Craig High School (CHS) Program of Studies
The college prep program at Craig High addresses the development of the whole student with the goals of creating independent learners, building a greater sense of self, and guiding our students in being an active part in their future decision making process. Our curriculum is cross curricular, integrated, and designed to facilitate active teaching and learning that goes beyond the classroom. Within our curriculum, we incorporate a series of learning strategies and executive functioning skills that allow students to manage their learning, and build the social and self-advocacy skills that are vital to success both in and out of the classroom. Our curriculum is also aligned with the common core standards for secondary education and the graduation requirements as established by the State of New Jersey. Below are brief summaries of courses available at CHS:
SOPHOMORE WRITING: Students continue to build on the writing strategy instruction initiated in freshman writing and eventually begin to refine their paragraph writing skills and organize these paragraphs into larger essays and reports. Students also learn to proofread and refine drafts. Continued emphasis is placed on vocabulary development and generalizing writing skills to other courses and “real world” situations.
FRESHMAN LITERATURE: This course covers a variety of literary genres including the novel, play, short story, poetry, biography, and essay with a focused emphasis on plot, character, and theme. Typical works may include Romeo and Juliet, The Red Pony, Julius Caesar, and mythology. This course also includes a series of reading strategies including Paraphrasing and Summarizing as well as Visual Imagery.
SOPHOMORE LITERATURE: This course continues with such literary genres as the novel, play, short story, poetry, biography, and essay and a continued focus on plot, conflict, character, and theme. Common works read include The Masque of the Red Death, Animal Farm, and The Twelfth Night. Learning strategies include Word Mapping as well as a review of Paraphrasing and Visual Imagery.
JUNIOR ENGLISH: This course explores the development of American literature from the Puritan Period to modern times. Typical units include Native American Mythology, La Relacion, Of Plymouth Plantation, Poor Richard’s Almanac, and The Crucible. Students are also introduced to Inferencing Strategies.
SENIOR ENGLISH: This course explores major British and world writers. Works studied include Hamlet, Beowulf, Grendel, and The Canterbury Tales. This course expands and reinforces the foundations established throughout the CHS English Courses curriculum including focuses on comprehension, vocabulary development, grammar and a various modes of writing.
PRE-ALGEBRA: This course reviews concepts and skills of number sense, operations on integers, fractions, decimals and percents. Once learned, these concepts are applied to problem solving situations. The course also focuses on reasoning skills, variables, algebraic expressions, equations and inequalities.
ALGEBRA I: Students are introduced to higher order, abstract reasoning skills. Problem-solving skills are enhanced through the application of logic. Special attention is given to translating word problems into mathematical statements. Topics included are algebraic expressions, equations, rational numbers, polynomials, exponents, radicals, factoring, rational expressions, solving and graphing linear equations and inequalities, probability, and statistics.
ALGEBRA II: This course extends the basic concepts and skills introduced in Algebra I and Geometry. It introduces complex numbers, functions, quadratic systems, and statistics and prepares students for the potentials of advanced mathematical courses.
GEOMETRY: This course is based on Euclidian geometry. Topics include congruence, similarity, polygons, Pythagorean Theorem, right triangle, trigonometry, circles, area, and volume. These topics are addressed in practical and real world scenarios.
INTEGRATED MATH: The course covers concepts and skills of number sense, algebra, geometry, probability, statistics, patterns, functions, mathematical reasoning, problem solving and mathematical communication.
ADVANCED INTEGRATED MATH: This course covers quadratic functions, conic sections, polynomial functions, rational expressions, exponential and logarithmic functions, sequences and series, and trigonometric functions and graphs.
PRE-CALCULUS: This course is designed for students who meet certain pre-requisites and are highly motivated. The course covers a variety of concepts from limits and rates of change to volume calculations of rotated two dimensional solids. The course helps students solve real-world problems through mathematical formulation and analysis.
Science Reference sheets are incorporated across all of our science courses. They generated from student notes and follow a Sample-Example format that follows teacher-directed samples that are broken into step-by-step process explanations which allows our students a resource for independent work both in class and at home.
EARTH SCIENCE: Earth Science is a study of the earth and its place in the universe. Through discussions and laboratory activities, students acquire a general foundation in geology, meteorology, and astronomy.
BIOLOGY: Biology provides students with an opportunity to investigate living things and their relationship to the environment. Topics include ecology, cellular biology, photosynthesis, and genetics.
CHEMISTRY: This course acquaints students with the fundamental principles of chemistry as they build a basic knowledge of how science is used to explore the world we live in. Topics include the properties of matter, atomic structure, the periodic table, light and energy, ionic and covalent bonding, and chemical reactions. Students also learn to create, analyze, and graph data.
PHYSICS: This course emphasizes the concepts of physics with a focus on critical thinking and reasoning skills. Students explore the laws of mechanics through hands on experiments where we pair high tech measuring devices with iPads to gather data and graph results. Topics include the laws of mechanics, energy conservation, electricity, momentum, and light and sound waves.
SOCIAL STUDIES COURSES
US HISTORY I: This course provides a general review of the colonial period in American history through the Civil War and Reconstruction (1500-1865). There is a special focus on the Colonial Period, the American Revolution, The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Emphasis is placed on reading comprehension and study skills.
U.S. HISTORY II: This course provides a general review of the Spanish/American War through the present day. There is a special focus on Progressivism, Theodore Roosevelt and the changing role of the United States government.
US HISTORY III: This course examines the actions and reactions to the treaties and commitments of post World War II and their impact on the United States and the world. Emphasis is placed on examining the influence of past events on the shape of present day decisions and directions.
WORLD LANGUAGE COURSES
SPANISH II: This course builds on the language skills learned in Spanish I with a continued focus on vocabulary acquisition. Conversational skills are further developed through classroom dialogues.
SPANISH III: This course reinforces the listening and speaking skills acquired in the previous Spanish courses and expands on reading and writing skills.
CONVERSATIONAL ITALIAN: Objectives for this course include beginning proficiency in listening comprehension, speaking, and Italian culture. The focus is on practical and fundamental vocabulary and situations that will allow students to feel comfortable speaking a foreign language.
VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS
SOPHOMORE ART STUDIO: This course will formally introduce the elements of art and principles of design, and teach students how to use them to visually express themselves. Students will be given opportunities to experience a variety of media (pencil, pen, ink, charcoal, pastel, watercolor, and acrylic paint) while developing their individual style and creative problem solving skills. Through class critiques and writings, students will demonstrate their ability to respond, analyze and to interpret their own artwork and the work of established artists throughout history.
DIGITAL ARTS: Digital Arts teaches students to utilize computer technology to produce an artistic imagery. Students will learn computer illustration techniques, image manipulation, digital camera use, graphic design visual literacy, and the principles and elements of art in composition. Students will learn how technology has changed art through history, and how they can apply those changes to their own work.
SENIOR ART STUDIO: This course offers students the opportunity to expand on any artistic techniques they have learned in previous classes and approach theme based projects in whatever medium they choose. Students are encouraged to build confidence in the art studio by taking risks and taking time to reflect on their work with their classmates. There will be an emphasis on modern and contemporary works of art during class critiques and writings.
HEALTH & PHYSICAL EDUCATION
PHYSICAL EDUCATION I-IV: Our PE program offers a variety of activities stressing engagement in lifelong sports and total fitness. The program promotes the development of physical, social and mental well-being as well as a skill set that allows students to be active participants in a variety of sports at a level that they are comfortable with. The benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are stressed.
DRIVERS EDUCATION: This classroom course is an elective course available to students aged 15 and older. Students learn about the NJ Driver's License system, driver safety and rules, defensive driving, penalties for drinking and driving, road signs and emergency situations. A passing grade on the NJ Driver's Knowledge exam at the conclusion of the course allows students to receive their driving permit and pursue their six hours of behind-the-wheel training with a driving school.
PERSONAL FINANCE: Personal Finance explores the basic skills needed to develop and build a strong financial foundation that is so critical to being independent. Student’s ass will learn about and manage personal checking accounts including writing checks and balancing accounts. They will also learn about the fundamentals of understanding credit and the potential dangers associated with debt and identity theft. We will also spend time learning about investment strategies, mutual funds and the stock market.
21st CENTURY LIFE AND CAREERS
Sophomore Seminar – Career Awareness and Preparation: Craig students begin their formal transition planning and training in their sophomore year. The process begins with the focus on career awareness and work place skills. Core elements to our 10th grade seminar course include Multiple Intelligences, Goal Setting, Career Fields, and Self-Advocacy Skills.
Junior Seminar – College Awareness and Search Strategies: Learning about college and post-secondary options are the focus for the junior class seminar, during which our students learn about various post-secondary options, comprehensive academic accommodations, navigating college websites, applications, interviewing, and resume writing. During a student’s junior year, Mrs. DeSimone meets with each student and their parents in order to develop a plan that ultimately will culminate in a personalized college/post-secondary list of recommendations and options for each student.
Senior Seminar – College Life: To help make the transition to college for CHS grads even smoother, we cover all aspects of college and campus life in our Senior Seminar class including differences between HS and college, IDEA vs. ADA, and living on campus vs. commuting. During senior year, our Director of College Counseling works with students one-on-one to assist them as they visit, interview and apply to their respective colleges and/or post-secondary choices.