Grade 9 Theme: Identity and Learning
In 9th grade, students explore the theme of identity and learning through a variety of disciplinary lenses, asking questions like Who am I? What aspects of life create an identity? How do others see me? Does my identity affect the world around me?
ID 100 - How Do I Learn Best?
In this three-week class, students examine the latest research about how our brains work, with a special emphasis on the adolescent brain. Students explore current theories in disciplines such as neuroscience and psychology while working with citywide partners to gain a broad view of learning. At the end of the course, they shift their focus to themselves as learners and start a learning portfolio that they use and expand upon throughout their high school experience. Students move into the first semester with shared core concepts, including a basic understanding of the neuroscience of learning; connections between learning, thinking, memory, and problem-solving; and the necessary role of failure in learning.
E 100 - English 9
This course serves as an introduction to literature and composition. Students explore the theme of identity formation through coming-of-age narratives selected from multiethnic and world literature. Course texts may include Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” Marjane Satrapi’s “Persepolis,” Sherman Alexie’s “The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” Tsitsi Dangarembga’s “Nervous Conditions,” and Kazuo Ishiguro’s “Never Let Me Go.” Students write creative, personal, and analytical texts, with a focus on the five-paragraph essay. They also learn key grammatical concepts and hone their vocabulary.
History and Social Sciences
H 100 - World History
This thematic course helps students relate their own experience and identity to a global context. Investigating global systems (trade, communication, technology, culture, ideology, religion), students learn about meanings of civilization, systems of governance and power, and manifestations of citizenship. At each point, they work to connect the experience of individuals to the patterns and scale of global trends and interactions. The course covers a range of regions and historical moments, giving students a broad overview of content as well as an understanding of trends and patterns of human civilization. Through structured activities and projects, students develop their skills in writing, public speaking, crafting and delivering presentations, debate, civil discourse, and scholarly engagement.
M 100 - Algebraic, Geometric, and Computational Thinking I
Students use real-world examples to learn a variety of foundational mathematical topics including linear, quadratic, and exponential relations; right triangle trigonometry; systems of equations; length and area; and descriptive statistics. They develop strong algebraic skills, enhance their spatial reasoning, become proficient with graphing software, and are introduced to basic spreadsheet operations and coding. The majority of assessments in this course are via projects and experiential activities such as case studies and labs, with frequent small quizzes to offer students feedback on content mastery. Students begin to understand themselves as mathematical thinkers and be able to use their skills and knowledge to understand and illustrate mathematical ideas.
S 100 - Biology
This introductory biology course provides students with an opportunity to learn how to think like a scientist. They learn how to collect, analyze, and interpret information, as well as effectively communicate scientific concepts. Student-focused discussions, exploratory activities, and laboratory exercises are designed to enhance scientific literacy. Students explore a wide variety of biological concepts with clear, real-world connections, with evolution and gene expression serving as unifying themes throughout the course. Other topics may include ecology, Mendelian and population genetics, molecular biology, and cellular structure and function.
L 100 - Your Life
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of the Spanish language by exploring topics of interest to adolescents, including family, friendships, school life, and youth culture. Students develop cultural literacy by examining their own experience and articulating it to their peers in Spanish, and by comparing their experience to that of youth throughout the Spanish-speaking world. In class, students do most of the talking as they learn vocabulary and grammar through projects such as family histories, recipe videos, and fashion shows. Students develop their skills in reading, writing, listening to, and speaking Spanish.
W 100 - Health and Wellness
This three-week intensive rounds out the identity and learning theme by empowering students to be healthy, safe, and active. The course integrates fitness activities (biking, hiking, walking, yoga, etc.) with health and wellness instruction, and it includes guest speakers and field trips. The first part of this two-section intensive focuses on physical development, including basic anatomy, health-related components of fitness, and nutrition. The second part addresses personal and social development, including exploration of identity, emotional health, healthy relationships, sexual health, and substance education.