Curriculum & Academic Departments
The curriculum at Saint Francis High School reflects our proven commitment to prepare students for the best colleges and universities across the country, capture their curiosity and inspire them to be lifelong learners in a coed setting. In addition to traditional courses in humanities and sciences, Saint Francis offers innovative classes that demonstrate the broad interests of our students and the expertise of our faculty. Courses such as History and Politics of the Olympics, Mandarin Chinese, Classical Guitar and Global Citizenship were recently added to our curriculum. We support the creation of these forward-thinking courses because we know they will spark the imagination of our students and prepare them to live as citizens of the world.
Saint Francis students benefit from our robust college preparatory, honors and Advanced Placement curriculum. With more than 120 courses in eight academic departments, our students have the opportunity to select classes that reflect their interests, align with their college goals and challenge them to expand their academic abilities.
ENGLISH 1 Full Year
This course provides the freshman student with a strong foundation in literature while emphasizing oral and written communication. Effective techniques for written composition will be stressed with an emphasis on writing fluency and the structure and style of the paragraph. Students will master the paragraph, including a thesis statement and the claim, lead-in, data, warrant paragraph format, leading to a multi-paragraph essay. The study of literature includes reading, discussing and analyzing writing styles and literary techniques in classic mythology, dramas and epics as well as contemporary novels. Vocabulary and grammar instruction are emphasized within the context of the writing and literature curriculum.
ENGLISH 1 HONORS Full Year
This course is designed for freshmen who have demonstrated in an entrance examination that they have superior understanding of English fundamentals. Besides covering most elements of the English 1 curriculum, this course will emphasize the theory and practice of analytical writing, oral communication and creative responses to literature. Readings in the first semester will focus on the classical tradition and readings in the second semester will be drawn from contemporary world literature. Students will read texts in various genres not only for comprehension of basic literary theories and terms, but also to stimulate ideas for multiple paragraph essays.
ACADEMIC RESOURCE LAB Full Year
This course is designed for freshmen who need additional academic support. Students work on English, math, organizational, test taking and study skills. Homework mastery is emphasized.
ENGLISH 2 AMERICAN LITERATURE AND WRITING Full Year
English 2 is a study of American literature that includes the comprehension and analysis of poetry, short stories, novels, non-fiction and drama. During this course, students will review the basic paragraph structure and expand their writing into multi-paragraph essays that include fully developed introductions and conclusions. English 2 also emphasizes critical thinking and speaking skills as well as vocabulary and grammar development.
ENGLISH 2 HONORS: AMERICAN LITERATURE & ADVANCED WRITING Full Year
English 2-H is a chronological survey of, as well as a study of philosophical trends in, American literature. It also examines in detail the theory and practice of effective writing with a focus on exposition, narration, comparison and argumentation. This writing culminates in the writing of a literary analysis research paper. Vocabulary focuses on the preparation for college entrance examinations. Speaking and listening skills continue to be improved.
ENGLISH 3: BRITISH LITERATURE AND ANALYTICAL WRITING Full Year
This course is a survey of British Literature, introducing students to literature and social trends in various periods and exploring the development of literature in the English tradition. Students will respond to literature in a skills-based environment, focusing on their proficiency in writing, critical reading and oral communication. Particular emphasis will be placed on writing the analytical essay.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENGLISH LANGUAGE Full Year
This course studies the nature of rhetoric and argumentation in preparation for the Advanced Placement English Language exam. The focus concerns how writers employ rhetorical strategies to impact a particular audience. Students are asked to engage with the language of British literary texts to unravel the tactics that a writer utilizes to achieve such impact; likewise, student writing will revolve around articulating those strategies, as well as employing them in their own writing. The content of the course covers a survey of British Literature from the Dark Ages to the present, including such works as The Canterbury Tales, Hamlet, Frankenstein, Heart of Darkness and the works of Tom Stoppard.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENGLISH LITERATURE Full Year
This course is designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Test given every spring. This class involves close reading and analysis of poetry, drama, fiction and the essay on the advanced level. There is special emphasis on the refinement of critical thinking and writing skills.
ENGLISH 4 - WORLD LITERATURE Semester
This course will introduce students to the literature of foreign cultures, with an emphasis on contemporary works in developing regions of Latin America, Africa, Europe and Asia. Some background study of foreign culture, history and philosophy will be integrated into the literature studied. Continued development of critical writing skills for college, vocabulary study, listening and speaking skills will be stressed.
ENGLISH 4 - SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY Semester
This one semester course allows students to see science fiction as prophecy, as myth, as a comment on our time, as an art form, and as mainstream literature. The study of science fiction literature and thought encompasses novels and short stories. Critical and evaluative papers are generated from the literature. Such writers as Asimov, Clark and Bradbury are featured in this course.
ENGLISH 4 - CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN AUTHORS Semester
This one semester course explores the changing face of contemporary American literature, focusing on living American authors, poets and playwrights. Students will read both traditional and experimental works from popular contemporary authors. Critical papers, poetry projects and drama field trips allow students full participation in this course.
ENGLISH 4 - SPORTS IN LITERATURE Semester
This one semester course will allow students to explore sports and literature. Through reading, writing and class discussions, students will explore how sports function in our society and what it reveals about our culture. This class will also draw upon history, geography, philosophy, politics and culture in order to explore sports to its fullest. Students will be required to read novels, poetry, short stories, biography/autobiography and nonfiction and analyze these works for ideas as well as style. Students will write both critical and creative responses to material from a variety of sources including books, magazines, newspapers and electronic media.
ENGLISH 4 – FILM AS LITERATURE Semester
This one semester course will explore the history and form of film, with an emphasis on scene and film structure, genre and theme and the historical and sociopolitical significance of film. The course will provide students with the tools for critically analyzing film and understanding how film speaks as an artistic or literary form. Students will learn to "read" the forms, conventions and meaning of films in a critical manner. As a result, they should be able to confront new films that they see within the context of the historical, ideological and aesthetic trends of modern cinema. Additionally, they should be able to think, write and speak critically about the form, style and content of those films.
ENGLISH 4 – MYSTERY AND DETECTIVE FICTION Semester
This one semester course covers the genre of mystery and detective fiction from its 19th century origins, to the classic Golden Age puzzle, to the American hard-boiled detective fiction of the 1990s. The course examines the development of the traditional mystery story and the hard-boiled detective story in terms of how each reflects the values and social issues of the culture that produced it. Students will examine the history and structure of mystery and detective fiction through short stories, novels, plays and film from both American and European authors.
CREATIVE WRITING Semester
In this one semester writing course, students discover their own writing talents through a workshop atmosphere while exploring a variety of literary forms, to include short stories, poetry, drama, non fiction and journal writing.
IRISH LITERATURE Semester
Irish Literature is a one-semester course designed to expose students to the diversity of literature that has come out of Ireland, striving to bring students into contact with Irish texts that reveal the fragmented and diverse identity of a nation torn by crisis. Students will read from Irish folklore and mythology, the novel, poetry, drama and short story in addition to discussing historical events in order to gain an appreciation for the literary heritage of Ireland. Students will write both critical and creative responses to authors including W.B. Yeats, Seamus Heaney, Sean O’Casey, James Joyce and J. M. Synge. Evaluation of students will include essays, oral presentations and active class participation.
SPEECH & RHETORIC Semester
This course is an introduction to public speaking. It is an opportunity for the student to gain self-confidence and learn successful communication skills. The student will become proficient in extemporaneous, impromptu, persuasive and expository speaking. In addition, the student will learn the basics of argumentation, parliamentary procedure and group discussion. Students will be required to keep up with current events throughout the semester, as these will often be topics for speeches and discussions. Reading and research techniques will also be applied. Tournament competition is available, but not required in Speech & Rhetoric 1.
ARGUMENTATION AND DEBATE Semester
Working from a starting point of Aristotle and his canons of rhetoric, this course offers an examination of the theory and practice of argumentation with emphasis on parliamentary, public forum and policy debate formats. Emphasis also placed on learning to make and refute claims and inferences, diverse research methods and the use of evidence, effective means of cross-examination, a workshop type setting to aid in argument construction as well as focusing on varying styles of presentation.
ADVANCED SPEECH & RHETORIC Semester
This course is designed to allow students who have had previous instruction in research and speaking to put into practice these skills through competition and performance. Throughout this course, the student will be asked to be a mentor/coach for others, meet the requirements set by the forensics directors in preparation for speaking contests and apply oratorical skills in a public relations forum. Activities will include research of various topics, preparation of debate cases and participation in a variety of speech forms and competitions.
This course allows students to survey mass media and develop techniques of journalism. After studying the history of journalism, students learn interviewing techniques and journalistic writing styles. In addition to writing stories suitable for publication, students learn how a newspaper is produced and staffed, learn the basics of media law and participate in a number of individual and group projects. The course is helpful for students interested in working on the school newspaper and/or yearbook.
FRENCH 1 Full Year
This course is designed to help the student develop the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Basic concepts of French grammar and syntax are reinforced through a variety of exercises including audio-visual devices such as films, songs, recordings, pictures and language games. Emphasis is placed on oral proficiency, pronunciation and rhythm using everyday situations to make this first year a realistic learning experience. Culture projects will bring insights into French traditions.
FRENCH 2 Full Year
This course is designed to continue the basic grammatical concepts of the French language learned in the first year. The cultural focus of the course is on basic French institutions and ordinary aspects of life in France and the French-speaking world. The course is organized in short segments to help students acquire skills quickly. It strives to develop the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
FRENCH 3 Full Year
This course reviews and builds upon the grammatical concepts learned in French 2. The course focuses on the development of reading and oral skills and on independent writing. Special emphasis is placed on conversation. The cultural focus this year is on contemporary French-speaking life and society. French is the primary language of instruction in this class.
FRENCH 4 Full Year
The cultural content of this course focuses primarily on the French speaking world. Sources include texts from contemporary culture, excerpts from novels and listening passages taken from conversations, podcasts, and interviews. Students will be advancing their skills learned in the first three years and study more detailed grammar structures. The emphasis of grammar usage relies on oral expression in conversations, and written interpersonal communication. Student participation is essential and the course is taught primarily in French.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT FRENCH LANGUAGE Full Year
This course is designed to prepare students who plan to take the Advanced Placement Examination in French Language in May. Listening, reading, function words and grammar, verb conjugation, composition writing and describing a series of pictures emphasize development of the student’s active communication in French. Students rely upon a diversity of resources for class discussion, including authentic radio and television broadcasts, newspapers, films and modern songs. Increased fluency, accuracy and expansion of ideas are stressed. French is spoken exclusively in this class.
HONORS FRENCH LITERATURE Full Year
The cultural content of this course focuses primarily on the French speaking world through comparing and contrasting geographic, historical, artistic, social, and political features of target culture communities. Sources include texts from contemporary culture, poetry, publicity and excerpts from novels and magazines. Listening passages are taken from conversations, podcasts, radio and interviews. Students have the opportunity to read, comprehend, and present on cultural and literary topics relating to thematic units. Student participation is essential, and the course is taught primarily in French.
SPANISH 1 Full Year
This course is designed to help the student develop the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Emphasis is placed on oral proficiency, pronunciation and rhythm using everyday situations and conversations. In addition to the vocabulary presented in the text, commonly used idioms and basic vocabulary will be supplemented. Beginning readings in Spanish will be augmented by insights into Spanish culture and traditions. Basic concepts of Spanish grammar and syntax are introduced and reinforced through a wide variety of written and oral exercises.
SPANISH 2 Full Year
This course is a continuation of course work covered in Spanish 1. Students complete a thorough study of Spanish language, grammar and syntax. Knowledge of cultural backgrounds and customs of the various Spanish-speaking communities is reinforced with supplemental materials. Emphasis is placed on all four-language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students begin reading excerpts of Spanish literature.
SPANISH 3 Full Year
The text, accompanying workbook, supplementary reader and a Spanish/English dictionary are required. Language and literature selections from Spain and Latin America are incorporated into the study of Spanish at this level. The addition of new grammatical points, grammar reviews, literature and cultures are combined. The major emphasis at this level will be on the acquisition of new vocabulary and increasing conversational skills. All four language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) are emphasized daily. Spanish is the primary language of instruction in this class.
SPANISH 3 HONORS Full Year
This intensive honors course at Level 3 is conducted in Spanish and students are expected to use only Spanish in class. The students’ listening and speaking skills are further developed, with an emphasis on original and spontaneous self-expression. Students are introduced to literature in Spanish and engage in oral and written discussion based on their reading. They continue to refine their knowledge and understanding of the target language and culture.
SPANISH 4 Full Year
This course is designed for students who plan to continue their study in upper division Spanish, who wish to refine the skills acquired in the first three years and study more advanced grammar and vocabulary structures. Students concentrate on sustained language production, both oral and written and will develop their critical thinking skills in reading and writing, as well as listening and conversational skills. Students use Spanish exclusively and Spanish is the language of instruction in this class.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT SPANISH LANGUAGE Full Year
This course is designed for students who plan to take the Advanced Placement Examination in Spanish Language in May. Activities stress speaking, listening, reading and writing skills that focus on active communication in Spanish. Course materials will include recordings, films, newspapers, magazines and selected literary works by major authors. Training in the organization and writing of compositions is an integral part of the course. Students are expected to use Spanish exclusively and Spanish is the language of instruction in this class.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT SPANISH LITERATURE Full Year
This course is designed for students who take the Advanced Placement Examination in Spanish Literature in May. Students will read, discuss and analyze Hispanic literature of all genres, using required AP reading lists as well as supplementary selections as needed. This course is comparable to a third year college literature course. Spanish is spoken exclusively in this class.
CHINESE 1 Full Year
Chinese 1 introduces students to the four basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing in Mandarin Chinese. The students will also be introduced to the customs and life of the modern Chinese. Emphasis is placed on developing accurate pronunciation using everyday situations and conversations and reading and writing Chinese characters. Cultural activities are arranged to provide each student with opportunities to enhance language and cultural learning.
CHINESE 2 Full Year
This course is a continuation of the first year of Chinese including further acquisition of an additional 200 characters and phrases, training in the skills of reading, writing and speaking official Chinese. This class further develops the Chinese language and cultural understanding through regular practice in class and homework. The students will learn to express themselves using more sophisticated language structures. Major themes for the second year Chinese are making appointments, studying languages, school life, shopping, talking about the weather and transportation. The pinyin and traditional Chinese characters will be taught. The four-tone system in Chinese pronunciation will be required. The students will have to write in simplified style Chinese characters for quizzes and exams. Cooperative group learning is highly emphasized.
CHINESE 3 Full Year
This course is a continuation of the second year of Chinese including further acquisition of additional characters and phrases, and training in the skills of reading, writing, and speaking official Chinese. This class further develops the Chinese language and cultural understanding through regular practice in class and homework. The students will learn to express themselves using more sophisticated language structures.
CHINESE 4 Full Year
Chinese 4 is a continuation of the content learned in Chinese 3. The goal of the class is to advance the student's communicative competence in all four skills of language learning: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students will improve their oral skills through regular dialogue practice, participation in skits and discussions about course themes. Writing skills will be developed through frequent paragraph and essay practice, as well as through several writing projects. Listening will be enhanced through frequent use of audio content from the textbook and outside reading resources including narrations, stories, talks, andmovings. Reading skill improvement will be achieved by regular reading of the text, article, websites, and stories.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT CHINESE LANGUAGE AND CULTURE Full Year
The AP Chinese Language and Culture course is designed to be comparable to a college/university course in Mandarin Chinese. These college courses, which deepen student immersion into the language and culture of the Chinese-speaking world, typically represent the point at which students complete approximately 250 hours of college-level classroom instruction. The course work in Chinese 4 AP provides students with opportunities to perform intermediate to advanced level tasks, and students are expected to achieve proficiencies throughout, and sometimes beyond, the intermediate range, as described in the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Proficiency Guidelines. The AP course prepares students to demonstrate their level of Chinese proficiency across the three communicative modes (interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational) and the five goal areas (communication, cultures, connections, comparisons, and communities) as outlined in the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century. Its aim is to provide students with ongoing and varied opportunities to further develop their proficiencies across the full range of language.
ALGEBRA 1 Full Year
The concepts needed for the further study of math are covered with the emphasis on problem solving. The student will develop the understanding of the real number system and perform the four basic operations on polynomial, rational and radical expressions. The concepts of simplifying and evaluating mathematical expressions, determining the solutions to equations and inequalities and the development of graphing are all used in the context of applications to real world situations. There will be constant emphasis on arithmetic skills and their applications.
ALGEBRA 1 HONORS Full Year
The student will develop an understanding of the real number system and be able to apply the four basic operations on polynomial, rational and radical expressions. The steps leading to solutions of linear and quadratic equations and of inequalities are geared to problem solving. Graphing on the coordinate system will aid in the basic understanding of functions. There will be an emphasis on the solution of real world problems.
ALGEBRA 1A / ALGEBRA 1B Full Year*
The concepts needed for the further study of math are covered with the emphasis on problem solving. The student will develop the understanding of the real number system and perform the four basic operations on polynomial, rational and radical expressions. The concepts of simplifying and evaluating mathematical expressions, determining the solutions to equations and inequalities and the development of graphing are all used in the context of applications to real world situations. There will be emphasis on reviewing basic arithmetic skills and the practical applications of algebra and arithmetic in everyday life. In the second semester, the course will concentrate on factoring, simplifying rational expressions, graphing in the coordinate plane, solving systems of equations and identifying functions.
*Enrollment in this course represents two courses for scheduling purposes. Placement in this class is based upon the math score on the Entrance Exam and math grades in the 7th and 8th grades. Recommendation from the 8th grade math teacher may be considered as well.
DESCRIPTIVE GEOMETRY Full Year
Using definitions, basic postulates and theorems, students will learn to solve problems involving triangles, other polygons, circles and solids. Other elements consist of areas of plane figures, areas and volumes of solids and the applications of coordinate geometry and basic trigonometry. The course includes a constant review of arithmetic and algebraic skills.
GEOMETRY Full Year
Students will be presented units that develop an understanding of applications of the basic theorems, postulates and definitions of geometry. Using these basic concepts will enable the student to study congruent and similar figures, discover the properties of geometric figures (especially triangles and rectangles), perform geometric constructions, use the basic elements of coordinate geometry and trigonometry, develop the properties of measurement and learn the principles of logical inference and proof.
GEOMETRY HONORS Full Year
Geometry is the study of figures and their properties. There is an emphasis on the study of congruent and similar figures, the properties of various figures (especially triangles and rectangles), the use of coordinate geometry, the methods of measurement, three-dimensional geometry and an introduction to trigonometry.
INTERMEDIATE ALGEBRA Full Year
Much of the work in this course will be a review of the material covered in first year algebra and geometry courses. The last part of the course will include the study of radicals, quadratic equations and relations, conic sections and a study of exponential and logarithmic functions. The emphasis is on understanding the concepts, problem solving techniques and applications on various models.
ALGEBRA 2 Full Year
In addition to both reinforcement and a more advanced study of the concepts studied in Algebra I, this course develops the concepts of radicals, complex numbers, functions, including quadratic, exponential, logarithmic and trigonometric and the real-life applications of trigonometry.
ADVANCED ALGEBRA/TRIGONOMETRY HONORS Full Year
This course is a continuation of the material studied in Algebra I. There is a review and further development of the structure of the real number system, the solving of equations and inequalities, the manipulation of polynomial and fractional expressions and graphing. This is followed by the study of radicals, complex numbers, quadratics, functions, analytic geometry, exponents, logarithms and sequences. The last quarter of the year is devoted to the study of trigonometry from the point of view of circular functions.
STATISTICS Full Year
This course will introduce general statistical principles, which will be useful to all students regardless of their field of specialization. Fundamentals of data collection, graphing, probability and measures of central tendency will be the primary focus of the course work. Studies involving student collected data outside of the classroom and computer assisted instruction will be an integral part of the course. Spreadsheets, graphical analysis and simulations will be used to investigate topics of student interest. This course provides an excellent framework for future study in statistics.
TRIGONOMETRY/ANALYTIC GEOMETRY Full Year
Trigonometry is presented as the study of properties and applications of circular functions. There will be an emphasis on graphing trigonometric functions, discovering identities for right triangles, solving trigonometric equations and solving problems involving the sides and angles of triangles and their applications to real life situations. Analytic Geometry is primarily the in-depth study of the properties and graphs of lines, conic sections as well as quadratic and other functions with an emphasis on the equation of each figure.
PRECALCULUS Full Year
This course includes the study of functions and graphs, polynomial and rational functions, exponents and logarithms, a review of trigonometry and its applications, polar coordinates, conics and inequalities.
PRECALCULUS HONORS Full Year
This course includes the study of probability, statistics, analytic geometry in two and three dimensions, the theory of equations, graphing, progressions, exponential and logarithmic functions, a review of trigonometry and an introduction to calculus.
CALCULUS Full Year
This course offers students the opportunity to explore the fundamental principles of Calculus at a pace that provides students time to understand, appreciate and apply these concepts ultimately preparing students for a first-year college Calculus course. Topics include limits, some techniques of differentiation and integration and applications.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT STATISTICS Full Year
This course is an introduction to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing and drawing conclusions from data. Students will explore data, plan a study, anticipate patterns and use statistical inference.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT CALCULUS AB Full Year
This course of study follows that of the Advanced Placement Program. Beginning with an introduction to probability, the course consists of the study of differentiation and integration of polynomial, rational, irrational, logarithmic, exponential and trigonometric functions and their numerous applications. Students who progress satisfactorily in the course can take the Advanced Placement Calculus AB Examination in early May. Most colleges will award college credit for a calculus course to students who pass this examination.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT CALCULUS BC Full Year
Intended as a continuation of Calculus AB, material consists primarily of the study of graphs, differentiation and integration of vector, polar and parametric equations. Students will study more advanced forms of integration and the applications of the derivative and integral. The course will conclude with the study of sequences and series. Students who progress satisfactorily in this course can take the Advanced Placement Calculus BC Exam offered in May. Passage of this test can enable the student to receive a full year of college calculus credit.
ORDINARY DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS Full Year
This course is a year-long advanced math class designed to give those students who have completed Calculus BC the opportunity to continue developing their calculus skills sharp. Students will leave the course with the ability to use modeling skills to represent properties of real-world problems mathematically, solve a variety of differential equations, including those based on real-world problems, and use solutions to analyze the behavior of real-world systems.
BEGINNING COMPUTER PROGRAMMING Full Year
This course examines the fundamentals of computer science. Topics include fundamentals of programming, basic problem-solving techniques, simple graphical user interfaces and algorithms and general object-oriented software engineering using the Java programming language. This course guides students in exploring the fascinating world of computer programming through working on a variety of individual and team projects. This course fulfills the first year provision of a two-year preparation for the College Board's Advanced Placement Computer Science exam.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT COMPUTER PROGRAMMING Full Year
This course continues to explore the fundamentals of program design and data structures in computer science. Topics include algorithm analysis, abstract data structures, algorithm complexity, binary trees and other advanced software development and problem-solving techniques. This is the second year course of the two-year program preparing students for the College Board’s Advanced Placement Computer Science AB test, which is given in May.
BOYS' PHYSICAL EDUCATION 1 Semester
GIRLS' PHYSICAL EDUCATION 1 Semester
These courses are designed to help develop the student physically, mentally and socially. The student is expected to participate in physical activities that assist in meeting these goals. The experiences presented in the course are designed to help students develop knowledge, understanding, habits, attitudes and ideals necessary to maintain both physical and mental health.
NET GAMES Semester
This one semester course will introduce students to the history, rules, skills, and strategies of a variety of net games. Net games played in this course include volleyball, badminton, and pickle ball. Students will demonstrate knowledge of the rules and mastery of skills through instructor observation of student participation and written exams. The experiences presented in this course are intended to develop knowledge, self-confidence, positive self-image, good sportsmanship and cooperation.
CORE FIT Semester
This one semester course will focus on core conditioning, as well as muscle strengthening, balance and flexibility. Students will be introduced to the principles of alignment, proper movement, and stretching. Emphasis will also be placed on mind-body connection and the use of breath to guide exercise. The course will draw upon a wide variety of traditions, including techniques from Pilates, yoga, core conditioning, and orthopedic exercises. Given the intention of the class, students will also be expected to learn basic anatomical terms in order to better understand body mechanics. This class will also serve students in their efforts to increase fitness both for general health and in support of athletic endeavors.
AQUATIC FITNESS Semester
This one semester course will introduce students to various fitness activities that can be performed in the pool. The basic components of fitness, muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular fitness and flexibility will be taught and improved through a variety of activities like aqua jogging, lap swimming, water aerobics and various forms of resistance training. The overall health benefits of regular exercise will also be introduced with the goal of developing healthy lifelong fitness habits. Students will demonstrate mastery of skill and improved fitness by performing tests to measure body composition, flexibility and VO2 maximum throughout the semester and will maintain an activity journal.
FITNESS FOR LIFE Semester
This one semester course is designed to provide the student with the information and sills needed to live a healthy lifestyle. Units will include examination of nutrients and their function, food pyramid and diet analysis, components of fitness, exercise guidelines, aerobic and anaerobic exercise, physical and psychological benefits of exercise.
ADVANCED TEAM SPORTS I Semester
ADVANCED TEAM SPORTS II Semester
These one-semester courses will introduce students to the history, rules, skills and strategies of a variety of team sports. Students will demonstrate knowledge of the rules and mastery of skills through participation, written exams and officiating.
ADVANCED STRENGTH TRAINING AND CONDITIONING I Semester
ADVANCED STRENGTH TRAINING AND CONDITIONING II Semester
These one-semester courses will introduce the students to the principles of strength training and physical conditioning with an emphasis on developing a strength and conditioning program to meet the individual needs of the student. Resistance training, the overload principle, aerobic training, anaerobic training, cross training and plyometrics will be preformed. In addition, the specific nutritional needs of athletes and injury care and prevention will be discussed.
SOCIAL DANCE Semester
This one semester course will examine the history and cultural significance of various traditional social dances. Instruction will include the basics of 6 – 8 dances including waltz, ballroom, polka, square dancing, country line dancing, two-step, swing, cha-cha, foxtrot, rumba, tango, and salsa.
RELIGIOUS STUDIES 1: INTRODUCTION TO RELIGIOUS STUDIES Full Year
The course begins with an introduction to the history and traditions of Saint Francis High School, including its founding congregation, Holy Cross and patron, Saint Francis of Assisi. Students then examine adolescence and some of the ways our culture influences teenage development. The course continues with an examination of religious faith in general, followed by a complete survey of the beliefs and practices of Catholic Christianity. The roots of our Judeo-Christian heritage are introduced by means of a survey of the Hebrew Scriptures. A freshman retreat experience and Christian service with reflection are an integral part of the course.
HEBREW SCRIPTURES: LIVING THE HOLY LIFE I Semester
This course will introduce students to the Jewish “master story,” as found in the Hebrew Scriptures. The course will include an understanding of ancient Jewish and early Christian culture, historical geography, comparisons and criticisms of literary types, and how the roots of early Jewish and Christian religious practice affect contemporary religious practice. Critical to an understanding and appreciation of Sacred Scripture are an examination of issues in Biblical hermeneutics and interpretation and an exposure and understanding of major motifs found in the Biblical texts. Throughout the course, there will be a continuous comparison and application of such motifs into the realities and challenges of adolescent life, creating an increased desire to encounter God through Scripture. The Christian Service reflection and the class service learning day are required in this course.
NEW TESTAMENT - THE GOSPELS: LIVING THE HOLY LIFE II Semester
This course on faith-based living centers on the New Testament, with particular emphasis on the Gospels and St. Paul’s epistles. Students will learn to identify, incorporate and internalize what it means to be a follower of Jesus, and be challenged with the call to discipleship so as to live lives that are healthy, holy and happy. Adolescent issues covered in this course include self-esteem, responsible decision-making, stress management, healthy relationships, and the over-riding call of personal integrity. The Christian Service reflection and the class service learning day are required in this course.
MORAL ISSUES Semester
This course presents Catholic Morality through an examination of character and act ethics, analysis of virtues/vices, principles, values and a thorough decision-making model. Students explore contemporary moral problems, including substance abuse, pre-marital sex, abortion and end of life medical decisions. Christian Service with reflection is integral to this course.
SOCIAL JUSTICE Semester
This course presents the social teachings of the Church and the impact they have son the faithful and the larger society. Contemporary social issues relating to economic, environmental, cultural and political justice are examined. The scriptural challenge to live justly is explored. Christian Service with reflection is integral to this course.
CHRISTIAN VOCATION Semester
This course focuses on a more mature understanding and practice of the Catholic Faith through study and discussion of Christian values. Topics covered include identity, money/possessions, suffering/healing, purpose of work, single life, marriage and the religious life. Christian Service with reflection is integral to this course.
WORLD RELIGIONS Semester
This course investigates the great “God Questions” such as the goal of creation, the meaning of suffering and why many deny the existence of God. Religious Traditions, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and other Eastern traditions are studied with a view to challenging and enhancing the student’s own faith. Christian Service with reflection is integral to this course.
CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN SPIRITUALITY Semester
This course explores the life stories of contemporary Christians, with concentration on both the commonalties and uniqueness found in us all. Students will study the ways in which people experience God, respond in faith and grow spiritually. Insights and writings on theology, spirituality and psychology will be used. Christian service with reflection is integral to the course.
CHRISTIANITY AND PHILOSOPHY Semester
This course presents a challenging exploration of the roots and development of different aspects of modern western thought and the impact of certain philosophical ideas upon Christianity. It traces certain thematic topics such as the nature of God, the human soul, social responsibility and death through several historical eras in which western thinking experienced revolutionary changes. Class discussions, exploration of traditional debates and written analysis of ideas and personalities in philosophy challenge the student to learn and think critically. Christian service with reflection is integral to this course.
EARTH SCIENCE Full Year
This course is designed to introduce students to the scientific process through the study of several diverse fields of physical science, including mineralogy, meteorology, geology and astronomy. Each of these areas will involve laboratory experiences, computer simulations and exercises to supplement lectures.
BIOLOGY Full Year
The basic concepts of biology are introduced: cell theory, genetics, evolution, the animal and plant kingdoms, ecology and behavior. These topics are presented by means of lectures, class discussions and selected laboratory experiments. Audio-visual materials are used to enrich the classroom presentation.
BIOLOGY HONORS Full Year
The investigative approach is used to acquire the basic biological concepts and skills. Topics covered include cell chemistry and physiology, plant and animal morphology, evolutionary development, genetics, ecology and behavior. The course addresses itself to the social consequences of our actions as we attempt to solve the biological problems we face. Lectures, discussions, laboratory work and films supplement the text
CHEMISTRY Full Year
This course serves as an introduction to the fundamental principles of modern chemistry including theory, operations and applications. Topics to be discussed include atomic theory, stoichiometry, kinetics, atomic structure, chemical reactions, equilibrium, acid-base reactions, nuclear chemistry and problem solving. An emphasis is placed on the application of concepts to the real world through laboratory work, discussions, writing and projects.
CHEMISTRY HONORS Full Year
This course involves a deeper exploration of topics and more complex problem solving than the regular section. Topics covered include atomic theory, the mole concept, the states of matter, energy in chemical reactions, chemical bonding, chemical periodicity, rate and equilibrium characteristics of chemical reactions, acid-base behavior and nuclear chemistry.
CHEMISTRY IN THE COMMUNITY Full Year
This course integrates core chemistry topics with real-life societal issues and is built around laboratory investigations, activities and problems that relate to topics of impact in modern society. Units center on a series of questions or problems faced by a fictional community and provide the students with the chemistry background to be able to develop answers to the questions that are posed.
PHYSICS Full Year
This course is an introduction to some of the principles of physics, with primary emphasis given to understanding the fundamental aspects of nature and the interrelationship of energy and matter. Course material includes motion, force, energy, thermodynamics, waves, sound, light, electricity, magnetism and relativity. Learning is through lecture, demonstrations, hands-on laboratory experience, outside assignments and examination. Emphasis is on application of principles and concepts to real world problems.
PHYSICS HONORS Full Year
This course provides a systematic introduction to the main principles of physics, with primary emphasis given to understanding the fundamental aspects of nature and the interrelationship of energy and matter. Students will explore underlying concepts and incorporate them into analyses and problem solving techniques. Course material includes topics in both classical and modern physics: motion, force, energy, fluids, thermodynamics, waves, optics, electricity, magnetism, relativity and cosmology. Students learn through lecture, demonstrations, computer modeling and simulations, hands-on laboratory experience, projects and outside assignments and examinations. Emphasis is on application of concepts to real world problems.
EXERCISE SCIENCE & SPORTS MEDICINE Full Year
This course will introduce the students to the anatomy and physiology of the human body and how the systems interact with each other through sport. The course will also address sports injuries and treatment. Multiple laboratory activities are included to further aid in the learning process. Students from this class will be encouraged to enter the after-school Student Trainer program at Saint Francis.
MARINE BIOLOGY Full Year
This is a laboratory science course intended for students who wish to take a third or fourth year of science instruction. An investigative approach is used to apply biological concepts to the marine ecosystems. Topics covered include oceanography, a survey of the phyla of marine organisms, ecology and the interdependency of the marine ecosystems and their surrounding terrestrial ecosystems.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE Full Year
This course is designed for students who wish to take a third or fourth year of science instruction by challenging themselves with a college level science course. The main goals of this class are for the students to be provided with the equivalent of an introductory-level college environmental science course that stresses interdisciplinary scientific principles and analysis including a laboratory component. Major topics of instruction include earth systems and resources, ecosystems structures and changes, population ecology including human population dynamics, land and water use, energy resources and consumption, pollution issues and changes in global systems. Laboratory and field investigations will be an integral component of the course.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT BIOLOGY Full Year
AP Biology is designed for students who wish to take a fourth year of science instruction. The main goals of this class are for the students to be provided with the equivalent of a first year level college biology course, be able to design experiments and analyze data and be able to perform well on standardized tests in biology. Major topics of instruction include biological chemistry, cell theory, energy transformations, molecular genetics, heredity, evolution, taxonomy and systematics, a survey of the 5 Kingdoms, plant systems and structures, animal anatomy and physiology, behavior and ecology. Laboratory work constitutes approximately one fourth of the course. NOTE: This course is scheduled for an extra period once a week for extended laboratory work and testing periods.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT CHEMISTRY Full Year
AP Chemistry is designed for students who wish to take a fourth year of science instruction. The main goals of this class are for the students to be provided with the equivalent of a first year level college chemistry course, be able to design experiments and analyze data, write extensive laboratory reports and be able to perform well on standardized tests in chemistry. Major topics of instruction include stoichiometry; chemical formulas and equations, redox reactions, states of matter, electronic and molecular structure, chemical periodicity; solutions, equilibria, acid/base reactions, complex ions, coordination compounds, qualitative analysis, kinetics, electrochemistry and nuclear chemistry. Laboratory work constitutes approximately one fourth of the course. NOTE: This course is scheduled for an extra period once a week for extended laboratory work and testing periods.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT PHYSICS Full Year
AP Physics is designed for students who wish to take a fourth year of science instruction. The main goals of this class are for the students to be provided with the equivalent of a first year level college physics course, to be able to interpret and solve complex physics problems, apply physics in real-life situations and be able to perform well on standardized tests in physics. Major topics of instruction include mechanical motion (linear and rotational), forces, energy, momentum, work, electricity and magnetism and circuitry.
GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP Semester
This course explores themes in contemporary global affairs. For each theme, students will be exposed to, and participate in researching, various case studies. The course will give students the opportunity to conduct their own research and make presentations, partake in debates, and contribute their thoughts in discussions. It will also ask students to be decision-makers on tough global affairs; not only will they learn what has happened, or what is happening, but they will also be asked to answer questions such as "What would you do in this situaiton?" or "As an American, what is your responsibility in responding to this issue?" This course aims to contribute to the development of responsibile American and global citizens, who recognize that it is their responsibility to pay attention to world affairs and make educated decisions.
WORLD HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY Full Year
This course is a survey of major events that have shaped western history from 1450 to the present. The students will look at history, religion, geography, philosophy, culture, politics and economics and how they have impacted human society from ancient Greek and Roman civilizations to modern democracies. The students will study the nature of revolutions in thinking, industrialization, democracy and society. Students will be able to describe the key forces that have impacted history, and how those forces are still important in our world today. Ultimately, the goal of this course is to help students understand the roots of the world we live in today. In addition to the historical content the students will study, the course also aims to develop important skills: historical source analysis, close reading of tests, note-taking, essay writing, research, oral presentation and organization.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT EUROPEAN HISTORY Full Year
AP European History focuses on the chronological study of European history from approximately 1450 (the High Renaissance) to the present. The study of European history since 1450 introduces students to cultural, economic, political and social developments that played a fundamental role in shaping the world in which they live. In addition to providing a basic narrative of events and movements, AP European History aims to develop an understanding of some of the principal themes in modern European history, an ability to analyze historical evidence and historical interpretations and an ability to express historical understanding in writing.
UNITED STATES HISTORY Full Year
Course Content: This course examines major turning points in American history in the 20th Century as they reflect continuity and change from the nation's beginnings. Special attention is given to the framing of the Constitution as background for understanding the contemporary constitutional issues raised throughout this course. Students will conduct research of both primary and secondary sources in order to write a paper on social problems that have occurred during the 20th Century. Students will develop skills in comprehending, analyzing and evaluating main ideas, as well as making historical interpretations and perceiving historical relationships.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT UNITED STATES HISTORY Full Year
This course is a college-level survey course designed to prepare students to take the AP exam given in the spring. Through this course students will be provided with content, practical knowledge of U.S. history, an understanding of historical thinking skills including chronological reasoning, comparing and contextualizing, crafting historical arguments using historical evidence, and interpreting and synthesizing historical narrative, and effective writing techniques that will better prepare them for the exam and future educational endeavors. The content is organized thematically and there are key concepts that the students will understand by the end of the year. This is a rigorous course; hard work and dedication are essential to success.
AMERICAN GOVERNMENT Semester
This course is an integrated treatment of national, state and local government. The fundamental principles and basic functions of government in a democratic society are studied. Subject matter covered includes study of political beliefs and behavior, institutions and policy-making and the Constitutional basis of the American government. Special attention is paid to the development of the principles of the Constitution and application of these principles to American life.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT AMERICAN GOVERNMENT & POLITICS Semester
The Advanced Placement Program is intended for qualified students who wish to complete studies in secondary school equivalent to a one semester college introductory course in American Government & Politics. This course is designed to give students a critical perspective on politics and government in the United States. The class involves both the study of general concepts used to interpret American politics and the analysis of specific case studies. It also requires familiarity with the various institutions, groups, beliefs and ideas that make up the American political reality. The major topics of study are: 1) constitutional underpinnings of American government; 2) political beliefs and behaviors; 3) political parties and interest groups; 4) institutions and policy processes of national government; 5) civil rights and civil liberties.
This is a survey course, which will present an introductory overview of both macroeconomic and microeconomic principles. This course is divided primarily into four components: (1) the philosophical grounding of the discipline via the works of Smith and Marx, (2) an introduction to basic macroeconomic concepts, (3) an introduction to basic microeconomic concepts and (4) a glimpse at the international economy. Investigations will include the principles of free market thought, key economists and their respective contributions to the discipline, personal economic decisions, public sector decisions, the laws of supply and demand, market equilibrium, the various business models, different types of market set-ups, general economic trends (the “big three” of inflation, unemployment and GDP) and an examination of the structure and function of the Federal Reserve System. Additionally, barring enough time, the conclusion of the course will entail a brief overview of special topics in economics including the economics of crime, the economics of religion, the economics of gender, the politics of economics, globalization and the rich/poor divide.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT MACROECONOMICS Semester
This Macroeconomics course covers the “aggregates” of the economy; its purpose is to analyze the “big picture” of the economy as a whole. Particular areas of emphasis include basic economic concepts, measurement of economic performance, short run and long run aggregate supply and demand, the examination of national income and price-level determination and the ability of students to recognize and evaluate economic performance measures, the financial sector, stabilization policies, economic growth and international economics.
BEHAVIORAL PSYCHOLOGY Semester
This course is a survey in psychology with an emphasis on developing an understanding of hte historical, clinical and developmental processes in this social science. Students will conduct experiments and complete surveys to enhance their ability to solve problems in a social context.
PSYCHOLOGY 2 Semester
This course provides students with the opportunity to investigate current issues in psychology. Areas of study will include personality, stress, mental illness and the effects of social influences on behavior. Research projects as well as group investigations will be incorporated into the course work. Students will have the opportunity to analyze contemporary events from the perspective of social psychology.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT PSYCHOLOGY Semester
The AP Psychology course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice.
FACING HISTORY AND OURSELVES Semester
This one semester course focuses on the social dynamics of stereotyping and discrimination, using two case studies as the basis for student exploration. Through the study of the Eugenics Movement and the rise of race science in America and the rise of anti-Semitism in Germany’s Weimar Republic and the Holocaust, students will learn about the frailty of democracy to better understand their roles and responsibilities as citizens. By studying the choices that individuals made in history, students will understand that this history was not inevitable and that individuals always have choices to either strengthen democracy or undermine it.
CASE STUDIES IN HUMAN RIGHTS Semester
This one semester social studies elective open to both juniors and seniors will examine genocide and other acts of collective violence in the 20th and 21st centuries. The case studies will include the Armenian genocide during WWI, the killing fields of Cambodia, Apartheid in South Africa, religious conflict in Northern Ireland, genocide in Rwanda and the continuing genocide in the Darfur region in Sudan. Although the history of each conflict will be taught, the emphasis of this course will focus on two essential questions: What obligations does the world community and particularly the United States, have in aiding and intervening in acts of collective violence and genocide and How do societies begin to repair and reconcile after acts of collective violence and/or genocide? The class will also contain a detailed analysis of the response of the United States to each individual case study.
HISTORY AND POLITICS OF THE OLYMPICS Semester
This course will examine the politics that have affected significant Olympic Games throughout history. Starting with the Ancient Olympics and the foundations established there, the students will explore the invention of the modern Olympics in 1896, Berlin 1932, Mexico City 1968, Munich 1972, the boycotts in 1980 and 1984 and the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Students will analyze the importance of international politics and how the Olympics have worked to bring nations together, while also being directly impacted by strife between specific nations.
CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN ISSUES Semester
This course will examine important topics to American society from a public policy point of view. The course will take on a consistent set of ongoing problem areas. Students will respond to current events which affect domestic policy at the national, state and local level.
CONTEMPORARY WORLD PROBLEMS Semester
This course focuses on the development of Third World countries - mainly the Middle East, Africa, Asia and South America - and their relationship with the United States. There is also some time spent on the development and change in the Third World over the past fifty years.
COLONIZATION AND DECOLONIZATION:CASE STUDIES IN AFRICA & ASIA Semester
This course explores the concepts of colonization and decolonization, with a specific focus on their application to African and Asian history since approximately 1800. This course begins with an overview of these themes – defining the terms, discussing motives for colonization and factors leading to decolonization and identifying the regions of the world that have been involved on either side of this history. After developing the course concepts, students will focus on the history of colonization and decolonization in Africa and Asia. The timeline of the course will extend also to modern day, as students examine the legacy of decolonization and the current state of affairs in Africa and Asia. In addition to teaching historical concepts and providing a narrative of events, this course aims to develop the ability to analyze historical evidence, debate controversial topics in history and express historical understanding in writing.
LEADERSHIP Semester *
This course presents basic leadership education to students who are interested in developing their skills in this area. Class topics include goal setting, self-esteem, leadership theories, effective communication skills, meeting and organizational skills, time management, decision-making, current social issues and models and problem solving. Students will have the opportunity to become involved in events and activities where they can apply the skills they are learning.
* This class will meet during zero-period (7:00 A.M.) two mornings a week during the semester.
DRAMA 1 Full Year
This course is an introduction to the study of the evolution of theater including dramatic literature through the ages. Students will also experience the art of acting, emphasizing body movement, pantomime, voice projection, articulation and characterization. Students will gain knowledge of the various aspects of theater through continual researching, reading, writing, performing, observing, oral evaluation and actual "hands on" experience. An in-depth study of various theatrical styles is included during the second semester.
DRAMA 2 Full Year
Drama 2 is a course designed for the serious student of theater. It is a performance- oriented course, which will also allow the second year student the opportunity to enhance their performing skills. The class focus is on developing an ongoing workout for the actor- both physical and vocal; learning to create an ensemble approach to working; developing specific stage techniques; discovering style acting, discovering a historical approach; and developing auditioning techniques. The class will deal with children's theater, advance scene work, monologues and eventual one or two act material. Another major focus is to direct the students’ energy into performance work for an audience other than the class.
DRAMA 3 Full Year
This course is designed for the student who plans to major or minor in theater in college. The course is performance-oriented with student selection and direction of the performing pieces. The course will focus on three major areas. Students will have the opportunity to enhance their performing skills by acting in several class-project plays. The students will learn the psychology and application of directing and complete a director's project of a play. Each student will take part in all of the major technical roles of design and application of production.
DRAMA 4 Semester
This course is designed for the student who is planning to pursue a career in theater. The student will spend a great deal of time finding a repertoire of material for an audition portfolio. The student’s final portfolio will be presented for a grade at the end of the semester. Secondly, students will take selected materials from the portfolio and videotape them for possible acceptance into college or conservatory theater departments. Finally, students will learn and implement advanced technical design into their portfolio and project. These designs will include set, lighting, costume and sound.
ACTING FOR MUSICAL THEATER Semester
Students in this course will explore basic techniques of acting as they relate to scene, song, and ensemble pieces. Through movement exercises, in-depth character analysis, and exploration of historical perspective, students will build and broaden their skills and understanding of musical theater auditions. The course is not intended to teach students the mechanics of how to sing or dance, it is designed to be an acting class that uses musicals as its text.
TECHNICAL THEATER Semester
Students in this course will experience basic hands-on training in design areas including set, lighting, costume and sound. The students will perform in-depth script analysis and explore the fundamentals of stage and production management. Students will create basic designs for all aspects of technical theater and present those designs in various projects.
BASIC DESIGN/DRAWING 1 Full Year
This course introduces the student to the basic elements of design and drawing. During the first semester, students investigate line, value, shape, texture, color and composition. The principles of art are introduced through projects in composition, design and critiques. The study of specific artists and periods in art history will illustrate the basic concepts that are learned. During the second semester, the course investigates methods of drawing and composition, emphasizing right-hemisphere approaches to drawing, originality and creativity. Students draw from life and photographed visual resources. Contour, perspective, gesture and expressionist drawing are some areas that are explored along with a review of the elements and principles of design. Experience in charcoal, pastel, pencil, pen and ink, watercolor and many other media are featured. Supplemental art history will accompany art projects. No previous art experience necessary.
ART AND CULTURES OF THE WORLD Full Year
This course will introduce students to a variety of world cultures. Exploring other cultures will give the students the opportunity to consider a wide range of human values, beliefs and concerns as expressed through art. Students will experience many cultural forms of expression first hand in the art studio. The course will introduce them to basic design and a visual vocabulary. These are tools with which they will analyze, critique, and interpret what they see in written, oral and studio projects. Participation in a variety of expressions is integral to this class, and facilitates the goal of respect for, understanding of, and insight into another culture. No previous art experience necessary.
GRAPHIC ARTS Full Year
This course will explore the field of graphic arts. Students will cover both the elements of art (color, line, texture, shape, form and space) and the principles of art (balance, emphasis, harmony, variety, gradation, movement, rhythm and proportion). The principles and elements of art are the foundations used in establishing knowledge, confidence and understanding of all art fields. Student projects will cover art fundamentals, color theory, still life compositions using basic digital photography, digital video and sound and web page design. This course will teach the necessary skills of computer operations and terminology to allow the students to use their artistic abilities, with the aid of the computer, in both the educational and business worlds. No previous art experience necessary.
DRAWING AND COMPOSITION 2 Semester
This course continues the study of drawing methods in both wet and dry media. Emphasis is placed on the act of really seeing and drawing as opposed to preconceived concepts of reality. Imaginative creative drawing styles are explored, encouraging students to develop the ability to express themselves visually using fantasy as well as realism. Projects include portraits, figure drawing, landscape as well as review of perspective drawing. Art history will focus on particular artists and movements illustrating drawing concepts and building visual vocabulary.
3-D DESIGN: CERAMICS 1 Semester
This course explores design in three dimensions with emphasis on form, space and concept. The projects in this class focus on the use of modeling/manipulation, additive, subtractive and substitution sculpting techniques. Study of culture and the historical and contemporary creation of three-dimensional art will be accomplished through projects, classroom discussion and lectures.
3-D DESIGN: CERAMICS 2 Semester
This ceramics class will enable the student to learn advanced techniques used in creating vessels and sculpture on the potters’ wheel. Using clay, subject matter, symbols, meaningful images and visual expressions students will learn to express their ideas and to evaluate the merits of their efforts. Students will exhibit competence in visual, aural, oral and written form. They will develop and apply effective critical thinking and speaking skills. Students will understand and evaluate influences of literature, cultural traditions and other art forms in crafting a global visual art heritage. They will learn to deeply experience and to critically evaluate the development of art as a worldwide expression of life issues. During lectures, students will be exposed to visual presentations using PowerPoint, slides, videotapes and related websites.
PAINTING 1 Semester
This course reinforces the foundation of visual art: the elements and principles of design and visual vocabulary. Students explore painting techniques and processes in watercolor, tempera, collage, pastel and experimental mixed media. Relationships between communication of ideas and styles throughout art history, (i.e., symbolic, social and cultural content), is integrated into the experience. Written critiques develop students’ ability to correlate, describe, analyze, interpret and judge art based on their own personal experience and work and that of their peers. The course challenges students to think creatively, critically and develops confidence in visual problem solving and communication.
PAINTING 2 Semester
This course further explores the elements and principles of design and visual vocabulary, composition and painting as a unique form of communication. Students explore painting techniques and processes in watercolor, tempera, collage, pastel and experimental mixed media with emphasis on figurative, natural, abstract and nonobjective subject matter. Relationships between communication of ideas and styles throughout art history, (i.e. symbolic, social and cultural content), is integrated into the experience. Students correlate, describe, analyze, interpret and judge based on their experience and products and that of their peers. The course synthesizes previous knowledge and challenges students to think creatively and critically and develops confidence in visual problem solving and communication.
ADVANCED DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY Semester
This course will enable students who have taken Graphic Arts to explore further the field of digital photography as a compositional medium. The class will focus on the principles of photography and the basic concepts of image enhancement using Adobe Photoshop; those being visualizing, capturing, enhancing and output. This course is designed to familiarize students with photographic equipment as well as to develop their aesthetic sense and artistic techniques.
ADVANCED GRAPHIC ARTS Semester
This course will enable students who have taken Graphic Arts to explore further the field of multimedia publications. Students who have studied both the elements of art and the principles of design will combine this knowledge for use in advanced projects. This will be a project driven course with advanced student projects covering photography composition using digital photography, video and sound, used in both full video and stop animation short stories, and/or advanced webpage design using Flash. This course will allow the students to expand their artistic abilities, with the aid of the computer.
This course explores major printmaking methods: monotype, dry point, collograph, linoleum and stencil prints. Prints are made from anything that can be cut or carved from potatoes to wood...creating a "stamp" of sorts. Prints can be made from any kind of surface that takes ink and then rubbing off or printing it with a presst. Activities include carving wood blocks, cutting, collage, and painting as part of the printmaking process. Graphic terms and techniques are studied, and students will have an understanding and appreciation of the great printmakers of the past both in Eastern and Western culture. Inventiveness and personal expression are encouraged. The course will appeal to students who enjoy crafts as well as painting.
AP STUDIO ART Full Year
The AP Studio Art program enables highly motivated students who intend to pursue the arts as a career to do college level work in student art while still in high school. The AP Studio Art exam is not based on a written test, but rather an evolving portfolio of work that will be evaluated throughout the school year. Students are required to fully explore all three sections of the portfolio, which includes quality, breadth, and concentrations. The students are required to develop a theme for their concentration section almost immediately upon beginning the course. Students should have put considerable work into this during the summer leading up to the AP course. Throughout this process students will experience a wide variety of example, technique and exercises designed to stimulate ideation and work towards the completion of the final AP portfolio.
PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE: STEEL DRUMS Full Year
Percussion Ensemble is a course for students interested in learning about and performing with Steel Drums. This class also utilizes a variety of ethnic percussion instruments as well as the drum-set. In this class students will learn basic principles in music theory, basic drumming skills, how to care for and play the steel drums and the evolution of various styles of music, including but not limited to, calypso, soca, swing, rock and reggae. Aspects of this class are performance based and students will be required to participate in at least two outside performances.
BEGINNING CLASSICAL GUITAR
This course will introduce the beginning fundamentals of playing traditional classical guitar. Exploring the techniques used throughout the Baroque, Renaissance, Classical, Romantic, and Contemporary eras will give the students an opportunity to understand a wide range of human values and beliefs expressed through music. Students will learn how and why these particular styles of music were developed, written and how they have evolved. This course will introduce the students to basic music theory and vocabulary, which are the tools with which students will analyze and critique what they learn to play. Participation through performance is integral to this class, and facilitates the goal of respect, professionalism, and insight to various styles of classical style guitar playing.
BAND TECH Semester
This course gives the beginning music student the opportunity to learn a wind or percussion instrument of his or her choice. Individual and group instruction is given daily. A limited number of school instruments are available for student use. The class will join with the Concert Band for the Christmas Concert and will participate with the Concert and Symphonic Band for marching season. Performance is required by all students who are enrolled in a band class. Band Tech students will transfer into Concert Band at the beginning of the second semester.
CONCERT BAND 1 Full Year
Class instruction will emphasize improving sight-reading skills, study of music theory and music history, improving instrumental skills through technical training and exploring concert band literature. This group will perform independently at school concerts and band festivals. Concert Band will join with both Symphonic Band for marching season. During the months of September through November the group will rehearse on Wednesdays from 6-8:30 PM as part of the Marching Band.
SYMPHONIC BAND 2 Full Year
SYMPHONIC BAND 3 Full Year
SYMPHONIC BAND 4 Full Year
These courses offer the advanced music student the opportunity to perform in a top-level performing ensemble. Appreciation is gained through performance of a wide variety of musical literature. Instruction of music theory is continued. Participation outside of class will be required for some football and basketball games, extra rehearsals, a band festival, parades, rallies, concerts and one major extended trip each year. Academic credit is given for this class, which counts toward the overall GPA and this class fulfills the activity requirement. Athletes participate in their sport during that season without penalty, as long as daily musical progress is made.
Mastery and performance of challenging band literature will be experienced by the year's end. Musical independence will be accomplished and demonstrated.
Section leader positions should be sought. Ensemble participation in outside concerts is encouraged.
Solo preparation necessary. Honor Band audition is encouraged. Leadership skills must be demonstrated. Emphasis is on performance and music composition.
Reserved for students who enter the SF band program at the freshman level with musical skills beyond the Concert Band curriculum and who need to be enrolled as freshmen in Symphonic Band 2. Students must prepare solo works and audition for the county and state Honor Bands. Symphonic Band 5 students will be section leaders in the band.
JAZZ ENSEMBLE Special Class
This class will explore a broad repertoire of jazz styles as experienced in big band literature (i.e. swing, rock, Latin). Emphasis will be placed on improvisation and the study of great jazz performers of the past and present. This class meets 3 days per week during zero period (Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7:00 A.M.). The most advanced players will be chosen for this ensemble. Regular performances are scheduled and this group will tour once a year.
TREBLE CHOIR Full Year
CONCERT CHOIR 2 Full Year
CONCERT CHOIR 3 Full Year
CONCERT CHOIR 4 Full Year
In this course in choral singing, students learn and perform a wide variety of choral literature, both sacred and secular. Included in the course objectives are learning proper techniques for singing, learning rhythm and sight-reading and understanding a vocal musical score and the musical terminology needed to properly interpret dynamics and style. As this is a performance-based course, students will be evaluated on their participation, effort and attitude in class. Public performance of the works being rehearsed will include performance at the Winter and Spring music concerts, as well as other opportunities such as participating at all-school liturgies and music festivals.
Entry level, no previous experience necessary. Requirements of this class are active class participation, learning performance basics of breathing and vocal production, beginning music theory and sight singing.
Second level music theory and sight singing. Additional expectations of more immediate and complete knowledge of the music that is being learned will be present.
Third level of music theory. Students will be expected to take leadership positions in running sectional rehearsals. Some solo and duet work will also be required.
Students are expected in the fourth year of choir to know all of their music within a short period of time. Students will be expected to run efficient sectional rehearsals. All choir four students will perform a solo or duet in the spring choir concert.
AP MUSIC THEORY Semester
AP Music Theory is a college-level course, which enables highly motivated students to engage in the areas of reading and analyzing notated music along with aural training. Emphasis will be on developing aural, sight-singing, knowledge or rhythm, melody, and harmony as compositional devices, and analytical musical skills. An AP exam will be administered in May (at a cost) and is required of all underclass students enrolled in this course. The test is optional for seniors. Final exams are given both semesters.