Departments & Courses

At Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, we design challenging curricula to engage the whole student. 

From thoughtful core classes to rigorous honors and Advanced Placement courses, SHC’s learning infrastructure and integrated cocurriculars support educational excellence and individualized learning. A dynamic blend of liberal arts, scientific inquiry, and 21st-century pedagogy develops resourceful, independent thinkers. Our 75-minute block schedule facilitates project-based, collaborative learning as well as college and career habits of mind. Continuing the Lasallian Vincentian tradition of transformative education, SHC’s enthusiastic and knowledgeable teachers and staff nurture a life-long commitment to learning through compassionate service to others.

Current Courses

This course’s study of archetypal literature provides a basic understanding of the writer’s craft. English 1,2 teaches vocabulary and grammar through context and application. Students compose creative writing inspired by the literature as well as practice the composition of timed essays and the process method for basic three-part explanatory, contrast and problem-solving essays. Throughout the course, students employ literary terminology in text-centered verbal and written discourse. Note: students in the DePaul Scholar and I2 Programs will have a summer assignment in this course.

This course focuses on epiphany-themed literature, exploring all the areas covered in 9th grade English, but in greater depth and intensity. Students read more and at a more rapid pace; students write more challenging and more frequent essays and employ literary criticism in text-centered verbal and written discourse.

This course explores all the topics covered in 10th grade English, but in greater depth and intensity. Students read more and at a more rapid pace; students write more challenging and more frequent essays. This course is designed to prepare underclassmen for the English advanced placement program. Note: this course includes a summer assignment. Prerequisites: 1) An A for each semester of English 1,2; 2) PSAT 8/9 score 3) Writing sample.  

This rigorous course is the study of rhetoric, the art of verbal expression. This course examines the cultural contexts for critical thinking and writing, focusing on the myths that dominate American Culture. Reading widely from both fiction and nonfiction, students learn to identify stylistic strategies rooted in voice, tone, diction, punctuation and structure. In this writing intensive course, students become more accomplished writers by consistently applying what they have learned to their own compositions. Students must take the Advanced Placement exam.

Prerequisites: 1) A cumulative 3.5 GPA in all previous English courses; 2) AP Potential Score; 3) Writing Sample

Note: this course includes a summer assignment.

Focusing on world literature, this writing-intensive course focuses on college-level literary analysis. Taught like a college class, the course includes close reading of sophisticated texts, an examination of narrative style and structure, and an extensive review of poetic technique. The course culminates in the composition of a college-level literary paper. Students must take the Advanced Placement exam. Prerequisites: 1) A cumulative 3.5 GPA in all previous English courses; 2) AP Potential Score; 3) Writing Sample Note: this course includes a summer assignment.

Journalism is the systematic gathering, interpreting, processing and disseminating of information, opinion and entertainment for publication. This course is an academic subject requiring substantial reading and writing. Legal, ethical and sociological aspects of journalism come under intense scrutiny. Students learn many aspects of newspaper and magazine journalism, including reporting, interviewing, feature and investigative writing, new journalism techniques, editing, computer layout and design. Prerequisites: Students must be 10th, 11th, or 12th graders with a cumulative 2.5 GPA in all previous English courses. Note: As an elective, this course does not count toward the English graduation requirements. The course is offered outside the regular school day as a blended course, with both in-person class meetings and online learning.

The word “modernism” implies a self-conscious break from the past. In the United States and Europe, from the late 19th century to the early 20th century, the ache of modernism was so fervent in literature, art, philosophy and architecture that the era took this “modern” name. While engaging with the era's poets and authors, students will examine this break from the past and the impact it has had on literature as a whole. Students will then examine modernism as a specific era of history and analyze the wave of modernism in other branches of expression. Prerequisites: English 1-4.

What does it mean to be human? How much control do we humans have over our physical and mental capacities, or over our external world? Do we ever play God? Literature and Science seeks to define what it means to be human by examining classic and contemporary literature that explores bioethical issues. Based in texts such as Shelly’s Frankenstein, Hawthorne’s "The Birthmark", Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, students will explore and debate some of the most provocative political and moral issues of our time.  As people of faith, as emergent voters in the biotech Bay Area, and ultimately as human beings, what kinds of choices might students be asked to make in their lifetimes? Though it will not manufacture answers, this course will stimulate ethical inquiry through narrative as well as hone literary and writing skills. Prerequisites:  English 1-4.

The “Golden Age of Athens” has the rightful claim to much of the basis of western civilization; architecture, sculpture, art, politics, philosophy and drama flowered in this short 40 year span. Where does literature end and history begin? Where does history end and literature begin? How does imagination fill in missing pieces of a historical puzzle? This course will try to form a picture of life in the “Golden Age” of the Greeks from the fragments we have left. Students will study the dramatists Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes in context of the Festival for Dionysius as well as the chronologies of Herodotus (“the Father of History”) and Thucydides. Students will also take a look at the major characters that shaped this amazing period of time: Pericles, Socrates (via Plato), Alcibiades, and Phidias among others. Students will end the course contemplating a new question: why does this classic era still influence today’s postmodern world? Prerequisites:  English 1-4.

Shakespeare has left us quite a chronology of drama and poetry to contemplate. The completion of this course will develop the student’s Shakespearean eye and ear through poetry and drama, and the study of William Shakespeare, the person, within his historical context. Since even a year-long university course would have difficulty examining the entirety of Shakespeare’s works (38 plays, 154 sonnets and other long poems), this semester course does not aim to digest the whole of Shakespeare at once or promise the mastery of Shakespeare, but rather provides an in-depth sampling of each of the three categories of plays (history, comedy and tragedy) originally presented in the First Folio, along with a tasting of some of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Shakespearean drama was meant to be seen and heard; while our postmodern world offers us the convenience of Shakespeare’s works in text format, participation as both an audience member and as an actor will be essential to the completion of this course. Putting drama into action will also help students imagine the motivation of the playwright, actor and audience member during Shakespeare’s time. Prerequisites:  English 1-4.

This course takes a scholarly approach to the appreciation and understanding of classic science fiction. Far from the light sabers and scaly monsters of pop/genre fiction, this course presents an argument for speculative literature as one of the most cogent, serious and exciting literary forms in modern times. The course examines the history and evolution of speculative literature from its origins in ancient folklore through its golden age and onward to its contemporary forms, with special attention to such enduring sci-fi motifs as technological innovation, robotics, alien contact, time and space travel, human evolution and apocalypse. Prerequisites:  English 1-4.

More than a form of communication for the Irish people, language is often a means for playing a verbal game and for creating an identity. As anyone who has attempted it will no doubt attest, mundane conversation with an Irish person is virtually impossible. Irish writers are renowned for their satirical accounts of life in a war-torn, impoverished nation. This course will examine several classic Irish works, with a particular eye toward the use of humor as a means for coping with oppression and depression. Prerequisites:  English 1-4.

This course explores the literary, geographical, political, and cultural influence that land and place can have on narrative, content and style. It then dives into questions that often prove tough to answer. What happens when we cross oceans? How do we honor our ancestors and ourselves? What do we do when our hearts belong to two or even three countries? This course surveys short stories, poetry, memoirs, and brief nonfiction writings by Asian American authors, as well as writing by authors from China, India, Japan, Korea and Vietnam. Besides enjoying vibrant prose, students will refine their college level skills in oral and written discourse, as well as closely examine the issue of narrative perspective.

Prerequisites: English 1-4.

Much more than a form of literature for the African American people, language and writing have thundered concern for injustice and motivated social change.  This course will examine several classic African American works, with a particular eye towards the use of writing to survive oppression and to create social change.Through close readings, essay writing, exams and one major research paper, students will come away from the course with advanced critical reasoning, improved analytical writing, the ability to converse decisively about narrative, and an introduction to great works of literature.

Prerequisites: English 1-4.

Revolutionary Women's Literature takes a scholarly approach to the appreciation and understanding of the impact American female writers have made on American literature and social history. The course examines the challenges these literary pioneers overcame through analysis of the intersection of their personal lives and the social issues that inspired their work. While disparate in style and subject matter, Dickinson, Stowe, Chopin, Hurston and Hellman all flouted convention to promote the causes of not only women but also other disempowered Americans. Prerequisites: English 1-4.

Before humankind invented written language, we told stories with pictures, evidenced by the crude drawings found on caves walls in southern France and Spain. As written language evolved and became the preferred medium for storytelling, visual storytelling persisted through church windows, tapestries, oil paintings and comic texts, maintaining an important role in the transmission of the stories of the people by whom and for whom they were created. Ours is an era of increasingly complex visualization with the use of digital technologies and the proliferation of these images via the Internet. How well do we understanding the medium of visuals for storytelling? In this course, students will learn the vocabulary of graphic novels and examine how graphic novels build the interpretive skills students already know about works of fiction and non-fiction. Readings will include texts that showcase the possibilities of graphic novels to tell a story, convey historical knowledge, offer commentary on the human condition and more. While the majority of assessments will be written in text-only language, students will have an opportunity to create their own short-length graphic stories. Prerequisites: English 1-4.

This course is an introduction to French language and culture. Its goal is for students to communicate effectively in French at a mid-novice level in the four basic skill areas: listening, speaking, reading and writing (with an emphasis on listening comprehension and speaking), and to begin learning about francophone culture. Areas of study include greeting, food, family, school, time, weather, clothing and popular culture. Points of grammar include subject pronouns; the present, passé composé, and immediate future tenses of regular and irregular verbs; gender; agreement; question formation; and the syntax of simple, compound and some complex sentences. Students develop an appreciation for global cultures in the the francophone world including those of France, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, the Caribbean and Africa. Class work includes paired and group activities, dialogues and conversation, and is reinforced with online resources.

This course builds on the language competencies achieved in French 1,2 in the four basic language skill areas. Its goal include communicating effectively in French at an intermediate level and learning more about francophone culture. Areas of study include transportation, travel, professions, geography, grooming, sports, and leisure. Points of grammar include all personal pronouns, reflexive verbs, the imperative, the imperfect and conditional tenses, and relative clauses. The francophone cultural focus is on Paris, the Loire Valley, the Caribbean, Quebec, and the Maghreb countries of North Africa. Class work includes the consistent use of French in written work, paired and group activities, dialogues and conversations, and is reinforced with online resources. Prerequisites: French 1,2 or placement based on exam.

This course continues to build on the skills acquired in French 1,2 and is centered around the three modes of communication, interpersonal (learners engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions), presentational (learners present information, concepts and ideas to an audience or readers on a variety of topics) and interpretive (understanding authentic audio and written material). Students practice daily in the three modes of communication in vocabulary and structure activities and they deepen their understanding of cultural products, practices and perspectives in the French-speaking world. Class will be conducted in French. Prerequisites: 1) Cumulative 3.0 GPA in French 1,2 2) Teacher recommendation, or placement test.  

Expanding on communication skills practiced in previous levels, students will learn to express themselves more completely and fluidly by acquiring a broader vocabulary, complex grammatical structures, and idiomatic expressions as well as by expanding their knowledge of verb tenses. They will continue to improve their ability to read materials from newspaper articles to short stories and they will strengthen their writing skills as they learn how to write compositions, give detailed explanations, narrate stories using pictures, and compare and contrast ideas. They will become acquainted with important figures who contributed to history, art, science, music, movies and environment in the French-speaking world. Students will interact in small pairs or small groups as they apply their knowledge in situations typical of those one might encounter when communicating with French speakers. They will watch news program on French TV and discuss various current events. All activities will be conducted in French. Prerequisites: Cumulative 2.0 GPA in French 3,4.  Please see note on advanced study in LOTE.

Students who complete this course will be well-prepared for the rigors of French AP the following year. Students develop interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational modes of communication, as well as sophisticated listening, speaking, writing and reading skills. Dialogues, songs, poems, and news program expose students to a variety of vocabulary and a range of accents used in the French-speaking world. Students acquire a command of fluent, automatic and authentic contemporary French by performing skits, dialogues and oral presentations, and by participating in discussions and debates on issues such as the influence of media, global warming, science and ethics, immigration and tolerance. They express original ideas in writing, using practical and abstract vocabulary and complex grammatical structures and verb tenses (including all personal pronouns, reflexive verbs, the imperative, the imperfect and conditional tenses, and relative clauses.) They read and understand a variety of documents, especially those referencing current events in the French speaking world. Students read Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. All activities will be conducted in French. Note: this course includes a summer assignment. Prerequisites: 1) A 3.5 GPA in French 3,4. 2) Teacher recommendation.

This advanced French course addresses themes of Global Challenges, Science and Technology, Contemporary Life, Personal and Public Identities, Families and Communities, and Beauty and Aesthetics. Daily activities immerse students in college-level French in preparation for the AP French Language and Culture exam, and to facilitate active listening, writing, speaking and reading, as well as practice in interpersonal, interpretive and presentational communication in real-life settings. The course includes extensive practice in the writing of compositions and the use of podcasts, digital articles, videos, news clips and songs from an array of francophone sources. Classes will be conducted entirely in French. Note: this course will have a summer assignment. Prerequisites: 1) A cumulative 3.5 GPA in French 5,6 Honors or French 5,6. 2) Teacher recommendation.

This course continues the emphasis on the spoken language while exposing students to a greater knowledge of French culture and society. Students will participate in debates and discussions, perform skits and dialogues, and present oral projects. Short stories, French novels, and shorter pieces of literature will be read and discussed. Students will expand on their writing skills, and will draft and revise complex essays and compositions. Students will watch French movies and news programs, and listen to French songs. All activities will be conducted in French. Note: this course includes a summer assignment. Prerequisites: 2.0 GPA in French 5,6.  

This course in beginning Spanish provides an introduction to understanding, listening to, speaking, reading, and writing modern Spanish. Students learn to speak with correct pronunciation and intonation, and develop their speaking, reading, and writing skills in the present, preterit, present progressive, and future tense. Students discover an understanding and appreciation of the Spanish language and the array of Spanish-speaking cultures through informal and formal oral presentations, projects, readings, writing, and digital resources. Students are encouraged to speak in Spanish as consistently as possible.

This course is for Spanish-speaking students in the 9th and 10th grade. It offers the opportunity to study Spanish formally in an academic setting. The course focuses on listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills to develop effective communication in standard Spanish. The course incorporates in-depth study of the grammatical structures and vocabulary from Spanish 1,2 and 3,4, through activities such as reading and discussion of short literary and non-fiction works from the Spanish-speaking world; formal and informal presentations; digital resources; and interviews. The class is conducted entirely in Spanish. Students who successfully complete the course will progress to Spanish 5,6 or 5,6 Honors. Prerequisites:  Being able to understand and speak Spanish. Este curso es para estudiantes de nivel 9° y 10° que ya hablan español. El curso se concentra en mejorar la expresión oral y desarrollar técnicas para mejorar la comprensión de lectura y escritura dentro de un contexto académico y cultural. Requisitos:  Comprender y hablar español a nivel básico o avanzado.

This class is a continuation of Spanish 2. It continues the emphasis on the spoken language with correct pronunciation, intonation and grammar usage. Speaking, listening, reading and writing are expanded through longer reading selections and more complex applications. Students will explore specific linguistic, cultural, geographical and historical aspects of the Spanish-speaking world through multimedia. Students strengthen their use of the spoken language in the tenses learned in the first year as well as the imperfect tense and the subjunctive mood. Research projects, essays, and formal and informal presentations in the target language demonstrate acquisition of skills and appreciation of language and culture. This course will be conducted in Spanish. Prerequisites: Cumulative 2.0 GPA in Spanish 1,2, or placement based on exam.

This course incorporates the second-year Spanish curriculum but with more in-depth study and more extensive expectations of student performance in language acquisition skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening). Students explore specific linguistic, cultural, geographical, and historical aspects of the Spanish-speaking world multimedia resources. Students strengthen their use of the tenses learned in the first year as well as of the imperfect tense and the subjunctive mood. Research projects, essays, and formal and informal presentations in the target language demonstrate acquisition of skills and appreciation of language and culture. This course is conducted entirely in Spanish. Note: this course includes a summer assignment. Prerequisites: 1) Cumulative 3.5 GPA in Spanish 1,2 2) Placement test 3) Teacher recommendation.  

This course builds on the skills of Spanish 3,4 or 3,4 Honors, developing Spanish-language conversational ability, vocabulary and literary knowledge. Students are required to use all tenses in writing and speaking; they deliver formal oral presentations, conduct research, and draft essays in Spanish using all grammatical structures. Hispanic literature, art, current events, and multimedia resources are analyzed for cultural enrichment and to develop skills. This course will be conducted in Spanish. Prerequisites:  Spanish 3,4; please see note on advanced study in LOTE.

This course builds on the skills of Spanish 3,4 or 3,4 Honors, developing Spanish-language conversational ability, vocabulary and literary knowledge at a fast pace to prepare students for Spanish AP the following year. Students are required to use all tenses in writing and speaking; they deliver formal oral presentations, conduct research, and draft essays in Spanish using all grammatical structures. Hispanic literature, art, current events, and multimedia resources are analyzed for cultural enrichment and to develop skills. This course will be conducted in Spanish. Note: this course includes a summer assignment. Prerequisites:  1) Cumulative 3.5 GPA in Spanish 3,4 H or cumulative 4.0 in Spanish 3,4. 2) Teacher recommendation. 3) Placement test.

This college-level Spanish course prepares students for the AP Spanish exam and develops their daily proficiency in interpersonal (interactive), interpretive (receptive) and presentational (productive) communication in Spanish. By studying the communication, cultures, and communities of the Spanish-speaking world and making connections and comparisons to students' own language communities, the course develops language skills that are broadly useful and can be applied to a range of disciplines. The course incorporates extensive practice in the writing of compositions, and is conducted entirely in Spanish. Note: this course includes a summer assignment. Prerequisites:  1) Cumulative 3.5 GPA in Spanish 5,6 or Spanish 5,6 Honors. 2) Teacher recommendation. 3) Placement test.  

This course continues to develop the ability to speak, understand, read and write Spanish in academic and real-world contexts. The content expands knowledge of the culture and history of Spanish-speaking countries and prepares the student to use Spanish in daily conversation. Students use print and multimedia resources to learn about the geography, economics, political institutions, literature, music, and architecture of Spain and Latin America. Prerequisites:  Spanish 5,6 or 5,6 Honors; please see note on advanced study in LOTE.

This course is designed for students with no prior Japanese language experience. Students begin to speak, understand, read, and write Japanese as well as to appreciate the attitudes, values, and customs of Japan. Initially students will learn the elements of the Japanese alphabet and how to speak, read, and write basic statements necessary for everyday, elementary conversation. Students will learn how to convey and ask for basic information as they begin to explore Japanese culture.

This course is a continuation of Japanese 1,2. Students expand their ability to speak, understand, read, and write Japanese as well as their ability to appreciate the attitudes, values, and customs of the Japanese culture. This course is designed to facilitate the understanding and articulation of abstract ideas, event sequencing, and expression of opinions as students deepen their exploration of the Japanese culture. Note: this course includes a summer assignment. Prerequisites:  Japanese 1,2. Please see note on advanced study in LOTE.

This course represents a continuation of Japanese 3,4. Students expand their ability to speak, understand, read, and write Japanese as well as their ability to appreciate the attitudes, values, and customs of the Japanese culture. The course includes extensive use of oral and written activities with short story readings and writing exercises, and incorporates some preparation for the AP Japanese exam. Students build on knowledge from prior courses to converse, to convey and elicit more complex information necessary for everyday life among native Japanese speakers, and to broaden their knowledge of the Japanese culture. As they progress, students gain the ability to express their opinions and beliefs in sophisticated ways. Note: this course includes a summer assignment. Prerequisites:  Japanese 3,4. Please see note on advanced study in LOTE.

This course represents a continuation of Japanese 5,6. Students develop sophisticated communication skills by listening and reading in a variety of styles, practicing oral conversation in class, and engaging in frequent written exercises. Students will expand their study of Japanese culture and society as they learn the Japanese language. Note: this course includes a summer assignment. Prerequisites:  Japanese 5,6. Please see note on advanced study in LOTE.

This course is a rigorous continuation of Japanese 5,6, intended to prepare students for the AP Japanese exam. Students practice extensive oral conversation in class; conduct presentations and debates; complete numerous written exercises including journal entries, essays and research reports; and read a variety of literature and non-fiction including letters, short stories, and journal articles. Students are more deeply exposed to Japanese culture as they learn the language at a college-level. This is the most advanced course offered in Japanese, and requires daily engagement with both the basic and more complex aspects of the Japanese language. Note: this course includes a summer assignment. Prerequisites:  Cumulative 4.0 GPA in Japanese 5,6. Please see note about advanced study in LOTE

This course provides an introduction to American Sign Language (ASL) and to Deaf Culture.  Students in this course learn to communicate through signing and do so by expressing whole ideas rather than words. ASL grammar and vocabulary are an integral part of the course, both through consistent daily practice and multimedia resources. Students participate in independent and collaborative projects, and utilize an interactive digital notebook as part of developing an understanding of ASL syntax.

Building on skills and vocabulary learned in the first year of ASL study, students practice communication on a regular basis, learning to sign in both academic and social settings. This course includes further exploration of ASL and its evolution, study of ASL's history and current social implications, and an introduction to the deaf community in San Francisco. Students engage in a comprehensive use of grammar, vocabulary, and descriptive signing on a broad, intermediate basis. Students continue to develop their understanding of  ASL syntax and fluency through the use of an interactive digital notebook. Prerequisites: ASL 1,2.

This course further develops basic reception and production skills in American Sign Language. Its goals include deepening an understanding of deaf culture, syntax, and vocabulary, and strengthening an ability to demonstrate abstract ideas and concepts. Students sign original skits, songs, stories, and poetry; strengthen their expression in ASL; and begin to gloss (or "write") ASL. There are frequent translation exercises as well as a research project on a famous deaf person. Note: Participation in this course requires attendance at two functions outside the daily schedule. Prerequisites: ASL 3,4. Please see note on advanced study in LOTE.

This course is an introduction to American Sign Language at the college level. Students focus on signing fluently in class and in social situations and on their ability to gloss, while expanding their studies of ASL syntax and Deaf Culture and history. The course goes beyond the fundamentals of ASL and begins an analysis of the linguistics of ASL’s complex grammatical structure and intricate linguistic properties. In addition, ASL 7,8 students learn the basics of interpreting, its practice and challenges; participate in discussions of Deaf Culture; and engage with guest speakers from the Deaf Community. Prerequisites: A cumulative 2.0 GPA in American Sign Language 5,6. Please see note 0n advanced study in LOTE.

This course in beginning Mandarin emphasizes the development of the oral language.  It includes an introduction to understanding, speaking, reading, and writing modern Mandarin which involves mastering pictorial representation in character writings.  Students will learn approximately 250 new characters and will learn to type in Chinese. Significant portions of class work will be completed through Chinese typing.

This course continues to develop the mastery of oral proficiency, reading and writing modern Mandarin. There is greater emphasis on mastering pictorial representation (characters’ connotations) and speaking. Students will read and discuss short descriptions and stories in Chinese. In addition to word processing in Chinese, students will frequently record themselves speaking in order to increase confidence and proficiency with Mandarin. Note: this course includes a summer assignment. Prerequisites: A cumulative 2.0 GPA in Mandarin 1,2 or placement exam.  

This course builds on the foundations established in the first two years of Mandarin with an emphasis on the fluent speaking and and the colloquial use of Mandarin Chinese as well as more sophisticated essay, journal and letter writing. An initial introduction to classical Chinese literature marks a new level of challenge for students. Class immersion in the language will include situational conversations, and will draw on the many resources and opportunities available in the San Francisco Bay Area. Note: this course includes a summer assignment. Prerequisites: A cumulative 2.0 GPA in Mandarin 3,4; please see note on advanced study in LOTE.  

The primary goal of Mandarin 7,8 is to deepen students’ immersion into the language and the culture of the Chinese-speaking world. This course continues the emphasis on the spoken language while exposing students to a greater breadth of Chinese culture and society. Students participate in discussions of literature and videos, perform skits and dialogues, present oral projects, and research real-life situations such as planning a trip to China. Students expand on their writing skills, and draft and revise essays and compositions. All activities will be conducted in Mandarin. Note: this course includes a summer assignment. Prerequisites: A cumulative 2.0 GPA in Mandarin 5,6; please see note on advanced study in LOTE.

Mandarin 7,8/AP is comparable to an introductory university course whose primary goal is to immerse students in the language and the culture of the Chinese-speaking world. Daily activities prepare students for the AP Chinese Language and Culture exam. Lessons based in real-life settings facilitate active listening, writing, speaking and reading, as well as practice in interpersonal, interpretive and presentational communication. Students frequently write and read on the computer to develop fluency and to prepare for the AP assessment. Classes are conducted entirely in Mandarin. Note: this course includes a summer assignment. Prerequisites: 1) A cumulative 4.0 GPA in Mandarin 5,6 2) Teacher recommendation.  

At the end of this course, students will be able to solve and graph both algebraic equations and inequalities. They will also have mastered the concepts of polynomials and rational expressions.  They will be able to apply algebra to solve problems in other disciplines.

Students who complete this course will be able to solve equations and inequalities using several transformations. They will also be able to evaluate polynomials, rational expressions, and irrational expressions and radicals. They will be able to apply algebra to solve problems in other disciplines.

Students completing this course will have mastered the fundamental concepts of plane geometry, properties of similarity, congruence, transformations, triangles, polygons, and circles. Studies will focus on application of these concepts to real life situations and assessed using project based presentations. Prerequisites: Algebra 1,2

By the end of this course, students will be able to solve algebra problems using rational, irrational and complex numbers. They will also be able to manipulate algebraic expressions and solve problems including polynomials, rational functions, logarithm expressions and conics. Finally, they will be able to solve basic trigonometric problems involving the six trigonometric functions and they will examine, prove, and use trigonometric identities to solve problems. Prerequisites: For an incoming sophomore going into AAT, a 3.5 GPA in Honors Algebra or a 4.0 GPA in Algebra; for an incoming junior going into AAT, a 3.0 GPA in Algebra Honors or Algebra.

Students who complete this course will have mastered topics introduced during their first year of Algebra. They will also be able to solve problems involving linear equations, rational numbers, complex numbers and polynomials. Topics will also include conic sections, rational expressions and equations, inverse functions, radical expressions and equations, logarithms and inverse variation. Prerequisites: Geometry 1,2

Students completing this course will have the ability to write and solve problems using the six trigonometric functions. Students will also to be able to create and use the unit circle and all of its trigonometric components for problem solving.  Students will have the ability to read and graph periodic trigonometric functions. Students will also examine and prove trigonometric identities. This course will be necessary for any student wishing to take Pre-Calculus in college. Please note:  Students who have completed Advanced Algebra/Trigonometry may NOT enroll in this course. Exceptions may be granted to students whose performance in the trigonometry portion of the course resulted in a deficient grade. Prerequisites: A cumulative 2.0 GPA in Advanced Algebra 1,2.

This semester course provides a foundation in elementary statistics for students who might take a statistics course in college. Topics include data collection and experiment design, exploratory data analysis and probability. Students will learn how to use computer software and technology to interpret statistical data. Prerequisites:  A cumulative 2.0 GPA in Advanced Algebra 1,2.

This course is designed for students who wish to expand their knowledge of trigonometric functions. Students will use trigonometry in a variety of applications and word problems. Students completing this course will have an in-depth grasp of how trigonometric equations and functions relate to an xy-coordinate plane graph. Topics include: elementary functions and their graphs, analytic trigonometry, plane analytic geometry, sequences and series. Prerequisites: A cumulative 2.0 GPA in Advanced Algebra/Trig 1,2.
Note: Students will not be eligible to enter Calculus AB Advanced Placement from this course.

Students completing this course will have an in-depth grasp of elementary functions and their graphs, analytic trigonometry, plane analytic geometry, sequences, series and limits.  The course also includes an introduction to differential calculus. Prerequisites: A cumulative 3.0 GPA in Advanced Algebra/Trig 1,2 with a minimum score of 80% on the spring final exam. Students who earn a B in the first semester of Advanced Algebra/Trigonometry will need the recommendation of their teacher if they earned a B in the 80%-83% range. Note: Summer courses in Advanced Algebra/Trig will not facilitate advancement into Advanced Pre-Calculus.

This course is designed for students who wish to continue in study the concepts of pre-calculus through an introduction to differential and integral calculus. Emphases will be placed on limits, continuity, differential, and integrals of algebraic and trigonometric functions with one variable. Prerequisites:  A cumulative 3.0 GPA in preparatory Pre-Calculus or a cumulative 2.0 GPA in Advanced Pre-Calculus.
 

This yearlong course covers one semester of a college-level elementary statistics class. Topics include data collection and experiment design, exploratory data analysis (graphical and numerical techniques), probability and statistical inference. Students will have the opportunity to take the AP Statistics exam but they are not required to do so. Prerequisites: A cumulative 2.0 GPA in Advanced Algebra/Trigonometry 1,2.

This year-long course covers two semesters of a college-level elementary statistics class.  Topics include data collection and experiment design, exploratory data analysis (graphical and numerical techniques), probability and statistical inference. Prerequisites: ) A cumulative 3.0 GPA in Advanced Pre-Calculus, Statistics 1,2, or preparatory Pre-Calculus 1,2    2) AP Potential Score.  

At the end of this course, students will be able to solve problems involving conic sections, derivatives, integrals and their applications. Note: this course includes a summer assignment. Prerequisites:  1) A cumulative 3.0 GPA in Advanced Pre-Calculus or preparatory Calculus 2) 80% or better on the spring final in Advanced Pre-Calculus or preparatory Calculus 3) AP Potential Score

Students who complete this course will be able to solve problems involving sequences, series, power series, Taylor series, parametric equations, polar coordinates, analytic geometry, vectors, vector applications and matrices. Prerequisites:   1) A cumulative 3.0 GPA in Calculus AB 1,2   2) An 80% or better on the spring Calculus AB 1,2 final

This course begins with the history of the Hebrew people and the development of their faith. Students examine how the Hebrew people discovered the nature of God and of humans through the successes and failures of patriarchs, prophets, priests and kings. Students are asked to read the scriptures critically to discern the authors’ original intents and to read reflectively and prayerfully to discern the workings of God in human history. They are challenged to compare the historical religious experience of the Hebrews with their own experiences. Building on this historical and critical foundation, students then explore the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and the development of the early church as witnessed by the writers of the four Gospels and the Epistles. Here too, students are challenged to make a critical application to their own lives of the teachings of Christ as understood by the faith experiences of his followers and the tradition of the Catholic Church. Note: this course meets UC college preparatory elective criteria ("g").

This course begins with the New Testament infancy of the church and traces the church’s development through the centuries to the present day. Students examine church governance, images and models as they evolved over the years, and learn how the church understood itself and its mission in the world from the Patristic period to the Second Vatican Council. Students will further study the church as a historical and religious institution partly conditioned by and conditioning the course of Western Civilization, and will reflect on the church’s global role in the contemporary world. Note: this class meets UC college preparatory elective criteria ("g").

This course is only available to sophomores and satisfies graduation requirements for both Religious Studies and Visual & Performing Arts. The course follows the timeline and events in the rise of Christianity, while developing critical skills and aesthetic vocabulary in order to understand how art was (and is) a vehicle for religious expression. Students will study important historical works and will create art in a variety of mediums as they respond to the methods, materials, and styles of those works. As they deepen their ability to perceive and to analyze art, students will be expected to articulate their own artistic opinions. Note: this course meets UC Visual and Performing Arts criteria ("f") and satisfies SHC's Religious Studies graduation requirement.

This course examines general ethical principles and their application to specific situations, the formation of a personal conscience, and stages of moral reasoning. In the light of the teachings of religious traditions (such as the Catholic Christian one) and their own lived experience, students are challenged to examine individual and societal values and practices. Individually and in collaboration, students analyze the ethical implications of topics including poverty, racism, capital punishment, abortion, technology, warfare and environmental stewardship. Starting from an understanding of human vocation, students reflect on how their values might shape their future life choices and commitments to God, self, family and society. Note: This course meets UC college preparatory elective criteria ("g").

This course is designed to educate students about human sexuality emphasizing the Catholic Christian perspective. Topics include anatomy, sexual awareness, self-concept, sexual orientation, reproduction, dating, sexual decision-making, teen pregnancy, contraception, disease control and sexual abuse. Note: this course meets UC college preparatory elective criteria ("g").

How can young men and women make greater sense out of loss, or cultivate resilience amidst life’s confusion? Living and Dying will attempt to respond to these questions by exploring the meaning of life and death from the Christian perspective. A study of a variety of novels, films and essays, supported by individual research, journal writing and class discussion, will enable students to gain insights into themselves, their relationship to God, and the reasons for hope in the face of life’s transitions. Topics include the mystery of life, death, suffering and practices regarding death and dying, suffering and grieving, aging, coping with terminal illness, contemporary social issues and afterlife.

Comparative Religions examines the major world religions amid their cultural and historical settings. Eastern faiths such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Confucianism, Shintoism, and Zoroastrianism are compared and contrasted to Islam, Judaism, and Eastern and Western Christianity. Students examine the major themes and texts of each religion, the experiences of the founders, principal beliefs and branches, and each faith’s festivals and rituals. Christian and non-Christian religious traditions are studied for their common elements as well as for their unique contributions to human self-understanding and the human search for the divine. Note: this course meets UC college preparatory elective criteria ("g").

The Lasallian/Vincentian Leadership class is for seniors interested in learning more about our school charisms and founders, the role of youth in lay ministry, and leadership methodology. This course is also for students interested in practicing these concepts through service learning projects. Students will examine critically their own call to leadership in our community, and develop the leadership skills necessary to positively influence their communities in the future. As part of the summative assessment for this course, students are required to lead both the frosh and sophomore retreats during the school year. In addition, students may be asked to represent the school at off-campus events and, while not a course requirement, are strongly encouraged to attend a Kairos retreat.

This elective will provide opportunities for students to deepen their understanding of prayer, spirituality, relationships with God and others, and to study the emerging science of mindfulness. The course explores the prosocial practices of mindfulness, gratitude and compassion, integrating traditional contemplative practices from various wisdom traditions with contemporary psychology and scientific research. Students will engage in evidence-based practices to cultivate mindfulness and well-being; they will develop resources for their individual and communal search for God and understanding of the self. Note: this course meets UC college preparatory elective criteria (“g”).

Starting from beliefs in the sacramental nature of life and the metaphorical nature of art, this course will examine various theological ideas as expressed in fiction, poetry and film. Topics include good and evil, sin and grace, suffering and redemption, faith and revelation, and incarnation and sacrament. Students will analyze works of art through the lens of faith and of critical thought, and explore how to apply the lessons learned to their own lives.

Students will explore the meaning and practice of justice and service by examining contemporary, philosophical and religious theories of justice with emphasis on Catholic social teaching. Each week, students will spend a portion of class time at a service internship site located near SHC; these community service internships augment a reflective understanding of service and a critical analysis of social justice. Prerequisites: Application packets (distributed at the Academic Fair) including a self-reflection, and a brief letter of recommendation from a previous Religious Studies teacher.

This interdisciplinary seminar, incorporating selected writings from classical and contemporary theologians, philosophers, economists, artists and historians, invites students to converse about and with the Great Works. The seminar format requires rigorous and intense reading, reflection, and writing about primary texts, as well as highly engaged class and online discussions. As students begin to see themselves as responsible for the pursuit of ideas and of the common good, they strengthen their critical literacy and partake in a long humanistic tradition, a vibrant Catholic intellectual heritage, and a rich Lasallian Vincentian educational legacy. A major independent project (“Jan Project”) is required and classes may be held outside of the regular school day. Note: This course meets UC college preparatory elective criteria ("g"). Seniors participating in the De Paul Scholar Program are given preference in course placement. Note: this course includes a summer assignment.

Through student-centered activities such as laboratory experiments and group work, as well as some lecture presentation and reading, biology students explore and analyze the natural world. Students formulate and investigate questions about living things and classify living things according to the organisms’ characteristics. Students explain the principles of genetics, cell biology and DNA replication, the function of major cell organelles, energy utilization and interrelationships of living things. Students also discuss biological aspects of various societal issues.

The AP Biology course is designed to be the equivalent of a two-semester college introductory biology course taken by biology majors during their first year. The topics covered are biochemistry, heredity and evolution, ecology and the structure of cells. This class prepares students for the AP Biology exam. Note: this course includes a summer assignment. Prerequisites: A cumulative 3.5 GPA in Science or AP Potential Score.  

Chemistry students investigate the properties of matter; the ways in which substances interact, combine, and change; and the use of processes to form new substances. Students learn through student-centered activities such as laboratory experiments and group work, as well as some lecture presentation and problem solving. Students observe the characteristics of various types of matter and learn to distinguish between them. They also execute, classify, predict and quantify the products of chemical reactions. In addition, students perform calculations involving mass, moles and concentration of types of matter.  Students also describe the model of the atom and the placement of elements in the periodic table. 

In this course, students achieve all of the outcomes of Chemistry 1,2 but do so with a higher level of conceptualization and with more complex mathematical problem solving. This higher level of expectation is particularly evident in laboratory investigations, collaborative problem solving sessions and various classroom assessments. Students also explain, apply and quantify the thermodynamics of chemical and physical changes, and apply their knowledge of covalent bonding and molecular geometry to basic reactions in the field of organic chemistry.

Prerequisites: 1) A cumulative 3.5 GPA. 2) An A in the first semester of Physics 1.

The AP Physics C, Mechanics course develops students’ knowledge of physics, with topics including phenomenology, theories and techniques, concepts and generalizing principles, rotational kinematics and dynamics, Kepler’s Laws, Universal Gravitation, statics, and simple harmonic motion. The course engages students in sophisticated mathematical problem solving, verbal articulation, and graphical analysis of physical phenomena. The course will cover the material prescribed by the College Board for an AP Physics C, Mechanics course only, and will incorporate a large number of AP type problems and practice exams to prepare students for that exam. Note: This course is open only to 11th and 12th graders, with preference given to 12th graders; students receive credit in the UC "d" lab science area. Prerequisites: 1) A cumulative 3.5 in Science. 2) Successful (2.0 GPA or better) completion of or concurrent enrollment in Calculus or Calculus AB.  

Through student-centered activities such as experimentation, research, field trips, and investigation, as well as some lecture presentation and reading, Marine Biology students survey marine environments and their biotic communities with an emphasis on the natural history of marine organisms.  This course will touch on a number of different branches of biology (including biochemistry, physiology, zoology, botany, and ecology) within the context of the ocean environment. Students will start by learning about the ocean itself and its physical properties, as these properties influence the abundance, distribution, diversity, physiology, and behavior of marine organisms.  Students will also learn about the specific environmental challenges facing marine life as well as the physiological and behavioral adaptations that have resulted from these challenges.  Students will then learn about the life cycles of marine organisms—what they eat and how they reproduce—before examining in some depth a number of the most common taxa of marine species.  Once students have a sense of the biodiversity of oceanic life, they will examine the interrelationships between species in different marine communities.  The course will conclude with a look at the impact of humans on the ocean environment both directly and indirectly. The course will prepare students for further study within the field of marine biology and environmental science.

Prerequisites: Successful (2.0 GPA or better ) completion of Physics, Chemistry, and Biology OR counselor permission.

The AP Chemistry course is designed to be the equivalent of the general chemistry course that is taken during the first year of college. Students in the course will attain a depth of understanding of the fundamentals of chemical problem solving and analysis. AP Chemistry is designed to contribute to students’ abilities to think clearly and to express their hypotheses with clarity and logic. As a course designed to prepare students to succeed on the AP Chemistry exam, emphasis will be placed on both qualitative and quantitative laboratory investigations. The course will be similar to the honors chemistry course in its sophisticated approach to mathematical problem solving, verbal articulation, and graphical analysis of chemical phenomena. The course will differ from Chemistry or Honors Chemistry in that it will move at a much faster pace, and will utilize the materials and practice problems suggested by the College Board for an AP Chemistry course. Prerequisites: A cumulative 3.5 GPA in Science or AP Potential Score.

The World History course offers a general survey focused on the patterns of interaction and themes that define our world. The content of the course begins with the dawn of the modern era in the 1400s. Students explore how societies around the world began to converge during this period, sowing the seeds of the globalization we see today. These early encounters lead to the end of some societies, the dominance of others, and the remaking of entire ecosystems. Students analyze the evolving roles of religion, economics, science, forms of government, and social structures to understand the interplay of forces of continuity and drivers of change. Teachers facilitate learning through lectures, discussions, primary source documents, and audio and visual media. Students develop historical thinking skills through critical reading, historical research and writing, collaborative learning, and the creation of multimedia content. Assessments include class work, homework, group projects, papers, quizzes, and exams.

This course is designed as a broad introduction to the six major chronological periods of World History, from prehistory to the present, and facilitates students making connections within global trends and historical processes. Students will build upon the historical skills developed in other Social Studies curriculums, i.e. developing historical arguments, chronological reasoning, comparison, contextualization, and historical interpretation and synthesis, while preparing for the Advanced Placement Exam. Prerequisites: 1) Cumulative 3.0 GPA (including at least a 2.0 GPA in World History) 2) PSAT Score 3) a writing sample. Note: this course includes a summer assignment.

AP European History offers a yearlong survey of European history from the Renaissance to the present, while developing students' analytical, research and study skills. Its purposes are to prepare students for the AP exam, to provide a challenging learning experience, and to preview the rigors of an introductory college history course. Students learn social science concepts in history, political science, geography, and economics as well as major interpretive trends and basic factual knowledge. The course facilitates a student’s ability to employ research, critical thinking and decision-making.

Prerequisites: 1) Cumulative 3.0 GPA (including at least a 2.0 GPA in World History) 2) PSAT Score 3) a writing sample.

Note: this course includes a summer assignment.

This preparatory two-semester course surveys United States history from pre-colonial beginnings through the twentieth century. Students will explore the foundations of the United States and its emergence as world power. Students develop skills in the following five interconnected dimensions of historical thinking: chronological thinking; historical comprehension; historical analysis and interpretation; historical research capabilities; and historical issues, analysis, and decision making. Note: this course includes a summer assignment.

This course is designed to be an intensive survey of United States history beginning with the foundation of the republic and culminating with the role of the United States as a world power. Students will be introduced to the methods and tools of historical analysis and the mechanics of historical research through a year-long, in-depth research project. Note: this course includes a summer assignment. Prerequisites: 1) Cumulative 3.5 GPA 2) A writing test 3) AP Potential Score.  

This course is designed to provide students with analytic skills necessary to deal critically with the problems and developments of American history. It is designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement test in United States History. The overall pace of the class and demands upon the students will be equivalent to those of an introductory college course on American History, including analysis of complex primary source materials. Prerequisites: 1) Cumulative 3.5 GPA 2) A writing test 3) AP Potential Score. Note: this course includes a summer assignment.

Civics is the study of American government with emphases on the Constitution, the three major branches of the federal government, and civil rights and civil liberties. Students will define the roles and responsibilities of the individual American citizen in a representative democracy, and topics from political parties, the election process, public opinion and pressure groups, foreign policy, and state and local government.

This one-semester course in economics examines how individuals and groups confront and solve economic choices in relationship to scarcity and surplus, with particular attention to global economic issues. Topics include economic systems, microeconomics, business cycles, the role of government and personal finance. Group and individual projects, including the senior service learning project on microfinance, and a stock market investment simulation, allow students to explore these topics in greater depth.

The course examines U.S. Constitutional beginnings; the three national branches of government; political and economic beliefs and behaviors; economic systems; political parties; interest groups and mass media; money and economic policy; civil rights/civil liberties; business cycles; and international trade and relations. Through consistent practice, students develop their abilities in public speaking, argument, and analytical writing. Prerequisites: 1) Cumulative 3.5 GPA 2) AP Potential Score. Note: this course includes a summer assignment.

This year-long elective course exams various theoretical models of the structures and functions of political systems. It aims to illustrate the rich diversity of political life, to show available institutional alternatives, to explain differences in processes and policy outcomes, and to communicate to students the importance of global political and economic changes. It focuses on an in-depth study of six specific countries: Britain, Russia, China, Mexico, Iran and Nigeria. By making comparisons between countries, students will acquire the conceptual tools necessary to develop an understanding of complex and diverse political systems. The course is open to students in 10th to 12th grade. Note: AP Comparative Government and Politics does not fulfill SHC's graduation requirement, which must be filled by enrolling in Civics/Econ or AP United States Government and Politics. Prerequisites: 1) A cumulative 3.5 GPA 3.5 2) AP Potential Score (for 11th or 12th grade applicants).

This one semester course examines a mid-twentieth century American society that had been transformed by the Second World War. To create a more accurate image of America and to enrich the students’ learning experience, this interdisciplinary course will incorporate components of literature, science, music and film in addition to historical developments between 1941 and 1945. Topics will include the Great Depression, FDR and the New Deal, America’s isolationism, Pearl Harbor, wartime rationing and shortages, propaganda, the relocation of Japanese-Americans, and the scientific and technological developments brought about by the war.

 

This year-long course examines the history of California and San Francisco. We study geography, natural resources, and the impact of immigration on the state. One significant focus of the course will be the challenges and contributions of all of the people who have made California their home. We will analyze the economic, social, and cultural history of the state through primary sources, historical writing, film and personal histories. We will explore the recurring theme of San Francisco and California as unique places of escape, invention, and a counterculture to the rest of the country, looking closely at the recent past, present day issues, and the future of our state and city.

 

This interdisciplinary course will examine the United States beginning with the post-World War II era. The focus will be on the Cold War and its impact on modern and domestic developments in the United States. Particular emphasis will be placed on the following topics: the Truman administration, the nuclear arms race, McCarthyism, the Civil Rights Movement, the emergence of television, the Eisenhower administration, the race for space, Kennedy and confrontation, and Johnson’s Great Society versus the Vietnam War.

This course is for students interested in the study of human behavior and mental processes. Students develop an understanding of the major approaches within psychology and of research methodology and design. Students become familiar with the pioneers in the study of psychology, as well as their research. Students identify how psychological research and theory contributes to the study of science and humanities and improve the lives of individuals and the health of society as a whole.

This course is specifically designed to prepare the student with the skills necessary to pass the Advanced Placement Exam in Psychology. It will survey psychology from its earliest foundations to its most recent theories. The vocabulary level and workload will be consistent with that of an introductory college level course in psychology. Outside readings and research, in addition to term projects, are an integral part of this course. Prerequisite: 1) Cumulative 3.5 GPA 2) PSAT Score. Note: this course includes a summer assignment.

Sociological concepts are used to examine daily life in contemporary society. This course will include an overview of the causes, characteristics, and responses to social problems in the United States. Topics such as American culture, the dimensions of social inequality, the American family, and the criminal justice system will be studied through the sociological framework.

This course will offer an in-depth look at societal issues as they affect racial and ethnic groups in the United States, a nation of many peoples. Students will study cultural differences among groups in our community in an attempt to increase awareness of and appreciation for diversity. Topics will include education, gender, media and employment as they relate to multiculturalism.

The course is an examination of the American criminal justice system, policing, the court system, and correctional practices. Students will learn criminal law, crime, the police and their roles, and policing topics such as profiling, use of force, police discretion, and arrests for criminal offenses. Criminal Justice will also examine the court system, the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor, and how the system deals with each. Students will explore issues such as plea bargaining, amicability of evidence, and the role of the prosecution and defense attorneys. The final portion of the criminal justice triangle is corrections, including conventional prison and jails as well as alternatives to incarceration. Students will research the merits and shortcomings of community service, drug and alcohol diversion, domestic violence school and probation. Lastly, the course will highlight street law particularly as it relates to teens, including the examination of the rights that teens have when dealing with the police.

Human Geography is the study of the "why of where."  For example, students study where are the major migration flows today, and learn about why those migrations are happening in those places. These kinds of questions are explored across twelve essential themes including population, health, language, religion, ethnicity, government, economic development, and cities. Each new theme gives students a lens through which they can make sense of the world and of the events happening around them. Case studies taken from events happening today use geographic models to give students a broad understanding of underlying causes and of the reasons why events are happening where they do. In addition to focusing on the skills required to successfully complete the A.P. test, students will do a considerable amount of presentation and video documentation, integrating a variety of media, small team projects, critical thinking, and "connecting the dots." Note: this course includes a summer assignment. Prerequisites: 1) For current ninth graders, a cumulative 3.5 GPA; for current tenth or eleventh graders, a cumulative 3.25 GPA. 2) AP Potential Score.

This course introduces students to various media and projects to build a foundation for creating visual art. Students will explore both traditional and contemporary art through drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, design, graphics, collage, and mixed media. Course work includes museum visits, written reflection and critique, and projects.

Design 1 introduces students to 2-dimensional design elements, principles and techniques.  Students utilize a range of media such as charcoal, ink, acrylic, pastel, paper, and print materials to explore and combine design elements such as line, shape, texture, motion, value, and hue. A series of individual and collaborative assignments focusing on key design principles such as unity, focus, scale, balance, rhythm, and abstraction provide a vocabulary for creative expression and the foundation for the development of a personal style.  In Design 1, students gain exposure to various design techniques including, but not limited to, drawing, collage, typography, print-making, screen-printing, and digital graphic design.  Cultural and historical references accompany each assignment to give students a contextual understanding of design and inform students’ conceptual development of projects. Design 2 progresses to an investigation of 3-dimensional design.  Students deepen and expand their understanding of design elements and principles by applying them to more complex assignments focused on industrial, furniture and architectural design.  Utilizing sketching, sculpting, prototyping, finished model-making, graphic installations, site interventions and 3-d digital imaging techniques, students build visual communication skills through conceptual assignments and projects based on real-world design challenges. In conjunction with projects in assorted media, students take part in critiques of designers’ works to understand historical precedents and trends in contemporary design.

Music Appreciation is designed to be an introduction to various musical genres, both western and non-western, including classical, jazz, rock, world music, and popular styles.  There are no prerequisites, and the course is open to musicians and non-musicians alike.  Topics include how music affects culture around the world; how music is used in myriad situations, from communication to mood setting; the role and process of scoring music for entertainment such as movies and live theater; the influence of globalization on music; and how music is conveyed by written and aural means.  This class will survey music of the past and the present, delving into music’s vast history to inform the modern ear and mind.  The Music Appreciation class will also build basic musicianship skills through sight singing and fundamental music theory concepts.

Instrumental Music is designed to allow students to discover the world of music through hands-on work with instruments.  This class will introduce beginners to music fundamentals including playing by ear, playing from music notation, ensemble performance, and improvisation.  Students will learn beginning composition, and will compose and perform their own songs. Instrumental Music students perform in the winter and spring concerts, and students enrolling in this class must commit to occasional practices and performances outside of regularly scheduled class time.

This course provides the beginning actor with a thorough introduction to the actor’s craft. Explorations in improvisation, theater games, pantomime, dramatic criticism, reader’s theater, monologue work and scene preparation are followed by more advanced acting techniques such as the use of detailed action, motivation/objectives, subtext, sense memory, and emotional recall. Students will learn aspects of technical theater and create original works on stage and in the classroom setting. All students will perform in class, participate in peer- and self-critiques, and complete reading and writing assignments regularly.

This course will introduce students to the historical background and cultural relevance of various dance forms and traditions through technique classes, lecture, video footage, written assignments, and practice. Students will have the opportunity to observe dancers and choreographers from local dance companies, including the San Francisco Ballet and the SFB Trainee Program, and will study dance styles including Ballet, Jazz, Modern, African, Hip Hop, Salsa, and select social dances. Students in this course will perform in the SHC Dance Showcase held each May.

This intermediate art course is designed to emphasize in-depth drawing, painting, and sculpture through complex studio projects.  Students will enhance their ability to analyze and understand their own work and technical aptitude.  Complementing the art projects, research, written work, and reading will be incorporated into the course.  Extra fee required. Prerequisite:  Recommendation of Art 1,2 teacher, 3.0 GPA in Art 1,2 and written statement explaining reason(s) for requesting Art 3,4.

This course will facilitate students in creating a photography portfolio. The portfolio will be submitted to the College Board and will include quality (demonstrating excellence), concentration (in-depth exploration of a particular style of subject) and breadth (showing experimentation and experience a variety of photographic styles and subject matter).  A digital camera will be required for this course. Prerequisite: Recommendation of the Digital Photography teacher.  If a student wishing to take Studio Arts Advanced Placement: Photography has not taken Digital Photography, that student must have his/her portfolio evaluated by the Studio Arts Advanced Placement: Photography instructor.  Notes: A digital camera is required for this course; course includes a summer assignment.

AP Art History is a course that develops students’ understanding and knowledge of diverse historical and cultural contexts of architecture, sculpture, painting and other media.  Students will examine and critically analyze major forms of artistic expression from the past and present and from a variety of cultures.  Visual analysis of art is the primary tool that will be developed but understanding the how and why of how works of art function in context will also be important.  This course is designed to prepare students for the AP Art History exam, and a life-long enjoyment of visual art. Prerequisites: Cumulative 3.25 GPA recommended.   Note: this course includes a summer assignment.

This course will cover the basic elements of digital photography and design. Students will study the formal, expressive and aesthetic properties of photographic art. They will closely examine the history and development of photography including its relationship to the scientific/technological and European cultural views of the 19th and 20th centuries. Students will analyze the works of African, American, Asian and European and Latin American photographers, with special attention to cultural similarities and differences in representation. Student will be able to link photography to other art forms and disciplines. Students will learn to use Canon Powershot digital cameras, Adobe Photoshop Elements to save and edit images electronically and various techniques of printing and displaying black and white and color images. Students will learn the basic composition and technical elements of photography and design such as rule of thirds, depth of field, image orientation, color and lighting. Students will produce work that demonstrates an awareness of these elements and work towards development of a distinctive personal style. Note: This course fulfills the one year VPA requirement on List F for the University of California. EndFragment

Concert Choir is designed to develop skills so that students can perform intermediate level literature from various selected musical genres. In addition to the techniques of rehearsal and performance, students learn the theory and history of the music performed. Skills of sight singing, a cappella singing, expanding of the vocal range and basic vocal technique will be developed. Required performances are scheduled by the director including three major concerts each semester. In addition, the chorus will perform at school liturgies and outreach concerts for visiting schools. Pianists and instrumentalists are encouraged to audition. Students enrolling in this class must commit to practices and performances outside of regularly scheduled class times. Extra fee required.
Prerequisites: voice test

Concert Choir is specifically for those who have completed Concert Choir 1,2. The choir performs intermediate- to advanced-level literature from various selected music genres.  In addition to the techniques of rehearsal and performance, students learn a more difficult level of theory and history of the music performed. Music will be performed in four or more parts. Required performances are scheduled by the director including three major concerts each semester. In addition, the chorus will perform at school liturgies and outreach concerts for visiting schools. Students enrolling in this class must commit to practices and performances outside of regularly scheduled class times. Extra fee required.   Prerequisite: Concert Choir 1,2 and voice test

This course is specifically designed for those who have completed Concert Choir 3,4.  The choir performs advanced level literature from various selected music genres.  In addition to the techniques of rehearsal and performance, students learn advanced theory and history of the music performed.  Singing in small ensembles may be required.  Required performances are scheduled by the director and include three major concerts each semester. In addition, the chorus will perform at school liturgies and outreach concerts for visiting schools.  Students enrolling in this class must commit to practices and performances outside of regularly scheduled class time.  Extra fee required. Prerequisite:  Concert Choir 3,4 and voice test

This course is designed to develop student skills in an elite vocal ensemble which performs advanced level literature from various selected areas of musical history, from chamber music through the classical periods and also includes contemporary styles such as jazz and blues.  In addition to the techniques of rehearsal and performance, students continue to learn the theory and history of the music performed.  Skills of sight singing and advanced vocal technique will be developed.  Required performances are scheduled by the director including three major concerts each semester.  Students enrolling in this class must commit to practice and performances outside of regularly scheduled class time. Prerequisite:  Concert Choir 1,2 and audition

This course is designed for students who have completed Chamber Ensemble 1,2.  It is a course for an elite vocal ensemble which performs advanced level literature from various selected areas of musical history, from chamber music through the classical periods and also includes contemporary styles such as jazz and blues.  In addition to the techniques of rehearsal and performance, students continue to learn the theory and history of the music performed.  Skills of sight singing and advanced vocal technique will be developed.  Required performances are scheduled by the director including three major concerts each semester.  Students enrolling in this class must commit to practice and performances outside of regularly scheduled class time. Prerequisites:  Chamber Ensemble 1,2 and audition

This is a women’s ensemble designed for all levels of vocal ability and musicianship skills. The course provides an opportunity to developing music reading skills, vocal technique, ensemble technique, and performance skills.  A variety of musical compositions representing a wide range of contemporary and historical musical styles are learned and performed each year. Required performances are scheduled by the director including three major concerts and one outreach concert per semester. Students enrolling in this course music commit to practices and performances outside of the regularly scheduled class time. Extra fee required.  Prerequisites:  voice test

Vocal Jazz is a very elite, small choral performing group which gives students experience in singing jazz music. This jazz choir performs material from various periods of musical history, including jazz, swing, ragtime, blues, rock and funk. In addition to rehearsal and performance, students will learn about the history and events surrounding the creation of this music. Musicianship skills such as sight singing, tone, intonation, scat and advanced harmony will be an important part of the course. Competitions and festivals are part of this course as well as regularly scheduled concerts, gigs and outside performances throughout the year. Prerequisites: Concurrent enrollment in Chamber Ensemble 3,4 and audition with director.

The String Ensemble is a performing ensemble for violin, viola, cello, and double bass players. Students develop their technique and musicianship through technical exercises, rehearsal, performance, and critical listening, and through studies in music theory and music history.  Study and practice of a wide range of musical styles broaden students’ aesthetic and cultural understandings. In addition to learning concepts of large ensemble performance, students complete solo and chamber music projects. The String Ensemble performs on the winter and spring concerts, school liturgies, festivals and outreach performances. Note: Extra fee required for uniform and travel. Prerequisites:  One or more years of prior string instrument experience.  

The Concert Band is an advanced performing group open to students who have successfully completed at least one year of instrumental study on a wind or percussion instrument or students who have learned to read music through piano lessons. Students develop their technique and musicianship through technical exercises, rehearsal, performance, and critical listening, and studies in music theory and music history. Study and practice of a wide range of musical styles will broaden students’ aesthetic and cultural understandings.  In addition to learning concepts of large ensemble performance, students complete solo and chamber music projects. Note: Concert Band requires a considerable time commitment outside of class. In addition to the winter and spring concerts, the band plays regularly at athletic events, parades, rallies, outreach performances and festivals. Extra fee required for uniform and travel. Prerequisites: Concert Band 1,2.

Music Theory AP integrates aspects of melody, harmony, texture, rhythm, form, musical analysis, elementary composition, history and style.  Musicianship skills such as dictation, sight singing, and keyboard harmony will be an important part of this course.  The students will also learn to read and write musical notation.  It is assumed that the student has acquired basic performance skills in voice or on an instrument.  The ultimate goal of Music Theory AP is to develop a student’s ability to recognize, understand, and describe the basic materials and processes of music that are heard or presented in a score. Note: this course includes a summer assignment.

Advanced Acting students will learn the history and cultural backgrounds of world theatre, specifically European, Greek, Latino and Asian theatre. Student actors will explore universal theatrical vocabulary, vocal conditioning, diction and elocution, and body awareness in order to understand the craft of acting and to enhance their own acting process. Advanced Acting students will produce a fall and a spring production at SHC, as well as explore different types of acting as preparation for a wide array of future theatrical experiences. Prerequisites: 1) A cumulative 2.0 GPA and 2 ) 3.0 GPA in Acting 1,2.

Computer Programming is a class in Visual Basic 6.0, a programming language that includes problem solving, program logic and design techniques of an event-driven language.  Students will study a language that uses graphical user interfaces along with tools for understanding elementary programming concepts. Note: this is blended curriculum, meeting during block 7 as well as requiring independent online learning. Prerequisite: This course has no formal prerequisites though students generally need a 3.0 GPA level proficiency in Algebra and Geometry to achieve the course outcomes.

This is a two-semester commitment to the layout and publication of SHC's award-winning yearbook - requiring much time during lunch breaks and after school.  Students will learn computer layout and design, photography, copy writing, editing, research, interviewing and team building. Students must have a basic knowledge of computer skills to be accepted into this class.

This course (formerly Computer Tech) is designed to provide experience in the library and audio-visual departments including the use of automated catalog, equipment and computer network. Students will create PowerPoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets on library-related data. Students will also gain familiarity with the use of several full-text databases used in research.

Students enrolling in this course refine their communications skills as assistants to the attendance staff. Students learn filing skills and conduct basic database inquiries.

The course explores the pivotal contributions of major and minor women in the Old and New Testament. Students will study the impact of these women on both Judaism and Christianity, and will explore the historical and rhetorical contexts for the use of male language throughout the Bible. Our central questions will be how do we as 21st readers of the ancient text interpret some of the more difficult texts about women, and how can we respond to their examples of faith-filled lives?

In Jazz Ensemble, advanced instrumental students learn the art of improvisation in the various styles of the jazz idiom, including swing, rock, funk, and Latin. Students perform regularly in concerts, social events and regional festivals. Prerequisites & Corequisites: At least one year of Concert Band, String Ensemble, or Instrumental Music, or the equivalent. AP Music Theory suggested. Enrollment by audition, which will consist of playing two scales and a blues tune. Students will be asked to pick two of the following scales: major, natural minor, dominant, dorian, pentatonic, or chromatic; they will be asked  to play and improvise over a blues tune of their choice, such as "Blue Monk" or "C Jam Blues."

Physics provides students the conceptual understanding and procedural fluency to make both qualitative and quantitative analysis of the physical world. Students will use knowledge of fundamental principles and processes to build critical thinking and problem solving skills. This algebra based course incorporates Inquiry-based Learning. Beginning with an exploration of motion and advancing through an investigation of forces, momentum, energy, waves and electricity, the course will lay a strong foundation for further study in other sciences as well as more advanced courses in physics. Students will demonstrate their understanding in a variety of ways including quizzes, laboratory investigations and group challenge activities. Physics teachers will work in collaboration with 9th grade Algebra teachers to foster alignment between the two subjects. Prerequisites: The course is open to 9th graders. Concurrent enrollment in Algebra or higher math.

During Intro to Physical Activity, Frosh will spend three days at six different stations: weight training, cardio, ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, badminton, and baseball/softball.   Students will develop a basic level of skill in each activity which will allow students to feel comfortable participating in other physical activities during their sophomore, junior, and senior years. Intro to Physical Activity meets during the collaboration period.

Advanced PE is a semester-long elective course for any tenth, eleventh or twelfth grade student, designed for students to work on skill development, exercise, and activity. Each student will be engaged in the skills, strategy, rules and fundamentals of flag football, basketball, softball, soccer, volleyball, and weight training. Each student will spend part of each class in our state-of-the-art weight room facility. This elective is a one-semester course, however, students may register for two semesters within the same year.

Advanced Fitness is a semester-long elective course for any 10th, 11th, or 12th grade student, designed for students to develop skills and knowledge related to fitness. Activities include yoga, body sculpting, circuit training, and cardiovascular fitness. Note: This elective is a one-semester course, however, students may register for two semesters within the same year.

Poetry asks students to engage deeply with a broad expanse of poems, building upon knowledge and skills learned in earlier English courses. This course will examine the elements of poetry - images, figures of speech, tone, symbols, allegory, sounds, patterns, and rhythm. Students will read diverse poets and various genres to glean patterns, style and approaches, as they develop their unique voice and create their own poetry. Since poetry is a medium that appeals simultaneously to the intellect and the senses, and should be read aloud and heard to be fully enjoyed, students will engage in myriad independent and collaborative activities involving sound and sense. Prerequisites: English 1-4.

Students in Rhetoric and Composition: Writing for College will write to explore ideas and to articulate their thoughts effectively and engagingly. This writing intensive class will help students refine their abilities to discern writing tasks and situations, audience and purpose; students will become more accomplished and confident writers by applying the rhetorical analysis they have learned to their own compositions. Students will study both rhetoric and composition, synthesizing various perspectives to craft and to evaluate argument. Additionally, students will examine the cultural contexts for critical thinking and writing and will engage in close reading of myths that dominate American Culture. Reading widely from nonfiction and fiction, students will learn to identify stylistic strategies of voice, tone, diction, punctuation and structure. Prerequisites: English 1-4.

Join this Engineering Physics for the 21st Century and learn how your computer works once you’ve plugged it in. Hack into doorbells, vacuum cleaners, and speakers, and tinker with microphones and household appliances to understand how they do all the useful things they do. What is the "internet of things", and how might it impact us in the future? In this course students build their own robots, radios, motors, and original gadgets while deepening their knowledge of underlying mathematical theory. They will grow in their understanding of electromagnetism and engineering and related fields. Prerequisites: A cumulative 3.0 GPA in previous Science courses. Note: This course is open only to 11th and 12th graders, with preference given to 12th graders; students receive credit in the UC “d” lab science area.

The Physics of Art builds on introductory-level Physics, focusing on the principles and phenomena of artistic expression. Topics covered will include the nature of sound and sound perception; fundamentals of instruments and musical harmony; photography and the anatomy of a camera; color perception and color mixing in painting and lighting; kinematics and dynamics of dance; and translational and rotational equilibrium in mobiles. Each physical principle will be developed mathematically through student-designed lab work, and described using various diagrammatic and visual representations. Students will develop overarching models of physical and artistic phenomena, and each unit will conclude with students using evidence of their investigations to construct a cohesive explanation marrying physical theory to an art form, or in the engineering design of a work of art or device such as a working musical instrument.

Prerequisites: A cumulative 2.0 GPA in Physics 1,2. Note: This course does not replace the required SHC Physics 1,2 course; students receive credit in the UC “d” lab science area.

This course develops the principles of choreography and the elements of dance for intermediate and advanced dancers, guiding them to find their own voices as choreographers. The course's foremost objective is the creation and performance of each student's final composition project. Advanced Dance students explore an array of movement styles, approaches, and patterns to broaden their movement vocabulary. Through dance observation and the expansion of their critical vocabulary, they articulate thoughtful responses verbally and in writing. Advanced Dance and Composition will include improvisation as a tool for creation, and will incorporate lighting design and costuming; the course encompasses Contemporary, Ballet, and Jazz techniques, group improvisation, performing dance studies, discussion, critical analysis, journal writing, and video portfolios. Prerequisites: Audition.

Chamber Choir Honors is an elite, small choral performing group which gives students experience in singing chamber and jazz music. This honors choir performs material from various periods of musical history, including jazz, swing, ragtime, blues, rock and funk. In addition to rehearsal and performance, students will learn about the history and events surrounding the creation of this music. Musicianship skills such as sight singing, tone, intonation, scat and advanced harmony will be an important part of the course. Students will be expected to participate in competitions and festivals as well as regularly scheduled concerts, gigs and outside performances throughout the year. Prerequisites: Concurrent enrollment in Chamber Ensemble 3,4 and audition with director.

Concert Band Honors students play in both the Jazz Ensemble and the Concert Band or String Ensemble (see course descriptions below). In Jazz Ensemble, advanced instrumental students will learn the art of improvisation in the various styles of the jazz idiom, including swing, rock, funk, and Latin. Students will perform regularly at concerts, social events, and regional festivals. Students generally will have completed at least one year of Concert Band or Instrumental Music or the equivalent. The Concert Band is an advanced performing group open to students who have successfully completed at least one year of instrumental music study on a wind or percussion instrument or students who have learned to read music through piano lessons. Students develop their technique and musicianship through technical exercises, rehearsal, performance, and critical listening, and studies in music theory and music history.  Study and practice of a wide range of musical styles broaden students’ aesthetic and cultural understandings.  In addition to learning concepts of large ensemble performance, students complete solo and chamber music projects. The String Ensemble is an advanced performing ensemble for violin, viola, cello and double bass players. Students develop their technique and musicianship through technical exercises, rehearsal, performance, and critical listening, and studies in music theory and music history.  Study and practice of a wide range of musical styles broaden students’ aesthetic and cultural understandings. In addition to learning concepts of large ensemble performance, students complete solo and chamber music projects. The String Ensemble performs on the winter and spring concerts, school liturgies, festivals and outreach performances. Note: Concert Band requires a considerable time commitment outside of class. In addition to the winter and spring concerts, the band plays regularly at athletic events, parades, rallies, outreach performances and festivals. Extra fee required for uniform and travel.

The AP Environmental Science course is a full-year course designed to be the equivalent of a one-semester, introductory college course in Environmental Science. Unlike most other introductory-level college science courses, Environmental Science is offered from a wide variety of departments, including Geology, Biology, Environmental Studies, Environmental Science, Chemistry and Geography. The AP course stresses scientific principles and analysis, includes a laboratory component, and reflects the collegiate experience in both breadth and level of detail. The goal of the course is to provide students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them, and to develop and focus their own political perspective. Note: this course includes a summer assignment. Prerequisites: A cumulative 3.5 GPA in Science or AP Potential Score.  

Students in Honors Biology will develop an understanding of key concepts that will build upon students’ understanding of disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices. The course touches upon the five life science topics: 1) Structure and Function, 2) Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems, 3) Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems, 4) Inheritance and Variation of Traits, and 5) Natural Selection and Evolution. One goal of this course is to support students in developing usable knowledge that can be applied across the science disciplines. Honors Biology is a college-preparatory, pre-AP course. The pace will be faster, and the course will cover more material in greater depth than the regular biology. Prerequisites: A cumulative 3.5 GPA in Science.

This course explores the genre of literature known as Magical Realism, and requires readers to willingly suspend their disbelief of the fantastic and supernatural, and instead accept as the framework in which to understand very real world situations. The artistic genre emerged in Latin America as a subversive means to give voice to the marginalized and disenfranchised. To that end, this selective focuses on the work of Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Chilean-American writer Isabel Allende, and13 contemporary American Indian writers. Students will continue to refine their skills in oral and written discourse, as well as closely examine the genre and its impact.

This course explores the literary, geographical, political, and cultural influence that land and place can have on narrative, content and style. It then dives into questions that offer multiple answers. How do place and culture shape us? What can we glean about our shared humanity from reading stories from other regions and cultures? While not attempting to span all parts of the globe in one semester, this course surveys short stories, poetry, and novels from all continents. Besides enjoying vibrant prose, students will refine their college level skills in oral and written discourse, as well as closely examine the issue of narrative perspective.

The String Ensemble is an intermediary performing ensemble for violin, viola, cello, and double bass players. Students develop their technique and musicianship through technical exercises, rehearsal, performance, and critical listening, and through studies in music theory and music history.  Study and practice of a wide range of musical styles broaden students’ aesthetic and cultural understandings. In addition to learning concepts of large ensemble performance, students complete solo and chamber music projects. The String Ensemble performs on the winter and spring concerts, school liturgies, festivals and outreach performances. Note: Extra fee required for uniform and travel. Prerequisites:  Two or more years of prior string instrument experience.

The String Ensemble is an advanced performing ensemble for violin, viola, cello, and double bass players. Students develop their technique and musicianship through technical exercises, rehearsal, performance, and critical listening, and through studies in music theory and music history.  Study and practice of a wide range of musical styles broaden students’ aesthetic and cultural understandings. In addition to learning concepts of large ensemble performance, students complete solo and chamber music projects. The String Ensemble performs on the winter and spring concerts, school liturgies, festivals and outreach performances. Note: Extra fee required for uniform and travel. Prerequisites:  Three or more years of prior string instrument experience.

The Concert Band is an advanced performing group open to students who have successfully completed at least one year of instrumental study on a wind or percussion instrument or students who have learned to read music through piano lessons. Students develop their technique and musicianship through technical exercises, rehearsal, performance, critical listening, and studies in music theory and music history. Study and practice of a wide range of musical styles broaden students’ aesthetic and cultural understandings.  In addition to learning concepts of large ensemble performance, students complete solo and chamber music projects. Note: Concert Band requires a considerable time commitment outside of class. In addition to the winter and spring concerts, the band plays regularly at athletic events, parades, rallies, outreach performances and festivals. Extra fee required for uniform and travel. Prerequisites: Concert Band 3,4.

AP Computer Science in Java 

AP Computer Science in Java is a year-long course designed to help students master the basics of Java and equip them to successfully pass the College Board AP Computer Science A exam. The course emphasizes problem-solving and is intended both for students interested in studying computer science and for students interested in other disciplines. The course utilizes a blended approach, and is fully web-based, with students writing and running code in the browser.

Prerequisites:  Computer Science with JavaScript and Python (Visual Basic) or permission of the instructor.

AP Computer Science Principles is a year-long course that gives students the opportunity to explore several important topics of computing using their own ideas and creativity, to use the power of computing to create artifacts of personal value, and to develop a working knowledge of computer science. The course covers the fundamentals of computing, including problem solving, working with data, understanding the Internet, cybersecurity, and programming. The course utilizes a blended classroom approach with a mix of web-based and physical activities.

Prerequisites: none.

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