High School Academics
In the spirit of Brown School’s mission, the high school at Brown School continues to foster the development of mindful, global citizens through a variety of course offerings.
We work with each student to establish personalized goals and develop a program that meets their educational, occupational and personal objectives. While taking into account individual strengths, interests, aptitudes and needs, students and faculty will be able to work together to supplement the basic graduation requirements with the most fitting electives for each student’s success.
Graduation Requirements (grades 9-12)
- Math – 3 credits
- Science – 3 credits
- Social Studies – 4 credits
- English – 4 credits
- Language (Spanish) – 2 credits
- Fine Arts – 2 credits
- Physical Education – 4 credits (students in sports may be exempt from PE)
- Health – ½ credit
- Technology – ½ credit
Instruction is differentiated and individualized for each student in order to best support his/her goals. The topics covered will depend on each student’s math ability. In the 9th grade, topics range from Pre-Algebra through Algebra 1 up to Geometry. In 10th grade, students are typically ready for Geometry or Algebra 2/Trigonometry. 11th grade is often Algebra 2/Trig or Pre-Calculus, and students interested in Calculus, will be offered that opportunity in 12th grade.
In 9th and 10th grades, students will take either Biology or Chemistry. In the 2019-2020 school year, they will be taking Biology. Students who have already taken the course offered, will be given another opportunity via the Hybrid Learning Consortium. In 11th grade, students will study Physics. Should a student choose to take an additional science class in their senior year, they will sign up for a course through the Hybrid Learning Consortium.
Biology class focuses on the living world, covering a variety of topics including biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, evolution, ecology, plants and animals, and the human body. Supported by laboratory experiences, students will relate their observations to the natural world.
Chemistry is the study of matter, its properties, how and why substances combine or separate to form other substances, and how substances interact with energy. Topics include the organization and classification of matter, atomic theory, radioactivity, the periodic table of the elements, principles of chemical reactions, heat, molecular motion, and chemical bonds. This class includes laboratory time, when the students will be able to apply the theories they are learning.
Physics is the study of the fundamental laws that dictate how nature behaves. Students will apply their mathematical skills to the understanding of how the world works. Algebra and basic trigonometry functions are necessary to solving problems, along with critical thinking skills. The topics covered in this course include force and motion centered around Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion, gravity, momentum, energy, work, light and optics, thermal energy, matter, waves, and sound. This class includes a laboratory time where students will perform hands-on experiments to confirm the theories learned in class, collect the data, and often use math to analyze the data and draw conclusions.
Global History I aims to build students’ critical thinking and literacy skills, as well as historical knowledge about the diverse civilizations that helped shape the world that we live in today. The course covers civilizations in Europe, Africa, and Asia in the ancient and classical eras with connections to the modern world. With a strong focus on project-based learning, the course differentiates to the learners in the classroom and strives to develop active and knowledgeable global citizens.
Global History II continues to develop student research, critical thinking, and literacy skills while studying modern world history. The course will begin by looking at the French Revolution and trace the history of the world, both World Wars, and today. With a strong focus on project based learning, the course will aim to engage students on issues from the past and today to develop knowledgeable and active citizens.
United States History is the story of a great experiment in representative democracy. In this class, students study the structure and function of our government as well as the history of the United States from Colonial America to the present day. The objective of the course is to provide an in-depth understanding of the basic principles and cultural heritage that support US democracy so that students can become informed, dedicated, and committed participants in government. Students are expected to complete a research paper, participate in classroom discussion, examine primary sources, and engage in classroom debates. Emphasis is placed upon the development of critical thinking skills, the analysis of primary and secondary sources, and both thematic and document-based writing.
9th grade English, using different texts and with different levels of mastery in mind, will both stress close reading, annotating, critical analysis of canonical texts and learning to seamlessly transfer the fruits of such analysis to fluent, formal critical writing.
Students will also engage in more subjective, imaginative and informal writing which will take the form of poetry journals, spoken word poems, ekphrastic interpretations of texts, and their own TEDx talk which they will have the opportunity to perform at the end of the year.
Vocabulary and grammar concepts will be presented weekly, internalized via creative assignments, and memorialized in aggregate in a grammar/vocabulary notebook so that they might be pressed into intentional and accountable service in future writing assignments.
Students will continue to build and improve upon their communication skills. This includes a strong focus on the organization and development of effective writing, grammar, mechanics, vocabulary (Wordly Wise), and spelling. Students will write in a variety of forms to explain, inform, analyze, entertain, reflect, and persuade. To become college and career ready, students will experience works of exceptional craft and thought, whose range extends across genres, cultures, and centuries, offering profound insights into the human condition and serving as models for the students’ own thinking and writing. Readings include selections from our literature textbook, Mirrors and Windows, and trade books such as The Odyssey and The Tempest.
Description coming soon.
Language – *Students who have not taken Spanish in upper school will be offered other language options.*
Spanish II will focus on the integration of language and culture, with a strong focus on authentic communication. Students will strengthen their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills through hands-on, student-led projects with a cultural focus. Students will “travel” through eight different Spanish-speaking countries as they learn about a variety of cultural topics: history, art, music, dance, food, festivals and other traditions.
Spanish III will focus on the integration of language and culture, with a strong focus on authentic communication. Students will strengthen their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills through hands-on, student-led projects with a cultural focus. Students will learn to communicate within the context of different cultural topics, such as: music, literature, legends, traditions and community celebrations.
Students will be required to take 4 semesters of Fine Arts. This may include any combination of music, art or other electives, and may be spread out over the course of grades 9-12.
Guitar Studies – Interested students may take Guitar Studies and assist with production and hosting of the Open Mic events.
- Studio Art
- Drawing & Painting
- Advanced Drawing & Painting
- Hand building – Clay
- Other electives as desired/available
Studio Art stresses the elements and principles of design through various mediums such as drawing, painting, sculpture, mixed media, and printmaking. Art history is woven into each unit, providing cultural and historical context. In-process critiques also play a vital role in students’ overall creative experiences, emphasizing the use of critical language, personal reflection, and growth.
*Students who had Studio Art in 8th grade at Brown School, may take Drawing & Painting.
Drawing & Painting and Advanced Drawing & Painting will emphasize intermediate and advanced techniques, including both traditional and alternative drawing media, acrylics, and watercolor. The curriculum will explore artistic processes of artists throughout history. Students will create large-scale drawings and paintings that explore a variety of techniques and media. Charcoal, ebony pencil, acrylic, and watercolor will be used.
The curriculum for high school Physical Education stresses the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. Teamwork, cooperation and sportsmanship are emphasized. The students will explore a variety of sports and athletic opportunities throughout the year.