- Computer Science
- Fine Arts
- History/Social Studies
- World Languages
- Applied Humanities
OUR PRIMARY OBJECTIVE
Preparation for college is a primary objective of the Upper School program, and the intellectual rigor and variety of opportunities for all students provides a foundation for future academic success.
The heart of Baylor School is its academic program, and our academic mission statement reads: Baylor is a college preparatory school that engages, challenges, and inspires each student, in every class, every day.
In order to accomplish that mission, we seek to provide every student:
- Intellectual challenge and thorough preparation for further study in the years to come.
- The ability to think critically and communicate clearly in speaking and in writing.
- A firm grounding in knowledge of nature, history, and the human heart.
- Preparation for global citizenship, responsibility for the environment, an appreciation of cultural diversity, and the command of a second language.
To contribute to the above mission and goals, the primary objective of the middle school is to provide the intellectual, social, and emotional foundation for the Upper School program that will allow students to take advantage of the full breadth of opportunities available at Baylor and beyond.
- Baylor’s mission is to foster in its students both the ability and the desire to make a positive difference in the world.
- Building on our fundamental principles of honor and continuing the Baylor tradition of adapting in a constantly changing world, we commit ourselves to best prepare students for the university and the true business of life. We recognize our differences, respect the dignity of all, and invite the distinct contributions of every member of the Baylor Community.
- Baylor is a college preparatory school that engages, challenges, and inspires each student, in every class, every day.
- Baylor cultivates confident leaders who build community and uphold the highest standards of character.
- The students of Baylor School believe that a great school must of necessity rest on the foundations of truth and honor and that truth is the greatest virtue one may possess. The Honor System is a solemn and voluntary obligation on the part of the Baylor student body to live by the highest standards of truth and honor and pledge themselves not to lie, cheat, or falsify information.
Computer Science continues to integrate itself into many disciplines and professions, as well as being a unique field of study unto itself. Students interested in studying engineering, design, business, physical sciences, or medicine in college will benefit greatly from these courses, but emerging technologies and techniques in fields as diverse as art and sports make understanding computers, programming, and logic generally applicable. The ability to analyze problems and formulate algorithms to solve those problems is fundamental to Baylor's computer science program. A hands-on approach grounded in sound theory and design is used throughout the curriculum. Students work individually or collaborate in pairs or teams as projects dictate. Finally, we always consider the ethical aspects of computing as we strive to impart skills that enable students to make a positive difference.
Computer Science Requirements: Computer Science courses are all electives and are not required for graduation
Computer Courses lasting a semester
Computer Science I: Introduction to Computer Science
This introductory course focuses on learning the fundamentals of programming and developing logically sound and efficient solutions to problems. Students learn the Swift programming language and use Xcode to explore computer graphics, text processing, and simple game programming along with relevant mathematical skills and computational reasoning.
AP Computer Science Principles
This semester-long course introduces concepts and computational thinking practices central to disciplines of computer science. Through modern programming languages such as Swift and Python, the students focus on creativity, abstraction, data analysis, algorithm development and expression, and networking. Alongside these foundational elements of computer science, students also explore innovations in related fields, as well as the ethical implications of new computing technologies. CS I is a recommended prerequisite, but students may enter pending demonstrated knowledge/experience and permission from an instructor.
English teachers at Baylor enjoy a good deal of freedom to shape each class to best serve the students in that class. The department works for coherence in the program through common texts at each grade level, a common list of correction symbols, a department style sheet, a sequence of literary terms emphasized at each level, a series of tests in grammar and composition, vocabulary study in all four years, and an annual grade-wide contest in each of the upper school grades. English I (the freshman course) and English II build essential skills while exposing students to a wide range of literature and composition. Teachers of these courses work to reinforce connections with the world history courses. English
English Requirements: Four credits are required. Students must take a full year of English at each grade level.
English I: Ninth Grade
English I is the first year of a two-year study of world literature. Students acquire essential skills in writing and critical reading. Through a wide variety of writing assignments, students begin to develop a clear expression of thought as they write narrative, persuasive and expository essays. They seek to build critical reading skills through a study of multiple genres, including fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry. In addition, students regularly study vocabulary. In preparation for assessments in grammar and writing in the spring, they also study grammar throughout the year. Finally, all students participate in a grade-wide writing and oration contest.
Students admitted to honors sections have demonstrated enthusiasm and dedication and proven themselves capable grammarians, avid readers, and skilled writers. As a result, they cover the material of English I at a rapid pace. Honors students write essays, poetry, and nonfiction. In addition to the common English I texts, they study at least one novel, complete a poetry unit, and read an assortment of short stories. Departmental approval is required for enrollment.
English II: Tenth Grade
In the second year of the exploration of world literature, students in English II continue to read a variety of genres. Students also hone their abilities to write clearly and with more complexity as they tackle a wide variety of assignments, including persuasive writing, literary analysis, narratives, and a short version of a TED Talk, the grade-wide contest. Vocabulary study extends throughout the year, and students are assessed on their grammar skills with an eye towards preparation for the variety of standardized tests they will be taking in the coming years. Students hone class discussion skills, emphasizing how to analyze elements such as author intent, voice and tone while developing greater depth as critical readers.
English II: AP English Language
This course follows the outline of English II but adds rigorous preparation for the Advanced Placement English Examination in Language and Composition, which focuses on the analysis of nonfiction, especially persuasion. Students read and analyze fiction and nonfiction with an eye for rhetoric. The reading and writing workload is intensive, and students maintain a demanding reading and writing schedule. Departmental approval is required for enrollment.
English III: American Literature
The American Literature course exposes students to the scope and variety of the literature of the United States. Students read and write about a wide range of texts from different genres: nonfiction, fiction, drama, and poetry. Typical readings range from important documents in U.S. history to slave narratives to the poetry of Dickinson, Whitman, Frost, and others to plays such as The Crucible and Doubt to such novels as The Great Gatsby, All the King's Men, The Things They Carried, and The Round House. In addition, students produce a variety of writing: analytical, personal, creative, as well as research-based. All students participate in the Poetry Out Loud contest, engage in individualized vocabulary study via the online Membean site, and review grammatical concepts in preparation for standardized testing.
English III: AP English-Literature
To the work of English III, this course adds rigorous preparation for the Advanced Placement English Examination in Literature and Composition, which focuses on the analysis of poetry and prose fiction. Students read closely, analyze carefully, and write gracefully about a wide range of literature--fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. Students maintain a demanding and fast-paced reading and writing schedule and gain experience working on elements of the standard AP Literature Exam, including multiple choice practice tests. Departmental approval is required for enrollment.
English IV: General
The semester-long courses in the senior year all emphasize a broader awareness of the increasingly global nature of the literary world. Students must take at least one English course in each semester of the senior year. The reading lists for each semester include prose (nonfiction and fiction), poetry, and drama. Each course presents works composed both in English and in translation from a variety of literary traditions. In order to prepare students for the demands of college-level composition, writing assignments include expository, analytical, creative, personal, and editorial writing. Each course in the spring semester includes a research project modeled on the types of assignments typical in post-secondary classes.
English IV: African-American Literature
This course explores the work of African American novelists, poets, musicians and essayists in search of a deeper understanding of the experiences of people of African descent living in the United States. Students discuss the variety of representations of African American culture in books, movies, and mass media, and students work to develop an awareness of the ways in which history has shaped works by and about African Americans.
English IV: Identity and Society in Literature
Identity and Society in Literature examines the writings of minority groups as they struggle to use narratives, poems and essays to achieve self-definition. Centering on the theme of identity through ethnicity, socio-economic status, race, sex and sexual orientation, this course will study the boxes that the majority in a society creates and from which minority groups seek to escape.
English IV: Literary Classics
Literary Classics focuses on "great books" of the canon, examining why they are great and what has allowed them to stand the test of time. The course also examines the world views that these books espouse and evaluate the relevance of such views and philosophies in a modern, globalized world.
English IV: Literature of Medicine
The field of medicine provides fertile ground for stories that examine the intersection of literature, illness, wellness, and the human condition. Literature of Medicine includes, for instance, unique stories from medical professionals who balance triumph and tragedy daily and from authors, poets, and playwrights who seek to share the complex lives of characters who experience illnesses. The course also relies upon various written materials – essays, memoir, novels, plays, short stories, and poems – to explore further these doctors’ and patients’ experiences with illnesses and recoveries.
English IV: Modernism in American Literature
This class explores the ways in which the work of William Faulkner is representative of the Modernism movement within American literature. Readings include at least three of Faulkner's novels and a sampling of his short stories. The readings address themes that are characteristic of American Modernism such as alienation, fragmentation, and experimentation. Students are expected to read and discuss the texts and write essays that address issues raised by the texts within the context of their own personal experience.
English IV: Murder and Mystery in Literature
As sales of genre fiction far outpace sales of literary fiction, one has to wonder what draws people to read books for fun. The course examines popular works from myriad perspectives, treating them as actual literature that has found an audience. Ultimately, investigators seek to understand the relationship between fiction, non-fiction and the cultures from which they emerge.
English IV: Travel Literature
From fear to possibility to exhilaration, the art of travel rarely fails to lead to discovery. This course surveys a variety of books and essays written by travelers. Students study the works of some of the great travel writers while evaluating current articles hot off the press. Local and global authors lead students to find a sense of place and develop an eye for detail.
English IV: Wilderness Literature
The natural world is at the same time the greatest reflection of Man's truest self and of his absolute other. For some, Nature is the mother, and it is humanity's obligation "to cultivate and to keep" her. For others, Nature is the wild, and society's challenge is "to rule over and subdue" it. In reading the works of authors who depict humanity's various encounters with the wild, students examine the attempt to conquer Nature and the self.
English IV: Women's Literature
This course explores the relationship between gender and power, a connection that often intersects with issues of class, race, religion, geography, or other identity markers. Students follow the journeys of fictional female protagonists, read about the experiences of women from diverse backgrounds, and investigate what issues of gender look like in their local communities and their own lives.
The Fine Arts at Baylor are hands-on experiences that integrate history, problem solving, communication skills, and independent thinking. Drawing, printmaking, pottery, sculpture, computer graphics and painting are all offered as part of our fine arts curriculum. Voice and diction, piano, band, string orchestra, and concert choir are among our musical course offerings. Students interested in music also have the opportunity to perform in string ensemble, concert choir, concert band, and brass ensemble. Plays and dance recitals give students hands-on experience in the technical and artistic aspects of performing. Students can also select media studies courses that include video production, photography, computer graphics and video editing.
Fine Arts Requirements: One credit is required. Students may earn that credit by taking either one course that lasts for a year or two courses lasting one semester each. Note: All studio art courses are one semester.
Studio Art Courses lasting a semester
2D / 3D Art + Design
This 2D / 3D multimedia course teaches students to use software, hardware, and tools to create works of art and design. These skills provide a strong sculptural and design foundation for work in any other upper school studio art course. Projects range from product design, textiles, patterning to hand carving clay, and plaster. This course provides an excellent foundation for students that want to take “Sculpture” or "AP Studio Art."
Choreography and Dance Studies
In this course, students study major choreographers throughout dance history while exploring choreographic skills needed to compose a dance. The course is a combination of lecture/discussion and movement. Students learn about influential choreographers through lectures and watching films. The composition component of the course is presented in a lab environment with time provided to explore and discuss concepts, approaches, and methods of the dance-making process. Students create and perform choreographic assignments and participate in the critiquing of other students' work. This course helps students expand their knowledge and expressive range while increasing their potential as dancers and artists.
This course introduces a variety of drawing materials: graphite, charcoal, pen and ink, compressed charcoal pastels, and oil sticks. Working from live models, still life, the interior, and landscape, students use gesture, contour, and value studies to develop skills for accurately rendering form and space. As proficiency increases, the more personal aspects of students’ drawing are encouraged.
This course covers the basics of drawing, painting, printmaking and design. It is as an introduction to the following media: pencil, pastel, watercolor, paint pen, pen and ink and printmaking. It is an excellent foundation for further exploration in the Drawing, Painting, and Intermediate Studio classes.
Students explore a range of painting media. The focus of the course is on using the sight-size method of drawing an object exactly as it appears to the artist, on a one-to-one scale. Students complete several works in different media.
Intermediate Drawing and Painting
This class encourages students to pursue their interests as they investigate traditional and contemporary approaches to the human figure, still life, and abstraction. A variety of materials are used including oil paint, acrylic, printmaking, and photo transfer. The artwork created in this class can be used for the AP Drawing or Design portfolio.
Design: Form and Function
Students in this course are introduced to the techniques of the craft of woodworking. Emphasis is placed on the safe and practical use of tools and materials, a good working knowledge of architectural standards, and an understanding of the process from design to finished piece.
This course is an introduction to hand building and throwing on the wheel. Students develop skills in forming, firing, and glazing pottery of their own design. Class is held in the Ireland Fine Arts Center, where each student has an individual wheel. Highlights include the Japanese method of Raku and throwing on the wheel.
This course covers the design and production of wheel-thrown pottery in stoneware. Hand building, using contemporary techniques, is incorporated as well. Mixing glazes and firing technology round out the course. One semester of pottery is a prerequisite. Students keep a journal containing sketches and articles about the techniques of other artists.
Theater Courses lasting a semester
Theater 100: Improvisation and Acting for the Stage
This acting class focuses on developing skills in concentration, voice and speech, movement, improvisation, and creation of characters for the stage. This training leads to the production of improvisational scenes and performance projects including a scene from a scripted play and individual monologues.
Theater 200: Scene Study and Performance
This course is designed for students who have an interest in theater and performance and would like to continue their training and technique. The class ensemble will choose and stage a series of one-act plays and monologues to be presented in found spaces around campus, with a culminating performance in the Roddy Performing Arts Center at the end of the semester. Prerequisite: Theater 100.
Theater 300: Advanced Acting and Theater Production
Theater 300 provides students with an opportunity to continue to develop their acting skills and to learn and implement basic directing skills. This course is a continuation of Theater 200 and meets concurrently with Theater 200. Students in Theater 300 will take a leadership role in selecting plays and planning the ensemble's performances and will direct their peers in one act plays to be presented in found spaces around campus, and in a culminating performance in the Roddy Performing Arts Center at the end of the semester. Prerequisite: Theater 100 and 200.
Media Courses lasting a semester
This course teaches students to develop creative and meaningful imagery through the use of a digital camera and post-processing tools such as Adobe Photoshop. Students learn various photographic and post-processing techniques, as well as how to "read" and critique images while building a portfolio that serves as the final exam for the course. Students should have daily use of a digital camera.
This semester-long course builds on the skills gained in Photography 100. In it, students learn advanced photographic skills including composition, color theory, and advanced lighting. Students develop a series-based portfolio built around a cohesive narrative and develop a personal photography trajectory based on their interests (studio, black-and-white photography, landscape, etc.). This course includes expanded exploration of Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom software.
This course focuses on developing design skills primarily through Adobe Photoshop. Students learn how to use design applications for digital production for fine art images and web design, as well as a tool for making tactile art. Through this process, students hone their artistic voice, create original artworks, and express their artistic view of the world.
Music Courses lasting a year
This course includes the preparation and performance of vocal music in a choral ensemble setting. Students work individually and together in rehearsal to prepare music for performance in a variety of settings, including programs in the Baylor community and beyond campus. Performances include on-campus events, community appearances, adjudicated festivals, and an annual regional tour. Repertoire includes classical choral literature, modern songs, musical theater, new works, and pieces from standard men's and women's choir repertoire. Evaluation is determined by daily performance and participation, vocal development, music theory, and written evaluations. Enrollment is open to any student regardless of ability or experience.
This course introduces students to the performance of wind band music. Students work in class rehearsals to prepare a variety of repertoire for performances in the Baylor community and beyond such as pep band events, the fall Holiday Concert, the spring tour, the Spring Concert, and the Solo and Ensemble Recital. Evaluation is based on preparation for and participation in rehearsals and performances in addition to written evaluations. Students who enroll need at least one year of woodwind, brass, or percussion experience, though some beginning players can be accommodated with the permission of the instructor.
Orchestra is a year-long course. All students from beginner to advanced with an interest in playing string instruments (violin, viola, cello, bass) are encouraged to participate. Emphasis is placed on instrumental technique, tone and intonation, rhythmic accuracy, fundamentals of music theory and ear training, and the intricacies of ensemble playing. Daily rehearsals lead to performances within the Baylor community and beyond. Evaluation is based on demonstrated daily class preparation/participation, monthly playing assessments, and responsible participation in all orchestra activities and events. Generally, the orchestra performs a Holiday Concert in November or December and a Spring Concert in May. In the spring, if scheduling allows, the orchestra participates in a festival and travels with the band.
Music Courses lasting a semester
AP Studio Art
This is a course for mature and talented students experienced in drawing and design skills. Students work at a high rate of speed, producing work to be evaluated by the AP graders. Significant time and the commitment to produce twenty-four works of art are required. Departmental approval is required for enrollment.
AP Art 3-D
The 3-D portfolio is intended to address a broad interpretation of sculptural issues in depth and space. These may include mass, volume, form, plane, light, and texture. Such elements and concepts may be articulated through additive, subtractive, and/or fabrication processes. Examples of approaches include traditional sculpture, architectural models, ceramics, and three dimensional fiber arts. Departmental approval is required for enrollment.
The ability to reason and analyze with mathematical skills and techniques is central to Baylor’s philosophy. Baylor recognizes the importance of understanding mathematical concepts in multiple ways in order to develop methods to handle familiar and unfamiliar problems. The ability to convey mathematical understanding analytically, orally, in writing and through collaborative processes is also an important part of a mathematics education. Baylor further recognizes the importance of integrating available technology into its mathematics curriculum at every grade level and the importance of graphing calculators in mathematics instruction (the Texas Instruments TI-84+ and TI-84+C graphing calculators are used in all classes).
Mathematics Requirements: Four credits are required. Students must take a full year of Mathematics at each grade level.
This course in first-year algebra stresses the use of symbols to represent variable quantities, patterns in data, techniques for manipulating algebraic expressions with exponents, and methods for solving equations and inequalities. The emphasis is on linear relationships and linear functions. Graphical representations and applications to problem-solving are utilized throughout the course. The graphing calculator is used to enhance the understanding of functions.
This is a course in plane geometry with additional topics in solid geometry, analytic geometry, coordinate geometry, and transformations. Deductive reasoning is used to build concepts of points, lines, planes, parallelism, congruence, and similarity. While being introduced to methods of proof and critical thinking within a logical system, students learn how to solve problems within two-dimensional and three-dimensional models.
Geometry Honors covers the outline of Geometry in greater detail and at a faster pace and includes additional topics not covered in regular sections. Increased emphasis is placed on solid geometry and on more elaborate proofs. The honors class is offered to highly motivated students who have excelled in Algebra I and who have demonstrated the ability to do advanced work in their previous math classes. Departmental approval is required for enrollment.
This course advances the understanding of functions and algebraic models for problem solving. Topics include linear and non-linear systems, the real number system and its properties, quadratic and higher order polynomial functions, rational functions, functions with rational exponents, and basic statistics, and probability theory. Students are presented with a wide variety of problem-solving techniques including symbolic manipulation and graphical analyses, which are complemented by use of the graphing calculator.
Algebra II with Trigonometry
Building upon a mastery of Algebra I, this course deepens the study of linear and non-linear systems. Topics include real and complex numbers, quadratic and higher order polynomial functions, power, radical, and rational functions, trigonometry with the unit circle using degree measure, matrix methods, and applications in statistics and discrete mathematics. Students are presented with a wide variety of problem-solving techniques including symbolic manipulation, matrices, graphical analyses, and modeling both by hand and using the graphing calculator as a tool to aid understanding.
Algebra II Honors with Trigonometry
Algebra II Honors covers the outline of Algebra II with Trigonometry in greater detail and at a faster pace and includes additional topics normally not covered until Precalculus. Students are expected to be able to solve challenging problems that integrate geometry and algebra. Particular emphasis is placed on problems that involve applications of critical thinking. The honors section is offered to highly motivated students who have excelled in Algebra I and Geometry and who have demonstrated the ability to do advanced work in their previous math classes. Departmental approval is required for enrollment.
This course builds on concepts presented in previous math courses and is a more rigorous treatment of advanced topics from algebra and geometry. Topics include function analysis in both real and complex number systems, advanced methods in problem-solving and graphical analysis, exponential and logarithmic functions, and trigonometric function analysis using radian measure. Additional topics include sequences and series, statistical reasoning, and limit definitions of asymptotes. The graphing calculator is used to enhance the understanding of the mathematical concepts.
Precalculus Honors covers the outline of Precalculus in greater detail and at a faster pace and includes additional topics normally not covered in regular sections of Precalculus. An introduction to differential and integral calculus is presented at the end of the course to prepare students for AP Calculus. The honors section is offered to highly motivated students who have excelled in Algebra II with Trigonometry and who have demonstrated the ability to do advanced work in their previous math classes. Departmental approval is required for enrollment.
This course in hands-on statistics provides a basic understanding of descriptive and inferential statistics using the TI 84+ graphing calculator. Applications of statistical concepts include graphing and data presentation, exploring types of probability distributions, and using sampling methods to both describe and make inferences about a population. These topics are taught using discovery methods through simulations, activities, and projects. This course is designed for students who have completed Trig and Analysis. It may be taken concurrently with Precalculus.
Trigonometry and Analysis
This course is designed for those who have completed Algebra II or those who can profit from additional study of trigonometry and functions. Transformations of polynomial and rational functions provide a foundation for the study of advanced functions including logarithmic, exponential, and trigonometric functions. Problem-solving techniques using applications of function analysis include prediction based on algebraic, numerical, and graphical models. A review of right triangle trigonometry leads to defining trigonometry in terms of the unit circle. The course emphasizes understanding and problem solving using the graphing calculator as a tool for discovery and conceptual understanding.
Honors Abstract Mathematics
Topics covered in this capstone course include mathematical proof as a basis for the rigor and elegance of mathematics, linear algebra and vector spaces, non-Euclidean geometries, a brief introduction to both multivariate calculus and differential equations, group theory and transformations, and graph theory. The course is designed to challenge those students whose background has included honors mathematics courses throughout high school. Students must be strong, independent, mathematical thinkers who have displayed exceptional reasoning and who express specific interest in pursuing theoretical mathematics. Prerequisite: AP Calculus BC. Permission to register for the course concomitant with AP Calculus BC may be petitioned. Registration must be approved by the Math Department Chair.
AP Courses in Mathematics
This is an Advanced Placement course that follows the syllabus prepared by the College Board. The course introduces students to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data, including data exploration, probability and simulation, and statistical inference. Prerequisite: Strong performance in Precalculus and approval by the department. Highly motivated students who have completed Algebra II with a strong performance and who will be taking Precalculus concurrently may also enroll in AP Statistics with departmental approval. Departmental approval is required for enrollment.
AP Calculus AB
This is an Advanced Placement course in single variable calculus that follows the syllabus prepared by the College Board. The course builds on a rigorous treatment of topics covered in Precalculus and includes differential and integral calculus with applications. Prerequisite: Strong performance in Precalculus and permission of department chair. Departmental approval is required for enrollment.
AP Calculus BC
This course covers all of the topics of the AB course in somewhat greater depth and rigor. In addition, some infinite series and vector topics are included. The course follows the College Board syllabus for Calculus BC. Prerequisite: Precalculus Honors and permission of the department chair. The Precalculus Honors requirement may be waived in unusual circumstances after approval by the department chair. Departmental approval is required for enrollment.
Math Courses lasting a semester.
All of these are semester-long courses. They may be taken as electives or to fulfill the requirements for mathematics.
This course in single variable calculus is intended for students who have completed Precalculus and plan to take first semester calculus in college. The course provides a firm foundation in the concepts and topics in differential calculus and prepares students for the rigorous pace of a semester course in college. Specific topics include limits, derivatives of polynomial, trigonometric, and transcendental functions, and curve sketching.
Calculus II is a course that continues the study of calculus begun in Calculus I. Extending the understanding of derivatives to integral calculus, the course provides a foundation in calculus that prepares students for a complete first semester calculus course in college. The course focuses on integral calculus and applications of integration. Specific topics include area approximations, basic integration through integration by parts, connecting derivatives and antiderivatives, and applications of integration.
Baylor’s science curriculum is designed to help students learn how to pose meaningful questions and answer them using logic and evidence; understand how science affects their everyday lives; appreciate the wonders of nature; become more responsible, informed citizens; feel comfortable working with modern technology; and gain the background and confidence to pursue a technical degree in college if they choose. Hands-on learning, both collaborative and individual, is at the heart of our teaching. Teachers also integrate technology into the curriculum in a variety of ways so that students will be better prepared for the technological challenges that await them beyond Baylor.
Science Requirements: In the upper school, Baylor students take three years of science: biology, chemistry, and physics. With department approval, a student may take AP Biology and AP Chemistry in lieu of Physics.
Biology is the study of the basic characteristics of living things. The course begins at the molecular level and systematically progresses through increasing levels of biological organization, ending with a study of humans and their environment. Students develop laboratory skills and techniques through regularly scheduled, discovery-oriented experiments.
This course follows the general outline of the biology course, but it covers the material in greater depth, particularly in cell biology, genetics, and the diversity of living organisms. Students must be committed to a significantly higher level of rigor than the regular-level course. Students must have demonstrated superior ability and work ethic in their current science class to be admitted to this course.
Chemistry is the study of matter and how it can change. There are over one-hundred elements that humans have either found in nature or synthesized. The properties of these substances, however, are determined by characteristics of atoms, which are extremely small. Students in this course look at the relationship between atoms and the world around them. Students use symbolic descriptions that scientists use to describe this relationship. We use scientific concepts and practices to meet relevant challenges such as organizing elements and their properties in a table, solving a crime, developing alternative fuels, and providing clean water for life.
This course follows the outline of the chemistry course, but it covers the material in greater depth and with greater mathematical sophistication. To be admitted to the course, students must have demonstrated superior ability and work ethic in their current science class. Departmental approval, including the approval of a student’s current science teacher, is required for enrollment. Algebra II w/ Trig must be completed or concurrent.
This course introduces students to scientific ways of viewing the world around them. Topics include elementary mechanics, light, electricity, and magnetism. Students develop laboratory skills and techniques through regularly scheduled, discovery-oriented experiments.
SCIENCE ELECTIVE COURSES
Anatomy and Physiology
Anatomy and Physiology studies the structure and function of the human body. Topics include the eleven body systems, homeostasis and histology, common diseases, therapeutics, and bioethics. This semester-long course is ideal for students interested in biology, healthcare, and athletics.
Engineering Design is a semester-long elective that introduces the various ways innovators can take an idea and produce an output. From prototypes to publications to patents to profits, students will engage in hands-on group collaborations to brainstorm, develop, and ultimately communicate their creations. Students completing Engineering Design are eligible to work on individual projects in Independent Scientific Research. Departmental approval is required for admission.
Forensic Science is a semester elective that covers basic biological and chemical techniques used to solve crimes. Problem solving is emphasized. Students work in teams to conduct experiments and reach conclusions by applying the scientific method to empirical evidence. Biology and chemistry are prerequisites.
Marine and Aquatic Biology
This semester long course will focus on the study of both marine and freshwater ecosystems, the organisms that inhabit these systems, their behaviors, their interaction with the environment, and their interdependence on humans. This course will incorporate both oceanography and limnology (freshwater). To best understand aquatic organisms, students are encouraged to acquire an appreciation for the interconnected disciplines of chemical, physical, and geological oceanography and limnology. This course will also provide multiple hands-on scientific inquiry of these habitats.
During this semester-long course, students are trained to think like scientists in the context of ongoing biomedical and environmental research projects. Students will learn to execute techniques commonly used in cellular and molecular biology labs such as molecular cloning, PCR and quantitative PCR, protein expression systems, bioinformatics, and mammalian cell culture. Students learn to conduct a robust literature review, compose the basic elements of a scientific paper, present scientific data clearly in graphs and tables, and propose and develop a basic research plan. Upon completion, eligible students will have the opportunity to pursue Research: Biomedical or Environmental. To be admitted to the course, students must have completed or be enrolled in chemistry and demonstrate a superior work ethic in all academic areas. Departmental approval is required for admission.
This course will introduce students to the topic of Robotics. This hands-on class will take students through the process of designing, building, and programming a robot. Physics concepts of motion (motors, gears) as well electricity/electrical signals will be covered with respect to robotics applications. Fundamentals in computer programming will be applied to control robot movement and sensor input. The final project will be applying these topics covered in the course to design, build, and test of a robot to achieve a task.
Topics in Environmental Field Study
This one semester elective is geared around understanding the Biology of Baylor’s Campus. This field-intensive, lecture-combined course will utilize the highly biodiverse campus of Baylor School to teach fundamental topics of geology, geography, ecology, and conservation through hands-on learning experiences. Students will also learn Geographical Information Systems (GIS), scientific literacy, and a variety of field and laboratory skills pertinent to biological research. Student assessment will take place through exams and projects spanning all facets of life targeted towards the conservation of Baylor’s campus. Admittance to this course is only granted after meeting with the instructor or with approval from the department head.
Topics in Global Health
Global Health Topics is an introductory course in which students learn about issues affecting the health of people living in different places across the world. The class covers major causes of global morbidity and mortality, and students study both the individual and societal causes and effects of diseases and health challenges around the world. Topics may include: malaria, TB, HIV/AIDS, neglected tropical diseases, maternal health, the opioid addiction epidemic, vaccines, and COVID-19. Students also choose one topic of interest to research independently.
This semester-long course allows students to hone the hands-on skills that were introduced in Molecular Methods or Engineering Design. Students will further their proficiency in techniques associated with molecular and cell biology, engineering design, or advanced computing and begin to work independently. Upon approval of their research proposals, students are expected to begin work on their projects. This course is rigorous and requires a high level of dedication and self-motivation. Students must be ready to display their work at the Baylor Science and Engineering Symposium in May. To be admitted to the course, students must have demonstrated superior ability and work ethic in all academic areas. Molecular Methods or Engineering Design are prerequisite. Departmental approval is required.
Advanced Research: Engineering/BioMedical/Environmental
This year-long course allows students to continue projects initiated in Research. This rigorous course requires extended hours of work, collaboration with university professors and other researchers, and the production of a poster or scientific manuscript. Some students are ready to submit papers for presentations at professional conferences, publication and national science competitions by the end of the year. Students are required to display their work at the Baylor Science and Engineering Symposium in May. To be admitted to the course, students must have demonstrated superior ability and work ethic in all academic areas. Research is a prerequisite and departmental approval is required.
This year-long course allows students to continue ongoing research projects. Students will focus on preparing for presentations at professional conferences, publication and national science competitions. At least one external submission is required. Students must also display their work at the Baylor Science and Engineering Symposium in May. To be admitted to the course, students must have demonstrated superior ability and work ethic in all academic areas. Advanced Research is a prerequisite and departmental approval is required.
AP COURSES IN SCIENCE
This college-level course gives students the conceptual framework, factual knowledge, and analytical skills necessary to deal with the rapidly changing science of biology. Emphasis is placed on the biochemistry and organic chemistry of living systems. Major topics of discussion include molecules, cells, genetics, organisms, evolution, and populations. The volume of material requires a disciplined daily effort from the student for an entire year. Students’ admission to the course is based on the recommendation of the science department. Chemistry is a prerequisite.
This college-level course gives students an in-depth understanding of chemistry fundamentals along with proficiency in solving chemical problems. Students learn to think clearly and express their ideas, orally and in writing. The volume of material requires a disciplined daily effort from the student for an entire year. Students’ admission to the course is based on the recommendation of the science department. Chemistry is a prerequisite.
AP Environmental Science
This college-level course studies the environmental impact of human activity. The course begins with an examination of the interdependence of the Earth’s ecosystems. The course then looks at our natural resources and their usage, including the human influence on the environment on a global scale. Students gain an understanding of the consequences of decisions they make in their daily lives. Students’ admission to the course is based on the recommendation of the science department. Biology and Chemistry are prerequisites.
AP Physics I
AP Physics I is an algebra-based, introductory college-level physics course. Students cultivate their understanding of physics through inquiry-based investigations as they explore these topics: kinematics, dynamics, circular motion and gravitation, energy, momentum, simple harmonic motion, torque and rotational motion, electric charge and electric force, DC circuits, and mechanical waves and sound. Completed or concurrent precalculus is required.
AP Physics C: Mechanics
This in-depth introduction to Newtonian mechanics is equivalent to a one-semester college course for science and engineering majors. Topics covered include: the study of vectors, kinematics, particle dynamics, work and energy, impulse and momentum, rotation, gravitation, planetary motion, and oscillations. Calculus is introduced and used throughout the subject matter. The emphasis throughout the course is on theory development and mathematical problem solving. Admission to the course is based on the recommendation of the science department. Completion or concurrent enrollment in AP Calculus required. Previous physics knowledge is not required but is encouraged.
This college-level course acquaints students with the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings. This introduction to psychology covers topics that include theories and findings on the brain, learning, memory, perception, social development, and personality, as well as abnormal and social psychology. It also gives students an opportunity to experience material covered in the texts through in-class demonstrations and out-of-class activities. The two major goals of AP Psychology are to develop a proficiency in basic psychological principles and to prepare for the College Board AP exam. Students’ admission to the course is based on the recommendation of the science department.
Teachers in Baylor’s History and Social Studies Department prepare their students to make a positive difference in the world by elucidating the present through study of the past, cultivating self-directed learners equipped with essential college-level academic skills, and developing responsible local, national, and global citizens.
History / Social Science Progression: In the upper school, Baylor students take three consecutive years of History. Possible progressions are:
9th Grade - World History I
10th Grade - World History II or AP World History
11th Grade - U.S. History or AP U.S. History
While doing so does not qualify to fulfil a required course or general graduation credits, students may further enrich their experience in the history department by participating in these clubs, activities, and groups:
- Middle School Youth in Government
- Harvard Model Congress
- Mock Trial
- Model UN
- Youth in Government
- History Club
Course Description: 6th Grade
This course studies the culture, lifeways, political systems, and historical experiences of people and nations on every continent, complemented by a strong measure of physical geography. Students will also study factors of environmental change, migration, population, commerce, and conflict.
Course Description: 7th Grade
This course encourages students to appreciate the richness and diversity of the United States by exploring its culture from an interdisciplinary perspective. Through inquiry-based research of American narratives (primary source documents, films, poems, books, and others), American Studies integrates the disciplines of Social Studies and English. Learning activities include reading, research, conducting interviews, composition, reflection, and oral presentation, in both individual and collaborative modes.
Course Descriptions: 8th Grade
This semester-long course provides students with a practical understanding of the principles and procedures of government systems, the establishment of the American government, the United States Constitution and its Amendments, and the rights and responsibilities of American citizens. Students will analyze primary and secondary sources, including political cartoons, essays, and judicial opinions.
This semester-long course explores human ideas of right and wrong with a particular focus on ethnicity, religion, and prejudice. Students study the evolution of society’s views on race and racism from the early modern period to the current day, before turning to examine the racist ideas, individual choices, and historical developments that led to the Holocaust in the 20th century. Students engage in a discussion-based class by identifying their own moral beliefs and analyzing historical events from those and other perspectives. Students read and watch scholarly texts and documentaries, in addition to hearing first-person accounts from survivors of the Holocaust.
Course Description: 9th Grade
World History I
World History I is a general introduction to the study of history and to some of the major developments, personalities and events that have shaped the modern world. Topics of study are drawn from across the world during the time frame from the Late Paleolithic to the Renaissance and serve as vehicles for the development and improvement of a wide range of student skills, including critical reading, formal essay writing, group collaboration, and primary document analysis. This year-long course is a requirement for freshmen.
Course Descriptions: 10th Grade
World History II
World History II is a continuation of World History I, covering some of the major developments, personalities and events from across the world during the last 500 years. The focus remains on developing and improving students' basic academic skills and on illuminating the historical roots of our modern world. This year-long course is a requirement for sophomores.
AP World History
AP World History is a year-long course focused on global history from Neolithic times to the present. Employing primary and secondary materials to study how the modern world is a product of the past, students consider prominent individuals, developments, patterns, and connections across six historical periods and five broad themes. Priorities are the development of analytical thinking skills, including comparison, chronological reasoning, and argumentation, as well as other essential academic skills such as critical reading, expository writing, and self-discipline. Students must take the AP World History Exam at the end of the school year. Admission to this college-level course is open to sophomores as an alternative to World History II and requires departmental approval.
Course Descriptions: 11th Grade
United States History
U.S. History is a year-long introduction to American history from colonial times to the present. Course content focuses on the major events and personalities that have created and shaped American political and cultural institutions. In addition, the course seeks to enhance students' responsibility for their studies while cultivating such essential skills as expository writing, note taking, primary document analysis, and class participation. Various student-driven projects and learning activities may be assigned at the discretion of each instructor. Course materials include reading assignments from a variety of online resources as well as digital documents provided by the instructor.
AP United States History
AP U.S. History is a year-long survey for self-motivated juniors seeking college credit or advanced standing. Students consider significant individuals, events, developments, and processes in American history, making connections between periods as they follow key themes throughout the year. This course prepares students for college by sharpening their critical reading, expository writing, and analytical thinking skills, with success heavily dependent on self-discipline and academic maturity. Course materials include a summer reading book, a standard college-level textbook, and supplementary readings, especially primary sources. Students must take the AP U.S. History exam in May. Enrollment is open to juniors and requires departmental approval.
Course Descriptions: Electives
AP Art History
AP Art History is a year-long, college level overview of painting, sculpture and architecture from prehistory to the present. Focusing on 250 works from diverse artistic traditions, students investigate art as human reflection, as a mirror of history, and as a driver of culture and society. The goal is to provide students with an in-depth, holistic understanding of the history of art from a global perspective. The course combines self-directed reading, research, and writing with class discussions, and course materials include a standard textbook as well as supplementary readings from a variety of sources. In addition to completing the requirements of the course, students must take the AP Art History Exam at the end of the school year. Admission to this course is open to seniors and requires departmental approval.
AP European History
AP European History is a year-long course focused on the politics, society, and culture of Europe from the Renaissance to the present. Primary and secondary sources are used to illustrate the changes experienced by European civilization over the course of 500 years. Students will learn about prominent individuals, movements in art and literature, as well as the main political events and ideologies of these centuries. This course emphasizes the development of critical thinking skills, reading comprehension and analysis, as well as expository writing. In preparing to take the required AP European History Exam in May, students write essays in various styles and complete assessments designed to facilitate success. Enrollment in this college-level course is open to seniors and requires departmental approval.
AP Human Geography
AP Human Geography is a year-long course focused on identifying, describing, and predicting the patterns of activities associated with human settlement and occupation of the earth. Students use models and case studies to understand patterns of population, migration, language, religion, ethnicity, development, agriculture, industry, services, and city planning. The course focuses on analytical thinking skills, especially deduction, extrapolation, and the recognition of patterns, as well as on practical skills like the ability to write clearly and specifically. In addition to completing the requirements of the course, students must sit for the AP Human Geography exam in May. Admission to this college-level course is open to seniors and requires departmental approval.
African American History
In this course, students both explore the challenges African Americans have faced in the United States since their arrival in North America as well as celebrate the contributions and achievements of the African American community. The semester-long elective begins with an introduction to Africa and its rich history during the 17th and 18th centuries and moves to the Americas with a close look at slavery. Students analyze post-Civil War life for African Americans and look closely at institutional racism in both its historic and contemporary forms. Students examine both the historic Civil Rights movement as well as modern-day race relations in America.
Americans are still arguing over how their government should work, even though what started as an experiment over 200 years ago is now regarded as the world's leading democracy. American Government is a one-semester elective which explores the origin, development, and functions of American's governmental system. With the U.S. Constitution as a starting point, particular topics of study include the division of powers, individual rights and responsibilities, the development of a true democracy, political parties, money and politics, and the role of government in contemporary American social, economic, political, and foreign affairs. Course materials include primary and secondary sources selected from traditional and modern media of every sort.
Economics is a one-semester introduction to basic economic literacy. The goal is for students to understand how the American economy works and to interpret the news of the day. Students relate fundamental economic principles to domestic and international events, consider the economic aspects of their own lives (including personal finance), and examine current business practices and problems. The preferred format for the class is the college seminar, and conversations can be wide ranging and challenging. Course materials include a standard economics text and supplementary readings.
Ethics examines fundamental questions of "right" and "wrong," which have challenged human beings throughout history. What makes something good or right? What is a good or right way to live? How can we know the answers to these and other questions that are basic to our lives? When we differ in our answers, how can we live together with mutual integrity and respect? Why, if at all, does morality matter? These questions and the answers to them form the foundation of this semester-long course. Through fiction, film, biography and texts from across the world and across time, students have an opportunity to examine both their own historical and cultural contexts and those of others who may be quite different. In addition, they have an opportunity to develop their own moral perspective. In the area of applied ethics, students select a topic relevant to the course and of personal interest, take steps to act in ways consistent with their moral convictions and reflect upon the learning that results from living out one's moral commitments. [ATHLETES TAKE NOTE: This course no longer fulfills NCAA requirements.]
History of Christianity
This semester elective is a survey of the important biblical, theological, and world events that have shaped the Christian faith for nearly 2000 years. The course begins with the origins of Christianity as a movement within Judaism and the figures and councils that led to the development of early Christian doctrine. The course then discusses medieval Christianity including the rise of the papacy, monasticism, and the emergence of Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy as two separate Christian movements. Detail will be given to the Reformation and the many Protestant denominations it continues to produce. The course concludes with considerations of Christianity in the modern world including various ecumenical, interfaith, and social movements. Upon completing the course, students will have an understanding of the biblical and theological teachings of Christianity, be exposed to a diversity of Christian practice around the world and develop an appreciation for the similarities and subtle differences between major Christian denominations.
History of Global Affairs and Modern Contemporary Issues
In this course, students gain a full introduction to International Relations. Through a thorough analysis of geopolitical and economic issues of the 21st Century, students examine contemporary global issues such as migration, border disputes, ethnic conflict, resource disputes, the rise of nationalism, ethnic cleansing, and the complicated web of alliances. Before diving into each topic, students investigate the history of the region in question in order to understand why life in the region is as it is today.
The History of the Middle East
In this course, students begin with a look at the region’s history of empires and imperialism. And then shift focus to examine the 20th and 21st centuries along with major events and topics of the Middle East region. Students examine the different ethnicities, religions, resources, levels of development, civil war, foreign invasions, sectarian violence, and birth and growth of terrorist groups within countries in the region. Completion of this course provides students with a better understanding of the geopolitical, economic, and cultural importance of the Middle East region.
History of the Modern United States
America enjoys the benefits of constant innovation, political and economic superpower status, and a democratic government. Nevertheless, many Americans believe their civilization is in decline, feel threatened by terrorists, and are alienated by modern politics. How did the country arrive at this juncture? History of the Modern United States is a semester elective which examines the origins of today's America in cultural and historical developments since 1945. Taking advantage of the abundant documentation available for modern times, including film, we explain the present by examining post-World War II developments in this country, from Silicon Valley to the Internet of Things, from the Cold War to 9/11 to the Islamic State.
Global History of Ethnicity and Ethnic Conflict
In this course, students examine the artifacts, mentifacts, and sociofacts that create human cultures, how those cultures distinguish themselves from one another through the construct of ethnicity, and how they combine to weave the rich human tapestry. Students go on to examine how ethnicity and ethnic identity not only create distinctions and diversity but also contribute to divisions and discord. Through a close study of the concept of nations and nationalism, the class considers the modern concept of “the country” and the difficulties of forming and sustaining one peacefully with a multi-ethnic population. Over the semester, students investigate several current and historical case studies internationally including a close look at “the great American experiment.”
Global History of Women, Gender and Society
In this course, students begin with a study of women, gender, and society in the 20th and 21st centuries in the United States and consider issues of political and legal rights, social status, access to education, standing in the workplace, and positions of power. The class then looks on a global scale into issues faced by women and constructs of society. Students also investigate the history and status of women in other countries around the world. The overall goal is to compare how gender distinctions have shaped human experiences and opportunities across different cultures and countries from the 20th century to the present day.
History of World Religions
This one-semester elective examines the historical origins, central teachings, and devotional practices of the major world religious traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The goals of the course include student understanding of the essential doctrines and institutions of the world’s religions and an understanding of the similarities and differences of thought and practice among the traditions.
World War II in a Global Context
World War II resulted in at least 50 million deaths and changed the course of history. It laid the technological, political, and economic foundation of the modern era, and it raised serious philosophical questions about human nature and man's capacity for good and evil. This one-semester course is largely video-based, taking advantage of the enormous and growing archive of documentary films on the characters, events, and technological innovations of the war. Students also examine war era propaganda generated by both the Allies and the Axis powers. An important aim of the course is to provide students with a basic understanding of the conflict and of its importance to the world of today.
Baylor’s World Languages department offers the broadest language choices of any area school. The curriculum includes:
- Beginning through Advanced Placement language classes in five languages: Chinese, French, German, Latin, and Spanish
- Seminars in language, culture and history
- The curriculum in modern languages follows a proficiency-based model with emphasis on the four skill areas of speaking, writing, reading and listening.
- The study of Latin is based upon a reading program that includes authentic texts from Latin literature, both in prose and poetry.
- In addition to the cultural information presented in the classroom, the World Languages Department sponsors language clubs, weekly lunch meetings, immersion days, movie nights, and a yearly celebration of International Day.
- Seeking to make the study of language relevant to students’ lives, Baylor language faculty members have, in recent years, led trips abroad to destinations including France and French-speaking Canada, Spain, Perú, Costa Rica, Panamá, China and Germany.
World Languages Requirements: Two consecutive years/credits of study in the same language in the Upper School. Students can fulfill this requirement by continuing the language(s) studied prior to enrolling in the Upper School or by beginning a new language.
This course is for beginning learners of Mandarin Chinese, the official language of China. Through comprehensible input teaching methods, students acquire basic communication skills such as the ability to ask and answer questions as well as the capacity to read, write, and type basic Chinese characters.
This course is for middle school students who completed Chinese 1A. Through comprehensible input teaching methods, students progress in their listening and speaking skills as well as their ability to read basic Chinese and write and type important characters. Students begin to identify some similarities and differences between their lives and those of Chinese speakers.
This course is for students who completed the Chinese 1A/1B sequence in middle school. In this course, students learn additional characters and sentence patterns to describe themselves and others, describe their hobbies and interests, and discuss important issues, themes, and events in their lives. Students learn more about China and its people, culture, and history.
In this course, students speak frequently in both interpersonal and presentational modes. Students learn to read authentic and simplified authentic texts and understand the main idea of conversations or video clips in Chinese. At the end of this course, students can talk and write about themselves and their interests, others and their interests’, and many social and cultural themes from their own culture or that of Chinese-speaking people.
By the end of the 400 level course, students can use Chinese in a variety of real-life situations that involve all four communication skills: listening, reading, writing (both interpersonal and presentational) and speaking (both interpersonal and presentational). This course is the equivalent of a third-semester course at the college level and prepares students for the AP Chinese course.
This course prepares students to sit for the Advanced Placement Chinese Language and Culture Examination in the spring. The course focuses on six AP curricular themes: beauty and aesthetics, contemporary life, families and communities, global challenges, personal and public identities, science and technology. Through these themes, students build vocabulary for understanding the multiple-choice selections on the exam (interpretive reading and listening) and master each of the four AP tasks: a persuasive essay (presentational writing), a formal email reply (interpersonal writing), informal conversation (interpersonal speaking) and cultural comparison (presentational speaking). This course is equivalent to a fourth-semester course at the college level.
This course is for students who completed AP Chinese the previous year. Students strengthen their skills of listening, reading, speaking, and writing and further advance their knowledge of Chinese culture, history and society. This course is equivalent to a fifth-semester course at the college level.
This course is for beginning learners of French. Through comprehensible input teaching methods, students acquire basic communication skills: asking and answering questions about their life as well as reading and writing simple texts. Students begin to identify some similarities and differences between their life and that of those in French-speaking countries.
This course is for middle school students who completed French 1A course. Through comprehensible input teaching methods, students progress in their listening and speaking skills as well as their ability to read and write basic French. Students begin to identify some similarities and differences between their life and that of those in French-speaking countries.
This course is for beginning learners of French. Through comprehensible input teaching methods, students acquire basic communication skills: asking and answering questions about their life as well as reading and writing simple texts. Students begin to identify some similarities and differences between their life and that of those in French-speaking countries.
This course is for students who completed the 1A/1B sequence in middle school or French 100 in the upper school. In this course, students learn to describe themselves and others, describe their hobbies and interests, and discuss important issues, themes, and events in their lives. Students learn more about French-speaking countries and their people, culture, and history.
In this course, students speak frequently in both interpersonal and presentational modes. Students learn to read authentic and simplified authentic texts and understand the main idea of conversations or video clips in French. At the end of this course, students can talk and write about themselves and their interests, others and their interests’, and many social and cultural themes from their own culture or that of French-speaking people.
By the end of the 400 level course, students can use French in a variety of real-life situations that involve all four communication skills: listening, reading, writing (both interpersonal and presentational) and speaking (both interpersonal and presentational). This course is the equivalent of a third-semester course at the college level and prepares students for the AP French Language course.
This course prepares students to sit for the Advanced Placement French Language and Culture Examination in the spring. The course focuses on six AP curricular themes and how they function in the French-speaking world: beauty and aesthetics, contemporary life, families and communities, global challenges, personal and public identities, science and technology. Through these themes, students build vocabulary for understanding the multiple-choice selections on the exam (interpretive reading and listening) and master each of the four AP tasks: a persuasive essay (presentational writing), a formal email reply (interpersonal writing), informal conversation (interpersonal speaking) and cultural comparison (presentational speaking). This course is equivalent to a fourth-semester course at the college level.
This course is for students who have completed AP French. Through literature, news, blogs, film, and television, students continue to develop their language proficiency before beginning their studies in college. This course is equivalent to a fifth-semester course at the college level.
This course is for beginning learners of German. Through comprehensible input teaching methods, students acquire basic communication skills: asking and answering questions about their life as well as reading and writing simple texts.
This course is for students who completed the 1A course. Through comprehensible input teaching methods, students progress in their listening and speaking skills as well as their ability to read and write basic German. Students begin to identify some similarities and differences between their life and that of those in German-speaking countries.
This course is for students who completed German 1A/1B sequence in the middle school. In this course, students learn to describe themselves and others, describe their hobbies and interests, and discuss important issues, themes, and events in their lives. Students learn more about German-speaking countries such as Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, and their people, culture, and history.
In this course, students speak frequently in both interpersonal and presentational modes. Students learn to read authentic and simplified authentic texts and understand the main idea of conversations or video clips in German. At the end of this course, students can talk and write about themselves and their interests, others and their interests’, and many social and cultural themes from their own culture or that of German-speaking people.
This course is for students who have completed German 300 and thus can already listen, read, speak, and write at relative length in the target language. By the end of the 400-level course, students can use German in a variety of real-life situations that involve all four communication skills: listening, reading, writing (both interpersonal and presentational) and speaking (both interpersonal and presentational). This course is the equivalent of a third-semester course at the college level and prepares students for the AP German Language course.
This course prepares students to sit for the Advanced Placement German Language and Culture Examination in the spring. The course focuses on six AP curricular themes and how they function in German-speaking world: beauty and aesthetics, contemporary life, families and communities, global challenges, personal and public identities, science and technology. Through these themes, students build vocabulary for understanding the multiple-choice selections on the exam (interpretive reading and listening) and master each of the four AP tasks: a persuasive essay (presentational writing), a formal email reply (interpersonal writing), informal conversation (interpersonal speaking) and cultural comparison (presentational speaking). This course is equivalent to a fourth-semester course at the college level.
This course is for students who have completed AP German. Using German-language films, students learn how to contextualize and analyze the narratives and enrich their understanding of social, political, historical and cultural issues in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Furthermore, students draw on critical thinking and analytical skills to examine current events and contemporary issues through the lens of film. Assignments, projects, and other assessments are modeled after AP-style language and literature tasks. This course is equivalent to a fifth-semester course at the college level.
This course is for beginning Latin students. In this course, students acquire basic grammar, build a working vocabulary, and are exposed to history, mythology, arts, and everyday life in the ancient Roman world.
This course is for students who completed Latin 1A. In this course, students build on the grammar, vocabulary, and cultural topics they learned in Latin 1A. This course prepares students for Latin 200.
This course is for beginning Latin students. In this course, students acquire basic grammar, build a working vocabulary, and are exposed to such cultural topics as history, mythology, arts, literature, and everyday life in the ancient Roman world.
In this course, students build on the basic grammar, vocabulary, and cultural topics they learned in Latin 100 or the 1A/1B sequence. By the end of Latin 200, students can read abridged Latin prose passages and apply their knowledge and skills to identify and work with the grammar and syntax in these passages.
In this course, students build on the grammar and vocabulary they acquired in their first two years of language study while learning more complex grammatical constructions. Students read lengthier abridged prose than in the second year as they progress toward genuine Latin readings.
This course builds upon the grammar, vocabulary, and rhetoric introduced in Latin 300, while also introducing students to poetics and meters. Readings include selections from Ovid, Vergil, and Martial. This course is the equivalent of a third-semester course at the college level and prepares students for the AP Latin course.
This course prepares student to take the Advanced Placement Latin examination. This course focuses on two of the greatest works in Latin literature: Vergil’s Aneid and Caesar’s Gallic War. Students translate the readings and place the texts in a meaningful context, developing critical, historical, and literary sensitivities. Students must read The Aeneid in English during the summer to prepare for this course. This course is the equivalent of a forth-semester course at the college level.
This course is for beginning learners of Spanish. Through comprehensible input teaching methods, students acquire basic communication skills: asking and answering questions about their life as well as reading and writing simple texts.
This course is for students who completed the Spanish 1A course. Through comprehensible input teaching methods, students progress in their listening and speaking skills as well as their ability to read and write basic Spanish. Students begin to identify some similarities and differences between their life and that of those in Spanish-speaking countries. This course prepares students for Spanish 200.
This course is for beginning learners of Spanish. Through comprehensible input teaching methods, students acquire basic communication skills: asking and answering questions about their life as well as reading and writing simple texts. Students begin to identify some similarities and differences between their life and that of those in Spanish-speaking countries.
This course is for students who completed Spanish 100 in the upper school or the Spanish 1A/1B sequence in middle school. In this course, students learn to describe themselves and others, describe their hobbies and interests, and discuss important issues, themes, and events in their lives. Students learn more about Spanish-speaking countries and their people, culture, and history.
This course is for students who completed Spanish 200. In this course, students speak frequently in both interpersonal and presentational modes. Students learn to read authentic and simplified authentic texts and understand the main idea of conversations or video clips in Spanish. At the end of this course, students can talk and write about themselves and their interests, others and their interests, and many social and cultural themes from their own culture or that of Spanish-speaking people.
This course is for students who completed Spanish 200 while consistently demonstrating extraordinary language proficiency. This course allows students to master the content of Spanish 300 and 400 in one year, so as to be able to complete the full sequence of AP Spanish Language and Literature courses. In this course, students read authentic texts from the Spanish-speaking world.
This course is for students who completed Spanish 300 and thus can already listen, read, speak, and write at relative length in the target language. By the end of the 400-level course, students can use Spanish in a variety of real-life situations that involve all four communication skills: listening, reading, writing (both interpersonal and presentational) and speaking (both interpersonal and presentational). This course is the equivalent of a third-semester course at the college level, and it prepares students for AP Spanish Language.
AP Spanish Language
This course is for students who completed either Spanish 350 or Spanish 400. This course prepares students for the Advanced Placement Spanish Language and Culture examination in the spring. The course focuses on six AP curricular themes and how they function in the Spanish-speaking world: beauty and aesthetics, contemporary life, families and communities, global challenges, personal and public identities, science and technology. Through these themes, students build vocabulary for understanding the multiple choice selections on the exam (interpretive listening and reading) and master each of the four AP tasks: a persuasive essay (presentational writing), a formal email reply (interpersonal writing), informal conversation (interpersonal speaking) and cultural comparison (presentational speaking). This course is equivalent to a fourth-semester course at the college level.
AP Spanish Literature
Students who have completed AP Spanish Language may take this course, which prepares students for the Advanced Placement Spanish Literature examination. Students learn to read, analyze, and discuss critically literary texts pertaining to all genres of Spanish literature. The list of required authors and works, determined by the AP examining board, includes works from the medieval period through the 20th century, encompassing both peninsular and South American literature. This course is equivalent to a fifth-semester course at the college level.
The mission of Baylor’s Applied Humanities program is to foster in students both the ability and desire to make a positive difference in the world through real-world application of the skills they’ve learned in their humanities courses.
In this course, students learn how to capture, sculpt, and combine sound as they work to create compelling audio-based narratives. From interview techniques to sound design and post-production enhancements, instruction covers all the necessary skills for independently producing content for radio and podcasts. Student work is aimed at production of the school’s official podcast, “The QuadPod.” Much like a 21st-century newsroom, students generate ideas for upcoming episodes and create content for the community that is timely, informative, and engaging.
In this course, students analyze the elements of a compelling story and, at the same time, explore new 21st-century modes of delivery. Humans are storytellers, and while the instruments of storytelling may have changed, the fundamental art has not. The narrative remains one of the most compelling and persuasive tools humanity has for expressing itself. Incorporating interactive multimedia story maps, timelines, data visualizations, investigative journalism techniques (audio and visual), students gain fluency in several cutting-edge software programs and learn how to produce content for digital media outlets.
Digital Texts and Research Methodology
In this course, students read and then explore innovative methods for navigating the world of digitized literary works. From scanning an author’s entire corpus for patterns or points of inquiry, to visualizing the social network of character relationships in a work of short fiction, to mapping the geographic and demographic worlds of a novel to better understand character motives, scholarship in the humanities is evolving alongside rapid advancements in computer power and the adoption of new tools of discovery. Using a project-based approach to learning, students in this course are introduced to some of these new windows into literary scholarship while also maintaining the freedom to individually tailor projects to ensure that research and personal interest align.
In this course, students gain an introduction to the basic techniques and stages involved in creating a film. Each student learns the fundamental skills related to cinematography, sound design, direction, and editing, as well as how to write scripts according to industry standards. Films will be produced both collaboratively and individually.