English Language Arts

Literature I Grade 9 
Literature I exposes scholars to different genres of literature ranging from epic poetry, to satire, Shakespearean plays, and contemporary novels. This course sets scholars up for success by asking them to : 1.) Develop claims about themes in a variety of texts, 2.) Support claims with evidence drawn from the text, 3.) Participate in Socratic seminars to build collegiate habits of discussion, 4.) Analyze authors’ use of literary techniques through writing, 5.) Make connections between texts to build a deeper understanding of how similar thematic concepts are expressed at different times and in different places across history.

Literature II Grade 10 | Regents Exam Required
Tenth grade literature challenges students to consider the creation of “monsters” in society through literary lenses represented by diverse perspectives from around the world. By the end of the course, students are able to: (1) cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, (2) determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text, (3) analyze how complex characters develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme, (4) determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, (5) analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it, and manipulate time create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise, and (6) analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature.

American Literature Grade 11
11th Grade Literature is a yearlong course that uses a critical eye to examine American texts that have both been shaped by history but have also had a powerful effect on shaping history. We consider what it means to talk about “American Literature”. What is this definition? Who makes it? We analyze literature together with an eye towards the deliberate decisions made by authors that affect the meaning and purpose of a text. Ultimately, by understanding effective methods for getting a message across in writing, we will begin to understand our own agency within our own historical context. What are the stories that we as Americans want to tell? How do we represent ourselves through our stories? How do we challenge the existing narrative and give a voice to those who are underrepresented? We contemplate how much we are a product of our society versus our agency to create it. This course is reading, writing, and discussion intensive.

AP English Language and Composition Grades 11-12 | College Board AP Exam Opportunity
AP English Language and Composition cultivates the reading and writing skills that students need for college successful and for intellectually responsible civic engagement. The course guides students in becoming curious, critical, and responsive readers of diverse text and becoming flexible, reflective writers of texts addressed to diverse audiences for diverse purposes. The reading and writing students do in the course should deepened and expand their understanding of how written language functions rhetorically: to communicate writers’ intentions and elicit readers’ responses in particular situations. The course cultivates the rhetorical understanding and use of written language by directing students’ attention to writer/reader interactions in their reading and writing of various formal and informal genres. The course also deepens students’ knowledge and control of the formal conventions of written language and helps students understand that forma conventions of the English language in its many written and spoken dialects are historically, culturally, and socially produced; that the use of these conventions may intentionally or unintentionally contribute to the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of a piece of writing in a particular rhetorical context; and that a particular set of language conventions defines Standard Written English, the preferred dialect for academic discourse. At the culmination of the course, students take the AP Lang and Comp exam. Depending on their score, the exam may exempt them from certain college classes.

Senior Literature Grade 12
In their final literature class, DP scholars are tasked with demonstrating college-level reading, writing, and discussion skills on a daily basis. Through a study of poetry, prose, theater, and a wide range of novels, scholars learn to 1) close-read a poem, passage, or book and respond appropriately to an essential, course-long question 2) engage in high-level analysis of fictional texts in order to decipher their intended message and relevance to the book’s historical context and the modern day 3) participate in college-style discussions and seminars centered on just one specific idea or question.

AP English Literature and Composition Grade 12 | College Board AP Exam Opportunity
This course engages students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, students deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readings. As they read, students consider the work’s structure, style, and themes, as well as such smaller-scale elements as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone. The course includes intensive study of representative works from various genres and periods, concentrating on works of recognized literary merit. Students in AP Lit read actively. The works taught in the course require careful, deliberative reading. The approach to analyzing and interpreting material involves students in learning how to make careful observations of textual detail, establish connections among their observations, and draw from those connections a series of inferences leading to an interpretive conclusion about the meaning and value of a piece of writing. At the culmination of the course, students take the AP Lit exam. Depending on their score, the exam may exempt them from certain college classes.


Writing I 
Grade 9
Introduces students to high school writing expectations, including grammar, conventions, writing structure, citations, writing styles, rigor, and writing content. Scholars read, analyze, and respond to non-fiction texts and news articles to decipher main ideas and information. Scholars practice these skills through the following units: 1) Writing for Change; 2) Identity and Inclusion; 3) Ethos/Pathos/Logos; 4) Art and Writing; 5) The Modern Memoir. Each of these units exposes scholars to different writing styles and non- fiction pieces, simultaneously practicing key grammar and writing skills.

Writing II Grade 10
Writing 2, or “Writing and Rhetoric” is a project-based class. This course builds on the foundational concepts of Writing 1 and supports scholars with SAT/ACT level grammar/writing. During the course, scholars will regularly engage in Socratic Seminars based on ongoing news events, foreign and domestic politics, and related debates. These seminars require intensive writing prep and crafting and testing arguments. Scholars engage in 4 projects: 1) This I Believe Narrative Essay; 2) Political Speech; 3) MODES Project, scholars write 4 essays on one topic, each uses a different argumentative approach; 4) Original Inquiry Project: Research Paper, 12-15 pages. The class requires scholars to identify their own topics for all of these projects and formulate their own arguments, evidence defense, and counter-arguments. This class works alongside Literature 2.

 

MATHEMATICS

Algebra I Grade 9 | Regents Exam Required
Algebra 1 is about exploring several types of functions and their relationships to each other. It begins with (1) defining the properties and vocabulary of functions; (2) writing/solving/graphing/modeling with linear functions and (3) solving systems of linear functions. (4) Students go on to explore exponential functions including writing/graphing/modeling and comparing exponential change to linear change, then (5) studying the discrete versions of linear and exponential functions through explicit and recursive sequences. (6) Function transformations lead into (7) writing/solving/graphing/modeling with quadratic/polynomial functions and solving systems of equations of different function type. (8) Finally a study of summarizing univariate data and modeling bivariate data with different types of functions is completed.

Geometry Grade 10 
HS Geometry covers a complete study of Euclidean Geometry with simultaneous threads of Coordinate Geometry and Geometric Constructions starting with (1) basic geometric components and their characteristics, then (2) using those components to build up angles and transversal systems and study their properties. (3) Congruence transformations of figures including translations, rotations and reflections are studied and applied. (4) An in- depth study of triangles includes emphasis on proof, followed by an exploration of (5) quadrilaterals and special types of quadrilaterals. (6) Similarity transformations (including dilations) are applied to figures and used to further explore properties of particular types of triangles, and (7) right triangles and their properties provide an introduction to basic Trigonometry. (8) Circles are studied in both the coordinate plane and the Euclidean plane. Finally, the year’s worth of 2D shapes are projected into 3D objects and the properties of those objects, including surface area and volume are covered and use to model real-world objects.

Algebra II Grade 11 | Regents Exam Required
Algebra II builds on the foundational and core skills developed in Algebra I and Geometry. Students take a deeper dive into mathematical concepts developed during Algebra I such as function analysis, factoring expressions, and series/sequence identification. In addition, students further develop their understanding of trigonometric functions and identities developed in Geometry through exposure to the unit circle, graphing trigonometric functions, and using sinusoidal functions to model real-world scenario. Furthermore, students are exposed to higher-level probability and statistics concepts that further enhance students understanding of real-world scenarios and concepts.


Algebra II/Precalculus Grade 11 – 12
A one-year course that is designed to prepare scholars to demonstrate mastery of Algebra II Common Core standards. This course focuses on students making connections between verbal, numeric, algebraic and graphical representations of various functions ranging from polynomial, exponential, logarithmic, and periodic. Students will also develop and expand their knowledge and skills in calculating various probabilities and in collecting and analyzing data sets. By taking this course, scholars will practice applying mathematical ways of thinking to real world issues and challenges.

AP Calculus AB Grade 12 | College Board AP Exam Opportunity
In AP Calculus AB, students are exposed to a college level mathematics course covering two major threads: Differentiation, and Integration. Students pursue higher level problem solving skills by connecting topics throughout the course. Students will often be asked to apply concepts ranging from the abstract concepts of infinitely small distances to adding up an infinite amount of areas.

SCIENCE

Biology Grade 9 | Regents Exam Required
This biology course takes a hands-on approach to studying the lifeforms at the microscopic level to the macroscopic level. In this course, scholars learn how each organism uses nutrients to live and maintain homeostasis. Scholars also discover how different cells work together in many biochemical processes to live. The course culminates with scholars analyzing, at the macroscopic level, the relationships between different organisms and how humans are impacting the natural processes.

Chemistry Grade 10 | Regents Exam Required
Chemistry is about (1) explaining how heat, temperature and intermolecular bonds affect the phase changes of different mixtures, as well as their melting and boiling points and specific heat capacities; (2) using nuclear chemistry to describe isotopes and the different ways elements can change into other elements; (3) using Bohr and Lewis diagrams to recreate the Periodic Table, and explain trends in ionization energy, electronegativity and melting and boiling points; (4) comparing the electronegativity of atoms in a compound to explain their properties and place them on a spectrum from highly non-polar to highly ionic. (5) identifying compounds through their IUPAC names, structural diagrams, molecular formulas as well as identifying the molarity and percent composition of different substances; (6) explaining the mechanics of chemical reactions with a focus on the heat of reaction, catalysts, and oxidation numbers; (7) modeling acid-base interactions and using them to build voltaic and electrolytic cells; (8) identifying chemical compounds and processes within organic chemistry; and (9) using the ideal gas law and the combined gas laws to describe the properties of different substances at different temperatures, pressures and volumes.

Physics Grade 11 | Regents Exam Required
Physics introduces scholars to how to mathematically describe the physical world. Through exploratory based learning and classroom based discussions, students will investigate and discover core physics concepts. The core concepts investigated, examined, and discussed in physics are (1) 1D kinematics as it pertains to constant velocity and constant accelerated motion; (2) forces for systems that are both in equilibrium and not in equilibrium; (3) 2D kinematics for projectiles; (4) Circular Motion; (5) Conservation of Energy for mechanical systems; (6) conservation of linear momentum; (7) electricity and magnetism for static and circuit systems; (8) mechanical waves; (9) the particle and wave model of light; and (10) modern physics.

Anatomy & Physiology Grade 12
Anatomy and Physiology is a year-long college preparatory course that introduces 12th grade scholars to the human body and how it functions. The course begins with an introduction to anatomic terms and organization of the body at the cellular and tissue levels. This information provides the foundation for a study of the systems of the body including the skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, lymphatic, digestive and reproductive systems. The course incorporates a laboratory component to reinforce common themes, and it also provides an opportunity for students to investigate causes and effects of various diseases on the normal functioning of the body.

HISTORY

Global History I Grade 9
9th grade Global History I is the first part of a two-year global history survey course. Students explore (1) the impact of the Neolithic Revolution, (2) the major Classical Civilizations and religions, (3) the post-Classical Era and the expansion of Islam, (4) the emergence of the Mongols, (5) the growth of empire in Europe, the Americas and Asia, (6) the consequence of European colonization of the Americas, and (7) the development of intellectual legacies in Europe. Units are centered around the broader idea of power, its fluidity and the ways it harnessed by different groups. Student writing is increasingly thematic, with a variety of forms and representations designed to prepare students for future advanced study in history.


Global History II
 Grade 10 | Regents Exam Required
Global History II is the second part of a two-year global history survey course. Students begin with the first global age and the development of international trade, then go through the major concepts of the long 19th century: revolution, industrialization and imperialism. The course then explores global conflicts that emerged throughout the 20th century and the impact of globalization, decolonization and human rights on human societies. Units are centered on historiographical questions of global and national histories, with argumentative essays that ask students to think about enduring issues in history as a means of exploring continuity and change throughout history.


US History Grade 11 
U.S. History is a survey course covering American History from the 17th century to the present. In this course, scholars will examine key events, continuities, and changes in American history. Throughout the year, scholars analyze and evaluate these events and trends through political, social, economic, and cultural lenses. Various key themes will be studied including foreign and domestic policy, reform, demographic changes, race, identity, and historiography. Throughout the year, scholars work closely with primary and secondary sources, acting as historians with the goal of constructing a personal understanding of the past.


AP US History Grade 11 | College Board AP Exam Opportunity
AP U.S. History covers the spectrum of American history from the 15th century to the present. Using chronological and thematic approaches to the material, the course exposes students to key elements of historiography. Scholars center their study around 9 chronological units infused with seven key themes and four key AP historical thinking skills. AP scholars work extensively with rigorous primary and secondary sources to unpack and piece together key historical themes and analyze the larger historical implications. Class participation through college lectures, seminars, papers, class discussions, and debates is required. Special emphasis is placed on critical reading and essay writing to help students prepare for the May AP examination. Scholars will walk away understanding that the major themes and ideas that have characterized America’s past are alive today, and by studying the past, scholars will begin to understand and tackle the challenges of the future.

Sociology of Change 
Grade 12 
The final history course taken by Democracy Prep scholars, Sociology of Change explores various social change theories posed by sociologists through a case study method. Scholars read social change theories and apply them to historical and modern change movements with a view toward social justice and equity. Case studies include the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the Egyptian Revolution, the BlackLivesMatter Movement, and student movements in South Africa surrounding educational equity, both during Apartheid and more recently with the #FeesMustFall movement. The course ends with a debate evaluating the success of social justice organizations such as Grameen Bank and Teach for America.

Economics Grade 12 | NYS graduation requirement.

Beginning with a brief survey of microeconomic concepts like opportunity costs and supply and demand, this course introduces scholars to the basics of economics as preparation for economics courses they will take in college. Social justice is a theme here — continuing the work of Sociology of Change — and is investigated through the economic lens by debates on rent control and minimum wage, discussion of the opportunity costs of attending college, and lessons in basic financial literacy to prepare scholars for the world outside of Democracy Prep.


Seminar in American Democracy
 Grade 12 | NYS graduation requirement.

Seminar in American Democracy is a college-preparatory style seminar that is centered on an exploration of American government, politics and democracy. Students explore foundational ideas of politics, the ways in which the Constitution shapes our politics, the constraints upon American social institutions, contemporary dilemmas of politics and society and vital case studies of social and political movements. Students engage in socratic-style discussions every week and write multi-page papers throughout the course that simulate collegiate argumentative-essays.

WORLD LANGUAGE

Korean I Grade 9
9th grade Korean 1 is about (1) understanding Korean culture by learning about Korean geography, religion, customs, food, history, and politics; (2) learning Hangeul (the Korean alphabet); (3) learning to pronounce Korean words and sentences; (4) engaging in Korean conversation about various topics, including: introducing oneself, describing one’s family, shopping, describing locations, and personal likes/dislikes; (5) conjugating verb endings in informal polite present tense.

Korean II Grade 10
10th grade Korean 2 is about (1) further understanding and appreciating Korean culture and language; (2) engaging in conversations about people’s attributes; the currencies, capital cities, and landmarks of different countries; school and extracurricular activities; and expressing one’s feelings; (3) conjugating verb endings in the informal polite past tense, the formal polite present tense, and the formal polite past tense. In addition, scholars are continuing to prepare for the Korean LOTE (Languages Other Than English) examination at the end of the following year.


Korean III Grade 10 | LOTE Exam Required
11th grade Korean 3 is about (1) gaining advanced knowledge of Korean grammar, including various verb tenses; (2) speaking in complete sentences about daily life, special occasions and celebrations, weather, and lost and found items; (3) learning to use the honorific or humble form in writing and speaking; (4) engaging in conversation about various topics using the past, present, and future tenses; (5) composing 100-word essays on various topics such as school, internships, and club activities, using a variety of verb tenses and sentence structures; (6) completing evidence-based writing assignments that require referencing, comparing and contrasting given information.

ELECTIVES

Theatre I
Theater I builds upon/summarizes skill sets and knowledge acquired in middle school Theater classes, providing scholars with regular opportunities to read and interpret scripts, explore techniques for characterization, choreograph on-stage movement, and perform scenes individually and as an ensemble. Scholars learn about a variety of performers from around the world, and reflect on how Theater Arts are utilized as an expressive language across time and culture.


Theatre II
Theater II builds upon/summarizes skill sets and knowledge acquired in Theater I, continuing to provide scholars with regular opportunities to read and interpret scripts, explore techniques for characterization, choreograph on-stage movement, and perform scenes individually and as an ensemble. Scholars learn about a variety of performers from around the world, and reflect on how Theater Arts are utilized as an expressive language across time and culture.


Theatre III
Theater III builds upon/summarizes skill sets and knowledge acquired in Theater II, continuing to provide scholars with regular opportunities to read and interpret scripts, explore techniques for characterization, choreograph on-stage movement, and perform scenes individually and as an ensemble. Scholars learn about a variety of performers from around the world, and reflect on how Theater Arts are utilized as an expressive language across time and culture.


Music I
Music I introduces scholars to the elements of music through music-making activities rooted in keyboard playing, drumming, and singing. Scholars learn how to perform and write basic rhythmic notation, build skills on each instrument, explore the various roles music plays across cultures, and work in small groups to create original musical interpretations or entire compositions that incorporate key lessons covered.


Music II
Music II builds on the foundation set in Music I, continuing to grow general musicianship through music-making activities rooted in keyboard playing, drumming, and singing. Scholars learn how to perform and write basic rhythmic notation, build skills on each instrument, explore the various roles music plays across cultures, and work in small groups to create original musical interpretations or entire compositions that incorporate key lessons covered.


Music III
Music III builds on the foundation set in Music I and II, continuing to grow general musicianship through music-making activities rooted in keyboard playing, drumming, and singing. Scholars learn how to perform and write basic rhythmic notation, build skills on each instrument, explore the various roles music plays across cultures, and work in small groups to create original musical interpretations or entire compositions that incorporate key lessons covered.

Music Appreciation

Physical Education I
Music III builds on the foundation set in Music I and II, continuing to grow general musicianship through music-making activities rooted in keyboard playing, drumming, and singing. Scholars learn how to perform and write basic rhythmic notation, build skills on each instrument, explore the various roles music plays across cultures, and work in small groups to create original musical interpretations or entire compositions that incorporate key lessons covered.


Physical Education II
In Physical Education, we will continue to learn about our bodies, our personal physical fitness level, and way in which we can improve our physical fitness. We will learn a variety of workouts and you will learn how to create an exercise plan specially to meet your goals and needs. We will also be diving deeper into nutrition and healthy eating habits to help you make smart and healthy diet choices while away at college. We will also be engaging in various collaborative and competitive activities in order to improve our aerobic capacity, muscular strength, and flexibility, while also improving our communication skills, strategic planning on the fly and overall ability to navigate our physical space. We will also discuss various health topics including sexual education.

Physical Education III
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Health