English Graduation Requirement: 4 credits and completion of the Literature Keystone Exam

English Core Courses

1 credit | Grade 9

Prerequisite: Language Arts 8.

In this course, students will:

  • Meet Pennsylvania State Standards in Reading and Writing and Pennsylvania Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content at the ninth grade level.
  • Examine many types of literature and analyze, evaluate, and reflect on common literary themes and elements within each selection.
  • Review and expand upon grammar and vocabulary skills.
  • Explore the writing process through full length essays, several short answer writing responses and other exercises throughout the year.
  • Produce a research paper, focusing on avoiding plagiarism, finding effective sources, developing topic sentences with support and developing a thesis.
  • Build independent thinking skills through guided instruction.

Digital Textbook:
Holt McDougal: Literature, Grade 9
Books/Novels:
The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros

1 credit | Grade 9

Prerequisite: Advanced Language Arts 8.

In this course, students will:

  • Meet and exceed Pennsylvania State Standards in Reading and Writing and Pennsylvania Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content at the ninth grade level.
  • Read and respond to a variety of literary genres including novels, drama, poetry and nonfiction.
  • Write in a variety of genres including persuasive, narrative, and poetry.
  • Learn grammar and vocabulary at a ninth grade level.
  • Focus on the basics of the Five-Paragraph Persuasive Essay
  • Build independent thinking skills.
  • Produce a research paper, focusing on avoiding plagiarism, finding effective sources, developing topic sentences with support and developing a thesis.
  • Build independent thinking skills through guided instruction.

Students entering the College-Prep English 9 course are expected to possess proficient reading and writing skills. Students will examine up to one major work per marking period and will follow a pattern of in-depth study at a moderately challenging pace. Students will also explore the beginning stages of the research process with a refined focus on avoiding plagiarism, finding sources, developing a topic sentence with support and developing a thesis. Students will be encouraged to evaluate and analyze literary works and to gain independent thinking skills through guided instruction.

Digital Textbook:
Holt McDougal: Literature, Grade 9
Books/Novels:
Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
Night, Elie Wiesel
The Book Theif, Markus Zusak

1 credit | Grade 9

Prerequisite: Advanced Language Arts 8.

In this course, students will:

  • Meet and exceed Pennsylvania State Standards in Reading and Writing and Pennsylvania Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content.
  • Read and respond to a variety of literary genres including novels, drama, poetry and nonfiction.
  • Write in a variety of genres including persuasive, narrative, and poetry.
  • Learn advanced grammar and vocabulary.
  • Refine the skills involved in writing the five-paragraph persuasive essay.
  • Write advanced literary analyses.
  • Provide personal responses to literature based on already-acquired knowledge.
  • Refine independent thinking skills.
  • Learn the research process.

Students entering the Honors English 9 course are expected to possess advanced reading and writing skills and have a passion for these activities. In this class, students will be challenged to display their abilities to evaluate, analyze, and apply acquired knowledge and research through the extensive study and use of primary and secondary sources. Students will exhibit mastery of the beginning stages of the research process with a focus on avoiding plagiarism, finding sources, developing a topic sentence with support and developing a thesis. Students will also utilize higher-level thinking skills while being encouraged to think independently. In this course, students will examine a minimum of one major work per marking period and will follow a pattern of extensive study at an accelerated pace.

Digital Textbook:
Holt McDougal: Literature, Grade 9
Books/Novels:
Animal Farm, George Orwell
Night, Elie Wiesel
The Book Theif, Markus Zusak

1 credit | Grade 10

Prerequisite: Successful Completion of English 9.

In this course, students will:

  • Meet Pennsylvania State Standards in Reading and Writing, Pennsylvania Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content and English Composition
  • Keystone Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content at the tenth grade level.
  • Review and expand upon grammar and vocabulary skills.
  • Continue the study of the research process with specific focus on using in-text citations, supporting details/examples, developing a strong introduction and conclusion, and using effective sources.
  • Examine many types of literature, with a focus on world literature, and review common literary themes and elements within each selection.
  • Revisit the writing process through full length essays, several short answer writing responses and other exercises throughout the year.
  • Building independent thinking skills through guided instruction.

Students completing this course will be required to complete the Literature Keystone Exam.

Digital Textbook:
Holt McDougal: Literature, Grade 10
Books/Novels:
Lord of the Flies, William Golding
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare

1 credit | Grade 10

Prerequisite: College-Prep Lit and Comp 9 or Lit and Comp 9 with teacher recommendation.

In this course, students will:

  • Meet and exceed Pennsylvania State Standards in Reading and Writing, Pennsylvania Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content and English Composition Keystone Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content.
  • Read and respond to a variety of literary genres with a world literature focus, including novels, drama, poetry and nonfiction.
  • Write in a variety of genres including persuasive, narrative, and poetry.
  • Learn grammar and vocabulary at a tenth grade level.
  • Focus on the basics of the five-paragraph persuasive essay
  • Build independent thinking skills.
  • Learn the research process.

Students entering the College-Prep English 10 course are expected to possess proficient reading and writing skills. Students will examine up to one major work per marking period and will follow a pattern of in-depth study at a moderately challenging pace. Students will continue study of the research process with a refined focus on using in-text citations, supporting details/examples and developing a strong introduction and conclusion. Students will be encouraged to evaluate and analyze literary works and to gain independent thinking skills through guided instruction.

Students completing this course will be required to complete the Literature Keystone Exam.

Digital Textbook:
Holt McDougal: Literature, Grade 10
Books/Novels:
Lord of the Flies, William Golding
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare

1 credit | Grade 10

Prerequisite: Honors or College-Prep English 9.

In this course, students will:

  • Meet and exceed Pennsylvania State Standards in Reading and Writing, Pennsylvania Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content and English Composition Keystone Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content.
  • Read and respond to a variety of literary genres with a world literature focus, including novels, drama, poetry and nonfiction.
  • Write in a variety of genres including persuasive, narrative, and poetry.
  • Learn advanced grammar and vocabulary.
  • Refine the skills involved in writing the five-paragraph persuasive essay.
  • Write advanced literary analyses.
  • Provide personal responses to literature based on already-acquired knowledge.
  • Refine independent thinking skills.
  • Learn the research process.

Students entering the Honors English 10 course are expected to possess advanced reading and writing skills and have a passion for these activities. In this class, students will be challenged to display their abilities to evaluate, analyze, and apply acquired knowledge and research through the extensive study and use of primary and secondary sources. Students will continue study of the research process exhibiting mastery of skills that require using in-text citations, supporting details/examples and developing a strong introduction and conclusion. Students will also utilize higher-level thinking skills while being encouraged to think independently. In this course, students will examine a minimum of one major work per marking period and will follow a pattern of extensive study at an accelerated pace.

Students completing this course will be required to complete the Literature Keystone Exam.

Digital Textbook:
Holt McDougal: Literature, Grade 10
Books/Novels:
Lord of the Flies, William Golding
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare

1 credit | Grade 11

Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 10.

In this course, students will:

  • Meet Pennsylvania State Standards in Reading and Writing, Pennsylvania Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content and English Composition Keystone Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content at the eleventh grade level.
  • Read and analyze fiction and non fiction works across genres and time periods in American Literature.
  • Identify and apply literary elements and devices.
  • Recognize the influence of prominent American authors, such as Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, and Emily Dickinson.
  • Develop effective writing and research skills by creating full length essays, several short answer writing responses, and honing in on the five-paragraph persuasive essay with MLA formatting.
  • Build vocabulary and literacy skills.
  • Enhance critical thinking skills through guided instruction.

Digital Textbook:
Holt McDougal: Literature, Grade 11
Books/Novels:
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry
Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 Graphic Novel, Tim Hamilton

1 credit | Grade 11

Prerequisite: College-Prep Lit and Composition 10 or Lit and Comp 10 with teacher recommendation.

In this course, students will:

  • Meet and exceed Pennsylvania State Standards in Reading and Writing, Pennsylvania Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content and English Composition Keystone Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content.
  • Read and analyze fiction and non fiction works across genres and time periods in American Literature.
  • Identify and apply literary elements and devices.
  • Recognize the influence of prominent American authors.
  • Develop effective writing and research skills, honing in on the multi-paragraph essay.
  • Build vocabulary and literacy skills.

Students entering the College-Prep English course are expected to possess proficient reading and writing skills. Students will examine up to one major work per marking period and will follow a pattern of in-depth study at a moderately challenging pace. Students will review the research process, producing an multi-paragraph essay with a refined focus on MLA formatting. Students will be encouraged to evaluate and analyze literary works and to gain independent thinking skills through guided instruction.

Digital Textbook:
Holt McDougal: Literature, Grade 11
Books/Novels:
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry
The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger

1 credit | Grade 11

Prerequisite: Honors or College-Prep English 10.

In this course, students will:

  • Meet and exceed Pennsylvania State Standards in Reading and Writing, Pennsylvania Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content and English Composition Keystone Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content.
  • Read and analyze a variety of works from all time periods of American Literature, both fiction and non-fiction, including drama, poetry, essay and short story.
  • Read works by famous American authors.
  • Understand how the history of the time periods influenced the writers and the literature.
  • Explore and create various forms of writing, including dramatic scene, persuasive essay, cause and effect essay and non-fiction memoir utilizing the Writing Process and, when appropriate, Modern Language Association (MLA) style and research skills.

Students entering the Honors American Literature course are expected to possess advanced reading and writing skills and have a passion for these activities as well. In this class, students will be challenged to display their abilities to evaluate, analyze, and apply acquired knowledge and research through the extensive study and use of primary and secondary sources. Students will review the research process, producing an eight-paragraph essay and exhibiting mastery of MLA formatting. Students will also utilize higher-level thinking skills while being encouraged to think independently. Students will examine a minimum of one major work per marking period and will follow a pattern of extensive study at an accelerated pace.

Digital Textbook:
Holt McDougal: Literature, Grade 11
Books/Novels:
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller
The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger

1 credit | Grade 11

Prerequisite: Honors English 10 Literature and completion of AP course application.

The AP English Language and Composition course aligns to an introductory college-level rhetoric and writing curriculum, which requires students to develop evidence-based analytic and argumentative essays that proceed through several stages or drafts. Students evaluate, synthesize, and cite research to support their arguments. Throughout the course, students develop a personal style by making appropriate grammatical choices. Additionally, students read and analyze the rhetorical elements and their effects in non-fiction texts, including graphic images as forms of text, from many disciplines and historical periods.

In this course, students will:

  • Analyze and interpret samples of good writing, identifying and explaining an author’s use of rhetorical strategies.
  • Analyze images and other multimodal texts for rhetorical features.
  • Use effective rhetorical strategies and techniques when composing.
  • Write for a variety of purposes.
  • Respond to different writing tasks according to their unique rhetorical composition demands and translate that rhetorical assessment into a plan for writing.
  • Create and sustain original arguments based on information synthesized from readings, research and /or personal observations and experience.
  • Evaluate and incorporate sources into researched arguments.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the conventions of citing primary and secondary sources.
  • Gain control over various reading and writing processes, with careful attention to inquiry (research), rhetorical analysis and synthesis of sources, drafting, revising/rereading, editing and review.
  • Converse and write reflectively about personal processes of composition.

1 credit | Grade 12

Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 11.

In this course, students will:

  • Meet Pennsylvania State Standards in Reading and Writing, Pennsylvania Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content and English Composition Keystone Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content at the twelfth grade level.
  • Examine works from different literary genres in all periods of British literature and will reflect on literary themes and elements within each selection.
  • Write full length essays and short answer responses in a variety of genres including persuasive, narratives and fiction
  • Compare/contrast novels with similar themes and cultural representations.
  • Review and expand upon grammar and vocabulary skills.
  • Learn how to identify effective sources while participating in the research process.
  • Continue to study the research process, producing a five-paragraph essay and audio presentation to accompany the research.
  • Build independent thinking skills through guided instruction.

Digital Textbook:
Holt McDougal: Literature, Grade 12
Books/Novels:
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

1 credit | Grade 12

Prerequisite: College-Prep English 11 or English 11 with teacher recommendation.

In this course, students will:

  • Meet and exceed PA State Standards and Assessment Anchors in Reading and Writing, Pennsylvania Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content and English Composition Keystone Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content.
  • Read and analyze a variety of works from all time periods of British Literature, both fiction and non-fiction, including poetry, drama, speeches, memoirs, novels, short stories, essays and works of non-fiction.
  • Write in a variety of modes including narrative, expository, and informative.
  • Further develop grammar skills through writing assignments.
  • Further develop vocabulary skills by focusing on Latin and Greek roots.

Students entering the College-Prep British Literature course are expected to possess proficient reading and writing skills. Students will examine up to one major work per marking period and will follow a pattern of in-depth study at a moderately challenging pace. Students will continue to study the research process, producing a multi-paragraph essay and audio presentation to accompany the research. Students will be encouraged to evaluate and analyze literary works and to gain independent thinking skills through guided instruction.

Digital Textbook:
Holt McDougal: Literature, Grade 12
Books/Novels:
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
A Long Long Way, Sebastian Barry

1 credit | Grade 12

Prerequisite: Honors or College-Prep American Literature.

In this course, students will:

  • Meet and exceed Pennsylvania State Standards in Reading and Writing, Pennsylvania Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content and English Composition Keystone Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content.
  • Read and analyze a variety of works from all time periods of British Literature, both fiction and non-fiction, including poetry, drama, speeches, memoirs, novels, short stories, essays and works of non-fiction.
  • Write in a variety of genres including a book review essay, literary analysis essays, application essay, creative writing pieces and research paper utilizing the writing process.
  • Understand how the history of the time periods influenced the writers and the literature.
  • Further develop grammar skills through writing assignments.
  • Develop vocabulary through systematic study using the Vocabulary from Latin and Greek Roots series and through the study of literature.
  • Utilize and refine Modern Language Association (MLA) style and research skills.

Students entering the Honors British Literature course are expected to possess advanced reading and writing skills and have a passion for these activities as well. In this class, students will be challenged to display their abilities to evaluate, analyze, and apply acquired knowledge and research through the extensive study and use of primary and secondary sources. Students will exhibit mastery of the research process, producing an eight-paragraph essay and audio presentation to accompany the research. Students will also utilize higher-level thinking skills while being encouraged to think independently. Students will examine a minimum of one major work per marking period and will follow a pattern of extensive study at an accelerated pace.

Digital Textbook:
Holt McDougal: Literature, Grade 12
Books/Novels:
A Long Long Way, Sebastian Barry

1 credit | Grade 12

Prerequisite: Honors American Literature and completion of AP course application.

In this course, students will:

  • Meet and exceed Pennsylvania State Standards in Reading and Writing, Pennsylvania Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content and English Literature Keystone Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content.
  • Read and analyze a variety of works from various time periods, both fiction and non-fiction, including poetry, drama, speeches, memoirs, novels, short stories, essays and works of non-fiction.
  • Write in a variety of genres including a book review essay, literary analysis essays, application essay, creative writing pieces and research paper utilizing the writing process.
  • Understand how the history of the time periods influenced the writers and the literature.
  • Further develop grammar skills through writing assignments.
  • Utilize and refine Modern Language Association (MLA) style and research skills.

In this course students will prepare for the College Board AP Literature and Composition exam by examining and analyzing works of literature from various genres and periods. The focus of study will be on the literary merit of these works and how they have impacted society. The readings and assignments in this course build upon the material and concepts taught in previous high school English classes. The close study of literature is accompanied by numerous written interpretations and evaluations. Students will complete short writing assignments on a daily basis and larger essays on a bi-weekly schedule. The writing assignments will be closely related to the readings that occur in this class. Students should expect to spend sixty to ninety minutes each school day working on the material in this class due to the intensity of the reading and writing assignments.

Books/Novels:
A Long Long Way, Sebastian Barry
Catch-22, Joseph Heller
The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri

English Electives

1 credit | Grades 9-12

In this course, students will:

  • Learn the history of the American media.
  • Develop, write and edit the PALCS newspaper, The Talon.
  • Follow the ethical and legal responsibilities of journalists.
  • Gather, organize and write news for high school newspapers utilizing Associated Press style.
  • Write features, columns, reviews and sports stories.
  • Follow strict publishing deadlines.
  • Design and layout pages for both print and online newspapers.
  • Learn how to incorporate photography and graphics.

Students in this course will learn to write journalistically and will be responsible for writing, designing and editing the school newspaper. This course is specifically for students who are interested in learning a new way of writing, can handle constructive criticism and who are looking for ways to expand their collaborative and leadership skills. This is not a creative writing course. Instead, students will learn news, feature and sports writing styles.

Textbook:
McGraw Hill: Journalism Today

1 credit | Full Year | Grades 11-12

To achieve effective writing, a writer must focus on one topic, create an appropriate structure, develop ideas, demonstrate a unique voice and style, and utilize appropriate writing conventions. In order to develop the formal writing skills high school students need to prepare for and succeed in college, trade school and/or life skills in general, this class serves to hone student skills in the areas of persuasion, synthesis and analysis. Students will focus on literary techniques to better express themselves, all the while training students to develop their unique and creative voices through exploring creative and expressive writing.

½ credit | Fall | Grades 11-12

African American literature provides a deeply rich understanding and history of the African American plight throughout the history of the United States. By studying the literature of the African American experience, students develop deeper and more accurate understanding of the struggles of African Americans from slavery to modern day.

½ credit | Spring | Grades 11-12

In this course, students will:

  • Meet Pennsylvania State Standards in Reading and Writing.
  • Read and respond to a variety of literary genres within children’s literature including fiction, poetry and nonfiction.
  • Explore strategies for evaluating children’s literature.
  • Research and discuss the importance of reading to young children.
  • Practice writing children’s literature.

Books/Novels:
Charlotte’s Web, E. B. White
Fever 1793, Laurie Halse Anderson
The Tale of Despereaux, Kate DiCamillo

½ credit | Fall or Spring | Grades 9-12

This course will focus on expressive writing in many different forms. Students will have the opportunity to explore several different types of poetry and prose styles, as well as responding to literature, art mediums, quotes, and music. Originality and writing that shows thought will be emphasized. Strategies to avoid writer’s block and new ways to uncover ideas for writing will be studied.

½ credit | Spring | Grades 11-12

In this course, students will:

  • Learn the basic vocabulary and terms applicable to film production and analysis.
  • View films from different genres and eras of film production.
  • Discuss and respond to each film based on applicable themes, cinematic techniques, quality of movie-making and other relevant criteria.
  • Write analytically about the different elements of the films based on class discussion and activities.

Note that this course has a capacity of twenty students and will close when the capacity is reached.

½ credit | Fall | Grades 11-12

Gender in Literature and Media is a college-level course in which students will study representations of gender in a variety of texts. The course begins with a foundation in the biological and psychological bases of sex and gender, followed by a survey of the history and classic texts of feminist theory. Next, students will examine the media around us by analyzing and critiquing film, advertising, and popular music to explore the role contemporary media plays in our lives and how it portrays all genders. A literature study follows, with a focus on American women writers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Finally, students have the opportunity to develop an intensive, self-directed project as a course capstone. Throughout the course, students will be able to think critically and engage with popular discourse.

Books/Novels:
The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

½ credit | Fall or Spring | Grades 11-12

In this course, students will:

  • Study Greek, Roman and world myths and their common characteristics.
  • Read and respond to a variety of literary genres including drama, poetry, and short stories.
  • Provide personal responses to literature based on already-acquired knowledge.
  • Refine independent thinking skills.
  • Meet and exceed Pennsylvania State Standards in Reading and Writing.

Upon completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Define the term “myth” and explain its role in narrative literature.
  • Demonstrate progress in listening skills through activities based on myths.
  • Identify and examine mythological characters and their qualities, as well as identify recurrent themes in mythology.

Textbook:
Nextext: Classical and World Mythology

½ credit | Fall | Grades 10-12

Public Speaking is a college-level course that focuses on helping students develop effective public speaking skills in small groups, large groups, and professional environments. Instruction includes such topics as speaker anxiety, active listening, and analyzing the audience. Moreover, the process of writing and delivering various types of speeches is discussed. Examples of students and notable leaders delivering speeches are included.

½ credit | Spring | Grades 11-12

Shakespeare’s innovations in the history play established his popularity in early modern London’s competitive theatrical world. During the first half of his career (1590-99), Shakespeare chiefly wrote history plays and romantic comedies (Romeo and Juliet is an odd exception), though a shift in his dramatic and professional priorities occurred in 1599 when his theatrical company moved into the new Globe Theater. One effect of this shift involved the playwright’s generic preferences and modes of literary experimentation. In 1599, Shakespeare began to draw on his experience with history writing to revisit, in their tragic settings, several old narratives about kingship and succession. This course will introduce students to Shakespeare’s histories, tragedies and comedies through four of his plays and several modern film adaptations. Various critical approaches to the plays and the political and intellectual climates of the early modern period will also be examined.

In this course, students will:

  • Understand and appreciate Shakespeare’s contribution to the dramatic and literary arts.
  • Understand and appreciate Shakespeare’s plays within the context of both the times and Elizabethan Theatre.
  • Appreciate and evaluate plays on both a literary and auditory basis.
  • Read and evaluate different dramatic genres.
  • Identify dramatic structure and apply to plays.
  • Identify elements of History, Tragedy and Comedy plays.
  • Identify elements of Romances.
  • Identify elements of “Problem Plays”.

Books/Novels:
Hamlet, William Shakespeare
Othello, William Shakespeare
Richard III, William Shakespeare
Taming of the Shrew, William Shakespeare

View Graduation Requirements
View High School Electives

Mathematics Graduation Requirement: 3 consecutive credits including 1 credit of Algebra 1 and completion of the Algebra Keystone Exam.

College-bound students are encouraged to take an additional credit of Mathematics

Math Core Courses

1 credit | Grades 9

Prerequisite: Math 8 (or equivalent).

Pre-Algebra is designed to serve as a bridge between middle school mathematics and Algebra 1. This course will introduce students to basic algebra concepts so that they will be prepared for the rigor of Algebra 1.

Within Pre-Algebra, students will explore the concepts of variables, algebraic expressions, integers, linear equations, multi-step equations, inequalities, fractions, exponents, rational numbers and equations, ratio, proportion, probability, percents, linear functions, real numbers, factoring, polynomials, and data analysis.

Pre-Algebra will help students develop important mathematical study skills and learning strategies. Students will learn to utilize a graphing calculator in appropriate situations. Problem solving, reasoning, estimation, and connections between math and everyday applications will be emphasized throughout the course.

This course is aligned to the PA Core Standards. Upon completion of this course students will be prepared for Algebra 1.

1 credit | Grades 9-10

Prerequisite: Math 8 (or equivalent).

Topics in Algebra 1 include real numbers, linear equations and inequalities, linear functions and their graphs, systems of linear equations and inequalities (limited to two variables) and an introduction to polynomials. Students will have the opportunity to explore functions with the TI-83 graphing calculator.

This course is aligned to the PA Core Standards.

Students completing this course will be required to complete the Algebra Keystone Exam.

Digital Textbook:
McGraw Hill: Algebra 1

1 credit | Grade 9

Prerequisite: Math 8.

College-Prep Algebra I is a rapidly paced course that moves through the Algebra curriculum and offers a challenge for the college-bound student.

This course is aligned to the PA Core Standards.

Topics include real numbers, linear equations and inequalities, linear functions and their graphs, systems of linear equations and inequalities (limited to two variables) and an introduction to polynomials. Students will have the opportunity to explore functions with the TI-83 graphing calculator.

Students completing this course will be required to complete the Algebra Keystone Exam.

Digital Textbook:
McGraw Hill: Algebra 1

1 credit | Grade 9

Prerequisite: Math 8 or Teacher Recommendation.

Honors Algebra 1 is designed for the advanced-level student. This course is an accelerated algebra curriculum with more challenging problems.

This course is aligned to the PA Core Standards.

Topics include real numbers, linear equations and inequalities, linear functions and their graphs, systems of linear equations and inequalities (limited to two variables) and an introduction to polynomials. Students will have the opportunity to explore functions with the TI-83 graphing calculator.

Students completing this course will be required to complete the Algebra 1 Keystone Exam.

Digital Textbook:
McGraw Hill: Algebra 1

1 credit | Grades 10-11

Prerequisite: Algebra I.

In this course, students will develop logical thinking and deductive reasoning skills as they discover geometric relationships. The course covers topics including the relationships among points, lines, and planes, properties of plane and 3-D figures, congruence, similarity, right triangles, circles, and area and volume formulas. Geometry is aligned to the PA Common Core Standards.

Digital Textbook:
McGraw Hill: Geometry

1 credit | Grade 10

Prerequisite: College-Prep Algebra I.

College-Prep Geometry is a rapidly paced course that moves through the Geometry curriculum and offers a challenge for the college-bound student.

Topics include distance and midpoint formula, geometric reasoning and proofs, angles formed by parallel line and transversals, triangle congruence, properties of triangles, special right triangles, Pythagorean Theorems, polygons and quadrilaterals, similarity in polygons, introduction to trigonometry, perimeter, circumference area, geometric probability, surface area and volume of 3-D figures, and properties of circles.

This course is aligned to the PA Core Standards.

Students will have the opportunity to use the TI-83+ graphing calculator.

Digital Textbook:
McGraw Hill: Geometry

1 credit | Grades 9-10

Prerequisite:  Honors Algebra I or Teacher Recommendation.

Honors Geometry is designed for the advanced-level student. It is a rigorous, logical development of the deductive system of reasoning. Emphasis is on the development of logic, formal proofs, and algebraic applications to geometry.

Topics include distance and midpoint formula, geometric reasoning and proofs, angles formed by parallel line and transversals, triangle congruence, properties of triangles, special right triangles, Pythagorean Theorems, polygons and quadrilaterals, similarity in polygons, introduction to trigonometry, perimeter, circumference area, geometric probability, surface area and volume of 3-D figures, and properties of circles.

The course is aligned to the PA Core Standards.

Digital Textbook:
McGraw Hill: Geometry

1 credit | Grades 11-12

Prerequisite: Geometry.

The content of this course is important for success on the college mathematics entrance exams (SAT and ACT). This course develops advanced algebra skills such as systems of equations, polynomials, complex numbers, and nonlinear functions including quadratic, exponential, radical, rational and polynomial functions and trigonometry. Students will use graphing calculators to enhance the understanding of algebraic concepts.

The course is aligned to the PA Core Standards

Upon completion of this course, students will be ready for a math elective.

Digital Textbook:
McGraw Hill: Algebra 2

1 credit | Grade 11

Prerequisite: College-Prep Geometry or Teacher Recommendation.

College-Prep Algebra 2 is a rapidly paced course that moves through the Algebra 2 curriculum and offers a challenge for
the college-bound student.

The content of this course is important for success on the college mathematics entrance exams (SAT and ACT). This course develops advanced algebra skills such as systems of equations, polynomials, complex numbers, matrices, statistics, and nonlinear functions including quadratic, exponential, radical, rational and polynomial functions. Students will use graphing calculators to enhance the understanding of algebraic concepts.

College-Prep Algebra 2 is aligned to the PA Core Standards.

Digital Textbook:
McGraw Hill: Algebra 2

1 credit | Grades 10-11

Prerequisite: College-Prep Geometry or successful completion of Honors Geometry.

This second-year algebra course is designed for the advanced-level student who desires a more rigorous course of study.

Algebra 2 develops advanced algebra skills such as systems of equations, polynomials, complex numbers, matrices, statistics, sequences, and nonlinear functions including quadratic, exponential, radical, rational and polynomial functions and trigonometry. Students will develop a more in-depth study of the concept of numbers from arithmetic to the notion of discrete mathematics.

Students will use graphing calculators to enhance the understanding of algebraic concepts.

Honors Algebra 2 is aligned to the PA Core Standards.

Digital Textbook:
McGraw Hill: Algebra 2

1 credit | Grades 11-12

Prerequisite: Algebra 2.

This course is designed for the college-bound student who plans to study calculus in high school or college.

Topics include a review of Algebra 2 concepts, Trigonometry, trigonometric functions, parametric functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, polynomial functions, and solving equations and inequalities.

Pre-Calculus is aligned to the Pennsylvania Core Standards.

Digital Textbook:
McGraw Hill: Pre-Calculus

1 credit | Grades 11-12

Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus.

This course is designed for the college bound student who wishes to continue the study of calculus in college. This is a college level preparatory class; it is not an Advanced Placement class.

The course is aligned to the PA Core Standards.

Topics include functions and their graphs, limits, derivatives, integration and other introductory calculus concepts.

The TI83+ calculator is provided.

Upon completion of this course the student will be prepared for a first year college level calculus course or AP Calculus.

Textbook:
Cengage: Calculus 1 and Precalculus

1 credit | Grades 11-12

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Pre-Calculus and and completion of AP course application.

AP Calculus AB is roughly equivalent to a first semester college calculus course devoted to topics in differential and integral calculus. The course is aligned to the Mathematical Practices for AP Calculus developed by The College Board.

The AP course covers topics in these areas, including concepts and skills of limits, derivatives, definite integrals, and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. The course teaches students to approach calculus concepts and problems when they are represented graphically, numerically, analytically, and verbally, and to make connections amongst these representations. Students learn how to use technology to help solve problems, experiment, interpret results, and support conclusions.

Upon completion of this course the student will be prepared to successfully take the AP Calculus AB exam and will be ready for a 2nd year college Calculus course.

Textbook:
Cengage: Calculus: AP Edition

1 credit | Grades 11-12

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Pre-Calculus and completion of AP course application.

The AP Statistics course is equivalent to a one-semester, introductory, non-calculus-based college course in statistics. The course introduces students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. There are four themes in the AP Statistics course: exploring data, sampling and experimentation, anticipating patterns, and statistical inference. Students use technology, investigations, problem solving, and writing as they build conceptual understanding.

Digital Textbook:
Bedford/St. Martins: Principles of Statistics

Math Elective Courses

½ credit | Fall | Grades 11-12

Prerequisite: Algebra 2.

Probability introduces a variety of real-world problems and information from business, science, economics, and other sources. The topics covered in this half year course include Elementary Probability Theory, The Binomial Distribution and Related Topics, and Normal Distributions, including Normal Approximation to the Binomial Distribution. While this course can provide a collaborative study of probability and statistics, it is also a stand-alone elective. This course is aligned to the PA Core Standards. Emphasis is placed on using
the TI -83 for coursework.

Textbook:
Braise/Braise: Understandable Statistics

½ credit | Spring | Grades 11-12

Prerequisite: Algebra 2.

Statistics is a half year course designed to introduce the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data, as well as the following broad themes: sampling, experimentation, anticipating patterns, and statistical inference. Students interested in social sciences, health services, and business will benefit from this course. While this course can provide a collaborative study of probability and statistics, it is also a stand-alone section whose summary focus is on representations of data, drawing inferences, and experimental design and simulation. Emphasis is placed on use of the TI-83 calculator.

This course is aligned to the PA Core Standards.

Textbook:
Braise/Braise: Understandable Statistics

1 credit | Grades 10-12

Prerequisite: Algebra 1 and Geometry.

Mathematical Thinking builds on Algebra 1 and Geometry concepts with an emphasis on problem-solving. Set theory, logic, and number systems of various cultures are introduced. Topics in Consumer Math, Algebra, Probability, Statistics, Geometry and Trigonometry are covered.

1 credit | Grades 11-12

Consumer Mathematics is designed to give students the tools and resources needed to make wise financial decisions. This
course will help students to learn strategies in which to have financial success and to avoid many of the financial dangers
that trouble our society today.

Throughout the course, students will have significant opportunities to think critically about today’s financial topics
and formulate their opinions on these topics. The topics that students will learn about in this course include
gross income, taxes and deductions, budgeting, checking and savings accounts, interest, purchasing, credit and loans, vehicle ownership, home ownership, insurance, and investments.

Textbook:
Bedford/St. Martins: Math for Business and Personal Finance

View Graduation Requirements
View High School Electives

Science Graduation Requirement: 3 credits including 1 credit of Biology and completion of the Biology Keystone Exam.

College-bound students are encouraged to take an additional credit of Science

Science Core Courses

1 credit | Grade 9

In this course, students will develop scientific skills and a background in the studies of physical sciences. Some concepts that will be addressed include atomic structure, bonding, chemical reactions, Newton’s laws of motion, forces in fluids, work and machine, energy, heat, light, magnetism and electricity. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to enter Biology with a strong foundation of scientific
practices.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Apply knowledge of the scientific process by using skill such as observing, classifying, inferring, predicting, measuring, estimating, formulating hypotheses, interpreting data, and designing and testing controlled experiments.
    • Explain that the atomic structure determines the physical and chemical properties of a substance.
    • Explain the different types of chemical bonds and how the type of bond determines the properties and shapes of molecules.
    • Identify chemical reactions and explain how they form new substances.
    • Predict and explain the interaction between two objects and how that influences their motion.
    • Analyze Newton’s laws and apply them to all forces.
    • Explain how machines make work easier simply by changing the force needed to do work.
    • Distinguish the different types of energy and describe how energy is transferred.
    • Identify and explain how heat energy is the driving force behind everything we do.
    • Explain how waves and vibrations produce a wide variety of phenomena, including sound, light, and other electromagnetic waves, water waves, and pendulums.
    • Describe how electricity in circuits can produce light, heat, sound, and magnetic effects.
1 credit | Grades 11-12

Prerequisite: Biology.

Earth and Space Science is a full year course for high school students. This course is designed to provide students with an introduction and foundation of concepts, content and world events for the Earth and Space Sciences. This course is designed as an optional 4th science class for academic track students and incoming transfer students enrolled in the course previously.

In this course, students will develop scientific skills, logic, how to make hypotheses, inferences, create graphs and draw conclusions. Some of the concepts covered include the Structure of the Earth’s crust (minerals, economic resources, rocks, ground water and wells, rivers, glaciers and deserts), the forces that make the dynamic crust (earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain buildings, plate tectonics), Meteorological forces
(the atmosphere, moisture, clouds, precipitation, air pressure,wind, air masses and fronts, and factors that create climates),and Astronomy (the Earth-Moon system, the solar system, properties of stars, the universe).

Digital Textbook:
McGraw Hill: Earth Science: Geology, Environment & Universe

1 credit | Grade 9
College-Prep Earth and Space Science is designed to provide students with an introduction and foundation of concepts, content and world events for the Earth and Space Sciences. This course is designed as required college prep level course for incoming 9th graders on the college prep track and incoming transfer students enrolled in the course previously.

In this course, students will:

• Develop scientific skills, logic, how to make hypotheses, inferences, create graphs and draw conclusions.
• Study the structure of the Earth’s crust: minerals, economic resources, rocks, ground water and wells, rivers, glaciers and deserts.
• Learn about the Forces that make the Dynamic Crust: earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain buildings, plate tectonics.
• Study Meteorological Forces: the atmosphere, moisture, clouds, precipitation, air pressure, wind, air masses and fronts, and factors that create climates.
• Explore Astronomy: the Earth-Moon system, the solar system, properties of stars, the universe.

1 credit | Grades 10

Biology offers a curriculum that focuses on the mastery of basic biological skills in topics such as anatomy and physiology, chemical interactions, the cell, genetics, evolution, ecology, and biodiversity. It is designed to meet the Keystone Anchors for Biology. Please note that Biology is a graduation requirement at The Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Apply scientific thinking, processes, tools and technologies in the study of biology.
  • Understand the systems of the body and how their structure and function works to maintain homeostasis.
  • Recognize that the structure of atoms and molecules relates to their function in living organisms.
  • Compare and contrast the structure and function of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
  • Describe how genetic information is inherited and expressed.
  • Explain the mechanisms of the theory of evolution.
  • Use evidence or examples to explain the characteristics of and interactions within an ecosystem.
  • Analyze patterns of change in natural or human-made systems over time.
  • Describe the characteristics of life shared by all prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms.

Students completing this course will be required to complete the Biology Keystone Exam.

Digital Textbook:
Glencoe: Biology

1 credit | Grade 10

Biology offers a curriculum that focuses on the mastery of biological skills in topics such as anatomy and physiology, chemical interactions, the cell, genetics, evolution, ecology, and biodiversity. It is designed to exceed the Keystone Anchors for Biology. Please note that Biology is a graduation requirement at The Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Apply scientific thinking, processes, tools and technologies in the study of biology.
  • Understand the systems of the body and how their structure and function works to maintain homeostasis.
  • Recognize that the structure of atoms and molecules relates to their function in living organisms.
  • Compare and contrast the structure and function of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
  • Describe how genetic information is inherited and expressed.
  • Explain the mechanisms of the theory of evolution.
  • Use evidence or examples to explain the characteristics of and interactions within an ecosystem.
  • Analyze patterns of change in natural or human-made systems over time.
  • Describe the characteristics of life shared by all prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms.

Students completing this course will be required to complete the Biology Keystone Exam.

Digital Textbook:
Glencoe: Biology

1 credit | Grade 9

Honors Biology is a fast-paced course which will cover all of the material in the Biology course, but at a more in-depth level. We begin with the nature of science, and move directly into anatomy and physiology. The course will move to some basic chemistry, the cell and its organelles, and genetics. In the second half of the year, students will study evolution, ecology, and biodiversity. At the end of the year, Honors Biology will investigate controversial bioethics topics. Honors Biology is for the motivated 9th or 10th grade student. It is designed to meet the Keystone Anchors for Biology, including more rigor and depth.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Apply scientific thinking, processes, tools and technologies in the study of biology.
  • Understand the systems of the body and how their structure and function works to maintain homeostasis.
  • Recognize that the structure of atoms and molecules relates to their function in living organisms.
  • Compare and contrast the structure and function of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
  • Describe how genetic information is inherited and expressed.
  • Explain the mechanisms of the theory of evolution.
  • Use evidence or examples to explain the characteristics of and interactions within an ecosystem.
  • Analyze patterns of change in natural or human-made systems over time.
  • Describe the characteristics of life shared by all prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms.

Students completing this course will be required to complete the Biology Keystone Exam.

Digital Textbook:
Glencoe: Biology

1 credit | Grade 11

Prerequisite: Biology and Algebra 1.

This course examines the composition of various substances and the changes that may occur. The course will demonstrate the ways in which chemistry touches our lives almost everywhere and every day, in medicine, the clothes we wear, the games we play, as well as the industries that make the things we use. Students will solve real-world chemistry problems using math skills, logic, and critical thinking. Laboratories are a mix of virtual experiments done online and using the Virtual ChemLab program.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Explain that matter is made of particles called atoms and that atoms are composed of even smaller particles.
  • Explain the relationship between the physical properties of a substance and its molecular or atomic structure.
  • Explain the formation of compounds and their resulting names, ratios and properties using bonding theories (ionic and covalent).
  • Explain how the relationships of chemical properties of elements are represented in the repeating patterns within the periodic table.
  • Predict the behavior of gases through the application of laws.
  • Describe factors that influence the frequency of collisions during chemical reactions that might affect the reaction rates (e.g., surface area, concentration, catalyst, temperature, agitation).
  • Describe energy changes in chemical reactions.
  • Understand the impact of humans on natural resources.

Digital Textbook:
McGraw Hill: Chemistry Concepts and Applications

1 credit | Grade 11

Prerequisite: Biology and Algebra 1.

This course examines the composition of various substances and the changes that may occur. The course will demonstrate the ways in which chemistry touches our lives almost everywhere and everyday, in medicine, the clothes we wear, the games we play, as well as the industries that make the things we use. Students will solve real-world chemistry problems using math skills, logic, and critical thinking. Laboratories are a mix of virtual experiments done online and using the Virtual ChemLab program.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Explain that matter is made of particles called atoms and that atoms are composed of even smaller particles.
  • Explain the relationship between the physical properties of a substance and its molecular or atomic structure.
  • Explain the formation of compounds and their resulting names, ratios and properties using bonding theories (ionic and covalent).
  • Explain how the relationships of chemical properties of elements are represented in the repeating patterns within the periodic table.
  • Predict the behavior of gases through the application of laws.
  • Describe factors that influence the frequency of collisions during chemical reactions that might affect the reaction rates (e.g., surface area, concentration, catalyst, temperature, agitation).
  • Describe energy changes in chemical reactions.
  • Understand the impact of humans on natural resources.

Digital Textbook:
McGraw Hill: Chemistry Concepts and Applications

1 credit | Grades 10

Prerequisite: Biology and Algebra I.

This course emphasizes a broad survey of basic chemistry, incorporating the elements of physical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and organic chemistry. We shall base our knowledge of chemistry on a thorough knowledge of chemical bonding. A virtual laboratory will present a series of experiments that support theoretical knowledge. Upon completion, students will have a basic knowledge of chemistry that will serve as a head start in future studies in college.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Explain how specific scientific knowledge or technological design concepts solve practical problems.
  • Analyze and explain how to verify the accuracy of scientific facts, principles, theories and laws.
  • Compare and contrast scientific theories, scientific laws and beliefs.
  • Describe and/or interpret dynamic changes to stable systems.
  • Explain how specific scientific knowledge or technological design concepts solve practical problems.
  • Explain how matter is made of particles called atoms and that these atoms are composed of smaller particles.
  • Interpret data gathered through observation and develop relationships among variables to design models that provide solutions.

Digital Textbook:
McGraw Hill: Chemistry Matter and Change

1 credit | Grade 12

Prerequisite: Pre-Algebra and General Science or Chemistry.

Conceptual Physics is the qualitative study of these major physical phenomena: mechanics, properties of matter, heat, sound, thermodynamics, light, waves and electricity and magnetism. The subject is covered primarily through reading. The concepts are explained with a minimal amount of mathematics; however, the student should be proficient in basic math. This course is reading intensive.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Analyze energy sources and transfer of energy, or conversion of energy.
  • Demonstrate that different ways of obtaining, transforming, and distributing energy have different environmental consequences.
  • Apply the principles of motion and force to real world cases.

Textbook:
Prentice Hall: Conceptual Physics

1 credit | Grade 12

Prerequisite: Chemistry, Algebra 2 and Geometry.

College-Prep Physics is a quantitative approach to matter, energy, motion, and force. Students will be able to identify and explain Properties of matter, conservation of energy, force, motion, electricity and magnetism, and show aptitude with topics such as kinematics, heat, energy, momentum, conservation theorems, gravitation, equilibrium and E&M exclusively through mathematical modeling. The course begins with a brief math review of the concepts used in the course. Students must have a strong background in mathematics and be proficient in Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry. This is a college prep course for students who plan to pursue a major in the sciences or engineering.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Analyze energy sources and transfer of energy, or conversion of energy.
  • Demonstrate that different ways of obtaining, transforming, and distributing energy have different environmental consequences.
  • Use the principles of motion and force to solve real world challenges.

Digital Textbook:
McGraw Hill: Physics Principles and Problems

1 credit | Grade 11

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Honors Pre-Calculus and/or teacher recommendation.

This course is intended to provide students with a fundamental study of physics. Students focus on developing and understanding the mathematical relationships between matter, energy, space, and time that enables them to solve college-level problems.

Topics covered in Honors Physics:

  • Measurement and Vector Representations
  • Motion (in one, two, and three dimensions)
  • Newton’s Three Laws
  • Friction and Fluid Dynamics
  • Circular Motion
  • Work and Energy
  • Momentum
  • Rotational Dynamics
  • Torque and Angular Momentum
  • Equilibrium
  • Circular Motion and Gravitation
  • Oscillation and Waves
  • Sound and Light
  • Static and Current Electricity
  • Electric Circuits
  • Magnetism

Digital Textbook:
McGraw Hill: Physics Principles and Problems

1 credit | Grade 12

Prerequisite: Honors Biology, Chemistry, and completion of AP course application.

AP Biology is an accelerated and advanced course intended to be equivalent to a full year of introductory college biology for biology majors. Students will build upon concepts previously studied in high school biology and will explore topics including evolution, genetics, energy exchange, and biological systems in greater depth. This course is inquiry-based, which means students must take on the responsibilities of independent study and research in order to be successful. Virtual lessons will focus on group inquiry based activities and shared results
of labs that are done at home before hand.

Note: Some labs may require students to purchase perishable items on their own and at their own cost. Costs are not expected to exceed $50 for the entire course.

Physical/Digital Textbooks:
Pearson: Biology in Focus
Pearson: Test Prep for AP Biology

1 credit | Grade 11-12
Prerequisite: Biology, Honors Chemistry, Algebra II and
completion of AP course application

This AP Chemistry course is designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course usually taken during the first year of college. There are six major areas of study in this course: structure of matter, properties of matter, chemical reactions, rates of chemical reactions, thermodynamics, and equilibrium. Students will attain a deeper understanding of the fundamentals of chemistry and a further competence in dealing with chemical problems. The learning objectives of the course combine content with inquiry based reasoning skills. Live lessons will be recorded and will focus on guided laboratory activities. Some of the labs will be completed through computer simulations and others with household equipment.

The course is open to all students who meet the prerequisites and are willing to invest a significant amount of
time studying and completing assignments.

AP Physics 1 is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. Students cultivate their understanding of physics through inquiry-based investigations as they explore kinematics dynamics circular motion and gravitation, energy momentum, simple harmonic motion, torque and rotational motion, electric charge and electric force, DC circuits, and mechanical waves and sound. This course requires that 25 percent of the instructional time will be spent in hands-on laboratory work, with an emphasis on inquiry-based investigations that provide students with opportunities to demonstrate the foundational physics principles and apply the science practices.

Science Elective Courses

½ credit | Spring | Grades 10-12

Prerequisite: Earth Science recommended.

This is a half-year elective earth science course that is designed to take students through the solar system, the galaxy and beyond to the universe. This course will build on topics covered in Earth Science. The following units will be discussed in detail: Astronomy and Earth’s place in the Universe, the physics of celestial bodies in motion, gravitational forces, stellar evolution, the role of astronomy in history, the space program and ongoing scientific exploration in space.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the night sky and be able to identify key objects.
  • Use a telescope and other mapping tools to locate objects in the night sky.
  • Describe the interaction of forces and motions among celestial bodies.
  • Describe the general characteristics of the solar system planets, comments, moons and other bodies.
  • Describe the formation of stars, the chemistry and physics of fusion and the life cycle of stars.
  • Trace the history of astronomy and its role in society through the ages.
½ credit | Fall or Spring | Grades 11-12

Prerequisite: Biology and Chemistry recommended.

Environmental Science is a half year course for students in the 11th or 12th grade. This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive view of the interactions between humans and the environment. In this course, students will develop scientific skills and critical thinking capabilities while utilizing and building on knowledge in life science, physical science, chemistry, earth science, and social sciences as they relate to the interactions between living and nonliving factors on Earth.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify and analyze the scientific or technological challenges of societal issues, propose possible solutions and discuss implications.
  • Describe and interpret patterns of change in natural and human-made systems.
  • Explain structure and function at multiple levels of organization.
  • Use evidence or examples to explain the characteristics of and interactions within an ecosystem.
  • Analyze patterns of change in natural or human-made systems over time.
  • Explain and analyze how human-made systems impact the management and distribution of natural resources.
  • Demonstrate that different ways of obtaining, transforming and distributing energy have different environmental consequences.
  • Explain the significance and contribution of water as a resource to living things and the shaping of the land.

Digital Textbook:
McGraw Hill: Environmental Science, AP Edition

½ credit | Spring | Grades 10-12

Prerequisite: C or higher in Biology and Algebra I, and student application (see guidance).

This is a half credit introductory forensic science class that will discuss theory and practices dealing with the use of science and technology to investigate and establish facts in criminal or civil courts of law.

Topics discussed include investigating a crime scene, prints and trace evidence, and identifying an individual.

There are many practical aspects of forensic science. This course focuses on the following: crime scene investigation; securing and recording a crime scene; types of evidence; collecting physical evidence; tool marks and impressions; trace evidence such as hair, fiber, glass, paint and soil; firearm evidence; fingerprints; blood evidence including bloodstain patterns; DNA evidence; and handwriting and voice identification.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Explain how crime scene investigators would properly document and record a crime scene.
  • Identify which type or types of evidence to search for and collect in a particular crime scene scenario.
  • Explain and demonstrate how to properly collect and package specific items of evidence at a crime scene.
  • Explain what safety precautions need to be observed at a crime scene and in the laboratory to protect both themselves and the integrity of the evidence.
  • Explain the difference between class characteristics and individual characteristics and how each is used in the real world.
  • Analyze and explain the nature of science in the search for understanding the natural world and its connections to forensic science.
  • Identify and analyze the scientific or technological challenges of societal issues using case studies, propose possible solutions and discuss implications.
  • Apply knowledge of scientific investigation or technological design to develop or critique aspects of the experimental or design process.

Manipulatives/Kits:
Forensic Science Kit

½ credit | Fall | Grades 10-12

Prerequisite: Biology.

Marine Science is the scientific study of life in the ocean. In spite of its simple definition, Marine Science is actually a vastly complex and fascinating field in science. Studying the ocean is very important because seventy five percent of the earth is covered in water. In Marine Science, we will explore this watery world and the life that call it home. This course is for any students who are interested in developing an understanding of the basic concepts of Marine Science.

In this course, students will:

  • Be introduced to Marine Science by learning some history on the topic and discussing the scientific method, geological principles and ocean mechanics.
  • Study the ocean environment by learning about the many marine organisms that inhabit the ocean, from the smallest bacteria to the largest whales.
  • Learn about marine organisms by visiting these organisms in their homes, learning about their ecosystems and how these organisms interact with each other and their surroundings.
  • Find out about marine ecosystems, how humans affect the sea and what we can do to conserve it.
½ credit | Spring | Grades 10-12

Prerequisite: Biology.

Nature Study is a science elective course for students interested in natural history and information about their environment.
Students will explore the nature of Pennsylvania through wide-ranging multidisciplinary methodology including participation in scientific research, discussing environmental issues, learning state and local history, and by creating maps, charts, and graphs. Students will be reading nature literature, as well as writing, drawing, measuring, observing, and recording notes, stories, songs, and poems. Units of study will include nature journaling, literature, noteworthy naturalists, bird watching and identification, trees, insects, and botany.

½ credit | Fall or Spring | Grades 10-12

In Human Anatomy and Physiology, students will study the systems of the human body and learn the ways in which they are interdependent and serve to maintain homeostasis. Topics covered include cell anatomy and physiology as well as a detailed study of each of the systems of the body. This fast-paced, in-depth course will include case studies, virtual labs, experiments, projects, essays and writing assignments.

In this course, students will:

  • Analyze and explain the nature of science in the search for understanding the natural world and its connection to technological systems.
  • Identify and analyze the scientific or technological challenges of societal issues; propose possible solutions and discuss implications.
  • Describe and interpret patterns of change in the human body.
  • Apply knowledge of scientific investigation or technological design to develop or critique aspects of the experimental or design process.
  • Analyze the parts of an organ system, their roles, and their relationships to the system as a whole.
  • Explain anatomy and physiology at multiple levels of organization.

Digital Textbook:
McGraw Hill: Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology

View Graduation Requirements
View High School Electives

Social Studies Graduation Requirement: 3.5 credits including 1 credit of US History or US Government.

College-bound students are encouraged to take an additional credit of Social Studies

Social Studies Core Courses

1 credit | Grade 9

This course will explore the developments in Europe, Asia, North America, Africa and Latin America from 1450 to the present. Students will examine the continuity and change that has occurred in these regions in regards to trade, exploration, industrialism, imperialism and military conflicts. These themes will be examined with emphasis on how they are interconnected and how they have changed the world from a global perspective.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Evaluate the significance of individuals and groups who made major political and cultural contributions to world history since 1450.
  • Evaluate historical documents, material artifacts and historic sites important to world history during the above era.
  • Evaluate how continuity and change throughout history have impacted belief systems and religions, commerce and industry, innovations, settlement patterns, social organization, transportation and the roles of women during the above era.
  • Evaluate how conflict and cooperation among social groups and organizations have impacted world history from 1450 to the present in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe.
  • Master the mandated Pennsylvania Standards in relation to World History, Geography and Economics for the respective grade level of this course.

Digital Textbook:
Pearson: World History

1 credit | Grade 9

This course will explore the developments in Europe, Asia, North America, Africa and Latin America from 1450 to the present. Students will examine the continuity and change that has occurred in these regions in regards to trade, exploration, industrialism, imperialism and military conflicts. These themes will be examined with emphasis on how they are interconnected and how they have changed the world from a global perspective.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Evaluate the significance of individuals and groups who made major political and cultural contributions to world history since 1450.
  • Evaluate historical documents, material artifacts and historic sites important to world history during the above era.
  • Evaluate how continuity and change throughout history have impacted belief systems and religions, commerce and industry, innovations, settlement patterns, social organization, transportation and the roles of women during the above era.
  • Evaluate how conflict and cooperation among social groups and organizations have impacted world history from 1450 to the present in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe.
  • Master the mandated Pennsylvania Standards in relation to World History, Geography and Economics for the respective grade level of this course.

Students will be expected to read additional outside resources, to engage in writing assignments utilizing higher order thinking skills and to conduct developmentally appropriate research. This academically challenging, college preparatory course is geared for students who are planning to pursue post secondary education.

Digital Textbook:
Pearson: World History

1 credit | Grade 9

This course will explore the developments in Europe, Asia, North America, Africa and Latin America from 1450 to the present. Students will examine the continuity and change that has occurred in these regions in regards to trade, exploration, industrialism, imperialism and military conflicts. These themes will be examined with emphasis on how they are interconnected and how they have changed the world from a global perspective.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Evaluate the significance of individuals and groups who made major political and cultural contributions to world history since 1450.
  • Evaluate historical documents, material artifacts and historic sites important to world history during the above era.
  • Evaluate how continuity and change throughout history have impacted belief systems and religions, commerce and industry, innovations, settlement patterns, social organization, transportation and the roles of women during the above era.
  • Evaluate how conflict and cooperation among social groups and organizations have impacted world history from 1450 to the present in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe.
  • Master the mandated Pennsylvania Standards in relation to World History, Geography and Economics for the respective grade level of this course.

Students will be expected to read additional outside resources, to engage in writing assignments utilizing higher order thinking skills and to conduct developmentally appropriate research. The student will be challenged to display his or her ability to evaluate, analyze and apply acquired knowledge and research through the extensive study and use of primary and secondary sources. This academically rigorous course is designed for students who are planning to pursue post secondary education.

Digital Textbook:
Pearson: World History

1 credit | Grade 9

This course will explore the developments in Europe, Asia, North America, Africa and Latin America from 1450 to the present. Students will examine the continuity and change that has occurred in these regions in regards to trade, exploration, industrialism, imperialism and military conflicts. These themes will be examined with emphasis on how they are interconnected and how they have changed the world from a global perspective.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
• Evaluate the significance of individuals and groups who made major political and cultural contributions to world history since 1450.
• Evaluate historical documents, material artifacts and historic sites important to world history during the above era.
• Evaluate how continuity and change throughout history have impacted belief systems and religions, commerce and industry, innovations, settlement patterns, social organization, transportation and the roles of women during the above era.
• Evaluate how conflict and cooperation among social groups and organizations have impacted world history from 1450 to the present in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe.
• Master the mandated Pennsylvania Standards in relation to World History, Geography and Economics for the respective grade level of this course.

Students will be expected to read additional outside resources, to engage in writing assignments utilizing higher order thinking skills and to conduct developmentally appropriate research. The student will be challenged to display his or her ability to evaluate, analyze and apply acquired knowledge and research through the extensive study and use of primary and secondary sources. This academically rigorous course
is designed for students who are planning to pursue post secondary education.

1 credit | Grade 10

This course will explore the development of the foundations of the American Government: the three branches of government, the Bill of Rights, the electoral process and the impact of state and local government. Political and economic systems present in America will also be examined. Students will be challenged to identify, analyze and explain the major concepts and principles impacting the government in America.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Critically analyze information and documents.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills and creativity in completing written assignments.
  • Master the mandated Pennsylvania Standards in relation to Civics and Government for the respective grade level of this course.

Digital Textbook:
Pearson: Magruder’s American Government

1 credit | Grade 10

This course will explore the development of the foundations of the American Government: the three branches of government, the Bill of Rights, the electoral process and the impact of state and local government. Political and economic systems present in America will also be examined. Students will be challenged to identify, analyze and explain the major concepts and principles impacting the government in America.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Critically analyze information and documents.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills and creativity in completing written assignments.
  • Master the mandated Pennsylvania Standards in relation to Civics and Government for the respective grade level of this course.

Students will be expected to read additional outside resources, to engage in writing assignments utilizing higher order thinking skills and to conduct developmentally appropriate research. This academically challenging, college preparatory course is geared for students who are planning to pursue post secondary education.

Digital Textbook:
Pearson: Magruder’s American Government

1 credit | Grade 10

This course will explore the development of the foundations of the American Government: the three branches of government, the Bill of Rights, the electoral process and the impact of state and local government. Political and economic systems present in America will also be examined. Students will be challenged to identify, analyze and explain the major concepts and principles impacting the government in America.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Critically analyze information and documents.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills and creativity in completing written assignments.
  • Master the Pennsylvania mandated Standards in relation to Civics and Government for the respective grade level of this course.

Students will be expected to read additional outside resources, to engage in writing assignments utilizing higher order thinking skills and to conduct developmentally appropriate research. The student will be challenged to display his or her ability to evaluate, analyze and apply acquired knowledge and research through the extensive study and use of primary and secondary sources. This academically rigorous course is designed for students who are planning to pursue post secondary education.

Digital Textbook:
Pearson: Magruder’s American Government

1 credit | Grade 11

This course will explore the development of the United States from the Progressive Era to the present and will examine the history and influence of the United States from both national and global perspectives. Students will identify and evaluate the significance of major historical events such as World War I, the New Deal, World War II, the Cold War, the Civil Rights Era and the Vietnam War. Finally the course will focus on the continuity and change occurring in the United States over the last thirty years.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify and evaluate the political and cultural contributions of individuals and groups to United States history from 1890 to the present.
  • Identify and evaluate primary documents, material artifacts and historic sites important in United States history in the above era.
  • Evaluate how continuity and change has influenced United States history from 1890 to the present.
  • Identify and evaluate conflict and cooperation among social groups and organizations in United States history in the above era.
  • Master the mandated Pennsylvania Standards in relation to United States History, Pennsylvania History, Geography and Economics for the respective grade level of this course.

Digital Textbook:
Pearson: The United States: Reconstruction to the Present

1 credit | Grade 11

This course will explore the development of the United States from the Progressive Era to the present and will examine the history and influence of the United States from both national and global perspectives. Students will identify and evaluate the significance of major historical events such as World War I, the New Deal, World War II, the Cold War, the Civil Rights Era and the Vietnam War. Finally the course will focus on the continuity and change occurring in the United States over the last thirty years.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify and evaluate the political and cultural contributions of individuals and groups to United States history from 1890 to the present.
  • Identify and evaluate primary documents, material artifacts and historic sites important in United States history in the above era.
  • Evaluate how continuity and change has influenced United States history from 1890 to the present.
  • Identify and evaluate conflict and cooperation among social groups and organizations in United States history in the above era.
  • Master the mandated Pennsylvania Standards in relation to United States History, Pennsylvania History, Geography and Economics for the respective grade level of this course.

Students will be expected to read additional outside resources, to engage in writing assignments utilizing higher order thinking skills and to conduct developmentally appropriate research. This academically challenging, college preparatory course is geared for students who are planning to pursue post secondary education.

Digital Textbook:
Pearson: The United States: Reconstruction to the Present

1 credit | Grade 11

Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation.

This course will explore the development of the United States from the Progressive Era to the present and will examine the history and influence of the United States from both national and global perspectives. Students will identify and evaluate the significance of major historical events such as World War I, the New Deal, World War II, the Cold War, the Civil Rights Era and the Vietnam War. Finally the course will focus on the continuity and change occurring in the United States over the last thirty years.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify and evaluate the political and cultural contributions of individuals and groups to United States history from 1890 to the present.
  • Identify and evaluate primary documents, material artifacts and historic sites important in United States history in the above era.
  • Evaluate how continuity and change has influenced United States history from 1890 to the present.
  • Identify and evaluate conflict and cooperation among social groups and organizations in United States history in the above era.
  • Master the mandated Pennsylvania Standards in relation to United States History, Pennsylvania History, Geography and Economics for the respective grade level of this course.

Students will be expected to read additional outside resources, to engage in writing assignments utilizing higher order thinking skills and to conduct developmentally appropriate research. The student will be challenged to display his or her ability to evaluate, analyze and apply acquired knowledge and research through the extensive study and use of primary and secondary sources. This academically rigorous course is designed for students who are planning to pursue post secondary education.

Digital Textbook:
Pearson: The United States: Reconstruction to the Present

Social Studies Elective Courses

½ credit | Fall or Spring | Grades 11-12

Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation

This is a pre-college course designed to introduce the economic way of thinking and to acquaint students with the development of fundamental economic ideas, concepts, and reasoning skills that are widely shared by professional economists, elected officials, business leaders, and individuals. This course will explore valuable critical thinking tools designed to equip students to lead by enhancing their ability to analyze and understand human behavior and its consequences.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Explain the study of economics.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of important economic ideas, concepts, and reasoning skills.
  • Apply and integrate knowledge of economics through written assignments, class forums and discussions, current events, quizzes, and introspective analysis.

1 credit | Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: Completion of AP course application. 
The purpose of the AP course in microeconomics is to give students a thorough understanding of the principles of economics that apply to the functions of individual decision makers, both consumers and producers, within the economic system. The course places primary focus on the nature and functions of product markets and includes the study of factor markets and the role of government in promoting greater
efficiency and equity in the economy.

In this course, students will:
• Explore basic economic concepts
• Study the nature and functions of product markets
• Learn about factor markets
• Explore market failure and the role of government

Students will be expected to complete work during the summer in preparation for this course.

1 credit | Grades 11-12

Prerequisite: US History and completion of AP course application.

AP United States History focuses on developing students’ abilities to think conceptually about U.S. history from approximately 1491 to the present and apply historical thinking skills as they learn about the past. Seven themes of equal importance — identity; peopling; politics and power; work, exchange, and technology; America in the world; environment and geography; and ideas, beliefs, and culture — provide areas of historical inquiry for investigation throughout the course. These require students to reason historically about continuity and change over time and make comparisons among various historical developments in different times and places.

Digital Textbook:
Pearson: The United States: Reconstruction to the Present

1 credit | Grades 11-12

Prerequisite: Honors or AP US History, Honors World History, and completion of AP course application.

AP World History focuses on developing students’ abilities to think conceptually about world history from approximately 8000 BCE to the present and apply historical thinking skills as they learn about the past. Five themes of equal importance — focusing on the environment, cultures, state-building, economic systems, and social structures — provide areas of historical inquiry for investigation throughout the course. AP World History encompasses the history of the five major geographical regions of the globe: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania, with special focus on historical developments and processes that cross multiple regions.

Digital Textbook:
Pearson: World History

½ credit | Spring | Grades 11-12

This course introduces students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface. This course will review and familiarize the students with the foundations of geography in terms of location, regions, place, movement and interaction. Through the lens of the five themes of geography, students will use geographical concepts and tools to examine and analyze ways in which patterns on Earth’s surface reflect and influence physical and human processes. To demonstrate their ability to identify, analyze and explain their understanding of the major concepts of Human Geography, students will engage in debates, observe and interpret maps, reflect and respond to critical-thinking questions, and engage in discussion forums.

1 credit | Grades 10-12

Prerequisite: Completion of AP course application.

This is a college level introductory course in Human Geography. Topics will focus on population, demographics, and migration; cultural patterns and processes such as religion and cultural identity; the political organization of space, including the challenges to inherited political-territorial arrangements; land use issues, such as urbanization, settlement patterns, and modern agriculture; and industrial and economic development. The overall goal of AP Human Geography is to demonstrate that geography is important to understanding our world today and to help students develop skills of inquiry within a geographic framework.

This course will prepare students for the Advanced Placement exam in Human Geography and the opportunity to earn college credits. This course is recommended for students interested in exploring global studies in detail. Students will be expected to complete work during the summer in preparation for this course.

Topics covered in AP Human Geography:
• This is Geography
• Population
• Migration
• Folk and Popular Culture
• Languages
• Religions
• Ethnicities
• Political Geography
• Food and Agriculture
• Development
• Industry and Energy
• Services and Settlements
• Urban Patterns

1 credit | Grades 11-12
AP U.S. Government and Politics provides a college-level, nonpartisan introduction to key political concepts, ideas, institutions, policies, interactions, roles, and behaviors that characterize the constitutional system and political culture of the United States. Students study U.S. foundational documents, Supreme Court decisions, and other texts and visuals to gain an understanding of the relationships and interactions
among political institutions, processes, and behavior. They also engage in disciplinary practices that require them to read and interpret data, make comparisons and applications, and develop evidence-based arguments. In addition, they complete a political science research or applied civics project.

½ credit | Fall | Grades 11-12

Prerequisite: Completion of or enrollment in World History, US Government and US History.

This course provides practical advice and inquiry-based activities designed to provide students with the ability to analyze, evaluate, debate, and resolve legal disputes. More broadly, Street Law is a powerful civic education course that helps build critical thinking skills as young people prepare for thoughtful and democratic engagement. This course’s approach to law-related education is to provide practical information and problem-solving opportunities that develop in students the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in our law-saturated society.

Topics covered in Street Law:

  • Introduction to Law and the Legal System
  • Crime in America
  • Introduction to Criminal Law
  • Crimes Against the Person
  • Crimes Against Property
  • Defenses
  • Criminal Justice: The Investigation
  • Proceedings Before Trial
  • The Trial
  • Sentencing
  • Juvenile Justice

Textbook:
McGraw Hill: Street Law: A Course in Practical Law

½ credit | Fall | Grades 11-12

Prerequisite: Completion of or enrollment in World History, US Government and/or US History.

This course is designed to introduce the basic concepts of Sociology to the student who desires elective credit in the Social Studies content area. The student must write effectively to show a demonstration of sophisticated ideas developed through facts, examples, opinions and scientific research.

In this course, students will:

  • Identify major sociological theories.
  • Analyze individual behavior within society.

At the core of sociology is the development of human behaviors associated with living in a cultural society. This course will study sociology as a science that involves research.

The first half of the course will study the sociological perspectives, of cultural diversity, social conformity and deviance, social class in the United States and social inequalities.

The second half of the course will study collective human behavior that involves social inequality, social institutions and social change.

At the completion of this course the student will improve his or her skills in reading informational text, analytical writing and social science research.

Students will be expected to read additional outside resources, to engage in writing assignments utilizing higher order thinking skills and to conduct developmentally appropriate research. This on-level course is geared for students who are planning to pursue post secondary education.

Digital Textbook:
McGraw Hill: Sociology and You

1 credit | Grades 10-12

At the core of psychology are concepts of the self, the body and the mind. This full year course is meant to introduce students
to the systematic and scientific study of human behavior. Major areas of study include psychological theories, principles and
history of psychology, the brain and nervous system, sensation and perception, sleep and consciousness, development and learning, memory, intelligence, motivation, emotion, personality, social psychology, psychological disorders, and therapies. Students also study the methods psychologists use in their science and practice.

Digital Textbook:
McGraw Hill: Thinking About Psychology

1 credit | Grades 11-12

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Biology and completion of AP course application.

The AP Psychology course introduces students to the systematic and scientific study of human behavior and mental processes. While considering the psychologists and studies that have shaped the field, students explore and apply psychological theories, key concepts, and phenomena associated with such topics as the biological bases of behavior, sensation and perception, learning and cognition, motivation, developmental psychology, testing and individual differences, treatment of abnormal behavior, and social psychology. Throughout the course, students employ psychological research methods, including ethical considerations, as they use the scientific method, analyze bias, evaluate claims and evidence, and effectively communicate ideas.

Students will be expected to complete work during the summer in preparation for this course. Students will read Unit 1 and submit a reading guide for the first day of class.

Physical/Digital Textbook:
Bedford/St. Martins: Psychology for AP

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