English

English 10: American Literature

What does it mean to be American? From the perspectives of indigenous people to the revolution that defined our independence to slavery and its legacy to the very cases contended today in the Supreme Court, we address the range of Americanism, the beautiful and the sordid. Students write, read, debate, create, reflect, act, film, craft, and present as ways of asking big questions, answering the questions with specific evidence, and acknowledging the complexities of those answers. Readings include fiction, non-fiction, memoir, poetry, and drama, and writings ask students to question the literature, its language and its purpose. Students hone their thesis development skills, practice finding and incorporating meaningful, interesting evidence, and build their analytical reasoning, and they bring these skills to all of their work. 

Myth and Meaning in American Literature 
In this course, we turn to great American writers whose work articulates contemporary America, and we use these writings to ask the questions: What does it really mean to be American? What are the myths about America and how do they show up in literature? How do those myths shape our understanding of characters and their actions? How do these myths evolve? How are they being disrupted? How do authors create characters and narratives who wrestle with America’s past? How do these characters and narratives help us face their futures?

Identity in American Literature
How does love show up in the world? How do self-love and friendship and romantic love and love of place show up in our world and in literature? What happens when love isn’t there? How does love help us understand ourselves better? There are myriad tangible and intangible ways that love helps us define ourselves and our world — from large scale identifiers like nation and religion, to the little things, like choosing what shoes to wear in the morning. In this term, we look at America through a range of lenses, and all of these lenses ultimately help inform our own perspectives of who we are and why we believe the things we do.


Mathematics

Integrated Math 2: Algebra, Geometry, and Data Science

Integrated Math 2 students expand their algebraic reasoning and understanding of mathematical models including quadratic equations and exponential functions. Students also explore probability and build upon their knowledge of transformations, congruence, and similarity while developing logic skills through conjecture, argument, and proof. Investigations in this course build connections between all topics covered. 

Prerequisites: Integrated Math 1, Algebra 1, or Foundations for Algebraic Reasoning. Offered at the Honors and Standard levels. Honors level requires departmental recommendation.

Integrated Math 3: Algebra, Geometry, and Data Science

Integrated Math 3 students continue to expand their algebraic reasoning and understanding of mathematical models including complex numbers, exponential equations, and polynomials. Students also explore sampling and build upon their knowledge of solid geometry and circle theorems while building connections between all topics covered. 

Prerequisites: Integrated Math 2. Offered at the Honors and Standard levels. Honors level requires departmental recommendation.


History

Global History II: U.S. and World History

From Power to Superpower (Required)
From the Spanish American War to the beginning of the Cold War, this course will explore the evolution of the U.S. as a global superpower, its territorial expansion, its foreign policy and involvement in different wars and conflicts. You will examine how governments garner popular support for military and humanitarian interventions abroad and how the outcomes of these actions have affected and been affected by political decision-making and geopolitical interests.

A Time for Change
From the advent of modern steel-making and new forms of communication like the telegraph to the election of the first African American president, students will explore change and evolution in politics (role of government, gender, race), culture (music and art), economics and technology and examine how the U.S. developed as the nation it is today. This course provides students a bird’s eye view of American society through the lens of significant events in the 20th and 21st centuries that have affected and continue to challenge the nation and the world.


Science

Chemistry Foundations - Atoms and Reactions

Chemistry Foundations covers essential core content, while providing hands-on opportunities for students to learn how to think like a chemist. Students learn to use the language of chemistry to describe physical and chemical changes of matter. They explore atomic structure and theory, ionic and covalent bonding, and the structure and organization of the Periodic Table in order to understand how atoms function both individually and when bonded together. In addition, students will explore the nature of chemical reactions in theory and in practice. Students investigate environmental chemistry and pollution while applying it to issues of injustice in the US through an independent research project. Students further develop skills around conducting labs, scientific research, synthesis in scientific writing and creating formal scientific posters.

Prerequisites: Physics Foundations and Physics Applications -Engineering (previously Conceptual Physics) or departmental permission. Honors section with departmental permission.

Biology Foundations - The Structure & Function of Life

From the use of antibiotics to evolution of skin color this survey course applies the concepts of biology to the real and changing world around us. This course will give students the opportunity to learn about the fundamentals of life, from the evolution of homo sapiens down to the microscopic viruses that invade us. This course focuses on a deeper understanding of the biological concepts of biochemistry, cellular biology, genetics, and evolution while further developing lab skills, data analysis, inferences and reasoning, scientific writing, and presentation skills. Collaborative and independent research projects have students incorporate strategies to processes and deeper understand complex biological concepts and how they play out over time.

Prerequisites: Chemistry Foundations. Honors section with departmental permission.


Modern Languages
Students are not placed in a specific level based on year, but rather by proficiency, meaning students from several different grades may be in the same class. Click here to see all our Modern Language offerings.


Arts
Students are not placed in a specific level based on year, but rather by interest, meaning students from several different grades may be in the same class. Students can choose to take classes in either or both of the Performing Arts and Visual Arts departments.
Click here to see the Performing Arts offerings.
Click here to see the Visual Arts offerings.


BVR-X

AI and Language Learning

Ever wanted to learn a language not offered at school or a specific topic that might not be included in the offered curriculum? In this course, students will create customized language learning materials to help develop their communicative ability. Students will combine their research into foreign language programs in their language of choice with language acquisition theory, different language learning methods, and an exploration of ChatGPT features to create lessons that target their level and interest areas. Lastly, students will learn how to assess their own progress and goal set by looking at American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages standards. 

Open to Grade Levels: 10, 11, 12

Computer Science Principles

Computing is everywhere – it powers your phone and laptop, it’s behind every purchase you make, it powers your car, it’s even in your refrigerator! Understanding the principles of computing is essential for navigating the modern world. This course will examine foundational concepts in computer science, including computational thinking, programming fundamentals, algorithms, and cybersecurity. We will also examine critical questions about the ethical and societal implications of technology. This class involves some light coding, but is mainly focused on computer science concepts and principles. No prior coding experience is required.

Open to Grade Levels: 10, 11, 12

Data Analysis and Coding Lab

Did you know that the average person generates 1.7 megabytes of information or that it would take 181 million years to download all the data from the internet? Data drives our world but most of us don’t understand what it means, why we need it, and how it works. In this self-paced course, you will complete a variety of interest-based projects that deepen your understanding of coding and data analysis. Through examining real-world case studies from healthcare to social media and from education to culture, you will explore different types of data, identify biases, and apply your data literacy and coding skills to communicate and deconstruct underlying messages. You will be better equipped to be critical consumers of information, read your “data world,” and make informed decisions about your personal life. This course is open to all students, no prior coding knowledge required.

Dialogue and Rhetoric

Have you ever been in a heated argument with a friend or relative and felt like you were misunderstood? Feeling overwhelmed by the polarizing opinions and would prefer to build bridges? Then why not learn the art of effective and eloquent communication in this hands-on, student-directed public thinking and speaking class? You will delve into current event topics of your choice, get to the crux of an issue, and build compelling arguments using logic, emotions and evidence. You will learn to navigate and manage difficult conversations with grace, empathy, and understanding, and will participate in dialogues through open exchanges of ideas, listening, and mutual respect. This is not about how much and how loud you can talk, this is about the quality and persuasiveness of your argumentation. An element of this class will be class dialogues and conversations with students in different countries around the world to learn about their perspectives.

Students can opt to take this class at the Honors level.
Open to Grade Levels: 10, 11, 12

Entrepreneurship with a Purpose

Can entrepreneurship be the response to local and global challenges? Can it serve a purpose beyond being just a money-making endeavor? In this class, you will learn about how businesses are created and why some thrive and others fail. You will also design ideas to start your own business with empathy and a purpose in mind; business ideas that can have a meaningful, positive impact on others. This social entrepreneurship course will look at the change-making potential of people to pursue ideas, solutions, philanthropy and advocacy. You will hear from experts; analyze how businesses operate; explore Boston’s thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem; and brainstorm your own startup idea. This class will allow you to present your ideas to investors and organizations that look for purposeful social entrepreneurs to make a difference.

Open to Grade Levels: 10, 11, 12

Human Communication

This course will explore the ways that humans communicate, and the ways that this communication affects society. Students will explore a variety of language systems including Sign Language and Braille. The class will discuss historical and current issues of communication such as colonial legacies, the influence of technology, and cultural differences. Students will be asked to think deeply about what it means to communicate, why it’s necessary, and how we do it effectively.

Open to Grade Levels: 10, 11, 12

Leadership and Social Change

Have you ever wondered why and how effective leaders, past and present, take action for social good? This course will explore different psychological theories of what guides or motivates an individual to act when confronted with issues of justice, equity, and humanity. We will look at past and current figures across multiple identities and delve into the societal, cultural, geopolitical landscape which influence and shape an individual’s conscience and actions to benefit their community. Through immersive experiences with the focus on the specific leadership styles, the course aims to determine the concrete and tangible skills social change leaders have relied on to not only implement positive long-term impacts but also, whether they are able to sustain a sense of health and well-being.

Students can opt to take this class at the Honors level.
Open to Grade Levels: 10, 11, 12

Social Psychology: To be is to be perceived!

How is our behavior influenced by our social environment? How does our perception of others affect what we do and our sense of identity? Whether we want it or not, people (others) influence how we act or behave (how we dress, what we say or don’t say, what we feel). In this social psychology course, we will aim to get a deep understanding of human behavior, especially interpersonal relationships. We will look at theories and findings in psychology and social psychology, will learn about key ideas, and explore some recent research and unanswered questions. This course will be driven by student interests, and will also include topics such as biases, attitudes, obedience, mental health, social identity, and prejudice, among others. We will try to understand how others affect who we are and how we behave, and if indeed “hell is other people.” 

Students can opt to take this class at the Honors level. 

Open to Grade Levels: 10,11, 12

Socio-Economics of Sports

Sports are everywhere! We love and support our teams. But what role do sports play in society and how do they influence it? Sports teams generate billions of dollars every year, and sports events gather huge crowds in celebration akin to religious rituals. This BVR-X course will look into the workings of different sports; their teams; their business models; their impact on society and how sports have reacted to societal changes and political movements. Part of this class will include meeting with sports experts, athletes, and investors to get an authentic understanding of their perspectives. To connect the theory to its reality, this course will also involve organizing and participating in different sports tournaments, and attending and/or watching some sports games throughout the term to learn more about sports rules and practices.

Students can opt to take this class at the Honors level. 

Open to Grade Levels: 10, 11, 12


Student-Directed Project (SDPs)

Student Directed Project - SDP

A Student-Directed Project empowers students to do an in-depth exploration of a topic of interest throughout the term.

The student designs, plans, and leads their research project in collaboration and with the guidance and support of a coach (faculty advisor). It allows students to delve deeper into their passion and to be the designer of their own learning. There is a wide range of Student-Directed Projects; they are multi-disciplinary, non-linear, and most importantly, student-created and led.

That’s what makes them so interesting.

Here are some examples of past projects:

  • Creating an architectural model using 3D architectural software
  • Through their eyes: Photo and interview series of veterans
  • Robosub electromagnetic linear accelerator
  • Acoustic pinger for Robosub
  • Virtual Reality game for visually-impaired persons
  • Creating a concept album
  • Dispute: Landlord-tenant board game
  • Multimedia journalism: Producing a podcast series
  • Perplex: English and Theater Study
  • Sensors and fiber optics: Building a fiber optic dress
  • Haptic technologies: Force-Feedback Virtual Reality
  • Applications of integrals to analytical continuation of functions