Darien High School

 

Dear Student,

This catalog contains a comprehensive program of study with a vast and varied selection of courses. The courses offered at Darien High School provide an array of possibilities for building a curriculum that is rich with theory as well as practical application. As you select your courses for the upcoming academic year please be cognizant of your interests, future plans,graduation requirements, and prerequisites. Make sure to discuss your goals and aspirations with your parents, teachers, and guidance counselor who will guide you in building a program of study that will help you achieve those goals.

Darien High School prides itself on its ability to provide an environment where students are encouraged to be reflective thinkers while striving for excellence. In the course selection process you have an exciting opportunity to realize your full potential while striving for that excellence. Please make sure to give it the attention that it requires.


Sincerly,

Ellen Dunn

COURSE SELECTION: Course selections are made by each student, in consultation with his/her parents, guidance counselor and often, previous teachers. Seminars for 8th grade parents are held to acquaint them with course information to assist their students. Student programs in grades 9 and 10 are organized around a core curriculum. Students must carry a minimum of six courses, plus Physical Education. A combination of exploratory electives such as Art, Music, Drama, Humanities and Technology Education, (selected according to student interests) are combined with the student’s core curriculum to meet the six course requirement.

COURSE LOAD: All students in grades 9—11 are required to carry a minimum of six full time subjects, in addition to physical education, each semester. It is recommended that at least four of the six subjects be from the departments of English, social studies, mathematics, science and foreign languages. Students in grade 12 are also required to carry a minimum of six full time subjects, in addition to physical education, each semester. However, seniors who are taking 3 or more courses at the 400 level (Honors or AP) may opt to take only five full time subjects, in addition to physical education during the semester(s) in which they are so enrolled.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Students receiving Special Education support services will be scheduled according to their Individual Education Plan as approved by the Planning and Placement Team.

APPROVAL OF COURSE SELECTION: Parent involvement is an essential element in the registration process. To that end, this course catalog is for parents as much as it is for students, counselors and teachers. Parents are encouraged to read the course descriptions with particular attention to the prerequisites for each course. Students should confer with their teachers and then with their counselor on initial course selection. Students in continuing courses are recommended for the next course in the sequence by their current teacher of the subject area. Course level is initially recommended by the teacher and the department according to the stated prerequisites. The student confers with his/her counselor on the total course load, level and types of courses. A list of selected courses is sent home with the student for parent signature. During registration students must note alternative electives in case their original course requests are not offered, or do not fit in their schedule.

YOUR INTERESTS: Because a major part of your life will be spent working, and because liking your work will play a major role in your general happiness, it is extremely important that you give careful consideration to your interests in choosing your courses of study. Call upon your counselor to help in assessing your interests and in deciding how to satisfy them. Career decision making inventories are also available through the Guidance Department website.

REGISTRATION: Registration serves as a guide to determine which courses and the number of sections that will be required for the next school year. Courses that are undersubscribed are eliminated and alternative courses inserted. Once the list of available courses is in place, final registration can proceed. With few exceptions all classes are scheduled by computer. Final, revised student schedules are mailed home during the summer. This final schedule may reflect changes that were necessary to balance class sizes in multiple sections and to maintain the students registration requests. Students may NOT change courses once they have been registered for the courses they have chosen. Teachers’ names do not appear on preliminary schedules. Requests to change to another section to have a choice of a teacher are not honored. This restriction is necessary to provide balanced class sizes and equitable teacher loads.

A WORD OF CAUTION: Although intellectual development is our primary focus at Darien High School, we recognize the importance of co-curricular activities in the lives of adolescents as they move toward young adulthood. The budgeting of time, creating a balance between academic pursuits and activities outside the classroom, is not an easy task. It is wise to seek the advice of your parents, your teachers, and your counselor in determining what is an appropriate and sensible program of study for you.

 

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Year Level Semesters Department Type Display Mode

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DHS levels decoded: 200 Skills level | 300: Regular level | 650: course may be repeated | 750: Co-curricular Activities | 900: Heterogeneous enrollment
Note: Some courses listed in this catalog may not be offered this school year as actual course offerings are limited by total registrations and by staff availability.

Open to Grades
11 12

Art: Drawing and Painting 3 Honors

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 400
  • Type: Elective- Partially Fulfils Fine/Practical Arts Requirement
  • Notes: Course formerly known as Advanced Art
  • Prerequisite: Drawing and Painting 2 or permission of the teacher.

Course Objectives: 1. To provide studio experience on an advanced level in two and three dimensions. 2. To allow students to choose areas of interest in developing a portfolio for work in many media. 3. To prepare students with high interest and ability to apply for art schools and colleges.

Description: In addition to class assignments students have an opportunity to develop an area of interest in depth. Major projects will include drawing, painting, design, illustration, and sculpture. Various art careers will be discussed according to individual student interest. In addition to the required courses, students will also need to have a portfolio review and Drawing and Painting 2 teacher approval. For the portfolio review, students will need to show the body of work created in Drawing and Painting 1 and Drawing and Painting 2. Students work must demonstrate an advanced understanding of observational drawing and technical skill, creative idea development, artistic growth over the two prerequisite courses, and show a dedication to the art making process and the expectation of an honors course.

Expectations: A high level of interest and personal commitment is expected of the advanced level student. Students will experiment and strive for original art concepts. All work will be presented in a professional manner.

Course Curriculum: Drawing and Painting 3 Honors Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
11 12

Art: Art Honors

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 400
  • Type: Elective- Partially Fulfils Fine/Practical Arts Requirement
  • Notes:
  • Prerequisite: Drawing and Painting 3 Honors (Formerly known as Advanced Art) or Ceramics 2 or Photography 2, and departmental approval.

Course Objectives: 1. To develop a high level of skill in traditional artists’ processes, i.e., drawing, painting techniques, color theory and usage, composition, etc. 2. To gain deeper insight into the aesthetic and philosophical concepts in traditional and contemporary art. 3. To gain knowledge of advanced study of art in college and art careers. 4. To begin the process of learning how to assess and critique their own work based upon principles of composition and other goals listed above.

Description: Each student who enters this class will possess individual strengths, weaknesses, and interests. This course will focus on the individual and will start with an analysis of the above. Curriculum development will start with the following questions: (a) What are the strengths and weaknesses of each student? (b) What needs to be developed further? (c) How will each student learn the process of their own creative direction and personal ideation development? (d) What are the expressive interests of each student?

Expectations: Students will work with a high level of commitment to their art. They will work in class, at home, and during free periods to complete projects. Specific expectations will vary with assignments and may be different for each student. The common expectation will include developing a resource file. This resource file will be individualized according to each student’s goals and mediums of expression (sculpture, photography, painting, drawing, etc.). It will incorporate the visualization of ideas through sketches and working drawings, internet research through museums, artist web pages and galleries, and the investigation of art history and its continued impact on our visions as artists today.

Course Curriculum: Art Honors Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
10 11 12

Art: Graphic Design 1

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 900
  • Type: Elective- Partially Fulfils Fine/Practical Arts Requirement
  • Notes:
  • Prerequisite: Art Foundations

Course Objectives: 1. To acquaint students with the elements and principles of effective design.  2. To introduce students to computer graphic design. 3. To assist students in the process of taking aesthetic judgments on design as it exists in varies forms in society. 4. To guide students in the process of creating designs for a variety of applications i.e. logo design, graphic design, textiles, etc. 5. To increase the students general awareness of the fields of study and career choice.

Description: Students will study examples of effective design as it is found in a variety of forms. In addition, students will be instructed in the process of designing using traditional and contemporary elements and principles of design. After a unit of study in which students create works of design based upon basic concepts i.e. balance, unity repetition, variety, emphasis etc. Projects in which basic concepts may be applied will be presented. Students will design such projects as logo design, CD covers, package designs, etc. A variety of media will be used and will include the computer, collage, photo montage, marker, pencil, pen, and ink.

Expectations: Students will be expected to participate in the research, study and analysis of design as well as completing projects in various design oriented assignments. Students will conceive and render designs.

Course Curriculum: Graphic Design 1 Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
10 11 12

Art: Graphic Design 2

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 900
  • Type: Elective- Partially Fulfils Fine/Practical Arts Requirement
  • Notes:
  • Prerequisite: Graphic Design 1

Course Objectives: 1. To achieve proficient skills in Photoshop CS2, Illustrator CS2, and digital photography, and to be able to generate a broad range of images. 2. To fine tune digital photo compositions by enhancing the color, sharpness, and clarity, and to create custom images using tools and effects learned in the software programs. 3. To be able to render images in styles like the master artists in history. 4. To create interesting illustrations and/or photos by using the software programs. 5. To explore advanced methods to create special and interesting effects such as integrating 3D objects into the photograph, creating motion, adding light sources, adding textures, and designing new realities.

Description: Students will be introduced to advanced methods available in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Students will explore more combinations of tools and effects such as text effects and 3-dimensional rendering. Students will be required to create images using their own digital pictures and to enhance their photos as artistically as possible by using image adjustments to adjust contrast and lighting, color enhancement, masking, and sharpening. In addition, students will learn to add their own effects, and to create and integrate objects and people into their images. The course will include examples of historical art as well as contemporary images to inspire ideas. Students will make independent decisions on how to approach and achieve their final project.

Expectations: Students will be expected to research their ideas and explore advanced computer tools in rendering their assignments. Their research will include looking at a style of art that interests them then use the tools and effects available in the programs to render their work into that style. Students will be encouraged to research graphic designers and learn how they created their works. Students are assigned bi-weekly projects that build on their previous knowledge of the programs as well as new knowledge. Students will need to make connections in order to research, write, and discuss the processes and meaning of their assignments. A semester final will be given that encompasses what the students have learned throughout the course. Students will discuss their final project, reflect, and share what effects and tools were useful, and what was successful or not successful.

Course Curriculum: Graphic Design 2 Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
10 11 12

Art: Photography 2

  • Number of Semesters: 1 or 2
  • Number of Credits: 0.5 or 1
  • Level: 650
  • Type: Elective
  • Notes: Option to take for a full year or by semester for a maximum of 2 semesters. Change to 650 Jan. 2011.
  • Prerequisite: Photography 1 and students must provide 35mm camera.

Course Objectives: 1. To expand upon basic techniques learned in Photography 1. 2. To expand technical skills and aesthetic awareness. 3. To develop a visual awareness and increased sensitivity to the environment. 4. Expand skills while manipulating images in the darkroom.

Description: Students will have the opportunity to experiment with darkroom techniques and solve problems related to the camera, film, exposure, printing, design, and composition. Demonstrations and discussions will supplement and give direction to the darkroom laboratory experience. Students will learn advanced skills with the camera and photographic process in expressing ideas. Assignments will give the course direction as students apply basic knowledge to a variety of photographic techniques while they learn to successfully produce high quality photo-graphic print. Students will also have the opportunity to explore a wide variety of techniques and materials while manipulating their images.

Expectations: Required assignments must be completed and presented for teacher/class analysis and criticism. Self-evaluation and development of individual goals will be stressed. Grades will be based on the development of a process and final print product of the photographic experience. Students must provide their own film and paper.

Course Curriculum: Photography 2 Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
9 10 11 12

Business: Investing and Personal Finance

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 900
  • Type: Elective
  • Notes:
  • Prerequisite: None

Course Objectives: 1. To make students aware of the use and abuse of credit, in order to make wise credit decisions. 2. To make students aware of the factors to consider when making major purchases such as a first house, car, etc. 3. To help students become able to set lifetime financial goals and develop possible ways to achieve them. 4. To help students understand investing in the American and Global Economy. 5. To help students become able to understand the importance of being a wise consumer of goods and services. 6. To raise the level of economic literacy for all students. 7. To further the students’ understanding of the evolutionary nature of the economy to aide in future financial planning. 8. To develop a feeling for economic cause and effect in explaining trends, cycles, and forecasting the future. 9. To relate economics to the reality of social science problem solving in a complex world.

Description: Investing and Personal Finance is a course designed to help students prepare to make decisions they will face, both as students and as adults functioning in a dynamic global economy. It is the study of limited resources trying to satisfy unlimited wants. The course stresses the importance of preparing for the future by starting a financial plan now. A broad number of topics educate the student on how to be a wise consumer, with stress on life and health insurance. Other important topics will include the power and methods of saving, as well as investing in a variety of ways such as stocks, bonds, and real estate. A virtual stock market game simulation gives students a hands on look at what it’s like to invest in real companies.

Expectations: Students will be required to complete various reading assignments from textbooks, newspapers, magazines, and handouts, as well as materials generated by the staff; to understand the problem of scarcity, the importance of the individual citizen consumer/ producer in the American economic system, and apply sound economic reasoning to personal financial decisions. Chapter quizzes and tests will determine comprehension of material and daily work assignments.

Open to Grades
9 10 11 12

Business: Pre Law

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 900
  • Type: Elective
  • Notes: Name change June 2010. Formerly Business Law.
  • Prerequisite: None

Course Objectives: 1. To introduce students to basic legal principles and rules of conduct as they apply to business and personal transactions. 2. To understand the implications of sales contracts as they pertain to transfer of ownership, risk of loss, warranties, and product liability. 3. To expose students to credit agreements and to understand the effect credit has on consumer spending. 4. To make students aware of the types of regulations that affect employment and the relationship between employer and employee, and agent and principal. 5. To become familiar with different types of insurance: automobile, life, property, and term. 6. To comprehend the need for wills. 7. To understand landlord and tenants' rights and what real property is. 8. To know the difference between partnerships and corporations. 9. To understand how commercial paper is used and transferred.

Description: Pre-Law is an extension of Youth and the Law. Emphasis is not only placed on principles and rules but also upon the purpose and logic of the law.

Expectations: Students will be able to: identify and apply general principles and concepts to specific and personal situations; realize the significance of business law in their personal lives; identify and understand the laws which affect them as residents of the State of Connecticut; compare and contrast the various types of business ownership; demonstrate the ability to think clearly, logically, accurately, and concisely by pinpointing rules of law in actual case studies; demonstrate a knowledge of law as it applies to the consumer and the remedies available under the various federal and state consumer protection laws; identify contracts as either valid, void, or voidable and identify the various methods by which a contract is discharged or terminated; differentiate between real property and personal property and illustrate the acquisition of, and limitations to, each type of ownership; describe the legal characteristics of the lessor and lessee relationship and the rights and duties of each party; understand negotiable instruments; understand the concept of and terms of insurance. Chapter quizzes, unit tests, and a final exam will be given.

Open to Grades
9 10 11 12

Business: Business and Entrepreneurship

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 900
  • Type: Elective
  • Notes:
  • Prerequisite: None

Course Objectives: 1.Students will gain and demonstrate understanding that businesses seek profit by providing goods and services in exchange for money. Competition and profit motivate businesses to continually strive to find new ways to satisfy customers. 2.- Students will introduced to the different forms of business owners and five main types of businesses. 3.Students will recognize and test a business opportunity in the market. 4.Show good business Ethics and Social Responsibility – Rules to guide the behavior of a business and its employees. 5.Determine how to use technology in Business - Distinguishing how technology has influenced business.

Description: This course is designed to acquaint students with the risks and opportunities involved in starting and operating a business. Students will use entrepreneurial discovery process, assess opportunities in venture creation and develop strong presentation skills to convince others of the potential success of implementing the business product, service, or idea. Students will have the opportunity to participate in many group and computer based activities and projects, develop social responsibility awareness, and examine ethical questions in the ever-changing business world. It will include the study of business activities, business ownership and operations, entrepreneurship, ethics and social responsibility, and technology.

Expectations:

Open to Grades
10 11 12

Computer Studies: AP Computer Science

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 400
  • Type: Elective- Fulfils Fine Arts Requirement
  • Notes:
  • Prerequisite: Computer Science with a grade of B+ or higher and permission of the teacher.

Course Objectives: 1. To design and implement computer based solution to a variety of problems. 2. To design and select appropriate algorithms and data structures, which are applied to the solution of a problem. 3. To identify and apply well-known algorithms and data structures. 4. To read and understand the design and development of a large program, as well as its resulting code. 5. To code fluently in a well-structured high level language. 6. To develop an awareness of the social, ethical, and professional aspects of computer technology.

Description: This course is intended to serve as an introductory course for Computer Science majors, a substantial course for students who will major in other disciplines that require significant involvement with computing, or for individuals with a high level of interest in Computer Science. In the second semester, students will have the option of preparing for the AP Computer Science exam or an appropriate related experience in Computer Science topics.

Expectations: Students will achieve the objectives of this course through a series of individual, small group, and large group projects. All students will be involved in the presentation of their work to the group. Individual assessment will be based on the level of projects completed, presentation of projects, and a self-evaluation by each student. Students will be actively involved in all course activities and assessed on their individual performance. Students are encouraged to compete in computer competitions.

Course Curriculum: AP Computer Science Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
9 10 11 12

Computer Studies: Computer Science

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 900
  • Type: Elective- Partially Fulfils Fine/Practical Arts Requirement
  • Notes: Open to all students regardless of prior computer experience.
  • Prerequisite: None

Course Objectives: 1. To develop the ability to create logical algorithms which represent real world situations. 2. To introduce a specific high level computer language and develop competence in this area. 3. To develop a working knowledge of operating systems and user support systems commonly used in the world today. 4. To develop a basic knowledge of computer architecture. 5. To develop an awareness of the social, ethical, and professional aspects of computer technology.

Description: This is a comprehensive Computer Science course that includes an overview of the field, analysis of important issues, and problem solving techniques. In the past decade, Computer Science has matured and gained an enormous influence in all areas of the Sciences. Students need a comprehensive Computer Science course which precedes the Honors or Advanced Placement level, as in other academic areas. This course will provide a foundation for the use of computer technology for all students.

Expectations: Students will achieve the objectives of this course through a series of individual, small group, and large group projects. All students will be involved in the presentation of their work to the group. Individual assessment will be based on the level of projects completed, presentation of projects, and a self-evaluation by each student. Students will be actively involved in all course activities and assessed on their individual performance.

Open to Grades
9 10 11 12

Computer Studies: Web Design 1

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 900
  • Type: Elective- Partially Fulfils Fine/Practical Arts Requirement
  • Notes:
  • Prerequisite: None

Course Objectives: 1. To define terms associated with the World Wide Web and the hypertext markup language. 2. To demonstrate knowledge of the Internet and the various tools utilized including: browsers, e-mail clients, FTP clients, compression utilities, newsreaders, and search utilities. 3. To demonstrate an understanding of basic Web design principles. 4. To demonstrate awareness of design considerations that affect Web page construction including audience, browser version, and cross platform issues. 5. To demonstrate knowledge of how to design and create effective and structured Web pages using XHTML, CSS, and other emerging Web technologies. 6. To demonstrate knowledge of appropriate use of color and typography on the Web. 7. To demonstrate knowledge of the various tools used to create XHTML documents including Dreamweaver. 8. To demonstrate an understanding of the importance of image compression utilizing various tools and techniques. 9. To demonstrate an understanding of the client/server relationship and various protocols used on the Internet.

Description: This course introduces students to basic concepts, issues, and techniques required to develop and maintain Web sites. During this course students will learn about Web page planning, design, layout, construction, and setup of a Web site. HTML, XHTML, basic JavaScript, CSS, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Photoshop, and various other web page and image creation tools are taught in this course.

Expectations: This course is geared for all students with an interest in designing Web sites. The required activities include: class assigned readings, homework, projects, tests, and quizzes.

Open to Grades
11 12

English: Advanced Composition and Tutor Training

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 750
  • Type: Elective
  • Notes: This course may be repeated.
  • Prerequisite: By recommendation of teacher and departmental approval, or by application, permission of the teacher, and departmental approval.

Course Objectives: 1. To develop the students' skill in controlling structural elements of the essay and narrative form. 2. To develop the students' ability to describe, analyze and evaluate essay unity and coherence. 3. To develop the student's ability to distinguish between and use three kinds of critiquing: descriptive, evaluative, and substantive. 4. To introduce and develop tutoring techniques for helping students with writing problems. 5. To introduce various theories about writing in relation to personal writing and tutoring experiences.

Description: Emphasizes both advanced techniques and issues of expository writing techniques and issues of peer tutoring. Students develop critical writing skills by writing four formal essays and eight peer critiques. Students also are required to keep a log, a writer's journal of experiences as a writer, tutor, and peer critic. Students practice and discuss tutoring techniques in class by working with each other; as writers and critics, and by required tutoring in the Writing Center one period every four days. Students also develop their critical reading and listening skills through an intensive system of peer criticism which requires objective description of the function and content of any essay. In addition to studying specific advanced writing techniques and tutoring methods, students study writing as a discipline, examining different theories that define writing and theories about the teaching of writing.

Expectations: This course is appropriate for competent writers who are willing to make a commitment to improving their own writing and to helping their peers improve their writing. Students are encouraged to tutor in the writing center for two periods every 8 days.

Open to Grades
11

English: American Literature

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 300
  • Type: Required
  • Notes:
  • Prerequisite: English 10

Course Objectives: 1. To introduce students to literature written by Americans. 2. To refine students' ability to write expository essays. 3. To review and develop necessary skills selecting, analyzing and integrating text in analytical writing.

Description: The 300 level classes will be team-planned with the History Department's American History course. Interdisciplinary papers will encourage students to integrate the study of literature and history, exploring the creative moments in which literature becomes history and history becomes literature. Students will also be expected to understand their cultural and aesthetic roots, connecting and synthesizing the art, music, and architecture of an era to its history and literature. Authors likely to be read include Edwards, Franklin, Hawthorne, Cooper, Irving, Bryant, Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, Dickinson, Twain, Crane, Wharton, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Steinbeck, Lewis, Miller, and Hurston.

Expectations: In an interdisciplinary approach, learning is active and critical thinking essential. Students make connections among the various disciplines through the papers and projects in which they engage. At least one interdisciplinary assignment each quarter will be evaluated by both the English and History teachers. Students will be expected to read and write extensively. A close reading of the text will be required. The writing will be expository and non-expository with emphasis on writing about literature. Students will complete formal or informal writing assignments each week.

Open to Grades
11

English: American Literature Honors

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 400
  • Type: Required
  • Notes:
  • Prerequisite: 400 English 10 Honors with a grade of B- or higher, and permission of the teacher; or 300 English 10 with a grade of A- or higher, permission of the teacher, and a qualifying score on a placement test measuring reading comprehension, analytical thinking, and writing. Students are encouraged, but not required, to take AP American History concurrently.

Course Objectives: 1. To introduce students to literature written by Americans from the Civil War to the present. 2. To refine students' ability to write expository essays. 3. To review and expand writing skills, with attention to audience, sensory detail, imagery, and voice. 4. To explore and explain how different literary texts reflect various critical theories. 5. To review and develop critical approaches to literature. 6. To research relevant literary criticism. 7. To enable students to pursue independent study of a literary topic. 8. To encourage informal, personal writing.

Description: The course emphasizes both American Literature and methods of literary study that promote greater understanding, intellectual independence in understanding and judging that literature, and appreciation of that literature while continuing to refine the traditional forms of critical analysis. Students will study traditional forms of critical analysis as tools for generating and substantiating abstract concepts from the literature of the Puritan, Revolutionary/Federalist and Romantic/ Transcendentalist periods. Authors likely to be read include Hawthorne, Thoreau, Emerson, Melville, Twain, Miller, Crane, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, and Faulkner. Honors students will study and use additional critical approaches for generating and substantiating abstract concepts from American literature.

Expectations: The course requires extensive and intensive self-reliance on already strong reading and thinking skills and also requires extensive participation among students. Required writing will include informal and personal writing and formal expository essays based on close examination of the texts. Students will complete formal or informal writing assignments each week. Students will write several in-class essay exams based on close textural analysis and application of critical themes.

Open to Grades
12

English: AP English Language and Composition

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 400
  • Type: Required
  • Notes: Fulfills the English requirement for seniors.
  • Prerequisite: American Literature with a grade of B+ or higher, or American Literature Honors with a grade of B- or higher.

Course Objectives: 1. To help students develop skills to analyze and to produce texts with richness and complexity. 2. To provide highly motivated students with an opportunity to improve critical reading skills and critical thinking skills. 3. To help students improve writing skills through frequent analyses of the writing process. 4. To instruct students in preparation for the Advanced Placement (AP) English Language and Composition exam.

Description: The first semester of AP English Language and Composition will feature fiction and nonfiction from authors of distinction who have emerged since the end of WWII. Students will trace the movements, styles, and philosophies that have shaped written expression since 1945 and encounter a variety of voices and points of view that reflect the world of the present and of the recent past. Students will occasionally take practice AP English Language and Composition exams.

Expectations: Students will comprehend, analyze, and evaluate the class texts, with an emphasis on the studied authors’ rhetorical strategies. Students will demonstrate their mastery of a variety of writing genres, as well as their understanding of approaches to and purposes of revision. Formal expository essays, analytical essays, and argumentative essays will be required throughout the course. Students are encouraged to take the AP English Language and Composition exam.

Course Curriculum: AP English Language and Composition Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
12

English: AP English Literature and Composition

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 400
  • Type: Required
  • Notes: Fulfills the English requirement for seniors.
  • Prerequisite: American Literature with a grade of B+ or higher, or American Literature Honors with a grade of B- or higher.

Course Objectives: 1. To offer students a college level course in English that challenges and develops their literary sensitivities and critical capabilities. 2. To introduce students to traditional novels and drama of the literary canon along with related contemporary works in order to highlight the ongoing relevance of the canon and its significance to the western literary tradition. 3. To help students understand literature as art; as an attempt to capture in language the complexity of the human experience. 4. To introduce students to works of poetry that are part of the literary canon, along with related contemporary poetry, in order to develop and hone their literary sensibilities. 5. To help students understand the art and techniques of poetry; to introduce them to the forms and functions of poetry; to provide them with opportunities to write poetry. 6. To provide opportunities for students to read and discuss a variety of points of view, interpretations and voices, and to enter that dialogue at the level of the critic with the goal of developing the teacher in themselves. 7. To provide students with techniques for honing and refining their abilities as critical readers, thinkers and writers. 8. To introduce students to the body of work known as world literature, and to provide them with opportunities to think, speak, and write about the relationships between language and culture. 9. To teach students to read, study, and work independently and to provide them with a sense of ownership of their education and empowerment as thinkers and learners. 10. To introduce students to the form and function of the exploratory/inquiry essay and to provide them with opportunities to write such essays.

Description: The second semester of AP English Literature and Composition has all of the objectives of the first semester, with the addition of the objectives required of the World Literature Seminar course that all seniors must meet in order to graduate. The World Literature Seminar (WLS) component requires students to independently read 600 or more pages of literary fiction, keep a reading journal, and submit interim writing assignments on their reading. The final requirement is the senior exit project, which is designed to provide learning and practice in strategies of guided inquiry, methods of research and modes of presentation.

Expectations: Students will read a variety of challenging literature and poetry, as well as literary criticism, in order to develop skills in close textual analysis. Students will engage in discussion and writing activities that promote and encourage critical analysis, interpretation, and evaluation of those texts. They will respond to their reading and thinking in writing journals, process-based essays, in-class, timed essays, and multiple choice exams similar to the AP test. Students will be expected to actively participate in classroom discussions and activities related to the reading and writing. In the second semester, students will continue to read and analyze poetry and fiction in order to prepare them for the AP exam. Students will be introduced to a body of literary techniques and practices deemed important for success on the AP exam. Students will sit for in-class and take-home practice AP examinations. Students will read several WLS texts in common and they will read independently from articles and books related to a topic of their own choosing. Students will write a 10 – 12 page paper based on their reading and additional research. Students will complete a final presentation on their research and reading. Students will be encouraged to take the AP Exam in May.

Course Curriculum: AP English Literature and Composition Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
11 12

English: Critical Approaches to Film

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 900
  • Type: Elective
  • Notes:
  • Prerequisite: None

Course Objectives: Careful, critical analysis of film and other media: 1. To identify the role visual media play in their lives. 2. To examine the ways in which film conveys meaning. 3. To recognize how technical form enhances artistic content. 4. To discuss how film and media have evolved over the years to better reflect the values of a given time and place. 5. To evaluate the ways in which visual media affect public opinion and consumer behavior. 6. To predict the future of visual media in popular culture.

Description: Students will critically view, write about and discuss a wide spectrum of narrative and documentary films in pursuit of a greater understanding of the ways film is used to convey meaning, express points-of-view, and influence public opinion. The course will begin with a survey of historically important films that trace the evolution of the medium over the last one hundred years; during this portion of the class, students will view parts of early silent films like The Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein), City Lights (Chaplin) and The Birth of a Nation (Griffith). The course will proceed chronologically, thematically and stylistically, as students study the work of cinema’s great early directors (Hitchcock, Welles, Hawks, Ford, Kubrick, Wilder); emerging genres (Film Noir, the Western, Science Fiction/Fantasy etc.); stylistic movements (French New Wave, Cinema Verité, Impressionism, montage, etc.) as well as how films from different time periods reflect “the spirit of the times” (The Manchurian Candidate as an expression of Cold War hysteria, for example). The final segment of the course will focus on the technological and stylistic innovations of contemporary film (focusing particularly on modern classics like Schindler’s List, The Hours, Annie Hall, Pleasantville, Big Fish, Traffic, etc.), and also on the influence of other modern forms of visual media (television, advertising, the internet) on the our collective consciousness.

Expectations: Students are expected to critically evaluate the aesthetics of film and other visual media. They will be assessed for understanding by way of examinations, analytical essays, group presentations/panel discussions and in-class discussion. Early in the semester they will be assessed on their mastery of critical film terminology. Additionally, in order to become adept at expressing ideas visually, they will be given writing assignments on specific aspects of particular films (i.e. Eisenstein’s use of montage editing in The Battleship Potemkin). They will also be required to look at screenplays in order to understand the process of turning script into visual art, and to review films currently in theatres.

Open to Grades
9

English: English 9 Accelerated

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 300
  • Type: Required
  • Notes: Students who qualify for enrollment in this course will be notified.
  • Prerequisite: Prerequisite:Placement into English 9 Accelerated was determined using 2 out of 3 criteria:Benchmark Assessment scores of 3 out of 4 in both Reading and Writing, 8th Grade DRP score of 82 or better, 8th Grade English criteria options(Average combined 1st and 2nd quarter grade of B+ or better in Advanced English 8, Average combined 1st and 2nd quarter grade of A- or better in English 8)

Course Objectives: 1. To help students to continue to develop and refine skills in reading comprehension and literary analysis. 2. To explore a variety of narratives from different cultures. 3. To examine the role of storytelling and our role in reading different voices and understanding forms in literature. 4. To provide opportunities for students to write in different modes with an emphasis on comparative analysis. 5. To develop students' abilities to write thesis based papers.

Description: The Grade 9 English Accelerated course is designed for students who exhibit outstanding abilities and skills in English. Students will be expected to manage the simultaneous reading of multiple texts, read and discuss high level literature and literary criticism, including Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth, grapple with complex questions of both content and style, and pursue collaborative and independent research using multiple resources. Students will be expected to demonstrate excellent skills in grammar, an advanced vocabulary, and an exceptional capability in written and oral expression.

Expectations: Extensive reading of challenging literature will be required. In addition, students will be required to write formal or informal analytical responses to their reading on a regular basis.

Course Curriculum: English 9 Accelerated Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
11 12

English: Literature and Philosophy

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 300
  • Type: Required
  • Notes: This course may be selected by juniors as an elective. If taken in the senior year, this course is one of five that may be used to fulfill the English graduation requirement for seniors. Seniors are required to take World Literature Seminar and one of the following English courses: British Literature, Contemporary Fiction, Literature and Philosophy, Modern Poetry, or Shakespeare. Name change 2013. Formerly World Literature.
  • Prerequisite: American Literature. May be taken concurrently by juniors.

Course Objectives: 1. To introduce students to literature of various cultures with emphasis on non-English and non-North American writers. 2. To help students see literature as a reflection of the culture that produced it. 3. To enable students to observe universal themes which transcend the culture and explore the human experience. 4. To offer students opportunities to refine their writing skills.

Description: Literature and Philosophy is an inquiry-based course that places significant emphasis on the development of critical reading, writing and thinking skills through close textual analysis of texts that tackle philosophical issues; and on the formation and exploration of essential questions. Students identify, analyze, compare, and contrast the philosophical questions, ideas, and issues contained in the literature they study, and then move from answering questions to designing appropriate questions of their own, with the literature as a foundation for this process. The study of the artistic elements of the literature is also an essential component of the course, because it offers students the opportunity to deepen their skills in understanding the relationship between content and style in a work of literature. The roles of perspective, imagination, and perception are central to the course.

Expectations: Students will be expected to read extensively from representative authors and write papers on these works. The course is appropriate for students who welcome the challenges of difficult, often lengthy, readings and extensive writing assignments.

Course Curriculum: Literature and Philosophy Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
11 12

English: Modern Poetry

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 300
  • Type: Required
  • Notes: This course may be selected by juniors as an elective. If taken in the senior year, this course is one of five that may be used to fulfill the English graduation requirement for seniors. Seniors are required to take World Literature Seminar and one of the following English courses: British Literature, Contemporary Fiction, Literature and Philosophy, Modern Poetry, or Shakespeare.
  • Prerequisite: American Literature and departmental approval. May be taken concurrently by juniors.

Course Objectives: 1. To read poems with particular attention to form and detail. 2. To respond to poems on a sensory level. 3. To respond to poems using objective critical methods. 4. To contrast and compare the works and styles of different poets and schools of poetry. 5. To write well developed, clearly organized analyses of poems. 6. To identify forms (e.g. sonnet, ballad, triolet, etc.) and technical aspects of poetry (e.g. rhyme, sound, line breaks, etc.). 7. To write poems using poetic forms, techniques, and themes encountered in the course. 8. To present oral performances of poems and formal oral analyses of poems. 9. To produce work that reflects an appreciation of the diversity of poetry and that demonstrates a commitment to experimentation and risk taking.

Description: This course covers major late nineteenth to twentieth century poets, starting with Whitman, Dickinson, and Hopkins and moving to modern and contemporary poets and “schools” of poetry such as the Imagist, Objectivist, and Confessional. In order to prepare students for the study of Modern Poetry, we will first explore traditional poetic forms such as the ballad and the sonnet and identify poetic techniques such as alliteration, meter and rhyme. Students will write analyses of poems and create original poems using assigned topics and/or assigned poetic techniques suggested by the course. All students will be expected to present oral analyses of poems in class discussions and in formal presentations to the class. Students will respond to and critique work constructively on sensory, aesthetic, and intellectual levels. Authors likely to be read are Emily Dickinson, Rita Dove, Seamus Heaney, Pablo Neruda, Mary Oliver, and William Carlos Williams.

Expectations: Students will be required to write formal and informal analytical papers, as well as in-class essays, in response to poems they have read. Students will be tested on their ability to identify and define poetic forms, literary terms, poets and schools of poetry. Also, students will have a notebook for poetry writing. From that notebook, students will be asked to compile a portfolio of their work. Students will be asked to read poems, recite poems, and perform poems. As part of the second quarter project, students will be making a formal presentation to the class about a poet and his/her poetry.

Open to Grades
12

English: Senior Composition Seminar

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 900
  • Type: Elective
  • Notes:
  • Prerequisite: None

Course Objectives: 1. To extend the student’s skill in controlling the structure of the essay form. 2. To provide the student with opportunities to explore and improve the techniques of personal essay writing. 3. To help students distinguish narrative and non-narrative elements in the writing of the personal essay. 4. To develop further the student’s ability to describe, analyze, and evaluate essay unity and coherence. 5. To develop further the student’s ability to use and to distinguish methods of peer critiques.

Description: This course prepares college-bound seniors to meet the demands of academic writing and learning. It helps seniors develop their academic writing skills needed for successful work during their senior year, and it prepares seniors for different kinds of college level writing and thinking. It emphasizes structure of the essay, development of ideas, and such specific aspects of writing as transitions and paragraph design.

Expectations: This course is designed for students who want an intensive writing course to hone their skills in preparation for college level writing. Students are expected to concentrate on formal expository writing as a supplement to the writing they do in their content area courses. Students will write frequently and will critique each other’s compositions. Teacher's evaluation will be based on achievement and degree of improvement.

Open to Grades
11 12

English: Shakespeare

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 300
  • Type: Required
  • Notes: This course may be selected by juniors as an elective. If taken in the senior year, this course is one of five that may be used to fulfill the English graduation requirement for seniors. Seniors are required to take World Literature Seminar and one of the following English courses: British Literature, Contemporary Fiction, Literature and Philosophy, Modern Poetry, or Shakespeare.
  • Prerequisite: American Literature. May be taken concurrently by juniors.

Course Objectives: 1. To introduce the body of Shakespeare's work. 2. To give the opportunity to become closely familiar with some of the more famous of Shakespeare's comedies, tragedies and sonnets. 3. To give an aesthetic experience with and appreciation for Shakespeare by giving the opportunity to read, discuss and act out his works. 4. To explore the function and use of various forms of figurative language, such as metaphor, imagery, symbolism, etc.

Description: Students will read and respond to Shakespearean comedies, histories and tragedies, and a number of sonnets. Students will also have the opportunity to see and discuss performances of some of Shakespeare's plays (and/or adaptations of plays) in the form of film/video. They will also read critical essays and fiction related to Shakespeare's works.

Expectations: Students will be expected to do a close reading of the plays to be discussed in class, as well as those assigned for outside reading. Students will respond to readings through class discussion and a variety of writing assignments, including journals, literary analyses, dramaturgical analyses, etc. Students will also be given an opportunity to perform a scene or a soliloquy from a play.

Open to Grades
12

English: World Literature Seminar

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 200
  • Type: Required
  • Notes:
  • Prerequisite: American Literature

Course Objectives: 1. To develop inquiry methods for the pursuit of a topic. 2. To develop a list of resources appropriate to the study of their topic. 3. To systematically report their progress regarding their inquiry. 4. To develop leadership skills as they teach the results of their study to other members of the seminar. 5. To write notes, keep a journal, provide written progress reports, produce drafts and write a formal paper of approximately 8 - 12 pages that contains the results of their study.

Description: This course will focus on developing guided inquiry strategies, methods of research and modes of presentation. The overall topic for the seminars is the literature of non-western cultures. Students will share a common experience in the study of specified texts, films, and readings. Students will do guided independent research, write in a number of formats, and present their findings to the members of the seminar. Through the directed study of the first unit of the course, the standards for independent work, writing assignments, and class presentations will be established. Through the initial study of a common text, the teacher will set the standards for the course.

Expectations: Students will read at least one text in common, and they will read independently from articles and books appropriate to their topic. Writing will consist of journals, notes in-progress, reports of work-to-date, drafts, and a final paper. Evaluation of student work through the semester will be based on both the process and the product. Each student must complete the required formal paper with a passing grade in order to receive credit for the course and receive a high school diploma.

Open to Grades
12

English: World Literature Seminar

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 300
  • Type: Required
  • Notes: Required for graduation.
  • Prerequisite: American Literature

Course Objectives: 1. To develop inquiry methods for the pursuit of a topic. 2. To develop a list of resources appropriate to the study of their topic. 3. To systematically report their progress regarding their inquiry. 4. To develop leadership skills as they teach the results of their study to other members of the seminar. 5. To write notes, keep a journal, provide written progress reports, produce drafts and write a formal paper of approximately 8 - 12 pages that contains the results of their study.

Description: This course will focus on developing guided inquiry strategies, methods of research and modes of presentation. The overall topic for the seminars is the literature of non-western cultures. Students will share a common experience in the study of specified texts, films, and readings. Students will do guided independent research, write in a number of formats, and present their findings to the members of the seminar. Through the directed study of the first unit of the course, the standards for independent work, writing assignments, and class presentations will be established. Through the initial study of a common text, the teacher will set the standards for the course.

Expectations: Students will read at least one text in common, and they will read independently from articles and books appropriate to their topic. Writing will consist of journals, notes in-progress, reports of work-to-date, drafts, and a final paper. Evaluation of student work through the semester will be based on both the process and the product. Each student must complete the required formal paper with a passing grade in order to receive credit for the course and receive a high school diploma.

Open to Grades
11

History: American History

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 300
  • Type: Required
  • Notes: Required for graduation.
  • Prerequisite: World Studies

Course Objectives: 1. To acquaint students with the people, forces, events and institutions that shaped the development of American history and culture.

Description: This course emphasizes such important concepts as the development of democratic institutions, industrialization, urbanization, territorial expansion, and reform. In addition to political and economic influences, social and cultural factors are treated: the role of women; minorities; immigration; and the implications of major movements in art, architecture, and literature. The 300 level will approach U.S. History from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students will integrate concepts and specifics from history, literature and culture. Each section will be scheduled with an American literature section so that a team of Social Studies and English teachers can coordinate content, flexibly share class time and jointly reinforce thinking and writing skills. Students will read and write extensively. Close reading of texts including primary and secondary sources is required. Emphasis will be on developing levels of abstract thinking with particular attention to synthesizing material from various aspects of American culture. In addition to history essays, quizzes and unit tests, a major interdisciplinary paper per quarter will be evaluated by both the English and Social Studies teachers.

Expectations: Through oral presentations, essays, formal research papers, and examinations the student will demonstrate comprehension of the course readings and classroom work.

Open to Grades
12

History: AP Government and Politics US

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 400
  • Type: Required
  • Notes: Fulfills senior requirement for graduation.
  • Prerequisite: American History, or 400 AP American History, or (a) Grades in previous Social Studies courses. (b) Recommendations of teachers in those courses. (c) Completion of a qualifying test. (d) Departmental approval. (e) If deemed necessary, an interview.

Course Objectives: 1. To make students aware of their basic rights, duties and responsibilities as American citizens.

Description: Primary focus is on the legal, judicial, and political process: law; the Constitution; the functioning of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of local, state, and national government, as reflected in current domestic and foreign problems. Extensive use is made of outside resources in helping students to recognize the possibility of individual, affirmative influence in public affairs.

Expectations: Students will be asked to conduct intensive analysis of cases and participate in a variety of classroom activities. Research projects will deal with aspects of contemporary government, law and the political process. A seminar approach will be employed. Students will be asked to read challenging sources and write detailed analyses of the issues involved as well as engage in debates and other oral presentations. Students will be encouraged to take the AP Government and Politics exam.

Course Curriculum: AP Government and Politics US Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
12

History: AP Human Geography

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 400
  • Type: Elective
  • Notes:
  • Prerequisite: None

Course Objectives: 1. To use and think about maps and spatial data. 2. To understand and interpret the implications of associations among phenomena in places. 3. To define and evaluate the regionalization process. 4. To characterize and analyze the changing interconnectedness among places. 5. To prepare for the Advanced Placement (AP) exam in Human Geography.

Description: The course focuses on the geographic analysis of population growth and movement, cultural patterns and processes, the political organization of space, industrialization and development, and cities and urban land use. Geography looks at the world from a spatial perspective. While historians think of the world in terms of periods or eras, geographers think of the world in terms of place or regions. Geographers tackle questions of why things are where they are. The course will explore how geographers use modern tools such as GIS (geographic information systems), aerial photography, and remotely sensed images to understand cultural, political, and economic disputes. A fundamental purpose of the course is to understand our globalized world.

Expectations: Students will be expected to read challenging material and be prepared for class discussion of complex topics. Student writing will be primarily focused on analysis of challenges studied by geographers including overpopulation, political problems that arise from cultural diversity, and the use of natural and economic resources. Students will be encouraged to take the AP Human Geography exam.

Open to Grades
10 11 12

History: Comparative World Religions

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 300
  • Type: Elective
  • Notes:
  • Prerequisite: None

Course Objectives: 1. To survey the origin and development of the world’s major religious traditions. 2. To explore the origin and ideas of each religion from the point of view of the adherent. 3. To examine the major cultural developments within each tradition in order to better understand the impact of each upon world history.

Description: In this course students will survey the origin and development of the world’s major religious traditions (Hinduism, Buddhism, faith in Confucian society, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). Students will approach each tradition with respect, exploring the origin and ideas of each religion from the point of view of the adherent. Students will then examine the major cultural developments within each tradition in order to better understand the impact of each upon world history. This course will also identify the place of smaller religious traditions within this larger context.

Expectations: Students will read a selection of primary sources from each tradition for homework as a basis for class discussions. Students will compare major themes presented in different religions in regards to the behavior expected from the adherent. Students will keep a record of their reflections to the ideas and artistic traditions inspired by each major faith. Quizzes and test will be given on a regular basis.

Open to Grades
9

History: Western Civilization

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 200
  • Type: Required
  • Notes: Required for graduation. The 200 series is for those needing academic help.
  • Prerequisite: None

Course Objectives: 1. To give students an appreciation of the political, cultural and intellectual contributions of the Western world, 600 B.C. - 1600. 2. To give students an appreciation of the political, technological and intellectual contributions of the Western World, 1600-1945.

Description: The first semester emphasizes important concepts and themes in Western civilization prior to the Scientific Revolution. As further expression of political, economic and social factors, special attention will be given to such concerns as science and technology, art, architecture and the history of ideas. Through the study of short biographies, students will be encouraged to identify with major personalities of history and to evaluate the contributions of leading men and women to their times. The course covers several topics: Classical Greece; The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire; the Development of Christianity; the Middle Ages; the Renaissance; and the Reformation. The second semester concentrates on major themes and developments in Western history since 1600. Topics include the French Revolution, the emergence and development of the modern nation-state, industrialization, new ideologies such as Marxism, Imperialism, World War l, Russia at the time of the revolutions of 1917, the rise of totalitarianism, and World War II.

Expectations: Students will read and report on materials that are historically significant to the period of study. They will submit periodic short papers demonstrating effective use of social science concepts and historical analysis. Students are expected to develop skills in note taking, summarizing, and outlining. They will read and report on materials significant to the historical period and write formal and informal research papers that demonstrate an ability to investigate, interpret, and analyze primary and secondary sources.

Course Curriculum: Western Civilization Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
9

History: Western Civilization

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 300
  • Type: Required
  • Notes: Required for graduation.
  • Prerequisite: None

Course Objectives: 1. To give students an appreciation of the political, cultural and intellectual contributions of the Western world, 600 B.C. - 1600. 2. To give students an appreciation of the political, technological and intellectual contributions of the Western World, 1600-1945.

Description: The first semester emphasizes important concepts and themes in Western civilization prior to the Scientific Revolution. As further expression of political, economic and social factors, special attention will be given to such concerns as science and technology, art, architecture and the history of ideas. Through the study of short biographies, students will be encouraged to identify with major personalities of history and to evaluate the contributions of leading men and women to their times. The course covers several topics: Classical Greece; The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire; the Development of Christianity; the Middle Ages; the Renaissance; and the Reformation. The second semester concentrates on major themes and developments in Western history since 1600. Topics include the French Revolution, the emergence and development of the modern nation-state, industrialization, new ideologies such as Marxism, Imperialism, World War l, Russia at the time of the revolutions of 1917, the rise of totalitarianism, and World War II.

Expectations: Students will read and report on materials that are historically significant to the period of study. They will submit periodic short papers demonstrating effective use of social science concepts and historical analysis. Students are expected to develop skills in note taking, summarizing, and outlining. They will read and report on materials significant to the historical period and write formal and informal research papers that demonstrate an ability to investigate, interpret, and analyze primary and secondary sources.

Course Curriculum: Western Civilization Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
10

History: World Studies

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 200
  • Type: Required
  • Notes: The 200 series is for those needing academic help.
  • Prerequisite: Western Civilization

Course Objectives: 1. To provide students with knowledge of contemporary history (the world since 1945) and the necessary historical, geographical, and cultural background to understand key areas of the non-Western world. 2. To develop greater student awareness of current global and regional issues. 3. To improve student reading, writing, and research skills.

Description: This course examines the world since 1945 with particular emphasis on non-Western areas. It begins with continued study, from grade 9, of European history and includes units on the Cold War, Western European economic cooperation, the end of the Soviet Union and changes in Russia and Eastern Europe. It then focuses on key areas of the non-Western world with historical and cultural background provided for each region in order to understand developments in the post World War II era. Among the areas addressed are Japan, China, South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. Decolonization, economic changes, political leadership and dynamics, specific regional conflicts, and issues that connect these areas to other world regions will be studied.

Expectations: There are regular readings from both primary and secondary sources as well as homework, tests, quizzes, and a variety of writing assignments which include research projects and presentations. Students enrolled in 200 series sections encounter approximately the same range of chronological coverage as those in regular section. Special attention is given, however, to fundamental student needs in reading, composition, and speech as those skills apply to the social studies.

Course Curriculum: World Studies Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
10

History: World Studies

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 300
  • Type: Required
  • Notes:
  • Prerequisite: Western Civilization

Course Objectives: 1. To provide students with knowledge of contemporary history (the world since 1945) and the necessary historical, geographical, and cultural background to understand key areas of the non-Western world. 2. To develop greater student awareness of current global and regional issues. 3. To improve student reading, writing, and research skills.

Description: This course examines the world since 1945 with particular emphasis on non-Western areas. It begins with continued study, from grade 9, of European history and includes units on the Cold War, Western European economic cooperation, the end of the Soviet Union and changes in Russia and Eastern Europe. It then focuses on key areas of the non-Western world with historical and cultural background provided for each region in order to understand developments in the post World War II era. Among the areas addressed are Japan, China, South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. Decolonization, economic changes, political leadership and dynamics, specific regional conflicts, and issues that connect these areas to other world regions will be studied.

Expectations: There are regular readings from both primary and secondary sources as well as homework, tests, quizzes, and a variety of writing assignments which include research projects and presentations.

Course Curriculum: World Studies Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
10

History: World Studies Honors

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 400
  • Type: Required
  • Notes:
  • Prerequisite: Western Civilization and (a) Grades in previous courses in Social Studies. (b) Recommendation of teachers in those courses. (c) Completion of a qualifying test. (d) Departmental approval (e) If deemed necessary, an interview.

Course Objectives: 1. To provide students with knowledge of contemporary history (the world since 1945) and the necessary historical, geographical, and cultural background to understand key areas of the non-Western world. 2. To develop greater student awareness of current global and regional issues. 3. To improve student reading, writing, and research skills.

Description: This course examines the world since 1945 with particular emphasis on non-Western areas. It begins with continued study, from grade 9, of European history and includes units on the Cold War, Western European economic cooperation, the end of the Soviet Union and changes in Russia and Eastern Europe. It then focuses on key areas of the non-Western world with historical and cultural background provided for each region in order to understand developments in the post World War II era. Among the areas addressed are Japan, China, South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. De-colonization, economic changes, political leadership and dynamics, specific regional conflicts, and issues that connect these areas to other world regions will be studied.

Expectations: There are regular readings from both primary and secondary sources as well as homework, tests, quizzes, and a variety of writing assignments which include research projects and presentations.

Open to Grades
12

Mathematics: CAPT Mathematics Workshop Seniors

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 900
  • Type: Required
  • Notes:
  • Prerequisite: Permission of the teacher.

Course Objectives: 1. To help the students meet the graduation performance standards for mathematics.

Description: This course is designed for those students who did not meet the mathematics graduation requirements by the end of their junior year. This course will help students who did not receive a passing score on the CAPT or a 48 on the PSAT or a 480 on the SAT for Math only upon entering senior year. The course will help focus attention on those areas and objectives where the individual student has exhibited the most difficulty. Throughout the course the student will be expected to pass those sections of the mathematics departmental exam where the student is deemed “not qualified” based on the sub categories of their CAPT score. A portfolio showing the student’s work throughout the course will help keep track and demonstrate competency in those areas. The course will assume the students are competent in numerical computation (with or without a calculator) and have had an introduction to Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1 topics. The course will build on the topics and help the students apply their knowledge to the problem -solving nature of the CAPT exam and SATs.

Expectations: Students will work individually, with the help of the instructor, on their specific needs and deficient areas of competency. Students will maintain a portfolio of their work.

Course Curriculum: CAPT Mathematics Workshop Seniors Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
10 11 12

Media: Video Advanced

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 750
  • Type: Elective- Partially Fulfils Fine/Practical Arts Requirement
  • Notes: This course may be repeated.
  • Prerequisite: Video Production 2 or permission of the teacher.

Course Objectives: 1. To building on the skills developed in Video Production 1 and Video Production 2. 2. To choose an area of video expertise to further personal and professional growth. 3. To set goals with the instructor and to work independently to meet those goals, reviewing and revising the goals as necessary. Some areas of concentration may include animation, audio techniques, post-production effects and news/ script writing.

Description: This course will include broadcasting, visual effects, animation and compositing. A component of this course focuses on the creation of 2D visual effects in digital video productions with an emphasis on animation, keyframing, technical accuracy, and proper rendering techniques. Using Adobe After Effects or Discreet Combustion, students will conceptualize and create professional design elements such as show openings for special school events, our education access channel, or a personal endeavor. Advanced video students will aid in bridging the gap between the elevated visual expectations set by network television and what is commonly seen broadcasting from a school or public access channel. Students may assist with running the studio, do internal broadcasting via VBrick technology for delivery on certain plasma screens at designated intervals and pursue individual projects building their skills as they move forward.

Expectations: Students will be expected to keep logs of their time working on projects. All projects will begin with the student’s (group’s) written proposal which must be approved before any shooting may begin. Projects must meet the broadcast standards for WAVETV and must meet the deadlines imposed by the teacher/broadcast schedule.

Open to Grades
9 10 11 12

Music: Band

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 750
  • Type: Elective- Fulfils Fine Arts Requirement
  • Notes: This course may be repeated.
  • Prerequisite: Recommendation of 8th grade band teacher, or audition. Prior musical training on a wind or percussion instrument is required.

Course Objectives: 1. To encourage aesthetic development and appreciation of music through the performance and study of wind band literature. 2. To develop proficient listening and musical skills in order to perform and distinguish music of various styles. 3. To enable students to discover the art of making music through ensemble participation.

Description: Students will participate in a band program designed to help them experience and study music of composers in all styles and from various world cultures. Through the performance of selected band literature students will also receive instruction in: basic music theory, musical terminology, historical musical perspective, musical style recognition, and the fundamentals of ensemble performance. This class meets daily.

Expectations: Band members are expected to attend and come prepared to daily rehearsals. Minimum requirements include providing music for football games 3 or 4 Saturdays in the fall, 2 or 3 concert performances per year, and representation at the Memorial Day Parade. One dress rehearsal outside of school time may be scheduled prior to each public performance. Students should be able to demonstrate a technical proficiency with their instruments and an understanding of the compositions studied in class. Attendance at scheduled performances is mandatory. Each student will be expected to attend at least two in-school lessons per quarter, scheduled during study or free periods.

Course Curriculum: Band Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
10 11 12

Music: Chamber Choir Honors

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 400
  • Type: Elective- Fulfils Fine Arts Requirement
  • Notes: This course may be repeated. Honors designation 2013. Name change Jan. 2011. Formerly Tudor Singers.
  • Prerequisite: Audition and departmental approval.

Course Objectives: 1. To encourage aesthetic development and appreciation of music through performance of advanced choral literature. 2. To develop proficient listening and musical performance skills in order to perform and study music of various historical musical periods. 3. To enable the discovery of the art of music making, independence, collaboration and personal responsibility through ensemble participation.

Description: This group is commonly known as the Tudor Singers. The students in this ensemble will perform more advanced, challenging choral literature ranging from level 4-6 and will be challenged to perform more independently. Students will also have additional quarterly responsibilities in the areas of advanced performance expectations, community service, critical listening tasks and teacher-approved, self-directed projects that may include compositions, research projects or student recitals.

Expectations: Students will be expected to be prepared for daily rehearsals and participate in all scheduled performances and rehearsals as per each ensemble's director. In addition to daily rehearsals, Chamber Choir Honors meets Wednesday evenings from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Students should consistently demonstrate personal responsibility in all areas of the music making process.

Open to Grades
9 10 11 12

Music: Orchestra

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 750
  • Type: Elective- Fulfils Fine Arts Requirement
  • Notes: This course may be repeated. Wind and percussion students will be chosen from the membership of the Concert Band.
  • Prerequisite: Recommendation of 8th grade orchestra teacher, or audition. Prior musical training on a string instrument is required.

Course Objectives: 1. To develop a skill for playing a string instrument in an orchestral style. 2. To familiarize students with the standard orchestral repertoire. 3. To develop proficient listening and musical skills in order to learn to distinguish and perform various music styles. 4. To enable students to discover the art of making music. 5. To develop an appreciation of the importance of working as a member of a group through ensemble participation.

Description: Students will participate in an orchestra program designed to help them experience and study music of various musical styles. Through the performance of selected orchestral literature, students will also receive instruction in: basic music theory; musical terminology; historical musical perspective; musical style recognition; and the fundamentals of ensemble performance. This class meets daily.

Expectations: Students should be able to demonstrate a technical proficiency on their instruments and a basic understanding of the compositions, composers, styles and various other musical topics studied in class. Orchestra members are expected to attend and come prepared to rehearsals and performances. Each student will be expected to schedule and attend at least two in-school lessons per quarter scheduled during study or free periods.

Course Curriculum: Orchestra Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
10 11 12

Music: Orchestra Honors

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 400
  • Type: Elective- Fulfils Fine Arts Requirement
  • Notes: This course may be repeated. Orchestra course split and honors designation 2013. Wind and percussion students will be chosen from the membership of the Wind Ensemble.
  • Prerequisite: Audition and departmental approval.

Course Objectives: 1. To encourage aesthetic development and appreciation of music through performance of advanced string ensemble/orchestral literature. 2. To develop proficient listening and musical performance skills in order to perform and study music of various historical musical periods. 3. To enable the discovery of the art of music making, independence, collaboration and personal responsibility through ensemble participation.

Description: The students in this ensemble will perform more advanced, challenging string ensemble/orchestra literature ranging from level 4-6 and will be challenged to perform more independently. Students will also have additional quarterly responsibilities in the areas of advanced performance expectations, community service, critical listening tasks and teacher- approved self-directed projects that may include compositions, research projects or student recitals.

Expectations: Students will be expected to be prepared for daily rehearsals and participate in all scheduled performances and rehearsals as per each ensemble's director. Each student will be expected to attend two in-school lessons per quarter scheduled during study or free periods. Students should consistently demonstrate personal responsibility in all areas of the music making process.

Open to Grades
10 11 12

Music: Wind Ensemble Honors

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 400
  • Type: Elective- Fulfils Fine Arts Requirement
  • Notes: This course may be repeated. Band course split and honors designation 2013. This course may be repeated.
  • Prerequisite: Audition and departmental approval.

Course Objectives: 1. To encourage aesthetic development and appreciation of music through performance of advanced wind band literature. 2. To develop proficient listening and musical performance skills in order to perform and study music of various historical musical periods. 3. To enable the discovery of the art of music making, independence, collaboration and personal responsibility through ensemble participation.

Description: The students in this ensemble will perform more advanced, challenging wind literature ranging from level 4-6 and will be challenged to perform more independently. Students will also have additional quarterly responsibilities in the areas of advanced performance expectations, community service, critical listening tasks and teacher-approved, self-directed projects that may include compositions, research projects or student recitals.

Expectations: : Students will be expected to be prepared for daily rehearsals and participate in all scheduled performances and rehearsals as per each ensemble's director. Requirements include providing music for home football games 3-4 Saturdays in the fall, 2-3 formal concert performances and representation at the annual Memorial Day Parade. Each student will be expected to attend two in-school lessons per quarter scheduled during study or fee periods. Students should consistently demonstrate personal responsibility in all areas of the music making process.

Course Curriculum: Wind Ensemble Honors Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
9 10 11 12

Physical Education: Physical Education

  • Number of Semesters: 6
  • Number of Credits: 0.75
  • Level: 900
  • Type: Required
  • Notes: Graduation Requirement: Students are required to pass twelve quarters of Physical Education and four quarters of Health Education during their four years at Darien High School. Students must pass the Weight Training Unit in Grade 9 or 10.
  • Prerequisite: None

Course Objectives: 1. To help students develop and refine their skills in a wide variety of activities. 2. To provide students with basic skills and techniques so they might participate in physical activity as they get older. 3. To develop a working knowledge of selected concepts related to physical activity, health, and performance. 4. To contribute to the development and/or maintenance of appropriate levels of physical fitness.

Description: Conditioning and warm-up exercises will precede instruction. Typically, a period of instruction in specific skills, strategies and rules will be included in each unit of activity. Students elect three quarter-length courses per year from the following list: Required: Weight Training (9th/10th). Electives: Lifetime Sports: Badminton, Golf, Fitness, and Tennis. Team Sports: Basketball, Floor Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Field Sport, and Volleyball.

Expectations: All students will be expected to participate in classroom and field activities. Individual students will be expected to perform at a level commensurate with their abilities. Tests on rules and strategies may be expected in some classes. Students are expected to wear clothes and shoes appropriate to the activity. Shorts, T-shirts and sneakers are required as well as a sweat suit or warm-up suit for outdoor activities in the late fall and/or early spring. Grading Policy: Students are graded at the end of each quarter. Grades are computed as follows: (a) Skill Grade (25%) skill level achieved and/or improvement (b) Knowledge (25%) rules, strategy, concepts (c) Participation (50%) prepared for class, sportsmanship, cooperation (d) Attendance Adjustment see Attendance Policy Students who fail one quarter of work will be scheduled to repeat it.

Open to Grades
9 10 11 12

Reading and Study Skills: Reading and Study Skills

  • Number of Semesters: 1 or 2
  • Number of Credits: 0.5-1
  • Level: 750
  • Type: Elective
  • Notes: This course may be repeated. Change to 750 in Jan. 2011.
  • Prerequisite: None

Course Objectives: 1. To develop critical reading skills which will enable the student to gather information and ideas from a wide range of text. 2. To increase one’s vocabulary development utilizing a systematic approach. 3. To learn how to process information from content area texts. 4. To strengthen organizational skills such as time management, test-taking strategies, visual study tools, mnemonic devices, and outlines for content area projects. 5. To master grammar, punctuation, and usage skills. 6. To improve reading comprehension through discussion and writing.

Description: This course is designed for high school students seeking to improve their reading, organizational, study and learning skills. After assessment, an individual learning program is developed cooperatively with the instructor. This course is strongly recommended for students who wish to improve their learning power and academic standing.

Expectations: Students will be expected: 1. To actively participate in reading a wide range of materials and writing in response to these readings. 2. To apply study skills to assignments in other content areas. 3. To complete assignments on time and meet weekly goals. 4. To work on mutually developed goals and achieve satisfying results. 5. To participate in periods of sustained silent reading.

Open to Grades
11 12

Science: AP Biology

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 400
  • Type: Elective
  • Notes:
  • Prerequisite: 300 Biology with a grade of B+ or higher, or 400 Biology Honors with a grade of B or higher; and 300 Chemistry with a grade of B+ or higher, or 400 Chemistry with a B or higher, or departmental approval.

Course Objectives: 1. To prepare students to take Advanced Placement (AP) Biology exam in May. 2. To make students skillful in the scientific method of reaching conclusions. 3. To make students skillful in communicating information in a scientific manner. 4. To give students an opportunity to explore selected topics in Biology in extensive detail. 5. To make students aware of current research and knowledge, particularly in the fields of genetics and DNA technology.

Description: A fast paced dynamic, university-level course that keeps pace with modern developments in Biology. Topics of study include: molecules and cells; biochemistry, genetics and evolution; organism diversity; anatomy and physiology of plants and animals; and ecology. The required laboratory work is extensive and utilizes more advanced instrumentation and data analysis. Some outside reading is required.

Expectations: Extensive homework and laboratory work is expected. Students are expected to perform extensive readings in Biology. In addition, there is a mandatory summer reading assignment with a unit test administered in the first week of school. Students who excel in this course are expected to take the Advanced Placement Biology exam.

Course Curriculum: AP Biology Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
11 12

Science: AP Environmental Science

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 400
  • Type: Elective
  • Notes:
  • Prerequisite: 300 Biology with a grade of B or higher or 400 Biology Honors with a grade of B- or higher and 300 Chemistry with a grade of B or higher or 400 Chemistry Honors with a grade of B- or higher.

Course Objectives: 1. To develop a strong knowledge base in Environmental Science essential for identifying, analyzing, and solving environmental problems. 2. To design and complete an independent, long-term environmental research project which involves the collection, analysis, and communication of data. 3. To prepare for the AP Environmental Science exam.

Description: The goal of the AP Environmental Science course is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and anthropogenic, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative routes for resolving and/or preventing them. Environmental Science is interdisciplinary, drawing from both the natural and social sciences and focusing on several unifying themes including: earth systems and resources, the living world, population, land and water use, energy resources and consumption, pollution, and global change. Quantitative analysis is a significant component of this course.

Expectations: Students are expected to learn from experimentation, field research, and current and historical literature which will enable them to draw insightful conclusions and build an extensive knowledge base independently and cooperatively. They will be required to prepare an in-depth research project conducted outside of class. Students are expected to take the AP Environmental Science exam in May. Students must be able to perform basic mathematical calculations without the aid of a calculator. Materials for a required summer assignment must be acquired from the teacher before the end of the prior school year.

Course Curriculum: AP Environmental Science Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
11 12

Science: AP Physics C: Mechanics

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 400
  • Type: Elective
  • Notes: Students may have the opportunity to earn college credit through the University of Connecticut's Early College Experience program.
  • Prerequisite: 400-level Science course with a grade of B or higher, or 300-level Science course with a grade of A- or higher, and departmental approval. Student must also be enrolled in AP Calculus (AB or BC).

Course Objectives: 1. To prepare the students to take the AP Physics C Exam - Mechanics Section. 2. To develop the student’s ability to read, understand and interpret physical information – verbally, mathematically and graphically. 3. To develop the students ability to describe and explain the sequence of steps in the analysis of a particular phenomenon or problem, that is, describe the idealized model to be used in the analysis, state the principles or definition that are applicable, specify relevant limitations on applications of these principles, carry out and describe the steps of the analysis, verbally and mathematically. 4. To interpret the results or conclusions, including discussion of particular cases of special interest. 5. To develop the students' ability to use mathematical reasoning – arithmetic, algebraic, geometric, trigonometric and calculus in a physical situation or problem. 6. To develop the student’s ability to perform experiments and interpret the results of observations, including making an assessment of experimental uncertainties.

Description: The AP Physics course provides a systematic introduction to the main principles of physics and the freshman university level. Knowledge of Calculus, Algebra, and Trigonometry are required. A major goal of the course is to apply these principles to the solutions of problems. Course content includes kinematics, Newton’s laws of motion, work, energy, power, linear momentum, circular motion, oscillations and gravitation.

Expectations: Students are expected to spend a great deal of time working in the laboratory and do extensive homework. This course prepares students for the AP Physics Calculus based exam in mechanics; all students will be encouraged to take this exam.

Course Curriculum: AP Physics C: Mechanics Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
12

Science: AP Physics C - Electricity and Magnetism

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 400
  • Type: Elective
  • Notes:
  • Prerequisite: AP Physics C: Mechanics*, and AP Calculus BC or AP Calculus AB and permission of the teacher. Prerequisite courses may be taken concurrently.

Course Objectives: 1)To develop a strong understanding of the Electric and Magnetic phenomena that exists in our world. 2)To prepare students to take the AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism exam. 3)To develop the student's ability to read, understand, and interpret physics information verbally, mathematically, and graphically. 4)To develop the students' ability to use mathematical reasoning in a physical situation or to solve a problem. 5)To develop the students' ability to perform inquiry-based experiments and complete performance-based challenges in the laboratory setting.

Description: The AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism course provides a systematic introduction to the main principles of electricity and magnetism at the college-freshman level (2nd semester). This course is intended to be taken after or concurrently with AP Physics C: Mechanics, and is for those students with a strong interest in pursuing physics and engineering in college. A strong interest and/or knowledge of calculus is required. Course content includes: electro-statics, electro-dynamics, Gauss's law, capacitors, circuits with resistors (R), circuits with capacitors (C), circuits with inductors (L), RC circuits / LR circuits / LC circuits, magneto statics, magneto-dynamics, induction, Maxwell's equations.

Expectations: Students are expected to apply physics theories to solve complex algebraic and calculus-based problems. In addition, students are expected to spend a lot of time completing homework assignments and practice AP problems throughout the school year and over school vacations. This course prepares students to take the AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism Exam, and all students are expected to take this exam in May.

Course Curriculum: AP Physics C - Electricity and Magnetism Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
11 12

Science: Applications of Physics and Chemistry 1

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 900
  • Type: Elective- Partially Fulfils Fine/Practical Arts Requirement
  • Notes: Credit may be received from either the Science Department or the Technology Education Department. This course is designed for students looking for an alternative to a full year of Chemistry or Physics. The course can be used to meet the Science graduation requirement or the Fine/Practical Arts graduation requirement but not both.
  • Prerequisite: Biology and Earth Science.

Course Objectives: 1. To introduce students to basic principles of Physics and Chemistry such as physical and chemical changes, electricity and magnetism, simple machines, energy, forces and motion, and measurement. 2. To apply basic physical science concepts in the design, construction and testing of real world devices and/or products. 3. To promote and enhance general technological and scientific literacy. 4. To develop skills and qualities of effective workers such as positive interdependence, effective communication, individual accountability, self-management, leadership, creative thinking, and problem solving.

Description: Students will be exposed to physical science topics in a co-operative program between the Science and Technology Education Departments. Topics focus on science concepts that can be applied to the students' experiences in everyday life. Learning will be facilitated through independent and collaborative research and experimentation as students make connections between concrete applications and abstract concepts. A project-based, multi-sensory approach will address individual learning styles and facilitate the use of alternative assessments. Instruction will be activity centered and use a mix of whole class activities, large and small group presentations, cooperative learning, and individual projects. The course will be taught in a laboratory setting providing access to tools and materials for individual and collaborative projects. Tools will include hand tools for wood, metal, electronic, and simple chemical projects. Computers will be used for design, problem-solving, and research.

Expectations: Students will be asked to observe, investigate and problem solve in a small group setting. It is expected that students complete reading assignments, participate in class, research some topics, and use critical thinking skills in the development of their projects. Students should be prepared to display and explain various physical science concepts using "real world" examples.

Open to Grades
11 12

Science: Applications of Physics and Chemistry 2

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 900
  • Type: Elective- Partially Fulfils Fine/Practical Arts Requirement
  • Notes: Credit may be received from either the Science Department or the Technology Education Department. This course is designed for students looking for an alternative to a full year of Chemistry or Physics. The course can be used to meet the Science graduation requirement or the Fine/Practical Arts graduation requirement but not both.
  • Prerequisite: Biology and Earth Science.

Course Objectives: 1. To introduce students to basic principles of Physics and Chemistry such as atomic structure, chemical reactions, acids and bases, waves, radioactivity, energy sources, electronics and computers. 2. To apply basic physical science concepts in the design, construction, and testing of real world devices and/or products. 3. To promote and enhance general technological and scientific literacy. 4. To develop skills and qualities of effective workers such as positive interdependence, effective communication, individual accountability, self-management, leadership, creative thinking, and problem solving.

Description: Students will be exposed to physical science topics in a cooperative program between the Science and Technology Education Departments. Topics focus on science concepts that can be applied to the students' experiences in everyday life. Learning will be facilitated through independent and collaborative research and experimentation as students make connections between concrete applications and abstract concepts. A project-based, multi-sensory approach will address individual learning styles and facilitate the use of alternative assessments. Instruction will be activity centered and use a mix of whole-class activities, large and small group presentations, cooperative learning, and individual projects. The course will be taught in a laboratory setting providing access to tools and materials for individual and collaborative projects. Tools will include hand tools for wood, metal, electronic, and simple chemical projects. Computers will be used for design, problem solving, and research.

Expectations: Students will be asked to observe, investigate and problem solve in a small group setting. It is expected that students complete reading assignments, participate in class, research some topics, and use critical thinking skills in the development of their projects. Students should be prepared to display and explain various physical science concepts using "real world" examples.

Open to Grades
10 11 12

Science: Authentic Science Research

  • Number of Semesters: 6
  • Number of Credits: 3
  • Level: 900
  • Type: Elective
  • Notes: Students in Year 2 and Year 3 have the opportunity to earn college credit through the University at Albany's University in the High School Program.
  • Prerequisite: Biology and the completion of a writing sample expressing interest in the program.

Course Objectives: 1. To provide students with an understanding of research methodology. 2. To provide students the opportunity to pursue excellence in an area of their own interest. 3. To employ the scientific method of problem solving. 4. To pursue the solution to a problem or question through creative, critical, scientific thought. 5. To accomplish a review of literature on the topic of interest. 6. To learn how to conduct authentic science research. 7. To handle data in an analytical fashion. 8. To become involved with the scientific community. 9. To report the results of scientific investigation formally through writing and presentation. 10. To learn the value of time management in attaining goals over an extended time period. 11. To appreciate the work of scientists in the field and to gain an understanding of the contributions of scientists to our world. 12. To meet and overcome obstacles set before them.

Description: The program is a three year sequence of independent research. Sophomores begin with a review of literature, and in so doing, fine tune their area of interest. In the process, they also identify the foremost experts in their field of study. The students approach these scholars with questions about their research and propose a mentorship. During the junior year, they perform the actual data collection with the mentor. As seniors, they prepare their projects, meeting the goals of the Intel Science Talent Search to which they are encouraged to apply. During the course of the three year program, all of the student researchers will meet in seminar fashion on alternating days. Through this seminar work, they have the opportunity to learn from one another at each stage of their journey. Students apply from all academic levels and must continue the pursuit of their traditional science program.

Expectations: Students will be responsible for bi-weekly meetings with the teacher of the research course to review the goals of the previous two weeks and to set the goals for the upcoming time period. In this way, their progress is closely monitored. Students will be expected to work in earnest at the pursuit of their goal, which is a report on the results of their scientific research to their community and beyond. Students will be encouraged to enter their projects in various science competitions such as the Intel Science Talent Search.

Open to Grades
9

Science: Biology Honors

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 400
  • Type: Required
  • Notes: Biological Science Curriculum Studies (BSCS). Satisfies 9th grade Science requirement.
  • Prerequisite: Placement into Honor Biology using 2 out of 3 criteria: 8th Grade DRP score of 82 or better, Average combined 1st and 2nd quarter grade of A in 8th Grade Science, 8th Grade Math criteria options (Average combined 1st and 2nd quarter grade of C+ or better in Accelerated Geometry, Average combined 1st and 2nd quarter grade of B or better in Accelerated Algebra, Average combined 1st and 2nd quarter grade of B+ or better in Algebra 8, Average combined 1st and 2nd quarter grade of A or better in Pre Algebra 8)

Course Objectives: 1. To acquaint students with the world of organisms. 2. To help students see the critical relationship of one organism to another. 3. To provide knowledge of the structure and functions of organisms and populations. 4. To give students an understanding and appreciation of the diversity in structure and function of organisms. 5. To help students understand similarities of all organisma due to their common evolutionary history.

Description: Biology is the science of organisms. Students will be exposed to the great diversity which exists among organisms, while exploring the similarities of all living things. Emphasis on evolution as it relates to all organisms. This course differs from 300 Biology primarily in its inquiry-based approach. Over half of the class time is spent in the laboratory.

Expectations: Students are expected to learn from their own experimentation rather than from conclusions outlined in a text or by the teacher. They will be required to complete extensive homework assignments, cooperate as group members, and use equipment properly. They are expected to be self-directive, research-oriented, and willing to undertake supplementary work.

Course Curriculum: Biology Honors Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
10 11 12

Science: Earth Science

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 200
  • Type: Required
  • Notes: Satisfies 10th grade Science requirement. The 200 series is for those needing academic assistance.
  • Prerequisite: Biology

Course Objectives: 1. To allow students to become skillful in the laboratory techniques used in Earth Science. 2. To make students aware of the various processes that are constantly interacting upon the earth and to explore some of the changes that these processes cause.

Description: This course encompasses several unifying themes. These themes are interwoven in the course structure to serve as a conceptual framework for the content. The major areas of study which are treated historically and logically are: the earth and its place in the universe; the constantly changing earth, its materials and processes; the earth materials from the subatomic through rocks and minerals; the changes in earth materials related to chemical processes; the rock cycle, weathering and erosion; the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, biosphere; and the earth’s crust and its organic remains; and the influence of humans on earth’s environments.

Expectations: Students will be asked to observe, investigate, search existing literature, and draw conclusions. This is a practical lab course which leads to an understanding of the scientific method as well as enabling students to acquire knowledge of the earth's processes through a systematic approach. Field experiences are included in lab sessions.

Course Curriculum: Earth Science Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
10 11 12

Science: Earth Science

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 300
  • Type: Required
  • Notes: Satisfies 10th grade science requirement. Those in 300 should show evidence of adequate academic achievement.
  • Prerequisite: Biology

Course Objectives: 1. To allow students to become skillful in the laboratory techniques used in Earth Science. 2. To make students aware of the various processes that are constantly interacting upon the earth and to explore some of the changes that these processes cause.

Description: This course encompasses several unifying themes. These themes are interwoven in the course structure to serve as a conceptual framework for the content. The major areas of study which are treated historically and logically are: the earth and its place in the universe; the constantly changing earth, its materials and processes; the earth materials from the subatomic through rocks and minerals; the changes in earth materials related to chemical processes; the rock cycle, weathering and erosion; the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, biosphere; and the earth’s crust and its organic remains; and the influence of humans on earth’s environments.

Expectations: Students will be asked to observe, investigate, search existing literature, and draw conclusions. This is a practical lab course which leads to an understanding of the scientific method as well as enabling students to acquire knowledge of the earth's processes through a systematic approach. Field experiences are included in lab sessions.

Course Curriculum: Earth Science Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
10 11 12

Science: Earth Science Honors

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 400
  • Type: Required
  • Notes:
  • Prerequisite: 400 Biology Honors with a grade of B- or higher or 300 Biology with a grade of A- or higher, and permission of teacher and departmental approval.

Course Objectives: 1. To provide Honors-level students the opportunity to pursue an advanced curriculum and guided research into the exciting and rapidly changing field of earth science. 2. To engage highly capable learners in a rich and rigorous intellectual environment that encourages the development of in depth understanding for a wide range of earth science topics. 3. To enable exceptional students opportunities to hone a keen working knowledge of the scientific method that is transferable and useful for future learning.

Description: This course provides highly capable, motivated students a rigorous, structured curriculum coupled with guided scientific inquiries in Earth Science. Earth Science-Honors challenges these learners to develop strong understanding of the solid earth, the earth's hydrosphere, the atmosphere, and the methods of science. Earth Science-Honors students investigate the solid earth. This area examines the processes of mountain building and erosion, mineralogy, sedimentation, renewable and nonrenewable energy resources, hydrogeology, glaciology, volcanism, seismology and historical geology. Students taking Earth Science-Honors study the earth's hydrosphere. Topics within the realm of oceanography lead students to investigate and research ocean currents, seawater, the sea floor and its sediments. Earth Science-Honors students also explore topics in meteorology. Students investigate and research the composition and structure of earth's atmosphere, storms, weather forecasts, climate and climate change.

Expectations: All Honors students are expected to complete a rigorous, comprehensive earth science curriculum. Earth Science-Honors students are given the responsibility to meet the learning expectations for each unit of investigation, and for their research in earth science. Students will demonstrate their understanding via written research papers, formal and informal presentations, and through written tests.

Course Curriculum: Earth Science Honors Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
11 12

Science: Forensic Investigation

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 300
  • Type: Elective
  • Notes:
  • Prerequisite: Biology

Course Objectives: 1. To develop an understanding of the nature of science and the scientific method. 2. To apply the scientific method to issues pertaining to the law. 3. To encourage utilization of higher-order critical and problem-solving skills. 4. To encourage productive interaction with peers to function as a team, while developing and extending communication skills. 5. To foster an appreciation for all disciplines in science, and their practical application in daily life. 6. To merge strong science with everyday applications. 7. To explore the many career opportunities offered by Forensic Science.

Description: This course will consist of topical units, with the unifying theme being the application of science to the law, and may include units such as: Introduction to Forensic Science, Crime Scene Investigation, Evidence, Forensic Science and the Law, Fingerprints, Blood Analysis and Spatter, Drugs and Toxicology, DNA Fingerprinting, Hair and Fibers, Skeletal Remains, Chemical Evidence, and Mock Crime Scene. Activities will include inquiry activities, labs using microscopy, chromatography, comparative analysis, electrophoresis, spot tests, blood analysis, bone examination, etc. Students will write up labs, as well as analyze case studies, solve puzzles, and make observations. The course will build upon prior knowledge students have acquired in their science and social studies courses (law), and challenge what they have learned from popular forensic shows, books, magazine articles, and televised cases. The course will provide meaning by showing students how science is used to provide sufficient or insufficient evidence to make legal decisions, as well as how the scientific method can be used to solve everyday problems.

Expectations: Students will: read assignments, case studies, lab directions, and documents; perform lab techniques safely; write lab reports, opinions, case conclusions; research using a multimedia approach; present projects using both audio and video effectively; design experiments; work with other students as part of a team to solve problems; use technology to research, do experiments, etc.; complete assigned homework, labs, assignments on time; suggest possible explanations for crime scenes; test hypotheses; find relevant materials in daily media; distinguish between fact and fiction in forensic science; pass quizzes, tests, and assessments; individualize course expectations to learning styles in order to be successful, after consultation with and approval from instructor.

Course Curriculum: Forensic Investigation Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
11 12

Science: Neuroscience and Biopsychology

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 300
  • Type: Elective
  • Notes:
  • Prerequisite: Biology and Chemistry. It is highly recommended that students have also taken Psychology, offered by the Social Sciences department.

Course Objectives: 1. To introduce students to the study of neuroscience. 2. To explore topics in Psychology at the physiological level. 3. To relate on a scientific level directly to the lives of students. 4. To integrate, apply, and build upon concepts learned in previous Biology and Chemistry courses.

Description: This course will begin with an introduction to Psychology and its relationship to the field of Neuroscience. Students will examine methods of research, recent advancements, and the major theories of psychology. The next unit will enrich students prior knowledge of the nervous system and introduce a more complex picture of the nervous system, including brain anatomy, cellular functioning, and synaptic transmission. Next, students' chemistry knowledge will be enriched by expanding their knowledge of the chemistry particularly associated with thoughts and behavior, as well as pharmacology and how drugs affect the biology and chemistry of a person. Once this foundation has been made, students will continue to look at an array of topics including: learning and memory, emotion and stress, reproductive behavior, ingestive behavior, and neurological disorders.

Expectations: Students will be expected to take both standard scientific exams including multiple choice and essay responses, and practical exams. Students will also be required to summarize their readings in essay form and contribute to class discussions. Students who take this course in conjunction with the Psychology course offered through the Social Sciences Department may opt to take the AP Psychology exam. The majority of the requirements for this exam are covered if both courses are taken, and this course was designed to provide the additional requirements necessary for the AP Psychology exam. Students will also be required to conduct bibliographic research on various neurological topics and present their findings to the class.

Open to Grades
11 12

Science: Physics Honors

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 400
  • Type: Elective
  • Notes: Students may have the opportunity to earn college credit through the University of Connecticut's Early College Experience program.
  • Prerequisite: 300 Chemistry with a grade of A, or 400 Chemistry Honors with a grade of B or higher, and 300 Algebra 2 with a grade of B or higher, or 400 Algebra 2 Honors with a grade of B- or higher.

Course Objectives: 1. To acquaint students with the laws and theories of physics, with the purpose of sharing with them the tools with which to study the manner in which the world behaves. 2. To transform students into problem solvers; not only mathematically, but in the laboratory as well. 3. To focus on a conceptual understanding of physics with a strong emphasis on computation and problem solving at the college level. 4. To foster in students a commitment to become scientific thinkers who are able to ask thought provoking questions, and engage in the pursuit of answers to these questions.

Description: The course includes concepts of motion, dynamics, circular motion, momentum, energy relationships, electrostatics, electricity, DC circuits, magnetism, and geometric optics.

Expectations: Although the content of Physics - Honors is similar to Physics, there are some major differences in the approach used in Physics - Honors. The course places heavy emphasis on extrapolation of laboratory discoveries in order to formulate conclusions. In addition, Physics - Honors focuses on a strong mathematical problem solving approach. Students are encouraged to formulate conclusions on their own and problem solve, with minimal teacher guidance. The typical Physics - Honors student should have demonstrated the ability to utilize higher abstract reasoning skills in previous Science courses.

Course Curriculum: Physics Honors Curriculum (pdf)

Open to Grades
12

Science: Modern Physics

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: .5
  • Level: 300
  • Type: Elective
  • Notes: Seniors may enroll in this course concurrently with Physics, Physics Honors, or AP Physics, with the permission of the teacher.
  • Prerequisite: Physics, or Physics Honors, or AP Physics.

Course Objectives: 1. To acquaint students with the laws and theories of physics, with the purpose of sharing with them the tools with which to study the manner in which the world behaves. 2. To transform students into problem solvers, not only mathematically, but in the laboratory as well. 3. To focus on a conceptual understanding of physics with an equal emphasis on computation. 4. To foster in students a commitment to become scientific thinkers who are able to ask thought provoking questions, and engage in the pursuit of answers to these questions.

Description: Students will expand their study of physics with new perspectives on material not included in Physics. The curriculum will include some content from both AP Physics and Physics Honors courses, presented in a conceptual manner as well as new, classic topics that are not currently covered. In addition, topics of modern physics will be included to help make this course appropriate for any physics student interested in learning more physics. Topics will be introduced in a format to provide students with a better understanding of the tasks and challenges that face modern day physicists. The course will expand upon a student's prior work in physics to provide a more complete picture of the workings of the universe.

Expectations: The course is intended to be an extension and enhancement of the Physics, Physics Honors, or AP Physics courses and the expectations are similar. Students will be expected to complete frequent homework assignments as well as written lab reports. They will be asked to apply their conceptual understanding in the solution of mathematical problems and will also be asked to problem-solve through experimentation.

Open to Grades
9

Special Programs: Idea Program

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 900
  • Type: Elective
  • Notes: Meets 3 days in the 8 day cycle. A 6th course elective for 9th grade students. Graded on Credit/No Credit basis.
  • Prerequisite: 8th-grade IDEA, and IDEA Selection and Placement Committee approval.

Course Objectives: 1. To develop and extend communication skills. 2. To encourage utilization of higher-level thinking skills. 3. To encourage productive interaction with intellectual peers. 4. To develop an awareness of individual potential and responsibility.

Description: Ninth grade is the final year of the IDEA program. Students complete the Achiever's Project, a year-long culminating study which challenges students to investigate areas of personal interest and to go beyond present skills. Students design their individual projects to meet the following criteria: 1. Have a research component. 2. Present an individual challenge to the student. 3. Be original. 4. Student/project must have a mentor. 5. Require a minimum of 50 hours to complete. 6. Have an end product suitable for both presentation at end of year (Achievers’ Night) and inclusion in a college admissions portfolio.

Expectations: Monthly “Works in Progress” and quarterly teacher conferences ensure that students learn to approach long-term projects in a disciplined, managed way, while providing opportunities for the student to receive helpful feedback from both peers and teacher. In addition, daily curriculum utilizes strategies designed to satisfy the course objectives (see above), as well as strengthen academic skills such as using the scientific method to solve problems, intuitive and deductive reasoning, critical and inferential thinking, creative problem solving, making valid observations and comparisons and drawing conclusions, reading comprehension, and listening and speaking strategies.

Open to Grades
10 11 12

Special Programs: Independent Study

  • Number of Semesters: 1 or 2
  • Number of Credits: 0.5-1
  • Level: 750
  • Type: Elective
  • Notes: This course may be repeated. Change to 750 in Jan. 2011. No more than 1 credit may be earned per school year. Students are evaluated on a Pass/No Credit basis.
  • Prerequisite: Complete a written application, signed by a faculty sponsor and a parent, detailing the planned project. The application is subject to the approval of the Coordinator of the Independent Study Program. The final prospectus must be approved by the guidance counselor and the Coordinator of the Independent Study Program.

Course Objectives: 1. To provide students with an opportunity to develop their inherent self-motivation to learn. 2. To enable students to discover and develop their particular interest. 3. To better prepare students for the independence that will be required of them in the future. 4. To provide students an opportunity to gain an in-depth knowledge of a particular skill, discipline or topic. 5. To provide students with an opportunity to investigate a potential career or college major.

Description: Independent Study is open to Juniors and Seniors as a seventh subject, and to Sophomores as a seventh subject during the second semester. Under special circumstances a student might be granted permission by the administration to take an Independent Study course in place of a regular elective. In such cases, an Independent Study course would bear a minimum of 0.5 credit each semester and would count as a sixth subject. Candidates for Independent Study must submit an application, including a one-page prospectus of the topic they wish to pursue and the method by which they plan to reach their conclusions with a realistic timeline for completion of the project. One condition of approval is that students must be sponsored by a member of the faculty or, at least, agree to work under the Coordinator of the Independent Study Program.

Expectations:

Open to Grades
10 11 12

Special Programs: US/China Exchange

  • Number of Semesters: 2
  • Number of Credits: 1
  • Level: 900
  • Type: Elective
  • Notes: Students accepted to the US China exchange are required to take an independent study course during the year in which they take part in the program. The course described below is also open to other students and can be taken for one or two semesters.
  • Prerequisite: Admission is selective based on an application, recommendations, and an interview process.

Course Objectives: 1. To experience a culture through multiple disciplines and pedagogies. 2. To experience a culture through interaction and collaboration with students from China. 3. To experience a culture through field study, by participating in the exchange when students from China are here (hosting, activities) and by traveling to China. 4. To analyze the different lenses through which they study the culture and how a lens affects what they understand. 5. To present publically their understanding/inquiry in multiple media.

Description: The US China Exchange is an interdisciplinary culture studies course with an experiential component (field study/travel). The course will give students the opportunity to study China through a multi-disciplinary approach (literature, history, language, art, music, anthropology, technology, and economics). In addition to interdisciplinary and independent study, the course will be a joint collaboration with a school in China, giving students from both cultures the opportunity to create together an inquiry for exploration. The joint inquiry begins through dialogue and culminates with an exchange project. Reflecting the idea that knowledge should be acquired in real-world contexts, the course will also give students the chance to utilize our community and its many resources to help them in the development of their inquiry and the presentation of their project.

Expectations: The course will be focused around several essential questions which will guide the students’ work. These questions will determine the direction and content of the inquiry, project, and exchange. Students will work with other schools and civic organizations to present Darien to visiting Chinese students. The course will culminate in a number of projects including: a collaborative online publication, an exhibit bringing together work by the students in both cultures, and an archive of work generated by students to benefit both communities and as a reflection of their experiences. Method of Assessment: Self-assessment and teacher/student development of rubrics for assessment of the cross-cultural exchange, reflection journals, response papers, portfolio of work, public exhibition, and joint project with culture of exchange.

Open to Grades
11 12

Tech Ed: Applications of Physics and Chemistry 1

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 900
  • Type: Elective- Partially Fulfils Fine/Practical Arts Requirement
  • Notes: Credit may be received from either the Science Department or the Technology Education Department. This course is designed for students looking for an alternative to a full year of Chemistry or Physics. The course can be used to meet the Science graduation requirement or the Fine/Practical Arts graduation requirement but not both.
  • Prerequisite: Biology and Earth Science.

Course Objectives: 1. To introduce students to basic principles of Physics and Chemistry such as physical and chemical changes, electricity and magnetism, simple machines, energy, forces and motion, and measurement. 2. To apply basic physical science concepts in the design, construction and testing of real world devices and/or products. 3. To promote and enhance general technological and scientific literacy. 4. To develop skills and qualities of effective workers such as positive interdependence, effective communication, individual accountability, self-management, leadership, creative thinking, and problem solving.

Description: Students will be exposed to physical science topics in a cooperative program between the Science and Technology Education departments. Topics focus on science concepts that can be applied to the students' experiences in everyday life. Learning will be facilitated through independent and collaborative research and experimentation as students make connections between concrete applications and abstract concepts. A project-based, multi-sensory approach will address individual learning styles and facilitate the use of alternative assessments. Instruction will be activity centered and use a mix of whole class activities, large and small group presentations, cooperative learning, and individual projects. The course will be taught in a laboratory setting providing access to tools and materials for individual and collaborative projects. Tools will include hand tools for wood, metal, electronic, and simple chemical projects. Computers will be used for design, problem-solving, and research.

Expectations: Students will be asked to observe, investigate and problem solve in a small group setting. It is expected that students complete reading assignments, participate in class, research some topics, and use critical thinking skills in the development of their projects. Students should be prepared to display and explain various physical science concepts using "real world" examples.

Open to Grades
11 12

Tech Ed: Applications of Physics and Chemistry 2

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 900
  • Type: Elective- Partially Fulfils Fine/Practical Arts Requirement
  • Notes: Credit may be received from either the Science Department or the Technology Education Department. This course is designed for students looking for an alternative to a full year of Chemistry or Physics. The course can be used to meet the Science graduation requirement or the Fine/Practical Arts graduation requirement but not both.
  • Prerequisite: Biology and Earth Science.

Course Objectives: 1. To introduce students to basic principles of Physics and Chemistry such as atomic structure, chemical reactions, acids and bases, waves, radioactivity, energy sources, electronics and computers. 2. To apply basic physical science concepts in the design, construction, and testing of real world devices and/or products. 3. To promote and enhance general technological and scientific literacy. 4. To develop skills and qualities of effective workers such as positive interdependence, effective communication, individual accountability, self-management, leadership, creative thinking, and problem solving.

Description: Students will be exposed to physical science topics in a cooperative program between the Science and Technology Education Departments. Topics focus on science concepts that can be applied to the students' experiences in everyday life. Learning will be facilitated through independent and collaborative research and experimentation as students make connections between concrete applications and abstract concepts. A project-based, multi-sensory approach will address individual learning styles and facilitate the use of alternative assessments. Instruction will be activity centered and use a mix of whole-class activities, large and small group presentations, cooperative learning, and individual projects. The course will be taught in a laboratory setting providing access to tools and materials for individual and collaborative projects. Tools will include hand tools for wood, metal, electronic, and simple chemical projects. Computers will be used for design, problem solving, and research.

Expectations: Students will be asked to observe, investigate and problem solve in a small group setting. It is expected that students complete reading assignments, participate in class, research some topics, and use critical thinking skills in the development of their projects. Students should be prepared to display and explain various physical science concepts using "real world" examples.

Open to Grades
9 10 11 12

Tech Ed: Architecture 1

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 900
  • Type: Elective- Partially Fulfils Fine/Practical Arts Requirement
  • Notes: Option to take for a full year or by semester for a maximum of 2 semesters. Name change Jan. 2011. Formerly Drafting 2.
  • Prerequisite: None

Course Objectives: 1. To gain an understanding of the history of Architecture and how it has influenced societies. 2. To apply design and engineering principles to residential construction while balancing form and function. 3. To develop skills to graphically and orally present ideas. 4. To gain a basic understanding of the REVIT program. 5. To gain insight into the architectural engineering, construction, and design methods of modern house design.

Description: An introduction to the design history and construction of residential buildings. Students will study basic principles of residential building design and design processes including programming, site planning, design elements, and construction methods. Students will use REVIT, an architectural computer aided drafting program with state of the art applications. Instruction will be given to develop a solid foundation of two and three dimensional CADD skills. These skills will be applied to creating architectural plans, sections, and elevations according to professional drafting standards, techniques, and practices.

Expectations: Students will complete tutorials and lessons as well as blog assignments as directed by the teacher. Oral, visual, and written presentations will be part of course work. A series of hands-on, research based projects will be used to assess student learning. A final packet consisting of work done throughout the semester on a professional house plan project will be completed.

Open to Grades
9 10 11 12

Tech Ed: Architecture 2

  • Number of Semesters: 1
  • Number of Credits: 0.5
  • Level: 750
  • Type: Elective- Partially Fulfils Fine/Practical Arts Requirement
  • Notes: Students can take this course multiple times
  • Prerequisite: Architecture 1.

Course Objectives: 1. To successfully interview a client and assess their needs. 2. To demonstrate the ability to compromise with a client and clearly explain their house design. 3. To apply design and engineering principles to residential construction while balancing form and function. 4. To develop skills to graphically and orally present ideas. 4. To gain an in-depth understanding of the REVIT program. 5. To gain insight into the architectural engineering, construction, and design methods of modern house design. 6. To show understanding of current green and environmental building design.

Description: Students will gain real life experience working with a client outside of the classroom to design a residential structure. The design project will demonstrate a student's understanding of form versus function as it applies to building design such as room layout and location, and visual balance. Understanding of modern construction practices will also be evident in the design project.

Expectations: Students will complete blog assignments and a series of hands-on, researched based projects as assigned by the teacher. Oral, visual, and written presentations will be part of course work. A final packet consisting of a completed residential house design project will demonstrate the work done throughout the semester and may be used to apply to colleges in the fields of engineering, art, and architecture.

Open to Grades
11 12

Tech Ed: Independent Projects in Engineering

  • Number of Semesters: 4
  • Number of Credits: 2
  • Level: 900
  • Type: Elective
  • Notes: Course piloted in 2011-12. Name change 2013. Formerly STEM Research.
  • Prerequisite: None

Course Objectives: 1. To apply engineering principles to creatively and uniquely solve real world problems and challenges. 2. To gain understanding of technology and engineering principles. 3. To think outside of the box and explore the world of engineering and design. 4. To learn the basics of sketching so ideas and problem solving skills can be presented graphically. 5. To effectively communicate both visually and orally, ideas and plans. 6. To gain experience using programs that are actually used in the engineering and design industries.

Description: During the first semester of the program (fall of each year) students will take a 0.5 credit class in "What is Engineering". This class will be an introduction to the field of engineering and technology in which the instructor will arrange for experts and engineers in the different areas of engineering to come into the class to speak about their fields. Each area of engineering will also have a small hands-on project involved with it giving the students an understanding of the occupation. The second half of the first year will be used to do research and chose a topic and area for their research. Students will also be taught about technical writing and problem solving strategies. Students will then spend the remainder of the time in the program completing their chosen long term project in the field of engineering or technology they are studying. Students are expected to take this course for two years.

Expectations: Students will be expected to complete a series of hands-on problem solving projects, engage a mentor and review current issues in the theories and area of their study, complete a weekly blog post and conduct progress meetings with instructor and class, present outcomes using multiple media to the program participants and school community, and complete a final large scale project based on the chosen engineering or technology field of study.