Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

 

Language

 

English 9

The purpose of English 9 is to prepare new high school students to take and pass the Alabama High School Graduation Exam.  Extensive study will be given to grammar, literature, and writing techniques.  Students will be instructed in writing styles, the writing process, literary styles, literary devices, reading techniques, and reading comprehension.

 

Pre-AP English 9

This course will consist of the following elements: Advanced reading selections, advanced grammar with verbals and nominals (Syntax), writing assignments, and advanced research techniques.

*Literature: Covered authors that will be taught include: Orwell, Ryan-Hyde, Golding, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Shakespeare. These selections will be taught in-depth with an emphasis on symbolism, hyperbole, foreshadowing, and other literary elements.

*Grammar: Grammatical procedures will be taught throughout the term. This will be a more in-depth review by including verbals, nominals, syntax and the Phonetic Code. The course will require a workbook which will be sold by the school.

*Research Writing: This will be required by ALL students. This will be taught MLA style. The instructor will cover all aspects of research and potential topics.

 

English 10

Students will focus on reviewing grammar skills and vocabulary in preparation for the Alabama High School Graduation Exam.  Students will analyze, interpret, and discuss Early American Literature.  Student will read non-fiction and fiction critically for meaning and pleasure.  Students will complete research on an author and will write organized essays.

 

Pre-AP English 10

This course will consist of the following elements: Advanced Reading, Advanced Grammar, and Advanced Research Writing/techniques.

*Literature: Covered authors that will be taught include: Hawthorne, Angelou, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Shakespeare, Frost, Poe, Sandburg, and Brooks. These reading selections will be taught in-depth with an emphasis on the "true" meaning of each novel, play, or poem. The class will also spend a lot of time discussing Transcendentalism and Transcendentalistic writers.

*Grammar: All areas of grammar will be reviewed during the term. It will also include advanced grammatical procedures.

*Research Writing: This will be required by ALL students. This will be taught MLA style. The instructor will cover all aspects of research and potential topics.

 

 

English 11

This course combines the study of grammar and creative writing with an overview of American Literature dating from 1900 to the present.  It includes the practice and improvement of oral and written communication as well as general vocabulary.  Students will also be required to interpret and understand certain pieces of American Literature in relation to its historical period.
 
AP English Language & Composition (11)

 

English 12

English 12 is a required class for all seniors.  In English 12, we study English Literature and history of Literature.  the class is primarily literature based.  We also cover all of the course requirements in the Alabama State Course of Study.  There is a grammar component in English 12.  Literary time periods and literary terms are a primary focus, as well as research.  Each student is required to write a research paper on an assigned topic obtaining most of the information from literary criticisms.  We write 4-6 formal essays which build up to the research paper at the mid-term.  All English 12 classes work to prepare the students for entry into and success with college English.

 

AP English Literature and Composition (12)

Advanced Placement (AP) English 12 is a course designed to comply with the curricular requirements and standards in the AP Course Description published by The College Board.  The course is rigorous and demanding because it is designed to be the equivalent of college English 102.  The reading and writing are both intensive.  The goal is for the students to be able to read classic and modern literature and be able to write a full critique or analysis addressing literary elements, literary terms, and literary techniques. If the students take the AP exam and make a passing score (the passing score varies on the school they plan on attending), they will receive college credit for English 102 and be able to skip ahead and move on to the next level.

 
Dual Enrollment English 101/102
These college courses are offered one semester per year and are taught on campus by Gadsden State Community College faculty, or in some cases, by SHS faculty members.  Students taking English 101/102 are required to pay GSCC tuition and must meet specific criteria in order to be considered.  More information is available from the 12th grade Counselor.
 

Spanish I

Spanish I will introduce the student to the basics of the language, allowing him to greet people, to discuss classes, pastimes, and interests with family and friends.  It will also provide them the ability to conduct simple business, and to solve simple problems of finding information or directions.  Vocabulary also includes time, weather, colors, numbers, most commonly used nouns and verbs.  Cognitive emphasis is on how to study a second language and develop the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

 

Spanish II

A continuation of level one, Spanish II helps the student gain more fluency with the language, adding past and future tenses and expanding vocabulary.  He will study more aspects of the culture, using the target language.  More opportunities are provided to use the language in presentations and reading.
 
Spanish III
A more indepth study of Spanish, this course requires the student to be proficient in speaking the language and will afford them the opportunity to learn and experience the culture, history, and significance of the Spanish language and will challenge the student as he/she strives to become a fluent speaker.

 

 

Social Studies

 

World History 9

In World History 9, students will study world history from 1500 to present.  Critical thinking and analysis are very important to this course.  Students will also begin to understand global interdependence and connections among world societies.  They should ultimately be able to analyze development and changes in the European, Asian, African, and American civilizations, and ways in which the interactions of these cultures have influenced the formation of today’s world.

 

Pre-AP World History 9

This course is the first step towards the Advanced Placement (AP) History program at SHS.  The emphasis of this class will include the mastery of factual knowledge, demonstration of an understanding of historical chronology, use of historical data to support an argument or position, differentiating between historical schools of thought, interpreting primary sources and effectively using analytical skills of evaluation, cause and effect, and compare and contrast.  Students will study the history of the development and changes in the European, Asian, African, and American civilizations and the ways in which the interactions of these culture shave influence  the formation of today’s world.

 

American History 10

The educational program of Alabama High School students includes curriculum that is essential in preparing students to become knowledgeable citizens, capable of applying social studies in their daily lives.  The study of American History in grade 10 covers five centuries of the development of the United States.  The course beings  with students learning about discoveries in North America.  It then continues with students identifying key leaders and events from the formation of the United States through the Reconstruction.  Students will develop a more in depth analysis of American History.  They will compare, contrast, analyze, and explain events and developments in the early formation of the United States.

 

Pre-AP US History 10

Pre-AP (Advanced Placement) History is designed for students in grade 10.  In accordance with the Alabama State Course of Study, this class consists of the study of U.S. History from exploration through 1877.  It deals with all the necessary topics for the students to be successful on the Alabama High School Graduation Exam as well as preparing the students for the AP exam. This exam is written by The College Board and given to students in Grade 11.  AP U.S. History 11 emphasizes the skills necessary for analytical thinking, gathering information from many different sources, and clear and concise expression of ideas.

 

AP US History 11 

This course is a continuation of AP 1.  In accordance with the Alabama State Course of Study, this course covers the period from 1877 to the present.  The same skills are practiced that were acquired in Part 1, with special attention to being given to analysis of primary sources and essay writing.  In AP Part 2, the students also use the knowledge they have acquired in both parts of AP History and learn to synthesize this knowledge in preparation for the AP exam, given by The College Board.

 

US History 11 

The study of history in the United States in Grade 11 continues the journey begun in Grade 10 through the economic, geographic, social and political development of the United States.  Beginning with the Post Civil War and Reconstruction period and its shift to a more industrialized society, the course continues through the twentieth century to present.

 

Government/Economics 12

U.S. Government is a nine week course designed to foster the development of civic competence and participation of all students.  Students will focus on the origins, structure and functions of government at all levels. 

Economics is a nine week course that focuses on functions and institutions of modern day economic systems and economic theory.  The mastering of economic knowledge and skills enables students to anticipate changes in economic conditions and to take appropriate actions to improve their daily lives as well as society.  Each course counts as ½ unit, or credit, and both credits are required for graduation.

 

AP United States Government and Politics 12

AP (Advanced Placement) United States Government and Politics is a one semester, college level course designed to prepare the student to take the AP Exam in May of each year.  Final test scores are reports on a five point scale.  Some scores maybe high enough to earn college credit in U.S. Government and Politics, depending on the school the student may attend. 

The course is designed to teach students something about how people behave politically and about the design of the American political system; that is, how the system in structured and how it functions as a pluralistic system of various individual and group interests, all promoting their own agendas as to what they claim is important and beneficial for the country.

The major purpose of this course is to help students gain and display an understanding of American politics, and the processes of government that help shape our public policies.  The course aims to help the student to participate effectively and democratically in the American political society.  This course requires a substantial amount of reading and preparation for each class session.

 

Math

 

Algebra I

Algebra 1 is a formal, in-depth study of algebraic concepts and the real number system.  It is the bridge from the concrete to the abstract study of mathematics Algebra 1 reinforces concepts presented in earlier courses and permits students to explore new, more challenging content which prepares them for further study in mathematics.  Because of its importance in the development of mathematical empowerment, Algebra 1 is required for all students.

 

Alebra I-B

Algebra 1-B builds on skills attained in Algebra 1-A (the first half of Algebra 1).  Prerequisite skills include connections to Algebra, properties of real numbers, and solving, graphing, and writing linear equations and inequalities.  Topics covered include systems of linear equations and inequalities, exponents, and exponential functions, quadratic equations and functions, polynomials and factoring, rational equations and functions, and radicals and connections to geometry.

 

Geometry, Geometry A, Geometry B

Geometry provides students with knowledge about shapes and properties and assists with the development of spatial sense, critical for further study in mathematics and for everyday life.  Geometry continues to provide and excellent context for developing students’ abilities to reason and write proofs.  Students engage in problematic situations in which they form conjectures, determine the validity of these conjectures, and defend their conclusions.  Emphasis is placed on the power of deductive reasoning, expressed either informally or formally in a variety of formats.

 

Pre-AP Geometry

Pre-AP Geometry is designed for the students who have successfully completed Algebra I in the 8th grade.  Geometry provides students with knowledge about shapes and properties and assists with the development of spatial sense, critical for further study in mathematics and for everyday life.  Geometry continues to provide and excellent context for developing students’ abilities to reason and write proofs.  Students engage in problematic situations in which they form conjectures, determine the validity of these conjectures, and defend their conclusions.  Emphasis is placed on the power of deductive reasoning, expressed either informally or formally in a variety of formats

 

Algebraic Connections

This course is designed to bridge the gap to upper level math courses from Algebra I and Geometry.  It enables students to make responsible financial and economic decisions.  It is designed for the student who needs extra mathematical experience prior to enrolling in Algebra II, and for the student who needs to complete the math portion of the standard diploma.  It integrates topics from algebra, geometry, measurement, probability, and statistics with an emphasis on real-world applications.  This course also offers the opportunity to incorporate the use of technology through the emphasis on using functions to make real-life predictions and to calculate outcomes.

 

Algebra II with Trigonometry

This course focuses on problem-solving skills that use a variety of methods to encourage the development of improved communication skills and foster a deeper understanding of the content area.  Algebra II with Trigonometry is required for all students seeking the Alabama High School Diploma with Advanced Academic Endorsement.  Prerequisites for the course are Algebra I and Geometry.  Credit cannot be awarded for both Algebra II with Trigonometry and Algebra II.

 

Pre-AP Algebra II with Trigonometry

Honors Algebra II with Trigonometry is designed for students who have successfully completed honors courses in Algebra I and Geometry.  More attention is focused on problem-solving skills and a much deeper understanding of the content area.    Some of the topics included are complex numbers; families of various types of functions and their transformations; operations on functions; solving systems of linear equations and inequalities; and use of trigonometric functions.  Applications involving real-life situations are incorporated into the course, along with the use of graphing calculators.  

 

Pre-Calculus

Pre-Calculus is designed for students who have successfully completed Algebra II with Trigonometry and who are considering careers in mathematical of scientific fields of study.  Topics include an expanded study of polynomial functions, rational functions, logarithmic and exponential functions, trigonometric functions, and the real-life applications of these topics.  Graphing calculators are used regularly and are an integral part of the course. 

 

Pre-AP Pre-Calculus

This course is designed for students who have successfully completed Honors Algebra II with Trigonometry and who prefer a quicker pace and more in-depth study of the course.  Topics include an expanded study of polynomial functions, rational functions, logarithmic and exponential functions, trigonometric functions, and the real-life applications of these topics.  Graphing calculators are used regularly and are an integral part of the course

  

AP Calculus ( AB)

AP Calculus AB is designed to provide students with instruction and a learning experience equivalent to a college course in Calculus.  Students must have successfully completed Pre-Calculus (minimum average of 85 or above) and must be willing to work at a college-level pace.  Problems and their solutions will be approached from a graphical, numerical, and analytical perspective, with emphasis placed on how these representations are related.  Throughout the course, students will concentrate on the importance of communication in their approach to understanding the problems, working through their solutions, and being able to present their solutions and rationale to classmates.  Topics include functions, graphs, and limits; derivatives; integrals; logarithmic, exponential, and other transcendental functions.

 

 

 

Science

 

Physical Science

This course studies a branch of natural science with an emphasis on the chemistry and physics of non-living matter, including the periodic table and many laws describing motion and natural phenomena.

 

Biology

Biology is the study of life.  This course will cover the scientific method, safe lab practices, cell processes, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, cell organelles, mitosis, meiosis, genetics, DNA and RNA, protein synthesis, classification of living things, plants, animals, the flow of energy, biogeochemical cycles, biomes, and ecosystems.  It is an introductory course that will utilize both lab and classroom experiences to enhance the students knowledge of the subject.

 

Pre-AP Biology

The course is offered for those students who have displayed a basic understanding of Biological principles from previous introductions.  The content of the course will reinforce these earlier concepts and expand or introduce concepts that were not addressed in previous courses.  The basic concepts for this course will be taken for the Alabama Course of Study:  Core Content for Biology but these concepts will be covered more quickly and intensely.

There is no prerequisite for this course.  However, instructor/administrative permission or request/recommendation from a former Science teacher is highly considered.

 

AP Biology

Advanced Placement (AP) Biology is an intense, lab based course that is designed to be the equivalent to a college freshman Biology course.  Biology and Chemistry are prerequisites for this course.  Students will spend 25% to 50% of the class sessions in the lab.  Students will be asked to do projects, required readings, lab reports, evaluation of research papers, create hypothesis, and design experiments.  Students will be expected to participate in lectures and they will be taking multiple choice and essay tests on Chemistry of Life, cells cellular energetics, heredity, molecular genetics, evolutionary biology, diversity of organisms structure and function of plants and animals, and ecology.
 
AP Chemistry

 

Physiology and Anatomy

This class deals with the study of body functions and the form and structure of body parts.  Students will be introduced to all the major systems that make up the human body.  Upon course completion, students should be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of the structure and function of how the human body works.  Dissection and other lab experiments are required.

 

Zoology

The Zoology core builds on the Biology core with added emphasis on animal taxa, basic body plans, symmetry, and behavior.  There is also emphasis on animal genetics including present and future applications o the Human Genome Project.  Use of equipment provided by the Alabama Science in Motion (AISM) program is available.  The core itself is not intended to serve as the entire curriculum of any course.  The recommended prerequisite science course for the Zoology core is Biology.

 

Chemistry I

The Chemistry Core Content Standards are appropriate for senior high students.  Scientific knowledge in the course focuses on the interactions of matter and energy as well as properties and changes in matter.  This course encourages critical thinking and the use of basic chemical concepts and scientific strategies and prepares the student to make intelligent decisions and to solve practical problems.

 

Chemistry II (Advanced Chemistry)

Chemistry II expands on the knowledge learned in Chemistry I by including more Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry concepts.  Basic concepts in Chemistry I will be developed further and used to a great degree.  Laboratory usage and critical thinking skills will be expanded and include many experiments that may not have been addressed in Chemistry I.  The prerequisite for this course is the completion of Chemistry I with a final grade of at least C.

 

Physics

Physics is the branch of science that addresses the properties of physical matter, physical quantities, and their relationships.  Students will learn to think critically, to make intelligent decisions, and to solve practical problems related to matter and energy.  Physics consists of studies of motion, force, energy, heat, light, sound, fluids, electricity and magnetism.  Vectors are a vital part of this course.  Pre-Calculus or Calculus is strongly recommended.

 

Forensic Science

Forensic Science is the application of scientific disciplines to the law.  It is by definition an applied science.  Students will be introduced to the different disciplines of science that are used in modern day forensics and how they are applied to help solve both recent and past crimes.

 

 

Social Sciences

 

Psychology

Psychology is a social science class that is an elective.  Psychology is the study of the mind and of behavior.  The class is offered to 11th and 12th graders and is primarily a lecture based class.  We study the stages and cycles of life, the body and its affect on behavior, the brain, biological and genetic problems which create behavior or mood disorders.  We study different types of abnormal behavior, as well as the causes for and treatment of such disorders.  We also study memory, dreams, sleep, sleep disorders, and treatments for all of these.  It is considered an upper level class, beneficial to those planning on attending college.
 
Dual Enrollment Speech/Psychology
These college courses are offered one semester per year and are taught on campus by Gadsden State Community College faculty. Students taking Speech/Psychology are required to pay GSCC tuition and must meet specific criteria in order to be considered. More information is available from the 12th grade Counselor.

AgriScience

 

AgriScience I

Prerequisite:  none

AgriScience is a prerequisite for all other AgriScience Education classes.  This class provides students with a general overview of many aspects of the agriculture industry including career opportunities.  Areas of study include plant science, soil science, animal science, forestry, shop safety, woodworking, metalworking, and small engines.  Learning is accomplished through work in the classroom and laboratory activities.  Students are also exposed to leadership development and team contests through participation in FFA.

 

AgriConstruction II

Prerequisite:  AgriScience

AgriConstruction is a class designed to facilitate student understanding of basic construction techniques as it relates to agriculture.  Students will become familiar with different types of agricultural structures and their uses.  In addition, students will be provided the opportunity to develop skills in the areas of planning and safely constructing projects.  Learning is accomplished through work in the classroom and laboratory activities.

 

AgriPower Mechanics III

Prerequisite: AgriScience

AgriPower Mechanics is a course designed to give students a basic understanding of two and four cycle small engines.  Students study safety, terminology related to engines, theory of small engine operation, preventative maintenance, fuel systems, troubleshooting, basic engine repair and career opportunities.  Learning is accomplished through work in the classroom and laboratory activities.

 

AgirMetal Fabrication IV

Prerequisite:  AgriScience

AgriMetal Fabrication is a class that allows the student to gain knowledge in many areas of metalworking as it relates to agriculture.  In this class, students will learn the safe use and operation of an electric arc welder, wire welder, oxyacetylene torch, plasma torch, chop saw and other tools used in metalworking.  Learning is accomplished through work in the classroom and laboratory activities.

 

 

Family and Consumer Sciences

 

Family Dynamics

Family Dynamics is a foundational course in Family and Consumer Sciences.  This one credit course is designed to assist students in recognizing one’s responsibilities, roles, and importance in the family life.  Course content includes character education, clothing, food preparation, nutrition, substance abuse, and safety.

 

Parenting and Life Connections

The first nine weeks focus on practical problems related to nurturing human development through the life span.  It includes stages of life, dating, marriage, and family responsibilities.  The second nine weeks assists students in the acquisition of knowledge and skills associated with positive parent and child relationships.

 

Meal and Money Management

Students will explore personal goals, consumer behaviors, and learn to make responsible consumer decisions (financial literacy).  Nine weeks of the course is devoted to nutrition, fitness, and wellness.

 

Creative Foods and Fashion

(Two nine week blocks) Students interested in the Culinary or Fashion industries are encouraged to take this course.  This is a one credit course that introduces students to national and international food choices, preparation techniques and presentation.  It is also designed for students interested in advanced sewing, fashion design, accessorizing, and textiles.

 

Child Dynamics (11th/12th grade only with teacher/administrative approval)

This course is designed for students interested in a career working with children.  It involves an on site practicum at one of the local elementary schools or Rainbow Middle School.

 

Business

 

Business Technology Essentials (required for ANY diploma)

Business Technology Essentials (BTE) is a one credit course designed to help students master basic computer skills in the areas of word processing, database management, spreadsheet, presentation, Internet and e-mail.  We use MicroSoft Office.  The course also explores careers and ethical issues pertaining to information systems.  Communication and critical thinking skills are reinforced through the use of software applications.  Simulations and projects promoting teamwork and leadership skills offer further opportunities for application of knowledge and skills

 

Integrated Computer Technology (grades 10-12)

This course is designed to provide students with project-based applications of concepts learned in BTE.  A major emphasis is placed on guiding students through real-world experiences to ease the school-to-career transition.  The course includes units in word processing, spreadsheet, database, PowerPoint, Internet research, and Information Technology.

 

Interactive Multimedia Design (grades 10-12)

This course is designed to provide students with skills involving presentations, desktop publishing, web page design, and digital graphics.  Students use scanners, digital camera, and the Internet for integrating skills to create a variety of publications.

 

Law in Society

This course provides a survey of the law and the judicial system.  Economic and social concepts are explored as they relate to the legal principles and to business and personal law.  Emphasis is placed upon law in society as it affects young adults with focus on the legal rights and responsibilities of students as citizens, consumer, and employee.

 

Accounting Principles

Accounting is designed to place emphasis on basic principles, concepts, and procedures of accounting.  Students are introduced to applications that use special types of business records.  Students learn fundamental accounting procedures using a manual and/or electronic system.

 

Entrepreneurship and Management

This is a specialized business course designed to provide students with the skills needed to effectively organize, develop, create, and manage a business.  This course includes business management and entrepreneurship; communication and interpersonal skills, economics, and professional development foundations.

 

Cooperative Education

The Career/Technical Cooperative Education program is a structured component of the Career/Technical Education curriculum that integrates classroom and learning with productive, supervised work-based experiences in the fields related to the student’s career objective.  Cooperative Education partners students with school faculty and employers to provide students with progressive and work-based experiences that integrate theory and application.

 

 

Music and Fine Arts

 

Chorus

This performance based course is offered as an elective to any member of the student body.  A brief audition is required and should be scheduled with the chorus director.
Participation in Chorus will fulfill the Alabama Department of Education's Fine Arts requirement.

 

 

Theater

This is an elective course designed to give students an opportunity to learn about the art of theater and acting.  Students will be instructed on the roles different people play in the production of a play, such as the director, the actors, stage hands, set and costume designers, etc.  All students will perform to the best of their ability in a classroom setting.  Those who are willing and interested will have the opportunity to perform on stage in skits or plays.  Participation in Theater will fulfill the Alabama Department of Education's Fine Arts requirement.

 

Concert Band

Meeting during second semester, this performance based class performs a variety of music from many different genres.  All students of the concert band must be members of the marching band.  Students must have completed 6th, 7th, and 8th grade band in order to participate.  This ensemble presents several concerts and participates in events sanctioned by the Alabama Bandmasters Association.  Participation in Concert Band will fulfill the Alabama Department of Education's Fine Arts requirement.

 

Marching Band

Students must complete prerequisite instrumental music classes (6th, 7th, and 8th grade band) in order to participate in this performance based class.  The Southside High School Band, “The PRIDE”, meets during the fall semester and performs at all SHS football games and at designated marching band competitions.  After school rehearsals are a mandatory component of the marching band.  Participation in Marching Band will fulfill the Alabama Department of Education's Fine Arts requirement.

 

 
 

Visual Arts I

Art I is an introductory level Visual Arts class.  This class will fulfill the Alabama Department of Education’s Fine Arts requirement, or could be used to fulfill an Elective credit.  Students will be creating original works of art incorporating the elements of art and principles of design, using a variety of traditional media. 

Visual Arts II

Art II is designed to help the more advanced visual art student develop their abilities and explore new media and develop portfolios.  Some independent projects and independent media choices will be explored, with a strong emphasis on developing personal artistic style.

Physical Education

 

LIFE (9th grade P.E.)

The objective of this course is to develop the three aspects of health: physical health, mental health, and social health.  These will be developed through activities for physical development, interaction with others and raisin self esteem when accomplishing small tasks or seeing improvements.  This class will provide lifelong activities for each individual to maintain a good quality of life.  Through a strong positive curriculum, students will be educated about their bodies, nutrition, and the importance of staying physically active throughout their lifetime.

 

Physical Education (P.E.)

The main goal of this class is to provide guidance for designing a daily physical education program that consists of a strong curriculum supported by positive learning.  This class will assist all students, including those with disabilities, to become physically educated and physically active for a lifetime, while promoting teamwork and good sportsmanship.  Our overall program objective is to provide students with the opportunity to develop physical, mental and social skills through a variety of activities.

 

Health Education

 

Health

This course will equip students with the knowledge to make better choices regarding their personal health and wellness.  Students will also comprehend the concept of disease prevention.  Finally, this course will provide students with the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and reduce health risks.

 

 

Driver Education

 

Driver Education

Driver Education is a ½ unit course focusing on safe and responsible driving techniques as well as providing on the road driving experiences.