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ANY QUESTIONS? THOMAS JEFFERSON SCHOOL 4100 S. Lindbergh Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63127 Phone: (314) 843-4151 Fax: (314) 843-3527 Email: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. CT

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Program of Studies 2018-2019

INTRODUCTION A recent graduate reflected that her time at TJ produced “an intellectual transformation, a life-changing experience.” She went on to say that she was challenged and succeeded beyond any boundary she had imagined. This transformation doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen without work, but it does happen. How does it happen? As a result of confronting a meaningful, time-tested course of study and engaging in it with peers and teachers who expect one another to work hard and think hard. At TJ, the exchange of ideas becomes a way of life, and ideas are often valued more than answers. A classical liberal-arts approach to education is the basis for the TJ curriculum. Students immerse themselves in the fundamental college-prep areas of English, math, language, science, social studies, and art, choosing electives in certain areas as they get older, but sharing a core educational experience with peers across all grades. Students learn to think deeply and mine for knowledge and ideas, and they learn to demand that from themselves, their classmates, and their teachers. As you read the following pages, imagine the shared intellectual journey you are about to be a part of.



An Overview of the Academic Program Middle-School Program High-School Program Advanced Placement Courses English as a Second Language (ESL)

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Diploma Requirements


Departmental Offerings English Mathematics Classical and Modern Languages Science Social Studies Fine Arts

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Our Mission Thomas Jefferson School gives its students the strongest possible academic background through a classical education. Within a nurturing community, students develop a responsibility for their own learning and a desire to lift up the world with beauty and intellect.

An Overview of the Academic Program At Thomas Jefferson, a classical education means much more than the study of Greek and Latin. Its object of study is “the best that has been thought and said.� Above all, a classical education will push and keep wide open the two doors of higher learning: numbers and words. Therefore, we aim to ground students in the fundamental subject areas of English, math, language, history, science, and art over all six years of the program. Below is the outline of academic courses for a typical TJ student.

Middle-School Program Our newest, youngest students benefit from additional structure and support as they learn the standards of the TJ program. Seventh graders and new eighth graders have an additional, ungraded class during the first period of the day, which includes instruction in organization, goal-setting, time management, and study skills. 7th

English 7 Algebra 1 Latin 1 World Geography Earth and Environmental Science Visual Arts (semester 1) Theatre Fundamentals (semester 2)


English 8 Algebra 2 Latin 2 Ancient World History Introduction to Chemistry Performing Arts (semester 1) Visual Arts (semester 2)

Thomas Jefferson School Program of Studies


High-School Program 9th

English 9: Literature and Composition Geometry and Introduction to Statistics Greek 1: Homeric Modern World History Introduction to Biology Fine-arts elective


English 10: Literature and Composition Advanced Algebra/Trigonometry Greek 2: Attic AP U.S. Government and Politics* AP Physics 1* Fine-arts elective * 10th-grade AP courses are test optional; by spring break, students choose if they will take the AP in May.


AP English Literature and Composition Precalculus Modern-language elective: Accelerated Introductory French or Italian AP elective (See the note that follows on Advanced Placement courses) Fine-arts elective


AP English Language and Composition AP Calculus BC or AP Statistics* Accelerated Intermediate French or Italian AP U.S. History (required for U.S. citizens, elective for others) Fine-arts elective * Students who have completed the AP math requirement in the junior year elect an additional AP course in science, social science, or math. See note on AP courses for details about offerings.

Variations in the curriculum may occur for students who enter in later years or for students who need to be accelerated in math. International students will be placed in appropriate English or social--studies courses in order to help develop their speaking and writing skills.

Advanced Placement Courses Advanced Placement (AP) courses are equivalent to a first--year college course, and each teacher’s syllabus must be approved by the College Board. For each of these courses, the student takes a nationally standardized exam in May. In general, AP is the most challenging level available to a high--school student in any subject. Advantages of successfully completing AP courses and exams are the possibility of earning college credit and/or exemption from first-year requirements in foundational disciplines. A typical TJ student graduates having taken five or six AP classes: two in grade 11 and three or four in grade 12; students accelerated in math take an additional AP class. AP is the only level for English, math, sciences, and social studies courses in grades 11 and 12. Thomas Jefferson School Program of Studies


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The upper-level sciences are Biology, Chemistry, and Physics 2 (or Physics C, depending on enrollees’ math background and interest); every student must take at least one of these three. AP Comparative Government and Politics and AP Economics (offered in alternating years and dependent on enrollment) are also upper-level electives. Only 10th-grade AP courses (Physics 1 and U.S. Government and Politics) are test optional. Students may request to take one AP exam for which they have studied independently (that is, not through a course taught at TJ) each year. To do this, they must inform both their advisor and the Director of Academics by November 1 of that year which exam they plan to take and a study plan. In addition to paying the College Board exam fee, they will also have to pay for the exam proctor.

English as a Second Language (ESL) The ESL program is designed to meet the language needs of new international students who are at a high-basic to advanced level of English. The objective is to acclimate students to the culture and standards of TJ’s English and Social Studies programs, as well as to the expectations of all of their future academic coursework at TJ and beyond. Through the study of literature, history, and culture, utilizing both fiction and nonfiction texts and a variety of media, students work to develop and improve all of their English language skills—speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Additionally, much emphasis is placed on expanding students’ vocabulary and refining their control of advanced English grammar structures. Students are held to very high expectations that model the college-preparatory nature of our curriculum. The Language and Literature courses mirror the reading material and expectations of TJ’s English program, while providing a supportive environment in which language-learning students feel comfortable making mistakes and practicing newly learned English structures and vocabulary. The additional courses—Culture, Change and Tradition and English across Disciplines—provide an environment in which students hone their academic language skills related to the variety of disciplines they will engage in at TJ. These courses also provide a unique learning environment in which academic discussion and debate, individual and collaborative projects, and persuasive writing and speaking are all emphasized. Ultimately, the goal is to push students to a near-native proficiency in English, while also fostering a deep understanding of American culture that will serve them in all of their future academic and personal pursuits.

Diploma Requirements ● ● ● ● ●

English: Four years, culminating in an AP-level English course Mathematics: Four years, unless a student completes the AP level before senior year Science: 3 years of lab science, including at least one at the AP level Social Studies: 3 years, including at least one at the AP level World Languages: Four years: 2 years of Ancient Greek and 2 years of either French or Italian

In addition to academic requirements, students must also participate in the athletics and service-learning programs. ● Athletics: Participation in athletics is required but ungraded. Students elect up to three sports per year at the JV, varsity, or intramural levels. Students may request an exemption from the school program in order to continue with already established athletic pursuits outside the school’s offerings (e.g., dance, swimming, baseball, gymnastics).

Thomas Jefferson School Program of Studies


Service Learning: All students do service outside of the school community and are required to participate in the annual all-school Service Learning Day. The number of required hours of service varies according to when a student entered TJ. If a student starts in the 9th grade or earlier, the requirement is 75 hours; if a student enters in the 10th grade, the requirement is 60 hours; 11th grade, 45 hours; and 12th grade, 30 hours. All service hours must be completed while the student is in grades 9-12.

Departmental Offerings What follows is a complete listing, by department, of all courses offered. They are listed in the sequence in which they are taught.

English The English program at TJ focuses on four basic verbal skills that students will need most, both in college and throughout their lives: perceptive reading, intelligent discussion, memorization of poetry, and clear writing. SEQUENCE OF COURSES ESL

Language and Literature: Introductory, Intermediate, Advanced Levels


English 7


English 8


English 9: Literature and Composition


English 10: Literature and Composition


AP English Literature and Composition


AP English Language and Composition

OVERVIEW OF CURRICULUM READING Reading is the cornerstone of the English program at TJ. We assign daily reading of the great works themselves— books of solid literary merit and depth—not merely excerpts found in Language Arts readers or abridged versions. Students read a substantial number of recognized classics, including two plays by Shakespeare in every course, and they end up well versed in the tropes of novels, plays, poems, and essays. DISCUSSION Discussion forms the backbone of our English classroom experience and provides students the most immediate forum to respond to and analyze what they read. Since classes are small, each student has the opportunity to interact with the texts every day. Teachers guide students in developing mature engagement with both their readings and their peers. While middle schoolers may benefit from more structured discussions—with the teacher leading and providing guidance as they work through the assignment—high-school students navigate their way to Thomas Jefferson School Program of Studies


understanding together, through a conversation requiring only light steering by the instructor. By the end of their career at TJ, students are equipped with the discussion skills necessary for success in college: the ability to listen carefully, to argue incisively, and to respond thoughtfully. MEMORY WORK In every English class, students memorize and recite a large variety of text. Lyric poetry, dramatic verse, and dramatic prose are among the items students commit to memory and perform. The benefits of this labor are undeniable: students in all grades stretch their ability to retain material, and at all turns, their confidence to speak in public soars. Moreover, memorization extends beyond the classroom; the incorporation of some of the greatest poems and soliloquies into the self allows students to carry with them an incalculable wealth of verbal beauty. WRITING TJ students write nearly every day for their English classes. In addition to longer, traditional writing assignments (quizzes, essays, etc.), all students write four days a week through a program called Outside Reading (O.R.). Consistently hailed by graduates as one of the most valuable activities of their TJ experience, O.R. builds the habits of a constant process of writing, feedback, and revision. Outside of their daily homework assignment, students read and summarize (or analyze) a brief section of a longer book assigned at the beginning of the year. Once submitted, their work is scrutinized by their teacher for spelling, grammar, usage, factual accuracy, mechanics, and style, and returned for revisions. Different grade levels focus on different elements of expository prose. Each week, students receive a grade for their efforts and lots of comments on how to improve. Teachers use this practice in composing unified paragraphs to help students craft multi-paragraph responses and, eventually, fully developed essays. The school holds the principle of constant writing so important that students compose O.R. even during their vacations. Constant process of writing and revising

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS English 7 This course develops language and thinking skills through the study of literature and imparts key study skills relevant to all disciplines. The readings are centered on the theme of transformation: characters are faced with new, often difficult situations and must decide how to adapt while staying true to themselves. Since seventh graders are all new to TJ, they are asked to consider how they might grow and change over the next few years. Class discussions are an essential part of English 7; everyone practices engagement through active listening and participation. In reading, the emphasis is on understanding plot, character, and setting. Students learn the techniques and narrative elements that writers use to make their works come alive, and they cite these techniques in discussing the readings. To build students’ understanding of sound and sense in poetry, memory work includes Shakespearean soliloquies and other poems. Students increase their vocabulary by mastering new words from the works we read. Grammar instruction includes learning the parts of speech, punctuation rules, and elements of sentence structures. Frequent writing about reading assignments gives students ample practice constructing sentences, paragraphs, and essays, and Outside Reading (O.R.) assignments require students to draft and revise their summaries on a daily basis. Sample Reading List: Metamorphoses; Tales of the Greek Heroes; The Aeneid; Lavinia; Rilla of Ingleside; The Eagle; The Once and Future King; Henry V; A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Thomas Jefferson School Program of Studies


English 8 English 8 students read novels, short stories, nonfiction, poetry, and plays with an eye on growth, identity, and coming of age—themes crucial for eighth graders. Of special emphasis is drama: we read, discuss, memorize, and act monologues and scenes from plays, and all this work culminates in the performance of a play for the entire school. Through the year, students will meet theater professionals to help guide them in their final performance. In class discussion, students learn how to be attentive critics, both of their own work and the work of others. They’re asked to formulate and express their opinions with clear and concise evidence. Often our discussion will center on character, plot, setting and theme. Writing skills are also a continuous part of instruction. Vocabulary words surface from books the students are reading, and grammar instruction comes both from exercises found in a grammar book and students’ corrections of their Outside Reading summaries. The focus of grammar this year is on reference of pronouns, subordination, independent clauses, and punctuation. While daily writing trains students on writing unified paragraphs, longer assignments—two or three paragraph responses—are also a crucial part of the course. Sample Reading List: To Kill A Mockingbird; Nectar in a Sieve; When The Legends Die; The Whale Rider; The Chosen; A Separate Peace; The Catcher in the Rye; Julius Caesar; The Taming of the Shrew; A Raisin in the Sun; The Importance of Being Earnest; Pygmalion

English 9: Literature and Composition In this course, students study grammar, write clearly and correctly, and engage in literary analysis through class discussion every day. Sentence diagramming and daily Outside Reading entries allow students to learn and internalize standard grammar through mechanical and creative processes, and the works we read this year, ranging from the ancient epic The Odyssey to Oscar Wilde’s decadent The Picture of Dorian Gray, encourage both analytical interpretations and explorations of human nature throughout millennia. Memorization of selections from our reading—speeches from Twelfth Night, Richard III, and Antigone, and from works adjacent to our readings—Margaret Atwood’s “Siren Song” and the Old English lyric Caedmon’s Hymn—deepen students’ appreciation for specific rhythmic techniques and the beauties of language. As students enter high school, they begin the transition from shorter form writing to the longer essay; through gradually-lengthened assignments, written and rewritten, students develop a sense of the shape of academic argument. The English 9 corpus is peopled with heroes, monsters, and villains who take great journeys, rise to the occasion, and, at times, fall short of expectations, and the shared themes in the texts will enable us to make connections despite the centuries and cultures that separate them. Sample Reading List: The Odyssey; Twelfth Night; Richard III; Frankenstein; Antigone; The Picture of Dorian Gray; Northanger Abbey; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Lords and Ladies; Brave New World

English 10: Literature and Composition The aim of this course is to train students to read reflectively, to write persuasively, and to ask and discuss important questions—about words, about right action, about purpose, and about literature and life. It is something of an “introduction to the genres” through classic works. Students will encounter religious texts (Torah, Matthew), examples of the long narrative poem (Dante, Chaucer, Milton), the novel (Dumas, Fitzgerald), the short story (Twain, O’Connor), drama (Shakespeare), and the formal lyric poem (Dickinson, Frost, and Keats, among others). The central issues connecting the reading include (most Thomas Jefferson School Program of Studies


broadly) justice, mercy, love, death, and religious belief. Students wrestle with problems of interpretation, the formation of character, the relationship between writer and writing, and the dynamics of the Western Canon. The various skills of literacy—close textual analysis, imitation of traditional forms, application of usage rules and principles of composition, the posing of useful questions, and the marshalling of persuasive answers—come together in the multi-paragraph essay, assigned as we finish each novel or play. Memory work, which develops students’ appreciation for rhythm and sound devices and focuses their attention on thematically important passages, includes selections from Dante, Chaucer, and Shakespeare. Students examine and internalize the logic of English grammar through the practice of diagramming sentences, learning to put their command of the rules in the service of clear, effective communication. Sample Reading List: Excerpts from The Bible; The Diaries of Adam and Eve; The Inferno; The Merchant of Venice; Othello; A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; To the Lighthouse

English 11: AP English Literature and Composition The syllabus contains challenging works of Western literature. Students learn to identify and interpret such components of imaginative literature as repetition, juxtaposition, connotative language, tone, and irony. In other words, they understand what is said by paying close attention to how it is said. These elements are as much a part of class discussion as is the identification and analysis of character, plot, setting, and theme. Complementing this classroom activity is the memorization and recitation of both lyric poetry and verse from Shakespeare. Students embroider their performance with the prosodical concepts they’ve studied throughout the year, with a special focus on replicating the metrical patterns and variations they discover in the text. Outside Reading moves away from summary and turns to analysis; students answer questions about their reading and incorporate sophisticated punctuation, prosodic elements, and rhetorical figures of speech into their responses. Five- paragraph analytical essays challenge the students to unite paragraphs organically, yoking both the strictures of grammar with the advantages of a crisp, idiomatic style. Taken as a whole, these skills prepare students for the AP test they are required to take in May. Sample Reading List: Invisible Man; Heart of Darkness; Hamlet; Love’s Labor's Lost; Arcadia; The Metamorphosis; The Great Gatsby; As I Lay Dying; A River Runs Through It; Chess Story

English 12: AP English Language and Composition This required Advanced Placement course prepares students in rhetoric, the classical art of persuasion, through Socratic discussion of the readings and through nearly daily writing practice in narrative, argumentative, analytical, and expository discourse. These methods train students to back claims with detailed evidence, to investigate assumptions about the most important matters, and to present their ideas and stories in the most arresting and convincing manner. Our reading list of contemporary and classic authors centers on themes of identity and happiness in three expanding circles of immediacy—home, nation, and religion—and opens up meaningful questions. How do the homes and communities we grow up in shape sense of self? What are our relationships or obligations to one another? How are these different for those who hold power within a community? How do our religious beliefs create both bonds and conflicts within our communities? Outside Reading focuses on using textual evidence and distinguishing between paraphrase and short quotation. Students also produce a research paper, the subject of which is an ongoing cultural debate that impinges upon two of these circles. In it, students Thomas Jefferson School Program of Studies


examine opposing points of view and look for ways that the classical voices we read can bring insight to a modern debate. In the final quarter, in a long-standing school tradition, the students take over the class, helping to choose the readings (different every year but related to the broad themes of the course), organize the seminars, make assignments, lead discussion, and correct the writing projects. Sample Reading List: The American; Democracy in America; Walden; Civil Disobedience; The Essays of E.B. White; What’s Wrong with the World?; The Prince; Macbeth; King Lear; Nickel and Dimed

Language and Literature (ESL): Introductory, Intermediate, Advanced Levels These courses, respectively aimed at meeting the needs of English language learners at high-basic, intermediate, and advanced levels, are designed to prepare new international students for the pace of TJ’s English program. The novels, poems, and plays we read represent a variety of genres and styles, all of which have earned lasting reputations as important works of English literature. Through careful and attentive readings of these works, students will improve their skills in comprehension, critical reading, and literary analysis, as well as increase their knowledge of western civilization and U.S. history and culture. Daily discussion of our readings provides an intensive environment in which students practice speaking and listening at an advanced, academic level. Substantial emphasis is also placed on writing skills, as students produce quarterly essays and daily summaries that require them to write in a concise, articulate manner, to continually exercise and improve their control of English grammar, and to use an ever-expanding vocabulary. Memory work, a traditional component of TJ's English program, is particularly useful to English language learners, providing valuable practice with pronunciation, as well as the rhythms and intonations of spoken English. Grammar studies in these courses review and reinforce correct usage of verb tenses, phrases, and clauses that fulfill a variety of functions, structures for connecting ideas, use of gerunds and infinitives, and other syntactical topics. Ultimately, these courses use literature to inspire students to understand American and western culture more deeply, to contemplate their own place in the universe, and in the process, to achieve a level of English proficiency that prepares them for all of their future English courses at TJ. Sample reading list: To Kill a Mockingbird; Fahrenheit 451; The Martian Chronicles; Nectar in a Sieve; Things Fall Apart; The Hound of the Baskervilles; 1984; Cry, the Beloved Country; True Grit; Much Ado about Nothing

Mathematics Mathematics sits at the heart of liberal arts study. In science, engineering, economics, and other science-heavy fields, students profit from their review of algebra, geometry, statistics, and calculus. And even in fields seemingly distant from mathematics—English, social studies, and world languages—the precision needed is honed by mathematical study. In addition to time-tested methods of assessment, the department as a whole incorporates project-based learning and real-world application of the material, emphasizing creativity and building critical thinking skills. SEQUENCE OF COURSES 7th

Algebra 1

Thomas Jefferson School Program of Studies



Algebra 2


Geometry and Introduction to Statistics


Advanced Algebra and Trigonometry




AP Calculus BC or AP Statistics

Many of the major topics (e.g., logarithms, trigonometry) appear in multiple courses, reinforcing previous lessons and leading to a deeper understanding. Care is taken to ensure that both returning and new students are placed in an appropriate course according to their ability and experience. Instruction in TJ math classes utilizes technology as an aid to understanding, not a substitute for it. The department makes use of graphing calculators, Google Apps for Education, and various online resources such as Khan Academy, Three-Act Math Tasks, and Desmos graphing calculator. From Advanced Algebra and Trigonometry and beyond, all students must own a graphing calculator (TI-84 preferred).

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS Algebra 1 Algebra 1 provides a formal development of the algebraic skills and concepts necessary for students to succeed in future courses. The topics covered include equations, inequalities, absolute value, rational numbers, exponents, polynomials, factoring, graphs, and linear equations. Occasionally we may touch upon both rational and radical expressions and equations by the end of the course. As Algebra 1 is the first math course students will have at this school, there is a greater focus on fundamental skills to reach students at a variety of levels. Arithmetic skills are honed as students learn to apply algebraic concepts in a wide range of problem-solving situations that grow in complexity. Students are taught independence and creativity as they encounter challenging new concepts contextualized in real-world scenarios.

Algebra 2 After reviewing the culminating concepts of Algebra 1—multiplying, dividing, and subtracting variables of the first degree—Algebra 2 students focus on variables of higher powers (quadratics), conic sections, and logarithms. If time permits, we study sequences and series, probability, and elementary trigonometry. Students are permitted, and even encouraged, to make use of scientific calculators.

Geometry and Introduction to Statistics The initial and major part of this course will introduce students to the postulates, definitions, and implications of Euclidean geometry. The partnership of algebra with geometry is an essential approach throughout higher math and is fundamental to future study. During our focus on geometry, the importance of spatial reasoning and the application of logical chains of thought will be emphasized. In the fourth quarter, our focus will turn to statistics. In a very direct way, this area of mathematics exists not just as symbols and curves on a blackboard but as a language useful for describing and understanding a wide Thomas Jefferson School Program of Studies


range of everyday experiences. Throughout, real-world examples and the practical application of computing technology—from graphing calculators to software applications—will be highlighted.

Advanced Algebra and Trigonometry This course bridges past material from Algebra 2 with a future study of Precalculus. Students study linear, quadratic, rational and irrational, logarithmic, and higher degree functions. They also explore conics (circles, ellipses, hyperbolas), as well as sequences and series. Trigonometry is sprinkled throughout the year allowing students to apply this mathematical skill to AP Physics 1, a class sophomores take concurrently. While many of the students have encountered these concepts before, the primary focus is to solidify their knowledge of a topic through the use of real-world applications. Students are introduced to the graphing calculator and how this tool can be utilized to find regression equations, analyze graphs and equations, and complete data analysis.

Precalculus This course builds on the specific knowledge and terminology learned in earlier math courses, in order to establish a solid framework for future study in college-level courses. Students are able to examine with breadth, depth, and pace all major topics including: the solution of polynomials, the identification of trigonometric relationships, and the application of the rules of probability. Throughout the course, the importance of quantitative reasoning skills will be emphasized and the practical application of computing technology, from graphing calculators to software applications, will be highlighted. Assessments for this class are not exclusively seated exams; during the third quarter, students are asked to present a mathematical exploration of their own design.

AP Calculus BC This course explores material typical of a college-level course in Calculus. The major areas covered are differential calculus, integral calculus, and polynomial expansion and approximation. The topics are completed by the beginning of the fourth quarter, leaving time to review for the AP exam. All students take the AP exam in May. Students have daily homework, assessments, and a final project (to be determined by the class at the end of the year). The long-term goal of this course is to simultaneously prepare students for the AP exam and to give them a strong preparation for their college mathematics courses, all while reflecting on their math career to date.

AP Statistics This course presents a systematic development of the concepts, principles, and tools of statistics with an emphasis on inquiry and critical- thinking. From the characterization of data, to the development of predictions using regression, to the application of tools such as confidence intervals and hypothesis tests for decision-making, this course will build on the foundational framework of the TJ math curriculum to broaden students mathematical horizons. While the theoretical basis of statistics is discussed; the important role of real-world application underlies most assignments and assessments. All students take the AP exam in May. Students are also charged with sharing a statistical exploration of a topic of personal interest in the form of a written paper and presentation.

Thomas Jefferson School Program of Studies


Classical and Modern Languages While students at many schools are offered language courses, TJ students receive language instruction. Beginning with Latin in the seventh- and eighth-grades, continuing with ancient Greek in ninth and tenth, and concluding with either French or Italian during their junior and senior years, TJ graduates end up with an encompassing view of how language itself works. From the highly inflected languages of the classical world to the prepositional heavy modern languages, students at TJ grasp the ways meaning has been constructed in western languages. As students move through the grade levels, they are called upon to confront and use language in a variety of ways. Across disciplines, a great deal of their learning is mediated through language, including English and world languages. In addition, as much as students are learning language and learning through language, they are also learning about language.


Latin 1


Latin 2


Greek 1: Homeric


Greek 2: Attic


Accelerated Introductory French or Italian


Accelerated Intermediate French or Italian

In a broad sense, language study develops the mind and fosters intellectual discipline. It challenges the workings of memory and teaches recognition of patterns and relationships. In a narrower sense, it builds vocabulary, along with knowledge of the structures and mechanics of grammar. Language study values and emphasizes form and correctness, upon which content and communication are then built. It also provides a true point of entry into culture. Why start with classical languages? Thomas Jefferson himself said, “To read the Latin and Greek authors in their original is a sublime luxury . . . . I thank on my knees him who directed my early education for having in my possession this rich source of delight; and I would not exchange it for anything which I could then have acquired, & have not since acquired” (Letter to Dr. Joseph Priestly, January 27, 1800). Jefferson’s “delight” remains, but knowledge of classical languages is, for us, more than a luxury: it is an academic cornerstone. The study of Latin and Ancient Greek is truly foundational to the study of Romance languages and is also indispensable to mastering the English language. Further, study of classical languages enables meaningful access to Greco-Roman culture, source of significant intellectual, spiritual, and artistic currents and achievements. Students are able to draw on this background in their other classes as they encounter scientific and mathematical concepts and nomenclature, principles of design and engineering, literature, writing and rhetoric, mythology, history and politics, philosophy and ethics, and performing and visual arts. As they move on to the study of a Romance language, these connections are extended and deepened. Thomas Jefferson School Program of Studies


GOALS Since world language work is substantially linked to what students do and learn in all other disciplines, they have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and abilities ways that benefit them broadly. This includes building: ● knowledge of how and why languages and cultures relate to each other ● understanding of the connection between language, identity, and culture ● ability to read closely and critically ● ability to speak and write with precision, accuracy, and style ● capacity to appreciate and function effectively within intercultural contexts ● readiness for more advanced work at the college level

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS Latin 1 The study of Latin provides middle schoolers with a strong foundation from which to pursue all other disciplines, such as English, History, Italian, French, and yes, even Math. The goals of this first-year course, as outlined by the Oxford Latin Course are to develop reading skills in the target language through an inductive approach; to acquire an understanding and appreciation of Latin literature; to gain knowledge of Roman culture and history through readings in both Latin and English; to observe the influence of Latin on the English language; and to see English in relation to a language of very different structure. Grammar and vocabulary study also requires memorization, strategies for which are taught and reinforced in class. Latin 1 covers Part I of the Oxford Latin Course (present active indicative, imperative, present infinitive, and the first three declensions) and may begin Part II, depending on student readiness.

Latin 2 Latin 2 students build upon their knowledge of the Latin language. Although constant review of all grammatical concepts occur daily, the overall goal of this class is to master all forms of Latin nouns and verbs and to become proficient in reading, understanding, and translating Latin. As we become increasingly comfortable with all aspects of the Latin language, we move on to translation of prolonged continuous passages of Latin text from authors such as Cicero, Virgil, and Ovid. Latin 2 reviews material covered in Part , covers Part II of the Oxford Latin Course (the remaining indicative tenses, active and passive voices, 4th and 5th declensions) and may begin Part III (subjunctive), depending on student readiness.

Greek 1: Homeric Greek 1 provides students a morphological and syntactical foundation of ancient Greek. Homer’s Iliad is the bridge for our study. The first half of the year focuses on memorization both of noun cases and verb conjugations; translation dominates the second half. Along the way, students will learn the rules of dactylic hexameter, the meter Homer employed for both of his epics. In addition to scanning lines, students will memorize and recite the initial part of the poem. Nestled into our work is the National Greek Exam, a test administered by the American Classical League: we take the test in late February. As their skills increase, students will look at multiple translations to see decisions made by “professional” translators. By year’s end, the class will be adept at translating about ten lines an hour and ready for the challenges of Herodotus and the Attic authors they’ll encounter in Greek 2. Thomas Jefferson School Program of Studies


Greek 2: Attic With a year of Homer’s poetry behind them, the students now dive into Attic Greek prose. They'll begin their study by using Greek: An Intensive Course, created by professors Hardy Hanson and Gerald M. Quinn. This textbook will reinforce many of the morphology the students learned in Greek 1 and add syntactical constructions required to read sophisticated Greek prose. Sometime around mid-year, they'll put aside this book and apply their skills towards a Platonic dialogue (over the years TJ students have read the Ion, the Meno, and parts of the Republic). By the end of the year, successful students will have the skills in place to continue reading Greek authors for both pleasure and life-long illumination.

Accelerated Introductory French This beginning course takes a scaffolded, balanced-skills approach to building proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Students learn the structures and systems of the French language: grammar, syntax, vocabulary, pronunciation, and spelling. From the outset, the course emphasizes language in context and is conducted in French. Students also begin to learn about francophone culture in various parts of the world, including our immediate area, which has deep historical connection to France. The course is built on a multi-media language program, D’accord! Level 1. In addition to introducing grammatical structures and vocabulary, D’accord includes dramatic and authentic videos, literary and cultural texts, and embedded online tools that provide reinforcement through practice and assessment of skill levels. The French 1 program is enhanced by expanded work during a weekly lab session, special projects, and at least one field trip.

Accelerated Intermediate French Building on the previous year’s foundation, French 2 addresses more advanced grammatical structures— including new tenses, moods, and sentence patterns—that enable students to communicate more accurately and authentically in the target language. A consistent emphasis on language in context and an exclusive use of French in the classroom help students build confidence as they use these new structures in their speaking and writing. The D’accord! Level 2 program plays a central role in daily practice and assessment: its audio and video selections are invaluable resources for improving listening skills. In the second half of the year, students are introduced to French literature by explicating, memorizing, and reciting a classic French-language poem. Later, they read two short novels, including Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince. Near the end of the year, students explore the legacy of French colonialism in and around Missouri and apply their language skills to a research project and/or field trip that involves the translation of primary source documents.

Accelerated Introductory Italian This course provides a general introduction to the Italian language contextualized in Italian culture and heritage. Using the course textbook, Sentieri: attraverso l’Italia contemporanea, students are introduced to every Italian verb tense and some of the non-indicative moods as well as pronunciation and basic syntax. Emphasis throughout the course is on the development of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. By the end of the course, students are be able to understand and provide accurate responses to both written and spoken Italian. Assessments include regular quizzes as well as periodic projects such as inclass presentations, skits, posters, and brochures. In addition to using the textbook, students watch a number of Italian films, such as Mine vaganti and La vita è bella while examining their cultural and Thomas Jefferson School Program of Studies


historic relevance in addition to their use of language. The course is conducted primarily in Italian, though English is sometimes used for clarification or explanation.

Accelerated Intermediate Italian This is a course in Intermediate to Advanced Italian. The goal is to develop proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing the Italian language as well as to learn about Italian history and culture. We review and expand upon verb tenses, noun and adjectival constructions, and vocabulary learned in Italian 1 and add to them more advanced constructions including hypothetical statements and indirect discourse, all while examining authentic content in a variety of formats. Class is conducted in Italian, and students are expected to avoid speaking English. While the course textbook, Immagina: L’italiano senza confini is used throughout the year, the fourth quarter is dedicated to reading an Italian work of literary merit in its entirety. Emphasis in Italian 2 is on practical use of the language, both in the context of real-world scenarios and in discussions of topics that arise in students’ daily lives.

Science The goal of the science department at Thomas Jefferson School is to familiarize students with different branches of science, strengthen critical thinking skills, and foster intellectual curiosity. All courses focus on the development of theories and postulates through the scientific method. In addition to this objective, the upper-level courses prepare students for both the AP exams and future college level science study. All courses include hands on demonstrations and laboratory exercises. Small class sizes allow for maximum student contact with instructor, peers, and both conceptual and physical materials. SEQUENCE OF COURSES 7th

Earth and Environmental Science


Introduction to Chemistry


Introduction to Biology


AP Physics 1 (AP test optional)


AP elective: Biology, Chemistry, or Physics 2


additional AP elective for students accelerated in math

Within the department, the intertwined nature of the three major branches of science is highlighted as students work with across the disciplines—in history, English, or math—to tackle real-world problems. This cross curricular emphasis teaches students that concise and organized expression of thought is necessary through all academic disciplines. The lab portion allows students to practice transforming detailed material into an applicable and flexible worldview through investigational and inquiry based labs. Students will gain experience with current tools and methods of scientific research. Thomas Jefferson School Program of Studies


Technology within the classroom and lab is used to aid rather than guide learning for both students and the instructor. Technology, such as Vernier LabQuests and Google Apps for Education, is used consistently across the curriculum to encourage collaboration and develop skills that build throughout a student's career. Students complete the science program with the tools necessary to explore their natural curiosity in college and in life. The department also takes advantage of local resources, including visits from local scientific experts and field trips, such as Physics Day at Six Flags and a tour of the Washington University genetics lab.

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS Earth and Environmental Science This course is an introduction to the TJ science curriculum. The goal is to learn an overview of scientific processes by looking first at the Earth, then at the Earth’s place in the universe by studying space science. In addition to learning the facts and concepts, students learn about the scientific method, perform and develop experiments, and determine what we still have yet to discover about our planet and our understanding of the universe. In addition, because this is the first science course students will encounter, study skills and scientific literacy are a focus throughout the year. Finally, students learn to write a lab report through in-class labs and demonstrations, applying standards which are consistent throughout the science curriculum.

Introduction to Chemistry This class covers some of the fundamental concepts of chemistry including chemical reactions, stoichiometry, acids-bases, kinetics, and properties of solids, liquids, and gases. Students learn how to take measurements and complete appropriate calculations (a scientific calculator is required). Investigative labs take place in class at the end of each chapter, allowing students to discover concepts from a different point of view. The main focus is to see how chemistry applies to the world and to their own personal lives. As the opportunity arises, the class will take advantage of local resources and have guest speakers or go on field trips related to chemistry. Students will also complete a short scientific research paper on a chemistry topic of interest.

Introduction to Biology This course is designed to give students an introduction to the field of biology, including its use of general scientific methodology and its interactions with society. The course begins with cell biology, illustrating concepts and principles of basic structures and function, genetics, ecology, and evolution. The second half of the course moves on to the diversity of living organisms, morphology, limited reproductive cycles, and phylogeny, culminating with the fetal pig dissection. It will be rigorous enough to prepare students for the AP Biology elective while remaining applicable to all students by focusing on topics of general interest and importance. While the course will focus on building a foundation of knowledge about biology and its applications through the use of the textbook and primary scientific sources, students will also participate in investigations of their own to become proficient in the reasoning and techniques used by actual biologists. As with any science course, quantitative methods will be reviewed and utilized.

Thomas Jefferson School Program of Studies


AP Physics 1 This course presents the principles used to accurately describe a range of physical phenomena including translational and rotational motion, the application of force, and the conservation of energy. The dual goals of the course are: (1) to learn the specific knowledge, terminology, and techniques needed to establish a solid framework for future study in the physical sciences and (2) to prepare those taking the AP Exam in May. Both in class and in lab, students are provided with opportunities to form connections and gain enduring understandings of the foundational principles of physical reasoning. In addition, this algebra-based course emphasizes the importance of developing an intuition for both the physics and the mathematics involved while seeking opportunities to incorporate accessible explanations of modern technologies.

AP Biology The range and depth of material covered in AP Biology is meant to simulate a first-year college survey in biology, culminating in the AP Biology exam. The AP curriculum provides a useful structure for the synthesis of themes across the field of biology, as well as the possibility of applicable college credit. The course will explore the players and processes at all levels of biology, including biochemistry, cells, genetics, plant and animal physiology, ecology, evolutionary biology, and the diversity of organisms on Earth, organized into units in line with the College Board’s Four Big Ideas for AP Biology. Required investigative labs meet for 90 minutes every week and experiments culminate in a formal lab report or poster presentation. The labs are a combination of inquiry-based and skill development bench work which develops skills in communication, teamwork, and critical thinking. Throughout the year, students will gain facility with the process of compiling, translating, and summarizing peer-reviewed scientific research, writing a college-level research paper, and making a professional presentation to colleagues.

AP Chemistry The class covers many of the same topics as a first-year college chemistry course. The course spends less time on recalling facts and more on application of the concept. Topics include atomic structure, chemical reactions, equilibrium, gases, solutions, thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, and electrochemistry. As required by the College Board, inquiry-based labs take place for every week and a lab report is expected at the end of the experiment. Through these experiments, students build reasoning skills that will help them through any future chemistry study. Throughout the year, students work on a year-long research paper, used in lieu of a final exam, and present their findings at the end of the year. All students are expected to take the AP Chemistry Exam in May.

AP Physics 2 Taken after AP Physics 1, this course continues the study of a range of physical phenomena including fluids, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, and optics. The dual goals of the course are: (1) to learn the specific knowledge, terminology, and techniques needed to establish a solid framework for future study and (2) to prepare for the AP Exam in May. Both in class and in lab, students are challenged to form connections and apply their understanding of the foundational principles behind physical reasoning. In addition, this course continues to emphasize the importance of intuition for both the physics and the mathematics involved while seeking opportunities to incorporate accessible explanations of modern technologies. Thomas Jefferson School Program of Studies


AP Physics C This course emulates a first year, college--level physics class that uses calculus as a base. The goal of this course is to help students develop a strong understanding of basic principles, but also be able to perform and analyze laboratory experiments. This course will provide a systematic development of the concepts, principles, and scientific practices used in the study of physics with an emphasis on student inquiry and critical- thinking. Both in class and in lab, students will have opportunities to form connections and gain enduring understandings of the foundational principles of physical reasoning. Students entering this course will have already completed AP Physics 1 and a sequence of math classes through (or concurrent with) AP Calculus BC. In lieu of an exam, each student will complete a year--long research paper or project to present after the AP exam. The first semester of the year is spent on the Mechanics portion of the AP test, and the second focuses on the Electricity and Magnetism section.

Social Studies The Social Studies Department strives to give students a critical understanding of history, geography, economics, politics, and social institutions, as well as the skills necessary for participatory citizenship in a democratic society. The faculty pursues these educational goals with an interdisciplinary approach and a commitment to student participation in a seminar format. SEQUENCE OF COURSES ESL

American Studies or Culture, Tradition, and Change (multi-level, offered in alternate years)


World Geography


Ancient World History


Modern World History


AP U.S. Government and Politics (AP test optional)


AP elective: Economics or Comparative Government and Politics (offered in alternate years)


AP U.S. History (required for U.S. citizens) or an AP elective: Economics or Comparative Government and Politics

All Social Studies courses emphasize the development of study skills that are important to students both as they think historically and relate to the world around them. Students engage with both primary and secondary sources, and analyze data; they write analytically, and through all of this work build global awareness. Media other that print—films, art, music, political cartoons, etc.—are used to broaden and deepen students' understanding of their course of study and sharpen their analytical skills. The ESL courses are designed to meet the language needs of new international students who are at a high-basic to advanced level of English. The objective is to acclimate students to the culture and standards of TJ’s Social Thomas Jefferson School Program of Studies


Studies program, as well as to the expectations of all of their future academic coursework at TJ and beyond. Through the study of history and culture, and by utilizing textbooks, other nonfiction texts and a variety of media, students work to develop and improve all of their English language skills—speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Students are held to very high expectations that model the college-preparatory nature of our curriculum.

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS World Geography The goal of this course is to acclimate students to the world around them. We study trends: how historical forces shape human behavior, how ideologies arise out of specific circumstances, and how human reactions share commonalities across cultures, across belief systems, and across time. We also develop a shared appreciation for differences, discussing the cultural, political, historical and economic forces that shape divergent attitudes. Students participate in a variety of assessments: they take quizzes both short and long, create presentations, and learn to do research. While the class is largely discussion based, students are also asked to role-play and participate in simulations. Another important element of this course is awareness of global developments; students are asked to keep track of major news events around the world, with days set aside to discuss specific student-curated news stories.

Ancient World History This class focuses on the history of all inhabited areas of the world from the Paleolithic period to ca. 1500 CE. Students explore the political, social, economic, and cultural developments of the major world civilizations. Emphasis is placed on studying history through the use of primary sources. This course is inherently comparative, and students are asked to identify and discuss common patterns evident in the development of the world’s civilizations. Themes covered include: patterns and impacts of interaction among major societies; the relationship of change and continuity across time; impact of technology and demography on people and the environment; systems of social structure and gender structure; cultural and intellectual developments and interactions among and within societies; changes in functions and structures of states and in attitudes toward states and political identities.

Modern World History This class focuses on the history of all inhabited areas of the world from ca. 1500 CE to the present day. Students explore the political, social, economic, and cultural developments of the major world civilizations with emphasis on the interactions between civilizations and emerging globalization. Emphasis is placed on studying history through the use of primary sources. Students are asked to analyze historical material with consideration for how it impacted the development of the modern world. Themes covered include: patterns and impacts of interaction among major societies; the relationship of change and continuity across time; impact of technology and demography on people and the environment; systems of social structure and gender structure; cultural and intellectual developments and interactions among and within societies; changes in functions and structures of states and in attitudes toward states and political identities.

Thomas Jefferson School Program of Studies


AP U.S. Government and Politics In AP U.S. Gov, students gain an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. They study both the general concepts used to interpret U.S. government and politics, and analyze specific historical and contemporary examples. They become familiar with the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute the United States Government and the political process. We study six major topic areas throughout the year: The constitutional underpinnings of the United States Government; political beliefs and behaviors; political parties, interest groups, and mass media; institutions of national government; public policy; and civil rights and civil liberties. Students may elect to take the AP exam in May.

AP Comparative Government and Politics This course introduces students to the tools used by political scientists to understand political processes and institutions. Our main topics include sovereignty, authority, and power; political institutions; citizens, society, and the state; political and economic change; and public policy. In order to understand these concepts in concrete settings rather than in abstract theory alone, we also undertake an in-depth study of six core countries: China, Great Britain, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, and Russia. We also discuss the United States and the European Union to provide context. Students take the AP exam in May.

AP Macroeconomics and AP Microeconomics This is a two-semester sequence covering both macro- and micro-economics. The first semester, covering macroeconomics, provides students with an understanding of the principles of economics that apply to an economic system as a whole. Emphasis is placed on the study of national income and price-level determination and develops students’ familiarity with economic performance measures, the financial sector, stabilization policies, economic growth, and international economics. The second semester, covering microeconomics, helps students develop an understanding of the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individual decision makers, both consumers and producers, within the economic system. Daily discussion reaches beyond textbook insight incorporating topical links to current events and opinion. Emphasis is placed on the nature and functions of product markets and includes the study of factor markets and the role of the government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy. Students take both AP exams in May.

AP U.S. History This course is an in-depth, college-level survey of American history from the origins of North American civilizations in the United States to the present day. Current events are a regular part of class discussion as themes are connected from the past to the present. The class is taught chronologically and thematically in a seminar format, focusing on the development of historical thinking skills. These skills include chronological reasoning; comparing and contextualizing historical developments; crafting historical arguments using evidence; and interpreting and synthesizing historical narratives. Students develop a critical understanding of the history, geography, environment, economic, political, cultural, and social institutions, religion, labor (including free, indentured, and slave), and values of the United States as expressed in both their unity and diversity. The role of minorities and women over time is a particular focus. The impact of judicial decisions (as well as an analysis of the reasoning in the decisions) is a continuing discussion. Second semester is centered on foreign policy, including war, diplomacy, and the Thomas Jefferson School Program of Studies


effects of globalization. Students hone their ability to read, view, and analyze historical evidence and interpretations, and to express historical understanding in writing and discussion. This course cultivates participatory citizenship and encourages the growth of independent, knowledgeable young adults who will be able to conduct their lives in accordance with democratic and ethical principles. Students take the AP exam in May.

American Studies (ESL) This interdisciplinary course provides international students at TJ an opportunity to learn about the history of the United States through the study of literature, history, art, and a variety of cultural media. Students trace the development of America’s political and economic systems, examine how the geography of the United States has influenced its role in the world, and explore the ways in which America has grown into a diverse culture. We also focus on civics and government, investigate the responsibilities of citizenship, and frequently relate these topics to the social and cultural patterns observable in American society today. By thinking historically, reading closely, discussing attentively, and writing purposefully, students explore a variety of themes in American culture, such as equality and civil rights, wealth and power, immigration and diversity, and social responsibility. Within these themes, students also engage in intensive study of English grammar and academic language skills, working toward the ultimate goal of achieving a truly advanced language level of English that allows them to succeed in all future academic coursework.

Culture, Tradition, and Change (ESL) This course provides new international students with language, learning, and cultural tools to help them succeed at TJ and beyond. Much time is devoted to advancing students’ essential English language skills, while also exploring strategies for approaching the massive number of new words, English language textbooks, and academic tasks that they face on a daily basis. A wide range of academic texts, nonfiction, literature, news articles, podcasts, and videos are utilized to help students develop their spoken and written academic communication skills, as well as to improve their reading and listening comprehension skills. Texts and media materials used in this class are based on topics that help students learn more about American culture and the world. Frequent writing assignments focus on improving students’ grammar and use of structures that are necessary components of analytical, academic expression. This class is also a “safe space” where new international students can ask questions about life at TJ or about American culture in general and can share their experiences. In the end, students are pushed to achieve a truly advanced level of English that empowers them to participate fully and confidently in all aspects of their future academic coursework.

Fine Arts Fine Arts classes at TJ give students an opportunity to work with a variety of media and materials while also learning the history of the art, theatre, or dance that they are studying. Some courses are introductory, but students can also pursue a subject in greater depth by taking a Level 2 class or higher. The fine-arts faculty are practicing artists, each specializing in the visual or performing.

Thomas Jefferson School Program of Studies



Two required semester-long courses: ● Visual Art (first semester) ● Fundamentals of Drama (second semester)


Two required semester-long courses: ● Beginning Tap Dance (first semester) ● Visual Art (second semester)


One year-long elective: Over four years, students may elect to take a variety of fine-arts courses, or they may choose to explore one of the three divisions—visual or performing arts—in depth.

Fine-arts classes meet twice weekly for 60 minutes; some advanced classes may meet for two hours once per week. Field trips and/or attendance at local performances may be required. (Substitute performances or other homework may be assigned if a performance or field trip is missed.) Most classes continue through early May, finishing before AP exams, but Scenic Design requires additional meetings as needed to meet production deadlines. Prerequisites: Painting and Drawing 1 is a prerequisite for more advanced studio courses in the visual arts, though students may take a placement test to be considered for a higher-level course. Student Shows: Student work is exhibited at showcases in December and May, and the school’s Cabaret Night provides an opportunity for individual and group performances. Outside the regular fine-arts curriculum, the school encourages students to pursue their instrumental or vocal music or other artistic interests. The school can help boarding students locate teachers to study with and ensembles to play in, as student schedules permit.

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS Visual Art Courses Ceramics This studio course is designed to introduce students to the complexities of the medium of clay through developing skills in construction processes, glaze and surface treatments, firing processes, and the use of equipment. Students will broaden their skills in the medium, gaining a more thorough understanding of material characteristics, which will then enable them to pursue increasingly more self-directed projects in the second semester. As a discipline, ceramics has a long history and is often positioned awkwardly between art and craft, aesthetics and utility. Students will be encouraged to reflect on and embrace these contradictions as they center on technical and conceptual issues of generating a body of varied works. Students will create both functional and sculptural works which utilize the processes of hand building techniques such as coil, slab, press molds, and slumping; learn glazing and other surface treatments processes; participate in loading the kiln; and gain an understanding of firing processes. In addition, students will reflect on the outcomes of those experiences, explore the historical context of ceramics and connections with their own work, and participate in group critiques. (Higher levels may be offered at the instructor’s discretion.)

Thomas Jefferson School Program of Studies


Painting and Drawing 1 This foundational courses uses project-based exercises to introduce students to a variety of media and techniques. To gain an understanding of the “building blocks” of painting and drawing—value scale (a seamless gradient from light to dark) and line weight, students will practice observational drawing before being introduced to the phenomenon of atmospheric perspective. Additionally, two-dimensional design principles, which include balance, rhythm, repetition, and unity-transition, will be addressed through collage exercises, impressing on students the importance of composition when constructing images. The second semester will begin with an introduction to color theory, as organized through the Munsell color system and the various chromatic relationships it establishes. Using acrylic paint, students will complete a series of color studies using a limited palette designed to increase the ability to define and apply color attributes. In the final weeks of the course, students will navigate the technical rigors of using India Ink and watercolor. Class participation, personal investment, use of key vocabulary, and demonstration of growing technical capability all factor into a student’s grade. Painting and Drawing 2 This course teaches more advanced techniques used in painting and drawing. Project-based exercises will acquaint students with new media and techniques and lead them to develop increasingly more sophisticated images. In the first semester, students will manipulate both black and white and colored drawing media, gaining further experience with the value scale and learning a variety of mark/line techniques. The importance of a thorough understanding of color, as applied to both painting and drawing, necessitates an intense period of study on the subject. The second semester will therefore focus on color theory and the various relationships the Munsell Color System establishes between the hues, tints, and shades of various chroma. The final painting/art history assignment will require students to identify and research the work of a prominent painter of their choosing and to create a painted response in the style of that artist. Contributing to each student’s grade are competencies in key areas, including demonstration of growing technical facility, the ability to incorporate new media and techniques into his or her repertoire, the capacity for discussing key vocabulary of project lessons, and an expanding aptitude for developing visual content. The prerequisite for all students is Painting and Drawing 2 or the equivalent art class and/or experience. (Levels 3 and 4 may be offered at the instructor’s discretion.) Photography This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of photography, emphasizing the basic elements of the art including camera operations, pictorial composition, lighting, digital imaging (covering Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom) and display. Students will be encouraged to develop artistic expression as they explore various photographic genres including landscape, architecture, still life, portraiture, documentary, and journalism. The history of photography and the camera will also be explored. Students should have access to a smartphone with camera. Visual Art (required for both 7th and 8th grade) These required introductory courses, each a semester long, cover a variety of two- and three-dimensional art experiences, emphasizing technical and expressive skills, as well as the language of art. While students may come with prior art experience, this class is important for building a strong foundation. It is the preparatory course for the high school’s multi-leveled painting and ceramics courses. The curriculum is focused primarily on art making, but also includes discussions, critiques, written assignments, and introductions to important artists and works of historical significance. Central to the curriculum is an indepth exploration of the elements and principles of design, which are fundamental concepts used to understand the visual arts and create more compelling work. Emphasis is placed on artistic perception, creative expression, historical and cultural context, aesthetic valuing, and students drawing connections to other areas of life. Thomas Jefferson School Program of Studies


Performing Art Courses Drama The main goal of drama class is to build students’ confidence in an environment that fosters collaboration and mutual support and encouragement. Students will begin by focusing on character-building and analysis; learning to convey solid emotion; practicing improvisation and performance techniques; and developing physicality. Knowledge of these theatrical techniques will aid students in their preparation of both comedic and dramatic monologues, performed for an audience of their peers. Over the course of the year, students will memorize and perform both comedic and dramatic monologues before turning to the study and performance of comedic duologues (scenes for two actors). Students will choose their scenes from a small selection prepared by the instructor and then edit them to fit the time constraints of the Winter Arts Showcase. Partners will be responsible for successful collaboration with one another, which includes rehearsing outside of class time. Students will then further character- and story-development skills by writing and performing original monologues. Ultimately, students work toward the writing and performance of group scenes. Fundamentals of Drama (required for 7th grade) This activity-oriented course in stage performance is designed to familiarize 7th-grade students with a range of theatrical skills and topics, including character-building, improvisation, basic stage techniques, theatre terminology and etiquette, body awareness and physicality, and the audition process. Students will learn basic principles of acting, engage in character and script analysis, and explore the use of objectives, conflicts, resolutions, and solid choices. The semester will include performances of comedic monologues, dramatic monologues, and short scenes for the school community. Seen together, the skills learned in this semester-long course will set students up for success for the 8th-grade play, a required component of their 8th-grade English class. Scenic Design The first semester will involve the basics of designing and building components of a set for a theatrical production. All members of the class will collaborate as a team to design, draw, and build a model of a set in preparation for the all-school play in November. The basics of set design, composition and functionality, time periods, building props, acquiring furniture and applying faux finishes, are some areas that will be covered. Drawing and painting, particularly the principles of perspective, including one point, two point and three point will be discussed. Students taking the course in multiple years will be guided in learning and accomplishing more complex aspects of set design. Students will learn to use the necessary tools to construct sets. Students wear clothes that can get dirt/paint on them and close-toed shoes to all class meetings. Students will be expected to participate in constructing the set, load the set into the designated theater space and, following the final performance, strike the set and put away all materials before being dismissed. The class will begin the third quarter by working individually to research and preparing a set design for the eighth-grade play (late May), from script analysis and director consultation to research and development of a viable design. Each student will submit a design to the director on a standard design board, including all relevant drawings, research, and justifications. The director, the instructor, and the class will develop a single, final design using components of each student’s individual efforts. The class will then construct and paint the set. Under the supervision of the instructor, students will load it into the rehearsal/performance space to ensure that all details are completed as planned. Following the performance, the class will strike the set and put away all materials before being dismissed.

Thomas Jefferson School Program of Studies


Beginning Tap Dance (required for 8th grade) In this required introductory course, students will explore the styles, rhythms, steps, combinations, musicality, terminology, and historical traditions of this true American art form. Upon mastering beginner-level tap steps and combinations, students can expect to advance to the intermediate level through practice and self-discipline, and they will learn “The Shim Sham Shimmy� to be performed at the Winter Arts Showcase. While practicing this performance art, they will develop balance, focus, and clarity (both physical and mental); flexibility, muscle memory, strength, and endurance; and self-esteem and confidence. Tap Dance Students will explore the styles, rhythms, steps, combinations, musicality and the historical traditions of this true American art form. Tap shoes are required and must be purchased by the student. The instructor will help each student purchase the correct size and type of shoe needed. Attendance to a dance and jazz concert performance may be required. Students will learn tap routines to be performed at the Winter Arts Showcase in December and Cabaret Night in February.

Thomas Jefferson School Program of Studies




ANY QUESTIONS? THOMAS JEFFERSON SCHOOL 4100 S. Lindbergh Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63127 Phone: (314) 843-4151 Fax: (314) 843-3527 Email: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. CT

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2018-19 Thomas Jefferson School Program of Studies  

Academic program overview and course descriptions for the 2018-19 school year.

2018-19 Thomas Jefferson School Program of Studies  

Academic program overview and course descriptions for the 2018-19 school year.