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Curriculum

Student at desk working

Lower School Curriculum

Our Lower School curriculum emphasizes the core subjects of reading, mathematics and written expression, and also places importance on science, social studies and the integration of concepts throughout different disciplines in order to develop each student’s foundational learning and critical thinking. Kindergarteners through 4th graders also participate in daily physical education and a wide array of exciting enrichments in academics, fine arts, Spanish and STEAM.

The Lower School building features bright, engaging classrooms that include the latest in educational technology, including 70-inch touch screen monitors. A central gallery space located in the center of the Lower School building allows for large group gatherings, presentations, and special events such as International Night and Mother's Day Tea.

Pre-Kindergarten

The Pre-Kindergarten program instills a love of learning by nurturing and encouraging the development of the whole child. The program supports the development of the child spiritually through daily devotions, prayer, and chapel. It promotes intellectual development by exposing students to a language rich environment including lessons and hands-on activities. Social and emotional growth is encouraged with opportunities to learn intentionally through role-playing and classroom interaction. Physical growth is strengthened as students experience fine and gross motor activities.

Pre-Kindergarten students are excited to learn as they are introduced to The Land of the Letter People, a comprehensive curriculum that integrates knowledge across various subject areas focusing on oral language, phonological/phonemic awareness, print awareness and alphabetic knowledge. The program content and themes incorporate math, science, social studies, health and safety, art, music and movement, and sign language lessons that are interactive and age appropriate for our youngest Warriors.

Highlights in Pre-Kindergarten include the Dr. Seuss Unit, Teddy Bear Day and the Letter People.

Kindergarten

St. David’s Kindergarten provides children with a strong foundation for future success while creating a secure, nurturing environment. Kindergarten students experience a developmentally appropriate curriculum, integrating different learning styles through academic and hands-on activities as well as utilizing various technology resources. The Kindergarten Language Arts program is phonics based, integrated with reading, writing, and literature. Students enjoy meeting letter characters as they learn phonics skills presented though the LetterLand program. Kindergarteners develop math skills through the use of manipulative materials, games, and hands-on activities. Science and Social Studies concepts are taught through thematic units that are relevant, engaging, and fun. Students engage in weekly science experiments joining friends and teachers from other classes, building community and friendships through exploration. St. David's Kindergarten students can be found singing, dancing, creating, building, and learning together.

Highlights of kindergarten include Wonka Day, Super Science Fridays and the buddy program with our fourth grade students.

1st Grade

In the first grade at St. David’s School, we challenge the creative and curious nature of children by creating an environment that will foster a love of learning. We begin to prepare young children for further education and success by providing challenging opportunities for students to excel.

The first grade language arts curriculum is a phonics- based program using Letterland which is an interactive program that appeals to the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learner. This program gives students the knowledge of letter-sound correspondences and strategies they need to be successful readers. This combined with “Reading for Meaning” in our reading workshop helps students form good reading habits and learn to select books on their reading level using a literature based leveled-reader library.

The first grade mathematics program utilizes a hands-on approach using manipulatives to understand concepts for problem solving and computation. Students learn number sense, problem solving, and math facts fluency through center-based and differentiated small group instruction.

In science, first graders learn to observe, compare, classify, gather data, measure, make predictions, hypothesize and infer outcomes using a hands-on approach with The National Geographic Curriculum. These skills are demonstrated through a classroom project which is presented at our yearly science festival.

The social studies curriculum helps students become a more responsible citizen by learning about good character traits. The curriculum also gives students an opportunity to explore their community, town, state, country and the world. They learn about local, state, and national government and geography through map and globe skills. Students participate in a yearly International Night Festival where they study a different country and its culture.

Highlights of first grade include the Thanksgiving play and collaborative centers on Fridays.

2nd Grade

Second grade at St. David’s is characterized by providing opportunities that encourage student independence and the development of communication skills. Second grade students learn to accurately and efficiently decode multi-syllable words of increasing complexity. They continue to refine the accuracy and fluency of their oral reading and read with appropriate intonation and expression. Reading comprehension strategy instruction accelerates in second grade, as students learn to take greater responsibility for monitoring their understanding of texts. Students actively engage with different texts by making predictions/connections, and actively participating in book discussions. With a strong phonics foundation, students are able to connect what they are reading and articulate their comprehension through writing. Writing instruction is focused on having students organize, plan, write, and edit rough drafts in order to produce a piece of writing that clearly communicates a main idea. Various writing genres, such as informational, opinion, narrative and creative writing, are explored in this grade level.

St. David’s uses a hands-on and interactive approach to math instruction. Second grade builds upon fundamental mathematical concepts learned in first grade. Through a spiraling approach, students develop a deeper understanding of numbers and operations, time, money, data, fractions, and measurement. Second grade students build number sense and learn relationships among numbers. The use of manipulatives continues to be an integral part of the second grade curriculum, as students connect abstract concepts of place value, renaming in both addition and subtraction, and comparative values of fractions to concrete understanding. Through individual and cooperative learning assignments students develop essential skills in life science, earth science, and physical science. Students develop a broader sense of citizenship within a community and examine basic economic principles. In addition to exploring the basic principles of government, second grade students extend their understanding of historical references, and learn to differentiate between events that took place long ago and more recently.

Highlights of second grade include the Valentine’s Day Tea and the Charlotte’s Web County Fair.

3rd Grade

Third grade at St. David’s inspires learners in their final year of early childhood to reach their full potential by facilitating independence and building a solid foundation of academic skills, strategies and behaviors. Students gain confidence in their academic abilities while building interpersonal skills thru cooperative tasks. Reading focus shifts from learning to read to reading to learn. Using a variety of genres, students master strategies as they move beyond decoding to comprehending and analyzing literature. While the fundamentals of grammar, mechanics, and sentence structure are introduced in earlier grades, third graders hone these skills and apply them to reading responses and written products. Third grade students build their vocabulary base using the Wordly Wise curriculum. Math content emphasizes numeration, operation and computations, data, probability, geometry, measurement, decimals, fractions, and spatial sense. Multiplication and division are new concepts. Our program is rich in problem solving and students are encouraged to use acquired learning to find multiple solutions to everyday problems.

Third grade scientists develop a love of science by exploring topic in earth, life, and physical science. Students work cooperatively using the scientific method to investigate the natural world. A central focus of social studies curriculum is citizenship and government, with an emphasis on colonial America and their quest for independence. Students learn the states and capitals, major landmarks, and the branches of national government. Students showcase their learning on Presidents’ Night as they research a president, construct a speech, and present to parents in the Chapel.

Highlights of third grade include the natural disaster project, Presidents’ Night and a field trip to the North Carolina Zoo.

4th Grade

As students enter the fourth grade at St. David’s School, they embark on their last year in the lower school. The curriculum reflects the changing nature of the students’ learning style, and faith, knowledge, and virtue develop through leadership roles and relationships.

For literacy, the program emphasizes the continued development and proficiency in decoding, comprehension, literacy genres, and analysis, listening skills, and critical thinking. These skills are taught through the use of novel studies, oral reading tasks, and current non-fiction resources. Through the study of grammar and the writing craft, students produce various types of writing forms, such as essay, poetry, response to literature, and narrative composition. Students are presented with new vocabulary bi-weekly to study synonyms, antonyms, definitions, and parts of speech.

Fourth grade math challenges students to problem solve and critically think through innovative and collaborative grouping. Through hands-on and project-based learning, students discern and analyze mathematical data in multiple representations. Students develop number sense and fluency, algebraic expressions, fractions, decimals, and geometry.

Our social studies program focuses on North Carolina’s past, present, and future. Particular emphasis is placed on geography, economics, and cultural events, which have shaped the state’s history. The use of primary sources, map skills, technology and integration with the literacy and science curriculum appeal to the students’ understanding of current events and past events. Field trips within the state deliver a hands-on approach to learning North Carolina history.

Fourth grade science focuses on world-wide ecosystems, forces and motion, and adaptations of living things. Students investigate energy, vibrations, sound, and circuits through hands-on lab opportunities. Using the scientific method, students learn to record their observations, summarize their discoveries, and participate in engineering projects.

Highlights of fourth grade include participating in the weekly Chapel services, big and little buddies with seniors and kindergarteners, and exploring North Carolina with trips to the mountains and the coast.

Enrichment Classes

Art

The Lower School visual arts curriculum has been designed to promote continuity from kindergarten through the twelfth grade. Lower School students are introduced to age appropriate skills, media, tools and concepts that will be developed and expanded each successive year. The purpose of the visual arts program is to foster an appreciation of fine art, understanding of elements and principles of art, skill in the use of a variety of media, and the joy of the creative process.

Library

The St. David’s Library program promotes the love of reading, provides access to resources in various forms and encourages the members of our school community to become lifelong independent learners. We facilitate inquiry, discovery, evaluation, and application of knowledge and truth in order that the lives and spirits of those in our community may be enriched, to the end that God is honored and Christ’s Truth revealed. Students learn to find, evaluate, and use information and are encouraged to pursue personal interests in research and pleasure reading.

Music

The Lower School music department engages the children in learning and appreciating the fundamentals of music and rhythm. Students are exposed to a variety of musical genres and using the Orff method, are actively involved in making music with instruments including xylophones, drums and recorders. Students both participate in musical performances in Chapel and in two yearly division-wide productions.

PE

The Lower School Physical Education program at St. David’s School encourages children to engage in physical activity in the hopes of developing a desire in the child to maintain physical fitness throughout life. Students gain confidence in both individual skills and applying those skills in cooperative and team sport games. Students also experience winning and losing in a healthy, fun environment where we encourage positive responses to both experiences.

Spanish

Our Lower School Spanish program sets the foundation for the love of language acquisition through interactive stories and lively conversations. Students are engaged in a mix of listening, repeated questions and answers and storytelling to create an immersion-like environment that keeps the students interest and attention and increases comprehension.

STEAM

Through the exploration and integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math, students draw connections between the subjects and use the engineering, design and scientific process to question, investigate, analyze, and report on the world around them. Utilizing hands-on projects, including coding, robotics and design challenges, STEAM concepts are taught across all of the lower school grades, enriching and strengthening the core curriculum.

Middle School Curriculum

Middle School Curriculum - General Information

Dear students and parents,

All Middle School students at St. David’s will experience a sequence of challenging courses which help to instill in them a curiosity and desire to learn. Close, individual attention from every teacher cultivates each student’s whole person in diligence, selflessness, and confidence, to challenge all students to excel in faith, virtue, and knowledge.

Please read and review this 2018-2019 Middle School Curriculum Guide. There are several points to consider while planning the course of study for next year:

Course Selection

Study Hall

Students in the Middle School who wish to request a study hall may indicate this as one of their course registration elective options. These students will be required to meet with Mr. Hillegass prior to admittance to the Study Hall, to explain the need for extra time for studying during the school day (eg. athletics or other extra-curricular commitment), as well as to describe how they plan to use their time in Study Hall to their best advantage.


Math

Math courses have been delineated as standard and advanced courses. Advanced courses, such as Algebra I and Geometry, are a year or more ahead of the standard course of study. Standardized testing and teacher recommendation will determine math placement.


Foreign Language

Students in 5th & 6th grade will choose between a two-year sequence of French Exploration or Spanish Exploration, designed both to introduce students to an important modern language as well as to build upon the foreign language learning skills acquired in the Lower School Spanish enrichment courses. These no-homework course meets for two sessions per week in which students explore language and culture through listening, speaking, reading, and writing so as to communicate in the target language on some very familiar topics using basic vocabulary and memorized phrases.

Students in fifth and sixth grade also take Via Latina (“the Latin way”), an introduction to the fundamentals of vocabulary, grammar, and syntax using the Latin language, and a beginner’s exploration of classical culture and literature. This no-homework class also spans fifth and sixth grades and meets twice a week.

Seventh grade students may choose to continue their language study by selecting either French 1A, Spanish 1A, or Latin I. Please consult the course descriptions under the Department of Classical Languages and Department of Modern Languages for more information about the nature of these courses. Please note: the language chosen in seventh grade is the first year of a two-year sequence, continuing through eighth grade. Ninth grade affords students the choice to continue with their chosen language, or to begin again with a new language.


Physical Education/Electives

Fifth and sixth graders are required to take PE for a full year, leaving only one elective class period for the year. Physical education in seventh and eighth grade may be pursued in one of the following ways.

  • A commitment to a year-round physical activity such as swimming, equestrian sports or Tae Kwon Do, with the prior written approval of the P.E. Department Chair and Middle School Principal.
  • Serving as manager for one or more extra-curricular school sports teams.
  • Participation in the Team/Lifetime Sports class
  • Participation in one season per year of extra-curricular sports, or school-sponsored physical activity:

Fall Sports

  • *Cross Country
  • Cheerleading
  • *Football
  • Boys Soccer
  • Girls Tennis
  • Girls Volleyball

*no cut sports

Winter Sports

  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • *Swimming
  • *Track

Spring Sports

  • Baseball
  • Golf
  • Softball
  • Boys Tennis
  • *Track and Field
  • Girls Soccer
  • Boys Lacrosse
  • Girls Lacrosse

Homework Guidelines

  • Teachers are encouraged to assign productive and meaningful homework that reinforces and enhances learning.
  • Work done independently is a crucial part of the learning process; it is important for students’ homework to be their own. Review of class notes, reading, and written assignments are all important in the mastering of concepts.
  • Homework assignments will be posted on the class pages.
  • Parents may and should be interested in, and encourage their child’s efforts; however, homework ultimately represents a student’s effort. (Sharing homework, unless specifically permitted in certain cases of group work by teachers, breaks the Honor Code.)
  • No assignments are given over Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, Winter break, Easter break, or on other occasions specified by the Middle School Principal.

Throughout the registration process, do not hesitate to contact a Grade Chair, Department Chair, the registrar or Academic Dean if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Matt Hillegass
Head of the Middle School

Classical Languages

The study of Greek and Latin opens our mind to the great achievements of Ancient Greece and Rome, enables us to understand language on a fundamental level, trains the soul in habits of careful thought, and enchants us, in this age of hurry, to be still.

Via Latina

Via Latina (“the Latin way”) is a lively introduction to the fundamentals of vocabulary, grammar, and syntax through the Latin language and its literature. It is designed to familiarize students with the common features and terminology of language study. These include the parts of speech, parsing of words, diagramming of sentences, recognition of word derivations, and identification of rhetorical devices. It also cultivates an acquaintance with and appreciation of classical culture and literature. Via Latina is a 2-year, no-homework class, that spans fifth and sixth grades and meets twice a week. This course will prepare students not only to continue with Latin I in seventh grade, should they so choose, but also to flourish in other language courses.

(Full Year Course) (Graded)

 

Latin I

Latin I provides an academically rigorous introduction to the Latin language and Roman culture. Students build familiarity and fluency with Latin grammar and vocabulary mainly through frequent readings of increasing length. Reading, hearing, and understanding the language orally is featured. Students' appreciation of the Latin language as it influences modern English, as well as Roman culture as it relates to the world of the Bible, is developed and deepened. Students may also read in English and appreciate an age-appropriate telling of a full-length classical work such as the Iliad, the Odyssey, or the Aeneid.

(Full Year Course)(Seventh Grade)

Latin II

In this course, students will both solidify and add to the foundation of the previous year with the ever-present goal of understanding authentic Latin. Instruction focuses on reading fluency, acquisition of vocabulary as it relates to grammar, problem-solving through translation, and building mental capacity for memorization. Students will also approach the literary and religious culture of the ancient world by reading and analyzing a full-length classical work in English, such as the Iliad, the Odyssey, or the Aeneid. Middle and Upper School Latin II classes may be combined depending on class enrollment, availability of faculty, and scheduling needs.

Prerequisite: Latin I. (Full Year Course)(Eighth Grade)

Computer Science and Technology

Media Production

In the Media Production course, students will learn various skills associated with the creation of multiple forms of media. Instruction will include lessons with technologies such as video, sound equipment, lighting, computer editing, graphics, digital imaging, and more. Students will complete hands-on activities to obtain skills in production techniques and will even have the chance to sign up to help manage on-campus events like plays and/or live events.   

Recommended prerequisite skills: 

  • High aptitude for applying technology skills
  • Journalism experience
  • Highly organized
  • Long-term planner and thinker
  • Propensity for visual design
  • Advanced communication skills
  • Independent worker

(2 Trimesters elective) (Graded)

Digital Storytelling and Game Design

This trimester course uses the Alice 3 software package from Carnegie Mellon University’s Alice Project. Students will use 3D models and animations to create simple stories and games. This project-based course will demonstrate how computers and computer programming can be used for creativity, communication, and problem solving.

(Trimester elective) (Graded)

English/Language Arts

We explore the great texts of world literature. Through the cultivation of the habits of curiosity, close reading, rich discussion, and effective writing, our teachers invite students to join the pursuit of goodness, truth, and beauty.

English 5

English 5 is a course designed to prepare students to become analytical and critical thinkers as they study various genres of literature. An emphasis on literary elements, as well as oral and written expression, is incorporated into this course. An expansive class library is available to enrich and encourage students as they cultivate their tastes and an appreciation for the gift of reading. By the end of the year, students should have a solid foundation as readers, writers, and thinkers. 
 
(Full Year Course)

English 6

The English 6 course facilitates the development of students’ skills in reading and fluency of expression through the study of excellent selections of literature. Students read and carefully examine a variety of novels, short stories, and poems. Vocabulary study is given high priority and is approached in the context of literature. Students are guided to use their own words, both oral and written, to express clearly what they have read and understood. Oral skills are taught and integrated throughout the course, from reading passages aloud to articulating literary concepts in class discussion. By the end of year, English 6 students will read well at an advanced pace, and be able to express themselves through discussion and writing.

(Full Year Course)

English 7

English 7 is a literature course focusing on the development of reading comprehension, vocabulary, and analysis of the text. Particular attention is given to developing the habit of critical thinking by delving deeper into the elements of fiction including character, setting, plot, and theme, and by giving students the opportunity to develop their own thoughts about the literature through intentional class discussions and their own writing. By the end of the year, through their introduction to great literature, students will gain a greater awareness of the community and world around them, developing empathy for those around them.

(Full Year Course)

Eastern North Carolina: Fact, Folklore and Food

Did you know the accents of many “Down Easterners” reflect parts of the Elizabethan English dialect spoken in colonial Carolina? Did you know that “true” eastern North Carolina clam chowder is made with water not milk? Are you interested in learning about an area of our state that is rich in history, folklore, and food? Students in seventh and eighth grades will enjoy reading stories as well as watching footage of people and places that make this region so unique. As a culminating activity, a trip will be planned to eastern North Carolina with the intention of producing a documentary of this experience.

(1 Trimester Elective) (Pass/Fail)

Journalism/Yearbook

This course introduces students to the skills of interviewing and writing for the school’s yearbook, Logos. Students will learn the fundamentals of copywriting and creating spreads. Also, members of the class will produce stories and images to chronicle the school year.

(Trimester or Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Write Right

“Write Right” provides students with a solid understanding of parts of speech, components of a sentence, phrases, and clauses. Students practice their developing grammar and writing skills, particularly correct sentence and paragraph formation, through various types of writing assignments.

(1 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

Fine Arts

The Fine Arts Department is committed to the belief that every child, as an image-bearer of the creator, is born with the capacity to be creative, whether through painting a picture, acting a scene, singing a melody, or playing an instrument. As the arts reflect the culture of a society, St. David’s excellence in the arts demonstrates the power of St. David’s students to enrich their community.

5th Grade Fine Arts Exploration

Fine Arts throughout the academic year. Each discipline will be taught for one term by various Fine Arts faculty. At the end of the term, there will be a showcase of what the students have learned in that discipline. Required for fifth grade students. 

(Full Year Course in three one-term rotations) (Pass/Fail)

 

Band 6

Band 6 is for sixth graders who are beginning or second year players. Beginning concepts such as posture, breathing, and tone will be the initial focus, and intonation and balance will become major components. The players transition from primarily focusing on their own playing ability to playing in the context of a group. 5-8 scales will be learned and memorized, including the chromatic scale. Music will be selected from the method book and on par with the NC graded list, level 1-2. The purpose of this class is to prepare students for entrance into Concert Band.

(Full Year Elective) (Graded)

6th Grade Choir and Theater Experience - “VOICE AND THE STAGE”

Come join the fun as we learn the basics of singing and acting technique. Your confidence will grow as you work toward the goals of staging a production and singing in choral ensemble. Past groups have sung in choral concerts and the Carowinds Festival of Music (Charlotte, NC) and have performed Annie, Beauty and The Beast, Scrooge, School House Rock, Aristocats, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Aladdin and A Christmas Carol.

(1 Trimester or Full Year Elective) (Graded)

7th-8th Grade Vocal Ensemble

The Vocal Ensemble is a non-auditioned group that meets for the entire year. This group will sing a variety of literature in 3-4 part harmony and will have a solid working knowledge of the musical score. Sight reading and ear training will be a daily routine along with learning basic vocal pedagogy. Singers in the Vocal Ensemble go on an overnight spring competition trip. Selected singers from the Vocal Ensemble are also eligible for and participate in the N.C. Middle School Honors Chorus.

(Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Concert Band

The Concert Band is open to students in the seventh and eighth grades who have successfully completed Band 6. Students work to achieve a more mature tone, precise intonation, range expansion, phrasing, musical interpretation, and expression. More advanced skills in harmony and musical theory are also covered. Regular individual playing tests and quizzes are given for evaluation and graded practice logs are turned in each week.

The Concert Band performs for the first time at the St. David’s Christmas Concert, Celebration of the Arts, the Spring Concert, as well as other campus events. In addition, the Concert Band embarks on an overnight trip to an adjudicated festival each spring.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Band 6 or director’s approval. (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Beginning Guitar

The Beginning Guitar course is designed to introduce the novice player to the acoustical classical guitar. The student will learn basic music notation and apply that knowledge to the instrument. Concepts that will be covered include: how to tune the instrument, fingering charts, basic chords, tablature and traditional score writing, fingering styles, accompaniment versus melody and chordal progressions. Each student will need to provide his/her own acoustic six-string guitar (nylon string is preferable). This class will be small in number. Preference will be given to students who give the class a high priority, and, if necessary, to students concurrently signed up for one of the performing class ensembles: Concert Band, Wind Ensemble or Middle School Vocal Ensemble.

Pre-requisite: Seventh-eighth grade standing. (1 Trimester Elective) (Pass/Fail)

Theatre Arts - Comedy

This course is an introduction to comedic acting for the stage. It is designed to identify and develop the ability to play comedic actions honestly and believably, using realistic/naturalistic material as well as self-scripted autobiographical writing. Course work includes exercises, improvisations exploring what makes us laugh, comedic timing, clowning, and physical as well as intellectual humor. Assessments will consist of prepared monologues, scene work and class participation.  

(1 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

 

Theatre Arts - Drama

This course is an introduction to acting technique for the stage. It is designed to develop the ability to play dramatic actions honestly and believably, using realistic/naturalistic material as well as self-scripted autobiographical writing. Course work includes exercises and improvisations exploring awareness, relaxation, observation, the senses, voice, and physical and emotional life. Assessments will consist of prepared monologues, scene work and class participation.

(1 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

Art 6

Using the elements of art and principles of design as a framework, students will use a variety of media and techniques to achieve proficiency in selected technical skills and techniques in art. Understanding that students have basic knowledge in the use of traditional art media, the objective of this course will be to refine those skills. Students will benefit from the creative process of making art as well as the satisfaction of the finished product. Areas that students will explore are basic techniques within drawing, painting, and sculpture. Students will also explore art in the context of science, technology, engineering and math during the second term of this course. 

(2 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

Art 7

Students will gain experience through advanced units of study in drawing, painting, sculpture, and design. Each unit will involve completing one major art project. Small art exercises will also be completed in order to learn specific techniques. Each project will incorporate aspects of the elements of art (line, shape, form, color, value, texture, and space) and the principles of design (balance, rhythm, movement, proportion, contrast, repetition, emphasis, harmony, and unity). Art 7 will also include the study of art history as well as individual artists.

(2 Trimesters Elective) (Graded)

Art 8

Art 8 seeks to advance students in creating a variety of two and three-dimensional works. As in Art 7, the semester is broken into units that will build on conceptual skills while working in drawing, painting, sculpture, and design. Students will grow in their ability to use both style and medium in order to communicate their thoughts and ideas more effectively.

(2 Trimesters Elective) (Graded)

Art & STEM

Are you interested in taking your art skills to the next level?  Are you curious about science, technology, engineering and math, and want to explore visual art in the context of these subject areas?  If so, Art & STEM is the class for you!  Art can function as a bridge across the various subjects we study in school, awakening inquiry in new ways and giving us an outlet for expressing worship as we encounter the wonder of creation.

Pre-requisite: 7th or 8th grade standing. (1 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

History

We teach the art of historical study through primary sources, to form students who appreciate the depth and context of human history in order to realize their own role in the world.

Global History 5

Global History 5 is the first in a two-year study of global history and world cultures in which students explore the broad chronology and geographical setting of major events in human history, hear rich stories of great lives and works, explore overarching historical themes, systems and patterns, and study examples of how different big events influence each other across time.  Students build historical thinking skills, study and interpret primary and secondary sources, learn to develop and articulate sound arguments, explore and brainstorm solutions to modern global challenges, and hone skills of map reading and cartography.  Global History-5 focuses on the history of western civilization, the Americas, Europe and Oceania.  

Global History 6

Global History 6 is the second in a two-year study of global history and world cultures in which students explore the broad chronology and geographical setting of major events in human history, hear rich stories of great lives and works, explore overarching historical themes, systems and patterns, and study examples of how different big events influence each other across time.  Students build historical thinking skills, study and interpret primary and secondary sources, learn to develop and articulate sound arguments, explore and brainstorm solutions to modern global challenges, and hone skills of map reading and cartography.  Global History-6 focuses on the history, geography, cultures and religions of Asia and Africa.

Bible Survey 7

Bible Survey 7 at St. David's School is designed to give students an introduction to the Bible by providing them an overview of a variety of topics that include a history of the canon, introduction to biblical languages, and Ancient Near East geography and history. The primary aim of this course, however, is to introduce students to the content of the Bible. Students will read a variety of texts from the Old and New Testaments, as well as explore major themes, literary techniques and genres, characters, and theology that span the biblical canon.

(Full Year Course)

Biblical Leadership – Women (Grade 8)

In Biblical Leadership students will have the opportunity to study the Bible to explore the characteristics and guidelines of leadership that apply to them, particularly as young women of God. Topics of study include but are not limited to: God’s calling and plan for our lives, the character traits of a leader, the practical need for leadership, and servant leadership. There will be an opportunity for the girls to be mentored by an Upper School student as well as preparation to mentor a younger student as the semester progresses. Using Biblical and extra-biblical texts, students will gain a better understanding of the scriptural model of leadership and the empowerment to live out a biblical model of leadership.

Prerequisite: 8th Grade Standing (1 Trimester Elective) (Pass/Fail)

Tactics and Trenches: Exploring World War I

Throughout this elective, students will be guided through the turbulent events of World War I, also known as “The Great War.” Students will examine changes in national, political, and social ideologies that led to global conflict. Themes will include emerging technologies, battlefield tactics, and America’s involvement in the war. During the course, students will be able to examine real artifacts and build detailed vehicle models. Students will also read and discuss Michael Morpurgo’s book "War Horse."

(1 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

Their Finest Hour: A Journey Through World War II

This elective course will give students a detailed look at the greatest conflict of the 20th century, World War II. Students will study the major causes and the implications of the war. They will explore themes such as battlefield strategy, life on the home front, women in war, and postwar issues. Students will examine primary sources to view first-hand perspectives from each theater. They will also have opportunities to examine real artifacts and assemble vehicle models. In addition, we will read and discuss Laura Hillebrand‘s book "Unbroken: An Olympian’s Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive" (YA adaptation). The course will conclude with a field trip to the Airborne & Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, NC.

(1 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

Humanities

Humanities 8: The American Experience

Eighth grade humanities unites traditional American literature and American history into a rich exploration of the American experience. The course is rooted in primary texts of literature, which serve as the entry point for a deep and careful investigation of the history and culture that inform our answers to fundamental questions: What does it mean to be an American? What constitutes good citizenship? What is the American dream? How has the tension between liberty and equality shaped the story of America? The course meets for two class periods each rotation and will be taught by 8th grade English and History teachers in close collaboration.

(Full Year Course)

Math

The Mathematics Department produces students who think logically and critically, use the tools to reason mathematically in order to solve problems. Students emerge with an appreciation for mathematics and its utility in understanding, observing, and testing God’s created order.

Mathematics 5

In Mathematics 5, students will focus on vocabulary, problem solving, reasoning, and review. Instruction will include a step-by-step approach to the development of math concepts and skills, as well as the use of cooperative learning, board work, teacher demonstrations, note-taking, and class recitation. Students will use the four fundamental operations of math (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) with whole numbers, decimals, and fractions. Geometry, measurement, data, probability, number theory, and ratios will be reinforced and developed throughout the year. The concepts of variables, inverse operations, integers, percentages, and the coordinate plane will be introduced.

(Full Year Course)

Mathematics 5/6

In Mathematics 5/6, students will be challenged to apply math knowledge in new ways as they use the four fundamental operations of math (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) with whole numbers, decimals, fractions, and integers. Instruction will include review, vocabulary usage, teacher demonstrations, and a step-by-step approach to the development of math concepts and skills. Geometry, ratios, number theory, probability, data, and measurement will be reinforced and developed. Algebraic concepts and terminology will be introduced with the application of the order of operations, exponents, variables, algebraic expressions, inverse operations, ordered pairs and percentages.

(Full Year Course)

Mathematics 6

Math 6 challenges students to use their math knowledge in new ways as they apply the four fundamental operations of mathematics using whole numbers, rational numbers, and integers. Basic skills of geometry, ratios, graphs, charts, number theory, and problem solving are further developed. Algebraic concepts and terminology are related to the use of the order of operations, exponents, variables, inverse operations, ordered pairs, proportions, ratios, and percentages, as well as expressions and equations.

(Full Year Course)

Mathematics 7

Mathematics 7 challenges students to apply previously learned knowledge in new ways as they use the four fundamental operations of math with integers and rational numbers. Basic skills of geometry, ratios, graphs, charts, number theory, and problem solving are further developed. Algebraic concepts and terminology are introduced with the application of the order of operations, exponents, variables, inverse operations, ordered pairs, proportions, ratios, and percentages, as well as expressions and equations.

(Full Year Course)

Pre-Algebra (6, 7, 8)

Pre-Algebra provides the opportunity to learn and enjoy math by applying previously learned knowledge in new ways. The realm of numbers, variables, square roots, inequalities, multiples, algebraic expressions, and other fantastic concepts are waiting to be discovered. Students will explore exponents, scientific notation, formulas, factor trees, geometric designs, coordinate planes, monomials, and much, much more. The process of solving equations enables students to gain a better understanding of the relationships of the four basic operations using integers and rational numbers. Word problems, percentages, proportions, ratios, number theory, and the properties of mathematics are also key elements of this course.

(Full Year Course)

Algebra I (7, 8)

Algebra is a means of mathematical representation and algebraic methods provide numerous problem-solving tools. The course is designed to move from the hands-on focus of Pre-Algebra into a greater emphasis on abstraction and conceptual understanding. This year we will explore the language of algebra in verbal, graphical and symbolic forms while modeling patterns and relationships with variables and functions. Linear relationships, systems of equations and inequalities, and polynomial operations including factoring are highlights of the course. Note: A Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus or TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required.

Prerequisite: Pre-Algebra (Full Year Course)

Geometry

Geometry moves from inductive to deductive reasoning to produce logical proofs. A basic understanding of undefined terms, properties, postulates, and theorems is developed and applied to two- and three-dimensional figures. Algebraic skills involving lines, graphs, equations, formulas, radicals, and trigonometry are reinforced. Hands-on explorations and activities enhance the visual and spatial nature of the course while connecting the intrinsic concepts of Euclidean Geometry. Technology is employed when applicable. 

Note: A TI-83 Plus or a TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required.

Prerequisite: Algebra I (Full Year Course) (Graded)

Personal Finance

Understanding financial topics and navigating the proper role of money in our personal lives is crucial for managing a household and family or succeeding in business. The concept of wise and honest stewardship of resources is developed while students learn the skills of creating and maintaining personal and household budgets, understanding different types of bank accounts and investments, and cultivating the spirit of a generous giver.

(1 Trimester elective) (Graded)

Math in Sports

Attention sports fans! Have you ever wondered why so many statistics are used in sports? What do all of those numbers in sporting events really mean? “Math in Sports” will allow students to take an in-depth look at the statistics used in different sports and identify their relevance. Students will use these statistics to draw conclusions and debate possible outcomes of real-world sporting events with their classmates. If you enjoy math and you enjoy sports, then “Math in Sports” is the class for you!  

(1 Trimester Elective) (Pass/Fail) 

Math Workshop

Math Workshop is designed to provide additional support to students in their effort to meet the standards of their current mathematics course. This elective will be taken concurrently with a student’s regular math class, giving extra time and utilizing a variety of strategies to help students build a stronger foundation for success in their current and future mathematics courses.  Students in this elective may work one to one and/or in small groups with qualified math tutors from the St. David’s School faculty and student body.

(1 Trimester Elective) (Pass/Fail)

Modern Languages

The study of modern languages at St. David’s is a sacred journey, on which students, themselves as strangers in a strange land, come to know a another culture through the window of its language.

Spanish Exploration (fifth Grade)

Spanish Exploration (Fifth Grade) is the first course in a two-year sequence, designed to build upon the Lower School Spanish enrichment courses.  This no-homework course meets for two sessions per week.  Fifth grade students will explore Spanish language and culture through listening, speaking, reading, and writing so as to communicate in the target language on some very familiar topics using basic vocabulary and memorized phrases. This course will prepare students not only to continue with Spanish 1A in seventh grade, should they so choose, but also to flourish in other language courses as well.

(Full Year Course)

Spanish Exploration (Sixth Grade)

Spanish Exploration (Sixth Grade) is a no-homework course, the second in a two-year sequence, designed to continue building upon Spanish Exploration (Fifth Grade) and meets for two sessions per week. Sixth grade students will continue to explore Spanish language and culture through listening, speaking, reading, and writing so as to communicate in the target language on very familiar topics using a variety of words and memorized phrases. This course will continue to prepare students to flourish not only in Spanish 1A in seventh grade, should they so choose, but also in other language courses as well.

(Full Year Course)

Spanish 1A (Seventh Grade)

Spanish IA is the first course in a two-year sequence. Students who choose Spanish IA will journey for two years in the seventh and eighth grades, first toward a Novice High (ACTFL) learning level. Seventh grade students will pursue Spanish language acquisition and cultural literacy through listening, speaking, reading, and writing so as to communicate in the target language on familiar topics related to everyday life using phrases and simple sentences.

(Full Year Course)

Spanish 1B (Eighth Grade)

Spanish IB is the second course in a two-year sequence, designed to continue building upon Spanish IA. Students in Spanish IB will arrive at an Intermediate Low (ACTFL) learning level. Eighth grade students will continue to pursue Spanish language acquisition and cultural literacy through listening, speaking, reading, and writing so as to communicate in the target language on everyday situations using a series of simple sentences.

(Full Year Course)

French Exploration (Fifth Grade)

French Exploration (Fifth Grade) is the first course in a two-year sequence, designed both to introduce students to an important modern language as well as to build upon the foreign language learning skills acquired in the Lower School Spanish enrichment courses. This no-homework course meets for two sessions per week.  Fifth grade students will explore French language and culture through listening, speaking, reading, and writing so as to communicate in the target language on some very familiar topics using basic vocabulary and memorized phrases. This course will prepare students not only to continue with French 1A in seventh grade, should they so choose, but also to flourish in other language courses as well.

(Full Year Course)

French Exploration (Sixth Grade)

French Exploration (Sixth Grade) is a no-homework course, the second in a two-year sequence, designed to continue building upon French Exploration (Fifth Grade) and meets for two sessions per week. Sixth grade students will continue to explore French language and culture through listening, speaking, reading, and writing so as to communicate in the target language on very familiar topics using a variety of words and memorized phrases. This course will continue to prepare students to flourish not only in French 1A in seventh grade, should they so choose, but also in other language courses as well.

(Full Year Course)

French 1A (Seventh Grade)

French IA the first course in a two-year sequence.  Students who choose French IA will journey for two years in the seventh and eighth grades, first toward a Novice High (ACTFL) learning level.  Seventh grade students will pursue French language acquisition and cultural literacy through listening, speaking, reading, and writing so as to communicate in the target language on familiar topics related to everyday life using phrases and simple sentences.
 

(Full Year Course)

French 1B (Eighth Grade)

French IB is the second course in a two-year sequence, designed to continue building upon French IA.  Students in French IB will arrive at an Intermediate Low (ACTFL) learning level.  Eighth grade students will continue to pursue French language acquisition and cultural literacy through listening, speaking, reading, and writing so as to communicate in the target language on everyday situations using a series of simple sentences.

(Full Year Course)

 

Physical Education

Physical Education is an integral part of the total education program. It is that phase of education which provides an opportunity, through activity, for physical, mental and social development, and improvement of the individual to meet the challenges of life. It is our mission at St. David's School to empower all students to sustain regular, lifelong physical activity as a foundation for high school experience, and also a healthy, productive and fulfilling life. The St. David's PE staff provides the students with the opportunity to develop the body, mind and spirit. It is our vision to create an atmosphere of wellness in our classroom that will extend into the community. The foundation of our program lies in physical fitness, social development and the acquisition of sports knowledge. These key elements of our Physical Education department, when delivered with care and sensitivity, will enable the St. David's student to flourish.

Physical Education 5

The transition from Lower to Middle School Physical Education will include new experiences such as dressing out for class, lockers, a larger facility, and interacting with a larger number of peers. A supportive environment will enable students to make this transition successfully, setting the stage for a positive Middle School experience. The P.E. program emphasizes learning, success, and enjoyment for all students, conceptual knowledge, appropriate challenges and cooperation. The focus shifts from the practice of fundamental movement, to applying these skills in the field or court of specific sport activities.

(Full Year Course)

Physical Education 6

The P.E. program emphasizes learning, success and enjoyment for all students, conceptual knowledge, appropriate challenges and cooperation. The focus shifts from the practice of fundamental movement, to applying these skills in the field or court of specific sport activities.

Physical Education 7 and 8

Physical Education in seventh and eighth grade will be pursued in one of the following ways.

  • Participation in Team/Lifetime Sports class
  • A commitment to a year-round physical activity such as swimming, equestrian sports or Tae Kwon Do, with the prior written approval of the PE Department Chair and the Middle School Principal.
  • Serving as manager for one or more extra-curricular school sports teams.
  • Participation in one season per year of extra-curricular sports, or sports-sponsored physical activity:

Fall Sports

  • *Cross Country
  • Cheerleading
  • *Football
  • Boys Soccer
  • Girls Tennis
  • Girls Volleyball

*no cut sports

Winter Sports

  • Basketball
  • Cheerleading
  • *Swimming
  • *Track

Spring Sports

  • Baseball
  • Golf
  • Softball
  • Boys Tennis
  • *Track and Field
  • Girls Soccer
  • Boys Lacrosse
  • Girls Lacrosse

Team/Lifetime Sports

In Team/Lifetime Sports, seventh and eighth grade students may choose to engage actively in a wide variety of physical activities that will stimulate both the body and the mind. In the interest of enhancing physical fitness and athletic skill, this course will develop the students' interest in sports, lifetime fitness, and the competitive spirit that is inherent in us all. This course will provide the opportunity for students to experience team and lifetime sports and activities that will promote the concept of physical fitness for a lifetime. Basic motor skills and knowledge of athletic concepts are important tools in the development and continuation of an attitude of health and lifetime fitness. Topics include, but are not limited to: volleyball, basketball, soccer, team handball, football, badminton, ultimate Frisbee, and Futsal.

(1 Trimester Elective) (Pass/Fail)

Science

The Science Department at St. David’s School inspires curiosity at the wonders of creation. We strive to establish an environment that encourages students to take risks by asking questions, working with others, and building an understanding of the world through scientific experimentation.

General Science - 5th Grade

Students engage in an exciting activities-based curriculum that introduces topics in the natural and physical sciences. Relationships between the disciplines being studied and real-life applications are stressed as students develop their laboratory skills. Students keep a science notebook and technology is integrated where appropriate.

(Full Year Course)

Life Science - 6th Grade

Life Science is a course designed to equip students to explore basic biological concepts through classroom discussions and inquiry-based study of taxonomy, plants, cells, genetics, and the human body. An emphasis is placed on developing the student’s science vocabulary and improving scientific method skills including: observation, predicting, inferring and formulating a hypothesis.

(Full Year Course)

Earth Science - 7th Grade

Earth Science is a study of the Earth, how it works and the interaction between its living and nonliving things. The course will touch on many different areas of science including geography, chemistry, geology, meteorology and oceanography. Students will explore the outdoors and investigate human interactions with the environment. This course also serves to help students become more developed scientific researchers and writers.

(Full Year Course)

Physical Science - 8th Grade

Physical science introduces students to the disciplines of chemistry and physics. The course is intended to foster an interest and appreciation for science, as well as prepare students for more rigorous science courses in the Upper School. Lab work and other hands-on activities constitute a large component of the class, and students will work routinely both alone and in groups to establish various scientific principles in chemistry and physics.

(Full Year Course)

Elements of Engineering

Elements of Engineering is a project-based course that will allow students the opportunity to experience a hands-on approach to understanding various challenges in engineering. We will explore a variety of topics ranging from construction design and aerodynamics to energy efficiency and electrodynamics.

(1 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

Biomedical Science

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work in medicine? In this course, we will study human body systems from the context of medical diagnosis, paying special attention to the relationship between structures of the body (anatomy) and functions of the body (physiology), the interdependence among the organ systems, how “healthy” organ systems work, as well as what happens when something goes wrong with an organ system (pathology). This will be a hands-on lab science course in which we will consider case studies and conduct investigations, including a variety of dissections.(Graded) 

(1 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

 

Innovations in Fashion and Textile Design

Are you interested in fashion? Do the latest, cultural trends inspire you? Would you enjoy opportunities to explore your creative side and craft products of your own design? In our world today, some of the most important innovations have come about through the result of creative design thinking with a focus on both fashion and textiles. In this elective, students will have the opportunity to gain design experience and learn about the technical nature of textiles and the textile industry. During the course, students will work both individually and in teams to accomplish various projects that blend elements of design, fashion, textiles, and innovation. Projects will encourage empathetic awareness, and also incorporate the social and cultural impacts these elements bring to the world around us.

(1 Trimester Elective) (Pass/Fail)

Entrepreneur’s Workshop

Continuing along the path paved by the Innovation Warriors program in the middle school, 8th grade students in this course will develop an awareness for perceived needs in the community and respond to those needs through a design-thinking process in which they ideate, model and fabricate tangible product-solutions. Through group collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and empathy, students will create mini business plans in which they seek to optimize the value proposition associated with their product-solutions. Special emphasis will be given to market research and feasibility studies throughout this process, and partnerships with local business leaders will be leveraged in support of the young entrepreneurs in this class.

Prerequisites: 8th grade only (1 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

Library

The goals of the St. David's Library Department are to provide access to information and resources in various forms, promote the love of reading, foster intellectual curiosity and critical thinking, and encourage students to become effective researchers and discerning, life-long learners. In the Middle School, students learn and apply research skills to support and extend classroom study. They learn to locate, evaluate, and use information effectively and to collaborate, problem-solve, create, and share knowledge. Students are encouraged to pursue personal interests in research and in their leisure reading.

Fifth grade students and those new to the school receive an orientation to the library and its services at the beginning of the school year. Librarians work in collaboration with classroom teachers, integrating information and digital literacy skills into the curriculum via classroom and/or individual research projects. The topics of study include research methodology and strategies, website evaluation, and the ethical use of information. Instruction in the use of the school's academic databases is an important part of our curriculum. Instruction and exploration take place in formal class settings as well as informally throughout the school year. As they progress from grade to grade, students practice, refine, and extend research skills through various course assignments.

Library-sponsored enrichment activities and programs that promote the love of reading, exploring, and learning are an important part of the library's curriculum.

Academic Support Program

Participation in the Academic Support Program requires a diagnosis of ADHD/ASD, or a learning difference identified by a licensed psychologist. A complete psychoeducational evaluation, current within three years, must be on file in the ASP office. There is an additional fee associated with this program. All students will attend ASP sessions twice a week. An application may be downloaded from the school's website on the Academic Support page. For more information about the program, please contact the Director of Academic Support, Mrs. LeeAnne Whitworth at lwhitworth@sdsw.org.

Students in the fifth and sixth grades receive ASP services during either a study hall or PE. 

Students in seventh and eighth grades, who participate in ASP, must indicate the intent to enroll in a Study Hall/ASP in place of one of their elective options on their course registration form; study hall is not one of the options listed. ASP services will meet during two of the study hall days.

Upper School Curriculum - General Information

Dear Parents and Students,

At St. David’s Upper School students will experience a broad exposure to all disciplines, with the opportunity to discover and pursue, in depth, special areas of academic interest. The Curriculum Guide has been designed to help you, along with the Upper School Department Chairs, College Counseling Office, Academic Dean, and the Head of the Upper School, plan a balanced course of study for the upcoming years at St. David’s. Included in this guide is a description of available courses, as well as academic policies. Please note that courses that are under-enrolled may not be offered.

To prepare students for college and life, our offerings include both standard and advanced courses, all of which are taught at a rigorous, college-preparatory level.

Thank you for your careful attention to this important process. As we begin to plan for our new school year, we look forward to working with you and your student in creating opportunities for him or her to find success and to experience a course of study that deliberately considers: faith, virtue and knowledge.

Kind regards,

Scott Shaw
Head of the Upper School

Classical Languages

The study of Greek and Latin opens our mind to the great achievements of Ancient Greece and Rome, enables us to understand language on a fundamental level, trains the soul in habits of careful thought, and enchants us, in this age of hurry, to be still.

Latin I

Latin I provides an academically rigorous introduction to the Latin language and Roman culture. Students build familiarity and fluency with Latin grammar and vocabulary mainly through frequent readings of increasing length. Reading, hearing, and understanding the language orally is featured. Students' appreciation of the Latin language as it influences modern English, as well as Roman culture as it relates to the world of the Bible, is developed and deepened. Students may also read in English and appreciate an age-appropriate telling of a full-length classical work such as the Iliad, the Odyssey, or the Aeneid.

(Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Latin II

In this course, students will both solidify and add to the foundation of the previous year with the ever-present goal of understanding authentic Latin. Instruction focuses on reading fluency, acquisition of vocabulary as it relates to grammar, problem-solving through translation, and building mental capacity for memorization. Students will also approach the literary and religious culture of the ancient world by reading and analyzing a full-length classical work in English, such as the Iliad, the Odyssey, or the Aeneid. Middle and Upper School Latin II classes may be combined depending on class enrollment, availability of faculty, and scheduling needs.

Prerequisite: Latin I (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

 

Latin III

In this course, students will continue to master the basics of Latin grammar by proceeding into the advanced stages of the Cambridge Latin Course. In conjunction with reading there will be careful composition in Latin, through which students will gain a thorough understanding of the structure and tendencies of the language. The reading of a full-length classical work in English, such as the Iliad, the Odyssey, or the Aeneid, will provide necessary cultural, religious, and literary backgrounds to the Latin read in class, and regular short writing assignments about this work will allow the student to begin to express an understanding of the classical world.

Prerequisite: Latin II (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Latin IV Honors

In this course, students will complete their study of Latin grammar in the Cambridge Latin Course and proceed to the translation of authentic Latin texts. Latin IV is designed to prepare students for success in AP® Latin by introducing them to Vergil and Caesar, the two authors that make up the AP Latin syllabus. Throughout the year, students will gain familiarity with the styles and vocabularies of classical Latin authors and begin to analyze the texts as literature in context of the Roman world. Reading and analysis of a full-length classical work in English, such as the Iliad, the Odyssey, or the Aeneid will provide students with literary, cultural, and religious background necessary for an informed reading of the Latin authors, and increasingly rigorous writing assignments will begin to prepare students for the written portions of the AP® curriculum.

Prerequisite: Latin III and permission of the Department of Classical Languages (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

AP Latin: Vergil and Caesar

This class is designed for those wishing to read excerpts from Caesar’s Gallic Wars and Vergil’s Aeneid and to take the AP Latin: Vergil and Caesar® exam. We will read both authors in English, and selections from them in Latin as outlined in the AP Latin: Vergil and Caesar® course description. We will familiarize ourselves with first-century BC context of the society in which the authors lived, and consider the themes including leadership, duty, self, and society. We will use AP style testing methods and emphases throughout the course. This class, in common with other AP courses, will require extensive independent preparation in addition to the coursework covered during class. Time spent in class, versus time spent in independent study, is more closely comparable to a college course than a traditional high school course.

Prerequisite: Latin III and/or IV Honors, and permission of the Department of Classical Languages (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Latin VI Honors: Advanced Readings in Latin Literature

This course is equivalent to a college-level Latin Literature course, and is reserved for students who have completed AP Latin successfully and are interested in reading and analyzing extended portions of advanced Latin Literature. Authors may be selected, according to the interests of the students, from Cicero, Caesar, Livy, Plautus, Terence, Catullus, Horace, Vergil and Ovid, or other authors, at the discretion of the instructor. The course will focus on attaining a scholarly understanding of the works in question, as students will gain experience analyzing difficult passages and works orally and in essays.

Prerequisite: AP Latin and permission of the Department of Classical Languages (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Latin VII Honors: Advanced Readings in Latin Literature II

This course is reserved for students who have completed Latin VI and wish to further their range of proficiency in reading and analyzing extended portions of advanced Latin Literature. Authors may be selected, according to the interests of the students, from Cicero, Caesar, Livy, Plautus, Terence, Catullus, Horace, Vergil, and Ovid, or other authors, at the discretion of the instructor. The course will focus on attaining a scholarly understanding of the works in question, as student will gain experience analyzing difficult passages and works orally and in essays. Composition assignments in Latin will help students solidify their grasp of the language and encourage them to write in imitation of the works they are reading.

Prerequisite: Latin VI and permission of the Department Chair (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Greek I

Greek I begins a study of Attic Greek, the language of playwrights, historians, philosophers, and poets. It provides an excellent foundation for progress into the New Testament (written in a much-simplified form of Greek, koine) and on to the Homeric epics, the Iliad and Odyssey. We follow the path of a rural farmer’s family, based on Aristophanes comedy The Acharnians, and along the way encounter many famous myths, insights into perhaps the most intellectually productive culture of all time, and by the end are able to read extended portions of authentic Greek with facility. The reading of a full-length classical work in English, such as the Iliad, the Odyssey, or the Aeneid, will provide necessary cultural, religious, and literary backgrounds to the Greek world presented in class, and regular writing assignments about this work will allow the student to begin to express an understanding of the classical world.

(Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Greek II

Greek II continues the journey through the Greek language. The textbook will gradually be supplemented by extended reading from intermediate-level texts, such as the New Testament and Xenophon. As the course progresses, a greater emphasis will be placed upon Greek literature. The reading of a full-length classical work in English, such as the Iliad, the Odyssey, or the Aeneid, will provide necessary cultural, religious, and literary backgrounds to the Greek world presented in class, and regular writing assignments about this work will allow the student to begin to express and understanding of the classical world.

Prerequisite: Greek I (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Greek III

Greek III will focus on completing the course of study begun in Athenaze, and then on introducing students to more challenging readings from authentic Greek texts. We will begin with passages from the New Testament and proceed from there to Greek authors, such as Lysias and Plato, whose texts offer us not only elegant examples of Attic style, but also insights into the life and culture of 5th and 4th-century Athens. In the second semester, students will become acquainted with Greek poetry through an introduction to Homer and the epic dialect. Throughout the course, we will have ample opportunity to solidify our grasp of Greek vocabulary, grammar and syntax. We will also have occasion to examine the Greek culture through reading so primary texts both in Greek and in translation.

Prerequisite: Greek II (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Greek IV Honors

Greek IV is an advanced literature course, in which students will read substantial portions of ancient Greek literature in prose and poetry. Authors may be selected, according to the interests of the students, from Plato, Xenophon, Herodotus, Homer, Euripides, and Sophocles or other authors, at the discretion of the instructor. The rigor and depth of analysis will be similar to that of AP Latin and will focus on interpreting the texts as literature and as a part of the intellectual fabric of the ancient world. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be prepared to succeed in a Greek literature course in college.

Prerequisite: Greek III and permission of the Department Chair (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Computer Science and Technology

AP Computer Science: Principles

The course is a year-long introductory computer science survey course. Using resources from Code.org, students will explore many of the big, foundational ideas of computing to better understand how these concepts are transforming the world we live in. Using the Alice 3 software package from Carnegie Mellon University’s Alice Project, students will use 3D models and animations to explore object-oriented programming. We will also begin to explore the Java programming language. This course is designed to be a rigorous, engaging, and approachable course based on the AP Computer Science Principles course. Interested students will be able to sit for the AP Computer Science Principles exam.

Pre-requisite: Sophomore, Junior, Senior standing (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

 

AP Computer Science: Programming

This course introduces fundamental computer science topics such as problem solving, design strategies, organization of data in data structures, common algorithms for processing data, analysis of potential solutions, and the ethical and social implications of computing. Using the Alice 3 software package from Carnegie Mellon University’s Alice Project, which uses 3D models and animations, and the Java programming language, the course emphasizes both object-oriented and imperative problem solving and design. Students will find the course engaging and challenging.

Pre-requisite: Junior, Senior standing, or permission of instructor. (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Digital Storytelling

Every day we tell stories to ourselves and to others to make a point, inform, explain, excuse, comfort, or imagine a possible future. Stories come in many forms, and each form helps us understand and experience the story in different ways. Digital Storytelling seeks to take the traditional craft and attributes of telling stories and merge them with new techniques to create different and exciting forms. In this project-based course, students will focus on creativity and production as they begin to explore the creation of digital stories for different audiences, producing stories with the technology available to them, including text, images, sound, and video.

(1 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

English

We explore the great texts of world literature. Through the cultivation of the habits of curiosity, close reading, rich discussion, and effective writing, our teachers invite students to join the pursuit of goodness, truth, and beauty.

English II

English II is a challenging look into the literary canon. Students will build upon their skills of literary analysis and apply their ability to identify authorial intent, worldview, and themes to an increasingly wide array of texts across cultures and time periods. Students will explore foundational works such as Homer’s Odyssey, Beowulf, and the Book of Esther, which will inform our study of more contemporary texts. Particular emphasis is placed on the development of the Heroic Narrative through literature, as well as the different ways that literature throughout human history has articulated the problem of evil. English II also looks forward, as it marks the beginning of each student’s experience with Dante’s Divine Comedy, a course of study that will run through their senior year, as well as continuing the exploration of Shakespeare that is consistent throughout the English curriculum.

(Full Year Course) (Graded)

English III

English III is an American Literature course that exposes students to a rich body of canonical works. Students are challenged to think critically through philosophical perspectives as diverse as Transcendentalism, Realism, Puritanism and Existentialism. Engaging America’s literary tradition is an essential part of understanding American history. With this in mind, students read slave narratives alongside Cold War literature and, by appreciating the literature of the past, come to better understand their own culture and place in history. The course emphasizes writing, informed discussion, public speaking and literary analysis. Students are expected to express ideas with clarity, coherence, and precision, both orally and in writing. Students engage in the writing process in a wide variety of styles and genres, including analytical essays, the research paper, creative narrative, and journaling.

(Full Year Course) (Graded)

English IV

English IV is a college preparatory course that immerses students in the power of language. Students will examine a diverse and weighty collection of literary works as they cultivate the invaluable skills of close reading, critical interpretation, collaborative discourse, written analysis, and curiosity. Works such as Lewis’ Mere Christianity and Shelley’s Frankenstein will invite students to exercise their moral imagination. The course serves as a culminating experience of the English curriculum at St. David’s, as students continue their look into the power of the short story, the profundity of Shakespeare through Hamlet, and Dante’s Divine Comedy. Students will read thoroughly, write extensively, and discuss broadly in this course as they nourish their lifelong pursuit of the good, the true, and the beautiful.

(Full Year Course) (Graded)

AP Literature

AP Literature and Composition is a college level class devoted to one end: the reading, comprehension, and analysis of great literature. Each of these skills is invaluable to the student’s mature enjoyment of literature, lasting beyond the demands of college. First, comes the careful reading of the text. Next, follows the articulation of the substance of the work in the dialectic of classroom discussion and in written essays both in and out of the classroom setting. It is in the dialectic that students begin to work with each other to uncover and to possess what are to that moment unknown portrayals of truth, beauty, and goodness.

Students in AP Literature are given the opportunity to take the AP exam at the end of the year. If they choose to do so, they will have been well prepared by a conscientious participation in the objectives of the course.

Prerequisite: Recommendation from the department. (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

AP Language and Composition

AP Composition prepares students for writing at the college level through extensive writing practice and the close reading of well-crafted works. Students will cultivate an appreciation for writing that is precise and effective as they each develop their own unique voice. Students will learn various modes of discourse, namely narrative, expository, and persuasive writing. In addition to the written word, students will develop the art of speaking beautifully; students will be expected to engage in thoughtful discourse as they write, read, and examine pieces.

Students in AP Language and Composition are given the opportunity to take the AP exam at the end of the year. If they chose to do so, they will have been well prepared by a conscientious participation in the objectives of the course.

Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing; recommendation from the department. (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Author Immersion Honors: Walker Percy

In his 1960 novel "The Moviegoer," Walker Percy won the National Book Award for his depiction of Binx Bolling, a lost soul pondering the purpose of life and wandering New Orleans on the days leading up to his 30th birthday. Over 10 weeks, students will immerse themselves in the novel – as a philosophical tale, a moving work of art, and an exploration of the wonderings of the human soul. We will also look closely at Percy’s influences – some history and cultural touchpoints of the city of New Orleans, the philosophy of Kierkegaard, and Percy’s correspondence with friends. Students will find that Percy himself is no less interesting than the protagonist of his novel (a conversion to Catholicism necessitated, in Percy’s mind, a shift in career: from practicing medical doctor to writer of fiction and essays), and that both have a great deal of relevance to any age of uncertainty. The class will be conversational in style and consistent with students’ experiences in the St. David’s Humanities program.

(1 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

Fine Arts

The Fine Arts Department is committed to the belief that every child, as an image-bearer of the creator, is born with the capacity to be creative, whether through painting a picture, acting a scene, singing a melody, or playing an instrument. As the arts reflect the culture of a society, St. David’s excellence in the arts demonstrates the power of St. David’s students to enrich their community.

Chorale/Chorale Honors

The Chorale is a non-auditioned choral group that regularly performs in our school and community. Instruction in the class will focus on how to sing properly while using and understanding the printed score. Emphasis is placed on sight-reading, vocal blend, harmonization and exploration of various music genres. Singers in the group have auditioned for and participated in the North Carolina Honors Choir and the North Carolina Governors School in Choral Music. The group is held to high performance standards. It competes once a year at a chosen southeastern United States adjudication (Virginia, North Carolina, Florida), and periodically sings internationally in choir tours abroad (Italy-2012, Great Britain-2014, Bahamas-2015). This class is open to grades 9-12. Chamber Singers is an auditioned group of male and female singers in grades 10-12. Singers in this ensemble are also part of St. David's Chorale and they receive honors credit for participating in both ensembles. Chamber Singers perform a variety of literature for school events that require a smaller ensemble. Thus, membership in the Chamber Singers requires additional assignments, responsibilities, and opportunities for leadership. Rehearsals are held during the midday flex period.  Select Women's Ensemble: The Select Women's Ensemble is an auditioned, all female group of 9th-12 grade singers. Singers in this ensemble are also part of the St. David's Chorale and they receive honors credit for participating in both ensembles. The singers in the Select Women's Ensemble will perform literature specifically for female voices and will be given additional assignments, responsibilities, and opportunities for leadership. Rehearsals are held during midday flex period.

(Full Year or Trimester Elective ) (Graded)

Wind Ensemble/Wind Ensemble Honors

This instrumental ensemble is designed for 9th-12th graders playing instruments in the woodwind, brass and percussion families. Students are held to high standards of ensemble playing, being challenged each day toward musical proficiency. In this course students focus on developing fully-matured tone quality, strong technical skills, superior phrasing and musicianship, as well as advanced music theory concepts. Regular individual playing tests and quizzes are given for evaluation. Students in the Wind Ensemble are featured during various concerts and school assemblies throughout the year. In addition, the Wind Ensemble embarks on an annual overnight trip to an adjudicated festival each spring.

Prerequisite: Three years of prior band experience or Director’s approval. (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

AP Music Theory

Advanced Placement Music Theory is a course that focuses on the essential elements of music: melody, harmony, texture, rhythm, form and to some extent history and style. Students in the class develop their ability to recognize, understand and describe the basic materials and processes of music that is heard or is present in a score. They will rely heavily on their ability to read and write musical notation as they address fundamental aural, analytical, and compositional skills using both listening and written exercises. The students will master the basic elements of music, including intervals, major/minor and modal scales, chords, melodic/harmonic dictation, score-analysis, metric/rhythmic patterns, sight-singing and the terms used to describe these elements.

Prerequisite: Must be able to read music and must have the approval of the instructor. (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Foundations in Art

Foundations in Art is open to all students in the Upper School. This course introduces students to elements of two-dimensional and three-dimensional design, and it is a prerequisite for all other Upper School art classes. Visual awareness and sensitivity are expanded through study of the elements of art and principles of design used in famous works of art. Students are challenged to find visual solutions to problems by examining various media, techniques, and technology in creating designs, patterns, and form. Students gain a greater knowledge of color theory and design vocabulary.

(1 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

Drawing I

In Drawing I, students study value, proportion, composition, foreshortening, perspective and other related techniques through various drawing assignments. A variety of traditional drawing media, such as graphite, pen and ink, charcoal, and pastel are explored in creating original artwork. Students complete drawings using a variety of subject matter such as still life, self-portrait, and landscape. They will also be introduced to experimental projects that entice personal creativity.

Prerequisite: Foundations in Art. (1 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

Drawing II

In Drawing II, students continue their study of value, proportion, composition, foreshortening, perspective and other related techniques through various drawing assignments. A variety of traditional drawing media, such as graphite, pen and ink, charcoal, and pastel are explored in creating original artwork. Students complete drawings using a variety of subject matter such as still life, self-portrait, and landscape. They will also be introduced to experimental projects that entice personal creativity.

Prerequisite: Drawing I (1 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

Painting I

In Painting I, students apply the principles learned in Drawing I to works of art with paint. Color theory is emphasized. Students learn to mix paints in order to create a diverse palette of hues and values. Different painting media and tools are used throughout the course as students learn different properties painting. Students paint original paintings of still life, landscape, and figure based on the elements of design and perceptions of natural light and space. They will also be introduced to experimental projects that entice personal creativity.  

Prerequisite: Foundations in Art; Drawing I strongly recommended. (1 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

Painting II

In Painting II, students continue to apply the principles learned in Painting I. Color theory is emphasized. Students learn to mix paints in order to create a diverse palette of hues and values. Different painting media and tools are used throughout the course as students learn different properties painting. Students paint original paintings of still life, landscape, and figure based on the elements of design and perceptions of natural light and space. They will also be introduced to experimental projects that entice personal creativity.

Prerequisite: Painting I (1 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

Advanced Techniques in Art

This class offers students interested in exploring traditional as well as non-traditional methods of drawing, painting, and mixed media with an opportunity to create art through experimentation. Using the basic skills learned in Drawing and Painting, they will further develop their understanding of line, form, the abstract and the representational through class projects. Emphasis is given to problem solving and conceptual thinking. This class is for serious art students and is highly recommended for those interested in building a portfolio for AP Studio Art.

 (2 Trimesters Elective) (Graded)

Graphic Design

Graphic Design is an application within the field of art in which communication is the most important key to the success of an image. Students learn to create images that communicate using a fundamental knowledge of color, design, shape, and text. Computer software is used to manipulate images and text that engage the viewer and promote information. All work is completed with Adobe Photoshop. Some projects students will complete include logo design, album cover design, book cover art, and advertising.

Prerequisite: Foundations in Art. (1 Trimester Course) (Graded)

AP Studio Art

The AP Studio Art program is intended for highly motivated seniors interested in preparing a portfolio for the National AP Exam. Students can choose to pursue a two-dimensional design, three-dimensional design or drawing portfolio. The portfolio is comprised of 24 pieces of art. The class will be focused on developing and completing the concentration portion of the portfolio. Students are required to create 12 artworks for the concentration section during their senior year.

The 12 pieces required for the breadth section of the portfolio are to be completed prior to the student’s senior year. Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors interested in AP Studio Art are encouraged to discover their art interest in order to take the visual art courses specific to the type of AP portfolio they would complete their senior year.

Prerequisite: Faculty approval and 10 to 12 completed works of art to be used for the general section of the 24-piece portfolio. (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Color and Design I

Color and Design I will focus on basic color theory principles, terminology, and applications, as well as trends and practices in today’s visual media marketplace. This class will extend and build on the concepts introduced in Foundations in Art. Students will develop skills in designing with color through projects that emphasize color mixing, color relationships, and the science of color perception. A variety of topics and media will be explored, including drawing, painting, and digital photography.

Prerequisite: Foundations in Art. (1 Trimester Course) (Graded)

 

Color and Design II

Color and Design II will build upon Color and Design I by focusing on basic color theory principles, terminology, and applications, as well as trends and practices in today’s visual media marketplace. Students will continue to develop skills in designing with color through projects that emphasize color mixing, color relationships, and the science of color perception. A variety of topics and media will be explored, including drawing, painting, and digital photography.

Prerequisite: Color and Design I (1 Trimester Course) (Graded)

Elements of Worship

This course seeks to explore worship in the Christian context from its biblical beginnings to current trends. It is designed for those with a curiosity about why we do what we do in worship. We will explore worship in various denominational contexts and take an in-depth look at worship in the Episcopalian tradition. Students will gain a deeper understanding of the church calendar, liturgical structures and how worship is not only something to be done in church but also in the way we live our lives.

(1 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

Public Speaking

Public speaking is designed to help students grow in self-confidence, present themselves professionally, and effectively communicate an idea to a variety of audiences.  Students will learn the basic rules and tips of public speaking in genres ranging from informative to motivational speaking.  Students will engage themselves in several speaking projects throughout the semester, during which time they will research and choose their own material to present as well as give and receive constructive peer criticism.

(1 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

Shakespeare for the Stage Honors

William Shakespeare is widely considered perhaps the greatest English language playwright. Yet for many, he is only ever studied within the confines of a traditional classroom. In this course, we will dive into two Shakespeare plays, the comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the tragedy, Othello.  During the first half of the course we will study them around the seminar table, but we will spend the second half of the course preparing them for the stage. 

(1 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

Theatre Arts: Drama

This course focuses on dramatic acting techniques for the stage from Greek tragedy to contemporary drama. It is designed to develop the ability to play dramatic actions honestly and believably, using realistic/naturalistic material as well as self-scripted autobiographical writing. Course work includes exercises and improvisations exploring awareness, relaxation, observation, the senses, voice, and physical and emotional life. Assessments will consist of prepared monologues, scene work and class participation.

(1 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

Theatre Arts: Comedy

This course focuses on the underlying question, “What makes us laugh?”, and how this translates to comedic acting for the stage. It is designed to identify and develop the ability to play comedic actions honestly and believably, using realistic/naturalistic material as well as self-scripted autobiographical writing. Course work includes exercises, improvisations exploring what makes us laugh, comedic timing, clowning, and physical as well as intellectual humor. Assessments will consist of prepared monologues, scene work and class participation.

(1 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

Yearbook

This course introduces students to the skills of interviewing, graphic design, photojournalism and writing for the school’s yearbook, Logos. Students will learn the fundamentals of copywriting and creating spreads. Also, members of the class will produce stories and images to chronicle the school year.

(Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Humanities

Humanities 9: The Ancient World

Humanities 9 unites ancient history and literature from the prehistoric era until the Roman Empire.  The course is based in an exploration of primary texts, including the way that the literature, events, and conceptual milieu of the ancient world helps to shape the content and form of Scripture.  Students will expand their lexicon from core literary texts, develop skills in interpretation, discussion, and analysis of primary sources, and continue to hone their writing and research skills. Students will be led through the curriculum by two faculty members who work in close collaboration, sometimes meeting with the class on an individual basis and sometimes co-teaching a joint seminar.

(Full Year Course) (Graded)

History

We teach the art of historical study through primary sources, to form students who appreciate the depth and context of human history in order to realize their own role in the world.

World History: The Medieval World

Between the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century and the resurgence of classical ideals of Renaissance Italy in the 15th century lies the medieval world. This course introduces the student to the social, cultural, economic, political, and religious history of Europe and the surrounding Mediterranean/Arabian world between roughly 476 AD and 1450 AD.  In the course of the year students will explore the development of Christianity in Europe and its conflict with the Islamic world; the many migratory invasions of Europe; the relationships between the Church, the aristocracy, and the commoner; the development of the heroic ideal, as well as changes and advances in technology.  Course readings include both primary and secondary texts, and classroom activities include both lecture and seminar discussions.  

(Full Year Elective) (Graded)

AP European History

Advanced Placement European History is equivalent to a college-level survey course in Western Civilization. Beginning with the Italian Renaissance, AP European History examines the history of modern Europe and will prepare students for the AP European History exam. The five main countries whose histories compose the large narrative of the course include Great Britain, France, Russia, Prussia (modern day Germany), and Spain. Students will gain an increased awareness of the nature of history and the historian’s role, the relationships of history to the other social sciences and the humanities, and the principal political, social, and economic themes in Europe from 1450 to the present. Students are also expected to complete research at the college level for their major research assignment. Through essay writing, reading primary sources, and class participation, students will learn to engage history with discrimination and refine their writing skills. This class, in common with other AP courses, will require extensive independent reading and preparation in addition to the coursework covered during class. The amount of time spent in class relative to the time spent in independent work is more closely comparable to a college course than a traditional high school course.

Prerequisites: Bible and the Ancient World, and departmental approval. (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

United States History

This course is a survey study of American history from 1607 to the present. In addition to learning the primary historical facts and understanding the major movements in the development of the United States, students will be expected to comprehend the philosophic concepts which have distinguished the nation from its founding to the present. The goal of the course is to give students a thorough understanding of the events, issues, ideas, and people that have shaped our nation.

Prerequisite: Bible and the Ancient World. (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

AP United States History

Advanced Placement United States History is designed as a college level course that will require the students to develop the analytical skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the History discipline. The course prepares students not only for college level content, but also the self-pacing and independent study habits necessary to successfully engage at the collegiate level. Students will learn to assess historical materials and be able to interpret the importance of these materials as they pertain to historians’ interpretations to various events (historiography). Through class discussion, prepared debates, and writing assignments, students will be challenged to effectively articulate their ideas. Students will be tested on their grasp of historical knowledge through multiple-choice tests similar to those on the AP exam. There will also be written essays and analytical research papers to teach the students to express themselves clearly and precisely and to cite sources and credit the writing and ideas of others. This class, in common with other AP courses, will require extensive independent preparation in addition to the coursework covered during class. Time spent in class, versus time spent in independent study, is more closely comparable to a college course than a traditional high school course.

Prerequisites: Bible and the Ancient World, and departmental approval. (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

AP US Government and Politics

AP U.S. Government and Politics provides a college-level introduction to key political concepts, ideas, institutions, policies, interactions, roles, and behaviors that characterize the constitutional system and political culture of the United States.  Students will study the history of political thought, U.S. foundational documents, Supreme Court decisions, and other texts and visuals to gain an understanding of the relationships and interactions among political institutions, processes, and behaviors.

Prerequisites: Departmental approval. (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

AP Art History

The AP Art History course is equivalent to a two-semester college survey course exploring the nature of art, art making, and responses to art. By investigating specific course content of 250 works of art characterized by diverse artistic traditions from prehistory to the present, students develop in-depth, holistic understanding of the history of art from a global perspective. Students become active participants in the global art world, engaging with its forms and content. They experience, research, discuss, read, and write about art, artists, art making, responses to, and interpretations of art.

Prerequisites: Sophomore, junior or senior standing, and departmental approval. (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Senior Seminar: The Shape of the Moral Life

What is "moral reasoning?" Are morally complex questions to be decided by intuition, habit, custom, reason or some blend of these ways of knowing and ways of acting? How do moral and ethical reasoning inform a life of faith, and how does a life of faith shape moral and ethical reasoning?

The Senior Seminar at St. David's is designed to explore these questions. This exploration begins with a close consideration of how some of the most seminal thinkers in the history of western through have framed moral questions, understood ethical obligation, considered theories of fairness and justice, and constructed ways of organizing political life. In the first semester we will read Aristotle, Epicurus, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, David Hume, John Stuart Mill, Jeremy Bentham, Immanuel Kant, John Rawls and Alasdair MacIntyre and examine how they have explored moral obligation, ethical conduct and political theory.

In the second semester, we will take up specific ethical problems, legal cases, and moral conundrums and apply to these questions the various arguments, views and approaches learned in the first semester. We will consider many of the most pressing controversial issues of our time and measure against them the arguments of Aristotle, Kant, Rawls and others. What can be said for or against capital punishment, surrogate motherhood, state run gambling games, affirmative action policies, extended the honors and office of marriage, abortion, medically assisted suicide, state sponsored torture, and genetic engineering?

To enliven our discussion, deepen the reach of our thoughts and to inspire our appropriate ambitions, we will also play host to a number if distinguished community leaders who will visit the seminar to discuss these issues with us as they arise in political life, academic study, journalism, the arts and business. Past guest speakers to the seminar have included: Governor Pat McCrory and Governor Beverly Purdue; US Senator Thom Tillis and US House of Representatives George Holding and David Price; Nobel Prize Laureate Oliver Smithies; UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp; NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson; CEO of North Hills John Kane; UNC Medical School Dean Dr. William Roper; UNC School of Journalism Dean Susan King; News & Observer Executive Editor John Drescher; WRAL news anchors David Crabtree and Kelsey Carlson; philanthropist, humanitarian and doctor of psychiatry, Dr. Assad Meymandi; and many others.

Required for Seniors. (Full Year Course) (Graded)

The Biblical Story Honors

The Biblical Story explores the overarching biblical metanarrative as expressed in the Christian Canon from Genesis to Revelation. The course follows the canonical progression as expressed in the Hebrew Bible, beginning with the creation of the world, following the narrative of Israel as God’s covenantal people, and culminating with the person and work of Jesus Christ as portrayed in the New Testament, which also narrates the beginning of the Church and concludes with the end of the story, the Final Resurrection. Considerable time is devoted to effective writing, careful interpretation of the biblical text, and thoughtful articulation of ideas.

(1 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

AP Macroeconomics

The Advanced Placement course in Macroeconomics is a full-year course that explores the laws and principles overseeing an economy as a whole.  Students will study monetary and fiscal policies, how credit markets are controlled by a central bank and the availability of credit, how the Gross Domestic Product is measured and how capital markets work.  Students will also focus on microeconomics and allow the student to understand how markets work to allocated limited resources, the nature of absolute and comparative advantage, individual decisions within markets and the function of individual companies in participating in both competitive and controlled markets.

Prerequisites: Departmental approval. (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Math

The Mathematics Department produces students who think logically and critically, use the tools to reason mathematically in order to solve problems. Students emerge with an appreciation for mathematics and its utility in understanding, observing, and testing God’s created order.

Algebra I

This course uses the terminology, properties, and concepts specific to Algebra. Topics include but are not limited to polynomials, factoring, linear equations and inequalities, systems of equations and inequalities, and linear and quadratic functions. Application problems encourage the development of critical thinking, logical reasoning, and problem-solving skills. Cooperative learning and technology are employed to introduce and reinforce concepts when applicable. Graphing calculators will be used where appropriate. Note: A TI-83 Plus or a TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required.)

(Full Year Course) (Graded)

Geometry

Geometry moves from inductive to deductive reasoning to produce logical proofs. A basic understanding of undefined terms, properties, postulates, and theorems is developed and applied to two- and three-dimensional figures. Algebraic skills involving lines, graphs, equations, formulas, radicals, and trigonometry are reinforced. Hands-on explorations and activities enhance the visual and spatial nature of the course while connecting the intrinsic concepts of Euclidean Geometry. Technology is employed when applicable. Note: A TI-83 Plus or a TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required.

Prerequisite: Algebra I (Full Year Course) (Graded)

Algebra II

This course develops and explores in a greater depth many algebraic concepts that were presented in Algebra I, with an emphasis on solving equations, manipulating expressions, and graphing functions from the linear, quadratic, polynomial, rational, radical, and exponential families. New topics introduced in the course include matrices, complex numbers, conic sections and logarithms. Graphing calculators will be used where appropriate. Note: A TI-83 Plus or a TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required.

Prerequisite: Algebra I (Full Year Course) (Graded)

Algebra II Honors

This course will cover the topics presented in Algebra II more rigorously and abstractly, and prepare advanced students for AP mathematics and science courses. Students will generalize and apply concepts in order to solve problems in broader contexts. Note:

A TI-83 Plus or a TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required.

 

Prerequisite: Geometry and departmental approval. (Full Year Course) (Graded)

Advanced Functions and Modeling

The objective of this class is to teach students through in-depth study of mathematical modeling and applications of functions. The course will reinforce and expand on Algebra II skills and introduce concepts from pre-calculus and statistics. Topics will include data collection and analysis, probability, linear programming, and graphing and analysis of various types of functions such as polynomial, exponential, logarithmic and trigonometric. Problem solving skills will be developed through the use of technology and classroom investigations and activities. Note: A TI-83 Plus or a TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required for this course.

Prerequisite: Algebra II and Geometry. (Full Year Course) (Graded)

Pre-Calculus

The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with the library of algebraic and transcendental functions, operations on those functions, and graphing techniques in preparation for an entry-level college mathematical course. The functions include linear, polynomial, exponential, logarithmic, rational, and trigonometric functions. Applications and modeling are included throughout the course of study. The curriculum includes a complete study of trigonometry, as well as advanced algebra topics, analytic geometry, and an introduction to limits.

Note: A TI-83 Plus or a TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required for this course.

Prerequisite: Algebra II or AFM. (Full Year Course) (Graded)

Pre-Calculus Honors

Pre-Calculus Honors is designed to cover all of the material presented in Pre-Calculus while probing deeper into the theoretical applications in preparation for AP math and science courses. Our most advanced math students will be challenged in this course to promote creative thinking in order to apply the concepts they have learned to solve multi-faceted problems. This course will also cover additional topics such as sequences, series, and mathematical induction. Note: A TI-83 Plus or a TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required for this course.

Prerequisite: Algebra II Honors or Algebra II and departmental approval. (Full Year Course) (Graded)

Concepts in Calc/Stat Honors

This course is designed to provide a strong foundation for rising juniors and seniors. Whether their next math experience will be a collegiate course or a St. David’s senior course in AP Calculus AB or AP Statistics, this course will be a valuable preparation. The focus will be on introducing the concepts and methods of calculus and statistics. Students will utilize skills developed earlier in their mathematics courses to address conceptual and applied topics including limits, first and second derivatives, tangent lines, concavity, and continuity. This course will also introduce statistics topics including observing and exploring data, normal distributions, sampling methods, bias, and experimental design. Technology is an integral part of the course. Note: A TI-83 Plus or a TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required for this course.

Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus Honors or Pre-Calculus and department approval. (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

AP Calculus (AB Level)

This course is designed to prepare students for the AP Calculus AB exam administered annually by the College Board for the purpose of obtaining college credit while still in secondary school. Topics emphasized are limits, derivatives, integrals, and the connections between them. Students will apply these skills in real-world problem-solving contexts. The course encourages independent thinking, and problem solving, logical reasoning and critical thinking skills will be emphasized through the use of cooperative learning and technology. The ability to verbally express mathematical reasoning is a major component of this course. A solid foundation in Pre-calculus, strong work ethic, and discipline should help the student succeed in the course and on the AP exam. The understanding and use of technology is essential in this course. This class, in common with other AP courses, will require extensive independent preparation in addition to the coursework covered during class. Time spent in class, versus time spent in independent study, is more closely comparable to a college course than a traditional high school course. Note: A TI-83 Plus or a TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required for this course.

Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus Honors or Pre-Calculus and departmental approval. (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

AP Calculus (BC level)

This course is designed to prepare students for the AP Calculus BC exam administered annually by the College Board for the purpose of obtaining college credit while still in secondary school. Topics include a review of AP Calculus AB material, an in-depth study of the theoretical foundations of calculus, advanced techniques of integration, differential equations, introduction of vector analysis, polar coordinates, and infinite series. Written work and the ability to express mastery of a problem through words is a major component of this course. A solid foundation in AP Calculus AB, strong work ethic, and discipline should help the student succeed in the course and on the AP exam. The understanding and use of technology is essential in this course. This class, in common with other AP courses, will require extensive independent preparation in addition to the coursework covered during class. Time spent in class, versus time spent in independent study, is more closely comparable to a college course than a traditional high school course. Note: A TI-83 Plus or a TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required for this course.

Prerequisite: AP Calculus AB and departmental approval. (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

AP Statistics

This course is designed to prepare students for the AP Statistics exam, administered annually by the College Board, for the purpose of obtaining college credit while still in secondary school. The focus of the course is to develop the skills required to collect, collate, and analyze data. Emphasis is placed on a variety of applications, designs of experiments, techniques of data analysis, and conceptual understanding. Course topics include but are not limited to the nature of data, probability, estimates, hypothesis testing, inferences, correlation, regression, and variance. This course requires a “mathematical maturity” as well as interpretive and reasoning skills. Written work and the ability to express mastery of a problem through words is a major component of this course. Problem solving, logical reasoning and critical thinking skills will be emphasized through the use of cooperative learning and technology. A solid algebraic foundation, strong work ethic, and discipline should help the student succeed in the course and on the AP exam. The understanding and use of technology is essential in this course. This class, in common with other AP courses, will require extensive independent preparation in addition to the coursework covered during class. Time spent in class, versus time spent in independent study, is more closely comparable to a college course than a traditional high school course. Note: A TI-83 Plus or a TI-84 Plus graphing calculator is required for this course.

Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus and departmental approval. (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Modern Languages

The study of modern languages at St. David’s is a sacred journey, on which students, themselves as strangers in a strange land, come to know a another culture through the window of its language.

French I

This course, the first in a three-year sequence, introduces students to the French language as well as to the cultures and geographies of France and the French-speaking world. Through a variety of differentiated learning activities, including engagement with authentic French audio-visual and print materials, students acquire basic vocabulary and beginning grammar with an emphasis on meaningful communication about everyday topics pertaining to themselves and others. As the year progresses, classroom instruction and interaction are increasingly conducted in French.

(Full Year Course) (Graded)

French II

This course, the second in a three-year sequence, builds on the introductory year of French by further equipping students with listening and speaking, reading and writing skills for language acquisition. Through the use of authentic French audio-visual and print materials, students learn to communicate meaningfully beyond the basic descriptive level, summarizing, and reminiscing. Alongside their French language acquisition, students continue to develop cultural literacy and sensitivity regarding the French-speaking world. Much of the classroom instruction and interaction is conducted in French.

Pre-requisite: French 7-8 or French I or permission of the department chair. (Full Year Course) (Graded)

French III

This course, the third in a three-year sequence, conducted almost exclusively in French, leads to more sophisticated communication in the language, including the expression of opinion and sentiment on a variety of topics. Students encounter authentic French audio-visual and print materials further enriching their cultural literacy and sensitivity as they also deepen and broaden their ability to express themselves meaningfully in the past, present, and future.

Prerequisite: French II or permission of the department chair. (Full Year Course) (Graded)

French IV Honors

This course, conducted entirely in French, seeks to prepare recommended students for the AP® level by blending a comprehensive review of grammar and vocabulary with the further acquisition of French language proficiency and francophone cultural literacy. Through the extensive classroom use of a wide variety of authentic French audio-visual and print materials, students gain a level of listening and reading comprehension as well as oral and written fluency so as to express themselves meaningfully and confidently on a wide variety of topics. Students who successfully complete French IV Honors may be recommended for AP® French Language and Culture.

Pre-requisite: French III or permission of the department chair. (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

French Composition and Conversation

This course, offered only on demand and by recommendation, seeks to further prepare students for the AP® level. Conducted entirely in French, this course provides students the unique opportune its to review, remediate, and practice grammar and vocabulary while continuing to develop their cultural literacy of France and the francophone world. Through a focused review and practice of explicit grammar and vocabulary acquisition, students express themselves more correctly and authentically in both their written and spoken French. Students who successfully complete the French Composition and Conversation may be recommended for AP® French Language and Culture.

Pre-requisite: French IV Honors or permission of the department chair. (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

AP French Language and Culture

AP® French Language and Culture is intended for recommended students who wish to complete studies comparable to a college-level course (intermediate to pre-advanced range) in French. This course, which is conducted exclusively in French, provides students opportunities to review and refine the skills of listening and reading (interpretive communication), speaking and writing (interpersonal and presentational communication), using a variety of authentic French audio-visual and print materials in their preparation for the AP® Examination. The course is organized around six themes interpreted through the lenses of linguistic, cultural, and biblical perspectives: families and communities, beauty and aesthetics, global challenges, science and technology, contemporary life, personal and public identities.

Pre-requisite: French IV Honors, or permission from the department chair. (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Spanish I

This course, the first in a three-year sequence, introduces students to the Spanish language as well as to the cultures and geographies of Spain and the Spanish-speaking world. Through a variety of differentiated learning activities, including engagement with authentic Spanish audio-visual and print materials, students acquire basic vocabulary and beginning grammar with an emphasis on meaningful communication about everyday topics pertaining to themselves and others. As the year progresses, classroom instruction and interaction are increasingly conducted in Spanish.

(Full Year Course) (Graded)

Spanish II

This course, the second in a three-year sequence, builds on the introductory year of Spanish by further equipping students with listening and speaking, reading and writing skills for language acquisition. Through the use of authentic Spanish audio-visual and print materials, students learn to communicate meaningfully beyond the basic descriptive level, summarizing, and reminiscing. Alongside their Spanish language acquisition students continue to develop cultural literacy and sensitivity regarding the Spanish-speaking world. Much of the classroom instruction and interaction are conducted in Spanish.

Pre-requisite: Spanish 7-8 or Spanish I or permission of the department chair. (Full Year Course) (Graded)

Spanish III

This course, the third in a three-year sequence, conducted almost exclusively in Spanish, leads to more sophisticated communication in the language, including the expression of opinion and sentiment on a variety of topics. Students encounter authentic Spanish audio-visual and print materials further enriching their cultural literacy and sensitivity as they also deepen and broaden their ability to express themselves meaningfully in the past, present, and future.

Pre-requisite: Spanish II or permission of the department chair. (Full Year Course) (Graded)

 

Spanish Culture and Conversation

This course conducted entirely in Spanish, builds on the previous Spanish I-III sequence and seeks to further develop and enrich the students’ acquisition of conversational Spanish as well as their cultural literacy and sensitivity regarding the Hispanic world. Through the engagement with authentic Spanish audio-visual and print materials, students will explore, present, and discuss exclusively in Spanish topics pertaining to the history, geography, culture, and current events of countries in the Spanish-speaking world.

Pre-requisite: Spanish III or permission of the department. (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Spanish IV Honors

This course, conducted entirely in Spanish, seeks to prepare recommended students for the AP® level by blending a comprehensive review of grammar and vocabulary with the further acquisition of Spanish language proficiency and Hispanic cultural literacy. Through the extensive use of a wide variety of authentic Spanish audio-visual and print materials, students gain a level of listening and reading comprehension as well as oral and written fluency so as to express themselves meaningfully and confidently on a wide variety of topics. Students who successfully complete Spanish IV Honors may be recommended for AP® Spanish Language and Culture.

Pre-requisite: Spanish III or permission from the department chair. (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

AP Spanish Language and Culture

AP® Spanish Language and Culture is intended for recommended students who wish to complete studies comparable to a college-level course (intermediate to pre-advanced range) in Spanish. This course, which is conducted exclusively in Spanish, provides students opportunities to review and refine the skills of listening and reading (interpretive communication), speaking and writing (interpersonal and presentational communication), using a variety of authentic Spanish audio-visual and print materials in their preparation for the AP® Examination. The course is organized around six themes interpreted through the lenses of linguistic, cultural, and biblical perspectives: families and communities, beauty and aesthetics, global challenges, science and technology, contemporary life, personal and public identities.

Pre-requisite: Spanish IV Honors or permission from the department chair. (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Physical Education

The Upper School Physical Education requirement may be met by completing one season of any school-related sport by the end of the senior year. Alternatively, students may apply to the PE department chair for an exemption based on a commensurately substantial commitment to a sport outside school. A PE credit form to document athletic participation at school, or to confirm the prior approval of the PE department chair for athletic participation outside of school is available on the student's portal. This form must be returned to the registrar to receive credit to meet the graduation requirement.

Health

The health course allows students to examine a variety of health and fitness related topics, while empowering them to make healthy, lifelong choices. Topics will include (but are not limited to) decision-making skills, nutrition, eating disorders, risk factors for disease, injury prevention, cardiovascular fitness, the dangers of tobacco, vaping, drugs and alcohol. Health is offered during the summer as well as the school year.

(Trimester Course) (Summer Session option) (Graded)

 

Physical Education Instruction

Physical Education Instruction (PEI) is an experienced based, cross-divisional course in which Upper School students who are interested in working with young people develop leadership, lesson-planning, and classroom management skills while assisting Lower School PE instructors with class activities. Lower School and Upper School students will benefit from the “big brother/big sister” mentorships that can be formed throughout the course. The Upper School students will meet as a class to create lesson plans, reflect on experiences, and learn about leadership. Students will also co-teach a 30-minute physical education class several times throughout the course.

(1 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

Science

The Science Department at St. David’s School inspires curiosity at the wonders of creation. We strive to establish an environment that encourages students to take risks by asking questions, working with others, and building an understanding of the world through scientific experimentation.

Biology

Biology is an all-inclusive survey course in life science. Topics covered will include the diversity of life, basic biochemistry, cell structure and division, genetics and ecology. Student understanding is reinforced through inquiry-based labs, a variety of hands-on investigations, dissection, and microscopy.

(Lab Science) (Full Year Course) (Graded)

Biology Honors

Biology Honors extends the classroom and lab experience of the Biology course by challenging students to dig deeper into life science concepts.  Students should expect to conduct lab experiments that require a thorough investigation by critically analyzing results and connecting them to broader concepts.  Throughout the course, students will complete formal lab reports, actively participate in seminar discussions and demonstrate higher order thinking on formal assessments.

Prerequisite: Requires departmental recommendation (Lab Science) (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

AP Biology

AP Biology is an introductory college-level biology course.  Students cultivate their understanding of biology through inquiry-based investigations as they explore the following topics: evolution, cellular processes—energy and communication, genetics, information transfer, ecology, and interactions.  AP Biology will meet for lab periods once a week during office hours and once a week during flex period.  Attendance in these classes is mandatory. This course, in common with other AP courses, will require extensive independent reading and preparation in addition to the coursework covered during class. The amount of time spent in class relative to the time spent in independent work is more closely comparable to a college course than a traditional high school course.

Prerequisite: Physics and Chemistry and departmental recommendation. (Lab Science) (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Chemistry

This course provides the student with a broad introduction to chemical principles and concepts. Some of the topics covered include chemical quantities and equations, the atom, the periodic table, rates of reactions, acid-base chemistry, and chemical structures. The course draws on basic algebra skills such as solving equations and using ratios. 

(Lab Science) (Full Year Course) (Graded)

Chemistry Honors

Chemistry Honors extends the classroom and lab experience of the Chemistry course by challenging students to dig deeper into physical science concepts.  Chemistry topics covered include the development of modern atomic theory, chemical reactions, prediction of products, molecular structure and the five gas laws.  Students should expect to conduct lab experiments that require a thorough investigation by critically analyzing results and connecting them to broader concepts.  Throughout the course, students will complete formal lab reports, actively participate in seminar discussions and demonstrate higher order thinking on formal assessments.

Prerequisite: Requires departmental recommendation (Lab science) (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

AP Chemistry

AP Chemistry is comparable to a first-year two-semester college chemistry course and the accompanying laboratory.   Students spend the entire year studying a broad range of topics, including atomic structure, mass relationships, gases, thermochemistry, chemical bonding, phases of matter, chemical kinetics and equilibrium, electrochemistry, and thermodynamics.  To successfully complete this course, students must be proficient in math and problem solving and have excellent organizational skills.  This class, in common with other AP courses, will require extensive independent reading and preparation in addition to the coursework covered during class.  The amount of time spent in class relative to the time spent in independent work is more closely comparable to a college course than a traditional high school course.

Prerequisite: Algebra II, Physics or Chemistry, and departmental recommendation. (Lab Science) (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Physics

Physics is a course designed to give students more insight into the natural world. Relevant concepts are discussed in class and problem-solving techniques are developed for various topics. These topics include mechanics, electricity and magnetism, waves, sound, and optics. In addition, an extended lab will be developed and carried out by students. The concepts discussed in class are supplemented with labs and demonstrations. Algebra II skills are pertinent to physics and are developed throughout this course.

Prerequisite: Algebra II concurrently (Lab Science) (Full Year Course) (Graded)

Physics Honors

Physics Honors balances the study of a broad scope of different physics topics with an in depth quantitative and qualitative focus in various areas of the science. These topics include mechanics, electricity and magnetism, waves, sound, and optics. In addition, an extended lab will be developed and carried out by students. The concepts discussed in class are supplemented with labs and demonstrations. An emphasis is on problem solving and Algebra II skills are used frequently.

Prerequisite: Algebra II concurrently and departmental recommendation. (Lab Science) (Full Year Course) (Graded)

AP Physics C: Mechanics

AP Physics C: Mechanics is comparable to a first-year college physics course. This calculus-based course focuses on problem solving and laboratory techniques. By dedicating 20 percent of class time to labs, students develop the ability to plan an experiment, collect data, and analyze data. Topics explored include kinematics, forces, gravity, energy, momentum, and rotations. AP Physics will meet for additional time before school or during Flex for an extended lab once per week.  Attendance in these classes is mandatory.   

Co-requisite: Calculus, and departmental recommendation; completion of Physics Honors recommended.  (Lab Science) (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

AP Environmental Science

The goal of AP Environmental Science is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts and methodologies required to understand the inter-relationships of the natural world. Topics covered will include geology, oceanography, biology, chemistry and geography.  Students will identify and analyze environmental problems, both natural and human-made.  Students will read a variety of texts describing environmental issues and write statements that reflect an understanding of the inter-relationships under investigation.  Through this course, we will investigate problems through hands-on laboratory experiences or fieldwork at least one class period a week. This class, in common with other AP courses, will require extensive independent reading and preparation in addition to the coursework covered during class. The amount of time spent in class relative to the time spent in independent work is more closely comparable to a college course than a traditional high school course. This class is an elective and does not fulfill a graduation requirement.

Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry, plus departmental recommendation. (Lab Science) (Full Year Elective) (Graded)

Engineering

Engineering is all about building through doing. In this course, we will spend every class period building projects to accomplish a task. Projects will involve a blend of design, mechanics, electronics, and programming. No previous science or math courses are required, and no experience with any tool or skill is necessary. Past projects include building a bridge, building a remote-controlled car, building a medieval weapon, building mousetrap cars, dark-activated circuits, Arduino circuits, video game-making, and a student-chosen project.

(1 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

Innovation and Design

In this course, students will learn how to integrate principals of design and innovation with practical, hands-on skills. Students will work with different materials and equipment, including hand tools, power tools and 3D printers. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to build an innovation portfolio, which documents collaborative ideating, brainstorming and creation, and visit local companies to experience real-world applications.

Prerequisite: Sophomore, junior or senior standing. (1 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

Astronomy

The astronomy course is designed for students who are fascinated by what lies beyond the reaches of the atmosphere of Earth.  This course introduces students to the field of astronomy by covering the concepts of the solar system, stars and galaxies.  Labs, discussions and activities will focus on the organization, structure and size of the universe.  Class discussions will include grappling with major issues addressed throughout history, such as why do the celestial bodies appear to move through the sky and how civilizations have developed cultures centered around astronomical phenomenon. Students will be required to meet at the school twice during the trimester during the evening to view the night sky as a class. 

(1 trimester course) (Graded)

Meteorology

The meteorology course is designed for students who are fascinated by the weather and enjoy studying how it illustrates changes in the atmosphere.  Students will be introduced to the field of meteorology by covering the concepts of Earth’s atmospheric systems.  Topics covered will include weather maps, forecasting, and severe weather.  Daily weather observations will accompany hands-on projects such as student-constructed barometers or hygrometers.  Through labs, discussions and activities, students will learn about the characteristics of the atmosphere that influence weather and climate.  Students should expect to explore the outdoors through on-campus and off-campus field trips.  Guest speakers may be invited to visit throughout the course. 

(1 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

Geology

The geology course is designed for students who are fascinated by the dynamic changes of the Earth, such as how volcanoes function or what causes earthquakes.  This is a course that will cover the fundamentals of geology, including rocks, minerals, plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, surface processes and geologic time.  Through lecture, group activities, labs, and hands-on modeling students will learn about the features of Earth and how it changes over time.  Students should expect to explore the outdoors through on-campus and off-campus field trips.  

(1 Trimester Elective) (Graded)

Library

The goals of the St. David's Library Department are to provide access to information and resources in various forms, promote the love of reading, foster intellectual curiosity and critical thinking, and encourage students to become effective researchers and discerning, life-long learners. In the Upper School, students learn and apply research skills to support and extend classroom study. They learn to locate, evaluate, and use information effectively and to collaborate, problem-solve, create, and share knowledge. Students are encouraged to pursue personal interests in research and in their leisure reading.

Ninth grade students and those new to the school receive an orientation to the library and its services at the beginning of the school year. Librarians work in collaboration with classroom teachers, integrating information and digital literacy skills into the curriculum via classroom and/or individual research projects. The topics of study include research methodology and strategies, website evaluation, and the ethical use of information. Instruction in the use of the school's academic databases is an important part of our curriculum. Instruction and exploration take place in formal class settings as well as informally throughout the school year. As they progress through the upper grades, students practice, refine, and extend research skills through various course assignments.

Library-sponsored enrichment activities and programs that promote the love of reading, exploring, and learning are an important part of the library's curriculum.

Academic Support Program

Participation in the Academic Support Program requires a diagnosis of ADHD/ASD, or a learning difference identified by a licensed psychologist. A complete psychoeducational evaluation, current within three years, must be on file in the ASP office. There is an additional fee associated with this program. Participants in grades nine through twelve must be enrolled in a study hall. All students will attend ASP sessions twice a week. An application may be downloaded from the school's website on the Academic Support page. For more information about the program, please contact the Director of Academic Support, Mrs. LeeAnne Whitworth at lwhitworth@sdsw.org.