Academics
Departments & Curriculum
Course Description Guide 2024-25

Social Studies (2024-25)

Social Studies courses are a powerful way to widen students' understanding of the world and promote leadership, citizenship, community and compassion. Students start with a broad overview of history with Geography in the eighth grade and World History in the ninth grade. United States History is the focus of tenth grade, and then students are presented with a diverse range of options for their junior and senior years. We recognize that students develop and show interest in social studies at different rates, so, after 8th grade, multiple options are provided to meet the skill and interest level of each student. All student paths through the department strive to develop research skills, persuasive writing, and critical thinking skills where students have both agency and opportunity for collaboration.
 
The social studies faculty aims to blend engaging, instructor-led lessons with a variety of inquiry-based assignments that are designed to spark student curiosity and promote problem-solving skills. Students will become effective in communication through the creation of presentations, research papers and projects.  The faculty encourages students to ask their own questions, and develop deep understandings of the human experience while providing students opportunities to explore topics of their choosing.  The department strives to develop a student that is a caring, responsibly risk-taking, knowledgeable, open-minded thinker and problem solver that can communicate with and participate in local, regional, national and international communities. 
 
Students are required to take Social Studies each year. Both U.S. History and Government are required. One semester course in Religion is required.

Social Studies

List of 8 items.

  • World Geography - Grade 8

    1 Credit
    Required tools:  Google Cardboard or the like

    In this study of world geography, students will make practical and effective use of physical and cultural viewpoints to investigate people, places, and settings on regional, national, and international stages. Students will determine the effect of geopolitics on the events of the past and present with priority given to current issues affecting the world. A considerable section of the course centers around the processes that shape the physical environment; the characteristics of major landforms, climates, and vegetation zones; the political, economic, and social systems that create cultural patterns of regions; how the world's population is distributed; the globally interdependent movement of the world's population; human-environmental interactions amongst people, places, and ecosystems; the effect of religion on cultural development; and how a region's location affects economic activities in diverse economic systems. Students will work primarily in groups to ask and answer geographic questions; learning to utilize an array of rich primary and secondary source materials and historiographical tools during the process of cultural and physical discovery.

    Units of Study
    Skills of the Geographer
    United States and Canada
    Latin America
    Europe
    Eurasia
    North Africa and the Middle East
    Sub-Saharan Africa
    Asia and Oceania
  • World History - Grade 9

    1 Credit

    World History is an introductory survey course for 9th-grade students highlighting world history from the origins of civilization through the 19th century. Using primary and secondary sources, students will conduct inquiry-based research to examine historical events, cultural developments and changes in political and social structures of the time periods of study. The course content of the first semester focuses on analyzing the development of the political, social, religious, cultural and economic history of Ancient Civilizations. The second semester examines the development of Europe from the Renaissance through the French Revolution while maintaining a global perspective. Students learn through focused readings, document analysis, analytical and explanatory writing assignments, group and individual projects, and class discussion. Upon completion of the course, students will learn to identify themes in world history, apply analytical skills, recognize cause and effect, develop research skills, understand how to interpret and apply primary source documents, and utilize the tools of an economist, geographer, and historian.

    Units of Study
    Ancient Civilizations of the West
    Ancient Civilizations of the East
    Renaissance and Reformation
    Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution
    Absolutism and Revolution
    Age of Imperialism
  • World History Honors - Grade 9

    1 Credit

    Prerequisites: Teacher recommendation or strong reading and analytical skills.

    World History Honors is an intensive survey class for 9th-grade students introducing world history from the origins of civilization through the 19th century with an emphasis on inquiry-based learning where students are afforded opportunities to research topics of their choosing. The course content of the first semester focuses on analyzing the development of the political, social, religious, cultural, and economic history of Ancient Civilizations. The second semester examines the development of Europe from the Renaissance through the French Revolution while maintaining a global perspective. Students learn through focused readings, primary source document analysis, analytical and explanatory writing assignments, group and individual projects, and class discussion. Upon completion of the course, students will learn to identify themes in world history, apply analytical skills, recognize cause and effect, develop research skills, understand how to interpret and apply primary source documents, and utilize the tools of an economist, geographer, and historian. Students who have a passion for history and a desire to build the necessary skills required for IB and AP work in the Social Studies Department are encouraged to take World History Honors. The ability to write analytically, work independently, read carefully, and think critically are key to success in the class.

    Units of Study
    Ancient Civilizations of the West
    Ancient Civilizations of the East
    Renaissance and Reformation
    Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution
    Absolutism and Revolution
    Age of Imperialism


  • United States History - Grade 10

    1 Credit

    This survey course will address key political, economic, social, and cultural events in the history of the United States from European colonization through the 20th century. Students will develop their historical writing and critical reading skills through analysis of primary source documents and historical research. The goal of this class is that students learn enough about the history of the United States to understand how and why American governmental and cultural institutions came to exist as they do today. 

    Units of Study
    Native American Cultures and European Exploration/Colonization 1400-1754
    The American Revolution and Critical Period 1754-1800
    The Early United States 1800-1824
    The Union in Peril 1825-1860
    Civil War and Reconstruction 1860-1865
    Reconstruction and the Gilded Age 1865-1900 
    The U.S. as a World Power 1900-1945
    The U.S. as a Superpower 1945-1989
  • United States History Honors - Grade 10

    1 Credit

    Prerequisite: B or higher in World History Honors or A- or higher in World History and teacher recommendation

    This year-long course is an introduction to the key ideas, events, and people that have influenced the course of our nation's history. The primary goals of this course include the development of an understanding of American history and current events and the ability to make connections between them as well as mastering the historical skills of persuasive writing, periodization, historiography, recognizing and evaluating bias, and continuity and change over time. Those who take the course should be open to developing a passion for US History even if they do not already possess one. Students will be aided in their futures by understanding how the nation and the world in which we live today was influenced by the people and events of our past and will gain knowledge and skills to be more engaged civic participants as they grow towards adulthood. Much of the material covered will have an inquiry-based learning approach in which students will drive much of the content that they cover by asking their own questions. 

    The class will seek to differentiate between political, social, economic, and military history. Persuasive essay writing is emphasized and students execute one major project per semester as well as several smaller projects. Students are occasionally put into simulations, asked to put themselves in the position of historical figures, and are exposed to historical role-playing.

    Students will succeed in the class by reading all assigned readings, participating in class discussions, and engaging with the content. It is crucial that students be open-minded to the perspectives of other people. Students are exposed to primary source documents and asked to react to those historical documents.

    Units of Study
    Native American Cultures and European Exploration/Colonization 1400-1754
    The American Revolution and Critical Period 1754-1800
    The Early United States 1800-1824
    The Union in Peril 1825-1860
    Civil War and Reconstruction 1860-1865
    Reconstruction and the Gilded Age 1865-1900 
    The U.S. as a World Power 1900-1945
    The U.S. as a Superpower 1945-1989


  • Contemporary World History - Grades 11-12

    1 Credit

    Prerequisite: United States History course

    Contemporary World History examines major events and trends in the contemporary world. Chronologically the course picks up in the 19th century and continues through the beginning of the 21st century. History is an evidence based-discipline.  We will examine different periods by investigating essential questions linked to each time period. 

    Units of Study
    Industrialization: Possibilities and Disruption
    Causes and Impact of War
    The Rise of and Resistance to Authoritarian Rule: What leads to political extremism?
    The Global Impact of the Cold War 
    Rights and Protest
    A Post Cold War Landscape


  • Contemporary World History Honors - Grades 11-12

    1 Credit

    Prerequisites: United States History course and teacher recommendation

    Contemporary World History Honors examines major events and trends of the contemporary world including the impact of industrialization, shifts in global power, increasing global interdependence, and differing ideologies. History is an evidence based-discipline. We will look at questions about the past and seek out information to help find answers. Special attention will be paid to research and media literacy skills. 

    Units of Study
    Industrialization: Possibilities and Disruption
    19th and 20th Century Isms: The Rise of new Ideologies
    Change and Resistance: the 1920s and 1930s
    Rise of Authoritarian Rule
    Causes and Consequences of War
    Rights and Protest
    The Global Impact of the Cold War
    A New Century


  • United States Government and Economics Grade 12

    1 Credit

    Prerequisite: United States History

    This course fulfills the United States Government graduation requirement.

    This course, open only to seniors, seeks to familiarize students with the concepts on which our government and economic systems are built. Emphasis will be placed on the Constitutional Foundations of American Government, Political Participation, the Three Branches of our National Government, and Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Current events are used to reinforce understanding about the formation of public policy and the role of citizenship.  Students will learn and use the tools of economists in the second semester, as well as apply these skills to personal finance. Research skills including the utilization of evidence to support a thesis will be emphasized.

    Units of Study
    Constitutional Foundations of American Government
    The Legislative Branch
    The Executive Branch
    The Judicial Branch
    Civil Liberties
    Civil Rights
    Basic Economic Principles
    Personal Finance

Social Studies Electives

List of 5 items.

  • Archaeology - Grades 10-12

    Grades 10-12
    1.0 credit

    This course does not count toward the social studies graduation requirement.

    In this year-long elective, students get to come face-to-face with the physical remains of the past and use them to help solve the puzzles of history. Archaeology is the study of the human past through material remains. The field of archaeology lies at the intersection of STEM and the humanities. Archaeological scientists use cutting-edge technology to extract the tracest clues from the material remains of the past. Archaeologists then piece together these faint and fragmentary hints and create dynamic interpretations that answer research questions and provide a window into past human lives. Ancient texts and long-accepted narratives are tested against the physical evidence left by past people. Beyond the texts, archaeology provides a powerful leveling tool for the examination of history, providing evidence that allows scholars to tell the stories of the poor, underprivileged, women, and oppressed groups who are often absent from written historical narratives. The difficult questions raised by the history of archaeology and the global antiquities trade touch on colonialism, cultural representation, and international relations. In this course, students will become familiar with the basics of field archaeology, as well as the underlying theory and basic history of the discipline. Students will also develop their ability to synthesize different types of evidence into coherent narratives, learn how to form research questions, and acquire a hands-on understanding of how science and the humanities work symbiotically in a vibrant and active academic discipline.
     
    Units of Study
    History of archaeology
    Major archaeological sites
    Archaeological theory and methods
    Experimental archaeology
    Archaeological ethics
    Archaeological illustration
    The antiquities trade and colonialism, international antiquities law
    Technology in archaeology
    Pseudo-archeology and its perils
    Cultural and historical resource management
    Archaeological fieldwork (survey and/or excavation)
  • Contemporary Women's Studies - Grades 10-12

    Grades 10-12
    0.5 credit

    Prerequisite: 10th graders need a teacher recommendation (Social Studies)

    The American historical narrative is undoubtedly a story of women, and yet, this lens of study is often underutilized. Women, despite legal and cultural barriers, have been actively engaged in every phase of the nation’s history. This course serves as an introduction to the study of women as a diverse social group with a history, culture, and experience of their own. Contemporary Women's Studies allows students to evaluate the critical roles of women in advancing American politics and society. The course will focus on the 20th century to the present day with special emphasis on the four waves of feminism.

    Units of Study:
    First Wave of Feminism- Late 19th, Early 20th Century, Suffrage and Legal Rights
    Second Wave of Feminism- 1970s, Equality, Discrimination, Emergence of Women’s History
    Third Wave of Feminism- 1990s, Gen X, and the Riot Girrl Movement
    Fourth Wave- 21st Century 2010s to Present, Women's Empowerment, MeToo, Identity, and the LGBTQ+ Community
  • Faith in Film - Grades 10-12

    0.5 Credit

    Faith in Film does not count toward the religion graduation requirement.

    Faith in Film is a systematic theology class intended to examine and discuss the major tenets of the Christian faith. These doctrines will then be illustrated through various genres of film. Students will analyze these doctrines and attempt to reconcile them to their personal beliefs. Students do not have to confess to Christianity to take this course but should have some interest in developing a deeper knowledge of Christianity. Certain movies viewed in the course are intended for mature minds; students must have parental consent to take this class. Key skills include critical thinking skills, primary source document skills, and film analysis skills. 

    Units of Study
    Christian Anthropology
    Demonology
    The Problem of Evil
    Paterology
    Christology
    Pneumatology
    Ecclesiology
    Eschatology 


  • Personal Finance - Grades 9-12

    Grades 9-12
    0.5 Credit

    Personal Finance is a challenging, engaging project-based course that presents real-world concepts designed to help the student make wise spending, saving, and credit decisions and to make effective use of income to achieve personal financial goals. Students will design personal and household budgets utilizing checking and saving accounts, gain knowledge in finance, debt, and credit management, and evaluate and understand insurance and taxes. Students enrolled in personal finance should expect to complete case studies, plan monthly budgets, compete in a stock market simulation, listen to engaging guest speakers and participate in out-of-classroom experiences such as a field trip to the Federal Reserve.

    Units of Study
    Basics of Economics
    Banking Basics
    Income and Taxes
    Consumer Skills
    Planning for Living
  • Politics in Film - Grades 10-12

    Grades 10-12
    0.5 Credit

    Politics in Film explores popular political topics such as education, civil liberties, and laws affecting teenagers. Students will engage and discuss the content of each issue. Films will be used as an interpretation and springboard to a full analysis of the topic. Through journals and discussions, students will develop an understanding of how film informs and influences the way Americans view political issues. Certain movies viewed in the course are intended for mature minds; students must have parental consent to take the class. Key skills include critical thinking skills, primary source document skills, and film analysis skills.

    Units of Study
    Equal Opportunity Laws
    Education
    Abortion
    Laws Affecting Teenagers
    Immigration Laws
    Lobby Groups
    Civil Liberties
    Foreign Policy

IB and AP Social Studies

List of 9 items.

  • AP United States History - Grade 10

    1 Credit

    Prerequisite: World History Honors (A- or higher) and English RWW 9 (B+ or higher) or World History (A or higher) and English RWW 9 (A- or higher)

    Additional Fee: Students enrolled in this course are expected to take the AP exam. A fee applies to all students taking this exam.

    Advanced Placement United States History is a thorough and rigorous survey course organized by basic themes and time periods in order to introduce students to key ideas, events, and people that influenced the course of our nation’s history. The course seeks to apprentice students to the practice of history by explicitly stressing the development of a specific set of historical thinking skills while learning about the past. The seven basic themes are American identity; work, exchange, and technology; geography and the environment; migration; politics and power; America in the world; culture; and society. The eight time periods encompass AD 1492-Present. The College Board has identified six key skills for AP students to develop in their study of American History. Students will learn how to identify and explain historical developments and processes (AP SKILL: Developments and Processes), how to analyze the sourcing and situation of primary and secondary sources (AP SKILL: Sourcing and Situation), how to analyze arguments in primary and secondary sources (AP SKILL: Claims and Evidence in Sources), how to analyze the context of historical events, developments, or processes. (AP SKILL: Contextualization), how to use historical reasoning processes (comparison, causation, continuity, and change) to analyze patterns and connections between and among historical developments and processes (AP SKILL: Making Connections), and how to develop evidence-based arguments (AP SKILL: Argumentation). Students develop these skills through a structured, guided, and open inquiry-based approach to the exploration and interpretation of a rich array of primary and secondary sources and through the regular development of historical argumentation in writing. Skills-based assessment activities also include simulations, audiovisual aids, group activities, and field trips. As most students’ first Advanced Placement course, attention is also paid to the development of sound study skills reflecting the different ways to study for different types of assessment. Students who are seriously considering pursuit of the IB diploma and/or further advanced placement course study should take this course. Doing well in this course requires a passion for United States history, strong reading comprehension, organization, and analytical writing skills along with the ability to self-advocate and attend tutorial when needed. A summer assignment is to be completed before the return to school in August.

    Units of Study
    Period 1: 1491–1607- Native American Civilizations, European Exploration
    Period 2: 1607–1754- Establishment of Colonies, Transatlantic Exchange
    Period 3: 1754–1800- The American Revolution and Foundation
    Period 4: 1800–1848- America as a Young Nation
    Period 5: 1844–1877- Civil War and Reconstruction
    Period 6: 1865–1898- The Gilded Age
    Period 7: 1890–1945- The United States as a World Power
    Period 8: 1945–1980- The United States as a Superpower
    Period 9: 1980–Present- The Modern United States


  • AP United States Government and Politics - Grade 12

    1 Credit

    Prerequisites: Contemporary World History Honors (B+ or higher) or Contemporary World History (A or higher) and teacher recommendation

    Additional Fee: Students enrolled in this course are expected to take the AP exam. A fee applies to all students taking this exam.

    This course fulfills the United States Government graduation requirement.

    AP United States Government and Politics provides a college-level, nonpartisan introduction to key political concepts, ideas, institutions, policies, interactions, roles, and behaviors that characterize the constitutional system and political culture of the United States. Students will study U.S. foundational documents, Supreme Court decisions, and other texts and visuals to gain an understanding of the relationships and interactions among political institutions, processes, and behaviors. They will also engage in disciplinary practices that require them to read and interpret data, make comparisons and applications, and develop evidence-based arguments. In addition, they will complete a political science research or applied civics project.

    Units of Study
    Foundations of American Democracy
    Interactions Among Branches of Government
    Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
    American Political Ideologies and Beliefs
    Political Participation


  • IB History - Grade 11

    1 Credit

    Prerequisite:  AP United States History (B or higher) or United States History Honors (B+ or higher) or United States History (A or higher) and teacher recommendation

    Additional Fee: Students in this course are expected to take the IB exam. A fee applies to all students taking this exam. Please see the information in the Overview section about IB exams. An additional fee is required for the online support tool Kognity.


    IB History is a two-year course that students complete during their junior and senior years. Over the course of the two years, students will engage in an in-depth study of aspects of 20th-century world history. Our HL extension will be the history of the Americas, including some US history and also the history of Canada, as well as Central and South America.

    During the first year of IB, students will complete the Paper One Rights and Protest case study requirements. The case study will involve an in-depth study of Apartheid in South Africa from 1948-1964 and the U.S. Civil Rights Movement from 1954-1965. 

    We will continue with the theme of Civil Rights and social movements as we move into the IB paper three topics of Civil rights and Social Movements in the Americas post-1945. As part of this IB topic, we will expand our examination of the US Civil Rights Movement in the United States through 1980 with an examination of the Black Panthers, Black Power, and Malcolm X. We will also study the role of governments in civil rights movements throughout the Americas.  This paper includes an examination of Indigenous peoples and civil rights and feminist movements throughout the Americas. We will also examine the Hispanic American movements in the United States as well as youth culture and protests of the 1960s and 1970s from across the Americas. 

    In addition, will examine the World War II era through the lens of the IB Paper 2 topic, Move to Global War, in which we will look at Germany, Italy, and Japan, followed by an examination of the impact of WWII on the Americas.

    This is the first year of a two-year sequence.

    Units of Study
    Rights and Protest
    Civil Rights and Social Movements in the Americas post-1945
    The Cold War in the Americas
    Internal Assessment


  • IB History: Europe HL/US Government - Grade 12

    1 Credit

    Prerequisite:  Teacher recommendation based on the expectation of B or higher in IB History

    Additional Fee: Students in this course are expected to take the IB exam. A fee applies to all students taking this exam. Please see the information in the Overview section about IB exams. An additional fee is required for the online support tool Kognity.

    This course fulfills the United States Government graduation requirement.

    This is the second year of a 2-year sequence. During year two, we will focus on our HL topics that include the First World War, the interwar years, including foreign and domestic policies. As part of the interwar years topics, we will examine what factors contributed to the failure of democratic institutions in Italy, Germany, and Spain. We will explore the causes and consequences of World War II.  

    During the second semester, we will examine the breakdown of the WWII Grand Alliance and the emergence of the Cold War. This unit will include an examination of the policies of the Soviet Union, the United States, and China. For our additional case study, we will explore the Cuban Missile Crisis, which was the closest we came to a nuclear war.

    You will be conducting an historical inquiry this year. You will work on developing research skills and document analysis skills. 

    Units of Study
    Europe and the First World War
    Inter-war domestic developments in European states (1918–1939)
    Diplomacy in Europe (1919–1945)
    The Cold War: Superpower tensions and rivalries (20th century)
    US Government


  • IB Global Politics - Grade 11

    1 Credit

    Prerequisites:  
    AP United States History (B or higher) or United States History Honors (B+ or higher) and English 10 Honors (B or higher) or English 10 (A or higher) and teacher recommendation

    OR

    United States History (A or higher) and English 10 Honors (B or higher) or English 10 (A or higher) and teacher recommendation


    Additional Fee:  IB examination fees will be incurred in the second year of the course.

    This is the first year of the two-year IB Global Politics HL course. The course explores fundamental political concepts such as power, liberty, and equality, in a range of contexts and at a variety of levels. It allows students to develop an understanding of the local, national, international, and global dimensions of political activity, as well as allowing them the opportunity to explore political issues affecting their own lives. The course helps students to understand abstract political concepts by grounding them in real-world examples and case studies while preparing them for the IB Global Politics exam administered at the conclusion of their senior year. Developing international mindedness and an awareness of multiple perspectives is at the heart of this course. It encourages dialogue and debate, nurturing the capacity to interpret competing and contestable claims. Students will learn through critical readings, class discussions, analytical writing, engagement activities, independent research, and student presentations. The course demands that students go beyond memorizing information and reinforces critical thinking skills such as the ability to interpret, analyze, and apply information.  Students are expected to be self-directed while developing research and problem-solving skills.  It is crucial for students to have an interest in current issues, consider and be respectful of multiple viewpoints, and work independently.

    Units of Study
    Power, Sovereignty and International Relations
    Engagement Activity and Paper
    Human Rights
    Development
    Peace and Conflict
  • IB Global Politics HL / US Government - Grade 12

    1 Credit

    Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation based on the expectation of B or higher in IB Global Politics

    Additional Fee: Students in this course are expected to take the IB exam.  A fee applies to all students taking this exam.

    This course fulfills the United States Government graduation requirement.

    This is the second year of the two-year sequence of Global Politics HL.  The course explores fundamental political concepts such as power, liberty, and equality, in a range of contexts and at a variety of levels. It allows students to develop an understanding of the local, national, international, and global dimensions of political activity, as well as allowing them the opportunity to explore political issues affecting their own lives. The course helps students to understand abstract political concepts by grounding them in real-world examples and case studies while preparing them for the IB Global Politics exam administered at the conclusion of their senior year. Developing international mindedness and an awareness of multiple perspectives is at the heart of this course. It encourages dialogue and debate, nurturing the capacity to interpret competing and contestable claims. Students will learn through critical readings, class discussions, analytical writing, engagement activities, independent research, and student presentations. It is crucial for students to have an interest in current issues, consider and be respectful of multiple viewpoints, and to work independently.  A major portion of the first semester is dedicated to independent case studies that showcase the student's understanding of theories and concepts in global politics through a real-world issue.  This culminates in two 10 minute presentations that are recorded for IB and requires the student to have both strong research and communication skills.  These skills are reinforced throughout the course.  

    This course fulfills the United States Government graduation requirement.  Students will gain an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States. This course includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. government and politics and the analysis of specific examples. 

    Units of Study
    Independent Research and Higher Level Case Study Presentations
    Power, Sovereignty and International Relations
    Human Rights
    Development
    Peace and Conflict


  • IB Geography - Grade 11

    1 Credit

    Prerequisite: AP United States History (B or higher) or United States History Honors (B+ or higher) or United States History (A or higher) and teacher recommendation

    Required tools:  Colored pencils

    Additional Fee: Students in this course are expected to take the IB exam. A fee applies to all students taking this exam. Please see the information in the Overview section about IB exams. An additional fee is required for the online support tool Kognity.

    This is the first year of the two-year IB Geography HL course. Geography is a dynamic subject that is firmly grounded in the real world and focuses on the interactions between individuals, societies, and physical processes in both time and space. It seeks to identify trends and patterns in these interactions. It also investigates the way in which people adapt and respond to change, and evaluates actual and possible management strategies associated with such change. Geography describes and helps to explain the similarities and differences between different places. These may be defined on a variety of scales and from the perspectives of a different range of actors, with varying powers over decision-making processes.

    Within individuals and societies subjects, geography is distinctive in its spatial dimension and occupies a middle ground between social or human sciences and natural sciences. The Diploma Programme geography course integrates physical, environmental, and human geography, and ensures that students acquire elements of both socio‑economic and scientific methodologies. Geography takes advantage of its position to examine relevant concepts and ideas from a wide variety of disciplines. This helps students develop life skills and have an appreciation of, and respect for, alternative approaches, viewpoints, and ideas.

    Units of Study
    Changing Population
    Global Climate
    Global Resource Consumption
    Freshwater Drainage Basins
    Oceans and Coastal Margins
    Urban Environments
    Global Interactions


  • IB Geography HL/US Government - Grade 12

    1 Credit

    Prerequisite:  Teacher recommendation based on the expectation of B or higher in IB Geography

    Required tools:  Colored pencils

    Additional Fee: Students in this course are expected to take the IB exam. A fee applies to all students taking this exam. Please see the information in the Overview section about IB exams. An additional fee is required for the online support tool Kognity.

    This course fulfills the United States Government graduation requirement.

    This is the second year of the two-year IB Geography HL course. Geography is a dynamic subject that is firmly grounded in the real world and focuses on the interactions between individuals, societies, and physical processes in both time and space. It seeks to identify trends and patterns in these interactions. It also investigates the way in which people adapt and respond to change, and evaluates actual and possible management strategies associated with such change. Geography describes and helps to explain the similarities and differences between different places. These may be defined on a variety of scales and from the perspectives of a different range of actors, with varying powers over decision-making processes.

    Within individuals and societies subjects, geography is distinctive in its spatial dimension and occupies a middle ground between social or human sciences and natural sciences. The Diploma Programme geography course integrates physical, environmental, and human geography, and ensures that students acquire elements of both socio‑economic and scientific methodologies. Geography takes advantage of its position to examine relevant concepts and ideas from a wide variety of disciplines. This helps students develop life skills and have an appreciation of, and respect for, alternative approaches, viewpoints, and ideas.

    In addition, students will gain an analytical perspective on government and politics in the United States during the course. This course includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret U.S. government and politics and the analysis of specific examples.

    Units of Study
    Changing Population
    Global Climate
    Global Resource Consumption
    Freshwater Drainage Basins
    Oceans and Coastal Margins
    Urban Environments
    Power, Places, and Networks
    Human Development and Diversity
    Global Risks and Resilience
  • IB Environmental Systems & Societies SL - Grades 11-12

    1 Credit

    Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation based on expectations of B or higher in Chemistry Honors and Biology Honors (or previous IB course) or A in Chemistry and Biology (or previous standard-level science course), evidence of focus, reliability, work ethic, independent learning, and passion for the subject matter.

    Required tools:  Graphing calculator. "Rite-in-the-Rain" Field Journal (purchased through the school)

    Additional Fees: Students in this course are expected to take the IB exam. A fee applies to all students taking this exam. Please see the information in the Overview section about IB exams. An additional fee is required for the online support tool Kognity.

    This course may count as a Group 3 and/or a Group 4 IB course for diploma candidates.  It will also satisfy either a Trinity science credit or a social studies credit, but not both.

    The intent of this course is to help students develop a holistic perspective on the environment using a systems approach together with scientific, economic, historical, cultural, and socio-political methodologies. The course seeks to help students develop the skills to assess, measure, and analyze the environment from a local to a global perspective. Topics include foundations of environmental systems and societies, ecosystems and ecology, biodiversity and conservation, water and aquatic food production systems and societies, soil systems and terrestrial food production systems and societies, atmospheric systems and societies, climate change and energy production and human systems and resource use.

    In the laboratory component of this course, students will explore experimental methods, develop experimental design skills and apply these methods and skills to the study of ecosystems and societies. Laboratory work will be augmented with fieldwork both on the Trinity property and other locations. Students are expected to independently apply laboratory skills and report writing learned in previous science classes. Advanced skills will be developed throughout the course and students will complete an individual investigation that is assessed by the teacher and submitted to IBO. It represents 25% of the exam score. The investigation focuses on using the scientific method for a lab experience that includes: planning and conducting an experiment; processing, analyzing and graphing data collected from the experiment; discussing and making conclusions using collected data, and evaluating the experimental process itself.

    This course is for any student interested in environmental sciences, sustainability, or the outdoors in general. However, the goal of this course is to explain environmentalism through a variety of lenses, from economic, to religious, to recreational, so all curious and qualified students are welcome. It is a class that does involve some outdoor work, so students should be prepared to work safely in any weather.

    Units of Study
    Foundations of ESS
    Ecosystems and ecology 
    Biodiversity and conservation
    Water, aquatic food production systems, and societies
    Soil systems, terrestrial food production systems and societies
    Atmospheric systems and societies
    Climate change and energy production
    Human systems and resource use


Religion

List of 3 items.

  • Old Testament - Grades 8-12

    Grades 8-12
    0.5 Credit

    Old Testament satisfies the religion graduation requirement.

    “In the beginning when God created...” These words written thousands of years ago continue to impact humanity. This class is an introduction to the rich history, stories, and beliefs preserved by the Jewish people. Primary content is devoted to historical movements, biblical characters, and various forms of text criticism. Secondary content includes how Old Testament themes connect to the New Testament. Key skills include critical thinking skills, scope and sequence skills, periodization skills.

    Units of Study
    Biblical Prehistory
    Patriarchs and Matriarchs
    Theocracy
    Monarchy
    Prophets and Exiles
    Restoration
  • New Testament - Grades 8-12

    Grades 8-12
    0.5 Credit

    New Testament satisfies the religion graduation requirement.

    This course begins with Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus asked the apostle Peter, "Who do you say that I am?" The students will thoroughly examine the Gospels and learn how each writer uniquely depicts the life of Jesus. Paul of Tarsus wrote to the Corinthians, "Three times was I beaten with rods and once received a stoning." This course will explore what motivated Paul to have an unprecedented desire to spread the Gospel throughout the Roman Empire. Primary content is devoted to historical movements, biblical characters, and various forms of text criticism. Secondary content includes how Old Testament themes connect with the New Testament. Key skills include critical thinking skills, scope and sequence skills, periodization skills.

    Units of Study
    The Gospel of Matthew
    The Gospel of Mark
    The Gospel of Luke
    The Gospel of John
    Acts of the Apostles
    Epistles and Apocalypse
  • World Religion - Grades 9-12

    Grades 9-12
    0.5 Credit

    World Religions satisfies the religion graduation requirement.

    This course is designed as a comparative study of world religions and begins by attempting to answer "Why Religion?" Students will examine numerous civilizations and how they are influenced by religion. Ample time will be spent on history, beliefs, and how the religions of the world impact humanity today. Key skills include critical thinking skills, scope and sequence skills, periodization skills.

    Units of Study
    Origin of Religions
    Hinduism
    Buddhism
    Islam
    Judaism
    Christianity

Course Sequence

Social Studies Core Courses

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
World Geography World History Honors AP United States History IB History IB History:
Europe HL/United States Government
United States History Honors IB Global Politics IB Global Politics HL/United States Government
  AP United States Government and Politics
IB Geography IB Geography HL/United States Government
IB Environmental Systems and Societies SL
World History United States History Contemporary World History Honors United States Government and Economics
Contemporary World History


Social Studies Electives

9-12 10-12
Personal Finance Politics in Film
Contemporary Women's Studies


Religion Electives

Grades 8-12 Grades 9-12 Grades 10-12
Old Testament World Religions Faith in Film
New Testament Archaeology