UPPER SCHOOL CURRICULUM
The Algebra I course serves as a foundation for all future math courses. Basic concepts and properties of algebra are introduced early in the course to prepare students for equation solving. Throughout the course, concepts and skills are introduced algebraically, graphically, numerically, and verbally. The content encompasses all the basic skills needed for further mathematical success.
The Algebra II course is intended to prepare students for more advanced mathematics courses. Topics from Algebra I are included as well as matrices, rational and irrational expressions and equations, complex numbers, linear and quadratic equations, polynomial functions, conic sections, exponential and logarithmic functions and equations, and sequences and series.
Oak Mountain Academy provides instruction in traditional Euclidean Geometry. Stu-dents study the characteristics of plane and three-dimensional figures. Problem solving, visualization, and reasoning are emphasized. To apply and sharpen their reasoning and logic skills, students learn to do deductive, geometric proofs.
ALGEBRA III and TRIGONOMETRY
The Algebra III and Trigonometry course is intended to prepare students for college level mathematics courses. Topics from Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II are reviewed and include matrices, rational expressions and equations, irrational expressions and equations, complex numbers, linear and quadratic equations, polynomial functions, conic sections, exponential and logarithmic functions and equations, and sequences and series. The Trigonometry portion of the course is a study of the trigonometric functions and their applications.
The primary focus of this course is the study of functions, including trigonometric functions and their applications. Pre-Calculus is a broad overview of functions. It includes introduction and familiarization with basic trigonometric, polynomial, and logarithmic functions. In the later stages, limits are introduced as an introduction to Calculus.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT CALCULUS AB
The primary objective in Advanced Placement Calculus is to prepare students for mathematics in college. In a college-level high school class, students learn to appreciate the rigor necessary in an advanced mathematics class in a secure, supportive environment. The secondary objective is to follow the College Board’s syllabus closely to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Exam. The College Board’s syllabus is the curriculum for this class.
The purpose of the course in statistics is to introduce students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. Students are exposed to four broad conceptual themes: Exploring data: describing patterns and departures from patterns, Sampling and Experimentation: planning and conducting a study, Anticipating patterns: exploring random phenomena using probability and simulation, Statistical Inference: estimating population parameters and testing hypothesis.
GRAMMAR, COMPOSITION, AND AMERICAN LITERATURE 9
This course introduces students to the study of literature and composition at the upper school level through the integration of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Students will advance in grammatical skills, the writing process, and begin more literary analysis, focusing on American Literature in particular. Students will broaden their critical analysis skills by working with many literary elements such as characterization, conflict, theme, tone, and personification. The literature units of study include a variety of genres: non-fiction, short stories, poetry, drama, mythology, and the novel. Composition study emphasizes writing as a process and focuses on content, form, and conventions. Along with analysis, students will also place skills into practice by creating their own literary works that will include work covered in class. In order to help students in early preparation for SAT and ACT, vocabulary practice will occur often.
ENGLISH GRAMMAR, COMPOSITION, AND WORLD LITERATURE 10
This course introduces students to the study of literature and composition at a more advanced upper school level through the integration of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. As sophomores, students will continue to advance in grammatical skills, the writing process, and literary analysis, focusing on World Literature in particular. The literature units of study include a variety of genres: non-fiction, fiction, short stories, poetry, drama, mythology, and the novel. Composition study emphasizes writing as a process and focuses on content, form, and conventions. By the end of this course, students should feel comfortable with the essay and confident in the writing process. In order to help students in early preparation for SAT and ACT, vocabulary practice will occur often.
ENGLISH 11: AMERICAN LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION
This course is primarily a study of American Literature, critical reading skills, and effective writing skills for college bound students. Because of the college-prep focus, students study a Shakespearean play even though the course is primarily a study of American literature. Students study the works of important American writers, focusing on novels, short stories, poetry, and drama. The students learn to write college-appropriate essays of analysis, ex-position, and persuasion. They also practice writing essays for college applications, using actual college examples. Writing skills include weekly college-level vocabulary building, an emphasis on mechanics and usage, sentence and paragraph formation, editing and rewriting, and research skills.
ENGLISH 12: BRITISH LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION
This course is primarily a study of British Literature, critical reading skills, and effective writing skills for college bound students. Students study the works of important British writers, focusing on novels, short stories, poetry, and drama. The students learn to write college-appropriate essays of analysis, exposition, and persuasion. They also practice writing essays for college applications, using actual college examples. Writing skills include weekly college-level vocabulary building, an emphasis on mechanics and usage, sentence and paragraph formation, editing and rewriting, and research skills.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT LANGUAGE AND COMPOSTION
The goal of this class is to develop advanced college-level reading and writing skills by reading and studying a variety of appropriate sources and writing essays of various specific purposes. A second goal of equal importance is to prepare for the Advanced Placement Language and Composition exam administered in May of each year. This course is authorized and approved each year by the College Board. The course is primarily a study of college-level nonfiction as opposed to fiction, but a small amount of well-chosen fiction is studied for purposes related to the argumentative essay required on the May exam. Students use actual past A P Language exams and accompanying student essays along with judges’ comments and scores as models and resources for their study. The course teaches and requires students to write in several forms (e.g., narrative, expository, analytical, and argumentative essays) about a variety of subjects (e.g., public policies, popular culture, personal experiences).
ADVANCED PLACEMENT LITERATURE AND COMPOSTION
The goal of this class is to develop advanced college-level reading and writing skills by reading and studying a variety of appropriate sources and writing essays of various specific purposes. A second goal of equal importance is to prepare for the Advanced Placement Literature and Composition exam administered in May of each year. This course is authorized and approved each year by the College Board. The course is primarily a study of college-level fiction, including poetry, novels, short stories, and drama. Students use actual past AP Literature exams and accompanying student essays along with judges’ comments and scores as models and resources for their study. The course teaches and requires students to write primarily the essay of literary analysis.
This course focuses on journalistic writing through analysis of newspapers, yearbooks, literary magazines, and broadcast journalism publications. A concentration on the following components of journalistic writing is critical: influence, purpose, structure, and diction. Reading, writing, and critical thinking are key components as students explore the power and influence of journalism. Students will participate in news gathering, the study of ethics, and the aspects of copy writing, editing, and revising and will study the ethics of journalism. Through the publication of The Summit, the students will learn the process of publishing.
This course is a survey course beginning with the earliest civilizations and highlighting important developments throughout the world until the early 21st century. The course includes topics related to Early Civilizations and Classical Empires; Growth, Expansion, and the Emergence of the Modern World; Global Interaction and Conflict; and the Contemporary World.
UNITED STATES HISTORY
The goal of US History is to help students to understand the history of the nation’s past and to help create the knowledgeable, educated citizens that are required for a functional democracy.
Whereas the AP US History class is heavily in depth and requires much critique and specific knowledge learned and retained all year, the traditional US course focuses on more of the cultural side of US history. There will be use of movies and art and even the analyzing of a play in order to assess the culture of the US at certain points in history.
UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT/ECONOMICS
The goal of this class is to teach the student the complicated functions of the US Government and how they interact with the students on a given situation. Given that most of students will take this course during their senior year, they will either be able to or soon be able to vote. This is reason enough to make sure that the students have a fluency in the function of government. The secondary goal of this class is to help students understand the need to feel like they are part of the world they inhabit. This is accomplished by the daily playing of the ―war game,‖ projects, and the ―news of the day‖ assignment. The students should leave the class with a better understanding of the world and the need to understand even more.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT UNITED STATES HISTORY
The goal of this class is to provide a comprehensive overview of the history of the United States in preparation for the AP US History Exam. The goal of AP US History is to help students to understand the history of the nation’s past and to help create the knowledgeable, educated citizens that are required for a functional democracy. The AP US History exam is broken into three parts. The first is content-based multiple choice; the second is a content-based series of essay questions; the third is essay questions based on content knowledge and the ability to analyze documents: primary, secondary, and charts. In order for a student to succeed in this class, the need is to be able to excel in all of these areas.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT U.S. GOVERNMENT
The AP U.S. Government is an in-depth look at the government of the United States that includes a study and evaluation of the political system that runs it. The course is designed to help students develop an understanding and appreciation for how the political system works and how it influences and touches the lives of every American. Also, it is designed to help students understand how their participation in the system is important to its survival. It requires an interest and willingness to work on an accelerated level. The test, supplemental readings, and assignments are mostly on a college level and require the students’ best efforts.
This class has three goals. The first is to teach the students classical economics; including models, vocabulary, and functions. The second is to teach them basic personal finance. The third is to teach them the current economic climate; including the Financial Crisis 2007-2010, the Banking Crisis of 2007-10, the Bank Bailout of 2008, the Stimulus Package of 2009, the Housing Crisis of 2007-Present and more. In this complex time of 24-hour news and poorly researched punditry, it is hard to deter-mine what has happened as it is happening and even harder to wade through the retrospective partisanship. The goal of this class is to make the students how to be discerning of the economics information they receive.
The goal of this class is to instill an in depth understanding of Biology, to develop scientific thinking skills, and to broaden awareness of current scientific events. Some aspects of this course are presented in pre-AP Biology depth. Additionally, students will develop a working knowledge of the nature of science and should be able to formulate scientific opinions in response to new scientific discoveries and technologies. Students who successfully complete this course should demonstrate knowledge of the following criteria: (1) the nature of science, (2) the properties of life, (3) basic biochemistry, (4) classification, (5) cell biology, (6) genetics and heredity, (7) the mechanisms of evolution, (8) the diversity of organisms, (9) human anatomy and physiology, and (10) ecology.
Chemistry is a required course, and the first that fully integrates mathematics and science. The aim is to establish a strong foundation for understanding matter, with the atomic theory as the unifying concept. Significant amounts of historical material are included for perspective and for insight into the process of science and into the nature of science as a human endeavor. Laboratory work is integrated into each unit.
ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY
The goal of Anatomy and Physiology is to understand the organization and inner workings of the structures of the human body, as well as the collaborations between these structures. Students will learn how imbalances within or between these structures can affect humans. This course expands on terminology and concepts encountered in Biology and is vocabulary intensive. Understanding of these phenomena necessitates engaging in laboratory exercises, some of which will be dissections of various organs and/or entire organisms.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT PHYSICS
The Physics B course includes topics in both classical and modern physics. Knowledge of algebra and basic trigonometry is required for the course; the basic ideas of calculus may be introduced in connection with physical concepts, such as acceleration and work. Understanding of the basic principles involved and the ability to apply these principles in the solution of problems should be one of the major goals of the course. Students taken this course should cover the following five content areas: Newtonian mechanics, fluid mechanics and thermal physics, electricity and magnetism, waves and optics, and atomic and nuclear physics. The Physics B course should also include a hands-on laboratory component with a minimum of 12 student-conducted laboratory investigations. Each student should complete a lab notebook or portfolio of lab reports. (College Board course description September 2007)
ADVANCED PLACEMENT BIOLOGY
The goal of this class is to develop a college level understanding of Biology, to improve scientific thinking skills, and to broaden awareness of current scientific events, debates, and issues. Additionally, students will develop a working knowledge of the nature of science and should be able to formulate scientific opinions in response to new scientific discoveries and technologies. Students who successfully complete this course should demonstrate knowledge of the following criteria: (1) the major themes of biology, (2) biochemistry, (3) cell biology, (4) genet-ics and heredity, (5) the mechanisms of evolution, (6) an evolutionary history of diversity, (7) plant form and function, (8) animal form and function, and (9) ecology.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT CHEMISTRY
Advanced Placement Chemistry is a second-year chemistry course with a syllabus approved by College Board. The emphases are lab work and problem solving, although significant amounts of theory are necessary as well. Much of the theory, however, is review. We develop the idea that our class is a team and the name of the game is AP chemistry. Communication and collaboration are inherent. Students are encouraged to help each other on homework, and to ask for help whenever necessary. Demonstrations and short activities occur daily. The idea is for the students to see as many reactions as possible and to participate in the excitement and fun of chemistry. Ordinarily these pertain to the topic of the day, but not always.
This course will provide the student with an introduction to the concepts of modern astronomy, the origin and history of the Universe and the formation of the Earth and the solar system. Students will compare the Earth's properties with those of the other planets and explore how the heavens have influenced human thought and action. The course gives a description of astronomical phenomena using the laws of physics. The course treats many standard topics including planets, stars, the Milky Way and other galaxies, black holes to more esoteric questions concerning the origin of the universe and its evolution and fate. Although largely descriptive, the course will occasionally require the use of sophomore-high level mathematics. Laboratory exercises include experiments in light properties, measurement of radiation from celestial sources, and observations at local observatories and/or planetariums.
This course focuses in the study of the distribution and abundance of life and interactions between and among organisms and their environment, including the impact of human activities on the natural world. It draws on elements from biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and the social sciences. This curriculum is lab and field based. Whenever possible careers related to ecology and relevant case studies should be emphasized.
The goal of Spanish I is designed to teach beginning upper school level Spanish stemming from middle school fundamentals. This course will aim at grammar structure, verb conjugation, and conversational skills through writing, reading, listening assignments, and speaking. Also, this course will aim to promote cultural acquisition through Hispanic culture, history, and customs through cooking, dancing, and educational activities. Students will complete basic typical meals in groups, will present via PowerPoint customs of various Latin American countries, and basic oral dictations.
This course is designed to teach intermediate level Spanish. The course is a continuation of advanced Spanish I grammar structure, verb conjugation, and conversational skills through writing, reading, listening assignments, and speaking. In Spanish II, students will demonstrate an advanced level of communication skills through speaking and writing. Also, this course will aim to further explore Hispanic culture, history, and customs through cooking, dancing, and educational activities. Students will complete an intermediate level Soap Opera and present original stories to younger peers.
The goal of this course is in the direction of mastering the Spanish language extending from Spanish II. Spanish is the main language of instruction and students will be challenged to comprehend, respond, and interpret advanced Spanish commands, grammar, oral dictation, and written language. Students will demonstrate advanced level of communication with their peers and instructor. Moreover, this course will aim to further explore sophisticated and controversial aspects of Hispanic culture, history, and customs through dialogue, research, and educational activities. Students will present tourist itinerary to peers, recite literature, and compose an essay in Spanish.
Spanish IV is aimed at advanced level Spanish grammar, verb conjugation, and conversational skills through writing, reading, listening assignments, speaking, and cultural immersion. Also, this course will aim to expand on previous years’ knowledge of Hispanic culture, history, and customs through literature, film, and educational activities. Student evaluation will be based on class exams, quizzes (oral and written), homework assignments, participation, and projects.
The goal of French I is designed to teach beginning upper school level French stemming from middle school fundamentals. Introduces the French language; emphasizes all skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing in an integrated way. Includes how to greet and take leave of someone, to ask and respond to basic questions, to speak and read within a range of carefully selected topics and to develop an understanding of French-speaking cultures.
Enhances Level One skills in French and provides opportunities to develop listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in an integrated way. Provides continued practice in how to greet and take leave of someone, to ask and respond to basic questions, and to speak and read within a range of carefully selected topics. Provides opportunities to increase understanding of French-speaking cultures.
Enhances Level Two skills in French and provides further opportunities to increase listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in an integrated way. Provides continued practice in previous topics and introduces new topics; offers further opportunities to increase understanding of French-speaking cultures.
*UPPER SCHOOL BIBLE
This course will explore the New Testament from a literary perspective. Primary analysis of the text will be done with an emphasis on authorship, historical context and relation to the Old Testament. Furthermore, the students are presented with different methodologies found within the field of biblical studies: Historical, Source, Form, Reader Response, etc. They are also presented with biblical studies’ research tools and led to practice applying those tools to biblical texts.
*SENIOR SEMINAR/WORKPLACE READINESS
Emphasizes basic skills, thinking skills and personal qualities such as self-esteem, responsibility and self-management; covers communications, mathematics, creative decision making and problem solving.
This course focuses on developing public speaking skills. The students will identify effective methods to arrange ideas and information in written form and then convert the written form into an effective oral delivery. The course focuses on critically thinking, organizing ideas, researching counter viewpoints, and communicating appropriately for different audiences and purposes. The students analyze professional speeches to enhance their knowledge of solid speech writing.
The goal of this class is to develop life-long oral communication skills. The student will become more comfortable and gain more confidence in organizational skills and speaking abilities.
Students will present individual presentations in a variety of styles, group presentations, debate, and mock interview situations.
This class is a study of the elements of theatre. It will include a brief history of theatre, Genres of Drama, Elements of Drama, Technical and Performance aspects of Theatre. It will allow students an avenue to express their creativity through performance, directing, play-writing, and design. Students develop and apply performance skills through access to basic vocal, physical and emotional exercises; includes improvisation and scene study and related technical art forms.
The student develops creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving skills and applies media, techniques, and processes to formulate and express personal ideas. Artistic styles of a range of contemporary and past artists are identified. The student's own personal motivations, interests, and viewpoint are recognized and identified. The student's preferred media and techniques are discovered and identified. Sketchbooks are used to research ideas, to experiment with artistic conventions, and to communicate ideas. Students will identify how the issues of time, place, and culture are reflected in selected artworks. Students will learn to use the principles of design to organize the elements of design resulting in the creation of meaningful and unified compositions. A better understanding of color theory will be developed in a variety of painting media. Artwork will be created in a variety of two and three dimensional processes.
Students will be responsible for the creation of an accurate, comprehensive, complimentary photo-journal that records the Oak Mountain family and events for posterity. Students will master the elements of yearbook design and publication, including computer skills, page layout and design, copy writing, photography, scheduling, etc.
FUNDAMENTALS OF MUSIC THEORY
The Fundamentals of Music Theory course is designed to fulfill a two-fold objective: (1) the preparation of pre-professional students in music theory and (2) a terminal course in music theory for nonprofessional students. The ultimate goal is to enhance the musicianship of both types of musicians through the acquisition of the theoretical understanding of the structure of music. The theoretical knowledge will be acquired through the study of five broad areas of musical
understanding: (1) the properties of sound, (2) basic combinations of raw materials, (3) rhythm, (4) melody, and (5) harmony. The course will not only examine and analyze existing music but will also focus on aural skills, sight-reading, piano fluency, performance, and the creative process.
Provides opportunities to develop performance skills and knowledge in ensemble singing. Limited to 16 to 20 performers and may include any style period. Covers performance and production, analysis and theoretical studies, historical and cultural influences, creative aspects of music and appreciation of music. Stresses balance of individual progress and group success.
DRAMATIC ARTS/ MUSICAL THEATER
Introduces the style and characteristic elements of modern musical theater. Covers production staging, orchestration, voice and dance; offers an opportunity for team teaching through interdisciplinary collaboration with the chorus, band, art, technology, physical education and dance instructors. Offers opportunity for performance.