Our Class - A hand holding a model of an atom.

Our Classes

Not your typical high school fare

Along with lab sciences, languages and math, students are inspired to take such classes as Forensics, Psychology and Survival Math, plus college-level seminars, such as Shakespeare’s History, Greeks: the Wine Dark Sea, and American Literature: The Beat Generation. Electives include Documentary Video, Jewelry Making and Improv.

Writing is central to our program

By graduation, School One students will have been given ample direction and practice to write with fluency and clarity. They will be able to organize complex ideas and communicate them effectively – a prerequisite for success in nearly all fields.

Art: here, there and everywhere

Art is integrated into many academic subjects at School One (and covers most of our walls!). Our program expands students’ appreciation of the arts in their daily lives. While creativity is central to our mission, students don’t have to be artists, or even particularly artistic, to attend School One in Providence, RI.

Overview of Courses

BRITISH LITERATURE I: This Rough Magic . . .

Cary Honig

This is the first trimester of a two-year exploration of British Literature. We will utilize literature to explore the developing English (and western) mindset from a cultural perspective, examining history, art, religion, government, social mores, science and philosophy. This trimester, we will focus on the Middle Ages: a period that is not as single-minded or easy to define as most people think. Even devout Christians clung to slightly revised pagan practices, and those who called for adherence to the gospel and the example of Christ were often burned (or in John Wycliffe’s case, dug up and burned after death) as heretics by Church leaders. Competing with pious monks were troubadours who preferred hell to heaven because it would cater to a better crowd. Alongside too many misogynist patriarchs were feminists like the fictional Wife of Bath and the real authors Christine de Pisan, Julian of Norwich and Geoffrey Chaucer. The good news is that I won’t make you read Beowulf! On the other hand, you will become something of an expert on Christian theology. We will read short ballads and romances (knights’ tales, not kissy stuff), Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus, Shakespeare's The Tempest and a selection from Christine de Pisan's City of Ladies, and we will focus on understanding the basics of alchemy as well as medieval and particularly Renaissance magic during the last part of the trimester. We will try to arrange for after school viewing of films like Henry V and The Reckoning. Your new alchemical wisdom will help you dissolve the raw matter of your base thoughts and regenerate them into golden essays almost every week. Two of the essays will be done in class to practice for college exams. Punctuality of students and assignments as well as willingness to discuss and ask questions are required. "Nil sine magno vita labore dedit mortalibus."

AMERICAN LITERATURE: The 19th Century

Michael Fox

Though the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, it took the new American nation nearly a century fully to develop its own literary voice. This trimester, we will read a variety of American writers who struggled to create a fresh and vibrant literature, free from the influence of the Old World. We will begin with short stories by Washington Irving, the first American to make a living on writing alone and the first to achieve international fame. We will then make the necessary detour into the dungeons of Edgar Allan Poe’s imagination with “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “Ligeia.” We will catch our breaths briefly in the civilized drawing rooms and lecture halls of New England before heading out to sea with a crazed sea captain in search of a demonic white whale named Moby Dick. We will end the trimester at the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago, where we will celebrate the century’s progress, innovation and optimism. We will read Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America. This historical page-turner captures both the beauty and the horror of the modern American city at the turn of the century. This course involves a lot of reading and writing, so be ready for the challenge if you enroll. To earn credit, you will need to pass weekly reading quizzes and thoroughly complete all essay assignments with revisions. In addition, you will need to participate effectively in class discussions and online discussion boards. There will be a short answer and essay exam at the end of each trimester.

SHAKESPEARE’S HISTORY I

Erin Victoria Egan

See History section for complete description.

CREATIVE WRITING

Eve Kerrigan

“Some say life is the thing, but I prefer reading.” Ruth Rendell

During trimester one, we will read short stories and works of flash (short short) fiction, learning a little, as we do, about the evolution of the genre. Students can expect to explore character, dialogue, voice, style and description while trying out various narrative strategies and aesthetics.

Students will, of course, be expected to read all weekly assigned material and complete homework assignments on time to earn credit. You will be asked to work on stories of your own, evaluate and re-write your work and discuss your work in the classroom. These written efforts and discussions are crucial for getting the most out of the class, which is why regular attendance is also necessary to earn credit.

I am looking forward to seeing what your great and bizarre minds can come up with when properly inspired.

Students who have passed the Humanities Competency Exam may take Creative Writing for English credit. Students who have not passed the exam before the trimester begins may take this class for elective credit.

UTOPIA AND DYSTOPIA: The Specter Haunting Europe

Michael Fox

What would the perfect society look like? How would people live, work and play? How would goods and services be distributed? How would they use technology? What role would nature play? Is perfection really possible or even desirable? In this course we will examine literature that asks these questions. This trimester we will look at works from mostly the early twentieth century that deal with the “specter of communism,” which the political philosopher Karl Marx claimed was “haunting Europe.” In The Communist Manifesto, Marx predicted the collapse of capitalism and the rise of a liberating new social order in which workers, rather than owners, were in charge. It was a provocative idea, and many European writers grappled with its implications for society. After learning about Marx and his ideas, we will examine works that advance and/or critique his ideas. These include novels such as H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine, Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We, and George Orwell’s Animal Farm. We will also examine important films on the subject, including Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will. To earn credit, students will need to demonstrate thorough reading through discussions, quizzes, reading logs and in-class writings. Students will need to complete satisfactory essays and revisions. There will be a short answer and essay exam at the end of each trimester.

TRIALS IV: Becoming Your Own Person

Cary Honig

This is the fourth trimester of a two-year course designed for those who are interested in law as well as improving English skills. This year’s texts are all from the 20th century. This class will prepare a student for the essay writing, grammar and reading sections of the competency exam in particular. This trimester is a bridge between last trimester’s look at the family and the rest of this year’s focus on civil rights and the history of the last sixty-five years. We will be addressing several interrelated themes of particular importance to teens: privacy, relationships with parents and relationships with cultures. We will read The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan’s novel about Chinese-American mothers and daughters; Fences, August Wilson’s play about an ex-Negro League baseball player and his teenage son; The Boarding House, James Joyce’s fiendishly clever story about a mother’s involvement with her daughter’s engagement and a selection from I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings in which Maya Angelou explains how she came to understand and admire her grandmother. We will learn a bit about Chinese history and the history of baseball to complement our readings, and we will continue to look at legal issues that sometimes divide parents and children. We will review grammar at least once a week. Careful, consistent work and strong attendance will lead to progress in English skills and historical and legal knowledge. Punctuality of students and assignments will be necessary to earn credit and avoid extra assignments. We will be working up to mock trials during the second and third trimesters.

WRITING WITH AND WITHOUT THINKING: A Writing Workshop

Phil Goldman

How do I know what I think until I see what I say? ­ E. M. Forster

You look at a blank piece of paper. You have to write something, but what? Maybe you need to write three pages or maybe just six well-chosen words. How will you approach it? You may have to think about it first. Gather your thoughts, brainstorm, make lists, draw your ideas, discuss them and maybe even sleep on it. When you know what you think, you will know what to write. These forms of pre­writing are extremely useful tools to develop, and develop them you will.

Another way might be to write it out all at once. Just get it down on paper. Spew it out without thinking. Is it possible? You can certainly speak without thinking. It’s practically the same thing. Through daily prompts and free-writing, you will develop these tools as well.

This workshop will focus on a number of different types of short writing done with and without thinking. You’ll read and analyze some fine examples and then write: stories (true and otherwise), reviews, commentaries, fan fiction, group fiction, nonfiction, rants & raves, obituaries, epistles, myths, parables and jokes. You can even pick a genre or two. Every student will have at least one work considered publishable at the end of the trimester. Are you ready to write? Think about it. Or not.

One more thing: in order to earn credit, you must do all the reading and writing (on time), you must participate in all discussions and group work and there will be grammar sheets.

LITERARY GENRES: Ghost Stories

Michael Fox

Ghost stories have been a popular form of entertainment across cultures and throughout human history. In this course, we will sample ghost stories from various cultures and time periods. We will try to understand what the stories tell us about the writers and the societies that they inhabit. Why are human beings attracted to stories that frighten them? Why are some ghosts helpful and others harmful? What do ghosts tell us about memory and the desire to hold on to the past? Do ghosts offer us wisdom and warning from beyond the grave? As we examine the ghost stories, we will also be honing our reading comprehension, writing and vocabulary skills. To earn credit in this class, students will need to complete all reading question and literary analysis sheets, participate actively in class discussions and maintain a passing average on vocabulary quizzes. Major writing assignments will include two literary analysis essays, one in-class competency essay and one original ghost story.

CURRENT AFFAIRS

Natalie Patalano

Will Congress do anything about healthcare? Was there collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians in the 2016 election, and is impeachment a possibility? Is Kid Rock running for the Senate? What will Trump do next, and will he be able to spell it correctly? In this class, we will study current events that may include some of those just listed. In addition, this class will help you identify your own beliefs and state them clearly in writing. We will complete four separate units of study this trimester, each including vocabulary work, grammar sheets, reading comprehension questions, a class discussion and rough and final draft essays. We will be working regularly on all of the English skills you need for the competency exam. Students must complete all assignments and be present and on time in body and work in order to earn credit.

FUNDAMENTALS OF ENGLISH

Natalie Patalano

This class meets after school and provides English instruction to students who are not native speakers of English. It will provide preparation for the TOEFL exam and help with vocabulary and work in other classes. It is suggested that students recommended for the class take it as well as one other English class each trimester to maximize their growth in English skills. This class is by invitation only and for elective credit.

The following two classes are available for U.S. history credit. Students should take U.S. history by their junior years at the latest and earlier if possible. It is best to take these sequences in chronological order.

DESIGNING AMERICA I: A More Perfect Union

Erin Victoria Egan

In the first trimester of this yearlong history course, students will explore the formative period of U.S. History. Students will examine the events that led to the establishment of our nation and unique American Culture. Some of the subjects that we will study this trimester include the clash between native peoples and European explorers and colonists, the use of slavery in the development of the colonies, the cost of rebellion and the birth of our constitutional government. Time will be set aside to discuss current events and how they reflect the origins of our government and the Constitution. We will also explore the question of how we know what we know by looking at primary documents and accounts. We will watch excerpts from 500 Nations, Africans in America and Liberty. In order to earn credit for this course, students should be prepared to complete reading and written assignments, participate in class discussions and debates and complete the mid-term and final exams.

Students may elect to take this class for Honors credit. Honors candidates will do additional readings of a more historiographic nature and research and present an oral report on a relevant topic of their choosing. If you are interested, sign up for Designing America Honors when enrolling. You cannot switch into it after the first week of the trimester. Earning honors will improve your evaluations and transcript as well as your knowledge of U.S. history.

AMERICAN AFFAIRS I: Created Equal?

Maryann Ullmann

Students taking this class will become active historians. A historian is not one who memorizes irrelevant facts but rather one who researches, questions, debates and analyzes. The class will address crucial turning points in American history using both first hand accounts by people who were there and later analyses by historians who studied them. After reading about these events, we will write and debate about them, always considering the forum - executive, legislative or judicial - that made these decisions. A constant focus will be on understanding how our government makes decisions. This trimester, we'll consider whose land ours was (and should be), the nature of the equality promised in the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War, and the compromises and rights that make up the Constitution, which is the framework of our government. This trimester will take the story of our nation up to about 1798. This class will not only help you become an active historian, but it is a great class for those of you concerned about the essay, punctuation, reading comprehension and the U.S. History sections of the competency exam because we'll be working on those skills. Students will read an article, answer questions, join a class discussion, take careful notes and write and revise an essay (or essays if you or your work are late). We will watch excerpts from the video series 500 Nations (about Native American history), Africans in America and Liberty. Careful work and good attendance will lead to credit. Punctuality of students and assignments will be vital. In addition to the essay, there will be three quizzes that may liberate students from the final exam, which students must otherwise pass to earn credit.

Students in this class will also become active citizens. We will draw connections from American history to our contemporary lives and examine our government as it was originally designed and how it functions today. Through a program called Generation Citizen, students will implement a real world action civics project designed in Trimester 1 and choose class representatives to present at Civics Day at the State House in December. Careful work and good attendance will lead to credit. Punctuality of students and assignments will be vital.

Elective History Credit

BRITISH LITERATURE I: The Magical Medieval World

Cary Honig

See description in the English section. Workload for history credit is slightly lighter if you let me know ahead of time.

AMERICAN LITERATURE: The 19th Century

Michael Fox

See English section for complete description.

SHAKESPEARE’S HISTORY I

Erin Victoria Egan

The plays of William Shakespeare are as popular today as they were in the 16th Century. Shakespeare himself continues to be the subject of heated debate and modern cinematic splendor. Audiences continue to be mesmerized by his wit and compelling stories. This course will explore the Golden Age of Elizabethan England as well as Shakespeare’s life to learn how these plays came together and what they mean for us today. We will spend the year exploring a history cycle of plays that begins with Richard II. Although it was not the first play that Shakespeare wrote about English history, it is the chronological starting point of a series of plays that deal with the last Plantagenet kings of England. Through these plays we will not only learn an interpretation of the Wars of The Roses but also what the Elizabethan mind thought of leadership, kingscraft, loyalty and honor. We will tackle Richard II and Henry IV, part 1 this trimester. We will read these plays aloud and discuss the action and the meaning as it reflects not only the Elizabethan outlook but also our own. Students should be prepared to maintain a notebook for the play and their notes, complete reading and written assignments and actively participate in reading the plays aloud in class and discuss the finer points of the drama if they wish to earn credit for this course. This will also be available for English credit, so expect grammar sheets and significant writing.

WORLD WAR

Erin Victoria Egan

This trimester course is the first in a yearlong series that will examine the 20th century’s costly and devastating wars. How did we as a world come to extinguish the lives of over 70 million people over the course of 35 years? We will start by examining the personalities, economic factors and diplomatic situations that led to the outbreak of the Great War. We will also look at the development of new weapons and tactics, the effect of the war on the home front and the development of international diplomacy. As the trimester continues, we will look at the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany and the military leadership in Japan. We will look at how these groups worked to expand and inflict their influence and ideals on people inside and outside their countries. As our study of World War II begins, we will concentrate on the European Theatre of Operations and look at the involvement of the United States as this conflict unfolds. Again, we will look at the home front experience as well as tactics, weaponry and the personalities of this conflict. The trimester will end with a preview of the Pacific Theatre of Operations and a discussion on the development of the Nazi policies for racial purity in preparation for Trimester Two’s course on the Holocaust. We will view documentaries and some films about the beginnings of WWI, the period between the wars and World War II. Students should be prepared to maintain a notebook, complete both reading and writing assignments, actively participate in group projects and be willing to express their thoughts in class discussions if they wish to obtain credit for this course.

TRIALS IV: Becoming Your Own Person

Cary Honig

See description in the English section. This class may be taken for either English or history elective credit.

IF YOU MEET THE BUDDHA, KILL THE BUDDHA:
The History and Practice of Eastern Philosophy I

Phil Goldman

To study Buddhism is to study the self.
To study the self is to forget the self.
To forget the self is to be awakened by all things.
And this awakening continues endlessly.

– Eihei Dogen (13th Century, Founder of Soto Zen in Japan)

This trimester we will learn about Buddhism. We will study its origins with Siddhārtha Gautama and how he discovered the Middle Way. We will study the history and growth of Buddhism, concepts such as Impermanence, Non-Attachment, Karma and Nirvana and principles such as the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Most importantly, we will learn to apply the philosophy and practice of Buddhism to questions and problems in our real lives; we will learn to start walking a Path with Heart.

A MAJOR part of this course will be the practice of meditation and breathing exercises. This is mandatory and will be taught and practiced EVERY CLASS OF THE TRIMESTER. Also mandatory: completion of all class work, participation in class discussions and bringing a notebook to each class. Please consider this carefully before you enroll in this class.

Future trimesters will center on other Eastern philosophies. Trimester II will be Taoism.

PSYCHOLOGY

Siobhan Ritchie-Cute

See Science section for complete description. This class may be taken for either science or social studies elective credit.

HERSTORY I: Women of the Americas

Erin Victoria Egan

This trimester course is the first of a three trimester series on the history of women in the United States. We will begin by quickly exploring the place women have held in European history. While women have been present throughout history, their specific role in history often has been overlooked. This course will try to present a more balanced view by exploring the many roles women have played including the specific roles of women in everyday life. The course will also look at the roles of Native women and African women both in their own worlds and in the world of colonial America. In an overview of European traditions that will form the basis of our study, we will look at the role of women as the lady of the manor, women in the church, town women and cool female rulers of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. We will spend time looking closely at the building of colonial America and how important women were to the ultimate success of the colonies and the American Revolution. We will also spend time exploring the jobs and responsibilities of women directly, so be prepared to be an active learner. Students should be prepared to maintain a notebook, complete both reading and writing assignments, including research projects, and be willing to express their thoughts in class discussions if they wish to obtain credit for this course.

Why is it important to learn a second language? In a globalized world, we do business with people who speak different languages.  For that reason employers are always looking for people who can speak more than one language. A second language will open the doors to work in different countries as well, and it’s very useful when you are travelling for pleasure.   It will also benefit you socially as you will be able to interact with people who don’t speak English, and this can culturally enrich you.  Furthermore, many scientific studies have demonstrated that speaking more than one language generates more brain activity, and this can delay different diseases such as dementia and symptoms or Alzheimer’s.  Once you have the skill, it will never go away, and you will enjoy all the benefits for the rest of your life!

Why Spanish?  This is the question of most students when they find themselves with the opportunity or the obligation to take a Spanish class.

For most Americans, Hispanics are strangers who bring spicy food and colorful costumes to their “already defined” American culture, girls with shapely bodies and “macho” workers who like to listen to loud dance music and smile at women.  According to the US Census Bureau, the estimated Hispanic population of the United States as of July 1st, 2003 is of 39.9 million. This makes people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest race or ethnic minority. Hispanics constitute 13.7 percent of the nation’s total population. This estimate does not include the 3.9 million residents of Puerto Rico, who, of course, speak Spanish. According to the same Census, the projected Hispanic population of the United States as of July 1, 2050 is 102.6 million. Hispanics will constitute 24 percent of the nation’s total population on that date. This means that when you start your professional life, if you do not know some Spanish, you might be in trouble.

What is the Spanish language?   Do you have any idea of the socio-linguistic relations that come together in the Spanish language?  Did you know that the words “astra” in Latin, “estrella” in Spanish and “star” in English, even when they mean the same thing, can each convey a different feeling?  Would you like to know the relationship of the Spanish language with your own language?  Would you like to try to be in the shoes of someone who is learning a different language?  Would you like to know the language of Cervantes?   

We are going to work and work seriously: seriamente. To learn a language requires a method, and we are going to be very strict with ours. Through our process of language study, we are going to get to know some of the most important artists, writers, musicians, politicians and philosophers of Hispanic culture. We are going to learn about real life in the Hispanic countries. We are going to talk, listen, write, read and try to put ourselves closer to the Hispanic way of living and thinking.

All you need to bring is yourself: your openness and your willingness to learn. You don’t need to bring your fear of making mistakes. All of us make mistakes when we are learning, and the more we err, the more we learn. We are all going to be travelers in the adventure of a new language…¡Bienvenido!

Important Note:  Please do not sign up for Spanish if you are not willing to do your homework carefully and on time on a consistent basis.  You cannot earn credit in Spanish or learn Spanish without doing this, and as Spanish is not required to graduate, you should only take it if you are willing to make this commitment.  While many colleges require you to take three years of foreign language, a no credit in Spanish will not help you get into these colleges.

 

Español 1                                                                                                             

Maryann Ullmann

¡Bienvenidos a la clase de español! Welcome to the world of Spanish! Students who are completely new to Spanish are welcome in this course, as well as those who have only had a brief introduction to the Spanish language. The first year of second language instruction is about learning to be comfortable letting go of the reality in which objects have one name.  Tree becomes årbol, house is also casa, and to live is vivir.  In this yearlong introductory course, plan to make room in your brain for different vocabulary words, grammatical structures and of course some canciones. 

We will try to understand why and how computer translators will often lead you astray as language is about communication, and communication is about people.  Spanish 1 students will learn how to introduce themselves and share basic personal information; we will practice the conversations that allow you to ‘make a friend’ in Spanish. Expect to cover the following grammatical concepts:  likes/dislikes, asking questions, forming negatives, present tense of ser/estar, regular -ar,-er, and -ir verbs, and some irregular verbs.

In order to earn credit for this course, please come prepared for class, keep an organized Spanish notebook, participate in all class activities, complete all assigned homework and projects, perform well on all assessments and do your best to learn your own role in our collaborative and creative classroom.  Don’t be surprised if and when your teacher speaks to you only in Spanish: with open ears and minds, we will both understand each other and grow our abilities to communicate.

 

Español 2                                                                                                      

Siobhan Ritchie Cute     

¡Hola! ¿Cómo estás? This course will continue to reinforce the conversational skills of the students as well as develop more advanced reading and grammar skills. We will review previous grammatical concepts.  At the end of this trimester, you will be able to describe topics such as family relationships, feelings, polite commands and comparisons. Cultural elements of the Hispanic world will be incorporated to gain a better understanding of the target language.  In order to earn credit in this class, you need to demonstrate an adequate proficiency in Spanish. Therefore, you must study to pass your tests.  Class participation is a vital part of your language learning experience.  Making an effort will not only be reflected on your evaluation but also will make the class more fun.  Remember: homework will support and reinforce what we do in class. Late homework on a regular basis will have a negative impact on your evaluation.  Attendance is crucial because a great portion of the learning will occur during class activities.

Español 3                                                                                                        

Siobhan Ritchie Cute    

Bienvenido al mundo del espanol avanzado...welcome to the world of advanced Spanish!  Students who have either completed 2 years of high school Spanish or (through native speaking ability or extensive study) who have arrived at a firm foundation in the language are welcome in this course. Students should enter Spanish 3 with secure knowledge of the present, present progressive, preterite and imperfect tenses; reflexive, indirect object and direct object pronouns; and cognates as well as commonly used vocabulary and expressions.  The third year of Spanish language instruction is about finally building a structure on the foundation that has been carved out and made solid during the first two years.  The skeleton frame that consists of verb conjugations, tense familiarity, and vocabulary will soon be filled in with walls and a roof: your conversation will flow (maybe not smoothly, but it will move).  Spanish 3 students will be exposed to long periods of immersion in the target language: sometimes entire class periods.  We will watch film and video in Spanish, honing our listening skills.  We will create and practice conversations that go beyond the tourist activities of finding a restaurant and ordering food.  We will read and discuss topics of interest and depth including literature, poetry, newspaper articles and more.  

Expect to cover the following grammatical concepts:  commands and the imperative mode, the subjunctive mode, the future and conditional tenses and idiomatic expressions.  Project work for the first trimester will involve an exploration of the Latin American holiday el Dia de los Muertos.  Spanish 3 students are expected to complete written assignments that are 1-2 pages in length.    In order to earn credit for this course, please come prepared for class, keep an organized Spanish notebook, participate in all class activities, complete all assigned homework and projects, perform well on all assessments and do your best to learn your own role in our collaborative and creative classroom. Bring your honest selves to the classroom and the conversations; conversing in a new language can be challenging but fun.

 

Español Avanzado 4-5                                                                                 

Siobhan Ritchie Cute

A seguir: let’s keep going!  Students who have either completed 3 years of high school Spanish or (through native speaking ability or through extensive study) arrived at an advanced level of language proficiency are welcome in this course.  Students should enter the course with secure knowledge of all verb tenses in the indicative mode, as well as present subjunctive, and a broad vocabulary.  Advanced Spanish is conducted entirely in Spanish.  We will read and discuss literature, poetry and newspaper articles.  We will practice various forms of writing: opinion writing, reviews, dialogues, and creative pieces.  For students interested in pursuing college level language study, we will review different forms of assessment, including multiple choice and free response formats.  Students should be able to hold lengthy conversations on different topics entirely in Spanish.    Expect to cover the following grammatical concepts: past subjunctive, compound tenses in the indicative and subjunctive modes, idiomatic expressions, nuances in meaning involving ser/estar, por/para, preterite/imperfect, and indicative/subjunctive.  Project work for the first trimester will involve an exploration of the Latin American holiday el Dia de los Muertos. Spanish 4/5 students are expected to complete writing assignments that are 2-4 pages in length.  In order to earn credit for this course, please come prepared for class, keep an organized Spanish notebook, participate in all class activities, complete all assigned homework and projects, perform well on all assessments, and do your best to learn your own role in our collaborative and creative classroom.  Serious and studious attention paid during this yearlong course may help students to achieve near-fluency in a second language: a true gift!

OTHER LANGUAGES

While it is not possible for School One to offer other languages during school, School One students may take other languages for credit outside of school.  The class/tutor must be appropriately qualified, willing to write a School One evaluation and approved beforehand by the Assistant Head.  Outside classes or tutoring for language credit require at least twenty-five hours of meeting time with additional homework per trimester.  Please contact the Assistant Head with any questions about this beforehand.

LANGUAGE AND COLLEGE

Most four-year colleges require either two or three (and certainly prefer three or more) years of language for admission, although many are willing to waive this for students with disabilities that affect the student’s ability to learn a language.  Note that the requirements colleges post are minimums: a student who does more than the requirement (in any subject) is more likely to get accepted at most colleges.  Students are encouraged to meet these requirements before senior year.

CALCULUS

Stephen J. Martin

First, functions will be reviewed. Then, the concept of limit will be investigated. The concept of rate of change of a function will be introduced, leading to the definition of the derivative of a function. Rules of differentiation will be proven: the power rule and the addition rule will be derived. Derivatives of products and quotients will be found. The second derivative will be defined and applied. The chain rule will be used to calculate derivatives of composite functions. Implicit differentiation will be used in dealing with relations. The relationship between rates of change of related functions will be investigated. The first derivative test will be used to determine maxima and minima of functions. Concavity will be related to the second derivative: the second derivative test will be used to determine maxima and minima. Optimization problems will be studied. Differentials will be explored.

Credit will be earned through the satisfactory completion of in-class and homework assignments, quizzes and examinations as well as good attendance. Students must own a scientific calculator and bring it to class each day.

Calculus is offered to students who have successfully completed Pre-Calculus.

PRE-CALCULUS

Stephen J. Martin

In the fall trimester, in our desire to know all the angles, we will study trigonometry. There will be a review of geometry in the plane: the relationships of angles, lengths and areas will be investigated. The sine, cosine and tangent functions will be defined. The important theorems and laws will be explored, such as the Pythagorean Theorem, the Law of Sines and the Law of Cosines. The trigonometric functions and the relevant laws of trigonometry will be used to solve problems involving triangles (both ideal and idealized) that are found in various mathematical and scientific disciplines. 3-dimensional objects will be studied if time permits.

There will be a review of exponents, factoring, rational expressions and inequalities. General functions will be studied: graphs and inverse functions will be analyzed. Polynomial functions and rational functions will be investigated: complex numbers and zeros of polynomial functions will be explored. Exponential and logarithmic functions will be studied.

Credit will be earned through the satisfactory completion of all in-class and homework assignments, quizzes and examinations as well as good attendance. Students must own a scientific calculator and bring it to class each day.

This upper level math course is offered to students who have successfully completed the standard math sequence, including Advanced Algebra.

ADVANCED ALGEBRA

Pam Stokinger, Stephen Martin

Do you hate word problems? Do equations and graphs look like hieroglyphs? Embrace your fears, and explore the world of algebra!

This trimester in Advanced Algebra, the algebra of linear systems will be explored. Linear systems will be modeled on graphs and in equations. Word problems involving linear equations will be investigated. Systems of equations (some with fractions or decimals as coefficients) will be solved by graphing, addition and substitution. Word problems will be solved by using systems of equations. Students will also be exposed to three-variable systems.

Credit will be earned by successful completion of in-class and homework assignments, quizzes and examinations as well as good attendance.

Prerequisites: Students should have completed both Geometry and Intermediate Algebra (Algebra I) or have consent of department chair. Students must own a scientific calculator and bring it to class each day.

INTERMEDIATE ALGEBRA

Pam Stokinger

Do you tremble at the thought of word problems? Do you bury your head in your hands when confronted with fractions? Never fear! We will work together to solidify and increase your understanding of algebra.

In the fall trimester, there will be a review of the laws of algebra. The students will be reacquainted with the properties of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division (including the distributive law). Expressions will be simplified using the order of operations.

As preparation for solving equations, addition and subtraction of like terms will be reviewed. The solution of linear equations in one variable will be studied, including the special cases resulting in no solution or an infinity of solutions. The equations will be solved for whole-number coefficients, decimal coefficients and fractional coefficients. Word problems will be posed in which one must solve a linear equation in one variable: the unknowns will be given in terms of one variable.

Credit will be earned by successful completion of assignments, quizzes and tests as well as by good attendance.

GEOMETRY

Pam Stokinger

Explorers needed to know where they had been and needed to determine accurately where they were going. Geometry, or the measurement of the earth, grew out of their interests and also those of landowners who wished to determine the boundaries of their properties. Artists, architects, builders, inventors, engineers, surveyors and planners all use geometry in their work. Geometry is the result of mankind’s attempts to understand space, shape and dimensions. We will spend the year studying geometry’s practical and theoretical facets.

During trimester one, we will become familiar with the vocabulary of geometry, formulating our own definitions and discovering generalizations through investigation. Many of the geometric investigations will be carried out in small cooperative groups in which students jointly plan and find solutions with other students. Students will derive formulas for regular quadrilaterals and triangles, convert linear and square measurements and learn the vocabulary of polygons, points, lines and planes. We will discern patterns and use inferential thinking. Students will become proficient with a compass and straight edge and will be able to create classical constructions including bisecting angles, drawing congruent angles, creating perpendicular and parallel lines as well as creating works of art. We will go over SAT and PSAT review questions for seniors and juniors as well as other interested students.

Assessment will be based on timely completion of homework, frequent short quizzes, occasional tests, participation in class and attendance. A project, such as the creation of a polygon book, may be assigned. All areas will be considered when assigning credit.

BEGINNING ALGEBRA: Equations

Raveena Medeiros

This course is for those of you who need to start algebra slowly and review basic math along the way. It should feel ‘fun’ and not overwhelming! We will play around with order of operations and equations: both one and two steps. As we do this, we will discover some of those properties that make math work and will also make sure we have a good understanding of real numbers such as negative numbers, fractions, decimals and percents. In order to have fun with math, we need a few essentials. We will start to fill in any gaps that you have so that you have a strong base for continuing in your study of Algebra. As we work, we will be using real life problems and may be coming up with some of our own!

To be successful in this class, you’ll need to be doing homework regularly. I’ll expect you to take responsibility and come for help with homework after school or during lunch if it still seems confusing when class is over. The math teachers are committed to supporting students who are willing to work with us to solidify their understanding. If you focus in class and take good notes, ask questions and bravely volunteer answers, you should be well prepared to earn credit in this class.

Course credit will be earned for satisfactory completion of in-class and homework assignments, attendance, quizzes and tests.

SURVIVAL MATH

Raveena Medeiros

One goal for this class will be successful completion of the Math Competency exam. We will review the math needed for each section and work on practice exercises. After each taking of the Math Comp, we will perform analysis of each student’s exam to assess what mistakes were made. Goals and a study plan will be agreed upon for the next attempt.

A second goal is for you is to acquire a broader range of skills than is tested on the Competency Exam, including learning more about banking and how to establish and manage credit wisely, filling out tax forms and understanding social security and withholding tax along with simple economic principles.

Credit will be based on attendance, and completion of both in-class and homework assignments. Students should bring the calculator they plan to use on the Comp. with them to every class.

ESSENTIAL MATH

Pam Stokinger

Students recommended for this class will learn all there is to know for our Math Competency Exam and will be thoroughly prepared to begin Algebra next year.

Topics will include working with fractions, decimals, percents and integers and converting between them, understanding proportional reasoning as you might find in recipes or map reading and making and interpreting charts and graphs dealing with everyday news and statistics. We’ll spend time deciphering the ‘language’ of word problems, which is the key to setting up an equation correctly. There will be projects in an area that interests you each trimester.

This class will be small, with an opportunity to move up to Intermediate Algebra within a few weeks if you demonstrate stronger skills and an excellent work ethic.

Credit will be based on attendance and effort both on homework and in-class assignments. We expect to form a mutually kind and supportive community where every question is worthwhile and each learner builds her/his confidence and math skills.

CONCEPTS OF CHEMISTRY

Joshua Litterio

Whether we have thought about it or not, chemistry is integral to our lives. It is often described as a central science because it touches all other sciences. Knowledge of chemistry helps us understand the many questions we face in our world: Are genetically modified foods safe? What’s happening to our climate? What should our primary energy sources be? How can we provide safe drinking water to everyone?

This course is intended to help you realize the important role that chemistry will play in your personal and, possibly, professional lives. You will learn to use the principles of chemistry to think more intelligently about current issues you may encounter involving science and technology and develop a lifelong awareness of the potential and the limitations of science and technology. Some topics to be studied include chemistry laboratory skills, the classification and structure of matter, chemical reactions, physical chemistry, acid-base chemistry and organic chemistry. Critical thinking (the ability to carry out systematic thought processes in making decisions and solving problems), inquiry (solving problems through scientific investigation) and science ethics are stressed in this class.

In this first trimester, we will start with the basics: physical and chemical properties of matter, elements and their properties and everything you wanted to know about the atom and then some. Course credit will be awarded upon satisfactory completion of assignments/homework, labs, knowledge assessments (quizzes, tests and projects), attendance and participation. You must have credit for at least two years of high school science and be recommended for it to enroll in this class. Please see Laurie if you feel you are an exception!

PHYSICS

Stephen J. Martin

The laws of physics constitute a “User’s Guide” to the universe. Physics helps us to understand all phenomena, whether on earth or in space. It explains the motion of planets in the solar system, the motion of electrons in atoms and the motion of cars on a roller coaster. We will learn from Galileo, Newton, Einstein, von Braun and many others.

In the fall trimester, mechanics, the science of mass, force and motion will be explored. Motion will be studied in one dimension: velocity and acceleration will be analyzed. Two-dimensional motion will be studied: vectors will be introduced. Newton’s Laws are the foundation of mechanics and all classical physics. The statics of rigid bodies will be studied: the force and torque vectors must each sum to zero. The linear motion of rigid bodies will be studied from the point of view of “dynamics,” using the concepts of velocity, acceleration and force. Motion will also be studied from the point of view of “energy,” using the concepts of work, kinetic energy and potential energy. Collisions will be analyzed using the conservation of linear momentum. In uniform circular motion, the body is subjected to centripetal force. The angular motion of rigid bodies will be investigated using the concepts of angular velocity, angular acceleration, torque and angular momentum. Finally, fluid mechanics will be studied for liquids and gases.

This course has a laboratory component. The experiments will utilize instruments that will measure time and other quantities with precision. Lab reports will adhere to standards of clarity, accuracy and precision. Course credit is earned through the satisfactory completion of in-class and homework assignments, lab reports, quizzes and examinations, as well as good attendance.

Prerequisites: Completion of 2 years of high school science and Advanced Algebra (or Adv. Alg. Concurrently) and ownership of a scientific calculator.

BIOLOGY A: Small Worlds

Laurie Spry

Living things are made of tiny units called cells. How can a one-celled creature possibly protect itself and find food? Can cells talk to each other, and what is quorum sensing? How do we think the first cell evolved? Learning about these topics helps us make good decisions about our lifestyles: Why is eating organically raised beef a good strategy to ensure antibiotics work well? ‘Invasive species’ such as gypsy moth caterpillars, mosquitoes that carry malaria and the Zika virus, and now the disease leukemia are all being combated using new genetic tools. Do you understand enough to have an opinion about these practices?

This first trimester we’ll examine the ‘small worlds’ inside of cells, including culturing yeast and measuring their respiration rates using CO2 probes. You’ll also be using microscopes, learning sterile technique, designing an experiment to explore how antibiotics work, maintaining a notebook and keeping up with homework. Laptops or other devices are welcome in my classroom if used appropriately. You will have the option to read and discuss The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks to earn ‘Plus’ (Honors) credit.

Students earning credit will maintain neat, well organized notebooks, come to class on time prepared to learn, study for and pass quizzes and do homework regularly. To enroll in Biology, you should have credit for one year of science or be recommended for it by Laurie (Department Coordinator).

CODING: C.S. FUN 101

Ryan Scullin

We don’t have the course description for this class yet, but it is being provided by an organization we’re partnering with called IntraCity Geeks, and you can get a feel for it at intracitygeeks.org/blog/blog-grid/

PSYCHOLOGY I

Siobhan Ritchie Cute

“Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.” Sigmund Freud

What makes us human? What defines healthy...stable...normal? Why do we do what we do? For more than 100 years, psychologists have been attempting answers to these questions through controlled experiments and analysis of data. Since the beginning of time, however, we humans have been attempting the same through basic observation and thought. Why did he do that? Why didn’t she do that? Why do I feel this way? How can I change? The answers are elusive. Experts even disagree about how to approach answering the questions.

In this introductory course, we will examine the foundations of the very broad and diverse discipline of psychology. We will examine the groundwork for a field devoted to the study of the mind laid by philosophers and biologists. Students will gain familiarity with important pioneers in the field, including Freud, Skinner, Piaget and others. We will determine the relevance that their works have today. We will talk about the role psychology plays in our everyday lives. Students will earn credit by completing reading assignments outside of class, participating in discussions and demonstrating knowledge and commitment through quizzes and project work. While this class is not a lab science, it may be used to fulfill the third year of science or social studies graduation requirement or for elective credit.

SCIENCE FOUNDATIONS: Forensics with Lab I

Laurie Spry

Everyone loves mysteries! If you watch CSI, you’re already familiar with how science can be used to recreate scenes, track down suspects and piece together evidence to catch criminals. Many of the same techniques are relevant in solving crimes against wildlife.

This trimester you’ll be introduced to most of the equipment common to all biology labs. You’ll learn to make wet and dry microscope mounts, become more comfortable with the metric system and learn the names of all the tools and glassware we use. Major units will cover the use of hair and blood in forensics and we’ll also examine our own fingerprints. Along the way you’ll solve some pretend crimes and read about some real ones. There’s usually something interesting in the news as well, so keep your eye out for current mysteries!

You’ll need to keep a complete binder of notes and handouts, maintain a lab journal, complete homework regularly, pass a lab safety test and find your way down there on time to earn credit in this class. Students work in teams, but each student is responsible for his/her own binder and lab journal. Forensics is especially suited to freshmen but could also fulfill a lab credit for students not headed off to MIT. Check with Laurie if you’re not sure you should take it.

ART MATTERS

Donna McCarthy

Art Matters is a class where you will get to experiment with different art materials and learn different techniques. Projects will be mostly with two-dimensional art, and we will also include three-dimensional work. While studying fine art, design, crafts and art history, students will develop an appreciation for art both within the classroom and within everyday experiences. The class will include critiques and will have a portfolio review for the mid-term and finals weeks.

ART PORTFOLIO

Kristen Jones

Art Portfolio class will develop a collection of work exhibiting a concentration in subject and style. After brainstorming and research, students will plan and create pieces that have a specific area of investigation within a topic or main idea. Students will explore their idea by experimenting with drawing, painting, sculpture, photography and or digital art medias. Homework will include weekly blog postings, which will include researching artists, designers, media and the subject content of each student’s concentration. Blog posts are required to earn credit, and each student will need to produce at least five completed pieces that clearly show a sustained investigation into his/her topic. Students will also be required to be active participants in critiques.

BEHIND THE SCENES

Nick Mazonowicz

Have you ever wondered what makes some movies so cool? This trimester we will be concentrating on how movies are made, examining some famous scenes and learning what went into making each one. We will cover how to use camera angles, editing, and green screen technology to create various visual effects for films. Students will be working in both group situations as well as independently, making multiple projects throughout the course.

CERAMICS

Deb DeMarco

Ceramics is a hands-on studio class, so you will be getting your hands dirty. Students will create functional and non-functional work using hand-building techniques of pinching, coiling, slab building and making tiles. Various surface treatments will be explored, and students will learn the technical aspects of glazing. Students will learn terminology as well as loading and firing a kiln. Emphasis will be placed on effort while developing craftsmanship and creativity.

DRAWING STUDIO

Donna McCarthy

Drawing Studio will help you learn skills and improve your ability to draw what you see, think and feel. We will do drawing as warm ups, drawing for planning and drawing as full-scale projects. We will study famous and infamous drawings and think about their purpose as sketches or as final pieces of artwork. While learning art vocabulary, our projects will focus on the principles of art. We will explore drawing contour, value, observational drawing and expressive work. Experimentation will include using a range of materials and ways to research ideas to create your individual perspective. The class will include critiques and will have a portfolio review for the mid-term and finals weeks.

FINE ART

Kristen Jones

Fine Art class will combine a survey of art history with creating pieces with 2D and 3D media. Projects will experiment with different approaches to demonstrate students’ abilities and versatility with techniques and problem solving. Students will produce a variety of work that exhibits understanding of the elements and principles of art and reflects their understanding of art historical content. Students will have weekly homework that will include short reading assignments on art history topics and then writing brief responses to questions and prompts. Completion of all homework assignments and projects is required to earn credit.

ILLUSTRATION

Miles Cook

This class teaches basic illustration concepts, focusing on skills and concepts of comics, cartooning and visual storytelling, as well as classical illustration. Students will learn about the world of commercial art, exploring editorial illustration and visual story exercises early on, and then move on to longer comics assignments. A variety of basic skills and processes such as thumbnailing, storyboarding, character design, story structure, penciling, inking, digital-painting and basic zine-style and web self-publishing will be covered through in-class and at-home assignments. Students will be required to keep a sketchbook for developing ideas and completing homework assignments and will study examples from all over the world. This class aims to start students on the path towards being able to tell their own stories, and those of others, in a visual medium.

MODERN MEDIA

Kristen Jones

Digital Media class will include learning techniques in digital photography, web design and optimization, online presentation, app design, and explore ideas for both digital and print media. We will learn skills in effective visual communication by considering the principles of design using digital media and some hand made work. Students in this class will be involved in working as the yearbook staff to produce both a digital and print yearbook. Students will be required to give in class presentations for their final each trimester. The class will also include a variety of weekly homework assignments that will be required to earn credit.

ZINE

Miles Cook

In this class you will learn about the history of zines and DIY publishing and create several different types of zines. Minicomics, fanzines, political activism or manifestos, writing and poetry, the happenings of local music and art scenes: zines are how fans, subcultures, DIY artists, and underground movements have published their work going back to the invention of the printing press and are still part of a thriving small press and DIY publishing scene both online and in print.

You will learn how to design a book, prep it for reproduction with or without a computer, get copies printed on the cheap using photocopiers or online printing services and assemble them yourself with a little bit of bookmaking craft. You can also expect to do some drawing, basic graphic design and creative writing when making the actual content of the zines themselves. Anyone can publish a zine, and this class will give you the tools you need to get started in the world of DIY self-publishing.

CREATIVE MUSIC WORKSHOP

Lon Plynton

This class is a music laboratory where we learn to play together while exploring a wide range of musical styles. We will immerse ourselves in the science and sociology of organized sound. You can bring in your own composition or your favorite song and workshop with the group. This will provide an opportunity for students to experiment with musical concepts through ensemble involvement and creating a group performance. You must be willing to bring your instrument to class.

IMPROVISATION AND ACTING FOR THE THEATER

John McKenna

The focus of this course is the training of the actor: using the physical instrument (body, voice, face) and deep concentration and commitment to inhabit imaginary circumstances, including character, and to then live truthfully in the moment. The course is in equal parts training for the improviser. Indeed, it zeroes in on the principles and skills essential for both. Improvisation is at the core of an actor’s training. Through it students learn to be fully present on stage, to connect with scene partners, to respond honestly and emotionally, in-the-moment, through the lens of a character. In this class, we will draw from several great acting and improv teachers, including Sanford Meisner and Viola Spolin. Students will have the option and opportunity to develop scripted material as well as to work on scripted material from outside sources.

LONG-FORM IMPROV COMEDY

John McKenna

Although there are infinite variations in length, form and style in a typical long-form improv comedy set, an improv group or team takes the stage, requests a single suggestion from the audience (a word or phrase perhaps) and then performs unscripted, made-up-on-the-spot material -- often a series of scenes interconnected by theme, character, story or location -- for 25-40 minutes without pause. As with any art form, there is a vast set of learnable skills that can ultimately enable the artist to perform with effortlessness and grace. Some of the core principles in improv involve present-moment attention, active listening, true and honest emotional reaction, playfulness, development of physical and vocal range and “group mind.” Logistics of long-form improv -- from initiations to tag-outs and wipe edits, from openers and “gets” to finding the “game of the scene” and ending on a “button” -- will fill out the curriculum, giving students an essential toolkit for performance.

WORKING STORIES

Phil Goldman, Eve Kerrigan, Diane Postoian

The class about which you are about to read is not just another class…

Are you interested in telling your own story as well as listening to others’? Are you interested in collaborating with people of different ages to create work (both written and performed) that is authentic and meaningful rather than merely a portfolio stuffer?

Explore the literary and performing arts in Working Stories, an inter-generational creative arts workshop with professional writers and performers from RI. Participants will learn, and practice, elements of storytelling, interviewing and performance techniques as well as creative writing. Older adults from outside the School One community will join the class to collaborate with students on projects: not to teach students but to work with students. This will be a two-way street: everyone shares and learns from everyone else.

Important: Final collaborative projects will be shared at a public showcase as well as published. In order to earn credit, students will be expected to write and perform as part of this class and in the showcase.

VOICE AND VOCALISTS

Lon Plynton

All singers and vocalists of any level are welcome to this class where we will explore the power of the voice. We will endeavor to choose great songs from various genres and learn to sing them. We will practice techniques and exercises that make us better singers. We will listen, learn and discuss great vocalists from various musical traditions. Each student is asked to submit a song for class performance. You must be willing to participate in class discussions and group performances.

Resource Learning Center (RLC)

Lucy McKenna

The Resource Learning Center (RLC) will address the needs of student learners by providing the necessary support and focus on academic enrichment, study skills, organization, time management and decision-making. Students enrolled in this course are expected to bring class assignments and long-term projects to the RLC.   This class is by invitation only.

Course Objective: 

Develop Organization Skills

Preview and Review concepts taught in content area classes

Develop time management skills

Address individualized goals as outlined in students Individualized Education Plans (IEPs).

Skills:

Maintain daily planner to organize and ensure completion of assignments

Organize notebook and handouts used in content area classes

Develop time management skills

Prepare for quizzes, test and exams

Use educational software to reinforce educational needs

Evaluate academic performance and implement changes

Participate in college exam preparatory skills

Participate in career exploration

“At School One, the conversations in class and the writing assignments were at a different level. Students were committed to their opinions because they were pushed to be thoughtful and respectful.”

Janet Krueger   

Janet Krueger
Alumni Parent

 

Great writing begins here!

Read some of our students’ best work in e une (PDF, 2MB), School One’s Journal of Ideas. You’ll see why our Humanities program, with its focus on reasoning and analysis, consistently wins high praise – and turns out compelling writers.

Et tu, e une?