Upper School Curriculum by Grade

Please find the course curriculum descriptions for Upper School, organized by grade, below. ** denotes a required course. You can also view by subject. Looking for a downloadable version? Click here.

Grade 9

List of 50 items.

  • Coming of Age in the World**

    The Ninth Grade year marks not only a transition to high school, but a pivotal period in the journey toward greater maturity and perspective. Recognizing that students have a growing awareness of themselves and their place within multiple communities—family, school, world—this course seeks to foster and deepen that awareness through its emphasis on personal expression and global texts.

    In their writing, students develop creative and critical thinking skills through multiple forms: literary analysis, narration, and persuasion. Grammar and vocabulary instruction come from a variety of contextual sources, including the personalized online platform Membean. Class discussions are at the heart of the exploration of each text. Students also hone public speaking and presentation skills.

    Course texts cover a range of themes, literary forms, and global concerns. Texts include Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie; The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon; Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi; In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez; and Purple Hibiscus, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
  • Math 1**

    Math 1 builds on the algebraic reasoning, number sense, and spatial awareness developed in earlier math courses. Students use investigations, observations, and logic to study visual patterns and numerical relationships in figures and shapes. The course begins with fundamental geometric and algebraic definitions, and then students leverage that knowledge to study both two- and three-dimensional figures. Students take measurements of perimeter, area, volume, and surface area, and derive formulas through their acquired knowledge. Transformations allow students to explore the concepts of similarity and congruence, where proof is introduced; students gain fluency with informal, indirect, and formal methods of constructing arguments. A TI-Nspire CX calculator is required.
  • Advanced Algebra**

    In Advanced Algebra, students build a more complete understanding of linear and quadratic algebra. Students develop their TI-Nspire calculator skills to help model and understand algebraic relationships. Topics include linear and quadratic relationships, functions and their transformations, and right triangle trigonometry and trigonometric functions. A TI-Nspire CX calculator is required.
  • Biology**

    In this course students get an overview of pertinent aspects of biology, including ecology, evolution, biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology. Students explore the interactions between living things and the environment, the flow of energy and cycling of matter in ecosystems, patterns of inheritance, neurotransmission, reproduction, and current topics. The course is investigative in nature. Students are continually challenged to make and test hypotheses and make logical inferences based on data.

    Topics:
    • Ecology: comparative ecosystems through field study, cycles, and human impact
    • Evolution: hominid evolution and natural selection
    • Genetics: DNA structure and function, chromosomal traits and disorders, and heredity
    • Cancer and cell division: meiosis, mutations, cellular clocks
    • Neurobiology: neurotransmission, drug and chemical impacts on the brain
    • Microbiology: protists, bacteria, fungi, and immunology
    • Reproduction: male and female reproductive structures, birth control, STIs
    • Plant biology: photosynthesis and energy transfer
  • Global Perspectives**

    In an ever-changing world, this foundational social studies course explores and equips Grade Nine students with historical inquiry skills necessary for global citizenship and understanding the historical roots of modern conflicts. Through a thematic exploration of human rights, globalization, and the environment, Global Perspectives teaches students to engage in collaborative discourse and to research ways to promote peace and actions on the micro and macro level for a sustainable future. Utilizing an array of primary and secondary sources, students are given the opportunity to cultivate cultural competence and research skills through case studies, class debates, and thought experiments to help make sense of social change within our interconnected world.
  • The Entrepreneurial Mindset - Humanities Elective

    Arianna Huffington, Dr. Dre, Oprah Winfrey, and Steve Jobs represent the American entrepreneurial spirit. They have the vision to imagine a place in the world for a product that the world thinks it does not need, and the organizational skills required to prove the doubters wrong by making their vision real. It is in this way that entrepreneurs change our world. In this one-trimester REDI Lab elective, students will work through original case studies (as used at top business schools) to gain real-world insights on the core skills of entrepreneurialism: creativity, innovation, collaboration, pivoting, networking, challenging the status quo, and—finally—storytelling. Students will take on real-world ideas, clients, and products to nurture entrepreneurial vision while fostering organizational acumen. Ultimately, students will develop a pitch that expresses their vision and a business plan to make that vision real.

    Note: Students may take this course for elective credit; it does not count towards graduation requirements in any department.
  • Chinese I

    In this engaging, proficiency-oriented language-learning course, students master the basics of reading, writing, speaking, and understanding Mandarin Chinese while also discovering Chinese culture. Students are introduced to the pinyin system of Romanization (standard in mainland China) and use the Simplified character set (also standard in mainland China) when reading and writing. While Chinese is a demanding language to learn, key strategies and techniques are covered to help students become more effective language learners. In addition to activities related to the course textbook, an abundance of authentic materials, native voices, and real-life language applications are woven into the course experience. By the end of the year, students are able to express basic information about their daily life, family, and preferences, both orally and in written Chinese characters, as well as perform common life tasks in a thoughtful and culturally appropriate way. Text: Integrated Chinese, Vol 1, 4th Ed., Cheng and Tsui.
  • Chinese Advanced Seminar - Honors

    This course is offered in even graduation years.
    Students who complete this yearlong course continue to work in all areas of language acquisition (speaking, reading, listening, and writing) and will broaden their knowledge of Chinese and Chinese-speaking cultures through authentic sources. During this course, students are asked to speak and write authoritatively and insightfully in Chinese about the topics of each year's themes. The thematic focus may include: ancient and modern literature, current events, and more in-depth study of Chinese politics, art, and history. Course content is offered on an alternating year basis, so students may elect to take both Advanced Seminar and Advanced Topics and study a different set of themes. Enrollment is by permission of the instructor.
  • Chinese Advanced Topics - Honors

    This course is offered in odd graduation years.
    Students who complete this yearlong course continue to work in all areas of language acquisition (speaking, reading, listening, and writing) and will broaden their knowledge of Chinese and Chinese-speaking cultures through authentic sources. During this course, students are asked to speak and write authoritatively and insightfully in Chinese about the topics of each year's themes. The thematic focus may include: ancient and modern literature, current events, and more in-depth study of Chinese politics, art, and history. Course content is offered on an alternating year basis, so students may elect to take both Advanced Seminar and Advanced Topics and study a different set of themes. Enrollment is by permission of the instructor.
  • French I

    The French curriculum allows students to acquire basic practical vocabulary and fundamental grammatical structures while building cultural awareness. Goals include, but are not limited to, learning to ask and answer simple questions, describe people, express likes and dislikes, and narrate a short sequence of events. The culture and geography of French-speaking countries are also stressed. Students learn to comprehend spoken French through frequent exposure to authentic material via audio and video exercises, where emphasis is given to understanding the meaning of unfamiliar words through context. By the end of the course, they are able to communicate basic information. Students can expect in-class oral paired activities and nightly assignments. Text: Espaces, Vista Higher Learning.
  • French II

    French II continues the study of language by providing numerous practices to increase linguistic skills and vocabulary acquisition. The course also emphasizes structures needed for effective communication in most common situations. Classes include a variety of activities designed to increase fluency in speaking, understanding, reading, and writing. Students perform skits, create dialogs, and conduct interviews of their peers. Finally, students write paragraphs and respond in writing to oral, visual, or written cues, using appropriate grammar and syntax. Work is done both individually and in pairs, providing students with opportunities to use the language in a variety of ways. Assessments of student progress include, but are not limited to, written tests and quizzes, oral interviews, compositions, and daily participation. Text: Espaces, Vista Higher Learning.
  • French III

    The primary linguistic goal of Level III French is to allow students to express themselves in increasingly more precise, detailed language. Special emphasis is also given to reading comprehension and written self-expression. Through projects, oral presentations, and written reports, students explore the cultural background of the French-speaking world, as well as contemporary daily life in France. Strong focus is given to practical language use, building reading skills, expanding vocabulary, and establishing a firm grammatical foundation in French. Assessments of student progress include, but are not limited to, written tests and quizzes, oral interviews, compositions, and daily participation.
  • Spanish I

    The Spanish I curriculum allows students to acquire basic practical vocabulary and fundamental grammatical structures while building cultural awareness. Goals include, but are not limited to, learning to ask and answer simple questions, describe people, express likes and dislikes, and narrate a short sequence of events. The culture and geography of Spanish-speaking countries are also stressed. Students learn to comprehend spoken Spanish through frequent exposure to the “real-life language” of native speakers via video programs and other resources, where emphasis is given to understanding the meaning of unfamiliar words through context. By the end of the class, they are able to communicate basic information. Students can expect in-class oral paired activities, group communicative exercises, and nightly assignments.
  • Spanish II

    The primary goal of Level II Spanish is to ensure that students acquire more vocabulary and grammatical constructs for practical communication in everyday situations. Emphasis is placed on strengthening the acquisition skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students still mostly use isolated words, lists, memorized phrases, and some personalized recombination of words and phrases; however, they begin to use these with more ease and attention to detail. They become increasingly comfortable speaking and writing in the present tense and begin using the imperfect and preterit tenses to narrate events in the past. Cultural topics are interwoven throughout the year, so that students come to appreciate the dynamic relationship between language acquisition and cultural competence. Written and oral assessments, short compositions, and an emphasis on daily classroom participation and preparedness play a key role in building skills. Additional resource materials such as short novellas, films, and online sources supplement the textbook.
  • Spanish for Heritage Speakers I & II - Honors (second year)

    This course is designed to offer students whose home language is Spanish an opportunity to study Spanish formally in an academic setting, in the same way native English-speaking students study English language arts. Many native/heritage students are partially bilingual and vary in their language skills, and this course is designed to expand their command of the Spanish language with further development of their reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills; vocabulary building; preparation in basic principles of composition and grammar, spelling, sentence structure, punctuation, accents, and paragraph organization; and study of Latin American and Spanish literature and culture, with selections from novels, myths, short stories, plays, and poetry. Class is conducted entirely in Spanish. Students study current events and analyze the political and socio-economic issues facing the Spanish-speaking world. Students are expected to participate orally through class discussion, debates, and presentations. Writing assignments for this course focus on developing creative, analytical, and persuasive writing skills. The differences between formal and informal language, both oral and written, are stressed throughout the year. This course may be taken for two years and is a prerequisite for heritage speakers to take Advanced Seminar, AP Spanish Language, and AP Spanish Literature. A prerequisite for this course is the ability to understand and speak Spanish at native or near-native fluency.
  • Spanish III

    Reinforcing the basic language skills learned in the first two years, Spanish III students participate in progressively more challenging conversations and are presented with more complex reading and writing material. Students produce longer and more detailed pieces of writing, both in and outside of class. They also continue to practice the receptive skills of listening and reading through use of technology, in-class discussions, frequent reading assignments, and videos.

    The main textbook is supplemented by readings from other sources, such as a book of Mexican legends for the summer reading, a short novel in Spanish, and other authentic materials. In addition, we view two educational feature-length films in Spanish to further students’ access to authentic spoken language and to build confidence in discussion. In Spanish III, discussion and writing builds students’ repertoire of vocabulary, while improving their syntax and the accuracy of their grammatical structures. Although students complete a thorough review of verb tenses and other grammatical topics at this level, it is also a year of learning many new verb tenses.
  • 3D Digital Design & Fabrication

    In this course, students expand upon their 2D design knowledge and skills and begin working with 3D design and fabrication techniques. They learn to how to design and 3D print models and prototypes, create 3D scans of physical objects, use digital sculpting tools, and learn to incorporate 3D models into larger designs, both functional and artistic. Students become proficient with Fusion 360 3D modeling software as a tool for planning and simulating 3D models and assemblies, and they use the 3D CNC mill to design and fabricate their own large-scale functional designs. Students may choose to explore digital sculpting, furniture or jewelry design, casting, welding, or projects that integrate a variety of tools, methods, and media. At the end of the course, students leave with finished projects, a broad set of digital design and fabrication skills, as well as a comprehensive digital portfolio of their design work and photos of finished products.
  • Engineering Design Lab

    In general, this course is for students who wish to take on an exciting independent project and take their engineering design and fabrication skills to the next level. With a focus on creative design, thoughtful prototyping and analysis, and the building of larger or more sophisticated functional products, students choose and take on a new design challenge and develop skills with new tools, concepts, and processes (e.g., CNC milling, casting, turning, metalworking, etc.), and learn and practice applying science and engineering principles throughout the design and evaluation processes. This class is repeatable, with subsequent trimesters focusing on new, unique projects and skills of students' choosing or on the continued development of an ongoing project.
  • Fab Lab: Intro to Engineering Design & the Innovation Lab

    In this hands-on, project-based course, students learn and practice using the human-centered design process to design and make things—to see a need, take a design idea, devise a plan, and fabricate a functional, finished product. Along the way, students receive a comprehensive orientation to the Anderson Innovation Lab and essential training in the safe and appropriate use of all of the lab’s fundamental tools and other specialty tools as needed. Roughly half of the course is focused on manual skills and the designing and fabricating of projects by hand. Students apply and build upon these skills within the digital realm, using 2D CAD software and the laser cutter/engraver to design and precisely fabricate their original, functional designs.
  • Flight

    Flight is a project-based course that guides students' exploration of flight and its fundamental underlying principles en route to designing, building, testing, and optimizing several different types of aircraft. Students study fixed-wing aircraft prior to designing, building, and testing custom boomerangs; and fluid dynamics and buoyancy before designing, building, and testing hot air balloons. Then they immerse fully into the assembly, programming, and testing of quadcopter racing drones. The class fee provides all students with their own modern RC transmitter and a kit of hand-selected materials from which they build and fly their functional, high performance drones. Students also receive extensive flight and safety instruction from a nationally certified flight instructor in order to safely and competently fly their drones when the course is over.
  • Introduction to AI and Machine Learning

    This course is intended for students who have some programming experience and would like to dive into the world of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Machine Learning is a highly in-demand branch of Artificial Intelligence (AI), where computer programs can learn from processing data to make decisions. Countless industries are seeking to fulfill the promise of AI to create efficiencies, detect and predict issues, and help make data-driven decisions. Students explore the ethical issues associated with machine learning algorithms, such as, who is responsible when a computer makes a decision that has negative consequences for
    people? This course focuses on AI ethics, examines issues of bias, and explores and explains fundamental AI concepts. Because machine learning depends on large sets of data, real life datasets on healthcare, demographics, and more are used to engage students. Students develop a holistic, thoughtful understanding of these technologies, while they learn the technical underpinnings of how the technologies work.
  • Introduction to Computer Science

    This engaging introductory course introduces students to the exciting discipline of Computer Science. Students develop awareness of important computer science principles, such as programming, software-hardware interaction, and conceptual and formal design models. Programming topics covered include basic control structures (sequence, loops, branching), variables, abstraction, and simple array processing. Students develop strong computational thinking skills that they can apply in many other disciplines, such as robotics, mathematics, science, music, and art. Each student completes a well-planned and designed larger programming project.
  • Robotics Playground

    Robotics is not only the future, it is also the present. This introductory course familiarizes students with programming, sensors, and automation. They hone critical computational thinking skills needed to succeed in both the 21st century's workforce and in everyday life. Robotics encourages creativity, teamwork, leadership, passion, and problem-solving in groups. Best of all, robotics is fun! Real World Robotics is a project-based course where students design, build, and program working prototypes of autonomous and interactive robots using a robotics system. For those students with a strong interest in robotics, CA also offers the opportunity to join a Robotics Club.
  • Photography I - Intro to Photography

    Department of Visual Arts:
    In this class, students investigate the nature of photography as an important field of artistic practice, conceptual knowledge, and technological procedures. Essential skills and techniques focus on the DSLR camera, studio lighting, and post-production using Adobe Photoshop. This material practice is supported with historical and critical studies of the work of practicing photographers and visual artists. Students deepen their understanding of the history of photography and how photographers effectively construct images.
  • Digital Video I

    Department of Visual Arts:
    Digital Video I introduces students to visual language, cinematic grammar, and the basic elements of camera operation and lighting. Students are asked to respond to questions and micro-themes with creative projects. Examples are 30-second commercials, short narratives, and video journalism. With an overview of the entire production process, attention is given to the fundamentals of exposure and control of the image. Students complete at least two individual and two small group projects. Video cameras, computers, and editing software are provided.
  • Digital Video II

    Department of Visual Arts:
    Digital Video II builds on Digital Video I. Digital Video II is a three-trimester experience that brings the entire conceptual process from storyboarding to final cut into focus. The art, theory, and craft of editing is explored in detail, as well as the marriage between visual imagery and sound design. Students are exposed to advanced editing features, such as filters, color correction, keying, and matting. In Digital Video II, the creative laboratory continues to explore the potential for video as Fine Art, utilizing micro-themes, but also affording students “independence” for deeper, more substantive creative projects. Digital Video II continues to investigate the uses of pedestrian video, such as journalism, sports documentary, music videos, and other established genres.
  • Intro to Ceramics

    Department of Visual Arts:
    This class gives students the opportunity to explore a variety of hand-building methods, including coil, slab, modeling, and molding. Every student also gains experience using the potter’s wheel to create ceramic objects. Students learn how to apply several surface treatments and glazes to their projects, as well as a basic understanding of the kiln-firing process. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to initiate their own ideas, use creative problem solving to create unique works, and explore traditional and contemporary ceramic practices.
  • Advanced Ceramics

    Department of Visual Arts:
    This class gives students the opportunity to build upon the basic skills they learned in Intro to Ceramics in both hand building and wheel throwing. Students go deeper into the nuances of ceramic art by exploring myriad things that artists do with clay. Students will also learn studio habits that facilitate artistic growth, as they explore their own emerging artistic voice.
  • Studio Art I

    Department of Visual Arts:
    Studio Art I introduces the foundations of visual arts, as students begin exploring their artistic voice. In an open studio, students develop independent art projects in a variety of media, including drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. Students draw inspiration from contemporary and historical artists to envision their own individual creative direction. Emphasis is placed on creativity and execution of the Studio Habits of Mind, including expression, persistence, and reflection on their own work and the work of others.
  • Digital Art

    Department of Visual Arts:
    This course explores imagery, text, and color in digital media using Adobe Creative Suite programs, including Fresco, Illustrator, and Photoshop. Students use all aspects of the artistic design process, while learning about digital drawing, vector graphics, pixel graphics, and image manipulation. Inspired by contemporary artists and digital media’s function in society, students develop their own independent projects, including illustration, graphic design, poster and logo design, animation, website design, and more.
  • Introduction to Architectural Drawing

    Department of Visual Arts:
    In this introductory course, students explore the basic skills that are important in standard building design. The students practice axonometric drawing, perspective drawing, observational drawing, and drafting skills. They discover how all of these skills can assist in learning how to use computer-aided drafting software in designing unique spaces that have a personal aesthetic.
  • Jazz Ensemble

    Department of Music and Dance:
    Jazz Ensemble is a performance group. Students learn creativity and discipline through the study of a range of jazz styles. An emphasis is placed on understanding music theory as it relates to chord structures and progressions, as well as improvisation. Students are required to attend all performances. Students must audition or have previous participation (including Middle School) in an instrumental ensemble.
  • Orchestra

    Department of Music & Dance:
    This class focuses on the educational components of playing in an orchestra, including music history, music theory, instrumental technique, and ensemble skills. Students encounter a range of classical music; explore different, pertinent musical eras; and apply different performance techniques to challenging and fun pieces. Students are required to attend all performances. Students should have previous experience on the instrument to be played; private lessons are strongly recommended.
  • Rock Ensemble

    Department of Music and Dance:
    Rock Ensemble is a performance group. Students learn creativity and discipline through the study of a range of rock and popular music styles. Emphasis is placed on understanding music theory as it relates to chord structures and progressions. Students are required to attend all performances. Students must audition or have previous participation (including Middle School) in an instrumental ensemble.
  • Academy Jazz

    Department of Music and Dance:
    This is an audition-only performance group. Students learn creativity and discipline through the study of a range of jazz styles. Emphasis is placed on understanding music theory as it relates to chord structures and progressions as well as improvisation. There is at least one outside performance, and students are required to attend all performances.
  • Audio Engineering

    Department of Music and Dance:
    In Audio Engineering, students explore sound, studio recording, and music production techniques and technology en route to producing their own studio recording projects. They learn how to plan and direct recording projects, how to use industry-standard audio recording and production software to mix tracks and add effects, how to program and use virtual instruments within recording projects, and how to produce and share their own music and the compositions and performances of others. Students finish the course with a digital portfolio of music projects that they have recorded and produced. Audio Engineering also involves projects and investigations in the following areas: the production of sound for video, acoustics and acoustic room treatment, sound synthesis, and the design and construction of 2-way loudspeakers or musical instruments.
    (Cross-registration/credit with Computer Science/Engineering Design and Visual & Performing Arts Department.)
  • Acting/Scene Study I

    Department of Theater:
    This class is the prerequisite for all other courses in the department.  This class teaches the rudiments of acting, with a focus on teaching young actors how to work moment-to-moment, to be truthful in an imaginary situation, and to put their attention on the other person. It is the training ground for all advanced work. Trimesters do not need to be consecutive, but it is highly recommended for progression to advanced work.
  • Acting for the Camera

    Department of Theater:
    (This course is offered in even graduation years.)
    In this course students develop techniques to use the camera as an acting partner, while retaining the ability to focus on other actors during the scene. Actors use imagination and emotional preparation training integral to stage performance, while learning the skills necessary for working with challenging edits, the non-linear timeline of film and TV production, an on-camera director, and the unique demands and environment of a studio setup. Students also prepare for on-camera auditions and monologues to equip them to navigate demo-reels, social-media based web series, and professional film, TV, and commercial production.
  • Improvisation

    Department of Theater:
    (This course is offered in odd graduation years.)
    Open to anyone and everyone, this course delves into the world of the unscripted performance technique known as improvisation. Students learn the rules, techniques, and foundations of this form that has provided some of our greatest comedic minds: Tina Fey, Kristin Wiig, Bill Murray, Steve Carell, and more! Students learn to think on their feet and practice reacting in the moment; become better communicators, collaborators, and presenters; and laugh a lot! Students present at least one improv show during lunch for a live audience.
  • Musical Theater

    Department of Theater:
    This workshop-style course offers students a focused study of the techniques used in musical theater performance. It is intended for anyone who is interested in learning how to perform in the musical theater style, using songs from shows ranging from Oklahoma! and West Side Story to Hamilton and Dear Evan Hanson. Students are encouraged to choose repertoire within their range and according to their interests. The course is a progressive training ground for advanced work in the annual musical presentation.
  • Technical Theater

    Department of Theater:
    The objective of this course is to introduce students to the tools and protocol of mounting a major production, as well as to provide them with solid working experience from plans on paper to hands-on construction on stage. Students are trained in the aesthetics of lighting and scenic design, as well as in the knowledge of operating equipment safely and mastering a basic reading of ground plans, elevations, and computer-generated design.

    Advanced Technical Theater is available upon completion of a full year of Technical Theater and permission of the instructors. Three trimesters of Technical Theater complete a one-year credit but do not need to be taken consecutively. Advanced Technical Theater is a yearlong course. 
  • Theater Practicum

    Department of Theater:
    Practicum (Tech Theater) is a hands-on training class in some aspects of production. With a theater advisor, practicum students arrange their course of study, which must total enough hours to fulfill a trimester of work for credit, but may include work on one or multiple shows and events, including stage management, lighting, sound, scene painting, props, stage crew, program or poster design, musical accompaniment, box office management, and ushering. Students may fulfill all hours in one trimester for credit, or they may spread out assignments over the course of the year to equal a trimester of credit. There is no prerequisite for this class, but students must contact a faculty member in the Theater Department to set up an appointment before enrolling.

    Practicum (Performance) is an opportunity for students to participate in a mainstage production for arts credit. With permission from faculty, students who are cast in one of two mainstage productions may use that show as an arts credit. Mainstage productions take place on the Leach Center for the Performing Arts stage and rehearse in the evening after sports. Students should be prepared to attend all evening rehearsals for which they are called, abide by all expectations set forth by the director, and participate in all dress rehearsals and performances.

  • Dance Company

    Department of Music & Dance:
    This is an Intermediate/Advanced performing ensemble. Only students who have been approved will be able to enroll for the Company. Students who wish to apply must submit a letter of interest to the instructor.

    This group practices and explores multiple styles of dance and choreography to create pieces of repertoire to be performed throughout the school year. There is increased opportunity and emphasis on student-generated choreography and individual expression. In addition, students explore ways to utilize dance as a means of giving back to the community. Students are asked to think critically, creatively, and ethically while combining service, choreography, and performance. The Company meets during a scheduled school block; however, additional rehearsals may be scheduled outside of class time. These rehearsals are scheduled with the dancer’s schedules and commitments in mind. Students are not required to enroll for both trimesters 1 and 2, but may do so for credit.  

    Students must have mastered foundational techniques of ballet, jazz, contemporary, modern, or tap and be able to collaborate and work well with others. If a student is not ready for Company work at the start of the school year, the student may train through Dance electives and reapply for the second trimester.
  • Dance: Techniques and Practices

    Department of Music & Dance:
    This course offers foundational training in terminology, technique, and studio practices of a variety of styles. Through dance, students develop artistic habits and gain physical flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination. Students are encouraged to foster their own creative process and expression of self through choreographic prompts. All classes have an opportunity to perform if they would like to do so. 
    • Trimester 1: Beginning Tap – This class focuses on introducing students to the foundational principles and techniques of tap dancing. This is a true beginner class that is geared towards those with little to no prior experience in tap dancing. Students work on rhythm, musicality, and articulation of sound in feet, while building speed of movement. Various styles of music are utilized. All are welcome and encouraged.
    • Trimester 2: Intermediate/Advanced Tap – This class explores tap techniques as they relate to all styles of music, including pop, rock, rap, musical theater, big band, and jazz. Students work on rhythm, musicality, and articulation of sound in feet, while building speed of movement. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.
    • Trimester 3: Broadway Dance – This class explores all styles of dance utilized in Broadway shows. The focus is on physical style, storytelling, and techniques as related to different time periods, locations, and characters.
  • Vertical Dance/Site-Specific Dance Study

    Department of Music & Dance:
    This class explores the adventurous and stunning nature of site-specific and vertical dance. Students begin on the ground with basic movement concepts and practices, and gradually move to practicing vertically. In addition to vertical, they explore site-specific dance–dancing in unexpected locations that lend new interpretation and possibility to choreography. Vertical dancing is done using climbing gear, including top rope, harness, and GriGri belay devices. When ready, students experiment with outdoor locations, such as suspended on a building wall, tree, or rock face.
  • Athletics - Competitive

    Two trimesters of athletics are required in Freshman and Sophomore years.
    One trimester of athletics is required in Junior and Senior years.

    The Department of Athletics encourages student-athletes, regardless of past experience, to try a competitive sport option. Previous experience or skill is not required; however, a commitment to the team, effort, and a positive attitude is! Students are encouraged to exceed the minimum requirement.  Students are encouraged to play at least one CHSAA-sanctioned sport during their time in Upper School.

    The Upper School athletic program (Grades 9-12) offers students various choices in establishing healthy lifetime activity patterns in coordination with a highly competitive interscholastic athletic program. Goals for all students include, but are not limited to, success against outside competition, building a strong sense of self-worth, learning lessons in human relations and collaboration, developing the ability to lead and follow, gaining specialized training in varied athletic skills, developing a mastery of sport-specific skills, cardiovascular conditioning, and demonstrating good sportsmanship.

    CHSAA- Sanctioned Competitive Sports Options

    Trimester 1
    Cross Country
    Field Hockey
    Golf, Boys
    Soccer, Boys
    Tennis, Boys
    Volleyball, Girls

    Trimester 2
    Basketball,Boys
    Basketball, Girls
    Ice Hockey
    Swimming/Diving, Girls

    Trimester 3
    Baseball
    Golf, Girls
    Lacrosse, Boys
    Lacrosse, Girls
    Soccer, Girls
    Tennis, Girls
  • Athletics - Non-Competitive

    Two trimesters of athletics are required in Freshman and Sophomore years.
    One trimester of athletics is required in Junior and Senior years.

    The Upper School athletic program (Grades 9-12) offers students various choices in establishing healthy lifetime activity patterns in coordination with a highly competitive interscholastic athletic program. Goals for all students include, but are not limited to, success against outside competition, building a strong sense of self-worth, learning lessons in human relations and collaboration, developing the ability to lead and follow, gaining specialized training in varied athletic skills, developing a mastery of sport-specific skills, cardiovascular conditioning, and demonstrating good sportsmanship.

    Independent Athletic Credit: Students already participating in athletic programs outside of school may complete a “Petition for Athletic Credit” to determine whether their programs meet the requirements to receive credit. Students must have participated in the activity for a minimum of 3 consecutive years before the request is made. The activity must include a competitive or public performance piece/date. Independent credit is only given up to a maximum of one trimester in any one school year.

    A student may take any dance class in the curriculum for athletic credit for one trimester per year. A dance class may also be used to fulfill an art credit, but it cannot count for both types of credit during the same trimester.

    Credit for managing a CHSAA-sanctioned team is granted on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by both the Head Coach and the Director of Athletics. There is a maximum of 2 managers per team, and daily attendance at all practices and games is required. Specific team and program responsibilities will be outlined by the Head Coach of the program.

    Non-CHSAA-Sanctioned Club Sports & Non-Competitive Sports

    Trimester 1
    Climbing
    - Every student in climbing is required to have climbing shoes. Students learn how to climb and belay in a safe manner. They hone their skills in a variety of environments and challenge themselves both mentally and physically. Participants are encouraged to compete in weekend Colorado High School Climbing League Competitions. Students may only enroll in this class one time per school year.

    Sports Performance - This course is designed to aid in the development of health and wellness in each student with a structured plan designed to enhance strength, speed, mobility, and energy systems, while also developing moral and educational characteristics. Strength is developed in five phases: Work Capacity (Adaptation), Hypertrophy, Max Strength, Strength Speed, and Muscular Endurance; Speed: Mechanics, Speed Strength, and Change of Direction; Mobility: Correctives, Warmup, Cool down; Energy Systems: Train for the activity, Anaerobic versus Aerobic, and
    Activity Demands; Education: Nutritional Needs, Cognitive Reconditioning, and Independence in Movement; Character: Time Management, Self-Respect, and Effort.

    Student Athletic Trainer - Students are instructed in various aspects of athletic training/sports medicine. Students participating in this program are required to assist the sports teams during all practices and assigned games, the specific number of which will be determined. Students may only enroll in this course one time per school year.

    Ultimate Frisbee - Competitive Club Sport. Team plays in Altitude Youth Ultimate League.

    Trimester 2
    Climbing - Every student in climbing is required to have climbing shoes. Students learn how to climb and belay in a safe manner. They hone their skills in a variety of environments and challenge themselves both mentally and physically. Students are required to compete in at least five Colorado High School Climbing League weekend climbing competitions held around the Denver area. Students may only enroll in this class one time per school year.

    Racquetball - Racquetball is a lifetime sport offered for novice to intermediate players. Competition varies from year to year, from interscholastic matches to outside meets with high school and college club teams. This game is easy to learn and is guaranteed to be fast, furious, and FUN. All equipment is provided; fee required to cover court rental, eye guards, and team shirts. Practices are off campus at Englewood Rec Center.

    Sports Performance - This course is designed to aid in the development of health and wellness in each student with a structured plan designed to enhance strength, speed, mobility, and energy systems, while also developing moral and educational characteristics. Strength is developed in 5 phases. Work Capacity (Adaptation), Hypertrophy, Max Strength, Strength Speed, and Muscular Endurance; Speed: Mechanics, Speed Strength, and Change of Direction; Mobility: Correctives, Warmup, Cool down; Energy Systems: Train for the activity, Anaerobic versus Aerobic, and
    Activity Demands; Education: Nutritional Needs, Cognitive Reconditioning, and Independence in Movement; Character: Time Management, Self-Respect, and Effort.

    Student Athletic Trainer - Students are instructed in various aspects of athletic training/sports medicine. Students participating in this program are required to assist the sports teams during all practices and assigned games, the specific number of which will be determined. Students may only enroll in this class one time per school year.

    Trimester 3
    Sports Performance - This course is designed to aid in the development of health and wellness in each student with a structured plan designed to enhance strength, speed, mobility, and energy systems, while also developing moral and educational characteristics. Work Capacity (Adaptation), Hypertrophy, Max Strength, Strength Speed, and Muscular Endurance; Speed: Mechanics, Speed Strength, and Change of Direction; Mobility: Correctives, Warmup, Cool down; Energy Systems: Train for the activity, Anaerobic versus Aerobic, and Activity Demands; Education: Nutritional Needs, Cognitive Reconditioning, and Independence in Movement; Character: Time Management, Self-Respect, and Effort.

    Student Athletic Trainer - Students are instructed in various aspects of athletic training/sports medicine. Students participating in this program are required to assist the sports teams during all practices and assigned games, the specific number of which will be determined. Students may only enroll in this class one time per school year.
  • 9th Grade Experiential Education

    Curricular Activity:
    Interim - Each spring, students in Upper School participate in weeklong Interim trips designed to immerse students and faculty in experiences and pursuits that broaden their skills, test their abilities, and sharpen the awareness of the world in which they live. Whether they engage in artistic pursuits, service learning trips, or wilderness expeditions throughout the Rocky Mountains, students and CA alumni often describe this program as one of their favorite CA memories.
    • A weeklong immersive experiential program that includes the arts, outdoors, physiology, community engagement.
    • Promotes community building through small group interactions and cross grade interactions.
    • Provides challenging, hands-on experience.
    • Promotes student leadership through trip planning and execution.
    • Fosters grit and resilience through physically and psychologically challenging activities.
    Examples of past Interims include: Kayaking the Western Slope, Exploring the Canyonlands, Shoshoni Yoga, Blacksmithing, Ceramics in the Wild,  Archaeology in the Four Corners, Toy Shop, Gourmet Heaven, and more. In a typical year, 30+ Interim choices are offered.

    Recent Experiential Education Optional Local Activities:
    Trip ratings range from easy and moderate to difficult and from beginner and intermediate to advanced skill levels. These excursions are published annually, offered on weekends throughout the school year, filled on a first-come, first-served sign-up basis, charge a nominal fee, and are usually led by CA faculty and staff.

    South Platte River Fly Fishing
    Fishermen explore Colorado’s rivers and streams and get a lot of skill practice in patience and attention to detail. Students learn about watershed dynamics, fly-fishing strategy, fly pattern selection, and fish behavior. They learn to cast a fly rod, manage a line, hook and land trout, and take part in a quintessential Western sport.
    Additional Skills:
    • foster patience and attention to detail
    • bond with classmates outside of the classroom

    Rifle Mountain Park Climbing
    Rifle Mountain Park offers the best limestone sport climbing in North America. Rifle is approximately three hours west of Denver, near the town of Rifle, Colo. On this trip, students receive instruction on technical skills, climb spectacular sport routes, camp, and cook meals together. No prior experience is necessary.
    Skills:
    • learning climbing movement and terminology
    • learning belaying principles
    • understanding the construction and strength of climbing equipment, including ropes, harnesses, carabiners, and helmets
    • encouraging responsible risk taking and the benefits of challenge
    • fostering teamwork through effective belaying, coaching and support
    • learning about belay and climber safety checks and effective communication

    Eldorado Hut
    The Eldorado Hut is located five miles west of Turquoise Lake, near Leadville, Colo. The path into the hut winds through aspen forest for the first mile and gradually zigzags up a ridge on the north side of the lake. At the hut, views from the south window include a panorama of Bald Eagle Mountain and the 14,421-foot Mount Massive. Only one mile from the hut is fun glade skiing on Mushroom Mountain, and after returning from a tour, participants fire up the wood-burning sauna to finish off a great day in the Colorado backcountry.
    Additional Skills:
    • learning winter travel skills
    • providing opportunities for cross-grade interactions
    • promoting the principles of self-care (hydration, hypothermia, nutrition, pacing, etc.)
    • providing a novel experience
    • learning to prepare healthy and nutritious meals
    • learning to build a minimal fire
    • observing winter weather patterns
    • identifying avalanche terrain, snow instabilities, and how to travel safely in the backcountry

    Ice Climbing in Lake City
    The Ouray Ice Park is a man-made ice-climbing site in a beautiful natural gorge near Ouray, Colo. There is even a special area just for beginners. Home to more than 200 ice and mixed climbs, it has been called the best place in the world to develop ice-climbing skills. This trip is designed for beginners, and no prior climbing experience is necessary.


    Recent Exchange Programs

    Colombia: Spanish Language & Culture Immersion
    With Colombia’s turbulent past rapidly receding, the nation is in the midst of a boom. Economic growth, safety, and stability are on the rise in all corners of the country, and visitors are joyously rediscovering the remarkable diversity and warmth of this gateway to South America. This hybrid exchange and travel program allows students to connect with the Colombian people, from shadowing high school peers in the capital Bogotá to exploring Afro-Indigenous traditions in the Caribbean port town of Cartagena. Two weeks after returning home, with Spanish still fresh on their tongues, students have the opportunity to reciprocate the hospitality.

    Colegio Virgen de Europa , Madrid, Spain
    CA students are paired with Madrid students to promote and improve their cultural and linguistic awareness. This exchange encourages students to build confidence and fluency in a second language and go out into the world to experience another culture firsthand. Central to this experience is the homestay, because it gives participants interaction with native speakers and language use in natural context. The school provides opportunities, both academic and extra-curricular, for students to understand and explore the culture of the other country. CA students travel in the fall and host in the following spring.

    Current Travel Programs, Interim and Optional
    Authentic Mexico Adventure - Service Adventure - Spring Break
    Students will immerse themselves in the true fabric of Mexico, including art, food, culture, language, and history. This experience includes exploring Mexico City’s vibrant art scene, rural homestays, adventure travel, and meaningful service projects guided by community partners.
    Mexico’s perfect white sand beaches, rugged canyons, tropical jungles, and arid plains are inhabited by some of the world’s nicest people, all of whom enjoy some of the world’s best food. The same is true for Mexico’s megacities, colonial hamlets, and dusty outposts. Our neighbor to the south truly has it all, yet few visitors experience the real Mexico. Our programs will show travelers the true fabric of Mexico, from small food stalls of Mexico City to pre-Columbian Zapotec ruins, as we travel between Mexico City, Puebla, and beyond.

    Chinese Language Immersion in Vancouver - Language Immersion - Spring Break
    This trip gives students a fantastic opportunity to explore the multicultural Asian environment of Vancouver. With almost 30% of its population as ethnic Chinese, the city and its surrounding
    suburbs are rife with historic sites and distinct neighborhoods that reflect a rich heritage. Students will practice language skills in many fun activities like Mahjong workshop, dumpling/dim sum making, calligraphy, and Chinese art.

    Colombia Adventure - Service and Language Immersion - Interim

    Students will have the opportunity to explore the historic center of Medellin and complete homestays and service projects in the remote and picturesque village of Jardin de Antioquia. The group will immerse themselves in the rich culture and history of Colombia and gain a valuable understanding of the conflict resolution and peace process that has transformed Colombia in recent years from civil war into a vibrant and welcoming country.

    The Island School, Eleuthera, Bahamas - Marine Science & Field Research -
    Interim
    This experience offers students the ability to step outside their comfort zone to focus on experiential learning and field and ocean research at one of the top facilities in the Caribbean. Students will build on science coursework in environmental chemistry and climate change, as they explore topics such as ocean acidification and renewable energy. This transformative experience encourages students to take a leadership role, enabling them to make meaningful changes in their own communities. 

    Iceland - Photography, Climate Science, Travel - Summer

    Calling all intrepid photographers and scientists who have a thirst for adventure. Let us explore the amazing nation, Iceland, and investigate how we could be leading a more sustainable lifestyle.
    Our trip takes you to the most spectacular and otherworldly landscapes in a nation that prides itself on zero use of fossil fuels and single-use plastics. Whether it be enormous glacier lagoons where icebergs float and flow out with the tide to the shores of the black sand beach. Where we may also see seals, puffins, and the gentle giants of the sea, whales. This trip will be unforgettable and one in which you will return with a newfound appreciation of the world and how we can work towards creating such sustainability and conservation here in Denver.
  • 9th-12th Grade Library & Research

    Digital Citizenship
    Students:
    • Learn how to use digital technologies responsibly
    • Understand the positive and negative roles digital media play in their lives
    • Understand the definition of cyberbullying and know how to avoid it
    • Understand all of the different types of online relationships
    • Understand the consequences of oversharing online

    Use of Research Tools
    Students:
    • Use the CA library catalog and databases to locate print and electronic resources in the school’s collection
    • Use CA LibGuides to access project-specific resources
    • Generate useful, efficient search terms and use various search strategies to conduct queries that will lead to narrow, focused results
    • Know the difference between Fiction and Nonfiction and how to locate books on the shelves by call numbers
    • Know the difference between a website and a database
    Source Selection, Documentation, and Organization
    Students:
    • Closely evaluate Internet resources to ensure they contain reliable, factual information
    • Distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information to meet specific research goals
    • Know when to discard/abandon sources as research needs shift
    • Work with a librarian for individualized assistance on the research process
    • Understand the difference between direct quotes, paraphrasing, and summaries and use all three correctly
    • Know the difference between primary and secondary sources
    • Understand what plagiarism is, how to avoid it, and the consequences of plagiarizing
    • Understand what an annotated bibliography is and successfully format and create one
    • Understand the importance of a Works Cited page and be able to cite and format sources appropriately
    • Understand what an in-text citation is and how to use them appropriately while writing
    • Follow the rules of copyright and fair use when using multimedia sources
    News Literacy
    Students:
    • Understand what it means to be a responsible news consumer
    • Distinguish between legitimate news and fake news
    • Be able to use various tools to evaluate Internet sources
    • Be able to gauge reliability and credibility of news reports (broadcast, print, Internet, etc.)
    • Know the difference between fact and opinion; recognize bias
  • 9th Grade Advisory

    Freshman students are assigned to an advisor who hosts an advisory of 8-12 members. In addition to discussions facilitated by the advisor, Freshman advisories also benefit from discussions and activities led by members of the Community Leadership Team (CLT), a group of Senior students selected and trained by the professional staff. In groups of two or three, CLT members meet with their Freshman advisory group approximately every three weeks throughout the school year (10-12 meetings). 

    CLT members meet with the professional staff on a weekly basis in order to prepare and process the groups' discussions and dynamics. They receive training throughout the year on facilitating group discussions and understanding topics relevant to the Freshman experience. These seniors are considered peer helpers (counselors) for the Freshmen and role models for the entire school community.

    Possible Topics of Discussion for Freshmen:
    • Transition to Upper School
    • Study habits and organizational skills, establishing community norms (NAIS standards)
    • Self-advocacy
    • Friendships and healthy relationships, peer pressure
    • Managing holiday stress, appropriate self-care
    • Goal-setting for the short and long term
    • Disordered eating, healthy body image
    • Alcohol and drug use
    • School-wide topics introduced in Town Meetings, PlatFORUM, Think & Drive Day, and other themed days
    • Other topics that each advisory chooses to discuss

Grade 10

List of 77 items.

  • American Literature**

    This course introduces students to the essential texts that have produced the America of today. Students explore the foundational ideals from early American writings and trace their development, emphasizing how these ideals impact and reflect the lived experiences of different communities in America. This course takes students from the Puritans to the present, with such representative writers as Frederick Douglass, H.D. Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Toni Morrison, as well as contemporary writers Tommy Orange and Colson Whitehead. Summer reading is required; the book list is made available in the spring before the course.

    Students practice analytical, generative, and creative writing. They also spend a considerable amount of time learning how to identify and track major ideas throughout each work—and across multiple sources—in order to independently design their own original arguments.
  • The Entrepreneurial Mindset - Humanities Elective

    Arianna Huffington, Dr. Dre, Oprah Winfrey, and Steve Jobs represent the American entrepreneurial spirit. They have the vision to imagine a place in the world for a product that the world thinks it does not need, and the organizational skills required to prove the doubters wrong by making their vision real. It is in this way that entrepreneurs change our world. In this one-trimester REDI Lab elective, students will work through original case studies (as used at top business schools) to gain real-world insights on the core skills of entrepreneurialism: creativity, innovation, collaboration, pivoting, networking, challenging the status quo, and—finally—storytelling. Students will take on real-world ideas, clients, and products to nurture entrepreneurial vision while fostering organizational acumen. Ultimately, students will develop a pitch that expresses their vision and a business plan to make that vision real.

    Note: Students may take this course for elective credit; it does not count towards graduation requirements in any department.
  • Math 2**

    In Math 2, students build a more complete understanding of linear and quadratic algebra. Students expand on the concept of proportional reasoning to work with linear expressions, equations, and systems. Students leverage and expand on their TI-Nspire calculator skills to help model and understand algebraic relationships. Topics include sequences, quadratic relationships, functions and their transformations, right triangle trigonometry, and probability. A TI-Nspire CX calculator is required.
  • Math 2e**

    Students in Math 2e connect and refine skills with linear and quadratic algebra, connecting graphical and algebraic representations of functions and systems. Students leverage strong algebraic manipulation to extend their work to polynomial functions of higher degree, rational, exponential, and logarithmic functions. Students develop an understanding of inverse functions and transformations. Students build on previous work with similar right triangles to develop a general understanding of trigonometric functions and the unit circle. A TI-Nspire CX calculator is required.
  • Precalculus

    In Precalculus, students explore concepts that help them prepare for both calculus and statistics. The course begins with a thorough analysis of relations and functions, both algebraically and graphically. Functions of emphasis include linear, quadratic, polynomial, exponential, and logarithmic. A major component of this course is the study of trigonometry, including its real-world applications, and graphs of trigonometric functions. Statistics topics include one-variable data analysis and probability. A TI-Nspire CX calculator is required. Text: Larson, Precalculus with limits, 3rd Ed.
  • Honors Precalculus

    Honors Precalculus is different from Precalculus. In this challenging, fast-paced course, students explore non-routine problems across algebraic topics. Students develop and generalize approaches working in collaborative groups. Topics contain material beyond what is necessary for Calculus, and introduce mathematical through-lines to a variety of college-level courses, including linear algebra, complex analysis, and discrete math. Students leverage symmetry and multiple representations to explore trigonometry, analytic geometry, combinatorics, and probability. Attention to precision and fluency with algebraic manipulation are practiced and valued throughout the course. A TI-Nspire CX calculator is required. Text: Larson, Precalculus with limits, 3rd Ed.
  • Chemistry**

    All students sign up for Chemistry or Conceptual Chemistry after taking Biology, based on science teacher recommendation. Only one of these courses may be taken for credit.

    The Chemistry course begins with an overview of atomic structure, the periodic table, naming compounds, writing and balancing chemical equations, and identifying types of reactions. Quantitative aspects of chemistry then appear, with students learning about uncertainty in measurement, chemical formulas, stoichiometry, solubility, gas laws, and titrations. The year ends with discussions of energy, heat and temperature, phase changes, energy of reactions, and reaction rates. Methods of inquiry and scientific modeling are emphasized throughout, with a gradually increasing importance given to mathematical analysis of experiments and problems.

    Topics:
    • Atomic structure and periodicity
    • Molecules, compounds, and chemical bonds
    • Chemical reactions: types of reactions, writing balanced chemical equations
    • Significant figures, unit conversions, and THE MOLE
    • Chemical quantities: percent composition, empirical and molecular formulas, and stoichiometry
    • Gases: properties, gas laws, and stoichiometry
    • Concentrations and properties of solutions, pH
    • Thermodynamics: calorimetry and enthalpy changes in chemical reactions
    • Chemical kinetics
  • Conceptual Chemistry**

    All students sign up for Chemistry or Conceptual Chemistry after taking Biology, based on science teacher recommendation. Only one of these courses may be taken for credit.

    In the first trimester, students acquire a solid foundation of chemical knowledge, learning the “language” of chemistry. Topics covered include elements and atoms, molecules, compounds, the periodic table, chemical bonding, chemical reactions, and writing and balancing chemical equations. During the second and third trimesters, this knowledge is put to use. Possible topics of study (with a heavy emphasis on working in the laboratory) include redox reactions and electrochemistry, thermochemistry and calorimetry (including the kinetic molecular theory), nuclear chemistry, organic chemistry, acid-base chemistry, and fuel cells.

    Topics:
    • Atomic structure and periodicity
    • Molecules, compounds, and chemical bonds
    • Chemical reactions: types of reactions, writing balanced chemical equations
    • Water and solutions: polar and non-polar molecules, solubility, moles, grams, and molarity
    • Gases: kinetic theory, and the relationships between pressure, temperature, volume, and amount of gases
    • Kinetics and thermodynamics: endothermic and exothermic reactions, and factors that affect the rate of reactions
    • Electrochemistry: electron transfer and electrochemical energy
    • Nuclear chemistry: types of nuclear decay and nuclear power
    • Forensics: using chemistry to solve a crime
  • Climate Change - Honors

    This lab-based course is designed as an introduction for students to understand the impacts of climate change. Climate change is the defining issue of our time, and we are at a defining moment. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Students investigate what role we as humans play and what can be done to mitigate climate change. Topics include environmental capacity, biogeochemical cycles, ocean acidification, our carbon footprint, what climate is and how it differs from weather, and human impacts on the environment, both short and long term.
  • United States History**

    This course explores the history of the United States from early interactions between Europeans, Africans, and native peoples until the modern day. Together with American Literature, this course offers an introduction to the interdisciplinary considerations of American culture. The course moves in chronological order, but is not a survey class. Students draw from a wide range of primary and secondary sources that emphasize thematic depth over breadth. Themes include concepts of power, citizenship, responsibility, and opportunity as they look at this nation’s past. Students examine these themes through literature, historical writing, music, art, film, poetry, architecture, and political economy in the United States. This course places emphasis on persuasive writing, construction of arguments in oral form, research-based inquiry, and connection between historical events and the modern world. The capstone project for this course is a research essay; students identify their own topics, conduct research, offer original arguments and work toward understanding the importance of research and analysis in academic writing. By the end of the class, students should possess a rich and layered understanding of U.S. history and their place within the country.
  • Chinese I

    In this engaging, proficiency-oriented language-learning course, students master the basics of reading, writing, speaking, and understanding Mandarin Chinese while also discovering Chinese culture. Students are introduced to the pinyin system of Romanization (standard in mainland China) and use the Simplified character set (also standard in mainland China) when reading and writing. While Chinese is a demanding language to learn, key strategies and techniques are covered to help students become more effective language learners. In addition to activities related to the course textbook, an abundance of authentic materials, native voices, and real-life language applications are woven into the course experience. By the end of the year, students are able to express basic information about their daily life, family, and preferences, both orally and in written Chinese characters, as well as perform common life tasks in a thoughtful and culturally appropriate way. Text: Integrated Chinese, Vol 1, 4th Ed., Cheng and Tsui.
  • Chinese II

    Building on the skills and vocabulary students acquired in Chinese I, this course challenges students to perform more complex tasks pertaining to travel and engaging with a larger community of Chinese speakers. Similar to Chinese I in its structure and expectations, this engaging, proficiency-oriented language course emphasizes reading, writing, speaking, and understanding Mandarin Chinese, while also stressing cultural awareness. Students use the pinyin system of Romanization (standard in mainland China) and the Simplified character set (also standard in mainland China) when reading and writing. In addition to activities related to the course textbook, an abundance of authentic materials, native voices, and real-life language applications are woven into the course experience. Text: Integrated Chinese, Vol. 2, Cheng and Tsui.
  • Chinese III

    Building on the skills and vocabulary students acquired in Chinese II, this course guides students in performing important tasks for independent living at college, including nurturing friendships, talking about schoolwork, and managing finances. Similar to Chinese II in its structure and expectations, this proficiency-oriented language course emphasizes reading, writing, speaking, and understanding Mandarin Chinese, while also growing students’ cultural awareness. Students are expected to use Simplified characters for all reading and writing assignments. In addition to activities related to the course textbook, an abundance of authentic materials, native voices, and real-life language applications are woven into the course experience. Text: Integrated Chinese, Vol. 3, Cheng and Tsui.
  • Chinese IV

    By the end of this course, students are increasingly comfortable using the language to express themselves more fully in speaking and writing. They give presentations to their classmates and write longer compositions. Students also are able to increase the degree of comprehension while listening to and reading Chinese. To further both of these goals and to improve accuracy, students add to the sophistication of their vocabulary and polish their use of grammar to communicate more effectively. In addition, Chinese IV focuses more on history, politics, and current events. Students have the opportunity to connect to Chinese-speaking cultures through music, essays, literature, photographs, art, authentic materials, and videos.
  • Chinese Advanced Seminar - Honors

    This course is offered in even graduation years.
    Students who complete this yearlong course continue to work in all areas of language acquisition (speaking, reading, listening, and writing) and will broaden their knowledge of Chinese and Chinese-speaking cultures through authentic sources. During this course, students are asked to speak and write authoritatively and insightfully in Chinese about the topics of each year's themes. The thematic focus may include: ancient and modern literature, current events, and more in-depth study of Chinese politics, art, and history. Course content is offered on an alternating year basis, so students may elect to take both Advanced Seminar and Advanced Topics and study a different set of themes. Enrollment is by permission of the instructor.
  • Chinese Advanced Topics - Honors

    This course is offered in odd graduation years.
    Students who complete this yearlong course continue to work in all areas of language acquisition (speaking, reading, listening, and writing) and will broaden their knowledge of Chinese and Chinese-speaking cultures through authentic sources. During this course, students are asked to speak and write authoritatively and insightfully in Chinese about the topics of each year's themes. The thematic focus may include: ancient and modern literature, current events, and more in-depth study of Chinese politics, art, and history. Course content is offered on an alternating year basis, so students may elect to take both Advanced Seminar and Advanced Topics and study a different set of themes. Enrollment is by permission of the instructor.
  • French I

    The French curriculum allows students to acquire basic practical vocabulary and fundamental grammatical structures while building cultural awareness. Goals include, but are not limited to, learning to ask and answer simple questions, describe people, express likes and dislikes, and narrate a short sequence of events. The culture and geography of French-speaking countries are also stressed. Students learn to comprehend spoken French through frequent exposure to authentic material via audio and video exercises, where emphasis is given to understanding the meaning of unfamiliar words through context. By the end of the course, they are able to communicate basic information. Students can expect in-class oral paired activities and nightly assignments. Text: Espaces, Vista Higher Learning.
  • French II

    French II continues the study of language by providing numerous practices to increase linguistic skills and vocabulary acquisition. The course also emphasizes structures needed for effective communication in most common situations. Classes include a variety of activities designed to increase fluency in speaking, understanding, reading, and writing. Students perform skits, create dialogs, and conduct interviews of their peers. Finally, students write paragraphs and respond in writing to oral, visual, or written cues, using appropriate grammar and syntax. Work is done both individually and in pairs, providing students with opportunities to use the language in a variety of ways. Assessments of student progress include, but are not limited to, written tests and quizzes, oral interviews, compositions, and daily participation. Text: Espaces, Vista Higher Learning.
  • French III

    The primary linguistic goal of Level III French is to allow students to express themselves in increasingly more precise, detailed language. Special emphasis is also given to reading comprehension and written self-expression. Through projects, oral presentations, and written reports, students explore the cultural background of the French-speaking world, as well as contemporary daily life in France. Strong focus is given to practical language use, building reading skills, expanding vocabulary, and establishing a firm grammatical foundation in French. Assessments of student progress include, but are not limited to, written tests and quizzes, oral interviews, compositions, and daily participation.
  • French IV: Intermediate Conversation and Composition

    French IV combines a review of French grammar and an expansion of vocabulary with an introductory study of Francophone literature and culture. French IV focuses on developing students’ written, oral, and aural skills so that they may begin to use French at a high intermediate level of proficiency. Students learn about contemporary life in Francophone countries; they also explore some of the literature that has shaped the French identity via authentic texts of Francophone authors.
  • French: Advanced Seminar - Honors

    This course is offered in even graduation years.
    Students who complete this yearlong course explore French and Francophone culture, art, literature, and civilization through a variety of readings from authentic sources (texts, films, other media) intended for native speakers. Units can vary from the French education system, to current events, to classic literature. The focus is on project-based learning and discussion of content. Previously learned grammar structures are reinforced with minimal introduction of new grammar. This course may be taken after French IV, and either before or after AP French. Course content is offered on an alternating year basis, so students may elect to take both Advanced Seminar and Advanced Topics and study a different set of themes.
  • French: Advanced Topics - Honors

    This course is offered in odd graduation years.
    Students who complete this yearlong course explore French and Francophone culture, art, literature, and civilization through a variety of readings from authentic sources (texts, films, other media) intended for native speakers. Units can vary from the French education system, to current events, to classic literature. The focus is on project-based learning and discussion of content. Previously learned grammar structures are reinforced with minimal introduction of new grammar. This course may be taken after French IV, and either before or after AP French. Course content is offered on an alternating year basis, so students may elect to take both Advanced Seminar and Advanced Topics and study a different set of themes. 
  • Spanish I

    The Spanish I curriculum allows students to acquire basic practical vocabulary and fundamental grammatical structures while building cultural awareness. Goals include, but are not limited to, learning to ask and answer simple questions, describe people, express likes and dislikes, and narrate a short sequence of events. The culture and geography of Spanish-speaking countries are also stressed. Students learn to comprehend spoken Spanish through frequent exposure to the “real-life language” of native speakers via video programs and other resources, where emphasis is given to understanding the meaning of unfamiliar words through context. By the end of the class, they are able to communicate basic information. Students can expect in-class oral paired activities, group communicative exercises, and nightly assignments.
  • Spanish II

    The primary goal of Level II Spanish is to ensure that students acquire more vocabulary and grammatical constructs for practical communication in everyday situations. Emphasis is placed on strengthening the acquisition skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students still mostly use isolated words, lists, memorized phrases, and some personalized recombination of words and phrases; however, they begin to use these with more ease and attention to detail. They become increasingly comfortable speaking and writing in the present tense and begin using the imperfect and preterit tenses to narrate events in the past. Cultural topics are interwoven throughout the year, so that students come to appreciate the dynamic relationship between language acquisition and cultural competence. Written and oral assessments, short compositions, and an emphasis on daily classroom participation and preparedness play a key role in building skills. Additional resource materials such as short novellas, films, and online sources supplement the textbook.
  • Spanish for Heritage Speakers I & II - Honors (second year)

    This course is designed to offer students whose home language is Spanish an opportunity to study Spanish formally in an academic setting, in the same way native English-speaking students study English language arts. Many native/heritage students are partially bilingual and vary in their language skills, and this course is designed to expand their command of the Spanish language with further development of their reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills; vocabulary building; preparation in basic principles of composition and grammar, spelling, sentence structure, punctuation, accents, and paragraph organization; and study of Latin American and Spanish literature and culture, with selections from novels, myths, short stories, plays, and poetry. Class is conducted entirely in Spanish. Students study current events and analyze the political and socio-economic issues facing the Spanish-speaking world. Students are expected to participate orally through class discussion, debates, and presentations. Writing assignments for this course focus on developing creative, analytical, and persuasive writing skills. The differences between formal and informal language, both oral and written, are stressed throughout the year. This course may be taken for two years and is a prerequisite for heritage speakers to take Advanced Seminar, AP Spanish Language, and AP Spanish Literature. A prerequisite for this course is the ability to understand and speak Spanish at native or near-native fluency.
  • Spanish III

    Reinforcing the basic language skills learned in the first two years, Spanish III students participate in progressively more challenging conversations and are presented with more complex reading and writing material. Students produce longer and more detailed pieces of writing, both in and outside of class. They also continue to practice the receptive skills of listening and reading through use of technology, in-class discussions, frequent reading assignments, and videos.

    The main textbook is supplemented by readings from other sources, such as a book of Mexican legends for the summer reading, a short novel in Spanish, and other authentic materials. In addition, we view two educational feature-length films in Spanish to further students’ access to authentic spoken language and to build confidence in discussion. In Spanish III, discussion and writing builds students’ repertoire of vocabulary, while improving their syntax and the accuracy of their grammatical structures. Although students complete a thorough review of verb tenses and other grammatical topics at this level, it is also a year of learning many new verb tenses.
  • Spanish IV: Intermediate Conversation and Composition

    By the end of this course, students are increasingly comfortable using the language to express themselves more fully in speaking and writing. They speak in front of their classmates (both extemporaneous and prepared discourse) and write compositions of varying lengths and styles. Students are also able to increase their degree of comprehension while listening to and reading Spanish. To further both of these goals and to improve accuracy, students add to the sophistication of their vocabulary, polish their use of grammar to communicate more effectively, and integrate various verb tenses to their usable language. In Spanish IV, students connect to Spanish-speaking cultures through music, essays, literature, photographs, art, the internet, current events, authentic materials, and films. 
  • AP Computer Science Principles

    This AP course introduces students to the foundational concepts of computer science and challenges them to explore how computing and technology can influence the world. With a unique focus on creative problem solving and real-world applications, AP Computer Science Principles prepares students for college and career. This course introduces students to the central ideas of computer science, instilling the ideas and practices of computational thinking. The curricular framework for this course includes: Creativity, Abstraction, Data and Information, Algorithms, Programming, the Internet, and Global Impact.
  • Introduction to Computer Science

    This engaging introductory course introduces students to the exciting discipline of Computer Science. Students develop awareness of important computer science principles, such as programming, software-hardware interaction, and conceptual and formal design models. Programming topics covered include basic control structures (sequence, loops, branching), variables, abstraction, and simple array processing. Students develop strong computational thinking skills that they can apply in many other disciplines, such as robotics, mathematics, science, music, and art. Each student completes a well-planned and designed larger programming project.
  • Robotics Playground

    Robotics is not only the future, it is also the present. This introductory course familiarizes students with programming, sensors, and automation. They hone critical computational thinking skills needed to succeed in both the 21st century's workforce and in everyday life. Robotics encourages creativity, teamwork, leadership, passion, and problem-solving in groups. Best of all, robotics is fun! Real World Robotics is a project-based course where students design, build, and program working prototypes of autonomous and interactive robots using a robotics system. For those students with a strong interest in robotics, CA also offers the opportunity to join a Robotics Club.
  • Fab Lab: Intro to Engineering Design & the Innovation Lab

    In this hands-on, project-based course, students learn and practice using the human-centered design process to design and make things—to see a need, take a design idea, devise a plan, and fabricate a functional, finished product. Along the way, students receive a comprehensive orientation to the Anderson Innovation Lab and essential training in the safe and appropriate use of all of the lab’s fundamental tools and other specialty tools as needed. Roughly half of the course is focused on manual skills and the designing and fabricating of projects by hand. Students apply and build upon these skills within the digital realm, using 2D CAD software and the laser cutter/engraver to design and precisely fabricate their original, functional designs.
  • Flight

    Flight is a project-based course that guides students' exploration of flight and its fundamental underlying principles en route to designing, building, testing, and optimizing several different types of aircraft. Students study fixed-wing aircraft prior to designing, building, and testing custom boomerangs; and fluid dynamics and buoyancy before designing, building, and testing hot air balloons. Then they immerse fully into the assembly, programming, and testing of quadcopter racing drones. The class fee provides all students with their own modern RC transmitter and a kit of hand-selected materials from which they build and fly their functional, high performance drones. Students also receive extensive flight and safety instruction from a nationally certified flight instructor in order to safely and competently fly their drones when the course is over.
  • Data Analytics with Excel, SQL & Tableau

    This course gives students exposure to and practice with a variety of analytical tools to help them study, visualize, and understand data. This class challenges students to investigate, manage, analyze, and explore data to support a broader story or conclusion, with an emphasis on the variety of perspectives/insights that data can illuminate. After refining basic data-analysis skills in Excel or Google Sheets, students build a foundation of skills in SQL to enable them to run queries and pull data, which can then be visualized and reported upon in Tableau (a leading business intelligence software tool). It concludes with a capstone project that allows students to explore, study, and build visuals and analysis to support a final presentation about a topic of their choice (including crime, health-care, sports, business, environmental issues, marketing, or social justice issues).
  • Introduction to Statistics and Data Science

    Students in this trimester course use spreadsheet programs and statistical analysis software (R) to explore data sets. They manipulate and summarize real-world data, using advanced spreadsheet techniques to answer relevant questions, and they present their findings with graphical displays of data, including box plots, scatter plots, histograms, and normal probability plots. Students consider distributions of data, using one-variable statistics to describe center, shape, and spread of data sets and to identify unusual features of data sets. Students build, interpret, and compare statistical models. Upon completion of this course, students are well prepared to interpret charts and draw conclusions from statistics they encounter in the media, and they have experience building models and analyzing data sets using spreadsheets and R.
  • Python for Biologists

    Remember, from Ninth Grade Biology, the number of amino acids coded by a small section of a strand of DNA? Each of the 46 strands of DNA, stretched out, would be six feet long, and all together, DNA codes for more than 20,000 proteins. Talk about data! How do biologists find patterns or mutations in all of that? That is where science and programming meet—in a field known as Bioinformatics. This trimester course introduces students to that connection through a combination of biology and Python. Python, a coding language that is both easy and fun to learn, will be the pathway into understanding the critical connection between coding and science. Students learn basic Python control structures such as loops, sequences, and branching, all within the context of DNA codes and patterns. This course is appropriate for coding beginners, as well as those who have some experience in languages other than Python.
  • Introduction to Probability and Randomness

    Students in this trimester course use Python and the NumPy library to explore probability, randomness, and chance. They start by counting possible outcomes in real-life situations, and use Python code to generate and sort lists of outcomes and look for patterns. They derive and explore important ideas about combinations and permutations of elements. Students investigate the myth of a “hot hand” and see whether hitting free throws in a basketball game can be modeled as a random event, a weighted coin toss, or if the previous missed or made shot influences the current shot. They use Python to build increasingly complex simulations of phenomena with random inputs and see how simulations are becoming an increasingly important tool for learning about the world.
  • AP Computer Science A

    This course covers the Advanced Placement Computer Science A curriculum and focuses on the Object-Oriented Programming language of Java. Topics include the essentials of OOP, classes, methods, graphics, input/output statements, if statements, loops, strings, recursion, one- and two-dimensional arrays, searching, and sorting. The emphasis of this course is on problem solving, software engineering, and ethics. Students learn systematic ways of breaking down problems and writing well-documented programming code. An introductory programming class is highly recommended before taking this course. This class covers material typical in a first-semester college Computer Science course.
  • Introduction to AI and Machine Learning

    This course is intended for students who have some programming experience and would like to dive into the world of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Machine Learning is a highly in-demand branch of Artificial Intelligence (AI), where computer programs can learn from processing data to make decisions. Countless industries are seeking to fulfill the promise of AI to create efficiencies, detect and predict issues, and help make data-driven decisions. Students explore the ethical issues associated with machine learning algorithms, such as, who is responsible when a computer makes a decision that has negative consequences for
    people? This course focuses on AI ethics, examines issues of bias, and explores and explains fundamental AI concepts. Because machine learning depends on large sets of data, real life datasets on healthcare, demographics, and more are used to engage students. Students develop a holistic, thoughtful understanding of these technologies, while they learn the technical underpinnings of how the technologies work.
  • Advanced Topics in Computer Science

    This course is intended for highly motivated students with a strong programming background who are interested in advancing their programming abilities beyond an introductory level. Furthermore, students should desire to engage in independent learning. This project-based class does not focus on any particular programming language or topic but allows students to pursue applications of computer science in different areas of interest.
  • 3D Digital Design & Fabrication

    In this course, students expand upon their 2D design knowledge and skills and begin working with 3D design and fabrication techniques. They learn to how to design and 3D print models and prototypes, create 3D scans of physical objects, use digital sculpting tools, and learn to incorporate 3D models into larger designs, both functional and artistic. Students become proficient with Fusion 360 3D modeling software as a tool for planning and simulating 3D models and assemblies, and they use the 3D CNC mill to design and fabricate their own large-scale functional designs. Students may choose to explore digital sculpting, furniture or jewelry design, casting, welding, or projects that integrate a variety of tools, methods, and media. At the end of the course, students leave with finished projects, a broad set of digital design and fabrication skills, as well as a comprehensive digital portfolio of their design work and photos of finished products.
  • Engineering Design Lab

    In general, this course is for students who wish to take on an exciting independent project and take their engineering design and fabrication skills to the next level. With a focus on creative design, thoughtful prototyping and analysis, and the building of larger or more sophisticated functional products, students choose and take on a new design challenge and develop skills with new tools, concepts, and processes (e.g., CNC milling, casting, turning, metalworking, etc.), and learn and practice applying science and engineering principles throughout the design and evaluation processes. This class is repeatable, with subsequent trimesters focusing on new, unique projects and skills of students' choosing or on the continued development of an ongoing project.
  • Studio Art I

    Department of Visual Arts:
    Studio Art I introduces the foundations of visual arts, as students begin exploring their artistic voice. In an open studio, students develop independent art projects in a variety of media, including drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. Students draw inspiration from contemporary and historical artists to envision their own individual creative direction. Emphasis is placed on creativity and execution of the Studio Habits of Mind, including expression, persistence, and reflection on their own work and the work of others.
  • Studio Art II

    Department of Visual Arts:
    During three trimesters, Studio Art II provides further development of students’ technical skill and conceptualization. Students work toward the following goals: individual growth in technical skills in the use of their chosen media; the development of evaluative and critical-thinking skills from participation in regularly scheduled critiques; and growth in creativity and original style. In addition, students continue to analyze the work of contemporary artists and art movements to inform the direction of their body of work.
  • Intro to Ceramics

    Department of Visual Arts:
    This class gives students the opportunity to explore a variety of hand-building methods, including coil, slab, modeling, and molding. Every student also gains experience using the potter’s wheel to create ceramic objects. Students learn how to apply several surface treatments and glazes to their projects, as well as a basic understanding of the kiln-firing process. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to initiate their own ideas, use creative problem solving to create unique works, and explore traditional and contemporary ceramic practices.
  • Advanced Ceramics

    Department of Visual Arts:
    This class gives students the opportunity to build upon the basic skills they learned in Intro to Ceramics in both hand building and wheel throwing. Students go deeper into the nuances of ceramic art by exploring myriad things that artists do with clay. Students will also learn studio habits that facilitate artistic growth, as they explore their own emerging artistic voice.
  • Advanced 2D Art

    Department of Visual Arts:
    This course gives artists the opportunity to choose a concentration in drawing, painting, or mixed media. They explore complex approaches in their chosen medium that strengthen and develop their individual artistic voice. Artists work to build technical skills, while deepening their sense of personal expression. They practice analyzing and verbally articulating the impact of their own work, as well as supporting the work of their peers.
  • Digital Art

    Department of Visual Arts:
    This course explores imagery, text, and color in digital media using Adobe Creative Suite programs, including Fresco, Illustrator, and Photoshop. Students use all aspects of the artistic design process, while learning about digital drawing, vector graphics, pixel graphics, and image manipulation. Inspired by contemporary artists and digital media’s function in society, students develop their own independent projects, including illustration, graphic design, poster and logo design, animation, website design, and more.
  • Introduction to Architectural Drawing

    Department of Visual Arts:
    In this introductory course, students explore the basic skills that are important in standard building design. The students practice axonometric drawing, perspective drawing, observational drawing, and drafting skills. They discover how all of these skills can assist in learning how to use computer-aided drafting software in designing unique spaces that have a personal aesthetic.
  • Photography I - Intro to Photography

    Department of Visual Arts:
    In this class, students investigate the nature of photography as an important field of artistic practice, conceptual knowledge, and technological procedures. Essential skills and techniques focus on the DSLR camera, studio lighting, and post-production using Adobe Photoshop. This material practice is supported with historical and critical studies of the work of practicing photographers and visual artists. Students deepen their understanding of the history of photography and how photographers effectively construct images.
  • Photography II - Intermediate Photographic Practice

    Department of Visual Arts:
    Photography II is an expansion of Photography I. Students build on a solid foundation in traditional and contemporary photography, through complex analog and digital material explorations and artist investigations. In-depth personal and group projects emphasize refined photographic practice through still work, as well as multimedia crossovers in the digital world. In their critical and historical studies, students will further expand their understanding of historical and contemporary photographers to enhance their own knowledge of the past and how it informs their own photographic practice. Students must provide a journal.
  • Digital Video I

    Department of Visual Arts:
    Digital Video I introduces students to visual language, cinematic grammar, and the basic elements of camera operation and lighting. Students are asked to respond to questions and micro-themes with creative projects. Examples are 30-second commercials, short narratives, and video journalism. With an overview of the entire production process, attention is given to the fundamentals of exposure and control of the image. Students complete at least two individual and two small group projects. Video cameras, computers, and editing software are provided.
  • Digital Video II

    Department of Visual Arts:
    Digital Video II builds on Digital Video I. Digital Video II is a three-trimester experience that brings the entire conceptual process from storyboarding to final cut into focus. The art, theory, and craft of editing is explored in detail, as well as the marriage between visual imagery and sound design. Students are exposed to advanced editing features, such as filters, color correction, keying, and matting. In Digital Video II, the creative laboratory continues to explore the potential for video as Fine Art, utilizing micro-themes, but also affording students “independence” for deeper, more substantive creative projects. Digital Video II continues to investigate the uses of pedestrian video, such as journalism, sports documentary, music videos, and other established genres.
  • Digital Special Effects: Adobe After Effects

    Department of Visual Arts:
    Students learn the basics of manipulating and creating raw digital effects, from title sequences to light sabers and beyond. The driving force behind this digital manipulation is Adobe After Effects. Beginning with the understanding of keyframing, students learn that “digital stitching” can replace the sky, generate “handmade” titles, and eventually add 3D objects to real-time video. This is for the video student who enjoys editing and may be taken a second time, graduating to more advanced special effects.
  • Yearbook I

    Department of Graphic Design & Publication:
    Throughout this course, students plan, design, and produce CA’s yearbook, Telesis, which is distributed to over 1,000 members of the school community.

    Yearbook I students are members of the yearbook staff, charged with creating a professional publication that represents the school. Students learn and apply basics of graphic design and layout. They write short articles to accompany their layouts, and they work with the yearbook advisors, editors, and the representative from the publishing company to create and guide pages through the publication process. Students in Yearbook I may enroll for one or two trimesters.
  • Yearbook II

    Department of Graphic Design & Publication:
    Throughout this course, students plan, design, and produce CA’s yearbook, Telesis, which is distributed to over 1,000 members of the school community.

    Yearbook II students are editors of the yearbook staff, charged with creating a professional publication that represents the school and with helping to train Yearbook I students. This editorial staff helps decide and design the overall look of the yearbook, maintaining a consistent theme and color scheme throughout the book. They work with the yearbook advisors, staff, and the representative from the publishing company to create and guide pages through the publication process. Students in Yearbook II must enroll in both Trimester 1 and 2; Trimester 3 is optional.
  • Acting/Scene Study I

    Department of Theater:
    This class is the prerequisite for all other courses in the department.  This class teaches the rudiments of acting, with a focus on teaching young actors how to work moment-to-moment, to be truthful in an imaginary situation, and to put their attention on the other person. It is the training ground for all advanced work. Trimesters do not need to be consecutive, but it is highly recommended for progression to advanced work.
  • Improvisation

    Department of Theater:
    (This course is offered in odd graduation years.)
    Open to anyone and everyone, this course delves into the world of the unscripted performance technique known as improvisation. Students learn the rules, techniques, and foundations of this form that has provided some of our greatest comedic minds: Tina Fey, Kristin Wiig, Bill Murray, Steve Carell, and more! Students learn to think on their feet and practice reacting in the moment; become better communicators, collaborators, and presenters; and laugh a lot! Students present at least one improv show during lunch for a live audience.
  • Advanced Acting/Production

    Department of Theater:
    This course is open to all students who have fulfilled the Acting/Scene Study I prerequisite and are in Grade 10 or above. Students enrolled in this course audition for, rehearse, and perform a play for a live audience. Rehearsals will take place in class, with some after-school and weekend commitments in the week leading up to the performances.
  • Acting for the Camera

    Department of Theater:
    (This course is offered in even graduation years.)
    In this course students develop techniques to use the camera as an acting partner, while retaining the ability to focus on other actors during the scene. Actors use imagination and emotional preparation training integral to stage performance, while learning the skills necessary for working with challenging edits, the non-linear timeline of film and TV production, an on-camera director, and the unique demands and environment of a studio setup. Students also prepare for on-camera auditions and monologues to equip them to navigate demo-reels, social-media based web series, and professional film, TV, and commercial production.
  • Musical Theater

    Department of Theater:
    This workshop-style course offers students a focused study of the techniques used in musical theater performance. It is intended for anyone who is interested in learning how to perform in the musical theater style, using songs from shows ranging from Oklahoma! and West Side Story to Hamilton and Dear Evan Hanson. Students are encouraged to choose repertoire within their range and according to their interests. The course is a progressive training ground for advanced work in the annual musical presentation.
  • Technical Theater

    Department of Theater:
    The objective of this course is to introduce students to the tools and protocol of mounting a major production, as well as to provide them with solid working experience from plans on paper to hands-on construction on stage. Students are trained in the aesthetics of lighting and scenic design, as well as in the knowledge of operating equipment safely and mastering a basic reading of ground plans, elevations, and computer-generated design.

    Advanced Technical Theater is available upon completion of a full year of Technical Theater and permission of the instructors. Three trimesters of Technical Theater complete a one-year credit but do not need to be taken consecutively. Advanced Technical Theater is a yearlong course. 
  • Theater Practicum

    Department of Theater:
    Practicum (Tech Theater) is a hands-on training class in some aspects of production. With a theater advisor, practicum students arrange their course of study, which must total enough hours to fulfill a trimester of work for credit, but may include work on one or multiple shows and events, including stage management, lighting, sound, scene painting, props, stage crew, program or poster design, musical accompaniment, box office management, and ushering. Students may fulfill all hours in one trimester for credit, or they may spread out assignments over the course of the year to equal a trimester of credit. There is no prerequisite for this class, but students must contact a faculty member in the Theater Department to set up an appointment before enrolling.

    Practicum (Performance) is an opportunity for students to participate in a mainstage production for arts credit. With permission from faculty, students who are cast in one of two mainstage productions may use that show as an arts credit. Mainstage productions take place on the Leach Center for the Performing Arts stage and rehearse in the evening after sports. Students should be prepared to attend all evening rehearsals for which they are called, abide by all expectations set forth by the director, and participate in all dress rehearsals and performances.

  • Concert Choir

    Department of Music & Dance:
    Concert Choir is a non-auditioned, mixed (SATB) choir that sings a wide range of challenging repertoire. Student ensembles receive valuable training in musical literacy and theory; understanding, performing, and appreciating various genres and cultures of vocal music; and developing vocal production and technique. Performing for an audience is the primary focus, as performances provide an experience that cannot be reproduced in the classroom and serve as the means by which the skills learned in class are evaluated. All performances are required in order to receive credit for this course.
  • Chanteurs

    Department of Music & Dance:
    Chanteurs is an audition-based, 16-20 voice mixed (SATB) choir for advanced students who demonstrate superior musicianship and place a high dedication to choral singing in their lives. The ensemble sings a diverse and challenging repertoire, with a specific emphasis on also singing a cappella and jazz. All members strengthen existing sight-reading skills and proper vocal technique and are strongly encouraged to participate in the CHSAA and Colorado All-State audition process. This is a specialty group which meets outside of the regular schedule and does not receive arts credit.
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  • Orchestra

    Department of Music & Dance:
    This class focuses on the educational components of playing in an orchestra, including music history, music theory, instrumental technique, and ensemble skills. Students encounter a range of classical music; explore different, pertinent musical eras; and apply different performance techniques to challenging and fun pieces. Students are required to attend all performances. Students should have previous experience on the instrument to be played; private lessons are strongly recommended.
  • Jazz Ensemble

    Department of Music and Dance:
    Jazz Ensemble is a performance group. Students learn creativity and discipline through the study of a range of jazz styles. An emphasis is placed on understanding music theory as it relates to chord structures and progressions, as well as improvisation. Students are required to attend all performances. Students must audition or have previous participation (including Middle School) in an instrumental ensemble.
  • Academy Jazz

    Department of Music and Dance:
    This is an audition-only performance group. Students learn creativity and discipline through the study of a range of jazz styles. Emphasis is placed on understanding music theory as it relates to chord structures and progressions as well as improvisation. There is at least one outside performance, and students are required to attend all performances.
  • Rock Ensemble

    Department of Music and Dance:
    Rock Ensemble is a performance group. Students learn creativity and discipline through the study of a range of rock and popular music styles. Emphasis is placed on understanding music theory as it relates to chord structures and progressions. Students are required to attend all performances. Students must audition or have previous participation (including Middle School) in an instrumental ensemble.
  • Audio Engineering

    Department of Music and Dance:
    In Audio Engineering, students explore sound, studio recording, and music production techniques and technology en route to producing their own studio recording projects. They learn how to plan and direct recording projects, how to use industry-standard audio recording and production software to mix tracks and add effects, how to program and use virtual instruments within recording projects, and how to produce and share their own music and the compositions and performances of others. Students finish the course with a digital portfolio of music projects that they have recorded and produced. Audio Engineering also involves projects and investigations in the following areas: the production of sound for video, acoustics and acoustic room treatment, sound synthesis, and the design and construction of 2-way loudspeakers or musical instruments.
    (Cross-registration/credit with Computer Science/Engineering Design and Visual & Performing Arts Department.)
  • Dance: Techniques and Practices

    Department of Music & Dance:
    This course offers foundational training in terminology, technique, and studio practices of a variety of styles. Through dance, students develop artistic habits and gain physical flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination. Students are encouraged to foster their own creative process and expression of self through choreographic prompts. All classes have an opportunity to perform if they would like to do so. 
    • Trimester 1: Beginning Tap – This class focuses on introducing students to the foundational principles and techniques of tap dancing. This is a true beginner class that is geared towards those with little to no prior experience in tap dancing. Students work on rhythm, musicality, and articulation of sound in feet, while building speed of movement. Various styles of music are utilized. All are welcome and encouraged.
    • Trimester 2: Intermediate/Advanced Tap – This class explores tap techniques as they relate to all styles of music, including pop, rock, rap, musical theater, big band, and jazz. Students work on rhythm, musicality, and articulation of sound in feet, while building speed of movement. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.
    • Trimester 3: Broadway Dance – This class explores all styles of dance utilized in Broadway shows. The focus is on physical style, storytelling, and techniques as related to different time periods, locations, and characters.
  • Vertical Dance/Site-Specific Dance Study

    Department of Music & Dance:
    This class explores the adventurous and stunning nature of site-specific and vertical dance. Students begin on the ground with basic movement concepts and practices, and gradually move to practicing vertically. In addition to vertical, they explore site-specific dance–dancing in unexpected locations that lend new interpretation and possibility to choreography. Vertical dancing is done using climbing gear, including top rope, harness, and GriGri belay devices. When ready, students experiment with outdoor locations, such as suspended on a building wall, tree, or rock face.
  • Dance Company

    Department of Music & Dance:
    This is an Intermediate/Advanced performing ensemble. Only students who have been approved will be able to enroll for the Company. Students who wish to apply must submit a letter of interest to the instructor.

    This group practices and explores multiple styles of dance and choreography to create pieces of repertoire to be performed throughout the school year. There is increased opportunity and emphasis on student-generated choreography and individual expression. In addition, students explore ways to utilize dance as a means of giving back to the community. Students are asked to think critically, creatively, and ethically while combining service, choreography, and performance. The Company meets during a scheduled school block; however, additional rehearsals may be scheduled outside of class time. These rehearsals are scheduled with the dancer’s schedules and commitments in mind. Students are not required to enroll for both trimesters 1 and 2, but may do so for credit.  

    Students must have mastered foundational techniques of ballet, jazz, contemporary, modern, or tap and be able to collaborate and work well with others. If a student is not ready for Company work at the start of the school year, the student may train through Dance electives and reapply for the second trimester.
  • Athletics - Competitive

    Two trimesters of athletics are required in Freshman and Sophomore years.
    One trimester of athletics is required in Junior and Senior years.

    The Department of Athletics encourages student-athletes, regardless of past experience, to try a competitive sport option. Previous experience or skill is not required; however, a commitment to the team, effort, and a positive attitude is! Students are encouraged to exceed the minimum requirement.  Students are encouraged to play at least one CHSAA-sanctioned sport during their time in Upper School.

    The Upper School athletic program (Grades 9-12) offers students various choices in establishing healthy lifetime activity patterns in coordination with a highly competitive interscholastic athletic program. Goals for all students include, but are not limited to, success against outside competition, building a strong sense of self-worth, learning lessons in human relations and collaboration, developing the ability to lead and follow, gaining specialized training in varied athletic skills, developing a mastery of sport-specific skills, cardiovascular conditioning, and demonstrating good sportsmanship.

    CHSAA- Sanctioned Competitive Sports Options

    Trimester 1
    Cross Country
    Field Hockey
    Golf, Boys
    Soccer, Boys
    Tennis, Boys
    Volleyball, Girls

    Trimester 2
    Basketball,Boys
    Basketball, Girls
    Ice Hockey
    Swimming/Diving, Girls

    Trimester 3
    Baseball
    Golf, Girls
    Lacrosse, Boys
    Lacrosse, Girls
    Soccer, Girls
    Tennis, Girls
  • Athletics - Non-Competitive

    Two trimesters of athletics are required in Freshman and Sophomore years.
    One trimester of athletics is required in Junior and Senior years.

    The Upper School athletic program (Grades 9-12) offers students various choices in establishing healthy lifetime activity patterns in coordination with a highly competitive interscholastic athletic program. Goals for all students include, but are not limited to, success against outside competition, building a strong sense of self-worth, learning lessons in human relations and collaboration, developing the ability to lead and follow, gaining specialized training in varied athletic skills, developing a mastery of sport-specific skills, cardiovascular conditioning, and demonstrating good sportsmanship.

    Independent Athletic Credit: Students already participating in athletic programs outside of school may complete a “Petition for Athletic Credit” to determine whether their programs meet the requirements to receive credit. Students must have participated in the activity for a minimum of 3 consecutive years before the request is made. The activity must include a competitive or public performance piece/date. Independent credit is only given up to a maximum of one trimester in any one school year.

    A student may take any dance class in the curriculum for athletic credit for one trimester per year. A dance class may also be used to fulfill an art credit, but it cannot count for both types of credit during the same trimester.

    Credit for managing a CHSAA-sanctioned team is granted on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by both the Head Coach and the Director of Athletics. There is a maximum of 2 managers per team, and daily attendance at all practices and games is required. Specific team and program responsibilities will be outlined by the Head Coach of the program.

    Non-CHSAA-Sanctioned Club Sports & Non-Competitive Sports

    Trimester 1
    Climbing
    - Every student in climbing is required to have climbing shoes. Students learn how to climb and belay in a safe manner. They hone their skills in a variety of environments and challenge themselves both mentally and physically. Participants are encouraged to compete in weekend Colorado High School Climbing League Competitions. Students may only enroll in this class one time per school year.

    Sports Performance - This course is designed to aid in the development of health and wellness in each student with a structured plan designed to enhance strength, speed, mobility, and energy systems, while also developing moral and educational characteristics. Strength is developed in five phases: Work Capacity (Adaptation), Hypertrophy, Max Strength, Strength Speed, and Muscular Endurance; Speed: Mechanics, Speed Strength, and Change of Direction; Mobility: Correctives, Warmup, Cool down; Energy Systems: Train for the activity, Anaerobic versus Aerobic, and
    Activity Demands; Education: Nutritional Needs, Cognitive Reconditioning, and Independence in Movement; Character: Time Management, Self-Respect, and Effort.

    Student Athletic Trainer - Students are instructed in various aspects of athletic training/sports medicine. Students participating in this program are required to assist the sports teams during all practices and assigned games, the specific number of which will be determined. Students may only enroll in this course one time per school year.

    Ultimate Frisbee - Competitive Club Sport. Team plays in Altitude Youth Ultimate League.

    Trimester 2
    Climbing - Every student in climbing is required to have climbing shoes. Students learn how to climb and belay in a safe manner. They hone their skills in a variety of environments and challenge themselves both mentally and physically. Students are required to compete in at least five Colorado High School Climbing League weekend climbing competitions held around the Denver area. Students may only enroll in this class one time per school year.

    Racquetball - Racquetball is a lifetime sport offered for novice to intermediate players. Competition varies from year to year, from interscholastic matches to outside meets with high school and college club teams. This game is easy to learn and is guaranteed to be fast, furious, and FUN. All equipment is provided; fee required to cover court rental, eye guards, and team shirts. Practices are off campus at Englewood Rec Center.

    Sports Performance - This course is designed to aid in the development of health and wellness in each student with a structured plan designed to enhance strength, speed, mobility, and energy systems, while also developing moral and educational characteristics. Strength is developed in 5 phases. Work Capacity (Adaptation), Hypertrophy, Max Strength, Strength Speed, and Muscular Endurance; Speed: Mechanics, Speed Strength, and Change of Direction; Mobility: Correctives, Warmup, Cool down; Energy Systems: Train for the activity, Anaerobic versus Aerobic, and
    Activity Demands; Education: Nutritional Needs, Cognitive Reconditioning, and Independence in Movement; Character: Time Management, Self-Respect, and Effort.

    Student Athletic Trainer - Students are instructed in various aspects of athletic training/sports medicine. Students participating in this program are required to assist the sports teams during all practices and assigned games, the specific number of which will be determined. Students may only enroll in this class one time per school year.

    Trimester 3
    Sports Performance - This course is designed to aid in the development of health and wellness in each student with a structured plan designed to enhance strength, speed, mobility, and energy systems, while also developing moral and educational characteristics. Work Capacity (Adaptation), Hypertrophy, Max Strength, Strength Speed, and Muscular Endurance; Speed: Mechanics, Speed Strength, and Change of Direction; Mobility: Correctives, Warmup, Cool down; Energy Systems: Train for the activity, Anaerobic versus Aerobic, and Activity Demands; Education: Nutritional Needs, Cognitive Reconditioning, and Independence in Movement; Character: Time Management, Self-Respect, and Effort.

    Student Athletic Trainer - Students are instructed in various aspects of athletic training/sports medicine. Students participating in this program are required to assist the sports teams during all practices and assigned games, the specific number of which will be determined. Students may only enroll in this class one time per school year.
  • 10th Grade Experiential Education

    Curricular Activity:
    Interim - Each spring, students in Upper School participate in weeklong Interim trips designed to immerse students and faculty in experiences and pursuits that broaden their skills, test their abilities, and sharpen the awareness of the world in which they live. Whether they engage in artistic pursuits, service learning trips, or wilderness expeditions throughout the Rocky Mountains, students and CA alumni often describe this program as one of their favorite CA memories.
    • A weeklong immersive experiential program that includes the arts, outdoors, physiology, community engagement.
    • Promotes community building through small group interactions and cross grade interactions.
    • Provides challenging, hands-on experience.
    • Promotes student leadership through trip planning and execution.
    • Fosters grit and resilience through physically and psychologically challenging activities.
    Examples of past Interims include: Kayaking the Western Slope, Exploring the Canyonlands, Shoshoni Yoga, Blacksmithing, Ceramics in the Wild,  Archaeology in the Four Corners, Toy Shop, Gourmet Heaven, and more. In a typical year, 30+ Interim choices are offered.

    Recent Experiential Education Optional Local Activities:
    Trip ratings range from easy and moderate to difficult and from beginner and intermediate to advanced skill levels. These excursions are published annually, offered on weekends throughout the school year, filled on a first-come, first-served sign-up basis, charge a nominal fee, and are usually led by CA faculty and staff.

    South Platte River Fly Fishing
    Fishermen explore Colorado’s rivers and streams and get a lot of skill practice in patience and attention to detail. Students learn about watershed dynamics, fly-fishing strategy, fly pattern selection, and fish behavior. They learn to cast a fly rod, manage a line, hook and land trout, and take part in a quintessential Western sport.
    Additional Skills:
    • foster patience and attention to detail
    • bond with classmates outside of the classroom

    Rifle Mountain Park Climbing
    Rifle Mountain Park offers the best limestone sport climbing in North America. Rifle is approximately three hours west of Denver, near the town of Rifle, Colo. On this trip, students receive instruction on technical skills, climb spectacular sport routes, camp, and cook meals together. No prior experience is necessary.
    Skills:
    • learning climbing movement and terminology
    • learning belaying principles
    • understanding the construction and strength of climbing equipment, including ropes, harnesses, carabiners, and helmets
    • encouraging responsible risk taking and the benefits of challenge
    • fostering teamwork through effective belaying, coaching and support
    • learning about belay and climber safety checks and effective communication

    Eldorado Hut
    The Eldorado Hut is located five miles west of Turquoise Lake, near Leadville, Colo. The path into the hut winds through aspen forest for the first mile and gradually zigzags up a ridge on the north side of the lake. At the hut, views from the south window include a panorama of Bald Eagle Mountain and the 14,421-foot Mount Massive. Only one mile from the hut is fun glade skiing on Mushroom Mountain, and after returning from a tour, participants fire up the wood-burning sauna to finish off a great day in the Colorado backcountry.
    Additional Skills:
    • learning winter travel skills
    • providing opportunities for cross-grade interactions
    • promoting the principles of self-care (hydration, hypothermia, nutrition, pacing, etc.)
    • providing a novel experience
    • learning to prepare healthy and nutritious meals
    • learning to build a minimal fire
    • observing winter weather patterns
    • identifying avalanche terrain, snow instabilities, and how to travel safely in the backcountry

    Ice Climbing in Lake City
    The Ouray Ice Park is a man-made ice-climbing site in a beautiful natural gorge near Ouray, Colo. There is even a special area just for beginners. Home to more than 200 ice and mixed climbs, it has been called the best place in the world to develop ice-climbing skills. This trip is designed for beginners, and no prior climbing experience is necessary.


    Recent Exchange Programs

    Colombia: Spanish Language & Culture Immersion
    With Colombia’s turbulent past rapidly receding, the nation is in the midst of a boom. Economic growth, safety, and stability are on the rise in all corners of the country, and visitors are joyously rediscovering the remarkable diversity and warmth of this gateway to South America. This hybrid exchange and travel program allows students to connect with the Colombian people, from shadowing high school peers in the capital Bogotá to exploring Afro-Indigenous traditions in the Caribbean port town of Cartagena. Two weeks after returning home, with Spanish still fresh on their tongues, students have the opportunity to reciprocate the hospitality.

    Colegio Virgen de Europa , Madrid, Spain
    CA students are paired with Madrid students to promote and improve their cultural and linguistic awareness. This exchange encourages students to build confidence and fluency in a second language and go out into the world to experience another culture firsthand. Central to this experience is the homestay, because it gives participants interaction with native speakers and language use in natural context. The school provides opportunities, both academic and extra-curricular, for students to understand and explore the culture of the other country. CA students travel in the fall and host in the following spring.

    Current Travel Programs, Interim and Optional
    Authentic Mexico Adventure - Service Adventure - Spring Break
    Students will immerse themselves in the true fabric of Mexico, including art, food, culture, language, and history. This experience includes exploring Mexico City’s vibrant art scene, rural homestays, adventure travel, and meaningful service projects guided by community partners.
    Mexico’s perfect white sand beaches, rugged canyons, tropical jungles, and arid plains are inhabited by some of the world’s nicest people, all of whom enjoy some of the world’s best food. The same is true for Mexico’s megacities, colonial hamlets, and dusty outposts. Our neighbor to the south truly has it all, yet few visitors experience the real Mexico. Our programs will show travelers the true fabric of Mexico, from small food stalls of Mexico City to pre-Columbian Zapotec ruins, as we travel between Mexico City, Puebla, and beyond.

    Chinese Language Immersion in Vancouver - Language Immersion - Spring Break
    This trip gives students a fantastic opportunity to explore the multicultural Asian environment of Vancouver. With almost 30% of its population as ethnic Chinese, the city and its surrounding
    suburbs are rife with historic sites and distinct neighborhoods that reflect a rich heritage. Students will practice language skills in many fun activities like Mahjong workshop, dumpling/dim sum making, calligraphy, and Chinese art.

    Colombia Adventure - Service and Language Immersion - Interim

    Students will have the opportunity to explore the historic center of Medellin and complete homestays and service projects in the remote and picturesque village of Jardin de Antioquia. The group will immerse themselves in the rich culture and history of Colombia and gain a valuable understanding of the conflict resolution and peace process that has transformed Colombia in recent years from civil war into a vibrant and welcoming country.

    The Island School, Eleuthera, Bahamas - Marine Science & Field Research -
    Interim
    This experience offers students the ability to step outside their comfort zone to focus on experiential learning and field and ocean research at one of the top facilities in the Caribbean. Students will build on science coursework in environmental chemistry and climate change, as they explore topics such as ocean acidification and renewable energy. This transformative experience encourages students to take a leadership role, enabling them to make meaningful changes in their own communities.

    Iceland - Photography, Climate Science, Travel - Summer

    Calling all intrepid photographers and scientists who have a thirst for adventure. Let us explore the amazing nation, Iceland, and investigate how we could be leading a more sustainable lifestyle.
    Our trip takes you to the most spectacular and otherworldly landscapes in a nation that prides itself on zero use of fossil fuels and single-use plastics. Whether it be enormous glacier lagoons where icebergs float and flow out with the tide to the shores of the black sand beach. Where we may also see seals, puffins, and the gentle giants of the sea, whales. This trip will be unforgettable and one in which you will return with a newfound appreciation of the world and how we can work towards creating such sustainability and conservation here in Denver.
  • 9th-12th Grade Library & Research

    Digital Citizenship
    Students:
    • Learn how to use digital technologies responsibly
    • Understand the positive and negative roles digital media play in their lives
    • Understand the definition of cyberbullying and know how to avoid it
    • Understand all of the different types of online relationships
    • Understand the consequences of oversharing online

    Use of Research Tools
    Students:
    • Use the CA library catalog and databases to locate print and electronic resources in the school’s collection
    • Use CA LibGuides to access project-specific resources
    • Generate useful, efficient search terms and use various search strategies to conduct queries that will lead to narrow, focused results
    • Know the difference between Fiction and Nonfiction and how to locate books on the shelves by call numbers
    • Know the difference between a website and a database
    Source Selection, Documentation, and Organization
    Students:
    • Closely evaluate Internet resources to ensure they contain reliable, factual information
    • Distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information to meet specific research goals
    • Know when to discard/abandon sources as research needs shift
    • Work with a librarian for individualized assistance on the research process
    • Understand the difference between direct quotes, paraphrasing, and summaries and use all three correctly
    • Know the difference between primary and secondary sources
    • Understand what plagiarism is, how to avoid it, and the consequences of plagiarizing
    • Understand what an annotated bibliography is and successfully format and create one
    • Understand the importance of a Works Cited page and be able to cite and format sources appropriately
    • Understand what an in-text citation is and how to use them appropriately while writing
    • Follow the rules of copyright and fair use when using multimedia sources
    News Literacy
    Students:
    • Understand what it means to be a responsible news consumer
    • Distinguish between legitimate news and fake news
    • Be able to use various tools to evaluate Internet sources
    • Be able to gauge reliability and credibility of news reports (broadcast, print, Internet, etc.)
    • Know the difference between fact and opinion; recognize bias
  • 10th Grade Advisory

    Sample Advisory Discussion Topics, Grades 9-12:
     
    • Transitions: into Upper School, grade-to-grade, leaving CA and going to college
    • Study habits and organizational skills, establishing community norms (NAIS standards)
    • Self-advocacy
    • Friendships and healthy relationships, peer pressure
    • Managing holiday stress, appropriate self-care
    • Goal-setting for the short and long term
    • Disordered eating, healthy body image
    • Alcohol and drug use
    • School-wide topics introduced in Town Meetings, PlatFORUM, Think & Drive Day and other themed days
    • Other topics that each advisory chooses to discuss

Grade 11

List of 125 items.

  • Junior Writing Seminar** - Honors

    The Junior Writing Seminar allows students to move from more personal writing about memories, place, and people in their lives to more traditional forms of creative non-fiction, primarily in the form of a researched magazine article on a topic of the student's choosing. Along the way, students read important models of literary nonfiction, as well as work with visiting writers to refine skills in these multiple expository forms. The seminar stresses the importance of revision in the writing process. At the end of the trimester, students compile their polished essays into a portfolio that showcases their growth as writers and thinkers.
  • African Literature - Seminar - Honors

    This course gives students a view into the literary imaginations of contemporary writers from Africa. Students study fiction from such diverse nations as South Africa, Nigeria, Morocco, Senegal, Mozambique, and Rwanda. Students seek to better understand the people and cultures of these African countries, the varying impact of European colonialism on each, the oral storytelling traditions, and the rich diversity of experiences. The course emphasizes both analytical and creative writing, as well as project-based learning. Texts include: The Fishermen, Obioma (Nigeria); So Long a Letter, Ba (Senegal); Under the Frangipani, Coutu (Mozambique); The Book of Bones, Murambi (Rwanda); In the Country of Men, Matar (Libya); Kaffir Boy, Mathabane (South Africa); and Nigerians in Space, Olukotun (Nigeria/South Africa).
  • Fiction and Film - Honors

    Students may love going to the movies, but they probably don’t yet have a real vocabulary with which to talk about, assimilate, or assess them. This course introduces some of the language of film, using many of the same analytical models that we apply to literature. We undertake this intensive study by looking at films that began as fiction—short stories, plays, novellas, myths, novels—and study the works both as literature and as film. The films and literary works cover a range of contemporary and "classic" texts from writers such as Ted Chiang, James Baldwin, Joseph Conrad, P. D. James, Daphne DuMaurier, and William Shakespeare. This class emphasizes critical writing and thinking about both literature and film, with most of the class time devoted to discussion, close reading, and critique of the texts. Students, therefore, are required to view most of the movies outside of class.
  • Fiction Writing - Honors

    Students in this course write and revise several drafts of their own original short fiction. They produce work of varying lengths and types, leading to the creation of a portfolio by the end of the trimester. Using the workshop model in which small groups and the whole class offer constructive critiques of peer manuscripts, students learn by reading and responding to their peers’ work as well as by studying the craft of fiction in the stories of a variety of short fiction writers.
  • Forbidden Knowledge - Honors

    This course explores various treatments of a common theme: that limits on human knowledge exist for a reason. Students investigate and evaluate in world literature the consequences of overstepping the bounds of human nature. "Forbidden knowledge" includes information, understanding, awareness, and consciousness that may be inaccessible or otherwise unattainable. These paths to knowledge are forbidden by religious, moral, or secular authorities and are seen as dangerous, destructive, or unwelcome. They are often expressed in unconventional or unfamiliar ways. Authors may include: Goethe, Huxley, Shelley, and Morrison.
  • The Mystery Novel - Honors

    Over the course of nearly 200 years since the mystery story as we know it came into existence, the genre has transcended its origins as a mere “whodunit” puzzle to become a remarkably adaptable form of storytelling, through which writers have explored issues such as morality, justice, law, social order, heroism, and existential confusion. And of course, at the center of each mystery is the character who is attempting to solve it, giving us iconic fictional detectives who have become better known than the works in which they appear: Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Sam Spade, Philip Marlowe, Easy Rawlins, and of course, Sherlock Holmes. This course explores the mystery novel from its 19th-century roots to contemporary reimaginings of what the mystery story can be. Authors may include: Christie, Chandler, Hammett, and Atwood.
  • Origin Stories: Fantasy Heroes & Foes - Honors

    “It's a dangerous business…going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” Bilbo’s advice sets up one of the most sweeping and influential fantasy novels, reminding us that anyone can be a hero, if he will only ‘step onto the road.’ But what makes Bilbo or Frodo, lowly hobbits, heroic? How did Jemison’s Essun grow into the force of nature she becomes? Will the Falcon ever feel like he’s earned Cap’s shield? This course looks at iconic and contemporary heroes and heroines, the challenges they face, and the growth they undergo on their journeys. Texts may include: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemison, Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, and selected graphic novels from Marvel and DC.
  • Rhetoric: The Art of Public Speaking - Honors

    Rhetoric is a Greek word meaning the art of effective or persuasive speech or writing. In this class, students analyze classic public speeches of the past, as well as some of the most powerful contemporary examples from public speeches, TED Talks, and social media; and some “modern persuaders” in business and the language of sales. They also learn the fundamentals of public speaking. Central to the class is the writing and performing of one original ten-minute speech. Students are required to present their speech at least twice in a public setting, including one time in a state competition on a Saturday. Texts may include: Aristotle’s The Art of Rhetoric, Aberdein & Avartu’s Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasion, Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, and Topping’s The Elements of Rhetoric.
  • Russian Literature - Honors

    Russian literature extends back only a couple of hundred years, but St. Petersburg, Moscow, and even Siberia have produced a tradition that is as rich as any on Earth. Epic writers like Tolstoy and Dostoevsky figure prominently in a course that looks closely at the history, religion, and politics of this world power. Beginning with Pushkin and concluding with late twentieth-century voices such as Brodsky and Yevtushenko, the class reads novels, poems, and plays that have become staples not only of Russian literature, but in many ways our own.
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  • Shakespeare - Honors

    This course examines carefully and thoroughly the major works of William Shakespeare. Through close and precise reading, as well as through analytical writing, students come to understand not only the specific texts, but the workings of Shakespearean comedies, histories, and tragedies as a whole. Additionally, students explore how Shakespeare’s heroes respond to the challenges placed before them. Finally, students illustrate their understanding of Shakespeare’s themes, language, and literary and dramatic devices as they edit, adapt, direct, and perform scenes from the plays in Elizabethan English.
  • Southern Gothic - Honors

    William Faulkner once said, “The past is not dead. In fact, it’s not even past.” With the idea that the past informs not only our present but our future, this course takes a look at the desperation and disintegration of Southern traditions and aspirations. Faulkner worked to create a new voice for the American South, while Flannery O’Connor exposed the failure of Southern expectations. Writing against the generalized mourning for an antebellum ethos, Richard Wright shines light on the plight and resiliency of Southern Black Americans. Contemporary authors Kiese Laymon and Jesmyn Ward carry on the tradition of questioning, exposing, and celebrating a unique, regional voice. Despite their roots in a defeated region, these writers triumphed in creating an enduring form of literature.
  • The Entrepreneurial Mindset - Humanities Elective

    Arianna Huffington, Dr. Dre, Oprah Winfrey, and Steve Jobs represent the American entrepreneurial spirit. They have the vision to imagine a place in the world for a product that the world thinks it does not need, and the organizational skills required to prove the doubters wrong by making their vision real. It is in this way that entrepreneurs change our world. In this one-trimester REDI Lab elective, students will work through original case studies (as used at top business schools) to gain real-world insights on the core skills of entrepreneurialism: creativity, innovation, collaboration, pivoting, networking, challenging the status quo, and—finally—storytelling. Students will take on real-world ideas, clients, and products to nurture entrepreneurial vision while fostering organizational acumen. Ultimately, students will develop a pitch that expresses their vision and a business plan to make that vision real.

    Note: Students may take this course for elective credit; it does not count towards graduation requirements in any department.
  • Math 3: Non-Linear Functions and Trigonometry

    Math 3 is a continuation of the content of Math 2. Topics include: functions (exponential and logarithmic), powers, inverses, and polynomials. Trigonometry is integrated throughout the course, including a study of the unit circle. A TI-Nspire CX calculator is required.
  • Precalculus

    In Precalculus, students explore concepts that help them prepare for both calculus and statistics. The course begins with a thorough analysis of relations and functions, both algebraically and graphically. Functions of emphasis include linear, quadratic, polynomial, exponential, and logarithmic. A major component of this course is the study of trigonometry, including its real-world applications, and graphs of trigonometric functions. Statistics topics include one-variable data analysis and probability. A TI-Nspire CX calculator is required. Text: Larson, Precalculus with limits, 3rd Ed.
  • Honors Precalculus

    Honors Precalculus is different from Precalculus. In this challenging, fast-paced course, students explore non-routine problems across algebraic topics. Students develop and generalize approaches working in collaborative groups. Topics contain material beyond what is necessary for Calculus, and introduce mathematical through-lines to a variety of college-level courses, including linear algebra, complex analysis, and discrete math. Students leverage symmetry and multiple representations to explore trigonometry, analytic geometry, combinatorics, and probability. Attention to precision and fluency with algebraic manipulation are practiced and valued throughout the course. A TI-Nspire CX calculator is required. Text: Larson, Precalculus with limits, 3rd Ed.
  • Calculus

    The course includes the topics of a traditional calculus curriculum, including limits, derivatives, continuity, antiderivatives, and the definite integral, without the depth or pace of the AP curriculum. The class begins with a thorough review of slope as a rate of change, with significant emphasis on real-world analyses and applications, in order to define and develop the concept of the derivative. The course proceeds to cover the second fundamental concept, the integral, and its relationship with the derivative. Students apply their calculus skills to problems in business, economics, and the life, physical, and social sciences. A TI-Nspire CX calculator is required for this course.
  • AP Statistics

    This course is a rigorous, yearlong investigation into the four broad areas of statistics: 1) Exploring Data: Describing patterns and departures from patterns; 2) Sampling and Experimentation: Planning and conducting a study; 3) Anticipating Patterns: Exploring random phenomena using probability and simulation; and 4) Statistical Inference: Estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses. Students solve problems and communicate quantitative results using clear, succinct writing. They learn from investigations, simulations, and lectures. Students who successfully complete the course are well prepared for the AP Statistics Exam. A TI-Nspire CX calculator is required for this course.
  • AP Calculus AB

    This college-level course closely follows the syllabus of the College Board for Advanced Placement AB Calculus and is primarily concerned with developing the student’s understanding of calculus and providing experiences with its methods and applications. The course emphasizes a multi-representational approach to calculus, with concepts, results, and problems being expressed geometrically, numerically, analytically, and verbally.

    The major topics covered in the course include: functions, graphs, limits, and continuity; derivatives and their application; and integrals and their application. The TI-Nspire graphing calculator is used extensively throughout the course to analyze and graph functions, their derivatives, and their integrals, as well as to compute numerical values for a range of functions and their approximations. Student work is evaluated primarily through tests, which are designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Examination in May. Homework, which is extensive and regularly assigned, is thoroughly discussed during class, as are strategies for problem solving and modeling data. Text: Calculus: Concepts and Applications, 2nd Ed., Foerster.
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  • AP Calculus BC

    This course closely follows the syllabus of the College Board for Advanced Placement Calculus BC and emphasizes a multi-representational approach to calculus, with concepts, results, and problems being expressed geometrically, numerically, analytically, and verbally.

    The major topics of this course include: the rigorous definition of limits and derivatives; the derivatives of parametric, polar, and vector functions; differential equations and their applications; techniques and applications of antidifferentiation; and polynomial approximations and series. The TI-Nspire CX calculator is used extensively throughout the course to analyze and graph series, functions, derivatives, and integrals, as well as to compute numerical values for series and their approximations. Primary means of assessment include quizzes, tests, and projects. Tests are designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Examination in May.
  • Advanced Topics in Mathematics

    This college-level class offers students exposure to topics that apply or extend their knowledge. Topics will vary from year to year as well as within a year, allowing a student to take this course multiple times. Students will use a TI graphing calculator (particularly the TI-Nspire) and computer programs to enhance their understanding of the course. Primary means of assessment include quizzes, tests, and projects.
  • Environmental Chemistry - Honors

    In this lab and project-based course, students explore how the environment exhibits all the things they have learned in their Biology and Chemistry courses. The course focuses on how the chemistry and biology of water, air, and earth are used to gauge human health and that of the natural environments. Topics include: water treatment, pollution, greenhouse gases, and hazardous waste management, among others. Several field trips supplement the inquiry-based activities in the classroom.
  • Physics - Honors

    Physics (Honors)/ AP Physics 1 (AP) are first-year physics courses. Only one of these courses may be taken for credit.

    An introduction to classical physics, this course emphasizes logical thinking and conceptual development. Through discussion, inquiry-based lab experiences, and student-centered problem solving, students develop an inquisitive approach to understanding the natural world around them. Examples of topics explored include motion, forces, energy, momentum, light, waves and sound, electricity, and magnetism.
  • AP Physics I

    Physics (Honors)/ AP Physics 1 (AP) are first-year physics courses. Only one of these courses may be taken for credit.

    AP Physics 1 is a rigorous algebra-based, introductory course designed to provide the passionate math and science student with an intellectual curiosity for physics. Equivalent to the first semester of a college course designed for non-technical majors, AP Physics 1 develops the conceptual understanding and problem-solving skills necessary to ask and to solve physical questions. This is accomplished both qualitatively and quantitatively, and through reasoning and experimental investigation. Topics include classical Newtonian mechanics, which covers kinematics, dynamics, rotational motion, oscillations, and gravitation. Guided-inquiry labs are conducted throughout the course to enhance learning and promote scientific curiosity and reasoned skepticism.

    Students interested in enrolling in AP Physics 1 are required to complete a readiness assessment evaluating mathematical and problem-solving skills.
  • Physiology - Honors

    The need to survive can force the body to go into overdrive. Using stories about extreme conditions and survival, students explore a variety of body systems from the cardiovascular to the brain and muscle systems. Utilizing laboratory activities, this course explores the inner workings of the human body.
  • Advanced Topics in Biology: Genetics - Honors

    This is an introductory college-level course based on the principles discovered by Gregor Mendel. Throughout the trimester, students design and conduct experiments to uncover patterns of inheritance in fungus, plant, and animal models. Each inquiry-based laboratory exercise requires a formal laboratory report that includes statistical analyses and oral presentations of results. The scientific method, inquiry, and scientific modeling are all skills emphasized throughout the trimester. Students leave the course with a deep understanding of how traits are inherited and the statistical probabilities of passing on a trait based on specific patterns of inheritance.
  • Advanced Topics in Biology: Tiny Earth - Honors

    CA has been given the opportunity to be part of the Tiny Earth Initiative, a group dedicated to discovering antibiotics created by soil bacteria. The program, designed by professors at Yale University and the University of Wisconsin, offers an unusual opportunity for collaborative research. Colorado Academy is one of the few high schools involved; most of the other participants are colleges and universities.
    The course involves students designing their own research project that might potentially uncover a unique antibiotic produced by a soil bacterium. The beginning of the project involves learning the protocols to be used to create the research: primarily, to learn the basics of working with bacteria in a sterile environment and the extraction process for retrieving an antibiotic.
    The end product is a poster presentation and a journal article. If all goes well, students are asked to present at the annual Microbiology Conference.
  • Advanced Topics in Biology: Zoology/Taxonomy - Honors

    Diversity within the three domains of life are studied through the evolution of species, anatomy of organisms, Linnaean classification, and microscopy. Laboratory work consists of comparative studies of the structure of invertebrates and vertebrates, emphasizing the functional morphology of the anatomical systems and the major adaptive changes encountered in the evolution of each body plan. This course provides a broad understanding of how organisms have evolved progressively more complex body plans from the last universal common ancestor to what we can observe on the planet today. Students in the course leave with a greater understanding of the relatedness of organisms on Earth and a working knowledge of their taxonomic groups.
  • Climate Change - Honors

    This lab-based course is designed as an introduction for students to understand the impacts of climate change. Climate change is the defining issue of our time, and we are at a defining moment. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Students investigate what role we as humans play and what can be done to mitigate climate change. Topics include environmental capacity, biogeochemical cycles, ocean acidification, our carbon footprint, what climate is and how it differs from weather, and human impacts on the environment, both short and long term.
  • Exercise Science - Honors

    This course provides a broad background for students planning to further their education in Exercise Science at the undergraduate level. Students complete a rigorous curriculum on these topics: anatomy, biomechanics, exercise physiology, sport psychology, and motor learning/control. This course offers excellent preparation for undergraduate work in adapted physical education, adult or corporate fitness, biomechanics, exercise physiology, motor control, ergonomics, sport psychology, and sports medicine. The strong emphasis on applied science in the course makes it suitable for students who are interested in the coaching of movement sciences.
  • AP European History

    This course is designed as a survey of European history from the Renaissance until the dawn of the 21st century. Although a survey, each of the units introduces students to in-depth analysis of the major interpretive themes of European history, which encompass the major categories of historical analysis: political, social, economic, cultural, and intellectual. The course emphasizes the mastery of content and the chronological sequences that organize it. In addition, students are encouraged to think critically and interpretively, to address questions of causality, to comprehend multiple interpretive perspectives, to engage in comparative analysis, to think “historically,” to write persuasively and with reference to evidence, and to analyze primary source documents in ways that create synthetic narratives (as historians do). 
  • Advanced Studies: The American Experiment

    This course analyzes the central events, people, and forces that transformed American society and culture, from the years after World War II to the present. Several critical events and debates that rocked the nation from the 1940s onward reverberate today, such as civil rights, involvement with war and other nations, political partisanship, and urban crises.  This course places particular emphasis on the use of primary sources, in-depth exploration of topics, and historical scholarship. The course aims to help students learn how to write persuasively about scholarship and primary sources and to push them deeper into their own research and inquiry. This class is discussion-based and collaborative, requiring students to participate meaningfully and substantively in all aspects of the course.
  • American Social Movements - Honors

    When do groups mobilize to defend or resist power? Collective action aimed at generating or preventing social change has shaped the course of human history. Students study the emergence, dynamics, and outcomes of some of the social movements in the U.S. Focus is largely on those movements emerging in the 20th century and continuing in some form today. Case studies will likely include the Civil Rights Movement, Gay Liberation, the Chicano Movement, Women’s Movement, New Conservatism, and Red Power. The course draws on a variety of primary and secondary sources to study the issues of political power, justice, and human agency central to most movements.
  • The Arab Spring - Honors

    This course explores the nature of the popular uprisings that began in December 2010 in Tunisia and ultimately swept through much of the Arab World. Students begin by examining the uprisings through the lenses of theories of revolution and democratic transition. Then, they focus on unfolding dynamics in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, and Yemen to discern similarities and differences. Why did revolutions happen in some countries but not in others? Why did the outcomes differ so widely? Why did monarchies emerge unscathed and authoritarian rule prove so durable? Students pay close attention to the voices of protest from this period—including young people, women, artists, musicians, poets, and filmmakers—as well as the role of social media as a mobilizing factor. Throughout the trimester, students consider the issues, conflicts, and questions people face every day in volatile times.
  • Debate: Global Dialog and Diplomacy - Honors

    The global debate landscape is expanding, and this course is designed to help students connect and engage with members of the growing World Schools debate community. Students learn about the global impact of debate, reach out to international schools to develop debate opportunities, and compete in both planned and impromptu rounds of the parliamentary debate format. Working in teams of 3-5 students, class members prepare various topics across a spectrum of contemporary issues, including politics, economics, environment, human rights, and popular culture. Competitions require time commitment outside of the classroom.
  • Debate: Modern Politics - Honors

    This course explores a variety of domestic and international topics in a competitive debate setting. Utilizing the widely popular Public Forum debate format, students work collaboratively with classmates to engage in research, develop original evidence-based cases, and compete against students in other schools locally, regionally, and nationally at invitational tournaments. Students learn argumentation and rhetorical strategies, cross-examination skills, rebuttal techniques, and prepare files for tournament competition. Competitions and service projects require time commitment outside of the classroom.
  • Debate: Technology and Modern Warfare - Honors

    This course examines the intersection between politics, security, and technology both in the United States and across the globe. Students conduct deep dives into contemporary public policy research in the areas of artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and cybersecurity. Students construct original evidence-based policy proposals and build case defense strategies against existing plans being introduced at the federal level in collaboration with NATO partners. Throughout the course, students are expected to compete against peers and students outside of school in a minimum of two policy debate competitions. Competitions require time commitment outside of the classroom.
  • Diseases that have Changed the World - Honors

    Our lives have changed significantly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020. Unsurprisingly, this is not the first pandemic to impact the world and shift individual, societal, and governmental choices. This class aims to frame the most recent pandemic by exploring past diseases: where and how they emerged, why they spread as they did, how countries and governments attempted to cope in the face of these challenges, and in what ways societies changed as a result. Students study diseases such as the bubonic plague, smallpox, cholera, measles, influenza, AIDS/HIV, and SARS. This is very much a global study of disease, and students explore diverse locations: Russia, Mexico, Fiji, England, China, Spain, and the United States. They study past pandemics through an interdisciplinary lens, considering not only history, but also public policy, sociology, healthcare, statistics, geography, and literature.
  • Gender Studies - Honors

    This class explores how forces within society—e.g., family, media, school, science—help to create, regulate, and reinforce gender. Through a combination of reading, writing, film-viewing, discussion, and independent research, students investigate how gender overlaps and interacts with other aspects of identity—such as race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, political affiliation—all the while calling these categories into question. Though focused primarily on the United States, this class also explores the way people across the globe “do gender,” ultimately leading students to a more nuanced understanding of the impact this aspect of identity has upon the society in which we participate and in their own day-to-day lives.
  • Genocide Since WWII - Honors

    The horrors of the Holocaust led to unprecedented international action to ensure that genocide would never happen again. And yet, episodes of human cruelty, mass murder, and genocide overwhelm the historical record up to the present day. In this course, students study how genocide works: its prerequisites, its warning signs, and how it is carried out. This course asks: How are the categories of war, mass murder, and genocide constructed? Under what conditions do societies engage in war, mass murder, and genocide? Who and why do various segments of a society become victims and victimizers? What social psychological factors are at play in justifying war, mass murder, and genocide? What role does the state play in the development, implementation, and justification of war, mass murder, and genocide, and also in their prohibition, obstruction, or cessation? Possible case studies include Cambodia (1975-79), Guatemala (1960-96), Bosnia-Herzegovina (1992-95), Rwanda (1994), Sudan (2003-), China (2014-), Yemen (2015-), and Myanmar (2016-).
  • Global Commons - Honors

    The Global Commons—the High Seas, Atmosphere, Polar Regions, and Outer Space—are areas filled with a remarkably rich history of global cooperation by state actors. As non-state actors emerge within these spaces, and as the geopolitical priorities of countries change, these areas are facing new challenges. This course will examine theoretical and legal frameworks established to deal with emerging contemporary issues in these shared spaces and discuss potential opportunities for cooperation and conflict for the world at large. Through policy analysis of case studies, class debates, and constructing original position papers, students have the chance to formulate, express, and defend ideas around some of the most pressing issues facing the Earth and beyond.
  • Good Governance - Honors

    This class asks a simple but important question: is there such a thing as a good government? The course begins with a theoretical approach to the idea of effective governance, examining a variety of philosophers who have explored this concept on their own. Political theorists include, but are not limited to: Plato, Hammurabi, Machiavelli, Ibn Rushd, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Bentham, Smith, and Marx. Once students have a firm grasp of important historical frameworks for governance, they apply them to the world around them. How can one understand government structures and the choices made by political actors through the lens of past philosophy? Case studies include, but are not limited to: the Hague War Crimes Tribunal, Bhutan’s Gross Happiness Index, Scandinavian Shared Parental Leave plans, China’s One Child Policy, Israeli Defense Forces, and the Vatican. Students leave the class with a good understanding of important political philosophies, as well as an appreciation for how to apply those ideas to the world around them.
  • International Relations - Honors

    This course explores fundamental political concepts, such as power, equality, sustainability, and peace in a range of contexts. It allows students to develop an understanding of local, national, international, and global dimensions of political activity and processes, and international organizations (United Nations, World Bank, and regional organizations, such as the African Union, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Arab League, and Organization of American States), as well as to explore political issues affecting their own lives. The core units of the course together make up a central unifying theme of “people, power, and politics.” Throughout the course, issues such as conflict, migration, or climate change are explored through a political lens. Class activities include: simulations and debates, discussion, small team work, research and writing (persuasive essays and a student-directed investigation and policy paper), source evaluation, student presentations, United Nations conference role plays, lecture, film case studies, and potentially, field studies and guest speakers.
  • International Social Movements - Honors

    This course focuses on struggles for rights and freedoms in the mid and late 20th century. Four case studies are examined: Indian Independence, Partition, and Civil Rights; Decolonization and Independence in Kenya; Decolonization and Independence in Algeria; and South Africa: Apartheid to Multi-Party Democracy. In each of these case studies, the class examines the nature and characteristics of discrimination, protest, and action; the role and significance of key actors and groups; and the extent of reconciliation. The following seven key concepts will be emphasized through this course: change, continuity, causation, consequence, significance, perspectives, and international-mindedness. Class activities include: simulations and debates, discussion, small team work, research and writing (persuasive essays and a student-directed historical investigation), source evaluation, student presentations, lecture, film case studies, and potentially, field studies and guest speakers.
  • The Supreme Court - Honors

    This class focuses on the United States Supreme Court through both historical and contemporary lenses. Students spend the early weeks of the class looking at the structure of the Court—its origins, constitutional parameters, composition, and selection of cases. Students discuss and debate topics, such as how many justices should serve on the Court, or whether life appointments should still exist. After establishing a solid base in the workings of the Court, the focus turns to case studies, organized by theme and constitutional questions, and students are asked to consider them as a group. Themes include the right to privacy, equal protection before the law, crime and punishment, and free speech—to name but a few. In the final weeks, students look to the current Court’s docket and debate the merits of upcoming cases. By the end of the class, students have a firm grasp of the history of the Court, how it has shaped constitutional law and public policy, and what challenges it faces in the modern era.
  • Vietnam - Honors

    This course explores the historical background, impact, and legacy of a defining war in American History, the conflict in Vietnam. It examines why the United States became involved in Southeast Asia, the way it sought to achieve its objectives, and the impact it had on Vietnam and the Vietnamese. The course also devotes attention to the effects of the war on America’s domestic politics, society, and culture. Students work on multimedia research projects and examine video clips of media reporting on the Vietnam conflict. This course encourages critical thinking in historical analysis and instructs students how to utilize technology in research projects. Students are exposed to primary source materials that document the escalation of the conflict, including recently declassified audio recordings of President Johnson developing U.S. policy. A series of films is shown to the students in the evenings as part of the class discussion of the impact of the war on the American mind.
  • War on Terror - Honors

    This course examines the terrorism in the late 20th century and the events that led to the 9/11 attacks. Students learn about the ideology and belief system of jihadist radicals, including al Qaeda and ISIS. They also examine the response to 9/11 by the Bush Administration, including the decision to send American troops to Afghanistan and Iraq. Students study the foreign and military policy of the Obama administration as they struggled to contain and suppress the spread of radical Islamic terrorism. Students also learn about the experience of American soldiers as they served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • World Religions - Honors

    This course presents a comparative study of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The first objective of this class is to determine how each of these religions thinks about the world, by studying their respective basic doctrines, practices, key people and events, and great texts. The second objective is to continually ask how these religions are similar, and how they are different. Students learn how religions function in the 21st century, including how religion helps people to orient themselves in time, space, and place; the ways in which religion interacts with politics, economics, law, power, privilege, and gender relations; and the problem of religious violence and terrorism.
  • Chinese I

    In this engaging, proficiency-oriented language-learning course, students master the basics of reading, writing, speaking, and understanding Mandarin Chinese while also discovering Chinese culture. Students are introduced to the pinyin system of Romanization (standard in mainland China) and use the Simplified character set (also standard in mainland China) when reading and writing. While Chinese is a demanding language to learn, key strategies and techniques are covered to help students become more effective language learners. In addition to activities related to the course textbook, an abundance of authentic materials, native voices, and real-life language applications are woven into the course experience. By the end of the year, students are able to express basic information about their daily life, family, and preferences, both orally and in written Chinese characters, as well as perform common life tasks in a thoughtful and culturally appropriate way. Text: Integrated Chinese, Vol 1, 4th Ed., Cheng and Tsui.
  • Chinese II

    Building on the skills and vocabulary students acquired in Chinese I, this course challenges students to perform more complex tasks pertaining to travel and engaging with a larger community of Chinese speakers. Similar to Chinese I in its structure and expectations, this engaging, proficiency-oriented language course emphasizes reading, writing, speaking, and understanding Mandarin Chinese, while also stressing cultural awareness. Students use the pinyin system of Romanization (standard in mainland China) and the Simplified character set (also standard in mainland China) when reading and writing. In addition to activities related to the course textbook, an abundance of authentic materials, native voices, and real-life language applications are woven into the course experience. Text: Integrated Chinese, Vol. 2, Cheng and Tsui.
  • Chinese III

    Building on the skills and vocabulary students acquired in Chinese II, this course guides students in performing important tasks for independent living at college, including nurturing friendships, talking about schoolwork, and managing finances. Similar to Chinese II in its structure and expectations, this proficiency-oriented language course emphasizes reading, writing, speaking, and understanding Mandarin Chinese, while also growing students’ cultural awareness. Students are expected to use Simplified characters for all reading and writing assignments. In addition to activities related to the course textbook, an abundance of authentic materials, native voices, and real-life language applications are woven into the course experience. Text: Integrated Chinese, Vol. 3, Cheng and Tsui.
  • Chinese IV

    By the end of this course, students are increasingly comfortable using the language to express themselves more fully in speaking and writing. They give presentations to their classmates and write longer compositions. Students also are able to increase the degree of comprehension while listening to and reading Chinese. To further both of these goals and to improve accuracy, students add to the sophistication of their vocabulary and polish their use of grammar to communicate more effectively. In addition, Chinese IV focuses more on history, politics, and current events. Students have the opportunity to connect to Chinese-speaking cultures through music, essays, literature, photographs, art, authentic materials, and videos.
  • Chinese Advanced Seminar - Honors

    This course is offered in even graduation years.
    Students who complete this yearlong course continue to work in all areas of language acquisition (speaking, reading, listening, and writing) and will broaden their knowledge of Chinese and Chinese-speaking cultures through authentic sources. During this course, students are asked to speak and write authoritatively and insightfully in Chinese about the topics of each year's themes. The thematic focus may include: ancient and modern literature, current events, and more in-depth study of Chinese politics, art, and history. Course content is offered on an alternating year basis, so students may elect to take both Advanced Seminar and Advanced Topics and study a different set of themes. Enrollment is by permission of the instructor.
  • Chinese Advanced Topics - Honors

    This course is offered in odd graduation years.
    Students who complete this yearlong course continue to work in all areas of language acquisition (speaking, reading, listening, and writing) and will broaden their knowledge of Chinese and Chinese-speaking cultures through authentic sources. During this course, students are asked to speak and write authoritatively and insightfully in Chinese about the topics of each year's themes. The thematic focus may include: ancient and modern literature, current events, and more in-depth study of Chinese politics, art, and history. Course content is offered on an alternating year basis, so students may elect to take both Advanced Seminar and Advanced Topics and study a different set of themes. Enrollment is by permission of the instructor.
  • AP Chinese Language and Culture

    Students study second-year college-level material to prepare for the Chinese AP exam in May. Emphasis is on interpersonal skills, interpretation of spoken and written Chinese, and knowledge of Chinese culture. Students use a variety of resources to explore the history, geography, arts, current events, and pop culture relative to thematic units. Students show mastery in a variety of ways, including participation in in-class discussions, writing analytical essays, creating projects, giving presentations, and taking traditional tests.

    Text/Resources: Integrated Chinese, Vol. 4, Cheng and Tsui; Barron's AP-Chinese
  • French I

    The French curriculum allows students to acquire basic practical vocabulary and fundamental grammatical structures while building cultural awareness. Goals include, but are not limited to, learning to ask and answer simple questions, describe people, express likes and dislikes, and narrate a short sequence of events. The culture and geography of French-speaking countries are also stressed. Students learn to comprehend spoken French through frequent exposure to authentic material via audio and video exercises, where emphasis is given to understanding the meaning of unfamiliar words through context. By the end of the course, they are able to communicate basic information. Students can expect in-class oral paired activities and nightly assignments. Text: Espaces, Vista Higher Learning.
  • French II

    French II continues the study of language by providing numerous practices to increase linguistic skills and vocabulary acquisition. The course also emphasizes structures needed for effective communication in most common situations. Classes include a variety of activities designed to increase fluency in speaking, understanding, reading, and writing. Students perform skits, create dialogs, and conduct interviews of their peers. Finally, students write paragraphs and respond in writing to oral, visual, or written cues, using appropriate grammar and syntax. Work is done both individually and in pairs, providing students with opportunities to use the language in a variety of ways. Assessments of student progress include, but are not limited to, written tests and quizzes, oral interviews, compositions, and daily participation. Text: Espaces, Vista Higher Learning.
  • French III

    The primary linguistic goal of Level III French is to allow students to express themselves in increasingly more precise, detailed language. Special emphasis is also given to reading comprehension and written self-expression. Through projects, oral presentations, and written reports, students explore the cultural background of the French-speaking world, as well as contemporary daily life in France. Strong focus is given to practical language use, building reading skills, expanding vocabulary, and establishing a firm grammatical foundation in French. Assessments of student progress include, but are not limited to, written tests and quizzes, oral interviews, compositions, and daily participation.
  • French IV: Intermediate Conversation and Composition

    French IV combines a review of French grammar and an expansion of vocabulary with an introductory study of Francophone literature and culture. French IV focuses on developing students’ written, oral, and aural skills so that they may begin to use French at a high intermediate level of proficiency. Students learn about contemporary life in Francophone countries; they also explore some of the literature that has shaped the French identity via authentic texts of Francophone authors.
  • French: Advanced Seminar - Honors

    This course is offered in even graduation years.
    Students who complete this yearlong course explore French and Francophone culture, art, literature, and civilization through a variety of readings from authentic sources (texts, films, other media) intended for native speakers. Units can vary from the French education system, to current events, to classic literature. The focus is on project-based learning and discussion of content. Previously learned grammar structures are reinforced with minimal introduction of new grammar. This course may be taken after French IV, and either before or after AP French. Course content is offered on an alternating year basis, so students may elect to take both Advanced Seminar and Advanced Topics and study a different set of themes.
  • French: Advanced Topics - Honors

    This course is offered in odd graduation years.
    Students who complete this yearlong course explore French and Francophone culture, art, literature, and civilization through a variety of readings from authentic sources (texts, films, other media) intended for native speakers. Units can vary from the French education system, to current events, to classic literature. The focus is on project-based learning and discussion of content. Previously learned grammar structures are reinforced with minimal introduction of new grammar. This course may be taken after French IV, and either before or after AP French. Course content is offered on an alternating year basis, so students may elect to take both Advanced Seminar and Advanced Topics and study a different set of themes. 
  • AP French Language and Culture

    Students who enroll in this college-level French language course already have a good command of French grammar and vocabulary and have competence in listening, reading, speaking, and writing. The AP course provides students with opportunities to demonstrate their proficiency in each of the three modes of communication: Interpersonal (spoken and written), Interpretive (audiovisual, written, and print), and Presentational (spoken and written).

    This course is structured around six themes: Global Challenges, Personal and Public Identities, Science and Technology, Beauty and Aesthetics, Contemporary Life, and Families and Communities. Each theme includes a number of contexts for exploration which address essential questions for the 21st century. This structure creates an interesting, meaningful context in which to explore a variety of language concepts with authentic material (audiovisual and print). This course concludes with a national exam, the Advanced Placement French Language & Culture Examination.
  • Spanish for Heritage Speakers I & II - Honors (second year)

    This course is designed to offer students whose home language is Spanish an opportunity to study Spanish formally in an academic setting, in the same way native English-speaking students study English language arts. Many native/heritage students are partially bilingual and vary in their language skills, and this course is designed to expand their command of the Spanish language with further development of their reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills; vocabulary building; preparation in basic principles of composition and grammar, spelling, sentence structure, punctuation, accents, and paragraph organization; and study of Latin American and Spanish literature and culture, with selections from novels, myths, short stories, plays, and poetry. Class is conducted entirely in Spanish. Students study current events and analyze the political and socio-economic issues facing the Spanish-speaking world. Students are expected to participate orally through class discussion, debates, and presentations. Writing assignments for this course focus on developing creative, analytical, and persuasive writing skills. The differences between formal and informal language, both oral and written, are stressed throughout the year. This course may be taken for two years and is a prerequisite for heritage speakers to take Advanced Seminar, AP Spanish Language, and AP Spanish Literature. A prerequisite for this course is the ability to understand and speak Spanish at native or near-native fluency.
  • Spanish I

    The Spanish I curriculum allows students to acquire basic practical vocabulary and fundamental grammatical structures while building cultural awareness. Goals include, but are not limited to, learning to ask and answer simple questions, describe people, express likes and dislikes, and narrate a short sequence of events. The culture and geography of Spanish-speaking countries are also stressed. Students learn to comprehend spoken Spanish through frequent exposure to the “real-life language” of native speakers via video programs and other resources, where emphasis is given to understanding the meaning of unfamiliar words through context. By the end of the class, they are able to communicate basic information. Students can expect in-class oral paired activities, group communicative exercises, and nightly assignments.
  • Spanish II

    The primary goal of Level II Spanish is to ensure that students acquire more vocabulary and grammatical constructs for practical communication in everyday situations. Emphasis is placed on strengthening the acquisition skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students still mostly use isolated words, lists, memorized phrases, and some personalized recombination of words and phrases; however, they begin to use these with more ease and attention to detail. They become increasingly comfortable speaking and writing in the present tense and begin using the imperfect and preterit tenses to narrate events in the past. Cultural topics are interwoven throughout the year, so that students come to appreciate the dynamic relationship between language acquisition and cultural competence. Written and oral assessments, short compositions, and an emphasis on daily classroom participation and preparedness play a key role in building skills. Additional resource materials such as short novellas, films, and online sources supplement the textbook.
  • Spanish III

    Reinforcing the basic language skills learned in the first two years, Spanish III students participate in progressively more challenging conversations and are presented with more complex reading and writing material. Students produce longer and more detailed pieces of writing, both in and outside of class. They also continue to practice the receptive skills of listening and reading through use of technology, in-class discussions, frequent reading assignments, and videos.

    The main textbook is supplemented by readings from other sources, such as a book of Mexican legends for the summer reading, a short novel in Spanish, and other authentic materials. In addition, we view two educational feature-length films in Spanish to further students’ access to authentic spoken language and to build confidence in discussion. In Spanish III, discussion and writing builds students’ repertoire of vocabulary, while improving their syntax and the accuracy of their grammatical structures. Although students complete a thorough review of verb tenses and other grammatical topics at this level, it is also a year of learning many new verb tenses.
  • Spanish IV: Intermediate Conversation and Composition

    By the end of this course, students are increasingly comfortable using the language to express themselves more fully in speaking and writing. They speak in front of their classmates (both extemporaneous and prepared discourse) and write compositions of varying lengths and styles. Students are also able to increase their degree of comprehension while listening to and reading Spanish. To further both of these goals and to improve accuracy, students add to the sophistication of their vocabulary, polish their use of grammar to communicate more effectively, and integrate various verb tenses to their usable language. In Spanish IV, students connect to Spanish-speaking cultures through music, essays, literature, photographs, art, the internet, current events, authentic materials, and films. 
  • Spanish: Advanced Seminar - Honors

    This course is offered in even graduation years.
    Students who complete this yearlong course have intensive and nuanced practice in all areas of language acquisition (speaking, reading, listening, and writing) and broaden their knowledge of Spanish and Spanish-speaking cultures through a variety of authentic sources (intended for native speakers). During this course, students are asked to speak and write authoritatively and insightfully in Spanish about each of the year’s themes. The thematic focus may include: Culinary History of the Spanish-Speaking world; Gender Roles and Class Divisions in Turn-of-the-Century Spain; and Film and Fiction in Latin America and Spain, among others. Course content is offered on an alternating year basis, so students may elect to take both Advanced Seminar and Advanced Topics and study a different set of themes. This course may be taken by eligible language students either before or after the AP Language course.
  • Spanish Advanced Topics - Honors

    This course is offered in odd graduation years.
    Students who complete this yearlong course have intensive and nuanced practice in all areas of language acquisition (speaking, reading, listening, and writing) and broaden their knowledge of Spanish and Spanish-speaking cultures through a variety of authentic sources (intended for native speakers). During this course, students are asked to speak and write authoritatively and insightfully in Spanish about each of the year’s themes. The thematic focus may include: Culinary History of the Spanish-Speaking world; Gender Roles and Class Divisions in Turn-of-the-Century Spain; and Film and Fiction in Latin America and Spain, among others. Course content is offered on an alternating year basis, so students may elect to take both Advanced Seminar and Advanced Topics and study a different set of themes. This course may be taken by eligible language students either before or after the AP Language course.
  • AP Spanish Language and Culture

    In this college-level class, students continue to master their skills in Spanish. This course emphasizes using language for active communication, reading increasingly complex texts, and developing more sophistication and accuracy in speaking and writing, while exploring the culture and literature of the Spanish-speaking world. Students use a variety of resources to explore the history, geography, arts, current events, and science/technology related to six global thematic units. Students demonstrate mastery in a variety of ways, including participation in class discussions, writing analytical essays, creating projects, giving presentations, and taking practice AP tests. There is also a cursory review of grammar and vocabulary related to daily life, and frequent practice to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Spanish Language Exam.
  • AP Computer Science Principles

    This AP course introduces students to the foundational concepts of computer science and challenges them to explore how computing and technology can influence the world. With a unique focus on creative problem solving and real-world applications, AP Computer Science Principles prepares students for college and career. This course introduces students to the central ideas of computer science, instilling the ideas and practices of computational thinking. The curricular framework for this course includes: Creativity, Abstraction, Data and Information, Algorithms, Programming, the Internet, and Global Impact.
  • Introduction to Computer Science

    This engaging introductory course introduces students to the exciting discipline of Computer Science. Students develop awareness of important computer science principles, such as programming, software-hardware interaction, and conceptual and formal design models. Programming topics covered include basic control structures (sequence, loops, branching), variables, abstraction, and simple array processing. Students develop strong computational thinking skills that they can apply in many other disciplines, such as robotics, mathematics, science, music, and art. Each student completes a well-planned and designed larger programming project.
  • Robotics Playground

    Robotics is not only the future, it is also the present. This introductory course familiarizes students with programming, sensors, and automation. They hone critical computational thinking skills needed to succeed in both the 21st century's workforce and in everyday life. Robotics encourages creativity, teamwork, leadership, passion, and problem-solving in groups. Best of all, robotics is fun! Real World Robotics is a project-based course where students design, build, and program working prototypes of autonomous and interactive robots using a robotics system. For those students with a strong interest in robotics, CA also offers the opportunity to join a Robotics Club.
  • Fab Lab: Intro to Engineering Design & the Innovation Lab

    In this hands-on, project-based course, students learn and practice using the human-centered design process to design and make things—to see a need, take a design idea, devise a plan, and fabricate a functional, finished product. Along the way, students receive a comprehensive orientation to the Anderson Innovation Lab and essential training in the safe and appropriate use of all of the lab’s fundamental tools and other specialty tools as needed. Roughly half of the course is focused on manual skills and the designing and fabricating of projects by hand. Students apply and build upon these skills within the digital realm, using 2D CAD software and the laser cutter/engraver to design and precisely fabricate their original, functional designs.
  • Data Analytics with Excel, SQL & Tableau

    This course gives students exposure to and practice with a variety of analytical tools to help them study, visualize, and understand data. This class challenges students to investigate, manage, analyze, and explore data to support a broader story or conclusion, with an emphasis on the variety of perspectives/insights that data can illuminate. After refining basic data-analysis skills in Excel or Google Sheets, students build a foundation of skills in SQL to enable them to run queries and pull data, which can then be visualized and reported upon in Tableau (a leading business intelligence software tool). It concludes with a capstone project that allows students to explore, study, and build visuals and analysis to support a final presentation about a topic of their choice (including crime, health-care, sports, business, environmental issues, marketing, or social justice issues).
  • Introduction to Statistics and Data Science

    Students in this trimester course use spreadsheet programs and statistical analysis software (R) to explore data sets. They manipulate and summarize real-world data, using advanced spreadsheet techniques to answer relevant questions, and they present their findings with graphical displays of data, including box plots, scatter plots, histograms, and normal probability plots. Students consider distributions of data, using one-variable statistics to describe center, shape, and spread of data sets and to identify unusual features of data sets. Students build, interpret, and compare statistical models. Upon completion of this course, students are well prepared to interpret charts and draw conclusions from statistics they encounter in the media, and they have experience building models and analyzing data sets using spreadsheets and R.
  • Introduction to Probability and Randomness

    Students in this trimester course use Python and the NumPy library to explore probability, randomness, and chance. They start by counting possible outcomes in real-life situations, and use Python code to generate and sort lists of outcomes and look for patterns. They derive and explore important ideas about combinations and permutations of elements. Students investigate the myth of a “hot hand” and see whether hitting free throws in a basketball game can be modeled as a random event, a weighted coin toss, or if the previous missed or made shot influences the current shot. They use Python to build increasingly complex simulations of phenomena with random inputs and see how simulations are becoming an increasingly important tool for learning about the world.
  • Python for Biologists

    Remember, from Ninth Grade Biology, the number of amino acids coded by a small section of a strand of DNA? Each of the 46 strands of DNA, stretched out, would be six feet long, and all together, DNA codes for more than 20,000 proteins. Talk about data! How do biologists find patterns or mutations in all of that? That is where science and programming meet—in a field known as Bioinformatics. This trimester course introduces students to that connection through a combination of biology and Python. Python, a coding language that is both easy and fun to learn, will be the pathway into understanding the critical connection between coding and science. Students learn basic Python control structures such as loops, sequences, and branching, all within the context of DNA codes and patterns. This course is appropriate for coding beginners, as well as those who have some experience in languages other than Python.
  • AP Computer Science A

    This course covers the Advanced Placement Computer Science A curriculum and focuses on the Object-Oriented Programming language of Java. Topics include the essentials of OOP, classes, methods, graphics, input/output statements, if statements, loops, strings, recursion, one- and two-dimensional arrays, searching, and sorting. The emphasis of this course is on problem solving, software engineering, and ethics. Students learn systematic ways of breaking down problems and writing well-documented programming code. An introductory programming class is highly recommended before taking this course. This class covers material typical in a first-semester college Computer Science course.
  • Advanced Computer Science and Data Structures

    This course covers advanced programming topics with an emphasis on data structures (sets, maps, stacks, queues, lists, and trees), and algorithm efficiency (Big-O). In addition, students examine advanced programming algorithms, such as sorting, searching, and recursive arrays. Students enhance their knowledge of Java and advance their programming skills to a higher level. The class includes selected computer science topics, such as digital electronics, assembly language programming, cryptography, and machine learning. Only students with an advanced level of programming experience should enroll in this course. The course covers second-semester college-level material beyond the AP Computer Science A course.
  • Introduction to AI and Machine Learning

    This course is intended for students who have some programming experience and would like to dive into the world of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Machine Learning is a highly in-demand branch of Artificial Intelligence (AI), where computer programs can learn from processing data to make decisions. Countless industries are seeking to fulfill the promise of AI to create efficiencies, detect and predict issues, and help make data-driven decisions. Students explore the ethical issues associated with machine learning algorithms, such as, who is responsible when a computer makes a decision that has negative consequences for
    people? This course focuses on AI ethics, examines issues of bias, and explores and explains fundamental AI concepts. Because machine learning depends on large sets of data, real life datasets on healthcare, demographics, and more are used to engage students. Students develop a holistic, thoughtful understanding of these technologies, while they learn the technical underpinnings of how the technologies work.
  • Advanced Topics in Computer Science

    This course is intended for highly motivated students with a strong programming background who are interested in advancing their programming abilities beyond an introductory level. Furthermore, students should desire to engage in independent learning. This project-based class does not focus on any particular programming language or topic but allows students to pursue applications of computer science in different areas of interest.
  • Flight

    Flight is a project-based course that guides students' exploration of flight and its fundamental underlying principles en route to designing, building, testing, and optimizing several different types of aircraft. Students study fixed-wing aircraft prior to designing, building, and testing custom boomerangs; and fluid dynamics and buoyancy before designing, building, and testing hot air balloons. Then they immerse fully into the assembly, programming, and testing of quadcopter racing drones. The class fee provides all students with their own modern RC transmitter and a kit of hand-selected materials from which they build and fly their functional, high performance drones. Students also receive extensive flight and safety instruction from a nationally certified flight instructor in order to safely and competently fly their drones when the course is over.
  • 3D Digital Design & Fabrication

    In this course, students expand upon their 2D design knowledge and skills and begin working with 3D design and fabrication techniques. They learn to how to design and 3D print models and prototypes, create 3D scans of physical objects, use digital sculpting tools, and learn to incorporate 3D models into larger designs, both functional and artistic. Students become proficient with Fusion 360 3D modeling software as a tool for planning and simulating 3D models and assemblies, and they use the 3D CNC mill to design and fabricate their own large-scale functional designs. Students may choose to explore digital sculpting, furniture or jewelry design, casting, welding, or projects that integrate a variety of tools, methods, and media. At the end of the course, students leave with finished projects, a broad set of digital design and fabrication skills, as well as a comprehensive digital portfolio of their design work and photos of finished products.
  • Engineering Design Lab

    In general, this course is for students who wish to take on an exciting independent project and take their engineering design and fabrication skills to the next level. With a focus on creative design, thoughtful prototyping and analysis, and the building of larger or more sophisticated functional products, students choose and take on a new design challenge and develop skills with new tools, concepts, and processes (e.g., CNC milling, casting, turning, metalworking, etc.), and learn and practice applying science and engineering principles throughout the design and evaluation processes. This class is repeatable, with subsequent trimesters focusing on new, unique projects and skills of students' choosing or on the continued development of an ongoing project.
  • Audio Engineering

    Department of Music and Dance:
    In Audio Engineering, students explore sound, studio recording, and music production techniques and technology en route to producing their own studio recording projects. They learn how to plan and direct recording projects, how to use industry-standard audio recording and production software to mix tracks and add effects, how to program and use virtual instruments within recording projects, and how to produce and share their own music and the compositions and performances of others. Students finish the course with a digital portfolio of music projects that they have recorded and produced. Audio Engineering also involves projects and investigations in the following areas: the production of sound for video, acoustics and acoustic room treatment, sound synthesis, and the design and construction of 2-way loudspeakers or musical instruments.
    (Cross-registration/credit with Computer Science/Engineering Design and Visual & Performing Arts Department.)
  • Digital Video I

    Department of Visual Arts:
    Digital Video I introduces students to visual language, cinematic grammar, and the basic elements of camera operation and lighting. Students are asked to respond to questions and micro-themes with creative projects. Examples are 30-second commercials, short narratives, and video journalism. With an overview of the entire production process, attention is given to the fundamentals of exposure and control of the image. Students complete at least two individual and two small group projects. Video cameras, computers, and editing software are provided.
  • Digital Video II

    Department of Visual Arts:
    Digital Video II builds on Digital Video I. Digital Video II is a three-trimester experience that brings the entire conceptual process from storyboarding to final cut into focus. The art, theory, and craft of editing is explored in detail, as well as the marriage between visual imagery and sound design. Students are exposed to advanced editing features, such as filters, color correction, keying, and matting. In Digital Video II, the creative laboratory continues to explore the potential for video as Fine Art, utilizing micro-themes, but also affording students “independence” for deeper, more substantive creative projects. Digital Video II continues to investigate the uses of pedestrian video, such as journalism, sports documentary, music videos, and other established genres.
  • Digital Video III

    Department of Visual Arts:
    Digital Video III is for students who have completed three trimesters of Digital Video II. This class provides advanced instruction in editing workflow, compression, and video output. Students continue to build technical proficiency while designing their own production and production schedules. Students also complete an essay or mini-documentary on a film director or video artist of their choice. 
  • Digital Special Effects: Adobe After Effects

    Department of Visual Arts:
    Students learn the basics of manipulating and creating raw digital effects, from title sequences to light sabers and beyond. The driving force behind this digital manipulation is Adobe After Effects. Beginning with the understanding of keyframing, students learn that “digital stitching” can replace the sky, generate “handmade” titles, and eventually add 3D objects to real-time video. This is for the video student who enjoys editing and may be taken a second time, graduating to more advanced special effects.
  • Photography I - Intro to Photography

    Department of Visual Arts:
    In this class, students investigate the nature of photography as an important field of artistic practice, conceptual knowledge, and technological procedures. Essential skills and techniques focus on the DSLR camera, studio lighting, and post-production using Adobe Photoshop. This material practice is supported with historical and critical studies of the work of practicing photographers and visual artists. Students deepen their understanding of the history of photography and how photographers effectively construct images.
  • Photography II - Intermediate Photographic Practice

    Department of Visual Arts:
    Photography II is an expansion of Photography I. Students build on a solid foundation in traditional and contemporary photography, through complex analog and digital material explorations and artist investigations. In-depth personal and group projects emphasize refined photographic practice through still work, as well as multimedia crossovers in the digital world. In their critical and historical studies, students will further expand their understanding of historical and contemporary photographers to enhance their own knowledge of the past and how it informs their own photographic practice. Students must provide a journal.
  • Photography III - Advanced Photographic Practice

    Department of Visual Arts:
    Photography III builds on the knowledge and understanding, skills, values, and attitudes gained in Photography I and II courses. The course further develops students’ digital media understanding of photography through deeper and sustained investigations of photographers’ conceptual and material practice in increasingly independent ways.

    Students continue to hone their camera and computer skills to produce personal and group projects which demonstrate a sophisticated level of technical and artistic proficiency. Students undertake critical and historical investigations of photographs and their image makers to lead them to increasingly accomplished understanding of how photography invites different interpretations and explanations. Students must provide a digital camera, SD card, and journal.
  • Advanced 2D Art

    Department of Visual Arts:
    This course gives artists the opportunity to choose a concentration in drawing, painting, or mixed media. They explore complex approaches in their chosen medium that strengthen and develop their individual artistic voice. Artists work to build technical skills, while deepening their sense of personal expression. They practice analyzing and verbally articulating the impact of their own work, as well as supporting the work of their peers.
  • Intro to Ceramics

    Department of Visual Arts:
    This class gives students the opportunity to explore a variety of hand-building methods, including coil, slab, modeling, and molding. Every student also gains experience using the potter’s wheel to create ceramic objects. Students learn how to apply several surface treatments and glazes to their projects, as well as a basic understanding of the kiln-firing process. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to initiate their own ideas, use creative problem solving to create unique works, and explore traditional and contemporary ceramic practices.
  • Advanced Ceramics

    Department of Visual Arts:
    This class gives students the opportunity to build upon the basic skills they learned in Intro to Ceramics in both hand building and wheel throwing. Students go deeper into the nuances of ceramic art by exploring myriad things that artists do with clay. Students will also learn studio habits that facilitate artistic growth, as they explore their own emerging artistic voice.
  • Digital Art

    Department of Visual Arts:
    This course explores imagery, text, and color in digital media using Adobe Creative Suite programs, including Fresco, Illustrator, and Photoshop. Students use all aspects of the artistic design process, while learning about digital drawing, vector graphics, pixel graphics, and image manipulation. Inspired by contemporary artists and digital media’s function in society, students develop their own independent projects, including illustration, graphic design, poster and logo design, animation, website design, and more.
  • Introduction to Architectural Drawing

    Department of Visual Arts:
    In this introductory course, students explore the basic skills that are important in standard building design. The students practice axonometric drawing, perspective drawing, observational drawing, and drafting skills. They discover how all of these skills can assist in learning how to use computer-aided drafting software in designing unique spaces that have a personal aesthetic.
  • Studio Art I

    Department of Visual Arts:
    Studio Art I introduces the foundations of visual arts, as students begin exploring their artistic voice. In an open studio, students develop independent art projects in a variety of media, including drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. Students draw inspiration from contemporary and historical artists to envision their own individual creative direction. Emphasis is placed on creativity and execution of the Studio Habits of Mind, including expression, persistence, and reflection on their own work and the work of others.
  • Studio Art II

    Department of Visual Arts:
    During three trimesters, Studio Art II provides further development of students’ technical skill and conceptualization. Students work toward the following goals: individual growth in technical skills in the use of their chosen media; the development of evaluative and critical-thinking skills from participation in regularly scheduled critiques; and growth in creativity and original style. In addition, students continue to analyze the work of contemporary artists and art movements to inform the direction of their body of work.
  • Studio Art III

    Department of Visual Arts:
    The course of study at the Studio Art III level is focused on the intention of the student’s voice, refining their visual communication while continuing their pursuit of technical excellence in a chosen medium. This course requires that each student take creative risks, inform their work with an understanding of the major contemporary art movements, and include research into a particular artist’s or group of artists’ work. Emphasis is on experimental media and pushing their visions further, with an analytical approach to the solution of aesthetic problems.
  • Visual Arts Portfolio Prep Class

    Department of Visual Arts:
    Portfolio Prep is a prerequisite for the Senior Portfolio Class. Students meet during regular art/photo/video/ceramics classes. Students prepare for the rigors of the Portfolio Class and review, edit, organize, and determine the direction they want to pursue in the development of their work. They begin to shape their artist’s statement and solidify the philosophy and intent of their work. This class prepares the student by developing investigations in artists’/filmmakers’ practice and material experimentation for their application for the Senior Portfolio admittance review. Students petitioning for Senior Portfolio interview with Visual Arts faculty. They identify and demonstrate their medium of concentration.

    Prerequisites for this class include: Five trimesters of Visual Arts (at least one during Junior year); and at least three trimesters in the area of arts concentration, which may include ceramics, digital video, photography and digital art, or studio art.
  • Acting for the Camera

    Department of Theater:
    (This course is offered in even graduation years.)
    In this course students develop techniques to use the camera as an acting partner, while retaining the ability to focus on other actors during the scene. Actors use imagination and emotional preparation training integral to stage performance, while learning the skills necessary for working with challenging edits, the non-linear timeline of film and TV production, an on-camera director, and the unique demands and environment of a studio setup. Students also prepare for on-camera auditions and monologues to equip them to navigate demo-reels, social-media based web series, and professional film, TV, and commercial production.
  • Acting/Scene Study I

    Department of Theater:
    This class is the prerequisite for all other courses in the department.  This class teaches the rudiments of acting, with a focus on teaching young actors how to work moment-to-moment, to be truthful in an imaginary situation, and to put their attention on the other person. It is the training ground for all advanced work. Trimesters do not need to be consecutive, but it is highly recommended for progression to advanced work.
  • Improvisation

    Department of Theater:
    (This course is offered in odd graduation years.)
    Open to anyone and everyone, this course delves into the world of the unscripted performance technique known as improvisation. Students learn the rules, techniques, and foundations of this form that has provided some of our greatest comedic minds: Tina Fey, Kristin Wiig, Bill Murray, Steve Carell, and more! Students learn to think on their feet and practice reacting in the moment; become better communicators, collaborators, and presenters; and laugh a lot! Students present at least one improv show during lunch for a live audience.
  • Advanced Acting/Production

    Department of Theater:
    This course is open to all students who have fulfilled the Acting/Scene Study I prerequisite and are in Grade 10 or above. Students enrolled in this course audition for, rehearse, and perform a play for a live audience. Rehearsals will take place in class, with some after-school and weekend commitments in the week leading up to the performances.
  • Musical Theater

    Department of Theater:
    This workshop-style course offers students a focused study of the techniques used in musical theater performance. It is intended for anyone who is interested in learning how to perform in the musical theater style, using songs from shows ranging from Oklahoma! and West Side Story to Hamilton and Dear Evan Hanson. Students are encouraged to choose repertoire within their range and according to their interests. The course is a progressive training ground for advanced work in the annual musical presentation.
  • Technical Theater

    Department of Theater:
    The objective of this course is to introduce students to the tools and protocol of mounting a major production, as well as to provide them with solid working experience from plans on paper to hands-on construction on stage. Students are trained in the aesthetics of lighting and scenic design, as well as in the knowledge of operating equipment safely and mastering a basic reading of ground plans, elevations, and computer-generated design.

    Advanced Technical Theater is available upon completion of a full year of Technical Theater and permission of the instructors. Three trimesters of Technical Theater complete a one-year credit but do not need to be taken consecutively. Advanced Technical Theater is a yearlong course. 
  • Theater Practicum

    Department of Theater:
    Practicum (Tech Theater) is a hands-on training class in some aspects of production. With a theater advisor, practicum students arrange their course of study, which must total enough hours to fulfill a trimester of work for credit, but may include work on one or multiple shows and events, including stage management, lighting, sound, scene painting, props, stage crew, program or poster design, musical accompaniment, box office management, and ushering. Students may fulfill all hours in one trimester for credit, or they may spread out assignments over the course of the year to equal a trimester of credit. There is no prerequisite for this class, but students must contact a faculty member in the Theater Department to set up an appointment before enrolling.

    Practicum (Performance) is an opportunity for students to participate in a mainstage production for arts credit. With permission from faculty, students who are cast in one of two mainstage productions may use that show as an arts credit. Mainstage productions take place on the Leach Center for the Performing Arts stage and rehearse in the evening after sports. Students should be prepared to attend all evening rehearsals for which they are called, abide by all expectations set forth by the director, and participate in all dress rehearsals and performances.

  • Dance: Techniques and Practices

    Department of Music & Dance:
    This course offers foundational training in terminology, technique, and studio practices of a variety of styles. Through dance, students develop artistic habits and gain physical flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination. Students are encouraged to foster their own creative process and expression of self through choreographic prompts. All classes have an opportunity to perform if they would like to do so. 
    • Trimester 1: Beginning Tap – This class focuses on introducing students to the foundational principles and techniques of tap dancing. This is a true beginner class that is geared towards those with little to no prior experience in tap dancing. Students work on rhythm, musicality, and articulation of sound in feet, while building speed of movement. Various styles of music are utilized. All are welcome and encouraged.
    • Trimester 2: Intermediate/Advanced Tap – This class explores tap techniques as they relate to all styles of music, including pop, rock, rap, musical theater, big band, and jazz. Students work on rhythm, musicality, and articulation of sound in feet, while building speed of movement. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.
    • Trimester 3: Broadway Dance – This class explores all styles of dance utilized in Broadway shows. The focus is on physical style, storytelling, and techniques as related to different time periods, locations, and characters.
  • Vertical Dance/Site-Specific Dance Study

    Department of Music & Dance:
    This class explores the adventurous and stunning nature of site-specific and vertical dance. Students begin on the ground with basic movement concepts and practices, and gradually move to practicing vertically. In addition to vertical, they explore site-specific dance–dancing in unexpected locations that lend new interpretation and possibility to choreography. Vertical dancing is done using climbing gear, including top rope, harness, and GriGri belay devices. When ready, students experiment with outdoor locations, such as suspended on a building wall, tree, or rock face.
  • Dance Company

    Department of Music & Dance:
    This is an Intermediate/Advanced performing ensemble. Only students who have been approved will be able to enroll for the Company. Students who wish to apply must submit a letter of interest to the instructor.

    This group practices and explores multiple styles of dance and choreography to create pieces of repertoire to be performed throughout the school year. There is increased opportunity and emphasis on student-generated choreography and individual expression. In addition, students explore ways to utilize dance as a means of giving back to the community. Students are asked to think critically, creatively, and ethically while combining service, choreography, and performance. The Company meets during a scheduled school block; however, additional rehearsals may be scheduled outside of class time. These rehearsals are scheduled with the dancer’s schedules and commitments in mind. Students are not required to enroll for both trimesters 1 and 2, but may do so for credit.  

    Students must have mastered foundational techniques of ballet, jazz, contemporary, modern, or tap and be able to collaborate and work well with others. If a student is not ready for Company work at the start of the school year, the student may train through Dance electives and reapply for the second trimester.
  • Academy Jazz

    Department of Music and Dance:
    This is an audition-only performance group. Students learn creativity and discipline through the study of a range of jazz styles. Emphasis is placed on understanding music theory as it relates to chord structures and progressions as well as improvisation. There is at least one outside performance, and students are required to attend all performances.
  • Chanteurs

    Department of Music & Dance:
    Chanteurs is an audition-based, 16-20 voice mixed (SATB) choir for advanced students who demonstrate superior musicianship and place a high dedication to choral singing in their lives. The ensemble sings a diverse and challenging repertoire, with a specific emphasis on also singing a cappella and jazz. All members strengthen existing sight-reading skills and proper vocal technique and are strongly encouraged to participate in the CHSAA and Colorado All-State audition process. This is a specialty group which meets outside of the regular schedule and does not receive arts credit.
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  • Concert Choir

    Department of Music & Dance:
    Concert Choir is a non-auditioned, mixed (SATB) choir that sings a wide range of challenging repertoire. Student ensembles receive valuable training in musical literacy and theory; understanding, performing, and appreciating various genres and cultures of vocal music; and developing vocal production and technique. Performing for an audience is the primary focus, as performances provide an experience that cannot be reproduced in the classroom and serve as the means by which the skills learned in class are evaluated. All performances are required in order to receive credit for this course.
  • Jazz Ensemble

    Department of Music and Dance:
    Jazz Ensemble is a performance group. Students learn creativity and discipline through the study of a range of jazz styles. An emphasis is placed on understanding music theory as it relates to chord structures and progressions, as well as improvisation. Students are required to attend all performances. Students must audition or have previous participation (including Middle School) in an instrumental ensemble.
  • Music Theory

    Department of Music and Dance:

    Music Theory is a yearlong course. Students are expected to have had some musical experience prior to entering the course, and they must pass a basic proficiency examination to enroll.

    The course is designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding and application of various aspects of music theory, including: music fundamentals (pitch, rhythm, scales, and triads); foundations of harmony and counterpoint; interpretation and creation of chord progressions and larger musical forms; jazz and modern-era theory and practice; and developing skills in sight singing and dictation.
  • Orchestra

    Department of Music & Dance:
    This class focuses on the educational components of playing in an orchestra, including music history, music theory, instrumental technique, and ensemble skills. Students encounter a range of classical music; explore different, pertinent musical eras; and apply different performance techniques to challenging and fun pieces. Students are required to attend all performances. Students should have previous experience on the instrument to be played; private lessons are strongly recommended.
  • Rock Ensemble

    Department of Music and Dance:
    Rock Ensemble is a performance group. Students learn creativity and discipline through the study of a range of rock and popular music styles. Emphasis is placed on understanding music theory as it relates to chord structures and progressions. Students are required to attend all performances. Students must audition or have previous participation (including Middle School) in an instrumental ensemble.
  • Yearbook I

    Department of Graphic Design & Publication:
    Throughout this course, students plan, design, and produce CA’s yearbook, Telesis, which is distributed to over 1,000 members of the school community.

    Yearbook I students are members of the yearbook staff, charged with creating a professional publication that represents the school. Students learn and apply basics of graphic design and layout. They write short articles to accompany their layouts, and they work with the yearbook advisors, editors, and the representative from the publishing company to create and guide pages through the publication process. Students in Yearbook I may enroll for one or two trimesters.
  • Yearbook II

    Department of Graphic Design & Publication:
    Throughout this course, students plan, design, and produce CA’s yearbook, Telesis, which is distributed to over 1,000 members of the school community.

    Yearbook II students are editors of the yearbook staff, charged with creating a professional publication that represents the school and with helping to train Yearbook I students. This editorial staff helps decide and design the overall look of the yearbook, maintaining a consistent theme and color scheme throughout the book. They work with the yearbook advisors, staff, and the representative from the publishing company to create and guide pages through the publication process. Students in Yearbook II must enroll in both Trimester 1 and 2; Trimester 3 is optional.
  • Athletics - Competitive

    Two trimesters of athletics are required in Freshman and Sophomore years.
    One trimester of athletics is required in Junior and Senior years.

    The Department of Athletics encourages student-athletes, regardless of past experience, to try a competitive sport option. Previous experience or skill is not required; however, a commitment to the team, effort, and a positive attitude is! Students are encouraged to exceed the minimum requirement.  Students are encouraged to play at least one CHSAA-sanctioned sport during their time in Upper School.

    The Upper School athletic program (Grades 9-12) offers students various choices in establishing healthy lifetime activity patterns in coordination with a highly competitive interscholastic athletic program. Goals for all students include, but are not limited to, success against outside competition, building a strong sense of self-worth, learning lessons in human relations and collaboration, developing the ability to lead and follow, gaining specialized training in varied athletic skills, developing a mastery of sport-specific skills, cardiovascular conditioning, and demonstrating good sportsmanship.

    CHSAA- Sanctioned Competitive Sports Options

    Trimester 1
    Cross Country
    Field Hockey
    Golf, Boys
    Soccer, Boys
    Tennis, Boys
    Volleyball, Girls

    Trimester 2
    Basketball,Boys
    Basketball, Girls
    Ice Hockey
    Swimming/Diving, Girls

    Trimester 3
    Baseball
    Golf, Girls
    Lacrosse, Boys
    Lacrosse, Girls
    Soccer, Girls
    Tennis, Girls
  • Athletics - Non-Competitive

    Two trimesters of athletics are required in Freshman and Sophomore years.
    One trimester of athletics is required in Junior and Senior years.

    The Upper School athletic program (Grades 9-12) offers students various choices in establishing healthy lifetime activity patterns in coordination with a highly competitive interscholastic athletic program. Goals for all students include, but are not limited to, success against outside competition, building a strong sense of self-worth, learning lessons in human relations and collaboration, developing the ability to lead and follow, gaining specialized training in varied athletic skills, developing a mastery of sport-specific skills, cardiovascular conditioning, and demonstrating good sportsmanship.

    Independent Athletic Credit: Students already participating in athletic programs outside of school may complete a “Petition for Athletic Credit” to determine whether their programs meet the requirements to receive credit. Students must have participated in the activity for a minimum of 3 consecutive years before the request is made. The activity must include a competitive or public performance piece/date. Independent credit is only given up to a maximum of one trimester in any one school year.

    A student may take any dance class in the curriculum for athletic credit for one trimester per year. A dance class may also be used to fulfill an art credit, but it cannot count for both types of credit during the same trimester.

    Credit for managing a CHSAA-sanctioned team is granted on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by both the Head Coach and the Director of Athletics. There is a maximum of 2 managers per team, and daily attendance at all practices and games is required. Specific team and program responsibilities will be outlined by the Head Coach of the program.

    Non-CHSAA-Sanctioned Club Sports & Non-Competitive Sports

    Trimester 1
    Climbing
    - Every student in climbing is required to have climbing shoes. Students learn how to climb and belay in a safe manner. They hone their skills in a variety of environments and challenge themselves both mentally and physically. Participants are encouraged to compete in weekend Colorado High School Climbing League Competitions. Students may only enroll in this class one time per school year.

    Sports Performance - This course is designed to aid in the development of health and wellness in each student with a structured plan designed to enhance strength, speed, mobility, and energy systems, while also developing moral and educational characteristics. Strength is developed in five phases: Work Capacity (Adaptation), Hypertrophy, Max Strength, Strength Speed, and Muscular Endurance; Speed: Mechanics, Speed Strength, and Change of Direction; Mobility: Correctives, Warmup, Cool down; Energy Systems: Train for the activity, Anaerobic versus Aerobic, and
    Activity Demands; Education: Nutritional Needs, Cognitive Reconditioning, and Independence in Movement; Character: Time Management, Self-Respect, and Effort.

    Student Athletic Trainer - Students are instructed in various aspects of athletic training/sports medicine. Students participating in this program are required to assist the sports teams during all practices and assigned games, the specific number of which will be determined. Students may only enroll in this course one time per school year.

    Ultimate Frisbee - Competitive Club Sport. Team plays in Altitude Youth Ultimate League.

    Trimester 2
    Climbing - Every student in climbing is required to have climbing shoes. Students learn how to climb and belay in a safe manner. They hone their skills in a variety of environments and challenge themselves both mentally and physically. Students are required to compete in at least five Colorado High School Climbing League weekend climbing competitions held around the Denver area. Students may only enroll in this class one time per school year.

    Racquetball - Racquetball is a lifetime sport offered for novice to intermediate players. Competition varies from year to year, from interscholastic matches to outside meets with high school and college club teams. This game is easy to learn and is guaranteed to be fast, furious, and FUN. All equipment is provided; fee required to cover court rental, eye guards, and team shirts. Practices are off campus at Englewood Rec Center.

    Sports Performance - This course is designed to aid in the development of health and wellness in each student with a structured plan designed to enhance strength, speed, mobility, and energy systems, while also developing moral and educational characteristics. Strength is developed in 5 phases. Work Capacity (Adaptation), Hypertrophy, Max Strength, Strength Speed, and Muscular Endurance; Speed: Mechanics, Speed Strength, and Change of Direction; Mobility: Correctives, Warmup, Cool down; Energy Systems: Train for the activity, Anaerobic versus Aerobic, and
    Activity Demands; Education: Nutritional Needs, Cognitive Reconditioning, and Independence in Movement; Character: Time Management, Self-Respect, and Effort.

    Student Athletic Trainer - Students are instructed in various aspects of athletic training/sports medicine. Students participating in this program are required to assist the sports teams during all practices and assigned games, the specific number of which will be determined. Students may only enroll in this class one time per school year.

    Trimester 3
    Sports Performance - This course is designed to aid in the development of health and wellness in each student with a structured plan designed to enhance strength, speed, mobility, and energy systems, while also developing moral and educational characteristics. Work Capacity (Adaptation), Hypertrophy, Max Strength, Strength Speed, and Muscular Endurance; Speed: Mechanics, Speed Strength, and Change of Direction; Mobility: Correctives, Warmup, Cool down; Energy Systems: Train for the activity, Anaerobic versus Aerobic, and Activity Demands; Education: Nutritional Needs, Cognitive Reconditioning, and Independence in Movement; Character: Time Management, Self-Respect, and Effort.

    Student Athletic Trainer - Students are instructed in various aspects of athletic training/sports medicine. Students participating in this program are required to assist the sports teams during all practices and assigned games, the specific number of which will be determined. Students may only enroll in this class one time per school year.
  • 11th Grade Experiential Education

    Curricular Activity:
    Interim - Each spring, students in Upper School participate in weeklong Interim trips designed to immerse students and faculty in experiences and pursuits that broaden their skills, test their abilities, and sharpen the awareness of the world in which they live. Whether they engage in artistic pursuits, service learning trips, or wilderness expeditions throughout the Rocky Mountains, students and CA alumni often describe this program as one of their favorite CA memories.
    • A weeklong immersive experiential program that includes the arts, outdoors, physiology, community engagement.
    • Promotes community building through small group interactions and cross grade interactions.
    • Provides challenging, hands-on experience.
    • Promotes student leadership through trip planning and execution.
    • Fosters grit and resilience through physically and psychologically challenging activities.
    Examples of past Interims include: Kayaking the Western Slope, Exploring the Canyonlands, Shoshoni Yoga, Blacksmithing, Ceramics in the Wild,  Archaeology in the Four Corners, Toy Shop, Gourmet Heaven, and more. In a typical year, 30+ Interim choices are offered.

    Belize: Environmental Field Studies
    This science-focused Interim is an opportunity for students to participate in meaningful, multi-day biological research projects in Belize. As time permits, other activities might include snorkeling, swimming with stingrays, and rainforest exploration. This Interim is open to Juniors and Seniors and is the culminating event for a technical science writing course taught during the third trimester as a Junior/Senior writing seminar. The journey begins exploring the Mayan ruins of Caracol, the Belize Wildlife Sanctuary, and the research taking place at the Belize Zoo. The heart of this experience is the four days spent at a remote research station, conducting scientific research and contributing to ongoing research projects. Probable topics include marine gas exchange, coral conservation, competition among marine species, and algae farming by damselfish.

    Recent Experiential Education Optional Local Activities:
    Trip ratings range from easy and moderate to difficult and from beginner and intermediate to advanced skill levels. These excursions are published annually, offered on weekends throughout the school year, filled on a first-come, first-served sign-up basis, charge a nominal fee, and are usually led by CA faculty and staff.

    South Platte River Fly Fishing
    Fishermen explore Colorado’s rivers and streams and get a lot of skill practice in patience and attention to detail. Students learn about watershed dynamics, fly-fishing strategy, fly pattern selection, and fish behavior. They learn to cast a fly rod, manage a line, hook and land trout, and take part in a quintessential Western sport.
    Additional Skills:
    • foster patience and attention to detail
    • bond with classmates outside of the classroom

    Rifle Mountain Park Climbing
    Rifle Mountain Park offers the best limestone sport climbing in North America. Rifle is approximately three hours west of Denver, near the town of Rifle, Colo. On this trip, students receive instruction on technical skills, climb spectacular sport routes, camp, and cook meals together. No prior experience is necessary.
    Skills:
    • learning climbing movement and terminology
    • learning belaying principles
    • understanding the construction and strength of climbing equipment, including ropes, harnesses, carabiners, and helmets
    • encouraging responsible risk taking and the benefits of challenge
    • fostering teamwork through effective belaying, coaching and support
    • learning about belay and climber safety checks and effective communication

    Eldorado Hut
    The Eldorado Hut is located five miles west of Turquoise Lake, near Leadville, Colo. The path into the hut winds through aspen forest for the first mile and gradually zigzags up a ridge on the north side of the lake. At the hut, views from the south window include a panorama of Bald Eagle Mountain and the 14,421-foot Mount Massive. Only one mile from the hut is fun glade skiing on Mushroom Mountain, and after returning from a tour, participants fire up the wood-burning sauna to finish off a great day in the Colorado backcountry.
    Additional Skills:
    • learning winter travel skills
    • providing opportunities for cross-grade interactions
    • promoting the principles of self-care (hydration, hypothermia, nutrition, pacing, etc.)
    • providing a novel experience
    • learning to prepare healthy and nutritious meals
    • learning to build a minimal fire
    • observing winter weather patterns
    • identifying avalanche terrain, snow instabilities, and how to travel safely in the backcountry

    Ice Climbing in Lake City
    The Ouray Ice Park is a man-made ice-climbing site in a beautiful natural gorge near Ouray, Colo. There is even a special area just for beginners. Home to more than 200 ice and mixed climbs, it has been called the best place in the world to develop ice-climbing skills. This trip is designed for beginners, and no prior climbing experience is necessary.


    Recent Exchange Programs

    Hutchesons’ Grammar School,Glasgow, Scotland
    This exchange program includes a two-week homestay experience with a Scottish family and attending regular classes at Hutchesons’ Grammar School. Students also participate in a variety of activities with their host families, such as exploring the Scottish countryside. CA families host the Scottish students for approximately two weeks in the fall.

    Colombia: Spanish Language & Culture Immersion
    With Colombia’s turbulent past rapidly receding, the nation is in the midst of a boom. Economic growth, safety, and stability are on the rise in all corners of the country, and visitors are joyously rediscovering the remarkable diversity and warmth of this gateway to South America. This hybrid exchange and travel program allows students to connect with the Colombian people, from shadowing high school peers in the capital Bogotá to exploring Afro-Indigenous traditions in the Caribbean port town of Cartagena. Two weeks after returning home, with Spanish still fresh on their tongues, students have the opportunity to reciprocate the hospitality.

    Colegio Virgen de Europa , Madrid, Spain
    CA students are paired with Madrid students to promote and improve their cultural and linguistic awareness. This exchange encourages students to build confidence and fluency in a second language and go out into the world to experience another culture firsthand. Central to this experience is the homestay, because it gives participants interaction with native speakers and language use in natural context. The school provides opportunities, both academic and extra-curricular, for students to understand and explore the culture of the other country. CA students travel in the fall and host in the following spring.


    Current Travel Programs, Interim and Optional

    Authentic Mexico Adventure - Service Adventure - Spring Break
    Students will immerse themselves in the true fabric of Mexico, including art, food, culture, language, and history. This experience includes exploring Mexico City’s vibrant art scene, rural homestays, adventure travel, and meaningful service projects guided by community partners.
    Mexico’s perfect white sand beaches, rugged canyons, tropical jungles, and arid plains are inhabited by some of the world’s nicest people, all of whom enjoy some of the world’s best food. The same is true for Mexico’s megacities, colonial hamlets, and dusty outposts. Our neighbor to the south truly has it all, yet few visitors experience the real Mexico. Our programs will show travelers the true fabric of Mexico, from small food stalls of Mexico City to pre-Columbian Zapotec ruins, as we travel between Mexico City, Puebla, and beyond.

    Chinese Language Immersion in Vancouver - Language Immersion - Spring Break
    This trip gives students a fantastic opportunity to explore the multicultural Asian environment of Vancouver. With almost 30% of its population as ethnic Chinese, the city and its surrounding
    suburbs are rife with historic sites and distinct neighborhoods that reflect a rich heritage. Students will practice language skills in many fun activities like Mahjong workshop, dumpling/dim sum making, calligraphy, and Chinese art.

    Colombia Adventure - Service and Language Immersion - Interim

    Students will have the opportunity to explore the historic center of Medellin and complete homestays and service projects in the remote and picturesque village of Jardin de Antioquia. The group will immerse themselves in the rich culture and history of Colombia and gain a valuable understanding of the conflict resolution and peace process that has transformed Colombia in recent years from civil war into a vibrant and welcoming country.

    The Island School, Eleuthera, Bahamas - Marine Science & Field Research - Interim
    This experience offers students the ability to step outside their comfort zone to focus on experiential learning and field and ocean research at one of the top facilities in the Caribbean. Students will build on science coursework in environmental chemistry and climate change, as they explore topics such as ocean acidification and renewable energy. This transformative experience encourages students to take a leadership role, enabling them to make meaningful changes in their own communities.

    Iceland - Photography, Climate Science, Travel - Summer

    Calling all intrepid photographers and scientists who have a thirst for adventure. Let us explore the amazing nation, Iceland, and investigate how we could be leading a more sustainable lifestyle.
    Our trip takes you to the most spectacular and otherworldly landscapes in a nation that prides itself on zero use of fossil fuels and single-use plastics. Whether it be enormous glacier lagoons where icebergs float and flow out with the tide to the shores of the black sand beach. Where we may also see seals, puffins, and the gentle giants of the sea, whales. This trip will be unforgettable and one in which you will return with a newfound appreciation of the world and how we can work towards creating such sustainability and conservation here in Denver.
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  • 9th-12th Grade Library & Research

    Digital Citizenship
    Students:
    • Learn how to use digital technologies responsibly
    • Understand the positive and negative roles digital media play in their lives
    • Understand the definition of cyberbullying and know how to avoid it
    • Understand all of the different types of online relationships
    • Understand the consequences of oversharing online

    Use of Research Tools
    Students:
    • Use the CA library catalog and databases to locate print and electronic resources in the school’s collection
    • Use CA LibGuides to access project-specific resources
    • Generate useful, efficient search terms and use various search strategies to conduct queries that will lead to narrow, focused results
    • Know the difference between Fiction and Nonfiction and how to locate books on the shelves by call numbers
    • Know the difference between a website and a database
    Source Selection, Documentation, and Organization
    Students:
    • Closely evaluate Internet resources to ensure they contain reliable, factual information
    • Distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information to meet specific research goals
    • Know when to discard/abandon sources as research needs shift
    • Work with a librarian for individualized assistance on the research process
    • Understand the difference between direct quotes, paraphrasing, and summaries and use all three correctly
    • Know the difference between primary and secondary sources
    • Understand what plagiarism is, how to avoid it, and the consequences of plagiarizing
    • Understand what an annotated bibliography is and successfully format and create one
    • Understand the importance of a Works Cited page and be able to cite and format sources appropriately
    • Understand what an in-text citation is and how to use them appropriately while writing
    • Follow the rules of copyright and fair use when using multimedia sources
    News Literacy
    Students:
    • Understand what it means to be a responsible news consumer
    • Distinguish between legitimate news and fake news
    • Be able to use various tools to evaluate Internet sources
    • Be able to gauge reliability and credibility of news reports (broadcast, print, Internet, etc.)
    • Know the difference between fact and opinion; recognize bias
  • 11th Grade Advisory

    Sample Advisory Discussion Topics, Grades 9-12:
     
    • Transitions: into Upper School, grade-to-grade, leaving CA and going to college
    • Study habits and organizational skills, establishing community norms (NAIS standards)
    • Self-advocacy
    • Friendships and healthy relationships, peer pressure
    • Managing holiday stress, appropriate self-care
    • Goal-setting for the short and long term
    • Disordered eating, healthy body image
    • Alcohol and drug use
    • School-wide topics introduced in Town Meetings, PlatFORUM, Think & Drive Day and other themed days
    • Other topics that each advisory chooses to discuss

Grade 12

List of 129 items.

  • Senior Seminar** - Honors

    The Senior Seminar begins with directed class work and leads to fully independent student research and writing. Students conclude the trimester with a revised, published 10- to 15-page “Provisional Theory” essay that weaves together lived experience, literary analysis, and research, often in the form of critical and theoretical essays. Students then share this essay with both their class and other members of the CA community.
  • AP English Literature

    This course follows the curricular requirements outlined by the College Board in the AP English Literature and Composition Course Description that focuses on building skills necessary for college-level reading and writing. The texts include works from a variety of time periods and genres, and the writing assignments include in-class essays, as well as formal process essays with several opportunities for revision. This is considered a college-level course, which means that students are asked to read and analyze challenging, provocative, dense, and sometimes controversial material. Students study T. S. Eliot’s 1922 poem, The Waste Land, a work often referred to as the centerpiece of Modernism. To read this one poem, however, and to see how the ideas are central to our own thinking, demands a detailed study of major texts, mythologies, and ideologies ranging from the Upanishads through St. Augustine and the medievals, on to Dante, and up past the Renaissance into a close cultural critique of Modernism in the early twentieth century. The poem is only a dozen pages long; the course, though, spans four thousand years. Class discussion, several major papers, a researched design project, a few tests, and AP-exam practice work are all important to this course.

    Texts include: All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy; Antony and Cleopatra, William Shakespeare; The Bhagavad Gita; Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad; Paradise Lost, John Milton; The Tempest, William Shakespeare; The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces.
  • African Literature - Seminar - Honors

    This course gives students a view into the literary imaginations of contemporary writers from Africa. Students study fiction from such diverse nations as South Africa, Nigeria, Morocco, Senegal, Mozambique, and Rwanda. Students seek to better understand the people and cultures of these African countries, the varying impact of European colonialism on each, the oral storytelling traditions, and the rich diversity of experiences. The course emphasizes both analytical and creative writing, as well as project-based learning. Texts include: The Fishermen, Obioma (Nigeria); So Long a Letter, Ba (Senegal); Under the Frangipani, Coutu (Mozambique); The Book of Bones, Murambi (Rwanda); In the Country of Men, Matar (Libya); Kaffir Boy, Mathabane (South Africa); and Nigerians in Space, Olukotun (Nigeria/South Africa).
  • Fiction and Film - Honors

    Students may love going to the movies, but they probably don’t yet have a real vocabulary with which to talk about, assimilate, or assess them. This course introduces some of the language of film, using many of the same analytical models that we apply to literature. We undertake this intensive study by looking at films that began as fiction—short stories, plays, novellas, myths, novels—and study the works both as literature and as film. The films and literary works cover a range of contemporary and "classic" texts from writers such as Ted Chiang, James Baldwin, Joseph Conrad, P. D. James, Daphne DuMaurier, and William Shakespeare. This class emphasizes critical writing and thinking about both literature and film, with most of the class time devoted to discussion, close reading, and critique of the texts. Students, therefore, are required to view most of the movies outside of class.
  • Fiction Writing - Honors

    Students in this course write and revise several drafts of their own original short fiction. They produce work of varying lengths and types, leading to the creation of a portfolio by the end of the trimester. Using the workshop model in which small groups and the whole class offer constructive critiques of peer manuscripts, students learn by reading and responding to their peers’ work as well as by studying the craft of fiction in the stories of a variety of short fiction writers.
  • Forbidden Knowledge - Honors

    This course explores various treatments of a common theme: that limits on human knowledge exist for a reason. Students investigate and evaluate in world literature the consequences of overstepping the bounds of human nature. "Forbidden knowledge" includes information, understanding, awareness, and consciousness that may be inaccessible or otherwise unattainable. These paths to knowledge are forbidden by religious, moral, or secular authorities and are seen as dangerous, destructive, or unwelcome. They are often expressed in unconventional or unfamiliar ways. Authors may include: Goethe, Huxley, Shelley, and Morrison.
  • The Mystery Novel - Honors

    Over the course of nearly 200 years since the mystery story as we know it came into existence, the genre has transcended its origins as a mere “whodunit” puzzle to become a remarkably adaptable form of storytelling, through which writers have explored issues such as morality, justice, law, social order, heroism, and existential confusion. And of course, at the center of each mystery is the character who is attempting to solve it, giving us iconic fictional detectives who have become better known than the works in which they appear: Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Sam Spade, Philip Marlowe, Easy Rawlins, and of course, Sherlock Holmes. This course explores the mystery novel from its 19th-century roots to contemporary reimaginings of what the mystery story can be. Authors may include: Christie, Chandler, Hammett, and Atwood.
  • Origin Stories: Fantasy Heroes & Foes - Honors

    “It's a dangerous business…going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” Bilbo’s advice sets up one of the most sweeping and influential fantasy novels, reminding us that anyone can be a hero, if he will only ‘step onto the road.’ But what makes Bilbo or Frodo, lowly hobbits, heroic? How did Jemison’s Essun grow into the force of nature she becomes? Will the Falcon ever feel like he’s earned Cap’s shield? This course looks at iconic and contemporary heroes and heroines, the challenges they face, and the growth they undergo on their journeys. Texts may include: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemison, Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, and selected graphic novels from Marvel and DC.
  • Rhetoric: The Art of Public Speaking - Honors

    Rhetoric is a Greek word meaning the art of effective or persuasive speech or writing. In this class, students analyze classic public speeches of the past, as well as some of the most powerful contemporary examples from public speeches, TED Talks, and social media; and some “modern persuaders” in business and the language of sales. They also learn the fundamentals of public speaking. Central to the class is the writing and performing of one original ten-minute speech. Students are required to present their speech at least twice in a public setting, including one time in a state competition on a Saturday. Texts may include: Aristotle’s The Art of Rhetoric, Aberdein & Avartu’s Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasion, Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, and Topping’s The Elements of Rhetoric.
  • Russian Literature - Honors

    Russian literature extends back only a couple of hundred years, but St. Petersburg, Moscow, and even Siberia have produced a tradition that is as rich as any on Earth. Epic writers like Tolstoy and Dostoevsky figure prominently in a course that looks closely at the history, religion, and politics of this world power. Beginning with Pushkin and concluding with late twentieth-century voices such as Brodsky and Yevtushenko, the class reads novels, poems, and plays that have become staples not only of Russian literature, but in many ways our own.
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  • Shakespeare - Honors

    This course examines carefully and thoroughly the major works of William Shakespeare. Through close and precise reading, as well as through analytical writing, students come to understand not only the specific texts, but the workings of Shakespearean comedies, histories, and tragedies as a whole. Additionally, students explore how Shakespeare’s heroes respond to the challenges placed before them. Finally, students illustrate their understanding of Shakespeare’s themes, language, and literary and dramatic devices as they edit, adapt, direct, and perform scenes from the plays in Elizabethan English.
  • Southern Gothic - Honors

    William Faulkner once said, “The past is not dead. In fact, it’s not even past.” With the idea that the past informs not only our present but our future, this course takes a look at the desperation and disintegration of Southern traditions and aspirations. Faulkner worked to create a new voice for the American South, while Flannery O’Connor exposed the failure of Southern expectations. Writing against the generalized mourning for an antebellum ethos, Richard Wright shines light on the plight and resiliency of Southern Black Americans. Contemporary authors Kiese Laymon and Jesmyn Ward carry on the tradition of questioning, exposing, and celebrating a unique, regional voice. Despite their roots in a defeated region, these writers triumphed in creating an enduring form of literature.
  • The Entrepreneurial Mindset - Humanities Elective

    Arianna Huffington, Dr. Dre, Oprah Winfrey, and Steve Jobs represent the American entrepreneurial spirit. They have the vision to imagine a place in the world for a product that the world thinks it does not need, and the organizational skills required to prove the doubters wrong by making their vision real. It is in this way that entrepreneurs change our world. In this one-trimester REDI Lab elective, students will work through original case studies (as used at top business schools) to gain real-world insights on the core skills of entrepreneurialism: creativity, innovation, collaboration, pivoting, networking, challenging the status quo, and—finally—storytelling. Students will take on real-world ideas, clients, and products to nurture entrepreneurial vision while fostering organizational acumen. Ultimately, students will develop a pitch that expresses their vision and a business plan to make that vision real.

    Note: Students may take this course for elective credit; it does not count towards graduation requirements in any department.
  • AP Economics

    Economics is the science of scarcity, the idea that society has unlimited wants and limited resources. The study of economics gives students a framework to understand how choices are made at the individual (consumer), business (producer), and global (policy) levels. 
    Macroeconomics, the core of this course, studies the behavior of an economy as a whole. In this course, students build models to help them understand how a national economy works or why it doesn’t work. They look at the differing policy implications of each model to help them understand the role of government in an economic system. Students also extend their focus to international economics to understand how national economies affect one another in terms of exchange rates, the international balance of payments, and other economic relationships. Finally, students examine the pros and cons of globalization and free trade.

    Students have the option during the second half of the year to extend their studies to Microeconomics in preparation for both the AP Macroeconomics and AP Microeconomics examination in May.
  • AP European History

    This course is designed as a survey of European history from the Renaissance until the dawn of the 21st century. Although a survey, each of the units introduces students to in-depth analysis of the major interpretive themes of European history, which encompass the major categories of historical analysis: political, social, economic, cultural, and intellectual. The course emphasizes the mastery of content and the chronological sequences that organize it. In addition, students are encouraged to think critically and interpretively, to address questions of causality, to comprehend multiple interpretive perspectives, to engage in comparative analysis, to think “historically,” to write persuasively and with reference to evidence, and to analyze primary source documents in ways that create synthetic narratives (as historians do). 
  • Advanced Studies: The American Experiment

    This course analyzes the central events, people, and forces that transformed American society and culture, from the years after World War II to the present. Several critical events and debates that rocked the nation from the 1940s onward reverberate today, such as civil rights, involvement with war and other nations, political partisanship, and urban crises.  This course places particular emphasis on the use of primary sources, in-depth exploration of topics, and historical scholarship. The course aims to help students learn how to write persuasively about scholarship and primary sources and to push them deeper into their own research and inquiry. This class is discussion-based and collaborative, requiring students to participate meaningfully and substantively in all aspects of the course.
  • American Social Movements - Honors

    When do groups mobilize to defend or resist power? Collective action aimed at generating or preventing social change has shaped the course of human history. Students study the emergence, dynamics, and outcomes of some of the social movements in the U.S. Focus is largely on those movements emerging in the 20th century and continuing in some form today. Case studies will likely include the Civil Rights Movement, Gay Liberation, the Chicano Movement, Women’s Movement, New Conservatism, and Red Power. The course draws on a variety of primary and secondary sources to study the issues of political power, justice, and human agency central to most movements.
  • The Arab Spring - Honors

    This course explores the nature of the popular uprisings that began in December 2010 in Tunisia and ultimately swept through much of the Arab World. Students begin by examining the uprisings through the lenses of theories of revolution and democratic transition. Then, they focus on unfolding dynamics in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, and Yemen to discern similarities and differences. Why did revolutions happen in some countries but not in others? Why did the outcomes differ so widely? Why did monarchies emerge unscathed and authoritarian rule prove so durable? Students pay close attention to the voices of protest from this period—including young people, women, artists, musicians, poets, and filmmakers—as well as the role of social media as a mobilizing factor. Throughout the trimester, students consider the issues, conflicts, and questions people face every day in volatile times.
  • Debate: Global Dialog and Diplomacy - Honors

    The global debate landscape is expanding, and this course is designed to help students connect and engage with members of the growing World Schools debate community. Students learn about the global impact of debate, reach out to international schools to develop debate opportunities, and compete in both planned and impromptu rounds of the parliamentary debate format. Working in teams of 3-5 students, class members prepare various topics across a spectrum of contemporary issues, including politics, economics, environment, human rights, and popular culture. Competitions require time commitment outside of the classroom.
  • Debate: Modern Politics - Honors

    This course explores a variety of domestic and international topics in a competitive debate setting. Utilizing the widely popular Public Forum debate format, students work collaboratively with classmates to engage in research, develop original evidence-based cases, and compete against students in other schools locally, regionally, and nationally at invitational tournaments. Students learn argumentation and rhetorical strategies, cross-examination skills, rebuttal techniques, and prepare files for tournament competition. Competitions and service projects require time commitment outside of the classroom.
  • Debate: Technology and Modern Warfare - Honors

    This course examines the intersection between politics, security, and technology both in the United States and across the globe. Students conduct deep dives into contemporary public policy research in the areas of artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and cybersecurity. Students construct original evidence-based policy proposals and build case defense strategies against existing plans being introduced at the federal level in collaboration with NATO partners. Throughout the course, students are expected to compete against peers and students outside of school in a minimum of two policy debate competitions. Competitions require time commitment outside of the classroom.
  • Diseases that have Changed the World - Honors

    Our lives have changed significantly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020. Unsurprisingly, this is not the first pandemic to impact the world and shift individual, societal, and governmental choices. This class aims to frame the most recent pandemic by exploring past diseases: where and how they emerged, why they spread as they did, how countries and governments attempted to cope in the face of these challenges, and in what ways societies changed as a result. Students study diseases such as the bubonic plague, smallpox, cholera, measles, influenza, AIDS/HIV, and SARS. This is very much a global study of disease, and students explore diverse locations: Russia, Mexico, Fiji, England, China, Spain, and the United States. They study past pandemics through an interdisciplinary lens, considering not only history, but also public policy, sociology, healthcare, statistics, geography, and literature.
  • Gender Studies - Honors

    This class explores how forces within society—e.g., family, media, school, science—help to create, regulate, and reinforce gender. Through a combination of reading, writing, film-viewing, discussion, and independent research, students investigate how gender overlaps and interacts with other aspects of identity—such as race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, political affiliation—all the while calling these categories into question. Though focused primarily on the United States, this class also explores the way people across the globe “do gender,” ultimately leading students to a more nuanced understanding of the impact this aspect of identity has upon the society in which we participate and in their own day-to-day lives.
  • Genocide Since WWII - Honors

    The horrors of the Holocaust led to unprecedented international action to ensure that genocide would never happen again. And yet, episodes of human cruelty, mass murder, and genocide overwhelm the historical record up to the present day. In this course, students study how genocide works: its prerequisites, its warning signs, and how it is carried out. This course asks: How are the categories of war, mass murder, and genocide constructed? Under what conditions do societies engage in war, mass murder, and genocide? Who and why do various segments of a society become victims and victimizers? What social psychological factors are at play in justifying war, mass murder, and genocide? What role does the state play in the development, implementation, and justification of war, mass murder, and genocide, and also in their prohibition, obstruction, or cessation? Possible case studies include Cambodia (1975-79), Guatemala (1960-96), Bosnia-Herzegovina (1992-95), Rwanda (1994), Sudan (2003-), China (2014-), Yemen (2015-), and Myanmar (2016-).
  • Global Commons - Honors

    The Global Commons—the High Seas, Atmosphere, Polar Regions, and Outer Space—are areas filled with a remarkably rich history of global cooperation by state actors. As non-state actors emerge within these spaces, and as the geopolitical priorities of countries change, these areas are facing new challenges. This course will examine theoretical and legal frameworks established to deal with emerging contemporary issues in these shared spaces and discuss potential opportunities for cooperation and conflict for the world at large. Through policy analysis of case studies, class debates, and constructing original position papers, students have the chance to formulate, express, and defend ideas around some of the most pressing issues facing the Earth and beyond.
  • Good Governance - Honors

    This class asks a simple but important question: is there such a thing as a good government? The course begins with a theoretical approach to the idea of effective governance, examining a variety of philosophers who have explored this concept on their own. Political theorists include, but are not limited to: Plato, Hammurabi, Machiavelli, Ibn Rushd, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Bentham, Smith, and Marx. Once students have a firm grasp of important historical frameworks for governance, they apply them to the world around them. How can one understand government structures and the choices made by political actors through the lens of past philosophy? Case studies include, but are not limited to: the Hague War Crimes Tribunal, Bhutan’s Gross Happiness Index, Scandinavian Shared Parental Leave plans, China’s One Child Policy, Israeli Defense Forces, and the Vatican. Students leave the class with a good understanding of important political philosophies, as well as an appreciation for how to apply those ideas to the world around them.
  • International Relations - Honors

    This course explores fundamental political concepts, such as power, equality, sustainability, and peace in a range of contexts. It allows students to develop an understanding of local, national, international, and global dimensions of political activity and processes, and international organizations (United Nations, World Bank, and regional organizations, such as the African Union, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Arab League, and Organization of American States), as well as to explore political issues affecting their own lives. The core units of the course together make up a central unifying theme of “people, power, and politics.” Throughout the course, issues such as conflict, migration, or climate change are explored through a political lens. Class activities include: simulations and debates, discussion, small team work, research and writing (persuasive essays and a student-directed investigation and policy paper), source evaluation, student presentations, United Nations conference role plays, lecture, film case studies, and potentially, field studies and guest speakers.
  • International Social Movements - Honors

    This course focuses on struggles for rights and freedoms in the mid and late 20th century. Four case studies are examined: Indian Independence, Partition, and Civil Rights; Decolonization and Independence in Kenya; Decolonization and Independence in Algeria; and South Africa: Apartheid to Multi-Party Democracy. In each of these case studies, the class examines the nature and characteristics of discrimination, protest, and action; the role and significance of key actors and groups; and the extent of reconciliation. The following seven key concepts will be emphasized through this course: change, continuity, causation, consequence, significance, perspectives, and international-mindedness. Class activities include: simulations and debates, discussion, small team work, research and writing (persuasive essays and a student-directed historical investigation), source evaluation, student presentations, lecture, film case studies, and potentially, field studies and guest speakers.
  • The Supreme Court - Honors

    This class focuses on the United States Supreme Court through both historical and contemporary lenses. Students spend the early weeks of the class looking at the structure of the Court—its origins, constitutional parameters, composition, and selection of cases. Students discuss and debate topics, such as how many justices should serve on the Court, or whether life appointments should still exist. After establishing a solid base in the workings of the Court, the focus turns to case studies, organized by theme and constitutional questions, and students are asked to consider them as a group. Themes include the right to privacy, equal protection before the law, crime and punishment, and free speech—to name but a few. In the final weeks, students look to the current Court’s docket and debate the merits of upcoming cases. By the end of the class, students have a firm grasp of the history of the Court, how it has shaped constitutional law and public policy, and what challenges it faces in the modern era.
  • Vietnam - Honors

    This course explores the historical background, impact, and legacy of a defining war in American History, the conflict in Vietnam. It examines why the United States became involved in Southeast Asia, the way it sought to achieve its objectives, and the impact it had on Vietnam and the Vietnamese. The course also devotes attention to the effects of the war on America’s domestic politics, society, and culture. Students work on multimedia research projects and examine video clips of media reporting on the Vietnam conflict. This course encourages critical thinking in historical analysis and instructs students how to utilize technology in research projects. Students are exposed to primary source materials that document the escalation of the conflict, including recently declassified audio recordings of President Johnson developing U.S. policy. A series of films is shown to the students in the evenings as part of the class discussion of the impact of the war on the American mind.
  • War on Terror - Honors

    This course examines the terrorism in the late 20th century and the events that led to the 9/11 attacks. Students learn about the ideology and belief system of jihadist radicals, including al Qaeda and ISIS. They also examine the response to 9/11 by the Bush Administration, including the decision to send American troops to Afghanistan and Iraq. Students study the foreign and military policy of the Obama administration as they struggled to contain and suppress the spread of radical Islamic terrorism. Students also learn about the experience of American soldiers as they served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • World Religions - Honors

    This course presents a comparative study of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The first objective of this class is to determine how each of these religions thinks about the world, by studying their respective basic doctrines, practices, key people and events, and great texts. The second objective is to continually ask how these religions are similar, and how they are different. Students learn how religions function in the 21st century, including how religion helps people to orient themselves in time, space, and place; the ways in which religion interacts with politics, economics, law, power, privilege, and gender relations; and the problem of religious violence and terrorism.
  • Precalculus

    In Precalculus, students explore concepts that help them prepare for both calculus and statistics. The course begins with a thorough analysis of relations and functions, both algebraically and graphically. Functions of emphasis include linear, quadratic, polynomial, exponential, and logarithmic. A major component of this course is the study of trigonometry, including its real-world applications, and graphs of trigonometric functions. Statistics topics include one-variable data analysis and probability. A TI-Nspire CX calculator is required. Text: Larson, Precalculus with limits, 3rd Ed.
  • Honors Precalculus

    Honors Precalculus is different from Precalculus. In this challenging, fast-paced course, students explore non-routine problems across algebraic topics. Students develop and generalize approaches working in collaborative groups. Topics contain material beyond what is necessary for Calculus, and introduce mathematical through-lines to a variety of college-level courses, including linear algebra, complex analysis, and discrete math. Students leverage symmetry and multiple representations to explore trigonometry, analytic geometry, combinatorics, and probability. Attention to precision and fluency with algebraic manipulation are practiced and valued throughout the course. A TI-Nspire CX calculator is required. Text: Larson, Precalculus with limits, 3rd Ed.
  • Calculus

    The course includes the topics of a traditional calculus curriculum, including limits, derivatives, continuity, antiderivatives, and the definite integral, without the depth or pace of the AP curriculum. The class begins with a thorough review of slope as a rate of change, with significant emphasis on real-world analyses and applications, in order to define and develop the concept of the derivative. The course proceeds to cover the second fundamental concept, the integral, and its relationship with the derivative. Students apply their calculus skills to problems in business, economics, and the life, physical, and social sciences. A TI-Nspire CX calculator is required for this course.
  • AP Statistics

    This course is a rigorous, yearlong investigation into the four broad areas of statistics: 1) Exploring Data: Describing patterns and departures from patterns; 2) Sampling and Experimentation: Planning and conducting a study; 3) Anticipating Patterns: Exploring random phenomena using probability and simulation; and 4) Statistical Inference: Estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses. Students solve problems and communicate quantitative results using clear, succinct writing. They learn from investigations, simulations, and lectures. Students who successfully complete the course are well prepared for the AP Statistics Exam. A TI-Nspire CX calculator is required for this course.
  • AP Calculus AB

    This college-level course closely follows the syllabus of the College Board for Advanced Placement AB Calculus and is primarily concerned with developing the student’s understanding of calculus and providing experiences with its methods and applications. The course emphasizes a multi-representational approach to calculus, with concepts, results, and problems being expressed geometrically, numerically, analytically, and verbally.

    The major topics covered in the course include: functions, graphs, limits, and continuity; derivatives and their application; and integrals and their application. The TI-Nspire graphing calculator is used extensively throughout the course to analyze and graph functions, their derivatives, and their integrals, as well as to compute numerical values for a range of functions and their approximations. Student work is evaluated primarily through tests, which are designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Examination in May. Homework, which is extensive and regularly assigned, is thoroughly discussed during class, as are strategies for problem solving and modeling data. Text: Calculus: Concepts and Applications, 2nd Ed., Foerster.
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  • AP Calculus BC

    This course closely follows the syllabus of the College Board for Advanced Placement Calculus BC and emphasizes a multi-representational approach to calculus, with concepts, results, and problems being expressed geometrically, numerically, analytically, and verbally.

    The major topics of this course include: the rigorous definition of limits and derivatives; the derivatives of parametric, polar, and vector functions; differential equations and their applications; techniques and applications of antidifferentiation; and polynomial approximations and series. The TI-Nspire CX calculator is used extensively throughout the course to analyze and graph series, functions, derivatives, and integrals, as well as to compute numerical values for series and their approximations. Primary means of assessment include quizzes, tests, and projects. Tests are designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Examination in May.
  • Advanced Topics in Mathematics

    This college-level class offers students exposure to topics that apply or extend their knowledge. Topics will vary from year to year as well as within a year, allowing a student to take this course multiple times. Students will use a TI graphing calculator (particularly the TI-Nspire) and computer programs to enhance their understanding of the course. Primary means of assessment include quizzes, tests, and projects.
  • AP Chemistry

    A chemistry course at the level of first-year college chemistry for science majors, this rigorous course builds upon the required year of Chemistry with more mathematical applications of concepts already learned, as well as additional topics in acid-base equilibrium, phase diagrams, rate kinetics, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, and electrochemistry. During the year, students are introduced to nuclear chemistry and organic chemistry. Woven within these topics are challenging lab exercises that become open to student design as the year progresses.
  • Environmental Chemistry - Honors

    In this lab and project-based course, students explore how the environment exhibits all the things they have learned in their Biology and Chemistry courses. The course focuses on how the chemistry and biology of water, air, and earth are used to gauge human health and that of the natural environments. Topics include: water treatment, pollution, greenhouse gases, and hazardous waste management, among others. Several field trips supplement the inquiry-based activities in the classroom.
  • Physics - Honors

    Physics (Honors)/ AP Physics 1 (AP) are first-year physics courses. Only one of these courses may be taken for credit.

    An introduction to classical physics, this course emphasizes logical thinking and conceptual development. Through discussion, inquiry-based lab experiences, and student-centered problem solving, students develop an inquisitive approach to understanding the natural world around them. Examples of topics explored include motion, forces, energy, momentum, light, waves and sound, electricity, and magnetism.
  • AP Physics I

    Physics (Honors)/ AP Physics 1 (AP) are first-year physics courses. Only one of these courses may be taken for credit.

    AP Physics 1 is a rigorous algebra-based, introductory course designed to provide the passionate math and science student with an intellectual curiosity for physics. Equivalent to the first semester of a college course designed for non-technical majors, AP Physics 1 develops the conceptual understanding and problem-solving skills necessary to ask and to solve physical questions. This is accomplished both qualitatively and quantitatively, and through reasoning and experimental investigation. Topics include classical Newtonian mechanics, which covers kinematics, dynamics, rotational motion, oscillations, and gravitation. Guided-inquiry labs are conducted throughout the course to enhance learning and promote scientific curiosity and reasoned skepticism.

    Students interested in enrolling in AP Physics 1 are required to complete a readiness assessment evaluating mathematical and problem-solving skills.
  • AP Physics C

    AP Physics C is a calculus-based, second-year physics course covering classical mechanics, electricity, and magnetism. The curriculum is designed to deepen student understanding of introductory concepts in these topics, while fostering the development of advanced problem-solving techniques. Students must be willing to undertake a university-level workload and contribute actively in a cooperative learning environment. Student-centered labs are conducted throughout the course to enhance learning and promote scientific curiosity and reasoned skepticism. Students enrolled in this course are required to take both the AP Physics C Mechanics and Electricity & Magnetism exams.
    • Magneto statics
    • Magnetic Induction
    • Maxwell’s Equations
  • Physiology - Honors

    The need to survive can force the body to go into overdrive. Using stories about extreme conditions and survival, students explore a variety of body systems from the cardiovascular to the brain and muscle systems. Utilizing laboratory activities, this course explores the inner workings of the human body.
  • Advanced Topics in Biology: Genetics - Honors

    This is an introductory college-level course based on the principles discovered by Gregor Mendel. Throughout the trimester, students design and conduct experiments to uncover patterns of inheritance in fungus, plant, and animal models. Each inquiry-based laboratory exercise requires a formal laboratory report that includes statistical analyses and oral presentations of results. The scientific method, inquiry, and scientific modeling are all skills emphasized throughout the trimester. Students leave the course with a deep understanding of how traits are inherited and the statistical probabilities of passing on a trait based on specific patterns of inheritance.
  • Advanced Topics in Biology: Tiny Earth - Honors

    CA has been given the opportunity to be part of the Tiny Earth Initiative, a group dedicated to discovering antibiotics created by soil bacteria. The program, designed by professors at Yale University and the University of Wisconsin, offers an unusual opportunity for collaborative research. Colorado Academy is one of the few high schools involved; most of the other participants are colleges and universities.
    The course involves students designing their own research project that might potentially uncover a unique antibiotic produced by a soil bacterium. The beginning of the project involves learning the protocols to be used to create the research: primarily, to learn the basics of working with bacteria in a sterile environment and the extraction process for retrieving an antibiotic.
    The end product is a poster presentation and a journal article. If all goes well, students are asked to present at the annual Microbiology Conference.
  • Advanced Topics in Biology: Zoology/Taxonomy - Honors

    Diversity within the three domains of life are studied through the evolution of species, anatomy of organisms, Linnaean classification, and microscopy. Laboratory work consists of comparative studies of the structure of invertebrates and vertebrates, emphasizing the functional morphology of the anatomical systems and the major adaptive changes encountered in the evolution of each body plan. This course provides a broad understanding of how organisms have evolved progressively more complex body plans from the last universal common ancestor to what we can observe on the planet today. Students in the course leave with a greater understanding of the relatedness of organisms on Earth and a working knowledge of their taxonomic groups.
  • Climate Change - Honors

    This lab-based course is designed as an introduction for students to understand the impacts of climate change. Climate change is the defining issue of our time, and we are at a defining moment. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Students investigate what role we as humans play and what can be done to mitigate climate change. Topics include environmental capacity, biogeochemical cycles, ocean acidification, our carbon footprint, what climate is and how it differs from weather, and human impacts on the environment, both short and long term.
  • Exercise Science - Honors

    This course provides a broad background for students planning to further their education in Exercise Science at the undergraduate level. Students complete a rigorous curriculum on these topics: anatomy, biomechanics, exercise physiology, sport psychology, and motor learning/control. This course offers excellent preparation for undergraduate work in adapted physical education, adult or corporate fitness, biomechanics, exercise physiology, motor control, ergonomics, sport psychology, and sports medicine. The strong emphasis on applied science in the course makes it suitable for students who are interested in the coaching of movement sciences.
  • Chinese I

    In this engaging, proficiency-oriented language-learning course, students master the basics of reading, writing, speaking, and understanding Mandarin Chinese while also discovering Chinese culture. Students are introduced to the pinyin system of Romanization (standard in mainland China) and use the Simplified character set (also standard in mainland China) when reading and writing. While Chinese is a demanding language to learn, key strategies and techniques are covered to help students become more effective language learners. In addition to activities related to the course textbook, an abundance of authentic materials, native voices, and real-life language applications are woven into the course experience. By the end of the year, students are able to express basic information about their daily life, family, and preferences, both orally and in written Chinese characters, as well as perform common life tasks in a thoughtful and culturally appropriate way. Text: Integrated Chinese, Vol 1, 4th Ed., Cheng and Tsui.
  • Chinese II

    Building on the skills and vocabulary students acquired in Chinese I, this course challenges students to perform more complex tasks pertaining to travel and engaging with a larger community of Chinese speakers. Similar to Chinese I in its structure and expectations, this engaging, proficiency-oriented language course emphasizes reading, writing, speaking, and understanding Mandarin Chinese, while also stressing cultural awareness. Students use the pinyin system of Romanization (standard in mainland China) and the Simplified character set (also standard in mainland China) when reading and writing. In addition to activities related to the course textbook, an abundance of authentic materials, native voices, and real-life language applications are woven into the course experience. Text: Integrated Chinese, Vol. 2, Cheng and Tsui.
  • Chinese III

    Building on the skills and vocabulary students acquired in Chinese II, this course guides students in performing important tasks for independent living at college, including nurturing friendships, talking about schoolwork, and managing finances. Similar to Chinese II in its structure and expectations, this proficiency-oriented language course emphasizes reading, writing, speaking, and understanding Mandarin Chinese, while also growing students’ cultural awareness. Students are expected to use Simplified characters for all reading and writing assignments. In addition to activities related to the course textbook, an abundance of authentic materials, native voices, and real-life language applications are woven into the course experience. Text: Integrated Chinese, Vol. 3, Cheng and Tsui.
  • Chinese IV

    By the end of this course, students are increasingly comfortable using the language to express themselves more fully in speaking and writing. They give presentations to their classmates and write longer compositions. Students also are able to increase the degree of comprehension while listening to and reading Chinese. To further both of these goals and to improve accuracy, students add to the sophistication of their vocabulary and polish their use of grammar to communicate more effectively. In addition, Chinese IV focuses more on history, politics, and current events. Students have the opportunity to connect to Chinese-speaking cultures through music, essays, literature, photographs, art, authentic materials, and videos.
  • Chinese Advanced Seminar - Honors

    This course is offered in even graduation years.
    Students who complete this yearlong course continue to work in all areas of language acquisition (speaking, reading, listening, and writing) and will broaden their knowledge of Chinese and Chinese-speaking cultures through authentic sources. During this course, students are asked to speak and write authoritatively and insightfully in Chinese about the topics of each year's themes. The thematic focus may include: ancient and modern literature, current events, and more in-depth study of Chinese politics, art, and history. Course content is offered on an alternating year basis, so students may elect to take both Advanced Seminar and Advanced Topics and study a different set of themes. Enrollment is by permission of the instructor.
  • Chinese Advanced Topics - Honors

    This course is offered in odd graduation years.
    Students who complete this yearlong course continue to work in all areas of language acquisition (speaking, reading, listening, and writing) and will broaden their knowledge of Chinese and Chinese-speaking cultures through authentic sources. During this course, students are asked to speak and write authoritatively and insightfully in Chinese about the topics of each year's themes. The thematic focus may include: ancient and modern literature, current events, and more in-depth study of Chinese politics, art, and history. Course content is offered on an alternating year basis, so students may elect to take both Advanced Seminar and Advanced Topics and study a different set of themes. Enrollment is by permission of the instructor.
  • AP Chinese Language and Culture

    Students study second-year college-level material to prepare for the Chinese AP exam in May. Emphasis is on interpersonal skills, interpretation of spoken and written Chinese, and knowledge of Chinese culture. Students use a variety of resources to explore the history, geography, arts, current events, and pop culture relative to thematic units. Students show mastery in a variety of ways, including participation in in-class discussions, writing analytical essays, creating projects, giving presentations, and taking traditional tests.

    Text/Resources: Integrated Chinese, Vol. 4, Cheng and Tsui; Barron's AP-Chinese
  • French I

    The French curriculum allows students to acquire basic practical vocabulary and fundamental grammatical structures while building cultural awareness. Goals include, but are not limited to, learning to ask and answer simple questions, describe people, express likes and dislikes, and narrate a short sequence of events. The culture and geography of French-speaking countries are also stressed. Students learn to comprehend spoken French through frequent exposure to authentic material via audio and video exercises, where emphasis is given to understanding the meaning of unfamiliar words through context. By the end of the course, they are able to communicate basic information. Students can expect in-class oral paired activities and nightly assignments. Text: Espaces, Vista Higher Learning.
  • French II

    French II continues the study of language by providing numerous practices to increase linguistic skills and vocabulary acquisition. The course also emphasizes structures needed for effective communication in most common situations. Classes include a variety of activities designed to increase fluency in speaking, understanding, reading, and writing. Students perform skits, create dialogs, and conduct interviews of their peers. Finally, students write paragraphs and respond in writing to oral, visual, or written cues, using appropriate grammar and syntax. Work is done both individually and in pairs, providing students with opportunities to use the language in a variety of ways. Assessments of student progress include, but are not limited to, written tests and quizzes, oral interviews, compositions, and daily participation. Text: Espaces, Vista Higher Learning.
  • French III

    The primary linguistic goal of Level III French is to allow students to express themselves in increasingly more precise, detailed language. Special emphasis is also given to reading comprehension and written self-expression. Through projects, oral presentations, and written reports, students explore the cultural background of the French-speaking world, as well as contemporary daily life in France. Strong focus is given to practical language use, building reading skills, expanding vocabulary, and establishing a firm grammatical foundation in French. Assessments of student progress include, but are not limited to, written tests and quizzes, oral interviews, compositions, and daily participation.
  • French IV: Intermediate Conversation and Composition

    French IV combines a review of French grammar and an expansion of vocabulary with an introductory study of Francophone literature and culture. French IV focuses on developing students’ written, oral, and aural skills so that they may begin to use French at a high intermediate level of proficiency. Students learn about contemporary life in Francophone countries; they also explore some of the literature that has shaped the French identity via authentic texts of Francophone authors.
  • French: Advanced Seminar - Honors

    This course is offered in even graduation years.
    Students who complete this yearlong course explore French and Francophone culture, art, literature, and civilization through a variety of readings from authentic sources (texts, films, other media) intended for native speakers. Units can vary from the French education system, to current events, to classic literature. The focus is on project-based learning and discussion of content. Previously learned grammar structures are reinforced with minimal introduction of new grammar. This course may be taken after French IV, and either before or after AP French. Course content is offered on an alternating year basis, so students may elect to take both Advanced Seminar and Advanced Topics and study a different set of themes.
  • French: Advanced Topics - Honors

    This course is offered in odd graduation years.
    Students who complete this yearlong course explore French and Francophone culture, art, literature, and civilization through a variety of readings from authentic sources (texts, films, other media) intended for native speakers. Units can vary from the French education system, to current events, to classic literature. The focus is on project-based learning and discussion of content. Previously learned grammar structures are reinforced with minimal introduction of new grammar. This course may be taken after French IV, and either before or after AP French. Course content is offered on an alternating year basis, so students may elect to take both Advanced Seminar and Advanced Topics and study a different set of themes. 
  • AP French Language and Culture

    Students who enroll in this college-level French language course already have a good command of French grammar and vocabulary and have competence in listening, reading, speaking, and writing. The AP course provides students with opportunities to demonstrate their proficiency in each of the three modes of communication: Interpersonal (spoken and written), Interpretive (audiovisual, written, and print), and Presentational (spoken and written).

    This course is structured around six themes: Global Challenges, Personal and Public Identities, Science and Technology, Beauty and Aesthetics, Contemporary Life, and Families and Communities. Each theme includes a number of contexts for exploration which address essential questions for the 21st century. This structure creates an interesting, meaningful context in which to explore a variety of language concepts with authentic material (audiovisual and print). This course concludes with a national exam, the Advanced Placement French Language & Culture Examination.
  • Spanish for Heritage Speakers I & II - Honors (second year)

    This course is designed to offer students whose home language is Spanish an opportunity to study Spanish formally in an academic setting, in the same way native English-speaking students study English language arts. Many native/heritage students are partially bilingual and vary in their language skills, and this course is designed to expand their command of the Spanish language with further development of their reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills; vocabulary building; preparation in basic principles of composition and grammar, spelling, sentence structure, punctuation, accents, and paragraph organization; and study of Latin American and Spanish literature and culture, with selections from novels, myths, short stories, plays, and poetry. Class is conducted entirely in Spanish. Students study current events and analyze the political and socio-economic issues facing the Spanish-speaking world. Students are expected to participate orally through class discussion, debates, and presentations. Writing assignments for this course focus on developing creative, analytical, and persuasive writing skills. The differences between formal and informal language, both oral and written, are stressed throughout the year. This course may be taken for two years and is a prerequisite for heritage speakers to take Advanced Seminar, AP Spanish Language, and AP Spanish Literature. A prerequisite for this course is the ability to understand and speak Spanish at native or near-native fluency.
  • Spanish I

    The Spanish I curriculum allows students to acquire basic practical vocabulary and fundamental grammatical structures while building cultural awareness. Goals include, but are not limited to, learning to ask and answer simple questions, describe people, express likes and dislikes, and narrate a short sequence of events. The culture and geography of Spanish-speaking countries are also stressed. Students learn to comprehend spoken Spanish through frequent exposure to the “real-life language” of native speakers via video programs and other resources, where emphasis is given to understanding the meaning of unfamiliar words through context. By the end of the class, they are able to communicate basic information. Students can expect in-class oral paired activities, group communicative exercises, and nightly assignments.
  • Spanish II

    The primary goal of Level II Spanish is to ensure that students acquire more vocabulary and grammatical constructs for practical communication in everyday situations. Emphasis is placed on strengthening the acquisition skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students still mostly use isolated words, lists, memorized phrases, and some personalized recombination of words and phrases; however, they begin to use these with more ease and attention to detail. They become increasingly comfortable speaking and writing in the present tense and begin using the imperfect and preterit tenses to narrate events in the past. Cultural topics are interwoven throughout the year, so that students come to appreciate the dynamic relationship between language acquisition and cultural competence. Written and oral assessments, short compositions, and an emphasis on daily classroom participation and preparedness play a key role in building skills. Additional resource materials such as short novellas, films, and online sources supplement the textbook.
  • Spanish III

    Reinforcing the basic language skills learned in the first two years, Spanish III students participate in progressively more challenging conversations and are presented with more complex reading and writing material. Students produce longer and more detailed pieces of writing, both in and outside of class. They also continue to practice the receptive skills of listening and reading through use of technology, in-class discussions, frequent reading assignments, and videos.

    The main textbook is supplemented by readings from other sources, such as a book of Mexican legends for the summer reading, a short novel in Spanish, and other authentic materials. In addition, we view two educational feature-length films in Spanish to further students’ access to authentic spoken language and to build confidence in discussion. In Spanish III, discussion and writing builds students’ repertoire of vocabulary, while improving their syntax and the accuracy of their grammatical structures. Although students complete a thorough review of verb tenses and other grammatical topics at this level, it is also a year of learning many new verb tenses.
  • Spanish IV: Intermediate Conversation and Composition

    By the end of this course, students are increasingly comfortable using the language to express themselves more fully in speaking and writing. They speak in front of their classmates (both extemporaneous and prepared discourse) and write compositions of varying lengths and styles. Students are also able to increase their degree of comprehension while listening to and reading Spanish. To further both of these goals and to improve accuracy, students add to the sophistication of their vocabulary, polish their use of grammar to communicate more effectively, and integrate various verb tenses to their usable language. In Spanish IV, students connect to Spanish-speaking cultures through music, essays, literature, photographs, art, the internet, current events, authentic materials, and films. 
  • Spanish: Advanced Seminar - Honors

    This course is offered in even graduation years.
    Students who complete this yearlong course have intensive and nuanced practice in all areas of language acquisition (speaking, reading, listening, and writing) and broaden their knowledge of Spanish and Spanish-speaking cultures through a variety of authentic sources (intended for native speakers). During this course, students are asked to speak and write authoritatively and insightfully in Spanish about each of the year’s themes. The thematic focus may include: Culinary History of the Spanish-Speaking world; Gender Roles and Class Divisions in Turn-of-the-Century Spain; and Film and Fiction in Latin America and Spain, among others. Course content is offered on an alternating year basis, so students may elect to take both Advanced Seminar and Advanced Topics and study a different set of themes. This course may be taken by eligible language students either before or after the AP Language course.
  • Spanish Advanced Topics - Honors

    This course is offered in odd graduation years.
    Students who complete this yearlong course have intensive and nuanced practice in all areas of language acquisition (speaking, reading, listening, and writing) and broaden their knowledge of Spanish and Spanish-speaking cultures through a variety of authentic sources (intended for native speakers). During this course, students are asked to speak and write authoritatively and insightfully in Spanish about each of the year’s themes. The thematic focus may include: Culinary History of the Spanish-Speaking world; Gender Roles and Class Divisions in Turn-of-the-Century Spain; and Film and Fiction in Latin America and Spain, among others. Course content is offered on an alternating year basis, so students may elect to take both Advanced Seminar and Advanced Topics and study a different set of themes. This course may be taken by eligible language students either before or after the AP Language course.
  • AP Spanish Language and Culture

    In this college-level class, students continue to master their skills in Spanish. This course emphasizes using language for active communication, reading increasingly complex texts, and developing more sophistication and accuracy in speaking and writing, while exploring the culture and literature of the Spanish-speaking world. Students use a variety of resources to explore the history, geography, arts, current events, and science/technology related to six global thematic units. Students demonstrate mastery in a variety of ways, including participation in class discussions, writing analytical essays, creating projects, giving presentations, and taking practice AP tests. There is also a cursory review of grammar and vocabulary related to daily life, and frequent practice to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Spanish Language Exam.
  • AP Spanish Literature

    AP Spanish Literature is comparable to a college-level Introduction to Hispanic Literature course. It is based on a required reading list. The works on the list are of literary significance and represent various historical periods, literary movements, genres, geographic areas, and population groups within the Spanish-speaking world. The objective of the course is to help students interpret and analyze literature in Spanish. In this discipline, understanding context is essential, so students learn about different historical periods and artistic/intellectual movements relevant to each of the texts, along with relevant biographical information about each author, in order to enhance their understanding of each work. Text: Azulejo, Wayside Publishing.
  • AP Computer Science Principles

    This AP course introduces students to the foundational concepts of computer science and challenges them to explore how computing and technology can influence the world. With a unique focus on creative problem solving and real-world applications, AP Computer Science Principles prepares students for college and career. This course introduces students to the central ideas of computer science, instilling the ideas and practices of computational thinking. The curricular framework for this course includes: Creativity, Abstraction, Data and Information, Algorithms, Programming, the Internet, and Global Impact.
  • Introduction to Computer Science

    This engaging introductory course introduces students to the exciting discipline of Computer Science. Students develop awareness of important computer science principles, such as programming, software-hardware interaction, and conceptual and formal design models. Programming topics covered include basic control structures (sequence, loops, branching), variables, abstraction, and simple array processing. Students develop strong computational thinking skills that they can apply in many other disciplines, such as robotics, mathematics, science, music, and art. Each student completes a well-planned and designed larger programming project.
  • Robotics Playground

    Robotics is not only the future, it is also the present. This introductory course familiarizes students with programming, sensors, and automation. They hone critical computational thinking skills needed to succeed in both the 21st century's workforce and in everyday life. Robotics encourages creativity, teamwork, leadership, passion, and problem-solving in groups. Best of all, robotics is fun! Real World Robotics is a project-based course where students design, build, and program working prototypes of autonomous and interactive robots using a robotics system. For those students with a strong interest in robotics, CA also offers the opportunity to join a Robotics Club.
  • Fab Lab: Intro to Engineering Design & the Innovation Lab

    In this hands-on, project-based course, students learn and practice using the human-centered design process to design and make things—to see a need, take a design idea, devise a plan, and fabricate a functional, finished product. Along the way, students receive a comprehensive orientation to the Anderson Innovation Lab and essential training in the safe and appropriate use of all of the lab’s fundamental tools and other specialty tools as needed. Roughly half of the course is focused on manual skills and the designing and fabricating of projects by hand. Students apply and build upon these skills within the digital realm, using 2D CAD software and the laser cutter/engraver to design and precisely fabricate their original, functional designs.
  • Data Analytics with Excel, SQL & Tableau

    This course gives students exposure to and practice with a variety of analytical tools to help them study, visualize, and understand data. This class challenges students to investigate, manage, analyze, and explore data to support a broader story or conclusion, with an emphasis on the variety of perspectives/insights that data can illuminate. After refining basic data-analysis skills in Excel or Google Sheets, students build a foundation of skills in SQL to enable them to run queries and pull data, which can then be visualized and reported upon in Tableau (a leading business intelligence software tool). It concludes with a capstone project that allows students to explore, study, and build visuals and analysis to support a final presentation about a topic of their choice (including crime, health-care, sports, business, environmental issues, marketing, or social justice issues).
  • Introduction to Statistics and Data Science

    Students in this trimester course use spreadsheet programs and statistical analysis software (R) to explore data sets. They manipulate and summarize real-world data, using advanced spreadsheet techniques to answer relevant questions, and they present their findings with graphical displays of data, including box plots, scatter plots, histograms, and normal probability plots. Students consider distributions of data, using one-variable statistics to describe center, shape, and spread of data sets and to identify unusual features of data sets. Students build, interpret, and compare statistical models. Upon completion of this course, students are well prepared to interpret charts and draw conclusions from statistics they encounter in the media, and they have experience building models and analyzing data sets using spreadsheets and R.
  • Introduction to Probability and Randomness

    Students in this trimester course use Python and the NumPy library to explore probability, randomness, and chance. They start by counting possible outcomes in real-life situations, and use Python code to generate and sort lists of outcomes and look for patterns. They derive and explore important ideas about combinations and permutations of elements. Students investigate the myth of a “hot hand” and see whether hitting free throws in a basketball game can be modeled as a random event, a weighted coin toss, or if the previous missed or made shot influences the current shot. They use Python to build increasingly complex simulations of phenomena with random inputs and see how simulations are becoming an increasingly important tool for learning about the world.
  • Python for Biologists

    Remember, from Ninth Grade Biology, the number of amino acids coded by a small section of a strand of DNA? Each of the 46 strands of DNA, stretched out, would be six feet long, and all together, DNA codes for more than 20,000 proteins. Talk about data! How do biologists find patterns or mutations in all of that? That is where science and programming meet—in a field known as Bioinformatics. This trimester course introduces students to that connection through a combination of biology and Python. Python, a coding language that is both easy and fun to learn, will be the pathway into understanding the critical connection between coding and science. Students learn basic Python control structures such as loops, sequences, and branching, all within the context of DNA codes and patterns. This course is appropriate for coding beginners, as well as those who have some experience in languages other than Python.
  • AP Computer Science A

    This course covers the Advanced Placement Computer Science A curriculum and focuses on the Object-Oriented Programming language of Java. Topics include the essentials of OOP, classes, methods, graphics, input/output statements, if statements, loops, strings, recursion, one- and two-dimensional arrays, searching, and sorting. The emphasis of this course is on problem solving, software engineering, and ethics. Students learn systematic ways of breaking down problems and writing well-documented programming code. An introductory programming class is highly recommended before taking this course. This class covers material typical in a first-semester college Computer Science course.
  • Advanced Computer Science and Data Structures

    This course covers advanced programming topics with an emphasis on data structures (sets, maps, stacks, queues, lists, and trees), and algorithm efficiency (Big-O). In addition, students examine advanced programming algorithms, such as sorting, searching, and recursive arrays. Students enhance their knowledge of Java and advance their programming skills to a higher level. The class includes selected computer science topics, such as digital electronics, assembly language programming, cryptography, and machine learning. Only students with an advanced level of programming experience should enroll in this course. The course covers second-semester college-level material beyond the AP Computer Science A course.
  • Introduction to AI and Machine Learning

    This course is intended for students who have some programming experience and would like to dive into the world of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Machine Learning is a highly in-demand branch of Artificial Intelligence (AI), where computer programs can learn from processing data to make decisions. Countless industries are seeking to fulfill the promise of AI to create efficiencies, detect and predict issues, and help make data-driven decisions. Students explore the ethical issues associated with machine learning algorithms, such as, who is responsible when a computer makes a decision that has negative consequences for
    people? This course focuses on AI ethics, examines issues of bias, and explores and explains fundamental AI concepts. Because machine learning depends on large sets of data, real life datasets on healthcare, demographics, and more are used to engage students. Students develop a holistic, thoughtful understanding of these technologies, while they learn the technical underpinnings of how the technologies work.
  • Advanced Topics in Computer Science

    This course is intended for highly motivated students with a strong programming background who are interested in advancing their programming abilities beyond an introductory level. Furthermore, students should desire to engage in independent learning. This project-based class does not focus on any particular programming language or topic but allows students to pursue applications of computer science in different areas of interest.
  • 3D Digital Design & Fabrication

    In this course, students expand upon their 2D design knowledge and skills and begin working with 3D design and fabrication techniques. They learn to how to design and 3D print models and prototypes, create 3D scans of physical objects, use digital sculpting tools, and learn to incorporate 3D models into larger designs, both functional and artistic. Students become proficient with Fusion 360 3D modeling software as a tool for planning and simulating 3D models and assemblies, and they use the 3D CNC mill to design and fabricate their own large-scale functional designs. Students may choose to explore digital sculpting, furniture or jewelry design, casting, welding, or projects that integrate a variety of tools, methods, and media. At the end of the course, students leave with finished projects, a broad set of digital design and fabrication skills, as well as a comprehensive digital portfolio of their design work and photos of finished products.
  • Flight

    Flight is a project-based course that guides students' exploration of flight and its fundamental underlying principles en route to designing, building, testing, and optimizing several different types of aircraft. Students study fixed-wing aircraft prior to designing, building, and testing custom boomerangs; and fluid dynamics and buoyancy before designing, building, and testing hot air balloons. Then they immerse fully into the assembly, programming, and testing of quadcopter racing drones. The class fee provides all students with their own modern RC transmitter and a kit of hand-selected materials from which they build and fly their functional, high performance drones. Students also receive extensive flight and safety instruction from a nationally certified flight instructor in order to safely and competently fly their drones when the course is over.
  • Engineering Design Lab

    In general, this course is for students who wish to take on an exciting independent project and take their engineering design and fabrication skills to the next level. With a focus on creative design, thoughtful prototyping and analysis, and the building of larger or more sophisticated functional products, students choose and take on a new design challenge and develop skills with new tools, concepts, and processes (e.g., CNC milling, casting, turning, metalworking, etc.), and learn and practice applying science and engineering principles throughout the design and evaluation processes. This class is repeatable, with subsequent trimesters focusing on new, unique projects and skills of students' choosing or on the continued development of an ongoing project.
  • Acting/Scene Study I

    Department of Theater:
    This class is the prerequisite for all other courses in the department.  This class teaches the rudiments of acting, with a focus on teaching young actors how to work moment-to-moment, to be truthful in an imaginary situation, and to put their attention on the other person. It is the training ground for all advanced work. Trimesters do not need to be consecutive, but it is highly recommended for progression to advanced work.
  • Acting for the Camera

    Department of Theater:
    (This course is offered in even graduation years.)
    In this course students develop techniques to use the camera as an acting partner, while retaining the ability to focus on other actors during the scene. Actors use imagination and emotional preparation training integral to stage performance, while learning the skills necessary for working with challenging edits, the non-linear timeline of film and TV production, an on-camera director, and the unique demands and environment of a studio setup. Students also prepare for on-camera auditions and monologues to equip them to navigate demo-reels, social-media based web series, and professional film, TV, and commercial production.
  • Improvisation

    Department of Theater:
    (This course is offered in odd graduation years.)
    Open to anyone and everyone, this course delves into the world of the unscripted performance technique known as improvisation. Students learn the rules, techniques, and foundations of this form that has provided some of our greatest comedic minds: Tina Fey, Kristin Wiig, Bill Murray, Steve Carell, and more! Students learn to think on their feet and practice reacting in the moment; become better communicators, collaborators, and presenters; and laugh a lot! Students present at least one improv show during lunch for a live audience.
  • Advanced Acting/Production

    Department of Theater:
    This course is open to all students who have fulfilled the Acting/Scene Study I prerequisite and are in Grade 10 or above. Students enrolled in this course audition for, rehearse, and perform a play for a live audience. Rehearsals will take place in class, with some after-school and weekend commitments in the week leading up to the performances.
  • Musical Theater

    Department of Theater:
    This workshop-style course offers students a focused study of the techniques used in musical theater performance. It is intended for anyone who is interested in learning how to perform in the musical theater style, using songs from shows ranging from Oklahoma! and West Side Story to Hamilton and Dear Evan Hanson. Students are encouraged to choose repertoire within their range and according to their interests. The course is a progressive training ground for advanced work in the annual musical presentation.
  • Technical Theater

    Department of Theater:
    The objective of this course is to introduce students to the tools and protocol of mounting a major production, as well as to provide them with solid working experience from plans on paper to hands-on construction on stage. Students are trained in the aesthetics of lighting and scenic design, as well as in the knowledge of operating equipment safely and mastering a basic reading of ground plans, elevations, and computer-generated design.

    Advanced Technical Theater is available upon completion of a full year of Technical Theater and permission of the instructors. Three trimesters of Technical Theater complete a one-year credit but do not need to be taken consecutively. Advanced Technical Theater is a yearlong course. 
  • Theater Practicum

    Department of Theater:
    Practicum (Tech Theater) is a hands-on training class in some aspects of production. With a theater advisor, practicum students arrange their course of study, which must total enough hours to fulfill a trimester of work for credit, but may include work on one or multiple shows and events, including stage management, lighting, sound, scene painting, props, stage crew, program or poster design, musical accompaniment, box office management, and ushering. Students may fulfill all hours in one trimester for credit, or they may spread out assignments over the course of the year to equal a trimester of credit. There is no prerequisite for this class, but students must contact a faculty member in the Theater Department to set up an appointment before enrolling.

    Practicum (Performance) is an opportunity for students to participate in a mainstage production for arts credit. With permission from faculty, students who are cast in one of two mainstage productions may use that show as an arts credit. Mainstage productions take place on the Leach Center for the Performing Arts stage and rehearse in the evening after sports. Students should be prepared to attend all evening rehearsals for which they are called, abide by all expectations set forth by the director, and participate in all dress rehearsals and performances.

  • Studio Art I

    Department of Visual Arts:
    Studio Art I introduces the foundations of visual arts, as students begin exploring their artistic voice. In an open studio, students develop independent art projects in a variety of media, including drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. Students draw inspiration from contemporary and historical artists to envision their own individual creative direction. Emphasis is placed on creativity and execution of the Studio Habits of Mind, including expression, persistence, and reflection on their own work and the work of others.
  • Studio Art II

    Department of Visual Arts:
    During three trimesters, Studio Art II provides further development of students’ technical skill and conceptualization. Students work toward the following goals: individual growth in technical skills in the use of their chosen media; the development of evaluative and critical-thinking skills from participation in regularly scheduled critiques; and growth in creativity and original style. In addition, students continue to analyze the work of contemporary artists and art movements to inform the direction of their body of work.
  • Studio Art III

    Department of Visual Arts:
    The course of study at the Studio Art III level is focused on the intention of the student’s voice, refining their visual communication while continuing their pursuit of technical excellence in a chosen medium. This course requires that each student take creative risks, inform their work with an understanding of the major contemporary art movements, and include research into a particular artist’s or group of artists’ work. Emphasis is on experimental media and pushing their visions further, with an analytical approach to the solution of aesthetic problems.
  • Advanced 2D Art

    Department of Visual Arts:
    This course gives artists the opportunity to choose a concentration in drawing, painting, or mixed media. They explore complex approaches in their chosen medium that strengthen and develop their individual artistic voice. Artists work to build technical skills, while deepening their sense of personal expression. They practice analyzing and verbally articulating the impact of their own work, as well as supporting the work of their peers.
  • Intro to Ceramics

    Department of Visual Arts:
    This class gives students the opportunity to explore a variety of hand-building methods, including coil, slab, modeling, and molding. Every student also gains experience using the potter’s wheel to create ceramic objects. Students learn how to apply several surface treatments and glazes to their projects, as well as a basic understanding of the kiln-firing process. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to initiate their own ideas, use creative problem solving to create unique works, and explore traditional and contemporary ceramic practices.
  • Advanced Ceramics

    Department of Visual Arts:
    This class gives students the opportunity to build upon the basic skills they learned in Intro to Ceramics in both hand building and wheel throwing. Students go deeper into the nuances of ceramic art by exploring myriad things that artists do with clay. Students will also learn studio habits that facilitate artistic growth, as they explore their own emerging artistic voice.
  • Digital Art

    Department of Visual Arts:
    This course explores imagery, text, and color in digital media using Adobe Creative Suite programs, including Fresco, Illustrator, and Photoshop. Students use all aspects of the artistic design process, while learning about digital drawing, vector graphics, pixel graphics, and image manipulation. Inspired by contemporary artists and digital media’s function in society, students develop their own independent projects, including illustration, graphic design, poster and logo design, animation, website design, and more.
  • Introduction to Architectural Drawing

    Department of Visual Arts:
    In this introductory course, students explore the basic skills that are important in standard building design. The students practice axonometric drawing, perspective drawing, observational drawing, and drafting skills. They discover how all of these skills can assist in learning how to use computer-aided drafting software in designing unique spaces that have a personal aesthetic.
  • Photography I - Intro to Photography

    Department of Visual Arts:
    In this class, students investigate the nature of photography as an important field of artistic practice, conceptual knowledge, and technological procedures. Essential skills and techniques focus on the DSLR camera, studio lighting, and post-production using Adobe Photoshop. This material practice is supported with historical and critical studies of the work of practicing photographers and visual artists. Students deepen their understanding of the history of photography and how photographers effectively construct images.
  • Photography II - Intermediate Photographic Practice

    Department of Visual Arts:
    Photography II is an expansion of Photography I. Students build on a solid foundation in traditional and contemporary photography, through complex analog and digital material explorations and artist investigations. In-depth personal and group projects emphasize refined photographic practice through still work, as well as multimedia crossovers in the digital world. In their critical and historical studies, students will further expand their understanding of historical and contemporary photographers to enhance their own knowledge of the past and how it informs their own photographic practice. Students must provide a journal.
  • Photography III - Advanced Photographic Practice

    Department of Visual Arts:
    Photography III builds on the knowledge and understanding, skills, values, and attitudes gained in Photography I and II courses. The course further develops students’ digital media understanding of photography through deeper and sustained investigations of photographers’ conceptual and material practice in increasingly independent ways.

    Students continue to hone their camera and computer skills to produce personal and group projects which demonstrate a sophisticated level of technical and artistic proficiency. Students undertake critical and historical investigations of photographs and their image makers to lead them to increasingly accomplished understanding of how photography invites different interpretations and explanations. Students must provide a digital camera, SD card, and journal.
  • Digital Video I

    Department of Visual Arts:
    Digital Video I introduces students to visual language, cinematic grammar, and the basic elements of camera operation and lighting. Students are asked to respond to questions and micro-themes with creative projects. Examples are 30-second commercials, short narratives, and video journalism. With an overview of the entire production process, attention is given to the fundamentals of exposure and control of the image. Students complete at least two individual and two small group projects. Video cameras, computers, and editing software are provided.
  • Digital Video II

    Department of Visual Arts:
    Digital Video II builds on Digital Video I. Digital Video II is a three-trimester experience that brings the entire conceptual process from storyboarding to final cut into focus. The art, theory, and craft of editing is explored in detail, as well as the marriage between visual imagery and sound design. Students are exposed to advanced editing features, such as filters, color correction, keying, and matting. In Digital Video II, the creative laboratory continues to explore the potential for video as Fine Art, utilizing micro-themes, but also affording students “independence” for deeper, more substantive creative projects. Digital Video II continues to investigate the uses of pedestrian video, such as journalism, sports documentary, music videos, and other established genres.
  • Digital Video III

    Department of Visual Arts:
    Digital Video III is for students who have completed three trimesters of Digital Video II. This class provides advanced instruction in editing workflow, compression, and video output. Students continue to build technical proficiency while designing their own production and production schedules. Students also complete an essay or mini-documentary on a film director or video artist of their choice. 
  • Digital Special Effects: Adobe After Effects

    Department of Visual Arts:
    Students learn the basics of manipulating and creating raw digital effects, from title sequences to light sabers and beyond. The driving force behind this digital manipulation is Adobe After Effects. Beginning with the understanding of keyframing, students learn that “digital stitching” can replace the sky, generate “handmade” titles, and eventually add 3D objects to real-time video. This is for the video student who enjoys editing and may be taken a second time, graduating to more advanced special effects.
  • Visual Arts Senior Portfolio Class

    Department of Visual Arts:
    This advanced-level course is designed to provide students with a professional-style portfolio of work across studio arts, photography, ceramics, filmmaking, and/or digital video production. Students develop a collection of work and artist’s statement that best represents their individual perspective and technical proficiency. Crafting an artist’s statement solidifies the philosophy and intent of the work. Through peer critique, discussion, and reflection on historical and contemporary art, students choose pieces for inclusion in final portfolios. Opportunities to visit Denver-area galleries and artists are available. The class culminates in an exhibition and/or screening for each student. After the Portfolio Show, students utilize their skills with other artists to collaborate in a community service project, which continues into Trimester 3.

    Prerequisites for this class are: Portfolio Prep class, exit critique, interview, and permission of the instructor.
  • Yearbook I

    Department of Graphic Design & Publication:
    Throughout this course, students plan, design, and produce CA’s yearbook, Telesis, which is distributed to over 1,000 members of the school community.

    Yearbook I students are members of the yearbook staff, charged with creating a professional publication that represents the school. Students learn and apply basics of graphic design and layout. They write short articles to accompany their layouts, and they work with the yearbook advisors, editors, and the representative from the publishing company to create and guide pages through the publication process. Students in Yearbook I may enroll for one or two trimesters.
  • Yearbook II

    Department of Graphic Design & Publication:
    Throughout this course, students plan, design, and produce CA’s yearbook, Telesis, which is distributed to over 1,000 members of the school community.

    Yearbook II students are editors of the yearbook staff, charged with creating a professional publication that represents the school and with helping to train Yearbook I students. This editorial staff helps decide and design the overall look of the yearbook, maintaining a consistent theme and color scheme throughout the book. They work with the yearbook advisors, staff, and the representative from the publishing company to create and guide pages through the publication process. Students in Yearbook II must enroll in both Trimester 1 and 2; Trimester 3 is optional.
  • Academy Jazz

    Department of Music and Dance:
    This is an audition-only performance group. Students learn creativity and discipline through the study of a range of jazz styles. Emphasis is placed on understanding music theory as it relates to chord structures and progressions as well as improvisation. There is at least one outside performance, and students are required to attend all performances.
  • Audio Engineering

    Department of Music and Dance:
    In Audio Engineering, students explore sound, studio recording, and music production techniques and technology en route to producing their own studio recording projects. They learn how to plan and direct recording projects, how to use industry-standard audio recording and production software to mix tracks and add effects, how to program and use virtual instruments within recording projects, and how to produce and share their own music and the compositions and performances of others. Students finish the course with a digital portfolio of music projects that they have recorded and produced. Audio Engineering also involves projects and investigations in the following areas: the production of sound for video, acoustics and acoustic room treatment, sound synthesis, and the design and construction of 2-way loudspeakers or musical instruments.
    (Cross-registration/credit with Computer Science/Engineering Design and Visual & Performing Arts Department.)
  • Chanteurs

    Department of Music & Dance:
    Chanteurs is an audition-based, 16-20 voice mixed (SATB) choir for advanced students who demonstrate superior musicianship and place a high dedication to choral singing in their lives. The ensemble sings a diverse and challenging repertoire, with a specific emphasis on also singing a cappella and jazz. All members strengthen existing sight-reading skills and proper vocal technique and are strongly encouraged to participate in the CHSAA and Colorado All-State audition process. This is a specialty group which meets outside of the regular schedule and does not receive arts credit.
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  • Concert Choir

    Department of Music & Dance:
    Concert Choir is a non-auditioned, mixed (SATB) choir that sings a wide range of challenging repertoire. Student ensembles receive valuable training in musical literacy and theory; understanding, performing, and appreciating various genres and cultures of vocal music; and developing vocal production and technique. Performing for an audience is the primary focus, as performances provide an experience that cannot be reproduced in the classroom and serve as the means by which the skills learned in class are evaluated. All performances are required in order to receive credit for this course.
  • Jazz Ensemble

    Department of Music and Dance:
    Jazz Ensemble is a performance group. Students learn creativity and discipline through the study of a range of jazz styles. An emphasis is placed on understanding music theory as it relates to chord structures and progressions, as well as improvisation. Students are required to attend all performances. Students must audition or have previous participation (including Middle School) in an instrumental ensemble.
  • Music Theory

    Department of Music and Dance:

    Music Theory is a yearlong course. Students are expected to have had some musical experience prior to entering the course, and they must pass a basic proficiency examination to enroll.

    The course is designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding and application of various aspects of music theory, including: music fundamentals (pitch, rhythm, scales, and triads); foundations of harmony and counterpoint; interpretation and creation of chord progressions and larger musical forms; jazz and modern-era theory and practice; and developing skills in sight singing and dictation.
  • Orchestra

    Department of Music & Dance:
    This class focuses on the educational components of playing in an orchestra, including music history, music theory, instrumental technique, and ensemble skills. Students encounter a range of classical music; explore different, pertinent musical eras; and apply different performance techniques to challenging and fun pieces. Students are required to attend all performances. Students should have previous experience on the instrument to be played; private lessons are strongly recommended.
  • Rock Ensemble

    Department of Music and Dance:
    Rock Ensemble is a performance group. Students learn creativity and discipline through the study of a range of rock and popular music styles. Emphasis is placed on understanding music theory as it relates to chord structures and progressions. Students are required to attend all performances. Students must audition or have previous participation (including Middle School) in an instrumental ensemble.
  • Dance: Techniques and Practices

    Department of Music & Dance:
    This course offers foundational training in terminology, technique, and studio practices of a variety of styles. Through dance, students develop artistic habits and gain physical flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination. Students are encouraged to foster their own creative process and expression of self through choreographic prompts. All classes have an opportunity to perform if they would like to do so. 
    • Trimester 1: Beginning Tap – This class focuses on introducing students to the foundational principles and techniques of tap dancing. This is a true beginner class that is geared towards those with little to no prior experience in tap dancing. Students work on rhythm, musicality, and articulation of sound in feet, while building speed of movement. Various styles of music are utilized. All are welcome and encouraged.
    • Trimester 2: Intermediate/Advanced Tap – This class explores tap techniques as they relate to all styles of music, including pop, rock, rap, musical theater, big band, and jazz. Students work on rhythm, musicality, and articulation of sound in feet, while building speed of movement. Prerequisite: Instructor approval.
    • Trimester 3: Broadway Dance – This class explores all styles of dance utilized in Broadway shows. The focus is on physical style, storytelling, and techniques as related to different time periods, locations, and characters.
  • Vertical Dance/Site-Specific Dance Study

    Department of Music & Dance:
    This class explores the adventurous and stunning nature of site-specific and vertical dance. Students begin on the ground with basic movement concepts and practices, and gradually move to practicing vertically. In addition to vertical, they explore site-specific dance–dancing in unexpected locations that lend new interpretation and possibility to choreography. Vertical dancing is done using climbing gear, including top rope, harness, and GriGri belay devices. When ready, students experiment with outdoor locations, such as suspended on a building wall, tree, or rock face.
  • Dance Company

    Department of Music & Dance:
    This is an Intermediate/Advanced performing ensemble. Only students who have been approved will be able to enroll for the Company. Students who wish to apply must submit a letter of interest to the instructor.

    This group practices and explores multiple styles of dance and choreography to create pieces of repertoire to be performed throughout the school year. There is increased opportunity and emphasis on student-generated choreography and individual expression. In addition, students explore ways to utilize dance as a means of giving back to the community. Students are asked to think critically, creatively, and ethically while combining service, choreography, and performance. The Company meets during a scheduled school block; however, additional rehearsals may be scheduled outside of class time. These rehearsals are scheduled with the dancer’s schedules and commitments in mind. Students are not required to enroll for both trimesters 1 and 2, but may do so for credit.  

    Students must have mastered foundational techniques of ballet, jazz, contemporary, modern, or tap and be able to collaborate and work well with others. If a student is not ready for Company work at the start of the school year, the student may train through Dance electives and reapply for the second trimester.
  • Athletics - Competitive

    Two trimesters of athletics are required in Freshman and Sophomore years.
    One trimester of athletics is required in Junior and Senior years.

    The Department of Athletics encourages student-athletes, regardless of past experience, to try a competitive sport option. Previous experience or skill is not required; however, a commitment to the team, effort, and a positive attitude is! Students are encouraged to exceed the minimum requirement.  Students are encouraged to play at least one CHSAA-sanctioned sport during their time in Upper School.

    The Upper School athletic program (Grades 9-12) offers students various choices in establishing healthy lifetime activity patterns in coordination with a highly competitive interscholastic athletic program. Goals for all students include, but are not limited to, success against outside competition, building a strong sense of self-worth, learning lessons in human relations and collaboration, developing the ability to lead and follow, gaining specialized training in varied athletic skills, developing a mastery of sport-specific skills, cardiovascular conditioning, and demonstrating good sportsmanship.

    CHSAA- Sanctioned Competitive Sports Options

    Trimester 1
    Cross Country
    Field Hockey
    Golf, Boys
    Soccer, Boys
    Tennis, Boys
    Volleyball, Girls

    Trimester 2
    Basketball,Boys
    Basketball, Girls
    Ice Hockey
    Swimming/Diving, Girls

    Trimester 3
    Baseball
    Golf, Girls
    Lacrosse, Boys
    Lacrosse, Girls
    Soccer, Girls
    Tennis, Girls
  • Athletics - Non-Competitive

    Two trimesters of athletics are required in Freshman and Sophomore years.
    One trimester of athletics is required in Junior and Senior years.

    The Upper School athletic program (Grades 9-12) offers students various choices in establishing healthy lifetime activity patterns in coordination with a highly competitive interscholastic athletic program. Goals for all students include, but are not limited to, success against outside competition, building a strong sense of self-worth, learning lessons in human relations and collaboration, developing the ability to lead and follow, gaining specialized training in varied athletic skills, developing a mastery of sport-specific skills, cardiovascular conditioning, and demonstrating good sportsmanship.

    Independent Athletic Credit: Students already participating in athletic programs outside of school may complete a “Petition for Athletic Credit” to determine whether their programs meet the requirements to receive credit. Students must have participated in the activity for a minimum of 3 consecutive years before the request is made. The activity must include a competitive or public performance piece/date. Independent credit is only given up to a maximum of one trimester in any one school year.

    A student may take any dance class in the curriculum for athletic credit for one trimester per year. A dance class may also be used to fulfill an art credit, but it cannot count for both types of credit during the same trimester.

    Credit for managing a CHSAA-sanctioned team is granted on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by both the Head Coach and the Director of Athletics. There is a maximum of 2 managers per team, and daily attendance at all practices and games is required. Specific team and program responsibilities will be outlined by the Head Coach of the program.

    Non-CHSAA-Sanctioned Club Sports & Non-Competitive Sports

    Trimester 1
    Climbing
    - Every student in climbing is required to have climbing shoes. Students learn how to climb and belay in a safe manner. They hone their skills in a variety of environments and challenge themselves both mentally and physically. Participants are encouraged to compete in weekend Colorado High School Climbing League Competitions. Students may only enroll in this class one time per school year.

    Sports Performance - This course is designed to aid in the development of health and wellness in each student with a structured plan designed to enhance strength, speed, mobility, and energy systems, while also developing moral and educational characteristics. Strength is developed in five phases: Work Capacity (Adaptation), Hypertrophy, Max Strength, Strength Speed, and Muscular Endurance; Speed: Mechanics, Speed Strength, and Change of Direction; Mobility: Correctives, Warmup, Cool down; Energy Systems: Train for the activity, Anaerobic versus Aerobic, and
    Activity Demands; Education: Nutritional Needs, Cognitive Reconditioning, and Independence in Movement; Character: Time Management, Self-Respect, and Effort.

    Student Athletic Trainer - Students are instructed in various aspects of athletic training/sports medicine. Students participating in this program are required to assist the sports teams during all practices and assigned games, the specific number of which will be determined. Students may only enroll in this course one time per school year.

    Ultimate Frisbee - Competitive Club Sport. Team plays in Altitude Youth Ultimate League.

    Trimester 2
    Climbing - Every student in climbing is required to have climbing shoes. Students learn how to climb and belay in a safe manner. They hone their skills in a variety of environments and challenge themselves both mentally and physically. Students are required to compete in at least five Colorado High School Climbing League weekend climbing competitions held around the Denver area. Students may only enroll in this class one time per school year.

    Racquetball - Racquetball is a lifetime sport offered for novice to intermediate players. Competition varies from year to year, from interscholastic matches to outside meets with high school and college club teams. This game is easy to learn and is guaranteed to be fast, furious, and FUN. All equipment is provided; fee required to cover court rental, eye guards, and team shirts. Practices are off campus at Englewood Rec Center.

    Sports Performance - This course is designed to aid in the development of health and wellness in each student with a structured plan designed to enhance strength, speed, mobility, and energy systems, while also developing moral and educational characteristics. Strength is developed in 5 phases. Work Capacity (Adaptation), Hypertrophy, Max Strength, Strength Speed, and Muscular Endurance; Speed: Mechanics, Speed Strength, and Change of Direction; Mobility: Correctives, Warmup, Cool down; Energy Systems: Train for the activity, Anaerobic versus Aerobic, and
    Activity Demands; Education: Nutritional Needs, Cognitive Reconditioning, and Independence in Movement; Character: Time Management, Self-Respect, and Effort.

    Student Athletic Trainer - Students are instructed in various aspects of athletic training/sports medicine. Students participating in this program are required to assist the sports teams during all practices and assigned games, the specific number of which will be determined. Students may only enroll in this class one time per school year.

    Trimester 3
    Sports Performance - This course is designed to aid in the development of health and wellness in each student with a structured plan designed to enhance strength, speed, mobility, and energy systems, while also developing moral and educational characteristics. Work Capacity (Adaptation), Hypertrophy, Max Strength, Strength Speed, and Muscular Endurance; Speed: Mechanics, Speed Strength, and Change of Direction; Mobility: Correctives, Warmup, Cool down; Energy Systems: Train for the activity, Anaerobic versus Aerobic, and Activity Demands; Education: Nutritional Needs, Cognitive Reconditioning, and Independence in Movement; Character: Time Management, Self-Respect, and Effort.

    Student Athletic Trainer - Students are instructed in various aspects of athletic training/sports medicine. Students participating in this program are required to assist the sports teams during all practices and assigned games, the specific number of which will be determined. Students may only enroll in this class one time per school year.
  • 12th Grade Experiential Education

    Curricular Activity:
    Interim - Each spring, students in Upper School participate in weeklong Interim trips designed to immerse students and faculty in experiences and pursuits that broaden their skills, test their abilities, and sharpen the awareness of the world in which they live. Whether they engage in artistic pursuits, service learning trips, or wilderness expeditions throughout the Rocky Mountains, students and CA alumni often describe this program as one of their favorite CA memories.
    • A weeklong immersive experiential program that includes the arts, outdoors, physiology, community engagement.
    • Promotes community building through small group interactions and cross grade interactions.
    • Provides challenging, hands-on experience.
    • Promotes student leadership through trip planning and execution.
    • Fosters grit and resilience through physically and psychologically challenging activities.
    Examples of past Interims include: Kayaking the Western Slope, Exploring the Canyonlands, Shoshoni Yoga, Blacksmithing, Ceramics in the Wild,  Archaeology in the Four Corners, Toy Shop, Gourmet Heaven, and more. In a typical year, 30+ Interim choices are offered.

    Belize: Environmental Field Studies
    This science-focused Interim is an opportunity for students to participate in meaningful, multi-day biological research projects in Belize. As time permits, other activities might include snorkeling, swimming with stingrays, and rainforest exploration. This Interim is open to Juniors and Seniors and is the culminating event for a technical science writing course taught during the third trimester as a Junior/Senior writing seminar. The journey begins exploring the Mayan ruins of Caracol, the Belize Wildlife Sanctuary, and the research taking place at the Belize Zoo. The heart of this experience is the four days spent at a remote research station, conducting scientific research and contributing to ongoing research projects. Probable topics include marine gas exchange, coral conservation, competition among marine species, and algae farming by damselfish.

    Recent Experiential Education Optional Local Activities:
    Trip ratings range from easy and moderate to difficult and from beginner and intermediate to advanced skill levels. These excursions are published annually, offered on weekends throughout the school year, filled on a first-come, first-served sign-up basis, charge a nominal fee, and are usually led by CA faculty and staff.

    South Platte River Fly Fishing
    Fishermen explore Colorado’s rivers and streams and get a lot of skill practice in patience and attention to detail. Students learn about watershed dynamics, fly-fishing strategy, fly pattern selection, and fish behavior. They learn to cast a fly rod, manage a line, hook and land trout, and take part in a quintessential Western sport.
    Additional Skills:
    • foster patience and attention to detail
    • bond with classmates outside of the classroom

    Rifle Mountain Park Climbing
    Rifle Mountain Park offers the best limestone sport climbing in North America. Rifle is approximately three hours west of Denver, near the town of Rifle, Colo. On this trip, students receive instruction on technical skills, climb spectacular sport routes, camp, and cook meals together. No prior experience is necessary.
    Skills:
    • learning climbing movement and terminology
    • learning belaying principles
    • understanding the construction and strength of climbing equipment, including ropes, harnesses, carabiners, and helmets
    • encouraging responsible risk taking and the benefits of challenge
    • fostering teamwork through effective belaying, coaching and support
    • learning about belay and climber safety checks and effective communication

    Eldorado Hut
    The Eldorado Hut is located five miles west of Turquoise Lake, near Leadville, Colo. The path into the hut winds through aspen forest for the first mile and gradually zigzags up a ridge on the north side of the lake. At the hut, views from the south window include a panorama of Bald Eagle Mountain and the 14,421-foot Mount Massive. Only one mile from the hut is fun glade skiing on Mushroom Mountain, and after returning from a tour, participants fire up the wood-burning sauna to finish off a great day in the Colorado backcountry.
    Additional Skills:
    • learning winter travel skills
    • providing opportunities for cross-grade interactions
    • promoting the principles of self-care (hydration, hypothermia, nutrition, pacing, etc.)
    • providing a novel experience
    • learning to prepare healthy and nutritious meals
    • learning to build a minimal fire
    • observing winter weather patterns
    • identifying avalanche terrain, snow instabilities, and how to travel safely in the backcountry

    Ice Climbing in Lake City
    The Ouray Ice Park is a man-made ice-climbing site in a beautiful natural gorge near Ouray, Colo. There is even a special area just for beginners. Home to more than 200 ice and mixed climbs, it has been called the best place in the world to develop ice-climbing skills. This trip is designed for beginners, and no prior climbing experience is necessary.


    Recent Exchange Programs

    Hutchesons’ Grammar School,Glasgow, Scotland
    This exchange program includes a two-week homestay experience with a Scottish family and attending regular classes at Hutchesons’ Grammar School. Students also participate in a variety of activities with their host families, such as exploring the Scottish countryside. CA families host the Scottish students for approximately two weeks in the fall.

    Colombia: Spanish Language & Culture Immersion
    With Colombia’s turbulent past rapidly receding, the nation is in the midst of a boom. Economic growth, safety, and stability are on the rise in all corners of the country, and visitors are joyously rediscovering the remarkable diversity and warmth of this gateway to South America. This hybrid exchange and travel program allows students to connect with the Colombian people, from shadowing high school peers in the capital Bogotá to exploring Afro-Indigenous traditions in the Caribbean port town of Cartagena. Two weeks after returning home, with Spanish still fresh on their tongues, students have the opportunity to reciprocate the hospitality.

    Colegio Virgen de Europa , Madrid, Spain
    CA students are paired with Madrid students to promote and improve their cultural and linguistic awareness. This exchange encourages students to build confidence and fluency in a second language and go out into the world to experience another culture firsthand. Central to this experience is the homestay, because it gives participants interaction with native speakers and language use in natural context. The school provides opportunities, both academic and extra-curricular, for students to understand and explore the culture of the other country. CA students travel in the fall and host in the following spring.


    Current Travel Programs, Interim and Optional

    Authentic Mexico Adventure - Service Adventure - Spring Break
    Students will immerse themselves in the true fabric of Mexico, including art, food, culture, language, and history. This experience includes exploring Mexico City’s vibrant art scene, rural homestays, adventure travel, and meaningful service projects guided by community partners.
    Mexico’s perfect white sand beaches, rugged canyons, tropical jungles, and arid plains are inhabited by some of the world’s nicest people, all of whom enjoy some of the world’s best food. The same is true for Mexico’s megacities, colonial hamlets, and dusty outposts. Our neighbor to the south truly has it all, yet few visitors experience the real Mexico. Our programs will show travelers the true fabric of Mexico, from small food stalls of Mexico City to pre-Columbian Zapotec ruins, as we travel between Mexico City, Puebla, and beyond.

    Chinese Language Immersion in Vancouver - Language Immersion - Spring Break
    This trip gives students a fantastic opportunity to explore the multicultural Asian environment of Vancouver. With almost 30% of its population as ethnic Chinese, the city and its surrounding
    suburbs are rife with historic sites and distinct neighborhoods that reflect a rich heritage. Students will practice language skills in many fun activities like Mahjong workshop, dumpling/dim sum making, calligraphy, and Chinese art.

    Colombia Adventure - Service and Language Immersion - Interim

    Students will have the opportunity to explore the historic center of Medellin and complete homestays and service projects in the remote and picturesque village of Jardin de Antioquia. The group will immerse themselves in the rich culture and history of Colombia and gain a valuable understanding of the conflict resolution and peace process that has transformed Colombia in recent years from civil war into a vibrant and welcoming country.

    The Island School, Eleuthera, Bahamas - Marine Science & Field Research - Interim
    This experience offers students the ability to step outside their comfort zone to focus on experiential learning and field and ocean research at one of the top facilities in the Caribbean. Students will build on science coursework in environmental chemistry and climate change, as they explore topics such as ocean acidification and renewable energy. This transformative experience encourages students to take a leadership role, enabling them to make meaningful changes in their own communities.

    Iceland - Photography, Climate Science, Travel - Summer

    Calling all intrepid photographers and scientists who have a thirst for adventure. Let us explore the amazing nation, Iceland, and investigate how we could be leading a more sustainable lifestyle.
    Our trip takes you to the most spectacular and otherworldly landscapes in a nation that prides itself on zero use of fossil fuels and single-use plastics. Whether it be enormous glacier lagoons where icebergs float and flow out with the tide to the shores of the black sand beach. Where we may also see seals, puffins, and the gentle giants of the sea, whales. This trip will be unforgettable and one in which you will return with a newfound appreciation of the world and how we can work towards creating such sustainability and conservation here in Denver.
  • 9th-12th Grade Library & Research

    Digital Citizenship
    Students:
    • Learn how to use digital technologies responsibly
    • Understand the positive and negative roles digital media play in their lives
    • Understand the definition of cyberbullying and know how to avoid it
    • Understand all of the different types of online relationships
    • Understand the consequences of oversharing online

    Use of Research Tools
    Students:
    • Use the CA library catalog and databases to locate print and electronic resources in the school’s collection
    • Use CA LibGuides to access project-specific resources
    • Generate useful, efficient search terms and use various search strategies to conduct queries that will lead to narrow, focused results
    • Know the difference between Fiction and Nonfiction and how to locate books on the shelves by call numbers
    • Know the difference between a website and a database
    Source Selection, Documentation, and Organization
    Students:
    • Closely evaluate Internet resources to ensure they contain reliable, factual information
    • Distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information to meet specific research goals
    • Know when to discard/abandon sources as research needs shift
    • Work with a librarian for individualized assistance on the research process
    • Understand the difference between direct quotes, paraphrasing, and summaries and use all three correctly
    • Know the difference between primary and secondary sources
    • Understand what plagiarism is, how to avoid it, and the consequences of plagiarizing
    • Understand what an annotated bibliography is and successfully format and create one
    • Understand the importance of a Works Cited page and be able to cite and format sources appropriately
    • Understand what an in-text citation is and how to use them appropriately while writing
    • Follow the rules of copyright and fair use when using multimedia sources
    News Literacy
    Students:
    • Understand what it means to be a responsible news consumer
    • Distinguish between legitimate news and fake news
    • Be able to use various tools to evaluate Internet sources
    • Be able to gauge reliability and credibility of news reports (broadcast, print, Internet, etc.)
    • Know the difference between fact and opinion; recognize bias
  • 12th Grade Advisory

    Sample Advisory Discussion Topics, Grades 9-12:
     
    • Transitions: into Upper School, grade-to-grade, leaving CA and going to college
    • Study habits and organizational skills, establishing community norms (NAIS standards)
    • Self-advocacy
    • Friendships and healthy relationships, peer pressure
    • Managing holiday stress, appropriate self-care
    • Goal-setting for the short and long term
    • Disordered eating, healthy body image
    • Alcohol and drug use
    • School-wide topics introduced in Town Meetings, PlatFORUM, Think & Drive Day and other themed days
    • Other topics that each advisory chooses to discuss
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