depending on student interest, we may
also cover non-geographically specific issues, such as epidemics (AIDS or SARS), drug
smuggling, ecological change, terrorism, religious conflicts, and the roles of America and the UN
in the world. Students are expected to keep up with daily newspaper and magazine reading as
well as assignments covering background information for each topic. Students have the
opportunity to explore an area of individual interest through an in-depth project at the end of the
course.
Peace and Conflict Studies (semester elective) (course number 223)
This class is an inter-disciplinary inquiry into war as human condition and peace as human
potential. This course enables students to explore conflict and resolution from a number of
academic perspectives, honing and exercising a range of critical thinking skills and their
knowledge of the social sciences. Students study the causes and realities of current and historic
national and social conflicts, and they explore the ways these conflicts were brought to an end or
have otherwise been avoided. Looking at the careers and teachings of 20th century peacemakers
such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, and Jimmy Carter, students seek
common themes and methodologies in the establishment of peace that can be generalized to other
forms of current conflict both in the world and even around their own lives. By the end of the
semester, students will put their knowledge into action by applying the concepts they’ve
encountered to a current real-world situation, either interning at a local organization focused on a
current conflict, or even forming an “interest group” on their own to bring awareness and
potential solutions to the table.
Revolutionaries (semester elective) (course number 224)
This course focuses on the people and ideas throughout modern history that have stirred the
hearts of millions and caused radical change (both productive and destructive) in societies around
the world. The idea of Revolution sparks the interest of all students interested in politics, society,
and ideas. This course challenges students to look beyond the heroes enshrined in the marble
statues of the western “developed” world and to focus instead on revolutionaries of the “third
world” or developing nations who exist in the shadows of the west, who nonetheless left their
impact on ideas and the way of life all over the world. This course forays into several regions of
the non-Western World and determines how these individuals came to power and how the impact
of their ideas either benefited or deterred the growth of their regional influence.
The Turbulent 1960’s (semester elective for juniors and seniors only) (course number 231)
This course focuses on major events, leaders, and trends of a period referred to as “the long
sixties.” Starting with the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954 and ending with the
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conclusion of American military involvement in Vietnam in 1975, students explore a time period
of American history in which the country saw its greatest divide and most contentious conflicts
since the Civil War. While there is a focus on major historical events, students can also expect to
discuss topics in popular culture to help gain a stronger and more in-depth understanding of the
1960’s. Students are evaluated through written assessments and projects. An emphasis is also
placed on the importance of young people to the various movements of the 1960’s, and the
course explores successful and important strategies towards political activism.
WELLNESS
Freshman Wellness (weekly throughout the year) (pass/fail) (course number 705)
Freshman Wellness is an integrated curriculum designed to foster and promote healthy decisionmaking and action, to develop and nurture resilience, and to enhance personal and social
responsibility.
Senior Transition Seminar (weekly throughout the year) (not graded) (course number 732)
Weekly seminars with a variety of adults allow seniors to focus on timely and pertinent aspects
of the college application process and the transition to college. Topics in the fall semester
include narrowing the college list, staying organized, writing essays, and preparing a resume. In
the spring, the seminars address the transition to college: time management, changing
relationships, health, college safety, and financial responsibility.
WORLD LANGUAGES AND CULTURES
FRENCH
French I (full year) (course number 407)
French I begins the process of learning French as a second language in the Upper School. It is
designed to give students the vocabulary and grammar of French and begin their adventure into
the richness of the Francophone world. Using the Bon Voyage 1 textbook, French I students learn
how to converse in basic terms about needs, discuss events and services, and conduct both formal
and informal conversations. During the third quarter, students take the National French
Examination.
French II (full year) (course number 408)
Using the Bon Voyage 2 textbook, students communicate in real-life situations using necessary
vocabulary and structures. In various situations, such as the train station, the bank, the airport
and the hotel, students are faced with cultural realities in the French-speaking world. The
cinematic aspect of the course focuses on the award-winning movie “Sugar Cane Alley” set in
Martinique. Students have regular access to computers and complete regular technology-based
tasks. During the third quarter, students take the National French Examination.
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French III (full year) (course number 409)
Using the Imaginez textbook, short films and website, students continue to build their linguistic
and cultural foundations. Communicative competency is developed through thematically linked
structures. Subjects studied include: living in the community, town life, the media, the value of
ideas, changes in society, generation differences, science and technology, leisure time, work
perspectives and natural resources. The classic French movie “Small Change” serves as the
cinematic key element in this course. During the third quarter, students take the National French
Examination.
French IV (full year) (course number 410)
French IV continues to advance student proficiency in all language skills. The fourth year is the
year in which students take part in a two week exchange with a lycée in France. Using the
Histoire du temps textbook, connections are made with other disciplines. Students develop their
manipulation of language and hone their higher level thinking skills through the judicious mix of
cultural, literary and historical texts. During all units, grammar is reviewed and introduced. The
recent award-winning movie “The Chorus” enables students to consider comparison of cultures
and school through the eyes of the students in the film. During the third quarter, students take
the National French Examination.
Advanced Placement French Language (with permission) (full year) (course number 411)
In this class students prepare to take the AP French Language exam at the end of the year.
Students develop a thorough understanding of French and its complexity. Varied class activities
based on authentic material allow students to improve on their knowledge for the challenge of the
written and oral examinations. During the third quarter, students take the National French
Examination.
SPANISH
Spanish I (full year) (course number 401)
Spanish I lays the groundwork for successful second language acquisition. Classroom activities
and text exercises are designed to span all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and
writing. Students in this course begin communicating in Spanish. The student learns basic and
intermediate vocabulary terms at this level, as well as verb conjugations in the present and past
tenses. The students write short essays with the vocabulary acquired, search the Internet for
information using sites in Spanish, watch videos, and create original projects that reflect their
knowledge of the Spanish language and culture. During the third quarter, students take the
National Spanish Examination.
Spanish II (full year) (course number 402)
This course emphasizes practical communication and encourages students to express their own
ideas. The grammar and vocabulary in this course are taught within the thematic context in each
chapter of the textbook (i.e. different real-life situations). In addition, the students write and
illustrate their own children’s story, watch videos, perform skits, and write short essays using the
vocabulary learned in each chapter of the textbook. Another aspect taught is the study of
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Hispanic culture through reading assignments, research, and videos. During the third quarter,
students take the National Spanish Examination.
Spanish II Honors (with permission) (full year) (course number 403)
This course emphasizes vocabulary and the more complex grammar structures that allow
students to perform some daily practical tasks. These include: making phone calls, leaving a
message on an answering machine, planning a trip, ordering food in a restaurant setting, asking
for driving directions, and shopping for food and apparel. Class activities include searching the
Internet for information using websites in Spanish, doing oral presentations, and performing
skits. During the third quarter, students take the National Spanish Examination.
Spanish III (full year) (course number 404)
Students complete and review the study of basic grammar from Spanish II and then quickly move
on to new grammar material. This includes: the imperfect and preterite tenses, new forms of the
subjunctive, the future and conditional tenses, expressions with “hacer,” etc. The development of
sophisticated conversation is enhanced by continued practice with more advanced grammar,
composition, and vocabulary. Students are expected to give oral presentations, in Spanish,
throughout the course of the year on selected cultural topics. During the third quarter, students
take the National Spanish Examination.
Spanish III Honors (with permission) (full year) (course number 422)
Spanish III Honors covers much of the same material as Spanish III, but in greater depth and at
an accelerated pace to meet increased standards of achievement and understanding. Honors
students also read a variety of works on Hispanic and Spanish culture, history, and art, and
investigate four different literary genres of Spanish literature: narrative, poetry, drama, and the
essay. Students analyze each of these genres by reading excerpts by authors such as Emilia Pardo
Bazán, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Pablo Neruda, Miguel de Cervantes and many others. The text
discusses “el panorama histórico y categorías fundamentales” before each section and touches
upon the significance of art and aesthetics in literature. During the third quarter, students take the
National Spanish Examination.
Spanish IV (full year) (course number 405)
This course is designed for fourth year Upper School Spanish students who wish to continue with
the language at an advanced level but who do not wish to pursue Spanish at the AP level in the
future. It is a course that requires some accelerated review of grammar and vocabulary from
Spanish III, and it introduces students to more complicated structures and usages of the target
language, such as the “pluscuamperfecto” and moods of the “subjuntivo,” that are set in various
thematic contexts. Students are exposed to longer, more challenging reading assignments,
magazine articles, Internet research, videos on different aspects of Spanish history, culture and
language, short stories, and current events. They also read short literary selections from various
periods so that they may be exposed to different styles and genres of classical and modern
Spanish literature from several great writers. It is through an examination of Spanish literature
that the students further appreciate the richness, variety, and complexity of the Spanish people,
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their history, and their intellect. The language of the classroom is Spanish. During the third
quarter, students take the National Spanish Examination.
Spanish IV Honors (with permission) (full year) (course number 449)
Spanish IV Honors covers much of the same material as Spanish IV, but in greater depth and at
an accelerated pace to prepare students who intend to take AP Spanish Language the following
year. This Pre-AP Spanish Language and Culture course will be divided into units based on the
six themes in the Curriculum Framework. Each theme is driven by a select few essential
questions. To achieve this, students will explore all authentic sources including audio, print, and
audiovisual material (news articles and videos, radio interviews, blog posts, infographics,
Facebook groups, and more) in order to produce AP-format deliverables that include oral
comparisons, persuasive essays, and interpersonal communication. The course sources are
supplemented by excerpts from authentic literature, traditional print resources, and selected
content when appropriate. The language of the classroom is Spanish. During the third quarter,
students take the National Spanish Examination. This class is a prerequisite for AP Spanish
Language.
Advanced Placement Spanish Language (with permission) (full year) (offered to students who
have taken Honors Spanish IV) (course number 406)
AP Spanish Language is intended for students who wish to develop proficiency and integrate
their language skills using authentic materials and sources. This course focuses on speaking and
writing in Spanish at an advanced level in preparation for the AP exam in May. The course
content reflects a wide variety of academic and cultural topics, including arts, history, current
events, literature, culture, and sports. The materials used include the use of authentic sources in
the form of radio and TV recordings, films, newspapers, literary texts, and magazines. The
language of the classroom is Spanish. During the third quarter, students take the National
Spanish Examination.
Advanced Placement Spanish Literature (with permission) (full year) (offered to students who
have taken AP Spanish Language) (course number 423)
AP Spanish Literature is designed for students who have already taken the Spanish AP Language
examination and want to explore the language in its literary form at an advanced level. It is a
course that requires an accelerated review of grammar and vocabulary from earlier courses in
Spanish, and it introduces students to more complicated structures and usages from the target
language that are set in various thematic contexts. Students are exposed to longer, more
challenging reading assignments, magazine articles, Internet research, videos on different aspects
of Spanish history, culture and language, short stories, and current events. The students also read
short literary selections by many great writers from various periods so that they may be exposed
to different styles and genres, ranging from medieval epic poetry to the Golden Age to the
magical realism of modern Spanish literature. The students’ literary experience includes an indepth analysis of the AP College Board Reading List and culminates in the AP Spanish
Literature exam in May. It is through this extensive examination of Spanish literature that the
students further appreciate the richness, variety, and complexity of the Spanish people, their
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history, and their intellect. The language of the classroom is Spanish. During the third quarter,
students take the National Spanish Examination.
WORLD LANGUAGES AND CULTURES ELECTIVES
All courses use the elective grade scale unless otherwise noted.
Advanced French Literature (with permission) (semester elective) (course number 437)
This Advanced Literaure course aims to have students become proficient in the fundamental
language skills that enable students to read and understand prose and verse of moderate difficulty
and mature content, as well as to formulate and express critical opinions in correct oral and
written French. In addition, students will develop the ability to read and analyze critically and to
discuss perceptively representative works of French Literature. All class activities and
assignments are conducted exclusively in the French language. They include detailed reading and
discussion of texts, paying close attention to character and theme, structure and style and to how
these elements contribute to overall interpretation. Students will learn techniques of critical
analysis; they will develop a vocabulary of literary terms and expressions to express their
understanding of poetry, plays and novels. Regular class and home work will include the
following: reading of assigned texts; preparing character outlines and analysis of themes,
structure and style to prepare for class discussion, answering of questions, and essay writing and
oral presentations on a subject related to the literature studied. Final Assessment will be
conducted through a project written in French.
Linguistics (semester elective) (course number 451)
This course is designed to help students understand how languages work. Students learn how to
break down words, sentences, sounds, and meaning, in English as well as in other languages. To
achieve this, students explore and work with all the subfields of linguistics: grammar, syntax,
morphology, phonetics, phonology, semantics, pragmatics, sociolinguistics, and second language
acquisition. By the end of this course, students should feel empowered in their thorough
understanding of their native language, as well as more confident in their learning of a second
language.
Spanish Conversation and Culture (semester elective) (offered to students who have taken
Spanish IV) (course number 450)
This class is designed for students who have completed Spanish IV but who do not wish to study
Spanish at the AP level. Students in this class will enjoy talking in Spanish while exploring
Spanish culture, including readings and films. Lessons revolve around a theme, and the
corresponding content and activities allow students to put what they learn into practice in the
context of that general theme. Students are guided to preview sections that precede every
authentic film or reading. Post-viewing and post-reading activities and discussions help students
to uncover broader themes. In summary, a communicative approach with progressive
activities—from guided to open-ended, and individual, pair, and group—will encourage the
student-generated, personalized communication that will permeate this course.
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World Culture Awareness in the Francophone World (semester elective) (course number
430)
The World Culture Awareness course provides students with the tools to develop a global
understanding of other cultures as preparation for the challenges of College and later life.
Students’ investigations will be based around a single essential question: ‘What is my place in
the world?’ The course covers cultural diversity, linguistic diversity, families, and political
systems. Through the use of articles, editorials and movies from the French-speaking worlds,
students develop skills to help them consider, reflect, discuss, understand, examine, compare and
build arguments. At the end of each unit, students complete a reflective project which requires
them to read newspaper articles and documents, watch documentaries and movies, and meet
individuals from other cultures. The curriculum incorporates elements from history, current
events, literature, music and art, thus enabling students to gain a greater insight into world issues.
This course does not apply to the three-year Foreign Language requirement for graduation, but it
is strongly recommended for students who qualify for a language waiver or for those students
who only study Spanish.
World Culture Awareness in the Spanish-speaking World (semester elective) (course number
431)
This course is similar to World Culture Awareness in the Francophone World, except that
students in this class explore the cultures of Spanish-speaking worlds.
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