9th Grade Academics
This course is designed to advance students in reading comprehension, and craft their writing, grammar, vocabulary, and public speaking skills. Students will read and analyze many short stories from an appropriate grade level textbook and several (four to five) novels that focus on various plots, settings, and character studies. In addition, students will complete one book report per quarter of a novel of their choosing (with teacher approval).
Students will write in various forms, including essays, poems, short works of fiction and nonfiction, and analytical paragraph responses to questions related to reading materials. They will be quizzed on their grammar and vocabulary skills. Students will also be expected to speak in front of the class in the form of presenting book reports, giving persuasive speeches, and acting out plays and/or drama (usually in groups).
Students are expected to participate in class discussions for purposes of assessing their speaking and leadership skills, reading comprehension, and ability to work in a positive, group setting. All of the above reading, writing, and speaking assignments will factor in their assessments. Finally, students will work in groups to produce classroom artwork (posters) relevant to reading materials and participate in educational games and other related fun activities designed to get them accustomed to working as a team and complementing their learning.
Geometry encompasses rigid motions; congruence; geometric proofs; constructions with compass and straightedge; similarity; dilations; modeling with geometry; the Pythagorean Theorem; trigonometric ratios; special triangles; circles; coordinate geometry; perimeter, area, and volume of two- and three- dimensional figures; as well as probability.
In Geometry, students will develop reasoning and problem-solving skills as they study topics such as congruence and similarity, and apply properties of lines, triangles, quadrilaterals, and circles. Students will also develop problem-solving skills by using length, perimeter, area, circumference, surface area, and volume to solve real-world problems.
Ancient World History
This course provides a key to developing a sense of multiculturalism by exploring the origins of civilization and major cultural beliefs around the world. Students will explore themes of developing and waning civilizations, geography, migration, technology, political structures, belief systems, major leaders, justice and human rights. The students will learn the traditional values and beliefs that were upheld in these civilizations and that continue to permeate into our society today, while also examining the flaws and characteristics that ultimately led to their demise.
The students will analyze primary and secondary source documents to understanding the ways of thinking of the peoples of ancient times. An emphasis will be placed on critical thinking skills in order for the students to create their own way of thinking and analyzing, while also building a solid foundation by which they can discover history on their own.
The course covers content from the six independently established civilizations up through the creation of English colonies in the Americas.
The AP Chinese Language and culture course is equivalent in difficulty to a course at the senior level in college. The course offers students an opportunity to develop four key language proficiency skills at an intermediate level: listening, speaking, reading and writing. As defined in Standards for Foreign language learning in the 21Century students will increase proficiency in interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational communication modes and the five “Cs”：communication, culture, connections, comparisons and community.
Developing appreciation and awareness of Chinese culture is an integral theme of this course. The course engages students in an exploration of Chinese culture, past and present. Students also gain necessary knowledge of the Chinese language by an in-depth study of vocabulary, idiomatic expressions, and grammatical structures. Language instruction frequently integrates a range of Chinese cultural content that exposes students to perspectives broader than their immediate environment. Mandarin will be spoken in class.
Biology explores different aspects of living organisms, their interaction with the physical environment, and the principles that govern their existence. This course covers the study of cells and their biochemical functions, human body systems, homeostasis, heredity and genetics, reproduction and development, selection and evolution, ecology, and the impact of human beings on ecosystems. This course is usually the first high school level science that most students take, so the emphasis is placed on understanding the basic concepts and methods of scientific inquiry, including creating hypotheses, designing experiments to test natural phenomena, practicing basic lab skills and techniques, and writing lab reports. Students are encouraged to cultivate their higher-order thinking skills through experimental design, presentations, and detailed essay answers to biological and biochemical issues. This course also takes a look beyond empirical science to explore concepts in Chinese medicine as well as other non-reductionist viewpoints.
AP Psychology (Elective)
AP Psychology Background and Overview This course provides an overview of the field of psychology comparable to a college level intro to psychology course. The course meets the entire year (for two semesters). It is intended for juniors and seniors interested in taking the AP Psychology test in May. Our sessions will explore (a) both historical and contemporary psychological thought; (b) how psychologists evaluate human behavior and mental processes; (c) the methods and procedures psychologists use to describe, explain, predict, and change behaviors and mental processes; (d) the controversies that exist within the field of psychology; (e) how psychologists contribute to analyzing and solving some of the contemporary problems that face humanity; and (f) the role of psychologists in society today.