All students are required to take one English course every semester for a total of four years of English. This is a requirement for graduation. Students must choose one of the following English options. Teacher recommendation and administrative approval are required for AP courses.
Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition
This twelfth grade course is a preparatory course for the Advanced Placement Examination in English Literature and Composition. Students must read widely and reflect on their reading through extensive discussion, writing and rewriting. The primary focus is on the close reading and both verbal and written critical analysis of imaginative literature in terms of the individual work’s structure, style, theme and its use of smaller scale elements such as diction, irony, figurative language, imagery, symbolism and tone. Students must become extremely familiar with a few chosen works of recognized literary merit and must also develop the skill to analyze pieces they have never seen before. The underlying philosophy of the course is summed up in the concept that language creates meaning. Primarily, this is a skills development course. Students are not evaluated on the basis of their mastery of specific texts they have already studied. Instead, they are required to demonstrate the ability to analyze and evaluate works that are new to them. In all tasks, provisions are made for the students to practice the four tasks of the English classroom: listening, speaking, reading and writing. An intensive study of poetry from 1600 to the present is also a component of the course. Teacher recommendation and administrative approval are required for enrollment.
Senior English—Evil, Justice, Surprise
Our seniors who do not elect to take AP English may take this course which is structured to prepare them for their freshman year in college, while fostering in them an appreciation for the nuances of language. In this course, the students investigate three thematic modules through reading, writing, speaking and listening. Every kind of communication—print, digital, video, oral, pictorial—is considered to be a text. The texts for use in each module are based on three themes: The Devil’s Trick—A Study of Evil ; And Justice for All; Surprise, Surprise.
Senior English—Poetry and the Short Story
Our seniors who do not elect to take AP English may take this course which is structured to prepare them for their freshman year in college, while fostering in them an appreciation for the nuances of language. In this course we accomplish this goal by an intensive study of writers who have elected to make their points using literary short forms. These include narrative, dramatic and lyrical poetry and the short story, from flash fiction to the novella. Students will be engaged in group study of these forms, but also independent study of poetry and short prose works on a theme they identify, e.g., women, adolescence, poverty, injustice, power struggles, unrequited relationships, etc.
Seniors must take one of the following courses in order to fulfill the senior history graduation requirement. You may take an additional course as an elective. Enrolling in the AP courses requires teacher and administrative approval.
Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics
Twelfth grade students will be given the option to take Advanced Placement U.S. Government. The advanced placement program is designed to allow students the opportunity to pursue college level courses in high school. This one-year course is the study of the role of the national government and its relationship to the concept of liberty in a pluralistic society. The course will cover the influence of American political culture, political parties, public opinion, the media, and interest groups on the Congress, the Presidency, and our Court System. A sophisticated understanding of majority-rule democracy, constitutionalism, and civil liberties will be stressed. The course also includes a study of economics and its interrelation with the U.S. government. Teacher recommendation and administrative approval are required for enrollment.
United States Government/Economics
Seniors who do not take the AP course on this topic may elect to take this course. In the fall term, the course familiarizes students with the workings of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of our government. The basic principles of our democracy—separation of powers, federalism and checks and balances will be explored. The Constitution and its Amendments will also be examined in order to understand the principle of government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Economics is the spring term course. The course explores both microeconomics (laws of supply and demand and the resulting price structure) and macroeconomics (taxation, banking, measuring the economy, and the financial markets). Throughout the term, the course will examine the role played by the United States government in our free-enterprise system.
Principles of Constitutional Law/Jewish Perspectives on Constitutional Law
The goals of this course are to read and analyze the rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court, prognosticate rulings on matters currently before the Court, to evaluate the role of precedent in the American legal system and to analyze judicial personalities and their effect on jurisprudence. Emphasis will be placed on case law with respect to the establishment of religion, freedom of speech, right to privacy, the death penalty and discrimination. Additionally, we will explore the legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the role of Justice Roberts in shaping the current court. In the second semester, students will have the opportunity to study Jewish law and the legal tradition from a comparative legal perspective.
Much of the American case law studied in the first semester will be placed in conversation with the Jewish legal tradition, spanning materials from the Bible and Talmud to medieval and modern responsa. Particular attention will be placed on what this rabbinic material has to say about some of the most vexing legal questions in contemporary American society like healthcare, abortion, gun control, religion in the public square, and freedom of speech and censorship. Students will gain fluency with rabbinic texts, develop greater understanding of how Jewish law works, and appreciate the relevancy of our Jewish tradition on some of the most pressing issues of our time.
Advanced Placement Macroeconomics
AP Macroeconomics is a course designed to provide students with a thorough understanding of the principles of economics by examining aggregate economic behavior. Students taking the course can expect to learn how the measures of economic performance, such as GDP, inflation and unemployment are constructed and how to apply them to evaluate the macroeconomic conditions of an economy. Students will also learn the basic analytical tools of macroeconomics, primarily the aggregate demand and aggregate supply model and its application in the analysis and determination of national income, as well as in evaluating the effectiveness of fiscal and monetary policy in promoting economic growth and stability. Recognizing the global nature of economics, students will also have ample opportunities to examine the impact of international trade and international finance on national economies. Various economic schools of thought are introduced as solutions to economic problems are considered. Teacher recommendation and administrative approval are required for enrollment.
20th Century History & Pop Culture
This is an elective course open to12th grade students in which they will have the opportunity to learn about the music, media and even fashion that has shaped modern history. From the impact of mass immigration at the turn of the century to the roaring 20s, impact of African American music and dance, the Hollywood industry and the Jewish immigrants who helped develop it, Elvis’s impact on cultural diffusion, the McCarthy Era, and ultimately civil rights, Woodstock and Vietnam. 12th graders will analyze to what extent pop culture shapes society. Students will be assessed using project based presentations and assignments.
Politics, History and Culture in Film
This is an elective course for seniors. The United States has a rich history of filmmaking. Aside from its entertainment value, films have been employed to educate people and communicate and illuminate important ideas about the world.. Arguably one of the greatest contributions of film is its use as a vehicle to transport us to another place and time – if only for a short while. This course is a study of American History and Politics using feature films as the primary source of information and inspiration. In class, we will examine topics presented in the film through discussion and lecture as well as documentary films and clips from additional feature films.
World Events and Politics
This is an elective open to seniors. What is actually going on in the world? This curriculum will focus on current events. 12th grade students will learn about media bias, “right vs left” media platforms and the influence of social media on politics. Units will include both national and international major events and an analysis of how it may affect our lives. There will also be a unit on analyzing economic data in the news and a unit specifically studying Israeli current events and how it is portrayed in the media. Students will be assessed through written assignments and oral presentations. The final project will include a student-made documentary.
Students are required to take one math course in the senior year. Placement will be decided by the department. Teacher recommendation and administrative approval are required for AP courses. You may request AP Statistics as an elective.
AP Calculus BC
This course is open to seniors who have completed Pre-Calculus BC. Students study properties of functions, limits, continuity, definition of the derivative, techniques of differentiation, using calculus to graph functions, rectilinear motion, applied maximum and minimum problems, Rolle’s Theorem and the Mean Value Theorem, the indefinite integral, slope fields, the definite integral, the Fundamental Theorems of Calculus, average value, applications of the definite integral including area and volume, integration by parts, first order separable differential equations, length of a plane curve, advanced integration techniques, improper integrals, first order separable differential equations, Maclaurin and Taylor series, convergence tests for series, polar coordinates, area in polar coordinates, and calculus on vector functions. Technology including a graphing calculator is used. Teacher recommendation required for enrollment.
AP Calculus AB
This course is offered to seniors who have completed Pre-Calculus AB. Topics include properties of functions, limits, continuity, definition of the derivative, techniques of differentiation, using calculus to graph functions with, rectilinear motion, applied maximum and minimum problems, Rolle’s Theorem and the Mean Value Theorem, the indefinite integral, slope fields, the definite integral, the Fundamental Theorems of Calculus, average value, applications of the definite integral including area and volume, and first order separable differential equations. Technology including a graphing calculator is used. Teacher recommendation required for enrollment.
This course is for seniors who have successfully completed pre-calculus AB in the junior year and elect to further their mathematics studies. The course encompasses the study of all elements of a first semester college calculus course including limits, the definition of the derivative, differentiation, and applications of differentiation.
This course is open to seniors who have completed Algebra II with Trigonometry and elect to further their mathematics studies. The course encompasses the study of various functions, including linear, quadratic, polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric, as well as work with sequences and data analysis.
This course is the equivalent of an introductory college-level course. Students will focus on four major themes: exploratory data analysis, designing studies, probability models and simulation, and statistical inference. In essence, students develop strategies for collecting, organizing, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from real-world data. Students design, administer, and tabulate results from surveys and experiments. Probability and simulations aid students in constructing models for chance phenomena. Sampling distributions provide the logical structure for confidence intervals and hypothesis tests. Students use a graphing calculator, formula sheets, statistical tables and activities to investigate statistical concepts. To develop effective statistical communication skills, students are required to prepare frequent written and oral analyses of real data. Students will regularly build interdisciplinary connections with other subjects and with their world outside of school. Teacher recommendation required for enrollment.
Students are strongly recommended to take one science course in senior year. Placement is determined by the department in consultation with you and the administration. Teacher recommendation and administrative approval are required for enrollment in AP courses. You may take an additional course as an elective.
AP Physics C
This is a calculus-based physics course that demands a strong mathematics background. The course emphasizes the broad field of mechanics typical of a college-level course and delves deeply into topic areas such as kinematics, dynamics, momentum, energy, rotations, gravitation, and oscillations. The laboratory is used to derive and illustrate major concepts of physics and to compare these idealized mathematical concepts, theories, and laws with the real-world phenomena. AP Physics students need to develop skills in performing laboratory activities with modern equipment and computer interfaces and analyzing data. Problem solving is an important part of the class and as such practice applications will be assigned. Only students concurrently enrolled in Calculus BC will be approved for this course.
AP Physics I
AP Physics I is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. The course focuses on Newtonian mechanics and dynamics; Circular motion and Gravitation; Work, Power and Energy; Linear Momentum, Simple Harmonic Motion; and Torque and Rotational motion. Students cultivate their understanding of physics through classroom study, demonstrations, in-class activity, and hands-on, inquiry-based laboratory work as they explore concepts like systems, fields, force interactions, change, conservation, and waves. AP Physics 1 students will keep and are encouraged to retain their physics laboratory notebooks, reports, and other materials as colleges may require students to present their laboratory materials from the course before granting college credit for the laboratory component.
Foundational Physics considers topics related to energy and matter, and the principles that govern the motion of particles and waves. Mathematics is introduced as a "language" for describing physical phenomena and students are encouraged to solve problems using mathematics throughout the course. For students who struggle with math, this course shows them real world applications without the complexity of multi-step equations. The laboratory is used to teach the concepts of physics and make connections to basic math. In this way, students will experience physics in a way that is meaningful and directly applicable to their lives. The topics covered in this course include: mechanics, work-energy theory, spring systems, optics, electricity and magnetism.
AP Biology is offered as an introductory college-level biology course spanning the breadth of the life sciences offered to highly motivated students of strong academic quality. The curriculum which has undergone recent redesigning and College Board approval now stresses critical thinking and application of biological concepts in the context of 4 ‘big ideas.’ The thematic approach makes study areas more meaningful as students make connections across the syllabus. Ultimately, students will develop a conceptual understanding of modern biology emphasizing applications of biological knowledge, scientific methodology, techniques, and critical thinking. These tools will help students understand themselves and the living world around them and better prepare them for the scientific, environmental, and social changes that will be a prominent part of their future. It is important to note that the conceptual framework of this course is based on the current ideals of evolution as the underlying foundation for all biological principles. AP Biology includes rewritten crucial laboratory exercises suggested by the College Board as well as several other labs deemed both important and helpful. After-school laboratory and classroom sessions are often scheduled to meet course requirements. In addition to work using the assigned textbook, students are required to study and master many forms of text supplementation, including on-line sources and current scientific literature.
The forensics elective course provides a perfect opportunity to conflate reasoning skills, the application of the scientific method, genetics, and technology, with one of the most exciting career directions. The course quickly expands from basic skills in observation to the disciplined processing of data and crime situations, to ultimately the use of modern CSI techniques based on genetics, anatomy, chemistry, and physics. The formal lab program is adapted from institutions that are leaders in criminal investigation and discussions as well as forensic simulations stem from guest presentations from the field of CSI, classic crime cases, as well as reports from news and current events. The course culminates in the actual practical processing of a simulated crime scene.
Anatomy and Physiology
The Anatomy and Physiology elective is a co-accredited course under the auspices of a local university. Students completing the course with good standing earn four transferable college credits from State University of New York. The course focuses on structures and functions of the human body in an organ system format and the maintenance of homeostasis. Topic areas include comparative histology, integumentary system, musculoskeletal system, digestive system, blood and cardiovascular system, respiratory system, nervous and endocrine systems, urinary system, reproductive systems and lymphatic and immune systems. Mechanisms of diseases that plague human beings will provide one fertile area for student research which will be a strong emphasis. Discussions will be held pertaining to the impact of new genetic and technological developments, and lifestyle influences on maintaining health and avoiding disease. There will be a laboratory component featuring visuals, models, and dissections where students will get hands-on experience. This course will challenge critical thinking and ultimately will require students to apply their knowledge to solving and diagnosing real cases.
All twelfth graders are required to take physical education.
Students are encouraged to meet their physical, emotional, and competitive needs through games, teams, and sports. Instruction will include units covering physical fitness, health, nutrition, flag football, volleyball, basketball, soccer, softball, and team handball.
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