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High School Courses

The North Fork School offers full-year English, History, and Mathematics courses for High School students. As one semester is not adequate time to prepare students for college-preparatory work, The North Fork School does not offer semester-only course options. Grade levels are flexible: all NFS classes comprise mixed grade levels. Please contact us for information on determining the appropriate class for your student.

NINTH GRADE COURSES

The Third Year Program NOT OFFERED 2009-2010 is appropriate for ninth graders who have not yet participated in North Fork School classes. Comprising an integrated curriculum of World History and British Literature, the Third Year provides an introduction to High School level essay-writing and analytical skills. Go to Third Year Program Description for more information.

Honors World History

Offered as an elective course to tenth graders, and as an alternative World History credit to ninth graders, Honors World History continues where the Third Year Program ends, providing an overview of World history from the nineteenth century to the present day. The course begins with an exploration of the 19th century social movements of nationalism, socialism, and communism. As they become familiar with the parameters of each movement, students begin to assess how each social philosophy has affected the course of modern history.

Next, students study the periods of World War I, the 1930's and the rise of fascism in Europe, and World War II in depth. Students acquire excellent note-taking and outlining skills as they learn to prepare for exams which focus on cohesive, coherent essay writing.

Primary source readings supplement readings from the World History textbook, and are completed prior to class lectures; students learn to use a "learning journal" approach to class preparation. Group study strategies, time management skills, and a thorough understanding of how to prepare good questions for class discussion are paramount in World History II.

Units on Africa in the twentieth century and a historical analysis of the present crisis in the Middle East are incorporated into the study of modern European history. The course concludes with a study of the rise of terrorism and its effect on our world today.


English I

For ninth and tenth graders who have not yet participated in NFS classes, English I explores various literary genres through short stories, drama, essays, poetry, and novels. English I combines literature selections (novels, essays, poems, plays) by American authors with analysis of short stories, creative and analytical writing, and SAT- prep Grammar, Vocabulary, and Usage.

In Literature, students learn to take notes as they read, looking for evidence that supports their own personal interpretations of a text. Later in class, students will explore the many possible interpretations of the same text, learning, as they hear other points of view, to expand upon, support, or even change their ideas of textual meaning.

By writing summaries of their ideas, and learning to organize their arguments into longer, cohesive essays as the year progresses, students gain a gradual knowledge of clear, focused, essay-writing skills. Novels in English I include: The Outsiders, The Red Pony, and The Alchemist. Short stories are taken from two anthologies: Perrine's Story and Structure, and Wayside Publishing's Little Worlds.

Over the course of the year, students will also write a research paper on a topic of personal significance to their lives. Through this process-based research project, students will be introduced to effective research techniques. By learning how to sort information and select valid sources, both from print media and from the internet, students will begin to understand the significance of honest, thorough research. Students will also learn interview techniques to use as they pursue their search for information from primary and expert sources.

In addition to SAT-prep vocabulary, English I students spend significant time on grammar skills, including identifying grammatical errors in writing, and diagraming sentences.


Algebra I

Algebra I is designed to prepare the student for further study in mathematics, and to reinforce logical thinking. The course covers the mathematics properties, adding and subtracting integers and rational numbers, multiplying and dividing integers and rational numbers, inequalities, polynomials, factoring, rational expressions, functions and graphs, square roots, quadratics, and lines and slopes. Special emphasis is placed on application (word) problems and linear equations. Students should expect daily homework assignments and frequent evaluations of performance.


Geometry

Geometry includes an in-depth analysis of plane, solid, and coordinate geometry as they relate to abstract mathematical concepts as well as to real-world problem situations. Topics include logic and proof, parallel lines and polygons, perimeter and area analysis, volume and surface area analysis, similarity and congruence, trigonometry, and analytic geometry.  Emphasis will be placed on developing critical thinking skills as they relate to logical reasoning and argument. A strong mathematical background in Algebra I is a pre-requisite.




TENTH GRADE COURSES

American History I

American History I continues where the Second Year Program ends, providing an overview of American history from Reconstruction to the present day. As a preparation for AP US History in the eleventh grade year, students acquire excellent note-taking and outlining skills as they learn to prepare for exams which focus on cohesive, coherent essay writing.

Primary source readings supplement readings from the American History textbook, and are completed prior to class lectures; students will learn to use a "learning journal" approach to class preparation. Group study strategies, time management skills, and a thorough understanding of preparing good questions for class discussion are paramount.


Honors World Literature: Journeys from Home
the first year of a two-year preparation for the AP English Language & Composition Exam

High school students are engaged in the process of discovering individual paths to the adult world. As they leave the restrictive boundaries of home and adult authority, they begin to synthesize a world-view that is uniquely their own. This course will explore literature in which characters leave the protected environment of home to find their own way in the world.

Discussions of short stories and novels will lead toward students' learning how to find personally-significant themes that unite these apparently unrelated works. Novels include:

The Catcher in the Rye ~ ~ The Odyssey ~ ~ The Little Prince ~ ~ The Metamorphosis ~ ~ Things Fall Apart

Students will be expected to write several essays relating and comparing various works, and to develop their own essay questions & theses as themes emerge in the reading throughout the year. A section on the poetry of Robert Frost and e.e. cummings further challenges students' ideas of place, and allows them to begin the process of connecting poetic themes through analytical writing.

In addition to analytical writing, tenth graders will explore creative nonfiction (memoirs, travel pieces, interviews, and technical brochures). In this course, students also spend significant time learning how to write, edit, and grade SAT II-type essays under timed conditions. In addition to SAT-prep vocabulary, English II students spend time on reviewing grammar skills, including identifying grammatical errors in writing, and diagraming sentences.

A careful study of both Strunk & White's The Elements of Style and William Zinsser's On Writing Well helps students begin to grasp the uses of excellent grammar & style in constructing their own prose. We will also begin to explore publishing opportunities, especially those which provide editing response on returned pieces.


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Algebra II

Algebra II develops proficiency with math skills, expands upon the concepts presented in Algebra I, and improves logical thinking. Topics covered include: equations and inequalities (symbols and terminology), linear relations and functions (graphing on the coordinate plane), systems of equations, polynomials (factoring), quadratic equations and graphs, exponentials, logarithms, matrices, and trigonometry.

Focus will be given to applying Algebra II to solve real world problems.(A scientific calculator is required for Algebra II.)




ELEVENTH GRADE COURSES

AP United States History
the second year of a two-year preparation for the AP US History Exam. Students in this class receive the benefit of a 5.0 grading scale at MDHS.

description pending...


AP Language & Composition: American Literature
the second year of a two-year preparation for the AP Language & Composition Exam. Students in this class receive the benefit of a 5.0 grading scale at MDHS.

A study of Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, James, Steinbeck, Cather, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, O'Connor, & Faulkner. This course integrates the needs of students who have acquired basic skills in NFS programs with those of students who have little background in literary analysis.

A challenging, personalized preparation for the MDHS course in Advanced Placement English that will add depth to students' understanding of their MDHS American Government & History classes. Students will read several works by each author, including short stories and novels, and will learn to take lecture notes on the both the backgrounds of authors, and on elements of the authors' individual themes & writing styles.

By examining several stories and novels, students discover patterns of theme and style in an individual author's work. The study of each author culminates with a 1000-word paper analyzing themes in various pieces; students will learn how to develop their own essay questions and theses as the year progresses.

English III requires an intense schedule of reading, involving a significant book list. Due to these reading requirements, writing assignments will be fewer, but more rigorous and in-depth. Writing skills for English III include:

a short research paper that links literary criticism of an author's works with an in-depth analysis of one of those works

logical arguments in analytical and SAT II-type timed essays

selecting, writing, and editing successful college application essays

understanding how to do a detailed analysis of short literary passages, (a required element of the AP exam)

choosing, writing, and responding to creative nonfiction pieces

exploring publishing opportunities, especially those which provide editing response on returned pieces.

In addition to SAT-prep vocabulary, English III students will spend time on reviewing grammar skills, including identifying usage errors, and diagraming sentences. A careful study of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style helps students refine the uses of excellent grammar & style in constructing their own prose.


Pre-Calculus

Pre-Calculus is a continuation of the math preparation for college-bound students. Topics covered include linear functions, theory of equations, matrices and vectors, trigonometric functions, sequences and series, polar coordinates and complex numbers, exponential and logarithmic functions, limits, derivatives, conics, and probability.

Focus will be given to applying Pre-Calculus to solve real world problems. Use of graphing calculators are used and emphasized to solve certain problems. (A Texas Instruments 83 or 84 graphing calculator is required for Pre-Calculus.)




TWELFTH GRADE COURSES

AP English Literature & Composition

This class will receive the benefit of a 5.0 grading scale at MDHS. Students must choose to do the work required to prepare for the AP exam in early May, whether they actually take the exam or not.

A challenging, personalized preparation for the Advanced Placement exam in English Literature & Composition. Class includes significant portfolio writing of AP-type essays, which will be graded and reviewed for strengths and weaknesses, but will not be revised in the manner of previous NFS courses.

Students should expect challenging reading, which they will prepare in order to lead discussions; immersion in essay-writing and in oral exercises of essay development; poetry analysis; extensive grammatical review; and grades which reflect motivation, tenacity, and performance.

1st Semester reading includes:

Peririne's Sound & Sense
Frankenstein (Mary Shelley)
Beowulf (Frederick Rebsamen, trans.)
Grendel (John Gardner)
Sir Gawain & the Green Knight (W.S. Merwin, trans.)
Hamlet (Shakespeare)
Heart of Darkness (Joseph Conrad)

2nd Semester reading includes:

Poetry from Peririne's Sound & Sense
Dubliners (James Joyce)
Slaughterhouse Five (Kurt Vonnegut)
Beloved (Toni Morrison)
The Importance of Being Ernest (Oscar Wilde)
A Doll's House (Henrik Ibsen)
The Glass Menagerie (Tennessee Williams)
Death of a Salesman (Arthur Miller)
The Annotated Alice (Lewis Carroll)

Expect to read...a lot. Expect to write...a lot. Students should choose at least two books from the High School summer reading list and READ THEM over the summer.


AP Calculus [AB]

AP Calculus is a rigorous mathematical preparation for the College Board Calculus AB Exam and considered equivalent to entry Calculus at the college level. Topics covered include: review of graphs of equations and functions, limits, trigonometry, and their properties, rules and applications of differentiation, integration, logarithmic, exponential and other transcendental functions.

Focus will be given to applying Calculus to solve real world problems.(A Texas Instruments 83 or 84 graphing calculator is required for AP Calculus.)




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