Communication is an essential human function, touching all parts of an individual’s world. Our goal is to refine our students’ skills in using their language as a communications tool. We see English language arts skills not only as both prerequisite and corequisite to all other learning areas, but also to the overall growth and development of the whole individual.
Class lessons vary to include the entire class or to promote small group work. Individual student-teacher conferences are encouraged. Students may use their laptops for note taking, researching, writing, test taking, and internet enrichment of class lessons. Homework assignments and assessments are varied; they include regular reading and analysis, grammar drills, vocabulary exercises, short writing tasks, longer essays and term papers, and oral presentations.
Our literature curriculum is theme based and sequentially developed. Ninth and tenth grade students learn fundamentals. In the junior and senior years, electives are offered. At every level, students are encouraged to read, even during the summer months.
Students are encouraged to consider writing as a process with many steps, beginning with thinking and leading to a purposeful and articulate composition. Standards for scholarly writing, as well as opportunities for creative writing, are provided. The department sponsors numerous ways for students to write for publications, many of them actively promoted by the Writing Center.
English is a required course every year. At every level, we want to instill in our students a love for language. We want them to develop positive attitudes about reading and writing, to incorporate those activities in their daily lives, and to experience pleasure when engaging in them.
Language, Literature, and Writing II
This second-year foundation course focuses on issues of self-identity through a study of novel, drama, memoir, poetry and short story. Students do an intensive unit on writing the academic research paper, learning techniques of topic formation, note taking, outlining, as well as organizing and writing the paper. The focus is on primary sources. Documentation issues are thoroughly addressed. Students write for self-expression as well, using different genres. Grammar and vocabulary study are integrated into the curriculum as weekly features of instruction. Based on teacher and administrative input, students may be placed in sections that are specialized in order to address their needs for enrichment or remediation.
The goal of the Mathematics Department is to develop students’ abilities to think purposefully and analytically. The skills to absorb information, process and analyze it, and prepare an intelligent response applicable in all life situations are enhanced through the study of mathematics. Not all mathematics students go on to become engineers or physicists, but all students will grow up to encounter situations in which the ability to think analytically is critical.
We have a very strong program in the fundamentals of mathematics. Word problems are emphasized throughout the curriculum to enhance the students’ abilities to apply mathematical concepts to real world situations. Modern technologies including graphing calculators, Promethean boards, and many of their features are used to allow for multiple presentations of material. Students are encouraged to build on their arithmetic abilities and to develop the understanding of the underlying concepts behind the rules of operations.
Students are encouraged to immerse themselves in extracurricular mathematics activities, which involve exploration of concepts beyond the normal scope of the curriculum. These include but are not limited to participation in the Nassau County Interscholastic Math League, and the Long Island Math Fair.
Class lessons are student driven. Teachers are constantly modifying their presentations based on student feedback. Lessons may involve lecture, question and answer, demonstration by both teacher and student, and frequent assessment. Regular homework is a feature of each class. It is an important part of the learning process. Homework is collected after a thorough review so that students have every opportunity to learn from their mistakes and correct their work. We assess the achievement of the students by exams, projects, quizzes, homework, and classwork.
We aim to prepare students fully for the experiences they will have in college mathematics courses; we recognize that many of the professional fields our students will eventually pursue are math driven.
All tenth graders are required to take math. Placements will be determined by the department.
This course is designed for sophomores who have successfully completed a year of Algebra. Students will further develop their mathematical and problem solving skills in both Geometry and Algebra. Topics include: angles, parallel lines, congruence, triangles, circles, quadrilaterals, polygons, solid figures, coordinate geometry, transformations, and an introduction to formal proof. Students are encouraged to develop skills and work habits that will last throughout their academic and future careers.
Tenth grade students take this course after successful completion of ninth grade algebra. Students learn the fundamentals of geometry, how to deal with geometric figures and to apply deductive reasoning in the creation of formal proofs. Students learn about logic, deductive reasoning, parallel lines, congruence, polygons, inequalities, similarity, circles, constructions, loci, areas, volumes, coordinate geometry, and transformations.
Accelerated Algebra II with Trigonometry
Students enhance their algebraic skills and develop an understanding and mastery of trigonometric concepts. Students extend their study of real numbers, equations and inequalities, functions, systems of equations, polynomials, rational expressions, complex numbers, quadratic equations, transformations, second degree equations, polynomial functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, an in depth study of trigonometric functions, graphs, identities, and equations, probability, and statistics.
There is no more important time to be learning science. Spurred by breakthroughs, media, and seemingly boundless technology, science is poised to become one, if not the most fertile and exciting areas of study. The challenge is to transmit this excitement, to provide a solid science foundation for students to build upon and to convey to students that “science is a way of knowing and a way of seeing the world.” Our goal is for science to be a part of students’ everyday lives. The scientific worldview that we teach, model, and espouse will prompt our students to see science in context with everyday events and to integrate scientific methodology and explanation into other areas of their academic studies.
The department seeks to develop students’ science literacy. This involves the learning of a finite number of important general principles and theories that will serve as scaffolding on which they will be able to build further scientific knowledge. We encourage students to develop a work ethic to pursue these principles and theories so that they become part of their nature. Third, we encourage students to apply learned principles and skills in the process of inquiry. In experimentation, students learn how to effectively use cutting-edge scientific technology, including lab sensors interfaced to computers, and the internet as an informational research tool.
Critical thinking skills to foster creative problem solving in real-world situations are promoted. Students ultimately recognize that science is fundamentally about order. Our students will infuse the order, methodology and causality of science into their own lives to become organized, articulate decision makers and effective problem solvers.
All science courses include a laboratory/activity component, and students are required to submit formal lab reports for grading. Homework assignments include reading textbooks for preview and/or review, reading articles on current topics, completing worksheets both on paper and on-line, and gathering and processing information and data through internet activities. Levels of achievement in all science courses are assessed through regular term testing and the grading of completed lab reports, projects, quizzes, and homework assignments.
Alongside the Science Department, the Science Research Program reinforces these goals by teaching disciplined research skills and inviting students to engage in guided and independent experimental research projects. The Science Society is a less formal assembly which openly invites students to participate in after school science activities and supervised outings of a scientific nature. It is student led and student motivated, but all science faculty contribute to its supervision. Each year the department also participates in an inter-scholastic Science Olympiad, open to all.
The chemistry course presents a modern view of chemistry with major emphasis on physical concepts and understanding interactions of matter. The objectives of the chemistry course are to introduce tenth grade science students to the following topics: phase change and gas laws, thermodynamics, atomic structure, periodic properties, bonding and chemical reactions, chemical kinetics and equilibria, periodic properties, stoichiometry, acid-base interaction, redox electrochemistry, organic chemistry, and nuclear chemistry. The course is taught at a descriptive conceptual level using demonstration to convey concepts wherever possible. A sequence of formal laboratory activities reinforces each topic and chemistry students are expected to become proficient in safely executing a lab protocol and eventually designing one of their own to test a given hypothesis. Sections will be differentiated to enable students to achieve the curricular goals of the course.
Our students are citizens of the world. To educate our Jewish students to become informed, thoughtful, and active citizens, we foster an understanding of government: how it works, how one participates in government, and how one can bring about a better world by using this knowledge.
We also familiarize our students with our economic system and the economic systems across the globe. We try to encourage our students to appreciate the legacy of Western civilization and its impact on American culture. They need to be aware of diverse cultures within the United States as well as in the world at large. We hope to instill in them the openness to appreciate and understand other cultures and religions.
The History and Social Sciences Department incorporates many disciplines—history, sociology, geography, political science, economics, psychology, and law. Classes are taught using developmental lessons, which begins with a stated aim or topic. The latest technology is used to augment our explorations. Homework assignments are checked in various ways: class discussion, collection and grading, peer review. They are always integrated into the daily lesson.
As a department, we strive to promote critical thinking, the development of important skills and premises, such as analytical reading and writing, and a sense of civic duty. To that end, each course seeks to integrate current events into the curriculum to encourage students to make important connections between the past and today. Students are assessed by regular testing, quizzes, graded homework and various essay assignments.
All students take a minimum of four years of history and social studies. We aim to graduate students with a comprehensive knowledge base and a well-developed ability to analyze and think critically–essential skills they need to take their places in their futures.
Enrollment in the AP European History course requires administrative approval.
This is the second half of the two-year program in global history with an emphasis on European History. Students begin with the period of Enlightenment and the effect it had on the development of modern politics. They will explore how it influenced the French Revolution, sparking nationalist liberation movements throughout European nations and their colonial attachments. Next, they will examine how the Industrial Revolution had a tremendous effect on the way people within different parts of the World lived and interacted. Students will explore how such influences caused the age of imperialism eventually culminating in World War I and World War II. Students will witness the devastating, World altering effects of these conflicts resulting in a cold war between the superpowers. In addition, students will take a closer look into different areas of concentration, such as genocides and the struggle for the rights of the people. This course exposes students to a diverse array of primary source materials -- comparing these historical events to current issues to make these topics much more relatable. There are many interactive, experiential activities meant to promote thought while challenging the students to fully analyze historical incidents. Students will be better able to evaluate where they stand on issues that helped shape the World we live within today. Based on teacher and administrative input, students may be placed in sections that are specialized in order to address their needs for enrichment and/or remediation.
European History: Foundations
This is the second year of the two-year program in global history. Beginning in the period of the Enlightenment, students will consider not only important cultural developments but also the emergence of modern political thinking. They will study the impact of Enlightenment thinkers and the story of the French Revolution. They will cover the following topics in the twentieth century: the story of mass democracy, feminism, the two world wars and the cold war, and national independence movements/decolonization. In this skills-level class students will continue to develop vital skills in reading, writing, note taking, and critical thinking. Teachers will place a strong focus on skill development and use modified assessments and classroom material. The goal will be to use differentiated methods of teaching to reflect each student's needs.
Advanced Placement European History
The advanced placement program is designed to allow students the opportunity to pursue college level courses in high school. This course focuses on the areas of European history from the Renaissance through the Cold War. Students will read text material as well as original sources. Students will also refine their skills in the process of creating a full historical research paper. Teacher recommendations are required for entry into this course. Departmental and administrative approval is required.
Tenth Grade Jewish History is a required course. We will coordinate our coverage with an eye towards our AP and general modern European History courses, starting from c. 1500 to the present. In Jewish History, however, we will begin by focusing on Jewish life in Spain before the Spanish expulsion of Jews in 1492 and explore why expelled Jews held so fiercely onto their Sephardic identities wherever they went thereafter. Following the Spanish (and Portuguese) expulsions we will focus on the extraordinary highlights of European Jewish history, including Columbus, the Jews, and the Marranos, the impact of the Protestant/Catholic split on the Jews of Europe, Shabbetai Zevi, Jacob Frank, and the search for a messianic leader in the 17th and 18th centuries, the impact of the Enlightenment, the continuation of antisemitism despite an increasing secularization of Europe, the impact of the French Revolution and Napoleon on the Jews, Hasidism and Mitnagdim, Jewish challenges to orthodoxy in the 19th century, the emergence of Modern Orthodoxy, the Jews in World War I and World War II, while also covering Jewish emigration from Europe to the Americas, the Middle East and North Africa, and ultimately establishing the Jewish state in Palestine and by 1948, Israel.
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