Communications
Full year, repeatable — Grade 9 (Grade 8 by election to Student Council) — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This project-based course is designed for students with an interest in leadership. Classwork centers on discussion, development, and implementation of crucial aspects of good leadership (teamwork, self-awareness, effective communication, conflict resolution, etc.). Students reflect on their beliefs and opinions about leadership, exchange ideas and perspectives with their peers, and then apply what they learn to a project proposal. Students engage in activities designed to help them put theory into practice. These activities enable students to identify their leadership style and recognize the strengths and contributions of others. In the final project, students consider the type of leader they are currently and the work they would like to do to benefit the Harvard-Westlake community. Elected ninth- and eighth-grade Student Council senators are required to enroll in this course.

Two repeatable semesters — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

Students apply journalistic skills to produce Spectrum, the middle school newsmagazine: writing articles, conducting interviews, assigning stories, laying out pages, and editing. Editors assist the faculty advisor in setting policy, participate in meetings, supervise sections of the magazine, and oversee layout and design of the publication. Students should expect to spend several hours each issue researching and writing stories; they are required to stay after school the week before publication if they do not finish their articles in class.
Prerequisite: Media for the Modern Age, taken previously or concurrently.

Two identical semesters — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of publication writing, design, and production. Students learn to interview and write news, feature, sports, opinion, and review articles. Design skills are developed through the use of Adobe® Photoshop® and InDesign® as students create news and feature layouts. The course provides a strong foundation in responsible journalism and student press law and is a prerequisite for Introduction to Broadcast Journalism, Introduction to Yearbook Journalism I, Introduction to Yearbook Journalism II, and Newsmagazine Journalism.

Full year — Grade 10 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Members of this class learn ethics and best practices for digital and print journalism. Serving on the Chronicle, Big Red, and Panorama staffs, students interview; report; write; produce infographics, video, and audio; and use social media to cover the news. First semester lays a foundation of best practices for scholastic journalism. Second semester offers greater autonomy and the opportunity to specialize in photography or video journalism. Students are expected to make time outside of class to research and prepare articles and assist with occasional weekend print-layout deadlines. There are some quizzes but no final examinations.
Prerequisite: A middle school journalism course.

Full year — Grade 11 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students are reporters for the Chronicle website, Chronicle newspaper, and Big Red and Panorama magazines. Working in section teams, students interview, report, write, and design for immediate publication and longer-term assignments. They create industry-standard infographics, video, and audio. Students cover a news beat, produce articles, and learn how to manage peers. They are expected to work independently outside of class and sometimes on weekends. There are no quizzes or examinations.
Prerequisite: Modern Journalism I.

Full year — Grade 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students develop advanced journalism skills serving as editors of the Chronicle, Big Red, and Panorama, student-run, nationally recognized publications. Students produce digital, print, photographic, and video journalism; sell advertising; oversee daily digital operations; and manage a regular print publication schedule. This class also works with the staffs of HWTV and the Harvard-Westlake Vox Populi yearbook. Senior editors serve on the Editorial Review Board, determining policy and content. Senior reporters, photographers, and videographers mentor younger students. Independent work outside of class and on weekend layout sessions is required. This fast-paced course emphasizes ethical leadership and appreciation for First-Amendment issues.
Prerequisite: Modern Journalism II.

Two repeatable semesters — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This course introduces broadcast journalism basics through podcasting. Students write and produce news, sports, opinion, and original programs for Harvard-Westlake outlets: Spectrum, Chronicle, and KHWS. They use studio and field equipment and editing software to create audio-only content.
Prerequisite: Media for the Modern Age, taken previously or concurrently.

Second semester — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

How does a person know what is true? This course focuses on developing the critical thinking and forensic skills necessary to examine the veracity of the online world. The curriculum brings together philosophy, history, technology, ethics, law, and journalism in its examination of the truth online. Topics include cancel culture; college campus speakers; free speech; the roles of the press, social media organizations, watchdog organizations, and Congress; and the line between safety and discomfort. A capstone project is required.

First semester, repeatable — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

Students cover middle school student life, special events, activities, and organizations for the yearbook. They make editorial decisions and are responsible for page layouts and designs. Management skills are developed as students learn to meet deadlines and communicate with the upper school yearbook student staff. Students are introduced to basic concepts in yearbook design and to the production values and procedures of the Harvard-Westlake Vox Populi yearbook. Introduction to Digital Photography is strongly recommended and may be taken concurrently. Students must attend labor-intensive layout sessions three weekends per semester and spend several hours each deadline on photography, research, and writing stories.
Prerequisite: Media for the Modern Age, taken previously or concurrently.

Second semester, repeatable — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

Students spend the second semester meeting final yearbook deadlines and completing The Tenth Muse, the middle school’s literary magazine, and Pathways, the middle school’s community service magazine. Students continue to attend labor-intensive layout sessions three weekends per semester and spend several hours each deadline on photography, research, and writing stories. Students taking Introduction to Yearbook Journalism I are encouraged to also enroll in this course.
Prerequisite: Media for the Modern Age, taken previously or concurrently.

Two repeatable semesters — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students learn to produce different types of prerecorded and live sports programs. The curriculum includes multilevel development of all audio and video equipment operation; statistical gathering and analysis; on-screen graphics creation; play-by-play and color commentary skills; and editing of sports packages, video profiles, and highlight reels. Productions appear on all school and social media platforms. Students from this class serve in supervisory and peer-teaching positions during HWTV broadcasts. All sports are covered, but an emphasis is placed on those competing during the semester in which the course is taken.

Full year — Grade 10 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

During the first semester, students develop skills to write, direct, produce, and edit four distinct styles of audio news story production. They learn how to use a variety of studio and field-based equipment to produce content for SportsReport, CampusNews, podcasts, and the online Chronicle. In the second semester, students acquire skills to write, direct, produce, and edit their first complete video/audio news package. In addition to acquiring an understanding of the news production team, students gain appreciation of the responsibilities that come with producing reliable news broadcasts.

Full year — Grade 11 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students assume leadership roles in the production of content for SportsReport, CampusNews, podcasts, and the online Chronicle. In addition, they continue to develop investigative reporting skills and produce longer-form news packages. Students attend weekly production meetings and spend most of their time researching, writing, and producing news and sports stories. They are evaluated on the quality of their reporting, writing, and production, as well as their continuing contributions to the news team.
Prerequisite: Broadcast Journalism I.

Full year — Grade 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students assume producer roles for SportsReport, CampusNews, podcasts, and the Chronicle website with the opportunity to develop new broadcast content. Students organize and run weekly production meetings and sit on the Chronicle management team’s digital committee. They are evaluated on the quality of the shows they produce, as well as on their own reporting, writing, producing, participation, and contributions to the news team.
Prerequisite: Broadcast Journalism II

Full year — Grade 10 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students help to create the school yearbook, Vox Populi. The topics covered include principles of design and layout, caption writing, feature writing, photojournalism, advertising, and budgeting. Sophomores who worked on the yearbook at the middle school and students taking yearbook for the first time enroll in this course. A strong emphasis is placed on developing leadership skills to prepare students to be editors as juniors and seniors. Students must attend labor-intensive layout sessions six weekends per year and spend several hours each deadline on photography, research, and writing stories.
Prerequisite: A middle school journalism course.

Full year — Grade 11 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students are the page editors and photographers of the school yearbook. Editors provide the structure for the development of the yearbook, while page editors have specific areas of responsibility. Students research, write, take pictures, and design spreads. Page editors are encouraged to attend the summer journalism conference. Students must attend labor-intensive layout sessions six weekends per year and spend several hours each deadline on photography, research, and writing stories.
Prerequisite: Yearbook Journalism I.

Full year — Grade 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

The senior editors of the school yearbook enroll in this course. Each editor has a specific area of responsibility and is expected to attend a summer journalism workshop. Editors supervise the work of other students and are responsible for creating the yearbook. Seniors must organize and attend labor-intensive layout sessions six weekends per year and spend several hours each deadline on photography, research, and writing stories.
Prerequisite: Yearbook Journalism II.

Two identical semesters — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

Students learn to express themselves with confidence and clarity. The course is designed to develop presentation, listening, and critical-thinking skills. Students become aware of the elements of verbal and non-verbal communication and how to effectively incorporate visual aids. They deliver both impromptu and prepared speeches, including biographical introductions, informative “how-to” explanations, and persuasive arguments. Students gain additional insights into the basics of public speaking by watching and critiquing speeches. They provide constructive feedback to their peers, articulating insights that can be applied to improve their own performances as well as to help others.

Two identical semesters — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This introductory course is designed to teach parliamentary-style debate. Students explore both sides of an argument, support their points with evidence, and effectively communicate their positions. Key skills include public speaking, argumentation, reasoning, comprehension of empirical evidence and data, source analysis, refutation, research, note taking, rhetoric, and teamwork. During class, students work in groups to create research outlines, write and practice delivering speeches, and debate each other.

English
Full year — Grade 7 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course helps students understand literature by emphasizing critical thinking, close reading, the joy of reading, and symbolic interpretation. Students study texts such as The Wild Things; Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry; Pashmina; poetry; and short stories. Analytical writing assignments require students to use textual evidence to support their claims, and interior monologues challenge them to creatively explore the literature from various points of view. To encourage a love of reading, students engage in independent reading of their choice.

Full year — Grade 8 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course explores how characters try to find and remain true to their best selves when faced with external and internal pressures in texts such as To Kill a Mockingbird, Turtles All the Way Down, and Romeo and Juliet. Students write analytically, contextualizing and closely examining direct quotations to support their claims. They also write poetry and personal reflections that encourage them to connect literature to their own lives.

Full year — Grade 9 — Meets 1 double and 3 single periods per cycle

This course examines the journey of characters—in texts such as Fences, The Odyssey, and Life of Pi—who struggle with identity and attempt to be part of a harmonious society while confronting internal and external challenges. In class, students consider the world, their role in creating peaceful and meaningful lives, and how to create communities that thrive. The writing program includes analytical, personal, and imaginative assignments. Students continue to refine skills and learn strategies for developing a persuasive literary argument by formulating claims and supporting them with textual evidence and thorough, detailed explanations.

Two repeatable semesters — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This course encourages students, in a supportive workshop setting, to find and develop their creative voices. Students use vivid detail, dialogue, and expressive language to write character-driven short stories, dramatic scenes, and poetry. The class explores how writers and poets use different styles and techniques. Students experiment with these varied forms in their own writing through in-class exercises, journaling, and presentations.

Full year — Grade 10 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students encounter characters caught in the struggle to be good while in conflict with external forces and their own passionate impulses. To imagine and evaluate such predicaments, students examine crux scenes—carefully crafted episodes in which characters are driven to make difficult choices. In the process, students refine their vocabulary of human motives, mental and emotional states, and ethics as they find themselves increasingly called upon to make aware and responsible choices of their own. Readings include a variety of voices across time and cultures, such as Frankenstein, Twelfth Night, The Handmaid’s Tale, Salvage the Bones, and selected short stories and poems. The writing program practices and refines analytical skills learned in the seventh through ninth grades. Students become more independent in discovering, developing, and defending their interpretations in persuasive essays. In addition, a study of language builds on students’ knowledge of grammatical concepts so that they may become more aware of their stylistic options as writers.

Full year — Grade 11 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Generations have struggled to come to America; new ones continue to line up at its borders. Why? What promise has American life presented to their imaginations? What has actual experience dealt both our ancestors and those who, to this very hour, seek to emulate them? What is particularly American—or not—about their varied responses to fraught pursuits of a better life? This course explores issues raised by the essentially American quest for a new kind of home in an often-inhospitable world. In addition to American poems, novels, stories, and plays, students read contemporary accounts of current on-the-ground events related to the struggles of immigrants. Readings may include Willa Cather’s O Pioneers!, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies, Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, and Brando Skyhorse’s The Madonnas of Echo Park.

Full year — Grade 11 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

The United States exists as an act of defiance against unjust rule. To fight for the equal regard of every human being is a collective calling, as set forth in Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence and carried out in the movements that would nudge America closer to its promises. That Jefferson wrote the declaration while owning slaves is a paradox that reflects the essentially disparate experience for Americans from different racial backgrounds. In this course, students imagine such struggles to fulfill our communal ideals and identify ways in which those ideals remain elusive. In addition to core readings of American poems, novels, stories, and plays, students consider the underpinnings of pivotal civil rights actions, both to deepen awareness of themselves as enmeshed in a national conversation and to strengthen their hands in helping to shape it. Readings may include Henry David Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience, Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, Justin Torres’s We the Animals, and Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy.

Full year — Grade 11 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

As an English honors course, American Studies aims for a high level of interpretive insight based on the careful examination of literary texts. It explores the historical and cultural contexts of great works from our national literature. Assignments include readings that stress these contexts, opening up distinctive avenues for discussion and interpretation. American Studies is intended for strong analytical thinkers, and works are chosen to pose unique reading and conceptual challenges. In addition to American classics, students read contemporary works that seek to reimagine American history and culture. Recent course texts have included Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Toni Morrison’s Beloved, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, Victor LaValle’s The Ballad of Black Tom, Justin Torres’s We the Animals, Steph Cha’s Your House Will Pay, Chang-rae Lee’s On Such a Full Sea, and Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing.
Prerequisite: B+ in English II.

Two identical semesters — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students read poems and short stories as guides for writing their own. Poetry is the initial focus to make students sensitive to what good literary writing requires—vivid and precise detail purposefully selected and arranged. After emulating some masters and experimenting in formal verse and freer forms, students clarify and deepen their visions by revising their work. Later, the focus is on the task of creating meaningful short fiction, dramatizing characters’ conflicts in well-crafted scenes, experimenting in narrative points of view, and fine-tuning language through revisions. Readings include Mary Oliver’s A Poetry Handbook, several poems by writers including W. B. Yeats, Elizabeth Bishop, and Langston Hughes, as well as short stories by authors including Anton Chekhov, Katherine Anne Porter, and Raymond Carver. The class culminates with a final project rather than with a final examination.

Two repeatable semesters — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

The only prerequisite for this course is curiosity about William Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s contemporary Ben Jonson wrote that Shakespeare was “not of an age, but for all time.” This class explores the ways in which Jonson was right. Students look at Shakespeare from multiple angles—historically, theatrically, and poetically—seeking to understand why there is always someone reading, performing, or watching Shakespeare in nearly every country on earth. Paper assignments include creative options, allowing students to explore individual interests as they develop. The course is conceived in a two-year cycle: the readings do not duplicate plays read in other courses, and, within each two-year cycle, no play is repeated. Students in their junior and senior years may take up to four semesters of Shakespeare and Our World. Film and theater versions, as available, are studied in connection with each text.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

The only prerequisite for this course is curiosity about William Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s contemporary Ben Jonson wrote that Shakespeare was “not of an age, but for all time.” This class explores the ways in which Jonson was right. Students look at Shakespeare from multiple angles—historically, theatrically, and poetically—seeking to understand why there is always someone reading, performing, or watching Shakespeare in nearly every country on earth. Paper assignments include creative options, allowing students to explore individual interests as they develop. The course is conceived in a two-year cycle: the readings do not duplicate plays read in other courses, and, within each two-year cycle, no play is repeated. Students in their junior and senior years may take up to four semesters of Shakespeare and Our World. Film and theater versions, as available, are studied in connection with each text.

Full year — Grade 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

In the fourth-century B.C. dialogue Republic, Plato imagined one of the first ideal societies. In 1516, Sir Thomas More’s Utopia gave these fictional societies a name. But what some visionaries see as utopian may perhaps be its counterpart: dystopian. Students explore texts that imagine perfect societies as well as those that extrapolate contemporary threats to nightmarish ends. Although fictional works and films are used as launching pads, the course is rooted in nonfiction, with an emphasis on argumentative writing and the study of rhetorical strategies. Each fictional text is accompanied by relevant essays, historical documents, documentaries, and other nonfictional pieces that treat the issue at hand. Along with the Republic and Utopia, course texts may include Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’s The Communist Manifesto, speeches by Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, allegories by Isaac Asimov and Octavia E. Butler, Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal,” Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta.

Full year — Grade 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students read literature that explores the mysterious relationship between adults and children. What is the nature of the different worlds that children and adults inhabit? Where do these worlds overlap? Where do they remain untouchably separate? What happens when one world encroaches upon the other? To what extent do we remain our parents’ children, even after we’ve grown up? What do adults have to learn from the children in their lives? In addition to exploring the ways in which literature answers these questions and others, students reflect on how authors use the relationship between parents and children to illuminate larger themes, both social and personal. Works may include William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Tarjei Vesaas’s The Ice Palace, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, James Baldwin’s Go Tell It on the Mountain, Richard Yates’s Revolutionary Road, and Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn.

Full year — Grade 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Humans are social beings. From birth, people create communities cemented by familial, social, political, religious, and civic ties. For some, however, full recognition and acceptance into mainstream society proves elusive. Students look at works of drama, fiction, and poetry that explore the stories of such outliers. What or who prevents us from fitting in? Does any power exist for those forced to society’s margins? What do these people’s stories reveal about human nature generally? What do they reveal about contemporary social and cultural realities? Readings may include William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure or Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49, Richard Powers’s Galatea 2.2, Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and Zadie Smith’s NW, as well as short stories and poetry, both classic and contemporary.

Full year — Grade 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

A character in graphic novelist Dash Shaw’s BodyWorld declares to another, “Living is suffering, Billy. Now give your mom a nice big hug.” Is that right? Buddha seems to say as much in the first of the Four Noble Truths—that suffering is a condition of being alive. Writers have dramatized the many forms of human suffering—in tragedy, comedy, and modern hybrids of traditional genres—for the reader’s vicarious experience and reflection. This course challenges the assumption that life constitutes suffering by exploring the meaning that can be made out of harrowing experiences. Authors help students address questions from diverse angles: How is it that some people can overcome the worst predicaments, whereas others cannot? To what extent do we create and perpetuate our own crises? How much of our success in coping, healing, and emerging wiser depends on ourselves? What does compassion really require of us? Works may include the Book of Job, the Gospel of Luke, William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, Nathanael West’s Miss Lonelyhearts, Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, Albert Camus’s The Plague, and Louise Erdrich’s Tracks, among others, as well as a variety of poems representing voices across time and cultures.

Full year — Grade 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

In this course, students read new literature to explore contemporary thinking on current issues, such as Gen Z identity, the tyranny of technology, and survival of the species in the face of pandemic and environmental collapse. Students encounter writings that approach such present-moment, life-determining subjects from a variety of perspectives, as well as critiques of these works, eventually publishing their own opinions in the Harvard-Westlake Review of Books. At the end of the year, students help select the course’s themes and texts for the following year. One early theme might be “Apocalypse” and include The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, The Dog Stars by Peter Heller, and Recursion by Blake Crouch. Another possible theme, “Borders,” would feature Exit West by Hamid Mohsin, Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli, NW by Zadie Smith, and Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi.

Full year — Grade 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

The foulest criminals fascinate us. In podcasts or television shows that serialize their seemingly unthinkable cruelties, their stories simultaneously disturb and compel. This course investigates the criminal psyche, exploring why people are tempted to commit such heinous crimes to achieve their ends. Students consider how to respond to such atrocities: How can justice be administered to deal with the apparently inexplicable extremes of human behavior? From Gothic mystery to contemporary thriller, an evolving genre presents the elements of craft that make such narratives so interesting. In addition to writing analytically, students try their own hands at the crime story, emulating techniques such as suspense, pacing, and voice to demonstrate learning. Works may include Edgar Allan Poe’s stories, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, Attica Locke’s Bluebird, Bluebird, Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You, and Jonathan Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn.

Full year — Grade 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Writers have always wondered about the value of a human life. While some lives can appear more important than others, some seem to have no value at all. And if a life can be imagined as lesser than another or even completely worthless, how can such views be reconciled with our most basic sensibilities about sitting shoulder to shoulder in a learning community? This seminar challenges assumptions about human worth and worthiness. Placing works with deep roots in Western culture into conversation with more contemporary voices, students explore issues of power, privilege, and who sets the price on a person’s value; what self-value can have to do with it; and both how this conversation is changing and how to be part of it. Centripetal readings are Homer’s Iliad, William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, Jane Austen’s Persuasion, and Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. Readings around this core may include Khaled Khalifa’s Death Is Hard Work, Franz Kafka’s “A Hunger Artist,” Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, Terrance Hayes’s American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin, Albert Camus’s The Myth of Sisyphus, and poems by T. S. Eliot, Gwendolyn Brooks, Charles Bukowski, Adrienne Rich, Christian Wiman, Ada Limón, and others.
Corequisite: Concurrent enrollment in an AP English IV course.

History and Social Studies
Full year — Grade 7 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course explores the functions of American government and its development over time. Students become familiar with the underlying principles and unique structure of our democratic republic, analyze the U.S. Constitution and landmark Supreme Court cases, discuss the principles that inform our political processes, and consider the social and cultural implications of important legislation and political events. This course aims to provide an understanding of American government so that students become informed, committed citizens. Study strategies and organizational skills—including careful reading and annotation, primary source analysis, critical thinking, note taking, and research skills—are taught. Students develop interpersonal communication skills through collaborative projects, class discussion and debate, the writing of expository essays, oral presentations, and electronic communication. Use of a variety of digital tools enhance students’ twenty-first-century learning experience.

Full year — Grade 8 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course examines events and trends that have shaped the development of the modern world. It focuses on civilizations in East and West Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The course concentrates on the rise of global empires and societies and the development of political and economic structures. Skills cultivated include critical reading, argumentative writing, discussion, and proficient analysis of primary and secondary sources.

Full year — Grade 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course presents a European perspective on the political, economic, intellectual, social, and cultural developments from ancient times through the sixteenth century and the interplay of those developments with world cultures. Coursework builds skills necessary for high school history students: strong reading comprehension, inferential and analytical thinking, writing and discussion skills, research techniques, and appropriate study strategies. Readings are drawn from a variety of primary and secondary sources, providing an overview of historical events and insights into patterns of civilization.

Full year — Grade 10 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course critically examines major political, economic, intellectual, social, and cultural developments of the sixteenth through the late-twentieth centuries and the interplay of those developments around the world. Students consider the significance of key ideas and movements that helped shape the modern world: economic systems, revolution, industrialism, nationalism, racism, feminism, socialism, rise of nation-states, imperialism, decolonization, globalization, and more. Coursework emphasizes skill development in critical thinking, coherent argumentation, research, argumentative writing, and the interpretation of primary and secondary sources.

Full year — Grade 10 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course, which is taken in conjunction with the tenth-grade drawing and painting course, equips students to visually and critically understand the modern world. Students examine major artistic, political, economic, intellectual, social, and cultural developments of the sixteenth through the late-twentieth centuries and the interplay of those developments around the globe. They consider the significance of key ideas and movements that helped shape the modern world—economic systems, revolution, industrialism, nationalism, racism, feminism, socialism, rise of nation-states, imperialism, decolonization, cultural appropriation, and globalization—and how those movements impact the evolution of different artistic periods. Coursework emphasizes skill development in reading, critical thinking, coherent argumentation, research, argumentative writing, collaborative inquest, and interpretation of primary and secondary sources
Corequisite: Drawing and Painting I/The Rise of the Modern World: Art and History (U0280-0).

Full year — Grade 10 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course covers the history of Europe from 1300 to the present. It is fast paced, discusses a wide variety of topics, and, similar to a college-level Western history survey, requires sophisticated analysis of historical change. The course is designed for students with highly developed reading and writing skills and requires independent learning and initiative. Students are expected to invest the time and energy necessary to understand the readings and think through complex issues. Topics of study include the Renaissance and Reformation, Scientific and Industrial Revolutions, formation and fall of empires, decline of monarchies, rise of nation-states and democratic governments, spread of totalitarianism, world wars, Cold War, and formation of the European Union. Class discussions are based on in-depth analysis of primary and secondary texts, images, and propaganda. Major assessments focus on strengthening composition skills and formulating interpretations of historical change that analyze the influence of political, economic, social, and cultural factors; examine how society is influenced by religion, nationality, class, ideology, technology, gender, race, and ethnicity; and trace the role of art and literature in shaping Western views of humanity, society, and the world.
Prerequisite: Placement test. Corequisite: AP European History examination.

Full year — Grade 11 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students examine prominent features of the American experience: the nature of colonial life, the reasons for the revolutionary break from England, the constitutional system, the development of democracy and capitalism, reform movements and the Civil War, the impact of the frontier, the changing nature of business and government, the changing role of the United States as a world power, and the struggle to achieve class, ethnic, racial, and gender equality. Students develop the ability to read historical material analytically and critically and to pursue independent research. In addition to primary documents and historical narratives, selections from American literature and audiovisual materials are used.

Full year — Grade 11 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students analyze the causes and results of major historical developments in America from precolonial Native American societies to the policies of the current administration. Much attention is given to historical documents. In addition to presenting factual information and primary sources, this course seeks to acquaint students with a variety of scholarly interpretations of major historical issues. It then asks students to reach and support their own conclusions regarding these issues.
Prerequisite: B+ in The World and Europe II, The Rise of the Modern World, The History and Art of Modern Europe and the World, or The Rise of the Modern World: Art and History. Corequisite: AP United States History examination.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course provides an introduction to world architecture, painting, and sculpture from prehistoric times to the present. Students learn to interpret works of art in terms of the formal elements of composition and aesthetic principles with an emphasis on global interconnectivity. The course focuses on understanding how these mediums reflect their cultural context by examining the historical, religious, social, and economic periods in which they were produced.

Full year — Grade 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course provides a broad study of the development of world civilizations, incorporating the history of peoples and cultures from every part of the globe. Coursework prepares students to compare diverse societies across geographic regions, from the earliest human societies through the twentieth century. In addition to studying the rise and fall of empires, key issues incorporated into each unit include the origins and development of gender inequality; growth and evolution of religious beliefs; influence of philosophical, intellectual, and technological breakthroughs; roles of law and government; and influence of the economy and environment in shaping human society. Second semester focuses on the modern era from 1500 CE to the present, investigating the interaction of peoples and ideas across continents to examine how and why some societies dominated their regions of the world and others did not.
Prerequisite: AP United States History or B+ in United States History.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Understanding and explaining cultural diversity around the world is the mission of human geography; examining and assessing the causes and impacts of city life are the goals of urban studies. This course introduces students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that shape humans’ understanding, use, and alteration of the earth’s surface. Topics covered include human population growth and movement; patterns of culture; the economic use of the earth, including industrialization, agriculture, and general economic development; and the political organization of space. Human geography analyzes human social organization—places, people, and events—as well as how these factors interact. Emphasis is placed on why people live in cities (and suburbs), how the urban setting influences human behavior, how human behavior sculpts the urban landscape, and how to grapple with long-term issues such as urban poverty, education, and economic transformation and dislocation.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course introduces students to key theories of war, peace, and cooperation among states and nonstate actors. In addition to the textbook, students read classic and contemporary literature from the academic field. Ongoing and contemporary global issues—such as nuclear proliferation, trade disputes, war crimes, and humanitarian crises—are also covered. The course’s primary teaching strategies are simulations, academic debates, research projects, and class discussions.

Full year — Grade 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students in this course analyze the constitutional underpinnings of American government; the civil liberties guaranteed to the people of the United States; the political beliefs and behaviors of American citizens, political parties, and interest groups; and the institutions and policy processes of the national government. Current political, legal, and governmental issues are used to illustrate major points and refine students’ understanding.
Prerequisite: AP United States History or B+ in United States History.

First semester — Grade 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course examines the sources of public authority and political power; the relationship between state, society, and citizen; the political and institutional framework of various governments; and the ways in which political change occurs. The course focuses on the governments of the United Kingdom, Russia, China, Iran, Mexico, and Nigeria in analyzing these topics.
Prerequisite: AP United States History or B+ in United States History.

Second semester — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course examines the growth and development of mass culture in the United States during the twentieth century. The course focuses on sports, film, radio, and television to illustrate various aspects of American social history. It uses audiovisual material, lecture, and class discussion to help students reach an understanding of how popular culture affects and reflects American society.

First semester — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course enables students to develop an analytical model to examine and understand issues in American society that relate to racial, ethnic, and other cultural differences. The course utilizes seminar-style discussion; academic, magazine, and newspaper articles; excerpts from fictional works and memoirs; video and film; the internet; personal interviews; and students’ individual experiences. Students construct an interpretive framework that allows them to explore—in an informed and analytical manner—areas of individual interest through their work in writings and on projects. Projects in the past have included research papers, video and multimedia presentations, and interpretive artwork.

Human Development
Two identical semesters — Grade 8 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This course gives students opportunities to reflect on the changes and choices adolescents experience and face in their daily lives. Students are encouraged to integrate personal values into their decision making and to develop a sense of responsibility about their actions, thoughts, and feelings. The course aims to increase student knowledge of important personal, social, and health issues to enable them to make informed and better choices. Topics addressed include identity development; wellness, stress, and relaxation techniques; integrity in interpersonal relationships; self-esteem, assertiveness, relational aggression, and harassment; stereotypes, implicit bias, and appreciation of cultural diversity; prevention of substance use and abuse; and body image, puberty, sexual health, and reproduction. The course consists of scenarios, video clips, role playing, journal writing, and small-group and seminar-style discussions.

Interdisciplinary Studies and Independent Research
Second semester — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

How does a person know what is true? This course focuses on developing the critical thinking and forensic skills necessary to examine the veracity of the online world. The curriculum brings together philosophy, history, technology, ethics, law, and journalism in its examination of the truth online. Topics include cancel culture; college campus speakers; free speech; the roles of the press, social media organizations, watchdog organizations, and Congress; and the line between safety and discomfort. A capstone project is required.

Two repeatable semesters — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

The only prerequisite for this course is curiosity about William Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s contemporary Ben Jonson wrote that Shakespeare was “not of an age, but for all time.” This class explores the ways in which Jonson was right. Students look at Shakespeare from multiple angles—historically, theatrically, and poetically—seeking to understand why there is always someone reading, performing, or watching Shakespeare in nearly every country on earth. Paper assignments include creative options, allowing students to explore individual interests as they develop. The course is conceived in a two-year cycle: the readings do not duplicate plays read in other courses, and, within each two-year cycle, no play is repeated. Students in their junior and senior years may take up to four semesters of Shakespeare and Our World. Film and theater versions, as available, are studied in connection with each text.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

The only prerequisite for this course is curiosity about William Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s contemporary Ben Jonson wrote that Shakespeare was “not of an age, but for all time.” This class explores the ways in which Jonson was right. Students look at Shakespeare from multiple angles—historically, theatrically, and poetically—seeking to understand why there is always someone reading, performing, or watching Shakespeare in nearly every country on earth. Paper assignments include creative options, allowing students to explore individual interests as they develop. The course is conceived in a two-year cycle: the readings do not duplicate plays read in other courses, and, within each two-year cycle, no play is repeated. Students in their junior and senior years may take up to four semesters of Shakespeare and Our World. Film and theater versions, as available, are studied in connection with each text.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course provides an introduction to world architecture, painting, and sculpture from prehistoric times to the present. Students learn to interpret works of art in terms of the formal elements of composition and aesthetic principles with an emphasis on global interconnectivity. The course focuses on understanding how these mediums reflect their cultural context by examining the historical, religious, social, and economic periods in which they were produced.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets twice per cycle

Students develop the entrepreneurial mindset and tool kit necessary to become effective change agents: observation, insight, problem assessment, solution creation, lean startup methodology, market research, and responsive design. Through guided workshops and active exploration of their own initiatives, students gain hands-on experience solving problems and inciting change. Encouraged to undertake projects that address community needs and advance society, they overcome setbacks and develop invaluable character strengths, such as initiative, resourcefulness, resilience, composure, patience, and empathy. Intrepid students may also help lead a world-changing startup, HW Venture, whose programs inspire students on both campuses to dream, innovate, and succeed. Leaders confront and master additional challenges: resource allocation, event management, logistics, communication, media, marketing, negotiation, politics, upward management, and sustainable organizational design.
Prerequisite: Application.

Second semester — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course provides a window into the culture and society of Athens, Greece, during the classical period when modern Western concepts of democracy, drama, history, and philosophy were born. Using primary sources and survey texts, the history of the period is considered in terms of its cultural, political, and social structures and how those structures have influenced the modern Western world. Works of Athenian drama, including both tragedy and comedy, are read and discussed in their historical and cultural contexts, allowing for a deeper understanding of their authors’ intent during composition, their audiences’ reactions during performance, and their influence on both the development of drama in the modern Western world and contemporary media.

Full year — Grade 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

In this course, students build a tool kit to serve them throughout their lives and careers. They gain an understanding of core business concepts—from economics, investing, and accounting to law, leadership, and negotiation. Students rekindle the intellectual curiosity of early childhood, develop uncommon habits of mind, discover conversational courage, and strengthen interpersonal effectiveness. Through introspection, they deepen their capacity for joy and impact. Students collaborate, working through confusion to comprehension together. They serve one another, planning and executing a shared voyage of discovery. From course architecture to the Sages program, from online resources to performance evaluation, students shoulder collective responsibility for their learning.

First semester — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course introduces students to myths and legends from the past and the complex roles they played in ancient societies. These traditional tales are examined not only for their literary and artistic value, but also within their social, cultural, and religious contexts through ancient art, architecture, and surviving literary sources. Theories of modern scholars who have attempted to decode meaning behind the tales of gods and heroes are discussed. Students come to appreciate the impact of these myths on art and music in the modern world and see the relevance of these stories to their own lives.

First semester — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Where does the energy we use come from? How did coal become such a ubiquitous energy source? What are the alternatives to coal and other fossil fuels? What are the environmental impacts of different energy sources? What has been the historical use and development of each energy source? In this course, a seminar approach is used to address these questions. Beginning with coal, students learn about its chemical and physical properties, natural development, history and use as an energy source, economic impact, and impact on human health. Each student then chooses an energy source to research. Students present an in-depth analysis of their source that includes answers to questions posed during the coal study. The main forms of evaluation are class work, project work, and presentation.

Two repeatable semesters — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets twice per cycle

This discussion-based seminar explores the boundaries of what it means to be human and includes the history of science, philosophy, literature, and media studies. How do we distinguish ourselves as different from machines, or even animals? How did natural philosophers—and how do contemporary scientists—explain what being human means? To consider the history of what it means to be alive and human, students read primary literature from philosophers and scientists taken from the Enlightenment onward, as well as a few ancient texts and fiction pieces beginning with the Romantic era. Some television shows and films are also analyzed. Students acquire historical context to explain why certain works, such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, are timeless and ethically meaningful, and they have opportunities to suggest readings, visual media, and analysis.

Two identical semesters — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets twice per cycle

This course approaches graphic design—a medium that can be studied and mastered, and which ultimately informs everything we think about—as a liberal art. Through the aesthetic lens, it explores the ways in which we navigate the world of politics, injustice, labor, race, gender, and inequity. Students examine moments when dissent moves from the margins of society to its very center; how, having begun as something mostly unorganized and unruly in real or virtual space, it suddenly erupts into the mainstream. Students examine the look of resistance through practical and theoretical exercises. They create projects using manual printing processes and Adobe® Photoshop® and Illustrator®. Students leave the class not only with knowledge of how the marginalized can use irony, subversion, and provocation to disrupt systems, but also with a firm grasp on historical and contemporary methods of printing, distribution, analog and digital dissemination, viral movements, and signs and symbols.

First semester — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets twice per cycle

This course, a one-time offering this year, examines the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic and what can be learned from it. It takes an interdisciplinary look at the changing world students are experiencing firsthand. Students view the pandemic through an array of lenses—public policy, politics, science, economics, statistics, demography, social justice, media, spectator sports, and popular culture—and consider responses in the performing, visual, and literary arts as well. The seminar-style format includes resident and outside experts in various fields in conversation with students. Students demonstrate their learning through journal reflections and a capstone project in the medium of their choice.

Second semester — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets twice per cycle

In 1837, Horace Mann became the first secretary of the newly created Massachusetts Board of Education. Mann believed that a nonsectarian “common school” system, in which every student had the opportunity to be educated at local taxpayer expense, was key to the success of democracy. His ideas became the basis for the country’s public school system. Since then, the public system has struggled to educate all children equally. How do class, race, geography, and politics factor into the kind of education that children receive? This course examines issues surrounding public school systems in the United States, such as funding, segregation, the charter school movement, teachers’ unions, and various government efforts that have attempted to improve the nation’s schools.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course offers a comprehensive overview of the major topics in psychology: developmental principles, physiological psychology, learning and memory, personality development, emotion and cognition, abnormal psychology, and social psychology. It introduces students to the wide scope of psychological science; it is not a preparation course for the AP exam. A capstone project is the focus of the final month.

Two identical semesters — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course addresses overarching issues in criminal law, including origins of the Anglo-American system, fundamental constitutional protections (proof beyond a reasonable doubt, right to a trial by a jury of peers, protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, right of habeas corpus, right against self-incrimination, right to confront witnesses, and due process), criminal responsibility (diminished capacity, the insanity defense, and duress), and proof (reliability of eyewitness evidence and confessions and the role of expert and forensic evidence). The course includes a field trip to observe a criminal trial. Topics are addressed through mock-trial simulations, readings and media materials, guest speakers, and a required original research project.

Second semester — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course analyzes how law and history have combined to create the social construction of race and racial hierarchy in the United States. Contemporary analysis of racism in America finds that it less often takes the form of explicit aggression typified by Jim Crow and the Ku Klux Klan and instead is expressed through implicit bias, microaggressions, color-blindness, and unconscious systematic behaviors that result in unequal access to resources and justice. Such disparities are created by legal, economic, social, and political structures. Because law is so closely intertwined with economics, politics, and society, it is an excellent vehicle for understanding how systems and institutional biases are created. By examining the historical and legal evolution of race in America, students hone their historical analysis skills, explore how race functions in society and within their own lives, conduct legal analysis, study the media’s representation of identity, and build communication skills needed to discuss race.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This multimedia look at the history and regional identity of Los Angeles leads students from its early beginnings as a Spanish land grant to present utopic and dystopic visions of the city. Through histories, novels, short stories, and cinema, students are presented with contrasts between the Los Angeles of popular imagination and its often rugged realities. Classes include lectures, student-led discussions, guided viewings, and debates. Topics include the city’s Mexican-American roots, the politics of water and real estate, “Hollywoodization” and the marketing of “L.A.,” urbanization, and multicultural Los Angeles. Students complete two central projects: an in-depth profile to be presented about an important historical site and an independent analysis of a relevant narrative work in fiction or cinema.

First semester — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students examine moral issues of everyday life and ask questions about character, conduct, and social justice against the backdrop of ethical writings from the fifth century BCE to philosophers of today. Major ethical theories of Western tradition as well as some Eastern views are discussed and applied to human dilemmas and current problems. Actions reflective of individual or social values, which may include integrity, justice, responsibility, and respect, are debated. Students come to understand the ethical implications surrounding individual and social experience and relationships through critical reading and applied analysis. This course intends to sharpen the process used to make moral decisions by developing a breadth of perspective, enabling students to employ the wisdom of the past while developing articulate critical perspectives of their own.

Two identical semesters — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course explores why human societal relationships can devolve into discord and violence. Using interdisciplinary and critical approaches, students discuss concepts of group identity and societal dynamics and how they can interplay with cultural and historical factors to generate the most devastating of collective human experiences. A seminar-style, case-study approach is used to explore these issues. Methods include reading texts and articles, reviewing other media sources, participating in group work and class discussion, and undertaking a variety of assignments.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets twice per cycle

This course introduces linguistics and its many subdisciplines through an in-depth study of the English language. Students first learn how linguists study and describe languages scientifically. They explore what language is and discuss how it is stored, processed, and produced by the brain. English works as a system, and by comparing it with other world languages, students discover what makes it unique. Next, language is examined as a marker of identity as students analyze the geographic and social diversity of English, look at its many dialects, and ask why people sometimes care so much about how they themselves—and often others—speak. Finally, students consider the origins of this linguistic system by surveying its history, examining literature from Beowulf to the present day, asking where English came from, and learning how linguists reconstruct stages of language that predate writing.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course offers an in-depth look into the influence of history on the culture of contemporary China. Analyzing case studies and primary sources, like the legend of Mulan and Confucianism, students learn about cultural concepts, such as “eating bitterness” and filial piety, that have been instrumental in shaping China’s domestic development, foreign policy, and current affairs. The goal is for students to acquire an understanding of modern Chinese development at the national and personal level. Students gain appreciation for the differences between Chinese and Western culture and advance their understanding of cultural identity. No prior Chinese language study is required.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students examine the emergence of the Middle East from imperialism to the current upheavals in the region and focus on topics such as Arab-identity politics, Islamic fundamentalism, the Arab–Israeli conflict, and the impact of Western policies. Students focus on the twentieth-century experience and assess the region’s developments from political, economic, cultural, and ideological perspectives. Whirlwind events following the tragedy of 9/11 conclude the analysis. The Fertile Crescent, Anatolia, the Arabian Peninsula, the Persian Gulf, and North Africa serve as the geographic backdrop, while an appreciation of how the monotheistic faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have shaped the region are interwoven into this area-studies discourse. Readings include popular and scholarly historical surveys, selections from literary works, primary-source documents, and newspaper editorials. Student work includes quizzes, tests, in-class writings, brief oral presentations, and a research paper of moderate length.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

American society is increasingly intertwined with the whole of the global community, but Latin America holds special significance to understanding local and national issues and circumstances. Its connection to economic and political matters and its social and cultural influence on the United States should lead to a more considered understanding of this neighboring region. For the purposes of the course, “Latin America” is defined as Mexico, Central America, and South America. Students examine the historical, cultural, and societal facets of Latin American countries and peoples, searching for both unique identities and common connections. They then assess the manner in which those identities and connections play out in relation to local and national circumstances. This interdisciplinary course includes literature, music, art, film, articles from various media, guest educators, and local field trips. Students participate in journal work, in-class discussions and presentations, and individual and collaborative projects.

Second semester, repeatable — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course focuses on developing skills involved in thoughtfully documenting a community and offers students the opportunity to both travel abroad and look at their own city through a new lens. Regardless of location, a complex set of questions arises when attempting to engage people with a camera. By studying the history of documentary films, journalistic ethics, and the role filmmaking can play in social change, students increase their ability to think critically about cross-cultural engagement as well as gain video-production skills. This multifaceted course prepares students to conduct interviews, use a camera, record sound, and assemble powerful documentary pieces of varying lengths and is particularly suited for students interested in journalism, travel, ethics, and social justice.

Two identical semesters — Grade 12 — Meets twice per cycle

This course is designed to give students a deeper understanding of the connection between major art forms: music, dance, theater, and visual art. Students study trends and influences between these disciplines and learn about the political and sociological aspects involved. They are graded on class preparations and discussions, understanding of the material, and one presentation.

Full year — Grade 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

The principal goals of this course are to introduce concepts in Western philosophy and a sense of what it means to think philosophically, and to begin to see how philosophical thought informs and animates artistic and scientific endeavors. These goals are approached through inquiry into the three perceptions of reality: beyond space and time, within space and time, and within ourselves. The course focuses on these central philosophical concepts as articulated by poets, novelists, filmmakers, and playwrights in such works as Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood, Oedipus the King, Paradise Lost, and The Decalogue. One text, Philosophy: A Text with Readings, anchors the inquiry whereas other works, ranging from 2001: A Space Odyssey to A Mathematician’s Apology, further the endeavor. As the year progresses, students are asked to develop a research project with a partner or in a small group. The choices of expression for the project include a paper, film, dance piece, or video game.

Two identical semesters — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course traces a history of women, sexuality, and gender from ancient to modern times. It focuses on feminism and gender issues from the twentieth century to the present and introduces key concepts in the study of sex and gender. The course is rooted in discussion and explores these concepts through a variety of media. Much of the content is driven by student interests and concerns. Students complete a research project presented in a form of their choice. They also prepare an independent project in lieu of a final examination.

Full year — Grade 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Designed for film appreciation, criticism, and analysis, this course teaches students the art of “reading” film. Students are taken step-by-step through the vocabulary of film with the goal of gaining a command of “the grammar of film” and an understanding of how films tell their stories. Bonnie and Clyde is used as a benchmark to look at the movements and directors preceding and following that seminal film, including, among others, film noir, the French New Wave (particularly François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard), Peter Bogdanovich, and Alfonso Cuarón. More than one-hundred films are viewed, several of them in their entirety. Films highlighted include A Clockwork Orange, Battleship Potemkin, Casablanca, Citizen Kane, David Lean’s Oliver Twist, The 400 Blows, The Birth of a Nation, There Will Be Blood, and Y tu mamá también. Directors studied in-depth include Lean and Stanley Kubrick. Texts include a notebook prepared by the instructor titled CinStuds and Sidney Lumet’s Making Movies. Over the course of the year, students prepare two term projects and review four films. The first project’s topic is “The Language of Film.” Students choose their topic for the second project. Several tests and a midyear examination are also given.

Two identical semesters — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Religion affects both personal identities and society’s boundaries. It builds up some communities and demonizes others. Our culture contends with competing religious claims over anti-Semitism, violent extremism, the founding of our nation, prayer in public schools, the legacy of slavery, the role of women, and the nature of gender and sexuality. Societies around the world face their own complex sets of issues with religious traditions. In this course, students explore a host of questions about religion and global societies. What is religion? Why are some things called religious and others not? What are the origin stories and scriptures on which world religions are based? Why do people still care about these stories, and how do they use them? Is religion ultimately a force for good or would the world be better off without it? The struggle through these and other questions guide this seminar-style class. The course includes analysis of texts and videos, as well as visits to local religious communities. All perspectives—both religious and nonreligious— are welcome.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students develop leadership skills as well as an understanding of the nature of innovation. Two leadership texts, Peter G. Northouse’s Leadership: Theory and Practice and Joseph C. Rost’s Leadership for the Twenty-First Century, serve as springboards for challenging conventional narratives about leadership. Leadership is examined through the lens of multiple disciplines via the exploration of works by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Thomas L. Friedman, Malcolm Gladwell, Steve Jobs, and Michael Lewis. Students are exposed to the nature of leadership through in-class activities ranging from simulations and guest lectures to improvisational comedy workshops, role plays, and public-speaking exercises. Students are assessed on the synthesis, evaluation, and application of course materials. In general, this course teaches students to focus more on questions of “How?” and “Why?” rather than on “What?” Assessments include written tests, frequent class presentations, group projects, and public-engagement work such as opinion–editorial articles and partnerships with local nonprofit organizations.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Every region on Earth experiences the effects of natural hazards. This laboratory course discusses how science impacts society’s understanding of and responses to the natural world and aims to give students a foundation for critically evaluating future approaches to managing hazards from a technical, personal, and societal point of view. During the first half of each unit, students focus on the scientific understanding of natural processes that cause natural disasters, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods. In the second half, students examine how society evaluates and confronts the dangers posed by these natural processes from a political, social, and ethical perspective. Students study technological advances that allow a large population to monitor, predict, and warn society about natural hazards and impending disasters. Case studies of recent and past natural disasters are discussed, focusing on both the geological and meteorological context of the hazard and its impact on individuals, society, and the environment.
Prerequisite: Chemistry or C+ in Geology and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course is designed for advanced Latin students who have successfully completed AP Latin and wish to continue their study of the language and Roman society and culture. Students read challenging and substantial passages of Latin poetry and prose to develop their facility with the language, an appreciation for the variety of Latin styles from one historical period to the next, and an ability to analyze and interpret a text. The legacy of the Latin language and classical literature is of primary interest, and students read Latin outside of the classical period to appreciate the impact that classical literature has had and continues to have on art, music, and film. Students may take this course in the fifth or sixth year of the Latin program.
Prerequisite: B in AP Latin and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course offers students the opportunity to use their advanced Spanish-language skills in creative and analytical ways. Those skills may be applied to a wide range of topics, from art and literature to current events, economics, history, politics, and social studies. The seminar focuses on the history of Spain and Latin America as well as on contemporary political and social issues related to both regions. It includes historical analysis from the ancient, or pre-Colombian, period through modern times, including discovery of the New World, independence of the colonies, and contemporary issues. The course is conducted entirely in Spanish and involves daily reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students are expected to read four to five pages every day. The material is discussed in class, and videos related to the historical events and reading material are viewed. Historical movies are viewed every few units. Two research papers, one within each semester, are due in lieu of examinations.
Prerequisite: AP Spanish Language and Culture or AP Spanish Literature and Culture.

Library and Information Literacy
Full year — Grade 7 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This course develops students’ research abilities, media literacy, and self-management skills. Students explore learning outcomes focused on inquiry, technology, and personal development while they practice skills to succeed and pursue curiosity at Harvard-Westlake, college, and beyond. Through problem solving, critical thinking, and research into real-world topics, students learn how to self-manage, relate to others, and learn effectively; acquire, organize, and store information; evaluate legitimacy and usefulness of sources; practice ethical digital citizenship; and responsibly take part in the ongoing conversation that is research.

Math
Full year — Grade 7 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course reviews and extends the mathematical concepts necessary for algebra. Students investigate, discover, and apply mathematics using a variety of real-world situations. Topics include exponents, geometry, graphing, integers, linear equations, percentages, probability, proportion, ratio, rational numbers, and statistics. Problem-solving techniques, cooperative learning, and critical-thinking skills are emphasized through the use of manipulatives, computer software, and calculators.

Full year — Grade 7 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This fast-paced course challenges students to develop traditional first-year algebra skills and apply them to complex problems. Students must have a thorough knowledge of prealgebra and be able to work at an accelerated pace. Nonroutine problems and special investigations give students the opportunity to think critically and use the problem-solving strategies they learn in class. Nightly homework follows the forty-minute standard of an eighth-grade course.
Prerequisite: Placement test.

Full year — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course investigates traditional algebraic concepts using a variety of problem-solving strategies. Connections between algebra and real-world situations are emphasized. Students are expected to become proficient at solving, writing, and graphing linear equations, inequalities, and systems as well as in solving and graphing quadratic equations. Other topics include radicals and exponents.
Prerequisite: Prealgebra and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This fast-paced course, designed for students with a mastery of prealgebra skills, investigates traditional algebraic concepts using a variety of problem-solving strategies. Students must develop skills quickly and then apply them to complex problems. Students are expected to become proficient in the mechanics of a given topic and in its application to word problems. Mastery is expected in solving, writing, and graphing linear equations, inequalities, and systems as well as in solving and graphing quadratic equations. Other topics include radicals, exponents, and rational expressions.
Prerequisite: Prealgebra or Algebra I: Grade 7 and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course reviews and extends the concepts covered in the first year of algebra and geometry. Increasingly advanced algebraic skills are developed through the integration of principles introduced in those courses. Students solve a wide variety of equations and approach problems using different methods. They solve linear and nonlinear systems using algebraic and graphical methods. Topics include linear and quadratic equations; polynomial, exponential, logarithmic, and introductory rational functions; and analyses of sequences and series.
Prerequisite: Grade 8—Algebra I: Grade 7 and permission of current instructor; Grades 10–12—Algebra, Algebra I, Advanced Algebra I, Geometry, or Advanced Geometry.

Full year — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course provides a study of second-year algebra with greater breadth, depth, and rigor than Advanced Algebra II. Topics include polynomial equations and inequalities; functions and their inverses; linear, quadratic, polynomial, and rational functions and their graphs; logarithmic and exponential functions; sequences and series; conics; and systems of equations, including matrix solutions. Graphing calculators are used to reinforce students’ understanding of concepts.
Prerequisite: Grade 8—Algebra I: Grade 7 and permission of current instructor;Grades 10–12—B in Honors Geometry.

Full year — Grade 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course concentrates on Euclidean geometry while maintaining algebraic skills. Topics include congruent triangles, parallel lines, quadrilaterals and other polygons, the Pythagorean theorem, similar figures, circles, area, volume, coordinate geometry, an introduction to right-triangle trigonometry, and constructions. Students develop deductive reasoning skills through the use of proofs. Computer and/or other hands-on laboratory activities may be used to explore and discover geometric concepts.
Prerequisite: Permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grade 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This fast-paced, proof-based logic course concentrates on the study of Euclidean geometry while incorporating sophisticated algebraic techniques. Geometric concepts include congruent triangles, parallel lines, quadrilaterals, circles, similar figures, the Pythagorean theorem, perimeter, area, volume, regular polygons, and right-triangle trigonometry. Algebraic methods include solving quadratic equations, solving systems of equations, and simplifying radicals as they relate to geometry problems. Students use theorems and definitions to write proofs and solve practical application problems. The underlying theme of the course is the solution of problems by creating logical, well-supported explanations. Computer and/or other hands-on laboratory activities may be used to explore and discover geometric concepts.
Prerequisite: Permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grade 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course provides a study of Euclidean geometry and an introduction to transformational, coordinate, and three-dimensional geometries. It is fast-paced and challenges students to interpret complex written problems and write well-supported solutions to those problems and rigorous proofs. Students participate in nationwide mathematics contests.
Prerequisite: Advanced Algebra I or Honors Algebra II and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grade 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course is open to students with exceptional algebra and geometry skills who show creativity in solving problems, enjoy mathematics, and are interested in exploring the subject in depth. Students study polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions. Other topics include De Moivre’s theorem, sequences and series, analytic geometry, conic sections, parametric and polar equations, and matrices and determinants. Graphing calculators help extend each student’s ability to explore and to do more interesting and difficult problems.
Prerequisite: B in Honors Algebra II.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course reviews and extends the concepts covered in the first year of algebra and geometry. Increasingly advanced algebraic skills are developed through the integration of principles introduced in those courses. Students solve a wide variety of equations and approach problems using different methods. They solve linear and nonlinear systems using algebraic and graphical methods. Topics include linear and quadratic equations; polynomial, exponential, logarithmic, and introductory rational functions; and analyses of sequences and series.
Prerequisite: Grade 8—Algebra I: Grade 7 and permission of current instructor; Grades 10–12—Algebra, Algebra I, Advanced Algebra I, Geometry, or Advanced Geometry.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course reviews and extends the skills and concepts covered in algebra and geometry. Additional topics include complex numbers, polynomial and rational functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, sequences and series, and an introduction to trigonometry. Students are introduced to curve analysis, optimization arguments, and concepts of limits.
Prerequisite: B in Advanced Geometry.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course provides a study of second-year algebra with greater breadth, depth, and rigor than Advanced Algebra II. Topics include polynomial equations and inequalities; functions and their inverses; linear, quadratic, polynomial, and rational functions and their graphs; logarithmic and exponential functions; sequences and series; conics; and systems of equations, including matrix solutions. Graphing calculators are used to reinforce students’ understanding of concepts.
Prerequisite: Grade 8—Algebra I: Grade 7 and permission of current instructor;Grades 10–12—B in Honors Geometry.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course is open to students with exceptional algebra and geometry skills who show creativity in solving problems, enjoy mathematics, and are interested in exploring the subject in depth. Students study polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions. Other topics include De Moivre’s theorem, sequences and series, analytic geometry, conic sections, parametric and polar equations, and matrices and determinants. Graphing calculators help extend each student’s ability to explore and to do more interesting and difficult problems.
Prerequisite: B in Honors Algebra II.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course introduces the study of trigonometric functions using both right-triangle and circular-function approaches. Trigonometric graphs and identities are examined as tools for solving trigonometric equations. The progression of skills taught in algebra and geometry is continued with topics including polynomial, exponential, rational, and logarithmic functions. Graphing techniques of translations, reflections, and scale changes are studied with respect to fundamental functions. The goal of this course is to prepare students for first-year college-level work in mathematics or an AP course, such as AP Statistics.
Prerequisite: Algebra II or higher.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course is for students who anticipate enrolling in any of the following AP courses: Calculus AB, Statistics, and Economics. Topics include the properties of the real number system, the theory of equations, coordinate geometry, relations, functions and their graphs, exponential and logarithmic functions, circular and trigonometric functions, sequences and series, and conic sections. The calculus ideas of limits and slopes of curves are introduced. The graphing calculator is used extensively throughout the course.
Prerequisite: Honors Algebra II or B in Advanced Algebra ll.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Topics covered in this college-level course include the precise definition of limits and continuity, the derivative, techniques of differentiation for the elementary functions, application of the derivative, area under a curve, integrals and the fundamental theorem, numerical methods of integration, integration techniques and applications, analysis of parametric and polar curves, improper integrals, vector-valued functions, infinite series, and elementary differential equations. Students must know the language of functions and be familiar with the properties, algebra, and graphs of functions.
Prerequisite: B in Honors Precalculus. Corequisite: AP Calculus BC examination.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course offers an in-depth study of the techniques and applications of calculus in higher dimensions. It covers in detail all of the topics traditionally covered in a third-semester college calculus course: differentiation of vector-valued functions, optimization, integration on manifolds, Stokes’ theorem, and the divergence theorem. Knowledge of these topics is necessary for students who plan on majoring in mathematics, physics, engineering, economics, statistics, or computer science.
Prerequisite: B in AP Calculus BC or AP Calculus C.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course introduces students to branches of mathematics that may be studied further in college. The essential themes of calculus (the limit, derivative, and integral) are introduced conceptually and reinforced through discussions, graphical analysis, and real-world problems. Sequences and series are examined algebraically and with spreadsheets. Statistical topics include describing and comparing data, sampling and experimental design, confidence intervals, probability, and normal and binomial distributions.
Prerequisite: Precalculus or Advanced Precalculus.

Full year — Grade 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course prepares students to master the theory and practice of four broad themes in statistics: describing data (exploratory data analysis), collecting data (sampling, experimental design, sampling design), understanding random behavior (constructing simulations, probability), and making conclusions from data (inference). Students collaboratively analyze case studies, design and implement statistical experiments, and learn to identify the necessary conditions and mechanics for hypothesis testing. They also gain proficiency with statistical software.
Prerequisite: Advanced Precalculus, Calculus and Statistics, or A in Precalculus. Corequisite: AP Statistics examination.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Topics covered in this college-level course include the algebra of functions and advanced graphing techniques, limits and continuity, the derivative and its applications, techniques of differentiation for the elementary functions, area under a curve, integrals and their applications, and the fundamental theorem of calculus. Concepts are presented on an intuitive level without rigorous proof. A graphing calculator is used throughout the year. Tests and quizzes rely heavily on problem-solving ability; graded problems are not always exactly like homework or in-class problems. Students are expected to apply general concepts in new situations.
Prerequisite: B in Advanced Precalculus. Corequisite: AP Calculus BC examination.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

After reviewing material from the prerequisite course, students learn precise definition of limits, numerical methods of integration, advanced integration techniques, analysis of parametric and polar curves, improper integrals, vector-valued functions, infinite series, and elementary differential equations. Additional numerical and calculator methods, including slope fields and Euler’s method, are introduced. Tests and quizzes rely heavily on problem-solving ability; graded problems are not always exactly like homework or in-class problems. Students are expected to apply general concepts in new situations. The approach is more mathematically rigorous and includes more proof than in AP Calculus AB.
Prerequisite: B in AP Calculus AB. Corequisite: AP Calculus BC examination.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course is for students who have demonstrated ability and interest in studying mathematics beyond the level of calculus. Topics include set theory, vector spaces, basis and dimension, matrix arithmetic, eigenvalues and vectors, and diagonalization. Jordan canonical form, graph theory, and Markov processes may also be covered. The focus is on exposing students to a foundational branch of mathematics while developing their ability to think and communicate mathematical ideas at the advanced level. Students learn to write proofs and are expected to become familiar with LaTeX, an industry-standard document-preparation system for high-quality typesetting. The majority of class time is spent in discussion and working with peers and the instructor.
Prerequisite: AP Calculus BC or AP Calculus C.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students continue to develop proof-writing skills and are introduced to different concepts in number theory. The course begins with a review of proof techniques and introduces the art of combinatorial proofs. It transitions into an elementary number theory course, covering polygonal numbers, discrete calculus, primes and prime factorizations, Euler’s totient function, modular congruences, ciphers, divisor-counting functions, amicable pairs, perfect numbers, the Möbius function, and quadratic residues and reciprocity, culminating in the proof of Fermat’s two squares theorem. The course finishes with analytic number theory topics: big O notation, function analysis, prime number distribution, harmonic numbers, the Basel problem, and the Riemann zeta function. Along the way, the Java programming language and the PARI/GP computer algebra system may be used to further enhance the depth to which topics are studied. Students use and develop a proficiency in LaTeX typesetting software to compile homework. Topics from other areas of mathematics are developed as necessary. Additional topics may be covered if time permits. Previous experience with Java, PARI/GP, and LaTeX is not required.
Prerequisite: Linear Algebra or Multivariable Calculus.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course introduces students to the principles of computer science. Students learn the guiding principles of object-oriented software design and programming in Java. They apply concepts such as abstraction, encapsulation, inheritance, and arrays to solve problems. Topics include algorithm design, writing classes, programming principles, class hierarchy, inheritance, and interfaces. Material is introduced in presentations that are reinforced through homework. Students are assigned laboratory exercises to develop their ability to create solutions to problems in realistic situations. Students may not take AP Computer Science A and The Principles of Computer Science concurrently.
Prerequisite: Introduction to Programming II or The Principles of Computer Science and permission of current instructor. Corequisite: AP Computer Science A examination.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course introduces seven big ideas in computing: creativity in arts and science, abstraction, problem analysis using data, algorithms, programming, the internet, and the societal impact of computing. Students develop simulations to explore questions that interest them. Works are created that measure: 1) students’ exploration of the impact of computing on social, economic, and cultural life and 2) their creation of a computational artifact through the design, development, and testing of software. Students may not take The Principles of Computer Science and AP Computer Science A concurrently.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students extend skills learned in the prerequisite course through an investigation of abstract data structures and practical program design. The Java programming language is used, but the course stresses universal programming concepts that can be applied to most languages. The course covers implementations and performance analyses of arrays, lists, stacks, queues, trees, heaps, maps, and graphs, including Java’s implementation through the Java collections framework. Practical skills, such as basic graphical user interfaces and I/O, complement these theoretical topics. Critical programming concepts such as abstraction, encapsulation, inheritance, polymorphism, and top-down design are reinforced as students create complete executable programs from start to finish. Students choose the proper data structures to create solutions to tasks such as spell-checking, lossless data compression, and Markov chain-based text generation.
Prerequisite: AP Computer Science A.

Full year — Grade 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course for students who wish to extend their knowledge of computer science and sample a variety of advanced topics includes computer security and hacking, artificial intelligence and machine learning, advanced algorithmic techniques (such as dynamic programming and divide-and-conquer), multithreading and concurrency, and the unsolved P vs. NP problem. Throughout the year, students give presentations related to each of these subjects. They are exposed to C and Python programming languages and learn to code in Swift and C#. Students also learn programming for iOS and UNITY, enabling them to develop advanced projects independently. Students are evaluated on the quality and overall design of these projects and present them at the end of the year. Topics may change depending on advances in computer science as well as the interests and needs of the class.
Prerequisite: Honors Design and Data Structures.

Two identical semesters — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This semester elective helps students develop problem-solving skills and exercise logical abilities. Students learn programming fundamentals in Java. Topics include input, output, variables, conditional control structures, random numbers, and loops. Programming assignments include a Fahrenheit-to-Celsius converter, a multiplication tutoring program, and rock-paper-scissors and Nim number games. Students produce simple graphics on the screen and learn how to output colorful geometric shapes and the fractal Sierpinski triangle. Students use BlueJ, a visual and interactive Java programming environment. Programming involves mathematical and logical reasoning; therefore, successful completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, Advanced Algebra I or higher is recommended.

Two identical semesters — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This semester elective is a continuation of Introduction to Programming I. Students write Java programs using Karel J. Robot, a robot simulator that introduces students to object-oriented programming concepts. Topics include methods, constructors, classes, objects, and inheritance. Tasks include programming a robot to complete a steeplechase and to escape a maze. Students write programs to determine if a word is a palindrome and to simulate the game of hangman. Students use BlueJ, a visual and interactive Java programming environment. Programming involves mathematical and logical reasoning; therefore, successful completion of Advanced Algebra I or higher is recommended.
Prerequisite: Introduction to Programming I.

Two repeatable semesters — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

In this interdisciplinary elective, students use LEGO®’s EV3 and other systems to build robots. ROBOTC, a C-based language, is used to program them. Students practice real-world engineering, computer science, design, mathematics, and applied physics concepts. They learn hands-on building techniques combined with electronics and problem solving. Note that students who join the middle school’s robotics team are not required to take this course; conversely, students can take this course without joining the team.

Full year — Grade 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course introduces students to the principles of micro- and macroeconomics. The microeconomic portion of the course focuses on the pervasive problem of scarcity and how individual choices, incentives, and systems of prices affect the allocation of limited resources among competing uses. This includes an analysis of the effect of competition, cartels, monopolies, and government regulation on resource allocation and human welfare. The macroeconomic portion of this course is an introductory study of the domestic and international factors affecting national income, inflation, and unemployment. Among these factors, the role of money and government taxation and expenditure policy is emphasized.
Prerequisite: B in Advanced Precalculus. Corequisite: AP Microeconomics and Macroeconomics examinations.

Performing Arts
Full year — Grade 7 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This course is for boys who want to sing and learn to use their voices effectively. The curriculum focuses on the male voice and all aspects of voice change. Boys in any stage of voice maturation are encouraged to join. Typically, the seventh-grade boys’ chorus is made up of new baritones, mid-voice tenors, and unchanged voices. A varied repertoire is explored, with an emphasis on vocal technique and music-reading skills. The boys’ chorus merges with the girls’ chorus periodically to prepare for special performances and events. After-school rehearsals are usually limited to two during first semester and three during second semester.

Full year — Grade 7 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This course is for girls who want to sing and learn to use their voices effectively. The curriculum focuses on breathing, tone production, and the balance and coordination of the young voice. Music-reading and listening skills are emphasized. Girls in any stage of voice maturation are encouraged to join. Typically, the seventh-grade girls’ chorus comprises a range of young singers who come together to express themselves musically, explore new repertoire, and perform with newfound friends. The girls’ chorus merges with the boys’ chorus periodically to prepare for special performances and events. After-school rehearsals are usually limited to two during first semester and three during second semester.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 7, 8, and 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This advanced performance ensemble is for choral singers with previous choral experience, although music-reading skills are not required. The ensemble comprises young women who are intermediate and more advanced singers. The repertoire is varied and includes a cappella, classical, jazz, and “pop” literature. Independent a cappella groups may be derived from this ensemble. Vocal Ensemble represents the school in the community. After-school rehearsals are usually limited to two during first semester and three during second semester.
Prerequisite: Audition or prior enrollment.

First semester, repeatable — Grades 7, 8, and 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This course for boys teaches intermediate music-reading skills and builds on vocal techniques such as breathing, vowel production, range, and intonation. The basic elements of music are covered, with a focus on rhythm and melody. Students develop sight-singing skills through the use of the rhythmic counting system and solfeggio. Students enrolled in this course are eligible to participate in concert with Boys’ Chorus and Madrigals. Extra rehearsals and individual meetings with the instructor are required for participation in these additional performance opportunities.
Prerequisite: Audition or prior enrollment.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This advanced choral ensemble is for experienced singers who are dedicated to the choral art and possess some sight-singing skills. The ensemble consists of students of all genders and encourages, equally, the unchanged, changed, and changing voice. The repertoire is drawn from a cappella as well as accompanied styles of all genres, ranging from classical to contemporary. Independent a cappella groups may be derived from this ensemble. Madrigals represent the school in the community. After-school rehearsals are usually limited to two during first semester and three during second semester.
Prerequisite: Audition or prior enrollment.

Two repeatable semesters — Grade 9 — Meets 1 period per cycle

This class is designed for advanced singers to further explore vocal technique. Individual instruction is given in breathing, vocal production, and interpretation. The repertoire is chosen primarily from classical literature, although other genres are considered. The course meets one period per cycle, as arranged by the instructor. Each member of the class performs at least one time as a soloist during the course of the semester.
Prerequisite: Application or prior enrollment. Corequisite: Vocal Ensemble or Madrigals.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Wolverine Chorus is composed of nonauditioned male voices from the tenth through twelfth grades. It is designed to teach basic vocal techniques such as vowel production, vocal breathing and range, intonation, blend, and diction. It includes a spectrum of musical styles from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century, including classical, barbershop, and contemporary a cappella music. Sight-singing ability, while helpful, is not required for this course. Wolverine Chorus performs in three major concerts during the school year and may participate in festivals during second semester. Some extra rehearsals and a small amount of work outside the classroom are required.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Chamber Singers is a highly selective soprano/alto/tenor/bass ensemble drawn from yearly auditions. Its membership of twenty-eight to thirty-two students is based upon vocal talent and sight-reading and musicianship skills. Because of its quick pace, sophisticated rehearsal requirements, and additional performing opportunities, Chamber Singers demands a significantly larger amount of outside work than the other choral classes. The advanced repertoire is taken from the full spectrum of the choral art. A particular emphasis is placed upon unique twentieth- and twenty-first-century music, as well as medium-sized works of the great classical composers. The ensemble participates in community events, three major concerts, and many festivals during the school year. Chamber Singers may tour during spring break. Extra rehearsals are required.
Prerequisite: Audition or prior enrollment.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets twice per cycle

The eight to twelve skilled members selected to enroll in this course are auditioned out of Chamber Singers. Sight singing, vocal versatility, and musical memorization skills are mandatory. Vocal stylization, harmonic balance, scat-singing technique, and vibrato usage are addressed. The HW Jazz Singers repertoire is based primarily upon standard jazz canon, although “pop” and contemporary a cappella styles are also performed. The ensemble participates in community events, three major concerts, one spring festival, and any planned Chamber Singers spring break tour. Extra rehearsals are required.
Prerequisite: Audition or prior enrollment. Corequisite: Bel Canto, Wolverine Chorus, or Chamber Singers.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This nonauditioned class is composed of female voices from the tenth through twelfth grades. The class introduces choral techniques such as diction, blend, voicing, intonation, and vowel production. Advanced choral skills, such as multipart singing, stylistic tonal modification, and vibrato, also are addressed. It covers a variety of musical styles from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century, as well as some arrangements of popular a cappella and Broadway music. Sight-singing ability is not a prerequisite, but it is helpful. Bel Canto performs in three major concerts during the school year and also participates in festivals during second semester. Extra rehearsals and work outside the classroom, while minimal, are required.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 7, 8, and 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course introduces students who have no prior experience playing a stringed instrument to the violin, viola, cello, or double bass. Students are provided with a school instrument and daily group instruction. By the end of the year, students read music written in a variety of styles. Intensive study of music literature, technique, ear training, and music theory make possible a lifelong involvement and appreciation for the discipline of instrumental music. After-school rehearsals, usually one each in the winter and spring, prepare students for the biannual concerts in which they perform.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 7, 8, and 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course provides an opportunity for students with previous playing experience on a stringed instrument to further develop technical and musicianship skills. Students concentrate on more advanced technique, including shifting, tuning instruments, vibrato, ensemble playing, altered fingerings, bowing styles, and expressive playing. Technique is taught through carefully sequenced orchestral repertoire. Students learn about different eras and styles of music. Professional conduct and careful listening are stressed to prepare students for future participation in more advanced orchestras. After-school rehearsals, usually one each in the winter and spring, prepare students for the biannual concerts in which they perform.
Prerequisite: Audition or prior enrollment.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 7, 8, and 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This is the most advanced symphonic music ensemble on the middle school campus. In this course, students with advanced playing experience rehearse and perform music of various styles and periods. Auditions for this ensemble are held in the spring. Students are exposed to string, wind, and symphonic literature throughout the course, and the classwork provides appropriate challenges and technical difficulties to all members. This orchestra performs in three concerts and participates in a nationally recognized competition or festival. Extra rehearsals outside the classroom, while minimal, are required.
Prerequisite: Audition or prior enrollment.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This is an advanced class for string, woodwind, brass, and percussion players with their own instruments (exceptions are granted for cello, bass, low brass, and percussion). The repertoire is drawn from a wide range of styles and periods, and original (i.e., nonsimplified) editions are used. Symphony students perform in three concerts during the school year. A few after-school rehearsals are added the week before concerts. Because of ensemble balance requirements, students who audition for Symphony must be prepared to honor the commitment that participation in this program entails.
Prerequisite: Audition or prior enrollment.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This is a performance-oriented course for string players with at least one year of instrumental training. Students who wish to eventually place into Symphony should take this course. Most members of the group have had at least three years of ensemble experience. Basic performance skills include tone production, intonation, style, technique, and ensemble balance. The ensemble works frequently in sectional rehearsals, but students also receive individual coaching. A few after-school rehearsals before concerts are required.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course is for wind and brass players with at least one year of instrumental training. Most members of the group have had at least three years of ensemble experience. Basic performance skills include tone production, intonation, style, technique, and ensemble balance. The ensemble works frequently in sectional rehearsals, but students also receive individual coaching. A few after-school rehearsals before concerts are required.

Full year — Grade 7 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course provides an opportunity for students with no prior experience to learn how to play a woodwind or brass instrument, including the flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, euphonium, or tuba. Students learn to care for their instruments. They also learn the fundamentals of music theory and how to read music. Students enrolled in this class are provided with a school instrument, texts for the class, and daily group instruction. By the end of the year, students become proficient readers of music and acquire the proper technique to ensure a lifelong appreciation of and involvement in the discipline of instrumental music. After-school rehearsals, usually one each in the winter and spring, prepare students for the biannual concerts in which they perform.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 7, 8, and 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course provides an opportunity for students with between one and four years of playing experience on a wind, brass, or percussion instrument to further develop technical and musicianship skills. Auditions for this ensemble are held in the spring, and placement is at the discretion of the conductor. Students learn how to play an instrument in a large ensemble, how to follow a conductor, and what it means to be part of a musical team. Students are exposed to a variety of musical styles, ranging from classical to popular. The repertoire is sequenced so that concepts learned in class are continually reinforced, and students are engaged and challenged. After-school rehearsals, usually one each in the winter and spring, prepare students for the biannual concerts in which they perform.
Prerequisite: Audition or prior enrollment.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 7, 8, and 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course is open to advanced wind, brass, and percussion players whose skill level is beyond the intermediate stages of learning how to play an instrument. Students must have at least two years of playing experience as a member of a large ensemble. Auditions for this ensemble are held in the spring, and placement is at the discretion of the conductor. There is an emphasis on learning how to adjust one’s intonation in relationship to others, as well as on interpreting the music beyond the notes printed on the page. Musical expression, phrasing, tone quality, challenging technical passages, and the opportunity to become familiar with classic symphonic-band repertoire are all elements covered in this performing ensemble. After-school rehearsals, usually one each in the winter and spring, prepare students for the biannual concerts in which they perform.
Prerequisite: Audition or prior enrollment.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course provides an opportunity for students to rehearse and perform jazz and blues in big band and jazz combo settings. The instrumentation for this class includes piano, guitar, bass, drums, saxophone, trumpet, and trombone. The coursework also covers some music theory and basic improvisation skills. Because class time is spent on ensemble work, a strong commitment to individual practice outside of class is essential for all students. There are approximately four after-school rehearsals each semester.
Prerequisite: Audition or prior enrollment.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This class teaches guitarists, electric bassists, and drummers the fundamental techniques of ensemble rehearsal. Curriculum topics include basic instrument maintenance, intonation, rehearsal techniques, music theory, and playing from written arrangements, as well as learning music by listening to recordings.
Prerequisite: Audition or prior enrollment.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course is for experienced to advanced players. Each spring, students may audition for this class—a band molded from a traditional big-band set-up (five trumpets, four trombones, five saxophones, piano, bass, drums, and guitar). Students who feel qualified on nontraditional instruments (e.g., strings, mallets, Latin percussion, etc.) may also audition for placement consideration. The course of study for the ensemble includes advanced high school and college repertoire, student-written pieces, and commissions from professional jazz writers. In-depth areas of jazz and “commercial music” performance skills (tone quality, intonation, sectional balance, improvisational techniques, and style) are the major focus of the coursework. The class studies big-band charts and classic recordings representing various historical periods and styles of jazz. Additional after-school rehearsals may be scheduled for concerts, recording sessions, and extra performances. The Harvard-Westlake Jazz Explorers, the school’s top jazz combo, is selected from members of the Jazz Band. Additional small combos may be formed at the instructor’s discretion.
Prerequisite: Audition or prior enrollment.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Designed for the intermediate-to-advanced jazz player, this is a performance-oriented class for brass, woodwind, keyboard, and rhythm-section players who desire an intensive experience studying jazz music. Students who wish to eventually place into Jazz Band should audition for this course. Classwork focuses upon performance skills, ensemble techniques, reading, improvisation, and specific jazz techniques and styles. The materials are chosen from standard big-band arrangements and combo charts. The class provides a unique opportunity for individuals to develop their overall playing skills while working in alternating settings of a twenty-two piece jazz band and jazz combos. Advanced members of this class may audition for the smaller combos that rehearse during class time. Selection for placement in these smaller groups can be competitive. Studio Jazz Band and its small combos perform in several concerts during the school year. Additional after-school rehearsals are scheduled before concerts and as needed.
Prerequisite: Audition or prior enrollment.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Designed for the less-experienced jazz player, this is a performance-oriented class for brass, woodwind, keyboard, and rhythm-section players who have had at least two years of instrumental training. Students who wish to eventually place into Studio Jazz Band or Jazz Band should audition for this course. Classwork focuses on performance skills, ensemble techniques, reading, improvisation, and specific jazz techniques and styles. The materials are chosen from standard jazz repertoire and classic jazz combo arrangements. The class provides an opportunity for students to develop their overall playing skills while working in a smaller jazz band. Jazz Ensemble performs in several concerts during the school year, and additional after-school rehearsals are scheduled as needed.
Prerequisite: Audition or prior enrollment.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This class is for students who play rhythm-section instruments (piano, bass, drums, or guitar). It is a beginning-level course on the fundamentals of good rhythm-section playing. Issues such as timekeeping, functional musical literacy, transcription, and modern performance practices are emphasized. Much of the class is dedicated to learning scales, jazz harmony, and improvisational techniques. Enrollment may be limited.

Two identical semesters — Grade 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This course enables already-practicing student musicians to grasp aspects of music that they may not be able to focus on in their individual musical studies. This includes areas of music theory, such as rhythm, harmony, melody, scales, orchestration, and form. Students are introduced to basic elements of music history and to music traditions from diverse cultures. Music technology equipment, including Apple Mac Pro computers, Kurzweil stage pianos, and Logic Pro software, is used on a daily basis. Students should have at least one year of formal music instruction prior to enrolling in this course. Students who complete Music Technology for Musicians I in the first semester have the option to enroll in Music Technology for Musicians II in the second semester.
Prerequisite: A middle school instrumental or choral music course.

Second semester — Grade 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

Students advance to more complex studies in music theory, composition, orchestration, and music history and cultural traditions. Students are also introduced to ear training and film scoring. Music technology equipment, including Apple Mac Pro computers, Kurzweil stage pianos, and Logic Pro software, is used on a daily basis.
Prerequisite: Music Technology for Musicians I.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course gives students the basic skills and knowledge required for enrollment in AP Music Theory. It covers material such as major and minor key signatures; all forms of major and minor scales and modes; and intervals, triads, and their inversions. The curriculum is dedicated to ear training, sight singing, and dictation and includes intensive exercises for the individual and the class.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Elements of theory, harmony, and form—including scales and keys, intervals, chords, structural analysis and manipulation of Common Practice harmony, as well as melodic and harmonic dictation—are thoroughly explored.
Prerequisite: Beginning Music Theory.

Two repeatable semesters — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 1 block per cycle

Each Music Tutorial offers student members of another Performing Arts course the opportunity to develop discipline-specific skills. The content is determined through individual meetings with the instructor of the tutorial and is intended to supplement and enhance other in-class instruction. Typical tutorials are undertaken in music-related areas, such as composition, arranging, counterpoint, conducting, orchestration, jazz and commercial improvisation, early music, music history, music production, and voice and instrumental study. A limited number of tutorials can be supported by the music faculty each semester, and the one meeting per cycle is arranged by the instructor. Students must be capable of working independently to complete the substantial amount of work assigned.
Prerequisite: Application.

Full year — Grades 7, 8, and 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This course introduces students to the technical and creative elements of contemporary dance. Prior dance experience is not required. Basic studies in modern, jazz, and ballet familiarize students with contemporary movement vocabulary as they develop coordination, agility, flexibility, and proper alignment and gain confidence in self-expression. Students are introduced to the choreographic process in a collaborative setting. The end-of-year informal showcase provides students with an opportunity to present original works.

Two repeatable semesters — Grades 7, 8, and 9 — Meets 4 periods per cycle

This beginner/intermediate course is for dancers with previous training and performance experience. Students develop their technical and analytical skills through choreography. Students perform in a showcase at the end of the semester and participate in after-school rehearsals during the week prior to that event.
Prerequisite: Introduction to Contemporary Dance, audition, or prior enrollment.

Two repeatable semesters — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 4 periods per cycle

This intermediate/advanced course enables dancers to hone their technical and creative skills at a faster pace. Strength and flexibility are further developed through studies in jazz, ballet, and modern techniques. Creativity and self-expression are emphasized through guided improvisations and choreographic assignments. Students expand their critical-thinking capabilities by viewing, analyzing, and discussing dance. The class explores the group creative process as students choreograph, rehearse, and perform as an ensemble. They present their work in a showcase at the end of the semester and participate in after-school rehearsals during the week prior to that event.
Prerequisite: Two semesters of Contemporary Dance Workshop I, audition, or prior enrollment.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course for technically and creatively advanced dancers develops choreographic skills. It focuses on creative movement explorations and improvisations; choreographic design, shape, form, and development; critical and analytical thinking about choreography; and practical experience in rehearsal and performance. Dancers collaborate to choreograph, rehearse, and perform in a professionally produced dance concert. Student participation in after-school rehearsals is required an average of twice per week from November through February and Monday through Saturday during the last three weeks leading up to the March concert.
Prerequisite: Audition or prior enrollment.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This beginning-level course offers an in-depth exploration of dance technique, choreography, improvisation, and performance. Genres that may be explored include modern, contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, musical theater, and other dance forms. Students learn to assemble, compose, and perform their own dances through a series of collaborative choreographic assignments and showcases. The class provides the opportunity to appreciate dance as an art form and a space to experience expression through movement.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This intermediate-level course offers an in-depth exploration of dance technique, choreography, improvisation, and performance. Genres that may be explored include modern, contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, musical theater, and other dance forms. Students collaborate on choreographic assignments that help develop their creative voices, and they perform their work throughout the year. The class provides the opportunity to appreciate dance as an art form and a space to experience expression through movement.
Prerequisite: Contemporary Dance Workshop II or The Art of Dance I.

Two repeatable semesters — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 1 block per cycle

This course is designed for students who have actively participated in the Harvard-Westlake dance curriculum and want to work in depth on a project. The subject and nature of the project is determined by each student with the consent of the instructor. Students present one dance project per semester. A written paper and an oral or performance presentation are required. Meeting times are arranged between the student and teacher.
Prerequisite: Application.

Full year, repeatable — Grade 10 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This advanced-level course offers an in-depth study of choreography and the creative process. Genres that may be explored include modern, contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, musical theater, and many other dance forms. Technique and performance are also examined. Students enrolled in this course become members of the outreach dance company, which focuses on creating community service–based performances. Students perform as an ensemble throughout the year and are given the choice to perform in the annual dance concert. The class provides the opportunity to appreciate dance as an art form and a space to experience expression through movement.
Prerequisite: Dance Production or prior enrollment.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This advanced-level course is designed for the serious dance student. Students choreograph and perform in the annual dance concert and various dance presentations throughout the year. Working as an ensemble is stressed; commitment and discipline are essential. As members of the Advanced Dance II company, students develop as dance artists. The class provides an opportunity to appreciate dance as an art form and a space to experience expression through movement.
Prerequisite: Audition or prior enrollment.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets twice per cycle

This course is for beginner- through advanced-level students interested in studying ballet. Barre technique, body alignment, and proper movement mechanics are emphasized and serve as a strong foundation for dancers, athletes, and actors. Classes are accompanied by a pianist. Students taking this course for a full year may earn one trimester of Physical Education credit.

Two repeatable semesters — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets twice per cycle

This course is for beginner- through advanced-level students interested in studying ballet. Barre technique, body alignment, and proper movement mechanics are emphasized and serve as a strong foundation for dancers, athletes, and actors. Classes are accompanied by a pianist. Students taking this course for a full year may earn one trimester of Physical Education credit.

Two identical semesters — Grade 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This course teaches students the mechanics of acting. It provides opportunities to explore script analysis and performance techniques through a variety of scenes and monologues ranging from ancient Greek to contemporary stage and film literature. Memorization of monologues and scene work is required. The course culminates with a showcase. Showcase rehearsals take place during class, but one or two after-school dress rehearsals may be scheduled.

First semester — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course uses theater games and exercises from a broad spectrum of sources to develop performance skills in the areas of voice, movement, active listening, nonverbal communication, character creation, improvisation, storytelling, and ensemble dynamics. The class introduces the basic language and elements of theater and performance and develops life skills in the areas of communication, observation, concentration, imagination, and empathy. The class is open to both the curious novice and the more experienced young actor. Students perform in a class presentation at the end of the semester.

Second semester — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course builds on the work of The Actor and the Stage I. Students continue to develop their acting skills and begin to apply those skills to scripted material. They explore their own identities as theater artists by creating original works and perform in a class presentation at the end of the semester.
Prerequisite: The Actor and the Stage I.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course combines The Actor and the Stage I in the first semester with The Actor and the Stage II in the second semester.

Two repeatable semesters — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course is both a multiperson scene-study class with a focus on modern American theater and a classical monologue workshop with an emphasis on Shakespeare. Students work on voice and diction, text and character analysis, and physicality and movement. Exercises draw from the work of Cicely Barry, Jon Jory, and Viola Spolin. End-of-semester showcases for invited audiences feature monologues and scene work.
Prerequisite: The Actor and the Stage I–II or The Actor and the Stage II.

Two repeatable semesters — Grade 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course provides in-depth exploration of theatrical forms and performance practices. It focuses on acting training, but also includes directing and dramaturgy; devising and writing original theater pieces; exploring traditional and experimental forms, as well as theatrical theory; and examining works of writers formerly underrepresented in the American theater canon. Students operate as an acting company, with emphasis placed on collaboration and ensemble dynamics. Their work is presented in end-of-semester showcases.
Prerequisite: Advanced Acting.

Two identical semesters — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This course concentrates on developing the stage presence, imagination, and self-confidence of the beginning- and intermediate-level student. The workshop focuses on basic stage skills, body awareness, and vocal technique. Students develop their instincts through improvisation, storytelling, cold readings, and prepared scenes.

Two identical semesters — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This course introduces the basics of theatrical design and production. Students study the fundamentals of lighting, sound, sets, costumes, and theatrical properties as both designers and technicians through lectures, hands-on workshops, demonstrations, and films. In addition to learning to use advanced technical equipment in class, students become a part of a production team and participate as crew members for a Performing Arts department production or complete an equivalent project. This course requires attendance at performances and after-school rehearsals typically scheduled the week prior to the performance.

Second semester, repeatable — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This course builds upon the principles learned in Middle School Stagecraft I. Students study advanced concepts in theatrical design with a particular emphasis on the role of design and technology in the storytelling process. Students also gain an understanding of high-end lighting and sound equipment. The course culminates in a comprehensive design project that is presented to the class. Students enrolled in this course are actively involved in school productions from start to finish and are expected to lead student crews for Performing Arts events. Attendance at performances and after-school rehearsals typically scheduled the week prior to the performance are required.
Prerequisite: Stagecraft or Middle School Stagecraft I.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course continues the lessons taught in Middle School Stagecraft I and II and adds a history of practices and practitioners from Greek theatre to the modern stage. It focuses on the disciplines of scenery, lighting, sound, and stage management. Aesthetics, the design process, and implementation of designs are emphasized. Students master high-end lighting and sound equipment and gain a basic understanding of hand tools and scenic construction practices. The final assessment is based on a project each student chooses from the disciplines offered. Students enrolled in this class serve in an array of roles during rehearsals, technical rehearsals, and live productions. Those not working directly on a project are expected to view the production and contribute to classroom discussions. All students participate in a group strike of scenery, lights, and costumes the day after a production closes.

Two identical semesters — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course introduces basic principles and practices of costume design for the theater. Working on theoretical projects, students proceed from creative brainstorming, script analysis, and research to the sketching of ideas and final presentation of their designs. The class emphasizes the development of design-specific communication skills and provides practice in traditional costume design graphic techniques. Enrollment is limited.

Two identical semesters — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students gain familiarity with the costume shop and are taught how to safely use tools and equipment, such as home sewing machines, steam irons, and specialty tools of the trade. They learn about fabric and commercial pattern usage and create several finished garments by the end of the semester. Class content may vary slightly from year to year. Enrollment is limited.

Two repeatable semesters — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets twice per cycle

This course is for students who have previous experience and demonstrated skill, are self-directed, and are interested in intermediate- or advanced-level projects in costume design and/or costume making. Course content and goals are created by students in collaboration with the instructor. Topics of study may include costume design, costume illustration, pattern making, sewing, costume crafts, and millinery. Enrollment is limited.
Prerequisite: Application.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets twice per cycle

A student may seek permission from the chair of the department to study a Performing Arts subject not offered as an official class or to pursue a particular area of interest in greater depth. Opportunities for directed study are determined by the number of students who apply and an instructor’s current course load. These courses require the commitment of a Harvard-Westlake School Performing Arts department faculty member who agrees to teach the subject of choice during regularly scheduled meeting periods. Directed studies include normal coursework and projects and usually are conducted in the context of a current department production or project. Previous directed studies have included stage management, lighting design, costume design, and musical theater pit orchestra performance for department-directed productions as well as studies in music and dramatic literature. Students should be aware that a directed study may not be available in all disciplines and that these courses cannot be used to fulfill the University of California (UC) system’s VPA (visual and performing arts) subject requirement. For further information, contact the chair of the department.
Prerequisite: Application.

Two repeatable semesters — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets twice per cycle

A student may seek permission from the chair of the department to study a Performing Arts subject not offered as an official class or to pursue a particular area of interest in greater depth. Opportunities for directed study are determined by the number of students who apply and an instructor’s current course load. These courses require the commitment of a Harvard-Westlake School Performing Arts department faculty member who agrees to teach the subject of choice during regularly scheduled meeting periods. Directed studies include normal coursework and projects and usually are conducted in the context of a current department production or project. Previous directed studies have included stage management, lighting design, costume design, and musical theater pit orchestra performance for department-directed productions as well as studies in music and dramatic literature. Students should be aware that a directed study may not be available in all disciplines and that these courses cannot be used to fulfill the University of California (UC) system’s VPA (visual and performing arts) subject requirement. For further information, contact the chair of the department.
Prerequisite: Application.

Physical Education
Full year — Grades 7, 8, and 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This course introduces students to the technical and creative elements of contemporary dance. Prior dance experience is not required. Basic studies in modern, jazz, and ballet familiarize students with contemporary movement vocabulary as they develop coordination, agility, flexibility, and proper alignment and gain confidence in self-expression. Students are introduced to the choreographic process in a collaborative setting. The end-of-year informal showcase provides students with an opportunity to present original works.

Two repeatable semesters — Grades 7, 8, and 9 — Meets 4 periods per cycle

This beginner/intermediate course is for dancers with previous training and performance experience. Students develop their technical and analytical skills through choreography. Students perform in a showcase at the end of the semester and participate in after-school rehearsals during the week prior to that event.
Prerequisite: Introduction to Contemporary Dance, audition, or prior enrollment.

Two repeatable semesters — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 4 periods per cycle

This intermediate/advanced course enables dancers to hone their technical and creative skills at a faster pace. Strength and flexibility are further developed through studies in jazz, ballet, and modern techniques. Creativity and self-expression are emphasized through guided improvisations and choreographic assignments. Students expand their critical-thinking capabilities by viewing, analyzing, and discussing dance. The class explores the group creative process as students choreograph, rehearse, and perform as an ensemble. They present their work in a showcase at the end of the semester and participate in after-school rehearsals during the week prior to that event.
Prerequisite: Two semesters of Contemporary Dance Workshop I, audition, or prior enrollment.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course for technically and creatively advanced dancers develops choreographic skills. It focuses on creative movement explorations and improvisations; choreographic design, shape, form, and development; critical and analytical thinking about choreography; and practical experience in rehearsal and performance. Dancers collaborate to choreograph, rehearse, and perform in a professionally produced dance concert. Student participation in after-school rehearsals is required an average of twice per week from November through February and Monday through Saturday during the last three weeks leading up to the March concert.
Prerequisite: Audition or prior enrollment.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This beginning-level course offers an in-depth exploration of dance technique, choreography, improvisation, and performance. Genres that may be explored include modern, contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, musical theater, and other dance forms. Students learn to assemble, compose, and perform their own dances through a series of collaborative choreographic assignments and showcases. The class provides the opportunity to appreciate dance as an art form and a space to experience expression through movement.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This intermediate-level course offers an in-depth exploration of dance technique, choreography, improvisation, and performance. Genres that may be explored include modern, contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, musical theater, and other dance forms. Students collaborate on choreographic assignments that help develop their creative voices, and they perform their work throughout the year. The class provides the opportunity to appreciate dance as an art form and a space to experience expression through movement.
Prerequisite: Contemporary Dance Workshop II or The Art of Dance I.

Two repeatable semesters — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 1 block per cycle

This course is designed for students who have actively participated in the Harvard-Westlake dance curriculum and want to work in depth on a project. The subject and nature of the project is determined by each student with the consent of the instructor. Students present one dance project per semester. A written paper and an oral or performance presentation are required. Meeting times are arranged between the student and teacher.
Prerequisite: Application.

Full year, repeatable — Grade 10 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This advanced-level course offers an in-depth study of choreography and the creative process. Genres that may be explored include modern, contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, musical theater, and many other dance forms. Technique and performance are also examined. Students enrolled in this course become members of the outreach dance company, which focuses on creating community service–based performances. Students perform as an ensemble throughout the year and are given the choice to perform in the annual dance concert. The class provides the opportunity to appreciate dance as an art form and a space to experience expression through movement.
Prerequisite: Dance Production or prior enrollment.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This advanced-level course is designed for the serious dance student. Students choreograph and perform in the annual dance concert and various dance presentations throughout the year. Working as an ensemble is stressed; commitment and discipline are essential. As members of the Advanced Dance II company, students develop as dance artists. The class provides an opportunity to appreciate dance as an art form and a space to experience expression through movement.
Prerequisite: Audition or prior enrollment.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets twice per cycle

This course is for beginner- through advanced-level students interested in studying ballet. Barre technique, body alignment, and proper movement mechanics are emphasized and serve as a strong foundation for dancers, athletes, and actors. Classes are accompanied by a pianist. Students taking this course for a full year may earn one trimester of Physical Education credit.

Two repeatable semesters — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets twice per cycle

This course is for beginner- through advanced-level students interested in studying ballet. Barre technique, body alignment, and proper movement mechanics are emphasized and serve as a strong foundation for dancers, athletes, and actors. Classes are accompanied by a pianist. Students taking this course for a full year may earn one trimester of Physical Education credit.

Full year — Grade 7 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course introduces students to individual sports, team sports, fitness, and aquatics. The program challenges students to raise their fitness levels and develop motor and leadership skills, good character, and a positive self-image. During first semester, students rotate through activities of varying intensity. In the second semester, students are assigned to one of two tracks. Placement in the sports-performance track is determined by student desire and staff approval. This track alternates between weight-room workouts and playing sports. The fitness track continues to build athletic skills and improve fitness through sports and games.

Two repeatable semesters — Grade 8 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

The eighth-grade program continues to develop the knowledge and skills introduced in Physical Education 7. Students who enroll for the entire year have the opportunity to sign up for the sports-performance track designed to prepare middle school athletes for high school sports. This track alternates between weight-room workouts and playing sports. If space is available, students who enroll for one semester may also sign up. The fitness track continues to teach students to develop lifelong habits and build character through teamwork, communication, and cooperation while playing sports.

First trimester, Second trimester, and Third trimester, repeatable — Grade 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

Students participate in a variety of activities each trimester. These activities may include badminton, basketball, fitness, football, soccer, softball, team handball, ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, weight training, and others deemed appropriate by the Physical Education department.

First trimester, Second trimester, and Third trimester, repeatable — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students participate in a sports performance program designed to prepare them for competition on an interscholastic athletic team. Harvard-Westlake athletes are encouraged to enroll during the off seasons of their sport. Class activities include weight training, agility training, and physical conditioning. Individual student programs comprise exercises aimed at improving performance in sport(s) of their choice.

First trimester, Second trimester, and Third trimester, repeatable — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets twice per cycle

This course provides an introduction to basic yoga and is open to students of all levels. Postures, breath control, and meditation are emphasized. Students learn these practices in the context of a larger mind/body discipline through which they can acquire greater self-awareness. Students work toward an independent daily practice of yoga.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This yearlong introductory course is laboratory and project based. Topics range from practical elements of care to cognitive neuroscience to the meaning of “team.” Units of study include exercise physiology in sports medicine and performance training; care practice; the principles of strength, speed, endurance, and flexibility; testing for strength, speed, and endurance; perception-action coupling; biomechanical analysis and functional movement screens; sports psychology; and leadership. Students are graded on unit tests and quizzes, homework and laboratory assignments, and a capstone project at the end of the year.

Science
Full year — Grade 7 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This laboratory course introduces physical and Earth science concepts through independent and collaborative work. During experiments and other activities, students learn to gather data, interpret results, apply mathematical and computational skills, construct arguments from evidence, and communicate findings. Students spend time learning about natural phenomena, solving problems, performing hands-on laboratory work, and participating in small- and large-group discussions. The course helps students develop scientific and critical thinking and provides a foundational skill set for further scientific study.

Full year — Grade 8 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

Building on the laboratory and problem-solving skills introduced in seventh grade, this course presents chemical and physical processes and how they apply to observable phenomena through laboratory investigation, class discussions, independent reading, and both individual and group projects. Students learn to organize and process laboratory data to synthesize a deeper understanding of the principles that guide the natural world. The central theme of the course is energy. Topics include energy in chemical reactions, heat, power sources, energy transport through waves, and mechanical energy.

Full year — Grade 9 — Meets 1 double and 3 single periods per cycle

This course is a laboratory-based overview of the fundamentals of biology. Students learn about genetics, the structure and biochemical processes of the cell, ecology, evolutionary trends within and among the various kingdoms, and human-systems physiology. Students improve upon the laboratory skills acquired during Integrated Science I and II as they continue to collect and analyze data. Students gain proficiency with a microscope and are introduced to techniques of dissecting specimens and performing physiological experiments. The course helps students make informed decisions regarding the biological issues that society faces.

Full year — Grade 9 — Meets 1 double and 3 single periods per cycle

This course covers similar skills and topics as those taught in Biology, but at a faster pace, in greater detail, and with an emphasis on the molecular approach to biology. The course is designed for, and limited to, those students who have an intense curiosity about the natural world and life as a process. Due to the advanced and accelerated nature of the course, independent student learning and initiative are required. Students are expected to invest the time and energy necessary to synthesize complex and detailed processes.
Prerequisite: Permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grade 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course introduces students to the process of conducting scientific research and has the structure and expectations of a university research course. It provides an open-ended theoretical and experimental research environment in which students: 1) decide what makes a good problem to investigate; 2) decide whether the problem they have chosen lends itself to investigation within the constraints of the laboratory time and resources available to them; 3) analyze their data to formulate clear and logical conclusions; and 4) present their findings in a format that is acceptable to the scientific community. Students are encouraged to consider and plan for experimental uncertainties and, whenever possible, to design and fabricate their own apparatus. Most research topics are in physics and engineering; however any scientific topic that can generate a variety of questions and be built upon from one year to the next is a viable candidate for investigation provided that the research can be conducted within Harvard-Westlake facilities. Class time is used to test the methodologies and experimental procedures that others have used in the area of interest. Once a suitable investigation has been defined and a higher degree of understanding of the topic has been achieved, students work toward conducting and completing their research project, maintain in-class journals, and submit quarterly papers describing the progress of their research. At the end of the year, students produce a scientific paper on their research findings, which is published in the Harvard-Westlake Journal of Science.
Prerequisite: Permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This introductory survey exposes students to some of the major methods of thinking encountered in a postsecondary engineering course. It focuses on habits of mind and problem-solving techniques rather than on computations or analytical content. Students develop an understanding of concepts and hone interpersonal, creative, and problem-solving skills through collaborative completion of challenges. They are exposed to the practices of and specialized fields within several major branches of engineering, including chemical, mechanical, aerospace, and civil. The course is well suited for students considering engineering as a career as well as those curious about what it means to be an engineer or who are interested in learning how to better identify and solve real-world problems. No previous knowledge of engineering is required.
Prerequisite: Chemistry or Honors Chemistry.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This is a college-level course that incorporates physical and biological sciences in the study of the environment. Topics include the interdependence of Earth’s systems, human population dynamics, renewable and nonrenewable resources, environmental quality, global changes and their consequences, environment and society, and choices for the future. The course includes a considerable reading requirement as well as a laboratory component.
Prerequisite: Honors Chemistry or B- in Chemistry and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This is a general course in ocean science. During the first semester, students learn about the physical, chemical, and geological features of the ocean environment (oceanography) and also about the history of ocean exploration and navigation. The second semester explores the organisms that live in the ocean and their ecological relationships (marine biology). Emphasis is placed on our local marine environment and organisms. The course is designed to appeal to students with a wide range of scientific backgrounds and interests. The workload tends to be light to moderate compared with other science classes at Harvard-Westlake. Activities include lectures, laboratory experiments and observations, watching educational films, and field trips. The costs of the field trips vary depending on the specific activities and number of participants.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This advanced course in biology connects the anatomy (structure) to the physiology (function) of the human body. The year begins with an introduction to the main organ systems of human biology (circulatory, respiratory, digestive, endocrine, etc.). Students investigate the organs and tissues involved in these systems through dissections and by viewing videos of surgeries. Interactive models and articles from scientific journals are used to reveal the functions of those structures. Second semester, students engage in an extensive research project. They explore experimental techniques used to study physiology and the history and ethics of human research. The project continues with students applying the techniques researched, when applicable, to collect and analyze data sets and concludes by researching a physiological disorder and the treatments for that disorder.
Prerequisite: One year of chemistry and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course introduces fundamental techniques of biotechnology; it examines how these techniques have revolutionized our understanding of genetics, medicine, and human evolution, and it considers selected ethical and societal issues stirred by this revolution in biology. In the first semester, students learn how scientists discovered that DNA controls heredity and address the issues of scientific priority, competition, and genetic variation. Students perform experiments using some of the basic techniques of biotechnology (bacterial transformation, genetic recombination, the polymerase chain reaction, protein purification, and RNA interference) on different model organisms and examine how these techniques are used in connection with protein and DNA sequencing, microarrays, and bioinformatics. In the second semester, students learn how to identify genes and apply that knowledge to raw sequencing data. Students then focus on how disease-related genes are discovered and investigate associated issues, such as cloning, stem-cell research, and the CRISPR/Cas9 system. They study how genomics has provided a new perspective on evolutionary processes and relationships within and among species.
Prerequisite: One year of chemistry and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Chemical basis of biological structure and function, experimental design, data analysis, and evolutionary change are major themes reinforced throughout the year. Subject areas include macromolecules, enzyme regulation, cell structure and function, energy transformation (cell respiration, photosynthesis), cell communication, cell reproduction (DNA structure/function, mitosis), protein synthesis, gene regulation, and biotechnology. Inquiry-based lessons and interactive lectures present topics at a level similar to a first-year course for the college biology major. Assessments measure students’ general knowledge in the subject, as well as their ability to apply biological concepts to the explanation of real-world phenomena, analyze and evaluate evidence presented in data tables and graphs, and solve quantitative and qualitative problems. In the laboratory, students define biological questions, formulate hypotheses to answer those questions, design experiments that quantitatively test their hypotheses, and analyze collected data using statistical methods. In this course, students practice reasoning and compositional skills that strengthen their oral and written arguments.
Prerequisite: Honors Chemistry or B in Chemistry and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Evolution and its impact on biological systems, experimental design, and data analysis are major themes reinforced throughout the year. Subject areas include heredity (meiosis and Mendelian genetics), mechanisms of evolutionary change, population genetics, speciation, classification and biodiversity, ecology, and human impact on the biosphere. Inquiry-based lessons and interactive lectures present topics at a level similar to a first-year course for the college biology major. Assessments measure students’ general knowledge in the subject, as well as their ability to apply biological concepts to the explanation of real-world phenomena, analyze and evaluate evidence presented in data tables and graphs, and solve quantitative and qualitative problems. In the laboratory, students define biological questions, formulate hypotheses to answer those questions, design experiments that quantitatively test their hypotheses, and analyze collected data using statistical methods. Throughout the course, students practice the reasoning and compositional skills that strengthen their written and oral arguments.
Prerequisite: Honors Chemistry or B in Chemistry and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course includes lecture, discussion, and integrated laboratory experiments designed to introduce students to the nature of matter. The major topics presented are nomenclature, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, atomic structure, periodicity, bonding, molecular geometry, phases of matter, equilibrium, thermodynamics, and acid–base chemistry. The course presents abstract concepts and emphasizes quantitative problem-solving skills. Analytical thinking, more than memorization, is the key to success in the course. The year-end final focuses on material presented after winter break, but requires application of cumulative skills and knowledge.
Prerequisite: Honors Biology, B in Biology, or Advanced Algebra I and B- in Biology.

Full year — Grade 10 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course is a qualitative and quantitative introduction to the macroscopic chemical behavior of inorganic substances based on molecular structure. Extensive laboratory work introduces, reinforces, and extends theoretical topics covered via reading and lecture. The first semester is devoted to learning to recognize, explain, predict, and express chemical changes. Thermodynamic considerations in predicting chemical change are also covered, and the term concludes with a correlation of molecular structure to the chemical and physical behavior of pure substances. In the second semester, more attention is paid to the molecular level of reactions. Solution properties, reaction kinetics, equilibrium, and electrochemical processes are studied in detail. Honors Chemistry assumes greater comfort with applied algebra than Chemistry and requires a significant degree of independence. Students who have succeeded in previous science courses by spending significant time doing the maximum amount of work possible with frequent teacher intervention are likely to find the course very difficult and its time commitment excessive. Students will need to determine for themselves how many of the suggested homework problems (not collected) are necessary for them to gain facility with the concepts.
Prerequisite: B+ in Advanced Algebra I or B in Algebra II or Honors Algebra II and A- in Biology or B in Honors Biology.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course introduces students to the structure and reactivity of carbon-containing compounds. Topics include basic nomenclature, spectroscopy, stereochemistry, functional groups and their transformations, electronic structure, reaction mechanisms, and synthesis. An advanced math background is not required, but students who enroll should be comfortable with topics from regular chemistry, such as periodic trends, Lewis dot structures, valence shell electron pair repulsion (VSEPR) theory, intermolecular forces, and polarity. Students taking this class will relate organic chemistry to real-world applications in a diverse set of fields, including biology, biochemistry, biomedical engineering, materials chemistry, forensics, genetics, environmental science, polymer chemistry, medicine, and pharmacology.
Prerequisite: Honors Chemistry or B+ in Chemistry and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course presents topics commonly encountered in the first year of college chemistry chiefly through challenging laboratory investigations that are used to expand concepts beyond their fundamentals and provide students with real chemical situations to study and interpret. Students are exposed to modern analytical techniques (both wet and instrumental) as well as to data analysis and reduction using spreadsheets. The course is designed for the highly motivated student with a strong interest in chemistry who is able to learn new material with guidance rather than via traditional lecture. The pace and depth of the course require a strong background in high school chemistry. Students must work independently and budget their time wisely. The majority of class time is spent in the laboratory. The rest of the class time is divided between homework problem sessions, infrequent lectures, and examinations. Students who have succeeded in the prerequisite course by spending significant time doing the maximum amount of work possible are likely to find this course very difficult and its time commitment excessive.
Prerequisite: Honors Chemistry and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course provides an introduction to physics through the study of mechanics, fluids, waves, and basic circuits. It covers the same topics as Honors Physics 1, but with less emphasis on mathematical problem solving and more on real-world application of physical principles. Students can expect regular hands-on laboratory experiences with less rigorous analysis than Honors Physics 1. The course is for students who possess an interest in physics, basic algebra skills, and a willingness to think abstractly. Students may enroll in either Physics 1 or Honors Physics 1, but not both.
Prerequisite: Algebra II with Analysis, Advanced Algebra II, or higher.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course introduces the study of mechanics, fluids, waves, and basic circuits. Conceptual understanding and qualitative explanations are emphasized, along with more traditional numerical problem solving. Students take part in extensive laboratory work and focus on experimental design and written analysis of results. The curriculum provides more in-depth study and complex problem solving than Physics 1, as well as more rigorous laboratory analysis. The course serves as a good background for those who wish to continue in science or engineering. It offers a college-level, noncalculus mathematical treatment of physics. Students may enroll in either Physics 1 or Honors Physics 1, but not both.
Prerequisite: B in Honors Chemistry or Honors Algebra II or A- in Chemistry, Algebra II with Analysis, or Advanced Algebra II and permission of current instructor. Corequisite: Advanced Precalculus or higher.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Taken together, these two courses constitute the equivalent of a full year of university physics for science and engineering students. Mechanics includes the study of vectors, motion, dynamics, work and energy, momentum, rotational motion and dynamics, oscillations, and gravitation, and Electricity and Magnetism (E&M) covers charge, electric field and potential, capacitance, resistance, inductance, circuits, the magnetic field, electromagnetic oscillations, Maxwell’s equations, and electromagnetic waves. These courses focus on advanced problem solving and require a high degree of mathematical competence. Test and quiz problems are designed to evaluate a student’s awareness of the fundamental principles. Accordingly, they often differ significantly from the problems found in homework assignments. Students may enroll in just Mechanics or both Mechanics and E&M concurrently; only students who have completed Honors Physics 1 may enroll in just E&M.
Prerequisite: AP Calculus BC or concurrent enrollment in AP Calculus C. For Electricity and Magnetism, AP Physics C: Mechanics (taken previously or concurrently) or Honors Physics 1 is also required.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Taken together, these two courses constitute the equivalent of a full year of university physics for science and engineering students. Mechanics includes the study of vectors, motion, dynamics, work and energy, momentum, rotational motion and dynamics, oscillations, and gravitation, and Electricity and Magnetism (E&M) covers charge, electric field and potential, capacitance, resistance, inductance, circuits, the magnetic field, electromagnetic oscillations, Maxwell’s equations, and electromagnetic waves. These courses focus on advanced problem solving and require a high degree of mathematical competence. Test and quiz problems are designed to evaluate a student’s awareness of the fundamental principles. Accordingly, they often differ significantly from the problems found in homework assignments. Students may enroll in just Mechanics or both Mechanics and E&M concurrently; only students who have completed Honors Physics 1 may enroll in just E&M.
Prerequisite: AP Calculus BC or concurrent enrollment in AP Calculus C. For Electricity and Magnetism, Honors Physics 1, or Mechanics taken previously or concurrently, is also required.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Taken together, these two courses constitute the equivalent of a full year of university physics for science and engineering students. Mechanics includes the study of vectors, motion, dynamics, work and energy, momentum, rotational motion and dynamics, oscillations, and gravitation, and Electricity and Magnetism (E&M) covers charge, electric field and potential, capacitance, resistance, inductance, circuits, the magnetic field, electromagnetic oscillations, Maxwell’s equations, and electromagnetic waves. These courses focus on advanced problem solving and require a high degree of mathematical competence. Test and quiz problems are designed to evaluate a student’s awareness of the fundamental principles. Accordingly, they often differ significantly from the problems found in homework assignments. Students may enroll in just Mechanics or both Mechanics and E&M concurrently; only students who have completed Honors Physics 1 may enroll in just E&M.
Prerequisite: AP Calculus BC or concurrent enrollment in AP Calculus C. For Electricity and Magnetism, AP Physics C: Mechanics (taken previously or concurrently) or Honors Physics 1 is also required.

First semester — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course introduces the science of sound as a broad interdisciplinary field of physics, engineering, physiology, and music. Students learn about the physical properties of sound; its production and transmission through solids, liquids, gases, and plasmas; the scientific study of musical scales; and the characteristics of musical instruments, rooms, and concert halls. The format of the class allows students to pursue topics that interest them in greater depth. The course is not demanding mathematically; it is designed for students of all academic backgrounds.

Second semester — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course is an introduction to the principles of electronics, which include the principles and applications of electricity, fundamental circuits, electromagnetic induction, alternating voltage and current, inductive and capacitive circuits, semiconductor devices, transistor amplifiers, integrated circuits, and a large variety of other electronic circuits. The course is based on laboratory work—from building simple electronic circuits to constructing a well-regulated power supply, a metronome, an electronic organ, an electronic alarm, a transistor radio, and more. The format of the class allows students to pursue topics that interest them in greater depth. In lieu of a final examination, a final project is required. This project may consist of building an electronic device such as an FM transmitter, IC electronic organ, or another electronic device agreed upon by the instructor and the student.

Two identical semesters — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of astronomy. A wide range of topics is presented, including the history of astronomy, radiation from space, astronomical instruments, the solar system, stars, galaxies, cosmology, and space technology. Class time is allocated to presentations, laboratory exercises (including the use of telescopes for limited solar observations), class discussions, and instructional videos. Weather permitting, the class includes at least one optional field trip for astronomical observing. Although basic algebra is employed, no prior physics knowledge is required. The course is more descriptive than quantitative and is designed for anyone with a general interest in astronomy.

Full year — Grade 10 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course introduces the major topics of physical geology. It includes a study of rocks and minerals, water, wind and glacial erosion and deposition, structural geology, volcanism, earthquakes, and plate tectonics. Laboratory work is an important component. Students take a three-day field trip to Death Valley worth five percent of the class grade. The course is designed to appeal to students with a wide range of scientific backgrounds and interests. The workload tends to be light to moderate compared with other Harvard-Westlake science classes.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Every region on Earth experiences the effects of natural hazards. This laboratory course discusses how science impacts society’s understanding of and responses to the natural world and aims to give students a foundation for critically evaluating future approaches to managing hazards from a technical, personal, and societal point of view. During the first half of each unit, students focus on the scientific understanding of natural processes that cause natural disasters, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods. In the second half, students examine how society evaluates and confronts the dangers posed by these natural processes from a political, social, and ethical perspective. Students study technological advances that allow a large population to monitor, predict, and warn society about natural hazards and impending disasters. Case studies of recent and past natural disasters are discussed, focusing on both the geological and meteorological context of the hazard and its impact on individuals, society, and the environment.
Prerequisite: Chemistry or C+ in Geology and permission of current instructor.

Visual Arts
Two identical semesters — Grade 7 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This studio course introduces students to the fundamental principles of composition and design and the objective elements of visual language. Students explore art activities via a variety of media and techniques, including drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. They develop visual language skills through classroom practice, guided experimentation, and sketchbook exercises. Students exhibit their work throughout the semester.

Full year — Grade 7 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This studio class is for students who prefer a yearlong arts experience. Modeled after foundation art courses offered by contemporary art and design schools, it provides a broad palette of essential visual-arts skills, concepts, and experiences through the practice of animation, ceramics, drawing, mixed media, painting, and photography.

Two repeatable semesters — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This course expands students’ drawing and painting skills and develops their realistic two-dimensional rendering prowess. Students work with wet and dry media: graphite, charcoal, ink, gouache, acrylic, and oil on paper, canvas, and panel. Integrating a focus on formal and technical development with a naturalistic and observational approach, students explore figuration, portraiture, still-life, landscape, and interior drawing and painting. Work is drawn from life, photographs, and masterworks. Students learn advanced techniques such as scumbling, glazing, grisaille, and painting “fat over lean.” They are exposed to an introductory survey of Western art history and use historic sources and materials to study and reconstruct masterworks.

Two repeatable semesters — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This course is about drawing and painting from one’s inner world. Students are exposed to modern and contemporary art techniques and concepts. They work with two-dimensional materials to engage in artistic exploration of human expression. Students investigate expressionism, abstraction, surrealism, narrative, and the avant-garde. They work from observation and imagination to create art more concerned with expressing conceptual depth than displaying technical ability. Through creation, group discussion, analysis, and critique, students develop their studio practice.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This introductory drawing and painting course is open to students who did not take Drawing and Painting I/The History and Art of Modern Europe and the World or Drawing and Painting I/The Rise of the Modern World: Art and History in the tenth grade and are interested in honing the skills of making two-dimensional art. The first semester focuses on foundational drawing and visual literacy; the second semester builds upon those skills by exploring representational and abstract wet-media techniques. Areas of study include line, contour, perspective, light logic, and color theory using professional artist’s materials such as charcoal, graphite, ink and wash, watercolors, and acrylics. Historical and contemporary art examples illustrate the use of technique and ideological content. Students keep a sketchbook to which they contribute weekly. Students are evaluated based upon their enthusiasm for learning, full attention and effort, and active participation in class activities, including discussions, slide presentations, studio critiques, visiting-artist lectures, and field trips.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This is a prerequisite course for Drawing and Painting III, AP Studio Art: 2-D Design, and AP Studio Art: Drawing. The course focuses on twentieth-century art and its concepts and themes.
Prerequisite: Drawing and Painting I/The History and Art of Modern Europe and the World, Drawing and Painting I/The Rise of the Modern World: Art and History, or Drawing and Painting I.

Full year — Grade 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This class is for seniors who want to experiment with a broad range of visual concepts and concentrate on developing a body of work around one of those concepts (similar to the Breadth and Concentration sections of the AP courses) without incurring as strenuous a load as demanded by an AP course of study. Students produce three “breadth” pieces during the first semester and five “concentration” pieces during the second semester.
Prerequisite: Drawing and Painting II.

Full year — Grade 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students complete a portfolio of twenty-four pieces, applying design principles in a project-based setting to create solutions to problems in two dimensions. For the portfolio’s Breadth section, the course features the use of multiple tools of production, including digital media, to create unique responses to twelve design problems. Students then declare an area of concentration and, during the second and third quarters, produce twelve pieces for the portfolio’s Concentration section. The complete design portfolio is presented for AP Studio Art: 2-D Design portfolio assessment.
Prerequisite: Drawing and Painting II and application.

Full year — Grade 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This drawing and painting course provides an in-depth studio experience in which students create portfolios of quality artwork with an emphasis on concept as well as perception. The scope of the work is equivalent to that of a foundation art course in college for those students interested in fine art. Course content fulfills the guidelines set by the College Board. Students complete a portfolio of twenty-four works and submit it to be scored by the College Board. The portfolio includes eight AP-level works completed in the tenth and eleventh grades in addition to seven new works completed during the first semester and nine additional works completed between January and mid-April.
Prerequisite: Drawing and Painting II and application.

Full year — Grade 10 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This interdisciplinary course combines a tenth-grade history course (see description for course number U6412-0, The Rise of the Modern World: Art and History, located in the Academics section of this guide under the History and Social Studies course offerings) with a drawing and painting course. For students who love art history and/or studio art, it offers the opportunity to study history through art and to develop and hone artistic techniques and talents. This course is required for students wishing to take AP Studio Art offerings in the Visual Arts department.
Corequisite: The Rise of the Modern World: Art and History.

Two repeatable semesters — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

In this hands-on, project-based studio art class, students learn techniques for engaging clay and glass as sculptural materials. Through hand-building techniques—such as coil forming, slab construction, and additive and reductive sculpture—students begin to understand the material qualities and capabilities of clay. Through cutting, fusing, slumping, mold making, and casting, they learn how to work with glass to actualize their creative ideas. Students experiment with new processes while honoring craft as a discipline in the arts. Each project is taught with benchmark pieces of historical and contemporary art to guide student learning.

Two identical semesters — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students in this course concentrate on using the potter’s wheel to develop basic competency in working with clays and glazes.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Wheel-forming and other clay-forming and joining techniques are explored in depth. Glaze mixing and experimentation are covered, and kiln loading is introduced. A digital-image portfolio of student work may be produced.
Prerequisite: Three-Dimensional Art: Ceramics or Three-Dimensional Art: Ceramics/Sculpture.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

In this course, students explore a variety of processes for creating two- and three-dimensional images using float, machine-rolled, and handmade colored glass. Techniques taught include carving multiple levels using aluminum oxide and resists, cutting, polishing, cold working, fusing, slumping, bending, pâte de verre, casting, UV laminating, and kiln forming using ceramic, stainless steel, and casting molds. A digital-image portfolio of student work may be produced.
Prerequisite: Introduction to Clay and Glass, Three-Dimensional Art: Ceramics, Three-Dimensional Art: Ceramics/Sculpture, or Three-Dimensional Art: Sculpture.

Two repeatable semesters — Grade 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

Students learn to center, open, shape, and trim clay on the potter’s wheel. They gain the skills to make cups, bowls, and plates. The class experiments with a variety of ways to decorate and glaze ceramic pieces.

Two identical semesters — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course introduces students to some technical vocabulary in several of the basic three-dimensional media. Each project is directed at teaching skills required to manipulate each medium. Media and techniques include clay (modeling and use of an armature); glass (cutting, polishing, taping, sandblasting, and gluing with UV light-sensitive adhesive); metal (oxy/acetylene brazing); and plaster (creating forms with an armature—layering, carving, sanding, and refining). Slides, videos, demonstrations, and discussions clarify and enhance the aesthetic and technical aspects of the course.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

In this course, students explore a variety of processes for creating three-dimensional objects. Through the techniques of carving, modeling, constructing, welding, casting, heating, and digital fabrication (including 3-D printing), students realize forms in metal, wood, plaster, clay, wire, and glass. A digital-image portfolio of student work may be produced.
Prerequisite: Three-Dimensional Art: Ceramics/Sculpture or Three-Dimensional Art: Sculpture.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course combines Three-Dimensional Art: Ceramics (U0050-1/2) and Three-Dimensional Art: Sculpture (U0150-1/2) to create a yearlong sequence that fulfills the University of California system’s VPA (visual and performing arts) subject requirement.

Full year — Grade 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course provides an opportunity for seniors to pursue their interests in three-dimensional media (ceramics, glass, or sculpture) after they have exhausted the courses offered in a single three-dimensional visual-art discipline. Students work with the instructor to structure a substantial self-directed learning experience in place of traditional instructor-directed coursework. Students are required to submit a proposal prior to the start of the course.
Prerequisite: Ceramics II, Glass, or Sculpture II.

Two repeatable semesters — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This course introduces dynamic composition and expressive exposure techniques that apply to digital and film photography. Students create portfolios of printed photographs, and their work is exhibited on a regular basis. Coursework is performed with Nikon® digital single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras provided by the school and common point-and-shoot digital cameras provided by the student. Students learn to organize, edit, and print their photographs using Adobe® Photoshop® and Epson® inkjet printers.

Two repeatable semesters — Grade 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This course introduces Adobe® Photoshop® as well as digital darkroom techniques and special effects. Course projects are designed and selected by current and previous students as well as by the instructor. Students are encouraged to explore as they develop sensitivity to craft, composition, picture design, and graphic impact. Students create portfolios containing printed photographs and graphics, and their work is exhibited on a regular basis. Coursework is performed with Nikon® digital single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras provided by the school and common point-and-shoot digital cameras provided by the student.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Photography I reviews fundamental camera and composition skills and introduces black-and-white 35mm film and silver gelatin printing using a traditional wet darkroom. In the second half of the course, students apply what they have learned in the darkroom to create projects using both film and digital media. Alternative processes are also explored, including pinhole-camera, photogram, cyanotype, and handcoloring techniques. Students use photography as a medium for self-expression, documentation, and social commentary. They participate in trips and exhibit their work in the school gallery. A 35mm single-lens reflex (SLR) film camera with manual controls is required.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

In this course, students develop advanced technical photography skills that enable them to produce finished prints that faithfully reflect their intentions. Students identify issues, ideas, and emotions that have the most personal meaning to them and then effectively translate these into prints. Exhibitions of student work help to gauge whether these personal meanings translate into collective meanings. The students are introduced to the role that photography plays in our visual heritage, to a historical as well as personal approach to creative expression, and to the basic theories of aesthetic perception. A 35mm single-lens reflex (SLR) film or digital camera with manual controls is required.
Prerequisite: Photography I.

Full year — Grade 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course is for photographers who wish to improve their technical skills, further develop their individual styles, study the history and aesthetics of photography, and work with digital photographic manipulation. A digital-image portfolio, suitable for inclusion with college portfolios, is produced in the first semester. During the second semester, students present their work for review by the photography department and mount a final exhibition.
Prerequisite: Photography II.

Two identical semesters — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

Students explore a variety of animation and live-action techniques to bring stories of their own creation to life in digital time-based media. They write, storyboard, shoot, edit, and screen film art individually and collaboratively. Soundtracks and special effects using video-editing software may be added to complete the work.

Two repeatable semesters — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This course expands on the exploratory nature of Video Storytelling I. Students develop more personal long-term projects to hone their time-based storytelling skills. Further refinement of animation-making skills, combined with an emphasis on three-dimensional space as seen through the camera, allows for an increasingly cinematic approach to video storytelling.
Prerequisite: Video Storytelling I.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This full-year course teaches the basic techniques used in making experimental and short films. The series of projects and exercises empowers students to write, shoot, edit, and discuss their own works of art. No previous experience is necessary. The class is hands-on, collaborative, and critically engaging. Students learn about the history of film, video, and art so they can use that knowledge to interpret the world from their own points of view and tell their own stories. Students exhibit their works online and on campus in screenings, installations, and gallery shows. Selected works are submitted to film festivals.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Using the technical skills learned in Video Art I, students spend the year writing, producing, directing, filming, and editing their own projects. Students become more familiar with the language of film through class presentations and screenings in conjunction with filming in the studio and in the field. The first semester is devoted to writing scripts and filming short exercises, such as staged dialogue and montage scenes and dolly and handheld shots. The second semester is devoted to working on a film crew (usually six students) and producing—from scratch—an original film. Each student has the opportunity to work in the various roles on a film crew: director, assistant director, director of photography, grip, boom operator, and editor. Students learn about technical and aesthetic aspects of the film medium in the process of creating their own work.
Prerequisite: Video Art I.

Full year — Grade 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This class is for self-motivated students with a passion for audiovisual storytelling. Student filmmakers/artists take the technical skills they have learned over the preceding two years and apply them to the production of original short films and video art installations. The yearlong series of projects—which span narrative, experimental, and documentary genres—are imagined and realized completely by the students. The professional practices component provides students with experience in critically analyzing, writing, and speaking about each others’ work. Projects are submitted to local screenings and exhibitions, as well as to a variety of festivals around the country. It is recommended, but not required, that students in this class concurrently enroll in Cinema Studies (see description for course number U7058-0 located in the Academics section of this guide under the Interdisciplinary Studies and Independent Research course offerings).
Prerequisite: Video Art II.

Two identical semesters — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 3 periods per cycle

This course is for students who want to use design as a creative process in communications. Students learn to think like designers while conceptualizing and creating real-world projects. They develop skill sets in typography and image-making across digital and traditional formats; apply this knowledge in projects that cover logotypes, product design, and brand identity; and make pitches for poster, magazine, and book-cover designs. Students learn to use Adobe® software (Photoshop® and Illustrator®) to create projects that define their personal design aesthetic.

Two repeatable semesters — Grade 12 — Meets twice per cycle

This course is for students who have exhausted the possibilities within the existing curriculum. The course content is created by the students in collaboration with an instructor. Students may explore any media within the department, such as ceramics, drawing, glass, painting, photography, sculpture, or video, or a different media if a qualified instructor can be found. A directed study may also be thematic instead of media-based.
Prerequisite: Application.

World Languages
Full year — Grade 7 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

Chinese IA is an introduction to Mandarin Chinese. It provides students with basic knowledge of Pinyin, daily conversational vocabulary, Chinese characters, and grammar. The course is designed to develop students’ listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, although emphasis is placed on speaking. Pronunciation and writing of Pinyin is taught and practiced throughout the year. Discussion topics relate to daily life as students participate in situational conversations and make presentations. Students also are introduced to the Chinese writing system, including basic strokes, stroke order, radicals, and simple and useful Chinese characters. Chinese printed and audiovisual materials depict aspects of Chinese culture, including festivals, gestures, mannerisms, and schools.

Full year — Grades 7 and 8 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

Chinese IB is a continuation of Chinese IA. Students build on their knowledge of daily conversational vocabulary, Chinese characters, and grammar. The course develops students’ listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, with emphasis placed on speaking and pronunciation. Topics related to daily life are discussed, and students prepare presentations and engage in situational conversations. Students continue to learn about the Chinese writing system, including stroke order, radicals, and basic Chinese characters. Chinese printed and audiovisual materials depict themes such as Chinese cuisine, community, hobbies, and weather.
Prerequisite: Chinese IA or placement test.

Full year — Grade 7 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

Students who have previous experience with spoken Chinese build vocabulary for daily conversation and learn basic characters for reading and writing in this introductory course. All four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) are developed, but the course emphasizes reading and writing. Topics related to student daily life are covered through communicative activities. Students learn how to type Chinese characters on computers and write them by hand.
Prerequisite: Placement test.

Full year — Grade 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This intensive course for students with no previous world-language experience and students who want to start a new language is designed to give a solid introduction to Chinese. It covers the curricula of Chinese IA and Chinese IB.

Full year — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course aims to strengthen students’ knowledge of basic sentence structures, vocabulary, and speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. Students learn vocabulary to describe their experiences in daily situations. They also learn about Chinese cultural topics such as art, literature, and social customs. A supplementary book on Chinese culture is used to teach students reading strategies.
Prerequisite: Chinese IC, Chinese IB, or Chinese I.

Full year — Grade 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This accelerated course prepares students to take AP Chinese Language and Culture. Students learn more than 350 new characters and continue to develop listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Chinese email, news articles, and videos supplement the textbook to provide a realistic depiction of current Chinese society. Cultural studies of Chinese history, traditions, folk customs, educational system, contemporary economic issues, and politics frame the course content. Daily life and other topics covered in Chinese II are reviewed. By the end of the year, students can understand written and oral messages, develop dialogues, and write short messages and essays.
Prerequisite: Grade 9—Chinese II; Grades 10, 11, or 12—A- in Chinese II and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course aims to strengthen students’ knowledge of basic sentence structures, vocabulary, and speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. Students learn vocabulary to describe their experiences in daily situations. They also learn about Chinese cultural topics such as art, literature, and social customs. A supplementary book on Chinese culture is used to teach students reading strategies.
Prerequisite: Chinese IC, Chinese IB, or Chinese I.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Expanding on techniques used in Chinese II, this course further develops listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Course materials include television news reports, documentaries, and fragments of Chinese films, adding a strong cultural component to the course.
Prerequisite: Chinese II.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This accelerated course prepares students to take AP Chinese Language and Culture. Students learn more than 350 new characters and continue to develop listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Chinese email, news articles, and videos supplement the textbook to provide a realistic depiction of current Chinese society. Cultural studies of Chinese history, traditions, folk customs, educational system, contemporary economic issues, and politics frame the course content. Daily life and other topics covered in Chinese II are reviewed. By the end of the year, students can understand written and oral messages, develop dialogues, and write short messages and essays.
Prerequisite: Grade 9—Chinese II; Grades 10, 11, or 12—A- in Chinese II and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Chinese IV strengthens students’ language skills with advanced grammar and conversation on contemporary topics related to both Chinese and American cultures. Students should expect frequent reading and writing assignments.
Prerequisite: Chinese III or Honors Chinese III and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

The goal of this course is to deepen students’ understanding of different aspects of China, including family, generational characteristics, traditional Chinese values, and current issues. The course also examines topics related to Chinese culture outside of mainland China. Listening comprehension and oral proficiency are emphasized and audiovisual materials are used extensively. Students are primarily graded on class discussions, class preparation, and understanding of the material.
Prerequisite: Chinese IV or AP Chinese Language and Culture and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

In this course, vocabulary and grammar are reviewed, and proficiency in listening, reading, speaking, and writing in Chinese is achieved. Skills are practiced in interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational modes. Listening and reading comprehension are taught using materials from Chinese sources. Writing and speaking focus on communicating via story narrations, email exchanges, conversations on daily topics, and cultural presentations. Chinese cultural events also are reviewed. The course is rigorous and proceeds at a fast pace, both in terms of in-class instruction and home/laboratory work.
Prerequisite: B+ in Honors Chinese III or A in Chinese III, Chinese IV, or Chinese V and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course, conducted exclusively in Mandarin, is designed for advanced Chinese-language students who wish to continue their studies in literature and culture. The course covers works of Chinese literature, the history of China, traditional and modern Chinese values, and entertainment. The focus is on enhancing students’ listening, speaking, reading, writing, and critical thinking skills through class discussions, presentations, and assignments.
Prerequisite: B in AP Chinese Language and Culture and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grade 7 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

Students begin the formal study of French, developing listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills through multiple teaching approaches geared to their interests. They are introduced to French and French-speaking cultures and vocabulary, expressions, and grammatical structures for conversation and short written pieces through themes related to everyday life. Using sources intended for native speakers, such as video, audio, and web-based materials, students are exposed to French civilization and cross-cultural differences.

Full year — Grades 7 and 8 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course is a continuation of French IA and emphasizes listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Fundamental concepts, grammatical structures, as well as colloquial expressions and their usage are explored through written compositions, spontaneous speaking activities, and the interpretation of materials written in French. Students are exposed to French culture and civilization, including art, daily life, and the cultural diversity of the francophone world, through research projects and sources intended for native speakers such as videos, articles, and web-based materials.
Prerequisite: French IA or placement test.

Full year — Grade 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This intensive course for students with no previous world-language experience and students who want to start a new language is designed to give a solid introduction to French. It covers the curricula of French IA and French IB.

Full year — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course presents a more extensive study of grammatical structures, vocabulary, and idiomatic expressions of the spoken language. The class is conducted mainly in French, and students engage in conversations to provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions. They understand and interpret spoken and written French on a variety of topics. Readings emphasize and reinforce grammatical concepts as well as explore the different facets of French and francophone culture. Language laboratory sessions and/or online audio and oral activities are an integral part of the course. Written compositions and long readings paired with oral and written questions are required.
Prerequisite: French IB or French I.

Full year — Grade 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course is designed for students demonstrating the interest and motivation to pursue more in-depth French studies. The program proceeds at a faster pace than French III and is conducted almost entirely in French. Students practice the skills of spoken and written French (interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational) using materials from French television, movies, literary masterpieces, news articles, and songs by contemporary artists. Throughout the year, students develop and refine their command of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. This course is recommended for students interested in enrolling in AP French Language and Culture because it provides specific tools needed for that course, such as how to interpret materials intended for native speakers and write essays in the target language.
Prerequisite: Grade 9—French II; Grades 10, 11, or 12—B+ in Honors French II or A- in French II and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This intensive course for students with no previous world-language experience and students who want to start a new language is designed to give a solid introduction to French. It covers the curricula of French IA and French IB.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course presents a more extensive study of grammatical structures, vocabulary, and idiomatic expressions of the spoken language. The class is conducted mainly in French, and students engage in conversations to provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions. They understand and interpret spoken and written French on a variety of topics. Readings emphasize and reinforce grammatical concepts as well as explore the different facets of French and francophone culture. Language laboratory sessions and/or online audio and oral activities are an integral part of the course. Written compositions and long readings paired with oral and written questions are required.
Prerequisite: French IB or French I.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course is designed for students demonstrating the interest and motivation to pursue the study of French at a more accelerated pace. The class is conducted mainly in French. Students develop all modes of communication (interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational) using audio, visual, and written sources intended for native speakers. Students move beyond talking about themselves and their immediate community to talking about ideas and problems that affect society and the world. They develop strategies for communicating exclusively in French and increase their knowledge of the francophone world and its cultures.
Prerequisite: A in French I or French IB and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students build on skills learned in previous French courses to establish a firm foundation upon which to develop their language ability. The class is conducted primarily in French. The main goal is to continue developing all modes of communication (interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational) through extensive work with audio, visual, and written sources intended for native speakers that help students learn grammar and vocabulary in context. Students develop strategies for using French to communicate creatively through the use of imaginative, expressive, and increasingly advanced language. They also learn more about cultures of the francophone world.
Prerequisite: French II or Honors French II.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course is designed for students demonstrating the interest and motivation to pursue more in-depth French studies. The program proceeds at a faster pace than French III and is conducted almost entirely in French. Students practice the skills of spoken and written French (interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational) using materials from French television, movies, literary masterpieces, news articles, and songs by contemporary artists. Throughout the year, students develop and refine their command of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. This course is recommended for students interested in enrolling in AP French Language and Culture because it provides specific tools needed for that course, such as how to interpret materials intended for native speakers and write essays in the target language.
Prerequisite: Grade 9—French II; Grades 10, 11, or 12—B+ in Honors French II or A- in French II and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Conducted entirely in the target language, this course develops proficiency in spoken and written French and emphasizes the refinement of conversational and writing skills by building active and passive vocabulary. Analysis of various forms of communication, including movies, songs, magazine articles, internet sources, and literary pieces intended for native speakers, is the basis for class discussions and compositions. The course also provides an in-depth review of grammar and syntax applicable to the AP French Language and Culture curriculum. Second semester is partially devoted to reading Albert Camus’s novel L’étranger.
Prerequisite: French III or Honors French III.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

The goal of this course is to help students develop and refine conversational skills while acquiring a stronger awareness and understanding of French and francophone cultures. Through in-depth study of current events, press, cinema, slang, and contemporary literature, students learn to compare francophone and American cultures. Through extensive exposure to cultural variations, students widen their intellectual horizons and develop respect and appreciation for differences. Writing is not the main objective of this course even though examinations and compositions are given throughout the year. Class discussion, which allows students to improve their fluency, is the predominant activity and serves as the primary means of assessing student performance. The homework load is limited and mainly consists of reading in preparation for class activities. The course is conducted entirely in French.
Prerequisite: French IV, AP French Language and Culture, or Honors French Literature and Arts.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

The equivalent of a college course in advanced French language and culture, stressing listening comprehension, oral expression, reading, and writing, this course may be taken in the fourth or fifth year of study. It enables students to understand spoken French in a variety of situations and accents; read articles, prose, and verse excerpts of moderate difficulty and mature content; make presentations about various topics; and express ideas and critical opinions accurately and with reasonable fluency, both verbally and in writing. Particular attention is devoted to the following interdisciplinary themes: global challenges, science and technology, personal and public identities, contemporary life, families and communities, and beauty and aesthetics.
Prerequisite: B+ in Honors French III, A- in French IV, or A in French III and permission of current instructor. Corequisite: AP French Language and Culture examination.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course is designed for advanced French students who want to continue their French studies and apply their linguistic mastery to French and francophone literature. Students focus on reading comprehension of full-length literary works; text analysis, with appropriate use of literary vocabulary; writing well-structured essays on literary topics; and sophisticated in-class discussion of works. Quarterly oral presentations allow students to explore a discipline of their choice related to a literary period analyzed in class. Students read extensively to analyze literature and to develop and deepen their understanding and perspective through the use of film, music, and art of the period. Students should have a strong background in oral and written French. This course may be taken in the fifth or sixth year of study.
Prerequisite: French V: Contemporary Culture and Communication or B in AP French Language and Culture and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grade 7 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course introduces students to Latin. Topics include the first three noun declensions, case usage, agreement of adjectives, all principal parts of verbs, the present active infinitive, and the present, imperfect, and perfect active indicative of all verb conjugations. Latin is read aloud. Latin syntax and sentence structure are practiced through both written and spoken exercises. Roman culture is addressed through creative projects on ancient geography, mythology, Roman daily life, and other topics.

Full year — Grades 7 and 8 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

Students continue their introduction to essential concepts of the language. Topics include pronouns and possession, the perfect-tense system, numerals, time and space constructions, the fourth and fifth declensions, and a comparison of adjectives and adverbs. Reading skills are developed through literary analysis, and foundational vocabulary is practiced through various written and spoken exercises. Students continue to explore Roman culture through hands-on projects.
Prerequisite: Latin IA or placement test.

Full year — Grade 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This intensive course for students with no previous world-language experience and students who want to start a new language is designed to give a solid introduction to the Latin language and Roman culture. It covers the curricula of Latin IA and Latin IB.

Full year — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

Students improve their reading and analytical skills by progressing toward original Latin texts and doing Latin composition exercises to develop mastery of Latin syntax. Vocabulary skills are improved with emphasis on derivational morphology. Advanced grammatical concepts are covered in detail, including relative clauses, participles and the ablative absolute construction, passive voice, subjunctive mood, and indirect statements. Cultural projects cover Roman politics and literature, preparing students to read the texts assigned in more advanced courses.
Prerequisite: Latin IB or Latin I.

Full year — Grade 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

During the first semester, this course reviews vocabulary, grammar, and syntax presented in previous Latin courses using a literary-based approach to sharpen reading skills and the analysis of literary prose. The remaining uses of dependent subjunctive clauses and further uses of participles are introduced. The second semester covers advanced grammatical topics, including cum clauses, conditionals, gerunds and gerundives, and independent subjunctives, using Latin poetry in its original context. Original texts, including Vergil’s Aeneid, Latin epigraphy, and other materials, are examined. This course proceeds at a faster pace, covers increasingly complex topics, and demands more reading of Latin texts than does the Latin III course. Students must do more work on their own and with less help from the instructor. Written quizzes on both previously seen and sight material and tests compose more of the grade in Honors Latin III than in Latin III.
Prerequisite: Grade 9—Latin II; Grades 10, 11, or 12—A- in Latin II and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This intensive course for students with no previous world-language experience and students who want to start a new language is designed to give a solid introduction to the Latin language and Roman culture. It covers the curricula of Latin IA and Latin IB.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students improve their reading and analytical skills by progressing toward original Latin texts and doing Latin composition exercises to develop mastery of Latin syntax. Vocabulary skills are improved with emphasis on derivational morphology. Advanced grammatical concepts are covered in detail, including relative clauses, participles and the ablative absolute construction, passive voice, subjunctive mood, and indirect statements. Cultural projects cover Roman politics and literature, preparing students to read the texts assigned in more advanced courses.
Prerequisite: Latin IB or Latin I.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students learn to read and translate literary prose, building on the grammatical foundation laid by previous Latin courses. For the first time, original Latin texts are read, translated, and analyzed. Intermediate grammatical topics, such as indirect statement and subjunctive constructions, are reviewed. Students expand their vocabularies and learn advanced grammar, including cum clauses, conditionals, gerunds and gerundives, and independent subjunctives. This course aims to further educate students in classical civilization, including topics such as Roman culture, Roman history, classical mythology, and the cultural ramifications of classical civilization beyond the ancient world.
Prerequisite: Latin II.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

During the first semester, this course reviews vocabulary, grammar, and syntax presented in previous Latin courses using a literary-based approach to sharpen reading skills and the analysis of literary prose. The remaining uses of dependent subjunctive clauses and further uses of participles are introduced. The second semester covers advanced grammatical topics, including cum clauses, conditionals, gerunds and gerundives, and independent subjunctives, using Latin poetry in its original context. Original texts, including Vergil’s Aeneid, Latin epigraphy, and other materials, are examined. This course proceeds at a faster pace, covers increasingly complex topics, and demands more reading of Latin texts than does the Latin III course. Students must do more work on their own and with less help from the instructor. Written quizzes on both previously seen and sight material and tests compose more of the grade in Honors Latin III than in Latin III.
Prerequisite: Grade 9—Latin II; Grades 10, 11, or 12—A- in Latin II and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students in these courses improve their translation skills while reading some of the greatest works by the most celebrated Roman writers. Readings are chosen from authors such as Catullus, Livy, Martial, Ovid, Cicero, Pliny the Younger, Horace, Vergil, and Plautus. Attention is given to the historical background and literary merits of each text. Advanced grammatical constructions and rhetorical figures are reviewed and metrics introduced. In-class activities include reading, comprehension of texts without translation, discussion of the cultural background of the texts, sight translation, and exercises designed to help students increase their Latin proficiency.
Prerequisite: Latin IV—Latin III or Honors Latin III; Latin V—Latin IV or AP Latin.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students in these courses improve their translation skills while reading some of the greatest works by the most celebrated Roman writers. Readings are chosen from authors such as Catullus, Livy, Martial, Ovid, Cicero, Pliny the Younger, Horace, Vergil, and Plautus. Attention is given to the historical background and literary merits of each text. Advanced grammatical constructions and rhetorical figures are reviewed and metrics introduced. In-class activities include reading, comprehension of texts without translation, discussion of the cultural background of the texts, sight translation, and exercises designed to help students increase their Latin proficiency.
Prerequisite: Latin IV—Latin III or Honors Latin III; Latin V—Latin IV or AP Latin.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course is designed for advanced Latin students who have successfully completed AP Latin and wish to continue their study of the language and Roman society and culture. Students read challenging and substantial passages of Latin poetry and prose to develop their facility with the language, an appreciation for the variety of Latin styles from one historical period to the next, and an ability to analyze and interpret a text. The legacy of the Latin language and classical literature is of primary interest, and students read Latin outside of the classical period to appreciate the impact that classical literature has had and continues to have on art, music, and film. Students may take this course in the fifth or sixth year of the Latin program.
Prerequisite: B in AP Latin and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course focuses on two texts from the core periods of the Late Republic and the Principate: Caesar’s Gallic War and Vergil’s Aeneid. Extensive passages from both works are read in Latin. Most class time is spent reading, translating, and discussing the texts. Comprehension skills are developed as students read poetry and prose from previously seen and sight material and reflect critically on each selection. The texts are put into historical and cultural contexts and attention is given to the issues of war and peace, empire, ethnicity, leadership, and historiography. Students also read portions of both works in English. The goal is to read Caesar and Vergil with a critical eye and with historical and literary sensitivity.
Prerequisite: B+ in Latin V, Latin IV, or Honors Latin III or A in Latin III and permission of current instructor. Corequisite: AP Latin examination.

Full year — Grade 12 — Meets twice per cycle

This advanced course provides students with the opportunity to read authors and selections that are not a part of the regular Latin program. The class also introduces students to secondary material to help deepen their understanding of the works being studied.
Prerequisite: Latin V or Honors Latin Literature, taken previously or concurrently, and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grade 7 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

Students begin a formal study of Spanish. Listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills are presented in real-world context. Students become familiar with standards of courtesy and appropriate greetings. They learn grammar and vocabulary to describe themselves, friends, and family and to discuss school life, sports, and leisure activities. Similarities and differences between U.S. and Hispanic cultures are also discussed. Interactive lessons, including the use of online text, video, audio, and oral activities, as well as materials intended for native Spanish-speaking audiences, familiarize students with the diversity of peoples and cultures that form the Spanish-speaking world.

Full year — Grades 7 and 8 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course is a continuation of Spanish IA. A communicative approach to language learning is used to improve and increase students’ listening, speaking, reading, writing, and study skills. Students explore the diverse cultures and peoples of the Spanish-speaking world through videos, articles, and texts. Students complete several projects pertaining to Spain and Latin America. In class, Spanish is the primary language spoken by both teacher and students.
Prerequisite: Spanish IA or placement test.

Full year — Grade 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This intensive course for students with no previous world-language experience and students who want to start a new language is designed to give a solid introduction to Spanish. It covers the curricula of Spanish IA and Spanish IB using a similar approach based on real-world tasks and cultural themes.

Full year — Grades 8 and 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

Students improve reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills. Moving at a faster pace, students strengthen their command of all topics introduced in Spanish IA and Spanish IB while expanding their vocabulary and exploring abstract concepts. Hispanic cultures, oral conversations, written compositions, and multimedia presentations are the foci of the program. Students practice using contextualized vocabulary and grammatical structures creatively and accurately to complete communicative tasks.
Prerequisite: Spanish IB or Spanish I.

Full year — Grade 9 — Meets 5 periods per cycle

This course is designed for students demonstrating the interest and motivation to pursue more in-depth Spanish studies. The program proceeds at a faster pace than Spanish III and is conducted almost entirely in Spanish. Students practice the skills of spoken and written Spanish (interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational) using materials from Spanish television, movies, literary works, news articles, and songs by contemporary artists. Students develop and refine their command of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. This course is recommended for students interested in enrolling in AP Spanish Language and Culture because it provides specific tools needed for that course, such as how to interpret materials intended for native speakers and write persuasive essays in Spanish.
Prerequisite: Grade 9—Spanish II; Grades 10, 11, or 12—B+ in Honors Spanish II or A- in Spanish II and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This intensive course for students with no previous world-language experience and students who want to start a new language is designed to give a solid introduction to Spanish. It covers the curricula of Spanish IA and Spanish IB using a similar approach based on real-world tasks and cultural themes.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students improve reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills. Moving at a faster pace, students strengthen their command of all topics introduced in Spanish IA and Spanish IB while expanding their vocabulary and exploring abstract concepts. Hispanic cultures, oral conversations, written compositions, and multimedia presentations are the foci of the program. Students practice using contextualized vocabulary and grammatical structures creatively and accurately to complete communicative tasks.
Prerequisite: Spanish IB or Spanish I.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course is designed for students demonstrating the interest and motivation to pursue the study of Spanish at a more accelerated pace. Students develop all modes of communication (interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational). Student learning centers on audio, visual, and written sources intended for native speakers. Students move beyond talking about themselves and their immediate community to talking about ideas and problems that affect society and the world. They develop strategies for communicating exclusively in Spanish and increase their knowledge of the Spanish-speaking world and its cultures.
Prerequisite: A in Spanish I or Spanish IB and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

Students build on skills acquired in previous Spanish courses to establish a firm foundation upon which to advance their language ability. The main goal is to continue developing all modes of communication (interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational). Students work with audio, visual, and written sources intended for native speakers, reinforcing grammar and vocabulary in context. Students learn strategies to communicate creatively through the use of imaginative, expressive, and increasingly advanced language. They also learn more about cultures of the Spanish-speaking world.
Prerequisite: Spanish II or Honors Spanish II.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course is designed for students demonstrating the interest and motivation to pursue more in-depth Spanish studies. The program proceeds at a faster pace than Spanish III and is conducted almost entirely in Spanish. Students practice the skills of spoken and written Spanish (interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational) using materials from Spanish television, movies, literary works, news articles, and songs by contemporary artists. Students develop and refine their command of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. This course is recommended for students interested in enrolling in AP Spanish Language and Culture because it provides specific tools needed for that course, such as how to interpret materials intended for native speakers and write persuasive essays in Spanish.
Prerequisite: Grade 9—Spanish II; Grades 10, 11, or 12—B+ in Honors Spanish II or A- in Spanish II and permission of current instructor.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course emphasizes an interactive and communicative approach to learning the Spanish language and about Spanish cultures. Students strengthen their language skills by communicating orally and in writing with other Spanish speakers, listening to and reading Spanish texts, viewing and interpreting works of art, and presenting their ideas to an audience. A curriculum emphasizing Hispanic culture reflects issues of interest to today’s high-school students, providing opportunities to exchange opinions, make connections to content from other courses, and compare cultural elements from different Spanish-speaking societies. The course stimulates creative, critical thinking through activities requiring students to argue, persuade, analyze, and interpret other points of view. Practice of grammatical structures and vocabulary focus on communication in meaningful contexts.
Prerequisite: Spanish III or Honors Spanish III.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

The goal of this course is to help students develop and refine conversational skills while acquiring a stronger awareness and understanding of Spanish and Spanish-speaking cultures. Through in-depth study of current events, cinema, and contemporary literature, students learn to compare those cultures with English-speaking American cultures, widening their intellectual horizons and developing respect and appreciation for differences. Class discussion, which allows students to improve their fluency, is the predominant class activity and serves as the primary means of assessing student performance. The homework load is limited and consists mainly of reading in preparation for class activities. This course is conducted entirely in Spanish.
Prerequisite: Spanish IV or higher.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This accelerated course may be taken in the fourth or fifth year of study. It develops creative and critical thinking skills while studying complex thematic units as outlined by the College Board. A comparative cultural component accompanies these themes as they are explored in twenty-one Spanish-speaking countries throughout the world. The course focuses on speaking, listening, writing, and reading in formal and informal contexts. The reading- and listening-comprehension sections feature materials that include articles from newspapers and magazines and excerpts from books, literary works, and short stories. Formal persuasive essays and oral presentations, short paragraphs responding to emails, and simulated conversations use materials created by and for native speakers. The goal is to develop students’ interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational communication skills in the Spanish language.
Prerequisite: Spanish V: Interdisciplinary Hispanic Studies, B+ in Honors Spanish III, A- in Spanish IV, or A in Spanish III and permission of current instructor. Corequisite: AP Spanish Language and Culture examination.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course introduces students to the formal study of Peninsular Spanish, Latin American, and United States Hispanic literature through global, historical, and contemporary cultural contexts. The goal is to provide opportunities for students to develop interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational communication skills. Critical reading, analytical writing, and researching are emphasized. Course objectives also include sharpening critical thinking and making interdisciplinary connections using media, including music, art, documentary films, radio, and television. Students are expected to participate in class discussions, read extensively, and express themselves in correct and idiomatic Spanish. Class activities, conducted entirely in Spanish, include lectures, discussions, and small-group work.
Prerequisite: AP Spanish Language and Culture or Post-AP Spanish Seminar and permission of current instructor. Corequisite: AP Spanish Literature and Culture examination.

Full year — Grades 11 and 12 — Meets 3 blocks per cycle

This course offers students the opportunity to use their advanced Spanish-language skills in creative and analytical ways. Those skills may be applied to a wide range of topics, from art and literature to current events, economics, history, politics, and social studies. The seminar focuses on the history of Spain and Latin America as well as on contemporary political and social issues related to both regions. It includes historical analysis from the ancient, or pre-Colombian, period through modern times, including discovery of the New World, independence of the colonies, and contemporary issues. The course is conducted entirely in Spanish and involves daily reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students are expected to read four to five pages every day. The material is discussed in class, and videos related to the historical events and reading material are viewed. Historical movies are viewed every few units. Two research papers, one within each semester, are due in lieu of examinations.
Prerequisite: AP Spanish Language and Culture or AP Spanish Literature and Culture.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets twice per cycle

This course is offered to students who register for Spanish V: Interdisciplinary Hispanic Studies when the enrollment minimum to run that course is not reached. Directed Study: Spanish covers the same content, albeit in less depth (see description for course number U3570-0).
Prerequisite: Spanish IV or higher.

Full year — Grade 12 — Meets twice per cycle

This course provides students with an introduction to Attic Greek, the Greek of Thucydides, Plato, and the Greek tragedians. The class also explores various aspects of ancient Greek culture to place the language within its historical and cultural contexts. A background in classical languages is helpful, but not required. Corequisite: Concurrent enrollment in another core World Languages class.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets twice per cycle

Students are introduced to Italian culture and begin using the language in a conversational fashion. As students progress, the extent to which classes are conducted in Italian increases.

Full year, repeatable — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets twice per cycle

Students continue to explore Italian language and culture and use the language to converse. The class, conducted entirely in Italian, includes a gradual incorporation of literature excerpts, press articles, and Italian cinema.
Prerequisite: Directed Study: Beginning Italian Language and Culture and permission of current instructor or prior enrollment.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets twice per cycle

This course introduces German language and culture, covering all cases and verb tenses. Students must work independently and make time to listen to audio recordings and watch video presentations between classes. The course uses audio materials featuring native speakers and texts providing grammatical explanations and practice materials. Online materials add cultural and linguistic enrichment.

Full year — Grades 10, 11, and 12 — Meets twice per cycle

Students continue to explore basic grammatical concepts, vocabulary, verb tenses, passive voice, and subjunctive mood and expand their knowledge of German culture and customs through discussions and increasingly advanced reading selections. Conducted in German, spoken language is also emphasized through increased exposure to idiomatic expressions. Short essays and cultural reports improve students’ written German.
Prerequisite: Directed Study: Beginning German and permission of current instructor or prior enrollment.

Last Updated: 3/12/21