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Curriculum Guide 2009-2010

Table of Contents Mission Statement ...................................................................................................................... 2  Our Values .................................................................................................................................... 2  LOWER SCHOOL ..................................................................................................................... 2  PRESCHOOL COURSE DESCRIPTIONS...................................................................................3  KINDERGARTEN COURSE DESCRIPTIONS .........................................................................5  GRADES 1 THROUGH 5 ...................................................................................................................7  GRADE 1 COURSE DESCRIPTIONS............................................................................................8  GRADE 2 COURSE DESCRIPTIONS ...........................................................................................9  GRADE 3 COURSE DESCRIPTIONS ........................................................................................ 11  GRADE 4 COURSE DESCRIPTIONS ........................................................................................ 12  GRADE 5 COURSE DESCRIPTIONS ........................................................................................ 13  MIDDLE SCHOOL.................................................................................................................14  COURSE DESCRIPTIONS ............................................................................................................ 15  UPPER SCHOOL ....................................................................................................................25  GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS ............................................................................................ 25  PASS / FAIL ........................................................................................................................................ 25  ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP) DESIGNATION ............................................................... 26  COURSE DESCRIPTIONS ............................................................................................................ 31 



Mission Statement





Mutually Respectful Morgan Park Academy helps shape students’ values by adhering to a high level of ethics and morality. This begins by teaching all our students to respect themselves and continues with their learning to respect and care for others.

The mission of Morgan Park Academy is to prepare our students—via a rigorous liberal arts program—to succeed in college and life by helping them to: • appreciate their own uniqueness as contributing members of a diverse community • develop intellectually, physically, creatively, emotionally, and socially • cultivate personal integrity and social responsibility • make a positive difference in the world

A Whole Person Morgan Park Academy strives for excellence in education, helping all our students use their bodies, minds and spirits to make a difference in the world.

Our Values


Our values prepare students to be:

Morgan Park Academy’s Early Childhood program consists of full-day Junior Preschool, Senior Preschool, and Kindergarten. Each Early Childhood section is limited to 12-13 students and taught by a certified Early Childhood teacher. Preschool sections are also staffed with a full-time aide.

Independent Thinkers Morgan Park Academy maintains rigorous academic standards to stretch our students’ imaginations and intelligences and prepare them for college scholarship and lifelong learning.

The primary learning outcome of the Early Childhood program is to address the whole child in the areas of social, creative, cognitive, physical, and emotional development. Activities and lessons are designed to ensure a developmentally appropriate, child-centered program. The curriculum is teacher-created and responsive to the children’s interests, needs, and individual levels of development.

Global Leaders At every level of learning, Morgan Park Academy applies a worldwide view to curriculum to introduce our students to the global challenges they will experience in their adult lives. Living Diversity The Academy’s student population intentionally reflects socioeconomic, cultural and ethnic diversity to prepare our students to embrace differences in the world around them.

It is the Academy’s belief that young children learn best through play and meaningful experiences. Structured activities are coupled with free explorations at various learning centers that are visited by the youngsters throughout the day. These centers include dramatic play, puzzles, sand and water measuring, cooking, computer, reading corner, and construction area. Other

Community Minded The Academy’s size ensures that every student gets noticed and supported in every grade and at every stage of development. Ultimately, this close-knit community of caring adults helps every child become a 2

centers are often built around themes or units that are currently being explored crosscurricularly.

by the National Association for the Education of Young People (NAEYC). The curriculum is responsive to children’s interests, needs, and levels of development; some themes and units arise from the children’s academic interests and inquiries.

Academics are approached in a developmentally appropriate manner. It is important that children at this age develop an experiential background and a love of learning. The language arts curriculum focuses on four main components: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Everyday Math, which is the basis of the primary math experience, emphasizes that math is a real part of everyday life. The science curriculum allows children to explore and observe the world around them. The social studies curriculum is designed to help children organize and develop their perception of themselves and their world. Students also receive foreign language instruction in either French or Spanish, forming the base for their study of world languages throughout their Lower School years.

We recognize that children learn primarily through play and meaningful experiences. Therefore, structured activities are coupled with free exploration at various centers, which include dramatic play, painting, reading corner, listening center, sensory table, markers, puzzles, blocks, Duplos, play dough, beads, pattern blocks, art projects, games, sorting, office, and computer. Every day the children have the opportunity to choose in which centers they will participate. The centers reinforce the theme/unit and academic skills (reading, math, science, and social studies) that are the main focus at that time.

Character education, including self-esteem and social skills, involves highlighting the theme, The MPA Way (Be Kind and Do Your Best), through role modeling and positive social interactions. The wellness program further enhances these themes.

READING AND LANGUAGE ARTS The reading and language arts component immerses children in print materials. A variety of children’s literature, rotate weekly, is available for children’s use at the reading corner. Strategies to build children’s sight words include labeling classroom objects, displaying children’s names throughout the classroom, and writing down the words children use whenever possible. Big books and trade books are read aloud by the teacher several times a day, followed by a discussion of the book’s plot, character, dilemma, and/or solution. Song and poem charts with corresponding pictures are presented during meetings.

PRESCHOOL COURSE DESCRIPTIONS The main objective of the preschool program is to enhance children’s social skills and self-image. In order to be successful learners, cooperation, turn-taking, and problem-solving skills must be developed. In addition, it is important for young children to feel confident in their ability to make choices, initiate a learning encounter, ask questions, and use their knowledge.

To encourage a love of writing, the fouryear-olds are encouraged to write letters, words and journals by themselves. Each four-year-old has a personal mailbox in order to foster letter writing. Key words related to themes are written on cards and

Activities and lessons are designed to ensure a developmentally appropriate, childcentered program according to standards set 3

are accessible for the students to copy and read.

To learn about charts and graphs, students complete a daily attendance graph, daily weather chart, and create two-column graphs related to a unit or activity. Students learn about calendar patterns, hand-clapping patterns and skip counting by patterns such as 2-4-6-8. Children learn about measuring in hands-on activities such as water and sand play with volume (pails, cylinders, boxes, etc.), free play with measuring tools, and weighing activities using a beginner’s scale.

The listening center allows the four-yearolds to follow a book by listening to a tape, and interactive CD-ROM stories are available in the computer station, as well as basic word processing. The reading readiness skills students develop at this age include recognizing and writing their own name, using illustrations to understand the story, being aware of the multiple purposes of print, left-to-right reading directionality, recitation and recognition of the alphabet, knowledge of front and back of books, an introduction to authors and illustrators, reproduction of letters via copying, awareness of beginning sound-letter associations, knowledge that a “string” of letters creates a word, and the use of pictographs and sentence/picture journaling.

SCIENCE The objective of the science curriculum is to make the world familiar to children via hands-on explorations of everyday objects. The course outline includes units that arise from the children’s interests, as well as weather, colors and color-mixing, magnets, plants and flowers, bugs and insects, bubbles, babies and human growth, and animals (forest and zoo).

MATHEMATICS The focus of the mathematics component is on developing children’s number sense. This is achieved through daily hands-on math encounters. To develop an awareness of numeration, students use manipulatives to make one-to-one correspondence. The three-year-olds are expected to recognize and count from one to 10, and the fouryear-olds from one to 20. They can also estimate more and less, and use number books.

SOCIAL STUDIES The primary goal of the social studies component is to promote the acceptance of the differences and similarities (cultural, ethnic, religious, physical and cognitive capabilities) of world cultures and people. The course outline includes units that arise from the children’s interests, as well as an anti-bias curriculum, and topics including differences and similarities among people, houses and homes, foreign language study (Spanish in the first semester, French in the second semester), construction and families.

Geometry work includes free play with pattern and wooden blocks, being able to name basic shapes (circle, square, triangle, rectangle, star, octagon, and geometric solids), recognize these shapes in everyday objects, and use the shapes in art activities such as collages. Free play is also used to help students learn about money and calculators in the dramatic play center (e.g. grocery store).

WORLD LANGUAGES (Spanish and French) The world language department has designed this preschool program as a way to expose children to the idea of studying a foreign language. Its goals are simple – to 4

allow children to explore new sounds and learn basic vocabulary words and short phrases in both French and Spanish. This goal of this exposure is to inspire a lifelong interest in language learning as well as aide the children when they begin their “formal” study of French or Spanish in Kindergarten.

potential. Furthermore, all artistic endeavors, great or small, are appreciated. Students use the following media throughout the school year: pencils, markers, crayons, tempera paints, watercolor, clay, pastels, chalk, collage and play dough.

Students receive 15-minute lessons twice weekly. These lessons are taught by Upper School AP honors French and Spanish students under the guidance of the head of the World Language department and direct classroom supervision by the preschool teachers and aides. Volunteers receive training through an orientation session, as well as frequent meetings where they share ideas and activities appropriate to preschool language learning. Having Upper School volunteers perform the language instruction is enriching to all involved; everyone benefits greatly from the warmth and bonding that their interaction provides.

MUSIC The music component broadens the children’s exposure to a wide range of songs and instruments in order to increase their appreciation of music. Formal music class is three days a week for three-year olds and four times a week for four-year olds. The program’s goal is to help children become confident in their abilities to express themselves and have fun through music. Songs are sung multiple times and children have free and structured exploration of musical instruments and various soundmakers. Upper School band members visit, introduce, and play their instruments. The children also have the opportunity to create their own songs and sound-makers.

Lessons focus on games, activities, songs, rhymes, and chants. Many props are used to engage the children. No written work is intended in this program; instead, the children learn experientially, by participating in various activities. Basic topics covered include greetings, numbers from one to 10, colors, animals, body parts, family, food and feelings.

MOVEMENT The physical education program encourages gross- and fine-motor development. The children participate in fun, interactive cardiovascular activities, both in the classroom and in the gymnasium, while also working on their social skills (taking turns, following rules and directions) and academic knowledge (counting, alphabet, colors).

ART Young children are primarily processoriented artists. Multiple opportunities to explore the media are necessary before they can be expected to create a purposeful art piece. Because of this, the preschool art program does not focus on the end product, but rather on the process that the child experiences. By designing process-oriented art encounters, the children’s skills in drawing, painting, pasting, cutting, tearing, and sculpting can be extended to their fullest

KINDERGARTEN COURSE DESCRIPTIONS The main objective of the Kindergarten program is to develop the whole child socially, intellectually, physically, creatively and emotionally. The enhancement of the


child’s self-esteem and growth of a healthy self-image are valuable assets that can be instilled in a child in Kindergarten. The program is tailored to the needs, developmental levels and interests of each student in order to provide a positive learning environment that fosters an enthusiastic attitude toward learning.

vocabulary is introduced and reinforced through the daily message and Kindernews. Daily Kindernews is published monthly to reinforce basic sight vocabulary within the context of a sentence. Through the writing process the student naturally expands his/her vocabulary base. The printing/writing/reading process includes: ABC letters (upper and lowercase), letter-sound associations, emergent writing, beginning writing, Color Me Happy weekend writing, journals using illustrations and transitional spelling, story response activities and group language experience stories.

CHARACTER/SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT Social and character development are stressed continually through heightened awareness, programs, and role modeling. All interactions (child-to-child, child-to-adult) offer opportunities for character growth. These positive interactions are emphasized in all settings, including the classroom, centers, transitions, and recess. Programs include: the MPA Way, Let’s Find Out Newspaper, and the Wellness Program.

The language arts curriculum focuses on the four main components of speaking, listening, reading and writing. All areas are integrated throughout the day and the value of each component is recognized. Language Arts units are integrated with math, science, and social studies themes when applicable. Varied language arts centers provide opportunities for reinforcement and enrichment throughout the year.

READING AND LANGUAGE ARTS The language arts program (readiness/reading) places an emphasis on the development of literature awareness and “how print works,” as well as specific skills. In compliance with this philosophy, each child’s readiness or actual reading level will depend on his/her personal maturation on all levels. Through an eclectic approach including whole language, phonics, and author studies, the reading program offers varied approaches and focuses. Specific skills include letter-sound associations, phonetic word approach, word sense, story order, predicting outcomes, rhyming, word families, real vs. fantasy, cause and effect, sight vocabulary, and comprehension.

EVERYDAY MATHEMATICS The mathematical strands include: counting, numerations, operations, time, measurement, money, geometry, attributes, patterns, graphing, symmetry and 100th day of school. Each strand is designed as a spiral that begins at a simple level and grows with the child’s experience. At times, a full unit stressing a particular concept is presented. Calendar Corner is an integral segment of the Everyday Math program. Calendar activities include day, month, year, days of the week, counting forward and backwards, place value, graphing weather, interpreting weather graphs and recognizing seasons. Materials include manipulatives, the Everyday Math student guide, Home Links, games and charts.

Literature-based material and texts used include Big Books, trade books, Rookie Readers, Story Box readers, emergent readers, pattern books, poetry folders, literacy charts, and interactive word and sentence pocket charts. Controlled 6

dramatic play, building blocks, beads, legos, play dough, store, computer games, writing and art.

SCIENCE The science curriculum revolves around different topics, which are sometimes dictated by student interests. There are integrated units involving colors, water, trees/leaves/seeds, and farm animals. Life cycles may include apples, pumpkins and butterflies. Units are integrated through various yearly themes and centers. Materials used include theme-related centers, Big Books, trade books, Let’s Find Out Newspaper, and poetry.

GRADES 1 THROUGH 5 Each class in Grades 1 through 5 is made up of two sections of 18 children. In accordance to the Academy’s philosophy of teaching the whole child, the program strives for a balance among intellectual, social, creative, and physical activities. The academic program focuses its attention upon five major disciplines: Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and World Languages. This core coursework is supplemented throughout the grades by experiences in Fine Arts, Physical Education, Computer Studies, and Character Education.

SOCIAL STUDIES The Social Studies curriculum is designed to help each child organize and develop his perception of himself and his world. Class discussions and activities involve the child, his family, and the people around him. Throughout the year, activities, art projects, calendar time, books, and discussions give emphasis to seasons and customs of appropriate holidays. Units are integrated through various yearly themes and centers. Materials used include the Let’s Find Out Newspaper, trade/holiday books, themerelated centers, and poetry.

The development of reading and language arts skills is a major focus of the Lower School. An eclectic approach, combining children’s literature with exercises from basal readers, is used. In the primary grades (1 and 2), emphasis is placed on phonics and other word attack strategies, comprehension skills, and vocabulary building. All other aspects of language arts – grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, etc. – are incorporated into the program through writing, which is an integral part of the language arts program. During the intermediate years (Grades 3-5), students continue to build upon this foundation through the use of trade books, basals, and the Junior Great Books program. Reading instruction includes both whole-group lessons and small, cooperative group activities. The emphasis on writing continues in these grades with portfolios and journal writing.

Units include The MPA Way (developing appropriate social skills throughout the year), community helpers, international celebration (country of emphasis varies), current events, and various cultural and national holidays. CENTERS Continual exploration and reinforcement of reading, math, science, and social studies is offered through various centers. Thematic centers offer reinforcement of lessons presented. Centers may include thematic explorations, puzzles, games, tapes and accompanying books, interactive bulletin boards, interactive pocket charts, puppets,

The Everyday Mathematics program, which begins at the preschool level, continues throughout the primary grades. Its spiraling 7

curriculum helps children master basic numerical processes and understand key mathematical concepts. In the 3rd through 5th Grades, students are transitioned from this constructionist mathematical program to a more traditional one, forming a bridge to the Middle School program.

development and correct pronunciation in the early grades. With the introduction of textbooks, students at the intermediate level continue to develop listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. More advanced vocabulary, grammatical concepts, and basic verb conjugations are introduced at this level. Lessons are based upon themes and include conversations, projects, listening to modeled instruction, and other learning experiences.

In the primary grades, the social studies curriculum is designed to help children organize and develop appropriate perceptions of themselves and the world around them. Class discussions and roleplaying are used, along with materials from various programs designed to strengthen self-concepts and decision-making skills. In the intermediate grades, students learn of factors that have shaped their world, develop research skills, learn how to read and create maps, and begin to develop the skills necessary for critical analysis. To enhance their studies, students frequently work in cooperative groups, give oral presentations, enact historically significant events, and make use of the computer as a tool in research and presentations.

GRADE 1 COURSE DESCRIPTIONS READING AND LANGUAGE ARTS In 1st Grade the primary emphasis is on linking reading and writing as they relate to the total child. In addition to the whole language approach, a concentrated study is also placed on word attack skills with initial development of vocabulary and comprehension skills, using basal readers, workbooks, children’s literature and material relating to auditory and visual recall. Students learn to read independently, orally, and strategically.

In science, students develop an understanding and working use of the scientific method as they practice questioning, predicting, observing, experimenting, collecting data, and drawing conclusions. Activities and experiments encourage students to develop skills of scientific inquiry as they deal with a wide range of topics within the physical, chemical, and biological sciences.

Language Arts is interrelated with our reading and whole language approach. The program includes development of the understanding of sentence structure using capital letters, punctuation, and the use of capital letters for proper nouns. Initial instruction is given in basic language usage concepts; sentence structure, plurals, possessives, and describing works (adjectives, adverbs). The main purpose of language arts is to communicate effectively, recognize patterns in words, and write stories with a focus.

World language study, introduced in Preschool and formalized in Kindergarten, continues throughout the Lower School. Kindergarten through 5th Grade students attend classes in Spanish or French four days a week, with class times gradually increasing from 18 to 40 minutes. In an informal, yet structured and sequential program, songs, poems, games, and dialogue are used to emphasize vocabulary

A writing workshop gives the children the opportunity to utilize and apply these skills. Personal and imaginative experiences as well as literature-based topics provide the


incentives to stimulate written expression. Penmanship skills are taught and reinforced during the year. Spelling words and grammar exercises are emphasized in relation to the whole language program.

SOCIAL STUDIES A weekly news publication is the source for the topics discussed and explored in the classroom. Current events, people in the news and world problems are emphasized on a weekly basis. Students also explore their world through map and globe work. The overarching goal of the program is to develop students’ self-concept while learning to have positive and caring interactions with others.

MATHEMATICS Mathematics students build mastery and confidence of basic skills through a spiraling curriculum. In Grade 1, they learn the basics of numeration and counting, explore the use of a calculator and gain a basic understanding of money. Students learn basic addition and subtraction, and begin to work with fractions. Problem-solving skills are developed throughout the course, and students learn to order and sequence data that they have recorded, and they display data using graphs. Foundational skills in geometry with 2D and 3D shapes are explored, as are skills in estimating, measuring, comparing, and recognizing patterns.

The social studies curriculum includes foundational geography, as well as history and world cultures. Students learn the names of landmasses and oceans, countries, states and our capital. They learn the names and basic facts about our president, governor and mayor, and become familiar with local and national landmarks. Students become aware of other cultures and their unique customs and holidays, and they are encouraged to share customs, language, and food at our yearly International Celebration. Students also plan a cultural diversity parade, and learn about the first Thanksgiving.

SCIENCE AND HEALTH Through discussion and simple experiments, Grade 1 students explore a variety of topics in the life sciences, earth science, physical science, and the human body. Skills that are stressed include communication, observation, gathering data, making inferences and conclusions, classification, and experimentation.

GRADE 2 COURSE DESCRIPTIONS READING AND LANGUAGE ARTS Students in 2nd Grade are provided with an integrated literature-based language arts program composed of various experiences in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. They are given multiple opportunities to interact with print, choose materials to read, collaborate and communicate with each other using literature as a foundation.

In the life science unit, students learn about the nomenclature of trees and plants, gain an understanding of the systems that help them grow, and learn about insects and their life cycle. In the physical science unit, learners explore the idea of matter, the five senses, and the scientist’s tools. For earth science, students explore the themes of weather and the seasons. During the units on health and the human body, students delve deeper into how their five senses work in practice, and learn about nutrition and good health.

Reading strategies for monitoring comprehension and vocabulary are taught. Students set pre-reading goals, clarify unclear information, sum up, predict, and


ask questions. Students monitor comprehension for unknown vocabulary. Contextual strategies for developing word meaning are stressed. Word attack skills are taught, consolidated and extended. Sight vocabulary is increased. Students are taught as a class and in small "needs" groups. Evaluation is accomplished through discussion, daily written work, and teachermade tests.

their confidence and understand relevance of mathematics.


SCIENCE Developing scientific thinking in students is an important part of the 2nd Grade science program. Students are given frequent opportunities to develop the science process skills, critical-thinking skills, and reasoning skills that support scientific inquiry. The students also perform a series of experiments that acquaint them with many branches of science. Each experiment follows the scientific method, uses proper terminology, and encourages higher-level thinking skills.

Students are given many opportunities to write about topics and issues of their own choosing. The Power Writing format is introduced and expanded upon throughout the year. Students move from writing a cohesive five-sentence paragraph to a multiparagraph essay in which the story’s ideas are logically presented through details and elaboration.

Students delve further into the life sciences, focusing on the impact of living things, including people, on environments. Light and color are explored, as are the properties and states of solids, liquids and gases. Students learn about the Earth’s changes through time, including a study of fossils and dinosaurs, and they pursue a unit on health and nutrition, which explores health and illness, and prevention of injuries. They also begin to learn about motion and forces through observation.

Capitalization, punctuation, correct sentence structure and recognition of nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns are emphasized. Spelling is taught in relation to reading and phonetic materials, and editing of final copies of writing. The process of writing is emphasized through planning, setting writing goals, self-selection of topics, drafting, revising, editing and sharing. Evaluation is accomplished through discussion, daily written work, and writing process progress.

SOCIAL STUDIES The 2nd Grade social studies curriculum focuses on relationships, similarities and differences in neighborhoods, large and small. The year begins with discussion and role-playing of the characteristics of a good citizen. With an understanding of how people must work together in neighborhoods, we begin studying and locating neighborhoods around the world and simultaneously review the basic concepts of maps and globes. Visiting other countries lays a foundation for upcoming units on continents, land forms, bodies of water, and customs around the world. An

MATHEMATICS Using the Everyday Mathematics and Homelinks programs, students in Grade 2 progress in their understanding of numbers and counting up to five digits, positive and negative numbers, and the breakdown of a whole into its parts. Topics include strategies for addition and subtraction, comparisons, mathematics vocabulary work, exploring and presenting data and more progressive geometry, and further study of measuring, estimating, money and patterns. By solving real-life problems using math, students build 10

emphasis is on discussion and personal reflection.

value and money; addition and subtraction; data and probability; the basics of multiplication and division; time and measurement; geometry; and fractions and decimals. In each unit, students review the essentials from the previous year so that they can build on their previous knowledge. The textbook is supplemented with teacherdesigned activities, and components of the Everyday Math program.

GRADE 3 COURSE DESCRIPTIONS READING AND LANGUAGE ARTS The year-long theme for the 3rd Grade is living in harmony. Our goal is to have the students learn how they can live harmoniously with other people by reading, writing, discussing and thinking about relationships with family members, friends, communities and people from different countries and cultures around the world. We will also stress relationships between people and animals and people and their environments in the language arts, science and social studies topics that we cover.

SCIENCE Using the Discovery Works text, students examine units on the roles of living things, health and nutrition, the sun, moon and Earth, and a weather and climate unit in preparation for 4th Grade. Students become more familiar with the processes scientists use, such as observing, classifying, communicating, hypothesizing, experimenting, recording data and drawing conclusions. During the roles of living things unit, students learn about food chains and webs, and how living beings adapt to their environments; the health and nutrition unit focuses on the different systems of the human body, as well as nutrition and the sense; the moon and planets unit challenges students to imagine life on the moon, and understand distance, the motions and effects of the Earth and moon; students explore basic electricity as a mini-unit; students also learn about simple machines and inventions. Cross-curricular connections are made in language arts, social studies and mathematics. Students are encouraged, but not required, to participate by doing a science fair project.

Numerous novels and basal readers are made available in the classroom and library, and are read by students for book report projects, research projects and recreational reading. Students practice writing skills in journal entries, literature responses, paragraphs on assigned topics and a variety of longer writing assignments, which are carried through the steps of the writing process. Oral communication and listening skills are practiced in class discussion, cooperative group work, performance of plays, oral reading of stories, reading or reciting of poetry, and oral presentations of reports or projects to the class. MATH In the 3rd Grade, students explore mathematics themes through eight units, and through a multidisciplinary unit on weather, in which students research and report on rainfall, the length of day, the use of a thermometer, and temperature records. Problem-solving skills are developed through each unit, with topics such as place,

SOCIAL STUDIES Students in 3rd Grade use materials such as library books, magazines, videotapes, computer software, filmstrips, state tourist information, photos, souvenirs, slides, and maps to explore social studies. Field trips include the Chicago Children’s Film Festival, 11

the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, and the Graue Mill and Museum. Art projects, performing plays, music experiences, games and food samplings are also be part of the curriculum. Students use the book Kid’s USA Road Atlas and a set of six reference books on Illinois to cover themes including national parks, preservation versus recreation, family heritage and cultural traditions, African American history and experiences, and families in Native American cultures.

Students engage in creative writing, and create posters, mobiles, murals and puppet shows to reinforce their understanding. LANGUAGE ARTS Writing is taught as a process. From brainstorming to publishing, the importance of working through multiple drafts is modeled, while proofreading skills are supported by daily oral language and grammar exercises. Creativity and correctness of form are established as separate focuses to free the writer during the creative phase of a writing project. Different genres of writing are identified and then practiced by students in compositions of their own creation. Regular journaling encourages expression through writing and creative thinking. The six traits of good writing are articulated in the Writing Rubric, are practiced during structured writing activities, and are identified and clarified by the class during evaluation of sample essays.

Leading up to International Day, students learn facts about the country each class has chosen and gain empathy for and understanding of the history, culture, and life experiences of people who live in those countries, so that they can share and present this information to the students in Grades 3 to 5, and enjoy the foods of different countries. Students also learn about the state of Illinois, weather and climate, and pioneer life.

Students articulate their understanding of grammar through daily proofreading activities and discussion. Punctuation is reviewed and expanded, along with recognition of the eight parts of speech. An understanding of sentence structure is developed and reinforced through the use of complete sentences in a variety of writing assignments. The structure of a complete, five-sentence paragraph is also reviewed. Spelling rules (and exceptions) are covered in weekly spelling lists and exercises.

GRADE 4 COURSE DESCRIPTIONS READING Word attack skills are reviewed and redefined, but the primary focus for reading instruction at this level is on the development of comprehension skills, vocabulary, and critical thinking using basal readers, workbooks, and trade books. Independent reading is encouraged through book reports and in-class libraries. Reading instruction is done in a variety of forms including whole class and grouping according to skill level or interest.

MATHEMATICS Students are grouped across two sections according to ability. Both sections work at grade-level, but the accelerated group works at an accelerated pace, with more enrichment. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, pace value, and exponents are reviewed and expanded. Included are: multi-digit multiplication;

In addition to using basal readers and workbooks, students read novels such as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli, and Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.


multi-digit division; measurement; geometry; place value; word problems; addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of fractions; mixed numbers; decimals; properties of addition and multiplication; greatest common factor; least common multiple; and prime factorization. Students work in partners and small groups, as well as learning from direct instruction. A large emphasis is placed on using manipulatives and concrete examples. Some supplementing of the text occurs to promote mastery of key concepts and to challenge high-achieving students.

Units of study include the Middle West, the Southwest, the Southeast and the Western United States. During each unit, students explore the map, history, personalities customs and traditions, and religious beliefs in the different regions.

GRADE 5 COURSE DESCRIPTIONS READING AND LANGUAGE ARTS Each student is required to keep a Reading and Language Arts notebook. Whole group novels read include: The Black Pearl, Treasure Island, The Girl Who Owned a City, and The Incredible Journey. Students also read a number of novels in small groups, and they use reading comprehension, spelling, writing and skills books.

SCIENCE Students work with experiments and activities to promote the understanding of the phenomena of their daily lives and learn to use the scientific method by observing results, graphing, and making written reports. This program gives an overview of the nervous system, human brain, and sense organs. Students will discover the five kingdoms of life (protists, fungi, monerans and viruses, plants and animals) through the use of a microscope. Physics is introduced through a unit on electricity that covers the charges of atoms, static electricity, circuits, and magnetism and electricity. Finally, simple chemistry is explored through kitchen science and other experiments.

Phonetic decoding and use of context for vocabulary meaning are reviewed in the novel study, as well as with the spelling book. Sentence and paragraph structure are taught using examples from literature read in class and through daily language lessons. Grammar, capitalization, and punctuation rules are taught through examples in our readings, the students’ writings, as well skills taught with worksheet pages. Response to literature includes summaries, responses to specific questions requiring specific evidence and examples from the text, as well as creative projects associated with the novels. Students write regularly in their notebooks in response to their reading or current writing project. The writing process is used to bring several creative stories and research projects to completion each year. Written essays containing introductory paragraphs, a two-to-three paragraph development, and a concluding paragraph are introduced. Comprehension skills, use of the text to support one’s statements, responding to other students’ ideas, and expressive oral reading are modeled and practiced in class

SOCIAL STUDIES Using Our Country’s Regions as the text, and a number of different resources, artifacts, websites and videos, the 4th Grade students learn the processes that historians and geographers use for their crafts. Regions of the United States form the basis of study designed to help students understand and appreciate the people, climate, history, and landforms of our country. Students will interpret and design maps using geographic tools. Class discussions, research, report writing, and project making are included. 13

discussion. Small group skills and partner work are also developed through small novel groups and other assignments. Oral presentations are also done periodically throughout the year. Publishing Parties celebrate the completion and sharing of long-term writing assignments.

matter and energy as found in ecosystems on Earth and in the stars are studied. The chemical and physical properties and interactions are studied within the framework of the development of Earth as we know it and the development of life on Earth. Genetics, maturation, mental and physical health, and fitness are presented. The students are required to maintain a science notebook, and participation in a yearly Science Fair is an important part of the program. Various hands-on activities encourage students to develop skills of scientific inquiry.

MATHEMATICS Students use the text SRA Real Math, Grade 5 and 6 with workbooks to explore more advanced topics in mathematics. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, pace value, and exponents are reviewed and expanded. Included are: multi-digit multiplication; multi-digit division; measurement; geometry; word problems; addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of fractions; mixed numbers; decimals; properties of addition and multiplication; greatest common factor; least common multiple; and prime factorization. The advanced level adds ratio, probability, percentage, and graphing. In some cases the on-level group may get to these topics. Students are grouped across two sections according to achievement. One section works at grade-level, and one works at an accelerated pace.

SOCIAL STUDIES The text U.S. History is used in this course that focuses on American history. Various primary and secondary resources such as art, photos, comics, speeches, and skits will be used to supplement the material in the text. Students take objective tests, write reflections, make hands-on projects, and work on a picture timeline for assessments. The goal of the 5th Grade social studies curriculum is to gain an interest and appreciation of history. To do this, we begin the year by looking at what discovery is, and if Columbus really “discovered” America. From this, we look at early inhabitants and exploration of the New World. We move into English colonization, the Revolutionary War, and the Constitution. We then dive into our simulation of Westward Expansion followed by the Civil War Era. We briefly touch on WWI, the Depression, and Women’s Rights. Our final unit is WWII and the Holocaust.

In math, independent and group problem solving is emphasized. Interpretation of written word problems is integral to the curriculum. Concrete understanding is built through physical manipulation, drawing, and graphing information. Students in the 5th Grade master the four basic operations with two and three digit elements in whole numbers. Throughout all the units, teachers aim to help students gain a positive attitude toward math, as well as develop a sense of a real world purpose to math.

MIDDLE SCHOOL The Academy’s Middle School offers a strong foundation in English, mathematics, science, music, drama, art, physical

SCIENCE Students use the text Discover the Wonder, Science, and Health for Life. The study of 14

education, social studies, world languages and technology for students in Grades 6 to 8. This continues the Academy tradition of being integrated and experiential, leading to both deeper and wider understandings and allowing numerous opportunities for individual expression. At this level, the faculty works closely with students to teach them to organize learning and absorb information into a meaningful whole that supports increased independence. As these skills are refined, students move toward mastery in the academic areas and become independent, resourceful thinkers. Small class sizes and a low student-to-teacher ratio help to establish a dynamic community of learners at the Academy. Within the intimacy of Middle School, our studentcentered approach provides an environment in which students can flourish in academic areas and develop their leadership and interpersonal skills through co-curricular opportunities.

English includes lessons on etymology as well as Old, Middle, and Modern English. The reading program is supplemented with a required summer reading list, which bridges learning from one year to the next. Students study traditional grammar as an editing tool as well as to promote understanding of language structure and use. The focus on grammar includes study of parts of speech, and the functions of words, phrases, and clauses within a sentence. Students use diagramming to analyze and identify sentence parts, and they use online activities and quizzes to practice their skills. Students produce essays in response to novels, emphasizing the process through invention and drafting techniques, developing a sharp thesis statement and supporting paragraphs with examples. Block scheduling allows for writing workshops in which students may share ideas and offer suggestions for revision. Throughout the year students explore the elements of good writing with lessons on purpose and audience. Assignments include an autobiography, a descriptive essay, and several small reading response pieces. Students are also introduced to research skills through a project based on local history. Classes are conducted as workshops covering library skills, the use of the Internet, the use of primary and secondary sources, and project organization and presentation.

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS ENGLISH Sixth Grade This course aims to improve the reading ability of students who have already mastered most basic literacy skills. Working with novels as texts, students learn to read for comprehension using the interpretation of themes and different literary techniques. Classroom approach and assignments are designed to encourage student ownership and interpretation of materials. Some novels allow students to recognize the links between literary and historical themes; some text settings allow for the interpretation of primary sources; and others lend themselves to authentic learning experiences. Vocabulary work includes wordplay around meaning, roots and parts, diction, word form, and dictionary skills. A brief history of

Seventh Grade In 7th Grade, literature is studied by genre, including short story, non-fiction, science fiction, and drama. In the works covered students learn to identify the genre and discuss universal themes that are timeless in classic to contemporary literature. Authors’ backgrounds and time periods in which they lived help students understand the importance of context in literature. Reading comprehension includes the study of literary elements in various short story selections and non-fiction. In the second semester, students are expected to engage in 15

discussion of conflict, irony, plot, setting, characterization, symbolism, theme and climax as they relate to science fiction and drama. Students study the vocabulary of each work, as well as poetry. They learn critical thinking skills to demonstrate their understanding of literature, and become more proficient in the writing process (brainstorming, mapping, outlining, drafting, conferencing, and revising), placing emphasis on descriptive and expository writing in conjunction with creative narratives. Various writing exercises help students develop effective grammar and writing skills. Students use portfolios for all written work, which allow them to appreciate the writing process. Students read additional texts from the independent reading list, and they prepare and deliver a book talk presentation based upon their reading, which develops oral language skills. Written feedback gives students the basis for developing a formal speech. Students are expected to actively participate in small and large group discussions about literature, and their listening skills are also developed through activities in which they use these skills to summarize and explain the purpose and main ideas of an oral presentation.

the second semester. The study of poetry also emphasizes an understanding of poetic devices and forms including the narrative, lyric, dramatic and light verse. Each literature unit also encompasses vocabulary study and review. Throughout the year, students produce a portfolio that reflects samples of their narrative, persuasive, expository, and creative writing. Writing assignments in the course are often based on the literature reading assignments. Students work on formal writing skills by developing a thesis statement for essays and research writing. The focus is to convey a clear, logical expression of thoughts and ideas with smooth transitions between paragraphs, consistent point of view and tenses, proper grammar, spelling and sentence structure. Grammar is studied within the context of writing to teach students to recognize and use correct sentence structure, subject-verb agreement, verb tenses, and paragraph structure. Students also develop their oral language skills by making book talk presentations based on individual reading, and an oral presentation focusing on adjusting their language for the purposes of persuading and informing an audience. In addition, students are expected to actively listen and participate in small and large group discussions about literature. Formal and informal oral presentations help students to develop strategies to manage and overcome communication anxiety.

Eighth Grade The study of literature by theme in English 8 integrates several genres including short story, autobiography, fiction, drama and poetry. Students identify and interpret themes within their context and apply them to their own life and the larger world. A continued focus on plot, character, setting, point-of-view, conflict, symbolism, and irony are part of literature analysis. Using the thematic link of man’s humanity or inhumanity to man, students read short stories and novels from different periods to identify and compare prevalent problems in society. The review of literary terms and short story elements prepares students to study more complex genres such as Shakespearean drama and modern drama in

MATHEMATICS The Mathematics program at Morgan Park Academy stresses the importance of process in understanding math concepts. Each year, students build upon the foundations laid in the previous years, and more complex ideas can be mastered. Mathematics standards for each grade include: mathematical process; 16

number operations; geometry; measurement; statistics and probability; and algebra.

In the accelerated class, students solve more complex problems and look at more abstract mathematical issues. Concepts covered include the concepts all students learn in the 6th Grade plus: inequalities and their graphs; absolute value; similar triangles; square root applications; slope and y-intercept; nonlinear equations and their graphs.

Sixth Grade Sixth Grade students are placed into at-level or accelerated groups according to the previous year’s achievement scores, grades, and 5th Grade teacher recommendations. Progress is measured by class work, homework, and tests. Mental arithmetic exercises help teachers assess each student’s understanding and problem-solving process, and students often take turns completing practice problems on the board.

Seventh Grade Pre-Algebra (GradeLevel) The pre-algebra curriculum is designed to build student confidence in mathematics through computational experiences involving: whole numbers, integers, and rational numbers; non-routine problemsolving employing a variety of techniques including guess and test, make an organized list, and write an equation; probability and statistics; and experiences involving ratio, proportions, and percents. Many topics are introduced and practiced with the use of a variety of manipulatives. Technology is used as available and desirable. There are two sections of pre-algebra. One section is taught on grade level, the other is an advanced/accelerated section. Placement in the advanced/accelerated section is determined by achievement in the previous course, total math achievement on standardized test, and recommendation of the 6th grade teacher.

Computational skills from previous levels are reviewed and built upon. Technology is used as a math tool where possible, and logic puzzles and problem-solving exercises are used throughout the year. Students complete daily individual assignments, which are graded, and chapters are approached in smaller, thematic sections. Through this method and the grading of daily homework, common student errors are readily seen and corrected prior to formal assessment. Students are tested approximately three times during each marking period. Concepts covered include: All operations with decimals, fractions, and integers; comparing and ordering decimals, fractions, and integers; mathematical properties; problem-solving strategies and applications; factors and multiples; divisibility rules; computational shortcuts; mean, median, and mode; writing algebraic expressions; solving one- and two-step equations; order of operations; prime factorization; exponents; equivalent fractions and lowest terms; ratios, rates, and proportions; solving proportions; percents; geometry; exponents; use of the scientific calculator; probability; compass and straightedge constructions; scale drawings; and linear equations and their graphs.

Seventh Grade - Pre-Algebra (Advanced) The pre-algebra curriculum is designed to build student confidence in mathematics through computational experiences involving: whole numbers, integers, and rational numbers; non-routine problemsolving employing a variety of techniques including guess and test, make an organized list, and write an equation; probability and statistics; and experiences involving ratio, proportions, and percents. Many topics are introduced and practiced with the use of a variety of manipulatives. Technology is used as available and desirable. Placement in the advanced/ accelerated section is determined

Sixth Grade (Accelerated) 17

by achievement in the previous course, total math achievement on standardized test, and recommendation of the 6th grade teacher with optional inclusion of the results of a placement test given at the end of 6th grade.

introduced in 6th Grade are foundational, so the building of prior knowledge is vital as students complete the program. Students work in large and small cooperative groups to complete a variety of meaningful laboratory activities, which supplement the learning in each chapter. Activities are often completed during the 90-minute block day. In Chemical Building Blocks, physical science topics include an introduction to matter; mass, weight, volume, and density; physical and chemical changes; the states of matter (solid, liquid, gas, and plasma) and accompanying phase changes; the classification of matter as mixtures, elements or compounds; and the chemical symbols, formulas, and equations used by scientists. Students also learn about the history of the atomic model, including the current theories and the subatomic particle, as well the development of the periodic table. Finally, the world of carbon chemistry is explored including hydrocarbons and the four main classes of organic compounds. Cells and Heredity is used for the life science component, and concepts presented in the last physical science chapter help students understand the basic characteristics of life and the organic compounds that are the building blocks of life. Both plant and animal cell structure and function are studied in depth, as well as cell growth and division, and the cell cycle. Students examine how materials flow into and out of a cell through osmosis, diffusion, and active transport, and they discover how cells obtain and use energy through the processes of photosynthesis and respiration. Topics also include Mendel’s genetics concepts, multiple alleles and sex-linked traits. Students gain an elementary understanding of the functions of the human body by reading Current Health 2, a monthly magazine concerning current health issues.

Eighth Grade This beginning algebra course challenges students to develop better conceptual understanding of the structure of algebra and stronger problem-solving skills. Students learn to make connections among different branches of mathematics and solving real-life problems. By the nature of algebra, mastery of many of the techniques in this course is a prerequisite for higherlevel math and science courses. Students in this class will cover one-half to two-thirds of the regular freshman algebra course, and are expected to take Algebra 1 as high school freshmen. The major learning goals covered include: fractions and fractals, data exploration, proportional reasoning and probability, variations and graphs, linear equations, fitting a line to data, systems of equations and inequalities, exponents and exponential models, and functions. Eighth Grade (Accelerated) The prerequisites for this course are the successful completion of 7th Grade prealgebra or its equivalent, and recommendation by the 7th Grade teacher. The major learning goals include topics covered in the 8th Grade class plus: connections to algebra, properties of real numbers, writing linear equations, solving and graphing linear inequalities, quadratic equations and functions, polynomials and factoring, and rational equations. SCIENCE Sixth Grade The Prentice Hall Science textbooks used in this course allow students to study a portion of both life and physical science. Topics

Seventh Grade Seventh Grade Physical Science is lab-based, stressing a hands-on approach aimed at 18

developing curiosity, an understanding of the world around and within us, laboratory skills, and keen powers of observation and analysis for later advanced study. Class and lab work involve hypothesizing, experiment design, measurement, data collection and interpretation, and formulation of conclusions. Technology is integrated with this course. After completing the course students will be able to explain and use the methods and tools of scientific inquiry, applying them across scientific disciplines, identify properties of an atom, element, compound, and mixture, and apply knowledge to use of formulas and equations, describe the concepts of friction, gravity, waves, and kinetic and potential energy, describe the environmental cycle involving water and discuss the global implications of altering it, identify sources of environmental distress and discuss different measures that humans are taking to improve the health of the planet.

humans are taking, or may take in the future, to improve the health of the planet. Eighth Grade (Lab Science) Eighth Grade Lab Science class includes hands-on labs, lecture, discussion and supplemental videos. Frequently students work cooperatively to complete activities. Students must keep a notebook, and homework is completed in the textbook. Vocabulary and participation in class activities is vital to a student’s success. Technology is integrated with this course. This is a challenging course designed to impart fundamental and basic understanding of the concepts of chemistry and physics. It is also designed to have the students learn to write reports that demand critical thinking and concept development. Daily assignments help develop strong study habits. Formal quizzes contain both essay questions and problems that cover all the material contained in unit examinations. All laboratory work is performed within an atmosphere of cooperative learning.

Eighth Grade (Lab Science) Eighth Grade Life Science offers an organized sequence of experiences that help students develop an understanding and appreciation of the natural world of which they are a part, and for later advanced study. This course using scientific methods introduces students to basic concepts in biology. Technology is integrated with this course. After completing the course students will be able to: define and give examples of adaptations and explain how they apply to genetics; apply knowledge of structure/function of organisms to categorize them taxonomically and compare across taxonomic levels; describe energy flow in terms of food webs and trophic levels, involving biotic and abiotic components; identify features of the major biomes; describe the environmental cycles involving water, nitrogen, and carbon and discuss the global implications of altering them; identify sources of environmental distress and discuss different measures that

SOCIAL STUDIES Sixth Grade Social Studies (Ancient History) Sixth Grade history provides the foundation for the study of six historical themes: geography, culture, economics, government, belief systems, and science and technology. Using these themes, students explore early man and the effects and influence of discoveries such as fire and agriculture on the development of civilization. Basic elements of civilizations serve as the focal point for the study of several chapters: Mesopotamia, early empires, and Greece. Each chapter unit is supplemented with specific skills such as map and timeline interpretation and the recognition and use of primary and secondary sources. Vocabulary, word study and note-taking skills are incorporated into each chapter. In addition, 19

each unit includes supplementary activities such as the nature of government, the development of law, and the influence of geography within historical contexts as well as application to the current world. A foundational understanding of the nature of civilization provides perspective to explore both historical and contemporary events. A unit on comparative religion explores the basic beliefs, major figures, symbols, and common practices of five major religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Students are introduced to research skills through a project based on local history. Classes are conducted as workshops covering library skills, the use of the Internet as resource, the recognition and use of primary and secondary sources, and project organization and presentation.

to express their creativity through a variety of projects. Eighth Grade Social Studies (World Geography) This course begins with an overview of basic geographical terminology, skills and map reading. Next, students study the physical geography of the Earth followed by a series of units on the continents. Throughout these units, the focus is first on the environment, then at its effect on the history and cultural development of each area. Students are also made aware of the present state of affairs in countries. The course’s primary goal is to study other regions of the world, focusing on the relationship between the environment and the values and lifestyles of the people living in each region. Oral and written reports, both individual and group, form an integral part of the course, in order for the students to develop research and critical-thinking abilities. Tests and quizzes are also given as a means of evaluating student progress. Homework is designed to reinforce what has been discussed in class and as a study aid.

Seventh Grade Social Studies (U.S. History) The 7th Grade history course is a survey of United States history from the earliest settlement to the present day, and includes units on the United States and Illinois Constitutions. The study incorporates exploring the reasons for geographical exploration and expansion of our nation, and an examination of the problems encountered in the historical development of the U.S. Students are encouraged to realize the importance of past events and to understand how they relate to the present and to themselves. Emphasis is placed on learning and understanding historical facts in a variety of contexts, map skills, graph reading, and skills required for development of both oral and written reports. A major emphasis is placed on identifying and analyzing cause and effect relationships. Furthermore, students evaluate aspects of history to determine the relative importance and influence of each, and discuss their findings with their classmates in order to determine the most important/influential aspects of U.S. history. Students are given opportunities to use the school library as a source of information and

WORLD LANGUAGES SPANISH Sixth Grade Sixth Grade Spanish is a world language course which furthers students’ knowledge of the language and culture. Various written, spoken, reading, audio and cultural activities ensure students are prepared with important skills for further instruction in the Spanish language. Students also experience a true Spanish-speaking neighborhood by visiting Pilsen during an annual field trip to the National Museum of Mexican Art. By the end of the course, students should be beginning to communicate in the target language and understand and respond to basic conversational Spanish. Students will be familiar with the use of many regular 20

verbs in the present tense as well as some important irregular verbs. Students’ reading, writing, listening and speaking in Spanish will also improve through the completion of various exercises and assignments. Students will understand the global nature of Spanish as a world language and culture and begin to make comparisons to their own culture.

structures are put into use. Oral presentations, essays, reading comprehension, memorization/implementation of verb tenses, and communicative activities are essential. FRENCH

Seventh Grade Seventh Grade Spanish is a communicative course that focuses on listening, speaking, and writing comprehension. At this level, some instruction is in Spanish, and students are encouraged to use Spanish at all times. Throughout the year, vocabulary is expanded and new grammatical structures are introduced. Students are able to communicate using longer sentences, and their writing and oral production progresses to longer paragraphs. Various ways to present material for multiple intelligences are presented throughout each unit.

Sixth Grade Students are formally introduced to present tense regular verbs as well as several commonly used irregular verbs. Emphasis is placed on writing and reading skills. Listening comprehension exercises challenge students to improve their aural abilities while speaking skills are further developed through classroom discussion. Students also explore areas of cultural interest in the French-speaking world. By the end of the sixth grade year, students are able to communicate effectively in the present tense in both written and oral French. Seventh Grade In 7th Grade, students continue to learn basic French vocabulary and grammatical structures including a continuation of regular and irregular verbs in the present tense. Emphasis is placed on developing oral and aural proficiency, communicative, competence, and an appreciation for francophone cultures. Listening comprehension exercises challenge students to improve their aural abilities while speaking skills are further developed by classroom discussions and student presentations. Students practice writing and reading skills in order to enhance the foundation for further study in French. Students continue to explore areas of cultural interest in the French-speaking world.

Eighth Grade (Spanish I) This is a communicative course that focuses mainly on developing listening, speaking, reading and writing at an appropriate introductory level. As much instruction as possible is conducted in Spanish, and the use of Spanish during class is encouraged at all times. New vocabulary, idioms, controlled readings in the form of short stories, and more diverse aspects of culture are introduced. Oral presentations, daily life conversations, and essays using the present, present progressive, and past tenses are required. Eighth Grade (Spanish II) Spanish II focuses mainly on developing the students’ speaking, listening, and writing skills. Oral expression completely in Spanish is encouraged at all times. Writing activities progress from paragraphs to compositions of increasing length and complexity. Vocabulary is expanded, becoming more specific, and more difficult grammar

Eighth Grade (French I) In the first year of French, students are encouraged to speak the target language from the first day of class. Audio and visual tapes are used to ensure proper 21

pronunciation. In addition to the acquisition of oral and aural proficiency, emphasis is placed upon writing and reading skills in order to prepare students with the appropriate skills for continued studies in French. By the end of the year, students are able to communicate effectively in the target language, both orally and written, in the present and near future tenses.

individual experimentation and creative application of the ideas presented. Sixth Grade In the 6th Grade, importance is placed on exploring components of realism. Linear perspective and the human figure are explored. Expressionism and the concept of depicting emotion by using color and line are stressed. Students make sketchbooks that are filled with quick drawings. Assignments are designed to introduce some of the concepts that will be explored in greater depth in Upper School. Students are encouraged to work at their own pace.

Eighth Grade (French II) After reviewing French 1 grammar concepts, more sophisticated grammatical structures are introduced. In this class, focus on oral and aural skills intensifies. Students are encouraged to use the language in order to communicate their ideas, thoughts, and questions. Students will be able to use all five tenses with emphasis on the past and imperfect tenses with ease and accuracy both in speaking and writing. A strong emphasis is placed upon written expression and reading comprehension. Students write compositions of increasing length and complexity, using extensive vocabulary and complex grammatical structures. Communicative activities, oral presentations, essays, and reading comprehension exercises play an integral role.

Seventh Grade In the 7th Grade, students learn to apply the principles and elements of design using abstract and realistic art. They are given the opportunity to experience a wide variety of media. Special emphasis is placed on drawing skills, and on shading and creating depth using light and shadow. Sketchbooks are introduced as a valuable organizational tool as well as a visual diary to explore emotions and identity issues. Students are introduced to aesthetics through teacher-led critiques. Eighth Grade In the 8th Grade, students learn to implement the elements of design. Individual responsibility and personal style are stressed, with more opportunity for student decision-making regarding the nature of projects. They refine their understanding of scientific perspective as increased emphasis is placed on life-drawing skills. Students are introduced to basic color mixing and the use of color schemes. Students will be exposed to art criticism and aesthetics through teacher-led critiques of works of art.

ART The Middle School art program builds on the artistic foundations laid in Lower School. Students encounter a variety of activities to develop skills in aesthetics, art criticism, art history, and production. Instructors emphasize the development of drawing skills and encourage students to experiment with different drawing media to discover expressive techniques. The program includes a survey of major trends in art history and activities which directly relate this study to the production of creative works. The goal is to provide students with a broad background in the basic art disciplines and to allow maximum time for



Sixth Grade Sixth Grade general music classes are taught using the Orff-Schulwerk process. Processoriented classes are experiential in nature and require the student to participate on a high level. Music used in class is usually found in the Music for Children series gathered by Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman, rich in folk resources and composed music. Activities also consist of folk music, games and activities. Students learn to play a piece of music as a class, and after the piece is finished and performed as a group, we analyze the piece according to how all of the elements of music are found and used in the piece’s composition (melody, dynamics, rhythm, tempo, harmony, timbre and form). Classroom work includes use of instruments (both pitched and non-pitched percussion), singing and soprano recorder. Band instruments and piano are also used as appropriate. By the end of 6th Grade, each student should be able to name and attach definitions to each element of music. Students will also have experience learning music in pentatonic and modal music, and doing some music composition.

instruments and piano are also used as appropriate. By the end of 7th Grade, each student should be able to name and define each element of music. Students will also have experience learning music in pentatonic and modal music, and some work in I-V functional harmony. Students will also do some music composition. Eighth Grade Eighth Grade general music classes are taught using the Orff-Schulwerk process. Process-oriented classes are experiential in nature and require the student to participate on a high level. Music used in class is usually found in the Music for Children series gathered by Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman, rich in folk resources and composed music. Activities also consist of folk music, games and activities. Students learn to play a piece of music as a class, and after the piece is finished and performed as a group, we analyze the piece according to how all of the elements of music are found and used in the piece’s composition (melody, dynamics, rhythm, tempo, harmony, timbre and form). Classroom work includes use of instruments (both pitched and non-pitched percussion), singing and soprano recorder. Band instruments and piano are also used as appropriate. By the end of 8th Grade, each student should be able to name and define and apply each element of music. Students will also have experience learning music in pentatonic and modal music and functional harmony. Students will also do some music composition.

Seventh Grade Seventh Grade general music classes are taught using the Orff-Schulwerk process. Process-oriented classes are experiential in nature and require the student to participate on a high level. Music used in class is usually found in the Music for Children series gathered by Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman, rich in folk resources and composed music. Activities also consist of folk music, games and activities. Students learn to play a piece of music as a class, and after the piece is finished and performed as a group, we analyze the piece according to how all of the elements of music are found and used in the piece’s composition (melody, dynamics, rhythm, tempo, harmony, timbre and form). Classroom work includes use of instruments (both pitched and non-pitched percussion), singing and soprano recorder. Band

DRAMA The drama curriculum is both process and performance-oriented. As students are introduced to the concepts of drama, they learn about movement, voice, and the melding of their personal style with the needs of a character’s. From developing improv techniques to presenting 23

monologues, Middle School students have the opportunity to discover their individual voice and creating a scene with their fellow actors.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION The Physical Education Department curriculum allows each student to develop a sound skills foundation and an understanding of a variety of sports activities. The program contributes to the development of social interaction and promotes a lifelong commitment to fitness. Students develop a physical fitness foundation and seek recreational activities that will meet their individual fitness needs. Sportsmanship, cooperation, decisionmaking, and coping skills are among the other skills taught in class that can be applied to everyday life.

Sixth Grade In the 6th Grade, students are introduced to movement for the theatre, and the realization of the “self” on stage. Emphasis is placed on building an ensemble, feeling comfortable about performing in front of others, and recognizing each student’s patterns of movement. Students develop their ensemble skills, vocal articulation, and confident vocal and physical presentation style. By participating in group exercises, they learn to provide objective responses to classmates’ work, and find ways to physically express their thoughts and feelings in a clear, concise and creative manner.

Middle School physical education classes meet daily for 45 minutes; the numbers of sections offered are determined by the amount of students who do not earn their physical education credit through athletic team participation. The numbers of participants in each class also changes as the sports seasons change. Classes are not divided by grade level, skill level, or gender. The physical education department believes that grade and gender crossovers are integral components to the students’ physical, mental, and social growth.

Seventh Grade In the 7th Grade, movement is the primary focus, and students begin to explore stage combat, yoga and Laban's effort actions. Students work to develop and define their ensemble, improvisation and personal style skills, and using text, they learn to develop character through biographies, examinations of relationship, etc. Students also learn to apply vocal articulation to character, and implement character traits into presentations.

Physical Education students can obtain the required yearly credit by either participating in daily physical education class, or participating on an athletic team. In this developmental stage, students are encouraged to try activities that are new or challenging.

Eighth Grade During the 8th Grade, individual responsibility, personal style and leadership are stressed, with more opportunities for student decision-making regarding the nature of projects and means of expression. Emphasis is placed on the performance of actual written text. Students practice applying import of content to presentation skills, modifying personal style to create characters, and developing physical character. They also learn to analyse scenes and monologues based on moment-tomoment acting.

The instructors’ goal is to ensure that when students become more proficient, their selfesteem will rise. Therefore, physical education not only improves students’ health, but it also enhances their emotional outlook and wellness, thereby enhancing them as a “whole” person. 24

starting at the Academy for the first time, should have a basic understanding of how their body works, how their skill and athletic abilities compare to others in their peer group, and their basic sense of coordination. The program is built so that each student finds success in class, although age, maturity and interest play a large role in this success. The instructional approach at this level allows students to participate in a wide variety of activities. By exposing students to many activities, they can explore areas that are interesting and challenging, and develop an awareness of the opportunities in their athletic and recreational future.

The Middle School course is designed around individual and team activities that involve the teaching of advanced skills, techniques and strategies of individual and team sports. The major emphasis is on participation and individual improvement. Topics covered in Middle School are taught in units, which may be either one week or two weeks in length. Most units mirror the current athletic activities that are in progress at that time (i.e. soccer is taught during soccer season, basketball is taught during basketball season). Middle School students, whether they previously attended the Academy or are

school. Of this number, 16.5 must be as follows: English - 4 credits Mathematics - 3 credits History - 3 credits *Laboratory Science - 3 credits Foreign language - 2 credits Fine Arts - 1 credit Physical Education - 1 credit Health - .25 credit Computer Applications - .25 credit

UPPER SCHOOL The Upper School, which encompasses Grades 9 through 12, completes the program of college preparation at the Academy. As students transition from the Middle to the Upper School, learning continues to be authentic and engaging with rigorous curriculum offerings at three levels: college preparatory, honors, and advanced placement. Dialogue and interchange between teachers and students are hallmarks of the Upper School, where the focus moves from subject mastery to higher-order thinking skills. In this unique setting, students have the opportunity to develop their individual talents and creativity through a carefully sequenced and integrated curriculum.

Seniors must carry a minimum of 5.5 courses if they do not elect to take a science course. Additionally, seniors must pass all courses carried.


A junior or senior may elect a pass/fail option for any one major course which exceeds the minimum graduation requirements as stated in the Course of Study Information Sheet and in the Bulletin of Information for Parents and Students. The grade received (“P” or “F”) will not contribute to a student’s grade point average, and only the “P” or “F” will show on the

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS The minimum major course requirements for graduation from Morgan Park Academy are 21.5, earned while enrolled in secondary 25

report card and the transcript. Juniors may take a pass/fail course only if enrolled in more than five major courses. For these courses, students will not be exempted from the semester examination but may petition the teacher for an exemption from the final examination. Honor Roll status will be determined as usual, with the provision that a “P” is required in a pass/fail course.

Government and Politics: Comparative AP, Geography AP. Detailed course information can be found in this guide. The requirements for earning the AP designation in a course not pre-designated as Advanced Placement are as follows: • Student has written the appropriate Advanced Placement examination • A grade of 2.7 (80%) or higher • The successful completion of additional work as specified by each department

Students are discouraged from carrying AP courses on a Pass/Fail basis. However, students carrying five or more courses or four AP courses may request a Pass/Fail option for one AP course (to be approved by the office). All students enrolled in AP courses must write the semester examination in December and write the AP examination in May.

Note: Faculty will notify the Upper School Office in writing of such situations. A student not enrolled in an AP designated course who takes the AP exam is not automatically exempt from taking a final examination.


HONORS DESIGNATED COURSES Upper School students may be enrolled in courses which are officially pre-designated as Honors courses. If the student completes the course, the “H” designation will automatically be entered on the permanent record card.

Upper School students may elect, or may be placed in, courses which are officially predesignated as Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Students pursue these academically challenging courses and exams to earn college credit or advanced placement. If the student completes the course and takes the Advanced Placement examination, the AP designation will automatically be entered on the permanent record card. (Note: All students enrolled in AP courses are required to take AP examinations. If, because of emergency, the exam cannot be taken, the AP designation on the permanent record card will be removed.)

Morgan Park Academy offers the following Honors courses: English 3 H, Algebra 2 H, Pre-Calculus H, Lab Science H, Foreign Language 4 H, Biology H, Foreign 5 H (non AP), Chemistry H, Geometry H, Physics H. Students may earn honors credit in other required courses but must fulfill departmentally established standards in order to earn such designation. Individual teachers must notify students in writing of the criteria for earning honors credit. Honors credit will be placed on the student’s transcript at the completion of the school year.

Morgan Park Academy offers the following Advanced Placement courses: Biology AP, Chemistry AP, English Language and Composition AP, French Language AP, French Literature AP, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Statistics and Probability AP, Spanish Language AP, Spanish Literature AP, United States History AP, Studio Art AP,

Criteria for being placed in an Honors or AP Course


• 88th percentile on verbal or reading standardized test scores (EXPLORE, PLAN or PSAT) • end-of-year average of B+ or higher in current English course • demonstrated ability and desire to learn • for English 1 H, strong writing on the entrance exam essay will also be considered • for AP, reasonable expectation that student can benefit from college-level course • recommendation of current English teacher

The following outlines the requirements and expectations for placement in honors and advanced placement courses. The school takes a strong position that appropriate student placement is a necessary first step to helping students achieve their best. Geometry H, Algebra 2-H, Pre-Calculus, AP Calculus, and AP Statistics • final average of B or higher in current Honors math section • final average of A (93%) or higher in a current regular section and a strong expectation that the student will attempt to earn Honors credit in the current regular section • demonstrated ability and desire to learn and a solid, independent work ethic • demonstrated commitment to excel in rigorous academic environment • appropriate placement test score (for incoming 9th Graders and transfer students) • recommendation of current math teacher (a strong recommendation can help a student gain placement if other criteria are not as strong)

World Language To move from 8 level I to level II: • end-of-year average of 80 or higher; • recommendation of Grade 8 instructor To move from level II to level III: • end-of-year average of 70 or higher in level II; • recommendation of level II instructor To take level IV AP language: • end-of-year average of 85 or higher in level III; • recommendation of level III instructor To take level IV (or V) Honors: • end-of-year average of 75 or higher in level III and IV; • recommendation of level III and IV instructor To take level V AP: • end-of-year average of 85 or higher in AP Language; • recommendation of level IV AP instructor

History Lab • final grade of 87 or higher in World History and recommendation of the teacher (grade of B requires additional approval of English teacher) US History AP • final average of 87 or higher in World History; • completion of History Lab course with recommendation of teacher and/or summer reading project (for those students unable to fit History Lab into schedule)

The foreign language instructor's recommendation can override the grade requirement in cases where a student shows marked improvement and genuine interest in language over the course of the year.

English 1-H, 3-H and 4 AP Language and/or Literature and Composition


• Grade of B or higher in US History; • Recommendation of US history teacher.

Biology Advanced Placement • Successful completion of Laboratory Science Honors with final grade of at least 85; • Successful completion of Introduction to Advanced Placement Biology; • Demonstrated ability to perform at a posthigh school level • Recommendation of Laboratory Science instructor based upon: 1. final grade in the course 2. excellent study skills, acceptance of responsibility for academic performance 3. resourceful use of materials 4. demonstrated commitment to hard and focused work in the academic arena 5. ability to quickly grasp abstract concepts and apply concepts in solving new problems 6. successful completion of Lab Science Honors/Biology coursework 7. successful completion of summer preparation homework Chemistry Advanced Placement • Successful completion of Laboratory Science Honors course with a grade of at least 85 • Recommendation of Biology and Laboratory Science instructors based upon: 1. grades in those course 2. excellent study skills, acceptance of responsibility for academic performance 3. maturity 4. demonstrated commitment to hard and focused work in the academic arena 5. performance on the Honors Laboratory Science mid-term exam, which covers chemistry concepts 6. willingness to complete summer work prior to the course AP US Government, AP Comparative Government


Upper School Course Offerings and Sequence 2009 - 2010

Required Major Courses

Elective Major Courses

9th Grade

10th Grade

11th Grade

English I or English H Algebra I, Geometry Or Geometry H (Algebra 2 H**) Laboratory Science or Chemistry H World Language (French or Spanish) 1 or 2 or 3** World History or World History H

English 2 or English 2 H Geometry or Geometry H Algebra 2, or Algebra 2 H or Pre-Calculus H** Biology H or Biology AP World Language (French or Spanish) 1,2, 3, 4** Foundations of Art (0.5 credit) Foundation of Music (0.5 credit) Semester Acting 1 Acting 2 Film Studies --------------------Full-Year Studio Art 1 Spanish 1 *** French 1 *** History Lab (0.5 credit) Humanities 1

English 3 or English 3 H Algebra 2, Algebra 2 H, Pre-Calculus H, Applied Mathematics, Calculus** US History or US History AP

English 4 or English 4 AP Language and Composition

Semester Acting 1 Acting 2 Acting 3 Film Studies Frontiers in Science Genetics AP US Government (1st semester) AP Comparative Government (2nd semester) Political Science 1 Political Science 2: The American Legal System Computer Science Astronomy Documentary Filmmaking Geography of the Developed - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -World Semester Acting 1 Acting 2 Acting 3 Film Studies Frontiers in Science Genetics Political Science 1 Political Science 2: The American Legal System Race and Culture Computer Science Geography of the Developed World Geography of the Developing World Astronomy

Full-Year Chemistry AP Chemistry H Creative Writing French 1, 2, 3, or 4-H, 4-AP Humanities 1 Spanish 1, 2, 3, 4-H, or 4-AP Speech Statistics AP


12th Grade

---------------------------Full-Year AP Computer Science AP Calculus AB AP Calculus BC Chemistry H Creative Writing French 1, 2, 3, 4-H, 4-AP, 5-AP Spanish 1, 2, 3, 4-H, 4-AP, 5-AP Humanities 2

Studio Art 1 Studio Art 2

Required Minor Courses

Physical Education Physical Education (1 semester) Health/Wellness (0.25 semester) Computer Applications (0.25 semester)

Elective Minor Courses (0.5 credit each)

Art Workshop Band Chorus Drama Workshop Journalism Yearbook Fundamentals

Physics H Pre-Calculus H Applied Mathematics Speech AP Statistics Studio Art 1 Studio Art 2 AP Studio Art

College 101

Art Workshop Journalism Band Chorus Drama Workshop Yearbook Fundamentals

Art Workshop Band Chorus Drama Workshop Yearbook Fundamentals

Band Chorus Drama Workshop

*** Note: Students may begin a second world language as early as sophomore year with department and administrative approval.


portfolio help students understand the relationship of their thought process to both oral and written expression. An honors section is also offered.

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS ENGLISH DEPARTMENT Overview The English Department goal is steady growth in the critical and creative abilities of students as readers and writers, as these skills are needed to ensure students’ academic and career success. These needs are met by affording students ample opportunities to develop these skills through oral and written expression based upon analytic reading of selected literary texts not only from traditional Western and nonWestern literature, but increasingly from contemporary authors in a variety of genres. Throughout high school, students explore ideas in a variety of written modes - from informal journal writing to more formal personal and analytic essays. Increasingly, students are engaged in real-world writing activities using the computer as a tool in the writing process. Many of the students’ experiences in class are discussions centered around the best classic and contemporary literature. In addition, students write in-class journal responses to literature, full-length essays, and independent projects. Because English classes are traditionally small and informal, students not only gain the necessary skills to become better writers, but also develop more confidence in their writing ability. This personal attention at all grade levels is the hallmark of the English program.

English 2 In this sophomore course, students read various pieces of modern literature and examine the decisions of the various characters. Analysis of the literature is achieved through combining examples from the texts and personal experiences. Composing focused essays and journals, along with a criticism based research paper, will become the vehicles for furthering student’s knowledge of the six traits writing program. Class presentations and projects also play roles in classroom activities, strengthening the students’ ability to interpret literature through open class discussion. An honors section is also offered. English 3 The junior level course aims to explore, in an open-ended fashion, the issues raised by seminal texts in American literature: reading, reflection, and discussion lead to extensive practice in various forms of written discourse and ultimately, a deeper understanding of the American experience. An honors section is also offered. English 4 The relationship between sound thinking and clear writing is explored in this senior course, modeled after the traditional college freshman composition course. Through close reading and analysis of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, students write extensively in a variety of formal and informal settings on critical issues in students’ lives. Small class size allows the instructor to individualize instruction to meet the writing needs of each student.

English 1 Focusing on individual reader response to literature, freshmen learn to pose analytic questions and search for answers supported by the text to discuss, debate, and write about the issues uncovered. Special emphasis is placed on the in-class essay, a skill valuable throughout their academic career. Class discussions, self-evaluations and individual conferences, and a written


English 4 Advanced Placement (not offered in 2009-2010) In this senior course, students are offered an intensive college-level course covering a wide range of literary genres and historical periods. It follows the general recommendations of the College Entrance Examination Board in preparing students for the AP exam. Students may enroll in one or both AP courses offered in the English Department.

Speech Speech is a year-long course where students learn the fundamental ingredients of how to be effective and successful public speakers. Students study “real world” public speaking experiences, as well as participate in group discussions, debates and panel work, career interviews, special occasion, mock trials, and mass media. Novels into Films (not offered in 20092010) This is a discussion-based course focused on comparing a film to the novel from which it has been adapted. The class will discuss the assigned literature as in a regular English class. Students will examine the “big ideas” present and develop their own ideas about the literature. Once the novel discussions are over, students will then view the respective film. Students will look at the decisions made by the director, the screenwriter, and others playing pivotal roles in the production of the film. The class will then compare and contrast each novel to the particular film.

English 4 Advanced Placement This senior course focuses on developing the skills and proper vocabulary to analyze a writer’s purpose and the techniques employed to achieve this purpose. Examining a variety of fiction and nonfiction texts, students discern both important ideas and rhetorical methods. Students practice their acquired skills by writing research papers and expository and creative essays, giving presentations, and participating in class discussion. The course is college level and follows the general recommendations of the College Entrance Examination Board in preparing students for the AP exam.

Journalism (0.5 credit) A workshop course (with a strong emphasis on work) that will teach the practical elements of writing for publication: who, what, when, why and how, but also interviewing, note-taking, proof-reading, revising, editing – all the tools of the trade, in short.

Creative Writing This junior/senior elective course provides students with the exercises, community, and responses essential to a writer’s creation of original, well-crafted fiction, poetry, and play writing. Founded in a workshop structure, students learn to share and respond to the writing of others, create a public dialogue about the craft of creative writing, and discover a sense of good fiction and literature written in one’s developing voice. Considerable class time is devoted to reading and the critique of student work, as students learn methods for generating and reworking their writing. An independent creative project in the genre and subject of each writer’s choosing culminates the year.

Yearbook Fundamentals (0.5 credit) This course is intended to help students interested in working on the yearbook learn the skills necessary to produce a school yearbook. Emphasis is on writing, editing and layout skills.



Geometry - Honors Students will thoroughly investigate plane and solid Euclidean geometry. The use of deductive reasoning and the development of writing formal geometric proofs are at the course’s core. Some major topics explored include triangles, parallelism, areas and volumes, proportions, angles and arcs in circles, pi, and non-Euclidean geometry. Many problems require the use of algebra. Students are expected to do group work and short-term projects.

Overview The Math Department offers a sequence of courses designed to prepare students for college admission, to facilitate advanced work in mathematics and science, and to enable graduates to use mathematics with competence and understanding in their life’s work. The faculty strives to create a coherent vision of what it means to be mathematically literate both in a world that relies on calculators and computers to carry out mathematical procedures, and where mathematics is rapidly growing and is extensively applied in diverse fields. In addition, the department works judiciously to set educational goals for its students that reflect the importance of mathematical literacy.

Algebra 2 This course is designed to further explore topics in algebra. Both algebraic structure and the development of computational skills will be emphasized and refined through practical applications. The fundamental definitions, concepts, and use of trigonometry will be used in problemsolving situations. Students should be able to do algebraic manipulations and apply trigonometric ideas after first examining a problem, planning an approach for solving the problem, and then successfully finding a solution to the problem.

Algebra 1 This first-year algebra course challenges students to develop a better conceptual understanding of the structure of algebra and stronger problem-solving skills. Students will be actively involved in making connections among different branches of mathematics and solving real-life problems. By the nature of algebra, mastery of many of the techniques in the course is a prerequisite for higher-level math and science courses.

Algebra 2 - Honors Algebra and trigonometry are both studied within this year-long course. Some basic concepts from analytic geometry are introduced. The concept of function is stressed throughout the course. The course is also structured for more capable students, stressing the structure and the development of computational skills. Problem-solving techniques are emphasized and refined through practical applications. The fundamentals of trigonometry are covered as well as determinants.

Geometry This non-honors geometry course approaches the ideas in Euclidean geometry in a less formal manner. Emphasis is on developing deductive reasoning while exploring topics, which include: triangles, parallelism, areas and volumes, proportions, angles and arcs in circles, and pi. During the course, students will be involved in several projects such as building models of polyhedra and bridges. Coordinate geometry and algebra will be applied in the solving of many problems.

Applied Mathematics (not offered in 2009-2010) This course has a focus on “non-traditional” topics and applications of mathematics in the real world. These topics have a relevance to everyday life and foster a general 33

appreciation for the world. A review of the structure and operations of our number system and the use of sets, functions, and graphs gives students a common language of mathematics. The statistics units emphasize data gathering and the use of formulas. The course fosters understanding through realworld activities, projects and integrated technology.

Teachers of Mathematics. Students completing this course take the Calculus AB or BC Advanced Placement Calculus examination depending upon their level of achievement. The strategy for achieving these recommendations falls into four categories: problem solving, technology, communicating mathematics, and real-life applications.

College Algebra and Trigonometry This course is designed for students who are in need of a math course beyond Algebra 2 and are either not recommended for the rigor of a Pre-Calculus course or not interested in pursuing Calculus in high school or college. Most of the topics in the course – functions, analytical geometry, matrices and trigonometry – parallel the content of a typical first-year college math course or Pre-Calculus high school class, albeit without the depth or rapid pace of the latter.

Calculus Advanced Placement (BC) This rather ambitious, fast-moving Calculus course engages students in topics typically explored in two complete semesters of college calculus (whereas AB covers one and one-half semesters of college calculus). The content, rigor and approach are the same as in Calculus AB; BC simply covers additional topics. These topics include sequences and series, vectors, and advanced methods of integration. The instructor may require students to meet together during the summer and non-school hours.

Pre-Calculus Honors This course is intended for students who have demonstrated an aptitude and interest in pursuing AP Calculus during their senior year, or in college. Algebra is used as a tool to investigate functions and their properties, as well as to model real-life problems. Students are encouraged to verbalize, analyze, and represent graphically (with the aid of a graphics calculator) the many types of equations. These include polynomial, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric equations. Other explored areas include matrices and determinants, polar and parametric equations, combinations, series and sequences.

Statistics Advanced Placement The skills emphasized will enable students to gather, present, analyze and interpret data. Students are exposed to these themes: exploring data, planning a study, anticipating patterns and statistical inference. Some problems, examples and projects will demand real-life statistics to describe and analyze school and community issues. The graphing calculator is heavily relied upon. SCIENCE Overview The purpose of the Science Department is to develop students’ understanding of nature and the interactions of physical systems. Students learn how to draw conclusions about the physical world around them, as they experience the excitement of seeing and understanding natural phenomena. Emphasis is placed on developing both a knowledge base and problem-solving skills,

Calculus Advanced Placement (AB) This is a standard course in introductory calculus that follows the program recommended by the Committees on the Undergraduate Program in Mathematics (CUPM), the National Association of America, and the National Council of 34

which allow students to be successful in science during college and beyond. Laboratory Science (introductory chemistry and physics), biology, chemistry, and physics are offered at multiple levels. The goal is to meet the needs of the student by customizing the curriculum. Teachers provide students with an experiential approach to science; experiments dominate class activities. Small class sizes facilitate this hands-on approach to the curriculum.

this planet. As a second-level science course, students use the principles of chemistry and physics learned in Laboratory Science to provide an in-depth understanding of the major biological concepts. Biochemistry, cell theory, classical and molecular genetics, ecology and basic anatomy and physiology form the framework. The course uses multimedia resources, experiments, computer simulations and hands-on activities to explore topics.

Laboratory Science Lab Science is the freshman science course consisting of primarily chemistry and physics topics. This course stresses the fundamental concepts in science and develops the students’ understanding of their environment. The course provides students with a wide range of experiences in theoretical and experimental chemistry and physics, emphasizing problem solving, use of apparatus in experimentation, report writing, and the development of observational skills. Students may achieve honors designation in this course by maintaining a sufficient grade average.

Biology Advanced Placement Biology Advanced Placement is comparable to the first-year college biology course. This course uses a textbook with full multimedia support. An interactive CD and website support students as they explore the principles of cell life, inheritance, evolution and diversity, plant/animal structure and function, ecology and behavior. Chemistry Honors This is a college-preparatory laboratory course, which provides students with a basic understanding of all types of matter and their interactions. The course builds on the prerequisite semester of chemistry in Lab Science. Topics include atomic structure, chemical reactions and stoichiometry, states of matter, reaction rates, the periodic table, equilibrium, acids and bases, and electrochemistry.

Introduction to Advanced Placement Biology This course provides an introduction to biology and furnishes the vocabulary necessary for students who wish to pursue Advanced Placement Biology in the sophomore year. At least nine chapters will be studied. The remainder of the chapters will be studied in AP Biology during the sophomore year. This introductory course is offered in the second semester for freshmen; students are concurrently in the Laboratory Science I honors course. Enrollment is by invitation only, based upon student performance in, particularly, Laboratory Science I Honors.

Chemistry Advanced Placement Chemistry Advanced Placement is a collegelevel laboratory course that prepares students to take the AP Chemistry exam. This course provides students with an indepth understanding of the material world. Topics include atomic structure, condensed states of matter, bonding, solutions, stoichiometry, thermodynamics, gases, kinetics, equilibrium, acids and bases, nuclear chemistry, electron energy states and electrochemistry.

Biology Honors This course provides an understanding of life and the interactions of living things on 35

Physics Honors This elective college-preparatory course is at the honors level. The course is designed to acquaint students with the fundamental behaviors of matter in the universe, the states of that matter, and to frame an understanding of the universe in terms of mathematical precision and physical insights. Because many of the students are in Calculus concurrently, calculus and advanced mathematical tools are used liberally. Extensive laboratory experiences are presented, many using calculators and computer-based equipment. Formal laboratory report writing is a required component of this course. This course challenges students to apply rational reasoning and physical laws to understanding the existence of an ordered universe.

presentations will develop throughout the semester. Each student will be a primary researcher and presenter for at least four topics. Evaluation will be based upon participation in the classroom discussions, quality of reports, and ability to lead group discussions. Computer Science Computer Science is an elective course generally taken in the 11th Grade. Objects are introduced in the Alice programming environment. Object-oriented programming (OOP) is further developed in Java. During computer-aided design (CAD) lessons, students create virtual objects that could be manufactured using computer-driven machines, furthering the development of their concept of objects. Astronomy Astronomy is a one-semester survey course organized around a college-level text requiring an understanding of the tools used to study the universe. This course is offered to juniors and seniors. The five general sections of the course are the history of exploring the universe; the tools of exploration; stellar evolution, the classification, structure and evolution of stars; astrophysics and the mysteries of the universe; and future explorations and theories. New discoveries are made by evermore powerful telescopes operating in all ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum. Space probes traveling beyond the earth orbit send rivers of data to be analyzed. New discoveries in theoretical physics are applied to the data from the probes. Lifting our eyes and minds to the stars is the goal of this course.

Principles of Genetics This one-semester course expands upon the basic principles of genetics offered in 10th Grade biology. Topics include gene interaction, linkage, crossing over and evolution. Lab work and a field trip to a modern genetics lab are course requirements. This course is open to juniors and seniors who have completed Biology. Science Frontiers This seminar course meets five periods per week. Enrollment is by instructor approval for juniors and seniors. It focuses on the activities and advancements at the forefront of society, primarily involving science. There will be a focus on fundamental discoveries in science that have made modern advances possible. The course content will be a series of at least 20 topics chosen from current publications. These topics might include law and government, pollution and conservation, ethics and morality as well as mainstream scientific and technological applications. Student presentations will be based upon short-term research as guided by the instructor. The length and depth of the 36


United States History This required course will challenge students to think about social, economic, and political issues in United States history with an emphasis on meaning. Students will also consider issues in historiography. How do you construct a story out of primary sources? Can history be objective? Why do we study history? Students will identify a thesis, or point of view, in their readings and work on thesis development in their own writing. Evaluation is based on research, writing, tests, and projects.

Overview The History Department believes understanding history is a means of understanding ourselves. To achieve such an understanding, students study civilization, cultural diffusion, and innovation. They discover the consequences of human interaction with the environment. Values, beliefs, political ideas, and institutions are discussed. Also covered are various patterns of social and political interaction. World History This required freshman course traces the emergence of mankind from its earliest precivilized condition to modern high-tech societies within a global context. This survey course is a basic introduction to social studies skills, including library research and writing term papers, geographic awareness and understanding, and an introduction to the separate disciplines of economics, anthropology and political science. The goals of the course are to provide a core of common understanding in terms of world history, enhance social studies skills, and provide in-depth studies of major cultural regions. An honors section will be offered in 2009-2010.

United States History Advanced Placement (AP) This is a rigorous survey course in United States history from its pre-Columbian days until present. This course will challenge students to think about social, economic, and political issues. Those critical-thinking skills will be developed through analysis of primary and secondary sources, research, essay writing, and class discussion. Students will identify a thesis or point of view in their readings and work on thesis development in their own writing. Test-taking and study skills will be emphasized in preparation for the AP exam. Political Science 1 (first semester) This course is an incisive presentation of the development and structure of the American system of government that makes use of both historical and contemporary resources. The course examines political behavior, political institutions, and public policy, and how economic arrangements and cultural values shape these. The survey of the American political system is followed by comparative studies of other political systems. Although not offered as an AP course, students can nevertheless, with tutorial or special help, prepare for writing the AP examination. Also, by completing a special project students can be eligible to receive non-designated honors credit.

History Lab This half-credit course is required in the sophomore year for those continuing to AP courses. This course will provide a brief overview of Chicago History; an introduction to historical methods, such as choosing a subject, gathering evidence, taking notes and evaluating sources; and exploring the historiography of a single event. Students will begin research on an independent project in Chicago history that will be entered in the Chicago Metro History Fair. This is a major course; the grade counts toward the student’s GPA.


Political Science 2 (second semester) This course continues the focus of the American system of government, especially the Constitution and the American legal system. The course examines the American legal system with a study of several precedent-setting Supreme Court cases. Students will participate in several mock trials. Political Science 1 is not a prerequisite for this course.

this class; however, these two courses are not prerequisites. The US History teacher must recommend students into this course. World Religions Students will study the history, origins, dogma, and practices of various religions from around the globe such as Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam. Discussing the similarities and differences found among the faiths covered in the course allows students to understand how these religions have aided in the development of the diverse cultures from where they originated and are still practiced today.

Humanities 1 Focusing on the Greco-Roman, JudeoChristian, and African cultural roots, the Humanities student learns to read a culture’s great philosophers and identify the expression of these philosophies in the art, architecture and literature of that culture. Students then look for evidence of these thought patterns in our own culture.

Global Issues in a Shrinking World In a world increasingly linked by technology, all nations and people are inextricably interconnected. This course will explore selected global issues through readings, case studies, projects and simulations. Students will be empowered to more thoughtfully participate in the world they will encounter as workers and citizens. Among the issues to be explored are: ethnic and religious conflict, food and hunger, global governance, human rights, diversity and nationalism, population and movement of people and women’s issues.

Humanities 2 (not offered in 2009-2010) This course is a continuation of Humanities I, beginning with the Renaissance and continuing through the modern age. The focus remains on the philosophies of a culture and their expression. Students will gain familiarity with the philosophers, writers and artists who have been most influential in shaping the beliefs of our own culture. Students in this course are expected to draw upon the foundation laid in Humanities I.

Geography of the Developed World (not offered in 2009-2010) This course is offered to juniors and seniors during the first semester. Students wishing to take the AP Human Geography exam must take this course along with Geography of the Developing World. However, students who do not want to take the AP may take either of the semester courses. Students study the basic regions of the developed world. For each unit they study environmental geography, population and settlement, cultural coherence and diversity, the region’s geopolitical framework, and its economic and social development. In addition, students are required to identify

AP Comparative Government (second semester) This course is a half-credit elective for seniors that gives students an analytical perspective on government and politics in several foreign governments. This course is primarily discussion-based and requires students to participate in a number of seminars, which are student-led dialogues. There is an emphasis on themes such as globalization, political change, public policy and citizen-state relations. Students may take either Political Science I and Political Science II previously or concurrently with 38

countries, capitals and major geographic features on a map. Students write papers and complete projects that require them to integrate and apply the geographic knowledge they have acquired. Students examine the combination of geographic, climatic and political factors that lead to problems in the world and then attempt to propose solutions—both short- and longterm.

competence, and Hispanic cultures.




Spanish 2 This is a communicative course that focuses mainly on developing the students’ speaking and writing skills. Students are encouraged to speak Spanish at all times. Students’ writing progresses from paragraphs to compositions of increasing length and complexity. Oral presentations, essays, reading comprehension, communicative activities, and the ability to use the most important verb tenses, are essential in the curriculum.

Geography of the Developing World (not offered in 2009-2010) This course is offered to juniors and seniors during the first semester. Students wishing to take the AP Human Geography exam must take this course along with Geography of the Developed World. However, students who do not want to take the AP may take either of the semester courses. Students study the basic regions of the developing world. For each unit they study environmental geography, population and settlement, cultural coherence and diversity, the region’s geopolitical framework, and its economic and social development. In addition, students are required to identify countries, capitals and major geographic features on a map. Students write papers and complete projects that require them to integrate and apply the geographic knowledge they have acquired. Students examine the combination of geographic, climatic and political factors that lead to problems in the world and then attempt to propose solutions-both short and long term.

Spanish 3 Third-year Spanish begins with a review of major verb tenses. During the remainder of the course, students learn all other major grammar topics, including uses of the subjunctive, future, conditional, and perfect tenses. Students work with reading selections that include short stories, poems, and news articles during the year. Projects include several different kinds of creative and formal writing assignments and speeches, as well as research on an historical or cultural topic. Spanish is used almost exclusively in this course. Spanish 4/5 Honors This course is an option for students who have completed the third or fourth level of Spanish and wish to continue foreign language study without taking the AP exam. The purpose of the course is to develop conversation skills while delving more deeply into the culture and civilization of Spanish-speaking countries. This purpose is achieved while adhering to the standards developed throughout the foreign language curriculum which includes communication, cultures, connections, comparisons, and communities. Students who complete this course as juniors can still enroll in AP language as seniors, grades and teacher recommendation permitting. Conversely,

WORLD LANGUAGES Spanish 1 In the first year of Spanish students are introduced to basic vocabulary and grammatical structures. Instruction immediately encourages the use of Spanish in class. Classroom activities, combined with lab work, emphasize the development of oral and aural proficiency, communicative 39

students who have already completed AP language as juniors can enroll in this course as seniors as an alternative to AP Literature.

orally and in writing, in the present, past, and near future tenses. French 2 After reviewing French 1 grammar concepts, more sophisticated grammatical structures are introduced. In this class, focus on oral and aural skills intensifies. Students are encouraged to use the language in order to communicate their ideas, thoughts, and questions. Audio and video components are used to ensure proper pronunciation, as well as a solid understanding of spoken French from different Francophone countries. A strong emphasis is placed upon written expression and reading comprehension. Students write compositions of increasing length and complexity, using extensive vocabulary and complex grammatical structures. Communicative activities, oral presentations, essays, and reading comprehension exercises play an integral role.

Spanish 4 Advanced Placement Language Spanish 4 AP is a class designed to prepare students for the College Board exam. Grammar instruction will include common errors and review of more advanced topics. The course focus, however, is improvement in the three modes of communication in both formal and informal settings. Work centers on themes based on literature and discussion of Spanish-speaking cultures and our own. Students are expected to commit themselves to using Spanish exclusively in class. Spanish 5 Advanced Placement Literature In this course, students prepare to take the AP examination in Spanish literature. The course focuses on the mastery of four language arts skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking), while further emphasizing reading comprehension and the writing of good quality essays. Literary selections include novels, plays, short stories and poetry from the Spanish-speaking world. The course proceeds mainly through discussion of the literary texts.

French 3 Following an in-depth review of basic vocabulary and grammar, more advanced grammar is introduced. Students learn to engage in longer conversations, read and interpret more challenging texts, and understand French-language films and videos. The main objectives are the development and reinforcement of communication skills, as well as the development of reading skills and cultural awareness. Various readings help develop cultural literacy and deepen students’ appreciation of French and Francophone cultures. Students hold extended conversations in all tenses, and relate past and future narration using complex sentences. They also express conditions, emotions and wishes in complex sentences.

French 1 In the first year of French, students are introduced to basic vocabulary and grammatical structures of the French language. They are encouraged to speak the language immediately. Audio and video components are used to ensure proper pronunciation. In addition to working toward oral and aural proficiency, preparation in the basics of French grammar is also provided. Students practice writing and reading skills in order to lay the foundation for continued study in French. By the end of the year, students start to communicate effectively in French, both

French 4/5 Honors This course provides an opportunity for students who have already completed three or four years of French study to continue 40

progressing toward fluency in the language without the stress of preparing for the AP exam. Students develop the ability to converse in French and to understand French spoken at a normal pace used in conversation and in the media. The cultures of France and the French-speaking world are emphasized. Students view and critique one French film per quarter and read selected works of literature as springboards to self-expression in French. Students who complete this course as juniors can still enroll in AP language as seniors, grades and teacher recommendation permitting. Conversely, students who have already completed AP language as juniors can enroll in this course as seniors as an alternative to AP Literature.

of the Academy’s curriculum. Celebration and creativity echo throughout the fine arts, music, and drama programs. This unparalleled exposure complements the academic curriculum and helps develop wellrounded individuals Studio Workshop – The Art of the Sketchbook (0.5 credit) This course explores how artists use the sketchbook as a tool. Students explore many types of sketchbooks from observations for finished works to travel books, and even scrapbooks and personal growth journals. This prepares students for the full sequence of art courses. Students learn how to collect ideas and to take those raw ideas and form them into more complete artistic expressions as finished, communicative pieces of art. The course builds to a trip to the Art Institute of Chicago’s facsimile sketchbook collection to see sketchbooks by many famous artists, allowing students to see how they prepared before making art at the highest level. The host is Peter Blank of the Ryerson Library collections, who has graciously agreed to work with us on this project.

French 4/5 Advanced Placement Language The course seeks to develop language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) that can be used in various activities and contexts rather than to cover any specific body of subject matter. AP French Language features in-depth exploration of French language and culture with excerpts from writings by a variety of Francophone authors providing a context for the review of complex grammar structures presented in the course. Extensive training in the organization and writing of compositions is also emphasized and accomplished through a variety of writing assignments of varying topics and lengths. Classes are conducted in French to enhance students’ oral and aural skills. The use of appropriate AP materials for listening and speaking is an integral part of the course. VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS

Foundations of Music This class is a semester-long survey of Western Music History. The course begins with the elements of music and then moves from the 21st Century backwards to the middle ages. The class is taught with a hands-on, multi-disciplinary approach, and a heavy listening component. Students are required and highly encouraged to attend at least one concert per quarter, with extra credit available for multiple concerts. The goal of the course is to help students learn to be open to enjoying both new music and the music of the past.

Overview In keeping with the philosophy of Morgan Park Academy to educate the whole child, fine and performing arts are an integral part

Foundations of Art This one-semester course is a hands-on survey of art history that focuses on the history of ideas through visual arts and 41

objects. Students look at works from Lascaux to today's artists in a survey of art throughout history. Students apply big ideas in-depth to individual works of art through projects, discussion, and in two five-step essays. Examples of big ideas in art are: the role art has played in religious versus secular identity of cultures, how art gives some permanence to ideas in traveling from generation to generation before writing is invented, and how identity is commodified by the larger culture and yet consumed/reinvented by individuals and artists. The goal of this course is to impart visual literacy and critical thinking and interpretation skills as well as to provide a context for current events.

culminates with individual projects that demonstrate growing self-knowledge of their interests, personal aesthetic, and style. Technique is addressed in-depth and with rigor, but as it serves ideas and meaning relevant to the students and their beliefs and growing understanding of the world. Students may also take this course as Studio Art AP. AP Studio Art: Drawing This senior-level capstone course accommodates students who have expressed a desire to submit a comprehensive portfolio of artwork completed throughout high school, as a requirement for entry into college-level art classes. Students investigate all three portfolio components—quality, concentration, and breadth and, through the development of their own independent work, are expected to develop mastery in concept, composition and execution of ideas. Though the final "product" of this intensive course is the 24 portfolio slides and five actual works to be submitted to the College Board, an equally important goal of the course is for students to develop their own identity and appreciation as artists.

Studio Art 1 Students in Studio Art 1 meet for three 45minute periods and one 1.5-hour block period per week throughout the school year. This is a studio course that introduces the fundamentals of visual art as they pertain to materials, techniques, and aesthetics of art making. Students learn to express themselves visually through informed choice making and through a variety of media. Artworks are evaluated in class critiques that examine the work in terms of formal, expressive, and functional characteristics. Students interested in developing an AP portfolio as seniors must begin this course in the sophomore year.

Acting 1 This one-semester course focuses on the examination of self, successful working with “the other� (both a single partner and an ensemble atmosphere) and the basics of realistic acting. Students explore improvisation, character development and scene analysis, with an emphasis on the moment-to-moment, honest portrayal of well-developed characters.

Studio Art 2 Students explore their own styles and subject matter working from their own beliefs and ideas rather than structures by media or art history as in previous courses. This course trains artists to create their own projects from start to finish and prepares their work habits so they continue to work effectively outside of the structure of school. Additional preparation for art beyond MPA is our new digital art curriculum which lays a foundation for art on computers should students pursue art in college. Each semester

Acting 2 This is a semester-length course in advanced scene study; Acting 1 is the pre-requisite. Acting 2 addresses the second step in acting training, the transformation from actor to character. Students make vocal and physical character choices, and analyze 10-minute plays and contemporary scenes for 42

performance. Students are graded on three stages of performance, performance analyses and daily journal entries.

instructor, while demonstrating their knowledge of the documentary filmmaking process and the various techniques associated with filmmaking. The final films are shown to a public audience. *All students are required to have their own video/film camera(s), recording equipment, and editing equipment or software.

Acting 3 Acting 3 is a one-semester course on special topics in acting. The course uses the skills of acting and analysis that were developed in Acting 1 and 2. In Acting 3, students build upon foundations from the previous acting courses to work within the constructs of a particular style (i.e. exploring Shakespeare, movement for the actor, or non-realism). Students are graded on performance, the workshopping of pieces, scene analysis and journal entries.

Chorus (0.5 credit) Chorus provides vocal ensemble opportunities for any interested Upper School students. Emphasis is placed on performance and musical learning, including singing, interpretation and expression. Student accompanists are encouraged. Chorus meets twice weekly once after school and once during the school day. Chorus performs several times during the school year.

Introduction to Film Studies This course increases students’ knowledge of the art of film. Students view films from around the world and analyze them according to various aspects of film theories. In addition, the decisions made by the director and the impact those decisions make on the audience and in overall development of the film are analyzed. Ultimately, students are able to view a film, see the multiple layers the director has placed on screen and enjoy the art at more than a surface-level story.

Band (0.5 credit) Band is available to non-beginning instrumentalists. Musicianship (blending and balance of sound accuracy and intonation) as well as performance preparation are the main emphases. Band meets twice weekly and performs several times during the school year. Solo ensemble contest opportunities are available for Upper School vocalists and instrumentalists.

Documentary Filmmaking This senior-only course increases students’ knowledge of the filmmaking process. Students are engaged in every facet of documentary filmmaking, from developing the concept to the post-production of the film. Building upon the knowledge developed in the pre-requisite Film Studies, students complete their films with ease. Discussing the decisions made by directors and interviewers, and the impact the decisions can have on the audience and the overall development of the film, are common fodder for the weekly meetings. Students ultimately create a documentary film that illustrates their ideas and vision about a topic agreed upon with the

Drama Workshop 1 (0.5 credit) Drama Workshop is a hands-on experience where students learn about and participate in all of the technical aspects of theater. Class meets for one 42-minute period per week, and also involves some after-school hours based on production schedules. Students experience several technical theater positions, in preparation for fall and spring productions. Students work on crews and work on honing technical skills for future productions. Drama Workshop 2 (0.5 credit) This is an elective course open to Upper School students who have completed Drama 43

Workshop and have the instructor’s permission. Classes meet at least once weekly for a 42-minute period, as well as any after-school hours needed to complete the technical work for the fall and spring productions. Students are expected to read, analyze and execute design projects from scripts for the fall play and spring musical. Set, lights, costumes, props, sound, dramaturgy and publicity for both Upper School productions are planned and created. Crew responsibilities are included in the expectations for students in this class.

individual activities and team sports. The major emphasis is on individual improvement. Physical education provides an excellent opportunity for students to develop as a total person. In this developmental stage, students are encouraged to try activities that are new or difficult. When students become somewhat proficient, their self-esteem is boosted. Therefore, physical education not only improves the students’ health, but also enhances their emotional outlook and wellness, thereby enhancing them as a whole person.


Health/Wellness Wellness is an important concept that includes all aspects of a person’s being; it means having both a healthy mind and body. This course, offered for one marking period, introduces 9th Graders to a variety of health-related issues. It allows the opportunity for students to begin to make responsible lifestyle choices. Areas of discussion and instruction are determined by current concerns. Topics include health and wellness, personality and emotions, stress, nutrition, addictive behaviors, wellness, AIDS, and STDs.

Overview The Physical Education Department has designed its curriculum so each student can develop a sound foundation of skill and an understanding of a variety of sports activities. The program contributes to the development of social interaction and promotes a lifelong fitness attitude. Students develop a physical fitness foundation and seek recreational activities that meet their individual needs of fitness. Sportsmanship, cooperation, decision-making, and coping skills are among the other skills taught in class that can also be used in everyday living.


Physical Education During the student’s freshman and sophomore years, students are required to take 1.5 years of physical education. Freshmen take one half semester of Health and Wellness. Freshmen meet five times per week for two marking periods. Sophomores earn PE credit in one of three ways: participating fully in one team sport their sophomore year; completing a year-long 70hour independent physical fitness project; or participating in summer school physical education. The Upper School course is designed around individual and team activities that involve the teaching of advanced skills, techniques and strategies of

College Planning 101 (Required of all juniors) This course familiarizes juniors with the college admission process so that they will have a comprehensive list of colleges by the end of their junior year, and will be prepared to begin making applications during the fall of their senior year. Topics include researching colleges, preparing for college visits and interviews, standardized testing, financial aid and scholarships, college essays, letters of recommendations, and other topics related to the process. The course meets once a month. Students are expected to complete in-class exercises and some


homework, as assigned. The class is graded on a Pass/Fail basis.

word processing, and data processing. Students learn word processing on Microsoft Word and data processing with Microsoft Excel. This course also helps students better use the computer lab for other school assignments.

Computer Applications This 9th Grade course ensures students learn basic keyboarding skills (touch type),


Curriculum Guide  

For 2009-2010

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