Courses

Curriculum: A Growth Mindset Through the Arts

Administration

Eric Crites

Head of School

Chelamia Quintana

Assistant Principal

English Language and Literature
English I • 1001
English credit • Grade Level: 9 • year-long, 1 credit

This course builds upon students’ prior knowledge of grammar, vocabulary, word usage, and mechanics of writing, and includes the four aspects of language use: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.  Using a multiple- intelligence approach, students will read across a wide variety of genres of literature, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, and graphic novels; comparative studies of literature and film may also be included.  Examples of works students will study include:  The Way To Rainy Mountain by N. Scott Momaday, Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya, Maus by Art Spiegelman, Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, and selected works of Native American mythology.  Students will complete a variety of writing exercises in a number of genres; these exercises will often be linked to reading selections.

English II • 1002 / English II Honors • 1002H
English credit – Grade Level: 10 – year-long, 1 credit

This course offers a balanced focus on composition and literature. Typically, students learn about the alternate aims and audiences of written compositions by writing persuasive, critical, and creative multi paragraph thematic essays and compositions; students will also experiment with writing various forms of fiction, memoir, and poetry. The study of literature encompasses various genres as students improve their reading rate and comprehension and develop the skills to determine authors’ intent and theme and to recognize the techniques employed by the author to achieve the goal. Once again, a multi-intelligence approach is used in the instruction the material.  The course will focus on world literature from the sixteenth century to the present.  Works students will read include Antigone by Sophocles, A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez, and Stitches David Small; comparative studies of literature and film may also be included.

Students opting for Honors credit will be required to complete more challenging versions of class assignments, essays, and exams; complete occasional additional readings; and post some assignments on an honors blog.

English III • 1003 / English III Honors • 1003H
English Credit – Grade Level: 11 – year-long, 1 credit

In a survey of American literature beginning with oral narratives which have their origins in the times before Columbus, this course continues to develop students’ reading skills, emphasizing close reading and thematic connections between works. Students will become acquainted with important currents in American literary and philosophical thought; literary conventions and stylistic devices will receive greater emphasis than in the previous courses. Students will continue to develop their vocabulary and review English grammar, building writing skills with an emphasis on clear, logical writing patterns, word choices, and usage. Students write multi-page essays, including creative works that reflect concepts studied in class, and begin to learn the techniques of writing research papers. Authors studied will include William Shakespeare, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mat Johnson, and others, including relevant contemporary works of nonfiction.

Honors: In a course that is integrated with the general American Literature, students read assigned works on their own and post weekly mini-essays on a blog and respond to others’ work. Students are required to write an additional essay a quarter and also may have more complex requirements for assignments given to the whole class. Additional works assigned may include: Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Lahiri’s The Namesake, Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, and Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying.

English IV • 1004 / English IV Honors • 1004H
English Credit – Grade Level: 12 – year-long, 1 credit

This class begins with a unit that focuses on writing a solid, yet imaginative essay for college application use.  This unit places heavy focus on revision, peer editing and use of punctuation as well as other elements of good writing. Following this, will be a survey of British literature from 600 to the present. The English IV course blends composition and literature into a cohesive whole as students write critical and comparative analyses of selected works of literature. Typically, multi-page essays predominate as the form of student composition. Students will reflect on the evolution of the English language and the impact of English literature on global culture through an examination of colonial andpostcolonial works. Works studied will include Heart of Darkness, Things Fall Apart, Beowulf, Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Frankenstein, and Persepolis. Additionally, we will look at short stories such as excerpts from Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried.  Using an English IV literature textbook, we will also examine a variety of British poems with particular focus on the Romantic era and its influence on Romantic era art.

Honors English IV will move beyond the curriculum of the regular English IV class. Students in Honors English IV will be expected to demonstrate more rigor in their scholarship by reading additional novels such as King Lear, Jane Eyre, the Handmaid’s Tale, and Room With a View.  There will be additional short readings as well. Students in Honors English will be expected to actively participate in an English IV blog where they will share ideas, comments, and in–depth responses to their readings.

Art History and Humanities • 1152
Elective credit – Grade Level: 12 – year-long, 1 credit

In this two part course, The Lives of Artists and Master Works of Art (Fall) and Global Lives, Traditional Arts, and Cultural Heritage (Spring), students will gain a holistic understanding of Art History theory and methodologies to actively participate in the interpretation and analysis of master works of art found in museum collections of the world. Through explicit step by step instruction, students will gain diverse perspectives while learning about cultural contexts and history of the world through art and architecture. By utilizing visual images, performing arts, videos, and literature students will learn how to conduct research in Art History, write detailed outlines and essays, and create in-depth projects and presentations as formative and summative assessments. While learning about art and artists the framework of the course will follow state standards for Visual and Performing Arts, Social Studies, with an emphasis in Common Core English Language Arts.

Fiction • 6103
Elective credit – Grade Level: 10 – 12 – semester-long, 0.5 high school credit
Counts toward Creative Writing minor

Fiction I focuses on the narrative form. The short story will be explored in depth, with students completing at least one short story for their portfolio. Writers will focus on developing voice and character as well as refining structure and elements such as dialogue and imagery. Critique and revision is an essential part of the course.

Creative Non-Fiction • 6104
Elective credit – Grade Level: 10 – 12 – semester-long, 0.5 high school credit
Counts toward Creative Writing minor

Creative Non-fiction is emerging as one of the most popular forms of literary writing today. Following the tradition of writers like Esmeralda Santiago, George Orwell, Joan Didion, James Baldwin, Annie Dillard and others, students will write in a variety of Creative Non-fiction styles beginning with the personal narrative. From there we will move on to other forms within this genre including the lyric essay, social commentary, satire, chronicles, lists (which often leads to humor writing) and stream of consciousness works. Students will create a personal journal that contains at least ten short pieces of writing. If it can be arranged, this course will be capped with a public reading event.

Senior Creative Writing Workshop • 1024
Elective credit – Grade Level: 12 – year-long, 0.5 credit
Counts toward Creative Writing minor

This course meets opposite Senior Seminar, twice a week in the fall and three times a week in the spring semester. Students will read and write pieces of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry to build a common vocabulary and generate topics and material for their senior projects; the second semester will focus on drafting, workshopping, and revising senior projects

Faculty

James Durnin

English Teacher

Geron Spray

English Teacher

Foreign Language and Literature
Spanish I • 1252
Foreign Language credit – Grade Level: 9-12 – year-long, 1.0 credit

This required course introduces students to the basic skills- listening, speaking, reading and writing and to the basic structures of Spanish taught within the cultural context.  Emphasis will be placed on oral and written communications skills.   Students are made aware of the importance of Spanish in their world.  The scope and sequence of the two-semester course follows that adopted in the principal text program for the course, AVANCEMOS I.  This includes the use of audio and video as well as online resources intended to provide additional practice and to facilitate the integration of the material learned.  A variety of the instructional strategies included reflect the unique needs of second language acquisition, as well as the learning styles particular to each student.

Spanish II • 1253
Foreign Language credit – Grade Level: 9-12 – year-long, 1.0 credit
Prerequisite: Spanish I with a C or better

This required course continues to develop communication skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking.  This course builds upon the foundations laid in Spanish I with regard to grammar, vocabulary and culture.  The principal course text and accompanying audio/visual resources used to facilitate this is the AVANCEMOS II program. Additional print resources such as magazines, newspaper articles and appropriate examples of Latino cinema supplement the program.  Instructional strategies and assignments include interactive group activities, presentations and an introduction to composition.

Spanish III • 1254
Elective credit – Grade Level: 10-12 – year-long, 1.0 credit
Prerequisite: Spanish II with a B or better

This is an elective course of two semesters.  It further refines, reinforces and develops the reading, writing, listening and speaking skills and cultural awareness previously acquired in the first two levels through the study of more advanced grammar topics and significant vocabulary expansion.  There is more reliance upon original source materials for reading and listening, such as lectures, articles, essays, short stories, films and interviews.  This course text program, AVANCEMOS III continues to provide a cohesive scope and sequence and a variety of ancillary resources, including audio, visual and cultural backup as well as aligning the curriculum with the NM standards and benchmarks.

Spanish IV • 1255
Elective credit – Grade Level 11-12 – year-long, 1.0 credit
Prerequisite: Spanish III with a B or better

The Spanish IV course represents a consolidation of all the knowledge acquired and skills developed during the previous three years of study.  Students further refine and reinforce the four skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking with a course conducted largely in Spanish.  In the AVANCEMOS IV text, fully aligned with NM standards and benchmarks, they are introduced to more advanced grammar concepts, significantly increasing their vocabulary and facilitating the improvement of skills through a variety of readings and audio resources as well as films, documentaries, and interviews.  More advanced performance assignments reflect this higher level of mastery of the various aspects of the language and include compositions, literary analysis and sustainable open-ended conversations requiring the use of more complex grammatical structures and syntax.

Faculty

Elizabeth McCormick

Spanish Teacher

Life and Physical Science
Integrated Science • 1741
Science credit – Grade Level: 9, 10 – year-long, 1.0 credit – Lab science credit

The specific content of Integrated Science emanates from suggestions by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the National Association for the Advancement of Science. The class will address earth, life, and physical science by teaching the “power standards” for each. The class will use all of the tools of science research and organize the material around thematic units. Common themes include systems, models, energy, patterns, change, and constancy. Appropriate aspects of each specialty are used to investigate applications of the theme.

Biology • 1711
Science credit – Grade Level: 10, 11, 12 – year-long, 1.0 credit – Lab science credit

Biology is a laboratory science course that covers the study of living things. Biology is a full-year, lab-based, 10th grade science class designed to introduce the concepts of cell theory, genetics, evolution, classification, and ecology.

Chemistry • 1721 / Chemistry Honors • 1721H
Science credit – Grade Level: 11, 12 – year-long, 1.0 credit – Lab science credit

Course involves the composition, properties, and reactions of substances. The behaviors of solids, liquids, and gases; acid/base and oxidation/reduction reactions; and atomic structure are typical concepts explored in Chemistry-First Year courses. Chemical formulas and equations and nuclear reactions are also studied.

Honors:  students will be required to submit extra projects, answer essay questions on tests.  Honors students will have approximately 25% more work than regular students.

Physics • 1731 / Physics Honors • 1731H
(Lab science credit for Physics Honors)
Science/Elective credit – Grade Level: 11, 12 – year-long, 1.0 credit
Prerequisite: Algebra II

Course involves the study of the forces and laws of nature affecting matter: equilibrium, motion, momentum, and the relationships between matter and energy. The study of physics includes examination of sound, light, magnetic, and electric phenomenon.

Honors:  students will be required to submit extra projects, answer essay questions on tests.  Honors students will have approximately 25% more work than regular students.

The course will be offered every other year, alternately with Anatomy & Physiology. Offered in 2017-2018.

Anatomy & Physiology • 1713
Science/Elective credit – Grade Level: 11, 12 – year-long, 1.0 credit – Lab science credit
Prerequisite: Biology or Honors Biology and Chemistry or Honors Chemistry

This course provides students with an advanced and detailed understanding of the structure and functions of the human body. It is intended to prepare those who are interested in further specialized work in the medical or biological sciences. Laboratory work including dissection and other hands-on activities will be used in teaching and reinforcing conceptual information.

The course will be offered every other year, alternately with Physics. Not offered in 2017-2018.

Environmental Science • 1751
Science/Elective credit – Grade Level: 10, 11, 12 – year-long, 1.0 credit – Lab science credit
Prerequisite: passing grade in one laboratory science course (Integrated, Biology, or Chemistry)

Environmental Science is a rigorous course that examines the natural sciences through a multidiscipline approach integrating biology, chemistry, physics, geology, climatology, oceanography, human population dynamics along with political and economical approaches. The laboratory component consists of hands-on approach to learning through various lab activities, exercises, filed observations, and analysis.

AP Environmental Science• 1752
Science/Elective credit – Grade Level: 10, 11, 12 – year-long, 1.0 credit – Lab science credit
Prerequisite: Biology with a B or better and teacher recommendation

This course provides students with the scientific principles, concepts, and methodologies required to understand the interrelationships of the natural world, to identify and analyze environmental problems both natural and human-made, to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems, and to examine alternative solutions for resolving or preventing them. Topics covered in this course include; biology, chemistry, physics, geology, climatology, oceanography, human population dynamics along with political and economical approaches. The laboratory component consists of hands-on approach to learning through various lab activities, exercises, filed observations and analysis. AP students will be required to complete the Advanced Placement approved lab activities and take the College Board Advanced Placement exam in order to earn college credit.

Faculty

Jennifer Black

Science Teacher

Acacia McCombs

Science Teacher

Rebekah Morgan

Math Teacher

Mathematics
Algebra I • 2031
Math credit – Grade Level: 9 – year-long, 1.0 credit
A passing grade in 1st semester of Algebra I is required to move to 2nd semester of the class.

The course will introduce the students to high school level classroom skills and the broad range of mathematical tools used to succeed in high school mathematics. As a foundation for all of higher level mathematics, this algebra course will include continued guidance for success and higher levels of understanding and application. Topics will include both algebra with some supplemental geometry skills. Topics include introduction to variables and equations, working with real numbers, fractions, inequalities, solving equations, graphing, application of tables and word problems. Linear equations, systems of linear equations, exponential and quadratic functions will be covered. A brief introduction to statistics will be included.

Geometry • 2034
Math credit – Grade Level: 9, 10 – year-long, 1.0 credit
Prerequisite: Algebra I
A passing grade in 1st semester of Geometry is required to move to 2nd semester of the class.

This course will focus on the fundamental principles of Geometry and the application of Algebra to Geometry. Topics include learning fundamental vocabulary, postulates and theorems for basic figures (points, lines, planes, angles); postulates and theorems for angles and perpendicular lines, properties of parallel lines, triangle congruency, parallelograms and special quadrilaterals; using deductive reasoning and writing proofs; ratio, proportion and similarity; Pythagorean theorem and special right triangles; trigonometry; area of plane figures; transformations; surface area and volume; and concepts/segments related to circles.

Algebra II • 2041 / Algebra II Honors • 2041H
Math credit – Grade Level: 9, 10, 11 – year-long, 1.0 credit
Prerequisite: Geometry
A passing grade in 1st semester of Algebra II is required to move to 2nd semester of the class.

Algebra II starts with a continuation of concepts studied in Algebra I. Topics include inequalities and absolute value, linear equations and systems, quadratic equations and functions, complex numbers, products and factors of polynomials, rational expressions and functions, radical functions, rational exponents, exponential and logarithmic functions and statistics/probability.

Honors: includes the additional topics of sequences and series, periodic functions, and trigonometry.

Pre-Calculus • 2053
Math credit – Grade Level: 10, 11, 12 – year-long, 1.0 credit
Prerequisite: Geometry, Algebra II

This course includes an in depth review of linear, quadratic and exponential functions. All review from previous courses includes connections to applications in calculus. Conic Sections, Inverses, Logarithms,Trigonometry and complex numbers are covered. Trigonometry will begin with a review of the unit circle and include right triangle trig, and trigonometric identities and equations. Enhancement topics: Probability, Statistics, limits, derivative. Students successful with this course will be ready for Calculus as a next step math class.

Calculus Honors • 2060
Math credit – Grade Level: 12 – year-long, 1.0 credit
Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus with a C or above or Algebra 2 with an A- or above and teacher recommendation.

This course includes the study of derivatives, anti-derivatives, differentiation, integration, the definite and indefinite integral, and applications of calculus.  Review topics: properties of elementary functions and their graphs, vectors and polar coordinates, and concepts of limits and continuity.  Enhancement topics: improper integral; multiple integration; sequences and series, including convergence tests and series expansion theorems; anti-differentiation; and differential equations.

Financial Algebra • 2097
Math credit – Grade Level: 12 – year-long, 1.0 credit
Prerequisite: Algebra II

Course provides an understanding of the concepts and principles involved in managing one’s personal finances.  The class connects math to the real world and applies mathematical ideas to our everyday lives. Content includes: the Stock Market, Banking Services, Consumer Credit, Automobile Ownership, Employment Basics, Income Taxes, Independent Living, Retirement and Personal Budgeting. Emphasis will be on problem solving for real life. This course serves as an alternative to taking Pre-Calculus or Calculus for the 4th year Math credit.

Faculty

Xinrong Li

Math Teacher

John Pawlak

Math Teacher

Rebekah Morgan

Math Teacher

Social Studies
New Mexico History • 2717
Social Studies credit – Grade Level: 9, 10, 11 – semester-long, 0.5 credit

This survey course supports students to become more knowledgeable and aware of the historical, cultural, economic, and political history of New Mexico and their geographical connections. Particular attention will be paid to the enduring legacy of colonization. Students will analyze the role that New Mexico plays in national and international arenas. The 9-12 Social Studies Content Standards, Benchmarks, and Performance Standards will be included as appropriate to the course. Only one semester is required.

World History and Geography • 2706
Social Studies credit – Grade Level: 10, 11 – year-long, 1.0 credit

Course covers the major eras and important turning points in world history from 500 CE to the present. Other elements include world geography; the development of world trade routes and the cultural exchanges they facilitated; and the legacies of the Scientific Revolution, the European Enlightenment, and the Industrial Revolution. Common Core State Standards for History/Social Studies will be included as appropriate to the course.

U.S. History • 2729 / U.S. History Honors • 2729H
Social Studies credit – Grade Level: 10, 11 – year-long, 1.0 credit

Course examines the history and impact of major eras, events, and individuals in United States history since the Civil War and Reconstruction. Included within this course is U.S. Geography to support geographical concepts as they relate to the understanding of the development of the United States. In addition 9-12 Social Studies Benchmarks and Performance Standards (History, Civics, and Government, Economics and Geography) will be included as appropriate to the course.

Honors: Honors courses typically require 20% additional course work above other course assignments, which are also required.  For this course students will be required to extend answers to textbook questions as part of their homework, read two additional books with written chapter responses to be turned into the honors google classroom (1book  each semester: Blood Done Sign My Name by Tim Tyson, and choice of one of the following titles: The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore, Just Like Us by Helen Thorpe, or Rez Life by David Treuer—teacher will provide copies of the text you choose; 1-2 paragraph responses to the questions provided), and lead 4 classes with other honors students, 1 first semester, 3 second semester on themes assigned by the teacher.

Government • 2730
Social Studies credit – Grade Level: 11, 12 – semester-long, 0.5 credit

The course provides an understanding of the ideals, rights, and responsibilities of citizenship, and an history of the founding documents of the United States including the New Mexico and United States Constitutions, and how governments function at the local, state, tribal, and national levels.

Economics • 2741
Social Studies credit – Grade Level: 11, 12 – semester-long, 0.5 credit

The course provides for an understanding of basic economic principles and use of economic reasoning skills to analyze the impact of economic systems (including the market economy) on individuals, families, businesses, communities, and governments.

Faculty

Kim Martinez

Art History Teacher

Dr. Roxanne Seagraves

World History Teacher

Student Wellness
Health • 1401
Health credit, required for graduation – Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12 –semester-long, 0.5 credit

The course includes coverage of the following: the body systems, physical fitness, nutrition, stress management, drug and alcohol abuse prevention, human sexuality including STDs and contraception, CPR/First Aid and community and environmental health. The following topics will be covered: accessing and evaluating health information via the internet, communicable and non-communicable diseases, domestic and dating violence, depression, mental disorders, and suicide. Course material in this class may contain readings or discussions in which topics of a sexual nature are presented.

Physical Education 1 • 2306 / Physical Education 2 • 2307
Physical Education credit – Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12 – semester long, 0.5 credit

The course provides instruction and development of skills in physical fitness.

Faculty

Bernadette Peña

Student Wellness Teacher

Other Programs
9th Grade Academy • 7100
Elective credit – Grade Level: 9  – year-long, 0.5 credit

This course prepares all 9th graders for academic and social-emotional success as high school students. Students will study non-cognitive skills (growth mindset, organization, time management, self-assessment, self-advocacy, note-taking, college preparation); close reading skills (annotation, text features, text-dependent questioning); social-emotional skills (cooperative learning, communicating with teachers, stress management); and test-taking skills.

9th Grade Success • 2099
Elective credit – Grade Level: 9  – year-long, 1.5 credit

This course offers students entering NMSA a means of improving both functional and academic skills needed to thrive in high school.  Skills related to executive function such as planning, organization, metacognition, task initiation and others are explicitly taught.  Academic skills in math, grammar, writing, reading, science and other areas are honed.  And mindful practices are taught to improve stress resilience, concentration and mood management.

Academic Seminar • 7001
Elective credit – Grade Level: 9, 10, 11 – year-long, 0.5 credit

This course is a regulated plan of instruction where students spend classroom time producing solid evidence of learning. It supports students in developing and enriching the skills that lead to successful learning across all classes in high school and postsecondary education: reading closely, writing well, solving problems, and implementing effective study strategies.

Senior Seminar • 0862

Elective credit – Grade Level: 9, 10, 11 – year-long, 0.5 credit

The course focuses on helping senior students identify colleges and apply for admission. This includes focus on creating the common application, college essay writing, admission requirements (including audition and portfolio development), financial aid and college recruitment visits.

Faculty

Acacia McCombs

Senior Adviser

Acacia McCombs

Senior Adviser

Dual Credit
Business Communications – Dual Credit • BUSN 120

Elective credit – Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12 – semester-long, 1 High School credit, 3 College credits

This course teaches how to write in a variety of work environments. The emphasis of the course is on audience analysis and the writing of concise, accessible communications based on reader needs. Students learn how to write clear procedures, a polished professional resume, and a well-documented research report or business plan. Computer-based research and the efficient composition of long documents is also covered.

(Prerequisite: ENGL101 or demonstrated competence in college-level English or permission of Program Director)

Poetry Writing I – Dual Credit • CRWR 111

Elective credit – Grade Level: 10 – 12 – semester-long, 1 high school credit, 3 college credits

This course is an introduction to the basic elements of poetry writing with emphasis placed on modern form and techniques, as well as reading and critique of the works of selected poets.

Note: the course is taught at NMSA by the Institute of American Indian Arts and counts toward the Creative Writing Minor.

What is a Story? – Dual Credit • 2060DC

Elective credit – Grade Level: 11, 12 – year-long, 1.0 high School credit, 3 college credits

Where do the best stories come from? This course is designed to take students on a journey through the storytelling process, from idea to execution. Along the way, students will take a look at the power of myth, universal truths and basic story structure. Ultimately, students will be encouraged to develop and write stories that are community-based or reflect an issue or concern in which they have a personal stake or vested interest. Very often, the best stories come from what is most personal.

Note: the course is taught at NMSA by the Institute of American Indian Arts and counts toward the Creative Writing Minor.

About

Students receive high school as well as college credit for classes taken as part of the Dual Credit Program. NMSA has agreements with the Santa Fe Community College, the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), the University of New Mexico and Eastern New Mexico University. Please contact to the Registrar for more information about the program, and for lists of available classes.

Cecile Hemez
Registrar