Printable List of Course Descriptions
English and Language Arts instruction at St. George’s gives students the key ingredients for success: the abilities to read and comprehend, to communicate clearly in speech and written word, and to think critically. The 21st century abounds with vast opportunities to both consume and produce information. St. George’s students learn to think clearly, critically, and creatively in their English classes and across the curriculum. Strong writers evolve from a curriculum that intends to connect the lessons taught to us by great works such as The Iliad and Crime and Punishment with decisions that affect students’ daily lives. The English department strives to engender sound thinkers and avid readers by engaging the life of the mind with the great works of civilization. Students in grades six through twelve experience focused writing instruction that benefits their college preparations. Core to this instruction is vocabulary, grammar, and reading comprehension. This integrated approach ensures that the goal of the department is met: students know how to read well, think clearly, and write with purpose.
In English 7, students will hone their skills in critical analysis. They will focus less on memorizing facts and more on improving their critical thinking skills and their ability to communicate effectively. Much of the course will center on student-led discussions driven by students’ self-created questions and ideas. They will work toward being skilled orators as they learn to work together (and increasingly independently from the teacher) while navigating a group discussion. Additionally, students will all have the opportunity to take ownership of class and be the teacher for a period. Students will read literary texts, as well as non-fiction texts, focusing on the author's craft and supporting their analysis with textual evidence. Students will also use the writing process (i.e. planning, drafting, revising, and editing) to complement (and respond to) their reading and frequent class discussions. Importantly, they will build these writing skills through direct instruction and ample in-class practice. Writing workshops will center on strengthening arguments, the delivery of ideas, and the use of conventions. By the end of seventh grade, students should be confident in their abilities to express ideas clearly and to analyze literary and informational sources through both speaking and writing. Additionally, students will continue enhancing their vocabulary with Latin and Greek roots. Perhaps most important, students will read student-selected texts daily for enjoyment.
In this class, students will hone their skills in critical analysis. They will focus less on memorizing facts and more on becoming adept thinkers and communicators. This class will emphasize broad questions that connect texts to one another and to real life. Students will read challenging literary texts (including novels, short stories, and poems), as well as non-fiction texts (including resource texts and primary sources), focusing on the author's craft and supporting their analysis with textual evidence. Much of the course will center on student-led discussions driven by students’ self-created questions and ideas. They will work toward being skilled orators as they learn to work together (and increasingly independently from the teacher) while navigating a group discussion. Additionally, students will all have the opportunity to take ownership of class and be the teacher for a period. Throughout the course, students will use the writing process (i.e. planning, drafting, revising, and editing) to complement (and respond to) their reading and discussion. Honors students will be expected to craft complex literary analyses and argumentative pieces of writing, showing proficiency in both conveying ideas and in their use of conventions. Importantly, they will build these skills through direct instruction and ample in-class practice and workshopping. Honors students will produce writing pieces in response to more complex prompts and complete formal writing assignments more frequently than those in English 7. By the end of seventh grade, students should be confident in their abilities to express ideas clearly and concisely and to analyze literary and informational sources through both speaking and writing. Additionally, students will continue enhancing their vocabulary with Latin and Greek roots; they will do so with increased rigor, as students learn and apply more words on a weekly basis in Honors English. Perhaps most importantly, students will read student-selected texts daily for enjoyment.
Enrollment in Honors English is determined by the English department, working in concert with the division director, and is based on a combination of prior demonstrated classroom learning and performance, overall demonstrated approach to learning, and standardized test scores.
English 8 students explore how human nature shapes choices, the consequences of ambition and greed, and the importance of democracy, justice, and mercy. These thematic ideas are illustrated through short stories and novels, including Lord of the Flies in the Fall, and To Kill a Mockingbird and Julius Caesar in the Spring. Listening and learning to communicate effectively in discussions prepare students for responsible membership in their academic community and beyond. Writing is a major focus of the course; students write short analytical essays at various points in their reading of each text and craft longer essays after reading texts in their entirety. Writing instruction emphasizes the importance of the St. George’s writing traits and the use of textual evidence to support an original argument. Students use Vocabulary From Greek and Latin Roots: A Study of Word Families in order to bolster their comprehension of word formation and vocabulary. Year-long grammar instruction with an emphasis on structure is also a key component of the course.
English 8 Honors students explore how human nature shapes choices, the consequences of ambition and greed, and the importance of democracy, justice, and mercy. These thematic ideas are illustrated through short stories and novels, including A Separate Peace and Lord of the Flies in the Fall and To Kill a Mockingbird and Julius Caesar in the Spring. Listening and learning to communicate effectively in discussions prepare students for responsible membership in their academic community and beyond. Writing is a major focus of the course; students write short analytical essays at various points in their reading of each text, as well as craft longer essays after reading texts in their entirety. Writing instruction emphasizes the importance of St. George’s writing traits and the use of textual evidence to support an original argument. Students use Vocabulary From Greek and Latin Roots: A Study of Word Families in order to bolster their comprehension of word formation and vocabulary. Year-long grammar instruction with an emphasis on structure is also a key component of the course.
In Grade 9, students develop their reading and writing skills to achieve greater knowledge and understanding of their literary texts through the study of theme and the impact of literary techniques. Students are encouraged to “dig deep,” both into the texts themselves and into the value of their own reactions to the texts in order to forge new understanding. Students begin the year with a study of adolescence in literary texts, each of which find young adults in lead roles; while in the second semester, students shift toward the study of ancient literature, beginning with the literature and lore of ancient belief systems (Old Testament, Greek mythology, Plato). Students learn to interpret and to appreciate literature’s relevance, whether ancient or contemporary, and its impact on present day literature and society through exposition and class discussion. Further, students develop usable vocabulary through their Vocabulary from Latin and Greek Roots workbook and terms pertinent to the grammar and literature of the course. The development of writing skills involves writing in a variety of modes, from creative to expository to analytical. The Modern Language Association (MLA) citation rules are taught, and students are expected to apply them routinely.
With the expectation that Honors students have already developed the capability to “dig deep” into the texts and to support their reactions to the texts, students in English I - Honors grapple extensively with both autonomy and collaboration in their learning. This comes in many forms, but most notably in the format and focus of class discussions and in creating major assessments from scratch, beginning with selecting their own writing topics, as a means of growing their understanding of the framework of literary study. Literary terms form the “language of literature” and the scaffolding for many course discussions. In the first semester, students participate in a study of adolescence in more modern texts; in the second semester, students shift into more spiritual territory, beginning with a survey of the literature of ancient philosophy and belief systems (The Old Testament, Plato, Greek mythology), followed by Paulo Coelho’s contemporary novel The Alchemist, and concluding with a study of the various literary contributions of the ancient Greeks. Students are supported to interpret and to appreciate ancient literature’s relevance and its impact on contemporary literature and society through exposition and class discussion. Further, students develop usable vocabulary through work with their Vocabulary from Latin and Greek Roots workbook and terms pertinent to the grammar and literature of the course. The promotion of writing skills involves writing in a variety of modes, from creative to expository to analytical, and students are expected to apply the Modern Language Association (MLA) citation rules routinely.
English II is a world literature course in which we strive to create an understanding of our own and other cultures through exposure to and close reading of texts from around the world. In the first quarter, this course focuses on reading comprehension and writing skills, using short prompts as we write with an eye towards improving elements such as grammar, structure, style, voice, concision, and clarity. In the second quarter, we shift our focus to higher-level literary analysis. Throughout the course, students practice self-expression and communication through presentations, discussions, and essays. In the second semester, students complete a personal memoir that explores the connection of their life story with class themes. Students also study Vocabulary from Latin and Greek Roots: A Study of Word Families Level IV to acquire vocabulary and understand the formation of new words.
English II Honors is a world literature course in which we strive to create an understanding of our own and other cultures through exposure to and close reading of texts from around the world. Students produce close readings of texts, delving into linguistic, symbolic, and thematic particularities, and they also gain an understanding of how a text interacts with and reflects cultural concerns. We connect our minds and hearts in a search for self-knowledge and empathy through a variety of periods, styles, perspectives, and genres of writing. Students practice self-expression and communication through presentations, discussions, essays, and creative nonfiction writing. Students also study Vocabulary from Latin and Greek Roots: A Study of Word Families Level IV to acquire vocabulary and understand the formation of new words.
English III focuses on developing students’ skills as insightful readers, careful writers, and critical thinkers through the study of American literature. Over the course of the year, students read, discuss, and reflect upon works of literature written by a diverse cast of authors representing different facets of American identity. Special emphasis is placed on reading comprehension, the sharpening of writing skills through expository, creative, and narrative essays, and the continuing identification and application of literary devices. Students use Vocabulary from Latin and Greek Roots: A Study of Word Families Level IV to improve their understanding and appreciation of the words that make up the English language.
See qualifications for advanced/AP courses.
In AP English Language and Composition, students explore the arts of persuasion through a focus on American literature, specifically the essays, speeches, and novels that constitute the foundations of American political and cultural thought. Students hone their skills for agile thinking and careful reflection through rhetorical analysis, synthesis, and argumentation. They engage in extensive writing practice and close reading that focuses on understanding how skilled writers craft language to achieve specific purposes. Student-directed discussion and exploration provide ample opportunity to take healthy risks and gain facility in public speaking and collaboration. Students study the Vocabulary from Latin and Greek Roots: A Study of Word Families Level V in order to bolster language usage. All students enrolled in this course must take the AP exam in May.
Semesters: one (Spring)
Students will develop as readers, writers, and thinkers as they explore a variety of genres, including memoir, short story, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Additionally, they will study and discuss examples of the masters at work, while finding their own creative voices. Throughout the semester, students will work collaboratively to sharpen one another’s skills and gain valuable experience with different modes of writing through workshops, peer editing, and individual writing meetings with the teacher. Students will create shared pieces together, and they will hone their own pieces through the writing process. This class is scheduled for the SPRING semester.
Semesters: one (Fall)
This class uses the genre of the fairy tale in order to explore the ways storytelling has changed over time and across cultures. Comparative work is done on tales, such as Cinderella, which span the globe and shift over time, with a particular eye to how these tales influence and reflect cultural values surrounding gender roles. Coursework is also dedicated to understanding film as text, analyzing both animated and live action adaptations of beloved works of fantasy, in addition to working collaboratively as a class to adapt and film a short film based on a chosen fairy tale. This class is scheduled for the FALL semester.
In this course, students will examine how various authors have used fiction set in a bleak future to warn society of dangers looming on the horizon. Incorporating some of our “worst case scenarios,” these authors depict a world gone wrong, and consequently hope to motivate readers to take whatever steps are necessary to prevent such a world from coming into being. Incorporating both classics, such as Orwell’s 1984 and more recent Young Adult works like Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven, students will wrestle with the question of what an individual can do to protect humanity from a government seeking total control. This class is scheduled for the FALL semester.
This class will explore the richness brought to literature by voices that society once sought to dismiss or silence. While neurodiversity was once considered proof of madness, readers today are invited to reconsider old tales and delve into more recent literature celebrating the voices of those whose minds perceive the world in atypical ways. As we encounter narrators who are anxious, ADHD, deaf, or autistic, for example, we find that at the heart of every story is a universal longing for love and acceptance. This class is scheduled for the FALL semester.
This class seeks to explore the universal challenges that arise when humans are directed by their nation to commit violence upon one another. Literature through the ages has captured the moral and ensuing psychological trauma, particularly when soldiers feel betrayed or unsupported by the commanders and culture for which they fight. (Due to the nature of this course, readings will contain mature content.) This class is scheduled for the SPRING semester.
Whether comedy, drama, or tragedy, plays have the power to capture the full range of human experience, condensing it into “two hours traffic on our stage.” With a focus on dramatic structure, textual analysis, and performance, students have the opportunity in this course to read aloud a wide variety of plays, discuss the choices made by playwright, director, and actor, and even do a bit of performance themselves. Authors studied may include William Shakespeare, August Wilson, and Lin Manuel Miranda. This class is scheduled for the SPRING semester.
This course is designed to assist students with the tools needed to become even stronger readers, writers, and conversationalists of literature. The class focuses on novels, short stories, poetry, and drama composed since the 1500s by writers of various backgrounds. The concentration of this course emphasizes the skills of close reading and critical thinking, written response to literature, and discussion. The students utilize Carol Jago’s Literature & Composition as the main resource for short stories, poetry, and drama. Additionally, other texts are integrated to test and push students' reading comprehension skills and analysis. These carefully selected works provide not only enjoyment, but they also enrich and contribute to the students’ personal library of knowledge, which is especially useful during discussion, with in-class and out-of-class essay writing, and in preparation for the Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition exam. Additionally, students use Vocabulary from Latin and Greek Roots: A Study of Word Families to continue their improvement, understanding, and appreciation of the words that make up the English language. All students enrolled in this course must take the AP exam in May.
It is said that history is to the human race what memory is to each person. It sheds the light of the past upon the present, thus helping one to understand oneself, by making one acquainted with other peoples. History is, as Allen Nerins states, “a bridge connecting the past with the present and pointing the road to the future.” St. George’s endeavors to make the lives of our students richer by broadening their outlook on the cultures, traditions, and forces of a global world as well as creating experienced analytical thinkers and writers. Ultimately, our personal stories create who we are and who we are becoming.
History does the same for the identities of nations, ideas, races, and ethnic groups. Learning these stories and how they connect with the daily lives of students forms the foundation for understanding historical thinking and analysis at St. George’s. To that end, students continue to focus on thinking critically about information, sources, and conclusions. The clear expression of new ideas and critiques through writing and reading finds reinforcement in the history and social science curriculum at St. George’s. To have a greater respect for the changing world and the differing perspectives brought to it by those of various faith traditions, St. George’s has a deep commitment to the non-doctrinal study of religions. As future global citizens and leaders, we believe strongly that our students must have a firm understanding of the world’s religions. At the same time, religion courses allow students to reaffirm their own faith traditions as they study those of people from around the world.
In this course, students engage in a study of the U.S. government, including its core tenets, how it is organized, and how to be an active, engaged citizen. Students examine the history of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and then delve into the inner workings of each branch of the federal government. The course incorporates a variety of readings that help students explore the concept of citizenship. Throughout the year, students work on developing critical thinking skills by answering essential questions derived from the various aspects of civics. Students have many opportunities to collaborate with peers. Students develop a National History Day (NHD) project based on their own interests in accordance with an annual NHD theme. Students also create their own laws and debate other students in a mock state government simulation affiliated with the Youth in Government (YIG) program.
In this course, students investigate the historical and practical components of the New Testament and the history of authorship. In seeking to understand the primary themes of scripture they identify and locate key biblical events and figures, note passages for further study in context, and apply basic principles of discernment. Students explore how the life of Jesus is represented in the gospels, acts of the apostles, early epistles, and the book of Revelation. The class will consider the impact of the New Testament on today’s thought, practice, character development, and culture.
"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history. " – Mahatma Gandhi
It is the individual who is the primary influence on historical change, and, because of that, the eighth grade American History student explores the growth of the United States through the eyes of individuals and examines a variety of unique perspectives that have come to shape the nation we live in today. Students begin with the study of the settlement of North America, and the development of diverse, regional colonial economies. Students also explore the political process of protest and resistance leading to the American Revolution; the development of the American political system and culture; the impact of the commercial, agricultural, and industrial revolutions on American life; the cultural and political impact of urban reform in the North and the impact of slavery in the South and our nation. The causes of the Civil War are examined, as well as its role in shaping the social and political framework of modern America. An emphasis is placed on the students’ skill development including organization skills, study skills, collaborative learning skills, public speaking and learning how to prepare for a variety of types of assessments including projects and presentations. One such project that promotes student choice and provides avenues for the guided practice of key skill sets is the National History Day project. The project begins in the fall with students tackling the research process on specific theme-based topics, culminating before the end of the first semester with the presentation of a variety of project categories demonstrating the historical analysis and interpretation of their chosen topic.
And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness (mercy), and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8
Building on what they have learned in Religion 6 and 7, Servant-Leadership students put the pillars of our Episcopal school foundation into practice. The course focuses on the areas of justice, mercy (kindness), and service to others, with a strong thread of leadership development running throughout. Students complete three service activities outside of class to actively engage with our school and community. The experience culminates with a capstone project that students design to put into action the habits of a servant-leader, as informed by Micah 6:8, and engage more deeply with a topic of interest.
Beginning with an overview of the origins of human society, World History I is a survey course focusing on the time from Ancient Greece through the Renaissance and Reformation periods in Europe. In addition to learning about the historical content, students strengthen their skills in analytical thinking, communication, and historical research by constructing historical arguments. Course assignments are designed to develop skills in the presentation of historical ideas, as well as honing skills in reading comprehension and written expression. Students gain a greater understanding of the past, an increased appreciation of the role of citizenship in the global community in which we live today, and a sharpened ability to approach the world with a critical and informed mindset. This course consists of a mixture of lectures, discussions, activities, readings, and primary research.
World History I Honors is designed to complement a traditional survey of history with an especially heightened emphasis upon comprehension and analysis. The course focuses on identifying historical patterns and broader connections that span multiple regions and epochs ranging from the earliest human origins through the end of the Medieval Period. Classes are especially question-driven and incorporate a heavy examination of primary sources to not only gain a more intimate knowledge of human development across the globe, but to also aid students in using this heightened knowledge to formulate concrete ideas making sense of this knowledge. To this end, there is a heavy reading and writing component. World History I Honors is not designed strictly as a precursor to Advanced Placement courses in history available later in the upper school experience, but the skills harnessed do mirror the expectations of such courses. The primary goal of the course is to make sense of difficult concepts in the formulation of strong academic arguments. Students leave with heightened abilities in writing and reading comprehension, as well as the skills necessary for informed young citizens in an increasingly interconnected global community.
This course examines the history of the world from approximately 1300 C.E. to the present. Students explore the events, cultures, ideas, and personalities which shaped world developments and subsequently laid the foundation for our contemporary world. Beginning with the Renaissance era, the course covers topics such as absolutism, exploration, industrialism, nationalism, imperialism, and global conflict. Emphasis is placed on skills such as reading comprehension, public speaking, collaborative work, and historical writing. Students learn to construct and evaluate historical arguments, analyze and interpret primary source documents, and recognize global patterns over time and space, while acquiring the ability to connect local developments to global ones. Finally, students leave this class having gained an appreciation not only for their own culture, ideas, and traditions, but also for those which are different from their own.
The AP World History course is a fast-paced class in which students are actively engaged in the material through discussions, lectures, collaboration with peers, and activities which require analysis and synthesis of historical sources. Students are asked to challenge themselves academically, think from a variety of perspectives, and employ their creativity. The curriculum highlights the nature of continuity and change, systems of social structure, patterns and impacts of interaction among societies, the role of technology and demography, changes in functions and structures of states, aspects of the importance of military conflict, and cultural and intellectual developments. This course’s chronological framework is 1200 C.E. to the present, as set by the College Board. All students enrolled in this course must take the AP World History exam in May.
This course spans American political, economic, social, intellectual, and cultural history from 1865 to the present, moving backwards in time to focus less on “what comes next” and more on how professional historians approach their work. Students develop an understanding of American history by reading secondary source material on significant topics, interpreting primary historical documents, and practicing historical essay writing skills. Emphasis is placed on critical and evaluative thinking with a focus on developing an appreciation for the construction of the historical argument. Students have an opportunity to practice the craft of the historian by conducting primary research. Solid reading and writing skills are essential to success.
This course spans American political, economic, social, intellectual, and cultural history from the beginning of Native American civilizations until the present. The students read historical articles, analyze documents, and learn to write historical and document-based question essays. The course is designed to prepare the students to satisfy the requirements for college-level U.S. history courses (one year’s worth of credit). The texts are college level and the course itself is structured along the lines of a university-level course. Students strengthen their analytical thinking skills as they learn to develop persuasive historical arguments by synthesizing complex historical information. In the process, students improve their reading, writing, and testing-taking skills. Class instruction is a combination of lecture, discussion, collaborative and individual work. All students enrolled in this course must take the AP U.S. History exam in May.
See qualifications for advanced/AP courses
AP United States Government and Politics is a college-level introduction to key political concepts, ideas, institutions, policies, interactions, roles, and behaviors that characterize the constitutional system and political culture of the United States. Students will read and analyze U.S. foundational documents, Supreme Court decisions, and other texts and visuals to gain an understanding of the relationships and interactions between political institutions and behavior. They will read and interpret data, develop evidence-based arguments, and engage in an applied civics or politics researched-based project. All students enrolled in this course must take the AP United States Government and Politics exam in May.
Semesters: one (Fall and Spring)
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."-Winston Churchill
This one-semester course focuses on World War II from a global perspective with an emphasis on US military and political history. Students gain an overview of the overall war in the European, African, and Pacific theaters in order to then hone in on specific topics for more in-depth learning. The course is focused on using primary documents as a lens through which to view the time period. Instruction using assigned readings and lectures assure content knowledge is gained by the students. When possible, interaction with WWII veterans will take place in collaboration with the Young Forever community organization.
This course is designed to equip students with the financial literacy necessary to plan confident financial decisions. Students learn applicable measures for budgeting, taxes, banking, risk management, and investment. Additionally, students gain a deeper understanding for short, medium, and long term financial goals.
This course is designed to introduce students to the major concepts and ideas prevalent in the study of economics. Students learn the basic tools of microeconomic and macroeconomic analysis. Additionally, students explore the nature and function of markets and their relationship with the government.
In this year-long course, students will prepare to take Advanced Placement exams for both AP Microeconomics and AP Macroeconomics, devoting a semester of study to each topic. This is an introductory college-level course focusing on the principles that apply to an economic system as a whole. Particular emphasis is placed on the study of national income and price-level determination. The course also develops students' familiarity with economic performance measures, the financial sector, stabilization policies, economic growth, and international economics. Students learn to use graphs, charts, and data to analyze, describe, and explain economic concepts.
Semester: one (Fall)
This course closely examines what it truly means to be a citizen in a multi-faceted, modern world. The course examines six different understandings of Citizenship over three units: Classical, American, Faith-Based, Pluralistic, Disenfranchised, and Global. Then, as a capstone, students are asked to identify which they most relate to and why. In addition, the course analyzes national and international current events along with intellectual trends in America, which together help students increase their ability to understand world events and anticipate what might come next. All in-class activities are designed to enhance students’ abilities to analyze, communicate, create, collaborate, and problem solve in efforts to help them prepare for life in an accelerated Twenty-First century.
Building on Citizenship I, this class explores the idea that citizenship can be a verb. With a firm knowledge of who they are as citizens, students explore the notions of environmental citizenship, digital citizenship, community-based citizenship, professional citizenship, and entrepreneurial/servant citizenship. Each category comes with its own set of readings, current events topics, media tools, and debates. Additionally, this class will seek to partner with local organizations to “power the good” in our city, putting into practice the very servant entrepreneurship we will be learning about.
This course focuses on helping students learn how to discern our place and affect our course. Students will seek to embrace the world in its complexity through examining local, national and international issues with emphasis on technology, interconnectivity, education and advances in science, as well as the positive and negative impacts of human civilization around the globe. We will seek to answer whether or not we have entered a post-globalization age, and what the era has so far taught us about the past, present and future of the world. Lastly, students will expand their global awareness with a deep dive into five different regions, with emphasis on China, India, Nigeria, Peru, Germany, and the Israeli-Palestinian Middle East.
This course focuses on African American issues in history. The focus is on the time spanning post-Brown v. Board of Education through the Black Lives Matter movement. Students explore the changing African American experience in the second part of the twentieth century by reading primary sources, engaging in lectures, and creating original research projects to better discover the unique history of the mid-south area and its importance to the modern Civil Rights Movement.
Satisfies graduation requirement for religion
Religious Studies endeavors to guide students to see the world as it is and to discover new insights through the world's religions. This year-long course in religious studies covers the historical origins, development, thought, and practices of the world’s major religions. Students begin with a discussion of what constitutes a religion examining characteristics, commonalities, and differences among them. Next, students focus on the earliest religions, working their way through Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Confucianism. In the first semester, students' study of religion extends off-campus and throughout Memphis with visits to a variety of religious communities where they encounter the content of their study in practice and in person. During the second half of the year, students begin with a study of Taoism, Zen, and Shinto then turn their focus to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In the second semester, students will endeavor to study new religious movements through small group research that culminates in the development of a hypothetical textbook chapter produced using Apple iBooks Author. Emphasis is also placed on current events by way of student-directed research, analytical writing, and in-class presentation as many of the stories in the news connect to the content of this course.
Prerequisite: Religious Studies
With great passion and deep faith, students of philosophy dare to explore the diverse and varied topics that compose this curriculum. This course introduces the Western philosophical traditions through the work of major figures such as Plato, Rene Descartes, Immanuel Kant, Soren Kierkegaard, and C.S. Lewis. Students in this course explore responses to questions that have been significant to philosophy from its beginnings: the nature of the mind, soul, and self; the existence of God; the foundations of knowledge; and the meaning of life. The course culminates with a project examining philosophical themes in film. In form, this course is reading-intensive and discussion-based with significant writing. In order to carefully analyze topics of philosophy, while maintaining an informed intellectual tradition, Religious Studies is a prerequisite course. Many topics of Eastern and Western religion will serve as a foundation for understanding and exploring topics in Philosophy.
This course is an introduction to the study of philosophical morality. Approaching the subject with a spirit of humility, the class attempts to unravel differentiated theories of right and wrong behavior. By addressing ethics, the course considers topics including the norms of morality and the general process of moral decision-making, as well as the study of evil in specific historical contexts. We will endeavor to unravel the context and positions of a variety of social and cultural issues today through debate and discussion. Simultaneously, students will study how freedom, determinism, and choice play into moral and ethical decision-making. So that students are prepared to more deeply analyze the course material, Religious Studies is a prerequisite course. Many topics of Eastern and Western religion will serve as a foundation for understanding and exploring topics in Ethics.
Introduction to Psychology provides a sampling of the study of behavior and the mind. By viewing concepts through the lens of scientific research, students will examine who we are and why we do what we do from three major perspectives: biological, psychological, and sociocultural. Through readings, videos, and activities, students will engage in the study of psychological concepts in real and relevant ways. Key topics students will study are human development, consciousness, health, stress, personality, social influence, social behavior, abnormal behavior, and more. Students will find success in the class if they come with an open mind and willingness to work.
AP Psychology introduces students to the scientific study of human behavior and mental processes. While considering the psychologists and studies that have shaped the field, students explore and apply psychological theories, key concepts, and phenomena associated with such topics as the biological bases of behavior, sensation and perception, learning and cognition, motivation, developmental psychology, testing and individual differences, treatment of abnormal behavior, and social psychology. Throughout the course, students are actively involved in experiments and activities, employ psychological research methods, discuss ethical considerations, evaluate claims and evidence, and effectively communicate ideas. The material covered in AP Psychology is equivalent to that of an introductory level psychology course at a college or university, and upon completion of this course, students will not only be prepared to take the AP exam, but should be better able to understand, explain, and predict human behavior. All students enrolled in this course must take the AP Psychology exam in May.
At St. George’s, we believe the coalescence of math and science is necessary to create highly adept, numerically and scientifically literate students. An intentional and well-planned mathematics and science curriculum prepares St. George’s students for an evolving and global world as well as for advanced study in college. An integrated approach to the curriculum and its emphasis on technology seeks to combine mathematical concepts with concrete matters that are addressed in other areas of academic disciplines. High standards with regard to skill development and conceptual understanding are reinforced through project-based learning that encourages students to apply ideas in real-life settings. Through such integration the mathematical concepts being learned in the specific math classes are reinforced and enriched.
Department Chair: Ms. Page McMullen, email@example.com
Prerequisite: Math 6, BY PLACEMENT ONLY
Students will continue to build on the skills they developed in Math 6, working on more complex problems and strengthening their mathematical thinking. Topics include operations with rational numbers, expressions, properties, factors, equations, and inequalities. Additionally, students will further explore ratio, proportions, data analysis, and introductory geometry concepts. Emphasis will be placed on mathematical literacy and bolstering critical skills necessary to be a successful and confident mathematician.
Prerequisite: Math 6 or Math 6 Honors
Accelerated Pre-Algebra prepares students for Algebra I and Geometry. Integers and algebraic concepts are applied to strengthen students' algebraic thinking skills as well as strengthen the skills learned in Math 6. Throughout the course, algebraic concepts are connected to arithmetic skills to build on what students know. Geometry concepts are integrated when appropriate to foster connections. Students solve equations and use equivalent forms for expressions involving like terms and exponents. Students relate slope and y-intercept to graphs and linear expressions. Visualization continues with consistent modeling of algebra expressions, percent, problem solving, and linear equations and inequalities. During Pre-Algebra, students begin learning how to use graphing calculators.
Prerequisite: Math 6 of Math 6 Honors
Placement Criteria: Math MAP score ≥ 85th percentile, Math 6 average ≥ 90 or Math 6 - Honors average ≥ 80, teacher recommendation
Honors Pre-Algebra prepares students for Algebra I and Geometry at a faster pace and in more depth than the standard pre-algebra curriculum. Integers and algebraic concepts are applied to strengthen students' algebraic thinking skills as well as strengthen the skills learned in Math 6. Throughout the course, algebraic concepts are connected to arithmetic skills to build on what students know. Geometry concepts are integrated when appropriate to foster connections. Students solve equations and use equivalent forms for expressions involving like terms and exponents. Students relate rate of change, slope, and y-intercept to graphs and linear expressions. Visualization continues with consistent modeling of algebra expressions, percents, problem solving, linear equations and inequalities, and functions. During Honors Pre-Algebra, students begin learning how to use graphing calculators.
Prerequisite: Pre-Algebra, BY PLACEMENT ONLY
The focus of this course is building a strong foundation necessary for success in the study of algebra. It includes a disciplined study of real numbers and their properties, algebraic expressions, solving and graphing linear equations and inequalities, understanding functions, and laws of exponents. Geometry units will cover transformations, angles, triangles, and formulas for three dimensional figures. Data analysis work includes scatter plots, lines of best fit, and two-way tables. During Math 8, students continue learning how to use their graphing calculators.
Prerequisite: Pre-Algebra or Math 8
In Algebra I, students strengthen their knowledge of the real number system, functions, and polynomials. Initially, students study the properties of real numbers and review how to calculate with them. Throughout the course, students learn to evaluate formulas; solve, graph, and write linear and quadratic equations and inequalities; solve systems of equations and inequalities; factor polynomials; and simplify radical and rational expressions. Additional topics that encourage and promote logical and critical thinking are also included, as well as a focus on strengthening their number sense. During Algebra I, students continue learning how to use their graphing calculators. *If taken in middle school, this course will appear on St. George’s transcripts, but will not count toward the upper school GPA.
Grade 7: Math MAP score ≥ 95th percentile, Math 6 - Honors average ≥ 90, prerequisite skills score ≥ 80, and teacher recommendation
Grade 8 or 9: Math MAP score ≥ 85th percentile, Pre-Algebra Accelerated average ≥ 90 or Pre-Algebra - Honors average ≥ 80, teacher recommendation
In Honors Algebra I, students strengthen their knowledge of the real number system, functions, and polynomials. Initially, students study the properties of real numbers and review how to calculate with them. Throughout the course, students learn to evaluate formulas; solve, graph, and write linear and quadratic equations and inequalities; solve systems of equations and inequalities; factor polynomials; simplify radical and rational expressions; and solve rational and radical equations. Additional topics that encourage and promote logical and critical thinking are also included, as well as a focus on strengthening their number sense. During Honors Algebra I, students continue to learn how to use their graphing calculators. Students in Honors Algebra I delve deeper and cover topics more rapidly than students in Algebra I and solve a larger variety of application and word problems. *If taken in middle school, this course will appear on St. George’s transcripts, but will not count toward the upper school GPA.
Prerequisite: Algebra I
Students apply techniques of inductive and deductive reasoning as they write geometric proofs. They learn to identify angle relationships, triangle congruence, perpendicular and parallel lines, and to apply the properties of circles, polygons, and right triangles to real world problems. Students learn how to compute both the area of plane figures and the surface area and volume of solids. Students apply basic principles of algebra where appropriate and demonstrate flexibility with coordinate geometry.
Prerequisite: Algebra I
Placement Criteria: Math MAP score ≥ 85th percentile, Algebra Accelerated average ≥ 90 or Algebra - Honors average ≥ 80 and teacher recommendation
Students apply techniques of inductive and deductive reasoning as they write geometric proofs. They learn to identify angle relationships, triangle congruence, perpendicular and parallel lines, and to apply the properties of circles, polygons, and right triangles to real world problems. Students learn how to compute both the area of plane figures and the surface area and volume of solids. Students apply basic principles of algebra where appropriate and demonstrate mastery with coordinate geometry. Additionally, students are introduced to right triangle trigonometry and their applications in the real world. Honors students should expect a rapid pace and more in-depth coverage. *If taken in middle school, this course will appear on St. George’s transcripts, but will not count toward the upper school GPA.
Algebra II focuses on the study of functions, their graphs, and their properties. Specific functions covered include linear, quadratic, exponential, and logarithmic. However, Algebra II also touches on a wide variety of other topics including, but not limited to, solving higher order equations and inequalities, and polynomial and rational expressions. Students develop a clear understanding of the relationship between algebraic equations and their graphs. All work revolves around the process of solving a problem and the mathematical concepts rather than just “getting the answer.” Problem solving through both traditional algebraic methods and graphical methods is an important component of the class.
Placement Criteria: Geometry average ≥ 90 or Geometry - Honors average ≥ 80, and teacher recommendation
While Algebra II Honors is a continuation of the concepts learned in Algebra I, this course introduces the student to some of the theory behind those concepts. Honors Algebra II emphasizes the strong and integral relationship between functions and their graphs. Students solve problems both algebraically and graphically using pencil and paper, as well as a graphing calculator. Students are asked to think beyond calculations and contemplate the roots and the derivations of the topics. Honors Algebra II is a preparatory course for PreCalculus. To that end, this course covers a variety of topics such as linear and nonlinear functions, relations and systems; exponents and logarithms; rational functions; and radical functions. Problem-solving strategies as well as how concepts are applied will be emphasized throughout the course.
Prerequisite: Algebra II, BY PLACEMENT ONLY
Applied mathematics offers a real world, functional approach to learning mathematics and developing numeracy. The emphasis of this course is on the ability to understand and apply mathematics to solve problems in context. Topics covered in this course include, but are not limited to, mathematical modeling to analyze and solve realistic problems, an extensive exploration of trigonometric functions and how they appear in everyday life, transformations of functions, and series and sequences. Technology will be heavily used to support understanding of the concepts taught.
Prerequisite: Algebra II
Placement Criteria: Applied Math average ≥ 90 or Algebra II average ≥ 80 and teacher recommendation
This is a functions-based course that both synthesizes concepts taught in Algebra II and introduces new concepts, preparing students for calculus and statistics and cultivating mathematical imagination and flexible thinking. In addition to providing opportunities to practice both individually and collaboratively, this course utilizes a four-pronged approach to examine mathematical concepts: graphically, algebraically, geometrically, and verbally. Students use technology and make connections, not only to previous and future math courses, but to the world around them. Topics covered include functions (polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric), probability, series and sequences, conics, and analytic trigonometry.
Prerequisite: Algebra II
Placement Criteria: Algebra II average ≥ 90 or Algebra II - Honors average ≥ 80 and Algebra II semester exams ≥ 80 or teacher recommendation
This is a functions-based course that both synthesizes concepts taught in Algebra II and introduces new concepts, preparing students for AP Calculus AB and cultivating mathematical imagination and flexible thinking. Students use technology and make connections, not only to previous and future math courses, but to the world around them. In addition to providing opportunities to practice individually and collaboratively, this course utilizes a four-pronged approach to examine mathematical concepts: graphically, algebraically, geometrically, and verbally. Topics covered include functions (polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric), analytic trigonometry, probability, series and sequences, and conic sections. Honors students enjoy a faster-paced experience and participate in extension activities and challenge problems.
Prerequisite: Advanced Topics in Applied Math, BY PLACEMENT ONLY
Math Analysis is designed to deepen students’ understanding of fundamental functions, as well as provide essential knowledge of statistics necessary to navigate today’s data driven society. Students will extend their knowledge of polynomials, roots, powers, and logarithms. Additionally, they will explore data, counting principles, probability, and inference, as well as examine Normal and binomial distributions. Statistics is learned as a tool used in decision making. Students will learn to gather, analyze, interpret, and report their findings in a systematic and mathematical manner.
Semesters: one (Fall)
Prerequisite: Precalculus or Precalculus – Honors
Introduction to Calculus will reinforce the essential prerequisite information for a college-level Calculus I course. Topics covered include limits and continuity, derivatives, particle motion, optimization, related rates, and integration. This course serves as an introduction to calculus and is designed to help students succeed in a college level Calculus I course.
Semesters: one (Spring)
Prerequisite: Precalculus or Precalculus – Honors
Statistics topics covered will include effectively displaying and describing data, correlation and regression, probability theory, and probability distributions. Statistics is learned as a tool to be used in decision making. Students will connect their emerging statistical knowledge with how data is represented and statistics are used in the world around them. Students will learn to gather, analyze, interpret, and report their findings in a systematic and mathematical manner.
Prerequisite: Precalculus or Precalculus – Honors
Placement Criteria: Precalculus average ≥ 80 and teacher recommendation
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AP Statistics is an introductory, non-calculus based, college-level statistics course that emphasizes understanding and analyzing statistical studies. Students explore the theory of probability, descriptions of statistical measurements, probability distributions, experimental design and statistical inference. Students analyze samples to better understand populations as well as claims made about populations, developing the skills necessary to be insightful, critical consumers of data. Graphing calculators are used throughout the course. All students enrolled in this course must take the AP exam in May.
Prerequisite: Precalculus or Precalculus – Honors
Placement Criteria: Precalculus average ≥ 90 or Precalculus - Honors average ≥ 85 and teacher recommendation
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AP Calculus AB is a college-level calculus course that is generally equivalent to a first-semester college course. The AP calculus program is geared toward the development of the students’ understanding of calculus concepts in addition to providing experience with its methods and applications. Students are expected to approach the material graphically, numerically, analytically, and verbally, fostering flexibility in thought and developing agile problem-solving methods. Topics covered include: differentiation and integration of polynomial, trigonometric, and exponential functions. Calculators and computers are used to increase and strengthen the core calculus capabilities of the students. All students enrolled in this course must take the AP exam in May.
Prerequisite: AP Calculus AB
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AP Calculus BC is a college-level calculus course that is generally equivalent to the first two semesters of the college calculus sequence. The AP calculus program is geared toward the development of the students’ understanding of calculus concepts in addition to providing experience with its methods and applications. Students are expected to approach the material graphically, numerically, analytically, and verbally, fostering flexibility in thought and developing agile problem-solving methods. Topics covered include review of all of the Calculus AB topics, as well as additional integration techniques, calculus with series, and the calculus of polar functions. Calculators and computers are used to increase and strengthen the core calculus capabilities of the students. All students enrolled in this course must take the AP exam in May.
Semesters: one (Spring)
*Course does not count toward math requirement; ELECTIVE only.
Isaac Newton once said, "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." In this course, we will explore the development of mathematics and the contributions made by a multitude of individuals and cultures, including Egypt, Babylon, Greece, and Arabia. Students will learn Euclidean constructions and problem solving techniques developed without calculators. Students will gain an understanding of some of the mysteries of math: pi, e, phi, fractals, and prime numbers. A semester project requiring research and presentation will be required of all students.
The science curriculum at St. George’s is designed to help students develop an understanding of the methods and findings of science through meaningful experiences. Students learn major concepts of the life, physical, and earth sciences through interactive discussions, hands-on experiments, and explorations of the environments surrounding them. With the goal of producing scientifically literate citizens, the science curriculum is designed in accordance with the National Science Education Standards from the National Academies and Project 2061 from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Science is much more than facts, theories, laws, and information. The American Association for the Advancement of Science articulates a scientifically literate person as one “who is aware that science, mathematics, and technology are interdependent human enterprises with strengths and limitations; understands key concepts and principles of science; is familiar with the natural world and recognizes both its diversity and unity; and uses scientific knowledge and scientific ways of thinking for individual and social purposes.” This type of disposition is espoused by faculty in the St. George’s science department.
Department Chair: Mr. Mike Smothers, firstname.lastname@example.org
Seventh grade science is a journey through three broad areas of science. The course begins by exploring ecology and the environment, followed by a study of human body systems. The course ends with a brief look into the vast universe of astronomy. Throughout this journey, students work on building skills in organization, technical writing, the scientific method, critical thinking, applying knowledge to explain and analyze real world situations, and working independently.
IPS students learn by doing. Because of a strong emphasis on lab work and analysis of experimental results, IPS serves as an introduction to upper school laboratory science courses at St. George’s. Students investigate the following topics in Introductory Physical Science: volume and mass, mass changes in closed systems, characteristic properties, and solubility.
Inquiry, Innovation, and Invention (I3) allow students to learn the engineering design process, mainly through their work with the Vex IQ robotics system. The class helps students build their communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills as they work in groups on engineering and robotics challenges. Additionally, students will learn the necessary skills for programming their robots. Students may have the opportunity to compete in Vex IQ tournaments. This class can be taken for 2 years.
Corequisite or prerequisite: Algebra I
A major goal of Physics I is to help the students see physics as a part of everything they experience and to demystify the mathematical formulas scientists use to explain our world. In this course, students complete experiments allowing them to gain direct experience in the process of scientific modeling, helping them understand core physics concepts such as uniform motion, uniformly accelerated motion, Newton's Laws of Motion, conservation of energy, electric circuits, and electrostatics. Students learn to understand and explain physics concepts graphically, mathematically, diagrammatically, and verbally.
Prerequisite: Algebra I
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Honors Physics I is designed for students with accelerated reasoning and mathematical aptitudes and well-developed study skills. Honors students are expected to exhibit tenacity in the pursuit of understanding. In this course, students will complete experiments that allow them to gain direct experience in the process of scientific modeling. Students learn to understand and explain physics concepts graphically, mathematically, diagrammatically, and verbally. Example topics include: uniform motion, uniformly accelerated motion, Newton's Laws of Motion, conservation of energy, electric circuits, electrostatics, and mechanical waves.
Corequisite or prerequisite: Geometry
This course is designed to expose students to a core foundation in chemistry, the study of the composition of matter. A combination of lecture, class discussion, and hands-on laboratory experiences equip students with scientific knowledge and skills which serve as the base for higher-level science courses. Concepts learned in chemistry include: matter and change, scientific measurement, atomic structure and the periodic table, chemical quantities, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, states of matter, thermochemistry, the behavior of gases, and bonding. Additionally, an emphasis is placed upon proficiency in the area of scientific reasoning (data/graph interpretation, scientific method/experimental design, evaluating scientific writing/viewpoints). These skills allow students to apply and build upon course topics in addition to preparing them for the many standardized tests to be taken during the upcoming years.
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Enrollment in Honors Chemistry is determined by the science department and is based on a combination of standardized test scores, prior classroom performance, and overall demonstrated ability. Students enrolled in this course study the same topics as those enrolled in Chemistry, including a more in-depth study of nuclear chemistry, solutions, kinetics, and introductory organic chemistry. Added differences include the amount of quantitative work that is required, the pace of the curriculum, and the challenge of assigned problems.
Biology I is an overview of the study of life. It guides students to an understanding of the unifying structures and functions of life, as well as the processes that have engendered such vast diversity. Topics covered include the fundamental principles of ecology, the relationship between matter and energy in ecosystems, the structure and function of cells, cellular energetics, heredity and gene expression, and natural selection. In addition, students continue to utilize the scientific method to make sense of the natural world. Students are expected to apply their knowledge of biology and to use their reasoning skills to analyze real-life situations.
Prerequisite: Chemistry or Honors Chemistry
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Enrollment in Honors Biology is determined by the science department and is based on a combination of chemistry teacher recommendation, prior classroom performance, and overall demonstrated ability. Students enrolled in this course study the same topics as those enrolled in Biology, including a more in-depth study of molecular genetics, cellular biology, biochemistry, and the big ideas of biology. Added differences between Biology and Honors Biology include the amount of quantitative work that is required, the pace of the curriculum, and an emphasis on independent study.
Prerequisite: Biology or AP Biology
Human Anatomy and Physiology is designed to teach students with an interest in pursuing a career in a health related field about the intricacies of the human body. Students study organ systems with an eye towards how structure determines function and how homeostasis is maintained in ever-changing internal and external environments. They also research various anatomical and physiological abnormalities related to the body systems, as well as conduct in-depth analyses and study the interconnectedness of body systems through lecture and lab practicals. The principles of anatomy and physiology are further applied by a hands-on approach through the creation of models and completion of dissections.
Corequisite or prerequisite: Biology I or AP Biology
The goal of this course is to enable students to master the scientific principles, concepts, and lab practices needed to understand the connected nature of the natural world. In doing so, they interact with and physically identify a basic array of environmental factors in their natural setting; identify and evaluate environmental problems both natural and human-made; assess natural and man-made environmental problems, as well as the relative risks associated with these problems; and examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. To achieve this goal, students engage in project-based assessments and multiple lab periods, take notes on in-class lectures, participate in classroom discussion, and spend much time in the field investigating their physical surroundings.
Prerequisites: Chemistry and Biology I
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AP Biology is designed to be the equivalent of a two-semester college biology course. AP Biology differs significantly from a traditional high school biology course due to text content, depth of material covered, lab work, and time and effort required to achieve mastery in the subject area. The primary emphasis in the course is to develop a conceptual understanding of biology. Essential to this conceptual understanding are a grasp of science as process; personal experience in scientific inquiry; recognition of the unifying themes that integrate the major topics of biology; and application of biological knowledge and critical thinking to environmental and social concerns. All students enrolled in this course must take the AP exam in May.
Prerequisite: A course in chemistry and an Algebra II course
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This course is designed to prepare students for the AP Chemistry examination in May and is taught with the understanding that students can abide by a college level workload. Topics include atomic theory, stoichiometry, gas laws, electron structure and properties, chemical bonding, molecular geometry, intermolecular forces, solutions and colligative properties, thermochemistry, chemical kinetics, equilibrium, acids and bases, electrochemistry and nuclear chemistry. Considerable emphasis is placed on analysis of data and ideas, along with interpretation of laboratory work.
Corequisite or prerequisite: AP Calculus AB or AP Calculus BC. Students in other mathematics courses may enroll with approval of both the mathematics and science departments.
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AP Physics C – Mechanics is the first course in the calculus-based physics sequence. Students gain an in-depth understanding of the physics of Newtonian mechanics appropriate to study in chemistry, physics, or engineering. Guided inquiry and student-centered learning are used to develop students’ critical thinking, scientific reasoning, and problem-solving skills. The students design experiments to observe and measure real phenomena; organize, display, and critically analyze data; determine uncertainties in measurement; draw inferences from observations and data; and effectively communicate results in a technical format. All students enrolled in this course must take the AP exam in May.
Semesters: one (Fall)
This course introduces students to engineering and its various disciplines and demonstrates the importance of engineering design in many aspects of our daily lives. Students use computer tools, problem-solving strategies, and collaboration skills to complete various design projects.
Students build their creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills by completing individual and/or group projects while focusing on the steps of the engineering design process and design thinking. Some projects include the use of robotics, allowing the students to incorporate computer programming into their design solutions.
Semesters: one (Fall)
Astronomy students are introduced to the study of the universe. Students will study topics including the night sky; the origins and history of astronomy; the Earth and the system of planets orbiting the sun; the sun and other stars; and questions about how life originated on this planet and the likelihood of life on other planets.
STEM in the 901 is an active learning course designed to get students thinking about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in our community. Through case studies and problem-based learning, students will focus on different challenges faced by industries and institutions. Students will use the scientific method and engineering design process to propose and to test solutions to these challenges. By the end of the semester, students will know more about STEM career pathways in our community and will expand their creativity and their problem-solving skills.
Science Research is a course for students who wish to explore how science is done. Students will choose a topic of personal interest and will complete a research project on that topic over the course of the year. Throughout the fall semester students will write a research proposal, design experiments, and collect data. In the spring semester students will finish data collection, analyze the data, and prepare a poster or a talk to present the results of their study. Students will be expected to submit their research to a science fair or festival such as the Memphis-Shelby County Science Fair.
Children in language programs have demonstrated greater cognitive development, creativity, and divergent thinking than monolingual children. Several studies show that people who are competent in more than one language outscore those who are speakers of only one language on tests of verbal and nonverbal intelligence. The language program at St. George’s is designed to expose students to other languages, increase students’ understanding of and appreciation for other cultures, and, eventually, strengthen their command of the English language through comparative reflection of grammar and structure. St. George’s is committed to offering a quality program of language study. For success in the adult world, becoming multilingual and aware of other world cultures may be a necessity rather than an option. Communication is the focus of St. George’s language program. Schoolwide integration of the language program involves celebration of international holidays (Cinco de Mayo, Mardi Gras), cross-cultural service projects (corresponding with and collecting clothing for children in Mexico), and chapel or assembly programs that are partially conducted in a second language.
Department Chair: Ms. Mary Reed, email@example.com
In French I, students are introduced to the process of learning a foreign language. They set about exploring through language the ways of thinking that make each culture unique, and they begin to develop an ear for the French accent through intentional listening and pronunciation exercises. They learn to exercise their memory and to think systematically as they begin to master verb conjugations in the present tense and basic elements of French grammar. Students gain an awareness of the diversity of the French-speaking world, its history, and its culture. By the end of this course, students can express themselves orally and in writing on familiar subjects. This course counts as one upper school credit, and will adhere to the upper school exam weighting of 20%.
Prerequisite: French I
In French II, students transition from talking about themselves, their immediate surroundings and daily routines, to talking about their engagement in the wider world. They begin to move between past and future tenses to describe their experiences and those of others in more depth. They continue their travels around the French-speaking world and further explore its diverse social, artistic, literary and culinary cultures, from Europe to Western and Northern Africa to the Americas and Asia. By the end of the course, students have the foundational skills for communicating in French across a broad range of practical subjects.
In French III, students make the leap from learning French, to using French to learn. From discussing events of daily life and subjects of personal interest in previous levels, students will begin to use more primary sources to study current events, pop culture, fiction and folklore from French-speaking countries. They also gain a view of world history through a francophone lens. Vocabulary topics include relationships, stages of life, the media, nature and outdoor sports. Students continue to exercise their memory and think systematically through learning to master the conditional, future perfect, pluperfect, and subjunctive tenses. They strengthen the skills needed to construct arguments, express opinions, and comment on the statements of others. By the end of the course, students are able to express themselves more fluidly in writing and conversation through culturally-rooted projects and presentations.
Prerequisite: French III
French IV - Honors is an important stepping stone to success in AP French. Or, it can be the capstone to a student’s language learning experience at St. George’s. Students dive deeply into authentic resources, refine their grammar skills, and continue to develop their linguistic fluency and cultural literacy in French. They take a comprehensive look at French history from Gaul and the Roman Empire through L'Âge Classique to the current day. The course of study includes classic, modern, serious, and funny French TV programs and films, as well as literature and poetry from across la francophonie. By the end of the year, students are well-prepared for AP French. They are able to create convincing arguments and have critical conversations with some support and preparation.
Prerequisite: French IV
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This college-level course is designed so students are prepared to take the AP French Language exam at the end of the year. The course is structured around the six AP themes chosen by the College Board: Families and Communities, Personal and Public Identities, Contemporary Life, Beauty and Aesthetics, Science and Technology, and Global Challenges. Students develop mastery in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The Thèmes textbook, newspapers, podcasts, and videos, as well as literary pieces from across the francophone world, enhance the students’ appreciation of the language, literature, and culture. All students enrolled in this course must take the AP exam in May.
In Latin I, students are introduced to the Latin language, Roman culture and its lasting impact on modern civilizations and Greco-Roman mythology. Over the course of two semesters, students translate simple sentences, read connected passages in Latin, and utilize knowledge of Latin word stems to improve their vocabulary in English and broaden their understanding of English grammar. In the fall, students cover stages 1-12 of Unit I of the Cambridge Latin Course. In the spring, students cover stages 13-20 of Unit II of the Cambridge Latin Course. This course counts as one upper school credit, and will adhere to the upper school exam weighting of 20%.
Prerequisite: Latin IB or Latin I
Latin II builds upon the foundations of Latin I while presenting more advanced grammatical concepts and additional vocabulary in Unit III of the Cambridge Latin Course. There is a strong emphasis on actively learning and working with new grammar. Students further broaden their awareness of Latin roots within our own language by generating English derivatives, a skill that will help students when taking standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT. Students cover stages 21-27 of Unit II of the Cambridge Latin Course in the fall semester and stages 28-34 in the spring semester.
Prerequisite: Latin II
Latin III focuses on applying and mastering the concepts and vocabulary learned in levels I and II. Over the course of the year, students cover stages 35-40 of Unit III of the Cambridge Latin Course and then hone their translation skills continue to be central to the course through reading, including mythological stories from Ritchie’s Fabulae Graecae in order to solidify their understanding of Latin grammar. In addition, in the spring semester students translate portions of Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis, the Latin translation of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
Prerequisite: Latin III
This course is designed for students who desire to hone their grammar and translating skills, as well as further their knowledge of Roman culture and geography. Similar to Latin IV, students expand their knowledge of geography of the ancient world through maps and exercises in A Roman Map Workbook. They complete projects pertaining to the Roman Forum and Roman military, and they explore places around the world the Romans once controlled. Furthermore, students read in English Vergil’s masterpiece, The Aeneid. In addition, students study and translate the lyric poetry of Catullus, selections from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and the philosophical poems of Horace. Students learn how to translate Latin poetry and how to analyze stylistic devices used by the three poets. Finally, students continue to reinforce and strengthen their grammar skills through the various Latin translations and practice.
Prerequisite: Latin III (with instructor's permission) or Latin IV
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This class is devoted to translating the required books of Vergil’s Aeneid and selections from Caesar's Gallic War. Students read, understand, translate, and analyze Latin poetry and prose. Students practice writing literal English translations of a Latin passage, explicating specific words or phrases in context and identifying the context and significance of short excerpts from the required books/selections. Students are exposed to some of the important people, events, and literary genres of Roman times, paying particular attention to the late Republic and early Principate time periods. In addition, students identify and analyze characteristic features of both Vergil’s and Caesar's mode of expression as seen in specific passages. All students enrolled in this course must take the AP exam in May.
This is an introductory course to Spanish. Students learn about the Spanish-speaking world, the importance of knowing the language, and cultural aspects.This course is taught using a mixture of Spanish and English to ensure grammar is thoroughly understood. Students are expected to verbally participate in class, using the target language as much as possible to communicate. Spanish is used in the written and oral forms. Students are frequently challenged to use higher-level thinking skills in order to apply their vocabulary and grammar. Some topics include: subject pronouns, the verb ser, the verb gustar, articles, personal adjectives, the verb tener, possession, numbers 0-100, regular and irregular present tense verbs, the near future tense, the recent past tense, direct object pronouns, and the present progressive tense. This course counts as one upper school credit, and will adhere to the upper school exam weighting of 20%.
Prerequisite: Spanish I
Spanish II begins with a review of Spanish I grammar and vocabulary. Through this course, students will expand their knowledge of Spanish, grammar form and vocabulary permitting them to openly communicate ideas using both past and present tense as well as the future tense. Students are challenged through their lessons and assignments to improve and further expand their vocabulary skills and comprehension of Spanish. Also, students are introduced to the native side of Spanish-speaking cultures, which permits connections to be made with their own culture. They will study vocabulary about going on a vacation, sports, health, daily routines, clothing/shopping, at the market, food, meals in a restaurant, family and relationships, careers and professions.
Prerequisite: Spanish II
Our main goal in Spanish III is to continue developing students’ spoken and written proficiency, as well as their reading and listening skills in the target language. Throughout the course, students will focus on developing more complex oral skills, implementing advanced grammatical structure in both scripted presentations and projects, as well as in spontaneous conversations. Students will communicate in class on a variety of topics such as the environment, the role of technology in modern society, and the value of becoming global citizens. Students will continue to explore cultural aspects of Spanish-speaking countries including music, art, and linguistic differences. The course will be taught mostly in Spanish following the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) recommendations; however, English may be used occasionally to clarify complex grammatical concepts.
Prerequisite: excellent performance in Spanish III and approval of the instructor
Students approved to matriculate in this honors course have shown certain high-level abilities through their Spanish III coursework. Not only have these students maintained the highest grades in their third year of language study, but they have also demonstrated a certain facility to communicate in the language. This fourth year of Spanish study is meant to practice reading, listening, speaking and writing in Spanish. Development and refinement of these skills are a focus as a detailed review of Spanish grammar is endeavored. Students also read about and discuss the history and culture of the Spanish-speaking world. Students are expected to communicate in Spanish and to demonstrate a daily intent to practice the language. Taught in Spanish, this course serves as a bridge between Spanish III and the Advanced Placement Spanish Language course.
Prerequisite: Spanish III with instructor recommendation or Spanish IV honors
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Advanced Placement Spanish is a college-level course designed to prepare students for the AP Spanish language exam. In this course, students attempt to master all four components of second language acquisition and retention: speaking, listening comprehension, reading comprehension, and writing. The course is taught entirely in Spanish, and there is the expectation that students will speak only Spanish in class, as well. Numerous print and audio excerpts are used from these resources: Triángulo Aprobado, AP Classroom, Learning Site and AP Spanish Preparing for the Language and Culture Exam. Digital news sites are frequent. All students enrolled in this course must take the AP exam in May.
Prerequisite: AP Spanish Language
AP Spanish literature is a senior level course that can be taken alone or in conjunction with the AP Spanish Language and Culture course upon successful completion of Spanish IV honors. The class is structured around the six AP themes: the duality of being, societies in contact, the construction of genre, time and space, literary creation, and interpersonal relationships. The class focuses on the following learning objectives: communication, both connections and comparisons between cultures and communities, and language usage in support of literary analysis. All students enrolled in this course must take the AP exam in May.
This class is open to any student grade 7-12 who wishes to play an instrument.
Music is an essential part of the human experience. Everyone is musical, has a need for musical expression, and, through music, develops as humans in very unique ways. Music allows us to unleash our creativity in re-creation (interpretation) and in music creation (composition), and allows us to find unique ways to bring beauty into the world through sound, increasing our ability to understand others and clarify our own communications.
At St. George’s, Introduction to Musicianship students engage with all the elements of practical music-making, concentrating on the music of our region, allowing them to understand other cultures and places in an intimate way, while building a firm foundation in the techniques of musicianship. Students will experience the practical challenges of playing an instrument, and through instruction and practice, develop the fundamental skills of applied music-making.
This class is open to any student grade 7-12 who has practical prior experience on an instrument.
Music is an essential part of the human experience. Everyone is musical, has a need for musical expression, and via music, develops as a human being in very unique ways. Music allows us to unleash our creativity in re-creation (interpretation), in music creation (composition), and allows us to find unique ways to bring beauty into the world through sound. Thereby, this increases our ability to understand others and clarify our own communications. At St. George’s, Intermediate Musicianship students engage with all the elements of practical music-making, concentrating on the music of our region, allowing them to understand other cultures and places in an intimate way, while building a firm foundation in the techniques of musicianship. Students will continue to experience the practical challenges of playing an instrument, and through instruction and practice, while further developing the fundamental skills of applied music-making.
Prerequisite: Audition and written approval of instructor
At St. George’s, American Music Ensemble students engage with all the elements of practical music-making, concentrating on the music of our region, allowing them to understand other cultures and places in an intimate way. Through the study of Jazz, Pop, Rock, and other American music, students analyze the complex relationships between society, music, and the exchange of ideas, discover the critical rigors of music-making, and work collaboratively to create something new within the framework of the past.
Students can look forward to developing the kinesthetic and critical fundamentals of creating music: chord/scale theory, sound production, technique, ensemble playing, composition, and style; performing repertoire of both historical significance in the Delta, Memphis, and the Mid-South; engaging in critical listening, creating new music, and using technology to capture and share their work. St. George’s American Music Ensemble students develop a sense of wonder and curiosity grounded in confidence and open-mindedness.
Gryphons Choir is composed of male and female students in the 7th and 8th grades. Students will study and prepare a variety of musical selections to be sung at two official concerts and at several other events throughout the school year, including but not limited to Chapel, performance workshops both Lower School Campuses, and as needed performances at the Collierville Campus. Students in this ensemble will more thoroughly cover the fundamentals of music that were introduced in the 6th Grade Introduction to the Fine Arts course. Each student will practice music literacy skills, such as pitch and rhythm reading, learn and be able to utilize a vocabulary of musical terminology, and explore the joys of singing songs from our society and many others. By the end of the 8th Grade, students will be ready to continue their choral practice in St. George’s Singers as 9th Grade students. Gryphons Choir students will keep a class journal which will be stored in the Choir Room. Descriptions of journal assignments are described in the Journals section of the handbook.
St. George’s Singers is composed of 9th-12th grade female students. Students will study and prepare a variety of musical selections to be sung at two official concerts and at several other events throughout the school year, including but not limited to Chapel, Lessons and Carols, performance workshops at the two Lower School Campuses, and as-needed performances at the Collierville Campus. Students in St. George’s Singers will thoroughly cover, rehearse, and study music ranging from intermediate to advanced skill levels. As each student explores the joys of singing in a choir, participants will learn to produce a healthy and resonant sound, stand and sing confidently with a tall and free posture, engage their minds and bodies in the pursuit of musical excellence, embrace the challenges and joys of developing the skill of singing together, and share an unmistakable energy and special camaraderie with the others involved in this choir. Participants will also develop music literacy skills, such as pitch and rhythm reading, learn and be able to utilize a vocabulary of musical terminology, learn to blend by modifying vowels and shaping tone, develop listening skills, and learn to sing in a variety of styles from our culture and many others. The material covered during rehearsals will help to prepare them for choral auditions and opportunities, such as regional honor choirs, university honor choirs, TN All State choirs, collaboration with other musical ensembles, and college auditions. Students are encouraged to audition for these opportunities; help will be available during office hours, both before and after school. Singers will keep a class journal which will be stored in the Choir Room. Descriptions of journal assignments are described in the Journals section of the handbook.
St. George’s Men’s Chorus is composed of 9th-12th grade male students. Students will study and prepare a variety of musical selections to be sung at various events throughout the school year. Students in Men’s Chorus will thoroughly cover, rehearse, and study music that covers a variety of styles and skill levels. As each student explores the joys of singing in a choir, participants will learn to produce a resonant and vibrant sound, stand and sing confidently with a tall, proud posture, engage their minds and bodies in the pursuit of excellence, embrace the challenges and joys of developing the skill of singing together, and share an unmistakable energy and special camaraderie with the others involved in this choir. Students will also develop basic music literacy skills, such as pitch and rhythm reading, learn and be able to utilize a vocabulary of musical terminology, learn to blend by modifying vowels and shaping tone, develop listening skills, and learn to sing in a variety of styles from our culture and many others. The material covered during rehearsals will help to prepare them for choral auditions and opportunities, such as regional honor choirs, university honor choirs, TN All State choirs, collaboration with other musical ensembles, and college auditions. Students are encouraged to audition for these opportunities; help will be available during office hours, both before and after school. Singers will keep a class journal that will be stored in the Choir Room.
This year-long course is designed to encourage creative expression through theatre. We will use theatre games to learn self- confidence and teamwork, strengthen critical thinking skills, and build character. Activities beyond theatre games include pantomime and storytelling, making a silent film, how to use your voice, creating a newscast, and producing a one-act play. This is a great class for both the actor and the technically minded student because each student can focus on their strength.
Students will study the history of theater and film, how they compare in style, and how these art forms have shaped our culture to present day. We will be making films and producing one-act plays in class, using students as actors and production staff. 8th graders are eligible for this class if they have already taken Theater Communications in 7th grade.
This course is an expansion of the basic principles discovered in Introduction to Theater Arts. Students learn empathy through exploring characters. Designed to be a performance-heavy class, they sharpen their skills for both comedic and dramatic work in monolog and duet scenes. Students focus on character development, scene writing, basic script analysis, acting techniques and theater games by Viola Spolin, Uta Hagen, and Constantin Stanislavski. Field trips to see live theater are a part of the learning experience of this class.
Prerequisite: Acting or instructor’s approval
This performance-driven class will offer the students instruction in Advanced Acting techniques by Meisner, Chekhov, Benedetti, and Brecht. Students will focus on monolog, duet, and one-act performances that will travel to audiences in the Memphis area. Directing and designing will be a part of the learning experience. Students in Advanced Acting will take field trips to see live theater. These students will also be required to work in some capacity on the 2 main stage productions during the school year, whether that be acting or on a crew.
Students taking this course will learn technical aspects of producing a play including (but not limited to) set design and building, lighting, sound effects and microphones, props, and costumes. Some of the classes will take place on the Germantown Campus in order to utilize the equipment available to us. Students will be required to participate in building the set for the fall and the spring plays, which will require them to be available one designated Saturday afternoon each semester. Students will learn to use power tools safely and will be monitored by the instructors at all times.
Visual Art 7 is offered as a year-long course that encourages students to communicate their ideas visually by utilizing their prior knowledge of the elements of art and principles of design. Students are introduced to new media such as printmaking, collage, painting, and sculpture, in addition to techniques to assist them in refining their beginning art-making skills. In this class, students are encouraged to take creative risks as they explore new techniques and concepts, and contemplate the role of art in their own lives. Students focus on both the process and product of art making to develop foundational skills and design-thinking, as well as, the language and context of art history and criticism.
Visual Art 8 is offered as a year-long course that encourages students to communicate their ideas visually by utilizing their prior knowledge of the elements of art and principles of design. Students are introduced to new media such as printmaking, collage, painting, and sculpture, in addition to techniques to assist them in refining their beginning art-making skills. In this class, students are encouraged to take creative risks as they explore new techniques and concepts, and contemplate the role of art in their own lives. Students focus on both the process and product of art making to develop foundational skills and design-thinking, as well as, the language and context of art history and criticism.
Prerequisite: Visual Art 7 (and teacher approval)
Visual Art 8 Advanced is offered to 8th grade students who have previously completed Visual Art 7 and seek a more rigorous art-making experience. Students must have teacher approval before enrolling in this course. Students will dive deeper into understanding media, art history and criticism, and processes. They will further explore the role of art in their own lives, and how art can affect society. Students will have more opportunities to self-direct themes and concepts, product outcome, and media choices in this course, based on individual interest and curiosities.
The Introduction to Visual Arts class is a year-long foundational class in which the students cover a vast spectrum of art concepts. Students focus on new techniques and ways of making art using their mastery of the elements of art and principles of design. Students’ drawing skills are developed at a higher level through more complex projects. An array of art media is used including graphite, paint, clay, ink, printmaking, pastels, and more. Class critiques encourage students to take healthy risks as they design, create art, and self-assess through observation and reflection. Lessons are created to help students gain self-knowledge, as well as a global awareness of a variety of artists from different cultures and backgrounds. Class field trips and visiting artists are incorporated into the curriculum.
Semesters: one (Fall)
Prerequisite: IVA or instructor’s approval
Drawing is an introductory-level course aimed at improving students' technical proficiency, as well as clarifying an understanding of the basic elements of visual language. Drawing from direct observation is emphasized as students learn skills of proportion and various spatial strategies, including perspective and foreshortening. Students are also encouraged to experiment, play with the materials, and work from their imaginations to find their own creative approach to visual problem solving. Media includes graphite, charcoal, Conte crayons, pastels, and ink. Individual and group critiques are held regularly. Guest artists, field trips, readings, research, and art history, as pertinent to each unit project, are introduced.
Semesters: one (Spring)
Prerequisite: IVA or instructor’s approval
Painting is an introductory-level course designed to improve students' understanding of the basic elements of visual language through the expression of painting. Included in this course are color theory, perception, composition, art history, and specific techniques in handling acrylics, watercolor, mixed media, and other paint mediums. Students also use the sketchbook as a tool for technical experimentation and conceptual development. Individual and group critiques are held regularly. Guest artists, field trips, readings, research, and art history, as pertinent to each unit project, are introduced.
The primary emphasis of this class is to learn the basics of ceramics. Students will create works of art in clay through the processes of hand building using coils and slabs, along with learning to throw basic forms on the wheel. Craftsmanship, creativity, and an appreciation for the elements that are inherent to well-made functional pottery are stressed in this class. Students learn how to finish their pieces with various types of glaze and firing techniques. Additionally, students learn about a variety of clay artists from different cultures as inspiration for their own art and to expand their knowledge and appreciation of ceramic arts. Students interested in developing their skills further may consider taking Pottery B.
Students in Pottery B will build on the skills learned in Pottery A. Focus will be moving past the basics into a higher level of ceramics, including intentional design from paper to product, creating pieces in a series, avant garde/abstract design, functionality v/s design, the impact of pottery/ceramics on culture, and the responsibility of wedging clay. Craftsmanship, creativity, and an appreciation for the elements that are inherent to well-made functional pottery continue to be a focus in this class. Students will be expected to experiment with various types of glazing and firing techniques, as well as develop their own unique style of finishing their work. Through connections with Belltower Artisans and Summer Avenue Art and Clay, students will visit studios of professional potters and learn about the business and gallery side of the pottery world.
Semester: one (Spring)
This project based course introduces students to the Principles of 2 Dimensional and 3 Dimensional Design through the processes of printmaking, photo transfer, mixed media design, sculpture, digital art, community collaborations, and installations. Students gain experience working with digital print technology which makes it possible to incorporate painting, drawing, or photography into a digital work of art and allows for further manipulation via programs like Illustrator and Photoshop. Guest artists, field trips, readings, research, and art history, as pertinent to each unit project, are introduced.
Semester: one (Fall)
In this course students are challenged to find ways to communicate ideas by emphasizing content, composition, and technique. Students use cell phones to create, edit, critique images and to become insightful thinkers. Students learn the fundamentals of composition, lighting, black and white, color, photo editing, and more. Students create a photo-based website to showcase their images and engage in peer critiques. Students research important historical figures in photography, such as Ansel Adams and Margaret Bourke-White, as well as the works of dynamic contemporary and global photographers, such as Jerry Uelsmann, Regine Mahaux, and Maggie Taylor. Guest artists, field trips, readings, research, and art history, as pertinent to each unit project, are introduced.
Prerequisite: IVA or instructor’s approval
Visual Arts II is designed for those students who are ready to embrace a challenge in the arts. In this intermediate course, students continue to improve their skills in observing, envisioning, innovating, and reflecting through creating more complex projects. An array of art media is used including graphite, charcoal, printmaking, clay, paint, mixed media, and found objects. Students develop an appreciation for artwork of the past and present through classroom readings and writing assignments, as well as enhancing their ability to talk about their work and the work of others in classroom critiques. Class field trips and visiting artists are incorporated into the curriculum.
Prerequisite: Visual Arts II and instructor's approval.
Advanced Art Portfolio is for the student artist who is interested in building a competitive visual art portfolio for college and advanced program competition (ex: TN Governor’s School, Summer Institute for the Arts, etc). This student has a deep dedication to their artistic endeavors and is fearless in their pursuit of a personal artistic voice. The focus of this class is to follow Advanced Placement guidelines to create an intentionally designed portfolio that showcases specific student interests, talents and breadth of artmaking knowledge. The small class size, as well as the project-based, student-centered curriculum, provides individualized attention and prepares student artists for the college portfolio review process. Class field trips and visiting artists are incorporated into the curriculum, as well as in-class meetings with reps from visiting art colleges/universities.
Prerequisite: Advanced Art Portfolio or instructor's approval.
Advanced Art Studio is for the student artist who is interested in/committed to pursuing visual art at the college or university level. In this class, students take the lead in designing their own curriculum with guidance and input from the instructor. Through research and planning, students will present project proposals they have designed to address their unique artistic interests and style. In this class, students must be self motivated, organized, and conscious of project deadlines. Students will check in with the instructor throughout the course of each project, as well as participate in group critiques as part of the final assessment for each piece.
Inherent in St. George’s holistic educational philosophy is a commitment to the importance of athletics and wellness. The curriculum for St. George’s wellness programs continues to help students develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, and behaviors necessary to initiate and maintain lifelong participation in wellness activities. The wellness program in middle and upper school seeks to promote mental, emotional, and social health in addition to the physical development necessary for an active life. Students participate in wellness classes that address specific aspects of physical fitness and wellness. Intramural activities are also offered as a means to enhance students’ fitness. All students must be swim proficient and have taken one semester of wellness in high school to meet the graduation requirement. New students who arrive in upper school will be required to pass a swim proficiency test to fulfill the swim requirement. Failure to pass the swim proficiency test would require the student to enroll in basic swim instruction with our aquatics director. This instruction is free of charge. All students must pass the swim proficiency test before graduation. There are ZERO exemptions for upper school wellness requirements.
Wellness Coordinator: Mr. Tony Whicker, firstname.lastname@example.org
Students in this class will utilize the acres of land on campus for non-traditional wellness activities. In partnership with SGGO, students will learn basic hiking skills, bike our campus trails, fish at Bulldog Pond, learn about beekeeping, manicure the campus gardens, learn about nutrition, lifetime wellness, and much, much more. For those with a love of the great outdoors, lifetime movement is for you.
*All middle school wellness options will have an aquatics component.*
Looking to get bigger, stronger, and faster? Are you an athlete looking to make gains for a competitive edge? Our athletic performance class will provide a deeper dive into the world of athletic training and advancement. Speed, agility, weight training, and general sports training will foster greater development of all athletes. This course is designed to push and motivate you to develop as an individual to have a greater impact in your athletic performance.
Structured as a traditional wellness class, intramural sports and games will focus on 3-4 week rotations introducing students to a variety of traditional and non-traditional games. Ultimate frisbee, Ga-Ga ball, handball, and cricket are a few examples of the games students will play.
*All middle school wellness options will have an aquatics component.*
Semesters: One (Fall and/or Spring)
This course is recommended for student athletes that are lifting for a sport or students that have a greater understanding and knowledge of the weight room. Programs are designed to teach proper lifting mechanics, introduction to kettlebell and barbell training, as well as cardiovascular training. Student athletes may utilize this instructional time for specific training sessions for in-or-out-of-season sports offered at St. George’s. In addition, students will benefit from speed and agility training aimed at boosting coordination, endurance, and explosiveness. Movements aimed to improve posture and mechanics will aid in injury prevention and increased athletic stability.
This course is for students who need to complete their upper school credits and want a broader Wellness/Fitness experience. Key components to this course will cover the benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle, including but not limited to strength and conditioning, health and nutrition, cardiovascular training, as well as the use of our outdoor spaces (biking, kayaking, running the trails, disc golf, etc.) for exercise.
Prerequisite: previous coding experience or teacher approval
AP Computer Science A is equivalent to a first-semester, college level course in Computer Science. The course introduces students to Computer Science with fundamental topics that include problem solving, design strategies and methodologies, organization of data (data structures), approaches to processing data (algorithms), analysis of potential solutions, and the ethical and social implications of computing. The course emphasizes both object-oriented and imperative problem solving and design using Java language. These techniques represent proven approaches for developing solutions that can scale up from small, simple problems to large, complex problems. The AP Computer Science A course curriculum is compatible with many CS1 courses in colleges and universities. Students will be expected to work independently to meet curricular goals.
Media Literacy and Design I and II both offer hands-on exploration-experiences of the world of media. Open to all upper school students, these courses serve as an introduction to journalism for those planning on working for our newsmagazine, yearbook, or literary magazine, while also providing young citizens with the tools they need to understand and engage with the media of today. Over the course of the Fall semester, students will learn to be informed consumers and ethical creators of news media. They will engage regularly and deeply with the news of the day, while also examining the role of journalism in history, its place in our democracy, and the current crises confronting the news industry. Students will not only learn by observing media in action; they will also become journalists themselves, developing pieces for print and the web. Media Literacy and Design I can be taken alone, or paired with Media Literacy and Design II for a full-year experience.
Media Literacy and Design I and II both offer hands-on exploration-experiences of the world of media. Open to all upper school students, these courses serve as an introduction to journalism for those planning on working for our newsmagazine, yearbook, or literary magazine, while also providing young citizens with the tools they need to understand and engage with the media of today. Over the course of the Spring semester, students will study color theory, typography, photography, and the basics of effective design, while also considering the ethical and legal principles that govern good use of these skills. Students will become active participants in the world of media, learning to engage the larger community through news stories, social media, and print and web design. Media Literacy and Design II can be taken alone or paired with Media Literacy and Design I for a full-year experience.
Prerequisite: none, but if registration exceeds enrollment capacity, preference given to students who have taken Media Literacy and Design I and/or Media Literacy and Design II
The Newsmagazine Journalism course serves as the newsroom of St. George’s award-winning school newsmagazine, The Lodge, and its companion website, gryphonlodge.com. This course focuses on real-world, hands-on, experiential learning through the production of both print and online news content. Driven by student leadership and attuned to student concerns, Newsmagazine Journalism is different each day and each year, but all students enrolled learn to develop and pitch stories, interview sources, write articles, take photographs, edit copy, fact-check, and think creatively about design. For questions, contact the faculty advisor, Dr. Margaret Robertson, at email@example.com.
Yearbook Journalism is a course designed to produce The Legend, the St. George's yearbook which covers students in Grades PK-12 across three different campuses. Practical instruction includes layout and design, copywriting, art preparation, the history and purposes of the yearbook, photography, critical editing, and the use of equipment and tools of the trade, as well as managing deadlines. Driven by student leadership and creativity, Yearbook Journalism is intended to develop student journalists with a keen eye for design, effective time-management techniques, and the ability to work collaboratively towards a common goal. For questions, contact the faculty advisor to The Legend, John Carter Hawkins (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Individual student requirement
The St. George’s Independent School Specialized Independent Study (SIS) is a multifaceted project which serves as a culminating academic and intellectual experience for students. The SIS committee, which consists of faculty members, oversees the approval of ideas, serves as guides for students, and evaluates the level of success with which each student implemented his or her project. Students’ projects fall under one of four strands: Community and Service-Based Learning, Personal Growth, Design and Production, and Academic Research. Students work with their strand leader to create a final artifact of their learning, along with writing appropriate for that particular strand. Students present their projects to peers and the greater community in the spring.
The SIS serves as an opportunity for students to demonstrate the core values of the St. George’s Portrait of a Graduate by the way they: solve problems, mend fences, take chances, chase dreams, build bridges. In the end, students leave this experience having designed, planned, executed, and communicated a meaningful project of their own design.
Students must submit a Special Circumstances application to apply for a GOA class. Please note, there is a $650 fee for each course. There is a limited amount of financial assistance available for these courses.
Semester: one (Fall or Spring)
Prerequisite: Introduction to Psychology or AP Psychology
This course provides students with a general introduction to the field of abnormal psychology from a western perspective, while exploring the cultural assumptions within the field. Students examine the biopsychosocial aspects of what we consider abnormal, while developing an understanding of the stigma often associated with psychological disorders. Through book study, videos, article reviews, and discussions, students consider how our increasingly global world influences mental health in diverse settings. In learning about the different areas of western abnormal psychology, students study the symptoms, diagnoses, and responses to several specific disorders such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, or schizophrenia. Students develop an understanding of how challenging it can be to define “normal” as they begin to empathize with those struggling with mental distress. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to attend to their own mental well-being. The course culminates in an independent project where students showcase their learning with the goal of making an impact in their local communities.
Semester: one (Fall or Spring)
In this course, students build an understanding of and apply skills in various aspects of architectural design. While gaining key insights into the roles of architectural analysis, materials, 3D design, and spatial awareness, students develop proficiency in architectural visual communication. We begin by learning the basic elements of architectural design to help analyze and understand architectural solutions. Through digital and physical media, students develop an understanding of the impact building materials have on design. At each stage of the course, students interact with peers from around the globe, learning and sharing how changes in materials, technology, and construction techniques lead to the evolution of contemporary architectural style and visual culture. The course culminates with a final project in which each aspiring architect will have the opportunity to work towards a personal presentation for the GOA Catalyst Conference. Students will, through a variety of outcomes, present an architectural intervention that they have proposed as a solution to an identified need, one emanating from or focused within their own community. Throughout the course, students will refer to the design process and will use journaling techniques to track, reflect, and evidence their understanding of architecture.
Semesters: One (Spring)
In this course, aspiring visual artists, designers, filmmakers, musicians, and other creatives will learn how to find success in the dynamic fields of their choosing. Students will learn about arts careers and organizations by attending virtual events and interviewing art practitioners, entrepreneurs, and administrators. Beyond exploring trajectories for improving their crafts, students will build skills in networking and personal branding while examining case studies of a variety of artistic ventures—some highly successful and some with teachable flaws. Using real-world examples of professional and emerging creatives and arts organizations, students will gain a better understanding of the passion and dedication it takes to have a successful creative career.
Semester: One (Fall or Spring)
Ethics is the study of what one should do as an individual and as a member of society. Bioethics refers to the subset of this field which focuses on medicine, public health, and the life sciences. In this course, students explore contemporary, pressing issues in bioethics, including the “right to die,” policies around vaccination and organ transplantation, competence to consent to care, human experimentation and animal research, and genetic technologies. Through reading, writing, research, and discussion, students will explore the fundamental concepts and questions in bioethics, deepen their understanding of biological concepts, strengthen their critical-reasoning skills, and learn to engage in respectful dialogue with people whose views may differ from their own. The course culminates with a student-driven exploration into a particular bioethical issue, recognizing the unique role that bioethics plays within the field of ethics.
Semesters: One (Fall or Spring)
How could climate change disrupt your production and supply chains or impact your consumer markets? Will tariffs help or hurt your business? How embedded is social media in your marketing plan? Is your company vulnerable to cybercrime? What 21st century skills are you cultivating in your leadership team? Students in this course will tackle real-world problems facing businesses large and small in today’s fast changing global marketplace where radical reinvention is on the minds of many business leaders. Students will work collaboratively and independently on case studies, exploring business issues through varied lenses including operations, marketing, human capital, finance and risk management, as well as sustainability. As they are introduced to the concepts and practices of business, students will identify, analyze and propose solutions to business problems, engaging in research of traditional and emerging industries, from established multinationals to startups.
Nowhere is the face of global inequality more obvious than in climate change, where stories of climate-driven tragedies and the populations hit hardest by these disasters surface in every news cycle. In this course, students will interrogate the causes and effects of climate change, and the public policy debates surrounding it. In case studies, we will research global, regional, and local policies and practices, along with the choices of decision makers and what they mean to the populations they serve. Who benefits, who suffers, and how might we change this equation? We will collaborate in workshops with classmates to deepen our collective understanding of the complex issues surrounding climate change. Throughout the semester, we will meet with professionals working in the field of climate change and will also build and curate a library of resources and share findings in varied media, engaging as both consumers and activists to increase knowledge and advocate for sustainable norms. Finally, students will have the opportunity to reach a global audience by participating in GOA’s Catalyst Conference in the spring, as they present their individual projects to spark change in local communities through well-informed activism.
Computational thinking centers on solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior. It has applications not only in computer science, but also myriad other fields of study. This introductory level course focuses on thinking like a computer scientist, especially understanding how computer scientists define and solve problems. Students begin the course by developing an understanding of what Computer Science is, how it can be used by people who are not programmers, and why it’s a useful skill for all people to cultivate. Within this context, students are exposed to the power and limits of computational thinking. Students are introduced to entry level programming constructs that will help them apply their knowledge of computational thinking in practical ways. They will learn how to read code and pseudocode as well as begin to develop strategies for debugging programs. By developing computational thinking and programming skills, students will have the core knowledge to define and solve problems in future computer science courses. While this course would be beneficial for any student without formal training as a programmer or computer scientist, it is intended for those with no programming experience.
Semesters: One (Spring)
Prerequisite: Completion of Computer Science I: Computational Thinking, or its equivalent
In this course, students utilize the Python programming language to read, manipulate and analyze data. The course emphasizes using real world datasets, which are often large, messy, and inconsistent. Because of the powerful data structures and clear syntax of Python, it is one of the most widely used programming languages in scientific computing. Students explore the multitude of practical applications of Python in fields like biology, engineering, and statistics.
In this course, students practice designing and developing games through hands-on practice. Comprised of a series of "game jams," the course asks students to solve problems and create content, developing the design and technical skills necessary to build their own games. The first month of the course is dedicated to understanding game design through game designer Jesse Schell’s “lenses”: different ways of looking at the same problem and answering questions that provide direction and refinement of a game’s theme and structure. During this time, students also learn how to use Unity, the professional game development tool they use throughout the class. They become familiar with the methodologies of constructing a game using such assets as graphics, sounds, and effects, and controlling events and behavior within the game using the C# programming language. Throughout the remainder of the course, students will work in teams to brainstorm and develop new games in response to a theme or challenge. Students will develop their skills in communication, project- and time- management, and creative problem-solving while focusing on different aspects of asset creation, design, and coding. Prerequisites: Computer Science I: Computational Thinking or its equivalent.
Cyber criminals leverage technology and human behavior to attack our online security. This course explores the fundamentals of and vulnerabilities in the design of computers, networks, and the internet. Course content includes the basics of computer components, connectivity, virtualization, and hardening. Students will learn about network design, Domain Name Services, and TCP/IP. They will understand switching, routing and access control for internet devices, and how denial of service, spoofing and flood attacks work. Basic programming introduced in the course will inform hashing strategies, while an introduction to ciphers and cryptography will show how shared-key encryption works for HTTPS and TLS traffic. Students will also explore the fundamentals of data forensics and incident response protocols. The course includes analysis of current threats and best practice modeling for cyber defense, including password complexity, security, management, breach analysis, and hash cracking. Computational thinking and programming skills developed in this course will help students solve a variety of cybersecurity issues.
There is no computer science prerequisite for this course, though students with some background will certainly find avenues to flex their knowledge in this course.
Semesters: One (Fall)
Through today's fog of overwhelming data, visualizations provide meaning. This course trains students to collect, organize, interpret, and communicate massive amounts of information. Students will begin wrangling data into spreadsheets, learning the basic ways professionals translate information into comprehensible formats. They will explore charts, distinguishing between effective and misleading visualizations. Employing principles from information graphics, graphic design, visual art, and cognitive science, students will then create their own stunning and informative visualizations using Datawrapper, Tableau Public and/or Python. From spreadsheets to graphics, students in this course will practice the crucial skills of using data to decide, inform, and convince.
There is no computer science, math or statistics prerequisite for this course, though students with backgrounds in those areas will certainly find avenues to flex their knowledge in this course.
Semesters: One (Fall or Spring)
Prerequisite: Introduction to Psychology or AP Psychology
Over a few short years, most human beings grow from infants who are not even able to hold up their heads to become walking, talking, thinking people who are able to communicate using language, to understand complexities, to solve problems, and to engage in moral reasoning. This course is an introduction to the fascinating study of human growth and development focusing on the significant changes that occur physically, emotionally, cognitively and socially from birth through adolescence. Students consider the big questions of heredity versus environment, stability versus change, and continuity versus discrete stages of change as they investigate language acquisition, sensorimotor development, thinking and learning, and personality and emotions. Through readings, observations, case studies, and application activities, students examine development from the perspectives of major theorists in the field from both Western and non-Western traditions.
How does an entrepreneur think? What skills must entrepreneurs possess to remain competitive and relevant? What are some of the strategies that entrepreneurs apply to solve problems? In this experiential course students develop an understanding of entrepreneurship in today’s global market; employ innovation, design, and creative solutions for building a viable business model; and learn to develop, refine, and pitch a new start-up. Units include Business Model Canvas, Customer Development vs. Design Thinking, Value Proposition, Customer Segments, Iterations & Pivots, Brand Strategy & Channels, and Funding Sources. Students will use the Business Model Canvas as a roadmap to building and developing their own team start-up, a process that will require hypothesis testing, customer research conducted in hometown markets, product design, product iterations, and entrepreneur interviews. An online start-up pitch by the student team to an entrepreneurial advisory committee will be the culminating assessment. Additional student work will include research, journaling, interviews, peer collaboration, and a case study involving real world consulting work for a current business.
Semesters: One (Fall)
Prerequisite: Students must have access to an HD video camera, tripod or other stabilizing equipment, and editing software such as iMovie, Premiere Pro, etc.
This course is for students interested in developing their skills as filmmakers and creative problem-solvers. It is also a forum for screening the work of their peers and providing constructive feedback for revisions and future projects, while helping them to develop critical thinking skills. The course works from a set of specific exercises based on self-directed research and builds to a series of short experimental films that challenge students on both a technical and creative level. Throughout, we will increasingly focus on helping students express their personal outlooks and develop their unique styles as filmmakers. We will review and reference short films online and discuss how students might find inspiration and apply what they find to their own works.
Do you play games? Do you ever wonder if you’re using “the right” strategy? What makes one strategy better than another? In this course, we explore a branch of mathematics known as game theory, which answers these questions and many more. Game theory has many applications as we face dilemmas and conflicts every day, most of which we can treat as mathematical games. We consider significant global events from fields like diplomacy, political science, anthropology, philosophy, economics, and popular culture. Specific topics include two-person zero-sum games, two person non-zero-sum games, sequential games, multiplayer games, linear optimization, and voting and power theory.
This course uses the concept of gender to examine a range of topics and disciplines that includes feminism, gay and lesbian studies, women’s studies, popular culture, and politics. Throughout the course students examine the intersection of gender with other social identifiers: class, race, sexual orientation, culture, and ethnicity. Students read about, write about, and discuss gender issues as they simultaneously reflect on the ways that gender has manifested in and influenced their lives.
Students in this course study several of the major genocides of the 20th century (Armenian, the Holocaust, Cambodian, and Rwandan), analyze the role of the international community in responding to and preventing further genocides (with particular attention to the Nuremberg tribunals), and examine current human rights crises around the world. Students read primary and secondary sources, participate in both synchronous and asynchronous discussions with classmates, write brief papers, read short novels, watch documentaries, and develop a human rights report card website about a nation in the world of their choice.
What makes people sick? What social and political factors lead to the health disparities we see both within our own communities and on a global scale? What are the biggest challenges in global health and how might they be met? Using an interdisciplinary approach to address these questions, this course improves students' health literacy through an examination of the most significant public-health challenges facing today's global population. Topics addressed include the biology of infectious disease, the statistics and quantitative measures associated with health issues, the social determinants of health, and the role of organizations (public and private) in shaping the landscape of global health policy. Throughout the course, students use illness as a lens through which to critically examine such social issues as poverty, gender, and race. Student work includes analytical writing, research and curating sources around particular topics, readings and discussions exploring a variety of sources, and online presentations, created both on their own and with peers.
Are China and the U.S. on a collision course for war? Can the Israelis and Palestinians find a two-state solution in holy land? Will North Korea launch a nuclear weapon? Can India and Pakistan share the subcontinent in peace? These questions dominate global headlines and our daily news feeds. In this course, you will go beyond the soundbites and menacing headlines to explore the context, causes, and consequences of the most pressing global issues of our time. Through case studies, you will explore the dynamics of international relations and the complex interplay of war and peace, conflict and cooperation, and security and human rights. Working with classmates from around the world, you will also identify and model ways to prevent, mediate, and resolve some of the most pressing global conflicts.
Aspects of artificial intelligence permeate our lives and the algorithms power your favorite apps. How much do you really know about how AI works or how it is changing the world around us? This course will explore the history of research into artificial general intelligence and the subsequent focus on the subfields of narrow AI: Neural networks, Machine Learning and Expert Systems, Deep Learning, Natural Language Processing, and Machine Vision and Facial Recognition. Students will learn how AI training datasets cause bias and focus on the ethics and principles of responsible AI: fairness, transparency and explainability, human-centeredness, and privacy and security.
Much attention has been brought to the cryptocurrency space by the meteoric rise in the valuation of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. More recently, meme tokens have also grabbed the spotlight. When thinking about cryptocurrency, there is much more to consider than just market capitalization or coins named after canines. Introduction to Blockchain & Cryptocurrency is an entry level course for anyone excited by the space. This course explores how we arrived at the place we are now, and what the current and possible applications of crypto are. We’ll explore how markets in crypto operate, where they’ve received practical application, and where the space may head in the future through the lenses of creators, consumers, and governments. In addition, we will take a deeper look at blockchain, the underlying technology that powers cryptocurrencies, and it’s many, far-reaching implications for the future of government, business, the arts and more.
Each lens represents a different way to view the complex and interrelated causes and outcomes of the changing crypto landscape. Using a variety of technologies and activities, students work individually and with peers to evaluate each lens. Students then analyze and explore how these technologies may shape and disrupt the future not only of the crypto space, but of many current and future industries.
In our increasingly digitized world, we are bombarded by ads everyday and presented with an immeasurable amount of content across all media platforms.. It has become increasingly difficult for brands to break through the noise and capture the attention of their intended audience. In this course, students learn what it takes to build an effective brand that can authentically connect with consumers and create long-term brand equity. The course starts with introducing what a brand is and goes on to explore how different branding elements, such as Visual Identity, Advertising Strategy, Content Marketing, as well as the intangible elements of the Customer Journey, come together to create a unique Brand Experience. By applying marketing theories, interviewing experts, and analyzing modern case studies, students will develop and strengthen their competencies as brand strategists. Students will also examine how responding to important ethical, social, and environmental issues can impact the brand’s success. The course culminates in a final project where students collaborate to design an impactful brand campaign for a mission-driven company, organization, or initiative.
In this course, students simulate the work of investors by working with the tools, theories, and decision-making practices that define smart investment. We explore concepts in finance and apply them to investment decisions in three primary contexts: portfolio management, venture capital, and social investing. After an introduction to theories about valuation and risk management, students simulate scenarios in which they must make decisions to grow an investment portfolio. They manage investments in stocks, bonds, and options to learn a range of strategies for increasing the value of their portfolios. In the second unit, they take the perspective of venture capital investors, analyzing startup companies and predicting their value before they become public. In the third unit, students examine case studies of investment funds that apply the tools of finance to power social change. Throughout the course, students learn from experts who have experience in identifying value and managing risk in global markets. They develop their own ideas about methods for taking calculated financial risks and leave this course not just with a simulated portfolio of investments, but the skills necessary to manage portfolios in the future.
Inspired by GOA’s popular Medical Problem Solving series, this course uses a case-based approach to give students a practical look into the professional lives of lawyers and legal thinking. By studying and debating a series of real legal cases, students will sharpen their ability to think like lawyers who research, write and speak persuasively. The course will focus on problems that lawyers encounter in daily practice, and on the rules of professional conduct case law. In addition to practicing writing legal briefs, advising fictional clients and preparing opening and closing statements for trial, students will approach such questions as the law and equity, the concept of justice, jurisprudence and legal ethics.
Learn how to design and build apps for the iPhone and iPad and prepare to publish them in the App Store. Students will work much like a small startup: collaborating as a team, sharing designs, and learning to communicate with each other throughout the course. Students will learn the valuable skills of creativity, collaboration, and communication as they create something amazing, challenging, and worthwhile. Coding experience is NOT required and does not play a significant role in this course. Prerequisite: For this course, it is required that students have access to a computer running the most current Mac or Windows operating system (Mac OS X is necessary only if you plan to try your hand at publishing). An iOS device that can run apps (iPhone or iPad) is also highly recommended.
Semesters: One (Fall or Spring)
Prerequisite: Completion of Geometry and Algebra II
In this course students learn about the algebra of vector spaces and matrices by looking at how images of objects in the plane and space are transformed in computer graphics. We do some paper-and-pencil calculations early in the course, but the computer software package Geogebra (free) will be used to do most calculations after the opening weeks. No prior experience with this software or linear algebra is necessary. Following the introduction to core concepts and skills, students analyze social networks using linear algebraic techniques. Students will learn how to model social networks using matrices and to discover things about the network with linear algebra as your tool. We will consider applications like Facebook and Google.
In this course students collaboratively solve medical mystery cases, similar to the approach used in many medical schools. Students enhance their critical thinking skills as they examine data, draw conclusions, diagnose, and treat patients. Students use problem-solving techniques in order to understand and appreciate relevant medical/biological facts as they confront the principles and practices of medicine. Students explore anatomy and physiology pertaining to medical scenarios and gain an understanding of the disease process, demographics of disease, and pharmacology. Additional learning experiences include studying current issues in health and medicine, interviewing a patient, and creating a new mystery case.
Semesters: One (Fall or Spring)
Prerequisite: Medical Problem Solving I
Medical Problem Solving II is an extension of the problem-based approach in Medical Problem Solving I. While collaborative examination of medical case studies remains at the center of the course, MPSIIMPS II approaches medical cases through the perspectives of global medicine, medical ethics, and social justice. The course examines cases not only from around the world but also in students’ local communities. Additionally, the course addresses the challenges patients face because of a lack of access to health care, often a result of systemic discrimination and inequity along with more general variability of health care resources in different parts of the world. All students in MPS II participate in the Catalyst Conference, a GOA-wide conference near the end of the semester where students from many GOA courses create and publish presentations on course-specific topics. For their projects, students use all of the lenses from the earlier parts of the course to choose and research a local topic of high interest. Further, their topics enable identifying a local medical problem, using local sources, and generating ideas for promoting change.
Prerequisite: AP Calculus BC with a score of 4 or 5 on exam and Instructor approval
In this course students learn to differentiate and integrate functions of several variables. We extend the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus to multiple dimensions, and the course will culminate in Green's, Stokes' and Gauss' Theorems. We begin with a swift review of vectors, matrices, and parametric curves, with emphasis on those topics which are of value to multivariate calculus. We then move on to study partial derivatives, double and triple integrals, and vector calculus in both two and three dimensions. Students are expected to develop fluency with vector and matrix operations. Understanding of a parametric curve as a trajectory described by a position vector is an essential concept, and this allows us to break free from 1-dimensional calculus and investigate paths, velocities, and other applications of science that exist in three-dimensional space. We study derivatives in multiple dimensions, we use the ideas of the gradient and partial derivatives to explore optimization problems with multiple variables, and we consider constrained optimization problems using Lagrangians. After our study of differentials in multiple dimensions, we move to integral calculus. We use line and surface integrals to calculate physical quantities especially relevant to mechanics and electricity and magnetism, such as work and flux, and we employ volume integrals for calculations of mass and moments of inertia. We conclude with the major theorems (Green's, Stokes', Gauss') of the course, applying each to some physical applications that commonly appear in calculus-based physics.
Semesters: One (Fall or Spring)
Prerequisite: Introduction to Psychology OR AP Psychology
Neuropsychology is the exploration of the neurological basis of behavior. Within this course, students will learn about basic brain anatomy and function as well as cognitive and behavioral disorders from a neurobiological perspective. They will do an in-depth analysis of neural communication with an emphasis on how environmental factors such as smartphones affect nervous system function, their own behaviors, and the behaviors of those around them. Students will also have the opportunity to choose topics in neuropsychology to explore independently including Alzheimer’s disease, Addiction, Neuroplasticity, and CTE and share their understanding with their peers in a variety of formats. The course concludes with a study of both contemporary and historic neuropsychological case studies and their applications to everyday life.
Once thought of as the purest but least applicable part of mathematics, number theory is now by far the most commonly applied: every one of the millions of secure internet transmissions occurring each second is encrypted using ideas from number theory. This course covers the fundamentals of this classical, elegant, yet supremely relevant subject. It provides a foundation for further study of number theory, but even more, it develops the skills of mathematical reasoning and proof in a concrete and intuitive way, good preparation for any future course in upper-level college mathematics or theoretical computer science. We progressively develop the tools needed to understand the RSA algorithm, the most common encryption scheme used worldwide. Along the way we invent some encryption schemes of our own and discover how to play games using number theory. We also get a taste of the history of the subject, which involves the most famous mathematicians from antiquity to the present day, and we see parts of the story of Fermat’s Last Theorem, a 350-year-old statement that was fully proven only twenty years ago. While most calculations will be simple enough to do by hand, we will sometimes use the computer to see how the fundamental ideas can be applied to the huge numbers needed for modern applications. Prerequisite: A strong background in precalculus and above, as well as a desire to do rigorous mathematics and proofs.
What is a meaningful, happy, and fulfilling life? The focus of psychology has long been the study of human suffering, diagnosis, and pathology, but in recent years, however, positive psychologists have explored what’s missing from the mental health equation, taking up research on topics such as love, creativity, humor, and mindfulness. In this course, we will dive into what positive psychology research tells us about the formula for a meaningful life, the ingredients of fulfilling relationships, and changes that occur in the brain when inspired by music, visual art, physical activity, and more. We will also seek out and lean on knowledge from positive psychology research and experts, such as Martin Seligman’s well being theory, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s idea of flow, and Angela Lee Duckworth’s concept of grit. In exploring such theories and concepts, students will imagine and create real-world measurements using themselves and willing peers and family members as research subjects. As part of the learning studio format of the course, students will also imagine, research, design, and create projects that they will share with a larger community. Throughout the development of these projects, students will collaborate with each other and seek ways to make their work experiential and hands-on. Students will leave the class with not only some answers to the question of what makes life meaningful, happy, and fulfilling, but also the inspiration to continue responding to this question for many years to come.
How do societies balance individual freedoms with security? How do definitions of “crime” and “punishment” shift across jurisdictions and time periods? How do recent protests and discussions about racial biases and systemic racism inform our understanding of criminal law and its applications? Although the United States has been frequently cited as having the highest “mass incarceration” rate, other countries in the world have also been criticized for injustices in their criminal justice systems. In this course, students become familiar with the legal rules and institutions that determine who goes to prison and for how long. Along the way, students gain a concrete, practical understanding of legal systems while grappling with mass incarceration as a legal, ethical, and practical issue. To understand current views on crime and criminal punishments and to examine proposed systemic reforms, we immerse ourselves in the different forms of rhetoric and media that brought the U.S. and other nations to our present. We read and analyze jury arguments, courtroom motions, news op-eds, judicial decisions, recent cases, and other forms of public persuasion that shape the outcomes of criminal defendants. The final project requires students to advocate for a major reform to a criminal justice system in a city, state, or country. Having developed research skills, students apply them to build an effective argument that includes a real-world solution.
Religion is one of the most salient forces in contemporary society but is also one of the most misunderstood. What exactly is religion? How does religious identity inform the ways humans understand themselves and the world around them? How can increased levels of religious literacy help us become more effective civic agents in the world today? Students in this course will conduct several deep dives into specific case studies in order to understand how religious identity intersects with various systems of power, including race, gender, class, sexual orientation, and ethnicity. By engaging with material from a variety of academic fields (history, sociology, anthropology, psychology), students will grapple with the complex ways in which society and religious identity relate to one another.
Are you thinking and acting freely of your own accord or is what you think, feel, and do a result of influences by the people around you? Social psychology is the scientific study of how and why the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others influences our thoughts, feelings, and behavior. The principles of social psychology help explain everything from why we stop at stop signs when there is no one around to why we buy certain products, why in some situations we help others and in some we don’t, and what leads to more dramatic (and catastrophic) events such as mass suicides or extreme prejudice and discrimination. As we take up these topics and questions, students will build and engage in a community of inquiry, aimed primarily at learning how to analyze human behavior through the lens of a social psychologist. Social Psychology invites students to explore, plan, investigate, experiment, and apply concepts of prejudice, persuasion, conformity, altruism, relationships and groups, and the self that bring the “social” to psychology. The course culminates in a public exhibition of a student-designed investigation of a social psychological topic of their choice. This course uses a competency-based learning approach in which students build GOA core competencies that transcend the discipline and learn how to think like a social psychologist. Much of the course is self-paced; throughout the semester, students are assessed primarily in relation to outcomes tied to the competencies.
The tragedy of September 11, 2001 changed the world in profound ways. In this course, students explore the causes of 9/11, the events of the day itself, and its aftermath locally, nationally, and around the world. In place of a standard chronological framework, students instead view these events through a series of separate lenses. Each lens represents a different way to view the attacks and allows students to understand 9/11 as an event with complex and interrelated causes and outcomes. Using a variety of technologies and activities, students work individually and with peers to evaluate each lens. Students then analyze the post-9/11 period and explore how this event affected the U.S., the Middle East, and the wider world.
IN THIS SECTION
4 (at upper school level)
3 (through level III)
Specialized Independent Study
.5 (plus swim proficiency)
Minimum to Graduate