Upper School Curriculum

Graduation Requirements and Course Load

To ensure that upon graduation students are fully prepared with a solid foundation in the liberal arts, Calverton requires that its students earn a minimum of twenty-three (23) credits in grades 9 through 12. A unit of credit is defined as a full year of class time. Credits are to be distributed as follows:

English 4 credits

Social Science 3 credits (One Social Science credit must be in United States History)

Mathematics 3 credits

Science 3 credits

World Language 3 credits

Physical Education 1 credit

Art 1 credit

Other 5 credits

Course Load Students are required to take a minimum of six (6) courses each year. The Upper School Head must approve any exceptions.

Physical Education Participation in Calverton School athletic teams may be credited to fulfill the Physical Education requirement. Each season played is the equivalent of one-third (1/3) of a credit.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme

The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. The Diploma Programme encourages students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right. Click here for Diploma Programme testimonials.

Calverton’s 9th and 10th grade curriculum strives to provide a solid and well-rounded foundation for entry into the Diploma Programme. Students in 11th and 12th grade can take two-year IB courses and may test in May of their senior year for IB credit and possible college credit, similar to AP Exams.

Students who wish to earn the prestigious IB Diploma take three Standard Level courses and three Higher Level courses. They also complete the Theory of Knowledge course, the Extended Essay, and complete the requirements for Creativity, Action, and Service:

Theory of Knowledge

Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is a course about critical thinking and inquiring into the process of knowing, rather than about learning a specific body of knowledge. It plays a special role in the DP by providing an opportunity for students to reflect on the nature of knowledge, to make connections between areas of knowledge and to become aware of their own perspectives and those of the various groups whose knowledge they share. It is a core element undertaken by all DP students, and schools are required to devote at least 100 hours of class time to the course. The overall aim of TOK is to encourage students to formulate answers to the question “how do you know?” in a variety of contexts, and to see the value of that question. This allows students to develop an enduring fascination with the richness of knowledge.

Extended Essay

The extended essay is an in-depth study of a focused topic chosen from the list of approved DP subjects—normally one of the student’s six chosen subjects, or in World Studies. World Studies provides students the opportunity to carry out an in-depth interdisciplinary study of an issue of contemporary global significance, utilizing two IB disciplines. Both are intended to promote high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery and creativity, engaging students in personal research in a topic of their own choice, under the guidance of a supervisor (a teacher in the school). This leads to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing, in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned, coherent and appropriate manner.

The extended essay, including the World Studies option, is a compulsory, externally assessed piece of independent research/investigation. Presented as a formal piece of scholarship containing no more than 4,000 words, it is the result of approximately 40 hours of student work, and concluded with a short interview, or viva voce, with the supervising teacher (recommended).

Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS)

Creativity, action, and service (CAS) is at the heart of the DP, involving students in a range of activities that take place alongside their academic studies. The component’s three strands, often interwoven with particular activities, are characterized as follows:

  • Creativity—exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive product or performance. This may include visual and performing arts, digital design, writing, film, culinary arts and crafts.
  • Action—physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle. Pursuits may include individual and team sports, dance, outdoor recreation, fitness training, and any other form of physical exertion that purposefully contributes to a healthy lifestyle.
  • Service—collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need. Through Service, students develop and apply personal and social skills in real-life situations involving decision-making, problem solving, initiative, responsibility, and accountability for their actions.
  • English

    Pre-IB English 1

    English 1 at The Calverton School is designed to help students become more skillful readers, writers, and thinkers. Accordingly, the course provides an introduction to the Upper School English program, which conforms to the values, topics, and assessments of International Baccalaureate English A: Literature.

    REQUIRED TEXTS:


    Pre-IB English 2

    The literature in English 2 focuses on the major themes of Imperialism, Colonialism, Revolution, and The Individual’s Responsibility in Relation to Society. The four literary works were also selected to provide a wide range of literary voices: the two British authors are from the Elizabethan and Victorian eras and cover roughly the beginning and end of European Colonialism. Of the two American authors, one is male and one is female. The male author was born in Illinois, and was educated in Britain. The female was born in Alabama and spent much of her life there. The works represent the genres of Detective Fiction, Historical Fiction, Political Protest, Social Commentary, Satire, and Verse Drama.

    Essential Questions, Writing and Learning Objectives

    What are the significant characteristics that differentiate one genre from another? How do the time periods, geographical locations, and cultural backgrounds of the authors influence their writing? What inferences can be made about time periods and cultures from the characters, plots, settings, and major themes of these works? How do these inferences inform perceptions of historical periods? How is responsible, ethical behavior defined? How can an individual maintain his or her ethical standards when confronted by a corrupt society?

    COURSE MATERIALS:

    The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

    Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

    The Tempest by William Shakespeare

    The Sadlier/Oxford Vocabulary Workshop Level E by Jerome Shostak.

    In addition, we will study a selection of short stories and poetry.

    Pre-IB English 3

    Pre-IB English 3 is designed to benefit students who could use additional support before entering IB English Literature SL. This course will help students become more polished writers of academic English. Study will include grammar, vocabulary and essay writing. The course will also help the student develop the research skills needed for IB, in particular note-taking, paraphrasing, summarizing, and documenting of sources. Students will also practice and develop those skills needed for formal oral presentation and oral analysis. The course will cover a variety of genres, including study of the personal essay, which is designed to guide students in writing the college application essay.

    COURSE MATERIALS:

    Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

    Night by Elie Wiesel

    The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie

    August Osage County by Tracy Letts

    English as a Second Language 1 (ESL 1)

    The program is an academic and practical preparation course designed to help international students make the transition to American academics. This class covers speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in English. Students will practice listening and speaking skills through guided group discussion. They will begin by learning the exact pronunciation of individual sounds in American English and then work on improving word stress and sentence rhythm by practicing tongue twisters and vocalization exercises geared to help vowel pronunciation. Students are required to write essays based on current topics in American culture. To help writing skills, essays will be peer-edited and then revised before receiving a grade. Students will build their vocabularies by using Sadlier-Oxford Vocabulary Workshop Program and will practice skills to enable successful completion of the TOEFL examination. In addition, the students will increase their language skills and comprehension in a natural language acquisition environment by reading stories to elementary school students, an enjoyable experience for all involved.

    English as a Second Language 2 (ESL 2)

    ESL Level 2 builds on the students' work in ESL Level 1 and is designed to complement the work done in ESL Literature - Level 2, which is taken concurrently. This course focuses on the mechanics and conventions of written and spoken English: vocabulary acquisition, grammar, punctuation, articulation, and pronunciation.

    Essential Questions, Writing and Learning Objectives

    The objective of the course is to increase students’ fluency and comfort level in written and spoken English. They will answer their own questions as to how English differs from their native languages, and what effect these differences have on thought. The ultimate goals are to help students reach a level of fluency where they can contribute meaningfully and learn effectively in their other courses and in future mainstream English classes, and to enable them to learn successfully and comfortably in an American college of their choice.

    Course Materials

    Sadlier-Oxford Vocabulary Workshop – Level B; Exercises in English Grammar Workbook – Level G; various handouts including selections of poetry, personal narrative, and essays, tongue twisters, vocal exercises, a proofreading guide, and grammar exercises tailored to the specific needs of the students.

    IB English Literature SL/HL

    This literature course develops understanding of the techniques involved in literary criticism and promotes the ability to form independent literary judgments. In literature, the formal analysis of texts and wide coverage of a variety of literature—both in the language of the subject and in translated texts from other cultural domains—is combined with a study of the way literary conventions shape responses to texts. Students completing this course will have a thorough knowledge of a range of texts and an understanding of other cultural perspectives. They will also have developed skills of analysis and the ability to support an argument in clearly expressed writing, sometimes at significant length. This course will enable them to succeed in a wide range of university courses, particularly in literature but also in subjects such as philosophy, law and language.

    World Languages

    French 1

    This course is designed for students who have no previous exposure to French. A communicative approach is used to teach students the French language within the context of the francophone world. Students acquire proficiency in listening to, speaking, reading and writing French, while developing cultural sensitivity to the everyday activities of French-speaking people throughout the world. Since the focus of the classroom is student interaction, from day one students practice communication with their peers in paired groups. Easy to answer questions require students to speak about their daily lives, express their opinions, and supply real information. Reading selections, films, and videos introduce the students to the geography and culture of France and the francophone world. In addition, the internet offers endless potential as a tool for teaching and learning French by providing students with materials that are up-to-date and culturally authentic.

    French 2

    In this class students will expand upon the communicative tasks and skills they have practiced in French 1. The students' fluency with French will improve as they learn how to analyze and interpret songs, poems, articles and stories, to take notes, and write summaries and business letters. They will become acquainted with French people, both past and present, who have become famous for their accomplishments in art, science, film, literature, sports, politics, etc. The students will learn more about their neighbors in French-speaking Canada as well as about interesting regions and sites in France. The students will also heighten their awareness of other French-speaking countries from Morocco to Martinique and from Tahiti to Tunisia.

    French 3

    Although the main teaching objective in French 3 is to expand the vocabulary and strengthen the grammar base of the students, this objective can be successfully met only if the students can handle with confidence the material presented in French 1 and 2. Because French 3 is the pre-requisite for IB French SL, the French 3 class devotes several chapters to solidifying the structures and vocabulary presented in French 1 and 2 before moving on to more advanced study.

    IB French SL
    * This course will be offered for the last time in 2015-16.
    Beginning 2016-17, IB French will be ab initio.

    The IB Diploma Programme French language course provides students with the opportunity to acquire or develop an additional language and to promote an understanding of other cultures through the study of French. This course is designed for students who possess a degree of knowledge and experience in the target language. (Please see IB Subject Brief for more information.)

    Prerequisite: French 3

    Spanish 1

    Spanish 1 is an introductory level course to the Spanish language and Hispanic culture. Students learn the vocabulary and speaking skills that will allow them to carry on basic conversations in the Spanish language. Although the focus of the class is speaking and listening, there are reading and writing assignments that round out our engagement with the language. Chapters are organized into thematic units that incorporate both the vocabulary and sentence structures needed to converse about certain basic topics. Some of these topics include "The Family," "School and the Classroom," and "Hobbies and Pastimes." Elements of Hispanic culture are introduced within the context of the theme; students may learn about Spanish naming customs in the "Family" unit or Argentinian dances in the "Hobbies and Pastimes" unit. Units typically conclude with students reading about and discussing the history, culture, and traditions of a specific Spanish-speaking country.

    Spanish 2

    Spanish 2 builds on the skills and vocabulary developed in Spanish 1. It is intended to provide students with the necessary skills and intercultural understanding to enable them to communicate successfully, both when in Spanish-speaking countries and with Spanish-speaking members of their own communities. Unit topics include the following: health and basic medical vocabulary, technology and the internet, parts of a house and household chores, the environment and conservation, activities in the city. Cultural highlights include on overview of Costa Rica, Argentina, Panama, Columbia, and Venezuela. The course will focus on listening and speaking as a means of natural acquisition, and on reading and writing as a way to extend understanding to a higher level.

    Spanish 3

    Spanish 3 is an intermediate level Spanish and Hispanic culture class. Students continue to develop skills for expressing more complex ideas and opinions in Spanish. Although we continue to review vocabulary and grammar, the focus of Spanish 3 is on expanding and conversing on a slightly higher level than previous levels. We continue with thematic units that incorporate elevated vocabulary and topics of discussion; some of the chapter themes include "Health and Well-being," "Jobs and the Workforce," and "Current Events." Students engage with the topics both in the context of their personal lives as well as within the framework of the Spanish speaking world, typically rounding out the chapter with a study of salient historical events and figures of Hispanic descent. Additionally, Spanish 3 students gain exposure to some important Hispanic literature, such as short stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, poetry by Julia de Burgos, and fragments of the great Spanish novel Don Quixote.

    IB Spanish SL

    The IB Diploma Programme Spanish language course provides students with the opportunity to acquire or develop an additional language and to promote an understanding of other cultures through the study of Spanish. This course is designed for students who possess a degree of knowledge and experience in the target language. (Please see IB Subject Brief for more information.) Prerequisite: Spanish 3

    History and the Social Sciences

    Comparative Governments and World History

    Comparative Governments is a course designed to explore the political, geographical, economical, and social interaction between peoples from around the world. The study of history from an international perspective is increasingly important today. In the contemporary context, different cultures and societies are increasingly in contact and interdependent, and there is a greater need for an understanding of the present, as well as the past. Our goal will also be able to understand the foundations and our relationships with a series of regions around the world. Course information will be studied through the use of online websites and primary source readings that communicate stories of a wide variety of voices. Students will be actively engaged in class through discussion, following current events, debates, lecture, and technology (web research, electronic presentations, etc.).

    United States History

    This investigation of life in America will focus on the political and economic factors as well as the values that motivated the English colonists to form a new government; additionally, it will examine the development and implementation of domestic and foreign policy decisions from the nation’s inception to the present. Students will survey, analyze, and evaluate decisions and events in United States history as a reflection of key ideas of the Enlightenment and in light of the principles set forth in the country’s foundation documents – the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the United States, and selected Amendments to the Constitution.

    IB History SL/HL

    The IB Diploma Programme standard level history course aims to promote an understanding of history as a discipline, including the nature and diversity of sources, methods and interpretations. Students are encouraged to comprehend the present by reflecting critically on the past. They are further expected to understand historical developments at national, regional and international levels and learn about their own historical identity through the study of the historical experiences of different cultures. (Please see IB Subject Brief for more information and different expectations for SL and HL coursework.)

    IB Psychology SL/HL

    The IB Diploma Programme standard level Psychology course aims to develop an awareness of how research findings can be applied to better understand human behavior and how ethical practices are upheld in psychological inquiry. Students learn to understand the biological, cognitive and socio-cultural influences on human behavior and explore alternative explanations of behavior. (Please see IB Subject Brief for more information and different expectations for SL and HL coursework.)

    Mathematics


    Algebra 1

    Algebra 1 is a year-long exploration of the branch of mathematics that deals with general statements of relations, with great attention to logic and the problem-solving process. Algebra bridges the gap between fundamental math skills and higher-level mathematics courses. Topics include: writing and solving linear equations, quadratic equations and the quadratic formula, graphs of linear equations and nonlinear functions, properties of exponents, rational expressions and equations, functions and absolute value, and the solution of linear inequalities in one variable. Two major goals of this class are to help the students improve their mathematical communication and their confidence in their abilities.

    Geometry

    This course emphasizes and integrates logical reasoning and spatial visualization skills. The goal is to encourage students to apply a problem-solving attitude to questions that arise in and out of the classroom. Topics include deductive reasoning, parallel lines and planes, congruent triangles, quadrilaterals, similar polygons, right triangles, circles, and constructions and loci. The two major focus points of this class are to help students improve their mathematical foundation, while instilling confidence in their abilities.

    Algebra 2

    In Algebra 2 students study linear, quadratic, exponential, and rational functions, along with their applications to modeling. The course also develops students' facility with manipulating and operating on linear, polynomial, and rational equations, as well as solving related equations and systems of equations. The goal is to become familiar with the graphs and characteristics of each type of function, thus enhancing synthesis and application to real world problems.

    IB Math Studies SL

    The IB Diploma Programme Mathematical Studies course, available in standard level only, is for students with varied backgrounds and abilities. The course is designed to build confidence and encourage an appreciation of mathematics in students who do not anticipate a need for mathematics in their future studies. Students taking this course, however, should be already equipped with fundamental skills and a rudimentary knowledge of basic processes. (Please see IB Subject Brief for more information.) Prerequisite: Algebra 2 & teacher recommendation

    IB Math SL (Pre-calculus & Calculus)

    The IB Diploma Programme Mathematics standard level course is for students with knowledge of basic mathematical concepts who are able to apply simple mathematical techniques correctly. The course provides students with a sound mathematical background to prepare for future studies in subjects such as chemistry, economics, psychology and business administration. Students will be introduced to important mathematical concepts through the development of mathematical techniques in a way that emphasizes subject comprehension rather than mathematical rigor. Students should, where possible, apply the acquired mathematical knowledge to solve realistic problems. (Please see IB Subject Brief for more information.)
    Prerequisite: Algebra 2 & teacher recommendation

    IB Math HL (Pre-calculus & Calculus)

    Course description coming soon.


    Science

    Pre-IB Integrated Science, Year 1

    This two-year course is designed to provide students with a firm foundation in Chemistry, Physics, and Biology, in order to be well-prepared for any of the options in the IB Diploma Program (11/12th grades). Crucial pre-IB skills such as experimental design, data collection, and critical analysis weave throughout the course. The theme of the course is “A History of the Universe.”

    We begin with the Big Bang and sub-atomic particles, which combine to form atoms and the elements; these interact in chemical reactions to create and destroy more complex molecules. Gravitational, electrical, and magnetic fields allow bodies to apply forces to one another, changing their motion in space. By the end of the year, the solar system has formed and the world has cooled off enough to allow water to exist in three phases.

    Pre-IB Integrated Science, Year 2

    Year 2 begins with an atmosphere that warms and cools, causing pressure changes and weather. Simple life arises, organic molecules are formed, energy is harvested in photosynthesis and respiration, and food webs appear as organisms feed on one another. Cellular DNA is passed from one generation to the next and random errors create differences within populations. Natural selection drives extinctions and results in tremendous diversity of life on our planet. Complex organ systems allow us to thrive in our environment, but overpopulation puts our ecosystems at risk of getting knocked out of balance.

    IB Biology HL

    The IB Diploma Programme biology higher level course covers the relationship of structure and function at all levels of complexity. Students learn about cell theory, the chemistry of living things, plant science and genetics, among many other topics to further their understanding of and learning about biology. Throughout this challenging course, students become aware of how scientists work and communicate with each other. Further, students enjoy multiple opportunities for scientific study and creative inquiry within a global context. (Please see IB Subject Brief for more information.)

    IB Environmental Systems and Societies SL

    The IB Diploma Programme Environmental Systems and Societies standard level course aims to provide students with a coherent perspective of the interrelationships between environmental systems and societies; one that enables them to adopt an informed personal response to the wide range of pressing environmental issues that they will inevitably come to face. Students’ attention is constantly drawn to their own relationship with their environment and the significance of choices and decisions that they make in their own lives. It is intended that students develop a sound understanding of the interrelationships between environmental systems and societies, rather than a purely journalistic appreciation of environmental issues. The teaching approach strives to be conducive to students evaluating the scientific, ethical, and socio-political aspects of issues. (Please see IB Subject Brief for more Information)

    IB Physics HL

    The IB Diploma Programme higher level physics course exposes students to this most fundamental experimental science, which seeks to explain the universe itself—from the very smallest particles to the vast distances between galaxies. Students develop traditional practical skills and techniques to increase facility in the use of mathematics, the language of physics. They also develop interpersonal skills as well as information and communication technology skills, which are essential in modern scientific endeavors—and are important life-enhancing, transferable skills in their own right. Students, moreover, study the impact of physics on society, the moral and ethical dilemmas, and the social, economic and environmental implications of the work of physicists. Throughout this challenging course, students become aware of how scientists work and communicate with each other. Further, students enjoy multiple opportunities for scientific study and creative inquiry within a global context. (Please see IB Subject Brief for more Information, as well as the expectations for SL and HL.)
    Prerequisite: previous coursework in physics and co-enrollment or completion of IB Math SL

    IB Computer Science SL

    Course description coming soon!

    Arts and Electives

    Visual Arts: Music: Performing Arts:
    • Methods and Materials Music Appreciation Upper School Play
    • Foundations of Art Repertoire and Performance Musical Theater
    • Studio Art Guitar Public Speaking
    • IB Visual Art SL/HL IB Music SL/HL

    Other Electives: those shown below represent courses typically offered in a given year, depending on staffing and student interest:

    • Film Study
    • Social Media and Current Events
    • 3-D Printing
    • Ethics
    • SAT/PSAT Prep
    • Yearbook

    Visual Arts: Methods and Materials

    Art Methods and Materials is designed to help students develop knowledge of conceptual and technical aspects of photography, ceramics and other traditional and non-traditional materials through experimentation, research and evaluation. Students will be encouraged to develop personal content and expression in their work. Each student will be required to have a visual arts journal that will be graded throughout the semester. Each studio project will begin with investigation and idea development in the arts journal. Students will practice their skill and technique, research similar artists and/or cultures that are associated with the studio piece, develop a rough draft plan for a studio piece, reflect on the process of the studio piece, and have a final reflection of the studio piece. Arts journals will be graded after rough draft phase and after final reflection phase. Students will also grade their studio pieces using a grading rubric designed for the course level. A final class critique day will be held at the end of each project to assess knowledge of skills and personal growth.

    Foundations of Art

    Foundations of Art will emphasis the study and application of art elements and design principles. This is a studio-based course that allows students to solve real world art problems in a variety of media. Critical and creative thinking skills will be integrated into all studio experiences. Students will work under the direction of the teacher to create a variety of two and three-dimensional projects. Students will be required to create and respond to works of art that express concepts, ideas and feelings. This class will focus on the importance of the process of making art, including sketching, problem solving and reflection. Our goal as an art department is to have students evaluating, synthesizing and critically thinking about art, the process of art making, as well as the impact art has on the world. During the course a Visual Arts Journal (AJ) will be used to help promote these skills and allow students to evaluate and reflect on their work and the process of making art. Each studio project will begin with investigation and idea development in the AJ. Students will practice their skill and technique, research similar artists and/or cultures that are associated with the studio piece, develop a rough draft plan for studio piece, reflect on the process of the studio piece, and have a final reflection of the studio piece. Journals will be graded after rough draft phase and after final reflection phase. Students will also grade their studio pieces using a grading rubric designed for the course level. A final class critique day will be held at the end of each project to assess knowledge of skills and personal growth.

    Studio Art

    Studio Art is designed to allow students to develop their artistic talent in a variety of media. While this class will have a variety of levels in it, it is important for students to focus on their own individual growth. With teacher guidance, students will challenge themselves, take risks, and explore art in this class. Concepts and techniques will be introduced to students in a way that will allow them to explore using different media. Students will push themselves out of their comfort zones and take risks in their art. Students will work with elements of art and principles of design to incorporate them into their artistic ideas. They will continue to develop their understanding of how the elements and the principles work together to make a successful piece of art. Students will create works of art by working from life as well as from their imagination. In this class we will focus on the importance of the process of making art, including sketching, problem-solving and reflection. Our goal as an art department is to have students evaluating, synthesizing and critically thinking about art, the process of art making, as well as the impact art has on the world. During the course a Visual Arts Journal (AJ) will be used to help promote these skills and allow students to evaluate and reflect on their work and the process of making art. Each studio project will begin with investigation and idea development in the AJ. Students will practice their skill and technique, research similar artists and or cultures that are associated with the studio piece, develop a rough draft plan for studio piece, reflect on the process of the studio piece, and have a final reflection of the studio piece. Journals will be graded after rough draft phase and after final reflection phase. Students will also grade their studio pieces using a grading rubric designed for the course level. A final class critique day will be held at the end of each project to assess knowledge of skills and personal growth.

    IB Visual Arts SL/HL

    The IB Diploma Programme Visual Arts course encourages students to challenge their own creative and cultural expectations and boundaries. It is a thought-provoking course in which students develop analytical skills in problem-solving and divergent thinking, while working towards technical proficiency and confidence as art-makers. In addition to exploring and comparing visual arts from different perspectives and in different contexts, students are expected to engage in, experiment with, and critically reflect upon a wide range of contemporary practices and media. The course is designed for students who want to go on to further study of visual arts in higher education as well as for those who are seeking lifelong enrichment through visual arts. The role of visual arts teachers should be to actively and carefully organize learning experiences for the students, directing their study to enable them to reach their potential and satisfy the demands of the course. Students should be empowered to become autonomous, informed, and skilled visual artists. (Please see IB Subject Brief for more information.)

    Film Study

    Film study focuses on analyzing, discussing, and writing about film. For each pair of films screened, students read reviews of professional critics. They then write a response to the opinions of the critic(s) stating whether they agree or disagree with the original assessment(s) and if those opinions remain true for today’s audience; or they may evaluate the performances of the actors, the direction, screenplay, the production values (sets, costumes, stunts, etc.), and theme; or they may write a piece comparing and contrasting each pair of films.

    Guitar

    Keeping in mind that students learn and comprehend in many different ways, this course is designed to teach students about history, rhythm, chords and song structure in innovative ways. Each student will be given the tools to be able to play songs on their own. The class will teach students how to continue learning on their own even after the conclusion of this course. This course will take place in a fun and competitive environment that will speed up the students’ learning process and have them playing and sharing their music as well as developing lifelong skills and enjoyment of guitar.

    Music Appreciation

    This class will involve theory, listening, language, music history, analysis and composition. We will be considering different time periods from early music to contemporary music. Students will study a variety of music, and improve listening and analysis skills along with basic theory skills. Compositions will be incorporated in relationship to time periods studied. A variety of listening styles and composition will be encouraged. While it is possible to take this class for one of the trimesters, it will run sequentially throughout the three trimesters and all three are recommended in order to complete the process. This class is targeted as a pre-IB music class, but is open to any student interested in the study and making of music. Theory and listening combine in a fun, supportive, yet challenging setting!

    Repertoire and Performance

    This class will involve solo/small group instrumental study (including voice). Sight singing and reading will be included. It is for the student that already plays an instrument or sings. Instrumentalists can be beginners, but must have a band or orchestra instrument. Vocalists must have some knowledge of keyboard, or the willingness to learn basic skills. There will be an emphasis on performance technique, expanding the range of repertoire, developing ensemble skills and generally improving skill level through practice and experience. The student will have opportunity through this class to perform in recitals and concerts both as a soloist and/or in a small group. Consistent practice and learning will facilitate and promote excellent performance.

    IB Music SL/HL

    The IB Diploma Programme higher level music course seeks to develop students’ knowledge and potential as musicians, both personally and collaboratively. IB Diploma Programme music students are required to study musical perception and actively listen to a wide range of music from different parts of the world, musical cultures, and time periods. They also develop aural perception and understanding of music by learning about musical elements, including form and structure, notations, musical terminology, and context. Through the course of study, students become aware of how musicians work and communicate. (Please see IB Subject Brief for more information.)

    Musical Theatre

    The musical theatre elective is designed to not only allow students to gain experience in the area of musical theatre, but also to enhance their understanding of themselves and their role in relationship to others. Students work within the whole realm of theatre, developing skills in acting, singing, movement, blocking, and understanding the craft of the stage. Theatre allows students to develop their ability to work with others, respect the art of theatre, enhance self-esteem, build confidence and learn new communication skills. Working within an ensemble increases the students' skills in collaboration and fosters life-long appreciation for and enjoyment of musical theatre.

    Upper School Play

    Upper School Play elective serves as the rehearsal period for the Upper School production performed in the fall semester. Students work on both the performance and technical aspects of the production allowing them to develop their ability to work with others, learn to respect the art of theater, enhance self-esteem, build confidence, and learn new communication skills. Working within an ensemble increases students' skills in collaboration and fosters life-long appreciation for and enjoyment of theatrical performance and production.

    Public Speaking

    The Public Speaking course will allow students to master the art of organized speech in front of audiences. We will analyze the differences between speech and writing, develop an understanding of proper speech etiquette, and examine different types of speeches. Every week, the students will write a speech on any given topic and present it in front of the class. During the semester, the students will be graded on participation and, eventually, the effectiveness of their public speaking.

    Social Media and Current Events

    Social media has become an integral part in reporting of current events. We will first examine social media outlets. How do they work? Who uses them? We will then look at specific current events and understand the who, what, when, where, and why. After, we will study how these social media outlets report on the current event we have discussed. Expect to have an understanding of how social media outlets work and the current events that are shaping our world. At the end of the semester, we will have the tools to navigate information from different media outlets and the discernment to evaluate the information each outlet produces.

    Introduction to 3D Printing

    Students in the 3D Printing course develop familiarity with MakerBot 3D printers, as well as several software packages available on the internet, including TinkerCAD, 123D Design, 123D Catch, and Blender. Students work through a series of online tutorials, beginning with simple assignments and progressing through more challenging projects. Much of the time in class is spent exploring the potential of 3D design, as students pursue projects according to their own creativity and interest. Students are required to keep ePortfolios to document their growth, especially their failures, their subsequent revisions, and ultimately their successes.

    SAT/ACT/PSAT Prep Course

    This class is designed to prepare students for the new SAT/PSAT/ACT. This course will teach students the format of the test and provide both strategies and practice for questions on critical reading, sentence completion, grammar, usage, and writing. In addition to reviewing topics from pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry, students will become familiar with the format of the test and test-taking strategies. This course will also include a discussion of the effective use of a graphing calculator. Much time will be devoted to practice problems similar to those on the SAT/ACT/PSAT.

    Ethics (online)

    Ethics introduces the branch of philosophy that attempts to discover by rational methods the truth about right and wrong, good and bad, and moral and immoral behaviors. Students will critically examine existing systems of values and their applications to life situations; students will also improve their ability to understand and make ethical choices. This online course is taught by a Calverton administrator/teacher. The class meets once a week during school hours and has reading and assignments due each week via an online classroom. A written paper is part of a final project.

    Yearbook

    Students who take this class will form the staff that will create the yearbook for the entire school. Students will be able to contribute in various ways to the overall construction of the book. The book is designed through an online editing program that allows students to design the book in hundreds of different ways. Students will be expected to take pictures, create layouts, and organize the overall theme.


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