We offer a rigorous program based on the Common Core (www.corestandards.org), Maine Learning Results ( www.maine.gov/doe/proficiency/standards/maine-learning-results.html) and Advanced Placement courses of the College Board. The DIS goal is to prepare all students academically, socially, and emotionally to enter post-secondary education in the finest universities in the world.
Students are strongly encouraged to be involved in all aspects of DIS life. A variety of athletic teams and a wide variety of after-school activities are provided for students to join. Additionally, Korean history/social studies and Korean language courses are offered for students who want to meet Korean education requirements.
Please read further for explanations of our elementary school, middle school, and high school offerings.
Core CurriculumKindergarten – 2nd grade encompass early childhood education, utilizing developmentally appropriate practices to build social and communication skills, and encourage success and independence in our youngest learners. Teachers use a variety of strategies, a balanced reading and writing program, and a math curriculum that encourages critical thinking and problem solving. Hands-on experiences are used across all content areas to meet the needs of our young learners. The latest research and best practices in western education are applied to foster intellectual and social development in students. A primary goal is to create a rewarding and positive environment for children in order to encourage their love for education.
Grades 3rd – 5th grade encompass intermediate education, better known as the intermediate grades. It is in these levels that independent thinking skills, higher level thinking and problem solving skills are built to prepare students for the rigors of middle school. Teachers use a variety of methods to keep students focused and engaged as they develop independence. Students complete projects in science and social studies, take tests of various formats and styles and become lifelong learners.
Language ArtsLanguage arts in all kindergarten to 5th grade levels is very important. DIS is committed to advancing literacy skills for all learners. The English language arts (ELA) curriculum provides students rich, rigorous programs that address literacy skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening, as well as 21st-century skills in research, technology, and media. This standards-based common core curriculum allows students to explore the world around them through integrated reading and writing programs.
MathematicsThe DIS mathematics curriculum offers a comprehensive program for students. It is centered on students' learning and their ability to reason and think mathematically. Common core curriculum standards, effective instructional strategies, and ongoing assessment of student progress are essential components of the math program. The major goal of our mathematics program is to offer a balanced curriculum including problem solving, conceptual development, and basic skills organized by the following areas- Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Number and Operations in Base Ten, Measurement and Data, and Geometry. Kindergarten math also include Counting and Cardinality. Students are expected to write and communicate effectively in all areas, including math.
Exploratory ClassesIn addition to the core curriculum, all students in kindergarten – 5th grade have additional time with exploratory subjects. Depending on the grade level, exploratory subjects vary to include: art, music, physical education and wellness, Chinese, Spanish, technology integration and library.
DIS is proud of the curriculum and learning goals which form the basis for instruction. Parents are encouraged to be involved in their child's education through frequent home-school communication. For detailed descriptions of the specific grade level expectations, please visit the Common Core Standards website at www.corestandards.org and the Maine Learning Results website at http://www.maine.gov/doe/proficiency/standards/maine-learning-results.html
Daily ScheduleElementary teachers develop individual schedules for their class; however, the elementary daily schedule is focused on the core subjects of language arts, math, science and social studies. These courses are taught daily. The day begins promptly at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 2:30 p.m. On a daily basis, students have a snack break, healthy lunch, and recess time for physical activity.
After school, students may choose from a variety of seasonal athletic teams, as well as craft, special interest, and educational opportunities. After school activities are offered from 2:45 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. every day, except Wednesday. The detailed extracurricular program offerings are available quarterly on the Student Life section of the DIS website. Korean studies and Korean language classes are available for Korean students in grades 1-12 who wish to meet Korean education requirements.
- 6th Grade Core Courses
- 7th Grade Core Courses
- 8th Grade Core Courses
- Exploratory Classes
- World Languages
General InformationAmerican middle school programming comprises core academic subjects and exploratory studies. Studies are centered on mathematics, language arts, social studies and science (core courses). In addition, students are offered courses in world languages, music, art, technology and physical education (exploratory courses).
Daily ScheduleClasses are organized in 85-minute blocks. The first block each morning includes a 15-minute homeroom period. Each student is scheduled for 8 classes spread out over two days. The first 4 classes are held on “Blue Days” and the other 4 classes are held on “Green Days”. Blue Days and Green Days alternate, so that each class meets every other day. The class times are as follows:
|Blue Day (Day 1)||Green Day (Day 2)|
|1st Period 08:00-09:35||1st Period 08:00-09:35|
|2nd Period 09:40-11:00||2nd Period 09:40-11:00|
|3rd Period 11:05-12:25||3rd Period 11:05-12:25|
|Lunch 12:25-13:05||Lunch 12:25-13:05|
|4th Period 13:10-14:30||4th Period 13:10-14:30|
Grading SystemStudents attending Daegu International School will be assessed using the following percentage system.
- Grading Scale:
- 93 - 100 = A
- 85 - 92 = B
- 75 - 84 = C
- 70 - 74 = D
- 69 - 0 = F
6th Grade Core Courses
English Language Arts 6In 6th grade language arts, students learn to analyze works of literature by examining plot development, character development, and figurative language. Students read a wide range of works, including short stories, novels, drama, nonfiction texts, and poetry. While exploring these works, students will develop their vocabulary by studying the contextual and dictionary meanings of words, as well as parts of speech and connections that they can make to each word. In addition, students will strengthen their writing skills in several areas, including compare/contrast, narrative, argumentative, and informative/explanatory. Students will have a multitude of opportunities to develop speaking and listening skills through class and group discussions, interviews with those outside of the class, and presentations made to the class as a whole. Finally, students will strengthen their understanding of English grammar, learning about sentence structure, appropriate punctuation, and other conventions of standard English.
Pre-AlgebraGrade 6 students are offered Pre-Algebra. This course includes a wide range of strategies in problem solving as well as basic and advanced computation procedures. Students will understand operations, computations, data analysis, quantitative probability, measurement, reference frames, geometry, patterns, functions, and basic algebra. Students apply mathematic skills in everyday life situations.
Earth ScienceIn Earth science, students learn to use the scientific method as they examine various topics. Scientific explorations include topics from plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, minerals, rocks inside earth, earth’s waters, atmosphere, factors and patterns of weather, and ecosystems.
World HistoryWorld history prepares students to become global citizens and contribute to our modern world by analyzing the past and connecting it to our present-day lives. Students discover how cooperation and conflicts throughout history have shaped the world we live in today. Students trace civilization back to the beginning of the human story, and explore early civilizations and ancient cultures that still influence societies of today. Students move from the medieval world all the way through modern Europe, as well as the great civilizations and kingdoms of Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
7th Grade Core Courses
Language Arts 77th grade English language arts emphasizes and integrates all areas of language arts- reading, writing, and oral communication. These processes are experienced as interrelated and interactive. Equal attention is given to literary and informational texts. A focus on text analysis and critical thinking, including comparing and contrasting texts and mediums, prepares students to be analytical about resources and ideas. This course addresses all of the common core standards for English language arts with integrated instruction in language, speaking and listening. Students develop their ability to use language for communication, for learning and reflection, and for personal and social fulfillment. Students improve their ability to use written and spoken language for a variety of purposes and audiences. Students come to understand the many facets of human experience through literature.
Algebra 1In Algebra 1, students learn to represent families of functions in various ways: as verbal descriptions, equations, tables, and graphs. They also learn to model real-world situations using functions in order to solve problems which arise from those situations. Particular emphasis is placed on linear and quadratic functions. Lessons on geometry, probability and data analysis are also part of this course, linking the course to other areas of math and helping prepare students for major assessments and standardized tests. Assessments are done in a variety of formats: multiple choice, short response, extended response, and major situation-based applications.
Life ScienceIn this course, students will explore the structure and function of cells, how cells reproduce and pass on their genetic information, and the principles of heredity. Also in the human biology and health sections, students will get to fully understand the inside of the human body. Life science provides broad knowledge of living animals and emphasizes the importance of environmental aspects such as ecosystems and biomes, living resources, and natural energy resources.
United States HistoryThis course explores the period from 1789 – 1865. This course focuses on the beginning of the new nation and goes through the Civil War. Student study the many events that surround historic landmarks, focusing on themes of economics in the politics of war and how societies change as a result of major conflicts. The history of America is studied in-depth to increase understanding and develop historical thinking skills.
8th Grade Core Courses
Language Arts 8In 8th grade language arts, students learn to analyze works of literature by examining plot development, character development, and figurative language. Students read a wide range of works, including short stories, novels, drama, nonfiction texts, and poetry. While exploring these works, students will develop their vocabulary by studying the contextual and dictionary meanings of words, as well as parts of speech and connections that they can make to each word. In addition, students will strengthen their writing skills in several areas, including compare/contrast, narrative, argumentative, and informative/explanatory. Students will have a multitude of opportunities to develop speaking and listening skills through class and group discussions, interviews with those outside of the class, and presentations made to the class as a whole. Finally, students will strengthen their understanding of English grammar, learning about sentence structure, appropriate punctuation, and other conventions of standard English.
GeometryIn Geometry, students develop reasoning and problem-solving skills through the study of congruence and similarity. They apply properties of lines, triangles, quadrilaterals, and circles. Students also use an applied knowledge of length, perimeter, area, circumference, surface area, and volume to solve real-world problems. Types of assessments may vary but include: multiple choice, short response, extended response and situation-based applications/projects. Graphing calculators are used extensively in this course.
Physical ScienceIn 8th grade, physical science is an introductory course designed to allow students to explore the basic concepts of physical science. Students will be introduced to the history and nature of science. The course includes an introduction to the fundamental concepts of physics, chemistry, astronomy and earth science. Students will be encouraged to explore the relationship between science and everyday life, explore branches of natural science and other non-living sciences, do hands-on science inquiry, conceptual thinking, problem solving, utilize lab techniques, employ critical and analytical thinking, and self-directed and cooperative learning. This course involves calculations, measurements, lab reports, and projects.
United States HistoryThe course focuses on American history from antebellum America to the 20th century. Topics include post World War II developments in the United States and the world to include the onset of technological advances, the Cold War, the Vietnam Era, and the events before and after the attacks of September 11. The course devotes extensive time to seeing the relationships between science, economics, political and religious diversity, human rights issues, and the emergence and decline of world powers. Special attention is paid to how these relationships affect not only the United States, but the entire world.
Art, grade 6 is a semester long, grades 7 and 8 are a year longMiddle school art introduces students the elements of art, the principles of art, art media and techniques, and art history. Students will engage in diverse 2D and 3D projects such as cartooning, drawing, painting, sculpture, and ceramics.
Instrumental Music, grade 6 (one semester class), grades 7 and 8 (year long classes)This course is designed to involve students in listening, performing, and creating instrumental music. The content includes all kinds of music, the fundamentals of note reading, playing instruments and making music. Students will explore the instruments of the concert band, and with the teacher’s assistance, select and learn how to play an instrument. Students will receive instrument instruction, explore music of various composers, and understand the basics of music composition.
Technology Integration, grade 6 (one semester class), grades 7 and 8 (year long classes)The technology integration class is an exploratory course in middle school. An emphasis is placed on learning to use the tools and applications that are most useful throughout the remainder of their education as well as outside of school. Students work both independently and cooperatively as they use hands-on activities to enhance their computer and application skills. Students learn basic operations of personal computers including computer terminology, windows, keyboarding, advanced word processing, multi-media presentations, analysis of data through spreadsheets and databases, video and image creation and editing, coding, and safe use of the internet for researching, communicating, and collaborating. Lessons are aligned with The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) per grade level. An emphasis is placed on developing high-level thinking skills and acquiring the knowledge needed to apply their skills in everyday situations inside and outside of the educational setting.
Physical Education and WellnessThis course is a combination of lifetime activities, sports, games, and health topics. Teamwork, fair play, and sportsmanship are emphasized at all times. Students learn skills, rules and the technical aspects of each activity. This course offers a social environment in which everyone is expected to put their best effort into every activity.
MS Chinese, grade 6 (one semester class), grades 7 and 8 (year long classes)The Chinese program is designed to develop basic listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Students study the language through various activities such as dictation, role playing, performance based projects, games and singing. Chinese phonics, and pinyin will be introduced. Students will learn to write Chinese characters. This course also provides students opportunities to understand and appreciate Chinese culture and customs.
MS Spanish, grade 6 (one semester class), grades 7 and 8 (year long classes)The Spanish program is designed to develop an understanding of the Spanish language through listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The program begins with oral language study designed to help children develop an “ear” for the sounds of Spanish. Students learn general rules of Spanish language through the use of dictation, translation, listening, oral, and verbal activities including classroom conversations, drama, role-playing, games, and singing. A secondary goal is the development of an understanding and appreciation of Hispanic culture. Students are introduced to art and literature, music and cuisine from Spanish speaking countries.
- Social Studies
- Fine Arts
- World Language
- Physical Education and Wellness
General InformationDaegu International School’s high school curriculum has a very similar academic program to that of our sister school, Lee Academy in Lee, Maine, U.S.A. Students who successfully complete graduation requirements at Daegu International School are eligible to receive both a Lee Academy Diploma and a Daegu International School Diploma. Students who complete the Korean studies program requirements are eligible for a Korean high school diploma. Sophomores are permitted a maximum of two Advanced Placement courses. Juniors and seniors are permitted a maximum of four Advanced Placement courses. Those students who take three or four Advanced Placement courses are required to take at least one learning lab (study hall period).
Course CreditsOne credit is granted to students who receive a passing grade (A, B, C, or D) in a course that meets during an academic year. Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors are required to take a minimum of six courses each quarter. Juniors and seniors are allowed a maximum of four Advanced Placement courses. Those students who take three or four Advanced Placement courses are required to take at least one learning lab (study hall period).
Graduation RequirementsThe DIS high school graduation requirements are listed below along with the recommendations of many colleges/universities in the USA. Please remember every university is different and each sets their own rules and expectations for prospective students.
|Classes||DIS Graduation Requirements||College/University Course Recommendation|
|English||4.5 credits||4 credits|
|Math & Science||7 credits
(Students must receive 7 credits in Math & Science combined; at least 3 math credits and 3 science credits,including 1 credit in Biology)
|Social Studies||3 credits (1 credit in U.S. History)||3 - 4 credits|
|Fine Arts||1 credit||1 credit
(those planning to major in fine arts should have more)
|World Language||1 credit||2 - 4 credits
(most universities want a minimum of 3 years in 1 world language)
|Wellness||2 credits||2 credits|
|Elective Courses||6 credits||7 - 11 credits|
|Total Credits||24.5 credits||24 - 30 credits|
Grading System, GPA and RankingAll courses taught for credit receive a percentage grade or a pass/fail option. Grade values and the percentage used to determine each grade are listed below. On a student’s official transcript, DIS uses percentages. DIS does not rank students.
A grade point average (GPA) is calculated for each student based on final grades earned while at DIS. GPA’s are calculated on a 100-point scale. AP classes are weighted using a multiplier of 1.1
- Grading Scale:
- A= 93-100
- B= 85-92
- C= 75-84
- D= 70-74
- F= 0-69
- P/F = Pass/Fail
- I = Incomplete
- W = Withdrawal
Language Arts | Writing Lab 9Language arts, grade 9, contributes to an understanding of literary and expository texts through reading and writing. These two processes enhance student ability to appreciate, analyze, and interpret the following literary genres; short story, poetry, drama, nonfiction, and novel. Research knowledge and skills in documentation and English language conventions are integrated into student drafts and revisions. Students also participate in small group interactions and public presentations designed to promote effective oral communication skills and strategies.
In writing lab, students learn the basic skills of paragraphing, editing, essay writing, organizing, and constructing effective transitions. Students need to master these skills in order to succeed in high school courses in all disciplines. The general method of teaching and learning for the class is for students to study one or more model essays and then compose their own essays in a fashion similar to the exemplars.
Language Arts 1010th grade English language arts is centered on learning basic elements of analysis and expository writing. Students will exit the course with an understanding of how theme, characterization, and other basic literary techniques work, as well as some reasons they are used. Students should also leave with an understanding of how to write and revise a three part essay that presents and defends a thesis. Students develop an understanding of grammatical, structural, and rhetorical features involved in the revision process. By the end of this class, a student should be able to read a lengthy text, perform a basic analysis of it (to determine both how and what it is being communicating), find information on it through outside sources, and write an essay which explains a self-determined opinion on the text’s purpose or method. With these skills students will have a solid background through which to enter into an in-depth study of American literature.
Language Arts 11Language arts in 11th grade is an American literature English course that acquaints students with the predominant literary influences on contemporary cultural perspectives. American literature focuses on reading and critically analyzing complex novels and expository texts. A major requirement for student success in this course is the completion of an independent research project on a teacher–approved topic. Students also participate in small group interactions and individual public presentations designed to promote effective oral communication skills.
AP Language and Composition (Pre-requisite: English Language Arts 10)This course is designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement English Language and Composition Exam. This rigorous and challenging course is designed to give students multiple opportunities to work with rhetorical situations, authors’ purposes, audiences, and the subjects in texts. Students write in a variety of modes for a variety of audiences, developing personal style and the ability to analyze and explain how the resources of language operate in a given text. In addition, students will analyze visual media for its persuasive effectiveness, synthesizing conclusions drawn into their own compositions, and cite sources based on MLA format. To prepare for the AP exam, some time is spent during each quarter studying and dissecting multiple choice test-taking techniques, addressing the rhetorical analysis and synthesis portions of the exam, and persuasive writing. This college-level course entails a good deal of independent reading and writing, including argumentative writing and research. It is recommended that students who take this elective course have above average listening, reading, writing, and computer skills. Please note that this class uses a college-level reading list, which is available from the instructor upon request.
Creative WritingIn creative writing students explore multiple genres of literature through guided studies of model texts followed by attempts at replicating the genres through the creation of new content. Students explore how to write short stories, poetry, and business writing, as well as practicing analysis and critical thinking skills by exploring literary techniques and devices employed by writers.
AP Literature and Composition (Pre-requisite: English Language Arts 10)This is a college-level course designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Literature and Composition exam. The course includes a focus on both analytical and creative writing, preparing students for the rigors of college composition by honing their abilities to write clearly, cogently, and stylistically. Entering students should have above average listening, reading, writing, time management, and organizational skills. Please note that this class uses a college-level reading list, which is available from the instructor upon request.
AP Seminar (Elective Course – Non English Credit)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.
AP Research (Elective Course – Non English Credit) – Pre-Requisite: AP SeminarAP 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 4000–5,000 words (accompanied by a performance or exhibition of product where applicable) and a presentation with an oral defense.
Algebra 1In algebra 1, students learn to represent families of functions in various ways: as verbal descriptions, equations, tables, and graphs. They also learn to model real-world situations using functions in order to solve problems which arise from those situations. Particular emphasis is placed on linear and quadratic functions. Lessons on geometry, probability and data analysis are also part of this course, linking the course to other areas of math and helping prepare students for major assessments and standardized tests. Assessments are done in a variety of formats: multiple choice, short response, extended response, and major situation-based applications.
GeometryIn geometry, students develop reasoning and problem-solving skills through the study of congruence and similarity. They apply properties of lines, triangles, quadrilaterals, and circles. Students also use an applied knowledge of length, perimeter, area, circumference, surface area, and volume to solve real-world problems. Types of assessments may vary but include: multiple choice, short response, extended response and situation-based applications/projects. Graphing calculators are used extensively in this course.
Algebra II (Pre-requisites: Algebra I and Geometry)In algebra II, students learn to represent various families of functions—linear, quadratic, exponential, logarithmic, radical, and rational—in various ways: as verbal descriptions, equations, tables, and graphs. Algebra II lessons also include concepts and applications of trigonometry, and geometry, data analysis and probability. Assessments are done in a variety of formats: multiple choice, short response, extended response, and major situation-based applications.
Pre-Calculus (Pre-requisites: Algebra II and Geometry)In pre-calculus, students utilize their understanding of arithmetic, algebra, and geometry to solve situations involving polynomial, rational, exponential, and trigonometric functions, conic sections, and partial fractions. Assessments are done in a variety of formats: multiple choice, short response, extended response, and major situation-based applications. This course prepares students for AP Calculus AB.
Advanced Topics in Functions for Calculus (Pre-requisite: Algebra II)Advanced topics in functions for Calculus aims to prepare students for AP Calculus or college level calculus coursework by focusing on developing mastery of complex topics. Students will use a problem‐solving, discussion‐based approach incorporating, where necessary, graphing calculators (for example, the TI Inspire or TI‐84) and tools such as Desmos Online Graphing Calculator or Geometer’s Sketchpad to aid students’ visual and conceptual understanding of the movement and transformation of functions. A course goal is to increase each student’s growth mindset (see Carol Dweck) and overall confidence in higher level mathematics.
AP Calculus AB (Pre-requisite: Pre-calculus and/or Advanced Topics in Functions for Calculus)The course is primarily focused on developing students’ understanding of the concepts of calculus and providing experience with its applications. Multi-representational approaches are emphasized with solutions to problems expressed graphically, analytically, numerically and verbally. The scope of the course will include topics such as functions, graphs, limits, derivatives, and integrals. Although competence with computation and manipulation are important outcomes of calculus, the core of the course will focus on broad concepts and methods. Technology is used regularly by students and the teacher in the investigation of concepts and also to confirm written work. It is expected that students who take AP Calculus will seek placement in an institution of higher learning and all students are expected to take the AP exam.
AP Calculus BC (Pre-requisite: Pre-Calculus and/or Advanced Topics in Functions for Calculus and/or AP Calculus AB)The course is primarily focused on developing students’ understanding of the concepts of calculus and providing experience with its applications. Multi-representational approaches are emphasized with solutions to problems expressed graphically, analytically, numerically and verbally. The scope of the course will include topics such as functions, graphs, limits, derivatives, and integrals. Although competence with computation and manipulation are important outcomes of calculus, the core of the course will focus on broad concepts and methods. Technology is used regularly by students and the teacher in the investigation of concepts and to confirm written work. It is expected that students who take AP Calculus will seek placement in an institution of higher learning and all students are expected to take the AP exam.
AP StatisticsThis course is an introduction to understanding major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. Students discuss topics such as inference and work together to achieve a solution to a problem using statistical analysis. Students learn appropriate statistical techniques and a variety of ways to communicate them within the context of statistical activities and experiences. This course includes activity-centered practices in which students will work together and routinely use technology, such as graphing calculators and computer programs such as excel, to construct their understanding of the principles and practices of statistics. Students work within four broad conceptual themes: Exploring Data, Planning a Study, Anticipating Patterns, and Statistical Inference. It is expected that students who take AP Statistics will seek placement in an institution of higher learning and all students are expected to take the AP exam.
BiologyBiology is a laboratory oriented science course investigating living organisms, their life processes and how they relate to or impact their environment. Biology emphasizes the application of knowledge to human concerns. Units will address the four Core Ideas from the Next Generation Science Standards: From Molecules to Organisms (Structures and Processes), Ecosystems (Interactions, Energy and Dynamics), Heredity (Inheritance and Variation of Traits) and Biological Evolution (Unity and Diversity) as well as eight “Science Practices” and seven “Crosscutting Concepts”. Some of the topics studied include cell structure and function, cell replication, photosynthesis, cell respiration, Mendel's principles, replication, transcription, protein synthesis, the environment and ecosystems, the theory of evolution and the study of taxonomy. Laboratory work and projects provide a means of assessing student progress in learning. The literacy skills of the Common Core Standards will be utilized throughout the course.
AP Biology (Pre-requisite: Biology and Chemistry)AP Biology is an introductory college-level biology course designed to teach students the vital connection between biological principles and the processes of science, and to provide students with the solid conceptual foundation necessary to understand the expanding role of biology in modern life. The course is designed to aid students in developing critical thinking skills so that they will be able to make well informed decisions about their health and the health of the environment. Evolutionary themes are emphasized throughout the course so that students understand that these themes unify all of biological study. Students participate in inquiry-based investigations as they explore the following topics: evolution, cellular processes — energy and communication, genetics, information transfer, ecology, and interactions. Students completing this course will be eligible to take the AP Biology exam.
ChemistryChemistry is an inquiry-based laboratory course that prepares students for further studies in the sciences and develops problem-solving skills. A branch of physical science focused on the composition, structure, properties, and behavior of matter, chemistry includes an in-depth study of chemical reactions, basic problems in chemistry, and equations. The course also includes hands-on inquiry skills-based activities involving conceptual thinking, problem solving, lab techniques, critical and analytical thinking, and self-directed and cooperative learning. Use of the scientific method, labs to reinforce learning, lab reports with emphasis on proper grammar and spelling, making models, and projects are included in chemistry.
AP ChemistryAP Chemistry is designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course usually taken during the first college year. Students taking this course should have already successfully completed a year of laboratory chemistry. AP Chemistry requires a serious commitment from students. Students should be prepared to devote a significant amount of time to reading a college level text book, working on problem sets, writing lab reports, and working on projects outside of class. This class will be conducted primarily through laboratory experiments and problem-solving activities, reinforced with lecture and discussion. Students complete long-term projects throughout the year. This course is taken with the idea in mind that students will take the AP Exam to receive college credit or placement at the student’s college of choice.
PhysicsThis course uses a math-based approach to provide students with an introduction to the field of physics. Topics include a mathematics review; motion, forces, work and energy; properties of solids, liquids and gases; elasticity; thermodynamics; acoustics (sound); optics (light); and modern physics. This course is highly recommended for students considering science and engineering careers. Students will apply knowledge of content to engineer machines to complete task and use mathematics to calculate specific measurements.
AP PhysicsThe goal of AP Physics is to provide students with an experience equivalent to an introductory college level physics course. AP Physics requires a serious commitment from students. This class will be conducted primarily through inquiry-based laboratory experiments and problem solving activities, reinforced with class discussion. Students complete a major project each semester. Students should be prepared to devote a significant amount of time to working on problem sets, writing lab reports, and working on projects outside of class. It is expected that students taking AP Physics will have strong algebra skills.
Environmental ScienceEnvironmental science is an interdisciplinary field that involves the study of our world, the interactions of organisms, human culture, economics, the environment, and many other fields. Some topics covered in this course are ecology, biodiversity, global warming, energy resources, environmental hazards, human health, and environmental ethics. The goal of this course is to provide students with the tools and skills necessary to critically examine the environment, understand the interrelationships of the natural world, think analytically about current issues and environmental problems, and use data and observations to propose solutions for resolving or preventing these problems. To accomplish this, students will be expected to participate in classroom discussions, complete all assignments, and learn and practice the process of inquiry through laboratory investigation and fieldwork.
AP Environmental ScienceThe goal of the AP Environmental Science 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 the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them. Although Environmental Science is interdisciplinary, this introductory college level course contains several major unifying constructs, or themes, and they include:
• Earth Systems and Resources • The Living World • Population • Land and Water Use • Energy Resources and Consumption • Pollution • Global Change
Human Anatomy & PhysiologyAnatomy is a branch of natural science that studies the structural organization of living things. Physiology is concerned with the function of these anatomical structures. In this course students will build on information learned in biology and focus on human anatomy and physiology. This year long course is for the student who wishes to acquire a greater breadth and depth of knowledge of the principles of advanced biology with an emphasis in the structure and function of the human body. Through lecture, analysis of texts and diagrams, labs, project based inquiry, and manipulation of models in hands-on exercises, students will gain an understanding of the major organ systems of the human body and the roles they play.
World Cultures & GeographyWorld cultures and geography prepares students to become global citizens and contribute to our connected world. Students will discover how cooperation and conflicts shape our modern world. We will analyze world cultures through a geographic lens in order to study people, their interaction with the environment, and the landscapes they create. We will be examining the physical geography, history, government, current events, global interaction, and cultures of regions throughout the world. We will discover and utilize the basic themes and elements of geography. The course includes a variety of print and visual media, substantial group work, research, analysis, presentation, and reading of primary source documents.
United States History 2In this course students will take a journey through the second half of United States history, exploring the aftermath of the Civil War through the 20th century to present day. The major emphasis of this course will be to explore the themes that have driven the evolution of American society. Students will be challenged to think like a historian, analyze sources, put themselves in the shoes of the people living during those times and come to their own conclusions. They will also be working hands on with documents, researching and participating in simulations.
AP United States HistoryAdvanced Placement United States History is a challenging course designed to provide a college-level experience and preparation for the AP Exam in May. Solid reading and writing skills, along with a willingness to devote considerable time to homework and study, are necessary to succeed. Emphasis is placed on critical and analytical thinking skills, essay writing, and on interpretation of primary and secondary sources. Topics include life and thought in colonial America, revolutionary ideology, constitutional development, Jeffersonian and Jacksonian democracy, nineteenth-century reform movements, and Manifest Destiny. Other topics include the Civil War and Reconstruction, immigration, industrialism, populism, progressivism, World War I, the Jazz Age, the Great Depression, the New Deal, World War II, the Cold War, the post-Cold War era, and the United States at the beginning of the twenty-first century. This course will fulfill the United States history graduation requirement.
AP US Government and PoliticsAP US Government and Politics will give students an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. This course includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret US government and politics and the analysis of specific examples. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute US government and politics. Students become acquainted with a variety of theoretical perspectives and explanations for various behaviors and outcomes. Topics include constitutional underpinnings of US government, political beliefs and behaviors, political parties, interest groups and mass media, institutions of national government, public policy, and civil rights and civil liberties. Additionally, student will analyze and interpret data and other information from visual materials such as maps, charts, graphs, and cartoons. Students completing this course are eligible to take the AP exam.
AP EconomicsAP Economics is a fast paced college-level course focused on the decision-making of individuals, businesses, and governments. Students study a variety of economic theories and analyze their practical application in the real world. This yearlong course covers both microeconomics and macroeconomics. Microeconomics focuses on the supply and demand for products, the labor markets, and the role competition plays in a free market system. Macroeconomics focuses on the economy as a whole, including economic measures, economic growth, fiscal policy, monetary policy, and international economics. Students are expected to take both AP exams in May. Extensive math skills are not required; however, the ability to analyze graphs and charts is essential.
World HistoryWorld history is a year-long course designed to help students understand the present by studying the past. Students will study the development political, social, and economic systems as well as the development and spread of cultures and ideas from ancient to modern times. Students will work individually and in groups to conduct research, study and analyze a variety of sources, and present their findings. The study of world history will help prepare students for further studies in the humanities in high school and beyond.
AP World HistoryAP World History is a rigorous college-level course. The class will cover world history from 8000 B.C.E. to the present through the process of periodization. Throughout the year, the five AP themes will be emphasized as a way of helping students understand continuity and change over time as well as develop skills to compare and contrast societies over the course of history. In addition, skills appropriate for student success on the DBQ, CCOT, and comparative essay questions will be introduced and reinforced. Students analyze evidence and interpretations within historical scholarship through the incorporation of primary and secondary sources on a regular basis. Students learn to craft historical arguments from historical evidence, make chronological reasoning, understand comparison and contextualization, and carry out historical interpretation and synthesis. Students are expected to learn factual knowledge (specific people, events and dates) in addition to analytical skills, writing skills and skills necessary to be successful in other courses (taking good notes, reading for information, study and organizational habits, and time management).
AP PsychologyAP Psychology is a college-level course that introduces the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Included is a consideration of the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. Students also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice. Topics include history and approaches, research methods, 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. The learning experience is equivalent to that obtained in most college introductory psychology courses.
AP Human GeographyAP Human Geography introduces students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of earth’s surface. Students learn to employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human socioeconomic organization and its environmental consequences. Students also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their research and applications. Content is presented thematically rather than regionally and is organized around the discipline’s main subfields: economic geography, cultural geography, political geography, and urban geography. Case studies are drawn from all world regions, with an emphasis on understanding the world in which we live. Historical information serves to enrich the analysis of the impacts of phenomena such as globalization, colonialism, and human-environment relationships on places, regions, cultural landscapes, and patterns of interaction.
Video Production (Elective Course – Non Social Studies Credit)Video production is an elective course designed to introduce students to professional media and video production. Numerous hands-on projects will be completed throughout the year, including broadcast journalism, interviews, news production, music videos, commercials, promotional films, PSAs, comedies, dramas, documentaries, etc. Students will be responsible for creating school-wide media. Students will design the same quality of professional video and media encountered in the real world outside of school. Online discussion and group collaboration will play a large role in the learning process. Students will contribute to modern pop-culture and connect the media they make to their lives. Through media production students will become “media literate” and think critically about global communications and media trends.
Digital Media and Journalism (Elective Course – Non Social Studies Credit)Digital media and journalism is an elective course designed to introduce student to various forms of mass media through media analysis and media production. Students will investigate the past, present, and future of mass media. Students will examine modern print and broadcast journalism, the internet, video games, music and film industry, media ownership, media stereotypes, advertising, and marketing. Students will debate media ethics. Students will become “media literate” and think critically about global communications and personal media consumption. Classroom and online writing, discussion, and group collaboration will play a large role in the learning process. Students will produce their own original media content. Numerous hands‐on projects will be completed throughout the year such as advertising campaigns, broadcasts, interviews, video production, and podcast design. Students in this course will also be responsible for writing and designing a school newspaper. There will be several opportunities for authentic assessment. Students will venture into the community to produce media for class.
Art 1Students enrolled in art 1 course will explore the fundamentals of art making. The course provides students with opportunities to develop the skills and abilities needed to express their ideas, thoughts, and feelings in visual form. Lessons are focused on utilizing the elements of design: line, shape, form, color, texture, value, repetition, emphasis, contrast, and space. Students learn skills and techniques related to the application of basic art mediums such as pencil, oil pastel, collage, watercolor, tempera, acrylic paint, etc. Students become aware of a variety of art styles, art periods, and artists throughout history.
Art 2Students enrolled in art 2 have either successfully completed or demonstrated competencies for the knowledge and skills of art 1. The course provides students with opportunities to continue the development of their art-making skills in order to express their own ideas, thoughts, and feelings. The study of the elements and principles of design, vocabulary, art criticism, and art history continues in a student-directed environment. There is an increased focus on the principles of design: movement, rhythm, unity, variety, emphasis, proportion, and balance. Students learn skills and techniques related to the application of art mediums such as pencil, collage, charcoal, chalk pastel, oil pastel, ink, printmaking, watercolor, watercolor pencil, tempera, acrylic paint, and aqua oil paints. Student research of art styles, art periods, and artists provides and understanding of past and present art forms. The flexible design of the class structure allows students to pursue and develop individual interests and art-making styles.
AP Studio ArtAP Studio Art is designed for students who are seriously interested in the practical experience of art. AP Studio Art is not based on a written exam; instead, students submit portfolios for examination at the end of the school year. The AP Studio Art program consists of three portfolios – 2D Design, 3D Design, and Drawing – corresponding to common college foundation courses. The instructional goals of AP Studio Art include creative and systematic investigation of formal and conceptual issues, art as an on-going process of informed and critical decision-making, development of technical skills, understanding the functions of visual elements, and developing independent thinkers who will contribute inventively and critically to their culture through artmaking.
Instrumental MusicInstrumental music is designed to give students a broad overview of the various components of the world of music. Units include music notation and theory, a broad study of various ensembles, music analysis, music composition, history, and music theatre. These components will help the student to continue their quest for knowledge within the musical realm, listen with open, yet musically discriminating ears, and be able to express themselves musically. Students will be instructed at their levels in the use of playing various musical instruments. Students of all levels are welcome to join.
Mixed Ensemble: Introduction to MusicIntroduction to music is a class designed to offer the student a rounded experience in many areas of music including composition, analysis, history and performance. These components will help the student to continue their quest for knowledge within the musical realm, listen with open, yet musically discriminating ears, and be able to express themselves musically.
Introduction to Guitar:This class is for students who are interested in learning the guitar. The skills acquired, range from beginner to advanced, so any level is welcome. Students will learn the basics of playing guitar from strumming chords to finger picking style, as well as learning individual performance pieces.
Spanish 1Spanish 1 is an introduction to the language and culture of the Hispanic world. In Spanish 1 the student learns vocabulary and grammar through listening, speaking, reading and writing. Emphasis is on listening and reading comprehension and simple conversational skills through role-playing, skits and other interactive methods. This class is not designed for native speakers.
Spanish 2 (Pre-requisite: Spanish 1 or instructor approval)This course is a continuation of Spanish 1. In Spanish 2 students receive more practice in listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. New vocabulary and grammar are presented. The students improve writing skills through simple compositions. Students continue to explore the culture of the Hispanic world. This class is not designed for native speakers.
Spanish 3 (Pre-requisite: Spanish 2 or instructor approval)This course is designed to improve the students’ skills acquired in the first two years of the study of the language. In Spanish 3 emphasis will be on practical conversation and the reading and discussion of short stories and compositions. Authentic literature will be introduced and discussed. Native Speakers may take this course.
Spanish 4 (Pre-requisite: Spanish 3 or instructor approval)This course is designed to refine, perfect and enhance language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. It emphasizes active communication in Spanish and broadens the student’s understanding of Hispanic culture. There is a strong focus on applying language to real-life situations.
AP SpanishAP Spanish provides students with opportunities to demonstrate their proficiency in each of the three modes in the Intermediate to Pre-Advanced range as described in the ACTFL Performance Guidelines for K–12 Learners. The three modes of communication (Interpersonal, Interpretive, and Presentational) defined in the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century are foundational to the AP Spanish Language and Culture course. As such, the AP Spanish Language and Culture course has been designed to provide advanced high school students with a rich and rigorous opportunity to study the language and culture of the Spanish speaking world that is approximately equivalent to an upper-intermediate college or university Spanish course. It is expected that this course will be offered as the first step in the study of college-level Spanish after approximately three to five years of language study for classroom learners.
Chinese 1This course will introduce students to the basic vocabulary, alphabet of Mandarin and the culture of China. Emphasis will be on listening, comprehension, and simple conversational skills. It will prepare the student to begin to read, write, speak and understand the language.
Chinese 2 (Pre-requisite: Chinese I or instructor approval)This course will continue to build upon the basic vocabulary, grammar and conversation skills the students learned in the first year. Emphasis will be on daily dialogue practicing, short article/story reading, and free journal writing. Students also will explore further knowledge about Chinese history, culture, geography and current events.
Chinese 3 (Pre-requisite: Chinese 2 or instructor approval)This course is designed to improve students’ skills acquired in the first two years of the study of the language. In Chinese 3 emphasis will be on practical conversation, reading and discussion of short stories and compositions. Authentic literature will be introduced and discussed. Native Speakers may take this course.
Chinese 4 (Pre-requisite: Chinese 3 or instructor approval)This course is designed to refine, perfect and enhance language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. It emphasizes active communication in Chinese and broadens the student’s understanding of Chinese culture. There is a strong focus on applying language to real-life situations.
AP ChineseAP Chinese Language and Culture is designed for students who are motivated to improve their Mandarin level equivalent to a fourth semester university course in Mandarin Chinese. The main objective is to help students further their four interrelated language skills – listening, speaking, reading, and writing – through exploring various aspects of Chinese culture, literature, history, and society and the use of different types of authentic materials in different registers. Students will continue to develop student’s language skills in three communicative modes, interpersonal, interpretive and presentational. Other course objectives include the ability to explain the reason behind significant practices and perspectives of the Chinese-speaking world, the ability to use and reinforce their knowledge acquired in Chinese in other subjects, the ability to acquire information and recognize the distinctive viewpoints only available through the Chinese language culture, the ability to demonstrate understanding of the nature of languages through comparison of the Chinese language and culture to and their own, and the ability to use Chinese language in and outside school for academic or personal development and to become lifelong learners of Chinese language and culture.
Physical Education and Wellness
Physical Education and WellnessThis course is a balanced physical education and wellness class. Students will learn and apply components of health-related fitness, proper nutrition and physiology. Students will participate in individual and team sports and fitness activities which will include cardiovascular and strength activities. Students will be encouraged to try a variety of sports and physical activities which will form the basis for lifelong fitness and good health.