Course Descriptions (Upper School)

High School Courses

2013-14 Course Catalog (PDF)

SAT Prep work for Academy juniors and seniors

SAT Prep work for Academy juniors and seniors

English I

Grade 9 Required Year Daily 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: 8th grade level English; Honors Prerequisite: 90% in prior English course

English I presents the skills necessary to interpret various genre of literature and to write expository and descriptive essays. The major components of the course are the study of poetry, novels, drama, grammar, and various forms of writings: narrative, persuasive, expository, descriptive, creative, and poetic. The readings serve as catalysts for the writing assignments. Instruction emphasizes developing vocabulary, fostering proper note taking, and implementing correct grammar. Romeo and Juliet is studied. 

Honors

In the Honors level course, the homework load is heavier in the content and length of reading assignments and in the frequency and depth of writing assignments.

English 2

Grade 10 Required Year Daily 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: English I or equivalent; Honors Prerequisite: 90% in prior English course.

English II gives the student the tools and skills that enable him to be analytical and independent in his thinking; excited and critical in his reading; accurate, concise, and stylish in his writing; and confident and effective in his speaking. A variety of novels, short stories, poems, and plays form the basis for literary analysis. Of Mice and Men, The Natural, The Catcher in the Rye, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest are the major works studied. Students learn to identify basic literary concepts such as plot, setting, characterization, point of view, irony, and foreshadowing. The course gives great attention to the writing process—thinking, planning, writing, and proofreading. Focusing on the paragraph and the short essay, students frequently practice their expository writing skills. The course reviews all aspects of fundamental grammar.

Honors

The Honors level course includes all of the above curriculum materials taken at a much faster pace and with additional essays and a long paper assigned. Honors students take on greater individual responsibility and are expected to participate in higher level class discussions.

English 3

Grade 11 Year Daily 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: English II or equivalent; Honors Prerequisite: 90% in prior English course.

English III focuses on a chronological survey of English literature, but includes literary works from other countries and cultures that might broaden understanding of the British works. The Iliad, Richard III, 1984, The Right Stuff, and Detectives are the major works the class studies. Students develop skills that enable them to perform well in the college admissions process and succeed in college courses. Course work includes frequent essays, journal entries, oral reports, recitations, and vocabulary quizzes. An Internet research project is assigned.

Honors

The Honors level course includes all of the above curriculum materials taken at a faster pace and with additional written work and reading involved. Honors students take on greater individual responsibility and are expected to participate in higher level class discussions. An integral part of the curriculum is SAT-II practice test material, incorporated with a view to preparing for the SAT-II Subject Test those students who elect to take it.

English 4

Grade 12 Year Daily 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: English III or equivalent; Honors Prerequisite: 90%+ in prior English course.

Students prepare for college level expository writing in English IV. They respond in writing to short stories, poetry, selections by Shakespeare, and major works including The Odyssey, As You Like It, The Great Gatsby, Inferno, and This Boy’s Life. Writing expectations go beyond plot summary to intelligently and fluently analyzing plot, setting, characterization, narration, and language. Students study grammar by analyzing their writing. They do a research project using print and online research sources. 

Honors

The Honors level course includes all of the above curriculum materials taken at a faster pace and with additional written work and reading involved. Honors students take on greater individual responsibility and are expected to participate in higher level class discussions. An integral part of the curriculum is SAT-II practice test material, incorporated with a view to preparing for the SAT-II Subject Test those students who elect to take it.

AP Literature

Grades Year Daily 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites:

Advanced Placement English Literature engages students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, students deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. As they read, students consider a work’s structure, styles, and themes as well as such smaller-scale elements as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone. Furthermore, students will have an opportunity to earn college credits if they choose to take the AP College Board national exam at the end of the year.

AP Prerequisite: 93% in prior English course or recommendation from you teacher.

AP Language and Composition

Grades Year Daily 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites:

The purpose of the AP English Language and Composition course is to enable students to read complex texts with understanding and to write prose of sufficient richness and complexity to communicate effectively with mature readers. Both their writing and their reading should make students aware of the interactions among a writer’s purposes, audience expectations, and subjects as well as the way generic conventions and the resources of language contribute to effectiveness in writing.

Public Speaking

Grades 9-12 Semester Daily 0.5 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites:

This course offers students the opportunity to enhance their development of skills related to formal oral communications. Students will learn communication theory, apply that theory to speech preparation, and present speeches to the class. Emphasis will be placed on the students’ ability to present their research and ideas effectively to an audience utilizing proper public speaking techniques.

Creative Writing

Grades 9-12 Semester Daily 0.5 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: none

This class will introduce students to the process and techniques of creative writing. Students will experiment with various types of writing, including the writing of fiction and poetry. Class readings will expose students to various writing styles and provide examples of the successes and strategies of other writers.

English Information Literacy

Library and Information Literacy integrate into Academy courses and are not separately scheduled courses.

Information grows at exponential rates in constantly changing formats and means of access. This growth compels educators to continually employ instructional means by which students can learn how to learn. The nature of school and academic library use within the past three decades has been informed by the development of the Information Literacy Curriculum. Information literacy skills pertain across the curriculum in all subject areas through consciously sequenced instructional activities collaboratively designed by classroom faculty and library faculty. As an integral part of learning subject content matter, students are increasingly involved in demonstrating skills and techniques necessary to identify, select, analyze, and synthesize the information they will need to succeed at the Academy and in college, careers, and life.

Information literate students evidence:

  • Formulation of essential questions within fields of knowledge;
  • Location, retrieval, and evaluation of appropriate and valid information;
  • Structuring of information into scholarly, socially responsible knowledge;
  • Presentation of their knowledge within the context of the values system of ValleyForge and society.

For the course, students will carry out significant research papers in History and/or English. Collaborating together, the course teacher and the librarians guide students through the research process. Students engage in a sequence of activities to identify topics and develop thesis statements, systematically select library resources in a range of formats, and prepare, document, and present their findings.

English as a Second Language (ELL)

Valley Forge Military Academy’s ESL (English as a Second Language) curriculum prepares international students for a fully mainstreamed education in English. Upon arrival at VFMA, each new international cadet takes the SLEP test to identify his current English language skills. The students are then scheduled by ability level into a curriculum that will be completed in 1-3 years. English, World Language, and Social Studies graduation requirements may be filled by ESL classes.

ELL Grammar 1 & 2

Grades 9-12 Year Daily 1.0 Credit

1: Prerequisites: Low Intermediate score on SLEP Exam

2: Prerequisites: High Intermediate score on SLEP Exam

The ESL Grammar course introduces grammar to the ESL student in a communicative context, integrating all four language skills (Listening – Speaking – Reading – Writing) in a theme based whole language approach. This course focuses on teaching the grammatical rules of English to the international student, with the goal of improving communicative competency.

ELL Composition 1 & 2

Grades 9-12 Year Daily 1.0 Credit

1: Prerequisites: Low Intermediate score on SLEP Exam

2: Prerequisites: High Intermediate score on SLEP Exam

The ESL Composition course introduces the ESL student to the writing process by providing a variety of activities designed to improve writing skills. The course’s emphasis is the development of all four language skills (Listening – Speaking – Reading – Writing). This course seeks to provide the international student with the writing skills needed to improve communicative competency.

ELL Reading 1 & 2

Grades 9-12 Year Daily 1.0 Credit

1: Prerequisites: Low or High Intermediate on SLEP Exam

2: Prerequisites: High Intermediate score on SLEP Exam

ESL Reading is an introductory reading course for the student who is not a native speaker of English. The course prepares him for mainstream academic classes by improving his reading skills. Instruction also works on improving the student’s speaking and writing skills to help him attain a higher comprehension level of English proficiency.

ELL World Cultures

Grades 9-10 Year Daily 1.0 credit

This course provides ESL students a comprehensive introduction of World History from the rise of human, and the creation of the first civilizations, through the classical, traditional, and modern eras. The English language skills will be taught in the context of history. Students will learn to use recognized reading strategies: analyzing information, determining cause and effect, drawing conclusions, making inferences, comparing and contrasting etc., to get key content in texts. Students are encouraged to make connections between the concepts they are learning in World history and their own previous experience and knowledge. This course fulfills graduation requirement.

ELL U.S. History

Grades11-12 Year Daily 1.0 credit

This course presents a basic survey of United States History for ESL student who has not studied U.S. History prior to their high school year. It is taught in chronological order beginning with colonial American, the American Revolution, growth and expansion of the new country, the civil war and reconstruction, industrialization, becoming a world power to the present day. The English language skills will be taught in the context of history. Students will learn to use recognized reading strategies: analyzing information, determining cause and effect, drawing conclusions, making inferences, comparing and contrasting etc., to get key content in texts as well as to improve their reading-for-information skills. This course fulfills graduation requirement.

World Languages

French I Chinese 1 Latin I

Spanish I

Grades 9-12 Year Daily 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: None; Honors Prerequisites: Teacher recommendation and/or 90% in a prior language course.

The primary goals of Level I language classes are to enable students to use the target language in daily life and to understand the culture of that language, comparing it to the American counterpart. First year activities include simple dialogues and conversations, dictations, videos and films, reading, writing, and grammar exercises. Much of the reading and audio-visual material consists of authentic content.

This basic level of “survival” language skills and cultural knowledge ensures the students’ comprehension of both oral and written expression involving such tasks as ordering food, understanding simple questions and statements, writing simple messages, and understanding basic customs and traditions. Contact with native speakers from the Academy’s international population, pen-pals, and keypals, as well as research projects, museum visits, and exposure to native cuisine further enhance development Instructors encourage students to speak only in the target language during class.

Honors

The Honors level course includes all of the above curriculum materials taken at a faster pace and with additional written work and reading involved. Honors students take on greater individual responsibility and are expected to participate in higher level class discussions.

French II Spanish II Latin II

Chinese II

Grades 9-12 Year Daily 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: Level I of target language; Honors Prerequisites: 90% in prior language course.

These courses reinforce the skills and knowledge acquired in the first year. All activities and grammatical studies are more complex and more accurately applied in usage. Content areas expand to include such additional tasks as introducing oneself, asking directions, making purchases, and maintaining a personal journal in the target language. In the second semester, all students may only speak the target language in class. Additionally teachers encourage students to initiate or participate in conversations on topics of personal interest.

Students focus their attention on the practice of circumlocution, or finding vocabulary and grammar structures within their limits to express themselves. Authentic SAT-II practice test materials may be used. Successful completion of the first two years of study is a graduation requirement.

Honors

The Honors level course includes all of the above curriculum materials taken at a faster pace and with additional written work and reading involved. Honors students take on greater individual responsibility and are expected to participate in higher level class discussions. An integral part of the curriculum is SAT-II practice test material, incorporated with a view to preparing for the SAT-II Subject Test those students who elect to take it.

French III Spanish III

Grades 9-12 Year Daily 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: Minimum B– at Level II of target language; Honors Prerequisites: 90% in prior language course

French, German, and Spanish III are honors level courses giving elective credit. These courses reinforce and expand the skills and knowledge base acquired in the first two years of study. From the beginning of the school year, students may speak only the target language in classes and engage in more open conversation. They become more fluent as they read, write, and discuss assigned topics from the literature and culture of the languages. Instruction focuses more intensively on compositional skills and on reading authentic material in the target language. Content areas expand to include talk about self and family members, personal history, and leisure time activities. There is also a more comprehensive incorporation of authentic SAT-II practice test material.

Honors

The Honors level course includes all of the above curriculum materials taken at a faster pace and with additional written work and reading involved. Honors students take on greater individual responsibility and are expected to participate in higher level class discussions. An integral part of the curriculum is SAT-II practice test material, incorporated with a view to preparing for

French IV Spanish IV

Grades 9-12 Year Daily 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: Minimum B– at Level III of target language; Honors Prerequisites: 90% in prior language course

These courses are presented at an honors level and give elective credit. Students apply and refine their language skills as well as expand their cultural knowledge from the previous years. The catalyst for discussions is the oral and written student presentation of short position papers based on topics covered through the reading of authentic materials such as newspapers, magazine articles, short stories, and novels in the target language. Other media forms such as videos may also serve as points of departure. Content areas expand to include and accommodate more academic needs such as specialized vocabulary and literary genres, as well as more sophisticated social tasks such as making travel arrangements and currency exchanges. Students use the target language in all activities.

Honors

The Honors level course includes all of the above curriculum materials taken at a faster pace and with additional written work and reading involved. Honors students take on greater individual responsibility and are expected to participate in higher level class discussions. An integral part of the curriculum is SAT-II practice test material, incorporated with a view to preparing for the SAT-II Subject Test those students who elect to take it.

History/Social Studies

Ancient World History

Grade 9 Required Year Daily 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: None; Honors Prerequisites: 90% in prior social studies course

This course involves a study of the past from human origins to the Age of Discovery with emphasis given to appreciating the impact of ancient peoples on our world today. Instruction supports a global and gender inclusive worldview. The course begins with a discussion of the origins of prehistoric man and the beginnings of civilization. The Egyptians, Mesopotamians, and Hebrews are the first civilizations to be studied. The next examined are the early civilizations and empires of Persia, Greece, Rome, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Instruction also explores the rise and spread of such world religions as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The course includes an examination of European history through the early Middle Ages. Writing is fundamental to virtually all daily work: homework assignments, the book report, and quiz and test questions.

Honors

Those in the Honors course receive additional assignments to challenge them further and to enhance and deepen their grasp of the subject matter. The midterm and final examinations are essay tests requiring extensive written answers.

Modern World History

Grade 10 Required Year Daily 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: Ancient World History; Honors Prerequisites: 90% in prior social studies course

This course provides a foundation of knowledge regarding the major events of modern history, integrating themes of geography, economics, the humanities, and scientific achievements. It covers the time period from approximately AD 1650 to 1950, encompassing such subjects as the Enlightenment, the French Revolution and Napoleon, the Industrial Revolution, and Latin American independence. Attention is also given to Nationalism and Imperialism as well as to the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and the causes and conduct of both the First and Second World Wars. The course closes with a look at the beginnings of the Cold War. Instruction focuses on factual information and the use of those facts in understanding historical events and movements. Students have opportunity to develop and express critical thought through written homework assignments, test essays, and several data based essays. 

Honors

The Honors level is an expansion upon the standard level curriculum, embracing a heavier emphasis on outside readings and completion of more stringent data based essays. The assessment package is more rigorous. An integral part of the curriculum is SAT-II practice test material, incorporated with a view to preparing for the SAT-II Subject Test those students who elect to take it.

U.S. History

Grades 11-12 Year Daily 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: Modern World History; Honors Prerequisites: 90% in prior social studies course

The evolution of America from the Jamestown Colony (1607) to the world’s sole super power is unparalleled in history. This course covers U.S. History from Columbus through the Cold War. The study examines and evaluates political, religious, economic, military, social, intellectual, and scientific developments and how they shape lives now. Students have frequent opportunity to write essays, reviews, and reports. 

Honors

This college level course emphasizes the development of the analytical skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the development of the United States. Cadets learn to analyze and interpret a variety of historical evidence, maps, photographs, music, and film and to express themselves clearly and precisely.

An integral part of the curriculum is SAT-II practice test material, incorporated with a view to preparing for the SAT-II Subject Test those students who elect to take it.

U.S. History, AP

Grades 11-12 Year Daily 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: 93% in prior social studies course

Advanced Placement United States History is a challenging and stimulating program meant to be the equivalent of a freshman college course. It is a demanding two semester survey of American history from the Age of Discovery to the Reagan administration. The aim of the course is to provide students with a thorough understanding of the major political, economic, and social themes of U.S. history. Emphasis is placed on critical and evaluative thinking skills, essay writing, interpretation of original documents, and historiography. Students prepare for the AP U.S. History test given in May. Those who achieve a qualifying score on the exam can earn college credit and scholarships. Solid reading and writing skills, along with a willingness to devote considerable time to homework and study, are necessary to succeed.

Modern European History

Grades 10-12 Year Daily 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: World History

This course covers European civilization from the Renaissance through the Cold War. Students develop an understanding of the principal themes and forces in European History along with the ability to express their analyses in writing. Instruction places a special emphasis on the evaluation of historical evidence, memoirs, art, photographs, political cartoons, film, oral presentations by student teams, and historical simulation gaming. Throughout the year, students complete a number of essays, book reports, and movie reviews.

Honors

The Honors level course includes all of the above curriculum materials taken at a faster pace and with additional written work and reading involved. Honors students take on greater individual responsibility and are expected to participate in higher level class discussions. An integral part of the curriculum is SAT-II practice test material, incorporated with a view to preparing for the SAT-II Subject Test those students who elect to take it.

European History , AP

Grades 10-12 Year Daily 1.0 Credit NCAA

AP Prerequisites: 93% in prior social studies course

This college level course covers European civilization from the Renaissance through the Cold War. Students develop an understanding of the principal themes and forces in European History along with the ability to express their analyses in writing. Instruction places a special emphasis on the evaluation of historical evidence, memoirs, art, photographs, political cartoons, film, oral presentations by student teams, and historical simulation gaming. Throughout the year, students complete a number of essays, book reports, and movie reviews. Students at the AP level prepare for the AP European test given in May.

American Government

Grades 10-12 Year Daily 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: U.S. History

This course gives cadets a critical insight into government and politics. It includes constitutional themes and historic precedents that are the foundations of American democracy. Instruction places special emphasis on the constitutional principles of the three branches of government, checks and balances, separation of powers, and majority rule. The program stresses cadet involvement in community and state affairs. Each student develops analytic and writing skills as he responds to readings and essay questions.

Psychology

Grades 10-12 Year Daily 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: None

This course is to promote student interest and knowledge of basic psychology and the social sciences. Students will learn about the biological, behavioral, emotional, intellectual and therapeutic aspects of the field and relate them to everyday life

Sociology

Grades 10-12 Year Daily 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: None

Sociology is a comprehensive examination of the concepts, principles, and methods central to the scientific study of sociology. Focus is on three major goals: 1) teach students to think like sociologists; 2) help students develop a sociological imagination that will enable them to view their own lives within a larger social and historical context; 3) help students understand and appreciate the diversity that is possible in social life by exposing them to data from a variety of cross-cultural and historical sources. Students expand their ability to think and write analytically and clearly as they prepare a variety of essays, positional papers, and researched reports involving social issues. In addition, they submit ten personal essays describing key experiences from their lives. A major book report and a research paper are required projects.

World Religions

Grades 11-12 Year Daily 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: World History and U.S. History

This class presents the history and teachings of the world’s major religions. Studies include the examination of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Taoism, Confucianism, Shinto, Native American religions, and African religions. Students read directly from the scriptures of each religion. They have the opportunity of listening to representatives from various groups and visiting some of the churches studied. Students also gain cultural background and appreciation of world religions by examining religious holidays and rituals, tasting foods, experiencing art and music, and participating in hands on activities like brickmaking,

sling-shooting, and religious games. Students write book reviews, text and article summaries, scripture interpretations, and a research paper in response to discussions, readings and research.

Ethics

Grades 11-12 Year Daily 1.0 Credit

This course is an introduction to the philosophical study of morality, including the theory of right and wrong behavior, the theory of value (goodness and badness), and the theory of virtue and vice. Besides providing familiarity with the primary questions addressed within moral philosophy and the most influential answers given by well-known philosophers, this course is designed to help students develop their abilities to read, explicate, analyze, and evaluate philosophical literature, write and express themselves well about their own ethical positions, and think critically and analytically about ethical issues

Mathematics

Algebra 1 (H)

Grades 9-10 Year Daily 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: A working knowledge of arithmetic; Pre-Algebra may be helpful, but is not required; Honors Prerequisites: 90% in prior math course

This course serves the college preparatory student in his first real experience with abstract mathematics. Major topics covered include a comprehensive survey of the language and symbols of algebra; operations on rational numbers, strategies for solving linear equations and inequalities, factoring, graphical representation, ratio and proportion, polynomials, and an introduction to right angle trigonometry. In addition to the presentation of algebraic theory, applications of the theories are developed. Appropriate use of technology is taught.

Honors

Material is presented on a higher academic level. Homework and assessment are more rigorous.

Geometry (H)

Grades 9-11 Year Daily 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: Algebra I or equivalent; Honors Prerequisites: 90% in prior math course

This course is an integration of plane and solid geometry with an effective integration of algebra and arithmetic. Emphasis is given to conceptual understanding and multiple representations, along with connections to algebra and arithmetic. The course includes plane figures and circles, similar polygons, area, surface area, volume, and the measurement of the circle. The use of the graphing calculator and computer technology is encouraged.

323-Honors

The Honors course is taken at a faster pace with greater responsibility placed on each student for independent textbook study. Problems of greater complexity and difficulty are presented.

Intermediate Algebra 2

Grades 11-12 Year Daily 1 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: Algebra I and Geometry

This course is a review and extension of Algebra I, intended for students who, while they have completed Algebra 1, are not fully prepared for the rigors of a full Algebra II course. The course includes the study of Real Numbers, algebraic notation and language, linear equations and inequalities, exponents and radicals, polynomials, factoring, rational expressions, systems of linear equations, and quadratic equations. Graphing is incorporated throughout, and a graphing calculator is a requirement. The course demonstrates and offers to students an appreciation of the logical progression of mathematics and of the connections between the various disciplines.

Algebra 2 (H)

Grades 9-12 Year Daily 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: Algebra 1 and Geometry; Honors Prerequisites: 90% in prior math course.

Algebra II contains the branches of mathematics that educated people around the world use in conversation and that most colleges expect students to have studied. The course begins with familiar concepts such as properties of numbers, graphs, expressions, and inequalities, then concludes with new concepts such as matrices, logarithms, trigonometric concepts, and conic sections. Instruction places emphasis on helping students relate to and apply algebraic concepts to other areas of mathematics. The course also emphasizes integration of the technological tools necessary for problem solving; a graphing calculator (preferably the TI-83) is mandatory for the course. Students are challenged to experience the discovery of learning so essential to facilitate the development of an active thinking and engaged learner.

Honors

The Honors level course includes all of the above curriculum materials taken at a faster pace and with additional written work and reading involved. Honors students take on greater individual responsibility and are expected to participate in higher level class discussions. An integral part of the curriculum is SAT-II practice test material, incorporated with a view to preparing for the SAT-II Subject Test those students who elect to take it.

Personal Finance

Grades PG Year Daily 1.0 Credit

Introductory course in personal financial applications. Includes income and occupation, expenditures, budgeting, consumerism, taxes, consumer credit, banking services, savings and savings instruments, life insurance, social security, annuities, pensions, health insurance and care, automobile, fire, and property insurance, home ownership, investments and securities, mutual funds, and estate planning including wills, trusts, estates, death taxes, and gift taxes.

Pre-Calculus (H)

Grades 10-12 Year Daily 1.0 Credit

Prerequisites: Algebra II; Honors Prerequisites: 90% in prior math course

This course provides the student with the foundations necessary to study calculus. The major topics covered include functions, graphing functions, polynomial functions, inequalities and linear programming, exponential and logarithmic functions, and limits. The course also includes an in-depth examination of trigonometric concepts and the applications of those concepts such as mechanical design, graphing and modeling, identities, and angular motion. Upon successful completion, the student will have the requisite skills for a first semester calculus course at the high school or college level.

Honors

The Honors course is taken at a faster pace with greater responsibility placed on each student. Homework and assessment are more rigorous. Problems of greater complexity and difficulty are presented.

Honors

The Honors level course includes all of the above curriculum materials taken at a faster pace and with additional written work and reading involved. Honors students take on greater individual responsibility and are expected to participate in higher level class discussions. An integral part of the curriculum is SAT-II practice test material, incorporated with a view to preparing for the SAT-II Subject Test those students who elect to take it.

Calculus (H)

Grades 11-12 Year Daily 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus; Honors Prerequisites: 90% in Pre-Calculus; teacher recommendation

Honors

This high school level course is designed to provide the student ability to use calculus in the sciences and in business applications. The major topics covered include prerequisites for calculus, limits and continuity, derivatives, applications of derivatives, integration, transcendental functions, applications of integration, and techniques of integration.

AP Statistics

Grades 11-12 Year Daily 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: Teacher recommendation; 90% in Algebra II, minimum 600 SAT1 Math

AP Statistics focuses the student on the nature of data collection and interpretation. The course examines the descriptive and inferential methods of analyzing “real world” situations. Students have an opportunity to understand the observation of patterns and departures from patterns, plan a study, produce models using probability and simulation, and make statistical inference through model confirmation. The class includes out-of-class data collection and analysis projects. The course is equivalent to a one-semester, introductory college course and enables the student to take the Advanced Placement Examination of the College Board for one or two semesters of college credit. Active learning and communication are high priorities as students prepare for the AP Statistics exam.

Business Mathematics

Grades 11-12 Year Daily 1.0 Credit

Prerequisites: Algebra II

This course approaches mathematics holistically, interrelating the study to many topics. These interrelated topics connect to other subjects within the curriculum to engage students mathematically, to encourage them to extend and apply their knowledge, and to help them experience coherent learning. The goal is to lead students to the connection of mathematics with their interests, experiences, and real lives, emphasizing the persuasive power of mathematical modeling.

Integrated Mathematics

Grades 12-PG Year Daily 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: Algebra II

This course covers topics in algebra, geometry, statistics, probability, and finance applied to situations of general use. The course demonstrates and offers to students an appreciation of the logical progression of mathematics and of the connections between the various disciplines. The course also emphasizes integration of the technological tools necessary for problem solving; a graphing calculator (preferably the TI-83) is mandatory for the course. Students are challenged to experience the discovery of learning so essential to facilitate the development of an active thinking and engaged learner.

Art

Studio Art 1

Grades 9-12 Semester Daily 0.5 Credit

Prerequisites: None

This introductory course exposes students to a broad variety of artistic media and stylistic expressions. Students do a two – and three-dimensional projects working with pen and ink, charcoal, conte, pencil, paint, plaster, ceramics, and photography . Instruction integrates the history of art into the sequence of projects. It also examines the modern application of each medium. Several Class trips supplement the instruction.

Studio Art 2

Grades 9-12 Semester Daily 0.5 Credit

Prerequisites: Art I or equivalent

Studio Art II builds on the foundation of Studio Art I. In addition o a more involved application of each of the media used in Studio Art I, students explore additional materials. Field trips and art history studies also supplement these projects.

Advanced Studio Art

Grades 11-12 Semester Daily 0.5 Credit

Advanced Studio Art is a half credit course open to all cadets that have completed Studio Art 2. The Course will focus on two–dimensional, techniques of painting and drawing media including oil, acrylic, water color, fresco, pen and ink, charcoal, pastel, and pencil

Architecture

Grades 10-12 Semester Daily 0.5 Credit

Architecture provides fundamental knowledge of principles and techniques of architectural drawing procedures. Familiarizes student with design process. Provides a better understanding of the relation between architectural design and structural systems.

Music

Music Theory 1

Grades 9-12 Semester 4x/wk 0.5 Credit

Prerequisites: None

Music Theory is an introduction to notation, rhythmic reading, scales (major, minor, chromatic and pentatonic), intervals, chord construction, and introduction to harmony. The objective of this course is to provide the student with the general knowledge of music theory, which includes its origins, terms, concepts, and methods. All students

Field Music

Grades 9-12 Year 4x/wk 1.0 Credit

Prerequisites: Prior musical experience preferred, but not required; membership in the Field Music unit.

In addition to performances. Field Music members rehearse on a daily basis.

Regimental Band

Grades 9-12 Year 4x/wk 1.0 Credit

Prerequisites: Acceptance by audition; membership in Band unit.

In addition to performances, Regimental Band members rehearse on a daily basis.

Choir

Grades 9-12 Year 4x/wk 1.0 Credit

Choir is an activity by which members are selected through an addition process. The Choir sings at weekly chapel services and for special functions throughout the year. Joint performances with other choir groups, and on-campus concert, highlight their abilities.

Physical Education & Health

Senior Health Education

Grades 12 required Semester Daily 0.25 Credit

Prerequisites: None

Health Education

Grade 9 required Year 2x/wk 0.5 Credit

Prerequisites: None

Health Education is required for all Fourth Classmen and other cadets who have not previously studied the subject. The course emphasizes physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being with emphasis on consumer health; life cycles; drug, alcohol, and tobacco abuse; and American Red Cross CPR certification.

Physical Training

Grades 12 required Year Daily 0.75 Credit

Prerequisites: None

Physical Training is required each year for all class levels except Post Graduate. The Purpose is to establish and maintain a good state of physical fitness and to lay the foundation for healthy living and desirable social attitudes.

Science

General Science

Grade 9 Year 5x/wk 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: None; Honors Prerequisites: 90% in 8th grade science

This course examines basic concepts in science through demonstration, discussion, computing, reading, writing, student presentations and experimentation. Students develop critical thinking skills through the use of the scientific method with an emphasis on finding solutions to practical problems. Chemistry topics include the metric system, physical and chemical properties of matter, chemical bonding, and chemical reactions. Related topics in physics include force, motion, energy, waves, and electricity. The study of biology is introduced briefly. This course prepares cadets for the terminology and concepts of subsequent courses in physics, chemistry, and biology.

Honors

The Honors level course includes all of the above curriculum materials taken at a faster pace and with additional written work and reading involved. Honors students take on greater individual responsibility and are expected to participate in higher level class discussions.

Biology

Grades 9-12 Year 5x/wk 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: Physical science course; Honors Prerequisites: 90% in prior science course

This required laboratory science course gives the student a sound background in cellular biology with an emphasis on biochemistry, heredity, and protein synthesis. The work in the laboratory stresses the investigative process, problem solving, and creative and critical thinking skills through firsthand experience.

Honors

The Honors level course covers the above subjects presented at a much faster pace with more intensive reading, discussion, and homework assignments. The course prepares students for the Biology SAT II.

Anatomy & Physiology

Grades Year 1.0 Credit

An integral part of the curriculum is SAT-II practice test material, incorporated with a view to preparing for the SAT-II Subject Test those students who elect to take it.

Biology, AP

Grades 11-12 Year 5x/wk 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: Biology & Chemistry

The AP Biology course is designed to be taken by students after the successful completion of a first course in high school biology and one in high school chemistry. It aims to provide students with the conceptual framework, factual knowledge, and analytical skills necessary to deal critically with the rapidly changing science of biology

Chemistry

Grades 10-12 Year 5x/wk 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites/Co-requisites: Geometry; Honors Prerequisites: 90% in prior science course and Geometry

This laboratory science emphasizes chemistry’s impact on people, while teaching basic theories and mathematical concepts necessary for basic chemistry coverage. Students develop a knowledge of basic chemical facts and their manipulation, i.e. gas theories, chemical equations, the atom, organic chemistry, the mole concept, Avagadro’s theories, temperature scales, acid/base theories, etc. Instruction gives focus to developing the habit of quick, accurate, intelligent, and orderly thinking. This course aims at preparing students for college chemistry.

Honors

The Honors level course includes all of the above curriculum materials taken at a faster pace and with additional written work and reading involved. Honors students take on greater individual responsibility and are expected to participate in higher level class discussions. The course prepares students for the Chemistry SAT II.

Physics

Grades 11-12 Year 5x/wk 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites: Algebra II; Co-requisites: Math Analysis or Trigonometry; Honors Prerequisites: High achievement in prior science course

This is a basic course in the general practices, instrument use, technology tools, laboratory techniques, and applied mathematics pertaining to the study of physical concepts. It gives particular emphasis to developing the student’s conceptual understanding of various physics topics. The student learns to conduct laboratory experiments using modern computer based apparatus. Instruction continually keeps the practical application of all laws and principles before the student. Additionally the course makes reference to historical developments in natural philosophy (physics) and how these developments impact society. Students are expected to gain mastery learning of key concepts. The course is primarily for those students who intend to be non-science majors in college. 

Honors

The Honors level course includes all of the above curriculum materials taken at a faster pace and with additional written work and reading involved. Honors students take on greater individual responsibility and are expected to participate in higher level class discussions. The course prepares students for the Physics SAT II.

Physics, AP, Course B

Grades 11-12 Year 5x/wk 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites/Co-requisites: Completion of or current enrollment in Calculus; completion of Physics (H) with a grade of 85% or better; an SAT I/PSAT/ACT math score equivalent to 600 or better; any exceptions require approval of instructor prior to enrollment.

Physics AP-B is a calculus-based college level

Chemistry, AP,

Grades 11-12 Year 5x/wk 1.0 Credit NCAA

Prerequisites/Co-requisites: Completion of or current enrollment in Chemistry with a grade of 85% or better.

This course is designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course usually taken during the first college year. For some students, this course enables them to undertake, as freshmen, second-year work in the chemistry sequence at their institution or to register for courses in other fields where general chemistry is a prerequisite. For other students, the AP Chemistry course fulfills the laboratory science requirement and frees time for other courses. 

Computer Science

Grades 11-12 Year Daily 1.0 Credit

Prerequisites: Algebra II

The Computer Science course is an introductory course aimed at introducing the student formally into the world of “Computer Science” and its evolution as one of the most challenging and creative branches of science and engineering. It starts off with the evolution of computers from both the hardware and software standpoint and develops to the object-oriented programming paradigm using the Java language. Hands-on laboratory work helps solidify each concept. Students complete a long-term programming project that they must demonstrate in a formal presentation. My goal for this Computer Science course is to challenge students to be active learners and critical thinkers

Driver Education

Age 15 1/2+ Year 0.0 Credit

Semester 1: Classroom instruction, 2x/week

Semester 2: Behind-the-wheel instruction, 6 hours total

Fee

Prerequisites: None

This course includes 30 hours of classroom instruction and 6 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction. The course runs the entire school year beginning in the fall. Cadets must turn age 16 by the following March 1 to enroll in the class. They may apply for a Pennsylvania driver’s license and behind-the-wheel instruction at age 16. Successful course completion qualifies cadets for a discount on U.S. auto insurance. State law requires students to present an original birth certificate, passport, or other positive identification when applying for a driver’s license. There is an additional driver’s license application fee. For more information contact the Academy Guidance Office at 610-989-1381.