The ninth grade curriculum provides students with a solid foundation, equipping freshmen with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the Upper School. The ninth grade year is rigorous and full of opportunities. Freshmen are supported by a 9th and 10th grade counselor and given a wide variety of co-curricular and spiritual opportunities, which foster a strong connection to fellow students and the St. Paul’s family.
The course descriptions below demonstrate that the ninth-grade curriculum is engaging and our dedicated teachers ensure that is used it to both inspire and prepare. Finally, the curriculum pledge at St. Paul’s Episcopal School is to explore innovative and research-proven programs, which bolster a child’s education.
The world is changing at a faster pace than ever before, as are the students we educate. Therefore, the curriculum is designed to embrace those changes and create a classroom that is dynamic, college-preparatory, and well-rounded.
ENGLISH 9 100
This course is designed to develop the student’s interpretive understanding of literature and ability to write. Studies include an examination of short stories, poetry, and drama, including Julius Caesar and Antigone. A survey of classical mythology is included. Novels include The Old Man and the Sea, A Tale of Two Cities, and The Pearl. Writing assignments are integrated into each unit of study, with emphasis on content, organization, mechanics, and focus. Writing lessons are augmented by systematic vocabulary skills building. Major projects include analytical writing assignments and oral presentations focusing on, but not limited to, poetry and mythology. Student evaluation is based on major test scores, quiz grades, homework, oral presentations, writing assignments, journal entries, and memory work.
COMPOSITION 9 114
This course is designed for freshmen and sophomores who would likely benefit from additional writing instruction and practice beyond the requirements of their grade level English class. The course provides additional support for writing projects across the curriculum, especially in the required English and history classes. At ninth grade this course supports specifically the Heroes, Mythology and Poetry projects, among others. At tenth grade this course supports those assignments mutually agreed upon by the affected teachers. No additional homework is placed on the student as a result of enrollment in this course. Composition is available on a 1-year basis only. Selection is primarily by teacher recommendation, with consideration given for test scores and grades. Parents and students should indicate their desire to take or not take this course by signing the recommendation letter.
WORLD HISTORY I: THE ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL WORLD 301
This ninth grade level course is a survey of world civilizations from prehistory through the medieval period, approximately to 1500. Coverage will include both western and non-western cultures. Special emphasis will be given to both current and historical geography and map skills. The course will begin with a unit on contemporary world issues and current events will be an important component of the course throughout the year. Development of writing skills, critical analysis, and reading comprehension, analysis of primary documents, organizational skills and note taking will be emphasized. Evaluations will include unit tests, quizzes, homework and a variety of in-class activities and out-of-class assignments. The technology component for ninth grade social studies is PowerPoint. This course is a foundation for World History II: The Modem World or AP European History.
ALGEBRA I 200
A ninth grade course that covers the basic principles of algebra topics: a brief review of pre-algebra, the language of algebra, integers, polynomial expressions, equations and inequalities of all sorts, factoring, algebraic fractions, graphing linear and quadratic equations, radicals, systems of linear equations, some statistics, basic geometry review, and word problems. Time is devoted to test-taking tips, study skills, and the how/why of homework. The main goal of this class is to provide the students with the math skills and background, critical thinking skills, and confidence needed to succeed in subsequent mathematics courses. Evaluation is based on homework completion, quizzes, tests, graphing calculator/computer mastery, and projects. The technological emphasis of Algebra I are spreadsheets and graphing calculator activities.
Algebra I is the prerequisite. This course is designed to enable students to learn to reason inductively in a mathematical system, through formal proof. In addition, students practice problem-solving skills by applying algebra to plane and solid geometry concepts. The basic topics are definitions, theorems, postulates, congruence, similarity, measurement, coordinate geometry, transformations, constructions, trigonometry and space. Graphing calculators with Cabri geometry software and computer software Geometer Sketchpad can be used to enhance visualization. Cooperative learning groups, special class projects, and SAT/ACT preparation are periodically used. Students are evaluated on quizzes, tests, homework completion and group work.
HONORS GEOMETRY 202
Algebra I is the prerequisite. This accelerated version of the standard geometry course is open to selected students. This course is designed to enable students to learn to reason inductively and deductively in a mathematical system, through formal proof. It includes advanced work in standard geometry topics and additional work in logic, vectors, circular trigonometry, inductive proofs, networks, non-Euclidean geometry, three-dimensional coordinate geometry, analytic geometry, and geometric probability. Instruction is enhanced with computer and graphing calculator activities. SAT/ACT preparation is periodically used. Students are evaluated on tests, quizzes, homework completion and group work.
BIOLOGY 9 414
Biology 9 is an investigation into the amazing biotic world. It explores biochemistry, taxonomy, genetic principles, and diversity of the anatomical and physiological characteristics of the ever-changing species of the biosphere. The labs outline key science skills while providing understanding for biological concepts. The analytical activities build problem-solving skills including interpretation of data and formulation of conclusions which give birth to new ideas enhanced by innovative technological tools.
SPANISH I 504
This course introduces the student to the concept of studying a foreign language and to basic Spanish grammar. Vocabulary drawn from everyday life is enhanced through idiomatic study in an effort to highlight cultural differences. All four communicative skills—listening, speaking, reading, and writing—receive equal attention. In addition to traditional methods and resources which are used by the teacher, Rosetta Stone gives students an invaluable tool to strengthen those fundamental communication skills.
SPANISH II 505
This course continues the examination of the structure of the language begun in Spanish I. Emphasis is placed on the mastery of grammatical patterns, while continuing the emphasis on oral communication and cultural enrichment. In addition to traditional methods and resources which are used by the teacher, Rosetta Stone gives students an invaluable tool to strengthen those fundamental communication skills. Students who take Spanish I in the 8th grade can take Spanish II in the 9th grade.
FRENCH I 500
This course equips students with basic tools for second language acquisition. Daily practice in the primary skills of communication--listening, speaking, reading, and writing--fosters understanding of French vocabulary, grammar, and syntax. Cultural activities highlight the similarities and differences between French and American life. In addition to traditional methods and resources which are used by the teacher, Rosetta Stone gives students an invaluable tool to strengthen those fundamental communication skills. Chapter tests assess listening, reading and writing skills.
FRENCH II 501
This course strengthens and expands communication skills introduced in French I. Increased emphasis is placed on oral proficiency and reading comprehension at the intermediate level. Cultural topics feature important aspects of daily life in France and in other French-speaking countries. In addition to traditional methods and resources which are used by the teacher, Rosetta Stone gives students an invaluable tool to strengthen those fundamental communication skills. Chapter tests assess listening, reading and writing skills. Students who take French I in the 8th grade can take French II in the 9th grade.
LATIN II 509
This course concentrates on extending the study of verbs, nouns, and grammar begun in Latin I. Grammar study expands to include thorough understanding of participles, infinitives, fourth and fifth declension nouns, personal, relative, and interrogative pronouns, and irregular and comparative adjectives, as well as basic subjunctive tenses and uses. Emphasis is placed on reading Latin passages taken from ancient authors. Study continues to focus on etymology of English words derived from Latin, and cultural themes include Roman history, art and civilization, and famous people from this period. The basic text is Wheelock’s Latin. The testing program differs from the format established in Latin I in that the text is composed of numerous short chapters. The students have a weekly vocabulary quiz and a weekly grammar quiz on each short chapter, with no major tests.
FINE AND PERFORMING ARTS
ART I 600
This studio course introduces students to the elements and principles of design through experimental work with a variety of media. Drawing skills are emphasized during first quarter, followed by painting, 2D design, relief and stencil printmaking processes and 3D design activities. A broad overview of Art Movements and artists from the Egyptians through the 20th century artists is incorporated into the studio portion of the course. Class critiques at the end of each project reinforce the objectives and allow the students to learn from one another and become articulate when discussing art. Teacher evaluation, based on individual abilities and skill levels, is integral to the course. Teacher approval required to continue to Art II or Photography I or II.
WOMEN’S CHORUS 604
Women’s Chorus gives students an opportunity to participate in a performing group that concentrates on individual and group choral enrichment. The group participates in required outside performance activities with the St. Paul’s Singers and separately. Because this class is performance based, with no homework, participation at performances is mandatory. Evaluation is based on participation in class and attendance at required performances.
MEN’S CHORUS 611
Men’s Chorus gives students an opportunity to participate in a performing group that concentrates on individual and group choral enrichment. The group participates in required outside performance activities with the St. Paul’s Singers and separately. Because this class is performance based, with no homework, participation at performances is mandatory. Evaluation is based on participation in class and attendance at required performances.
Chorale gives qualified students the opportunity to participate in a performing group that concentrates on individual and group choral enrichment. The group participates in required outside performance activities with the St. Paul’s Singers and separately. Because this class is performance based, with no homework, participation at performances is mandatory. Evaluation is based on participation in class and attendance at required performances. Students must qualify by audition.
CHAMBER SINGERS 650
Chamber Singers gives advanced chorus students opportunities to participate in a performing group that concentrates on individual and group choral enrichment in a small ensemble setting. The group participates in required outside performance activities with the St. Paul's Singers and separately. Because this class is performance based, with no homework, participation at performances is mandatory. Evaluation is based on participation in class and attendance at required performances. Students must qualify by audition.
CHAMBER STRINGS 608
Advanced Strings (The Chamber Strings) refines the higher points of orchestral ensemble playing through the study of music history, theory, and pedagogy. Students are required to attend numerous performances outside of the school day, as well as all church and school performances. Advanced Strings prepares students to compete at a collegiate level. Students are expected to maintain performance skills and demonstrate behavior required to participate in the Chamber Strings. Advanced Strings is a full year course. Students must qualify by audition.
THEATER: PERFORMANCE AND PRODUCTION 674
This course provides an avenue of creative expression, growth in self-confidence, an outlet for creative energy, and makes students a more discerning audience. Using Theatre: Art in Action as a text, the course will focus on acting, production and technical theater. This elective will benefit the students taking any college course in the arts, public speaking, humanities, and/or survey of literature.
Advanced Band 699
The Advanced Band performs at Winter and Spring Concerts, District and State Level concert competitions and numerous special performances. Students meet daily after marching season to prepare literature to be performed for the upcoming concerts. Time is taken during these rehearsals to advance each student’s ability level. Students individually compete for the Alabama All-State Band, Solo and Ensemble Festival, and various other honor bands
throughout the Southeast.
Physical Education: Weight Room Male (804) & (801), Female (809) & (802)
In the upper school, the focus is on health-enhancing physical activity, with emphasis on learning how and why to live healthy for a lifetime. Students learn how to make physical activity a part of their everyday lives beyond high school, with such activities as aerobics, body toning and recreational games. Cardiovascular efficiency, muscular endurance, flexibility, and muscular strength are emphasized at this level. Upper school weight room classes are available to students in the ninth through twelfth grades. Due to limited space, the coaching staff selects all participants. The classes are segregated by sex and are taught by members of the coaching staff. Weight, speed, and power training are taught to the inexperienced and experienced athlete. Programs specific to each sport, whether in-season or out-of-season, are developed by each coach and administered by the weight room teachers. Progress is measured up to three times a year in the strength, speed, and power categories.
ALTERNATIVE INSTRUCTION PROGRAM
DIRECTED STUDY 9 945
Directed Study is part of the Alternative Instruction Program which is designed to provide students with environments which meet the full spectrum of different learning styles. Therefore, Directed Study is a guided study period that offers one on one study support for students. This study support may also be provided in a group instruction process as in a mini lesson or note taking or listening skills or other study techniques. Directed study teachers provide monitoring and shaping of independent learning behaviors and give feedback to students and parents.