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Course Descriptions

Choose a department for specific course descriptions:

ENGLISH

Students must complete four units.

 

English 8 (No high school credit)

English 8 is a literature-based course that introduces the elements of several genres: short fiction, informational text, argument and persuasion, biography and autobiography, folktales and myths, and drama. Emphasis is placed on the correct use of language, spelling, and mechanics by applying grammatical conventions in writing and speaking. The student will plan, draft, revise, and edit writing, with a focus on exposition and persuasion. Reading and writing skills as well as responding critically to literature are applied to all subjects. The student will interpret persuasive strategies used in print and in the mass media and will develop an appreciation for literature by studying a wide variety of selections. Emphasis will also be placed on describing themes or inferred main ideas, interpreting cause-effect relationships, and drawing conclusions.

The student will explore different composition styles and utilize newly-acquired research skills and improved computer skills to compose a two-page paper. Both oral and written communications are utilized in this introductory English course.

 

English 9

English 9 is a literature-based course that analyzes the genres of the short story, the novel, the epic, drama, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Knowledge of literary terms and forms will be applied in the student’s own writing and in the analysis of literature. Writing will encompass narrative, literary, expository, and informational writings to inform, explain, analyze, or entertain. Students will present and critique dramatic readings of literary selections as well as make planned oral presentations to the class. Formal research writing techniques are employed throughout the year and are incorporated into an independent author study and report writing. Increased requirements for research and reporting in all subjects will be supported by the use of print, electronic databases, online resources, and a standard style sheet method to cite reference sources. Students will distinguish between reliable and questionable Internet sources. Students will also edit writing for correct grammar, capitalization, punctuation, spelling, sentence structure, and paragraphing. Emphasis is placed on using higher-order thinking skills as they relate to reading, writing, and oral presentation.

Students will compose several topic papers exploring different composition styles. Research and computer skills will be utilized to write a research paper during the second semester. Both oral and written communications remain focal points.

 

English 10

English 10 offers a genre-based approach to literature that includes short stories, novels, drama, and poetry. At the 10th grade level, students will become skilled communicators in small-group learning activities and will assume and evaluate individual roles in presenting oral reports. Students will also read, comprehend, critique, and analyze a variety of literary works from different eras and cultures and will apply critical reading skills across the content areas including history and social science, science, and mathematics. Attention will also be given to the analysis of consumer information, such as labels, owners’ manuals, warranties, and contracts. Emphasis will be placed on developing expository writing skills by analyzing and critiquing peer and professional writing as well as editing for correct use of language, sentence formation, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling as part of the writing process. Skills will be developed in accessing, organizing, and presenting information in the research process. Students will also credit sources for quoted and paraphrased information. They will also be expected to present writing in a format appropriate for audience and purpose. Grammar knowledge will be expanded as students present, write, and edit materials, applying the conventions of language.

 

English 11

English 11 offers a classic and contemporary American-based approach to literature via a variety of genres and literary styles including fables, myths, short stories, novels, drama, and poetry. Students will continue to develop reading comprehension skills and will apply those skills in other content areas including history and social science, science, and mathematics. In addition, students will identify the contributions of other cultures to the development of American literature. At the 11th grade level, students will use a variety of oral communication skills and provide accurate evidence to give informative and persuasive oral presentations. They will also critique and assess the effectiveness of persuasive presentations by others. Students will write in a variety of forms with an emphasis on persuasive essay and professional correspondence. Knowledge of genres, formats, purposes, audiences, and situations will be used to produce clear and effective products that reflect use of all stages of a writing process. Students will also engage in research that requires the selection, evaluation, use, and documentation of a variety of sources. Each student will be expected to present a research product that is clearly written and accurately documented. Vocabulary building will be ongoing. Grammar knowledge will be expanded as students write, present, and edit materials, applying the conventions of the language. Emphasis will be placed on higher order thinking skills as they relate to reading, writing, and oral presentation.

Students will compose several topic papers exploring different composition styles. Research and computer skills will be utilized to write a research paper during the second semester. Both oral and written communications will remain focal points.

 

English 12

English 12 offers a classic and contemporary British-based approach to literature via a variety of genres and literary styles including fables, myths, short stories, drama, and poetry. At the 12th grade level, students will analyze the literature of The Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the literature of its colonies, excluding The United States of America, from the pre-Anglo-Saxon period through the multinational literature of the 21st century. Students will use organizational skills, audience awareness, and verbal and nonverbal presentation skills to plan, deliver, and critique effective oral presentations. Students will develop skills in analyzing, evaluating, and applying the format and content of a variety of informational texts. They will learn to use critical analysis to judge the merit of a dramatic selection. Skills will be developed and utilized in creating expository and technical writings. Writing will include the production of informational and expository papers, which are organized logically and contain clear and accurate ideas. In addition, students will be expected to produce a well-documented research paper using the MLA method of documentation. Vocabulary building will be ongoing with emphasis placed on college entrance testing. Students will also demonstrate advanced knowledge of grammatical conventions through writing, editing, and speaking.

 

College Credit College Composition ENG111/ENG112 (May be substituted for English 12)

College Composition (ENG 111) introduces students to critical thinking and the fundamentals of academic writing. Through the writing process, students refine topics; develop and support ideas; investigate, evaluate, and incorporate appropriate resources; edit for effective style and usage; and determine appropriate approaches for a variety of contexts, audiences, and purposes. Writing activities will include exposition and argumentation with at least one researched essay. Students will be prepared for all other expected college writing and for writing in the workplace through understanding the writing process and creation of effective texts.

College Composition (ENG112) continues to develop college writing with increased emphasis on critical essays, argumentation, and research, developing these competencies through the examination of a range of texts about the human experience. Students will learn to locate, evaluate, integrate, and document sources and effectively edit for style and usage. Students will be prepared for all other expected college writing and for writing in the workplace by engaging the writing process, rhetoric, critical thinking, and research.

 

English for Speakers of Other Languages – ESOL (ESOL classes are taken in addition to English courses)

ESOL 1 & 2

Oak Hill Academy welcomes new and returning international students to the Language Enrichment Center where English language learning is provided on a daily basis through the English for Students of Other Languages (ESOL) Courses. The purpose of ESOL 1/2 is to provide English instruction for nonnative speakers of English. Students will develop English proficiency through the areas of speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills. Emphasis will be on developing proficiency in three major areas: social language, academic language, and socio-cultural knowledge. Students will participate in activities to develop competence in English through social interaction and academic achievement. Levels of English proficiency will range from basic to intermediate.

ESOL 3

The purpose of ESOL 3 is to provide English instruction for students who have achieved intermediate to high intermediate levels of English proficiency. Students will focus on speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills. Emphasis will be on speaking and reading proficiency in the major areas of social language, academic language, and socio-cultural knowledge. Students participate in activities to develop competence in English through social interaction and academic achievement using and understanding English as it is spoken, written, and heard in college and university settings.

ESOL 4

The purpose of ESOL 4 is to provide English instruction for students who have achieved high intermediate and advanced levels of English proficiency and have scored less than 80% on the TOEFL Test.

The focus of ESOL 4 is to enable students to communicate in writing and in extended conversations on a variety of topics. Students begin to narrate, discuss, and support complex ideas and concepts using concrete facts and topics. Students will engage in conversation and exchange information and opinions orally and in writing. Vocabulary development and exercises to improve SAT scores are incorporated into daily lessons. Students participate in activities to develop competence in English through social interaction and academic achievement using and understanding English as it is spoken, written, and heard in college and university settings.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE

Students must complete one unit of a Foreign Language for the Standard Diploma, but two units are necessary for many four-year colleges. For an Advanced Studies Diploma, students must complete three units of the same language, or two units each in two different languages. Students whose native language is not English have met this foreign language requirement, and replace these courses with ESOL classes.

Spanish 1

Spanish 1 is designed for students to build an appreciation for the Spanish Language and the Hispanic world by learning the geographical location, history, culture, and other general knowledge information of the different Spanish-speaking countries. Students will be introduced to four components of the Spanish Language: listening, speaking, reading and writing. The basic grammatical structure of the language will be taught and emphasis will be placed on building vocabulary as students verbal and listening skills. Students will use the multiple intelligence approach to learning, emphasizing not only written grammar, but also activities that use visual, computer laboratory, and listening skills.

The course also includes a Lab component where Rosetta Stone, a language-learning software will be used to further develop these skills and evaluate students’ independent performance. Students participation in all classroom (including outdoor) and lab activities; regular attendance; and neat and conscientious completion of all given assignments, class work, and homework in their different forms are vital to successful completion of this course.

Spanish 2

Spanish 2 will build on all facets of Spanish I which include presentation of language through speaking, reading and writing in Spanish. Students will review of topics which include subject pronouns; the conjugation of verbs in the present and preterit tenses; verbs like gustar; the direct object pronouns. Proper use of grammar will be emphasized and studied extensively. Major emphasis will be placed on using and differentiating correctly: the preterit and the imperfect tenses; ser and estar; por and para. Culture, customs, history, and current events will be discussed and presented through videotapes, field trips, projects, and games. The language-learning software, Rosetta Stone will be used in the lab component of the class to give students the opportunity to work independently on all the material learned in class. Use of the Spanish language will be encouraged in class in order to develop student’s command of the language as well as fluency.

Spanish 3

Spanish 3 is a review and continuation of the material and activities described in Spanish II. Emphasis will be on the literature, art, music, and foods. Selected short stories will be used throughout the course and will require oral discussions, presentations and compositions. The grammatical component of this course demands mastery of the conjugation of verbs-especially irregular ones in the different tenses. The subjunctive mood will be used extensively. Students will be required to use the Spanish language inside and outside the classroom to communicate with the teacher and among each other. The Rosetta Stone language-learning software will be used to complete the lab component of the course.

Spanish 4

Students of Spanish 4 will continue their development and proficiency in speech, writing compositions, comprehension of oral and written messages and authentic sources in Spanish, and interaction with native speakers or other speakers of the language. Students will make presentations in Spanish and express their opinions on a variety of topics related to contemporary and historical events and issues. The use of technology and other resources will enable students to compare and contrast cultural elements of the Spanish-speaking countries and their own countries. This course demands extensive use of the Spanish language inside and outside the classroom between teacher and students and between students in order to develop mastery and fluency.

Spanish 5 (online course)

Spanish 5 will integrate learning through reinforcement of previous Spanish skills. Students will continue to develop all four of the Spanish language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing), focus on complex verb tenses and emphasize contextual vocabulary with use of integrated grammar. Students will use literature and literary analysis to connect the language with Spanish art, music and culture. Students will use these activities as an opportunity to master the Spanish languarge.

 

Spanish 6 (online course)

Students in Spanish 6 will read, analyze, discuss, and write in Spanish about Hispanic culture through literature, media, and linguistic interaction. Emphasis is placed on interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational communication. One hundred percent of class time will be conducted in Spanish. Students will communicate about cultural themes using interpersonal speaking and writing, presentational speaking and writing, and interpretive reading and listerning.

MATHEMATICS

Students must complete three units. Some colleges/universities require a fourth math for which Algebra 2 is a prerequisite. Students must complete four units for an Advanced Studies Diploma.

All math students are required to have a graphing calculator: Texas Instruments 84 Plus (TI-84+) is recommended and may be purchased at home or at the Oak Hill Academy Campus Store. We do not allow TI-89 models or higher.

Pre-Algebra (No high school credit)

Pre-Algebra contains both content that reviews or extends concepts and skills learned in previous grades and new content that prepares students for more abstract concepts in algebra and geometry. Students will gain proficiency in computation with rational numbers (positive and negative fractions, positive and negative decimals, whole numbers, and integers) and use proportions to solve a variety of problems. New concepts include solving two-step equations and inequalities, graphing linear equations, visualizing three-dimensional shapes represented in two-dimensional drawings, applying transformations to geometric shapes in the coordinate plane, and using matrices to organize and interpret data. Students will verify and apply the Pythagorean Theorem and represent relations and functions using tables, graphs, and rules. Students will be encouraged to use correctly the concepts, skills, symbols, and vocabulary. Students will develop a wide range of skills and strategies for solving a variety of problem types.

Calculators will be used as tools to assist in problem solving and to provide a powerful tool for solving and verifying solutions to equations and inequalities. However, the use of calculators shall not be regarded as a substitute for a student’s understanding of quantitative concepts and relationships or for proficiency in basic computations.

Algebra 1, Part 1 (1/2 credit)

Concepts presented to students include basic operations of real numbers, properties of algebra, evaluating expressions, ratio and proportions, and solving linear equations and inequalities. Tables and graphs will be used to interpret expressions, equations, and inequalities. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to talk about mathematics, to use the language and symbols of mathematics to communicate, to discuss problems and problem solving, and to develop their confidence in mathematics. Calculators will be used as tools to assist in problem solving and to provide a powerful tool for solving and verifying solutions to equations and inequalities. Graphing utilities enhance the understanding of functions. The calculators will be used to assist in problem solving and to provide a powerful tool for solving and verifying solutions to equations and inequalities.

Algebra 1, Part 2 (1/2 credit)

Students will review Algebra 1, Part 1 concepts at the beginning of this course. New concepts presented will include but not limited to: operations involving polynomials, linear systems of equations, radical equations, functions, and quadratic equations. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to talk about mathematics, to use the language and symbols of mathematics to communicate, to discuss problems and problem solving, and to develop their confidence in mathematics. Graphing calculators are required for this course. Graphing calculators enhance the understanding of functions and will be used to assist students in problem solving and to provide a powerful tool for solving and verifying solutions to equations and inequalities.

Algebra 1

The student’s knowledge and confidence of equation work will expand as the course adds in topics such as: rational expressions, factoring, polynomials, radical expressions, and quadratic. All students are expected to achieve the Algebra I objectives. The emphasis during Algebra 1 will be equations, problem solving, and graphing. When planning for instruction, consideration will be given to the sequential development of concepts and skills by using concrete materials to assist students in making the transition from the arithmetic to the symbolic. Student will also make connections to other subject areas through practical applications. This approach to teaching algebra should help students attach meaning to the abstract concepts of algebra.

Algebra 1 standards require students to use algebra as a tool for representing and solving a variety of practical problems. Tables and graphs will be used to interpret algebraic expressions, equations, and inequalities and to analyze functions.

Graphing calculators, computers, and other appropriate technology tools will be used to assist in teaching and learning. Graphing utilities enhance the understanding of functions; they provide a powerful tool for solving and verifying solutions to equations and inequalities.

Throughout the course, students should be encouraged to talk about mathematics, use the language and symbols of mathematics in representations and communication, discuss problems and problem solving, and develop their confidence in mathematics.

Algebra 2

Students will receive a thorough treatment of advanced algebraic concepts through the study of functions, “families of functions,” equations, inequalities, systems of equations and inequalities, polynomials, rational and radical equations, complex numbers, and sequences and series. Emphasis will be placed on practical applications and modeling throughout the course of study. Oral and written communication concerning the language of algebra, logic of procedures, and interpretation of results will be infused through out the course.

The standards taught in Algebra 2 build a strong connection between algebraic and graphic representations of functions. Students will observe the changes in the graph of the equation and make generalizations that can be applied to graphs. A graphing calculator is required for this course. The calculator will enhance the students understanding, aid in investigation and study of functions and their inverses, and provide an effective tool for solving and verifying equations and inequalities.

Geometry

Geometry is a course designed for students who have successfully completed the objectives for Algebra 1. Geometry offers students a means of describing, analyzing, and understanding aspects of their world. Geometric modeling, visualizing, and spatial reasoning can be used to solve many kinds of problems. Coordinate geometry and other representational systems allow locations to be specified and described. Geometry also focuses on the development of reasoning and proof, using definitions and axioms. Teachers should help students make connections and build relationships among algebra, arithmetic, and geometry. Connections should be made to other subject areas and fields of endeavor through applications. A graphing calculator is required for this course. Students will use a variety of manipulatives and graphing calculators to develop concepts that help them to develop and attach meaning to abstract ideas. Throughout the study of geometry, students should be encouraged to talk about geometry, use the language and symbols of geometry, communicate, discuss problems and problem solving, and develop competence and confidence as geometry students.

Algebra 3/Trigonometry

Algebra 3/Trigonometry is a course intended for college-bound students who have taken Algebra 2 and do not want to take a Pre-Calculus course. This course is designed for students who do not intend to pursue a career that requires an extensive mathematical or scientific background but who intend to take college mathematics courses. This course will enhance the higher level thinking skills developed in Algebra 2 through a more in-depth study of the concepts studied in Algebra 2 and exploration of some pre-calculus skill. Goals of this course are to strengthen algebra skills in preparation for college-level math courses, help students prepare for College Board examinations, and to help students develop a better understanding of how algebra can be used to model real life problems.

During first semester students in Algebra 3/Trigonometry will be challenged to increase their understanding of algebraic topics including but not limited to: first-degree, polynomial, rational, and radical equations and inequalities. Students will use algebraic, graphical, and numerical methods to analyze, translate, and solve those types of equations and inequalities.

Second semester students will be introduced to advanced functions such as conics, exponential and logarithmic functions, and sequences and series. A thorough treatment of trigonometry is provided through the study of trigonometric definitions, applications, and solving trigonometric equations and inequalities. Emphasis should also be placed on using connections between right triangle ratios, trigonometric functions, and circular functions. Students are required to have a graphing calculator to aid in their learning.

College Credit Pre-Calculus (online course)

This course is intended for students who have a thorough knowledge of Algebra 2 and Geometry. The purpose of this course is to prepare students for college calculus. This course presents the concepts and methods necessary for the study of calculus including the study of algebraic, exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric and polar functions. Graphing calculators, computers, and other appropriate technology tools wll be used to assist in teaching and learning. Graphic utilities enhance the understanding of realistic applications through modeling, and aid in the investigation of functions and their inverses. They also provide a powerful tool for solving and verifying solutions to equations and inequalities. A TI-84+ graphing calculator is required for this course.

AP Calculus (AB)

This course is equivalent to a first-semester college calculus course devoted to topics in differential and integral calculus. The AP course covers the concepts and skills of limits, derivatives, definite integrals, and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. Students will be taught how to approach calculus concepts and problems when they are represented graphically, numerically, analytically, and verbally, and to make connections among these representations. Students will learn how to use technoloy to help solve problems, experiment, interpret results, and support conclusions. A TI-84+ graphing calculator is required for this course.

College Credit Statistics (online course)

In this online course offered through Wytheville Community College, students will look at the properties behind the intermediate concepts of probability and statistics and focus on applications of statistical knowledge. This course will begin with descriptive statistics and the foundation of statistics and then move to probability and random distributions.  Finally, students will examine a number of ways to investigate the relationships between various characteristics of data.

SCIENCE

Students must complete three units, including Biology.

Earth Science

Students in Earth Science will study the Earth’s composition, structure, processes, and history; its atmosphere, fresh water, and oceans; and its environment in space. The standards emphasize historical contributions in the development of scientific thought about the Earth and space. The curriculum stresses the interpretation of maps, charts, tables, and profiles; the uses of technology to collect, analyze, and report data; and the utilization of science skills in systematic investigation. Major topics of study include plate tectonics, the rock cycle, the oceans, the atmosphere, weather and climate, and the solar system and universe.

Biology

Biology is a lecture/laboratory course designed to provide students with a detailed understanding of living systems. Student will learn the skills necessary to examine alternative scientific explanations, actively conduct controlled experiments, analyze and communicate information, and gather and use information in scientific literature. The history of biological thought and the evidence that supports it are explored, providing the foundation for investigating biochemical life processes, cellular organization, mechanisms of inheritance, dynamic relationships among organisms, and the change in organisms through time. Students will study the following topics: cell structure and function, survey of kingdoms, the methods and tools of biology, an introduction to chemistry, vascular and nonvascular plants, cell reproduction, and heredity.

Environmental Science

Environmental Science is a year-long course designed to show thematic connections between a variety of science disciplines, including biology, chemistry, and physics.  Foci will include human population growth, natural resources, and ecosystem dynamics.  The aim of this course is to increase student knowledge of the environmental challenges of today, while continuing to cultivate scientific critical thinking skills.

Anatomy

Anatomy class builds on investigations that began in high school biology. Students will apply concepts associated with human anatomy and physiology through instruction, including laboratory activities. Studies will include the process of homeostasis and the essentials of human function at the level of cells, tissues, and organ systems. This class strives to provide an understanding of the relationship between the structure and function of major body systems and the mechanisms of homeostatic control. This course will lay a general foundation for students wishing to pursue an education or career in medicine or any scientific field. Class projects and laboratory exploration will enable students to develop and strengthen their critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, and reasoning abilities through scientific investigation.

Physical Science

Physical Science is a college preparatory course that is an introduction to Physics and Chemistry. It must be taken concurrently with Algebra 2 or a higher math. The main focus of this course will be exploring and understanding the relationship between Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Society (STEMS).

Chemistry

Chemistry is a college preparatory laboratory science course that investigates and provides an understanding of the molecular structure of our physical world and the laws governing it. This course will emphasize the application of chemical properties to real-world situations and problems, and will lay a general foundation for students wishing to pursue an education or career in any scientific field. Chemistry requires good mathematical skills along with the self-discipline to be properly prepared for class every day. Class projects and laboratory exploration will enable students to develop and strengthen their critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, and reasoning abilities through scientific investigation.

Physics (online course)

This course is designed to acquaint students with the main topics of Physics including motion and forces, conservation of energy/momentum, and heat/thermodynamics.  Class activities with this course include discussion, problem solving, online lab/interactive simulations, lab reports, and an exploration project.

SOCIAL STUDIES

Students must complete four units Social Studies and one unit Religion.

World Geography

World Geography is the study of the world’s peoples, places, and environments, with an emphasis on world regions. The knowledge, skills, and perspectives of the course are centered on the world’s peoples and their cultural characteristics, landforms and climates, economic development, and migration and settlement patterns. Spatial concepts of geography will be used as a framework for studying interactions between humans and their environments. Using geographic resources, students will employ inquiry, research, and technology skills to ask and answer geographic questions. Particular emphasis will be placed on students’ understanding and applying geographic concepts and skills to their daily lives.

Geographic skills provide the necessary tools and technologies for thinking geographically. These skills help people make important decisions in their daily lives, such as how to get to work and where to shop, vacation, or go to school. They also help people make reasoned political decisions and aid in the development and presentation of effective, persuasive arguments for and against matters of public policy. All of these decisions involve the ability to acquire, arrange, and use geographic information. Maps, as well as graphs, sketches, diagrams, photographs, and satellite-produced images, are essential tools of geographical study.

Ancient World History

This course is an historical survey of the human race from its origins in the prehistoric period through the Age of Revolutions. Students will study the peoples, cultures and events of the early human period. Students will seek to gain a better understanding of where the human race has been and where it is going. They will study the western, progressive theory of history and observe how successive civilizations built upon the achievements of earlier civilizations. A wide variety of methods will be used, including writing, research, simulation, and discussion.

Modern World History

This course is an historical survey of the human race from the renaissance through the modern era. Students will study the peoples, cultures and events of this period. Students will seek to gain a better understanding of how the events of the past have shaped our modern world. A wide variety of methods will be used, including writing, research, simulation, and discussion.

World Cultures

World Cultures is an honors-level class that acknowledges the cultural diversity of the United States and the world and sees this diversity as a positive fact of life. At its core, the class recognizes the intrinsic worth of all individuals, regardless of race, ethnic background, gender, religion, socio-economic status, or physical/mental condition. Student will study regional units, focusing on geography, religion, history, economics, traditions, and culture. There is a strong current events aspect to the class, with every Friday dedicated to studying the world today. Because this is an honors class, students are expected to manage their time wisely and turn in above average work on all assignments.

U. S. History

United States History is an historical survey of the people, places and events of America’s past. The goal of the course is to increase students’ understanding of events that have shaped the United States and the American people. In addition, students will learn to use the analytical process and reasoning skills to study the role of cause and effect in history. A wide variety of aspects of United States history will be examined.

College Credit U. S. History

This course provides a survey of American History from early feudal voyages of exploration to the modern era. Students will assess and interpret a variety of documents, writings and other information to develop an in-depth understanding of both the historical data and the process for studying that data. Public policy, domestic agendas, and foreign relations will be covered. Students will come to understand the relevance of history by learning how people and events of the past connect to the present.

U. S. Government

This survey course of U.S. Government is a senior requirement for graduation. The goal of this course is to increase students’ understanding of the American political system, its traditions, values and framework for governing the United States. Students will gain an appreciation of the electoral process and the importance of good citizenship in a democracy. There will be special emphasis on the content and importance of the U.S. Constitution that has served as our government’s guide to creating the society in which we live today. All three branches of National Government will be examined in their relation to each other. Students should come away with an appreciation for the benefits and opportunities that democracy provides as well as the duties it requires from its citizens. Students will understand the intentions, goals and structure of the United States government today as well as throughout its development.

Survey of World Religions

Survey of World Religions is a course designed to introduce students to religious thought and practice embodied around the world. To accomplish this task each student will be required to assemble a notebook that collects course work and displays the work in a prescribed fashion.

To enhance the enjoyment of the course students are asked to come each day with the curiosity necessary to appreciate how people have searched for the divine (God) through the millennia of human existence. The more clearly we can understand religious thought different from our own, the better we understand our own.

Bible as Literature

Bible as Literature is a course designed to introduce students to the Jewish and Christian Scriptures. The course of study will acquaint students with the major stories, key beliefs, genres, historical background and cultural importance of the Bible. To accomplish these tasks students will be prepared each day to discuss and interpret designated passages, identify key terms, and demonstrate an ability to express these thoughts in a variety of forms.

COMPUTER

Students must complete one unit of a Fine Arts or Computer course.

Keyboarding/Introduction to Computer Applications

This is an introductory course that includes understanding of keys, increasing accuracy and speed, as well as guided on-line lessons and testing. Teacher-created blind and timed tests are also used weekly throughout the course. Students will complete teacher-guided lessons on the use of Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint. At the close of each unit, students will complete written assessments using the Concepts Review as well as skills assessments using the Skills Review. Advanced students will complete Independent Challenge activities created for each lesson.

Intermediate Computer Applications

Students complete lessons in MS Word, MS PowerPoint, and MS Excel using the Microsoft Illustrated Basic of Intermediate textbooks for each software. Additional Independent Challenge activities will be completed throughout this course of study.

Web Design

This is an advanced level course (grades 10-12) using Adobe Dreamweaver software.  Students will complete lessons in website design and layout.  After each lesson, students complete simulation units.  This course requires purchase of the software in addition to regular textbook charges.

Yearbook

Students will learn the basics of journalism and the skills involved in the production of a quality yearbook, The Hilltopper. Areas to be studied include press law and ethics, news and feature writing, headline and caption writing, photography, advertising, and layout and design. Students will be required to sell yearbook advertisements and will be required to work after school and on weekends to cover and photograph events. The course is open to juniors and seniors, and sophomores with an English teacher recommendation.

Graphic Design

In this course, students will learn to use visual language to accomplish specific communication tasks. Students will use a wide range of media from traditional art materials to digital design tools including Adobe creative software such as Photoshop and Illustrator. Assignments will focus on aesthetics as well as functionality.

FINE ARTS

Students must complete one unit of a Fine Arts or Computer course.

Ceramics

In the Ceramics art course, students will explore a broad range of techniques and approaches to ceramics artwork as both functional and decorative sculpted objects. Development of technical skills and artistic vocabulary will include instruction in wheel-throwing, bisque firing, painting, and glazing.

Painting

This introductory course provides an opportunity for students to learn painting concepts, to experiment with design principles and techniques, and to develop painting skills that are necessary for advanced art courses. Emphasis is placed on the basics of painting, color theory, medium, and composition.

Drawing

Emphasis is placed on the principles of drawing: form, contour, line, proportion, and perspective.  This is followed by a practical application of these principles.

Sculpting

Sculpting class concentrates on the study of three-dimensional materials and concepts.  Students will explore different forms of sculpture such as modeling, carving, and assembly.  Projects stress skill development and creative interpretation.

Printmaking

This course will enable the student to recognize the major printing and layout techniques and traditional techniques for the production and dissemination of ideas.  Basic elements of art and principles of design will be stressed within printed compositions.  A variety of printmaking techniques will be utilized.  Class activities are project based, giving students the opportunity to practice art fundamentals while learning technical skills in printmaking.

Graphic Design

In this course, students will learn to use visual language to accomplish specific communication tasks. Students will use a wide range of media from traditional art materials to digital design tools including Adobe creative software such as Photoshop and Illustrator. Assignments will focus on aesthetics as well as functionality.

String Band

This course is designed for students who have a basic knowledge of chords as well as strum and pick patterns. Students will have the opportunity to play acoustic guitar, upright bass, banjo, dulcimer, and autoharp. Proper fingering techniques, care of instruments, and tone production will be incorporated within group instruction. The focus will be traditional indigenous Appalachian music and ballad singing.

Beginning Guitar

This class is designed for the beginner as well as the student who plays the guitar but does not read music. Students will learn and apply basic music fundamentals to the guitar. This course provides opportunities for students to develop their musical potential and aesthetic understanding through learning to play a musical instrument. Students will learn to read music for notes on all six strings in first position and apply these skills in playing solos, duets and ensembles. The class will examine basic chords, strumming rhythms, finger-picking, and performance etiquette. With practice, student will eventually be able to play simple and familiar songs. Emphasis will be placed on playing position, tone production, fundamental technique, simultaneous playing, and reading music. Students must have a classical or acoustic guitar in good working condition.

The objective of this class is to inspire students to work independently, continue further study on guitar, and/or seek private instruction. This class will help set the stage for improvisation, composition, and student performance.

Chorus

Chorus is a mixed choral ensemble open to all singers. The course will emphasize developing sight-reading and performance skills, while providing opportunities to perform both on and off campus throughout the school year.

Music Lab

Music Lab is designed for more advanced musicians who have an interest in performing in the modern popular style. Electric guitars, electric bass, keyboards and drums are just a few of the instruments that will be played. Computer software will also be incorporated for laying tracks. Emphasis will be placed on playing, recording, and composing as a group.

World Music

This survey course explores the world’s music cultures. Music is presented as an aspect of human culture, aids students in cross-cultural understanding, and examines the broad historical, cultural and social contexts of music. Students will become familiar with basic music concepts and explore the traditional, religious, folk, and popular music styles of several countries.

In addition to readings and videos, guided listening, and occasional music-making opportunities, contact with live music and dance will be encouraged through practica and independent experiences.

Film Theory

This course will provide an in-depth study of film theory including the mechanics and language of film, an examination of “auteur theory,” and detailed study of specific works of film, including comprehensive analysis via media theory. This more challenging fine arts elective will include a research paper assignment in the first semester and a video project in the second semester.

 

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

Students must complete two units.

Health/Physical Education 1 & 2

The Health component of these courses is an information-based class. Throughout the year the material presented is both timely and pertinent. Health topics include body structure and function, proper nutrition, peer relationships, and active lifestyles. The focus of these classes deals with both basic physical structure and physical health, including nutrition, consumer health, managing stress and making positive choices that affect both physical and mental well-being.

Physical education is aimed at creating and maintaining a healthy level of personal fitness. This is accomplished through a basic introduction to sports and individual fitness. Activities will include both team and individual sports, including volleyball, basketball, softball, badminton, polo, tennis, bowling, basic tumbling, and other individual aerobic activities. This is done to encourage an active lifestyle beyond high school.

Boys’ Advanced Fitness

This course is an elective Health/Physical Education class for boys that emphasizes individual health, fitness, and weight-strength conditioning with the goal of improving overall physical condition.

Foundations of Basketball

This course provides opportunities for students to develop skills, techniques, and proper weight training and conditioning for participation on basketball teams. Various team-building strategies are also implemented throughout the course.

Horsemanship

Horsemanship is a class designed to teach students the basics in horse care and stable management. The class will include: the principles of grooming, stable care, nutrition, equine confirmation and knowledge of the three basic seats of riding. Students will acquire skills from both hands-on experiences and in-class lectures.

ELECTIVES

Study Skills Lab

Study Skills Lab is a credited elective course that focuses on improving academic and work performance based on learning styles. Teacher-directed lessons address time management, improving reading speed (skimming and scanning), test-taking/study strategies, note-taking/outlining skills, organization, and homework completion. Students will be able to identify their learning strengths and how to use them to improve their overall academic performance.

Study Skills for Geometry

This course develops study skills critical for success in Geometry courses:  note-taking, listening, textbook reading, time management, and test-taking/memory strategies.  Foci also include reducing test anxiety and procrastination.

Study Skills for Algebra

This course develops study skills critical for success in Algebra courses:  note-taking, listening, textbook study-reading, time management, and test-taking/memory strategies.  Foci also include reducing test anxiety and procrastination.

Critical Reading

This course will help students strengthen their critical reading and thinking skills, improve academic literacy, and expand general knowledge across the disciplines.  Students will read a variety of written, oral, visual, and cultural texts in order to improve analytical, interpretive, and evaluative skills.  Skills will be applied through research, presentations, discourse, and written assignments.

Creative Writing

Creative writing is a course designed to develop skills in writing prose and poetry. Students will study established creative works, as well as examples from each other, to understand character development, story structure, point-of-view, dialogue, diction, essay structure, audience, verb forms, and sensory language. “Workshopping” will be highlighted with a strong emphasis on revision. At the conclusion of the course, each student will have a portfolio of polished works in a variety of genres.

Writing for College

This elective course concentrates on improving college-level writing skills, and includes producing numerous essays, critique/analysis papers, and higher-order research writing. Grammar and mechanics, using correct citation, and avoiding plagiarism are reinforced throughout the course. The development of individual writing style and personal technique are also explored.

Speech and Communication in the 21st Century

This course is designed to assist students in improving their skills in written, oral, and visual expression. Essay development and organization as well as the nature, history, and structure of essays wll also be examined. Specific emphasis will be placed on the types of writing required of college students. Students will receive assistance in developing public speaking skills, and will focus on both verbal and nonverbal aspects of communication. This course also provides an opportunity for students to develop strong debate skills and to further study the intricacies of debate through a mock trial.

African-American History

This course is designed to develop an understanding of the causes, character, and consequences of the African American experience and its influence on the world, the United States, and the African American community.  Beginning with a historical, geographical, social, political, economic, and cultural understanding of the African continent, the course will provide an overview that will introduce the student to the study of African and African American experiences.

Business Management and Personal Finance

In Business Management, students will learn the process of using resources effectively and efficiently to achieve goals in the marketplace through planning, organizing, leading/directing, and evaluating/controlling. Topics covered include various management theories, basic management functions and their interrelationships, and the organization and competitive niche of a business.

Students will learn what successful business managers do–analyze their surroundings, personnel, and the current market, and adapt to maximize any situation. While this class will give a basic foundation in business management, it also will cover the analysis of current topics in business. Students will do case studies that will require them to think through a business plan and develop their own ideas. Students will research current successful businesses, asking: Why are they successful? What are they doing right? Students will ask themselves: What am I looking for in a future employer? Where do I see myself after high school; after college? Do I want to own my own business? What will I need to make this happen?

The Personal Finance component of this course covers issues of personal money management such as obtaining and understanding loans, maintaining a personal checking account, taxes, insurance, budgeting, and retirement planning.

Psychology

Psychology is a survey course intended to be an introduction and general overview of psychology as a science and applied discipline. Students will study the major theories of psychology, the leading pioneers, and trace the major developmental events of the life span from infancy to old age. Beginning with the history of psychology, students will explore the major developments in the field on such broad topics as research and practices, sensation and perception, and the learning and thinking processes that are part of the human experience. The course will include study of common disorders and exploration of treatment options. This study will include various films, demonstrations and presentations. In addition to textbook-based readings and assignments, students will examine this subject through class lectures, in-class discussion and writing assignments. The objective of this course is to foster an appreciation of the complexity of human nature and develop insight into the theories and practical uses of the field of psychology.

Advanced Engineering and Technology

This advanced course involves the integration of math, science, technology, technical presentation, and language skills.  Lesson plans are designed to provide students with the needed technical knowledge and skills to prepare for future studies in engineering, science, and computer-related fields.  Objective goals reinforce student learning in critical thinking, problem solving, design, and group dynamic skills.