Curriculum

Experience and research has informed our emphasis on:

  • Small class size (average six to eight students per class)
  • Project-based learning
  • Specific skill development
  • Collaborative teaching teams
  • Integrated technology
  • Field experiences
  • College advising
Our curriculum offers a unique combination of engaging projects, conceptual rigor, and integrated skills instruction. Our dedication to project-based learning ensures that the curriculum remains fresh, interesting and meaningful for our students. As students progress towards graduation, they come to understand their own learning styles and become effective self-advocates. Ultimately, our goal is to inspire them to develop their unique strengths and talents,and in the process, create community members who are dedicated to a lifetime of learning.

As a part of each project and class, we teach the core skills, which are as follows: organization, reading comprehension, note taking, test taking, research, writing, decoding/fluency/spelling, mathematics, technology, self-knowledge, and presentation.

Students typically take six classes per year, in addition to an advisory class that gives them extra time to complete work with the support of their teachers. A typical course load for a ninth grade student might include: Literature I, Wellness and Fitness, World History, Art I, Algebra I, and Advisory. In each class, students benefit from teachers who tailor instruction to the needs of the students. Students also complete four major projects each school year, and these projects appear on their transcripts. Seniors must also complete a senior project that spans the course of a school year as a graduation requirement.

Our course requirements meet or exceed state graduation requirements, and our credits align with other area schools. As our students accumulate credits toward a high school diploma, they come to think of themselves as successful learners with the potential to succeed in college.

Course Descriptions

College Planning

In Senior Advisory, seniors will develop a greater sense of how to organize, manage, find resources, communicate, advocate, and create and maintain positive habits to be successful as an independent adult in college or the workplace. A large emphasis of Senior Advisory is aiding students in finding the most appropriate post-high school path and supporting them, and their family, through the entire process. Additionally, seniors will create and present a capstone project that directly relates to their interests, skills they wish to learn, areas they wish to explore, or future plans.


English

In Literature, students enhance their ability to think critically by analyzing ideas found within short stories, poems, articles, and/or novels. Students express their ideas during class discussion, writing assignments, or through projects. An emphasis is placed on comprehension, abstract thinking, problem solving, organization of ideas, the mechanics of writing, and the writing process. Each year, students will be exposed to a variety of texts and are required to complete at least one of the following writing assignments: creative writing, APA research paper, ACT college essay.

Fitness & Wellness

In Fitness and Wellness, students will gain the importance of exercise. Consistent exercise not only improves the physical body, but it also improves in one’s ability to learn, interact, and be successful. The Fitness and Wellness program includes cardiovascular, flexibility, strength, and endurance training delivered in workouts or group games. Students will also set individual goals and understand the importance of leading an active and healthy life.

Foreign Language

In each Spanish course offered, students learn the importance of acquiring a second language and the importance of understanding and appreciating different cultures. At each level of Spanish, an emphasis is placed on being able to convey a message, be understood, and comprehend the response. Students will develop vocabulary and learn to express information with correct grammar, syntax, agreement, conjugation as well as be able to understand and translate what is presented to them.


Humanities

The focus of World History is on the development of people, places, and patterns of life from Ancient Times through the Cold War. Students will explore how geography, society, culture, and government all lead to advances, revolutions, or wars which impacted their lives, the lives of others, and future societies; including today. The course highlights the nature of changes in global frameworks and their causes and consequences, as well as allowing students to reflect on their personal beliefs and feelings of what it means to be a human being.

In US History, students will gain a better understanding of the development of American ideas and institutions from the Age of Exploration to the present. Students will learn fundamental concepts in civics, economics, and geography. They will obtain knowledge of American culture through exploring major issues, movements, people, and events that have shaped the country we live.

Economics and Government students will examine constitutional principles, powers and procedures of the national, state, tribal, and local governments, the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, policy-making process, political parties, the electoral process, foreign policies, and micro and macroeconomics. This course will focus on the various institutions, beliefs, and ideas found in the United States while allowing students to reflect on their own positions. A heavy emphasis of this course is to expose students the necessary skills needed to successfully participate and contribute in our society as an informed citizen and worker.


Math

Algebra 1B strengthens and builds upon students’ prior understanding of mathematics with a focus on expanding their understanding of algebra through the study of linear and nonlinear functions, real numbers and their properties, quadratic and exponential functions, and equations and expressions.

In Geometry, students will explore geometric situations and deepen their explanations of geometric relationships. Major topics to be covered include congruence of triangles based on rigid motions, similarity of triangles based on dilations and proportional reasoning, applications of circumference, area and volume formulas, applications of Pythagorean Theorem to the coordinate plane, basic geometric theorems, and probability.

Algebra 2 students will use a variety of functions, such as polynomial, radical, logarithmic, rational, and trigonometric. They will represent these functions in multiple ways. Students will also study complex numbers and inferential statistics.

PreCalculus students will use and expand their knowledge and understanding of topics learned in Algebra 2, such as real and complex numbers, functions, equations and expressions, modeling polynomial and rational functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, and analytic geometry. In addition, students will study trigonometric functions, vector theory, matrices, and sequences & series.

Science

In Chemistry, students will gain an understanding of atomic structure, chemical reactions, states of matter, chemical bonds, stoichiometry, gas laws, energy, acids, bases, and solutions. The principles, theories, and laws of chemistry are introduced through laboratory experiments and demonstrations where students will learn about laboratory safety, techniques, write lab reports, and analyze data.

Anatomy and Physiology students will gain an understanding of the relationship between the structure and function of the human body. Topics covered will include basic organization of the body, biochemical composition, and major body systems along with the impact of diseases on certain systems. Through discussions of current events in the medical field and laboratory experiments (including dissections), students will develop their analytical thinking skills and considering ethical consequences related to science.

In Conceptual Physics, students will study many of the laws that govern our everyday experiences such as motion, forces, conservation of energy, conservation of momentum, electrostatics, circuits, electromagnetism, and waves. In addition, they will explore and experiment with the six simple machines: lever, wheel and axle, pulley, inclined plane, wedge, and screw.

The Health course is a study of the physical, mental, emotional and social aspects of health. With a lense as health being “whole,” this course covers many aspects related to preventing negative health situations and ways to promote or foster positive health habits. A large range of topics might be covered, including: human development, nutrition, exercise, stress management, physiological responses, drugs and alcohol, hygiene, self-image, media’s impact, healthy relationships, decision making skills, sexually transmitted infections, laws, and CPR/First Aid. Often, guest speakers and experts will be used as an outside source to build on previously learned content.


Studio Art

In Studio Art, students are introduced to the elements of art and the principles of design. A variety of techniques related to multiple mediums will be explored. Students, depending on the year, will be exposed to graphite pencils, markers, colored pencils, oil pastels, tempera paint, watercolor paint, collage, paper mache, scratch board, etching, ceramics, etc. Alongside practicing these techniques, students will gain insights on art history and learn to combine, evaluate, and apply new knowledge and life experiences to create original work that demonstrates targeted skills, information, or insights.

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