High School Overview - Skills, Concepts, Curriculum

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High School Overview - Skills / Concepts / Curriculum
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Language Arts

The following are expected outcomes for High School Students:

1. Use agreed-upon rules for formal and informal in small groups.
2. Pose questions, listen to the ideas of others, and contribute their own information or ideas in group discussions and interviews in order to acquire new knowledge.
3. Make oral presentations that demonstrate appropriate consideration of audience, purpose, and the information to be conveyed.
4. Acquire new vocabulary and use it correctly in reading and writing.
5. Describe and analyze the grammatical structure of the English language and the standard English conventions for sentence structure, usage, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling
6. Describe and analyze how oral dialects differ from each other in English, how they differ from written standard English, and what role standard American English plays in informal and formal communication.
7. Describe and analyze how the English language has developed and been influenced by other languages.
8. Decode accurately and understand new words encountered in their reading materials, drawing on a variety of strategies as needed, and then use these words accurately in speaking and writing.
9. Identify the basic facts and essential ideas in what they have read, heard, or viewed.
10. Identify, analyze, and apply knowledge of the characteristics of different genres.
11. Identify, analyze and apply knowledge of theme, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding.
12. Identify and analyze how an author's choice of words appeals to the senses, creates imagery, suggests mood, and sets tone.
13. Compare and contrast similar myths and narratives from different cultures and geographic regions.
14. Interpret the meaning of literary works, non-fiction, films and media by using different critical lenses and analytic techniques.
15. Plan and present effective dramatic readings, recitations and performances that demonstrate appropriate consideration of audience and purpose.
16. Write compositions with a clear focus, logically related ideas to develop it, and adequate detail.
17. Select and use appropriate genres, modes of reasoning, and speaking styles when writing for different audiences and rhetorical purposes.
18. Demonstrate improvement in organization, content, paragraph development, level of detail, style, tone and word choice in their compositions after revising them.
19. Use knowledge of standard English conventions to edit their writing.
20. Use self-generated questions, note-taking, summarizing, precise writing, and outlining to enhance learning when reading or writing.
21. Use open-ended research questions, different sources of information, and appropriate research methods to gather information for their research projects.
22. Develop and use appropriate rhetorical, logical, and stylistic criteria for assessing final versions of their compositions or research projects before presenting them to varied audiences
23. Obtain information by using a variety of media and evaluate the quality of material they obtain.
24. Explain how the techniques used in electronic media modify traditional forms of discourse for aesthetic and rhetorical purposes.
25. Design and create coherent media productions with a clear controlling idea, adequate detail, and appropriate consideration of audience, purpose, and medium

9th Grade Focus
Special attention should be given to library and study skills. By building on the tools of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and thinking (skills presented in both the elementary and middle school grades), the student should be provided with continued opportunities for developing these communication skills, while focusing on analysis of the short story, novel, essay, drama, and poetry.

10th Grade Focus
The focus is on British literature. Through discussion, readings, informal and critical essays, independent research, etc., students explore the major themes that the authors themselves explored. From this concentration on British literature, it is expected that students will develop higher critical/analytical reading and thinking skills in order to evaluate data and to respond appropriately.

11th Grade Focus
The focus is on American literature. Students should develop a deeper knowledge and greater respect for the American heritage: its history, its complexity and its literary contributions. Thematic units (e.g., the Puritan conscience, the American search for identify, the American ideal, etc.) should be studied through representative writers. Critical analysis and the essay comprise the principal amount of writing.

12th Grade Focus
The focus is on World literature, reading in mythology and epic lore explores the roots of literary tradition. A survey of world literature from the fourteenth through the twentieth centuries affords students the opportunity to challenge the thinking of the great minds of Western civilization. Discussions should be based on textual analysis and related material. The focus for the research paper originates from course readings.



Most common sequences are as follows:
Sequence 1:
9th Grade
: Algebra 1
10th Grade: Geometry
11th Grade: Algebra 2
12th Grade: Optional Elective (Pre-Calculus, Advanced Algebra/Trigonometry, Computer Programming, Probability & Statistics, Discrete Mathematics)

Sequence 2:
9th Grade
: Geometry
10th Grade:  Algebra 2
11th Grade: Pre-Calculus
12th Grade: Calculus

Number Sense and Operations:

  • Use the properties of operations on real numbers; identify and compute within the real number system and the subsets of real numbers.

  • Use estimation to judge reasonableness of

  • results of computations and of solutions to problems.

  • Simplify expressions; solve problems involving absolute value, square and cube roots, and exponents.

Patterns, Relations and Algebra:

  • Describe, analyze, generalize, and create a variety of numeric and geometric patterns.

  • Simplify and evaluate expressions; solve linear equation and inequalities; find the linear equation describing a line from a graph or geometric description.

  • Recognize and describe functions translating among tables, graphs, rules, and words; use technology as appropriate.

  • Model and demonstrate facility in symbolic manipulation of polynomial and rational expressions to simplify expressions and solve equations.

  • Find solutions to quadratic equations with real roots by factoring.

  • Solve everyday problems that can be modeled using linear and non-linear functions.

  • Solve everyday problems that can be modeled using systems of equations and inequalities.


  • Apply ratios to scaling problems, find the distance between two points.

  • Apply the Pythagorean Theorem to the solution of problems.


  • Understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems, and processes of measurement.

Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability:

  • Select, create, and interpret an appropriate graphical representation for a set of data and use the appropriate statistics to communicate information, develop and evaluate inferences, and make predictions that are based on data.

  • Approximate the line of best fit; solve problems involving the line of best fit.

  • Apply basic probability concepts.

Number Sense and Operations:

  • Apply operations with powers, roots, and absolute value to the solution of problems; simplify radicals.
  • Use estimation to judge the reasonableness of results of computations and solutions to geometry problems.

Patterns, Relations and Algebra:

  • Describe, complete extend, analyze, and create a variety of geometric patterns.
  • Use properties of the real number system to prove or disprove statements, and to justify steps in a sequential argument.
  • Find a linear equation describing a line from a geometric description of the line (e.g. perpendicular, parallel).
  • Apply formulas for a rectangular coordinate system (e.g. distance, midpoint, point-slope, slope-intercept); apply the results to the solution of problems.


  •  Recognize polygons; apply properties of sides, angles, and diagonals; detect symmetries.
  • Use logical processes to test mathematical conjectures and write simple proofs.
  • Apply congruence and similarity correspondences; draw congruent and similar figures using a compass, straightedge, protractor and/or technology.
  • Apply properties of angles, parallel lines, arcs, radii, chords, tangents, and secants to solve problems.
  • Use properties of special triangles to solve problems; apply Pythagorean Theorem, triangle inequality and other inequalities associated with triangles.
  • Draw the results and interpret transformations on figures in the coordinate plane.
  • Visualize solid figures and recognize their projections, cross sections, and 2-D nets.


  • Calculate perimeter, circumference and area of plane figures.
  • Given the formula, find the lateral area, surface area, and volume of prisms, pyramids, spheres, cylinders, and cones.
  • Relate changes in measurement of attribute of an object to changes in other attributes.

Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability:

  • Represent geometric data in tables, charts, and graphs; form generalizations.

Number Sense and Operations:

  • Define, identify, and perform computations with complex numbers; relate the system of complex numbers to the systems of real and rational numbers.
  • Simplify numerical and variable expressions with powers, roots, absolute value, and rational numbers.

Patterns, Relations and Algebra:

  • Identify and use the properties of arithmetic and geometric sequences and finite arithmetic and geometric series to solve problems.
  • Identify and describe families of functions from their symbolic, tabular, verbal, and graphic representations.
  • Write, graph, and solve problems involving
  • linear, exponential, quadratic, rational, and polynomial, functions, absolute values and square roots.
  • Solve problems involving quadratic relations by factoring, finding square roots, completing the square, and using quadratics.
  • Solve a variety of equations and inequalities using algebraic, graphical and numeric methods.
  • Solve systems of equations and inequalities using a variety of methods (e.g. substitution, elimination, graphing, matrices).
  • Identify maximum and minimum values of functions and apply to the solution of problems.
  • Perform operations on functions.


  • Specify locations and describe spatial relationships using coordinate geometry.
  • Define sine, cosine, and tangent of an acute angle; apply basic trigonometric identities and laws of sines and cosines.


  • Understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems, and processes of measurement.
  • Use radian measures in the solution of problems.

Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability:

  • Collect, interpret, and organize data in tables, matrices, and graphs; select appropriate models for a set of data and use appropriate statistics to analyze data.
  • Use combinatorics to solve problems.




Most common sequences are as follows:

Sequence 1:
9th Grade
: Introductory Physics
10th Grade: Biology
11th Grade: Chemistry
12th Grade: Optional Elective (Advance Physics, Advanced Biology, Anatomy & Physiology, Environmental Science, Forensics, Introduction to Engineering)

Sequence 2:
9th Grade
: Biology
10th Grade:  Chemistry
11th Grade: Physics
12th Grade: Optional Elective or AP Course

Introductory Physics

Motion & Forces:

  • Solve problems involving velocity, speed, acceleration, dis- placement, distance, and graphs of motion; describe relation- ships.
  • Understand Newton’s three Laws of Motion.
  • Distinguish between static and kinetic friction.
  • Describe center of gravity and center of mass.

Conservation of Energy and Momentum:

  • Define work, power, mechanical energy, potential energy, and kinetic energy; understand the law of conservation of energy.
  • Define and calculate momentum; understand, the law of conservation of momentum.

Heat and Heat Transfer:

  • Distinguish between conduction and convention.
  • Describe solid, liquid, gaseous, and plasma stages of matter; describe phase change.
  • Understand evaporation and condensation.
  • Understand heat transfer.


  • Describe the properties and characteristics of waves; describe wave motion.
  • Compare mechanical/electromagnetic waves and transverse/ longitudinal waves.
  • Describe principles of reflection/refraction.
  • Describe the Doppler effect for sound.


  • Understand current, voltage, resistance.
  • Use Kirchhoff’s, Ohm’s and Coulomb’s Law
  • Compare electric forces and electric fields.

Electromagnetic Radiation:

  • Describe the electromagnetic spectrum for wavelength and energy; be able to identify specific regions such as visible light.
  • Explain wavelength applications in radio/TV/microwaves/cell phones.
  • Calculate the frequency and energy of an electromagnetic wave from the wavelength.


The Chemistry of Life:

  • Recognize common elements in organic molecules
  • Describe the composition and functions of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids.
  • Explain role of enzymes in biochemical reactions.

Cell Biology:

  • Relate cell parts/organelles to their functions.
  • Explain the role of cell membranes.
  • Differentiate between prokaryotic cells/ eukaryotic cells; distinguish between plant/animal cells.
  • Describe various kingdoms.
  • Understand photosynthesis/cellular respiration.
  • Describe and compare the processes of mitosis and meiosis, and their role in the cell cycle.
  • Compare and contrast a virus and a cell in terms of genetic material and reproduction.


  • Describe the structure/function of DNA; describe the processes of replication, transcription, and translation; explain mutations in DNA sequence.
  • Differentiate between dominant, recessive, co-dominate, polygenic, and sex linked traits.
  • State Mendel’s laws of segregation and independent assortment.
  • Use a Punnett Square to determine the genotype and phenotype of monohybrid crosses.

Anatomy & Physiology:

  • Be familiar with parts of the digestive, circulatory, respiratory, nervous, muscular, sexual reproductive systems: generalize their functions.


  • Describe how the taxonomic system classifies living things into domains and kingdoms.



  • Understand concepts of an ecosystem.
  • Use a food web to identify and distinguish producers, consumers, and decomposers.



Properties of Matter:

  • Identify properties of matter, distinguish between chemical and physical changes.

Atomic Structure and Nuclear Chemistry:

  • Understand atomic theory.
  • Describe the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • Identify/describe components of the nuclear atom.
  • Write balanced equations.
  • Describe the process of radioactive decay.
  • Compare unclear fission and unclear fusion.


  • Explain the relationship of an element’s position on the periodic; use the periodic table to identify elements; identify trends; relate position to its electron configuration.

Chemical bonding:

  • Explain how atoms combine to form compounds through both ionic and covalent bonding.
  • Draw Lewis dot structures for simple molecules.
  • Predict/name/write chemical formulas.

Chemical Reactions and Stoichiometry:

  • Balance chemical equations; determine formulas
  • Calculate mass-mass, mass-volume, volume– volume, and limiting reactant problems.

State of Matter, Kinetic Molecular Theory, and Thermochemistry:

  • Understand kinetic molecular theory.
  • Perform calculations using the ideal gas law.
  • Contrast endothermic and exothermic processes.
  • Use calorimetry.

Solutions, Rates of Reaction, and Equilibrium:

  • Describe the process by which solutes dissolve in solvents; calculate concentration/saturation/ freezing point/boiling point.
  • Identify factors affecting rates of a reaction.
  • Write the equilibrium expression and calculate the equilibrium constant for a reaction.

Acids and Bases and Oxidation-Reduction Reactions

  • Understand theories of acids-bases.
  • Describe processes of oxidation/reduction.


  • Identify the components/describe processes in an electrochemical cell.
  • Compare and contrast voltaic/electrolytic cells.

Social Studies
(Suggested Courses by Grade)


Grade 9 – World History 1
Students will be able to:

  • Examine eight major world religions and their importance in history.
  • Explore the rise and fall of empires.
  • Describe the development of European political, religious, social and economic institutions.
  • Detail European exploration and colonization of the Americas, Asia, and Africa.
  • Identify the achievements and contributions of Asian, African and American civilizations.
  • Trace the development of revolutions in thought and government.


Grade 10 – World History 2
Students will be able to:

  • Detail the technological innovations and new economic developments of the Industrial Revolution and the new political, economic, and scientific ideas and growth of popular culture.
  • Describe the revolutionary and reform movements the reshaped the politics of Europe and the Americas in the 1800’s.
  • Explain how nationalism transformed many countries throughout the world.
  • Discuss the effects of European and American Imperialism in Asia, Africa, and Latin America and also the legacy of colonial rule.
  • Identify the causes, events, and results of World War I.
  • Trace the growth of fascist and Communist dictatorships in Italy, Germany, and the Soviet Union.
  • Explain the causes of World War II and the major political realignments that followed the war.
  • Summarize the causes and impact of the cold war.
  • Discuss conflicts in Asia and the region’s emergence as an economic powerhouse.
  • Examine the move toward globalization with a focus on the Middle East and Latin America

Grade 11 – United States History
Students will be able to:

  • Identify the major components of the United States Constitution.
  • Describe the period of Reconstruction and its long-term effects on the nation and its peoples.
  • Describe the impact of Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown v. Board of Education on American society.
  • Detail the struggles of Native Americans during the late 19th century.
  • Describe the elements and impact of industrial expansion in the US.
  • Explain the advent of the corporation, banking, and the stock exchange.
  • Identify the role of immigration on the growth of American cities.
  • Discuss key events in the labor movement.
  • Identify the major events of the Spanish American War and the Progressive movement.
  • Explain the causes and consequences of World Wars I and II.
  • Summarize key leaders and goals of the women’s suffrage movement.
  • Analyze the events of the 1920’s, including the Harlem Renaissance.
  • Describe the advent and effects of the Great Depression and FDR’s New Deal.
  • Analyze key issues of the 20th century, including the Civil Rights movement, Vietnam War and Cold War era.
  • Explain the climate of the post-Cold War era and the New World Order.
  • Discuss issues in contemporary American life.

Grade 12 – Elective of choice
Examples: Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Economics, any AP course

If your student plans to attend a university, please check out the requirements as early as possible, preferably before 9th grade. Universities will have certain requirements requiring the addition of Arts and Foreign Languages. If your student knows what he/she would like to major in, also check for specific requirements related to specific majors.






Published:Apr 12th
Modified:Apr 17th


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