CU R R ICU LU M G U I D E
Gill St. Bernard’s School – Curriculum Guide 2018-2019
GILL ST. BERNARD’S SCHOOL AT A GLANCE CAMPUS Location: Gladstone, NJ Size: 208 acres
ACADEMICS Grades: Preschool–Grade 12 Average class size: 14–16 students Academic course offerings: Over 100 Advanced Placement course offerings: 21 Languages offered: French, Latin, Spanish Graduating seniors attending four-year colleges and universities: 100 percent
FACULTY AND ADMINISTRATION Total: 108 Faculty with advanced degrees: Over 65 percent Student/faculty ratio: 7:1
ENROLLMENT Total: 653 Lower School: 108 Middle School: 181 Upper School: 364
STUDENT LIFE Arts: Visual and performing arts programs offered to students across all divisions. Athletics: 25 varsity and 9 junior varsity teams in the Upper School and opportunities to compete on 17 teams in the Middle School. Extracurricular activities: Over 30 activities available in Upper School and additional programs for the Middle and Lower Schools.
FINANCIAL AID Need-based financial aid is available.
Families receiving aid: 18 percent
Mission and Core Values. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 4 Honor Statement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 4 Diversity Statement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 4 Non-Discrimination Policy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 5 Accreditation and Professional Affiliations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 5 Gill St. Bernard’s Lower School. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 6 Lower School Curriculum. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 10 Gill St. Bernard’s Middle School. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 32
Gill St. Bernard’s School – Curriculum Guide 2018-2019
Middle School Curriculum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 37 Middle School Addendum and Resources. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 55 Gill St. Bernard’s Upper School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 57 Upper School Curriculum. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 62 Upper School Addendum and Resources. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 104 Administration. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 106 Faculty. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 107
Gill St. Bernard’s School – Curriculum Guide 2018-2019
GILL ST. BERNARD’S SCHOOL CURRICULUM GUIDE 2018–19 MISSION & CORE VALUES Gill St. Bernard’s School provides a balanced, diverse and secure community that prepares students academically, socially and ethically for college and a meaningful life. Core Values · Courage · Integrity · Respect · Compassion · Excellence
HONOR STATEMENT As members of the Gill St. Bernard’s School community, we believe that respect, honor and consideration are the foundation of an open and trusting environment. In affirming this belief, we endeavor to uphold the following ideals: · Respect for all individual community members and their beliefs · Integrity, truthfulness and sportsmanship in our academic and extracurricular pursuits · Responsibility for our actions · Service to the school and to our communities In affirming these ideals, we strive to uphold and strengthen bonds of trust and friendship among all individuals who are now, or will be in the future, members of the community.
DIVERSITY STATEMENT Gill St. Bernard’s School believes that a school community should reflect a variety of ethnic, racial, economic, religious and social circumstances; all are fundamental to a 21st century education. In keeping with its Mission Statement, Gill St. Bernard’s affirms that a diverse learning community of students, faculty, administrators, trustees, alumni and staff is an essential element to who we are as a school. Beginning with the Early Childhood program and culminating in the Upper School, GSB students respect and value individual differences, seeing them as the basis for fostering a strong sense of self, community and global understanding.
Gill St. Bernard’s does not discriminate in the admission process, its scholarship programs or in the administration of its other programs or policies on the basis of characteristics or conditions, such as race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability not related to the requirements for being a successful student at GSB. In reaching admission or other decisions, GSB may consider conditions that it reasonably believes would adversely affect a student or prospective student’s ability to succeed at the school, taking into account any reasonable accommodations that would not materially alter the fundamental nature of GSB’s programs or services or place undue burden on the school.
ACCREDITATION AND PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS Gill St. Bernard’s School is a fully-accredited member of the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools (NJAIS) and the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA). The school maintains active membership in the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the National Association of College Admission Counselors (NACAC), the Secondary School Admission Test Board (SSATB), and the Educational Records Bureau (ERB).
Gill St. Bernard’s School – Curriculum Guide 2018-2019
LOWER SCHOOL Every aspect of our Lower School is designed to complement the developmental strengths of young learners, giving form to their innate desire to explore and discover the world around them. Guided by their natural curiosity and sense of wonder, children learn the academic skills and habits to bring their questions to life, establishing the framework for a lifetime of learning and purposeful engagement. Our Lower School teachers bring together a profound respect for children, a deep understanding of child development and a thorough grounding in best practices to fill each student’s day with rich and rewarding learning experiences. Whether in the classroom, Tinker Space or outdoors on our beautiful 208-acre campus, learning is joyful, inquiry-driven, frequently collaborative and always inspiring. Our Lower Schoolers love to come to school each day; surrounded by a warm and supportive community, they gain the confidence and sense of belonging that are essential preludes to learning and growth. Because each child’s learning journey is distinct, our curriculum provides students considerable opportunities for personalized learning with teachers, reading specialists and learning specialists. A combination of individual, small-group and whole-class instruction allows our faculty to tailor each student’s learning and ensure that students remain engaged and appropriately challenged throughout their Lower School years. Because our Lower School faculty collaborate among grade levels and subject areas, students transition easily and with confidence from one grade to the next. In addition to working with one another, our teachers partner with parents to achieve a fuller understanding of each student and to find ways to better guide and support his/her development, learning and overall wellbeing. The Lower School also offers a range of after-school programs, the vast majority of which are led by GSB teachers and staff. Whether children are rehearsing a musical, learning to cook, building a LEGO robot or planting in the garden, they have the chance to create, collaborate, move around and simply have fun while learning something new.
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS Math in Focus/Singapore Math Our Math in Focus curriculum, which is based on Singapore Math, begins in Preschool and extends through the second year of Middle School. Students build strong computational skills and an authentic understanding of mathematical concepts. Math in Focus / Singapore Math provides a three-step approach in which concepts are represented through 1) concrete materials, 2) pictorial models and 3) numeric and algebraic equations. Because our math curriculum is sequential and focuses on mastery and in-depth understanding at every stage, students are confident in their skills and eager to tackle new and more complex material independently. Individualized Reading Instruction Our Lower School homeroom teachers incorporate a range of instructional techniques for reading, including on-level guided reading and elements of the Orton-Gillingham approach. Reading groups and reading instruction are dynamic, flexible and fluid to best complement each child’s individual growth. In addition to our classroom teachers, the Lower School offers a dedicated full-time reading teacher who works with students in Kindergarten and first grade. In addition, a reading specialist or learning specialist is available to work with students who may benefit from further instruction in reading.
Complementing classroom learning with one-to-one instruction benefits every student—from those just beginning to our most avid readers. Students have room to grow, while still receiving the support they need to continue to develop as readers. In addition, library time and programs such as birthday books, reading buddies and weekly book bags help instill a culture of reading and a love of literature.
The Nutcracker All of our Early Childhood students appear in The Nutcracker each winter. Kindergarteners lead the project, writing and illustrating the story that will unfold on the stage and narrating the actual production. As part of their preparation, the Kindergarteners read and hear different versions of The Nutcracker in class, learn the music and travel to see the ballet. After seeing different interpretations of the tale, the students create a book of their own, which stands nearly two feet high and is used during the performance. A rite of passage for our Kindergarten students, each year the class brings its unique personality and flair to the time-honored tradition.
Related Arts Subject teachers in art, library, music, science, technology, and world language comprise the Related Arts faculty. These teachers collaborate with homeroom teachers and with one another to implement special projects that bring together a range of skills and subjects to reinforce learning across the curriculum. Signature Related Arts projects include an Early Childhood production of The Nutcracker in December, which involves students from pre-school through Kindergarten, and the creation of a Biome Museum in the spring, which involves all of the grades.
Biome Museum The annual Biome Museum marks the culmination of weeks of cross-curricular activities focused on a specific ecological environment, such as ocean, desert, and grassland. By bringing together their work in art, computers, library, music, research, science and world language, students are challenged to think creatively about how to best present information through displays, drawings, maps, writing, voice and video. In addition, students learn to link and cross-reference information, creating iPad-guided tours of the museum and interspersing QR codes that link to resources for further learning throughout the exhibits. Every child in the Lower School is involved; the older students tackle research and create large-scale interactive exhibits, and the younger students contribute specific project elements. When parents tour the museum, fourth-graders serve as docents, explaining the wealth of information included in the eye-catching displays. Social and Emotional Learning/Character Education Research indicates that social and emotional learning helps students thrive in school and throughout their lives. An essential piece of our curriculum, social and emotional learning helps students recognize the ways in which they can be good citizens, collaborators and contributors, while reinforcing values of acceptance, compassion and kindness. Tinker Space A dedicated space for building, creating and exploring, the Tinker Space is used by every child in the Lower School. This flexible space combines manufacturing equipment (including building blocks, doodle pens, LEGOs, and cutting and gluing tools) with technology (such as computer programming software, iPads and a 3-D printer). While working in the Tinker Space, children build skills in collaborative problem-solving, critical thinking and innovation. Serious About Play Research shows that for children to function at their best, they need to move and to be in physical contact with their surroundings. During their Lower School years, our students’ academic, physical and social development is greatly enhanced through physical education and through play, both creative and structured. In addition, teachers routinely incorporate outdoor lessons into their coursework, giving young learners opportunities for hands-on, experiential learning and the chance to move around and be outdoors. Outdoor Play Our Lower School teachers understand the vital importance of play for young learners, and recess comprises an important part of the day. Students have a chance to be outside—on the playgrounds, fields and sports courts—and to engage in creative play. Recess also provides rich opportunities for collaboration, problemsolving and social and emotional learning. Our goal is to hold recess outdoors whenever possible, and Lower Schoolers keep boots, coats, hats and mittens at school for moderately cold, snowy and wet days.
Physical Education Physical education classes are held daily for students in Early Childhood and three to four times each week for older students. Through structured activities and games, children develop fine- and gross-motor skills as well as balance and a sense of spatial relationships. In addition, group activities offer valuable lessons in collaboration and team work. Health and Wellness As part of physical education, students in grades three and four are introduced to health and wellness topics, including healthy eating, the importance of physical fitness, healthy strategies for working through differences with friends, and other developmentally appropriate topics.
ACADEMIC EXPECTATIONS Homework Homework provides essential daily practice and review for reading, writing and math, while also extending classroom learning in other subjects. Homework also serves to foster an important connection between school and home, encouraging students to build a routine and to take responsibility for their learning. Students are assigned work several nights each week, with occasional long-term assignments that should be completed with adult assistance. Third- and fourth-grade students have a greater number of long-term assignments, with the expectation that they will complete these more independently as they prepare for Middle School.
TESTING Students in Grades 3 and 4 take the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) CPT4 standardized test in the spring. In addition, students in Grades K, 2 and 4 are administered the Minnesota Executive Function Scale (MEFS). These tests serve as additional resources for teachers and parents to assess a student’s learning and progress. They also help determine whether the student could benefit from further evaluation or support in a given area. The Lower & Middle School Director of Learning Support reviews each student’s results and shares these with parents, along with any observations and recommendations. Individual tests may also be administered at the request of the student’s family or the division director.
PARENT COMMUNICATION, CONFERENCES AND PROGRESS REPORTS Parent-Teacher Conferences Parent-teacher communication is particularly important during a student’s Lower School years. In addition to meeting with parents during scheduled conferences, our teachers connect with parents regularly, letting them know about the work the class is undertaking and, of course, sharing any specific concerns or observations about the student. At the beginning of each school year, teachers set up individual conferences for the parents of new students and parents of early childhood students. For returning students in Grades 1–4, teachers will either reach out by phone or meet with parents in person. These initial conversations allow parents and teachers to share information, insights and news about each child. In addition, parents and teachers can discuss a student’s adjustment to the school or grade and mutually set goals for the year. Parent-teacher conferences are held in November and February for all Lower School students, and progress reports are sent home prior to conferences. School is closed on conference days; however, childcare is offered in Evans Hall for a modest fee during conferences. Progress Reports
In addition to conferences, students receive progress reports and report cards at different times throughout the year.
PRIZES AND AWARDS Presented annually to a fourth-grade student, the Amol Anjinkya Citizenship Award recognizes the importance of citizenship in our school community. It is the only formal award in the Lower School.
The school provides a limited number of accommodations for those students who have learning and/or attention differences as documented by a psycho-educational, neuropsychological, audiological, speech language, occupational or physical therapy evaluation administered by a recognized licensed professional. Accommodations are limited to those contained within the school’s Academic Support Policy. These accommodations are not meant to constitute a separate or individual program for a student with learning and/or attention differences. If the level of support a student needs to succeed in our program is greater than our resources, the family will need to pursue outside support for the child. The Lower & Middle School Director and/or the Lower & Middle School Director of Learning Support assess and refer students to outside professionals. When a student is unable to demonstrate academic progress (see Academic Expectations in the GSB Student Handbook) or exhibits a pattern of inappropriate behavior of such frequency, duration or intensity that it disrupts that student’s own learning or the learning of others, the school reserves the right to terminate the student’s enrollment agreement.
ACADEMIC SUPPORT SERVICES
SCHOOL COUNSELOR The school employs two counselors. In conjunction with the faculty, Lower & Middle School Director and Assistant Lower School Director, the school counselors work to support students within the classroom and in other school settings. A school counselor may also present relevant information to students, parents, faculty and the GSB community on a range of topics.
LOWER SCHOOL CURRICULUM LANGUAGE ARTS Our Lower School teachers provide students with a strong foundation in reading and writing, essential for success in Middle School academics and beyond. Students leave the Lower School as confident, fluent, readers and thoughtful writers who possess an appreciation for the written word and a growing sense of their own voice. Working in collaboration with our reading specialists, our Lower School homeroom teachers incorporate a range of instructional techniques for reading, including guided reading and elements of the Orton-Gillingham approach. In addition, reading groups and reading instruction are dynamic, flexible and fluid to best complement each child’s individual growth. The result is young learners who are engaged, supported and appropriately challenged throughout their development as readers. Beyond classroom work, Gill St. Bernard’s fosters a culture of literacy on its campus. In this environment, Lower School children see reading and writing as enjoyable and essential elements of daily life. Our Lower School students regularly spend time working on reading activities with their reading buddies who visit from the Middle and Upper Schools. Lower School library time each week provides further opportunities for exploring books, learning about genre and simply enjoying stories. In addition, each week, our Lower School librarian hand picks books for every child to take home: one “I can read book,” one “read together book,” and one “read to me” book. Writing is emphasized throughout the Lower School curriculum in homeroom subjects, Related Arts subjects and in signature projects, such as the annual Biome Museum. Long-term projects in any subject feature a strong research and writing component, and careful editing is taught as a vital part of the writing process. Throughout their Lower School years, students practice the elements of composition as they learn to organize, synthesize and articulate their ideas in writing. This, combined with practice in many forms of writing, gives students a strong foundation for Middle School.
PRESCHOOL LANGUAGE ARTS Our Early Childhood teachers nurture a deep love of reading and writing in our students as they help them develop strong foundational skills. In Preschool, teachers introduce developmentally appropriate fiction, non-fiction, and poetry to teach the foundational skills of decoding and comprehension. Students learn to recognize letters and their corresponding sounds and to trace or draw letters to represent sounds. Students also practice identifying rhyming words to build phonic awareness.
Young learners begin to develop an awareness of story form through listening to stories, engaging with story images, and asking questions about stories. In addition, hands-on activities, such as puppets, picture cards and theater activities, help children distinguish the parts of a story as they begin to explore character, setting and theme. As their awareness of stories grow, students are encouraged to predict possible story patterns and outcomes. This further engages them with stories, while also helping to build skills in logical reasoning and using inference.
In Pre-Kindergarten, students continue to develop skills for reading through listening to, reading and retelling stories and poems. In addition, activities, games and songs build practice with rhyming words, sounds and syllables. Students continue to explore story elements, including character, setting and theme. In addition, identifying patterns and likely outcomes in stories helps students build skills in logical reasoning, using inference and understanding textual clues.
PRE-KINDERGARTEN LANGUAGE ARTS
Children continue to develop their writing skills through ongoing handwriting instruction and weekly writing workshops. With this age group, parents are invited to join the class and work alongside children as they practice writing words related to the stories they are learning.
KINDERGARTEN LANGUAGE ARTS Kindergarten and first grade are a special time when emergent readers can make tremendous progress. For this reason, every Kindergarten student complements classroom learning with one-to-one work with a reading specialist. A combination of personalized reading instruction, guided reading and small-group reading ensure that every student is appropriately challenged and supported as he/she continues to develop as a reader. In addition, our reading teacher communicates with parents every week so that they may share more fully in their child’s reading journey. Through classroom activities and age-appropriate literature, students practice sight-words and phonics, build skills in comprehension and decoding and develop a richer vocabulary. An important complement to reading, our Kindergarten students write every day—engaging in creative writing, keeping a personal journal and composing and reciting poems. As they build phonemic awareness and familiarity with high-frequency sight-words, students are able to construct more complex and expressive sentences. In addition, students increasingly recognize and incorporate capitalization and punctuation in their writing.
GRADE 1 LANGUAGE ARTS First grade is a special time when emergent readers can make tremendous progress. Our students work with reading teachers one-on-one and in small groups to ensure that they are appropriately challenged and supported throughout the year. In addition, students routinely practice skills to help them become more confident and capable readers. These include continued work in phonetics, sight-reading high frequency words, building vocabulary and using ‘word attack’ strategies to decode unfamiliar words. In first grade, an emphasis is placed on helping students become more independent as readers. Practice with context clues, comprehension strategies and story questions enables students to maintain meaning and fluency while reading a story. Leveled readers in fiction and non-fiction are used during classroom work and Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) times further support independent reading for every learner. As they grow in fluency, students continue to identify important elements in a story, including main ideas, characters and events, and to draw inferences from a text. To celebrate the accomplishments of our first-grade readers, the Lower School hosts its annual Reading Rodeo each spring, giving first-graders a forum to share their success in reading with their families.
First-graders begin to use the writing workshop approach. The structure within which daily writing takes place is consistent, and students are given specific feedback about next steps. With a given framework and genre, students are able to focus on topics that they find meaningful and interesting. In first grade, students focus on writing as a process in which they write, revise, edit and publish. In addition, students record ideas and reflections in their journals and then select some pieces for further development. Through reworking and editing, students become more capable writers who are confident articulating their ideas and able to apply grammar and punctuation rules. Handwriting instruction and practice continue to prepare students for cursive writing in the second grade.
GRADE 2 LANGUAGE ARTS Our second-grade students continue to become more independent as readers, exploring their interests through reading, building reading stamina and applying learned strategies to maintain reading fluency. Second-grade teachers combine small-group and whole-class instruction in reading and they also read to students each day. In addition, students take part in DEAR every day. Through the use of read-aloud books, articles and other materials, students engage in activities that develop comprehension strategies, such as retelling, making connections, drawing inferences, determining important ideas, understanding structure, summarizing and synthesizing. Over the course of the year, second-graders are introduced to fiction and nonfiction, including biography, fable, fantasy, historical fiction, mystery, poetry and realistic fiction. Second-graders continue in the writing workshop approach. Daily writing is inspired by curiosity about the world and personal experience and is modeled after the literature used in class. Through engaging in writing that is personally meaningful and relevant, students become more articulate and more confident as writers. Students also learn to reflect on their own writing and to understand the importance of editing in the writing process. Instruction in grammar, punctuation and spelling is interwoven into the writing process. Handwriting is refined during the first semester and cursive writing is introduced during the second. In addition, students practice their oral language skills through reciting poetry, participating in readersâ€™ theater and presenting book reports.
GRADE 3 LANGUAGE ARTS In third grade, our students continue to explore fiction and nonfiction genres, including biography, short stories, tall tales and poetry, as they become increasingly more independent as readers. Students continue to refine their reading skills through individual and group instruction, DEAR, Readerâ€™s Choice activities and read-aloud time. Students practice reading for meaning, identifying the main idea, finding supporting details and drawing inferences to further refine comprehension and critical thinking skills. During writing workshops, students express themselves through creative and expository writing, including stories, journal entries and poetry. In addition, students learn and practice editing skills, focusing on grammar, punctuation, capitalization and spelling. Spelling is reinforced through word lists that include frequently-used words and content-area words. Research skills, such as note-taking, paraphrasing and editing, are practiced through report writing. Cursive writing is taught and practiced throughout the year. Our third-grade biography project teaches essential research skills and allows students to learn more about a person of particular interest to them. In the spring, students present their findings at the annual Biography Museum.
GRADE 4 LANGUAGE ARTS
Students continue in the writing workshop approach for creative pieces, as they delve more deeply into story structure. Peer editing remains an important part of the writing process, allowing students to see the effectiveness of other styles and types of writing and to extend their own knowledge of grammar, punctuation and spelling. In addition, grammar, spelling, and vocabulary are taught daily and integrated into the writing curriculum. Academic writing is woven throughout the curriculum, and long-term research projectsâ€”such as the fourthgrade Brainiac Museum or the annual Biome Museumâ€”encourage students to consider ways in which they can effectively present their ideas and their projects to others.
In fourth grade, students begin the Accelerated Reader program, which encourages independent reading and the further development of comprehension skills. Activities emphasize comprehension, vocabulary and the development of critical thinking skills. Students learn to identify key ideas and details in a text; differentiate between fact, fiction and opinion; summarize and draw conclusions about what they have read; and understand the use of figurative language in a text. Students also begin to analyze literature more thoughtfully through discussions about character, plot, setting and style.
MATHEMATICS Based on Singapore Math, our Math in Focus curriculum fosters deep conceptual understanding, flexible problem-solving and strong computational skills. Students develop an appreciation of numbers, patterns and problem-solving, growing in confidence as they apply mathematical thinking to a range of activities and problems. Math in Focus / Singapore Math provides a three-step approach in which concepts are represented through 1) concrete materials, 2) pictorial models and 3) numeric and algebraic equations. Working through problems using different methods, students become flexible problem solvers and achieve a genuine understanding of numerical and mathematical relationships. Students work with scenarios in the earliest grades and investigate word problems as they mature as mathematicians. The ability to solve problems in a way that makes the most sense to them allows students to develop mathematical fluency at an early age. As they progress through the curriculum, students apply problem solving to larger and more complex numbers, including negative numbers, decimals, fractions and ratios. In addition, frequent problem-solving enables students to integrate logic and reasoning while simultaneously practicing computational skills. Because our math program is sequential and focuses on mastery and in-depth understanding at every stage, students are confident in their skills and eager to tackle new and more complex material independently.
PRESCHOOL MATHEMATICS In Preschool, hands-on activities introduce young learners to numbers and foundational mathematical concepts, including less and more, part and whole, same and different. Lessons involve counting, creating patterns, matching and sorting, tracing and writing numbers, and sequencing. The curriculum is based on fluency and mastery of numbers 1-10, allowing students to develop a strong number sense and a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts. Classroom activities are developmentally appropriate, fostering directional and spatial skills as well as gross- and fine-motor coordination.
PRE-KINDERGARTEN MATHEMATICS Young learners continue to explore fundamental mathematical concepts and relationships. Students match and sort objects by specific attributes; sequentially order numbers, events, and times; work with the concepts of more, less and fewer; create and extend patterns; and identify the properties of two- and three-dimensional shapes, including capacity, length, size and weight. Throughout the year, number formation is also practiced and reinforced through our handwriting program. Moreover, concrete, hands-on exercises allow young learners to develop fluency with numbers, logical thinking and creative, flexible approaches to problem-solving.
KINDERGARTEN MATHEMATICS The Kindergarten curriculum emphasizes the concepts and foundational skills for addition and subtraction. Working with numbers 1-100, students practice number bonds; extend their work with number comparisons to
include â€œhow many more or less and how many times more or less;â€? count by twos, fives and tens; understand and solve basic addition and subtraction problems; and solve story problems that involve addition and subtraction. Students also learn coins and their values, practice telling time to the hour, and explore how to use a calendar.
GRADE 1 MATHEMATICS
As students learn new concepts, they begin with hands-on materials, move to pictorial representations and then to numbers and symbols. Students will employ each of these methods, or a combination of them, at different times. This flexibility allows young learners to explore new ideas in a way that feels the most natural to them. The Math in Focus / Singapore Math approach fosters confidence, mathematical fluency, and a fuller understanding of concepts, laying an essential foundation for success in mathematics in Lower School and beyond.
The first-grade curriculum builds on addition and subtraction skills, as students work with two-digit numbers and place values. Students also begin to explore the concepts of multiplication and division through adding equal groups and sharing into equal groups. Other topics introduced in first grade include plane and solid shapes; charts, bar graphs and picture graphs; coins and their values; and telling time to five-minute intervals. Hands-on activities, interspersed with more abstract work, enable students to practice and master basic concepts, learn mathematical facts and strengthen their problem-solving skills.
GRADE 2 MATHEMATICS In second grade, students gain increasing mastery with addition and subtraction skills, working with numbers up to 1,000, using mental calculation strategies and solving word problems. Concepts in multiplication and division are further explored and practiced, as students count and group by sets of two, three, four, five and ten and begin to identify, compare and add fractions. Beyond these foundational skills, students continue to work with measurement using metric and traditional units. New skills include comparing the capacity of objects, reading graphs with scales, and adding, subtracting and using decimal notation for money. As concepts are reviewed throughout the year, students explore different problem-solving strategies, emphasizing the idea that there are several ways to arrive at the same answer. Continued work in deductive problem-solving encourages the development of critical-thinking skills.
GRADE 3 MATHEMATICS In third grade, students continue to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication and division with larger and more complex numbers. Also integrated throughout the year are units on graphing, measurement and money. There is a strong emphasis on mastery of multiplication and division facts, and students also extend their work with fractions, learning to find the simplest form of a fraction and to identify equivalent fractions. This solid foundation, combined with practice in estimating and rounding, enables students to increasingly rely on mental calculations when solving problems, an essential step before tackling more abstract mathematical concepts. Students also take important steps in the development of algebraic reasoning. They create bar models to represent complex word problems and begin to use variables in problem solving. Elemental geometry skills are also introduced, as students learn to identify points, lines and segments; differentiate between acute, obtuse and right angles; and explore perpendicular and parallel lines.
GRADE 4 MATHEMATICS
The fourth-grade curriculum introduces more advanced work with decimals, fractions, algebraic reasoning and basic geometry, while also stressing mastery of skills that will enable students to thrive in later math courses: proficiency with the four operations; quick recall of math facts; and facility with estimating, rounding and judging the reasonableness of an answer. Working with numbers into the millions, students routinely practice mentally calculating sums, differences, products and quotients. The result is mathematical fluency and a solid foundation in numeracy that serves students well in later math courses. Work with fractions is extended to include conversion between improper fractions and mixed numbers, conversion between decimals and fractions, and adding and subtracting improper fractions and fractions with different denominators. Students work with decimals in the four operations. Other skills include constructing and interpreting graphs and tables as well as using the data in problem solving; working with factors and multiples; finding the mean, median, mode and range of a data set; estimating and measuring angles with a protractor; and solving problems involving the perimeter of squares, rectangles, and composite figures.
SOCIAL STUDIES LOWER SCHOOL
The Lower School social studies curriculum seeks to develop thoughtful and reflective students who see things from perspectives other than their own, understand events from multiple points of view, and think critically about what they read, hear and watch. Through social studies, students develop a greater awareness of, and appreciation for, the role they and others play in their family, school and community. In addition, the study of other countries and cultures fosters a fuller understanding of the world, as students take the first steps to becoming engaged citizens. Our students begin to discover the larger world and their capacity to contribute to it. Experiential class projects and field trips complement the curriculum, and geography skills are incorporated throughout the program.
EARLY CHILDHOOD SOCIAL STUDIES The early childhood (Preschool through Kindergarten) program introduces traditions and languages from around the world as well as geography and world habitats. By Kindergarten, children have also begun to explore current and historical events around the world. In addition, during the early childhood years, children are exploring the structure of families and communities, beginning with school and expanding into regional communities. Field trips to firehouses, police stations and regional farms complement their understanding of how communities work.
GRADE 1 SOCIAL STUDIES The first-grade social studies curriculum explores the building blocks of community and the ways in which different communities structure themselves. Beginning with self and family, students examine neighborhood, city, state, country and continent. Throughout the year, students learn geography and map skills. In the spring, the study of bluebirds on our campus teaches students some of the fundamental tools for studying community. Children observe and record the behavior, diet and habitat of the bluebirds and the relationship among these things.
GRADE 2 SOCIAL STUDIES The second-grade social studies curriculum builds on the concept of community, exploring the essential elements of a successful and thriving community. In the fall, students study the Pilgrims in Plymouth Colony, and in the spring, the American pioneers. For each unit, students take part in a simulation, enacting the daily lives of individuals in those communities. In addition, students construct a Mayflower ship, hold a Thanksgiving feast and build a pioneer school within their classroom. Throughout the year, field trips, including the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts in Madison, New Jersey, complement classroom learning. As part of the social studies program, students continue to learn map skills. These are applied in a culminating project wherein students design their own community. As part of that effort, students work in groups to plan and design homes and services for their distinctive neighborhood. The groups later combine their neighborhoods to create a larger community. Second grade also introduces the Passport to the World program in which students learn more about the world and its people. Parent volunteers serve as tour guides to countries, and each student keeps a passport to document his/her travels throughout the year.
GRADE 3 SOCIAL STUDIES The third-grade social studies curriculum begins with a study of European explorers and continues to the Americas and Native Americans. Students investigate how and why Europeans settled the Americas; the challenges they faced; the products and ideas that the settlers brought to the Americas; the interactions among the early Europeans and the Native Americans; and some of the contributions of Native Americans. Throughout the course of the year, respect for and understanding of other cultures is emphasized. The coursework in third and fourth grades create a solid foundation for further studies in United States history in fifth grade. Map skills, research projects and reports are an important part of our program. In addition, technology is integrated into assignments and projects throughout the year. As part of the map skills program, students undertake an independent study of a state, culminating in written reports and oral presentations.
GRADE 4 SOCIAL STUDIES The fourth-grade social studies curriculum includes colonial life, the American Revolution, and immigration. It provides, in conjunction with the third-grade curriculum, a solid foundation for further studies in United States history in fifth grade. Students explore how and why the Colonies developed differently in various regions of what is now the United States; the major causes of the American Revolution; and why people from other countries came to the United States. Hands-on projects, trips and films supplement the study of historical periods. Skills such as reading for information, note-taking and report writing are taught in conjunction with research projects. In addition to studying history and geography, students continue to strengthen their map skills. Learning to research, write reports and present information is an important part of the program.
SCIENCE Incorporating the ideals and content of the Next Generation Science Standards, our program encourages inquiry and helps students develop a strong foundation in scientific and engineering knowledge and practices. Students investigate topics in the four domains: physical sciences, life sciences, earth and space sciences, and engineering, technology and applied science. In addition, they learn the skills for scientific exploration: asking and defining problems; developing and using models; planning and carrying out investigations; analyzing and interpreting data; using mathematics and computational thinking; constructing explanations and designing solutions; defining ideas with evidence; and obtaining, evaluating, and communicating scientific information.
Our Lower School science curriculum builds on children’s natural curiosity, providing them with the scientific framework and tools to explore and investigate the natural world. Students learn to ask questions, formulate answers and solve problems as young engineers and scientists.
Our science teachers thoughtfully incorporate the resources of our 208-acre campus into the curriculum. Beyond the classroom, Lower School laboratory and Tinker Space, lessons bring students to the garden, apple orchard, greenhouse, farm, butterfly garden, ponds, streams, playgrounds, and fields. All Lower School students play an important role in the garden by planting in the spring and harvesting in the fall. Each grade learns the characteristics of a specific plant family, observes a complete plant life cycle, and helps save seeds for future plantings. As part of the curriculum, students become citizen scientists by collecting and sharing data with scientists online. Students have taken part in Project Budburst, Cornell Nest Watch, Journey North (monarch butterfly migration), and NASA’s Tomatosphere project.
PRESCHOOL AND PRE-KINDERGARTEN SCIENCE Our youngest students spend time in the science lab every other week, where explorations introduce them to what scientists do and how they learn about the world around us. Through these explorations, students approach the world as scientists: describing and sorting objects, investigating the relationship between part and whole, examining the materials that make up everyday items, and learning about different types of living things.
KINDERGARTEN SCIENCE The Kindergarten science curriculum encourages the natural curiosity of young learners while equipping them with the scientific knowledge, tools and skills to investigate the world around them. Through weekly lab explorations, Kindergarten students investigate questions in science and engineering as they explore weather, how it changes from season to season and its effect on different things; animals and their habitats; the special qualities of water; and the effect of motion on objects. Special labs during the year include paper engineering, “potion” making, and a bubble festival. Throughout the year, students learn and use basic science and engineering practices, making observations, classifying objects and making predictions.
GRADE 1 SCIENCE While learning more about the natural world around them, first-grade students are introduced to many of the fundamental skills that scientists use: planning and carrying out investigations; making and recording measurements; observing and recording data; and developing models. A study of forests and trees in the fall allows students to explore ways in which plants meet their own needs to survive and grow. In the winter, students observe and record patterns in the sky through direct observation and online astronomical resources. During this unit of study, first-graders investigate what happens when there is no light and they track the phases of the moon and observe the ways in which celestial objects seem to move. In the spring, students embark on a study of birds, learning about the body structure and the characteristics of different species. This work connects with a homeroom project in which the students learn about bluebirds and their habitats andâ€”with help from our woodworking teachersâ€”create nesting boxes for bluebirds. Through the study of birds, including the chickens and baby chicks at Home Winds, students also explore the ways in which parents and their offspring are similar and different. As part of the Biome Museum in the spring, students use Cornell Ornithology resources to examine sound spectrograms of birds represented in the biome; the students then create sound recordings of their own, replicating the calls with their voices.
GRADE 2 SCIENCE Second-graders continue to develop Next Generation Science Skills as they study elements of the natural world, the properties of matter, and landforms and geology. The year begins with the study of butterflies, their lifecycle, form and function. The butterfly garden, which students help maintain, allows students to investigate the relationship between plants and insects. In a citizen-scientist project, the students record the migration of monarch butterflies through Journey North, and then in the spring, raise and release monarch butterflies. Throughout the year, students look more broadly at the interdependence of insects and plants, as they also explore the unique needs of each. As part of their study of plants, second-graders create models of seed dispersers, design plant pollinators and experiment with the effect on plants of different applications of sunlight and water. The second-grade contribution to the Biome Museum also focuses on insect life. Additional units during the year include an investigation into the properties of rocks and minerals and a unit on landforms, in which students explore the ways in which earth changes as a result of wind and water.
GRADE 3 SCIENCE In third grade, students use their developing skills as scientists to investigate hereditary traits and adaptation. Beginning with corn, and continuing with sheep and other animals at Home Winds Farm, students look for and record evidence of variations in inherited traits. Students also have the chance to form conclusions about animals and their environments long ago through and analysis and interpretation of fossils. Throughout the unit, students gather and evaluate evidence in support of the explanation that traits can be influenced by humans and the environment. Third-graders also study motion, balanced and unbalanced forces, and magnetism. As part of this unit, students plan and conduct their own investigations to provide evidence of the existence of balanced and unbalanced forces. They also use their understanding of magnets and magnetism to design solutions to problems. The year also includes a study of climate and weather, which overlaps with research on the climate for a specific region as part of the annual Biome Museum.
GRADE 4 SCIENCE In fourth-grade, students begin our STREAMS program. An acronym for sustainability, technology, research, engineering, agriculture, math, and service, STREAMS extends traditional coursework in science with fieldwork that utilizes the natural resources of the campus. The STREAMS curriculum is ideal for students in this age group, as it allows students to apply science and engineering skills as well as classroom learning in a hands-on, dynamic outdoor environment.
A natural segue from the unit on light, students investigate the properties of energy, exploring why different colors of light have different amounts of energy, how energy travels in waves, and how flowing water can be used as an energy source. In addition, the fourth-grade curriculum emphasizes using maps and mapping to describe patterns of the earthâ€™s features and relate these to natural hazards and natural resources. This includes exploring plate tectonic boundaries based on patterns of volcanoes and earthquakes. Students look at satellite images to examine changes in the land over time through rock formations, weathering, and erosion.
The fourth-grade year begins with a study of adaptations and survival mechanisms for plants and animals. As part of this unit, students observe and record data for several of the animal groups and the bees at Home Winds Farm. These data are then used to create a model of animal and insect sensory systems. Later in the year, a unit on light and sound allows students to explore and model different kinds of waves. Students develop models of vision for humans and for bees, basing these models on their knowledge of light waves and sensory systems.
WORLD LANGUAGE World Language is a comprehensive exploratory program for students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 4. Students are introduced to the Francophone and Hispanic/Latino cultures of the world, as they learn to listen, speak, read and write in French and Spanish. This early exposure to world language instills a positive attitude toward learning languages and exploring other cultures. Throughout the year, the World Language curriculum connects with the Related Arts curriculum to develop special projects that engage the entire Lower School community.
PRE-KINDERGARDENâ€“GRADE 1 FRENCH French is studied for three successive years, in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 1. Students develop listening and speaking skills, and comprehension is stressed at the beginning stages, in keeping with the theory of firstlanguage acquisition. Students are encouraged to use the target language as much as possible, practicing French through games, songs, familiar stories, traditional tales and role-play. Arts and crafts, customs and celebrations, music and dance are all incorporated to help students better understand and appreciate the French language and its cultures.
GRADES 2â€“4 SPANISH Spanish is studied for three successive years, in Grade 2 through Grade 4. Students develop listening and speaking skills and gradually learn to read and write with comprehension. A wide variety of methodologies enhance linguistic and cultural competence and actively involve students in language use. Lessons relate to language, culture and everyday activities that are relevant to the students, their environment and interests. Students collaborate through pair and small-group activities in the form of games, role-play and research. The study of culture plays a significant role in the curriculum. Participation in authentic and age-appropriate experiences allows students to develop an appreciation for Spanish language cultures.
VISUAL ARTS LOWER SCHOOL
Our Lower School arts program builds on the inherent joy of creativity, providing students with the skills and understanding to express themselves with greater confidence and clarity through a range of art forms. Students explore a diverse studio experience working with many media, including pencils, printing, clay, fiber and paint. Students develop an understanding of the elements and principles of art, gaining a deeper appreciation of different artists and styles while developing coordination, fine-motor skills and visual sense. As students mature, they work more independently and begin to discover their own artistic styles and more fully incorporate their understanding of form, media and technique. The curriculum encourages students to make connections to topics they are exploring in other classes.
PRESCHOOLâ€“PRE-KINDERGARTEN VISUAL ART By creating art, young learners engage in discovery and develop creativity, independence and problem-solving skills. The art curriculum focuses on self-expression, engaging each childâ€™s imagination and extending his/her verbal and visual vocabulary. Preschool/Pre-Kindergarten students use a variety of materials for experimenting and sensory exploration which help to develop fine-motor skills and build control of large and small muscle groups. Through repeated practice, students build control, coordination, strength and confidence in art. Projects are guided by a teacher, so children become more adept at following instructions while having the freedom to make their own decisions and to make their projects personal. Some projects are more guided, while others focus on the process and experience, giving students a chance to experiment with colors, shapes, textures and individual style.
KINDERGARTEN VISUAL ART Kindergarten students are introduced to the elements of art (line, shape, space, value, color, texture and form) and learn about well-known artists and the unique styles they use to emphasize particular elements. Students learn the importance of colors, both primary and secondary, and how to mix colors through various media such as acrylic paint, homemade colored dough and watercolors. For example, Kindergarten students explore paper and shapes while constructing and designing collages. The course integrates childrenâ€™s literature and reference books to provide students with a base for connecting art to other subjects.
GRADE 1 VISUAL ART Building on the introduction of art elements in Kindergarten, first-grade students continue to identify and describe concepts through various projects. First-graders use and expand on their prior experience with colors and expand their knowledge of warm and cool colors through the creation of watercolor paintings. Their knowledge of art elements continues to evolve as they dive deeper into shapes and forms while designing masks and sculptures.
GRADE 2 VISUAL ART In second grade, students incorporate several elements of art into each project. This allows them to develop more purpose within their artwork and gives them a better understanding of why various elements are being used simultaneously. Henri Matisseâ€™s paper cutouts serve as a focal point throughout the year and inspire several projects. Students highlight shape, space and composition as they design paper collages. They also concentrate on form and symmetry while creating mixed-media portraits. Students employ ideas and techniques from previous years and begin to adopt their own sense of enjoyment and style in the creative process.
GRADE 3 VISUAL ART Students begin to work independently on projects in the third grade. As their artistic styles continue to mature, they are increasingly able to recall and employ the elements of art learned in prior years. Students combine techniques and incorporate more contrasting, analogous and complementary colors within their projects. They learn to integrate simple and complex patterns into projects such as zentangle silhouette trees, which have overlapping elements. Throughout the year, they apply basic principles of art, such as balance, movement and rhythm. Students explore the work of Romero Britto, who focuses on pattern and placement in his work, and Pablo Picasso, whose later work is more abstract.
GRADE 4 VISUAL ART By fourth grade, students are better able to explain their decision-making while working on projects. Fourth-grade lessons encompass all the elements of art and highlight principles of art through projects such as patterned-paper relief sculptures and Keith Haring action figures. Students also develop an understanding of important movements in art history, including surrealism, impressionism and abstract expressionism. Students incorporate this knowledge into various projects, including drawing from observation (both still-life and landscape) and making self-portraits. Fourth-grade students are self-directed, using and applying their understanding of the elements of art, artists, media and techniques.
MUSIC LOWER SCHOOL
In the Lower School music program, students experience the joy of music as they sing, move and compose. Lower School students explore pitch, beat and rhythm, play classroom instruments and develop their singing voices. As they progress through the program, students begin to learn the elements of music, including musical notation and the form of musical compositions. Students also study composers and the instruments of the orchestra, as well as music from various cultures and celebrations. In addition, concerts and performance opportunities foster a lifelong love of making music and give students the opportunity to apply and demonstrate what they have learned in the classroom.
PRESCHOOL-KINDERGARTEN MUSIC Students learn music through singing, creative movement, listening and playing classroom instruments. Songs reinforce regular classroom activities and celebrate the seasons of the year, holidays and multicultural events. When applicable, lessons are coordinated with academic content, allowing students to make cross-curricular connections and gain a well-rounded understanding of each lesson. Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten students attend music class daily. A strong emphasis is placed on developing a sense of a steady beat and finding one’s singing voice. Students study The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Paul Dukas to explore how music and sound can tell a story. Orchestra instruments are introduced through Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. Kindergarten students attend music class twice each week. Classroom instruments and body percussion are used to practice establishing and maintaining a steady beat. A strong emphasis is placed on using the singing voice, both alone and in a group, to match pitch and rhythm in a variety of songs and chants. Students study Camille SaintSaëns’ Carnival of the Animals to learn about orchestra instruments and the elements of music. The creation and reading of a simple notational system is introduced. Students perform in two concerts each year, one in December and one in May. The winter concert includes seasonal songs representing a variety of holidays and traditions. In addition, they study and perform a fullycostumed and narrated version of Peter Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker in December, a beloved GSB tradition for over two decades.
GRADES 1–2 MUSIC A rich repertoire of rhymes, folk songs, music games and movement is explored using varied music styles. Classroom instruments play an important role in music learning, as students explore the differences between beat and rhythm. Through making music, students learn to identify basic elements, such as rhythm notation, tempo, dynamics and form. In the second grade, students identify and label these music elements and read and write simple rhythmic and melodic patterns. These skills are often applied when playing classroom instruments, creating a foundation for further music learning and performance. First- and second-grade students join forces to present two concerts each year. Grade 1–2 students attend music class twice each week.
GRADE 3 MUSIC
Third-grade exploration of music includes singing, games and movement. Students learn to apply their understanding of the basic elements of music to singing, moving and using classroom instruments. Students also learn about composers and their music, styles of music and how music relates to cultures around the world. Grade 3 students attend music class twice each week. Third-grade musicians have learned how to use their singing voices and are ready for the challenge of creating vocal harmonies. In preparation for two concerts each year, students learn the importance of practice and working together as a group to prepare for a performance.
GRADE 4 MUSIC In fourth grade, students have already explored note and rhythm reading, form, pitch, dynamics, and tempo, and are ready for an exploration of timbre and texture. General music education continues, as students learn about various composers and their music, conducting and conductors, styles of music and how music relates to different cultures in society. In addition to singing and using classroom instruments, fourth-graders apply their music knowledge to learning to play the recorder. Both musicianship and performance are emphasized, with students practicing singing in unison and in parts and playing the recorder as soloists or in an ensemble. Winter and spring concerts provide students with opportunities to demonstrate and apply their performance skills. Grade 4 students attend music class twice each week and have separate instruction in playing the recorder.
EARLY CHILDHOOD LIBRARY
The Lower School library is one of three libraries at GSB. It houses over 6,000 volumes. Books are updated regularly and chosen to meet the curricular needs and interests of Lower School students. Each class visits the library once a week to select books and take part in a library lesson. As part of library time, students learn research skills at every grade level. The Lower School library is open five days a week, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and students are encouraged to visit the library to exchange books.
Children in Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten visit the Lower School library for story time each week, introducing them to a wide variety of childrenâ€™s literature. In Kindergarten, students learn how to find and select books in the library. In addition, every Kindergartener conducts individual research with the librarian, and shares his/her findings with the class during a poster presentation.
GRADE 1 LIBRARY First grade read-aloud books focus on fairy tales, pourquoi stories and word play. Students learn about theme, plot and tone. During each unit of library study, the class writes a representative story.
GRADE 2 LIBRARY Second-grade students complete one or more reading passports by reading books across different genres. Students are introduced to dictionaries, thesauri and simple encyclopedias for conducting research. In addition, they complete units of study on similes, biographies and the parts of a book.
GRADE 3 LIBRARY Third-graders learn the Dewey Decimal System to better navigate the stacks and expand their use of encyclopedias and reference books. Each student researches an animal in a cross-curricular project with his/her classroom and computer teachers. During a geography unit, students learn to use atlases and to draw maps.
GRADE 4 LIBRARY In fourth grade, students continue to focus on research methods and strategies, learning to navigate articles, create detailed historical timelines and use a variety of sources.
TINKER SPACE The Lower School librarian oversees the Tinker Space and designs some grade-level projects for the space. Used by every student in the Lower School, the Tinker Space is dedicated to building, creating and exploring. This flexible space combines manufacturing equipment (including building blocks, doodle pens, LEGOs, and cutting and gluing tools) with technology (such as computer programming software, iPads and a 3-D printer). While working in the Tinker Space, children build skills in collaborative problem-solving, critical thinking and innovation.
TECHNOLOGY Technology is a vital tool to facilitate learning across a range of subjects. In the Lower School, technology projects are coordinated with homeroom and Related Arts teachers to support the curriculum and to allow children to utilize age-appropriate technology to enrich learning. Weekly computer lab classes provide students with a strong foundation in computer and technology skills. Areas of study include digital citizenship; keyboarding and mouse skills; file and network navigation; online safety and research; device usage and etiquette; programming; document and publication design and formatting; and video, audio and slideshow presentations. Students are also introduced to the fundamentals of computer science and coding.
PRE-KINDERGARTEN TECHNOLOGY Students in Pre-Kindergarten visit the computer lab once each month with fourth-grade computer buddies. Class time introduces students to the basic use of computers, and for the culminating project, students digitally draw and narrate a slideshow presentation that reinforces their yearlong study of the letters in the alphabet.
KINDERGARTEN TECHNOLOGY Students meet in the computer lab every other week. As students continue to develop mouse and keyboard skills, basic Internet browser and file menu navigation is introduced. Programming is presented through the coding app Kodable and the board game Robot Turtles™. Students also participate in the Hour of Code™. Kindergarten students use iPads to create and record a slideshow presentation using VoiceThread.
GRADE 1 TECHNOLOGY During weekly classes, students continue to develop mouse and keyboarding skills. Students study basic programming through board games such as Robot Turtles™, as well as coding robots. Students also participate in the Hour of Code™. Digital citizenship lessons focus on online safety. In addition, students learn about blogging and commenting while maintaining their own blog about their bluebird project.
GRADE 2 TECHNOLOGY During weekly classes, students study basic programming through the curriculum at Code.org® and participate in the Hour of Code™. Digital citizenship lessons focus on online safety. In addition, students use MS Paint to create their own town map and Kid Pix to create documents and publications with drawings and text. Online presentation software, including VoiceThread, is also used.
GRADE 3 TECHNOLOGY Through weekly computer classes, students continue to work independently to master keyboarding skills. Students learn the basics of Internet research, finding credible websites and properly citing Web sources. They share what they have learned through Word documents, posters and slideshow presentations. Online presentation software, including VoiceThread and ThingLink, continue to be used. Students continue to study programming using Code.org®, as well as to participate in the Hour of Code™.
By third grade, digital citizenship becomes an increasingly important topic. Units of study include online safety, digital footprints, cyberbullying, and copyright rules.
GRADE 4 TECHNOLOGY
Digital citizenship is an important topic. Units of study include online safety and privacy of information, cyberbullying, creative credit and copyright. Working in groups, fourth-graders write, direct, film, star in and edit an iMovie about digital citizenship.
Students practice Internet research, find credible websites and learn how to properly cite Web sources. Students use the MS Office Suite to present information, sharing what they have learned through Word documents, posters and slideshow presentations. Online presentation software, including VoiceThread and ThingLink, continue to be used. During the Related Arts habitat unit of study, fourth-grade students create their own website. Students also create and use QR codes to display and allow access to their online work. Students continue to study programming using Code. orgÂŽ, as well as to participate in the Hour of Codeâ„˘.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION Physical education enhances brain development, improves focus, and contributes to overall health, wellbeing and positive mood. Our physical education program teaches the importance of cooperation through games and athletic activities. Physical education classes meet three to five times each week and emphasize the development of gross-motor control skills through running, jumping, throwing, catching and other activities that enable students to develop body and spatial awareness. Students also develop balance, endurance, flexibility and stability.
EARLY CHILDHOOD PHYSICAL EDUCATION Activities support the development of strong social and emotional skills, gross-motor skills, muscle strength, balance and coordination. Through directed games and exercises, students explore space awareness, safety, body awareness and movement. Classes meet every day.
GRADE 1â€“4 PHYSICAL EDUCATION The Lower School physical education program provides structured, large-group activities that develop cognitive, physical and social skills. Activities promote social interaction, team building and sportsmanship. The progression of skill development lays the foundation for transition to our Middle School physical education and athletics program. Fall physical education activities include soccer (fundamental skills, drills and games), cross country (stretching, distance running using pedometers and the Strava app), tennis (fundamental skills, drills and games) and group games. Winter offerings include basketball (fundamental skills, drills and games), floor hockey (fundamental skills, drills and games) and physical fitness (exercise stations and fitness games). The spring season includes track and field (fundamental skills and events), baseball and softball (fundamental skills and rules learned through kickball and Wiffle ball activities), and lacrosse (fundamental skills, drills and games).
HEALTH AND WELLNESS As part of physical education, students in grades three and four are introduced to health and wellness topics, including healthy eating, the importance of physical fitness, healthy strategies for working through differences with friends, and other developmentally appropriate topics.
SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL LEARNING/CHARACTER EDUCATION Research indicates that social and emotional skills help students thrive in school and throughout their lives. Social and emotional learning comprises an essential part of our curriculum, as children learn to be good citizens, collaborators and contributors. Our social, emotional and character development program recognizes and celebrates GSB’s Core Values of courage, integrity, respect, compassion and excellence in our students. Throughout each day, faculty use “teachable moments” to help students become aware of good character and to encourage the use of strategies to develop stronger character. Beginning in our Preschool classroom, we recognize that children want to do the right thing, and we work to ensure our students develop strong character traits through a variety of social and emotional learning activities and experiences.
In our earliest grade levels, students participate in Friday Friends. This age-specific social and emotional curriculum helps build awareness and skills in friendship. Students learn strategies to solve problems, the importance of accepting and celebrating our differences and similarities, and the value of cooperation, empathy and respect. The GSB mission statement and Core Values are woven into our curriculum and lived each day in purposeful and intentional ways.
Students model and practice appropriate language and behavior in everyday relationships and are taught independence through a proactive approach to solving problems. They also learn when to ask an adult for help in resolving a conflict or problem. Through interactions with students in the Middle and Upper Schools, our youngest students learn how to connect with other members of our community.
MIDDLE SCHOOL The unmistakable energy of our Middle School—vibrant, joyful and nurturing—encourages students to challenge themselves in academics, explore new interests and take intellectual risks. During the Middle School years, our students become increasingly comfortable articulating their ideas and values as they begin to realize their immense capacity to contribute—not simply to the school, but also to the community and the larger world.
Within this framework, the Middle School offers a comprehensive academic program that focuses on mastery of core academic subjects: language arts/English, mathematics, science, social studies/history and world language. In addition, a range of coursework in fine arts, performing arts, Makerspace and technology provides a well-rounded school experience and allows students to discover new interests and develop existing ones. Throughout the curriculum, students acquire essential skills for increasingly rigorous academic work—learning how to take effective notes, read and analyze complex texts, study for assessments and organize their thoughts and their time. Complementing the academic program are after-school offerings in the fine and performing arts, inschool clubs, athletics and community service. These activities are an important part of the Middle School experience, allowing students to connect with others around a common interest, explore new interests, collaborate and lead. In addition, the Middle School also offers a faculty-led study hall until 5:45 p.m. each day. Students can complete homework assignments, see teachers for extra help or work on group projects. Study hall is free of charge, as are the vast majority of extracurricular activities in the Middle School.
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS Advisory Every student in the Middle School is assigned a faculty advisor, a role similar to that of a homeroom teacher in Lower School. Faculty advisors oversee and support each student’s academic progress, maintain regular contact with parents, teachers and coaches, and assist students in all areas of school life. In addition to meeting with students during structured advisory times, advisors also informally check in with their advisees during classes, breaks, meals and sporting events. Advisors serve as the first point of contact between a student’s parents and the school. Parents are encouraged to talk with their child’s advisor about questions or concerns and to share information that may have a bearing on the student’s life at the school. Character Awareness/Social and Emotional Learning In the words of one of our Middle School science teachers, “There is an unspoken code at Gill: work hard, be joyful and help one another.” During the Middle School years, our students increasingly recognize the critical roles they play—as individuals and in groups—in fostering and shaping the school community. The focus on community building is woven into every aspect of our Middle School program, founded on the understanding that thriving communities do not simply appear; they require thoughtful work and a willingness to show consideration and respect for others. Through advisory and classroom discussions, community service efforts, Town Hall meetings and everyday lunch-time conversations, students have the opportunity to consider the ways in which their actions and attitudes may affect others. In addition, our Middle School focuses on one virtue each month, giving students a chance to thoughtfully consider what that virtue, or its absence, might look like—how it might be manifested in everyday life right here in our school community, through the characters we study in history and literature and in the larger world.
Teachers encourage students to learn from their mistakes and move forward. Along the way, teachers help students think through their behavior and develop healthy strategies for resolving differences. Although the faculty guide the discussions, it is truly the students who take the lead, seeing themselves as ambassadors for, and contributors to, our wonderful Middle School community.
Community Service Community service is a natural extension of our emphasis on character awareness, citizenship, inclusion, kindness and respect. While service is an integral part of the curriculum, during the Middle School years, students begin to take ownership of service activities: identifying a need and designing and implementing a solution. Several Middle School clubs, including the Community Excellence Club, Half the Sky Club, the Garden Club and Reading Buddies, are centered around service activities. Whether organizing a food drive or weaving Paracord bracelets for Susan G. Komen, our Middle School students are committed to making the campus, the community and the world a better place. Makerspace Classes Stocked with art supplies, building materials, several 3-D printers, Arduino boards and other technology resources, the Makerspace hums with activity before, during and after the academic day. Located in the Merke Learning Commons, the Makerspace is dedicated to hands-on exploration, innovation and learning. Every student in the Middle School has Makerspace class once a week. Classes are projectbased—for example designing earthquake-proof structures or coding robots—and often tie into work being done in other subjects. Research and Presentation
Students at each grade level develop public speaking and presentation skills, becoming more comfortable expressing their ideas and more confident responding to questions. Presentations are woven into coursework throughout the curriculum, and events such as the Science Symposium and Roman Day afford students further opportunities to share their work in front of teachers and peers. Advisory groups and monthly Town Hall meetings also provide space for students to share their ideas and opinions within larger groups. Through frequent group discussions, students learn not only how to express their own ideas, but also how to express dissent constructively and to demonstrate respect for the ideas and opinions of others.
At each grade level, students undertake research projects under the direction of the Middle School librarian. In addition to exploring a topic in depth, students learn to evaluate sources and develop skills in notetaking, outlining and critical writing. Core subject teachers work in coordination with the librarian to ensure consistency in the process across grade levels. The Middle School uses the NoodleTools platform to help with student organization and collaboration.
Room to Grow Middle School at Gill St. Bernard’s fosters students’ growing independence, understanding that preteens and adolescents are naturally driven to explore and experience the larger world. By Middle School, coursework takes place throughout our campus. Students have fine arts classes in the arts studio, ceramics studio and woodworking barn. Music classes take advantage of the beautiful acoustics in our chapel. Classes are held in two academic buildings, which include dedicated spaces, such as the computer lab or the Merke Learning Commons, which comprises a library and adjacent Makerspace. Finally, the resources of Home Winds—farm, gardens, greenhouses, orchards, ponds, trails and streams—serve as an inexhaustible outdoor classroom to complement learning across a range of disciplines. STREAMS Students in grades 4–6 take part in STREAMS, a yearlong program that brings together work in sustainability, technology, research, engineering, agriculture, math and service. Our STREAMS teachers understand that Middle School students learn best when they are given the chance to create, tinker and problem-solve. Using our 208-acre campus as a living laboratory, our students work together to design and implement solutions to achieve greater sustainability on our campus and in the larger world. The Unit A weeklong program held at the end of May, the Middle School Unit gives students a chance to immerse themselves in a subject outside of the core curriculum. Whether rock climbing in the Delaware Water Gap, learning to cook, designing pinball machines or staging a musical production, the experience is creative, collaborative and hands-on. Scheduled at the end of the school year, the Unit provides a welcome shift from traditional academics, while still allowing significant learning to take place.
ACADEMIC EXPECTATIONS Homework Homework is an important part of the learning process, complementing classwork and encouraging students to find their own way into the material. In addition, regular homework assignments give teachers further insight into each student’s challenges, strengths and understanding of the material. Our teachers thoughtfully design homework assignments to enrich daily classwork. Students keep track of their assignments in a traditional plan book provided by the school. In addition, teachers post their assignments on an electronic bulletin board each day. They also routinely post upcoming assignments, attachments and links to enrichment websites. The electronic bulletin board is helpful for students wanting to do daily assignment checks, plan ahead or see assignments they may have missed due to absence. Missed Work Throughout Middle School, students learn how to better manage and organize their time as they take on increasingly rigorous coursework. It is vital that they feel supported in this effort and that their progress is not hindered by a few bumps along the way. When a student misses an assignment, for example, the classroom teacher will share that information with the student’s advisor and the parents in a timely fashion. If missed work is not completed within a designated time, teachers may have students remain after school to make up assignments and/or receive extra help.
Grades and Comments
The Middle School provides frequent opportunities, both formal and informal, for parents to see a student’s progress. In addition to graded student assessments, homework and projects, written grades and comments are sent to students and their parents six times during the academic year. In addition, parent/teacher conferences are scheduled in November and February. Outside of these official reporting periods, parents are encouraged to talk with the student’s advisor or teacher(s) about any concerns or questions regarding academic standing.
Letter grades correspond to the following numerical scale: Letter Grade
Below Standard Performance. It is acceptable as credit only in nonsequential courses. For example, a student with a grade below C- in any world language course will not be passed to the next level of that course.
An incomplete grade is given due to illness or other significant issue. Students are required to complete the coursework within a brief, specified period of time.
Indicates that the student has passed the course.
Unacceptable Performance. Students will not receive credit for the course.
Academic Review Any student who shows a pattern of grades below C will be subject to academic review. The student and his/ her family will be asked to meet with the appropriate members of the faculty and the Lower & Middle School Director at the earliest possible date. Should the pattern continue, the student’s re-enrollment contract may be placed on hold. Academic Warning Any student receiving a grade in the D range for a core course will be placed on academic warning during the next marking period. Academic Probation Any student with an F, or two or more course grades in the D range, will be placed on academic probation during the next marking period. Re-enrollment contracts may be withheld for students on academic probation. Testing Students in Grades 3 through 8 sit for the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) assessment each spring. The ERB is a common standardized test administered in independent schools. Results compare Gill St. Bernard’s students to students from other independent schools across a range of categories. The Lower & Middle School Director of Learning Support shares the ERB results with families, typically in early summer. If families have questions regarding the test, they should make an appointment with the Lower & Middle School Director of Learning Support in the summer or early fall.
In keeping with its core values, Gill recognizes students for academic excellence and academic improvement, as well as for character, citizenship, service, sportsmanship and contributions to the school community. Awards are presented at the close of the academic year.
MIDDLE SCHOOL CURRICULUM LANGUAGE ARTS/ENGLISH The Middle School English/Language Arts program nurtures a love of reading and writing, while also giving students a comprehensive foundation in grammar, spelling and vocabulary. Because reading and writing are essential to academic success in a range of subjects, English/Language Arts classes meet six times each week for fifth- and sixth-graders and seven times each week for seventh- and eighth-graders. Throughout the program, concepts explored in literature are applied to the writing process in the development of both creative and expository pieces. In addition to reading literature for their courses, our students are required to read independently throughout the Middle School. Teachers also collaborate with the Middle School librarian to help students develop their research skills.
Fifth-graders develop a passion for literature through studying the literary genres of realistic fiction, fantasy and historical fiction in detail. They learn to recognize different writing styles and literary techniques, to comprehend figures of speech and to analyze character and plot development. Students also participate in literature circles and take turns leading small-group discussions. Students choose novels for independent reading from a classroom library that is categorized by interest and genre. Accelerated Reader, a Web-based program that integrates computer technology with reading enrichment, increases reading comprehension and monitors independent reading progress. Students engage in the writing process throughout the year, drafting book reviews, fantasy stories, persuasive essays, literary essays and nonfiction pieces. Students learn to effectively review their own writing and collaborate in the peer editing process. Grammar is studied throughout the year and is integrated into writing instruction, as are spelling skills. Students study vocabulary in the context of the literature they are reading as well as from a workbook series. Students learn to listen and speak effectively through presentations to the class and through class discussions. The balanced curriculum encourages critical thinking and comprehension skills, collaboration and a deep understanding and appreciation of literature and expression. Fifth-grade Language Arts classes meet six periods per week.
GRADE 5 LANGUAGE ARTS
Resources include Accelerated Reader, Grammar Workshop and Vocabulary Workshop. Novels include Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet, Deborah Ellis’ Breadwinner, Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth and Pam Muñoz Ryan’s Esperanza Rising.
GRADE 6 LANGUAGE ARTS Sixth-graders study a range of literary genres, including historical fiction, realistic fiction and science fiction, as well as short stories, poems and plays. The students learn to identify literary elements and figurative language as they develop critical-reading skills. Students learn various techniques for composing well-organized paragraphs and essays, and much of the writing is an outgrowth of the novels that are read as part of the class. Creative writing is further explored in narratives for interdisciplinary projects, journal writing and original stories. As part of the coursework, students share original work and formal presentations using applications such as PowerPoint and iMovie. Vocabulary is derived from literature units, a comprehensive workbook and the study of prefix and suffix meanings. Spelling skills are reinforced through the study of commonly confused words and
those most frequently misused in writing. Personal spelling lists are also differentiated for each student. Grammar lessons focus on the mechanics of writing, the structural relationship between words in sentences, and direct usage in student work. Sixth-grade Language Arts classes meet six periods per week. Resources include Vocabulary Workshop, Confusing Words Reference Series, Prefixes and Suffixes, Sitton Spelling, Essentials of English and Accelerated Reader (independent reading). Novels include Lois Lowry’s The Giver, Jacqueline Woodson’s brown girl dreaming, Raquel J. Palacio’s Wonder, James Howe’s Misfits, and a variety of short stories. In addition, students self-select a wide range of novels and nonfiction reading.
GRADE 7 ENGLISH Students develop critical-thinking skills in seventh-grade English as they learn to discuss and write about increasingly complex literature. In addition to teacher-directed analysis, students learn to take effective notes about the reading to aid in their comprehension and to facilitate discussion. Participation in class discussions is an essential component of this course, as students learn to analyze ideas. Exploring novels, short stories and poetry, students move beyond understanding plot to analyzing literary devices, including character development, symbolism and theme. Students draw from their own experiences to inform and strengthen their understanding of the texts. They also reflect on how themes and lessons in literature apply to themselves and the world around them. Most writing assignments are critical analyses of the novels; using textual evidence to support an argument is emphasized. Students learn to organize their ideas and structure their writing effectively through single paragraphs, three-paragraph essays, and five-paragraph essays. Students also have the opportunity to engage in creative and narrative writing as a way to explore literature and topics of personal interest. Vocabulary and grammar instruction supports and enhances students’ writing. Grammar topics include parts of speech, parts of a sentence, sentence structure, punctuation, principal parts of verbs, pronoun usage, and commonly confused words. This class meets seven times per week. Resources include Vocabulary Workshop Level B, Greek and Latin Roots, Grammar for Writing Grade 9, and Accelerated Reader (independent reading). Novels include Laurie Halse Anderson’s Chains, John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover, Neal Shusterman’s Bruiser, and Mildred D. Taylor’s Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.
GRADE 8 ENGLISH In eighth grade, students become more independent in their reading, writing and thinking skills. An emphasis is placed on literary analysis, including understanding and identifying themes, tone, characterization, symbolism, plot elements and the effect of literary devices, such as irony and foreshadowing. Classroom interaction, including student-led discussions, is an integral part of the course. The study of grammar continues, as students learn about phrases, clauses, different sentence structures, and verb tenses. Writing assignments include several five-paragraph essays, frequent talking points, weekly creative writing and a research paper. Strong arguments, supporting details, textual evidence, proper Modern Language Association (MLA) format, peer review, and knowledge of grammar and vocabulary are emphasized. Vocabulary instruction focuses on making new words part of a student’s written and spoken vocabulary. This class meets seven times per week to allow for in-depth discussions, group work and writing. Resources include Grammar for Writing 9, Vocabulary Workshop C, More Greek and Latin Roots and Accelerated Reader (independent reading). Other works include Elie Wiesel’s Night, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Daniel Keyes’ Flowers for Algernon and S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders.
MATHEMATICS Throughout Middle School, an emphasis is placed on mastery of mathematical concepts so that students are fully prepared for increasingly advanced work. The Middle School math curriculum transitions seamlessly from the Singapore Math program, which culminates in sixth grade, into pre-algebra. In the seventh grade, each student begins an enriched or accelerated math sequence, depending on his/her readiness. The enriched sequence offers Algebra I over the course of two academic years. This allows time for students to solidify pre-algebra skills and to apply those skills to problem-solving. The accelerated sequence offers Algebra I in seventh grade and Geometry in eighth grade. Math placement is based on aptitude and readiness, ensuring a strong foundation for further mathematical study and success.
GRADE 5 MATHEMATICS
This yearlong course continues the Singapore Math program from earlier grades, introducing new topics and concepts. The course is designed to help students develop a deep conceptual understanding of mathematics. Skills and concepts are taught in an integrated manner, allowing students to draw on prior knowledge, explore topics in depth and achieve mastery. Lessons are carefully designed to move students from a concrete, to a visual and, ultimately, to an abstract understanding of each concept. The course encourages students to become confident, creative problem-solvers. Students study fractions and decimal and whole numbers from the thousandths to the billions and beyond. They develop proficiency in adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions, decimals, and multi-digit numbers. Other major topics include number theory, measurement, ratios, and percentages. Students engage in a variety of problem-solving strategies, including drawing unit models to aid in interpreting and solving word problems. Advanced topics, projects and individualized assignments provide a level of challenge and support appropriate for each student.
GRADE 6 MATH/PRE-ALGEBRAÂ This yearlong course continues the Singapore Math program, introducing new material. The focus is on the conceptual understanding and application of skills to solve problems. Major topics covered include the use of variables to represent unknown quantities, percentages and proportions, measurement and calculation of twoand three-dimensional shapes, probability and the four basic operations with negative numbers. A variety of strategies and skills are introduced for each topic. Students learn to understand different approaches to problems and to discern which strategies may be more appropriate than others. Students are both challenged and supported through group and individual projects and through a variety of assignments and assessments as they work to master the topics covered in the course.
ALGEBRA I Depending on their readiness, students take this course over a single year (accelerated) or over two years (enriched). Algebra I provides formal development of skills and concepts necessary for students to succeed in advanced mathematics courses. This course introduces students to higher-order abstract reasoning strategies. The syllabus covers a variety of topics that serve to open new areas of inquiry while continually reviewing and reinforcing previously presented materials. Course topics include operations with integers, linear equations and inequalities, proportions, graphing on the coordinate plane, linear functions, systems of equations, quadratic equations and functions, and exponent properties.
GRADE 7 ALGEBRA This is the first year of the enriched course. Pre-algebra skills are reintroduced in an integrated manner as new topics are presented. Course highlights include solving equations and inequalities, solving and graphing linear functions, and solving systems of equations. The pace of the course allows for additional exploration of topics and opportunities for group activities that stimulate creativity and critical thinking.
GRADE 8 ALGEBRA This is the second year of the enriched course. This class reviews and reinforces linear algebraic concepts introduced in seventh grade and applies them to non-linear algebraic functions and expressions. Students have independent and collaborative opportunities to practice these skills in practical situations. An emphasis on critical thinking, error analysis and improved accuracy contributes to students’ readiness for upper school math classes.
GRADE 8 GEOMETRY
This is the highest-level math course offered to Middle School students and is open only to eighth-grade students who have successfully completed a full-year Algebra I as a prerequisite. The course has two broad goals: understanding the mechanics of geometry, which involves formulas and computations for two- and three- dimensional shapes; and understanding the logic of geometry, which focuses on proofs. Coursework is enhanced with an engineering project and an exploration of trigonometry, which encompasses non-right triangle trigonometry, the Law of Sines and the Law of Cosines, and the unit circle. The McDougall Littell textbook Geometry is used to teach this course which is the same textbook used in Upper School Geometry classes at GSB. Prerequisite: The successful completion of Algebra I and the permission of the teacher.
SOCIAL STUDIES/HISTORY The Middle School history curriculum is rooted in the fundamental skills of critical reading, writing, note-taking, classroom dialogue, and research. The course sequence for 2018-19 includes some new courses and reflects a re-alignment of curricular topics and skills. A new course for Grade 5 focuses on human movement and cultural exchange; Grade 6 will continue a study of ancient history. In Grades 7 and 8, students examine American history from its foundations through the Civil Rights Era. The introduction of the framework helps students understand the choices that shaped history. Students in the Middle School history and social studies courses learn how to research, analyze and assess different sources of information; find corroborating evidence; ask good questions to advance inquiry; formulate an effective argument using evidence; and analyze primary source documents. Students also learn how to communicate an idea across many different platforms, including the use of written reports, oral presentations and online discussion boards. Cross-curricular projects are completed throughout the year, including research papers and presentations. Additionally, students frequently practice technology skills in the classroom, using computers for research and course projects. MIDDLE SCHOOL
The history curriculum is designed to hone students’ communication and critical thinking skills. Students learn to evaluate, synthesize and write as historians, assessing bias in primary and secondary documents and questioning with thoughtfulness and respect. The program produces emerging scholars who are beginning to see contemporary society through multiple lenses and against the backdrop of history.
GRADES 5 SOCIAL STUDIES Expanding upon a foundation established in grades three and four, fifth-graders study United States history with a specific emphasis on settlement patterns and the interaction among various cultures and communities. Essential questions include: why do people leave their homelands, what are the results when peoples from different cultures exchange ideas, and how has immigration shaped the United States? Topics studied include European settlement along the Atlantic seaboard, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and immigration. In the spring, fifth-graders visit Ellis Island to supplement their studies. Resources: History Alive! The United States through Modern Times
GRADES 6 SOCIAL STUDIES The social studies curriculum in the sixth grade is a study of the geography and culture of ancient civilizations. Beginning with a study of the earliest human ancestors from over six million years ago, the curriculum continues with a study of early farmers and the beginnings of civilization, with a focus on Mesopotamia. The course concludes with a thorough study of ancient China, Egypt, India, Greece, Rome, and the Middle Ages. In addition to the historical content, world geography and current events are an integral part of the curriculum. In preparation for the increasingly globalized society of today, students gain a better understanding of the contemporary world and the events that continue to shape history. Resources: History Alive! The Ancient World (TCI), The World in Ancient Times (Oxford University Press) and supplemental readings, articles and primary sources.
GRADE 7 HISTORY For the 2018-2019 academic year, seventh-graders study foundational United States history. Specific emphasis is placed on European settlement patterns and the interaction among various cultures and communities. Essential questions include: why do people leave their homelands; what are the political, cultural, and economic results when peoples from different cultures exchange ideas; and how has immigration shaped the United States? Topics studied include European settlement along the Atlantic seaboard, the establishment of the Constitution and the American Republic, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and immigration. In the spring, seventh-graders visit Philadelphia to supplement their studies. This course will run for two academic years, and beginning in the fall of 2020, the seventh-grade course will shift to Ancient Civilizations, Part II. This adjustment is part of a broader re-alignment of topics and essential questions in Middle School social studies. Text: United States History (Holt McDougal).
GRADE 8 HISTORY Using Facing History and Ourselves as a framework, eighth-grade students study American history from the Civil War through the Civil Rights Era. To quote Facing History and Ourselves, “Through rigorous historical analysis combined with the study of human behavior, Facing History’s approach heightens students’ understanding of racism, religious intolerance, and prejudice.” Select topics include the Civil War, Reconstruction, Immigration, WWI, the Great Depression, the rise of Nazi Germany and WWII, and the Civil Rights Movement. Skills taught include note-taking, study skills, evaluation of sources and understanding bias, critical reading and writing, and debate/discussion. This is Part II of United States History, with Part I taught during the seventhgrade year. A place-based learning experience complements the history curriculum, with eighth-graders traveling to Washington, D.C., in the fall for their annual class trip. Making stops at the Lincoln Memorial, the WWII Memorial and the Kennedy Center, the trip highlights concepts and themes drawn from the social studies curriculum, such as domestic and international conflict, diversity and multiculturalism, and the challenges and opportunities of democracy. Resources: Facing History and Ourselves, select readings/activities; and United States History (Holt McDougal).
GRADE 8 BUILDING BRIDGES Building Bridges is a course designed to facilitate discussion around choices in communities. Through critical reading and classroom dialogue, students explore how multicultural communities live in harmony, examine problem-solving skills and conflict resolution, and learn how to make a positive difference in an increasingly complex society. The course is framed in the pedagogy of Facing History and Ourselves, and the foundational text Seedfolks, by Paul Fleischman. Resources: Facing History and Ourselves, select readings/activities.
SCIENCE Grounded in Next Generation Science Skills, the science program in the Middle School challenges and engages students with exploratory and lab-based learning. Science class meets every day, and topics introduced are revisited throughout Middle School with increasing complexity each year. The STREAMS program brings together work in sustainability, technology, research, engineering, agriculture, math and service, while emphasizing the skills of collaboration, problem-solving and cross-disciplinary thinking. In STREAMS and throughout the Middle School curriculum, teachers utilize the natural resources of our 208-acre campus—gardens, ponds, streams and a working farm—to complement classroom learning. Students also use the Makerspace, a lab-centered working classroom where they can create, design, explore and tinker. Middle School science harnesses the natural curiosity and energy of students, teaching them how to apply scientific concepts and method to their exploration.
GRADE 5 SCIENCE AND THE STREAMS PROGRAM MIDDLE SCHOOL
In fifth-grade science, students journey through the earth’s systems investigating the biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, cryosphere, and geosphere. Through hands-on, collaborative lab activities, this course exposes students to physical science, earth science, life science, and engineering design-technology. From making earth system jars and witnessing a live water cycle, to constructing earthquake-proof towers during the seismology unit, students develop a mature understanding of science concepts and their application in the real world. GSB’s campus provides students with a tangible exploration of the environment. As fifth-graders work through the year, this course nurtures a love of science and learning. Reinforcement of study skills, review and preparation for tests and quizzes, as well as organization of data are presented to students in different formats. The STREAMS Program, which encompasses sustainability, technology, research, engineering, agriculture, math, and service, is an extension of the fifth-grade science course. The program allows fifth-graders to spend 80 minutes per week studying at Home Winds, along with a 45-minute lab period for research. The curriculum is designed to foster problem-solving and design thinking, with concepts around sustainability front-and-center. STREAMS is an opportunity for new Middle Schoolers to explore, discover, and make connections in the scientific world— all on Gill’s 208-acre property. Research plays an integral part in this fifth-grade course. Students explore the biodiversity of flora and fauna on campus, creating field guides that can be shared and used by the GSB campus. The STREAMS program has partnered with Eco-School USA, where students spend the year working on a capstone project focused on analyzing and measuring effective ways to conserve energy.
GRADE 6 SCIENCE AND THE STREAMS PROGRAM Throughout the year, the students become more aware and curious about science in the world around them. Becoming good citizen scientists and learning how to be an integral part of a team is continually modeled. Lessons are designed to encourage students to connect and work with each other. In addition, study and test-taking skills are reinforced with an emphasis on science vocabulary and appropriate lab skills. Sixth-grade lessons include topics from life, earth and physical sciences. A close inspection of the Peapack Brook, which runs through the GSB campus, includes measurement of its physical dimensions, analysis of its water chemistry, and the identification of the organisms which live in the riparian zone. Students learn about the properties of water and become aware of their own water use, how clean water impacts their health and the fact that water is not evenly distributed on the planet. The physical and chemical properties of matter and energy are investigated through a variety of lab activities. Students build wind turbines, design roller coasters, take part in the “Trout in the Classroom project,” hatch chicken eggs in the classroom, and tap maple trees on campus to make syrup. As the culminating activity to the cells and heredity unit, students dissect a worm, a fish and a frog. In an effort to connect science to their life while using the scientific method, students complete a long-term scientific investigation of their choice. The sixth-
graders determine a problem, set up variables, write a hypothesis, and then carry out the experiment by collecting and graphing their data. They draw a conclusion comparing the results to their hypothesis, and write both a research paper and scientist biography. Finally, they present their findings to the school community at the annual Science Symposium. In sixth-grade STREAMS, students apply the field scientist skills they have practiced in previous years of STREAMS to complete more comprehensive capstone projects. The majority of these projects align with the sixth-grade science course. Students research and analyze watersheds and wetlands, further their study on pollinators by restoring the butterfly and wildflower garden on campus, and implement student-based solutions to improve energy efficiency on campus. By the end of the sixth-grade STREAMS program, students develop an awareness and understanding of the interconnectedness of environment, culture and society.
GRADE 7 SCIENCE
This hands-on course is designed for students to develop a thorough understanding of scientific concepts. Topics covered include ecology, human body systems, and properties of light and sound. Through weekly experiments, students develop skills in planning and conducting investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, and developing models to explain natural phenomena. Students are also required to compose several full-length lab reports throughout the year, in which lab report format, graphing and analysis are emphasized. Students are provided with many opportunities to better understand real-life science applications on the GSB campus. These include examining biodiversity in the garden; learning about hydroponics in our on-campus greenhouse; expanding upon knowledge about reproduction in humans and animals by observing pregnancy and birthing in our cows and goats at Home Winds; and by using websites/live webcams to track and/or observe several animal species in real time. Students also engage in a cow eye dissection, have the chance to speak with visiting ophthalmologists and learn about how dogs are trained to assist blind individuals during a visit by “The Seeing Eye.” These opportunities help students better understand how science extends outside the classroom and into the world around them. In addition, this course places strong emphasis on learning how to understand scientific literature, with students carrying out informed discussions about current scientific advances or developments. Students also research and prepare several in-depth multimedia presentations which promote group collaboration, research skills, and public speaking skills. In addition, students compose a research paper and learn how to use NoodleTools, how to format citations, and how to make an outline.
GRADE 8 SCIENCE This course includes a study of robotics, physics, chemistry, geologic time and evolution. Hands-on activities challenge students to design and build, analyze and evaluate, and draw valid conclusions from data. Water rockets are used to apply concepts in physics as students design, test, and redesign a rocket. Math skills are integrated as students learn to use tangents to find the height of their rocket flights. During the study of chemistry, students conduct a series of lab activities that help them better understand concepts, learn to balance chemical equations, and write a structural formula for simple compounds. Students learn to complete formal lab reports that include computer-generated data tables and graphs. They learn to reach conclusions based on data and develop theories to explain the science observed. Working in pairs, eighthgraders design, build, code and program a LEGO robot, using critical thinking, creativity and problem-solving skills to make the robots perform a specific task. Throughout the year, each student also investigates a scientific topic of interest and creates an original iMovie to teach others what he/she has learned. As students mature in Grade 8, there is a greater focus on learning for understanding, on independence and on refining study skills that are necessary for success in the Upper School.
WORLD LANGUAGE The World Language department strives to inspire a love for language in our students, helping them become confident speakers in the target language. Classes encourage students to explore the culture and history of the regions associated with their language. In addition, the program provides natural avenues for conversations about diversity and multiculturalism The Middle School World Language program offers study in French, Latin and Spanish. In addition to language instruction, each course introduces students to the corresponding culture through music, film, printed media and literature. A student entering the Middle School in Grade 5 is required to study French, Spanish, and Latin for one trimester. During each 5th grade trimester, students learn the fundamentals of the languageâ€”functional communication, vocabulary and grammar. In grades six, seven and eight, students embark on a three-year course that is the equivalent of a Level I high-school course. This pacing allows students to master the material and begin Upper School at the intermediate level. Outside the classroom, students participate in field trips and other activities that emphasize the cultural elements of the language they study.
The goal of the fifth-grade Spanish class for all students is to expose and foster topical and functional communication and to raise cultural awareness of traditions and daily life in countries where Spanish is spoken. From the first day of class, students actively participate in short dialogues, question-answer exercises, and role-playing. Elements of the curriculum include geography, history and art along with the study of basic grammar and vocabulary. Printed visual and audio materials, presenting an authentic view of the language and culture, will be used.
GRADE 5 SPANISH
GRADE 5 FRENCH The fifth-grade French class is designed to introduce and expose all students in the grade to the sounds, structure, and basic use of the French language. The class focuses on functional communication, which includes listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills with an emphasis on the listening and speaking components. Cultural awareness of the traditions and daily life of Francophone countries is emphasized through language and classroom activities.
GRADE 5 LATIN This introductory course develops and strengthens good vocabulary and grammar skills, while teaching students the fundamentals of a classical language. Since many English words are derived from Latin, the class serves as an excellent tool for students to develop their vocabulary skills in English as well as in Latin. Emphasis is placed on derivatives, prefixes and suffixes so that students can begin to recognize connections between Latin and English. All grammar instruction is aligned with the Grade 5 Language Arts curriculum in order to reinforce the concepts taught in both courses. Students study the geography of Italy and the contributions of ancient Romans, as well as the clothing, schools and architecture of the Roman Empire and its many contributions to history.
GRADE 6 SPANISH The sixth-grade Spanish class is the first of three consecutive years in the Middle School language program corresponding to the Upper School Level I Spanish course. The study of the language progresses with the communicative approach in a program oriented to provide opportunities to develop conversational and listening comprehension skills. Concurrently, writing skills and grammar are emphasized. The students continue to develop an appreciation for the culture of the Spanish-speaking countries around the world. They develop their skills through creative activities such as writing short dialogues, performing celebrity interviews with their classmates, and writing a book report on a well-known Spanish or Latin American author or artist.
GRADE 6 FRENCH The sixth-grade French class is the first year of three consecutive years in the Middle School language program, corresponding to the Upper School Level I French course. The course is an introduction to the language and cultures of the French-speaking world. Students learn basic vocabulary to carry a simple conversation. This course fosters functional communication as a fundamental building block in reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills for students to move toward language proficiency. Development of cultural understanding is an integral part of daily class activities.
GRADE 6 LATIN The sixth-grade Latin class is the first year of three consecutive years in the Middle School language program, corresponding to the Upper School Level I Latin course. This class develops and strengthens good vocabulary and grammar skills, while teaching students the fundamentals of a classical language. Students are introduced to Latin and Greek mythology, which culminates in a Roman shield project. Students research the shape of various Roman shields and design them, using the symbols and the stories of a particular god.
GRADE 7 SPANISH The seventh-grade Spanish class is the second of three consecutive years in the Middle School language program, corresponding to the Upper School Level I Spanish course. The study of the language progresses with the communicative approach in a program oriented to provide opportunities to develop conversational and listening comprehension skills. Concurrently, writing skills and grammar are emphasized. The students continue to develop an appreciation for the culture of the Spanish-speaking countries around the world. Building a core vocabulary and a strong foundation in grammar is a fundamental building block for students to move toward language proficiency. They learn to ask and answer simple questions, to speak in Spanish, and to write in the present tense about activities and people that relate to daily life.
GRADE 7 FRENCH The seventh-grade French class is the second of two consecutive years in the Middle School language program, corresponding to the Upper School Level I French course. The course continues the introduction of the language and cultures of the French-speaking world. Students learn to ask and answer simple questions, to speak in French, and write in the present tense about activities and people that relate to daily life. Building a core vocabulary and a strong foundation in grammar is a fundamental building block for students to move toward language proficiency. Development of cultural understanding is an integral part of daily class activities.
GRADE 7 LATIN The seventh-grade Latin class is the second of two consecutive years in the Middle School language program, corresponding to the Upper School Level I Latin course. The class is designed for students to pursue the study of Latin, to reinforce their English grammar and to build a strong vocabulary. Students use the Cambridge Latin Course (Cambridge University Press), a reading program designed to help them acquire Latin vocabulary and to read Latin easily. Students build on the grammar structures that are taught in Grade 7 English, enabling them to make connections between English and the root language, as well as to increase their vocabulary and grammar skills in both languages. The Cambridge Latin Course text provides insight into Roman culture and history through stories centered around the destruction of Pompeii and its effects on a particular Roman family. The text also includes Greek and Roman mythology. A variety of activities, projects and a Roman festival of the gods enrich the studentâ€™s experience in the course. Students may take this class with no prior training in Latin.
GRADE 8 SPANISH
GRADE 8 FRENCH The eighth-grade French class is the third of three consecutive years in the Middle School language program, corresponding to the Upper School Level I French course. Building a core vocabulary and a strong foundation in grammar is critical as students develop language proficiency. Students learn to ask and answer simple questions, to speak and write about activities and people that relate to daily life. Opportunities for creative expression are provided through the integration of listening, speaking, writing and reading activities in French. The development of deeper cultural awareness is an integral part of daily class activities as well. In addition to regular World Language classes, eighth-grade students participate in Language Lab, which is an opportunity for additional work and enrichment exercises.
The eighth-grade Spanish class is the third of three consecutive years in the Middle School language program, corresponding to the Upper School Level I Spanish course. The study of the language progresses with the communicative approach in a program oriented to provide opportunities to develop conversational and listening comprehension skills. Concurrently, writing skills and grammar are emphasized. The students continue to develop an appreciation for the culture of the Spanish-speaking countries around the world. Building a core vocabulary and a strong foundation in grammar is a fundamental building block for students to move toward language proficiency. They learn to ask and answer simple questions, to speak in Spanish, and to write in the present and preterite tenses about activities and people that relate to daily life. In addition to regular World Language classes, eighth-grade students participate in Language Lab.
GRADE 8 LATIN The eighth-grade Latin class is the third of three consecutive years in the Middle School language program, corresponding to the Upper School Level I Latin course. This class enables students to pursue the study of Latin, to reinforce their English grammar and to build a strong vocabulary. Students use the Cambridge Latin Course (Cambridge University Press), a reading program designed to help them build Latin vocabulary and to read Latin easily. Students study the grammar structures that are being taught in their Grade 8 English classes, enabling them to make connections between English and the root language as well as to increase their vocabulary and grammar skills in both languages. The Cambridge Latin Course text provides insight into Roman culture and history through stories centered around the destruction of Pompeii and its effects on a particular Roman family. The text also includes Greek and Roman mythology. Students compete in the Certamen at Princeton University and they take the National Latin Exam in March. In addition to regular World Language classes, eighth-grade students participate in Language Lab, which is an opportunity for additional work and enrichment exercises.
FINE ARTS AND PERFORMING ARTS FINE ARTS Fine art courses in the Middle School are exploratory and introductory, designed to ignite interest and engage students in a variety of topics. In Grades 5 and 6, all students take Studio Art and Woodworking for one semester each, with classes meeting twice each week. In seventh and eighth grades, students can choose two electives per year in the fine arts, including Studio Art, Sculpture and Ceramics, Woodworking and CAD (computer-aided design).
PERFORMING ARTS Beyond the simple joy of taking part in a production, students engaged with the performing arts are more self-confident and better able to present their ideas to others. They learn firsthand how to collaborate and push beyond their comfort zone to discover and develop talents they may not have known they possessed. In concerts, jazz band, singing groups, plays and musicals, Middle School students have ample opportunity to explore the performing arts. Every student in Grades 5 and 6 has a music class twice each week. In seventh and eighth grade, students choose among electives in drama, music and the fine arts. Recent Middle School musical productions include Once On This Island Jr. and Honk! Jr.
GRADES 5–6 STUDIO ART This course covers fundamental skills, techniques, knowledge and attitudes necessary to produce and understand visual art. A variety of artistic media are explored across a range of subjects and styles. Students are required to have a sketchbook and use it in class each day. Fifth-grade assignments may include organic and geometric object studies, value scales, warm and cool self-portraits, assemblage, aerial and one-point perspective, and a collaborative project. Additional projects at the sixth-grade level include monochromatic painting, color wheel and complementary color study, self-portrait drawing from observation, collage and assemblage, block prints, and interior space and linear perspective study.
GRADES 5–6 WOODWORKING The course begins with formal instruction of proper safety procedures and with basic drawing and design to elicit students’ creativity and to build their confidence. Students discover how a variety of materials can be used in different ways and learn about the history of the craft and the role of mathematics in successful woodworking. Projects take into account the developing nature of each student’s skills. Students develop their skills and demonstrate acquisition of these skills through the completion of a project. In the fifth grade, students are introduced to handsaws, Dremels, tape measures and many other tools. They receive instruction on how to carefully measure and shape wood with a band saw. Through projects such as making clocks, they create unique carvings and designs. In the sixth grade, students carefully measure, cut, carve and shape wood to make projects like birdhouses, carvings and toolboxes.
GRADES 7–8 COMPUTER-AIDED DESIGN (CAD) Middle School CAD introduces students to the world of drawing three-dimensional objects using computers. Students learn to use Sketchup, a CAD program, to create scale models, animations and objects of their own design–both useful and artful. Class is primarily held in the Makerspace and students learn how to format their drawings for the 3-D printer and create video files from their animations. With the goal of promoting creativity and exploration, the class is an artful combination of math, design and technology.
GRADES 7–8 STUDIO ART Studio Art covers fundamental skills, techniques, knowledge and the attitude necessary to produce and understand visual art. A variety of artistic media is explored across a range of subjects and styles. Students are required to have a sketchbook and use it in class each day. Seventh-grade projects may include organic and geometric object drawings, drawing from a still-life, self-portraits in the style of an artist’s painting, linocut printmaking, and landscape and aerial perspective studies. Additional projects at the eighth-grade level include charcoal still-life drawing, monochromatic acrylic painting, analogous painting, relief prints and linear perspective studies.
GRADES 7–8 WOODWORKING
Students begin each semester by producing scaled drawings, calling on the design skills and creative ideas from the prior year. Over the course of the term, they are introduced to more involved techniques with a variety of wood materials and tools. The history of the craft and the mathematics inherent in the woodworking process are included in the curriculum. At the end of the semester, each student takes home a project that demonstrates some of the more advanced skills he/she has acquired.
Woodworking projects take into account the developing nature of each student’s skills. In the seventh grade, students carefully measure, cut, carve, shape and laminate wood to make projects such as custom chess boards and hand-carved paddles. In the eighth grade, students cut, carve, shape, and laminate wood to make projects such as custom lamps and hand-made boxes. At both grade levels, students may participate in the completion of group projects such as Adirondack chairs and tables.
GRADES 7–8 SCULPTURE/CERAMICS Middle School Sculpture/Ceramics introduces students to working and thinking in three-dimensional design. This hands-on class includes a variety of traditional sculpture materials such as wood, clay and wire as well as contemporary media and found objects. Students learn different sculptural techniques, including carving, papiermâché, wire and assemblage. Ceramic hand-building techniques include coiling, slab building and modeling. Students employ these techniques to create original sculptural forms using both observation and imagination. Students are encouraged to use their problem-solving skills to produce thoughtful, original and imaginative work. The class will look at a number of sculptors both historical and contemporary. Students will start to build their art vocabulary and develop the ability to think critically.
GRADES 5–6 MUSIC This two-semester required class gives students a deeper understanding of music while engaging them in a choral setting. Throughout each semester, music history and theory are taught alongside sight-singing, rhythm development, proper vocal and breathing techniques, and harmonization skills. The choir works together as a team to prepare a diverse repertoire for a concert at the end of each semester.
GRADES 7â€“8 MUSIC This one-semester elective class is designed to give students a deeper understanding of music while continuing to engage them in a choral setting. The class delves further into music history and theory. Sight-singing, rhythm development, proper vocal and breathing techniques and harmonization skills continue to be refined as the choir works together as a team to prepare a diverse repertoire for a concert at the end of the semester.
GRADES 7â€“8 DRAMA
Drama class meets twice a week and offers students the opportunity to study all facets of theater, from theater games and acting to history and stagecraft. The class meets in the Theater, where students are given a firsthand look at the actual production of the Upper School play and musical. In addition, each spring during the Middle School Unit, the seventh- and eighth-graders mount a production. Interested students may participate on stage or behind the scenes. Past Middle School plays have included Honk! JR., Once on This Island Jr., High School Musical Jr., and Eureka!
TECHNOLOGY Our Middle School teaches technological skills in coordination with informational literacy and Internet safety so that students can effectively and safely navigate an increasingly digital world. Technology is integrated throughout the curriculum and in coordination with core subject teachers. Weekly technology classes give students the chance to code, design web pages and program robots. In addition, weekly Makerspace classes give students opportunities to design, explore and innovate using 3-D printers, Arduino boards, LEGO Mindstorms and basic building materials.
GRADE 5 TECHNOLOGY This class meets in the Middle School iMac computer lab. Students learn a range of computing skills, including keyboarding, word processing, working with spreadsheets and creating presentations. Students are also introduced to coding and programming. Internet research skills are taught in coordination with projects assigned for other academic classes. Assignments are designed through collaboration with core subject teachers. Lessons are developed around integrating software packages, such as those found in the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher), iWorks, and iLife (iMovie/iPhoto). Responsibility, organizational skills and digital citizenship are also covered.
This class meets in the Middle School iMac computer lab. Much of the focus of computer instruction at this level is on the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher), with additional projects requiring the use of Apple iWorks and iLife programs, such as iMovie, Keynote and iPhoto. Students learn advanced features through completing projects, with an additional number of core subject assignments requiring students to use Microsoft Office products. The projects in this class, designed in collaboration with core subject teachers, overlap and connect with academic courses. Basic architecture skills, graphing, data presentation and the creation of PowerPoint presentations are taught in relation to core subjects. Fundamentals of coding and programming are woven in throughout the year. Digital citizenship is covered extensively and is framed as a matter of respect, responsibility and appropriate use of technology.
GRADE 6 TECHNOLOGY
GRADE 7 TECHNOLOGY Projects in this class, designed in collaboration with core subject teachers, overlap and connect with academic subjects. Over the course of the year, students learn to undertake research projects with increasing independence. They prepare research proposals, take effective notes, track and organize information, and properly source and analyze the search path. Throughout the year, students create visual classroom presentations highlighting their work. All are supported by PowerPoint or iMovie. In addition to the research component, students work on advancing their Microsoft Office skills using Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, Excel and other programs. Apple iWorks programs such as iLife, iMovie and iPhoto are used. Students are encouraged to use the programs creatively once they have demonstrated a mastery of basic techniques. Students also learn coding and programming skills, utilizing the Hummingbird coding kit to make robots. Finally, digital citizenship is emphasized, and is framed as a matter of respect, responsibility and appropriate use of technology.
GRADE 8 TECHNOLOGY
Technology is incorporated with interdisciplinary emphasis on projects in the classroom throughout the year. Informational literacy skills to support writing a research paper are an important component of the curriculum. Students learn how to select appropriate Internet sources, adding depth to their work and enhancing their research skills. Eighth-grade students also become more effective at taking notes, organizing information and writing bibliographies with in-text citations all on a digital platform. Technology integration includes research on a topic for world language and designing a website as a presentation. Students also conduct independent study for science in which they become an expert on a topic and produce an iMovie as a final project. In all coursework, digital citizenship is emphasized and framed as a matter of respect, responsibility and appropriate technology use. The Makerspace class is a unit on circuitry and electronics, using various devices and products to design, build, collaborate and tinker.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS, PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND ATHLETICS Health and wellness, athletics, and physical education programs promote healthy lifestyle choices for adolescents. All Middle School students take a weekly health and wellness class; topics include emotional and social wellbeing, drug and alcohol education, human anatomy, and character development. Research indicates that there is a clear link between physical activity and superior cognitive performance, especially for adolescents. All students participate in physical education classes during school hours. By engaging students in a range of activities, these classes improve fitness and foster teamwork and sportsmanship. Fifth- and sixth-graders take physical education classes three times per week. Seventh- and eighth-graders participate in team sport practices during the regular school day, five days per week.
GRADES 5–8 HEALTH AND WELLNESS
GRADES 5–6 PHYSICAL EDUCATION
Every student participates in the Health and Wellness program in the Middle School. The health curriculum addresses the social, emotional, physical and developmental needs of adolescents. Topics, which vary depending on grade level, include healthy relationships, good nutritional choices, stress management, setting boundaries, media literacy, the influence of puberty, fitness, and risk behaviors including tobacco, drug and alcohol use. The curriculum is designed to help students make choices that will have a positive impact on their health and wellbeing.
A variety of physical activities and team sports are introduced throughout the year at the fifth- and sixth-grade levels. Fifth-grade and sixth-grade students participate in physical education classes three times per week. These classes emphasize fitness and training, teamwork, sportsmanship and cooperation.
GRADES 7–8 PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND ATHLETICS Seventh- and eighth-grade students have the choice of physical education or extensive opportunities for interscholastic competition, with multiple sports offered during each of the three athletic seasons. The seventhand eighth-grade sports teams, when possible, are organized into A and B levels to maximize participation and to provide beginner and more advanced competition, so that students who want to be part of an athletic team can find the right level of competition. Team practices are held daily at the conclusion of the academic day; games extend into the late afternoon. Some athletic teams, such as swimming and ice hockey, are scheduled at off-campus facilities and may meet at times nonconcurrent with athletic offerings scheduled during the regular school day. Additional fees may apply for off-campus programs as well. Athletic offerings may be adjusted to accommodate enrollment, facilities, and staffing.
MIDDLE SCHOOL ATHLETIC OFFERINGS
Grades 6–8 Boys’ Soccer Grades 6–8 Girls’ Soccer Grades 5–8 Coed Cross Country Grades 6–8 Girls’ Tennis
Grades 5–6 Coed Fencing (Instructional) Grades 6–8 Boys’ Basketball Grades 6–8 Girls’ Basketball Grades 7–8 Coed Cheerleading Grades 5–8 Coed Ice Hockey Grades 7–8 Coed Swimming Grades 7–8 Coed Fencing
Grades 6–8 Boys’ Baseball Grades 6–8 Boys’ Lacrosse Grades 6–8 Girls’ Lacrosse Grades 6–8 Girls’ Softball Grades 6–8 Boys’ Tennis Grades 5-8 Coed Golf Grades 5-8 Coed Track & Field
MIDDLE SCHOOL ADDENDUM AND RESOURCES EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES AND CLUBS Extracurricular activities are an integral and enriching part of a student’s education, allowing students to work in small groups and to develop skills outside of the classroom. A sampling of opportunities in the 2018–19 academic year includes: Classical League, Grades 7–8 Community Excellence Club Current Events Club Documentary Club GSB Show Stoppers, Grade 6 Half the Sky Jr. Knights Voices & Jr. Gillharmonics Library Advisory Club Literary Magazine Makerspace Club
Math Boost Math Challenge Club Middle School Newspaper (On-line) Middle School Student Council Outdoor Education Club Ping Pong Club Reading Buddies Ski Club and Snowboarding, Grades 6–8 Theatre Production, Grades 5–6 Spanish Hour Yearbook Yo-Yo Club
FACULTY-SUPERVISED STUDY HALL A faculty-supervised study hall is available to Middle School students after school on a daily basis from 3:15 p.m. until 5:45 p.m. This program is free of charge. During this time, students may work on homework assignments or collaborative projects, utilize the Middle School computer lab or library for classwork and research; make-up missed tests, quizzes and assignments, or read independently.
ACADEMIC SUPPORT SERVICES Gill St. Bernard’s School provides a limited number of accommodations for those students who have learning and/or attention differences as documented by a psycho-educational, neuropsychological, audiological, speech language, occupational or physical therapy evaluation administered by a recognized licensed professional. The school does not make any modifications to the curriculum that require the alteration of the school’s fundamental academic program. Accommodations are limited to those contained within the school’s Academic Support Policy. These accommodations are not meant to constitute a separate or individual program for a student with learning and/or attention differences. If the level of support a student needs to succeed in our program is greater than our resources, the family will need to pursue outside support for the child. The Lower & Middle School Director of Learning Support can offer assistance in making contact with outside professionals. When a student is unable to demonstrate academic progress (see academic expectations in the GSB Student Handbook) or exhibits a pattern of inappropriate behavior of such frequency, duration or intensity that it disrupts that student’s own learning or the learning of others, the school reserves the right to terminate the student’s enrollment agreement.
EXTRA HELP AND TUTORING Learning to recognize and respond to academic concerns is an important skill for all students to acquire. Students are encouraged to meet individually with their teachers if problems arise. Teachers are available by appointment or on a drop-in basis to give extra help before school, during morning break, and after school. While teachers are frequently available for extra help without advanced notice, students should schedule individual appointments. Parents of students who require ongoing support in a given subject area or in study skills and organization should discuss the matter with their classroom teacher(s), their advisor, the learning specialist and the Lower & Middle School Director. The school’s learning specialist is available to work with students and families to identify supplemental strategies to assist students in their learning; however, the learning specialist cannot serve as a longterm tutor for any individual student. If long-term tutoring is necessary, a list of tutors can be provided.
SCHOOL COUNSELOR The school employs two counselors. In conjunction with the faculty and Lower & Middle School Director of Learning Support, the school counselors work to support students within the classroom and in other school settings. A school counselor may also present relevant information to students, parents, faculty and the GSB community on a range of topics.
UPPER SCHOOL The Upper School at Gill St. Bernard’s fosters intellectual curiosity and genuine academic engagement through a rigorous and varied college-preparatory curriculum, abundant opportunities for research across the curriculum and a wealth of specialized elective courses for students to explore and further their unique interests. Honors courses, advanced placement (AP) courses and electives such as Advanced Math Seminar, Computer-aided Design (Cad), Creative Writing, Animal Science, Portfolio Development, Robotic Engineering, Spanish Culture and Conversation, Stagecraft and Urban Sociology speak to the depth and breadth of the course offerings. At GSB, teachers and students see learning as a shared enterprise in which everyone is engaged. Students are encouraged to challenge themselves and to strive for excellence while maintaining balance in their lives and discovering their own unique passions. As a result, GSB students are known for their enthusiastic approach to academic exploration and their pursuit of authentic understanding. They are students who love learning and who aspire to make meaningful contributions to the larger world. Our graduates are confident, independent and thoughtful individuals, well prepared for the challenges of college and beyond.
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS Ninth-Grade Seminar Ninth-Grade Seminar is one of six required courses for freshmen. This yearlong, transitional course teaches students the scholastic learning and personal learning skills necessary for success in Upper School and college. These include specific academic skills, such as note-taking, test preparation, test-taking strategies, collaborative learning, as well as broader skills, including time management, public speaking, media literacy, cultural appreciation, and financial literacy. Students are introduced to formal research methodology and complete a comprehensive seminar project. The course also includes both character education and health and wellness topics. The Unit
For over 40 years, the Unit program has been the inspiration for the school’s motto, Schola Mundus Est: “the world is our classroom.” Unit courses are held for two weeks each May and allow students to explore an area of particular interest to them, typically outside the range of traditional academic coursework. Whether on campus or through travel abroad, the Unit offers students the chance to work collaboratively, to explore the larger world and to serve others. Recent Units have included a study of historical connections with the Holocaust in Poland, environmental awareness focusing on recycling, hiking in the Adirondacks, and learning the art of glass making. GSB’s beautiful 208-acre campus offers unique opportunities to complement Unit programs and the academic curriculum.
The school’s commitment to its core values is integrated into daily life at Gill, as is a focus on character awareness and development. The school fosters respect for all individuals and for differing opinions and encourages students to thoughtfully consider and analyze controversial or unfamiliar ideas. Class discussions, personal conversations, assembly programs, guest speakers and a wide variety of clubs and activities help our students work toward an understanding and exploration of their own values, both as individuals and as members of a community. Throughout their time at GSB, our Upper School students are immersed in experiences that help them grow as students and as individuals.
Research Across the Curriculum All GSB graduates are skilled in research methods across disciplines and are able to utilize a variety of information resources. The ninth-grade research project is based on A Guided Inquiry Approach to High School Research, setting the foundation for comprehensive work throughout high school. By the time they are seniors, students will have presented an extensive exploratory research presentation, written a scientific literature review as well as an in-depth American literature paper. As part of that effort, students identify and incorporate several peerreviewed articles. Through this research, students learn to summarize and draw analytical conclusions in the process of writing a college-level paper. Spotlight on Science In addition to standard, honors, and AP courses for physics, chemistry, and biology, the Upper School science department offers many elective courses. Animal Science, Nutritional Science, and Environmental Science complement classroom learning with fieldwork opportunities that utilize the natural resources of Home Winds: apiary; farm and farm animals; gardens and greenhouses; ponds; streams; and meadows. Current and engaging topics are studied in these courses as well as in other offerings such as Biomedical Ethics and Robotic Engineering.
ACADEMIC EXPECTATIONS Homework Homework is assigned in all academic courses. Homework enriches daily classwork, prepares students for class and allows them to practice skills and apply information. In addition, homework serves as a means for faculty to measure a student’s mastery of concepts and skills. Students should work alone on homework assignments unless otherwise instructed by their teacher. A parent can play an important role in helping students complete homework effectively by · providing a suitable environment for completing homework · supporting students in seeking help from faculty when necessary · encouraging independent preparation
All papers of 500 words in length or longer must be word-processed, and all students in math courses from Algebra I through Calculus must have a Texas Instruments, TI-84 graphing calculator.
Academic Progress Grades and comments are sent to students and their parents quarterly. Students may confer with their teachers or advisors about their academic progress throughout the school year. Conferences are scheduled in November and February. Outside of these official reporting periods, parents may contact their child’s teacher or advisor with any questions regarding his/her academic standing. Letter grades are based upon the following equivalent numerical scale: Letter Grade
Below Standard Performance. It is acceptable as credit only in nonsequential courses. For example, a student with a grade below C- in any foreign language course will not be passed to the next level of that course. Unacceptable Performance. No credit will be awarded.
Incomplete grade is given due to illness or another significant issue and indicates an obligation to complete the coursework within a brief, specified period of time.
Indicates that the student has passed the course.
Academic Warning Any student receiving a grade in the D range in a core course will be placed on academic warning during the next marking period. The goal of academic warning is to alert a student and his/her parents and teachers to significant academic concerns in order to help the student address and resolve these issues and return to good academic standing.
Academic Review Any student who shows a pattern of grades below C will be subject to academic review. The student and his/her family will be asked to meet with appropriate members of the faculty and the Upper School director. Should the pattern continue, the student’s re-enrollment contract may be placed on hold.
Academic Probation Any student with an F, or two or more grades in the D range, will be automatically placed on academic probation. Students on academic probation may not be issued a new enrollment contract.
Graduation Requirements Students must complete certain requirements to receive a diploma from Gill St. Bernard’s School: · Complete all distribution requirements as specified below · Complete a minimum total of 23 academic credits · Complete one Unit (see Program Highlights) for each year they are in the Upper School. (If a student fails to meet this requirement, he/she must petition the Upper School director for a waiver.) · In addition, all ninth-grade students are required to take Ninth-Grade Seminar. The following stipulations may apply in some cases: · Students entering the school in Grades 11 or 12 must pass a minimum of five (5) credits per year in order to receive a Gill St. Bernard’s School diploma. · Students may have completed Middle School courses that satisfy department distribution requirements, but these may not be applied toward the total number of Upper School credits required for graduation. · Students who have not met the minimum credit requirements for graduation may, under certain circumstances, participate in the graduation ceremony. Distribution Requirements by Department The following requirements are minimum standards for graduation and do not represent anything other than Gill St. Bernard’s minimum expectations for our students: Department
One credit per year
Sequential in one world language
Sequential courses including completion of Algebra II/Trig
Standard sequence: Physics, Chemistry, Biology
Including World Cultures and US History
Any departmental offerings beyond requirements
Final Examinations and Assessments
Many yearlong courses administer assessments and final examinations. Results of these can account for up to 20 percent of a student’s final grade. The administration of these assessments and exams and the weight that they are given is at the discretion of the faculty member and the respective department head. Advanced Placement Courses vs. Honors Courses All students who enroll in AP courses are expected to complete the requirements of the course, including taking the AP exam. Enrolled students who choose not to sit for the AP examination will be assigned honors status in the course. Students with honors status are required to take a final exam, unless they are exempted by their grade-point average (GPA) as designated for that course. Advanced Placement Testing Policy All students who enroll in AP courses are expected to take AP exams. A student who chooses not to take an AP exam will not receive an AP designation for the completed course on his/her transcript. Additionally, this change will be communicated to any college or university that the student has applied to for admission. National AP exams take precedence over all athletic events and tournaments, as well as all other personal commitments. In keeping with published national AP policies, alternative testing arrangements will not be made unless permitted by published policies.
Weighted Grade Point Average GPA will be weighted as follows: Advanced Placement Courses: +.67 Honors Courses: +.33 Students enrolled in AP courses who choose not to take the exam will receive honors course credit and GPA weighting. Course Selection Procedures Current students meet with their advisors in February to begin the process of selecting courses for the following school year. Students must receive approval for all honors and AP courses from their current teachers and must have the appropriate grades and prerequisites in order to take AP courses. Rising seniors must meet with the College Guidance Office before submitting course requests for their senior year. Students submit their course requests in early March; preliminary schedules are produced in late June and final schedules are made available in August. Rising ninth-graders may choose their electives and preferred world language in April. Preliminary schedules for ninth-grade students are produced in late June and final schedules are made available in August. Placement in honorslevel courses is based on teacher recommendation, standardized testing, middle school grades and results from GSB placement tests. Some courses are offered in alternating years or may not run if enrollment is limited. Course Changes Students may change courses within the first 10 days of classes with no academic penalty. All class changes after the 10-day period must be teacher-initiated and approved by the corresponding department chair and Upper School director. Honor Roll The honor roll is published at the conclusion of each semester. The qualifications are as follows: High Honors List: A- or better in every course Honors List: B- or better in every course A student who does not complete coursework due to illness or another excused absence may receive a grade of WP (Withdrawn Passing) or an I (Incomplete). An I is a temporary grade and will be replaced by a letter grade (A through F) if work is completed within a prescribed period. A student who withdraws from a course with a grade of D or lower will receive a WF (Withdrawn Failing) grade. No credit will be given for this course. Awards and Prizes Gill St. Bernard’s acknowledges the importance of recognizing students for excellence in the classroom, as well as for the arts, athletics, service, leadership, citizenship and contributions to the school community and the community at large. Awards and prizes are presented at the close of the academic year and at Commencement.
Cum Laude Society and Honor Societies The Cum Laude Society is a national academic honor society. Each spring, some seniors are inducted into the GSB chapter of the society at Commencement. The motto of the Cum Laude Society is: Areté (Excellence) Diké (Justice) Timé (Honor). Cum Laude is the highest academic honor that the school bestows upon members of the graduating class. GSB may induct up to 20 percent of its senior class into the society. The criteria used for selection include academic achievement, integrity and disciplinary record. Science National Honor Society and World Language Honor Society GSB recognizes students for achievement in science and world language through honor societies. Annual ceremonies are held to induct students who demonstrate excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service and character in science and world language.
Offerings may vary slightly from year to year: a course’s inclusion in this guide does not guarantee that it will be available to students during any given year; all classes are dependent upon sufficient enrollment, staffing, and facilities.
UPPER SCHOOL CURRICULUM DISTINCTIVE COURSEWORK NINTH-GRADE SEMINAR
Ninth-Grade Seminar is a transitional class meant to guide students from Middle School into the rigors of high school learning. Seminar teaches the skills necessary to achieve academic success and “survive and thrive in high school.” Methods of studying previously used in Middle School are enhanced as students gain new tools to be successful at this academic level. Time management, organization, note-taking, using graphic organizers, test prep, and test-taking strategies are a few of the executive and study skills covered. Seminar focuses on exposing students to different learning tools and exploring varied learning styles to maximize an individual’s learning process. In conjunction with the Learning Specialist, students are exposed to the theory of multiple intelligences, and after taking a personal learning assessment, students spend two weeks exploring all eight learning styles. One key aspect of the class is “self-evaluation and reflection”; the more you learn about yourself, the more successful you can be as a student. Another significant part of Ninth-Grade Seminar is the research project based on the book A Guided Inquiry Approach to High School Research, culminating with a speech. Public speaking, technological proficiency, health and wellness, cultural competency, character education, media literacy, financial literacy and collaborative learning are other learning objectives. This course is uniquely designed in part to provide all ninth-grade students with skills that will translate into successful performance in all areas of academic study and personal growth.
TENTH-GRADE AMERICAN STUDIES RESEARCH PROJECT
Under the direction of the English Department, all students in tenth-grade English (American Literature or Honors American Literature) write an 8- to 10-page research paper on a topic relevant to American studies and culture. Students focus on some aspect of the works of American painters, photographers, poets, architects, essayists, musicians, or larger cultural movements or phenomena. Over three months, students engage in a comprehensive process of research writing. Starting with library research to generate topics and an introduction to database research by the research librarians, students work with their teacher to evaluate the viability of their proposed topics and sources. After students submit proposals for their projects, they complete and hand in two sets of 10-page notes, an outline and two complete drafts of their paper. At least once a week, 45 minutes of class time are devoted to the research project, often in the Library. Students receive extensive teacher feedback at every step in the process. Additionally, classmates provide feedback during workshops and peer reviews. During in-class workshops, students are given formal instruction in all of the following:
· Understanding what constitutes text · Taking notes · Integrating sources into their writing · Working with contradictory sources · Documenting sources · Crafting a thesis statement · Crafting a works cited page · Structuring their paper
GSB RESEARCH SCHOLARS
11th or 12th Grade
This selective program provides the opportunity for a small group of students to engage in a significant original research project in the fall of their junior or senior years. Students work under the guidance of the Director of the Library and the Director of College Guidance writing a paper that is at least 4,000 words in length. These students work with the program directors to choose their topics, create a plan for their research, and access the resources needed to truly dive deeply into their topics. Once the research papers are complete, students present their findings to the Gill community. The papers may also be submitted to the Concord Review or as a Cum Laude Paper if they meet the requirements of those groups. This new program provides opportunity, support, and guidance to students who are passionate about the research process. In late spring, students need to express their interest in the program and brainstorm possible research topics. Once accepted into the program, the research scholars write a prospectus on the goals of their research, create an annotated bibliography, and an outline of their plan for the paper. The initial work is presented to the directors of the program prior to the start of school in the fall. Throughout the fall, the scholars meet regularly with the program directors and meet deadlines for the research that have been mutually agreed upon. The final research paper is due at the end of the first semester. Students may elect to receive a grade, course reduction, and credit for this research project or may elect to conduct the research as an addition to their six-course academic program.
10th, 11th or 12th Grade
The farm and animals at Home Winds present a unique, hands-on learning opportunity for Upper School students through the Animal Science Course, a signature course at GSB. Students learn about a broad range of animal science topics. Through visits, labs, and evidence-based practices, students study the feed and management of livestock and learn about animal nutrition, growth, health, behavior, reproduction and genetics. Additionally, they gain an understanding of practical commercial applications, such as food formulation, disease prevention, artificial insemination, genetic selection and crossbreeding systems. Students also gain experience gathering and processing products from animals. The products include wool, mohair, beeswax, honey and meat. In addition to hands-on experience with the animals, students learn about other biological principles in animal behavior, including circadian and seasonal rhythms, habitat selection, anti-predator behavior, sexual selection, raising of the young, parental care, communication, migration and the roles of both predators and prey in the food web. Students work with farm animals and work collaboratively with each other during laboratory experiments, animal observations, and farm product production.
ENGLISH Literature communicates values, traditions, and beliefs, introducing students to cultures, history, psychology, human existence and the common struggles of humanity. The English department is concerned with the education of the whole student. Now, more than ever, students need space and time for reflection and discussion. The courses in the English department are designed to bring about thoughtful discussion and contemplation of issues before and beyond our doorsteps, and meaningful collaborative work between peers. While students are thoroughly schooled in developing literary and writing skills and an appreciation for literature, texts are chosen for each course with an eye towards reaching beyond literary analysis. In an increasingly global and technical society, we strive to develop critical thinkers, problem solvers, listeners and strong communicators. Through weekly vocabulary study and the varied works we read, students will develop strong reading skills and foster an appreciation for a variety of perspectives. Putting a work in its historical, cultural and biographical context will help students enlarge a text’s value. Students develop skill and confidence in identifying and understanding the significance of figurative language and a wide array of literary devices. The works students read are regularly accompanied by scholarly, critical articles. Students develop confidence finding and interpreting literary criticism to understand a text and to engage with a critic’s ideas. Each class in the English department requires students to speak before their peers either through formal oral presentations or collaborative work. Central to our pedagogy and curriculum is helping students to write and prepare lucid, welldeveloped written responses to literature, whether in essay form or on written examinations. In addition, during their sophomore year, students will learn to research and write a comprehensive research paper on a topic in American studies (see Distinctive Coursework). The English curriculum prepares students for academic success in college, and ultimately provides students with the ability and desire to be vibrant, lifelong learners in and through language arts and literature.
This foundational ninth-grade course crosses centuries, genres and continents to challenge students with a broad sampling of literature and a wide variety of terms. Individual works take students everywhere from Homer’s “wine-dark seas” to Montana’s big skies, from Sophocles’ amphitheaters to Achebe’s Nigeria, from Yeats’ Ireland to Eudora Welty’s Mississippi. Serving as an introduction to the reading and writing skills used in subsequent English courses, this course prepares students for higher-level analysis and writing. Students learn and use close-reading skills to understand the texts and to write expository essays. The writing component emphasizes the process approach to composition: writing rough drafts and revising and editing to produce a well-written final draft. Weekly vocabulary instruction is a component of the curriculum. With the aid of a general literature anthology, students gain a solid grounding in literary terms and read poetry, short fiction and drama. Typical readings include The Odyssey, Oedipus, Antigone, Ernest J. Gaines’ A Gathering of Old Men, William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Larry Watson’s Montana 1948, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, Kaye Gibbons’ Ellen Foster and various selections of poetry, drama and short fiction from Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing (Kennedy and Gioia).
HONORS LITERARY ANALYSIS
This course is an introduction to all genres of literature and the skills of literary analysis for students who have demonstrated superior ability in language arts. The writing component emphasizes writing as a process; multiple drafts are required for the majority of writing assignments. Focus is placed primarily on the student’s ability to develop new perspectives in the reading of established texts through the process of literary analysis. Communication skills are developed through class discussions, group presentations and oral reports. Weekly vocabulary instruction is a component of the curriculum. Reading assignments emphasize the elements of plot, character, theme, symbol and setting, using a variety of genres to instill an understanding and appreciation of literature. In addition to demonstrating the department’s commitment to multicultural and gender-balanced works as well as classics, the expanded reading list for this honors course reflects the desire to challenge analytical thinkers, readers and writers to explore themes central to the chosen works. Typical readings include The Odyssey, Oedipus, Antigone, Ernest J. Gaines’ A Gathering of Old Men, William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Larry Watson’s Montana 1948, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun and various selections of poetry, drama and short fiction from Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing (Kennedy and Gioia). Prerequisites and Requirements: Grade of B+ or better in eighth-grade English and a department-evaluated essay writing sample.
This tenth-grade course is a chronological survey of the rich genres that make up the mosaic of American literature. Examining individual pieces of literature in their historical and social contexts, the course asks challenging questions about what American really means. Emphasis is placed on the creation of American literature in the 19th and 20th centuries through the consideration of central themes: the implications of serial publication, the legacy of Puritanism, the influence of Transcendentalism, the development of free verse, the creation of American topics in poetry, and definitions of success and the individual. The course follows major movements in both literature and art that have shaped and defined the fabric of American life. Students regularly write analytical papers and prepare at least one oral report each semester. Weekly vocabulary instruction is worked into the curriculum. All students in American Literature write a research paper under the direction of the English department. The three-month process of intensive research, note-taking, outlining and drafting culminates in an 8- to 10-page research paper on a topic relevant to American culture. See Tenth-Grade American Studies Research Project under Distinctive Coursework for more information.
Prerequisites and Requirements: Literary Analysis or Honors Literary Analysis.
HONORS AMERICAN LITERATURE
This course provides strong tenth-grade readers, thinkers and writers with a broad and in-depth study of major works in American literature from pre-colonial times to the Age of Realism and the Modern Period. From these readings students learn about the rich literary heritage of the United States. An integrated approach provides background information for the history and art of periods under study. Students are expected to read on a nightly basis, participate in class discussions, write frequent analytical papers and prepare at least one oral report each semester. An expanded reading list challenges capable students to think more analytically and comprehensively about the themes that define American literature. Weekly vocabulary instruction is worked into the curriculum. Additionally, all students in Honors American Literature write a research paper under the direction of the English Department. The three-month process of intensive research, note-taking, outlining, and drafting, culminates in a 10- to 12-page research paper on a topic relevant to American culture. See the Tenth-Grade American Studies Research Paper under Distinctive Coursework for more information.
Typical readings for this course include Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye. Works are also selected from The Norton Anthology of American Literature, including pieces by Washington Irving, William Cullen Bryant, Emerson, Hawthorne, Melville, Poe, Whitman, Dickinson, Frost and additional contemporary poets and writers.
Typical readings for this course include Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Stephen Crane’s Maggie: Girl of the Streets, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire, Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night, William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, and Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Works are also selected from The Norton Anthology of American Literature, including pieces by Washington Irving, William Cullen Bryant, Emerson, Hawthorne, Melville, Poe, Whitman, Dickinson, Frost, and additional contemporary poets and writers. Prerequisites and Requirements: Grade of A- or better in Literary Analysis, grade of B+ or better in Honors Literary Analysis and the recommendation of the ninth-grade English teacher.
HONORS BRITISH LITERATURE
This course engages 11th-grade students in the literary heritage of Great Britain while challenging strong readers, thinkers and writers with an in-depth study of British literary history. The course surveys British literature from Beowulf to Larkin and Hughes and includes the study of short stories, poems, dramas, novels, and essays. Students study the epic, Arthurian legend, tragic, and Byronic heroes as well as the modern anti-hero, and contemplate the changing concepts of heroism, morality, and good and evil. Students witness the emergence of the novel form in the English language and engage in a study of the hallmarks of British poetry. At the honors level, students look at the broader scope of Renaissance drama by reading drama in addition to Shakespeare’s. Writing skills are enhanced through weekly written responses to the reading and the writing of analytical essays. Students also write longer papers throughout the year in which they consider broader thematic and intellectual trends. Weekly vocabulary lists advance students’ facility with language. Typical readings include Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Canterbury Tales, Dr. Faustus, Macbeth, Gulliver’s Travels, poetry of the Romantics, Frankenstein, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Importance of Being Earnest, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, To the Lighthouse, 1984 and Grendel. Works are also selected from The Norton Anthology of English Literature, including pre-sixteenth and post-sixteenth century British poetry of Shakespeare, Donne, Herrick, Pope, and the Romantics.
Prerequisite: A grade of A- or better in American Literature or in Honors American Literature and the approval of the American Literature teacher.
JUNIOR & SENIOR SEMESTER COURSES Some electives are offered in alternate years.
SEMESTER I NARRATIVE NONFICTION: TRUE STORIES DEFTLY TOLD We are living in a golden age, awash in talented authors who know how to dig out a story that powerful interests would love to keep quiet or that somehow ended up in history’s cold-case file. Some of their stories are the fruit of decades of archival research, of good old-fashioned shoe-leather reporting, of thousands of miles of travel to big cities and one stoplight towns. But gathering the facts is just the beginning. These are writers who know how to spin the stories that keep us up late at night and dying of anticipation to talk about the journey we’ve been on. This course introduces students to the array of “novelistic history” that is waiting to astonish them and to touch off passionate discussion in our classrooms. The central text in terms of understanding this kind of writing is one of the first and best examples of it—In Cold Blood, Truman Capote’s classic and controversial account of the brutal and senseless murder of a rural family. The remaining books are outstanding modern chronicles that take readers back in time to the World’s Fair of 1893, where a serial murderer is on the loose (The Devil in the White City), and forward to the big-budget, high-risk world of Major League Baseball (Moneyball) and the allconsuming pursuit of high school football glory in Texas (Friday Night Lights). No matter what the setting, these books not only have the ring of truth, they are true. That stories this gripping not only “feel real” but are real should light a fire under even the most reluctant reader. Texts: In Cold Blood, Truman Capote; Friday Night Lights, Buzz Bissinger; Moneyball, Michael Lewis; and The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson
LITERATURE OF THE AMERICAN WEST
Texts: Century of Great Western Stories, Jakes; All the Pretty Horses, McCarthy, and Poems of the American West, Mesey.
Literature of the American West. It’s all Cowboys and Indians, isn’t it? Well, perhaps, but not exactly like we tend to envision it as children. What is the American West? How did it gain its iconic status? It is the land of gold and riches, a place where dreams become reality. It is the venue and manifestation of nothing less than the American mythos of freedom and destiny. Impossibly beautiful mountains along with vast natural wonders of desert and canyon country set the scene for adventure, expansion, and wealth, as well as poverty, lawlessness, and danger. An in-depth study documenting remarkable characters and events, both real and fictitious, helps us explore legendary figures of gold rushes, Indian wars, and new frontiers. We’ll even look at the rise of the modern west in places like Hollywood and Las Vegas as paradoxical realms of fantasy and truth. Works of literature, historical accounts, poetry, song, and film will make up this course. Sometimes peaceful and melancholy, sometimes brutal and deadly, a trip through the American West is a journey worth taking.
THE HIDDEN SOCIAL CRITICISM IN FANTASY LITERATURE From talking animals to mad scientists, we often think of fantasy as nothing more than adventurous tales with unicorns, dragons, mad scientists, and imaginative beasts. In this class, we will take a look at how fantasy authors through their imaginative worlds actually comment upon humanity’s flaws and criticize society. We will explore questions such as, what does it mean to be human and how can we balance questions of freedom and security, and of stability and creativity? Ultimately, we will examine the visions writers created of what a better world might look like as well as the nightmarish results when those attempts at perfection go awry. Texts: Feed, Anderson, Gulliver’s Travels, Swift; four novels of H. G. Wells: The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds
THE BIBLE AS LITERATURE Perhaps no book has had a greater influence on history than the Bible. In this class, we will read the Bible from the perspective of students of literature and discuss the way it combines elements of myth, history, and philosophy to reflect on the meaning of human life. We will examine some of the most famous stories from the Bible and consider the ways these stories have influenced art and culture.
GOTHIC BRITISH LITERATURE Horrors abound in the Gothic novel in which the reader expects to confront his deepest fears. He might hear clanking chains, see vampires fleeing to their coffins, or experience beings made from an assortment of body parts. Settings are often castles, or they might be a dark forest. Here the reader’s reality confronts the supernatural world. Students will read, discuss, and write about the texts assigned in class. Tests may be in-class essays or short answers. Readings will include fiction, nonfiction (critical analysis articles), and poetry. Texts: Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson; Frankenstein, Mary Shelley; and Dracula, Bram Stoker
SEMESTER II WHO DUN IT? THE HISTORY OF THE DETECTIVE NOVEL Who would you want to solve your murder? Edgar Allan Poe’s Detective Dupin? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes? Maybe it’s Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot or Jane Marple? Then again, there’s always Sam Spade, Philip Marlowe, Charlie Chan, Perry Mason, Lieutenant Columbo, or Alex Cross. Feel the suspense and rising tension of solving a mystery and then re-establishing order in a world that is often full of chaos. In this class, we will explore the genre of detective fiction from the man most often credited as “the father of the modern detective novel,” Edgar Allan Poe, to some of today’s masters of mystery. Texts: Death on the Nile, Christie; The Longman Anthology of Detective Fiction, Mansfield-Kelley, and The Poe Shadow, Pearl
This course introduces literature written by North American and English women authors. The authors studied reveal women’s lives and concerns as represented in literature. Genres include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and film. Students will write essays (discussing and analyzing the texts) using MLA format. Tests on the texts will provide opportunities to practice writing short answer responses. Texts: Authors may include the following: Virginia Woolf, Kate Chopin, Adrienne Rich, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, Jean Rhys, Mary Wollstonecraft, Judith Butler, Maxine Hong Kingston, bell hooks, Elaine Showalter, and Margaret Atwood.
VIETNAM IN FICTION, MEMOIR, AND FILM This class will serve primarily as an introduction to the outstanding literature of this era through fiction (Tim O’Brien, Philip Caputo) and memoirs (Ron Kovic, James Webb). In addition, part of the class will be devoted to the seminal films that came in the war’s aftermath, such as Apocalypse Now, Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, and Born on the Fourth of July. Outstanding documentaries, such as Ken Burns’ recent multipart series, may also be used. Through fictive, filmed, and horrifyingly real accounts of the war in Vietnam, students will be roused from their historical amnesia and fully informed on a national experience that haunts many Americans to this day. Texts: The Vietnam Reader, edited by Stewart O’Nan
RUSSIAN LITERATURE Beginning in the early part of the 19th century, Russian literature developed into one of the most distinctive literary traditions in the world. In this class, we will study some of the key texts in this tradition, including works by Pushkin, Tolstoy, and Akhmatova. We will pay particular attention to the works of Dostoyevsky, one of the authors who has shaped the modern consciousness most profoundly. Texts: Crime & Punishment, Dostoyevsky and Death of Ivan Ilych, Tolstoy
LITERATURE OF THE WATER This elective aims to explore our fascination with and dependence upon water. We are reliant upon water for so many things: hydration, agriculture, transportation, recreation, to name a few. Most of our physical bodies are made up of water, some 60% or more by most accounts, so this comes as no surprise. It is a staple of our mythologies, a touchstone of our histories, and a precept for the very existence of our species. But how do we feel about it? What does it truly mean for us? How do we live with, on, and around water? And most importantly, for this class, how do we express it in writing? Texts: A River Runs Through It & Other Stories, Maclean, River of Doubt, Millard, In the Heart of the Sea, Philbrick, and Water 4.0, Sedlak
HONORS WORLD LITERATURE
The World Literature senior year program serves as a culmination of a student’s four years of literary studies. The curriculum and readings enable students to use the skills they have developed to ask broader philosophical questions about human existence as well as to observe how the sharing of human experience is the bridge across the seemingly vast divides of geography, religion, custom and tradition. Classic and contemporary texts from northern Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, Europe, Asia and North America present challenging themes resulting in the most basic and essential questions: Who am I? What do I believe? What is my purpose? and What would I do for another human being? Emerging voices in world literature force students to consider, among other things, what role literature plays in an increasingly global and multicultural society. Students are also challenged intellectually through provocative and stimulating writing assignments. In this honors course, students read more broadly and with greater emphasis on literary criticism. The questions that frame the study of the literature lend themselves well to group projects and presentations. Class discussions and films provide students the opportunity to assess the impact of a particular work and respond to it in a coherent, well-developed argument. Typical readings include selected stories of Borges and Kafka, works by Chekhov and Faulkner, Camus’ The Stranger, Hamlet, Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses, Shahrnush Parsipur’s Women Without Men: A Novel of Modern Iran, Cristina García’s Dreaming in Cuban, Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things, Alain RobbeGrillet’s Jealousy, Murakami’s Wild Sheep Chase, O’Brien’s Third Policeman and John David Morley’s In the Labyrinth. Prerequisites and Requirements: Grade of A- or better in British Literature, grade of B+ or better in Honors British Literature and the recommendation of the 11th-grade English teacher.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENGLISH COURSES The English Department offers two Advanced Placement courses: AP English Language and Composition for juniors, and AP English Literature and Composition for seniors. These rigorous courses prepare students specifically for college-level English work and equip them with the skills as readers and writers to help them succeed on the Advanced Placement English Literature and Language examinations. Success on the AP English exams can result in college credit or higher placement in college English classes; however, these courses are not designed simply to teach to a test. Success on the AP English exams is measured by the ability to comprehend, analyze and write intelligently about fiction, drama, poetry and nonfiction prose. As such, the focus of these courses is literature.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION
AP English Language is a course designed to teach how written language connects with and persuades audiences primarily through various forms of prose writing. Students study the ways in which texts communicate and how written language functions rhetorically. Texts for the class include letters, advertisements, political satires, personal narratives, cultural critiques, scientific arguments, and political speeches. While heavy focus is placed on nonfiction prose texts, the course will also help students to understand how poems, plays, stories, and novels function rhetorically as well. Reading and writing exercises help students understand conventions of written language and demonstrate that conventions, voice, and technique are culturally and socially produced. Through engagement with texts in this way, students will develop both critical and cultural literacy. Prerequisite: A grade of A- or better in American Literature or in Honors American Literature and the approval of the American Literature teacher.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENGLISH LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION
A rigorous class, AP English Literature and Composition prepares students specifically for college-level English work, and equips them with the skills as readers and writers that will help them succeed on the Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition Examination. Success on the AP Exam can result in college credit or higher placement in college English classes; however, this course is not designed simply to teach to a test. Success on the Advanced Placement examination is measured by the ability to comprehend, analyze, and write intelligently about larger prose fiction or dramatic texts and poetry. As such the focus of the course is literature. Students read twelve to thirteen books during the year, ranging from contemporary texts like Tobias Wolff’s Old School and Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon to more classic literature, ranging from Shakespeare’s Hamlet or Othello to works by Hemingway, Chekhov, Faulkner, Conrad, and Wharton. The course does not specifically address the AP exam until Semester 2. To prepare students for the exam, the midterm and final are full-length AP English Literature and Composition exams. Essay or writing exercises are assigned on a weekly basis. Students are required to actively participate in class. Oral presentations are required on a regular basis. Students are also responsible for reading, writing, and talking about critical articles related to novels and poetry studied during the year.
CREATIVE WRITING AND PORTFOLIO DEVELOPMENT
10th, 11th or 12th Grade
Creative Writing and Portfolio Development is designed with the serious writer in mind. Through literary analysis, weekly writing exercises, and weekly student writing workshops, students are introduced to and engaged in the creative writing process at all stages. The first semester focuses on short fiction. During the second semester, the course addresses poetry. Through the reading of classic short fiction and poetry, students will learn what makes “good” and literary writing. Each published writer will be studied for his or her style and unique strengths. By the end of Semester I, students will be required to produce a 25–30 page portfolio of revised short fiction, some of which will originate from prompts, some from problems derived from stories and authors we read during the semester. By the end of Semester II, students will be required to produce a portfolio of 8–10 revised poems. Portfolios can be used to facilitate applying to creative writing and English programs, or can demonstrate, in the alternative, a well-rounded candidate for any college program.
Required texts include The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction: 50 North American Stories Since 1970 (Lex Willford and Michael Marton, editors). Prerequisites and Requirements: Submission of a portfolio of one piece of fiction and two to three poems. Portfolios are reviewed each spring by both the teacher and the department. Sophomores and juniors taking this course will also register for an additional English course.
ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING SEMINAR
11th or 12th Grade
This course is open to juniors and seniors who have taken Creative Writing and Portfolio Development. At an advanced level, students have the opportunity to craft a larger portfolio of fiction or poetry. Working closely with the teacher, a half-year or yearlong curriculum of writing and reading is crafted to guide the student and determine the shape and contents of the final portfolio. Students enrolled in this class are required to take part in weekly Creative Writing and Portfolio Development workshops and to meet with the teacher once a week to review current projects and receive feedback. New writing is due on a weekly basis. Prerequisites and Requirements: Students must have taken Creative Writing and Portfolio Development and secured the approval of the teacher.
MATHEMATICS The mathematics department at Gill St. Bernardâ€™s School develops in each student an understanding, enthusiasm, curiosity and appreciation for mathematics. The curriculum extends well beyond the essential calculation of numbers to exploring, reading, writing and communicating mathematics with confidence, and applying these skills in real-world situations. GSB graduates are able to interpret quantitative information, describe relationships analytically, and use data to support arguments and communicate ideas at a level appropriate for college work. The department approaches mathematics as a symbolic language that is essential to understanding many fields of study. The objective is to equip students with the necessary tools to pursue these fields in an everchanging technological world and to develop logic skills as mathematical thinkers. Students are encouraged to approach problems numerically, analytically and graphically using appropriate technology. Effective communication is essential; stating the final answer to a problem is never sufficient. A well-organized, clearlyarticulated verbal or written presentation of a solution is a key indicator of a solid grasp of the underlying concepts. Gill St. Bernardâ€™s mathematics courses are not organized by grade level. Students are placed in classes that offer and ensure appropriate challenge and opportunity for growth and advancement. The curriculum is efficient, challenging and responsive to the demands students face in college and beyond.
A full-year course, Algebra I is an introductory level math course and is a prerequisite for Geometry. Students in this class are typically freshmen who have not taken Algebra I previously. Algebra I provides a formal development of the algebraic skills and concepts necessary for students to succeed in advanced mathematics courses. This course introduces students to higher-order abstract reasoning strategies. Algebra I covers a variety of topics that serve to open new areas of inquiry while providing ongoing review and reinforcement of previously presented materials.
Course topics include an examination of algebraic operations, linear relationships, absolute value equations, radicals, polynomial functions and the quadratic formula. The graphical representation of two-variable relationships is emphasized throughout the course, as students utilize the Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus graphing calculator. Desired outcomes for this course include preparing students for future math courses, creating an appreciation of mathematics, developing study skills and building a foundation in preparation for future standardized tests.
This course usually follows Algebra I and is a prerequisite for Algebra II. Topics of discussion include angles, triangles, coordinate geometry, similarity, congruence, parallelism, deductive proof, polygons, circles, right triangle trigonometry, area and volume. An important aspect of the course is the integration of geometry with algebra skills. Students are constantly reminded of real-life applications. Algebra concepts, especially solving of equations, are used throughout the year to reinforce geometric ideas. Prerequisite: Algebra I
ALGEBRA II AND TRIGONOMETRY The full-year Algebra II and Trigonometry course follows Geometry in GSBâ€™s math curriculum. Main topics of study include discrete math (i.e., sequences, counting theory and probability); a robust study of functions (which includes polynomial, piecewise, absolute value, root, exponential and trigonometric functions); and an extended unit on trigonometry of the unit circle. Emphasis is placed on problem-solving. Students often use multiple representations of functions or mathematical models (i.e., chart, graph, equation and verbal model) in order to find and verify their solutions. Visualization of concepts is emphasized throughout the course. Students make sketches by hand or through the use of technology (graphing calculators and online tools) regularly in order to analyze and make sense of functions. Prerequisites: Algebra I and Geometry
HONORS ALGEBRA II AND TRIGONOMETRY A yearlong course, Honors Algebra II and Trigonometry follows Geometry and is a prerequisite for Honors Pre-calculus. The course prepares students for future math courses, creates an appreciation of mathematics, develops study skills and builds a foundation for future standardized tests. Main topics of study include graphing functions of various types (linear, absolute value, quadratic, square root, piecewise, cubic, cube root, higher power, polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric and greatest integer); solving higher power equations; solving systems of equations using matrices; working with inequalities; understanding imaginary numbers; performing operations with radicals; and simplifying using rational exponents. In addition, a comprehensive study of trigonometry is undertaken using the unit circle as a starting point. Prerequisites: Algebra I, a grade of A- or better in Geometry and the recommendation of the teacher.
PRE-CALCULUS A prerequisite for Calculus, students master topics that include recognizing parent functions; graphing functions (polynomial, rational, logarithmic and exponential); solving quadratic equations and inequalities; solving systems of equations using matrices; and completing arithmetic and geometric series. A thorough study of trigonometry from the standpoint of the unit circle is completed. Trigonometry identities are proven and trigonometry equations are solved. Triangles are solved using the Law of Sines and the Law of Cosines. Polar coordinates provide an alternate system of graphing. In addition, the conic sections are discussed in detail and probability is determined for real-life situations. At the conclusion of the course, an introduction to limits helps prepare students for calculus. Prerequisites: Algebra II and Trigonometry
This course surveys the areas of mathematics that constitute prerequisite skills for the study of calculus. The first part of the course is the study of functions: algebraic; trigonometric; exponential and logarithmic. The second part of the course is an introduction to classic calculus problems of limits of functions and slopes of tangent lines. Throughout the year, problems are approached analytically, numerically and graphically. Students use a graphing calculator throughout the course. A multi-representational approach to algebraic and trigonometric problemsolving is used.
Prerequisites: Grade of B+ or better in Algebra II and Trigonometry and competitive SAT or ACT scores or permission of the teacher. Students are usually sophomores or juniors.
11th or 12th Grade
This course is designed for students who wish to take Calculus, but not in preparation for the AP exam. Honors Calculus students are primarily seniors; however, juniors may enroll in the class as an alternative to AP Calculus AB. This course provides an overview of calculus in order to build a solid foundation to prepare students for college-level calculus (or to prepare 11th-grade students for AP Calculus AB). It creates an appreciation of calculus, learning to think logically and presenting solutions in an organized manner. The main topics of study include limits, the definition of the derivative, differentiation rules, related rates, optimization, graphing, Riemann sums, integration, area under and between curves, volumes of revolution using the disc and shell methods, slope fields, and a brief introduction to differential equations. Calculators are used extensively throughout the course and activities are assigned to reinforce concepts. Prerequisite: Pre-calculus
ADVANCED PLACEMENT CALCULUS AB This course follows the syllabus for the AP exam in Calculus AB. As such it is a rigorous, demanding course requiring a strong foundation in algebra, geometry, trigonometry and analytic geometry. A multi-representational approach to calculus is used. Concepts, results, and problems are expressed geometrically, numerically, analytically and verbally. Through Socratic interchange, activities and challenging problems, the students examine functions, derivatives, and integrals and their applications. Prerequisites: Grade of B+ or better in Honors Pre-calculus, or a grade of A- or better in Pre-calculus.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT CALCULUS BC This course follows the syllabus for the AP exam in Calculus BC. It is a rigorous, demanding course, requiring a strong foundation in algebra, geometry, trigonometry and analytic geometry. A multi-representational approach to calculus is used, in which concepts, results and problems are expressed geometrically, numerically, analytically and verbally. BC Calculus is an extension of the material covered in Gill St. Bernardâ€™s AP Calculus AB course, examining functions, derivatives, integrals, series and sequences. In addition to supplementary topics on derivatives and integrals such as arc lengths and surface areas, the course introduces the concepts of infinite series and sequences and the approximation of functions by Taylor polynomials.
Prerequisites: Successful completion of AP Calculus AB and recommendation from a teacher.
STATISTICS Using both a theoretical and experimental approach, this course provides students with a solid foundation in introductory statistics. The four major concepts covered are exploratory data analysis, the design of studies and experiments, probability and statistical inference. Problem-solving skills and collaboration are developed through examples, activities and projects. Public speaking is emphasized; students interpret large amounts of data and create clear and concise presentations on a quarterly basis. Emphasis is placed on the use of technology (graphing calculators, Google Docs, Excel, statistical applets and basic statistical software). Prerequisite: Algebra II and Trigonometry.
11th or 12th Grade
This introductory semester course in discrete mathematics is designed for strong math students, in particular those also interested in computer science. A primary goal of the course is to develop students’ mathematical and logical reasoning skills through an inquiry-based approach. Discrete math is “real world” mathematics teaching mathematical reasoning and proof techniques, which are necessarily applied creatively and flexibly. Main topics include counting, sequences, logic, and graph theory.
FOUNDATIONS OF MATHEMATICAL ANALYSIS Open to juniors and seniors, this advanced elective course provides an introduction to the underlying structures of mathematics. Students recreate the real number system mathematically, beginning with logic concepts and set theory. Students develop the mathematics of axiomatic systems and then work their way from the natural numbers to the rationals, finally introducing Dedekind cuts to complete the real number system. The class then explores some of the idiosyncrasies and curiosities of number theory; the course concludes with an investigation of Cantor’s work with different infinities. This is a sophisticated mathematics course that requires strong analytical skills and a lively interest in stepping outside the traditional bounds of algebra and geometry. Prerequisites: Completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, Honors Pre-calculus.
ADVANCED MATH SEMINAR Open to juniors and seniors, this advanced course considers discrete mathematical topics that address real-world issues. Major topics include mathematics in social choice, management science and fractals. Students explore voting theory, the fair division, paths and circuits, the traveling salesman problem, networks, the mathematics of scheduling and fractal geometry. In this project-based course, students must be capable mathematicians with strong analytic skills and clear-sighted intuition into mathematical systems. Prerequisites: Completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, Honors Pre-calculus.
HISTORY The motto of Gill St. Bernard’s, Schola mundus est or “the world is our classroom,” informs the History Department in its effort to help students understand the world, using a knowledge of the past to improve the present and better shape the future. The department also embraces the goals of the humanities and the social sciences to shed light on our human condition, to improve our understanding of human societies and to know ourselves better as individuals. History courses at GSB are designed to provide the skills and knowledge necessary to appreciate and interpret the world. An important goal is for each student to develop a thoughtful, independent, history-conscious perspective, informed by a variety of academic disciplines. The curriculum provides students with the knowledge, skills and experiences necessary to function as resourceful members in an increasingly complex and interconnected world. The department’s goals are that each student will be able to formulate hypotheses; critically evaluate evidence, including competing arguments and interpretations; refine his/her writing and speaking skills; understand a variety of historical periods; have an awareness of geography and its relation to history; and understand the role of political and economic forces in shaping society and the individual.
COMPARATIVE WORLD CULTURES (CWC)
This course explores critical developments in world history, using resources drawn from the social sciences, history and the natural sciences. The integration of materials from the social and natural sciences, along with the humanities, provides students with a broad understanding of the historical and cultural evolution of humankind. Students examine some of the most important physical, ecological, social and technological developments shaping today’s world. The course provides frameworks for thought and promotes deeper consideration of history and the present world. Through their study of human origins and the examination of four distinct cultural units, students gain a greater insight into their own lives. CWC raises fundamental questions about what it means to be human. Resources: World History (Ellis et alia), Ann Jaramillo’s La Linea, Ishmael Beah’s A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier; Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood; Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel; and John Green’s Crash Course World History and Crash Course Big History. Web resources include Big History; David Christian’s This Fleeting World; World History for Us All (San Diego State University); and Reading Like a Historian (Stanford History Education Group).
UNITED STATES HISTORY
Students explore the history of the United States from the pre-colonial era to the present day. Students acquire a knowledge of basic chronology, as well as an understanding of the various political, social, intellectual and economic trends that have characterized American history through the 20th century. The specific skills of the historian are taught and emphasized; students analyze and interpret primary source documents, conduct historical research and write critical essays throughout the year. Resources: United States History (Emma Lapsansky-Werner). The course text is supplemented with primary sources, films and documentaries. Summer reading: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT UNITED STATES HISTORY
10th, 11th or 12th Grade
This is an intensive yearlong course that prepares students to read historical texts critically, develop vital skills in the analysis of primary documents, and write effective essays incorporating historical background and primary document analysis. The class helps students to appreciate the significance of major schools of historiography and to acquire a fundamental grasp of U.S. history, including its dominant themes and the theoretical frameworks within which ideas and developments may be interpreted. The course emphasizes the development of historical thinking skills (chronological reasoning, comparing and contextualizing, crafting historical arguments using historical evidence, and interpreting and synthesizing historical narrative). The writing component of the course is rigorous, equivalent to that of a two-semester introductory college or university U.S. history course. Students learn to identify the nature of essay questions, organize response outlines or frameworks, collaborate on Document-Based Question (DBQ) analyses, and write timed free-response and DBQ essays in class. The course follows a narrative structure supported by Eric Fonerâ€™s Give Me Liberty! Primary sources, secondary sources, historiographical essays and a variety of multimedia materials are selected to fit each time period. Each student will be prepared to complete the AP exam in the spring. Prerequisites: Comparative World Cultures, or a grade of A- or better in a previous history course.
DEBATING SOCIAL ISSUES
11th or 12th Grade
This course is a unique full-year offering in which students research and debate social issues that shape the world in which they live. The course uses self-directed inquiry, allowing students to take ownership of their work, bringing about a richer experience while fostering a deeper understanding of the complexities of a given issue. Students hone their public speaking skills, engage in civil discourse and use research to support a given stance during debate. Class debates begin with student-led presentations on chosen topics. During these presentations, students are asked to consider which side of the argument they would rather debate. Once the debate teams are formed, the class enters its research period when students use gathered resources to formulate and solidify their arguments. After completing the research, debate teams square off against one another in the classroom, using opening statements, rebuttals, open discussion and closing arguments. Resources: A variety of resources are used to bring about informed opinions, including databases (EBSCO, ProQuest and The New York Times) and articles from the general press. Additionally, the Opposing Viewpoints Series is used to help students build their arguments.
US GOVERNMENT AND THE CONSTITUTION
11th or 12th Grade
Topics to be covered include an in-depth analysis of the Constitution as it applies to the three branches of government, the election process and the current state of affairs of our state, local and federal government. Current events are analyzed to examine how the constitutional powers of our government have evolved and changed since its founding. During the course, students will participate in â€˜We the Peopleâ€™ mock Legislative hearings, mock Congressional sessions where they will research, write and prepare bills, and study governmental issues in current events.
This year-long course will examine the fundamental aspects of the United States government focusing on the three branches of government and how each functions. Students will be engaged in student-centered learning through academic discourse where discussion, debate and pair-share are a common occurrence. Students will focus on analyzing primary and secondary sources to formulate positions, write position papers and defend them in debate or panel discussions.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
11th or 12th Grade
This course provides students with an analytical perspective of government and politics in the United States. Students taking the course should be familiar with the various institutions, groups, beliefs and ideas that constitute U.S. government and politics. In this class, students learn general concepts used to interpret U.S. government and politics and analyze specific examples. Students learn to describe and compare important facts, concepts and theories pertaining to the U.S. government and politics, and to explain typical patterns of political processes and behavior as well as their consequences. These include components of political behavior, the principles underlying various government structures and procedures, and the political effects of these structures and procedures. Students read and analyze scholarly work, write position papers, and participate in organized debates related to United States government and politics. Resources include American Government (Wilson and Dilulio) and American Polity (Serow and Ladd, editors). Primary sources include the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights, The Federalist Papers, and Supreme Court decisions. Prerequisites: A grade of B+ or better in a previous AP course in the History Department, or an A- or better in a previous history course.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT HUMAN GEOGRAPHY
11th or 12th Grade
This intensive course prepares students for the AP exam and introduces them to the systematic study of the spatial patterns and processes that have shaped humanity’s understanding, use and alteration of the Earth’s surface. Using maps, data and geographic models, students examine spatial relationships at different scales, ranging from local to global. An integral part of this course is the relationship that humans have with their environment. Topics studied in detail include demographics and population growth; immigration; cultural development and diffusion; languages; urbanization and economic development. Through the study of these and other topics, students gain the ability to use and think about maps and spatial data. They develop the skills to recognize and interpret different scales, as well as to identify the relationships among different patterns and processes. Students define regions, evaluate the regionalization process and characterize and analyze changing interconnections among places.
Resources include Human Geography: People, Place, and Culture (DeBlij, Murphy and Fouberg) and Tim Marshall’s Prisoners of Geography. Articles from newspapers, magazines and databases are also used as supplemental readings for the course in order to enhance understanding and to connect what we are learning to current events. Prerequisites: Grade of B+ or better in a previous AP course in the History Department, or an A- or better in a previous history course.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT MICROECONOMICS
11th or 12th Grade
This course provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary to understand and analyze key topics in microeconomics. The class also serves as preparation for the AP exam. The course examines and describes the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individual decision makers—both consumers and producers—within a larger economic system. Students examine the theories behind demand, supply and the market. They analyze the behavior of profit-maximizing firms under various market structures and evaluate the efficiency of the outcomes with respect to price, output, consumer surplus and producer surplus. Students also consider instances in which private markets may fail to allocate their resources efficiently and they examine various public policy alternatives aimed at improving the efficiency of private markets. Resources include Krugman’s Economics for AP (Ray and Anderson) and Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much (Senhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir).
Prerequisites: Grade of B+ or better in a previous AP course in the History Department or an A- or better in a previous history course.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT EUROPEAN HISTORY
11th or 12th Grade
This challenging course surveys European political, social, economic, and cultural history from the Renaissance to the present and provides in-depth coverage of major developments. Through successful participation in the course, a student will develop an understanding of the principal themes in modern European history, an ability to analyze historical evidence, and an ability to analyze and communicate historical understanding in writing. Emphasis is placed on the students developing intellectual and academic skills, including effective analysis of such primary sources as documents, maps, statistics, and pictorial and graphic evidence; effective note-taking and annotating; clear and precise written/oral expression; and the ability to weigh evidence and reach conclusions on the basis of facts. The content learning objectives of this course and the AP exam are organized under five “themes,” topics for historical inquiry that will be explored throughout the course. Each theme is guided by three to five essential questions that inform student inquiry and learning. These themes help to focus the student’s understanding of major historical issues and developments, helping students to recognize trends and processes that have emerged over centuries. Prerequisites: Grade of B+ or better in a previous AP course in the History Department, or an A- or better in a previous history course.
INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY
11th or 12th Grade
This course offers an overview of the scientific study of both the behavioral and mental processes of human beings. It includes, but is not limited to, such topics as the history of psychology, the biological foundations of behavior, learning, memory, sensation and perception, states of consciousness, motivation, emotions, personality and abnormal behavior. This class also studies the various stages of the lifespan (late adulthood, middle adulthood and the teenage years) while examining developmental challenges and tasks as outlined by psychologist Erik Erikson in his stage theory of psychosocial development. The teenage years are highlighted and students are asked to consider the formation of their own identities as they attempt to answer the question: Who Am I?
ADVANCED PLACEMENT PSYCHOLOGY
11th or 12th Grade
This course is the equivalent of an introductory college course in Psychology. It introduces students to the systematic and scientific study of the behaviors and mental processes of human beings. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. Students also learn about the methods psychologists use in their science and practice. Students will be prepared to take the AP exam. Prerequisites: Grade of B+ or better in a previous AP course in the History Department or an A- or better in a previous history course.
11th or 12th Grade
This semester-long course explores the construction and intersection of race, class and gender in society while establishing a safe space for students to have meaningful conversations about these topics. Students begin to understand that race, class and gender are socially constructed, and that social order is shaped by these classifications, which often lead to sexism, classism and racism in contemporary, industrialized, media-influenced societies. Students are challenged to think seriously about how they can become more active participants in social change, while thinking concretely about what is needed for individuals and institutions to eradicate stereotyping and prejudices. The classroom is the testing ground, and acknowledgment of personal history is relevant to all meaningful dialogue and assignments.
RACE, CLASS AND GENDER
Required readings include Race, Class, and Gender in the United States: An Integrated Study (Paula S. Rothenberg, editor) and Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone. This course also utilizes a variety of sources in which to explore society— theories of academia, novels, documentaries, media, and popular culture, including music, television and film.
11th or 12th Grade
This semester course provides students with an understanding of cities, their origins, the nature of urban life and its diversity. Of special importance are the intersection of race, class and gender, and their influence on the conditions and problems that are unique to urban life. Topics of study include the creation of social inequality, political power, policing, education, housing and gentrification. Once students have a basic understanding of the composition and characteristics of the modern urban landscape, they explore these aspects of the city and how they influence social policy. Resources include The Urban Sociology Reader (Jan Lin and Christopher Mele, editors) and Wes Mooreâ€™s The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates. This course also uses a variety of resourcesâ€”theories of academia, novels, documentaries, media and popular culture, including music, television and film.
HISTORY OF ANCIENT GREECE
11th or 12th Grade
In this semester course, students learn about aspects of life in the ancient world, including culture, daily life, history, literature, and art. This course focuses on the ancient Greek civilization and will includes the way this culture shaped the Western world throughout history. Lessons are developed through assigned readings, both primary (in translation) and secondary sources; through modern representations; through adaptations of these cultures; and involved class discussions. Students are introduced to this culture through as many primary sources as are applicable, and these are supplemented with modern studies. All aspects of these cultures are examined, not limited to history or literature, but including the role of the lower classes and foreigners, and the interactions of the Greeks outside their own world, as they expanded.
11th or 12th Grade
This semester course is an introduction to ancient Greek and Roman mythology through the examination of the literary and material evidence of the ancient and modern world. In this class, students will look at the principal myths and mythological figures of the ancient world and their role in shaping the world of those ancient civilizations. Lessons will be developed through assigned readings, both primary (in translation) and secondary sources; modern representations and adaptations; and involved class discussions regarding how the Greeks and Romans attempted to explain and comprehend their natural world.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY SCIENCE Science asks questions about the planet and the universe and seeks answers through observation and experimentation. The Upper School science curriculum is dedicated to the development of the scientific method as a technique for investigating the world. The department fosters in its students scientific curiosity and the ability to consider multiple interpretations and critically review all theories and hypotheses. Students become critical thinkers who ask focused questions and can interpret responses. The program exposes the students to the wonder of science from the beauty of the natural world, to the elegant theories of physics and the stewardship of our planet. Students become fluent in the discussion of scientific advancements, learn to critically analyze materials using a reasoned approach and become aware of technology’s impact on society. Through its curriculum, the department helps to develop scientifically literate citizens and to foster among our students a lifelong interest in science. Students
• develop skills centered on the scientific method so that they can formulate hypotheses, design and safely perform experiments, quantitatively and qualitatively analyze results, and communicate conclusions • develop a lifelong interest in science • become fluent in the discussion of scientific advancements • critically analyze materials using a reasoned approach • become comfortable with, yet wary of, technology and its impact on society • are able to discuss scientific breakthroughs • apply the virtues of a scientific education to become better citizens of the world • think innovatively • assimilate technological breakthroughs and developments into a cogent, comprehensive mindset
This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of—and appreciation for—physics, while preparing them for higher-level science and mathematics courses. The course emphasizes two main topics, kinematics and energy, and four main goals. The first goal is for students to forge cognitive connections between underlying concepts and their mathematical expressions; students should be able not only to use equations, but to read them as one would read a sentence. The second goal is for students to sharpen their problem-solving skills. Many problems require multi-step solutions, and the techniques for solving them vary depending on their complexity. Through this course, students are equipped with a range of strategies that apply to different scenarios. A third goal is to reinforce students’ algebra skills and introduce basic trigonometry. Vectors are central to an understanding of force and motion, and this course explores the concept of vectors as mathematical entities having both magnitude and direction. The final goal is for students to understand fundamental principles, such as the conservation of energy. This sets the stage for facing challenges in engineering.
INTRODUCTION TO PHYSICS
This class fosters in students an appreciation of, and interest in, this most fundamental branch of science. A strong effort is made to couple the theoretical principles and concepts of physics with their logical application to real-world situations. As such, the course has two broad goals. The first is for students to understand the theories that explain the nature of reality. Through classroom demonstrations, hands-on laboratory experience and careful attention to the textbook, students arrive at and come to fully comprehend the various mathematical constructs used to underpin theory. The second goal of the course is to teach and reinforce higher-order problem-solving skills. Students advance toward the second goal through the mathematical manipulation of previously acquired theories and formulas.
This course emphasizes the periodic table of elements, the formation of compounds and reactions that occur to produce new substances. Students study the elements, compounds, reactions and the properties of a wide variety of substances. Students are introduced to problem-solving techniques, the scientific method and the underlying concepts of chemical composition and reactions. Other course topics include the study of matter, atomic structure, the structure of the periodic table and periodic properties, moles, chemical reactions, bonding, molecular structures, oxidation-reaction processes, and energy and its transformations. The laboratory provides regular and ongoing opportunities for students to explore scientific problems in an experimental environment. Students are required to document lab work, using a prescribed format consistent with the requirements of future science courses. Written lab reports include computerized data collection, graphical analysis and comprehensive, cogently-written conclusions. In the study of chemistry, the department seeks to spark, inspire and sustain studentsâ€™ curiosity about the scientific world.
This course emphasizes the periodic table of elements, the formation of compounds and reactions that occur to produce new substances. Students study the elements, compounds, reactions and the properties of a wide variety of substances. In addition to the classroom, the laboratory provides regular and ongoing opportunities for students to explore scientific problems. Students are required to document lab work, using a prescribed format consistent with the requirements of future science courses. The goal of this course is to communicate the wonder and beauty of science in the real world. Prerequisites: Grade of B or better in Honors Freshman Physics, or grade of A or better in Introduction to Physics.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT CHEMISTRY
10th, 11th or 12th Grade
This course is the equivalent of a first-year college chemistry course; it covers materials in depth and provides a deeper consideration of both the theoretical and mathematical analysis of topics. Specific attention is given to significant figures, precision of measured values and the use of logarithmic and exponential relationships. Multi-level problemsolving and detailed interpretations of developing technologies are emphasized throughout the course. The breadth of the course is captured in the â€œSix Big Ideasâ€? identified by the College Board: structure of matter; properties of mattercharacteristics, states, and forces of attraction; chemical reactions; rates of chemical reactions; thermodynamics; and equilibrium. The course is designed to make students aware of the intricacies of science, to help them understand how research is conducted, and to prepare them for a career in the sciences and beyond. The coursework fosters independent thinking; collaboration, especially in the laboratory; problem-solving skills; the ability to collect, analyze and interpret data and to analyze scientific literature; laboratory skills; big-picture thinking; and the ability to integrate and appreciate emerging technologies. Prerequisites: Grade of A- or better in Honors Physics, or a grade of A+ in Introduction to Physics.
This course provides a systematic approach to the study of biology. Students begin by concentrating on microscopic aspects, with an emphasis on molecular biology, including cytology, biochemistry and genetics. The course proceeds to a macroscopic level of study that focuses on morphological, evolutionary and environmental aspects. Also studied are mechanisms of cellular energy, the continuity of life, multicellular plants, vertebrates, invertebrates and human biology. The laboratory provides regular and ongoing opportunities for hands-on learning, as students engage in experimentation and exploration. Students typically take this course in eleventh grade.
Topics covered in this fast-paced course include ecology, biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, Mendelian and non-Mendelian genetics, bioethics, evolution, diversity of life, and animal and human anatomy and physiology. Concepts in class are illustrated with demonstrations and experiments, and students are expected to review independently the information that is presented. Students must be able to clearly articulate their knowledge both orally and in writing. This course helps students develop their abilities to analyze, evaluate and synthesize information; understand the role of chemistry in life processes; examine the theory of biological evolution; demonstrate an understanding of heredity, genetics, and the structure and function of cells; and understand the importance and application of biological advancements in todayâ€™s world. Prerequisites: Grade of B+ or better in Honors Chemistry, or a grade of A- or better in Chemistry.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT BIOLOGY
11th or 12th Grade
This course is the equivalent of an introductory college-level biology course for biology majors. The three main goals of the course are to help students gain a conceptual framework for modern biology, to appreciate science as a process, and to learn to think like scientists. This course follows the recommendations of the College Board and places greater emphasis on understanding major concepts than on memorizing details. The AP Biology course is broken into â€œFour Big Ideasâ€? identified by the College Board: evolution, cellular processes, genetics and information transfer, and ecology. Laboratory experience is an essential part of this course. Lab experimentation takes place in small groups and the emphasis is on quantitative investigation. Lab work challenges students to understand problems, to develop and implement appropriate experimental designs, to analyze data, to draw conclusions and to report their findings in written form. Every laboratory investigation consists of two parts: a guided inquiry with prescribed steps, and a subsequent student-proposed laboratory investigation based on the initial inquiry. Prerequisites: Grade of B+ or better in Honors Chemistry, or grade of A- or better in AP Chemistry.
10th, 11th or 12th Grade
In this course, students study the anatomy (structure) and the physiology (function) of body systems in humans and other animals. There is an emphasis on the structures and functions from the microscopic level to the macroscopic level. This course includes anatomical terminology and the study of skeletal, muscular, nervous, and endocrine systems. Lab experiences are used to demonstrate anatomical and physiological concepts.
ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY
11th or 12th Grade
Has our ability to manipulate nature outstripped our capacity to make moral decisions about these techniques? With the advent of CRISPR, AI, cloning, GMO foods and 3-D printing of organs, how do we make deep, informed decisions about the moral and social implications of these provocative techniques? This new age of human innovation will force us to confront essential questions about morality, consciousness, aging, humanity, and the future of our species. This class will research, study and discuss these emerging technologies and their effect on the way that we view the world.
HONORS ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
11th or 12th Grade
This course looks at the natural world and the ways in which human activity impacts it. On a local and global scale, students study biodiversity, population ecology, land and water use, energy resources and consumption, pollution and climate change. Environmental indicators, graphs and mathematical equations are used to study physical and chemical changes and to evaluate the health of the environment. As part of the course, students debate current environmental, political and social issues, including the unequal distribution of resources worldwide, deforestation, animal rights, genetically modified organisms, the disproportionate amount of pollution in lower socioeconomic areas, conservation efforts, and evidence of climate change. Students conduct lab experiments and fieldwork to analyze the state of the environment and the impact of human activity. Prerequisite: Grade of B+ or better in a previous science course.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
11th or 12th Grade
This course looks at the natural world and the ways in which human activity impacts it. On a local and global scale, students study biodiversity, population ecology, land and water use, energy resources and consumption, pollution and climate change. Environmental indicators, graphs and mathematical equations are used to study physical and chemical changes and to evaluate the health of the environment. As part of the course, students debate current environmental, political and social issues, including the unequal distribution of resources worldwide, deforestation, animal rights, genetically modified organisms, the disproportionate amount of pollution in lower socioeconomic areas, conservation efforts, and evidence of climate change. Students conduct lab experiments and fieldwork to analyze the state of the environment and the impact of human activity.
This course requires students to analyze and synthesize information at a college level in preparation for the AP Environmental Science exam. In addition to the classroom, the laboratory provides regular and ongoing opportunities for students to explore scientific problems in a field and experimental environment. Students are required to document lab work, using a prescribed format consistent with the requirements of college course offerings.
Prerequisites: Grade of B+ or better in a previous AP science course or grade of A- or better in a standard or honors science course.
10th, 11th or 12th Grade
This course introduces students to the vast and rapidly growing body of knowledge about our universe, its origin, composition and likely evolution. Since humans first gazed upon the night sky, several core questions have driven the study of astronomy: How did the cosmos come into being? What are the unique conditions that give our universe its present form? What lies beyond our home planet? and How might we apply what we learn about the universe in practical ways? This course examines those questions through exposition, experimentation and independent research (including computer-based learning and extensive Internet exposure). The course begins by considering the structure and scope of solar systems and galaxies. Other units of study include the history of astronomy; the tools used by astronomers; and the formation, structure and evolution of stars, from nebulae to supernovae. Also, a number of unusual features of the universe, from quasars to black holes are examined.
In addition to preparing research papers and presentations, students are required to build and maintain a personal blog site dedicated to astronomy. In their blogs, they will reflect on recent advances and discoveries made by astrophysicists and present the most current evidence on dark matter, the multiverse, extra-solar planetary discoveries and other topics. As part of the blog, students will critically evaluate the research they present, assessing its scientific importance, validity and impact on the field.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT PHYSICS
11th or 12th Grade
This course is a response to the format changes made by the College Board in 2014 and is based on the â€œSix Big Ideas,â€? or core principles identified by the College Board. A full appraisal of these foundational principles requires a multifaceted approach which includes content analysis, the exercise of various logic and problem-solving skills, and a wide range of inquiry-based laboratory work. Several aspects of systems analysis are stressed, among them how various components of a system interact, what laws mediate such interactions, and what constraints and conditions must be considered in order to predict the future behavior of a given system. A variety of mathematical strategies must be considered, and ultimately adopted, in the pursuit of such an analysis. Units considered in this course include motion, forces, gravity, energy, momentum, rotational and harmonic motion, as well as an introduction to electric charge and basic circuits. Students completing the course will be fully prepared for the AP Physics I exam. Prerequisites: Grade of B+ in a previous AP science course or grade of A- or better in a previous standard or honors science course.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT PHYSICS II
11th or 12th Grade
This course follows the first-year AP Physics course and requires many of the same skills: mathematical competence, organization, motivation and strong problem-solving abilities. Topics covered will include thermodynamics and fluid mechanics, electricity and magnetism, wave theory and nuclear physics. The course is a demanding, college-level option for the intensely motivated student and will fully prepare them for the AP Physics II test.
INTRODUCTION TO ROBOTIC ENGINEERING:
10th, 11th or 12th Grade
Resources include The Robotics Primer (MIT Press).
ROBOTIC ENGINEERING II
Students in this semester course are introduced to the principles, history and social implications of robotics. The course provides a hands-on introduction to robotics and engineering, enabling students to combine the skills of a mechanical engineer, project manager and programmer. Students prepare a research presentation, comparing anthropomorphic and industrial robots, as a way of gaining a deeper understanding into societal perceptions of robots, real and potential uses of robots, and appropriate principles of robotic design. Students keep engineering notebooks and collaborate to design and build an autonomous robot. Concepts presented include basic engineering principles, such as prototyping, testing, documenting and the necessity of trade-offs; the design, understanding and representation of robotics systems (electrical, pneumatic and control); the importance of stored or potential energy; principles of material selection; tool use for the shaping and joining of materials; shop safety; and engineering as a team effort.
10th, 11th or 12th Grade
This semester course takes robotics further by concentrating on advanced topics. Students study the use of sensors by adding vision recognition and distance measurement to the autonomous robot built during Introduction to Robotic Engineering. An advanced robotics topic is chosen and a research project is presented to the class. Using Autodesk Inventor, students learn the basics of 3-D CAD modeling to design and then 3-D print and assemble a gear box. Students use design data to perform engineering calculations to lift a weight using a motor and gears. Using Arduino micro-controllers, they will further explore a range of sensors and how they interface with robotic control systems. Prerequisite: Introduction to Robotic Engineering
10th, 11th or 12th Grade
Students in this class learn about a broad range of animal science topics. Through visits and labs at our Home Winds campus, students study the feed and management of livestock and learn about animal nutrition, growth, health, behavior, reproduction and genetics. Additionally, they gain an understanding of practical commercial applications, such as food formulation, disease prevention, artificial insemination, genetic selection and crossbreeding systems. Students also gain hands-on experience gathering and processing products from animals. The products include wool, mohair, cheese, beeswax, honey and meat. In addition to hands-on experience with the animals, students learn about other biological principles in animal behavior, including circadian and seasonal rhythms, habitat selection, antipredator behavior, sexual selection, raising of the young, parental care, communication, migration and the roles of both predators and prey in the food web. Students are required to work with farm animals and work collaboratively with each other during laboratory experiments, animal observations, and farm product production.
11th or 12th Grade
Every week there is a new study that debunks some old nutritional knowledge or reveals a new relationship between our food and our health. This course will focus on the scientific basis for these claims as well as examine the role food plays in our growth and development. To understand the components of food—proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, etc. —it is essential to examine the chemical make-up of those complex molecules. The discussion of food, culture, and the distribution of many of the world’s staple crops will also be a component of this class. Nutritional requirements, along with the chemistry of digestion, play an integral part of understanding the role food plays in our lives.
11th or 12th Grade
Oceanography is a broad term that is used to describe the analysis of living organisms and abiotic factors that compose our marine systems. Typically, oceanography is associated with marine biology (biological oceanography). In this semester course, students will be introduced to all aspects of oceanography, including biological, chemical, physical, and geological oceanography as it pertains to the interactions among its contributing members. Basic terminology, examination of the subdisciplines, and an investigation into the diversity of the ocean will be the main topics covered. This course is structured and conducted to equate to one semester of an introduction to oceanography class.
11th or 12th Grade
Paleontology is a generic branch of science that deals with fossilized organisms. In this semester course, the basic principles of paleontology will be conveyed through one of the most captivating and notorious fossil groups, dinosaurs. Using these prehistoric creatures as a canvas for comparisons, the basic concepts of geology, paleobiology, and evolution will be discussed. This course would be structured and conducted to equate to one semester of a basic paleontology course.
COMPUTER SCIENCE Computer Science elective courses help students understand and utilize computer-based technology, software and hardware. The curriculum is designed for all students, from those who wish to pursue a technological career, to those who want to express their artistic and creative talents through digital media. Many simply recognize that computer literacy is essential in today’s world. Courses are offered in two major areas: computer programming and computer design. The objectives of the department are to prepare students to
• design and implement computer-based solutions to problems in a variety of application areas
• use and implement well-known algorithms and data structures
• develop and select appropriate computer strategies to solve problems
• code fluently in various computer languages
• read and understand a large program consisting of interacting objects
• identify the major hardware and software components of a computer system, their relationship to one another and the roles of these components within the system
• recognize the ethical and social implications of computer use
PROGRAMMING I Students in this semester-long elective course learn computational basics through programming or coding. They are taught program design and programming mechanics. Topics explored include input/output commands, looping or iteration, conditional statements, read/data statements, variables, graphics and sound. This class is a great opportunity for students to become acquainted with coding and explore their artistic/design skills.
Prerequisite: Introduction to Programming or approval of teacher.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT COMPUTER SCIENCE A
11th or 12th Grade
This second-semester elective course is designed for students who have prior understanding of computer programming and are interested in learning more sophisticated, object-oriented languages. Through an introduction to Java, students learn to follow the essential steps of programming: defining program objectives, designing the program, writing the code, compiling source code, running the program, testing and debugging the code, and maintaining and modifying the program.
This is a college-level, yearlong course that prepares students to sit for the AP exam. Students in this class have met the prerequisites and are prepared to study procedural and data abstraction, object-oriented programming, design methodology, algorithms and data structures. Much of the course is built around the development of computer programs (or segments of code) that correctly solve a given problem. This class covers the design issues that make programs understandable, adaptable and reusable. The development of useful programs is also used as a context for introducing other important concepts in computer science. An understanding of the basic hardware and software components of computer systems, and the responsible use of these systems, is an integral part of this class. This course is designed for students who have prior understanding of computer programming, wish to deepen their understanding of Java, and plan to take the AP exam in the spring. Prerequisites: Programming II or AP Computer Science Principles, and Algebra II and Trigonometry or approval of the teacher.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT COMPUTER SCIENCE PRINCIPLES
10th, 11th or 12th Grade
ADVANCED COMPUTER SCIENCE: COMPUTER SCIENCE ALGORITHMS
11th or 12th Grade
This course explores common algorithms and data structures in computer science and applies problem solving such as analysis of algorithms, algorithmic efficiency and NP-complete problems. Students examine and use common data structures, such as binary trees, hash tables, stacks and heaps. Students also build a binary tree of all words in an English language dictionary and use it to search for matches in a text/puzzle. In order to gain appreciation for how programming works and to be introduced to machine language, students use emulators to write in the “TOY” programming language. Students engage in projects meant to highlight computer science applications in other fields including statistical analysis, physics, chemistry and biology. Prerequisite: Advanced Placement Computer Science A.
COMPUTER-AIDED DESIGN (CAD)
This semester-long elective is offered to students who are interested in learning computer-aided design for school-related assignments or personal projects. Architects, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, landscape designers, interior designers and a host of other professionals have used CAD in recent years to plan, organize and visually communicate their ideas to others. Students in this course explore design principles and the production process needed to develop high-quality CAD documents and renditions. Students first learn to create blueprints, floor plans or schematics of their designs. Attention to detail, precision and accuracy are emphasized. These two-dimensional designs are then converted into three-dimensional renditions using SketchUp. Working both individually and in groups, students develop an understanding of the technology and related design principles needed to produce a variety of CAD-based projects.
WEB PAGE DESIGN
10th, 11th or 12th Grade
Students in this semester-long course learn to plan, design and code effective Web pages using basic and advanced features of Hyper-Text Markup Language (HTML). Students first learn a defined set of tags to be placed around words and paragraphs in the text of a page. This definition will grow to include images, sound and other multimedia elements. Skills learned include file management, organizing ideas, adding hyperlinks, incorporating images, and adding sound and video. Advanced topics include tables, frames, image mapping and Flash. Throughout the course, students use an HTML editor and conversion programs for some tasks, and also work directly with HTML. This is a project-based class, and students are evaluated on their performance in a series of increasingly sophisticated projects.
DESKTOP PUBLISHING Students in this semester-long course learn the basic design principles involved in print publications, including the development of a theme or motif, layout and design, the appropriate choice of a font or typeface, the appropriate placement and use of images, and the importance of proofreading for both spelling and grammar. Students learn to use eDesign, software created in partnership between Adobe and Herff Jones. Students also learn the software and hardware skills necessary to import images and text into projects, how to scan photographs, the dots per inch (dpi) resolution necessary for the task, how to resize photographs without losing the original proportions, and various special effects that can be applied to text or images. The major focus of this class is the publication of Excalibur, Gill St. Bernardâ€™s Upper School yearbook, for which students create and design the cover and internal layouts. Students also learn how to market advertisement pages and coordinate and oversee photography assignments. In addition, the chance to meet with a representative of the yearbook publisher allows students to learn more about the publishing industry.
FILMMAKING This class, which may be taken as a semester or yearlong course, introduces digital filmmaking. The creative process is examined through an analysis of story narrative, lighting, sound and camera placement. Technical processes are also examined, as students learn editing techniques, the use of filmmaking equipment and storyboarding. The class is built primarily around production learning; it is experientially based and includes many hands-on projects. Although a majority of class and homework time is spent creating films, students also study theory, read and discuss pertinent articles and view independent shorts and Hollywood features produced by other filmmakersâ€”both famous and unknown. In the spring semester, the class may have a mix of first-time and returning students. First-time filmmaking students proceed through the material as outlined above; returning students, who have successfully completed one semester, work on projects as arranged by the teacher.
3D PROGRAMMING This semester course gives students an introduction to 3D programmatic concepts and explores the world of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). The primary learning tool will be Alice 3, a programming language developed at Carnegie Mellon. Alice is an open-source object-based educational programming language with an integrated development environment. Alice uses a drag-and-drop environment to create computer animations using 3D models. The class also explores the world of VR and AR through programming languages and VR devices. Learning will be project-based with students creating animations based on gaming and storytelling.
WORLD LANGUAGE Gill St. Bernard’s School offers students the opportunity to study Latin, French, or Spanish. In order to fulfill the language requirement for graduation, students must take three consecutive years of one language. Students may also choose to study more than one language. Based on diagnostic tests and recommendations from prior teachers, students are placed in an appropriate level of language study. The diagnostic exams are largely based on reading and writing and focus on assessing language comprehension and production. Students may also be assessed on their oral proficiency for French or Spanish placement.
The Spanish and French language programs are proficiency-based with a focus on the development of oral, aural, written and reading comprehension skills. Classes in Spanish and French are conducted in the target language, and students are expected to speak exclusively in that language during class. Students develop proficiency through an integrated process of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Linguistic proficiency is increased through the use of cooperative learning techniques and learner-centered instruction. A language classroom is alive with students speaking with one another and with their teacher, and risk-taking is always encouraged. Classes stimulate critical thinking and enable students to better understand and appreciate other cultures through authentic readings from various countries.
The Latin program uses Latin prose and poetry to achieve reading fluency. Students begin reading Latin sentences and stories, immersing themselves in the structure and style of Roman literature. Although conversational Latin is not the focus of the program, students do learn pronunciation and have opportunities to read Latin passages at early and advanced levels. Classes stimulate critical thinking and grammatical analysis, enabling students to understand the Latin language and to deepen their understanding of English. The program also uses the history, culture and mythology of the Romans to stimulate interest and help students connect the language and culture of the Romans to their own. In addition, students who wish to undertake or to continue study of a language that GSB does not offer may contract with the Language Education Resource Network (LEARN) in Liberty Corner, New Jersey, to provide language instruction on campus during the academic day or after school. Instruction is provided at the family’s expense and is in addition to GSB’s tuition. Upon successful completion of the coursework, students receive full academic credit, which is applied to graduation requirements.
SPANISH I This course stresses proficiency in all four skills—listening, speaking, reading and writing—and provides an understanding of basic grammatical structures and patterns of communication. The acquisition of functional vocabulary and conversational skills are the primary goals at this level. This is a communication-based language course that emphasizes the active involvement of the learner. Conversational skills are enhanced through cooperative learning activities and learner-centered instruction in the classroom. Many opportunities for creative expression are provided through the use of listening, speaking, reading and writing activities. This course lays the foundation for future language studies. The building and maintenance of a core vocabulary provides a critical foundation as students move towards language proficiency. Additionally, students gain an understanding of Spanish grammar throughout the course. Vocabulary and grammar are taught, in part, through exposure to the culture and history of Spain and Latin America. Through these regional studies, students learn about customs, art, literature, food, family life and holidays. Resources include the Auténtico series.
SPANISH II This course reviews and reinforces communication skills through the integration of listening, speaking, reading and writing activities. Students increase their cultural awareness through the study of authentic cultural materials and realia. Continuing to build on the vocabulary, grammar and conversational skills developed in earlier courses, students increase their proficiency in the language. They enhance their writing ability through a variety of activities, including compositions, essays, skits and journal entries. Resources include the AutĂŠntico Level 2 series, which comprises a text and practice workbook, as well as more challenging supplemental materials. Prerequisite: Spanish I or equivalent.
HONORS SPANISH II This course reviews and reinforces communication skills through the integration of listening, speaking, reading and writing activities. Students increase their cultural awareness through the study of authentic cultural materials and realia. Linguistic proficiency is increased through a variety of learning modules in a learner-centered environment. Students communicate through spoken and written Spanish at a more sophisticated level, expanding and elaborating upon their answers and performing more open-ended linguistic tasks. Resources include the AutĂŠntico Level 2 series, which comprises a text and practice workbook, as well as more challenging supplemental materials. Prerequisites: Grade of A- or better in Spanish I and recommendation of the teacher.
SPANISH III This course continues to review and reinforce Spanish communication skills through the integration of listening, speaking, reading and writing activities. Students also deepen their knowledge of vocabulary, grammar and Hispanic cultural traditions. Regular small-group work and paired activities help to increase proficiency in all skill areas. Students continue to develop fluency in both writing and speaking Spanish. Through the study of thematic units, students participate in class discussions and learn to think critically in the target language. Thematic topics include the outdoors, community service, the environment and professions. Grammar topics that are reviewed and introduced include the present tense, preterite and imperfect tenses, future tense, prepositions and the subjunctive mood in various scenarios. At the end of level three, students are eligible for membership in the Spanish Honor Society, based on language achievement. Resources include the AutĂŠntico Level 3 series, which comprises a text and practice workbook. Prerequisites: Spanish II or recommendation of the teacher.
HONORS SPANISH III
11th or 12th Grade
This course continues to reinforce Spanish communication skills through the integration of listening, speaking, reading and writing activities. Students also deepen their knowledge of vocabulary, grammar and Hispanic cultural traditions. Cooperative learning and learner-centered activities help students continue to develop fluency. Through the study of thematic units, students participate in class discussions and learn to think critically in the target language. Thematic topics include enjoying the outdoors, community service, the environment and professions. In addition, fragments of Hispanic literature are discussed and analyzed. Grammar topics that are reviewed and introduced include the present preterite, imperfect and future tenses, prepositions and the subjunctive mood in various scenarios. Students in this course must be able to communicate in the target language with minimum support and guidance. Questions are more open-ended, which allows students the opportunity to expand and elaborate upon their answers and to use the target language at a more sophisticated level. Many assignments integrate multiple skills simultaneously. Assessments in this course are for high-achieving students. Questions follow the format of the Spanish AP language test, further preparing students for success at the AP level. Resources include the AutĂŠntico Level 3, which comprises a text and practice workbook. Prerequisites: Spanish II and recommendation of the teacher.
SPANISH IV In this course, students read and analyze contemporary and classic literature from Spain and Latin America. Students enhance their cultural awareness through the reading and analysis of authentic material. Cooperative learning activities and learner-centered instruction help students improve their linguistic proficiency. Throughout the course, students continue to develop vocabulary, grammar and conversational skills. Creative expression is encouraged through daily writing assignments. Students are expected to speak exclusively in the target language during class. Resources include the Realidades Level 4, which comprises a text and practice workbook. Prerequisite: Spanish III
HONORS SPANISH IV In this course, students read and analyze contemporary and classic literature from Spain and Latin America. Students enhance their cultural awareness through the reading and analysis of authentic material. Cooperative learning activities and learner-centered instruction help students improve their linguistic proficiency. Assessments and linguistic tasks follow the format of the Spanish AP language test, further preparing students for success at the AP level.
Resources include the Realidades Level 4, which comprises a text and practice workbook. Supplemental AP materials are also used. Prerequisites: Grade of A- or better in Spanish III and recommendation of the teacher.
SPANISH CONVERSATION AND CULTURE
11th or 12th Grade
This upper level course focuses on communication skills and oral proficiency in Spanish. Through the study of history, literature, music, film, art and current events, students are able to discuss a variety of cultural topics. This course provides students with an opportunity to broaden their vocabulary, refine their grammar skills and expand their ability to communicate in the target language both in written and verbal form. Resources: ConversaciĂłn y Repaso, CivilizaciĂłn y Cultura; and excerpts from Literatura y Arte (Cengage Learning). Additional literary and current events resources are also used. Prerequisite: Spanish IV
ADVANCED PLACEMENT SPANISH LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
11th or 12th Grade
This rigorous and challenging course emphasizes the use of authentic Spanish for active communication and allows students to reach advanced levels in their oral, aural, reading and writing skills. Additionally, the course engages students in literary analysis, cultural studies and discussions of current events around the world. Using authentic resources, including digital newspapers, podcasts, the Internet, radio and television, students work toward mastery of the Spanish language. Faculty and students use Spanish exclusively in class. Resources include AP Spanish: Preparing for the Language and Culture Examination, Una vez más (grammar book), and Álbum (literature book). Other AP supplemental material is used. Prerequisites: Grade of A- or better in Honors Spanish IV and recommendation of the teacher.
11th or 12th Grade
This course introduces students to French language and culture. Students develop skills in the four language modalities: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Emphasis is placed on meaningful oral communication as well as accuracy of expression. Students develop basic structured sentences, acquire a core vocabulary and learn to ask questions and provide information orally. Students build vocabulary and strong grammar skills, critical building blocks as they move towards language proficiency. In addition, a variety of activities in French offer opportunities for creative expression. The development of deep cultural awareness is an integral part of this class.
FRENCH II Although this course expects students to have a solid first-year preparation in vocabulary and grammar, the class begins with an active review of previous material before leading the student into more challenging material. Students learn to ask and answer simple questions, speak and write in the present and the past tenses, and talk about activities and people which relate to daily life. Topics include, but are not limited to, identity, professions, weekend activities, food and the geography and regions of France. Activities that integrate listening, speaking, writing and reading offer opportunities for creative expression. Students build vocabulary and a strong understanding of French grammar. Classes are taught primarily in French. Through the French language and daily class activities, students continue to develop an awareness of French culture. Prerequisite: French I or middle school equivalent.
This course continues to review and reinforce communication skills through the integration of listening, speaking, reading and writing activities. An emphasis is placed on deepening students’ facility with vocabulary, grammar and French cultural traditions. Small-group and paired activities help to increase proficiency in all skill areas. Students develop an awareness of language structure and French culture by reading and analyzing authentic literary texts. At the end of level III, students are eligible for membership in the French Honor Society, based on language achievement.
Resources include Discovering French Today: Rouge (Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt) and selected literary texts. Prerequisite: French II
FRENCH IV Students in this course continue to develop and refine their language skills through increased exposure to more advanced grammar and vocabulary. As students become more fluent, the classroom becomes more immersive. Cultural awareness is enhanced by the students’ increased ability to read original material in the target language. Cultural awareness and critical thinking are both addressed through reading and analyzing contemporary and classic literature of Francophone countries and texts focusing on history, politics and the fine arts. Resources include Discovering French Today: Rouge (Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt), Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince and additional supplementary materials. Prerequisite: French III
FRENCH V CONVERSATION AND CULTURE
11th or 12th Grade
This course, open to students who have completed four years of French, is an alternative to AP French. It challenges students to improve and refine their spoken and written language skills while exploring the history and culture of France. From the caves of Lascaux to the position of France in the modern world, students connect with the important social, intellectual and artistic movements of the country. Reading, writing and discussion, as well as film and field experience, help students develop language proficiency and cultural literacy. Cultural awareness and critical thinking are both addressed through reading and analyzing contemporary and classic literature of Francophone countries. Resources include excerpts from various novels, historical writings and poems. Prerequisites: French IV and recommendation of the teacher.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT FRENCH LANGUAGE AND CULTURE This course further develops oral proficiency through oral reports that focus on cultural and historical topics. The examination of contemporary cultural themes based on the genres of art, film, music, poetry, literature and politics provides a context for all language development. In addition, literary analysis and proficiency skills are stressed for those students preparing for College Board Subject tests or AP exams. Resources include T’es branché (EMC), Allons au-delà! (Pearson), cultural and literary texts.
Prerequisites: Grade of A- or better in French IV and recommendation of the teacher.
LATIN I This course introduces students to the fundamentals of Latin grammar. The course uses a reading approach designed by the Cambridge Latin Course to gradually and naturally teach the intricacies of Latin. The acquisition of basic grammar skills and fundamental vocabulary is the primary goal of this course. Roman history and culture is incorporated into the course and helps students connect the language and culture of the Romans to our own.
11th or 12th Grade
Students in this course continue their exploration of the Latin language and ancient Roman culture. Vocabulary, translation and grammar are expanded as students approach more complex narratives based on Roman history and mythology. Students also continue to practice classical Latin pronunciation through daily readings. Upon completion of the course, students have a thorough understanding of the declensions of nouns, the conjugations of verbs, and the use of several types of dependent clauses. In the study of culture, special attention is given to the effects of the Roman Empireâ€™s expansion into Britain. Resources: Cambridge Latin Course (Cambridge University Press), a reading approach that helps students acquire grammar and vocabulary through translation-based exercises. Prerequisite: Latin I
LATIN III Students in this course continue the study of Latin grammar and vocabulary, translate increasingly complex material, and further their exploration of Roman culture and society. Complex Latin sentence constructions are examined, and the study of Latin grammar includes the complete verb synopsis and full declensions of nouns and adjectives. Students increase both their Latin and English vocabularies with the additional study of derivatives. Students translate stories of several classic heroes and begin to study original works by Roman authors, including Pliny, Martial and Ovid. Roman poetry is introduced along with the study of figures of speech and meter. Textual analysis is essential and accompanies the literal translation through careful parsing of prose and poetry. Students also continue to deepen their appreciation of the legacy of Greco-Roman civilization in contemporary society. Prerequisite: Latin II
LATIN IV Roman poetry is a diverse and exciting field, and in this course, students have the opportunity to read Catullus, Ovid, Horace and Vergil. In addition to translating, students are expected to analyze Roman literature, paying special attention to the ways in which Roman poets address the political systems, social problems and other issues of their time. Students discuss and analyze other aspects of Roman culture, including the ways in which modern scholars continue the study of Rome and how the ancients looked at their own lifetime and history. Additional pre-AP level work may be completed. Prerequisite: Latin III
The Romans used literature not only as a way to record and maintain information and ideas, but as a way to express their understanding of the world around them and to express their ideas and beliefs about their society. In Latin V, students examine the overarching themes of Roman literature, such as politics and philosophy, but also consider more intimate aspects of Roman life such as mythology and story-telling. Students continue this analysis of the language through original composition work which reflects the themes analyzed throughout the year.
Prerequisite: Latin IV
ADVANCED PLACEMENT LATIN
11th or 12th Grade
AP Latin concentrates on the translation, analysis and interpretation of Vergil’s epic poem, the Aeneid, and Caesar’s commentaries, De Bello Gallico. Students learn the technical aspects of vocabulary and syntax, which are essential for accurate, literal translation and understanding. An emphasis is also placed on the history and culture of Rome as they influenced the authors and their works. Classes are devoted in large part to translating and analyzing Latin from the Latin AP syllabus and to sight-reading passages. The course discusses major topics, themes and motifs from Roman literary, cultural, social and political history. Students in this course prepare to take the Latin AP exam. Prerequisite: Grade of A- or better in Latin IV and recommendation of the teacher.
WORLD LANGUAGE INDEPENDENT STUDY
Students who wish to undertake or to continue study of a language that GSB does not offer may contract with Language Education Resource Network (LEARN) in Liberty Corner, New Jersey, to provide language instruction on campus during the academic day or after school. Instruction is provided at the family’s expense and is in addition to GSB’s tuition. Upon successful completion of the coursework, students receive full academic credit, which is applied to graduation requirements.
FINE ARTS A wide variety of art courses in two- and three-dimensional media are offered in the Upper School Fine Arts program, including Ceramics, Drawing, Painting, Photography, Portfolio Development, Sculpture, Studio Art, AP Studio Art: 2-D Design, and Woodworking. The Upper School Fine Arts program creates a challenging and diverse learning environment for developing studiobased artistic exploration. Our goal is to familiarize students with the means, the context and the interpretation of art through intensive instruction in traditional and contemporary ideas and techniques. Students acquire a comprehensive understanding of both the elements that compose artworks and the ideas that make them meaningful. Constructive criticism is an integral part of classroom discussion, helping each student to realize more fully his/her creative potential. All aspects of creating art—from generating ideas to the technical process—are included in instruction and practice. References to art history and contemporary art are integrated into every course. Students have several opportunities throughout the year to show their work to the school and community in a gallery setting. Each year, the fine arts faculty in Grades K-12 curates a winter and a spring art exhibition and hosts opening receptions for staff, faculty and friends to come together and celebrate the work of our art students. In addition, student work is submitted to several juried and non-juried art competitions and exhibitions throughout the year. Additional courses in the Fine Arts may be found in the Computer Science section of the Curriculum Guide and include Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Web Page Design, Desktop Publishing, Filmmaking, and Video Production.
CERAMICS This course introduces hand-building, sculpting, slab-work and wheel-throwing. Students learn the technical processes involved in forming and firing. This course is designed to teach students several methods of handbuilding pottery, as well as throwing on the potter’s wheel. Students also learn about various sculptural techniques and have the opportunity to create sculptures in clay. The course covers types and methods of glazing, so students are able to choose glazes that will enhance the final outcome of their piece. Class presentations, topics and critiques are designed to give students a better understanding of aesthetics and history and to increase a student’s visual literacy and problem-solving abilities. Basic glaze and clay chemistry and physics are also covered. These techniques are explored in the context of ceramic art historically and in its contemporary concerns. Students learn how to work with clay as well as other materials, ceramic tools and equipment. Students are expected to respect basic safety procedures in the ceramics classroom as they learn a variety of sculpting and hand-building techniques.
This semester-long entry-level course provides an overview and introduction to the visual arts through the use of a variety of art tools and materials. With an emphasis on studio production, this course develops higher-level thinking skills and art-related technology skills. Students engage in creative expression through a variety of art experiences that sharpen their awareness and perception, permitting them to create in-depth works of high aesthetic quality. Art history and culture are incorporated into the art experience as an enhancement for art appreciation. This course provides students with studio experiences, using a variety of media in various areas of art exploration. Projects are based on the elements of art and principles of design. Students acquire skills necessary for more advanced art courses.
DRAWING In this semester-long course, students learn numerous skills and techniques for representational drawing, focusing on and capturing what they see and using value, shading and contrast to create a sense of form. Gesture and line quality are carefully considered as powerful means of expression. Using both conventional and nonconventional drawing tools, students investigate mark-making and the use of color as it relates to the development of symbolic and expressive form. Students use a sketchbook to document research, growth, reflection, personal imagery and ideas. They develop an awareness of how cultural, political, historical and personal influences can be incorporated into their work. They also develop technical versatility and skills while using the visual elements and principles in compositional forms. Students are encouraged to become independent thinkers who contribute inventively and critically to their culture through the creation of art. Prerequisite: Studio Art
PAINTING In this semester-long course, students learn about the unique qualities of different types of paint, including watercolor, acrylic and oil. This studio course provides a fundamental theoretical and technical approach to making representational paintings on canvas. After an initial overview of color and composition, followed by a brief cycle of basic color-mixing and paint handling exercises, most of the remaining in-class time is spent actually making paintings, with ongoing guidance and critique of works in progress. Students work primarily from life—in still-life, portrait and landscape contexts—to develop skills in using cohesive color schemes and painting techniques. Students are introduced to relevant contemporary and historical artists and art styles and learn to compare, analyze, evaluate and discuss their own work as well as the work of others. Prerequisite: Drawing
Photography is a semester-long course in which students create pictures and maintain digital photography labs and weekly journals. Basic photography is introduced early in the course. Students are taught the history of photography, digital printing, camera function and photographic techniques. As the course progresses, students are exposed to more advanced aspects of lighting, composition and subject matter. Additionally, creative and experimental photography allow students to explore the use of photography as a documentary and artistic medium. All of these skills can be used in a wide variety of career paths. Students maintain journals, documenting their camera’s technical features and capabilities. They must select a photograph each week and critique their work carefully.
ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHY In this semester-long course, students enhance their skills as photographers. Students are taught an expanded range of digital printing techniques, camera functions and photographic techniques. As the course progresses, students are exposed to more advanced aspects of lighting, composition and subject matter. Additionally, creative and experimental photography allow students to explore the use of photography as a documentary and artistic medium. All of these skills can be used in a wide variety of career paths. Students maintain journals, documenting their camera’s technical features and capabilities. They must select a photograph each week and critique their work carefully. In Advanced Photography, students undertake increasingly challenging and sophisticated projects. Prerequisites: Photography and use of an SLR digital camera.
SCULPTURE This semester-long course helps students develop an understanding of the interaction of forms in space. Using basic sculptural processes and readily-available materials, students investigate three-dimensional ideas and decision making. Sculpture introduces fundamental studio skills in designing three-dimensional art works, using various three-dimensional media processes. Students are introduced to different artistic styles from realistic representation to interpretive abstractions. Art appreciation, history and theory are woven into 3-D projects that are integrative, inspire creativity, and develop problem-solving skills.
WOODWORKING This semester-long course introduces students to the wood medium, beginning with the basics of shop safety. Students become adept at using a wide variety of tools and machinery, including traditional hand tools and modern power equipment. Students learn about traditional joinery, how to execute joints and how to select their proper application. Students produce a range of hand joints, including dovetail joints, mortise and tenon joints and shoulder joints. The proper use of tools is discussed with an emphasis on understanding their use in different applications. This course emphasizes the use of mathematics and helps teach collaboration and problem-solving. As a first major project, students design and produce a box constructed through traditional joinery techniques. Finishing techniques are also integrated into this project. Following this introductory work, students select and complete woodworking projects.
ADVANCED WOODWORKING This semester-long course enhances the skills that students have previously acquired. In advanced levels of woodworking, students—under the direction of the teacher—undertake increasingly challenging and sophisticated projects. Cabinetry, furniture making and sculptural work are typical of the type of project work undertaken by students. In-depth design concepts and construction techniques are also explored at this level. Prerequisite: Woodworking
Portfolio Development is a yearlong course for students who are serious about the practical experience of art and want to develop mastery in conceptualizing, composing and executing their ideas. Students in this class focus on developing a portfolio that embodies the standards of skill and quality that art schools seek in their candidates. In building the portfolio, students explore a variety of concepts, techniques and approaches designed to help them demonstrate their abilities as well as their versatility with techniques, problem-solving and ideation. Throughout this course, students work on observational drawing and painting, exploring a range of styles, media and subject matter. Strong pieces of work reflecting careful observation, technique and skill are completed in class through direct observation. Students also expand their range of contemporary subjects, styles and techniques. They are introduced to a variety of traditional and contemporary artists, and learn to write and speak critically about artwork. When each piece is completed, students photograph their work and save it in digital form. They also share their work in group critiques, an important element of the course. Each student is required to maintain a sketchbook, recording his/her ideas and research for each assignment and highlighting his/her personal investigation. Prerequisite: One semester each of Studio Art, Drawing, and Painting
PORTFOLIO II This is a yearlong course that builds upon the student’s technical skills, advances the development of the student’s personal aesthetic and empowers the student to gain confidence in the personal direction of his/her work. More advanced technical drawing, painting and printmaking are emphasized in the first semester. In the second
semester, a body of personally driven work is inspired by research on selected artists. Students are encouraged to attend National Portfolio Day, visit galleries and museums and college collections on their own, and participate actively in the artistic community. They are encouraged to carry sketchbooks with them as much as possible and to document all that inspires them. They are also encouraged to work in the studio after school or during free periods, when appropriate. Prerequisite: Portfolio Development
ADVANCED PLACEMENT STUDIO ART: 2-D DESIGN In this course, motivated art students work on portfolios to submit for college admission, scholarships and the AP exam. Within the AP Studio Art class, students can use any 2-D medium. Portfolios may consist of a single medium or combine work from different disciplines such as photography, art and design, and computergenerated art. The Quality section allows the student to select the works that exhibit his/her “best” examples of synthesizing form, technique and content. Students may include artwork previously done in other studio art classes as part of submitting the required portfolio. The Concentration section asks students to demonstrate depth of investigation and process of discovery. The Breadth section asks students to demonstrate an understanding of the principles of design (unity/variety, balance, emphasis, contrast, rhythm, repetition, proportion/scale, and figure/ground relationship) while showing evidence of conceptual, perceptual, expressive and technical range. Prerequisites: One semester of Studio Art, Drawing or Painting, and one full year of Portfolio Development.
10th, 11th or 12th Grade
This course introduces the interaction of text and image and the fundamental components of graphic communication. Students will develop and hone skills in working with text and image as they create solutions to a series of design problems. Visual literacy will be increased through exposure to contemporary design issues and graphic design history. Students will be expected to expand their proficiency in all aspects of the design process, including the use of formal design principles, type as image, creative brainstorming, conceptualizing, critical thinking, collaboration, and presentation.
A major focus of the course is to develop students’ abilities to think creatively and generate innovative ideas. Students will use a range of media from traditional art materials to digital design tools, including Adobe creative software (Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign). Assignments will demonstrate aesthetics (what is visually pleasing) and functionality (what does the job).
Additional courses in the Fine Arts may be found in the Computer Science section of the Curriculum Guide and include Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Web Page Design, Desktop Publishing, Filmmaking, and Video Production.
PERFORMING ARTS Upper School performing arts courses encourage active experimentation, which contributes to the development of skills such as creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking and collaboration. Course offerings include experiential acting classes for students interested in learning about the acting process as well as for students who are experienced performers. Similarly, there are choral music offerings for students who are new to the choral experience and for those who have performed in the past. In addition, courses are available for students who wish to learn more about aspects of theater production. Courses in directing and music theory are available for students with an interest in the creation of dramatic and musical works.
CONCERT CHOIR Concert Choir can be taken as a one-semester or yearlong course. It is designed to develop musical skills, broaden students’ familiarity with musical genres and deepen students’ musical and aesthetic sensibilities. Students learn and develop a vocal music vocabulary and learn musical concepts—including harmony, melody, notation, rhythm and tone color—across the music genres. Concert Choir meets as a class throughout the week. Prior to choral concerts, the class holds additional meetings during the day and in the evening for group rehearsals. As a performance-based class, each semester culminates in evening performances. The choir performs at additional events throughout the year, including Commencement and admission open houses. In addition, those enrolled in Concert Choir are invited to audition for three extracurricular choirs, The Knight Brigade (boys), The Knightingales (girls) and Knight Voices (mixed). Students are also eligible to audition for an advanced vocal ensemble, The Gillharmonics. These groups meet Wednesday evenings and focus on more sophisticated musical works.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT MUSIC THEORY
Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
This yearlong course is designed to take advanced musicians with an existing knowledge of music theory through the equivalent of a first-year college music theory class. A primary goal of the course is to prepare students for the AP Music Theory exam in May, and in preparing for the exam, students will develop the skills used to analyze music both harmonically and structurally. Emphasis is placed on the tonal practices of Western music, particularly of the Common Practice Period, and students will engage in analysis of the written score and explore basic compositional techniques. Students will also spend a significant amount of time developing aural skills through sight-singing, recognition of intervals and chords as well as melodic and harmonic dictation. This rigorous course is best suited to students who intend to pursue a music major or minor in college or who want to enhance their music understanding or performance abilities. Students without an intermediate proficiency in piano or classical guitar are strongly encouraged to take piano lessons prior to and/or simultaneously with the course. Participation in a performance ensemble is also encouraged.
ACTING I This semester-long course introduces students to drama through theater games and activities. These exercises stimulate the imagination, sharpen sensory awareness and develop skills in public speaking, movement and improvisation by providing students with the opportunity to create characters that are fresh, unique and believable. Goals of the beginning class include the development of self-discipline and a sense of responsibility toward others, a stronger interest in the theater and a basic battery of acting skills. Course content includes the following topics: emotion and emotional recall, silent performance, goals and obstacles, working with props and physical attachments.
ACTING II Students in this semester-long course work toward a more advanced set of goals, including a broader mastery of character development, the ability to effectively critique the performance of another student and the ability to identify the individual goals and the overall theme of the plays being studied. Additional course content includes advanced scene and character study, and independent classroom activity with a concentration on specific material of the student’s choice. Students in the course select a one-act play or a single act from a play for public performance. Prerequisite: Acting I
ADVANCED ACTING Building on the concepts of Acting I and Acting II, this semester-long course offers more in-depth training in the areas of emotion, character development and motivation. Largely based on the Meisner technique, the Advanced Acting class develops more thoughtful actors who can portray multidimensional characters. Students explore such Meisner-based concepts as the “independent activity,” the “moment before” and the “character backstory.” The final exam in this class is the performance of a one-act play before members of the Upper School. Prerequisite: Acting II
DIRECTING In this semester-long course, students learn how to create an artistic vision of an existing play, how to serve as the coordinator of a cast of performers, how to manage the schedule of a production and how to be the single director of a staged performance. Students discover the many nuances of leadership and time management, learn how to distinguish between the wants and needs of performers, and realize the importance of flexibility when working with a variety of personalities. Students experiment with spatial awareness, with areas of strength, with architectural and artistic requirements, with body positioning on stage and with forging a relationship between the actor and the audience. The class is a culmination of what students have learned in Acting I and II. Prerequisite: Acting II
STAGECRAFT This semester-long course gives students the opportunity to participate in the construction of costumes, sets and props for the Upper School fall play and the spring musical productions. Students are taught basic safety and the proper use of the equipment found in the scene shop, costume shop and prop shop, including, but not limited to, sewing machine, serger, table saw, circular saw, drill and pneumatic nailer. In addition, students are given instruction in proper painting technique, understanding clothing patterns, and reading ground plans and elevations. Students are graded on participation and mastery of the skills taught within the context of working on the various productions.
THEATER HISTORY AND DRAMATIC TEXTS This yearlong course examines the history of Western theater, from ancient Greece through the 21st century. Throughout the course, students read various major works of the Western theatrical canon, including Euripides’ Medea, Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. Through these works, students gain a fuller understanding of the period in which they were written. In addition, students develop the ability to make connections from one historical period to another, noting the social, political and religious influences that defined the drama of a particular era, and how it affected the works that followed.
INTERSCHOLASTIC ATHLETICS GSB fields an extensive offering of interscholastic teams at both the varsity and junior varsity levels for boys and girls, a total of 34 teams in 15 different sports. The school holds memberships in the Skyland Conference as part of the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJISAA) and the Somerset County Interscholastic Athletic Association (SCIAA). The athletics program is an integral part of the educational experience at our school.
GIRLSâ€™ TEAMS Fall: cross country, soccer, tennis, volleyball Winter: basketball, fencing, swimming, winter track Spring: golf, lacrosse, softball, track and field BOYSâ€™ TEAMS Fall: cross country, soccer Winter: basketball, fencing, swimming, winter track Spring: lacrosse, baseball, golf, tennis, track and field COED TEAMS Winter: ice hockey, cheerleading
UPPER SCHOOL ADDENDUM AND RESOURCES MATTHEWS FAMILY LIBRARY The Matthews Family Library in the Hockenbury Academic Center serves as a resource center and gathering place, supporting the academic needs and recreational reading of the Upper School student community. Students are encouraged to use the library to collaborate with teachers and peers, to conduct research, to further their personal knowledge and to study. Among its many resources, the library has over 20,000 volumes, 20 databases, dozens of periodicals, daily newspapers, audiovisual materials and access to interlibrary loan resources throughout the state. Librarians work with students and teachers to teach information literacy skills. Students may take advantage of their free time (before and after school, during unscheduled periods, and meeting times) to use the Library, which is staffed by a school librarian or faculty member every school day from 7:45 a.m. until 5:45 p.m.
ADVISORY PROGRAM Every student in Grades 9 through 12 is assigned a faculty advisor who oversees and supports the student’s academic progress, maintains regular contact with the student’s teachers and coaches, and assists the student in all areas of school life. Advisory meetings are built into the academic day, and include scheduled group advisories and availability for individual meetings. In addition, advisors often informally check in with their advisees during classes, breaks, meals and sporting events. Students are encouraged to seek out their advisor whenever necessary. Advisors are student advocates and should serve as the first point of contact between a student’s parents and the school. Parents should reach out to their child’s advisor with questions and concerns, or to share information that may have a bearing on the student’s life at school.
COLLEGE GUIDANCE During their Upper School years, students receive information and guidance on all facets of their transition from high school to college. Some counseling takes place early in the high school years (e.g., scheduling and some testing), whereas more intensive counseling is provided in the junior and senior years. Students are encouraged to attend pertinent evening programs each year and to familiarize themselves with the college guidance materials on Gill St. Bernard’s website. In junior year, each student is assigned a lead counselor who works with him or her to ensure that he/she is given a list of appropriate college options and receives assistance completing applications in the senior year. Lead counselors also craft a confidential letter of recommendation for each student. In senior year, students undertake a number of tasks as they become college applicants. They create a resume, write application essays and request confidential letters of recommendation from their teachers. A student’s lead counselor serves as a key advisor throughout each of these activities.
SERVICE ACTIVITIES Gill St. Bernard’s School offers a wide array of community service opportunities both on and off campus throughout the academic year. In the Upper School, the Office of Student Life coordinates student-driven activities, which help to serve local institutions and community organizations. Activities supporting the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, the Samaritan Homeless Interim Program, New Jersey Blood Services, Habitat for Humanity, the Interfaith Food Pantry and others allow students to develop their generosity of spirit while making a positive impact on those around them. Although community service is not required, student participation is extremely high, and the program upholds the school’s mission and core values, which include commitment, compassion, honor and responsibility.
ACADEMIC SUPPORT SERVICES Gill St. Bernard’s School provides a limited number of accommodations for those students who have learning and/or attention differences as documented by a psycho-educational, neuropsychological, audiological, speech language, occupational or physical therapy evaluation administered by a recognized licensed professional. The school does not make any modifications to the curriculum that require the alteration of the school’s fundamental academic program. Accommodations are limited to those contained within the school’s Academic Support Policy. These accommodations are not meant to constitute a separate or individual program for a student with learning and/or attention differences. If the level of support a student needs to succeed in our program is greater than our resources, the family will need to pursue outside support for the child. The Upper School director and/or learning specialist can offer assistance in making contact with outside professionals. When a student is unable to demonstrate academic progress (see academic expectations in the GSB Student Handbook) or exhibits a pattern of inappropriate behavior of such frequency, duration or intensity that it disrupts that student’s own learning or the learning of others, the school reserves the right to terminate the student’s enrollment agreement.
EXTRA HELP AND TUTORING Learning to recognize and respond to academic concerns is an important skill for all students to acquire. Students are encouraged to meet individually with their teachers if problems arise. Teachers are available either by appointment or on a drop-in basis to give extra help before school, during their free periods, during meeting time and after school. While teachers are frequently available for extra help without advanced notice, students should schedule individual appointments.
Students who require ongoing support in a given subject area or in study skills and organization, should discuss the matter with their classroom teacher(s), their advisor, the learning specialist and the Upper School director. The school’s learning specialist is available to work with students and families to identify supplemental strategies to assist students in their learning; however, the learning specialist cannot serve as a long-term tutor for any individual student. If long-term tutoring is necessary, a list of tutors can be provided.
SCHOOL COUNSELOR The School employs two counselors. In conjunction with the faculty, the Dean of Student Life, and Upper School director, the school counselors work to support students within the classroom and in other school settings. A school counselor may also present relevant information to students, parents, faculty and the GSB community on a range of topics.
Gill St. Bernardâ€™s School â€“ Curriculum Guide 2018-2019
ADMINISTRATION Sid Rowell Head of School Trinity College, B.A., M.A. Irene Mortensen Director of Studies Language Arts/English Vassar College, A.B. Columbia University, M.A. Kyle Armstrong Lower & Middle School Director Middle School Social Studies Trinity College, B.A. Lesley College, M.Ed. Susan Petrone Upper School Director Science & Technology Haverford College, B.S. University of Massachusetts, M.Ed. Kerri Small Director of College Guidance Drew University, B.A., M.Litt. David Pasquale Dean of Student Life University of Notre Dame, B.S.
Willard Taylor Athletic Director Upsala College, B.A. Columbia University, M.Phil. Joan Mruk Director of Technology Upper School Computer Science Centenary College, B.S. Pennsylvania State University, M.Ed. Sarah Rowland Director of Admission & Financial Aid Denison University, B.A. Tracey Goodson Barrett Director of Diversity & Multicultural Affairs Cornell University, B.A. James Diverio Director of Development Drew University, B.A. Stephen Graham Chief Financial Officer New York University, B.A. Fairleigh Dickinson University, M.B.A.
Nasrin Ameri Upper School Mathematics Rutgers University, B.A., M.A. Kristen Armstrong Upper School Head Librarian Cornell University, B.A. Syracuse University, M.L.S. Cornelius Arnett IV ’11 Middle School and Upper School Fine Arts Rochester Institute of Technology, B.F.A. Alana Baer ’03 Middle School Science Lehigh University, B.S. TarynAnn Barry ’05 Upper School Learning Specialist Lafayette College, B.A. Fordham University, M.S. Donna Bednarsky Lower School Physical Education University of Connecticut, B.A. Tony Bednarsky Middle School Social Studies Shippensburg University, B.A. Karen Blair Associate Director of College Guidance Rutgers College, B.A. Rutgers School of Law, Newark, J.D. Macada Brandl Upper School World Language College of William and Mary, B.A. Seton Hall University, M. Public Administration Florida State University, M.F.A. Patrick Brennan Upper School Science & Technology College of the Holy Cross, B.A. Ed Brown Mathematics Department Chair College of the Holy Cross, B.A. Carnegie-Mellon University, M.S. Donna Butler Middle School World Language St. Peter’s College, A.A. Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales, B.S. Paul Canada Performing Arts Department Chair Mississippi College, B.M.Ed. Rutgers University, M.F.A.
Lia Carruthers Lower & Middle School Librarian Grove City College, B.A. Indiana University, Bloomington, M.L.S. Michael Cascini Upper School History Morris County College, A.A. Richard Stockton University, B.A. Seton Hall University, M.A. Brittany Casser Twelfth-Grade Dean Upper School World Language University of Delaware, B.A. Middlebury College, M.A. Christine Chan International Student Program Advisor and Tenth-Grade Dean Upper School History University at Albany, SUNY, B.A. Bard College, M.A.T.
Gill St. Bernard’s School – Curriculum Guide 2018-2019
Sweta Chandra Middle School Mathematics Allegheny College, B.S. Lehigh University, M.S. Cornell University, M.Sc.Eng. Jared Ciocco Upper School World Language and History Rutgers University, B.A. Villanova University, M.A. Patricia Fairweather Cody Associate Director of College Guidance Drew University, B.A., M.Litt. Kathleen Conte Kindergarten Rosemont College, B.F.A. Isabel Corbin Upper School Mathematics Hamilton College, B.A. Cendahl Cornellio-Alter Lower & Middle School Director of Learning Support Seton Hall University, B.S., M.A. George Mason University, M.Ed. Fred Corona Eleventh-Grade Dean Upper School Mathematics Boston College, B.A.
Gill St. Bernard’s School – Curriculum Guide 2018-2019
FACULTY (continued) Frank Corrado Middle School Mathematics Rutgers College, B.A. City College of New York, M.Ed.
Manuel Hercules Upper School Mathematics New Jersey Institute of Technology University, B.S. St. Peter’s University, M.A.
Whitney Davidson-Hinz Upper School History Grinnell College, B.A. Yale University, M.A.
Christine Hinkley Upper School Mathematics Pennsylvania State University, B.S.
Jonna DeFalco Middle School Health & Wellness and Physical Education Rowan University, B.A. Springfield College, M.Ed. Bonnie Diehl Upper School Science & Technology Carroll College, B.S. The University of Massachusetts, M.S. The University of Michigan, Ph.D. Kimberly Di Masi Upper School English Cornell University, B.S. Rutgers University, M.Ed. Jill Fedon Lower School Music & Technology Computer Education Indiana University of Pennsylvania, B.S. Bonnie Frith Lower School Visual Arts & Middle School Fine Arts Limerick School of Art and Design, B.F.A. College of Saint Elizabeth, M.A. Fernando Gomez Upper School English Bucknell University, B.A. Montclair State University, M.A.T. New York University, M.S. Carrie Grabowski Upper School World Language Princeton University, A.B. Pace University, R.N.M.S. Columbia University, M.S.N. Len Grabowski Upper School Science & Technology Princeton University, B.A. Kean College, M.Ed. Wendy Hanks Pre-K 4 Assistant and Early Childhood Art Syracuse University, B.F.A.
Kathleen Hiott Upper School History Monmouth University, B.A., M.A. Charlotte Hogan Middle School English and History Boston University, B.S., B.A. Sarah Isusi Fine Arts Department Chair Maryland Institute College of Art, B.F.A. The University of the Arts, M.F.A. Maryland Institute College of Art, M.A.T. Leo Janas History Department Chair Haverford College, B.A. Harvard Kennedy School of Government, M.P.A. Temple University, M.A., Ph.D. Carrie Johnson Middle School Technology Emerson College, B.A. Lesley University, M.Ed. Julienne Jurken Fourth Grade Boston College, B.A. M.Ed. Linda Katz Middle School English Rutgers University, B.A. Rutgers Graduate School of Education, M.Ed. Denise Konner Middle School Dean of Student Life Middle School English Clark University, B.A. Shelly LaBarre Supervisor of Health & Physical Education Lower School & Middle School Physical Education East Stroudsburg University, B.S. Kristina Lasher Preschool - Grade 6 Mathematics Coordinator Middle School Mathematics Swarthmore College, B.A. Arcadia University, M.Ed.
Ana La Tournous Upper School World Language Rutgers University, B.A.
Ian Prevost Upper School Computer Science and Mathematics Princeton University, B.S.E.
Melissa Lewis Middle School and Upper School World Language University of Rhode Island, B.S.
Eileen Procaccino School Registrar Data System Manager Upper School Computer Science
Diane Lipnickey Kindergarten State University of NY at Farmingdale, A.A.S. State University of NY at Oneonta, B.S., M.S.
Lynn Prosen Lower School Science and Middle School Makerspace University of Wisconsin, Superior, B.S. The College of St. Scholastics, B.A. Western Governors University, M.Ed.
Andrew Lutz English Department Chair Rutgers College, B.A. State University of New York at Stony Brook, Ph.D. Kori Lyons Middle School History University of Washington, B.A. Columbia University, M.A. Janet MacDonald Fourth Grade Wheelock College, B.S. Columbia University, M.A. Derek Martin Upper School English Colgate University, B.A. Washington College, M.A. Tracey Mueller Upper School Assistant Librarian Centenary College, B.S. Pennsylvania State University, M.Ed. Hope Napolitan Lower School World Language Muhlenberg College, B.A. Linda Nisky Lower School Reading Teacher Westminster Choir College, B.M. Kean College, B.A. Marygrove College, M.A.T. Robert Ort ’89 Middle School and Upper School Fine Arts Rochester Institute of Technology, A.A.S Sharon Poticny Upper School English Ohio State University, B.S. University of Southern California, M.S.
Candace Pryor Brown Upper School History Spelman College, B.A. Indiana University, M.A. Drew University, M.A. Steven Rabel Farm Manager Lower, Middle and Upper School Science Rutgers University, B.S.
Gill St. Bernard’s School – Curriculum Guide 2018-2019
Jessica Robina School Counselor Health & Wellness The College of New Jersey, B.A. Monmouth University, M.S. Pete Roslund Lower School and Middle School Physical Education Arizona State University, B.F.A. Todd Ross ’94 Middle School and Upper School Performing Arts Bucknell University, B.A. Columbia University, M.F.A. Steven Rossi Upper School Science & Technology University of the Sciences, B.S. University of Delaware, M.S. Casey Santonacita Lower School Specialist for Personalized Learning Rowan University, B.A. Margery Schiesswohl Ninth-Grade Dean Upper School Performing Arts University of New Hampshire, B.A. Stacy Schnurr Middle School Mathematics Rutgers University, B.A. Lesley University, M.S.
Gill St. Bernard’s School – Curriculum Guide 2018-2019
FACULTY (continued) Jennifer Schuchman Middle School Science Cornell University, B.S. Mount Sinai Medical School, M.S. Sarah Schultz Third Grade Simmons College, B.A. Columbia University, M.A. Leigh Seibert Lower School Music Nyack College, B.A. Mark Signorelli Upper School English New York University, B.A. Catholic University, M.A. Amy Smith Middle School World Language The College of Wooster, B.A. University of New Hampshire, M.A. Amy Southerland Middle School Performing Arts Birmingham-Southern College, B.A. David Southerland Upper School Performing Arts Birmingham-Southern College, B.A. Michiel Stil Upper School Science & Technology Reed College, B.A. Sara Swartz Middle School Language Arts Skidmore College, B.S. Jamie Swinson Preschool Felician College of New Jersey, B.A. Centenary College of New Jersey, M.Ed.
Noreen Syed ’10 STREAMS Director Middle School Science McGill University, B.A. Drew University, M.A. John Taeschler Science & Technology Department Chair Rutgers University, B.S. St. Peter’s College, M.A. Mary Tuohy Second Grade Mary Immaculate College, National University of Ireland, B.A. Zoe Tuohy Middle School Dean of Academic Life Middle School Language Arts/English Rutgers University, B.A. The College of New Jersey, M.A. Montana Vasquez-Grinnell Middle School Science Hampshire College, B.A. Manhattanville College, M.A.T Gina Wendell World Language Department Chair Rowan University, B.A. Mike Wendell ’84 Assistant Dean of Student Life Upper School History Guilford College, B.A. University of Richmond, M.S. Anne Wilson First Grade Chestnut Hill College, B.S. Kutztown University, M.Ed.
Gill St. Bernard’s School P.O. Box 604 St. Bernard’s Road Gladstone, NJ 07934