Robotics A

During this course, students will cover the fundamentals of problem solving, program design, algorithms, and programming using a high-level language (Java).  Students will build and program robots in laboratory sessions, and develop skills in mechanical computer-assisted design (CAD) as they work in teams to build simple and complex robotic devices.  Students will apply concepts learned in physical science and physics classes to mechanical devices using a variety of hands-on activities culminating with their participation in the global FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition during the second semester.  The class will also explore usage of robotics in modern business and industry and examine how robotic devices are affecting our lives and shaping our culture.  No previous computer programming or electronics experience is necessary.

*This class will be offered pending adequate enrollment.

English 430: Modern American Authors

NOTE:  This course is not being offered for the 2023-2024 school year. It may be available the following year.


In this course we will do an in-depth study of modern authors, contextualizing these voices as they fit into our cultural identity.  In this one semester course, we will read short stories, creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and song lyrics.  We will examine the narrator and the self, analyzing the way American individuality has shifted American literature.  We will identify and analyze literary devices and structures in popular texts, and use these as models for our own creative writing.  Formal grammar and vocabulary lessons will focus on clarification of voice.  In addition to standard 5 paragraph analytical essays, we will write creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and a multi-genre research paper.

English 492: Poetry and Dramatic Literature

This course offers students a journey through major innovative dramatic works while asking students to create their own dramatic works on contemporary themes as related to the works studied in class.  Using Aristotle’s Poeticsas the basis for form and structure, works will be chosen from Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Nightto the lyric drama of Stephen Sondheim’s Company.  Contemporary playwrights will include Tennessee Williams’ Streetcar Named Desire, Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt,and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. Students prepare a final project including a portfolio and/or a dramatic presentation of their own works.

This class will be offered pending adequate enrollment.

This course is offered outside of the 9:00 am – 3:00 pm school day. Meets Monday nights from 6:00-9:00 pm.

AP English Literature and Composition

This full-year course is intended for the seniors who qualify in two ways: First, they must have the desire to sustain a high degree of effort throughout their senior year; second, they must have the proven ability to do accelerated work.  The course itself has two goals:  1) to prepare the students to pass the AP exam administered in May of the senior year, and 2) to prepare them to take their place in a sophomore English class at whatever college they attend.  The content of the course is divided into two major parts.  The first is the study of literature required by the AP exam.  Here the students become familiar with the novel, short story, poem, drama, and essay, particularly in their historical development.  In the second part, the students work at perfecting their writing skills.  Here they do two separate kinds of practice: 1) that aimed at proficiency for the exam itself, and 2) that aimed at proficiency in written expression for college level audiences.  Admission to this course is by application, recommendation of the junior year teacher, and approval of the Chair.  English 403AP is the only senior English course in which the 1.00 increment is awarded by the UC system.

Class receives honors weighting in SI weighted GPA and UC/CSU GPA calculations

English 450: Mythology

In this single semester course, students will investigate the patterns and archetypes of world mythology by reading a variety of ancient myths, in addition to plays, short stories, poems, and novels that utilize the themes and characters inspired by myth.  Students will consider different theories concerning the origin of myths and the function that this genre serves in the development of the individual and society. Units of study will include creation myths from around the world, Mesopotamian myths, classical myths, the Hero’s Journey pattern, Norse mythology and modern works inspired by mythology.  In addition to enjoying the irresistible charm of fantasy, students will also analyze the “truths” or the myths by discussing the relevance of mythological themes in the modern world.  Students will purchase core texts; however, we will study numerous excerpts from on-line sources, particularly the Perseus Project.  Another component of this class will be working on writing skills, including the expository essay and creative writing.

Art and Nature Intensive

Instructor: Katie Wolf

A weekend workshop that utilizes a “hands-on” exploration of earth-friendly techniques to demonstrate respect for resources and creative problem-solving.  A variety of individual and collaborative assignments will be presented in a manner that challenges the student to experience  growth in awareness of  the  creative  process,  Nature as master designer, and creating a community of gratitude.  A pristine natural environment on the edge of a wilderness area is the setting for the workshop retreat.  Aspects will include:

      • all weather campsites
      • bathroom facilities with hot showers
      • nature trails
      • a campfire circle gathering area
      • personal private meditation sites
      • architectural demonstration structures
      • a sculpture garden
      • meals provided
      • workshop materials provided


1)  Three pre-weekend evening meetings will be held.

2)  One post-weekend evening meeting will be held

3)  This class does NOT meet during regular school day.  As with other 8th period classes, it does not qualify the student for a study hall.

4)  No textbook is required, but additional fees will be incurred.

*This class will be offered pending adequate enrollment.

**This course is offered outside of the 9:00 am – 2:45 pm school day. Length: Friday evening through Sunday evening – one weekend, plus four evening meetings.


Alternate Course Titles for this course (it fulfills all of these):

    • Art and Nature Intensive: Art and Architecture 1B (8W) [6106]
    • Art and Nature Intensive: Studio Art B (8W) [6126]
    • Art and Nature Intensive: Sculpture B (8W) [6156]

Multimedia Design 1B

This class further develops skills learned in Multimedia Design 1A with a focus on utilizing 2D and 3D graphics, sound and video-editing software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Procreate, Logic, FL Studio, Garageband, Soundtrap, Final Cut Pro, Premiere, TinkerCAD, OnShape, and Blender.  The development of effective narrative structures will be emphasized so that students learn to use the various media to create intentional works with meaning.  Particular attention will be paid to the design process and students’ conscious development of their own creative process.  Sample projects include stop motions, animations, music videos, special effects, and student documentary films.  Student work will culminate with a digital portfolio.

French 4

French 4 is a two-semester course for students who have received an A, B or C+ in French 3 and/or teacher approval.  This course is designed for students who are interested in using their foundation in French to explore in greater depth the cultures of the francophone world through art, film, literature, history, current events, and social justice issues. The primary aim of this course is to improve the student’s ability to speak, read, write and comprehend French in more sophisticated social, historical and political contexts.  The student will review vocabulary and grammar, master new advanced language concepts, and enhance his/her knowledge of the cultural  diversity of the French-speaking world.  The class is conducted entirely in French except for complex grammatical explanations and students are expected to speak in French at all times.


*This class will be offered pending adequate enrollment.

Mandarin 2

Mandarin 2 is a two-semester course that continues the study and development of Mandarin. This course will have combination of acquiring elementary to low intermediate level of Mandarin language use along with Chinese culture information. Students will continue developing skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and expanding knowledge of grammatical structures. Instruction in written Chinese will be a combination of simplified and traditional characters. The transcription of Mandarin sounds will be in Hanyu Pinyin.

Español Moderno

This is an advanced, semester-long course designed for students who wish to improve their Spanish language skills and cultural knowledge, with particular emphasis on the improvement of oral communication skills.  Students will gain a better understanding of the culture, history and traditions of Latin America and Spain by watching films and participating in class debates and discussions.  New vocabulary and expressions will be taught to allow the students a better understanding of the authentic materials used in class.  The class will review some of the advanced grammar structures learned in previous classes, but no new grammar structures will be covered. This class will be conducted in Spanish, and students will be expected to speak Spanish at all times.

*This class will be offered pending adequate enrollment.