Elder Academics & Course Descriptions

Elder High School is proud to offer a wide range of curricular offerings which challenge and nurture the interests of all students. Our curriculum – aligned with the A.C.T. College Readiness Standards – is comprised of required courses in various levels (Advanced Placement, Honors, Advanced College Prep, College Prep, and General) and electives that allow students to customize their schedule to their individual interests and learning styles. Our curriculum challenges students to push themselves, develop diligent study and work habits, surpass their expectations, refine their beliefs, and become productive members of society.

Our dedicated and experienced faculty is comprised of education professionals who inspire students to achieve their fullest potential and to become leaders in the communities in which they live, work, and play. Indeed, our faculty persistently work to teach not only academic content but also Catholic values.

Listed below are course descriptions within our various educational departments. Listed grade levels (9, 10, 11, 12) are suggested grade levels only.

Course Catalog

List of 11 items.

  • Business

    ACCOUNTING (ACP) - Grades: 10, 11, 12
    Students learn the basics of financial accounting for proprietorships and corporations by preparing journals, ledgers, worksheets, and financial statements.

    PERSONAL FINANCE (ACP) - Grades: 10, 11, 12
    The goal of this course is to help students build a foundation of personal finance skills for success in their personal lives and for the business world.  The content areas are as follows:  Saving and Investing - Implement a diversified investment strategy that is compatible with personal goals; Credit and Debt- Maintain credit-worthiness; Financial Responsibility and Decision Making- Apply reliable information and systematic decision making to personal financial decisions; Income and Careers - Use a career plan to develop personal income potential; and Consumer Awareness, Rights and Responsibilities - Understand the power of marketing on buying decisions, including "0% APR" and "no interest" deals and ways companies compete for our money, including product positioning, advertising, brand recognition and personal selling. Examples of specific items are preparing budgets, net worth, cash flows, checks, checkbook registers, compound interest, reading stock information, 401k, IRA’s, mutual funds, resumes, and interviewing.

    ADVANCED ACCOUNTING (H) - Grades: 11, 12
    Advanced accounting students are given more analytical and theoretical knowledge of accounting to help prepare them for college accounting and work experience in the field.  A consistent grade of 85, the recommendation of the Accounting I teacher as well as approval of the Accounting II teacher and a sincere interest in Accounting I are the prerequisites for the Accounting II course.
  • Computer Science

    SOFTWARE USE (CP2) - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
    This semester course is intended for the student who mainly wishes to use the computer as a tool. Students will learn to use MS Office (including Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint), HTML and other software.

    SOFTWARE USE (ACP) - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
    This semester course is intended for the student who mainly wishes to use the computer as a tool. Students will learn to use MS Office (including Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint), HTML and other software (with greater emphasis on Excel and Access).

    3-D COMPUTER ANIMATION IN ALICE - Grades 9, 10
    This semester course offers students a taste of computer programming using a 3-D animation environment called Alice. Students build programs which manipulate objects in a virtual world using a drag-and-drop editor which prohibits syntax errors. The result is an on-screen movie or simple game. The concepts learned here will help those who choose to continue in courses using real-world languages such as Visual Basic or Java.

    COMPUTER SCIENCE 1 - VB (CP1) - Grades 10, 11, 12
    This semester course begins with a general introduction to computers, followed by "hands-on" instruction in Visual Basic language programming.  Students will design, code, test , debug, and document programs in science, mathematics, and business. The majority of class time is devoted to lab work.

    COMPUTER SCIENCE 1 - VB (ACP) - Grades 10, 11, 12
    This semester course begins with a general introduction to computers, followed by "hands-on" instruction in Visual Basic language programming. Students will design, code, test , debug, and document programs in science, mathematics, and business. The majority of class time is devoted to lab work. Prerequisites: enrolled in math at the ACP level or higher.

    COMPUTER SCIENCE 2 - VB.NET (ACP) - Grades 10, 11, 12
    This course  will cover more advanced programming techniques, web and desktop applications. Prerequisite: successful completion of course # 2934.

    GRAPHIC DESIGN SOFTWARE USE (ACP) - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
    This semester course is intended for students who wish to use the computer as a productivity tool with an emphasis on aesthetic visual presentation. In addition to MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, students will become familiar with Adobe PhotoShop, and various drawing tools.

    AP COMPUTER SCIENCE 1 - JAVA - Grades 10, 11, 12
    In this semester course, students will learn object-oriented programming in Java, with emphasis on the design and coding of programs which are not only efficient, but easy to read, modify and maintain. Topics include: control structures, classes, methods, arrays, and text files. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.  Also, students who have not taken a programming class should have at least a B+ average in a math class at the ACP level or above.

    AP COMPUTER SCIENCE 2 - JAVA - Grades 10, 11, 12
    This semester course is intended to further prepare students for the AP Computer Science examination. Topics include: recursion, files, data structures, searching and sorting. Students will also complete a series of labs that are part of the AP curriculum. Prerequisites: Successful completion of Course #2975 and permission of the instructor.
  • English

    ENGLISH 1 - Grade 9
    This  English course is structured to meet  the needs of freshmen needing remedial work in vocabulary and reading skills.  The course allows each student to work and progress at his own pace, attempting to master basic English skills.

    ENGLISH 2 - Grade 10
    This English II course meets  the needs of students still requiring remedial work in vocabulary and reading skills.  The course surveys select short novels and emphasizes both reading comprehension and vocabulary development.

    ENGLISH 1 (H, ACP, CP2, CP1) - Grade 9
    English I involves the study of composition, literature, grammar, and vocabulary.  Specifically, students in this college preparatory course will be exposed to such areas of study as the novel, drama, poetry, paragraph structure, and multi-paragraph essays.  As students study each of these areas, the effort is made to create an appreciation of the study of English and its relevance to students' lives.

    ENGLISH 2 (H, ACP, CP2, CP1) - Grade 10
    English 2 involves the study of both composition and literature. Writing effective paragraphs is the main concern of composition. This is supplemented by several writing assignments in which students are asked to react creatively to literary works. Literature is studied according to genres. These include the short story, poetry, the essay, drama, and the novel.

    ENGLISH 3 (H, ACP, CP2, CP1) - Grade 11
    This course surveys American Literature in the 19th and 20th centuries. The student studies all genres of literature, attempting to familiarize and prepare himself for future endeavors. In addition to the above, correct form in writing and vocabulary enrichment are emphasized, and a critical study of selected American novels is made.

    AP ENGLISH LANGUAGE & COMPOSITION - Grade 11
    The AP course in English Language and Composition engages students in becoming skilled readers of prose written in a variety of rhetorical contexts, and in becoming skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes. Both their writing and their reading should make students aware of the interactions among a writer’s purposes, audience expectations, and subjects, as well as the way genre conventions and the resources of language contribute to effectiveness in writing. Students taking this course are required to complete the AP exam for English Language and Composition.  A teacher recommendation is required for this course.

    ENGLISH 4 (H, ACP, CP2, CP1) - Grade 12
    English 4 attempts to provide a comprehensive survey of English literature from Beowulf to the present. This survey includes a study of the development of the English language by form as well as theme. In addition to an extensive study of Macbeth, several other plays are taken. Also, several selected classic or modern books of World Literature are studied in depth. Continuous instruction in grammar and writing skills is offered with an emphasis on vocabulary development.

    AP ENLISH LITERATURE & COMPOSITION - Grade 12
    **This class is comprised of superior senior English students selected by the third-year English teachers and is intended as a preparation for the Advanced Placement Examination. **  This seminar type course requires the study and practice of writing. The student learns to respond to language with increasing sensitivity and discrimination, and he develops his ability to write in various forms. Through speaking, listening, and reading, and also through the experience of his own writing, he becomes more aware of nuances in the use of language. He learns to identify an author's values and the assumptions that underlie the author's use of various rhetorical figures and devices of exposition.

    JOURNALISM (ACP) - Grades 10, 11, 12
    Students plan, write, and assemble The Purple Quill, Elder's school newspaper. The actual research, writing, typing, and re-writing of the various articles are performed as homework (3 hours per week). Class time is used to develop ideas for stories and to critique each reporter's stories for revisions. Students will learn how to produce a newspaper. Only dedicated students who love to read as well as write are encouraged to take this demanding course. Approval of the instructor is mandatory to sign up for this elective. This "college prep" course is not a substitute for the required annual English course.

    EFFECTIVE WRITING (ACP) - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
    This course offers the student an opportunity to enhance his writing in the areas of organization, clarity, tone, diction, and proofreading.  The writing process (prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing) will be stressed.  Course content will be dictated, to some degree, by student interest and needs.  Pieces of a more creative nature may be taught if time permits.

    MYTHOLOGY (ACP) - Grades 11, 12
    In this course, students will examine the major characters, events, and themes of ancient Greek and Roman mythology through the lenses of literature, art, archaeology, and cultural anthropology.
  • Fine Arts

    DRAMATIC TECHNIQUES - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
    The Dramatic Techniques course is is designed to develop the student's ability to communicate his ideas and the ideas of others through speeches, oral interpretations, and dramatic settings. Students will have the opportunity to see themselves in action through videotaping of their presentations as individuals and as part of a dramatic group.

    THEATRE - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
    This course serves as an explanation to multiple concepts of Theatre. Students will study the history of theatre, genres, skills, and business of theatre productions. The course is ½ credit and fulfills part of the Fine Arts requirement. Students will not be required to participate in school dramatic productions outside of the regularly scheduled school day.

    AP STUDIO ART: DRAWING - Grade 12
    The purpose of this course is to provide Elder art students with an opportunity to earn college credit for their art portfolio that they have developed over the last 2 – 3 years. Only students who are going to enroll in Art III or Art IV may apply and this class is taken in addition to their other art course.  The curriculum will follow the guidelines for the Advanced Placement Art Portfolio and students in the class will enter their portfolio in May for possible college credit.  Go to www.collegeboard.com/apstudents for more information.

    FUNDAMENTALS OF ART - Grade 9
    This course is intended for students who have a desire to create and/or expand on their previous art knowledge. Prior art experience is not necessary; however, the student should have a serious interest in art and may intend to take further art courses in the future.  The course is heavily based in learning the Elements/Principles of Design as well as investigating various types of two and three-dimensional media.  It serves as an introduction into the fundamentals of drawing, painting, photography, design, and printmaking techniques. This course is a prerequisite for all other fine art courses.

    2D STUDIO ART I - Grades 10, 11, 12
    This course is a concentrated study of two-dimensional art and its curriculum stresses subject matter and composition. The students will create observational drawings using traditional techniques in contour, object and figure drawing.  Students will study abstract simplification, one and two-point perspective and developing the illusion of light. Students will also be exposed to various painting techniques and styles in watercolor, ink-wash and acrylics. Additional media may include printmaking, collage, assemblage, installation and digital manipulation. The course will look at the history of art as well as examine contemporary artists that address current issues.  It will reinforce their knowledge of art criticism, aesthetics and the Elements/Principles of Design.  Students are allowed to take this course a maximum of two times. Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Art or approval of the instructor.

    2D STUDIO ART II - Grades 11, 12
    Building on their previous experiences in 2D Art I and with an emphasis on studio production, this course will develop higher level thinking and skill in two-dimensional art.  Students will use problem-solving techniques to create works using various media, materials, techniques and processes.  Through readings, short lectures, discussions, critiques, and art-making, students will study visual culture and will see how art is beneficial to our daily lives.  Students will also expand their knowledge of the Elements/Principles of design as well as achieve a basic level of comfort with the language used in a typical artist environment.  Students will acquire the necessary skills in communicating effectively using conceptual language, meeting deadlines, and presenting their work in a supportive environment. Students who enroll will have taken Fundamentals of Art and at least one semester of 2D Studio Art I.

    DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY - Grades 10, 11, 12
    This course will explore the basics of digital photography including composition, motion, light and the aesthetics of the medium.  We will study the history of photography and look at how it has evolved over time.  We will investigate how photography has played an important role in communication, advertising, journalism and, most importantly, in the world of art.  The course will have regular projects where students will be asked to think critically and create images that tell a story to the viewer.  To take the course, students must have access to a digital camera or phone/device with photo capabilities.  Photo editing will be introduced through a number of different software programs including Adobe Photoshop.   Students will be responsible for the cost of photographic paper. (Approximately $25 worth of materials) (There is no prerequisite for this course)

    AP STUDIO ART: 2-D DESIGN - Grade 12
    The purpose of this course is to provide Elder art students with an opportunity to earn college credit for their art portfolio that they have developed over the last 2 – 3 years. Only students who are going to enroll in Art III or Art IV may apply and this class is taken in addition to their other art course.  The curriculum will follow the guidelines for the Advanced Placement Art Portfolio and students in the class will enter their portfolio in May for possible college credit.  Go to www.collegeboard.com/apstudents for more information.

    BEGINNING BAND - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
    This course is designed to give any student who enters Elder the opportunity of learning to play a band instrument. During the freshman year the students are taught the fundamentals and techniques that will enable them to become members of the Band at the beginning of their sophomore year. There is no restriction regarding the choice of an instrument, except in the case of drums. The student earns one full credit for a successful year of study. Students other than freshmen can take the course with the approval of the band director.

    BAND - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
    This course offers the student the opportunity of performing in public or playing in private, and a variety of musical styles and modes that range from Classical to Modern. The various groups and performances include the Marching Band for football games and parades, the Pep Band for basketball games, and the Jazz Band and Concert band for the Performing Arts Series productions. Anyone interested may register with the approval of the band director.

    BEGINNING STEEL DRUM MUSIC - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
    This course is designed to provide the students with experience in different styles of music.  Students will learn the history of the steel drum and the basic skills necessary to perform on the instrument and will perform at several events. The course meets Monday, Wednesday, and Friday before school for the entire school year. Approval of the director is necessary to register. The student must also be involved in the instrumental music program at Elder.

    STEEL DRUM MUSIC - Grades 10, 11, 12
    This course is an advanced version of Steel Drum I. The students will be expected to have a good foundation in the history and different styles of the steel drum genre. The students will have the opportunity to perform at several events. This class meets for one hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school for the entire year. The students will be placed in this class based on an audition. The students must also be involved in the instrumental music program at Elder.

    FRESHMAN CHORUS - Grade 9
    This course is designed to develop and guide students toward good vocal production. Students must be willing to function as a member of a club, and with sincerity as a part of the Elder Music Department. Activities include various performances throughout the area and the productions of the annual Performing Art Series  concerts, plays and musicals. No prerequisites are needed, but a basic uniform is required. Classes are held five days a week in a relaxed atmosphere.

    CHORAL MUSIC - Grades 10, 11, 12
    This course is designed to develop and guide students toward good vocal production. Students must be willing to function as a member of a club, and with sincerity as a part of the Elder Music Department. Activities include various performances throughout the area and the productions of the annual Performing Art Series  concerts, plays and musicals. No prerequisites are needed, but a basic uniform is required. Classes are held five days a week in a relaxed atmosphere.

    MUSIC THEORY 1 (ACP) - Grades 10, 11, 12
    This course will provide students with a deeper understanding of the components of music. Students will be able to comprehend and notate music by receiving both written and aural training. This course will also cover basic composition skills. The students must have at least one year of experience in either vocal or instrumental music.

    HISTORY OF MUSIC (ACP) - Grades 11, 12
    This course takes a historical look at Western Classical Music.  It will introduce students to the following time periods: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern.  The student will learn the characteristics of each of these time periods, as well as learn about many of the most important composers of these periods, and how they have helped evolve music through the past 400 years.  This course will entail lecture, discussion, and listening to pieces.
  • Health

    HEALTH  - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
    Health meets the needs of students in a moderrn changing world.  The Health Department sees the importance of knowledge and wise decision-making as a means of solving many of the health problems of today.

    HEALTH ON-LINE - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
    Health meets the needs of students in a modern changing world. The Health Department sees the importance of knowledge and wise decision-making as a means of solving many of the health problems of today.  *This course is taught online by an instructor at Elder High School.

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
    The Physical Education course will orientate the student to physical exercise, expose the student to competition through dual and team events, develop in the student an appreciation for the need to be physically fit, and develop a desire to remain physically fit.
  • Industrial Arts

    INDUSTRIAL DESIGN - Grades 11, 12
    The purpose of this course is to provide the student with knowledge of how design software is an essential tool of industry.  In this computer-animated design course, students utilize problem solving techniques to create effective designs in a professional, simulated client-based environment.  Students learn the fundamentals of using AutoCAD to explore both 2D and 3Dspace.  Students will be exposed to the concept of meeting deadlines, giving design presentations and the language used in various design environments.  This course is especially beneficial to students who plan to pursue a design a major/career in the following: industrial, product, automotive, architectural design.

    TECHNICAL LIFE SKILLS - Grades 10, 11, 12
    Learn basic skills in carpentry, plumbing, wall covering, and basic masonry with an emphasis on home maintenance.
  • Mathematics

    MATHEMATICAL SKILLS - Grade 9
    Mathematical Skills is a course designed for students identified as having a special need for intensive instruction in mathematics.

    ALGEBRA/GEOMETRY PT. 1 (CP2) - Grade 9
    This course is designed for those students who would normally have difficulty with the standard one-year Algebra I course and the succeeding Geometry course. A student taking Algebra/Geometry, Part 1 along with Algebra/Geometry, Parts 2 & 3, in the following years will be given the same material as in the other Algebra and Geometry courses, but in gradual steps.

    ALGEBRA/GEOMETRY PT. 2 (CP2) - Grade 10
    This course is designed for those students who would normally have difficulty with the standard one-year Algebra I course and the succeeding Geometry course. A student taking Algebra/Geometry, Part 1 along with Algebra/Geometry, Parts 2 & 3, in the following years will be given the same material as in the other Algebra and Geometry courses, but in gradual steps.

    ALGEBRA/GEOMETRY PT. 3 (CP2) - Grade 11
    This course is designed for those students who would normally have difficulty with the standard one-year Algebra I course and the succeeding Geometry course. A student taking Algebra/Geometry, Part 1 along with Algebra/Geometry, Parts 2 & 3, in the following years will be given the same material as in the other Algebra and Geometry courses, but in gradual steps.

    ALGEBRA 1 (ACP, CP1) - Grades 9, 10, 11
    The purpose of this course is to gain a basic knowledge of numbers and equations and to acquire skill in using them to solve problems. It also helps one to appreciate the need for precise mathematical language. A brief review of the metric system will also be presented. It is primarily a freshman subject. A student taking this course in his sophomore, junior, or senior year must have the recommendation of his Integrated Math teacher. It is a college preparatory subject.

    ALGEBRA 1 (H) - Grades 9, 10, 11
    Algebra 1 provides a formal development of the algebraic skills and concepts necessary for students to succeed in advanced courses.  In particular, emphasis is placed on problem solving and application principles.  Topics include a review of basic arithmetic skills, solving equations and inequalities, factoring, fractions, linear and quadratic equations, functions, rational and irrational numbers, and word problems.  At the honors level, the standard content is explored with greater intensity and more emphasis on analytical thinking.

    GEOMETRY/TRIGONOMETRY (H, ACP, CP1) - Grades 9, 10, 11
    The course will cover the required concepts of Euclidean geometry including definitions, postulates, and theorems.  Topics include angles, parallel and perpendicular lines, congruent and similar figures, polygons, circles and arcs, and the Pythagorean Theorem.  In addition to including problems which serve to review Algebra 1, the process of proving theorems will be introduced.  The course will also include a revised trig curriculum in addition to right triangle trig and the laws of sines and cosines.

    ALGEBRA 2 (CP2) - Grade 12
    The course includes a thorough review of important topics covered in Algebra 1.  New topics may include exponential functions and logarithms, the conic sections, sequences and series, and matrices.  Some basic trigonometric concepts may be included.  Emphasis is placed on both understanding and developing important algebraic skills.

    ALGEBRA 2 (CP1) - Grades 11, 12
    The course includes a brief review of important topics covered in Algebra 1.  New topics may include exponential functions and logarithms, the conic sections, sequences and series, and matrices.  Some basic trigonometric concepts may be included.  Emphasis is placed on both understanding and developing important algebraic skills.

    ALGEBRA 2 (H, ACP) - Grades 10, 11, 12
    The course includes a brief review of Algebra I, followed by other math topics including exponential functions and logarithms, the conic sections, sequences and series, matrices, the Quadratic Formula, factoring, function theory, and trigonometric functions. The last part of the course will include an introduction to the concepts taught in the high school calculus course. Details about the required calculator will be given during class.

    PRE-CALCULUS (CP1) - Grade 12
    This course will begin with a study of linear and nonlinear relations and functions and analyses of their graphs.  The second semester will follow with advanced functions that include exponential and logarithmic functions and conic sections, followed by a review of right triangle and circle trigonometry along with trigonometric identities, equations, and graphs of trig functions. The year will end with a short study of polar coordinates and vectors.

    PRE-CALCULUS (ACP) - Grades 11, 12
    This course is for students who are well-prepared for advanced mathematics and who will probably go on to take additional math courses in college.The course will begin with polynomial and rational functions and move into a comprehensive study of trigonometric functions, their graphs, identities, and equations briefly followed by vectors.  Advanced functions and their graphs, including polar coordinates, conic sections, and exponential and logarithmic functions will be covered in the second semester.  If time allows, some Discrete Mathematics and/or some simple Calculus may be introduced.

    HIGH SCHOOL CALCULUS (H) - Grades 11, 12
    High School Calculus is intended for seniors and advanced juniors to be a problem-oriented approach to many of the topics found in College Calculus. The standard calculus concepts are considered less theoretically and include problem solving and applications of derivatives, integrals, and differentials. Algebra II, trigonometry, and analytical geometry are topics that are reviewed as needed. Students taking this course should have maintained a minimum 80% average in Algebra II. Each student must provide his own TI graphing calculator (may rent a calculator from Elder for the school year). More details concerning the calculator will be given during the first few weeks of class.

    AP CALCULUS (AB) - Grades 11, 12
    College Calculus is an Advanced Placement, college level course. It is intended for those students who have excelled in their first three years of mathematics and are in the accelerated program. Those students wishing to receive college credit for this course can take the Advanced Placement test at the end of the school year. A student who wishes to be considered for the course must be in the accelerated math program and must have the recommendation of his Algebra II math teacher.

    AP CALCULUS (BC) - Grade 12
    This is an Advanced Placement, college level class intended for studentswho intend to take the more difficult Advanced Placement test in Calculus. Pre-Requisite: AP Calculus (AB).

    AP STATISTICS - Grades 11, 12
    The purpose of the AP course in statistics is to introduce students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing and drawing conclusions from data.  Students are exposed to four broad conceptual themes: 1. Exploring Data: Describing patterns and departures from patterns; 2. Sampling and Experimentation: Planning and conducting a study; 3. Anticipating Patterns: Exploring random phenomena using probability and simulation; 4. Statistical Inference: Estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses. Teacher approval is required.
  • Religion

    OLD TESTAMENT - Grade 9
    Guided by the teaching and tradition of the Catholic Church, students will learn about the Old Testament and God’s Self-Revelation through salvation history. Students will learn how the Old Testament is used in the Church, in the shared life of the community and in the lives of individuals. Students will be invited and encouraged to use the Old Testament in their prayer and to apply it to their lives.

    NEW TESTAMENT - Grade 9
    Guided by the teaching and tradition of the Catholic Church, students will learn about the New Testament and the fullness of God’s Self-Revelation, Jesus Christ. Students will learn to use the historical, literary, and theological background of biblical texts in order to come to a better understanding of God’s word in the Scriptures.

    ECCLESIOLOGY & CHURCH HISTORY - Grade 10
    Students will learn about the Catholic understanding of the Church and its history. They will learn about the role that the Church has played in the world historically, focusing especially on major events in Church history. Students will also learn about the vital role that the Church plays in the world today. Students will be invited to see the Church as a vital community through which they can encounter the living Christ.

    CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING - Grade 10
    Students will learn about Catholic Social Teaching, seeing this body of teaching as essential to living as a faithful Catholic. Students will learn about some of the injustices present in our world. They will begin to develop skills to help them to identify injustice and to find ways to address its causes.

    CATHOLIC MORALITY - Grade 11
    Students will develop an internalized principled Catholic Moral value system.  It will aid in understanding the role of Christian conscience and will show how to make moral decisions as a Christian and how to reflect critically on the values of society and culture in light of Catholic moral norms.

    CATHOLIC LIFESTYLES - Grade 12
    This course strives to deepen our sense of identity as Catholic Christians; understand the vocations of life (how Christ calls us to live out our lives) and the important commonalities and differences between them.  The class will focus on developing a deeper  understanding of self (identity), other people (relationships), and the commitment to a Christian life of love (vocation).

    DEATH TO LIFE - Grades 11, 12
    This course explores the spiritual, psychological, and physical aspects of death.  Attention will be paid to the medical and biological realities associated with death, common social and religious customs related to death, and the Catholic Church’s teaching on the afterlife as well as various topics and issues related to the mystery of suffering, death and the promise of eternal life.

    WORLD RELIGIONS - Grades 11, 12
    This course will take the students on a journey through the world's greatest religions.  They will explore the history, traditions, rituals, and beliefs of: Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam, as well as Native American spirituality.  Attention will be paid to the cultures and peoples who gave birth to these religious expressions.  The student will be introduced to the stories, myths, legends, and facts from each religion's holy book.

    COMMUNITY SERVICE - Grades 11, 12
    In this course students will be involved in helping in several activities under guidance of and with the cooperation of some outside institutions.  This work will be done during a class period within the regular class day.  Classroom activities will be dedicated to learning more about service agencies and particular issues which affect many of the people they meet in their service opportunities.

    AMERICAN CATHOLIC HISTORY - Grades 11, 12
    Students will learn about the challenges and successes of Catholics in the history of the United States. They will learn about the important contributions that American Catholics have made in the U.S. They will also learn about many American Catholics who have made significant contributions to American Catholic history.

    PHILOSOPHY - Grades 11, 12
    Students will participate in the dialogue of faith and reason by exploring topics such as the universal longing for God, various ways of understanding God, the limitations of their perspective in coming to know objective truth, and what it means to be human.

    CATHOLIC THEMES IN MEDIA - Grades 11, 12
    Through studying a variety of forms of media, students will explore Catholic religious themes, deepening their ability to employ skills of critical thinking and reflection as consumers of media. This course will cover themes such as forgiveness, resurrection, social justice, the Kingdom of God, and a sacramental worldview. Various types of media and genres will be used such as novels, short stories, memoirs, web sites, film, poetry, and artwork.
  • Science

    PHYSICAL SCIENCE (CP2) - Grade 9
    Offered to freshmen and involves a general introduction to the fields of physics and chemistry and also includes topics concerning earth science.  This course is a survey of science with an emphasis on the development of laboratory skills, deductive and inductive reasoning and reading comprehension.  The students will explore different topics in physical sciences such as chemical interactions, forces and motion of the earth's interior, astronomy, change through time and ecology.  It is designed to help students pass the Ohio Graduation Test.

    BIOLOGY (H, ACP, CP1) - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
    Includes the study of the properties of living matter, cell structure and function, and a survey of living plants and animals with a major emphasis on man as a functioning organism.  Genetics, evolution, and ecology are also considered.

    INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY (CP2) - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
    This course provides a very broad approach to the concepts of biology, examining the structural and chemical basis of life.  Emphasis is placed on current topics in science and understanding biological terminology.  Content areas include the cell, heredity, evolution, ecology & classification of living organisms.

    ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCE (CP1) - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
    This course will cover earth science topics including geology, earth resources, erosion, and plate tectonics.  Environmental issues will include soil and water quality, air pollution, global warming, and personal responsibility.  Research projects will involve using the internet, library, and other outside resources.

    ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE - DUAL CREDIT - Grades 11, 12
    This course studies the natural world around us, how we humans use and abuse it, and how we can become "good stewards" of the environment.  Therefore this course involves an interdisciplinary approach, combining information and principles from the natural sciences: biology, chemistry, physics, and geology; and the social sciences: economics, politics, sociology, and ethics.  These and others will be used to put the environmental issues of the day into perspective in our world today.  This course aims to help make students better consumers/users of our earth's natural resources.

    BIOLOGY OF THE HUMAN - DUAL CREDIT - Grades 11, 12
    This course is primarily concerned with the study of the structure and function of the human body.  This will include the studies of Anatomy, which is concerned with form/structure of the body parts and Physiology, which is the study of how the anatomy functions.  These will be examined on the cellular, tissue, organ, organ system, and organism level.  The maintenance of homeostasis is the overlying theme of this course.  This course covers current health care issues and improves the student's communication skills in health care matters.

    AP COLLEGE BIOLOGY - Grades 11, 12
    Teaches the scientific concepts of Biology to the range and depth covered in a college-level first-year General Biology class for Biology majors.  This course is offered through Elder High School in consortium with Thomas More College.  The format of the course will be lectures with only a few supplemental labs.  The eight major topics to be covered include:  The Chemistry of Life, The Cell, Genetics, Mechanisms of Evolution, Biological Diversity, Plant Form and Function, Animal Form and Function, and Ecology.  This course is a college Biology course with dual credit offered through Thomas More College (3 college credit hours per semester - maximum 6/year).  An additional fee is associated with earning dual credit.  Prerequisite: 80+ average in Biology and Chemistry plus instructor approval.

    CHEMISTRY (CP1) - Grades 10, 11, 12
    This course is designed to give students who are not interested in majoring in a science related field an opportunity to understand of how chemistry affects their daily life. Topics are centered on chemistry-related solutions for society and the world. The course is centered on laboratory experiences, an appreciation of chemical processes and reactions that are met through problem solving. Examples of topics are conserving resources, food composition, environmental impact, nuclear energy, health, and forensics.

    CHEMISTY (H, ACP) - Grades 10, 11, 12
    The composition of the kinds of substances which constitute the entire physical world is determined by the kind and arrangement of atoms in the molecules of these substances.  To understand their properties, basic concepts such as atomic structure, energy, and chemical reactivity are studied and investigated by discussions, demonstrations, experimentation, and technical science videos.  This is a college preparatory course that is offered to sophomores, juniors, and seniors meeting the requirements.  Prerequisite: Algebra I (80 average) and successful completion of Biology.

    PHYSICS (CP1) - Grades 11, 12
    This first course in Physics which includes a study of the relationships of matter and energy, the forms of energy, mechanics, vibrations and waves, and sound.  College, college prep, and conceptual levels are offered.

    PHYSICS (ACP) - Grades 11, 12
    This first course in Physics which includes a study of the relationships of matter and energy, the forms of energy, mechanics, vibrations and waves, and sound.  College, college prep, and conceptual levels are offered.  Students intending to take AP Physics 2 should take AP Physics 1.

    AP PHYSICS 1 - Grades 11, 12
    This algebra-based course is the equivalent of a first-semester college course in algebra-based physics, but it is designed to be taught over a full academic year to enable AP students to develop deep understanding of the content and to focus on applying their knowledge through inquiry labs. Students who take this course and pass the AP Physics 2 exam may be awarded science credit from their chosen college.  The course covers Newtonian mechanics (including rotational dynamics and angular momentum); work, energy, and power; and mechanical waves and sound. It also introduces electric circuits. Students taking this course are required to complete the AP exam for Physics 1. A teacher recommendation is required for this course.

    AP PHYSICS 2 - Grade 12
    This year-long course is designed for second-year physics students who intend to major in a non-technical program in college (e.g., business, accounting, education, law, etc.).  Students who take this course and pass the AP Physics 2 exam may be awarded science credit from their chosen college.  Subjects covered will include waves and sound, electricity and magnetism, reflection and refraction of light, relativity, and nuclear physics.  The course is algebra-based and does not require a familiarity with calculus principles.  Students taking this course are required to complete the AP exam for Physics 2.  A teacher recommendation is required for this course.  Honors Physics is a prerequisite for this course.

    AP PHYSICS C - Grade 12
    This year-long course is designed for second-year physics students who intend to major in a scientific or technical program in college (e.g., medicine, engineering, etc.).  Students who take this course and pass the AP Physics C exam may be awarded science credit from their chosen college.  The course covers mechanics principles which were covered in the first-year course, but this time includes calculus principles as well.  A previous or concurrent course in calculus is required.

    ASTRONOMY (ACP) - Grades 10, 11, 12
    A semester course in the evolution and composition of the universe.  Stars and planets, galaxies, moons, comets and asteroids will be studied.  The course will utilize Starry Night High School astronomy software.

    PHYSIOLOGY (ACP, CP1) - Grades 10, 11, 12
    Offers a more detailed explanation of the structure and functions of the human body beyond those already covered in the standard biology or health courses.  Healthful living habits are also included.  Prerequisite 85 average in Biology.

    AP CHEMISTRY - Grades 11, 12
    A second-year Chemistry course intended for students who plan to pursue careers in basic science, engineering, or the health sciences.  The course will focus on topics selected from the following: stoichiometry, atomic structure, molecular structure, solutions, gas laws, equilibrium, acids and bases, chemical bonding, entropy, chemical kinetics and thermodynamics.  Students will perform laboratory activities applying the theory they have learned in class.  Intended to prepare the student to take the Advanced Placement Chemistry exam.  Prerequisite: Honors Chemistry I or ACP Chemistry I with instructor recommendation.

    MATERIALS SCIENCE (H, CP1) - Grades 11, 12
    This class is an elective lab science course open to students with an interest in extending their scientific knowledge to engineering design.  Students will expand their knowledge in basic chemistry concepts of atomic structure and bonding as they explore the relationship between the chemical structure and material properties of metal, polymer, composite, and ceramic materials in a hands-on laboratory environment.  Students will also connect material selection and design issues with professional ethics through engineering case studies.  Students will exhibit their knowledge of materials selection and engineering design through an extended group engineering design project.  Various texts, handouts and online resources will be used to enhance the learning process.
  • Social Studies

    GEOGRAPHY - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
    Geography is offered as a half credit course to students interested in social studies.  The course includes discussion of all the regions of the world beginning with a brief outline of their history.  The contemporary culture of each region is discussed as well as weather and its affect on geography.  In addition, students will learn about different types of maps and mapmaking.

    WORLD CULTURES - Grade 10
    This course covers the same basic material as the regular World Cultures course, but at a pace more compatible with the reading level of the students in the class. All sophomores are required to take this course. It deals with the historical as well as the sociological development of man in his society throughout the world. Emphasis is placed on the cultures as well as a way of understanding the actions of other people.

    WORLD CULTURES (H, ACP, CP1, CP2) - Grade 10
    All sophomores are required to take this course. It deals with the historical as well as the sociological development of man in his society throughout the world. Emphasis is placed on the cultures as well as a way of understanding the actions of other people.

    AP WORLD HISTORY - Grades 10, 11, 12
    Students in this course must learn to view history thematically.  The AP World History course is organized around five overarching themes that serve as unifying threads throughout the course, helping students to relate what is particular about each time period or society to a "big picture" of history.  The themes also provide a way to organize comparisons and analyze change and continuity over time.  Consequently, virtually all study of history in this class will be tied back to these themes.  Students may take this course to meet the World Cultures requirement or they may take the course as an elective course.  Students taking this course are required to complete the AP exam for World History.  A teacher recommendation is required for this course.

    AMERICAN HISTORY (H, ACP, CP1, CP2) - Grade 11
    All juniors are required to take this course. All phases of the American Heritage and national growth are the basis of this course. Emphasis is placed not only on what happened in the factual history, but also on the reasons why things happened and their importance.

    AP UNITED STATES HISTORY - Grade 11
    This difficult junior class covers the same material as in the regular American History class but in more depth and scope. The course follows the rigorous standards established by the Advanced Placement Program. This course is also a college American History course with dual credit offered through Xavier University. An additional fee is associated with earning dual credit.

    AMERICAN GOVERNMENT (H, ACP, CP1, CP2) - Grade 12
    Seniors are required to take and pass American Government and Economics. The American Government course includes political heritage, foundation of our system of government, and the structure and operation of the government at the national, state, and local levels.

    AP GOVERNMENT & POLITICS: UNITED STATES - Grade 12
    This course includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret US politics and the analysis of specific examples. Students completing this course will know important facts pertaining to US governments and politics, understand typical patterns of political processes, analyze and interpret basic data relevant to US government and politics. Topics covered in this course include the Constitution, political beliefs and behaviors, political parties, interest groups, mass media, and institutions of national government. Students successfully completing the course will be prepared for the AP exam.

    ECONOMICS (H, ACP, CP1, CP2) - Grade 12
    Seniors are required to take and pass American Government and Economics. The Economics course will feature the economy of the country on a national, state and local level, the factors which drive the economy, and how it applies to the citizenry.

    CINCINNATI HISTORY (ACP) - Grades 11, 12
    This course is open to students with an 80+ average in American History. The purpose of the course is to trace American History through the city of Cincinnati, to acquaint students with the sources of information, and to provide an opportunity for independent research. Emphasis will be placed on on-site visits to persons and places of historical interest. One paper will be required for each quarter of the course.

    MODERN AMERICAN CULTURE & SPORTS (H) - Grades 11, 12
    Students will examine the social and cultural history of sports in American society and the major effects that sports have had in the history of the United States.  Students will analyze the place of sports in American life and sports as a metaphor for American ideas and values. Areas that sports have played a significant role include business, civil rights, media, health care, politics and gender issues.  These are all areas that have drastically affected the American cultural experience.

    LEADERSHIP: PERSONAL EFFECTIVENESS - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
    This course focuses on personal effectiveness through the focus of Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

    LEADERSHIP SEMINAR 1 (H) - Grade 9
    Leadership Seminar 1 is a required course for Honors Program students in their freshman year.  The course serves as an introduction to the leadership skills that will be developed through the Honors Program. Students will learn leadership styles, management styles, and study leaders throughout history.

    LEADERSHIP SEMINAR 2 (H) - Grade 10
    Enrollment in this course is limited to Honors Program sophomores.  The course focuses on organizational leadership.

    INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY (ACP) - Grades 10, 11, 12
    This course will explore selected subjects that are related to the general Psychology course in college.  Subjects include  conditioning, learning, and all of the factors that contribute to personality development and growth.  It will also consider personality and character disorders and the treatment of behavioral problems.

    AP COLLEGE PSYCHOLOGY - Grades 11, 12
    This course is a college psychology course with dual credit offered through Thomas More College.  The course serves as an in depth introduction to psychology.  This history of psychology as well as basic research methods are surveyed.  Course topics include biological bases for behavior, sensation, and perception, learning, cognition, developmental psychology, and other topics.  An additional fee is associated with earning dual credits.
  • World Languages

    LATIN 1 (H, ACP) - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
    The beginning student is taught classical Latin pronunciation as well as the basics of Latin grammar, including all six tenses of the indicative mood, all five declensions of nouns, and both adjective systems. The vocabulary and culture presented are geared toward understanding the world of Julius Caesar, which will be the student's focus in the second year.

    LATIN 2 (H, ACP) - Grades, 10, 11, 12
    The second-year Latin course culminates in the reading of Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars. In order to prepare well for this undertaking, the student reviews his first-year work and then concentrates on second-year structures and vocabulary, as well as the geography and history of Caesar's world. In addition, special attention is given to correct pronunciation of classical prose and poetry.

    LATIN 3 (H) - Grades 11, 12
    The third and fourth-year Latin courses  are intended for the very serious student. Each year begins with a review of Latin grammar. Vocabulary study and grammar refinements are featured throughout the year. Special attention is given to Latin composition. Each year focuses on the works of either Cicero (and the Roman political world of the 1st century B.C.) or Vergil (and the mythological and political background of the founding of Rome). Latin 3 and 4 enable the good student to "test out" of some basic World Language requirements in college.

    LATIN 4 (H) - Grade 12
    The third and fourth-year Latin courses  are intended for the very serious student. Each year begins with a review of Latin grammar. Vocabulary study and grammar refinements are featured throughout the year. Special attention is given to Latin composition. Each year focuses on the works of either Cicero (and the Roman political world of the 1st century B.C.) or Vergil (and the mythological and political background of the founding of Rome).

    SPANISH 1 (H, ACP, CP1) - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
    The first-year Spanish course is an introduction to a reading and writing knowledge of the language. The student will learn accurate pronunciation and intonation of modern Spanish in realistic everyday situations. Grammatical structures will be stressed using a conceptual approach. Spanish customs, geography, and other aspects of daily life in Hispanic countries will be touched upon throughout the course. This is primarily a freshman subject. Students wishing to take this subject should have a good knowledge of English grammar.

    SPANISH 2 (H, ACP, CP1) - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
    This second-year Spanish course continues the student's study of the Spanish language in all aspects - reading, writing, speaking, and listening. This course will offer the student a firm foundation in grammatical usage. It will enlarge the vocabulary and increase the student's comprehension of spoken Spanish. The student will learn some basic cultural practices of the 20 Spanish-speaking countries.

    SPANISH 3 (H) - Grades 11, 12
    The third-year Spanish course is intended for the serious student. A firm foundation in Spanish grammar is essential for success in this course. This course will provide practice in written and spoken Spanish, and an intense study of idioms, grammar, vocabulary, and culture.

    SPANISH 4 (H) - Grades 11, 12
    A firm foundation in Spanish grammar is essential for success in this course. This course will provide practice in written and spoken Spanish. The course includes advanced grammar and vocabulary, literary and cultural studies, and weekly journal writing.

    AP SPANISH LANGUAGE & CULTURE - Grade 12
    In this course students will apply their knowledge of the Spanish language to acquire and discuss information about the products, practices, and perspectives of cultures in Spanish-speaking places. Covering the six thematic units, students will discover culture though communication, connections to other subject areas, and comparing to first culture. Students will regularly communicate in Spanish both through speaking and writing. At the end of the course students will take the AP Spanish Language and Culture exam. This provides students the opportunity to receive some college credit for their studies. A teacher recommendation is required for this course.

    FRENCH 1 (H, ACP, CP1) - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
    The beginning student is introduced to French pronunciation and conversation in addition to reading and writing in the French language. He studies current usage and is given ample opportunity to practice speaking in class. In the French 1 course, students also study French geography, Paris monuments, music, and numerous other aspects of modern culture in France and in French speaking countries.

    FRENCH 2 (H, ACP, CP1) - Grades 10, 11, 12
    The second-year student completes his study of the basics of the French language in all of its various forms. There is significant growth in all language skills (speaking, reading, writing, and reading). Students study the history of France and music throughout the course. Students also have the continued opportunity to explore the products and practices of contemporary France, as well as those of other French speaking countries.

    FRENCH 3 (H) - Grades 11, 12
    The two areas of concentration at this level are speaking and writing French well. There is daily opportunity to speak French, and each student has frequent occasion to improve writing skills.  This course also includes an intense study of idioms, composition-building words, advanced grammar and vocabulary, and literary and cultural studies.

    FRENCH 4 (H) - Grade 12
    The two areas of concentration at this level are speaking and writing French well. There is daily opportunity to speak French, and each student has frequent occasion to improve writing skills.  The courses also include an intense study of idioms, composition-building words, advanced grammar and vocabulary, and literary and cultural studies.

    AP FRENCH LANGUAGE & CULTURE - Grade 12
    The AP French Language and Culture course is designed as a culmination of the student's high school French studies. The course is college-level. Students review, refine, and broaden their study of grammatical structures while learning new vocabulary useful to communicate in French on a variety of topics. Students gain considerable knowledge of francophone cultures and make comparisons to their own cultural experiences. A teacher recommendation is required for this course.

    GERMAN 1 (H, ACP, CP1) - Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
    The first-year German course is an introduction to the language with an emphasis in grammar as well as oral, listening, reading and written comprehension. It offers a firm foundation in the basic forms of the language. Videos, listening, pair and group work as well as online exercises help in understanding and learning German. A strong emphasis is placed on a fundamental vocabulary. German culture and geography will also be taught as well as the differences between everyday life in D A CH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and the USA. Genial Klick A1 is used and this multimedia German course for adolescents is designed according to both the US National Standards and the Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR).

    GERMAN 2 (H, ACP, CP1) - Grades 10, 11, 12
    The second year German course is a continuation of learning the language and grammar through oral, listening, reading and written comprehension. Videos, listening, pair and group work as well as online exercises help in understanding and speaking German. This course reviews the grammar which was taught in German 1 and completes all basic German grammar. Geography and culture are also taught through videos, on line research and German readers.  Genial Klick A 2 is used and this multimedia German course for adolescents is designed according to both, the US National Standards and the Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR).

    GERMAN 3 (H) - Grades 11, 12
    The third year German course reviews and applies the knowledge of grammar gained in the first two years. It enlarges the vocabulary and increases the comprehension of written and spoken German.  We continue using videos, listening exercises, pair and group work as well as on line exercises and short stories. Genial Klick B 1 is used and this multimedia German course for adolescents is designed according to both, the US National Standards and the Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR) During the third and fourth year it prepares the students to take the examinations from the German Government or Goethe Institute to obtain the “Das Deutsche Sprachdiplom” B1 Level. German magazines are employed to stay abreast of the current German scene.

    GERMAN 4 (H) - Grade 12
    The fourth year German course reviews and applies the knowledge of grammar gained in the first three years. It enlarges the vocabulary and increases the comprehension of written and spoken German. We continue using pair and group work, videos, listening and on line exercises as well as short stories. Aspekte Neu B1 is used and this multimedia German course for adolescents is designed according to both, the US National Standards and the Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR). During the fourth year it continues preparing the students to take the examinations from the German Government or Goethe Institute to obtain the “Das Deutsche Sprachdiplom” B1 Level. When approving this examinations, students wanting to study in Germany will not have to take the remedial German course and students wishing to study in the US can get a Minor in German after only 2 more years of studying since it will be recognized by the universities. German magazines are employed to stay abreast of the current German scene. This course helps the student to "test out" of some or all of his college language requirements.


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Cincinnati’s First Catholic Diocesan High School