Speaking another language opens up another world. Language is not only a medium of communication; it is also a means of gaining understanding of the customs, thoughts, and beliefs of the people who speak it. Proficiency in a foreign language is a valuable practical tool in this era of global telecommunications. Fluency in the written and spoken word is a powerful life skill, and our goal is to provide this tool to our students.
The methodology of teaching in the department is audio-lingual, and the teachers attempt to communicate with the students almost exclusively in the target language. We encourage the creative use of the language. A “no-fault” approach is utilized in the early curriculum. Students converse without worrying about their conversations being micro-dissected for errors. In this way, they become comfortable in the initial stages of mastery in oral recitation.
Each of our courses places emphasis on the acquisition of appropriate levels of excellence in speaking, writing, listening, and reading. We offer a diversity of experiences in the literature of the target languages. Readings are drawn from literary (stories, essays and novels) and non-literary texts (articles) texts.
Assessments include: midterm and final exams, at least two exams per marking period, quizzes, oral projects, listening comprehension activities, on-the spot speaking responses and evaluations of articles concerning international events, national issues, local events, entertainment and sports in foreign language newspapers for upper level classes. We encourage our students to become proficient in all aspects of communication of the specific language studied. The goal of the faculty is to accomplish this purpose with a curriculum that is progressively more challenging with each additional year of study.
All students who have successfully completed Spanish I are eligible to take this course which is designed to reflect the main thrust of foreign language instruction: communication. This is effectuated by the continued concentration on the four areas of Spanish language mastery: reading, writing, speaking and listening. The teaching of Spanish II is thematic: vocabulary is introduced in manageable amounts and in meaningful contexts. In addition, one of the foremost goals of students enrolled in this course is to be able to function effectively with the spoken language and to hone their listening comprehension skills. The students further develop their knowledge of the culture and civilization of the Spanish-speaking world.
The students continue to develop the four basic language proficiencies in a communicative setting. Emphasis continues to be on the acquisition of an extensive active vocabulary that will enable them to communicate in a wide variety of real-life situations. Spanish language skills are enhanced by written application and reading and writing abilities are polished. Maximum communicative practice is afforded the student with additional concentration on listening skills. Spanish newspapers, short stories and films are presented to stimulate discussion and reading comprehension.
Computers, mobile devices and other technological advances play an increasingly important role in all areas of life. The overall goal of the computer science and technology department is to develop student’s computer literacy and technology proficiency with cutting edge devices, software, tools and social media in order to prepare them for the high-tech workforce they will soon be entering. Computers are used in just about every field, and successful careers will depend on employees’ ability to work within technological frameworks. With the proliferation of mobile devices, computational tools and the “always on, always connected” mentality, we must teach students to comprehend, manage and find balance in their lives.
In preparing students for our ever-evolving technological workforce, we encourage and often require students to use technology in their school classes to research, write papers and projects, compute mathematical formulas and perform scientific research, and create presentations and other computational artifacts. We also endeavor to build good digital citizens who are respectful of others, take technology usage seriously, achieve the appropriate balance with respect to digital experiences and leverage technology for the greater good and benefit to society.
In addition to its focus on technology integration across disciplines, the computer science department provides a robust offering with multiple classes, clubs and opportunities to learn about computer science and technology as a core focus.
There are multiple entry points for students to begin study and multiple paths: for example, programming languages and constructs and the study of technology and its impact in society. Students learn skills, use tools and build apps and applications that solve real world problems. They will also have the opportunity to submit projects to numerous expos and competitions.
AP Computer Science Principles
Enrollment in Computer Science Principles requires departmental approval.
This course is equivalent to a semester-long, college-level course in computer science. The course continues to teach students about computer science focused around seven big ideas: creativity, abstraction, data & information, algorithms, programming, the Internet and global impact. The course will use MIT App Inventor and the Blockly programming language to teach students about programming concepts in the context of mobile application development. The AP Computer Science Principles course includes a performance based task where students creatively design their own unique programming app. Collaboration will also be a key component in the class. AP CSP is designed to be a prerequisite for AP CS A and/or Mobile Apps & Entrepreneurship IS.
This course is an innovative course for biology and tech minded students interested in studying and enhancing applications of living organisms. First, we will investigate how biological systems operate in order to solve problems involving differential diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disease. Second, we will discuss the history of how the Food and Drug Administration evaluates the fabrication of biomaterials, medical devices, and drug delivery systems. Throughout the school year, students will be required to individually formulate and present their analysis of a scientific journal article, a task which encourages them to think critically while learning how to conduct quality research. In addition, students will perform a series of mini-experiments to help further their understanding of biosensors and control systems. For the capstone project, students will collaborate with Israeli biotech companies on novel research projects, encouraging the development of effective leadership and communicative skills.
The study of art is the exploration of human creativity. Art students leave the classroom, not only with an appreciation of art, but also with a sense of empowerment because they have learned to become creative, original thinkers. Students see, feel, think, make aesthetic choices, explore a variety of media and self-evaluate as part of the studio experience. Higher level courses explore diverging interests. The search for original concepts, the integral development of technique and observational skills, and the cultivation of a respect for the elements of art and principles of design all foster a sense of limitless artistic possibilities for our students.
The curriculum will strive to be extensive and varied. There are courses for both non-art major students and those who seek to specialize. Our introductory classes will include foundational multi-media experiences in the elements of art (Elements: Line, Shape, Space, Color, Texture, and Pattern) and principles of design (Principles: Balance, Unity, Rhythm, Proportion, Color Interaction and Relationships). Specialized classes will include Pre-Advanced Placement and Advanced Placement Studio Art, Fashion Design, and Architecture.
Our curriculum accommodates students’ varied interests and art industry trends, providing our students with the ability to engage higher-level problem-solving techniques and develop fine-tuned technical skills. Upon completion, they will be able to produce professional grade portfolios and meet the admissions criteria of the most selective art schools. Our many goals will be achieved by an integration of four components in every course offered in the art curriculum: the Creative Component, the Critical Component, the Cultural and Historical Component, and the Artistic Philosophical Component. Courses in the various areas are sequential in nature. Assessment is accomplished teacher evaluation and student participation.
Studio Art I
This is the basic art course in which students will acquire knowledge that is intended to lead to a mastery of skills related to the Elements of Art and the Principles of Design. In this course students will maintain an active sketchbook and journal and learn how to use a variety of media and illustrative materials. They will gain a historical knowledge of art by studying facets of art history and exploring artistic reference. Current trends and inspiration of the art world will be included in their studies. Museum and Gallery trips are planned.
Fashion Design I
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the world of fashion design. They will acquire knowledge and skills related to the principles of fashion illustration and design by utilizing a range of media and a variety of techniques to create versatility in their work. Students will learn the proportions of the fashion (croquis) figure. They will learn through the elements and principles of design as they pertain to fashion, design terminology for apparel and recognition of design styles are also included as components of the course. Students will be required to demonstrate creative use of inspiration and design experimentation through various projects and a design journal and will be assessed on their knowledge of terminology, styles and applicability of the elements and principles. Museum and fashion show trips are planned.
This is a course in which basic fundamentals of architecture are examined and perfected. While design will be the main emphasis for this level and the student should have a good background in basic mathematics. Students will learn about the design process and explore the architectural concepts of space, form, function, and technology. Students will learn how to create mechanical and freehand drawings, draw in 1, 2 and 3pt perspective, interpret and create floor plans, create orthographic and isometric drawings, understand drawing to scale and read blueprints, construct scale models, consult with groups on various approaches to design problems, address environmental concerns and conservation efforts, learn to render architectural styles, explore the history of architecture, reference the internet for architectural sources and create computer renderings using CAD. Trips to or visits by working architects are anticipated.
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