Course Catalog


English History World Languages
Math Science Visual and Performing Arts
ESL  Other Religious Studies

Upper School  (jump to Middle School courses)

  • Advanced Algebra II

    Advanced Algebra II is designed for students who enjoy more in-depth discussions of the mathematical concepts presented in the regular course. Additional topics include three-dimensional space, matrices and determinants, and further work with series and sequences. Graphic display calculators are used to promote student exploration and assist in visualizing relationships.

    • Prerequisites: A- or better in both Geometry and Algebra I and department approval.
    • Supplies: Students enrolled in Advanced Algebra II are required to have a TI-83 or TI-84 graphing calculator.
  • Advanced Conversational Spanish

    Advanced Conversational Spanish will give students the opportunity to develop conversational competence, and rely on more developed listening and speaking skills.

    Topics of conversations that reflect real-world issues will be incorporated in this class. Students will review the grammar and syntax of the language and other fun activities using music, games, technology, poetry, art, and more. In addition, videos and news articles will combine to form interesting integrated reading, writing, and speaking skills. Students will expand their knowledge of the Hispanic culture as well as the customs and traditions of the Hispanic people.

    • Prerequisite: Spanish IV
  • Advanced Dance

    Advanced Dance class is designed for students looking to develop an advanced understanding of the concepts of Modern Dance including additional dance styles: jazz, ballet, hip-hop, and cultural dance forms. Students will further practice choreography techniques and learn to develop a personal choreographic style, practice improvisation and be introduced to creating dance for video.

    All enrolled students will be required to perform in the term Performing Arts or Dance Showcase.

    • Prerequisite: A minimum of one term of Beginning Dance and Intermediate Dance or admittance by teacher approval.

    One-term course, may be taken multiple terms.

  • Advanced French Language & Conversation through Film, Literature and Linguistics

    Advanced French Language will give students the opportunity to further develop conversational competence and rely on more developed listening, speaking, writing and analytical skills.

    Conversations will be founded and based on a variety of topics involved with French Language and cultural studies including film, linguistics, history, and literature.

    Students will be introduced to and learn to examine all forms of language: written formal language, spoken slang/vernacular language, and dialectical differences between French variations through various forms of media. Written projects will focus on narration, the persuasive essay, and the formal review.

    Additionally, topics that reflect real-world issues and language usage will be incorporated in this class as conversational starting points.

    • Prerequisite: French IV or French AP, and Department Chair approval.
  • Advanced Latin

    This course continues to build the student’s understanding of the Latin language and Roman culture through detailed study into one particular Latin author. Latin readings are accompanied by supplementary English translations of contemporary authors, scholarly articles, and discussion of historical context.

    Students maintain a strong study of grammar and vocabulary through in-class translations and grammar work.

  • Advanced Placement Biology

    The AP Biology course is a year-long elective designed to be the equivalent of the college-level introductory biology course. The intent of the course is to expose students to higher-level biological principles, concepts and skills, and allow them the opportunity to apply their knowledge to real-life applications. Rather than learning from a micro level outward, students learn from a macro level inward. Students will also learn not by memorization of facts, but through content and concept application via the AP Biology science practices.

    These four core topics will be explored: evolution, biological systems using energy to maintain homeostasis for survival, passing inheritable information to provide continuity of life, and the interaction of biological systems with biotic and abiotic factors.

    • Prerequisites: Departmental permission, Biology and Chemistry (Concurrent enrollment in Chemistry by permission)

    Year-long course

  • Advanced Placement Calculus AB

    This course follows the curriculum established by the CEEB (College Entrance Examination Board) Advanced Placement Committee in mathematics and is designed to parallel a first semester university-level calculus course. The emphasis is on the concepts, techniques, and applications of differential calculus and basic integral calculus. Students explore functions, limits, derivatives, and integrals using traditional algebraic methods, and the understanding of these topics is enhanced by numerical and graphical explorations with a graphic display calculator.

    Throughout the year, students engage in AP Exam-type problem solving and practice tests in preparation for the AP Examinations in May. Students who are successful on the AP Examination may be eligible to earn college credits for a first semester calculus course.

    • Prerequisites: A- or better in Pre-Calculus or B- or better in Advanced Pre-Calculus, and departmental approval.
    • Supplies: Students enrolled in Advanced Placement Calculus AB are required to have a TI-83 or TI-84 graphing calculator.
  • Advanced Placement Calculus BC

    This course follows the curriculum established by the CEEB (College Entrance Examination Board) Advanced Placement Committee in mathematics and is designed to parallel a second semester university-level calculus course. A significant part of the first term is used to review and enhance concepts covered in AP Calculus AB. Topics specific to the Calculus BC curriculum include a variety of integration techniques and applications, first order differential equations, infinite series, parametric functions, and polar coordinates and functions. Throughout the year, students will be practicing AP Exam-type problem solving and practice tests in preparation for the AP Examination in May. Students who are successful on the AP Examination may be eligible to earn college credits for a second semester calculus course.

    • Supplies: Students enrolled in Advanced Placement Calculus BC are required to have a TI-83 or TI-84 graphing calculator.
    • Prerequisites: B or better in AP Calculus AB and 3 or better on AP Calculus AB Exam.
  • Advanced Placement Chemistry

    This elective course is equivalent to college freshman chemistry and is based on the syllabus prepared by the College Entrance Examination Board. Lectures, demonstrations, and laboratory experiments prepare students for the Advanced Placement examination given in May.

    • Prerequisites: Departmental permission, Chemistry, and completion of or concurrent enrollment in Pre-calculus

    Year-long course

  • Advanced Placement English: Language and Composition

    This course is designed to challenge the highly-motivated student who has been successful in prior writing and literature courses; students should already have a mastery of writing conventions and research skills. The course emphasizes independent work, leadership, class participation, creativity, and English academic excellence. Specific focus will be given to critical thinking and reading.

    Students learn to write effectively and confidently, incorporating varied academic writing patterns, including narrative, expository, analytical, and argumentative as well as literary analysis. This will be accomplished through the study and discussion of literature including non-fiction, short stories, poetry, songs, and novels.

    Students will be required to do extensive reading and critical analyses as well as take tests in the same format as the AP English exams offered each May. Students may earn college credit if they score well on the AP exam issued by The College Board in May.

    Year-long course

  • Advanced Placement English: Literature and Composition

    Students in AP Literature and Composition learn to hone their critical thinking skills exploring great works of poetry, short stories, drama, novels, and essays. The class exposes students to a wide variety of literature and a wide variety of literary themes. As students read and respond to these works, they develop their voice as active literary critics. Frequent writing helps this development and class revolves around written and verbal discussion. Students may earn college credit if they score well on the AP exam issued by The College Board in May.

  • Advanced Placement Environmental Science

    This course provides students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental issues both natural and anthropogenic, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. The approach is interdisciplinary, incorporating knowledge of biology, chemistry, geography, geology, social sciences, and economics.

    Experiences on field trips, in the school’s Rustad Outdoor Study Area, and elsewhere on the SSM campus enhance classroom learning and lab experiments. 

    • Prerequisites: Departmental permission, Biology and completion of or concurrent enrollment in Chemistry

    Year: Senior, Junior, or Sophomore (with permission and concurrently enrolled in chemistry

    Year-long course

  • Advanced Placement Microeconomics

    The purpose of an AP course in Microeconomics is to give students a thorough understanding of microeconomic principles as they apply to individual decision makers, and to whole economic systems. The course is designed to prepare students for the AP Exam in Microeconomics.

    1. The Fall Term will focus on basic economic concepts with an introduction to Supply and Demand, leading to a more detailed study of theories behind the Demand curve and consumer choice.
    2. The Winter Term will focus on the Supply curve in studying profit and production costs, and various market structures.
    3. The Spring Term will briefly look at factor markets and the role of government in correcting market failures, followed by a structured preparation for taking the AP exams in Microeconomics in May.

    Year-long course

    • Pre-requisite:  permission of the Department Chair
  • Advanced Placement Psychology

    AP Psychology is a year-long course covering all the basic topics of a college level introductory course in psychology, which is defined as the study of human behavior and mental processes. The course is organized by term, with biological bases of behavior in the Fall Term, a cognitive focus in the Winter Term, and socio-cultural topics addressed in the Spring Term.

    AP Psychology provides many opportunities for active learning, such as classroom demonstrations, experiments, development and administration of questionnaires, as well as personal and group reflection. This course provides a high level of inquiry for motivated students; it serves as a unique AP level course that appeals to students who are interested in improving their scientific literacy, since psychology shares methods with chemistry, biology, and other sciences, and in personal and society-level decision making, as the subject matter of psychology has a unique relevance to their daily lives.

    Year-long course

    • Prerequisite: permission of the department chair
  • Advanced Placement Statistics

    This course follows the curriculum established by the CEEB (College Entrance Examination Board) Advanced Placement Committee in statistics. AP Statistics introduces students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. Students are exposed to four broad conceptual themes, with appropriate emphasis given to each:

      • Exploring Data: Describing patterns and departures from patterns
      • Sampling and Experimentation: Planning and conducting a study
      • Anticipating Patterns: Exploring random phenomena using probability and simulation
      • Statistical Inference: Estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses

    Students who are successful on the AP Examination may be eligible to earn college credits for an introductory statistics course.

    • Prerequisites: B or better in Pre-Calculus and departmental approval.
    • Supplies: Students enrolled in AP Statistics are required to have a TI-83 or TI-84 graphing calculator.
  • Advanced Placement Studio Art

    The Advanced Placement portion of this course involves artistically advanced students developing a portfolio that shows the breadth of their artistic experience as well as their ability to explore, in a series, one particular concentration. Over the course of the year AP students work on building this portfolio, and in the spring their work is sent to the College Board of Advanced Placement for evaluation.

    • Prerequisite: Advanced Studio Art 1 or II

    Year-long course

  • Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics

    Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics is a year-long course open to select juniors and seniors who have shown a superior ability in the study of history. AP US Government and Politics covers the basic topics of a college-level introductory course in Government, including: Constitutional Underpinnings of United States Government, Political Beliefs and Behaviors, Political Parties, Interest Groups, Mass Media, Institutions of National Government, Public Policy, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. The course will provide a high level of inquiry for motivated students who are interested in improving their knowledge of how the Government of the United States functions.

    Students will evaluate viewpoints presented through major print and electronic media and analyze statistical data trends related to significant political events. Emphasis is placed on applying problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, interpreting graphs and tables, organizing information, evaluating information, and communicating orally and in writing. The course aims to help students participate effectively and democratically in the American political system but is specifically focused on preparing students for the AP Exam.

    Year-long course

    • Prerequisite: permission of the department chair
  • Advanced Placement United States History

    This course, which selected juniors may take in lieu of the standard U.S. history course, considers the American experience up to the present. Students have the opportunity to do extensive work with primary sources and enrichment readings designed to explore specific topics. The course has a strong focus on critical reading and historical writing.

    This course not only prepares talented students for the Advanced Placement Examination in May, but more deeply illuminates the richness of America’s past.

    • Prerequisite: permission of the department chair
  • Advanced Pre-Calculus

    This course prepares students for Advanced Placement Calculus in the following year. At the outset, the function concept is introduced, and polynomial and rational functions are quickly reviewed. The exponential and logarithmic functions are introduced next, followed by a comprehensive study of trigonometry.

    Other topics include mathematical induction, complex numbers, parametric equations, and an introduction to series.

    • Prerequisite: A- or better in Algebra II, B+ or better in Advanced Algebra II, or the equivalent, and departmental approval.
    • Supplies: Students enrolled in Advanced Pre-Calculus are required to have a TI-83 or TI-84 graphing calculator.
  • Advanced Studies in Ancient World: Greece and Rome

    This one-term elective is a rapid survey of ancient history from the Greco-Persian Wars through the reigns of the Five Good Emperors (500 B.C.-180 A.D.). The course familiarizes students with the major political events of this important period in the development of western civilization.

    One-term course: Offered Fall Term

  • Advanced Studies in Modern Europe I 1900-1920

    This course examines the political, diplomatic, and military history of Europe in a time of chaos, violence, renewal, and collapse. Advanced Studies in Modern Europe I concentrates on the origins and events of the Great War or World War I.

    One-term course: Offered Winter Term

  • Advanced Studies in Modern Europe II 1920-1945

    This course examines the political, diplomatic, and military history of Europe in a time of chaos, violence, renewal, and collapse. Advanced Studies in Modern Europe II concentrates on the rise of the great destructive “isms” (Communism, Fascism, National Socialism) and the causes and events of World War II.

    One-term course: Offered Spring Term

  • Advanced Studio Art I

    The Advanced Studio portion of this class can be begun in the student’s sophomore or junior year. In this class students are given focused assignments that are open to a high level of personal creativity. Some of the work completed in this course can be used in the students’ AP portfolio.

    Prerequisite: at least two first level classes and one second level course, or permission of the instructor

    Year-long course

  • Advanced Studio Art II

    Advanced Studio Art II is a precursor to AP Studio Art or can be taken as a final level art class instead of AP Studio Art. In this course the students are required to work on two series of works. The first series has four artworks developed around a concept. The second, and final series, has five artworks developed around a different concept than the first. This course is an excellent way to build a college portfolio or to build a body of work which can be used in the AP portfolio the next year.

    Year-long course

  • Advanced World Literature

    In Advanced World Literature, the students will explore the topics outlined in the World Literature section but will read additional texts and scholarly criticisms and spend more time working on critical analysis.

  • Algebra II

    This year-long course reinforces and develops the concepts introduced in Algebra I. Additional topics include complex numbers, conic sections, exponential and logarithmic functions, sequences and series, and the binomial theorem. Graphic display calculators are used to promote student exploration and assist in visualizing relationships.

    • Prerequisites: A grade of C or better in Algebra I and successful completion of Geometry are required prior to beginning Algebra II. Students who have earned a C- or below in Algebra I are strongly encouraged to enroll in Intermediate Algebra.
  • American Sign Language

    This course is designed for students who have little or no previous knowledge of sign language. It features an introduction to the basics of ASL (American Sign Language). Conversational lessons introduce vocabulary and key grammar structures in the context of situational dialogues. Skill lessons focus on introducing numbers, fingerspelling, spatial elements and other supporting skills. Cultural lessons focus on behaviors that enable students to act in linguistically and socially acceptable ways. Information about Deaf culture and Deaf history will be introduced.

  • AP French

    The course is designed to prepare motivated students for the Advanced Placement Language Exam through in-depth and supplemental coursework and more advanced language utility required for successful completion of the AP French Language examination. The course is conducted almost entirely in French and geared toward the student with relative fluency in the spoken language as well as a solid background in grammar and writing. The syllabus encompasses considerable grammar review, refinement, and drill, as well as reading a variety of advanced texts (novels, plays, poetry, short stories, news/magazine articles, films, and music) to serve as the basis for writing, oral expression, critical analysis, and interpretation. In addition to grammatical review, extra emphasis is placed on expanding writing skills (phrasal turns, essay style and organization, etc.), vocabulary, and spoken language skills.

  • AP Spanish

    The AP Spanish Language Course is intended for students who wish to develop proficiency, and integrate their already acquired language skills using authentic materials and sources. The class is conducted almost entirely in the target language. It is assumed that the students have already acquired the grammar and syntax of the language as well as strong skills in speaking, reading, writing, and understanding Spanish. This course will help prepare students to demonstrate their level of Spanish proficiency across three communicative modes: Interpersonal (interactive communication), Interpretive (receptive communication), and Presentational (productive communication). Fun activities with music, games, poetry, art, etc., and cultural activities will be incorporated in the course. Students take the AP Spanish Exam in May.

    Prerequisite: Spanish IV and Department Chair approval.

  • Arch Dance Company

    The Arch Dance Company supports the school and extended community by scheduling numerous performances throughout the year with a repertoire that includes a wide variety of dance styles. The group enjoys visits from touring companies, takes master classes from guest artists, and performs off campus at various venues. Additionally, on campus performances are given several times each year. Additional, after-school rehearsals are required and fulfill the boarding student co-curricular activity requirement.

    • By audition only

    Year-long course

     

  • Arthurian Literature

    Arthurian Literature will begin with a discussion of the Arthur legend through almost fourteen centuries. This will include discussion about a possible historical Arthur and the period in which he would have lived.  The readings will chronologically follow the literary development of the material from the Celtic cycles through the middle ages up to the contemporary interpretations. Readings may include selections from the Welsh Mabinogion, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Cretien de Troyes, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Mallory, Tennyson, William Morris, T.H. White, Mary Stewart, and Marion Zimmer Bradley. Film screenings may include John Boorman’s Excalibur and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

    offered Spring Term 2016

  • ASL I

    This course is designed for students who have little or no previous knowledge of sign language. It features an introduction to the basics of ASL (American Sign Language). Conversational lessons introduce vocabulary and key grammar structures in the context of situational dialogues. Skill lessons focus on introducing numbers, fingerspelling, spatial elements and other supporting skills. Cultural lessons focus on behaviors that enable students to act in linguistically and socially acceptable ways. Information about Deaf culture and Deaf history will be introduced.

  • ASL II

    ASL II features an intermediate level of American Sign Language that gives students the opportunity to develop conversational competency and continued development of receptive and expressive skills. In addition, videos and Deaf community events will be combined to form interesting receptive and expressive skills. Students will expand their knowledge of the Deaf Culture.

  • ASL III

    This course is a continuation of ASL II. It is designed to develop further communication competencies in ASL above the intermediate level. Students will continue with ASL sentence types, time, numbers, finger spelling, classifiers, spatial referencing and develop storytelling and narrative skills. and temporal and distributional aspects. Students will also continue to expand their knowledge about Deaf Culture and history.

  • ASL IV

    This course expands on the development of American Sign Language (ASL) vocabulary and grammar, including the use of two to three character role shifts.  Students describe settings and explain or discuss everyday objects and their use, step-by-step processes, cause and effect, and culturally significant topics relating to the Deaf Community.

    Prerequisite:  ASL III

  • Beginning Dance (Upper School)

    Beginning dance will introduce the student to a variety of dance forms through movement, performance viewing, group work, and corresponding history and terminology. Class will include a warm-up, locomotors, and a movement combination, also called a phrase. Students will further be encouraged and challenged to express themselves through writing, class discussions and student choreography. All enrolled students will be required to perform in the term Performing Arts or Dance Showcase.

    • Prerequisite: None. Students are encouraged to take more than one term of Beginning Dance before advancing to Intermediate Dance

    One-term course

  • Biology (Upper School)

    This course provides a solid background in the life sciences, focusing on the study of fundamental biological concepts and the understanding of how each process relates to their everyday lives. In particular, the emphasis is on the biology of cells and genetics, and their application to the principles of natural selection and biodiversity. All of these concepts are then studied in the context of the role of organisms in their ecosystem.

    Mastery of the subject matter is accomplished through research and activities that extend learning into the lab. Students are also given the tools and opportunities to apply their knowledge through the completion of independent research projects.

    Year-long course

  • BioScience Center of Excellence

    The BioScience COE courses, taught by Maren LaLiberty, MD, are offered in a four-year rotation and are directed at students with an interest in the fields of medicine, biomedical engineering or biomedical research. In addition to the traditional study of anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology, the fall and winter courses will include applications of physics and chemistry topics wherever relevant.

    Class discussions and lectures will be supplemented with organ dissections and laboratory experiments. Spring courses will extend the year’s studies further into the social and ethical dilemmas of the medical field. Writing and writing revision will be heavily emphasized in this course and compose more than half of the final grade.

    • Prerequisites: B+ or higher in Biology, BioScience Program Director permission.
  • BioScience: Bioethics

    This course examines the ethical theories and standards used in making health-related decisions. An introduction to ethical theory will be followed by the study of specific biomedical issues presented within the context of case studies. Emphasis will be placed on developing an understanding of and a proficiency at using a standard framework for analyzing ethical problems. Individual contributions to group discussion, supported by thorough and thoughtful reading and writing will be critical elements of this course. 

    One-term course: Offered Spring Term 2017

  • BioScience: Biotechnology and Laboratory Science

    In this course, students will learn and practice the skills required to work in a university research laboratory. These skills include laboratory safety, measurement of chemicals, preparation of solutions, separation techniques, the growth of living cells in culture media, and the acquisition of data using assays and tests. In addition, students will review and apply mathematical concepts routinely used in laboratory work including proportions, graphing and statistics. Following the conclusion of this course, students will be encouraged to begin their own independent laboratory research project.

    One-term course: Offered Fall Term

  • BioScience: Information Transmission Organ Systems

    This course examines the group of organ systems (nervous, special senses, endocrine) that generally provides information transmission for the human body.  A combination of informal lectures, class discussions, small group activities, organ dissections, laboratory experiments, and multiple writings will be utilized to enhance learning in this course.

    One-term course: Offered Winter Term 2016-17

  • BioScience: Introduction to Biomedical Device Design

    In this course, students will interact directly with a biomedical engineer when learning the principles and methods of biomedical device design.  By studying and comparing several authentic medical devices, and the companies that make them, students will come to understand and appreciate that it is almost impossible to replace a body part with a device that exactly replicates the function of the original body part.  A combination of class discussions, group activities and field trips will be utilized to enhance learning in this course.

    One-term course: Offered Spring Term

  • BioScience: Nutrition Delivery Organ Systems (fall 2015)

    This course examines the digestive system and how it works with all other organs systems to provide the nutritional elements necessary for cell survival. A combination of informal lectures, class discussions, small group activities, organ dissections, laboratory experiments, and multiple writings will be utilized to enhance learning in this course. 

    One-term course: Offered Fall Term

  • BioScience: Oxygen Delivery Organ Systems, Part I

    This course examines the cardiovascular system and how it works together with the respiratory system to provide oxygen to the human body. A combination of informal lectures, class discussions, small group activities, organ dissections, laboratory experiments, and multiple writings will be utilized to enhance learning in this course. 

    One-term course: Offered Fall Term 2017

  • BioScience: Oxygen Delivery Organ Systems, Part II

    This course examines the respiratory system and how it works together with the cardiovascular system to provide oxygen to the human body. A combination of informal lectures, class discussions, small group activities, organ dissections, laboratory experiments, and multiple writings will be utilized to enhance learning in this course.

    One-term course: Offered Winter Term 2017-18

  • BioScience: Public Health and Infectious Disease

    This course will serve as an introduction to the general concepts that form the foundation of community and public health. In addition, an emphasis will be placed on the epidemiology and control of infectious diseases. Students will work on small group and individual projects throughout the course in order to come to their own understanding of the definition of public health.

    One-term course: Offered Spring Term 2018

  • BioScience: Structural Support Organ Systems

    This course examines the group of organ systems (integumentary, musculoskeletal) that generally provides structural support and protection for the human body.  A combination of informal lectures, class discussions, small group activities, organ dissections, laboratory experiments, and multiple writings will be utilized to enhance learning in this course.  

    One-term course: Offered Fall Term 2016

  • BioScience: Waste Removal Organ Systems

    This course examines how multiple organ systems (urinary, digestive, respiratory, integumentary system) assist in removing waste products from the human body.  A combination of informal lectures, class discussions, small group activities, organ dissections, laboratory experiments, and multiple writings will be utilized to enhance learning in this course.

    One-term course: Offered Winter Term

  • Calculus

    Although time will be taken as needed to review topics in algebra, trigonometry, and functions, this class presents the foundation of differential and integral calculus. This Calculus course does not prepare the student for the Advanced Placement examination in May, but rather provides the bridge from advanced algebra and elementary functions to the level of calculus taught in college. Throughout the year students explore functions, limits, derivatives, and integrals using traditional algebraic methods, while the understanding of these topics is enhanced by numerical and graphical explorations with a graphic display calculator.

    • Prerequisite: C or better in Pre-Calculus. 
    • Supplies: Students enrolled in Calculus are required to have a TI-83 or TI-84 graphing calculator.
  • Career Seminar & Internship Placement

    This course is designed to prepare and assist students in career exploration as well as internship placement. Students will take part in all areas of career exploration including: skills evaluation, personal/career inventory, abilities and personality testing, resumes, cover letter, interviews, job shadowing/internship, and the completion of a portfolio.

  • Chemistry

    Through lectures, demonstrations, problem-solving sessions, and laboratory experiments, this full-year course blends traditional and inquiry approaches to present the fundamental concepts of chemistry.

    Topics include:

    • Stoichiometry
    • The gas laws
    • Atomic structure
    • Periodicity
    • Chemical bonding
    • Molecular structure
    • Kinetics
    • Equilibrium
    • Acids and bases
    • Thermodynamics.

    Prerequisite: Completion of or concurrent registration in Algebra II

  • College Prep Algebra and Trigonometry

    This course provides students with the opportunity to consolidate their understanding of Algebra II and basic trigonometry before tackling Pre-Calculus. It is designed for students who have found that they benefit from frequent reinforcement in previous mathematics courses.

    The course begins with a thorough review of essential topics from Algebra II and goes on to examine the behavior of elementary functions (quadratic, polynomial, exponential, and logarithmic). Trigonometric functions are introduced, and students examine their properties, graphs, and applications.

    • Prerequisite: Algebra II
    • Supplies: Students enrolled in College Prep Algebra and Trigonometry are required to have a TI-83 or TI-84 graphing calculator.
  • Creative Writing

    Creative Writing students will read representative works from a variety of genres and periods. We will analyze the structure of each of these works, and use them as models for exercises in creative writing. The coursework will include close reading of literary texts, literary analysis essays, and an emphasis on creative writing exercises.

    • One-term course: Offered Spring Term 
  • Earth Science

    Generally intended for rising sophomores preferring to not yet take Chemistry or Physics. Investigations in the sciences of the Earth and space primarily conducted through projects and lab activities. Topics include geology, astronomy, physical geography, oceanography, and Earth history.

    • Pre-requisite: Biology

    One-term course

  • Economics: Macroeconomics

    Macroeconomics is the study of national economics, economic development, taxes, unemployment, inflation, and income distribution. The course examines economic actions and reactions within governments, banking systems, and financial markets. Macroeconomic topics are emphasized and finance/accounting principles introduced through an investment activity.

    Students are responsible for “investing” in a publicly traded company and indices; they also research a value chain related to their company. By choosing a portfolio that includes a company specific stock, industry index, and an international index, students gain insight into how risk and reward impact personal investment and corporate business decisions. International Economics (one-term course offered spring term) International Economics investigates the economic challenges of a global market. Topics analyzed include trade, tariffs, off-shoring, globalization, and the negative effects of government, drug trafficking, and scarcity of natural resources. Economic principles are emphasized through a course project that allows for the development of a non-profit organization, creation of a law, or construction of a social program.

    The objective of the course project is for students to learn how to create economic programs that bring about change in a global setting. Students are encouraged to select a developing country, identify natural resources, pinpoint localized talents, and create a program which will give economic opportunity to that population.

    One-term course: Offered Winter Term

    Prerequisites: Microeconomics or Macroeconomics

  • Economics: Microeconomics

    Microeconomics is the study of how people decide to allocate scarce resources. This process of choice guides the development of economic systems, addressing and resolving issues of production: what to produce, how to produce, how much to produce, and how to distribute the fruits of production. Microeconomic principles are emphasized, and marketing principles are introduced through the assessment of business actions in new product development. Students initiate, create, and develop their own new product. By understanding their new product, students gain insight into how market forces influence corporate success.

    One-term course: Offered Fall Term

  • Engineering: Robotics

    Students are introduced to robotic technologies through the design and development of multifunctional robots integrating both VEX and GEARS robotic systems. Students will use 3-D solid modeling to design and analyze their prototypes, build and test their robots, then compete in a wide variety of challenges. Topics covered include platform and drivetrain design, principles of mechanics and electronics, pneumatic and hydraulic systems, and an introduction to autonomous control using the Arduino platform and sensors. Students will also be introduced to cutting-edge technology through the National Robotics Engineering Center.

    • Prerequisite: Principles of Engineering

    One-term course

  • Ethics

    This course studies the foundations for moral beliefs, judgments, and values, and the part they play in practical ethical judgments. In its application, the course covers a spectrum of ethical and moral issues.

    Requirements: Open only to seniors

    Offered in the spring term when available.

     

  • Field Ecology

    This course will examine principles of ecology and conservation biology through laboratory and field research. Students will participate in projects emphasizing analyses of biodiversity, population demography, and interspecific behavior.

    • Prerequisite: biology (may be concurrently enrolled)

    One-term course: Offered Fall Term

  • French I

    Students learn first year vocabulary and the basic grammatical structures of French in this introductory course. Class emphasis is on the development of all four communication skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Textual reading serves to reinforce vocabulary and grammar, and introduces students to the cultures of French-speaking people.

  • French II

    After a review of the material in French I, students advance to more complicated grammatical structures and vocabulary. Communication proficiency is the primary objective as student expertise is developed in all skill areas, especially in reading and writing. Short stories and cultural articles broaden the students’ awareness of those peoples whose native language is French.

  • French III

    This course is designed to review and refine further the knowledge of French grammar for the student with a strong background in the language–at least two years of a comprehensive high school course. This course also explores in greater depth the beginning literature: fiction and nonfiction, short novels, plays, essays, short stories, and articles. Emphasis is on development of oral and written communication with classes conducted mostly in French.

  • French IV

    The final component of the standard college preparatory high school French series, the course is conducted entirely in French and geared toward the student with reasonable fluency in the spoken language as well as a solid background in grammar. The syllabus encompasses considerable grammar review, refinement, and drill, as well as reading a variety of texts (plays, poetry, short stories, news/magazine articles, films, and music) to serve as the basis for writing, oral expression, critical analysis, and interpretation.

  • Geometry

    This course examines the topics of Euclidean geometry. Throughout the year the emphasis is on learning to reason logically, accurately, abstractly, and creatively. Students learn to develop and present deductive proofs and to solve problems dealing with lines, angles, polygons, circles, and some three-dimensional figures. Hands-on manipulatives, along with the computer application “The Geometer’s Sketchpad,” are used to enrich our study of theorems and postulates.

    • Prerequisite: A grade of C or better in Algebra I is expected, prior to beginning Geometry. Students who have earned a C- or below in Algebra I are strongly encouraged to enroll in Intermediate Algebra.
  • Gothic Literature

    Gothic themes and characters have remained popular over the centuries. Long before the 19th century, when the gothic genre appeared, elements of this genre were prevalent. In this course we will read literature from various time periods and cultures and examine the ways in which gothic themes and characters are explored in these works.

    Readings may include: Epic of Gilgamesh, The Iliad, The Old Testament, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Beowulf, Frankenstein, or Dracula. We will also discuss a variety of theories of the monster archetype, in literature and in culture generally. 

    One-term course: Offered Winter Term

  • Guitar I

    These courses are designed to teach the students the basics in playing the guitar. The instructor covers music literacy by educating students to learn to read notes on a staff, (tab) tablature, and chord symbols. The students are given the opportunity to learn and perform several basic and intermediate chords which will allow them to play a variety of songs. The students also learn several short songs, melodies, and riffs used in classical, blues, rock, and popular music. Students are encouraged to bring songs to class that they want to learn. This course is graded on attendance, effort, and completion of in-class performances.

    One-term course

  • Guitar II

    These courses are designed to teach the students the basics in playing the guitar. The instructor covers music literacy by educating students to learn to read notes on a staff, (tab) tablature, and chord symbols. The students are given the opportunity to learn and perform several basic and intermediate chords which will allow them to play a variety of songs. The students also learn several short songs, melodies, and riffs used in classical, blues, rock, and popular music. Students are encouraged to bring songs to class that they want to learn.

    • Prerequisite: Guitar 1 or instructor’s permission.

    One-term course

  • Holocaust Literature

    This course examines the Holocaust and the memoirs, novels, poetry, and visual art it provoked among its survivors. The course will begin with a brief historical survey of the Holocaust itself, from Hitler’s rise to power through early anti-Semitic legislation and the rise of ghettos and violence to the establishment and ultimate destruction of the death camps. With this as context, we turn to literature of life during the Holocaust and after liberation.

    While the majority of texts focus on the Jewish experience, work representative of the persecution of other groups will be included as well. One of the guiding questions will be whether it is possible to define Holocaust memoir or literature as a specific genre of its own.

    One-Term Course: Offered Spring Term

  • Honors Engineering: Engineering Design I

    Engineering Design I is the first class in the Engineering COE sequence. After a brief introduction to the world of engineering, students are introduced to various aspects in product development. Starting with the engineering design process, students learn to look at problems from different perspectives to find unique solutions. Solid modeling is introduced to allow students to further develop and refine their ideas. Students will then study dimensioning, bills of material, and engineering resource planning to learn how an idea transforms from a computer model to an actual product.  3D printing and CNC machining will also be introduced. Students will use these principles to work on a dedicated year-long engineering project. Students will attend various engineering seminars, conferences, and company tours.

     

  • Honors Engineering: Engineering Design II

    Engineering Design II introduces many advanced topics in the engineering and design fields. Students will learn how to make CAD models using top-down assembly techniques for quicker product development time, use advanced framework operations to optimize tubular structures, and look at mechanism dynamics and perform FEA analysis to look at structural and thermal performance. Geometric tolerancing will be introduced and quality control methods will be used to ensure that more complex 2nd year engineering projects can be assembled with tighter standards. Students will attend various engineering seminars, conferences, and company tours.

  • Honors Engineering: Mechanics of Materials

    Mechanics of Materials introduces students to concepts such as stress, strain, axial deformation, torsion, bending and deflection, and other mechanical properties used to analyze the behavior of materials.  Materials science, the study of material development, properties and fabrication, will also be examined.  Students will use a hands-on approach to learn about various metallic alloys and composite materials to study their use in a wide variety of past, current, and future engineering endeavors.

  • Honors Engineering: Programming and Robotics

    Programming and robotics introduces students to the theory of robotic control, sensory feedback, and information processing.  Robot C, a version of the C programming language, and Arduino will be used as platforms to link robotic mechanical systems to electrical hardware.  These platforms will help students learn the principles of software design.  Students will learn the operations of motors, servos, actuators, and a wide variety of sensors to design and program a variety of robotic controls.

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology

    This course will be an in-depth study of the eleven systems of the human body and how the body functions. Students take a hands-on approach to learning the systems. The course further delves into the scientific aspects of human movements, inter-workings of the body, and the body’s energy systems. The class also studies various training methods and how they can improve flexibility, strength, power, endurance, and speed.

    Students learn the scientific basis of physical training and how exercise can enhance and improve the efficiency of these systems to elevate athletic performance. There is a mix of both class and laboratory time.

    • Prerequisite: Biology

    Year-long course

  • Human Ecology

    This course will examine the complex and varied systems of interaction between human societies and the natural world. Activities will examine the roles of social, cultural, and psychological factors in the maintenance or disruption of ecosystems and investigate the effects of population density on health, social organization, and environmental quality.

    • Prerequisite: biology (may be concurrently enrolled)

    One-term course: Offered Winter Term

  • Intermediate Algebra

    Intermediate Algebra begins with a condensed review of solving and graphing linear equations and inequalities. It is expected that students will have had considerable experience with these skills in a previous course. Students then proceed to the study of exponents, radicals, polynomials, rational expressions, and quadratic equations and graphs. More time is devoted to these topics than would be possible in a single-year Algebra 1 course.

    Graphing calculators are used to strengthen students’ understanding of concepts that are first introduced via pencil-and-paper exercises. The completion of Algebra Essentials and Intermediate Algebra, as a two year sequence, will be considered as equivalent to our Algebra 1 course.

    • Prerequisites: A passing grade in Algebra Essentials (this course is strongly encouraged for students who earned a grade of C- or lower in a previous Algebra I course)

    Year-long course

     

  • Intermediate Dance

    Intermediate Dance is a continuation of Beginning Dance. Students will further develop their understanding of different dance styles and corresponding backgrounds through daily technique, improvisation, performance viewing and choreography. Additionally, we will explore the importance of dance in different cultures. All enrolled students will be required to perform in the term Performing Arts or Dance Showcase.

    • Prerequisite: A minimum of one term of Beginning Dance or admittance by teacher approval.

    One-term course

  • Introduction to Screenwriting/Film Making

    Introduction to Screenwriting/Film Making is for students interested in the craft of writing, shooting, and editing a film. Students can expect to complete between 15 and 20 pages of an original screenplay, workshop their writing in class, view a variety of films, and participate in class discussions regarding story and scene structure, dialogue, character development, and cinematic conventions.

    Students will study a variety of filming techniques, including shot composition and scene transitions, for the purposes of filming and editing a short film, either independently or collaboratively, with the goal of submitting it to a short film festival. Students will be able to use the many school resources at hand to complete their work.

    One-term course, not offered every year

     

  • Latin I

    This course is an introduction to the Latin language and its cultural setting through beginning study of basic vocabulary, grammatical forms, syntactic structures, and pronunciation. Students are introduced to a wide variety of Roman literary genres, as well as Roman history, culture and mythology. Emphasis is placed on Latin’s close relationship with the English language — positively benefiting the student’s understanding of the English language.

  • Latin II

    This course is a continuation of the concepts and grammar learned in Latin I, with the addition of new grammatical constructions. In addition to a study of language, Latin II delves into a discussion of late Roman history. Students will examine texts of the Post-Classical world, and learn the culture and history of Europe as the Roman Empire gradually fell. As in Latin I, students enjoy a continued study of Classical mythology.

  • Latin III

    In this course, students will make the transition from formal grammar exercises to the reading of “real” unaltered Latin literature. Latin III will introduce students to methods of reading and study in an ancient language, as well as maintain a constant study of grammar and vocabulary. This course will explore selections from Rome’s most notable authors — Caesar, Catullus, Horace, and Cicero.

  • Literature of Human Conflict

    This one term course will take a look at the political, social, and religious environments of areas that have experienced violent conflict.  The reading will be a variety of non-fiction and fiction: political and personal essays, speeches, newspaper and magazine articles, poetry, short stories, novellas, and film.  

    Students will attempt to understand the complex reasons behind the conflicts, find similarities between the conflicts in different regions, and, if current, look toward plausible solutions.  They will also explore the necessity of the written word to document the histories (both personal and cultural) of the people involved. The focus of this class will be analysis; grades will be based on expository writing and class participation.

    One-term course: Offered Winter Term

  • Literature of the Harlem Renaissance

    In his famous poem “Harlem” from 1951, Langston Hughes asks, “What happens to a dream deferred?” The first answer he offers is another question: “does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?”

    Despite writing nearly a century after the abolition of slavery, Hughes and all African-Americans still did not have equal rights in the United States. Martin Luther King, Jr. hadn’t yet become a force behind the Civil Rights Movement, and Jim Crow laws were still in effect in much of the United States. Hughes had been a leader in the Harlem Renaissance, a reawakening of African-American culture in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s. These decades were explosives time for African-American literature in particular, and this course will explore the writers of this time period, their influences from earlier American literature, and the influence they had on writers to come. In addition, the course will include a study of other forms of art from the time period, such as jazz, the blues, and visual arts.

    One-term course: Offered Fall Term

  • Mandarin I

    Mandarin I is a beginning Chinese language course intended for students with no prior knowledge of any Chinese dialect or written Chinese. Mandarin is based on the Beijing dialect and is the national standard language of the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China (Taiwan). The emphasis in this class is on vocabulary building and sentence patterns. Throughout the year, students will expand their ability to carry out simple conversations in Chinese on a range of topics. Reading and writing (using both traditional and simplified characters) will be developed in conjunction with speaking and listening skills. Students will be expected to speak, read, and write all new words that appear in vocabulary lists in the main textbook unless otherwise noted by the instructor.

  • Mandarin II

    Mandarin II is a Chinese language course intended for students who have completed Mandarin I or the equivalent. The emphasis in the second year continues to be on vocabulary building and learning sentence patterns. By the end of the course students will be able to place a simple restaurant order, tell time, talk about daily activities, discuss appointments and holidays, describe clothing and homes, make and respond to suggestions, and ask for and give opinions. Students will also be able to read and write 400 or more simplified and traditional characters and their corresponding pinyin Romanization.

  • Mandarin III

    Mandarin III is a Chinese language course intended for students who have completed Mandarin I and II or the equivalent. Though we will continue to discuss material in Chinese and practice speaking, the emphasis in the third year will be on reading and writing. By the end of the course students will have had practice writing paragraphs, speeches, and email. They will be able to discuss school related topics (e.g., studying and visiting the library), to talk about living abroad in Taiwan or China (e.g., how to rent a house, send letters, and set up a bank account), and to ask directions. Students will also continue to learn both simplified and traditional characters.

  • Mandarin IV

    Mandarin IV is taught based on the students’ language skills acquired in Mandarin III. Students continue to develop language skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing comprehension and use of basic structures through speaking, and writing. The vocabulary for reading and writing will increase to approximately 1,000 characters.

  • Music Theory

    Music Theory is an intermediate to advanced level course designed for the student who wants to pursue further study in the area of music. The course will emphasize material in the areas of musical notation, major and minor key signatures, musical styles, sight singing, musical dictation, and figured bass four-part voice leading. After completing the course the students can elect to take the MMTA theory exams. Music theory is designed to introduce elements of music through reading, writing, listening and analyzing music of all styles. This class meets twice a week year round.

    • Prerequisite: currently enrolled in pre-conservatory or vocal performance program.

    Year-long course

  • Physics

    This full-year course presents the fundamental concepts of physics with relevant applications. Topics include mechanics, light, optics, sound, special relativity, quantum mechanics, and electricity. An emphasis is placed on problem solving methods as well as inquiry based activities and laboratory experiments. Students learn to discover relationships from acquired sets of experimental data using current technology and results are formalized in a lab notebook.

    • Prerequisites: Algebra II

    Year-long course

  • Piano I

    Topics covered include: introducing the piano (acoustic and digital), orientation to the staff, bass clef notes: middle C, B, A, G, F; 3rds (skips) on the staff, eighth notes; bass C position: C, D, E, F, G; treble space notes: F, A, C, E; treble C position: treble C, D, E, F, G; intervals: 4th and 5th; sharps and flats; I and V7 chords; three G positions. Accelerated piano will meet daily for one class period.

    This is an introductory course, and no previous experience is necessary.

    One-term course

  • Piano II

    Topics covered include: review of book 1, major pentascales: C, F, G, D, A, E; tempo marks, major pentascales, minor pentascales, ledger line C’s, cross-hand arpeggios, the sixth, the C major scale, primary chords in C major (I, IV, and V7), pedaling, eighth rest, dotted quarter note, the G major scale, the F major scale. Accelerated piano will meet daily for one class period.

    One-term course

  • Players

    This year-long commitment is for students who are truly attracted to all aspects of theatre arts. The focus of this class will be on acting, as well as on overall theatre production. Players will have the opportunity to explore, in depth, important aspects of theatre such as auditioning, character development, improvisation, script writing and analysis, playwriting, directing, marketing, and acting for the camera. They will also explore, in the form of independent studies, new and personal avenues of interest such as set construction, puppetry, stage combat, masked theater, children’s theater, lighting, and sound.

    Players will produce a small show from start to finish, covering all the essential aspects. Students will also serve as MC/hosts, or perform, for a variety of on-campus events. Players participate in each school play/musical in some capacity, and will have the opportunity to travel to other theaters to encounter, analyze, and learn from their productions, as well.

    • Prerequisite: Previous experience, interview and/or approval from the instructor.

    Year-long course

  • Pre-Calculus

    Methods of graphing as well as the solving of equations are reviewed and extended. The course emphasizes applications of trigonometry to the real world using the Law of Sines, the Law of Cosines, and other theorems. Polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic functions introduced in previous algebra courses are re-examined from a more unified, sophisticated point of view. Elementary concepts and applications of differential and integral calculus are also introduced.

    • Prerequisite: B or better in Algebra II
    • Supplies: Students enrolled in Pre-Calculus are required to have a TI-83 or TI-84 graphing calculator.
  • Principles of Engineering

    Engineering is solving problems using creativity and ingenuity paired with math and science principles. In Principles of Engineering, students will experience each of these topics to gain an insight into what engineering is. Starting with the engineering design process, students will learn how to analyze problems using a series of steps to discover unique solutions.

    Students will then be introduced to 3-D solid modeling, dimensioning, geometric tolerancing, 3-D rapid prototyping, and engineering management processes. Throughout the class these skills will be put to test by working on projects. Historically important engineering projects, current engineering trends, and ethical implications in the engineering field will also be covered.

    One-term course

  • Reading and Writing Satire

    Is humor colloquial or universal? What is the purpose of satire and why has it been a necessary form of social criticism? Who are the targets of this art form? As we are living in an era of cutting edge comedies and controversial satires, students in this class will begin by exploring their classical roots, followed by reading famous works from various historical eras.  Students will reflect on the differences of comedy, parody, and satire while trying their hand at writing in these genres. (Along with the core works studied by the whole class, students will also read a choice book from a list of contemporary comedic or satiric novels.)

    One-term course: Offered Spring Term

  • Scenes and the Stage

    Scenes and the Stage will offer a theatre opportunity to students whose exhaustive time commitments don’t afford them the time to be involved in the school’s larger main stage
    productions. Students will learn the craft of acting through general theatre process, theatre vocabulary, and improvisation. They will also explore character development through scene work, from the realms of theatre, TV, and film. This class culminates in public performance pieces, either in the WeCreate Center or in Newhall, depending on availability.

    One-term course

  • Shattuck-St. Mary’s Chamber Choir

    Shattuck-St. Mary’s Chamber Choir is an extension of the Upper School choir and members are selected through an audition process. The Chamber Choir performs a wide variety of musical styles including pop, jazz and musical theater. Participation in concerts and school wide events is mandatory. Parents will be responsible for the purchase of a concert dress for female students and a tuxedo for male students who will be participating in this class.

    Year-long course

  • Shattuck-St. Mary’s Chamber Orchestra

    Any student who has played an orchestral instrument for at least one year is eligible to participate in the orchestra. The core repertoire is taken from composers Bach, Handel, and Mozart, among others. The students in Chamber Orchestra have the opportunity to perform small ensemble chamber music, string orchestra music, and full symphonic orchestral music when combined with the Wind Ensemble. Great attention is given to musical expression and orchestral precision.

    Performance opportunities are offered on the Shattuck Campus, honors orchestras, and Twin Cities Youth Orchestras. Students are expected to practice outside of class, both for their individual development and to prepare ensemble music before rehearsal.

    • Private instruction is available for an additional fee.

    Year-long course

  • South African Literature

    Voices of Black and White

    The shadow of Apartheid shaped much of South Africa’s 20th century history.  This class will explore works published on the brink of apartheid, during apartheid, and in the post-apartheid world of the 21st century.   During a time when a white minority ruled the country through the transition to a black majority government, authors of white European descent and black African descent have shared their stories of human spirit and social criticism.  This class will delve into the works of such critically acclaimed authors as Alan Paton, Njabulo Ndebele, Nobel Prize winner Nadine Gordimer, Zakes Mda, Bessie Head, and Athol Fugard.  

    One-term course: Offered Spring Term

  • Spanish I

    This introductory course provides students with a foundation in the grammatical structures in Spanish. Class emphasis is on communication skills through speaking, listening, writing, and reading exercises. The course stresses practical vocabulary development and use. The readings used build on the structural foundations to provide continual review and practice as well as an introduction to the societies and cultures of Spanish-speaking peoples.

  • Spanish II

    This second-year course provides adequate review before moving to more advanced grammatical structures. Continued vocabulary development, basic readings, short stories, and oral presentations further develop the students’ ability in the language. The process is sequential in all areas, and skills are practiced to provide for maximum growth and awareness both linguistically and culturally.

  • Spanish III

    Spanish III is designed to develop and strengthen the student’s ability to communicate in the Spanish language. An oral approach is used in the classroom and the student is expected to use the target language as much as possible. The units in the textbook are based on culture and practical vocabulary used in everyday situations. The units also contain appropriate grammatical structures and exercises. Supplementary readings and activities (art, music, skits, projects) are also used to increase cultural awareness and to provide the student with opportunities to develop reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills in Spanish.

  • Spanish IV

    This course has an emphasis on conversation and focuses on an in-depth fine-tuning of the four skills of listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing which are needed to communicate proficiently in Spanish. A variety of methods and strategies will be used to practice the four skills including technology, projects, games, etc., and students will be introduced to some major literary works. Students will also expand their knowledge of history, art, politics, and social structure of Spanish speaking countries as well as the culture and customs of the Hispanic people.

  • Statistics

    This Statistics course is designed as an alternative for students not taking advanced courses such as Calculus or AP Statistics and who are interested in an introduction to the important topics of statistical analysis. Students will study sampling, surveys, designing of experiments, normal distributions, chance, probability, simulation, and inference. This course will include hands on experiments as well as several projects designed to reinforce the concepts being discussed.

    • Prerequisites: College Prep Algebra or Pre-Calculus (or Geometry and Algebra II with department approval).
    • Supplies: Students enrolled in Statistics are required to have a TI-83 or TI-84 graphing calculator.

    Year-long course

  • Student Mentors

    Open to SSM students that wish to experience a variety of educational settings and work with youth in order to improve language and communication skills, study educational policies and practices, and gain an understanding of student life in U.S. public schools. Training is provided on mentoring younger students, interacting with teachers, NCLB policies, and the various educational programs with which the students will work. Most class days are spent visiting other schools. Extensions possible for senior leadership projects and off-campus service learning hours.

    Details: Blended course, Winter Term, 9th period
    Requirements: 10th – 12th grade

  • Systems Ecology

    This is an interdisciplinary course that includes atmospheric, aquatic, and soil studies, as well as other field projects to study the interactions of human society and natural systems.

    • Prerequisite: biology (may be concurrently enrolled)

    One-term course: Offered Spring Term

  • Technology and Dystopia in Literature

    Prometheus Unbound: Literary Explorations of Technological Innovation

    “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” - Arthur C. Clark

    Although our technological capabilities continue to grow exponentially, our relationship with technology remains multifaceted and complex, eliciting both anxiety and awe. We are simultaneously able to wield massive malignant and constructive power. In this course we will explore a variety of texts from various eras around the globe that examine the Gordian knot that is our relationship with technological innovation.

    Possible texts include The Talmudic Story of the Golem, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut, R.U.R. by Karel Čapek, The Host (Korea 2006), Blade Runner (1982).

    One-term course: Offered Fall Term

  • The American Idea in Literature

    How does the American “Experience” contrast with the American “Idea” as expressed in the founding documents? Theme based on the pre-amble of the US Constitution, this course will contrast the “idea” of America with the reality and diversity that are the American “Experience” from the perspective of race, gender, socio-economics, and time period. Students will explore these questions while reading great American novels, plays, and poems, as well as non-fiction.   

    One-term Course: Offered Fall Term

  • The Hero’s Journey in Literature: Hero of a Thousand Faces

    Students in this class will read ancient and modern stories that explore the “hero’s quest.” The focus will be questioning whether there is a “hero” in all of us and just what does it take, from a societal point of view, to be heroic. Students will also look at how different cultures define and create heroes and what common archetypes they may have.  

    One-term course: Offered Winter Term

  • The Masculine and Feminine Archetype in Literature

    Where have all the Cowboys Gone?

    Archetypes serve as a thread which not only ties eras together but also creates the grand tapestry of human experience. This course will study common feminine and masculine archetypes throughout eras and genre to examine their evolution as well as those traits which endure. How can the understanding of Archetype influence our view of personal motivation, human interaction and, and societal evolution?

    One-term course: Offered Winter Term

  • Theatre Arts 1 (Upper School)

    Introduction to Theatre Arts will give students the opportunity to discover their creative abilities in acting, while being given an overall appreciation of the theatre space and process. Through acting exercises, improvisations, and film study, students will be introduced to the world of the actor, including physical and vocal warm-ups, stage direction, character analysis, theatre vocabulary and history, and basic stage combat.

    We will explore and examine works of drama, comedy, and musical theatre. Students will also have the opportunity to perform short scenes and monologues for their peers. The focus of this class will be on creativity and communication.

    One-term course

  • Theatre Arts II

    Theatre Arts 2 will take students to a more sophisticated level of the theatre world, while continuing to refine skills they have already acquired. Students will work to home their acting techniques and constructively evaluate their own performances and those of others. They will continue to explore scene work, as well as various other forms of theatrical presentation, including acting for the camera and auditioning. Furthermore, students will explore areas related to theatre history, playwriting, and directing.

    • Prerequisite: Theatre Arts I or previous experience and approval from instructor.

    One-term course

  • Topics in Advanced Mathematics

    In this advanced level course, highly motivated students of mathematics will have the opportunity to explore problems and topics that are not covered in our other advanced level courses. Students will work on challenging problems from the Minnesota Math League, The American Mathematics Examination, and the American Invitational Mathematics Examination.

    Other topics may include:

    • Polar graphing and polar representations of complex numbers
    • Proof by induction
    • Recursion
    • Modular arithmetic
    • Matrices and linear algebra

    The focus and topics will vary from term to term so that a student could take this course for a single term, two terms, or a full year. This course is in addition to, not a replacement of, other advanced level math courses.

    • Prerequisites: Completion of Advanced Algebra 2 and departmental approval

    Year-long course

  • Upper School Choir

    The Shattuck-St. Mary’s Upper School Choir is a non-audition ensemble made up of students, in grades 9-12 with varying degrees of musical experience. Students study choral literature encompassing all musical styles while developing good vocal technique, music reading skills, and other skills necessary to become an independent musician. The Choir performs regularly at Chapel, and at community, alumni, and student activities. Attendance at concerts is required.

    Year-long course

  • Upper School Introduction to Historical Studies

    This survey class offers students a preview of American, ancient, and European history, using selected textbook readings, as well as primary source readings. Designed to offer low to intermediate English proficient students the opportunity to learn about history in a sheltered environment, this class is a full survey class and includes fostered development of note-taking, listening, reading, and academic discussion. Entrance is not elective.

    Requirements:

    • Selected readings;
    • 5-7 writing exercises per term;
    • Map quizzes;
    • 1 class presentation;
    • Reading assessments;
    • 1 major project;
    • Term exams and a final exam.

    Year-long course

  • Upper School Wind Ensemble

    The Shattuck-St. Mary’s Wind Ensemble is open to any student, grades 9-12, with at least one year of experience. Placement will be determined by experience, skill level and student goals. Emphasis is placed on performing a wide variety of ensemble repertoire. The Wind Ensemble class focuses on the fundamentals of music theory, ear training, and large and small ensemble playing. Rehearsal and performance etiquette are also taught.

    Students in the Wind Ensemble play a large variety of music genres including, standard wind repertoire, jazz, and orchestral works when combined with the Chamber Orchestra. Students are given opportunities to perform throughout the year in concerts, recitals and at various assemblies and functions.

    The students have the opportunity to audition for various honor bands and youth orchestras throughout the Twin Cities. Students are expected to practice outside of class, both for their individual development and to prepare ensemble music before rehearsal.

    • Private instruction is available for an additional fee.

    Year-long course

     

  • Women’s Literature

    Self-Discovery under Siege–the journey of women in the world

    This course explores nineteenth to twenty-first century female writers from around the world.  The focus will be on how societal expectations impact the role of women and thematic issues that make this literature an interesting area of study.  While reading these works, students will examine the role of women in society and gender expectations. Students should come away from the course with a better understanding and appreciation of this genre, prompting them to continue reading classic works by women.  

    One-term course: Offered Fall Term


  Middle School

  • 6th and 7th Grade English

    This course places an equal emphasis on both literature and writing.

    Over the year, we engage a variety of literary forms, including myths, short stories, novels, poetry, and dramatic scripts to develop concepts of setting, character, and conflict - and to create a “tool box” of literary devices.

    Reading skills, including comprehension, inferences, and predictions, are developed and reinforced in each genre. Using these texts as models, we also immerse in the writing process, from brainstorming and rough drafts through revision to a final product. Students create original pieces in prose, poetry, and script, learn to work together and edit their work, and write analyses of what they have read using the text to inspire and support their conclusions.

    This specific sixth/seventh grade curriculum loops in a two-year cycle. The program is individualized to meet the developmental needs of each student.

    Year-long course

  • 8th Grade English

    English 8 builds upon the skills acquired in the seventh grade and meets the needs of new students. Reading, writing and verbal skills are still the priorities of the class, with an emphasis on more formal expression and the study of grammatical structures.

    Writing is developed in regular journal exercises, short creative pieces, in-class themes, and multi-draft formal essays. Methods and terminology of literary analysis are introduced.

    In addition to short stories, poems, dramatic monologues and dialogues, and selections on non-fiction, our reading includes selected novels and one Shakespeare play.

    Year-long course

  • Advanced Algebra II

    Advanced Algebra II is designed for students who enjoy more in-depth discussions of the mathematical concepts presented in the regular course. Additional topics include three-dimensional space, matrices and determinants, and further work with series and sequences. Graphic display calculators are used to promote student exploration and assist in visualizing relationships.

    • Prerequisites: A- or better in both Geometry and Algebra I and department approval.
    • Supplies: Students enrolled in Advanced Algebra II are required to have a TI-83 or TI-84 graphing calculator.
  • Algebra Essentials

    This course is appropriate for students who will benefit from review of pre-algebra topics in order to prepare the foundation for the more advanced topics of algebra. Students will work extensively with linear expressions and equations — simplifying, solving, graphing, interpreting and applying. Extra instructional time is devoted to such algebraic foundations as working with integers, pattern-recognition, synthesizing multiple skills in a single problem, and representing word problems in mathematical symbols and language. The extended pace of this course allows for review of previously discussed material and frequent reinforcement of new material.

    • Algebra Essentials is not open to students in 7th Grade, and should not be viewed as a form of “partial acceleration” for capable 7th Graders.
    • Supplies: Students enrolled in Algebra Essentials are expected to bring a calculator to class each day. At a minimum, an inexpensive scientific calculator that can handle exponents, square roots, and basic trigonometric functions. Students will be introduced to certain features of the Texas Instruments TI-84 graphing calculator. To support this instruction, loaners are available for classroom use. As such, students in Algebra I are permitted, but not expected, to purchase their own TI-83 or TI-84 graphic calculator.

    Year-long course; First course of a two-year sequence

  • Algebra I

    Topics in Algebra I include properties of the real number system, variables, functions, graphing, solving first degree equations and inequalities, basic operations on polynomials and rational expressions, systems of linear equations in two variables, exponents, radicals, quadratic equations, and solving word problems. Graphing calculators are used to strengthen students’ understanding of concepts that are first introduced via pencil-and-paper exercises.

    • Prerequisite: B- or better in Pre-Algebra or an equivalent course
    • Supplies: Students enrolled in Algebra I are expected to bring a calculator to class each day. At a minimum, an inexpensive scientific calculator that can handle exponents, square roots, and basic trigonometric functions. Students will be introduced to certain features of the Texas Instruments TI-84 graphing calculator. To support this instruction, loaners are available for classroom use. As such, students in Algebra I are permitted, but not expected, to purchase their own TI-83 or TI-84 graphic calculator.
  • Beginning Dance (Grades 6-9)

    Beginning dance will introduce the student to a variety of dance forms through movement, performance viewing, group work, and corresponding history and terminology. Class will include a warm-up, locomotors, and a movement combination, also called a phrase. Students will further be encouraged and challenged to express themselves through writing, class discussions and student choreography. All enrolled students will be required to perform in the term Performing Arts or Dance Showcase.

    • Prerequisite: None. Students are encouraged to take more than one term of Beginning Dance before advancing to Intermediate Dance

    One-term course

  • Biology (9th Grade)

    This 9th grade course provides a solid background in the life sciences, focusing on the study of fundamental biological concepts and the understanding of how each process relates to their everyday lives.

    In particular, the emphasis is on the biology of cells and genetics, and their application to the principles of natural selection and biodiversity. All of these concepts are then studied in the context of the role of organisms in their ecosystem. Mastery of the subject matter is accomplished through research and activities that extend learning into the lab. Students are also given the tools and opportunities to apply their knowledge through the completion of independent research projects.

    Year-long course

  • Chorus 1

    Chorus 1 is an ensemble made up of students with varying degrees of singing experience. A variety of musical styles is utilized in learning vocal technique, music reading, and other skills necessary to become an independent musician. There are several performance opportunities for this chorus throughout the school year as well as opportunities for travel.

    One-term or Year-long course

  • Composition and Literature

    This course is designed to ensure that students receive firm and extensive grounding in grammar, vocabulary, literary analysis, and the writing process, as well as a strong emphasis on developing research papers. Throughout the school year, all Composition and Literature students will practice research, analytic, and expository writing. In addition, students will read, analyze, and discuss classic pieces of literature for symbolic and metaphorical references.

    This class offers the opportunity for a student to work in a community with other writers. Students work both independently and together with others in the class to brainstorm ideas and revise their writing. They also continue to practice skills such as organization, idea development, and the basic conventions of language and writing. Finally, individuals learn to raise their writing to a more sophisticated level by developing sentence fluency, word choice, and voice.

    Year-long course: 9th Grade

  • Exploring World Languages-6th Grade

    This is a class to promote a positive attitude towards learning a World Language and develop a base on which to build the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students are exposed to a different language each term.

     

  • Introduction to Digital Video

    Introduction to Digital Video provides a hands-on, age-appropriate introduction to digital video production. Students will produce a variety of projects including a fake newscast, a video poem, a pixilation project, and a one minute narrative film. Students will experience all phases of video production from the Pre-production stages of proposal writing and storyboarding to the Production stage, which includes learning about lighting and composition and operating digital video equipment.The Post-production stage will give students the opportunity to explore video editing.

    This video course exercises planning and organizational skills and stresses collaboration and resourcefulness. It is intended to prepare students to excel in the Upper School Digital Video 1 elective and offers valuable skills that can be applied to creative projects in other classes. The course will give students the opportunity to analyze a variety of films, advertisements, and television content which will serve to develop media literacy and provide a new vocabulary for critiquing visual culture.

    One-term course-9th Grade

  • Introduction to Drawing and Painting

    The focus of an Introduction to Drawing and Painting course is developing basic drawing and painting skills and techniques. Students will have the opportunity to experiment with a variety of two-dimensional media, including drawing pencils, colored pencils, charcoal, watercolors, and acrylic painting.

    Students in Drawing and Painting will be engaged in several art and design projects that demonstrate their understanding of the Elements and Principles of Art. The elements of art include Form, Line, Shape, Color, Texture, Space, and Value. The principles include Emphasis, Balance, Harmony, Variety, Movement, Rhythm, Proportion, and Unity. Students develop a new vocabulary for talking and writing about the visual arts and visual culture. Students will be introduced to a wide variety of artists as they explore and analyze relevant art movements and significant art works.

    One-term course-9th Grade

  • Introduction to Engineering, Grades 8 & 9

    Introduction to Engineering provides an opportunity to explore a wide variety of math and science concepts as an introduction to the engineering profession. Students will learn, through hands-on activities, about important scientists and the application of their principles in our everyday lives.

    Students will design and build bridges to gain an understanding of forces, model roller coasters to learn about potential and kinetic energy, assemble circuits to discover the fundamentals of electricity and computer science, and create hydraulic hands and pneumatic launchers to learn about pressure and forces. Students will also be introduced to the design process and CAD technology.

    One-term course

  • Mandarin Chinese 1A

    Middle School Mandarin will introduce students to Mandarin Chinese, the official language of both the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC or Taiwan). Students will begin learning the four basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. In addition, they will develop an understanding of Chinese culture through a variety of activities such as skits, songs, and art (e.g., calligraphy). They will learn to use basic vocabulary and grammatical structures in everyday situations and to create and respond to simple statements and questions. Finally, students will be able to identify and write a number of characters associated with the following contexts: introductions, numbers, times and dates, and family members.

  • Mathematics

    Mathematics is a course designed to strengthen and extend skills and reasoning in arithmetic and number theory, operations with whole numbers, decimals and fractions, as well as ratio, proportion, and percent problems. Measurement skills, geometric concepts, and area and volume formulas also are included. Students explore a variety of problem-solving strategies throughout the year.

    Year-long course

  • Middle School Art A

    The focus of Middle School Art A is drawing, painting, illustration and book arts. Art historical background is provided to give artwork a broader cultural context. Students will learn how to use line and value to draw what they see. Making drawings from observation will help strengthen this foundation. They will develop an understanding of color theory that will help them make paintings.

    Collage and mixed media techniques will introduce playfulness and juxtaposition. Illustration is introduced when students are asked to illustrate a story visually using three collages. We will explore the history of illustration and book arts as we create illustrations for stories. The final project is an illustrated book that students write, illustrate and bind themselves.

    One-term course

  • Middle School Art B

    The focus of MS Art B is the exploration of sculpture, ceramics, and three-dimensional design. Students will develop skill in utilizing line in a 3 dimensional context with a wire sculpture project. The wire sculpture is presented as a three-dimensional line drawing. For the assemblage project, found objects and other materials will be transformed into sculpture, giving new meaning to unique combinations of things. Students will use hand-building techniques to create ceramic sculptures and pottery.

    The final project will be a three-dimensional design project ranging from architecture to product design to fashion design. Students will use drawing, words and model-making to communicate their concepts. We will also investigate relevant connections between the fine arts and design.

    One-term course

  • Middle School Art C

    Students in MS Art C have the opportunity to explore a variety of printmaking processes. Four major printmaking techniques including silkscreen, monotype, relief printing and lithography will be introduced. Students will design patterns and use batik techniques to dye fabric. Batik, a wax-resist dyeing technique used on textile, is a printmaking process applied to cloth. For a silkscreen project, students will develop simple graphics and print in several colors using separate screens.

    The process of lithography will be explored using Xerox photocopies coated with a resist that are inked and run through a press. Students will ink plates by hand and transfer several layers of color from the same plate to paper for a Monotype project. Relief printing will be explored by making linocut reduction prints, a process similar to woodcut. Students will also have the opportunity to discover the Japanese art of fish printing.

    One-term course

  • Middle School ESL Academic Reading and Writing I

    This class is offered to Middle School students with low to intermediate English proficiency. The goal is twofold: to support all ESL students’ enrollment in mathematics, science, and history classes; and to further and foster the development of academic and conversational English. The course focuses on reading comprehension strategies, vocabulary, grammar, and various types of academic writing, beginning with the simple sentence.

    Requirements:

    • Selected core course readings
    • 5 formal Spring term writing exercises
    • 1 PowerPoint
    • 2 oral presentations
    • A Spring term project or exam

    A Spring term TOEFL itp test, overall academic progress, and a Spring Term writing assessment are used to determine placement into the next level of ESL or for ESL exit.

    Year-long course

  • Middle School Introduction to Historical Studies I

    This survey class offers students a preview of American, ancient, and European history, using selected textbook readings. In addition, the class covers Minnesota history to give students an understanding of their new homes. Designed to offer low to intermediate English proficient students the opportunity to learn about history in a sheltered environment, this class is a full survey class and includes fostered development of note-taking, listening, reading, and academic discussion. MS Introduction to Historical Studies I is offered to 6th through 9th grade first-year students only. Entrance is not elective.

    Requirements:

    • Selected readings
    • 5-7 writing exercises per term
    • Class presentations
    • Map quizzes
    • Reading assessments
    • 1 major project
    • Term exams and a final exam.

    Year-long course

  • Middle School Introduction to Historical Studies II

    This survey class offers students a preview of American, ancient, and European history, using selected textbook readings, as well as primary source readings. Designed to offer intermediate English proficient students the opportunity to learn about history in a sheltered environment, this class is a full survey class and includes fostered development of note-taking, listening, reading, and academic discussion. Entrance is not elective.

    Requirements:

    • Selected readings
    • 5-7 writing exercises per term
    • Map quizzes
    • 1 class presentation
    • Reading assessments
    • 1 major project
    • Term exams and a final exam.

    Year-long course

  • Middle School Visual Arts Program Grades 6-8

    Middle School students at Shattuck-St. Mary’s have the opportunity to explore three different art forms during the course of three years. This new Middle School Art curriculum is not sequential (there are no pre-requisites), but it expands course offerings while allowing students an in-depth experience of different art forms each year.

    One-term course-Offered for grades 6th, 7th and 8th.

  • MS United States History I: Early America

    This course is designed to enhance students’ appreciation for and knowledge of early United States history, with special attention paid to historical skill development, such as analyzing primary sources and developing note-taking and study skills that will be useful in this and later courses.

    Topics covered include Native Americans, early exploration of the Americas, the Colonial Period, the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War, and the New Nation, and National Expansion & Reform. Winter term, all students participate in Minnesota History Day, which is a part of a larger program called National History Day, in which students complete a large-scale research project that relates to an annual theme.

    Year-long course offered in alternating years

  • MS United States History II: Modern America

    This course is designed to enhance students’ appreciation for and knowledge of early United States history, with special attention paid to historical skill development, such as analyzing primary sources and developing note-taking and study skills that will be useful in this and later courses.

    Topics covered include the Civil War and Reconstruction, Industrial America, Progressivism, World War I, the Depression, and World War II, and the following decades of the 20th century. Winter term, all students participate in Minnesota History Day, which is a part of a larger program called National History Day, in which students complete a large-scale research project that relates to an annual theme.

    Year-long course offered in alternating years

  • Pre-Algebra

    Pre-Algebra has a dual emphasis: firmly establishing the quick and accurate computation skills required for the study of Algebra I and beginning to represent quantities and situations with variable expressions.

    Concepts studied are:

    • Fractions
    • Decimals
    • Percents
    • Coordinate graphing
    • Formulas
    • Probability
    • Simple statistics
    • Operations with signed numbers
    • Exponents
    • Factoring

    Throughout the year, students work with variables, variable expressions, simple algebraic equations, and a variety of problem-solving strategies.

    • Supplies: Students enrolled in Pre-Algebra are expected to bring a calculator to class each day. At a minimum, an inexpensive scientific calculator that can handle exponents, square roots, and basic trigonometric functions.

    Year-long course

  • Private Lessons: Instrumental and Vocal

    Lessons can be arranged in voice, piano, flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba, percussion, violin, viola, cello, bass, and guitar. There is an additional fee for private lessons, and highly qualified instructors are drawn from a wide region including nearby St. Olaf College, the Twin Cities area, and the Shattuck-St. Mary’s School community.

    • No credit is received for private lessons.
  • Science 6/7

    Science 6/7 is a multi-aged two year course of study.

    In the first year, students will explore:

    • Intro to biology
    • Astronomy
    • Healthy

    In the second year, students will explore:

    • Forces and motion
    • Weather and climate
    • Sound and light

    Two-year course

  • Science III

    In the eighth grade year students will explore the following topics:

    • Chemical building blocks
    • The earth
    • Robotics/technology

    Year-long course

  • Spanish 1A

    In this course, students will be introduced to basic building blocks such as names, numbers, colors, days of the week, months, school sports, body parts, etc. This class will promote a positive attitude toward learning the Spanish language and the basics of the language through interactive learning techniques using technology. Students will develop a base on which to build introductory language skills in the area of listening/comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. Authentic materials are used to supplement the learning process while making Spanish fun.

  • String Ensemble I

    This is a beginning level course open to all students, grades 6-9, who would like to play a string instrument (i.e., violin, viola, cello, bass). Students will explore note reading, playing position, pizzicato, bowing techniques, and left hand techniques. Repertoire will include music form a vast array of styles. Students will participate in a concert during the year as they progress.

    • Private instruction is available for an additional fee.

    Year-long course

  • String Ensemble II

    Any Middle School student who has played a string instrument for at least one year is eligible to participate in this ensemble. Great attention is given to posture and the use of the bow and the left hand. Students develop their musicality and widen their range of expression through a varied array of music encompassing many styles. Performance opportunities are offered throughout the year.

    • Private instruction is available for an additional fee.

    Year-long course

     

  • Theatre Arts 1 (Grades 6-9)

    Introduction to Theatre Arts will give students the opportunity to discover their creative abilities in acting, while being given an overall appreciation of the theatre space and process. Through acting exercises, improvisations, and film study, students will be introduced to the world of the actor, including physical and vocal warm-ups, stage direction, character analysis, theatre vocabulary and history, and basic stage combat.

    We will explore and examine works of drama, comedy, and musical theatre. Students will also have the opportunity to perform short scenes and monologues for their peers. The focus of this class will be on creativity and communication.

    One-term course

  • Wind & Percussion Ensemble

    The Winds and Percussion class focuses on the fundamentals of music theory, ear training, and large and small ensemble playing. Rehearsal and performance etiquette are also taught. Repertoire is tailored to meet the needs of the students, and small ensemble playing is emphasized throughout. Occasional written homework is assigned to reinforce music history and theory.

    Students are given opportunities to perform throughout the year in concerts, recitals and at various assemblies and functions. Students are expected to practice outside of class, both for their individual development and to prepare ensemble music before rehearsal. Private instruction is available for an additional fee.

    • Additional Expenses: Text, Instruments, Supplies, Private lessons

    Year-long course

     

  • World History: 1450-Present

    Students in grade 10 continue their study of world history in this course which covers the time period from 1450 to the present. The themes of political, social and artistic developments in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas are continued, and special focus is paid to the world wars and post-war years. Students read one collateral book as well as the basic text and work on research and writing skills.

    Year-long course

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