Curriculum

Upper School Classroom

English: 4 Years

Most classes offered at Honors level

Grade 9

Introduction to Literature and Composition

The first part of this course focuses on genre studies (poetry, drama, short fiction) as students learn the jargon of literary analysis. The second part introduces students to the origins of Western literature, including world mythology, Homer’s Odyssey, and Dante’s Inferno.

Grade 10

American Literature and Composition

This course traces the evolution of the American literary tradition from the colonial period to the present, examining major authors and the movements to which they belong. The component units emphasize close critical reading and analysis, as well as the process of writing a research paper using Modern Language Association Style.

Grade 11

English Literature and Composition (Honors or AP)

This course studies selected works of English literature from Beowulf to the twentieth century, introducing students to the canonical works of the English-speaking culture, including the works of Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Milton, as well as the Romantics, the Victorians, and the Modernists. AP sections prepare for the English Literature exam.

Grade 12

1. AP Language & Composition with World Literature

This course focuses on developing college level writing with a special emphasis on world literature as described below. Skills in argumentation and critical analysis are reinforced in order to best prepare students for the AP Examination.

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2. Honors World Literature

This course focuses on discovering how various cultures and authors have sought to map the human experience through literature. The reading will investigate canonical authors that have influenced civilization, as well as contemporary voices that explore cultures often under represented.

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3. Advanced Topics Literature Seminars

These semester-long, seminar-style courses offer students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the work of a major author, literary movement, genre, or time period selected for the semester by the instructor. Through extensive class discussion and frequent writing assignments, students are encouraged to explore the essential issues of the human condition. (See The Meadows School Upper School Course Catalog for specific information about each seminar.) Classes taught as Advanced Topics Seminars include:

  • Moby Dick and the Search for Life's Meaning in Literature
  • Victorian Gothic Fiction
  • Why So Serious? A Study of Humor in Literature and Film
  • Science Fiction and the Classics
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Chicano Studies
  • Myth and Magic
  • Chaos Theory and Creativity in Literature

 

Electives

Publications I: Journalism

Publications II: Yearbook

Mathematics: 4 Years

Most classes offered at Honors level

Geometry

Students study the development of logic and formal proofs, angles, parallel and perpendicular lines, polygons, congruence and similarity, constructions, circles, area, perimeter, volume problems, and transformations. This course includes a comprehensive review of algebraic concepts and some trigonometry.

Algebra II or Algebra II/Trigonometry

Algebra II includes a review of Algebra I concepts and covers topics such as field properties of complex numbers; relations and functions, including linear and quadratic systems and their applications; polynomial, exponential, and logarithmic functions; matrix methods; sequences and series; and elementary probability. Trigonometry includes the study of trigonometric and circular functions and their inverses, polar representation, and solution of right and oblique triangles.

College Algebra w/Trigonometry

College Algebra with Trigonometry includes the study of trigonometric and circular functions and their inverses, polar representation, and solution of right and oblique triangles.

Precalculus AB

In addition to a thorough review of Algebra II/Trigonometry topics, polar coordinates, vectors, linear programming, parametric equations; translation and rotation of graphs, exponential functions, matrix algebra, probability, and limits are studied.

Precalculus BC

This course is designed for students slated to take Calculus BC (AP) the following year. Advanced Precalculus topics are explored during the first semester, followed by an introduction to the AP curriculum.

Calculus

This class emphasizes theoretical and practical applications of calculus. Topics covered include properties of analytical geometry, transcendental functions, limits, derivatives, anti-derivatives, and definite integrals.

Calculus AB (AP)

Students study the fundamental technique and theory of differential and integral calculus, with a rigorous study of limit theory and continuity, continuing with the theory and application of differentiation and integration of elementary functions. Elementary differential equations are introduced.

Calculus BC (AP)

This college-level course presents a thorough treatment of the differentiation and integration of functions of a single variable as well as an introduction to the differentiation and integration of vector-based functions.

Statistics (Honors or AP)

Students learn the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data.

Multivariable Calculus

This college-level course is a continuation of the study of functions begun in Calculus AB (AP) and Calculus BC (AP).

Computer Science Electives

Computer Science A (AP)
This is a course that is equivalent to a one-semester, college-level introductory Computer Science course. This course is offered alternate years.

Computer Science Principles (AP)

This rigorous course introduces students to the fundamentals of computer science. Students will explore the seven “big ideas” of computer science which are: creativity, abstraction, data, algorithms, programming, the Internet, and the global impact of computing on society.

Science: 3 Years

Most classes offered at Honors level

Biology I (Honors or Pre-AP)

This course is intended to be an introduction to the basic concepts and principles of modern biology. Among the topics covered are scientific methodology, cytobiology, molecular biology, taxonomic diversity, genetics, evolution, and bioecology. Biology I (Pre-AP) includes more detailed content and moves at a faster pace, designed for students with a strong interest in taking Biology II (AP) at a later time.

Chemistry I

This course serves as an introduction to the major topics in chemistry and requires the ability to perceive abstract and mathematical relationships. Studies include atomic structure, the Periodic Table, the nomenclature of compounds, chemical bonding, chemical reactions, chemical equations, molecular structure, behavior of gases, theory of oxidation-reduction, and electrochemistry.

Physics I (Honors or AP)

Physics I (Honors or AP)

Areas of study include kinematics, dynamics, wave theory, atomic theory, and an introduction to the theories of modern physics. Laboratory investigation illustrates the nature of experimental work in physics and supplies necessary empirical information.

Electives

  • Biology II (AP)
  • Chemistry II (AP)
  • Environmental Chemistry (AT)
  • Engineering and Design
  • Modern Physics: Concepts and Philosophy (AT)
  • Physics C (AP)
  • Biodiversity and Survey of Organisms
  • Genetics
  • Health Science Applications
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology

Social Science: 4 Years

Most classes offered at Honors level

Grade 9

World History

This Honors survey course traces the evolution of political, social, religious, technological, and economic institutions from Neolithic Revolution to modern times. The emphasis is on Europe, Asia, African, Latin America, the Middle East, and Western civilizations.

Grade 10

U.S. History (Honors or AP)

This course examines the significant events, trends, issues, and problems encountered in the American experience. Politics, economics, and an examination of the development of American culture are key facets of the course.

Grade 11

European History (Honors or AP)

This course focuses on European history since 1450. It introduces students to the cultural, social, and political developments that have significantly shaped the world in which they live.

Grade 12

U.S. Government (Honors or AP)
This course examines the nature of the American political system, its development over the past 200 years, and how it functions today. The principles, processes, and institutions through which the political system operates are examined.

Social Sciences Electives

Electives

  • History of Art (AP)
  • Psychology (AP)
  • World History (AP)
  • Cities and Buildings of the World
  • Constitutional Law
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • History of Piracy
  • Introduction to Economics
  • Introduction to Law
  • Politics of Terrorism
  • Religion and Philosophy
  • Social Injustice
  • Witches in European Art
  • Entrepreneurship: Modeling the Real-World Business Founder

World Languages: 3 Years

Most classes offered at Honors level

French

French I
Beginning conversation, oral proficiency of basic concepts, aural comprehension, mastery of basic grammar, introduction to culture.

French II
Expands on French I. Emphasis on written French as well as spoken (i.e. essays, presentations). Increased vocabulary and reading proficiency.

French III
Complex conversation and composition supported with excerpts from Francophone literature and realia.

Cultural and Historical Perspectives through French Films
By watching and studying contemporary French language films, students will be able to appreciate cultural perspective of the region.

French IV (AP Language and Culture)
Intensive review and application of grammar geared toward conversational and written fluency in preparation for the College Board AP Examination. Expository compositions.

Latin

Latin I
Introduction to basic grammar and vocabulary, derivatives, Roman history, culture, and mythology.

Latin II
Reading of longer passages of connected prose; advanced grammar: the passive voice, deponent verbs, participles, gerundives, and gerunds.

Latin III
Focuses on the principles of advanced Latin grammar.

Latin IV
Focuses on the cultural, literary, and historical legacy of the Roman World.

Latin AP (Vergil/Caesar)
Preparation for the College Board AP Examination.

Latin V
Completes the study of material taken in Latin IV.

Spanish

Spanish I
Beginning conversation and pronunciation, beginning grammar and culture.

Spanish II
Continue oral-aural approach, reading, grammar, and rapid vocabulary building, conversation; grammar, including introduction to Golden Age Literature.

Spanish III
Increase vocabulary and reading, original writing, begin literature, conversation, advanced grammar mastery; continuation study of Golden Age Literature. Hispanic art is emphasized, investigated.

Spanish III - Pre-AP
Feeder course for the Advanced Placement courses.

Spanish IV - Pre-AP
Students will be exposed to more sophisticated vocabulary and more complex grammatical structures and incorporate the utilization of modern technology.

Spanish (AP Language)
Preparation for College Board AP Examination.

Spanish Film and Composition
Focuses on contemporary and traditional themes. The student will develop organizational skills for effective writing and speaking at the intermediate level.

Spanish V (AP Literature)
Spanish literature in preparation for College Board AP Examination.

Fine and Performing Arts: 1 Year

Vocal and Instrumental Music

  • Band
  • Vocal Performance
  • Percussion
  • Strings
  • Introduction to Music Theory/Keyboard Lab
  • AP Music Theory

Film Studies

  • Broadcast Journalism/Filmmaking
  • Film Studies

Photography

  • Photography I-IV
  • Pre-AP Photography
  • Advanced AP Photography

Theatre

  • Acting I-II
  • Advanced Acting Seminar
  • Musical Theatre Movement and Character
  • Technical Theatre
  • Theatre Production
  • Theatre Workshop

Visual Arts

  • Studio Art I-III
  • Studio Art Pre-AP
  • Advanced Studio Art AP

Forensics (elective)

Forensics I

Introduction to Speech and Debate

Forensics II-IV

  • Advanced Policy
  • Lincoln-Douglas
  • Individual Events

Health & Physical Education

2 years or 4 seasons of sports

Interscholastic Athletics

One sport season is equivalent to 0.5 credit toward the graduation requirement. A maximum of 1.0 credit may be accumulated each year. Sport-season credits may be combined with PE credits to satisfy the two-year PE requirement.

PE credits do not count toward the minimum 23 credits required for graduation although a combination of PE/Interscholastic Athletics credits equivalent to 2 credits is required to graduate.

Fitness Center

Students acquire knowledge about fitness that may be used throughout their lifetime.

PE credits do not count toward the minimum 23 credits required for graduation although a combination of PE/Interscholastic Athletics credits equivalent to 2 credits is required to graduate.

Sports Medicine

This course teaches students the basic anatomy of the most commonly injured body parts. The class will review anatomy of such body parts and include taping and wrapping techniques along with beginning rehabilitation routines. Upon completion of this class students will have earned First Aid, CPR, and AED certifications from the American Red Cross.

PE credits do not count toward the minimum 23 credits required for graduation although a combination of PE/Interscholastic Athletics credits equivalent to 2 credits is required to graduate.

Strength Training

This course is designed to teach students about the safety, techniques, health benefits, types, and importance of physical conditioning through various programs that include weight gain, weight loss, and cardiovascular training.

PE credits do not count toward the minimum 23 credits required for graduation although a combination of PE/Interscholastic Athletics credits equivalent to 2 credits is required to graduate.

Health

The Nevada Department of Education requires one semester of Health for graduation. Students who attended Middle School at The Meadows meet the requirement. Students new to The Meadows must complete a one semester program for graduation.

PE credits do not count toward the minimum 23 credits required for graduation although a combination of PE/Interscholastic Athletics credits equivalent to 2 credits is required to graduate.