Course Descriptions

ENGLISH COURSES

Language Arts 9  (1 credit)

This is the first in a series of courses that develop and broaden skills in grammar, writing, reading comprehension, and spelling.  Semester one focuses on creative writing, various grammar topics (including capitalization, commas, sentence fragments, faulty coordination, faulty subordination, double subjects, misplaced modifiers, and dangling modifiers) and reading comprehension through short stories by various authors including Isaac Asimov, Stephen King, Gloria Naylor, Edgar Allen Poe, and selections from The Tales of the Arabian Nights. Semester two focuses on reading comprehension, story analysis, character analysis, and vocabulary through Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, and Macbeth, as well as stories of mythology from around the world, including Greek mythology, Egyptian mythology, Mayan mythology, Norse mythology, Native American legends, American folklore stories, and famous fables.

Language Arts 10  (1 credit)

Semester one focuses on a brief review of grammar skills, a variety of creative writing skills, and reading comprehension and vocabulary through reading selections from Tom Sawyer. Semester two focuses on reading comprehension, story analysis, character analysis, and vocabulary through Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Othello, and Measure for Measure, as well as stories of mythology from around the world, including Greek mythology, Egyptian mythology, Mayan mythology, Norse mythology, Native American legends, American folklore stories, and famous fables.

Language Arts 11  (1 credit)

Semester one focuses on grammar skills, creative writing, and reading comprehension and vocabulary through reading selections from Robin Hood, Hercules, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Gulliver’s Travels, and A Christmas Carol. Semester two focuses on advanced ACT / SAT level vocabulary words as well as reading comprehension and vocabulary through reading stories of mythology from around the world.

Language Arts 12  (1 credit)

Semester one focuses on grammar as well as poetry by a variety of poets including Edgar Allen Poe, Walt Whitman, Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, Rudyard Kipling, and Emily Dickinson. Students will also learn the styles, rhyming patterns, and grammatical rules of several types of poems and practice writing poems in various styles including cinquain, acrostic, haiku, and couplet poems. Semester two focuses on reading comprehension, story analysis, character analysis, and vocabulary through reading Shakespeare’s Othello, Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, and Measure for Measure. The final quarter of semester two focuses on advanced ACT / SAT level vocabulary words.

As a Matter of Fact (1 credit)

This course reinforces all levels of vocabulary skills, sequence of events, and reading comprehension of non-fiction (true) stories and events. A wide variety of topics are covered including Amelia Earhart, manatees, the 1871 Chicago fire, Morse code, the Hindenburg, meteorites, and the Dust Bowl.

Biographies (1/2 credit)

The lives and significant achievements of famous Americans from the past and present are presented. The biographies of authors, politicians, leaders, entertainers, athletes, inventors, civil rights leaders, millionaires, and others are covered, including Pocahontas, Babe Ruth, Thomas Edison, Florence Nightingale, Sitting Bull, Helen Keller, Elvis Presley, Davy Crockett, and Duke Ellington.

Classic Literature (1/2 credit)

Students read and complete reports on the following classic literature: A Christmas Carol, Tom Sawyer, Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, and Measure for Measure.

Creative Writing (1/2 credit)

100 grammar, punctuation, and writing rules are reinforced as students complete writing assignments. Advertising, poetry, short stories and other creative writing topics are covered.

Fiction and Fantasy (1/2 credit)

Vocabulary, sequence of events, and reading comprehension are reinforced through the reading of both modern and classic fictional works. Modern day mystery novels, science fiction, thrillers, folk stories, and short stories will be read, as well as excerpts from Robin Hood, Hercules, Gulliver’s Travels, Tom Sawyer, and other classic short stories.

Grammar (1 credit) 

This course covers parts of speech, sentence structure, punctuation, spelling, and basic writing skills. Topics include sentence fragments, run-on sentences, modifiers, subject-verb agreement, person and voice, tenses, pronouns, verbs, quotations, adjectives, adverbs, commas, homophones, plurals, deciphering word meanings, clauses, writing paragraphs, writing personal and business letters, and more.

Honors Vocabulary (1 credit)

This advanced course prepares students for the vocabulary portion of the ACT test. Vocabulary, analogies, and synonyms are among the topics covered.  Students read common fairy tales with the honors vocabulary words replacing the regular words.  For example, “Over the months they saw a gradual diminution of their newly obtained wealth. And although Jack and his mother were not prodigal with the gold, the day did even­tually come when their supply of the precious metal was depleted.”  Examples of vocabulary words covered: immutable, extolling, palatable, deleterious, didactic, innocuous, virulent, fortuitous, idyllic, precocious, acerbic, vociferous, parsimonious, imperturbable, and assiduously.

Improve Spelling (1 credit)

This course is for the average speller who is ready for more challenging words. Spelling rules, word roots, definitions, prefixes, suffixes, abbreviations, plurals, homonyms, and foreign words are among the topics covered.  Examples of vocabulary words covered: excusable, nickel, peculiar, preventive, absence, excellence, innocence, secretary, truly, manageable, niece, weird, magician, foreign, mischievous, accede, capital, capitol, carpe diem, and laissez faire.

Improve Your Writing (1 credit)

The writing process, various types of writing, and grammar skills are taught in this course. Specific topics include:  prewriting through the final draft; narrative, descriptive, expository and persuasive writing; business and personal letters; job applications and resumes; workplace writing-forms and reports; punctuation, parts of speech, and sentence structure.

Mythology (1/2 credit)

Greek and Roman myths and Aesop’s fables are covered in this course. Stories about Zeus, Demeter, Prometheus, Apollo, the Twelve Labors of Hercules, Venus, Athena, Mercury, and Hera are included, as well as familiar fables such as “The Ant and the Grasshopper” and “The Tortoise and the Hare.”

 Poetry (1/2 credit)

Vocabulary, reading comprehension, poetry, and writing styles are taught as students read poems by Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Rudyard Kipling, Edgar Allen Poe, Walt Whitman, Robert Browning, Carl Sandburg and others. Students will also study different types of poetry and write their own poems.

 Shakespeare (1/2 credit)

The life and times of William Shakespeare are covered. Students also read the following Shakespeare plays rewritten in today’s language: “Romeo and Juliet,” “Hamlet,” “Macbeth,” “Julius Caesar,” “Othello,” and “Measure for Measure.”  Famous lines and passages from each play are also discussed.

HISTORY COURSES

Believe It or Not (1/2 credit)

Information about amazing events in our past are presented, some almost too strange to be believed. Topics include pyramids, Stonehenge, ancient burial rituals, Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, ancient writings, Native American legends, myths, Mayan mysteries, women who hid their accomplishments, UFOs, crop circles, Big Foot, Loch Ness and other monsters, aliens, scams, scandals and hoaxes.

 Biographies (1/2 credit)

The lives and significant achievements of famous Americans from the past and present are presented. The biographies of authors, politicians, leaders, entertainers, athletes, inventors, civil rights leaders, millionaires, and others are covered, including Pocahontas, Babe Ruth, Thomas Edison, Florence Nightingale, Sitting Bull, Helen Keller, Elvis Presley, Davy Crockett, and Duke Ellington.

 Holocaust (1/2 credit)

This course thoroughly covers the history of the Jewish people and the events of the Holocaust during World War II. This course requires students to read the book Night, by Elie Wiesel. Students may purchase the book on their own, check it out from a local public library.  This course also requires students to watch the video “Schindler’s List,” which they must rent/obtain on their own. Please note that this course contains material that may be considered uncomfortable, offensive or unsuitable for some students.  Please review the course carefully before / when you order it to determine if you want to complete it.

Medieval Times (1/2 credit)

Life in the Middle Ages is covered, including royalty, castles, the feudal system, knights, lords and ladies, peasant life, craftspeople and merchants, education, the Church, the Crusades, sports, games, crime and punishment.

Mysterious Events (1/2 credit)

This course contains fascinating stories of buried treasure, cursed objects, strange disappearances and events. Topics include the Beale Code treasure, Amelia Earhart, the Mary Celeste, curses, the pyramids, lost treasures of Superstition Mountain, Easter Island, Death Valley, and the Bermuda Triangle.

Sociology (1/2 credit)

This course discusses how people behave in groups and how these groups interact with each other. It investigates the process of socialization and how individuals learn to be part of the groups around them, including the family and larger organizations that make up their society and culture.

20th Century Headlines  (1/2 credit)

Major political, economic, and entertainment events from the year 1900 to 2000 are covered in a newspaper headline format. This course covers a broad spectrum of events in sequential order so that students gain an understanding of when events took place in history and how they are interrelated.

U.S. and World Landmarks (1/2 credit)

This course discusses how famous natural and man-made landmarks were created or built, as well as their political and/or cultural significance. Landmarks covered include the Statue of Liberty, the Acropolis, Mt. Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, the Taj Mahal, Niagara Falls, the Nile River, the pyramids, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Eiffel Tower, and the Amazon Rainforest.

U.S. Geography (1/2 credit)

Facts and trivia about each of the 50 United States are covered. Information given for each state includes state symbols, natural resources, physical features, population, animals, famous people, cultural events, and major cities. Map work is required for this course.

U.S. Government (1/2 credit)

This course covers the American Revolution, U.S. Presidents, the three branches of the United States government, as well as the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, electoral college, elections, political parties, and national symbols. State and local governments are also discussed, as well as federal vs. local rights and obligations. This course includes the U.S. and Missouri Constitution exams.

U.S. History (1 credit)

This course explores United States history from colonial times to modern day. Specific topics include the first colonies, the American Revolution, the U.S. Constitution, the presidents, westward expansion, the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Wild West, the Roaring Twenties, World Wars I and II, and the Cold War.

U.S. Presidents (1/2 credit)

This course covers the early lives and presidencies of the U. S. Presidents. Each president’s childhood, education, and personal life is discussed so students gain an understanding of the people that became our nation’s leaders. The achievements and failures of each president’s time in office are also explored.

World Cultures and Geography (1 credit)

This course explores the government, religions, education, food, and recreation in various countries including Japan, Italy, France, Russia, and India. It also gives students basic knowledge about each continent’s major geographic regions, including the terrain, rivers, mountains, seaports, etc., and how these physical features along with cultural factors affect the global similarities and differences in economic, political and social activities.

World History (1 credit)

This course focuses mainly on civilizations and developments from the earliest times to the present in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. Civilizations and topics covered include ancient Egypt, India, China, Greece, and Rome, the Early and Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Reformation, England’s monarchs, the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, world wars, and global conflicts.

MATH COURSES

Algebra I   (1 credit)

This course builds on the concepts learned in Pre-Algebra and covers positive and negative numbers, algebraic equations, solving equations and inequalities, graphing linear equations, algebraic expressions, polynomial operations, and quadratic equations.

Algebra II   (1 credit)

This course builds on the concepts learned in Algebra I and covers graphing linear inequalities, slope, x and y intercepts, factoring binomials and trinomials, domain and range, powers and exponents, radicals, real roots, common logs, logarithms, polynomials, graphing parabolas, circles, ellipses, and hyperbolas, trigonometric ratios, sines and cosines, and vectors.

Basic Math I (Applied Math I) (1 credit, remedial course)

This basic math course covers the following topics: fractions and decimals; word problems, ratio and proportion, percents, simple interest, metric system, perimeter, area, volume, statistics and probability.

Basic Math II (Applied Math II)  (1 credit, remedial course)

This basic math course covers the following topics: equations, word problems, ratio, proportion, percents, simple and compound interest, metric measurement, introduction to geometry, perimeter, area, volume, the Pythagorean Theorem, graphs, and probability.

Calculus   (1 credit)

This course builds on the concepts learned in Pre-Calculus and covers limits, continuity, derivatives, anti-derivatives, and definite integrals. Specific topics include one-sided limits, limits at infinity, nonexistent limits, continuity, limits of rational functions, slopes and tangent lines, differentiation formulas, derivatives of logarithmic and exponential functions, differential equations, L’Hopital’s Rule, maxima and minima, curve sketching, Newton’s method, velocity, acceleration, sigma notation, Riemann sums, area between curves, and volume of solids.

Consumer Math   (1 credit)

The goal of this course is to give students the knowledge and skills necessary to make wise choices as consumers. In Consumer Math, students learn about paychecks, taxes, deductions, checking and savings accounts, how to write checks, making short and long-term budgets, debit and credit cards, interest and loans, discounts, insurance, buying and leasing cars, and traveling.

Fractions, Decimals, and Percents   (1/2 credit, remedial course)

This course gives step-by-step directions to teach students how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions, decimals, and percents. The topics covered in this course are important for any math course and essential for Pre-Algebra and above.

Geometry   (1 credit)

The fundamental ideas of geometry and its terminology are covered, including definitions, assumptions and theorems, use of fundamental facts and ideas in proofs, proof and application of theorems about triangles and parallel lines, polygons, quadrilaterals, circles, measurement of angles in circles, indirect proof and inequalities, locus, construction and design, ratio and proportion, similar polygons, numerical trigonometry and other means of indirect measurement, and areas of geometric shapes.

Personal Finance   (1/2 credit)

This course is more challenging than Consumer Math. Topics are covered in depth, and include unit pricing, discounts, budgeting, figuring expenses, types of loans, comparing interest rates, credit cards, debt to earnings ratios, checking and savings accounts, and income taxes. This course also counts as a practical arts elective for most school districts.

Pre-Algebra   (1/2 credit)

In this course students will add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions and integers; simplify fractions; solve equations with positive and negative numbers; evaluate, simplify, add, subtract, and multiply expressions with variables; work with inequalities; and graph ordered pairs.

Pre-Calculus   (1/2 credit)

This course prepares students for Calculus by exploring interval notation, absolute value, nth roots and fractional exponents, trigonometric functions, domain and ranges, inverses, graphing polynomial and rational functions, continuity, inequalities involving continuous and non-continuous functions, division of polynomials, complex zeros, transformations, exponential functions and equations, and logarithms.

Trigonometry   (1/2 credit)

This course prepares students for Pre-Calculus and covers triangles, the Pythagorean Theorem, trigonometric ratios, opposite and adjacent sides, sine, cosines, and tangents.

SCIENCE COURSES

Astronomy and Space Exploration   (1/2 credit)

This course covers space and space exploration. The galaxies, stars, and planets are discussed, as well as black holes, asteroids, meteors, and other objects found in space.  The history of NASA and space exploration is covered from the earliest days up through current attempts to live on space stations.

Biology (non lab)   (1 credit)

Biology introduces students to the study of living things, both plants and animals. Beginning with a look at the chemical, cellular and genetic basis of life, the course focuses on the major groupings of plants and animals, ending with a study of human biology.

Chemistry (non lab)   (1 credit)

This course introduces students to the basic concepts and principles of Chemistry including the scientific method, classification of matter, elements, changes of matter, unit conversions, temperature and heat, atomic and mass numbers, the periodic table, metals, atoms and molecules, chemical bonds, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, mass-mole conversions, intermolecular forces, solids and solubility, acids and bases, and pH.

Earth Science (1 credit)

This course explores the planet we live on through use of geology, meteorology, and oceanography. It investigates the movements of land, air and water, how mountains are formed, what happens below the surface of the earth, and the earth’s relationship to the sun, moon and space.

Human Biology   (1 credit)

This course explores in depth how every part of the human body operates. The following systems are discussed: brain and nervous, muscular, reproductive, digestive, excretory, skeletal, respiratory, and circulatory.  Skin, hair, teeth, fetal growth and development are also covered, as well as health and fitness.  Illnesses and diseases from the common cold to cancer are explained.  Finally, amazing world records about the human body are discussed.

Human Reproduction (1/2 credit)

This course takes a non-judgmental approach to discussing all issues of human reproduction, including the male and female reproductive systems, pregnancy and fetal development, all methods of birth control, sexually transmitted diseases, and types of unwanted sexual activity and what to do if it happens.

Natural Disasters (1/2 credit)

In this course, students will learn about the major types of natural and weather-related disasters including volcanoes, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, winter storms, floods, tsunamis, fire, and drought. The scientific principles behind each disaster are discussed as well as how they have affected humans.

Physical Science (non lab)   (1 credit)

Physical Science introduces students to the study of matter and energy. It includes topics such as acceleration, light, and electrical current, states of matter, chemical reactions, and nuclear decay. Quantitative exercises, graphs, diagrams, simple activities, and discussions of the relationship of science to society are included to help students understand and apply the concepts introduced in the course.

Physics (non lab)   (1 credit)

Physics is the science that explores matter and energy in terms of motion and force. While Algebra I is a prerequisite for the course and solving problems involving mathematical computation is required, the basic focus of this course is on the student’s understanding of the basic concepts. These concepts are presented in the context of understanding everyday events around us. Topics covered include mechanics, properties of matter, heat, sound and light, electricity and magnetism, and atomic and nuclear physics.

ELECTIVE COURSES

Art History & Appreciation   (1/2 credit, fine arts)

The history of art and artists from caveman times to present day is explored in this course. Topics include the elements of painting, materials and techniques, the Renaissance, and painting from earliest man through today. The course also features the lives and significant accomplishments of major past and current artists including da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Monet, van Gogh, Cezanne, Chegall, Moses, O’Keefe, Picasso, and Pollock, Walt Disney, Thomas Kinkade, and George Lucas.

Child Development   (1/2 credit, practical arts)

Students will study the care and guidance of children from infancy through early adolescence. The focus of the course is on the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of, as well as parental interaction with, children at each stage of their lives. Specific topics include fetal development, birth defects, genetics, child safety, CPR, childhood illnesses, teething, nutrition and feeding, toilet training, temper tantrums, exercise, learning, and play.

Driver’s Education   (1/2 credit)

This course prepares students to be safe and courteous drivers and to pass their state’s written driver’s examination. Topics include traffic signs and laws, pavement markings, DUI, traffic accidents, sharing the road, safe driving tips, driving in bad weather, and safety equipment.  This course does not involve actual driving with an instructor but may qualify the student for a discount on car insurance.

Forms & Applications   (1/2 credit)

This course teaches students how to complete common, everyday forms including resumes, job applications, checking and savings accounts forms, balancing a checkbook, insurance applications, medical forms, and tax forms.

Health   (1/2 credit)

Common childhood and adult diseases and illnesses are discussed in this course, as well as basic first aid, CPR, grooming, types and benefits of exercise, proper nutrition, and healthy eating habits.

Independent Living Skills   (1 credit, practical arts)

This course teaches skills needed to transition from living with your parents to living on your own in a dorm or apartment. Choosing a place to live and finding roommates, getting utilities connected, and getting along with neighbors and landlords is covered, as well as daily living skills such as organizing paperwork, opening a bank account, creating a budget, and filling out job applications and resumes.

Music History and Appreciation (1/2 credit, fine arts)

The history of music from ancient times to present day is explored in this course. Topics include the origins and influence of various types of music from classical to rap. The course also features the lives and significant accomplishments of major past and current musicians from Beethoven to Elvis Presley.

Personal Finance   (1/2 credit, practical arts)

This course is more challenging than Consumer Math. Topics are covered in depth, and include unit pricing, discounts, budgeting, figuring expenses, types of loans, comparing interest rates, credit cards, debt to earnings ratios, checking and savings accounts, and income taxes.

Workplace Skills & Careers   (1 credit, practical arts)

This course is designed to help students as they make decisions about their career now and in the years to come. It begins by helping students think about how their interests, abilities, values and personality relate to choosing a job. Other topics include resumes and job interviews, on-the-job training, financial aid for college or vocational school, and information about a variety of careers.