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2020-2021 Course Descriptions

Math

5th & 6th Grade Math

Pre-Algebra

Algebra

Geometry

Algebra 2

Pre-Calculus

Calculus

Business Math

Science

Physical Science

Biology

Chemistry

Environmental Science

Physics

Anatomy & Physiology

Phun with Physics

Humanities

Literature & Writing

HS American History

MS Writing & History

Spanish 1

Honors Classes

Electives

Culinary Arts

Engineering Systems 1

SAT/ACT/TSI Prep


Math

5th & 6th Grade Math

Students build a solid math foundation that will help them to do well in higher-level math. This class covers the basic math operations, fractions, percentages, exponents, scientific notation, unit conversions, Roman numerals, solving basic equations, and geometry.

Pre-Algebra

This course introduces the student to algebraic thinking and gradually builds equation-solving skills. The curriculum consists of problems that use integers, decimals, rational numbers (fractions), percents and square roots. Students will learn to graph basic functions. A review of basic geometry, area and volume is included. Statistics and probability are introduced at a very understandable level. This course is designed to help the student make an easy transition to Algebra 1.

Algebra 1

Algebra 1 sets the foundation for higher level math. Students learn the fundamental concepts of algebra. The topics covered include: relations and functions, graphing, linear equations, systems of equations, radicals, exponents, factoring polynomials, rational equations, and quadratic functions. Students will learn how to solve equations and how to translate word problems into equations. A graphing calculator is required for this class.

Geometry

I strongly recommend that students take Geometry before taking Algebra 2. It gives them a year to practice the skills they've learned in Algebra 1 and it teaches them how to work logically through a complex problem. They need that skill in Algebra 2. The textbook for this class has an algebra review at the end of every chapter so they will maintain their problem-solving skills throughout the year. It also includes many SAT prep problems to help them prepare for standardized tests.

Algebra 2

Algebra 2 prepares students for college-level Algebra. Students learn to work with a variety of functions: linear, linear systems, quadratics, exponential, logarithmic, rational and irrational. At the beginning of each unit, the basic concepts from Algebra 1 are reviewed and then new concepts are built on them. Students will also learn about imaginary numbers, regression analyses, sequences and series, probability, and conic sections. Students need a graphing calculator.

Pre-Calculus

In this class, students are introduced to higher order functions, matrices, trigonometric functions and identities, polar and parametric functions, the concept of limits, and basic differentiation and integration rules. Upon completion of this course, the student should be prepared for the math portion of the SAT and ACT exams.

Calculus

Students who take this course will learn about all the concepts include on the AP Calculus A/B exam. Topics include: limits and their properties, differentiation and applications of differentiation, integration and applications of integration, and differential equations. This course is equivalent to a first semester college calculus course.

Business Math

Business Math gives students the skills to manage a business, investments, banking, and income taxes. Students will learn about accounts receivable and payable, bookkeeping, stocks and bonds, and small business loans. Prerequisite: Algebra 2

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Science

Physical Science

Physical Science is an excellent introduction to the basic principals of physics and chemistry. Students will do experiments and learn about matter, scientific measurement, laws of motion, work and energy, electricity and magnetism, sound and light waves, the periodic table, and basic chemical reactions.

Biology/Honors Biology

Biology is the study of living things. Students will learn about organisms in all the biological kingdoms, from microscopic life to the human body. Topics covered include: genetics, biochemistry, and ecology. Students will perform lab activities and projects, such as using the microscope to examine cells and completing four dissections (worm, crayfish, fish, frog). Students have the option of taking this as an honors class. To earn honors credit, extra assignments must be completed.

Chemistry/Honors Chemistry

This course covers all the concepts in high school chemistry in an easy to understand format. Students will learn about atomic and molecular structure, energy and calorimetry, chemical and physical changes, working with chemical equations, solutions, acids and bases, gas laws, thermodynamics, reaction rates, equilibrium, and redox reactions. Students have the option of taking this as an honors class. To earn honors credit, extra assignments must be completed.

Environmental & Earth Science

In Environmental and Earth Science, students learn about the structure of the earth and its atmosphere. They will study the relationships between people, plants, and animals and how they affect the air, water, land, and other resources in our environment. Students will perform lab activities and projects, such as water sampling and creating a land-use model. Prerequiste: Biology.

Physics/Honors Physics

Physics introduces the student to the laws of motion and energy. Students will study one and two-dimensional motion, vectors, circular motion, work and energy, momentum, periodic motion, waves, optics, thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, fluid mechanics, and relativity. Students have the option of taking this as an honors class. To earn honors credit, extra assignments must be completed.

Anatomy & Physiology

In this course, students will study human anatomy and physiology in great depth. They will learn the structure and function of the eleven organ systems in the human body. Labs include dissections and microscope labs. This is an excellent course for students interested in a career in nursing, physical therapy or other health professions. Prerequiste: Biology.

Phun with Physics

Phun with Physics is a great "hands on" science class that teaches kids the basics of physics. Students will learn about the laws of motion, electricity, magnetism, light, sound, and much more. They will get to do labs and build projects. Each week, students receive a brief homework assignment that reviews or adds to the material covered in class. Answers for the homework are emailed to the parents after each class. (3rd - 7th Grades)

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Humanities

Literature & Writing

This year, students will be studying World Literature. They will read a variety of interesting works from authors around the world. Students practice writing short paragraphs, narratives, creative writing assignments, and essays to develop their writing skills. Students have the option of taking this as an honors class.(9th grade and up.)

American History

In American History, we will study from the time before there were boundaries and state lines all the way to America's involvement in space exploration. Students will learn about the important people and events that shaped our nation. (9th & up)

Middle School Writing & American History

This is a hands-on, high interest trip through American & Texas History. Students will create their own history portfolio of maps, timelines, stories of important people and events. They will do fun projects and activities to learn about the culture from each period of our history. We will also learn about Texas history and heritage. (6th - 8th grades)

Spanish 1

Spanish is the second-most spoken language in the world, and it is useful to know. This class's emphasis is on developing four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. It also provides them with an introduction to Spanish culture, vocabulary, and grammar. (7th grade and up.)

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Electives

Culinary Arts

Culinary Arts is more than a cooking class. Students learn the science behind the cooking. What makes a good loaf of bread? Why do chefs temper chocolate? Why does that sauce taste so good? What is the science behind gluten-free food? Students will get to make recipes from around the world, and they will learn how to create their own recipes. They will also work on plating and presentation. The last Friday of each month, the class will prepare a delicious meal to share with others. A little science, a lot of delicious, and a whole lot of fun. (9th grade and up.)

Engineering Systems & Design

Got students who are tinkerers? This is the class for them. Students will explore different types of engineering by designing and building various projects. They will practice problem-solving skills, and they will learn about materials, electricity, programming, and much more. Some of the areas of engineering students will study are: civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, and aerospace engineering. (9th grade and up.)

SAT/ACT/TSI Test Prep

Students will review and practice material for all sections of the SAT, ACT, and TSI tests. We will cover grammar and writing rules, do a complete math review, build vocabulary and reading skills, and learn how to write an essay for the SAT and one for the ACT. This is an 6-week class offered in the Spring semester.

Honors Classes

In Honors Classes, students do additional assignments that are challenging and help the student prepare for college courses. These courses include material that is on the AP and SAT Subjects tests. Because honors courses carry more weight, they can increase a student's grade point average (GPA) on their high school transcript. When a student completes honors classes, it shows colleges that the student is capable of working at an advanced level. All students are welcome to start a class on the honors track, but they may change to the regular track at anytime if they decide not to pursue the honors credit.

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