The High School curriculum builds upon prior skill and content learning from the elementary and middle grades. Student learning is focused on real world application of mastered concepts with the goal of independence, post secondary options, and adult success. The academic curriculum is rigorous, and reflects the grade level content learning of the students’ mainstream peers. Instruction is individualized per student, and each child’s progress is consistently assessed, both formally and informally.
The High School curriculum at Aaron is firmly rooted in the Common Core Standards and the College Readiness Standards. Expectations for academic achievement are high, and instructional approaches are differentiated for each student based on learning style, strengths, and areas of needed support. By High School, students are expected to exercise good self advocacy skills, and to be able to articulate their areas of strength, as well as the accommodations needed to overcome areas of weakness.
To graduate from Aaron, a student must complete a minimum of 21 academic credits in English, Science, Mathematics, History, and Foreign Language. In addition, they must fulfill program requirements in Health, Physical Education, Community Service, and the Arts.
A hallmark of our program is the early recognition, and consistent re-evaluation of student strengths and interests as a way of engaging students in high level curricular study. Students are challenged to pursue learning in creative ways, and to actively collaborate, communicate and cooperate with classmates and teachers. A rigorous critical thinking curriculum is infused across all subjects.
An effective High School English Language Arts program acknowledges the array of processes studied (i.e. writing, reading, speaking, and listening), incorporates literature and the study of language, and pushes students to explore their roles as readers, writers, researchers, and critics. The Aaron program consists of several interconnected courses including: English, Reading and Writer’s Composition. Teachers of these courses collaborate to ensure direct instruction and application of reading and writing skills and strategies.
9th Grade – English
The 9th grade curriculum focuses on students exploring various genres including short stories, poetry, plays and novels while developing their reading, writing, vocabulary, oral speaking and traditional grammar usage. In addition, students will work toward developing analytical skills when interpreting works and expressing their opinions.
10th Grade – American Literature I
Students examine various sources of American Literature from the 18th Century through the early 20th Century. Students work on developing their critical thinking, writing and discussion skills.
11th Grade – American Literature II
This course focuses on varied sources of American Literature which students will read, analyze and explore to develop an awareness of theme, characterization, diction and other literary components. Students will continue to work on increasing critical thinking, writing, and discussion skills.
12th Grade – British Literature
This course is the culmination of English Language Arts at the high school. Students will study British Literature from various periods and in many forms including poetry, prose, and dramas. Students will reflect on how these works continue to influence modern culture via writing assignments and literary analysis papers.
The Physics course is a broad survey of the basic concepts of physics. Students review the significance of Newton’s Laws, experiment with physics concepts as related to nature, and expand on their knowledge of physics concepts as they relate to modern technology and everyday life. The course centers on the general mechanics and laws of physics, light, sound, and energy and how these elements apply to the students’ lives. Students work with some concrete scientific rules, and experiment with these applications to further their understanding of how the principles of physics work.
Physical Education students acquire the skills and knowledge needed to demonstrate and maintain physically active lifestyles. Students learn and practice these skills with an emphasis on connecting what they learn in the program to their lifestyle choices outside of school. Additionally, students work to build cooperative skills through participation in team sports, such as floor hockey, soccer and lacrosse.
The high school social studies curriculum provides students with the opportunity to explore ancient and contemporary history, while providing a consistent focus on current events. To enhance critical thinking skills and broaden their perspective on a particular culture or era in history, students examine a variety of written materials including textbooks, classic literature, contemporary news media sources, and televised speeches. High school students are taught to think critically and formulate their own opinions about relevant issues, so they can be active citizens in society.
This course focuses on the major wars, revolutions, and efforts for peace in the United States during the Twentieth Century. Students will study key events in order to gain an understanding of economic, technological and cultural changes that have shaped the world.
United States History
This course examines the development of the United States from the creation of the American Republic to the beginning of the World Wars using historical reenactments, panel discussions, debates and case studies as a forum for understanding the seeds of democracy as well as the structure of political, economic and social systems.
Perspectives in Global History
This course examines three ancient world cultures: Ancient India, Ancient Rome and the Arabian Peninsula. The focus is on the geographic, religious and political development of these regions and commences with ancient history and culminates on reflections on present-day developments.
Contemporary Politics, Government and Economics
This course focuses on transitioning students from the classroom into responsible, global citizens of the 21st Century. Students will develop an understanding of the United States government, it’s function, branches and economy before entering into studies of current political issues on the international level.
Perspectives in Global History II
This course examines several countries including Germany and France during the World Wars, selected African Regions and North and South Korea after World War II. Students will learn about how both past and contemporary history of these regions help to define unique national identities.
Students at the high school participate in a two-year in course in which they develop exposure to Spanish language and culture. Over the course of two years, students can take Spanish I and II, which place a heavy emphasis on Spanish language, including learning and retaining Spanish vocabulary and grammar rules, and applying this knowledge in reading, writing, listening and speaking activities. Students can also take Spanish Cultures I and II, in which students study all aspects of Spanish speaking cultures around the world, including religion, traditions, food, dance, music and art.
Spanish Language: Spanish I and Spanish II
In Spanish I and Spanish II students uncover the basic skills needed to carry out a conversation in Spanish as well as work on the preliminary skills required to read, write and speak in Spanish. Students are also expected to participate in a variety of activities that demonstrate their knowledge including but not limited to presentations, projects, written and oral examinations and speaking and listening activities. Students will learn about family and cultural life in Spanish nations, understand cultural perspectives of homes in the Spanish culture, examine commerce practices in various cultures, and focus on the vocabulary and phrases necessary to travel in a Spanish speaking nation.
Spanish Culture: Spanish Cultures I and Spanish Cultures II
Spanish Cultures I and II provides students with an understanding of the cultural aspects within the Spanish Speaking world and Latin community. Students uncover basic conversation skills and identify key vocabulary as they relate to the topics of Spanish speaking countries, food, celebrations, music and dance. Students participate in a variety of activities that demonstrate their knowledge including but not limited to presentations, projects, written and oral examinations and speaking and listening activities.
Real World Courses
Aaron School also offers a series of courses entitled Real World Courses. Students who take Real World Courses engage with material in the areas of science, social studies, English and math that directly correlates with their experiences in the real world. The interdisciplinary nature of the courses enables students to make connections between the curriculum and their past, present and future experiences.
High school students benefit from a highly differentiated approach to math instruction that emphasizes learning in small groups based on ability and optimal engagement so that students can learn both discrete math skills and means for applying those skills in real-life scenarios. The application of math to real world varies from geometry applications to finance applications. Technology, including the use of computers and calculators, will be used as tools of instruction. Whether students need instruction in foundational concepts of math, such as number sense and the use of rational numbers, or whether they need to be challenged to perform complex, high level math, a variety of options are available.
Math for the Real World 1
This course covers concepts related to measurement and money. Measuring distance, liquids, weight, time, and scheduling will be covered in depth. Money usage, management and word problems will also be addressed in detail. These two major topics will prepare students for real world application, problem solving, and critical thinking that they will encounter every day. Projects will also be incorporated to use the learned skills in a hands-on interactive way.
This course combines mathematics and algebraic concepts that prepares students for Algebra I or beyond. Application, problem solving, and critical thinking are integrated throughout the course. The course will offer the following: real-life mathematics, computation and application of rational numbers, algebraic relationships, multi-step equations, inequalities, graphs of linear functions, the application of the Pythagorean Theorem, probability, and a final project.
This course introduces algebraic concepts that prepare students for Geometry, Algebra 2 and beyond. Application, problem solving, and critical thinking are integrated throughout the course. The course will offer the following major themes: solving variable equations and inequalities, sequences and functions, slope and linear relationships, systems of equations, factoring and FOIL, and an introduction to quadratics.
This course introduces concepts related to space, lines and shapes. It prepares students for Algebra 2, Trigonometry and beyond. Application, problem solving, and critical thinking are integrated throughout the course. The course will offer the following major themes: introduction to reasoning and proofs, parallel and perpendicular line relations, triangles, quadrilaterals and circle formulas and functions, similarities and proportions, surface area and volume.
This course combines Algebraic and Geometric concepts in order to solve more complex functions related to triangles and the unit circle. It prepares students for Pre-Calculus, Calculus and beyond. Application, problem solving, and critical thinking are integrated throughout the course. The course will offer the following major themes: trigonometric functions, radians, circular functions and their graphs, trigonometric identities, inverse functions, law of sines and cosines, and complex numbers.
The science curriculum covers a variety of topics, including Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Science. Throughout these courses, students apply the scientific method in labs designed to generate critical thinking and collaboration skills. Students also engage in activities that apply science to the real world, including an examination of current geological events.
Physical Science- Motion, Machines, Bridges and Energy
This course offers an introduction to higher-level science skills. Students develop an understanding of scientific method and lab procedures. Students will sequentially proceed into studies of motion and gravity, simple machines, bridges and bridge design and energy.
Biology- The Living Environment
This course will provide students with an understanding of life in its various forms. Students will utilize scientific inquiry to investigate the building blocks of life, body systems, their functions, genetics, reproduction, evolution, ecology and human impact on the natural landscape.
In this course, students will explore fundamental ideas of chemistry starting with atomic structure, history and use of the periodic table, different types of matter and the relationship between matter and energy. Students will apply these concepts to explorations of molecular bonds, chemical nomenclature, stoichiometry, types of reactions, equilibrium and acids and bases.
The Environmental Science course builds on the student’s prior knowledge of scientific inquiry and lab processes and expands on them as they examine the connections between the earth, atmosphere and ecosystems. The course content is accessible to all students as it covers topics related to the earth, its solar system, weather, and ecosystems.
The Health course assists students in obtaining accurate information, developing lifelong positive attitudes and behaviors, and making wise decisions related to their personal health. Themes for the course are: the acceptance of personal responsibility for lifelong health, respect for and promotion of the health of others, an understanding of the process of growth and development, and informed use of health-related information, products, and services. Students learn about food and nutrition, relationship building, sexual education, physical well-being, drugs and alcohol and emotional health. Students also learn how to navigate their community resources to seek out health-enhancing opportunities, such as how to obtain a gym membership, and how to find support groups.
In promoting positive living, an active and healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition, students gain skill development, improved physical fitness, reinforcement of other subjects, goal setting, self-discipline, leadership and cooperation, stress reduction, enhanced self-efficacy, and strengthened peer relationships.
Arts are intended to give students the opportunity to explore ideas and develop critical thinking skills by using themes of contemporary art as a basis for inquiry in addition to examining a global art history perspective. Students also engage in discussions and or activities as a response to engaging in various art centric activities, as a means of developing thought process, acquisition of vocabulary and terminology while expressing opinions in a constructive and positive manner.
The visual arts program is fine arts based and offers students opportunities to engage in various art explorations. The program also provides the foundation for a more disciplined art practice for those art students who demonstrate an interest in developing their technical skills. In addition to focusing on art skills and processes, art history and critical response, art students study the disciplines of drawing, painting, mixed media, sculpture, printmaking, digital art, photography, and introductory film making.
The Culinary Arts curriculum focuses on basic kitchen procedures, food preparation skills, and teamwork. Students are taught kitchen safety and hygiene practices, equipment use, following a recipe, and basic cooking and baking practices. Critical thinking skills such as communication in the kitchen and developing teamwork skills are also addressed in collaborative culinary lab activities. Some of the topics that culinary student explore are baking basics, foods from other cultures, kitchen to garden practices, whole foods vs processed foods, and special dietary needs.