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High School Curriculum

Courses

English 9

English 9 examines through thematic units, a range of literary and artistic expression.  Students will learn to identify the elements of literature and use their reading to compare and contrast works in various writing activities.  Reading, writing, research and oral communication skills will be emphasized.

Students will grow to recognize the interdependence of oral language, literature, and written language in a context of social and cultural expression.  Additionally, students will prepare oral presentations, develop the strategies for listening critically to the presentations of others, and interpret increasingly complex literary and informational texts.

Students will also write in a variety of genres that will include- narrative, informational, and argumentative texts,  This will enhance & progress their current skills & in establishing a centralized idea and provide relevant support.  This will occur through the writing process; plan, draft, revise, edit and publish pieces.  Students will build an understanding through revision for grammar usage, punctuation, and mechanics to achieve greater clarity.

This course is aligned with the appropriate grade level Common Core State Standards.

English 10

English 10 explores the ideas and actions of those people who have shaped the world of yesterday, today, and who will influence the world of tomorrow.  Students will examine the impact of these historical figures through the study of reading, writing, research and composition.

To support this, students will gather and organize content that will influence the intended/targeted audience successfully, and listen actively to group members when accomplishing a group goal.  Students will also read literary, informative, and persuasive manuscripts in order to develop ideas and to understand traditional and contemporary texts.

Furthermore, students will utilize different organizational patterns to inform, persuade or entertain through their craft of writing.  Resulting in enhancing and expanding their use of stylistic devices while relying on a strong foundation of proper grammar and mechanics.  Finally, students will analyze, assess, critique, and evaluate the validity of multiple sources while collecting information in order to answer a question, propose solutions, or share findings.

This course is aligned with the appropriate grade level Common Core State Standards.

English 11

English 11 examines the western and non-western traditions depicted through literature, history, and the arts. Discussion, essay and creative writing, research, and other activities will provide students an opportunity to explore new cultures through a global perspective and compare them to their own.

This course is designed to teach and assess literacy skills via oral expression, reading, and writing. Students will develop increasingly sophisticated skills to move flexibly between fiction and nonfiction, both past and present; read, think, discuss, and write critically about ideas.

Additionally, students will work individually and collaboratively to build new understandings about the larger social, political, and cultural contexts in which they live and contribute. This course also focuses on composition via emphasizing the planning, writing, and revising of compositions, including the development of critical and logical thinking skills.

This course is aligned with the appropriate grade level Common Core State Standards.

English 12

English 12 focuses on the necessary literacy skill set needed for college, career, & life readiness success.  The course is thematically based, focusing on exploration of different cultures and voices through contemporary and classical literature in a variety of genres.

By the end of this course students will analyze messages for their accuracy and relevance, critically read complex literary texts to interpret and evaluate their meaning, purpose, theme, and identify the craft author’s use to relay these literary components.

Additionally, students will synthesize ideas from texts for a specific purpose, and work stylistically and thematically to refine their own approach as they craft individualistic pieces to make them more effective, comprehensible, & meaningful in connection to the purpose.

Furthermore, students will refine informational and argumentative texts to determine the purpose on the intended audience while making ongoing revisions in grammar, usage, and mechanics to achieve greater clarity.  Finally, students will study & apply critical thinking and evaluate quality reasoning.

This course is aligned with the appropriate grade level Common Core State Standards.

Public Speaking

This skills-based course is meant to help students become better public speakers through theory and, most importantly, practice. Emphasis will be placed on the application of research, logic, critical thinking and reasoning while debating current issues.

Students will learn concepts and models of communication, how to adapt a speech for different occasions and audiences, how to effectively support their ideas, how to select and organize materials in preparation for a speech, and how to utilize multimedia tools in presentations, among other skills.  This course is designed to support post-secondary readiness and is relevant in academic, business, and social settings.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Common Core State Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Creative Writing

This course is designed for students to explore writing as a form of art and personal expression. In this course, students will examine the elements of numerous literary genres that include, but are not limited to:

  • Short Fiction
  • Poetry
  • Drama
  • Film

Students will engage with the power of both print and multimedia formats. To develop original writing pieces, students will engage in writing workshops, literary element development lessons, writing/author studies, and peer reviews/conferences.

During this course, students will develop their writing capacity by engaging in writing community activities that require sharing one’s work and in publishing one’s writing beyond the classroom setting. Finally, students will design, edit, and contribute writing pieces to Denver Prep Academy’s monthly newsletter.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Common Core State Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Spanish 1

This course is an introduction to novice language skills in Spanish these include speaking, reading, writing and listening. Students will primarily focus on listening and reading comprehension through comprehensible input.

Verbal proficiency will occur at the novice level, as students study and use simple grammatical structures.  By the end of the course, students will be able to listen and understand, read and understand, as well as write and speak with simple dialogues in Spanish. In addition, students will begin the study of the culture and people of Spanish-speaking countries.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Common Core State Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Spanish 2

Students will continue to develop novice-high to intermediate-low proficiency in the Spanish language by expanding their skills. Students will primarily focus on listening and reading comprehension through the continued use of Comprehensible Input.

Verbal proficiency will occur at a novice-high to intermediate-low level, as they study and use more complex grammatical structures. Grammar and vocabulary become more complex. In addition, students will continue the study of the culture and people of Spanish-speaking countries.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Common Core State Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Spanish 3

In this course, students will continue to acquire, expand and refine their knowledge and skills in speaking; listening, reading and writing Spanish while at the same time deepen their knowledge of Spanish-speaking cultures and the diversity within those cultures. Students will be expected to communicate ideas more fluently through spoken and written Spanish and will be able to access increasingly complex information through listening and reading through the continued use of Comprehensible Input.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Common Core State Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Biology

This course is designed as a survey of living things and their life processes. In this class, students will explore relationships between structure and function in organisms and the interaction of cells and organisms with each other and their environments as they display the unity and diversity of life.

Additionally, students in this course will study the topics of ecology, biochemistry, cellular structure and function, genetics, evolution, and human systems. Laboratory activities and engagement with the local ecosystem will be utilized to reinforce concepts and principles presented.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Common Core State Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Chemistry

This course provides the opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding about the relationships between the structure and properties of matter and the interaction of mass and energy. This is a lab-based course that is designed to prepare students for college or further training in scientific and technical fields.

Units of study include: matter and it’s changes, atomic structure, chemical composition, nomenclature, reactions, stoichiometry, gas laws, periodicity, bonding, molar geometry, and thermochemistry. Laboratory activities reinforce concepts and principles presented in this course.

This foundational knowledge is utilized to develop an in-depth understanding of chemical principles such as bonding, modern acid-base theory, molecular theory, and the impacts of chemical production and disposal.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Common Core State Standards and is 1.0 credit. 

Physics

This course allows for students to develop a qualitative understanding of physics. Students experiment with Newton’s three laws and apply these to various real-world contexts. Students will also describe interactions between particles in terms of gravitational, electrical, and nuclear forces.

Qualitative and quantitative predictions are made in a closed system with discussion on the effects of an open system. Students form conclusions regarding wavelength, frequency, and resonance as well as use the wave model to show some features of electromagnetic radiation and use the particle model to describe other features.

Students explain why waves and their interactions with matter have allowed for the creation and development of tools for producing, transmitting, storing, and interpreting information. Laboratory work serves to promote understanding and to illustrate the experimental nature of physics.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Common Core State Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Ecology

This course provides an introduction to ecology and conservation biology. Emphasis is placed on the Earth’s biological diversity, the values of maintaining biodiversity, influence of threats on populations and species, as well as solutions to dealing with those threats.

The course investigates real time and historical ecological issues that inform our investigations into local, regional, national, and worldwide concerns and possible solutions. This course goal is to empower students and future generations to make informed conservation decisions that facilitate a balance between protecting biological diversity and providing for human needs at all levels.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Common Core State Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Earth Science

This course introduces scientific investigations, methods, observations and communication along with common tools and methods used for understanding Earth and its environments. Minerals and rocks that make up the Earth’s crust, Earth’s features, identification, and uniqueness as a planet are covered in this course.

Students will examine continental drift, seafloor spreading, plate tectonic movement, plate boundaries, landforms, volcanic activity, earthquakes, and mountains resulting from plate tectonic processes as well as surface processes that create and modify landforms. Additionally, students will study water on earth, covering its distribution, states, and the processes involving Earth’s water.

Students will also learn how features and processes of the atmosphere determine weather and climate, how life is supported on planet Earth, and how Earth scientists learn about Earth’s past as well as Earth’s history.

The course continues with human dependence on natural resources for energy and materials, the effects of human overpopulation and overconsumption on Earth’s systems, and concludes with introducing the objects of our solar system and explorations beyond our solar system.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Common Core State Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Anatomy and Physiology

This course is the study of the structure and function of the human body. This course is preparation for more advanced biological studies at the post-secondary level including biomedical and science based careers.

Laboratory experiences and text based activities provide student learning in the following topics: the major body systems; how the body systems work together to provide homeostasis; body functions in the healthy and diseased states; blood typing; muscle action; cranial nerve functioning; and bioethics.

Students will study the structure and function of the various cells, tissues, and integrated systems of the body. The course is designed to lay the groundwork then move into various human systems. Additionally, students will connect the understanding of the human body to their own athletic performance.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Common Core State Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Geography 9

From a geographical perspective, this course provides the skills and tools of spatial analysis to better understand the patterns of people, landscape, and natural phenomena of the Earth. Additionally, students will be provided with a basis for understanding the world we live in, its physical environment, its peoples, and the way people interact with the environment.

Understanding and valuing other cultures is important to increasingly diverse societies, and students will need to understand global patterns of landforms, climate, population, transportation, communication, economic linkages, and cultural patterns.

Discussions, simulations, research, and other activities enable students to become involved in their pursuit of the past and relate it to today, both geographically and historically.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Common Core State Standards and is 1.0 credit. 

Economics 10

Current economic issues serve as a foundation for the application of economic theory in this course. Analysis of the American economic system as it relates to the individual and other economic systems will be a focus.

Specific units will cover microeconomic concepts such as the law of supply and demand, factors of production, and the business cycle. Macroeconomic topics will include money and banking, monetary and fiscal policy, international trade, the impact of globalization and personal financial literacy. Furthermore, the concept of scarcity, in which both individuals and societies must make choices and decisions about resources will be examined.

Economic systems throughout the world will also be examined to broaden student’s understanding of, and the interplay among, the varying systems at work within the global economy..

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Common Core State Standards and is 0.5 credit. 

Law and Government 10

This course presents the fundamental concepts of American government. The functions of national, state, and local governments and their relationships to the citizens of the United States are covered by examining foundations, structures, constitutional principles, politics and public policy, branches of government, national, state and local government and U.S citizen participation and rights.

Various governmental problems at all levels of government are presented. The responsibilities and obligations of both the citizen and the government to each other are an integral part of this course. A comparison of other important political systems is included.

Through participation in this course, students will gain an understanding of the United States’ legal system, its relationship to democratic values and the Constitution, and how legal issues can affect a student’s daily life in America. Issues related to criminal and civil law, Supreme Court decisions, and international affairs will be investigated.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Common Core State Standards and is 0.5 credit. 

U.S. History 11

The study of history provides people with a common memory of where they have been and what decisions of the past account for present circumstances. Through exploration of recurring American issues and significant themes, students will examine contacts and exchanges among groups and cultures and how these have influenced American perspectives.  This course focuses on political, economic, social and cultural concepts of United States history. Students will review the Constitution, The Bill of Rights, Civil War, and Reconstruction.

Then, students will study Immigration, Industrialization, Westward Expansion, the Progressives, Imperialism, WWI, the 1920s and 1930s, WWII, the Cold War, the 1950s and 1960s, the Civil Rights Movement, Watergate, 9/11, and terrorism, up to present.  Using the noted important events, students will formulate historical questions, evaluate sources and data using diverse viewpoints, hypothesize, draw conclusions, and analyze issues of the American experience.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Common Core State Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Psychology 12

Due to the complexity of modern society and the many options facing each individual, students can use knowledge of psychology to better understand themselves and their relationship to others. Through the study of psychology, students will learn to maximize their full potential, make appropriate decisions based on self-awareness, and better cope with life situations. This course is designed to provide the foundation for, and introduction to basic psychological principles and theories.

Students will be presented with a basic overview of the field and will cover theories of personality as well as mental, emotional and physical development as they relate to the understanding of behavior. Students will explore functions of the brain and mind, learning and cognitive processes, infant and adolescent development, and studies in abnormal and clinical psychology.

Students will attain this knowledge through a variety of academic methods that seek to holistically develop a students understanding of self and others.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Common Core State Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Contemporary Issues

Contemporary Issues is devoted to studying the historical origins and development of political and social problems, both domestic and globally, that confront contemporary humanity.

Students will explore global economic systems, human rights, world health, environmental issues, and the role of the United States and other nations in a changing world. Possible topics of study include regional studies (ex. AIDS in Africa or the state of affairs in the Middle East), as well as issues of global concern such as environmental issues, the war on terror, world poverty, sustainable development and global economic development. Students will work with the instructor to explore topics according to their interests and needs.

This class is designed to eliminate much of the confusion surrounding these issues and allow students to form their own opinions on matters that affect their world. Students will evaluate the issues and propose solutions from a variety of perspectives.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Common Core State Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Ethnic Studies

In this course, students will be presented with instruction that encourages them to be politically, socially, and economically conscious about their personal connections to local and national history. Ethnic Studies focuses on themes of social justice, social responsibility, and social change. The course spans from past to present and includes politics and social reform. Students will identify similar social patterns and universal qualities present in other societies, including their own.

This course will focus on the experiences of African American, Asian Americans, Latino American, and American Indians. This course will also include an Identity section where students will consider concepts related to their own personal, group, and/or national identity.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Common Core State Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Algebra 1

The fundamental purpose of this course is to formalize and extend a student’s mathematical knowledge. The content of Algebra 1 deepens and extends students’ understanding of linear and exponential relationships by contrasting them with each other, and identifying and exploring the underlying mathematical structures that they share.

Students explore many examples of functions, including sequences; analyze them graphically, numerically, symbolically, and verbally; make connections between them; and identify strengths and weaknesses of these forms.

Students apply linear models to data that exhibit a linear trend, and mathematically analyze how well the model fits the data. Additionally, students engage in methods for analyzing, solving, and applying quadratic functions and become familiar with the usefulness of multiple forms of quadratic functions.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Common Core State Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Geometry

This course formalizes and extends students’ geometric understandings. Students explore more complex geometric situations and deepen their explanations of geometric relationships, moving toward formal mathematical arguments and proof.

In this course, rigid and non-rigid transformations (including translations, reflections, rotations, and dilations) are the frame through which students build and prove the concepts of congruence and similarity.

Students apply similar reasoning to geometric constructions. Previous experiences with proportional reasoning and the Pythagorean theorem lead students to understand the trigonometry of right triangles. The geometry of two and three-dimensional figures is the focus, including work and analysis in the coordinate plane.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Common Core State Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Algebra 2

Building on their work from Algebra 1 students examine, in a more in depth fashion, linear, quadratic, and exponential functions. Students will also extend their repertoire of functions to include polynomial, rational, radical and logarithmic functions.

Additionally, students work closely with the expressions that define the functions, and continue to expand and hone their abilities to model situations and to solve equations, including solving quadratic equations over the set of complex numbers.

Functions are studied in relation to one another by analysis of multiple representations of functions with unrestricted domains, as well as those with restricted domains. Students further develop their statistical knowledge by studying the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, and the connections to probability.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Common Core State Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Probability/Statistics

In this course, students examine probability as a basis for mathematical models of situations in the sciences; statistics is the art of gathering, analyzing, and making inferences from data.

Topics include interpretation of statistical data, computation of probabilities of given events, frequency distributions, and application of random sampling to probability. Students will summarize analysis and interpret data in real world contexts, including medicine, psychology, economics and business.

Additionally, an overview of data gathering techniques, descriptive statistics, linear regression, normal distributions, probability and inferential statistics as tools for drawing appropriate conclusions will be provided.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Common Core State Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Discrete Math

This course includes a variety of mathematical concepts and topics designed to further develop student’s mathematical thinking. Essential to the study of discrete mathematics are the topics of counting, matrices, and recursion.

Furthermore, real life applications in the form of case studies will be drawn from business, engineering, the medical field, and other areas of focus.

Topics will be selected from a group which includes graph theory, social choice, line programming, game theory, logic, coding theory, queuing theory, set theory, growth patterns, mathematical induction or further study of probability and statistics. Technologies such as the graphing calculator and computers will be frequently used tools in this course.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Common Core State Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Human Nutrition

This course introduces basic principles of nutrition with emphasis on personal nutrition. This course focuses on macro and micro nutrients and their effects on the functions of the human body.

  • Special emphasis is placed on the application of wellness, disease, and lifespan as it pertains to nutrition.
  • Focuses on the concepts of improved performance in all fitness areas.
  • Emphasis is placed on how carbohydrates, fat, and protein impact performance, and the relationship between metabolism and weight for all populations.
  • Addresses unhealthy diets, eating patterns, and behavior modifications to change negative food relationships within a variety of population.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Colorado Academic Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Personal Wellness

This course integrates components of fitness and wellness to better understand human health.. This course offers current information in the health field and provides self-assessments for health risk and wellness behaviors.

This includes lifestyle modification, nutrition, weight management, stress management, cardiovascular and cancer risk reduction, exercise and aging, exercise related injury, exercise and the environment, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, substance abuse (including tobacco, alcohol and other psychoactive drugs), and analysis and interpretation of research publications and websites in health and wellness.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Colorado Academic Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Sports Psychology

This course is an overview of basic concepts and principles essential to understanding the psychological and behavioral aspects of sport and exercise.  Emphasis is given to the conceptual frameworks aspects of sport performance enhancement and mental skills, exercise behavior and motivation, sociological factors, and health and well-being.

Personal application is made to topics including:

  • behavior modification
  • identifying personality traits
  • assessing sport and exercise environments
  • focusing on team processes
  • improving performance
  • enhancing health, growth, and development.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Colorado Academic Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Strength and Conditioning

Strength and Conditioning focuses on developing & improving muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility and improved body composition.  Skill-related fitness which includes agility, balance, coordination, speed, reaction time and explosive power .

Students will also learn about the principles of exercise science including, proper warm-up and cool-down methods, exercise testing, spotting procedures, muscle groups, and proper exercise techniques.  Students will design and participate in an individualized conditioning program including resistance training and aerobic exercise. It is our goal that students will take what is learned in this class and use it for lifelong fitness programming.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Colorado Academic Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Yoga

In this course, students will develop a practice that supports their physical, mental, and emotional fitness. Yoga is a system of self-care that was developed in India and is practiced all over the world. Yoga develops core strength and helps to develop lung capacity through careful breathing.

Various poses and postures emphasized in this course will develop flexibility, muscular strength, and muscular endurance for the student. Emphasis will be placed on correct alignment and safe practice. Yoga students will learn concepts of physical fitness, identify stress reduction techniques, and gain an increased ability to concentrate.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Colorado Academic Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Comparative Religion

Comparative Religion examines religion through a historical, social, political, and economic lens. Students will understand the connection between religion and society, and how these two ideas are intertwined.  Students will explore the origins of religion and the connection to modern society. By doing this, students will have a fuller understanding of the beliefs, culture, and conflict surrounding the religions of the world.

We will cover a variety of religions from all over the world throughout the year, examining each through historical, cultural, and sociological contexts.  Units of study will include, but not limited to:

  • Hinduism
  • Buddhism
  • Taoism
  • Confucianism
  • Judaism
  • Christianity
  • Islam

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Colorado Academic Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Introduction to Business

Introduction to Business explores different types and sizes of businesses. Students will also be introduced to numerous business and management strategies.  This will include marketing, human resources, and finances.  Students are exposed to various economies, their roles in our economy, entrepreneurship, managing financial and technological resources, and the use of social media.

Course activities involve students in writing, investigating, problem-solving, demonstrating, and reporting.  Partnerships with local businesses and organizations will also be utilized to provide students with real-life exposure.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Colorado Academic Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship introduces students to the opportunities and challenges associated with the creation and management of entrepreneurial and small organizations.  This course discusses innovative and contemporary approaches in addressing areas such as: starting, acquiring a business, succeeding in business, and franchising a small business venture.

Additionally, students will examine the foundation necessary for a successful small business.  An overview of business concepts, including topics such as:

  • theories of entrepreneurship
  • types and characteristics of entrepreneurship
  • the business life cycle
  • entrepreneurial economics
  • accounting and financial management
  • legal issues
  • marketing research and planning
  • human resource management
  • ethics and social responsibility
  • product and service research development and acquisition and the use of technology

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Colorado Academic Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Self-Marketing and Personal Branding

Self-Marketing and Personal Branding is a course in which students will learn how to use strategic marketing and personal branding techniques for designing, enhancing, and promoting your professional image.

Students will learn how to use relationships, network marketing and impression management to showcase their skills to prospective employers, colleagues, supervisors, and other interested parties. Emphasis will be placed on the importance of marketing orientation and career brand building for your career development.

Students will learn marketing communication strategies for your self-marketing to create personal branding statements. Additionally, relevant tips, tactics, and strategies will be taught to support students as they integrate social networking into their career branding.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Colorado Academic Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Introduction to Robotics

Introduction to Robotics introduces students to basic programming as well as problem solving strategies. In this course, students will be involved with the development, building and fabrication of robotics chassis’. Students will work hands-on in teams to design, build, program and document their progress.  Topics may include:

  • motor control
  • gear ratios
  • torque
  • friction
  • sensors
  • decision-making
  • propulsion systems
  • locomotive systems.

The objective of this course is to use a hands-on approach to introduce the basic concepts in robotics, focusing on mobile robots and illustrations of current state-of-the-art research and applications.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Colorado Academic Standards and is 1.0 credit.

Financial Literacy

Financial Literacy enables students to analyze their personal financial decisions, evaluate the costs and benefits of their decisions, recognize their rights and responsibilities as consumers, and apply the knowledge learned in school to financial situations encountered later in life.

Students will learn how choices influence occupational options and future earning potential. Furthermore, students will learn to apply decision-making skills to evaluate career choices and set personal goals.  The content of the course is designed to help the learner make wise spending, saving, and credit decisions and to make effective use of income to achieve personal financial success.

This course is aligned with the corresponding grade level Colorado Academic Standards and is 1.0 credit.