UPPER SCHOOL – CURRICULUM
ENGLISH I: (one year)
English I encompasses the appreciation of literature, foundation of research skills and continued emphasis on writing skills including vocabulary, review of basic elements of grammar, review of paragraph structure and basic literary analysis. Major projects include oral presentations of summer reading, periodic essays analyzing the literature, and a research paper written in tandem with the History and Computer Science Departments. Works might include Romeo and Juliet, The Catcher in the Rye, Jane Eyre, The Odyssey and units of short stories, poetry, non-fiction, and mythology.
ENGLISH II: (one year)
In this course, students will continue to explore four literary genres: short story, novel, drama, and poetry. In addition to selections from Kennedy’s Introduction to Fiction and Kennedy/Gioia’s Introduction to Poetry, they will read works such as The Great Gatsby, The Scarlet Letter, and Macbeth. Writing will be emphasized, with review of grammar, syntax, and sentence structure as needed, as students work to construct analytical essays with clear, well-supported thesis statements.
HONORS ENGLISH II: (one year)
In this course, students will deepen and expand their understanding of the four literary genres and the literary elements and poetic devices pertinent to each. In addition to units on the short story and poetry, they will read such works as The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, The Scarlet Letter, Macbeth, and plays by Lorraine Hansberry and Henrik Ibsen, and some non-fiction. Close reading of texts will be accompanied by critical analysis in both writing and discussion. Clear, forceful exposition of literary criticism and other purposes will be the goal of the writing component.
ENGLISH III: (one year)
This full-year course concentrates primarily on American and British writers but also includes writers of other cultures, in relation to social, political, and economic conditions of major time periods in history. The class develops skills in literary analysis by reading the text closely and responding to the material through informal writing, periodic quizzes, class discussion, and essay tests. The class will cover the fundamentals of writing good expository essays using logic, evidence and style. Works might include Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Shakespeare's Hamlet, Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, Orwell’s 1984, poetry selections, and Kennedy’s Introduction to Fiction.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION: (one year)
An AP course in English Language and Composition should train students to become skilled readers of prose written in a variety of periods, disciplines, and rhetorical contexts. Examples of these writers include Mark Twain, William Shakespeare, Henry David Thoreau, George Orwell, and Jane Austen. The course should also give them the practice and helpful criticism necessary to make them flexible writers who can compose in a variety of modes and for a variety of purposes. AP Composition will emphasize the expository, analytical, and argumentative writing that forms the basis of academic and professional communication. Interested students must be recommended by their English II teacher and must submit a sample of their expository writing.
SENIOR ENGLISH ELECTIVES
ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENGLISH LITERATURE: (one year)
In this rigorous Advanced Placement course, reading is varied and challenging. The course asks students to examine the techniques of various writers closely. Admission by permission of the department; a writing sample is required. It is assumed that applicants have facility expressing themselves on paper. Typical works include Beowulf; Crime and Punishment; King Lear; many poems, both modern and classical.
CREATIVE WRITING: (one year)
This class will be a year-long commitment in which students will study poetry, personal essay, and novel writing. All students will be required to complete a poetry portfolio and a final draft of a personal essay. Participants will also submit a working draft of a novel to Scholastic’s Art and Writing Awards in late January. This course will culminate in a tour and “pitch session” as Scholastic’s SoHo office.
COMEDY: (first semester)
We will explore the structure of comedy as it is employed in plays, film scripts, short stories, novels, and poetry. An emphasis will be placed on how language is utilized to generate humor and how the various elements of a piece of art guide the comic experience. The course will challenge students to create their own theories as to the structure of comedy, and the final exam will include the opportunity for students to present their theories and analyze the theories of their peers. Works to be read will include Aristophanes’s The Frogs, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Swift’s A Modest Proposal, television scripts for Seinfeld, and selections by Mark Twain, Lewis Carroll, and Garrison Keillor from the Oxford Book of Humorous Prose.
INTRODUCTION TO JOURNALISM: (first semester)
In this course, we will study the foundations of journalism, while writing with a goal of publication in a variety of venues. We will consider: What constitutes news? How does a story get written? You’ll learn the lingo of journalism—byline, lead, flag, lift out quote—and how to write the classic inverted pyramid article. We’ll discuss objectivity versus opinion, journalism law and ethics, and the future of print news. As we work towards publication, we will study and experiment with design—combining text and image packages. The class will be run in workshop format; all of us collaborating to edit, critique, and improve our final product.
SHAKESPEARE: (first semester)
This elective examines the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods in English Literature and their most famous poet and playwright. We will discuss the English Renaissance while reading a selection of history plays, tragedies and comedies as well reviewing the sonnet, the pastoral and the idyll, all distinctive forms of this literary and historical period. Plays might include Henry IV Part I, King Lear and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
PLACE, CULTURE, AND TRANSLATION: (first semester)
In this course we will read fiction that explores the cultural exchange and individual growth that occurs when characters immerse themselves in new places, languages, and cultures. This is a global literature course that focuses on authors and texts from a variety of countries, cultures, and linguistic backgrounds. Readings may include works by Ernest Hemingway, Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino, Sandra Cisneros, Vladimir Nabokov, V.S. Naipaul, and Amy Tan.
MYSTERY/DETECTIVE FICTION: (second semester)
This course will investigate some of the best-known literary detectives from around the world and analyze both the character of the detective and the structure of the mystery. Students will read nightly and be involved in several major projects.
MYTHOLOGY: (second semester)
In this course we explore the sources for Greek and Roman mythology and its enduring place in world literature and art. Students will be guided to identify universal human and literary themes in classical myths and to recognize these archetypes in the world's myths, folk and fairy tales, and other expressions of the human spirit.
MONSTERS: (second semester)
This course will investigate the way “monsters” have been used in literature to explore societies’ greatest social fears and taboos. Using Stephen T. Asma’s On Monsters: An Unnatural History of our Worst Fears as a guide, we will read texts such as Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, as well as examine contemporary representations of monsters in cinema and television.
CREATIVE NONFICTION: (second semester)
This course will explore many different types of creative nonfiction: memoir, travel, food, sport, and humor through short stories, essays, and articles. Not only will we discuss and analyze many different pieces of creative nonfiction, we will spend time writing and workshopping our own creative nonfiction pieces. As a class, we will work to understand and appreciate the unique style and content of this imaginative literary genre. Possible texts include In Fact: The Best of Creative Nonfiction (Gutkind and Dillard), Tell it Slant: Writing and Shaping Creative Nonfiction (Miller and Paola), and selected class handouts (including work by Bill Bryson, David Sedaris, Zora Neale Hurston).
ALGEBRA I: (one year)
This course consists of the study of the structure and essentials of algebra. The emphasis is on teaching a variety of skills as an aid to problem solving.
GEOMETRY: (one year)
This is a traditional course in the concepts of Euclidean plane and solid geometry with an emphasis on making conjectures, drawing conclusions, logical thought and deductive proof, as well as application of these concepts. Students are encouraged to learn to communicate in the language of mathematics, reading and using symbols, diagrams, charts, and figures, as well as understanding the organization of proofs. Students learn to judge the validity of arguments posed in different forms.
Prerequisite: Algebra I
HONORS GEOMETRY: (one year)
This course is available to the most able student determined by departmental approval or placement test. Current teacher recommendation is the most important factor in granting departmental approval. In general, only students earning an A in Algebra I or Algebra IB will be considered for placement in Honors Geometry.
Prerequisite: Algebra I
ALGEBRA II: (one year)
This course completes the study of elementary algebra and prepares students for the study of advanced mathematics. Emphasis is placed on thinking critically and mastering skills for problem solving application outside of mathematics. Technology is used extensively to investigate and verify.
HONORS ALGEBRA II: (one year)
This course is available to the most able student determined by departmental approval or placement test. Current teacher recommendation is the most important factor in granting departmental approval. In general, only students earning a B- or above in Honors Geometry or an A in regular Geometry will be considered for placement in Honors Algebra II.
Prerequisite: Geometry or Honors Geometry
PRECALCULUS: (one year)
This course is designed to be the preparation for non-AP Calculus, but supports other upper-level mathematics courses such as Statistics. Precalculus is the study of basic functions; identity, quadratic, cubic, rational, square root, exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric, absolute value, and piecewise. Each function is studied from both an analytical approach and also a graphical approach. Solving real-world problems gives students a context for the uses of each function.
Prerequisite: Algebra II
HONORS PRECALCULUS AB: (one year)
This course is designed for students who intend to take AP Calculus for the following year. This is a fast-paced course designed to introduce the type of experience that students will encounter in an AP Calculus class. The course builds on the foundation laid in Honors Algebra II related to the various classes of functions such as linear, quadratic exponential functions. In addition, the course will give a thorough treatment of trigonometry and circular functions, as well as such diverse topics as complex numbers, and sequences and series. A student must earn a B- or higher to be considered for a placement in AP Calculus AB. A student with an A and the department’s approval may be considered for a placement in AP Calculus BC.
Pre-requisite: Algebra II (B+ or higher) or Honors Algebra II (B- or higher), and departmental approval.
HONORS PRECALCULUS BC: (one year)
This course provides further and more intensive study of the elementary functions of one variable and plane trigonometry, including extensive investigation into the algebra, properties, graphs, and applications of these functions. Considered preparation for AP Calculus BC, this fast-paced course presents and analyzes the material in a more theoretical approach through graphical, numerical, analytical, and verbal methods and the appropriate use of technology. A student must earn a B- or higher to be considered for a placement in the AP Calculus BC class.
Pre-requisite: Honors Algebra II (B+ or higher) and departmental approval.
DIFFERENTIAL CALCULUS: (first semester)
This fundamental course stresses the application of derivatives rather than rigorous theoretical concepts. The course covers concepts including limits, functions, slope, and differentiation. These concepts along with algebraic, numerical, and calculator-based methods will be used to solve equations, plot and analyze graphs, and model situations found in science, business, and economics. Emphasis will be placed on gaining mastery of the calculus concepts and use of the graphing calculator. Where appropriate, cooperative learning will be used to encourage development of communication, reasoning, and problem-solving skills.
INTEGRAL CALCULUS: (second semester )
This fundamental course stresses the application of integrals rather than rigorous theoretical concepts. The course covers concepts including anti-derivatives, indefinite and definite integrals, fundamental theorem of calculus, and techniques of integration. These concepts along with algebraic, numerical, and calculator-based methods will be used to solve equations, plot and analyze graphs, and model situations found in science, business, and economics. Emphasis will be placed on gaining mastery of the calculus concepts and use of the graphing calculator. Where appropriate, cooperative learning will be used to encourage development of communication, reasoning, and problem-solving skills.
Prerequisite: Differential Calculus
ADVANCED PLACEMENT CALCULUS (AB or BC): (one year)
AP Calculus is a college-level course in differential and integral calculus for students who intend to achieve advanced standing in college calculus. The BC level is for the most able student.
Prerequisites: For AB Calculus—Honors Precalculus AB (minimum grade of B-) and
For BC Calculus—Honors Precalculus BC (minimum grade of A) and departmental approval. Honors Precalculus (minimum grade of B-) and departmental approval.
DISCRETE MATHAMATICS: (first semester )
Discrete mathematics is the mathematics needed for making decisions in a finite environment. Thus, topics in this course will include the mathematics of social choice, graph theory, combinatorics, recursion, etc. While studying modern mathematical approaches, students will apply algorithmic thinking and develop a range of creative problem solving techniques. This one-semester course is recommended for students who wish to double up on math courses or for those who wish to continue the study of mathematics that is not calculus-based.
Prerequisite: Algebra II
PROBABILITY & STATISTICS: (second semester )
This course is an introduction to the basic concepts and applications of probability and statistics. Topics in this course will include: data collection methods, descriptive statistics, permutations and combinations, probability spaces, normal distributions, and rudimentary statistical inference. Special emphasis will be placed on critically analyzing the many ways in which probability and statistics are used to convey information in business, government, research, and marketing. This course is recommended for students who wish to prepare for a college-level statistics course or for those who wish to learn how quantitative measures are used in other academic disciplines, such as the social sciences.
Prerequisite: Algebra II
ADVANCED PLACEMENT STATISTICS: (one year)
This is a college-level course in descriptive and inferential statistics. In the first semester, the course focuses on producing and analyzing data, relationships among variables, probability laws, simulation, and probability distributions. In the second semester, the course focuses on formal methods for drawing conclusions about one or more populations using confidence intervals and significance tests. Emphasis is placed on understanding the process of statistical inference, which includes the foundational reasoning for statistical inference and determining the value and credibility of the conclusions made from the data.
Prerequisite: Precalculus with a minimum grade of a B, or departmental approval.
HONORS LINEAR ALGEBRA: (one year)
This course, for students who have completed any of the AP Calculus AB or BC courses, covers topics normally found in a college Linear Algebra course. Students will explore the concept of Matrices and learn to use them to represent systems of equations, transformations of 2- and 3-dimensional objects, and Markov Chains. Topics such as determinants, characteristics of invertible matrices, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, orthogonality, and Cramer’s Rule will also be covered. As illustrated throughout the course, the topics presented play an essential role in areas such as computer science, engineering, environmental science, economics, statistics, business management, and the social sciences.
Pre-requisites: AP Calculus AB or BC, and departmental approval.
HONORS MULTIVARIABLE CALCULUS: (not offered in 2013-14)
Math Curriculum Flow Chart
HISTORY AND SOCIAL STUDIES
FOUNDATIONS OF CIVILIZATIONS: (one year)
This course covers the development of early peoples in four river valley civilizations: Egypt, India, Mesopotamia and China, as well as Greece and Rome. A major research paper is written in the second semester.
WORLD HISTORY (one year)
This course is an exploration of World History from ancient times to the modern era (about 8000 BCE to 2000CE), working extensively with primary sources. We’ll look at Western history, but also at the civilizations of other regions such as southern and eastern Asia, the Americas, and Africa. We will examine global themes such as contact and conflict between civilizations, changes in religion, art, and culture over time, and the origins and development of the modern world. Come join us for a discussion of our world, where it’s been, and where it might be headed!
ADVANCED PLACEMENT WORLD HISTORY: (one year)
AP World History’s content is similar to the regular World History courses described above. Students will study more challenging sources and do more critical analysis of history in preparation for the required AP test in the spring.
HISTORY OF AMERICAN MEDICINE & SCIENCE: (one year)
This course will examine roughly three hundred years of biology, medicine, health, and disease in the United States. Science and medicine are human endeavors that must be understood in the appropriate historical context. We will consider how changing ideas about bacteriology, evolution, and medical care reshaped American society. Throughout the year we will use both primary and secondary sources to trace medicine’s changing relationship to laboratory science. We will investigate the fascinating individuals who engaged in scientific research and provided medical care. By the end of the course, we will have learned how to conduct our own explorations in the history of science and medicine.
UNITED STATES HISTORY: (one year)
This is a survey course, which begins with the Age of Exploration and concludes with a study of domestic and foreign policy through the 1980's. The course uses a variety of methods to develop analytical skills, and emphasizes the use of primary and secondary sources. All students develop a research project.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT U.S. HISTORY: (one year)
This course covers the same chronological period as the regular US course but covers the material in greater depth and uses more primary sources in preparation for the AP test.
SENIOR HISTORY ELECTIVES
AMERICAN GOVERNMENT: (one year)
This course will introduce many of the core concepts of political science as applied to American government and politics. Students will study the federal system and the institutions of American political life, ranging from Congress, the president and the Supreme Court to the popular press, political interest groups, and citizens/voters. Students will also examine the development of political identity, current political issues, patterns of voting behavior, and upcoming Congressional and/or presidential elections.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT AMERICAN GOVERNMENT: (one year)
This course is similar to the American Govt. course but emphasizes primary sources and the development of necessary skills to prepare for the required AP test in the spring.
MODERN EUROPEAN HISTORY: (one year)
This course seeks to understand the history of Europe through critical examination of important social, political, cultural, and economic developments. Topics of study include the Renaissance, Reformation, French Revolution, Industrial Revolution, the rise of nationalism, the world wars, and the challenges Europe faces in the 21st century. The course investigates why and how new institutions, new ideas and new activities flourish or perish.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT MODERN EUROPEAN HISTORY: (one year)
The AP Modern European History course emphasizes in-depth treatment of the regular course's content and uses a great deal of primary source material to prepare for the AP test.
ECONOMICS: (one year)
This course is an introduction to such core economic concepts as unemployment, inflation, output, fiscal policy, monetary policy, elasticity, competition, monopoly, the labor market, public choice theory, utility, Keynesian economics, classical economics and oligopoly. Through the study of theory and economic models students will gain a greater appreciation for the way economists think, and will gain an insight into the public policy process. We will examine history and current events through the lens of the economic models and theories that we learn in class.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT ECONOMICS: (one year)
This course is similar to the regular Economics course listed above, but will prepare students for the AP Exams in Economics, both Macro and Micro. Students will be exposed to more models and theories than the students in regular economics, and the pace of the course is significantly faster.
HISTORY OF THE HOLOCAUST: (first semester)
This course will examine the genocide committed by Nazi Germany and its collaborators that resulted in the deaths of 6 million European Jews and millions of others during the years 1933 to 1945. Special attention will be paid to the long history of anti-Semitism, the Nazi rise to power, the steps taken to implement the “Final Solution,” and the responses of the victims, the perpetrators, the rescuers, and the other nations of the world before, during, and after the Holocaust. We will attempt to understand this dark chapter in human history through a variety of sources: not only public records but also personal memoirs, poetry, and film. Finally, we will explore ways in which nations, communities, and ordinary citizens today can prevent—or sometimes fail to prevent—other instances of genocide.
VIOLENCE & NONVIOLENCE: (second semester)
This course has two main objectives: developing a deeper understanding of the nature, type, and scope of violence in the world today, and exploring the alternatives to violence practiced by some 20th century leaders of nonviolence. Particular attention will be paid to the life and teachings of Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X.
FOUNDATIONS IN SCIENCE: (one year)
Foundations in Science is a freshmen level course, and will study a limited number of topics in both physical and life sciences to help students build the skills that will lead to success in ICP and Biology.
INTRO TO CHEMISTRY & PHYSICS: (one year)
This course provides a basic foundation of the concepts in Physics and Chemistry. This is done through problem solving, classroom lecture and laboratory work. Intro to Chemistry & Physics (ICP) will help those students who take advanced work in science and will provide a general background for those not continuing with advanced science courses. (Laboratory course)
BIOLOGY: (one year)
Biology prepares students for college level Biology by selecting a limited number of topics in Biology in order to provide an opportunity to explore these topics in depth. This course takes a very structured approach to help students make connections, develop analytical skills, and compare a variety of topics to build models to understand the world of life. Opportunities for hands on laboratory work will support classroom studies. (Laboratory course)
HONORS BIOLOGY: (one year)
Honors Biology also prepares students for college Biology but covers more topics than Biology. Students will be expected to learn at a faster pace and take more responsibility for independent learning. Laboratory work will be an integral part of the learning. (Laboratory course)
ADVANCED PLACEMENT BIOLOGY: (one year)
AP Biology is college Biology taught in high school. It is very rigorous, demanding, and uses a college text. It moves at a very fast pace and demands that students do considerable reading and learning outside of the classroom. It requires strong calculation and graphing skills and the ability to draw conclusions from novel information. Students must be highly motivated and capable of independent study. Sophomores may take the course only if they have excellent records from their previous science course. Juniors and seniors may take this course if they had good (A or B) grades in one of the other Biology courses. Besides success in a previous science course, students must perform satisfactorily on a placement test in order to be considered for AP Biology. (Laboratory course)
CHEMISTRY: (one year)
This course is designed to prepare students to take Chemistry in College by providing them with strong foundations. The course is more descriptive than Honors Chemistry and covers topics such as the structure of the atom, nuclear chemistry, the formation of simple compounds and their reactions, the chemistry of solutions and gases, and the structure of crystalline solids. This class places more emphasis on the connections between theoretical knowledge and the application of Chemistry to every day life. Hands-on learning is provided by in the laboratory where students will generally work individually on qualitative Chemistry problems. (Laboratory course)
Prerequisite: Geometry (minimum grade C-) or departmental approval.
HONORS CHEMISTRY: (one year)
This course prepares students to take Chemistry in College. It uses a traditional approach, which requires a solid base in mathematics. Topics include atomic theory, electronic structure, classification of compounds and reactions, stoichiometry, solution and gas chemistry, kinetic theory, equilibrium system, nuclear chemistry, and organic chemistry. There is a strong emphasis on quantitative problem solving and reaction prediction. Hands-on learning is provided in the laboratory where students work individually and complete question sheets or lab reports from week to week. (Laboratory course)
Prerequisite: Geometry (minimum grade B-) or departmental approval.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT CHEMISTRY: (one year)
AP Chemistry is demanding college level Chemistry course that uses a college text. The course covers a variety of aspects of general chemistry, including descriptive chemistry, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, atomic and molecular structure, thermodynamics, kinetics, equilibria, electrochemistry, and nuclear chemistry. The work is extremely rigorous and moves at a rapid pace. Most of the work is quantitative and should only be taken by those juniors or seniors who have strong quantitative skills or who have already taken chemistry. (Laboratory course)
Prerequisite: Honors Algebra II (minimum grade B) or Algebra II (minimum grade A), and departmental approval.
STUDENT RESEARCH—MOLECULAR BIOLOGY: (one year)
This is a research-based course where students will meet in lab, learning basic laboratory techniques in molecular biology. Students will learn to analyze and interpret data and use internet-based programs to analyze DNA sequences. Students will each keep a journal and complete a final poster project for presentation to scientists at Waksman Institute at Rutgers University and GE Healthcare at the end of the year. (Laboratory course)
Prerequisite: Honors or AP Biology and departmental approval.
ADVANCED STUDENT RESEARCH—MOLECULAR BIOLOGY: (one year)
This course is open to students who have completed the first year of Student Research—Molecular Biology. Students will work in the laboratory doing advanced studies of gene sequences identified in their work in Research I. Their work can include sub-cloning techniques, transformation, protein purification and protein modeling as well as genetic/ environmental studies of their model organism. (Laboratory course)
Prerequisite: Student Research—Molecular Biology
PHYSICS: (one year)
This course provides a classical approach to the study of physics and covers mechanics, waves (which includes sound and light), electricity and magnetism and modern physics. The course strikes a balance between principles and concepts and the solution of problems. (Laboratory course)
ADVANCED PLACEMENT PHYSICS C: (one year)
This is a college Physics course taught in high school. It focuses principally on the Mechanics section of the Physics C curriculum. It serves as a foundation course for students interested in college majors involving physical sciences and engineering. The course is fast paced and covers material in depth. Emphasis is placed on problem solving, some requiring Calculus. (Laboratory course)
Prerequisite: Calculus or Co-requisite: AP Calculus
TOPICS IN SCIENCE: (one semester each)
These are one-semester courses (some are rotated over a two year period) and are open to juniors and seniors who have completed their basic two-year science graduation requirement. In each year we will try to offer one physical and one life science selection. The choices are:
Topics in Psychology (first semester) (offered every year)
Topics in Organic Chemistry (first semester)
Topics in Microbiology (second semester)
Topics in Astronomy (first semester)
Topics in Meteorology (second semester)
Topics in Forensic Science (not offered in 2013-14)
ADVANCED PLACEMENT PSYCHOLOGY: (second semester)
AP Psychology builds on the material from Topics in Psychology but accelerates the pace and prepares students for the National AP test in May. By the end of the year, students will cover the same material as a College Introduction to Psychology course.
Prerequisite: Topics in Psychology (first semester) and departmental approval.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: (one year)
This course surveys a variety of contemporary environmental issues (food, population, biodiversity, pollution, energy, etc.). It examines problems at the local, national, and international level and searches for solutions relating to science, politics and economics. (Laboratory course)
Prerequisite: Successful completion of ICP and Biology, or departmental approval.
LEVEL I: (one year)
In French, Spanish, and Latin students acquire a basic knowledge of the language, develop communicative skills, and are equipped to begin more advanced study.
LEVEL II: (one year)
In French, Spanish, and Latin continued emphasis is placed on communicative skills as students master new verb tenses (imperfect, future, and conditional). Use of audio-visual materials and computer-assisted instruction promote listening, speaking and writing skills. Latin students learn to manipulate the language more actively. Honors levels are available for the most able student.
LEVEL III: (one year)
In French, Spanish, and Latin students progress from textbook exercises and basal readers to authentic, abridged and full-length texts to practice reading comprehension and writing for communication skills. Honors Levels are available for the most able student.
In considering the next language course, a student’s best advice will come from his or her current teacher. There are many possible sequences of advanced language study available in French, Spanish and Latin. The sequence listed below should help in planning courses through grade 12. These sequences begin with Level III, not necessarily ninth grade.
French and Spanish Sequences:
Level III Level III Level IIIH Level IIIH Level IIIH
C&C C&C L&L L&L L&L
L&L FF/SCC AP Lang FF/SCC AP Lang
AP Lang. L&L AP Lit AP Lang FF/SCC
UPPER LEVEL FRENCH AND SPANISH
FRENCH OR SPANISH CONVERSATION AND CULTURE (C&C): (one year)
This course is geared for those students who have completed level 3 who are looking to solidify their understandings of basic concepts and broaden their knowledge of cultural and conversational topics.
FRENCH OR SPANISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE (L&L): (one year)
This course is open to those students who have excelled in level 3 or Conversation and Culture and who anticipate continuing on to the AP program. Expanded grammar study with an emphasis on more complex linguistic structures complements a tour of the Francophone or Hispanic world.
FRENCH THROUGH FILM (FF): (one year)
This course, which is open to students who have completed one year beyond level 3, can either lead to other courses or follow AP in the language sequence. Film will be the foundation of all work in this course.
HONORS SPANISH CONTEMPORARY CULTURE (SCC): (one year)
This course is for those who, on the approval of their teacher and upon successful completion of Conversation and Culture or Language and Literature, are looking to increase and perfect the ability to express themselves in spoken and written language. The emphasis is on precision, variety, and vocabulary acquisition through discussion of authentic cultural materials such as contemporary film, printed matter and the web. There is some grammar review. (The curriculum could be adapted for those who have completed AP Language.)
ADVANCED PLACEMENT LANGUAGE IN FRENCH OR SPANISH: (one year)
This course prepares students for the advanced placement examination in language.
Prerequisite: Either Language & Literature or teacher recommendation.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT SPANISH LITERATURE AND CULTURE: (one year)
The AP Literature and Culture course provides an introduction to the formal study of a representative body of Spanish, Latin American and American Hispanic literature from early anonymous works through the twentieth century. The course enables students to continue to develop proficiency in the full range of language skills, with emphasis on critical reading and analytical writing, while reflecting on historical, socio-cultural and geopolitical contexts. Course placement subject to teacher recommendation.
UPPER LEVEL LATIN
LATIN IV: (one year)
This Latin class is for those students who want to progress to reading authentic Latin at a moderate pace. Students will learn history and/or mythology through translating Latin authors, such as Livy and Ovid. Selections of Latin will be enriched by readings in English, deepening their understanding of the historical or mythological contexts. Assessments will include translations of prepared Latin, grammatical elements, content questions, and critical essays discussing either the Latin, the material read in English, or both.
HONORS LATIN LITERATURE—Elegy: (one year)
Honors Latin Literature is the fourth year Latin course, designed for the student who has mastered the fundamentals of vocabulary and syntax in Latin and who wants to apply those skills in the reading of authentic poetry and prose. In addition, students will learn to recognize and examine literary features in Latin literature. There are two versions of this course, which alternate each year. One course, Epic, focuses on selections of epic verse, while Elegy examines other types of poetry and/or prose, so students may take both versions without duplication. Selections will include such authors as Catullus, Ovid, Vergil (not the Aeneid), Horace, Martial, Cicero or Livy.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT LATIN: (one year)
Students in AP Latin will translate selections from the works of Vergil's Aeneid, following the prescribed AP curriculum. This intensive course enables the enthusiastic student to increase his/her fluency in translation and to consider the Latin as literature. In addition to analyzing the use of grammar and vocabulary, the course will encompass features of the relevant meters and figures of speech as well as the pertinent historical, mythological, and biographical information.
Level III Level III Level IIIH Level IIIH
Latin III Latin III Latin IIIH Lating IIIH
Latin IV Honors Latin Lit Honors Latin Lit Hon Latin Lit-Epic
Honors Latin Lit AP Latin AP Latin Hon Latin Lit-Elegy
JAPANESE I: (one year)
Students immediately begin learning introductory expressions and writing Hiragana, the first of three writing systems. Katakana writing is studied later, and by the end of the first year, students have learned several dozen Kanji characters, the last and most complicated of the writing systems. Students learn basic grammar and conversations surrounding their daily life. The cultural context and nuances of using Japanese, along with the appropriate social customs, is stressed. Asian geography is introduced and activities include calligraphy, origami (Japanese paper folding art), cooking, viewing a documentary film, and so on.
JAPANESE II: (one year)
Students begin to master the language by learning crucial grammar forms. Reading and writing continues exclusively in Japanese; students are now required to learn and use Kanji characters regularly. Each year, students progress in familiar activities such as calligraphy, cooking, and origami. New lessons include haiku poetry and the history of Manga (Japanese comics).
JAPANESE III: (one year)
Students are able to build on their two-year language foundation for more varied expressions and free form conversations. In addition, students are assigned one or two media projects.
HONORS JAPANESE IV: (one year)
Japanese IV is an honors intermediate-advanced course. The curriculum exposes students to using different levels of speaking (for example, using honorific or very humble terms for speaking). Reading and writing exercises are more aggressive, including biweekly journal writings. Students continue producing media projects and have more freedom choosing supplementary activities.
ARABIC I: (one year)
Arabic 1 offers the students an introduction to Arabic with a focus on reading, writing, speaking, listening, and a significant cultural component. Students acquire enough familiarity with Arabic language and culture to interact with Arabic-speakers at a basic level. As such, there is an initial emphasis on communication in either Egyptian or Syrian dialect, with a gradually increasing amount of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA). This course provides students with an elementary understanding of the different uses of dialects/MSA as well as an introduction to Arab culture. It is designed for students who have never studied Arabic before and begins with an introduction to Arabic sounds and letters. The teaching and learning emphasizes the functional use of Arabic and communication in context by means of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students end the course with greater curiosity and cultural sensitivity towards the Arabic-speaking world.
ARABIC II: (one year)
Arabic 2 is a direct continuation of Arabic I. After a brief review of the previous year's material, students will continue to incorporate elements of the previously learned dialect, as well as begin to compare elements of other dialects. The focus will continue to shift more heavily to Modern Standard Arabic through a variety of sources. Greater emphasis will be placed on the skills learned in Arabic 1.
ARABIC III: (one year)
Arabic 3 expands the work begun in Arabic 1 and 2. After reviewing material covered in the previous two years, students will complete the college textbook begun in Arabic 1, increasing their substantial vocabulary and grammatical knowledge. In the second semester, we will move into portions of the second book in the series, which presents longer reading segments on historical topics. This will be paired with continued cultural connections and comparisons on historic events and figures as well as current events. Increasing emphasis will be placed on independent oral presentations and written compositions.
ACTING: (one year)
This class introduces students to the study of acting and is open to all students regardless of previous performing experience. Students begin the year focusing on individual performing and move to partner work in the second semester. Throughout the year the class works together during exercises, in rehearsals for assigned performances, and as they critique their own and each other’s work. Major areas of emphasis include fundamental physical and vocal performing skills, specific techniques such as learning an accent and stage combat, improvisation, delivering monologues, and scene study. Some assignments involve writing, reading, and memorizing, but much of this work can be completed in class and the course is chiefly “hands-on,” with students expected to participate daily.
ADVANCED ACTING/IMPROVISATION: (one year)
This course will focus on improvisation skills, including Theatresports, competitive theater games using audience suggestions, as well as more collaborative approaches. Rather than using improvisation as a means to creating a more polished performance or piece, the course will focus on improvisation as an end in itself. Students will assess and critique their own work as well as that of professional performers.
Prerequisite: Acting or instructor approval
ADVANCED ACTING/SOLO PERFORMANCE: (Will be offered in 2014-15)
ADVANCED ACTING/SCENE STUDY: (Will be offered in 2015-16)
ORCHESTRA: (one year, 1/2 credit)
The Orchestra is open to string players who have developed necessary technical and sight-reading skills. The students perform repertoire that is selected from a variety of periods and styles. The orchestra meets three times in the seven-day cycle, and performs in two orchestra concerts during the school year.
STRING ENSEMBLE (with Orchestra, one year)
This course is designed as a small string ensemble. Students will have the opportunity to explore the music composed for different combinations of instruments in the string family. A variety of music will be studied and performed, ranging from the baroque period to the twentieth century.
Prerequisite: Enrollment in Orchestra, and the approval of the instructor.
CHAMBER ORCHESTRA: (one year)
Chamber Orchestra is open to students who play a string instrument on an intermediate to advanced level. Repertoire is selected from Baroque, Classical and Romantic orchestral and chamber music and modern compositions.
Prerequisite: Approval of the instructor via audition, and minimum of four years playing a string instrument.
CONCERT BAND: (one year, 1/2 credit)
Concert Band is open to any student who plays a woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument. Guitar and bass are not suitable for this ensemble. The ensemble meets three times within a seven-day cycle. The repertoire will consist of traditional concert band literature.
BRASS ENSEMBLE (one year)
Brass Ensemble consists of French horn, trumpet, trombone, and tuba. This ensemble will explore the unique sounds of the brass family. There will be a variety of music studied and performed, ranging from classical to modern. Students will learn how to work within a smaller ensemble.
Prerequisite: Minimum of three years playing a brass instrument and/or the approval of the instructor through an audition.
SAXOPHONE ENSEMBLE: (one year)
Saxophone Ensemble is open to students who presently play soprano, alto, tenor, or baritone saxophone. This course is performance based. Repertoire includes classical, jazz, and contemporary styles. Basic music theory and the history of wind instruments is included in this curriculum.
Prerequisite: Approval of the instructor; student must demonstrate a high interest and basic proficiency on the saxophone.
WOMEN’S CHOIR: (one year, 1/2 credit)
This ensemble is for female students who enjoy singing and can match pitch. The students learn and perform vocal music of many styles and periods. They learn and apply vocal technique to performance in order to develop tone quality and tonal memory. Students in Women’s Choir must be in this ensemble for two years to receive one credit. This course meets three times within a seven-day cycle.
MEN’S CHOIR: (one year, 1/2 credit)
This ensemble is for male students who enjoy singing and can match pitch. The students learn and perform vocal music of many styles and periods. They learn and apply vocal technique to performance in order to develop tone quality and tonal memory. Students in Men’s Choir must be in this ensemble for two years to receive one credit. This course meets three times within a seven-day cycle.
THE BROADWAY EXPERIENCE (with Women’s Choir, one year)
This course is designed for female students, who enjoy singing and want to learn music from Broadway Musicals. Singing techniques and styles will be dealt with in songs for solos and/or groups, depending upon the makeup of the class. Students will also study well-known Broadway performers and scenes from Musicals to aid in learning performance styles and techniques.
Co-requisite: Enrollment in Women’s Choir and approval of the instructor.
BARBERSHOP AND DOO-WOP (with Men’s Choir, one year)
This course is designed for male students who enjoy singing and want to learn and perform music arranged and designed strictly for male quartets in barbershop and 50”s doo-wop styles. Performances will include choreography created by the students. Students will study groups and performers within these genres and apply techniques and ideas to performance both in and outside the school community.
Co-requisite: Enrollment in Men’s Choir and approval of the instructor.
WOMEN’S VOCAL CHAMBER ENSEMBLE: (one year)
This group is open to any female singer with experience singing in a chamber ensemble. The repertoire consists mostly of classical choral music along with some world, folk and light contemporary pieces. During each class, students have the opportunity to enhance their vocal technique, performance and musicianship skills with special emphasis placed on individual responsibility to the section during rehearsals and performances. This ensemble may provide both solo, as well as ensemble performance opportunities outside of the school day. Admission into the class is with the approval of the instructor.
MUSIC THEORY: (one year)
Expanding upon elements of music reading and writing first encountered in performance ensembles (Band, Choir and Orchestra) Music Theory will focus on strengthening your grasp of how to interpret the written page of music. During the course students will systematically work through the music reading and writing basics of intervals, scales, chords, harmony, rhythm, ear training, dictation and composition.
DRAWING AND DESIGN: (one year)
This class introduces the students to basic concepts of design using a variety of media such as pencil, ink, conte crayon, pastel and charcoal. The focus of this course is placed on learning to "see" in order to accurately and realistically draw from observation. Course work will also emphasize learning the compositional elements that make up a successful work of art in addition to learning the purpose of critique as a tool.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE: (one year)
Using technology and traditional art materials in the design studio, students will learn to design in 2D and 3D. They will develop a visual vocabulary and an awareness of aesthetic issues. The first semester covers the design elements of Line, Shape/Volume, Pattern/Texture, and Illusion of Space. Some of the materials used are digital painting, pens, pencils, model building materials, found objects and ink block printing. In the second semester students design a 2,500 square foot green dream home and learn to draw floor plans and elevations. Then they build a scale model of their house from foam board.
ARCHITECTURE II: (one year)
As a continuation of Art and Architecture, students will advance their understanding of three-dimensional design. 3D rendering on the computer will be emphasized and further model building techniques in the design studio will also be explored. Research materials and documents will be studied to develop a strong visual vocabulary through out the course. This class will investigate options for sustainable materials with each design problem.
PHOTOGRAPHY I: (one year)
Non-Digital and Digital Camera Requirements: Digital Nikon SLR camera
Students will learn all of the basic techniques involved in both camera usage and darkroom print production. Photo I students will shoot a variety of subject matters, develop negatives and print photographs from them. They will incorporate many traditional photographic techniques in order to create the best versions of the images. Study of the masters and reflection of classroom work are substantial components of this introductory course. Students will continue to practice fundamentals in the digital environment. Basic (digital) camera usage and post-production will reflect earlier lessons. Open to 10th – 12th grades.
PHOTOGRAPHY II: (first semester)
Digital Camera Requirements: Digital SLR camera
Students will continue using the same camera techniques from Photo I as they explore concepts of design. Symmetry, balance and harmony are major topics discussed throughout the semester course. Study of the masters and reflection of classroom work are substantial components of this intermediate level course.
Prerequisite: Photography I
PHOTOGRAPHY III: (second semester)
Digital Camera Requirements: Digital SLR camera
Students learn how to create diptychs, using the camera to manufacture two-panel artworks. Design lessons from Photo II are further explored, while conceptual art becomes a major focus. Study of the masters and reflection of classroom work are substantial components of this intermediate level course.
Prerequisite: Photography II
PHOTOGRAPHY IV: (first semester)
Digital Camera Requirements: Digital SLR camera
During this third year of creating provocative compositions, students learn how to compose a meaningful serial time-based photo essay. Students will explore traditional documentary as well as experimental recording. Study of the masters and reflection of classroom work are substantial components of this intermediate level course.
Prerequisite: Photography III
PHOTOGRAPHY V: (second semester)
Digital Camera Requirements: Digital SLR camera
Seasoned photography students weave together all the lessons learned in previous photo classes to create single frame ‘masterpieces.’ While working from identical written assignments, students enjoy an independent atmosphere and pace. They receive individual coaching and develop unique bodies of work. A group critique of each student’s work is an important component, as is study of today’s newest professional talent.
Prerequisite: Photography IV
CERAMICS I: (one year)
This is an introductory course covering the basic methods of clay work such as coil pots, tiles and functional vessels created on the electric wheel. We will cover some of the history of ceramics along with technical information regarding glazing and firing processes.
CERAMICS II AND III: (first semester/second semester)
These courses further develop the techniques and concepts of the introductory course.
Prerequisite: Ceramics I and departmental approval
CERAMICS IV AND V: (first semester /second semester)
These courses provide an opportunity for students who have completed Ceramics III to use skills already learned and to develop independent projects. Students are introduced to basic glaze chemistry. As advanced students, they have the opportunity in this class to prepare slides for college applications.
Prerequisite: Ceramics III and departmental approval
ADVANCED SENIOR CERAMICS: (one year)
This is a class for advanced students to explore aspects of working with clay and glazes and to learn about different firing methods. A slide portfolio will be put together for college application. Students will develop independent projects in collaboration with the instructor.
Prerequisite: Ceramics V and departmental approval
ADVANCED DRAWING: (one year)
A natural extension of Drawing & Design, Advanced Drawing will introduce the concept of series development within a body of work while providing a greater opportunity for experimentation with a variety of media, both traditional and non-traditional. Students will explore new modes of expression and hone their visual understanding of recorded and invented space.
Prerequisite: Drawing and Design
INTRODUCTION TO PAINTING: (Will be offered in 2014-15)
CRITIQUE AND PRODUCTION I: (one year)
This course is for the advanced student interested in challenging both his/her skills and creative process. Building upon concepts introduced at the introductory level, students will push their creative self-expression to new levels. Work may be focused for college submission which is advantageous for both art and non-art majors. Course work will be developed in collaboration with instructor.
Prerequisite: Drawing and Design & any other full year of art class.
CRITIQUE AND PRODUCTION II: (one year)
This course is for the artist-student who has successfully completed Critique and Production I for advanced art students. Students will pursue and sustain individual projects with assistance from the instructor. Creative exploration is encouraged and fostered through a variety of self-directed independent work. Critical writing skills will be developed and honed over the course of the year in addition to further developing and honing critical speaking skills. Students are expected to independently visit museums and/or galleries. Work will be carried out in a variety of media and disciplines as determined by the individual student.
Prerequisite: Critique and Production I
COMPUTER DESIGN for PRINT and WEB: (one year)
This is a studio lab course that explores the basic concepts and techniques of graphic communication as well as the aesthetic aspects of creating web pages. Students will develop a foundation for designing graphic images. This will include typography, layout, image editing, and page design. Creative problem solving, experimentation and refinement of production skills will be emphasized. Students will gain proficiency in Adobe software programs, InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver. The web design phase of the class will build basic skills in creating animations in Flash. They will also learn how to make more complex and artistic web sites by applying principles of design to web authoring.
MULTIMEDIA DESIGN: (one year)
Multimedia explores the basic concepts and techniques of multilevel communication using text, graphics, sound, animation and video. Students will develop skills in aesthetic, informational, and technical design. Creative problem solving, experimentation, and refinement of technical skills will be emphasized. Students will gain proficiency in the software programs Macromedia Director and Adobe Photoshop, along with a working knowledge of video and music editing software.
INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER SCIENCE: (one year)
This introductory course in computer science focuses on the basic concepts in computing using Java2. The course comprises classroom instruction and lab exercises. The instructional portion of the course will demonstrate key concepts using a “live-code” and “hands-on” approach. Students will use these concepts in order to develop interactive applications and applets in the lab.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT COMPUTER SCIENCE: (one year)
AP Computer Science provides students with a foundation in object-oriented programming to prepare students for the AP exam. The class comprises classroom instruction and lab exercises. Topics include data structures, control structures, algorithms, arrays, and recursion. The class is based on the Java2 programming language.
Prerequisite: Introduction to Computer Science
ADVANCED SOFTWARE DESIGN: (one year)
This elective course focuses primarily on developing iPhone applications (apps) for the Rutgers Prep’s PK-12 community: Lower, Middle, and Upper School students, parents, and prospective families. This serves as a form of School pride and is a great way to give back to our community. Students will write new apps individually and in groups, and contribute to the development, maintenance, and improvement of existing apps on a year-to-year basis. Students will collaborate with the Art Department when designing user interfaces. If time permits, the goal will be to write these apps on the Android platform as well. All materials will be provided but students are strongly advised to have a Mac laptop.
Prerequisite: Introduction to Computer Science or departmental approval
HEALTH AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION
Grade 9: Human Sexuality for grade 9 is a factual and informational class on the male and female anatomy. Subjects discussed are birth control, pregnancy, abortion, venereal disease and AIDS.
Grade 10: Drivers Education is offered to all 10th graders. This course is designed specifically to prepare the student to take the New Jersey written test.
Grade 11: Junior Health is designed to provide students the opportunity to openly discuss and write about topics focusing predominately upon one’s, mental and emotional health. A major objective of this course is for students to identify their own value systems while recognizing and respecting the different values systems of others. Topics addressed include, but are not limited to: coping with stress, depression, sexual attitudes, suicide prevention and chemical dependence.
Grade 12: SENIOR TRANSITIONS: (second semester)
This is a required series of meetings for second semester seniors who are evaluated on a pass / fail basis. They will focus on issues related to leaving home and entering college. Large-group meetings will be interspersed with smaller groups so students have the opportunity to raise issues that are important to them. Prep faculty, Prep alumni and outside speakers will be part of this series.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION (Grades 9-11):
The Physical Education curriculum includes Lifetime Activities, Team Sports and Conditioning. Each student participates in a unit in each category each year. Evaluation is pass/fail based on preparation (appropriate dress) for class and participation.
FRESHMAN RESEARCH: (one year—Grade 9 only)
Each ninth-grade student has Freshman Research once in a seven-day cycle. The purpose of the class is to help students succeed academically. They learn how to use the print and digital resources provided by the RPS Library including the library catalog and subscription databases, as well as the NJ Statewide Interlibrary Loan System. Students are guided through projects like the science article notebook and research papers.
PEER LEADERSHIP: (one year—Grade 9 only)
The overall purpose of this course is to help make the transition into high school a positive experience for all 9th grade students. Freshmen are required to participate in the program during the school year. In small groups led by trained senior leaders, students discuss many of the concerns facing high school students today. With an emphasis on decision-making skills, students examine such issues as their roles as adolescents, peer pressures, academic concerns, relationships, and decisions regarding sex, drug and alcohol use.
INTERPERSONAL AND GROUP DYNAMICS / PEER LEADERSHIP LAB: (one year—Grade 12 only)
This course for seniors only focuses on the theories and techniques of interpersonal communication, active listening, group dynamics, and student leadership development. Students will develop the interpersonal awareness, problem-solving ability, and sensitivity to become effective peer leaders. Students will apply the theory and techniques learned in class when they lead small groups of Freshmen in the Peer Leadership course, which is designed to provide ninth grade students with a safe environment where they can discuss topics of general concern to high school freshmen, as well as issues particular to RPS, and where they can refine social skills and build relationships with peers.
Juniors meet once in each seven-day cycle for the fourth quarter. The seminar provides an introduction to the college search and admission process. Students will develop preliminary college lists, design a resume of achievements and activities and begin to learn about the application process.
Seniors meet once in each seven-day cycle for the first semester. The seminar is designed to provide guidance through the college application process. Through class activities students will be given broad and detailed information about college application procedures and strategies for a strong application. Students will receive advice and tips on how to write a college essay and tips on a college interview.
This is the capstone experience to the senior year. Each senior selects from a menu of “Explorations” offered by RPS faculty members and participates in one between Senior Exams and Commencement. Explorations are varied in terms of time commitment, location, and cost, in order to provide a range of experiences to suit students’ particular needs and ambitions. Past offerings have included: exploring improvisation in art, math and poetry in New York City; working for the Nature Conservancy on Block Island; learning culinary arts at a local cooking school; exploring the business of Major League Baseball; learning to sail and race sailboats on the Tom’s River; exploring the culture and history of Montreal, Canada; and teaching computer skills to orphaned children in Panama in partnership with the Orphaned Starfish Foundation.