8th Grade Art
This three quarter course is an introduction to the art elements and principles of design.
Students will view, discuss, and research art history. As a group, this class will pursue
and complete a school or community project.
8th Grade French
This course continues to introduce students to the use of French at the beginning
level in the presentational, interpretive, and interpersonal modes of communication.
Expression of ideas about self, friends, family, school, and daily life are the basis for
cross-cultural comparisons. Projects vary and may include creation of a restaurant
menu, a dream house, a travel itinerary, etc. Continuing Requirements: Successful
completion of introductory French classes.
8th Grade Theater
This course is designed to give students an appreciation for all aspects of the theater.
The class will focus on learning an overview of acting skills, such as: annunciation
and projection through the presentation of monologues and scenes from popular
television and movies. Audition skills for both live theater and film will be explored.
Students will also participate in project-based learning related to costume, scenic,
and lighting design. These projects are designed to allow students to discover what
area of theater may interest them most through creative projects.
This course covers material in three specific areas. It provides an intensive review/survey of advanced topics from Algebra II: conic sections, logarithms, advanced algebra, sequence and series, matrices and determinants. It includes a thorough, rigorous course in trigonometry, with extensive applications included. It also gives a thorough study of probability and statistics. As time permits, additional or alternate topics (limits, statistical testing, etc.) may also be covered. Prerequisite: Algebra II
Advanced Math (Honors)
This course is designed to cover two major areas in mathematics, Algebra and Trigonometry, both with a focus on preparation for calculus classes. The focus is primarily on Algebra during the first semester, covering algebraic, exponential and logarithmic functions for students preparing to study calculus. Trigonometry, including trigonometric and inverse trigonometric functions, equations, and graphs, fundamental trigonometric identities, and the polar coordinate system, will be the concentration during the second semester.
Advanced Photography (Photo II)
Advanced Photography helps to further develop knowledge attained from their Photo I prerequisite, allowing students more latitude to develop a rich and independent approach and workflow thus students will better craft and share their "voice" while maintaining and editing their online portfolios. Students will also be more instrumental in capturing school events, on campus and off. Students will be prompted to research and enter their best photos in appropriate regional/national competitions. Students will also work closely with one another in small groups to accomplish specific goals to help assure that they are confident and knowledgeable as members of a creative team. This advanced class culminates during the last quarter of school, when students plan, jury, setup and present their chosen final images during an end of the year off-campus exhibition of student work TBA.
This course lays the foundation for all future work in mathematics, science, and “real world” problems. The course emphasizes developing a true understanding of the concepts, theory, and processes in algebra through the proficient use of problem solving, modeling, and the use of technology to approach various topics. General topics covered will include real numbers and calculations with them, linear equations, linear functions, and linear inequalities, as well as systems of linear equations. Exponential functions and quadratic functions are also studied. Special emphasis is paid to rational numbers, rational equations, and radicals.
Algebra I Accelerated Honors
This course is designed for accelerated 8th grade students who plan to graduate with five high school math credits, taking calculus as a seniors in high school. This challenging course lays the foundation for all future work in mathematics, the applied sciences, and “real world” problems. The course emphasizes developing a true understanding of the concepts, theory, and processes in algebra through the proficient and rigorous use of problem solving, modeling, and the use of technology to approach various topics. General topics covered will include real numbers and calculations with them, linear equations, linear functions, and linear inequalities, as
well as systems of linear equations. Exponential functions and quadratic functions are also studied. Special emphasis is paid to rational numbers, rational equations, and radicals.
This course begins with a very thorough review of basic concepts from Algebra I, but at a more advanced level. Ideas are more detailed, rigorous, and more complex. Included among these topics are inequalities, linear equations, functions, factoring, rational expressions, and various types of word problems and applications. In the
second phase of the course, new materials include irrational and complex numbers, alternate methods of solving equations including completing the square, the quadratic formula, variations, analytic geometry, and logarithmic/exponential functions, and probability and statistics. Included is the study of sequences and
series and/or matrices and determinants.
Algebra II Honors
This course begins with a very thorough review of basic concepts from Algebra I, but at a more advanced level. Ideas are more detailed, rigorous, and more complex. Included among these topics are inequalities, linear equations, functions, factoring, rational expressions, and various types of word problems and applications. In the second phase of the course, new materials include irrational and complex numbers, alternate methods of solving equations including completing the square, the quadratic formula, variations, analytic geometry, and logarithmic/exponential functions, and probability and statistics. Included is the study of sequences and
series and/or matrices and determinants.
Algebra Part I (8th Grade)
This course lays the foundation for all future work in mathematics, science, and “real world” problems. The course emphasizes developing a true understanding of the concepts, theory, and processes in algebra through the proficient use of problem solving, modeling, and the use of technology to approach various topics. General topics covered will include real numbers and calculations with them, factoring, linear equations, linear functions, and linear inequalities, as well as systems of linear equations.
American History (8th Grade)
8th grade students will study American history from colonization to the Civil War. This
course is an introductory history course in which students will be introduced to
historical research, document based questions (DBQs), persuasive writing and
argumentation, and critical reading. This 8th grade history course is complimentary of
the 8th grade English course and teachers will work closely to develop the writing and
reading skills necessary for success in the high school curriculum.
Anatomy/ Physiology Honors
This course will emphasize an intensive year long study of human anatomy and physiology. This course will cover medical terminology, basic chemistry, cell and tissue structure, and the eleven systems of the human body (skin and body membranes, skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, circulatory, lymphatic, digestive, respiratory, urinary and reproductive). There will be a literature review “APA style” paper required on human disease. Outside reading will include non-fiction, science based works.
This biology course conforms to the standards instituted by the College Board for all AP courses and covers all of the topics in the AP Biology Course Description. These topics include biochemistry, cell structure and function, metabolism, genetics, molecular basis of inheritance, DNA technology, evolution, microbiology, classification, plants, animals, animal physiology, and ecology. All students who take the AP Biology course are required to do a variety of research projects outside of class time. Students do most of the work independently and at home. Additional readings include one or two nonfiction biological books that will be assigned as outside readings.
Furthermore, all the above topics are integrated throughout the course using the eight major themes based upon the AP Biology curriculum requirements. This is a laboratory course in which students are expected to use collected data to solve biological problems. The objectives of the course are that students:
• demonstrate skills in using various types of biological instrumentation and scientific
• learn how to read and critique papers written by scientists in the field of biology
• practice finding and using patterns in collected data to solve scientific problems
• exhibit mastery of the major principles of biology
• apply biological knowledge and critical thinking to environmental and social concerns.
Prerequisite: Pre-AP Biology I and/or Biology II
AP Calculus AB
The course includes the mathematics of motion and the change of motion, as well as various other single variable relations and functions. Differential calculus will be employed to calculate the instantaneous rate of change and integral calculus will be developed as an inverse process to calculate the area under the curve of a function. Computer and calculator devices will be utilized in many applied problems, especially for problems seeking maximum or minimum solutions. At the end of the course, the student should be prepared for the Advanced Placement Calculus AB Exam.
AP Chemistry is the equivalent of a two-semester college general chemistry course. Prerequisites for this course are one year of high school chemistry and completion of Algebra II. Students in this course are expected to attain a depth of understanding of fundamentals such as atomic structure, bonding models, thermodynamics, acid-base theory, equilibrium, kinetics, and electrochemistry. Students should also attain a reasonable competence in
dealing with chemical calculations. The course is designed around 6 "Big Ideas", involving the above mentioned topics. These Big Ideas include the core scientific principles, theories, and processes governing chemical systems. Each Big Idea encompasses several Enduring Understandings which incorporate the core concepts that students should retain from the learning experience. Prerequisite: Pre-AP Chemistry
AP French Language And Culture
AP French Language and Culture is designed to train students in the interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational aspects of communication. The six themes of the AP French Language and Culture course are: Global Challenges, Science and Technology, Contemporary Life, Personal and Public Identities, Families and Communities, and Beauty and Aesthetics. This class is designed to increase the fluency and level of sophistication with which students express themselves in French, and develops their ability to understand the language and the cultures of the French-speaking world. This course includes advanced grammar topics, practice in narrative and expository writing, reading comprehension, listening comprehension, and extemporaneous speaking. Students analyze, reflect on, and discuss contemporary issues. They explore a wide range of topics. They read Francophone literature through the centuries, and write essays and reviews. They study Francophone culture and history. The class is conducted exclusively in French and students must express themselves in French. This course prepares students for the Advanced Placement French Language and Culture examination (additional fee), which they take at the end of the year. This exam gives them the opportunity to earn college credits. Successful completion of this course requires significant effort and dedication. Advanced Placement French Language and Culture Requirements: Successful completion of French III Honors or French IV Honors with a 92 or higher, teacher recommendation.
AP Physics I
AP Physics I is an algebra-based full-year Advanced Placement course equivalent to the first semester of a typical introductory, algebra-based college physics course. The AP Physics course is designed to be taught over the course of a full academic year and may be taken as a first-year physics course with no prior physics coursework necessary. Students should have completed geometry and be concurrently taking algebra II, or an equivalent course. The course is designed around 6 "Big Ideas", involving the physics principles topics. These Big Ideas include the core scientific principles, theories, and processes governing systems. Each Big Idea encompasses several Enduring Understandings, which incorporate the core concepts that students should retain from the learning experience. Co-requisite or prerequisite: Algebra II
AP Spanish: AP Language And Culture
Requirements: Successful completion of Spanish III or Spanish IV honors with a 92 average or higher and teacher recommendation. This course follows the guidelines of an intermediate college level class. The AP Spanish Language and Culture course will be taught solely in Spanish so that the students improve in their proficiency across the three modes of communication: Interpersonal, Interpreting, and Presentational. The course will integrate authentic resources including online print, audio ,and audiovisual resources, as well as traditional print resources that include literature, essays, and magazine and newspaper articles with the goal of providing a rich learning experience. Also, the student will learn to interpret information from graphs and charts that are included in some sections of the AP test. The course is divided into six thematic units, which further based on recommended contexts and guided by essential questions. Corresponding cultural elements are integrated in the study of the units, and activities are directed with those cultural connections in mind. Discussion of any topic will take place in the target language.
AP United States History
AP U.S. History covers the spectrum of American history from pre-Columbian days to the present. Using chronological and thematic approaches to the material, the course exposes students to extensive primary and secondary sources and to the interpretations of various historians. Class participation through seminar reports, discussions, debates, and role-playing activities is required; special emphasis is placed on critical reading and essay writing to help students prepare for the AP examination. The course is structured chronologically, divided into 21 units. Each unit includes one or more of the nine periods and/or key concepts outlined in the AP U.S. History curriculum framework.
Art I students experience a wide variety of media and art processes in order to open their minds to undiscovered personal potential. Applying of the elements and principles of design in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional formats is the true foundation of this course. They learn to utilize media in the studio through directed experience in a
variety of techniques.
This one year course has a prerequisite of Art I.
Students will continue to develop and refine the skills and techniques taught in Art II.
Using the art elements and principles of design, students will be challenged to create
works of art that are meaningful and relevant.
This one year course has a prerequisite of Art II. Students will be guided to discover and develop their own styles by refining the skills and techniques in previous art courses. The focus of this course leans toward a more conceptual approach to their work. This class provides the opportunity to grow ideas and discover more about choices through the examination of a variety of materials and surfaces. Presenting and exhibiting work becomes a much larger part of the process as students work on creating portfolios.
This class is based on portfolio review and application process. Students continue to work on their ability to present themselves and their work in a professional manner. This includes the development of personal subject matter and content. Experimental techniques are encouraged and explored in this class. Depending on the needs and desires of students in the class, students will work independently with regular scheduled critiques and meetings. During the second semester, students will explore metal techniques such as sawing, soldering, annealing, riveting, and enameling.
Biology is devoted to the study of living things and their processes. Throughout the year this course provides an opportunity for students to develop scientific process skills, laboratory techniques, and an understanding of the fundamental principles of living organisms. Students will explore biological science as a process, cell structure and function, genetics and heredity, evolution and classification, diversity of living organisms and their ecological roles, and an introduction to animal structure and function. There will be one outside reading of a science nonfiction book.
Biology I Honors
Biology I Honors is designed for students who are in the 9th and 10th grade. It is an investigation of the characteristics of living organisms and their interdependence; covering the following concepts: Basic Biological Principles, Chemical Basis of Life, Cell Structure & Function Bioenergetics, Homeostasis & Transport, Cell Growth and Reproduction, Genetics, Theory of Evolution, and Ecology. Through class discussion, laboratory experiments, and content analysis, students will investigate the relationships of life forms. Biology I Honors will give students the opportunity to explore in greater detail the topics covered in the standard biology class, as well as give students increased responsibility toward the quality of work completed both in and out of class. This course will provide the rigor necessary to prepare students wh0 are interested in taking Biology II, and expand their knowledge of the biological sciences.
This course is designed for students who have completed Pre�AP Biology I and/or wish to additionally prepare for the Advanced Placement Biology course. This course is designed to improve students academic, communication, investigative and self�management skills. The class will emphasize higher order thinking skills using online activities, laboratory investigations, independent research, collaborative learning projects, problem solving activities, and bioethical discussions. This course emphasizes a multi�disciplinary approach to biological concepts and problems with results being expressed graphically, analytically, and verbally. Biology II offers a more advanced level of experiences in the concepts of biology. Topics that will be covered include: structures and functions of cells and viruses? growth and development of organisms? cells, tissues, and organs? nucleic acids and genetics? biological evolution? taxonomy? metabolism and energy transfers in living organisms? living systems? homeostasis? ecosystems? and plants and the environment. Laboratory activities are presented as a combination of inquiry and confirmatory exercises, including animal dissection. Prerequisite: Biology I, Biology I Honors or Pre�AP Biology I.
Chemistry is a required basic course that introduces the principles of chemistry through classroom experience and problem solving supported by some laboratory measurements. First semester topics to be covered are measurements, graphing, heat, temperature, atomic structure, bonding, formulas, and chemical equations. Second semester topics are stoichiometry, behavior of gases, solutions, acids and bases, and general organic chemistry. Co-requisite: Algebra II.
This course is a study of the first century (c. AD 33-100) of the Christian faith. During
the space of one academic quarter, students will study the political, social, religious, and
economic world of the Christian New Testament. Special attention is paid to the
ministry of Saint Paul and the composition, outline, and authorship of the Pauline and
General Epistles, as well as of Saint John’s Revelation.
Civics focuses on the principles and beliefs upon which the United States was founded and on the structure, functions, and powers of government at the national, state, and local levels. A significant focus of the course is on the U.S. Constitution, its underlying principles and ideas, and the form of government it created. Students analyze major concepts of checks and balances, separation of powers, and individual rights, and they compare the U.S. system of government with other political systems. Students identify the role of government in the U.S. free-enterprise system and analyze the impact of individuals, political parties, interest groups, and the media on the American political system, evaluate the importance of voluntary individual participation in a democratic society, and analyze the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Free Enterprise also examines the basic principles concerning the production, consumption, and distribution of goods and services in the United States and a comparison with those in other countries around the world. Students examine the rights and responsibilities of consumers and businesses. Students analyze the interaction of
supply, demand, and price and study the role of financial institutions in a
free-enterprise system. Types of business ownership and market structures are discussed, as are basic concepts of consumer economics. Students apply critical-thinking skills to create economic models and to evaluate economic-activity patterns. The study of Civics and Free Enterprise over the course of a year binds students to their citizenship knowledge, economics, geography, government, history, culture—and even science and technology. This course enables students to understand the importance of patriotism, the function of how citizens function in a free-enterprise society, and to appreciate the basic democratic values of our state and nation.
Creative Writing (One Semester)
This course is intended to be a broad-based introduction to various forms of writing, such as short fiction, poetry and drama. Each day students will be given a writing prompt; weekly readings and discussions are the crux of this course. As this is also a workshop class, students maintain a digital journal that creatively chronicles each week of this semester-long foray. Within these three disciplines, short fiction, poetry, and drama, we will also explore high school publishing opportunities and/or writing scholarships or grants, etc... With short fiction, this class allows for exploration; for students to delve deeper into the meat of selected short fiction and to craft original works. We will have weekly class discussions of student work as well as time to discuss rewrites. Regarding poetry, students read and practice rhyming structures, meter, metaphor and imagery. Students may work on a handful of poems from drafting through final revisions with constructive input from the class. With drama and screenplay, students will analyze dramatic strategies from film and stage, learn to follow script form, and creatively engage with assignments that will include the writing of scenes. As with all our writing assignments, we always set aside time for feedback from the class.
Digital Design I
Students will engage in hands-on design practices, develop creative thinking strategies, and devise solutions to visual communication design challenges. Exploring a variety of media such as photography, painting, drawing, printmaking, and more, students will scan and manipulate illustrations through the Adobe Creative Suite software. This course familiarizes students with visual principles involved in computer based design, essential software, and techniques that serve a basic designer's needs. Learning basic fundamentals of graphic design, students will explore logos, branding, typography, advertising, and more. Skills learned in Digital Design are essential for a 21st century student preparing to enter higher education.
Dual Enrollment English IV Honors
This course consists of two semester-length university composition and rhetoric courses offered through a dual enrollment agreement between Ascension Episcopal School and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. English 101 is titled “Introduction to Academic Writing” and focuses on developing critical thinking, reading, and writing skills at the university level through writing effective, well-argued essays. English 102 is titled “Writing and Research about Culture” and is an exploration of myriad cultural topics from around the world (with the concept of globalization at the center of the course’s curriculum); students build on and advance thinking, reading, and writing skills learned in English 101, while focusing more keenly on rhetoric and research.
Econ 201 Macroeconomics
This course is designed to introduce the students to an overview of economics, as well as macroeconomics specifically. Included in the curriculum are the topics of economic systems, supply and demand, fiscal policy, gross domestic product, and monetary policy. After completing this course the student should be able to understand current events and the impact of governmental policy on the overall economy.
Econ 202 Microeconomics
This course is designed to introduce the students to an overview of economics, as well as microeconomics specifically. Included in the curriculum are the topics of economic systems, specialization and trade, supply and demand, cost analysis, and types of business structures. After completing this course the student should be able
to understand current events as presented in the news media and the impact of governmental policy on the overall economy.
English - 8th Grade
The aims of 8th grade English are manifold and far-reaching. The course is designed to provide each student with a critical understanding and appreciation of fine literature from the classics as well as contemporary authors. Students read, discuss, and analyze mythology, short stories, modern and classic novels, and Shakespearean and drama. As students move from one unit to the next, they are encouraged to recognize the connections shared among eras and genres regarding themes, subtext, and questions on
the human condition. Incorporating contemplation and exploration of the literature,
students are challenged to write in a variety of forms, including constructed response compositions, pre-writing exercises, research essays, and creative compositions. In addition to structure and content, student writing emphasizes documentation, clarity, formal expression, voice development, correct usage, mechanics and spelling. Students practice and master grammar, mechanics, usage, and sentence variance skills. Ultimately, each student ends the year prepared to excel in English in the Upper School.
English I And English I Honors
The ninth grade English course (English I) focuses on vocabulary development, writing, and the reading and analyzing of novels, stories, plays and documents. Students explore the idea of the hero and the heroine and the necessary journey and the patterns of these journeys found throughout literature. Critical reading of literature allows the students to apply their knowledge of similarities and differences among stories, characters, and themes from ancient myth to more recent literature. Foundational philosophy helps to further the unifying theme and exposes the students to different cultures and the idea that the human struggle is basically the same universally. The course includes a wide range of world literature selections for that purpose. Formal essays are written as well as informal weekly writing assignments. The course also includes the study of vocabulary and grammar and writing mechanics. Students in Honors read additional selections of stories and poetry, take enhanced assessments that require further critical thinking about the periods and texts, and complete extended writing assignments that also emphasize critical analysis and research.
English II And English II Honors
The American literature course exposes students to classic American novelists, playwrights, poets, essayists, and short story writers. Varied literature selections beginning from the earliest days of America are included. Common themes unite these writers, and the students identify and recognize themes such as the individual’s relationship with society and the search for self-identity. The course focuses on vocabulary development, appreciation of various styles of literature, and expository writing. A formal research paper is assigned in the fall and spring semesters. Grammar and the mechanics of writing are also a part of the course. Students in Honors read additional selections of stories and poetry, take enhanced assessments that require further critical thinking about the periods and texts, and complete extended writing assignments that also emphasize critical analysis and research. To support composition and aid in preparation for college entrance exams and standardized testing, students will also learn Latin and Greek word roots and related vocabulary words each quarter.
English III And English III Honors
English III is a survey of British literature from Anglo/Saxon to contemporary times and a college preparatory composition course. Students will study major literary works from each century, focusing on the cultural and historical context of major movements, the life and influences of each author, the subtexts, thematic and moral values, the technical elements of each work, and the lasting relevance of each piece to the contemporary reader. In addition to historical criticism, students will become familiar with the psychoanalytic and new critical approaches. In an effort to bring the written word and the classic concepts to life, the class will engage in activities and assignments related to the literature to awaken the imagination and seal knowledge. Other principal aims of English III are the mastery of the writing and research process as well as the cultivation of the writer’s voice. Students will complete writing assignments for each literary unit, practicing a variety of formal, creative, technical, and scholarly forms with repeated emphasis on research essays. Also, students will produce research papers in the Fall and Spring semesters. Gaining experience and familiarity
with a broad range of rhetorical forms will prepare them for the composition challenges of the coming years. To support composition and aid in preparation for college entrance exams and standardized testing, students will also learn Latin and Greek word roots and related vocabulary words each quarter. Students in Honors read additional selections of stories and poetry, take enhanced assessments that require further critical thinking about the periods and texts, and complete extended writing assignments that also emphasize critical analysis and
English IV takes the form of a senior seminar that focuses each year on one particular literary genre. In past years, students have explored both classics and young adult fiction works in the areas of the antihero, gothic, dystopian, and post-apocalyptic literature. Primary goals for this course include the following: fostering close reading and deeper comprehension, honing critical thinking and analytical writing skills, cultivating a desire to be a lifelong reader, working collaboratively with classmates in small groups, and mastering the rigor of academic research and writing. The latter is shown via each student’s production of a senior seminar essay at the end of the year. Fellow students read each writer’s essay, and then the writer leads the class discussion group for his/her presentation. Each year, the reading list is tailored to provide the class with a framework of understanding the literary, historical, socio-cultural, and other facets of that year’s specific literary genre. In addition to formal research and writing, the course interweaves creative writing, journal (reader response) writing, grammar, style, vocabulary, and writing mechanics throughout the year.
Environmental Science integrates ecology, geology, physics, chemistry, meteorology, economics and social science. The course will cover scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies to understand the interrelationships of the natural world. You will learn to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, to evaluate the risks associated with these problems and examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them.
This course is an introduction to Francophone culture and language, designed for students beginning the study of French for the first time. The curriculum focuses on the four basic communication skills: reading, speaking, listening and writing. In addition, students begin to master vocabulary and grammar necessary to communication. These skills are enhanced through the use of classroom conversations, recorded dialogue, videos, web activities,
and oral and written activities done individually and in small groups. Beginning Requirements: No prerequisites.
Emphasis is placed on expanded vocabulary development (e.g., home, family, school...), verb conjugations in several tenses, and grammatical structures. Topics include travel, shopping, needs and wants, and daily routines of French speaking cultures through which students build an appreciation for cultural differences. French II Requirements: Successful completion of French I, placement scores that indicate admission to this level.
French II Accelerated
Material will be presented at a faster pace, and higher level thinking skills will be expected. More complex ideas and topics will be explored. Course will be conducted mostly in French. Requirements: Successful completion of French I with a 92 or higher, teacher recommendation and/or placement scores that indicate admission to this level.
This course provides an in depth study of French language and cultures. Developing communication continues in various tenses and structures on a wide variety of topics such as personal history, health, social issues, and future plans. Projects include a mock job interview, the creation of a fairy tale, a newscast, etc. French III Requirements: Successful completion of French II.
This course is designed to enable students to use inductive and deductive reasoning, to investigate and to understand geometric concepts, and to apply these concepts to real- life situations. Emphasis is on visualization of geometric figures, problem solving, verbal and written communication and cooperative learning. Students learn to apply the principles, patterns, and spatial orientation of plane and solid Euclidean geometry, as well as to be able to connect these with algebra. The course includes calculator exercises, computer activities, and an emphasis on word problems. As time allows extensive work in the areas of scatter plots, application problems, probability, and statistics may also be included.
This course is designed to enable students to use inductive and deductive reasoning, to investigate and to understand geometric concepts, and to apply these concepts to real- life situations. Emphasis is on visualization of geometric figures, problem solving, verbal and written communication and cooperative learning. Students learn to apply the principles, patterns, and spatial orientation of plane and solid Euclidean geometry, as well as to be able to connect these with algebra. The course includes calculator exercises, computer activities, and an emphasis on word problems. As time allows, extensive work in the areas of scatter plots, application problems, probability, and statistics may also be included.
Instrumental Music I
Instrumental Music provides students with learning and performance opportunities on violin, viola, cello and bass. Through this course students will develop a better understanding of music terminology, music literature, playing technique, ensemble performance and concert etiquette. The primary focus is on the development and expansion of basic playing skills which are necessary for effective instrumental music performance. In addition to large group ensembles, individual growth and achievement
are encouraged through participation in adjudicated solo and ensemble contests, honor orchestra and honor quartet. Topics/skills covered include:
• Tone Development and Bowing Technique
• Counting, timing, and rhythmic development
• Reading and notation skills, including sight reading • Introduction of Scales • Simple
• Development of an extensive vocabulary of musical terms and symbols
• Ear training and listening skills
• Equipment care and maintenance
• Effective practice habits
Instrumental music students work together in full orchestra rehearsals. The orchestra and ensemble rehearsals are devoted not only to the preparation of the work for performance, but also to the development of an understanding of the concepts behind the pieces. This group will perform music from the classical repertoire. Music will be chosen that will advance the student skill level over the course of the school year.
Integrated Science (8th Grade)
Integrated Science is devoted to learning the big ideas in earth, space, life science, and physical sciences through experiential learning, project based units and scientific inquiry. It is essential that learners develop critical thinking skills in order to prepare for college and career. Students will be expected to give their best effort and to reflect on their learning. Learners must be able to provide evidence of their understanding daily. This requires that each learner come prepared and ready to learn.
Journalism I & II
Journalism is an elective open to all Upper School students. Each school year, students will produce online editions of The Authored Ascension while learning the basics of reporting, copy-editing, and basic site html formatting, and practical elements of Adobe Photoshop. Students in Journalism I will hold staff positions with specific titles and responsibilities. Students in Journalism II hold leadership positions on staff and are involved in some of the executive decision-making. The Authored Ascension covers all areas of life at the Sugar Mill Pond campus with news articles, feature stories, op-ed columns, sports stories, events calendar, polls, video, photographs, and student art and comics. In addition to running the student newspaper, students will learn about the rights and responsibilities of reporters and news organizations in our country. The course will also be responsible for organizing and producing the pages of the school yearbook. Students will be responsible for gathering and organizing photos of school events and organizations, as well as candid photos of life at the school. Other duties: include creating page designs, placing photos, and providing copy for page sections.
Finally, students are also responsible for editing and proofreading their pages. Creating the school's yearbook is a year-long process that requires collaboration, creativity, and commitment.
Makerspace, also known as an Innovation Lab or iLab, is a creative class where students can create, invent, and learn using a variety of materials and software; such as a 3D printer, a laser printer, arts & crafts, robotics, animation, programming, MineCraft, Legos, and a whole lot more. This enrichment course is open to juniors and seniors, but the space and tools will be open to the rest of the SMP for classes to utilize in concert with class projects.
This course gives students a consistent framework for thinking through financial choices in order to improve their well-being. Decisions require action. Students who take charge of their finances are better prepared to invest in themselves and cope with the financial ups and downs that life will bring. An activity and project-based approach will be used.
Photography I: Introduction to Photography
Photo I is designed to provide students with a continuous hands-on approach to understanding the basics of photography. Covering a wide range of photography, its devices, its genres, its terminology, and its history -- no matter what skill level or camera a student may possess -- this class aims to not only refine students' knowledge but strengthen their creative ability and confidence behind the lens as well as develop a grasp of post-capture editing. The bread-and-butter of Photo I is consistently uploading 100 images every 10 days -- Via iPads and/or desktop Macs, then organize, edit and share images within Ascension digital classroom interface(s) where students can edit and offer written, critical responses to their own imagery and the images of others. I find that a
consistent rhythm of incoming images, followed by emphasis on editing and critiquing peer imagery broadens the scope of this class; it bolsters confidence and strengthens not only individual portfolios but fosters and sharpens the ability to see, seek and capture the aesthetic underpinnings necessary to advance in photography.
Students will leave this introductory class with a wide understanding of the their camera and their personal style by maintaining a growing portfolio coalesced from 1000s of images, using up-to-date online digital-editing software enabling them to seamlessly edit, save, share, critique and sharpen their photographic “eyes” and workflow as they search for an honest and authentic, individual voice to emerge in their work.
*Specific foci for Photo I (2017-18): to be directly involved in various design and construction projects this year:
1) designing, constructing and providing over 80 solar eclipse viewers for Ascension students on all 3 campuses, 2) hands-on help during phases of building a small-footprint photographic darkroom/camera obscura on wheels,
3) assisting with the simultaneous construction of 2-dozen pinhole cameras (made from wooden cigar boxes and pinhole lenses designed and constructed by photo II-III students).
This introductory class culminates during the last month of school as students choose and show final prints of their original work during an annual public exposition of student photography (TBA).
Photography III: Photography Studio
Continuing with their established rhythm of assignments, cycles, and edits, an instrumental part of being in Photo III, particularly during the first quarter, is being a teaching assistant as needed to work closely with Photo I and Photo II students with the rigors of everyday shooting; take leadership roles in image critiques, uploading, editing, sharing, etc. Being an assistant continuously reinforces the tenets of proper camera operation, settings and workflow so much so that over time those rigors become effortlessly second nature to most all Photo III students. This studio class culminates during the last quarter of school, when students plan, jury, set-up and assist in the installation of their chosen final images during an end of the year off-campus exhibition of student work TBA.
Physical Science is an introductory course that concentrates on the study of the major concepts of two sciences: chemistry and physics. One semester covers the chemistry aspect of the course. Topics covered include properties of matter, atomic theory, chemical elements and the periodic chart, chemical interactions, and organic chemistry. The other semester concentrates on the physics portion of the course. Topics include force and acceleration, motion, work, energy, waves, sound, light, electricity, and magnetism.
Pre Algebra (8th Grade)
This course is designed to prepare students for Algebra and Geometry. The students learn to solve multi-step equations with integers and rational numbers using the four basic mathematical operations. The students become involved in area, volume, analyzing data, graphing, probability and statistics, ratios and proportions, percents,
using Algebra to solve missing angles, polynomials, Pythagorean Theorem, graphing functions, etc. Problem solving, recognizing patterns, and using reasonable answers will be stressed throughout the course.
Pre-AP Biology I
Pre-AP Biology is an advanced college preparatory lab science course designed to teach students the concepts and principles of biology. Students will develop a conceptual framework for modern biology and recognize unifying themes that integrate the major topics of biology. Students will learn about the scientific process, molecules and cells, cellular reproduction and genetics, evolution, ecology, and the form and function of animals. Laboratory activities stress the development of important skills such as detailed observation, accurate recording, experimental design, and data interpretation and analysis. Students will develop critical thinking skills through research and discussions about issues relating to current advancements in biology. There will be one literature-review “APA-style” paper required in this course, as well as one outside reading of a science non-fiction book. This course is a prerequisite for Biology II or AP Biology.
Pre-AP Chemistry is an advanced college preparatory lab science course designed to teach students the concepts and principles of chemistry. Laboratory activities stress the development of important skills such as detailed observation, accurate recording, experimental design, and data interpretation and analysis. Students will develop critical thinking skills through research and discussions about issues relating to current advancements in chemistry. Topics covered include atomic structure, bonding, chemical equations, stoichiometry, behavior of gases, solutions, acids and bases, and thermodynamics. Students will also read a chemistry-related non-fiction book. Co-requisite: Algebra II. This course is a prerequisite for AP Chemistry.
Precalculus Dual Enrollment (Math 109/110)
This course is two college courses, namely MATH 109 (Precalculus Algebra) and MATH 110 (Precalculus Trigonometry) at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Students will cover and earn credit in both of these major topics. The focus is primarily on Algebra during the first semester, covering algebraic, exponential and logarithmic functions for students preparing to study calculus. Trigonometry, including trigonometric and inverse trigonometric functions, equations, and graphs, fundamental trigonometric identities, and the polar coordinate system will be the focus during the second semester. This class will prepare students to take Calculus as a freshman in college or AP Calculus as a senior (or junior) here at Ascension.
Introductory Level Requirements: No prerequisites. This year long course is designed to introduce students with no previous experience in Spanish to the Spanish culture and language. The curriculum focuses on the four basic communications skills, reading, speaking, listening, and writing. In addition, students begin to acquire the necessary vocabulary and grammar for communication in the target language. These skills are enhanced by the use of partial immersion, video, web activities, use of related Apps, and oral and written activities.
Continuing Requirements: Successful completion of introductory Spanish classes. In this year long course, we continue to introduce students to the use of Spanish at the beginning level in the presentational, interpretive, and interpersonal modes of communication. There will be stricter requirements concerning immersion in the target language. The students will continue to learn about culture, everyday idiomatic expressions, proper constructions of sentences, etc...
Requirements: Successful completion of Spanish II or placements scores that indicate admission to this level. As a continuation of Spanish II, this course will continue to pursue the acquisition and development of the four basic language skills by expanding the foundation of grammar, using immersion in the classroom to promote oral and listening proficiency, and a more in depth study of culture and history.
Requirements: Successful completion of Spanish III honors with a 92 or higher and teacher recommendation. This course will be conducted solely in the target language. It will promote communication proficiency in real life situations and in all of the language modes. It will require extensive reading, refinement of writing skills, and the study of culture following the guidelines of the AP thematic approach.
This course is an introduction to and practice of the basic principles of acting. The class will include drama exercises and projects that focus on character development, body movement, adapting and presenting scripts, and performing scenes. Film and voice acting will be explored, as well as projects that allow the students to direct their own scenes. Many exciting, optional performance opportunities will be given to the students, and an in-class play will be produced and performed by the end of the year.
This course is for the student who wants to further their experiences in the performing arts in the areas of playwriting, scenic design, costume design, lighting design, directing, and advanced monologue and scene performance. This course is designed to prepare the student to be a well-rounded actor, as well as prepare them to work in the industry in any capacity. This class will end with the opportunity for each student to choose the area of theater that interests them most; they will then present an end of the year project about that specific area of theater.
This course is designed for the student who has decided to pursue a specific area of theatre. This course prepares the student to not only be a well-rounded actor, but also prepares them to work in their chosen area of the field effectively. Many projects based on their chosen area will be assigned in order to give them valuable experience. There will also be performance and/or stage managing opportunities available to these students. Students will culminate the year by writing a resume and working on a project/performance for their chosen profession.
Theology I & II
This course is a systematic study of the Christian faith. Students will gain a greater awareness of the ideas and tenets that have characterized the Christian faith throughout two millennia. Topics discussed include: Christian Theology and the Seeking of Understanding, Christian Faith Throughout History, Christianity and Religious Pluralism, and Last Things--Christian Eschatology.
The course is a study of the history of the United States from Reconstruction until today with the focus of each unit on economics, geography, politics, society and culture, and science and technology. We will utilize the text The American Republic as well as the VOCES etextbook. Each student will have access digitally to both. Through the study of US History, a student will gain an understanding of continuity and change within and across movements that shaped these United States. Students will continue to develop their reading, writing, and critical thinking skills that will provide leverage and value in other academic disciplines and provide enduring skills for life after high school.
Vocal Music I
This course will focus on the performance skills necessary for quality singing and an appreciation for the many styles and techniques of vocal music. The content being taught will encompass reading music, rehearsal etiquette, vocal technique, music history, and performance skills.
Vocal Music II
This course will focus on the further development of the performance skills necessary for quality singing and an appreciation for the many styles and techniques of vocal music. The content being taught will encompass reading music, rehearsal etiquette, vocal technique, music history, and performance skills.
Vocal Music III
This course will focus on the further development of the performance skills necessary for quality singing and an appreciation for the many styles and techniques of vocal music. The content being taught will encompass reading music, rehearsal etiquette, vocal technique, music history, solo repertoire, and performance skills.
Western Civilization at Ascension studies the historical and cultural development of western thought and societies from a Christian perspective, spanning from the birth of Jesus Christ to the 21st century. The course considers Christianity in the context of various civilizations, including Second Temple Judaism, Ancient Greece, Imperial Rome, Byzantium, Medieval Catholicism, Reformed Protestantism, and American Democracy. Students will memorize facts, analyze primary documents, write historical and personal essays, explore great works of art and architecture, and practice various forms of Christian spirituality.
World Geography offers students comprehensive study of the geographical regions of North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Australia. For each region of the world, the class will examine the physical environment, the culture and people, the economic activities, and the most important political issues associated with that region. The course will also examine how the environments, economies, and peoples of the world are dependent on each other for better or for worse.