Academic Requirements & Curriculum
As with any accredited institution, we have specific academic requirements for graduation. We also allow students to take an extra course that appeals to their interest and stretch their skills. Each credit equates to a single course taken for an entire year, and a half credit is given for a semester-long class. Wasatch Academy requires 24 academic credits for graduation, including the following specific credits:
- 4 credits in English (3 credits for international students)
- 4 credits in math (including Algebra I & II and Geometry)
- 3 credits in the sciences (including Biology)
- 3 credits in history/social science (including U.S. History)
- 2 credits in a single foreign language (3 for honors) Two years of the same language required (International students who speak English as a Second Language are exempt)
- 2 credits in fine arts (can be in visual or performing art)
- 2 credits in technology
- 4 credits of elective courses
- 20 Hours of Community Service for each year at Wasatch Academy
Wasatch Academy offers an opportunity to grow academically and personally and provides the necessary tools to help individual students succeed. If you have questions about the curriculum or want to inquire about specific courses related to your student’s interests, feel free to contact the Admissions Department to learn more.
Courses listed are for the 2019-20 academic year. Some classes are only available every other year and specify such in the course description. Departments and courses are listed in alphabetical order (unless a tiered advancement). All course offerings are subject to change.
Coping with Anxiety and Managing Stress
How our students deal with stress and anxiety affects their academic, social, and emotional lives. This course is designed to teach and help develop the tools to recognize the source of stress/anxiety and utilize adaptive means to cope in order to continue to engage in the daily functions of life. With the utilization of curriculum base upon Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Learning to Breathe, students will develop adaptive coping skills, moving past their anxiety with more confidence and determination to tackle new tasks and opportunities. The curriculum focuses on mindfulness, values, fusion, and self-perspective taking.
Learning to Breathe
This mindfulness-based curriculum for adolescents was created for a classroom or group setting. The curriculum is intended to strengthen emotion regulation and attention, expand adolescents’ repertoire of stress management skills and help them integrate mindfulness into daily life. Each lesson includes age-appropriate discussion, activities, and opportunities to practice mindfulness skills in a group setting. Please visit http://learning2breathe.org/ to learn more.
The purpose of math lab is to reinforce concepts and skills necessary to be successful in Math. The curriculum spans a wide range of topics; but, special emphasis is given to decimal, fraction, algebra, integer, and percent operations. Since this is a second Math class, in addition to a student’s “regular” Math class, topics are timed in a way where they are covered before, or after, students practice them in the regular Math classes to help them master the skills. Since this is a second Math class, there is also *NO* homework assigned in Math Lab.
Designed for high school students, Just Words® is a highly explicit, multisensory decoding and spelling program that includes word structure study and lessons to better understand how the English language works. To enroll in this course, please contact Kara Loftin, email@example.com. A pre-assessment placement is required. Enrollment cap 10 students.
The social-emotional learning course is designed to teach critical social competencies necessary for academic and life success such as resiliency, grit, self-management, growth mindset, and responsible decision-making skills. Social-emotional learning is associated with positive results including:
- Improved attitudes about self and others,
- Increased pro-social behavior,
- Lower levels of problem behaviors and emotional distress, and
- Improved academic performance.
This course is designed to support students in the development of social skills to help them make and keep friends. Throughout the 16-week evidence-based course, the students will be taught important skills paired with multiple daily opportunities to practice the skills in-vivo and in natural contexts. The skills focused on will help students navigate how to handle disagreements, bullying, planning get-togethers, how to use humor, and choosing appropriate friends. The course focuses on the development of these skills rather than the knowledge of the skills, leading to behavioral change, helping the student to engage in more social opportunities.
Student Tutoring Achievement for Reading (STAR) provides an opportunity for Wasatch Academy students to work with younger readers from the local elementary school, Mount Pleasant Elementary School. This one-to-one tutoring allows Wasatch Academy students to give back to the local community by providing extra reading practice for young readers. Enrollment cap 14 students. Students receive credit and community service hours for taking the class.
This course is designed to introduce students to study skills necessary to be successful in a variety of academic subject areas. The course is designed to provide students with the necessary “tools” to be more effective and efficient in their learning environments. Additionally, since students have different learning styles, this course teaches students how to learn and study using a variety of methods. The strategies that will be taught focus on improving reading comprehension, increasing organization, learning effective note-taking skills, researching techniques, preparing and delivering oral presentations, and test-taking and study strategies. Students will be taught to utilize specific study skills most appropriate to their individual learning style. Enrollment cap 12 students.
Transitions for Life
Transitions for Life was developed to teach students critical transition skills. Students will become familiar with the concepts of self-awareness and self-advocacy. They will increase their self-awareness knowledge through research and self-reflection. They will have the opportunity to practice and refine these skills. Students will also improve communication skills by learning important strategies and skills to communicate effectively. A comprehensive transition curriculum will be implemented to keep the students focussed on learning the skills they need to enter a college or workplace setting. This course is recommended for Junior or Senior students. Enrollment cap 12 students.
Writing lab includes a review of grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, spelling, and words often confused. Introduction to writing paragraphs and essays. Emphasis on planning, writing, and revising of assignments. Individualized and group instruction in a classroom or workshop setting.
AP Literature and Composition
AP Literature and Composition follows the curricular requirements described by the College Board as found in the AP English Literature and Composition Course Description as follows: Students build skills essential for college-level reading and writing. They engage in close reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature from different time periods, genres, and cultures. The essential practice of reading and analyzing provocative and challenging material through a variety of texts (traditional, digital, film, etc.) empowers students to offer interpretations of these works through verbal discussion, oral presentations, timed-writing assessments, and formal essays. The practices of close reading and analytical writing serve both as preparation for the AP English Literature and Composition test and for ultimate success in college. Students work collaboratively to explore numerous reading and writing strategies to enhance their skills in these areas.
*Students in this course take the corresponding Advanced Placement Exam.
AP Language and Composition
AP Language and Composition follows the curricular requirements described by the College Board as found in the AP English Language and Composition Course Description as follows: 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.
Creative Writing inspires students to write a memoir, short fiction, and poetry. Students focus on developing a clear, authentic voice, crafting scenes, and implementing effective structure. Students will write daily and regularly share their work with peers. The course is designed for those who understand that the best writing comes from both creativity and discipline. They demonstrate proficiency through composing original short stories, memoirs and/or personal essays, 1st person narratives, dramatic dialogue vignettes, poetry books and various literary magazine submissions.
English I introduces students to literary and non-literary genres of reading. They explore expressive, persuasive, and informational writing. They also develop learning and composition skills through the analysis and production of traditional and non-print texts. Students demonstrate proficiency by completing a number of authentic, project-based learning experiences related to consuming, evaluating, and producing media in a variety of formats.
English II emphasizes the close reading of global literature and examination of media to help students develop a sensitivity to cultures and issues around the world. Students increase their capacity as critical thinkers, writers, and communicators. They also focus on expressive and receptive communication. Students demonstrate proficiency through project-based learning experiences, verbal and online discussions, essays, and presentations.
English III investigates issues relating to global culture through fiction and informational texts as well as multiple media. Students develop critical thinking and analytical skills in addition to oral, written, and listening skills. Students access, analyze, and synthesize information from a variety of sources in order to create original, cohesive texts. Learners show proficiency through project-based learning experiences, oral and online discussions, essays, and presentations.
English IV explores comparative literature, informational texts, and composition for a wide range of purposes and audiences. This course challenges students to explore and cultivate an understanding of the world and its most pressing issues. Students develop communication skills, both written and oral. They demonstrate proficiency through project-based learning experiences, oral and online discussions, essays, and presentations.
8th Grade English
(Not taught in the 2018-19 Academic Year)
8th Grade English emphasizes the close reading of global literature. Students will explore multiple genres and examine multiple media to help promote sensitivity to cultural issues. Students develop as critical thinkers, writers, and effective communicators. They also focus on expressive and receptive communication. Students demonstrate proficiency through project-based learning experiences, oral and online discussions, essays and other forms of written communication, and presentations.
English Language Learners
About the English Language Learners Program
The ELL program at Wasatch Academy targets each of the four language communication skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Students will also be prepared to discuss issues facing a modern global society and possess cultural awareness. Supporting this general aim are three specific goals: First, to enable students to participate successfully in mainstream classes; second, to prepare students to take the TOEFL exam as part of their college application process and to receive an acceptable score for admission; and, third, to prepare students for future pursuits that require English language knowledge.
ELL Introduction to English
This course emphasizes the fundamental language skills of reading, writing, speaking, listening, thinking, viewing and presenting. Students will learn strategies in order to advance all four domains of their language acquisition. They will expand oral comprehensibility and be introduced to the basics of compositions skills and short content-based essays. They will practice utilizing level-appropriate conventions of grammar and punctuation as well as improve their listening and reading skills through novels and short stories.
ELL Introduction to Language Arts
This course is a continuation of the integrated skills approach classroom from ELL English Foundations but the students will expand their skills at a higher level through the study of literature and/or basic novel studies. The students will continue to learn the structures of the English language through the four domains of acquisition: reading, writing, speaking, and listening and there will be an emphasis on the writing process as an ongoing part of the program.
ELL Intro to Science Foundations
ELL Science Foundations is an inquiry and phenomenon-based, interactive and intensive English language learning course taught through the content of general/foundational science principles and concepts. While working independently or collaboratively (partnerships/small groups/whole-class), students in this course will actively improve their English language listening, speaking, reading and writing skills as they study the foundations of science. This course is, first, an intensive literacy course and, second, a science course, preparing students for future English and science courses in the mainstream setting.
ELL Introduction to History Foundation
The ELL History Foundation class will focus on learning the English language skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking through the academic content area of U.S. History. Students will learn about significant events in US History that helped shape the nation. Students will have opportunities to give presentations and collaborate on projects to deepen their understanding and to share their knowledge with their peers.
ELL Introduction English Foundations
This course is an integrated skills approach classroom that introduces students to basic structures and vocabulary of the English language through the skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students will learn strategies in order to advance all four domains of their language acquisition. They will expand oral comprehensibility and write complete sentences, a standard paragraph, and short content-based essays. They will practice utilizing level-appropriate conventions of grammar and punctuation as well as improve their listening and reading skills.
ELL Science Literacy II
ELL Science Literacy II is an interactive and intensive English language learning course taught through the content of Physical Science principles and concepts. While working independently or collaboratively (partnerships/small groups/whole-class), students in this course will actively improve their English language listening, speaking, reading and writing skills as they study the topics of Physical Science. Course activities and assignments will also help non-native English speaking students prepare for, participate in, and successfully complete all activities (formative and summative) in their mainstream Physical Science course. Providing English language learning students with additional, content-based Physical Science-centered language support will help them make greater progress in their English language proficiency and prepare them to engage more readily and meaningfully in their mainstream Physical Science class. Coursework focuses intensively on scientific literacy connected to the thematic/topical content in the Physical Science classroom with a combined effort to support the literacy aspects of the assignments/assessments given in the Physical Science class in order to more significantly develop students' English language proficiency.
Level 2 ELL Global Studies
ELL Global Studies is an exploration of the world’s regions, cultures, geography, history, and current issues. Students will continue to develop English language reading, writing, listening, discussion, analytical, and critical thinking skills. This class will help students understand and appreciate major themes of human development throughout history. Students will use a variety of print and non-print sources to analyze global issues past and present and create solutions to real-world problems today.
Level 2 – English I/II
ELL Science Literacy III
ELL Science Literacy III is an interactive and intensive English language learning course taught through the content of Biology principles and concepts. While working independently or collaboratively (partnerships/small groups/whole-class), students in this course will actively improve their English language listening, speaking, reading and writing skills as they study the topics of Biology. Course activities and assignments will also help non-native English speaking students prepare for, participate in, and successfully complete all activities (formative and summative) in their mainstream Biology course. Providing English language learning students with additional, content-based Biology-centered language support will help them make greater progress in their English language proficiency and prepare them to engage more readily and meaningfully in their mainstream Biology class. Coursework focuses intensively on scientific literacy connected to the thematic/topical content in the Biology classroom with a combined effort to support the literacy aspects of the assignments/assessments given in the Biology class in order to more significantly develop students' English language proficiency.
Level 3 English III (with ELL Support)
Welcome to English III (American Literature). In this class, we will focus on the voices and writing of many excellent storytellers, authors, and poets from around the world. You will have many opportunities to explore short stories, journals, essays, novels, documents, articles, and other forms of writing. You will also greatly expand your capacity as writers! You will write essays, short stories, and poems in addition to honing your own talent as writers. We will work together on many skills such as note-taking, discussion, presentation, vocabulary acquisition, essay format and writing, and collaboration.
ELL Science Literacy III
ELL Science Literacy III is an interactive and intensive English language learning course taught through the content of Biology principles and concepts. While working independently or collaboratively (partnerships/small groups/whole-class), students in this course will actively improve their English language listening, speaking, reading and writing skills as they study the topics of Biology. Course activities and assignments will also help non-native English speaking students prepare for, participate in, and successfully complete all activities (formative and summative) in their mainstream Biology course. Providing English language learning students with additional, content-based Biology-centered language support will help them make greater progress in their English language proficiency and prepare them to engage more readily and meaningfully in their mainstream Biology class. Coursework focuses intensively on scientific literacy connected to the thematic/topical content in the Biology classroom with a combined effort to support the literacy aspects of the assignments/assessments given in the Biology class in order to more significantly develop students’ English language proficiency.
This club is for all students at Wasatch Academy who would like to learn more about the cultures and traditions of our student body. Students who come to this class engage in lively discussions, play international games, cook ethnic food, and plan international week.
ELL Early American History
ELL Early American History will help students to understand how the United States was discovered and learn about the colonists who came to the United States to seek a new life. The students will learn about people who were instrumental in developing the land and the laws of the United States as well as significant events that help shape it. The students will develop reading, writing, discussion, analytical, and critical thinking skills. This class will help students understand and appreciate major themes of human development throughout history and understand and critique divisions and conflicts that challenge progress and peaceful coexistence. Students will use a variety of print and non-print sources to analyze global issues past and present and create solutions to real-world problems today.
Introductory 2D Art
Introductory 2D Art strives to provide each student with a solid foundational understanding of painting, drawing, and artistic critique/discussion. We explore and apply the elements and principles of design to each of these areas, as well as basic art history and creative theory.
Advanced 2D Art
Advanced 2D Art reinforces the elements and principles of design, as well as essential movements, styles, and historical contexts of painting and drawing. We use each student's existing understanding of these foundational areas to create a portfolio of work that exceeds basic execution and refines their skills further while facilitating personal aesthetics.
Advanced Art Portfolio
Emerging artists focus on creating a variety of artworks as part of individual art portfolios for Advanced Placement Studio Art and/or for college applications in this class. Students participate in at least one group project. Art shows on the road and visits to artists’ studios serve to both instruct and inspire.
Intro to Ceramics
Beginning ceramic students focus on the elements and techniques used in working with clay to make both functional and decorative pieces. Students develop skills in hand-building and wheel-thrown pottery. Techniques learned include coils, slab, pinch, and wheel construction.
Students build on their developing skills learned in Intro Ceramics. An emphasis is placed on aesthetic design and form, as students further improve individuality and personal expression in their work. Students have the opportunity to work on both hand-building and wheel-thrown construction.
Students explore all aspects of the photo making process including the basic functions of a camera, darkroom techniques, digital photography, basic photoshop, and alternative processes in photography. An emphasis is placed on composition and design while utilizing the Elements and Principles of Design.
The course explores how to pull multiple original print impressions using a variety of print techniques such as: relief, monotype, and intaglio. Students learn how to make handmade paper using recycled materials and actively use the elements and principles of design to create dynamic prints on paper.
Learning Services (Fee-Based Services)
Academic Coaching features a 1:1 student-to-teacher ratio, receiving direct instruction on identified executive function skills; brain-based skills that individuals need to effectively solve problems and execute tasks. Skills include: prioritization, sustained attention, organization, task initiation, response inhibition, flexibility, metacognition, and more. Academic Coaching is offered as a two, three, or five-day per week program, depending on the student’s need or request. It is ideal for students who have chronically underachieved as learners, with or without diagnosed learning differences. The program is not content-specific tutoring. It is explicit 1:1 instruction on skills necessary for lifelong success. These newly acquired and developing skills are applied in the current academic tasks asked of the student.
Customized Learning Plan
Many students choose to create their own type of academic support program to reflect their individual needs. Our Learning Services program allows students to integrate chosen aspects of the above Learning Services to formulate an academic support program custom-tailored to their specific needs. Fee: Dependent upon services requested.
English Language Learner (ELL) Academic Coaching
This program is suited to ESL students looking for 1:1 personalized academic coaching for building executive function skills and English second language skills. The fully accredited ELL teacher/academic coach provides individualized support for building these skill sets, and can also provide additional training in preparation for the TOEFL proficiency exam.
Learning Strategies Intensive
Ideal for students who can learn in a small environment, our Learning Strategies Intensive consists of a 4:1 student-to-specialist ratio. Featuring curriculum that focuses on self-regulation, note taking, test preparation and time management, the Learning Strategies Intensive is ideal for students who have a perceived but not documented gap in ability and performance and/or below average grades. This class is the ideal solution for students who have transitioned from a non-traditional academic setting and who wish to improve general study skills.
Targeted Learning Support
Our Targeted Learning Support program specifically addresses the reading, writing, and/or math needs of a student, incorporating programs such as Wilson Language Training, Fast Forward, and Plato Learning into their support strategy. Targeted Learning Support has a student-to-specialist ratio of 1:1 or 2:1, with direct instruction from a learning services specialist. Emphasizing these academic skills along with enrollment in the Learning Strategies class or Academic Coaching option are hallmarks of this program. Students benefiting from Targeted Learning Support include those with an existing Individualized Education Plan, or 504, and a diagnosed learning disability.
Wilson Reading System
The Wilson Reading System is delivered 1:1 student-to-specialist and consists of intensive structured literacy instruction which is necessary due to a language-based learning disability, such as dyslexia. We consider ourselves at Wasatch among boarding schools for dyslexia that are fully equipped to help students succeed. The program is based on phonological-coding research and Orton-Gillingham principles. The Wilson Reading System provides a prescribed sequence of multisensory instruction that explicitly teaches the structure of the English language. The WIST (Word Identification and Spelling Test) and the WADE (Wilson Assessment of Decoding and Encoding) tests are used to determine placement in the program and are administered on site.
Bouldering class will teach you all about indoor and outdoor bouldering. Rock climbing with no ropes 10-15ft tall boulders with a protective crash pad to catch your fall. This class will focus on rock climbing movement skills, mental skills for performance, training plan development and implementation for strategic improvement as a rock climber. Students will have the option to compete in 1-2 regional climbing competitions if interested. If you want to become a good rock climber join this club. New skills you will learn: movement on boulders, protecting yourself while bouldering, problem-solving skills, mindfulness practices, competition skills, route developing skills, outdoor bouldering vs indoor bouldering and many more.
Introduction to Rock Climbing
This course introduces students to the basic technical skills associated with rock climbing. The appropriate student has little to no rock climbing experience and is led through a gentle progression of technical skills in single-day excursions. Emphasis is placed on climbing at indoor and outdoor top-rope climbing sites, indoor bouldering and risk management in various climbing sites. Students are introduced to basic knot tying skills, belaying techniques, signals, movement technique, vocabulary and language in rock climbing and various disciplines within rock climbing. In addition, students are asked to consider risk management, problem-solving, and decision making in the development of these skills. Students will leave this course successfully having an understanding of the necessary skills to safely top rope rock climb.
Intermediate Rock Climbing
Rock Climbing II will introduce students to intermediate and advanced technical skills in the world of rock climbing. Students will learn how to safely lead climb and belay, build natural and artificial anchors (gear placement, bolt protected, natural protection), risk management in the outdoor lead climbing setting. Students will also explore and experiment with both physical and mental training to help improve their rock climbing performance. Students by the end of the course will be expected to lead climb, build their own anchors, and write reflections on training and fill out this daily course log to assess the accomplishment of their goals. This course will utilize both indoor climbing space and technical outdoor terrain.
Mountain biking class at Wasatch Academy is designed as an introductory mountain biking course. Students will be exposed to technical riding skills, maintenance of bicycles, the history of mountain biking, types of bikes and different riding terrains. Students will explore the beautiful landscapes around Sanpete County while developing technical riding skills.
Students will leave this course with a greater sense of place of where they are living, a basic understanding of how to fix the most common bicycle issues, and plenty of riding experience under their belt. Most days will be out riding on trails, with some in-class time to explore maintenance and technical aspects of bicycles.
The Whole Athlete & Kinesthetic Learning
This class is designed to help you (the student) reach a specific athletic goal. An Athletic Goal can include anything that involves the movement of your body; climbing, basketball, running, dancing, tennis, biking anything! In this class, you will set a goal to attempt to accomplish by the end of the quarter. We will learn how to develop specifically tailored training plans to reach your goal through measurable steps. You will learn about different types of motivation and how to tailor your motivation in your favor of reaching your goal. Goal setting will be a large lesson in this class as well as; redefining success and failure, training for specific muscle groups, mindfulness practices for athletic performance, and studying high-end athletes in your sport to learn from the best.
This course is designed to introduce students in a safe and accessible way to the basic postures, breathing techniques, relaxation methods and disciplines of yoga. Students will begin to experience the benefits of stretching, moving, and breathing freely as they relieve built up stress, learn to relax, and build strength in the mind and body.
About the Mathematics and Engineering Programs
While each unique math course at Wasatch Academy has its own set of standards and learning outcomes, the following anchors guide the curriculum we have developed.
We believe strongly in cultivating problem-solving skills, especially through hands-on practice. It is important that students can apply the many techniques that they acquire to a variety of different scenarios and contexts.
Students gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of mathematics through meaningful project-based learning. Students integrate and internalize their knowledge by applying the skills they have developed in the novel and authentic ways.
We recognize and celebrate the different skill levels of our students and provide many opportunities for differentiated and self-paced learning. We emphasize collaboration, creativity, and grit.
Pre-algebra is a course geared toward preparing students for high school mathematics. The course begins with a review of whole numbers and their properties and then extends these ideas to integers and the rational number system. Applications are made with decimals, scientific notation, proportions, ratios, and percents. A brief scratch at the surface algebra is made through the exploration of solving one-step linear equations. An introduction to geometry is provided through the study of congruence, similarity, symmetry, and transformations of the plane.
This course is designed to provide students with a foundational knowledge of linear and quadratic functions and graphing on the xy-coordinate system. The student solves and graph equations and inequalities. Students also learn to apply this knowledge to other areas of math, such as word problems, ratios, and proportions. The course starts off with a review of basic algebraic concepts, such as variables, order of operations, exponents, and problem-solving skills. It then moves on to a thorough introduction to functions and quadratic equations. Students learn how to solve linear equations, including multistep equations, equations with multiple variables, and equations involving decimals, as well as writing a linear equation based on the graph of a line.
This course is a survey of more advanced algebraic topics. Topics covered in this course include, but are not limited to, linear equations, inequalities, absolute values, polynomials, factoring, quadratics, solving quadratic equations and functions, function notation, and algebraic manipulation of functions. This class makes extended use of technology in the form of graphing calculators and computer-based resources.
The prerequisite is Algebra I, but Geometry is recommended.
This is a preparation course for the AP Calculus-AB exam as established by the College Board. The focus is on limits, the derivative, the integral, and the application of an interaction between these three broad concepts. More specifically, topics include a review of functions, continuity, differentiability, extrema, concavity, related rates, optimization, Riemann sums, the fundamental theorem of calculus, areas between curves, volumes of solids, and separable differential equations. Use of a graphing calculator is an essential component of this course. This course is taught in the Math Lab setting, in which students are guided through the course material and learning resources at their own pace.
The prerequisite is Pre-Calculus.
This is a preparation course for the AP Calculus-BC exam as established by the College Board. The focus is on an interplay between the derivative and the integral and applying these concepts to solve higher level problems. Specifically, topics include a review of the AB curriculum, techniques of integration, parametric and polar equations, power series, and approximating functions with polynomials. Use of a graphing calculator is an essential component of this course.
The prerequisite is AP Calculus-AB.
The main objective of Pre-Calculus is to prepare students for the rigors of calculus. Students develop a solid understanding of functions (domain and range, graphical interpretations, manipulation of functions), build a library of special types of functions and their characteristics (polynomial, exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric), gain a deep understanding of trigonometry, and learn to form connections between trigonometric equations, identities, and their geometrical interpretations. Additional topics include calculus concepts such as limits, continuity, sequences and series, maxima, minima, and others. A secondary objective of the course is to help students become fluent in using calculators for arithmetic, graphing functions, finding maxima, minima and intersection points, evaluating trigonometric functions, and more. This course is taught in the Math Lab setting, in which students are guided through the course material and learning resources at their own pace.
The prerequisites are Algebra II and Geometry.
This course is an introduction to calculus geared toward those students who want to take calculus but do not want to endure the fast-paced nature and rigors of AP Calculus-AB. This course follows the same curriculum as AP Calculus-AB, but certain topics are excluded from the study. The focus is on limits, the derivative, the integral, and the application of an interaction between these three broad concepts. More specifically, topics include a review of functions, continuity, differentiability, extrema, Riemann sums, the fundamental theorem of calculus, and areas between curves. Use of a graphing calculator is an important component of this course. This course is taught in the Math Lab setting, in which students are guided through the course material and learning resources at their own pace.
The prerequisite is Pre-Calculus.
This course is a functional approach to algebra that incorporates the use of appropriate technology and project-based learning to simulate real-life situations involving the need for algebra to understand and resolve a situation. Emphasis is placed on the study of linear and quadratic equations and inequalities, graphs of equations, linear and quadratic models, polynomials, exponents, logarithms, and trigonometric identities.
This course is restricted to seniors. The prerequisite is Algebra II.
This is an advanced and abstract math course geared toward students who have already mastered the calculus sequence. The focus is abstract thinking and mathematical proofs. The course topics include set theory, combinatorics, graph theory, group theory, and number theory. This course will function as an independent study where students meet with the instructor once per week. Enrollment is by instructor permission only.
This course is designed to give students a basic understanding of geometry concepts that they can use in the study of other branches of mathematics in high school and college, in their career choices, or in everyday life. The study of geometry strengthens a student’s ability to analyze and sharpens their problem-solving skills. The course starts off with an introduction to reasoning and proofs. These principles are then applied throughout the course as the students learn about parallel and perpendicular lines, congruence, similarity, right triangles, trigonometry, expressing geometric properties with expressions, geometric measurement and dimensions, and circles.
The prerequisite is Algebra I.
An advanced and abstract math course geared toward students who have mastered the calculus sequence. The focus is on vector space theory and the underlying geometry of n-space. Topics include vector spaces, linear transformations, matrix representation, eigenvectors, and their application to physics and other branches of math. Enrollment is by instructor permission only.
This is a quarter-length elective course whose focus is to prepare for local and national math contests. The focus is on building problem-solving skills and fostering collaboration. The mathematical topics include combinatorics, probability, elementary number theory, recursively defined functions, and geometry. A special emphasis is placed on logic and proof writing. The math team competes in the annual Harvard-MIT math tournament in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Stanford Math Tournament in Palo Alto, California. Additional expenses for traveling to these contests are not included in tuition. Local contests include the Snow College Math Contest, the AMC 10/12, and the Utah State Math Competition.
The prerequisite is Algebra II, though Pre-Calculus is highly recommended.
Statistics is a project-based class, emphasizing real-world applications of statistics. This course gives students the skills that are used in a number of different academic areas and opens their eyes to information that is presented to them every day. Students explore how to interpret this wealth of information appropriately. Topics covered include, but are not limited to: data collection and experimental design, visualizing data, linear regression, normal distributions, and inference methods. This class makes extensive use of spreadsheet technology and graphing calculators.
The prerequisite is Algebra II, but Precalculus is recommended.
(Not taught in the 2019-20 Academic Year)
This is a preparation course for the AP Statistics exam. This course gives students the skills that are used in a number of different academic areas and opens their eyes to information that is presented to them every day. Students explore how to interpret this wealth of information appropriately. Topics covered include, but are not limited to, data collection and experimental design, displaying data, linear regression, normal distributions, and inference methods. This class makes extensive use of graphing calculators.
The prerequisite is Algebra II, but Pre-Calculus is recommended.
The Center for Contemporary Music
Certificate Program requirements and Course Curriculum will be announced in August 2019.
Dance Technique I
This course will focus on exploring the foundations of ballet and modern dance. It will also include study in improvisation, choreography, anatomy and dance history. This is a fun, challenging, active course emphasizing all aspects of the art of dance. Daily class activities will include focus on form and technique, strength and flexibility conditioning, playing with expression through movement, choreography and performance preparation. Students will participate in exhibitions of learning, such as performances, throughout the semester and may work collaboratively with other departments. This course is intended to set a strong foundation in technique while allowing the dancer to develop personal movement style and explore a variety of interests in the world of dance. The main assessments for this class include projects, choreography, performances and weekly observations of student work. Students are also expected to articulate their personal philosophy of dance and desired path within the discipline. The projects will be discussed on an ongoing basis and will be based on individual and group skill level and interests.
This course emphasizes instruction, study, and practice in various styles of guitar performance. The course content varies to adapt to the individual expertise and musical interests of students. Previous guitar experience is not required for this course.
The International Percussion class is designed for all students regardless of ability or experience. This course develops beginning to advanced-level performance skills on various instruments of the percussion family, including both melodic and non-melodic instruments. The skills developed in this class will include beginning to advanced music fundamentals, drumming techniques, music interpretation, aural skills, note and rhythm reading, sight-reading, ensemble and solo skills. In addition to learning techniques on buckets, students will work with various drums from many different cultures including djembes, cojons, tubanos, and timbaus. Students in International Percussion Ensemble are expected to participate in at least one evening concert each semester as well as other performance opportunities throughout the school year as part of their summative grade.
This course explores the history, traditions, and techniques of theatre. Students will master stage directions and the fundaments of stagecraft. The course focuses particularly on character motivation and the Stanislavski acting method. Students complete the process of auditioning, rehearsing, and producing a full length play each semester.
This class is open to all students regardless of level or experience. Beginner piano students, as well as Intermediate and Advanced piano students, are encouraged to join. Beginning piano students focus on piano basics, and skills such as sight reading, theory, ear training, memorization, technique, and performance are developed throughout the course for Intermediate and Advanced students. Through music learning, students may also explore ethnic heritage, composers, music history, and other subjects of personal interest while working on their piano methods and technique. Students may complete piano levels one through six in the Piano Marvel, working individually and also with piano duets. Each student is expected to perform on the piano either in class, a larger concert, or all-school venue.
String Class offers instruction on violin, viola, cello, and string bass instruments with a focus on the skills necessary for long-term success. Fundamentals stressed include proper posture and playing position, development of characteristic tone quality and training in music literacy. The school does have string instruments available for students who don’t have their own. String Class is open to all students, regardless of experience level. Students in String Class will perform at least twice a year.
Vocal Ensemble explores choral and vocal ensemble music from a wide variety of cultures and time periods through study and performance. The core curriculum emphasizes the basics of vocal technique, healthy singing, proper diction, music theory and music history. Students in Vocal Ensemble are expected to participate in at least one evening concert each semester as well as other performance opportunities throughout the school year as part of their summative grade.
The science department at Wasatch Academy will:
- Challenge students to explore and think critically about scientific phenomena in the natural world through innovation, critical thinking, problem-solving, curiosity, inspiration, creativity, and imagination;
- Foster independent and critical thinking skills used in scientific inquiry in the field and in the laboratory: specifically in developing high order research, writing, experimentation, data formulation, statistics, and presentation;
- Collaborate with students, faculty, and staff across all areas of interests and departments by sharing and leading through an initiative, planning, and execution of scientific inquiry;
- Explore the physical world through project-based- and individualized learning using modern laboratory space, instruments, equipment, and techniques;
- Develop a fundamental understanding of, and ability to use the methods of scientific inquiry to prepare our students for solving problems in our local, national, and global communities;
- Promote and foster an environment that empowers students to develop academically, socially, emotionally, physically, morally, and ethically in preparation for college, graduate, and professional schools.
Students need a minimum of three (3) Science credits to graduate from Wasatch Academy. One of the three science credits MUST be Biology (usually taken in the Sophomore year, but could be fulfilled by transfer credit). Thus, a typical student might take (in order) “Physical Science (PS)” and “College Preparatory Biology,” and then any one of the following Science Elective courses in “Physics,” “Chemistry,” “Geology,” “Ecology,” “Western Water, Landscapes and Sustainability,” and “Human Anatomy & Physiology” or any of our 3 Advanced Placement (AP) science classes (Biology, Physics and Chemistry) to complete the graduation requirements. Be sure to check with your college counselor before enrolling in any elective classes.
Please note that 3 science classes is the minimum requirement for graduation, but it is highly recommended by college admissions departments, and by our WA college counselors that students should take four (4) or more science classes before graduation, with at least one Science class per year, especially if a student is planning on entering a science related field in college and graduate/professional school.
Once a student has completed the stated Science requirements, there are many outstanding Advanced Placement (AP) and Elective science courses to enhance and progress students’ understanding of science and its applications.
All classes are year-long (two semesters) unless otherwise noted:
Advanced placement (AP) courses
All AP courses are year-long elective classes that follow the curriculum provided by The College Board (http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/home) for the equivalent of a year of introductory college content. Students should adhere to all prerequisites and proficiencies advised for entry and success in these classes that are designed for students to “pass the AP exam” in early May each year. All students are encouraged to take the exams and score highly to increase their chances of admission to more selective colleges, even if they don’t plan to use AP credits for “placing out” of college freshmen classes, or as credits toward college graduation. These are necessarily fast-paced and deep-content classes for motivated and aspiring young science students.
The year-long curriculum is equivalent to a first-year college course usually taken by biology majors, with emphasis on passing the AP Biology test in early May. The course extends and expands the “regular” (10th grade level) high school Biology course with respect to both the range and depth of topics covered, the kind of laboratory work performed by individual and small groups of students, and the time and effort required by the students in preparation for the detailed May exam. Topics covered include the biochemistry of life; cells and cell energetics; heredity; molecular genetics in viruses, prokaryotes, and eukaryotes; evolution and natural selection; diversity of organisms and populations; structure and function of plants and animals; and ecology. Students will conduct suggested College Board AP Biology laboratories and hands-on activities both on- and off-campus. The primary emphasis is to develop an advanced understanding of biological concepts and their applications; a grasp of science as a process rather than as an accumulation of facts; personal experience in scientific inquiry; recognition of unifying themes that integrate the major topics of biology; and the application of biological knowledge and critical thinking to environmental and social concerns worldwide. Students are expected to take the AP exam in May at the end of the school year.
AP Chemistry is a year-long elective class that follows the curriculum for inorganic chemistry provided by the College Board for the equivalent of a year of introductory college chemistry. Broad topic descriptions include a review of chemical principles and stoichiometry; thermochemistry and thermodynamics; solution chemistry; atomic models and structure; the periodic table; solids, liquids, and gases; kinetics, equilibrium, and electrochemistry. The prerequisite is a year of high school chemistry and proficiency with math, pre-calculus or higher. Students are expected to take the AP exam in May at the end of the school year.
AP Physics (C, “Mechanics”)
AP Physics (C, “Mechanics”) is a year-long elective class that follows the curriculum provided by the College Board for the equivalent of a year of introductory college Physics. The prerequisite is a year of high school Physics and a year of Calculus. A co-requisite of Calculus may be an option pending approval from the instructor. AP calculus will expand on the “regular” physics course delving deeper into the mathematical aspects of physics, complex problem solving, and conceptual understanding of the material covered. Major topics include kinematics, dynamics, energy, momentum, rotational dynamics, and simple harmonic motion. Hands-on labs exploring all the major physics topics will be performed while learning about measurement, data collection, and statistics with data display and discussion. Students are expected to take the AP exam in May at the end of the school year. This course would be an excellent option for those students considering a college major in Physical Science or Engineering. This is a year-long course.
This is a mandatory 2-semester course aimed at Sophomores and other students who have completed PS or equivalent (see above) and is a requirement for graduation by all students. The class begins with a survey of the diversity of life in 3 domains, emphasizing the 9 animal kingdoms. We then focus on the integrated topics of Evolution, Genetics, and Molecular and Cell Biology, and explore major themes of biological diversity as an experimental science, using interactive laboratories, field trips, and a variety of computer and web-based activities, movies, videos, and other resources to supplement the hands-on curriculum.
This is a year-long science class with labs that study the properties, structure, and composition of physical matter. Throughout this course, students will develop an understanding of how matter interacts with itself to form new materials through a process of calculations, critical thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving. Students will apply their critical thinking and calculations through hands-on, inquiry-based laboratory activities. Topics explored throughout this course include the Periodic Table of the Elements, subatomic particles, naming compounds, chemical bonding, stoichiometry, aqueous and organic solutions, and chemical reactions. Due to the emphasis and frequent integration of mathematical calculations in this course, students must have a strong foundation in math. Algebra I is a prerequisite.
This course is designed to help students interpret and understand the physical world around us. We will investigate and study the interactions between the Earth’s four spheres including the geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere to explain Earth’s formation, natural processes, history, landscapes, and changes over time. The first semester will discuss topics on the Earth’s Formation and History, along with a basic look at different rocks and minerals and the processes that cause them to form. The second semester will look at Earth’s changes, focusing on plate tectonics, and then looking at more specific information about the formation of specific landforms of plate boundaries as well as the effects of plate movement such as earthquakes. Students will participate in laboratory exercises, field trips, small group activities, class discussions, and many research projects throughout the year. This is a full-year class.
Human Anatomy & Physiology
This upper-level elective course requires Biology and either Physics or Chemistry as prerequisites. The course focuses on structure and function in the human body, using organ systems to integrate concepts of anatomical location; cellular and whole body growth and development; movement, metabolism, and nutrition; injuries and rehabilitation; genetic and acquired diseases with diagnoses and treatments. This course has applications and prepares students for college-level courses in the medical field such as nursing, physical therapy, dentistry, optometry, sports and emergency medicine, and athletic training. The class is taught with a hands-on approach using animal dissection, human cadaver observations, physiology labs, videos/films, in-class and off-campus activities, field trips, individual and small group research projects, discussions, and presentations.
Have you ever been outside in nature and observed birds and fish, or flowers and trees, and seen the way living things interact with their environment? And have you ever noticed that everything in our world is interconnected and wondered Where do I fit into all this? How do I impact my environment? This new course will focus on the scientific principles that are involved with the various systems that interact in both natural and man-made environments. Ecology is the study of the interactions of living organisms and their environment. This course will begin by providing a background in the fundamental principles of ecological science, including concepts of natural selection, population and community ecology, biodiversity, and sustainability. By studying ecosystems both in the classroom and outside in natural settings, students will begin to understand how the natural world works, and to comprehend how scientific methods are used to develop ecological knowledge of our planet. Once a solid foundation is established the course will then delve into the topics of today’s major ecological challenges our planet is facing, and explore the research being done to address these concerns. Throughout this course, students will examine ecology through different scopes and perspectives, from small and individual organisms to the entire biosphere of earth and its systems and how they interact to create this amazing and life-sustaining place we call home. Come join on this journey that will help to make you a more knowledgeable and prepared citizen of planet Earth. This is a full-year class.
This introductory physics class requires a solid foundation in Algebra and a basic familiarity with scientific methods, the metric system, and trigonometry. The course is a survey of basic physics beginning with the study of mechanics and covers motion, forces, momentum, energy, and gravity. The course then moves into topics of electricity and magnetism while we explore forces that we cannot see, but exist all around us. We end the year by learning about simple harmonic motion, physical waves, sound, and light. This course will explore basic algebraic relationships found in nature and delve into conceptual physics through inquiry-based projects. Some examples of projects from last year include protecting an egg passenger in a car crash, shooting a projectile into a target, designing an electromagnet, and egg bungee jumping. This 2-semester elective course.
This is a lower-level mandatory class for 8th and 9th-grade students, and incoming students without similar class content to prepare them for Biology, Physics, and Chemistry. Classical and project-based learning (PBL) approaches are combined with lab and class activities, field trips, and internet-based active participation in physical science projects and experimentation. Skills are taught alongside content, and the relationship between the sciences and mathematics are emphasized.
Applications of Advanced Biology
(Not taught in the 2018-19 Academic Year)
This 2-semester upper-level elective course requires Biology and either Physics or Chemistry as prerequisites. The class covers the general subjects of Cell and Molecular Biology, plus Microbiology and Genetics. Subject matter includes DNA, RNA, and protein interactions, cellular metabolism, and bacterial and human genetics. The class is taught with a hands-on approach using labs, films, activities, individual and small group research projects, discussions, individual and small group presentations. The course covers controversial issues in ecology, environmental science, population diversity, agriculture, animal and food science, with industrial applications of genetic engineering used in biotechnology, gene therapy and medicine.
AP Environmental Science (APES)
(Not taught in the 2019-20 Academic Year)
This upper-level elective is for students who have completed Biology and who are ready for the demands of an Advanced Placement class. We will study all aspects of the natural world and its interactions with humans, using Biology, Chemistry, and Earth Science but also law and public policy. Students must be motivated to do extensive reading and studying on their own. Classes will focus on laboratories, field trips, and test preparation, with little formal lecture outside of guest speakers. Students are expected to take the AP exam in May at the end of the school year. This is a year-long class.
(Not taught in the 2019-20 Academic Year)
This semester-long course is an introduction to the universe beyond our planet. We begin with a macro view by examining the cultural significance of various constellations and their locations in the sky. Once we have an understanding of the various shapes that are made up by the stars, we begin to look at more specific objects in the sky such as nebulae, star clusters, galaxies and the other planets in our solar system. This leads to exploratory questions such as “what are these objects?”, “how are they created?”, “what do they become in the future?”. We will also investigate more locally observable phenomena such as solar and lunar eclipses, and the various phases of the moon. The class relies on projects and regular observation sessions to encourage students to pursue inquiries explaining the universe that we see every night.
(Not taught in the 2019-20 Academic Year)
This 1-semester course is offered each semester and covers both native plants and trees from Utah and the southwest, as well as non-native ornamental and fruit-bearing species that grow well in Utah. The course includes some sessions in the classroom, with many hands-on activities including planting techniques, replanting demonstrations, branch grafting, and fieldwork both on campus and off.
(Not taught in the 2019-20 Academic Year)
This course provides unique, challenging, broad-based educational opportunities for students who have a special interest in horses and the horse industry. The course has in-classroom work with hands-on learning at the WA Equestrian Center and in the field to engage students and prepare them for advance courses in college and veterinary school, and also for use in the horse industry and business school.
Western Water, Landscapes, and Sustainability (upper-level Ecology)
(Not taught in the 2019-20 Academic Year)
In this upper-level elective course, students adopt an interdisciplinary approach to landscape ecology and the role of water therein. We will develop techniques for exploring, interpreting, and studying both wild and cultured landscapes, beginning with an introduction to landscape ecology with a primary focus on exploring the interconnected landscapes of the Colorado Plateau. The geophysical, biological, socio-cultural, aesthetic, and politico-economic landscapes will be examined as distinct entities and as an interconnected mosaic of landscape layers. Topics covered include the ecology and natural history of water, biogeography of flora and fauna, landscape evolution, weather and climate change, artistic and literary interpretations of landscapes, past and present roles of humans on landscapes (and rivers in particular), and the role of public lands in landscape preservation, conservation, and restoration. With landscape ecology as a foundation, we will spend much of the second semester studying the regional landscapes in the context of sustainability, the Anthropocene Epoch, and the pervasive influence of humans on the land. While each of these topics will be explored in the context of the Colorado Plateau, we will also compare the arid West with other regions across the globe. Students will engage in project-based learning, research, and presentations related to sustainability in the context of water, food, energy, and transportation systems. Field trips to riverside locales, research stations, museums, and state and federal water projects will round out the curriculum for this course. It is designed to be a year-long course, but it is adaptable enough to allow motivated students to join after Semester 1.
S.T.E.A.M. – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math
(Not taught in the 2019-20 Academic Year)
This quarter-long, hands-on PBL (Project-Based Learning) class is designed to engage students who are interested in doing projects that span the 5 disciplines in ways that may never have been imagined before. Students and faculty work closely together in small groups to design, build, create, test concepts and products in small group and whole class projects throughout the school year. STEAM is all about unleashing your creativity from a variety of different venues. How can you engineer a product to demonstrate a mathematical concept? Can you choreograph a dance to describe photosynthesis? How would a physicist help a sculptor? Thinking across disciplines opens up our minds to a world of new questions and approaches for learning. Students have the opportunity to design projects with a focus on any/all of the STEAM core subjects; participate in Science Olympiad in statewide competitions; participate in local, county, and state-wide Science Fairs; collaborate with others whose skills are different from your own; unlock ideas you’ve never thought of by stretching your brain to approach questions from a different perspective. Our class motto is: “Let’s get our hands dirty and have some fun!” As John Schuler said: “If school is like baking a cake, then core components like math, technology, engineering, and science are the flour, then the visual, performing and creative arts are the sugar. That cake just isn’t going to taste as good without the sugar.”
About the Social Studies Program
Students need a minimum of three (3) social studies credits to graduate from Wasatch Academy. One of the social studies credits MUST be a non-Western history (this is broadly construed and covers classes from Global Studies to Model United Nations. It could also be fulfilled by transfer credit). Another of the three social studies credits MUST be United States history (usually taken in the junior year, but could be fulfilled by transfer credit). Thus, a typical student might take (in order) “Global Studies I”, “Global Studies II”, and “United States History”. Then in their fourth year a student would be free to pursue an elective credit such as “Economics” or “Model United Nations” (though students are welcome to take Model United Nations earlier in their high school career), or the student can pursue a more challenging AP course such as “AP United States history” or “AP psychology”. Be sure to check with your college counselor before enrolling in any elective classes.
Please note that 3 social studies classes is the minimum requirement for graduation, but it is highly recommended by college admissions departments, and by our WA college counselors that students should take four (4) or more social studies classes before graduation, with at least one social studies class per year, especially if a student is planning on entering a humanities or social science related field in college and graduate/professional school.
Advanced placement (AP) courses
All AP courses are year-long elective classes that follow the curriculum provided by The College Board (http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/home) for the equivalent of a year of introductory college content. Please adhere to all prerequisites and proficiencies advised for entry and success in these classes that are designed for students to “pass the AP exam” in early May each year. Students are encouraged to take the exams and score highly to increase their chances of admission to more selective colleges, even if they don’t plan to use AP credits for placing out of college freshmen classes, or as credits toward college graduation.
All classes are year-long (two semesters) unless otherwise noted.
7th Grade Humanities
The focus of this course is on world regions. Literature is used that corresponds with social studies aspects of what is being explored. There will be a study of geography, cultures, and causes of conflict and change. Students will develop skills in critical thinking and communication. Learning revolves largely around project-based learning and student choice.
8th grade Social Studies
The focus of 8th grade Social Studies will be on the 5 themes of geography, with the first semester focusing on the West and second semester on the East. Students will learn about major distinctions in the regions such as environment, religion, ancient civilizations, and moving towards the goal of understanding how cultures have spread around the world. Students will become familiar with both primary and secondary sources, designing their own projects to drive learning, and improve on skills such as reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
8th Grade Humanities
This course will focus on history, geography, and literature of the 19th century on topics from the East and West. Students will use primary and secondary sources to discover and write about issues of the time period. Moreover, for each topic discussed, students will choose the literature they want to read to support their learning. There will be an emphasis on student choice and project-based learning for each topic discussed in the course.
The AP Psychology course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals within 14 units. 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. The course aims to prepare students to take the AP Psychology exam in May so it is a fast paced course with daily reading and assignments.
AP United States History
Advanced Placement United States history is a yearlong college-level course that explores the evolution of political institutions, social and cultural developments, diplomacy, and economic trends in American history. Students analyze and interpret a variety of historical resources and develop the ability to use documentary materials, maps, pictures, and graphic evidence of historical events. This course will operate at an accelerated rate, beyond that of a regular high school class. This includes a college level pace and college level grading.
AP World History
AP World History is designed to be the equivalent of a two-semester introductory college or university world history course. In AP World History students investigate significant events, individuals, developments, and processes in six historical periods from approximately 8000 B.C.E. to the present. Students develop and use the same skills, practices, and methods employed by historians: analyzing primary and secondary sources; making historical comparisons; utilizing reasoning about contextualization, causation, and continuity and change over time; and developing historical arguments. The course provides five themes that students explore throughout the course in order to make connections among historical developments in different times and places: interaction between humans and the environment; development and interaction of cultures; state building, expansion, and conflict; creation, expansion, and interaction of economic systems; and development and transformation of social structures.
Global Studies I
Global Studies II is a course with an emphasis on humanity, both past and present. The course of study is thematic, rather than chronological. Areas of study include civilization, human rights, revolutions/government,, and globalization. Themes that overlap throughout the year is the struggle of the haves versus the have nots, causes of conflict, consequences of actions, and realistic solutions.
Global Studies II
In this course, students learn about issues that affect the world over from a modern and historical perspective. Empathy for others, social justice, and the need for people to work together is the common theme throughout the units. This class particularly focuses on regions in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe (some variation year to year) with issues on human rights, genocide, population demographics, etc. Several memoirs are used to learn about different experiences and events in the past such as A Long Way Gone and Persepolis. Projects are designed to improve students’ ability with writing, speaking, and reading.
The aim of this course is to provide a construct for the theme of international relations which is conflict and cooperation. Students will look at 3 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are aimed at improving life on earth as well as study major conflicts in the 20th century and attempts at cooperation which are still impacting the shape of our world today. Students will be able to choose projects which aim to present and solve issues on SDGs in foreign countries as well as create timelines/presentations which analyze the historical roots and major developments in conflict and cooperation.
Model United Nations
The Model United Nations (MUN) course is a preparatory course for competitive MUN events in which delegates (students) represent other countries opinions on complex topics and also offer solutions that are in the best interest of the country they represent. Students will learn how to write position papers on topics in various United Nations committees and create resolutions to the problems which these topics pose. Students will also learn skills in a parliamentary procedure which allow them to constructively debate the best resolution for a topic. The team will travel to four conferences in the year. Commitment and participation at these conferences is expected as part of the course. It is a terrific way to exercise diplomacy and demonstrate cooperation on real issues facing our world.
The General Psychology course is designed to introduce students to the study of psychology within eight units which are more focused on depth than breadth. It aims to answer the question of why we behave the way we do and to provide empathy for the human condition. Students will study the history of psychology as a discipline and build to modern psychological practices. There will be an emphasis on inquiry and project based learning on topics related to the course.
United States History
The course has students investigate the content of U.S. history for significant events, individuals, developments, and processes at various time periods. Students develop critical thinking, reading, listening, writing, and communication skills. The end goal of the course is to understand pivotal moments in American history in its temporal context but also as it helps to frame the narrative of current events.
Technology & Engineering
AP Computer Science
This course focuses on the basic principles and concepts of object-oriented programming using JAVA. Students learn about classes, interfaces, operators, program control, arrays, testing, debugging, inheritance, polymorphism, and event-handling. They also develop techniques for simplifying the programming process and improving code quality in this activity-based learning classroom.
Adobe Illustrator & InDesign
Students in this course will learn to create and design their own work using vectors, shapes, and paths. The elements of design are referenced to create a page layout, engaging visual compositions, and give structure to support the art that is created.
Adobe Photoshop & After Effects
Students will learn to create and modify RGB images using elements of design through masks, adjustment layers, blending modes, images layers and more. Adobe After Effects will use media created in Photoshop and film produced by students to create cinematic effects and styles to tell visual stories.
Animation students acquire the modeling skills and knowledge necessary to create a visual story. Concepts covered include story boarding, production timelines, object mesh modeling and UV texture unwrapping, lighting, rigging, animating, rendering in a 3D software package.
Digital Audio 1 & 2
This course focuses on current computer technology and technical skills related to music recording, creation, and production using hardware and software tools such as Garage Band, Logic Pro X, and Pro Tools. Students learn techniques to create audio projects that meet their individual needs.
Digital Film / Video
This course is used to familiarize students with different aspects of composing videos to express their voice. They learn pre-production, scripting, shooting and editing techniques which they can apply to a variety of videos such as commercials, documentaries, promotions, and broadcasting.
This course serves as an introduction to many different facets of engineering. Students first learn about what it is that engineers actually do and the engineering design process. They complete design projects in which they are asked to reflect upon how they used the engineering process. Then students get a taste of industrial engineering and factory management. They begin the practice of keeping an engineering notebook. Students continue to apply the engineering design process and organizational skills they have been honing as they begin to understand the functioning of simple machines and mechanical engineering through hands-on experimentation and building. Students then begin to learn about how to best use technology by working with software engineering and robotics and completing various electrical engineering projects using microcontrollers such as Arduino.
Intro to Programming
This course introduces students to the concepts, principles, and skills of computer programming. Programming environments include Scratch, Alice, and Java scripting, where students create and troubleshoot programs. Collaborative projects with the English and Spanish departments also allow students to produce simple games.
Intro to Robotics
This course introduces students to the basic concepts and principles of robotics. Students use mobile Lego robots as tools and create, troubleshoot, and program progressively more complex robots.
The robotics course is intended for students with a strong interest in robotics and, in particular, in competing at the level of the First Tech Challenge or other robotics events. Students focus on the mechanics involved in motion, steering, elevating, tossing, and more. They learn how to safely wire the robots with batteries, motors, and sensors. Students also become expert programmers using platforms such as RobotC, Labview, or Arduino to control their robots. This is a very hands-on course and requires a competitive edge.
Rocketry is a course designed for students with an interest in aerospace engineering or related fields. Course will focus on rockets and rocket engines developed from scratch, multi-stage rockets, high-power rocketry, and detailed flight analysis by onboard computers. Students will learn how to safely design and construct rockets and rocket engines as well as analyze potential hazards in strength and durability. Accomplished students will move on to explorations in supersonic flight, high altitude flight, or other areas of the student’s interest.
Video Game Design
Students in this course are introduced to the theory and concepts of computer graphics built for a real-time video game engine. Concept idea to complete a playable game level using self-created 3d assets in a running game engine is the goal. Collaboration with programming students to design, build and implement a game concept to working game level in real-time over the course of 2 semesters.
Do you like photography? Writing? Editing? Design? The yearbook is the best “job” on campus! Imagine being part of the team that makes the one keepsake that most students will keep for the rest of their lives! Yearbook students get to work together to decide what events and organizations are represented. Handing out the completed book at the end of the year is an unbelievable feeling of accomplishment. Join us! Class size is limited to 12 students. Approval from Mrs. Lee is required (contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org).
This beginning level Mandarin course is designed for students who had none or little prior experience or background in this language. Setting a basic language and cultural foundation of Chinese, it seeks to develop students’ communicative competence that enables them to take upon future challenges from more advanced courses in the academic realm and task applications in real-life contexts. In this period, students should be able to respond in simple phrases and have some simple routine conversations.
This course is designed for students who had learned Mandarin for about one year or with equivalent experience. Setting a solid and comprehensive language and cultural foundation of Chinese, it seeks to strengthen students’ communicative competence that enables them to take upon future challenges from more advanced courses in the academic realm and task applications in real-life contexts. In this period, students should be able to have some simple daily conversations and have a better understanding of Chinese culture.
This course is designed for students who had learned Mandarin for about two years or with equivalent experience. Setting a solid and comprehensive language and cultural foundation of Chinese, it seeks to sharpen students’ communicative competence that enables them to take upon future challenges from more advanced courses in the academic realm and task applications in real-life contexts. In this period, students should be able to have daily conversations in real life and have a deeper understanding of Chinese culture.
Level: Intermediate mid/high
In this course, you will use authentic Chinese materials and sources to develop your language skills in multiple modes of communication, including two-way interactions in both writing and speaking; interpretation of audio, audiovisual, and print materials; and oral and written presentation of information and ideas. The AP Chinese Language and Culture course is designed to be comparable to fourth semester(or equivalent) college/university courses in Mandarin Chinese. These college courses, which deepen students’ immersion into the language and culture of the Chinese -speaking word, typically represent the point at which students’ complete approximately 250 hours of college-level classroom instruction. Coursework provides students with opportunities to perform Intermediate to Advanced level tasks, and students are expected to achieve proficiencies throughout, and sometimes beyond, the intermediate-range, as describe in the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Proficiency Guidelines.
This course is designed for students who had learned Mandarin for about three years or with equivalent experience. Setting a solid and comprehensive language and cultural foundation of Chinese, it is aimed at preparing students for a higher level of communicative competence and cultural understanding. Practically, with the purpose of communicating in Chinese accurately and appropriately in mind, students will acquire and sharpen their contextualized communicative skills in different areas.
Spanish 1 is an introductory course to the Spanish language and cultures. It will follow a proficiency approach to learning language, which will prepare students to be college and career ready. It will help to answer the growing need for critical skills of language and cultural competencies for relationship building—a keystone for success in global business and diverse social environments.
Spanish 1 will focus on the four strands of language development: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. We will follow the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages Proficiency Guidelines: Novice-Low, Mid, High; Intermediate Low, Mid, High; Advanced Low, Mid, High.
The communicative purposes are outlined as follows:
- Interpersonal (speaking, listening, writing, reading)
- Interpretive (reading, listening, viewing)
- Presentational (writing, speaking, visually representing)
The intercultural competencies are:
- investigation of cultures’ products and practices
- understanding of cultures’ perspectives (ways of thinking)
- interaction, bridging one’s own and the other’s culture.
The proficiency goals for Spanish 1 are to have students achieve a rating of Novice Mid which gives students some functionality in the language using a broad spectrum of memorized phrases and uses. Cultural competencies are limited to recognizing basic geographic boundaries, foods, pastimes, etc.
Spanish 2 is a continuation of the Spanish 1 introductory course to the Spanish language and cultures. It will follow a proficiency approach to learning language, which will prepare students to be college and career ready. It will help to answer the growing need for critical skills of language and cultural competencies for relationship building—a keystone for success in global business and diverse social environments.
Spanish 2 will focus on the four strands of language development: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. We will follow the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages Proficiency Guidelines: Novice-Low, Mid, High; Intermediate Low, Mid, High; Advanced Low, Mid, High.
The communicative purposes are outlined as follows:
- Interpersonal (speaking, listening, writing, reading)
- Interpretive (reading, listening, viewing)
- Presentational (writing, speaking, visually representing)
The intercultural competencies are:
- Investigation of cultures’ products and practices
- Understanding of cultures’ perspectives (ways of thinking)
- Interaction, bridging one’s own and the other’s culture.
The proficiency goals for Spanish 2 are to have students achieve a rating of Novice Mid – Novice High which gives students more functionality in the language using a broad spectrum of memorized phrases and uses. Cultural competencies are limited to recognizing basic geographic boundaries, foods, pastimes, etc., and greater exploration of how cultures impact each other. In the second semester of Spanish 2 students will begin to learn narration in the past.
Spanish 3 builds upon the foundations of Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 with an increased emphasis on speech and language creation and production. Spanish 3 also emphasizes more complex grammar structures as well as increased understanding of global Hispanic culture. Communicative and Cultural competencies are the same as those in Spanish 1 and Spanish 2. The proficiency goals for Spanish 3 are Novice High with students showing tendencies toward and operating a little in the Intermediate Low range. In Spanish 3 students will begin to use grammar structures that involve probability and/or possibility in the future as well as distinguishing the two past tense forms of verbs. This level will show a marked increase in vocabulary learning and usage.
Spanish 4 will build upon all that has been studied in Spanish 1-3 with an emphasis in becoming extremely proficient in the present tense while also beginning to handle narration in the past and beginning to use the future/conditional and the subjunctive. This level of language use would be necessary for working as a cashier, clerk, a missionary, etc. in highly predictable contexts. Learners at this level will begin to create with language, initiate and maintain simple conversations. The ACTFUL goals for this level are Intermediate Low with approximations to IM Mid.
AP Spanish Language & Culture
The AP Spanish Language and Culture course emphasizes communication (understanding and being understood by others) by applying the interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes of communication 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 & Culture
The AP Spanish Literature and Culture course use a thematic approach to introduce students to representative texts (short stories, novels, poetry, and essays) from Peninsular Spanish, Latin American, and the United States Hispanic literature. Students continue to develop proficiencies across the full range of the modes of communication (interpersonal, presentational, and interpretive), 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, and literary criticism).
Beginning French students will delve into the exciting language and culture of the Francophone world. Through targeted speaking, reading, listening, and writing practice, students develop the skills to share information about themselves and engage others in basic conversation. They will also explore what makes Francophone culture unique and French one of the most important languages in our global society. Students will be expected to perform regularly in simulated daily life scenarios while simultaneously developing their written and grammatical understanding of French. The course also involves students researching and presenting on cultural topics throughout the year. At the end of their first year, students should be able to maintain a basic conversation and carry out simple tasks in a French-speaking country, as well as understand basic grammatical features of the language.
In French II, students will continue their exploration into the exciting language and culture of the Francophone world. Through targeted speaking, reading, listening, and writing practice, students develop the skills to share information about themselves and deepen their conversation with others. They will also broaden their understanding of what makes Francophone culture unique and French one of the most important languages in our global society. Students will be expected to perform regularly in simulated daily life scenarios while simultaneously developing their written and grammatical understanding of French. The course also involves students researching and presenting on cultural topics throughout the year. At the end of their second year, students should be able to maintain a conversation and carry out increasingly complex tasks in a French-speaking country. They should also understand grammatical features of the language, including the ability to speak confidently about past, present, and future events
In French III, students will continue developing their language skills in order to begin discussing more abstract concepts in French. Through authentic readings, listenings and other explorations of Francophone culture, students further their understanding of La Francophonie. Students will be expected to perform regularly in simulated daily life scenarios while simultaneously refining their written and grammatical understanding of French. The course also involves students researching and presenting on cultural topics of their choice throughout the year. At the end of their third year, students should feel comfortable maintaining a conversation and carry out increasingly complex tasks in a French-speaking country. They should also understand grammatical features of the language, including the ability to speak confidently about past, present, future, and subjunctive events.
In French IV, students will continue developing their language skills in order to begin discussing more abstract concepts in French. Through authentic readings, listenings and other explorations of Francophone culture, students further their understanding of La Francophonie. Students will be expected to perform regularly in simulated daily life scenarios while simultaneously refining their written and grammatical understanding of French. The course also involves students researching and presenting on cultural topics of their choice throughout the year. At the end of their fourth year, students should feel comfortable maintaining a conversation and carry out increasingly complex tasks in a French-speaking country. They should also understand grammatical features of the language, including the ability to speak confidently about past, present, future, and subjunctive events.
The AP French Language and Culture course emphasizes communication (understanding and being understood by others) by applying the interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes of communication 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).