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 foreign 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

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High School

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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, Orchestra, 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.

Science

Introduction to:

  • Biology 1: Human Anatomy
  • Physics 1: Thermodynamics
  • Chemistry 1: Organic Chemistry
  • Environmental Science 1: Earth Science
Details

Biology 1: This class begins with a focus on the human sensory organization. After an extensive consideration of the eye and vision, students explore the sense of balance and the kinesthetic sense. The second part of the class involves observations and reflections on the human skeleton, which include comparative studies of human and animal skulls, and how the human foot develops over time in the process of learning to stand and walk.

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
  • 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.

 

 

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: 

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.

Spanish

Introduction to: 

  • Spanish 1

Electives Available: 

  • Spanish for Native Speakers
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

Electives Available:

  • Integrative Movement
  • Self Defense/Tai Chi
  • Sports Conditioning
  • Surf Team
  • Yoga
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, Orchestra, Percussion, Community Music
  • Cooking
  • Community Service
  • Industrial Arts
  • Insightful Gardening
  • 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 Surverying
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.

Science

Introduction to:

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

Biology 2: Topics in this class cover the anatomy and physiology of the heart, the circulatory system, the components of human blood, the significance of blood groups, the non-specific and specific immune systems, the nature of HIV infection and AIDS, the lungs, and lastly, the human brain.

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
  • 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.

 

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: 

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.

Spanish

Introduction to: 

  • Spanish 2

Electives Available: 

  • Spanish for Native Speakers
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

Electives Available:

  • Integrative Movement
  • Self Defense/Tai Chi
  • Sports Conditioning
  • Surf Team
  • Yoga
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, Orchestra, Percussion, Community Music
  • Cooking
  • Community Service
  • Industrial Arts
  • Insightful Gardening
  • 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: Costa Rica 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:

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

Biology 3: 

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: 

History and Social Studies

Introduction to:

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

History 3: 

 

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 1: 

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.

Spanish

Introduction to: 

  • Spanish 3

Electives Available: 

  • Spanish for Native Speakers
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

Electives Available:

  • Integrative Movement
  • Self Defense/Tai Chi
  • Sports Conditioning
  • Surf Team
  • Yoga
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, Orchestra, Percussion, Community Music
  • Cooking
  • Community Service
  • Industrial Arts
  • Insightful Gardening
  • 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 Business Math
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

Business Math: After considering the worldwide network of organizations and activities involved in producing a simple product like a bar of Swiss chocolate, students move to a study of pre-capitalist economics, then on to Adam Smith and his idea of a self-regulating free-market system guided by “the invisible hand.” The seniors learn how supply and demand curves lead to an equilibrium point where overproduction and shortfall can be avoided, and about factors that affect supply and demand. Mergers, oligopolies, conglomerates, and economies of scale were also considered in this context. The block includes an inquiry into how the tensions that exist between our objectives as self-seeking consumers and the ideals we carry as members of a humane democratic society can be resolved. The block concludes with consideration of subprime mortgages, mortgage-backed securities, and other factors that contributed to the economic recession that began in 2008.

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
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: 

History and Social Studies

Introduction to:

  • History 4: Transcendentalism 
  • Art History 4: History through 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 and Practical Art 3
  • Eurythmy 4: Performance
Details

Fine Art 1: 

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.

Spanish

Introduction to: 

  • Spanish 4

Electives Available: 

  • Spanish for Native Speakers
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

Electives Available:

  • Integrative Movement
  • Self Defense/Tai Chi
  • Sports Conditioning
  • Surf Team
  • Yoga
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, Orchestra, Percussion, Community Music
  • Cooking
  • Community Service
  • Industrial Arts
  • Insightful Gardening
  • Sewing
Details