Course Descriptions

Art and Music

Fundamentals of Design (.5 credit)

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

This on-line course will give students a strong foundation in two-dimensional design and composition. Using basic tools and processes, students will create and compose works based on short instructional videos and on-line explorations, to develop their understanding of the design process. Critical analysis and interpretation of art through short readings and written explanations will cultivate students’ knowledge and push them to embrace relevant vocabulary and descriptions of their personal hands-on art making processes. Students taking this course are required to have/purchase art supplies including (but not limited to) pencils, drawing paper, watercolor paper, brushes and acrylic paints.

Popular Music in America (.5 credit)

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

Students embark on a fascinating journey from the 1940’s to present with the American story told through its music. The course begins with basic concepts of music including lyrics, melody, harmony, and form. Then students delve into the evolution of popular music in America beginning with folk music and the blues, rock & roll, the 1960’s and Beatlemania, and hip-hop. Students will not only examine the music of various eras, but also the lives of music artists of the time, the country’s political climate, and pop culture during the various time periods—all of which had a large influence on the music that was created, performed, and purchased by fans.


Personal Financial Literacy (.5 credit)

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

In this course, students will learn to make informed decisions as consumers. They will develop knowledge and skills related to income and responsible spending including: budgeting, banking, financial planning, consumer credit, saving and investment, and purchasing insurance. Personal finance and business simulation software is used extensively throughout the course to provide unique, authentic experiences that require conscientious decision-making.

Family & Consumer Sciences

Child Development 1: Introduction and Theory (.5 credit)

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

This introductory course focuses on preparation and readiness for parenthood and/or child-related careers.  Topics include family structures, child theorists, brain research, heredity, and environmental influences.  After completion of this course with a grade of C or better, students may continue their study by enrolling in Child Development 2: From Conception through the Toddler Years (.5 cr.)

Child Development 2: Conception through the Toddler Years (.5 credit)

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

This course is designed to sequentially follow the Child Development 1: Introduction and Theory course. Topics include intellectual, physical, social, and emotional development. Units of study relate to nutritional needs and learning through play and safety. Prerequisite: Completion of Child Development 1 with a grade of “C” or better.

Health & Physical Education

Health (.5 credit)

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

This course takes students on an awareness journey through contemporary mental, emotional, social, physiological, and spiritual aspects of health and wellness. Some have immediate impact on the lives of teens and others are encountered as one moves through adulthood. Emphasis on healthful decision-making, long and short-term goal setting, and looking into the future of one’s quality of life will be discussed, debated, and researched. Students will learn to evaluate media and advertising for trustworthiness and credibility when it comes to making healthy choices. This is a highly interactive course providing abundant opportunities for thought-provoking discussion.

Language Arts

Creative Writing – OCPA (.5 credit)

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

This course is designed to give students who have already mastered basic writing skills a creative outlet. The course will use the writing process in developing personal essays, short stories, plays, and poems. Students will focus on developing characters, plot, and dialogue in plays and stories and on mastering imagery, meter, and rhythm in poetry.

This course is considered an English elective credit.

Science Fiction Literature (.5 credit)

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

Students will examine science fiction literature and its impact on society. This course begins with a brief history of science fiction literature. Sub-genres of science fiction literature including time travel; biological science fiction; robots, mechs, and cyborgs; new worlds; aliens; and the dystopian future are all explored. The course also includes a novel requirement—a project that students will work to complete, throughout the course.


Astronomy (1 credit)

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

The universe is comprised of infinite space both inward and outward. In this course, we will attempt to discover just how big it truly is by using by an array of celestial objects that exist around us. We will explore our night sky, constellations, solar system, galaxy, and what lies beyond the far reaches of space. In addition, we’ll learn about past and current projects for space exploration, as well as future ideas for space travel, but it all has to start with an introduction to the first astronomers. Our journey will also take us to black holes, quasars, supernovae, brown dwarfs, and current theories. Finally, we’ll explore how we make observations from Earth and touch on the mechanics of the tools that aid us in exploring the night sky. All content, activities, and assessments are presented online; however, the nature of this course requires some independent nighttime observation activities.

Science Mini-Electives

(mix & match for .5 credit or 1 credit)

Botany  (.25 credit)

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

This course is a survey of the essential elements of botany, with a focus on the significant role of plants in human society. Topics include plant anatomy, horticulture and plant care, plant taxonomy, and the environmental and economic Importance of plants. Students will scientifically scrutinize the growth and development of a plant that they cultivate at home, reporting observations at intervals throughout the course. A deeper understanding of life sciences will be gained, providing the foundation for careers and/or recreational interests related to the fields of biology, agriculture, botany, and horticulture.

Introduction to Ecology (.25 credit)

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

What does it take to survive? A difficult fight for survival ensues on planet Earth. While we do not know if life exists elsewhere, the one thing we do know is that this same fight for survival would occur, if it does. Individual living units, called organisms, must compete for resources, energy, and building blocks. In this Introduction to ecology course, students will learn what these resources and build blocks are, how they link together to create life, and how organisms get what they need to survive. Students will examine the interrelationships between living things that create the tremendous diversity of life observed here on Earth.

Epidemiology (.25 credit)

Prerequisites: College Prep or Honors Biology

Grades 10, 11, 12

Epidemiology is a scientific discipline combining various aspects of biology, ecology and mathematics, which are used to identify the determinants of disease and injury in human populations. Epidemiology provides a means of assessing the magnitude of public health problems such as global diseases and localized health issues, and the success of interventions designed to control them. It is regarded as a discipline essential for understanding and solving public health problems. The course will include basic research designs, estimating outcome measures, establishing cause and effect, and effectiveness of interventions to prevent and cure disease.

Geology (.25 credit)

Prerequisite: College Prep or Honors Earth Science

Grades 10, 11, 12

Students will build a working knowledge of earth sciences, particularly geology, into a more cohesive whole. Students should seek connections: connections between the past and present, connections between concepts, ideas, and innovations, and connections between this and prior knowledge. Beginning with a review of origins, the student will learn more about rocks and minerals, their formation and structure, and the subsequent positioning of these rocks and their formations in the geologic strata. Students will then view these formations from the perspective of the geologic time scale. Any laboratory experiences will occur solely online via activities and simulations. This course is recommended for students interested in pursuing a career in the environmental sciences and/or the Earth sciences.

Meteorology (.25 credit)

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

Students will study the basic elements of weather observation and how that information is used to develop computer models and a weather forecast.  By the end of the course, students will have an opportunity to log observations and create a simple forecast of their own.  In addition, students will learn how to stay safe during dangerous weather conditions.  Finally, the difference between weather and climate will be explored.

Introduction to Biochemistry (.25 credit)

Prerequisites: College Prep or Honors Biology and College Prep or Honors Chemistry

Grades 10, 11, 12

For students interested in studying chemistry and/or biology in college, this online course familiarizes students with the process of analyzing protein biochemistry, including: structure, function, metabolism, enzyme kinetics, biological catalysis, and conformations. Additionally, basic organic chemistry principles will be explored and applied to biochemistry. The course will culminate with students analyzing an assigned protein from the Protein Data Bank.

Introduction to Microbiology (.25 credit)

Prerequisite: College Prep or Honors Biology

Grades 10, 11, 12

This course is designed for students who want to deepen their knowledge of biological concepts. The classification, structure and physiology of microorganisms are stressed, emphasizing specific microbes that cause disease. The role of anti-microbial agents and antibiotics are thoroughly examined. Finally, students will study the human immune system with respect to infectious disease. This course is highly recommended for students interested in the fields of health care, environmental science, and agriculture.

Oceanography (.25 credit)

Prerequisite: College Prep or Honors Earth Science

Grades 10, 11, 12

This course introduces the important physical processes of our oceans in a way that encourages understanding of both the conceptual physical principles and how these fit into the concept of Earth as a dynamic, interacting system. Initial focus is on the basic history, which lays the foundation of the principles upon which physical oceanography is based. These principles are then used to help understand waves, tides, currents, and large-scale ocean circulation. The activities in the course are designed to showcase the student’s knowledge of the concepts learned in class. Throughout the course, examples will be given to show how physical oceanography affects and is affected by the biological, chemical, and geophysical processes in the ocean. At the completion of this course, the student will have a working knowledge of the dynamics associated with the Earth’s oceans.

Zoology (.25 credit)

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

This course in Zoology is an introduction to the study of animals. Topics explored include the hierarchy of life, animal characteristics, architecture and behavior, evolution, taxonomy, classification, nomenclature, and an overview of multiple animal phyla. A variety of web-based tools are incorporated, to meet the needs of all learners. A myriad of assessments types are included in the course, to determine comprehension. This course functions asynchronously, allowing students to work at their own pace.

Social Studies

AP Psychology (1 credit)

Grades 11, 12

Advanced Placement Psychology is an in-depth study of human behavior. Topics including learning, personality, abnormal psychology, therapy, and human development will be investigated. Textbooks are college-level and students will be expected to read independently. Analysis and synthesis will be demonstrated through the writing of essays and other activities. College credit and/or advanced placement may be obtained by achieving a satisfactory score on the standardized Advanced Placement Psychology exam.

Criminal Justice (.5 credit)

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

This course is designed to provide an introductory overview of the U.S. justice process and the criminal justice system in general. Concepts of crime, deviance, and justice will be discussed, and general theories of crime causality will be examined. Individual rights in a democratic society will be explored, as will the legal definitions of various crimes. The organization and operation of the three basic components of the criminal justice system—the police, the courts, and corrections—individually and in relationship to one another, will also be explored. The theme of individual rights vs. public order is the framework for the course content.


Introduction to Video Game Design (.5 credit)

Grade 9, 10, 11, 12

This online course provides students the opportunity to take their experience with, and interest in, playing video games to the next level—development of a video game. Video Game Design is an introductory project-based course that allows students to explore the psychology behind what attracts individuals to certain video games, simple video game design and development, and the business and marketing aspects of video game promotion. Students will create a game using software such as Scratch and Alice, develop a marketing plan to promote the game, and field test games developed by classmates. Students will utilize multiple skills and knowledge sets to develop a product for an authentic business scenario. The curriculum framework incorporates science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), along with aspects of psychology, business, and writing. This is truly an inter-disciplinary course.

Introduction to Web Development (.5 credit)

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

Students are introduced to basic web design and development using HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). Students will learn to plan and design effective web pages; implement web pages by writing HTML and CSS code; enhance web pages with the use of page layout techniques, text formatting, graphics, images, and multimedia; and produce a functional, multi-page website. Upon successful completion of this course, students will have a practical foundation in web design using HTML and CSS.

World Languages

Latin I (1 credit)

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

In Latin I, we learn about what makes an ancient language so different from a modern language:  inflection.  In addition to learning about inflections, we will learn how to use those inflections to read a Latin text.  Our study of the lives, thoughts, and customs of the Roman people will take place as we are engaged in reading a variety of Latin texts throughout the semester.  In each module of the course, we look at the connections between Latin and English.  And throughout the semester, you will be watching films of your own choosing about ancient Roman culture and history.

Latin II (1 credit)

Prerequisite: Latin 1

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12

In Latin II, we will continue the study of some important concepts in Latin grammar. These grammatical concepts will usher us into the world of Roman thought and help us to understand how they expressed and communicated ideas via grammar. We move from a word by word translation of text into an interpretation of ideas expressed solely by a grammatical form.  In addition, the course spends a great deal of time focusing on the great literary work of the Roman author Vergil — The Aeneid.  We will be reading adapted prose excerpts from this poem and learning about how Emperor Augustus used this work to help fashion his political agenda and renew the identity of the Roman people and its leaders.


* See the district of residence Curriculum Guide for pre- and co-requisites.