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.
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.
Prerequisite: Introduction to Theater
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, part of the ACA School or Rhetoric program, is a mathematics course that covers intermediate-to-advanced algebra topics. Concepts taught in Algebra I will be reviewed and taken to a more advanced level. The question, “When will I ever use algebra in the real world?” is discussed often in this course. Algebra II 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/Pre-Calculus.
Textbook: Algebra and Trigonometry by Robert Blitzer
Algebra A, B, & C
Every student needs the opportunity to succeed at math, and many students benefit from a slightly slower pace. The Algebra A, B, and C courses, which comprise a three-year track, are designed for students who fit this description or who may not be seeking a future in STEM-related fields. These courses cover all of the material taught in Algebra I and II, a two-year track, but at a pace that allows the student more time to digest the concepts. The course descriptions for Algebra I and II describe the teachings of this three-year plan.
Upon successful completion of Algebra A, students will be prepared for Geometry. Upon successful completion of Algebra C, students will be prepared for Trigonometry / Pre-Calculus.
Textbooks: Saxon Algebra I and Saxon Algebra II
American Literature (10th - 12th)
This course 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. The Oklahoma State requirement for CPR/AED training is included in this course.
Textbook: Hole’s Human Anatomy and Physiology by Shier, Butler, and Lewis.
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.
Textbooks: 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 In History / Open Studio (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.
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.
Have you ever wanted to know more about CS Lewis beyond Narnia but thought it was just too much, just too hard, or just too long of a bibliography to tackle? Have you already traveled with Lewis past the Lamppost but just can’t satisfy your interest enough and need an avenue to explore him further with others who love him? Then this course is just for you! Beyond Narnia: From Soul to Eternity takes a look at the life of CS Lewis to put his writings and influence in context of his unique time and circumstances. A survey of his fiction looks at important concepts of the struggling nature of the soul and the surpassing greatness of the spirit in such wonderful works as “The Screwtape Letters” and “The Great Divorce.” For those courageous few, wrestling your way through “The Pilgrim’s Regress” may test if you can find your own way home. Following this review is a necessary investigation of the principal Lewis non-fiction works. “The Abolition of Man” explores what is important about learning and why we need to be educated (and no: it’s not that simple). “The Problem of Pain” helps to discover even more than just an answer to why there is suffering if there is a good God (and no: it’s not that complex). For the intrepid and rare student, a gaze into “The Four Loves” may bring unexpected life insights. The capstone of the course is a thorough consideration of possibly the most important and challenging Christian apologetic of the 20th century. “Mere Christianity” explores right and wrong, Christian belief, Christian behavior, and then challenges all of us on just what we’re going to do about it. The finale of the course is “One Man’s Answer to CS Lewis,” a surprise ending that hopefully inspires everyone to another challenging beginning.
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.
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 will be numerous experiments including hands on activities, slides, and dissections.
Textbook: Glencoe Science: Biology published McGraw Hill (2016 edition)
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.
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
This course will 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. 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.
Textbook: General Chemistry by John D. Mays.
Classical Composition and Grammar
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.
This course will focus on literary masterpieces from Greek, Roman, and other ancient civilizations. Students will read works in the genres of Homer, Ovid, and Sophocles, as well as study epic, lyric, tragedy, comedy, pastoral, and other forms of writing. The study of these texts help students formulate an understanding of the humanities. Furthermore, students will delve into works and themes that originated from the great philosophical minds of the times. By the end of the class, students should be able to identify specific themes that provided the framework which encompassed classical literature. Students should also be able to identify the different philosophical leanings that governed the periods studied.
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.
Dialectic Middle Ages
This course covers world history from A.D. 312 to A.D. 1453; from Constantine’s conversion to the the fall of Constantinople. Topics include: the fall of Rome, the early Church, the rise of Islam, feudalism, the Age of Chivalry, the beginning of the Renaissance, and the invention of the printing press. World geography will be heavily emphasized in this course.
Textbooks: Famous Men of the Middle Ages (Memoria Press) by John H. Haaren and A.B. Poland, Geography I Review, and Geography II (Memoria Press) by Michael Simpson & Dayna Grant.
Dialectic Modern History
This course is a survey of world history from the Renaissance and Age of Exploration to the end of the twentieth century. It includes a focus on American history as well as world geography. The students will create their own timelines aligning events in world history with events in American history. In keeping with the goals of dialectic learning, students will engage in discussions about ideas, philosophies, and political systems, evaluating their consequences.
Textbooks: Famous Men of Modern Times (Memoria Press) by John H. Haaren and A.B. Poland, The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & The Great Republic (Memoria Press) by H. A. Guerber, History of the World (ABeka Books), and Geography III (Memoria Press) by Michael Simpson and Dayna Grant.
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 prosperity and happiness. The study 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.
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, A Wrinkle in Time, and To Kill a Mockingbird; along with poems, essays, and short stories, and will learn to discuss literature with their peers. Students are also taught about book genres and are given some class time for reading books of their choice. They 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 and Holt Interactive Reader
The goal of this course is to prepare eighth grade students for high school level work. Writing skills, vocabulary expansion, grammar mastery, and literature analysis are the areas of focus. The students will learn skills such as note-taking, summarizing, paraphrasing, annotating, citing sources, and dialectical journaling. The students also will be taught various literary terms, figures of speech, and rhetorical devices. This knowledge will be put to use in reading, discussing, and writing about literature. Some of the classic books studied in this course are the following: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, and Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. The desire is that as they transition from reading children’s books to adult selections, the students will gain an appreciation for good literature and be able to use Biblical discernment and wisdom with the content.
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.
This course focuses on plane figures (triangles, parallel lines, circles) with an emphasis on proofs, which develop logical thinking, and constructions, a mathematical method used by the ancient Greeks. Students will consider classical questions that geometers have posed throughout Western history. A straightedge, protractor, and compass are required.
Textbook: Jacob’s Geometry
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.
Building on Hebrew I, we finish the Hebrew verb system. In this class the student will learn to use a lexicon and read Biblical passages in Hebrew, including all of the Book of Ruth.
This course is designed to serve as the beginning of the transition from arithmetic to higher order mathematical thinking. Students will be introduced to problem solving by using mathematical language, equations, and formulas. Students will be taught how to work in a patient, precise, and orderly way, paving the way for success in Algebra, Geometry, and life. This class also includes strong emphasis on reviewing and practicing skills such as performing basic operations, working with fractions and decimals, using the order of operations, converting units, etc., in order to ensure that these skills have been mastered. Upon successfully completing this course, students should feel very confident in their computing skills and have the foundations and discipline necessary to advance to pre-Algebra.
Textbook: Saxon Math Course Two by Stephen Hake
Introduction to Computer Science (Coding)
This course is designed to offer an introduction to computer science. Students will learn the basics of computer programming along with the basics of computer science. The material emphasizes computational thinking and helps develop the ability to solve complex problems. This course covers the basic building blocks of programming along with other central elements of computer science. It gives a foundation in the tools used in computer science and prepares students for further study in computer science, including AP Computer Science Principals and AP Science A courses.
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.
Introduction to Theatre - Acting based class (9th - 12th)
Intro to Theatre is for 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. Students will increase their acting skills through participation in various exercises and the development of a monologue and duet scene.
This course is taught as if the students have no background in Latin, but it moves at a quick high school pace. 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.
Textbooks: Latin in the Christian Trivium and Wheelock’s Latin
Latin II - III
Completing the grammar and syntax materials from Latin for Americans, First Book (Units 9 – 11), the Latin II course introduces the subjunctive mood and presents selections from Pliny on Roman history and, time permitting during the 4th Quarter, easy reading from Jason and the Argonauts. By the end of the Latin I and II courses, students have seen the fundamentals of Latin grammar and syntax. Latin III picks up where Latin II left off with Jason and the Argonauts and, then, invites the student to read a great number of texts selected from Julius Caesar’s account of his conquest of Gaul and excursion into Britain. It also includes some readings from the ancient Roman martyrologies and de Bracton’s De Legibus et Consuetudinibus Angliae. This course involves extensive translation for the original texts.
The Latin II course (and Latin III after it) 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, their Latin roots and English meaning, 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 (i.e. cursive writing); to hone skills of observation and analysis; and to know and appreciate the accomplishments, legacy, and failings 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.
Textbooks: Latin for Americans, First and Second Books, Eighth Edition by Ullmann, Henderson and Henry. (Glencoe McGraw-Hill: New York, 1997). Material is also occasionally introduced from Biblia Sancta, Vulgate Version and The Book of Common Prayer, 1560.
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.
Textbook: Bob Jones Life Science for Christian School (2nd edition) by William S. Pinkston, Jr. and David Anderson
Logic (8th - 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.
Textbooks: Introductory Logic by James B. Nance and Douglas J. Wilson, and Intermediate Logic by James B. Nance.
This course is ideal for high school students who have completed biology and would like to take another class in the life sciences. 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.
Textbook: Apologia Exploring Creation with Marine Biology by Sherri Seligson
This course is a World Geography class with an emphasis on the impact of missions and the persecuted church. By the end of the school year, students will be able to draw the world from memory and will have a deeper understanding and heart for the mission of the church to go and make disciples of all nations.
This course will take students on a journey through the major events, beliefs, and policies that helped to shape present-day America and the world. Students will learn about imperialism, immigration, religion, both World Wars, the Cold War, the rise of Islam and much more. By the end of the class, students should have a better understanding of how past events relate to hot-topic events that are currently shaping our country, our world, and the philosophies and policies that govern them.
This course will focus on American and British writers from the mid-1800’s to the present. Students will examine literature and poetry selections that focus on American realism, dystopian, modernism, and post-modernism. By the end of the class, students should be able to identify and differentiate the different literary aspects of each genre, as well as be able to identify the internal and global aspects that sprang each genre into existence.
Musical Theater - Singing and dancing based class (7th - 12th)
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 - 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
These courses will be broken into two separate semesters. The first semester, students will learn about the geography, topography, people, territories, government, and industries of Oklahoma. By the end of the class, students will have a better understanding of the influence and impact of the many diverse native cultures that resided in Oklahoma territory, and the policies that surrounded them, the Land Run, the oil boom, and the economic growth and expansion of the state in the 20th century. This class will take fieldtrips around Oklahoma so students can gain a better appreciation for the state in which they live.
During the second semester, students will delve into the makings and workings of America’s governmental system. This course will help provide a background into the historical development of America’s government from the Magna Carta, the British Bill of Rights, the Mayflower Compact, and follow the circumstances that led to the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Students will also look at the structure and focus of the Constitution in detail in order to help them understand the strengths and loopholes of our government.
Old Testament Survey (7th - 8th)
This course will study the content of the Old Testament. This will be done through reading the OT, journaling from the Poetic Books, studying historic facts, and researching the lives of OT people. The course will include Bible memory, reading, application, character study, testing, group projects, and class report. This class will be using the English Standard Version as the study Bible for the class.
Pentateuch and the New Testament
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 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 planning 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 managing every dollar before it is spent. This course fulfills the Oklahoma State requirement for personal financial literacy.
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.
Textbook: College Physics by OpenStax College.
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. Lecture, discussion, hands on labs, individual and group projects will supplement the texts.
Textbook: Physical Science: A Mastery - Oriented Curriculum by John D. Mays.
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.
Textbook: 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 - 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.
Rhetoric II (10th - 12th)
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. The class is one of the required courses for the Advanced Classical Diploma. Students do NOT have to complete Rhetoric I before taking this course.
Textbooks: 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.
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: Classical Composition and Grammar
Show Choir is an advanced performance choir for male and female high school 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.
Stagecraft (8th - 12th)
Stagecraft, the ACA Makerspace class, is one of many courses that meet the requirements for 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.
Textbooks: Stage Design and Properties by Michael Holt and The Backstage Handbook: An Illustrated Almanac of Technical Information by Paul Carter
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.
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.”
Trigonometry / Pre-Calculus
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; rectangular and polar coordinates; the unit circle; degree and radian measures; logarithms; sinusoids; limits; vectors; derivatives; conic sections; complex word problems; and much more. Successful completion of this course prepares the student for Calculus.
Textbooks: Algebra and Trigonometry by Robert Blitzer and 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. The use of books and copies of original documents, lecture, and class discussion allows students to survey important people, dates and events while focusing on learning how to accurately study history and interpret the results of different worldviews. Students are encouraged to express clearly not just the “whats” of history but the “whys.”
This Rhetoric-level class will be taught as a Humanities course, including the study of religion, literature, and art alongside the study of history. The course will cover the basic outline of history from Creation to Columbus with a focus on the development and ideas of Western Civilization. Books studied include the Bible, Virgil’s The Aeneid, and Augustine’s City of God.
Yearbook & Photography
Students will work most of the year preparing the yearbook for distribution at Senior Graduation. They will learn the yearbook software, camera skills, oral and written communication, organization skills, and teamwork.