Secondary Course Descriptions

Click here for detailed class schedule.

Our schools of Dialectic and Rhetoric are structured in the Collegiate Model. Students will follow one of six diploma tracks (Advanced Classical, Advanced Language, Homeschool, Performing Arts, Standard, and STEM Diplomas) with classes that meet on Monday/Wednesday, Tuesday/Thursday and Friday. Full-Time and Part-Time students are encouraged to select from the following list to achieve their diploma requirements.

Advanced Acting
In Advanced Acting, students will develop both individual and ensemble acting skills. Students will study and practice techniques from significant, celebrated acting teachers, read several modern plays, and perform scenes from those plays. Students will participate in daily acting exercises, fill an Actor’s Journal with valuable insights, and culminate their learning in the development and performance of a one-act play (Intro to Theater is a prerequisite to this course).

Algebra 1
Algebra 1 is a mathematics course that covers beginning algebraic topics and focuses on teaching students the fundamental building blocks of problem solving. The Saxon philosophy concerning algebra is the following: “Algebra is not difficult. Algebra is just different.”

Repetition is the backbone of the teaching methodology in this course. New concepts are introduced in small increments, while previously taught material is thoroughly reinforced. The idea of using small steps to teach certain algebraic concepts allows the student to master one aspect of a particular concept before the next is introduced. The end goal is mastery, but the instruction is delivered in bite-sized pieces. Major topics include: solving for unknown variables; writing, manipulating, and factoring polynomials; writing, solving, and graphing linear and quadratic equations; simplifying complex fractions; solving systems of equations; working with exponents; simplifying radicals; analyzing and solving real-world word problems; and much more.

Upon successful completion of Algebra 1, students will have created a solid base of algebra knowledge, ready to take on Geometry and Algebra 2.

Textbook: Saxon Algebra 1

Algebra II
Algebra 2 is a mathematics course that covers intermediate-to-advanced algebraic topics. Concepts taught in Algebra 1 will be reviewed and taken to a more advanced level. The question, “When will I ever use algebra in the real world?” is easily answered thusly: Algebra 2 teaches students to analyze and problem-solve at a more advanced level, equipping them with critical thinking skills that apply to both mathematics and real-world situations. Students who successfully complete this course should be able to understand and apply the following concepts: linear, quadratic, exponential, inverse, composite, and radical functions; matrices; advanced factoring; direct, inverse, and joint variation; polynomials; linear programming; measures of central tendency; probability and the binomial theorem; trigonometric functions, special triangles, and the unit circle; complex, rational, and decimal numbers; synthetic division; advanced statements of equality; advanced word problems; and beginning logarithms. Upon successful completion of Algebra 2, students will be prepared for Trigonometry.

Text: Saxon Algebra 2

American Literature
This course, designed for juniors or above, is a thorough study of America’s literary heritage in Christian perspective from the diaries of early explorers through the works of the Naturalists and Anti-naturalists of the mid and late 19th centuries. Careful attention is placed on understanding the impact of worldviews on authors and how their works supported or attacked prevalent ideas. Students study both samples of works in an anthology and read entire novels. Students are also given the tools to understand poetry and to gain an appreciation for what is good, true and beautiful.

Anatomy & Physiology
Anatomy and Physiology covers the structure and function of the human body. This course is organized to follow a logical sequence of nine of the systems of the human body. Each of the nine systems will be covered in detail while supporting the belief we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Students will become acquainted with the various levels of organization of the human body through lecture and discussion, guest speakers, dissection, virtual lab and hands on labs. Laboratory dissection includes anatomical study of mammals.

Textbook is Hole’s Human Anatomy and Physiology by Shier, Butler, and Lewis.

Apologetics
This is a course on the theory and practice of Christian Apologetics. Students will learn all five apologetic views (Classical, Evidential, Presuppositional, Cumulative, and Reformed Epistemological). Part of the curriculum will include critiquing apologetic debates, analyzing daily media, and practicing apologetic encounters.

Texts include Tactics by Greg Koukl, On Guard by William Lane Craig, Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, and more.

Art Exploration (6th)
Students will be trained in the basics of drawing, perspective and composition plus develop a working vocabulary of art terms.

Art Through History (7th / 8th)
This course will encompass art from cave paintings to the contemporary artists of today. Students will be introduced to the great masters and pioneers of the modern art movements and complete art projects in their styles and mediums. The student will be introduced to a wide variety of mediums and often find one they wish to practice with further. They will also come to appreciate different styles of art and the process involved in creating the work. Students will see how art “fits” in with history, its influence, and as an expression of society.

Biblical Languages
A study of the Bible in its original languages. Students will learn the fundaments of Ancient Hebrew, Old Aramaic, and Alexandrian (Koine) Greek, and use them to read excerpts of Scripture. Some theology will be covered, but typically insofar as it relates to the lexemes, morphology, and syntax of the passages. Students may earn two language credits by passing the comprehensive second semester final with a score of 80% or better and paying a discounted course fee.

Biology
This high school level course will be the foundation for other biology related courses. The text covers scientific methods, ecology, cells, genetics, biological diversity, history of life, bacteria, viruses, protists, fungi, plants, and zoology. There are numerous experiments including microscopes and slides, multiple dissections, and virtual labs.

Text: Glencoe Science: Biology published McGraw Hill (2016 edition)

British Literature
This course will focus on the tradition of story in British literature, covering approximately 15 authors spanning almost 1000 years, from Beowulf to Bronte. The course will emphasize the value of reading difficult texts and relating the material both to history and literary tradition. Students will write at least 4 papers and regularly review grammar.

Calculus
This course, part of the ACA School of Rhetoric program, is designed to master calculus, trigonometry, and analytic geometry concepts as the student prepares for university. Calculus is great training for the mind, yielding discipline, mental exercise, and self-assessment. Students who wish to expand their ability to think about the world numerically and analytically are encouraged to enroll. This course is especially helpful for students who plan to study mathematics, engineering, physics, business, or the life sciences. Students who successfully complete this course should be able to understand and apply the following concepts: analytical reasoning and problem-solving techniques, limits, continuity, derivatives and rates of change, integrals, and particle motion. Further, students who successfully complete this course will be ready for Calculus at the university level.

Textbook: Saxon Calculus

Chemistry
This course is study the nature of matter and the changes that it undergoes. Students will examine the atomic theory, stoichiometry, solutions, energy, gas laws, kinetics, equilibrium, and other aspects of our work and how chemistry relates to it. Texts include Chemistry: The Central Science by Brown, LeMay and Bursten and Chemistry: Precision and Design by Vern Biddle. The objective is to show students the importance of chemistry in the major areas of study as well as in their daily lives. Secondly, it is designed to point out that chemistry provides the basis for much of what goes on in our world. The material is presented in the form of bookwork, class lectures, discussions and laboratory experiments.

Classical Grammar and Composition
This course focuses on effective writing for high school students including identifying and applying various patterns of development, using appropriate grammar, format and structure for academic writing, understanding argument, and conducting effective research. Students will write a number of academic essays, choose and develop a research topic, learn basic research strategies, and developing thinking and argumentation skills. The course will focus primarily on understanding and analyzing the elements of English grammar, mechanics, and usage. Students will apply these elements as they practice rhetorical analyses and construct effective, coherent, and unified writing samples in a variety of genre. The primary goal of the course is to produce students equipped to write and think effectively in an academically rigorous high school environment and to apply those skills throughout their high school years.

Classical Literature
In order to appreciate literature and the arts, one must first know the essentials of Christianity (“our story”). Archetypal elements throughout the arts, find their roots in Scripture and the Church. Themes such as Creation, Redemption, Exile, Resurrection, Good and Evil can only be truly seen and understood by those who have a firm grasp on how the Triune God has related and continues to relate to His people. This course will examine how ancient and modern stories originate from the foundational narratives found in Scripture and in the interaction of God with humanity told throughout literature and the arts. Old Testament poetry and psalms, Jesus’ parables, Church creeds, and seminal works by writers such as Lewis, Bunyan, Donne, Herbert, and MacDonald all use metaphor, symbolism, imagery, allegory, and other figurative forms to reflect Truth. By more fully understanding how and why Truth is related through story, students will be better equipped to see the core truths in all artistic expressions.

Computer Applications
This course focuses on using various computer applications effectively for academic and personal use. We will cover basic procedures for using email and existing in a network environment responsibly, while covering the fundamentals of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel (in a Mac environment). Further, we will touch on multimedia applications for movie making, sound editing, and more. We will also explore Mac applications comparable to MS Office programs such as Pages, Keynote, and Numbers to more fully develop students skill levels Included in the course are discussions of ethics and decision-making in computer use, responsible computing, and integration of technology for various class assignments. Finally, we discuss the roles that wikis, weblogs, social networking, and sites such as YouTube and Twitter play in today’s society, discussing their pros and cons and learning how to use them effectively as tools for communicating and interacting with the world while maintaining a Christian world view.

Computer Concepts
This course will give the student the building blocks in the essential skill of typing. In addition, this course is designed to familiarize students with technology terms. The world of technology is constantly changing. This course takes different class subjects showing how technology can be used to aid in their studies. The student will be encouraged to be creative, communicators, and collaborators. It is important that young students be educated and informed internet citizen.

Computer Exploration
This course will give the student a solid foundation in the essential skill of keyboarding. In addition, this course is designed to give the basic technology skills and vocabulary necessary to succeed in junior high and high school. We familiarize students with the MAC operating system and introduce basic skills in the Microsoft Office software, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. They learn how to search the Internet effectively while carefully evaluating the validity of the information on a website. The student will come out of the course competent in keyboarding and computer literate.

Dialectic Middle Ages
This course covers world history from the Middle Ages (394 A.D. - 1500 A.D.). Also, students will learn about the Age of Chivalry by covering the Mythical history of England and King Arthur and his Knights. The teaching method is a combination of textbook information, projects, and interactive simulations. Texts include Famous Men of the Middle Ages (Memoria Press) by John H. Haaren & A.B. Poland, Plutarch ’ s Lives for Boys an Girls by W.H. Weston and Bulfinch’s Mythology by Thomas Bulfinch.

Dialectic Introduction to Latin
This course is an introduction to Latin for students with no Latin background and/or a weak background in English grammar. The course reviews parts of speech in English as it introduces the concept of Latin as an inflected language. Students learn basic endings and vocabulary and begin the work of translation without the time pressure of a high school Latin I course.

Dialectic Modern History
This course covers world history from the US Civil War—Modern Age. The teaching method is a combination of textbook information, projects, interactive simulations and a major field trip.

Texts include The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, The History of the World—A Beka, Ancient World—Gilskirk with lectures by George Grant, Interact Simulation.

Economics
Economics has at times been falsely defined as “The Dismal Science,” however, a sound understanding of the principles of economics is an essential foundation for the forms and freedoms we enjoy as Americans. A right understanding of the principles of economics provides the foundation for national as well as individual wealth and happiness. The student of Economics will engage the students in the fundamental grammar of the science of Economics, with a view towards engaging the student in the historical and contemporary aspects of economics that shape the modern world.

English 7
Language will be developed and put into practice in this class. English 7 focuses on reading comprehension, literature exposure, and grammar rules. The student will practice grammar rules through use of a textbook and writing assignments, focusing on creativity, clarity and style. The student will also engage in classic novels including Treasure Island, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and A Wrinkle in Time; along with poems and short stories, and will learn to discuss literature with their peers. Students are also given class time for free reading and must complete a reader’s response sheet for each book they read, teaching them to really think about what they are reading and building their comprehension skills.

Textbooks: Writer’s Choice & Elements of Literature

English 8
English 8 provides an integrated approach to developing a Christian worldview through the mastery of required reading, writing, and speaking skills. Individual and group activities, projects, dialectic discussions, lectures, and note taking help students develop their ability to explore not only quality literature, but also a variety of writing styles, and the essential grammar components for effective communication. Students are encouraged to develop an awareness of language foundations, sharpen critical reading skills, and become competent writers as they study, evaluate, and analyze a variety of novels, short stories, poems, and essays. Major units of study include: The Holocaust and Diary of Anne Frank, The Merchant of Venice, “Flowers for Algernon,” and Great Expectations.

Texts: Writer’s Choice (grammar/composition) / Elements of Literature (literary selections)

Film Making
This course will focus on teaching students film literacy by providing hands on experience with filming, editing, criticism, and theory by exploring and participating in the filmmaking process as well watching and analyzing films. Students will also create an Audio/Visual DVD for the School year.

Fundamentals of Christianity
The Fundamentals of Christianity aims to broaden the student’s understanding of the primary concepts of the Christian life and deepen his walk with Jesus Christ. This course will explore the essential truths of the Christian life and the call to discipleship, from both a biblical and devotional perspective.

Geometry
This course will use Jacob’s Geometry. In addition to the basic knowledge of parallel lines, polygons, triangles, and circles, this course includes inductive and deductive proofs, constructions, and an exploration of some of the problems examined by ancient and medieval scholars. A straightedge, protractor, and compass are required.

Hebrew I
In this course the student will learn the Hebrew alphabet, the basics of grammar and lots of vocabulary and portions of scripture in its original Hebrew. This class incorporates some immersion techniques that enable the student to grasp the language on a more intuitive level.

Hebrew II & III
Picking up where Hebrew 1 (and 2) left off: more vocabulary, more grammar and more scripture. In this class the student will learn to use a lexicon, practice translating directly from scripture and spend time parsing verbs.

Intermediate Math
Through this course, we will build fundamental skills in a range of areas in mathematics, including geometry, basic algebra, unit conversion, statistics and probability, graphing and more! The purpose of the class will be to acquire solid understanding, speed, creativity and an ability to apply mathematics to everyday life.

Primary Text: Saxon Math by Stephen Hake

Insights from C.S. Lewis
This course will focus on the life, times, and literary works of Clive Staples Lewis. Students will read his biography, as well as selected poems, short stories, novels, and other material, analyzing and critiquing the doctrine and thoughts of this great author.

Introduction to Theatre (9th / 10th / 11th / 12th)
Intro to Theatre is available to 9th - 12th grade students wishing to enhance their classical education through the study of Fine Art. This class has a dual emphasis. The first hour is focused on the academic study of Theatre: Theatre History, great dramatic works, and significant playwrights. During our second hour, students will learn and practice the particular skills of acting in a “workshop/studio” setting.

Latin I
This course is taught as if the students have no background in Latin, but it moves at a quick high school pace. The primary text is Latin in the Christian Trivium. The supplemental text is Wheelock’s Latin. Students learn 5 declensions, 4 conjugations, vocabulary, and basic translation techniques using passages from the Bible and ancient Roman authors. Student knowledge of English grammar and ancient Roman culture is strengthened.

Latin II - III
This course uses the following primary texts: Ullmann, Henderson and Henry. Latin for Americans, First and Second Books, Eighth Edition (Glencoe McGraw-Hill: New York, 1997). Material is also occasionally introduced from Biblia Sancta, Vulgate Version and The Book of Common Prayer, 1560. Completing the grammar and syntax materials from Latin for Americans, First Book, the Latin II course introduces the subjunctive mood and presents selections from Pliny on Roman history and easy reading from Jason and the Argonauts. By the end of the Latin I and II courses, students have seen the basis of Latin grammar and syntax.

The Latin II course envisions these objectives for students: to acquire fluency in reading and translating Latin into English, with a moderate ability to translate from English into Latin; to have read certain Biblical texts and prayers from the Gospels and the Psalms; to recognize numerous English derivatives and their Latin roots, building an expanded and enhanced English vocabulary; to acquire a more coherent, precise, logical syntax of polished English expression; to improve in the mastery of spelling and penmanship; to hone skills of observation and analysis; and to know and appreciate the accomplishments, legacy and shortcomings of ancient Rome.

Methods employed include: reading aloud; extensive written homework; daily vocabulary quizzes; seasonal readings from the Psalms and the Gospels and accounts of the martyrs; memorization of Bible verses and prayers.

Life Science
This junior high-level science class is comprehensive. The text covers cells, genetics, microbiology, plants, invertebrates, vertebrates, ecosystem, and the human body. There will be numerous experiments to enhance the student’s learning of God’s creation.

Text: Bob Jones Life Science for Christian School (2nd edition) by William S. Pinkston, Jr. and David Anderson

Logic (8th / 9th / 10th / 11th / 12th)
Logic is a graduation requirement at ACA, and this course completes that requirement. It is a survey course covering both the practical elements of defining terms, understanding the nature of statements, and avoiding common fallacies usually associated with Informal Logic, and the symbolism and testing methods used in Formal Logic. Texts include Introductory Logic by James B. Nance and Douglas J. Wilson, and Intermediate Logic by James B. Nance. Chess, the game of kings, and other mentally challenging games are used as fun ways to build observation, memory, reasoning, and to develop critical and creative thinking.

Marine Biology
This Marine Biology course is ideal for high school juniors or seniors who have completed first-year biology and would like to pursue marine biology or another field in life science. It gives an up-close look at peculiar creatures and exotic environments that exist in the wonderful world below the surface of the earth’s ocean! This course will cover marine vertebrates and invertebrates, intertidal zones, estuary communities, coral reefs, continental shelf communities, deep ocean habitats, and more. There will be numerous experiments including hands on activities, slides, and dissections. This class is offered every other year.

Text: Apologia Exploring Creation with Marine Biology by Sherri Seligson

Modern History
This course will examine the impact of significant 19th century thinkers–Darwin, Marx, and Freud–on Western culture. We will explore Africa through the lens of colonialism, Christianity in the U.S., the World Wars, the Cold War, and the rise of Islam. There is a strong emphasis on maps, research, and oral presentation. The course seeks to create a framework for the student to understand current events as they relate to history, geography, and philosophies.

Modern Literature
This course will focus on American and British writers from mid-1800s to present. In four quarters we will examine Victorian Literature, American Realism, Modernism, and Postmodernism. Each quarter there will be 3-4 reading selections in addition to poetry, at least one major paper, and an exam.

Musical Theater
Introduction to Musical Theatre is a class where students receive a foundation in voice, acting and dance that will help them build confidence in the arena of Musical Theatre. Their bi-weekly exposure and practice of basic musical theatre concepts will help students improve their craft and grow in many areas of personal character as well. Students will study the history of Musical Theatre, Dance, Acting and Voice. In the Dance component, students will learn the history, vocabulary, and basic steps of Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Ballroom, and Modern Dance. Vocally, students will learn the basics of Music Theory, Developing and Caring for the Voice, and the meaning of being a “vocal athlete.” Students will explore basic acting/stage skills as they relate to Musical Theatre as well. Students will increase their performance experience by developing, rehearsing, and performing several group dances, choral selections, and a vocal solo and/or duet.

New Testament Survey (7th / 8th / 9th / 10th)
This course will study the New Testament Church and Missions. The students will study Acts and the epistles of the New Testament. The course continues with the history of missions and the persecuted church. The students will also study the content of the New Testament as it pertains to the life of Christ. This will be done through reading of the Gospels, journaling from the New Testament, studying historic facts, and researching the lives of NT people and teachings. The course will include Bible memory, reading, application, character study, testing and reporting orally to the class.

Oklahoma History/Government
Our purpose in our study of Oklahoma History is to engage the student in the appreciation and love for the unique history and the beauty of the State of Oklahoma. Students will gain an understanding of the topography and geography of the state, the diverse cultures of the native peoples, the colorful days of Indian Territory, the Land Run, to the excitement of the oil boom days, and the economic growth and expansion of the 20th century.

Old Testament Survey (7th / 8th)
This course will study the content of the Old Testament. This will be done through reading the Old Testament, journaling from the Psalms and Proverbs, studying historic facts, and researching the lives of OT people. The course will include Bible memory, reading, application, character study, testing and reporting orally to the class.

Pentateuch and the Bible
The Pentateuch or the Books of Moses is another name for the first five books of the Bible, also known as the Torah. We will cover these five books in detail and then see how these themes, ideas, and prophecies are reflected and treated in the rest of the Bible, including the New Testament. The focus will be on becoming familiar with the content of the Bible. In addition, there will be considerable attention paid to learning HOW to read and interpret the Bible, also known as hermeneutics.

Personal Financial Literacy
This course will explore Early American economics and historical events that impacted the United States, while highlighting the cultural perspective of handling money. Students completing this course will find themselves equipped with the knowledge of the importance of earning an income and how to manage that income using a budget. They should also be able to identify and explain taxation, standard of living, and the function and use of banks and other financial institutions. They will be equipped to balance a checkbook, use a savings account, invest their income and reconcile financial accounts. The class will also explain online commerce, credit fraud, credit cards and the importance of maintaining good credit and avoid bankruptcy, and finally, it will teach the importance of planning for retirement.

Physics
Students in this course study the nature of materials through physics. The study will include motion, friction, torque, forces, energy, momentum, and other concepts and laws that deal with our physical world. They apply these laws to observation and expand our belief in the existence of God in the creation.

Texts include Physics: An Incremental Development by John H. Saxon, Jr. and Physics by Douglas C. Giancoli.

Physical Science
Our purpose is to equip students to combat false science with observation and reasoning. We believe that our authority to study the physical world is based on the unchanging, infallible Word of God. This course is essentially a survey of science—with an emphasis on chemistry and physics—but also including topics from biology, geology and astronomy. Lecture, discussion, hands on labs, guest speakers and individual and group projects will supplement the texts. Students will apply their understanding of Laws of Motion, work and machines by building a mousetrap vehicle. While working in pairs, students will build a hot air balloon by applying their understanding of gas laws.

Pre-Algebra
This is the last math class before students enter Algebra I. Students who successfully complete this course should be able to understand and apply the following concepts: basic operations with polynomials and radical expressions, Pythagorean theorem, areas of geometric shapes, and basic algebraic topics such as patterns, relations, functions, order of operations, distributive property, and graphing inequalities. This course is designed to master the content through small increments followed by integrated practice throughout the year. Students are guided through different methods of problem solving and will build a solid foundation in preparation for Algebra I.

The format of this math class is a “flipped” classroom. The students will watch pre-recorded lecture videos at home and do the assignments in class with the teacher. The only “homework” is to take notes over the videos and the in-class work is turned in at the end of the class period.

Text: Saxon Math Course Three by Stephen Hake

Reading French and German in the Arts and Sciences
The aim is to enable the student to read articles and books in French and German with the aid of a dictionary. This is not a conversational language course: the focus is not on speaking but on reading these languages and being able to understand what one reads. The selections to be read will be from a variety of fields such as theology, grammar, science, art, and philosophy. This will include some Dietrich Bonhoeffer “Nachfolge” and some Blaise Pascal’s “Pensées.”

Rhetoric I (10th / 11th / 12th)
A simplified definition of rhetoric is “the art of persuasion.” Every time we speak, we are constantly attempting to persuade our hearers that they should listen to what we are saying. In Rhetoric I, we will learn that the keys to achieving this goal are to be informed, articulate your point clearly and to be personable. This presentation style will be developed through rigorous practice and continual analysis of public speaking skills.

Students who pass the REME (Rhetoric English Mastery Exam) may be exempt from taking Rhetoric Grammar.

Rhetoric II
This study of classical rhetoric is a guided tour through Aristotle’s great work on the subject. It is a careful explanation of what rhetoric is, what is it composed of, and what makes it effective. Aristotle’s book is a theory of communication rather than a manual on speaking or writing, as one would encounter in the ACA Rhetoric I course. The emphasis is on content more than technique. Texts used in the course include Aristotle’s Rhetoric, Aristotle’s Rhetoric: An Introduction to the Traditional Principles of Speech and Writing by Martin Cothran; How to read a Book by Motimer Adler, Figures of Speech: 60 Ways to Turn a Phrase by Arthur Quinn, and The Rhetoric and Poetics of Aristotle by Edward, P. J. Corbett. The class is open to students in grades 10-12 and is one of the required courses for the Advanced Classical Diploma. Students do NOT have to complete Rhetoric I before taking this course.

Senior Thesis
This course is designed to teach students how to develop a topic, research and write a large-scale research paper in preparation for college level work. The primary focus of the course will be to complete a 4,000 word (approximately 20 page) research paper and defend it. There will be strict deadlines throughout the course to keep students focused and on track.

Prerequisite: Rhetoric Composition and Rhetoric Grammar.

Show Choir
Show Choir is an advanced performance choir for students who have exceptional ability in vocal music. This course emphasizes a combination of singing, dancing, and performing skills. This course may be taken for four years. Auditions and the purchase of performance attire will be required. The show choir will perform at school functions and at several community events.

Speech and Stage Exploration
This class is for any junior high student who would like to conquer a fear of public speaking, to dive into the world of theatre or just to become comfortable talking with other people. We will start by learning about everyday communication, then progress to speech making, storytelling, reader’s theatre, radio and TV announcing, and more. Our goal will be to finish the class with the ability to be confident and relaxed whenever and wherever we speak.

Stagecraft (8th / 9th / 10th / 11th / 12th)
Stagecraft is one of the many courses at ACA that meet a fine arts credit. During the course, we will explore the basics of set design as used in common theaters. Furthermore, we will gain practical hands-on experience by actually designing and building sets and property pieces for school productions. Along the way, we will establish safety skills so that we know how to use the tools of set building properly and safely.

Primary Text: Stage Design and Properties by Michael Holt

Important Course Information: Because of the nature of the class, a separate uniform is required (see the office for a discount sheet). Also, some hours outside of class are needed to complete certain aspects of the set work.

STEM
The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) class will approach the four subjects of STEM in a very holistic way. The class will be mainly project-based as we study all the parts of STEM. The projects we do will range from in-class competitions/projects such as toothpick bridges, catapults or even Grailball Tower improvements. We will also enter area STEM competitions. Throughout the projects we will be discussing how each area of STEM shapes or impacts the project. For example: The ACA Grailball Towers once rotated during play, so as a class, we could take on the project of determining the best way to make them turn again. As we work to complete that task we can discuss different design options, and using Google SketchUP, we can develop 3D model design options. This tool will teach us how to talk through gearing and gear ratios, how to work out the proper calculations, the physics behind torque and how much we need, electricity and circuits and how we are going to power the motors. All of the four subjects of STEM must be addressed in every project. For some of the larger projects, the class may be broken into teams to take on the different aspects of the project.

“STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons as students apply science, technology, engineering and mathematics in contexts that make connections between school, community, work, and the global enterprise enabling the development of STEM literacy and with it the ability to compete in the new economy.”

Studio Art/Open Studio
This course introduces students to and allows them to experiment and explore the following color mediums; colored pencil, watercolor, and acrylics. Students will be trained in the basics of drawing, perspective and composition plus develop a working vocabulary of art terms. Students will move from writing to drawing with pencil and charcoal. The students will then progress to the techniques available with colored pencil including an introduction to color. They will learn to use a transfer grid and opaque projector. Students will learn to use the brushes and develop the four basic techniques of watercolor. They will use a limited palette of color and premixed palette. They will experiment with “special effects” available with the medium. Students will transpose these skills and expand on them with acrylics and different supports.

Open Studio provides students with the opportunity to extend and develop existing skills in drawing and painting. Students will meet with Ms. Thornhill to design specific requirements per individual student for finished pieces.

Trigonometry
This Trigonometry course, part of the ACA School or Rhetoric program, is designed to master advanced algebra, trigonometry, and beginning calculus. The format of this class is traditional in nature, with the instructor teaching lessons using definitions, formulas, and sample problems. Students who successfully complete this course should be able to understand and apply the following concepts: the trigonometric functions and their inverses; trig identities; matrices and determinants; rectangular and polar coordinates; the unit circle; degree and radian measures; logarithms; sinusoids; limits; derivatives; complex word problems; and much more. Successful completion of this course prepares the student for Calculus.

Textbooks: Saxon Algebra II, Saxon Calculus

United States History
This junior-level course traces the impact of ideas in American History from the early roots of the Renaissance and Reformation to the Civil War. It uses reading of books and copies of original sources, lecture, and class discussion to survey important people, dates and events, but focuses on learning how to accurately study history and interpret the results of different world-views. Students are encouraged to express clearly not just the “whats” of history but the “whys.”

World History I
This course covers a wide swath of history, ranging from ancient times all the way up to the Reformation. This course will include the study of major civilizations from all six of the developed continents, and will delve into the philosophical, religious, and political forces that shaped each culture. The course will also seek to develop honed research skills for the purposes of academic inquiry into the past.

Texts used are History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome and History of the Medieval World: From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade by Susan Wise Bauer.

Yearbook
Students will create the year in review through individual and event photographs.