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Dance Studies and Performance Art 1-6

In Dance 1, a fundamental knowledge of dance vocabulary, basic steps, and body mechanics is developed. Attention is placed on proper body alignment, movement efficiency, strength, and flexibility. Students learn to combine basic steps into movement phrases, to dance to a variety of tempos, and to work in a range of styles. The basics of dance composition are also explored, along with creative movement and performance preparation. As students progress through the dance program, there is increased emphasis on kinesthetics and the development of core strength. Movement combinations increase in length and technical difficulty as students become more familiar with adagio and petit allegro and are better able to incorporate increased use of jumps and turns. Students explore effort/shape concepts, dynamics, rhythm, gesture, and motivation in relation to dance composition and do increasingly sophisticated choreographic projects. All dance students participate in a staged performance during the course of the year, which requires rehearsal time outside of class.

Students can prepare for an IB dance exam by taking dance in both 11th and 12th grades.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Dance Studies and Performance Art 2-6 require previous dance experience and permission of instructor

String Ensemble

This is a course in musicianship for players of string instruments. Through the preparation and performance of instrumental music, students learn elements of style, expression, ensemble technique, music theory, history of music, and music literature. The role of the performer and his or her responsibility to the composer, the audience, and fellow performers are ongoing themes in this class. A varied repertoire, ranging from Renaissance music to modern compositions, is performed not only by the full orchestra, but also by the string orchestra and various smaller chamber ensembles. Each student will participate in at least three different ensembles within this single class. To participate, a student must demonstrate familiarity with his or her instrument; read music fluently; and have a working understanding of key signatures, basic rhythm patterns, and meter. There are occasional evening and weekend rehearsals and performances. Students also take field trips and attend off-campus performances.

With permission from the department, a student may prepare for the IB SL Music exam by taking String Ensemble in both 11th and 12th grades while doing additional independent work.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Audition

Wind Ensemble

This is a course in musicianship for players of wind and percussion instruments. Through the preparation and performance of instrumental music, students learn elements of style, expression, ensemble technique, music theory, history of music, and music literature. The role of the performer and his or her responsibility to the composer, the audience, and fellow performers are ongoing themes in this class. A varied repertoire, ranging from Renaissance music to modern compositions, is performed not only by the full orchestra, but also by various smaller chamber ensembles. Each student will participate in at least three different ensembles within this single class. To participate, a student must demonstrate familiarity with his or her instrument; read music fluently; and have a working understanding of key signatures, basic rhythm patterns, and meter. There are occasional evening and weekend rehearsals and performances. Students also take field trips and attend off-campus performances.

With permission from the department, a student may prepare for the IB SL Music exam by taking Wind Ensemble in both 11th and 12th grades while doing additional independent work.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Audition

Vocal Ensemble

Students in this course receive training in vocal production and sight-reading while exploring a variety of vocal styles. Singers experience a varied repertoire of music from around the world, including, but not limited to, early to contemporary classical music and a cappella and vocal jazz. The ensemble performs on and off campus. Chorale members learn the music of the Community Chorus and perform in its annual concert also. To participate, each student must be able to carry a tune, blend well with other voices, and be enthusiastic about performing. The ability to read music, while helpful, is not a prerequisite, as this is part of the class instruction.

With permission from the department and the ability to read music, a student may prepare for the IB SL Music exam by taking Vocal Ensemble in both 11th and 12th grades while doing additional independent work.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Audition

Film Production

During this first-year film course, students pursue a variety of exercises designed to develop familiarity and skill with filmmaking. Skills covered include camera orientation, story development, basic shot composition, project planning and scheduling, basic editing, and post production. Limited-scale exercises in Term 1 build abilities for longer and more complex assignments in Term 2 and Term 3.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Advanced Film Production

During the second and subsequent years in the film program, students strengthen and refine their filmmaking skills and continue to develop new ones. More emphasis is placed on scripting and project planning, on targeting external audiences, on developing more sophisticated camera use and production practices, and on learning more advanced editing techniques. Collaborative effort is also stressed.

Students may take this course more than once.

Students may prepare for the IB Film exam by taking Advanced Film Production in both 11th and 12th grades. Juniors and seniors preparing for the IB exam must participate in the IB Film seminar, which meets for 30 minutes weekly and includes occasional field trips on Saturday or Sunday.

Open to: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Film Production

Theater Arts: Acting

This course provides training in acting techniques, including vocal production, movement, and the expressiveness necessary to interpret characters, both improvised and scripted. Students participate in ensemble-forming exercises that develop concentration, trust, observation, spatial relationships, and emotional expression. Students are introduced to script analysis through the study of monologues and scenes. Through a variety of exercises, students explore different acting styles specific to time period or dramatic genre. Continued work aims to fully develop emotional and intellectual resources for the creation of believable and accurate character interpretations. Participants are given the opportunity to stage Green Room productions.

Open to: Freshmen and sophomores

Advanced Theater Arts: Acting and Directing

This course, which has a specific focus on world theater, provides an opportunity for students to hone and improve the techniques developed in the Theater Arts course. To prepare for an IB theater exam, a student must take this course in both junior and senior years.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: Theater Arts: Acting

Theater Arts: Design and Production

Training in theater lighting, scenery, properties, sound, and stage management allows students to prepare for the school’s four major productions throughout the year. Students are also expected to work on at least one running crew during the school year. All students undertake a theoretical design project during the second term, delving into script analysis and design theory. Students are encouraged to take this class more than once since the curriculum changes every year. Those enrolled in Design and Production for second or subsequent years are expected to take on greater leadership roles in the class, especially as peer teachers.

Students may prepare for an IB Theater Arts exam by taking Theater Arts: Design and Production courses in both 11th and 12th grades.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Advanced Theater Arts: Design and Production

Training in theater lighting, scenery, properties, sound, and stage management allows students to prepare for the school’s four major productions throughout the year. Students are also expected to work on at least one running crew during the school year. All students undertake a theoretical design project during the second term, delving into script analysis and design theory. Students are encouraged to take this class more than once since the curriculum changes every year. Those enrolled in Design and Production for second or subsequent years are expected to take on greater leadership roles in the class, especially as peer teachers.

Students may prepare for an IB Theater Arts exam by taking Theater Arts: Design and Production courses in both 11th and 12th grades.

Open to: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Theater Arts: Design and Production

Theater Performance

Performance is the focus of this term-long course as members of the class participate in a Main Stage production. Shows are supported by the Theater Arts: Design and Production classes and a professional costumer. The goal is for students to demonstrate a range of physical, vocal, and emotional abilities in specific character portrayal. The course meets daily after school, so participants cannot take a sport concurrently but will not be required to take PE in the term of their performance class.

In 2017-2018 the course will be offered in Terms 1 and 2.

Open to: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Auditions are open to students who are currently enrolled in Theater Arts: Acting or Theater Arts: Acting and Directing or have taken one of those courses for at least one year or obtained permission from the instructor

Musical Theater

Students explore the various backstage elements of musical theater production in this one-term course. They experience the interdependence of acting, singing, dancing, costuming, lighting, and set design. While the final public performance is a tangible result of a term’s work, the course emphasizes the process leading up to the performance. The ideals of ensemble and group support and development are modeled in all that is studied, from the audition process through the final curtain call. Auditions are held in the fall term. The course meets daily after school, so participants cannot take a sport concurrently but will not be required to take PE in the term of their performance class.

In 2017-2018 the course will be offered in Term 3.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Audition

Graphic Design

In this course, students will explore the formal elements of design, including composition, color, texture, and shape in the form of applied visual problem-solving exercises. Course work will incorporate these elements, along with learning the fundamentals of various software applications (such as Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop), image editing, and drawing. Advertising and marketing projects coordinate technical skills with organization, management, communication, ethics and teamwork. Projects will include: designing a magazine layout, t-shirt design, designing and re-designing logos, designing a set of CD’s, creating a social awareness poster campaign, commercial storyboarding, product advertising and event poster. This course may only be taken once.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Ceramics

Developing a practical understanding of clay objects while taking an aesthetic approach to ceramics is the primary goal of this course. Students develop skills in centering clay, throwing on the potter’s wheel, trimming, and glazing. Other skills introduced may include building with slabs and coils, pinching clay pots, creating small-scale sculpture, making clay stamps, making clay “prints” from linoleum blocks, and decorating with brushes and glaze pens. Each student’s work is exhibited with a critique at the end of each term. Students are expected to complete between four and ten pieces each term. In addition, they are expected to support classmates, to honor the work of all students in the class, and to contribute to classroom cleanup and maintenance. This course may be taken as an IB Visual Art. Please see the IB Visual Arts description.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Intermediate Ceramics

Students work to expand their knowledge of clay as an art medium and to improve the skills learned in Ceramics. They complete specific assignments and plan some of their own projects. Projects are more complex and require more time. Assignments might include covered pots, teapots, cups and saucers, plates, dinnerware sets and slab-built boxes. There is a great deal of flexibility within the assignments given to students and some assignments might include a written or presentation component. Craftsmanship, creativity, and an appreciation for the elements that are inherent in well-made functional pottery are emphasized in this class. This course may be taken as an IB Visual Art. Please see the IB Visual Arts description.

Open to: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Ceramics (must be taken at George School)

Advanced Ceramics

The advanced course builds on and perfects the techniques learned in the previous courses. Further exploration will focus on craftsmanship, creativity, design. Students will make both functional and sculptural works. Students will utilize a variety of slips, underglazes, and glazes, using more sophisticated application techniques. They will explore some ceramic art history and try different firing techniques. This course may be taken as an IB Visual Art. Please see the IB Visual Arts description.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: Intermediate Ceramics

Senior Ceramics Projects

In the fourth year of George School’s ceramics offerings, students are encouraged to develop a coherent body of independent work with periodic critiques to discuss progress, content, and process. In addition, they will try more advanced techniques such as making small editions utilizing slip-casting in plaster molds and utilizing a 3D printer designed to print with clay slip. This course may be taken as an IB Visual Art. Please see the IB Visual Arts description.

Open to: Seniors

Prerequisite: Advanced Ceramics

Materials and Methods of Sculpture

Sculpture students are introduced to materials and methods of working with three-dimensional forms, exploring the elements, principles and aesthetic concepts integral to three-dimensional design and to consider relationships between concept, process, materials, tools and technical skills. This course gives a historical overview of sculpture and covers various aspects of 3-dimensional works, such as the production of simple and complex forms, subtractive work, contextual considerations and found objects. Students are introduced to hand and power tools along with safe shop practices. Mediums and methods include plaster, clay, stone, metal, wood, casting techniques, wire forms and welding. Regular assessment promotes a solid theoretical and practical/technical understanding of the process of making sculptural forms. This course may be taken as an IB Visual Art. Please see the IB Visual Arts description.

Open to: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisites: Ceramics, Woodworking, or permission of instructor

Advanced Sculpture I-II

Advanced sculpture further develops skills in spatial relationships, utilizing different materials, and safe shop practices. The application of these ideas is emphasized through collaborative work, site-specific installations, the understanding of the language of sculpture and documentation of process.

A further exploration of three-dimensional form-making. Enables the student to develop artistic expression and a greater understanding of contemporary sculpture. Emphasis may include permanent/nonpermanent materials: clay, plaster, metal, wax, fabric, wood, stone, or found objects. Both additive and subtractive methods will be employed. The first two terms specifically address the technical aspects of the discipline and the development of a conceptual language. This provides the groundwork for third term independent projects.

This course may be taken as an IB Visual Art. Please see the IB Visual Arts description.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: Materials and Methods of Sculpture

Painting and Drawing

In this course, students will build a foundation in basic painting and drawing. Various concepts, materials, and techniques involving painting and drawing will be assigned and explored. Drawing will be used as both a means of preparation and as an independent mode of expression. Students will also be introduced to the fundamentals of painting. Through various assignments, students will form an understanding of the relationships between color, form, shape, texture, value and composition. Effort and conscientious completion of all requirements are considered for the assessment of assignments.

This course may be taken as an IB Visual Art. Please see the IB Visual Arts description.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Advanced Painting and Drawing I-III

The focus of this course is directed towards creating a unique body of work in painting and drawing. In class, students will work on strengthening their painting and drawing skills while developing a unique and personal vision. Students will be encouraged to explore and develop their personal interests and ideas. Throughout the course, students will be introduced to a variety of sources and materials to explore different media, methods, processes and possibilities to create art. The instructor will give brief slide lectures and conduct demonstrations as needed. In addition, the instructor will give individual guidance through one-on-one discussion with each student as projects are developed. Students are required to maintain a sketchbook and work outside of class. This course may be taken as AP or IB Visual Arts. Please see the AP or IB Visual Arts description.

Open to: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Painting and Drawing or permission from instructor after a portfolio review

Senior Studio in Painting and Drawing

The focus of this course is to develop and complete a comprehensive body of work consisting of paintings and drawings that addresses a centralized theme with a written artist statement. Throughout the course, students will advance and evolve their aesthetic, concept, personal ideas and technical skills. Students are responsible for developing their portfolios by creating works that reflect their own individual voices. The instructor will give brief lectures and conduct demonstrations as needed. In addition, the instructor will give individual guidance through one-on-one discussion with each student as projects are developed. The development of the student’s body of work will culminate in an independent exhibition at George School. An ability to work independently on art projects is essential in this intensive class. Students are required to maintain a sketchbook and to work outside of class. Prior experience with a wide range of art materials is expected to showcase an effective and high quality portfolio. This course may be taken as AP or IB Visual Arts. Please see the AP or IB Visual Arts description.

Prerequisite: Open to seniors who have taken Advanced Painting and Drawing or with permission from instructor after a portfolio review

Photography

Basic analog photography concepts, processes, and techniques lead students toward mastery of 35mm camera operation, exposure, and darkroom procedures. In addition to technical skills, students explore the aesthetics of photography through critiques, presentations, and written assignments. Student work is entered in regional and international photography contests and exhibited throughout the year in the George School galleries. Assessment is based on the quality of work, effort, and timeliness. Students are provided a 35mm manual camera for this course, and projects are shot outside of class time. Film and chemicals are provided; all other materials are provided for a $100 fee. If additional materials are needed, they may be purchased in the school bookstore. Since technical difficulties could arise that require students to spend free periods in the photo lab, students taking an overload are advised against taking this course. This course may be taken as an IB Visual Art. Please see the IB Visual Arts description.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Advanced Photography I-III

Technical skills acquired in Photography are further refined. In addition, experimental techniques are introduced, ranging from historic and antique processes to digital imaging. Students experiment with studio lighting, digital imaging, non-silver processes, hand-coloring, toning, and mixed-media. Participation in class critiques is required as images created by students are analyzed for aesthetic, conceptual, and theoretical concerns. The latter part of the course is focused on portfolio development as students work to develop their individual voice through the photographic medium. Student work is entered in regional and international photography contests and exhibited throughout the year in the George School galleries. Since the curriculum changes every year, students are encouraged to take this class more than once. Materials for this course may be purchased in the school bookstore. Since technical difficulties could arise that require students to spend free periods in the photo lab, students taking an overload are advised against taking this course. This course may be taken as an Advanced Placement course in the senior year or with special permission from the instructor. Students may take this course in their junior and senior years as an IB Visual Art. Please see the IB Visual Arts and AP Studio Art descriptions for more information.

Open to: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Photography (must be taken at George School)

Digital Imaging and Design

TThe art of digital imaging through the use of Adobe Photoshop is explored in this course. Students create images with 35mm Digital SLR cameras. Students focus on a theme, design, and publish a hard-cover book in the fall term based on their summer project. Students learn to edit and manipulate their images in Adobe Photoshop by participating in hands-on demonstrations and completing technical exercises. Participation in class critiques is required as images created by students are analyzed for aesthetic, conceptual, and theoretical concerns. The latter part of the course is focused on portfolio development as students work to develop their individual voice through the photographic medium. This course may only be taken once. Paper and ink are provided for a fee of $75 per term. Student work is entered in regional and international photography contests and exhibited throughout the year in the George School galleries. This course may be taken as an Advanced Placement course in the senior year or with special permission from the instructor. Students may take this course in their junior or senior years as an IB Visual Art. Please see the IB Visual Arts and AP Studio Art descriptions for more information.

Open to: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Photography (must be taken at George School)

Woodworking and Design

Students begin the year by learning how to work with and maintain a variety of traditional hand woodworking tools. In the first term, each student designs and builds a small box using traditional joinery techniques. In the second term, students learn to use power tools safely. Throughout the remainder of the year, each student is guided through the process of designing an original piece of furniture. The class includes trips to museums, local studios, and the Philadelphia Furniture Show. Students also have opportunities to exhibit their work in area shows.

There is no IB option in Woodworking.

Open to: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Advanced Woodworking and Design I-II

Building on skills developed in Woodworking and Design, students continue to develop patience, hand skills, safe power tool use, and the ability to “see” on paper and create in wood. Each student must design and build at least one piece of furniture of high quality. Some students spend the entire year on a single project, while others complete more than one piece. Either approach is acceptable as long as the student’s commitment to doing his or her best work is apparent in the final product. Students may take this course more than once.

There is no IB option in Advanced Woodworking.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: Woodworking and Design (must be taken at George School)

Athletics

Athletics are an integral part of the George School experience. George School teams play many area Quaker schools in the Friends Schools League and other local public and independent schools. Participation on a team builds community spirit by providing an ideal arena for students to learn and understand the values of cooperation, sharing, teamwork, sportsmanship, motivation, responsibility, respect, and discipline. Students learn what it means to work towards a common goal. The athletic experience is a wonderful opportunity for coaches and athletes to develop positive and rewarding relationships. George School provides numerous sports at varying levels of competition for students to find success.

Term 1 Sports
Girls: Cross Country (Varsity, JV), Field Hockey (Varsity, JV, Developmental), Soccer (Varsity, JV, Developmental), Tennis (Varsity, JV), Volleyball (Varsity, JV)

Boys: Cross Country (Varsity, JV), Football (Varsity, JV), Soccer (Varsity, JV, Freshman, Developmental)

Coed: Cheerleading (Varsity), Equestrian (Varsity, JV, Developmental)*

Term 2 Sports
Girls: Basketball (Varsity, JV, 3rd Team), Swimming (Varsity, JV, Developmental), Track (Varsity)

Boys: Basketball (Varsity, JV, 3rd Team), Swimming (Varsity, JV, Developmental), Track (Varsity)

Coed: Winter Cheerleading (Varsity), Wrestling (Varsity, JV)

Term 3 Sports
Girls: Lacrosse (Varsity, JV, 3rd Team), Softball (Varsity, JV, Developmental), Track (Varsity)

Boys: Baseball (Varsity, JV), Lacrosse (Varsity, JV, 3rd Team), Tennis (Varsity, JV, Developmental), Track (Varsity)

Coed: Equestrian (Varsity, JV, Developmental)*, Golf (Varsity)*

*additional fee

Athletic Training Aide Program

George School’s certified athletic trainer oversees all student trainers. Each student athletic training aide works with a team and is present at every practice and game, both home and away. Students become certified in CPR and AED usage. Athletic training aides receive team sport credit.

Biology

This introductory course provides a survey of biology’s diverse fields of study. Topics covered include ecology, evolution, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, Mendelian genetics, bioethics, diversity of life, human anatomy and physiology, and botany. Concepts presented in lectures are illustrated using demonstrations and experiments. Students will hone their abilities to articulate their knowledge clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing. Lab reports include data collection and analysis of experimental outcomes; students should be able to apply basic algebraic skills to these analyses. Students are assigned supplemental readings, in addition to readings from the textbook.

This course fulfills the life science requirement.

Students interested in taking an IB or AP Biology course in the future should take Intensive Biology instead of this course.

Recommended for: Sophomores and juniors

Prerequisite: Chemistry or Intensive Chemistry

Intensive Biology

This introductory course will move at a pace and depth more typical of AP and IB Biology classes, covering at least 25 chapters in the textbook. Topics covered include ecology, evolution, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, Mendelian and non-Mendelian genetics, bioethics, microbiology, diversity of life, human anatomy and physiology, and botany. Concepts with increasing complexity and abstraction will be tackled (for example, photosynthesis and cellular respiration pathways). Students should expect to handle large amounts of material and to spend considerable time studying outside of class. Students in this class must be able to articulate their knowledge clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing. Lab experiments will regularly be conducted in class, with an occasional required evening lab (one per term). Lab reports include data collection and in-depth analyses of experimental results; students should be able to apply algebraic skills and statistical analyses to their data. Some laboratories will be administered and assessed according to IB criteria. Students are frequently assigned technical and complex supplemental readings, in addition to readings from the textbook. No summer work is required for this course. This course is the required prerequisite course for IB SL Biology , IB HL Biology , and AP Biology; exceptions to this must be approved by the department.

This course fulfills the life science requirement.

Recommended for: Sophomores and juniors

Prerequisite: Chemistry (A-) or Intensive Chemistry (B) or B in Chemistry taken prior to 2016-17

IB SL Biology

This course prepares students for the IB Standard Level (SL) Biology exam. Lecture-format classes are combined with frequent experiments to investigate all major topics in the IB SL Biology curriculum: cells, molecular biology, genetics, ecology, evolution and biodiversity, and human physiology. An in-class dissection of a mammal provides hands-on experience with anatomy. Information is covered in detail and at a moderately fast pace. Nightly homework typically includes reading a chapter in a college-level textbook, writing a lab report, or preparing a presentation. Occasional evening and/or weekend labs are required in order to fulfill IB lab expectations. This course includes a lengthy independent research project.

All students are required to take the IB SL Biology exam, usually offered in early May. Students must also attend a weekend-long IB science retreat, during which they complete an IB-style research project. Readings are assigned over most vacations, and students are required to complete a summer assignment in preparation for this class.

Open to: Juniors and seniors in the IB diploma program

Prerequisite: For 2017-18: Chemistry (B-); For 2018-19: Intensive Biology (B) or B+ in Biology taken in 2016-17 AND either Intensive Chemistry (B) or Chemistry (A-) or B+ in Chemistry taken in 2015-16. Satisfactory performance on a placement test is required for those students whose prerequisite biology class was taken somewhere other than George School.

IB HL Biology

This college-level course prepares students for the IB Higher Level (HL) Biology exam. Lecture-format classes are combined with frequent experiments to investigate all major topics in the IB HL Biology curriculum: cells; molecular biology; genetics; ecology; evolution and biodiversity; human physiology; nucleic acids; metabolism, cell respiration, and photosynthesis; plant biology; genetics and evolution; and animal physiology. Information is covered in detail and at a fast pace. Nightly homework typically includes reading a chapter in a college-level textbook, writing a lab report, completing review sheets, studying for weekly quizzes, or completing analysis of scientific studies with data-based questions. Occasional evening and/or weekend labs are required in order to fulfill IB lab expectations. The course includes a lengthy independent research project which is required as part of the IB’s Internal Assessment.

All students are required to take the IB HL Biology exam. Students must also attend a weekend-long IB science retreat, during which they complete an IB-style research project. Readings are assigned over most vacations, and students are required to complete a summer assignment in preparation for this class.

Open to: Seniors in the IB diploma program

Prerequisite: For 2017-18: Chemistry (B+) and either Biology (B+) or IB SL Biology (B). For 2018-19: One of Chemistry (A), Intensive Chemistry (B+), or Chemistry taken in 15-16 (B+) together with either Intensive Biology (B+) or Biology taken in 16-17 (A-). Satisfactory performance on a placement test is required for those students whose prerequisite biology class was taken somewhere other than George School.

AP Biology

This college-level course prepares students for the AP Biology exam. Lecture-format classes are combined with frequent experiments to investigate all major topics in the AP Biology curriculum, which center around four Big Ideas loosely defined as evolution, metabolism, information processing, and biological complexity. Topics are covered in detail and at a fast pace. Nightly homework typically includes reading a chapter in a college-level textbook, writing a lab report, or writing an essay. Occasional evening and/or weekend labs are required in order to fulfill AP lab expectations. Most labs are inquiry-based, requiring students to develop their scientific skills and work more independently.

Students are required to take the AP exam. Students are also required to complete a summer assignment in preparation for the class.

Open to: Juniors and Seniors

Prerequisite: For 2017-18: Chemistry (B+) AND either Biology (B+) or IB SL Biology (B). For 2018-19: One of Chemistry (A-), Intensive Chemistry (B+), or Chemistry taken in 15-16 (B+), together with either Intensive Biology (B+) or Biology taken in 16-17 (A-), Satisfactory performance on a placement test is required for those students whose prerequisite biology class was taken somewhere other than George School.

Chemistry

The major concepts of inorganic chemistry are covered in this course. These include atomic structure, molecular bonding, typical chemical reactions, stoichiometry, acids and bases, solutions, nuclear reactions, thermodynamics, and kinetics. The study of these topics requires a facility with single-variable algebra and mathematical calculations to demonstrate quantitative principles. Material is taught thoroughly and in-depth to facilitate student understanding of complex concepts. Comprehension is reinforced with frequent practice of various types of problems typical of a chemistry curriculum. Learning is supported with weekly lab activities and demonstrations. Students are expected to read and practice problems from their textbooks daily. Frequent written lab assignments are required.

The version of this course offered for upperclassmen also includes the following topics: Electrochemistry, equilibrium systems, and oxidation-reduction.

This course fulfills the physical science requirement.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Intensive Chemistry

The major concepts of inorganic chemistry are covered in this course, at a pace that requires prior mastery of single-variable algebra. These include atomic structure and theory, bonding, periodic trends, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, gas laws, solution chemistry, acids and bases, thermochemistry, kinetics, equilibrium systems oxidation-reduction, and nuclear chemistry. Students are expected to read and practice problems from their textbooks daily. Rigorous and fast-paced lectures are supported by weekly lab investigations and demonstrations. Frequent written lab assignments are required to be completed in a scientific lab notebook and students use computer software applications for data collection, graphing, and analysis. This course will prepare students for future study in AP Chemistry.

This course fulfills the physical science requirement.

Open to: Freshmen and new sophomores

Prerequisites: Placement test and strong performance in an honors Algebra 1 course

AP Chemistry

This course prepares students for the AP chemistry exam and for the SAT subject test in chemistry. Students are assumed to have a baseline understanding of stoichiometry, chemical bonding and intermolecular forces, atomic theory, thermodynamics, gas laws, periodicity, and types of chemical reactions at the beginning of the course. These topics are reviewed briefly, and the following topics are studied in greater depth: acid-base chemistry, spectroscopy techniques, relationships between macroscopic and microscopic properties, kinetics, equilibrium, oxidation-reduction reactions, electrochemistry, and standard lab procedures. This is a fast-paced course with a significant laboratory component, and students are expected to design some of their own lab procedures and participate actively during all class sessions. Frequent written assignments are required, both on a weekly basis and over most vacation periods.

Students are required to complete a summer assignment in preparation for this course.

Open to: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Intensive Chemistry (B+), or Chemistry 9th grade (A and departmental approval), or Chemistry 10th or 11th grade: (A-), or B+ in Chemistry taken prior to 2016-17. Satisfactory performance on a placement test is required for those students whose prerequisite chemistry class was taken somewhere other than George School.

Chinese 1

This first year course in Mandarin Chinese teaches the mainland Chinese systems of Pinyin Romanization and simplified Chinese characters. Oral/aural communication and Chinese cultural context are emphasized. Reading and writing are introduced from the beginning of the course with a goal for mastery of 250 words by the end of the year. This course provides a solid foundation for listening, speaking, writing, and reading Chinese and cultivates a passion for the language through a highly interactive and dynamic cultural approach.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Chinese 2

This course begins with a review of key concepts and structures from Chinese 1. Oral/aural communication continues to be emphasized. Short reading selections and basic grammar are introduced. General conversation, reading, and writing will expand the Chinese character set to five hundred. This course promotes the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing through a dynamic cultural approach.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Chinese 1 (C-) or placement test

Chinese 3

This course begins with a review of key concepts and structures from Chinese 2 and expands upon these. It will continue to develop students’ language by introducing a variety of topics. More emphasis is placed on reading and writing exercises and students begin to apply language skills in more analytical and creative ways.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Chinese 2 (C-) or placement test

IB Chinese 4

Building on the fundamentals established in earlier courses, students in this course become increasingly adept at expressing themselves in culturally appropriate ways in a wide variety of situations. The focus is on writing paragraphs, reading more extensive and involved passages than in earlier courses, refining inter-personal communication skills and broadening the student’s knowledge of contemporary Chinese culture and the historical context from which the culture has evolved. Videos, Chinese websites and other media are employed to reinforce the students’ language abilities. Juniors and seniors may, but
are not required to, sit for the IB Language B standard-level exam.

A summer assignment is required in preparation for this course.

Open to: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Chinese 3 (B) or placement test

IB Chinese 5

The goal of IB Chinese 5 is to take students to the next level in their proficiency. In Chinese 5, students will interact much more with authentic materials—both written and audio, from literature to culture—and be expected to be even more vocal, doing presentations, debates, and leading the class in discussions surrounding these materials and topics. In terms of producing Chinese, students will explore different and more sophisticated ways of expressing themselves and learn to use more advanced structures, particularly in their writing. Students will practice the process of writing short descriptive, reflective, and interpretive essays.

A summer assignment is required in preparation for this course.

Open to: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: IB Chinese 4 (B-) or placement test

IB Chinese Seminar

This class is conducted entirely in Chinese and active oral participation is key. Students use authentic Chinese-language materials such as articles, short stories, videos, websites, and feature-length films to explore a variety of topics relevant to life in China today. The specific topics vary from year to year so that students can take the class more than once without repeating material, but examples include education, environmental issues, changing demographics, government and politics, international relations, pop culture, online culture, and film. Typically four to six topics are covered in a year. Students are expected to debate, lead discussions, make oral presentations, write frequent short essays, do extensive research on a topic of their own choosing in contemporary Chinese life, and communicate the results of their research in both a longer paper and a multimedia-presentation.

While students enrolled in this course are not required to take an external exam, those in their first year of the course typically prepare for the IB SL Chinese B exam, while those in their second year typically prepare for the IB HL Chinese B exam or the AP Chinese Language and Culture exam.

A summer assignment is required in preparation for this course.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: IB Chinese 5 (B) or placement test

Cooperative Work Program

The cooperative work (co-op) program builds community at George School. By engaging students in a collective effort to maintain various aspects of George School life, it opens the door for new friendships and a shared sense of pride in the school. Co-op assignments teach students about responsibility, teamwork, and time management, offering valuable work experience. Money saved through the program is budgeted for financial aid, as it has been since 1942 when the program was established. Throughout their four years at George School, all students are required to spend between 60 and 90 minutes per week doing on-campus service through the co-op program while school is in session. Co-op assignments, available in nearly every academic and administrative department on campus, include duties such as dining room/kitchen work; maintenance of classrooms, science laboratories, arts studios, dormitories, and campus grounds; clerical and multimedia tasks; and peer tutoring. Depending upon a student's interest and schedule and the needs of the school, he or she may receive a new co-op assignment each term or keep the same one for several years.

Literature and Composition I

This course centers on the theme of characters on journeys. Of particular interest are those who are undergoing the transition from youth to maturity. Students examine the various ways in which young people in literature negotiate this transition, weighing dependence and independence, family and friends, duty and passion, self-possession and love. They also explore these tensions in their own writing. Works studied in all sections of this course are J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, and selected short stories. Other authors recently studied are Golding, Hughes, Potok, Shaw, Steinbeck, Tan, Twain, Wiesel, and Wright. The English Department participates with other departments in introducing important foundational skills for reading and writing across the curriculum. The English writing curriculum develops further, as it emerges from the reading, and introduces the students to a variety of expository forms, including descriptive, narrative, reminiscent, and personal essays. Students compile a portfolio of their work at the end of the year. The course also covers a core group of topics in grammar and mechanics, culminating in a test on these topics taken by all freshmen.

Open to: Freshmen

Literature and Composition II

The relationships among individuals, family, and society in literature are explored in this course, varying across time and place. Students reflect on their own lives through journals and draw meaningful connections between their experiences and those of the characters they encounter. Among the authors recently studied are Calvino, Euripides, Hurston, Kingsolver, O’Brien, Shakespeare, Sophocles, and Wilde. Special attention is given to the genre of poetry.

The department continues its focus on foundational skills in the sophomore year by expanding the attention to more complex rhetorical forms. The English curriculum stresses the use of language in addition to theme in the study of literature and exposition.

Students examine more closely how authors convey meaning as well as how they, as developing writers themselves, make language choices in constructing meaning. As the year progresses, the course moves from personal, reflective forms to more formal, abstract types of writing such as the persuasive essay and the critical essay. The key features of the critical essay—thesis statement, topic sentences, evidence, and interpretation—are introduced. Students develop the art of public speaking through informal and formal oral presentations. The course also covers advanced topics in grammar and mechanics, culminating in a test on these topics taken by all sophomores.

Open to: Sophomores

AP English Language and Composition

This course covers much of the same content as Sophomore Literature and Composition. Students read and carefully analyze a broad and challenging range of nonfiction and fiction prose selections, deepening their awareness of rhetoric and how language works. Through close reading and frequent writing, students develop their ability to work with language and text with a greater awareness of purpose and strategy, while strengthening their own composing abilities. Course readings feature expository, analytical, personal, and argumentative texts from a variety of authors and historical contexts. Students examine and work with essays, letters, speeches, images, and imaginative literature. Featured authors include Dante, Sophocles, Shakespeare, Faulkner, and Austen. Students study a variety of essay forms including the personal essay and the persuasive essay. Essayists studied include Orwell, Woolf, Montaigne, Dillard, Borges, Hazlitt, Chesterton, E.B White, and Baldwin. All students are required to take the AP English Language and Composition exam in May.

Open to: Sophomores

Prerequisite: A- or better in the third term of Literature and Composition I and permission of department head

American Literature

Works by authors representing a variety of time periods and cultural perspectives within the American experience are considered in this course. The primary focus is on tracing trends—from the idealistic thinking represented by the transcendental writers through the social realism examined by the writers of the early twentieth-century, to the disillusionment inherent in the works of contemporary authors. Among the authors recently studied are Cather, Chopin, Currey, Dickinson, Ellison, Emerson, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Hughes, Kesey, Lahiri, Miller, Morrison, O'Brien, Poe, Thoreau, and Twain. Writing instruction in American Literature centers almost exclusively on critical analysis in preparation for college. The Culminating Paper for the year requires each student to select a novel from an approved list and write an extended comparative essay relating this work to several others studied as part of the shared curriculum. This paper is required of all juniors. It can also serve as the Extended Essay for students who are IB diploma candidates.

Open to: Juniors

IB HL English 1: American Literature

This is the first in a fast paced two-year sequence of the higher-level IB English curriculum. The first two terms cover American Literature as described above, and the third term is devoted to several works of world literature that fulfill a portion of the IB requirements. This course includes preparation for the formal oral commentary done in the senior year. Students should only select this course if they are committed to the two-year sequence. Students need to achieve at least a B to continue with IB HL 2 in the senior year. The Culminating Paper for the year requires each student to select a novel from an approved list and write an extended comparative essay relating this work to several others studied as part of the shared curriculum. This paper is required of all juniors. It can also serve as the Extended Essay for students who are IB diploma candidates.

Open to: Juniors

Prerequisite: Literature and Composition II (B+) and permission of department head

IB HL English 1: Advanced American Literature

The content of this course parallels the content of IB HL English 1: American Literature. Additional works read are from earlier time periods and employ complex syntax and difficult vocabulary. Excellent reading comprehension and attention to detail are assumed, as is the ability to formulate complex and nuanced interpretations of the literature independently, to question and challenge the interpretations of others, and to move quickly to abstractions. The course is conducted as a seminar, requiring students to assume responsibility for facilitating discussion in addition to participating regularly. Students must prepare written reflections on each reading assignment in preparation for discussion. Essays typically range from 5 to 8 pages in length, and major projects are broad in scope, often requiring the student to synthesize ideas from several works. The Culminating Paper for the year requires each student to select a novel from an approved list and write an extended comparative essay relating this work to several others studied as part of the shared curriculum. This paper is required of all juniors. It can also serve as the Extended Essay for students who are IB diploma candidates.

Open to: Juniors

Prerequisites: AP English Language and Composition or Literature and Composition II (B+) and permission of department head

IB SL English: World Literature

Classic and contemporary world texts are examined through literature, essays, and film in this course, as students learn to evaluate secondary sources and engage in deeper readings of the texts. Such treatment prepares them for the complexity and rigors of college analysis. Students explore thematic connections that run through classic and modern works in spite of their differing cultural traditions. Among the authors recently studied are Achebe, Atwood, Camus, Carver, Conrad, Ishiguro, Kafka, O’Connor, Olen Butler, Orwell, Shakespeare, and Sophocles. Students are expected to think independently, do close readings, and articulate their interpretations maturely and thoughtfully. Major assignments include oral presentations, critical commentaries, and essays that develop the analytical skills acquired in the junior year. Students may sit for either the IB SL or IB HL exam from this course.

Open to: Seniors

IB HL English 2: World Literature

This course fulfills the expectations of the IB curriculum and prepare students for both the IB and AP exams. Students are expected to formulate complex and nuanced interpretations of literature independently and to question and challenge the interpretations of others. Excellent reading comprehension and attention to detail are assumed, as is the ability to move quickly to abstractions. Among the authors recently studied are Achebe, Austen, Chaucer, Conrad, Dostoyevsky, Greene, Kafka, the Romantic poets, Shakespeare, Sophocles, and Voltaire.

Open to: Seniors

Prerequisite: IB HL English 1: Advanced American Literature, or IB HL English 1: American Literature (B), or American Literature (B+) and permission of department head

IB HL English 2: World Literature—Writer’s Focus

This course fulfills the expectations of the IB curriculum and prepare students for both the IB and AP exams. Students are expected to formulate complex and nuanced interpretations of literature independently and to question and challenge the interpretations of others. Excellent reading comprehension and attention to detail are assumed, as is the ability to move quickly to abstractions. Among the authors recently studied are Achebe, Austen, Chaucer, Conrad, Dostoyevsky, Greene, Kafka, the Romantic poets, Shakespeare, Sophocles, and Voltaire.

The Writer’s Focus version of the course considers literature with a view towards developing a more fully articulated understanding of the art and the craft of writing poetry, drama, and prose fiction. In addition to literary discussion, Writer’s Focus classes features workshop-style critiquing sessions. Participants in the Writer’s Focus class should be committed creative writers who are comfortable having their work read aloud and critiqued by peers.

Open to: Seniors

Prerequisite: IB HL English 1: Advanced American Literature and permission of department head

French 1

Designed for students with little or no previous experience, this course introduces students to communication in French. Using an immersion method, students develop skills in speaking, listening, writing, and reading. Components include audio, video and grammar study along with short writing assignments. The class is conducted almost entirely in French.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

French 2

Students in this course continue with the immersion method. The course begins with a review of key contexts and structures from French 1 and continues to deepen students’ command of French language communication through study of video, audio and grammar components. This class is conducted almost entirely in French.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: French 1 (C-) or placement test

Intensive French 2

Students in this course continue with the immersion method. The course begins with a rapid review of key contexts and structures from French 1 and continues to broaden students’ command of French language communication through study of video, audio and grammar components. Students begin to apply language skills in more analytical and creative ways and gain their first exposure to French literature through short selections. This class is conducted in French.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: French 1 (B) or placement test

French 3

This course focuses on transitioning from acquisition to application of language through the study of culture and literature. Following a review of key contexts and structures from French 2, the course continues to expand students’ knowledge and command of the language. Writing skills are further developed through short essays and weekly journal entries. Students study a selection of poems by Jacques Prévert. Students intending to continue on to IB French 4 will need to do independent reading and grammar work over the summer in addition to the French 4 summer reading assignments.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: French 2 (C-) or placement test

Intensive French 3

This course focuses on transitioning from acquisition to application of language through the study of culture and literature. The course begins with a rapid review of key contexts and structures from Intensive French 2. Students extend their ability to use language skills in analytical and creative ways and also develop writing skills through short essays and weekly journal entries. Students study a selection of poems by Jacques Prévert and other short stories by other French authors. This course is a preparatory course for IB French 4.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: French 2 (B and summer work followed by placement test) or Intensive French 2 (C) or placement test

IB French 4

This IB course is designed for students whose interest is primarily in the contemporary French-speaking world. The class is conducted entirely in French and all students are fully expected to actively participate in class activities. Speaking and writing activities are based on cultural themes and contemporary issues are explored through movies, periodicals, songs of social, historical and artistic content, visual art, poems and short stories. Students may also work with literary texts. Review and continued refinement of grammatical structures are aimed at helping students develop their self-expression. Assignments are both written and oral. Juniors and seniors may, but are not required to, sit for the IB Language B standard-level exam at the end of this course.

This course has a summer assignment.

Open to: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Intensive French 3 (C+) or French 3 (B) or placement test

IB/AP French 5

Students enter this class experienced in reading, writing, speaking, and understanding French. This class is conducted entirely in French and active oral participation is key. Each year, the literary, grammatical, and cultural foci of this class may vary. Students read, interpret and discuss formal and informal prose and literature, listen to authentic audio and video recordings, develop speaking skills in a variety of settings, and write both formal essays and informal communications. It is expected that students in this course will take the AP French Language exam or the Higher Level IB French exam in May.

This course has a summer assignment.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: IB French 4 (B) or placement test

IB HL French Seminar

This course is for students who have native or near-native command of the French language and want to continue their study beyond IB/AP French 5. Content is tailored to the needs and interests of the students taking the course in a particular year and can include preparation for the IB HL French B exam.

This course has a summer assignment.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: IB/AP French 5 (B) or placement test

Global Interdependence

This course examines the social, political, and economic factors that led to the creation of the modern interdependent world. Selected regional and global issues studied include the rise of the modern nation state, international organizations, economics and inequality, human rights, and non-state actors. Combining the Socratic Method, short lectures, class discussions, small-group work, and debates, the course focuses on developing collaborative and rhetorical skills. Students develop important study and organizational skills. Library research skills are acquired through a variety of assignments, including a step-by-step process for writing a research paper. Much of the coursework involves analysis of primary sources. The pace of the course is appropriate for a wide range of students, but it is demanding in terms of organization and time management. All incoming 9th graders are required to take this class.

Open to: Freshmen

AP World History

Students in this fast-paced 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. Independent use of a college level textbook is necessary, along with reading primary source materials and writing about them. Students are required to take the AP examination in May. A summer assignment is required in preparation for this course.

Open to: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisites: Global Interdependence (A-) and Freshman Literature & Composition (A-). Juniors and Seniors: a US History course.

AP Human Geography

This fast-paced course prepares students for the AP examination in Human Geography through systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use, and alteration of Earth’s surface. Students employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human social organization and its environmental consequences. They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their science and practice, including the analysis of spatial data, the identification of regions, and the characterization and interpretation of interconnections among places. The topics covered are: the nature and perspectives of geography as a discipline; population; cultural patterns and processes; political organization of space; agricultural and rural land use; and cities and urban land use.

Students are expected to enter the course with good geographic literacy and well-developed note-taking, reading, writing, research and organizational skills.

Open to: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisites: Sophomores: Global Interdependence (A-). Juniors and Seniors: a US History course.

US History

In this chronological survey of the history of the United States, topics covered include the political, economic, geographic, and social realities of the nation's past. The class moves at a swift pace, deepening the student’s capacity to interpret and analyze reading material of both primary and secondary sources. Students are expected to work collaboratively. Class activities may include small-group work, oral presentations, debates, lectures, and analysis of historical documents. Writing clear and correct prose on creative, essay, and research papers is an important part of the course. A step by step process for writing a research paper is reinforced.

Open to: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Students may take George School’s online version of this course during the summer.

Accelerated US History

A chronological survey of the history of the United States, Accelerated U.S. History covers events, issues, and personalities from the age of European colonization to the present. The Constitution and its myriad interpretations provide the foundation for this course. Students move at an accelerated pace and are expected to have advanced study and organizational skills. The ability to analyze and interpret reading material, both primary and secondary, is assumed. A college-level textbook is used. Class activities may include small-group work, debates, lectures, and analysis of historical documents. Active class participation and successful completion of an independent research paper is a course requirement. Taken as a junior, this course may serve as the first year in the two-year IB History SL or HL sequence.

Open to: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisites: (1) Global Interdependence (A-) and Literature and Composition I (A-)
OR
(2) AP World History (B+)
OR
(3) AP Human Geography (B+)

AP US History

This course prepares students for the AP examination in U.S. History. It is a college-level introduction to the development of the United States institutions and society from the settlements of the First Nations peoples to the end of the Twentieth Century. Students explore the concept of historical study as a discipline and study historiography—the different histories that have been written about events—as well as the events themselves. Independent use of a college level textbook is necessary, along with reading primary source materials and writing about them. The reading load is heavy and there are frequent writing assignments. Students are required to take the AP Examination in May.

There is a summer reading and writing assignment, homework during each school vacation, and additional class meetings on weekends and in the evenings.

Taken as a junior, this course may serve as the first year in the two-year IB History SL or HL sequence.

Open to: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Global Interdependence (A-) and Literature and Composition I (A-) OR AP World History (A-) OR AP Human Geography (A-)

Foundations in US History

In this chronological survey of the history of the United States, topics covered include the political, economic, geographic, and social realities of our nation's past, beginning with the early British colonies and continuing to the era of the Vietnam War. The class moves at a swift pace, deepening the capacity of non-native English speakers very strong English skills to interpret and analyze reading material in English from both primary and secondary sources. Students are expected to work collaboratively. Class activities may include small-group work, oral presentations, debates, lectures, and analysis of historical documents. Students should expect frequent writing assignments. Developing the ability to write clear and correct English prose in analytical essays is an important part of the course. Students complete a major research paper, and a step-by-step method for completing this project is taught.

Open to: Sophomores and juniors

African-American History Seminar

This course is a chronological survey of the history of Africans in the Americas. Course content leads students from ancient civilizations, to the transport of Africans to the Americas, and culminating in a primary focus on events in the US. African-Americans are traced from the European slave trade through the civil rights movements of the turbulent 1960s. Current events are explored through a historical lens. This swift-paced course extends the student’s ability to analyze and interpret both primary and secondary reading material. A college-level textbook is used. Class activities include collaborative group work, oral presentations, debates, lectures, and analysis of historical documents. Writing clear and correct creative prose, essays, and a research paper is an important part of the course. Successful completion of an independent research paper is a course requirement.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: A US History course

East Asian History Seminar

This course examines the history of East Asia. The main focus is upon Chinese and Japanese civilizations although other countries and peoples will be discussed as well. The course will apply a multidisciplinary approach. Topics to be covered include Chinese dynasties, Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, art, warfare, Japanese court society, the samurai, Western imperialism, Japanese militarism, the Chinese Communist Revolution, and China’s reemergence as a global power. In addition to the textbook, students will learn from historical fiction, cinema, primary sources, and additional secondary sources. Class participation and analytical writing will be emphasized and a research paper is required.

(Not offered in 2017-18)

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: A US History course

International Women’s History Seminar

This course examines the experiences of women through a variety of lenses, including gender, politics, culture, race, sexuality, socioeconomic status, and religion. Through primary and secondary sources, literature, and film, we consider how women have defined themselves and been defined, how these definitions have evolved, and how they differ from country to country. We spend a considerable amount of time studying contemporary issues, looking at problems as well as solutions in the hopes that everyone in the course will feel empowered to enact change. Active participation in class and bi-weekly research-based essays are among the requirements of the course.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: A US History course

Middle Eastern History Seminar

This course studies the cultural, political, diplomatic, and socio-economic history of the Middle East and North Africa from the rise of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, through the Crusades, the Ottoman Empire, Western Imperialism, the Birth of the State of Israel, to the Arab Spring. Major themes will include religion, nationalism, ethnic cleansing, genocide, war, terrorism, civil disobedience, refugee studies, despotism, fundamentalism, Orientalism, tribalism, and sexual politics. Texts for the course will include college-level historiography as well as readings from “Sources in the History of the Modern Middle East”, selected primary source documents, transcripts of Oxford Union and Dohaa debates, the Quran, Bible, and Talmud. These readings will be supplemented with the region’s major literature, film, music, art, and everyday life culture, as well as virtual conversations with journalists, activists, and historians in the tradition of true global education.

(Not offered in 2017-18)

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: A US History course

Russian History Seminar

This course traces the political, social, and cultural history of Russia from the formation of the principality of Kievan Rus to the autocratic reign of Vladimir Putin. The course’s myriad of themes will include empire, revolution, totalitarianism, authoritarianism, foreign policy, everyday life, literature, art, and human rights. A broad range of texts will include the major historiography of Imperial and Soviet Russia, the stories of Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and Solzhenitsyn, the poetry of Pushkin and Akhmatova, as well as articles from the New York Times, the New Yorker, and the London Review of Books. Students will also study a series of primary sources, including Soviet and post-Soviet films, traditional and contemporary Russian music, the Harvard Project of the Soviet Social System, and visual art and propaganda. Guest speakers (in person and via Skype from Russia) will include the region’s leading journalists, human rights activists, and historians.

(Not offered in 2017-18)

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: A US History Course

Intensive Historiography of the American Century

This course offers a critical exploration of the United States’ history as the world’s most powerful nation-state. Developed in collaboration with history professor Peter Kuznick and filmmaker Oliver Stone, the class traces the rise of US power from 1898 up to the present. Historiography—the creation of historical narrative—is a central focus of the class. Students compare and contrast opposing narratives of significant historical periods and events. This course is multidisciplinary. Specifically, students examine historical narratives in conjunction with cinematic narratives, exploring the ways in which motion pictures have influenced, reflected, and challenged Americans’ understandings of the US and its role in the world. The reading load is substantial. There are writing assignments throughout the year, all of which are eventually integrated in a final paper.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: Any US History course

IB SL Global Politics

This course explores global politics through four core units: power and sovereignty, human rights, peace and conflict, and development and sustainability. It allows students to develop an understanding of political activity and processes, as well as explore political issues affecting their own lives. The course focuses on political theory, while helping students to understand abstract political concepts by grounding them in real-world examples of events and case studies from the past decade, such as the Palestinian bid for Statehood, North Korea’s authoritarian state, the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Arab Spring. It also invites comparison between such examples and case studies to ensure a wider and trans-national perspective. Students will also explore politics through a unique “engagement activity,” which requires them to combine academic research with political action to explore a political topic of their own interest. In this way, students throughout the year will be encouraged to explore the relationship between people and power, and how this manifests on the local, national, and international levels. Students will be required to take the IB examination in May.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: A US History course

IB SL Economics

This reading and writing intensive course prepares students for the standard level IB Economics exam and sitting for the exam is a requirement of the course. The major economic areas covered are microeconomics, macroeconomics, international economics, and developmental economics. In addition, the course considers current world economic issues with particular emphasis on the United States. Students are expected to write four papers of no more than 750 words in length each. Three of the four papers will be part of the student’s IB Economics portfolio, which will be made available to international IB examiners.

Open to: Juniors and seniors, with preference given to IB diploma candidates

Prerequisites: US History (A-), Accelerated US History (B), or AP US History (B). In addition students must have earned at least an A- in Algebra 2 or at least a B- in Intensive Algebra 2 or a more advanced math course.

IB HL Economics

This is the second year of a two-year sequence in IB economics. The course will expand upon the topics introduced in SL Economics, however, there is a much deeper focus on quantitative measures. Strong analytical skills and a proven understanding of mathematics are needed. Students taking this course will write three original 750-word papers that analyze articles from international news sources. Students will be expected to read a variety of college-level journals and texts. Daily homework assignments will be the focus of student-centered, seminar-style discussions. Taking the IB Economics HL exam in May is a requirement of the course.

A summer reading assignment is required for this course.

Open to: Seniors

Prerequisite: AP Economics or IB SL Economics

AP Economics

Students in this course prepare for the AP Microeconomics and Macroeconomics exams while at the same time discuss contemporary economic issues. Students are required to take both AP exams. Specific economic concepts covered include the nature and functions of product markets, supply and demand, theory of consumer choice, production and costs, firm behavior and market structure, factor markets, market failure and the role of government, measurement of economic performance, national income and price determination, the financial sector, stabilization policies, economic growth, and international trade and finance. This course has a summer assignment.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisites: US History (A-), Foundations in US History (A-), Accelerated US History (B), or AP US History (B). In addition students must have earned at least an A- in Algebra 2 or at least a B- in Intensive Algebra 2 or a more advanced math course.

IB SL History: War, Revolution, and Peacemaking

This course prepares students for the standard-level IB History exam. Students study selected topics that embrace key events, personalities, and issues in the history of the twentieth century including the authoritarian leaderships of Mussolini, Stalin, Mao, and Castro and the superpower tensions and rivalries of the Cold War. The course has as its prescribed subject (an IB requirement) “The Move to Global War,” which studies military expansion in Japan, Germany, and Italy between 1931 and 1941. A major historical investigation project involving intensive research and mature writing is an IB requirement undertaken in the first two terms. The course proceeds at a fast pace and regular student participation is expected in the seminar-style classroom format. Substantial reading is regularly assigned from college-level texts. Students are required to take the IB Examination in May. A summer assignment is required in preparation for this course.

(Not offered in 2017-18)

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: A US History course

IB HL World History: Americas Focus

This course, in combination with an eleventh grade course in US History, prepares students for the higher-level IB History exam with the History of the Americas regional option. Students study selected topics that embrace key events, personalities, and issues of the world in the twentieth-century, with an emphasis on key elements of Canadian and Cuban history. Topics typically included are the emergence of the Americas in global affairs, the First World War with a focus on the role of Canada and the United States, the Great Depression and the Americas, Hitler’s Germany, the move to global war, the Second World War and the Americas, the Chinese Civil War, Castro’s Cuba, and the Contra War. A major historical investigation project involving intensive research and mature writing is an IB requirement undertaken in the first two terms. The course proceeds at a fast pace and regular student participation is expected in the seminar-style classroom format. Substantial reading is regularly assigned from college-level texts. Students are required to take the IB Examination in May. A summer assignment is required in preparation for this course.

Open to: Seniors

Prerequisites: Preference is given to IB Diploma candidates. Students must take Accelerated US History or AP US History in their junior year.

Latin 1

Latin 1 presents the framework of verb, noun, adjective, pronoun, and adverb forms and inflection patterns. Ample support is provided by numerous teacher-generated exercises. Through textbook readings and class discussion, students receive an introduction to the culture of the ancient Romans, their systems, and beliefs. Translations are both from Latin to English and English to Latin. Latin requires the development of many important skills, including mastery of grammatical concepts through programming the brain with vocabulary details, inflection patterns, and grammatical precepts, as well as analysis and reasoning in applying programmed information. Careful attention is paid to grammatical structures both in English and in Latin, and students practice extensive application of Latin word roots in English derivatives.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Latin 2

Where Latin 1 provides the framework of the language, Latin 2 adds color and contour. Latin 2 presents constructions such as subjunctive verb forms and uses of verbs, as well as advanced participle constructions and irregular verbs. By the end of the year, students should have the foundation to read prose of a Caesarian level of difficulty. Translations and vocabulary assessments are almost exclusively Latin to English. Review of Latin 1 is integrated in the early lessons, and increasing attention is paid to translation techniques. Open-book translations become more frequent as a significant tool for assessing students' understanding of how Latin works, and the complexity and length of readings increase throughout the year as more constructions are mastered.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Latin 1 (C-) or placement test

Intensive Latin 2

Students in this course are expected to recall vocabulary with very few lapses and to do more translations and to translate more accurately than students in the standard Latin 2 class. For example, where Latin 2 students may have a choice of translating five out of seven sentences on a quiz, students in Intensive Latin 2 do all seven, with smaller allowance for error. The pace of this course is parallel to Latin 2, but there is a difference in depth and quantity of work. Excellent mastery and recall of the concepts and vocabulary of Latin 1 are assumed.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Latin 1 (B+) or placement test

Latin 3

Because the majority of Latin grammar is covered in the first two years, the emphasis in the third year of Latin is on reading literature. Roman history and political development are featured in readings. The epic poetry genre and Trojan War cycle are explored through extensive readings from Book 2 of Vergil’s Aeneid. Literary devices critical to the understanding of epic poetry are presented. A methodical review of Latin grammar is included in the first term. Emphasis is on developing translation skills and an appreciation of ancient literature. Students who are interested in IB or AP Latin 4 should take Intensive Latin 3 rather than this course.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Latin 2 (C-) or placement test

Intensive Latin 3

This course features the same texts, readings, exploration of ancient literature, and review of Latin grammar as Latin 3, though students in Intensive Latin 3 are expected to master some additional constructions. Throughout the year, translation skills and the establishment of a strong vocabulary base are important. In addition to weekly vocabulary quizzes based on text and reading related lists, there are numerous “assisted” translations for which students have access to text vocabularies or dictionaries.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Latin 2 (B+) or Intensive Latin 2 (C) or placement test

IB/AP Latin 4

Students in IB/AP Latin 4 may pursue either the Latin Literature Advanced Placement or IB Standard Level curriculum with the expectation that they will take one of those tests. The IB standard-level readings include selections from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Vergil’s Aeneid, Book 4, and selected poems of Catullus and Horace. Each IB student chooses and completes an individual study, a research dossier, recitation, or Latin composition.

This course requires summer work.

Open to: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Latin 3 (B) or Intensive Latin 3 (C+) or placement test

IB/AP Latin 5

This course allows students to prepare for the Latin Literature AP exam or for the higher-level IB Latin exam. Higher-level IB students read extensively from Ovid’s Metamorphoses; Vergil’s Aeneid, Book 4, and the poetry of Catullus and Horace. Higher-level IB students read much more extensively than standard-level students do. Each IB student chooses and completes an individual study, a research dossier, recitation, or Latin composition.

This course requires summer work.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: IB/AP Latin 4 (B) or placement test

Algebra 1

The fundamental mathematical practice of using variables to describe patterns, explore relationships, and solve problems is the focus of this course. Particular attention is paid to developing an awareness of the difference between expressions and equations, an awareness of the relationships among mathematical operations, and an understanding of the connections between algebraic and graphical representations of pattern. Topics through which these central concepts are explored include linear equations and inequalities, compound inequalities in a single variable, systems of linear equations, quadratic expressions and equations, rational expressions and equations, radical expressions and equations, polynomial expressions, and expressions involving integer exponents.

This course is designed for those students who have not yet taken an algebra course as well as for those who have taken the first half of Algebra 1, but would benefit from further grounding in the material covered.

Open to: Freshmen

Accelerated Algebra 1

The mathematical focus of this course is similar to that of Algebra 1. All of the topics of Algebra 1 are covered at a faster pace and in greater depth. Additional topics include compound inequalities in two variables, expressions involving rational exponents, linear regression, absolute value equations and inequalities, imaginary numbers, functions, and transformations of linear, quadratic, and absolute value functions.

Good arithmetic skills, a working knowledge of the Cartesian plane, and the ability to solve linear equations are assumed. This course is designed for students who have a good understanding of the material from a thorough pre-algebra course or the first half of an Algebra 1 course as well as for those who have had a full Algebra 1 course, but would benefit from a deepening of their understanding prior to enrolling in an Algebra 2 course.

Open to: Freshmen

Geometry

Two- and three-dimensional figures are studied in this course, with an emphasis on concrete, numerically based examples. Topics covered include area, volume, congruence, similarity, the Pythagorean Theorem, and trigonometric ratios. The ability to generalize and characterize a pattern algebraically from specific cases is developed. Students explore inductive and deductive reasoning patterns and begin to develop the ability to present mathematical arguments. Proof writing is not a major emphasis of the course. A new concept is presented almost daily. While many daily homework problems are similar to problems that have been worked through in class, others require students to apply what they know to new types of problems; the pace enables detailed discussion of all assigned homework problems. Algebraic topics are reviewed on an as-needed basis.

Open to: Sophomores

Prerequisite: Algebra 1 or Accelerated Algebra 1

Intensive Geometry with Trigonometry

All of the topics of Geometry are covered at a faster pace and in greater depth. The course material is extended to include proof writing, compass and straightedge constructions, coordinate geometry, and transformations. To form a strong foundation for precalculus, the third term includes studies of right triangle trigonometry and the Laws of Sines and Cosines. As time allows, additional topics might include the Golden Ratio, taxicab geometry, graph theory, and fractals. A new lesson is encountered daily through a lecture, group investigation, or an independent project. While many daily homework problems are similar to problems that have been worked through in class, others require students to apply what they know to new types of problems. Strong graphing and note-taking skills are assumed.

Open to: Freshmen and sophomores

Prerequisite: Accelerated Algebra 1 (B+)

Advanced Algebraic and Geometric Analysis

This course is designed to challenge those 9th and new 10th grade students who have unusually strong backgrounds in algebra, geometry, or both. Students build on prior experience in algebra and geometry as a basis for investigating advanced topics. Emphasis is placed on individual and group exploration of mathematical ideas in order to solve unfamiliar problems, to discover patterns, and to prove results. Creative problem solving, clear thinking, and careful articulation provide an important foundation for advanced mathematics courses at George School and beyond. The concept of proof is central to the course; a wide variety of proof strategies are explored. Topics from earlier algebra courses that are studied in greater depth include functions (polynomial, absolute value, rational, radical, exponential, and logarithmic), inverse functions, complex numbers, and nonlinear inequalities. Topics from earlier geometry courses that are studied in greater depth include congruency axioms, similarity, parallel properties, area, perimeter, and volume. Topics which may be completely new to students include set theory, vectors in two and three dimensions, parametric equations, the binomial theorem, number theory, algebraic proof, matrices, descriptive statistics, conic sections, sequences and series, Fermat primes, and theorems from Ceva, Heron, and Apollonius.

The class uses a problem book rather than a textbook. Daily homework requires students to creatively apply concepts discussed in class to thought-provoking problems with methods of solution that may not have been demonstrated by the teacher. Because many students who take this course have not previously had to study to do well in math, attention is given to techniques for efficient and effective learning of advanced mathematics. This course is taught at a rapid pace. Students are encouraged to develop the confidence to risk failure by tackling questions that deepen their understanding in class, on homework, and on tests. Strong graphing and algebraic skills are assumed, as is the ability to generalize a pattern from specific cases.

Open to: Freshmen

Prerequisite: Strong performance in an Honors Algebra 1 course including solving and graphing quadratic equations, and at least some exposure to concepts typically taught in high school geometry and Algebra 2. While a full course in geometry or Algebra 2 is helpful, it is not required.

Algebra 2

A thorough review of Algebra 1 skills is intertwined with the development of more advanced algebraic skills in this course. Students are introduced to the concept of a mathematical function and they do extensive work with linear and quadratic functions and their graphs. Quadratic equations with complex roots are considered and quadratic inequalities are explored. Logarithmic and exponential expressions, equations, and functions are introduced. Students deepen their understanding of rational, absolute value, and polynomial expressions and equations. Concepts are introduced or extended almost daily. Review is built in as needed. Daily homework problems are similar to problems worked through in class.

Open to: Sophomores and juniors

Prerequisites: A geometry course together with either Algebra 1 (C-) or Accelerated Algebra 1

Intensive Algebra 2

Extending the skills developed in Algebra 1 and Geometry with Proofs, this course introduces new algebraic concepts that include rational expressions and equations; quadratic expressions, equations and inequalities; complex numbers; sequences and series; and the binomial theorem. There is a thorough discussion of the concepts relating to functions, including transformation of graphs and inverse functions. Polynomial, absolute value, logarithmic, and exponential expressions and functions are also studied. The course concludes with a review of right triangle trigonometry and an introduction to radian measure, the unit circle, and graphs of circular functions. Additional topics might include probability and combinatorics, statistics, and basic matrix operations. New topics are introduced daily. While many daily homework problems are similar to problems worked in class, others require students to apply what they know to new types of problems. Strong graphing, factoring, and note-taking skills are assumed.

Open to: Sophomores and juniors

Prerequisites: One of the following two options:
1. Intensive Geometry with Trig (C)
2. Geometry (A-) together with Algebra 1 (A) or Accelerated Algebra 1 (B)

Functions, Trigonometry, and Statistics

This exploration-based class focuses on a different mathematical theme each term and includes real-world applications of the skills developed. During the first term, students review and extend the study of functions and relations begun in Algebra 2, with particular attention to translations and transformations of polynomial, exponential, and logarithmic functions. The second term is devoted to trigonometry, including radian measure, the unit circle, the graphs of the six circular functions, and translations and transformations of these graphs. The third term provides an introduction to probability and statistics. The class explores permutations and combinations, games of chance, independent events, and conditional probability. Techniques of descriptive statistics are discussed, including stem and leaf plots, box and whisker diagrams, frequency histograms, linear regression, correlation, and the normal curve. The pace is relaxed, yet purposeful. If a specific exploration is proving fruitful for a particular class, it might be extended even if that means not covering every topic on the original syllabus.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: Algebra 2 (C-) or Intensive Algebra 2

IB SL Math Studies

The topics covered in this survey course are those of the IB Math Studies syllabus, including descriptive and introductory inferential statistics; geometry and trigonometry; unit conversion; mathematical models (linear, quadratic, exponential, and rational); introductory differential calculus; sets, probability, and logic. The approach taken emphasizes the development of mathematical reasoning skills and the understanding of fundamental concepts. Most topics are explored in a real-world context. Students design and complete an independent data-based research project which also serves as the internal assessment portion of their IB grade. Solid algebraic skills and the capacity for independent work are important to a student's success.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: Either of the following options: 1. Intensive Geometry with Trig (C+) or Geometry (A-), together with either Algebra 2 (A-) or Intensive Algebra 2 (C+) 2. Functions, Trigonometry, and Statistics (B+)

Intensive Precalculus

The concept of a function is the central theme of this course. Concepts covered include domain and range, composition, translation, transformation, and inverse functions. A primary goal is to help students learn to shift fluently between algebraic and graphical representations of functions. Polynomial, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric functions are studied in depth and the concept of a limit is introduced. Additional topics include sequences and series, vectors, and matrices. A strong working knowledge of linear and quadratic functions is assumed. In addition, students are expected to have good algebraic skills, good graphing skills, and familiarity with right triangle trigonometry. While many daily homework problems are similar to problems worked in class, others require students to apply what they know to new types of problems. The capacity for independent work is important to a student's success.

Open to: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Any of the following four options:
1. Advanced Algebraic and Geometric Analysis
2. Intensive Algebra 2 (B)
3. Functions, Trigonometry, and Statistics (A)
4. IB Math Studies (B)

Advanced Precalculus with Discrete Math

Students in this course develop their ability to investigate a problem mathematically and hone their proof-writing skills by exploring such topics as trigonometric functions, theories of polynomial equations, logarithmic and exponential functions, inverse functions, complex numbers, DeMoivre's theorem, polar coordinates, vectors in three dimensions, probability, combinatorics, linear algebra, and mathematical induction. The pace is very fast. Because the class frequently takes the form of a Socratic dialogue with questions asked and solutions offered by both teacher and students, it is imperative that students have or develop the courage to write down and share their ideas. Students who take this course in their sophomore year may plan on taking Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus as juniors and a higher level International Baccalaureate (IB) mathematics course as seniors. Students who take the course in their junior year may plan on taking AP Calculus or a standard level IB mathematics course as seniors.

Open to: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisites: Either Advanced Algebraic and Geometric Analysis (C) or the combination of Intensive Geometry with Trigonometry (A) and Intensive Algebra 2 (A)

IB SL Calculus

The fundamentals of differential and integral calculus are covered in this course. Topics include limits; continuity; understanding derivatives as functions, slopes, and rates of change; derivatives of polynomial, rational, trigonometric, exponential, and logarithmic functions; analysis of graphs; optimization; related rates; rectilinear motion; anti-differentiation; the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus; integration by substitution; and applications of integration to area, volume, rectilinear motion, and accumulation problems. Topics in statistics introduced in SL1 are reviewed and extended. These include discrete random variables and normal distributions. Students complete an IB mathematics portfolio in this class. Each day in class the homework is reviewed and questions are answered. New concepts are presented with examples, in preparation for the next night’s homework. Student input and questions drive class discussion. Strong algebraic and graphing skills are assumed. While students are not required to take the IB exam, they are welcome to do so.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: One of the following options:
1. Intensive Precalculus (B)
2. Advanced Precalculus with Discrete Math

AP Calculus–AB

This course covers all topics included in the College Board syllabus for AP Calculus AB. Students who wish to study the calculus BC topics in addition are supported in doing so. Throughout the course, problems are considered from graphical, numerical, and analytical perspectives with an aim toward developing students' ability to shift easily from one perspective to another. There is an emphasis on learning to understand, use, and appreciate the value of the precise technical language (definitions, theorems, etc.) of mathematics. An awareness of the historical context of the development of calculus and an appreciation of its importance as a human achievement are cultivated. Students learn to discern situations in which technology can be a helpful tool in the solution of a problem. Graphing calculators are used extensively. The pace is fast. Students are expected to work as mathematicians do in that they are asked frequently to try problems without having been explicitly taught how to find the solutions. Excellent algebraic, graphing, and organizational skills are assumed, as is a very good understanding of trigonometric functions. Students are required to take the AP exam. (IB diploma candidates should take one of the calculus courses with IB in the title.)

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisites: Advanced Precalculus with Discrete Math (B), or Intensive Precalculus (A)

IB HL Math 2: Calculus

This course covers all calculus topics included in the IB HL Mathematics core syllabus plus the topics from the HL Calculus option. Throughout the course, problems are considered from graphical, numerical, and analytical perspectives with an aim toward developing students' ability to shift easily from one perspective to another. There is an emphasis on learning to understand, use, and appreciate the value of the precise technical language (definitions, theorems, etc.) of mathematics. Students learn to discern situations in which technology can be a helpful tool in the solution of a problem. Graphing calculators are used extensively. Students are required to complete an IB portfolio. The pace is intense. Students are expected to work as mathematicians do in that they are asked frequently to try problems without having been explicitly taught how to find the solutions. Excellent algebraic, graphing, and organizational skills are assumed, as is a very good understanding of trigonometric functions and a working knowledge of the statistics covered in IB HL Math 1. All students are required to take either the IB HL Math exam or the IB SL Math exam. (Students are also able to take the AP Calculus (AB) exam if they so choose as the course covers substantially more calculus than the AP Calculus (AB) course.)

Students are required to complete a summer assignment in preparation for class.

Open to: Seniors

Prerequisite: IB HL 1: Precalculus (A)

IB HL Mathematics

Open to: Seniors

Prerequisite: Advanced Precalculus with Discrete Math (B+) and AP Calculus (B)

IB HL Further Mathematics

This course surveys a broad range of post-calculus mathematics topics. The aim is to introduce advanced concepts to students who intend to major in math or computer science, or whose studies will involve higher mathematics in a pure or applied context. The topics include advanced geometry, linear algebra, abstract algebra, sequences and series, calculus-based theoretical statistics and probability, number theory, and graph theory. These topics cover and combine the three cores of mathematics as it is currently studied: analysis, algebra, and geometry. Algebraic structure is emphasized as a
framework for abstraction and as a thread tying together the topics studied. The expectations and approach of this course are similar to those of IB HL 2 Calculus with a greater emphasis on proof writing at an advanced level. Excellent algebraic, graphing, and logical reasoning skills are assumed, as is a strong understanding of differential and integral calculus. All students are required to take the IB Further Math HL exam. (Students are also able to take the IB Math HL exam if they so choose).

Students may be required to complete a summer assignment in preparation for class (depending on their background).

Open to: Seniors

Prerequisite: IB HL Math concurrently or AP Calculus (A-) and the recommendation of the department. Students who satisfy the prerequisite with AP Calculus are urged to take the BC exam.

Statistics

By the end of this course, students should be able to understand and to appropriately use the terminology and symbols of statistics; formulate questions that can be addressed with data; collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer statistical questions; select, use, and evaluate descriptive methods to analyze data; understand and apply basic concepts of probability; and critique graphs and descriptive data analyses presented in newspapers and magazines. Concepts include graphical methods, descriptive analyses of univariate and bivariate data, probability, probability distributions, and sample and experimental design. Topics in term three may include inferential statistics and financial literacy. Students learn how to perform analyses using paper and pencil, and a statistical calculator, with an emphasis on the interpretation of results. A written independent project may be assigned.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: One of the following five options:
1. Algebra 2 (B-)
2. Intensive Algebra 2 (C-)
3. Functions, Trigonometry, and Statistics (C+)
4. IB Math Studies
5. A precalculus course

AP Statistics

This course follows the College Board syllabus, which includes all of the topics covered in Statistics plus concepts of variation, especially as related to statistical inference, sampling distributions, estimation and confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing at least through two-sample t-tests. Students learn how to perform analyses using paper and pencil, a statistical calculator, and the computer, with an emphasis on the interpretation of results. Class activities consist of lecture, problem solving, and group discussion, with a heavy emphasis on analytical discussion. The pace is rapid and the topics are complex. Students are expected to be inquisitive about data, analyses, and interpretation and to contribute their thoughts actively to class discussions. Readings and homework are assigned daily. Students are expected to spend at least an hour on homework for each class meeting; many students find that it takes more than an hour to do a thorough job. Students are expected to take the AP exam. Students complete an independent research project at the end of the year. Students are required to complete a summer assignment in preparation for class.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisites:
1. IB SL Math Studies (B) or Intensive Precalculus (B) or Advanced Precalculus with Discrete Math (C-)
2. Two grades of B or higher in life science or mainstream history courses

Physical Education

Frequently offered physical education courses include aerobics, basketball, golf, net sports, personal conditioning, ultimate Frisbee, and yoga. All classes are coeducational and often contain students of different ages and skill levels. Classes meet three times per week for forty-five minutes. Students are expected to attend all classes and wear appropriate athletic clothing. Each class begins with a period of physical exercise that emphasizes cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, and strength. Running, small games, warm-up drills, and stretching are used to help develop physical conditioning and fundamentals.

Net Sports

Students learn the basic skills and strategy of net sports such as badminton, tennis, and volleyball. Each class begins with a physical fitness period, which includes a variety of exercises that help to develop abdominal and muscular strength, flexibility, and cardio-respiratory endurance. Each sport unit ends with an intramural tournament. The goals for each individual are to develop simple ways to stay physically fit, to learn how to play each game, to develop a lifelong enjoyment for the activities, to build confidence, and to reach one’s own potential as an athlete. Students learn about teamwork, perseverance, empathy, respect for each individual, and the importance of belief in oneself as a capable athlete.

Offered in the PE Block

Recreational Sports

Each class chooses three sports to play over the course of the term. Frequently chosen sports include basketball, floor hockey, and soccer. Each student has the opportunity to improve his or her individual skill level. Following the technical work, students play games to utilize the skills that were taught. Over the course of the term students not only improve their sport ability, but increase their confidence and gain insight into how to maintain lifelong physical activity.

Offered in the PE Block

Core Strength

Students enrolled in this class utilize diaphragmatic breathing in combination with abdominal workouts and Pilates exercises to increase core strength and flexibility. Students create individual fitness goals to work toward over the course of the term. Students develop confidence in themselves as they learn about their fitness levels, physical capabilities, and the importance of remaining active over the course of their life.

Offered in the PE Block

Personal Conditioning

Students enrolled in personal conditioning improve cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and tone, and core strength utilizing the weight room. Individual workout routines are created in conjunction with the teacher to meet the needs of each student, allowing participants to work out at their own level.

Offered in the PE Block

Aerobics

Aerobics combine cardiovascular, stretching, and strength training routines in order to improve all elements of fitness. Aerobics is performed to music and led by an instructor. Participants are able to perform exercises according to their fitness levels. Specific activities vary according to student interest and have included slideboard, Pilates with theraband, step aerobics, and floor exercises.

Offered in the PE Block

Gardening

Students who participate in the gardening class are responsible for watering, weeding and maintaining beds, turning the mulch pile and spreading it into the beds, picking and delivering seasonal produce, and erecting/dismantling growing structures. In addition to the anaerobic and physical benefits of the work, students learn about making healthy eating choices and increase their self-confidence.

Offered in the PE Block in Terms 1 and 3

Yoga

Class begins with opening intention and reflection. This is followed by yoga postures, movements, and reflection, and closes with meditation and breathing exercises. Students who participate in the yoga class improve body awareness, strengthen muscles, improve flexibility, and learn breathing and mindfulness techniques that improve coping skills in everyday life.

Offered both after school and in the PE Block.

Weight Training

Students learn the proper technique for weight training exercises using both machines and free weights. All major muscle groups are covered. Students are encouraged to set goals, and work at the rate appropriate for their ability and experience level. The opportunity to improve core strength and cardiovascular strength also exists.

Offered in the PE Block. Preference given to upperclassmen.

Physics

This course helps students to discover the laws of nature firsthand, at a pace that allows for the development of required mathematical concepts. Major concepts covered include, but are not limited to, kinematics, laws of motion, energy, momentum, gravity, circular motion, electricity, magnetism, and electrical circuits. Substantial time is spent in the laboratory. Weekly or biweekly lab experiments are performed during class and the results are analyzed in lab reports. In addition to lab reports, students are assigned approximately three to five hours of homework per week, which might include reading a chapter from a college-level text or solving several related problems.

This course fulfills the physical science requirement.

Students interested in taking an IB or AP Physics course in the future should take Intensive Physics instead of this course.

Open to: Sophomores, juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: Advanced Algebraic & Geometric Analysis or Algebra 2 (B+) or a B- in one of the following courses: Intensive Geometry with Trig, Intensive Algebra 2, IB Math Studies, or Functions, Trigonometry, and Statistics. Sophomores wishing to enroll must have earned either a B in Chemistry or a B- in Intensive Chemistry.

Intensive Physics

This course helps students to discover the laws of nature firsthand, at a pace that requires the prior mastery of Algebra and Trigonometry. Topics covered in the physics course will be presented at a deeper level in order to prepare students for future study in International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Placement (AP) physics courses. Substantial time is spent in the laboratory. Weekly or biweekly lab experiments are performed during class and the results are analyzed in lab reports, some of which are assessed according to IB criteria. In addition to lab reports, students are assigned approximately three to five hours of homework per week, which might include reading a chapter from a college-level text or solving several related problems. This course fulfills the physical science requirement.

Open to: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: A precalculus course concurrently or Intensive Geometry with Trig (A-) or Intensive Algebra 2 (B). Sophomores wishing to enroll must have earned either an A- in Chemistry or a B in Intensive Chemistry. Juniors and seniors need to have earned a B in a biology or chemistry course.

IB SL Physics

This course prepares students for the International Baccalaureate Standard Level exam, as well as algebra-based physics at the college level. Substantial time is spent in the laboratory. Covered topics include mechanics, thermal physics, waves, electricity and magnetism, circular motion and gravitation, atomic, nuclear and particle physics and energy production. Students in this course will participate in the Group 4 Project, which is a weekend long, interdisciplinary scientific research project. Students must have mastered multi-variable algebra, trigonometry, logarithms, exponents, and operations using a graphing calculator. Additionally, students should be familiar with vectors and mathematical modeling of data. Weekly or biweekly lab experiments are performed during class and the results are analyzed in lab reports. All students must also complete a 10-hour independent research project. Students are assigned approximately five to seven hours of homework per week. All students enrolled in the course are required to take the IB exam.

Note: students who took regular physics as sophomores in the school year 2015-2016 are eligible for IB HL Physics in the school year 2017-2018. However, they will need to commit to a substantial amount of self-study in preparation.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: Intensive Physics (C) or B in Physics taken before 2016-17
Corequisite: A precalculus course

IB HL Physics

This course prepares students for the International Baccalaureate Higher Level exam, as well as algebra-based physics at the college level. Substantial time is spent in the laboratory. The topics covered in this course are broadly the same as those in IB SL Physics with the addition of quantum physics. Concepts are treated in more depth and with more mathematical rigor. Students in this course will participate in the Group 4 Project, which is a weekend long, interdisciplinary scientific research project. Students must have mastered multi-variable algebra, trigonometry, logarithms, exponents, and operations using a graphing calculator. Additionally, students should be familiar with vectors and mathematical modeling of data. Weekly or biweekly lab experiments are performed during class and the results are analyzed in lab reports. All students must also complete a 10-hour independent research project. Students are assigned approximately five to seven hours of homework per week. All students enrolled in the course are required to take the IB exam.

Note: students who took regular physics as sophomores in the school year 2015-2016 are eligible for IB HL Physics in the school year 2017-2018. However, they will need to commit to a substantial amount of self-study in preparation.

(Course will not be offered until 2017-18.)

Open to: Seniors

Prerequisite: Intensive Physics (B). IB diploma candidates may also enroll with an A- in Physics taken in 2015-16.
Corequisite: A precalculus course

AP Physics C: Mechanics and Electricity and Magnetism

This demanding and fast-paced course follows the syllabus of the AP Physics C-Mechanics and the AP Physics C-Electricity & Magnetism exams, preparing students for a two-semester course of calculus-based physics at the university level. Topics include, but are not limited to kinematics; Newton􀂶s laws of motion; work, energy, and power; systems of particles and linear momentum; circular motion and rotation; oscillations and gravitation; electrostatics; conductors, capacitors, and dielectrics; electric circuits; magnetic fields; and electromagnetism. The course helps students develop a deep understanding of the laws of physics through the application of rigorous mathematical techniques and detailed analytical approach to experimental data. Throughout the year, students will learn how to solve complex physics problems using the differential and integral calculus. Students must be able to recognize mathematical patterns quickly and to apply their understanding of specific experiments to more general phenomena. Substantial time is spent in the laboratory. Students must have mastered multi-variable algebra, trigonometry, vectors, logarithms, exponents, and mathematical modeling of data with and without a graphing calculator. Weekly or biweekly lab experiments are performed during class and the results are analyzed in lab reports. Students should be unafraid to use computer technology in the acquisition, analysis, and reporting of data. Students are assigned approximately five to seven hours of homework per week, which might include reading a chapter from a college-level text, solving several multi-step problems, writing lab reports, and conducting independent research.

During the summer months, students are required to perform summer work, which might entail reading a book of scientific interest, studying tutorials on spreadsheet and/or calculator programming, and/or solving problems in the text. This course fulfills the physical science requirement.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: Either Intensive Physics (A-) or an A in Physics taken in 2015-16, AND one of either Precalculus (A), IB HL Precalculus (C), or Advanced Precalculus with Discrete Math (C). Beginning in 2018-19 any calculus course will be a prerequisite. Until then, any calculus course is a corequisite.

Essentials of a Friends Community

This one term course is required of all ninth graders and new sophomores. Students are introduced to life at George School and to the application of Quaker practices as a framework for living. Through a combination of classroom activities and experiential learning, students learn about living responsibly in a Quaker community.

Open to: Freshmen and sophomores

Faith Traditions

This required ninth grade course, which meets during Terms 2 and 3, introduces students to the traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In the final segment of the course, students are introduced to the faith and practice of Quakerism. Topics include the history and beliefs of each tradition, worship and ritual, festivals, sacred scripture, and rites of passage. Students use factual information to engage in personal reflection on ethical and religious questions. The course develops the skills of synthesizing information and concepts, comparing different worldviews, independently following a term-length syllabus, working collaboratively, writing reflectively and critically, and applying information within different contexts. The course employs a variety of teaching methods including class discussion, lecture, video and documentary films, websites, and interviews with guest presenters. Homework includes reading, factual and reflective writing, in-class presentations, and small-group research projects.

Open to: Freshmen

Spiritual Practices

This first-term course, required for all returning sophomores, provides an experiential introduction to spiritual practices from the world’s religions. Much of the class is based on exercises from the book Essential Spirituality by Roger Walsh, M.D., Ph.D. The course helps students to recognize the broad range of spiritual experiences, as well as to identify many of the shared practices found in the world’s great faith traditions. Students learn to expand and develop their spiritual vocabulary so that they may better articulate their own experiences, regardless of whether they consider themselves religious. Skills emphasized in Spiritual Practices include close reading to understand diverse spiritual experiences, use of a theological and spiritual vocabulary, reflection on an array of experiential spiritual practices, and close listening to diverse perspectives. Students are encouraged to explore the validity of their own spiritual experiences, to articulate spiritual questions, and to cultivate an attitude of spiritual seeking. Sample topics include Cultivating Emotional Wisdom, Ethical Living, Concentrate and Calm Your Mind, and Embracing Generosity and the Joy of Service.

Open to: Sophomores

Holistic Health

This two-term required sophomore course allows students to explore several important dimensions of health. Sample topics include psychological health, alcohol and other chemical substances, and human sexuality. Students use factual information to engage in ethical decision making with an emphasis on personal responsibility. The course develops the skills of synthesizing information and concepts, independently following a term-length syllabus, working collaboratively, discussing abstract and controversial topics, writing reflectively and critically, and applying information within different contexts. The course employs a variety of teaching methods including lecture, multimedia presentations, role-plays, and a great deal of class discussion. Assignments include reading, journal and essay writing, in-class presentations, and small-group research projects.

Open to: Sophomores

Wisdom Traditions of Asia

This term elective course for juniors and seniors explores the traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. Utilizing Huston Smith’s The Word’s Religions and Philip Novak’s The World’s Wisdom (an anthology of sacred texts) we examined the origins, beliefs and worship of these ancient Eastern “wisdom traditions.” This course develops the skills of synthesizing information and concepts, comparing different worldviews, following a term-length syllabus, working collaboratively, and writing reflectively and critically. The course employs a variety of teaching methods including class discussion, lecture, cinema and documentary films, use of internet resources, and occasional interviews with guest presenters. Homework includes reading, factual and reflective writing, in-class presentations, and small group research projects.

This course, along with The Abrahamic Faiths, is required of students who have not taken Faith Traditions.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

The Abrahamic Faiths

This term elective course for juniors and seniors explores the biblical traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Utilizing Huston Smith’s The Word’s Religions and Philip Novak’s The World’s Wisdom (an anthology of sacred texts) we examine the origins, beliefs and worship of these “wisdom traditions.” In the closing weeks of the term we also deepen our understanding of the Quaker tradition and its faith-based testimonies. This course develops the skills of synthesizing information and concepts, comparing different worldviews, following a term-length syllabus, working collaboratively, and writing reflectively and critically. The course employs a variety of teaching methods including class discussion, lecture, cinema and documentary films, use of internet resources, and occasional interviews with guest presenters. Homework includes reading, factual and reflective writing, in-class presentations, and small group research projects.

This course, along with Wisdom Traditions of Asia, is required of students who have not taken Faith Traditions.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Cosmology

Marcus Aurelius observed that "He who does not know what the world is does not know where he is, and he who does not know for what purpose the world exists, does not know who he is, nor what the world is." In recent history, our understanding of cosmology has been dominated by stunning scientific discoveries focusing on the role of physical laws in governing the evolution of the universe. But what does this new story of the universe mean? Cultural observers note that as a species we are experiencing a cosmological crisis, no longer clear about our place and role in the universe, and as a result are facing some of the greatest ethical challenges in our history.

This one-term religion course examines several cosmological models and their ethical implications, including both the biblical model and the emerging universe story, which reflects on the wisdom of science. Other cosmological models, such as Hindu, Aristotelian/Ptolemaic, and Aboriginal/Indigenous may be examined as time allows.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Peace Studies

This term course is an introduction to active nonviolence and nonviolent conflict resolution. We begin by studying the emergence of nonviolence in Western thought by reading Thoreau, Gandhi, Dorothy Day, and Martin Luther King, Jr. We use the Global Nonviolent Action Database as a tool for identifying and exploring successful campaigns around the world. We consider the groundbreaking work of Erica Chenoweth, who is widely recognized for having “proved Gandhi right.” We examine several contemporary issues including the influence of feminism, the death penalty, the Danish and South African resistance movements, and, finally, resistance to mass incarceration and the successful activism of the Earth Quaker Action Team.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Quakerism Past and Present

In this one-term course, students deepen their understanding of Quaker history and the evolution and application of Quaker testimonies, from the 17th century to the present. Readings include selections from various editions of Faith and Practice, The Journal of George Fox, The Journal of John Woolman, and the writings of Howard Brinton, Margaret Hope Bacon, and John Punshon, among others. Students should come away from this course with a clearer understanding that they are the “keepers” of the testimonies, and that they play a role in the future of the religion.

Not offered in 2016-17.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Feminist Spirituality

This one-term course explores topics in theology and spirituality through a feminist lens. Students consider texts from several religious traditions, including Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Quakerism, Islam, Hindu and Wiccan/Goddess. The goal of this course is to support and nurture students’ spiritual curiosity and development, by grounding it in some of the perspectives that have re-interpreted patriarchal language and imagery about the nature of the divine, and the metaphysical powers of the universe. Students consider questions and insights that arise for them in relation to the reading, discussions, and their journaling and in connection with topics they are exploring in other courses, and in their lives outside of the classroom. Questions to be explored include: What is “feminism”? Who/what is “God?” What have been some of the different manifestations of the divine, and how does gender identity connect with them? Where are women in religious histories and stories? What are some of the gender-prescribed roles in various religions? What happened to the ancient goddesses and goddess religions?

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Spirituality and Sustainability

This one-term course explores the topics of ecological sustainability and stewardship through the lens of spirituality. Students consider texts and resources from religious thinkers of various faiths, scientific researchers, political activists and, especially, people who combine and integrate these disciplines. The goal of this course is to help students to make connections between their spiritual leadings and concerns on the one hand, and their critical intellectual insights on the other. It seeks to nurture and support citizen-scholars committed to faithful stewardship of the earth. Students discuss questions and insights that arise for them in relation to the reading, movies, discussions and journaling and questions and in connection with topics they are exploring in other courses and in life outside of the classroom. Early in the term, students watch An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore's documentary campaign to make the issue of global warming a recognized problem worldwide. This serves as a jumping-off point for consideration of questions about the meaning of “faithful stewardship of the earth” from various religious and spiritual perspectives, including the students’ own.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Deepening Spiritual Practices

Building directly on work done in Spiritual Practices, Deepening Spiritual Practices is a mindfulness-based course that offers students the opportunity to engage in regular spiritual practice during class sessions and for homework. Rather than experiencing and exploring a wide range of practices, as is the case for sophomores, students in Deepening Spiritual Practices will have the opportunity for more intensive practice in three different forms, each one for about three weeks. The practices chosen will depend on the teacher, but may be selected from among the following: writing/journaling as spiritual practice, lectio divina/spiritual reading, nature as spiritual practice, ethical living, creating ritual, or art as spiritual practice. Coursework will consist of readings, exercises, in-class activities, written reflection, and discussion. The final exam may include a prepared essay and/or an oral presentation.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: Spiritual Practices (Students who have not taken Spiritual Practices may be approved by interview.)

Religions of the African Diaspora

This one-term course looks at the origins and continued presence of religious beliefs and practices expressed in various forms among global communities of people of African descent. The syncretism of West African religious traditions and Christianity will serve as a focal point as the class looks at the use of religion as a mode to maintain cultural identity and ensure survival in an oppressive context. This is seen in the history and continued repercussions of slavery and colonialism in the Americas.

Among the themes we will discuss are Yoruba cosmology, the role of religion in the Haitian Revolution and other revolts by black people during slavery, Afro-centric identity and immigration, the arts and black religion, gender identity and sexual ethics as they relate to religion in African diasporic communities. The religions we will cover are Vodun, Santeria, Obeah, Candomble, Rastafarianism, and their interaction with Christianity.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

IB SL World Religions

In International Baccalaureate (IB) World Religions, students study a number of living world religions in an inquiring, open-minded, and empathetic way. The scope of the course is both broad and intensive, beginning with a survey of five world religions (including but not limited to: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). The class will then move into a focused study of two in particular (to be selected from among those previously mentioned), at the discretion of the teacher.  World religions are studied in such a way that students will acquire a sense of what it is like to belong to a particular religion and how that influences the way in which the followers of that religion understand and act in the world, and relate and respond to others. The experiential dimension to learning is of great importance in a course like this and so field trips and visits from outside speakers are included.  Students will be prepared for an internal oral assessment and for the IB World Religions SL exam.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: Final grades of B+ in at least two courses in English, history, language, math, or science in the year preceding that in which IB World Religions is to be taken or enrollment in the full IB Diploma Program.

Theory of Knowledge

This one-term philosophy course encourages critical thinking about knowledge itself. Students ask and answer questions like these: What counts as knowledge? How is knowledge created? What are its limits? In other words, the focus is on how we know, rather than on what we know. The goals for students in this course are: 1) to gain an understanding of what it means to know something as a scientist, an artist, a mathematician, a philosopher, etc.; 2) to appreciate how the forms of knowledge relate to one another; and 3) to practice thinking and writing critically.

Students in the IB diploma program must take the yearlong IB Theory of Knowledge course, not this course.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

IB Theory of Knowledge

This yearlong course is required of all IB diploma candidates. Others may take either the full course or the first term of it as a religion elective.

This is a synthesis course that examines some of the ways in which we acquire knowledge and understand the world around us. Students explore perception, reason, and language as basic means through which we understand our experience. The course also examines different areas of knowledge, such as mathematics, science, history, morality, politics, aesthetics, and religion.

The course structure frequently employs the Socratic method to challenge students to analyze philosophical issues and to reflect on their own intellectual experiences. Students read a rich variety of texts and essays that raise religious, moral, aesthetic, and ethical questions and write reflective journal entries often in response to the reading. Each student in the course must prepare an oral presentation and submit a 1,200- to 1,600-word essay on one of ten theory of knowledge questions prescribed by the International Baccalaureate Organization.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: Final grades of B+ in at least two courses in English, history, language, math, or science in the year preceding that in which IB ToK is to be taken or enrollment in the full IB Diploma Program.

Health Topics

This one-term course is required for juniors and seniors who transferred to George School and have not yet earned a credit in health. The course covers the topics of mental health, nutrition, alcohol and other chemical substances, and human sexuality. Students use factual information to engage in ethical decision making with an emphasis on personal responsibility. Like Holistic Health, Health Topics develops the skills of synthesizing information and concepts, working collaboratively, discussing abstract and controversial topics, writing reflectively and critically, and applying information within different contexts. The course incorporates lecture, multimedia presentations, small-group work, and discussion. Homework includes reading and the preparation of in-class presentations. This course is usually offered in the third term.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Environmental Science: Sustainable Systems

This class combines discussion and experiential learning, both in the lab and in the field, to rigorously investigate the impact of humans on our environment. Major topics include climate science, geological processes, ecology, biomes, resource management, energy, population, environmental stewardship, sustainable development, organic gardening, green architecture, and environmental politics. The curriculum is supplemented by online articles and other sources to synchronize the course with current environmental issues. Students contribute to the curriculum through presentations and special projects, and their progress is assessed based on participation in class discussions and activities, as well as lab reports and testing.

This course fulfills the life science requirement.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: Either a biology course or a chemistry course

IB SL Environmental Systems and Societies

This lab-driven, transdisciplinary course prepares students for the IB Environmental Science exam. Students use systems thinking to explore ecosystems, energy and nutrient transformations, population dynamics, biodiversity, and the issues of global warming and pollution management. Students also investigate a range of environmental value systems with reference to specific environmentally-related decisions made locally and globally. Students should expect to work knee-deep in water or trudge through thick meadows, rain or shine, because field work is central to understanding the environment. All students in this class are expected to take the IB exam and to attend a weekend-long IB science retreat, during which they complete an IB project. Students are expected to own their own closed-toed shoes appropriate for wading into a stream. Rain boots are preferred.

A summer assignment is required in preparation for the course.

This course fulfills the life science requirement.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: Biology (B-), Intensive Biology (C+) or IB SL Biology (C)

Computer Programming and Robotics

This course is cross-listed in the math and science departments. This is a self-directed course that is project-oriented and driven largely by student interests. Students build their own PRT3 motherboard and learn to use the Arduino Language to program their own Teensy 3.2 microcontroller development board. (The Arduino language is based heavily on the well-known C‑programming language.) It is assumed that students are already comfortable with computer technology but know very little about computer programming. Throughout the year, students create autonomous robotics applications for wheeled, walking and facially-expressive robots manufactured by Patton Robotics, or they can design and build their own robot or embedded controller system.

Programming topics include logical statements, functions, loops, recursion, sensor input, motor control and relays. While students in this class will be required to write some algorithms from scratch, they will be permitted to use algorithms found online or authored by other students. Students will be taught how to use computer-aided design (CAD) software to make 3D models which can then be printed on the many 3D printers in the laboratory. Students are also introduced to electronics, circuit design, and mechanical engineering concepts and tools. Once the student has shown an understanding of programming basics, 3D design and electronics, they are on their own to design, build and program one or more robotic applications that will perform some autonomous task, usually incorporating simple feedback control systems. Students will display their projects during the Interactive Robotics Open House, which takes place at the end of Term 3.

Students who are uncomfortable applying science and mathematics to everyday situations may find this course will provide practical and relevant ways to help refine and augment their own knowledge of science and mathematics. Students in this course should challenge themselves to use their hands and imaginations to make robots do something.

This course fulfills the physical science requirement.

Open to: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Any one of Advanced Algebraic and Geometric Analysis, Intensive Algebra 2, Functions, Trig & Stats, Algebra 2 (B+), or Intensive Geometry with Trig (B-)

Intensive Computer Programming and Robotics

This course is cross-listed in the math and science departments. The pace of this course is parallel to Computer Programming & Robotics, but there is a difference in depth. Specifically, students in the Intensive class are required to solve about 30 percent more problems and are expected to show mastery of the basic topics as well as learn additional topics such as arrays, EEPROM data storage, and communications protocols. Students in this class are required to write most of their algorithms from scratch. For the final project, their robots are expected to perform sophisticated autonomous tasks incorporating multiple feedback control systems.

This course fulfills the physical science requirement.

Open to: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Intensive Geometry with Trig (A), Intensive Algebra 2 (B), or a precalculus course (can be taken concurrently). Sophomores wishing to enroll must have earned either an A- in Chemistry or a B in Intensive Chemistry.

AP Computer Science A

AP Computer Science A is an introductory course in computer science for those who already have some basic programming experience. The course emphasizes object-oriented programming methodology with a concentration on problem solving and algorithm development, and is the equivalent of a first semester college-level course in computer science.

The central activity of the course is the design and implementation of computer programs to solve problems; the goal of the course is to develop and hone skills that are fundamental to the study of computer science. Creating computer programs is used as a context for introducing other important aspects of computer science, including the development and analysis of algorithms, the development and use of classes and fundamental data structures, the study of standard algorithms and typical applications, and the use of logic and formal methods. The responsible use of these systems is an integral part of the course.

The computer language studied is Java, as required by the AP curriculum. The prerequisites for entering this course include knowledge of algebra, a foundation of mathematical reasoning, and experience in problem solving. In addition, because documentation plays a central role in the programming methodology, competence in written communication is a requirement. It is expected that all students in the course will sit for the AP Computer Science A exam, which is administered in the spring term.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: Intensive Computer Programming and Robotics (A-) or placement test

Cognitive Neurology

This term course delves into underlying questions regarding our evolution, behavior, and perception. Students explore some of the questions regarding the way we, as a species, perceive, behave, and respond to the world around us, challenging themselves to look for connections. As they search for a deeper understanding of the scientific principles covered, students examine the validity of the theories presented to them about how the brain works. Specific topics covered include cognitive biases, the limbic system, memory, visual perception and processing, and some interesting cognitive disorders that give us a window into the inner workings of the brain.

Students are expected to maintain a well-organized, detailed journal to document observations and reflections from readings, discussions, and lab activities. Among the thought-provoking readings for this course are challenging technical articles and Rita Carter’s Mapping the Mind. One major oral presentation is required.

This course fulfills 1 credit of the life science requirement.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Forensic Science

This term course provides an introduction to the many scientific and procedural methods involved in the field of crime scene investigation. The primary focus is on the particular scientific techniques used to analyze a variety of types of forensic evidence. In addition to becoming proficient in each of these techniques students need to understand the scientific principles that make these tests possible and valid. Some of the laboratory experiments include fingerprinting, flame tests, blood typing, DNA analysis, gel electrophoresis, print casting, and fiber, hair, and blood pattern analysis. Laboratory activities take place during most class periods and are supplemented by reading assignments from the text. A final project challenges students to apply the techniques they have learned to complete an investigation of a staged crime scene.

This course fulfills 1 credit of the life science requirement.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Genetics

The study and application of modern genetics is the focus of this term course. Following an introduction to the relationship of DNA and proteins to the expression of genetic traits, the students have ample opportunity to learn and use many of the techniques of biotechnology. Laboratories include, but are not limited to, isolation of DNA, bacterial transformation with plasmid DNA, and protein and DNA analysis by electrophoresis. The students explore the new field of bioinformatics via the Internet, and consider the various ethical issues involved in the uses of genetic technology. Each student is expected to maintain a well-organized notebook. Previous experience in biology is helpful, but not required.

The course fulfills 1 credit of the life science requirement.

(Course will not be offered in 2017-18.)

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Human Anatomy and Physiology

The Human Anatomy and Physiology term science class takes a holistic and applied approach to introducing students to this exciting area of study. The course relies heavily on laboratory activities, as well as on selected readings and discussions that emphasize the interconnected nature of anatomy and physiology. Laboratories will include the dissection of preserved comparative anatomy specimens; the use of clay human anatomy models is also being explored. The class also includes discussions of bioethics and conversations about various career paths related to anatomy and physiology. Each unit emphasizes the relationship between structure and function as it applies to a particular topic. For example, the musculoskeletal, respiratory, and cardiovascular systems are taught in the context of exercise physiology and sports medicine. Other units include, but are not limited to, nutrition and our gastrointestinal microbiome; infectious diseases, vaccines, and the immune system; and reproduction in the age of genomics, epigenetics, and personalized medicine.

This course counts toward the life science requirement.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisites: Previous experience in biology is helpful, but not required.

Adv. Microcontroller Programming (Independent Study)

Advanced Microcontroller Programming is an applied science and mathematics course for students who, due to the independent nature of the course, are self-motivated and have a deep understanding of microcontroller programming, mathematics, and basic electronics. This is a project-oriented course and is largely driven by student interests.

In this course, students will continue their work from last year and dive deeper into programming a microcontroller using the Arduino C language. One goal of the course is to broaden students’ programming horizons by introducing them to a number of additional programming platforms, which may include H-Bridge controllers for driving DC motors, GPS controllers for outdoor way-point navigation, RF modules for wireless communication between robots, or PIC processor programming.

Through independent study, students will also delve more deeply into microelectronics, providing valuable hands-on experiences with circuit board design and assembly of one’s own sensors, controlling multiplexers and LCD screens, and further integration of electronics theory with microcontroller analog-to-digital operations. New programming topics may include top-down and event-driven programming, arrays, serial commands, multitasking, and multiplexing.

Student progress will be assessed via work on one or more projects throughout the year. Project ideas will be formulated by the students. A faculty member will oversee the project(s) and provide support when necessary. Students and their faculty mentor should set aside a mutually agreed upon time to meet every other week to monitor progress. External assessment and feedback may also be sought in the form of robotic competitions and contests around the country. Projects may include, but are not limited to, autonomous open terrain navigation using a 4-wheeler vehicle, environmental sensing, robot soccer, robotic firefighting, planetary exploration, and search & rescue.

This course may only be taken as a 7th course.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: Intensive Computer Programming & Robotics (A-)

Adv. Programming (Independent Study)

Advanced Programming Languages and Techniques is an applied science and mathematics course for students who, due to the independent nature of the course, are self-motivated and already have a deep understanding of desktop programming. Experience with another programming language such as C, C++, Arduino C, Visual Basic, and/or Python is required for enrollment in this course.

The goal of Advanced Programming Languages is to broaden further the student’s horizons in computer science. Students may continue their work in a language in which they are familiar, or they may dive into other languages. This is an applied mathematics and programming course for students who, due to the independent nature of the course, are self-motivated and have a deep understanding basic algebra and experience in problem solving.

This is a project-oriented course and is largely driven by student interests. It is not an introductory programming course, nor does it formally cover information technologies such as word processing, spreadsheet manipulation, or Power Point design. There is little formal lecturing, placing the emphasis on student-driven, inquiry-based learning.

Student progress will be assessed via work on one or more projects throughout the year. Project ideas will be formulated by the students. A faculty member will oversee the project(s) and provide support when necessary. Students and their faculty mentor should set aside a mutually agreed upon time to meet every other week to monitor progress.

This course may only be taken as a 7th course.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: Intensive Computer Programming & Robotics (A-)

Java Programming (Independent Study)

Students in this course will learn the Java programming language. It is important that students understand that this course builds upon a foundation of mathematical reasoning that should be acquired before attempting such a course. Students who take this course for three terms will be prepared to sit for the AP Computer Science A exam, which is administered in the spring term.

Java Programming is an applied programming course for students who, due to the independent nature of the course, are self-motivated and have a deep understanding basic algebra and experience in problem solving. This is a project-oriented course and is largely driven by student interests. It is not an introductory programming course, nor does it formally cover information technologies such as HTML programming, word processing, spreadsheet manipulation, or Power Point design. There is little formal lecturing, placing the emphasis on student-driven, inquiry-based learning.

The course emphasizes object-oriented programming methodology with a concentration on problem solving and algorithm development, and is meant to be the equivalent of a first-semester college-level course in computer science. Because the design and implementation of computer programs to solve problems involve skills that are fundamental to the study of computer science, a large part of the course is built around the development of computer programs that correctly solve a given problem. The AP Computer Science Lab Requirements (new in 2014-15) will be a large part of the curriculum, especially in the latter half of the year.

Students and their faculty mentor should set aside a mutually agreed upon time to meet every other week to monitor progress. Student progress will be assessed in a number of ways. Challenge Problems, laboratory work, and sample AP exams will be given throughout the term. Challenge Problems and lab work will be created by both the teacher and student. The student’s assessment and preparation will conclude with the taking of a number of practice AP exams.

This course may only be taken as a 7th course.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: Intensive Computer Programming & Robotics (A-)

Service Learning Projects

Through extending themselves to others, students develop a sense of commitment; learn the potential rewards and frustrations involved in service; learn how specific agencies, cultures, and institutions operate; develop an appreciation for complex social support networks; and gain insight into their own values and life goals. Sixty-five hours of service are required of all George School students during junior or senior year. Service learning projects vary from intense, two-week experiences in a school-sponsored, domestic or international service project, to once-a-week experiences that extend throughout the school year, to preapproved independent projects. Service learning projects may be completed during the school year or over the summer. Each project must take the form of direct interaction with people who are disempowered because of social, racial, economic, or health factors. School-sponsored trips can accommodate limited numbers and require an application and screening process. Students are expected to submit proposals for most service projects well in advance of the project date. Each student is required to write a reflective journal that documents personal growth and understanding of the service experience. Some service learning projects have supplementary reading to orient students to the population being served.

Spanish 1

Spanish is the primary language of instruction in this introductory course, as students learn through listening, speaking, reading, and writing activities. Classes also include exposure to the richness and variety of Hispanic cultures. Music, games, and projects are among the tools used to foster an environment of engaged language learners.

Students are expected to take an active role on a daily basis by working in groups, in pairs, or as individuals. Successful language acquisition requires systematic review and practice outside the classroom as well as diligent preparation of daily homework assignments. Homework can include listening, reading, writing, and speaking assignments. Evaluation is based on daily aural/oral and written assessments, quizzes, dialogs, skits, and a test following each chapter. A cumulative exam is administered at the end of each term.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Spanish 2

Spanish 2 begins with a review of vocabulary and structures covered in Spanish 1 and expands upon those skills. Some of the highlights include narration in the past, daily routine, personal preferences, needs, and future time. Spanish is the primary language of instruction as students learn through listening, speaking, reading, and writing activities. Classes also include exposure to the richness and variety of Hispanic cultures. Music, games, and projects are among the tools used to foster an environment of engaged language learners.

Students are expected to take an active role on a daily basis by working in groups, in pairs, or as individuals. Successful language acquisition requires systematic review and practice outside the classroom as well as diligent preparation of daily homework assignments. Homework might include listening, reading, writing, and speaking assignments. Evaluation is based on daily aural/oral and written assessments, quizzes, dialogs, skits, and a test following each chapter. A cumulative exam is administered at the end of each term.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Spanish 1 (C-) or placement test

Intensive Spanish 2

Following a brief review of the vocabulary and structures covered in Spanish 1, students expand upon the skills developed in Spanish 1. The course offers an in-depth study of these topics: narration in the past, daily routine, personal preferences, needs, and future time. Spanish is the primary language of instruction as students learn through listening, speaking, reading, and writing activities. Classes also include exposure to the richness and variety of Hispanic cultures. Music, games, and projects are among the tools used to foster an environment of engaged language learners.

Students are expected to take an active role on a daily basis by working in groups, in pairs, or as individuals. Successful language acquisition requires systematic review and practice outside the classroom as well as diligent preparation of daily homework assignments. Homework might include listening, reading, writing, and speaking assignments. Evaluation is based on daily aural/oral and written assessments, quizzes, dialogs, skits, and a test following each chapter. A cumulative exam is administered at the end of each term.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Spanish 1 (B) or placement test

Spanish 3

Spanish 3 begins with a review of vocabulary and structures covered in Spanish 2 and expands upon those skills. The focus is on strengthening the skills acquired in Spanish 2. Short literary excerpts are introduced and writing exercises may include compositions or journal work. This course can prepare students for Intensive Spanish 4 if additional work is completed successfully over the summer. Spanish is the primary language of instruction as students learn through listening, speaking, reading, and writing activities. Classes also include exposure to the richness and variety of Hispanic cultures. Music, games, and projects are among the tools used to foster an environment of engaged language learners.

Students are expected to take an active role on a daily basis by working in groups, in pairs, or as individuals. Successful language acquisition requires systematic review and practice outside the classroom as well as diligent preparation of daily homework assignments. Homework might include listening, reading, writing, and speaking assignments. Evaluation is based on daily aural/oral and written assessments, quizzes, dialogs, skits, and a test following each chapter. A cumulative exam is administered at the end of each term.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Spanish 2 (C-) or placement test

Intensive Spanish 3

Intensive Spanish 3 begins with a brief review of vocabulary and structures covered in Spanish 2. The focus is on strengthening the skills acquired in Spanish 2. Short literary excerpts are introduced. During Term 3, students are exposed to sophisticated readings from sources other than their textbooks. Writing includes frequent compositions or journal work. There is an emphasis on creativity and independent thinking. Spanish is the primary language of instruction as students learn through listening, speaking, reading, and writing activities. Classes also include exposure to the richness and variety of Hispanic cultures. Music, games, and projects are among the tools used to foster an environment of engaged language learners.

Students are expected to take an active role on a daily basis by working in groups, in pairs, or as individuals. Successful language acquisition requires systematic review and practice outside the classroom as well as diligent preparation of daily homework assignments. Homework might include listening, reading, writing, and speaking assignments. Evaluation is based on daily aural/oral and written assessments, quizzes, dialogs, skits, and a test following each chapter. A cumulative exam is administered at the end of each term. This is a preparatory course for IB Spanish 4.

Open to: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Spanish 2 (B, plus summer work and placement test) or Intensive Spanish 2 (C) or placement test

IB Spanish 4

This course focuses on strengthening students' communicative skills in all four language areas—listening, speaking, reading and writing—as well as developing greater cultural awareness. A variety of media, including films, documentaries, web-based resources, songs, articles and literary selections, are used to build vocabulary, enhance listening skills, stimulate discussion, improve grammar, achieve greater linguistic proficiency, and make connections with a variety of Hispanic cultures. This class is conducted entirely in Spanish and all students are expected to actively participate in class activities. Juniors and seniors may, but are not required, to sit for the IB Language B Standard Level exam at the end of the course.

This course has a summer assignment.

Open to: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors

Prerequisite: Intensive Spanish 3 (C+ ) or Spanish 3 (B) or placement test

IB/AP Spanish 5

Students enter this class experienced in reading, writing, speaking, and understanding Spanish. This class is conducted entirely in Spanish and active oral participation is key. Each year, the literary, grammatical, and cultural foci of this class may vary. Students read, interpret and discuss formal and informal prose and literature, listen to authentic audio and video recordings, develop speaking skills in a variety of settings, and write both formal essays and informal communications. It is expected that students in this course will take the AP Spanish Language exam or the Higher Level IB Spanish exam in May.

This course has a summer assignment.

Open to: Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: IB Spanish 4 (B) or placement test

IB HL Spanish Seminar

This course is for students who have native or near-native command of the Spanish language and want to continue their study beyond IB/AP Spanish 5. Content is tailored to the needs and interests of the students taking the course in a particular year and can include preparation for the IB HL Spanish B exam or the AP Spanish Language exam.

This course has a summer assignment.

Open to Juniors and seniors

Prerequisite: IB/AP Spanish 5 (B) or placement test