courses

Our academic courses are designed to inspire students’ intellectual curiosity, enrich their content knowledge, and build the skills necessary to ensure their success in college and beyond. New York State Regents courses comprise the foundation of our academic program while a wide selection of Advanced Placement courses and rigorous electives ensure our students college readiness.

Resources for Student Course Selection

New York State Graduation Requirements:

NEST+m Course Sequence Flow Charts

The Advanced Placement courses offered in 2016-17Biology, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Chemistry, Computer Science Principles, English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, Physics, Psychology, Spanish Language, United States History, World History.

Core Courses and Electives Offered Fall 2017

Art

Studio Art 1: During this course, students will develop an understanding of the Elements and Principles of Design by exploring a wide range of artistic media as a means to create drawings, collages, and mixed media works. This understanding will be demonstrated in studio assignments, emphasizing the use of these concepts as well as advocating freedom of expression and personal growth. Students will develop works of art with attention to artistic concept, composition, and craftsmanship.

Drawing, Painting, and Printmaking: During this course, students will explore art making as an outlet of personal expression and voice. They will develop sophisticated technical versatility and skill within the Elements and Principles of Design. Units of study include linocut printmaking, acrylic painting, conté crayon drawing, and ink wash. Discussions and critiques are key learning processes in this course. Students will begin to develop a professional portfolio that can be used for college applications.

Prerequisite: 90+ in Studio Art or pending space availability

English

English Year 1: During this course, students will read an array of texts that will prompt them to examine their core life principles and cement their basic analytical skills. Students will learn to annotate, write well-supported analytical paragraphs, and ask/ answer high-level, open-ended questions that are thematically related to the texts they are reading. This course culminates in a project that requires students to demonstrate their mastery of all the aforementioned skills. There is no Regents exam at the end of this course.

 

English Year 2: English Year 2 aims to investigate the ways in which the individual interacts with external forces and demands within a broader societal context. You may know who you are, but how do others see you? To what extent does that matter? To what extent are you free to determine the course of your own life? By examining texts through multiple perspectives, we will develop our understanding of the human experience as we strengthen reading, writing, and thinking skills. During this course, students grow accustomed to in-depth, philosophical discussions and are required to analyze and respond to high-level works of criticism. This course culminates in a final piece of writing.

 

English Year 3: During this course, students will learn how to read, write, and analyze fiction as well as nonfictional texts. Students will be reading several major works of mostly American literature, focusing on the development of writing and analysis skills. This course culminates in the ELA Regents exam at the end of the year.

English Year 4: During this course, students will practice becoming critical thinkers outside of high school. Through practiced analysis, students will interrogate themes from multiple texts and consider how these texts interact with the world and with their own lives. We will also practice analyzing our own communities as texts.  This course culminates in a final portfolio project.

AP Language and Composition: During this course, students will learn how to write argumentatively. The focus of our course begins with the basics of rhetoric and Aristotelian appeals, moving into different skills necessary for argumentation, including understanding persuasion, argumentative fallacies, and the different structures necessary to create a complete argument. We will move beyond the limits of basic writing that was refined in English II, and we will work toward mastery of rhetoric, through analysis and practice. This course culminates in the AP English Language and Composition exam in May. Students taking the course are expected to take the exam as well.

Prerequisite: 90+ in English II and Teacher Recommendation.

AP English Literature: During this class, students will prepare for the AP Exam, College, and life. Students will examine how literary devices create and influence meaning in literature. We will interrogate themes in literature, and make rich text-to-self connections while bolstering our ability to analyze.  This course culminates in the AP Literature exam in May.

Prerequisite: 90+ in English III or 85+ in AP Language and Composition and Teacher Recommendation.

 

Creative Writing: During this course, students will learn foundational creative writing skills and genres. They will work on both self-guided and teacher-led projects with an emphasis on public exhibition of writing. This class culminates in a final, self-directed portfolio project.
Advanced Creative Writing: During the course, students will push their foundation of basic genres of literature to demonstrate mastery. They will work on both self-guided and teacher-led projects with an emphasis on publication. This class culminates in construction of the literary magazine and a final, self-directed portfolio project.

Prerequisite: 90+ in Creative Writing or pending space availability

Science Fiction: During this class, students will familiarize themselves with the Science Fiction genre through the reading and analyzing of Sci-Fi texts. They will explore dystopian universes, aliens, and outer space as a way of trying to understand what Science Fiction can say about our own world. This course culminates in a final project that prepares students to create a Sci-Fi short story of their own.

Math

Algebra I: During this course, students will learn how to apply their problem solving skills to the study of advanced topics in mathematics.  These topics include quantities and reasoning with equations and their graphs, descriptive statistics, linear and exponential functions, polynomial and quadratic expressions, equations and functions, and a synthesis of modeling with equations and functions.  This Regents-level course culminates in the Common Core Algebra I Regents exam in June.

Algebra/Geometry Hybrid: During this course, students will learn how to apply their problem solving skills to the study of advanced topics in mathematics.  Students will complete one semester of Algebra I and take the Common Core Algebra I Regents exam in June.  They will then continue to be introduced to fundamental Geometry topics to prepare them for Geometry in the following year.

 

Geometry: The purpose of this course is for students to explore the relationships and measurements of shapes as they connect to algebra, logic, and trigonometry. The students will use varied approaches to solve real-world problems as geometric figures appear all around us. Formal proofs will be introduced, and students will learn to construct and evaluate direct geometry and logic proofs.  Students will be expected to communicate mathematical ideas both orally and in writing. The use of technology and manipulatives such as calculators, rulers, compasses, and protractors will be required.  Geometry is very visual – so get ready for some fun hands on activities!  This course culminates in the Geometry Regents exam.

 

Algebra II: During this course, student will learn more advanced topics in mathematics, building on the solid foundation established in Algebra 1 and Geometry. Students learn to use algebra, logic, and trigonometry to solve real-world problems. They communicate mathematical ideas both verbally and in writing, and explore more sophisticated applications for their graphing calculators. Topics include relations and functions, transformation geometry, trigonometric functions and graphs, exponential and logarithmic functions, trigonometric equations and identities, complex numbers, statistics, probability, sequences, and the binomial theorem. This course is a prerequisite for Pre-Calculus and AP Calculus AB/BC courses. This course culminates in a Common Core Algebra 2 Regents exam.

 

Pre-calculus: During this course, students will learn how to develop the skills necessary to solve lengthy, multi-step problems. The course also involves a variety of pre-calculus mathematical concepts. Topics include functions, polynomial and rational functions, systems of equations and inequalities, exponential and logarithmic functions, trigonometric functions of real numbers, trigonometric functions of angles, analytic trigonometry, analytic geometry, sequences and series, and limits and infinity. This course culminates in a comprehensive final exam.

 

Calculus Applications: This course is an introductory course in Calculus and covers the scope of a first year college calculus course. It is designed for seniors who have completed Precalculus and want to take a slower-paced course than Advanced Placement Calculus. Calculus provides answers to questions that cannot be solved by using, algebra, geometry, or trigonometry alone. Topics covered include functions and graphs, tangent lines, derivatives, limits and continuity, applications of differentiation and integration. These will be applied to problem solving with special emphasis on application in business and the social sciences. The course teaches students to approach calculus concepts and problems when they are represented graphically, numerically, analytically, and verbally, and to make connections among these different representations. Students will use extensively technology to help them solve problems, experiment, interpret results, and support conclusions. Students will be prepared to further study mathematics, engineering or the physical and social sciences at the collegiate level. A Final Exam will be administered in class at the end of the year.

Prerequisite: PreCalculus or 90+ in Algebra II

 

AP Calculus AB: AP Calculus AB is roughly equivalent to a first-semester college calculus course devoted to topics in differential and integral calculus. This course is designed to prepare the student to take more advanced courses in college, both in mathematics and in subject areas that require an extensive background in mathematics. This course covers a number of topics in these areas, including limits, derivatives, definite integrals, and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. The course teaches students to approach calculus concepts and problems when they are represented graphically, numerically, analytically, and verbally, and to make connections among these different representations. Students learn how to use technology to help them solve problems, experiment, interpret results, and support conclusions. This course is designed for highly motivated students who have excelled in previous mathematics courses and who have demonstrated an ability to meet the demands of a faster paced and more in-depth study of advanced mathematical topics. This course follows the rigorous AP Calculus AB syllabus as established by the Educational Testing Service and is designed to prepare students for the AP Calculus AB Exam. The pace, rigor and content are dictated by AP standards. Students enrolled in this class will be expected to take the AP Exam in Calculus AB in May. Students may receive college credit and/or placement depending upon the mark received on the Exam.

Prerequisite:  90+ in previous math courses AND Math Regents or pending space availability

 

AP Calculus BC: This college-level course is a continuation and challenging extension of the Advanced Placement Calculus AB course and prepares students for a college level course in multivariable calculus. Topics include, but are not limited to, functions, limits, derivatives and their applications, integrals and their applications, series, parametric functions, vector functions, polar functions, as well as differential equations. Students will approach concepts and problems in multiple representations and make connections between the graphical, numerical, algebraic and written forms. The pace, rigor and content are dictated by AP standards. Students enrolled in this class will be expected to take the AP Exam in Calculus BC in May. Students may receive college credit and/or placement depending upon the mark received on the Exam.

Prerequisite: Passing score on AP Calculus AB Exam

 

AP Statistics: The AP Statistics course is the equivalent of an introductory statistics course offered in colleges and universities. Statistics—the art of drawing conclusions from imperfect data and the science of real-world uncertainties—plays an important role in many fields. This is an ideal course for students planning to pursue the study of Science, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Engineering or Mathematics in college. Students are exposed to four broad conceptual themes:

  1. Exploring Data: Describing patterns and departures from patterns
  2. Sampling and Experimentation: Planning and conducting a study
  3. Anticipating Patterns: Exploring random phenomena using probability and simulation
  4. Statistical Inference: Estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses

Students will become proficient at communicating statistical concepts that include how experimental design, results and interpretations of data are valid. Writing complete responses and conclusions is essential and this will be stressed throughout the course. The course may be taken in junior or senior year. Students enrolled in this class will be expected to take the AP Exam in Statistics in May.

Prerequisites:  80+ in previous math courses AND Math Regents

* Completion of Precalculus is recommended.

 

Computer Science: This course follows the CS50 curriculum and is designed for those both with and without prior programming experience, and will teach students how to think algorithmically and sold problems efficiently. The first semester will focus on fundamental topics in computer science, such as binary numbers, hardware and algorithms; and will introduce students to programming in Scratch and C, where students will learn about data types, loops and conditionals. During the second semester, students will learn how the internet works, and program web applications in HTML, CSS and JavaScript. This course will culminate in a final programming project which students will develop and present to their peers.

 

AP Computer Science Principles: This AP level course follows the CS50 curriculum and will pick up where the Computer Science Course leaves off, furthering students understanding of algorithms, such as sorting and searching algorithms, abstractions, functions, models, simulations, and images. We will explore in more depth issues involving internet use and security. Programming languages used will be C and Python. The AP CSP assessment will involve two performance tasks: Explore – a written exploration of a computing innovations and its impact on society, and Create – a program written alone or collaboratively that includes complex algorithms and abstractions. The multiple choice exam in May will cover topics as abstractions, algorithms, large data sets, the Internet, and cybersecurity concerns. 

Prerequisite: 90+ in Computer Science or equivalent course

Music

Beginning Band: During this course, students will learn to play a woodwind or brass instrument of their choice. This course focuses on the basics of sound production, reading music, and ensemble skills.  Students are required to perform in a concert at the end of the spring semester.

Jazz Band: Teacher recommendation (for students already in the band/music department) or by audition.  Students perform advanced repertoire and engage with music theory and improvisation.  Students must be able to read music at a high level.  Ideal for students with 5+ years of playing experience on their instrument.

 

Wind Ensemble: Teacher recommendation (for students already in the band/music department) or by audition.  Students perform diverse repertoire including wind band classics, marches, and movie music.  Ideal for students with 2-4 years of playing experience.

Modern Band: During this course, students learn to play the guitar and keyboard, and form garage bands, which compose and perform their own songs.  No audition necessary.

Physical Education/Health

Health Education: During this course, students will learn how to develop health enhancing skills.  These includes decision making, goal setting, stress management, refusal skills, conflict resolution, advocacy and the ability to analyze influences.  This 1.0 credit course and graduation requirement will cover a range of topics engaging the student’s physical, mental, and social health.

Physical Education: During this course, students will engage in physical activity to enhance health and fitness.  Students will learn and develop skills in a range of sports including soccer, basketball, badminton, volleyball, and football, along with cooperative games and fitness training.  These skills and activities support the development of student fitness. Physical Education is a 4 year graduation requirement.

 

Science

Regents Chemistry (+ Chemistry Lab): During this Regents-level Physical Science course, students will learn how to apply their problem solving skills to the study of basic topics in chemistry. The Physical Setting/Chemistry course of study is intended to provide the student with an understanding of the theoretical and practical aspects of chemistry and the ability to handle equipment and chemicals safely, while covering topics in chemistry that include: matter and energy, atomic structure, bonding, the periodic table, mathematics of chemistry, kinetics and equilibrium acids and bases, redox and electrochemistry, nuclear chemistry and organic chemistry. This course culminates in the Chemistry Regents Exam in June.

Regents Earth Science (+ Earth Science Lab): During this Regents-level Physical Science course, students will learn the basics of astronomy, rocks and minerals, weather and climate, plate tectonics, weathering, erosion and deposition. The course includes projects, class activities, and other assessments, including mapping skills and other tools for exploring our environment. This course culminates in the Earth Science Regents Exam in June.

Regents Living Environment (+ Living Environment Lab): During this Regents-level Life Science course, students will learn how to approach problems using the scientific process, describe the various interactions that occur between organisms around them and inside them, as well as explain how our bodies function, how life evolves, and the complexities of how DNA stores the genetic code for life. This course culminates in the Living Environment Regents Exam in June.

Regents Physics (+ Physics Lab): During this Regents-level Physical Science course, students will learn how to analyze problems of matter in motion at both the macroscopic and subatomic level. The first half of the year focuses on the physics phenomena we can see: a tug of war, a roller coaster in motion, a field goal attempt, and so on. The second half of the year focuses on phenomena we can’t see directly, but whose effects we experience on a daily basis, such as: light, sound, electricity, and magnetism. This course culminates in the Physics Regents Exam in June.

Forensics: During this Life Science elective, students will learn how to apply their problem solving skills to the study of forensics. This course surveys key topics in forensic science, including the application of the scientific process to forensic analysis, procedures and principles of crime scene investigation, physical and trace evidence, and the law and courtroom procedures from the perspective of the forensic scientist. Through virtual and hands-on labs, and analysis of fictional crime scenarios, students learn about forensic tools, technical resources, forming and testing hypotheses, proper data collection, and responsible conclusions. This elective culminates in a final project.

Bioethics: During this course, students will learn how to construct arguments revolving around ethical issues regarding biological topics. These topics include physician-assisted suicide, gene editing Crispr-Cas9, and animal experimentation. This elective will culminate in presentations, written papers, and debates.

Genetics: During this Life Science elective, students will learn how to determine which traits are passed on from generation to generation, predict how genetic abnormalities will affect offspring, and argue for the use or disuse of certain genetic tools. This course culminates in a final project and presentation.

Marine Biology: Description to follow.

Microbiology: During this Life Science elective, students will learn how to identify and distinguish between different microorganisms, explain how microbial genetics is similar to human genetics, and describe how we study disease and how microorganisms cause disease. In addition, students will also learn about how our immune system protects us from invading threats and the importance of evolution in the pathogenesis of disease and the rise of antibiotic-resistance microorganisms. This elective culminates in a final project and/or exam.

Prerequisite: Passed Living Environment Course and Regents

AP Biology (+ AP Biology Lab): During this Advanced Placement-level Life Science course, students will learn how to design experiments, collect and analyze data, apply mathematical ideas, and connect concepts across multiple biology topics. These topics include the cell, genetics, evolution, and ecology. This course culminates in the AP Biology exam in May and projects in June.

Prerequisite: 90+ in previous science course and teacher recommendation or pending space availability

AP Chemistry (+ AP Chemistry Lab): During this Advanced Placement-level Physical Science course, students will learn how to apply their problem solving skills to the study of advanced topics in chemistry. With the increasing need for innovators, problem finders, and designers of materials, pharmaceuticals, and even new fuels, comes the need for individuals skilled in the science practices and knowledgeable about chemistry. The AP Chemistry course provides students with training for such knowledge and skills through guided inquiry labs, a focused curriculum on content relevant to today’s problems, and an exam that assesses students’ mental models of the particulate nature of matter instead of memorization of rules to understand chemistry. This course culminates in the AP Chemistry exam in May and projects in June.

Prerequisite: 90+ in previous science course and teacher recommendation or pending space availability

AP Physics 1 (+ AP Physics 1 Lab): During this Advanced Placement Physical Science course, students will learn how to apply conceptual and computational models to explain physical phenomena in topics that include Kinematics, Dynamics, Energy, Momentum, Rotational Kinematics, Rotational Dynamics, Waves, Electrostatics, and Electrodynamics, following and exceeding College Board’s AP Physics 1 course scope and sequence. This course culminates in the AP Physics 1 exam in May and cumulative projects in June.

Prerequisite: 90+ in previous science course and teacher recommendation or pending space availability

Social Studies

Global I: This course is a year-long introduction to global history and geography. Using a variety of sources, students trace the political, economic, and social development of multiple civilizations across a wide span of time and space, from the earliest humans to roughly 1750. For each historical era, students will use a comparative approach to develop knowledge and understanding of specific themes in world history. These include cultural diffusion, migration, multi-regional empires, belief systems, trade, and conflict. Students apply their understanding of crafting historical arguments and historical causation by writing expository and document-based paragraphs and essays and working on independent and collaborative research-based projects. The course continues in 10th grade, culminating with the AP World History exam and/or the Global History and Geography Regents exam.

Regents Global History II: This course is the second year in the global history curriculum, and follows Global History I. It is one of the two social studies options offered in 10th grade.  The course covers material from about 1700 to the present encompassing the history of the entire world. Besides all of the historical content covered, there is an emphasis on the development of historical thinking skills such as causation and document analysis. As in AP World History, two of the primary goals of this course are to improve the ability of students to become both stronger readers and stronger writers. As such, there will be primary source analysis and a lot of digging deep into the meaning of texts, both written and visual.  This course culminates with the Global History and Geography Regents Exam in June, which is a requirement of the course and a high school graduation requirement.

AP World History: This course is the second year in the global history curriculum. It also follows Global History I. It is an AP course, so it is designed to be like a college-level course and there is an AP exam in May. The course covers material from about 1700 to the present encompassing the history of the entire world. Besides all of the historical content covered, there is an emphasis on the development of historical thinking skills such as periodization, causation and document analysis. There is a lot of reading and writing in this course, not only because of the amount of material covered, but also because two of the primary goals of the course are to improve the ability of students to become both stronger analytical readers and better argumentative writers. As such, there is a lot of primary source analysis and digging deep into the meaning of texts, both written and visual. Finally, there is a lot of argumentative writing about texts and historical ideas. After the AP World History Exam in May, students also take the Global History and Geography Regents Exam in June, which is a requirement of the course.

Prerequisite: 90+ in Global History or pending space availability

Regents US History: Description to follow.  This course culminates in the US History Regents exam in June.

 

AP US History: This two-semester college-level course covers American history from the Age of Exploration to the present. The course will provide students with the analytical skills and factual knowledge necessary to critically interpret issues throughout America’s past and lead to an understanding of America’s place in the world today. In addition to reading a college-level text, students will grapple with a multitude of primary source documents, including speeches, literature, lyrics, poetry, and art composed by people from all aspects of society. Students will learn to assess historical materials, their relevance to a given problem, their reliability, and their importance, in order to weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship. Some of the topics we will cover include: the colonial experience, the road to revolution, slavery, the road to the Civil War, industrialization and immigration, American imperialism, the Great Depression, World War II, the civil rights movement, and the modern presidents. This course culminates in an AP US History Exam in May.  Students will also take the US History Regents exam in June.

Prerequisites: 90+ in Global II or AP World History and teacher recommendation or pending space availability

Participation in Government: In this semester course, students will actively learn how to participate in politics by understanding the basic foundations of our government and the core beliefs centered in our governing documents. Students will also learn how to participate within the government by exploring the different avenues to take to become full-fledged active participants. This course culminates with the creation of a public policy newsletter, students choose a public policy to research.  Their newsletter is intended to persuade others to take actions and to push their agenda through the government.

Contemporary World Affairs: In this yearlong elective, students will explore several key issues that drive our political and social atmosphere. The first semester is centered on exploring civil liberties including the death penalty, freedom of speech and gun control. The second semester focuses on civil rights including Title IX, Affirmative Action, and Same-Sex Marriage. Students learn to become active participants within these topics and discover their core beliefs by exploring alternative perspectives and debating with their peers. Students will engage with several texts including newspaper articles, Supreme Court opinions/dissents, and film.

World Language

Spanish 1: Spanish 1 will provide the student with a general introduction to the Spanish language: sound system, pronunciation, functional vocabulary related to everyday life, cultural information and basic grammatical structures. Emphasis will be on the acquisition of four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing Active participation is required.

Spanish 2: Spanish 2 builds upon knowledge gained in Spanish 1. Emphasis is on perfecting pronunciation, mastery of several verb tenses and increased communicative proficiency. Students will be exposed to the past tenses, future, conditional and subjunctive mood. Students will be expected to apply them in all modes of communication. Active participation is required.

Spanish 3: Students in Spanish 3 implement their language knowledge and skills from the previous courses. During this course, students expand their use of the target language through speaking, reading, listening and writing. The course culminates in the NYC LOTE exam in June, the exam is divided into the four modes of communication: speaking, writing, reading and listening. Active participation is required.

Spanish 4: Spanish 4 provides students the opportunity to further develop, improve and refine their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Emphasis continues to be placed on oral skills with additional emphasis on reading and writing in the target language. Supplementary materials are implemented to enhance language use. Students experience multiple opportunities to demonstrate their proficiency in Spanish in different contexts. Pre-AP activities will be integrated into the curriculum.

AP Spanish: The AP Spanish Language and Culture course is comparable to a high intermediate or advanced low level college or university Spanish language course. Emphasizing the use of Spanish for active communication in real life tasks, it focuses on strengthening their cultural competencies through theme-based on a variety of authentic resources. Students must enter with a high level of grammar and vocabulary fluency, upon department approval. Students take the AP Spanish exam by College Board on May. Active participation is required.

Prerequisite: 90+ in previous course and teacher recommendation

Mandarin 1: This course is designed to introduce the Chinese language and Chinese culture to non-Chinese speaking students.  Students will focus on acquiring basic listening, speaking, reading, and writing abilities in Mandarin Chinese. Students will learn to read and write “Pinyin”, the most commonly used radicals, and 200 more Chinese characters. Students will learn basic communicative expressions and basic survival speech. Students will be introduced to Chinese history and many aspects of Chinese culture, including customs, manners, and food.

Mandarin 2: This course is designed to build on the Chinese language and Chinese culture learned on level 1.  Students will focus on acquiring basic listening, speaking, reading, and writing abilities in Mandarin Chinese. Students will learn to read and write “Pinyin”, the most commonly used radicals, and 300 more Chinese characters. Students will learn basic communicative expressions and basic survival speech. Students will be introduced to Chinese history and many aspects of Chinese culture, including customs, manners, and food.

Mandarin 3: This course is designed to build on the Chinese language and Chinese culture learned on previous levels.  Students will focus on acquiring basic listening, speaking, reading, and writing abilities in Mandarin Chinese. Students will learn to read and write “Pinyin”, the most commonly used radicals, and 400 more Chinese characters. During this course, students expand their use of the target language through speaking, reading, listening and writing. The course culminates in the NYC LOTE exam in June, the exam is divided into the four modes of communication: speaking, writing, reading and listening. Active participation is required.

French 3: Students in French 3 implement their language knowledge and skills from the previous courses. During this course, students expand their use of the target language through speaking, reading, listening and writing. Students must apply grammar concepts, language structures and vocabulary acquired in prior courses.  The course culminates in the NYC LOTE exam, which is divided into all the modes of communication. Active participation is required.

Prerequisite: completion of French 2

Latin 3: Students in Latin 3 implement their language knowledge and skills from the previous courses. During this course, students expand their use of the target language through speaking, reading, listening and writing. Students must apply grammar concepts, language structures and vocabulary acquired in prior courses.  The course culminates in the NYC LOTE exam, which is divided into all the modes of communication. Active participation is required.

Prerequisite: completion of Latin 2