This course builds upon the fundamental concepts of variables, expressions, equations and graphs studied in first-year algebra. The properties and applications of numbers, graphs, expressions, equations, inequalities, and functions are stressed. In addition, students are introduced to the concepts and applications of triangular and circular trigonometry. Applications of mathematics to real-world problems, effective reasoning skills, and problem-solving strategies are emphasized. The following skills and abilities are given high priority: to make connections between the mathematical concepts studied and other subject areas; to use mathematical language when modeling situations; to effectively and efficiently use a graphing calculator and other applicable technology; and to analyze and avoid common errors.

This course builds upon the fundamental concepts of the variables, expressions, equations, and graphs studied in first-year algebra. This course differs from Algebra II in that less class time is spent on reviewing Algebra I concepts. Students should have a solid mastery of Algebra I and desire the challenge of a faster-paced course. The course covers properties and applications of numbers, graphs, expressions, equations, inequalities, and functions. Applications of mathematics to real-world problems, effective reasoning skills, and problem-solving strategies are emphasized. The following skills and abilities are given high priority: making connections between the mathematical concepts studied and other subject areas, using mathematical language when modeling situations, effectively and efficiently using a graphing calculator and other applicable technology, and analyzing and avoiding common errors. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course is designed for studying acting techniques for the stage. It is designed to develop the ability to play dramatic action honestly and believably using a variety of materials beginning with realism and perhaps extending to other traditions of actor preparation. Course work includes exercises and improvisations exploring awareness, relaxation, observation, the senses, voice, physical and emotional life. Work in preparation of the monologue will be introduced. Scene work will focus on breaking down the play, analysis, identity, motivation and action. Out-of-class assignments include required readings from acting texts and plays. Attendance at and responses to any Flint Hill School production scheduled during the term are required. (Semester, .50 credit)

The robotics and computer science series of classes culminate with this class. Advanced Aerial Robotics is the third full-term course in the robotics and computer science series of classes. Students taking Advanced Aerial Robotics utilize current knowledge and methods of robotic design and programming as they learn to create robots capable of competing in the AUVSI’s SUAS Challenge. During the course, students learn to effectively use and program more advanced robotic components. Beginning with the announcement of the competitive game, students design, build, and program a robot capable of completing the assigned tasks autonomously. Students continue to work as a team to construct and refine the robot. Robotics 2 or AP® Computer Science is a prerequisite to this course, or students may take this course with the approval of the instructor. (Full year, 1 credit)

This year-long course is a combined ensemble of students in seventh and eighth grade who choose to engage in instrumental music with the highest of standards. Students continue to develop their sound and their rhythmic and technical abilities, and also study standard age-appropriate wind repertoire that pushes students to newer and higher musical heights. This is the only Middle School band that travels, and the ensemble performs at the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors’ Association District XII Assessment, as well as in other opportunities that arise. In addition, the band performs at the winter and spring concerts.

Anatomy and Physiology of Animals explores the intricate and sophisticated relationship between the structure and functions of the human body at the organ, tissue, cell, and subcellular levels. The second theme threaded throughout the course is human health and disease. This course studies the human musculoskeletal, digestive, circulatory, respiratory, nervous, endocrine, immune, excretory, and reproductive systems. Negative and positive feedback systems, maintaining homeostasis, intracellular and extracellular environments, and energy sources are discussed. Other topics include the structure of sugar molecules and how they are used to make organic molecules, how DNA is packaged within a cell, how DNA is copied, and the role of DNA in making proteins. Projects and laboratory experiences (including dissection) reflect the topics studied throughout the course. Modeling Physics, Chemistry, or department approval is a prerequisite for this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

Anatomy and Physiology of Plants explores the wide diversity of structures and functions in the plant kingdom at the organ, tissue, cell, and subcellular levels. The basic organs (roots, stems, and leaves), tissues (dermal, vascular, and ground), cell structures, and reproductive systems will be covered in this class. Negative and positive feedback systems, maintaining homeostasis, intracellular and extracellular environments, and energy sources are discussed. The importance of plants as the basis for energy production in the biosphere as well as their use as nutrition and medicine for humans will also be discussed. Other topics include the structure of sugar molecules and how they are used to make organic molecules, how DNA is packaged within a cell, how DNA is copied, and the role of DNA in making proteins. Projects and laboratory experiences reflect the topics studied throughout the course. Modeling Physics, Chemistry, or department approval is a prerequisite for this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

Cell Biology investigates the structures of organelles within cells, the function of cells, and the communication between cells. Students also explore the consequences of the breakdown of these processes, including cancer and other diseases that result from improper cell function. Modeling Physics, Chemistry, or department approval is a prerequisite for this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course focuses on protecting the biodiversity on Earth. We investigate the various scales of biodiversity, including gene, population, species, ecosystem, and global scales, and learn about the interaction of life with the environment. We then use this knowledge to devise protection strategies for all levels of biological organization. Modeling Physics, Chemistry, or department approval is a prerequisite for this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course studies the complex interactions between organisms and their environment. The processes that govern the assembly of organisms at various scales will be discussed, including natural selection, resource availability, resource partitioning, competition, population growth and carrying capacity, community interactions, environmental variables, and biodiversity partitioning. Modeling Physics, Chemistry, or department approval is a prerequisite for this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course investigates the processes that have acted throughout Earth’s history to produce the wide variety of organisms that occupy the planet. This course focuses on microevolutionary mechanisms, such as mutations, genetic variation, and natural selection, and how they have operated to produce macroevolutionary patterns, including the origination and extinction of species and clades. Modeling Physics, Chemistry, or department approval is a prerequisite for this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course explores the evolution of life on Earth, focusing on the physical and chemical properties that have constrained the structure and function of organisms and their parts. Major topics in evolution and Earth history will be explored, including natural selection, genetic variation, the origination and extinction of taxa, and the relationship between form, function, and selection. These evolutionary topics will be combined with concepts from Physics and Chemistry necessary for life, and include the harnessing of energy and its conversion from abiotic to biotic forms, the structure of biomolecules and their assembly and storage, surface tension and how organisms use air and water, how force and strength determine the structure of skeletal systems, and how organisms move. Modeling Physics, Chemistry, or department approval is a prerequisite for this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course provides an overview of the principles of genetics, including Mendelian and modern concepts of heredity. Developments in molecular genetics will be addressed through the chemistry and physiology of the gene, and the nature of gene action in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Topics may include natural genetic variation in populations, the structure and function of genes and chromosomes, genetic variation and evolution (selection for function, phylogeny, homologs, and gene families), mitosis and meiosis, mating, linkage and sex linkage, genetic analysis, investigating gene action using inheritance of simple (‘‘Mendelian’’) alleles and phenotypes in crosses and pedigrees, organelle genetics, epigenetic inheritance, genome structure, function and evolution, feedback loops and homeostasis, and the structure of sugar molecules and their use in making organic molecules. Modeling Physics, Chemistry, or department approval is a prerequisite for this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course is open to students in seventh and eighth grade. Students learn to sing with a free and open tone, read music and practice good concert deportment. The course emphasizes skills in music theory, sight-reading and advanced technical proficiency. Music performance provides students with a unique opportunity to express themselves. The course focuses not only on proper singing techniques such as posture and breathing, but also includes the study of the musical styles and periods that are being practiced. Daily classes include extensive warm-ups and voice development exercises. Students have numerous opportunities to perform both in and outside of school. Members of this ensemble have the unique opportunity to take part in district ensemble assessments and solo competitions. Weekly practice sheets are a requirement, as are performance opportunities that are scheduled throughout the year. Evaluation is based on a rubric system to provide individualized feedback to each student.

This course is open to experienced string players in seventh and eighth grade. Instruments include violin, viola, cello and bass. Students are introduced to more difficult levels of music through daily ensemble rehearsals and are expected to perform a variety of string ensemble repertoire with expression and technical accuracy. This course emphasizes mastering skills in sight-reading and basic technical proficiency. Weekly practice outside of class is a requirement, as are performances that are scheduled throughout the year. Students in Advanced Orchestra participate in district-level ensemble assessments when possible. Evaluation is based on a rubric system to provide individualized feedback to each student.

This course is open to experienced percussion students in seventh and eighth grade. Students must demonstrate proficiency on the snare drum, bass drum, cymbals, mallets, drum set and miscellaneous percussion instruments. Students learn to master the rudiments of all percussion instruments and to perform solo and ensemble repertoire with expression and technical accuracy. This course emphasizes skills in music theory, sight-reading and advanced technical proficiency. Weekly practice sheets are a requirement for this class. Performance opportunities are a requirement of the class and are scheduled throughout the year. Evaluation is based on a rubric system to provide individualized feedback to each student. The primary objective is to provide a stimulating musical environment to cultivate interest in the world of percussion.

This course is designed for students who are ready to work on their own path to advance their programming knowledge. Students work in Python, Javascript, HTML, or other languages. In this independent environment, students receive support from the teacher as well as online resources and platforms as they master new material. By the end of the course, students produce a tangible artifact that represents their newly acquired and applied skills. This course is graded on a pass/fail basis.

In this course, students develop a thematic body of work that can be used for Advanced Placement Portfolio, college admissions, scholarships and student exhibitions. As students move into this course, content is driven by the interest of the individual photographers. Students submit proposals for their body of work and spend the semester creating work that is technically refined and more intellectually challenging. To this end, students are expected to work more independently and to develop a personal artistic direction or theme. All students write an artist statement and demonstrate exceptional commitment to creating art for this course. Permission from the instructor is a prerequisite to this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

In the Middle School, we recognize the unique challenges facing students in early adolescence and the importance of developing impactful, trusting relationships and a climate of physical, emotional and intellectual safety. Our Advisory Program fosters a sense of belonging and personal development for each student while building a community within the advisory group. Each student is matched with a caring adult who will guide and support each student’s social, emotional, academic and physical growth while serving as the connection between the student, teachers, coaches and parents. Our advisory structure and activities are rooted in the philosophy of Developmental Designs, and all of our advisors undergo training to ensure consistent and effective implementation.

We spend the first 20 minutes of each day in advisories on group- and skill-building activities called the Circle of Power and Respect (CPR). The CPR structure is implemented consistently across the building and includes four components:

  • Greeting — to learn names, practice courtesy, and acknowledge each other’s presence
  • Sharing — to get to know one another and practice the art of conversation
  • Activity — to have fun, engage, cooperate, include all, develop self-control and spark academic learning
  • Daily News — to greet, inform, and teach skills through posted written information (typically our Middle School Morning Announcements) and student responses

The principles of Developmental Designs help to create an inclusive learning community and to help students build relationships, develop social skills and engage with their learning. The approach is founded upon seven evidence-based principles that form the core of successful teaching and learning in the middle grades:

  1. Knowing the physical, emotional, social and intellectual needs of the students we teach is as important as knowing the content we teach.
  2. People learn best by actively constructing their own understanding and meaning.
  3. The greatest cognitive growth occurs when learning is leveraged by social interaction.
  4. Goals are best achieved through the incremental mastery of tasks.
  5. Social learning in a supportive community is as important to success as academic learning.
  6. There is a set of personal/social skills that students need to learn and practice in order to be successful socially and academically: cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy and self-control.
  7. Trust among adults is a fundamental necessity for academic and social success.

After-School Programs are designed to broaden a student’s interests. The after-school clubs are offered seasonally in the fall, winter and spring with a variety of developmentally oriented options to extend upon the learning from the school day and to allow students to explore new passions and interests. Clubs are facilitated by Flint Hill faculty, including Middle and Upper School teachers with specific specialties, as well as Upper School student mentors and outside vendors. Topics have included cultural cooking and cupcake decorating, innovation opportunities like coding and 3D printing, fencing, model trains and athletic programs like Husky Hoops and lacrosse. Chess, theater and yoga are regular offerings from outside specialty groups that offer young families the convenience of extracurricular programs on campus immediately after school. Registration for these activities is on a cost per club basis.

This course is an in-depth examination of concepts using a functions approach. Many topics from the Pre-Algebra course are reviewed while examining new topics such as linear functions, inequalities, exponents and exponential functions, quadratic equations and functions, polynomials and factoring, rational expressions and radicals. This course extends students’ knowledge and understanding of the real number system and its properties through the study of variables, expressions, equations, inequalities and analysis of data derived from real-world phenomena. Emphasis is placed on making connections in algebra to arithmetic, geometry and statistics. Graphing calculators are used to explore graphical, numerical and symbolic relationships.

This course is designed for students enrolling in Physics who have yet to complete a full year of Algebra I. Through class discussions and experiments, the Algebra I class builds skills in algebra and connects concepts with the laboratory-oriented ninth-grade course that explores the physical laws of nature and scientific techniques. Many topics from the Pre-Algebra course are reviewed while examining new topics such as linear functions, inequalities, exponents, exponential functions, quadratic equations and functions, polynomials and factoring, rational expressions, and radicals. Algebra I extends students’ knowledge and understanding of the real number system and its properties through the study of variables, expressions, equations, inequalities and analysis of data derived from real-world phenomena. Emphasis is placed on making connections in algebra to arithmetic, geometry and statistics. (Full year, 1 credit)

The level of understanding and depth expected in Algebra I Honors is beyond the scope of Algebra I. More topics are covered, content is more rigorous, and students are expected to conduct more independent discovery and investigative work. Additional topics are integrated into the Algebra I curriculum to deepen students’ understanding. Some of the topics include: inverse variation, compound inequalities, systems of equations with three or more unknowns, multiplying polynomials (past monomials and binomials), and introduction to solving quadratics. Students enrolling in Algebra I Honors are expected to have a strong foundation in pre-algebra skills and number sense, as there is less time spent reviewing these critical skills.

This course is designed for students who would benefit from a more comprehensive review of the topics covered in Algebra I, with more built-in class time to explore and practice topics. Algebra II builds upon fundamental algebraic concepts studied previously, including variables, expressions, equations, and graphs. Additional topics include the properties of real numbers and algebraic expressions; concepts of functions, linear equations, and inequalities; properties of exponents (including rational exponents); properties of radical expressions; polynomial arithmetic; quadratic equations; and complex numbers. Placement in Algebra II is by recommendation only. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course builds on the fundamental concepts of the variables, equations, and graphs studied in Algebra I, namely the properties and applications of numbers, graphs, tables, expressions, equations, and inequalities (as applied to linear, quadratic, trigonometric, polynomial, rational, logarithmic, and exponential functions). In addition, students are given a thorough foundation in the concepts and applications of triangular and circular trigonometry. Applications of mathematics to real-world problems, effective reasoning skills, and problem-solving strategies are emphasized. Students need to be able to make connections between the mathematical concepts studied and other subject areas, to use mathematical language when modeling situations, to effectively and efficiently use a graphing calculator and other applicable technology, and to analyze and avoid common errors. Students are required to meet expectations in understanding and mastering concepts, and developing independent application. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course is offered to students who have completed their language requirement in Latin, Spanish or French, and wish to begin Ancient Greek as an alternative to taking another level of the previous language, or in addition to advanced language study in another language. This course offers students who wish to pursue Classics in college a chance to place into a Greek II course as freshmen. This course covers the Greek alphabet, vocabulary, forms, and principles of grammar, and presents selected topics on Greek culture. As time permits, students also explore Greek literature in translation. Completion of the language requirement in Latin, Spanish or French is a prerequisite to this course. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course offers a continuation of Ancient Greek I. For students who wish to continue Classics in college, this course reinforces and extends their knowledge of the Greek language, preparing them to take a Greek translation course as college freshmen. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course is designed according to the guidelines set by the College Board, and strives to be the equivalent of a college introductory biology course usually taken by biology majors during their first year of college. Students cultivate their understanding of biology through inquiry-based investigations as they explore the following topics: evolution, cellular processes, energy, communication, genetics, information transfer, ecology, and interactions. Whenever possible, topics under study are related to science in the news in order to demonstrate the practical importance of biology to society and the concept that biology is a constantly growing field. This course requires two class periods and meets six class periods per six-day cycle. Biology, Biology Honors, and AP® Chemistry are prerequisites for this class. Students may take this course with departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit)

AP® Calculus AB is roughly equivalent to a first-semester college calculus course devoted to topics on differential and integral calculus. The course covers topics in areas such as concepts and skills of limits, derivatives, definite integrals, and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. The course develops students’ mastery of the concepts of calculus with an emphasis on the connections and interrelationships between graphical, numerical, analytical and verbal representations of each problem and topic they encounter. Students primarily use the TI-83 and TI-84 graphing calculators to solve problems, experiment, interpret their results, and support their conclusions. (Full year, 1 credit)

AP® Calculus BC is roughly equivalent to both first- and second-semester college calculus courses. The course is a continuation of Pre-Calculus – Honors, specifically part “A” of Calculus “ABC,” and covers topics in differential and integral calculus, including concepts and skills of limits, derivatives, definite integrals, the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, and series. This course covers all topics from AP® Calculus AB as well as derivatives of vector and parametrically defined functions, polar functions, integration by parts, sequences and series, and elementary differential equations. The course helps students approach calculus concepts and problems when they are represented graphically, numerically, analytically, and verbally, and to make connections among these representations. Students learn how to use technology to help solve problems, experiment, interpret results, and support conclusions. Pre-Calculus – Honors is a prerequisite to this course. Note that given the overlap of topics with AP® Calculus AB, this course is not designed to be taken after AP® Calculus AB. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course covers the equivalent of one year of introductory college chemistry, focusing on inorganic chemistry. Topics include the principles of chemical reactivity and the energy involved in chemical processes. The course requires that students be self-motivated, industrious, committed to learning challenging subject material, and communicative with teachers and peers. Class discussions and problem analysis are important aspects of the course. Students should be prepared to spend, on average, an hour a night on homework. This course requires two class periods and meets six class periods per six-day cycle. Students may take this course with departmental approval. Chemistry, Chemistry Honors, and Accelerated Algebra II or Precalculus are prerequisites for this class. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course covers the design and implementation of classes and interfaces, inheritance, data representation, such as arrays and array lists, and other data structures. Object-oriented program design, control methods, program testing and debugging, algorithm analysis, numerical representation, and limits are taught, among other topics. Hardware components, system software, computer systems and ethical use of these tools are also discussed in this course. Students design programs and write data structures to solve mathematical and non-mathematical problems. Successful completion of Computer Science I and permission of the department chair are prerequisites for this course. This course is not approved to meet the NCAA core course requirement for potential Division I and II athletes. (Full year, 1 credit)

The AP® Computer Science Principles course is designed to be equivalent to a first-semester introductory college computing course. In this course, students will develop computational thinking skills vital for success across all disciplines, such as using computational tools to analyze and study data, and working with large data sets to analyze, visualize, and draw conclusions from trends. The course engages students in the creative aspects of the field by allowing them to develop computational artifacts based on their interests. Students will also develop effective communication and collaboration skills by working individually and collaboratively to solve problems, and will discuss and write about the impacts these solutions could have on their community, society, and the world. Unlike AP® Computer Science A, which is taught in Java, the AP® Computer Science Principles course does not have a designated programming language. Completion of Algebra I is required. This course is open to students in 10th-12th grade. (Full year, 1 credit)

This college-level course is offered to juniors and seniors, and teaches students to become skilled readers and writers who can identify rhetorical contexts and craft their writing to a variety of audiences and purposes. The course focuses on the study of how language is used to create meaning, and the analysis of nonfiction prose. Students read from a variety of both primary and secondary sources, including print and visual texts, synthesizing material from multiple sources in their own compositions. Students are expected to adhere to the conventions of Standard English and to follow the citation guidelines of the Modern Language Association (MLA) in all work. Students are expected to take an active role in class discussions, and the pace and scope of assignments is particularly intensive. Students may take this course with departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course is offered to juniors and seniors who have demonstrated the ability to do college level work, and for whom English is a particular passion. This is a genre course studying literature in English and a selection of important works in translation from the canon of world literature. Students write frequent literary analysis essays, including in-class AP®-style essays, in which they show a thorough understanding of the elements of fiction, poetry and drama. A formal research paper is also assigned. Short stories, a wide range of poetry, plays and novels are studied, along with regular preparation for the AP® exam. Students are expected to take an active role in class discussion, and the pace and scope of assignments is particularly intensive. Students may take this course with departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course emphasizes how ecosystems and the biosphere have functioned sustainably for millennia, and the present impact of people and society on the environment. Students enrolled in this laboratory-based course participate in discussions, hands-on activities in the laboratory and field, field trips and research projects. The syllabus focuses on the processes of science, the role of energy in all systems, interconnections between biotic and abiotic elements, the role of people in environmental change, and sustainability of environmental and societal systems. The course integrates aspects of earth science, biology, chemistry, physics and social sciences. We study not only the environmental problems caused by man, but also the potential solutions to them, and many of the success stories resulting from man’s efforts to solve these problems. This course requires two additional class periods and meets six class periods per six-day cycle. It is preferable for each student to have previously taken Physics, Chemistry and Biology, but they are not prerequisites. Students may take this course with departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course concentrates on integrating and perfecting the four language skills—speaking, listening, reading and writing — to prepare students for the AP® exam. Students use French for active communication as they study a broad range of topics and contemporary global issues that relate to six overarching themes established by the College Board. Students develop the ability to understand spoken French in various contexts; cultivate a broad vocabulary base ample for reading newspaper and magazine articles, literary texts and other non-technical writings; and enhance their ability to express themselves coherently and resourcefully with reasonable fluency and accuracy in both written and spoken French using different strategies for different audiences. Cultural awareness of Francophone countries leads students to reflect on and interact with the perspectives and experiences of others. Students may take this course with departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit)

AP® Human Geography presents high school students with the curricular equivalent of an introductory college-level course in human geography or cultural geography. Content is presented thematically rather than regionally, and is organized around the discipline’s main subfields: economic geography, cultural geography, political geography, and urban geography. The approach is spatial and problem-oriented. Case studies are drawn from all world regions, with an emphasis on understanding the world in which we live today. Historical information serves to enrich analysis of the impacts of phenomena, such as globalization, colonialism, and human–environment relationships, on places, regions, cultural landscapes, and patterns of interaction. Students may take this course with departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit)

The purpose of any course in economics is to teach students how to calculate the benefits and costs of making tough choices with scarce resources. Macroeconomics uses tools to assess the behavior of the economy as a whole. Students learn about the world created when land, labor, capital, and entrepreneurial activity become universally marketable. The course covers the following topics: fundamental economic concepts, measurement of economic performance, national income and price determination, and international economics. Completion of United States History or departmental approval is a prerequisite for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)

The purpose of this course 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 emphasis on the nature and functions of product markets, and includes the study of factor markets and role of government in promoting greater efficiency and equity in the economy. Students may take this course with departmental approval. Completion of United States History is a prerequisite for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course introduces students to musicianship, theory, musical materials and theoretical procedures. The course is designed to provide students with the major components common to a first-year course in a college music program. The course integrates aspects of melody, harmony, texture, rhythm, musical analysis, elementary composition, history, and style. Musicianship skills, such as dictation and other listening skills, sight-singing, and keyboard harmony, are an important part of the course. All students prepare for the AP® Music Theory Exam administered by the College Board at the end of the year. Either Music Theory I or Music Theory II and permission from the instructor are prerequisites for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course is designed to fit into the college sequence to serve as the physics foundation for students majoring in the physical sciences or engineering. The sequence runs parallel to or is followed by mathematics courses that include calculus. Methods of calculus are used in formulating physical principles and applying them to physical problems. The sequence is more intensive and analytical than in the case of the AP® Physics I course. Strong emphasis is placed on solving a variety of challenging problems, some requiring calculus as well as continuing to develop a deep understanding of physics concepts. The course covers two major areas, namely mechanics, and electricity and magnetism, with equal emphasis on both. This is equivalent to two semesters of engineering physics in most major colleges. Two separate AP® exams are associated with this course. One exam covers mechanics, and the other covers electricity and magnetism. Students taking this course take both exams, but separate grades are reported for each. This course requires two class periods and meets six class periods per six-day cycle. Students may take this course with departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course is designed to be a challenging college-level introductory physics experience; it is the equivalent of a first-semester college course in algebra-based physics. This project-oriented course covers Newtonian mechanics (including rotational dynamics and angular momentum); work, energy and power; and mechanical waves and sound. The course also introduces electric circuits. No prerequisite physics course is needed to qualify for this course, but students must have clearly demonstrated in previous science and math classes an ability to comprehend concepts quickly and to maintain a high level of achievement throughout the year with a strong work ethic. This course, unlike the other AP® sciences, does not require a separate AP® laboratory class component, but instead includes all laboratory experiences within the regular scheduled class times. Students enrolled in AP® Physics I are not required to take AP® Physics II. A separate AP® exam will be given at the end of each year-long course. Students may take this course with departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit)

AP® Physics II is an algebra-based course that explores topics such as fluid statics and dynamics; thermodynamics with kinetic theory; PV diagrams and probability; electrostatics; electrical circuits with capacitors; magnetic fields; electromagnetism; physical and geometric optics; and quantum, atomic, and nuclear physics. It is the equivalent of a second semester of algebra-based introductory college-level physics. Therefore, a strong record of accomplishment in math is suggested. Because this college semester course is taught over the course of a high school year, there is time to foster deeper conceptual understanding through student-centered and inquiry-based instruction. Students have the time to master foundational physics principles inside of a regular class rotation (no separate laboratory period is required).

AP® Physics II is designed to be a second-year physics course, and can therefore be taken after AP® Physics I or following a strong freshman physics experience, along with a recommendation from the physics teacher. Students may take this course with departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course follows the guidelines of the College Board by examining 14 different areas of the discipline of psychology. The class introduces students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. The topics covered in the class range from biological psychology and basic statistics to abnormal psychology and social psychology. Common themes throughout the course include a constant analysis of nature versus nurture, and a discussion of how different psychologists look at the mind and behavior. All students are expected to take the AP® Exam in May; throughout the year, students take tests that mimic the format of the exam. Completion of United States History or departmental approval is a prerequisite for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course concentrates on integrating and perfecting the four language skills — speaking, listening, reading and writing — to prepare students for the AP® exam. Students use Spanish for active communication as they study a broad range of topics and contemporary global issues that relate to six overarching themes established by the College Board. Students develop a broad vocabulary base and the ability to understand spoken Spanish in various contexts, such as reading newspapers, magazine articles, literary texts, and other non-technical writings. Students work to acquire the ability to express themselves coherently and resourcefully, with reasonable fluency and accuracy in both written and spoken Spanish using appropriate strategies for different audiences. Cultural awareness of Spanish-speaking countries leads students to reflect on and interact with the perspectives and experiences of others. Students may take this course with departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course is designed to allow students to increase and demonstrate their proficiency in all language-related skills, with an emphasis on developing critical reading and analytical writing. The suggested reading list includes diverse literature written in Spanish and thus reflects the many voices and cultures included in the Peninsular Spanish, Latin American and U.S. Hispanic literature. Students learn to analyze the form and content, both orally and in writing, using appropriate terminology. In addition, students are encouraged to study the historical, social and literary contexts of the works to comprehend the inherent connections in literature, history and art throughout the Spanish-speaking world. As students complement their language skills with those of research and textual analysis, they find that they are prepared to communicate and debate in real-life contexts on complex and challenging topics in Spanish. Students may take this course with departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit)

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. Topics are covered under four broad themes: Exploring Data (observing patterns and departures from patterns), Sampling and Experimentation (deciding what and how to measure), Anticipating Patterns (producing models using probability theory and simulation), and Statistical Inference (confirming models). Students use technology, investigations, problem-solving and writing as they build conceptual understanding. The content of this course follows the AP® syllabus and is equivalent to a one-semester, introductory, non-calculus-based college course in statistics. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course offers a concentrated year of studio work in clay leading to a body of work that is submitted to the Advanced Placement Committee for Adjudication. This course provides the opportunity for the serious student to attain a higher level of maturity in ceramic work. Focus is placed on development in many areas, including technical knowledge and skill, visual language and evolution of personal style. This course is intended for highly motivated ceramics students who are developing as independent makers and actively strive to be accomplished in their technique, communication and knowledge of clay forming. Critiques with peer, instructor and visiting artists are an ongoing and essential aspect of this course, as they provide a forum for examining the work and process. Aesthetic and historical perspectives are reinforced through slide and video presentations and the studio library. A full range of pottery and sculptural options may be explored. Students produce a body of work to be presented to the College Board and finish the year with an exhibition. Ceramics III and departmental approval are prerequisites for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course is focused on the nature of the American political system, its development over the past 200 years, and how it works today. It examines the principal processes and institutions through which the political system functions as well as the policies that these institutions establish and how they are implemented. This course is designed to increase understanding of traditions, values, and framework, and to grasp how its components work together. Students exercise higher-order thinking skills in their efforts to understand the full range of each issue and, therefore, become independent social critics capable of fulfilling their responsibilities as active and informed members of a democracy. The skills of critical analysis, visual data representation, thesis-driven writing, and public speaking are all emphasized. Completion of United States History or departmental approval is a prerequisite for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)

AP® United States History is a college-level course that parallels a college seminar and gives students the opportunity to earn college credit on the Advanced Placement examination. In this class, we will explore the foundations and development of the United States through a chronological look at the major themes, peoples, events, ideas and movements in American history. Much of the supplementary reading will consist of primary sources, and the ability to understand and analyze them is an integral component of the AP® course. Students will be exposed to several writing assignments. These writing activities will help each student develop their analytical writing at an advanced level. Contemporary World History I and II are prerequisites for the course. Alternatively, permission to enroll may be sought from the department chair. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course is a one-semester elective designed to give students a look at civil and criminal law in the United States from a pragmatic, every-day life viewpoint. Students will learn about the American criminal and judicial systems, their rights and responsibilities, and how the law functions with regard to everyday scenarios, such as traffic stops, malpractice lawsuits, and arrest procedures. Students will analyze case studies, participate in simulations, and hear from experts in the field. The class will culminate in a mock trial in which students will act as lawyers and witnesses arguing a case based on real-world events. This course is open to students in 11th and 12th grade. (Semester, .50 credit)

This is an entry-level course for students interested in a more in-depth experience in art and prepares them for other advanced courses in art. The course includes the material covered in Foundations in Art, including drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, 2D and 3D design and color theory. In addition, students learn how to paint 2D and 3D designs. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course is a preparation for students who plan to pursue Art III – Honors and Portfolio Exhibition – Honors. Using a wide variety of media, students explore drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture. In drawing, students learn about perspective, visual measuring, landscape, still life and room interiors. In painting, students learn about color, light, abstraction and design, and work with water, acrylic, and oil-based paints. In printmaking, students learn about linoleum reduction and monoprinting with oil and water-based materials. They explore the nature of working in multiple media. In sculpture, students work from models on figure and portrait sculptures. In ceramics, students prepare clay and learn how to build, handle, fire and store ceramics. Students learn how to evaluate their own work and the work of others by participating in class critiques. Each student is expected to maintain a personal sketchbook throughout the year. Field trips to major museums are often offered as part of this course. Art I is a prerequisite to this course, or permission from the instructor is required. (Full year, 1 credit)

The focus for this course is the advanced study of studio art. Students choose the media they most want to pursue with advice and guidance from the faculty. During the course, students develop proficiency in the techniques, tools and compositional elements that develop the voice of the student in her or his chosen media. Selected media may include drawing, painting, sculpture, collage, photography, artist books and more, or the course may mix media. The course emphasizes content awareness, and how content informs and forms work. Students are asked to investigate areas of historical and critical interest to their practice, and are expected to communicate a point of view, present ideas and discuss their own work in critical terms. During the second semester, all students produce a proposal for a body of work and prepare to present their 15 best works at the end of the semester. Students work to develop their drawing skills throughout the semester. Art II is a prerequisite to this course, or permission from the instructor is required. (Full year, 1 credit)

Asian Studies takes an in depth look into three regions of the world: China, India, and Southeast Asia. This course will allow students to further develop a global perspective, improve analytical skills, and spark interest in other cultures. Students explore the politics, economics, social structures, international relations, and modern culture of Asia. This course is open to students in 11th and 12th grade. (Semester, .50 credit)

This introductory course emphasizes the observational aspects of astronomy. Topics include the relationship between earth and the sky, the exploration of the solar system, the nature, distribution and lifecycles of stars and galaxies and the origin of the universe. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of ballet technique and its historical context. We emphasize improving anatomical awareness and alignment, increasing strength and flexibility, and developing rhythmic sensitivity. Students are introduced to warm-up exercises, movement combinations and basic choreographic techniques to be used in the exploration of their own movement preferences. Students in this class are required to use their own workout clothes and dance shoes. The class culminates with a company performance. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course is a continuation of the learned skills and concepts of Ballet I. Students are provided a more in-depth study of ballet technique as well as its history, vocabulary and performance elements. We emphasize improving anatomical awareness and alignment, increasing strength and flexibility, and increasing rhythmic sensitivity. Students are also introduced to the major ballet techniques, their histories and unique qualities. Students in this class are required to use their own workout clothes and dance shoes. The class culminates with a company performance. Ballet I or permission from the instructor is a prerequisite for this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course is a continuation of the learned skills and concepts of Ballet II. Students are provided a more in-depth study of ballet technique as well as its history, vocabulary and performance elements. We emphasize improving anatomical awareness and alignment, increasing strength and flexibility, and increasing rhythmic sensitivity. Students use the structure of a full-length ballet to create their own ballet, which is presented in a group presentation. Students are required to use their own workout clothes and dance shoes. The class culminates with a company performance. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course is a continuation of the learned skills and concepts of Ballet III. Students are provided an in-depth study of ballet and pointe technique as well as its history, vocabulary and performance elements. We emphasize improving anatomical awareness and alignment, increasing strength and flexibility, and increasing rhythmic sensitivity. Students use the structure of a full-length ballet to create their own ballet, which is presented in a group presentation. Students are required to use their own workout clothes and dance shoes. The class culminates with a company performance. (Semester, .50 credit)

What does it mean when a country that cherishes the individual’s freedom of expression regularly bans public access to works of literature? This seminar introduces students to the controversial issue of book banning and challenges them to think about why banning has happened and continues to happen. Students also have the opportunity to explore the history of book banning and examine the legal process by which a book is challenged and eventually banned from public libraries and schools. The novels we read represent diverse human experiences or struggles, including racism, mental illness and abusive relationships. Writing workshops for analysis and response essays accompanied by personal writing conferences help students prepare for undergraduate composition courses. (Semester, .50 credit) Offered 2021–2022.

This laboratory-based course develops basic and advanced laboratory and analytic skills using biotechnology as the source content. The news is filled with stories of genetically modified organisms, advances in medicine and targeted treatments and the use of DNA technology to determine the guilt or innocence of suspects. This course allows students to understand the science behind the news and allows them to critically evaluate the societal implications of this burgeoning field. A scientific poster presentation and formal laboratory report are required in lieu of a scheduled written final examination. Chemistry is a prerequisite for this course (Semester, .50 credit)

Students learn about the foundations of broadcasting through the setup, maintenance and implementation of an audio/video recording studio. Students experience the fundamentals of public communication and production as they produce authentic programming for real audiences, including their fellow Middle School students. Through hands-on, real life application of various broadcast and communications mediums — including video/YouTube, social media and webcasting — students will learn about how to be in front of the camera and behind the scenes as they study script writing, news curation, video camera and studio operations, and post-production editing. Throughout the course, students will learn and apply safe and smart digital footprint strategies. This course is graded on a pass/fail basis.

This course covers differential and integral calculus, and is primarily concerned with developing students’ understanding of the concepts behind calculus and providing experience with its methods and applications. Instead of serving as a first-year college course (as in the case of an AP® course), this course is intended to be an introduction to the subject that will familiarize college students with Calculus I. The content covers several types of functions, including how they can be used in modeling data, the concept of limits and how it applies to derivatives, various techniques of differentiation and integration, and ways in which differentiation and integration can be applied to real-world problems. For applicable topics, technology is used as a time-saving device to evaluate derivatives and as an aid in understanding the concepts of calculus graphically. (Full year, 1 credit)

This beginning-level course focuses on the fundamentals of working with clay. The properties of clay, glaze, kilns and various firing methods are introduced. Students are given an overview of hand building techniques, such as pinch, coil, soft and hard slab, and an introduction to the potter’s wheel. Emphasis is placed on the use of formal concepts of sculpture and three-dimensional design, such as line, texture, volume, plane, sense of space, light and shadow. Students participate in discussions and critiques that explore various points of view about the history, theory and practice of creating ceramic art. (Semester, .50 credit; Term course, .50 credit)

This beginning-level course focuses on the fundamentals of working with clay. The properties of clay, glaze, kilns and various firing methods are introduced. Students are given an overview of hand building techniques, such as pinch, coil, soft and hard slab, and an introduction to the potter’s wheel. Emphasis is placed on the use of formal concepts of sculpture and three-dimensional design, such as line, texture, volume, plane, sense of space, light and shadow. Students participate in discussions and critiques that explore various points of view about the history, theory and practice of creating ceramic art. (Semester, .50 credit; Term course, .50 credit)

This studio art elective builds upon the fundamental skills learned in Ceramics I and introduces students to the intricacies of working with clay on the wheel. Students further develop the skills necessary to construct pieces with strength, integrity and craftsmanship. This course explores specific techniques in wheel throwing, glazing and kiln loading, and firing procedures. Projects include repetitive throwing of cylinders, trimming, vases, pulling handles for attachments, and an abstract/combined thrown form. In addition to learning to see form in clay, continued emphasis is placed on the use of formal concepts of sculpture and three-dimensional design, such as line, texture, volume, plane, sense of space, light and shadow. Students participate in discussions and critiques that explore various points of view about the history, theory and practice of creating ceramic art. Ceramics I is a prerequisite to this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

This studio art elective builds upon the fundamental skills learned in Ceramics I and II. Students further develop skills necessary to construct pieces with strength, integrity and craftsmanship. An increased awareness of the relationship between technique, craftsmanship and concept is emphasized. Students should develop a more critical eye when evaluating their work during critiques. Critiques are also a venue to explore various points of view about the history, theory and practice of creating ceramic art. This course explores specific techniques in wheel throwing, hand building, glazing and kiln loading, and firing procedures. Projects include repetitive throwing of bowls, plates, lidded vessels and teapots, trimming and abstract/combined thrown and altered forms. Ceramics II is a prerequisite to this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

Certamen is a fast-paced, buzzer-based trivia game about classical mythology, ancient history, Roman culture and the Latin language. Certamen encourages teamwork, inspires dedication and self-motivation, sparks the competitive spirit and promotes the pure fun of learning. To develop basic classical literacy, all students will learn the fundamentals of classical mythology, history, mottoes, geography and etymology. Students will also be encouraged to select an area of specialization and evolve toward expertise in that realm as they hone skills of memorization, recall and language processing. Students will be invited to represent Flint Hill at monthly Saturday tournaments, and top performers will have a chance to try out for the state team representing Virginia at the National Latin Convention. This course is graded on a pass/fail basis.

This course is designed to give students a proficient background in basic chemical properties, reactions, and theories through class work (lecture/discussions and demonstrations) and regular laboratory work. A main goal is to help students understand the applications of chemistry to daily life and the world around them. Such topics include atomic theory, chemical bonding, thermodynamics, and types of chemical reactions. The basic properties of elements in the Periodic Table and of various organic and inorganic compounds are studied. (Full year, 1 credit)

This tenth-grade course is designed to give the student a proficient background in basic chemical properties, reactions, and theories through discussions, demonstrations, practice problem-solving, and laboratory work. The main goal is to help students understand the applications of chemistry to daily life and the world around them. Topics such as atomic theory, chemical bonding, chemical reactions, gas laws, thermodynamics, solution chemistry, and the basic properties of elements in the Periodic Table and of various inorganic compounds are studied. Successful completion of Geometry is a prerequisite for this course. Students may take this course with departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course focuses on understanding how the Constitution works to guarantee specific rights to United States’ citizens. Students take a close look at the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights to develop a greater understanding of the meaning and intent of these documents. Using a case-based method, students debate the controversial aspects of these fundamental freedoms. Using many of the major historic Supreme Court cases and cases of the post-9/11 world, students acquire a deeper comprehension of how the protection of rights fits into the structure of the Constitution and how these rights are the basis of what it means to be an American. The course thoroughly delves into two civil rights movements unique to the United States, those of African and Native Americans. In addition, students have the opportunity to explore a civil rights issue of global importance so that they may gain a greater understanding of issues facing those living outside the United States. This course is open to students in 11th and 12th grade. (Semester, .50 credit)

In this first semester course, students apply programming skills to create functional robots. We use the Lego MINDSTORMS EV3 platform for research, construction and programming. Students in this class will enter the First Lego League (FLL) competition as a team. Instruction resembles real world programming training: teachers act as mentors and guides, providing students with ample opportunity to test and learn, to collaborate and share, and to create. Instructional time and modeling are interwoven with hands-on learning. Students are encouraged to collaborate and to work together to solve problems and to use the design thinking process as a systematic way to create computing programs. The course covers the foundational skills required to transition into the Upper School Robotics program, including variables, syntax tools, conditional statements, loops and flow charting to deconstruct problems and plan out logical solutions. This course is graded on a pass/fail basis.

This course introduces the formal study of computer science and its role in the modern world. The course provides students with the skills and knowledge to understand the technology they use daily, and to extrapolate this knowledge to understand and use emerging technologies. Computer science encompasses more than just programming: it builds the basic logical problem-solving skills and framework required for understanding an increasingly complex and technological world. The variety of activities and topics gives each student multiple opportunities to develop an appreciation of computer science. A major outcome of this course is to provide students with general knowledge about computer hardware, software, languages, networks, and their impact in the modern world. This course does not have NCAA approval as a core course for potential Division I and II athletes. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course allows for tangible practice with the skills developed in the AP® Computer Science course. Students use tools and APIs required to build applications for mobile platforms using appropriate SDKs as well as user-interface designs for mobile devices and unique user interactions with multi-touch technologies. Students work closely with those in the Graphic Design II class. Together, the students work to create a visually interactive experience for the user. AP® Computer Science is a prerequisite for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)

This entry-level course is open to all students. Anyone interested in learning to sing is welcome to join this class. Students learn to sing with a free and open tone, read music, and practice good concert deportment. Participation in some after-school rehearsals, concerts, and competitions is required. The music used in the class is selected from a variety of sources, including classical repertoires, show tunes, pop and rock idioms. Students may take this course with permission from the instructor. (Full year, 1 credit)

Feminism—the belief that all women deserve economic, political and social equality to men—is the undergirding philosophy for this class, which will examine contemporary issues for girls and women in America. Readings will consist of cornerstones of feminist thought in conjunction with modern essays and memoirs. Topics will include the representation of girls and women in the media; objectification, harassment, and assault; the treatment of girls in the classroom and women in the workplace; friendships, relationships, and internalized misogyny; the historical quest for women’s rights; and a continuing exploration of the unique strength and solidarity of womanhood. Intersectionality and privilege will be considered throughout the course. Students will develop awareness, analytical skills, and a nuanced, historical perspective on what it means to be a woman in modern-day America. This course is open to students in 11th and 12th grade. (Semester, .50 credit)

A thematic study of the global revolutions of the 19th and 20th centuries, this ninth-grade course develops students’ understanding of the modern world. Through a combination of primary and secondary sources, students examine the major cultural, political, economic, social, and intellectual trends that shaped and continue to influence Western thought and society. Specific themes include the roots of change, the role of leadership, and the quest for rights. Learning activities and assessments develop students’ ability to read for meaning, interpret primary sources, apply concepts, analyze events and ideas from multiple perspectives, write thesis-driven essays, support historical arguments, and organize information for research. Students are expected to master analytical and interpretive communication skills as they develop a critical awareness of modern world history. (Full year, 1 credit)

A thematic study of the global revolutions of the 19th and 20th centuries, this ninth-grade course develops students’ understanding of the modern world. Through a combination of primary and secondary sources, students examine the major cultural, political, economic, social, and intellectual trends that shaped and continue to influence Western thought and society. Specific themes include the roots of change, the role of leadership, and the quest for rights. Learning activities and assessments develop students’ ability to read for meaning, interpret primary sources, apply concepts, analyze events and ideas from multiple perspectives, write thesis-driven essays, support historical arguments, and organize, integrate, and document information for research. Students are expected to refine their analytical and interpretive communication skills as they develop a critical awareness of modern world history. They also engage in independent work with less scaffolding and must be capable of pulling main ideas from readings so that class time can be used to emphasize in-depth discussions of the content and critical thinking skills. (Full year, 1 credit)

This tenth-grade course is a follow-up course to Contemporary World History I. Students learn how current events are rooted in the conflicts and solutions of the past. Topics include current events from the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America. Students leave this course as “citizens of the world” who are appreciative of cultural diversity and skilled in the interdisciplinary methods and concepts necessary for problem-solving and critical thinking in an ever-changing world. Organization, note-taking and analytical skills are stressed. Students use Internet databases, periodicals, videos, maps and charts to work on group projects, conduct research on and write individual papers, and communicate in a variety of formats. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course explores issues of contemporary significance to trace history backward in order to understand the root of any given event. The course proceeds by region and covers the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe. In addition, students participate in a unit on Social Justice from a global perspective. This skills-based course focuses on news analysis, debate skills, public speaking, website and infographic building, iMovie editing, historical fiction, digital timeline creation, oral history, and research skills and writing. The honors course has an increased reading load and nightly homework allocation. Culminating assessments are more in-depth with regard to content and detail. While all students present a research paper in conjunction with an oral history interview, students at the honors level are required to write a longer paper and produce a longer and more in-depth video. Students at the honors level are expected to already have strong writing skills and cover more content outside of the class. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course provides an introduction to cryptography, from its historical context to its applications. Students learn how fundamental mathematical concepts are the bases of cryptographic algorithms. Students learn about the Enigma machine and Navajo code, the implementation and cryptanalysis of classical ciphers, such as substitution, transposition, shift, affine, Vigenère and Hill. After introducing elementary methods and techniques, the class fully develops the Enigma cipher machine and Navajo code used during World War II. Students see mathematics in cryptology through monoalphabetic, polyalphabetic and block ciphers. The course includes a focus on public-key cryptography, and the textbook describes RSA ciphers, the Diffie–Hellman key exchange, and ElGamal ciphers. If time allows, students may also explore current U.S. federal cryptographic standards, such as the AES, and explore how to authenticate messages via digital signatures, hash functions and certificates. Algebra II is a prerequisite for this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

Cybersecurity offers students an introduction to how systems, networks, and security work together. Students will be exposed to multiple cybersecurity technologies, processes, and procedures as they learn how to analyze the threats, vulnerabilities and risks present in these environments. Through hands-on practice, students will develop strategies to mitigate potential cybersecurity problems. At the end of the course students can earn their CompTIA A+ and should be prepared for the Security+ and Network+ certifications. (Full year, 1 credit)

In this course, students are introduced to the tools of digital imaging for artistic purposes. Students learn the basic operations of a digital camera and Adobe Photoshop as it pertains to the use of photographs. Students develop the following skills: capturing an image with a digital camera, working with the basics of composition, manipulating perspective, f-stops and shutter speeds. Students gain an in-depth understanding of Adobe Photoshop. Students explore image manipulation and collage techniques to solve problems designed to develop their visual problem-solving skills. Students are required to use their own camera for this course. Foundations in Digital Art is a prerequisite to this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

In this course, students complete a series of projects that strengthen their skills and technical understanding while pushing them to explore and experiment. Students learn the basic controls and settings of their DSLR cameras and experiment with Adobe Photoshop as they refine their images. Students are introduced to studio and flash lighting, and begin to use a journal to study and record observations from the work of master photographers. Students are required to have their own DSLR camera, card reader and tripod. Foundations in Digital Art is a prerequisite for this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course builds on the skills and ideas learned in Digital Photography I. Work focuses on the production and high quality output of still and moving imagery. The course serves as an introduction to creating and appreciating moving images for students with a still photography background. Through lectures, reading assignments and individual research presentations, students examine the relationship between still photography and the moving image. Students also learn about how to extend the photograph through installation, projection, collage and montage, public art, collaboration, mixed media and other means. In-class demonstrations and tutorials are given on the capture and editing of both digital video and still photography. (Semester, .50 credit)

Digital technologies have reshaped the ways in which film and television programs are created, distributed and consumed. In this course, students take a critical and in-depth look at the methods and artistry of digital filmmaking in two complementary ways. Through analysis, students screen and deconstruct a wide range of film and television programs with an eye towards analyzing the techniques with which these media communicate as art forms and as social and political products. Through production, students conceive, write, shoot, edit and present a series of their own digital film productions throughout the course of the term. Foundations in Digital Art is a prerequisite for this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

In this one-semester elective course (no prerequisites are required), students explore 15–20 different engineering disciplines while reinforcing communication, independent thinking, collaboration, and creativity within an engineering construct. Using group discussions, research, presentations, guest engineer interactions, and small and final projects, students become informed about the world of engineering. Advanced math or science are not required. This course is cross-listed as a Science elective. (Semester, .50 credit)

The course allows students to explore a branch of mathematics that is rich and varied, and does not rely as heavily upon the abstractions and algebraic manipulation skills. Discrete Mathematics exposes students to contemporary mathematical thinking as it is applied to important and relevant problems in economics, social and management sciences, politics, and business. The goals for this course are to help students realize that mathematical information abounds in our society and to excite them about mathematical thinking while helping them to think logically and critically about that information. The course also aims to develop an appreciation for the aesthetic elements of mathematics. (Semester, .50 credit)

Social media has fundamentally disrupted industries from journalism and education to entrepreneurship and technology. This class will study essential questions regarding the evolving purpose of social media and the ways in which innovators are using social media to change the landscape of professional industries across the globe. Through extensive research and written work, students will examine distinct topics such as branding, hacking, censorship and the future of the internet and social media. Students will select and investigate an industry disrupted by social media and present their findings through blog posts, podcasts, and vodcasts. By following industry leaders, students will develop an understanding of personal branding and content marketing as they learn to create their own industry-specific social media content. Students are also expected to be constant consumers of social media as they curate their own personalized learning networks to help them analyze trends and developments within industries of their choice. This networking will help students sculpt their own digital portfolio and personal branding, thus preparing them for success in a constantly changing and highly networked global economy. This course is cross-listed as a History elective. (Semester, .5 credit)

This course provides students with the opportunity to perform novel relevant research that can contribute to scientific knowledge. Students are guided through a research workflow identical to those performed in genomics laboratories worldwide. Over a multiple-week laboratory course, students combine traditional and cutting edge molecular biology techniques and bioinformatics to clone, sequence and analyze a housekeeping gene from a plant of choice, ensuring each class produces unique and novel data. A scientific poster presentation and formal laboratory report are required in lieu of a scheduled written final examination. Biotechnology Techniques and Application is a prerequisite for this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

This studio elective is designed to allow students to develop the technical skills needed for expression in the visual arts. Students are encouraged to develop a visual language and verbal vocabulary to enhance their communication, creation, and understanding of the aesthetics inherent in art and daily life. Students explore the following tools/methods: pencil line and tone techniques, pastels (soft and oil), conte crayon, pen/brush and ink, acrylic and oil painting and collage techniques. Students learn how to use and care for painting equipment, including stretching canvas. Students have the opportunity to work on landscapes, room interiors, portraits and still life. Each student maintains a personal sketchbook for daily assignments throughout the semester. Field trips to major museums are often offered as part of this course. Foundations in Art or Art I is a prerequisite for this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

This studio elective is designed to build on the skills and principles presented in Drawing and Painting I. Students continue to develop a visual language and verbal vocabulary to enhance their communication, creation and understanding of the aesthetics inherent in art and daily life. Students explore drawing techniques involving graphite, pen and ink, charcoal and pastels, and engage in an intensive study of oil painting, including material and techniques. Students participate in group critiques and are taught to evaluate their individual progress. Drawing and Painting I is a prerequisite for this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

This class exposes students to fundamental science principles related to Earth’s structure, its physical features and natural processes, and the relationship between humans and the environment. Units of study include volcanoes and earthquakes, rocks and minerals, geologic time, natural disasters, paleontology, natural resources, past climate changes, and their relevance to current climate events. Special attention is given to current events that show Earth’s processes are in a state of constant dynamic motion and change. Chemistry is a prerequisite for this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

The goal for this course is to nurture a love for the English language while developing in each student an identity as a reader and a writer by exploring multiple genres. Students are encouraged and expected to make assertions on their own and reinforce those claims with textual support. Students also learn to make connections between and among various literary works. Through structured mini-lessons and individual conferences, students build strength as writers in a range of genres, including free verse poetry, memoir, short story, and the expository essay. This course explores fluency in a variety of expressive modes with an integrated study of vocabulary and grammar. As readers, students participate in roundtable discussions about various features of literature, share independently selected texts through group discussion, and write frequently about their books.

This critical thinking course is designed for students with a particular passion or talent for English. The course is typically fast-paced with high expectations. The goal is to develop in each student an identity as a reader and a writer by exploring multiple genres. Through structured mini-lessons and individual conferences, students build strength as writers in a range of genres, including free verse poetry, memoir, short story and the expository essay. Students are encouraged and expected to make assertions on their own and support those claims with textual support. As readers, students participate in roundtable discussions about various features of literature, share independently selected texts through group discussion, and write frequently about their books. Students also learn to make connections between and among various literary works. Students explore fluency in a variety of expressive methods with an integrated study of vocabulary and grammar.

This course focuses on the transitions needed to prepare for Upper School English. Close attention is given to each student’s reading and writing skills. Students learn active and critically-engaged reading of literature, with a focus on interpreting and making meaning out of figurative language. They learn composition and revision skills through a variety of essays and other writing assignments. The goal is for each student taking the course to gain courage and confidence in all aspects of English studies.

This critical thinking course is designed for students for whom English is a particular passion or talent. This class is fast-paced with appropriately high expectations. The goal for the course is to develop in each student an identity as a reader and a writer, by exploring multiple genres. Students are encouraged and expected to make assertions on their own and support those claims with textual support. Students also learn to make connections between and among various literary works. The course explores fluency in a variety of expressive methods, with an integrated study of vocabulary and grammar.

This rigorous advanced course encourages the process of critical thinking, analysis and writing through the study of fiction, nonfiction, drama and poetry. Students continue to expand their writing skills by studying vocabulary, grammar rules and stylistic conventions. The writing students do at the honors level is informed by a nuanced understanding of texts and the multiple perspectives that emerge from these texts. Students are expected to make connections within the literature to what they know and hope to know about themselves, their communities and the world, and outside the literature to other texts, thinking about how multiple authors treat similar themes and ideas. Further, through a Socratic method of teaching, students are trained to become confident in asking fundamental questions of any text: What does it mean? How can they apply its meaning to themselves and to their world? Students are expected to read daily, discuss readings passionately and write with conviction. Students may take this course with departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit)

In this course, students use literature to explore communities and cultures different from their own while connecting their experiences to common themes throughout the texts. Through poetry, short stories, drama, essays and novels, students read and write their way to an empathetic view of the world. Students experience a variety of genres, voices, and approaches to literature, including whole-class texts, literature circles and independent reading. Students also engage in a variety of modes of written and spoken expression, including narrative, expository, persuasive and creative assignments. Throughout the year, students also enhance their vocabularies, word attack skills and their understanding and application of grammar, usage and mechanics. (Full year, 1 credit)

Students explore and participate in dialogues about the major philosophical questions that British and American literature have posed from their Anglo-Saxon origins to contemporary forms. Through a study of significant literary movements, students are expected to question the text and make meaningful connections between the texts and their contemporary world. Through close reading, creative and analytical writing and collaboration, they gain a better understanding of these literary movements and philosophical questions, and begin to articulate their own relationship with contemporary literature. To strengthen their reading and writing skills, they continue to expand their knowledge of vocabulary, grammar rules and stylistic devices. (Full year, 1 credit)

In this rigorous advanced course, students are required to think critically and autonomously about literature, and to explore and participate in a dialogue about the major philosophical questions that British and American literature have posed from their Anglo-Saxon origins to contemporary forms. Students are expected to extend those philosophical questions and make meaningful connections to universal concepts and truths. Honors students are required to engage passionately in discussions as they draw their own conclusions. They are asked to deliberate about the effects of an author’s choices and question the way in which an author creates meaning. Through close reading, analytical writing and collaboration, students continue to strengthen their reading and writing skills while expanding their knowledge of vocabulary, grammar rules and stylistic devices. Each student also must exhibit a higher degree of independence in completing the work that he/she is assigned, and should expect a more rigorous grading policy. Students may take this course with departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course offers a continuing study of etymology, the origin of word roots in Latin and Greek, comparing them with those springing from Germanic, Anglo-Saxon, and Danish origin. Students learn how the history of Europe and the by-product of conquest, all the way back to ancient days, have affected our own language. The course is designed to afford students the opportunity to learn the meanings of the basic vocabulary roots that formed the languages of the Greeks and Romans, and to carry those roots into English. Through a study of root synonyms and antonyms, verbs and nouns, students learn how English evolved and practice how to discern the meanings of unfamiliar vocabulary from the classical roots they can identify within the English words themselves. An added benefit to this course is its ability to serve as a valuable tool in expanding one’s vocabulary. The material covered in Etymology II is completely independent of Etymology I. While it will encompass additional roots, Etymology I is not a prerequisite. This course does not have NCAA approval as a core course for potential Division I and II athletes. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course offers a study of etymology, the origin of word roots in Latin and Greek, comparing them with those springing from Germanic, Anglo-Saxon and Danish origins. Students learn how the history of Europe and the by-product of conquest, all the way back to ancient days, have affected our own language. The course is designed to afford students the opportunity to learn the meanings of the basic vocabulary roots that formed the languages of the Greeks and Romans, and to carry those roots into English. Through a study of root synonyms and antonyms, verbs, and nouns, students learn how English evolved and practice how to discern the meanings of unfamiliar vocabulary from the classical roots they can identify within the English words themselves. An added benefit to this course is its ability to serve as a valuable tool in preparing for the verbal section of the SAT. The course is open to all interested students, though preference is given to those who are about to sit for the SAT. This course does not have NCAA approval as a core course for potential Division I and II athletes. (Semester, .50 credit)

Who are we as a nation? How did we construct our national identity? What role did literature play in the construction of that identity? Who was part of this identity construction and who was absent from it? What obstacles and challenges did we encounter or create during this construction process? These are a few of the salient questions with which students grapple in this course. To do so, they trace America’s literary tradition from its earliest writings, the literature of the nation’s founding, to the end of the 19th century. This course explores a variety of genres, including short stories, poetry, drama, nonfiction, novels and film. Texts reveal a wide range of themes, voices and styles permeating the diverse world of American literature, allowing students to consider the historical, social and intellectual implications of being an American as well as to unpack the features of distinct literary movements. Students continue to develop critical reading, writing, revising, thinking and speaking skills through a range of assignments. (Semester, .50 credit) Offered 2020–2021.

This course focuses on the relationship between the evolution and interactions of life on Earth, and the physical and chemical processes that shape the world. The initiation and evolution of life through time is intricately linked to extraterrestrial (e.g., the delivery of major elements to Earth, the formation of the solar system, bolide impacts, and extinction events), tectonic (the movement of continents across the surface of the Earth), biological (competition, reproduction, DNA, and metabolism), and chemical (ocean chemistry and nutrient supply) processes, and how they interact. Therefore, the course involves the interplay of all the major disciplines, including physics, biology, chemistry, astronomy, and earth science. This course requires students to use their knowledge to reproduce and explain the major features of the history of life, and includes laboratory activities, modeling exercises, and long-term scientific investigations wherein students assemble information learned throughout the year and obtained from outside sources. Projects are intended to mimic the experience of scientific discovery through the assimilation of multiple data sets. Chemistry is a prerequisite for this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

In this course, students extend their understanding of Blockly/Visual Programming Languages. Additionally, students learn about other languages, such as HTML and Javascript. Students will understand how these languages can be used for different purposes (creating apps, driving drones, programming code for user input/output and creating websites). To demonstrate their learning, students will select one language in which to create a tangible artifact. This course is graded on a pass/fail basis.

On weekly field trips to local parks from Delaware Bay to Shenandoah National Park, students investigate the local flora, fauna, geology and ecology. Insect watching, eating wild edibles, stream surveys, botany, frog surveys and searching for fossils are all interesting ways to learn about ecosystems. A major component of the course is ornithology (the study of birds), especially in the companion course, outlined below. This course meets for only three class periods each six-day cycle; the remaining time is spent on field trips. More field trips are offered than are required, making it possible for students to avoid major conflicts with other activities. These field trips may be after school, before school, or either for a half-day or a full-day on weekends. Another important component of this course is working on the campus to make it a better wildlife habitat. This course can be taken in any of the four quarters or in multiple quarters. Each quarter offers different opportunities to experience nature based on the season. This course is open to any student in 9th-12th grade. (Quarter, .25 credit)

In this year-long course, students take new developmental steps to appreciate the joy of self-expression and become visually literate. Projects are designed to increase the sophistication of problem solving to include a multi-level concept and media synthesis and to begin articulating their choices with an expanding vocabulary. Students also examine connections with artists in other cultures and/or time periods to recognize the constants in art and to appreciate the developments. Specific projects that are introduced include basket weaving, mural contour drawing, design (including color theory), drawing (self-portrait, still life and landscape), collage, ceramics, painting, calligraphy, printing and low-relief sculpture (repousse).

This year-long ensemble course is designed to provide young musicians with their first experiences playing a band musical instrument. The course is designed to provide a structured, musical environment in which students learn the rudiments of playing a musical instrument. By the end of the year, students are capable of producing an instrument-appropriate sound and possess ensemble skills and age-appropriate technique. Students are well on their way to a lifelong appreciation for music by the end of this course. The fifth and sixth grade band performs at the Winter Concert and the Spring Concert.

Fifth and sixth grade students learn all aspects of choral performance to prepare for the annual winter and spring performances. To support this, the choir spends a significant percentage of its time on vocal exercise and sound creation. The basic elements of sight-singing, music theory and complex part-singing are introduced throughout the year.

In the spring, students learn a major choral work in detail, focusing not only on the musical elements, but also the extra-musical elements. If and when opportunities arise to take part in community productions, members of this group are encouraged to audition. No previous singing experience is required.

In this foundational class, students learn the basics of computer programming, engineering, making and design thinking, which are the building blocks of future study in Innovation courses at Flint Hill. In addition, students learn to use the resources available to them to make connections with their personal, social and academic realms, all while being ethical and responsible users and producers of information within a one-to-one environment. This course is graded on a pass/fail basis.

Through structured mini-lessons and individual conferences, students build strength as readers and writers in a variety of genres, including narrative, poetry and expository texts. Students practice their reading, writing, speaking and critical thinking skills, while also honing their understanding and use of English conventions such as grammar, mechanics and vocabulary development. Students build reading skills through wide independent reading, close reading of shared class texts and discussions and activities related to rich texts. The syllabus encourages students to think critically and make connections across a wide range of texts and disciplines.

We have two main goals in Library: to help students become successful seekers, users and integrators of information from many sources, and to promote reading as a lifelong skill and pleasure. Skills to seek, evaluate and synthesize information are implemented across the grades at developmentally appropriate levels. Students are encouraged to seek out their areas of interest from our rich collection of both physical and virtual resources. Research and citation skills are reinforced in the homeroom with instruction and support from the librarian. Students continue developing their attribution and citation skills with an emphasis on creating bibliographies for their work. They also refine their information search skills by focusing on appropriate keywords, assessing websites and assessing possible bias.

The beginning of the year in Mathematics 5 is devoted to reviewing fourth grade computational skills across all operations, with the goals of fluency and accuracy. Through the use of manipulatives, guided discoveries and group discussions, students explore properties of numbers, operations with whole numbers and the structure of place value, continuing to build their conceptual sense of numbers. Students strengthen their understanding of multiplication and division by developing a variety of multiplication and division strategies. They learn the relationships between fractions, decimals and percentages and develop strategies for adding and subtracting fractions and decimals. They further develop their understanding of 2D shapes, find the measure of polygon angles, determine the volume of 3D shapes and work with area and perimeter. They describe major features in a set of data, represent data in a line plot or bar graph and use medians or fractional parts of the data. They draw conclusions about how groups compare data based on summarizing the data, conducting experiments and considering the notion of fairness in the context of probability. They investigate situations in which two quantities change in relation to each other. They describe data about functional relationships, develop an overall sense of change from a graph and understand the relationships between the changes and totals. They compare two linear functions with different rates of change.

This course follows the Mathematics 5 topics, with deeper content and several extension topics that feature more student-centered pacing. Students strengthen their understanding of the computational strategies they use for multiplication, and use representations and story contexts to connect these strategies to the meaning of multiplication. Students continue to learn ways to solve division problems fluently and extend their knowledge of the base-10 number system, working with numbers in the hundred thousands and beyond. Students learn the relationships among fractions, decimals and percentages, and develop strategies for adding and subtracting fractions and decimals. Students further develop their understanding of the attributes of 2D shapes, find the measure of polygon angles, determine the volume of 3D shapes and work with area and perimeter. They also deepen their understanding of the relationship between volume and the linear dimensions of length, width and height.

Students describe major features of a set of data, represented in a line plot or bar graph, and quantify the description by using medians or fractional parts of the data. Students draw conclusions about how two groups compare to each other based on summarizing the data for each group. They conduct their own data experiments. Students also look at the probability of various events. They conduct experiments and consider the notion of fairness in the context of probability. Students investigate situations in which two quantities change in relation to each other. They describe data about functional relationships, develop an overall sense of change from a graph and understand how the changes and totals are related. They also compare two linear functions with different rates of change. Students are expected to make connections to previous skills and other content areas and extend and apply their understanding of topics to new scenarios. This course makes significant use of investigation and discovery-based learning.

This course offers students four instrument choices in their exploration of string instrumental music: the violin, viola, cello and bass. At the beginning of the school year, the instructor helps students select an appropriate instrument. An instrumental selection day is set up at the beginning of each school year to allow students to try out these different instruments. Once the instrument is chosen and classes begin, students are taught the rudiments and technique of their chosen instruments. In order to prepare them for more advanced ensemble work, students are taught group ensemble skills and learn how to play together more effectively. They learn the skills needed for demonstrating basic technique on their chosen instrument, note reading and basic rhythmic counting. The fifth and sixth grade orchestra presents two required concerts during the year, during which they perform several selections that demonstrate what they have learned.

The objective for this course is to introduce fifth and sixth grade students to the fundamentals of percussion and rhythm. Each student is introduced to basic instruments in the percussion family, such as the snare drum, bass drum and cymbals, and are taught the concepts and techniques necessary to perform on those instruments. Students are introduced to experiences that emphasize learning by doing, modeling, discovering and listening. Specifically, students learn appropriate playing positions, grip, hand-eye coordination and how to identify musical notation. Students are evaluated on preparedness, weekly parent-signed practice sheets and classroom and public performances.

Students experience in-depth instruction in a combination of team and individual sports and recreational activities. Each unit applies a specific set of skills, including hand-eye or foot-eye coordination, striking an object, dodging, fleeing, moving into open space, body control or other movement skills and sportsmanship and fitness. Students learn more advanced tactics, positional play, and rules of the games, and develop defensive and offensive strategies for each sport.

In this course, topics from life, the Earth and the physical sciences are introduced to develop scientific reasoning. Students learn about ecosystems, the movement of matter and energy and changes in ecosystems over time. They understand that the Earth is composed of four interacting systems, learn to describe important interactions between and among those systems and investigate the impact of human activity on these systems. Matter is introduced in terms of particles, and students examine its properties and the changes matter undergoes. Students also acquire an overarching understanding of gravity and the five patterns caused by gravity. This course emphasizes hands-on activities, science literacy, math integration and cooperative learning. The focus is on understanding the scientific concepts and applying them to engineering challenges. Students are taught to analyze data and use inquiry skills that are essential for investigating the natural world.

This course introduces students to the beginnings of the human story. Using the lens of a social scientist, students explore the great early civilizations to identify the cultural universals and discover the secrets of ancient cultures that continue to influence the modern world. Through hands-on activities, students learn about early humans and the rise of civilization, ancient Egypt and the Middle East and ancient India, focusing on the development of systems of government, social structure, art and technology. Students are encouraged to make connections with their own lives and learn to examine choices made by early people related to their unique challenges while mastering social studies standards.

Students learn thematic vocabulary and conversational patterns to promote speaking and basic writing skills on everyday familiar topics. They also learn about traditions and cultural practices in countries where Spanish is spoken. Interactive teaching strategies are used to reinforce language patterns and promote communication. Students demonstrate their learning with final projects on topics related to personal information, the classroom, home and family.

In fifth grade, the Wellness and Life Skills program contains two core elements. The first element is to teach developmentally appropriate health education. The second element is to provide students with the opportunity to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, so they can then make choices that promote wellness.

In this course, students build upon some of the issues touched upon in fourth grade, such as relational aggression and learning about empathy through group dialogue and role-playing activities. Students also learn about identifying and expressing emotions — from the perspective of self and other — and then identify and discuss the qualities of genuine friendship and healthy human relationships. Students also spend some time examining the dangers of tobacco use.

The objective of this course is to learn to perceive, understand and evaluate films more effectively, with greater confidence, clarity and enjoyment. To achieve this objective, students examine the basic principles and techniques of film art, with emphasis on the complementary contributions of the director, cinematographer, editor and screenwriter. Students gain an understanding of basic cinematic techniques and a general understanding of film history and theory. Students learn to write an academic analysis of a film, how to craft a screenplay, and how to review a film. Note: This course does not have NCAA approval as a core course for potential Division I and II athletes. (Semester, .50 credit) Offered 2020–2021.

Students investigate financial mathematics as applied to the stock market, modeling for a business, banking services and consumer credit, auto and home loans, investment plans for retirement, and other applications. Developing on the functions learned in Algebra II, students are able to apply models to real-world financial problems. Using the computer and the TI 83/84 Finance Applications, students work on problems that they will eventually encounter after high school. Algebra II is a prerequisite for this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

We expose students to a variety of media and explore different art disciplines including drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, clay animation and sculpture. Fundamental painting and drawing skills are reinforced with projects from imagination and observation. Students mix colors to create secondary and tertiary colors. They are also introduced to different drawing media, including pencil, graphite, marker and charcoal. Students explore the concept of multiples in connection with a stamp print project. Ceramic skills are reinforced as they use coils and the pinch method to create clay sculptures. While studying mammals in the classroom, students use animation clay and build mixed-media sets to create animated movies of animals on their iPads.

From coding with Scratch Jr., to designing and developing their own instructional YouTube videos, students begin to apply order, shapes and sequential instructions to activities and objects that are personally relevant. Through discovering, engineering, tinkering and sharing, students engage in the self-directed learning process that is crucial to innovation. These opportunities are integrated throughout the day and enhanced by thinking routines, technology applications and opportunities for students to reflect on their learning. First grade students also participate in the annual Global Day of Play and Hour of Code, events that focus on innovation and creative problem solving.

Students practice routines, use independent work skills and make academic choices as readers and writers. Using the Daily 5 structure, students learn to pick books that are just right for them and use specific routines to build their reading stamina with those books. Students also help one another check for understanding. Making predictions, retelling a story, drawing connections, making inferences or considering aspects of the text are just some of the components students use to foster comprehension of what they read. The first-graders use many strategies to strengthen phonemic awareness, decode unfamiliar words and acquire a strong sight vocabulary. Students also use the CAFE strategies to build comprehension, accuracy and fluency and expand their vocabulary. Students begin their study of spelling features through our word study program, Words Their Way.

In Writing Workshop, students learn about and use the stages of the writing process. They increase their writing stamina and volume through extended opportunities to write in genres such as personal narrative, fiction, poetry and non-fiction. Students learn to choose topics, write strong leads and conclusions and develop their ideas. They learn about sentence structure, writing conventions and clarity. Students work to create meaning through clear, coherent sentences, accurate capitalization and punctuation and strong nouns, verbs and adjectives. The Handwriting Without Tears program is used to reinforce handwriting skills throughout the year.

We have two main goals in Library: to help students become successful seekers, users and integrators of information from many sources, and to promote reading as a lifelong skill and pleasure. Skills to seek, evaluate and synthesize information are implemented across the grades at developmentally appropriate levels. Each class also includes a read-aloud story and discussion to help students develop a love of language along with an appreciation for literature. Students are encouraged to seek out their areas of interest from our rich collection of both physical and virtual resources. Research and citation skills are reinforced in the homeroom with instruction and support from the librarian.

Students use a variety of print and online resources as they begin learning research skills, including basic citation. Read-aloud choices focus on fun, engaging stories with rich language. Post-story discussion emphasizes retelling the story, the sequence of events and making predictions from text or pictures. Students are encouraged to make connections to themselves, the world and previous reading. Students may check out two books per class but may exchange them for others at any time.

Students have repeated experiences breaking one number into two parts or combining two parts to form a whole, and they consider the relationship between the parts. Students work with composing and decomposing numbers to 20 and focus on addition combinations of 10. Students model and solve addition and subtraction problems to clarify and communicate their thinking. Students create their own representations of the data they collect, organizing their data and providing pictures that help describe what the data shows.

They measure relatively small lengths and larger distances to:

  • understand that measurement is applied to both objects and distances;
  • know where to start and stop measuring;
  • know which dimension to measure;
  • measure the shortest line from point to point; and
  • understand that many measurements are not reported in whole numbers.

Students create, describe, extend and make predictions about repeating patterns, and analyze the structure of repeating patterns by identifying the unit of each pattern. Students also work on carefully observing, describing and comparing 2D and 3D shapes. They explore properties of polygons, including sides, vertices and angles and are introduced to the concepts of congruence and symmetry. In a data unit, students develop a question, collect data, represent the data and describe and interpret the data.

Music classes are taught using the Orff approach, involving listening, movement, singing and other creative activities. Students develop skills in music theory and instrumental music, playing instruments such as the xylophone and other percussion instruments. Students perform at weekly Inspirations and at holiday and spring concerts, showcasing the curriculum. Students also are introduced to movement and dance.

We introduce students to rhythm, pitch, meter and dynamics — they begin to recognize notes and rests, high and low pitches, fast and slow meter and soft and loud dynamics. Students are introduced to fundamental music terms and vocabulary and learn about the connections between movement and music.

Our lessons at this stage concentrate on movement and skill development. Students build upon the fundamental skills learned early in the year and progress to apply them in more game situations as the year continues. Teamwork, cooperation and fair play are reinforced in each class. Cooperative games, individual and partner work and other physical challenges provide an active and exciting learning environment during each class. “Healthy Habits” discussions and activities focus on healthy daily habits, nutrition and activities to maintain a healthy heart. Volleying, speed stacks, hula hoop and jump rope units provide different challenges to increase body awareness and hand-eye coordination.

Science in the Lower School is designed to tap into young students’ natural curiosity about their environment and how the world works. We help students, through inquiry, to continually build on their abilities and revise their knowledge. Our goals for the program are to provide students with engaging hands-on opportunities and experiences to guide them toward a more scientifically based and coherent view of the Earth, space, life and the physical sciences. In the Lower School, science involves integrating engineering and technology to provide an environment in which students can test their own developing scientific knowledge and apply it to practical problems.

The performance expectations in first grade help students develop answers to questions. Students are taught to create and use models to construct explanations based on their understanding of the core ideas. They are expected to explore the relationship between sound and vibrating materials and between the availability of light and the ability to see objects. Students are also expected to develop understanding of how plants and animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow and meet their needs, and how behaviors of parents and offspring help the offspring survive.

Social Studies incorporates the study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Within the Lower School program, Social Studies provides a coordinated, systematic study drawing upon geography, history, economics and political science and relevant content from language arts, mathematics and the sciences. The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world. To lay the foundation, from grades JK-4, the school year begins with students and teachers establishing the classroom community and students learning what it means to be a good citizen.

At this level, Social Studies is integrated with other content areas to achieve broader understanding. In first grade, the Social Studies curriculum introduces the structures of schools and families. Students learn how to get along with classmates, follow School rules and identify people who work at a school. Through engaging activities, students examine maps and their symbols and are introduced to directionality.

Students build on previous knowledge by adding new thematic vocabulary and more challenging phrases, learned responses and brief sentences. Students also learn topics that are integrated with their classroom studies. The cultural focus allows students to learn about many aspects of life in the Spanish-speaking world. Students also engage with the language through many interactive activities including music and games.

The Wellness and Life Skills program contains three core areas of focus. The first is teaching students to identify emotions, perceive and recognize others’ perspectives, solve problems and manage emotions. The second focuses on mindfulness. Using a research-based curriculum, students are taught skills which build resilience to stress and anxiety, and develop a positive mindset in both school and life. The third focus is preventing, recognizing and identifying bullying behaviors, and students learn that bullying behavior can be both physical and/or relational in nature. We emphasize the need for kind works, inclusionary practices, avoiding mean teasing and reporting bullying behavior.

“The Husky Promise” is an integral part of students’ day-to-day lives. We encourage students to respect others and themselves through their daily interactions and learn to work both cooperatively and independently, with other students during group work and centers. When working or playing with others, they are becoming aware of how to make the right choices and learn how to accept the consequences of a wrong decision. Students also begin to take responsibility for their own work and manage their homework and belongings. Through stories and role play, children learn about bullying behaviors. Our goal is to help students develop into caring, self-confident members of the classroom community.

This course focuses on the collection and analysis of biological and chemical trace evidence such as blood typing, DNA profiling, and toxicology. Case studies and crime scenarios help students understand the implications and complicated issues that are emerging as the science of forensics continues to develop. The course incorporates basic forensics skills along with other science knowledge to review and solve case studies based upon evidence gathered. The evidence is then evaluated for strengths and weaknesses based upon the levels of experimental accuracy and precision. Class presentations, laboratory work, and case studies form the basis of the course pedagogy. A final examination and final case function serve as final assessments for the course. Chemistry and Physics are prerequisites for this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course focuses on the collection and analysis of physical trace evidence, such as document analysis, fingerprints, and casts/impressions. Case studies and crime scenarios help students understand the implications and complicated issues that are emerging as the science of forensics continues to develop. The course incorporates basic forensics skills along with other science knowledge to review and solve case studies based upon evidence gathered. The evidence is then evaluated for strengths and weaknesses based upon the levels of experimental accuracy and precision. Class presentations, laboratory work, and case studies provide the basis of the course pedagogy. A final examination and final case function serve as final assessments for the course. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course extends student knowledge and understanding of the real number system and its properties through the study of variables, expressions, equations, inequalities and other early Algebra I topics. This course is designed to create a connection among mathematical ideas and to reinforce foundational concepts so students are prepared for Algebra I the following year.

This entry-level course in studio art prepares students to take additional electives in art (Photography, Ceramics, Drawing and Painting, etc.). This course introduces students to basic concepts and techniques of 2D and 3D art and design. Students work from direct observation, and develop language to understand and describe what they see. They learn how to look for design elements and techniques and learn about color theory. Students learn about the nature of working in three dimensions and are introduced to drawing, painting and sculpture media, which include: pencil, charcoal and chalk drawing, watercolor, gouache, acrylic and sculpture techniques. Students learn how to evaluate their own work and others’ by participating in class critiques. Weekly sketchbook assignments are required. Note that students may choose either Foundations in Art or Art I to fulfill prerequisites for Studio Art classes. (Semester, .50 credit)

This entry-level course is designed to prepare students to take additional electives in digital art (e.g., Digital Imaging, Graphic Design, etc.). This is an introductory course in using Adobe Creative Suite on the computer as an art-making medium. The course introduces students to digital software and techniques, image creation and manipulation, digital design and compositional methods, and the use of digital tools as a vehicle for creative problem-solving and personal creative expression. Students learn how to evaluate their own work and how to participate in critical evaluation of others’ work. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course reviews material from previous math classes and prepares students for the rigors of future math classes. New topics that students explore include: proportions, ratios and rational numbers. This course is designed to create a connection among mathematical ideas and to reinforce foundational concepts and number sense.

Projects are designed to emphasize exposure to new concepts, expansion of known concepts, integration of grade level information and the joy of self-expression. In drawing and painting, students review formatting and composition choices related to their subject matter, and learn to include design elements such as value, color, texture and emphasis. By combining materials in multi-stage works, students develop technical and conceptual skills and an aptitude for individual expression.

From coding with Scratch Jr. on the iPad and Scratch on the MacBook, to building circuits and beginner robots, students apply basic understanding of programming concepts by creating their own coded programs and learn about ethical issues of technology. Students also create multimedia communication elements to share what they have learned about their year-long study of the Chesapeake Bay. Through discovering, engineering, tinkering and sharing their work, students engage in the self-directed learning process that is crucial to innovation. These creative opportunities are integrated throughout the day and enhanced by thinking routines, technology applications and opportunities to reflect on their learning. To further engage in innovation, Fourth Grade students participate in the annual Global Day of Play and Hour of Code, and design games for the Stop Hunger Now service-learning project.

At this level, students combine their skills to read, write and communicate with greater sophistication. Reading workshop mini-lessons guide the students to think with greater depth as they infer, connect, predict and analyze. Students apply these strategies to their independent books and to small group and partner reading selections. In-class and at-home reading of appropriately challenging books are essential components to developing the students as readers. Students use the CAFE strategies to build comprehension, accuracy and fluency and expand their vocabulary. Students’ vocabulary is also expanded and enriched by using words from various aspects of the curriculum. Spelling is taught through Word Study, which places an emphasis on phonetic differences and similarities in word patterns.

Writing Workshop allows students to apply whole-class mini-lessons and individual goals to their writing. We teach a range of skills specific to particular genres such as script-writing, poetry, non-fiction research and blogging. Through individual conferences with the teacher, students determine and work to achieve personal writing goals. Students also work to hone their editing revision skills as they create pieces for authentic audiences.

We have two main goals in Library: to help students become successful seekers, users and integrators of information from many sources, and to promote reading as a lifelong skill and pleasure. Skills to seek, evaluate and synthesize information are implemented across the grades at developmentally appropriate levels. Each class also includes a read-aloud story and discussion to help students develop a love of language along with an appreciation for literature. Students are encouraged to seek out their areas of interest from our rich collection of both physical and virtual resources. Research and citation skills are reinforced in the homeroom with instruction and support from the librarian.

Read-aloud choices center on high-interest stories that engage students and lead to rich discussions. Students continue developing their attribution and citation skills with an emphasis on creating bibliographies for their work. They also refine their information search skills by focusing on appropriate keywords, assessing websites and assessing possible bias. Other units include the Library of Congress and primary sources related to Jamestown and Williamsburg. Students check out up to four books per class, but may exchange for others at any time.

At this level, students describe, analyze and compare strategies for adding and subtracting, while working on accuracy and efficiency. They also develop an understanding of factors and multiples through work with array models of multiplication and practice multiplication combinations through 12 x 12. They develop strategies for solving multiplication and division problems based on looking at the problem as a whole, thinking about the relationships among the numbers in the problem and choosing an approach they can carry out easily and accurately. Students interpret and solve division problems both in story contexts and numerical contexts. Understanding numbers through 10,000 is extended with exploration of the structure of place value and the base-10 number system. Students learn the meaning, order and equivalencies of fractions and decimals, and continue to focus on the meaning of fractions, in a variety of contexts, as equal parts of a whole. They also relate decimals to equivalent decimals and fractions.

Students collect, represent, describe and interpret data, and they use graphs and tables to represent changes in data. They develop conclusions and make arguments based on the evidence they have collected. Students compare and predict the likelihood of events in their study of probability. They consider the various attributes of 2D shapes, such as the number of sides, the length of sides, parallel sides and the size of angles. Students describe attributes and properties of geometric solids (3D shapes), such as the shape and number of faces, the number and relative lengths of edges and the number of vertices. They also work on understanding the concept of volume and its measurement.

Music classes are taught using the Orff approach, involving listening, movement, singing and other creative activities. Students develop skills in music theory and instrumental music, playing instruments such as the xylophone and other percussion instruments. Students perform at weekly Inspirations and at holiday and spring concerts, showcasing the curriculum. Students also are introduced to movement and dance.

Students are introduced to the alto recorder at this level. World Music Drumming continues and students learn about ensembles. Students continue to study rhythm, pitch, meter and dynamics and begin to read music. Learning folk dances from across the world shows students how people around the world integrate music, dance and culture.

Students expand their skill base and apply these skills by participating in lead-up and small-sided games. Rules, tactics and positions for sports, including handball, are discussed and applied to the activities. With the occasional use of their iPads, students assess their performance to learn or improve a skill or strategy. Students continue to study heart health, risk factors associated with it, and balancing dietary requirements.

Science in the Lower School is designed to tap into young students’ natural curiosity about their environment and how the world works. We help students, through inquiry, to continually build on their abilities and revise their knowledge. The goals of the program are to provide students with engaging hands-on opportunities and experiences to guide them toward a more scientifically based and coherent view of the Earth, space, life, and the physical sciences. In the Lower School, science involves integrating engineering and technology to provide a context in which students can test their own developing scientific knowledge and apply it to practical problems.

In fourth grade, students are introduced to scientific reasoning. The focus is on understanding the scientific concepts and applying them to engineering challenges. Students are taught to analyze data and use inquiry skills that are essential for investigating the natural world. The science curriculum introduces students to the diversity and interdependence of living things in the ecosystem of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. They examine the functions of internal and external plant and animal structures in growth, reproduction and information processing. They explore the roles of weathering, erosion and deposition in shaping the Earth’s surface. Students analyze patterns in wave motion, and how energy is transferred by sound, light, heat and electric currents. They are able to use evidence to construct an explanation of the relationship between the speed of an object and the energy of that object and are expected to develop an understanding that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat and electric currents or from object to object through collisions. Students apply their understanding of energy to design, test and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another.

Social Studies incorporates the study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Within the Lower School program, Social Studies provides a coordinated, systematic study drawing upon geography, history, economics and political science and relevant content from language arts, mathematics and the sciences. The primary purpose of social studies is to help our students develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world. To lay the foundation from grades JK-4, the school year begins with students and teachers establishing the classroom community and students learning what it means to be a good citizen.

The curriculum in Fourth Grade focuses on geography and Virginia history. Students examine the motives behind exploration and settlement and the key events during the Elizabethan Age that encouraged England to settle in the New World. The study of Virginia history continues with the early colonization of America and culminates with an overnight field studies trip to Colonial Williamsburg and Historic Jamestowne.

Lively classes conducted in the target language provide students with ample opportunities to practice listening and speaking skills and to develop and expand their knowledge of familiar topics in Spanish. Students begin to use the language creatively and interact with one another by asking questions and recording brief interviews. They learn to create menus and request food items, and develop connections between topics on weather and clothes to record a digital postcard. Students also continue to develop a growing awareness of Spanish-speaking cultures.

The Wellness and Life Skills program contains three core areas of focus. The first is teaching students to identify emotions, perceive and recognize others’ perspectives, solve problems and manage emotions. The second focuses on mindfulness. Using a research-based curriculum, students are taught skills which build resilience to stress and anxiety, and develop a positive mindset in both school and life. The third focus is preventing, recognizing and identifying bullying behaviors, and students learn that bullying behaviors can be physical and/or relational in nature. We emphasize the need for kind works, inclusionary practices, avoiding mean teasing and reporting bullying behavior.

Developmentally, it is at this level that students experience a variety of social changes and connections with peers become a priority. To provide students with social skills and strategies in these areas, the course reviews the social skills curriculum with a focus on recognizing others’ feelings, solving problems, identifying bullying behavior and providing strategies to students to help create a safe social environment. Responsive Classroom practices foster a sense of community through activities such as Morning Meeting, and these experiences enhance and reinforce “The Husky Promise” and help build cohesion and classroom spirit. The program places specific emphasis on relational aggression, which is “using relationships to hurt others.” Examples include gossip, rumors, ignoring, exclusion and teasing. The focus of the program is to empower students with strategies when they are victims or a “kid in the middle” (KIM). It also helps students identify when they are being aggressors and provides them with ways to change their behavior.

In this course, students develop the ability to communicate effectively across the four modes — speaking, listening, reading and writing — in French, and begin to build an understanding of the cultures of Francophone countries throughout the world. During this course, students communicate in realistic contexts about topics that are meaningful and interesting. French is the dominant language of the classroom, and use of English gradually diminishes throughout the course of the year. Grammar is not taught in isolation; rather, it is integrated into the curriculum and linked to cultural exploration, vocabulary building exercises and communicative practice. (Full year, 1 credit)

In this introductory course, students cover several theme-based units that enable them to communicate about themselves and to exchange information on a variety of topics. These units provide an interactive and systematic approach to acquiring grammatical structures, appropriate vocabulary, and cultural information about the French-speaking world. The emphasis is to build comprehension from audio, video, and print sources, and spoken and written communication skills relating to classroom topics and interactions. All activities are designed to encourage students to use the language creatively and independently. Topics include friends and family, school and daily routines, sports and leisure activities, home and mealtimes, and clothes and possessions.

This course is fundamentally a review and completion of the work begun in French I – Part 1. The interactive nature of the course encourages students to communicate in French by conversing with each other, expressing themselves both orally and in writing, and reading and understanding French in a variety of print and online sources. The primary goals are to build strong, extensive vocabulary and master basic grammar and syntax for the present and past tenses. An additional goal is to teach students how to communicate in a foreign language without focusing on word-for-word translation. To accomplish this goal, the target language is used in the classroom for most interactions. Thematic topics familiar to the student include daily interactions relating to school, family, sports and leisure time activities.

The course begins with a review of all the structures, verbs, and vocabulary acquired during the first year of study, and subsequently builds on these structures to promote an accurate and precise means of communication in French. Much work is done to learn new vocabulary and verbs presented in thematic units as well as to acquire a mastery of the past tenses for narrative and descriptive purposes. The emphasis in the classroom is on putting the student in real-life situations that require appropriate response and interaction. Students learn to read and interpret French from a variety of audio, video, print, and online sources, and express themselves in oral and written presentations. (Full year, 1 credit)

This is an intermediate-level accelerated course that begins with a rapid review of all structures, verbs and vocabulary acquired during the first year of study. It then quickly builds upon them through the four language skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. The use of the past tenses is mastered, and additional verb tenses are introduced. Students enhance and develop their communicative ability with an emphasis on oral and written expression. They also learn to read and interpret French from a variety of audio, video, print and online sources. Students may take this course with departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit)

Students continue to develop their communicative ability in French across the four modes — speaking, listening, reading and writing — and increase their understanding of the cultures and literature of Francophone countries. During this course, students communicate in realistic contexts about topics that are meaningful and interesting. Thematic units reinforce previously learned vocabulary and language patterns before leading students to extend their knowledge to more complex grammatical skills. Students are encouraged to engage in classroom conversation to gain confidence and ability in the French language. French is used in the classroom except where the use of English is essential to avoid confusion on a grammatical or cultural point. Grammar is not taught in isolation; rather, it is integrated into the curriculum and linked to cultural exploration, vocabulary building exercises, and communicative practice. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course focuses on a review and completion of French grammar. Students progress quickly by expanding communication, reading and listening skills in addition to expressing themselves more naturally and effectively with a high degree of proficiency. The course includes vocabulary-building in thematic contexts and a comprehensive survey of French verbs and grammatical structures necessary to build fluency. There is emphasis on writing to help students acquire the skills they need to perform in advanced classes. Oral communication, listening and reading activities from a broad range of audio, video, print, and online sources, and presentational writing is perfected through activities similar to those found in the AP® exam. Students may take this course with departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course is an advanced language course that continues the exploration of language acquisition and broadens students’ global awareness of the Francophone world. An intensive review and expansion of grammar, verbs, syntax and usage are presented. This helps stimulate short writing assignments on a regular basis as well as several longer essays during each semester. Students expand their reading and comprehension skills by exposure to and a discussion of a variety of print, video, audio and online authentic materials. Students continue to work on pronunciation, oral expression and language fluency in a variety of real-life contexts. (Full year, 1 credit)

This high level (beyond Level IV or AP® Language) French course is designed for students who seek to develop vocabulary and cultural knowledge, and who wish to improve their language skills in order to conduct business in French or travel through French-speaking countries with greater command of the language. Students engage in specific tasks based on authentic experiences in the business or professional world to advance their communicative and linguistic competencies, and to engage with other cultures. Students learn how to resolve problems, handle business documents, make decisions and engage in communicative activities that encourage lively class discussions. The course is designed to introduce students to the essential vocabulary and style specific to French business, acquaint them with the basic workings of the French economy and everyday business 
terms, present them with an overview of the infrastructure of the French economy, and familiarize them with standard business correspondence. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course aims to promote an understanding of French culture and what it means to be a member of Francophone societies through a variety of source materials: poetry and short works of fiction, films and the media (including Radio France Internationale), and online newspapers. Classic French films provide a springboard to study major themes and establish them in social, political and cultural contexts. Students gain insights and make comparisons between literary and film genres in addition to thinking critically about themes from different perspectives. At the same time, students have the opportunity to enhance their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills as they engage in discussions, read and watch selected materials and write analytical responses on aspects of the coursework. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course builds upon the concepts introduced in Algebra II and introduces a number of essential topics from Pre-Calculus. The function topics stressed in this course include function attributes (such as domain, range, increasing, decreasing, average rate of change, extrema, and intercepts), a comprehensive study of the different types of functions (including linear, quadratic, exponential, logarithmic, rational, and polynomial), modeling problems using regressions of these types of functions, applications of systems of linear equations, combinations of functions, and inverse functions. The trigonometric topics stressed in this course include the definition of all six trigonometric functions, solving right triangles and right triangle application problems, area of a triangle, basic trigonometric identities, circular trigonometry, graphs (sine, cosine, and tangent), and applications of trigonometric functions. In addition, students are exposed to the basics of statistics. Students are placed in this course by recommendation and with permission of the Upper School Academic Dean (Full year, 1 credit)

This course is a problem-based, hands-on investigation of Geometry. Students engage in lessons that focus on developing the critical thinking skills and habits of mind to solve advanced math problems. Taught through the use of manipulatives, exploration, pattern recognition, and technology, students will develop ideas and experiences that lead to formal geometric proofs and postulates. Creative problem-solving and ingenuity are critical skills for the course. Students will get instruction and feedback on their development. Investigations include an introduction to the language of Geometry, recognition of invariants, congruence, areas and volumes, similarity, and circles. Students are required to meet expectations in understanding and mastering concepts, and developing independent application. Students use the TI graphing calculator in the course. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course is a problem-based, hands-on investigation of Geometry. Students engage in lessons that focus on developing the critical thinking skills and habits of mind to solve advanced math problems. Taught through the use of manipulatives, exploration, pattern recognition, and technology applications, students will develop ideas and experiences that lead to formal geometric proofs and postulates. Creative problem-solving and ingenuity are critical skills for the course. Students will get instruction and feedback on their development. Investigations include an introduction to the language of Geometry, recognition of invariants, congruence, area and volume, similarity, and circles. The course will move at a faster pace while also providing an in-depth focus on the previously mentioned topics. Students are expected comfortably to solve problems with less guidance and less direct instruction. Students are required to meet expectations in understanding and mastering concepts, and developing independent application. Students use the TI graphing calculator in the course. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course is a problem-based, hands-on investigation of geometry. Students engage in lessons that focus on developing the critical thinking skills and habits of mind to solve advanced math. Taught through the use of manipulatives, exploration, pattern recognition, and technology applications, students will develop ideas and experiences that lead to formal geometric proofs and postulates. Creative problem solving and ingenuity are critical skills for the course. Students will receive instruction and feedback on their development. Investigations include an introduction to the language of geometry, recognition of invariants, congruence, area and volume, similarity, and circles. Geometry Honors will move at a faster pace while also looking deeper into the previously mentioned topics. Geometry Honors students are expected to comfortably solve problems with less guidance and less direct instruction. Students are required to meet expectations in understanding, mastery and independent application. Students use the TI graphing calculator in the course. Algebra I Honors is a prerequisite to this course.

This course is a study of the human experience as revealed through works of art. Students connect art and history by researching events and cultures that have inspired the “stories” told via painting, sculpture, architecture, printmaking, ceramics and photography. Students are expected to research, present and defend point papers, collaborate in discussion forums and prepare a book of artistic contributions within significant themes. This course does not have NCAA approval as a core course for potential Division I and Division II athletes. This course is open to students in 11th and 12th grade. (Semester, .50 credit)

If you have ever seen a scary movie, been told a ghost story or read a Harry Potter novel, you have experienced a form of contemporary writing or filmmaking that has been influenced by Gothic literature. In this course, students learn about the origins of Gothic literature; they read, analyze and emulate a variety of texts with Gothic themes, including traditional novels such as Stoker’s “Dracula,” modern pulp fiction such as Lovecraft’s “The Call of Cthulhu,” and films such as Murnau’s “Nosferatu.” The goal for this course is to help students develop a deeper, more complex understanding of why the contemporary imagination is still so captivated with the supernatural and how artistic interest in the supernatural is a result of cultural shifts after periods of psychological turmoil. (Semester, .50 credit) Offered 2021–2022.

This course begins with the debate over the framing of the new Constitution (just after the Revolutionary War) and continues to the present day. Students examine the development of the United States from its overthrow of the British monarchy to its emergence as a global superpower at the turn of the century, through the struggles of the Civil Rights movement and with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The course focuses particularly on essential questions, such as: What is democracy? What is justice? What is the role of the government? What is the role of the U.S. in the world? What are individual rights vs. “the collective” rights? Current events are incorporated as an essential element in understanding all eras and time periods in history, including the present day.

As part of a long-standing Flint Hill tradition, each student in eighth grade will deliver a presentation on a personal or meaningful topic to their classmates in the Olson Theater. Following a process that is built into the school day and mentored by faculty and staff, students will engage in structured reflection, creatively develop their ideas, and learn and practice effective public speaking and presentation skills. In this tangible expression of our vision statement, we encourage students to be creative and true to themselves as they select their topic, refine their narrative, and craft their delivery. The Capstone Presentation is a community-building experience and the culmination of personal and intellectual development throughout Middle School.

This course offers students a global perspective by examining seven cultural regions of the world. In each unit, students explore and analyze the geography, history, religion/philosophies, values systems, cultural factors, political and economic structures, religion, and the concepts of beauty and art. By the end of the course, students can compare these cultural factors with a global perspective. The goal for the course is to prepare students for the ever-growing interdependence of the world in which they will live and work and to help prepare them for their responsibilities as participating citizens of the global society in the 21st century.

This course is designed to stimulate students’ analytical and creative thinking abilities through the use of visual communications. Students are introduced to the Adobe software programs Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Fireworks as the basic set of tools. Students are introduced to the basic graphic design concepts of typography, composition, layout, color correction and the web. Through class discussions, instructions, research and collaboration, students are expected to complete unique projects that demonstrate their understanding of the fundamental concepts of art and design. Students also have an opportunity to devise research methodologies and are encouraged to draw from other classes and/or interests during the creative process. They continue to refine their computer application skills and learn about digital media and format. All work is considered for Flint Hill publications in print and on the web. Digital Imaging is a prerequisite to this course. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course is a continuation of the current Graphic Design course. The course provides extended study of graphic design principles and their application to more complex and comprehensive solutions. Experimentation, research, conceptual thinking and process are emphasized in design. Students become more independent in their use of fundamental components of graphic communication. Students create independent and creative solutions to a series of design problems. Knowledge of and exposure to contemporary design issues and graphic design history are important components of this course. Students are expected to expand their proficiency in all aspects of the design process, including their use of a sketchbook for brainstorming and concept development, their understanding of typography, their technical skills in design software, critical thinking, collaboration and formal presentation. Foundations in Digital Art, Digital Imaging and Graphic Design 1 are prerequisites for this course. Permission may also be sought from the instructor. (Full year, 1 credit)

In this course, students learn the history of the ancient Greeks and Romans, gaining further insight into the cultures and daily lives of these civilizations through the study of their literature in particular and art, where applicable. By learning the history of these important civilizations, students are also able to parlay this enhanced historical literacy into a greater cultural literacy, understanding the lessons of ancient history and drawing parallels between the problems and triumphs faced by the Greeks and Romans with those encountered by our civilization today. The course is open to all interested students in Grades 10 and above. No prior knowledge of Latin or Greek is required. This course is considered either a History elective or a Classics elective. (Semester, .50 credit)

In this course, students learn the history of the ancient Greeks and Romans, gaining further insight into the cultures and daily lives of these civilizations through the study of their literature in particular, and art where applicable. By learning the history of these important civilizations, students are also able to parlay this enhanced historical literacy into a greater cultural literacy, understanding the lessons of ancient history and drawing parallels between the problems and triumphs faced by the Greeks and Romans with those encountered by our civilization today. The course is open to all interested students in Grades 10 and above. No prior knowledge of Latin or Greek is required. This course does not have NCAA approval as a core course for potential Division I and II athletes. (Semester, .50 credit)

Homeroom teachers are involved in all aspects of students’ lives at school and are strong advocates for each child. Their role is to nurture and support each student’s social, emotional, academic and physical growth.

During the first six weeks of school, the homeroom teacher takes time to get to know each student and to establish a warm, welcoming and predictable classroom environment in which children feel safe and believe they can succeed. All homeroom teachers are trained in the Responsive Classroom approach and use procedures such as the Morning Meeting, Guided Discovery, Interactive Modeling, Rule Creation and Logical Consequences in their classrooms, providing consistency from one homeroom to another.

With support from the director of the Lower School, department chairs, and his/her grade-level team, the homeroom teacher plans the grade level instructional programs, activities, field trips and field studies. The homeroom teacher is responsible for ongoing student assessment, for student learning and communication with parents/guardians. The homeroom teacher is a liaison between all specialist teachers and serves as a central point of contact for all information about each student. When necessary, the homeroom teacher works closely with the director of counseling, learning specialists and the divisional administration to support students’ needs.

This course is designed to provide a developmentally appropriate framework for factual content and behavioral strategies to help adolescents navigate the physical, social and emotional aspects of their lives. Students learn the importance of staying socially, emotionally and physically healthy. Students learn how to evaluate social situations, which include peer pressure, decision-making and understanding themselves and others in relationships. Students learn to identify mental health issues within themselves and others, and are able to apply what they have learned so they can seek help in situations regarding mental health. This course is required for all ninth grade students. (Quarter, .25 credit)

This course is designed for students who love creativity, spontaneity and the thrill ofperforming without a safety net. Students learn the fundamentals of improvisation,including creating a character, developing relationships, advancing the story, andfreeing imagination and memory. This comedy improvisation course utilizes short-form,“Whose Line Is It Anyway?” style and improvisation constructs. (Semester, .50 credit)

The goal for this course is to provide students with a framework for pursuing individual academic interests and projects. To allow students the time to engage with their interests, students in the course only meet once per cycle to build a common skill set and community. Additionally, students must schedule one-on-one time with the instructor (who functions as the advisor for each project) in each cycle in order to receive guidance and feedback on progress.

Students who are well-suited for the course should feel comfortable with self-directed learning (or hope to actively grow this skill), and should have a particular topic in mind or a project they have been working on outside of school for which they would like school time and support. Students interested in this course must submit a proposal explaining their topic or project of interest and the goals for the project. Applications are evaluated based on seriousness of purpose and adequate previous demonstration that students can succeed within a flexible learning environment. This course can be taken multiple times throughout 9th-12th grade, if appropriate. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course is designed to benefit all fitness levels, from beginner to advanced. The course focuses on weight training and cardiovascular training. Each student develops strategies for independent fitness goals designed for lifetime health. Each program contains core exercises and specific exercises designed to meet each student’s individual fitness-related goals. Daily record-keeping is used to monitor the progress of each student as well as to develop specific performance strategies. Students evaluate personal well-being relative to Body Mass Index (BMI), Basal Metabolic Rate and means to achieve desired fitness balance. This course is graded on a Pass/Fail basis. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course is designed to benefit all fitness levels from beginner to advanced. The course focuses on weight training and cardiovascular training. Each student develops strategies for independent fitness goals designed for lifetime health. Each program contains core exercises and specific exercises designed to meet each student’s individual fitness-related goals. Daily record keeping is used to monitor the progress of each student as well as to develop specific performance strategies. Students evaluate personal well-being relative to Body Mass Index (BMI), Basal Metabolic Rate and means to achieve desired fitness balance. This course cannot be counted toward the five course requirement for student load. This course is graded on a Pass/Fail basis. (Semester, .50 credit)

This independent study-style course offers students an opportunity to pursue a deep study of an industry, entrepreneurial endeavor, leadership opportunity, or other interest, and apply their learning through real-world experience that results in an in-depth project. Students will learn to use social media to curate their own personalized learning networks to help them analyze trends and developments within fields of their choice. They will also connect in-person with an expert or a mentor who can provide hands-on learning opportunities and feedback about their projects. Students in this course will develop key professional skills, including self-directed learning, leadership, and collaboration. Students interested in this course must submit a proposal explaining their topic or project of interest and the goals for the project. Applications are evaluated based on genuine interest, clearly articulated purpose, and adequate previous demonstration that students thrive in a flexible learning environment. (Semester, .50 credit)

What is the nature and function of storytelling? What is revealed about a nation through its storytelling? What does the outsider looking in at a nation see through that nation’s literature? What commonalities and differences exist between other nations and the United States? The selection of texts in this course is designed to expose students to a variety of genres, cultures and ideas from around the world in an attempt to understand and begin to formulate answers to these four questions. Students study the novel, drama, short stories, poetry and films from countries other than the United States in order to facilitate analysis of both the uniqueness and the universality present in humankind’s literary history. (Semester, .50 credit) Offered 2020–2021.

Have you ever wondered how to tell a story or write a poem that will entertain or move another person? Have you considered how a reporter crafts a compelling news story? The goal for this semester-length course is to expose students to different methods of creative and journalistic writing, and introduce the basic techniques needed to write effective short stories, poems, news features, and opinion articles. Students read examples of all these forms of content, discuss the challenges of each form, and then try their hands at a variety of pieces. Students read commentary about writing by renowned creative writers and journalists and discuss what it means to be a professional writer. Students produce a portfolio of selected and revised writings as the culminating project for the course. This course is graded on a pass/fail basis.

This course consists of an overview of general economic reasoning skills, macro and micro topics, and connections to current events. Students also explore topics in personal finance, such as goal setting, budgets, investing, and taxes. This course is open to students in 10th-12th grade. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course isolates and teaches the following grammatical concepts that directly impact student writing: subject/verb agreement, pronoun/antecedent agreement, common errors in word choice (such as confusing “affect” and “effect”), punctuation, and capitalization. Students begin by taking a thorough diagnostic test that will isolate areas for growth. Students then work their way through all 12 chapters of Marsha Sramek’s “The Great Grammar Book,” which comprehensively addresses and seeks to rectify the most common errors in student writing. Students receive direct instruction and significant practice before applying those skills to brief analytical and creative writing assignments. This course is designed for rising freshmen and sophomores who need additional assistance in applying teacher feedback in a meaningful way. This course provides students with a grammatical foundation that will benefit them as writers throughout high school and college. The course is open to students in all grade levels. This course does not have NCAA approval as a core course for potential Division I and II athletes. (Semester, .5 credit)

In this second semester course, students apply programming skills to create functional robots. Instruction resembles real world programming training: teachers act as mentors and guides, providing students with ample opportunities to test and learn, to collaborate and share, and to create. Instructional time is given in short “chunks,” where direct instruction and modeling are interwoven with hands-on learning. Because of the independent nature of the course, students have the option to participate in the course for two or four periods out of the six day cycle. Through the design thinking process, they will collaborate to solve problems in a systematic way to create computing programs. The course covers the foundational skills to deconstruct problems and plan out logical solutions, including variables, syntax tools, conditional statements, loops and flow charting. This course is graded on a pass/fail basis.

This course is for students who have had little or no previous exposure to the language. Students cover several theme-based units that enable them to communicate about themselves and to exchange information on a variety of topics. Throughout the course of the year, students learn basic vocabulary, grammar and language patterns to build communication skills. Brief writing assignments encourage students to use the language independently, while related cultural information provides insight into practices and perspectives of Hispanic communities. Topics generally relate to daily routines and the school day, families, food and leisure activities. While oral communication dominates classroom interactions, reading and media comprehension, written expression, and cultural information complement the coursework. Students who successfully complete this course may be recommended for Spanish I – Part 2 in Middle School (if completed in seventh grade or Spanish I in Upper School (if completed in eighth grade).

This course serves as the most portable instrumental ensemble of the music program, and performs for a multitude of events, including Homecoming, Holiday Shoppes, the Winter Concert, Jazz Fest, Arts Jam, minor school functions, and assessment festivals. In order to thoroughly prepare for these events, there may be occasional after-school or extra rehearsals. The Jazz Band may potentially travel on a bi-annual basis with the Symphonic Band. The focus of the course is to perform music from the standard repertoire while featuring a diverse range of styles, increase awareness of jazz-specific technical and musical concepts, and develop an understanding of and become comfortable with improvisation. Students are expected to hold themselves to the highest standards of musicality and contribute significant practice time outside of rehearsal (at least 2 hours per week). An audition is a prerequisite for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of jazz dance technique and its historical context. We emphasize improving anatomical awareness and alignment, increasing strength and flexibility, and developing rhythmic sensitivity. Students are introduced to warm-up exercises, movement combinations and basic choreographic techniques to be used in the exploration of their own movement preferences. Students in this class are required to use their own workout clothes and dance shoes. The class culminates with a company performance. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course is a continuation of the learned skills and concepts of Jazz/Modern Dance I. Students are provided a more in-depth study of jazz and modern technique as well as its history, vocabulary and performance elements. We emphasize improving anatomical awareness and alignment, increasing strength and flexibility, and increasing rhythmic sensitivity. Students study the classical technique and rich American history of jazz dance in addition to contemporary influences on the technique. Graham, Horton and Limon are some of the major modern dance techniques studied in this course. Students gain an understanding of each artist’s place in history as well as their unique principles, techniques and choreography. Students in this class are required to use their own workout clothes and dance shoes. The class culminates with a company performance. Jazz/Modern Dance I or permission from the instructor are prerequisites for this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course is a continuation of the learned skills and concepts of Jazz/Modern Dance II. Students are provided a more in-depth study of jazz and modern technique as well as its history, vocabulary and performance elements. We emphasize improving anatomical awareness and alignment, increasing strength and flexibility, and increasing rhythmic sensitivity. Students study the classical technique and rich American history of jazz dance in addition to contemporary influences on the technique. Graham, Horton, and Limon are some of the major modern dance techniques studied in this course. Students gain an understanding of each artist’s place in history as well as their unique principles, techniques and choreography. This course also directs students toward an understanding of performance skills and choreographic principles. These processes and structures ultimately encourage students to use both tradition and experimentation as they explore their own choreographic forms. Students are required to use their own workout clothes and dance shoes. The class culminates with a company performance. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course is a continuation of the learned skills and concepts of Jazz/Modern Dance III. Students are provided a more in-depth study of jazz and modern technique as well as its history, vocabulary and performance elements. We emphasize improving anatomical awareness and alignment, increasing strength and flexibility, and increasing rhythmic sensitivity. In addition to classical jazz technique, Graham, Horton and Limon are some of the major modern dance techniques studied in this course. Students gain an understanding of each artist’s place in history as well as their unique principles, techniques and choreography. This course also directs students toward an understanding of performance skills and choreographic principles. These processes and structures ultimately encourage students to use both tradition and experimentation as they explore their own choreographic forms. Students are required to use their own workout clothes and dance shoes. The class culminates with a company performance. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course teaches students to gather and organize information and write articles on deadline according to acceptable professional standards. Students learn to write effective leads and various types of stories while improving their grammar and vocabulary usage. Attention is also paid to bias and libel. This course is a laboratory class, and students are expected to complete approximately one writing assignment per week. Class topics include but are not limited to interviewing, hard news, feature writing, profiles, arts reviews, sports reporting and op-eds. (Semester, .50 credit)

Students begin to understand order, shapes and sequential instructions in the real world through exposure to essential computational thinking skills, including pattern recognition, algorithms, decomposition and abstraction. By discovering, engineering, tinkering and sharing, students code with BeeBots and design cardboard toys. These opportunities are integrated throughout the day during centers, free play, specials and academic instruction. JK students also participate in the annual Global Day of Play and Hour of Code, which are special programs that focus on innovation and creative problem solving.

During the first semester, we focus on introducing and strengthening early literacy skills. This includes letter recognition and formation, sound-symbol relationships and concepts of print. During the second half of the year, we introduce new skills such as identifying the initial and ending sounds in words, creating rhyming words and sequencing a story. An emphasis is placed on composing and recording simple sentences using spelling approximations.

We have two main goals during Library: to help students become successful seekers, users and integrators of information from many sources, and to promote reading as a lifelong skill and pleasure. Skills to seek, evaluate and synthesize information are implemented across grades at developmentally appropriate levels. Each class also includes a read-aloud story and discussion to help students develop a love of language and an appreciation for literature. Students are encouraged to seek out their areas of interest from our rich collection of physical and virtual resources. Research and citation skills are reinforced in the homeroom with instruction and support from the librarian.

At this level, we focus on story-time choices that connect either to the curriculum or to seasonal events. Classes are playful and generally include activities and crafts that relate to the read-aloud. Students may check out one book per visit, but may exchange it for another at any time before their next class. Students are provided a curated selection of age-appropriate books each week, but are free to choose other books of interest.

Through instruction and play, students are exposed to a variety of mathematical skills and concepts. In addition to reviewing basic shapes and colors, students use these attributes to sort objects and explore patterning. Students practice counting daily and compare the relative size of numbers from 0-20. During the second half of the year, math skills include more advanced patterning, counting to and back from a given number, counting larger groups of items using organization and one-to-one correspondence and more solid recall and identification of printed numerals from 0-20, along with their order on the number line. Numeral writing is introduced through our handwriting program.

Music classes are taught using the Orff approach, which involves listening, movement, singing and other creative activities. Students develop skills in music theory and instrumental music, playing instruments such as the xylophone and other percussion instruments. Students perform at weekly Inspirations and holiday and spring concerts that showcase the curriculum. Students also are introduced to movement and dance.

Students are introduced to basic locomotor and non-locomotor movements, and the effect they can have on the movement of other objects. In addition, manipulative skills including throwing, catching, rolling and sliding are introduced and developed. Learning to play safely, following directions, teamwork and the simple enjoyment of physical activity in large group games are highlighted. Healthy habits and life skills are also introduced.

The program is integrated into and reflects the students’ daily lives, themes in literature, the seasons, holidays and celebrations noted on the calendar and within our students’ families. This exposure provides students an opportunity to explore each topic through daily lessons, center activities and literature selections.

Students are introduced to basic useful words and simple classroom commands in Spanish. They then expand their knowledge to familiar topics that include colors, numbers, emotions and family members. The focus is on identifying and naming items and understanding familiar words and phrases. Students also connect with the language through songs, dances, games and cultural information.

The Wellness and Life Skills program contains three core areas of focus. The first is teaching students to identify emotions, perceive and recognize others’ perspectives, solve problems and manage emotions. The second focuses on mindfulness. Using a research-based curriculum, students are taught skills that build resilience to stress and anxiety, and to develop a positive mindset in both school and life. The third focus is preventing, recognizing and identifying bullying behaviors, and students learn that bullying behavior can be both physical and/or relational in nature. We emphasize the need for kind works, inclusionary practices, to avoid mean teasing and to report bullying behavior.

At this level, “The Husky Promise” is introduced to the students for the first time. The main social development objective for this grade level is to help students become kind and caring individuals. They should be respectful in their interactions with both peers and adults, and they are encouraged to use their words to resolve conflicts. Using the Responsive Classroom techniques of guided discovery and interactive modeling, we introduce students to all aspects of life in the classroom and school communities. Throughout these lessons, we emphasize the expectations for daily behaviors, procedures and processes using our four core values as a base while building a safe and welcoming classroom family.

We expose students to a variety of media and enable them to explore different art disciplines including drawing, painting, collage, print-making, ceramics and sculpture. They learn fundamental color theory and how to properly care for paint and brushes while they experiment with watercolor and tempera paint. Students learn to cut, glue and balance shapes to create collages. During a unit in ceramics, Kindergarteners roll and join coils to construct coil pots, which they glaze. Sculpture assignments introduce the concept of 3D art and include experiences with paper mâché, puppet-making and mixed-media assemblage. Students work from imagination and observation to produce creative works within the parameters of specific assignments. Individual instruction is given to support and expand developing skills.

Students begin to understand order, shapes and sequential instructions in the real world through exposure to essential computational thinking skills, including pattern recognition, algorithms, decomposition and abstraction. Through discovering, engineering, tinkering and sharing, students engage in the self-directed learning process that is crucial to innovation. These opportunities are integrated throughout the day and enhanced by thinking routines, technology applications and opportunities for students to reflect on their learning. Kindergarten students also participate in the annual Global Day of Play and Hour of Code, events that focus on innovation and creative problem solving.

Kindergarten is a critical year for building a foundation for essential reading and writing skills. Our goal for reading is to help each child develop the tools necessary to begin to read independently and set the foundation for a life-long love of reading. Early in the year, students work to use newly acquired phonics skills, develop a sight-word vocabulary and display an understanding of print concepts. By the end of the year, students use sounds to decode simple words, increase their independence and stamina in reading and work on meaningful literacy tasks. We use aspects of The Daily 5 each day, including Read to Self, Read to Someone, Listen to Reading, Word Work and Work on Writing to ensure that students are immersed in print, environmental and reading level-appropriate text, as well as our phonics study program. Students are also introduced to the CAFE strategies to build comprehension, accuracy, fluency and vocabulary.

Writing is an integral part of all academic areas. Students use their developing writing skills to record their observations of the world, share stories about their lives and document their findings in areas ranging from math to science. In Writing Workshop, kindergarten writers use illustrations and progress to write, using invented spelling, in all genres, including fiction, nonfiction and poetry. We introduce kindergarteners to basic sentence structure and teach them to write from left to right and top to bottom with spacing between words. We introduce grammar and punctuation skills as each child is ready. Direct handwriting instruction is accomplished through the Handwriting Without Tears program. Students practice handwriting independently and through daily writing activities.

We have two main goals in Library: to help students become successful seekers, users and integrators of information from many sources, and to promote reading as a lifelong skill and pleasure. Skills to seek, evaluate and synthesize information are implemented across the grades at developmentally appropriate levels. Each class also includes a read-aloud story and discussion to help students develop a love of language and an appreciation for literature. Students are encouraged to seek out their areas of interest from our rich collection of both physical and virtual resources. Research and citation skills are reinforced in the homeroom with instruction and support from the librarian.

Students learn basic library behaviors, including caring for library books, using shelf markers and general areas of the library. They also learn parts of a book. Story-time choices relate either to the curriculum or to seasonal events. Post-story discussion focuses on retelling main parts of a story and imagining sequels and alternative endings. Students are encouraged to make connections to themselves, the world and previous reading. Students may check out one book per class, but are welcome to exchange for another at any time.

Counting is a main area of focus for math at this level, as it is the basis for understanding the number system. Many of the counting activities in kindergarten build a bridge to the operations of addition and subtraction. Students are provided with repeated experiences of counting sets of objects and matching and making sets of a given size. They work on activities that involve seeing and describing a given quantity in groups. They are also asked to decompose quantities and to find one or more combinations of a quantity. Students use story problems and play a variety of games to model the operations of addition and subtraction. Students have many opportunities to determine how objects are the same and different and sort them into groups according to their attributes. They also construct, describe, extend and determine what comes next in repeating patterns. Students are introduced to length and linear measurement through direct comparison and the use of non-standard units. They also build on their firsthand knowledge of shapes to further develop their spatial sense and deepen their understanding of the two- and three-dimensional world, and explore the idea that shapes can be combined or subdivided to make other shapes. Students gather and record data through multiple forms (graphs, tallies, tables).

Music classes are taught using the Orff approach, involving listening, movement, singing and other creative activities. Students develop skills in music theory and instrumental music, playing instruments such as the xylophone and other percussion instruments. Students perform at weekly Inspirations and at holiday and spring concerts, showcasing the curriculum. Students also are introduced to movement and dance.

Students practice a variety of gross motor movements and manipulative and coordination skills. Scooters, tumbling and dance units help students learn how their bodies move through space. Our lessons focus on skill development, teamwork, cooperation and fair play. Students learn the proper techniques for kicking, dribbling and striking skills and can progress at their own pace. The use of both dominant and non-dominant hands and feet is emphasized. Information on proper nutrition, including designing three well-balanced meals, and safety are developed in large group activities.

Science in the Lower School program is designed to tap into young students’ natural curiosity about their environment and how the world works. We help students, through inquiry, to continually build on their abilities and revise their knowledge. Our goals for the program are to provide students with engaging hands-on opportunities and experiences to guide them toward a more scientifically based and coherent view of the Earth, space, life and the physical sciences. In the Lower School program, science involves integrating engineering and technology to provide an environment in which students can test their own developing scientific knowledge and apply it to practical problems.

The performance expectations in kindergarten help students formulate answers to questions by planning and carrying out investigations or by designing solutions to problems. They are expected to develop an understanding of patterns and variations in weather. Students are able to understand the effects of different strengths or different directions of pushes and pulls on the motion of an object to analyze a design solution. They are also expected to develop understanding of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive and the relationship between their needs and where they live.

Social Studies incorporates the study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Within the Lower School program, Social Studies provides a coordinated, systematic study drawing upon geography, history, economics and political science and relevant content from language arts, mathematics and the sciences. The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world. To lay the foundation, from grades JK-4, the school year begins with students and teachers establishing the classroom community and students learning what it means to be a good citizen.

We use an integrated approach in this area. To ensure the curriculum is meaningful and accessible to students, they are provided with opportunities to explore each topic through real-world experiences, center activities and literature selections. The Social Studies curriculum in kindergarten explores the relationships in students’ lives with their families, friends, teachers and neighbors. Students explore ways to get along with others and how to solve problems. They learn that people live differently in different places and that they can help care for the world. Students practice the lessons they learn in activities such as creating “Who Am I?” books and identifying ways to help reduce waste in the environment.

Students use vocabulary in the context of a variety of basic themes that include greetings, colors, numbers, weather, members of the family, parts of the body, farm animals and shapes. A strong cultural focus provides information on important holidays and traditions in the Spanish-speaking world. Students also engage with the language through many interactive activities including music and games.

The Wellness and Life Skills program contains three core areas of focus. The first is teaching students to identify emotions, perceive and recognize others’ perspectives, solve problems and manage emotions. The second focuses on mindfulness. Using a research-based curriculum, students are taught skills which build resilience to stress and anxiety, and they develop a positive mindset in both school and life. The third focus is preventing, recognizing and identifying bullying behaviors, and students learn that bullying behavior can be both physical and/or relational in nature. We emphasize the need for kind works, inclusionary practices, avoiding mean teasing and reporting bullying behavior.

“The Husky Promise” is introduced to many of the students for the first time, and through modeling becomes an integral part of students’ daily lives. The main objective at this level is to help students become kind and caring individuals. We encourage them to be respectful in their interactions with both peers and adults and to use their words to resolve conflicts. Students work cooperatively in both small and large group settings and are encouraged to contribute to group lessons. Students are asked to take more responsibility for their actions, which includes working independently and taking care of their supplies. Through stories and role play, students learn about bullying behavior. Our goal is to help students develop into caring, self-confident members of the classroom community.

Language and Cultural Study Abroad offers higher-level Spanish and French students the opportunity to put their skills into practice through participation in a homestay and travel abroad program. Participants will complete part of the course at Flint Hill in preparation for travel and homestay abroad to practice the necessary vocabulary and communication skills needed for a successful immersion experience. Topics covered prior to traveling will include the following cultural visits/sites of interest, family life and norms, shopping, travel, and dining out. This class is graded as Pass/Fail. (Quarter, .25 credit)

Language and Cultural Study Abroad offers higher-level Spanish and French students the opportunity to put their skills into practice through participation in a homestay and travel abroad program. Participants will complete part of the course at Flint Hill in preparation for travel and homestay abroad to practice the necessary vocabulary and communication skills needed for a successful immersion experience. Topics covered prior to traveling will include cultural visits/sites of interest, family life and norms, shopping, travel and dining out. This course is graded as Pass/Fail. (Quarter, .25 credit)

This course follows the syllabus of the AP® Latin course as outlined by the College Board. Students read and interpret the commentaries of Caesar and Vergil’s “Aeneid” in the original language, paying particular attention to literal translation, literary devices, metrical features and themes concerning Roman identity and leadership. The course also addresses the political, social, and cultural background of the late Republic and early Roman Empire, the historical era in which these authors composed their works. Most students enter this course after successful completion of the Latin III – Honors or Latin IV courses. In some cases, exceptional students from Latin III may also be considered for the course. Students are expected to read works of increasing difficulty and lengths. The study of derivation and word origin remains a central emphasis. Students are expected to attend the Virginia Junior Classical League Latin Convention in the fall and take the National Latin Exam in the spring to benchmark their progress against national standards and diverse programs across the country. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course offers advanced Latin students the opportunity to continue Latin translation and literary analysis after completing the Latin AP® course. Readings cover the major poems of Catullus and Horace and are primarily selected from the former AP® Latin Literature syllabus. Additional readings from both authors and others (including Cicero and Ovid) may be selected based on time and the interest of students. Students are expected to read works of increasing difficulty and lengths. The study of derivation and word origin remains a central emphasis. Students are expected to attend the Virginia Junior Classical League Latin Convention in the fall and take the National Latin Exam in the spring to benchmark their progress against national standards and diverse programs across the country. Students may take this course with departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course teaches traditional Latin (first year) in a single academic year, and is typically taken by an Upper School student who has not previously taken Latin in middle school. The course encompasses a focused study of grammar, vocabulary and translation as well as an introduction to Roman history, culture and classical mythology. The study of derivation and word origin is an important aspect of this class. All students take the National Latin Exam in the spring to benchmark their progress against national standards and diverse programs across the country. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course is the first part of a two-year course, equivalent to the traditional first year of Latin. The groundwork is laid for all future grammatical study and students begin to acquire a solid foundational vocabulary. A strong emphasis is placed on making connections and comparisons between both grammatical structures and individual words in English and Latin. In addition, students continue their study of classical mythology and Roman history and culture. All students take the National Latin Exam in the spring to benchmark their progress against diverse programs across the country.

This course is a continuation of Latin I – Part 1. Students complete the traditional first year of Latin. Students deepen their understanding of the grammatical underpinnings of the Latin language by studying increasingly complex vocabulary and syntax, and begin translating longer passages of Latin. In addition, they continue their study of mythology, history and culture. Students successfully completing this course will be prepared to enter any high school Latin II course. All Latin I students take the National Latin Exam in the spring to benchmark their progress against national standards and diverse programs across the country.

Latin I Honors students cover an expansion of the vocabulary and grammar curriculum of the regular course. In addition, they are expected to read more extensively, recognize grammar constructions in context, master a larger corpus of vocabulary, do more English to Latin drills and writing, and participate in state and national competitions, including JCL conventions and Certamen. The course includes a more in-depth study of Roman history, civilization and classical mythology along with an intensive study of grammar, syntax and vocabulary. Translation and reading comprehension skills are developed over the course of the year with sentences of gradually increasing complexity and adapted stories. The study of derivation and word origin through the prescribed vocabulary list and enrichment vocabulary is an important focus of this class as well. All Latin I Honors students take the National Latin Exam and the Classical Association of Virginia Latin Tournament in the spring to benchmark their progress against national standards and diverse programs across the country.

This course completes the basic grammar students begin to learn in Latin I, and incrementally increases the scope and difficulty of translation, with the ultimate goal of introducing Latin in the original. Roman history, culture, and classical mythology are integrated through translations, projects, and class lectures. The study of derivation and word origin remains a central emphasis. All students take the National Latin Exam in the spring to benchmark their progress against national standards and diverse programs across the country. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course completes the basic grammar students begin to learn in Latin I and introduces many of the advanced concepts studied in Level III Latin. Students continue to develop translation skills by reading texts adapted from Roman authors. Students also reinforce translation skills by composing sentences in Latin. Roman mythology, history, and culture are integrated through Latin texts as well as projects and class lectures. Students are expected to read works of increasing difficulty and lengths. The study of derivation and word origin remains a central emphasis. Students are expected to attend the Virginia Junior Classical League Latin Convention in the fall and take the National Latin Exam in the spring to benchmark their progress against national standards and diverse programs across the country. Students may take this course with departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit)

The first three quarters of this course focus on completing the grammar and vocabulary study needed to read authentic Latin. The final quarter continues to reinforce grammar, but by translating and reading Roman authors. Students identify grammatical structures in context, and begin to analyze the works as literature in class discussions and individual essays. To that end, students learn the necessary meters and literary devices featured in authentic literature. Selections include both prose and poetry from the works of Catullus, Cicero, Livy, and Ovid. In general, the course addresses the history and culture of the late Republican period. The study of derivation and word origin remains a point of emphasis. All students take the National Latin Exam in the spring to benchmark their progress against national standards and diverse programs across the country. (Full year, 1 credit)

The first semester of this course focuses on completing the grammar and vocabulary study needed to read authentic Latin. Students also reinforce translation skills by composing sentences in Latin. The second semester continues to reinforce grammar through translating and reading Roman authors. Students identify grammatical structures in context, and begin to analyze the works as literature in class discussions and individual essays. To that end, students also learn the necessary meters and literary devices featured in authentic literature. Selections include both prose and poetry from the works of Catullus, Cicero, Livy, and Vergil. In general, this course addresses the history and culture of the late Republican period. The study of derivation and word origin remains a point of emphasis. In the final quarter, students explore the works of Vergil and Caesar. Students are expected to read works of increasing difficulty and lengths. The study of derivation and word origin remains a central emphasis. Students are expected to attend the Virginia Junior Classical League Latin Convention in the fall and take the National Latin Exam in the spring to benchmark their progress against national standards and diverse programs across the country. Students may take this course with departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course provides a transitional reading experience for students who have completed the basic grammar program and wish to apply their skills to reading authentic Latin literature. Students engage in surveys of the love elegies of Catullus, Caesar’s historical commentaries on his conquest of Gaul, and the epic mythology of Vergil’s “Aeneid.” Throughout this introduction to three of the most fundamental examples of Latin literature, students review, remediate, and practice various grammar skills to enhance their ability to translate, comprehend and analyze each author’s writing. In addition, students receive exposure to the meters used by the two poets and the literary devices pertinent to all three. Accordingly, students explore thematic connections within each author’s works and draw connections among the different authors and to the modern world. In general, the course continues to address the history and culture of the late Republican period and also addresses imperial Rome under the reign of Augustus Caesar. In the final quarter, students complete a final project that may include a further exploration of the works of Vergil and Caesar or an exploration of other authors, such as Cicero, Horace, Ovid, Martial and Pliny. All students take the National Latin Exam in the spring to benchmark their progress against national standards and diverse programs across the country. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course provides a full reading experience for students who want to pursue a fourth year of Latin but are not entering the AP® class. Students begin by reading a prose work of Cicero while engaging in a complementary review of grammar skills. Afterwards, students spend the majority of the year engaging in a more intensive survey of the poetry of Ovid, in particular the love poems of the “Amores,” the mythological tales of the “Metamorphoses,” and the seductive verses of the “Ars Amatoria,” with attention to grammar, meters, and literary devices. Accordingly, students explore thematic connections within each author’s works and draw connections between the different authors and to the modern world. In general, the course continues to address the history and culture of the late Republican period and also addresses imperial Rome under the reign of Augustus Caesar. In the final quarter, students complete a final translation project that may include an exploration of the works of Vergil and Caesar. Students are expected to read works of increasing difficulty and lengths. The study of derivation and word origin remains a central emphasis. Students are expected to attend the Virginia Junior Classical League Latin Convention in the fall and take the National Latin Exam in the spring to benchmark their progress against national standards and diverse programs across the country. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course provides a full reading experience for students who want to pursue a fifth year of Latin but are not entering the AP® class. Students engage in an intensive survey of extant Latin poetry and prose, with attention to grammar, meters, literary devices, and each author’s style. In addition, students explore thematic connections within each author’s works and draw connections among the different authors and to the modern world. In general, the course continues to address the history and culture of the late Republican period and also addresses imperial Rome under the reign of Augustus Caesar. In the final quarter, students complete a final translation project that may include an exploration of the works of Vergil and Caesar. All students take the National Latin Exam and attend the Classical Association of Virginia Latin Tournament in the spring to benchmark their progress against national standards and diverse programs across the country. (Full Year, 1 credit)

Leadership is not about status or titles. Leadership is about serving other people, not ourselves. Students in this course will investigate leadership through history and literature, and apply a value lens to learn about the characteristics of leadership. Students will explore different types of leadership by diving deeply into a case study of a leader of their choice. They will also learn and practice skills necessary to lead from a position of service to others. Group discussions as well as personal reflection will occur regularly. Students will also be asked to identify an area of our school in which to lead and engage with others as a leader over the course of the semester. (Semester, .50 credit)

In the Middle School, the Learning Center supports students with documented learning differences. The program provides support to students in academics, organization and time management, and parallels the developmental growth that occurs during these crucial years. Communication with the learning specialists, teachers, counselors and parents is ongoing during the Middle School years to ensure success for all students who use the Learning Center.

In the Middle School, each student who receives direct support from the Learning Center is assigned to a learning specialist who serves as his/her academic coach. Students meet with their coaches on a regularly scheduled basis for one-on-one, 25 to 30-minute sessions, which take place during elective periods. In their initial meetings, academic coaches help each student set goals, outline action steps and create a plan for accountability. Coaching sessions keep students on track and allow them to quickly address obstacles that interfere with progress. While the focus of coaching is primarily academic, it weaves in other commitments the student may have such as athletics, fine arts and service learning. Updates on goals and action steps are emailed to parents from the learning specialists once every quarter.

When not working directly with a learning specialist in a coaching session, Middle School students who use the Learning Center attend a study session. Held in classrooms and staffed by a classroom teacher, students receive structure and academic support to help them complete the action steps they have identified.

In the Lower School, the Learning Center addresses emerging learning differences for students in JK through sixth grade. Learning specialists work with students both in their classrooms and in small groups in the Learning Center. The amount of support provided is tailored to the needs of each student. Close collaboration with homeroom teachers and specials teachers is at the heart of the support. Learning specialists partner with teachers to implement accommodation plans for students with learning differences. The Learning Center provides consultations for teachers to help support various learning styles in the classroom.

Psychoeducational testing is not required to access the Learning Center in JK-second grade. Students in these early grades work with our learning specialists when Flint Hill assessments indicate a need. Beginning in third grade, students must have completed a comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation that diagnoses them with a learning disorder and/or an attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder within the last three years to access Learning Center support. Both direct and monitored support are available.

This course allows students to read authentic Greek and Roman texts in translation, discuss the issues in themes arising from the works, respond to “unanswerable questions” raised by ancient authors, and contemplate the ideas contained therein to draw conclusions about the modern world through an exploration of the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome. Readings are drawn from the works of Homer, Herodotus, the Athenian tragedians, Aristophanes, Plato, Sappho, Catullus, Ovid, Seneca and Juvenal, among others. Using a variety of assessments, the course is designed to provide students critical exposure to canonical, ancient literature while further honing their ability to use text to support their analysis in both discussion and formal writing. (Semester, .50 credit) Offered 2021–2022.

This course includes matrix algebra, determinants, vector spaces, eigenvalues, and eigenvectors. Applications to engineering, computer science, mathematics, physics, biology, economics, and statistics are included throughout the course. Students engage in chapter projects with real-world applications. AP® Calculus is a prerequisite to this course. (Full year, 1 credit)

An English class is a space to explore journeys of inquiry, discovery and connections. In this course, students are asked to take the helm of their literary adventures, each driving his/her own learning, while the teacher’s role is to facilitate the learning process. At the beginning of each unit, students are presented with a question, problem or case study to explore, and are required to find and present the results of their explorations in various modes, including essays, presentations and vodcasts. For example, units may pose questions such as under what circumstances ought one not do one’s duty, or is morality necessary for happiness? As the class evolves, students are given the opportunity to propose unit questions and inquiries. For each unit, students are provided with a recommended list of readings that cover multiple genres and periods, and that address an aspect of the initial inquiry. Students are expected to research and read multiple texts with varying perspectives to help them arrive at a nuanced understanding of the inquiry, synthesizing information they gather to arrive at individual conclusions. Participants in the class are afforded independence to explore literature germane to their specific lines of inquiry, while whole-class discussions focus on universal questions that cut across individual studies. (Semester, .50 credit) Offered 2021–2022.

The study of literature has always helped us to understand what it means to be human. Through the stories we tell, we learn to empathize with others, and sometimes those stories are powerful enough to change society. Literature not only mirrors traditional social structures, which are sometimes characterized by social injustice, but it also illuminates possibilities for alternative social constructs. Reading literature from different historical periods helps students uncover the roots of social injustice and understand the legacies of those concepts. This rigorous advanced class explores the role of literature during major social movements and examines the legacies of those texts in contemporary discourse, covering such topics such as gender inequality, racism, economic exploitation, imperialism/post-colonialism and ethics.

Students explore the nature of injustice from an informed and critical perspective through a variety of texts, including novels, plays, poetry, short stories, and essays, and through a variety of critical lenses. Students are expected to identify the nuances in texts, analyze conflicting perspectives, and synthesize ideas and information to draw original conclusions. This is a reading and writing intensive course, and students are expected to complete assignments independently and to actively engage in class discussions with civility and depth. While students continue to develop close reading skills of written and visual texts and critical writing skills, which includes increasing vocabulary and understanding the conventions of Standard English, students in an honors level seminar are expected to demonstrate effective control of language and stylistic fluency in their writing. (Semester, .50 credit) Offered 2021–2022.

War has served as a central source of inspiration for writers from antiquity to modern day as they grapple with its very essence. Is war just? Is war ethical? Is war necessary? This course explores the literature of war as students examine how war has been represented and memorialized across time and borders. Students consider multiple perspectives and observe how soldiers, veterans and civilians view this difficult subject in regard to questions of courage, duty, and patriotism as well as traumatic violence, suffering and loss. By closely engaging with the poetry and prose of this genre, students further develop their critical reading, writing and thinking skills. (Semester, .50 credit) Offered 2020–2021.

In this semester course, students construct and evaluate arguments by connecting to real-life scenarios pertinent to their lives. These short scenarios “translate” new notions and terms into concepts that they can relate to. Using an internet platform, students complete interactive exercises and view videos that reinforce the content to become more logical thinkers and communicators. Laws of logic, the history of logic, and applied logic are the primary focuses. Students need to have a strong verbal and written background as a prerequisite since they are expected to translate verbal arguments to symbolic logic. Algebra II is a prerequisite for this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

This semester-long course is a self-directed exploration into the world of creative problem solving and engineering. Students work towards proficiency in additive 3D modeling, subtractive 3D modeling, computer programming, electrical engineering and technical writing. Using design thinking, fast prototyping, collaboration, problem-solving, multiple tech tools and careful observation and recording, students complete increasingly difficult challenges that are presented in a rich storytelling environment. While this is a one semester course, it can be taken multiple times without repetition. This course is graded on a pass/fail basis.

This course explores the relationship between marine ecosystems and physical and chemical oceanography, including units related to geology and the atmosphere. The course also introduces students to the fundamentals of marine biology. Topics include ecosystem dynamics, biological interactions, biogeochemical cycles, ocean stratification and circulation, and wave–shore interactions. For all topics, the interplay between natural phenomena and human activities is discussed. Finally, the course has a strong laboratory component and pursues interdisciplinary topics, including human cultural history. (Semester, .50 credit)

MathCounts is a national enrichment club and competition program promoting Middle School math achievement through a fun and challenging math program. MathCounts inspires excellence, confidence, curiosity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Students work beyond MathCounts and look at various contests, enrichment content and activities. This course is graded on a pass/fail basis.

As the world becomes more interconnected and dependent upon groups collaborating to find solutions, Mathematical Modeling is becoming increasingly important for all students. In this fall semester course, students learn how to work in groups and collaborate in a mathematical modeling project. Undertaking several projects over the course of the semester, they incorporate working knowledge of many different levels of math and several disciplines, including statistics, physics, environmental science, biology, economics, English, finance and history. Working on some model problems from HiMCM and the Moody’s Challenge prepares them for the HiMCM Contest in the month of November. Juniors and seniors can also compete in the Moody’s M3 Challenge in the spring. Students learn how to research, organize and present their findings in a report. They are able to create an executive summary, present the solution to their problem, and discuss the limitations of the solution. Students must have taken or must be concurrently enrolled in Algebra II/Trigonometry – Honors or Pre-Calculus as a prerequisite for this course. (Fall semester, .50 credit)

In this course, students explore the potential of mathematics to generate visually appealing objects to reveal the beauty of mathematics. Focusing on accessible, visually interesting, and mathematically relevant topics, the course unifies mathematics subjects through their visual and conceptual beauty. Sequentially organized according to the mathematical maturity level, each chapter covers a cross section of mathematics, from fundamental Euclidean geometry, tilings and fractals to hyperbolic geometry, platonic solids and topology. The course may cover different aspects of math, such as from Euclidean geometry, the golden section, Fibonacci numbers, symmetries, tilings, similarities, fractals, cellular automata, inversion, hyperbolic geometry, Platonic and Archimedean solids, perspective drawing, or topology. Some simple proofs and exercise problems may also be covered. For students interested in art, the course stresses an understanding of the mathematical background of relatively complicated yet intriguing visual objects. For students interested in science, the course presents various elegant mathematical theories and notions. Algebra II is a prerequisite for this course. (Semester, .5 credit)

This course builds on the concepts of single-variable calculus and applies those concepts to problems in higher dimensions. The course covers some topics already addressed in the AP® Calculus BC syllabus (but not in the AP® Calculus AB syllabus), such as parametric equations, polar coordinates, and additional integration techniques. Three-dimensional work begins with vectors and the geometry of space. Vector functions are followed by the study of partial derivatives, multiple integrals, and vector calculus. AP® Calculus BC is a prerequisite to this course. (Full year, 1 credit)

This entry-level course is open to students enrolled in a music ensemble. This course provides instruction in basic music theory, which is the academic aspect of the art of music. Students develop the skills necessary to understand and translate the language of music. The course includes study of basic music elements such as the staff, note names and values, rhythm, melodic reading and writing, and music terminology. The course progresses through the study of scales, chords, harmonic progressions, ear training, sight singing, form and analysis. This class is a technology-based course that uses an interactive computer software program to realize maximum learning potential. Membership in a music ensemble (vocal or instrumental) is a prerequisite for this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course is a continuation of the study begun in Music Theory I. In this course, students review scales, chords and key signatures. New material introduces harmonic progressions, melody writing and musical form. This work prepares students to compose their own works. This class is a technology-based course that uses an interactive computer software program for maximum learning potential. Work is completed in the computer lab and music classroom with instruments. Music Theory I and continued membership in a music ensemble are prerequisites for this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

Students are expected to perform a variety of string ensemble repertoires with expression and technical accuracy. This course emphasizes mastering skills in music theory, sight-reading and basic technical proficiency. Students are required to use their own instruments and equipment for this course. The school has a number of instruments available for rental. Some after-school rehearsals, concerts, performances, and competitions are required. Students may take this course with permission from the instructor. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course is open to less-experienced and experienced percussion students. Students must demonstrate proficiency on the snare drum, bass drum, cymbals, mallets, drum set, and miscellaneous percussion instruments. Students learn to master the rudiments of all percussion instruments, and to perform solo and ensemble repertoires with expression and technical accuracy. This course emphasizes skills in music theory, sight-reading and advanced technical proficiency. Participation in some after-school rehearsals, concerts, performances and competitions is required. Students may take this course with permission from the instructor. (Full year, 1 credit)

Through class discussions and experiments, this laboratory-oriented course explores the physical laws of nature and the techniques of science. This course provides the basic background material and skills needed for later science courses, and covers laboratory measurements and procedures, development of mathematical and scientific models, Newton’s laws of motion, energy, and electric circuits. One major focus of the course is the use of inquiry-based techniques of instruction, using which students must think through problems, develop analytical skills, and apply their knowledge to familiar and unfamiliar phenomena. Specific skills practiced in this course include detailed observation, hypothesis development, experimental design, organized data collection, data analysis, and graphing and troubleshooting when problems are encountered. (Full year, 1 credit)

According to Frances Mayes, “Some pull of inner necessity draws the poet to the page, whether to explore a problem, pursue a rhythm, break apart logic, express an emotion, tell a story or simply to sing.” This course is for students who wish to study poetry not only as readers, but also as writers bent on exploring that inner necessity. Through a workshop format, students investigate poetry from different periods and cultures, develop and apply their understanding of meter and poetic form, hear poetry read aloud, perform poetry in a coffee house format, write analytically about poetry studied individually and in groups, and create poems of their own through various workshop techniques. This course is designed to reinforce and improve upon the skills that students learned in previous English courses, including active reading, oral presentations, formal analytical writing and small group work. (Semester, .50 credit) Offered 2020–2021.

Students at this level are considering a greater degree of individual involvement in visual art. The focus for this course is to create a personal portfolio of art. The goals for the portfolio may include cohesive works in a single medium and multimedia work within a single discipline or a project that conceptually combines ideas and skills from various disciplines. Students develop their own artist’s integrity and refine their skills in order to present a culminating statement in their chosen discipline. Typically, the culminating statement connects the artist’s personal work with the culture at large. Students investigate particular areas of historical or critical interest at greater length and according to their own needs and interests. Students at this level should be able to communicate a point of view, present ideas in a meaningful way and discuss work in critical terms. All work leads toward the completion of a 20-piece body of work and formal exhibit. Art III – Honors is a prerequisite to this course. Students may take this course with departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course prepares students for the rigors of Algebra I. Students explore topics such as proportions, ratios, rational numbers, linear relationships and data interpretation. This course is designed to create a connection among mathematical ideas. Problem solving and critical thinking are key components of the course.

This course encompasses the material in Pre-Algebra at a faster pace and goes deeper into more intense levels of problem-solving and mathematical explorations. This course also covers extension topics such as solving multi-step equations, complex fractions, combinations and permutations. This course is designed to reinforce, extend, and enrich students’ reasoning skills as they explore more abstract and advanced topics.

This rigorous course builds upon the concepts and skills mastered in previous Algebra classes and aims to facilitate a deep understanding of mathematics. This course endeavors to improve students’ ability to analyze and solve sophisticated mathematical problems. Students develop their quantitative, reasoning, algebraic, and graphical skills. This course is designed to prepare students for college-level work in mathematics, particularly calculus courses, exploring in detail the concepts and technical skills necessary for analyzing the behavior of functions and their properties. Polynomial, rational, exponential, trigonometric, and logarithmic functions are discussed from an algebraic, numerical, graphical, and application point of view. In addition to functions, a number of other stand-alone concepts are also covered. More advanced and appropriate use of the graphing calculator are also taught. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course builds upon concepts introduced in Algebra II-Trigonometry Honors/Accelerated Algebra II, and is designed to prepare students for college-level work in AP® Calculus BC. In addition, emphasis is placed on the applications of a graphing calculator, real-world problems, and proofs of formulas and identities. Besides covering all the topics from Pre-Calculus, the course includes additional topics from part “A” of Calculus “ABC” so that students can progress to AP® Calculus BC. These additional topics include polar coordinates, parametric equations, sequence and series, and an introduction to limits and derivatives as well as area under the curve. Students are expected to explore unfamiliar ideas independently. Students are required to meet expectations in understanding and mastering concepts, and independent learning. (Full year, 1 credit)

Students explore the nature of working with multiples through media such as linoleum reduction and monoprinting with oil and water-based materials. Class work includes working from the still life, portrait, landscape and imagination. Students develop personal iconography and means of self-expression through words and images. Students explore techniques and styles of bookbinding that extend beyond the boundaries of the classic “book form.” Students learn the history of printmaking and discuss other printmaking techniques, such as intaglio, woodcut, lithography and silkscreen not covered by this course. Students are assigned weekly sketchbook work and participate in numerous group critiques to learn how to assess their own and others’ work. The class goes on a field trip to a major museum or gallery. Foundations in Art or Art I are prerequisites for this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course introduces students to the theory and practice of basic probability and statistics, focusing on the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. Students simplify statistical calculations and develop probability concepts through simulation and interpret outputs and understand applications of data in decision-making. Topics covered in the course include analyzing univariate data, comparing bivariate data, collecting data via sampling, designing valid experiments, calculating probability, performing simulations using normal distributions, using regression analysis as a predictive tool, and understanding statistical inferences. The course provides an excellent foundation for the college-level introductory statistics course. (Fall semester, .50 credit)

In this course, students examine patterns and variations of human behavior and the process of individual human development. They examine the emotional, intellectual, and physical factors that influence the development of human beings. Students distinguish among the major schools or perspectives, systems of psychology, and methods of investigations. Students also analyze the mental processes and biological rationale for behavior. The course provides students with a hands-on approach through which they become active learners in the understanding of psychology. (Semester, .50 credit)

To understand how an engine works, a mechanic must take it apart, examine its components and reassemble it. Learning to write well functions the same way. In this course, students will read, write and analyze different forms of fiction to better understand how literature can persuade, inspire and move its readers — a skillset that is essential to crafting compelling communication of all types. Students will learn to read great works of fiction with a writer’s eye so that they can emulate and explicate novels and short stories. They also will select a mentor author to research, analyze and present on. By the end of the course, students will have written various forms of short fiction and craft analyses, culminating a polished portfolio. Along with their reading and writing, they will continue to expand their vocabulary and develop a mastery of the conventions of Standard English. (Semester, .50 credit) Offered 2020–2021.

To understand how an engine works, a mechanic must take it apart, examine its components, and reassemble it. Learning to write well functions the same way. In this course, students will read, write, and analyze different forms of creative nonfiction and journalism to better understand how personal essays and news features can inform, persuade, and move readers—a skill set essential in crafting compelling communication of all types. Students will learn to read great works of creative nonfiction and journalism with a writer’s eye so that they can emulate and explicate these mentor texts. They also will select a mentor author to research, analyze, and present on. By the end of the course, they will have written various forms of creative nonfiction, journalistic articles, and craft analyses, culminating in a polished portfolio. Along with their reading and writing, they will continue to expand their vocabulary and develop a mastery of the conventions of Standard English. (Semester, .50 credit) Offered 2021–2022.

How do we continue to construct ourselves and evolve as a nation? Who is now part of that reconstruction process, either by invitation, invention or force? What new and different challenges face us as a nation? Anticipating the future, who and what will we become as a nation? What role does literature continue to play in the formation of an American identity and is that identity new? These are a few of the salient questions students grapple with in this course. To do so, they trace America’s ever-evolving literary tradition, from the end of the 19th century to the present day, covering periods of modern and contemporary American literature. The course explores a variety of genres, including short stories, poetry, drama, nonfiction, novels and film. Texts reveal a wide range of themes, voices and styles permeating the diverse world of American literature, allowing students to consider the historical, social and intellectual implications of being an American as well as to unpack the features of distinct literary movements. Students continue to develop critical reading, writing, revising, thinking, and speaking skills through a range of assignments. (Semester, .50 credit) Offered 2021–2022.

Responsive Classroom is a research- and evidence-based approach to elementary education that leads to greater teacher effectiveness, higher student achievement and improved school climate. The program emphasizes teaching students to take care of themselves, each other and the school environment so everyone can learn according to his/her best. There is also a strong emphasis on students setting goals for their own learning and taking responsibility for reaching those goals.

The Responsive Classroom approach is based on theories about how children learn and the experiences of classroom teachers.

  1. There are seven basic principles behind this approach:
  2. Learning social skills is as important as learning academic skills.
  3. How children learn is as important as what they learn; process and content go hand-in-hand.
  4. Children gain knowledge most effectively through social interaction.
  5. To be successful academically and socially, children need to learn cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy and self-control.
  6. Knowing the children we teach — individually, culturally and developmentally — is as important as knowing the content we teach.
  7. Knowing the families of the children we teach and inviting their participation is essential to children’s education.
  8. How the adults at school work together is as important as each teacher’s skill.

The Responsive Classroom approach includes the following core components:

  • Morning Meeting
  • Rules and Logical Consequences
  • Guided Discovery
  • Academic Choice
  • Classroom Organization
  • Working Together with Parents

In this second semester course, students will develop an understanding of robotics’ role in the real world through design challenges. The challenges will require planning, construction and programming experience with the Lego Mindstorms EV3 hardware and software. Students identify issues in their community that would benefit from the use of robots. They design, build and program robots that will provide a solution for the identified issue, thus allowing the students to learn more about how robots benefit the real world. Competition Robotics is a prerequisite for this class. This course is graded on a pass/fail basis.

The robotics series of classes is designed to teach the engineering and programming processes. This course is the first full-year course in the robotics series. Students taking this course contribute to a team of up to six members as they design, build, and program robots. This engaging process implicitly provides a unique opportunity for students to place engineering design, scientific process, technological literacy, and mathematics in a tangible context.

Students learn to build and program TETRIX-based robot systems for the FIRST Tech Challenge Competition. They learn to program Android devices to control their robots. As a fundamental element of the learning process, students document their experience using a digital design notebook, which mimics an engineering notebook maintained by professional engineers. During the second semester, students work in groups to accomplish a project of their choice. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course is the second course in the robotics series. Students taking this course use current methods and processes of design as they learn to create custom parts. This engaging process implicitly provides a unique opportunity for students to place engineering design, scientific process, technological literacy, and mathematics in a tangible context. Students begin by learning to use Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software to design robot components. They then learn to use current technology to create parts for the robotics teams as well as for individual projects. Students have the opportunity to earn an industry-recognized CAD certification. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course explores aspects of satire, beginning with a clear definition of satire, and making distinctions between satire and other forms of humor (sarcasm, comedy, etc.) The course follows the history of satire in both England and America. Starting with the earliest writers and moving toward present-day writers, students are introduced to some of the greatest English and American satirists and their works (novels, short stories, essays, letters, etc.). Students analyze these works, both in writing and in class discussion, and dabble with the actual writing of satire. The overall goal for this course is for students to gain a better understanding of and appreciation for satire and its social and political role dating from the early 18th century to the present day. (Semester, .50 credit) Offered 2021–2022.

The year begins with a focus on the properties of matter, which are used as the foundation for explaining the structure of the Earth and its internal layers. Students then explore changes on Earth, both at the surface level (the rock cycle, weathering, erosion and deposition) and below (plate tectonics and accompanying earthquakes and volcanoes). The earlier study of physical properties is revisited during a unit on weather and climate. The year ends with students learning about the relationship between Earth, the sun and the moon before moving to the rest of the solar system and other stars and galaxies in our universe.

This lab-driven course begins by focusing on the structure and function of life. Students build on previously learned information about cells and do hands-on work to study how cells produce energy and how materials move through cells. The spotlight then moves to how cells work together to form organ systems and the way those systems interact in a successful organism; the forensic dissection of a necturus is a centerpiece in this unit. For the second semester, students move into the world of genetics and learn how traits are passed from parents to offspring, with special attention given to real-world scenarios including coat color in dogs and blood type in humans. Finally, the year concludes with a study of how living organisms survive in their environments, how they are dependent on their environmental interactions with other living and nonliving factors, and how those factors impact their success on Earth.

Students are introduced to works of imaginative literature (primarily short stories, science fiction, essays and autobiographies) on scientific topics and non-fictional works of science. Students consider how the intersections between literature and science raise fascinating questions in science, literature, and ethics. Students study vocabulary in the content area, and review grammar and research writing skills. Potential readings include Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World,” Lewis Thomas’ “Lives of a Cell,” Oliver Sack’s “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat,” Watson and Crick’s “The Double Helix,” Andrea Barrett’s “Ship Fever,” and Kurt Vonnegut’s “Cat’s Cradle.” (Semester, .50 credit) Offered 2020–2021.

Have you always had an interest in a science topic but never had the time to study it in great depth? Have you ever had a question pop into your curious mind that you wished you could investigate to discover the answer? This course allows students to pursue a scientific topic of interest in great depth. In the first semester, the students collaborate to select a field biology study question, design, and perform research to attempt to find an answer. Several scientists also visit the class during the first semester to discuss their research to give firsthand accounts of how to design research projects and how to analyze the data. In the second semester, each student designs and performs his/her own individual research on a topic of interest, or participates in a research team in a local laboratory or university. This course is open to any student in 9th-12th grade. Successful completion of this unique course often opens doors for students who want to conduct research at their future college or university. (Full year, 1 credit)

Building on skills learned previously, students explore more involved projects in drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture and design. Observational drawing skills are reinforced with still-life assignments, and students paint both from life and imagination. Students review basic color theory, including how to mix colors and create a range of values. Proportion, compositional design, negative/positive space and size relationships are introduced. Students make an edition of original prints and are exposed to different processes of relief printing. They combine several hand-building methods to create clay sculptures. More advanced papier mâché techniques are taught in connection with puppet making and sculpture projects. Students learn basic concepts of weaving using yarn on string looms. Students are challenged at a comfortable level and supported with individual instruction as they expand the parameters of assignments.

From coding with Scratch Jr., to participating in engineering and building challenges, students continue to apply order, shapes and sequential instructions to activities and objects that are personally relevant. Through discovering, engineering, tinkering and sharing, students engage in the self-directed learning process that is crucial to innovation. These creative opportunities are integrated throughout the day and enhanced by thinking routines, technology applications and opportunities to reflect on their learning. Second Grade students also participate in the annual Global Day of Play and Hour of Code, events that focus on innovation and creative problem solving.

Students build on their foundational understanding of reading, writing and communicating and use their skills with greater sophistication. Students continue to use the Daily 5 structure to select appropriate books, build reading stamina and check for understanding. As a class, students consider an author’s purpose, setting, character and plot. Students meet in small groups and individually with the teacher to discuss and practice various reading strategies, such as making predictions, learning how to make meaning from unfamiliar words and noticing how readers use punctuation and print variation to guide their reading. Students describe connections they make to selections in the text as a way to go beyond the literal meaning of the text. Students use the CAFE strategies to build comprehension, accuracy and fluency and expand their vocabulary. Students also participate in Word Study, exploring spelling features by sorting, distinguishing and comparing phonemic patterns. Through the Handwriting Without Tears program, developing a proper pencil grip, starting letters at the top and being aware of spaces between words are reinforced.

The writing process largely parallels reading instruction. We begin the year with a review of the components of the process, including planning, drafting, revising, editing and publishing. In Writing Workshop, students write pieces from a range of genres including letters, personal narrative, fiction, poetry and biography. All writing units include mini-lessons to help our writers reflect on the craft of writing, the writing process and the special care writers take to communicate clearly to their readers. Teachers use mentor texts to introduce new writing techniques and student work is shared to show how strategies are incorporated into students’ writing. Students meet individually with teachers to share, reflect and make plans for improving their skills.

We have two main goals in Library: to help students become successful seekers, users and integrators of information from many sources, and to promote reading as a lifelong skill and pleasure. Skills to seek, evaluate and synthesize information are implemented across the grades at developmentally appropriate levels. Each class also features a read-aloud story and discussion to help students develop a love of language along with an appreciation for literature. We encourage students to seek out their areas of interest from our rich collection of both physical and virtual resources. Research and citation skills are reinforced in the homeroom with instruction and support from the librarian.

In class, read-aloud choices focus on the author/illustrator relationship. Students discuss how illustrations enhance or extend the storytelling, with an emphasis on how a viewer’s point-of-view changes with narrative of the story. Other units, including Native American fables and biography, tie to the curriculum. Students may check out two books per class but may exchange them for others at any time.

Students work with contexts and models that represent the place value structure of the base-10 number system to build and visualize how two-digit numbers are composed. Students’ work with place value becomes the basis for developing strategies for adding and subtracting two-digit numbers. The relationship between addition and subtraction is used to solve subtraction problems and to develop fluency with the subtraction expressions related to the addition combinations. Students develop an understanding of what fractions are and how they can be used to name quantities. They learn how fractions are expressed in words and represented using numbers, and learn the notation for mixed numbers through dividing sets. Students classify data with many different values by grouping the data into categories and use a variety of representations for the data. By comparing different representations, they learn how different representations can make different aspects of the data set more visible.

Students continue to develop their understanding of length and how it is measured. As students begin to measure objects using standard tools of measurement such as rulers and yardsticks, the emphasis is on making sense of length as an attribute of objects. Students practice naming, notating and telling time on digital and analog clocks. They work with timelines, associating events with a particular time and determine intervals of time with an emphasis on starting and ending times on the hour or half-hour. Students study quadrilaterals and polygons and consider which properties are important when describing these shapes. They combine and decompose both 2D and 3D shapes and explore the relationships between shapes.

Music classes are taught using the Orff approach, involving listening, movement, singing and other creative activities. Students develop skills in music theory and instrumental music, playing instruments such as the xylophone and other percussion instruments. Students perform at weekly Inspirations and at holiday and spring concerts, showcasing the curriculum. Students also are introduced to movement and dance.

Students continue to develop literacy at this level. They learn note values to the whole note, and are introduced to the staff. Students learn about beats in twos or threes and about tempo. They expand their understanding of rhythm, pitch, meter and dynamics. Lessons in American Folk dances, such as the circle dance, develop connections between movement and music.

Students begin to explore more complex movement patterns and concepts while learning to develop and apply basic game strategies. They expand upon sport skills learned previously to create a broader skill base. Students enhance social skills and fitness concepts while participating in a wide variety of group games. Football, lacrosse and kickball units are introduced with a concentration on basic skills. Lessons focus on manipulative skill progressions and are then applied in large group activities. Students continue to build upon the “Healthy Habits” foundation using interactive games and activities.

Science in the Lower School is designed to tap into young students’ natural curiosity about their environment and how the world works. We help students, through inquiry, to continually build on their abilities and revise their knowledge. The goals for the program are to provide students with engaging hands-on opportunities and experiences to guide them toward a more scientifically based and coherent view of the Earth, space, life and the physical sciences. In the Lower School, science involves integrating engineering and technology to provide an environment in which students can test their own developing scientific knowledge and apply it to practical problems.

The performance expectations in second grade help students develop answers to questions. They learn to obtain, evaluate and communicate the information they gather through investigations as they demonstrate understanding of core ideas. The science curriculum introduces students to the diversity and interdependence of living things in ecosystems. Students are expected to explore what plants need to grow and how plants depend on animals for seed dispersal and pollination. They are also expected to compare the diversity of life in different habitats. Students learn to analyze and classify different materials by observable properties. They also compare the properties and functions of different kinds of matter and examine the processes that shape the Earth over long and short periods of time.

Social Studies incorporates the study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Within the Lower School program, Social Studies provides a coordinated, systematic study drawing upon geography, history, economics and political science, and relevant content from language arts, mathematics and the sciences. The primary purpose of social studies is to help our students develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world. To lay the foundation from grades JK-4, the school year begins with students and teachers establishing the classroom community and students learning what it means to be a good citizen.

Students in second grade widen their global perspective by studying communities, cultures and geography from other parts of the world. Students compare their own lives to the lives of children around the globe. Throughout the year, students are encouraged to compare and contrast world holidays with their own. A nonfiction unit on the biographies of historical figures is integrated with Language Arts and provides students the opportunity to apply skills across content areas.

Students continue to reinforce and build on previous knowledge through new thematic vocabulary and more challenging phrases and brief sentences. Students learn to respond to language commands, use words in context and begin basic writing of words and learned phrases at this stage. Highlights include creating digital thematic books, discussing various Latin American customs and celebrations — including “El Día de los Muertos,” “Las Posadas” and “Carnival” — and a cross-curricular unit on the Monarch butterfly migration.

The Wellness and Life Skills program contains three core areas of focus. The first is teaching students to identify emotions, perceive and recognize others’ perspectives, solve problems and manage emotions. The second focuses on mindfulness. Using a research-based curriculum, students are taught skills which build resilience to stress and anxiety, and develop a positive mindset in both school and life. The third focus is preventing, recognizing and identifying bullying behaviors, and students learn that bullying behaviors can be both physical and/or relational in nature. We emphasize the need for kind works, inclusionary practices, avoiding mean teasing and reporting bullying behavior.

Throughout the year, students are encouraged to make “The Husky Promise” a daily reality. Developing honesty, respect, responsibility and compassion is encouraged through literature, individual conferences and class meetings. Students are able to identify a wide range of feelings and learn to read body language and facial expressions in various situations, allowing them to understand empathy and gain a wider perspective of others’ feelings. Students begin to consider the impact of their choices on themselves and their peers. Particular emphasis is placed on making good decisions, treating others with care and reflecting on choices that have been made. Through stories and role play, children learn about bullying behavior. Our goal is to help students develop into caring, self-confident members of the classroom community.

Is Shakespeare the greatest writer in the history of the English language? Why do audiences still flock to performances of his plays? What themes in his plays still resonate with us after 400 years? This course explores the world of William Shakespeare, arguably the most influential writer in Western literature, through a close study of several of his plays. Students read three to four plays representing Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies and histories. A typical semester might include “Hamlet,” “Othello,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and “Richard III.” In addition to reading the plays, students perform selections from the works, write analytical essays and shorter responses, read excerpts from biographical and critical material on Shakespeare, and view film adaptations of the plays. (Semester, .50 credit) Offered 2020–2021.

In this course, students read, discuss and dissect the works of great short story writers, such as Ernest Hemingway, Katherine Mansfield, Anton Chekhov and J.D. Salinger. They also read the short stories of slightly lesser known, but equally innovative, writers from diverse ethnic and geographical backgrounds. The goal for this course is to give students an appreciation for the short story genre and a better understanding of the techniques used by different authors to captivate their audience, create a particular mood and portray reality (or the illusion of reality) within a confined literary space. In addition, this course is designed to help students improve their analytical reading and critical writing skills. Students focus on the following elements of short fiction: tone, point of view, setting, style, dialogue, characterization and motivation. (Semester, .50 credit) Offered 2021–2022.

In this year-long course, students are challenged to explore the use of art as a vehicle for communication. Various media are used in familiar and new ways to solve project assignments. With an expanding understanding of two-dimensional and three-dimensional design concepts, students analyze how their intentional choices influence the content and effect of their artwork. Comparing their choices with artists from other time periods and places invites a sense of relevance and connection. Specific projects include contour and gesture drawing (self-portrait, still life and landscape), painting, sculpture, relief printing, design, ceramics, ink painting and fiber art.

This year-long ensemble class expands upon and develops the skills acquired in fifth grade. Students begin studies in tone development, technical facility, rhythm and musicality. These skills allow the band to begin studying meaningful and age-appropriate band repertoire. At the conclusion of the course, students are capable of playing major scales through four sharps and flats, have at least an octave-and-one-half register, have confidence in performing in a wide variety of meters and rhythmic schemes, and have the technical proficiency to join the advanced band. The fifth and sixth grade band performs at the Winter Concert and Spring Concert. In addition, sixth grade students have opportunities to perform with the advanced band based on their audition and ability.

The goal at this level is to enhance some of the skills introduced in fifth grade and develop them more fully in each student. Students continue to work on the basic elements of sight-singing, music theory and complex part-singing throughout the year. Students finish all the basic intervocalic relationships and start to explore modes. In the spring, students learn a major choral work in detail, focusing on both the musical and extra-musical elements. If and when opportunities arise to take part in a community production, members of this group are encouraged to audition.

Building on the skill progression from fifth grade Innovation Lab, students further their foundation in digital citizenship and innovation. As they engage in interdisciplinary problem solving and short- and long-term projects of increasing complexity and depth, students develop skills in critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, research and communication. Students are encouraged to tinker, experiment and create using the power of digital design and fabrication, electronics, physical computing, engineering and creative coding. This course is graded on a pass/fail basis.

This program nurtures creativity and expression while focusing on the student’s ability to think and communicate thoughtfully and fluently. Through a workshop model of instruction, students work to learn and improve in all elements of writing and reading. As writers, students review and build grammar, usage and mechanics skills, as well as vocabulary development. As readers, students enhance their comprehension skills through wide independent reading, close study of selected texts and a range of nonfiction resources. They learn to conduct research in primary and secondary ways, write for an audience and make informed decisions as communicators. Collaborative learning activities are applied through the use of technology, art and drama in an integrated manner.

We have two main goals in Library: to help students become successful seekers, users and integrators of information from many sources, and to promote reading as a lifelong skill and pleasure. Skills to seek, evaluate and synthesize information are implemented across the grades at developmentally appropriate levels. Students are encouraged to seek out their areas of interest from our rich collection of both physical and virtual resources. Research and citation skills are reinforced in the homeroom with instruction and support from the librarian. Students continue developing their attribution and citation skills with an emphasis on creating bibliographies for their work. They also refine their information search skills by focusing on appropriate keywords, assessing websites and assessing possible bias.

Students develop and apply a variety of strategies for solving problems, including building models, recognizing and generalizing patterns, making tables, drawing diagrams and graphs, using equations and solving simpler problems. They apply all operations on fractions and decimals fluently and use the appropriate operation to solve problems. They learn to distinguish between fractions as numbers and ratios as comparisons, and to solve problems in various contexts using ratios, scaling, equivalent ratios, rates, percents and absolute value. They deepen their understanding of area and perimeter of polygons as well as surface area and volume of prisms. They begin to explore various aspects of algebra, including variables, expressions, inequalities and algebraic equations, and they interpret and evaluate expressions and solve linear equations. They pose questions, collect data, perform analysis of data distributions, including shape, measures of center (mean, median, mode) and variability (range, interquartile range, mean absolute deviation).

This course follows the mathematics topics, with deeper content and several extension topics that feature more student-centered pacing. Students make estimates, use benchmarks, check for reasonableness of answers and learn to recognize when to use an estimate and when an exact solution is necessary. In doing so, they develop and apply a variety of strategies for solving problems, including building models, recognizing and generalizing patterns, making lists and tables, drawing diagrams and graphs, using equations and solving simpler problems. Students learn to apply all four arithmetic operations on fractions and decimals fluently and recognize when addition, subtraction, multiplication or division is the appropriate operation to solve a problem. Students learn to distinguish between fractions as numbers and ratios as comparisons and solve problems in various contexts using ratios, scaling, equivalent ratios, rates, percents, absolute value and unit rates. Students learn to pose questions, collect data, analyze and interpret data distributions. Students also deepen their understanding of the area and perimeter of various polygons and surface area and volume of rectangular prisms, including the use of formulas. Students also begin to explore various aspects of algebra, including variables, expressions, inequalities and algebraic equations, and they interpret and evaluate expressions and solve linear equations in a variety of ways. They also perform analysis of data distributions, including shape, measures of center (mean, median, mode) and variability (range, interquartile range, mean absolute deviation). Students are expected to make connections to previous skills and other content area and extend and apply understanding of topics to new scenarios. This course makes significant use of investigation and discovery-based learning.

This course teaches students more complex rhythms, note reading and a wider range of techniques to guide them in the orchestra experience as students continue from fifth grade to sixth grade. Additional time is spent helping students develop a more mature sound through right arm bowing techniques and left-hand intonation work. The course begins to incorporate scales and exercises that expand students’ knowledge of their instruments. In addition, the orchestra focuses on developing individual instrument skills. The fifth and sixth grade orchestra performs in two required concerts during the year.

Students continue to develop solid fundamentals of the hand coordination and dexterity they begin in the ensemble during fifth grade. They learn new rhythms and how to dissect and sub-divide these rhythms. Students are introduced to melodic percussion: orchestra bells, marimba, xylophone, chimes and timpani. Each student is introduced to a broader range of instruments and music theory. Specifically, students are introduced to the melodic instruments of the percussion family and increase their rhythmic and technical vocabulary to accomplish rolls, scales and rudiments. Students are evaluated on preparedness, weekly parent-signed practice sheets and classroom and public performances.

At this level, sport-specific skills are reinforced and refined through the use of small group and partner work, lead-up games and repetitive drills in modified and regulation game play. We emphasize positional and tactical play while still focusing on developing individual skills. The primary focus is on developing skills, tactics and confidence to promote a smooth transition into the Middle School Athletic Program in seventh and eighth grade.

This course builds on the science literacy, math integration and cooperative learning emphasized in fifth grade to allow students to explain phenomena central to the physical sciences. The course revolves around three main themes: the structure and properties of matter and chemical reactions, how objects move and the characteristic properties and behaviors of waves when the waves interact with matter. The engineering process is implemented as students apply the scientific concepts they learn in hands-on projects, such as designing and building roller coasters, wind powered cars, water rockets and musical instruments to gain a deeper understanding of the material. This course emphasizes analysis and problem solving.

This course expands upon the concepts and skills that students were introduced to in fifth grade. Students will continue to hone their skills as social scientists through the exploration of the ancient civilizations of China, Greece and Rome. They learn to identify the cultural universals and discover the secrets of ancient cultures that continue to influence the modern world. Through hands-on activities, students learn about early civilizations’ government, social structure, art and technology. Students are encouraged to make connections with their own lives and learn to examine choices made by early people related to their unique challenges while mastering social studies standards.

Students continue to expand their vocabulary base and build a strong foundation in basic linguistic structures that include expressing likes and dislikes and asking for and providing information. Students develop oral and written skills while working with language in thematic contexts that include an exchange letter to describe one’s self, descriptions of friends for a mini-yearbook of people in the class and life at school. They also learn about traditions and cultural practices of countries where Spanish is spoken. A variety of interactive teaching strategies reinforce language patterns and promote communication.

In this course, students in sixth grade meet once per week to develop personalized strategies for study strategies and organization. Assessment preparation and active reading skills are explored and taught explicitly alongside quizzes, tests and readings. As students complete their inquiry projects and capstone experiences, systems of organization including paper and digital organization and time management strategies are reviewed.

In sixth grade, the Wellness and Life Skills program contains two core elements. The first element is to teach developmentally appropriate health education. The second element is to provide students with the opportunity to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, so they can then make choices that promote wellness.

At this level, students continue to explore relational aggression, how it affects one’s self and others and strategies for preventing or stopping such negative behavior. They also learn more about self-concept and the factors that influence it, and they examine additional strategies for effective interpersonal communication. Students consider how to recognize their own emotions and how to express their feelings in healthy ways, as well as how to cope with stress and other emotions. They also learn and practice refusal skills for saying no to drugs and alcohol. Finally, students explore the social, emotional and physical changes associated with puberty.

This course is designed to make room for new businesses to grow. The course is offered as an earlier business planned and supported by the Management class but ready to be replaced with new endeavors. The emphasis of the course is on the earlier phases of the design-thinking process to allow students to discover, ideate, and prototype. The goal of the course is to open the business by the end of the semester. Throughout the semester, students select businesses based on user needs and wants, establish a business plan, create a budget and pursue product development and business logistics. Students explore case studies for existing entrepreneurs and businesses to analyze effective and ineffective methods for business development. Students also consider how their business can serve their community philanthropically. This course is intended for students in 10th-12th grade, or requires permission from the instructor. (Fall Semester, .5 credit)

This course will introduce students to the growing field of social entrepreneurship, which involves using the skills and strategies of business to innovatively and sustainably solve social, environmental, and economic problems. Students in this course will examine case studies, engage in meaningful discussion and research, and learn from experts in the field to help them develop a business plan for a social enterprise. Students will define their mission and plan a business that works to create a positive social change, foster economic and social equality, or ensure human rights. This course invites students to engage in a process of continuous innovation, adaptation, and learning; act boldly without being limited by resource limitations; and exhibit a sense of accountability for the outcomes created. Ultimately, students will be challenged to do as educator Minor Myers Jr. said, “Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.” For students in 10th grade and above, or with permission from the instructor. (Semester, .5 credit)

This course is an introduction to the Spanish language and Hispanic cultures, and it emphasizes the five C’s: communication, cultures, connections, comparisons, and communities. A communicative approach is used, with Spanish being the predominant language of the classroom. Students communicate in realistic contexts about topics that are meaningful and interesting. Grammar is not taught in isolation; rather, it is integrated into the curriculum and linked to cultural exploration, vocabulary building exercises and communicative practice. Students converse with each other and express their own ideas in appropriate writing and presentational activities. They learn to interpret material presented from a variety of sources, including audio, video and print. Learning about Hispanic cultures is an integral part of the language learning process, and students compare cultural customs and behaviors with their own culture. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course is for students who have had one or more years of exposure to the language and have knowledge of basic vocabulary, including the alphabet and numbers. Several theme-based units enable students to expand existing vocabulary and grammar skills and to develop cultural awareness as they work on comprehension, writing and speaking in the target language. Students participate actively to assimilate new vocabulary and language patterns and then adapt them to communicate about themselves and to exchange information on a variety of topics. Students also review and learn vocabulary related to greetings and classroom communication, time and calendar, family, leisure activities, familiar foods, the school day and related activities, and clothing.

This course is a continuation of the language and culture of the Spanish-speaking world. It is an Upper School-level course for Middle School students. This course emphasizes the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing in a “communicative approach” to language learning. Students communicate in Spanish by conversing with each other, expressing themselves in writing, and reading and understanding a variety of audio, video and print materials. Students practice more complex grammatical structures such as commands, the present and preterit tenses of regular, irregular, and reflexive verbs, and object pronouns in conjunction with thematic units familiar to students that include routines and chores, sports, travel, and vacation. Additionally, students focus on interpretive skills by listening and deducing without focusing on word-for-word translation.

This is an accelerated course designed for students who have excelled in previous Spanish language studies. These students have also shown the motivation and interest to delve deeper into the material and expand their knowledge of Spanish-speaking cultures. Students communicate in Spanish by conversing with each other, expressing themselves in written and spoken presentations, and by interpreting a variety of audio, video and print materials. This course covers complex grammatical structures such as commands, the preterit tense, and reflexive verbs in conjunction with thematic units. Additionally, students learn how to better listen and deduce in a foreign language without focusing on word-for-word translation. Students who successfully complete this course may be recommended for Spanish II Honors in the Upper School.

Students review and build on basic grammatical, reading, conversational and writing skills acquired in Spanish I. Students extend their knowledge of vocabulary, tenses and linguistic structures to expand their interpersonal, interpretive and presentational skills. We focus on putting the student in real-life situations that encourage interaction through use of the target language for a variety of tasks of increasing complexity. Students are expected to be able to transmit and receive information in Spanish with an emphasis on expressing oneself confidently orally and in writing. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course is an intermediate and accelerated course for students who have demonstrated superior ability in the first year of Spanish. Building upon the fundamental skills developed during the first year, this course emphasizes and further refines the four language skills — speaking, listening, reading and writing — in a communicative approach to language learning. We focus on putting students in real-life situations that require some communication and response. Students are expected to be able to transmit and receive information in Spanish both orally and in writing, and to expand their vocabulary through reading texts from a variety of print and online sources. The course exposes students to all tenses and linguistic structures that are covered in regular Level II and III courses. Students may take this course with departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course offers students the opportunity to continue their language study in a unique learning environment that includes reduced class size and presents multiple options for testing material. Building upon the fundamental skills developed during the first year of Spanish, this course emphasizes and further refines the four language skills — speaking, listening, reading and writing — in a communicative approach to language learning. The focus is on building a strong vocabulary as well as mastering grammar and syntax. Cultural information offers students the opportunity to compare their culture with the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. Students demonstrate their knowledge through spoken and written communication, oral presentations and projects. This course is open to students who qualify for a language waiver. Students may take this course with teacher recommendation only. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course includes a complete review and presentation of verb forms, tenses and moods. The course is designed to clarify difficulties in the use of Spanish with respect to the preterite and the imperfect; the indicative mood and the subjunctive mood; tense sequencing; and differences of meaning between ser and estar, por and para, and other grammatical structures. Class time is used for interaction in the target language to strengthen spontaneous basic interpersonal communication skills and to practice appropriate grammatical structures and vocabulary. Compositions are also assigned to reinforce the material learned and to allow students to produce Spanish creatively. Students also prepare reports on assigned topics and deliver them orally to stimulate discussion and exchange ideas. The course also encourages an exploration of and comparison with cultures of Spanish-speaking countries. (Full year, 1 credit)

This accelerated course covers the Spanish III curriculum and grammar topics from Spanish IV. This course includes a comprehensive review of verb forms, tenses and moods. In addition, the emphasis is on internalizing the problematic uses and other fine points of Spanish grammar and syntax to communicate with proficiency on several topics of interest. Oral communication, listening and reading activities from a broad range of print, and online sources, and writings are perfected through activities similar to those found in the AP® exam. This pre-AP® course provides students who excel with the option to enroll in the AP® Spanish Language and Culture course in the following year. Students may take this course with departmental approval. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course is designed for the student who wants to improve communication skills in Spanish through culture. The emphasis of the class is on the speaking elements of the language, focusing on daily conversational skills and communication activities. Students review grammar as necessary to gain greater proficiency in their speaking skills and use a variety of readings and authentic resources on advanced-level themes to stimulate conversation and debate. Students express themselves in a variety of written communication and essays as well as participation in a class blog. This course provides students with a solid foundation for study abroad or travel experiences, and may also serve as a segue to language studies at the university level. Students are expected to make connections between their culture and Spain, with the broader goals of increased cultural understanding and fluency. Independent virtual class work involves reading and listening assignments on the different topics, and direct class work allows opportunity for practice with the spoken and written components of the language.
(Online/Blended course, Full year, 1 credit)

This course is designed to refine students’ understanding of Spanish grammar and syntax while including readings on the culture, history and literature of Spain. Students are expected to be able to read and comprehend texts from authentic materials, such as magazines, newspapers and Internet sites. Readings are followed by oral discussions in which students are encouraged to analyze the material and express their ideas and opinions on the subject. Students also give oral presentations and write essays.
Additionally, students have the chance to practice AP®-style activities. Aside from
speaking opportunities in class related to the readings about culture and history, the review of grammatical concepts is based on its application to daily conversational skills and specific communication activities. The literary component of this course involves the reading of major works of Spanish, such as “Don Quixote.” Students undertake a semester-long culture project in the second half of the year, in which they use all language skills. (Online/Blended course, Full year, 1 credit)

This course explores current issues in Latin American and Spanish societies. Through the study of newspaper/magazine articles, television news, documentary programs, films, and literature, students become familiar with the artistic, political and social movements at the forefront of the Spanish-speaking world and their relationship to important historical events. The works of Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia Márquez receive particular attention because of their social and historical relevance to Latin America. The course is a discussion seminar and focuses on enhancing listening and speaking skills. Students lead discussions, give oral presentations throughout the semester, and complete an in-depth final project based on one of the literary figures, filmmakers, historic events, or sociopolitical movements studied during the course of the semester. Students can take this course in conjunction with the Film course or independently of it. (Semester, .50 credit)

This semester course aims to provide students with an introduction to the Spanish cinema of the past twenty-five years, to analyze how films reflect Spanish and Latin American societies and how cinema responds to the ever-changing needs of those societies. The course furnishes students with an understanding of the historical, social, and political contexts of the films studied, enhances students’ oral, writing, and comprehension skills through discussion of films and their historical/societal contexts, and introduces students to landmark directors and salient cinematic characteristics of films from diverse cultures linked by a particular historical and linguistic heritage. Students give oral presentations throughout the semester culminating in an in-depth final project based on one of the directors or sociopolitical movements studied during the semester. Students can take this course in conjunction with the Current Events course or independently of it. This course does not have NCAA approval as a core course for potential Division I and II athletes. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course is an interdisciplinary study of the diversity of the culture and history, and social, economic, and political situation of Latin America. Students approach the subject through literature, film, music, current articles from various disciplines, and direct contact with the local population of the Latino Diaspora. This elective course is offered as an advanced Spanish class and designed to complement the Spanish IV curriculum with its focus on Spain by providing an extensive overview of Latin American cultures. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course is a study of the diversity of the culture and history, and social, economic, and political situation of the Latino population in the United States. Students approach the subject through literature, film, music, current articles from various disciplines, and direct contact with the local Latino population. Students who wish to continue their study of Spanish may enroll in this course following completion of Spanish IV. (Semester, .50 credit)

Specialist teachers include faculty who teach art, computer science, library, music, physical education, movement and Spanish. Because this group teaches students for multiple years, they have a deep knowledge of the developmental, social and academic growth of each student. These in-depth perspectives enable each specialist teacher to quickly understand and build upon students’ learning from year to year, and to provide insight, based on past and present work with the students, to the homeroom teacher.

All specialist teachers are trained in the Responsive Classroom approach and incorporate and adapt Responsive Classroom procedures, such as Morning Meeting, Guided Discovery, Interactive Modeling and Logical Consequences into their classroom environments. At the start of the year, specialist teachers consider the homeroom rules and generate a set of rules and expectations that are reinforced in all of their classrooms. Specialist teachers play an in-depth and important role in supervising students on the playground, in lunch rooms, during carpool and at special events, continually supporting and reinforcing appropriate student expectations and behaviors.

This course is open to all wind, brass, or percussion instrumentalists who are of intermediate to advanced proficiency. There is no audition required to perform with this ensemble, but students must be able to commit to the requirements of the schedule, including occasional after-school rehearsals and extra-curricular performances. The symphonic band performs two concerts during the school year, engages in cross-divisional events, such as “The Nutcracker,” participates in state-sponsored events, and potentially travels on a bi-annual basis. The focus of the course is to develop fundamental technical and musical skills, increase the ability to sight-read, become fully aware of musical issues, such as intonation, balance and blend, and perform a diverse cross-selection of music from the wind band’s standard repertoire. Students are expected to hold themselves to the highest standards of musicality and contribute significant practice time outside of rehearsal (at least 2 hours per week). Students may take this course with permission from the instructor. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course is designed for students who are serious about singing. Consideration for balancing the voicing of the choir is an important criterion for evaluating students for participation in the group. The music performed requires an advanced level of musicianship and vocal development. Participation in some after-school rehearsals, performances, competitions and trips is required. An audition is a prerequisite for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)

The Brown Bag Lunch Enrichment Program provides students with exposure to a variety of topics beyond the scope of the regular curriculum. In our efforts to encourage students to explore their unique interests and talents, we invite a variety of speakers to come to Flint Hill and share their careers, talents and hobbies. This, in turn, can stimulate new interests and inspire in some students a desire to do an independent investigation in those areas. Lower School students sign up to attend these sessions during their lunch or recess.

This course offers a comprehensive exploration of the African American experience in the early 20th century. The course illuminates and embraces the vibrancy of the Harlem Renaissance, and makes known the challenges experienced by members of the black race leading up to the movement and beyond. The course concentrates on the literature of the time, focusing on the fictional characters and the social injustices they endure, and also follows the historical events and people instrumental in making this mass migration and philosophical awakening occur. (Semester, .50 credit) Offered 2021–2022.

The Internet has fundamentally changed knowledge, economics, and culture in the 21st century. The rise of the Internet has greatly impacted who can access information and how one accesses information. It has changed the way companies and individuals make money. Finally, it has flattened the world by moving ideas around the globe to everyone connected by the Internet. This class will explore these shifts in knowledge, economics, and culture by studying topics such as epistemic inequality, political polarization, crowdsourcing/crowdfunding, the local–global flip, and search engine optimization. This course immerses students in an intensive study of the Internet, a space they may have taken for granted, to enhance their understanding of the global impact of their daily use. Through web-based research and data analysis, students will complete projects centered around how communities with the web “know” differently, how businesses grow via the Internet, and how cultures can be affected by the arrival and growth of the Internet. Students will write analytically and reflectively throughout the course. This course is intended for students in 10th-12th grade, or requires permission from the instructor. (Semester, .5 credit)

This year-long course builds on the fundamentals of drama and allows students to pursue their interest in theater at an advanced level. Students have an opportunity to investigate scene study, theater around the world and improvisation. Students conceive and develop ideas that lead to compelling and authentic written and dramatic narratives. In addition, they bolster acting and directing skills in both improvised and scripted scenes. This course is truly designed to provide students with a diverse and lasting experience in theater. This course combines students from seventh and eighth grade and represents a two-year curriculum in theater arts. Students may take the course in either grade as a stand-alone course; many students entering in seventh grade take Theater Arts again in eighth grade to experience the full two-year course progression.

Projects are more in-depth, incorporating art skills learned in kindergarten, first grade and second grade. Painting assignments involve compositional design, use of color and shape relationships and inclusion of detail. Students work from observation and imagination while sketching figures, still life arrangements and landscapes. They use their knowledge of relief printing, texture and design to produce an edition of Calligraphic prints. They make clay figure sculptures, which require the use of different hand-building techniques and an understanding of the glazing process. The paper mâché and mixed-media self-portrait sculpture assignment challenges them to bring both art skills and a personal point of view to the work. Students use their iPads to design logos for their products in connection with the classroom marketplace project. It is an intensive but fun year in art!

From coding with Scratch Jr., to researching and recording YouTube weather reports, third grade students apply age-appropriate coding concepts by creating their own programs and learning about the role of ethics in technology. Through discovering, engineering, tinkering and sharing their work, students engage in the self-directed learning process that is crucial to innovation. These creative opportunities are integrated throughout the day and are enhanced by thinking routines, technology applications and opportunities to reflect on their learning. Third grade students also participate in the annual Global Day of Play and Hour of Code, events that focus on innovation and creative problem solving.

The aim of the program at this level is to enhance the skills students need to become independent and strategic readers, writers and thinkers. Using the structure of the Daily 5, in small groups or partnerships, students read independently and from a variety of genres including poetry, short stories and novels. We emphasize more advanced comprehension strategies, including investigating the author’s purpose, exploring character development and identifying themes. In addition, students use the CAFE strategies to build comprehension, accuracy, fluency and expand their vocabulary. Spelling and vocabulary building are also integrated through targeted word study work. Students examine words to discover spelling regularities and patterns and increase their knowledge of the meaning of words. Students also learn strategies for noticing and understanding new words.

The class integrates reading and writing as much as possible as students learn to read as writers and write as readers. In Writing Workshop, students plan, draft, revise, edit and publish poetry, personal narratives, nonfiction, persuasive advertising, blogs and fiction. Students work to improve their use of detailed sentences, complete with capital letters, proper punctuation and purposeful grammar. Students learn to deliberately craft their language and to experiment on the page with their audience and purpose in mind. They also emulate writers they love and try new strategies found in the texts read in class. Cursive handwriting skills are taught and strengthened through use of the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum.

We have two main goals in Library: to help students become successful seekers, users and integrators of information from many sources, and to promote reading as a lifelong skill and pleasure. Skills to seek, evaluate and synthesize information are implemented across the grades at developmentally appropriate levels. Each class also features a read-aloud story and discussion to help students develop a love of language along with an appreciation for literature. Students are encouraged to seek out their areas of interest from our rich collection of both physical and virtual resources. Research and citation skills are reinforced in the homeroom with instruction and support from the librarian.

Students focus on seeking information efficiently and finding appropriate resources. Lessons focus on navigating print and electronic resources, and the skills needed to become effective users of the online catalog and databases. A unit on tall tales introduces students to American colloquial language, with a discussion of narrative voice and genre elements. Students participate in the creation of printed works in a unit on the evolution of printing and binding, with hands on letterpress printing. Students check out up to three books per class but may exchange them for others at any time.

Students use a base-10 context to represent the place value of two-digit and three-digit numbers up to 1,000. Students solve addition and subtraction problems with two-digit and three-digit numbers, developing computation strategies that are built on adding and subtracting multiples of 10 and finding combinations that add to 100. Students investigate the properties of multiplication and division, including the inverse relationship between these two operations, and develop strategies for solving multiplication and division problems. Students determine, describe and compare sets of multiples, noticing their characteristics and relationships, and use these to investigate how multiplication works. They also solve division problems that involve sharing and grouping. Students use a variety of contexts to understand, represent and combine fractions. They also gain experience with common fraction equivalencies. Students are introduced to decimal fractions using the context of money and gain familiarity with fraction and decimal equivalents.

Students construct, read and compare line graphs that show a relationship between two variables in situations of change over time, and use tables to represent how one variable changes in relation to another. Students collect, represent, describe and interpret data. Measurement work includes linear measurement, perimeter, area, angle measurement, volume and temperature. Students use both U.S. standard units and metric units. They identify the amount of 2D space a given shape covers as its area, and learn that area is measured in square units. Students study the attributes of 2D and 3D shapes, and how these attributes determine their classification. Students also describe attributes of common geometric solids, such as how many edges and faces a solid shape has, or how a pyramid has triangular faces that come to a point.

Music classes are taught using the Orff approach, involving listening, movement, singing and other creative activities. Students develop skills in music theory and instrumental music, playing instruments such as the xylophone and other percussion instruments. Students perform at weekly Inspirations and at holiday and spring concerts, showcasing the curriculum. Students also are introduced to movement and dance.

Students are introduced to the soprano recorder and to the World Music Drumming curriculum. They deepen and develop their music literacy with rhythm, pitch, meter and dynamics, and learn Spanish folk dances.

Students continue to develop and refine the correct techniques for using manipulative skills in games. Soccer, track, badminton, volleyball and floor hockey units are introduced. We continue to emphasize and apply sequential skill progressions in partner and small group activities, followed by lead-up games. During Healthy Habits, we discuss the importance and benefits of exercise, proper rest and nutrition, in addition to the health risks of tobacco use. With their iPads, students learn to assess their performance to learn or improve movements or techniques. Students engage in small and large groups to develop positive social interaction and group dynamic skills.

Science in the Lower School is designed to help students, through inquiry, to continually build on their abilities and revise their knowledge stemming from their curiosity about the immediate environment and their initial conceptions about how the world works. The goals for the program are to provide students with engaging hands-on opportunities and experiences to guide them toward a more scientifically based and coherent view of the Earth, space, life and the physical sciences. In the Lower School, science involves integrating engineering and technology to provide a context in which students can test their own developing scientific knowledge and apply it to practical problems.

The performance expectations in third grade help students formulate answers to questions. They learn to analyze and interpret data and use this as evidence to engage in argument. The science curriculum for third grade explores the variations in traits of different organisms and the factors in changing environments that affect survival today and in the past. Students quantify and predict weather conditions in different areas and at different times. They learn to organize and use data to describe typical weather conditions and make claims about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of severe weather. Students investigate the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on motion and the cause and effect relationships of electric or magnetic interactions between two objects not in contact with each other. They are then able to apply their understanding of magnetic interactions to define a simple design problem that can be solved with magnets.

Social Studies incorporates the study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Within the Lower School program, Social Studies provides a coordinated, systematic study drawing upon geography, history, economics and political science, and relevant content from language arts, mathematics and the sciences. The primary purpose of social studies is to help our students develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world. To lay the foundation from grades JK-4, the school year begins with students and teachers establishing the classroom community and students learning what it means to be a good citizen.

At this level, the curriculum focuses on four components: geography, economics, history, and political science. Through various activities, students approach the curriculum from the perspective of each component and identify ways that they help explain human behavior. Third-graders learn the importance of the contributions made to our communities by diverse cultures. Economics is the emphasis during the second semester. “Economics and Entrepreneurship” focuses on the role of money, needs and wants, goods and services, producers and consumers and advertising.

Lively classes conducted in the target language provide students with ample opportunities to practice listening and speaking skills and to learn about familiar topics in Spanish. These focus on “my school,” “my community” and “familiar foods.” Students develop and expand basic writing skills in Spanish by creating digital mini-books related to the topics. Students also make cultural connections and comparisons by exploring the school day and communities of many Spanish-speaking countries.

The Wellness and Life Skills program contains three core areas of focus. The first is teaching students to identify emotions, perceive and recognize others’ perspectives, solve problems and manage emotions. The second focuses on mindfulness. Using a research-based curriculum, students are taught skills which build resilience to stress and anxiety, and develop a positive mindset in both school and life. The third focus is preventing, recognizing and identifying bullying behaviors, and students learn that bullying behaviors can be both physical and/or relational in nature. We emphasize the need for kind works, inclusionary practices, avoiding mean teasing and reporting bullying behavior.

Students begin each day by saying “The Husky Promise,” and we emphasize the importance of living the principles it describes. Morning meetings foster a sense of community through greetings, sharing and group-building activities. Students at this level continue to focus on learning skills, empathy, emotion management and problem-solving. Students gain skills to help themselves as learners: how to focus their attention, listen carefully, use self-talk to stay on task and be assertive when asking for help with school work. The basic concept of empathy is continually reinforced as students learn to deal with conflicting feelings, listen actively, express concern, accept differences, make a complaint, calm down, recognize anger signs and “anger buttons,” respond to playground issues and deal with peer pressure. Our goal is to help students develop into caring, self-confident members of the classroom community.

The objective of this course is to dispel the notion that literature is something of the past, that it is a purely historical phenomenon, which in our 21st century world has been replaced with television, film and the Internet. Students encounter and wrestle with perspectives, commentaries and portrayals of the world we live in now and the issues we encounter in contemporary society by writers who are living today. Works studied include the novels and short fiction works published in the past 10 years of award-winning authors. Interactive discussions about whether the work will be a classic in the years to come are pursued. This course is designed to reinforce and improve upon the skills that students learned in previous English courses, including active reading, oral presentations, timed and take-home essay writing and small group work.
(Semester, .50 credit) Offered 2020–2021.

This advanced-level studio course is designed for students seeking investigation in ceramic techniques and practice on a more sophisticated level. The course is intended for the student who has developed a passion for ceramics and is looking to further their skills/knowledge of ceramic practices. Students who are approved for this course are expected to be self-starters who work at a high level, demonstrating their commitment to their craft as well as this studio. At this level of study, the goal is to work toward mastery in specific areas of interest. Each course is specifically designed to meet the needs of each individual’s pursuits in clay while complementing the group experience. Students begin the semester with assigned projects that explore high-level ceramic/design topics while working to develop their proposal for intensive study in their individual areas of interest. Upon approval of their project, the necessary materials and demonstrations will be given for each individual to be able to begin their focus. Students are expected to work collaboratively with the instructor and to maintain the studio hours of this course as well as a minimum of three hours outside of class time per week. Faculty and peers conduct periodic critiques of progress, content and process.

Students are asked to write an artist’s statement detailing their experience as makers of the created works. There is an opportunity for some of this work to be exhibited upon completion. Students are expected to be active, positive role models in the studio. Cooperation with the instructor in all areas is essential. Students are asked to take on a higher level of responsibility and awareness of all studio procedures. Ceramics III and permission from the instructor are prerequisites for this course. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course provides in-depth and advanced instruction in a dance topic of the students’ and the instructor’s choosing. Students are required to present a thorough written proposal of their area of study along with a curricular statement by the instructor. An extensive background in dance is necessary for participation in this class. Students in this class are required to use their own workout clothes and dance shoes. The class culminates with a company performance. An audition is a prerequisite for this course. (Full year, 1 credit)

This course is for the student interested in pursuing a particular aspect of Digital Art beyond the level of courses provided. Students who are qualified for Advanced Photography, Advanced Graphic Design, or Advanced Digital Imaging may qualify for this course. Students complete a series of thematic assignments, and work together and independently to solve problems related to their particular area of emphasis. Students also create a written proposal for a substantial self-directed final project. Research, critiques, formal presentations, and creation of an artist statement are parts of this course. Permission from the instructor is a prerequisite to this course, which may also be repeated with instructor permission. (Semester, .50 credit)

Responsible citizenship entails a firm understanding of the nation’s past and its basic institutions. This 11th-grade course is an in-depth survey of the major political, diplomatic, economic, cultural, social, and intellectual trends in American life from the 15th through the 21st centuries. Major themes include the nature of leadership, the relationship between culture, economics, and politics, the ways in which the benefits and responsibilities of society are distributed in different periods and among different groups, the development of foreign policy, the use and abuse of force, and the blending of many cultures to create a great nation. Materials include a college-level textbook, music, videos, primary sources, and a variety of Internet resources. Organizational and note-taking skills are refined. Regular research opportunities present practice in computer and library literacy. Written, oral, analytic and synthetic skills are honed. (Full year, 1 credit)

This is a studio-based course in which participants complete a series of long-term projects focusing on the development of skills, ideas and experimental thinking. Through units on design, printmaking, drawing, painting and ceramics, students are introduced to technical, historical and aesthetic aspects of art. Students and the instructor investigate work, respond to questions and issues that arise from it, and consider the directions the artist might take. Balance between planning and experimentation is addressed in each project. Throughout the year, students complete daily sketchbook entries and use their sketchbooks as personal diaries. Students participate in numerous group critiques and learn how to assess their own and others’ work. Evaluation and individualized feedback are shared with each student throughout the working process. This course combines students from seventh and eighth grade and represents a two-year curriculum in visual arts. Students may take the course in either grade as a stand-alone course; many students entering in seventh grade take Visual Arts again in eighth grade to experience the full two-year course progression.

In this course, students explore the relationship between what we see and what we know by asking “Is seeing believing?” in a universal and specific sense. By reading contemporary short fiction, essays, poetry and nonfiction texts, such as David Cullen’s “nonfiction novel” “Columbine,” along with visual texts, such as classic and contemporary films, journalistic photography and other multimedia resources, students discover how this is both an age-old question and a question that is still at the forefront of our minds today. Echoing the shape and goals of a college composition course, the course continues to develop students’ analytical and persuasive writing skills as they write for different audiences and purposes. The course will support written expression, helping students polish their grammar and style in preparation for college. (Semester, .50 credit) Offered 2021–2022.

Substance Abuse Prevention
The seventh grade Wellness and Life Skills program focuses on substance abuse prevention and is taught in two week-long seminars. The nationally-recognized Project ALERT Program is used, which includes both factual content about abused substances and strategies for making healthy choices and resisting negative social pressures. The goal of Project ALERT is to reduce the use of abused substances by keeping non-users from trying them and by preventing non-users and experimenters from becoming regular users. Videos with older teens modeling effective ways of saying “No” are shown as a lead-in to students engaging in role-plays to practice using refusal skills. Materials developed by Human Relations Media are also utilized to augment the Project ALERT materials.

Human Sexuality
The Human Sexuality Seminar is taught to all eighth grade students over one week. Topics include a brief review of the physiological changes of puberty and the sexual reproductive system, an overview of sexually-transmitted diseases, and an introduction to the topic of abstinence and pregnancy prevention. Additionally, multiple class periods are devoted to exploring family and individual values and relating them to healthy interpersonal relationships. All material is presented in a developmentally-appropriate manner and is respectful of the diversity and unique needs of each student in the classroom.

Alcohol and Drug Awareness
The Alcohol and Drug Awareness seminar is taught to all eighth grade students by a drug and alcohol educator. Topics for this week-long seminar include an overview of addiction, an explanation of the impact of drugs and alcohol on the body, effective peer intervention and strategies for non-use. Through discussion and activity, students learn self-advocacy and prevention strategies. All material is presented in a developmentally-appropriate manner and is respectful of the needs of each student in the classroom.

This course explores literature written by and about women throughout the ages and throughout the world. Using novels, short stories, plays and poems, students investigate the journey of self-discovery of various female authors and characters, from Biblical times through the post-apocalyptic world, from the United States to Europe, and from the Middle East to Latin America. Students learn how the authors’ cultures impeded, supported and impacted their journeys. Students analyze these themes in both informal and formal writing assignments, and undertake a final project relating to the style and content of the literature studied. (Semester, .50 credit) Offered 2020–2021.

In this course, students survey the mythologies of many ancient cultures, including ancient Greece, Rome, Norway, Egypt, China, Japan, India, Africa, and pre-Columbian America, with an eye toward discerning the priorities and fears of the civilizations that produced them. By analyzing these myths, students will gain a greater cultural literacy and appreciation of the common archetypes that surface regardless of era and geography. Students will learn and compare myths addressing creation, floods, morality, heroes, death, and the end of the world. The course is open to all students in Grades 10 and above. No prior knowledge of Latin or Greek is required. (Semester, .50 credit)

This elective is for students in Grades 10–12 who are serious about pursuing the art and craft of creative writing. In this course, the focus is on fiction and poetry. Students read examples of both literary forms, discuss the challenges of each form and then try their hand at a variety of creative pieces, including character sketches, monologues, dialogues, short stories, descriptive pieces and different types of poems. Students also read articles about writing by renowned literary figures and are expected to do presentations on one of these established writers. Students prepare a portfolio of selected and revised writings from the semester in lieu of a final exam. (Semester, .50 credit)

This course is for students in Grades 10–12 who wish to develop and craft a longer work of fiction or a short story sequence over the duration of a semester. Students read advice from established writers on creating longer works, and also select two book-length mentor-texts to read and analyze in terms of craft. During the first weeks of the semester, each student develops a concept and writes a proposal for the longer piece to be worked on throughout the course. During each subsequent week, students submit portions of their work for in-class critique and discussion. By the end of the semester, students have completed a significant portion of a longer work. (Semester, .50 credit)