Course Offerings

John Adams High School is anticipating the ability to offer the following courses at a variety of instructional levels based on our students’ needs and demand. As part of the mission and vision of John Adams High School, as many courses as possible will be offered at the AP level. Some courses may not be available until the school is at full capacity and acquires the necessary AP accreditation.

Please click on the link below to view a Draft Course Catalog.   This list is subject to change at any time. Click on each heading to view a sampling of anticipated courses. If you have questions about course offerings, please email info@johnadamshs.org.

JAHS Draft Course Catalog

College Board Certified Advanced Placement (AP) Courses

As part of the mission and vision of John Adams High School, students at John Adams high School are expected to complete at least three AP courses prior to graduation. To facilitate successful attainment of this goal, John Adams High School looks forward to offering as many AP certified courses as possible based on an annual assessment of the needs of the student body. Below you will find a comprehensive list of all College Board certified AP courses for Fall 2015.  For the most updated information about AP courses and the College Board please visit: https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/apcourse

AP Capstone:

  • AP Research (1 credit hour) - AP Research allows students to deeply explore an academic topic, problem, or issue of individual interest. Through this exploration, students design, plan, and conduct a year-long research based investigation to address a research question. In the AP Research course, students further their skills acquired in the AP Seminar course by understanding research methodology; employing ethical research practices; and accessing, analyzing, and synthesizing information as they address a research question. Students explore their skill development, document their processes, and curate the artifacts of the development of their scholarly work in a portfolio. The course culminates in an academic paper of approximately 4000–5000 words (accompanied by a performance or exhibition of product where applicable) and a presentation with an oral defense.
  • AP Seminar (1 credit hour) - AP Seminar is a foundational course that engages students in cross-curricular conversations that explore the complexities of academic and real-world topics and issues by analyzing divergent perspectives. Using an inquiry framework, students practice reading and analyzing articles, research studies, and foundational literary and philosophical texts; listening to and viewing speeches, broadcasts, and personal accounts; and experiencing artistic works and performances. Students learn to synthesize information from multiple sources, develop their own perspectives in research based written essays, and design and deliver oral and visual presentations, both individually and as part of a team. Ultimately, the course aims to equip students with the power to analyze and evaluate information with accuracy and precision in order to craft and communicate evidence-based arguments.

Arts:

  • AP Art History (1 credit hour) - Students demonstrate achievement of AP Art History learning objectives by applying their art historical knowledge and skills to address course content. Using works of art studied within the course image set or works they chose to study beyond the image set, students have many opportunities to evidence their understanding of art historical concepts. A single exam question is likely to encompass multiple learning objectives and works of art from different content areas. This underscores the exam’s focus on assessing students’ in-depth critical analysis of relationships among works of art, art historical concepts, and global cultures.
  • AP Music Theory (1 credit hour) - The AP Music Theory course corresponds to two semesters of a typical introductory college music theory course that covers topics such as musicianship, theory, musical materials, and procedures. Musicianship skills including dictation and other listening skills, sight-singing, and keyboard harmony are considered an important part of the course. Through the course, students develop the ability to recognize, understand, and describe basic materials and processes of music that are heard or presented in a score. Development of aural skills is a primary objective. Performance is also part of the learning process. Students understand basic concepts and terminology by listening to and performing a wide variety of music. Notational skills, speed, and fluency with basic materials are emphasized.
  • AP Art 2-D Design (1 credit hour) - AP Studio Art students work with diverse media, styles, subjects, and content. Each of the three portfolios consists of three sections:
    • The Breadth section illustrates a range of ideas and approaches to art making.
    • The Concentration section shows sustained, deep, and multiperspective investigation of a student-selected topic.
    • The Quality section represents the student’s most successful works with respect to form and content.

Works in this section may be selected from the other two sections. Students’ work is informed and guided by observation, research, experimentation, discussion, critical analysis, and reflection, relating individual practices to the art world. Students are asked to document their

artistic ideas and practices to demonstrate conceptual and technical development over time. The AP Studio Art Program supports students in becoming inventive artistic scholars who contribute to visual culture through art making.

  • AP Art 3-D Design (1 credit hour) - AP Studio Art students work with diverse media, styles, subjects, and content. Each of the three portfolios consists of three sections:
    • The Breadth section illustrates a range of ideas and approaches to art making.
    • The Concentration section shows sustained, deep, and multiperspective investigation of a student-selected topic.
    • The Quality section represents the student’s most successful works with respect to form and content.

Works in this section may be selected from the other two sections. Students’ work is informed and guided by observation, research, experimentation, discussion, critical analysis, and reflection, relating individual practices to the art world. Students are asked to document their artistic ideas and practices to demonstrate conceptual and technical development over time. The AP Studio Art Program supports students in becoming inventive artistic scholars who contribute to visual culture through art making.

  • AP Studio Art: Drawing (1 credit hour) - AP Studio Art students work with diverse media, styles, subjects, and content. Each of the three portfolios consists of three sections:
    • The Breadth section illustrates a range of ideas and approaches to art making.
    • The Concentration section shows sustained, deep, and multiperspective investigation of a student-selected topic.
    • The Quality section represents the student’s most successful works with respect to form and content.

Works in this section may be selected from the other two sections. Students’ work is informed and guided by observation, research, experimentation, discussion, critical analysis, and reflection, relating individual practices to the art world. Students are asked to document their artistic ideas and practices to demonstrate conceptual and technical development over time. The AP Studio Art Program supports students in becoming inventive artistic scholars who contribute to visual culture through art making.

English:

  • AP English Language and Composition (1 credit hour) - The AP English Language and Composition course aligns to an introductory college-level rhetoric and writing curriculum, which requires students to develop evidence-based analytic and argumentative essays that proceed through several stages or drafts. Students evaluate, synthesize, and cite research to support their arguments. Throughout the course, students develop a personal style by making appropriate grammatical choices. Additionally, students read and analyze the rhetorical elements and their effects in non-fiction texts, including graphic images as forms of text, from many disciplines and historical periods.
  • AP English Literature and Composition (1 credit hour) - The AP English Literature and Composition course aligns to an introductory college-level literary analysis course. The course engages students in the close reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature to deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure. As they read, students consider a work’s structure, style, and themes, as well as its use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone. Writing assignments include expository, analytical, and argumentative essays that require students to analyze and interpret literary works.

History and Social Sciences:

  • AP Comparative Government and Politics (1 credit hour) - AP Comparative Government and Politics introduces students to the rich diversity of political life outside the United States. The course uses a comparative approach to examine the political structures; policies; and the political, economic, and social challenges among six selected countries: Great Britain, Mexico, Russia, Iran, China, and Nigeria. Additionally, students examine how different governments solve similar problems by comparing the effectiveness of approaches to many global issues.
  • AP European History (1 credit hour) - AP European History focuses on developing students’ abilities to think conceptually about European History from approximately 1450 to the present and apply historical thinking skills as they learn about the Five themes of equal importance – Interaction of Europe and the World, Poverty and Prosperity, Objective Knowledge and Subjective Visions, Sates and Other Institutional Power, and Individual and Society – provide areas of historical inquiry for investigation throughout the course. These require students to reason historically about continuity and change over time and make comparisons among various historical developments in different times and places.
  • AP Human Geography (1 credit hour) - The AP Human Geography course is equivalent to an introductory college-level course in human geography. The course introduces students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface. Students employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine socioeconomic organization and its environmental consequences. They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their research and applications. The curriculum reflects the goals of the National Geography Standards (2012).
  • AP Macroeconomics (1 credit hour) - AP Macroeconomics is an introductory college-level course that focuses on the principles that apply to an economic system as a whole. The course places particular emphasis on the study of national income and price-level determination; it also develops students’ familiarity with economic performance measures, the financial sector, stabilization policies, economic growth, and international economics. Students learn to use graphs, charts, and data to analyze, describe, and explain economic concepts.
  • AP Microeconomics (1 credit hour) - AP Microeconomics is an introductory college-level course that focuses on the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individual economic decision-makers. The course also develops students’ familiarity with the operation of product and factor markets, distributions of income, market failure, and the role of government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy. Students learn to use graphs, charts, and data to analyze, describe, and explain economic concepts.
  • AP Psychology (1 credit hour) - AP Psychology course introduces students to the systematic and scientific study of human behavior and mental processes. While considering the psychologists and studies that have shaped the field, students explore and apply psychological theories, key concepts, and phenomena associated with such topics as the biological basis of behavior, sensation and perception, learning and cognition, motivation, developmental psychology, testing and individual differences, treatment of abnormal behavior and social psychology. Throughout the course, students employ psychological research methods, including ethical considerations, as they use the scientific method, analyze biased, evaluate claims and evidence, and effectively communicate ideas.
  • AP United States Government and Politics (1 credit hour) - AP United States Government and Politics introduces students to key political ideas, institutions, policies, interactions, roles, and behaviors that characterize the political culture of the United States. The course examines politically significant concepts and themes, through which students learn to apply disciplinary reasoning, assess causes and consequences of political events, and interpret data to develop evidence-based arguments.
  • AP United States History (1 credit hour) - AP United States History focuses on developing students’ abilities to think conceptually about U.S. history from approximately 1491 to the present and apply historical thinking skills as they learn about the past. Seven themes of equal importance — identity; peopling; politics and power; work, exchange, and technology; America in the world; environment and geography; and ideas, beliefs, and culture — provide areas of historical inquiry for investigation throughout the course. These require students to reason historically about continuity and change over time and make comparisons among various historical developments in different times and places.
  • AP World History (1 credit hour) - AP World History focuses on developing students’ abilities to think conceptually about world history from approximately 8000 BCE to the present and apply historical thinking skills as they learn about the past. Five themes of equal importance — focusing on the environment, cultures, state-building, economic systems, and social structures — provide areas of historical inquiry for investigation throughout the course. AP World History encompasses the history of the five major geographical regions of the globe: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania, with special focus on historical developments and processes that cross multiple regions.

Math and Computer Science:

  • AP Calculus AB (1 credit hour) - AP Calculus AB is roughly equivalent to a first semester college calculus course devoted to topics in differential and integral calculus. The AP course covers topics in these areas, including concepts and skills of limits, derivatives, definite integrals, and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. The course teaches students to approach calculus concepts and problems when they are represented graphically, numerically, analytically, and verbally, and to make connections amongst these representations. Students learn how to use technology to help solve problems, experiment, interpret results, and support conclusions.
  • AP Calculus BC (1 credit hour) - AP Calculus BC is roughly equivalent to both first and second semester college calculus courses and extends the content learned in AB to different types of equations and introduces the topic of sequences and series. The AP course covers topics in differential and integral calculus, including concepts and skills of limits, derivatives, definite integrals, the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, and series. The course teaches students to approach calculus concepts and problems when they are represented graphically, numerically, analytically, and verbally, and to make connections amongst these representations. Students learn how to use technology to help solve problems, experiment, interpret results, and support conclusions.
  • AP Computer Science A (1 credit hour) - AP Computer Science A is equivalent to a first-semester, college level course in computer science. The course introduces students to computer science with fundamental topics that include problem solving, design strategies and methodologies, organization of data (data structures), approaches to processing data (algorithms), analysis of potential solutions, and the ethical and social implications of computing. The course emphasizes both object-oriented and imperative problem solving and design using Java language. These techniques represent proven approaches for developing solutions that can scale up from small, simple problems to large, complex problems. The AP Computer Science A course curriculum is compatible with many CS1 courses in colleges and universities.
  • AP Statistics (1 credit hour) - The AP Statistics course is equivalent to a one-semester, introductory, non-calculus-based college course in statistics. The course introduces students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. There are four themes in the AP Statistics course: exploring data, sampling and experimentation, anticipating patterns, and statistical inference. Students use technology, investigations, problem solving, and writing as they build conceptual understanding.

Sciences:

  • AP Biology (1 credit hour) - AP Biology is an introductory college-level biology course. Students cultivate their understanding of biology through inquiry-based investigations as they explore the following topics: evolution, cellular processes — energy and communication, genetics, information transfer, ecology, and interactions
  • AP Chemistry (1 credit hour) - The AP Chemistry course provides students with a college-level foundation to support future advanced course work in chemistry. Students cultivate their understanding of chemistry through inquiry-based investigations, as they explore topics such as: atomic structure, intermolecular forces and bonding, chemical reactions, kinetics, thermodynamics, and equilibrium.
  • AP Environmental Science (1 credit hour) - The AP Environmental Science course is designed to be the equivalent of a one-semester, introductory college course in environmental science, through which students engage with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world. The course requires that students identify and analyze natural and human-made environmental problems, evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. Environmental Science is interdisciplinary, embracing topics from geology, biology, environmental studies, environmental science, chemistry, and geography.
  • AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism (1 credit hour) - AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism is a one-semester, calculus-based, college-level physics course, especially appropriate for students planning to specialize or major in physical science or engineering. The course explores topics such as electrostatics; conductors, capacitors, and dielectrics; electric circuits; magnetic fields; and electromagnetism. Introductory differential and integral calculus is used throughout the course.
  • AP Physics 1: Algebra Based (1 credit hour) - AP Physics 1 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. Students cultivate their understanding of Physics through inquiry-based investigations as they explore topics such as Newtonian mechanics (including rotational motion); work, energy, and power; mechanical waves and sound; and introductory, simple circuits.
  • AP Physics 2: Algebra Based (1 credit hour) - AP Physics 2 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. Students cultivate their understanding of Physics through inquiry-based investigations as they explore topics such as fluid statics and dynamics; thermodynamics with kinetic theory; PV diagrams and probability; electrostatics; electrical circuits with capacitors; magnetic fields; electromagnetism; physical and geometric optics; and quantum, atomic, and nuclear physics.

World Languages and Cultures:

  • AP Chinese Language and Culture (1 credit hour) - The AP Chinese Language and Culture course in Mandarin Chinese emphasizes communication (understanding and being understood by others) by applying interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational skills in real-life situations. This includes vocabulary usage, language control, communication strategies, and cultural awareness. The AP Chinese Language and Culture course strives not to overemphasize grammatical accuracy at the expense of communication. To best facilitate the study of language and culture, the course is taught almost exclusively in Chinese. The AP Chinese Language and Culture course engages students in an exploration of culture in both contemporary and historical contexts. The course develops students’ awareness and appreciation of cultural products, (e.g., tools, books, music, laws, conventions, institutions); practices (patterns of social interactions within a culture); and perspectives (values, attitudes, and assumptions).
  • AP French Language and Culture (1 credit hour) - The AP French Language and Culture course emphasizes communication (understanding and being understood by others) by applying interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational skills in real-life situations. This includes vocabulary usage, language control, communication strategies, and cultural awareness. The AP French Language and Culture course strives not to overemphasize grammatical accuracy at the expense of communication. To best facilitate the study of language and culture, the course is taught almost exclusively in French. The AP French Language and Culture course engages students in an exploration of culture in both contemporary and historical contexts. The course develops students’ awareness and appreciation of cultural products (e.g., tools, books, music, laws, conventions, institutions); practices (patterns of social interactions within a culture); and perspectives (values, attitudes, and assumptions).
  • AP German Language and Culture (1 credit hour) - The AP German Language and Culture course emphasizes communication (understanding and being understood by others) by applying interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational skills in real-life situations. This includes vocabulary usage, language control, communication strategies, and cultural awareness. The AP German Language and Culture course strives not to overemphasize grammatical accuracy at the expense of communication. To best facilitate the study of language and culture, the course is taught almost exclusively in German. The AP German Language and Culture course engages students in an exploration of culture in both contemporary and historical contexts. The course develops students’ awareness and appreciation of cultural products (e.g., tools, books, music , laws, conventions, institutions); practices (patterns of social interactions within a culture); and perspectives (values, attitudes, and assumptions).
  • AP Italian Language and Culture (1 credit hour) - The AP Italian Language and Culture course emphasizes communication (understanding and being understood by others) by applying interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational skills in real-life situations. This includes vocabulary usage, language control, communication strategies, and cultural awareness. The AP Italian Language and Culture course strives not to overemphasize grammatical accuracy at the expense of communication. To best facilitate the study of language and culture, the course is taught almost exclusively in Italian. The AP Italian Language and Culture course engages students in an exploration of culture in both contemporary and historical contexts. The course develops students’ awareness and appreciation of cultural products (e.g., tools, books, music, laws, conventions, institutions); practices (patterns of social interactions within a culture); and perspectives (values, attitudes, and assumptions).
  • AP Japanese Language and Culture (1 credit hour) - The AP Japanese Language and Culture course emphasizes communication (understanding and being understood by others) by applying interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational skills in real-life situations. This includes vocabulary usage, language control, communication strategies, and cultural awareness. The AP Japanese Language and Culture course strives not to emphasize grammatical accuracy at the expense of communication. To best facilitate the study of language and culture, the course is taught almost exclusively in Japanese. The AP Japanese Language and Culture course engages students in an exploration of culture in both contemporary and historical contexts. The course develops students’ awareness and appreciation of social, political, and educational issues (e.g., the role of religion in society, traditional versus modern gender roles), as well as more traditional topics (e.g., arts, customs, festivals, geography, and history).Throughout the course, students develop interpersonal skills that enable them to request and confirm the receipt of information, ask for and provide directions, and issue and respond to invitations. They also develop more cognitively challenging functional language skills, including the ability to compare phenomena, express opinions and preferences, and discuss life experiences. Additionally, students develop a command of a significant number of the most prevalent kanji characters used in Japanese writing.
  • AP Latin (1 credit hour) - The AP Latin course focuses on the in-depth study of selections from two of the greatest works in Latin literature: Vergil’s Aeneid and Caesar’s Gallic War. The course requires students to prepare and translate the readings and place these texts in a meaningful context, which helps develop critical, historical, and literary sensitivities. Throughout the course, students consider themes in the context of ancient literature and bring these works to life through classroom discussions, debates, and presentations. Additional English readings from both of these works help place the Latin readings in a significant context.
  • AP Spanish Language and Culture (1 credit hour) - The AP Spanish Language and Culture course emphasizes communication (understanding and being understood by others) by applying interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational skills in real-life situations. This includes vocabulary usage, language control, communication strategies, and cultural awareness. The AP Spanish Language and Culture course strives not to overemphasize grammatical accuracy at the expense of communication. To best facilitate the study of language and culture, the course is taught almost exclusively in Spanish. The AP Spanish Language and Culture course engages students in an exploration of culture in both contemporary and historical contexts. The course develops students’ awareness and appreciation of cultural products (e.g., tools, books, music , laws, conventions, institutions); practices (patterns of social interactions within a culture); and perspectives (values, attitudes, and assumptions).
  • AP Spanish Literature and Culture (1 credit hour) - The AP Spanish Literature and Culture course uses a thematic approach to introduce students to representative texts (short stories, novels, poetry, and essays) from Peninsular Spanish, Latin American, and United States Hispanic literature. Students develop proficiencies across the full range of communication modes (interpersonal, presentational, and interpretive), thereby honing their critical reading and analytical writing skills. Literature is examined within the context of its time and place, as students reflect on the many voices and cultures present in the required readings. The course also includes a strong focus on cultural connections and comparisons, including exploration of various media (e.g., art, film, articles, literary criticism).
Mathematics
  • Pre-Algebra (1 credit hour) – This is a year-long course that meets every day for students who are in need of additional support in Algebra I. The goal of this class is to split the attention of the students between Pre-Algebra skills and the Algebra I curriculum. Because the class meets daily, the instructor will be able to format the delivery of the course to boost math skills of the students. When these students successfully complete this class, they will be able to make the transition into Geometry the next year. They will cover the same topics as the regular Algebra I class but at a slower pace.
  • Algebra I (1 credit hour) – In this course, students will cover operations with integers, expressions, order of operations, exponents, scientific notation, properties and axioms, solving of one-step and multi-step equations, quadratic equations and the quadratic formula, polynomials, graphing, and probability.  After this course, students will be ready to continue their work in Algebra 2 but will not have enough background to take Pre-Calculus without additional independent work.
  • Geometry (1 credit hour) – Students will study Euclidean geometry with a more detailed emphasis on inductive and deductive reasoning and will be asked to demonstrate their knowledge of the material primarily by way of proof. Topics include properties of points, lines, rays, planes, polygons, circles, spheres, congruence, parallelism, perpendicularity, similarity, transformations, basic trigonometry, calculation of area/perimeter/volume, and the Pythagorean theorem along with other theorem work.
  • Algebra II (1 credit hour) – This fast-paced course is intended for math students who need little to no Algebra I review of basic concepts like graphing of lines, substitution/elimination, solving equations, exponents, factoring, and the quadratic formula. In this course, students study and perform operations with all functions such as linear ones with a two and three-dimensional analysis, quadratic functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, and all trigonometric functions and their inverses. Topics include: function vocabulary, Cramer’s Rule, linear programming, introduction to vectors, solving quadratic equations and analyzing them graphically with real or imaginary solutions, exponential growth and decay, all logarithm properties, financial applications, sequences and series, probability through combinations and permutations, trigonometric ratios, formulas, the unit circle, and the law of sines and cosines.
  • Pre-Calculus (1 credit hour) – Topics will include function work with composition and inverses, extensive graphical analysis of functions’ maxima, minima, bounds, zeros, intercepts, asymptotes, end behavior, transformations, polynomial functions, matrix algebra, conic sections, the three dimensional coordinate system, vectors and their applications, circular functions, trigonometric graphs and their amplitude, period, frequency, phase shift, parametric equations, and the polar coordinate system.
  • Calculus (1 credit hour) –Calculus examines the theory of limits, differentiation, functional analysis, and integration. Students develop their knowledge of calculus through applications of differentiation and integration.
  • Statistics (1 credit hour) – This course is designed to be equivalent to an introductory, non-calculus based college course in statistics. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the major concepts and tools for data collection, data analysis, and drawing conclusions from data. Students are exposed to four broad conceptual themes: exploring data (observing patterns and departures from patterns), planning a study (deciding what and how to measure), anticipating patterns (producing models using probability and simulation), and statistical inference (confirming models).
English
  • World Literature (1 credit hour) – This survey literature course introduces students to close and critical reading and responding (orally and in well-crafted writing) to significant works (novels, short stories, essays, plays, and poetry) by a variety of authors from different times and places in history. Students will be introduced to literary analysis and will be given many opportunities to discuss literature and apply writing skills to the development and refinement of literary arguments.
  • British Literature (1 credit hour) – This survey literature course will provide students with a thorough knowledge of major British novelists, poets, and playwrights from the Anglo-Saxon era to the 20th century. Students will respond to literature in a variety of written forms and oral forms, refining analytical abilities. Close readings, literary research and oral presentations will consider not just text but also the author, social climate and historical factors.
  • American Literature and Rhetoric (1 credit hour) – The goals inherent in this course call for students to be able to analyze how an author uses rhetorical techniques and strategies to achieve a specific purpose or effect, to use similar techniques and strategies in their own writing, to understand standard written English and use it effectively in their own work, and to write clear and convincing expository and argumentative compositions.
  • American Literature (1 credit hour) – American Literature surveys a range of work produced in the United States of America from the time of the European immigration of the 1600s through the post-Civil War era. Representative literary works from diverse ethnic, racial, and social groups are studied in their historical, social, political, and economic context for what they both reflect and reveal about the evolving American experience including fiction, nonfiction, and writings from the American Revolution. This course is writing intensive.
  • Language and Composition (1 credit hour) – Because this course is intended to parallel a college composition course, it is faster paced and more rigorous than American Literature; it is designed for the student who wants an extra challenge, is willing to accept significant responsibility for the learning process, and approach college-level content maturely. Topics covered are similar to those in American Literature, with the added focus of preparing students for becoming successful college writers.
  • Literature and Composition (1 credit hour) – This course prepares students to succeed in college literature classes. The course will require challenging reading and students will write critically in response to these literary works. Students should consider the reading and writing load when planning the remainder of their course schedule.
Science
  • Biology (1 credit hour) – In this introduction to the science of biology, students will explore ecology, biochemistry, cellular structure and function, energy transfer in cells, information transfer in cells, cell division, heredity, molecular genetics, biotechnology, and evolution. Laboratory exercises will introduce and reinforce safe and correct laboratory technique, use of technology, research documentation, and reporting. Throughout each unit student’s inquiry skills will be developed and refined. Opportunities to develop a deeper understanding of the nature of science and its application within society are also an essential component of the course.
  • Chemistry (1 credit hour) – Students will explore the structure of matter; understand chemical and physical changes; write and balance chemical equations; make calculations related to chemical reactions; understand the structure and use of the periodic table; use the periodic table to compare, contrast and predict chemical interactions; describe the role of energy during chemical reactions; understand and use safe laboratory work habits; and learn to conduct, document, and report laboratory results.
  • Physics (1 credit hour) – The purpose of this course is to prepare students to be critical thinkers in society and have a foundational understanding of physical principles. Students will see the world in a whole new light as they explore the world around them using the tools of physics. Along the way, students will explore Newtonian mechanics (work, energy, power, motion, momentum, gravity, mass); temperature and heat, kinetics and thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, optics and waves, relativity, and quantum mechanics. This is a lab-based class that emphasizes understanding and use of safe laboratory work habits, and learning to conduct, document and report laboratory results.
  • Earth Science (1 credit hour) – Earth Systems Science is a freshmen/sophomore level lab-based science course that explores the interactions of the various “spheres” of Earth (atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, exosphere) as a dynamic, evolving system. This course illustrates the relevance and impact of science in society, while engaging students in the mastery of basic biology, physics, and chemistry concepts that will prepare them for higher level science courses.
  • Environmental Science (1 credit hour) – This class provides an in-depth look at the field of environmental science. Topics include ecology, population biology, meteorology, water and air pollution, global climate change, renewable and nonrenewable sources of energy, and environmental economics and policy. The course is offered to juniors and seniors who have taken both biology and chemistry and are interested in environmental science. The class will be centered around project-based units and activities.
Social Studies
  • Human Geography (1 credit hour) – Students explore the ways in which humans interact with and modify their physical environments. Students study population and demographics, human migration, culture, political geography and conflict, and environmental issues. In connection with the geography content, students will also learn and apply basic concepts of microeconomics.
  • US Government (1 credit hour) – Students will engage in a variety of projects, writing assignments, discussions, simulations, and thesis-driven research as they explore the concepts and responsibilities of government and citizenship. Beginning with the founding of the United States and the Constitution students will learn how to critically analyze and understand diverse perspectives as well as formulate through writing and oral presentation their own thoughts and conclusions about the transformation of policies from the late 18th century to the present.
  • US History (1 credit hour) – United States History is a required, year-long inquiry course generally taken during a student’s junior year. This course explores the events of America’s past and present through a diversity of perspectives and integrates concepts in geography, economics, politics, social science, current events, and international affairs. The course stresses how events of the past shape the present and how politics, economics, gender and race/ethnicity have affected, and continue to affect, North American societies. The course traces early contact among Europeans, Native Americans, and Africans, summarizes the causes/impacts of major domestic and international conflicts, uncovers the socio-political forces affecting cross-cultural relations, examines the impacts of landmark political and economic events and tackles contemporary political issues among other topics. Students are engaged in critical thinking, conduct thesis-driven research, complete various types of historical reading and writing, and present arguments and presentations before small and large groups.
  • Economics (1 credit hour) – Economics is a semester long course introducing basic economic principles and current economic issues with a focus on the American economy. Students will examine components of the American economy such as price, competition, business and banking institutions. We will also examine issues related to the economy as a whole through employment and labor issues, the role of the government in the economy and selected topics on global economics.
  • Psychology (1 credit hour) – This course is currently offered to seniors who have completed all requirements in Social Studies. This course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of behavior and the mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice. Units include history and approaches to psychology, research methods in psychology, biological bases of behavior, sensation and perception, states of consciousness, learning, cognition, motivation and emotion, developmental psychology, personality, testing and individual differences, abnormal behavior, treatment of abnormal behavior and social psychology. These units are explored in a rigorous collegiate level learning environment that focuses on student-driven critical analysis and discussion, reviews of academic journal articles, intense writing practice, independent and original research development, and daily content review via in class activities and simulations.
  • World History (1 credit hour) – World History is a rigorous, year-long inquiry course that explores in-depth the development of human civilizations from prehistory to the post-Cold War era in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Frequent essay writing and research projects will prepare the student for the three essay topics: document-based, change over time, and comparative.
Visual and Performing Arts
  • Foundations of Art (1 credit hour) – This beginning drawing, painting and design course emphasizes artistic expression and techniques for students. Students will express their ideas by using art as a form of communication. The course serves as an introduction to the two-dimensional and three-dimensional thought processes through the understanding and application of the Elements and Principles of Design. A wide range of mediums are used in this course including, but not limited to, value pencils, charcoal, ink, cut, torn paper & found objects, water color, pastels, color pencils, and clay. The course requires weekly sketchbook assignments related to a variety of aspects of each unit of study. Students will develop the confidence and ability to evaluate and discuss their own work and the work of others. As students work toward an appreciation and understanding of art, they will relate visual arts to various historical and cultural traditions. Students will learn to respect their own ideas and artistic expressions and those of others as they analyze and evaluate works of art. Other art courses may also be offered.
  • Digital Art and Photography I (1 credit hour) – Digital Art and Photography I is an exciting, fast paced course designed to expose students to a variety of digital art and photography projects. These projects will examine the following topics and much more: the history of photography, elements of art, photomontage, digital animation, self-portraiture, ephemeral art, and night photography. Students will discover tips for taking exceptional photographs while paying attention to their camera functions (shutter speeds, ISO, aperture), lighting, and compositional settings. Students will create artworks designed to meet visual art and technology standards, while learning strategies to manipulate their photographs in programs like Adobe Photoshop CS4 and Macromedia Flash. Some instruction may be given on an individual basis with the student’s particular art or career goals in mind. Moreover, students will be expected to write about and talk about their art making on a regular basis. At the end of this course students will reflect on their art making by creating a portfolio with their art.
  • Digital Art & Photography II (1 credit hour) – Digital Art and Photography II is designed to advance art skills and thought processes in preparation for college design or drawing. Students will continue to examine the principles of design and elements of art while using various digital art programs and technologies to explore design opportunities with cameras and computers. This course continues to foster an understanding of artists and art history, as well as writing and discussing art making on a regular basis. Moreover, students may visit a museum or gallery and exhibit their art in a local art show. To complete this course, students will create a final portfolio.
  • Film Study (0.5 credit hours) – Film Study is an introductory Film Studies course that is offered to all students in grades 9-12. The course focuses on teaching movies as visual narratives, but students analyze and study all of the language systems of film (e.g. photography, editing, sound, acting, story, writing, ideology, etc.). In studying these valuable tools that filmmakers use, students better understand how movies are constructed and appreciate the criteria necessary to make a film. The course is both a film history course and a genre study course, for students study important film movements as well as the conventions of a genre.
  • Studio Art and Drawing (1 credit hour) –Whereas 2D Design involves both fine and digital art approaches, this course fully focuses on developing traditional mark making fine art skills and techniques. Moreover, this course provides the opportunity for the visually inclined students to excel and receive recognition on a national level. It allows students to compare their work with other high school students throughout the nation.  Studio Art: Drawing is a two semester course that focuses on producing a large number of quality works that demonstrate mastery of fundamental artistic concepts. In their work, students will investigate three components of the Portfolio; Quality, Concentration and Breadth by creating 26- 29 fine artworks. This course is designed to address a very broad interpretation of drawing issues and media. Light and shade, line quality, rendering of form, composition, surface manipulation, and illusion of depth are drawing issues that can be addressed through a variety of means, which could include drawing, painting, and printmaking. Abstract, observational, and inventive works may demonstrate drawing competence. The range of marks used to make drawings, the arrangement of those marks, and the materials used to make the marks are endless. Projects will be structured around the elements of art and principles of design. This fast paced course requires the student to be highly motivated and interested in the serious study of art which may lead to college credit. Motivation, imagination and commitment are required to succeed in the course.
  • Studio Art/2D Design (1 credit hour) – Studio Art: 2D Design provides the opportunity for the visually inclined students to compare their work with other high school students throughout the nation, and helps them prepare an excellent portfolio for study at the college level. All students enrolling in the course are expected to submit portfolio. The purpose of Studio Art is to provide an intensive study of the process of creating two-dimensional design (2-D) artwork using both traditional fine and digital art media (materials and tools). Students must have an excellent understanding of their camera and digital art programs before entering the course. However, 2D Design allows for both.  Emphasis is placed on the quality, breadth and concentration of the student’s production and experiences in digital art, photography, drawing, and design. Projects will be structured around the elements of art and principles of design. In these projects, students will need to use their knowledge of technique and materials to communicate through their art. This encourages students to use critical thinking skills, while also developing their own voices as visual artists. Thus, students will develop mastery in concept, composition, and execution of their personal artistic vision. This fast paced course requires the student to be highly motivated and interested in the serious study of art which may lead to college credit. Motivation, imagination and commitment are required to succeed in the course.
  • Choir (1 credit hour) – This class instills a love of singing, while introducing the students to a varied repertoire of music. Students will learn about reading, notation, listening to, analyzing, and describing music, as well as about evaluating music and music performances. In addition, they will study music in relation to history and culture.
  • Orchestra (1 credit hour) – String players will learn the joy of performing in an orchestral ensemble, with an emphasis on co-operation and participation. Goals will focus on improving music reading skills, learning methods to acquire quality technique, and preparing for public performance. All students are responsible for acquisition and maintenance of their own string instrument. Weekly practice and concert participation is required. Private lessons are strongly recommended but not required.
  • Band (1 credit hour) – This course is for the advanced/ intermediate high school musician with experience on a band instrument. It is a performing organization with emphasis on standard and modern wind ensemble literature and marching band literature. The student is obligated to numerous extracurricular activities throughout the school year.
  • Music Theory (1 credit hour) – The Music Theory course is designed for students who are passionate about music, and who participate in formal music instruction, such as choir, orchestra, band, or private music lessons. The course develops the student’s ability to recognize, understand, and describe the basic materials and processes of music that are presented in a piece of music. Music Theory will foster fluency in sight-reading, listening, analyzing, discussing and describing, and composing music. Building on this foundation, the course will progress to include more creative tasks.
  • Guitar (0.5 credit hours) – Guitar is a one-semester course covering the basics of the instrument and an application of essential music fundamentals.  Students will learn the basics of playing guitar at a beginning level through studying music notation, chord symbols, and peer modeling.  A brief history of the guitar along with a study of its respective musical styles will also be covered in this course.  The main objective of this course is to create an enhanced appreciation for music through playing the guitar.  Students will learn how to read music notation, chord symbols, and tablature.  Students will also gain a better understanding of many different musical genres including classical, flamenco, blues, jazz, rock, and pop music.  Other guitar courses may also be offered.

 

Foreign Language
  • Spanish I (1 credit hour) – This class introduces students to the basic grammar and vocabulary needed to speak rudimentary Spanish/French in the present tense. Students will acquire knowledge of these components: listening, speaking, reading, writing and culture. The class is conducted primarily in the target language, with some concept explanations in English. Students will communicate with the teacher and with one another in the target language through oral exercises in the text, paired, and group communicative exercises and daily conversation. Throughout the course of the year, students will move from set phrases to more spontaneous use of the language. Topics covered include conversational phrases related to introductions and small talk, descriptions of people and things, family, professions, shopping, and eating in a restaurant. Students’ vocabularies will also be expanded to include a variety of topics such as foods, animals, clothing, sports and recreational activities, and rooms and furniture in the house. By the end of this course, students have a solid basic understanding of a native speaker and are able to participate in basic, daily-life type conversations. The course follows the National Standards for Foreign Language.
  • Spanish II (1 credit hour) – This class expands upon and improves the skills that the student has acquired in Spanish/French 10. Additionally, the class introduces new grammatical structures, tenses, and vocabulary. The class is conducted in Spanish/French and students are expected to speak the target language during the class. Students have ample opportunity to speak in the target language by means of oral exercises from the text, conversational opportunities with the teacher and other members of the class, and frequent paired and grouped activities. By the year’s end, the student will hold general conversations, speak in a comprehensible fashion, and understand what s/he hears. The student will be able to use, in speaking and writing, the present tense, and both past tenses. The students will be able to use both the regular and irregular verbs in these tenses as well as have a mastery of object pronouns, reflexive verbs, and stem-changing verbs. By the end of this course, students should be able to understand a native speaker speaking in several different situations. They should also be able to participate in a more thorough conversation, begin to express their opinions, and ask others for further information. The course follows the National Standards for Foreign Language.
  • Spanish III (1 credit hour) – The content of the previous courses is reviewed and expanded to complete the first cycle of basic grammar, vocabulary, and culture. Content coverage occurs in greater detail and with rising expectations for performance. The class is conducted in Spanish/French, and students are expected to interact in Spanish/French. Major goals for this course are oral communication and vocabulary acquisition. Students read for information rather than purely for skill development. Composition work increases in frequency and length with greater emphasis on grammatical accuracy. French/Spanish grammar content is presumed to be mostly in place, although accuracy levels will vary. Present subjunctive is presented for the first time in the second semester. Commands, present perfect, past perfect, past (preterit), imperfect, future, and conditional verb tenses are (re)introduced and frequently reviewed. Although other aspects of grammar are also reviewed, control of verb tenses is a major objective for the year. The course follows the National Standards for Foreign Language. Furthermore, level-appropriate materials (films, literature, etc.) will be used in this course.
  • Spanish IV (1 credit hour) – This is an advanced course designed to increase students’ oral proficiency and exposure to contemporary topics in language and culture. The course is designed for students who want to continue their study of the language, but are not necessarily wishing to pursue study at the AP level. Classroom activities will stress the oral production of the language through investigation and discussion of contemporary issues affecting native speakers of the language. Vocabulary acquisition is also a principle goal of this course. The course will provide a comprehensive review of grammar points and include materials of an authentic, mature, and sophisticated nature (films, literature, etc.).
  • Mandarin I (1 credit hour) – This class introduces students to the basic grammar and vocabulary needed to speak rudimentary Mandarin in the present tense. Students will acquire knowledge of these components: listening, speaking, reading, writing and culture. The class is conducted primarily in the target language, with some concept explanations in English. Students will communicate with the teacher and with one another in the target language through oral exercises in the text, paired, and group communicative exercises and daily conversation. Throughout the course of the year, students will move from set phrases to more spontaneous use of the language. Topics covered include conversational phrases related to introductions and small talk, descriptions of people and things, family, professions, shopping, and eating in a restaurant. Students’ vocabularies will also be expanded to include a variety of topics such as foods, animals, clothing, sports and recreational activities, and rooms and furniture in the house. By the end of this course, students have a solid basic understanding of a native speaker and are able to participate in basic, daily-life type conversations. The course follows the National Standards for Foreign Language.
  • Mandarin II (1 credit hour) – This class expands upon and improves the skills that the student has acquired in Mandarin 1. Additionally, the class introduces new grammatical structures, tenses, and vocabulary. The class is conducted in Mandarin and students are expected to speak the target language during the class. Students have ample opportunity to speak in the target language by means of oral exercises from the text, conversational opportunities with the teacher and other members of the class, and frequent paired and grouped activities. By the year’s end, the student will hold general conversations, speak in a comprehensible fashion, and understand what s/he hears. The student will be able to use, in speaking and writing, the present tense, and both past tenses. The students will be able to use both the regular and irregular verbs in these tenses as well as have a mastery of object pronouns, reflexive verbs, and stem-changing verbs. By the end of this course, students should be able to understand a native speaker speaking in several different situations. They should also be able to participate in a more thorough conversation, begin to express their opinions, and ask others for further information. The course follows the National Standards for Foreign Language.
  • Mandarin III (1 credit hour) – The content of the previous courses is reviewed and expanded to complete the first cycle of basic grammar, vocabulary, and culture. Content coverage occurs in greater detail and with rising expectations for performance. The class is conducted in Mandarin, and students are expected to interact in Mandarin. Major goals for this course are oral communication and vocabulary acquisition. Students read for information rather than purely for skill development. Composition work increases in frequency and length with greater emphasis on grammatical accuracy. Mandarin grammar content is presumed to be mostly in place, although accuracy levels will vary. Present subjunctive is presented for the first time in the second semester. Commands, present perfect, past perfect, past (preterit), imperfect, future, and conditional verb tenses are (re)introduced and frequently reviewed. Although other aspects of grammar are also reviewed, control of verb tenses is a major objective for the year. The course follows the National Standards for Foreign Language. Furthermore, level-appropriate materials (films, literature, etc.) will be used in this course.
  • Mandarin IV (1 credit hour) – This is an advanced course designed to increase students’ oral proficiency and exposure to contemporary topics in language and culture. The course is designed for students who want to continue their study of the language, but are not necessarily wishing to pursue study at the AP level. Classroom activities will stress the oral production of the language through investigation and discussion of contemporary issues affecting native speakers of the language. Vocabulary acquisition is also a principle goal of this course. The course will provide a comprehensive review of grammar points and include materials of an authentic, mature, and sophisticated nature (films, literature, etc.).
Technology
  • Intro to Programming (0.5 credit hours) – This course serves students with a variety of career or academic interests. PERL programming language will be used to teach basic programming.  Topics include problem analysis, development of algorithms, statements, commands, debugging, loops, control structures, expressions and operators, the top-down programming concept, subroutines, arrays and subscripts, nested structures and loops, logical operators, sorting algorithms, string data and character string manipulations, file access, graphics, sound, and color.
  • Web Design I or II (1 credit hour) – Have fun designing web pages using Dreamweaver and Photoshop. Learn the dos and don’ts of web page design by evaluating existing web pages. Let your creative side show with the designing/editing software Photoshop. Combine your Dreamweaver and Photoshop skills to create professional, up-to-date web sites that are pleasing to the eye and easy to use. Focus on expanding your web design skills and build on what you learned in the first course.   You’ll explore several advanced features of the Macromedia Web Design Suite.   Build on your existing Dreamweaver skills, and become familiar with several interactive design techniques using Flash. Individual and group projects are assigned, and frequently involve the creation of “real world” interactive web sites. Advanced Web students work with actual professionals, proposing and developing web sites for independent entrepreneurs, businesses, and various organizations within our community and beyond.
  • Visual programming I & II (1 credit hour) – This course is an introduction to computer programming with the popular Microsoft Visual Basic programming language or JAVA programming language. The major topics of the course include animation, graphics, variables, strings, if statements, loops, methods, and arrays. VB II topics include: project management, arrays, files, searching, sorting, classes, and object-oriented programming. The culminating project is the popular “game program” assignment that is entirely designed and coded by the student. Prerequisite: Algebra.
  • Computer Science (1 credit hour) – Students receive a solid grounding in the fundamentals of computer programming and software engineering through the use of the web-based programming language php. Topics include object oriented software design, algorithms, user interface design, the client/server model, security, database management, debugging techniques, and software testing. Students design, build, and test increasingly complex programs in php, addressing real-world scenarios such as content management systems. The final project for this class is the construction of a web-based computer forum or other interactive database-driven project. Programs will be constructed in a manner consistent with good software development practice and modern design techniques. Prerequisite: Web Programing I, II and Algebra I.
Physical Education
  • Athletic Weights & Conditioning (0.5 credit hours) – This course is for the student who would like to learn weightlifting techniques and how to design a weightlifting program. The course helps students build healthier bodies through safe, proper physical maintenance and diet. This class stresses the importance of maintaining a healthy fitness level now and throughout life.
  • Physical Education (0.5 credit hours) – This class consists of a variety of sports and games as well as a fitness component that focuses on being competitive and participating at a level of intensity that is greater than the non-competitive P.E. class. Some examples of sports and activities are flag football, soccer, basketball, volleyball, ultimate Frisbee, hockey, and many other activities and sports. The course incorporates an element of educating students to explore and understand the importance making exercise and/or playing sports part of living a healthy lifestyle.
  • Health & Wellness (0.5 credit hours) – High school health education provides an opportunity for students to develop skills for daily living which helps them prepare for the future. Students are provided with opportunities to explore the effect of health behaviors on an individual’s quality of life. This course assists students in understanding that health is a lifetime commitment by analyzing individual risk factors and health decisions that promote health and prevent disease.
Additional Electives
  • Yearbook (0.5 credit hours) – Students work with a computer program to produce the annual yearbook. Students will learn to create design layouts, write articles, take photographs, proof pages, and assist with the financing and production of the yearbook. Students must be willing to work outside of class to meet publication deadlines for all aspects of the yearbook. This course may be repeated for credit if the student receives a grade of B or better. In case of insufficient course enrollment to offer this course for credit, it may be offered instead as a high school club activity.
  • Journalism (0.5 credit hours) – This elective course studies the fundamentals of journalistic procedure and writing while it produces the school newspaper. Students will design layouts, write articles, take photographs, produce page proofs, and assume financial responsibility for producing the newspaper by soliciting advertisements. Students must be willing to work outside of class to meet publication deadlines. This course may be repeated for credit. In case of insufficient course enrollment to offer this course for credit, it may be offered instead as a high school club activity.
  • Creative Writing (0.5 credit hours) – This course is a writing workshop. Students will write every day, and they will explore different writing techniques and styles.  Writing skills will be developed through pre-writing, editing, re-writing, and critiquing. Students will also examine various styles of writing by reading well-known and not so well-known writers of poetry, songs, newspaper columns, short stories, novels, plays, monologues, dialogues, haiku, reviews, montages, stream-of-consciousness selections. Goals will be met through a variety of reading, writing, and speaking activities. Additionally, students must be willing to share their work; that is, they must be willing to read aloud and share their ideas with the group. Students will be asked to critique their own work and the work of others in a positive and gentle manner. Students will research critically and/or commercially successful authors to find out their secrets to success. As a community, we will learn a great deal about each other by writing across various modes of art-in-language and describing how our writing works and what it does through various methods centering on close examination of language.
  • Business (0.5 credit hours) – In this course the students learn the basic knowledge and skills necessary to understand the business world. Through simulations, projects, and films together with lectures and discussions, the students learn about basic economics and social responsibility, credit, insurance, and other areas of business.
  • Finance (0.5 credit hours) – This course offers study in career decisions, money management, credit management, along with resource management. Students will gain experience with hands on projects focused on obtaining employment and wealth management. The students will learn the basics of filling out an employment application, creating a resume, and maintaining a checking account.

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