T h e W i l l i s t o n n orthampton s c h o o l
Course of Studies Academi c Year 2 013 -1 4
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Contacts Head of School Robert W. Hill III �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������529-3222 | firstname.lastname@example.org Associate Head of School Jeffrey Ketcham ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 529-3232 | email@example.com Academic Affairs Greg Tuleja, Academic Dean ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������529-3227 | firstname.lastname@example.org Kimberly Evelti, Associate Academic Dean for Program Development ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 529-3071 | email@example.com Dean of Faculty Peter Valine �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 529-3379 | firstname.lastname@example.org Director of Diversity and International Student Coordinator Bridget Choo, Director ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 529-3277 | email@example.com The Robert Parker Clapp Library Mary Paige, Library Director ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 529-3225 | firstname.lastname@example.org Middle School Jen Fulcher, Head ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 529-3229 | email@example.com Andrew Syfu, Coordinator of Student Affairs ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������529-3250 | firstname.lastname@example.org Ninth Grade Program Allison Marsland, Coordinator �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������529-3282 | email@example.com Matt Sawyer, Coordinator ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������529-3775 | firstname.lastname@example.org Parent Relations Rachel Goldberg, Director ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 529-3308 | email@example.com Technology Andrew Shelffo, Chief Information Officer ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 529-3237 | firstname.lastname@example.org
academic department MAILBOXES: English Department......................................................................................................................................................................................................... 529-3313 Fine and Performing Arts Department............................................................................................................................................................529-3226 History and Global Studies Department........................................................................................................................................................529-3726 Language Department....................................................................................................................................................................................................529-3285 Mathematics Department.............................................................................................................................................................................................529-3278 Science Department.........................................................................................................................................................................................................529-3263
Academics at Williston
The academic program at the Williston Northampton School is designed to create a rigorous academic environment that inspires students to develop a wide range of intellectual interests and pursuits. Our core diploma requirements are enhanced by a rich and diverse elective program, enabling students with varied interests and strengths to find challenge and inspiration in their academic and artistic work.
in an atmosphere that promotes an open exchange among students and faculty and emphasizes the value and the beauty of thinking and creating. Our most immediate goal is to prepare our students well for their college careers, but we recognize that our broader and more important responsibility is to establish in our students an appreciation for the joys and complexities of learning, that we hope will continue throughout their adult lives.
The crucial relationship between the dedicated and talented teacher and the eager and interested student forms the heart of our academic program. This relationship informs what happens in our classes, which are designed to emphasize collaboration and discussion. In the classroom, ideas are scrutinized and opinions shared
Greg Tuleja Academic Dean
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Graduation Requirements.................................................................. pg. 4 Academic Policies............................................................................... pg. 5 Special Programs................................................................................ pg. 7 English Courses.................................................................................. pg. 9 Mathematics Courses........................................................................pg. 13
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Table of Contents
Science Courses............................................................................... pg. 16 Language Courses..............................................................................pg. 21 History and Global Studies Courses.................................................. pg. 26 Fine and Performing Arts Courses.....................................................pg. 31 Middle School Courses..................................................................... pg. 38
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Graduation Requirements In order to receive a diploma, a student must complete 57 academic credits in courses offered at the 9th through 12th grade level. A full-year course receives three credits and a trimester course receives one credit. The 57 credits must include: English ���������������������������������������������������������������������������� 12 credits Each student must be enrolled in an English course during every trimester of attendance. ELL courses are considered part of the English department. Mathematics ���������������������������������������������������������������������9 credits This must include Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II; most students go beyond these requirements. Science ������������������������������������������������������������������������������6 credits Three credits must be a full-year life science (Biology or Environmental Science) and three credits must be a full-year physical science (Physics or Chemistry). Most students go beyond this requirement. Language ���������������������������������������������������������� 6 sequential credits Each student must complete at least six credits in the same language during grades 9–12; most students take at least a third year. Students for whom English is not a first language need not fulfill credits in this department. History and Global Studies �����������������������������������������������8 credits Three credits must be taken in U.S. History; many colleges require a third year. Three- and four-year students must take World Civilizations in the 9th or 10th grade. For two-, three-, and fouryear students, at least one credit must be selected from among the religion and philosophy courses (6700 level). Fine and Performing Arts ���������������������������������������������� 3 credits Two-, three-, and four-year students must complete three credits. Students are urged to select from offerings both in the studio/performance courses and in the humanities courses. Note: Students, parents, and faculty advisors should check the distribution requirements of particular colleges in which students may be interested, as requirements and recommended course programs vary.
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Diploma requirements also include: 1. a passing grade in all courses taken in the senior year and satisfactory completion of the Senior Project, for those who choose to do one; 2. third trimester senior year, enrollment in five courses, each worth one credit; 3. enrollment throughout the senior year and through graduation ceremonies; 4. positive citizenship; 5. regular participation in the athletic program. Diplomas are granted on the voted recommendation of the faculty prior to graduation, confirmed by the vote of the Board of Trustees. Waiver of any diploma requirement may be granted only by the faculty upon a recommendation made by a committee that includes the head of school or his designated representative, the academic dean, the college counselor, and, when waiver of a specific course is involved, the department head. Seniors, including post-graduates, who are in jeopardy of failing a year-long course, or who have failed a first trimester course, may be required to withdraw from the school at the end of the fall trimester.
Senior Spring Projects During the winter trimester, seniors may apply to the head of the appropriate academic department and to the academic dean, for permission to pursue independent study in place of one of their academic courses, if they have satisfied all of their departmental requirements, and if they are passing all courses at the conclusion of the second trimester. Seniors may apply for this on-campus program under the guidance of a knowledgeable faculty member. Once approved, a senior project must merit a “pass” awarded by the department in order to qualify for the diploma. A “Pass” is the equivalent of “B” work by the academic standards of the school. A senior project is intended to be the culmination of a study or interest already acquired and not a pursuit of a new discipline. Truly superior performance on a project will result in the grade: “Pass with Distinction,” which is considered one of the highest honors that the school awards.
Academic Policies Course Load
Students in grades 9 through 12 are expected to take five courses each trimester, and students should expect about 45 minutes of homework from each class every day. Occasionally, a student might be permitted to take six courses for a trimester, but a specific petition is required for this. A six-course load is typically reserved for students on High Honors from the previous trimester.
Advising and Placement When a student enters the Upper School, his or her academic program is designed by the academic dean after review of the studentâ€™s records and any notes made by an admission officer during the studentâ€™s interview. For returning students in both the Middle and Upper Schools, the academic program is drawn up initially by the student and the studentâ€™s faculty advisor. Students are advised to talk with their teachers about course choices and placement, and parents are urged to participate early in the process through consultation with the faculty advisor in April and May. In June, the academic departments and the Middle School faculty provide the academic dean with the names of those students who are recommended for placement in honors and/or Advanced Placement (AP) sections. While every effort is made to respond to legitimate requests for specific courses and to keep students and parents informed about the status of requests for honors and AP courses, placement in these courses is ultimately made by the academic dean in consultation with the academic departments. All AP courses follow approved syllabi, which prepare students for the AP exam in May. Students who enroll in an AP course should expect to take the AP exam. The cost of each AP exam in 2012 was $87.00. In the Upper School, there are sometimes more courses offered in a trimester than will actually be taught. For most courses, it is necessary to have a minimum enrollment.
Directed Studies are tutorial courses on special topics not included in the regular curriculum. Students may petition to complete an online course of study under this program. The student may plan a Directed Study with a faculty member but final approval of the proposal is granted by the department head and the academic dean. The Directed Study must be a fifth or sixth course and is evaluated on a pass/fail basis.
Add/Drop Upper School At the beginning of the fall trimester (for year-long courses) and at the beginning of each trimester (for trimester electives), an Upper School student may use the established course change procedure to withdraw from a course. No record of the course will appear on the transcript if the withdrawal occurs before interim comments are recorded. With the exception of these time periods, all withdrawals are recorded Withdrawn/Passing or Withdrawn/Failing. No requests for withdrawal from a course may be considered or approved more than seven days after interim comments are recorded. Except under the most unusual of circumstances, students may not enter a course later than seven class days after the beginning of the course. A change in course level, for example from French III Honors to French III, would be an exception to this policy so long as the established course change procedure is followed.
Grade Reports The school year consists of three trimesters with formal numerical grades recorded at the end of each trimester. Interim comments for some students may also be recorded at the midpoint of a particular trimester. All interim and trimester grades and comments are made available electronically to parents, students, and advisors.
AP Courses Upper School All students enrolled in AP courses are expected to take the associated AP exam in May. The very rare exceptions to this policy are reviewed by the AP teacher, the academic department head, and the academic dean.
Attendance Upper School Students are expected to attend all of their classes. Any student who misses 10 or more class meetings of a class in a single trimester may
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be subject to Pass/Fail rather than numeric grades or a loss of credit in the class.
Academic Standing Promotion Standards Upper School: For promotion from 9th to 10th grade, a student must have successfully completed 12 credits, including three credits in 9th grade English. For promotion from 10th to 11th grade, a student must have successfully accumulated 27 credits, including three credits in 10th grade English. For promotion from 11th to 12th grade, a student must have successfully accumulated 42 credits, including three credits in 11th grade English. Academic Probation Upper School: Any student whose trimester report includes two grades lower than 70 or one grade lower than 60 shall be placed on academic probation. If the student’s grades at the end of the following trimester are not sufficiently improved for removal from academic probation status, the student will be permitted to continue at Williston only by vote of the faculty. Each student who is placed on academic probation will meet with his or her teachers, his or her advisor, and the academic dean, to formulate a plan to assist the student. The student and his or her parents will be notified promptly of the probation, as well as the features of any assistance plan. Middle School: Students’ academic and social lives are carefully monitored by Middle School faculty and the Middle School director. When concerns arise, contact is made between school and home. In such an environment, academic expectations are high. Any student whose trimester report includes two grades lower than 70 shall be placed on academic probation. A student on probation will meet with his or her parents and teachers, and the Middle School director. The goal of that meeting will be to formulate a plan to assist the student. If the student remains on academic probation at the end of the next term, the student will be permitted to continue at Williston only by vote of the faculty.
Academic Honors The passing and college recommending grade at Williston is 60. Qualifications for Upper School honor roll are as follows: Honors: minimum grade point average of 87. High Honors: minimum grade point average of 92. Honors designations are based on weighted trimester grade point averages. All honors and advanced placement courses receive a fivepoint bonus in the grade point average only.
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Special Academic Honors Cum Laude Society: The highest honor for a student is election to the Cum Laude Society, a national organization that recognizes high academic achievement in independent secondary schools. Students eligible for election are those seniors who, in the judgment of the faculty membership, combine academic excellence and achievement with honorable citizenship, sound character, and active participation in school life. Prizes and Awards The Upper School awards numerous endowed book prizes for academic achievement at the awards assembly. Also presented at this time are the major class prizes for outstanding achievement in all areas of school life. These major prizes include: • • • • • • • •
The Bowdoin Book Prize (Grade 9) The Smith Book Award (Grade 9) The Williams Book Prize (Grade 10) The Yale Book Prize (Grade 10) The Harvard Book Prize (Grade 11) The Dartmouth Book Prize (Grade 11) The Holy Cross Book Prize (Grade 11) The Yale/Granniss Book Prize (Grade 11)
Twelve senior prizes are awarded at graduation. The top three are the Valedictory Prize for the first scholar of the class, The Archibald V. Galbraith Prize for the outstanding senior boy, and the Sarah B. Whitaker Award (the White Blazer) for the outstanding senior girl.
Academic Integrity Plagiarism Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty. Using someone else’s ideas, words, phrases and/or designs without giving credit is prohibited. All work turned in (be it written, oral, artistic, or programmed for a computer) is to be the student’s own, except where otherwise credited. Students are sometimes encouraged to make references to other works, but these references (including individual ideas, words, phrases, and/or designs) must be credited properly. Material used from Internet sites must be credited in the same way as any other reference source. The use of translation websites is prohibited by the Language Department. Any outside help (sources, proofreading, typing, or copying by another) that a student has used in preparation for a written, oral, or artistic work should be noted as such BEFORE turning it in for a mark. Similarly, any questions that a student might have about plagiarism should be asked BEFORE a particular work is turned in to be graded. Cheating Cheating is not tolerated. Students who give or receive information or otherwise cheat on quizzes, tests, or exams will be disciplined and are subject to suspension or separation from the school.
Ethics of Computer Use Any student who writes and/or uses a program for deceitful, malicious, or illegitimate intent or effect will be considered to be in violation of a major school rule.
Academic Support Parent-school communication is a vital part of the educational support for both Middle and Upper School students. In the Middle School, parents are strongly encouraged to meet with teachers and faculty advisors as needed to discuss their child’s progress. The small size of the Middle School enables teachers to stay in very close contact with parents when a child is not progressing well. The student’s faculty advisor works with teachers to coordinate appropriate levels of academic support. The kinds of support available include: • individual or group meetings with teachers outside of class • reduced course load for a trimester • progress reports obtained from the teachers on a bi-weekly basis • arranging student/teacher/advisor/parent conferences • tutoring by qualified students who volunteer their services through Areté, a student group that organizes peer tutoring on
campus. Areté tutors, most of whom are seniors, are available during the class day, activities periods, and evening study hall hours. • boarding students may be referred to the Assigned Study Hall during evening study hours All academic support plans are implemented with the ultimate aim of increasing the student’s independence and responsibility for his or her own learning. The Writing Center The Writing Center, located on the second floor of the Clapp Library, offers one-on-one instruction for students who wish to improve their writing skills. Staffed by several members of the English Department and a dedicated and well-trained group of student tutors, the Writing Center, through a collaborative and supportive process, strives to improve each student as a writer, rather than focusing exclusively on the paper at hand. The staff is experienced in working with a wide variety of writing assignments, from each one of the school’s academic departments. The director of the Writing Center is faculty member Sarah Sawyer. The Math Resource Center The Math Resource Center, located in the Schoolhouse, offers assistance by student tutors selected by the faculty. The center has regularly scheduled hours each school day.
Special Programs Williston+ Williston+ enriches the educational experience of our students by bringing the extraordinary artistic, intellectual, and cultural resources of the five colleges that share the Pioneer Valley with Williston—Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst—into our curriculum. As part of the Williston+ program, students have had the opportunity to study memory and the brain with Dr. James Chambers from UMass, to do orchestra session work with graduate students from UMass, and to experience African drumming with Faith Conant from Mount Holyoke, to name just a few recent collaborations. In addition to the resources of the five colleges, the exceptional array of resources and opportunities that exist in the Pioneer Valley fuels our students’ passions and provides a rich backdrop to
the education that students receive here. Directed engagement with the college environment, both the physical environment and the environment of the mind, gained through interactions with faculty and students, helps prepare Williston students for success at the next step on their intellectual journey.
Williston Scholars The Williston Scholars program allows students to pursue their academic and creative passions and to apply their talents to a specific area of study. Each course offering within the Williston Scholars program provides a group of students the opportunity to engage in rigorous study in an interdisciplinary topic for one trimester, followed by a second trimester of independent project work. The course component of the program is taught by a Williston faculty
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member in close collaboration with professors, graduate students, researchers, and professionals from the surrounding community. The first trimester of the course is graded, and its expectations are high as students prepare for the individual research they will use to complete a comprehensive project in the second trimester. Projects are assessed at the end of the second trimester by a faculty committee including the supervising teacher, collaborating community members, and the academic dean. Students who successfully complete projects will receive a second academic credit and the designation of Williston Scholar. Exceptional projects will receive special recognition. Williston Scholars courses offered this year • Writers’ Workshop (2900) • Literature and History of the Elizabethan Era (2905) • Advanced Integrated Science (4900) • Sports Studies (6901) • Contemporary Art and Culture (7900). There is a student application process that exists for Williston Scholars courses.
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The narrator of an Isaac Babel short story says about the writing of fiction, “No iron can pierce the heart with such force as a period put just at the right place.” Whether our students write through inspiration or through great effort, we teach them to become more attentive to the force and nuance of language. At Williston, when we teach students how to look at a text and break down the meaning of an abstract paragraph, or when we help them to write a compelling story, we are teaching them how to connect more deeply with themselves and other human beings. Williston’s English Department provides students the skills to handle language effectively; to think analytically; to write with originality, clarity, and depth; and to speak with thought and substance. We design our classrooms as arenas for intellectual risk taking, where a good question can often take the group further than a good answer. In addition, we have the luxury of being able to tap into the resources of the five colleges and thereby connect our students with the unparalleled cultural and academic richness that makes our educational community distinct. Whether it is attending a poetry reading at Smith College or viewing a Shakespeare and Company production of Hamlet at the University of Massachusetts, our students appreciate the opportunity to supplement their work in the classroom through the resources of the five colleges. In all of our courses, students develop and hone their skills in reading, writing, speaking, and thinking. The skills taught in each
grade work as a cumulative progression, beginning with literature and composition in the 9th and 10th grades. The curriculum in these grades focuses on developing students’ foundations in critical writing while introducing them to short stories, novels, plays, and poetry. Creative writing projects complement the analytical work in both grades. Grammar and vocabulary study are also a regular part of the curriculum. Juniors and seniors thrive on this strong foundation. During the junior year, students in English focus on American literature, which complements the U.S. history course that most juniors take. Writing assignments during the junior year are largely analytical and culminate with a research paper in the third trimester. The first trimester of the senior year focuses on self-expression, with an emphasis on the personal essay, and culminates in the senior portfolio, a collection of pieces in a variety of forms that showcases students’ writing ability and creativity. Second and third trimester senior electives offer students an opportunity to study literary topics in detail and include such subjects as Transcendentalism, poetry, Shakespeare, playwriting, and modern fiction. At each grade level, we seek to instill in our students a love of literature and to challenge them to grow as writers and thinkers. We want them to continue to “pierce the heart,” even after they have left the bricked classrooms of Williston.
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Year-Long Courses 2101 Advanced ELL (9, 10, 11) English Language Learners This course is designed to support students transitioning into standard English classrooms. The primary focus is on literacy practices inherent to English Language Learners (ELL) and cultural transition. The major components of this course are improving specific skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Students will be asked to speak formally and informally and to study grammar with an eye toward success on the TOEFL and public presentation. Upon admission, non-native English speakers will be assessed through a combination of previous test scores, interviews, and Skype conversations in August to determine placement in either ELL or standard English. English 2200 (9) This course exposes students to a broad range of literary genres: poems, plays, short stories, and novels by writers from a variety of cultures. The 9th grade curriculum moves from the detailed study of the paragraph to a focus on the critical essay. Students complete a comprehensive writing project in conjunction with their reading of Shakespeare. Additionally, students complete personal essays focusing on our school’s mission—purpose, passion, and integrity—and develop public speaking skills by delivering the essays aloud to their classmates. Frequent writing assignments are supported by ongoing concentration on grammar and vocabulary skills, including an intensive study of roots and prefixes. Texts may include Wharton’s Ethan Frome, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Homer’s The Odyssey, Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies, and Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street. English 2300 (10) This course provides a comprehensive study of the major literary genres: short stories, novels, poetry, and drama. Central themes of the course are coming of age, outsiders, and identity. The course emphasizes the structure and composition of critical essays, especially in the sophomore writing project, a three-week study of the writing process. Students study vocabulary and writing-based grammar, including an intensive study of roots and prefixes. Texts typically include Shakespeare’s Othello, Sophocles’ Oedipus, Shelley’s Frankenstein, Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, Hoffman’s Blackbird House, and McCullers’ The Ballad of the Sad Cafe. English 2400 (11) This course provides students with a look into the variety of the American literary scene. Students come away from the course with a greater understanding of the evolution of American literature, a greater appreciation for its range and depth, and a greater awareness of influential social and historical factors. The curriculum typically includes works by Bradford, Franklin, Hawthorne, Emerson, Poe, Chopin, Dickinson, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Morrison, and Alexie.
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Central to the course is the cultivation of independent thinking skills through analytical and creative writing assignments, including an introduction to the college essay and a major critical research paper. Grammar and vocabulary are reviewed regularly to increase students’ reading and writing facility, and to prepare them for the SAT. 2490 AP English / Language (11) Application required
This course is conducted as an honors American Literature course that hones the skills required for the AP English Language and Composition Exam. Students will read fiction and non-fiction, focusing on the individual styles and literary contexts of authors. Most writing assignments will be analytical and argumentative, with an emphasis on in-class writing. In preparation for the AP exam, students will take practice tests and write timed essays, considering the audience, purpose, and rhetorical strategies of select passages. All students must complete an application process that includes a timed essay and the recommendation of their 10th grade teacher. Summer work will be substantial, involving reading sections from a required AP handbook and taking a three-hour and fifteenminute practice exam, along with reading three novels. Readings typically include essays by Emerson, Thoreau, and Dillard; poems by Dickinson and Whitman; short stories by Poe, Chopin, and O’Connor; the novels The Scarlet Letter, The Great Gatsby, As I Lay Dying, and Beloved; and the play Death of a Salesman. 2590 AP English / Literature (12) This yearlong course explores the meaning and purpose of literature through the lenses of drama, poetry, and the novel. Students who gain entry to AP Literature have already mastered the basics of composition and are expected to write a number of substantial critical essays and creative pieces. Readings range from classic to contemporary texts and may include authors such as Shakespeare, Ellison, Camus, and Brönte, as well as various poets from the English Renaissance to the moderns.
Senior English Trimester Courses All seniors, except those enrolled in AP English Literature (2590), take English 2500 in the first trimester and choose an English elective in the second and third trimesters. A representative sample of courses appears below. English 2500 This first trimester course is an intense writing workshop through which students express themselves with personal essays, “snapshots,” vignettes, and memoirs. Over the course of the trimester, students build portfolios of their work, providing a rich variety of potential college essays. Students examine models of essay style and structure from a range of writers including Virginia Woolf, E.B. White, Joan
Didion, George Orwell, and Alice Walker. Through this advanced study of language and the craft of storytelling, students develop strong individual voices and compelling personal narratives. 2604 Contemporary Fiction This course focuses on the way contemporary writers fictionalize issues of identity, relationships, violence, religion, and place. Students will read recently published short stories, and then examine the work of contemporary story tellers such as Andre Dubus III, Collum McCann, and Jhumpa Lahiri. Through class presentations, analytical essays, and their own short stories, students explore the relationship between the elements of fiction and the strengths and weaknesses of stories and story-telling. Students are expected to engage fully with the texts and bring their observations and insights to class discussions. 2605 Playwriting This course asks students to explore aspects of playwriting through the creation of original scenes and the critiquing of drafts in the workshop process. Students investigate the elements of dramatic form, character development, genres, and the three-act structure. Through this process students develop the skills needed to write a play while uncovering their unique voices. Emphasis is placed on analyzing the work of playwrights such as Edward Albee, Tony Kushner, Sarah Ruhl, and August Wilson, and connecting these writers’ plays to the historical context in which they were written. The course culminates in the creation of a one-act play. 2606 Modern American Poetry This course provides students with the opportunity to explore poetry through careful analysis of language and poetic devices. Students examine questions about the effect such choices make on the reading and understanding of poems, what experience is being conveyed, and what personal connections can be drawn from the text. The term begins with an opportunity for independence, as students select and read poems that represent and reflect who they are; they culminate the unit with an explanation of the relationship. These poems will then serve a springboard for the rest of the term. In addition to reading poetry, students write poems that reflect the themes and ideas found in the course’s primary readings. 2608 Shakespeare This course asks students to read a tragedy, a comedy, and many sonnets by Shakespeare. Students will analyze the texts and perform scenes from each play. As readers, performers, writers, and audience members, students will have numerous opportunities to understand and appreciate Shakespeare’s language and themes. Reading selections may include Hamlet, Macbeth, The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Much Ado About Nothing.
2610 Madness in Literature This course explores the role of madness in literature and considers the madman or madwoman’s place in society. Students will examine the line between sanity and insanity and how that division has been expressed in short stories, poetry, novels, plays, art, and film. Writing critical essays, personal reflections, short stories, and vignettes, students will have many opportunities to respond to the variety of forms of madness we encounter in the texts and on the screen. Reading selections may include works such as “Diary of a Madman” by Nikolai Gogol, “Ariel” by Sylvia Plath, “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe, “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Equus by Peter Shaffer, Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen, and The Stranger by Albert Camus. 2611 Transcendentalism This course explores selections from the Transcendentalists Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman, as well as several modern authors who share their vision, like Krakauer (Into the Wild). In addition, several films such as Dead Poets Society and I Heart Huckabees are used to further understand the primary texts. Students will write several reflective papers as well as short analytical pieces. Each student will also select one novel that explores some of the questions raised by the transcendentalists: Do the majority of us lead lives of quiet desperation, and if so, what should we do about it? How much can we trust intuition and impulse? Are we morally obligated to resist any laws and social expectations that contradict our inner laws? Since this course places a strong emphasis on ethics and philosophy, students must be motivated to examine and share their beliefs, as well as to entertain fresh perspectives. 2615 Creative Writing This course is designed for advanced students with a strong interest in the writing of fiction, with particular emphasis on the short story. Students read a variety of stories as a complement to their own writing, including works by Faulkner, Hemingway, Munro, O’Connor, Carver, and Updike. Coursework focuses on creating and editing short story drafts, critiquing each others’ work, and presenting a final portfolio of fiction. 2616 Journalism This news literacy course is intent on developing students’ critical thinking and analytical writing skills in response to events of the world around them. A survey of genres, including print, broadcast and Internet journalism, are examined to help students become informed consumers of contemporary media. Students contribute to the ongoing production of the school newspaper, The Willistonian, and experience the process of research, reporting, and publishing their own pieces of journalism. Required texts include The New York Times and a variety of news and literary magazines, which are used to compare story angles, analyze perspectives, and scrutinize the information as it is packaged and processed by different media outlets.
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2617 news media Offered each trimester Associated with the production of the Williston student newspaper, The Willistonian, this forward-thinking, contemporary publications course allows students to have a community voice while giving them real-world skills and keeping in stride with the advances and trends of communication as it exists and evolves. Students will develop and maintain converged media, including the production of a website devoted to offering all that an online news source offers: hard news/timely pieces, features and soft news stories, opinion columns, photo essays, and reviews. It will also incorporate video reporting and storytelling as well as the production of a printed publication. 2900 Writers’ Workshop Application required This course is part of the Williston Scholars Program and is designed for student writers who want to gain insight into the writing process. Held in the evening for two hours twice a week, the class requires students to write, share writing, and discuss ways to constructively evaluate their own and each other’s work. Four or five times during the first trimester, a prominent published author reads from his or her work and joins the class for the evening. Students read from and discuss the work of the guest authors — a wonderful opportunity to engage with those who have made the writing craft a career. Authors who have visited in recent years include Elizabeth Alexander, Augusten Burroughs, Philip Caputo, Wally Lamb, Gregory Maguire, Sue Miller, Jodi Picoult, Richard Russo, Curtis Sittenfeld, John Edgar Wideman, Andre Dubus III, Nikky Finney, Mo Willems, and Anita Shreve.
first and second trimester
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2905 Literature and History of the Elizabethan Era (11, 12) Application required
This course immerses students in the history and culture of Elizabethan England. Through examination of primary sources, including literature and art, students explore sociopolitical issues ranging from religion to gender. Students will question the reality—and the myths—surrounding Elizabeth’s remarkable reign: Why did the Elizabethan era foster such an extraordinary explosion of the arts? What were the challenges facing Elizabeth I and her subjects? How did Elizabeth I maintain and promote her power? What was life like for the less powerful?
second and third trimester
This course will connect students to resources in the valley through the Renaissance Center at UMass, a swordfighting workshop by a local expert, visits to local college museums, and performances. The course will also include trips to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and The Folger Museum in Washington, DC. Throughout the second trimester, students will keep in mind their culminating project, for which they will research a specific aspect of the Elizabethan Era and demonstrate mastery over their subject. Possible projects could range from a research paper or an analytical essay to performance of a scene from a Shakespeare play.
“Mathematics is the gate and key of the sciences.”
Mathematics may be the most misunderstood subject taught in school. Many people learn at an early age to be fearful of mathematics; they believe that math is dry and unappetizing, full of nothing but numbers and arbitrary rules. People who use mathematics in their life’s work—and even those who simply come to appreciate mathematics—know how false this idea is: it is like thinking that music is nothing but notes, or that writing is nothing but letters. At its core, mathematics is a process of logical reasoning and problem solving. It is true that knowledge of the rules of algebra and geometry is necessary preparation for college, but it is when students learn to think with those mathematical ideas that mathematics becomes transformed into a lifelong problem-solving tool. The primary goal of Williston’s Math Department is to help prepare students for college mathematics. The course sequence—Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II—teaches the foundation of mathematics that all students need. Once they have mastered the foundation, students can delve more deeply into mathematics through a variety of upperlevel courses. While the content of these courses varies, the primary goal of each course is the same: to help students become more successful problem solvers.
In addition to different course options, students will encounter various tools and learning situations. Sometimes students will use computers to explore mathematics, or calculators to assist with graphing and computation. Students taking Geometry will participate in laboratories designed to provide time for extended work. At other times students will work in small groups to investigate a topic. All of these experiences encourage a flexible approach to mathematics. Whether students dislike math or enjoy puzzle-thinking, have strong backgrounds or weak ones, they will find teachers dedicated to supporting their efforts to become better problem solvers. Each course offers the opportunity to review basic skills and to master the core knowledge of the subject. Students are challenged to move beyond memorized rules to discover the source of rules, to examine why they work, and to theorize about how they are used to solve problems. As Roger Bacon proclaims, mathematics is a gateway. Like most gates it must be unlocked; and one cannot be pushed through it but must enter with one’s own effort.
Calculators: A T1-84+ graphing calculator is required for all math courses. It is the only model for which classroom instruction is provided. 2013-14 course of studies 13
3110 Algebra I Algebra is the language of mathematics. This course develops the fundamentals of that language and emphasizes applications of algebra to a wide variety of problem situations. 3200 Geometry
functions, exponential functions, logarithms, trigonometric functions, polynomial functions, and rational functions. The emphasis throughout is to create a foundation for the study of calculus. The course emphasizes applications and a careful reading and interpretation of mathematical problems. Graphing calculators are used extensively to help visualize mathematical relationships. Students need a strong background in algebra in order to do well in this course.
Prerequisite: Algebra I The content of a traditional geometry course is covered with strong emphasis placed on personal and group investigations into geometric relationships on the plane and in space. Students use computers to explore and enrich the course. 3205 HONORS Geometry Prerequisite: Algebra I and departmental approval This course is offered for students who learn at a faster pace and are ready to take more responsibility and initiative for their own learning. The content includes all of Geometry 3200 and other topics as well. All are studied in greater depth. 3300 Algebra II ESSENTIALS Prerequisite: Algebra I This course will provide an opportunity for students to develop a strong foundation in algebra. This second year of algebra emphasizes skill building and problem solving. Students will complete an extensive study of linear equations, inequalities, systems of equations, polynomials, rational expressions, radicals, and quadratic functions. 3310 Algebra II Prerequisite: Algebra I The concepts of algebra begun in Algebra I and Geometry are developed further. Topics include but are not limited to linear, quadratic, exponential and logarithmic functions. Algebraic manipulations and graphing with transformations are emphasized. 3315 HONORS Algebra II Prerequisite: Algebra I and departmental approval This honors section is offered for highly motivated and interested students. The course covers significantly more material than does standard Algebra II (3310) including additional topics in graphing, polynomials, rational functions, trigonometry, and solving complex equations. In general, all topics are covered in greater depth. This course is required for continuation in more advanced honors math classes. 3400 Precalculus Prerequisite: Algebra II This course begins a careful study of functions. Linear and quadratic functions are reviewed. Students are introduced to power
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3405 HONORS Precalculus Prerequisites: Honors Algebra II and departmental approval This is an advanced and enriched course for students who plan to continue with AP Calculus. The course covers significantly more material than does standard Precalculus (3400) including graphical analysis, polar coordinates, and complex arithmetic. All topics are covered in much greater depth. Emphasis is placed on understanding mathematical concepts and communicating both verbally and through writing. 3500 Probability and Statistics Prerequisite: Algebra II (3300 or 3310) This course will provide the basis for working with the data that permeates our world, from football statistics to economics, from student grade point averages to global temperature fluctuations. Students will learn how to collect, display, and analyze data through original projects as well as in-class labs. 3510 Topics in DISCRETE Mathematics Prerequisite: Algebra II (3300 or 3310) Students in this course will explore applications of mathematics to management science, operations research, and the social sciences. Topics may include graph theory, statistics, voting strategies, scheduling optimization, fair division, and coding information. This course is intended for juniors and seniors who have either completed Precalculus and are not prepared to continue with Calculus, or who have completed Algebra II and are not prepared for Precalculus. 3590 AP Statistics Prerequisite: Precalculus and departmental approval This rigorous full-year course acquaints students with the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. Four broad conceptual themes are emphasized: exploring data, planning a study, anticipating patterns, and inferring statistical information. Students work on projects involving the hands-on gathering and analysis of real world data. This course will have applications for students who wish to pursue studies in laboratory science, engineering, psychology, economics, or sociology, among others.
3802 engineering & Robotics II
Prerequisites: Precalculus and departmental approval
This course seeks to develop the fundamental ideas of calculus. The concepts of limits, differentiation, and integration are developed through a careful analysis of the properties of graphs, numerical tables, and algebraic equations.
3690 AP Calculus AB Prerequisites: Honors Precalculus and departmental approval This college-level course covers the required syllabus for AP Calculus and additional topics at the discretion of the instructor. This advanced course is intended for students who thrive on mathematical challenge. The core concepts of limit, derivative, and integral are studied through a combination of discovery, lecture, and individual work. Students are expected to participate actively in both the whole class and small groups. Extensive use is made of graphing calculators to help visualize functions and their relationships. 3695 ap calculus bc & Multivariable Prerequisite: AP Calculus AB and departmental approval This class is intended for advanced students who are ready for college level mathematics. The course begins with a study of sequences and series, leading towards the development of the Taylor Series. Students will complete the balance of the BC Calculus curriculum in the fall. The study of such multivariable functions provides the central core of the latter part of this course. These functions cannot be graphed on the plane; rather they form intricate three-dimensional surfaces. We will use advanced computer software to visualize these surfaces. The course will extend the concepts of limit, derivative, and integral to these multivariable functions and will cover the content of both BC calculus and vector calculus.
This course will extend the fundamental programming knowledge gained in Robotics I by introducing techniques for advanced robot control. Students will explore the use of data typed variables, counters, and accumulators while structuring programs to use various control structures including functions with parameters. Problem research and analysis will be practiced using program debugging techniques. Finally, students will learn how to programmatically support the use of joysticks for robot control.
3803 Programming in java Prerequisite: 3802 or previous computer programming experience This course introduces students to the Java computer language and the world of object oriented programming. The data types, control structures, and analytical skills introduced in Beginning Programming will be brought into a new language environment. Students will learn to plan, design, and construct Java classes and objects. Programs developed during the trimester will utilize simple algorithms and control structures, method calling, arrays and array lists, and other advanced topics.
3890 AP Computer Science Prerequisite: 3803 and departmental approval This intensive college level course covers the syllabus for AP Computer Science A. The Java programming language is used to explore advanced topics including classes, pointers, lists, inheritance, recursion, searching/sorting, and complex data structures. Significant work outside of class is required.
3700 honors Discrete Mathematics Prerequisite: Calculus and departmental approval This college-level math course is for advanced students who love mathematical challenges, and who work well independently. Discrete Mathematics considers a collection of topics designed to provide the background for college work in computer science, operations research, and other related fields. Topics include combinatorics, graph theory, recurrence relations, and mathematical induction. Additional topics are chosen at the discretion of the instructor. 3801 engineering & robotics i Prerequisites: Geometry or departmental approval We explore fundamentals of engineering and robotics in this introductory course. Students learn the C++ computer programming language and program robots to move in various situations using motors, servos, encoders, and real-time sensors. Class â€œchallengesâ€? will test each studentâ€™s mastery of course topics.
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The science faculty at Williston strive to instill in their students a passion for science. We encourage inquisitiveness about the natural world and challenge our students to understand what they cannot see. The core curriculum includes traditional biology, chemistry, and physics courses. Advanced Placement courses in biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, and environmental science are available for highly motivated students. Through trimester electives, juniors and seniors can engage in detailed study of specific topics such as animal behavior, genetics, human physiology, ecology, psychology, organic chemistry, or astronomy.
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The pursuit of science at Williston is not limited to the classrooms of Scott Hall. Itâ€™s not unusual to see projectiles flying from windows around campus when physics students study velocity and acceleration. Videography gives students the opportunity to record their experiences and assists faculty when they introduce classes to sophisticated experimental design. From our campus pond and fields, biology students gather samples that are subjected to a wide variety of analyses. Outdoor labs allow our students to study the environment directly and take advantage of open spaces to test theories learned in the classroom. Through indoor laboratory experience, our students gain confidence in using sophisticated equipment and analyzing data. Classes in the Science Department often blend computer-assisted data collection with established student inquiry and analysis using cutting-edge technology.
Science Department “We are not here concerned with hopes or fears, only with the truth as far as our reason permits us to discover it.” –Charles Darwin
Our close proximity to the five colleges and their advanced science departments means that our students can have unique access to technologies and educational experiences generally available only at the college level. Through our relationships with the colleges, Williston students gain a deeper understanding of curricular content as well as early glimpses into collegiate-level science. We instill in students an appreciation of the evolution of scientific principles and the fluidity of scientific “facts.” Through close work with faculty, our students gain insight into the collaborative nature of scientific inquiry and its role in scientific questioning and experimentation.
Students gain a solid foundation from the Science Department’s core courses that they can then sharpen with electives, which strengthen the sophisticated interests of both students and faculty. The science faculty are committed to challenging themselves and their students through ever-changing experimentation and demonstration. As reflected in our curriculum and practiced in our daily lessons, science is an active subject at Williston.
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Year-Long Courses 4310 PHYSICS (9,10) This course uses an inquiry-based approch to introduce students to the fundamental principles of the natural world: motion, forces, and energy. Much of the material will rely on hands-on projects and experiments. Students will work collaboratively to discover both qualitative and quantitative scientific relationships, develop observational and critical thinking skills, and work to communicate effectively in a scientific forum. Topics in the course are designed to engage the studentsâ€™ scientific curiosity in the world around them. 4200 Chemistry in the Community (11, 12) This course uses an approach to the study of chemistry that focuses on the effects of chemistry on our daily lives. It begins with the study of water in the environment. The properties of solutions, the treatment of wastewater, and the environmental impact on water supplies are a few of the topics that are covered. The investigation of petroleum products and the organic chemistry surrounding them is another area of study. The uses and industrial production of chemicals is studied in depth. This course uses very little math in its investigation. 4210 Chemistry (10, 11, 12) Prerequisites: Concurrent enrollment in Algebra II or above, or departmental approval. Designed to give a basic understanding of the nature of matter and of its relation to energy, the aim of this course is to explain the primary laws, hypotheses, and theories of chemistry. 4300 Conceptual Physics (11, 12) Prerequisite: Chemistry, enrollment in Algebra II This first-year course will cover mechanics for the majority of the year. Extensive time will be spent on lab experiences that aid in the conceptual development of the basics of mechanics. Computer assisted laboratories will supplement the classic experiments. This course will also include units on waves, light, and sound. The class typically ends with an independent project on a topic in modern physics, optics, or astrophysics. 4320 advanced Physics (11, 12) Prerequisite: Completion of Chemistry (4210), concurrent enrollment in Precalculus or above; departmental approval This course concentrates on Newtonian mechanics. During the first two trimesters students learn about motion, forces, energy, momentum, and circular motion. The study of these topics is strongly supported with hands-on activities, computer-assisted labs, and simulations. The course is completed by a study of waves and oscillating systems concentrating on sound and light, including the behavior of light with mirrors and lenses. Students develop problem solving
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skills that require a solid foundation in algebra and learn to use right triangle trigonometry in order to describe two dimensional systems. The course includes multiple construction projects that encourage the students to be creative while demonstrating their understanding of physical principles. 4190 AP Biology (11, 12) Prerequisite: Biology and Chemistry This course follows the syllabus approved by the AP program and the expectations for both daily preparation and laboratory work are high. The objectives are to understand the essential principles of modern biology and develop skills necessary for scientific research. 4290 AP Chemistry (11, 12) Prerequisites: Chemistry 4210 and departmental approval This course is for students who have successfully completed a year of chemistry and wish to extend their knowledge beyond the introductory level. The topics and lab exercises of the approved AP curriculum are followed. 4390 AP Physics B (11, 12) Prerequisites: Physics 4320 and departmental approval This second-year course will cover the topics required by the AP Physics exam. Students will study fluids, thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, waves, optics, relativity, quantum physics, nuclear physics, and a review of mechanics. There will be a lab component to the course. 4490 AP Physics C (11, 12) Prerequisites: A full year of Physics and concurrent enrollment in AP Calculus, or departmental approval. The mechanics component of this calculus-based course in introductory college physics prepares the student for the AP Physics C exam in Mechanics. It is equivalent to the first term of a college level physics course for engineers or natural science majors, and reviews all the topics covered in such a course, with greater level of complexity allowed by adding calculus. The electricity and magnetism component of the course prepares the student for the AP Physics C exam in Electricity and Magnetism. It is equivalent to the second term of college level physics for engineers or natural science majors, and includes electrostatics with Gaussâ€™ Law, complex circuits, magnetism, electromagnetic induction, RC and LR circuits, and Maxwellâ€™s Equations. 4590 AP Environmental Science (11, 12) Prerequisite: Biology and Chemistry, departmental approval This course follows a syllabus approved by the AP program. The course will provide students with scientific principles, methodology, and concepts necessary to understand the many interrelationships of the natural world. This course is intrinsically
interdisciplinary and will include identification and analysis of natural and man made environmental problems, evaluating the risks associated with such problems and examine solutions for the resolution or prevention of them.
Trimester Courses Students must complete two full-year science courses before enrolling in an 11-12 trimester elective. 4501 Animal Behavior (10, 11, 12) Prerequisite: Biology The main topics in animal behavior, including the different types of innate and learned behavior are covered in this course. A sustained experimental component includes both laboratory and field studies of different animals. The course concludes with an extensive research project culminating in a seminar presentation. offered each trimester
4502 Outdoor Ecology (11, 12) Prerequisites: Biology and either Chemistry or Chemistry in the Community This course connects the greater study of ecology to the local area in which we live. Students will spend a good deal of time outside investigating the various plants, animals, and soil structures that surround our campus and our part of estern Massachusetts. We will study the transition of seasons from fall through winter, and the impact that these seasonal changes have on our local biotic community.
offered in the fall and spring trimesters
4503 Genetics (11, 12) Prerequisite: Biology This course investigates the molecular workings of cellular genetics. The specifics behind DNA replication, protein synthesis, and the regulation of gene expression will be covered in depth. Chromosome mutations and the various genetic disorders that they cause will be studied, as well as genetic engineering, genetic screening, and the ethical and moral issues that arise as a result of new technology. Experiments will be conducted in the laboratory and students will complete an independent research project.
offered each trimester
4504 Organic Chemistry (11, 12) Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry Building on the bonding theories and on the shapes and structures of molecules developed in the first year of chemistry, this course will move into organic structures, organic reactions, and the synthesis of organic molecules. There is a significant amount of hands-on learning using molecular models to stimulate three-dimensional thinking about molecular structures. This course includes a laboratory component involving the synthesis,
purification, and identification of some simple organic compounds. Although this course does not involve any mathematical problem solving, it is a challenging course and is appropriate for any student interested in biology, chemistry, or medicine. 4505 Astronomy I (10, 11, 12) first or second trimester Students will study the development of our modern understanding of the solar system, including the forces that govern the motion of the planets, phenomena including eclipses, and phases of the moon. We will also survey comets, meteors, asteroids, and the planets of our solar system.
4506 Astronomy II (10, 11, 12) This course will concentrate on the nature of stars and stellar evolution. In order to do this we will study the nature of light and matter including the wave-particle duality of both. We will also discuss the different types of telescopes and how their optics work. As we look at the life of stars we will consider black holes, supernovas, and pulsars. We will also study the creation and possible fates of the universe.
4507 Human Anatomy and Physiology (11, 12) Prerequisite: Biology and Chemistry offered each trimester This course introduces human anatomy and physiology while focusing on the maintenance of homeostasis through the operations of complex control systems. Study will encompass all levels of the hierarchy of human structure and integrated function with emphasis on the integumentary, skeletal, muscle, and nervous systems. Lab activities accompany topics and when possible, principles are applied to exercise.
4600 Psychology (10, 11, 12) offered each trimester Psychology covers the scientific study of behavior and the mind. The course will provide a systematic introduction to the field of social psychology, with a special emphasis placed on how the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of a person are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. The focus will be on both the historical development of these topics as well as current research and application in these areas.
4610 SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY (10, 11, 12) This course provides a systematic introduction to the field of social psychology which studies how the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of a person are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others. The course will cover topics such as, attitudes, group behavior, prejudice and discrimination, personality, interpersonal relationships, conformity, emotions, attraction, and persuasion. The focus will be on both the historical development of these topics, as well as current research and application.
offered each trimester
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4690 AP Psychology (11, 12)
4900 ADVANCED INTEGRATED SCIENCE (11, 12)
Prerequisites: Social Psychology or Psychology
In this course, students enrolled in any AP science courses (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Environmental Science, or Psychology) have the opportunity to collaborate with a cross-disciplinary team of their peers to discuss, develop, and inplement a plan to solve a current global issue. Each team of students will represent a variety of different scientific approaches and will be guided by one of the AP teachers in bi-monthly meetings throughout the academic year. During these meetings the team will read case studies and hear presentations from the Integrated Concentration in Science (iCons) program at UMass, which will serve as inspiration for the groupsâ€™ project work. Upon completion of the AP test, group members will no longer be required to attend one of their AP science courses and will meet more frequently as a group to finish their project and develop a presentation to the Williston and local scientific communities.
a two trimester course This survey course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of behavior and mental processes of human beings. Students are exposed to the psychological theories, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields of psychology, including the ethics and methods of research, biological bases of behavior, human development sensations and perception, cognition, thinking and language, intelligence, learning, states of consciousness, personality, abnormal psychology, therapy, and social psychology. Case studies, debates, in-class presentations, class discussions, and an experiment design will complement practice with AP-style questions and essays.
The following course will not be offered in the 2013-14 school year: â€˘ 4100 Biology
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language Department “One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.” –Psycholinguist Frank Smith
Williston’s language program strives to develop the linguistic and cultural literacy of our students, allowing them to be active citizens of our increasingly multicultural world. As students learn language through reading, writing, speaking, and listening, they also experience how the study of another language opens doors to a greater understanding of others and of themselves. We teach language actively and place students in the central role. Our teachers blend traditional and contemporary teaching styles to provide students with a variety of ways to develop and express their oral and written proficiency. Latin students read prose in its historical and cultural context and learn about the multicultural tradition of the Roman world; often this study culminates with students studying the epic poem The Aeneid in AP Latin. Modern language students film videos, write newspapers, and complete research projects entirely in the target language. All modern language courses, whether beginning or advanced, emphasize the students’ oral proficiency in the language. We encourage our students to examine and understand the ways of thinking that make each culture unique, in addition to learning grammatical forms and vocabulary. Students implement their language skills through culturally-rooted projects and presentations to foster a broader understanding of the cultures that speak the target language.
Williston’s location in the Pioneer Valley and our ties with the five colleges provide our students with invaluable opportunities. Latin students have attended Classics Day at Mount Holyoke College and have participated in workshops that deepened their understanding of Roman culture. Spanish students have attended Spanish cinema classes at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to augment cultural studies. Members of the Toumani Diabaté Symmetric Orchestra and Malian musician Rokia Traoré have visited French classes to speak about their music and culture, and students later attended their concerts. The Language Department also supports and encourages travel abroad. French students attend the Québec Winter Carnival and excursions to France have provided students with homestay opportunities and travel throughout the country. Spanish students have benefitted from service projects at an orphanage in Honduras, lived and studied in Mexico, and participated in educational tours to Spain. Latin students have taken trips to Greece and Italy to see firsthand the physical monuments of classical culture. Language students can also embrace travel opportunities through School Year Abroad, an interscholastic program that sends students to Spain, France, Italy, or China. Our broadest goal is to help students communicate with others in our multiethnic world.
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5310 Chinese I
5110 French I
Students build a foundation in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Stress is placed upon the mastery of the Mandarin Chinese sound system, basic vocabulary and fundamental character-writing concepts. Aspects of Chinese culture and history are addressed as well.
This introduction to the basic elements of grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation emphasizes the development of listening and speaking skills. As the year progresses, increased emphasis is placed upon reading and writing skills as well.
5320 Chinese II This course is a continuation of Chinese I with a review of grammar and the further development of reading and writing skills in Mandarin. An introduction to Chinese culture is included in every chapter of the text. Students are required to comprehend and produce paragraph-level Chinese, and they are exposed to formal and written expressions. Students in this course will start to accumulate sophisticated vocabularies and grammar structures, and they will read expository writings on a variety of cultural topics. 5330 Chinese III This course is designed for students who have completed two years of high school-level training in Chinese. They will develop the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. This course will help students to solidify their abilities to comprehend and produce paragraph-level Chinese. It seeks to enable students to understand face to face conversations on most familiar topics, to give factual accounts, to read materials written in formal Chinese, and to write simple essays, reports, and letters. 5340 Chinese IV This course will continue to develop Chinese proficiency with emphasis on composition and reading. Students will be introduced to complex sentence structures as they undergo a comprehensive study of Chinese grammar and the practice of formal writing intended for various uses. Students will also complete readings on broad topics of Chinese literature and history. Classroom learning will incorporate presentation-based research. 5390 AP Chinese Language, Culture, and Literacy Prerequisite: Chinese IV The course is designed for students who wish to continue to study Chinese language, literacy, and culture after Chinese IV. Materials will cover a variety of topics to help students to develop a deeper understanding of Chinese culture, literature, history, and society, as well as to provide advanced training on the five language skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and translating.
5120 French II This review of the material covered in the first year with additional grammar, vocabulary, and idioms emphasizes strengthening and advancing the four major skills of language study—listening, speaking, reading, and writing—while familiarizing the students with the culture and traditions of French-speaking people. 5125 honors French II Prerequisite: 90 average in French I and departmental approval An honors section is offered as an accelerated and enriched version of the standard course with additional reading and conversational demands. 5130 French III In this course, students review and complete the study of French grammar. Students’ vocabulary and their knowledge of French civilization and culture are expanded through conversation and composition. Selected readings serve as an introduction to French literature. 5135 honors French III Prerequisite: Honors French II or 90 average in French II and departmental approval An honors section is offered as an accelerated and enriched version of the standard French III program with increased reading and conversational demands as well as closer attention to the finer points of French grammar. 5140 French IV: Contemporary France Prerequisite: 70 average for the third trimester of French III first trimester In this class, conducted entirely in French, students work to develop existing listening and speaking skills while building vocabulary and reinforcing essential grammar. The class will focus on modern culture, television, and music, paying particular attention to levels of language and familiarity. Class activities such as role play, debates, exposés, and the production and performance of original music promote fluid speaking, confidence, and oral and aural proficiency.
5145 French IV: Cinema This class will continue to develop students’ listening and speaking skills. Students will build on vocabulary acquired
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in the fall trimester and enjoy a glimpse of modern French life through films, including those of director F. Verber, whose hilarious main character “Francois Pignon” serves to critique many aspects of modern French society. Class activities may include role play, debates, exposés, and the production of a film trailer, film scenes, or an original film. 5150 French IV: french Culture This course seeks to develop students’ existing skills in spoken and written French through the interactive study of a variety of media, notably film, music, poetry, and short stories. The trimester’s theme, daily life in France under the German Occupation and post-World War II periods, shapes the vocabulary studied. Grammar will be reviewed as needed.
5160 honors french v: Readings Prerequisite: Honors French III or 90 average for the third trimester of French III or IV and departmental approval Students work on continued vocabulary development and reading comprehension skills and strategies. Contemporary and literary readings allow students to put reading skills into practice. first trimester
exercises furnished in the “Preparing for the AP French Exam,” class is supplemented by authentic materials including, but not limited to readings, including contes, articles, short stories, blog entries, poems, novels, films, radio broadcasts, podcasts, and music.
Latin 5710 Latin I Students are introduced to the elements of grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation, with special emphasis on the development of reading and comprehension skills. A considerable amount of attention is paid to the building of students’ English vocabulary and grammar skills through close examination of Latin words and syntax. Roman culture and history are explored throughout the course. 5720 Latin II Students continue the study of Latin grammar, syntax, culture, and history begun in Latin I. Emphasis is placed on reading and comprehension skills, in addition to cultural topics. 5725 HONORS Latin II
5165 honors french V: Composition
Prerequisite: 90 average in Latin I and departmental approval
Students focus on developing fluent written expression through a comprehensive review of French grammar in conjunction with short and long writing assignments, such as letters, dictations, journal entries, creative writing, and essays. This class proves especially helpful to students anticipating the College Board Subject Tests in French, and to students who want a thorough review of grammatical skills prior to college level French or AP courses.
An honors section is offered as an enriched version of the standard Latin II program in which the demands are dramatically increased.
5170 honors French V: Francophone themes Representative works of prose, film, poetry, and songs in French from the Maghreb, West Africa, the Caribbean, and Québec form the basis for continued development of reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in preparation for the AP French Language course and college courses.
5190 AP French language Prerequisites: Departmental approval and Honors French V courses (5160, 5165, and 5170) This course, conducted entirely in French, contains a wide variety of student-centered activities, all of which practice at least one of the communicative skills tested by the Advanced Placement exam. Further, all tenses are reviewed throughout the year, as are various grammar points, depending on the need demonstrated by that year’s students. Throughout the course of the year, students establish and examine essential questions for each of the College Board’s six themes: global challenges, science and technology, contemporary life, personal and public identities, beauty and aesthetics, and families and communities. In addition to this work and the practice
5735 HONORS Latin III Prerequisite: Departmental approval and Latin II or Honors Latin II In this course students will complete their study of advanced grammar and begin translating authentic Latin prose and poetry. Cultural and historical units will emphasize Roman values and key historical figures. 5745 honors latin IV Prerequisite: Honors Latin III and departmental approval. In this course, students will translate prose and verse selections from a variety of Latin authors, with a focus on the events of the late republic and early empire. In preparation for the Advanced Placement course, students will learn how to interpret texts and historical events using AP Latin themes such as literary genre, war and empire, and leadership. 5790 AP Latin Prerequisite: Honors Latin IV and departmental approval Vergil’s Aeneid and Caesar’s Gallic Wars are studied according to the Advanced Placement curriculum through translation of selected portions of the text, and the composition of essays, in English, analyzing both their rhetorical structure and their cultural and historical
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significance. Students develop a high level of competence in translating Latin and in understanding epic poetry and historical writing, as they gain insight into the historical and cultural context of The Aeneid and The Gallic Wars.
the Spanish-speaking world. A review of basic grammar provides students with the linguistic tools for conversation. 5545 Spanish IV: Conversation ii This course further provides in-depth opportunities for students to strengthen their oral proficiency in Spanish. Students research and exchange information about cultural topics of interest while improving aural comprehension. A review of advanced grammar provides students with the linguistic tools for conversation.
Spanish 5510 Spanish I Students build a foundation in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in the Spanish language. Stress is placed upon mastery of the Spanish sound system, basic vocabulary, and fundamental grammatical concepts. 5520 Spanish II Material covered in the first year is reviewed along with additional grammar, vocabulary, and idioms. Emphasis is placed upon strengthening and advancing the four major skills of language study—listening, speaking, reading, and writing—while familiarizing the students with the culture and traditions of Spanish-speaking peoples. 5525 honors Spanish II Prerequisite: 90 average in Spanish I and departmental approval An honors section is offered as an accelerated and enriched version of the standard Spanish II program with increased reading and conversational demands. 5530 Spanish III The third year stresses vocabulary development and reviews and expands the study of Spanish grammar, with intensive practice of the Spanish verb system and tenses, including the indicative, imperative, and subjunctive moods. Readings provide opportunities for conversation and composition, while developing the student’s awareness of and appreciation for cultural differences. 5535 honors Spanish III Prerequisite: Honors Spanish II or 90 average in Spanish II and departmental approval An honors section is offered as an accelerated and enriched version of the standard Spanish III program with increased reading and conversational demands, as well as closer attention to the finer points of Spanish grammar. 5540 Spanish IV: Conversation i Prerequisite: 70 average for third trimester of Spanish III first trimester This course provides opportunities for students to put into practice their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. Students interact on a daily basis through debates and projects to exchange information and further develop their cultural literacy of
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5550 Spanish IV: Cinema This course utilizes films from contemporary Latin America to strengthen students’ conversational, listening comprehension, and writing skills. Emphasis on the films’ cultural and historical contexts provides a basis from which students review advanced grammar, complete oral presentations, and learn more about the Spanish-speaking world.
5560 honors Spanish V: Readings Prerequisite: Honors Spanish III or 90 average for the third trimester of Spanish III or IV and departmental approval first trimester Students continue to develop vocabulary, reading, and comprehension skills. Contemporary readings provide a greater insight into Hispanic cultural viewpoints.
5565 honors Spanish V: composition Students develop fluent written expression in short and long pieces such as letters and essays. The course proves especially helpful to students anticipating the College Board Subject Tests, and to those who want a thorough review of grammatical skills prior to college-level Spanish or the AP course.
5570 honors Spanish V: hispanic themes Representative works of prose, film, poetry, and songs in Spanish from Spain, Mexico, and Central and South America form the basis of continued development of reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in preparation for AP Spanish Language and college courses.
5590 AP Spanish Language Prerequisites: Honors Spanish V courses (5560, 5565, and 5570), and departmental approval Taken as a fifth year of Spanish, this year-long college-level course focuses on developing a high level of competence in speaking, writing, listening, and reading. Literary and journalistic texts continue the study of Hispanic culture and serve as the basis for vocabulary study, class discussions, and compositions. The course includes a variety of advanced speaking and listening activities and a thorough review of grammar.
School Year Abroad The Language Department encourages students to consider participation in the School Year Abroad program in China, France, Spain, or Italy. School Year Abroad is designed for high school students, and at Williston, most participants are juniors, although seniors may also apply. Intensive language study is an integrated part of an on-going college preparatory program and credits may be transferred from SYA to the Williston Northampton School upon successful completion of course work. Sophomores interested in a junior year abroad should speak with the academic dean during the first trimester of the 10th grade. Interested juniors in good academic and social standing may, at the end of the first trimester of the 11th grade, petition the academic dean for permission to attend SYA during the senior year. These proposals will be reviewed by the Academic Standards Committee. Upon successful completion of the SYA program, the student may expect to receive a diploma from Williston provided the following two conditions are met: 1) the petitioning student must have completed at least two years of study at Williston and 2) the academic diploma requirements of Williston must be met. Students interested in more information about the program should write directly to School Year Abroad Home Office, 439 South Union St., Lawrence, MA, 01843, call (978) 725-6828, email email@example.com, or visit www.sya.org.
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The history and global studies curriculum provides students with an understanding of the forces which have shaped the past and continue to influence the world today. Our program encourages the development of the critical skills necessary to make educated choices that will determine the future. In short, we prepare students to embrace an ever-changing world. We examine life in a global community through required courses in World Civilizations and U.S. History, and deepen that understanding through core electives such as European History, Comparative Government, and Economics. In addition, we offer the opportunity to study a range of topics including international relations, the Soviet
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Union and contemporary Russia, Hitler and Nazi Germany, and Native American history. Furthermore, through our religion and philosophy courses, the department hopes to introduce students to the ideas, beliefs, cultures, and spiritual writings of the worldâ€™s greatest religions and philosophical traditions. History and global studies faculty aim to foster their studentsâ€™ curiosity and help them develop the skills necessary to stimulate and facilitate lifelong learning. Students learn that history is not a static body of dates and facts, but an evolving series of interpretations of the past. Through the process of reading and writing, as well as problemsolving discussions, students learn to investigate historical questions,
history and global studies We examine life in a global community.
analyze sources, and effectively express their ideas. Through the Williston+ program and our relationships with the five colleges, students can take advantage of unique opportunities to participate in special lectures, workshops, and visits to the nearby colleges that are part of Williston’s vibrant academic community. Recently, for instance, as part of the World Civilizations class, students showcased their work in “The Africa Museum,” where they were able to analyze and discuss each other’s work and then listen to a presentation delivered by James Alic Garang, one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, who was earning his PhD in Economics at UMass at Amherst. Through our Williston Scholars program, students participated in a course examining the 18th century history of the Connecticut River Valley. With
the guidance of faculty from Smith, Amherst and UMass, this course explored and compared the works of several scholars, including secondary readings from our participating historians, regarding interactions between Natives and Colonists in New England during the 1700s. The rich academic culture of the Five College region provides students with opportunities to enhance their educational experience by connecting to a broader community. As our students develop a critical understanding of their world, we hope to inspire their self- confidence to become engaged citizens who exercise both independence of thought and respect for individual differences in their search for truth and justice.
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6100 World Civilizations (9, 10)
6290 AP European History (10, 11, 12)
Required for three- and four-year students
This is a college-level survey course that seeks to develop an understanding of the main themes in modern European history, including political and diplomatic, intellectual and cultural, and social and economic history. Course curriculum, materials, and expectations are designed to prepare students for success on the AP exam, but the broader goal of the course is to challenge students to improve their skills at writing, reading, presentation, and analysis, emphasizing comprehension, comparison, synthesis, and the formulation of generalizations with sustaining evidence. The course uses a collegelevel textbook and primary source documents to provide students with an understanding of the chronology of modern European history, beginning with the Renaissance and concluding with the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe, the reunification of Germany, and the crisis of global terrorism.
World Civilizations is a one-year survey course that examines major historical themes through an examination of three distinct civilizations: African, Middle Eastern, and Indian. An important goal of the course is to create a familiarity with these regions in an effort to prepare students for citizenship in a global community. Students in this course will learn the impact of geography on the lives of the people in these regions, their cultural traits and values, and an overview of the history of these regions. An important element of the course is skill building. Each unit on a major civilization will be linked to the development of a particular skill set. Skills taught in this course include note taking, researching, writing an historical essay, oral presentation skills, and analyzing primary source documents. 6201 European History: renaissance - 1800 (9, 10) first trimester This course presents an overview of the important forces that shaped European history from the Middle Ages to the eve of the French Revolution. Each unit will emphasize the development of important skills, including the use of technology, writing an historical essay, reading primary source documents, analyzing historical literature, oral presentation, and working as a member of a group. The course will trace the origins of modern Europe through the influences of the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, the formation of nation-states, and the commercial revolution.
6202 European History: 1800-wwi (9, 10) This course presents an overview of the important forces that shaped European history from the French Revolution in 1789 to the turn of the next century. Each unit will emphasize the development of important skills, including using technology, writing an historical essay, reading primary source documents, analyzing historical literature, making oral presentation, and working as a member of a group. The course will trace the origins of modern Europe through the influences of the Age of Enlightenment, the French Revolution, Napoleonic Europe, the Industrial Revolution, Imperialism, and late-19th century intellectual history.
6203 European History: wwi - Today (9, 10) This course presents an overview of the important forces shaping European history from World War I to the present. Each unit will emphasize the development of important skills, including using technology, writing an historical essay, reading primary source documents, analyzing historical literature, oral presentation, and working as a member of a group. The course will trace the history of modern Europe through the influences of World War I, the Russian Revolution, World War II, the Cold War, and the formation of the European Union. Students will also be responsible for monitoring and analyzing the current issues that confront contemporary European society.
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6300 foundations of United States History (10, 11 International students) This course is intended for international students with limited background in American history and government. Students should enroll in this Trimester 3 course during the school year before they take United States History (6310). The course focuses on developing an understanding of the primary themes in the early history of the United States, and the students refine the skills necessary for success in U.S. History 6310. The course covers the basic American ideas of government and representation, as they emerged in the Colonial period, the American Revolution, and the Constitutional Period. The course concludes with a civics-style overview of American government.
6310 United States History (11, 12) The study of United States history is designed for students to develop a critical appreciation of American society, improved mastery of inquiry and expression skills and, as well, greater intellectual curiosity, persistence, and responsibility. Students consider the human actions and social forces responsible for social, economic, and political institutions from colonial times to the present. Students practice exploring historical questions, engaging in critical thinking, and expressing their ideas in diverse ways. These include participating in class discussion, writing essays, and making PowerPoint and PhotoStory presentations. A main focus of this course is the creation of a major independent research paper. In that culminating activity, as throughout the course, we encourage students to see themselves not as mere organizers of factual information, but rather as active producers of knowledge who interpret evidence in search of the truth. 6390 AP United States History (11, 12) Prerequisite: All applicants must take an entry test. This course seeks to accomplish the mission of standard United States history course, but with a broader range of sources, discussions in greater depth, and the opportunity to submit an independent research project to The Concord Review.
6400 Native American History (10, 11, 12) first trimester In this course, students will examine the development of American history from the perspective of Native Americans. We will investigate both the development of various eastern woodland Indian nations and the process of interaction between the first settlers and the subsequent European immigrants. The themes of resistance, adaption, and persistence will be considered.
6401 Soviet Union and Contemporary Russia (11, 12) Russia in the 21st century is an important former super power state struggling to develop an identity in the post-Soviet era. This course will examine the transformation of Russia into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the rise of that political entity to the first rank of world powers. We will survey key developments in the history of the Soviet Union, including Stalinism, World War II, the Cold War, and the rise and fall of Mikhail Gorbachev. Understanding the reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union will allow students to appreciate the challenges that confronted Russia under President Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s. Finally, we will assess the transformation of Russia under President Vladimir Putin, and consider the nationâ€™s path forward under its current political leadership. Students are expected to complete a research paper.
6402 International Relations (11, 12) Prerequisite: U.S. History first trimester In an ever changing post-9/11 world, we are forced to examine what comes next for American foreign policy. The old system of Cold War ideological thinking no longer applies in an era when the traditional nation-state is losing its importance. This course will look at the lessons of the 20th century and explore what the future holds for the United States in an increasingly global society. We will cover important social, cultural, political, economic, and military events of the 20th century including the crisis in the Middle East, economic relations among the major industrial blocs, and the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
6403 Classical Greece (11, 12) The 21st century harks back to the pre-Christian era in Greece for its roots to politics, literature and the arts. The origins of democracy, theater, playwriting, and written history can be found in the traditions and practices of Classical Greece and its Helllenistic successors. An examination of these roots will help guide students toward a better understanding of the present.
6404 Womenâ€™s and Gender Studies (11, 12) This is a course for students seeking to explore history and contemporary society through the lens of gender. Using the three waves of feminism as a framework, we will explore the social, political, economic, and lived realities of people based on their gender roles. Students will explore how race, class, age, sexuality, and
other identities complicate notions of gender, as they expand their understanding of the history of the United States. Through engagement with secondary and primary sources, research and reflective writing and projects, classroom discussion, and media analysis, students will perform interdisciplinary academic inquiry into the personal and political field of gender studies. 6405 Hitler and Nazi Germany (11, 12) first or third trimester This comprehensive study of the personality, deeds, and impact on Europe of Adolf Hitler examines the man and World War II, covers the Holocaust in detail, and considers values and attitudes that are important for the present as well as critical for understanding the past.
6406 Immigration (11, 12) This course provides a thorough review of immigration in American history. Students will explore historical trends, movements, and patterns of global immigration. Topics of study will include: motives for immigration; anti-immigration sentiments and activities; the development of laws and standards to govern the flow of immigrants; assimilation, acculturation, and nonconformity; and the economic impact of immigration. Although the course will touch on the experience of many immigrants, we will focus our study on the following periods of immigration: Irish immigration of the mid-19th century; eastern and southern European immigration of the turn of the 20th century; Asian and Latin American immigration of the post-Vietnam War period.
6501 Comparative Politics (11, 12) first trimester This course examines the political systems of countries such as Great Britain, Germany, Russia, Iran, Nigeria, and Mexico. Students focus on the impact of the past, key instituions, political attitudes, patterns of interaction, and the current issues of each country. Students will explore such concepts as democracy, sovereignty, nationalism, ideology, globalization, and terrorism. Students are expected to complete a research paper on a current political issue.
6591 AP Comparative Government (11, 12) first and second trimester Students in this two- trimester course will be introduced to political science while preparing for the AP examination. Six core countries including Great Britain, Russia, China, Iran, Nigeria, and Mexico will be examined and compared. In addition, the course explores general concepts pertaining to political relationships and the constitutional features common to virtually all national governments. As students gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of how governments function, we will explore related concepts including regionalism, democracy, sovereignty, pluralism, nationalism, ideology, globalization, and national security.
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6600 Economics (11, 12) first trimester This introductory course focuses on the fundamental principles of an economic way of thinking as well as economic history and philosophy. The course is divided between a study of microeconomics: how a market economy operates and the impact of government intervention, and macroeconomics: how the economy as a whole behaves in the long run and the role of fiscal and monetary policy. Special attention is devoted to international trade and the global economy.
6690 AP Microeconomics (10, 11, 12)
After grappling with the primary texts of these thinkers, students learn how such ideas have the power to affect everyday lives and how they might apply to moral dilemmas, both ancient and new. Class discussion, film analysis, and thesis defense papers are fundamental to the course. 6707 Existentialism (11, 12) This seminar-style exploration of one of the most important philosophical and literary movements of the 20th century will entail reading the fiction and philosophy of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Soren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, and JeanPaul Sartre, among others. Sources will range from philosophical treatises to fiction and film dramatizing the human condition and exploring the fundamental questions of human existence. The development of good critical thinking and writing habits is an integral part of the course.
The goal of this two-trimester course is to give the student a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individual decision makers, both consumers and producers, within the larger economic system. It places primary emphasis on the nature and functions of product markets, and on the role of government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy.
6901 Sports Studies
6702 Western Religions (11, 12)
Prerequisites: Students must have taken U.S. History. An application is required for this Williston Scholars course.
second and third trimester
This course offers and in-depth look at the sacred traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, with a special focus on their sacred texts. By reading selections from the Bible, the Qur’an, and other primary sources, students will learn how such writings have been, and continue to be, interpreted by adherents of those traditions. They may also come to appreciate how these sacred texts are relevant and meaningful to their own lives. first trimester
6703 Philosophy (11, 12) This course introduces students to some of the major fields of philosophy, such as logic, epistemology, identity, and ethics. Students begin by learning the elements of critical thinking fundamental to building a cohesive and coherent philosophical argument. They then progress to the examination of philosophical treatises written by important figures in the history of Western philosophy: René Descartes, David Hume, John Locke, and Jean-Paul Sartre. Much of the reading in this class is drawn from difficult primary texts.
6704 Eastern Religions (11, 12) As an introduction to Eastern religious and philosophical thought, this offering surveys three families of Asian religious traditions: Hinduism, Buddhism, and the Chinese traditions of Confucianism and Taoism. Students read some of the more enduring writings of these traditions, including the Bhagavad Gita, and the Tao Te Ching. third trimester
Sports are a powerful, complex and compelling force in United States history, culture, and society. In this course, students will consider the larger historical, political, economic, psychological, and social contexts of sport in American society. This academic inquiry will be supported by members of the Five College community, experts in the interdisciplinary field of Sports Studies. The Pioneer Valley is an important part of sport history and this class will capitalize on these resources, through field trips to local museums and lectures at local colleges. Students are expected to engage with course material through reflective writing, thoughtful dialogue, and engaged research. During the third trimester, students will design research projects to expand their inquiry into a topic of interest, supported by Williston faculty and community members.
second and third trimester
The following courses rotate and will not be offered in the 2013-14 school year: • 6300 Foundations in United States History • 6408 History of Modern Africa (11, 12) • 6409 History of Modern Japan (11, 12) • 6410 History of Modern China (11, 12) • 6502 United States Government (11, 12) • 6592 AP U.S. Government and Politics • 6700 World Religions • 6701 Islam and the Middle East
6706 Ethics and Society (11, 12) first or third trimester This course explores several of the ethical theories in the history of Western ethics, including those espoused by Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, and Philippa Foot.
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Fine and Performing Arts
The Fine and Performing Arts Department at Williston houses the various arts disciplines within a single department. Our faculty, who are practicing artists in their chosen fields, all bring their professional experiences to their teaching. We strive to instill in our students a broad respect for learning; to develop in them a respect for and enduring interest in the arts through knowledge and experience; to stimulate their awareness of their own creative potential, not only in the arts but in other endeavors; and to equip them with the skills and discipline necessary for pursuing one or more of the fine or performing arts.
artsâ€”painting, dancing, playing music, and actingâ€”students develop intellectual and cognitive operations that are central to all experiences in school or in life. Study of the arts provides a meaningful and constructive connection to other cultures and the history of the world. Through the arts, students discover that there is a unique opportunity to create community and to share with others, while experiencing the excitement of creative realization and self-discovery. It is our mission as well to train the audiences of tomorrow, audiences who, through their enlightened perception and understanding of the arts, will find their lives enhanced and immeasurably enriched.
The arts faculty, while diverse in its own artistic pursuits, shares a common concern for developing human expressiveness and a profound commitment to making the arts an integral part of their studentsâ€™ lives and the life of the entire school community. The arts have historically been a strong thread that binds together all human endeavors and reveals the human response to the world and to the sense of self. Such awareness illuminates and gives depth to our own experience. By engaging in the studio and performing
The lives of our students are also enriched by our close relationships with the Five Colleges and the many cultural and artistic offerings in the Pioneer Valley that Williston calls home. Our students have the opportunity to attend concerts, dance recitals, theatrical performances, and the marvelous galleries and museums throughout the area. In addition, students and professors from the nearby colleges and universities have enriched the Fine Arts classroom experience through lectures, workshops, and demonstrations on our campus.
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All courses in this department are trimester courses with the exception of two two-trimester courses— Ceramics (7400) and Film (7511)—and three year-long courses—String and Wind Ensembles (7741, 7742) and AP Music Theory (7790). Note: Studio art and photography courses often do not use textbooks, but they do require a material fee for classroom supplies. For some courses the fees are significant. 7101 Design I Studio fee $125 The emphasis of this demanding, foundation-level course is on in-class projects that explore the principles and elements of line, shape, color, texture, composition, unity, contrast, balance, and proportion. Students will be guided through a sequence of exercises and projects that will sharpen their perception and help them to create unity in all forms of visual expression. Projects will be two-dimensional compositions using a variety of techniques and materials. Projects will explore progressive rhythms, repetition, and grid alignments in collages, initial designs, and logos.
offered first and third trimester
7102 Design II Prerequisite: Drawing I, Design I, or Photo I Studio fee $125 The focus of this course is on developing skills acquired in previous studio courses. These principles and essential components of design will be used in a creative plan to develop form and structure in three-dimensional and higher level two-dimensional work. This studio class is centered around projects from college level foundation courses. The in-class projects will explore in depth 3-D design, book design, and advanced painting composition.
7103 Design III Prerequisite: Design I and II Studio fee $150 Combining the principles used in Design I and II, students will create intuitive and layered designs in rendering personal collages and designs for topics of choice. Students will discover how different media work together and then they will determine the best process for finding their own distinct, creative voices. The culminating experience will be to present a portfolio showing final, in depth investigations into the worlds of fashion, textiles, interior design, or book making. first or third trimester
7201 Drawing I Studio fee $100 The purpose and objective of this introductory drawing course is to explore the meaning of art and what drawing can be, by acquainting students with a broad range of dry and wet media. Students will develop an understanding of the
offered each trimester
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work of past and contemporary artists, as well as their methods and materials. Appreciation for each student’s unique capacity for expression grows out of assignments based on careful observation. Expressionistic or improvisational exercises tap the students’ imagination and intuition. 7202 Drawing II Prerequisite: Drawing I or departmental approval Studio fee $100 second trimester This course is for students interested in continuing to explore a variety of drawing techniques and artistic concepts introduced in Drawing I. Guided and independent assignments will encourage each student to develop his or her artistic vision while building upon fundamental skills. Projects will be both observational and intuitive, further integrating the internal and external artistic voice. Students will engage in journaling, visual research, dialogue, and art viewing.
7203 Drawing III Prerequisite: Drawing I and II or departmental approval Studio fee $100 first or third trimester In Drawing III, each student will have the opportunity to explore and discover an area of interest, investigating the subject matter through visual research and a variety of drawing methods and materials. Projects will be guided but students will also create independent bodies of work. Group critiques and discussions will address individual students’ work as well as the philosophy of aesthetics. Each student will complete a cohesive portfolio of drawings to be exhibited on campus or within the community at the end of the trimester.
7301 Painting I Prerequisite: Drawing I, Design I, or departmental approval Studio fee $250 This course starts with overcoming the fear of painting with brushes and palette knives. Through various group and individual projects, students will learn painting techniques in acrylics and some oils. Students will work from still life and photographs as well as from observation. The course will stress the appropriate use of tools and materials, values, high contrasts, spatial relationships and composition on both canvas and paper.
offered each trimester
7302 Painting II Prerequisite: Painting I, Drawing I, or Design I. Studio fee $250 For the more advanced student, this course is about painting as seeing. The course is designed to build confidence in color and paint application. The focus is to develop in the serious student an articulate language in oil and in watercolors to create a more convincing illusion of space. Projects will be more experimental and a variety of surfaces will be used (canvas, paper,
panel boards). Techniques covered include: stretching canvases and watercolor papers, as well as integrating collage materials and mixed media. 7303 Painting III Prerequisite: Painting I & II, or Drawing III Studio fee $250 first or third trimester This course is designed to incorporate how sight and feeling are important in all works of art. All mediums are covered: oils, acrylics, watercolors, gouache, egg tempera, and mixed media. Students will receive individual guidance to develop and discover a deeper familiarity with independent subject matter.
7501 Photography I: DARKROOM (9, 10, 11, 12) Studio fee $175 offered each trimester In this introductory photography course students will explore the traditional (film based) photographic imagemaking process. Students will be taught, utilizing an SLR camera, how to manually adjust the aperture, shutter, and light meter which will allow them to gain creative control of their images. Students will learn how to process black and white negative film in the lab and enlarged silver gelatin prints will be made in the darkroom utilizing variable contrast papers. In addition, students will gain an understanding of photography as a visual art form and an understanding of the basic principles of composition and design through exercises, discussions, and group critiques. A limited number of cameras are available to rent for the trimester. See instructor for details.
Studio fee $150
7502 Photography I: DIGITAL (9, 10, 11, 12)
a two -trimester course beginning in the first trimester
Studio fee $175
Students will explore various methods of construction in clay, stressing the qualities of design principles and problem solving in art. Study of historic clay objects will provide stimuli for the development of the students’ personal artistic expression and experience. Students will explore cultural and historical connections, write about the process, make presentations about their progress at regular intervals, and work individually and in groups.
7411 Sculpture I Studio fee $125 This course is intended to be an overview of basic skills used to create three-dimensional works of art. With an emphasis on studio production, this course is designed to develop higher-level thinking, art-related technology, art criticism, art history, and aesthetic skills. Through assigned projects, students will explore concepts (mass, plane, movement, balance, etc.), and find solutions that are intriguing, have sculptural integrity, and that can be used as a vehicle for personal expression. Throughout the course students will also analyze the expressive potential of sculpture media, techniques, and processes, examine the functions of sculpture, and interpret three-dimensional art throughout history and across a variety of cultures.
offered each trimester
7412 Sculpture II Prerequisite: Sculpture I Studio fee $125 Students will continue to explore a variety of sculptural techniques and artistic concepts introduced in Beginning Sculpture, including the fundamental concepts (mass, plane, movement, balance, etc.), while further exploring a variety of methods and materials. Through both guided and independent projects, students will complete a body of work while continuing to engage in journaling, visual research, and dialogue.
second or third trimester
An introduction to color photography and digital imaging, this course explores the new realities of the color photographic process. Students will explore the use of Adobe Photoshop and additional imaging software as foundations of the “digital darkroom.” The qualities of light, white balance, file types/ sizes, printer utilities, calibration, and paper options will be investigated through discussion and demonstration. Assignments utilizing graphic design and advertising concepts will expose students to the use of imaging in the media. Although there is no prerequisite, either Photography 7501 or prior photo experience and discussion wiht the instructor are highly suggested, since the course assumes a working knowledge of fundamental camera controls such as manual control of metering, shutter, and aperture. A limited number of digital SLRs and film cameras are available to rent for the trimester.
offered each trimester
7503 Photography III (9, 10, 11, 12) Prerequisites: 7501 and 7502 or departmental approval Studio fee $250 first or third trimester This course expands upon the fundamental techniques learned in Photography 7501 and 7502. Emphasis is placed upon addressing the “pre-visualization” of the photograph and obtaining the skills needed to make that concept a reality through extensive digital and darkroom lab work and exercises in studio and outdoor lighting. Some of the techniques students will investigate are: the “proper” negative, optional types of digital capture, the archival/toned black and white fiber print, and alternative camera types such as the Holga. As the course progresses, increased emphasis will be placed upon going beyond the technical, to finding an individual approach and perspective to the photographic process. A limited number of digital SLRs and film cameras are available to rent for the trimester.
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7504 Photography IV (10, 11, 12)
7512 FILM MAKING II
Prerequisites: 7503 or departmental approval Studio fee $250
Prerequisite: 7511 or departmental approval
This course examines the definition of what constitutes a photograph by exploring beyond both the traditional black and white and color digital processes. Utilizing alternative methods and a variety of camera types we investigate various methods for creating a photographic image. Some of the processes that may be utilized are Ink Aid substrates, digital printing on metals and plastics, “Purrell” transfers, the use of studio “flash lighting,” 4x5 view camera techniques, and Cyanotype and Kallitype printing. This class will meet twice a week in the evening to allow maximum lab time for intensive hands-on exploration of these advanced photographic methods and materials. This is a fast-paced and very hands on class that requires extensive work outside of the classroom to experiment with the sometimes temperamental processes.
first trimester evening class
7505 Photography V (10, 11, 12) Prerequisites: 7504 and departmental approval Studio fee $200 This course provides an opportunity for the most advanced and dedicated students to create images that illustrate their personal aesthetic and technical control of the medium. Students wishing to refine portfolios for submission to colleges or for the AP 2 and 3D portfolios will be given the opportunity to edit, document, publish, and submit their work. Group and individualized critiques will be utilized to inform the students, of opinions that may help them decipher the complex process of defining a cohesive body of work. All students will be expected to submit a proposal for a specific project of their design and will be required to produce a display of the images in a public space, dedicated blog site, self-published book/magazine, or other venue to be approved by the instructor. Students will participate in the Photographers’ Lecture Series and associated workshops. Medium, alternative, and large format cameras will be available for short term use by students. A limited number of digital SLRs and 35mm film cameras are available to rent for the trimester.
7511 Film Making I (9, 10, 11, 12) Studio fee $250 This is an introductory course in the process of film making utilizing Mini DV camcorders and basic editing software. Students will obtain the fundamental technical skills needed to create an actual film project through group and individual exercises. Lighting, color balance, camera movements, camera angles, sound capture, hardware, editing, and software are some of the areas that will be explored. This is not a film theory or film appreciation course. The emphasis of the class is on obtaining the basic technical skills needed to create a short film from start to finish. Cameras, computers/software, and all other equipment are provided.
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This course expands upon the basic concepts and technical skills invovled in creating a film. We will examine a variety of film and video sources and discuss their concepts and structure to gain an understanding of the complex framework required in the process of creating an original film. Scripts, storyboards, and pre-production skills will be discussed and applied to the creation of individual film projects. Students will be required to participate in the annual Williston Film Festival and encouraged to submit projects throughout the trimester for consideration. Mini DV cameras, computers/software, and all other equipment will be provided. Lighting kits, Glide cam, and other specialized equipment will be available for student use.
7601 Acting and Theater I first trimester This course introduces students to the pivotal movements in the history of theater and the diverse acting techniques used to build a role. The course begins with an introduction to improvisation and theater vocabulary before moving onto scene work. Working from their imaginations, students utilize the techniques of Uta Hagen, Stella Adler, and Sanford Meisner to craft their roles. Viola Spolin and Keith Johnstone based improvisation is used to teach spontaneity and imaginitive thinking. Scene selection is drawn from the major movements in Western drama, including works from ancient Greece and American Realism. Along with their scene work, students explore the social and historical forces that propelled these artistic movements forward. By the end of the trimester students will complete one monologue and one scene.
7602 Acting and THEATER II Prerequisite: 7601 or departmental approval This course provides students with further technique to hone their craft as actors. Building on their work in the introductory course, students will be asked to apply their knowledge of character analyses and blocking to the masked Italian Comedy (commedia dell’arte) and Shakespeare. Exploration of world mask traditions and storytelling techniques provide students with a global context for the theater. The course is individualized to address particular needs of students, and scene selections are made in order to address areas where students are struggling or need to be challenged. Students will complete a monologue and two scenes by the end of the course.
7603 ACTING and THEATER III Prerequisite: 7602 or departmental approval This course provides students with the technique and skills to study theater performance at the college or conservatory level. Working with systems inspired by Anne Bogart, Jerzy Grotowski, and Michael Chekhov, students are exposed to diverse methods for creating a role through the imagination and physical
life of the character. Students will be expected to select their own scenes and monologues drawn from the canon of modern, postmodern, and world theater. They will complete two scenes and two monologues by the conclusion of the course. 7611 Theater Design: Scenic first trimester This course introduces the principles of design, the methods of creating a design concept, and the mechanics of scenic drafting. Students will learn how a design is inspired by text analysis and discover how a design evolves and matures through process and creative discussion. At the conclusion of the trimester, students will have completed a set of portfolio-quality drawings of a scenic design for a play of their choosing.
7612 Theater Design: Lighting This course introduces the principles of lighting design, the mechanics of drafting for lighting design, and the practical applications and installation of theatrical lighting instruments. Students will learn how the inspiration for a lighting design concept is born through understanding and creative utilization of technology. At the conclusion of the trimester, students will have completed a set of portfolio-quality drawings of a lighting design for a play of their choosing.
7701 Choreography The course explores the creative process using hte fundamental design elements of dance: shape, space, level, tempo, and movement quality. Working independently and collaboratively, students will create movement “studies,” which are inspired by the basic design elements, but also influenced by personal aethetics, music, and emotion. Students will contemplate the creative process through reading and writing, and will be exposed to work by renowned choreographers. Movement material generated in this class can be developed into pieces presented in the Dance Ensemble performances.
7703 DANCE TECHNIQUES first trimester This course supports students in their technical development by focusing on the details of sustaining proper alignment, understanding basic dance vocabulary, examinig stylistic and aesthetic specifications, and developing personal confidence through continued skill development. Examination of the mechanics of weight shifts, turning, jumping, combining and transitioning, working on the floor, and connecting movement will be studied. Musicality and memory skills will also be emphasized. Students will learn about safe, efficient ways of moving the body through space, with special focus on preserving the joints and preventing injury. Homework assignments will consist of reading materials, written response work, and video viewing which will reflect the specific concepts covered.
7721 global music: early first trimester In this course students will examine music history through the Baroque period. The fundamentals and styles of music from around the world will be explored through the lens of ethnomusicology. Although historical perspectives and contemporary sociopolitical contexts will be discussed, the emphasis will be on listening to music and understanding how it evolved. In addition to traditional assessments, students are required to attend live performances and write concert critiques.
7722 global music: modern In this course students will examine music history from the Classical period through the 20th century. The fundamentals and styles of music from around the world will be explored through the lens of ethnomusicology. Although historical perspectives and contemporary sociopolitical contexts will be discussed, the emphasis will be on listening to music and understanding how it evolved. In addition to traditional assessments, students are required to attend live performances and write concert critiques
7713 HISTORY OF ROOTS AND POPULAR MUSIC This course studies the effect of the social, political, and historical events of the 1950s—70s on the popular music of the time, and conversely, the music’s effect on these events. The course covers the antecedent music of Rhythm and Blues and Gospel, the crossover effects of Elvis Presley and others in the 1950s, and in the 1960s, the combination of the “British invasion” and the emergence of Soul and Motown, both of which became central to our popular culture. The course will also examine the influence of American Roots Music.
7732 Male CONCERT CHOIR 7733 Female CONCERT CHOIR offered each trimester All-female and all-male choral ensembles with an eclectic range of material and an emphasis on close harmony and a cappella music. These ensembles are trained and educated using professional standards of rehearsal and performance with vocal technique, sight singing, and ear training. They are auditioned (or with departmental approval) groups of up to 16 members. All members of the Widdigers and Caterwaulers also perform with the Teller Chorus. Students wishing to take this course for less than a full year may do so only with the specific permission of the director.
7741 String Ensemble The String Ensemble prepares and performs a wide variety of music drawn from Baroque, Classical, and Romantic, and contemporary repertoires. Performances are scheduled over the course of the year. The group is auditioned and meets as a class for full credit. Students are expected to practice their parts outside of class. All string instruments (violin, viola, cello, bass) are welcome. Students wishing
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to take this course for less than a full year may do so only with the specific permission of the director. 7742 Wind Ensemble The Wind Ensemble prepares and performs a wide variety of music drawn from Classical, Jazz, and Popular repertoire. Performances are scheduled over the course of the year. The group is auditioned, and meets as a class for full credit. Students are expected to practice their parts outside of class. All band instruments are welcome to audition (brass, woodwinds, percussion, bass, piano, and guitar.) Students wishing to take this course for less than a full year may do so only with the specific departmental approval. 7790 AP Music Theory Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor The AP Music Theory course is designed to prepare students to take the AP exam and to receive college credit. Students develop skills necessary to recognize, understand, and describe the basic materials and processes are heard or presented in a musical score. Students practice aural, analytical, and compositional skills through listening and written exercises. They develop creativity through harmonization of a melody, composing a musical bass line to provide two voice counterpoint, and realization of figured bass notation. Students should be experienced in choral or instrumental music, and have some music theory background. 7801 Art HisTORY: CLASSICAL CIVILIZATIONS By examining the origins of Ancient Greece and Rome, this course will establish a foundation of art history. The course starts with a brief survey of ancient cave art and early civilizations, and then focuses on the history, culture, and art of Greece and Rome. The course will investigate politics, primary documents, and major events in history, while considering their effects on the painting, sculpture, and artchitecture of the time period. first trimester
7802 Art HistORY: ETRUSCAN TO BYZANTINE ART At a crossroads of history and religion lies this evocative and glittering period of art. This course will discuss the origins, trends, and evolution of religion and the art that stemmed from those beliefs. From the catacombs to St. Peter’s and from Hagia Sophia to St. Mark’s, the course studies the art of Europe, Egypt, and Turkey.
7803 Art History: 1400-1800 This course investigates the reasons that artists were cultivated and inspired by the events of the Renaissance through the 18th century. The course considers how technology and politics inspired artists from Brunelleschi to Manet to produce the world’s most well-known works of art.
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7900 Contemporary Art and Culture Application required for this Williston Scholars course Studio fee $150 a two -trimester course beginning in the second trimester
This course focuses on contemporary art in the context of social, economic, political, and scientific events since the mid-20th century. Students explore the functions of the artist in society, and the effects of globalization, technology, and diverse social movements and phenomena on contemporary arts. Students investigate how historical events and social and political conflicts have informed the arts since the 1950s, including how various themes in visual art have been informed by popular music, theater, and dance. This course includes visits to art galleries, museums, arts departments, and events at the five colleges. A significant portfolio or research project will be required in the spring trimester.
Ap Portfolios Students interested in creating an AP Studio Art portfolio for submission to the College Board may do so either through the afternoon Arts Intensive Program or through a supervised independent course of study with one of our studio arts faculty. Students in this program should expect to devote considerable time to their artwork in both junior and senior years. The following courses rotate and will not be offered in the 2013-14 school year: • 7711 and 7712 History of Jazz • 7621 Play Production
Extracurricular Arts Dance Ensemble
The Williston Theatre
Students have opportunities to choreograph and perform in a variety of dance styles for two major dance productions each year.
Opportunities to act or work in a variety of backstage capacities are available. Three major productions a year are performed for the public.
Teller Chorus is a repertory choral ensemble which rehearses and performs vocal/ choral music written for mixed (female and male) voices.
Private instruction in voice and instrumental music is available for additional hourly fees. Regular lessons and practice sessions are expected.
The Fine and Performing Arts Intensive Program The Fine and Performing Arts Intensive Program exists to provide opportunity and support for the serious musician, visual artist, or theater technician. In instances of demonstrated commitment, a student may opt to spend one trimester engaged in arts activities, in lieu of afterschool sports.
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The Middle School is a important component of the Williston community. We share resources with the Upper School—the theater, library, athletics and arts facilities, and most of the academic buildings—and still maintain a separate identity on campus. The Middle School, which consists of grades seven and eight, has approximately 40 students per grade. With an average class size of 13, Middle School students know each of their teachers and their peers well.
concerned with the cognitive development of their students, but teaching never happens in a vacuum; the faculty are aware that the student’s social, moral, and physical development are crucial as well. This is why community service plays such an important role in the Middle School curriculum and why collaborative learning happens all the time. Civility. Respect. Tolerance. Concepts like these are constantly reinforced in the Middle School.
Our dedicated and experienced faculty are much more than traditional teachers. They are compassionate and sincere individuals who constantly strive to have their students excel. Faculty are visible and accessible to the students. Most are advisors; all are involved in one way or another with students outside of the classroom. Teachers are
Middle Schoolers are encouraged to become self-motivated and dedicated students. Faculty help students succeed by providing them with a foundation of subject-appropriate study skills. Faculty hope that their students appreciate (maybe even love) their particular academic subject. The teacher’s enthusiasm is often infectious. At
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the very least, students walk away from each course with a solid foundation in the subject and the skills necessary to take the lessons learned in the Middle School and apply them in the future.
groups meet regularly through the course of the year to plan community service projects, discuss schoolwide issues, and periodically define, review, and redefine academic goals.
Learning, of course, is not limited to the classroom. Through our relationships with the five colleges in our local community, we can provide our students with field trips, community service opportunities, and visiting speakers that enhance and enrich our academic program. These opportunities and experiences help our students truly understand that learning happens everywhere.
The Middle School is a place where adolescents are challenged. The program is demanding, but not overwhelming. Students are amazed at what they can accomplish at Williston. They will also find the experience rewarding and fun.
Each student is assigned to an advisor who monitors the studentâ€™s academic progress and discusses pertinent social issues. Advisory
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Middle School Program of Instruction Each student’s course of study includes English, history and global studies, language (Chinese, French, Latin, Spanish), mathematics, science, art, music, and physical education (7th grade) or health (8th grade). Brief outlines of each of the required courses follow.
culmination is a unique and well-constructed literary piece in which the student demonstrates intellectual independence, creativity, and sound writing skills. This 8th grade English class substantially prepares the student for 9th grade English study.
Year-long Courses English 2000 English 7 In this course students explore and strengthen the communication skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening in a respectful and supportive environment. The development of critical thinking skills is stressed and supported continuously, as students acquire the building blocks for analyzing literature and for communicating their ideas effectively in a wide variety of contexts. The analytical writing process is introduced and practiced throughout the year in response to classroom texts. Students also enjoy many opportunities to work with the material creatively. Students read fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and short stories, as well as some books of their choice outside of the classroom. Foundational grammar and mechanics are formally introduced and practiced, and students continue building their vocabularies through the readings. 2005 English 8 This course fosters intellectual and personal growth, academic independence, and personal confidence through a close study of literature, writing, and speaking. Students develop new skills as they read and write with a purpose in mind. These skills are cultivated in analytical and creative writing assignments as well as in class discussions based on the selected literature. In our analyses we focus on how to write an effective thesis with supporting textual points to develop persuasive critical arguments in essay form. In creative writing assignments, students are responsible for presenting clear and meaningful fiction through point of view, dialogue, narration, and description. As well as regularly scheduled work on vocabulary and grammar, we closely study the various genres of English. We challenge students to go beyond their own expectations in a passionate pursuit of deliberate reading, literary analysis, and effective writing. Throughout the course of the year, with teacher oversight, each student authors a lengthy and creative “Humanities Project” based on a personal passion or interest. Students may supplement their projects with audio and visual technology or a performance if desired. The
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Language French, Latin, and Spanish are each offered as a two-year sequence. Language courses emphasize mastery of grammar and vocabulary while incorporating opportunities to further students’ cultural literacy. New 8th graders are integrated into the second year of language study. 5300 Chinese 1A Students build a solid foundation in listening, speaking, reading, and writing Mandarin Chinese. Emphasis is placed upon the mastery of the Mandarin Chinese sound system, basic vocabulary, and fundamental character writing concepts. Aspects of Chinese culture and history are addressed as well. Students learn to communicate about daily life and other topics of interest. 5100 French iA / 5105 French iB In both the 7th and 8th grade courses, the emphasis is on vocabulary-building and speaking. The two-year sequence covers the grammar and general vocabulary of a first-year high school course. After successful completion of the two-year sequence, students take French II in the Upper School. 5700 Latin ia / 5705 Latin ib Latin students acquire the foundational knowledge and skills that they will need to translate Latin literature. By examining the language closely, students expand their understanding of English vocabulary and grammar. Through Latin readings and projects, students explore aspects of Roman culture and discover the influences it has had on their own lives. After successful completion of the two-year sequence, students take Latin II in the Upper School. 5500 Spanish ia / 5505 Spanish ib These courses are designed to establish a foundation in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in both the 7th and 8th grades. Emphasis is placed upon mastery of the Spanish sound system, basic vocabulary, and fundamental grammatical concepts. After successful completion of the two-year sequence, students take Spanish II in the Upper School.
History and Global Studies 6000 Geography 7 Students in this course develop a greater awareness and appreciation for the scope of physical and human geography through in-depth investigations of issues affecting different regions of the world. Throughout the year, students build study and writing skills, work on creative projects, and orally present information related to the topics studied. 6005 Civics 8 This course introduces students to the concept of citizenship in our society and the responsibilities associated with it. To become informed citizens, students will study the historical roots of our constitutional system and then determine how those constitutional principles are expressed locally and nationally. The course utilizes curriculum from We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution, and Project Citizen. The goal of these two programs is to provide students with the tools to participate competently and responsibly in state and local government. Enhancing activities include trips to the Hampshire County Court House, and the State House, mock trials, and simulated congressional hearings.
Science 4000 Life Science 7 In a life science context, students practice scientific methods of thinking through observation, data collection, and interpretation. Students join with scientists from Harvard Forest by collecting data from campus trees in a long-term ecological research project documenting the length in the growing season in relation to climate change. The school garden acts as a living laboratory in which students encounter the cycles of life in an array of organisms from every classification group: plants, animals, fungi, protists, and bacteria. Students establish a traditional foundation in life science concepts while learning to conduct their own investigative research and exploring current issues in our world today. The classroom aims to be alive with student interactions as well as with a variety of plants and animals for observation and study. Students participate in several field trips that take advantage of the wealth of resources within the five-college area. All students conclude the year by participating in the Science Fair, which affords them the opportunity to investigate a life science topic of their choice. 4005 Physical Science 8 This course examines a wide range of topics, including the basic principles of meteorology, geology, chemistry, and physics, all with an emphasis on lab-based, hands-on activities designed to be both challenging and fun. These activities include identifying a mystery mineral as part of the geology unit and building an electric motor as part of the unit on electricity and magnetism. Students pursue an
in-depth exploration of the scientific method, while building confidence in lab skills and procedures. All students conclude the year by participating in the Science Fair, which affords them the opportunity to investigate a physical science topic of their choice.
Mathematics Pre-Algebra, Algebra Standard, and Algebra Honors are offered. Some 7th and 8th graders will take Geometry or Algebra 2 if they have completed the prerequisite courses. The goal of the mathematics program is to prepare students for future mathematics courses while providing a variety of strategies for reading, learning, and studying mathematics. 3000 Pre-Algebra 7 This course seeks to solidify and extend basic number concepts and to prepare students for Algebra I. Topics will include work with integers, decimals, fractions, equation and inequality solving, ratio, proportion and percent, and graphing on the coordinate plane. Emphasis will be placed on the application of knowledge through word problems, labs, and projects. 3100 Algebra 8 The 8th grade Algebra I course seeks to solidify the foundation for students to proceed to more advanced mathematics courses. Topics will include work with integers, writing and solving multi-step equations and inequalities, graphing linear equations and inequalities, proportion and percent equations, graphing and solving systems of equations and inequalities, properties of exponents, and an introduction to quadratics. Emphasis will be placed on the application of knowledge through problem solving. 3105 HONORS Algebra 8 The 8th grade Algebra I Honors course is offered to students who learn at a faster pace, are better able to handle abstract reasoning, and are ready to take more responsibility and initiative for their own learning. The topics include all of the standard Algebra 1 concepts as well as an in-depth study of quadratics. Emphasis will be placed on the application of knowledge through problem-solving.
one trimester each year
Fine and Performing Arts 7001 Theater 7 The 7th grade theatre course offers students an introduction to improvisation, acting, and playwriting. Students learn by doing. They are expected to participate actively in all facets of the class, including daily warm-up and theater games. The course begins with
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group-building exercises that allow the class members to gain comfort with each other and with performing onstage. Students learn the improvisation technique of Viola Spolin and Paul Sills, playing numerous theater games that allow them to work spontaneously from their imaginations, create vivid characters and settings, and gain a firm sense of scene structure. Students apply these skills to two major class projects, the Clown Project and Story Theatre. The assignments give students the opportunity to experience the full rehearsal process culminating in a performance at the Middle School Arts Night. 7011 Theater 8 Students in the 8th grade theatre course use playwriting, directing, and acting in order to express themselves and to comment on the issues particular to adolescence. The course begins with groupbuilding exercises that build trust and cohesion among the students. Once this foundation has been laid, the focus of the course moves on to playwriting and directing. Students learn skills for writing both comedic and dramatic work, and they explore the directorâ€™s role in the rehearsal process. The main goal of the class is to foster the creative spirit in all students, giving them a chance to challenge themselves with each assignment. The course also offers students the unique opportunity to see theater not only as a vehicle for entertainment, but as a forum to examine important issues in current events and history. The trimester culminates in a performance of original work at the Middle School Arts Night. 7002 Art 7 7th Grade Art is an introductory course, although it is designed to meet the needs of students with a variety of skill levels. We use a broad cross-section of materials. Most of the projects are designed around selected elements of art and principles of design. For example, students learn about color theory and implement what they learn by completing a project where they alter the color schemes of existing artworks by known artists. Students have weekly homework assignments addressing periods in art history from prehistoric art through the 1500s. Students also examine art created on various continents during this time span. They learn how to write and talk about their own art and the art of others. By analyzing what they see, students develop visual observation skills that enable them to better understand visual art. 7012 Art 8 8th Grade Art is a continuation of the 7th grade course. It allows students to build upon the skills they have learned previously, although students with a variety of skill levels have been successful in the course. We use many different materials and techniques, including printmaking, painting with watercolors, gouache and acrylic paints, collage and some 3-D materials. 8th grade projects are designed to allow students more freedom and self-direction, and they are asked to delve into the philosophical arena of aesthetics by
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attempting to answer the question, â€œWhat is art?â€? Students have weekly homework assignments which focus on Western art history, from the Baroque style through Pop Art. Some in-class projects are based on these research assignments. For the final project, students choose one art style for further in-depth exploration. 7004 PHYSICAL EDUCATION 7 All 7th grade students take part in a physical education program in series with Art and Theater classes. 7014 HEALTH 8 This course exposes students to issues that affect their physical, intellectual, social, and emotional well-being. Topics covered include mental health, social health, nutrition, physical fitness, human sexuality, the human life cycle, substance abuse, infectious diseases, and environmental health. Classes are lecture and discussion based. The goal of this course is to equip the students to make informed, well thought out decisions that affect their health in an increasingly complex society. 7003 and 7013 Music ensembles Students explore and experience music by singing as a small choral ensemble. Musical selections are drawn from a wide range of genres and styles. Students also use these selections to study basic elements of music theory, form, and history. The work of the class will be showcased at the end of the term.
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The Williston Northampton School admits students of any race, religion, national origin, gender, or sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender, or sexual orientation in the administration of its to educational policies, financial aid program, scholarship programs, or athletic and other school-administered programs. The Williston Northampton Schoolâ€™s residential and academic facilities are increasingly wheelchair accessible. We encourage individuals needing special accommodations to identify themselves during the application process and let us know the type of accommodation they require.
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The Williston Northampton School Student Handbook is an evolving document whose content is subject to change. Updated April 2013
at 2013-14 Course of Studies