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Curriculum & Courses

Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), students in the middle and high school programs fill their schedules with a combination of core and elective courses.

Middle School

Middle school courses in grades 6-8 are similar to those taught in schools across the Bay Area. Our middle school curriculum is aimed at building academic self-confidence and fostering independence in preparation for high school. Students take core courses in language arts, social studies, science, and math. They can also choose to take world language electives like French and Spanish.

Course Offerings

MIDDLE SCHOOL HISTORY

Grade 5 - U.S. History
In fifth grade, students build on their knowledge of United States history and geography by examining the indigenous history of North America, motivations behind and consequences of European global expansion, indigenous and European interactions, the establishment of colonies in North America, the lives of enslaved people and the development of a system of slavery, the Revolutionary War, and the formation of and continued immigration to the U.S.. Students grapple with questions related to historical significance by examining a variety of primary sources through the lens of a variety of historical groups.
Grade 6 - World History
In 6th grade, students build their knowledge of world history, from the Neolithic Revolution through the Middle Ages. Students explore the lives, struggles, and accomplishments of people living in these time periods. Additionally, students study how social, economic, and political structures developed, as well as the establishment and spread of ideas that helped transform the world.
Grade 7 - World History and Geography: Medieval and Early Modern Times
In 7th grade, students continue to build upon their knowledge of world history by picking up where they left off at the end of the 6th grade social studies core course. Students focus on Medieval and Early Modern times through the Renaissance and Enlightenment.
Grade 8 - U.S. History
In 8th grade, students expand on their content knowledge from 5th grade history as they continue in their study of U.S. history, from the peopling of North America through the Reconstruction Era. They analyze primary and secondary sources, and build upon previously acquired historical thinking skills to better understand historical chronology, causality, events and processes, bias, and learn how to apply their analytical skills to an examination of the past.

MIDDLE SCHOOL SCIENCE

Grade 6: Earth Science
In this course, students will study plate tectonics and earthquakes, as well as other forces that shape the surface of the Earth. They will discover underlying causes of earthquakes, thermal heat, and other aspects of energy present in the Earth system. This course also previews ecology, and imparts basic techniques for scientific research and investigation. At the completion of this course, students will be prepared to complete the 7th grade Life Science class.
Grade 7: Life Science
In this course, students will study cell biology, genetics, evolution, earth sciences, structure and function in living systems, and physical sciences. Students will further their understanding of the scientific process and the role of a scientist. Students will improve their technical reading skills. This course prepares students for high school biology.
Grade 8: Physical Science
In this course, students will study motion, forces, and the basic structure of matter. Students will also study elements and the periodic table; atoms and bonding; chemical reactions; acids, bases, and solutions; carbon, chemistry; the Earth, Moon, and Sun; and space and the solar system. Students will continue to build upon their technical reading skills. This course prepares students for a high school physics course.

MIDDLE SCHOOL ENGLISH

English 5
In 5th grade ELA, students utilize their prior knowledge of the relationships between words, along with the etymology of such words, to continue to build on their vocabulary. They develop in their ability to use historical and literary context clues to discern the meaning of new vocabulary words. Students examine how various texts are structured, organized, and the purpose behind them in order to identify and work with the essential ideas, arguments, and perspectives presented in their readings. They learn how to clarify certain concepts and work on drawing connections between texts. They develop their writing by really honing in on each step of the writing process in order to produce clear and focused essays.
English 6
Students continue building on their word recognition, reading analysis, and writing skills in the 6th grade ELA course. They increasingly expand their lexicon and learn how to identify various meanings (implied and explicit) in a variety of texts they read. They learn how to analyze texts using evidence to support their claims and develop their writing skills by engaging in persuasive, expository, narrative, and descriptive writing.
English 7
Students in 7th grade ELA examine writing techniques authors use to influence the reader and accomplish their purpose, such as cause and effect, figures of speech, sounds, point of view, and irony. They analyze the use of complex elements of plot, such as conflict, resolution, and cause and effect relationships. They identify and describe how personal experiences, values, and perspectives shaped by factors like age, gender, race, and class influence texts. Students make connections between their own lives and the characters, events, motives, and causes of conflict in texts. They understand and apply the steps to clear, logical writing including pre-writing, drafting, and revising. Additionally, 7th grade ELA students use language and perspectives of literary criticism to evaluate literary works, identify the basic rules of grammar, build vocabulary, continue to work on using context clues to find the meanings of words they do not know, and gain an understanding of the MLA writing and citation style.
English 8
8th grade ELA students use knowledge gained from their 7th grade ELA course in order to further their abilities in analyzing texts, drawing connections between readings, forming coherent thesis statements, and writing effectively by practicing the different steps in the essay writing process. Students are introduced to more complex language, analyzing idioms, analogies, metaphors, and similes in order to understand literal and figurative styles of writing. They apply their knowledge of text structure and purpose to identify and elaborate on essential ideas, arguments, and perspectives. They draw on their knowledge of history and the social sciences in order to read, evaluate, and compare various works of literature. Additionally, students develop their understanding of audience and purpose in their own writing and continue to learn how to clearly express themselves in both speech and writing.

MIDDLE SCHOOL MATHEMATICS

Math 5
The primary objective of this course is to prepare students for 6th grade math. Students in 5th grade math will use operations and algebraic thinking in order to write and interpret numerical expressions, including those with parentheses and brackets. Students express numbers less than 50 in terms of prime factorization, generate ordered pairs of numbers, and plot the coordinate pairs on a plane. They study numbers in base 10 by recognizing and explaining the relative values of digit places in multi-digit numbers, practice moving the decimal place when multiplying and dividing by powers of ten, and work with decimals in the hundredths and thousandths. Students expand on their knowledge of fractions in 5th grade by adding and subtracting fractions in expressions and word problems, interpreting fractions as expressions of division using visual models and scaling, and solve real-world problems involving multiplication of fractions and mixed numbers. Measurement and data will be used by students to convert between standard measures in a given measurement system and apply these conversions to multi-step problem solving. Students will represent and interpret data presented as line plots with fractional unit measures, as well as compare different measures represented by line plots. They will understand concepts of volume and relate volume to multiplication and division. Students also use geometry skills to graph points on a number plane to solve mathematical and real-world problems.
Math 6
The primary objective of this course is to prepare students for 7th grade math or pre-algebra. Students study ratios and proportional relationships by gaining an understanding of the concept of ratios and using ratio reasoning to solve problems. Students tackle the number system in greater depth by applying and extending multiplication and division to expressions and equations involving multiple fractions. Students compute multi-digit numbers and find common factors and multiples. They extend their understanding of numbers to the system of rational numbers. In terms of expressions and equations, students apply an understanding of arithmetic to algebraic expressions, and solve one-variable equations and inequalities. Students represent and analyze quantitative relationships between dependent and independent variables. They apply their knowledge of geometry to solve mathematical and real-world problems involving area, surface area, and volume. In 6th grade math, students also use statistical analysis to explore probability. They develop an understanding of statistical variability, as well as summarize and describe distributions.
Math 7 (Pre-Algebra)
In this course, students develop sound mathematical skills and study habits by showing all their work and continuing to build a strong foundation for success in subsequent math courses. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to solve for variables in equations and inequalities; work with decimals, fractions, and exponents; use ratios, proportions, and percents to solve problems; graph linear functions; solve for area and volume; and analyze data.
In accordance with California state standards, course topics are linked to three critical areas: (1) formulating and reasoning about expressions and equations, including modeling an association in bivariate data with a linear equation, and solving linear equations and systems of linear equations; (2) grasping the concept of a function and using functions to describe quantitative relationships; and (3) analyzing two- and three-dimensional space and figures using distance, angle, similarity, and congruence, and understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem.
Algebra 1
In this course, students will learn the foundational algebraic concepts that will help to formalize and extend their mathematical skills acquired in the middle grades. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to perform basic operations with integers and rational numbers; solve equations, inequalities and word problems; perform operations with monomials and polynomials; factor polynomials; simplify rational expressions; graph linear equations and determine slope; identify x- and y-intercepts; and solve systems of linear, radical, and quadratic equations.

In accordance with California state standards, four critical areas of learning are highlighted in Algebra I: (1) deepen and extend understanding of linear and exponential relationships; (2) contrast linear and exponential relationships with each other and engage in methods for analyzing, solving, and using quadratic functions; (3) extend the laws of exponents to square and cube roots; and (4) apply linear models to data that exhibit a linear trend.

Geometry
In this course, students explore more complex geometric situations and deepen their explanations of geometric relationships and transformations by presenting and listening to formal mathematical arguments. The focus in geometry centers around an in-depth analysis of plane, solid, and coordinate geometry as they relate to both abstract mathematical concepts as well as real-world problems. Students also study logic and proofs, parallel lines and polygons, perimeter and area analysis, volume and surface area analysis, similarity and congruence, trigonometry, and analytic geometry. The emphasis is placed on developing critical thinking skills as students relate those to logical reasoning and argument. Students will be required to use different technological tools and manipulatives to discover and explain much of the course content.

MIDDLE SCHOOL LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH (LOTE)

Spanish 1A
Spanish 1A is the first in a two-part series designed to initially expose middle school students to Spanish and kickstart their language study. Students learn how to use the Spanish alphabet, subject pronouns, the infinitive and conjugated forms of verbs, ir/regular verbs, in/definite articles, noun-adjective agreement, verb tenses, possessive adjectives, comparatives, stem-changing verbs, and direct object pronouns. Additionally, students are introduced to vocabulary like greetings, introductions, numbers, dates, days of the week, classroom objects, food, time, descriptions, expressions, family, clothing, shopping, places, and events.
Spanish 1B
Spanish 1B is the second in a two-part series designed for middle school students to gain a basic command of the Spanish language prior to high school. Students first review and practice what they learned in Spanish 1A before delving into new material. They study a variety of new grammar concepts, such as ordinal numbers, more irregular verbs, and the preterite tense, as they learn about Spanish-speaking cultures in Latin America. New vocabulary centers around household items, chores, planning a party, sports, a review of numbers, parts of the body, talking about when events occur, sending emails, making phone calls, and places of interest.
French 1A
French 1A is the first in a two-part series designed to initially expose middle school students to French and kickstart their language study. Students learn to use basic grammar, such as verb conjugations and definite articles, as well as vocabulary used in different contexts, like at restaurants, in order to express themselves. They develop their knowledge of the French language through listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Additionally, students gain an understanding and appreciation of the geography, history, and culture of various French-speaking regions.
French 1B
French 1B is the second in a two-part series designed for middle school students to gain a basic command of the French language prior to high school. Students first review and practice what they learned in French 1A before delving into new material. They study a variety of new grammar concepts, such as possessive adjectives, adjective agreement, more nasal sounds, indefinite articles, glides, more vowel sounds, and the perfect tense. New vocabulary centers around various real-life situations, including family and identifying people; describing and characterizing people; asking for, giving, and refusing permission; chores; and items at the market, to name a few.

High School

We provide students with UC/CSU-approved (A-G) college preparatory courses and more than 70 NCAA-approved classes in all subjects. High schoolers heading to college choose from a robust course list to prepare for post-secondary education rigors and meet eligibility requirements. Students planning to go to trade schools or into the workforce engage in academic preparation that exceeds state standards.

Course Offerings*

HISTORY/SOCIAL STUDIES

Modern World History*
Students study world history to provide a foundation for future studies and an understanding of the world today. This course highlights not only political events, but also cultural, religious and economic developments that demonstrate how change and continuity over time have shaped modern societies around the world. Students learn the art of making connections between the past and present as well as different world regions from one time period to the next. By understanding the origin, development, and decline of influential civilizations, and by investigating interactions between societies, students are well-prepared to understand current events. Skills emphasized in this course include the fundamentals of world geography, participation in class discussions with their teacher, analyzing primary and secondary sources, writing strategies, and research and critical thinking skills. Students will examine themes like the late Renaissance, the rise and fall of empires in Asia and Europe, colonial expansion in Latin America, cultural interaction and trade across the Atlantic, industrialization, imperialism, decolonization, and the formation of a global society in the twentieth century.
U.S. History*
United States History and Geography begins with the establishment of European colonies in North America and then traces the nation's history from post-Civil War to the present. Students examine the beliefs and philosophies that informed the American Revolution and the subsequent formation of the government and political system, then evaluate the attempts to bind the nation together during Reconstruction while simultaneously exploring the growth of an industrial economy. Moving into the 20th and 21st centuries, students probe the economic and diplomatic interactions between the United States and other world players while investigating how the world wars, the Cold War, and the "information revolution" affected the lives of ordinary Americans.

In U.S. History Honors, students trace the nation's history from the precolonial period to the present. They perfect their ability to use logic and evidence to create persuasive written arguments in essays, two independent research projects, and shorter exercises such as document-based questions and analytic discussions.
U.S. Government and Politics*
In U.S. Government and Politics, students examine the history, principles, and function of the political system established by the U.S. Constitution. Starting with a basic introduction to the role of government in society and the philosophies at the heart of American democracy, this course provides students with the knowledge needed to become informed and empowered participants in the U.S. political system.

For U.S. Government and Politics Honors students, the course culminates with a multipart independent research project focused on a topic of their choice.
Western Civilization
In Western Civilization, students survey the history of the “West” from the early modern era through the contemporary period. Students learn about and analyze the effects of the Renaissance and the Reformation, the reasons behind European expansion, the importance of Muslim expansion, power exercised by absolute monarchs, the role of the Enlightenment, consequences of the French Revolution, and the rise of nationalism. Students move on to study the Industrial Revolution and trace the effects of European imperialism in the Americas, Africa, and Asia. They examine the roles that nationalism, militarism, and propaganda played in causing the First and Second World Wars. They work to understand the Cold War period, independence movements in nations colonized by Europeans, and explore the many facets of the modern world.
AP U.S. Government and Politics
The equivalent of an introductory college-level course, students in AP U.S. Government and Politics study the operations and structure of the U.S. government as well as the behavior of the electorate and politicians. Students gain the analytic perspective necessary to critically evaluate political data, hypotheses, concepts, opinions, and processes. Along the way, students develop their own theoretical analysis of American politics as they analyze relationships between political, social, and economic institutions.
AP U.S. History
In AP U.S. History, students investigate the development of American economics, politics, and culture from c. 1491 to the present through historical analysis grounded in primary sources, research, and writing. Within each time period, students explore larger themes and topics such as American and national identity; work, exchange, and technology; geography and the environment; migration and settlement; politics and power; America in the world; American and regional culture; and social structures. The equivalent of an introductory college-level course, AP U.S. History prepares students for further study in history, political science, economics, sociology, and law.
AP World History: Modern
In this course, students examine social, economic, political, and cultural trends from 1200 to the present. Students use comparison, causation, and continuity, in addition to change over time, in order to develop historical arguments and make connections. Throughout the course, students explore six broad themes: humans and the environment, cultural developments and interactions, governance, economic systems, social interactions and organization, and technology and innovation.
AP European History
In AP European History, students investigate significant events, developments, and processes from approximately 1450 to the present. Students learn how to use the same skills, practices and methods employed by historians: analyzing primary and secondary sources; developing historical arguments; making historical connections; and utilizing reasoning about comparison, causation, and continuity and change over time. Students explore seven broad themes throughout the course in order to make connections among historical developments in different times and places: the interaction of Europe and the world, economic and commercial development, cultural and intellectual developments, state and other institutions of power, social organization and development, national and European identity, and technological and scientific innovations.
Government Honors
Government Honors is a semester-long course that focuses on American democracy, the Constitution, the three branches of government, the rights of citizens in a democracy, and various political systems throughout time. Students gain a better understanding of and appreciation for an engaged citizenry. Students develop an ability to robustly analyze the processes, policies, strengths, weaknesses, and critiques behind the different facets of government in the United States. Students who plan to pursue political science in college and/or those with a high level of interest in the American political system are encouraged to enroll in this class.

MATHEMATICS

Algebra Foundations
This course will emphasize practice and mastery of fundamental skills crucial for Algebra 1 applications. Students who may struggle with the expectations of Algebra 1 due to foundational skills that need practice, such as combining integers and multiplication facts, will experience a rigorous spiraled layout of basic skills combined with Algebra 1 Common Core standard-based applications. Students focus on evaluating expressions, solving equations, graphing linear functions, factoring and solving quadratic equations, and specific applications designed to engage students with realistic and relevant topics and skills for college and career readiness. Writing and explaining the steps used to address problems and situations will be a critical aim of each unit, themed by overall content and application focus. Basic skills will be re-taught upon introduction to requisite units and spiraled during consecutive units to engage and hone the tools for success. This two-semester course is designed to prepare students for Algebra 1.
Algebra I
Algebra I builds students' command of linear, quadratic, and exponential relationships. Students learn through discovery and application, developing the skills they need to break down complex challenges and demonstrate their knowledge in new situations. Course topics include problem-solving with basic equations and formulas, an introduction to functions and problem solving, linear equations and systems of linear equations, exponents and exponential functions, sequences and functions, descriptive statistics, polynomials and factoring, quadratic equations and functions, and function transformations and inverses.
Geometry
Geometry builds upon students' command of geometric relationships and formulating mathematical arguments. Course topics include reasoning, proof, and the creation of sound mathematical arguments; points, lines, and angles; triangles and trigonometry; quadrilaterals and other polygons; circles; congruence, similarity, transformations, and constructions; coordinate geometry; three-dimensional solids; and applications of probability. 
Algebra II
Algebra II introduces students to advanced functions, with a focus on developing a strong conceptual grasp of the expressions that define those functions. Course topics include quadratic equations and functions, polynomial functions, rational expressions and functions, radical expressions and functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, trigonometric functions, modeling with functions, probability and inferential statistics, probability distributions, and sampling distributions and confidence intervals.
Explorations in Data Science
Course Description coming soon
Finite Math and Trigonometry
Finite Math and Trigonometry prepares students to be successful in precalculus, statistics, and calculus courses. Students examine topics like trigonometric identities, graphing advanced functions, modeling with linear and nonlinear functions, conic sections, the polar coordinate system, parametric equations, and logarithms. Students learn how to use their problem-solving skills to find solutions to real-world issues.
Precalculus*
In Precalculus, students use their knowledge of algebra, geometry, and functions to prepare them to study calculus. Topics include linear, quadratic, exponential, logarithmic, radical, polynomial, and rational functions; systems of equations; and conic sections. Additionally, students learn how to calculate and use trigonometric ratios and functions; inverse trigonometric functions; applications of trigonometry, including vectors and laws of cosine and sine; polar functions and notation; and arithmetic of complex numbers.

The PreCalculus Honors course is designed primarily for students who intend to enroll in AP Calculus AB or BC. The California State standards for mathematical analysis provide a fundamental basis for the course; however, the Honors course is distinguished from its non-Honors counterpart by involving substantially more rigor and more abstract, theoretically-based treatment of the course material.

Statistics and Probability
In Statistics and Probability, students learn key data analysis and probabilistic concepts, calculations, and relevance to real-world applications. They are challenged to work toward mastery of computational skills, apply calculators and other technology in data analysis, deepen their understanding of key ideas and solution strategies, and extend their knowledge through a variety of problem-solving applications. Course topics include types of data, common methods used to collect data, and representations of data, including histograms, bar graphs, box plots, and scatterplots. Students analyze and employ methods of extending results, involving samples and populations, distributions, summary statistics, experimental design, regression analysis, simulations, and confidence intervals.
Calculus
In Calculus, students primarily focus on the definition and interpretation of limits, continuity, differentiation, and integration. They calculate and employ derivative formulas in order to find the derivatives of algebraic, trigonometric, inverse trigonometric, exponential, and logarithmic functions. Students prove and use theorems, sketch graphs, evaluate functions, and use graphical calculators to verify results. They utilize definite integrals in problems involving area, velocity, acceleration, volume of a solid, area of a surface of revolution. Application-level learning, based on Rolle’s Theorem, Mean value Theorem, L’Hôpital’s rule, Newton’s method, higher order derivatives, and Riemann Sum, also comprises the Calculus curriculum.
AP Computer Science A
In AP Computer Science A, the equivalent of an introductory college course, students study the programming language, Java, as well as other coding concepts. They work to solve problems and perform tasks based on their design of computer programs. Students determine algorithms and writing code in order to successfully execute the programs, finding and correcting errors as necessary.
AP Statistics
The equivalent of an introductory college-level course, AP Statistics gives students hands-on experience collecting, analyzing, graphing, and interpreting real-world data. They will learn to effectively design and analyze research studies by reviewing and evaluating research examples taken from daily life. The next time they hear the results of a poll or study, they will know whether the results are valid.
AP Calculus AB
In AP Calculus AB, an introductory first-semester college-level calculus course, students learn to understand change geometrically and visually (by studying graphs of curves), analytically (by studying and working with mathematical formulas), numerically (by seeing patterns in sets of numbers), and verbally. Instead of simply getting the right answer, students learn to evaluate the soundness of proposed solutions and to apply mathematical reasoning to real-world models. Topics include limits and continuity; definition and fundamental properties of differentiation; composite, implicit, and inverse functions of differentiation; contextual applications of differentiation; analytical applications of differentiation; integration and accumulation of change; differential equations; and applications of integration.
AP Calculus BC
AP Calculus BC is both an introductory college-level first-semester course as well as the subsequent college-level single-variable course. Topics include limits and continuity; definition and fundamental properties of differentiation; composite, implicit, and inverse functions of differentiation; contextual applications of differentiation; analytical applications of differentiation; integration and accumulation of change; differential equations; applications of integration, parametric equations, polar coordinates, and vector-valued functions; and infinite sequences and series.
Multivariable Calculus
Multivariable Calculus is an intermediate-level college course for advanced students of mathematics. Topics include vectors, linear algebra, (partial) differentiation, vector functions, extrema problems, as well as multiple, line, and surface integrals.

HIGH SCHOOL LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH (LOTE)

French I
In French I, students learn how to greet people, describe family and friends, talk about hobbies, and communicate about other topics, such as sports, travel, and medicine. Vocabulary includes terms to describe school subjects, parts of the body, and people, as well as idiomatic phrases. Instruction in language structure and grammar includes the verb system, adjective agreement, formal and informal address, reflexive verbs, and past tense. Students also gain an understanding of the cultures of French-speaking countries and regions within and outside Europe, as well as insight into Francophone culture and people.
French II
In French II, students learn how to communicate more confidently about themselves, as well as about topics beyond their own lives - both in formal and informal address. Vocabulary includes terms in cooking, geography, and architecture. Instruction in language structure and grammar includes present- and past-tense verb forms and uses, negation, and direct and indirect objects. Students deepen their knowledge of French-speaking regions and cultures by learning about history, literature, culture, and contemporary issues.
French III
French 3 is an intermediate course that builds upon the skills acquired in French 1 and 2. The class is designed to improve conversational French and focuses on the four key areas: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Throughout the course, students deepen their knowledge of culture in French-speaking countries and expand their command of grammar. They learn how to express themselves fully in the French language, becoming familiar with the conditional, present perfect, past perfect, subjunctive, and other tenses.
French IV
In French IV, advanced language learners continue to build upon their skills to gain an even greater command of French. Students learn more about French-speaking regions and cultures around the world as they incorporate new vocabulary and grammar concepts into their study. Students learn how to use and recognize various tenses in readings, listening activities, writing, and conversation, such as the past and present perfect, as well as the imperfect. Additional grammar concepts include the comparative, superlative, interrogative adverbs, pronominal verbs, the subjunctive, the conditional, indirect discourse, and present and past participles.
AP French Language and Culture
Equivalent to an intermediate college-level French course, AP French Language and Culture offers students a chance to practice and perfect their speaking, listening, writing, and conversational skills in scenarios students would encounter in real-life. Topics include families in different societies, the influence of language and culture on identity, influences of beauty and art, how science and technology affect our lives, factors that influence the quality of life, and environmental, political, and societal challenges.
Spanish I
In Spanish I, students learn how to greet people, describe family and friends, talk about hobbies, and communicate about other topics, such as home life, occupations, travel, and medicine. Vocabulary includes terms to describe school subjects, parts of the body, and people, as well as idiomatic phrases. Instruction in language structure and grammar includes the structures and uses of present-tense verb forms, imperatives, adjective agreement, impersonal constructions, formal and informal address, and reflexive verbs. Students explore words used in different Spanish-speaking regions, and learn about the cultures of Spanish-speaking countries and regions within and outside of Europe.
Spanish II
Building on Spanish I concepts, Spanish II students learn to communicate more confidently about themselves, as well as about topics beyond their own lives - both in formal and informal situations. Students expand their vocabulary in topics such as cooking, ecology, geography, and architecture. Instruction in language structure and grammar includes a review of present-tense verb forms, an introduction to the past tense, the conditional mood, imperatives, impersonal constructions, and reported speech. Students deepen their knowledge of Spanish-speaking regions and cultures by learning about history, literature, culture, and contemporary issues.
Spanish III
In Spanish III, students improve their command of Spanish by exploring contemporary and relevant topics such as urbanization and population growth in Latin American countries, global health concerns, jobs of the future, and scientific advancements. Students review the formation and use of regular and irregular verbs in the present and future tenses, as well as the use of reflexive particles and infinitives. They also expand their understanding of verb tenses by learning the subjunctive, noun and adjective agreement, the comparative and superlative degree of adjectives, and the placement and use of direct and indirect objects and pronouns. Students build upon their existent lexicon through exposure to word roots and families, popular slang, the correct use of words that are often confused for one another, and review of concepts such as proper placement of accents and stress.
Spanish IV
In Spanish IV, students develop a strong command of the Spanish language through listening, speaking, reading, and writing. They develop an understanding and appreciation of the geography, history, and culture of various Spanish-speaking regions. Students build upon existing and learn new vocabulary. They read various pieces, including a novel, and analyze what they read in writing, class discussions, projects, and presentations. Embedded within each lesson are grammar components like the past perfect and imperfect subjunctive.
AP Spanish Language and Culture
Equivalent to a college-level literature survey course, typically equivalent to a third- or fourth-semester college course. Students learn about various Spanish-speaking cultures around the globe and use their knowledge of Spanish to interact with, respond to, and analyze real-life materials (print media, books, films, and music). Topics include families in different societies, the influence of language and culture on identity, influences of beauty and art, how science and technology affect our lives, factors that impact the quality of life, and environmental, political, and societal challenges.
AP Spanish Literature and Culture
Equivalent to a college-level literature survey course, AP Spanish Literature and Culture is typically taken during a student's third or fourth semester in college. Students read and analyze short stories, novels, plays, essays, and poetry produced by writers in Spain, Latin America, and the United States. Topics include la época medieval, el siglo XVI, el siglo XVII, la literatura romántica, realista y naturalista, La Generación del 98 y el Modernismo, teatro y poesía del siglo XX, El Boom latinoamericano, and escritores contemporáneos de los Estados Unidos y España.
Korean I
Course Description coming soon
Korean II
Course Description coming soon
Italian I
Course Description coming soon

ENGLISH

Foundations of Literacy
Foundations of Literacy is a course designed for students who would benefit from developing their communication, reading, writing, and analytical skills before moving into the Genres in Literature class. Students read a variety of texts and practice identifying essential points, formulating claims, and using evidence from the texts to support those claims. Students create and deliver a speech, and write informative, literary analysis, and argumentative essays throughout the course.
Genres in Literature (9)
Students typically take the Genres in Literature class their 9th grade year, which prepares them for the next course in Lydian’s high school English sequence (Language and Composition). In this class, students read, evaluate, respond to, and analyze works of both fiction and non-fiction. They work with various forms of poetry, and with plays and other dramatic works. Among other endeavors, students compare the literary forms of different authors, explore themes of conflict and triumph in literature, identify how authors incorporate characters into stories, and examine the use of irony, ambiguity, and foreshadow in the creation of fiction writing. Students learn how the incorporation of imagery and symbolism assists in building the reader's imagination. They write on a variety of topics and in different genres, and draft narrative, expository, and persuasive essays, in addition to essays in response to novels students read in the course.
Language and Composition (10)
Language and Composition is typically taken during students’ sophomore year of study. In this course, students learn how to understand writing techniques authors use to influence the reader and accomplish their purpose, such as cause and effect, figures of speech, sounds, point of view, and irony. They analyze the use of complex elements of plot, such as conflict, resolution, and cause and effect relationships. Students gain a better understanding of how personal experiences, values, and perspectives shaped by identity influence writing. They make connections between their own lives and the characters, events, motives, and causes of conflict in readings. Also, students learn how to understand and apply the steps required to produce clear and logical writing.
American Literature* (11)
Typically taken during their junior year and meant to compliment Lydian’s U.S. history course, students in this class explore the landscape of American Literature. Units and topics unfold sequentially, starting with the colonial period and the U.S. War of Independence, and moving through Romanticism, the Renaissance, New American Poetry, Realism, Modernism, American Drama, and Postmodernism. Students produce different types of writings in order to continue to develop their skills of inference and analysis, and to deepen their understanding of how to successfully and independently progress through the essay writing process.
American Literature Honors
Students cover similar content to the non-honors version of this course, though the depth and breadth of topics intensify. Students improve upon their composition skills in relation to an evaluation of historically and culturally significant texts. They make connections between the intent of the authors they read, philosophical and social influences on the writers, and the range of techniques and styles used by different authors. Students interpret, evaluate, and compare works of literature, learning how to not only critique, but explore and incorporate other perspectives as well. In American Literature Honors, students are expected to think and produce work in sophisticated and rigorous ways by learning how to locate connections between concrete topics and nuanced ideas. In the process, students develop and apply critical thinking skills to content analysis, and through verbal and written expression.
British Literature (12)
British Literature is a course typically taken during a student’s senior year of high school. Units are chronologically ordered in the class and include the Anglo-Saxon period, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Restoration and the 18th century, Romanticism, the Victoria era, and the Modern World (20th century-present). Students trace the lineage of British literature through the ages, analyze the historical significance of European literature, write in-depth analyses of college-level literary and non-fiction examples, and understand various types of essays and be able to write them with fluency. Students use MLA conventions in their writing, write research papers using various sources, prepare and deliver a speech to fit an audience and occasion, and identify vocabulary through etymology, spelling and meaning, and analogies. This course prepares students for college-level English courses.
British Literature Honors
This course is meant for advanced students of English who examine British literature and poetry from medieval times to the present. Similar to a college-level literature course, British Literature Honors challenges students to analyze themes, and dig into the ways in which authors use literary elements and figurative language in their writing. Students will develop their critical thinking skills, and further their ability to engage in rhetorical analyses in order to use rhetorical devices in their speech and writing. Students are expected to further develop their voice, apply and improve upon their lexicon in their writing, and write effective and college-level essays.
AP English Language and Composition
In AP English Language and Composition, students investigate rhetoric and its impact on culture through analysis of notable fiction and nonfiction texts, from pamphlets to speeches to personal essays. By examining all texts through a rhetorical lens, students become skilled readers and analytical thinkers. Focusing specifically on language, purpose, and audience gives students a broad view of the effect of text and its cultural role. They write expository and narrative texts to hone the effectiveness of their own use of language, and they develop varied, informed arguments through research. The equivalent of an introductory college-level survey class, this course prepares students for the AP exam and for further study in communications, creative writing, journalism, literature, and composition.
AP English Literature and Composition
AP English Literature and Composition immerses students in novels, plays, poems, and short stories from various periods. Students will read and write daily, using a variety of multimedia and interactive activities, interpretive writing assignments, and class discussions to assess and improve their skills and knowledge. The course places special emphasis on reading comprehension, structural and critical analysis of written works, literary vocabulary, and recognizing and understanding literary devices. The equivalent of an introductory college-level survey class, this course prepares students for the AP exam and for further study in creative writing, communications, journalism, literature, and composition.

SCIENCE

Biology*
Biology is a laboratory science course that covers the study of living things. Students study and gain a deeper understanding of ecology, cellular biology, genetics, biotechnology, evolution, bacteria, viruses, plants, animals, and human organ systems. Students will investigate biological concepts through experiments in laboratories using scientific methods and laboratory skills, and use critical thinking and a variety of data analysis skills to interpret the data and draw conclusions. Students will examine current biological issues, learn the connections between biology and other scientific disciplines, and apply knowledge of biology to engage in the actions that protect, sustain, or enhance the natural environment.

Biology Honors is a laboratory-based course in which students gain hands-on experience developing and honing multiple scientific skills through investigations and inquiry activities. Additionally, students will develop an understanding of the greater biology ideas of diversity and interdependency of all organisms, the structure and function of human systems, human inheritance and change, and the effects of humans in ecological systems. Topics will include: basic biological chemistry, ecology and ecosystem interactions, energy dynamics, heredity, biological evolution, cell biology as well as human anatomy and physiology. Students will work to strengthen critical thinking and problem solving skills through research of relevant biology topics and current events. Students will frequently complete lab reports and abstracts to verify and communicate investigation processes and outcomes.

Chemistry*
In this course, students will develop a strong foundation in general chemistry by examining matter and the changes it undergoes. Experiments and activities are used to introduce concepts that include the structure of atoms and chemical compounds, the relationships among the elements on the periodic table, chemical and physical transformations, and the measurement and calculations of chemical quantities. Students who complete this course will be able to demonstrate knowledge of properties, forms, changes, and interactions of physical and chemical systems.

Honors Chemistry is an in-depth examination of the natural and physical world, offering a fast-paced, rigorous curriculum that challenges students to apply chemistry knowledge to predict chemical phenomena, design experiments, and provide solutions to complex problems. Students will integrate technology, mathematics, and chemical literacy into a wide range of chemistry topics that include, but are not limited to: periodicity, atomic structure, chemical bonding, gases, solutions, thermodynamics, acids and bases, equilibrium, kinetics, electrochemistry, organic chemistry, and nuclear chemistry. The Next Generation Science Standards for chemistry are followed and provide inquiry-based curriculum for the course. Additionally, students will begin to build a strong foundation of scientific inquiry through extensive, hands-on laboratory experience that requires students to write clear, concise, summative reflections outlining both quantitative and qualitative evidence gathered as a means to support or reject scientific claims.

Physics*
Students in the Physics course develop a solid grounding in scientific methods and
scientific inquiry, acquiring factual knowledge of physical phenomena to understand many of the technological developments and challenges in today’s world. Students will conceptually understand the properties of matter, force, motion, and energy. Students will also learn the skill of problem-solving in these areas. Students will develop an awareness of how physics relates to their everyday lives.

The purpose of the Physics Honors course is to provide students with a challenging curriculum that fulfills the California Content Standards for physics, integrates the Next Generation Science Standards, and prepares the students for college-level physics. Students are provided a thorough treatment of major physics principles such as measurement, kinematics, forces, momentum, energy, electricity, magnetism, and waves. Students will use inquiry and practice scientific laboratory techniques to complete this rigorous course. Students will maintain a lab notebook throughout the course, write lab reports, and present their findings in class on a regular basis.
Environmental Science
In Environmental Science, students will engage in empirical investigations of their natural and artificial surroundings in order to critically evaluate claims made about the environment. At the completion of the course, students will be able to appreciate patterns and cycles in nature, understand how disruption of one piece can have deleterious effects on the larger system, and identify the impact of humans on our environment. Students will also understand methods for evaluating biodiversity, relate the loss of biodiversity to human activity, distinguish between renewable and non-renewable resources, analyze the impact of attitudes and policies regarding different resources, understand the different sources and consequences of air, water, and ground pollution, and practice measuring concentrations of pollutants. Additionally, students will analyze current and historical events from the perspective of environmental science, and use scientific vocabulary in discussion and analysis of environmental issues.
AP Biology
The equivalent of an introductory college-level biology course, AP Biology builds students' understanding of biology on both the micro and macro scales. After studying cell biology, students move on to understand how evolution drives the diversity and unity of life. Students examine how living systems store, retrieve, transmit, and respond to information, and how organisms utilize free energy.
AP Chemistry
The equivalent of an introductory college-level chemistry course, AP Chemistry builds students' understanding of the nature and reactivity of matter. After studying chemical reactions and electrochemistry, students move on to understand how the chemical and physical properties of materials can be explained by the structure and arrangements of the molecules and the forces between those molecules. Students examine the laws of thermodynamics, molecular collisions, and the reorganization of matter in order to understand how changes in matter take place. Students also explore chemical equilibria, including acid-base equilibria.
AP Environmental Science
AP Environmental Science, the equivalent of an introductory college-level science course, provides students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world. The course draws upon various disciplines, including geology, biology, environmental studies, environmental science, chemistry, and geography in order to explore a variety of environmental topics. Students study natural systems on Earth; biogeochemical cycles; the nature of matter and energy; the flow of matter and energy through living systems; populations; communities; ecosystems; ecological pyramids; renewable and nonrenewable resources; land use; biodiversity; pollution; conservation; sustainability; and human impacts on the environment.
AP Physics 1
AP Physics 1 is an algebra-based introductory physics first-semester college course. Students study a variety of topics, including kinematics, dynamics, circular motion, gravitation, energy, momentum, simple harmonic motion, torque, rotational motion, electric charge, electric force, direct current circuits, and mechanical waves and sounds.
AP Physics 2
AP Physics 2 is an algebra-based introductory physics second-semester college course. Students study a variety of topics, including the pressure and forces of fluids, thermodynamics, electric force, electric circuits, magnetism, electromagnetic induction, geometric optics, and quantum, atomic, and nuclear physics.
AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism is a calculus-based course equivalent to an introductory college semester-long physics course. Topics include electrostatics, conductors, capacitors, dielectrics, electric circuits, magnetic fields, and electromagnetism.
AP Physics C: Mechanics
AP Physics C: Mechanics is a calculus-based course equivalent to an introductory college semester-long physics course. Students explore topics such as kinematics, Newton’s laws of motion, the principle of conservation, linear momentum, rotation, oscillations, and gravitation.

HIGH SCHOOL VISUAL AND 
PERFORMING ARTS

Introduction to Digital Photography
In Introduction to Digital Photography, students learn about the mechanics of taking photographs, becoming acquainted with the camera’s capabilities, as well as the settings used to produce the desired shots. Throughout the course, students reflect on the artistic and editorial value of the work of other photographers, develop their own expressive creativity by taking and digitally manipulating their images, and learn how to present their work in the digital age.
Music of the 20th Century
In Music of the 20th Century, students examine the historical significance of popular music in the United States from the late nineteenth century to the present. While musical training is not required in order to enroll in the course, students will think about how to analyze musical sound as “texts” (historical material). Throughout the course, students focus on a variety of contexts: the cultural, social, political, and economic dimensions of genres ranging from Tin Pan Alley to blues, jazz, rhythm and blues, country, folk, soul, rock, disco, hip-hop, and contemporary pop music. Additionally, students explore popular music as an art form, a business, an activity of identity-making, a phenomenon encompassing both conflict and consensus, and a key area in the life of Americans.

HIGH SCHOOL ELECTIVES

Economics*
In Economics, students are introduced to key economic principles, applying basic mathematics to concepts they study throughout the one-semester course. Topics include the fundamental properties of economics, including an examination of markets from both historical and current perspectives; the basics of supply and demand; the theories of early economic philosophers such as Adam Smith and David Ricardo; theories of value; the concept of money and how it evolved; the role of banks, investment houses, and the Federal Reserve; Keynesian economics; the productivity, wages, investment, and growth involved in capitalism; unemployment, inflations, and the national debt; and a survey of the global economy.

In Economic Honors, students not only learn how to identify and understand economic concepts and trends, but are required to provide their own in-depth critical analyses, effectively learning how to think like an economist.
Ethnic Studies
Course Description coming soon
Psychology
In Psychology, students are introduced to the systematic and scientific study of human behavior and mental processes. While considering the psychologists and studies that have shaped the field, students explore and apply psychological theories, key concepts, and phenomena associated with such topics as the biological bases of behavior, sensation and perception, learning and cognition, motivation, developmental psychology, testing and individual differences, treatments of psychological disorders, and social psychology. Throughout the course, students employ psychological research methods, including ethical considerations as they use the scientific method, evaluate claims, consider evidence, and effectively communicate ideas.

Health
Course Description coming soon
AP Macroeconomics
In AP Macroeconomics, the equivalent of a 100-level college-level class, students learn why and how the world economy can change from month to month, how to identify trends in our economy, and how to use those trends to develop performance measures and predictors of economic growth or decline. Throughout the course, students will also examine how individuals, institutions, and influences affect people, and how those factors can impact everyone's life through employment rates, government spending, inflation, taxes, and production.
AP Microeconomics
In AP Microeconomics, the equivalent of a 100-level college-level class, students study the behavior of individuals and businesses as they exchange goods and services in the marketplace. They explore why the same product costs different amounts at different stores, in different cities, at different times. Additionally, students learn to spot patterns in economic behavior and how to use those patterns to explain buyer and seller behavior under various conditions. Throughout the course, students develop an economic way of thinking while simultaneously working to understand the nature and function of markets, the role of scarcity and competition, the influence of factors such as interest rates on business decisions, and the role of government in promoting a healthy economy.

AP Psychology
In AP Psychology, an introductory college-level overview of current psychological research methods and theories, students explore the therapies used by professional counselors and clinical psychologists. They examine the reasons for normal human reactions: how people learn and think, the process of human development and human aggression, altruism, intimacy, and self-reflection. Students also study core psychological concepts, such as the brain and sense functions, and learn to gauge human reactions, gather information, and form meaningful syntheses.
*includes an honors option

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