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Vermont Academy

2013-2014 Course Offerings

2013-2014 Course Offerings English



English 9 - The Quest

9th Grade

Algebra I

English 10 - The Individual in Society

English 10 - The Individual in Society,


English 11 - American Literature

English 11 – AP English – American


Foundations in History 10th Grade:

Modern Comparative Cultures

Honors European History (F/W) AP US History (S)

12th Grade

11th Grade

AP English - Literature and Composition

US History

AP US History


Algebra II

Algebra II Honors Functions


Finance Mathematics AP Statistics

AP Calculus AB AP Calculus BC

Advanced Topics in Mathematics

12th Grade Electives: Senior Writing Seminar (F) - Required

12th Grade


Art and AP Economics electives:

Regular and Elective year-long courses:

Faces of Vermont Academy (F, W, S)

Art History - Survey (F/W)

Art History - Smashing Expectations -


Integrated Physical Science Chemistry

unless in AP English

Fantasy (W)

World Literature 1 (W)

Madness and Society (W) Public Speaking (W)

Modern Art (S)

AP Economics (year long)

Writing and Reflection (W)

12th Grade – Trimester Electives

The Holocaust (F)

Dark Realities: Dystopian Film and

Sport and Society (F)

Science Fiction (S)

The History of Pop Culture (F)

Texts (S)

World Literature 2 (S)

Madness and Society (S)

The Pursuit of Happiness (S) Public Speaking (S)

Literature of Spain (S – VA in Spain


Options for International Students: English for Speakers of Other

Languages (ESOL)

English for International Students (EIS)

The History of Canada (F)

Introduction to Microeconomics (F) Contemporary Issues (W)

The American Civil War (W)

The History of Food and Eating (W)

Protest Movements of the 20th Century


Revolution (W)

Europe in the Age of Enlightenment and Introduction to Macroeconomics (W)

America in the 1960s (S)

Film and Literature as History (S) History of Modern Africa (S) Applied Economics (S)

Physics: Project Robotics Forensic Science Kinesiology

Architecture and Engineering

Environmental Trimester courses:

Sustainability and the Food System (F) Sustainability: Energy and Climate Change (W)

Sustainability and Human

Consciousness (S)

Advanced Elective Courses: Anatomy and Physiology

Electricity and Magnetism

Robotics Software & Engineering Biotechnology/Bioethics Honors and AP Courses: Honors Biology

Honors Chemistry

Honors Physics: Mechanics AP Biology

AP Chemistry

AP Environmental Science

2013-2014 Course Offerings World Languages Chinese 1 Chinese 2 French 1 French 2 French 3 French 4

Ensemble Offerings – H Period: (Ensembles are all year-long,

with open enrollment at trimesters.) Jazz Ensemble

Vocal Ensemble

Chamber Ensemble

French 5 Honors

Visual Arts

Spanish 1

Pottery (F, W, S)

AP French

Advanced Art (year-long)

Spanish 2

Freshman Arts Program (F, W, S)

Spanish 2 Honors Spanish 3

Studio Art I:

Spanish 5 Honors

3-D (W)

Spanish 4

AP Spanish Russian 1

Foundations (F) Introduction to Painting (S)

Russian 2

Studio Art II:

Performing Arts

Cardboard Construction (W)

Theater Course Offerings:

Advanced Theater Seminar (year long)

Advanced Drawing and Design (F) Painting and Printmaking (S)

Freshman Arts Program (F, W, S)

Digital Photography:

Winter Workshop (W)

Studio and Still Life (W)

Acting (F, W) Directing (S)

Basics (F)

Landscapes and Portraits (S)

Music Course Offerings:

Black & White Photography:

Sound Lab (F)

B&W Composition (W)

Freshman Arts Program (F, W, S) Music Appreciation (W)

Electronic Instrument Building &

Design (W)

Music Workshop (S)

Recording Studio (S)

Music lessons (F, W, S)

B&W Applications (F) B&W Studio (S) Filmmaking:

Basic Film (F)

Stop Motion Animation (W) Advanced Film (S) Computer Studio:

Introduction to Computer Studio (F) Designing for print and Digital

Publications (W)

Fine Art in the Computer Studio (S)

All courses are year-long unless indicated by trimester: F/W/S

Vermont Academy

2013  2014 Course Offerings

Welcome to the 2013-2014 Vermont Academy Course

forests of our 500+ acre classroom. Our ski hill is busy in

and effort that they have invested in making our aca-

are full of runners, bikers, and nordic racers preparing

Catalog. I am indebted to my colleagues for the time

the winter with skiers practicing their jumps; our trails

demic program one of the strongest in New England.

for their next meets; and our varsity and junior varsity

The impressive number of diverse courses we offer and

athletic teams compete weekly against teams from all

the experience and dedication of our faculty help to

around New England. From dawn to dusk, our students

make the VA experience a rewarding one for all of our

are busy and engaged in a variety of academic and ath-


letic activities that challenge their brains and force them to engage with one another and with nature. This type

Vermont Academy has always embraced the concept of

of “hands on learning� produces the all-around excel-

having students actively participate in a class as opposed

lence of a Vermont Academy student and prepares them

to passive learning. We have found that if a student is

for a life full of activity beyond Saxtons River.

positively engaged and participating either verbally or physically in class, real learning takes place. Whether it

Vermont Academy reserves the right to change adver-

ics, or tapping maple trees in late winter to retrieve sap,

offered, and to cancel, at any time up to the third day

is building and programming your own robot in Phys-

tised courses, to alter the dates on which courses are

our students are using their hands while stimulating

of classes, any advertised course in which enrollment

their minds. This is a model that crosses all disciplines

is judged to be unacceptably small. Likewise, Vermont

and has been adopted by all departments. The English

Academy has the right to restrict enrollment in any

students practice public speaking,


the language learners put on skits




the departmentally determined

in the target language, and history

course capacity. Students who are

students participate in state-wide

enrolled in the first term of a con-

competitions where they defend

tinuing course may have priority

their research in front of a panel of

in subsequent terms.

judges. Every year we consciously ponder the possibilities that lie

English Courses

the classroom and work with stu-

We have two primary goals in Eng-

that encourage and stimulate dif-

better writers and readers, and to

beyond the traditional four walls of

lish: To help our students become

dents in more progressive methods

help them sharpen their critical

ferent types of learners.

thinking skills. At the same time, we want to convey to them the

In addition, our impressive array of

excitement, power, freedom, and

athletic offerings and outdoors pro-

versatility of language through

grams focuses on this type of expe-

their own experience with writing

riential education. After the last

and through exposure to a wide

class of the day, even more learning

takes place on the fields and in the

The Long Walk


variety of literary works. Through

literature and in their own writ-

and receive departmental approva

ideas and issues that complete and

English 11

ing, our students confront the

American Literature

enrich life.

This year long course concentrates

English courses at all levels are

and 20th centuries. Students will




on American writers from the 19th


read a selection of short stories,

small-group instruction that chal-

non fiction, poetry, and novels

lenge students to take responsi-

covering a variety of literary styles

bility for their own learning and

and themes. Students will con-

to think conceptually. Regular

tinue to refine their writing skills

writing and reading assignments,

in research, analytical, and creative

frequent classroom discussions,

writing assignments. In conjunc-

group workshops, individual stu-

tion with course material and in

dent - teacher conferences and

preparation for standardized tests,

special projects are all part of the

this course continues to emphasize


The English Department believes that critical thinking requires an

vocabulary building and grammar. Texts will include The Crucible, English Class

open mind and a safe environment in which to use

My Antonia, The Great Gatsby,

and The Things They Carried.

it. Therefore, we stress a comfortable setting for free

English 11 - AP English: American Literature and Compo-

classes to respect the natural variety of opinions and

dents to take the Advanced Placement exam in English.

exchange of ideas, and we encourage all members of

sition This year long course for juniors will prepare stu-

points of view that inevitably flow in class discussion.

Centered on American literature, the course is designed

to introduce students to a variety of rhetorical styles

English 9 - The Quest In this year long course, students

and to increase students’ repertoire of literary works.

focus on the close reading of a text, the writing process,

Emphasis is placed upon written exercises through

vocabulary building, and grammar. They are also intro-

which students explore how authors work to convey

duced to literary forms including short stories, drama,

their meanings, and through which students learn to

poetry and the novel. Patterns in literature such as the

articulate ideas concisely. Titles may include, but are not

hero journey are also explored. Readings may include:

limited to: The Great Gatsby, Invisible Man, The Sound

stories from mythology and The Bible, The Odyssey, The

and the Fury, The Crucible, The Scarlett Letter, Bless

Alchemist, The Bean Trees, and The Tempest. No pre-

Me Ultima, A Raisin in the Sun, Middlesex, , short sto-


ries by Kurt Vonnegut, Ernest Hemingway, Joyce Carol

Oates, Jhumpa Lahiri, Alice Walker, Tim O’Brien, Flan-

English 10 The Individual in Society This full year

nery O’Connor, and poetry from the 18th century to the

course focuses on how individuals function within the

present. No prerequisites but students must complete an

context of the family and in society at large. Students

application process and receive departmental approval.

refine skills acquired in the 9th grade. They continue to work on the writing process, analytical writing,

English 12 - AP English - Literature and Composition

vocabulary, grammar, and reading skills. Readings may

(World Literature focus)

Plainsong, and short stories. No prerequisites.

ment exam in English. Focusing on world literature, the

This year long course for

include: Fahrenheit 451, Macbeth, A Long Way Gone,

seniors will prepare students to take the Advanced Place-

English 10 The Individual in Society Honors (year

course is designed to introduce students to a variety of

long) Students must complete an application process

rhetorical styles and to increase students’ repertoire of


English for International Students (EIS) This course cannot be taken concurrently with ESOL. This course is designed as the final transition to mainstream English classes. This year long credit course is designed to give students an opportunity to practice the skills needed in mainstream English classes, such as analytical and personal writing, reading, and how to discuss literature. New students will be placed in this course based on their performance on a placement test given during orientation. No prerequisites.

literary works. Emphasis is placed upon written exercises through which students explore how authors work to convey their meanings, and through which students

learn to articulate ideas concisely. Titles may include, but are not limited to: As You Like It, Pride and Preju-

dice, and Things Fall Apart. Students will also read short stories and poetry from the 17th century to the present.

No prerequisites but students must complete an application process and receive departmental approval.

Projected English Electives for Winter/Spring Trimester, English 12 - Senior Writing Seminar (required) Using


essays and short stories as models, this course offers an intensive preparation for college level expository writing

Winter Trimester

emphasizing the process approach. Students examine


writing. Time will be set aside for work on the personal

Madness and Society

World Literature 1

and practice the rules and principles that underpin good

Public Speaking

college essay. The main text for this class is 50 essays: A

Writing and Reflection

Portable Anthology. No prerequisites.

Literature of Spain (required for students studying in Santiago de Compostela)

Faces of Vermont Academy: Introduction to Oral History This is a one trimester course in which students will learn

Faces of Vermont Academy: Oral History Project (pre-

interviewing techniques and design and implement an

requisite: Faces of Vermont Academy: Introduction to Oral

interviewing process to collect oral histories of members

History )

of the Vermont Academy community. Successful comple-

tion of this course will lead to enrollment in subsequent

Spring Trimester

Project, which will function in an independent study

The Pursuit of Happiness

trimesters in Faces of Vermont Academy: Oral History

Science Fiction

format. Introduction to Oral History will meet 2-3 times

World Literature 2

Madness and Society

a week in the evening with flexibility for other evening

Dark Realities: Our World Revealed in Dystopian Film

activities. Students will learn how to record interviews

and Texts

on video as well as taking pictures. They will also learn

Public Speaking

editing procedures in order to write up the interviews

Faces of Vermont Academy: Oral History Project

for publication on the school website as well as producing an annual hardcover book. This will become part of

the archived history of the school. No prerequisites. This

History Courses

class does not take the place of a required English class.

The History Department offers a variety of courses

It is open to all grade levels.

that will leave students with a wide knowledge of history across time and geographical space after their four

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) This is a

years at Vermont Academy. Beginning in the freshman

year-long credit course which concentrates on teaching

year, students gain a firm foundation in key historical

English as a secondary language. Students acquire lis-

themes and develop essential reading, writing, speak-

tening and speaking skills and study grammar, vocabu-

ing, and critical thinking skills. Subsequent courses in

lary, reading, and writing. New students will be placed

Modern Comparative Cultures, U.S. History, and senior-

in this course based on their performance on a place-

level electives build upon these skills and historical

ment test given during orientation. No prerequisites.

approaches throughout a student’s years at VA. In each


course, there is an emphasis on historical research and

Foundations in History for International Students (for

writing. Across the history curriculum, we also place

new international students in grades 9 and 10, full year)

students read primary sources to listen in on the voices

VA and whose first language is not English. The goal

a high premium on learning history by doing history:

This course is designed for students who are new to

of the past, evaluate those sources, and synthesize them

of the course is for students to develop their English

into historical arguments. Students are also given ample

communication and historical thinking skills through

opportunities to speak and engage with their peers in

papers, projects, and presentations. As they develop

class through interactive classroom activities and pre-

these skills, students will experience the American cul-


ture through the use of literature, historical documents, documentaries, movies, and music. Class participa-

Students are required to complete a minimum of three

tion will also be a major part of the course and each

credits in social studies, including U.S. History, which

student’s evaluation. The course does not fulfill the

is typically taken during the junior year. Students must

American history requirement; students enrolled in this

take history in grades 9, 10, and 11, but may choose

course will be expected to take United States history in

whether or not to take a history elective in their senior

their junior year. Instead, this course is meant to pro-

year. Designated honors/AP sections are available for

vide them with the foundation, in terms of both skills

grades 10 through 12. Students electing to take honors

and familiarity with American culture, that they will

courses will need the approval of the course instructor

need in order to succeed in mainstream history classes

or department head. Not every course is offered every

in the 11th and 12-grade years.


Modern Comparative Cultures (grade 10, full year)

Modern Comparative Cultures is a year-long course

Foundations in History (grade 9, full year) Foundations

in History is a year-long course in which students learn

for sophomores that introduces students to the Western

and organizing – but also the essential skills of his-

the present. Along the way, students will be encour-

not only basic study skills – note-taking, test-taking,

and non-Western world from the early modern era to

tory: reading, writing, speaking and thinking critically

aged to read, think, speak and write critically and ana-

about the world. The course will

lytically about the histories and

be divided into three different

cultures we cover in the course.

thematic segments: The Power of

Topics in the beginning of the year

Ideas, Patterns of Organization

include the Columbian Exchange,

and Authority, and Commodities

Scientific Revolution, and the

and Exchange. Within each of

Ages of Enlightenment, Revolu-

these segments of the course, stu-

tion, Industrialization and Impe-

dents will read primary sources,

rialism. In the second half of the

write argumentative papers, learn

year, we begin with a discussion

and execute the research pro-

of the World Wars, the Cold War,

cess, and speak articulately and

and the Age of Globalization and

passionately about these topics.

end with the War on Terror and

Each trimester, students will be

the 21st Century. We will pay par-

exposed to both a different histori-

ticular attention to global history.

cal topic and a different history

Specifically, students will examine

teacher, simulating the diverse

the cultural, social, political, eco-

educational experience that stu-

nomic and religious systems in

dents will encounter in their years

this period. The course will con-

at VA and, later, in college.

clude with a significant research Ready for Formal Meal


project of the students’ choosing.

midterm and final exams, and a culminating research

Honors European History (grade 10, fall and winter trimester) Offered to selected sophomore students who

paper on a topic of their choice.

have achieved a high level of success in freshman history, this two-trimester course covers the history of

AP United States History (grade 11, full year) Those

lution. Topics will include the flowering of art, culture,

History in their sophomore year must enroll in this

Europe from the Renaissance through the French Revo-

juniors who completed the spring trimester of AP U.S.

and new ideas in Renaissance Italy; the diversification

course in their junior year. In the junior year, we will

of Christianity that accompanied the Protestant Refor-

continue to prepare for the AP exam as we study the

mation; the expansion of Europeans’ worldview in the

history of the United States from its infancy as a nation

Age of Exploration; the rise of secular and scientific

to the present. Throughout the year, we will study the

ideas during the Enlightenment; and the challenges to

major social, cultural, political, and economic transfor-

absolutist monarchy that characterized the French Rev-

mations that have characterized American history. In

olution. Students will learn to work critically with both

addition, students will hone their reading, writing, and

primary and secondary sources and will develop their

critical thinking skills, culminating in the AP exam in

writing skills through a variety of writing assignments.

May. All students in the course are required to take the exam.

AP United States History (grade 10, spring trimester) Those sophomores who would like to continue taking

Senior History Electives

trimester AP U.S. History series, which begins in the

AP Economics (full year) This is a full-year course that

through the junior year. In the sophomore year, we will

economics and Macroeconomics. Students will begin

history at the Honors level may enroll in the four-

spring trimester of the sophomore year and continues

introduces the fundamental concepts of both Micro-

cover the earliest phase of United States history, span-

the year by exploring the economic principles that

ning from the history of pre-Columbian American Indi-

apply to individual decision makers, both consumers

ans through the beginnings of the Early Republic. Top-

and producers, acting within a market. This micro-

ics will include the colonization of North America by

level approach will explore concepts such as scarcity,

competing European empires, the development of Eng-

opportunity cost, and the law of diminishing mar-

lish colonies in New England and the Chesapeake, the

ginal returns, among others. These topics, along with

history of colonial slavery, the American Revolution,

thorough analysis of the role of government within

and the development of nation’s government through

these markets, will be discussed in order to develop a

the Constitution. Throughout the course, students will

sense of the economy as it applies to individuals on a

gain experience with the format of the AP exam. The

daily basis. In the second half of the course, many of

class will not focus solely on test preparation, however,

these concepts will be revisited on a more aggregate,

and will continue to emphasize work on critical think-

or Macroeconomic, level. Topics include the study of

ing and writing skills.

national income and price-level determination, as well

as an exploration of broad economic indicators such as

United States History (grade 11, full year) This junior

gross domestic product, unemployment, and inflation.

level course offers a survey of American history from

These topics will be explored and enriched by discus-

the mid-15th century to the present. We will study the

sion of government regulation in the economy through

major social, political, and economic transformations

investigation of current events as well as historical case

that have characterized the past five centuries in what

studies. Students will be expected to take both the AP

is now the United States. Emphasis will be placed not

Microeconomics and AP Macroeconomics exam at the

only on learning the important people and places of

conclusion of this course.

the past, but also on developing critical reading and

Sport and Society (fall trimester) Sports play a substan-

writing skills to better prepare the students for study in

tial role in the lives of individuals and communities

college. Assignments include weekly response papers,


locally, nationally, and globally. From ancient Greece

understand how it works, where it came from, what its

through the modern era, sports have helped shape indi-

purpose is, and why we’re so drawn to it.

viduals and societies. While contemporary citizens celebrate athletic competitions and idolize athletes, they

History of Canada (fall trimester) This course explores

rarely consider the varied effects of sport on society. As

the challenges associated with the formation of a Cana-

a class, students will examine the historical develop-

dian national identity. Students will examine the social,

ment of organized athletics, and will study the role of

political, and economic forces that have shaped Canada

sport in society through political, gender, health, and

from the pre-contact period to the present and will

economic lenses. As independent scholars, students

investigate the historical roots of modern issues from

will use research, analysis, and synthesis skills to iden-

a variety of perspectives. Students will learn about the

tify and address a difficult social, economic, or political

structure of society in what we now call Canada before

issue within a sport of choice.

the arrival of any Europeans, the Founding of New

France, the British take-over of Canada, and Confedera-

The Holocaust (fall trimester) This upper-level elective

tion. We will also examine Canada’s interdependence,

is for mature students who can handle the difficult

its role and involvement in the major wars and organi-

subject matter. The course opens with an examination

zations of the world, and its relationship to the devel-

of the historical context of Nazi Germany and investi-

oping world.

gates the political, economic and social conditions that

allowed for evil to flourish. Although the Holocaust has

Introduction to Microeconomics (fall trimester) Micro-

come to describe the Nazi extermination of Jews dur-

economics is an introductory course that examines how

ing World War II, there are other instances of genocide

society decides to allocate scarce resources. We will

found throughout the world. With that in mind, we will

study how households and firms make decisions and

not only study the genocide of the European Jew, but

how they interact in the market. Students will learn

also the plight of the First Americans, the Armenians,

how consumers make decisions on spending, how

and other more recent acts of genocide. We also discuss

firms decide on how much to produce and at what

the role of the individual in society and the concept of

price, and the role government can have in influencing

bystanders and rescuers. The course requires a great

these decisions. We will read newspaper articles on a

deal of reading and writing, and a research paper on a

weekly basis and try to relate the concepts we are learn-

topic relevant to genocide is mandatory. Graphic evi-

ing from the text to current economic events.

dence of the Holocaust is presented through the use of documentaries. A class trip to the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. is also required.

Projected Winter Trimester Electives:

The History of Popular Culture (fall trimester) Have

The American Civil War

Keeping up With the Kardashians in 400 years? Have

Protest Movements of the 20th Century

Simpsons, Seinfeld or The Wire is actually an intel-

Introduction to Macroeconomics

the people responsible for entertaining us have ulterior

Projected Spring Trimester Electives:

things like Disney, Hollywood Blockbusters, and Top

America in the 1960s

history of and meaning behind different cultural media

Applied Economics

Contemporary Issues

you ever wondered how we went from Shakespeare to

Europe in the Age of Enlightenment and Revolution

you ever tried to argue with friends or family that The

The History of Food and Eating

ligent piece of art? Has it ever crossed your mind that

motives in mind when they try to entertain us through

Film and Literature as History

40 hits? The History of Popular Culture will study the

History of Modern Africa

– books, music, film, comics, among others – from the industrial revolution through 2013 as a way to try to


Language Courses

by Saint-Exupery. Participants are expected to analyze

and reflect weekly on the reading in a journal. An in-

Chinese 1 This course introduces the language through

depth study of one or two films and a complete gram-

all four skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

matical review solidify the communicative proficiency.

The main goal is to develop the student’s confidence

Breaking the French Barrier, Advanced is the grammar

in using Chinese as a means of communication. Par-

text; many cultural and supplemental materials are used

ticipants are expected to work effectively in groups, as

to enhance the class.

well as independently, and to maintain a self-corrected notebook for compositions.

French 4

Stressing the effective communication of

thought and ideas through debate and discussion of political and literary topics, this syllabus includes an

Chinese 2 Intended for students who have acquired a

in-depth study of Camus’ L”Etranger and the region

basic knowledge in Chinese, this course offers an equal

of Provence. This class also utilizes the grammar text,

emphasis on written and oral skills. Participants are

Breaking the French Barrier, Advanced, but it incorpo-

expected to work effectively in groups, as well as inde-

rates many other materials from advanced texts as well.

pendently, and to maintain a self-cor-

Additionally, the students study

rected notebook for compositions.

the cuisine of France and many

other francophone countries. This

French 1 This course introduces the

course is also conducted entirely in

language through all four skills: lis-


tening, speaking, reading, and writ-

For advanced

ing. The main goal is to develop the

French 5 Honors

as a means of communication. Partici-

sue the AP curriculum, this is an

student’s confidence in using French

students who do not want to pur-

pants are expected to work effectively

accelerated course tailored to the interests of the students. It can take

in groups, as well as independently,

many different forms that range

and to maintain a self-corrected note-

from a cultural and historical study

book for compositions. Breaking the

through film to a study of different

French Barrier, Beginner is the gram-

genres of literature to French phi-

mar text; there are many supplemental

losophers. It is conducted entirely

materials used including a beginner reader, songs, and authentic listening

Study time

in French and requires a high level

sources found online.

of motivation and a strong interest in culture and ideas.

French 2 Intended for students who have acquired a

AP French This course follows an AP syllabus that is

emphasis on written and oral skills. Participants are

for the AP exam. It requires strong motivation and

basic knowledge in French, this course offers an equal

approved by the College Board and prepares students

expected to work effectively in groups, as well as inde-

discipline as well as instructor and department chair

pendently, and to maintain a self-corrected notebook for

approval. The AP exam is required for all students at

compositions. Breaking the French Barrier, Intermediate

the end of the year.

is the grammar text; there are many supplemental mate-

Russian 1 This course is an introduction for the stu-

rials used including an intermediate level reader, songs,

dent’s study of the Russian Language and aims to bring

film and authentic listening sources found online.

the student to a level of proficiency that will allow them

French 3 Conducted entirely in French, this course intro-

to communicate in everyday conversation and to read

duces students to French literature with Le Petit Prince

simple Russian texts with the aid of a dictionary. The


instructor uses a film series to guide the content of the

political and literary topics, this course includes an in-


Russian 2

depth study of magical realism through pieces of Latin

American literature and films. This class also utilizes the

This course continues the study of oral and

grammar text, Breaking the Spanish Barrier, Advanced,

written Russian; broadening the knowledge of gram-

but it incorporates many other materials from advanced

matical structures as well as a significant enrichment of

texts as well. Additionally, the students study the cui-


sine from Galicia, Spain as well as other provinces. This

The instructor continues the use of a film series to guide

course is also conducted entirely in Spanish.

the content of the class.

Spanish 5 Honors For advanced students who do not want to pursue the AP curriculum, this is a course tai-

Spanish 1 This course introduces the language through

lored to the interests of the students. It can take many

all four skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

different forms that range from a cultural and historical

The main goal is to develop the student’s confidence

study through film to a study of different genres of lit-

in using Spanish as a means of communication. Par-

erature to uses of alternative energy in Spain. It is con-

ticipants are expected to work effectively in groups, as

ducted entirely in Spanish and requires a high level of

well as independently, and to maintain a self-corrected

motivation and a strong interest in culture and ideas.

notebook for compositions. Breaking the Spanish Barrier, Beginner is the grammar text; there are many sup-

AP Spanish This course follows an AP syllabus that is

songs, and authentic listening sources found online.

for the AP exam. It requires strong motivation and

approved by the College Board and prepares students

plemental materials used including a beginner reader,

discipline as well as instructor and department chair

approval. The AP exam is required for all students at

Spanish 2 Intended for students who have acquired a

the end of the year.

basic knowledge in Spanish, this course offers an equal emphasis on written and oral skills. Participants are

expected to work effectively in groups, as well as inde-

The following courses are currently offered at the Ver-

compositions. Breaking the Spanish Barrier, Intermediate


mont Academy Spain Campus in Santiago de Compos-

pendently, and to maintain a self-corrected notebook for is the grammar text; there are many supplemental mate-

Advanced Spanish Conversation Taught in Galicia, Spain,

rials used including an intermediate level reader, songs, film and authentic listening sources found online.

this course is designed for the students that have suc-

Spanish 3 Conducted entirely in Spanish, this course

Vermont Academy campus and who are accepted into

cessfully finished Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 while on the

introduces students to common themes in Latin Ameri-

the Vermont Academy Spain program. This course is

can and Spanish literature through Album, a reader of

taught by teachers in Spain and from Spain and is, there-

short stories. Participants are expected to analyze and

fore, conducted entirely in Spanish. The class explores a

reflect weekly on the readings in a journal. An in-depth

weekly theme that focuses on an aspect of daily life and

study of one or two films and a complete grammatical

culture in Spain; it incorporates exercises, conversations,

review solidify the communicative proficiency. Break-

and new vocabulary, and it develops skills in listening

ing the Spanish Barrier, Advanced is the grammar text;

and speaking. This is an eminently practical course that

many cultural and supplemental materials are used to

embraces the Vermont Academy philosophy of “hand-

enhance the class. The use of authentic listening sources

on learning� and helps students put into practice the

such as radio and internet sites occurs frequently and in

accumulated knowledge from their previous study of

concert with other materials. Spanish 4


Stressing the effective communication of

Art History Our Art History course is a humanities class

thought and ideas through debate and discussion of

that focuses on art. Not only do we want our students to


know and appreciate Western Europe’s most important

completion of Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II is

cultural, and historical context. In this course we cover

ematics courses require that students have a TI-83+ or

artists and their work, but also to understand their social,

required for a Vermont Academy diploma. All math-

the Paleolithic period (rock art, pre-Roman populations)

TI-84 graphing calculator.

to modern Spanish art (Gaudí, Picasso, etc.). Along the

Algebra I This full year course emphasizes such topics

way we also review classical art (Greek and Roman) and touch upon the various styles of European art and their

as the properties of the real number system, solving first

Renaissance and Baroque art periods will all be dis-

tions involving exponents, graphing and interpreting

degree equations for one variable, fundamental opera-

effect on one another. Muslim, Romanesque, Gothic,

linear equations, factoring, proportions, basic properties

cussed. Each teaching unit includes - in addition to the

of quadratic equations and their graphs, and problem

contextual elements already mentioned above - aspects

solving strategies.

of architecture, painting and sculpture through the anal-

ysis and knowledge of the most important schools of European art and artists.

Prerequisites: This course is open to all entering 9th graders and others by recommendation of the department.

Spain, 1898-2013: from Empire to Modernity The title

Geometry This full year course explores the properties

of this history course for the Vermont Academy Spain Campus reflects the reality of the last 115 years in Span-

and relationships among one-, two-, and three-dimen-

become a modern democracy. This class will treat the

induce concepts from hands-on lessons and activities

sional shapes. Students will develop their ability to

ish history as the tired empire valiantly struggled to

and to communicate their ideas effectively. Straight-

most important events in the history of Spain from 1898

edge constructions and interactive geometry software

to 2013. Indirectly, this course will link Spain and the

will both be used to produce and demonstrate ideas.

United States as both countries have maintained a flow-

Students will produce rigorous proofs in the spirit of

ing and rich relationship (although not always friendly),

Euclidean geometry and will make important connec-

since the late nineteenth century. The idea is to present

tions between geometry concepts and those previously

Spain’s recent history as closely linked to the rise of

mastered in Algebra 1.

Western Europe and the United States. In this way, we

will expand the historical perception of not only our students’ host country (Spain), but also their own.

Note: Students hoping to take Algebra 2 and Geometry

Mathematics Courses

bra 1.

simultaneously must have earned at least a B+ in Alge-

The Mathematics Department offers a range of courses

Prerequisites: successful completion of Algebra I or by recom-

designed to teach the mathematics required for admis-

mendation of the department.

sion to colleges and universities. The goal of the depart-

ment is to provide our students with the ideas, skills,

concepts, and attitudes that are essential for further study in mathematics and related fields, and to foster

an appreciation for the power and beauty of mathematics. Our course content is informed by the Curriculum and Evaluation Standards of the National Council of

Teachers of Mathematics, utilizing an integrated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics approach.

The Mathematics Department recommends that all

Science Lab

students take four years of mathematics. Successful


Algebra II This full year course delves more deeply into

Students will explore algebraic and transcendental func-

emphasis on algebraic and transcendental functions,

terms of tables, formulas, graphs, and their application.

all of the topics covered in Algebra I. There is strong

tions (with an emphasis on trigonometric functions) in

trigonometry, analysis of both the real and complex

Other topics covered include vectors, analytic geometry,

number systems, arithmetic and geometric sequences,

the numbers i, e, and Ď•, trigonometric identities, alge-

and probability.

braic translations, radian measure, and series. Students will strengthen their ability to communicate mathemati-

Note: Students hoping to take Algebra 2 and Geometry

cal ideas clearly and effectively, and will employ a vari-

simultaneously must have earned at least a B+ in Alge-

ety of technologies to develop and demonstrate their

bra 1.


Prerequisites: successful completion of Algebra I.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Functions with a B

Algebra II Honors This full year course has all of the

higher, or by recommendation of the department.

average or higher, Algebra II Honors with a B- average or

content of Algebra 2 and more. The course also includes

further exploration into matrices, sequences, and conic

Finance Mathematics This full year course allows the

lem-solving and application techniques rather than

It gives the student an introduction to the fundamen-

sections. Assessments will give more emphasis to prob-

students to study mathematics as it applies to business.

basic mechanics. Students should expect homework

tals of financial accounting. The students will acquire

assignments to include reading and learning new mate-

knowledge of the accounting cycle by focusing on trans-

rial independently prior to attending class.

actional analysis. They will learn to record transactions, prepare trial balances, and generate financial statements. Merchandising activities will be covered with

Prerequisites: Students applying for the Honors section must

an emphasis on inventory valuation. The students will

have earned at least a B+ in Geometry and obtain the permis-

be introduced to accounting software and a final project

sion of the department.


will be required in which the students set up an account-

This full year course develops students’

ing system for a small business.

critical thinking and problem solving skills that they will apply for the rest of their lives. It makes a connec-

Prerequisites: Successful completion Algebra 2 and with per-

classroom and real world situations, integrating real life

plete college level work.

tion between the theory of mathematics taught in the

mission of the department. Students must be prepared to com-

problems from science, business, and other applications while reinforcing and expanding on the student’s exist-

AP Statistics This full year course follows the Advanced

tary functions (linear, quadratic, exponential, logarith-

students learn the art of distilling truth from data. Stu-

ing skills. The course completes the study of the elemen-

Placement Statistics course requirements. In statistics,

mic, and trigonometric) and includes topics from finite

dents will collect and analyze data from the surround-

mathematics, including basic probability and statistics.

ing community and pre-prepared scenarios, test hypoth-

This class is designed to review topics from previous

eses, and make appropriate conclusions. Students will

courses while introducing material that will be given

learn how to properly display and discuss statistics and

emphasis in Pre-calculus.

their implications.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Algebra II.

Prerequisites: Successful completion Algebra 2 and with per-

Pre-calculus This full year course is designed for the

plete college level work.

mission of the department. Students must be prepared to com-

mathematics/science student preparing for AP or col-

AP Calculus (AB) This full year course follows the

lege-level Calculus and/or advanced science classes.




and make intelligent,

requirements. Students

decisions based on that




rational, and justifiable

are introduced to the

data. This approach will

derivative and the inte-

give students the tools

gral with emphasis on

they need to explore

their applications.

the scientific concepts

they will face in college, and to later pursue

Prerequisites: Successful completion

rewarding careers in the


sciences. The normal

with permission of the department.


must be prepared to com-

End of year awards

a student begins with

Biology, in either the freshman or sophomore year. Sci-

plete college level work. AP Calculus (BC)

sequence of courses for

ence electives and advanced level science classes are

This full year course follows the

offered based on interest and availability of faculty.

Advanced Placement Calculus BC course requirements.

Biology (B) Biology is a full year lab course that will

It covers the same material as AP Calculus AB, plus

help students to explore interactions between living

other topics listed in the Advanced Placement Calculus

organisms and their environment. The focus will be on

BC course requirements.

New England flora and fauna, emphasizing time in the field to identify species in the Vermont Academy forest

Prerequisites: Successful completion of AP Calculus (AB)

and interpret the history of our local landscape. The

with permission of the department. Students must be prepared

course will introduce students to basic concepts of sci-

to complete college level work.

entific study, research and experimentation and explore

Advanced Topics in Mathematics This full year course is

major themes including biodiversity, landscape history,

occasionally offered as an independent exploration into

evolutionary ecology, and conservation biology. The

further topics within Mathematics. It is currently incor-

course will meet for one lab block each week, provid-

porated under the umbrella of the Senior Seminar, which

ing the opportunity for supplementary lab and field

is a student initiated guided research format approved

experimentation. The combination of these methods

by the department.

is designed to encourage observation, critical thinking,

attention to detail, and understanding of the scientific method. Evaluation is based on participation and atten-

Prerequisites: Successful completion of AP Calculus AB, AP

dance, homework, tests and quizzes, lab performance

Calculus BC, and AP Statistics with the permission of the

and reports, and a final exam.

department. Students must be prepared to complete independent college level work.

Prerequisites: Passing the IPS Skills Assessment

Science Courses

Integrated Physical Science (P) Integrated Physical Sci-

Science has been described in numerous ways rang-

ence is a year- long laboratory science course, with its

ing from “any methodological activity” to “knowledge

main goal being to instill a strong base of the fundamen-

gained through experience.” At Vermont Academy, it is

tals of scientific inquiry. The following concepts will be

presumed that experience is the key to the study of sci-

explored throughout the year: scientific method, setting

ence and, therefore, students are given as much scientific

up an experiment with variables, collecting and record-

experience as possible. The goal of the science curricu-

ing scientific data, proper format for laboratory reports,

lum is to help students consider data presented to them

scientific writing, and scientific language. 
The first tri-


mester explores what is beyond the earth, touching on

with sample solutions to all types of chemistry based

such topics as atmosphere, weather, and astronomy. The

interactions and problems.

second trimester answers the question, “How do things work on the earth?”

The curious world of physics

Completion of Algebra I or concurrent in Geometry. Prior

teaches motion, momentum, energy, and a bit of robot-

approval from the department may be required.

ics. The third trimester tackles geology, answering the

question, “what is the earth?” The origins of our planet,

Environmental Trimester Courses:

topics covered. 
Students will be graded on homework

Sustainability and the Food System (fall) Food has the

technique, formal laboratory reports, and a complement

nects us to family and friends and to our cultural roots.

geologic time, and field work of local rock will be the

power to nourish us—body, mind and spirit. Food con-

assignments, laboratory investigation procedure and

To paraphrase Wendell Berry, eating is an agricultural

of papers, quizzes, tests, participation, and a semester

act, one that ends the annual drama of the food econ-


omy that begins with planting and birth. Most eaters

Physics: Project Robotics (P) This year long laboratory

today, however, are no longer aware that this is true…

physical science course covers materials from a tradi-

they think of themselves as passive consumers ignoring

tional high school Physics curriculum that utilizes basic

important questions about the quality and true cost of

algebraic and trigonometric techniques to solve prob-

what they are sold (The Pleasures of Eating, 1990).

 Topics covered include using vectors to represent and analyze motion and forces. Analyze motion in

Sustainability and The Food System is a trimester-long

lar motion. Analyze forces in one and two dimensions,

has changed from sustenance to business commodity,

one and two dimensions, accelerated motion, and circu-

course intended to teach students about how food

friction, and gravity. 
Robotic skills and applications

and how the industrialization of the food system has

are integrated into the laboratory portion of the course.

resulted in social injustice, environmental degradation,

New ways to conduct the traditional physics experi-

and a decline in human health. We will also explore the

ments are being created by the students in order for the

growing movement towards food sustainability through

students to design and build their own experiment that

community supported agriculture, farm to school pro-

electronically collects data to prove or disprove their ini-

grams, urban farming initiatives and the resurgence of

tial hypothesis for the experiment. In this way, the stu-

interest in buying locally grown organic produce and

dents are discovering physics through a STEM process

free-range, grass-fed animal products.

using a high-tech design, build and test process.

Students will

have the opportunity to visit local farms, participate in a community garden project in Saxtons River, plan and prepare a number of locally sourced meals, and explore

Prerequisites: Completion or concurrent enrollment in Alge-

ways in which Vermont Academy can further develop

bra II or prior approval from the department.

its own Farm to School Program.Prerequisites: Course is

Chemistry (P) Chemistry is a laboratory science course

open to students who have successfully completed Biol-

in which students investigate the composition of mat-

ogy and get department approval.

ter and the physical and chemical changes it undergoes. Students use science process skills to study the funda-

Sustainability; Energy and Climate Change (winter) For

form compounds, and the interactions between mat-

maintained a population well below 1 billion individu-

mental structure of atoms, the way atoms combine to

most of our time on this planet, the human species has

ter and energy. Students explore chemistry concepts

als. Beginning in the 1900’s however, human population

through an inquiry-based approach. This course offers

growth began to increase exponentially so that there are

a solid understanding of the fundamentals concepts of

now over 7 billion of us sharing the limited resources of

chemistry. It will utilize a STEM based approach where

one Earth. Human population growth is directly linked

problem solving is presented logically one step at a time,

to advances in medicine, agriculture and other tech-


nologies made possible by the industrial revolution and

long course that will help students to gain deeper respect

ing coal, oil and natural gas. The production of fossil

for the planet to develop the spectacular biodiversity

the exploitation of fossil fuel energy resources includ-

for the billions of years of evolutionary time it has taken

fuel resources, however, has resulted in carbon dioxide

that exists today. Together, we will explore our role

emissions that are concentrating in our atmosphere and

as the caretakers of an evolving and conscious species

creating an amplified greenhouse effect referred to as

with the power to preserve or destroy Earth’s biological

global warming.

legacy. We will explore the works of visionaries such

as Terry Tempest Williams, Barry Lopez, Daniel Quinn,

Global warming has catalyzed increased droughts and

and Frijtof Capra. The ultimate goal of this course is to

heat waves, the melting of the polar ice caps, destruc-

inform, inspire and empower students to be the leaders

tive storms and flooding events, ocean acidification,

in a paradigm shift towards a more sustainable human

sea-level rise, loss of biodiversity and animal extinc-

consciousness that sees itself as a part of nature and

tion. According to climate scientists, unless we rapidly

envisions a brighter future for the health and wellness of

make the shift to clean, renewable energy sources such

our species and for all the other species that will inhabit

as solar, wind and hydropower, we may be headed

our planet in the future. Prerequisites: Course is open to

towards a climate tipping point. This course will famil-

students who have successfully completed Biology and

iarize students with the science of climate change and

get department approval.

help them to explore our most viable choices for a clean

energy economy. Students will participate in the Green

Elective Courses

learn about energy use right here at Vermont Academy.

Forensic Science (P)

to help our community become more energy conscious

successfully completed or be concurrently enrolled in

Schools Alliance’s Green Cup Energy Challenge and

Forensic Science is a yearlong

They will also work with VA’s Sustainability Committee

course. Enrollment requirement: Students must have

and help us to take steps towards our own shift towards

biology and chemistry. Physics and human anatomy are strongly recommended.

energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy.

The class is designed around authentic performance

Prerequisites: Course is open to students who have success-

assessments with students working in teams to solve

fully completed Biology and get department approval.

crimes using scientific knowledge and reasoning. It involves all areas of science including biology, anatomy,

Sustainability & Human Consciousnes (spring) Modern

chemistry, physics, and physical science with an empha-

humans have resided on this planet for approximately

sis on complex reasoning and critical thinking and

200,000 years--only a tiny fraction of the 3.5 billion

STEM centered applications. In addition, students must

years that life on Earth has existed. We consider our-

incorporate the use of technology, communication skills,

selves to be the most intelligent and conscious species

and mathematics.

that has ever lived, yet conservation biologists inform

us that our activities are currently accelerating the normal rate of species extinction by 1,000 to 10,000 times. As


global economy continues to depend on fossil fuel for

or concurrently enrolled in chemistry.

the human population exponentially increases and the

Course is open to juniors or seniors who

received a grade of B or better in both Biology and Chemistry

food and energy production, ecologists and climate sci-

Kinesiology (B) Exploration of the application of sci-

entists warn that we will soon bring the planet towards

a tipping point that may make it unsuitable for life as we

entific concepts to the study of human motion is cov-

move forward?

studies of human anatomy and physiology, chemistry,

ered in this course. The concepts are drawn from the

know it. As a conscious species, how will we choose to

and physics. The students will have the use of several anatomical skeletal models to study the architecture of

Sustainability and Human Consciousness is a trimester-


bones, joints, and muscles as well as the opportunity to

groups that would be encountered by the architect in a

complete laboratory activities investigating the actual

typical project.

range of motion, speed, and strength of selected joint

movements. The human nervous system will also be

Hand and computer drafting techniques will be pre-

terms of body development, growth, conditioning, and

they pertain to progress through a project. The students

covered. Energy usage and nutrition will be studied in

sented and used in a variety of small assignments as

repair. The students will discuss the mechanism of sev-

will choose an architectural project. This project is to be

eral bone, joint, and muscle injuries and the mechanics

completed by the end of the academic year. It will be

of repair and rehabilitation from these injuries. The use

evaluated through a presentation to a panel as if it were

and abuse of drugs for sport competition may also be

for a real client. The text for this course is Introduction

discussed. Practical application to athletic exercise pre-

to Architecture by Francis D.K. Ching and James F. Eck-

scription will also be covered.

ler, 2013 edition.

Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry. Laboratory exercises

Prerequisite: Course is open to juniors or seniors. A course in

will also be included. Department Approval maybe required.

completed a course in physics that included vector analysis.)

regarding aerobic and anaerobic exercise and strength training

Architecture and Engineering (P) course that looks at the architect

Newtonian Physics and Algebra II. (The student should have Department Approval may be required.

This is a yearlong

Advanced Elective Courses

as part artist, designer/engineer,

visionary, organizer and master

Anatomy and Physiology(B) This

students will investigate their own

biology, chemistry, physics, and

of presentation. In this course, the

yearlong lab course will integrate

architectural tools of the trade,

health through the fundamental

a creative mind, artistic talent

concepts of human anatomy and

with paper, pens and pencils, and

physiology. It is hoped that partic-

research and organizational skills

ipation in this class will stimulate

as they are applied to completing

students’ interest in medical and

an architectural project.

paramedical related fields. Topics to be studied include (but are not

Topics for research papers and

limited to); histology, integumen-

presentations include:

tary system, musculo-skeletal sys-

- Dream House

tem, nervous system, endocrine

- Differentiating architectural time


periods and construction tech

system. Class time will be utilized

- Green Architecture - Planning the village, town, or


digestive system and excretory


- The Smart House


with a combination of discusDown Time


sions, lectures, videos, group and individual work and extensive lab

work. Evaluation is based on participation and atten-

dance, homework, tests and quizzes, lab performance

The students will investigate these topics, present them

and reports, projects, and a final exam. Lab work will

to the class and learn about the entire process from each

include (but not be limited to); histological examination

other. They may visit with some of the types of archi-

of organs, examination of real skeletons, dissections of

tectural firms, and a discussion of the organization and

a cat, sheep’s brain and heart, and cow’s eye. Each unit

responsibility of each and of the various trades and

will include written and lab practical assessments.


Prerequisites: Course is open to juniors or seniors who have

Physics: Robotics Software and Engineering course is a

taken or are concurrently enrolled in Chemistry. Offered alter-

process. The course is project based and the students are

year- long course that is based on the engineering design

received a grade of B or better in Honors Biology and have nating academic years.

tasked to solve the problems encountered why building a robotic system to fulfill certain requirements. The tasks

Electricity & Magnetism (P) The Electricity and Magne-

are open-ended and allow for many different solutions.

tism course is designed to follow much of the AP Physics

The students work in design teams and keep a detailed

C level course curriculum. Sitting for the AP examination

design log tracking their ideas, successes, and failures

in May is not a requirement for the course. This course

with analysis for all. Each student will be exposed to the

will review the basic concepts of wave mechanics prior

three design areas, electrical, software, and mechanical.

to the introduction of the concept of the electron. Elec-

They may choose one, two or all three of them to con-

trostatic and magnetic forces and fields, electrical cur-

tinue working with for the remainder of the year. They

rents, and potential difference are thoroughly discussed.

may compete in regional and national robotics competi-

Topics in resistivity, capacitance, and inductance are pre-


sented for discussion and experimental investigation.

Electric circuitry will also be covered for both direct cur-

Prerequisites: Honors Physics and pre-calculus or Physics:

rent and alternating current systems. This course com-

Project Robotics and Algebra II.

bines both algebraic and calculus techniques applied

to the study of these concepts. Problems and questions

Biotechnology/Bioethics (B) This yearlong lab course is

are given to help the student develop problem-solving

an introduction for non-specialists to important concepts

skills. The text for this course is Fundamentals of Phys-

in modern DNA and protein science with an emphasis

ics , Vol. II, Halliday, Resnick, and Walker. This text is

on real world applications and their implications to the

problem based and provides multiple levels of difficulty

global society. The course will begin with a review of

for both questions and problems. Experiment guidelines

the Central Dogma of molecular biology and a survey

will be taken from different secondary school and col-

of different ethical constructs. Focus will be on major

lege laboratory manuals.

laboratory investigations that embody many of the fundamental techniques and concepts of modern molecular

In the third term, the students will choose a topic that

biology, from basic micropipetting to recombinant DNA

is related to their studies of Electricity and Magnetism

technology and gene amplification by PCR. Human

to research and present to the class. It is recommended

reproductive technologies will also be discussed and

that this topic be one that the student can produce some

studied. Evaluation is based on participation and atten-

working model to demonstrate the concept under investigation.

dance, homework, tests and quizzes, lab performance

If the student chooses to take the AP Electricity & Mag-

write small formal lab reports after each new biotech

est AP test preparation book early in the semester for

informal (in the form of reaction papers) papers that

additional time spent by the student during the course

to each technology. Final exams will include a lab prac-

and reports, and projects. Students will be expected to

netism exam, the student should purchase the new-

concept and they will be expected to write formal and

review and practice. The preparation for this test will be

explore student and teacher generated issues that relate

of the year.

tical and a written project.

Prerequisites: Students who have completed secondary school

Prerequisites: Course is open to juniors or seniors who have

enrolled in calculus.

taken or are concurrently enrolled in Chemistry. Two years of

received a grade of B or better in honors Biology and have

laboratory-based chemistry and physics and are currently

Robotics Software & Engineering (P)

reading and writing in English is also required. Offered alter-

The Advanced

nating academic years.


Honors Courses

ogy. Sophomores concurrently enrolled in honors algebra II and get department approval.

Honors Biology; formally Cellular (B) Honors Biology is

a yearlong lab course designed to introduce students to

Visual and Performing Arts Courses

mentation, as well as provide a survey of major themes

At Vermont Academy, our faculty recognizes the impor-

themes of Biology through the lens of nutrition, medi-

perspectives and learning styles. The variety of courses,

basic concepts of scientific study, research and experi-

tance of encouraging creativity and respecting different

in biology. This Biology course addresses the major

small class size, and individual attention provide an

cine, health and fitness. The course will cover the units

excellent environment for students to discover their

of chemistry, biochemistry, cells, genetics, evolution,

own creative talents. Our beautiful surroundings offer

and the human body systems. Class time will be utilized

endless opportunities for both inspiration and contem-

with a combination of discussions, lectures, group and


individual work. The course will meet for one lab block approximately once per week, providing the opportu-

nity for supplementary lab and field experimentation.

A one-year arts’ credit is required for graduation. Sev-

age observation, critical thinking, attention to detail, and

and theater. VA students may participate in the musical

eral academic courses are offered in visual arts, music,

The combination of these methods is designed to encour-

and other annual productions, with most rehearsals held

understanding of the scientific method. Evaluation is

in the evening. An intensive dance program is available

based on participation and attendance, homework, tests

for athletic credit during the winter season, and includes

and quizzes, lab performance and reports, and a final

a variety of dance forms, such as ballet, hip hop, jazz,


modem, and tap. Some art offerings are available as afternoon activities.

Prerequisites: Completion or concurrent enrollment in Alge-

bra II w/B- or better or Geometry w/A- or better. Incoming freshmen or sophomores may take this course with a strong

The arts’ facilities include three well-lit studios for drawing,

the department. Demonstrated mastery of reading and writ-

studio with six potters’ wheels and a professional-sized

painting, printmaking, and 3-D design; a spacious pottery

recommendation from their sending school and approval from

gas reduction kiln; two photography dark rooms; a large

ing in English is advised. Honors Chemistry (P)

music room with keyboards and computers, an electronic

Beginning with an extensive

music recording lab, and five practice rooms. Horowitz

look at the currently accepted model of atomic theory,

Performing Arts Center is host to our performing arts

this yearlong course uses this theory in discussions of

program, our all-school performances, guest concerts,

chemical periodicity, the states of matter, stoichiometry,

and guest speaker series. The center is a 350-seat perfor-

reaction mechanisms, reaction kinetics, and acid-base

mance hall with a full stage with fly space and a set shop.

theory. Because chemistry concerns itself with the finite, quantitative aspects of matter, it utilizes the skills of

Theater Course Offerings

The approach used is a combination of lectures, prob-

Acting (Fall and Winter Trimester) During this course,

advanced algebra, geometry and STEM applications.

lem-solving sessions, and laboratory work. Chemistry

students will become versed in the basic tools and

dents to write formal reports and technical analyses of

tion, physical technique, and text analysis, each student

vocabulary necessary to the actor. Through improvisa-

carries laboratory credit and, therefore, requires the stu-

will analyze and workshop a variety of scenes with the

the research performed.

final goal of performing for the class and, at times, for the public. In order to get the most out of this course,

Prerequisites: Students must have successfully completed algebra II or concurrently enrolled.

students will be required to complete moderate amounts

The course is open to

of reading, writing and memorization. Acting is a single

juniors or seniors who received a grade of B or better in Biol-


trimester elective with open enrollment for any sopho-

and speakers. Sound Lab class members will serve as

more, junior, or senior.

Directing (Spring Trimester)

‘Audio Proctors’ to offer support at school functions,

concerts, sporting events, and productions including our

Students in this course

fall theater musical production in Horowitz Hall. Sound

will develop their directorial eye and strengthen their

Lab is a single trimester elective with open enrollment

communication skills. As directors, students will hone

for any sophomore, junior, or senior.

their ability to translate written work from the page to images on the stage. As a group, the class will analyze

Music Appreciation (Winter Trimester) Music Apprecia-

tone; and explore the concepts of focal points and coun-

intention of providing historical and culturally relevant

tion is a course designed to teach listening skills with the

texts; discuss the concepts of mood, atmosphere, and

information about music throughout history. The course

terpoints – in other words, where the audience’s eye is

begins with an overview of the basic elements of music

drawn on stage. Each student will be required to direct a

with a focus on active listening, and continues with units

series of scenes ranging from structured improvisations

covering many musical styles and periods including

and image-based works to text-based scenes. All direc-

music from antiquity through the 20th century, including

tors will also serve as actors for their classmates and will

contemporary pop, rock, and jazz music. Students will

be required to complete written assignments. Acting is

participate in ‘music sharing’ days where they will pre-

a single trimester elective with open enrollment for any

pare and share information about their personal interests

sophomore, junior, or senior.

in music, as well as attend numerous live music events

throughout the term. This course offers students the

Advanced Theater Seminar (Full-Year Course) Students

opportunity to share and explore music from all genres,

in the advanced theater course will explore a variety of

with an emphasis on listening techniques, diverse musi-

traditional and non-traditional theater techniques, tack-

cal exposure, and the many cultural influences of music.

ling a wide array of acting, directing and playwriting

Music Appreciation is a single trimester elective with

projects throughout the year. In the fall trimester we will

open enrollment for any sophomore, junior, or senior.

focus mainly on performance techniques, ranging from

cerebral “method” techniques to physical and imagebased performance techniques. During the fall, students

Electonic Instrument Building and Design (Winter Trimes-

will serve as a guide for the Winter Blackbox production

struction and hands-on experience with musical instru-

and performed at the end of the second trimester. During

the basic properties of sound and electricity as a founda-

ter) This course provides discussion, application, con-

in this course will also work on developing a text that

ments of an electronic nature. This course begins with

which will be refined and rehearsed in the winter term

tion for basic understanding of instrument design and

this section, students will have the opportunity to take

construction. Major projects include constructing a tone

on roles both on and offstage. In the spring, the class will

generating circuit, constructing a pitch controller, modi-

hone their directorial skills and participate in a series of

fying a ‘found instrument’, circuit bending, and basic

short collaborative scenes that challenge each student’s

sound processing techniques. This lab-based, hand-on

directorial eye. This class is open to students who have

course is an excellent offering for a student who is inter-

completed at least one theater class, or by special permis-

ested in music, electronics, or sound production. E.I.B.D.

sion from the instructor.

is a one trimester elective with open enrollment for any

Music Course Offerings

sophomore, junior, or senior.

Sound Lab (Fall Trimester) Students in this course dis-

Music Workshop (Spring Trimester) Music Workshop is

tion and production. The course will focus on the study

to productively participate in ensemble playing in many

a performance based class which teaches students how

cover techniques related to all manners of sound projec-

styles. Students will use a focus instrument of choice

of the primary hardware associated with sound projec-

to improve personal musicianship and perform mate-

tion, including mixing consoles, microphones, cables,


rial. Class members will learn to transcribe recorded

ule. The group focuses on ensemble playing of music of

basic harmony, chord changes, and formal structure will

technique. The ensemble presents upwards of 6 concerts

music, arrange parts, and conduct rehearsals. Study of

all styles, as well as improvisational and instrumental

help students to create music more successfully in rock,

each year to enthusiastic audiences. All instrumental stu-

jazz, blues, and improvisational settings. This class will

dents are welcome to enroll, with occasional limitations

present music at multiple concerts throughout the term.

based on instrumentation. Jazz Ensemble is a year long

Music Workshop is a one trimester elective available for

elective with no prerequisite.

any sophomore, junior, or senior with instructor permission.

Vocal Ensemble (Full year course, open enrollment at TII

Recording Studio Spring Trimester) This class offers its

vide members with the knowledge of and ability to per-

related to sound recording. Actual recording processes

madrigal, musical theater, spiritual, and contemporary

& TIII) Through ensemble rehearsal, this class will pro-

students exposure to all of the materials and principles

form music from many genres, including jazz, classical,

will be explored on many types of historical devices,

literature. Two rehearsals per week make this ½ class an

including LP, cassette, reel to reel, wax cylinder, and all

easy addition to a musician’s academic schedule. The

forms of digital media. This course presents the oppor-

group also works on vocal techniques. The ensemble

tunity for students to learn about the physical nature

presents upwards of 6 concerts each year. In addition,

of sound recording in an environment that encourages

students are also eligible for off campus festivals, such as

thoughtful and creative composition. Each student will

the All-New England Choral Festival, Vermont All-State,

produce their own creative music composition using

and District Festivals. Vocal Ensemble is a year long elec-

varying recording devices. Recording Studio is a single

tive with no prerequisite.

trimester elective with open enrollment for any sophomore, junior, or senior.

Chamber Ensemble (Full year course, open enrollment

Music Lessons (All terms) Vermont Academy’s music les-

VA who are more interested in classical repertoire. Our

at TII & TIII) This ensemble caters to the musicians at

son program offers students with an interest in perfor-

group usually carries 10-15 members including strings,

mance a chance to study their instrument as part of their

winds, brass, and other instruments where appropriate.

academic regiment. This popular aspect of the music

Our literature includes arrangements of well-known

offerings allows students to take a lesson once a week,

classical pieces as well as examples of music from film

during the academic day with a private teacher. Lesson

and popular culture. Two rehearsals per week make this

students earn academic credit for their lessons, and earn

½ class an easy addition to a musician’s academic sched-

the privilege of access to practice rooms, lockers, and lis-

ule. This ensemble presents numerous concerts through-

tening resources. Lesson students benefit from the out-

out the school year, adding balance to concert programs

standing teaching and musicianship brought to Vermont

featuring Jazz and Vocal Ensembles. Chamber Ensemble

Academy by our staff of adjunct lesson teachers. Music

is a year long elective with no prerequisite.

lessons are an elective opportunity open to any Vermont Academy student for one, two, or three trimesters.

Visual Arts Course Offerings

Ensemble Offerings – H Period

Full year courses: Advanced Art This AP style class, with a focus on port-

Jazz Ensemble (Full year course, open enrollment at TII & TIII) Through intensive ensemble rehearsal, this class

folio development and gallery presentations, is open to

to perform music from the jazz, funk, latin, and contem-

of the department chair. Students who plan to focus on

will provide members with the knowledge of and ability

seniors, with approval by the instructor and permission

porary literature. Two rehearsals per week make this ½

the visual arts in college would benefit from this course.

class an easy addition to a musician’s academic sched-

The first trimester helps the student prepare a portfolio


Trimester courses Art History: What do We Have Here? – Sculpture and Architecture of New England (fall) Who knew that Bel-

lows Falls had homes built by paper millionaires or that one of the country’s greatest sculptors lived just down

the river from our campus. Learn why New England

has such a distinctive look and understand how an 18th century excavation of the volcano extinguished town of Pompei influenced wooden buildings in America.

Smashing Expectations- Modern Art (spring) This class

Jazz Ensemble Performance

looks at what happened to painting beginning with the

for college admissions. The second trimester gives stu-

Industrial Revolution. Students will see how changes in

dents an introduction to Art History and continued port-

society alter the course of art as it experiences a paradigm

folio development. The third semester allows for a more

shift in the perception of the role of the artist from work-

independent study according to the student’s goals.

ing within the public taste, to becoming an avant-garde creator. Students will augment their understanding of

This class can also be taken as an Advanced Pottery

the dramatic shifts in art by reading current publica-

course with the same expectations of the student in

tions as well as by visiting galleries and museums. Sev-

terms of trimester development.

eral hands-on art projects will allow students to further understand the artistic process. There is no pre-requisite

Prerequisites: At least two visual arts courses completed with

for this course.

grades of B+ or better.

Studio Art I Studio I is a basic class that is recommended

Pottery Students learn the basic hand-building tech-

for all students (except freshmen – see Freshman Arts)

niques with which they are expected to produce a

who wish to take a general art class or for sophomores

required number of pieces. When hand-building profi-

interested in pursuing an arts intensive path of study

ciency has been demonstrated, the students may choose

culminating in participation in Advanced Art. Basic

to learn to use the potter’s wheel or work in sculpture.

All work is done in stoneware, which is a high-fire clay

techniques along with art historical studies and the Ele-

glazes that are mixed in our studio. Motivated students

student will make a Creativity Journal that emphasizes

of great durability and finished with cone 9 reduction

ments of Art and Principles of Design are stressed. Each

are able to take more than one year of pottery, with the

imagination and independence in the studio.

permission of the instructor.

Foundations (fall)

Students will explore a variety of

drawing techniques and media. The focus will be on

Freshman Arts All students will rotate through Visual,

working towards improved observational drawing.

Performing and Theatre Arts studios, one each trimester. In this way students will gain experience in a variety of

3-D (winter) Students will create several different sculp-

arts classes and come to an understanding of how the

arts function at Vermont Academy. This is required for

tures based on a range of modern sculptors’ work. Stu-

all incoming freshmen.

dents will work with wire, wood and found objects.

In Visual Art, students will work, during the course of

Introduction to Painting (spring) Students will work with

pottery studio.

based on both observation and fantasy.

acrylic, watercolor and pastel to make paintings that are

one trimester, in the studio, computer studio and the


Studio Art II These classes build on the Studio I experi-

Black and White Photography (offered every other year,

ence and allow further investigation of the history, tech-

available for 2013-14)

This course examines the his-

niques and ideas that inform the visual arts. Hands-on

toric, aesthetic, and practical roles of photography in the

artists are important aspects of the classes. Students are

must take applications (or have learned darkroom proce-

modem world. It consists of three equal parts. Students

studio exploration and learning-through-looking at major

dures elsewhere) in order to proceed into the winter and

required to keep a sketchbook/journal throughout each

spring classes.


B&W applications (fall) Students will explore how pho-

Prerequisites: Studio Art I Foundations and Introduction to

tography developed as a historic process with darkroom


applications and processes being explored.

Advanced Drawing and Design (fall) Drawing and design

B&W composition (winter) Photography as an art will be

projects are created using pencil, colored pencil, charcoal,

examined with a focus on taking pictures within the con-

and pastels.

fines of historic composition.

Cardboard Construction (winter) Students will create wall sculpture and sculptural paintings on cardboard.

B&W studio (spring) Gives students more hands-on expe-

Painting and Printmaking (spring) Building from Intro-

sonal exploration in the field and studio.

rience in how a camera works and allows for more per-

duction to Painting, this is a deeper exploration of acrylic and watercolor painting. Students will also learn several


and linocut.

Basic Film (fall) Students will learn the basics of visual

Digital Photography These classes encourage students

video editing practices. Our filmmaking studio allows stu-

printmaking techniques such as: collograph, monoprint

storytelling and develop a working knowledge of film and

to fully explore how to use our digital cameras and our

dents to address the main issues surrounding linear and

computer studio. Basic compositional techniques along

non-linear editing, and the practical differences between

with art historical studies and the Elements of Art and

digital video and film. Students will engage in creating

Principles of Design are stressed in each semester.

story boards, shooting schedules, and shot lists. Drawing

on classic films, students will learn the basic shot types,

Basics (fall) Students will learn how to use their cam-

camera movements, and “points of view.” Willingness to

eras to best effect. Camera techniques and composition

spend a substantial amount of time working outside of the

will be emphasized as students take pictures all around

classroom is a must.


Stop Motion Animation (winter)

Students will learn the

Studio and still lifes (winter) Students will learn how to

basic techniques of stop motion animation. Working in

of options available on the computers in our studio. Con-

Python), clay (think Wallace and Gromit) and pen and ink

digitally enhance, or alter, their work by using a variety

a variety of mediums—i.e., photo cutouts (think Monty

tinued emphasis on composition and lighting will guide

(think the classic Disney animations)—students will learn

the process.

the sometimes painstaking art of stop motion animation (where 12, 24, and sometimes 30 still photos combine to

Landscapes and portraits (spring) By studying the work

make just one second of animation.

of artists such as Julia Margaret Cameron and Edward Weston; students will develop their own eye as photog-

Advanced Film (spring) Students will spend the tri-

the lab.

minute narrative short film (or stop motion animation)

mester writing, producing, directing and editing a 10-15

raphers and then take those photos one step further in


for public presentation. Willingness to spend a substan-

tial amount of time working outside of the classroom is a must. 
Prerequisite: One semester of Filmmaking.

Computer Studio 
Introduction to Computer Studio (fall)

Students will explore their artistic capabilities digitally using primarily Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and the scanner. Illustrations will be created by generating

imagery in each program (or a combination of both) or by

scanning drawn or found materials as a basis for developing illustrations. By juxtaposing the differences between

“traditional” art techniques and digital art techniques, students will learn how to create art and effective graphic design. 

Designing for Print and Digital Publications (winter) Stu-

dents with experience using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator will learn the basics of both layout design and typography for print and digital publications (i.e., magazines, blogs, the VA Yearbook and basic websites). In this course, students will contemplate how important graphical style, attractiveness and layout are to the effective communication of both textual and photographic content. Prerequisite: One semester of Computer Studio. Fine Art in the Computer Studio (spring)

Students who

have experience with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator will focus on producing fine art utilizing digital tools. From abstract art to digital portraiture and layered photo

manipulation, this course emphasizes free artistic expression as opposed to the more functional graphic design techniques of Design for Print and Digital Pub lications.


Vermont Academy Graduation Requirements 2013-2014 Students must satisfactorily complete at least 17 college preparatory course credits to graduate; the majoity of students graduate with 20 or more credits. All courses are awarded a half-credit per semester.


Courses required



English — Four: Eng 9, Eng 10, Eng 11 and 1/3 credit each trimester in Grade 12



Mathematics - Three: Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2



Sciences - Three: one from the biological sciences and one from the physical sciences



Modern Languages - Two: through level two of one language



History - Three: U.S. History (normally in the junior year) and two additional credits



Arts - One



Electives - One: any credit from one of the departments above



Total Credits






Vermont Academy Course Catalog 2013-14  

Vermont Academy's academic course offerings

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