Sierra School

sierra School

PROGRAMS Sierra High offers both college preparatory and general education programs in a small class environment. We maintain an average ratio of 15 students per teacher.
Mastery System Students do not pass on to the next level of instruction until they have completed their current task. Whether a student is taking a spelling test, an end of unit math test, or doing a grammar assignment, all work must be completed, corrected and understood. This type of learning promotes an ongoing sense of success and achievement.
Individualized Program Students are tested and evaluated in all areas to ensure proper placement. With tailor-made course of study, a challenging curriculum and one-to-one instruction, students are able to work to their full potential.
Communication of Progress Through the use of before and after testing, parent-teacher conferences, and regular progress reports, parents are kept informed of the student’s status, in both academics and behavior.
College & Career Counseling We offer counseling to help students plan each year of study. Their whole high school program is cohesive and kept in line with their college and career goals. We instruct students on how to apply to the colleges of their choice and assist them in preparing for college entrance exams.
ENGLISH Reading, writing, and spelling skills are a cornerstone to a student’s education. Sierra takes a practical approach to English by studying all areas of language arts at every grade level. We focus on grammar, punctuation, and general reading and writing skills. In addition, students are given a broad exposure to literature, both classic and contemporary in the form of short stories, novels, poetry and drama.
English I A survey of literature, combined with instruction on grammar, composition, and vocabulary. English I is generally taken in ninth grade.

2 semesters – 10 credits

English II A survey of literature, poetry, plays, and prose combined with instruction on grammar, composition, and vocabulary. English II is generally taken in tenth grade.

2 semesters – 10 credits

American Literature A survey of American literature, poetry, plays and prose designed to encourage more specific knowledge of literature, and to give instruction on the composition of essays as well as creative writing. American Literature is generally taken in eleventh grade.

2 semesters – 10 credits

English Literature A Course designed to make students familiar with important English literary works while reinforcing writing skills through critical essays and creative writing. English Literature is generally taken in twelfth grade.

2 semesters – 10 credits

SOCIAL STUDIES
World History

Modern World History guides students on a journey through historical events that lead to the world they will inherit. Students will discover that many of the modern world's most pressing problems are not new, but have their origins in the past. Studying the roots of such issues as famine, national debt, poverty and disease, human rights, war, terrorism, environmental issues, political instability, technological change, and nuclear weapons, is vitally important to understanding them and perhaps, one day, to solving them. These are just some of the major issues that this generation will face as adults. Some have plagued humankind since the dawn of civilization. Students will learn how people are working together to treat the effects of these problems and to try to eliminate the causes.

2 semesters – 10 credits

American History

The United States has served as a model for other nations and the rights and freedoms we enjoy are not accidents but the results of a defined set of political principles that are not always basic to citizens of other countries. U.S. History; Modern America, explores some of the key events in American history. Students will encounter fascinating people, hear the words of those who witnessed the events, and think about issues that have recurred throughout our past. Most importantly, it's the story of real people, living real lives, making life-changing decisions. Students will understand that our rights under the U.S. Constitution are a precious inheritance that depends on an educated citizenry for their preservation and protection.

2 semesters – 10 credits

Civics and Government

The most important thing we can do for our youth is to prepare them to become responsible citizens. Government and Economics provides the opportunity for students to explore real life issues through local citizenship activities, charts, graphs, diagrams and maps, links to history and interactive activities. This course provides students with experiences to study individual rights provided to them. Students will deal with the direct and indirect effects the government has on their everyday lives, what rights you possess as an American citizen, and what responsibilities each citizen has to their government on the local, state and national levels. Students will also examine the basic ideals of our global economy and what effects these ideals have not just on our government, but also on our personal lives. Students will learn to use economic concepts in a reasoned, careful manner in dealing with personal, community, national and global economic issues and carry that knowledge into the future.

2 semesters – 10 credits

SCIENCE
General Science General Science emphasizes scientific methods and procedures, while covering units devoted to basic physics, geology, statistics, and environmental science. General Science is generally taken in ninth grade.

2 semesters – 10 credits

Biology

Students will journey through the science and nature of life. They will begin to learn and understand the connection of all living things on earth and the study of ourselves and how we respond to the outside world, the study of our planet, a world transformed by the actions of living things. Through this course, students will gain an inquiring mind, the patience to look at nature carefully, and the willingness to figure things out. Students will also gain an understanding of the exciting career opportunities available in the field of biology.

2 semesters – 10 credits

Chemistry This course begins with an examination of science and chemistry and the application of scientific procedure. The nature and properties of atoms are explored, leading to an explanation of how these affect chemical bonds and molecular shape. Finally, these principals are used to examine the dynamics of chemical reactions. Algebra I is a pre-requisite for this course, but concurrent enrollment in Algebra II is recommended.

2 semesters – 10 credits

Physics

The Conceptual Physics program provides comprehensive content and a three-step learning cycle that builds conceptual understanding and offers computational reinforcement. Explore. The first step is to spark student interest with meaningful, real-life examples, vivid presentation, and hands-on exercises that make physics content real and exciting. Develop. The second step is to expand understanding. Dynamic, engaging text vivid demonstrations, practice worksheets, and thought-provoking questions all enhance comprehension. Apply. The third step of the conceptual learning process is to apply concepts through laboratory work, problem solving, and discussion of critical-thinking questions. This step fully integrates physics concepts and allows true learning. As quoted in the textbook, "In teaching, it's better to be a guide on the side than a sage on the stage!" Conceptual Physics is an opportunity for opening the eyes and minds of students and create a fascinating journey for all.

2 semesters – 10 credits

Environmental Science Using real-world case studies, current data, and a wide range of inquiry activities, Environmental Science is a college prep class that puts the world in context by empowering students to take an active role in their learning — and the world they live in. Students explore the ever-changing environment – and the impact that ecology, humans, the earth’s resources, and sustainable energy has on the past, present, and especially the future.

2 Semesters – 10 credits

MATHEMATHICS
Basic Mathematics This course is designed to review and reinforce the basic operations of mathematics, as well as to give a brief introduction to algebra and geometry and offers techniques for the solution of word problems.

2 semesters – 10 credits

Pre-Algebra Pre-Algebra starts with a review of basic mathematics and number theory, then moves to equations, formulas, and graphs. In addition, students cover units on simple geometry and introductory statistics and probability.

2 semesters – 10 credits

Algebra I This course covers the concepts and operations involving positive and negative numbers. It teaches the student to solve linear equations, systems of two variables, simple second degree equations and rational expressions. It also includes a brief introduction to trigonometry.

2 semesters – 10 credits

Geometry This course introduces students to the basic postulates and theorems of geometry. The use of formal mathematical proofs is taught and is used to study triangles polygons, area, circles and volumes of solids.

2 semesters – 10 credits

Algebra II This course introduces students to functional notation, advanced second degree equations, systems of equations in three variables, the equations of conic sections, the use of matrices, complex numbers, and statistics. Algebra II is generally taken in the eleventh grade for those who wish to pursue a technically related field and is strongly recommended for all students planning to attend college.

2 semesters – 10 credits

Functions, Statistics and Trigonometry This course integrates ideas of functions and trigonometry usually studied at this level, with the statistics and data analysis to function successfully in the worlds of today and tomorrow. It builds the understanding with real-world problems, establishing a firm foundation for future work in mathematics courses and in application the students will meet in their lives. Statistics and algebraic concepts are integrated as students display, describe, transform, interpret and model numerical data. Traditional topics of trigonometry are integrated with matrix representations and exploration of real world phenomenon using the trigonometric functions.

1 semester – 5 credits

Calculus This course is designed for prospective mathematics majors and students interested in engineering, computer science, physics, business, or life sciences. Following a condensed, intensive review of Algebra, trigonometry and analytic geometry topics necessary for success in calculus, the course covers topics in the syllabus for the College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) program for calculus. Some of the topics covered include types of series, tests for convergence, approximating functions with series term-by-term differentiation and integration of power series. Newton’s method, Euler’s method, trapezoidal rule, slope fields, parametric equations, polar functions, vector functions, logistic growth, arc length, piecewise integration, projectile motion, and volumes of solids defined by cross sections. Students are also introduced to the use of graphical and numerical methods.

1 semester – 5 credits

GENERAL COURSES
Spanish I

1. To develop a basic proficiency in the four skills of listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing, with special emphasis on cultural awareness.

Spanish I is an introductory course designed for high school students wishing to learn a foreign language. Â The course is intended to develop growth in language arts skills: Â reading, writing, speaking and spelling - as it relates to the Spanish language. Â Emphasis will be placed in enunciation and intonation with fluency.

2 semesters – 10 credits

Spanish II

2. To engage in conversations, with good pronunciation and basic structural patterns of the tenses.

Today's Spanish classroom is a vibrant and interactive learning community, integrating language with culture. Teachers plan for instruction that is communicative, motivating, and real for all students. Students will be provided a wide range of strategies, activities, and technology to achieve clearly defined teaching objectives to prepare students to interact effectively with the many Spanish speakers in the United States and across the globe. Today's world languages curriculum and instruction are based upon the 5Cs (Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities) with the goal of building communicative proficiency and cultural understanding. World languages learners are 21st Century Learners.

2 semesters – 10 credits

Physical Education Soccer, softball, flag football, volleyball, ultimate Frisbee and basketball are offered. Two years of Physical Education are required for graduation.

2 semesters – 10 credits

Journalism A course on how to publish a school newspaper. This class produces our bi-monthly Sierra Times. (Any grade level)

1 semester – 5 credits

Speech & Debate A survey class which familiarizes students on how to deliver a speech, make a presentation, give a demonstration as well as formal debating. The course focuses on making the students feel more comfortable and at ease when making a public address. (Any grade level)

1 semester – 5 credits

Art This is a course designed to give an opportunity to students with specific art talent; portraits, painting, drawing and watercolor. (Any grade level)

2 semesters – 10 credits

Psychology An in-depth study of the ideas and concepts of psychology including identity and personality, emotions, perception and mental health and illness. Essay writing, vocabulary, and written tests as well as class discussion and experimentation all combine to give the student a basic, yet complete understanding of psychology.

2 semesters – 10 credits

Health A course designed to cover all the basics of health and healthcare; anatomy and physiology, dental care, hygiene and nutrition.

2 semesters – 10 credits

Survey of Film This course is designed to show the difference between a movie as entertainment and a film as a work of art. A wide variety of films, ranging from classics to contemporary drama and comedy are shown. Analytical discussions and reports are required following each film.

1 semester – 5 credits

Career Education Career education is a course that enables students to:
  • Examine a variety of career opportunities and professions
  • Clarify the students values, aptitudes and professional interests
  • Establish contact with their college interest
  • Prepare for college entrance exams
  • Become familiar with a changing job market

Research paper writing, guest speakers from various professions, values clarification, aptitude testing, letter writing to colleges, submitting job applications, simulated interviewing, vocabulary studies and testing, resume writing and practice college entrance exams are all used to achieve the course objectives.

1 semester – 5 credits

SOCIAL SCIENCES This course is a multidisciplinary approach to researching human societies. It will expose students to seven important fields within the social sciences: Psychology, Linguistics, Anthropology, Sociology, Economics, Law/Political Science, and Education. In addition to covering basic content and concepts within each of these fields, the course will emphasize the various approaches and research methodologies used in each field to understand human behavior. The course is designed primarily to introduce students to a few of the disciplines they will discover in college and prepare them for those disciplines through developing the ability to conduct research and think critically about society.

2 semesters – 10 credits

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