High School

HIGH SCHOOL CURRICULUM

Learn By Doing

Our classes are all college preparatory, often exceeding the academics one would see in an AP classroom. We pride ourselves in moving far beyond the academic bounds of a typical high school curriculum supporting students in their growth and maturity through the challenging transition from adolescence to adulthood. Our curriculum requires class participation and integrates group work to develop leadership and team work skills.

HIGH SCHOOL CURRICULUM

Beyond The Books

Every graduate will have gained academic self-confidence and a solid academic foundation in science, mathematics, history, English and a world language. They will have gained a sense of contemporary social issues as well as a basic understanding of how they have come into being.  Ideally, each student will have had these issues take root in her soul so that she has a sense of social responsibility. They will have experienced and developed a respect for the ideas, values, history, and priorities that exist in different cultures. They will also have heightened their sense of reverence after exploring the questions that lie at the essence of human experience – life, death, friendship, spirituality, and vocation.

WHAT WE STRIVE FOR

High School

Call For Inquiry

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High School

The curriculum engages students in a comprehensive study of a variety of disciplines, including academics, drama, arts and crafts, music and movement. The four years of high school together form an integrated whole, and the curriculum of each grade is tailored to address key stages in adolescent development. The content of the courses offered each year focuses on giving students an increasingly in-depth understanding of the subject at hand and providing them with a context to work with the awakening questions of the emerging self.

Seminars 

Each school day begins with the Seminar, a one hundred and ten-minute period devoted to intensive work in a single academic subject over a three- to four-week Seminar block. These morning lessons allow students to experience a subject’s breadth and depth through immersive discussion, careful observation, and hands-on investigation. 

Track Classes and Electives 

The rest of their day is filled with 45 min “Track Classes”, i.e. Math, Humanities, Art, Eurythmy, Spanish, Athletics and on Tuesday/Wed 2 hr electives (Industrial Arts, Sewing, Gardening, The Supreme Court, Jazz Band, Community Service, Percussion, etc). 

 

Grade

Ninth

Ninth graders begin to experience their own thinking and individuality, and as their former certainties are called into question, they need confidence in the physical grounding of their existence.

Grade

Tenth

Tenth grade courses emphasize the powers of comparison, discrimination, and judgment. 

Grade

Eleventh

Eleventh grade courses emphasize the powers of analysis and the ability to discern meaning and purpose. 

Grade

Twelfth

Twelfth grade nurtures the powers of synthesis and a capacity for comprehending the evolution of the human being and the natural world. 

Curriculum

Ninth Grade

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Ninth Grade

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Humanities

Introduction to:

  • English 1: History of Drama and Study Skills and The Novel
  • Life Skills 1

Electives Available: 

  • Creative Writing
  • Study Skills
Details

English 1: This class introduces students to the writing and research expectations of high school. They are given a variety of opportunities to conduct research, to plan and write essays and reports, and to make presentations to the class. A theme of the year is unprejudiced, accurate observation. The content is modern history and literature with the aim of giving students an understanding of issues of the present day. Units often include the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights movement, the modern short story, Animal Farm by Orwell and related events of Russian history, the Cold War, and Things Fall Apart by Achebe and related events of African history, and The Grapes of Wrath. 

 

The class explores three eras in Western theater: Ancient Greece, Elizabethan England, and twentieth century America. Students study plays from each period, examine the questions with which people wrestled, and consider how theater served as a platform for the exploration of these questions. The class introduces students to thesis-driven essays and literary analysis. For the final project, students may choose to build one of the three stages (the Greek theater, the Globe theater, or a proscenium stage), design costumes and character boards for a play, or memorize, rehearse, and perform a short scene from a play.

Mathematics

Introduction to:

 

  • Algebra 1 or Algebra 1 Advanced
  • Descriptive Geometry
Details

Algebra 1: First, the class reviews and then develops greater facility in working with fractions, signed numbers, order of operations, and the distributive property. Next, students simplify expressions and linear equations, then solve algebraic equations. Students progress into the intersection of Algebra and Geometry – graphing. The class next moves into polynomials, including their characteristics, performing operations on them, using the distributive property, the FOIL method, and special products. The class also works with exponents, positive integral exponents, and negative integral exponents. From polynomial simplification, the class proceeds to the exact opposite operation, polynomial factoring. By the end of this factoring unit, the class masters factoring out the Greatest Common Factor, factoring trinomials, and the difference of squares.

Descriptive Geometry: In the study of descriptive geometry, students will develop skills in observation, graphical representation, and mathematical imagination through the study of the orthographic projections of three-dimensional solids.  They will construct the Platonic solids and then translate their construction into accurate parallel projections.  They will work with hand drafting tools and final drawings will be produced in ink and rendered with colored pencil.

Science

Introduction to:

  • Physics 1: Thermodynamics
  • Chemistry 1: Organic Chemistry
  • Environmental Science 1: Earth Science
Details

Physics 1: Thermal physics addresses concepts of heat and cold. Through historical investigation, experimentation, and observation, students experience, characterize, and conceptualize the following: the expansion and contraction of solids, liquids, and gases; the three methods of heat energy transfer; the ideal gas law; Lord Kelvin’s hypothesis of an absolute coldest temperature; phase diagrams; and the special thermal properties of water. Students learn the story of the development of precise thermometry and calibrate their own thermometers. Finally, students learn about technologies that use the laws of thermodynamics, including the thermostat, the four-stroke combustion engine, the steam engine, and the Stirling engine.

Chemistry 1: This class considers chemical aspects of major life processes that occur in plants, animals, and human beings. The goal of the class is to discover something about the chemistry of life. What chemical transformations can we attribute to life? The class focuses on developing skills and background in chemistry and provides opportunities to explore experimental methods. Subsequently, students observe or execute experiments that demonstrate aspects of important life-related processes. The class examines the nature of gases, our dependence on fossil fuels, photosynthesis and respiration, and fermentation and distillation.

Environmental Science 1: This class studies all aspects of agricultural practice “from farm to table”. Students compare and contrast ancient agricultural practices with modern ones and large-scale industrial food systems with local systems. They also explore the practical implications of a more sustainable food system. Moreover, students gain skills to make informed choices about their own eating habits and how they can support the food systems they believe to be best for their health and the health of the Earth.

History and Social Studies

Introduction to:

  • History 1: Modern Revolutions
  • History 2: Social Justice in the Community
  • Art History 1: History through Art
Details

History 1: This class addresses three political revolutions: the American, French, and Chinese. The class begins with an overview of the three-fold social organization and the idea that major imbalances in this organization are almost always at the heart of any revolution. Students study the events in the American colonies which lead directly up to the revolution, plunge right into the action of the French revolution that ends with the execution of Robespierre, and finally, examine Confucius’ role in Chinese culture and consider how nineteenth-century trade relationships with powerful western countries influenced the dramatic end of the Qing Dynasty. Students create a presentation, complete with artistic element and written text, on a revolution not covered in class.

History 2: Social Justice in the Community.  In this course students will learn about social justice issues in San Diego
and the surrounding area. The student will become aware of what others in our community have endured. Our course will focus on the work of the International Refugee Committee (IRC) in City Heights, Border Angels, and Inspired Innovation.
We will cover sensitive topics that pertain to our community such as refugee and asylum seekers, human trafficking, homelessness, and the LGBTQIA+ community.

 

Art History 1: This class begins with an introduction to the Modern, Post-Modern, and Classical Realist movements. After this orientation, students study the art and peoples of the Paleolithic era, continuing with the cultures of the ancient Egyptians, the Greeks and Romans, the Early Medieval art and icon painting, the sculpture and stained glass windows of the Gothic Cathedrals, and the Italian and Northern Renaissance. Students compare the lives and works of Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Dürer, Rembrandt, and Vermeer. Students create at least one or more drawings from each day’s study to complement their notes for the day.

Fine Arts

Introduction to: 

  • Fine and Practical Art 1
  • Eurythmy 1
Details

Fine Art 1: This course introduces fundamental aspects of visual contrast and balance through an exploration of the
interaction between lightness and darkness in two-dimensional art and design. Coursework emphasis is on strengthening students’ observational capacities through the practice of basic drawing skills while employing a variety of techniques in black and white media. Through various exercises and projects, the students will develop an understanding of the relationship between light and darkness as the basis of all visual design.

Eurythmy 1: Eurythmy is a performing art that engages aspects of dance, music, poetry, speech, and kinesthetic expression. A feature unique to Waldorf education, the beautiful, spiritual, and emotional art of eurythmy introduces students to the frameworks underlying speech and music through movement. The study of Eurythmy develops concentration, spatial orientation and dexterity, and engages students in the study of enhanced rhythms of speech and music as experienced and interpreted through the whole body.

World Language

Introduction to: 

  • Spanish 1
    Details

    Spanish 1: Students learn basic everyday greetings, vocabulary, and grammar. By the end of the class, students form more complex sentences, both ask and answer questions, and learn more advanced grammar for writing and speaking. Students should master basic vocabulary, grammar, and communicative skills. Grammar concepts include pronouns, present and future tense verbs, nouns, articles, adjectives, conjunctions, negations, prepositions, and the difference between the nominative and accusative cases.

    Physical Education

    Introduction to: 

    • Athletics 1

     

    Details

    Athletics 1: In Athletics 1, students review the basic vocabulary, rules, and techniques of traditional sports including basketball, football, and volleyball. Students are expected to come to class every day with proper attire and are encouraged to participate fully in every activity. Students examine their own areas of strength, weakness, and progress; they help to organize teams and structure games. At the end of each class, students participate in fast-paced games and mini-tournaments.

    The Students also have the opportunity to try non-traditional sports such as parkour, rock climbing, yoga, waterpolo and ultimate frisbee. Experts in the sports are brought in to instruct these classes.

    Elective

    Choice of:

    • Jazz Band
    • Percussion
    • Community Service
    • Industrial Arts
    • Creative Writing
    • Gardening
    • Robotics
    • Yearbook
    • Art
    • Trial and the Art of Advocacy
    • The Supreme Court
    • Social Justice
    • Sewing
    Details
    Curriculum

    Tenth Grade

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    Tenth Grade

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    Humanities

    Introduction to:

    • English 2: Play Production and The Holy Books
    • Life Skills 2

    Electives Available:

    • Creative Writing
    • Study Skills
    Details

    English 2: This class introduces students to the writing and research expectations of high school. They are given a variety of opportunities to conduct research, to plan and write essays and reports, and to make presentations to the class. A theme of the year is unprejudiced, accurate observation. The content is modern history and literature with the aim of giving students an understanding of issues of the present day. Units often include the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights movement, the modern short story, Animal Farm by Orwell and related events of Russian history, the Cold War, and Things Fall Apart by Achebe and related events of African history

    Mathematics

    Introduction to:

    • Geometry or Geometry – Advanced
    • Trigonometry and Surveying
    • Codes and Computers
    Details

    Geometry: This class begins at the intersection of Algebra and Geometry – graphing. The introductory concepts include ordered pairs, the Cartesian coordinate system, and plotting points. The students learn to graph linear equations in two variables (including horizontal and vertical lines using x- & y-intercepts), how to calculate slope, and how to use slope in graphing a line. The class works with slope-intercept form, standard form, and point-slope form, then moves into the basic concepts of Euclidean Geometry. Specific topics covered include congruency, parallel lines and transversals, congruent, and similar triangles. If time permits, students continue working with proofs of the geometric properties of circles.

    Trigonometry and Surveying: This course provides an introduction to trigonometry as an important tool for surveying and cartography. The three basic angle functions of the right triangle are studied and applied through practical problem solving of small outdoor projects related to surveying. Students employ both trigonometrical leveling and differential leveling in their surveying work. The final project includes the translation of field measurements into the creation of an accurate topographic map.

    Codes and Computers: The objective of this course is to provide a context for understanding the development and complexity of computing and computer technology as well as its strengths and weaknesses. Computers provide humans with the potential to think and act with almost unimaginable precision, complexity, and creative power; they also provide an equally unimaginable potential for additive, dehumanized and coldly destructive behavior.

    Science

    Introduction to:

    • Physics 2: Mechanics
    • Chemistry 2: Acids, Bases and Salts
    • Environmental Science 2: Sustainable Agriculture
    Details

    Physics 2: Through observation, experimentation, measurement, and calculation, students study motion in a historical context, making observations and asking questions as they were first asked by the scientists of the Age of Reason. Students repeat some of the classic experiments of Copernicus, Kepler, Brahe, Galileo, and Newton. At the end of the course, the students understand the laws governing the motion of planets, stars, galaxies, as well as satellites, baseballs, and leaves.

    Chemistry 2: This class explores chemical processes, especially those involving salts, acids, and bases in relation to our senses of taste and touch. By dissolving various salts in water with varying temperatures, the class investigates the properties of solutions. They use microscopes to compare and contrast various forms of substances, including crystals formed out of solution via precipitation and/or evaporation. The class studies the formation of acids and bases either as complementary pairs arising out of heating a salt or out of oxidation of a pure substance. The electrolysis of water and conductivity measurements help introduce concepts involving the structure of chemical compounds and clarify further the meaning of “pH”. Final experiments involve “displacement” reactions, with application to launching a projectile and the study of sodium metal.

    Environmental Science 2: The focus of this class is on the geophysiology of the earth. The sophomores look at many of the complex phenomena that make up the biosphere of our planetrom, including Hadley Cells, the Coriolis Effect and ocean currents, the pressure gradient force, jet streams, and global climate change.

    History and Social Studies

    Introduction to:

    • History 2: Ancient Cultures and Social Justice in the Community
    • History 3: Latin American History
    • Art History 2: History through Poetry
    Details

    History 2: The study of early history shows human beings joining in ever-larger groups to practice the highest of arts: living together harmoniously and productively. This class begins with a brief look at the earliest humans, continues with an introduction of farming and settled living, and then looks at the rise and fall of empires. The class is divided into three parts: Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, and Ancient Greece. Readings include the Epic of Gilgamesh, laws of Hammurabi, Herodotus’ observations of the Egyptians, the myth of Isis and Osiris, and Pericles’ funeral oration. The class spends a morning sketching in the galleries of the Oriental Institute.

    In this class, students also examine the United States Constitution, a document which expresses the soul of the nation it serves. In addition to reading the Constitution, students analyze journals, letters, documents, and pamphlets from the period.

    History 3: Latin American History: We will study the history of Spanish-speaking Latin America from the time of the Spanish colonization, through the movements for independence, neocolonialism and neoliberalism.  One of the themes of the course is development , specifically what is meant by development.  Another theme is the saying “poor people inhabit rich lands.”  We will look at why the region has moved from being a paradise to poverty-stricken and why the majority of the people are still poor in the 21st century.

    Art History 2: English is a relatively young language, said to have been born in 449 AD with the Anglo Saxon invasions of the British Isles. However, the language of those early raiders cannot be understood by English speakers of today. English has been shaped by migrations, invasions, explorations, and commerce, as well as by song and story. This class traces the development of English from its prehistoric, Indo-European roots, through the measured cadences of Beowulf, Chaucer’s witty heroic couplets, Shakespeare’s sonnets, the sonorous poetry of the King James Bible, and the erudite definitions of Samuel Johnson’s and Noah Webster’s dictionaries. The class studies the evolving vocabulary and grammar of English as well as changing literary forms.

    Fine Arts

    Introduction to: 

    • Fine and Practical Art 2
    • Eurythmy 2
    Details

    Fine Art 2: In tenth grade art, students are introduced to color theory. We work with watercolor, color pencils and other mediums. In watercolor, students learn color theory, mixing and techniques through small exercises given in each class. In the second part of our class, students were graded on sewing their workbook which included exercises on using watercolor. Students also made and put together a watercolor palette, and also sewed a small sketchbook that they will use until the end of term.

    Eurythmy 2: Eurythmy is a performing art that engages aspects of dance, music, poetry, speech, and kinesthetic expression. A feature unique to Waldorf education, the beautiful, spiritual, and emotional art of eurythmy introduces students to the frameworks underlying speech and music through movement. The study of Eurythmy develops concentration, spatial orientation and dexterity, and engages students in the study of enhanced rhythms of speech and music as experienced and interpreted through the whole body.

    World Language

    Introduction to: 

    • Spanish 2
      Details

      Spanish 2: The focus of this course is on the systematic review of basic grammar: gender and number of nouns, adjectives, and the present and past tenses of regular and irregular verbs. For the second semester, new grammar topics include comparison of adjectives and prepositions. The students also work on more verb tenses (such as the imperfect), begin to learn the future and conditional tenses, learn new vocabulary, and read short stories from different Latin American authors. The project for the first semester is on a renowned Latin American destination. For the second semester, students present the life and work of a Latin American painter or sculptor.

      Physical Education

      Introduction to: 

      • Athletics 2

       

      Details

      Athletics 2: In the first semester of Athletics 2, students review the basic vocabulary, rules, and techniques of traditional sports including basketball, football, and volleyball. Students are expected to come to class every day with proper attire and are encouraged to participate fully in every activity. Students examine their own areas of strength, weakness, and progress; they help to organize teams and structure games. At the end of each class, students participate in fast-paced games and mini-tournaments.

      The Students also have the opportunity to try non-traditional sports such as parkour, rock climbing, yoga, waterpolo and ultimate frisbee. Experts in the sports are brought in to instruct these classes.

      Elective

      Choice of:

      • Jazz Band
      • Percussion
      • Community Service
      • Industrial Arts
      • Creative Writing
      • Gardening
      • Robotics
      • Yearbook
      • Art
      • Trial and the Art of Advocacy
      • The Supreme Court
      • Social Justice
      • Sewing
      Details
      Curriculum

      Eleventh Grade

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      Eleventh Grade

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      Humanities

      Introduction to:

      • English 3: Parzival and Shakespeare 
      • Life Skills 3
      • Community Service Trip

      Electives Available:

      • Creative Writing
      • Study Skills

       

      Details

      English 3: Parzival is a vast, complex tale of adventure and romance written in the early thirteenth century by Wolfram von Eschenbach, a minnesinger who claimed – perhaps facetiously – to be illiterate. It tells of Parzival’s journey from clownish ignorance, through sorrow and doubt to become a Knight of the Round Table and Lord of the Grail. The grail is not a cup in this story, but a mysterious stone that has power to nourish and to heal. In addition to the challenging reading, students keep a journal addressing themes of the class, to develop artistic responses to the story, and to write a final essay.

      Juniors are ready for rigorous reading and thoughtful analysis.  Students complete individual research projects and presentations on the period. Units on Dante’s Divine Comedy and Shakespeare’s Hamlet offer insight into Medieval and Renaissance eras and illuminate basic human questions. A unit on the Romantic Movement further illustrates the ideas of the Enlightenment. Students choose their senior project topics and write a five-page paper following MLA guidelines.

      Mathematics

      Introduction to:

      • Algebra II or Algebra II-Advanced
      • Projective Geometry
      Details

      Algebra II: This class builds on the concepts related to circles and basic trigonometric ratios by introducing the unit circle, reciprocal trigonometric ratios, and inverse trigonometric functions. Students study algebra topics including domain and range, linear equations, and functions. Students learn about systems of equations and how to solve them using a variety of methods (graphing, substitution, and elimination). Students also study quadratic functions, including creation (multiplying binomials), factoring, graphing, solving, and determining the equation from a graph. Finally, students learn about exponential equations, logarithms, and imaginary numbers.

      Projective Geometry: Through various geometric constructions first discovered by Pappus, Desargues, Pascal, and Brianchon, students explore the ways in which mathematicians for 2000 years flirted with the ideas which we now recognize as projective constructions. The effort moved forward when artists in the 15th century began to wonder how to depict scenes on flat paper which appeared to be three dimensional. Projective Geometry only began to be developed in the 19th century. Students come to appreciate a completely unfamiliar space of reality which is just as valid, and in fact more generally true, than the one with which we are more used to dealing.

       

      Science

      Introduction to:

      • Physics 3: Electricity and Magnetism
      • Chemistry 3: Atomic Chemistry
      • Environmental Science 3: Tropical Ecosystems
      Details

      Physics 3: Today, life without electromagnetic technologies is almost inconceivable. For this reason, it is vitally important to understand the basic phenomenological observations which first led scientists to discover the conditions that give rise to electrical and magnetic effects. This class studies those effects, and carefully observes the conditions which create them. Both electricity and magnetism may be understood as forces that seek balance and students learn to understand such concepts as charge, field, voltage, current, resistance, and power within this framework. They go on to study technologies which harness the electromagnetic effect, such as series and parallel circuits (Ohm’s law), electric motors, generators, solenoids, and transformers. Finally, they consider how power is generated for the multiplicity of electric devices we use today, and the implications of these methods.

      Chemistry 3: This class covers the chemistry of elements: what is an element, what elements are commonly found in the human body, the important non-metals, the alkali and alkaline earth metals, the halogens, and some other metals and semi-metals. Students look at various properties of the elements: elemental masses, the valences of the elements in making compounds, and constant and multiple proportions in reactions. They study the structure of the periodic table and how its structure relates to chemical and physical properties. Experiments familiarize students with basic chemical reactions including combustion and metal replacement.

      Environmental Science 3: The course traditionally starts with a two week trip to Costa Rica. Upon our return we will digest the material and fill in any “gaps.” Students will investigate current trends in environmental science with a focus on global impacts.  Students will be expected to seek solutions and to support their classmates during the strategy sessions and assignments. 

      Our main deliverable is an oral presentation supported by a poster or PowerPoint.

      History and Social Studies

      Introduction to:

      • History 3: Latin American History
      • History 4: Transcendentalism
      • Art History 3: History through Music
      Details

      History 3: We will study the history of Spanish-speaking Latin America from the time of the Spanish colonization, through the movements for independence, neocolonialism and neoliberalism.  One of the themes of the course is development , specifically what is meant by development.  Another theme is the saying “poor people inhabit rich lands.”  We will look at why the region has moved from being a paradise to poverty-stricken and why the majority of the people are still poor in the 21st century.

      History 4: Transcendentalism: In this seminar we will study the loosely affiliated group of 19th Century American thinkers and writers called the Transcendentalists. Above all else, these Transcendentalists espoused a fierce individualism.  To them, the autonomous human being who creates, free from dogma and habit their own ideas and social and spiritual connections, most fully meets the definition of human being.  The great teachers on this path to autonomy are Nature and the Soul, which the Transcendentalists considered two aspects of the same reality; a reality apprehended more directly and intimately by intuition than by the reductive reasoning of enlightenment science.

      Art History 3: Students study the parallel historical development of human consciousness and music. They learn to analyze music through the phenomena of melody, harmony, rhythm, and tone color (timbre) through in-depth listening, discussion, and textural analysis of music in the Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern eras. The students create their own listening journal entry on a composition of their choosing. The class presents a final music project on the last day.

      Fine Arts

      Introduction to: 

      • Fine and Practical Art 3
      • Eurythmy 3: Eurythmy Play
      Details

      Fine Art 3: This course is designed to explore fundamental aspects of expressive drawing. Students will investigate various materials and techniques for capturing emotions or moods in drawing through the use of color, mark, and value. The course will begin by improving skill and confidence in drawing through developing eye-hand coordination and the ability to draw from observation, translating three-dimensional space onto a two-
      dimensional surface. Additionally, techniques for studying color relationships, color mixing, and composition will be demonstrated and practiced. As the course progresses, students will be challenged to capture qualities
      in their drawings beyond what they see and to draw with quicker and looser expressiveness.

      Eurythmy 3: Eurythmy is a performing art that engages aspects of dance, music, poetry, speech, and kinesthetic expression. A feature unique to Waldorf education, the beautiful, spiritual, and emotional art of eurythmy introduces students to the frameworks underlying speech and music through movement. The study of Eurythmy develops concentration, spatial orientation and dexterity, and engages students in the study of enhanced rhythms of speech and music as experienced and interpreted through the whole body.

      World Language

      Introduction to: 

      • Spanish 3

      Details

      Spanish 3: The goal of this course is to provide the basic grammatical structures needed to communicate in Spanish. The students learn vocabulary for typical activities related to traveling in a foreign country and vocabulary pertaining to housework, shopping, weather, transportation, restaurants, and everyday life. Students learn more complex verb forms (such as the imperfect, future and conditional tenses). They also read short stories from different Latin American authors and work on two different projects for each semester.

      Physical Education

      Introduction to: 

      • Athletics 3
        Details

        Athletics 3: In the first semester of Athletics 3, students review the basic vocabulary, rules, and techniques of volleyball and basketball. Students are expected to come to class every day with proper attire and are expected to participate fully in every activity. Students examine their own areas of strength, weakness, and progress; they help to organize teams and structure games. At the end of each class, students participate in fast-paced games and mini-tournaments.

        The Students also have the opportunity to try non-traditional sports such as parkour, rock climbing, yoga, waterpolo and ultimate frisbee. Experts in the sports are brought in to instruct these classes.

        Elective

        Choice of:

        • Jazz Band
        • Percussion
        • Community Service
        • Industrial Arts
        • Creative Writing
        • Gardening
        • Robotics
        • Yearbook
        • Art
        • Trial and the Art of Advocacy
        • The Supreme Court
        • Social Justice
        • Sewing
        Details
        Curriculum

        Twelfth Grade

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        Twelfth Grade

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        Humanities

        Introduction to:

        • English 4: Play Production and Russian Literature
        • Life Skills 4

        Electives Available:

        • Creative Writing
        • Study Skills

         

        Details

        English 4: The Russian land encompasses eleven time zones and climates that range from arctic to subtropical. Russian history encompasses tyrants, heroes, artists, saints and rebels. In this block, literature is a gateway to Russian history and culture as well as to archetypal human questions. We begin with fairy tales and icons. Stories of Russia’s acceptance of eastern orthodox Christianity, the Mongol invasions and the biography of Peter the Great give insights into Russia’s simultaneous attraction to and rejection of the West. We read Gogol (“The Overcoat”), Dostoevsky (“The Grand Inquisitor”), Tolstoy (“What Men Live By”), Chekhov (The Cherry Orchard), Akhmatova (“Requiem”) and Yevtushenko (A Precocious Autobiography), as well as many poems. The biography of each writer helps place each work in its historical context.

         

        Mathematics

        Introduction to:

        • Introduction to Calculus
        • Calculus or Pre-Calculus
        • Modern Mathmatics
        Details

        Introduction to Calculus: This course builds on Algebra II topics by deepening the understanding of polynomials, polynomial operations, and functions. Students focus on practical applications of concepts such as logarithmic/exponential expressions, systems of equations, and trigonometric functions. These topics are explored through real-world examples involving topics that vary from finance to geology to biology and others.

        Calculus: This year-long class picks up directly from Introduction to Calculus ended using g a college-level textbook. Students are expected to be able to read the text, make sense of the ideas within it, and ask appropriate questions to help further their understanding. The content begins with a quick review of how to find derivatives, their applications, and revisiting conceptual understanding of the mentioned processes. The following new concepts are covered:

        • indefinite integration
        • riemann sums and the definite integral
        • the fundamental theorem of calculus
        • the second fundamental theorem of calculus
        • how to integrate different types of functions
        • differential equations applications of integration

        Modern Mathematics: In this seminar we will discuss the foundations of mathematics as they were investigated by 19th and 20th century mathematicians, and we will discuss “The Question,” as Professor Barry Mazur called it: “Is mathematics discovered or invented?” We will answer this question for ourselves as we study the work of various mathematicians and explore the mathematical fields they pioneered or helped develop including number theory, set theory, logic, and coding.

        Science

        Introduction to:

        • Biology 4: Zoology and Evolution, Cell Biology and Embryology
        • Physics 4: Visual Physics
        • Chemistry 4: Biochemistry
        • Environmental Science 4: Age of the Anthropocene

        Electives Available:

        • Physics 5: Applied Mathematics and Advanced Methods
        • Biology 5: Advanced Methods
        • Chemistry 5: Advanced Methods
        Details

        Biology 4: Practicing a form of comparative morphology, the class discusses and compares fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and several characteristic groups of the mammals. The block ends with a consideration of the unique nature of the human being.

        Physics 4: This block challenges students to consider the importance of understanding science and technology as factors of change in the modern world. The class explores optics as a means of demonstrating the evolution of physical theories, taking up experimental work in the field of optics and physical colors, in which we compare the understanding of color phenomena in a wholistic manner with the analysis of experimental results through modern mathematical models. The class also takes up questions that relate historically to the development of physics in the 20th century and their present impact. A background text offering descriptions and a critique of 20th century physics is Physics for the Rest of Us by Roger Jones.

        Chemistry 4: The first goal is to further understanding of atomic theory and molecular structure. The initial experiment looks at Brownian motion, which through Einstein’s analysis contributed to the acceptance of atomic and kinetic theories in the twentieth century. Based on the structure of the oleic acid molecule, we learn how to estimate the size of an atom and calculate Avogadro’s number. Discussions on chemical bonding and the special nature of water, including hydrogen bonds, are taken up early in the block and find important applications throughout. The class looks at specific ways of classifying structure, including a discussion of isomers. Experiments explore the effects of chirality (relating to enantiomers, or mirror image molecular structures) on physical properties, such as optical rotation, and on chemoreception.

        Environmental Science 4: In this course we will review the foundations of ecology to help us understand the Anthropocene age. We will look at the cycle of natural resources starting with the geological development of our planet and how data is gathered and calculated. For inspiration we will seek guidance from past winners of the Goldman Environmental Prize.

        Using our homes, school and region as an area of study, we will look at our water usage, waste production and energy usage with a closer lens. Lastly we will look at how this information may influence personal and local decisions.  Students will be expected to seek solutions and to support their classmates during the strategy sessions and assignments.

        Physics 5:  This elective course is for seniors who have expressed an intention to study mathematics, science, or engineering at a four year university.  It is intended as an opportunity to gain ability and sophistication in problem-solving as preparation for college level physics courses.  We will study non-calculus approaches to the following topics in physics (as time allows): scientific mathematics, kinematics, dynamics, circular motion and gravity, momentum, work, energy, power, thermodynamics, electrostatics, current electricity, magnetism, and waves.

         

        History and Social Studies

        Introduction to:

        • History 4: Transcendentalism
        • Art History 4: History of Architecture
        Details

        History 4: A small group of thinkers, educators, and writers, many of whom lived in and around Concord, Massachusetts in the years leading up to the American Civil War, addressed the great questions of existence in ways that still shape our thinking today. When students encounter Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman for the first time, there is often a shock of essays and poetry of Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman, along with their associates Bronson Alcott and Margaret Fuller. In keeping with transcendentalist traditions, the class converses and writes in their journals on a daily basis.

         

        Art History 4: Beginning with the raising of standing stones and ending with contemporary structures, students examine the human being’s changing experience of space, place, purpose, materials and design. In the last week of the course students give a short presentation of an architectural approach to a contemporary question.

        Fine Arts

        Introduction to: 

        • Fine Art 4
        • Practical Art 4
        • Eurythmy 4: Performance

        Electives Available

        • Art 5: Fine Art
        Details

        Fine Art 4: “Who am I?” Who are we?” This course explores notions of self through visual art. Students consider in what
        ways images and artistic expression reflect how humans understand themselves and their experience in the world. The emphasis of the course is on learning portrait painting and exploring identity as a core theme in art. The students will complete a self-portrait in acrylic paint and (if time permits) a self-directed project based on an individual proposal.

        Eurythmy 4: This short block begins with looking at pictures of planetary movements: the incredible beauty and geometrical accuracy strikes one deeply. Where else can one find these forms? – in the plants, in crystals, in snow, and in many other places. With this sense of heavenly order we start to learn the gestures and relevant sounds of the eurythmical zodiac. The human being is a microcosm of this grand macrocosmic display of the stars. Parallel to deepening this work of the zodiac, we work with a verse by Rudolf Steiner, “The Stars Once Spoke to Man”, and also a piano piece by F. Schubert, Klavierstück No. 2. Both pieces will be performed in front of the high school student body and faculty, as well as parents.

        World Language

        Introduction to: 

        • Spanish 4
          Details

          Spanish 4: In Spanish IV/V, students read and spend time discussing books in order to deepen their fluency and write assignments in order to focus on their Spanish reading and writing. Their final test is to summarize the novels in a brief Spanish language essay.

          Physical Education

          Introduction to: 

          • Athletics 4
            Details

            Athletics 4: In the first semester of Athletics 4, students review the basic vocabulary, rules, and techniques of traditional sports including basketball, football, and volleyball. Students are expected to come to class every day with proper attire and are encouraged to participate fully in every activity. Students examine their own areas of strength, weakness, and progress; they help to organize teams and structure games. At the end of each class, students participate in fast-paced games and mini-tournaments.

            The Students also have the opportunity to try non-traditional sports such as parkour, rock climbing, yoga, waterpolo and ultimate frisbee. Experts in the sports are brought in to instruct these classes.

            Elective

            Choice of:

            • Jazz Band
            • Percussion
            • Community Service
            • Industrial Arts
            • Creative Writing
            • Gardening
            • Robotics
            • Yearbook
            • Art
            • Trial and the Art of Advocacy
            • The Supreme Court
            • Social Justice
            • Sewing
            Details