Upper School

Electives and Other Courses

AP Computer Science Principles

AP Computer Science Principles introduces students to the breadth of the field of computer science and challenges them to explore how computing and technology can impact the world.. In this course, students will learn to design and evaluate solutions and to apply computer science to solve problems through the development of algorithms and programs. They will incorporate abstraction into programs and use data to discover new knowledge. Students will also explain how computing innovations and computing systems, including the Internet, work, explore their potential impacts, and contribute to a computing culture that is collaborative and ethical. This course is authorized by the College Board Advanced Placement program. The AP Exam consists of both an in class project and end of course assessment in late Spring. 

Units of Study

  • Unit 1 Digital Information
  • Unit 2 The Internet
  • Unit 3 Intro to App Design
  • Unit 4 Variables, Conditionals, and Functions
  • Unit 5 Lists, Loops, and Traversals
  • Unit 6 Algorithms
  • Unit 7 Parameters, Return, and Libraries
  • Unit 8 Create PT Prep
  • Unit 9 Data
  • Unit 10 Cybersecurity and Global Impacts
Film Studies

Many historians have noted two watershed events of the second millennia. The first was the invention of the printing press. The second was the development of visual and audio recording technology. Although there have been many stepping stones to this latter event, including Da Vinci’s camera obscura in 1558, this revolution has been largely one of the past hundred years. To be sure, the production of moving pictures has and will continue to influence our lives–our culture, our economy, our values. In fact, as the revolution continues and as the means of production becomes more widely accessible, film today has arrived as a major medium for political and artistic expression.

This course will explore how the revolution of film developed, both as an art and an industry, as well as to participate in the very means of film production.


Title: Introducing Film

Author: Grant Roberts and Heather Wallis

Publisher: Arnold Press

Title: Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting

Author: Syd Field

Publisher: Delta

Units of Study:

  1. Film History: Students are responsible for screening selected historical films among the below units which pertain to Introducing Film as well as other film history and production lectures. Film history units include:
  1. The Silent Era
  2. Classics
  3. Genre Studies
  4. The Documentary
  5. Foreign and Israeli Films
  1. Film Production: Students are responsible for completing quarterly checklists for film production, including the production of a video for the Scholarship Dinner as well as other highly public events. Learning the cutting edge software Final Cut X and Motion are amazing opportunities for students anywhere, and CTA film studies students are privileged to have such an opportunity. As a student, you have at your command the equipment used by professionals across the industry, even in Hollywood. Through active utilization and tutoring, you can make this course as big as your imagination will allow. Film Production units include:
  1. Mise en scene
  2. Cinematography
  3. Editing(Using Final Cut X)
Digital Media

Digital Media is an introduction to various graphic digital content creation applications and to website/blog production. Through the creation, implementation, and development of their own website/blog, students will engage world, as well as learn a variety of multimedia software applications for graphic design, info graphics, 3-D animation, and video editing.

Through the production of a multimedia website students will explore the dynamic field of digital media. Class time consists of hands-on demonstrations of software and techniques and the workshopping of student work. Students are expected to spend class time discussing and developing their creative project as well as work at home on their assigned work. We will be using primarily free versions of platforms and applications, which provide a limited but ample range of utilization, so students are expected to have/be able to get access to all resources of the course.

Units of Study:

  1. Unit I: creating a website
  2. Unit II: basic photoshop
  3. Unit III: Sketchit
  4. Unit IV: Animation on Moovly

Course Outcomes:

Students will…

  1. learn basic Photoshop tools
  2. learn basic graphic design and typography
  3. learn digital media terminology
  4. build a website with free web platforms that explores a central theme
  5. creatively communicate ideas through digital content
  6. display ability to create visually and artistically compelling content
  7. gain ability to articulate digital art concepts during discussions and critiques
  8. create content with graphic design applications Tableau Public, Sketchup, Moovly, and Final Cut.
  9. use various social media such as twitter, facebook, reddit, et.al.
Seventh Grade Art

The 7th Grade art curriculum is centered on the Elements of Art and the Principles of Design. These are the basic “building blocks” of art-making. The purpose of this class is for students to gain an understanding of artistic processes and media (art materials) through hands-on projects incorporating the Elements & Principles.

In this class, students will explore many aspects of art through class discussions, investigating other artists’ work throughout art history, and studio art-making projects. Students will create projects in 2-D design, drawing/sketching from observation, abstract art, printmaking and sculpture. Each project connects with a key Element or Principle in artmaking. In 7th Grade Art, students will also consider why we make certain choices in art and why these choices are important.

Texts / Resources:

Scholastic Art magazine, videos, posters, art images

Units of Study:

  1. What Is Art?/Art Criticism
  2. Line
  3. Value
  4. Color
  5. Space
  6. Unity
Tenth Grade Art

The 10th Grade art curriculum is based on a survey of Art History from ancient times to the present. The purpose of this course is for students to use the framework of art history for creative artmaking in a variety of media. Students will explore key time periods, civilizations, cultures and movements while engaging in projects reflecting the concepts studied. 10th graders will also have the chance to research, plan, and create their own self-designed projects towards the end of the semester.

In addition to artmaking, art history, and art criticism, 10th grade students learn how to incorporate reflective practices in to their work. One main component of the curriculum is the 8 Artists Habits of Mind, developed at Harvard, which outline the processes and mindsets artists use in order to be successful. Students will use these habits to assess their own progress throughout the semester.

Texts / Resources:

Scholastic Art magazine, videos, posters, art images

Units of Study:

  1. What Is Art?/Art Criticism
  2. Drawing/Seeing
  3. Intro to Art History
  4. Egyptian Art
  5. Classical Art & Architecture
  6. Art Across Cultures – Radial Design
  7. The Renaissance
  8. Modern Art History Research Project
Art II

The Art II curriculum focuses on building and refining skills as well as emphasizing concepts. Conceptually, students will examine and create art through the lens of “Big Ideas”: broad, overarching themes in art and in life. Students will explore these areas through class discussions, projects, and a bit of research, too. They will work on planning individualized artmaking projects that align with their own specific interests and address the main themes and big ideas. Engaging in art criticism, aesthetics, and reflective practices will enhance students’ artmaking and foster important personal and conceptual connections in their work. One main component of the curriculum is the 8 Artists Habits of Mind, developed at Harvard, which outline the processes and mindsets artists use in order to be successful. Students will use these habits to assess their own progress throughout the semester.

Texts / Resources:

Scholastic Art magazine, videos, posters, art images

Units of Study:

  1. What Is Art?/Art Criticism
  2. Identity/Relationships
  3. Language/Text
  4. Memory
  5. The Environment

This is a comprehensive course that teaches knowledge of the human body, and promotes making healthy decisions for everyday life. Topics include physical fitness, nutrition, body systems, diseases and disorders, mental health, human growth & development, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.


Title: Glencoe Health

Author: Mary Bronson

Publisher: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2011

Units of Study

  1. Mental and Emotional Health
    1. Chapter 3: Achieving Mental and Emotional Health
    2. Chapter 4: Managing Stress and coping with loss
    3. Chapter 5: Mental and Emotional Problems
  1. Nutrition and Physical Activity
    1. Chapter 10: Nutrition for health
    2. Chapter 11: Managing weight and eating behaviors
    3. Chapter 12: Physical activity and fitness
  1. Personal Care and Body Systems
    1. Chapter 13: Personal Health care
    2. Chapter 14: Skeletal, Muscular and Nervous Systems
    3. Chapter 15: Cardiovascular, Respiratory, and Digestive System
    4. Chapter 16: Endocrine and Reproductive Health
  1. Human Sexuality: Growth and Development
    1. Chapter 17: Beginning of the life cycle
    2. Chapter 18: The Life Cycle continues
  1. Drugs
    1. Chapter 19: Medicines and drugs
    2. Chapter 20: Tobacco
    3. Chapter 21: Alcohol
    4. Chapter 22: Illegal Drugs
  1. Diseases and Disorders
    1. Chapter 23: Communicable diseases
    2. Chapter 24: Sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS
    3. Chapter 25: Non-communicable diseases and disabilities


Beyond Textbook Knowledge to Succeed 

Growth Mindset – Definition


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