Academic Departments

There are many academic departments that make up the St. Mary High School curriculum. To learn more about a particular department, click on the appropriate link below.


Skills in organization, studying techniques, test taking, memory development and research are taught, as well as grammar, vocabulary skills, writing skills and PSAT/SAT preparation.  An extensive research paper is a requirement in all English courses.


In this introductory course, students begin a four-year study of literature, writing, vocabulary and grammar.  The literature focuses on genre (fiction, poetry, and drama), with emphasis on works such as To Kill a Mockingbird, A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream and the poetry of Langston Hughes.  The writing program includes the writing process of research, pre-writing, drafting, revising and editing.  Students gain proficiency in the short essay and its method of development, and write regularly in a journal.  Weekly lessons in vocabulary and grammar are integrated into the curriculum.

TEXTBOOK: Prentice Hall Literature:  Common Core Edition


This course provides students with a survey of literature which includes the study of the short story, novel, essay, epic, drama, and poetry.  Due to the intensified level, students are challenged to go beyond interpretation of literary pieces.  Application and analysis of material is required along with cooperative presentations which stimulate their creative intellect.

TEXTBOOK: Prentice Hall Literature:  Common Core Edition


This course not only provides a brief overview of Early American Literature but also surveys the beginning of the modern age as well.  Students will examine the works of such distinguished authors as Ambrose Bierce, Herman Melville, Jack London and Willa Cather.  Additionally, students will focus on the development of the essay and the various components that make up a research paper.

TEXTBOOK:  American Literature (Glencoe/McGraw Hill)


This course will focus on the development of America as a cultural power.  It will trace America from its literary beginnings through its growth as an innovator to its position in today’s world.  Students will also be exposed to the art and music of the time.  Native American history and writing will also be addressed.  Periods of history will be discussed following the reading of period novels.

TEXTBOOK: American Literature (Glencoe/McGraw Hill)


The course goes beyond the uniformity of early American literature to focus on the diversity of writers and styles of the 19th and 20th centuries.  Students will reflect on the life, manners, morals, national character and aspirations of American culture.  It includes the reading of plays (Our Town, A Raisin the Sun), novels (The Great Gatsby), and poetry (Ezra Pound, T. S. Elliot, Langston Hughes, Robert Frost…).  There will be an intense concentration on vocabulary and reading comprehension in preparation for the SAT test.  Language skills of perceptive reading, cogent writing, effective speaking, attentive listening, and incisive thinking in problem-solving situations are also developed at this level.  All Juniors are required to do a research paper.

TEXTBOOK: American Literature (Glencoe/McGraw)


The first year of a two year Advanced Placement Program, the course will enable students to further develop writing, reading, and critical thinking skills.  A comprehensive study of British literature will enable the students to independently analyze poems, short stories, nonfiction, drama, and novels.  In addition to extensive daily reading from the text, the students are required to fully participate in independent reading and research assignments.

TEXTBOOK: British Literature (Glencoe/McGraw Hill)


This course is organized chronologically to present the literature of Great Britain in a historical context.  Areas of concentration include: the Anglo-Saxon Period, the Medieval Period, the English Renaissance, the Seventeenth Century, the Restoration and the Eighteenth Century, the Romantic Age, the Victorian Age and the Modern Period.  Students will analyze and discuss selected works.  Additionally, students will be able to identify and discuss the literary elements.  Research papers are required.

TEXTBOOK: British Literature (Glencoe/McGraw Hill)


Students are involved in both the study and practice of writing in addition to the study of literature.  This course equips students with skills in stylistic analysis of prose passages.  Additionally, students will further develop effective critical analysis through extensive course reading.  Emphasis is placed on the resource of language: connotation, metaphor, irony, syntax, and tone.  Types of works studied include drama (Antigone, Death of a Salesman), the novel (Wuthering Heights, Catch-22), poetry (Wordsworth, Yeats, Sandburg, Elliot) and the short story (“The Rocking-horse Winner”, “A & P”, “The Lottery”, “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”). All students are required to take the Advanced Placement Examination in May and to pay the fee for the test.

TEXTBOOK: Reading and Writing from Literature (McDougal Littell)

Fine Arts

The art courses being offered are skill-specific so that the student can further explore where their interest lies. The courses are offered in levels so that the students will have the knowledge they need in order to advance.


This course is a marking period course offered to all freshmen. Students will be introduced to a variety of art skills while experimenting with different media. The course will explore the history of art and prepare students for additional art courses.


This course is a requirement for all sophomore students. The basic knowledge and foundation of the art world will be covered. Fundamentals of Art will explore the elements of art and principles of design. Art history will be linked to present art topics and the exploration of the art world. This course will provide each student with the opportunity to observe in a unique perspective and possibly spark an interest in continuing their study of Art.



Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Art

During the first semester, the Art department will offer Introduction to Drawing. This course will introduce a variety of drawing methods. It will also define and practice the skill of drawing from observation and unique reproductions. The Art department will also offer an Introduction to Painting. This course will explore beginner methods of painting. Different media, such as acrylic, watercolor, and mixed media will be explored.



Prerequisite: Introduction to Drawing or Introduction to Painting

The Intermediate Drawing will further explore the students’ interest in specific methods of drawing and will advance their drawing skills. Gesture, still-life, contour, and drawing from the form will all be explored. The Intermediate Painting course will allow for students to advance in skills as well. The level of difficulty of subject matter will increase along with the skills needed to complete a project. The student will be defining their personal style and creativity in their approach to assignments.



Prerequisite: Intermediate Drawing or Painting


Advanced Drawing and Painting will be the last course offered to students in this specific skill level. Students wishing to take this course will work uniquely and creatively. They will be doing advanced assignments while working more independently and creatively. This course will employ every student to create an art portfolio.


The course will be directed towards students who would like to major in art in college. Every student will be required to create a portfolio that is worthy of college evaluation. This course is designed for seniors who have the ability to think creatively and the ability to make critical decisions about their artwork. This course will encourage students’ individual ideas and foster them to become independent thinkers who can significantly contribute to the intense art world that surrounds them.


The philosophy of the Mathematics Department is to enable all of the students to achieve mathematical skills, understandings, and attitudes that they will need to be successful in their careers and daily lives. Students are prepared for careers in the twenty-first century, especially in the field of mathematics. Graphing calculators are required of all math students. All courses reflect the New Jersey Common Core Curriculum Standards.


This course provides mathematically sound and comprehensive coverage of the topics considered essential in Algebra. The strategy of the course is to enforce the student’s mastery of math skills such as basic operations, solving equations, and evaluating algebraic expressions and functions.

TEXTBOOK: Algebra I Concepts and Skill (McDougall Littell)


This course ensures students’ understanding of the relationship between oral and written communications. It provides the ideas of algebra in compact form with extensive use of mathematical symbols that are applied in the solution of a wide variety of problems. The curriculum gives the students confidence in solving word problems independently and helps them develop their reasoning power. Evaluating expressions and functions, using properties of operation, and solving equations algebraically and graphically are skills developed in this course. Quadratic equations and evaluating radical expressions are explored.

TEXTBOOK: Algebra I Concepts and Applications (McDougall Littell)


The main goal of the course is to ensure that students master key algebra skills, solve any equation or inequality and have a good foundation of the concept of function. The course emphasizes graphing and the relationship between graphs and equations. Algebra II has been designed to make math accessible and inviting to a wide range of students regardless of their future career goals. Students will review all algebraic methods while using technology and developing proficiencies and strengthening the understanding of underlying concepts.

TEXTBOOK: Algebra II (McDougall Littell)


This course is essential for students who have an aptitude in math and want to continue with advanced placement math. There is an emphasis placed on word problems to develop the students ability to translate physical situations into mathematical sentences. The student will be able to solve equations involving rational expressions, radical expressions, quadratic functions, and exponential and logarithmic functions. The student will enhance their ability to reason analytically: SAT material is also reviewed throughout the course.

TEXTBOOK: Algebra II (McDougall Littell)


This is a course that provides a general survey of mathematical topics that are useful in our contemporary world. Students will acquire knowledge of fundamental mathematics. Students will understand and reason with quantitative issues and mathematical ideas they are likely to encounter in college, career, and life. Students will develop problem-solving skills, while fostering their critical thinking. Topics, such as, statistics, probability, number theory, algebra equations and graphs, geometry, and personal finance will be covered.


This course emphasizes reasoning and logical thinking. It balances Coordinate Synthetic and Transformational Geometry. The course integrates technology as a problem-solving tool. Geometry is connected to Algebra, Data Analysis, Probability, Trigonometry and Discrete Mathematics.

TEXTBOOK: Geometry (McDougall Littell)


This course emphasizes reasoning and logical thinking. It balances coordinate, synthetic and transformational geometry. The course integrates technology as a problem-solving tool. Geometry is connected to algebra, data analysis, probability, trigonometry and discrete mathematics. The honors course is intended for students who enter with strong mathematical and problem-solving skills and who are able to understand new concepts quickly. The course covers all recommended material. The daily assignments include all the material and Algebra II Honors in the core course plus additional exercises that focus on higher-order thinking skills.

TEXTBOOK: Geometry (McDougall, Littell)


This course is designed for students who have a strong foundation in Algebra II and Geometry. Taught at a fast pace, the course prepares students for Advanced Placement Calculus. For those students who have the mathematical maturity to delve into the depths of complication, the experience will be challenging and rewarding. This course is required for students who seek to enroll in the Advanced Placement Physics course.

TEXTBOOK: Precalculus – With Limits (Houghton Mifflin Company)


This course is taught with significant attention to precision and detail. It is intended for students who are interested in the theory and application of calculus including limits, The Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, methods of derivation and integration and a large set of tools for simplifying and resolving more complex calculus expressions. It appeals to those who have a strong interest in applied mathematics or physics. Applicable Technology is highly incorporated in this course.

TEXTBOOK: Calculus – 2nd Edition (Houghton Mifflin Company)


This course offers a challenge to students who have a keen interest in mathematics. Calculus is the mathematics of change of velocities, accelerations, and rates. It is also the mathematics of tangent lines, arc lengths, areas, volumes, centroids, and curvatures. Calculus is a variety of concepts that have enabled scientists, engineers, and economists to model real-life situations. Calculus is a reformulation of pre-calculus mathematics through the use of a limit process that generates the two parts of calculus: differentiation and integration. It requires an in-depth mastery of principles and applications of the complete high school mathematics program and an enthusiasm to delve into more complex problems, which offer opportunities for mental discipline, as well as enrichment in the field. All students are required to take the Advanced Placement Examination in May and to pay the fee for the test.

TEXTBOOK: Calculus – 6th edition (Houghton Mifflin Company)

Physical Education

Physical Education is a unique approach toward the education of the individual. It is a composite program designed to coordinate and foster the physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development of individuals in order that they may be better able to approach life’s problems. As physical activity is the core of the program, it becomes the main medium through which the physical educator works and through which the educative process takes place. Through a careful selection and arrangement of various activities, a substantial contribution can be made toward the total education of individuals as they progress through situations involving themselves, the group and society. The students are then given the opportunity of experimenting in a laboratory of life situations.



Health Education is concerned with the student’s physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being. The primary responsibility is to provide information that assists students in developing concepts and behaviors that will encourage the formation of safe personal health practices. The topics discussed at this level are as follows: Your Health and Wellness, Making Healthful Choices, Physical Fitness and Your Health, Nutrition, Mental and Emotional Health, Family and Social Health, Body Systems, Growth and Development, Medicines and Drugs, Diseases and Disorders, and Consumer and Environmental Health.

TEXTBOOK: Total Health – Choices for a Winning Life Style (Riveredge)



The primary purpose of Driver and Traffic Safety Education is to save lives and reduce motor vehicle accidents through the education of future highway users. The goal of this course is to instill in students knowledge of the laws and regulations of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Code. Topics such as the Practice of Defensive Driving, the Mechanical Workings of the Automobile and the Legal and Financial Responsibilities of a Licensed Driver will be explored. The State Driver’s Examination is administered at the completion of the course. A score of 80 percent or better is required to participate in any Behind-the-Wheel Programs.



Accidents occur at all times and all places and are the number one killer of people between the ages of one and thirty-eight in the United States. This loss of our greatest national resource makes it essential that all students receive intensive instruction in the theory and practice of First Aid. Everyone should know how and what to do in case of an emergency caused by an unfortunate accident or sudden illness, either at home, in school, or in the community.



This course prepares students for the responsibility of making decisions by learning life management skills. Personal and life skills, including an understanding of self and relationships with others, as well as skills related to Work, Money, Material Objects, Nutrition and Leisure Time, will be emphasized.

TEXTBOOK: Life after High School: Valuable Life Skills for the Goal Oriented Achiever.


In this course, students will develop the skills and concepts needed to gain personal and financial responsibility. The class will cover such topics as savings, investments, debt management, investing, protecting assets, and income tax. The goal of the course is to help students become educated consumers.


It is the special function of the Catholic school to develop in a school community an atmosphere animated by a spirit of liberty and charity based on the Gospel. It enables young people to grow at the same time in that new life which has been given them in baptism.

GRADE 9 – Semester 1

“Foundations in Catholic Christianity” is based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the course structure reflects the Catechism’s structure and roughly corresponds to the four parts, or pillars, of the Catechism. Chapter 1 of this course focuses on the young people themselves, who are dealing with questions of their own identity, their purpose in life, the struggles of adolescence, and their longing for happiness in a culture that often steers them to illusions of fulfillment. Chapter 2 of the course then takes up the subject of faith, as do the early chapters of the Catechism. Chapters 1 to 8 of the course address the “profession of faith” Chapters 9 and 10 look at the “celebration of the Christian mystery”. Chapter 11 examines Christian Prayer” and Chapter 12 and the epilogue review “Life in Christ”.

GRADE 9 – Semester 2

“Foundations in Hebrew Scripture” is a course that closely examines the Old Testament, which contains the roots of not only Judaism, but also Christianity, and examines its ties to the history of the biblical Jews. The eleven chapters of the course cover all the major developments of the Old Testament through the lens of the exile experience. It was through this lens that the Jews perceived their story and that their history made sense in light of what was happening to them during the exile, and vice versa; what was happening to them in exile made sense to them because of their history. Awareness of this lens enables young people to see that their own condition of “exile” can heighten their own openness to God’s word and ultimately affect their level of spirituality.

GRADE 10 – Semester 1

“Christology”, as studies through “Jesus of History, Christ of Faith”, is at the heart of our identity as Catholic Christians, as a community and persons of faith. This course presents a thorough, solidly researched, and clear presentation of the life, ministry, message, and meaning of Jesus. This course looks at the sources of information regarding Jesus in the Christian Testament and other contemporary historical documents. The course examines the history, politics, culture, social classes and religion of Jesus’ time. A thorough examination of the Mission of Jesus, the Kingdom proclaimed by Jesus, His stories and sayings, highlight the middle chapters of this course. Finally, the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection are examined in full detail. The course concludes with a brief look at the early church through the major themes of the writings of St. Paul.

GRADE 10 – Semester 2

“Understanding the Seven Sacraments” concludes the tenth grade program. Based on the understanding that all religious traditions celebrate their faith through a variety of religious experiences, this course allows students to examine the sacred within the ordinary and come to understand the Catholic Church’s seven sacraments as celebration of life which put people in tough with God. The course begins with an examination of symbols, rituals, and prayer. The remainder of the course examines the development of each sacrament from three perspectives: what it celebrates, what its symbols and actions are, and, finally, the historical development of the sacrament.

GRADE 11 – Semester 1

“Great Religions of the World” is a junior year course that is designed to allow students to understand the historical and spiritual impact that the Catholic Church has made through history and allow them to examine and compare Catholicism with the other prominent religions of the world. The course begins with an overview of the development of religion in primal traditions and moves forward to examine Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Zen Buddhism, Shintoism, and the religions of ancient Greece and Rome. Finally, the course examines the three great monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

GRADE 11 – Semester 2

“Social Justice” is a clear and dominant theme in the Christian Scriptures and in Catholic Social teachings. This course is intended to show students how they are called to create justice and peace in today’s world. The course examines those areas of sacred scripture that are the basis for Catholic social teaching. Excerpts from the Church’s documents are examined with a view to learning how to put faith into action. The following themes are examined in detail: Choosing Life, Building Community, Working with Dignity, Breaking the cycle of Poverty, Sharing God’s Goodness, Respect for the Earth and Waging Peace. At the end of the course, the students should learn to foster their ability and desire to respond to the call for peace and justice in their daily lives.

GRADE 12 – Semester 1

Seniors are preparing to make decisions about future college plans, workplace commitments, vocation choices, and life-lasting choices. “Christian Lifestyles” is a course which addresses issues relevant to all states of life from a Christian perspective. The content of this course allows students to examine single life, marriage, religious life, and ordained ministry. Such themes are Growth, Work, Money, Suffering and Healing, Sexuality, Love, Friendship, Communication, Dating are examined as part of the developmental tasks facing them in young adulthood in light of the Gospel and the Christian tradition.

GRADE 12 – Semester 2 – Third Quarter

The “Mystery of Death and Dying” has confounded humanity from its beginnings. This course will engage students in reflecting on these most basic and difficult human realities. Divided into four parts, the course will cover the doctrinal content of Catholic teaching about suffering and death, eternal life, and the pain and questioning that accompany the experience of loss. The second section will examine ways of dealing with suffering, the grieving process, stages of death and dying, the dignity of life, and caring for the sick and dying. Part three will research ancient beliefs and customs surrounding death, Christian customs and belief, and how contemporary culture responds to death. Finally, the fourth part will review the Catholic concepts of life everlasting, gospel living and hope and healing.

GRADE 12 – Semester 2 – Fourth Quarter

“Exploring Christian Morality” concludes the high school curriculum. One of the reasons for the existence of a Catholic high school is to offer courses that can guide the moral life of young people in the direction of Christian values and vision. This final course will enable students to reflect on their growth as persons and their visions of what kinds of persons they would like to become. The course will examine the Christian vision of morality as seen in Jesus, the model of full humanness. Studying the moral decision-making process and conscience development concludes the classroom content of the course. Students will complete the course by researching specific moral topics of importance: justice, courage, wholeness, honesty, respect for persons, compassion, respect for creation, reverence for human life, and peacemaking. These topics reflect back upon the 11th Grade program, “Living Justice and Peace.”


The science program will prepare each student to become a knowledgeable citizen who is able to make informed decisions in a technological society. All students will have the opportunity to study science in an interesting and worthwhile way that will open their minds to new outlooks and equip them with the intellectual skills that will guide their learning for the rest of their lives.


This class will introduce the students to the biology of the cell and the processes that take place on the cellular level. It includes a survey of organisms in each of the five kingdoms, including their phylogeny. The application of biological content to real life situations is emphasized. Laboratory experiences are included in this course.

TEXTBOOK: Biology, Dynamics of Life (Glencoe-McGraw Hill)


Honors Biology will cover much of the same information as Biology class, but some topics will be explored more thoroughly. This class will introduce the students to the biology of the cell and the processes that take place on the cellular level. It includes a survey of organisms in each of the five kingdoms, including their phylogeny. The application of biological content to real life situations is emphasized. They will move through some of the material at a quicker pace than the other classes. Additional coursework may also be assigned. Laboratory experiences are included in this course.

TEXTBOOK: Biology, Dynamics of Life (Glencoe-McGraw Hill)


This course provides students a general overview of biological science. It includes an in-depth study of cellular processes, genetics, evolution, and ecology. The AP Biology course is designed to be the equivalent of the general Biology course usually taken during the first college year. Laboratory experiments will be used to explore these topics further.

TEXTBOOK: Biology; Raven, Peter H. and Johnson, George B. 2002 Biology, 6th Edition (McGraw Hill)


The course explores the experimental, conceptual, and mathematical aspects of chemistry. It is designed to stimulate students’ interest in science and present the information and skills they need in today’s world. The concepts are made easily accessible by developing them in a logical rather than a chronological fashion. The topics discussed include the metric system of measurements, matter and changes of matter, electron configurations, stoichiometry and gas laws. Simple lab experiments are performed through the course.

TEXTBOOK: Merrill Chemistry (Glencoe-McGraw Hill)


This course is an in depth exploration of the subject of chemistry both in the conceptual and mathematical aspects. The presentation emphasizes the fundamental concepts. The approach is descriptive and works on the knowledge of the concepts and of the relationship of the concepts to one another. The topics discussed include the metric system of measurements, matter and changes of matter, electron configurations, stoichiometry and gas laws. Simple lab experiments are performed throughout the course.

TEXTBOOK: Merrill Chemistry (Glencoe-McGraw Hill)


This is an academic, quantitative chemistry course. Chemistry is the study of atoms and molecules and how they interact according to physical laws. Such study is applicable to everyday life. Topics include the structure of matter, states of matter, reactions, descriptive chemistry, and chemical calculations. All students are required to take the Advanced Placement examination in May and to pay the fee for the test.

TEXTBOOK: Principles of Chemistry (Silberberg)


This course is designed to introduce physics to students with a wide range of backgrounds and abilities. It shows how physics is related to their lives and the world around them. The course offers a balance of conceptual development and quantitative applications covering motion, forces, thermodynamics, waves and electromagnetism. Mathematics is the language of physics used in measurement and problem-solving techniques. Laboratory experiments, calculators, and computers are central to students’ success in the course.

TEXTBOOK: Physics (Holt, Rinehart and Winston)


This course follows the Advanced Placement curriculum for Physics “B”. It presents in-depth study foundations of Physics. The mathematical techniques used in the course are algebra, geometry, and trigonometry, but not calculus. The main objectives of the course are to provide the student with a clear and logical presentation of the basic concepts and principles of physics, and to strengthen an understanding of the concepts and principles through a broad range of applications to the real world. The subject covers Newtonian mechanics and the mechanics of fluids, heat and thermodynamics, wave motion, sound and optics, waves, electricity and magnetism, and, finally, an introduction to relativity, quantum physics and nuclear physics. All students are required to take the Advanced Placement Examination in May and are required to pay the fee for the test.

TEXTBOOK: Physics (Holt, Rinehart & Winston)


This course presents a comprehensive study of the anatomy and physiology of the various systems in man. It will also deal with embryological and fetal development, as well as human genetics. Laboratory experiences are coordinated with the various topics.

TEXTBOOK: Essentials of Anatomy & Physiology (Prentice Hall)


This course is designed to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative and sustainable solutions for resolving and/or preventing them. This course will promote a love for God, self knowledge, service to others, and respect for all creation. Students will be expected to complete laboratory experiments, case studies, and outside reading. A research paper will be assigned.


Students will learn the methodology needed to evaluate a crime scene, the proper lab mechanics needed to evaluate a crime scene, the proper lab mechanics needed to evaluate evidence, and how to compare between a known and unknown. Students will learn how DNA, fingerprinting, and other forensic tests can be used to solve a crime. The learning strategies used will include lecture, labs, research, activities, and videos.

TEXTBOOK: Introduction of Forensic Science & Criminalistics (McGraw Hill)

Social Studies

In order for a democratic system to survive, citizens must maintain a level of participation in public life and have a general concern for the common good. Effective social studies programs prepare students to responsibly address the forces that pull our society apart and hold it together. We look to the past in order to benefit the future. Through social studies, students will understand that which has combined to influence the course of humanity and learn how conflict and struggle were resolved, how tolerance was promoted, and how they may be able to improve social growth.


World History is designed to give students an opportunity to learn about the start of different civilizations and the growth of cultures throughout the world. Beginning with Prehistory and Stone Age people, a wide variety of civilizations are studied leading up to the Renaissance and Reformation. Examples of topics covered include: Ancient Egypt (7000 B.C. – 30 B.C.), Ancient India and China (2500 B.C.), Ancient Greece (2000 B.C. – 133 B. C.), Ancient Rome (509B.C. – 180 B.C.), Ancient Africa and the Americas (3000 B.C. – 1532 B.C.), as well as Sumerian Civilizations and Medieval Times. Along with tests and quizzes, students are required to complete two research projects throughout the year. Current events are also incorporated into the curriculum and comparisons are made to ancient times with today’s society.

TEXTBOOK: World History, Patterns of Interaction (Holt, McDougal, Houghton, Mifflin Harcourt


World History Honors is designed to give students an opportunity to learn about the start of different civilizations and the growth of cultures throughout the world. Beginning with Prehistory and Stone Age people a wide variety of civilizations are studied leading up to the modern world. Students will begin this one year course studying the four ancient river valley civilizations (Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, and Indus Valley). The curriculum will take students through the Greek and Roman Empires, studying governmental structures, the impact of geography and the lasting influence of these ancient civilizations in our modern world. Important events following the fall of Rome will be highlighted in this course, including the Crusades, the feudal system in Europe, the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, and the Scientific Revolution. Moreover, students will understand the final breakdown of feudalism with the French Revolution. The fourth marking period will introduce students to the modern era, beginning with the development of European countries, such as Germany and Italy and eventually leading an in-depth discussion of the world wars from a world history perspective. To enhance learning, students will focus on primary source documents, technology-based learning and critical reading assignments. In preparation for the advanced levels of high school history, students are expected to learn the principals of formal, research-based writing.


The course explores the beginnings of civilization in our hemisphere with the emphasis on the United States. The course begins with a review of the early South American cultures and will work through the Explorations and the Early Colonization Period. The development of self-government will be examined followed by a study of the American Revolution, our first attempts at unification, and their effect upon the framing of the U. S. Constitution. The formation of political parties and the rise of Nationalism and Sectionalism will be researched as to how they impacted upon the causes of the Civil War. The course ends with the Reconstruction Period and the opening of the West.

TEXTBOOK: The Americans (Houghton Mifflin Publishers)


Beginning with the post Civil War Reconstruction Era, this course provides students with an overview of the period in U. S. history from 1865 through the present. Emphasis is placed on historical interpretation in the form of analytical writing. Students will be asked to apply current issues and statutes to historically significant events in order to better understand the development of the United States as an advanced industrial society. Students will focus on issues such as Industrialization, Urbanization, Imperialism, and Radicalism. They will also analyze particular periods/events in history, including the Progressive Era, World War I, the Great Depression, World War II, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Cold War Era while paying particular attention to the social and governmental forces at work within American society.

TEXTBOOK: The Americans (Houghton Mifflin Publishers)


The Advanced Placement History program is a two-year, comprehensive survey of American history from the time of initial discovery through the present day. Students are required to complete extensive independent research in order to enhance classroom discussion. Emphasis is placed on historical analysis as well as advanced writing skills in order to better prepare students for college-level work. Upon completion of the Advanced Placement program, all students are required to take the College Board Advanced Placement U.S. History Exam and are required to pay the fee for the test.


Part one of the Advanced Placement program is taken during a student’s Junior year in place of the standard U. S. History I class. Beginning with the “Age of Discovery” and the period of initial discovery by Columbus, the course establishes the foundation of U. S. History and analyzes the issues and problems that the U. S. encountered during its infancy. Students are asked to analyze primary source documents that pertain to the relevant period and incorporate these documents in their writing. Emphasis is placed on political and governmental challenges associated with the American Revolution as well as the Civil War. Analysis of how the republic evolved through the period of Jacksonian Democracy will also be a major focus of this first year. This survey concludes with the post Civil War Reconstruction period and the problems facing late Nineteenth Century America.

TEXTBOOK: The American Pageant (Houghton Mifflin Publishers)


The second section of Advanced Placement U. S. History is to be taken during the student’s Senior year and continues with the same format and independent structure as Advanced Placement U. S. I. Beginning with the era of westward expansion and the industrial boom following the Civil War, students will cover the period from 1865 through the present. This course provides an in-depth study of social issues that were pertinent during the late nineteenth-early twentieth centuries. Students will be asked to assess the relevance of historical issues in modern society and will better understand the evolution of the United States from a “disjointed” union to the world’s premier industrial power.

TEXTBOOK: The American Pageant (Houghton Mifflin Publishers)


This course will examine local, state, national, and international events through the use of newspapers, magazines, documentaries and films. The classroom will be a forum for discussion and an open exchange of ideas. The goal of the class is to enlighten students about the world in which they live. Current Issues will include the study of past historical events so that students will understand how the past effects the future.


This course will give the students a better understanding of economics ranging from the viewpoint of the individual consumer or small business owner to the global economy. Topics included the law of supply and demand, forms of business, labor unions, government finances and influence on the economy, money and prices, inflation and deflation cycles. Additionally, the course relates history and politics to the study of economics.

PSYCHOLOGY This course is a classic approach to the study of human behavior. It is an in-depth look at the theories of learning, mental disorder and dream interpretation. Behavior modification and stimulation – response mechanics are discussed in great detail. It will entail the phase of learning and cognition, motivation and emotion, stages of development, and therapy and treatment.

TEXTBOOK: Psychology Today (Amsco Publishers)

SOCIOLOGY This course focuses on human relationships in society. Emphasis is placed on a sociological point of view to examine culture, social structure, the individual in society, social institutions and social inequalities. The changing social world and its implications are presented and analyzed so students become aware of the social forces that shape their views of the world.

TEXTBOOK: Social Problems: A Down-To-Earth Approach (Pearson)


The impact of technology and media on today’s society plays an important role in the education of our students. Students are exposed to computers and media at young ages and must be informed of the power both possess. There must be a good working knowledge of computers and an understanding of all different forms of media whether it be movies, television, radio, newspapers, or the ever expanding Internet.

COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY 1 Computer Technology introduces students to the basic features of Microsoft Office, Windows basics, and file management. Develops familiarity with Word, Excel, Access, Power Point, Outlook, and Internet basics. Other skills taught in this class include proper Keyboarding techniques.

ACCOUNTING I This course acquaints students with the fundamental principles and practices of accounting. Business problems similar to those in every day office procedures are used as a basis for instruction. The practical training includes minor duties often required of the bookkeeper. This course will cover the role of accounting in business, business ownership, financial statements, banking activities, payroll accounting, payroll tax returns, processing cash receipts, purchases of merchandise and sales on credit. Ideal course for students planning to attend college to pursue a business career, or for those students seeking employment upon graduation.

TEXTBOOK: Century 21 Accounting (Southwestern Publishing Company


Prerequisite: Accounting I This course will provide extensive coverage of accounting systems, procedures and controls, such as analyzing financial statements, controlling cash, purchases and notes payable, partnerships and corporations, and controlling inventory. Ideal course for students planning to attend college to pursue a business career or for those students seeking employment upon graduation.

TEXTBOOK: Century 21 Accounting (Southwestern Publishing Company)


This course will explore the formal elements of design including composition, color, texture, and shape in the form of applied visual problem-solving exercises. Students will engage in hands-on design practices, develop creative thinking strategies, and devise solutions to visual communication design challenges in typography, concept design, packaging and labeling, billboards, business design, and advertising. The course familiarizes students with visual principles, essential software, and techniques that serve the basic designer needs. Adobe illustrator is the main graphic composition tool utilized in this class.

World Languages

All students are given the opportunity to secure a solid foundation in foreign language. Students will develop an appreciation and respect for the culture of the foreign country through the study of its history, tradition and literature. In addition, students will acquire skills that enhance their career opportunities.


This course introduces the four basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. This knowledge will be acquired through many different activities such as skits, conversation, grammatical concepts and reading small literary excerpts in Spanish. Students are introduced to Spanish and South American culture and civilization. Every effort is made to use the target language wherever possible.

TEXTBOOK: Bienvenido (Glencoe Publishers)


The focus of this course is to expand on the basic skills acquired in the first year of Spanish. Vocabulary is enhanced through the reading of literary excerpts and regular assessments. Through role-playing and orchestrated conversation, students will learn “real world” application of grammatical skills. The class is conducted in Spanish as much as possible.

TEXTBOOK: Abordo (Glencoe Publishers)

SPANISH III Students perfect the four basic skills through conversation, composition and grammar study. Cultural enrichment is incorporated into this course through correlation with readings. Students are introduced to Spanish literature through the study and discussion of excerpts of Spanish novels. One of the aims of this course is to gradually immerse the students in the Spanish language in order to master fluency.

TEXTBOOK: De Viaje (Glencoe Publishers)


This advanced class will be conducted completely in Spanish. Intensive amplification of vocabulary through topic-oriented conversation will better prepare the student to speak and discuss in varied situations. History, culture and advanced grammar will also be studies. The students will read specific novels followed by class discussion. Written composition will be an integral part of all the aspects taught.


This course will present students with the fundamental grammatical skills of the Italian language and will provide the ability to apply that knowledge into everyday experiences. This course will seek to build vocabulary and conversational skills evident in its cultural application. The course takes a natural communicative approach which focuses on listening, speaking, reading, and writing the language. The language will be explored through various print, multimedia and total physical response (TPR) activities that will help make the language relevant and current. The assignments and activities in Italian I require all students to be active and respectful participants.


This course will continue to develop the necessary grammatical skills of the Italian language, focusing on written and spoken proficiency. This course takes a natural communicative approach through listening, speaking, reading, and writing the language. The language will be explored through various print, multimedia and total physical response (TPR) activities that will help make the language relevant and current. Classroom instruction will be in Italian, using English as is necessary. The assignments and activities in Italian II will require that students be active and respectful participants. The end of the year video project will help students organize, write, and communicate in Italian.

CONVERSATIONAL ENGLISH This course focuses on speaking practice, pronunciation improvement and vocabulary expansion. The course is designed to give each student maximum opportunity to hear, understand, and speak the language to improve both their level of proficiency in verbal communication and writing in English.