Curriculum

Dwight Global’s courses are designed to be rigorous, providing students with a solid foundation for future study. They are also designed to be relevant, drawing on real-life examples with a global perspective. Students learn with others who are motivated and work with highly talented instructors in an atmosphere of collegial engagement that makes coming to class something Dwight Global students look forward to.

English

English 9

Grade nine English is a course designed to build upon the Middle School curriculum and to develop the more challenging reading, writing, and critical-thinking skills demanded of the High School program. Students read J.D. Salinger’s classic novel The Catcher in The Rye, William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel Persepolis.

Despite the differences in style, voice and genre, these units share common themes centered on free will, fate, and the evolution of one’s own identity. Assignments and discussions compel students to ponder how cultural, religious, and political contexts affect the development of the individual and of society.

Written assessments include formal essays, personal reflections, and various creative pieces. The writing curriculum is enhanced through regular lessons and assessments on grammar, mechanics, and vocabulary.

English 10

In this course, we will examine various writing styles and analyze themes from four major texts: William Shakespeare’s Macbeth; Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence; F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby; and Six American Poets, focusing on the progression of American poetry through Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson.

While reading The Great Gatsby, we’ll have the opportunity to discuss ambition and destiny. We will also explore the meaning of the “American Dream” and its effects on each character. Students will demonstrate their understanding of the novel in a variety of ways ― through discussion, quizzes, creative projects, and written assignments.

While reading Macbeth, we will continue our conversations about the concepts of ambition and fate, and discuss the degree to which human beings control their own destinies. Examining Macbeth will also provide us with the opportunity to study the elements unique to the genre of drama and to continue to explore the complex relationship between language and meaning. To fully delve into these topics, students will write informal reflections and review visual interpretations of the play.

The students’ experience with The Age of Innocence, and their understanding of the extreme wealth of New York society during the Gilded Age, will be enhanced by a final project, essay, and written assignments.

The course will culminate in an examination of American poetry, looking at the ways in which various American poets have explored the themes we’ve discussed throughout the year. Throughout the course, students will continue their development of vocabulary and grammar skills via regular exercises and assessments.

English Language Arts

The English Language Arts course is designed to build and develop reading, writing, and critical-thinking skills. Themes of individualism, relationships and identity are explored in texts such as Ayn Rand’s Anthem, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and Night by Elie Wiesel. In addition, Students will explore classic and contemporary literature, including poetry, essays, novels, periodicals, music, and film.

When it comes to writing, students learn the basics of argumentative, expository and narrative writing. The writing curriculum is enhanced through regular lessons on grammar and vocabulary.

The goals of this course are to provide a foundation and to prepare students for the demands of higher-level courses.

English Language & Literature

In this course, students continue to develop higher level English language skills through the integration of critical thinking in reading, writing, and discussion. Themes such as loneliness, conformity, ambition and destiny are explored in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. In addition, students read and discuss a range of classic and contemporary literature including poetry, essays, periodicals, music and film.

In preparation for college level writing, students compose argumentative, expository and narrative works. Teaching and assessment focuses on depth of ideas, organization of writing, and the ability to use language effectively and correctly. The writing curriculum is enhanced through regular lessons on grammar, mechanics, and vocabulary.

AP English Literature & Composition

“If the literature we are reading does not awaken us, why then do we read it? A literary work must be an ice-axe to break the frozen sea inside us.” -Franz Kafka, 1904

This course is designed to engage students in close reading and critical analysis of literature. This course will build upon previous knowledge and literary experience while increasing exposure to, and understanding of, various works texts drawn from multiple genres, periods, and cultures. Students will develop their close reading skills at three levels: experience, interpretation, and evaluation. Some of the many texts students will read include, The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, 1984 by George Orwell, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, as well as selected poetry and short stories.

The AP English Literature and Composition course aligns with an introductory college-level literary analysis course.

AP English Language & Composition

The AP English Language and Composition course focuses on the development and revision of evidence-based analytic and argumentative writing, and the rhetorical analysis of nonfiction texts. The course aligns with 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 this course, students develop a personal style by making appropriate grammatical choices. Additionally, students read and analyze rhetorical elements and their effects in non-fiction texts, including graphic images as forms of text, from many disciplines and historical periods.

English as an Additional Language

This course is for students who are in the process of learning English as an additional language. The course begins with an assessment of English proficiency. From that point, goals are set and instruction is tailored to each individual with the goal of building the speaking, listening, reading comprehension and writing skills needed for success in academics. The curriculum provides meaningful opportunities for interaction as students read, discuss and write about articles on current events and short stories while gaining insight into American culture. Teaching in each of the domains (speaking, listening, reading and writing) is scaled based on proficiency. For example, articles and stories are provided at appropriate level of difficulty. Writing instruction may be scaled from a paragraph to a research paper. 

Languages

Dwight Global Online School comprises a true world community. Following in the tradition of Dwight School in New York, which has students and faculty representing over 40 nationalities, Dwight Global draws its students from everywhere in the world. Our classrooms and hallways, be they online or during residential programs, are filled with the sounds of lively conversations in many languages.

Because our students are everywhere, many of our international students choose to pursue Mother Tongue instruction from institutions in their home countries. For those living abroad or constantly traveling, it is important for them to know that Dwight Global has the resources and the commitment to ensuring that their needs for advanced study, not just in English, but in all languages, can be met.

Our Language Philosophy


Personalized Learning

  • Every student is unique and has different language needs inside and outside the classroom
  • Students have a right to continue to develop their Mother Tongue, helping to instill a greater sense of pride in, and a deeper understanding of, their own identity

Community

  • Language learning helps students to respect and appreciate their own and other cultures
  • Students in Dwight Global and our network of schools forge deeper connections with peers through language learning and proficiency

Global Vision

  • Dwight encourages students to view and meet challenges from a global perspective
  • Language learning promotes international mindedness and multicultural understanding
  • Students become bi-and multi-lingual, positioning them for success in today’s global world

Spanish I

This course covers a range of basic vocabulary and grammatical structures. Students will learn the Spanish alphabet and numbers, how to describe people and themselves, give opinions and express what they like or don’t like to do, and talk about food.

The grammatical structures covered include the concept of feminine and masculine nouns, plural, forming negatives, regular verbs in the present tense, and the irregular verbs “to have” and “to be.” Students will begin learning a range of reading strategies, and to describe and respond to visual and written text. They start to produce language orally, working on intonation and pronunciation. In writing, students will work within the conventions of a limited number of text types.

Spanish II

This course builds upon the material covered in Spanish I. Students will learn to conversational topics ranging from daily routines, shopping, and finding one’s way around, to planning a party, sports, and leisure activities. The grammatical structures covered include conjugation of regular and irregular verbs, and making negative statements; and a review of possessive adjectives and numbers. We introduce reflexive verbs, the preterit tense, and the immediate future. Students continue to gain the skills they need to make comparisons between their own culture and those of the Spanish-speaking world. They also gain a better understanding of writing with a sense of audience, purpose, and context; and begin to practice using a variety of text types.

Spanish III

Spanish III is a course designed to give students the opportunity to communicate in Spanish as well as to continue developing world language skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students will develop and expand upon their prior knowledge and communicative skills at their own pace, but with a common goal. At the conclusion of the course, all students will be able to engage in conversations; provide and obtain information; express feelings and emotions; and exchange opinions in the present, conditional, future, and past tenses of Spanish.

French I

In this course, students begin their introduction to French with fundamental building blocks in four key areas of world language study: listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. The extensive use of authentic materials (video, audio, images or texts) allows for a contextualized and interactive presentation of the vocabulary and the linguistic structures.

Students are actively engaged in completing task-based activities individually and collaboratively, while formulating and testing hypotheses about different aspects of French. The material and the activities engage students in such a way that they learn to develop the necessary metacognitive strategies to be successful both in the processing of the authentic input and in negotiating meaning to reach mutual understanding with other speakers. Cultural information relevant to francophone countries and communities and cross-cultural reflections permeate the class materials from beginning to end.

French II

In this course, students build on the knowledge gained in French I. Students work with many forms of francophone media: music, movies, videos, radio and television clips, movies, blogs, newspaper articles, and magazines. The goal is to help open the doors to another world of communication, so that students enjoy learning French and interacting with francophone culture, apply their content knowledge in other subject areas, and continue to learn other languages in the future. Some of the projects include:

• recording a podcast or skit with your favorite francophone artists

• exchanging written and video correspondence with francophone students

• planning an itinerary for a trip around the world

• watching and analyzing modern French movies

By the end of the year, students will be able to discuss current events in the francophone world, engage in a conversation or a debate with a French speaker, and identify and use the elements of language that make French sound so “French.”

French III

The content and activities of French III aim to further build student confidence and linguistic sophistication in communicating through the four competences: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Grammar points will focus on the passé composé, passé simple, conditionnel, and plus-que-parfait tenses, as well as the subjunctive mood.

In the first part of the course, contemporary French films and associated readings will serve as anchors in project-based modules that explore French and francophone subcultures. The last portion of the course will focus on a reading and analysis of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's Le Petit Prince. Thematic modules feature grammar and structure workshops, discussions and debates, vocabulary exercises, and both traditional and project-based assessments.

By the end of this course, students will be able to discuss and debate some French and francophone history, pop culture, and current events, utilize metacognitive strategies to negotiate meaning in novel francophone media content, and compose a well-organized synthesis of their opinions on a variety of modern issues.

Italian

This course covers a range of basic vocabulary and grammatical structures. Students will learn the Italian alphabet and numbers, how to describe people and themselves, give opinions and express what they like or don’t like to do, and talk about food. The grammatical structures include the concept of feminine and masculine nouns, plural, forming negatives, regular verbs in the present tense, and some irregular verbs. Students will begin to learn a range of reading strategies, and to describe and respond to visual and written text. They start to produce language orally, working on intonation and pronunciation. In writing, students will work within the conventions of a limited number of text types.

Mandarin I

Students begin their introduction to Mandarin with fundamental building blocks in four key areas of world language study: listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. The extensive use of authentic materials (video, audio, images or texts) allows for a contextualized and interactive presentation of the vocabulary and the linguistic structures. Students are actively engaged in completing task-based activities individually and collaboratively, while formulating and testing hypotheses about different aspects of Mandarin.

Mandarin II

The course continues to build a foundation of communication skills from basic Mandarin. Students continue to build skills in character writing and practice general vocabulary. The course emphasizes spelling with the pinyin system, tone accuracy, numbers, days of the week, months, telling time, basic greetings, character writing, and grammatical structures. In-class writing drills, vocabulary quizzes, conversation practices, and sentence-making (grammar) drills are given on a regular basis.

Mandarin III

This course is designed for advanced beginners of Mandarin. The goals of the class are to develop interpretive communication skills in Mandarin and to build up a solid foundation in character writing. The course emphasizes spelling with the pinyin system and tone accuracy. In-class writing drills, conversation practice, and vocabulary quizzes, given on a regular basis. Students also engage in online learning and computer-based learning activities to immerse them in Chinese culture and advanced elements of Mandarin grammar and composition. Task-based projects allow for individual and collaborative presentation.

AP Spanish Language & Culture

This course emphasizes communication (understanding and being understood by others) by applying interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational skills in real-life situations. This includes vocabulary usage, language control, communication strategies, and cultural awareness.

The course strives not to overemphasize grammatical accuracy at the expense of communication. To best facilitate the study of language and culture, it is taught almost exclusively in Spanish. Students are engaged in an exploration of culture in both contemporary and historical contexts. The course develops students’ awareness and appreciation of cultural products (e.g., tools, books, music, laws, conventions, institutions); practices (patterns of social interactions within a culture); and perspectives (values, attitudes, and assumptions).

AP French Language and Culture

This course emphasizes communication (understanding and being understood by others) by applying interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational skills in real-life situations. This includes vocabulary usage, language control, communication strategies, and cultural awareness.

The 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. Students are engaged 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 Chinese Language & Culture

This course in Mandarin Chinese emphasizes communication (understanding and being understood by others) by applying interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational skills in real-life situations. This includes vocabulary usage, language control, communication strategies, and cultural awareness.

The course strives not to overemphasize grammatical accuracy at the expense of communication. To best facilitate the study of language and culture, the course is taught almost exclusively in Chinese. Students are engaged 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).

IB Spanish Ab initio I

This is the first of two beginner courses of Spanish for the Diploma Program. Ab Initio courses are one of several choices students have to fulfill their foreign language requirements for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program.

Spanish Ab Initio I aims to provide students with the necessary tools to interact socially in Spanish in daily situations. During the first year, students learn how to perform a number of tasks, such as introduce themselves; ask for directions; talk about themselves, friends, and family; order food in a restaurant; etc. Spanish Ab Initio I covers most basic elements of Spanish grammar and conversation.

IB Spanish Ab initio II

This is the second part of a beginners' course of Spanish over the total duration of two years. Ab Initio courses are one of several choices students have to fulfill their foreign language requirements for the Diploma Program. Building on the foundations laid down during the previous year, Ab Initio II refines students’ abilities to converse in Spanish, read various kinds of texts (newspaper articles, brochures, interviews, etc.), and write in a variety of styles.

During the first part of the school year, students acquire a stronger command of Spanish grammar and conversation, and are exposed to the kind of texts they will have to work with during the IB exam. The second part of the school year focuses on the specific tasks required by the IB exams. Students practice picture description for their oral exam, hone their reading comprehension ability on texts derived from previous IB exams, and learn how to write in different styles (formal and informal letters, flyers, articles, brochures, etc.).

IB Spanish B SL I

This first part of a two-year IB course involves intense language acquisition through writing, reading, listening, and culture, enabling students to reach a higher level of proficiency to communicate in Spanish through their lifetime experience. Students are encouraged to use Spanish vocabulary and grammar from previous levels of study.

The main objective of this IB I course is to enable students to develop skills to understand and use the language in different contexts and for different purposes. These skills are taught and developed through a wide rage of authentic oral and written material of different styles and registers. Students create individual, as well as group work, to build upon and improve communication skills in Spanish language.

IB Spanish B SL II

The second part of a two-year IB Spanish course offers students an enriched advanced study of language, literature, and culture, but students also continue to work on grammar and vocabulary skills as well. In this course students appreciate different Spanish cultures through the study of a wide range of literature, films, and songs from different Spanish- speaking countries.

This course provides opportunities for students to acquire information to express feelings and opinions, and to consider various points of view when solving problems in a global society. There is also a strong focus on literary analysis at this level. Students work individually and in groups to analyze, debate, and discuss a variety of issues and texts in Spanish.

Students of both levels are assessed internally by written essays on different topics, using different styles and registers.

Students’ success in the language B standard level course is measured by combining their grades on external and internal assessment.

IB French Ab initio I

IB French Ab Initio I is the first of two beginner courses of French for the Diploma Program. Ab Initio courses are one of several choices students have to fulfill their foreign language requirements for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program.

French Ab Initio I aims to provide students with the necessary tools to interact socially in French in daily situations. During the first year, students learn how to perform a number of tasks, such as introducing themselves; asking for directions; talking about themselves, friends, and family; ordering food in a restaurant; etc. French Ab Initio I covers most basic elements of French grammar and conversation.

IB French Ab initio II

French Ab Initio II is the second part of a beginner course of French of the total duration of two years. Ab Initio courses are one of several choices students have to fulfill their foreign language requirements for the Diploma Program. Building on the foundations laid down during the previous year, Ab Initio II refines students’ ability to converse in French, read various kinds of texts (newspaper articles, brochures, interviews, etc.), and write in a variety of styles.

During the first part of the school year, students acquire a stronger command of French grammar and conversation, and are exposed to the kind of texts they will have to work with during the IB exam. The second part of the school year focuses on the specific tasks required by the IB exams. Students practice picture description for their oral exam, hone their reading comprehension ability on texts derived from previous IB exams, and learn how to write in different styles (formal and informal letters, flyers, articles, brochures, etc.).

IB Mandarin Ab initio I

IB Mandarin Ab Initio I is the first of two beginner courses of Mandarin for the Diploma Program. Ab Initio courses are one of several choices students have to fulfill their foreign language requirements for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program.

Mandarin Ab Initio I aims to provide students with the necessary tools to interact socially in Mandarin in daily situations. During the first year, students learn how to perform a number of tasks, such as introducing themselves; asking for directions; talking about themselves, friends, and family; ordering food in a restaurant; etc. Mandarin Ab Initio I covers most basic elements of Mandarin grammar and conversation.

IB Mandarin Ab initio II

Mandarin Ab Initio II is the second part of a beginner course of Mandarin of the total duration of two years. Ab Initio courses are one of several choices students have to fulfill their foreign language requirements for the Diploma Program. Building on the foundations laid down during the previous year, Ab Initio II refines students' ability to converse in Mandarin, read various kinds of texts (newspaper articles, brochures, interviews, etc.), and write in a variety of styles.

During the first part of the school year, students acquire a stronger command of Mandarin grammar and conversation, and are exposed to the kind of texts they will have to work with during the IB exam. The second part of the school year focuses on the specific tasks required by the IB exams. Students practice picture description for their oral exam, hone their reading comprehension ability on texts derived from previous IB exams, and learn how to write in different styles (formal and informal letters, flyers, articles, brochures, etc.).

Mathematics

Pre-Algebra

Pre-algebra is an introductory algebra course. The course is designed to introduce students to abstract mathematics concepts and thinking and begin to develop the concept of pro-numeration. Students learn how to apply mathematical expressions, equations, and graphs to various real-life examples and how to represent situations using multiple facets. Students apply their algebra skills through graphing, order of operations, linear equations, linear inequalities, logic, rational and irrational numbers, radicals, proportions, and applications of percentages. This course provides students many opportunities to demonstrate their mastery of pre-algebra.

Algebra I

Algebra I focuses on the elementary rules of mathematics, building a strong foundation for future mathematics courses. The curriculum includes solving and graphing linear equations and inequalities, simplifying exponential and radical expressions, and exploring polynomials. Students learn various ways to solve quadratic and rational equations. Discussions are frequent to relate these topics to various real-life situations.

This course provides a variety of assessments for students, as they express their mathematical knowledge through group work, unit exams, projects, and investigations.

Geometry

This course focuses on the theorems of Euclid, with some formal proofs. It emphasizes student understanding of the concepts and properties of these theorems and their application to numerical and problem-solving situations.

After the study of triangle properties, students are introduced to the three basic trigonometric ratios and their application to real-life situations. Students work on problems involving two- and three-dimensional objects; and the calculation of area, surface area, and volume. Assessment includes daily homework, quizzes, tests, projects, investigations, and a final examination.

Pre-Calculus

This class is for students who are looking for the most challenging mathematics class, with a view of taking the Higher Level IB mathematics course in their junior and senior years.

Students will build on the skills they developed during the Algebra II Honors course, becoming better at analyzing problems, working accurately, and explaining their methods. They will deepen their knowledge of trigonometry and algebra, and be introduced to the differentiation and integration of simple functions. They will also use these calculus skills to solve problems involving slopes of lines and areas under curves, and to solve kinematics problems.

Assessments consist of homework, in-class quizzes and tests, and mathematical portfolio assignments.

Algebra II & Trigonometry

The Algebra II & Trigonometry course allows students to develop skills in understanding mathematical concepts and principles and apply their skills to solve problems related to real-world situations. The course focuses on the use of technology and inquiry-based learning.

The curriculum includes algebraic systems of equations and inequalities; sequences and series; direct and inverse variation; statistics; probability; permutations and combinations; and the study of different forms of functions, including trigonometric functions. Investigation tasks and independent and collaborative project work form part of the multiple formative and summative assessments with emphasis on communication and reasoning, using mathematical language. Student appreciation and understanding the value of mathematics in the real world is encouraged.

Statistics

This is a one-year course in which students learn a number of essential topics in statistics. During the year, students will be introduced to major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. Students begin with an exploration of set theory and probability. Following this, students will learn how to use descriptive statistics to effectively summarize sets of data.

The course will then transition into more challenging concepts such as making predictions based on various distribution models, regression analysis, hypothesis testing, and mathematical modeling.

Throughout the course, students will have the opportunity to work on real-world tasks in which they will get the opportunity to utilize the mathematical concepts learned. In addition to the class’s core coursework, each student will design and implement a major culminating independent statistical study.

AP Calculus AB

AP Calculus AB is roughly equivalent to a first semester college calculus course devoted to topics in differential and integral calculus. The AP course will cover concepts and skills of limits, derivatives, definite integrals, and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. The course teaches students to approach calculus concepts and problems when they are represented graphically, numerically, analytically, and verbally ― and to make connections among these representations.

Students learn how to use technology to help solve problems, experiment, interpret results, and support conclusions.

AP Calculus BC

Dwight Global is offering AP Calculus BC for the 2017-18 school year. A course description will be coming soon!

AP Statistics

The AP Statistics course is equivalent to a one-semester, introductory, non-calculus-based college course in statistics. It introduces students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. There are four themes in the AP Statistics course: exploring data, sampling and experimentation, anticipating patterns, and statistical inference. The use of a graphing calculator in AP Statistics is considered an integral part of the course. Students will use technology, investigations, problem solving, and writing as they build conceptual understanding.

Prerequisite: Students must have taken second-year algebra before enrolling in AP Statistics.

IB Math SL I

This course is designed for students who need mathematics in college for business and courses in science. During the year, students will build on the skills they developed during the Algebra II Honors course, becoming better at analyzing problems, at working accurately, and at explaining their methods. They will deepen their knowledge of trigonometry and algebra, and will be introduced to the differentiation and integration of simple functions. Students will use these calculus skills to solve problems involving slopes of lines and areas under curves, and to solve kinematics problems. They also will encounter matrices for the first time in this class.

As part of the course, students have to complete a research essay incorporating topics they encountered during the course. Assessments consist of homework, class quizzes and tests, and mathematical portfolio assignments.

IB Math SL II

This course is the second year of a two-year course and at the end of senior year, students will take the International Baccalaureate Standard Level Mathematics Examination. Students will study advanced techniques of differentiation and integration, including trigonometric and logarithmic functions; and problems on application, including finding areas and volumes. Advanced problems on vectors, statistics, matrices, and trigonometry of the general triangle complete the course.

Assessment includes homework, quizzes, and tests based on questions from previous IB examinations. There is a mock exam held before Spring break. The IB Standard Level course requires students to complete two projects; each counts for ten percent of their final IB grade.

IB Math HL I

This is the first of a two-year course, which is the International Baccalaureate’s most challenging mathematics course, intended for students who are likely to go on to major in mathematics or engineering in college. Students should be willing to devote a substantial amount of their time to master the concepts involved; and to develop their ability to analyze, solve problems, and communicate their ideas clearly. It involves an introduction to differential and integral calculus, both underlying concepts and the techniques. Other topics students will study are matrices, the vector geometry of the plane, probability and statistics, algebra, and trigonometry.

As part of this course, students must complete a research essay using topics they encountered during the course. At the end of the first year of this course, students take the International Baccalaureate examination at the Standard Level.

IB Math HL II

Students in grade twelve who have completed the IB Mathematics Standard Level exam and earn a grade of five and higher take this course. Students will study advanced topics in algebra and trigonometry, focusing on the analysis and interpretation of data. A substantial amount of time is given to an investigation of infinite series and differential equations.

Assessment tasks include homework, quizzes, and tests based on previous IB examination papers. Students will work on two portfolio assignments. At the end of their senior year, students can take the IB Higher Level examination.

Sciences

Physical Science

In Physical Science, students engage in original experimental design through controlled experiments in the study of the scientific method; and students explore mathematical analysis using the metric system.

Concepts of linear dimension, volume, density, time, temperature, and mass are studied as students begin to understand the need for a standard measurement system worldwide. The Law of Conservation of Matter is “discovered,” as students change matter with energy and determine if mass is created, lost, or neither. Students then examine forms of energy and explore the relationship between potential and kinetic energy. They learn about Sir Isaac Newton’s first and second laws of motion, as well as work, power, and simple machines.

In their unit on chemistry, students are able to use Bohr models to draw compounds, both ionically and covalently, and balance equations with polyatomic ions. Finally, they find the identity of five mystery powders by doing flame and indicator tests.

For all units, students write lab reports to analyze their findings. They write essays, take quizzes and tests, and complete homework assignments to focus their learning on the above key content areas. Students are assessed on their participation in group discussions and group work, along with the effort displayed in all areas.

Biology

This course provides an introduction to the unity and diversity of life, from the molecular to the community level, from an evolutionary perspective. It focuses on the interrelationship between the structure and function of living things, and students explore the effects of human interaction with the natural environment.

Frequent laboratory experiences will augment the knowledge students gain through class study. This course provides students with an exceptional basic background for further study in biology or environmental science.

Biology Honors

This course provides an introduction to the unity and diversity of life, from the molecular to the community level, from an evolutionary perspective. It focuses on the interrelationship between the structure and function of living things, and students explore the effects of human interaction with the natural environment.

Frequent laboratory experiences will augment the knowledge students gain through class study. This is a fast-paced course that covers all of the concepts covered in Biology 9 and more, in greater depth and detail. Biology Honors provides students with excellent preparation for the study of biology or environmental science at the IB level.

Chemistry

This course explores how the world is constructed on an atomic scale. Students learn how these tiny atomic and molecular constituents give rise to larger material behavior, and how people can use this understanding of matter to impact the world in a variety of ways (i.e., politically, socially, environmentally). Students learn to shift scales and make valuable predictions by mastering conversions and manipulating equations.

Beyond regular homework assignments, quizzes, and exams, the course provides opportunities for students to express themselves creatively with labs that emphasize problem solving, a 1,000-word essay exploring the need of science in light of pressing world concerns, and multimedia atomic history presentations.

Chemistry Honors

This course prepares students to meet the rigors of college-level chemistry and explores how the world is constructed on an atomic scale. Students learn how these tiny atomic and molecular constituents give rise to larger material behavior, and how people can use this understanding of matter to impact the world in a variety of ways (i.e., politically, socially, environmentally). Students learn to shift scales and make valuable predictions by mastering conversions and manipulating complex algebraic equations.

Beyond regular homework assignments, quizzes, and exams, the course provides opportunities for students to express themselves creatively with labs that emphasize problem-solving, a 1,200-word essay exploring the need of science in light of pressing world concerns, and multimedia atomic history presentations.

Physics

This course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to study the basic concepts of physics using algebra and trigonometry. The emphasis is on developing a combination of conceptual understanding and qualitative analysis of general principles and models, as well as on the nature of scientific theory.

Guided inquiry fosters students’ development of critical thinking skills, along with their ability to apply principles for solving physics problems. The curriculum includes content in kinematics, mechanics, and thermal physics; and culminates with a unit on waves and vibrations.

Physics Honors

This course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to study the basic concepts of physics using algebra and trigonometry. The emphasis is on developing a combination of conceptual understanding, qualitative analysis of general principles and models, and on the nature of scientific theory.

Guided inquiry fosters the development of critical thinking skills, along with their ability to apply principles for solving physics problems. The curriculum includes content in kinematics, mechanics, and thermal physics; and culminates with a unit on waves and vibrations.

Students in Physics Honors will be presented with problem-solving challenges at an increasing level of sophistication, requiring a cumulative mastery of topics studied throughout the year.

AP Biology

AP Biology is an introductory college-level biology course. Students cultivate their understanding of biology through inquiry-based investigations, as they explore the following topics: evolution, cellular processes, energy and communication, genetics, information transfer, ecology, and interactions.

The course is based on “big ideas,” which encompass core scientific principles, theories, and processes that cut across traditional boundaries and encourages a broad way of thinking about living organisms and biological systems.

Students perform hands-on laboratory work and virtual labs, with an emphasis on inquiry-based investigations that provide students with opportunities to apply the science practices.

Prerequisite: Students should have successfully completed high school courses in biology and chemistry.

Environmental Science Honors

Environmental Science Honors is a rigorous curriculum designed to allow highly motivated students to conduct an in-depth study of the Earth and Environmental Sciences. In Honors Environmental Science students are expected to work independently on a variety of assignments and accept greater responsibility for their learning. Emphasis is placed on the human interactions with the geologic and environmental systems, predictability of a dynamic Earth, origin and evolution of the Earth system and universe, geochemical cycles and energy in the Earth system.

Social Studies

American Government

This course covers the complete story of American government and politics, from the country’s founding up to the present. Students explore the ideals that the United States was founded upon, and their lasting influence on the nation’s politics through in-depth research, discussion, and debate.

The goal of this course is to empower students to engage in government as informed citizens. Students will be able to describe the structure, historical development, and functions of government, and develop their own opinions of necessity and validity.

U.S. History

In this course, students focus on the social, political, and economic evolution of the United States. The course is divided into three thematic sections: the developing nation, forces of change, and the road to modernization.

Critical periods of change in U.S. history will be emphasized, including the Revolution and early national period, Jacksonian democracy and Indian removal, causes and consequences of the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Gilded Age, the Great Depression and the New Deal, World War II America, the Civil Rights Movement, and the rise of globalism.

Focusing in this way allows students to look deeply into these major turning points that have shaped the United States today. Students continue to develop key skills such as critical thinking through discussion and debate, and research paper writing. Students will also learn to create and support historical arguments through primary and secondary sources.

World History

This course takes a close look at modern world history. Students seek to understand political, social, and economic world issues from 1890 to the present. While ancient and medieval histories are both covered briefly, the emphasis will be on the modern world. Students will focus on critical periods of change, including the rise of globalism, World War I, World War II, the Cold War, and 9/11.

This course is intended to provide students with a clear understanding of the history of world cultures and civilizations. Emphasis is placed on seeing the connections between history and contemporary questions and issues. Students are introduced to a wide range of viewpoints in an effort to understand the richness of diverse cultural traditions across the globe.

Primary sources are emphasized, not only to complement the historical narrative, but also as a way to promote critical and analytical thinking. In addition, students will develop their research and writing skills, along with critical thinking through discussion and debate.

A.P. European History

The AP European History course focuses on developing students' understanding of European history from approximately 1450 to the present. Students will investigate the content of European history for significant events, individuals, developments, and processes in four historical periods. They will develop and use the same thinking skills and methods (analyzing primary and secondary sources, making historical comparisons, chronological reasoning, and argumentation) employed by historians when they study the past.

Students will also explore five themes (interaction of Europe and the world; poverty and prosperity; objective knowledge and subjective visions; states and other institutions of power; and individual and society) throughout the course to make connections among historical developments in different times and places.

A.P. U.S. Government and Politics

United States Government and Politics is an intensive study of the formal and informal structures of government and the processes of the American political system, with emphasis on policy-making and implementation. This course includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. government and politics and the analysis of specific examples. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs and ideas that constitute U.S. government and politics. Students will become acquainted with the variety of theoretical perspectives and explanations for various behaviors and outcomes in government and politics. Additionally, students will be able to analyze and interpret basic data relevant to U.S. Government and Politics.

A.P. U.S. History

This course covers the complete story of American government and politics, from the country’s founding up to the present. Students explore the ideals that the United States was founded upon, and their lasting influence on the nation’s politics through in-depth research, discussion, and debate.

The goal of this course is to empower students to engage in government as informed citizens. Students will be able to describe the structure, historical development, and functions of government, and develop their own opinions of necessity and validity.

A.P. World History

AP World History is a college-level class in curriculum, skills, practices, and themes. While the themes, skills, and content are Advanced Placement in nature, the pacing of the class, amounts of work, reading and depth of the content are more conducive to the maturity and education levels of high schools students.

While this course starts with the beginnings of civilization to 500 CE, it emphasizes early modern, modern, and contemporary periods; as well as mastery of skills critical to the AP World History exam. Students will address the higher-level thinking skills or habits of the mind and themes common to AP social studies classes and college admissions tests.

Electives

IB Film SL I

This is the first half of the IB Diploma Program Film course. The curriculum recognizes that film is both a powerful communication medium and an art form; and aims to develop students’ skills so that they become adept in both interpreting film texts and developing productions of their own. Students explore the history, theory, and socio-economic contexts behind various crucial mainstream film movements such as German Expressionism, Soviet Montage, Italian Neo-Realism, and French New Wave.

As students analize each historical movement, they isolate one specific component of the filmmaking process and thoroughly engage with it through formal academic and experiential exercises. Their collective historical, analytical, and practical understanding culminates when students come together in groups to complete a short film production during trimester three.

IB Film SL II

Expanding on the foundation laid in Film I, this course continues to follow a globally historical, analytical, practical knowledge approach. In trimester one, students are encouraged to work together to develop, produce, and edit their final productions. Then, they hone their analytical skills at a collegiate level, and conduct independent study on themes, ranging from documentary studies and genre studies, to counter

IB Economics SL

In this Standard Level course, students study economic theory and its applications in the world today. Microeconomics, macroeconomics, development economics, and international economics form the core of this course.

In addition, IB Economics SL is designed to develop students’ capacities to identify, analyze critically, and evaluate theories, concepts, and arguments about the nature and activities of the individual and society. Students interpret economic data and statistics, apply relevant theory, and demonstrate this knowledge through written prose, diagrams, and the use of economic terminology.

IB Economics HL

The Higher Level course provides students with core knowledge of economics, encourages them to think critically about economics, promotes an awareness and understanding of internationalism in economics, and fosters their development as independent learners.

This course is designed to encourage the systematic and critical study of human experience and behavior; physical, economic and social environments; and the economics and development of social and cultural institutions .Alongside empirical observations of positive economics, students are asked to formulate normative questions and to recognize their own tendencies for bias.

IB Philosophy SL

This Standard Level course provides an opportunity for students to engage with the writings of some of the world’s most interesting and influential thinkers. It also helps them to develop highly transferable skills such as the ability to formulate arguments clearly, to make reasoned judgments, and to evaluate highly complex and multifaceted issues. The emphasis is on “doing philosophy” ― on actively engaging students in philosophical activity.

This course focuses on stimulating students’ intellectual curiosity and encouraging them to examine both their own perspectives and those of others. Students are challenged to develop their own philosophical voice and to grow into independent thinkers. They develop these skills through the study of philosophical themes and the close reading of a philosophical text. They also learn to apply their philosophical knowledge and skills to real-life situations, and to explore how non-philosophical material can be treated in a philosophical way. Teachers explicitly teach thinking and research skills such as comprehension, text analysis, transfer, and use of primary sources.

IB Psychology SL

The Standard Level course develops student awareness of how research findings can be applied to better understand human behavior, and how ethical practices are upheld in psychological inquiry. Students learn to understand the biological, cognitive, and sociocultural influences on human behavior; and to explore alternative explanations of behavior. They also will understand and use diverse methods of psychological inquiry.

In addition, this course is designed to develop student awareness of how psychological research can be applied to better understand human behavior and how to ensure that ethical practices are upheld in psychological inquiry.

IB Psychology HL

The Higher Level course develops student awareness of how research findings can be applied to better understand human behavior and how ethical practices are upheld in psychological inquiry. Students learn to understand the biological, cognitive, and sociocultural influences on human behavior and explore alternative explanations of behavior. They also will understand and use diverse methods of psychological inquiry; learn to recognize that study content and methodologies are contestable; and that their study requires the toleration of uncertainty.

IB Business & Management HL I

This is the first year of a two-year business course that emphasizes scientific decision-making in the business environment. The course covers a wide breadth of material, including business organization as an environment, accounting and finance, human resources, marketing, operations, and business strategy.

The first year of the course covers four broad areas: First, students investigate the purpose of businesses, and the advantages and disadvantages of various organizational structures. The financial language of business is introduced during the accounting and finance unit, in which students learn not only how to build the three basic final accounts, but also how to conduct ratio analysis and analyze the meaning behind these calculations. In the marketing unit, students will categorize and discuss many intuitive concepts, and assess the fit of a marketing mix to a good or service.

At the end of the first year, students learn to assess the external environment, and practice utilizing both qualitative and quantitative decision-making tools. In addition to quizzes, students complete several case studies, and compete in Jeopardy-style review sessions. The final exam consists of both short-answer questions and IB case questions.

IB Business & Management HL II

This is the second year of a two-year business course that emphasizes scientific decision-making in the business environment. The course covers a wide breadth of material, including business organization and environment, accounting and finance, human resources, marketing, operations, and strategy.

During the second year, students review the four areas covered during the prior year and build on this with two new units. When investigating human resources, students recall the corporate cultures at Hershey and Mars, and discuss how leadership styles can affect the performance of a business. Students then delve into the operations side of the business, where they will compare “just-in-case” and “just-in-time” production techniques, and learn to calculate the number of units required for a business to break even.

The internal assessment component requires that students examine a forward-looking business problem and create a report recommending a specific course of action.

Students practice various business techniques and learn to collect date through both primary and secondary research.

Economics

This course is an introduction to micro and macro-economic concepts. Students learn how local economies develop and explore ideal pricing and resource allocation governed by supply and demand, and how different economies interact to form a global marketplace. Through application of fundamentals from mathematics, students learn to quantify and articulate descriptions of these economies and their interactions. At the conclusion of this course, students will have a better understanding of local and global economies, and their place in both.

AP Economics

This course is a college level course in economics. It is split into two sections:

AP Microeconomics

The purpose of the AP course in microeconomics is to give students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individual decision makers, both consumers and producers, within the economic system. It places primary emphasis on the nature and functions of product markets and includes the study of factor markets and of the role of government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy.

AP Macroeconomics

The purpose of the AP course in macroeconomics is to give students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole. The course places particular emphasis on the study of national income and price-level determination, and also develops students’ familiarity with economic performance measures, the financial sector, stabilization policies, economic growth, and international economics. There is no single approach that an AP Macroeconomics course is expected to follow. Whatever the approach, however, AP teachers are advised to take into account certain topics generally covered in college courses.

Psychology

This class encourages students to develop a personal interest in, and enthusiasm for, psychology, and to prepare students to make informed decisions about further learning opportunities and career choices. It is an introduction to the history, development, and practice of psychology.

Throughout this class students are encouraged to engage in the process of psychological inquiry to develop as effective and independent learners, and as critical and reflective thinkers with inquiring minds. By the end of this course, students will have an understanding of the relationship between psychology and social, cultural, scientific and contemporary issues and its impact on everyday life.

AP Psychology

The purpose of AP Psychology is to introduce students to the studies of behavior and mental processes of humans and animals. Students will be provided with a critical overview of the study of psychology, focusing on the theories and research methods used in psychological science and practice. Because psychology is a fascinating course, it is possible to explore the field using a variety of methods. The course information will be presented through lectures, class participation activities, demonstrations, and audio-visual aids. Students will use the textbook and other resources such as the Internet, popular media, newspapers, and professional psychological publications in order to conduct research throughout the year. Students will learn about the methods and ethical approaches of professional psychology.

Health Education

The Health Education elective course is designed to educate, empower, and motivate students to live a healthy and active lifestyle. This course provides students an experience that emphasizes the value in taking care of oneself, through healthy eating, sleep, stress management, and physical activity.

During this course, students will evaluate their personal health and set specific health-related goals. They will explore a variety of health-focused literature, participate in online group discussion, review health products, and design health focused public service announcements through video or written presentation. By the end of this course, students will be equipped to make health-conscious choices and understand how these choices can greatly improve their health and journey into adulthood.

Physical Education

Upper School Physical Education is a multi-disciplinary course utilizing diverse activities to promote students’ lifelong fitness and health. This course includes multi-modal group exercise, conditioning, and strength and flexibility training. Through exposure to a wide array of fitness options, students are encouraged to develop their own personal fitness plan based on short- and long-term goals.

Physical Education Equivalent

The Physical Education Equivalent is designed to recognize and offer credit to students who participate and compete in approved sports at an advanced level. Upper School students with a long-standing commitment and who can demonstrate a level of accomplishment in a particular sport may apply for credit.

Computer Science

Computer Science (Python) is an introductory course in procedural programing using the Python programing language. No prior programing experience is required. Some of the programing constructs that will be covered: Loops, Condition Statements, Variables, Data Types, Data Structures, Functions, User Input & Output.

Students will be exposed to Monte Carlo simulation, sorting algorithms. and recursions in order to develop an appreciation for how programing can be used as a tool for problem solving.

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