ACADEMICS: CORE CLASSES
This course will work to help students become more polished readers and more concise writers. This class serves as a continuation of the speaking, reading, and writing skills students began to strengthen in middle school, but works to challenge students to venture outside of the text and apply the knowledge that has been acquired. The course will close with an individual book project unit, that will afford students the opportunity to develop a close relationship with the novel of their choice. There will be a heightened emphasis on spelling awareness and decoding, as well as thinking about the relationship between the student’s beliefs and thoughts, and why they possess them (metacognition). All of our units will be centered on Essential Questions, in an effort to increase application and comprehension skill. Specific strategies and modeling around word study, vocabulary, writing, decoding and analysis will work to prepare students to transition into upper level high-school courses.
U.S. History and Geography
The 9th grade U.S. History and Geography course explores United States history and geography from the Civil War to the present. The twist in the curriculum comes from using Detroit—our history and geography—as the focal point in our inquiry. Students will read, analyze, research, and explore primary and secondary source documents and artifacts to learn about events, trends, and transformations happening in Detroit that connect with the broader themes of U.S. History. Through our partnerships, students will do extensive field research utilizing the resources of local museums and experts in the community. Students will then be able to construct their own accounts of historical events, trends, and people and publish their work in a bi-monthly newsletter. The ultimate goal, however, is to combine a wide range of student accounts, editorials, and narratives to publish a comprehensive historical magazine for each era we study that showcases our student’s best work. These magazines will then be made available as supplementary materials throughout the DPSCD.
Integrated Math (also known as CPM or College Preparatory Mathematics)
The point of this introductory high school course is to take students beyond classifications – algebra, geometry -- and help students see math for what it truly is: a beautiful, rigorous search for truth. In today’s world, determining what is true is becoming harder and harder. Mathematics is our greatest and most impressive creation for this and one of our oldest. Through exploration, mostly trial and error, we have come to understand this language of the universal truths. Our hope is that in this course, students come to see the power and beauty in this generational gift from our past that most certainly holds the keys to unlocking our best future.
Reaching the Next Generation Science Standards with a place-based and STEM-focused units for social justice. This is a discovery course in which student groups design experiments, collect and analyze data in order to understand the processes of science and the basic concepts and laws of Newtonian mechanics, properties of matter, electricity and magnetism and energy, and waves. Science will help us explain how the world works with words and math to back up our claims. Students will show mastery of the material by designing an action project to change the injustices we will discover together.
Introduction to Human Centered Design and Engineering
Students will participate in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) design cycle through their exploration of human-centered design and engineering. Aiming to build a more socially just world, students will develop data-driven designs for their school and community. Through this work, they will learn the habits of mind and communication tools needed to explore problems, develop and iterate on solutions, and present their designs to stakeholders of their community.
Students will learn fundamental phrases and vocabulary in an enjoyable way through Comprehensible Input. The goal is to have the students fluent enough for basic conversation at a novice level. They will be working on national standards as described by ACTFL, the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. These skills are gained through actively listening and responding to meaningful stories or conversation. Emphasis is placed on conversational and literary skills through natural language acquisition by engaging imagination in story-telling and by working on social justice issues relating to identity, food, literacy and immigration.