2023-2024 High School Course Catalog

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Dear High Schoolers,

As the weather gets nicer and we look towards a brighter spring than we’ve experienced in some time, the following quote is rattling around in my mind:

“If people did not love one another, I really don’t see what use there would be in having any spring.”

Thankfully, here at this school, we do love each other, and we also make space to love art and words and games and everything else that makes life beautiful. As you devour this book, please search for what you will love next year. I assure you that there are lovable things splashed across every single page.


Cover Artwork by: Katherine S.R., 11th grade


Arts Four courses in the arts, preferably at least one in art, one in music, and one in theater

Computer Science No requirement, but students must gain the skills to use computers and other devices competently and navigate digital spaces ethically and responsibly

English Four years

History Four years

Language Four years of language study

Math Four years, including Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2

Rec Arts One course or the equivalent, or one interscholastic sport, per year

Science Three years including one year of biology and one year of physical science

COURSE CATALOG 2023–2024 TABLE OF CONTENTS Art .................................................................................................................................... 4 Computer Science ........................................................................................................... 9 English .............................................................................................................................. 13 Health ............................................................................................................................... 20 History ............................................................................................................................. 22 Interdisciplinary Studies .................................................................................................. 29 Languages ................................................................................................................ 33 Chinese .............................................................................................................................. 33 Japanese .............................................................................................................................. 34 Greek 36 Latin 38 French 42 Spanish .............................................................................................................................. 44 Mathematics ..................................................................................................................... 47 Music ................................................................................................................................ 53 Recreational Arts ............................................................................................................. 62 Science ............................................................................................................................. 66 Seminar ............................................................................................................................ 72 Theater ............................................................................................................................. 81


All classes meet one double period per week unless otherwise noted. Note: Although the descriptions for many of the art electives are general, it is the teachers’ prerogative to be more specialized in their individual approaches. For instance, the Painting and Painting/Drawing courses have several sections taught by different teachers in the department, and each teacher guides the curriculum through personal aesthetic passions and interests, while taking into consideration the experiential and technical abilities of individual students in the class.

Animation (Tokmakova)

Over the course of the year, each student will conceive, design, and produce an animated film, creating sets and characters with clay, paper cutouts, drawings, mixed media, or found materials. We will, for the most part, employ traditional stop-motion techniques to shoot our films frame-by-frame, using Dragon Animation software. Students who prefer to work digitally from start to finish will, of course, be able to do so. Everything comes together during the editing stage: the images can be layered or manipulated, and the soundtrack— including dialogue, music, sound effects, or narration—is added. No previous experience necessary.

Art and Inquiry (Collins)

Should art-making focus on aesthetic pleasures? Can artists produce knowledge?

In this course, we’ll consider intellectual inquiry as a legitimate and critical foundation for artistic output. First, throughout the year we’ll study artists that have worked in this mode. We’ll look at the way artists have studied history, philosophy, and other disciplines to add conceptual depth to their artworks. We’ll look at some of these foundational works, speak to practicing artists, and visit galleries and museums to better understand their processes. Then, students will create their own works of art. The impetus for these works can come from any number of drives: a personal or political cause, an interest, an impulse. This artistic output can take any number of forms, from the concrete (drawings, photographs, objects) to more ephemeral works (short videos, websites, memes). In the end, we hope to produce both knowledge and art through circuitous study and open dialogue with each other.

We look at art, we make things, and we talk about ideas. That’s it.


Clay, Plaster, Paper, Wax: The Elements of Sculpture (Greenwood)

This course will explore some of the most ancient and fundamental of sculptural techniques and materials. Through select assignments and extensive independent projects we will delve into both additive and reductive processes. We will also use moldmaking to experiment with reproducing works and the potential of translating between media. In addition we will make use of different decorative techniques including polychromy, glazing, pâte-sur-pâte, and perhaps fresco.

Introduction to Architecture & Design 1


This course introduces and explores some of the basic drawing systems used to communicate three-dimensional architectural ideas within two-dimensional formats (elevations, floor plans, isometric and axonometric projections and perspective). Students progress from representing simple three-dimensional forms to drawing self-designed architectural structures and translating their architectural ideas into representative scale models.

Introduction to Architecture & Design 2


This course is an extension of Introduction to Architecture and Design 1. The course will broaden the exploration of architectural concepts and model-making, allowing students to gain greater confidence and fluency while applying the various projection and mechanical drawing systems to specific design problems. Prerequisite(s): Introduction to Architecture & Design 1

Digital Photography


This course will focus on the basics of making and understanding photographs utilizing digital processes. We will explore technical tools, concepts and philosophies essential to photography in a variety of projects with a focus on digital capture, scanning, Photoshop and digital printing. Throughout the year we will look at photographers and other artists whose work is especially relevant to the processes and topics we explore.

Experimental & Alternative Photographic Processes


This course will dive further into the topics covered in an analog or digital photography class with a focus on printing with UV light based processes such as cyanotypes and van dyke brown. We will also experiment with other processes such as pinhole photography, emulsion lifts, transfers and photograms. A solid understanding of how to use an SLR or DSLR camera and basic understanding of Photoshop is required. Prerequisite(s): Digital Photography, Darkroom Photography 1/2/3 or equivalent experience as determined by the instructor.


Ceramic Sculpture (Bellfatto)

Not a pottery course. We explore basic clay building techniques such as coil, slab, and pinch-pot to generate functional and non-functional sculpture. Various surface treatments are investigated: stain, slip, paint, and glazes. Students develop a body of work reflecting an eclectic variety of sources and themes: personal, historical, geometric and organic form, human and animal figure, narrative relief, and architecture.

Drawing (The Department)

In this class we focus on the fundamentals of drawing. Observation, perception, composition, and the language of mark-making are stressed. Students will work primarily from observation, including: still life, works of the Old Masters, and models, in addition to other sources. Using materials such as pencil, charcoal, pastel, ink, watercolor, and colored pencils, we will explore line, tonality, volume, and texture as we gain rendering skills and develop personal artistic expression.

Figure Drawing (Hillis, Tokmakova)

This course will explore the techniques and expressive potential of drawing the human body. Working directly from live models and, using a wide range of media, we will investigate the skeletal and muscle structures, considering form, proportion, movement, and ways of translating onto the page both what we know and how we see. Individual attention will be prioritized, so that every student may achieve a greater familiarity with the human form, and expand their personal visual vocabulary.

Figure Drawing with Extensive Study of the Head and Facial Expression (Arnold) (4x per week)

In this course students will learn to draw the human figure from a live model, both dressed and nude. From short movement sketches to longer studies of a still model, students will explore the figure, including special studies of its hands and feet, using china ink, graphite, charcoal, oil sticks, etc. We will pay particular attention to the head. Students will learn to depict the head proportionally, from different angles, and in three dimensions. Drawing from a live model as well as from classical sculptures, they will learn to depict individual facial characteristics, creating a portrait. During the second semester, students will be ready to make stylized portraits (e.g. caricatures, cartoons, and anthropomorphized animals) as well as various realistic expressions. We will also explore drawing groups of interacting figures. This course will be demanding, requiring stamina, dedication, and a desire to learn how to draw realistically. Previous drawing experience is desirable but not necessary. Note: This class will meet two double periods per week.


Materiality: The Art and Science of Making Art


(See Interdisciplinary Studies)

Oil Painting: Style and Technique


This course covers basic painting techniques for working on primed canvas with a brush and palette knife. Students will learn the rules of composition and color contrast, the creation of texture, and varnishing. We will explore various styles from the mid-19th century to today, including Realism, Impressionism, Cubism, Primitivism, Surrealism, and Pop Art, and study paintings by Van Gogh, Cézanne, Rousseau, Matisse, Picasso, Magritte, Hockney, Freud, and others. This will help students learn to recognize a particular style and also use it in their own painting. Students will be free to paint from imagination or observation, making still-lifes, portraits, and landscapes. Field trips to museums and student presentations on assigned artists will take place throughout the course.


(Hillis, Lee, Tokmakova)

This course is an exploration, through a variety of painting media, of pictorial construction, color, composition, and conception.

Painting Intensive

(Bellfatto) (4x per week)

See “Painting.” Offered in an intensive format of two double periods per week. Prerequisite(s): permission of the instructor

Painting & Drawing

(The Department)

An exploration of pictorial life—how drawing begins, its development, manifestation, and transmutation. An alchemical approach to picture making: experimentation with content in a variety of styles and media toward the development of a personal vision.

Photography 1: Basic Camera and Darkroom Techniques

(Giraldo, Venable)

Learn to capture and share your view of the world through the lens of traditional black and white photography. In addition to class discussions and critiques, students will study the basics of composition and visual communication through slide show presentations of wellknown and lesser-known photographers, assignments to be completed outside of class, and in-class exercises in the analog photographic process. Taking our inspiration from the history of photography and other visual arts, we will explore a variety of processes—from those used to produce the very first photographs up through the emergence of 35mm.


Photography 2/3: Personal Style and Advanced Darkroom Techniques


Already equipped with the basics of the analog photographic process, students will learn techniques in documentary photography, portraiture, and explore methods to develop personal style. Darkroom practice will include the use of new materials such as Fiber-based Silver Gelatin and Medium Format Negatives. Prerequisite(s): Introduction to Photography, or equivalent experience in black and white photography and darkroom developing, as determined by the instructor.



This is a broad course that examines various printmaking techniques, from relief printing (linoleum and woodcut) to intaglio (drypoint, etching, and aquatint). We will develop an understanding of these various processes by looking at printmakers throughout history and through hands-on experimentation.

Printmaking: Posters


This course is devoted to silkscreen design and production. We will survey poster designs ranging from 19th century Japanese playbills, Ghanian movie posters, protest posters (including the work of Sister Corita Kent), and the Pop screenwork of Warhol and Yokoo. In addition to creating our own silkscreens, including prints on t-shirts and fabric, this course works closely with the Theater Department to produce the posters for all school productions throughout the year.

Sculpture, Video, and Fabric


Isn’t fabric always in the frame? Through outfits, backgrounds, and all manner of scraps, fabric is much of the skin that we present to ourselves, to each other, and to the camera. And it’s a skin of endless colors, textures, and patterns that can be used to shape a space and create sculptural forms in combination with wire, wood, and all sorts of human bodies.

As we take a closer look at fabric, we’ll also learn about basic video editing techniques as we stitch together videos taken with our phones. We seek an interplay between the two media that opens up space for exploring personas and personal narratives amidst larger political and cultural contexts. The resulting projects might embody a documentary spirit, or they might take the wildest or most abstract of turns.

As the class progresses, it will become increasingly student-driven. Individual interests and class discussions will set the agenda, as students respond both to one another’s projects, and to writings and artworks that we consider in class. There will be opportunities both for individual experimentation and collaboration. No previous artistic experience is necessary.



We are surrounded by science fiction—portable computers, social media, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, electronic games, online journals, instant reference books, genetic sequencing, nanotech, increasingly massive datasets—built by people who know how to design, dream, and code. With computer science we can make art, crunch numbers, translate languages, and solve many human problems.

Our courses show students how to be more than just consumers or users: they will be independent creators on computers, able to control and shape the tools of today and tomorrow. Using software that runs similarly on Mac, Windows, Unix/Linux, and tablet computers, our courses teach a range of topics including programming, graphics, circuitry, web, spreadsheet analysis, logic, and other skills that are useful for doing everything from analysis to artwork to running social movements. Classes are full year and meet twice a week unless otherwise noted.

3D Design and Printing (The Department)

There is an engineer and an artist in all of us, and learning to design and print in 3D unites them both. Careful planning and measuring are used in the service of creative visions, and the process of printing failures is a way to get comfortable with the iterative design process and cultivate patience and problem-solving. Different software and approaches will be covered over the year, leaving students with a toolbox of skills. Students are also challenged to think critically about design, asking how the world can be improved for more people by coming up with better solutions to problems. Prerequisite(s): none

AI Machine Learning (Verdi)

What if computers could be told to learn for themselves, slurping up data like a vacuum? They are faster and able to store and process more information than ever before. In fact, we are surrounded by computer learning already! We are used to computers filtering spam, recommending books and videos, translating languages, and recognizing your voice. Drivers are experimenting with semi-autonomous cars. How do computers accomplish this? Machine Learning, a branch of computer science, is rapidly developing to use data to mimic human learning with implications across a wide range of fields from transportation to medicine to social justice. This course will introduce students to the foundations of machine learning and neural networks. They will become familiar with the trends driving the rise of machine learning; we will use pre-trained models to explore classifying images and feature extraction. We will also build and train our own models and neural networks. Through this course, students will better understand the capabilities and limitations, challenges and consequences of Machine Learning while opening up possibilities for further studies. Prerequisite(s): Programming 1 or equivalent, or permission of the instructor.


Computer Animation


Learn about computer-aided methods of animation with frame-by-frame animation including the traditional walk-cycle and bird flap projects. Use more advanced techniques including digital puppets within a 3D space, and explore special effects such as lightning and explosions. Additional projects may include stop motion, green screen projects, 3D movie title sequences (like the iconic Star Wars titles), music videos, and a final animated film using techniques of the student’s choosing. No prior experience is required, but attention to detail and perseverance are a must! Prerequisite(s): none

Cryptocurrency (G.

Over the past few years, cryptocurrency has exploded into public awareness. Very strong and wildly divergent opinions about it abound, but they are not always well informed. This is a challenging environment for understanding a developing field. Cryptocurrency is indeed a novel technology that relies on cutting edge cryptography, mathematics, and computer science. However, much of it can feel like a flea market run by a nation of charlatans. In an effort to do an end run around all the noise, this class aims to learn about cryptocurrency simply by using it and by building things with it. Simultaneously, the class will explore cryptocurrency’s rapidly evolving relationships with elements of our larger society and culture, such as banking, art, social media, the environment, personal privacy, and governance. We will also explore the relationship with—and access to—cryptocurrency among women and financially marginalized racial groups

The class will focus on the Ethereum blockchain. Students will become proficient in using the various testnets associated with Ethereum, including programming using Solidity, a Javascript-like coding language. No previous programming experience is assumed or needed, but students should be interested in exploring Ethereum at a technical, applied level. The premise here is that a real understanding of how Ethereum works will enable students to better grasp the promise and perils of cryptocurrency in general. With technical knowledge in hand, students might branch off in different directions according to their interests. One student might build a decentralized autonomous organization; another might do a deep dive into the cryptography underlying blockchains; a third might research how cryptocurrency is used in governments around the world; others might collaborate on an NFT collection. Classes will cycle through a range of activities, including lectures about how Ethereum works, labs where students work through exercises or develop their own programs, and discussions motivated by readings about larger issues related to blockchain technology.


Intro To Computer Science (Verdi)

Are you curious about Computer Science but haven’t had the chance to explore your nascent interest? Intended for the novice, this course aims to give students an introduction to the concepts and applications of computer science. Students will learn to read, write and debug code. They will develop a framework and practical skills in computer science that deepen their understanding of how computers work all around us. Learn the basics of programming, from Scratch to HTML and from Python to Javascript, take a tour of various languages and concepts to familiarize yourself with this area of study. This core knowledge will also offer a basis for further study in computer science. Who knows? You may tap into something you find that you really enjoy!

Physical Computing 1


Move beyond the idea that a computer is a box or a system of information retrieval and processing, and learn how to interact physically with a computer without using the mouse, keyboard, or monitor. Using a microcontroller (a single-chip computer that can fit in your hand), write and execute interactive computer programs that convert movement into digital information. Work with components such as resistors, capacitors, diodes, and transistors as well as integrated circuits. Through lab exercises and longer creative assignments, learn how to program, prototype, and use components effectively. Control motors and interpret sensor data, as well as explore advanced concepts in interface, motion, and display. Prerequisite(s): none

Physical Computing 2 (Caccamise)

Students combine theory and practice to interface microcontrollers and transducers. We learn how to make devices respond to a wide range of human physical actions. Building on knowledge acquired in Physical Computing 1, we build projects from schematics, make programs based on class examples, and make interfaces talk to each other. Topics may include: networking protocols and network topologies, mobile objects and wireless networks of various sorts, digital logic building blocks, and digital numbering systems. Students are involved in short production assignments and final projects, and create a digital portfolio to document their work and research.

Creating interactive work relies on building a relationship between the object and the viewer. By gathering information in the form of input, processing that into meaningful data, and outputting that contextually, new forms of engagement and interaction with an audience can be established. This class is for students who have prior experience with Physical Computing and would like the opportunity to develop their own project and spend time researching, testing, prototyping and documenting it. Prerequisite(s): Physical Computing 1 or permission of the instructor


Programming 1 (The Department)

Explore the science and art of computer programming. For students who want to create and modify their own computer software, this course uses JavaScript (the language of the web) and web technologies to introduce the basics of computer control and interactive websites. We use loops, variables, procedures, input, output, and branching decisions (with Boolean logic) to control graphics, sounds, and information. Expect to work with JavaScript and the “P5.js” tools to create animated color graphics that respond to key and mouse movement. Prerequisite(s): none

Programming 2 (The Department)

A continuation of Programming 1, for students who are becoming more confident in their ability to combine data types and complex computer routines. We look more deeply at object-oriented programming: class definitions, inheritance, methods, fields, arrays, and collections. Large projects include writing an interactive, animated project with control windows and graphics. Prerequisite(s): Programming 1 or permission of the department chair


Global Perspectives (9th Grade)

(The Department)

The first year of high school English is a voyage around the world, exploring novels, stories, plays, and poems from as many countries and cultures as the year will allow. A variety of narrative perspectives, content subjects, and literary styles helps expand the reader’s sense of what’s possible on the page. Ninth graders vigorously air their responses to literature, hone their essay craft, and experiment creatively throughout the year. Grammar and vocabulary exercises reinforce their reading and writing skills.

Poetry, Drama & The Novel (10th Grade)

(The Department)

Sophomores encounter increasing demands on the quality of their thinking, writing, and close reading skills while they grapple with texts ranging from Elizabethan drama to Harlem Renaissance poetry to contemporary American fiction of the immigrant experience. Authors often include Shakespeare, Morrison, Fitzgerald, Akhtar, and Baldwin. In an additional class period each week, small groups of six to ten sophomores practice their analytic craft and work on individual writing skills.

Junior/Senior Electives

The Art of Hell (Avrich)

Through me you pass into the city of woe: Through me you pass into eternal pain:… Abandon hope all ye who enter here. –written on the gates of Hell from Dante Alighieri’s Inferno

The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n.

–Satan, from John Milton’s Paradise Lost

Why do creative minds make masterpieces out of Hell? Throughout the history of literature and the arts, Hell, the dark landscape of human sin, of crime and punishment, of everlasting doom, has inspired some of our greatest imaginative works. The characters we meet in the fiery pit are seductive, rebellious, innovative and, unlike the angels, psychologically complex. We relate to the soulful Dante, wandering the infernal urban ghetto, and to Milton’s fallen


archangel Satan, charred but not undimmed. Besides, great sinners tend to be great talkers. As we know from the movies, the villains always get the good lines.

In this course, we will take a tour of The Inferno, Dante’s concentrically circular city of progressively sinful and ghastly souls. We will also ponder John Milton’s majestic masterwork, Paradise Lost, Toni Morrison’s compelling A Mercy, Jhumpa Lahiri’s “HellHeaven” (and other stories), and if time, Shakespeare’s resonant, nihilistic King Lear. Student art and multimedia projects will accompany expository and creative writing, tasteless musicals, theatrical performances and tableaux vivants.

The Blur: Between Fact and Fiction


Art imitates life. Or is it the other way around? Deception, artifice, and intrigue seem inevitable to the art of storytelling (and living), no matter our distinct obsession with uncovering “the truth.” As a result, we live in a time where matted, tangled performances of fact, fantasy, outright lies, and feigned authenticity are seemingly commonplace. We see this in social media, in our daily interactions, and perhaps most alarmingly, in our political life. In this course, we dive into both sides of the blur—fact and fiction—so that we may see each artwork and hopefully, our own lives, with more clarity. Concretely, we may touch on the roman à clef, literary nonfiction, autofiction, the autobiographical novel, and of course, traditional novels that seem all too real. Authors and works might include (but are not limited to) Sleepless Nights by Elizabeth Hardwick, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, A Fan’s Notes by Frederick Exeley, The Counterlife by Philip Roth, Outline by Rachel Cusk, The Lover by Marguerite Duras, The Pure and the Impure by Colette, and Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner.

To supplement our readings, we will also watch and discuss a series of films: Synecdoche, New York; Being John Malkovich; Tár. Self-portraits and art pieces by a number of artists— Frieda Kahlo, Marc Chagall, Egon Schiele, Vincent Van Gogh, and Yoko Ono—will round out our discussions of the real, surreal, and unreal. A final project may include either an analytical response or a creative project (think: novel excerpt, short story, or personal essay) that plays with both reality and art.

Contemporary Literature in Translation (Mooney)

Only 3% of all books published in the United States are published in translation–and yet every one of the thousands of living languages worldwide produces its own literature. The global hegemony of the English language puts those of us who speak it fluently at risk of missing out on the vast variety and richness of global poetry and storytelling. To read a book written within and for another cultural context is to encounter the limits of our perspectives and venture beyond those limits to glimpse radically different ways of thinking and being in the world. In this course, we will read 20th and 21st century fiction and poetry in translation. Likely texts include Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera, Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata, Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami, My


Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, Three Strong Women by Marie NDiaye, The Copenhagen Trilogy by Tove Ditlevsen, Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi, and Fever Dream by Samantha Schweblin. We’ll also watch at least one film (with subtitles, of course!).

Crimes and Misdemeanors (Smith)

Whether depicting events real or imagined (true crime or detective fiction), literature of criminality has fascinated most 20th and 21st century readers. In fact, books representing these complementary genres regularly sit atop weekly bestseller lists. But how and why did this phenomenon start and why does it show no sign of abating? This course will explore the evolution and popularization of detective fiction and true crime, two forms of storytelling that have transformed film and television forever. And while some may look down their noses at these forms of writing, they are excellent windows into society’s values regarding crime, morality, race, and gender. Few know that these types of stories are rooted in 19th century Romanticism and that the universally-recognized godfather of detective fiction was Edgar Allan Poe. The course will begin by reading two of his darker short stories, The Cask of Amontillado (with its Hannibal Lechter vibes) and The Murders in the Rue Morgue. From there, we will read works by Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, two authors who gave us the model of the hard-boiled, tough-talking detective—in a fedora. We will read Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man, the latter of which introduces a husband and wife crimefighting team and confronts the gender issue in these stories: is there a place for a woman in a room (and genre) full of wiseguys? Next we will read works by some of the modern masters, most notably Walter Moseley (Devil in a Blue Dress), Liz Rigbey (Summertime), and Nekesha Afia (Dead Dead Girls).

After our foray into detective fiction, we will witness the birth of “true crime,” detective fiction’s natural offspring, and read Truman Capote’s riveting and groundbreaking In Cold Blood . Next, small town murder takes center stage with John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil . Then, we will reopen the Emmitt Till case with Timothy B. Tyson’s The Blood of Emmitt Till . If time allows, we will close the course with Michelle McNamara’s I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, the story about one woman’s search for the Golden State Killer. Expect a healthy dose of analytical and creative writing in this course.

Forms of Friendship (Bodner)

As Michel de Montaigne wrote back in 1580, friendship “has no other model than itself, and can be compared only with itself.” Unlike relationships based in blood or written in law, each of our friendships presents a kind of tabula rasa, a blank slate on which two people can inscribe their own idiosyncratic style of relating to the other.

In this course, we’ll read novels, essays, short stories, and poems that celebrate and interrogate friendship in all its capacious forms. How do relationships with others redefine and break open conceptions of the self? And why is it that our protagonists’ friendships often clash with the more rigid cultural scripts of family and marriage? Along with our own close reading,


queer and feminist theorists—Audre Lorde, Judith Butler, Donna Haraway, and Michel Foucault, to name a few—will help us make sense of the messy intimacy that friendship can engender. Your written engagement in this class will be as dynamic as our characters’ engagement with each other: come prepared to eradicate the binary between analytical and creative writing once and for all.

Novels will include but not be limited to John Knowles’ A Separate Peace, Toni Morrison’s Sula , Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, Marlen Haushofer’s The Wall , and Jane Austen’s Emma . Short story authors and poets will likely include Alice Munro, Raymond Carver, ZZ Packer, Susan Choi, Dantiel W. Moniz, Frank O’Hara, and Adrienne Rich. We’ll also watch and discuss Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and, of course, Thelma and Louise.

Freedom & Belonging (Rutter)

Freedom is one value among others, but it is particularly dear to three kinds of people: liberals, Americans, and teenagers. You may be all three. How much freedom should we want? As much as possible, goes the classical view, so long as our liberties do not infringe those of others. But why exactly is it desirable? Is freedom valuable in itself, or only as a means? 20th century liberals worried about conformity, about a million children all bouncing the same red ball. Liberty was a cure. But thinkers to the left and right of the liberal tradition have raised questions. What is freer than the free market? Individual liberty is the logic of capitalism. We will try to figure out when we want more freedom, and when we might want less. Everyone loves the open road, but not the blank page. Artists are paradigmatically free, yet they seek out constraints. Free verse is like playing tennis without the net, said Robert Frost. What does this mean? And what of our identities? We do not choose them all. Do they check our freedom, or do they offer something else—forms of membership and belonging? We’ll read a bit of philosophy and social science; short works by Melville, Kafka, Dostoevsky, Lorde, Emerson, Nietzsche, Dinesen, Munro; and all but one of the following:

Louise Erdrich The Round House

Ben Lerner Leaving the Atocha Station

Zadie Smith On Beauty

James Baldwin The Fire Next Time

Arundhati Roy The God of Small Things

Marilynne Robinson Gilead



This class intends to thrill minds, to chill spines, to set pulses racing with its study of dreadful excitement. Tales of monsters—a word derived from the Latin monstrum, meaning an evil omen—are foundational to storytelling, and we intend to read them by way of exploring


primeval fears and understanding ancient desires.

At the heart of the course are three 19th-century novels—The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, Dracula by Bram Stoker, and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley—and we are eager to interpret all three as literary texts, societal documents, and pop-culture phenomena all at once. The proper study of Dracula , for instance, involves considering vampire stories as tales about gender, race, and disease; it also involves screening a Francis Ford Coppola film, clips from The Twilight Saga , and choice moments of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Frankenstein demands to be read as a profound novel about selfhood and alienation; also, it deserves to be read alongside The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Mythology and folktales are also mainstays of the syllabus. We’ll study heroic legends and urban legends, including the Old English epic of Beowulf, the universal lore of the Boogeyman, and the Japanese tradition of the Baku. (The Baku is a supernatural being that eats nightmares so you don’t have to experience them; this occupation might qualify him as a mascot for a course that understands monsters as embodiments of the subconscious.)

Depending on the time we have and the temperaments we demonstrate, we’ll read much more, far and wide—probably some touchstones of Gothic literature (by Edgar Allen Poe and Daphne du Maurier), hopefully a collection of fractured fairy tales (Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber), possibly a post-apocalyptic zombie novel (Colson Whitehead’s Zone One). Maybe we’ll find ourselves reading some enchanting passages of Moby Dick or some nottoo-gross excerpts from American Psycho; maybe not. But I can definitely promise a strong Halloween party, on the theme of Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”

Russian Literature (Aronson)

You too are an exile, I thought. You mourn for the broad open steppes where you have room to spread your icy wings. Here you feel stifled and constricted, like an eagle that cries and beats against the bars of an iron cage.

Since the late eighteenth century when Russian authors began to be translated into French, German, and English, Russian literature has moved and intrigued Westerners with its depth and subtlety. This course considers a number of major figures in Russian literature— beginning in the first part of the nineteenth century with Russia’s foremost lyric and narrative poet, Alexander Pushkin. The reading list also includes works by Mikhail Lermontov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Leo Tolstoy, Ivan Turgenev, Nikolai Gogol, and Anton Chekhov. It is possible that we will find our way into the twentieth century, which would take us to authors like Vladimir Nabokov, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Mikhail Bulgakov. This is indeed a weighty and wide-ranging enterprise that raises questions of the individual’s place in society and the world, the nature of truth and reality, the meaning of faith in God, and the role of the past in the present—to name a few.


Some Girls’ Mothers Are Bigger Than Other Girls’ Mothers: Growing Up Female (Fodaski)

“One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.”

In this class, we will read texts that explore the problems, joys, terrors, conundrums, and intricacies of growing up female. We will take as our premise Simone de Beauvoir’s assertion that this is not a “natural” or organic process, but one that is influenced, effected, and manipulated by societal and political conventions, constrictions, and expectations. We will ask questions that resist easy answers: how do cultures—contingencies of time, place, and power—foster distinct femininities? What, if anything, about womanhood transcends culture? We will explore the intersection of gender and other categories of identity, race and class among them. We will read several coming-of-age stories, but we will also examine at least one text written from the perspective of an older woman looking back on her girlhood. We will also look frequently to nonfiction and theory to supplement our analyses, and finally, we will explore some texts that resist the categorization of gender altogether.

We will read one 19th century novel; depending on students’ prior reading, we will choose between Jane Austen and George Sand. Other novels we will almost certainly read include Nella Larsen’s Quicksand , Fatima Daas’s The Last One, Zora Neal Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God (unless too many students have read it in a previous class), and Annie Ernaux’s A Girl’s Story. We may read works by Virginia Woolf, Willa Cather, Carson McCullers, Jamaica Kincaid, Ann Petry, and Arundhati Roy as well. We will write on each text we read.

We will spend part of the spring on short fiction and nonfiction, reading works by Kristen Roupenian, Bharati Mukherjee, Nicole Krauss, Mary Gaitskill, and Amia Srinivasan, among others. This unit will culminate in a writing project, with a choice between an expository or a personal essay.

We will read poetry by Edna St. Vincent Millay, Lorine Niedecker, Lucille Clifton, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, and Gwendolyn Brooks.

And finally, we will watch several films—by Chantal Akerman, Céline Sciamma, and Iram Haq. We will write about these, too.

Tragicomedy (Khoury)

Admittedly, the term is not an elegant one. Lumping together two seeming opposites, it implies a lazy blurring of categories and distinctions. The writer who introduced the word to English, Philip Sidney, seems to have intended these connotations. In An Apology for Poetry (1595) he describes the disturbing popularity of recent plays that are “neither right Tragedies, nor right Comedies” but “mungrell Tragy-comedie”—works of art that fail to achieve the proper “commiseration” of the former or the “right sportfulness” of the latter. Sidney’s argument, and Aristotle’s before him, is that pity and humor don’t mix, that we can’t


laugh properly at subjects we care about, and that we won’t care about any subjects at which we’re made to laugh. It follows, both argue, that tragedies should deal with kings and other aristocrats, and that comedies should concern common people.

Times have changed, but we don’t have to look far to find similarly offensive ideas about what or whom we’re likely to sympathize with or ridicule. And those are issues that each of the texts in this course toys with and complicates, raising questions about whose pain matters, about what will move us to laughter or tears, and about the nature and limits of empathy.

We’ll read many (but maybe not all) of the following, along with various shorter works:

Jamaica Kincaid A Small Place

Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins Gloria

Charles Yu Interior Chinatown

Hannah Gadsby Nanette

Vladimir Nabokov Pnin

Zadie Smith On Beauty

WASPs and Other Nutmeggers (Murphy)

Connecticut is a state that’s hard to love, but which I love anyhow, as one often loves what wounds—if only for familiarity.

The Nutmeg State is a place that looms in the American imagination as a preppy, wealthy, traditional place full of country houses and boarding schools—and it is! But it has also served as home to suffragettes, radicals, tastemakers, bon vivants and rabble-rousers of all kinds, from Jackie Robinson and Ralph Nader to Harriet Beecher Stowe and Prudence Crandall. Connecticut was also home to the landmark 1965 SCOTUS case Griswold vs Connecticut which ensured married couples the right to use birth control. Ann Petry, the first black woman to sell over a million copies of a novel, was born and raised in Old Saybrook. In 1975, Ella Grasso became the country’s first woman governor elected in her own right and the first U.S. governor of Italian descent in the entire United States. Another surprise? Connecticut is 7% Puerto Rican.

The literature from this state is as diverse as its population; we will explore a variety of texts set in Connecticut: Revolutionary Road , On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous and Country Place for sure, and perhaps The Ice Storm , The Stepford Wives and The Gospel of Winter. We will also study some short stories (certainly Chimamanda Adichie’s “The Thing Around Your Neck” and J.D. Salinger’s “Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut”) and poets (Wallace Stevens and Marilyn Nelson, for two), and a play by Cin Martinez set in Hartford, Frog Hollow State of Mind .

There will be numerous writing assignments and—hopefully—a day trip to Connecticut.



9th Grade Health

(The Department) (Fall semester)

9th grade health focuses on substance use, sexuality, consent, mental health, and adjusting to the high school experience. We explore how we make health-related decisions, discuss prevention as a cornerstone to wellness, and examine contemporary issues in health.

10th Grade Health

(The Department) (Spring semester)

10th grade health is interdisciplinary in focus and weaves in voices from around our school community in order to closely address issues of physical and reproductive health and wellness, identity, relationships, body image, eating disorders, and adolescent development, among other topics. The class focuses on the practical application of health knowledge.

11th Grade Health

(The Department) (Fall semester)

This class looks at health as both a personal and social issue. Weaving in current events, media, and recent research, 11th grade health does a deep dive into mental health and tries to help students navigate their increasing independence as they prepare for adulthood. We look at bystander intervention and the creation of safer communities. This class also explores controversies in public health and covers the wide range of viewpoints proffered on hot button issues while asking students to think critically about these issues themselves.

Reproductive and Sexual Politics

(Friedrichs) (Spring semester)

In June 2022, we saw the overturn of Roe v. Wade, which ended 50 years of the constitutional right to abortion. At the same time myriad laws were introduced aiming to limit access to everything from reproductive health services, to gender-affirming care, and sex education. But how did we get here?

This single-semester spring elective class will dive into the ideology driving such legislation in order to explore the history and current state of sexual and reproductive politics in the United States. Using an intersectional lens we will aim to answer questions including: What rights, exactly, did Roe provide? What have been the differences and similarities in the fight for sexual and reproductive rights across communities (including women of Color, white women, and LGBTQIA+ folks)? And, how has the United States seen fit to legislate sexuality?


We will draw from both popular and scholarly works. These will include selections from Loretta Ross’ Reproductive Justice, Adam Cohen’s, Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck, and Bad Sex: Truth, Pleasure and an Unfinished Revolution by Nona Willis Aronowitz. We will also watch documentaries such as 62 Days, which explores the impact of fetal harm laws and Aftershock, a film addressing America’s incredibly high, and racially skewed, maternal mortality rate. The class will include a walking tour of New York’s key spots in the fight for reproductive rights.

Note: This is a single-semester single period class which meets once a week. It is open to 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade students. The class may be taken in the place of either 10th or 11th grade health, with permission of the department.

High School Mentoring

(The Department)

(Please see Seminars)


World History (9th Grade)

(The Department)

This course explores the period from the 18th century through the 20th century. From revolution to globalization, from industrialization to decolonization, we explore these and other themes in a global context with the specific goals of complicating the Eurocentric narrative and emphasizing the experiences of marginalized peoples and cultures. We emphasize intellectual histories along with political and social changes. Throughout the year, students learn to think critically and work with diverse primary and secondary sources to create both analytical and research-based essays.

U.S. History (10th Grade)

(The Department)

The objective of this course is for students to develop a comprehensive understanding of the nation’s past through inclusive narratives with the specific goal of decentering whiteness. Students will learn about Indigenous Peoples, European-Americans, African-Americans, women of all races and classes, workers, immigrants, and other groups who are usually marginalized in the U.S. historical narrative. In their final year before entering into the elective program, students continue to hone their skills as critical thinkers, readers, and writers with a greater emphasis on historiography.

The Black Atlantic


For over five hundred years, people of African descent have traversed the Atlantic Ocean and the landmasses that form its coastline. Moving around and across this waterscape, our course will focus on the daily experiences, social struggles, multicultural traditions, and political accomplishments of these historical actors and their descendants. We will begin with an in-depth investigation into the 16th- and 17th-century origins of the African diaspora in the Caribbean, the Americas, and Europe before embarking on a thematic exploration of the “Black Atlantic world” as it has developed over the centuries. Topics of discussion include (but are in no ways limited to) race, gender, and enslavement; Black Atlantic religion; resistance, revolution, and decolonization; Négritude and Créolité; Pan-Africanism and Black socialism; racial capitalism and globalization; and a number of contemporary, transatlantic social justice movements.

The scholarship and artistry of West African, African American, Afro-Latinx, AfroCaribbean, and Afro-European people will be central to our course of study, and students will be introduced to a variety of thinkers who—across space and throughout time—have


shaped the intellectual tradition of the Black Atlantic. Along with primary and secondary historical sources, we will frequently discuss works of theory, literature, music, and visual art. Potential texts include works by W.E.B. Du Bois, Sylvia Wynter, Dionne Brand, Paul Gilroy, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Jennifer L. Morgan, C.L.R. James, Toni Cade Bambara, Frantz Fanon, Édouard Glissant, Tiffany Lethabo King, Maryse Condé, Cedric Robinson, Zora Neale Hurston, and Miriam Jiménez Román.

The Civil War: Start to Finish? (Mellon)

Starting in 1850, this class will cover the period immediately before the outbreak of the war, the war itself and the aftermath of the war over the following decades. In doing so we will examine, the course of the war including the impact it had on westward expansion, Reconstruction, the creation and impact of the lies of the ‘Lost Cause,” the implementation of Jim Crow rule, and the birth of the Dunning School of thought that dominated the historiography of the war and its aftermath for decades. In addition to historians like Annette Gordon-Reed, Eric Foner, David Blight, Joan Waugh, Gary Gallagher, Drew Gilpin Faust and James McPherson, we will hear from people like W.E.B. Du Bois, Frederick Douglass, Mary Church Terrell, Ulysses S. Grant, Mary Chesnut, Jefferson Davis and many other less famous (or infamous) folks who lived during this period. We will also use art, literature, music, photography, newspapers and film to see how the events of the war and its aftermath were depicted, both at the time of the war and in the years that followed. Walt Whitman once wrote that “The real war will never get in the books.” It will be our job to prove Whitman wrong but to do so will require lots and lots of reading and lots of writing and perhaps a trip to some of the places where the war was fought.

The Disenchantment of the World and its Consequences: German and French Social Thought in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century (Ackman)

In the absence of conventional (religious-metaphysical) norms, by what grounds can we secure a non-coercive social consensus? This course provides a survey of major themes and debates in modern German and French social theory over the span of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries focusing on the so-called “foundations-crisis” that seized epistemology, metaphysics, and social critique in the modern period, so as to address the “urgent question” of post-conventional normativity. In other words, we will look at the foundation of social norms after the ‘disenchantment of the world’—i.e. once societal norms and structures are no longer dictated by religion. In the first semester we will begin this study with Friedrich Nietzsche’s anti-foundationalist critique of morality and truth and end with Theodor Adorno and the Frankfurt School’s vehement critique of all of modern capitalist society. The methodology of this course will be devoted chiefly to an immanent theoretical reconstruction of major texts and arguments in this tradition. Major texts for the first semester are by the following authors: Friedrich Nietzsche, Max Weber, Martin Heidegger, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Walter Benjamin, and Hannah Arendt. Throughout the semester, we will compare and juxtapose these theorists with subaltern and postcolonial theorists like Dipesh Chakrabarty, Partha Chatterjee, Stuart Hall, and Gaytari Spivak, who took these theories and added dimensions of race, gender, and empire.


In the second semester, we turn to the same driving question but with the answers from French social theory of the twentieth century, beginning with the sociological writings of Émile Durkheim and ending with a post-Marxist theory of power as explained by Michel Foucault. As students alive to the interdisciplinary character of these movements, we will not confine ourselves to any one mode of analysis but will instead borrow freely from all disciplines as the subject requires, from sociology and philosophy, history and political theory, tracing out the major lines of argument and dispute that have preoccupied some of the greatest theorists in the French intellectual tradition. This semester will be organized into four thematic units, as follows: 1, the French sociological tradition; 2, the challenge of French existentialism; 3, the emergence of structuralism; and 4, the genesis of poststructuralism. Major readings are by the following authors: Émile Durkheim, Claude LéviStrauss, Alexandre Kojève, Jean-Paul Sartre, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Simone de Beauvoir, Frantz Fanon, Louis Althusser, Jacques Derrida, Rolande Barthes, and Michel Foucault.

The Fall of Dynasties: China and Russia in the 19th and 20th Centuries


With the formation of modern nation-states during the 19th century, both China and Russia were amongst the very few countries that held onto their absolute monarchies. This course will examine the centuries leading up to as well as following the demise of the Qing and Romanov Dynasties, respectively. In addition to a close investigation of the geopolitical, economic, industrial, cultural and ideological factors that contributed to the demise of the monarchs of both China and Russia, we will study the new states that formed after the end of dynastic rule. We will thus take some time to dive into communist theory, and study its application onto the states that ultimately transpired in both China and Russia. This investigation inevitably entails a study of national identity, and how the two new states utilized various factors in their curation of a new concept of citizenry. This study will thus include a close examination of race and culture as well as ideology. While our studies of the two states will happen consecutively, there will be time set aside in the spring for a deep comparison of the two.

Viewing and examining art, feature films, music, and literature are central to our political and cultural examination of both China and Russia. Readings will include a number of secondary and primary resources, including memoirs. Be prepared to read carefully and write regularly. Also be prepared to watch a number of feature and documentary films, and to listen to various podcasts.

A Kind of Life: The Shadow and Substance of Black Life Stories


(See Interdisciplinary Studies)


The Middle East in the Twentieth Century (Pesaran)

This course examines the history of the Middle East from the turn of the twentieth century to the present. In 1900 much of the region was under the political control of multiethnic imperial states, the Ottoman Empire and the Iranian Qajar dynasty. The aftermath of World War One resulted in the imposition of European colonial rule and the creation of new borders and a system of nation states. Thirty years later, many of these states were independent. We will explore these tumultuous transitions from empire to colonial rule to the emergence of anti-colonial nationalist revolutions and post-colonial national regimes through the voices and experiences of those who lived through them. We will do so by consulting a variety of primary sources, including writings, art, music, and film produced by the region’s thinkers, artists, and political leaders. We will interpret these sources and place them in context by reading them alongside scholarly texts and other secondary sources. Students should expect regular reading and writing assignments and will also be required to complete end-of-unit assessments, a mid-term research project, and a final paper.

The countries and peoples of the Middle East are connected to global political and social forces and have both shaped and been shaped by them. This course will examine the Middle East as an integral piece of histories of global power relations, decolonization, and struggles for democracy in the twentieth century. Rather than a comprehensive survey, the course will focus on certain Middle Eastern countries in order to highlight and critically examine dominant themes and questions. These include but are not limited to: the late nineteenthcentury Arab cultural renaissance, known as the nahda; constitutional reform movements in the Ottoman empire and Qajar Iran; colonialism; nationalism and nation-building; postcolonial revolutionary movements; gender; Islamic revival; the politics of oil; the Cold War and US intervention; the Arab uprisings; and migration and displacement.

Postwar America: From Rosie the Riveter to the Age of Reagan and Beyond


This course examines the political, economic, social, cultural, and intellectual history of the United States from World War II to the present. Topics covered include political milestones such as Watergate, the shifting constituencies within political parties, and the election of 2000; social developments such as suburbanization, the Civil Rights Movement, the New Left, feminism and women’s rights (including the examination of groups including NOW, Bread and Roses, Radicalesbians, the Combahee River Collective, and the Chicana Movement), the gay rights movements and the AIDS crisis, and the rise of the New Right/ neo-conservatism; economic issues such as the War on Poverty and Reaganomics; cultural and intellectual trends such as the Counterculture, the “me” generation, and other relevant topics through the present day. This course will cover foreign policy issues such as the atomic bomb and the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf War, but it will have more of a focus on domestic events and trends.

The course uses both primary and secondary sources, such as Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974 (Kruse & Zelizer), Major Problems in American History Since


1945 (Zaretsky & Lawrence), Promises to Keep: The United States Since 1945 (Boyer), excerpts from books such as My Own Country (Verghese), Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America (Ehrenreich), and articles such as “Jane Crow and the Law.” In addition, the course includes films and documentaries that relate to this time period, including The Atomic Café, Eyes on the Prize, and excerpts from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s The Vietnam War. There is also a substantial independent research component, and students will complete several research projects during the year.

Premodern East Asia: Cultural, Religious, & Intellectual History


This course will trace the history of ancient and medieval East Asia (the heterogeneous regions now called China, Japan, North and South Korea, Mongolia, Taiwan, Tibet, the Ryukyu Islands, etc.). We will analyze primary sources of many kinds (especially art, literature, and philosophical and religious texts) and explore marginalized or experimental modes of historical thinking rooted in feminism and queer studies, histories of the body, environmental history, performance studies, visual and sound studies, postcolonialism, and the necessary task of unraveling Eurocentrism.

We will focus on cultural, religious, intellectual, and social history, especially the rise of the Daoist and Confucian traditions; the spread and development of Buddhism; early “globalization” along the Silk Road; and visual, literary, performance, and material cultures. Students will be asked to read regularly and think deeply, and will complete a midterm paper and a final paper or project.

Odyssey(s): Epics, Homecomings, and Reverberations Through History


Homer’s Odyssey is at once a soldier’s harrowing journey home from war, a compendium of fantastical adventure tales, a sterling example of traditional oral storytelling, and a national epic that conveys and establishes the values and beliefs of the pre-Classical Greek people. Perhaps even more, though, it is the poem that launched a thousand reimaginings. From James Joyce’s Dublin , to Derek Walcott’s St. Lucia, to Hisham Matar’s Libya, the Odyssey has provided fertile ground for storytellers around the world to create expansive, complex reflections of their own societies.

In this course we will examine the form of epic from its oral beginnings to its contemporary iterations, with a particular focus on how each work functions as a window onto its culture of origin. We will begin, of course, with the Odyssey itself, both considering it in its Greek context and in comparison with other oral traditions (including but not limited to the Malian Sunjata , Bosnian guslar, and sections of the Ramayana). Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad will provide a vibrant feminist response to Homeric patriarchal values. We will then read Derek Walcott’s masterful Omeros, which gestures toward a pan-Caribbean epic. At once beautiful and celebratory, it nevertheless wrestles profoundly with the legacies of the Atlantic slave trade and colonial oppression. Some time will be spent considering more contemporary (Vietnam war to present) coming home from war stories in literature and film.


Finally, a journey through James Joyce’s Ulysses will provide a fitting end to our Odyssean wanderings.

Through primary literature and supplemental scholarship, students will investigate each text and its historical milieu. We will also watch several film and television adaptations, ranging from the Coen brothers to The Simpsons to Kurosawa. There will be semi-regular short written responses, as well as 1-2 page interpretive essays and a mid-sized paper each semester.

Texts will include:

The Odyssey, Homer Sunjata

The Penelopiad , Margaret Atwood

Omeros, Derek Walcott

Selections from The Things They Carried , Tim O’Brien

Ulysses, James Joyce

Texts may include:

The Ramayana

The Return , Hisham Matar

Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi

Various sagas, myths, and short stories

Sex: A Historical and Biomedical Exploration of Human Reproduction (Levin/Schragger)

(See Interdisciplinary Studies)

Still I Rise: Black Activism in the 20th-21st centuries (Johnson)

This course will focus on African-Americans and their activism throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. We will cover a variety of movements where Black activists fought for different forms of justice and equity. Topics will include issues such as education activism and the building of schools to ensure quality education for Black children, environmental racism, reproductive justice, Black socialism, Black writers who use books and other media to expose injustice, and the current-day Black Lives Matter movement. This course will be reading and writing intensive. There will be a course reader, in place of a textbook.


Whose History?: Battles to Control the Narrative (Kapp)

Heated battles over control of the historical narrative are back in the headlines: Can a governor ban schools from teaching the African-American AP course? Should confederate monuments be taken down, moved to a museum, or countered with civil rights monuments? If murals in school buildings depict traumatic history, should they be covered or removed? This is a course in public history, history created and consumed in public spaces (museums, National Parks, city streets), where history is fiercely contested and these debates are front and center, inflammatory, politicized, racialized, emotional. Whose past do we commemorate, and how? Who controls the story, and what does that mean for who and what is and is not included in our retellings? These are among the questions that will drive this course.

Organized as a set of case studies, our topics will include the memory of Hiroshima and the Holocaust, racial slavery depicted in plantations and living history museums, memorials to the Vietnam War and September 11. We will learn a great deal about each event, interrogate why monuments (or exhibitions or reenactments) spark so much controversy, dive into the debates, and perhaps visit at least some of these contested sites. Finally, students will have ample opportunities to create their own public history projects—designing monuments, producing films, or making podcasts—alongside other assignments.

Independent Research in History (The Department) (1x per week)

The Independent Research in History program enables students to explore a historical topic in depth over the course of the school year. Working with a mentor from the department, students will identify the significant historical questions raised by their chosen topic, and pursue them by employing various research techniques and examining a variety of sources and documents. Students will meet one period a week in class, and with their individual mentors throughout the year. Each research project may be the work of up to two students. The expectation is that students will develop their research into a significant formal historical essay, to be presented at the end of the school year in a symposium. Papers may be accompanied by a supplementary presentation of research in another medium. To be considered for Independent Study in History, students need to submit a substantial research proposal to be considered for approval by the department. This proposal should be submitted to the History Department by June 1. Note: Preference will be given to juniors and seniors. The maximum enrollment for this program is 16 students.



All Interdisciplinary classes meet four periods per week unless otherwise noted.

A Kind of Life: The Shadow and Substance of Black Life Stories (Mackall)

won’t you celebrate with me what i have shaped into a kind of life?

–Lucille Clifton

I sell the shadow to support the substance.

–Sojourner Truth

From Phillis Wheatley Peters, Frederick Douglass, and Sojourner Truth to Lucille Clifton, Barack Obama, and Janet Mock, Black people have used the creation and public sharing of personal narratives as source material for art, launch pads for movements of selfdetermination and social change, and rallying cries for political action. In this course, we will study literary and other creative works rooted in the lived experiences of people of African descent from the 18th century to the present. We will consider questions including:

› Whose stories get told?

› Which audiences are served and how?

› Has expanding opportunities to tell and share life stories via social media affected the utility of using the stories of individual lives as a tool for broad social and political change?

Students are expected to read independently and respond to the course materials in class discussions, regular short response essays, collaborative projects, and a substantial research project which might include written research, oral presentation, performance, or other creative expressions.

Course materials may include works by the above as well as David Walker, Harriet Jacobs, W.

E. B. Du Bois, Nella Larsen, Richard Wright, Gwendolyn Brooks, James Baldwin, Malcolm X, Maya Angelou, Alvin Ailey, Audre Lorde, Margo Jefferson, Carrie Mae Weems, Marlon Riggs, Jesmyn Ward, Kiese Laymon, Saidiya Hartman, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Kendrick Lamar Christina Sharpe, Frank Wilderson III and others.

This course is open to 9th–12th grade students and may be taken for Interdisciplinary Studies credit (by anyone) or History credit (by 11th and 12th grade students only).


Film, Money, and Politics (Dobski)

Whether a cinephile or simply a consumer of popular culture, Film, Money, and Politics welcomes you to view motion pictures in an original manner—through the lenses of science, history, and culture, through insight into motion picture production, cinema studies, and media philosophy.

We’ll investigate what happens to society when technologies are first introduced; dive into the prehistory of cinema beginning with cave paintings; meet inventors, scientists, and entrepreneurs whose work led in 1893 to motion pictures and the immediate evolution from scientific experiment to entertainment industry; to the surprising development of the language of cinema and the most revolutionary art form of the twentieth century.

We will meet international filmmakers significant in developing how moving images communicate; study the introduction of both sound and color which upset and encouraged the film industry and the art of film. Observing the profound transformation in cinema across the globe post WWII, we will simultaneously experience the influence of television on the culture and politics of the United States in the early 1950s. Considering the arrival of VHS tape in the 70’s, we’ll encounter the origin of the monumental access to and influence of moving images which we know today. Throughout the year, we’ll discuss the basic elements of cinema: narrative structure, cinematography, sound, mise en scène, and editing.

Films from across time (one hundred thirty years of cinema history) and geography will be screened—films from Senegal, Kenya, Ethiopia, Iran, Afghanistan, India, Japan, Italy, Spain, and the United States. There will be readings from various texts including Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death, Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media , and Rebecca Solnit’s River of Shadows. In class, students will maintain a film journal, and regularly post writing assignments online. In the spring, each student will present a project—visual or written, a research project or an artistic endeavor—reflecting the student’s particular interest in or take on what we explored during the year.

This course is open to 11th and 12th grade students and may be taken for Theater or Interdisciplinary Studies credit

Materiality: The Art and Science of Making Art


This course—through chemistry, art making, and art history—will explore the fundamental question: how is art made? From molecule to paintbrush (and from cuttlefish to celadon) we will trace what goes into the materials that artists have used for thousands of years, and how those materials can be applied towards making art today.

The class will be structured around three broad artistic disciplines: painting, sculpture, and drawing. In each of these units we will take a very hands-on approach to learning the underlying chemistry by manufacturing materials and studying their artistic applications by


actually making art with them. In this way the making of art and the making of materials will fundamentally reinforce the chemistry the students are learning—truly getting to the core of why an interdisciplinary approach is a necessary and vital tool.

This course is open to 9th–12th grade students and may be taken for Science, Art, or Interdisciplinary Studies credit.

The Science Of Music (Burton/Urquiaga) (2x per week)

The Science of Music is designed to be a dynamic exploration of the natural phenomena that drive humanity’s relationship to melody, harmony, and rhythm. Improvisation and counterpoint will be explored as we learn about the synergy of the music-making process. Science and music both utilize math, creative thinking, and analysis in order to generate novel ideas and advance human culture. The course will have a focus on collaborative musicmaking, observing the science of sounds and humans’ varied reactions to sounds. We will also observe the connection between the emotional and the intellectual by studying audio recording, brainwaves, harmony and discord, vocal phonation, and musical texture. The academic year will culminate in a final project for which students will perform a piece of music (which can be their own original composition) and present scientific observations and studies centered around the musical piece.

Readings include: Science and Music by Sir J. Jeans; Rhythm, Music, and the Brain by M. Thaut. Note: Some background in physical science, mathematics, and music theory may help, but are not required.

This course is open to 9th–12th grade students and may be taken for Science, Music, or Interdisciplinary Studies credit.


Sex: A Historical and Biomedical Exploration of Human Reproduction (Levin/Schragger)

This course will intertwine women’s history with the study of reproductive physiology, genetics, and bioethics. The major themes of the course will be taught from alternating historical and biological perspectives.

We will begin with a study of the physiology of pregnancy and an examination of the historical impact of reproductive rights on women’s roles in society and the workplace. This will be followed by a discussion of the biological mechanisms and historical evolution of birth control along with the study of sexually transmitted infections, including an in-depth exploration of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The class will also learn about sexual differentiation as it relates to notions of gender and how intersex and transgender rights have evolved in recent years. Next, students will examine the biological, ethical, and historical aspects of modern reproductive technologies, including the science and legislation around in vitro fertilization, preimplantation genetic testing, surrogacy, and gestational carriers. This class will specifically examine the experiences of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous women with respect to reproductive healthcare both historically and in the present day. We will study current events such as recent limits placed on Medicaid expansion that have led to widening racial disparities in healthcare and dramatically rising rates of cervical cancer. We will also discuss access to reproductive choice in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, and course content will adapt to reflect the ever-changing landscape of reproductive rights in the United States and worldwide.

Readings for the class will include historical sources such as The Modern Period (Friedenfields), Lying-In: A History of Childbirth in America (Wertz and Wertz), and Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (Roberts), as well as the medical school textbook The Reproductive System (Heffner and Schust). Students will also watch documentary films and read articles from sources including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and The New England Journal of Medicine. Longer readings will include the novel Middlesex (Eugenides) and the memoir My Own Country (Verghese). Assignments will include discussions of scientific journal articles, medical case studies, debates on current controversies in medical ethics, and several historical essays and independent research papers.

This course is open to 11th and 12th grade students and may be taken for Science, History, or Interdisciplinary Studies credit.



Chinese Chinese 1

(The Department)

This course is designed for students with no or little previous experience in Chinese language. In the first year, we master the pronunciation system, recognize and write simplified characters (traditional characters can be accommodated upon request), acquire words on a variety of themes, build basic sentence structures, and explore culture.

Chinese 2

(The Department)

In the second year, we transition into a more text-focused curriculum, using the series Integrated Chinese. Students will write and memorize characters, master essential sentence structures, focus on making conversations for functional and daily life situations, as well as continue to study culture.

Chinese 3

(The Department)

The third year of Chinese learning emphasizes mastering long sentences with advanced grammar including particles, complements, conjunctions, and clauses, conversing in more formal situations in more sophisticated language, and deeper explorations of culture.

Chinese 4

(The Department)

The fourth year of Chinese learning emphasizes building short paragraphs by connecting sentences with coherent transitions, expressing thoughts and opinions in accurate and advanced language on everyday life and social topics, as well as understanding culture.


Chinese 5 (The Department)

The fifth year of Chinese learning emphasizes elaborating and presenting, including research and original composition in lengthy, formal and fluent language, comprehending and analyzing topics in politics, economy, history and society, as well as understanding culture.

Chinese 6 (The Department)

The final year of Chinese learning is a full immersion language course. We finish the textbook series Integrated Chinese and read authentic materials such as news articles, poems, fairy tales, and movie scripts. This course emphasizes honing overall abilities in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and proficiency in Chinese targets accuracy, fluency, and the mastery of native speakers’ language usages. Students will be encouraged to apply their knowledge and skills in Chinese with other disciplines and their passions and connect with the local Chinese-speaking community through the language.

Chinese Conversation

(The Department) (2x per week)

This immersion language course is designed for students to take in addition to their regular advanced Chinese class to further improve their listening and speaking skills. This course emphasizes not only gaining spontaneity and fluency in daily life topics such as food, travel and social settings, but also learning about and discussing in depth culture, history, politics, education, current events, and so on. Students will also conduct research and do presentations. Prerequisite(s): Chinese 3

Japanese Japanese 1 (Otsue)

The first year of Japanese focuses on building students’ foundations in the language. While students take in the two phonetic systems, hiragana and katakana , they learn basic grammar including distinctive aspects of the language such as the use of markers. Numerous expressions and patterns that are needed to construct sentences to function in various social situations are also introduced. Additionally, students continuously explore Japanese culture and traditions from ancient periods to the current “pop” trends. Each year, students have face-to-face exposure to various Japanese artists.


Japanese 2 (Otsue)

The second year continues from the first with grammar including distinctive topics such as measurement words for various objects, equipment, animals, machines, etc., but adds emphasis on composition—students begin writing fictional stories. Students continue to learn to function in various social situations while they learn to become a culturally competent speaker of Japanese. Kanji is introduced.

Japanese 3 (Otsue)

The third year continues the emphasis on students developing all four skills of speaking, listening, writing, and reading, and building on what they have learned in the previous years. In the second half of the year, a number of complex sentence patterns and formulaic expressions, including keigo, are introduced. Students are provided with extensive training to enhance their communication skills, putting emphasis on spontaneity and accuracy. Creative writing exercises are embedded in grammar exercises. The listening comprehension materials include real life dialogues. New kanji and kanji vocabulary are introduced on a daily basis.

Japanese 4 (Otsue)

The fourth year builds on the foundation laid in the third, but explores reading more extensively. The reading materials include news articles, stories, cultural episodes, etc., and include a number of new and old kanji. Students continue to build their vocabulary.

Japanese 5 (Otsue)

The fifth year continues with an emphasis on reading, but features texts with more complex syntax and advanced kanji vocabulary in both the formal and the informal styles. Readings cover a wide range of topics including Japanese inventions, social hierarchy, traditional arts and Zen, etc. Students will further their understanding of Japanese society and culture through discussions of history and current social issues through news articles. In addition, students will learn to express their opinions and thoughts in the formal style of writing with a stronger command of the language. In order to facilitate students’ fluency, more sentence patterns, formulaic expressions, idioms, and the use of onomatopoeia are introduced.

Japanese Conversation/Composition (Otsue) (2x per


Students further develop their abilities to express themselves effectively, and also explore the culture via various mediums. Students are given ample time to discuss topics like crosscultural issues, cultural and current events, etc.. On a regular basis, students are asked to conduct research and give oral presentations on a topic of their choice. As they develop their presentation skills, students learn to construct cohesive paragraphs when working on both spoken and written tasks. Prerequisite(s): Japanese 3



Greek 1

(The Department)

This course introduces students to the rudiments of Ancient Greek. Memorization of forms, vocabulary and syntax are stressed in order to facilitate the reading of unadapted Greek texts as quickly as possible. By the year’s end, students will have a strong command of basic syntax.

Intensive Ancient Greek

(The Department)

This is a fast-paced course that introduces the essential morphology and syntax of Ancient Greek. The systematic acquisition of forms and vocabulary complement the learning of simple and complex syntax. By the end of this rather ambitious year students will be able to read Ancient Greek texts in the original.

Greek 2

(The Department)

This course features review of material from Greek 1 and continues to round out the students’ knowledge of Greek forms and syntax. In the second semester, students will refine their skills through translation of selections from a variety of authors, including Herodotus, Plato, and Aristophanes, and will explore the different styles and expressions employed by each. The course is intended to provide students with the skills and confidence to move on to more intensive exploration of specific Greek texts. Prerequisite(s): Greek 1

Greek 3

(The Department)

This course emphasizes facility in reading and translating unadapted Greek authors— studying the literary forms they work in and using textual evidence to gain insight into the ancient world, while also consolidating the grammar and vocabulary acquired in earlier courses. Texts vary across region and genre, depending on the interests of participants, but the Attic dialect of the 5th–4th century BCE predominates. Prerequisite(s): Greek 2 or Intensive Ancient Greek

Greek 4: Homer, The Odyssey

(The Department)

The Odyssey, from one perspective, is a poem about coming home—not only from war, but also from wandering—but it is a story that contains within it many different, overlapping stories. As we seek to develop command of Homeric Greek, we will explore a selection of these stories. Some of these will be from Odysseus’s own crafty story-telling—like the Lotus Eaters, the Sirens, and the island of the witch Circe. Others will belong to other heroic arcs like the coming of age of Telemachus, the loyalty of Penelope, the aftermath of the Iliad, the return of Helen, and Achilles in the Underworld. Still other stories will take us beyond the


world of heroes to explore broader questions about the nature of justice (in peace and war), the roles of women in the poem (human, divine, and in-between; almighty, enslaved, and inbetween), the ends of violence, group identity and exclusion, the place of storytelling, and, of course, what it means to come home. In the spirit of the text itself, we will take each episode as it comes, and let the lessons from one lead us on to the next. And the next. And the next. Prerequisite(s): Greek 3

Greek 5: Herodotus (Henneman)

Tagged as “The Father of History,” Herodotus of Halicarnassus never let facts stand in the way of a good story. Not ever intending to be a historian in the modern sense, Herodotus titled his work ἱστορίαι, translated most accurately as “inquiries.” His exploration of the peoples and cultures that surrounded the Eastern Mediterranean was meant to help the reader understand the incomprehensible victory of the Greeks over the Persians, but it also invites us to wonder about how this writer’s cultural hybridities affected his reports (his bilingual Greek/Carian homeland in Asia Minor was, after all, on the Persian side). In our class, we will follow his lead, gleaning salient details from the various facts and fictions he presents in order to understand his unique worldview. We will read selections of his text that delve into myth and hearsay, speculation and wild guess, all the while hoping to find the relevance that forced their inclusion into the work. We will not hide from the problematic nature of assumptions and inaccuracies being asserted as fact, but we will also speculate on his reasons for doing so. The wide world awaits! Prerequisite(s): Greek 4

Greek 6: Students who have completed Greek 5 may rank their preferences for Greek 6. Enrollments will depend on registration and scheduling.

Greek 6: Medea


Medea, the niece of Circe and granddaughter of Helios, is the most notorious witch from antiquity. From where the Greeks considered the edge of the world, where the sun rises, Medea abandons her family to partake in Jason’s quest for the Golden Fleece. After he betrays her, she enacts a gruesome revenge and leaves him to die a broken man. Greek writers were polarized by Medea, as are modern artists—she simultaneously occupies the positions of cruel murderer and feminist icon. We’ll dig into the mythology surrounding the figure of Medea, looking into her origins and her development as a mythic character. We will make sense of her role as witch and her placement as a terrifying figure who boldly crosses the boundaries of gender and ethnicity. We will attempt to make sense of her position as an outsider who is able to transcend her marginalization and to use her very exclusion as a means of empowerment. In doing so we will read Euripides’ astonishing tragic drama, the Medea , in its entirety and likewise the Fourth Pythian , a brilliant epinician poem by Pindar. We will also read selections from the epic poem Argonautica a tour de force by Apollonius of Rhodes, written in the Hellenistic period of the 3rd century BCE, which although apparently centered on Jason and his Argonauts is dominated by Medea in two of its four books. These three poems present a complex picture of Medea. In our reading we will follow Medea on her


wanderings from the periphery to the center of the Greek world and her brutal and glorious rejection of that world. Medea’s transgressions will help us crack open the roles of women, children, foreigners, and outsiders in ancient Greek society. The Medea story has had a long and varied life and still inspires today, and so we will consider the reception of Medea from ancient Rome down into the modern period. We will let our interests guide us as we plunge into ancient art, modern drama, poetry, prose and cinema. Prerequisite(s): Greek 5

Greek 6: Thucydides’ “Sicilian Expedition” (Siebengartner)

In this elective class we will read selections from books six and seven of Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, his account of the first 20 years of the nearly 30-year (431–404 BCE) military conflict between Athens and Sparta over control of the Greek world. Books six and seven stand alone as a cohesive narrative of a war within this war, the so-called “Sicilian Expedition” of 415–413 BCE, the Athenians’ failed attempt to defeat the Syracusans, key allies of the Spartans. This devastating loss is often seen as a crucial turning point in the broader war, one that led inextricably towards the Athenians’ eventual loss in the broader conflict.

In addition to getting to know Thucydides’ famously challenging and beautiful prose style, familiarizing ourselves with the significant characters and events of the Sicilian Expedition, and setting the events of these books within the broader context of Thucydides’ work, we will also be exploring the ways in which these books have often been seen as heavily influenced by genres like tragedy and epic. For some, the war in Sicily is another Trojan War, the Athenians now both invading Greeks and, ultimately, devastated Trojans. For others, it is a tragic tale, doomed from the start by hubristic imperialist goals, its vivid depiction full of pathos.

Prerequisite(s): Greek 5

Latin Latin 1 (The Department)

This course introduces students to the basic linguistic forms and syntax of the language of the Roman world. Memorization is stressed in order to facilitate the reading of Latin literature as quickly as possible. Readings are selected from unadapted authors. The course also touches on the mythology, history, and social realities on the ground as interpreters see them.

Latin Poetry, Prose, Drama & The Novel (The Department)

Designed as a bridge between the introductory Latin course and specialized electives, this course emphasizes facility in reading and translating Latin authors, studying the literary forms we encounter, and using textual evidence to gain insight into life in the ancient world. Authors include Cicero, Ovid, Plautus, Sallust, Sulpicia, Livy, Catullus, Horace, Caesar, Vergil, and others. The course also intensively reviews Latin grammar and syntax.


The Aeneid: Vergil and The Latin Epic (The Department)

The Aeneid is the Roman epic that charts the mytho-historical founding of the Roman people and state. Books I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII, X and XII of the Aeneid are read in Latin, in part or in whole, and the rest of the text in English. Emphasis is on translation and textual analysis, with daily assignments for translation as well as passages for sight-reading in class. Several short critical papers are involved. Prerequisite(s): Latin Poetry, Prose, Drama & The Novel.

Latin Electives

Students who have completed Vergil’s Aeneid may rank their preferences for electives. Enrollments will depend on registration and scheduling.

Latin: Reading Between the Lines: Plautus’s Captivi


Titus Maccius Plautus (c.254–184 BCE) created some of the oldest Latin works available in their entirety today. Elements of his comedy can be found in theater ranging from Shakespeare to modern day sit-coms, and productions of his plays elicit the same laughter from modern audiences that they received during his own lifetime. And while everyone needs a good laugh every now and then, one can’t help but wonder what reading comedy can tell us about the Romans who produced it. Plautus never wrote scripts from scratch. Instead he used Greek New Comedy as a jumping off point, making not just literary but cultural translation and adaptation his methods. Roman society seemed to embrace a less confrontational theater, so in “Romanizing” source materials Plautus eschewed biting commentary for situational humor. In this class, we will attempt to look past the action and ferret out social/cultural truths from the text. Is Plautus making the people laugh to forget about their problems, or does he use comedy to obscure harder realities about life in Rome? We will spend the bulk of this class reading through Captivi, a romp that plays with mistaken identity, uses outrageous plot and characters, and along the way invites interrogations on the humanity within versus the contingency of social roles. Who one is, seems, and is seen to be are not indistinguishable. Part of our goal will necessarily study how POW’s, family structures, and the institution of slavery were handled in Rome—and how differently from later manifestations of them. Plautus does not flinch in his writing, and his script casts vivid and probing light on these and other aspects of his broader social contexts. We will use this text and its genre to practice reading older linguistic forms, to gain a bit of understanding about the Romans, and to laugh along the way. Prerequisite(s): Vergil


Latin: Descartes: A Reception Case Study


In 1641, into a Europe still reverberating from multiple shockwaves – the rediscovery of ancient Greco-Roman learning, the conflict between Catholicism and Protestantism, the horrors of the assault upon the ‘New World’, and the birth of the New Science – a Latin text of both literary and philosophical creativity was published: Meditationes de Prima Philosophia by Rene Descartes. It scandalized readers, was banned by the church, shook the foundations of medieval scholasticism, and laid a roadmap for modern philosophy. We will read the Meditations ourselves, examining it as a pivotal moment not just in the history of ideas but in reception, the interpretation, use/abuse, and appropriation of ancient texts –Latin speakers receiving Greek philosophy, to be in turn received by the Medieval and Early Modern worlds. Approaches will include: Skepticism (the doubt that knowledge is possible) as received through thinkers such as Cicero and Augustine, Epicureanism (with its atomic materialism) encountered primarily through the poetry of Lucretius, the effects of Platonism, Aristotelianism, and Stoicism. By emphasizing the tradition within which Descartes was working, we’ll dig into his method of doubt, the problem of objectivity and the ideal of certainty, the proof of God, the famous ‘cogito ’ argument, the ‘Cartesian circle’, and mindbody dualism—all attuned to his context, rather than the essentialism that labels him the father of modernity. Prerequisite(s): Vergil

Latin: Ovid’s Metamorphoses (Siebengartner)

In this elective class we will read selections from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, his 15-book universalizing epic, published in 8 BCE, tracing the history of the cosmos from its first beginnings to the reign of Augustus. This mammoth work, which treats us along the way to some 250+ mythological stories of transformation, sits uneasily in the Latin narrative epic tradition, defying the bounds of the genre while also resisting attempts to find clear unity and structure within it. This is part of what has made it so compelling to so many for so long, its reception among later authors and artists of all media perhaps the most impactful we can find in the Latin literary tradition, some arguing, for instance, that its influence on Western art is matched only by that of the Bible.

While approaching this richly varied text to find thematic throughlines and patterns, we will also grapple directly with challenging scenes of cultural difference, including complicated questions of gender and identity, blurred boundaries between nature, humankind, and the divine, and harrowing narratives, some including graphic violence. We will through secondary reading consider the ways in which the Metamorphoses, late in the 20th century, finally emerged from the shadow of Vergil’s Aeneid for a new appraisal, Ovid’s “cleverness” these days imbued with deeper meaning and significance, his metapoetics and puns more than just empty pyrotechnics. Prerequisite(s): Vergil


Additional Courses

Introduction to Linguistics (The Department) (2x per week)

This class will introduce students to the study of human languages. We will ask big questions—what is language, how does language work in the brain, the body, and society, and what, if anything, can we learn about humanity by considering human languages? We will explore topics in linguistics, from grammar (phonetics, morphology, syntax, etc.) to sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, lexicography, second language acquisition, and computational linguistics. Our focus will in part be determined by student interest. This class will be conducted mostly as a workshop and homework will be limited. That said, students will be invited to give presentations on topics that particularly compel them. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is necessary.

French Accelerated French (The Department)

This course is offered to students who have successfully completed at least two years of another Romance language, and whose experience with language learning enables them to proceed at a faster pace in assimilating the usages of French. This course emphasizes aural/ oral proficiency as well as written skills.

French 1 (The Department)

This course is for students who are new at learning a Romance language, and for those who need one more year to solidify their knowledge and usage of the fundamentals. Emphasis is placed on sentence structure and oral expression. Students acquire elementary conversational skills, and vocabulary is learned through texts and review exercises. Web-based interactive exercises and activities help students practice and retain the material. Special attention is given to accurate pronunciation.

French 2 (The Department)

Students entering this level already possess fundamental skills of grammar and expression (as described in French 1). This course is designed to foster continued development in each of the four language skills: speaking, writing, reading, and aural comprehension. A variety of materials are used: a textbook and workbook to reinforce grammar and vocabulary, and short readings to encourage class discussion and serve as samples of written text. Audio materials are used in class to improve listening comprehension skills. Accurate pronunciation is stressed.


French 3

(The Department)

In French 3 the objectives are to reinforce the students’ command of basic grammatical concepts and to stress the idiomatic use of French. We place an emphasis on the assimilation of all major grammatical structures. Readings such as Saint Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince are used to expand vocabulary and provide topics of discussion. We consider questions of content and form. Topics of class discussion serve as the basis for composition writing. At the end of this course, students should be able to write coherently in French, and speak and understand the language with relative ease.

French 4: French Language & Composition

(The Department)

This course is designed to consolidate previously-acquired language skills and enable students to enjoy increasingly complex literature. While emphasis is given to class discussion and writing to improve active command of the language, it is through reading texts of various literary genres that the students will review grammar and start producing critical and creative writing. The authors studied may include, but are not limited to: Sebbar, Bouraoui, Deharme, Camus, Sartre, Lahens, and Miano.

French 4: French Language & Culture

(The Department)

This course exposes the students to a variety of materials, textual as well as audio-visual, and emphasizes communicative skills through conversation, short writing assignments, and hands-on activities. Cultural themes pertaining to life in the French-speaking world are presented through French-language films, short readings, songs, and other appropriate material. After a careful elucidation and practice of the linguistic elements necessary for exploring these themes, students are able to express themselves on the various topics introduced.

Cultural Topics in the French-Speaking World

(The Department)

Designed for students who have completed French 4, this course will focus on cultural and political topics in the contemporary French-speaking world through the study of film, literature, art, music, news sources, and other media. Class discussions, reading, writing, and individual and group projects (including, potentially, plays or musical performances) will develop students’ skills in every area of expression in French while expanding their knowledge of the diverse cultures of Francophone countries in Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, and North America. Special attention will be paid to idiomatic expressions and the way French is used in everyday life. Possible topics to be considered are protest movements, racism, integration and exclusion, language politics, sexual and cultural identities, religion, education, food, and fashion. Prerequisite(s): French 4


Modern and Contemporary Literature in French (The Department)

“L’alphabet est quelque chose de magique, c’est un code, on peut mettre ces lettres ensemble, qui littéralement nous indiquent la fenêtre par laquelle on passe pour entrer dans un monde nouveau.”

“Qu’est-ce que la littérature?” “Qu’est-ce qu’écrire?” “Pour qui écrit-on?” These were some of the questions asked by Jean-Paul Sartre in a celebrated essay of 1947. While Sartre was not the first to ask these questions, such questions took on particular urgency for writers in French in the colonial and post-colonial contexts. From romanticism, realism and surrealism through to Negritude, existentialism, oulipian experimentalism, and the diverse contemporary scene, literature in French has assumed many forms over the last two centuries. The purpose of this course is to dig deeply into a wide variety of modern and contemporary writers in French from Europe, Africa, and the Americas. We will sample many genres— poetry, short stories, novels, plays, and autobiographical writing. In addition to reading, discussion, and oral reports, students will be invited to try their hand at creative writing, essays, and group projects. Possible authors include Nau, Flaubert, Baudelaire, DesbordesValmore, Proust, Césaire, Duras, Condé, Camus, Beauvoir, NDiaye, and Laferrière, among others. We will complement our readings with occasional forays into the world of painting and cinema. Open to students who have successfully completed French 4.

Creative Writing in French

(The Department) (2x per week)

Designed for students who have completed French 4, this course will operate like a writing workshop and thus requires a commitment to writing frequently in French. Students will prepare a piece of writing in French for every class, which they will share with their fellow students. Commenting upon each other’s work in French will be an essential component of the class. Students will get grammatical and literary input from both teacher and peers. They will read and discuss short fiction and poetry and then “try on” the different narrative voices in their own writing. We will take inspiration from recognized contemporary and classical writers in French. Prerequisite(s): French 4

Advanced Readings in French Literature

(The Department)

For students who have completed all other French electives. Works are selected based on students’ interests and literary background.

French Conversation

(The Department) (2x per week)

Offered to juniors and seniors, and to sophomores with permission of the department chair, this class helps students use their acquired vocabulary and expand it to express themselves more fluently. Students build their oral/aural skills through a variety of activities—verbal


games, oral reports and informal conversation on topics such as politics, education, culture, everyday life, or other subjects of interest to the group.


Accelerated Spanish

(The Department)

This course is offered to students who have successfully completed at least two years of another Romance language, and whose experience with language learning enables them to proceed at a faster pace in assimilating the usages of Spanish. This course emphasizes aural/ oral proficiency as well as written skills.

Spanish 1

(The Department)

This course is for students who are new at learning a Romance language, and for those who need one more year to solidify their knowledge and usage of the fundamentals. Emphasis is placed on sentence structure and oral expression. Students acquire elementary conversational skills, and vocabulary is learned through texts and review exercises. Web-based interactive exercises and activities help students practice and retain the material. Special attention is given to accurate pronunciation.

Spanish 2

(The Department)

Continuing the study of grammar and building vocabulary, students read and discuss short stories relevant to Spanish culture and begin to express more sophisticated ideas in writing.

Spanish 3

(The Department)

Grammatical concepts are further reviewed and reinforced at this level. Students are introduced to more literary texts, poetry, and to articles on culture and current events in Latin America and Spain.

Spanish 4: Language & Composition

(The Department)

This course is designed to consolidate previously-acquired language skills and enable students to enjoy increasingly complex literature. While emphasis is given to class discussion and writing to improve active command of the language, it is through reading texts of various literary genres that the students will review grammar and start producing critical and creative writing. The authors studied may include, but are not limited to: Allende, Bolaño, Borges, García Márquez, García Lorca, Martín Gaite, and Neruda.


Spanish 4: Language & Culture (The Department)

This course exposes students to a variety of materials, textual as well as audio-visual, and emphasizes communication skills through conversation, short writing assignments, and hands-on activities. Cultural themes pertaining to life in the Spanish-speaking world are presented through Spanish language films, short readings, songs, and other appropriate materials. After a careful elucidation and practice of the linguistic elements necessary for exploring these themes, students are able to express themselves on the various topics introduced.

Cultural Topics in the Spanish-Speaking World (The Department)

Designed for students who have completed Spanish 4, this course will focus on cultural and political topics in the contemporary Spanish-speaking world through the study of film, literature, art, music, news sources and other media. Class discussions, reading, writing, and individual and group projects (including, potentially, plays or musical performances) will develop students’ skills in every area of expression in Spanish while expanding their knowledge of the diverse cultures of hispanophone countries in Latin America, Europe, and the Caribbean. Special attention will be paid to idiomatic expressions and the way Spanish is used in everyday life. Possible topics to be considered are protest movements, racism, integration and exclusion, language politics, sexual and cultural identities, religion, education, food, and fashion. Prerequisite(s): Spanish 4

20th and 21st Century Literature in Spanish (The Department)

The prose and poetry studied in this course provide a comprehensive view of 20th and 21st century Hispanic letters. Through the works of Unamuno, Martín Gaite, Matute, and García Lorca (Spain), and of Fuentes, Borges, Bolaño, Restrepo and García Márquez (Latin America), and poetry from both regions, the course aims to stimulate the students’ interest in contemporary Hispanic literature and expand their knowledge of language and culture. Short novels by contemporary authors such as Zambra and Quintana introduce students to the present literary trends in a Latin America that lived through dictatorships, economic crises, and drug wars. Excerpts from movies that explore said conflicts are also watched and discussed. Prerequisite(s): Spanish 4


Creative Writing in Spanish

(The Department) (2x per week)

Leer es cubrirse la cara y escribir es mostrarla. (To read is to cover one’s face. And to write is to show it.)

—Alejandro Zambra, Formas de volver a casa

Designed for students who have completed Spanish 4, this course will operate like a writing workshop and thus requires a commitment to writing frequently in Spanish. Students will prepare a piece of writing in Spanish for every class, which they will share with their fellow students. Commenting upon each other’s work in Spanish will be an essential component of the class. Students will get grammatical and literary input from both teacher and peers. They will read and discuss short fiction and poetry and then “try on” the different narrative voices in their own writing. We will take inspiration from recognized contemporary and classical writers in Spanish such as Roberto Bolaño, Valeria Luiselli, Gabriel García Marquez, Cristina Fernandez Cubas, and Luis Sepúlveda, among others. Prerequisite(s): Spanish 4

Advanced Readings in Spanish

(The Department)

For students who have completed all other Spanish electives. Works are selected based on students’ interests and literary background.

Spanish Conversation

(The Department) (2x per week)

For juniors and seniors who have completed at least Spanish 3, this course develops communicative proficiency. Placing special emphasis on practical vocabulary and enhancing interactional use of the language, we try to build each student’s self-confidence and facility in speaking Spanish.



Required Courses

Algebra 1 (8th Grade)

(The Department)

In Algebra 1, students learn to generalize the laws of arithmetic and perform the four operations on variable expressions. They develop their ability to model and solve word problems by assigning variables to unknown quantities and determining the precise relationship between constant and variable terms. Students apply the laws of equality in order to solve a wide variety of equations and proportions. In the process of graphing the solution sets of linear equations on the Cartesian plane, students gain familiarity with the concepts of slope and intercept. They find simultaneous solutions to systems of equations and apply factoring in order to find the roots of quadratic equations. All of these activities promote both arithmetic and algebraic fluency.

Geometry (9th Grade)

(The Department)

In Geometry, we study the world of points, lines, and planes. We cover topics that include the analysis of congruent and similar triangles, the Pythagorean Theorem, angle sum and area formulas, and theorems concerning the relationship between chords, secants, and tangents of a circle. We solve problems and explore geometric situations intuitively; we also investigate geometry as a formal system, where we begin with a small set of postulates and then build up a Euclidean geometric system by deductively proving further results. With this balance, we uncover mathematics the way it often plays out historically, where bursts of intuition drive knowledge forward, and then formalization solidifies known results into a cohesive whole.

Algebra 2

(The Department)

The Cartesian plane provides a setting for examining transformations such as reflection, translation, and scaling. Parallel and perpendicular lines are analyzed using the concept of slope. Functions are examined both algebraically and graphically, as are systems of equations and inequalities. Students also work in a purely algebraic setting, solving equations, manipulating algebraic expressions, working with higher-degree polynomials, expanding binomial powers, and examining rational expressions. The challenge of solving quadratic equations leads to such techniques as factoring, completing the square, the quadratic formula, and the discovery of the complex numbers. Note: This course is open to sophomores and above. Freshmen may take it with the permission of their grade dean and the department chair.


Sequential Electives


(The Department) (Fall semester)

Beginning with trigonometric functions and triangle solutions, we move on to identities, equations, angle formulae, and the practical applications thereof. Last, we cover the graphs of all the trigonometric functions including inverses and period, amplitude, and phase shifts. In conjunction with the spring semester course Analysis, this course is a prerequisite for Calculus. Prerequisite(s): Algebra 2


(The Department) (Spring semester)

This course is a rigorous approach to polynomial and exponential functions; sequences and series; vectors; and some analytic geometry. Emphasis is on the mastery of proofs and creative applications to practical problems. In conjunction with the fall semester course Trigonometry, this course is a prerequisite for Calculus. Prerequisite(s): Trigonometry


(The Department)

They use statistics to decorate their articles. They use statistics as a club in the battle for what they believe intuitively to be correct. That is why [they] often believe that you can prove anything with statistics, an obscene and ludicrous position, but one which is the natural outgrowth of the way that they themselves use statistics. What I wanted to do was teach people instead to use statistics as a sword to cut toward the truth.

In this class, we will design and perform experiments, analyze and visualize data, build models, play and study card games, run simulations, summarize data, and write chunks of code (absolutely no prior programming experience is expected). We’ll see how probability underlies our understanding of science, grapple with uncertainty, and become fledgling data scientists. This class will be partially project-based, including a substantial (individual) endof-the-year project of your choosing. Prerequisite(s): Algebra 2

Advanced Statistics

(The Department)

This course will delve deeper into the world of statistics. Students will refine the techniques learned in the first year of Statistics and will continue to discuss the derivations and ramifications of the formulas used. Students will formally explore the realm of regression, touching upon various types of non-linear regression analysis. Throughout the year, students will be analyzing large data sets, often as parts of independent projects. Other topics can include: hypothesis testing, various types of sampling distributions, Bayes’ theorem, probabilistic analysis, the central limit theorem and confidence intervals. Prerequisite(s): Statistics



(The Department)

This is a rigorous calculus course with heavy emphasis on proofs, derivations, and creative applications. Limits, derivatives, integrals, and their technical applications are covered. This course will include an early use of transcendental functions and will require a working knowledge of trigonometric, exponential, logarithmic, and rational functions.

Prerequisite(s): Trigonometry and Analysis

Further Explorations in Calculus

(The Department)

In this class, we will continue the exploration of calculus with advanced integration techniques, such as integration by parts, partial fractions, and trigonometric substitution. We will study applications such as arc length, perimeter, measurement of surfaces, areas of regions on polar coordinates, and differential equations. We will reexamine integration with a more rigorous treatment than we took in Calculus. In addition, we will take ideas from calculus and use them as stepping stones towards extensions and explorations in more advanced areas. For example, we will delve deeper into the convergence and divergence of sequences and series, leading us to a discussion of the Taylor and Maclaurin Series. We will study how the concept of infinitesimals leads to exciting results in physics and harmonic analysis, as well as offer insight into the local behavior of various curves that we may have taken for granted. We may examine special functions and number sets, such as the Weierstrass function, the Bernoulli numbers, and the Cantor set. We may use the idea of volumes of rotation as a way to begin talking about repeated integration and multivariable calculus. Prerequisite(s): Calculus 1

Additional Electives Advanced Problem Solving (The Department) (2x per week)

This course is designed for students who love solving math problems, and it is especially appropriate for students intending to take part in the school’s math team. We focus on mathematical topics not typically covered in the standard curriculum. Topics such as number theory and modular arithmetic, polynomials, geometric loci, probability, functional equations, algebraic and trigonometric identities, geometric inequalities, divisibility, three dimensional geometry, complex numbers, recursions, infinite series, quadratic forms, and abstract algebra are explored through a series of problems, often selected from various mathematical contests. The problems in Advanced Problem Solving tend to focus on clever tricks and creative thinking beyond what is typically required in a classroom. Through problems, the objective of the course is both to be more familiar with said clever tricks and also to have wider exposure to mathematics beyond our standard curriculum. We meet twice a week, once to work on problems and a second time to go over the problems together as a class. This schedule is occasionally altered when we tackle a math contest as a class.

Prerequisite(s): none


Geometry II: Advanced Euclidean Geometry

(Totten) (One semester only, fall/spring TBD)

Since the Renaissance, and especially in the last two centuries, there has been great development and expansion of the work of Euclid and the ancient Greeks. Our study will begin with the many figures associated with the triangle: orthic and medial triangles, the Euler line, the Fermat and Gergonne points, the Feuerbach circle, excircles and Simson lines. Special topics regarding circles—the power of a point, the radical axis, harmonic division and Apollonian circles—will be covered, and will lead into an introduction of transformational geometry with an emphasis on Steiner’s inversion. Throughout the course there is considerable use of compass and straightedge constructions, which invites our hands to help see what the mind at first may not. Prerequisite(s): Geometry

Graph Theory

(Aroskar) (One semester, fall/spring TBD)

Driving directions on Google Maps, Google search results, your Facebook network, Amazon’s personalized shopping recommendations for you—what do all of these have in common?

GRAPHS! Today graphs are everywhere as they can be powerful tools to frame and solve realworld problems. In 1763, Euler laid the foundations of these techniques when he resolved the famous Seven Bridges of Königsberg problem. In this course, we will learn fundamental concepts of graph theory, such as graphs, graph isomorphisms, paths, cycles, connectivity, planar graphs, and graph colorings. We will explore many interesting graph theory problems, such as, the Traveling Salesman problem, the Four Color Theorem, Ramsey’s Theorem. We will also gain an understanding of how graphs can be used to solve everyday problems as well as problems in other areas of mathematics and the sciences. There will be an emphasis on writing proofs. Prerequisite(s): Geometry

Linear Algebra

(Aroskar) (One semester, fall/spring TBD)

Linear algebra is the common denominator of mathematics, with uses in pure as well as applied branches of mathematics. In itself, it is a profoundly enriching field of study that has also developed into a universal tool. While linear algebra is broadly the study of structurepreserving operators on linear (vector) spaces, these concepts are extremely useful in a variety of disciplines ranging from physics and engineering to economics and computer science. In this introductory course, we will study matrix algebra and learn to solve linear systems in several variables. There will be an emphasis on topics useful in other disciplines and various applications will be discussed. We will also aim to gain a deeper understanding of abstract vector spaces and linear transformations by exploring interesting examples and examining isomorphic structures. Proficiency in concepts and skills from Algebra 2 will greatly benefit students taking this course. Prerequisite(s): Algebra 2


Abstract Algebra

(Khogiani-Nguyen) (One semester, fall/spring TBD)

How are the motions of a Rubik’s cube like addition or multiplication? Are a snowflake and the Star of David the same type of algebraic structure? What, fundamentally, is an algebra? This course will answer these questions and explore their implications. Topics could include cyclic groups, commutative rings, field extensions, and Fermat’s Little Theorem. We will begin with basic set theory and move on through various avenues to explore abstract algebraic structures. The exploration will cast a new light on familiar objects, uniting seemingly disparate notions. We will see that representing simple structures in complex ways helps reveal the underlying essence of our number system. Prerequisite(s): Algebra 2


(Kaplan) (One semester, fall/spring TBD)

Optimization problems occur every day and range from figuring out the absolute latest time to set your alarm clock in order to arrive at class on time to maximizing the return of a stock portfolio. The diverse applications are manifold and include real-world problems in finance, manufacturing, airline scheduling, farming, sports and politics. The aim is to minimize or maximize a value, called a cost function (money, time or effort, for example), in the presence of restrictions. These restrictions come in the form of equality and inequality constraints which relate the sought-after variables to each other and potentially bound their values. In this class, we will explore optimization methods to find the ideal set of unknowns which causes the cost function to reach an extreme. Due to the complexity of the problems we encounter, we will implement iterative numerical methods using computer programs to find the optimal conditions. Prerequisite(s): Algebra II. We will touch on aspects of matrix algebra and calculus and employ Mathematica and Python to execute our algorithms, but no prior experience with programming, linear algebra or calculus is necessary—we will learn all we need to know as we proceed.

Advanced Topics in Mathematics

(Hanisch) (2x per week)

Among the various branches of higher mathematics are analysis and algebra. Too often in advanced coursework, perhaps as a result of the natural tendency towards specialization, sharp yet artificial boundaries are placed between them. Indeed, prominent mathematician John Stilwell lamented, “Algebraists do not discuss the fundamental theorem of algebra because ‘that’s analysis’ and analysts do not discuss Riemann surfaces because ‘that’s topology’..

This course aims to remedy this by providing a unifying study of the deeper aspects of both analysis and algebra. The topics we cover will be influenced by the students, and may include the foundations of our number system, leading into ring and group theory, some set theory and logic, probability theory, and the foundations of calculus. This latter topic should appeal to students who have taken or are currently taking calculus, as well as those who will take calculus in the future. Prerequisite(s): none. Although first year calculus is not strictly a requirement, students should have some familiarity with the fundamental ideas of calculus, or at least be willing to learn a good deal on their own concurrently.


Independent Study in Mathematics

(The Department)

Students work one-on-one with a mentor on a focused research project. Topics are to be determined by interest and inclination of the student. Note: Students must submit a research proposal to the department chair by June 1 to be considered for Independent Study in Mathematics. Proposal guidelines can be picked up in the High School Office or in the Mathematics Department.



All music courses meet two periods per week unless otherwise noted.

Performance Study and Ensembles

The Music Department will offer the following large ensembles based on student needs and interests. It is recommended that students interested in large ensembles choose two. Please consult with your current instrumental teacher if you need to know more about any group. The Music Department is committed to helping students thrive in our ensembles. Students enrolled in any ensemble are required to practice regularly outside of class. The Music Department provides additional support to individual students by offering a Music Resource Room where students can practice with the help of a teacher during the school day, and we offer a wide-ranging list of private lesson options for those students who wish to support the ensemble experience by studying privately.

Large Ensembles

Brass Choir* (horns, trombones, trumpets)


Symphonic Ensemble (string, winds, brass, percussion)


High School Chorus


Jazz Performance


Wind Ensemble (bassoon, clarinet, flute, horns, oboe, saxophone, trumpets)


*requires audition/approval of director

Advanced Percussion Techniques (The Percussion Section)

(The Department)

This class builds skills required to play in a percussion section of the larger Saint Ann’s ensembles. Advanced study of timpani, bass drum, crash cymbals, snare drum, triangle and various other percussion instruments is emphasized. Later in each term, students are invited to play in the percussion section of any number of the larger ensembles like the Brass Choir or Symphonic Ensemble. Percussion ensemble music compliments percussion section work.


Bach Ensemble: The Study of the Vocal and Instrumental Chamber and Solo Music of J.S. Bach and His Contemporaries


We will work on many aspects of Baroque interpretation, performance practice, style, ornamentation, tempi, the relationship and interdependence of words and music, and any other topics that come up in the rehearsal and preparation of repertoire. We will explore Bach and his contemporaries from the bottom up, paying close attention to the power and influence of the bass line in these great musical works. Keyboard players will learn how to interpret and realize a figured bass and will learn how to play the portative organ. Limited to advanced vocalists and instrumentalists. Prerequisite(s): permission of the instructor

Brass Choir

(Pickering) (3x per week)

The Brass Choir is an ensemble for advanced brass players. Musical and technical skills are cultivated through the study and performance of major brass ensemble compositions representing a wide variety of styles. The Brass Choir will perform in multiple settings during the year including assemblies, choral/instrumental concerts, and graduation. Brass Choir will also be combining and collaborating with Symphonic Ensemble and Chorus to perform major orchestral works. Ensemble members are encouraged to take private lessons/seek outside practice assistance. Prerequisite(s): permission of the instructor

Chamber Players

(The Department) (1x per week)

This class is for students interested in the challenges and rewards of playing chamber music. Chamber Players groups are organized based upon enrollment. Duos, trios, quartets, or quintets will be coached once a week and each semester culminates with a performance. Because of the skills required to perform chamber music, students are strongly encouraged to take private lessons/seek outside practice assistance. An audition is required for all students who will be participating in the chamber music program for the first time; students currently participating will be placed at an appropriate level.

Creative Improvisation Ensemble (Elliott)

All musicians who wish to explore the infinite through improvisation. Dedication to an instrument/s required. We will work as a collective. Creating structures for musical improvisation is a kind of architectural practice. Free thinkers and those who like to work outside of “the box” are encouraged. We will explore collaborative creation, performance practice, and philosophies of music.


High School Chorus (Asbury)

High School Chorus is open to anyone who loves to sing. The chorus sings repertoire from a variety of genres and styles, spanning 500 years of Western music. Chorus will also be combining and collaborating with Symphonic Ensemble and Brass Choir to perform major orchestral works. No previous singing experience is required.

Jazz Performance

(Coe, Elliott) (3x per week)

We will explore repertoire from the Jazz genre through the playing of arrangements specifically written for the ensemble. Students will develop improvisational skills through discussions on harmony and scales. The ensemble will have opportunities to perform in our Jazz concerts throughout the year. Students should demonstrate an ongoing engagement with their instruments, willingness to improvise, and good reading ability. Students in this class are encouraged to take private lessons or seek outside practice assistance. All instrumentalists are welcome.

Jazz Techniques

(Coe, Elliott)

A class in jazz improvisation and ensemble playing. Instruction in basic scales and chords provides a vocabulary for improvisation. Students are introduced to the jazz repertoire. All instrumentalists and vocalists are welcome. Note: Interested students should prepare an audition demonstrating a grasp of major and minor scales and chords. Students in this class are encouraged to take private lessons/seek outside practice assistance.

Rock Band (Coe)

Students will play repertoire from the rock genre while exploring the characteristics that make the genre appealing. Improvisation will be utilized and supported with discussions on scales. The students will have opportunities to perform in school concerts. Students should possess proficiency on their instrument and an appreciation for the genre.

Symphonic Ensemble

(The Department) (3x per week, 1 double period and 1 sectional)

Symphonic Ensemble is an ensemble which combines all of the orchestral instruments (strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion) to perform symphonic repertoire in various styles. We will perform in the winter and spring choral/instrumental concerts. High school musicians (and advanced middle school players) will meet for one double period and one sectional. Repertoire will be chosen to the level of the players (some pieces may be just for winds), and will give everyone the unique experience of playing larger scale orchestral music in a community of dedicated musicians.


Vocal Study and Ensembles

(Clark/Eagen) (3x per week, 2x per week plus HS Chorus)

Everyone has a voice, but HOW do you want to use it and WHAT do you want to say? In Vocal Study, we explore the beauty of the unamplified singing voice and cultivate our unique singing sounds to express our deepest feelings. In a small group setting, you will take turns receiving individual voice instruction to learn vocal technique and develop your individual sound; you’ll also work together with your classmates as a small ensemble, akin to a cappella singing or one-on-a-part harmony singing. We will attend to the use of breath, vowel production, diction and use of the body and support as an instrument. Students are encouraged to explore a wide variety of styles, including American Art Song, English, Italian, German, and French Song, American Musical Theatre, and operatic arias. Students are also welcome to bring in songs in other styles that interest them. In the pursuit of developing a strong, well-rounded background as a singer, the class may be taken all four years of high school. This class culminates in mid-year and year-end performances of solo, duo, and small ensemble repertoire. Note: No audition required. Students in Vocal Study and Ensembles also participate in High School Chorus.

Wind Ensemble (Henderson)

The Wind Ensemble combines woodwind and brass instruments. We develop musical and technical skills by studying compositions from a wide variety of styles, composers, and time periods. Students are encouraged to take private lessons/seek outside practice assistance. Prerequisite(s): permission of the instructor

Instrument Instruction

Advanced Guitar (Coe)

This course is designed to enhance performing skills on the guitar through the study of popular, jazz, and classical pieces. Prerequisite(s): Guitar 1 or permission of the instructor

Bassoon (Henderson)

The bassoon is a relatively rare instrument that can play music from the Renaissance to the present. It is most commonly heard in orchestra, chamber music, and new music. In this course students will learn the fundamentals of playing the bassoon with the goal of creating a beautiful sound and building solid technique that can be used in any musical setting.


Double Bass (Langol)

This course is designed for the beginning and intermediate double bass player. The course work focuses on developing performing skills and good double bass playing technique through the study of recognized method books, classical pieces, popular music, and jazz. The students are provided an opportunity to focus on skills and repertoire specific to their instrument through the study of solo and ensemble literature with the goal of playing in an ensemble setting. Tone production, technique development, basic bowing technique, and maximally effective practice strategies are the focus of class assignments. Prior string playing experience is a plus. Prerequisite(s): permission of the instructor

Percussion: The Drum Set (The Department)

This class explores the role of the drummer in popular music. We study and execute techniques that helped define this music, and we listen to recordings of the classic drummers.

The Art of the Oboe Reed

(Scheele) (1x per week)

This course will introduce oboe players to techniques that will allow them to both adjust and make their own reeds. Students will start by learning basic knife and scraping techniques so that they can be self-sufficient when wanting to make changes to their reed. Once students are confident in these techniques, they will learn how to make an oboe reed by studying the different stages of the process (tying, scraping, finishing). Students will be provided with the tools necessary to achieve these goals. By learning how to make their own reeds, the students will have more autonomy over their overall sound, intonation, and comfort while playing the oboe. Prerequisite(s): for oboe players

African Drumming (Vann)

This class builds hand percussive techniques and knowledge of West and Central African rhythms. Advanced study of djembe drum, DunDunba, Sangba, Kenkini, conga and various other percussion instruments is emphasized. We will be working towards each student knowing multiple parts on various percussive instruments. We will explore the link between drumming, dance, and song, as well as, popular music’s connection to traditional rhythms and patterns. We hope to perform for a school event. Students may be asked to play for West African dance classes.


Theory, Composition, and Music Technology

Composition Studio


Open to all music creators who wish to share work, explore new approaches, sharpen technique, and engage in a broad conversation about musical philosophy. We will explore instrumentation, notation, setting words to music, and electronic techniques. For guidance and inspiration we will study the works of creators from a variety of traditions. Our goal will be to produce live performances, recordings, and archival materials for sharing our work. Collaborations welcome. Experience with production and notation software is useful but not required.

Music & Computers 1


This class explores the use of electronic keyboards, computers, and software in making music reflective of various musical idioms. Our focus is on understanding the bigger concepts around recording and making music with current music technology in contemporary musical idioms. Students are introduced to MIDI editing and sequencing using industry standard music production tools. An overview in the music production skills such as sampling audio and drum programming is provided along with opportunities to apply these ideas to individual music making projects. This class is for the student with no experience or a beginning knowledge of using music technology. In addition to advancing skills as music technologists, students will be exposed to fundamentals of music theory and various compositional methods as required. Music making is examined through various styles and through the lens of popular musical idioms spanning Hip Hop, EDM, Rock and Pop. Project work will apply these ideas, as will the musical desires of each student. Previous experience with composition is desirable, though not necessary.

Music & Computers 2 (Langol)

This advanced class continues to explore ideas and solidify skills established through previous music and computers lab experience. Each semester different sets of plug-ins and a variety of sound design techniques are used to facilitate a deeper understanding of sound design and synthesis. An understanding of how sound works is established while discussing basic recording techniques and effects processing. The foundational knowledge and skills needed to understand current music production techniques are covered through the year.

Sampling techniques going back to Musique concrète–spanning the beginnings of hip-hop to J. Dilla up to the present—are studied and applied to musical projects. A number of approaches to using drum machines and drum programming are further developed in an effort to open up creative options. Contemporary musical genres from Hip hop to EDM are pulled apart structurally and technologically in order to see what makes this music work while providing a framework for students to examine their own creative process. All of this


may be looked at through the exposure to the history of electronic music making in all musical idioms up to the present day.

Time for the pursuit of individual personal musical goals is provided in a guided learning environment. Avenues for strengthening harmonic knowledge, keyboarding skills and ear training are provided and encouraged throughout the course. Prerequisite(s): Music & Computers 1 or adequate middle school Music Lab experience, and permission of the instructor

Musician’s Practice (Elliott)

This is a class for any musician—instrumentalist, singer, composer, improviser—who wishes to develop fundamental skills. We will study pitch, rhythm, and all aspects of musical language. What are intervals? How do keys work? What is the significance of the circle of fifths? Why do some instruments have transposed parts? What is arranging and how is it different from composing? Musicians from every tradition use pitch and rhythm to express themselves. In this exploratory musical laboratory students will build their fundamental musicianship through ear training, harmonic exploration, instrumentation, and all manner of useful musical skills. This class is for anyone who wishes to build skills in reading, creating, and making music of all kinds. We will look at notation systems, learn how chords work, and also investigate how musicians past and present have expressed themselves.

Music Scoring for Multimedia (Langol)

This class targets the ideas around electronic music composition specifically for film, dance, puppetry, theater, and animation. Open to students with advanced skills, an interest in performance/composition, and a facility with music making software, this workshop/class allows students with experience in MIDI and sound processing to realize their creative ideas using the myriad tools of the music lab. Software technology enables composers to achieve unprecedented variety and richness in manipulating recorded sound to create original compositions in support of other art forms that include film and dance. Exploring various compositional approaches and various electronic music making methods opens a door to endless musical and sonic possibilities. The development of listening skills and musical analysis are employed in the course work and these become an important part of utilizing compositional methods and style. Prerequisite(s): Music lab experience, facility on an instrument, and permission of the instructor


Songwriter’s Toolbox


This class will give you the tools you need to pen and perform that song you’ve had on a loop in your head for years but never shared with the world. Throughout the year we will concentrate on the art of lyric and melody writing, as well as introduce the students to harmony, rhythm and arranging. You’ll gain many practical tools for your toolbox, including the fundamentals of music notation and the ability to play a few essential chords and chord progressions on piano and guitar. As we listen to and analyze the structure of songs we love, we’ll explore the role of songwriters in history from Blues to Tin Pan Alley to MTV and beyond. Throughout the year, you’ll have informal chances to workshop and share your songs, and at the end of the course, you’ll record your original songs and direct your own live performance or music video. If you are an experienced songwriter you will spend the year deepening your craft; however, no formal musical training or experience is required to take this class. All students who are eager to write, sing, play and perform their own songs and those of their classmates are welcome.

Music Literature

Music History (Elliott)

As we pursue questions about the origins of music, we will consider a wide range of musical languages. We will center on issues surrounding music as an expression of culture, and consider the ways that musical structures reflect cultural foundations. We will also focus on buildings critical listening skills through an exploration of the elements of musical language. This class is recommended for any student who wishes to broaden their experience and knowledge of musical traditions. No particular emphasis is given to any single tradition, whether classical, vernacular, or popular.

Opera (Clark)

Opera,“the extravagant art”, traditionally involves forces larger than any other form of theater, We will engage with opera from the ground up, from the earliest works of Monteverdi through contemporary pieces. Class work involves reading from key opera scholars, as well libretto reading, audio listening, and video watching. (We will also take occasional peeks into the scandalous lives of the great composers and opera stars.) Class participation has traditionally involved some opera field trips, so, “outings TBA.” There has never been a better time to dive into this fascinating art form!

The Science of Music (Burton/Urquiaga)

(See Interdisciplinary Studies)


Women In Music


Kwon) (1x per week)

This class will journey through the contributions of women in music by exploring works of past and living composers and by examining the changing roles and attitudes towards women composers and performers. Part survey course and part performance-oriented, the class will also spend time learning and preparing works for a special evening performance dedicated to showcasing often under-celebrated women in music. Students are welcome to perform their own compositions at the concerts. The class hopes to collaborate with other departments and take field trips to hear rehearsals and performances by female composers around the city.




(The Department)

This course will prepare the students for both the physical and mental aspects of basketball, and is open to all skill levels. Students will learn basketball vocabulary, explore strategies, and raise their overall basketball IQ. Students will have a chance to implement their skills in half and full court games during class time.

Challenge Course

(The Department)

Students are faced with challenges through group activities and will set individual as well as collective goals. Team work, leadership, and trust building are major components of this class. We will explore horizontal and vertical climbs on our climbing wall and learn various climbing and belaying techniques.

Fencing 1

(J. Rivera)

This class, covering the fundamentals of fencing, is open to beginners and those with a limited background in fencing. Students learn basic fencing movements and strategies.

Fencing 2

(J. Rivera)

The class stresses conditioning, competitive bouts, and advanced fencing techniques. Prerequisite(s): at least one year of fencing and permission of the instructor

Floor Hockey

(P. Zerneck)

This is an enjoyable and exciting class for all skill levels. Students improve hand-eye coordination and knowledge of the game through drills and games. Hockey fans and nonhockey fans alike will enjoy the good natured competition offered in this course.

Karate 1


Students learn the fundamental punches, kicks and blocks of traditional karate, combining these techniques in the practice of kata and sparring. Some self defense applications are covered, although the primary emphasis of the course is on karate as a sport and martial art. A gi (karate uniform) is supplied by the school.


Karate 2/3 (Magnes)

In this class we cover material for the color belt ranks, with increased emphasis on free fighting and street defense. Prerequisite(s): a minimum of one year’s training in the Saint Ann’s martial arts program

Parkour Fitness

(Benney, Bolton)

This class will incorporate both the technical aspects and the physical rigor of Parkour to create a challenging and adventurous workout. Perfect for students interested in gymnastics, dance, and athletics, this “boot-camp” style of exercise class will focus on upper body strengthening, cardiovascular endurance, balance, and agility. It will take place in the 10th floor apparatus room and gym, and at various outdoor locations depending upon the weather.

Physioball Fitness

(The Department)

Using large physioballs, this class teaches different exercises designed to increase flexibility, enhance coordination, develop strength and improve cardiovascular fitness. The emphasis is on core (abdominal and back) strengthening and conditioning.

Pilates Conditioning (Lattimer)

The Pilates method of body conditioning is a unique system of stretching and strengthening exercises developed over ninety years ago by Joseph Pilates. It strengthens and tones muscles, improves posture, enhances flexibility and balance, and unites body and mind.

Racquet Games (Stevenson)

Racquet games is a course for all skill levels. The units will include badminton, pickleball (the fastest growing sport in the United States), and table tennis, depending on gym availability. Beginners learn the games by working on fundamental stroke technique; more advanced players polish their skills while improving game strategy. All students participate in exciting singles and doubles matches.

Running (The Department)

A course to help people with little or no running experience; experienced runners are also welcome. Strength training, warm up, cool downs, and stretching exercises are taught, along with techniques to improve form and increase speed. Injury prevention is discussed as well. Weekly running routes change from week to week and vary in distance and intensity.


High School Gym/Park

(P. Zerneck)

If you enjoyed your MS “Gym/Park” class, then this class is for you. A variety of sports and physical activities will be offered. Based on the availability of indoor and outdoor facilities, you will play games like Capture the Flag, Dodgeball, Ultimate Frisbee, soccer, wiffle ball, basketball, and volleyball. Individual fitness activities may be offered in the fitness room as well.

Table Tennis

(Carr, Stevenson)

Game to 11? Let’s rally. Join table tennis to learn how to play or to improve your skills. This full year class will introduce you to the basic strokes, how to add spins, scorekeeping, strategy and more.

Urban Cycling

(Benney, Carr)

Get outside. Ride a bike. See Brooklyn from a new vantage point. This full-year class will emphasize safe cycling and group riding procedures. Students will learn basic bike maintenance in addition to building cardiovascular endurance. Students should already feel comfortable riding a bike. Bikes and helmets will be provided, or students may provide their own equipment. Note: All bikes must have hand brakes.

Weight & Fitness Training


This course introduces the student to the merits of weight and fitness training. Workouts will include free-weight, body weight, and cardiovascular exercises. Other areas to be explored include flexibility (through stretching) and the value of aerobic training.

Workout of the Week (W.O.W.)

(The Department)

This class is a group exercise class which incorporates a variety of workouts. Each class will be unique and will make use of different equipment including, but not limited to, dumbbells, suspension trainers, physioballs, BOSUs, and resistance bands.

Yoga Beginner/Intermediate

(Desince, Scheele, J. Zerneck)

This course introduces the ancient discipline of personal development that balances body, mind, and spirit. Students learn a series of physical postures and proper breathing as well as meditation and other practical methods for relaxation that promote health, alleviate stress, improve skeletal alignment, and increase muscular strength and flexibility. Students may opt to register for this course in future years rather than taking the Intermediate/Advanced yoga class.


Yoga Intermediate/Advanced

Students explore more vigorous and dynamic yoga sequences and breathing techniques. Practice will incorporate conscious breathwork, vinyasa flows, sun salutations and balance postures. Classes are mainly flow-based, but may focus on a specific intention or on a series of asanas (poses) to reach an apex pose and will allow students to release stress while building strength and gaining flexibility. This yoga class is ideal for those who have practiced yoga for long enough to already be familiar with the asanas. Prerequisite(s): one year of Yoga or permission of the instructor

Interscholastic Sports (The Department)

The recreational arts requirement may be fulfilled through full-season participation as a player on a junior varsity or varsity team. Emphasis is placed on developing and fostering athletic standards of excellence through participation and competition. All team sports require a significant commitment to practice and game schedules. Saint Ann’s is a member of the Athletic Conference of Independent Schools (ACIS), and the girls’ teams also belong to the Athletic Association of Independent Schools (AAIS). The fencing team is a member of the Independent School Fencing League (ISFL). Teams include baseball, basketball, fencing, gymnastics, soccer, softball, squash, track, and volleyball.



All courses meet for a full year unless otherwise noted.

Biology Courses Biology

(The Department) (required)

Biology is the scientific extension of the human tendency to feel connected to and curious about all forms of life. It takes us to the wet, wild world inside a cell, and nudges us to take a close look at the stripes of a zebra or to plunge down to the dark regions at the bottom of the sea where albino crabs move with unhurried pace over the soft, cold mud. This course covers vital topics in this field such as cytology, genetics, biochemistry, taxonomy, evolution, botany, and ecology. This is a dense, grand tour of the most definitive aspect of this planet. Prerequisite(s): none

Advanced Biology


This is an intense and rigorous immersion in a comprehensive study of biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, botany, evolution, and anatomy and physiology. Lectures and discussions are supplemented with occasional in-depth labs and articles from journals such as Nature, Science, and Scientific American. The only way to cross the ocean of information, enjoying the fast pace and laboratory work, is to be a bonafide biophile! Note: Students are expected to have a thorough grasp of ninth grade biology topics. The class meets one seminar period each week in addition to regular class time. Prerequisite(s): Biology and Chemistry

Animal Behavior


Do you like animals? Do you want to know how they have evolved to behave the way they do? This course is an introduction to the fields of ethology, the branch of biology concerned with the mechanisms and evolution of behavior in wild animals, and comparative psychology, the study of general behavior patterns across species. Students will investigate how complex behaviors such as sociality, communication, territoriality, aggression, mating, and learning have evolved across many species. We will explore both how and why animals behave the way they do.

Lessons will be presented through a combination of lectures, discussion, labs, and field trips. As a student in this course, you will learn and practice a variety of observational methods and


data analysis techniques both in the field and in the lab. During the second semester,students will work on an independent project exploring a question in animal behavior which will result in a written assignment and/or presentation to the class at the end of the year.

Prerequisite(s): Biology

Evolution and Human Origins


Evolution is a complex and often misunderstood concept. The first part of the class will explore the theories and mechanisms underlying evolution. Starting with the history that laid the groundwork, we will focus on understanding genetic variation and explore other topics including phylogenetics and speciation, supplementing discussions with readings, lab activities and research.

We will then turn our attention to the evolution of Homo sapiens, a topic that has fascinated scientists and anthropologists from Charles Darwin to Mary Leakey. Discussing what we know about the transition from great apes to modern humans, we will explore the following questions: How do humans compare with other primates? What makes Homo sapiens unique? Who were our ancestor species? How have improved genetic techniques changed our understanding of the human story? How have different ideas related to human evolution influenced modern society (e.g. racism and eugenics)? Prerequisite(s): Biology



Santiago Ramón y Cajal, a founding neuroscientist from the turn of the 20th century once said, “As long as our brain is a mystery, the universe, the reflection of the structure of the brain, will also be a mystery.” Cajal was one of the first scientists to discover the cellular structure of neurons and synapses, the fundamental unit of the nervous system. In this course, we will cover the progress that has been made in the last 120 years toward understanding the structure and function of these amazing cells that control and define us. In addition to cellular neurobiology, we will learn about the organization and development of the nervous system as a whole, the nervous systems of other animals, and neuropathologies. Prerequisite(s): Biology


Chemistry Courses


(The Department)

This is a broad, sweeping, fast-paced survey course introducing students to the fundamental principles of chemistry, and to the basic techniques a chemist uses. Topics include stoichiometry, atomic and molecular theory, basic atomic and molecular structure, and gas laws, and may also include thermodynamics, chemical equilibrium, and acid-base chemistry. Students develop facility working with calculators and become intimate with the Periodic Table.

Laboratory work is an integral part of the course, both in illustrating principles presented in lectures and in providing experience conducting qualitative analysis. Note: This course is open to sophomores and above. Freshmen may take it with the permission of their Grade Dean and a science department Chair. Prerequisite(s): none

Advanced Chemistry


Advanced Chemistry is designed to give students the experience of an intensive collegelevel course in which they will hone their ability to think critically about chemical phenomena. We will discover why some chemical reactions happen while others don’t, how quickly reactions happen and how far they will proceed (thermodynamics, kinetics, and equilibrium). We will also revisit, and explore in greater depth, some of the topics from first year Chemistry including stoichiometry, gas laws, and bonding. Additionally, we will discuss applications of chemistry such as electrochemistry, buffer systems and solubility. The rapid pace of the course requires independent learning and preparation on the part of the students and weekly labs add to the time commitment. Advanced Chemistry is for those who seek a deeper under- standing of matter, relish wrestling with equations, and who find chemical reactions exocharmic. Prerequisite(s): Chemistry

Physics Courses Physics

(The Department)

This course provides a systematic introduction to the main principles of classical physics such as motion, forces, fields, electricity, and magnetism. We emphasize the development of conceptual understanding and problem solving abilities using algebra and trigonometry. Familiarity with trigonometry is highly helpful, but not required. The class includes a laboratory component. Note: open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors, or freshmen with permission of Grade Dean and instructor.


Astronomy (Kandel)

This course will provide a rigorous tour of the objects and events that comprise the Universe. We will study the formation of stars and planetary systems, the interaction between galaxies and supermassive black holes, and the cataclysmic physics of the first few moments following the Big Bang. We will dabble in xenoscience, the study of extraterrestrials; we’ll discuss necessary and sufficient conditions for life, and means of detecting—and eventually exploring— exosolar habitats. We will peruse theories of the size, structure, and ultimate fate of the Universe, and discuss multiverse theories that spring from quantum mechanics, inflation theory, and even more exotic philosophical riffs. “Hard” sci-fi (science fiction that relies on plausible science) will be utilized to vivify concepts and catalyze debates. Students will emerge with knowledge of the mind-boggling diversity of the contents of the Universe, as well as familiarity with the underlying laws of physics, and a sense of how science progresses in the face of seemingly intractable problems. For example, we may study the red supergiant, Betelgeuse, tracing its evolution—and eventual explosion and collapse—while noting the methodological breakthroughs that allow us to tell such a bizarre (and true!) story. Prerequisite(s): none

Physics: Mechanics and Relativity


Mechanics and Relativity is a physics course that emphasizes deep problem solving, along with the philosophical and historical dimensions of the subject. Because we focus our efforts on mechanics (though we briefly discuss thermodynamics, electromagnetism, and optics), we can go into far greater depth. Students strive for a sturdy grasp of physical theories, utilizing diverse modes of thinking: qualitative reasoning, pure intuition, rigorous analysis. We consider the big questions: Where is the Earth in relation to the cosmos, how is it moving, and do its local laws generalize to the Universe? There are wonderful stories behind all of these, in which theories rise and fall, and human beings struggle to overthrow the mental constraints of their forebears. We study the astronomers of the Ancient Greeks, the Copernican Revolution, and the beautiful contributions of Galileo, Newton, and Einstein. In all of these realms, we not only tackle daunting problems, but we bring attention to the problem-solving process itself, to gain insight into our own learning processes; and we consider the wider philosophical implications. For example, does the unprecedented accuracy of Newtonian predictions threaten our belief in free will? Does the very concept of Laplace’s demon imply that the future is predetermined? We employ mathematical methods to describe trajectories, orbits, and the strange physics within a spinning spaceship. By the end of the year, we are forced to question many of our deepest assumptions as we tackle the paradoxes of Special Relativity and the implications of the Big Bang model! Prerequisite(s): none


Analytical Physics (Pelzer)

This second-year physics course builds on the material from a first-year Physics course with an emphasis on deeper, more complex problems, and covers new topics such as fluid dynamics, optics, electricity and magnetism, and particle physics. The course focuses on problem solving and mathematical methods. This class will serve as a prerequisite for Electricity and Magnetism. Prerequisite(s): Physics

Electricity and Magnetism (Yaverbaum)

This course is an in-depth, calculus-based, proof-driven study of oscillations, waves, electric fields, magnetic fields, and radiation. Purpose: Derive the speed of information. Prerequisite(s): Analytical Physics. Note: Calculus is recommended as a prerequisite and second-year Calculus is recommended as a corequisite.

Additional Courses

Environmental Science (Javens)

While environmental analysis has only recently gained traction, a truer history shows us that attunement to the land has been among the most important cultural and political forces through time. This ecological sensibility has been lost in modern articulations of the relationship between land and people that emphasize hierarchy and domination. Through interactions between industry, governance, and ideas of progress, violent systems of relation have become visible to varying degrees across landscapes and the people that live on them. To reclaim our future, we must start with the past.

We will explore four main intersecting topics: environmental science (climate change, earthquakes, tsunamis); Environmental Justice (history, resistance, liberation); environmental politics (capitalism, dark money, popular environmentalisms); environmental arts (imagination, solidarity, process). Scientists, artists, philosophers, historians, musicians, authors… Come all! Prerequisite(s): none

Forensic Science (A.

Do you like crime shows or have an interest in criminal investigation? While many of these shows have become popular in recent years, they do contain an element of factual investigative techniques. Forensic science is the application of science that can be applied in criminal cases. Forensic science is used to examine physical evidence that can be used to establish connections between suspects, events and circumstances. The individual characteristics of a crime scene requires forensic science to be a combination of all branches of science. The ultimate goal is to provide students with an overview of this field of science,


with an emphasis on crime scene procedures, blood spatter, fingerprinting, and pathology through lectures, labs, and case studies. Prerequisite(s): none.

Independent Science Research

(The Department) (1x per week)

The Independent Science Research Program grants students the opportunity to design experimental strategies to explore personally perplexing questions of science: What would happen if...? Why is it that...? How does...? Research objectives are as unique and varied as the investigator. Topics are multidisciplinary, ranging from biology and chemistry to the physical fields.

Independent Science Research is a cooperative endeavor between a student or several students and their chosen mentor. Saint Ann’s science teachers, as well as auxiliary research investigators, serve as advisers. Students will be matched with potential mentors based on mutual research interests and expertise. Research work proceeds at a pace stipulated by the project as well as the ambition of the research team. Research groups are expected to meet regularly, i.e. every week. After completing a year of exploration, students summarize their projects in a formal research paper. In the spring, discoveries are made public though a poster session and oral symposium. Note: This course bears one half credit. Prerequisite(s): Students MUST submit a research proposal to the Science Department by June 1 to be considered for approval by the department. This program will be limited to 14 projects. Proposal guidelines are available in the Science Office and High School Office.

Materiality: The Art and Science of Making Art

(K. Fiori/Greenwood)

(See Interdisciplinary Studies)

The Science of Music (Burton/Urquiaga)

(See Interdisciplinary Studies)

Sex: A Historical and Biomedical Exploration of Human Reproduction


(See Interdisciplinary Studies)



Acting for the Camera


Acting is a craft, and just like any artistic discipline, changing the medium often requires one to adjust their approach. We will explore various acting techniques on-camera and explore how our performances change and shift depending on the various elements unique to this medium. We will also dive into script analysis and learn how to break down scenes from films and television shows that are currently on air. Depending on students’ interest, we may also touch on other aspects of film production including lighting, sound, script development and editing.

Art Journal


(Spring Semester)

The Art Journal is a yearly publication celebrating the vigor and creativity of our school’s artistic community. A team of editors and associate editors will meet weekly to collaborate on production of the journal—which will publish work created that year by high school students, faculty, and staff, in any genre or medium. Anyone with a passion for visual art, photography, or book design and layout is welcome. Note: Because the work is heaviest in March and April, students should expect to give several extra hours a week during this period.



In this seminar we will learn all about birds, from behaviors to morphology and from peregrines to house sparrows. We will spend as much time as reasonable outside watching birds (especially in the early fall and late spring)—there’s a lot to see in Brooklyn Bridge Park! When it’s too dark and cold to go out we will learn about bird bodies and habits, about migrations and invasive species. Join me to learn to look and listen anytime, anywhere—your journey on planet earth will never be the same.


Crime and Punishment


This seminar will examine criminal punishment: whether, how, and why we—as a society— punish someone who has broken the law. We will explore these questions through several different lenses:

1. From a philosophical perspective, we will explore what constitutes a morally appropriate punishment and the circumstances under which the state can justifiably deprive someone of their life or liberty. We will compare and contrast different frameworks for incarceration.

2. In terms of the law, we will learn about the criminal legal system—its procedures, frameworks, and challenges. Students will have the opportunity to visit criminal court and speak with public defenders, prosecutors, and judges about the work they do.

3. For personal perspectives, we will hear from people who have been incarcerated and learn about their circumstances and experiences serving time in places like Riker’s Island. We will also talk with other stakeholders in the criminal legal system from corrections and parole to educators and advocates.

4. With regard to government, we will look at the role legislators play and the merits of the criminal justice reform bills currently up for consideration in New York State.

The question of what to do about crime is a practical problem with momentous consequences. This seminar hopes to give students a wide array of perspectives that can help them critically examine the costs and benefits of our approach to crime and punishment.

Experimental Literature


“Grammatical sentence structure sets a false linear construction on the experience of life. Humanity is far more sophisticated than grammar. We can act, react, think, and experience all at once and I’m Keen to find ways of making language replicate that,”–Eimear McBride

In this seminar we will analyze and discuss works of fiction that break from conventional form and syntax as a response to the epistemological issues concerning the inability of language to capture experience itself. We will read books and passages from authors such as James Joyce, Eimear McBride, Toni Morrison, Lucy Ellmann, Samuel Beckett and more. We will discuss the rise of literary modernism as well as its legacy in contemporary fiction. To guide our discussions we will look at critics such as Roland Barthes and his conception of the “writerly text,” Joseph Frank and his theory of “Spatial Form,” Eric Auerbach and his analyses of Modern Fiction, and Gertrude Stein with her idea of a “Continuous Present.” We will try and understand how these authors attempted to break past the natural limitations of the novel form and create works of art that reflect the chaos of life. For their final project, students will create their own prose piece with the purposeful intent of failing fabulously at depicting their own unique way of experiencing life.’


Harlem Renaissance (Holloman) (Spring Semester only)

The Harlem Renaissance was a golden age for African American artists, writers, and musicians. It was a revival of dance, art, fashion, literature, politics, and theater that made Harlem a “mecca” for many. In this seminar, we will explore how the movement gave the artists pride in and control over how the black experience was represented in American culture.

We will explore questions such as:

› What was the impact of the Harlem Renaissance nearly a century later?

› What did the Harlem Renaissance reveal about African American culture in the 1920’s?

› What remnants of the Renaissance remain in Harlem?

› Why did the Renaissance begin and end?

Embracing the backdrop of modern-day Harlem, this seminar will include trips (virtual and in person) to key sights such as the Schomburg Museum, Apollo Theater, Strivers Row, and the Cotton Club to name a few. We will study the works of authors such as Claude McKay, Alain Locke, Wallace Thurman, Langston Hughes; musicians such as Billy Strayhorn, Ella Fitzgerald, and Louis Armstrong. By the end of this seminar, you will have a greater understanding of and appreciation for the lasting impact of the Harlem Renaissance.

High School Literary Magazine

(English Department)

The High School Literary Magazine is created by a board of students and faculty advisers whose goal is to find and publish excellent high school writing. The Board, which includes eighteen to twenty staff members and a few high school editors, meets once a week during a seminar period to discuss submissions and decide which to include. Editors (and staff members who are interested in helping out) also produce the magazine itself, finding student artwork, preparing selections for layout, designing and composing the final publication. Because the work is heaviest in February, March, and April, students should expect to give several extra hours a week during this period.

High School Mentoring


High school mentoring is a program for juniors and seniors interested in working with middle school students. Interested students complete a letter of interest and attend a series of trainings and check-ins throughout the year in order to participate. The mentors then meet regularly in small groups, along with a health teacher, to plan monthly sessions for 8th graders. These sessions occur in the 8th graders’ regular health classes and offer an opportunity for the younger students to hear from a fellow teen who is not so far removed from their own experiences.


During the sessions, mentors cover everything from their memories of middle school to navigating social situations and friendships, and dealing with social media. They provide an ear for the middle schoolers who may have questions and concerns they don’t want to share with a teacher, and they make an effort to engage with the younger students around school. After each session the mentors debrief with a health teacher about the class. Interested students should contact Meli Garber-Browne prior to registering.

Mitteleuropa (and its anxieties) (Flaherty)

Mitteleuropa is a controversial German term for Central Europe, with many connotations. The German lands and empires - standing at the center of the continent, vulnerable to western powers and Russia - have often dreamt of a cultural hegemony and complete safety. But the center cannot hold, and no single tale tells the story. So more than the ominous aspirations behind the name, the seminar will look at the great diversity, the Jewish life at its heart, the musical riches, the modernism and anti-modernism that was Mitteleuropa’s Other. What in fact is the real, multitudinous story of Central Europe.

What will we listen to? Klezmer, Mahler, the sounds of the Balkans, Bartok, the progressive rock of 1960’s Czechoslovakia, the extreme avant garde of Stockhausen, Berlin techno and lots more.

What authors will we encounter? Freud, Robert Musil, Joseph Roth, Thomas Mann, Isaac Bashevis Singer, W.G. Sebald and many others.

What will we look at? Der Blaue Reiter group, Vienna Secession, the German Expressionists, Hannah Hoch, Anselm Kiefer, Joseph Beuys and much more.

No assignments, each class a stand alone multimedia experience. Come take the trip.

Mock Trial (Hill/Oppenheim) (Fall semester)

The Mock Trial Seminar is designed to teach students about the legal trial process and the skills needed to be effective courtroom advocates. The seminar operates on a “learn by doing” principle, in which students actively practice techniques of effective persuasion. The skills of thinking on one’s feet, preparing arguments and analyzing fact patterns are emphasized. The first semester is devoted to learning and perfecting courtroom rules of evidence and procedure in order to prepare the students for the New York State Bar Association Mock Trial Competition against other NYC schools in the spring. Students work on practice cases to gain facility with preparing direct and cross examinations, making objections, introducing evidence, and learning trial procedure. Attendance and engagement are critical to forming a cohesive team for going to trial. Although the seminar is first semester only, extra meeting times during the beginning of the second semester in late January and February will be required as the competition approaches.


Model UN (Anderson)

The United Nations was established in the aftermath of World War II, when the world lay at the nadir of destruction, to prevent future tragedies. Its singular goal (essentially, to save humanity from itself) is so broad as to make the organization laughable in the eyes of many of the world’s more jaded cynics. And yet, in the last 75 years, the organization has been able to boast of a few notable successes. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been a guidepost that has increased worldwide quality of life through application of soft power and economic pressure. The Security Council defused the Cold War. UN Peacekeepers, while known for several tremendous failures, have also ushered in the state of South Sudan and keep a close watch on the simmering conflicts between India and Pakistan; Israel, Syria, and Lebanon; and within Libya. The UN has a track record of doing the most good that it is politically capable of and even its most shocking moments of impotence are only that: the UN has never committed an atrocity.

This seminar will encourage students to engage with many of the UN’s inherent contradictions (how do you enforce international law while respecting state sovereignty) without losing the idealism that made it such an appealing post-war prospect. We will spend much of our time in class representing large and small state actors in lively, parliamentary debate on topical global issues. Some research will be expected of the students in the class in order to best imitate the real challenges facing UN delegates.

Students will also get the opportunity to take on a large role organizing the Saint Ann’s Model UN conference. Our time will be dedicated to planning committees and crises, writing background guides, and organizing non-debate, periphery events (including dances, lunches, fundraisers, and opening and closing ceremonies). By the end of the year you will be able to say that during your time in high school you helped to organize a full-fledged conference for hundreds of middle school attendees!

Poetry Writing Workshop (Skoble)

Poetry is a craft as well as an art. Poems don’t happen, they are made. In this workshop we learn how to use the tools of poets. We take poems apart to see how they work, and we put things together to see if they work. Construction and experimentation, exploration and imitation are the processes we use to help us create poems. The poetry workshop is open to all, including dancers, thespians, musicians, athletes and astrophysicists. We meet one double period each week to share our efforts, to read and discuss, and, of course, to write.


Philosophical Aesthetics (Aronson)

In the Republic, Plato refers to an “ancient enmity between poetry and philosophy.” One might suggest that Plato created this enmity himself when he banned poetry—indeed, all art—from his Republic unless it served the end of Rational Truth, which, of course, was Plato’s end. This course will consider the nature, metaphysical-epistemological status, and power of poetry/art—as well as the concept of beauty. We will investigate Rationalist, Romantic, Modernist, and Post-Modernist movements—and feminist critiques of Western notions of art and beauty. We will read the aesthetic theories of philosophers, poets, novelists, and artists. Our list of possible authors includes: Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Friedrich Schelling, George Santayana, Wordsworth, Keats, Tolstoy, T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Nietzsche, Wallace Stevens, Simone de Beauvoir, A.W. (Anne) Eaton, Mary Devereaux, and Arthur Danto (who, in his essay “The Philosophical Disenfranchisement of Art,” considers the whole of the history of philosophy as an attempt to undermine and minimize art).

Reading Plays (Yassky)

Reading plays is hard. When you read a novel, or a poem, or a philosophical treatise, you’re reading the thing, the piece of art itself, consuming it as it’s meant to be consumed. When you’re reading a play, no such luck. A play on the page is a pale approximation of the thing as it’s meant to be, a gesture at the full product. It’s like reading a recipe instead of eating a meal, or looking at a blueprint instead of living in a finished house. Sometimes, it’s like reading one of those IKEA assembly manuals that’s just pictures: borderline impossible to follow, even with all the pieces spread out on the floor in front of you.

In this class, we’ll grapple with this problem together. We’ll read plays out loud. We’ll watch recordings of plays. We’ll read some classics, and some weird little plays you’ve never heard of. We’ll also talk about theater as a living art form: how it gets written, how it gets produced, and who participates in putting it together. Hopefully, we’ll have some working artists (directors, actors, designers) come in and talk their particular lens on reading plays. If you’re a diehard theater kid and you’ve read a lot of plays: great! If you’re curious about theater but you’ve never read a play before: equally great! Every single one of us will approach the work with the curious spirit and genuine openness of a true beginner, not taking anything for granted and defining our terms together as we go.

Possible plays include: Fefu and Her Friends by Maria Irene Fornes, Top Girls by Caryl Churchill, The America Play by Suzan-Lori Parks, Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play by Anne Washburn, Dance Nation by Claire Barron, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Kristoffer Diaz, The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl, How I Learned to Drive by Paula Vogel, The Myopia by David Greenspan, Isaac’s Eye by Lucas Hnath, The Gospel at Colonus by Lee Breuer, and Fires in the Mirror by Anna Deveare Smith.


Red Stair Radio (Steinert-Evoy)

Generations of audio-makers have described being live on air as feeling like you’re “out on the wire,” or tightrope walking with no net. Talk about pressure! While we won’t be going live on air in this seminar, we will channel the creative energy of radio producers, podcasters, and sound artists since the dawn of recorded sound (roughly 1860). Together we will listen to radio shows and podcasts, as well as learn how to craft our own narratives using audio recording and editing software. We will workshop each other’s work and publish our own podcasts depending on the interests of the group.

Short Story Fiction Workshop (Li)

How is emotion conveyed through a simple narrative? How do we use specificity––of experience, of feeling––to render seemingly common occurrences miraculous and jarring, forcing us to reevaluate how we view our own lives? How do we write strangeness? How do we write wonder? In this seminar, you will generate writing from exercises that ask you to create your own monster and write its origin story, turn the day of your birth into a fairytale, capture an entire life through an ad in a newspaper, or write a step-by-step guide on how to get Robert Pattinson to fall in love with you. Each exercise will be in conversation with the reading assigned for that week.

In this seminar, we will read short stories by Jenny Zhang, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Samanta Schweblin, Sabrina Orah Mark, Alice Sola Kim, Mariana Enriquez, Yiyun Li, and Jenny Offill, among others. By the end of the year, each student will have had the opportunity to workshop one original short story they have generated during the seminar. Everyone’s writing will be read generously and with care.

Student Internship in Technology @ Saint Ann’s (The Department)

This elective seminar will allow students to explore the realm of either Information Technology or Computer Science in an educational environment. The focus of the seminar will be different based on which area you are interested:

1. Information Technology—the primary focus will be on technical support, students will also learn how to manipulate and work with large datasets in database and spreadsheet applications, become familiar with network and wireless protocols and architecture, and work towards eventually being able to perform certain technical support tasks, under the supervision of the Technology Department staff. This will require one to two periods per week, scheduled in periods where the student and their mentor are mutually available.

2. Computer Science—the focus will be on helping design, set up, implement and run the new maker-space located in the computer center. Students will be individually trained on devices and equipment, under the supervision of the Computer Science department.



For more than twenty-five years, student journalists at The Ram have sought answers to interesting questions. What are those weird frescoes on the wall in the library? What was the best movie of last year? Which teacher briefly dated Senator Mitt Romney, back in high school in the sixties? What makes the volleyball team so good? What has the English department done to make its curriculum more inclusive? What’s the deal with that ram sculpture by the red stairs?

Mandatory staff meetings, for all editors and staff writers, will take place once a week during the Monday seminar period. Staff size will be capped at 20. Expect to make a serious time commitment, as all staff writers will write for every issue, about once a month.

Tongues of Angels: Literature of the World’s Religions


The literature of the world’s religions, both foundational documents and mystical writings, are all efforts to put into words what cannot be put into words: the encounter between the human and the divine. Extraordinary passages about how God talks to Abraham, Jesus talks to his followers, Muhammed discourses with Allah, Arjuna learns from Krishna, Buddha achieves enlightenment, Zoroaster is taught by the Ahura Mazda, and so on, all work to portray human/divine interaction - and all also therefore provide windows into the similarities and vast differences between religions. We will read selections, then, from the Hebrew Bible (Judaism), the Christian Bible, the Qu’ran (Islam), the Bhagavad Gita (Hinduism), the Life of Buddha, and the Avesta (Zoroastrianism), at a minimum. We will also explore individual experiences of the divine in selections from the Zohar, Teresa of Avila, Rumi, Mirabai, Dogen, Lao Tzu, Maimonides, and others. The wonders and conflicts of these religions will also open to us the problem of language: the limits of what it can express, and the efforts to break through those limitations. Please note that all reading will be done in class; there will be no homework.

The seminar will be taught by Visiting Scholar Craig Townsend, Episcopal priest, former Saint Ann’s School English teacher, and holder of a Ph.D. in the study of religion.

Ulysses (Liu)

“...his glaucous den making believe to read his usylessly unreadable Blue Book of Eccles..” –James Joyce, Finnegans Wake

Join this class to plunge into the MadWildWordscapes of James Joyce’s infamous masterpiece, Ulysses. Together we will parse through the various themes and styles of this puzzling highmodernist novel while also delving into the lore and mythology of this great tome that many consider to be one of the most difficult works in the English language.

The Ram

Yearbook: Send the Story of Your High School Life to Your Future Self (Venable)

Calling all photographers, artists, designers and bookmakers! Come be a part of a collaborative process that weaves together the images and memories of a year in the life at Saint Ann’s. Bring your artistry and dedication and help make a book that will be cherished by the whole community. Senior editors will learn InDesign, Photoshop, how to produce photo shoots, the basics of book publishing, and practice their leadership skills, while working with staff photographers. Staff photographers will spend the year recording the faces, places, and memories on 35mm film as well as printing in the darkroom. Editors are expected to meet twice a week during the Wednesday and Friday seminar periods. Staff is expected to attend one or both days each week from September thru the end of March.

Prerequisite(s): Two years of photography or portfolio review. Open to Juniors and Seniors.



All classes meet one double period per week unless otherwise noted.

Acting (The


This acting class emphasizes character study, acting technique, and relaxation exercises. Time is devoted to a wide array of imagination exercises, poetry, sense memory, and to improvisation, games and storytelling. We will explore and read plays aloud together in class and ensemble work is encouraged and developed. Scenes and monologues focus on discovering the individual actor’s personal relationship to the role and to the text.

Actors learn how to break down scripts and understand beats and actions. Ibsen, Shaw, Stoppard, Wilson, Brecht, Mamet, Nottage, Genet, Churchill, Williams, Shepard, Howe, Lorca, Kushner, Hall, Wilder, Jacobs-Jenkins, Fornes, Ionesco, Ruhl, Wilde, Shakespeare, Washburn, and many more fascinating friends await you. Experience the joy of playing great roles! With ingenuity, artistry, authenticity, we will imagine, invent and innovate in order to share our work with our community. Come and participate in the extraordinary!

Acting Intensive

(Lamazor) (4x per week)

This class is open to committed and advanced students of acting. We will create an ensemble that works on collaborative playwriting/performance and musical/movement and film projects or full-length plays in addition to scenes, monologues, and poetry. Students may direct their fellow actors in scenes or creative projects on occasion. Imagination, empathy, humor and love will be our guiding forces. In this time period, in which technology is so heavily relied upon as the means of communication and self-expression, we will focus on specific, crucial acting techniques and vocal skills for film and stage—and creating innovative, authentic work for a new theatrical and digital horizon. Playwrights and poets that we explore may include: Tina Howe, Derek Walcott, Suzan Lori-Parks, Eugene Ionesco, Tennessee Williams, August Wilson, Caryl Churchill, Rita Dove, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Walt Whitman, Lynn Nottage, Pablo Neruda, E.E.Cummings, William Shakespeare, Ross Gay, Ann Washburn, Nikki Giovanni, Federico Garcia Lorca, Emily Dickinson, Anna Deavere Smith, and Annie Baker. This class functions as a true and joyful company of actors. Bring your focus, verve, dreams, and goodness to your art.


Actor’s Voice (Osborn) (1x per week)

The wonderful world of dialects, speech, and vocal production awaits you. Funny voices, accents, and more are explored in this class in which the vocal side of acting is stressed. Poetry and contemporary and classical texts are used, and we work on several class projects including improvisation and scene and monologue work. Past years’ material included The Importance of Being Earnest, Riders to the Sea, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Harry Potter, and The Enchanted. We incorporate relaxation techniques, voice building, and breathing to help actors deal with the demands of auditions and performance. This dynamic and practical class is tailored to the specific needs of its students.

African Dance (Mackall)

African Dance is an exciting survey of the techniques and traditions of dances from the African Diaspora with a special emphasis on the dances of West Africa. Classes are accompanied by live drumming. Note: Participation in the High School Dance Concert is an essential element of this class and requires attendance at weekend and after school rehearsals.

Character, Song, and Story (Lamazor/The Music Department)


“Who tells your story?” So, “come hear the music play,” “join us” in exploring/acting in great musicals and in creating authentic new musical theater works. Connecting-the-dots or totally dotty, your life and passions, your comedy and drama can be transformed into a collaborative musical. The class will explore an array of musical theater characters, scenes and songs. And time will also be dedicated to song creation exercises, improvisations, games, character building and storytelling. You and your fellow ensemble members will sort/sift, share, and perform material that will become your own devised, “singular, sensation[al]” musical theater opus!

We will make use of the world around us from the lyrical to the political to the everyday: objects, visual art, poems, dreams, daily life, plays, stories, primary sources, periodicals, people, places, favorite books, world history, memories, and different forms and genres of music and dance/movement. Sondheim, Miranda, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Russell/Willis/ Bray, Porter, Wolfe, Tesori, Larson, Weill, and others will become “a part of your world.” We will find authentic and fun ways to share what we create with our community using technology and our collective ingenuity! Open to all grades and no prior musical experience is necessary. We “have magic to do” in “seasons of love”—and our “corner of the sky” will be a fun, meaningful place—“Children will listen”...


Costume Production (Bevans, Shand)

Come explore costume design and construction as you create personal projects and help build the costumes for our productions. All experience levels are welcome as assignments will offer a range of technical difficulties. In addition to focusing on construction techniques, such as hand and machine sewing, patternmaking, and draping, students will have the chance to explore fashion design and the intersection of art and costume and costume history. Through videos, articles, and podcasts, students will see and hear about the wideranging world of textile crafts—from the history of New York City’s costume shops and the Garment district, to the rich traditions of cloth, construction, and its many makers around the world. Participation on a costume crew for one of the mainstage productions will give each student an opportunity to dig deeper into their construction practice, while working together to help run all aspects of wardrobe, hair and makeup for the show. Welcome to the world of costume at Saint Ann’s! Note: All costume students are required to work on one costume crew for a production which will require time outside of class.

Dance/Choreography 1

(The Department)

The class focuses on developing students’ individual choreographic voices through improvisation and the creation of short movement studies. Class begins with a warm-up that integrates different techniques from ballet to African dance to yoga. Students are exposed to different choreographic approaches through studying video and attending performances live or virtually. In addition, they have the opportunity to work with professional choreographers, learning pieces, and taking direction. Dances created both individually and collaboratively are performed in class throughout the year. Dances developed in association with the instructor are eligible for performance in the student dance concert, for which original costumes may be designed or assembled by students. Both new and experienced dancers are welcome. Note: Participation in the High School Dance Concert is an essential element of this class and requires attendance at weekend and after school rehearsals.

Dance/Choreography 2/3

(The Department)

This class studies dance technique, improvisation, and composition to create original and expressive dance pieces, exploring movement and drama through solo, duet, and group forms. Modern dance technique leads to improvisational work and short studies to explore movement textures and qualities. We work with directing multiple bodies in space, using partnering techniques and weight exchange to convey emotional meaning, and studying formal compositional elements such as symmetry, tension, dynamic use of space, costume, and environments. Diverse dance styles, uses of rhythm, and music from many traditions are investigated, and students have the opportunity to learn pieces and take direction from professional choreographers. Dances developed in association with the instructor are eligible for performance in the student dance concert, for which original costumes may be designed or assembled by students. There is a potential for field trips to notable performances.


Prerequisite(s): Dance 1 or permission of the instructor. Note: Participation in the High School Dance Concert is an essential element of this class and requires attendance at weekend and after school rehearsals.

Dance/Choreography 4

(The Department)

We continue our study of dance technique, improvisation, and composition. Emphasis is placed on the development of the individual artistic voice through complex, expressive dances incorporating solo and group aspects, examination of multimedia techniques, and the use of juxtaposition and collage to expand dramatic possibilities. Each student undertakes a research project supporting the creation of his/her/their own dances. The Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts provides a resource for our study of diverse music and the integration of costuming, language, and props or sets into our dances. Students have the opportunity to learn pieces and take direction from professional choreographers. Dances developed in association with the instructor are eligible for performance in the student dance concert, for which original costumes may be designed or assembled by students. There is a potential for field trips to notable performances. Prerequisite(s): Dance 1, Dance/ Choreography 2/3, and permission of the instructor. Note: Participation in the High School Dance Concert is an essential element of this class and requires attendance at weekend and after school rehearsals.

Film, Money, and Politics


(See Interdisciplinary Studies)

Moving Image 1

(The Department)

This class concentrates on the study of silent filmmaking, focusing on the dynamics of screen space and the language of visual storytelling. Working with 16mm film and equipment, the class emphasizes the basics of film emulsions, lenses, light readings, and editing. Students develop their ideas into well-structured screen narratives and write a treatment for a silent film. Working individually, students storyboard, produce, direct and edit their treatment into a 16mm black & white short film. This course requires constant participation and out-ofclass work. Note: This class is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

Moving Image 2

(The Department)

This workshop is an advanced auteur filmmaking course that covers all aspects of directing, cinematography, screenwriting, editing and sound design. Students write, direct, and shoot one sync-sound color digital short that is entirely their own, unique vision that they will edit and screen at the end of the year. We delve deeply into directing the camera, narrative structure, camera technology, editing and directing actors for the screen. The class is


introduced to inspiring clips and films from classic and contemporary cinema from around the world. Prerequisite(s): Moving Image 1 and permission of the instructor

Moving Image 3 (The Department)

This is a course in advanced 16mm film production and color cinematography. Students shoot 16mm color negative, transfer the images to high-definition digital, then edit with computer software, producing a short final project with a non-synchronous soundtrack, including an original score. Prerequisite(s): Moving Image 1 and 2 and permission of the instructor

Ninth Grade Videography (The Department)

Students will study all aspects of filmmaking and videography including camera direction, directing the actor, lighting, screenwriting, editing, and sound design. In the second semester each student will write, cast, shoot and edit a color short film, on their own or in groups. In this burgeoning age of technological advancement, digital filmmaking has emerged as one of our era’s principal forms of expression, storytelling, and broadcast. The goal of this course is to give students the skills to tell their own stories. Note: This class is open to freshmen only.

Performance Art (Barnett)

In this class, students cultivate an improvisational technique that encourages personal storytelling, spontaneity, and abstract thinking. Students work on individual and collaborative projects. There is a focus on interactive site-specific theater (performances, ‘happenings,’ or installations set outside the traditional stage). Past work has taken place in parks, street corners, storefront windows, in the lobby of school, and the lobby of a hotel. Projects have taken the form of scavenger hunts, dance parties, and games. Given the role of technology in art (and life!) today, this class also offers an opportunity to experiment and explore formats other than live performance. Through trips, screenings—both virtual and inperson—as well as lively discussion, the class learns about the role of performance in history and contemporary culture. This is a course for students with or without previous experience in theater. It is a class for visual artists and dancers interested in working with text, and writers wanting to transform their ideas into physical life. The class also benefits those who feel nervous when speaking in public.

Play Production (Kaluza/Wyron)

Each member of a production staff, from the director to the stagehand, has specific duties and skills. Students in this class learn techniques for running a smooth and professional show, taking on the responsibilities for our theatrical projects and productions. Topics covered are construction, maintenance and set-up of props, reading and taping-out scale ground plans, writing cues, calling light and sound cues, and more. This is a course for advanced


tech students committed to our theater and productions. Students with an interest in stage management, props mastering, as well as light, set, and sound design are encouraged to enroll and to deepen their experience of backstage work; the vital, unseen, component of the theater. Note: All students are required to work on at least one production which will require time outside of class. Prerequisite(s): One year of Technical Theater, or permission of the instructors.


(The Department)

This course explores the elements of playwriting that make it a three-dimensional living art form. Through weekly exercises and assignments, we approach the playscript as a blueprint. The course culminates in a festival of readings of the students’ plays. In addition, students explore the work of contemporary playwrights by analyzing and discussing their texts, ultimately compiling a list of “fellow travelers”—playwrights whose work each student feels drawn to in content and form.

Playwriting Intensive

(The Department)

Playwriting intensive is an investigation into playwriting strategies, movements, and motivations. Plays will be approached from all angles. Students should have experience writing plays, and an eagerness to sharpen their commitment to the craft. In addition to exercises, there will be an emphasis on reading and discussion. From the study of contemporary plays, to theoretical texts, from tragedy to comedy, this intensive workshop encourages students to challenge their preconceptions, and grapple with wide-ranging theatrical concepts. The workshop culminates in a festival of new work that will offer students opportunities to collaborate and experiment with content, form, and presentation. The festival requires a major commitment of time and energy during the final three weeks of school. Prerequisite(s): At least one year of High School Playwriting and permission of the instructors.

Puppetry and Practical Effects for Film & TV

(The Department) (1x per week)

Movie magic is realized in a myriad of ways, often including puppetry and savvy camera tricks. For example, did you know that Grogu (from The Mandalorian) is a puppet? Have you ever laughed along with the Muppets or been in awe of the Harry Potter movies? And what about that scene from Alien?! (If you know, you know.) While CGI effects are always advancing, some of the most infamous film and TV effects were created through old-fashioned practical effects and–puppetry! In this class we will explore the many ways in which puppetry and practical effects function to create fantasy in filmmaking. We’ll begin the year by creating our own Muppet-style puppets and mastering “monitor” technique for professional film and TV work. We will then delve into specific practical effects for film, such as green screen, perspective, puppetry and prop mechanisms, and editing. Taking inspiration from such pioneers of puppetry in film as Lotte Reiniger, Jan Švankmajer, Ray


Harryhausen, and even Jim Henson, we will create our own short puppet films throughout the year using the skills we’ve learned. Students will be involved in building puppets and props, writing scripts, constructing puppet sets and backdrops, lighting, editing, and sound design. Collaborations with the Film, Tech and Music departments will take place throughout the year to imbue our puppet films with the latest techniques and technologies from across departments. Our puppet creations from the year will also be incorporated into our community-wide Puppet Parade. No prerequisite required.

Shakespeare Workshop (Victorson/The Department)

Through movement and vocal exercises, improvisation and ensemble play, the actors in this class will explore the histories, tragedies and comedies of William Shakepeare, as well as contemporary adaptations and interpretations of the Bard’s work (Fat Ham by James, Ijames, Hippolyta and Titania by Liz Duffy Adams). Students will practice the sounds and rhythms of Shakespeare’s words, finding the musicality of his text and expanding their vocal skills and their emotional range as actors. These skills will be directly applied to rehearsing sonnets, scenes and monologues and ultimately performing for an audience in the spring. There is no need for previous acting class experience - all are welcome to come and play. Guest lecturers, directors and actors will also lead several workshops throughout the year.

Student-Directed Plays

(The Department)

We will begin the year by exploring fascinating texts while wearing a director’s hat! Deep discussions, fun and focused on-the-spot directing and acting exercises, creative assignments and prompts using a wide variety of plays, scenes, poems and visual and audio material from film and recorded theater will bring insight and experience as directors, devisers and daring dreamers of dramatic art! You will collaborate with each other, pitch ideas to one another and, often, coach and direct each other. You will become comfortable and confident putting your storytelling ideas into play with empathy, artistry and energy. Readings may include seminal works such as Peter Brooks’ “The Empty Space,” Toby Cole’s “Directors on Directing,” Anne Bogart’s “A Director Prepares,” Suzan-Lori Parks’ “Elements of Style,” Constantin Stanislavski’s “An Actor Prepares,” Maria Irene Fornes’ “Conducting a Life,” Uta Hagen’s “Respect for Acting” and “Hitchcock on Hitchcock.” As we dream and dive deeper, you will pick a one act or short play that inspires you to conceptualize, cast, direct, rehearse, and produce to share with our community in a creative, innovative mode, using technology, ingenuity, and authenticity. At the year’s end, you will have a wide-ranging set of notes and blueprints for many original, future directorial devised pieces, directing projects, and plays that matter to you. We will engage with directing as a process and practice in the past, in the present and in the future. Storytelling as a director of theater and film is not to be underestimated or undervalued, ever. We will reveal why the practice and art of the director is vital/essential, for (and as) humans and artists.


Technical Theater (Kaluza/Wyron)

Technical Theater is both a practical and a theoretical course that serves as an introduction to the behind-the-scenes work that goes into creating theatrical productions. With particular focus on scenery, lighting, audio, and props, students practice creating and experimenting with technical elements as a way to tell stories. This practice ranges from the design process (working out ideas and translating them into something that can be shared with others) to the implementation—with hands-on experience with power tools, lighting gear, sound equipment, and software for programming lighting and sound effects and cue sequences. Students work side-by-side with their teachers, developing basic stage construction skills, building flats and platforms, creating props, and painting. We welcome and encourage students who wish to further develop their technical skills to apply for a position running a production.

Theater Games for Big Kids...or The Actor’s Playground

(Victorson) (1x week)

Part clown, part creative dance, part improv, part theater games—all together in a room/open space/rooftop/gym or street. We will PLAY and play fiercely with hoops and balls and funny hats as we find characters, stories, dances, and songs that engage the energy between and around us. Bring your vulnerability, your willingness, your fear and your feistiness as we seek our fun and our funny as an ensemble. Field trips to local playgrounds, sandboxes, puddles, and climbing trees will be an essential part of this class. No previous theater experience needed!!



Period A




Advanced Biology

Advanced Chemistry

Evolution & Human Origins

Animal Behavior


Non A/B

Electricity and Magnetism

Period B




Analytical Physics

Environmental Science

Forensic Science

Mechanics & Relativity


Organic Chemistry

Sex: A Historical and Biomedical Exploration of Human Reproduction



Period C (English)

The Art of Hell ( Avrich)

The Blur: Between Fact & Fiction (Zhang)

Forms of Friendship (Bodner)

Freedom & Belonging (Rutter)

Russian Literature ( Aronson)

Period C (History)

The Black Atlantic (Wyatt)

Odyssey(s): Epics, Homecomings, and Reverberations Through History (Stayer)

Postwar America (Schragger)

“Still I Rise:” Black Activism in the 20-21st Centuries ( Johnson)

Whose History?: Battles to Control the Narrative (Kapp)

Period D (English)

Contemporary Literarature in Translation (Mooney)

Crimes and Misdemeanors (Smith)

Growing Up Female (Fodaski)

Monsters (Patterson)

Tragicomedy (Khoury)

WASPs and Other Nutmeggers (Murphy)

Period D (History)

The Civil War: Start to Finish? (Mellon)

The Fall of Dynasties: China & Russia in the 19th & 20th Centuries (Kang)

German and French Social Thought in the 19th & 20th Centuries ( Ackman)

The Middle East in the 20th Century (Pesaran)

Premodern East Asia (Higa)

Non C/D:

A Kind of Life (Mackall )

Sex: A Historical and Biomedical Exploration of Human Reproduction (Levin/Schragger)




Humanities Ranking

Helpful Hints:

Each line of section 1 must include an English and History class; one that meets in C period, and one that meets in D.

NO REPEATS (i.e. you may not list the same class twice)

Every class you choose must be a class that you are prepared to take, it is possible that you will receive any course you list.

In section 2 rank all courses listed above in order of overall preference. Don’t worry about what period it meets or which department it is in.

Section 1: Period C Period D 1st Choice 2nd Choice 3rd Choice Section 2:
1 4 2 5 3 6





Saint Ann’s School

129 Pierrepont Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201-2705

T 718-522-1660 | www.saintannsny.org

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