Department links and descriptions

COMPUTER SCIENCE

The computer science program at Kehillah engages students in meaningful problem solving. A Freshman seminar introduces students to the fun of programming with code blocks and multi-sensor robots. In elective courses, students first learn algorithms and design patterns through the accessible language Python. Students also learn collaboration skills and best practices with Git and GitHub. Students can then progress to AP Computer Science in Java. More classes will follow as our program develops.

Computer Science Teachers:

Dr. Zachi Baharav, Ph.D. 
Mr. Daniel Kelley

COMPUTER SCIENCE COURSES

Computer Science and Coding

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Algebra 1

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to software design concepts through the accessible and powerful language Python. Students will solve problems and design projects spanning topics such as data structures, abstraction, data persistence, search algorithms, encryption, and object oriented design. Good habits, such as revision control with Git, will also be practiced. Students will present work to their classmates at various points throughout the course. Students will choose a final project to develop. This course provides a solid foundation for further study in computer science; beginners and experienced programmers are welcome. Students must use a personal laptop for this course. Contact the school if this poses an unreasonable hardship.

Web Design

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

This course is an introduction to the principles and techniques of designing web pages, using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Students will learn how to critically evaluate what makes websites visually appealing, and easy to use. The course introduces libraries and frameworks such as jQuery and Bootstrap. Students will also have the opportunity to learn basic programming constructs through the use of JavaScript, and advanced students will have the opportunity to design more sophisticated interfaces. There will be numerous design projects, and students will be able to create web sites of their own interests.

AP Computer Science

Year-Long Course

Grade: 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Computer Science and Coding

This course follows Computer Science and Coding with a deep exploration of object-oriented design in a compiled language. Students study the many facets of classes and interfaces as written in Java. Topics such as searching and sorting algorithms and performance are also covered. Intellectual property rights and ethical use of computer systems are topics of discussion. GitHub is again used for distribution and collection of class work and projects, and students learn advanced techniques for collaboration via GitHub.

English

The English Department focuses on developing critical thinking, writing, and communication skills using literary texts as the focus.  Classes utilize discussion to stimulate deeper engagement with the texts and students are asked to write in a variety of modes in response to what they read.  The department has an overall four-year writing goal to develop skills through the use of persuasive, analytical, and creative writing assignments.  The multi-step writing process emphasizes that revision is just as important as initial conception of ideas and students learn how to improve the fluidity and clarity of their writing.  Along with these written assignments, the classes engage with a variety of alternative assessments that encourage students to think about the texts from different angles, including creative pieces that are inspired by the literature they read.

English Teachers:
Mr. Jake Marmer
Ms. Lauren McElhatton
Ms. Sarah Muszynski
Mr. Randy Ribay
Ms. Tracy Woodham

English COURSES

Sequencing of Courses

For all freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, there is a standard year-long English course option. In the tenth grade there is an Honors section for students whose analytical abilities are farther advanced and who are ready for an additional challenge. Juniors and seniors have the opportunity to take AP Language or AP Literature, respectively, based on teacher recommendation. Seniors not enrolled in AP Literature take themed semester courses.

Writing, Language, and Literature

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9

This year-long course begins developing students’ critical writing skills through a program of prewriting, writing, editing, and revision that are central to Kehillah’s four-year sequential literary writing program. Students practice, develop, and refine analytical and creative writing skills, study and apply English language structures and rules, and practice reading and critical thinking skills through a study of literary devices. They read a selection of short stories, poems, plays, non‐fiction, and novels, which may include Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet, Antigone, Lord of the Flies, and Master Harold…and the Boys.

Responding to Literature

Year-Long Course

Grade: 10

This year-long course exposes students to a range of canonical and contemporary literature through a variety of genres. Students develop critical thinking and analytical writing skills through close reading of the texts. Major works may include: The Merchant of Venice, The Things They Carried, Things Fall Apart, and Death of a Salesman, as well as poetry and short stories. This course continues developing students’ critical writing skills through a program of prewriting, writing, editing, and revision. The extensive writing program requires students to write formally and informally on a frequent basis.

Responding to Literature Honors

Year-Long Course

Grade: 10 (with teacher recommendation)

This year-long honors course meets many of the same goals as the traditional Responding to Literature course, but employs methods which require the students to work more independently and to take on greater challenges. Students enrolled in this course take part in an intensive study of literature and related critical essays as well as a vast and varied writing program. Some of the major works that are studied may include: The Merchant of Venice, The Things They Carried, Jane Eyre, A Raisin in the Sun, and Death of a Salesman, as well as poetry and short stories. Students have opportunities to make interdisciplinary connections between literature and other disciplines, and are expected to be more self-guided in their study and more in-depth in their analysis. The extensive writing program requires students to write formally and informally on a frequent basis.

American Literature

Year-Long Course

Grade: 11

This year-long course is designed to offer students various perspectives of American Literature from the early 1800s to the 21st century. Students will first examine the literary movements of Romanticism, Naturalism, and Realism, and pay close attention to representations of race, class, and gender. We will then move into the 1900s and discuss the ways in which race and gender relations – and important historical events – transformed the American literary landscape of both the past and of today. Emphasis will be placed on literary analysis and the use of tools to enhance voice in persuasive, expository, and persuasive compositions. Students will read fiction, non-fiction, short stories, poetry, and dramatic texts. Readings may include texts by Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Flannery O’Connor, James Weldon Johnson, Kate Chopin, Henry James, and Tennessee Williams.

AP English Language and Composition

Year-Long Course

Grade: 11 (with teacher recommendation)

AP English Language and Composition is a college-level writing course that emphasizes the critical examination of non-fiction texts at a high level. Writing assignments for this course include analytical, argumentative, synthesis, and narrative essays. Both timed and untimed essays are an integral part of the course. Through the writing of multiple complex argument essays, students learn to read critically and analytically, synthesize sources, consider style and rhetoric, and compose arguments for topics of their choosing. Possible texts include The Language of Composition, In Cold Blood, The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Poisonwood Bible, as well as a wide variety of essays and speeches. This course prepares students for the AP English Language and Composition exam.

AP English Literature and Composition

Year-Long Course

Grade: 12 (with teacher recommendation)

 

This college-level English course allows students the opportunity to engage with literary texts at a high level of critical thinking and analysis. Students will read a wide range of works covering different genres and time periods. They will also read several novels, in addition to a summer novel, independently over the course of the year. Texts may include Othello, The House of Mirth, The Cherry Orchard, Beloved, To the Lighthouse, and Arcadia. Writing timed essays is an integral part of the course, as are longer, more complex analyses and creative writing. This course prepares students for the AP English Literature and Composition exam.

Fall Semester Senior Course Choices

Global Voices

Fall Semester Course

Grade: 12

This semester-long course provides a glimpse of the wonderful contemporary literature depicting lives beyond our borders, including texts from Africa, India, Latin America, and Asia. In addition to provoking critical analysis of texts and broadening cultural understandings, this course will examine questions of geography, representation, colonialism, and identity. Writing assignments will include both analytical and creative essays, with an emphasis on examining an author’s voice and craft. Readings may include works by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Chinua Achebe, R.K. Narayan, Banerjee Divakaruni, Albert Camus, Cesar Vallejo, Uwem Akpan, Yukio Mishima, Isabel Allende, and Pablo Neruda.

Uncovering Shakespeare

Fall Semester Course

Grade: 12

What makes “The Bard” great, and why, almost four hundred years after his death, is his work still so powerful? What choices went into creating his dynamic characters, and how do they continue to impact us today? In this course, we will examine these questions and more through a range of Shakespeare’s major works. This course will focus primarily on close reading and analytical writing, but we will also investigate various performances and film adaptations, write reflective and narrative pieces, dramatize scenes, and examine scholarly interpretations of Shakespeare’s work. Primary texts may include The Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, and Hamlet.

World Jewish Literature: Tour Across the 20th Century (Cross-listed with Jewish Studies)

Fall Semester Course

Grade: 12

In this class we will encounter some of the most stimulating, profound, and exciting works of modern literature ever written. Using literature as the entry point, we will explore the intellectual, social, cultural, and political realities of Jewish communities in North America, Israel, Egypt, Western Europe, Former Soviet Union, and South America. By alternating critical analysis with creative writing, the course will move towards a more complete understanding of the masterpieces we’ll be engaging with. Ultimately, we will examine our own identities through the lens of these works. There will be many delightful discussions, debates, and even performances. Primary readings will include short stories, novel excerpts, and poems by Franz Kafka, Isaac Babel, Yehuda Amichai, Clarice Lispector, Andre Aciman, and Philip Roth.

Spring Semester Senior Course Choices

Jewish Literature for the New Millennium: Prose, Poetry, and Drama (Cross-listed with Jewish Studies)

Spring Semester Course

Grade: 12

This course will focus on Jewish Literature written in the past decade and a half, mostly in the U.S. and Israel, examining some of the most poignant contemporary concerns running through the Jewish community worldwide. We’ll look at authors who’ve repeatedly made it to the top of the bestseller lists; we’ll also look at lesser known, though just as exciting, writers of the avant-garde. We’ll read short stories, poem, and a graphic novel. We’ll also check out the burgeoning genre of digital writing, watch films, and more. We’ll attempt to engage some of the actual writers of the texts we’ll be studying via social media, live chats, and possibly, in-person appearances.

Coming of Age

Spring Semester Course

Grade: 12
The bildungsroman, or coming of age story, has long been a way for people to find characters with whom they identify, particularly at changing points in their own development. This Spring semester course for seniors offers students an opportunity to engage with a variety of these stories as they reflect on their own culmination of high school. Students will be expected to demonstrate their critical thinking abilities in written and oral analysis of the works. Possible texts include: Candide, The Yellow Wallpaper, To Kill a Mockingbird, and a selection of poetry and short stories.

 

Shakespeare Redefined

Spring Semester Course

Grade: 12

Most people know something about Shakespeare’s more frequently studied works. But what about some of the less popular texts? What can we learn from reading other pieces by Shakespeare and his contemporaries to advance our knowledge of Shakespeare? This course will focus on analytical writing and close reading of some of the important pieces that change the way we perceive the Bard. Possible texts include: Henry IV Part 1, King Lear, and Twelfth Night.

Exploratory Courses (Previously Elective Courses)

(Note: If taking an Exploratory Course, a student must enroll in an additional English course to meet the Kehillah graduation requirement.)

Journalism

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

In this year-long Exploratory Course, students work to build the school’s yearbook and monthly editions of the school’s newspaper. The course focuses heavily on writing for publication, but also teaches a wide variety of highly useful and transferable skills: working as a team, meeting deadlines, giving and receiving criticism, learning visual communication skills, organizing, managing time, using state-of-the-art technology, and marketing/advertising.

History

The History Department at Kehillah Jewish High School has a strong focus on critical thinking. To us, history is not a list of material to be memorized; it is a constructed narrative of perspectives that must be analyzed in order to tell a larger story of trends over time. To accomplish this, we strengthen the skill of document analysis with a particular focus on perspective.

The students practice cross-cultural comparisons, historical contextualization, cause and effect explanation, and periodization through various activities, assignments, inter-departmental opportunities and role-playing simulations. In turn, the students communicate their understanding of the past through multiple modes of assessment: written, verbal, and creative. It is the goal of the History Department that Kehillah students are able to construct their understanding not only of the past, but of their present and future as well.

 

History Teachers:
Dr. Nathan Bennett
Mr. Chris Chiang
Dr. Sarah Janda
Ms. Katherine Ratledge
Ms. Jaclyn Zarrella

History COURSES

World History 1

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9

World History 1 involves students in an in-depth survey of ancient civilizations from a global and interdisciplinary perspective. Students examine the political, economic, socio-cultural, intellectual, artistic, and legal foundations of selected Asian, African, European, and Middle Eastern societies. In addition, the integration of Jewish history throughout the course demonstrates how both Jews and Judaism influenced and were affected by historical events. The main themes of this course include religious traditions, political institutions, trade, social organization, and cultural conflict. By understanding the origins and development of several influential societies and empires (and their interaction), students gain a solid understanding of ancient civilizations as well as an appreciation of how antiquity relates to the modern world. World History 1 improves students’ analytical ability through class discussion and debates, primary-source analysis, essay writing, and interdisciplinary learning (primarily with the English Department). Students also improve their note-taking ability, test preparation skills, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. Students further will learn the structure of a persuasive essay and how to conduct research.

World History 2

Year-Long Course

Grade: 10

In this course, students study major turning points that shaped the modern world, from the late eighteenth century through the present, including the cause and course of the two world wars. They trace the rise of democratic ideas and develop an understanding of the historical roots of current world issues, especially as they pertain to international relations. Students develop an understanding of current world issues and relate them to their historical, geographic, political, economic, and cultural contexts. Through the extensive use of primary and secondary documents, students consider multiple accounts of events in order to understand international relations from a variety of perspectives. The students continue their development of historical writing and integrate the new skill of incorporating document analysis as evidence in their papers.

 

United States History

Year-Long Course

Grade: 11

This course entails a review of the foundation of the United States and a thematic exploration of the growth and development of the United States. The main themes of the course include social justice, immigration and settlement patterns, technology and industrialization, expansion and interactions abroad, economic reform, civil rights, political engagement, Constitutional law, and cultural change. A primary goal of the course is to uncover the connections between past events and issues facing contemporary America. Students frequently demonstrate their understanding of course content through reflective writing assignments, comparative textual analysis, debates, oral presentations, collaborative projects, primary-source documents, simulations, and film analysis. Students successfully completing this course gain the tools to become informed, engaged, and active participants in the American political system.

AP United States History

Year-Long Course

Grade: 11 (with history teacher approval)

In this college-level course, students gain the ability to make informed judgments about key historical questions by mastering knowledge of U.S. history and honing skills for analyzing primary and secondary sources. Constant reading and writing assignments, frequent timed tests and quizzes, thorough preparation for class activities, and independent research characterize this intense course. Using multiple points of view and varied formats, students explore the major themes and concepts in nine chronological periods from 1491 through the present. The course emphasizes the following historical thinking skills: analyzing evidence, interpretation, comparison, contextualization, synthesis, causation, patterns of continuity and change over time, periodization, and argumentation. Through this exploration students develop an understanding of our national story. This course prepares students for the AP US History exam. It is required that students have a conversation with their World History II teacher before selecting this class. Students are required to attend an additional 30 minute class each week (day TBD).

 

Fall Semester Exploratory Courses

Macroeconomics

Fall Semester Course

Grade: 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of World History 1 and World History 2

 

This introduction to the study of macroeconomics will provide students with a working knowledge of the principles needed to understand banking, financial markets, economic growth, the tax system, government spending, and international trade. To accomplish this, we will examine notions of money and interest, savings and investment, inflation, unemployment, fiscal policy, monetary policy, the Federal Reserve, measurement of economic output, absolute and comparative advantage, and challenges for the global economy. Lastly, we will also explore the following financial concepts: equity shares (i.e., stocks), bonds, margin buying, puts, calls, short selling, IPOs, venture capitalism, hedge funds, foreign-direct investment, market capitalization, quarterly profit, cash flow, and balance sheets. Mastery of this economic vocabulary will help students succeed in the national stock-market simulation in which our class will participate throughout the semester.

History of Zionism and Israel (cross-listed with Jewish Studies)

Fall Semester Course

Grade: 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of World History 1 and World History 2

 

This course is designed to introduce students to the historical circumstances that gave rise to Zionism and eventually to the State of Israel. Using a combination of primary and secondary source documents, students explore the different forms of Zionism that developed in the 19th and 20th centuries and how these ideologies shaped the country that we call Israel. This course also follows the development of the State of Israel from early Zionist settlement, to the UN partition plan and the War of Independence, to the unresolved Arab/Israeli conflict. Students pay special attention to the way in which historical narratives are constructed, and issues of perspective regarding those who experienced this historical period. Finally, students consider the centrality of the State of Israel in the context of modern Jewish history. Students consider some of the following questions: What impact has Israel had on Jewish life and identity since its inception? How are the State of Israel and the conflict in the Middle East an outgrowth of modernity? How does Israel wield power in relation to its ideals? How can Israel be both a Jewish state and a democracy?

 

American Jews and the Politics of Race (Cross-listed with History)

Fall Semester Course

Grades 11, 12

Are Jews white? Are Jews a race? How does the Jewish community relate to “other” races? This class will explore the wide spectrum of ways American Jews have thought of themselves in relation to the idea of race, how the answers to these questions changed over time, and how they continue to impact race relations today. Through readings, music, images, and films, we will explore the complex constructions of racial identity in American society. Specific topics to be explored include: the complex relationship of Jews and African Americans, Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews in the United States, the place of Jews as immigrants and subjects of “race science” in the early twentieth century, contemporary scientific ideas about DNA, and the role of race in American Jewish literature, music, and theater, and the contemporary realities of Jews of different races through adoption, conversion, and intermarriage.

 

Spring Semester Exploratory Courses

Microeconomics

Spring Semester Course

Grade: 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of World History 1 and World History 2; completion of Macroeconomics is not required.

Economists often refer (tongue-in-cheek) to their field as “the dismal science,” yet this course is designed to quash such negative associations. This introduction to the study of micro-economics will provide students with a working knowledge of the principles needed to understand how individuals, consumers, producers, and firms make economic decisions. It is these decisions that, in turn, create the functioning system known as capitalism. To comprehend the foundations of capitalist markets, we will investigate the concepts of scarcity and opportunity cost, factors of production, supply and demand, price equilibrium, forms of competition, government regulation, business organizations, labor trends, and wages. Lastly, we will also explore the keys to mastering one’s own finances, such as personal banking and investing, credit and debt, risk management, consumer spending, paying for college, career advancement, and taxes.

Global Cold War History

Spring Semester Course

Grade: 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of World History 1 and World History 2

 

The Cold War continues to be a strong influence on global politics and policy today. Many of our current institutions (UN, NATO, etc.) and our understanding of modern international relations were likely influenced by the omnipresent threats in a struggle for both external dominance and internal security. In this course we will examine the origins of the Cold War; however, we will mainly focus on the impact of the Cold War on a global scale. We will examine areas of impact that are generally overlooked in a historical context that is overshadowed by the mighty powers of the US and USSR. We will study the impact of the Cold War on Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. The course will explore the origins, survey the events, and analyze the legacies of these various theaters of the Cold War. As a whole, this course will use deep historical analysis to build a foundation for looking at current and future domestic and especially foreign policy. This course will be reading intensive and will be structured as a discussion-based college-level course. There will be a capstone persuasive research paper at the end of the course.

 

The Chosen People in the Promised Land: California’s Jewish History (Cross-listed with Jewish Studies)

Spring Semester Course

Grade: 11, 12

This course will explore the history of California Jewry, beginning with the Gold Rush of 1849, when Jews traveled from England, France, Poland, Posen, Russia, the German states and many parts of the United States, to join with people from all corners of the globe seeking success in the former Mexican Territory. Through readings, primary source analysis, and literature and art, students will explore two key questions: How did Jews interact and negotiate with non-Jews in a rapidly changing society? What cultural and religious changes did Jewish communities experience internally as they became a part of broader California society? To culminate the semester, students will conduct oral histories of living California Jews.

Shalom Y’all: Southern Jewish history: (Cross listed with Jewish Studies)

Spring Semester Course

Grade: 11, 12

Did you know that Jews live in the South? Historical accounts and analyses of Jewish life in America almost always focus on the experiences of Jews in large Northern cities, most notably New York, despite the fact that Jews have also been present in the South throughout American history. This course seeks to rectify that imbalance by examining Jewish life in the South from both a historical and a literary perspective. Looking at the ways in which Southern Jews have interacted with their non-Jewish neighbors, as well as with Jews from other parts of the country, during such important events as the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement, among many others, helps to provide a more complete view of the Jewish as well as the Southern experience in America. Examining works of fiction about Southern Jews similarly helps to enhance our understanding of the fullness and complexity of Jewish American and Southern literatures. The course will have several guest speakers and scholars for Skype sessions to bring this history to life. For the final project, students get the chance to be oral historians as they interview and get to know a Southern Jew in arranged interviews over Skype by the instructor.

History

The Kehillah Jewish Studies Department is innovative and looks to engage students in intellectual, academic, spiritual, and social ways. At Kehillah, the Jewish Studies department particularly draws on the 3000 years of tradition, lore, and wisdom, which it combines with best of modern pedagogy.

The Jewish Studies department prepares Kehillah students to be more balanced citizens of the world.

Jewish Studies Teachers:

JEWISH STUDIES COURSES

Fall Semester Courses

Comparative Religion (Cross-listed with History)

Fall Semester Course

Grade: 9, 10

In this semester long course students will grapple with two fundamental questions: What is religion? How do we study it? We will explore the beliefs and practices of people from around the globe, examining how the world’s major religions shape their lives and their cultures. The class will delve into the history, scriptures, and rituals of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. We will consider how these religions, many of which share common heritages, can be at the same time remarkably similar and incredibly different.

Girls in Front! Jewish Women and Social Activism

Fall Semester Course

Grades 9, 10

In this class, we will explore the experiences of American Jewish women with social activism. Many Jewish women identify Judaism – and their experiences as a minority group – as the source of their commitment to social justice. For these women, Judaism dictates the work of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world). As activists, professionals, artists, and intellectuals, Jewish women have shaped numerous social justice causes. We will critically examine the historical evolution and present day state of Jewish women’s involvement in the following critical societal issues: labor rights, civil rights, women’s issues and gender equality, LGBT rights, environmental sustainability, and animal rights. By the end of the semester, students will become familiar with several Jewish approaches to social justice issues. In the last part of the course, students will develop a project surrounding a social justice issue important to them.

Midrash: Ancient Jewish Art

Fall Semester Course

Grade: 9, 10

Midrash is both a form of storytelling and a poetic Biblical commentary. It is also a great deal more than that: witty, mystical, wildly imaginative, it reflects creative impulse of innumerable generations of thinkers and dreamers. In this class students will learn how Midrash was created and developed in the ancient days. Students will also compile a portfolio of their own midrashim, which they will compose using a variety of literary mediums – both ancient and contemporary. There will be lots of creative writing, creative thinking, and collaborative work. No previous experience with Midrash and/or creative writing necessary.

Let me entertain you! Experiencing American Jews and the Entertainment Industry

Fall Semester Course

Grades 9, 10

This experiential learning course explores the vital role played by commercial amusements such as theater, Broadway, television and film in creating American culture. We will focus on how Jews, as actors and actresses, studio heads and producers, writers and composers, singers and celebrities, producers and directors have negotiated their Jewish identity within the larger society. Students will gain an understanding of how Jews have used the entertainment industry as a forum for grappling with important questions of American identity. Throughout this course, students will have the opportunity to relive this history and experience the past. For instance, in the first part of the course, students will recreate and produce a vaudeville show as actors, musicians, stage managers, producers, and promoters.

Intro to Talmudic Text and Theology

Fall Semester Course

Grade: 9, 10

What does a religious community do when it loses one of the central symbols of its religion? That’s precisely what happened to the Jewish people during the early Talmudic period when the Second Temple was destroyed. We will be studying sections of Talmud in order to understand deeply the challenges posed to Jews by the destruction of the Temple and how the Rabbis of the Talmud helped people navigate those challenges. In this course students will also develop the skills needed for independent Talmud study, including following complex Talmudic argumentation, understanding how the Rabbis utilize Biblical verses as proof text, and utilizing paired learning to challenge each other to develop arguments fully and convincingly.

Intro to Talmudic Text and Theology (HI)

Fall Semester Course

Grade: 9, 10

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of an HI Jewish Studies course or placement in Hebrew 4 or beyond

What does a religious community do when it loses one of the central symbols of its religion? That’s precisely what happened to the Jewish people during the early Talmudic period when the Second Temple was destroyed. We will be studying sections of Talmud in order to deeply understand the challenges posed to Jews by the destruction of the Temple and how the Rabbis of the Talmud helped people navigate those challenges. In this course students will also develop the skills needed for independent Talmud study, including structuring and translating from the original language, understanding how the Rabbis utilize Biblical verses as proof text, following complex Talmudic argumentation, and utilizing paired learning to challenge each other so as to develop arguments fully and convincingly.

 

Bibliodrama: Complex Families in the Book of Genesis

Fall Semester Course

Grade: 9, 10

If you want to prove that Biblical characters are simply frail human beings quite like us, rather than ideal images, you don’t need to look any further than the very first book of the Torah: Genesis. In this course, students will examine the families of Adam and Eve, as well as the matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah and the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The themes of sibling rivalry, parental favoritism, blended families, and others will be examined through a close analysis of the text as well as through improvisation exercises that will give us new interpretations generated by our creative impulses to then analyze for textual sustainability. Simultaneous to the text study, students in this course will be developing acting and playwriting skills through acting exercises and writing exercises. Students will write scenes and monologues that reflect their creative interpretations of the text, and at the end of the semester students will present, for an invited audience, the scenes and monologues that they have been working on in class. No previous acting or writing experience necessary.

American Jews and the Politics of Race (Cross-listed with History)

Fall Semester Course

Grade: 11, 12

Are Jews white? Are Jews a race? How does the Jewish community relate to “other” races? This class will explore the wide spectrum of ways American Jews have thought of themselves in relation to the idea of race, how the answers to these questions changed over time, and how they continue to impact race relations today. Through readings, music, images, and films, we will explore the complex constructions of racial identity in American society. Specific topics to be explored include: the complex relationship of Jews and African Americans, Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews in the United States, the place of Jews as immigrants and subjects of “race science” in the early twentieth century, contemporary scientific ideas about DNA, and the role of race in American Jewish literature, music, and theater, and the contemporary realities of Jews of different races through adoption, conversion, and intermarriage.

Modern Jewish Thought

Fall Semester Course

Grade: 11, 12

This course will begin with a consideration of the effects of the European Enlightenment and Emancipation upon Jewish identity and philosophy in the modern world. Turning our focus to the United States, students will then be introduced to the writings and ideas of three significant American Jewish thinkers: Mordecai M. Kaplan, Abraham Joshua Heschel, and Irving Greenberg. We will devote extensive time to the life and works of each thinker and consider the meaning of their philosophies for our own lives.

 

Modern Poetry & the Contemporary Jewish Experience

Fall Semester Course

Grade: 11, 12

Whether you’re a poetry enthusiast, or have been traumatized by it, this course aims for a profound – and profoundly enjoyable – encounter with this unique and wonderful genre. Here, you’ll find yourself at the intersection of poetry and technology, Jewish Studies and American cultural life, Kehillah and University of Pennsylvania. We’ll read some of the best poetry ever written, and examine the role of Jewish discourse in the context of larger American culture. We’ll join UPenn’s award-winning, wildly popular web-based “ Modern Poetry ” course, and in addition to our in-class meetings, we will also interact with thousands of poetry students all around the world via dedicated, secure forums and video conferences. We’ll use UPenn’s amazing resources: recordings of the poetry readings, archival material, and the expertise of the university’s top faculty members. There will be lots of imaginative, close reading, as well as creative writing, pondering, experimentation, collaborative work, and intense discussions. Note: this course is not cross-listed with English: it is a Jewish Studies course.

Eastern European Jewish Intellectual History

Fall Semester Course

Grade: 11, 12

The purpose of this course is for students to examine intellectual, creative, and sociological developments in response to the changing political scene of the first half of the 20th century in Eastern Europe. This course utilizes diaries, literature, artwork, and historical documents to tell the story of Eastern European Jews prior to, during, and immediately following the Holocaust. Students will explore the diversity of Jewish life in Europe prior to the Second World War, analyze ways in which the arts were used in Resistance, and encounter diverse responses to understanding and learning about the Holocaust since 1945. Texts will include Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz, as well as film, drawings, and poetry. Students will complete a paper on an area of their own interest in the subject.

Bible in Fiction: From Slavery to Sinai

Fall Semester Course

Grade: 11, 12

The Biblical story of the Israelite Exodus from Egypt, found in The Book of Exodus and referenced throughout the Bible and Rabbinic literature, is ubiquitous in Jewish life. Jews devoted an 8-day holiday to re-telling the story, and Jewish liturgy is riddled with references to remembering The Exodus. The reach of this story continues expanding as it is popularized by numerous films. As with all stories, each time this one is told, it changes. The storyteller makes choices about how to tell the story. We will compare the storytelling choices in the Biblical version, Rabbinic versions, and contemporary cinematic versions. Students will consider how, if at all, each version resonates with them personally and ultimately, become the storyteller, making those narrative choices using whatever medium each student chooses.

History of Zionism and Israel (Cross-listed with History)

Fall Semester Course

Grade: 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of World History 1 and World History 2

This course is designed to introduce students to the historical circumstances that gave rise to Zionism and eventually to the State of Israel. Using a combination of primary and secondary source documents, students explore the different forms of Zionism that developed in the 19th and 20th centuries and how these ideologies shaped the country that we call Israel. This course also follows the development of the State of Israel from early Zionist settlement to the UN partition plan and the War of Independence, to the unresolved Arab/Israeli conflict. Students pay special attention to the way in which historical narratives are constructed, and issues of perspective regarding those who experienced this historical period. Finally, students consider the centrality of the State of Israel in the context of modern Jewish history. Students consider some of the following questions: What impact has Israel had on Jewish life and identity since its inception? How are the State of Israel and the conflict in the Middle East an outgrowth of modernity? How does Israel wield power in relation to its ideals? How can Israel be both a Jewish state and a democracy?

World Jewish Literature: Tour Across the 20th Century (Cross-listed with English)

Fall Semester Course

Grade: 12

In this class we will encounter some of the most stimulating, profound, and exciting works of modern literature ever written. Using literature as the entry point, we will explore the intellectual, social, cultural, and political realities of Jewish communities in North America, Israel, Egypt, Western Europe, Former Soviet Union, and South America. By alternating critical analysis with creative writing, the course will move towards a more complete understanding of the masterpieces we’ll be engaging with. Ultimately, we will examine our own identities through the lens of these works. There will be many delightful discussions, debates, and even performances. Primary readings will include short stories, novel excerpts, and poems by Franz Kafka, Isaac Babel, Yehuda Amichai, Clarice Lispector, Andre Aciman, and Philip Roth.

 

Spring Semester Courses

Ancient Philosophy (Cross-listed with History)

Spring Semester Course

Grade: 9, 10

How do we know what we know? Can we trust our senses to tell us the truth? What is good? What is bad? How can we tell the difference, and how should we act accordingly? What can we know about God? These questions and more will be addressed in this semester long course. Students will be introduced to some of the most influential philosophers in history, beginning with Plato and working through the 13th century. Each unit will introduce a particular philosophical question, and students will read and discuss how different philosophers have attempted to answer said question. More importantly, students will participate in the philosophical process, formulating their own answers to these perplexing conundrums. In short, the students will become philosophers. Special attention will be given to how Jewish philosophers have applied various philosophical systems to understand Scripture and the nature of God.

Stories, Poems, and Myths: Gateway into Jewish Literature

Spring Semester Course

Grade: 9, 10

What is literature? Is it a stack of books you’re assigned to plow through in school? What if literature is stories whispered around the fire, spontaneous late-night rants, mystical dreams, rumors, and purloined letters? We’ll look at the origins of the massive, all-encompassing phenomenon of Jewish literature and its evolution across centuries. We’ll pay close attention not only to excerpts from canonical texts – Torah, Talmud, and Midrash – but also myths, poems, and parodies. Finally, we’ll write our creative compositions and expand the very definition of what Jewish Literature is, and what it could be.

Ethics of Language

Spring Semester Course

Grade: 9, 10

Students will encounter essential questions such as: “Where does language come from? How is it developed? How do languages survive and evolve over centuries and millenia? What is the power of original language? How does a nation’s tongue define its character? What are the responsibilities of speech?” This course will cover material ranging from the Book of Genesis to Talmud, rhetorical fallacies to the ethics of speech. Classwork will include discussion, creative and analytical writing, group projects, and artwork.

 

Love and Death in the Jewish Psyche: an Analysis of History and Art

Spring Semester Course

Grade 9, 10

Human love and friendship along with death have been central themes in Jewish life from the Bible down to the present day. This is a thematic course that explores how Jewish attitudes to love and death have varied down the ages and across continents and in modern Israel. We will examine these two concepts across time and space using traditional Jewish texts, other primary source texts along with pieces of art, literature, music and film. The course will culminate with a student project that allows for development of their worldview on these two themes.

Wandering Jews: A History of the Jewish Diaspora (Cross-listed with History)

Spring Semester Course

Grade, 9, 10

In this course we will explore the history of Jews living in the Diaspora. By the early Middle Ages, Jewish communities existed throughout Europe, North Africa, and Southwest Asia. There were also Jewish settlements in other areas such as East Africa, Central Asia, India, and beyond. In this course, students will address the courses key questions: What is the meaning of diaspora? How did Jews interact and negotiate with non-Jews in a changing world? What cultural and religious changes did Jewish communities experience internally as they became a part of broader society? What accounts for the rise of anti-Judaism and its modern counterpart, political and racial anti-Semitism? The course will culminate in an immersive personalized learning experience with students becoming experts on the evolution and current day status of a modern day diaspora community.

Rabbis Wrestling with the 21st Century: Tradition in the Midst of Change

Spring Semester Course

Grade: 9, 10

Women Rabbis? Gay rights? Driving to synagogue on Shabbat? The modern Jew struggles to find the balance between “living with the times” and staying true to a tradition. Can one have absolute morality that at times seems to be in contradiction with the foundational text of one’s community? In this introductory course, students will encounter Rabbinic text as it has attempted to interpret and adapt Biblical ideas to fit modern needs. Students of all backgrounds will have access to core Jewish texts and engage in meaningful, life changing conversations while honing the skill of expressing a well-informed opinion based on textual evidence.

 

Introduction to Kaballah (Jewish Mysticism)

Spring Semester Course

Grade: 9, 10

This course examines the central symbol of Kaballah – called “The Tree of Life.” We will study the structure of the “tree” as well as the rich system of associative meaning attached to each of the ten points on this “tree.” The course begins with an in depth look at the “tree” with an eye towards understanding how it functions as an understanding of how the World came to be and as an understanding of God’s personality as well as our own personalities. Students will analyze the wide array of associative meanings attributed to each of the ten points to articulate their own understanding of the ten points and then apply it to their own process of self-understanding and growth.

Bible in Fiction: The Rise and Fall of David

Spring Semester Course

Grade: 9, 10

The Biblical David is a character who appears in multiple books of the Bible including, Samuel 1, Samuel 2, Kings 1, Psalms, and Chronicles. He is at different times a shepherd, a musician, a warrior, a fugitive, a king, an adulterer, a murderer, and a father whose family is coming apart at the seams. Over the years, there have been people who’ve seen David as an unscrupulous, calculating politician and others who’ve seen him as a sinless, righteous man. Many books have been written recently that tell the story of David. As with all stories, each time this story is told, it changes. The storyteller makes choices about how to tell the story. We will compare the storytelling choices in the Biblical version, Rabbinic versions, and contemporary cinematic versions. Students will consider how, if at all, each version resonates with them personally and ultimately, become the storyteller, making those narrative choices using whatever medium each student chooses.

In-depth Parasha (Weekly Torah Reading): Rational and Mystical Philosophy (Advanced HI)

Spring Semester Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

In this advanced Jewish Studies class, we will gain a topical literacy of the Torah portion of the week. We will also engage in meaningful reflections on philosophical questions as they tie in with the Torah portion or the holidays. Students will take the lead in discussions of fundamental questions in Jewish philosophy such as: Free choice vs. determinism, Meaning of Life, the Nature of God and the problems of Suffering and Injustice. In our studies we will encounter the following philosophers: Maimonides, Nachmanides, The Baal Shem Tov, Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin, Rabbi Kook and Rabbi Dessler.

 

Romanticism & Hasidism: Anti-Rationalist Movements of 18th Century Europe

Spring Semester Course

Grade: 11, 12

A counterforce to Enlightenment and rational thought, the philosophical and artistic movement of Romanticism erupted in Europe towards the end of 18th century seeking to recover the value of spontaneity, emotion, mysticism, and communion with nature. At the same time, in Eastern European shtetls, the newly sprung movement of Hasidism reached towards strikingly similar ideals. We’ll read Romantic, Transcendentalist, and Hasidic thinkers side by side. Students will be tasked to create the “Irrational Journal” of their own writings describing their thoughts, observations, and experiences pertaining to all things irrational, mystical, and ecstatic. Creative writing, philosophizing, and intense discussions will be an important part of this class.

Medical Ethics and Jewish Law

Spring Semester Course

Grade: 11, 12

The advancement of technology and medicine has the potential to greatly improve and save lives. But is human intervention in nature always a positive act? We will examine scientific advances from the viewpoint of classical and modern Jewish legal and ethical considerations. Topics will include but are not limited to Euthanasia, Transplants, Abortion and Stem cell Research. Students will gain familiarity with core texts of Jewish law such as Talmud, Maimonides, Codes of Jewish law as well as contemporary scholars. We will compare and contrast religious perspectives on contemporary controversial matters based on a scientific, legal and ethical understanding of the issues. Students will analyze high level primary texts and engage in dynamic class discussions and debates. They will also conduct their own research that will culminate in a poster paper that answers a question that is of interest to them.

The Chosen People in the Promised Land: California’s Jewish History (Cross-listed with History)

Spring Semester Course

Grade: 11, 12

This course will explore the history of California Jewry, beginning with the Gold Rush of 1849, when Jews traveled from England, France, Poland, Posen, Russia, the German states and many parts of the United States, to join with people from all corners of the globe seeking success in the former Mexican Territory. Through readings, primary source analysis, and literature and art, students will explore two key questions: How did Jews interact and negotiate with non-Jews in a rapidly changing society? What cultural and religious changes did Jewish communities experience internally as they became a part of broader California society? To culminate the semester, students will conduct oral histories of living California Jews.

Shalom: Y’all: Southern Jewish history: (Cross listed with History)

Spring Semester Course

Grade: 11, 12

Did you know that Jews live in the South? Historical accounts and analyses of Jewish life in America almost always focus on the experiences of Jews in large Northern cities, most notably New York, despite the fact that Jews have also been present in the South throughout American history. This course seeks to rectify that imbalance by examining Jewish life in the South from both a historical and a literary perspective. Looking at the ways in which Southern Jews have interacted with their non-Jewish neighbors, as well as with Jews from other parts of the country, during such important events as the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement, among many others, helps to provide a more complete view of the Jewish as well as the Southern experience in America. Examining works of fiction about Southern Jews similarly helps to enhance our understanding of the fullness and complexity of Jewish American and Southern literatures. The course will have several guest speakers and scholars for Skype sessions to bring this history to life. For the final project, students get the chance to be oral historians as they interview and get to know a Southern Jew in arranged interviews over Skype by the instructor.

Bibliodrama: In The Desert

Spring Semester Course

Grade: 11, 12

The teenage years are a time of constant transition from childhood to adulthood that comes with many challenges. One could say that the teenage years of the Biblical Israelite nation is the 40 years they spend in the desert after being freed from slavery and before entering the Land of Canaan. In this course we will study selections from Exodus and Numbers to examine how the Israelites navigated this major transition. The themes of trust, fear, leadership and others will be examined through a close analysis of the text as well as through improv exercises that will give us new interpretations generated by our creative impulses to then analyze for textual sustainability. Simultaneous to the text study, students in this course will be developing acting and playwriting skills through acting exercises and writing exercises. Students will write scenes and monologues that reflect their creative interpretations of the text, and At the end of the semester students will present, for an invited audience, the scenes and monologues that they have been working on in class. No previous acting or writing experience necessary

 

Jewish Literature for the New Millennium: Prose, Poetry, and Drama (Cross-listed with English)

Spring Semester Course

Grade: 12

This course will focus on Jewish Literature written in the past decade and a half, mostly in the U.S. and Israel, examining some of the most poignant contemporary concerns running through the Jewish community worldwide. We’ll look at authors who’ve repeatedly made it to the top of the bestseller lists; we’ll also look at lesser known, though just as exciting, writers of the avant-garde. We’ll read short stories, poem, and a graphic novel. We’ll also check out the burgeoning genre of digital writing, watch films, and more. We’ll attempt to engage some of the actual writers of the texts we’ll be studying via social media, live chats, and possibly, in-person appearances.

MATH

Through discovery activities and more formal instruction, the mathematics department at Kehillah strives to instill in students a deep conceptual understanding of the topics, with an emphasis on critical thinking and applications of the material, all resting on a solid mastery of the techniques and processes necessary to solve the problems encountered.

Students are held responsible for knowing not just how to do a particular problem or technique, but also why it works, and when to employ a particular approach, and must be able to explain and justify the steps taken to arrive at a particular solution. Creative strategies, logic, synthesis and analysis are stressed. Technology, particularly graphing calculators, is used when appropriate.

Math Teachers:
Dr. Zachi Baharav, Ph.D.
Ms. Kathleen Edwards
Mr. Anthony Grabowski
Mr. Yohai Hascalovici
Mr. Daniel Kelley
Mr. Ron Schloss
Dr. Dan Rosenthal

MATH COURSES

A student new to Kehillah takes the Kehillah math diagnostic/placement test. This test, along with the student’s transcript and recommendations, assists in determining proper course placement.

Algebra I

Year-Long Course

This course is designed as a formal introduction to symbolic manipulation. Students learn to simplify expressions and solve equations, and ultimately to use those skills to solve real-world problems. Students begin with a review of the number line and properties of Real numbers, and then progress to working with variables. Throughout the course, students build skills in factoring, working with fractions, and graphing equations, all of which will serve as a foundation for all future math courses.

Geometry

Year-Long Course

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Algebra 1 and math teacher approval

This course approaches Euclidean Geometry using both inductive and deductive logic. Through the discovery process and formal proofs students gain a deep understanding of and insight into geometry. Students are introduced to points, lines, and planes and progress to formal proofs involving triangles, quadrilaterals, and circles. Students are given a wide variety of problems to solve in the areas of congruence, similarity, area, volume, coordinate geometry, and right triangle trigonometry. Throughout the year, students continue to practice and develop their algebra skills. Students also have access to computer software as a visualization tool which they may use to complete independent projects.

Algebra 2/Trigonometry

Year-Long Course

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Geometry and math teacher approval

This course is a thorough study of functions, and their algebraic and graphical behavior. Students learn the concepts of domain, range, transformations, composition, and inverse relationships. Types of functions include linear, quadratic, polynomial, rational, radical, exponential, and logarithmic. Other topics include systems of equations, probability, and basic trigonometry. Students develop skills in manipulating expressions, and solving equations and real world problems. Students use their graphing calculator to solidify their understanding of the connection between an algebraic function and its graphical representation.

Algebra 2/Trigonometry Honors

Year-Long Course

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Geometry and math teacher approval

This course is a thorough study of functions, and their algebraic and graphical behavior. Students learn the concepts of domain, range, transformations, composition, and inverse relationships. Types of functions include linear, quadratic, polynomial, rational, radical, exponential, and logarithmic. Other topics include systems of equations, probability, and basic trigonometry. Students develop skills in manipulating expressions, and solving equations and real world problems. Students use their graphing calculator to solidify their understanding of the connection between an algebraic function and its graphical representation. This course moves at a fast pace to allow for the study of general problem-solving techniques and the opportunity for students to work with very difficult and intriguing problems.

Precalculus

Year-Long Course

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Algebra 2/Trig or Algebra 2/Trig Honors and math teacher approval

Students begin the course with a review of functions, and then progress to advanced trigonometry. Students review triangle trigonometry, and then learn to graph trigonometric functions, and apply trigonometric identities. Students then extend their understanding of exponential, logarithmic, polynomial, and rational functions. Other new topics include sequences and series.

Precalculus Honors

Year-Long Course

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Algebra 2/Trig or Algebra 2/Trig Honors and math teacher approval

Students begin the course with a review of functions, and then progress to advanced trigonometry. Students review triangle trigonometry, and then learn to graph trigonometric functions, derive and apply trigonometric identities. Students then extend their understanding of exponential, logarithmic, polynomial, and rational functions. Other new topics include sequence and series. In this honors course, students will master all the same skills as in the regular course, but with more challenging problems that require deeper conceptual understanding. This course moves at a fast pace to allow for the study of general problem-solving techniques and the opportunity for students to work with very difficult and intriguing problems.

 

 

Statistics

Year-Long Course

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Algebra 2/Trig or Algebra 2/Trig Honors and math teacher approval

This course will give students multiple tools to understand the data, graphs, and conclusions that the media presents to the public as well as enabling students to see fallacies and errors in statistical analysis that are presented as fact. Data production, data description, data analyses for one or more variables, probability, and inference are major parts of this course. During the course the students will design and implement an experiment or an observational study to answer a key question for the purpose of supporting and improving an aspect of the school or community. Students will determine the question they each wish to answer and supply a complete analysis and interpretation of the data gathered, using such tools as histograms, box and whisker plots, five-number summaries, density curves, confidence intervals, measures of statistical significance, and hypothesis tests. Students will learn to use Microsoft Excel to perform a variety of forms of data analysis.

AP Statistics

Year-Long Course

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Algebra 2/Trig or Algebra 2/Trig Honors and math teacher approval

This course offers students multiple tools to understand the data, graphs, and conclusions that the media presents to the public as well as enables students to see fallacies and errors in statistical analysis that are presented as fact. Data production, data description, data analyses for one or more variables, probability, and inference are major parts of this course. Students design and implement an experiment or an observational study to answer a key question for the purpose of supporting and improving an aspect of the school or community. Students determine the question they each wish to answer and supply a complete analysis and interpretation of the data gathered, using such tools as histograms, box and whisker plots, five-number summaries, density curves, confidence intervals, measures of statistical significance, and hypothesis tests. Students learn to use their TI graphing calculator and spreadsheets to perform a variety of forms of data analysis. This course prepares students for the AP Statistics Exam. Students will be required to attend an additional early morning class from 8:00 am to 8:30 am each week (day TBD).

Calculus

Year-Long Course

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Precalculus or Precalculus Honors and math teacher approval

This course covers single variable differential and integral calculus. It begins with a study of average rates of change and uses the concept of limits to derive the meaning of the derivative. Students encounter several applications of the derivative, including related rates and optimization problems. Through the study of area students develop the integral and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. Various applications of integration are also studied.

AP Calculus AB

Year-Long Course

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Pre-calculus or Pre-calculus Honors and math teacher approval

This course covers single variable differential and integral calculus. It begins with a study of average rates of change and uses the concept of limits to derive the meaning of the derivative. Students encounter several applications of the derivative, including related rates and optimization problems. Through the study of area students develop the integral and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. Volume, differential equations, and slope fields are also studied. This course prepares students for the AP Calculus AB exam. Students will be required to attend an additional early morning class from 8:00 am to 8:30 am each week (day TBD).

AP Calculus BC

Year-Long Course

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of AP Calculus AB and math teacher approval

This course reviews the curriculum covered in AP Calculus AB and continues on with the following topics: L’Hopital’s Rule, integration techniques, Euler’s Method, arc length in rectangular and parametric form, parametric form of the derivative, area in polar coordinates, sequences and series, convergence, and divergence. This class will also cover key topics in statistics and review the entire calculus material to prepare students for the AP Calculus BC exam.

Linear Algebra

Year-Long Course

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor in required for enrollment in the course.

This is a course in advanced mathematics designed for students who want additional challenge. Topics include Linear Equations, Matrix Algebra, Determinants, Vector Spaces, Eigenvalues, Orthogonality, Least Squares, Symmetric Matrices, and Quadratic forms.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

Physical education at Kehillah is flexible and customized. Students are required to complete a year of physical education in order to graduate. The requirement can be met by taking on of Kehillah’s P.E. courses, such as physical conditioning (in the state-of-the-art Oshman Family JCC gym), or by participating in one of Kehillah’s competitive sports teams, or by engaging in a regular program of activity for one year or the equivalent.  Students have met this requirement through individual dance, workout, rock climbing and other programs.

Physical fitness for Kehillah students is enhanced beginning this year with complimentary student membership in the JCC fitness center across the street from campus.

Physical Education Teacher:
Mr. Ryan Greenfield 

PHYSICAL EDUCATION COURSES

Physical Training

Fall and Spring Semester Course

Under the guidance of a professional trainer, students learn about fitness and develop a workout routine to improve cardio-vascular and strength fitness. Students use the JCC fitness center and learn the proper use of free weights and gym equipment. Students are required to dress appropriately for a full workout in the gym. Besides developing a personal workout, the students will also work together on a variety of exercises and fitness challenges. Students may repeat this course for credit.

SCIENCE

The science department at Kehillah focuses on providing opportunities for students to build their knowledge through a mix of analytical and computational problems as well as inquiry-based lab work. The department places a strong emphasis on providing consistent training in critical thinking as the foundation of the scientific method of problem-solving. As students progress through the curriculum, they are challenged to develop their own techniques to experimentally answer real-world questions, and they will learn how to clearly convey their findings to the community.

Science Teachers:
Ms. Wendy Gibbons
Mr. Anthony Grabowski
Dr. Ashlee Iyer
Mr. Robert Stewart
Ms. Maria Vicenty

SCIENCE COURSES

Biology

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9

This is a hands-on introductory course in the foundations of biology. Students learn basic principles and concepts in biology, while also improving their grasp of experimental techniques. In addition to lab work, an important focus of the class is on analyzing models of processes, and transferring the understanding to additional application scenarios. Areas of study include the art of science, basic biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, evolution, physiology, and ecology.

Chemistry

Year-Long Course

Grade: 10, 11

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Biology and Algebra 1

This is an introductory course in the foundations of chemistry. Students learn basic chemical principles and apply them to problem solving. Experimental techniques are taught and used abundantly throughout the course. Both written and laboratory work are examined. Areas of study include Nature of Matter, Atomic Structure, Periodicity, Bonding, Chemical Reactions, Stoichiometry, Gas Behavior, and Solution Chemistry.

Chemistry Honors

Year-Long Course

Grade: 10, 11

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Biology and Geometry and department approval

This is an advanced course in Chemistry. Students make an in-depth study of the theory and practices of chemical principles. Experimental techniques are taught and used abundantly throughout the course. Both written and laboratory work are examined. Honors Chemistry is distinguished from regular Chemistry in that it involves a more in-depth and math-based study of topics at an accelerated pace. Due to the pace of the course, strong independent learning skills are important, to ensure student success at the Honors level. Areas of study include Nature of Matter, Atomic Theory, Nuclear Chemistry, Periodicity, Bonding, Chemical Reactions, Stoichiometry, Gas Behavior, Solution Chemistry, Reaction Kinetics, and Thermodynamics.

Physics

Year-Long Course

Grades 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Chemistry and satisfactory completion of Algebra 2

This is a course for students confident in the algebra and geometry skills, as it uses right triangle trigonometry throughout the course. This course includes an in-depth mathematical study of the physical laws of nature. Students develop strong investigative skills, and plan their own experiments, collect data, and analyze and evaluate their results. Areas of study include: kinematics, motion and forces, circular motion and gravitation, work and energy, momentum and collisions, waves, and an introduction to electricity.

Physics Honors: Mechanics

Year-Long Course

Grade: 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Chemistry and completion of or current enrollment in Precalculus and science and math teacher approval.

This course provides a systematic introduction to the main principles of physics and emphasizes the development of conceptual understanding and problem‐solving ability using algebra and trigonometry. This course is designed for the student who is advanced in both ability and motivation in the scientific area, who desires a strong scientific challenge, and who has the requisite mathematical skills to engage in this depth of study. Honors Physics is distinguished from regular Physics by a higher level of rigor, greater mathematical depth and sophistication, and a more in‐depth study of topics. Areas of study include: kinematics, motion and forces, circular motion and gravitation, work and energy, momentum and collisions, waves, and an introduction to electricity.

Physics Honors: Electricity, Magnetism, and Waves

Year‐Long Course

Grade: 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Physics or Physics Honors: Mechanics and science and math teacher approval.

This course provides a systematic introduction to the main principles of physics and emphasizes the development of conceptual understanding and problem‐solving ability using algebra and trigonometry. This course is designed for the student who is advanced in both ability and motivation in the scientific area, who desires a strong scientific challenge, and who has the requisite mathematical skills to engage in this depth of study. Honors Physics is distinguished from regular Physics by a higher level of rigor, greater mathematical depth and sophistication, and a more in‐depth study of topics. Areas of study include: the principles of electricity (forces, fields, potential, and capacitance), magnetism, circuits, and optics.

Human Anatomy and Physiology

Year-Long Course

Grade: 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Biology and Chemistry or Chemistry Honors and teacher approval

Human Anatomy and Physiology is designed to give students an introductory understanding of the structure, functions and relationships of body systems. This course is a laboratory science that connects knowledge of anatomical terminology with physiological processes and the disease states that arise in each organ system. The course covers basic immunology, the circulatory system, the skeletal and muscular systems, the nervous system, and at least one other body system of the student’s choosing. Some participation in dissections is required for success is this class. The course functions as an introduction to college-level study in the medical sciences and health fields.

Marine Biology

Year-Long Course

Grade: 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Biology and Chemistry or Chemistry Honors and teacher approval

Marine Biology will provide students with a broad introduction to applying physics, chemistry and biology to ocean biomes with a focus on climate change and human effects on natural ecosystems. Topics will include physics of waves, meteorology and climatology, geological history of earth, chemistry of sea water, origins of life, marine protists and invertebrate taxonomy, evolution of marine vertebrates, ocean ecosystems and human impacts. The course will be broadly lab based with hands-on inquiry into science principles through experimentation and introduction to lab techniques where possible. Students will participate in at least one field trip per semester, either on school days or on weekends.

AP Biology

Year-Long Course

Grade: 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Biology and Chemistry and science teacher approval

AP Biology is an academically challenging class taught at the college level. It is equivalent to the first year Biology courses (for majors) offered at many major universities. Students use a college level text and complete college level work. Labs explore the topics studied and employ techniques used in biology laboratories. Students gain experience in the lab with bacterial transformation, DNA electrophoresis, bioinformatics, and other important scientific skills. Students also practice taking data and building meaning from data. Students taking this course explore the following units of study: Evolution, Cellular Processes, Genetics and Information Transfer, and Interactions. This course prepares students for the AP Biology exam. Students are required to attend an additional early morning class from 8:00 am to 8:30 am each week (day to be determined).

AP Chemistry

Year-Long Course

Grade: 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Chemistry or Chemistry Honors and Algebra 2; science teacher approval.

This is a college-level advanced chemistry course. Complex problem solving requiring mathematical techniques is required as well as sound experimental skills. Areas of study include: atomic theory, bonding, nuclear chemistry, gasses, liquids and solids, solutions, equations and stoichiometry, equilibria, kinetics, thermodynamics and organic chemistry. This course prepares the students for the AP Chemistry exam. Students are required to attend an additional early morning class from 8:00am to 8:30am each week (day TBD).

AP Physics C: Mechanics

Year-Long Course

Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of Physics Honors course and completion of or concurrent enrollment in Calculus. Science and math Department approval is a must.

This course provides systematic instruction in the following areas: kinematics; Newton’s laws of motion; work, energy, and power; momentum and collisions; circular motion, rotation, and rolling; oscillations and gravitation. The laboratory component requires students to design experiments, make observations of physical phenomena, organize and analyze data, draw inferences from data, analyze errors, communicate results, and suggest further lines of investigation. Assigned work extends concepts discussed in class and requires students to apply those concepts to new and unfamiliar situations. This course is intended for those students who have not only done well in Physics Honors, but who also exhibit a genuine passion for the subject and are motivated to delve into further mathematical, conceptual, and experimental analysis of the subject. This course prepares students for the AP Physics C Mechanics exam. Students are required to attend an additional early morning class from 8:00 am to 8:30 am each week (day TBD).

VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS

Kehillah offers inspiring and challenging curricula in the visual and performing arts including; music, studio art, digital art, and drama. Each class is crafted specifically to help students forge enduring habits of lifelong learning, love of the arts, and personal creative expression. Courses are tailored to individual needs and focus on learning through hands-on experience.

One year of visual or performing arts is required for graduation, but students are welcome to take multiple classes as electives. The course guides below delineate the current course offerings in each of the visual and performing arts.

Visual and Performing Arts Teachers:
Mr. Jake Arky
Ms. Jen Idleman
Mr. Daniel Mirer
Mr. Tom Romero
Mr. Tony Quartuccio

VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS COURSES

Studio Art

Year‐Long Course

This course is an introduction to art creation and theory through materials, skills, and techniques. It includes applications in conceptual design, color, and compositional theory. The projects focus on the elements of art and design including: line, color, shape/form, texture, value, and space. This course features a particular focus on drawing and rendering to allow each student to build a strong foundation of visual awareness and creativity.

Digital Design

Year‐Long Course

Digital Design is a skill-based class focused on learning graphic design, composition, color theory, and typography. The course will include learning the technical skills and application of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Within the exploration of these programs, the students will also learn the design industry standard practices and techniques. In addition, a portion of this class will be devoted to introducing students to video and TV production as 3-D digital media. The students will have the opportunity to learn the basics in video, sound and light design, and television production.

Photography

Year-Long Course

This is an introductory course in photography where students will explore the technical and artistic aspects of this art form. They will learn to manipulate camera controls to achieve desired effects in their photos. They will also learn and apply the principles and elements of design in order to fully investigate how to make a good photograph. Students will improve their visual literacy skills by researching, talking, and writing about photographs. They will apply this understanding to the process of making meaning in their own work. This class will fulfill the yearlong, UC requirement for VPA

Alternative Media

Year-Long Course

This course is an exploration of alternative (non-traditional) media and personal stylization. Projects and materials include materials not usually found in traditional art classes. These may include such projects as copper tooling, pyrography (wood burning), glass fusing, found object art, mosaics, etc. Though the media vary from traditional studio art materials, the course focuses on the elements of art and design including: line, color, shape/ form, texture, value, and space. The course is geared towards exploration and creativity.

 

Advanced Studio Art

Year-Long Course

Prerequisites: Satisfactory completion two introductory classes or teacher approval

This course is a continuation of Digital Design, Photography, Alternative Media and Studio Art. Students refine their skills in their medium of choice as well as improve their understanding of artistic composition and their ability to understand and analyze a work of art that was created by another person. Students develop the skills and understandings that will enable them to proceed onto AP Studio Art the following year.

AP Studio Art

Year-Long Course

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Advanced Studio Art; teacher approval

Students will refine and expand art practice, concentrating on completion and preparation of the Advanced Placement Art Portfolio. Students will expand technical knowledge and ability. Each student will work to develop and refine a personal voice considering values, vision, perspective, message, and medium. Students will complete the three sections of the AP portfolio submission using the College Board guidelines for assessment. This course will require significant work outside of class time.

Theater Arts 1

Year-Long Course

Theatre is a place to explore, create, and make characters and stories come to life. Students will get an introduction to ensemble-based theatre creation, using the class as a theatrical company to generate adaptations of Shakespeare, write and stage original scenes and monologues, produce storytelling performances with multimedia, and learn the basics of long form improvisation. Audition techniques, modern playwright retrospective, and acting essentials are core tools to this class and will be frequently addressed throughout various projects. Those with experience will collaborate with those who have almost no experience, just a desire to get in front of an audience and express themselves.

Back Stage 101

Semester Course

Grade: 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Theater Arts 1

Being backstage can be as important as being on stage. Students will get the opportunity to learn the basics of lighting, sound, costume, set, and production design, as well as implementing those skills both in and out of class. Lessons will cover sound and lighting board operations, as well as stage management best practices. Special note: while this class will be one semester, all students are required to be part of the tech crew for at least one of the school’s productions and will have a choice whether it is the Fall musical or Spring play.

 

Theater Arts 2

Year-Long or Semester Course

Grade: 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Theater Arts 1 or satisfactory completion of 11th grade

Taking the theatrical experience to the next level, students will have the opportunity to not only act, but step into the playwright and director chair as well. Theatre 2 asks students to take the initiative of creating and producing new work, from writing a ten minute play to directing other students in a night of original plays made by the class. Musical theatre creation, solo performance and advanced improvisation workshops will be included throughout, giving students the skill set and freedom to explore new work that comes from them and reflects their unique voices.

Reel Perspective

Year-Long or Semester Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

Documentary and narrative filmmaking can be provocative, controversial, and topical. Over the course of the fall semester, students will view documentaries from the last 40 years including Grizzly Man, Capturing The Friedmans, Bowling for Columbine, Supersize Me, Crumb , and others, including a Rockumentary Retrospective. Spring will offer a variety of independent, main stream, and classic films to dissect, including Do The Right Thing, Citizen Kane, Unforgiven, High Noon, Memento, and The Conversation amongst others. Discussions will be student driven, giving the class an opportunity to analyze the way different directors view the subjects, topics, and themes of their movies through both fictional and non-fictional perspectives.

Acoustic Guitar-Family Ensemble 1

Year-Long Course

The guitar family consists of guitar, bass guitar, mandolin, banjo, and ukulele. Students learn to read music, scales, and chords. Students improve their own skills and gain the expertise to perform as a group. Students learn elements of musical theory, and are introduced to improvisational and song-writing techniques. Class time is devoted to group songs based on each student’s level of ability, individually guided assignments in technique, instruction in music theory applicable to playing their chosen instrument, and preparation for an end of the semester final performance. Music selected is chosen from different styles including rock, jazz, classical, and folk. Students study the evolution of their instrument and its music over the historical eras. Students also attend, review, and discuss at least two concerts.

 

Acoustic Guitar-Family Ensemble 2

Year-Long Course

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Acoustic Guitar Ensemble I or by audition

The guitar-family consists of guitar, bass guitar, mandolin, banjo, and ukulele.

This course is a continuation of Acoustic Guitar Ensemble 1 and concentrates on duo, trio, quartets, and solo instrumental pieces. Music performed ranges from the Renaissance to the modern era of music. Music is also selected from many cultures. There is more advanced study in finger picking, flatpicking, left hand technique, and performance. Students participate in performances throughout the school year.

Music Theory and Composition 1

Year-Long Course

This is an introductory course in music theory that studies the fundamentals of music and music literacy. Students learn the basic terminology related to music theory and composition as well as practice and refine aural skills. Throughout the course, students are presented with a rationale and a historical framework for the concepts and techniques being studied and learn to approach each aspect of the theory of music from an aesthetic vantage. The course focuses on the basic concepts of music, music literacy, and the organizational elements of music, often requiring the student to compose measures reflecting what has been learned about the theory of music.

Music Theory and Composition 2

Year-Long Course

Prerequisite: Music Theory and Composition 1 or department approval

The course presumes a somewhat fluent level in musical reading and notation upon beginning but the class begins with a complete review of music basics. Time is spent discovering how small patterns such as scales, intervals and triads combine to create larger units such as phrases, periods and two- and three-part form. In class, students work on sight singing and ear training; the goal is the ability to read a musical score without singing or playing out loud. Students are also taught to transcribe musical sounds into notation. Regular melodic and harmonic dictation is given in class. Short compositions are assigned throughout the year to illustrate fundamental principles being studied and the final project is the composition of a longer piece by each student to be included in a concert at the end of the school year. Students also engage in critical and analytical listening to major works from the classics of European and American composers from the Middle Ages to the present.

 

Jazz/Blues/Folk/ World Music Ensemble

Year-Long Course

Prerequisite: Must read music and demonstrate proficiency on an instrument or voice. Auditions for bands may be required.

Students in this course participate in an ensemble consisting of any combination of acoustic and electric instruments that performs music of many different styles, genres, and eras. The musicians will have prior ability on their musical instruments. As part of the ensemble, students will have opportunities to solo, improvise, compose, arrange, record, and broadcast music. Classes will involve large and small ensemble playing. For each piece studied and performed, students will learn and analyze the piece’s historical significance, style, form, harmonic progression, and performance practice. Students will learn how to perform together as a group, sight read music, listen critically, and work toward a long-term goal. The class will culminate in a final concert performance for their school, families, and community.

AP Music Theory and Composition

Year-Long Course

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Music Theory Composition 2 and teacher approval

The ultimate goal of an AP Music Theory course is to develop a student’s ability to recognize, understand, and describe the basic materials and processes of music that are heard or presented in a score. The achievement of this goal is best promoted by integrated approaches to the student’s development of: aural skills through listening exercises; sight-singing skills through performance exercises; written skills through written exercises; compositional skills through creative exercises; analytical skills through analytical exercises. This course prepares students for the AP Music Theory and Composition exam.

WORLD LANGUAGES

The World Languages department at Kehillah provides students with a rich variety of course offerings in four different languages: French, Hebrew, Spanish and Latin. Each student at Kehillah is required to take two consecutive years of a foreign language; three years or more of study are strongly encouraged.

All our language courses provide students with a solid academic foundation in the grammar and syntax of the target language while simultaneously focusing on the four language skills: reading, writing, listening comprehension, and speaking. These skills are practiced and reinforced through a variety of in-class activities and projects (including interviews, exposure to French, Spanish, or Israeli newspapers and television programming, presentations, skits, story-telling, listening to music, and working with interactive online resources, to name just a few). Such activities are designed to engage as many different learning styles as possible and also to encourage students toward their ultimate goal of being able to communicate comfortably with native speakers.

In addition, our World Language courses introduce students to different cultural and historical aspects of the various communities which speak each language. Courses routinely include units on material culture (art and architecture, e.g.) and discussion of current events. Our students are thus challenged and encouraged to take what they learn from their language studies and apply it to the culturally and linguistically diverse world beyond the classroom walls.

Language Teachers:
Ms. Ronit Balan
Ms. Einav Cohen
Dr. Sabine Dazin
Ms. Teresa Fradejas
Dr. Herminia Gil Guerrero
Dr. Sarah Janda
Mr. Robert Smith

WORLD LANGUAGES COURSES

All Kehillah students are required to take two years of the same language in order to graduate. Three consecutive years of the same language is strongly recommended and required by many colleges and universities.

Hebrew 1

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

Hebrew 1 is an introductory-level course, aimed at students who have either no previous knowledge of Hebrew or who need a thorough review of foundational skills. The course objective is to develop all four skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing in Modern Hebrew with an emphasis on active use of the language and its cultural context. The course provides an opportunity for creativity and intellectual stimulation in the study of a foreign language and culture.

Hebrew 2

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Hebrew 1 or department approval

Hebrew 2 is a course designed for students who are already familiar with the basic structures of the Modern Hebrew language. The course continues to develop speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills, with an emphasis on active use of the target language. Student work focuses on reading comprehension and on learning about the cultural context. The course provides an opportunity for creativity and intellectual stimulation by combining the study of a foreign language with the study of Israeli culture.

Hebrew 3

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Hebrew 2 or department approval

Hebrew 3 is an intermediate-level course designed for students who have achieved basic proficiency in the grammar and structure of Modern Hebrew language. Students study, strengthen and review syntax, vocabulary, and linguistic structures in addition to further developing skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The course is conducted in the target language with a strong emphasis on communication skills.

 

Hebrew 3 Honors

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: teacher approval

Hebrew 3 Honors is an advanced-level course designed for students who have achieved fundamental proficiency in the grammar and structure of Modern Hebrew language. Students further develop their skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The course systematically focuses on vocabulary expansion, presents advanced grammar, and enriches and expands student writing skills. The course is designed to increase the fluency and complexity of the student’s comprehension and expression, as well as generate in the student a greater appreciation of Hebrew language and literature. The course is conducted in the target language with a strong emphasis on communication.

Hebrew 4

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Hebrew 3 or teacher approval

Hebrew 4 is an advanced course designed for students who have achieved advanced proficiency in the grammar and structure of Modern Hebrew language as well as in speaking. Students review, study, and strengthen syntax, vocabulary, and linguistic structures in addition to further developing skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The course is conducted in the target language with a strong emphasis on communication skills. The course further develops students’ interest in pursuing opportunities for social interaction and cultural learning involving Hebrew and Israel.

Hebrew 4 Honors

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: teacher approval

Hebrew 4 Honors is an accelerated course designed for students who are proficient in the grammar and structure of Modern Hebrew. Syntax, vocabulary, and linguistic structures are reinforced in addition to further developing skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The course is conducted in the target language with a strong emphasis on enriching and expanding the student’s understanding through a collection of Israeli literature.

 

Hebrew 5 Honors

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Hebrew 4 or teacher approval

Hebrew 5 is aimed at students who are highly motivated and have a relatively strong Hebrew proficiency. Syntax, vocabulary, and linguistic structures are reinforced in addition to further developing skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. This course is conducted in the target language with strong emphasis on enriching and expanding the student’s understanding through a collection of Israeli short stories, poetry, articles, and films. Students learn about the social and cultural issues that stand at the heart of Israeli society. Activities in this course include analysis of texts, creative writing, oral presentations, debates, and role-plays. Throughout the year the students are engaged in a variety of creative projects.

Hebrew 6 Honors

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Hebrew 5 or teacher approval

Hebrew 6 expands upon intensive Hebrew study. Syntax, vocabulary, and linguistic structures are reinforced in addition to further developing skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. This course is conducted in the target language with strong emphasis on enriching and expanding the student’s understanding through a collection of Israeli short stories, poetry, articles, and films. Students learn about the social and cultural issues that stand at the heart of Israeli society. Activities in this course include analysis of texts, creative writing, oral presentations, debates, and role-plays. Throughout the year the students are engaged in small and creative projects.

Israeli Law and Society

Year-Long Course

Prerequisite: Hebrew 6 Honors or Israeli Society through Literature and the Media

This is an advanced‐level course for students who are fluent in all areas: reading, writing, speaking, and grammar. This course emphasizes the critical study of moral values and philosophical and social questions of law and justice. It compares Israeli law and American law, this course familiarizes students with the different systems of law and the philosophies behind them. Students will learn current constitutional law, tort law, contract law, family law, and criminal law. The primary objective of this course is to provide learners with a high level of communication and critical thinking skills in Hebrew. Reading comprehension will also be emphasized while exposing students to original texts of the Israeli laws, legal articles, and court decisions in Hebrew. In addition, students will analyze the laws and articles in depth. Activities in this course include text readings and analysis, class discussions, essay writing, oral presentations, reading novels, and writing book reports.

 

Spanish 1

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

Spanish 1 introduces students to the four skills of language study. It stresses competency in listening and understanding, speaking, reading, and writing with emphasis on listening and speaking through student-oriented activities, such as role plays, skits, and oral presentations. The course’s proficiency-oriented textbook integrates the four skills with a study of culture and encourages student-centered activities. Cultural lessons are interwoven into the curriculum to provide a basic overview of Spain and Latin America and to expose students to the cultural diversity of the Spanish-speaking world. This course is taught entirely in the target language.

Spanish 2

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Spanish 1 or teacher approval

Spanish 2 is taught entirely in Spanish, and continues to build on the proficiency skills developed in Spanish 1, namely, listening, speaking, reading, and writing. New vocabulary and structures are introduced systematically and assimilated through guided practice and role playing. Testing requires demonstration of competency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students continue their study of the culture of the Spanish-speaking world. Students participate in class activities using Spanish only. The text offers an integrated program of CD’s and videos to support student learning and to provide exposure to a variety of native speakers and cultural settings. The class emphasizes reading and comprehension of articles and literature from the Spanish-speaking world. Students learn to write by using paragraphs, short stories, and poetry as models, and they expand their vocabulary by continually creating and applying their own personal glossaries.

Spanish 3

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Spanish 2 or teacher approval

Spanish 3 is an intermediate-level Spanish course which is designed to review the basic structures of the language studied in levels 1 and 2. The major objective is to enable students to become more proficient in the language at an appropriate pace. There is a continued emphasis on developing the four basic language skills: listening and understanding, speaking, reading, and writing. This is achieved by using many different methods, such as repetition, drilling, aural and reading comprehension exercises, writing assignments (including letters, compositions, and poems), and oral activities (including dialogues, skits, one-act plays, and presentations). The text offers an integrated program of award-winning short films to support student learning and to provide exposure to a variety of native speakers and cultural settings. In addition, students read short stories, fables and legends and learn about the variety of cultures that compose the Spanish-speaking world.

 

Spanish 3 Honors

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Spanish 2 or teacher approval

Spanish 3 Honors is an intermediate-level course, designed to work at a fast pace to build on the vocabulary and concepts introduced in previous Spanish courses. It continues to assist students in developing the four language skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. There is an initial review of grammar and vocabulary learned previously. Students expand their vocabulary bank as they improve their pronunciation and fluency. Literature in the form of short stories and legends are introduced. Students are also exposed through readings and award-winning short films to cultural elements of the Spanish-speaking world. There is significant emphasis on writing in the target language with increasing accuracy. The entire course is conducted in Spanish.

Spanish 4

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Spanish 3 or teacher approval

Spanish 4 is an advanced language course that develops the skills students acquired in the intermediate levels. The knowledge of the language is used to explore the history, culture, art (including cinematography), and literature of the Spanish-speaking world. Students are expected to research particular topics (historical, literary, and cultural) in depth and to write long essays or papers. Students enhance their vocabulary bank and sharpen their oral skills through on-going debates and oral presentations. Students are exposed to the richness of the language and the cultural diversity of the Spanish-speaking world through reading a wide array of literary pieces.

AP Spanish Language and Culture

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Spanish 4 or teacher approval

AP Spanish is an advanced language course that emphasizes increasing proficient communication. It is designed for those students who have successfully completed Spanish 4. The course stresses language usage and comprehension through the reading and discussion of literature (plays, short stories or poems), advanced grammar study, an overview of the history of Spain and Latin America, viewing of films and videos produced by native Spanish speakers, reading of authentic print materials and original essays, and student journal writing. Communication is developed by presenting information, concepts and ideas, and making connections with other disciplines, comparing the language and the culture studied with their own.

 

French 1

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

This introductory course presents the four basic language skills of understanding, speaking, reading, and writing through student-oriented activities, such as role plays, skits and oral presentations. The fundamentals of basic grammar, tenses, and everyday vocabulary are stressed as indispensable tools for comprehension and expression. The course will present to students the culture, music, and geography of the French speaking world.

French 2

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of French 1 or teacher approval

This course is taught entirely in French and completes the basics of the language and includes simplified readings highlighting French customs, culture, and everyday life. New vocabulary and structures are introduced systematically and assimilated through guided practice and role playing. Testing requires demonstration of competency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students learn to write by using paragraphs, short stories, and poetry as models, and they expand their vocabulary by continually creating and applying their own personal glossaries.

French 3

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of French 2 or teacher approval

This course reviews the French language and the culture of the French-speaking world. It helps students solidify a large vocabulary and to reinforce the major linguistics structures of the language introduced in previous years so that students may proceed with linguistic confidence to higher levels of communicative functionality with fluency and accuracy. To this end, all four languages skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing are incorporated, although in a primarily reactive mode. The goal is to initiate and sustain a basic array of communicative tasks and social interactions. Primary texts, video, audio, and computer support are used to give students a wide exposure to French and Francophone cultural texts. To help map out their progress, students keep a dossier containing all of their work throughout the year.

 

French 3 Honors

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of French 2 or teacher approval

This course reviews the French language and the culture of the French-speaking world. Designed to work at a fast pace to solidify a large vocabulary and to reinforce the major linguistics structures of the language introduced in previous years so that students may proceed with linguistic confidence to higher levels of communicative functionality with fluency and accuracy. To this end, all four languages skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing are incorporated, although in a primarily reactive mode. The goal is to initiate and sustain a basic array of communicative tasks and social interactions. Primary texts, video, audio, and computer support are used to give students a wide exposure to French and Francophone cultural texts. There is significant emphasis on writing in the target language with increasing accuracy. The entire course is conducted in French. To help map out their progress, students keep a dossier containing all of their work throughout the year.

French 4

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of French 3 or teacher approval

This course is designed to build on the vocabulary and concepts introduced in previous French courses. It continues to assist students in developing the four language skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. As in the previous years, students will expand their vocabulary, improve their pronunciation and fluency in French with listening exercises, short readings, dialogues, writing assignments, in-class presentations, and other conversational activities. Students are also exposed through readings and projects to cultural elements of the French speaking world.

AP French Language and Culture

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of French 4 or teacher approval

This course will focus on interpersonal, interpretive and presentational communication. The course will build communication skills through class discussion, conversations, collaboration with classmates, role plays, essay and journal writing, and oral presentations. The students will be trained to understand and interpret written and audio texts in French. They will continue to work on vocabulary and cultural knowledge of several francophone societies and cultures. The course encourages cultural awareness, and will include various aspects of the cultures of the French-speaking world including television and film, books, customs and traditions, values, attitudes, and beliefs. Students will study a variety of topics in interesting, meaningful and engaging contexts.

Latin I

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

This beginning Latin class introduces students to the vocabulary, grammar, and syntax of the Latin language. Since Latin is no longer a spoken language, students concentrate on the skills of translation (from Latin into English) as well as the building of English vocabulary based on Latin cognates. Much of English grammar and syntax is derived from Latin, and thus the course teaches students a sophisticated understating of English grammar as well. Students also study Latin in the context of Roman history and culture.

Latin II

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Latin I or teacher approval

This intermediate Latin class begins with a thorough review of the vocabulary, grammar, and syntax of Latin I. Students then learn advanced Latin grammar and syntax including indirect statement and the subjunctive mood and its uses. Students hone their translation skills and translate selections from Latin authors in the original. Students continue to build their English vocabulary with Latin-derived words as well as explore Roman culture and history.

Latin III

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Latin II or teacher approval

Latin III focuses on the skills of translating classical Latin texts into meaningful and thoughtful English. Students are introduced to a wide selection of Latin prose and poetry in the original and become familiar with a variety of writing styles, poetic constructions, and rhetorical devices. After a semester review of Latin grammar, syntax, and vocabulary through a survey of Latin authors, students study the poetry of Catullus and the rhetoric of Cicero. Students become increasingly competent translators, understanding the nuances and challenges inherent to translation from a classical language to modern English.

 

AP Latin

Year-Long Course

Grade: 9, 10, 11, 12

Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of Latin IV or teacher approval

The central focus of this course is the in-depth reading and critical analysis of selections from both Vergil’s Aeneid (a literary epic which has had an enduring influence on literature and art) and Caesar’s Gallic Wars (Julius Caesar’s account of his military activities among the Gauls). We will study the grammatical concepts, vocabulary, meter, figures of speech, and rhetorical devices essential for reading and understanding both Vergil’s poetry and Caesar’s prose. Extensive work is done on reading comprehension, sight translation, and writing critical essays. Students become familiar with the cultural, social, and political history of the late Republican and Augustan Ages. By the completion of this course, students are prepared to take the AP exam in Latin (Caesar and Vergil).

Advanced Latin; Poetry and Prose

Year-Long Course

Grade: 10, 11, 12

Prerequisites: AP Latin

Advanced Latin focuses on continuing to hone students’ translation skills through an introduction to a broader range of Roman authors and styles. Alongside the ongoing review of key grammatical topics, students will translate a selection of prose and poetry, beginning with great works of the late Republic (including Cicero’s Epistles and Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura) and moving on to selections from the early imperial period (including Lucan’s Pharsalia and Apuleius’ Metamorphoses). The last units of the course will focus on introducing students to later Latin literature, including works from the medieval and Renaissance periods. Students will build their reading vocabulary as well as have an opportunity to practice conversational Latin.