- Fine Arts
- Social Studies
- World Languages
- Cross-Departmental Elective Offerings
The English Department’s goal is to inspire in students a love of literature and a facility for the English language, through working on their own writing and through rhetorical and literary analysis of notable texts. Each year of study enables students to build on their close reading skills and to develop their own abilities to write with clarity, precision, passion, and elegance. Students will analyze increasingly complex texts, both as singular units and in comparison with other seminal works so that they may think and write more logically. Students will practice these skills in both class discussion and in essay composition. Students will gain insight into voice and audience and be comfortable with various types of writing, both persuasive and creative.
Students are required to take a TVS English course on campus every year. These courses address areas of reading, composition, grammar, vocabulary, speaking, and listening, leading to an option to take writing and literature classes at the Advanced Placement level. However, English instruction at TVS also aims to give students insights into human behavior, different cultures, and ways of being, thus supporting TVS’s mission of moral development which promotes lasting values.
Rising 11th graders may apply to take Advanced Placement (AP) Language and Composition; the appropriate placement will be determined based on a student’s prior performance in English courses and the student’s application materials (including written work). Rising 12th graders, whether they have taken the AP course or the college-prep course during the 11th grade year, may apply to take Advanced Placement (AP) Literature and Composition; the appropriate placement will be determined based on a student’s prior performance in English courses and the student’s application materials (including written work).
Beginning in the fall of 2019, juniors may enroll in an English elective to earn an additional ½ credit in English over and above the courses required for graduation. This option provides our junior students the opportunity to embark on a more extensive study of a specific topic or genre of interest.
In the senior year, all students must take two semesters of English. AP students will take two semesters of AP Literature, and if the schedule allows, AP students may take an additional English elective. However, seniors enrolled in the college-prep (non AP) English IV course must select a second-semester elective to fulfill the second half of their English course requirement.
All courses taken to satisfy English requirements must be taken at Trinity Valley School.
The ninth-grade course is unique in its dual-goals: to introduce students to high-school-level language arts (grammar, diction, style, rhetoric) as well as to introduce students to upper level literary analysis (character development, themes, symbols). As such, students will spend one semester studying Language Arts (including SAT prep) and one semester that will cover literary arts. The class serves to create a foundation for the college preparatory work students will do as readers, writers, thinkers, speakers, and listeners during their time in the TVS Upper School. Students will build on the writing process they learned in middle school and will hone their communication skills in class discussions. Both semesters will introduce students to literary classics as well as to more contemporary works. Texts may include among others: excerpts from Edith Hamilton’s Mythology, The Iliad, and Gilgamesh as well as selected readings from the Genesis and Exodus (to assist students with recognizing biblical allusions). Students will also read A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Oedipus Rex among other books. Summer reading will be assigned for core English courses.
Expanding on the work done in ninth grade, tenth grade English acquaints readers with additional classical texts. Students will read canonical works including but not limited to: The Psalms, the Book of Job, Macbeth, The Odyssey, Dante’s Inferno, Frankenstein and Brave New World. This class promotes critical reflection on and investigation of the texts through essay writing, Socratic style seminars, and class discussion. Writing assignments emphasize conception and composition but also stress revision. Students will continue to study vocabulary sophomore year in preparation for the SAT. Students’ daily reading assignments will vary in length. Summer reading will be assigned.
COLLEGE PREP ENGLISH 11
Students who are enrolled in Eleventh Grade College Preparatory English will explore American literature, multi-genre writing, and critical thinking at a pace and level of rigor comparable to a university classroom. Students will read both canonical works from the American literary tradition as well as newer works by American authors, which focus on race, class, gender and place. Immersing themselves in novels, nonfiction books, poetry and drama, students will also intensively engage in persuasive, expository, descriptive and reflective writing with an emphasis on developing a writing voice appropriate for a variety of audiences and purposes. Texts may include but are not limited to: The Great Gatsby, Of Mice and Men, The House on Mango Street and selections from Hawthorne, Twain and Poe. Summer reading will be assigned for core English courses
|COLLEGE PREP ENGLISH 12|
In Senior College Preparatory English, students will turn their gaze to the global literary landscape. They will delve into multi-genre works written by American and British authors as well as by authors in translation in order to gain a preliminary understanding of various worldviews and philosophies. Students will be introduced to literary theory critical lenses (feminism, Marxism, Jungian) that will prepare them to meet and exceed the demands of the college classroom. A majority of grades will come from student writings, be they in-class personal responses to a particular piece or a longer analysis derived from book length text. Students will focus on analytical reading and writing skills to express their ideas about the reading. Texts may include but are not limited to: Hamlet, The Color Purple, 1984, and Chronicle of a Death Foretold. Summer reading will be assigned.
|ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENGLISH OFFERINGS|
AP ENGLISH LANGUAGE & COMPOSITION (Grade 11)
With a primary goal of undertaking intensive rhetorical-analysis work and a secondary goal of taking the English AP exam, students will focus on the relationship between content and form, dealing specifically with close reading, literary and rhetorical analysis, and compositional skills. In addition, a study of American literature seeks to understand our literary heritage. Texts may include but are not limited to: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Scarlet Letter, The Great Gatsby, Catcher in the Rye, and Beloved. The spring semester will focus largely on analyzing rhetoric in speeches, advertising and journalism. Students will write at least 5 out-of-class essays and 12 in-class essays among other writing and testing. Admission to the course is determined by performance in prior English courses and by additional application materials. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP subject exam in May. Summer Reading: The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne. There will also be a reading guide posted on the library Web site.
AP ENGLISH LITERATURE (Grade 12)
AP English Literature and Composition is an intensive, college-level course. Students work towards developing the following skills and knowledge: critical interpretation and evaluation of information and ideas; effective communication of ideas with others; a coherent and personal writing style; an understanding of the cultural and social values presented in the literature we study; an understanding of the various writing devices, techniques and modes; and an appreciation for literature. Texts include but are not limited to: “A Modest Proposal,” Hamlet, All The Pretty Horses, 1984, The Color Purple, Pride and Prejudice and Kafka’s Metamorphosis. Students will write at least 5 out-of-class essays and 12 in-class essays among other writing and testing. Admission to the class is determined by a student’s prior performance in English courses and other application materials. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP subject exam in May. Summer reading will be assigned for core English courses.
|ENGLISH COURSE ELECTIVES|
INTRO TO CREATIVE WRITING (Grades 10,11,12)
This one-semester course will explore three genres of writing: Poetry, Fiction and Creative Nonfiction. Through lecture, discussion, writing exercises, and assigned readings, students will examine elements of literary creation. As the course progresses, students will produce one creative nonfiction essay, 4-5 poems, and elements of fictional stories. This course uses the workshop method, with student and teacher critiques on individual work. In addition, this course allows exclusive access to various Visiting Writers. The final portfolio will showcase the students’ understanding of revision, which is essential to the writing process. Summer reading includes Wild by Cheryl Strayed.
|GOTHIC LITERATURE AND FILM (Grades 11, 12)|
WARNING: Enter if you dare! This course examines monsters and vampires; ghosts and ghouls; madmen and madwomen. By exploring Gothic Literature from its origin to its contemporary manifestations, we will relentlessly explore the dark side of humanity. To this end, we will read authors such as Poe, Hawthorne, Stevenson and King. Further, as we seek to understand the genre more fully, we will analyze the elements presented in films by legends such as Alfred Hitchcock and Stephen King. If you scare easily, this course may not be for you. This course also contains some mature themes.
|A FOCUS IN SHAKESPEARE (Grades 11, 12)|
This course will combine reading and analyzing Shakespeare’s plays and poetry with aspects of history and performance for a holistic experience of Shakespeare’s works. We will place emphasis on studying Shakespeare “on our feet” as much as or more than “in our seat” and explore plays that are not normally read in the school curriculum, including selected comedies, histories, and tragedies. We will also sample Shakespeare’s poetic technique through the study of selected sonnets from his sonnet sequence. The students who take this class will also enjoy community service opportunities in partnering with other schools to experience Shakespeare’s works and receive coaching in monologue performance to help those who wish it to participate in Shakespeare monologue competitions both at our school and in other venues.
THE BIBLE AS LITERATURE: A SURVEY (Grades 10, 11, 12)
This fall elective course, available to all students from 9th to 12th grade, will provide a survey of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament from a scholarly and literary, non-sectarian perspective, with the goal of familiarizing students with the text of the most significant work in the Western literary tradition. Students should expect no fewer than two analytical essays over course of this semester-long elective course, as well as reading quizzes and opportunities for project-based learning.
The Fine Arts play a critical role in the development of all students at Trinity Valley School. There is a consistent K-12 exposure in classes and field trips to world-class museums. Students are engaged in a wide range of hands on techniques and approaches. They develop analytical and creative problem solving abilities as we provide significant curricular opportunities in Music, Theater, the Visual Arts and Dance. Students are exposed to creative endeavors that are essential to pre-college development for those students who will engage in Fine Arts studies after graduation.
The Upper School Visual Arts classes begin with an introductory art curriculum that will enable them to choose from a number of advanced studio options in ceramics, photography, and traditional visual media. Trinity Valley School maintains a gallery for both student and guest artist exhibitions in the Upper and Middle School Library.
Students wishing to pursue Performing Arts are provided with many opportunities to learn and grow.
Theatre Arts Offers both introductory and advanced theater classes that focus on all aspects of theatrical production. Additionally, there are four scheduled Upper School productions each year, one of which is a musical.
Choral classes offer multiple levels of music study, with numerous high level performance and competition opportunities.
Dance students will study and explore multiple dance forms to instill proper technique and alignment, enhance strength and flexibility, and heighten rhythm and musicality. For interested students, there will be optional performance and leadership opportunities throughout the school year.
All courses taken to satisfy the Fine Arts requirement must be taken at TVS.
ART I (Grades 9, 10, 11, 12)
This course introduces students to the fundamental elements and principles of design production oriented problem solving, and studies in art history and aesthetics. Students will explore introductory technical skills of drawing, design painting and printmaking. Grades achieved in this class are determined by the student’s effort, self-discipline, motivation, not talent. Art 1 is prerequisite for any upper level visual art class.
ART II (Grades 10, 11, 12)
This course expands on the experiences learned in Art1. Students will be engaged in creating work that demonstrates a higher degree of technical proficiency in several media. Emphasis is placed on presentation as well as production and, there will be an opportunity to develop and begin their portfolios for college application purposes.
ART III (Grades 11, 12)
Art III is an advanced class that provides students more in-depth opportunity to strengthen their technical abilities and explore the possibilities of art making. The focus is on both new and familiar media. In this course students must demonstrate a strong commitment to their work production and presentation. They continue to develop, organize and maintain portfolios in preparation for college applications.
SENIOR PORTFOLIOS (Grade 12)
PHOTOGRAPHY II (Grades 11, 12)
Students should be able to demonstrate a technical proficiency of the use of a digital SLR camera and Photoshop as previously taught in Photography I. This is a year- long course studying the digital camera as an art-making tool. The students are expected to bring creative and original thinking to assignments that are designed by the student and teacher together. Students are encouraged to explore techniques in photography more in depth including, but not limited to natural and studio lighting, the history of photography and photographers, and Photoshop. Student will leave the class with a professional looking portfolio of their work. Students should be prepared to photograph assignments outside of class approximately 4-6 hours per week, including weekends. Student are required to have his or her own camera equipment (digital SLR & tripod).
STUDIES IN GLASS (Grades 10, 11, 12)
Studies in glass is a year-long class. Students will study the art of mosaics, stained glass and fused glass. They will learn various techniques to create a mosaic window panel, stained glass pieces and decorative and functional pieces by fusing glass in a kiln. Student will spend the semester fabricating their own designs and patterns, developing ideas to make work that is production oriented. Emphasis will be placed on producing work that is technically well-crafted. Students should be able to produce solutions to technical problems and communicate their ideas both visually and verbally throughout the year.
THREE-DIMENSIONAL STUDIES (CERAMICS) (Grades 10, 11, 12)
Three- D Studies is a year-long studio course with a strong emphasis on ceramics. The first semester is focused on hand building, design concepts and developing strong technical skills. More advanced techniques in ceramics such as using clay to make sculpture and wheel throwing are taught during the second semester. Emphasis will be on technique and production skills. Students should be able to produce solutions to technical problems and communicate their ideas both visually and verbally.
STAGE ACTING I (Grades 9, 10, 11, 12)
Stage Acting is a semester course offered in the fall. Students will use theatre games and exercises to develop the mind, body and voice - the three tools of the actor. Basic pantomime and improvisation skills will be taught and students will perform short scenes and monologues with emphasis on character development. Various acting styles and methods will be explored.
STAGE ACTING II (Grades 9, 10, 11, 12)
Stage Acting II is a semester course, offered second semester. It is a more in depth study and practice of acting for the stage. The methods of various famous acting teachers (including Stanislavski and Meisner) will be studied and students will be given the opportunity to practice these in a longer monologue as well as more complex duet and group scenes.
TECHNICAL THEATRE I (Grades 9, 10, 11, 12)
Technical Theatre I is a one-semester course. It is an overview of all the technical elements involved in producing a show. This course will cover the history of theater, the design process, safety, tools of the industry, materials, scenic constructions, scenic art, rigging and knots, lighting and electrics, costumes, props, makeup and wigs, sound and stage management. Participation is a large part of student success in this course. During the semester, students will work on TVS productions during class and are strongly encouraged to volunteer for after- school work calls. Class is limited to 10 students per semester and meets daily in the Black Box Theater.
TECHNICAL THEATRE II (Grades 9, 10, 11, 12)
Technical Theatre II is a one-semester course Class size is limited to eight students. The course offers an in-depth look at script analysis as it pertains to the technical elements of a production. Students are required to submit projects during the semester related to each of these elements. The course will culminate with students applying basic design and production concepts learned in class to a TVS production.
THEATRE DIRECTING (Grade 12)
This semester course is designed to help students consider the potential power of theatre to affect positive change in the world and to teach students the basics of directing for the stage by guiding them through the process of coordinating the various elements of theatre to create a unified production. The course will conclude with students casting and directing a short one act of their own choosing. Prerequisites include one semester of Stage Acting or special permission from the instructor.
IMPROVISATION (Grade 9,10,11,12)
This one semester course will focus on the fundamental elements of theatrical improvisation. Through games, exercises, and short scenes students will learn and practice the skills needed to create successful improvised performances. An especially helpful course for the actor who wants to improve concentration and focus, it is also recommended for anyone who wants to have fun while increasing the ability to be creative and spontaneous. Some basic pantomime and movement will also be taught. Prerequisites include one semester of Stage Acting or special permission from the instructor.
CHOIR (Grades 9, 10, 11, 12)
The choir course is designed to provide experience in and appreciation of music through an applied discipline - singing. The course covers four main areas: vocal technique, ear training, score reading and the performance of many styles of music.
HONOR CHOIR, T-PERIOD (Grades 10, 11, 12)
Meeting three times per week, singers with advanced sight-reading skills prepare the Upper School Choir repertoire and additional chamber choir music, and perform in all scheduled choir concerts. This full-year course will receive ½ credit of Fine Arts. NOTE: Two years in Honor Choir equals one fine arts credit.
DANCE I (Grades 9, 10, 11, 12)
This course introduces students to multiple dance forms including ballet, jazz, lyrical, and hip hop. Ballet is the essential foundation of dance training and instruction follows American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum to instill proper technique and alignment while enhancing strength and flexibility. Other prominent dance forms serve to develop the dancer’s range of style and expression, connection of movement and form, and heighten rhythm and musicality. Students participate in performance and leadership opportunities throughout the year. For an additional fee, interested students may choose to participate in the competitive performance program and attend area dance conventions.
DANCE II (Grades 10, 11, 12)
The Mathematics Department of Trinity Valley believes in a strong, curricular presence as well as cross-disciplinary support to other departments, particularly science. All students in the Upper School take at least one math course every semester of all four years, completing the sequences in math at a minimum through Precalculus and more often through AP course offerings.
The mathematical curriculum encompasses both AP and non-AP tracks, with the opportunity to study continuous and discrete perspectives. Students can begin to accelerate mathematics as early as the seventh grade. By the senior year, students have AP Statistics, AP Calculus AB or BC, and applied probability and linear algebra options. Teachers and students have the opportunity to use technology as a tool to develop their mathematics. Building a grounded, comprehensive mathematical framework allows the focused to delve into mathematical analysis and the liberal arts student to train the mind to think logically and critically. Admission to honors and AP courses will be determined by the mentioned course prerequisites and teacher recommendations with a final determination to be made by the mathematics department faculty.
In addition to computer software, students use graphing calculators to explore, to discover, and to confirm mathematics. The mathematics department requires a uniform calculator for students to have in mathematics courses starting in Algebra II, and it is recommended for students to have in Geometry. The TI-89 Titanium ® graphing calculator will be the required calculator for students to have in all levels of Algebra II, precalculus, statistics, and calculus. The graphing capabilities of the TI 89 Titanium ® aid students tremendously in providing numerical and visual perspectives. The computer algebra systems of the TI-89 Titanium ® give students the opportunity to develop mathematics inductively and carry out mathematical processes efficiently in order to focus on problem solving. Exams in these courses will often have non-calculator and calculator sections to provide a balance between building skills and problem solving. This calculator is approved for use of the SAT and on all AP mathematics and science exams. In Algebra I and Geometry courses, students will need access to a scientific calculator if they do not yet have a TI 89 Titanium ®. In addition to calculator work, some graphing and statistical experiences will be explored with computer software.
Courses to be taken at TVS: Algebra I, Geometry/Honors Geometry, Algebra II/Honors Algebra II, Precal/Honors Precal/Accelerated Precal, AP Calc AB, Advanced Calc, AP Calc BC, AP Stats, AP Computer Science.
ALGEBRA I (Grade 9)
Students in this course develop algebraic skills and thinking. The following topics are explored in depth: operations with integers and rational numbers, solving linear equations and inequalities, working with exponents and polynomials, factoring polynomials, graphing linear and quadratic equations, solving systems of equations, rational equations, radical equations, and quadratic equations. Relations and the concept of function are embedded throughout the curriculum. Students receive considerable support due to small class size.
GEOMETRY (Grades 9, 10)
The geometry course at TVS emphasizes written mathematical communication, (i.e. logical and clear presentation of work, arguments, and explanations), reading for meaning, following directions accurately, organization, and a continuation of the process of “learning how to learn!” Algebra concepts will be reviewed, reinforced, and extended. Whenever possible, this will be done in the context of studying geometrical concepts. The following topics will be covered: Basic geometry terminology and postulates; Coordinate geometry; Angles and Parallel Lines; Triangles (Congruency, similarity, inequalities, points of concurrency); Quadrilaterals (classification, characteristics, congruency, similarity); Other Polygons; The Right Triangle (“Solving” right triangles, the Pythagorean Theorem, trigonometry); Circles; Area, Surface Area, Volume; and Transformations.
GEOMETRY HONORS WITH DYNAMIC AND DIGITAL APPLICATIONS (Grades 9, 10)
Geometry Honors with Dynamic Applications is a course designed for motivated students who excel in mathematics. Through the platform of the dynamic geometry software The Geometer’s Sketchpad, the course encourages students to explore the following curricular topics: Properties of polygons, circles, and circular regions and applying these properties algebraically; Deductive Proof; Right Triangle Properties (The Pythagorean Theorem, special right triangles, introduction to the unit circle and right triangle trigonometry); 2-D Perspectives of Area and 3-D Perspectives of Volume ; and, Transformations of geometric figures and how these transformations connect to transformations of the graphs of functions that will be studied in subsequent algebraic mathematics courses. Assessments will consist of a combination of traditional quizzes, traditional exams, and computer labs. These assessments will require students to develop mathematics multi-representationally, as encouraged by College Board in preparation for AP Calculus and AP Statistics. Because of the dynamic geometry component, a laptop computer is required for the course. Students will be required to complete a summer computing assignment to prepare them for computer explorations on day one of the course. The mathematics department will make recommendations for students to take this class. Prerequisite: One credit of Algebra I, with semester averages of at least 85.
ALGEBRA II (Grades 9, 10, 11)
This course is designed to review the basic concepts and mechanics of Algebra at a more advanced level. Then students will explore applications of linear functions and systems, matrices, and complex numbers. The students will also study the algebraic manipulations, transformations, and applications of different types of functions, including quadratic, polynomial, radical, exponential, logarithmic, and rational. Building on their work with quadratics, the students will explore quadratic relations and conic sections. Technology is used throughout the course to help the students make connections analytically and graphically. The required calculator for this course is the TI 89 Titanium ®. Prerequisite: one credit of Algebra I and one credit of Geometry.
ALGEBRA II HONORS (Grades 9, 10, 11)
Algebra II Honors is designed for students who excel in mathematics and are ready to tackle the comprehensive study of algebra topics, functions, and analytic geometry. The course begins with a quick review of topics from Algebra I before students explore linear systems, matrices, and complex numbers. Then the course focuses extensively on the study of various functions including quadratic, polynomial, radical, exponential, logarithmic, and rational. Specific algebraic manipulations and transformations are emphasized when appropriate. Building from work with quadratic functions and transformations, the course concludes with a study of conic sections. Application problems are developed throughout the course requiring students to interpret mathematics graphically, analytically, numerically, and verbally. Technology is interwoven into the curriculum to provide students an opportunity to explore numerous topics and develop a deeper understanding of the mathematical concepts. The required calculator for this course is the TI 89 Titanium ®. This course is honors level. The mathematics department will make recommendations for students to take this class. Prerequisite: One credit of Algebra I and one credit of Honors Geometry with semester grades of at least “B’s” in both courses; or one credit of Algebra I with semester grades of at least “B’s” in the course and one credit of Geometry with semester grades of at least “A’s” in the course; or one credit of Algebra I with semester grades of at least “A’s” in the course and taking Algebra II Honors concurrently with Honors Geometry.
PRECALCULUS (Grades 10, 11, 12)
This course is designed to provide the background for an introductory course in Calculus and Analytic Geometry. It covers linear, quadratic, polynomial, exponential, logarithmic, circular, trigonometric and inverse trigonometric functions, complex numbers, vectors, sequences and series, mathematical induction, and average rates of change of algebraic functions. Throughout the course, emphasis is placed upon the ability to analyze and solve problems of varying difficulty. The required calculator for this course is the TI 89 Titanium ®.
PRECALCULUS HONORS (Grades 10, 11, 12)
Students develop, describe, investigate, and apply general function properties and use them to develop trigonometric and circular functions, recursive relationships, and parametric equations. Students examine and apply conic sections, polar representations, and vectors to a variety of mathematical and real-world contexts. Application problems are developed throughout the course that require students to explore mathematics graphically, analytically, verbally, and numerically. This course is an honors course and will provide a solid groundwork for the rigor of AP Calculus. The mathematics department will make recommendations for students to take this class. The required calculator for this course is the TI 89 Titanium ®. Prerequisite: One credit of Algebra II Honors, with semester grades of at least a B in the course or one credit of Algebra II, with semester grades of an A in the course.
INTRO TO STATISTICS (Grades 11, 12)
In a world that is increasingly driven by technology, students are constantly presented with data. In this course, students will learn to design surveys and experiments; explore, summarize, and display data; use probability to understand random behavior; and, make inferences regarding populations and the effect of treatments. Gaining an understanding of the basic concepts of statistics and practicing making informed decisions regarding real data will allow the students to be more equipped to intelligently operate within this extremely quantitative world. The required calculator for this course is the TI 89 Titanium ®.
INTRO TO CALCULUS (Grades 11, 12)
ACCELERATED & ADVANCED PLACEMENT COURSES
ACCELERATED PRECALCULUS/CALCULUS (Grades 10, 11)
This course is designed for students who plan to give extra attention and time to mathematics study. Its accelerated nature consists of the course covering a yearlong Honors Pre-calculus course in one semester. Students begin studying calculus the second semester with the study of limits and their properties, differentiation, applications of differentiation, and basic integration. These topics shall lead to developing The Fundamental Theorem of Calculus at the end of the course. After students complete the Accelerated Pre-calculus/Accelerated Calculus yearlong sequence, they will be ready for AP BC Calculus study the following school year. The course is open to students who might not have been tracked in middle school to complete upper school BC Calculus or to students who want to learn mathematics beyond BC topics during their upper school experience. The mathematics department will make recommendations for students to take this class. Students may be advised out of the course after the first year based on assessment of effort and performance by the teacher and review by the department chair. The required graphing calculator for this course is the TI 89 Titanium ®. Prerequisite: One credit of Honors Algebra II, with semester grades of at least “B’s” in the course.
AP CALCULUS AB (Grades 11, 12)
The AP Calculus AB course is equivalent to a freshman level college calculus course. The course covers the “AB” topics of the AP Calculus curriculum including limits; derivatives of algebraic, trigonometric, inverse trigonometric, exponential, and logarithmic functions and their applications; differentials and implicit differentiation; the Mean Value Theorem; Riemann sums; indefinite and definite integrals and the techniques of integration; the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus; and applications of integration and differential equations. Students use computer algebra systems to explore calculus concepts throughout the course. The required calculator for this course is the TI 89 Titanium ®. This course is AP level. The mathematics department will make recommendations for students to take this class. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP subject exam in May. Prerequisite: One credit of Precalculus Honors with semester grades of at least “B’s” in the course; or one credit of Precalculus with semester grades of at least “A’s” in the course.
ACCELERATED AP CALCULUS BC (THE FUNDAMENTAL THEOREM AND BEYOND) (Grades 11, 12)
The AP Calculus BC [FTC and Beyond] is for students who have completed Accelerated Pre-Calculus/Accelerated Calculus. The first semester begins with revisiting The Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. Students then review integration, explore the calculus of logarithmic, exponential and other transcendental functions, numerical approximations, differential equations, and the applications of integration. The second semester is dedicated to subject matter unique to the Calculus BC Curriculum (advanced integration techniques and applications, l’Hopital’s Rule, Improper Integrals, Series, Parametric, Polar, and Vector perspectives of calculus). The mathematics department will make recommendations for students to take this class. The required graphing calculator for this course is the TI 89 Titanium ®. This course is AP Level. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP subject exam in May. Prerequisite: One credit of Accelerated Precalculus/Calculus, with semester grades of least “B’s” in the course.
AP CALCULUS BC (Grade 12)
The AP Calculus BC course continues where the AP Calculus AB course ends. Hence, the course has a prerequisite of AP Calculus AB. The course includes an extensive study of the topics unique to the BC curriculum (including advanced integration techniques and applications; Euler’s method and logistic differential equations; improper integrals; series; and the parametric, polar and vector perspectives of calculus). Extended study of AB topics and additional advanced topics, applications in engineering, and mathematical modeling are integrated throughout the course. Computer algebra investigations allow students to continually explore various topics and develop a deeper understanding of the calculus concepts. The required calculator for this course is the TI 89 Titanium ®. This course is AP level. The mathematics department will make recommendations for students to take this class. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP subject exam in May. Prerequisite: One credit of AP Calculus AB with semester grades of at least “B’s” in the course.
ADVANCED TOPICS IN MATH (Grade 12)
This year-long course introduces students to applied probability and linear algebra. During one semester of the year, students will explore the applied probability component. The other semester of the year students will delve into the linear algebra component. This course is advanced level and will be taught using a college model. Class will meet Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with the expectation students will complete added readings and assignments on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The recommended graphing calculator for this course is the TI 89 Titanium®.
Descriptions of each component follow:
Advanced Topics I, Applied Probability – The Mathematics of Games and Games of Chance Component (Fall Semester): In this course, student will learn the important and beautiful elementary mathematics needed for rational analysis of various games and gambling activities. Among the games there will be analysis of poker, backgammon, roulette, craps, horse racing and lotteries. Students with a good understanding of algebraic perspectives and an interest in games of chance are prime candidates for this course.
Advanced Topics II, Introduction to Linear Algebra (Spring Semester): In this course, students will explore the theory and application of linear systems of equations, matrices, determinants, vector spaces, inner product spaces, eigenvalues and eigenvectors.
AP STATISTICS (Grades 11, 12)
The purpose of the AP course in statistics is to introduce students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. Students are exposed to four broad conceptual themes:
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,
4. Statistical inference: Estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses.
The mathematics department will make recommendations for students to take this class. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP subject exam in May. The recommended graphing calculator for this course is the TI 89 Titanium ®. Prerequisite: One credit of Precalculus, with semester grades of at least “B’s” in the course.
COMPUTER SCIENCE ELECTIVES
INTRO TO GRAPHICS PROGRAMMING I (Grades 9, 10, 11, 12)
This course is an introduction to computer programming. Students will learn the basics of the Java language in the context of creating visualizations and 2D sprite-based games with animation. Projects emphasize the role of mathematics in video game design. Students will use the Processing development environment from MIT Media labs. Computer science topics include data types, using objects, declaring variables, assignment, arithmetic operators, branching structures, loops, random functions, methods, parameters, event-processing, state concepts, scope rules, and user interaction. The course is structured as a hands-on workshop centered on programming projects that emphasize computer science and mathematics principles as they apply to areas of art, visual design, games, science, and special effects. (NOTE: Formerly listed as DIGITAL IMAGES AND COMPUTER GRAPHICS I. The course is the same. Students with credit for Digital Images I may not receive credit for both.)
INTRO TO GRAPHICS PROGRAMMING II (Grades 9, 10, 11, 12)
This course builds on Digital Images and Computer Graphics I with emphasis on techniques used in 3D computer graphics while continuing to write increasingly complex code. Students will strengthen programming skills in Java and be introduced to mathematics for 3D graphics. Topics include object-oriented programming, arrays, vertices, polygons, texture mapping, 3D transformations, articulated motion, polar coordinates, and parametric equations. The course is styled as a hands on workshop with a flexible schedule that allows students to explore various optional computer science topics such as microcontroller programming using Arduino, basic electronic circuits, Java basics, or image processing. Students are expected to participate in occasional cross-divisional coding experiences as peer mentors. Prerequisite: One credit of Digital Images or one credit of Computer Science: Graphics Programming I. (NOTE: Formerly listed as DIGITAL IMAGES AND COMPUTER GRAPHICS II. The course is the same. Students with credit for Digital Images II may not receive credit for both.)
MECHATRONICS: FOUNDATIONS OF ROBOTICS (Grades 9, 10, 11, 12)
This project-based lab course is for students wishing to get a project-based experience using a variety of modern digital tools that crossover between the digital and physical worlds and form the basic Sense-Compute-Act model that defines modern robotics Students will have access to microcontrollers, sensors, actuators, 3D printer, laser cutter, soldering equipment and other emerging technologies. Students will build circuits and control them using Arduino and the C programming language. Students will build mechanisms with motors and linkages. Students will have a set of required projects to master basic skills and explore devices. Then, students have the opportunity to develop projects of personal interest and apply robotic concepts in a variety of creative applications. Prerequisites: Intro To Graphics Programming I, co-requisite of APCS. This course was formerly offered as (Computation, Fabrication and Facilitation). Students may not get credit for both. (NOTE: This course was formerly offered as (Computation, Fabrication and Facilitation). Students may not get credit for both.)
AP COMPUTER SCIENCE A (Grades 11, 12)
This course is a college level introduction to computer programming in the Java language. Topics include data types, control structures, algorithms, methods and parameters, object-oriented design, inheritance, polymorphism, data structures, sorting, recursion and data representation. At completion of the course, students will take the AP Computer Science A exam that corresponds to a 1-semester college course. Senior students who have a credit in an AP Calculus class can take this course and have it count toward a mathematics graduation requirement. A student who has a credit from an AP Calculus course may opt to take AP Computer Science his/her senior year to fulfill the mathematics requirement. Prerequisite: One credit of Algebra II, with semester grades of at least “B’s” in the course, and junior standing.
The Upper School science program at Trinity Valley reflects several objectives for our students that focus on developing critical thinking skills while stimulating interest and excitement in the natural sciences. At its heart, the science sequence fosters both an understanding of and appreciation for the processes of scientific inquiry.
To instill in graduates the wide-ranging scientific literacy intimately tied to making critical decisions in a society oriented toward science and technology, all students are required to complete three yearlong laboratory classes in the natural sciences. The mandatory science sequence of biology, chemistry, and physics emphasizes both content knowledge and the ability to develop the problem solving skills necessary to understand and to solve interesting questions. Honors classes, which allow students to explore each of the core scientific disciplines with greater rigor, are available to the interested student.
Interwoven into each course are numerous hands-on laboratory activities that allow students to develop experiments and to learn techniques. As students move in AP courses, they perform laboratory work equivalent to what is done at the college level. In order to ensure that students have sufficient time to complete this work, AP Biology and AP Chemistry will meet 7 periods a week. This double blocking of these two AP science courses will place extra demands on student time, particularly for those individuals taking a six-course load. Students interested in AP science courses should have thoughtful discussions with their teachers and advisors to discuss the consequences of this extra time commitment.
Please note: The Texas Recommended High School Program, guidelines used by many colleges and universities in Texas for admission and certain types of need-based financial aid such as the Texas Grant, requires four years of science. If a student is interested in applying to schools such as The University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, or Baylor University, it may be advantageous to complete a fourth science course. In addition to the Texas Recommended High School Program, data seems to suggest that other admission offices at colleges around the country are considering or in the process of implementing a requirement of four years of science.
Science Courses to be taken at TVS: All three of the core classes Biology, Chemistry, and Physics and AP courses should be done in residence.
BIOLOGY (Grade 9)
The ninth-grade Biology course at TVS is designed to transform students into biologically literate citizens through the study of living systems. The course covers modern biological concepts ranging from the molecular and cellular level to the organismal and population level. Major topics include cellular and molecular biology, genetics, biotechnology, evolution, human anatomy and physiology, and human health and nutrition. Laboratory work is a fundamental part of the curriculum.
HONORS BIOLOGY (Grade 9)
Honors Biology is designed for students who excel in the sciences and are interested in taking AP science courses in the future. The origin of life on earth and evolutionary theory are integrated into class discussions throughout the year. In addition to the topics covered in the non-honors course, this class will emphasize the following:
1.) Controlled experiments (special emphasis is placed on inquiry using the scientifi c method including the use of probeware, microscopy, dissection and cutting-edge biotechnology equipment);
2.) Human Disease Pathology (including infectious disease, genetic disease, cancer, and substance abuse);
3.) Book excerpts and Selections from current popular journals (Time, National Geographic, etc.) – including assigned writing work related to these readings; and
4.) CPR and First-Aid Training.
Eighth grade students interested in taking Honors Biology must apply for admission to the class during the course selection process. This application, coupled with a critical thinking assessment administered during the spring of the eighth grade year, will be used by the science department for placement into the course.
CHEMISTRY (Grade 10)
In this introductory course, students investigate the structure and properties of matter. Classroom lectures are complemented by associated laboratory activities, which allow students to collect data, analyze it, and reach a meaningful conclusion. Students become familiar with the basic aspects of nomenclature, structure, bonding, periodicity, and elementary reactions of inorganic chemistry.
HONORS CHEMISTRY (Grade 10)
Honors Chemistry expands upon the regular chemistry offering at Trinity Valley in several ways. Although the topics covered in both courses are similar (atomic and molecular structure and nomenclature, stoichiometry, quantitative analysis of the states of matter, basic thermodynamics, and the major classes of reactions of inorganic chemistry), the Honors course examines each topic in greater mathematical depth as well as spending significant time helping students to build useful mental models of molecular phenomena. Students also learn the importance of clear, concise writing in demonstrating conceptual understanding of chemical and physical principles. Finally, the course considers the interdisciplinary nature of chemistry, using nonfiction readings to demonstrate the critical importance of chemical discoveries in a cultural context. Students interested in enrolling in Honors Chemistry should speak both to their current biology teacher and to the Honors Chemistry instructor as teacher recommendations by a student’s current math and biology instructors will be used by the science department for placement into the course.
PHYSICS (Grade 11)
This introductory course is the culmination of the three-year science requirement, providing a strong background for later college courses in physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering. Major concepts and principles discussed leverage skills learned in algebra, geometry, and precalculus. The topics covered include mechanics, gravity, electricity, optics, and sound. Emphasis is placed on investigative laboratory work and the development of problem solving skills. Precalculus (or a more advanced math course) is a co-requisite. Students must enroll in physics in the junior year unless they enroll in an AP science course in grade 11 or are taking Algebra II in the junior year.
HONORS PHYSICS (Grade 11)
While the Honors Physics course explores the same topics encountered in the standard physics class, the pace of the course is significantly quicker and all subjects are investigated in more depth. Additionally, content including rotational dynamics, magnetism, and modern physics is integrated into the course. Emphasis is placed on comprehensive laboratory activities and an intense development of problem solving skills. A student must be enrolled in the honors precalculus course or higher to be considered for the class. A student must successfully complete the Honors Physics course to be eligible for enrollment in AP Physics C. Students must enroll in a physics course in the junior year unless they enroll in an AP science course in grade 11 or are taking Algebra II in the junior year. Students interested in enrolling in Honors Physics should speak both to their current chemistry teacher and to the Honors Physics instructor as teacher recommendations by a student’s current math and chemistry instructors will be used by the department chair for placement into the course.
SCIENCE COURSE ELECTIVES
ASTRONOMY (Grades 11, 12)
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE (Grades 11, 12)
METEOROLOGY (Grades 11, 12)
SCIENCE ADVANCED PLACEMENT ELECTIVES
AP BIOLOGY (Grades 11, 12)
This is a second-year course taken by students who have had a year of chemistry, a year of biology, have shown some special interest in life sciences, and are inclined to pursue science in college. It is the equivalent of first year, introductory college biology for science majors. Main topics include biochemistry, cellular structure, energetics of metabolism, biosynthesis, histology, heredity, evolution, anatomy and physiology, biodiversity (including botany and zoology), and global ecology. Major themes include science as a process, homeostasis, energy transfer, the relationship of structure to function, health, disease pathology, evolutionary theory, and the interrelationship of biology and society. Special emphasis is placed on advanced laboratory work, including PCR, gel electrophoresis, DNA Fingerprinting and the use of computerized probeware. Students are required to take the AP Exam in May. Note that all AP sciences meet 7 periods per week, meaning that students will utilize their free period twice a week to complete work in AP Biology. Students should carefully consider the added time commitment of the course when planning their academic schedules.
AP CHEMISTRY (Grades 11, 12)
Students who have done above average work in first-year chemistry have the opportunity to take AP Chemistry as a second-year course. It is taught at the level of freshman college chemistry, and all assessments mirror the best practices of the finest college courses throughout the country. Many of the topics covered are the same as those presented in the first-year course, but the level of sophistication is much higher. Additional concepts covered in AP Chemistry include reaction kinetics, thermodynamics, and all aspects of chemical equilibria. The associated lab activities mirror the college lab experience and emphasize detailed lab work requiring students to record and analyze data while reinforcing chemical principles with extensive time devoted to developing skills in technical writing. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP subject exam in May. Students should expect 30 minutes to 1 hour of homework each night in the class. Note that all AP sciences meet 7 periods per week, meaning that students will utilize their free period twice a week to complete work in AP Chemistry. Students should carefully consider the added time commitment of the course when planning their academic schedules.
AP PHYSICS C MECHANICS (Grade 12)
The Advanced Placement Physics C Mechanics course is meant to provide students with a modern, in-depth introduction to college-level work in classical mechanics. Students will thoroughly explore the fundamental principles of classical mechanics, including Newton’s Laws, linear momentum, energy, and angular momentum. All students take the AP Physics C Mechanics exam at the conclusion of the course. Extensive laboratory work and introductory computer modeling using the python programming language (no programming experience necessary) are integral to the course. This course can be taken after the completion of Honors Physics or, in select cases, can fulfill the physics requirement for graduation. Students interested in using AP Physics C Mechanics to fulfill the physics graduation requirement must be enrolled in or have taken BC Calculus and petition the science department chair for admission. Students taking AP Physics C Mechanics after Honors Physics need only concurrent enrollment or to have taken AB Calculus. Students should expect 30 minutes to one hour of homework each night in the class.
AP PHYSICS C MECHANICS (Grade 12)
The Social Studies curriculum is designed to help students develop critical thinking and analysis skills and abilities to express their insight both verbally and in writing. Students study physical and human geography, micro and macro economics, World, Modern European, Asian, and United States History. Reading, researching, and writing appropriate to grade level and ability are taught in a sequential way so that by the senior year students are well prepared to confront the complexities of the world and the nation. They are also prepared for analysis, critical thinking, research, and writing skills that are required in the more rigorous college curricula.
Students in the Upper School experience a minimum of four credits in history, with select electives offered as well. Advanced Placement courses exist in at least three areas, and college bound essay writing is emphasized throughout the student’s high school experience.
* New for 2019/2020: Elective Options for Grade 10 *
Great learning happens at the intersection of students’ curiosity and teachers’ research interests. At course selection, students will rank order their preferences from a list of electives designed by members of the Social Studies Department. Though course content will vary, all students will share a vigorous experience in essential skills, critical and analytical thinking, essential question formation and research design, and cogent communication for a variety of purposes and audiences.
Social Studies Courses to be taken at TVS: World History or Honors World History (9th grade), selection of History electives (current 10th grade), United States History or AP United States History (11th grade).
WORLD HISTORY: HONORS WORLD HISTORY (Grade 9)
World History traces the development of civilization from the year 1200 to the modern age. This full year course is designed to teach students the necessary, and transferable, skills of a modern historian, while also uncovering the shared story of our humanity by investigating the common challenges and experiences of the human past. Topics pursued in class will surround major patterns of world civilization, but in a way that integrates the distinctive character and development of individual cultures in society. Organization around major themes help link events together in a comparative and global framework, and aid students in viewing history and the contemporary world in a meaningful context. Students will learn politics, economics, social, religious, intellectual, cultural and military history by examining emerging civilizations and the rise of empires, expansion of and cultural diffusion in medieval civilizations, world reorganization following the age of exploration, the onset of modernity via industrialism, nationalism, and imperialism, and the pursuit of a global civilization. Through extensive reading and writing exercises, students will develop historical skills such as critical and historical thinking, chronological reasoning, comparing, sourcing, contextualization, argumentation, interpretation, and synthesis for global trends. While the provided textbook is a valuable secondary source, examination of primary sources is a fundamental part of exploring not only the periods, themes, and topics under examination, but also in gaining the valuable skills that historical inquiry can impart. It is therefore expected that all students complete assigned readings before attending class. **The honors option is for motivated students who acknowledge that there will be additional reading and writing assignments throughout the year. Placement will be based on teacher recommendation, self-selection, and review by the Upper School History Department.**
UNITED STATES HISTORY (Grade 11)
United States History is a survey of the American experience from the Colonial period to the present. The course covers significant events in detail and concentrates on helping students develop good analytical skills. Students receive direction on essay writing, oral presentations, and research.
WORLD CONFLICTS SINCE NAPOLEON (Grades 11, 12)
ECONOMICS (Grades 11, 12)
Economics provides an introduction to the study of the principal ideas, concepts, and theories of macroeconomics. Students should develop an understanding of what the economy is and how various economic policies impact the overall economy. The course will examine the global economy and how it affects the economy of the United States. The European Union, NAFTA, and the emergence of China and India as major participants in world trade will also be investigated. The course is designed to prepare students to become financially literate adults. Students should understand how to become financially responsible citizens with regard to the use of credit cards and through investment opportunities in the financial markets.
ADVANCED ECONOMICS (Grades 11, 12)
Advanced Economics is a rigorous course blending traditional lecture and project based learning. Throughout the year, students will be introduced to the major theories of macroeconomics and microeconomics, entrepreneurship, finance (personal and business), business law, current economic trends (to include international trade), and human centered design/design thinking. Students will be encouraged to develop a mindset for innovation. The course will utilize traditional examinations and alternate assessments.
GOVERNMENT (Grades 11, 12)
A junior/senior level one-semester course, Government emphasizes the history and meaning of the U.S. Constitution and the workings of the American government. Political theory, Constitutional debates, the court system, Congress, the Presidency, and civil rights are major topics of consideration. Discussions will also focus on current affairs and contemporary issues.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT ELECTIVES
AP UNITED STATES HISTORY (Grade 11)
AP United States History is a chronological and interpretive study of the subject from its pre-Columbian backgrounds to the present. Students study the methods and meanings of history in general and the major political, economic, diplomatic, social/cultural, and constitutional trends and themes in United States history in particular. Attention is given to historiography and to the analysis and interpretation of historical documents. Students are expected to develop skills in writing critical essays, drawing conclusions from primary sources, and answering analytical multiple choice questions—all skills that must be exhibited on the AP exam. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP subject exam in May. Admission to the course will be determined by the Social Studies Department faculty. The course has a summer assignment, the details of which will follow.
|AP EUROPEAN HISTORY (Grade 11)|
This is the College Board course covering the history of Europe from 1450 to the present. There are significant portions of textbook reading, along with examination of primary source material. Mastery of document-based questions and analytical multiple choice will be components of instruction. Higher level thinking skills are required to do well on the College Board’s Advanced Placement European exam. Students are required to take the May examination. Topics include: Renaissance, Reformation, Age of Exploration through Philip II of Spain, Tudors and Stuarts of England, French Wars of the 1500s, Germany in the Thirty Years War, Russia from 1468 to the present, France of Louis XIV, Georgian England, Hohenzollern Germany, Scientific Revolution, French Enlightenment through Napoleon, Industrial Revolution, Romanticism, Victorian England, Metternich Europe, Nationalism, Second Empire France, Unification of Italy and Germany, Imperialism and Colonialism, World War I, Depression, Rise of Dictators, World War II, Cold War, European Union, Multicultural Europe, Nationalism again, Russia, Brexit. Summer reading includes: John Scott’s Behind the Urals and Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations (Abridged).
|AP GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS (Grades 11, 12)|
AP Government is a full-year course open to juniors and seniors. It furthers the TVS mission to develop wide constructive interests and intelligent citizenship. Understanding and appreciation of the U.S. Constitution, its history and principles, are a major focus. Students are introduced to trends and data analysis related to such topics as voter behavior, election results, focus groups, long term political and social trends, demographic composition, and public policy. Data are presented in the form of graphs, charts, and tables to provide experience in analyzing and interpreting political trends. Current affairs and interaction among the three branches of government, the bureaucracy, and the press are analyzed. The court system and civil rights are topics receiving major consideration. Admission to the course will be determined by the Social Studies Department faculty. For required summer reading assignment, please see Mr. Kenny. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP subject exam in May. Summer Reading: Four Days In November: The Assassination Of President John F. Kennedy by Vincent Bugliosi.
AP PSYCHOLOGY (Grades 11, 12)
The objective of Psychology is for students to understand the methods used by psychologists in their practice and in scientific study. The course is designed to introduce students to the history of psychology as a science, research methods used by psychologists, biological bases of behavior, sensation and perception, states of consciousness, cognition, learning, motivation and emotion, developmental psychology, personality, intelligence testing, abnormal psychology, and social psychology. Special emphasis is placed on psychological experiments of the twentieth century in order to discover the role of ethics in psychology. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP subject exam in May.
SOCIAL STUDIES COURSE ELECTIVES
HONORS MODERN WORLD HISTORY (Grade 10)
This course will parallel the Advanced Placement World History curriculum, an intensive program that covers all regions and continents for the last eight hundred years. Students will be required to read from the top College Board Advanced Placement World History texts, while examining primary source documents throughout the year. Students will learn how to write Documents-Based-Questions to the latest College Board standard, while practicing higher-level, analytical essay questions, short answers, and complex multiple-choice questions. Comparative themes are a constant element in this course (i.e. Sun King France and Early Qing China, Stuart Britain’s power in Europe and Meiji Japan’s power in Asia, independence of Haiti and independence of India), stimulating the higher level thinking and analytical components students will encounter in the May exam. Students are not required to take the College Board’s May Advanced Placement exam, if the significant amount of extra reading required to do well on the exam is not manageable because of co-curricular activities. The summer reading includes: Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart; and Charles Dickens’s Tale of Two Cities.
HONORS COMPARATIVE REVOLUTIONS: 18TH-20TH CENTURIES (Grade 10)
This course will study the definition and implications of “revolution”, what ingredients are involved in their making, and if patterns exist between revolutionary episodes. We will study the eighteenth-century rebellions in America and France through the explosive changes of the twentieth century. We will trace the changing face of revolution and its relationship to war while underscoring the crucial role such events will play in the future.
HONORS WAYS OF KNOWING (Grade 10)
As a thoughtful and purposeful inquiry into different kinds of knowledge, Ways of Knowing is composed almost entirely of questions. The most central of these is “How do we know?”, while other questions include: What counts as evidence for X? How do we judge which is the best model of Y? What does theory Z mean in the real world? Through discussions of these and other questions, students gain greater awareness of their personal and ideological assumptions, as well as developing an appreciation of the diversity and richness of cultural perspectives.
HONORS HISTORY OF THINGS (Grade 10)
Imagine that an historian four hundred years from now is looking back on our society. What would they figure out about us based on the stuff and things we leave behind? How can objects teach us history? Using the joint BBC Radio 4 and British Museum project, A History of the World in 100 Objects, students will explore world history through material culture. By starting with a small object, through strategized questioning students can understand the wider culture, economy, religious beliefs, political and social systems that the object represents to a particular society or civilization. By proceeding chronologically, students will first encounter objects that define early humanity, the creation of civilizations, the emergence of religions and philosophies, the conquest of empires, the formation of world economies, the development of social hierarchies and status, the advancement of new intellectual movements, industrialization, and the modern era. The essential text for this course will be Neil MacGregor’s A History of the World in 100 Objects. Students will also need to be able to access and play podcasts from the British Museum’s A History of the World in 100 Objects Omnibus.
HONORS WOMEN'S HISTORY (Grade 10)
“Well-behaved women seldom make history.” -Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
This line, penned in 1976, invigorated the pursuit of discovering how women contributed to world history. This course will learn about the women who made the world history books, but also we will try to discover what life what like for the average, ordinary woman across different historical periods and regions. Virginia Woolf’s quipped, “For most of history, anonymous was a woman.” The lives of anonymous women can be uncovered through thematic studies of religion, social structures, family, work, and the quest for rights. Women make up half the world’s population; this class allows students to view history through the lens of herstory. The essential texts for this course will be Women in the World History series, a primary source collection, with excerpts pulled from Merry Weisner-Hanks’s Gender in History: Global Perspectives 2nd ed.
HONORS 200 YEARS OF WORLD CONFLICT (Grade 10)
International relations from the Concert of Europe era through the present as impacted by internal violence and external conflict. Students will examine primary source materials and secondary treatments, along with being tested and writing on these major themes: Latin American independence movements, European nationalist movements, European military technology enabling impositions on Asia and Africa, the Crimean War and Russia, the American Civil War, weapons innovations of the late 1800s, Age of Imperialism, Social Darwinism, Jim Crow America, Spanish American War, Boer War, Mexican War, World War I, Great Depression, Socialism, Fascism, Nazism, sobering comparisons between Nazi Nuremberg Laws and American Jim Crow, World War II, Nuclear Weapons, Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, post-Colonial Africa, Middle Eastern conflicts, modern terrorism and international flash points.
HONORS RELIGION IN CULTURE (Grades 10, 11, 12)
Religions play a formidable role in cultures throughout the world. This is a one-semester elective for grades 10-12 that focuses on the academic study of religion and its many manifestations. Students will be introduced to religious traditions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. At the center of this course, however, are discussions surrounding effects that religions have had on contemporary and past celebrations, conflicts, social movements, political systems, and much more. Ultimately, we will discover that religions vary per culture and that Students will further their research, writing, and presentation skills by working in groups and independently on projects to explore fundamental—but by no means obvious—questions like “what is religion?” and “how can it be studied academically?” An academic understanding of religion in general will provide a critical and necessary jumping off point for in-depth investigations of the role of religious traditions, practices, and beliefs in a variety of contemporary cultural contexts.This is a non-traditional course; most weeks, students will be required to meet 2-3 times/week in person, and they will do independent & group work and use our Course Blog for discussions the other 2-3 times/week. Students will help decide topics we cover, readings, and the overall daily structure of the course.
HONORS MODERN ASIA (Grades 10, 11, 12)
Today Chinese, Indians, and Japanese make up approximately 38% of the world’s population and control approximately 25% of the global economy. China and India are the world’s two fastest growing economies, and some predict that India will outpace China in 2030 and the U.S. in 2040. However, both countries have significant social issues to address before such economic growth can be sustained, and Japan has the world’s third largest economy. Geopolitical events in the regions also make these countries vital to understand for our future.“Modern Asia” is a new one-semester course for 10th-12th graders that invites students to explore the strengths and weaknesses of this region, applying a socio-historical approach to learning about 20th and 21st century China, India, and Japan. Students will be asked to create their own deep-learning experiences on specific historical events in modern Asia. Their guided and independent research will culminate in projects to show how much they have learned and to teach the other students in the class. As a class and independently, students will examine major socio-historical events, people, places, and the effects they have had on a global scale. While the focus of the course is on these three historically influential nations, students may also examine recent histories of other East and South Asian nations.This is a student-driven, non-traditional course; most weeks, students will be required to meet 2-3 times/week in person, and they will do independent & group work and use our Course Blog for discussions the other 2-3 times/week. Students will help decide topics we cover, readings, and the overall daily structure of the course.
HONORS BRITISH HISTORY (Grades 10, 11, 12)
The extraordinary history and legacy of the peoples of the British archipelago are explored in this one-semester elective. From Paleolithic geography, which created a sense of unique separateness, to the modern ramifications of BREXIT, this course spans two millennia of British development. Periods under consideration may include the Roman conquest, the Middle Ages, the Tudor and Stuart eras, formation of the United Kingdom and British empire, the Industrial Revolution, Victorian age, the World Wars, 20th century imperial decline, and issues of European Union. Students will learn about monarchical dynasties, dynamics between London and the shires, the rich cultures, key events, and people who shaped the political, religious, economic, and intellectual histories of the United Kingdom and Ireland.
The study of world languages at Trinity Valley School reaffirms the school’s mission to develop intelligent citizenship as the students strive to become leaders of the future. As the global community becomes closer, the study of Chinese, French, Latin and Spanish each contribute to the development of a student who understands other peoples.
The TVS World Language offerings give modern language students an opportunity to communicate with other members of the global community. As all TVS students have studied Latin in seventh and eighth grades, some choose to fulfill their graduation requirement in Upper school by further mastering the Latin classics, works that underlie the school’s historic humanities curriculum. All students develop an appreciation of diverse cultures through reading and through a variety of field trips and cultural explorations as they progress through three years of the same language in Upper School. The study of multiple languages is possible.
Spanish is taught four days a week in grades K through six. Exploratory Chinese is taught at the elementary level once a week. At the seventh grade level students may choose Chinese or Spanish. Latin is a requirement in seventh and eighth grades. In grades nine through twelve the student is required to study Chinese, French, Latin or Spanish for three years.
World Language Courses to be taken at TVS: While students are not encouraged to do summer work to advance to the next level of a World Language, they may take a pre-approved, online course during the summer. These students will be required to take the TVS final exam to determine if they may advance to the next level. The summer work will not be given a credit. The student must complete three years of the same World Language at TVS.
CHINESE I (Grade 9)
An introductory Chinese course is offered for the student who has had no previous experience with the language. Students learn basic communicative functions while listening, speaking and Chinese characters are emphasized. The school’s ability to offer this course may be contingent on the prevalence of student interest. Students who have completed 8th-grade Chinese or Chinese I may not enroll in this course without recommendation from the Head of Upper School and the World Language Department Chair. From year to year, TVS will reevaluate the viability of offering Chinese 1 in Upper School based on student interest and staffing priorities. TVS students who have been enrolled in the middle school Chinese program will matriculate to Chinese 2 in the Upper School. Rising 9th graders are welcome to demonstrate an interest in an upper school offering of Chinese 1 so that the Language Department and Upper School Administration can make the most informed decision, but students may need to enroll in a second preference for their language study or upper school students who are just beginning their study of Chinese may need to be willing to take Chinese 1 through an online partner.
CHINESE II (Grade 9)
Students who have completed 8th Grade Chinese or Chinese I will continue their study of Chinese in this course. Students will complete the basics of listening, speaking, reading, writing, typing and culture
|CHINESE III (Grade 10)|
In this course students develop their listening, speaking, reading, writing and typing skills at the intermediate level through exposure to Chinese arts, history and society. Students will work toward oral proficiency through conversation, discussion and oral presentations.
CHINESE IV (Grade 11)
Chinese IV is designed for students who have taken Chinese III. The goal of this course is to improve and enhance students’ skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing with an emphasis on developing their communicative skills in order to have conversations on a range of topics relating to daily life. Through various projects and activities the students will further their understanding of the Chinese language and culture. At the end of the course, students will be able to achieve Intermediate-Mid Level according to ACTFL Chinese Oral Proficiency Interview guidelines.
FRENCH I (Grade 9)
French I is an introductory course for the student who has had little or no exposure to the French language. Students learn basic communicative functions while listening, speaking and reading skills are emphasized. These skills are developed in classroom activities and with the use of online sources. Students will also be introduced to Francophone cultures such as France, Québec, Africa and other French-speaking countries.
FRENCH II (Grade 9)
Students who have completed an 8th grade French course or French I will enroll in French II. This course will introduce the student to more advanced grammatical structures and continue to place emphasis on listening and speaking skills. Students will learn more about Francophone cultures through readings and other authentic material. Writing skills are also emphasized.
|FRENCH III (Grade 10)|
Students complete the development of intermediate grammar skills while beginning to develop advanced communication skills in preparation for advanced French. Much emphasis is placed on oral expression. Magazine articles and French literature are used to develop listening and reading skills.
|FRENCH IV / INDEPENDENT STUDY (Grade 11)|
This course is for the student who has completed French III and desires to continue the study of the French language and culture. Readings will include short stories, poems and novels from the Francophone world. The course also consists of a review of grammar, speaking practice, listening exercises and written assignments.LATIN 1 (Grade 9)
Latin I is an introductory course for students with no prior experience with the language. This course will introduce students to the joys of the Latin language, with an approach to basic morphology, grammar, and vocabulary that emphasizes reading fluency. Students will develop the skills and habits necessary for higher language study and for the eventual reading of unadapted Latin texts. The course will be richly supplemented with discussion of ancient history and culture, with ample opportunities to explore the cultural and linguistic connections between the ancient and modern worlds.
|LATIN II (Grade 10)|
Latin II is for students who have completed 8th-grade Latin. In this course, students will deepen their knowledge and enjoyment of the Latin language, while developing the skills and habits necessary for higher language study and for the eventual reading of unadapted Latin authors. Following a careful review, students will continue to use the Cambridge Latin Course to build reading fluency, mastery of grammar and morphology, and a robust core vocabulary. The course will be richly supplemented with discussion of ancient history and culture, with opportunities to explore the cultural and linguistic connections between the ancient and modern worlds. Prerequisite: Latin I or eighth-grade Latin.
LATIN III (Grade 10)
The goal of Latin III is to transition from the presentation of basic Latin grammar to the critical reading of more complex Latin poetry and prose. Students will review and refresh forms and syntax already learned, master new grammar and vocabulary, and gain important skills in translation, textual analysis, and reading fluency. The course will be richly supplemented with deeper dives into ancient history and culture. Prerequisite: Latin II.
LATIN IV (Grade 11)
Latin IV continues students’ venture into the exciting and unpredictable waters of reading real Latin authors. While students will review and refresh forms and grammar as needed, the focus of the course will be on reading continuous Latin texts, appreciating them as literature, and discussing and debating the ideas they contain. A representative sample of authors include Cicero, Caesar, Vergil, Ovid, Pliny the Younger, and Seneca, although the course may be shaped toward student interest. Prerequisite: Latin III.
SPANISH I (Grade 9)
For the student who has had no previous experience with the language, an introductory course is offered. Students learn basic communicative functions while listening and speaking skills are emphasized. Students who have had 8th-grade Spanish or Spanish I may not enroll in this course without recommendation from the Head of the Upper School and the World Language Department Chair.
|SPANISH II (Grade 9)|
Students who have completed 8th grade Spanish will continue their study of Spanish in this course. This course deepens the students’ knowledge and exposure to culture of the Spanish-speaking world through the presentation of new and essential vocabulary and grammatical structures. Emphasis is placed on strengthening communicative skills in writing, reading, listening and speaking. Prerequisite: Spanish I or 8th grade Spanish
SPANISH III (Grade 10)
This course develops the intermediate levels of listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. The course emphasizes acquisition of advanced vocabulary in cultural and conversational settings, the introduction of advanced grammatical concepts and in depth study of Spanish-speaking countries. Prerequisite: Spanish II
SPANISH IV (Grade 11)
This course continues to develop language skills especially through the study of Spanish art and the reading selections of literature. Emphasis is placed on advanced grammatical structures, creative composition, discussion of style, as well as literary and art analysis and criticism. Prerequisite Spanish III
ADVANCED PLACEMENT ELECTIVES
AP CHINESE LANGUAGE AND CULTURE (Grade 12)
AP Chinese Language and Culture covers the equivalent of a third-year college course. This course places an emphasis on communication both oral and written communication. Students will continue to learn language control and other communication strategies in real-life situations. Students will further their study of the Chinese culture through the use of authentic materials. Interpersonal, interpretive and presentation skills will be practiced throughout the course in preparation for the AP Chinese exam. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP subject exam in May. The course has a summer assignment, the details of which will follow.
|AP FRENCH LANGUAGE AND CULTURE (Grade 12)|
This course is offered online with the instructor on campus. This course covers the equivalent of a third-year college course in advanced French composition and conversation. Students will work on improving their proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing in the French language. This is accomplished through an extensive review of grammar, use of idiomatic expressions, writing of compositions, listening exercises and the reading of literary excerpts. Resources will include authentic material from the Francophone world from newspapers, magazines, news sources and French radio and television. These will be used to further develop language skills and the students’ understanding of Francophone countries. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP exam in May. The course has a summer assignment, the details of which will follow.
|AP LATIN (Grade 12)|
This course is equivalent to a third-year university Latin course. In this course, students will continue to develop their capacity to read, analyze, and enjoy Latin prose and poetry through an intensive reading of selections in Latin from Caesar’s Gallic War and Vergil’s Aeneid. Students will improve their reading fluency through daily passage preparation and regular sight-reading of comparable authors, in combination with ongoing vocabulary-building and grammar review. Students will read in English significant selections from both works, in addition to modern scholarly essays, which, together with in-class discussion and essay practice, will significantly promote their ability to appreciate and analyze works of Latin literature. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP Latin exam in May. Prerequisite: Latin IV. The course has a summer assignment, the details of which will follow.
|AP SPANISH LANGUAGE AND CULTURE (Grade 12)|
This course covers the equivalent of a third-year college course. Students will work on improving their proficiency across the three modes of communication. The course focuses on the integration of authentic resources including online print, audio, and audiovisual resources; as well as traditional print resources that include literature, essays, and magazine and newspaper articles; and also a combination of visual/print resources such as charts, tables, and graphs; all with the goal of providing a diverse learning experience. It is assumed that students have previously been exposed to advanced language structures in the courses leading up to the AP Spanish Language and Culture course; however, review of the mechanics is done within the contextual framework of each unit as needed. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP subject exam in May. The course has a summer assignment, the details of which will follow.
PUBLIC SPEAKING (Grades 9, 10,11,12)
With the prominence of texts and emails in daily communication, the ability to stand up in front of a group and eloquently present ideas or facts in an organized and interesting manner is becoming somewhat of a lost art. Yet, there are still plenty of situations that call for oral presentations to be made, and those that have this skill will be better prepared to succeed in all areas of life, whether business or personal. This very practical course gives students the opportunity to research, write and deliver a variety of speeches: informative, persuasive and special occasion (such as a eulogy and introducing another speaker). Students choose their own speech topics and learn such things as adapting to an audience, reasoning, and how to effectively use the voice and body to clearly deliver their message. Course participants grow not only in their confidence and poise when communicating but also in their ability to critically evaluate the discourse of others.
|SENIOR PROJECTS (Grade 12)|
Senior Projects are designed to encourage seniors to assume greater ownership of their program during their final semester at TVS and to imagine ways that they can take initiative for their own learning. As well, the Senior Project opportunity encourages seniors to imagine ways they can put their passions and skills to the service of the broader community. This course allows students to pursue academic or service-oriented interests on or off campus. Students interested in pursuing a Senior Project must submit a completed application in the fall. Students will be notified of this date. The project must be approved by the Senior Project Committee and satisfactory completion of a final presentation before the Committee in May is required for graduation. Senior Projects will be evaluated on a pass/fail basis.
YEARBOOK I (Grade 11,12)
Yearbook I students cover sports events, photograph fine arts productions, capture candids and write copy for all school events provided for on the ladder. Yearbook I students will envision and communicate theme, select photographs on the school yearbook. Yearbook I students will support Yearbook II staff in completing the above tasks, write and edit the majority of copy, and serve as staff photographers as needed. All Yearbook I and II staff members will be graded on the degree to which they meet the challenges of yearbook production in the following areas: Print & Photographic Media Literacy, Newswriting and Information Gathering, Document Production and Distribution Advertising, Standards and Ethics, and Professionalism in Work Relations. Advisor approval is required for admission into this course. The yearbook advisor will describe the application process to students each spring.
YEARBOOK II (Grade 12)
In addition to completing the tasks and meeting the goals of Yearbook I students, Yearbook II students assume responsibility for the design and completion of the Trojan Walls annual commemorating their final TVS school year. Yearbook II students will envision and communicate theme, select photographs on the school yearbook, construct computer layouts and page designs, and be responsible for the final content that comprises the Trojan Walls. Yearbook II students oversee the Yearbook I staffers in covering sports events, photographing fine arts productions, capturing candids, and writing copy) and they likewise complete such assignments during peak production periods. All Yearbook I and II staff members will be graded on the degree to which they meet the challenges of yearbook production in the following areas: Print & Photographic Media Literacy, Newswriting and Information Gathering, Document Production and Distribution Advertising, Standards and Ethics, and Professionalism in Work Relations. Advisor approval is required for admission into this course. The yearbook advisor will describe the application process to students each spring.