Tower Hill School • College Profile Tower Hill School • At a Glance
There are 53 students in the Class of 2012. GPA data are cumulative for grades 9 through 11 and include marks from major academic courses taken at Tower Hill only. Grades earned in courses outside of Tower Hill are not considered in factoring GPA. Tower Hill’s GPAs, as reported on the Secondary School Report (SSR) on applications, are calculated at the end of junior year and will be recalculated after 7th semester (senior year) grades have been reported. Tower Hill does not weight its GPA, nor do we calculate class rank. The highest GPA a student can earn is 4.0, and the highest GPA in the Class of 2012 is 4.0.
Grading Scale A = 90 – 100 B = 80 – 89 C = 70 – 79 D = 60 – 69 F = Below 59 To learn more about our grading scale and GPA scale, please contact Jill M. Lauck, Director of College Counseling.
CEEB Code: 080205
Class of 2011 Testing Results
GPA and Grading Scale
SAT 1 Critical Range Reading Math Writing 750-800 1 7 5 700-749 11 10 7 650-699 10 11 15 600-649 12 16 8 550-599 12 4 14 500-549 8 5 4 Below 499 0 1 1 MEAN
ACT (Average) English Math Reading Science Writing
28.8 28.8 28.6 27.3 25.4
Composite (Average) 28.4
Inside Unique Features of the Tower Hill Program Complete Course Listing English Course Descriptions
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2813 W. 17th Street Wilmington, DE 19806 302.575.0550 302.425.5577 Fax firstname.lastname@example.org www.towerhill.org
Director of College Counseling Jill M. Lauck Assistant College Counselor, Assistant Head of the Upper School Dr. Trisha Medeiros Administrative Assistant Linda M. Ogden
School: Independent, co-educational day program, 100% college preparatory. Upper School (grades 9-12) enrollment is 236 students with a faculty of 40. We offer a semester calendar and expect a five-course load for students in grades 9 - 11. Accreditation: Middle States Association. Community: Small city with cultural opportunities; many business and professional residents, including AstraZeneca, Bank of America and DuPont executives and scientists.
Colleges Entered by Members of the Class of 2011
American University (4) Bates College Boston College (2) Bryn Mawr College Carnegie Mellon University Colgate University Columbia University (2) Cornell University Dartmouth College University of Delaware (9) Drexel University (2) Duke University Franklin & Marshall College George Washington University Georgetown University University of Georgia-Honors Gettysburg College Haverford College Lehigh University (3) University of Maryland-College Park University of Massachusetts- Amherst University of Miami Mount Holyoke College Oberlin College Pennsylvania State University Purdue University-Honors Rice University Southern Methodist University Stanford University (2) Swarthmore College Syracuse University Tufts University Villanova University Wake Forest University Washington College
Unique Features of the Tower Hill Curriculum Advanced Courses Beginning in 2009-2010, Tower Hill School courses were no longer designated as “Advanced Placement.” Students may sit for AP exams in any subject they study, but courses are not taught with AP subject material as a focus. Tower Hill’s most rigorous courses are indicated with an asterisk/star (*). While the majority of courses are heterogeneously grouped, some courses in the Math and Science departments which cover material in greater depth and at a faster pace are designated “Accelerated.” Students are encouraged to take no more than 3 or 4 advanced/accelerated classes in any given year. These courses are taken by both juniors and seniors.
The courses in the 11th and 12th grade English program are heterogeneously grouped and therefore no “starred” (*) courses are offered. A sequence of four distinct semester courses in two years provides each student with a comprehensive knowledge of crucial areas of American and other literatures. In addition, the menu of courses (all of which are taught by the teachers who created them) changes regularly, ensuring breadth of choice and relevance. During the 20+ years that the system has been in place, any student who wishes to take an English AP examination is encouraged to do so, as we are secure in our belief that the preparation provided by the variety of courses he/she has taken will be more than sufficient. The excellence of the results has been just one testament to the quality of the program.
Full-year major courses are worth four credit units each; semester major courses and certain full-year electives are worth two credit units each; and other electives are worth one credit unit. English – 16 credit units (English 9, English 10, plus one major course during each semester of the junior and senior years). History – 12 credit units (World History 1, U.S. History, plus four additional credit units). Language – 8 credit units above level one (satisfied by completing either the third level of one language or the second level of two different languages). Math – 12 credit units above Algebra 1. Science – 12 credit units (Foundations in Physics, Chemistry, plus a Biology course). Electives – Students must earn a minimum of four credit units from approved courses in Art, Computer Science, Drama, Music, and/or Yearbook.
Independent Study With approval, students may select to study and/or conduct research under the supervision of a faculty member. Examples of recent Independent Studies include: Historical Research, Advanced Chemistry Topics, Independent Computer Study.
Community Service The purpose of Tower Hill’s Community Service requirement is to extend the boundaries of the school to engage the student’s generosity of spirit and integrity, stretch the student’s perspectives, and broaden his/her horizons. Tower Hill students are required to complete a minimum of 40 hours of community service, concentrating involvement in one activity over a 12-month period.
Awards Most academic awards are granted to seniors at graduation but several are awarded in grades 9, 10 and 11, and early in the senior year. The highest academic awards granted to seniors for top achievement are early induction to the Cum Laude Society (10% at the beginning of the senior year) and the Dartmouth College and Williams College Book Awards given at the end of the junior year to top academic juniors.
Athletics Tower Hill students in grades 9 and 10 are required to compete with an athletic team or complete an outside physical activitiy program for each of the three athletic seasons. Grades 11 and 12 are required to compete with an athletic team or complete an outside physical activitiy program for two of the three athletic seasons.
Complete Course Listing: Grades 9 - 12 All academic departments identify their most rigorous honor courses with an asterisk/star (*) or an “Accelerated” designation. Students are encouraged to take no more than 3 or 4 advanced/accelerated classes in any given year. These courses are taken by both juniors and seniors.
(See the next page for full course descriptions) English 9 English 10 Electives for 11th and 12th grade students: First Semester Courses Fact and Fiction Haunted Minds “Is you is, or is you ain’t?” Planet Waves Russian Novel Shakespeare Sojourners: Crossing Thresholds of Earth and Mind Strictly Academic The Fire and the Frying Pan Second Semester Courses Chaucer and the Beginnings of English Literature Literature of Social Justice Modern American Poetry Myths and Motifs in Literature “New York, New York!” Shakespeare The Iliad and The Odyssey The Literature of (Dis)place(ment) The Writer’s Eye
FOREIGN LANGUAGE French 1 French 2 French 3 French Stories of Good and Evil Advanced Conversation – Café Français* Literature and Film of the Francophone World* Paris in Film and Literature* Latin 1 Latin 2 Latin 3 Advanced Latin: Catullus and Ovid* Advanced Latin: Vergil’s Aeneid* Spanish 1 Spanish 2 Spanish 3 Spanish 4 Advanced Conversation – Café Espanol* Advanced Spanish* Contemporary Issues in the Spanish Speaking World* Contemporary Literature and Film in Spanish* Cuba* Introduction to Spanish and Latin American Theatre*
Historical Research Issues in Cotemporary Politics Leadership Modern European History* Psychology The Supreme Court, Race and Civil Rights: 1789-1900 The Supreme Court, Race, and Civil Rights: 1900-2000 The Vietnam War United States History United States History* World History 1 World History 2
Digital Imaging, Flash Animation and Web Design Film Making
MATHEMATICS Accelerated Calculus* Advanced Algebra and Functional Analysis Algebra 2 Algebra 2 (Accelerated) Calculus* Contemporary Topics in Mathematics* Fundamentals of Algebra Geometry Geometry (Accelerated) Precalculus Precalculus (Accelerated)
SCIENCE Advanced Physics* Applications in Design and Engineering Biomolecules & DNA: An Advanced Course in Biochemistry* Chemistry Chemistry (Accelerated) Environment and Sustainability Foundations in Physics General Biology Human Anatomy Human Biology Independent Study in Science
ART Advanced Studio Art* Art Foundation Art Foundation 11 Art History Photography and Printmaking Studio Art Woodworking 1 Woodworking 11 3
DRAMA Actors’ Workshop Directors’ Lab Drama Foundations: Acting Drama Foundations: Production Design and Technology Production Design and Technology: Independent Courses: PD&T: Construction for Theatre PD&T: Design for Theatre PD&T: Live Audio PD&T: Scenic Painting PD&T: Softgoods and Rigging PD&T: Theatrical Lighting
MUSIC Band Chorus Guitar History of Western Music Music Theory* Stage Band String Ensemble Vocal Ensemble
YEARBOOK Yearbook New Mathematics Offering for 2011-12 Contemporary Topics in Mathematics Open to seniors only, with permission from the Mathematics Dept.
Designed for the serious math student who is interested in exploring relevant, though somewhat less traditional, topics in mathematics. Areas of study will potentially include probability and its application to statistical reasoning and inference; discrete mathematics, including graph and game theory; modern geometry, including fractal and non-Euclidean geometries; the nature of mathematical proof; and historical perspectives of mathematics. Where applicable, basic calculus will be used as a tool to bring greater depth to the topics being studied.
English Course Descriptions The aim of the 11th and 12th grade English program is to enable each student to think more critically, read more thoroughly and write more precisely as a result of challenging literary study. The courses are designed to focus in depth on particular authors, themes and areas of literature as a means of establishing critical skills. A sequence of four different semester courses in two years will provide each student with a comprehensive knowledge of various crucial aspects of American and other literature. The writing requirement for each course will be 1500-2000 words per month. This requirement will be met through several short papers, critiques, or a single long paper. Each course will require at least one major paper. The improvement of mechanical skills (e.g., spelling and punctuation) will continue to be stressed, as will the broadening of vocabulary, which will be an important component in the writing assignments.
First Semester Courses Fact and Fiction “Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures.”~Jessamyn West. This course will explore several works of historical fiction, examining both the “history” behind the story and the fiction created by the author. The course will include works such as Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons, Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City, and James Swanson’s Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer. Haunted Minds Horror writing has been seen as a genre that is “sensationalistic,” catering to the demands of the public for gore and violence. Yet, many notable authors, including Christopher Marlowe, Henry James, William Faulkner, and Joyce Carol Oates, have written well-crafted tales of the supernatural. The aim of this course is to explore what makes us afraid and why. Students will look at what elements of the genre allow us to tap into our individual and societal fears in a way that is both entertaining and “safe,” and examine whether those fears have changed or remained the same over time. Readings for this course include Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus, Jackson’s Haunting of Hill House, Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale, and James’s Turn of the Screw. “Is you is, or is you ain’t?” Jazz is perhaps the only truly indigenous American art form. As it has developed, the emphasis has been on individuality and freedom of expression; consequently, it is not surprising that writers have responded to these ideas, which are also prevalent themes in American literature. In this course, students will explore the relationship between the music and the writing by studying the following: Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, Ishmael Reed’s Mumbo Jumbo, Toni Morrison’s Jazz, Kerouac’s On the Road, and Michael Ondaatje’s Coming Through Slaughter. Planet Waves Students in this course examine the different ways in which authors have viewed “Spaceship Earth,” from the spiritual to the pragmatic, from the exploitative to the ecological, from the optimistic to the pessimistic. In encountering these different views, students will also be expected to develop their own visions of the world in which they live. Texts will include Desert Solitaire, Paradise Lost, The Songlines, White Noise, and Endgame. Russian Novel This course examines Anna Karenina by Tolstoy and The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Students will speculate philosophically about topics such as the existence of god, the role of mysticism in nineteenth century Russian society, and the quest for moral certainty. The summer reading will include Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago and The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov.
Shakespeare This course rescues Shakespeare from the status of cultural icon by exploring the psychological truths, the universal themes, the historical contexts, and the liberating paradoxes that inform the work of this extraordinary man of the theatre. Plays will be selected from among Hamlet, King Lear, Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, Henry V, Othello, The Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest. Sojourners: Crossing Thresholds of Earth and Mind Crossing boundaries that are geographic and spiritual is at the heart of this course. Students will examine how heroic individuals seek to find their souls within the epic of history. Each novel involves a quest for an elusive treasure, struggling with kinship loyalty and trust, and seeking redemption in this world or the next. From cattle drives to wars, the real conflict resides in the human heart. From the streets of Philadelphia to the jungle of Vietnam, pilgrims challenge their fate in the name of love and freedom. Texts will include Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Does Your House Have Lions? by Sonia Sanchez, The Brothers K by David James Duncan, and A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. Strictly Academic In television, film, and literature, the academic life, from high school to college, is scrutinized, glorified, and/or satirized. But, inevitably, it is seen as something apart from “real life.” But what separates the high school and college experience from real life? How do we define an academic life? What is an education? What rites of passage are involved in the educational process? How do we define the words “teacher” and “student”? What is an ideal class or learning experience? Students will explore these questions and others through the many works written about academic life. Texts may include Straight Man, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, A Separate Peace, and The Professor’s House. The Fire and the Frying Pan Two pairs of decades in the history and literature of this country will be studied in this course. From the Great Depression of the 1930s to the World War of the 1940s, American literature chronicles the storms of poverty and violence. The burgeoning fortunes of the 1980s and the broadening horizons of the ‘90s bring with them a literature that addresses the sustaining complexity of this place—its diversity, difficulty, and paradox. How do American heroes journey across these years, their travels both eased and hindered by societal forces such as racism, war, and industry, to meet a new century—one of greater social awareness, digital prospects, and global interdependence? With both American and non-American authors represented, texts will include Richard Wright’s Black Boy, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities, Sam Shephard’s True West, Elie Wiesel’s Night, Jonathan Lethem’s Fortress of Solitude, and sundry films, including The Wizard of Oz, Seabiscuit, Saving Private Ryan, and American Beauty.
SECOND SEMESTER COURSES Chaucer and the Beginnings of English Literature This course aims to give students a firm grounding in some of the early works of English literature. The course will examine Beowulf and Arthurian legend, as well as a representative selection from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. An attempt is made to establish a sense of social context and to consider the authors’ ideas, humor, characterizations and narrative techniques. Literature of Social Justice What do John Steinbeck, Barbara Ehrenreich, Jonathan Kozol, Alan Paton, Simon Wiesenthal, Thomas More, and Arthur Miller have in common? Like many other writers and artists, they have addressed pressing social issues through literature, attempting to raise the awareness of the general public. Works in this course include The Grapes of Wrath; Nickel and Dimed; Amazing Grace; Cry, the Beloved
Country; The Sunflower; Utopia; and The Crucible. In addition to the essays usually required in English courses, students will prepare short writing assignments sharing their personal reactions to ethical issues. A project on a social justice artist not discussed in the course will replace the exam. Modern American Poetry American physician and poet William Carlos Williams wrote, “It is difficult to get the news from poems, yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.” Since Whitman, Dickinson and Frost, many American poets have published startling, transformative, and revelatory work— as varied as paintings hanging of the walls of modern art museums. This course will lead students through the gallery of modern poetry: Yeats, Pound, Eliot, Bishop, Sexton, Plath, Simic, Stern, Roethke, Kenyon, Olds, and many more. The inclusive look at this distinctly crafted short form will include post-modern forms such as rap, slam poetry and language poetry. Myths and Motifs in Literature In this course, students will examine how classical and modern writers employ archetypal symbols to give their literature a universal and timeless quality. By examining multiple and diverse mythic narratives, the course will focus on the archetypes that form the basis of western literature. Texts will include Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth. “New York, New York!” In the span of four hundred years, Manhattan Island has been transformed—from a natural oasis to an obscure Dutch trading post to a burgeoning port town to the urban bastion that it is today. This course will trace that metamorphosis by studying the literature of New York—Irving, Melville, O’Neill, Salinger—along with the music, architecture and economics that have accompanied this quaint village on its rise to global status. Jay-Z, Martin Scorsese, George Gershwin, Frank Miller and many others have all lived on the mythic streets of New York; the course seeks to explore their work also, along with that of other designers, painters and musicians, in an inclusive inquiry into the city’s literary history. Shakespeare Refer to the first semester course description. The Iliad and The Odyssey Homer’s epic poems are an essential foundation of western literature. In this course, students will examine these poems and draw connections between the ancient world and the modern as they explore the sweep and subtlety of these two genuine masterpieces. The Literature of (Dis)place(ment) The writer is a traveler in the foreign lands of the imagination; as such, he/she is often drawn to the outsider prespective. This course will explore, in particular, the nature of the expatriate and/or immigrant viewpoint in an array of texts, including Michael Ondaatje’s Running in the Family, Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, Michelle Huneven’s Jamesland and Lydia Minatoya’s Talking to High Monks in the Snow, as well as a number of short stories, poems and films. The Writer’s Eye If “a picture is worth a thousand words,” then what do we make of Leonardo da Vinci’s comment that “Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen”? This course will examine the nature of the relationship between literature and the visual arts by studying works that feature those arts as central themes, settings and subject matter. The course texts will be chosen from Chip Kidd’s The Cheese Monkeys, Ward Just’s Forgetfulness, Debra Dean’s The Madonnas of Leningrad, Dani Shapiro’s Black and White, Margaret Forster’s Keeping the World Away and Steve Martin’s An Object of Beauty, as well as an array of film material.