Grade 11 Theme: Leadership and Decision-Making
Our local community is the focus of 11th graders’ studies in leadership and decision-making. In English and history classes, students take in multiple perspectives about our region and its history, as well as their implications for citizen leadership — including their own leadership. An internship program enables students to see leadership and decision-making in action. Throughout the year, students have multiple opportunities to develop their own leadership and decision-making skills in preparation for the year’s closing intensive, Entrepreneurship I.
Opening Intensive: Art
Students choose between two three-week intensives.
A 300 - Video Game Design Lab
Students learn the fundamentals of video-game design through project-based learning, visits from industry professionals, and field trips to local companies. They explore a variety of 2D and 3D game engines and techniques as they create an original video game. Students work in small interdisciplinary teams, choosing roles that capitalize on their individual strengths, including game theory and mechanics, storyboarding, 2D and 3D design, and programming. They gain valuable professional experience through meeting milestones, navigating team challenges, iterating on ideas, and submitting major deliverables. The course concludes with a final presentation of the game to industry experts.
A 301 - Advanced Digital Media
Building on the Foundations of Digital Media intensive (Grade 10), students can choose to pursue a passion for digital music production, photography, or video production. This project-based course includes visits from guest speakers and field trips to learn from industry experts in the greater Seattle area. Students develop individual projects in consultation with the instructor, and focus on developing digital skills, artistic techniques, and the ability to conduct a thoughtful critique of their own work and that of others.
E 300 - Literature of the Pacific Northwest (fall semester)
Students explore a wealth of diverse literature about the Pacific Northwest as they consider questions: What does it mean to possess a “sense of place”? How is the Pacific Northwest portrayed in literature? How have different groups experienced the Pacific Northwest? Course texts may include poetry and fiction by Sherman Alexie; Sunil Yapa’s “Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist”; poetry by Marilyn Chin and Lawson Inada; Tobias Wolff’s “This Boy’s Life”; Ken Kesey’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”; and “The Singing Creek Where the Willows Grow” by Opal Whiteley and Benjamin Hoff. Students continue to develop their vocabulary and grammar skills and practice various styles of writing, including personal narrative, literary analysis, travel writing, and college essays.
E 301 - Literary Nonfiction (spring semester)
This course dovetails with the Ethics and Citizenship class by looking at nonfiction narratives in genres including memoir and autobiography (Alexandra Fuller’s “Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight” and Paul Rusesabagina’s “An Ordinary Man”); philosophy (Robert M. Pirsig’s “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”); leadership (Barack Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope”); and sociology (Mary Roach’s “Grunt”). Students continue to develop their vocabulary and grammar skills and practice various styles of writing, including personal narrative, literary analysis, travel writing, and college essays.
History and Social Sciences
H 300 - Regional Studies (fall semester)
Taking advantage of the city as a classroom, students connect with local communities to understand growth and change within the context of emergent and relevant regional issues. Through case studies drawn from the contemporary realities of the city, region, and state, students develop an understanding of what constitutes engaged citizenship, ethical leadership, and the mechanisms of decision-making. In addition to academic coursework, the class invites students to act as participatory citizens, immersing themselves in their communities and the challenges that arise from the various dynamics of a thriving city. The form of this engagement will vary depending on the issues of the year, but it may include visits to municipal offices, collaboration with nonprofits, fieldwork, and community service. In addition to learning content, students are evaluated using activities and assessments relevant to civic work: public speaking, report writing, community discussions, and promoting awareness of critical issues.
H 301 - Ethics and Citizenship (spring semester)
This course serves as the capstone of leadership and decision-making and prepares students to actively participate with students from around the world in senior-year classes through Global Online Academy. Students learn the basics of philosophical inquiry and study profiles in leadership, as they reflect on what constitutes ethical participation within various community groups and evaluate how individuals might best engage with their communities. While the class has citizen leadership at its core, it also celebrates participation and engagement at other levels and across a variety of domains: political, social, economic, environmental, cultural, and religious. The course introduces students to individuals worth emulating while also providing the necessary tools to undertake challenging moral and civic decisions on their own. At the conclusion of the course, students are asked to apply ethical principles and decision-making to debates unfolding in our local community.
M 300 - Precalculus
This is a problem-based inquiry course focused on polynomial, exponential, logarithmic, power, and trigonometric functions. Students also explore conic sections along with ideas in probability and statistics, sequences and series, limits, and rates of change. They expand their programming skills to include functions/methods and explore the importance of procedural decomposition (breaking a complex problem or system into parts that are easier to conceive, understand, program, and maintain). Reflecting the leadership and decision-making theme, students are asked to design insightful solutions to challenging problems, choosing between various mathematical and/or computational tools to analyze and communicate their findings. Students’ progress is assessed through frequent quizzes and larger traditional assessments that illuminate depth of understanding. They finish the class prepared for Statistics, Calculus, and the rigors of college-level mathematics.
S 300 - Physics
This rigorous, lab-based course introduces students to the physical world through hands-on and theoretical investigations. Students are challenged to derive meaning from patterns in data they collect and analyze, and they investigate ideas surrounding motion, force, momentum, energy, and circuits. They also learn relevant professional skills such as technical communication (reading, writing, speaking, listening), proportional reasoning, computational thinking, and application of computer modeling to observations and questions about the physical world.
L 300 - Global Citizens
This in-depth course focuses on cultural literacy, a key component of leadership in today’s globalized world. Students reflect on their own individual culture and increase their understanding of cultural diversity in a variety of contexts. They expand their skills in reading, writing, listening to, and speaking Spanish, with an emphasis on higher order comprehension and production. Students collaborate on projects that explore belief systems; indigenous cultures in the Spanish-speaking world; and the impact of globalization on local culture, ecology, and the environment. Classes are fully immersive; students use exclusively Spanish.
Closing Intensive: Entrepreneurship
ID 300 - Entrepreneurship 1: Problem Definition and Planning
In this three-week intensive, students continue their examination of the good life begun in 10th grade by asking themselves this question: What matters to me? Continuing their use of the city as a lab, students work with partners around the city as they develop questions, identify problems they want to better understand, gain a nuanced understanding of challenges, and develop potential solutions. Their final project is an inquiry portfolio that holds artifacts and evidence of their learning, including the evolution of their questions and problems, methods of research, and sources of information. This intensive lays the groundwork for the opening intensive of senior year, Entrepreneurship 2: Sustainably Serving Customers.