HELLO FROM LACORDAIRE!
The Upper School is an environment where we watch our students turn into strong, young women as they proceed through their four years here. The Upper School curriculum challenges and inspires students to reach their fullest potential with an inquiry, project/problem based approach that provides academic rigor in our classrooms. With a student to teacher ratio of 12:1 or less, students receive the support they need to excel and create lasting relationships with faculty and peers. Technology in every classroom, as well as a “bring your own device” computing program and online classes, ensure the latest in curriculum delivery and support for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) initiatives. Students develop an appreciation for the Arts, life skills, global awareness, leadership skills, teamwork, and strong presentation and reasoning skills through the curriculum and numerous extracurricular activities. It is our honor to get to know our young women in such a personal way and watch as they graduate prepared to take on the world.
Head of School; Head of Upper School
HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR ACADEMIC PROGRAM INCLUDE:
- Our advisor program in which advisors serve as homeroom teachers, then meet individually with students once or twice a marking period. Advisors make sure that students are fully engaged and communicate with parents regarding student progress in each marking period. Students can go to the advisors for academic or social concerns.
- Our test prep curriculum which is built right into academic classes to help prepare students for the PSAT, SAT, and ACT. The teachers are constantly working on Algebra, Geometry, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and writing skills to better prepare our students.
- Our Honors, AP, and Advanced Elective courses that require work beyond the regular college preparatory curriculum. Lacordaire Academy has developed a curriculum that stimulates intellectual curiosity and challenges students’ abilities in every class; however, students in advanced classes have opted for a greater level of rigor and can expect more independent coursework.
- Our partnership with One Schoolhouse, which enables students to take a variety of additional online courses.If a student expresses an interest in a discipline not offered in the current curriculum, they may take a course through www.oneschoolhouse.org.
- Our Project Justice program, which is a service internship completed by every senior during their final semester at the Academy. Through this course, students live the Dominican tradition of social justice and community service. Students complete a designated amount of hours of service in two separate types of facilities.
The core subjects of English, math, history, science, religion, and world languages provide the foundation for the curriculum, and electives that meet students’ needs and interests are offered in every grade of the Upper School. Please click through below to see offerings in each subject area.
English 9: Introduction to Literary Genres/Honors
This freshman English class provides an overview of ancient and modern world literature that has shaped the contemporary landscape. Writing, advanced grammar, vocabulary expansion and critical thinking are the main focal points of the course. Literary selections include The Odyssey, Antigone, Romeo and Juliet, Brave New World, and selections of poetry and short stories. The students enhance their writing skills through response papers, extended essays, regular homework assignments, and in-class writing. A student’s placement in the honors section is determined by a placement test.
English 9: Writing Seminar
All freshman are required to take Writing Seminar. This course reinforces writing, speaking, and grammar skills, and it assists freshmen with Academy writing expectations at all levels. This survey course includes creative writing, as well as personal narratives, persuasive and analytical essays, and other genres of formal writing.
English 10: American Literature or American Literature Honors
This class is a survey of American Literature from the exploration of America to the present, with an emphasis on developing critical judgment and effective writing skills. This sophomore year course exposes students to a broad spectrum of American writings to gain a greater understanding of the evolution of America’s literary and cultural history. It examines non-fiction writing, short stories, poetry, drama, and the novel. Students will use these materials to develop their proficiency in research, analysis, writing, listening, speaking, and presentation skills. Through peer editing, oral presentations, class discussions, and writing assignments, both analytical and creative, students will further develop their communication skills. Throughout the entirety of this course, students will learn and work through each step of the research process to secure scholarly, critical information in support of a specific topic and compose a lengthy paper that demonstrates organization, critical thinking, and fluency. The appropriate use of technology is an integral part of this course. Placement into honors requires at least a B+ in the previous year’s English class and teacher recommendation.
English 11: British Literature or British Literature Honors
This junior English class covers the major periods in British literature starting with the Anglo-Saxon and Medieval periods, followed by the Elizabethan era, and culminating with the Victorian and Modern periods. Students learn the historical and cultural influences that have shaped the British literary tradition. There is an emphasis on the continued development of reading, writing, thinking, and research skills through close reading and written literary analysis, as well as the study of vocabulary, grammar, and usage. The appropriate use of technology is an integral part of this course. Placement into honors requires at least a B+ in the previous year’s English class and teacher recommendation.
English 11: AP Language and Composition
AP English Language and Composition is designed to be a college/university level course. This AP course will provide the intellectual challenges and workload consistent with an undergraduate college freshman composition course. As a culmination to this course, students take the AP English Language and Composition Exam administered by the College Board in May. The purpose of this course is to provide students with the tools “to write effectively and confidently in their college courses across the curriculum and in their professional and personal lives” (The College Board, AP English Course Description, 2010, p. 7). Since this course is organized according to the guidelines and requirements of the College Board’s AP English Course Description, students are given varied and multiple opportunities to engage with and carefully analyze a varied and challenging range of nonfiction prose selections to deepen the student’s awareness of the effect of rhetorical terms and strategies on informational texts and of how language works in texts such as memoirs, lectures, historical accounts, and speeches. Students will also read fiction and poetry to interpret how authors’ stylistic and linguistic choices affect and enhance the meaning of a work. Students will do close and careful reading of texts and frequent purposeful writing to increase their abilities to work with rhetorical situations and language, to become cognizant of an author’s purpose and the varieties of audience, and to become more proficient in their own compositional strategies and analysis. Students will also analyze graphics and visual images such as photographs, advertisements, video clips, and comic strips as alternative forms of written texts.
English 12: The Other in Literature
This senior literature course introduces students to college-level literary analysis. Students examine the theme of “the other” throughout a variety of literary works, including The Stranger, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and The Handmaid’s Tale. Students are introduced to the philosophies underpinning these works, as well as literary theories used to analyze them. Writing remains an integral part of the curriculum, as students work to achieve a level of writing mastery sufficient for college writing. The appropriate use of technology is an integral part of this course. Placement into honors requires at least a B+ in the previous year’s English class and teacher recommendation.
English 12: AP English Literature and Composition
AP English Literature and Composition is designed to be a college/university level course, thus the “AP” designation on a transcript rather than “H” (Honors) or “CP” (College Prep). Since this course is organized according to the guidelines and requirements of the College Board’s AP English Course Description, it engages students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, students deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. As they read, students consider a work’s structure, style and themes, as well as such smaller-scale elements as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism and tone. Careful attention to both textual detail and historical context provides a foundation for interpretation, whatever critical perspectives are brought to bear on the literary works studied.
Writing is an integral part of the AP English Literature and Composition course and exam. Writing assignments focus on the critical analysis of literature and include expository, analytical, and argumentative essays. Although critical analysis makes up the bulk of student writing for the course, well-constructed creative writing assignments may help students see from the inside how literature is written. The goal of both types of writing assignments is to increase students’ ability to explain clearly, cogently, even elegantly, what they understand about literary works and why they interpret them as they do. As a culmination to this course, students take the College Board exam, which is administered in May.
Creative Writing (Elective)
This course has students explore the fundamentals of poetry, creative dramatics, and creative prose. Students create portfolios using a process approach and explore various writing strategies and revision techniques. The objective is to have students find and develop their own voice and expand their creative expression outlets.
HISTORY AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
History 9: World History or World History Honors
This course introduces students to the cultures and events that have shaped today’s world. Students participate in the Harkness method for class discussion, conduct in-depth research, and learn to critically analyze events of the past and then connect them to present conflicts and events. Students focus on the development of major nation-states in Europe, Asia, South America, the Middle East, and Africa. The course also serves to expose students to the importance of the wider world, and provides a strong foundation for global awareness by making connections between past and present alliances and the challenges each country and the wider global community faces. Placement in the honors course is determined by standardized testing and placement testing.
History 10: United States History I
This sophomore class examines the foundation of US History from the earliest Native Americans to the Civil War. Students examine the development of American democratic philosophy and important legal documents. Students use project-based learning to examine various topics in depth, including creating advertisements, political cartoons, and maps. Students also write a college style research paper using MLA guidelines on a historical event related to intolerance, either in the United States or abroad.
History 10: AP US History
Advanced Placement U.S. History is a one year college-level introductory course that examines the nation’s political, diplomatic, intellectual, cultural, social, and economic history from 1491 to the present. A variety of instructional approaches are employed and a college level textbook is supplemented by primary and secondary sources. Students who take this course also take an additional study session, which is offered once a week with the AP History teacher. Students requesting placement into AP US History must have at least 90% end of year average in the World History class and a teacher recommendation.
History 11: United States History II
This class is a required class for students who took US History I in their sophomore year. Students study events from the post-Civil War Era up through events in the late twentieth century. Project-based learning is also emphasized, with students learning and mastering various skills, such as researching, debating, conducting interviews, and presenting oral presentations. Students also write a college style research paper using MLA guidelines on a historical event related to reform movements, either in the United States or abroad. National and international events are examined to make connections to these topics and to consider solutions to these challenges for our nation and our world.
Constitutional Law (Elective)
This course examines the American legal system from a number of different perspectives. Students study theoretical and practical aspects of the law, with the goal of understanding legal principles as well as how laws affect American society. In addition to reading about law, students also read case law. Current legal developments are emphasized. After developing an understanding of the framework of the legal system, students study criminal as well as civil law such as torts, consumer law, family law, and housing law. This class also focuses on individual rights and liberties.
Introduction to Psychology (Elective)
Psychology covers the consideration of the methods and discoveries of psychology and the study of behavior and experience. Areas of psychological perspective will include social, cognitive, sensation, and perception. The course addresses both theoretical and experimental components. AP Psychology is also offered through One Schoolhouse.
Introduction to Sociology (Elective)
Sociology covers the scientific study of society. It closely examines human interactions and cultural phenomena and the effects of these on groups and individuals. This course will also introduce major sociological theories and methods of research.
This course examines the basic principles of economics, including supply and demand, as well as an introduction to both macro and micro economics.
AP Government (Elective offered through One Schoolhouse)
AP US Government and Politics and AP Comparative Government and Politics is a year-long course that provides students with an in-depth understanding of the American government, as well as various political systems around the world. The fall focuses on American government, including how different agencies within the government interact, and how these agencies and their policies affect the daily lives of Americans. The spring covers AP Comparative Government and Politics, which is an introduction to the methodology of comparative politics, and an in-depth look at six different states: Iran, Nigeria, China, Russia, Mexico, and Great Britain. Students will understand what factors contributed to the development of the American political system, and the structure of the U.S. government and the American political process. They will also recognize major comparative political concepts and how to apply them. Finally, students will be able to compare political institutions and processes from across the world, and to form sound conclusions based on those comparisons. This course prepares students for both AP® exams in the spring.
MATHEMATICS, TECHNOLOGY, and COMPUTER SCIENCE
Math 9: Algebra 1/Test Prep
This is a first year algebra course in which the student will learn to reason symbolically. The key content involves writing, solving, and graphing linear and quadratic equations, including systems of two linear equations in two unknowns. Quadratic equations are solved by factoring, completing the square, graphically, or by application of the quadratic formula. The course also includes study of monomial and polynomial expressions, inequalities, exponents, functions, rational expressions, ratio, and proportion. Algebraic skills are applied in a wide variety of problem-solving situations. Higher level thinking skills are learned and practiced. Students complete daily homework, in-class assignments, and participate in active learning styles. The graphing calculator and Smart Board are used throughout the course.
Math 9: Algebra II/Honors
Algebra II Honors continues the students’ study of advanced algebraic concepts including functions, polynomials, rational expressions, systems of functions and inequalities, matrices, logarithms, exponents, and basic trigonometry. Students are expected to describe and translate among graphic, algebraic, numeric, tabular, and verbal representations of relations and use those representations to solve problems. Emphasis is placed on practical applications and modeling. Problem solving skills are enriched. Students are expected to take greater responsibility for their learning. Appropriate technology, from manipulatives to calculators and Internet resources, are used regularly for instruction and assessment. Upon successful completion of this course, students are prepared for honors pre-calculus and other higher-level mathematics courses.
Math 10: Geometry or Geometry Honors
This course is designed for the students to recognize that geometry and measurement are all around them. All students will develop spatial sense and the ability to use geometric properties, relationships and measurement to model, describe, and analyze theorems. Through study of these areas and their applications, they should come to better understand and appreciate the role of mathematics in their lives. It involves identifying, describing and classifying standard geometric objects, describing and comparing properties of geometric objects, making conjectures concerning them, and using reasoning and proof to verify or refute conjectures and theorems. The students work with patterns, inductive and deductive reasoning, logic and proof, and proving statements about segments and angles. They work with properties of lines, angles, planes, space, congruent and similar triangles and transformations, properties of triangles, right triangles and quadrilaterals, circles, areas, and volumes, as well as are introduced to elements of trigonometry. Students can place into Geometry Honors with a placement test Freshman year or move into the honors section in sophomore year with a B+ average in Algebra I and the teacher’s recommendation.
Math 11: Algebra II
Algebra II provides a review and extension of the concepts taught in Algebra 1. Topics covered include equations and inequalities, coordinates and graphs, general functions, polynomial and rational functions, exponential and logarithmic function, trigonometric functions of angles and of real numbers, analytic trigonometry, systems of equations and inequalities, sequences, and series. Graphing calculator skills are taught and used extensively in this course. Throughout this course, students develop learning strategies, critical thinking skills, and problem solving techniques to prepare for future math courses and college entrance exams.
Math 11: Pre-Calculus Honors
Pre-requisite Class: Algebra II. This course is designed to cover various advanced topics that are prerequisites for calculus and to provide a working knowledge of all the skills and concepts needed to successfully pursue a college level calculus curriculum. The focus of the course is on three main areas: analytic geometry, functions, and trigonometry. A good deal of attention is given to sketching graphs of equations. Every opportunity is taken to reinforce the students’ understanding of the rules and techniques of algebra and their ability to apply them correctly. A thorough discussion of functions (inverses, exponential, logarithmic) is included. The trigonometric functions, together with trigonometric identities and solutions of triangles, are extensively explored to provide an explicit understanding of the relationship between trigonometry and circular functions.
Math 12: Pre-Calculus
This course is designed to cover various advanced topics that are prerequisites for calculus and to provide a working knowledge of all the skills and concepts needed to successfully pursue a college level calculus curriculum. The focus of the course is on three main areas: analytic geometry, functions, and trigonometry. A good deal of attention is given to sketching graphs of equations. Every opportunity is taken to reinforce the students’ understanding of the rules and techniques of algebra and their ability to apply them correctly. A thorough discussion of functions (inverses, exponential, logarithmic) is included. The trigonometric functions, together with trigonometric identities and solutions of triangles, are extensively explored to provide an explicit understanding of the relationship between trigonometry and circular functions.
Math 12: AP Calculus AB
Calculus AB is a course in single-variable calculus that includes techniques and applications of the derivative, techniques and applications of the definite integral, and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. It is equivalent to at least a semester of calculus at most colleges and universities, perhaps to a year of calculus at some. Algebraic, numerical, and graphical representations are emphasized throughout the course. Students taking this course have completed a series of mathematical courses that include algebra, geometry, trigonometry, analytic geometry, and elementary functions. Students are familiar with the properties, graphs, algebra, and language of linear, polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric, inverse trigonometric, and piece-wise defined functions. Attitude prerequisites include a willingness to work both in and out of class, a willingness to collaborate with classmates to foster mutual understanding, and a sincere intent to place out of the first semester of college calculus rather than repeat it.
Test Prep (Included in each math course each year)
Students in grades 9-11 work in math class on their standardized testing skills using Khan Academy, which personalizes the program based on their results of PSAT test scores.
The course commences with descriptive statistics, including graphical representations of data and measures of central tendency, position and variation. Basic probability concepts lead to the study of the binomial and normal probability distributions. The course progresses with the Central Limit Theorem and its use in the development of estimation through confidence intervals and hypothesis testing. The course concludes with Chi Square tests and linear correlation and regression. Upon completion of this college level course students will demonstrate mathematical skills appropriate to this course, analyze and solve real world problems using statistical concepts, theories and skills and communicate solutions to problems using appropriate statistical language and tools. Can also take AP Statistics through One Schoolhouse.
Introduction to Computers (required)
This mandatory course for freshmen introduces them to the basics of computers use and computer science. Students begin the year by gaining and honing digital skills needed in their Lacordaire classrooms, including, but not limited to, using G-Suite for Education, digital presentation skills, and basic coding. The emphasis in this course is interdisciplinary, with the goal being to instill 21st-century skills students can apply to their other academic and artistics pursuits.
Graphic Design (Elective)
In Graphic Design, students gain appreciation and knowledge of graphic communication by understanding the elements and principles of design. Graphic Design invites students to use their creativity by using various digital applications and programs. In the Graphic Design class, each student will have a working knowledge of the design process, from idea development to the final execution of a document. The students will also gain professional concepts in the following disciplines: advertising, graphic design, and image editing.
Introduction to Computer Science (Elective)
AP Computer Science (Elective through One Schoolhouse)
This course investigates the “big ideas” found in our digital world. Using Python, students demonstrate fundamental concepts of computer programming that can be applied across a variety of projects and languages, and explore different means of representing information digitally. They create computer programs to solve authentic problems or for personal interest, such as unique musical pieces, math calculators, and data summations. Students discuss the current state of technology and its role in our everyday lives, discerning the positive and negative influences of innovations concerning computer and network technologies to society, culture, and economics. Students develop their skills in computational thinking, logical reasoning, and describing processes through algorithms and abstraction. Finally, students demonstrate their learning by creating a portfolio for submission to the College Board and are prepared for the AP® Computer Science Principles exam in May.
Marker Space (Elective)
Offered to juniors and seniors, this elective acts as an introduction to Design Thinking. Using both low and high-tech tools, students execute design challenges that will test their ability to problem solve and to think creatively. Advanced tools, such as 3D printing technology and coding apparatus, are used throughout the course.
Science 9: Biology or Biology Honors
This freshman class studies the unifying principles that govern the functioning of all living things. Topics include biochemistry, cellular biology, molecular biology, diversity, human biology, genetics, evolution, and ecology. To fully engage in the scientific process, students perform hands-on scientific investigation. They perform a variety of experiments designed to elucidate fundamental principles and to allow them the opportunity to learn through open-ended inquiry. Students are able to use Vernier temperature and pH probes in designing the experiments and model current technology using equipment such as gel electrophoresis. Placement in the honors course is determined by standardized testing and placement testing.
Science 9: Chemistry or Chemistry Honors
This sophomore course is designed to help students see how chemical principles and concepts are developed from experimental observation and data, and how these principles can be used to explain phenomena encountered daily, as well as in the laboratory. Students complete an in-depth study of classes of matter, atomic structure, chemical names and formulas, chemical quantities and reactions, stoichiometry, thermochemistry, gasses, electrons in atoms, chemical and ionic bonding and ionic compounds. This course gives the student a firm foundation in chemical concepts and principles while presenting a broad range of topics. Placement into the honors section is determined by teacher recommendation and end of the year grades in Biology.
Science 11/12: Physics or Physics Honors
Physics is a required course for juniors. Students who want Physics Honors must have above a B+ end of the year grade in Chemistry and a teacher recommendation. The class focuses on conceptual development and quantitative applications by covering mechanics, properties of matter, waves, electricity, magnetism, and modern physics. Topics ranging from Newton’s laws to the physics of music allow students to gain a deeper understanding of the world around them. The students will be engaged in variety of experiments, including using Venier Dynamics Cart system and optical bench accessories.
Science 11/12: AP Biology
AP Biology, open to 11th and 12th graders, is designed to cover the four “Big Ideas” in the AP biology curriculum in preparation for the AP exam. Big Idea 1: The process of evolution drives the diversity and unity of life. Big Idea 2: Biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce, and to maintain dynamic homeostasis. Big Idea 3: Living systems store, retrieve, transmit, and respond to information essential to life processes. Big Idea 4: Biological systems interact, and these systems and their interactions possess complex properties. This is a comprehensive biology course with labs that is taught at a college level.
Science 12: Environmental Science
Environmental Science explores the properties of the natural world, focusing on both the biotic and abiotic factors that shape the natural world. Students will learn about the natural forces that produced our world and, then, examine the impact humans have had upon the world. Students will conduct field work and article analysis in addition to traditional classroom activities including labs.
Science 12: AP Environmental Science
AP Environmental Science explores and investigates interrelationships in the natural world. Students examine biotic and abiotic factors that determine the properties of the natural world. During the course both natural and man-made problems will be analyzed. Skills will be cultivated in the ability to explain environmental phenomena, in the analysis of data, visual representations and written documents, in the application of quantitative methods of problem solving, in the analysis of research studies and in proposing solutions to environmental problems using evidence to support the approach. This course is equivalent to a one semester college course.
Molecular Gastronomy (Elective)
Molecular gastronomy, or the biology and chemistry of cooking, is a one semester senior elective offering students a chance to learn science from a different point of view. In this class, they will learn how to make different foods and then learn the underlying science that makes these recipes work. Students engage in applying scientific principles by observing demonstrations, analyzing recipes, and making their own recipes.
Genetics is taught as a one semester senior elective. The world has experienced a revolution in our understanding of how genetics both provide information on how an organism forms and how genetics can be used to impact our world. The course will build a foundation to understand genetics and the necessary comprehension skills to engage in current discussions we are having as a society, including GMO organisms and genetic treatment of disease.
Engineering Design, and Robotics (Elective through One Schoolhouse)
In this course, students will use the engineering design process to explore multiple branches of engineering and examine ethics in engineering and the responsibilities associated with shaping communities. Some challenges in this course will include delving into issues around population growth and food access, designing urban farming solutions, and learning more about water access by designing, building, and testing a solar desalination apparatus. Students will consider diverse perspectives when designing technology, and learn how to communicate scientific concepts on which designs are based, both orally and in written form. Through active problem solving, this course addresses concepts and skills relevant to a career in engineering, including: applying the engineering design process to a specific problem; working effectively and collaboratively with others; demonstrating originality and inventiveness in your work; reflecting critically to improve creative efforts in problem solving; and viewing success as a cyclical process.
This freshmen course is an introduction to the fundamentals of speaking, reading, and writing the French language through classroom drills, videos, and homework assignments. Cultural aspects of France and the francophone world are also explored.
This freshmen course is a basic introduction to the Spanish language and culture through an audio-lingual method, with the use of multimedia aides in conjunction with the text. The fundamentals of pronunciation, grammar, and composition are provided through sound-symbol correlation, brief reading passages, and oral and written expression. Students begin to develop an affinity with the cultural aspects of Spanish civilization.
In this sophomore class, students continue to enhance basic skills with an emphasis placed on speaking and reading comprehension. The course continues to examine life in France and other French speaking countries. Research assignments and projects are given to allow students to gain awareness of French culture and history.
This sophomore course is a continued study of the Spanish language and culture using the audio-lingual approach. It provides reinforcement of oral expression, reading comprehension, and vocabulary building, at the same time increasing usage of Spanish. More emphasis is placed on cultural aspects of Spanish civilization. This course will focus on verb forms and tenses, proper syntax and other grammar rules. Written assignments include dialogues, short paragraphs, and stories.
Introduction to Latin
This required sophomore class is an introduction to the Latin language, with an emphasis on learning the essentials of grammar, vocabulary, and Roman historical and cultural topics and how they connect to the English language. This sophomore Latin class provides opportunities for reading, speaking, and writing as well as practice and translation. In particular, this course helps to increase English vocabulary through the study of Latin and understanding of English grammar through the study of Latin grammar.
In this junior course, students develop further fluency in the French language through grammar review and expansion, vocabulary enrichment, and oral reading comprehension exercises. A study of an original French literary work will provide intensive written and oral practice in the language. The social, economic, and cultural aspects of France and various Francophone countries will be examined. Projects and research will be assigned to foster an awareness of life in France and French speaking countries.
This junior course combines the implementation of written and conversational Spanish to provide students with a more immersive language program. Students will study dialogues and narratives that provide the student with insight into Spanish culture. Conversation will focus on the practicalities of daily life in Spanish-speaking countries. Conversational and written skills are emphasized.
French IV or AP French
This course functions as an advanced level French course that examines complex grammatical concepts and fosters a sophisticated oral and written facility in the language. Students will study French history, literature, film, art, and current events to develop an understanding of the culture and society, and to facilitate progress in reading and listening comprehension. They are required to practice the highest level of correct oral and written communication by using precise grammatical structures and appropriate vocabulary studied in class. AP French is also available to seniors.
Spanish IV or AP Spanish
This senior course explores Spanish and South American literature and art. Intense emphasis is placed on conversational and writing skills. Written reports include topics on relevant literary criticism and the lives of the authors, poets, and artists that are studied. Students will read, translate, and interpret Spanish literature and poetry. Research papers are assigned frequently and are presented to class orally. Current events are discussed in Spanish regularly. AP Spanish is also available.
Religious 9: Old and New Testament Survey
This freshmen course prepares students in Catholic doctrine, including an understanding of sacraments, prayers, Dominican tradition, heritage, and Scripture from both the New and Old Testament. Students of every faith engage in retreats and develop spirituality through prayer and reflection.
Religion 10: Christian Morality
The sophomore course offers a more in-depth study of the Bible and its relevance to contemporary issues. Focus is placed on the Ten Commandments and on developing an understanding of moral decision making. The Catholic viewpoint on current topics in today’s Church and society is also analyzed through research, the use of technology, discussion, and projects that integrate curriculum from social studies and art. Students complete 12 hours of community service throughout the year. They also participate in a retreat and organize and hold retreats for the lower and middle school students.
Religion 11: World Religions
This junior course is designed to acquaint students with religions that have had and continue to have an impact on modern society. Using the comparative and empathetic methods of study, the students become aware of the worldview of others and, in turn, develop a more thorough understanding of the impact religion can and does have on society as a whole. This course includes a study of the major religions of the world: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Guest speakers are also invited to the Academy during the year to share their faith with the students.
Religion 12: Life Styles and Ethics
This senior course introduces students to contributions that Catholic/Christian values and teachings can bring to present and future relationships and choices. This course also prepares students for the Project Justice Internship in developing a heightened sense of compassion and empathy. This course will focus on Christian moral values as they relate to life and society as a whole.
Service Learning: Project Justice
Students participate in this course during the second half of their senior year. This program is designed to address contemporary issues of social teachings and enable students’ compassion to come alive in caring service, creative education, and principled action. They are assigned three different types of social agencies to gain first-hand experience caring for others. The social agencies include early education centers, nursing homes, and centers for the mentally and physically handicapped.
VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS
Art I & Art II, III and IV (Elective)
Art is offered all four years of high school and is an ongoing study in creative expression. Art I is a required class for freshman. Basic drawing, painting, clay work, and printing, among many other skills, are covered. Students will work in various mediums and techniques. Field trips and visiting professionals allows students to discover their personal talents.
This introduction into theatre and performing arts meets once a cycle and is required for all freshman. Students hone public speaking skills, learn an appreciation of the Arts, and work collaboratively to produce a short play. Through movement, theatrical games, written exercises, and a study of theatre, students broaden their horizons, build confidence and a stage presence, and enjoy time with classmates and friends.
The Photography elective asks students to consider the proliferation of images in our culture while developing a personal vision of their world. Using both cell phone cameras and digital SLR cameras, Lacordaire photographers complete a wide range of assignments while being exposed to the history of the medium. Final projects take the form of books, prints, and digital output. Assignments become more creative and open-ended as the course progresses. Students also learn to articulately critique and write about photographic images.
Musical Theatre (Elective)
Musical theatre is perhaps one of the most loved and hated genres of theatre. This class aims to ask the questions, “Does American society and culture affect the American musical?” and “Does the American musical affect the society and culture it is presented to?” We begin with the origins of the musical form in the operettas of Europe as well as the American minstrel and vaudeville shows that transformed into what we now call musicals. We will explore the form of the musical itself and what makes it different from other forms of theatre. Students will also learn how to bring a musical from the page to the stage. Students will be given the chance to act in, direct, design, manage, and produce the Spring Musical in the second semester. Students are expected to complete 4 hours of practical theatre work outside of class time in any of the areas listed. They will also be introduced to the review process by going to a live performance and writing a theatre critic’s review based on what they have learned throughout the year.
Physical Education and Health 9
Physical Education and Health are combined to improve, maintain, and safeguard student health and wellbeing through the study of current health issues and exercise. The class also includes a brief study of the history, rules, strategies, and basic skills for a number of sports including soccer, basketball, volleyball, wiffle ball, and other team activities.
Driver’s Education 10
The Lacordaire Academy Drivers Education program, taken in 10th grade, is aimed at improving our students’ knowledge and awareness of the steps and requirements necessary to become a safe driver. We work through ‘Drive Right’ and the New Jersey Driver Manual, and through practical exercises in class, educational videos, and class discussion as students work towards the goal of successfully passing the New Jersey Examination at the end of the year, which students take through the MVC.
Physical Education and Health 10
Physical Education and Health are combined to improve, maintain, and safeguard student health and well-being through the study of current health issues and exercise. The class also includes a brief study of the history, rules, strategies and basic skills for a number of sports including soccer, basketball volleyball, wiffle ball, and other team activities.
Physical Education and Health 11
Physical Education and Health are combined to improve, maintain, and safeguard student health and wellbeing through the study of current health issues and exercise. The class also includes a brief study of the history, rules, strategies and basic skills for a number of sports including soccer, volleyball, softball, and other team activities. Health classes further explores responsible decision making. Topics include drug and alcohol abuse, smoking, cancer prevention, safe driving, developing healthy relationships, and effective interpersonal skills in all aspects of life.
Physical Education and Health 12
Physical Education and Health are combined to improve, maintain and safeguard student health and wellbeing through the study of current health issues and exercise. The class also includes a brief study of the history, rules, strategies and basic skills for a number of sports including soccer, volleyball, softball, and other team activities. Health classes further explore responsible decision making. Topics include drug and alcohol abuse, smoking, cancer prevention, safe driving, developing healthy relationships, and effective interpersonal skills in all aspects of life.