Course Descriptions

Nenana City Public High School Course Descriptions

SCIENCES

Physical Science
Why does a magnet attract and repel? What is matter? Can I build a rocket? These are just a few of the many questions that will be addressed in physical science. Our class also covers many other science topics; from a look at bacteria to a glimpse of our universe. This is Nenana’s introductory class to high school science. The first three-quarters are involved in the many facets of physical science ranging from simple chemistry and physics to electricity. The final quarter is focused on introducing students to the other sciences offered at Nenana City School. Short units on, earth science, biology, anatomy and wildlife are presented.

Chemistry
What does chemistry have to do with you? Everything! You are composed of chemicals. The food you eat, the home you live in, the vehicles you ride in – these are all made of chemicals. Chemistry is the study of the relationship between the structure and properties of matter (matter = everything). Chemistry also investigates energy changes that accompany changes in matter. The class is an Inorganic chemistry, where students will cover such topic as: the Periodic table, acids and bases, chemical formulas and equations, atomic models and the history of chemistry.

Human Anatomy
This class is designed as an introductory course in human anatomy. This class assumes no previous study of the human body. The goal of the course is to facilitate a basic understanding of this broad area of study. The systems and function of the human body will be the focus, however diseases and treatment will also be included. A guest ETT trainer will be involved with the class and students will be working toward an ETT certificate in emergency health care. Human Anatomy is suggested for students in grades 10 -12 that may be interested in the health care profession. This class will cover the major body systems and structures (anatomy) and their basic functions (physiology). About one fifth of the classes will be training classes in preparation for the ETT State Exam. This test will be given in the spring. Students who do not pass the ETT Exam will have a second opportunity to do so. The ETT test counts as your semester final grade.

Wildlife Biology
The goal of this class is to offer a specific course of biological study that focuses on primarily Alaskan fish and wildlife, their life cycles and environmental needs. Hands on activities will be stressed and field trips will be frequent. We are working together with Alaska Fish and Game Education Directors Eric Anderson (fish) and Mike Taris (game). Successful students will receive a certification as a fishery technician and possibly a bio tech I.

SOCIAL STUDIES

World Issues
This course is designed to have students become better informed on the current issues of our time. These would range from issues on the world stage as well as national, state, and local. We will be using resources for local news such as radio, TV, and newspapers. We will also be using the Internet and going to local city government meetings. Students will be expected to read, discuss and share thoughts in class.

Alaska History
This course covers the period of time form the coming of the first Native Americans to Alaska to Alaska’s first women governor. We will cover how our closest neighbors are not other states, but other countries. Alaska is the only Arctic state in the United States and Alaska History will study the challenges associated with our location and climate. We will cover the history of Alaskans and how Natives and non-natives alike have come to where we are today. Students will be expected to read, discuss, and share thoughts in class.

US History
This course covers the period of time in America from 1500 A.D. to 2005 A.D. Students will learn what America was like before the Europeans came to the Americas, how it was changed by colonization, and why the English wished to come to America. Students will learn why a war was fought to start a new country called the United States and how the United States has grown and changed to become the country it is today. Students will be expected to read, discuss, and share thoughts in class.

Geography
This course covers the tools and information used to understand the factors that have shaped our world. Students will learn how physical landscapes are factors that shape how people live. Students will also learn how humans can change natural landscapes. Students will become familiar with locations and names of important landscapes. Students will work with maps and become adept at locating places on maps. Students will be expected to read, discuss, and share thoughts in class.

World History
This course covers the beginnings of civilizations and how those civilizations have led to the rise of modern civilization. Most civilizations will be covered from the start to the mid-1600s. Students will learn how this has impacted the modern world. Students will be expected to read, discuss, and share thoughts in class.

MATH

Basic Math
Basic Math utilizes the Saxon Math 65 text and is designed to establish and strengthen basic multiplication, division, percentage, measurement and geometry skills with lessons correlated to the Alaska Performance Standards. Target audience is students in grades 9-12 that have not demonstrated grade level proficiency in mathematics. Placement in this class is generally determined using the middle grades placement test results.

Foundations of Math
Foundations of Math utilizes the Saxon Math 76 text and is designed to strengthen basic multiplication, division, percentage, measurement and geometry skills with lessons correlated to the Alaska Performance Standards. Target audience is students in grades 9-12 that have not demonstrated grade level proficiency in mathematics. Placement in this class is generally determined using the middle grades placement test results.

Bridge to Algebra
Bridge to Algebra utilizes the Saxon Math 87 text and is designed to strengthen basic multiplication, division, percentage, measurement and geometry skills with lessons correlated to the Alaska Performance Standards. This course also investigates variables and the coordinate plane, as well as additional topics, to begin moving students from fundamental math toward algebraic concepts. Target audience is students in grades 9-12 that have not demonstrated grade level proficiency in mathematics. Placement in this class is generally determined using the middle grades placement test results.

Saxon Algebra 1/2
Algebra 1⁄2 covers all topics normally taught in pre-algebra, as well as additional topics from geometry and discrete mathematics (used in engineering and computer sciences). With Algebra 1⁄2 students can deepen their understanding of pre-algebraic topics.
Algebra 1⁄2 includes the following: instruction and enrichment on such topics as compressions, approximating roots, polynomials, advanced graphing, basic trigonometry, and more.

Saxon Algebra1
Algebra 1 covers all topics in a first-year algebra course, from proofs, statistics and probability to algebra-based real-world problems. With Algebra 1, students begin developing the more complex and understanding required for advanced mathematics.

Saxon Algebra 2
Algebra 2 covers all topics that are traditionally covered in second-year algebra as well as a considerable amount of geometry. In fact, students completing Algebra 2 will have studied the equivalent of one semester of informal geometry. Ample time is spent developing geometric concepts and writing proof outlines. Real-world problems are included along with applications to other subjects such as physics and chemistry.

Saxon Advanced Mathematics – 2 year course
Algebra 3/Trig/Geometry
Algebra 4/Trig/Geometry
Advanced Mathematics fully integrates topics from algebra, geometry, trigonometry, discrete mathematics, and mathematical analysis. Word problems are developed throughout the problem sets and become progressively more elaborate. With regular practice, high-school level students will be able to solve challenging problems such as rate problems and problems involving abstract quantities. Conceptually oriented problems help prepare students for college entrance exams such as the ACT and SAT.

Saxon Calculus
Calculus is designed for prospective mathematics majors and students interested in engineering, computer science, physics, business or the life sciences. Instruction takes advantage of graphing calculators, using them for visual demonstrations of concepts and confirming calculations.
Pre-requisites: students should have successfully completed the two year text “Saxon Advanced Math” ie. Algebra 3/Trig/Geometry and Algebra 4/Trig/Geometry.

Life Skills Math
This course focuses on each person’s role as a citizen, student, family member, consumer, and active participant in the business world. The course has five major goals:

  1. To inform each participant of his/her various financial responsibilities and to provide some understanding of opportunities for self-awareness, expression, and satisfaction in a highly technical and competitive society.
  2. To investigate areas of interest that will enhance financial security.
  3. To understand wants, needs, and values and how these affect personal financial decisions
  4. To enhance the abilities to make wise decisions regarding future finances and effective consuming practices.
  5. To strengthen basic math skills in order to achieve proficiency on the Alaska HSGQE.

In advancing toward the goals listed above, each participant will be involved in the following:

  • ways to maximize earnings potential
  • strategies for managing financial resources
  • skills for the wise use of credit
  • different ways of investing money
  • review and drill of basic math skills, including multiplication, division, percentages, and common and decimal fractions.

ENGLISH

Life Skills Reading
This course is designed for the purpose of strengthening reading skills in order to improve comprehension, increase vocabulary, and to enhance the ability to read for information. The class will use materials that cross curricular areas in order to make the reading experience more relevant to real world purposes.
A strong component of the course will be personal reading assignments, involving having students read books of their own choice within their own zones of proximal development. The Star Reading test and Accelerated Reader program will help to individualize the requirements for each student. For students who have shown proficiency on the Alaska HSGQE, the individualized personal reading program will be the major portion of the curriculum.

Career English
This course is designed for juniors and seniors needing a second English class. The emphasis is on developing writing skills, although there are also some reading expectations. In this class, students will explore different career clusters, take interest inventories and learning style questionnaires, practice interview skills, write a resume and personal essay. Career opportunities will be discussed, as well as alternatives available for continuing their education after graduation (including colleges, voc ed training, apprenticeship programs). Budgeting and financial aid possibilities will also be discussed, as well as employability skills.

HSGQE (High School Graduate Qualifying Exam) English
This course is designed for students who have not passed either the writing or the reading portion of the Alaska HSGQE. It will zero in on the needs of the students as their test results indicate, but overall with focus on vocabulary skills, identifying and supporting main ideas both in reading and writing, basic organization of written responses, basic grammar and usage skills, and test taking strategies.

Freshmen English
Freshmen English is a language arts survey course, covering reading, writing, listening and speaking. Each of these components can be broken down further into various genres, styles and techniques. The focus will be on the characteristics of literary genres, the writing process and its six traits, and provides a detailed look at expository writing, as well as grammar and vocabulary. Computer use is an intrigue part of this class. All Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) for grade 9 will be addressed.

Sophomore English
Sophomore English is a language survey course, covering reading, writing, listening and speaking. Each of these components can be broken down further into various genres, styles and techniques. The focus will be on literary elements in short stories, plays, novels and poetry, the writing process and its six traits, and provides a detailed look at researching, organizing, and writing essays, as well as giving speeches. Computer use is an intrigue part of this class. All Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) for grade 10 will be addressed.

Junior English
This course is for students who have successfully completed the HSGQE. This course is designed to explore American literature as it relates to American history through poetry, short stories, essays, plays and novels. Instruction will be given in writing expository prose, and on the writing process. The focus for this class will be on research, persuasion, and non-fiction. Computer use is an intrigue part of this class. All Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) for high school will be addressed.

Senior English/*Dual Credit College English 111: This course is for students who have successfully completed the HSGQE.
Semester I The first semester of this course is designed to explore **British literatures as it relates to British history from (Beowolf to Pigmalian) through poetry, short stories, essays, plays and novels. Instruction will be given in writing expository prose. Focus will be given to career preparation, ie. resume and college essay writing. All Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) for high school will be addressed.
Semester II This semester of the course will focus on the students’ Senior Projects and the communication and presentation skills the students need to complete this task, both written and oral. Computer use is an intrigue part of this class. *Students are afforded the opportunity to take this class for dual credit for College English 111 through the University of Fairbanks. The students will need to complete additional writing assignments, pay a reduced cost tuition, and have met the appropriate placement requirements for the college.

ELECTIVES

General Technology for Grades 9, 10, 11, 12 (No prerequisites)
This course is designed to teach students the basics of word processing, presentation software, spreadsheets, desktop publishing and data base use. The student will need to demonstrate a level of touch typing of 30 words a minute. (The minimum required for a state job) at the start of the course or spend time developing the skills before advancing to the other aspects of the course. The use of the Internet is also included to a minor extent and students will learn how to make their documents link to the Internet, down load information and graphics. The student will also learn to use servers to store, turn in, and retrieve files from various locations, and to access email for graded assignments. The content of this course is based on the Microsoft Windows suite that includes the following: Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Excel found in most places of businesses. The platform used in the school is Macintosh, the industry leader in graphic computers.

Mavis Beacon Keyboarding
This is a semester course. This program is used as an independent study with the purpose of improving keyboarding skills. Since it is an independent study, it is important that the student be reliable and self-motivated.

Instructional Support Class
This is not a free period. The purpose of your time here is to work on assignments, concepts and classes that you are having difficulty with. Students are required to come prepared with the materials that you need to work on. That is, unless you have a pressing assignment in another course, you will work on assigned materials or supplemental materials for the classes that you are struggling in. The instructor is responsible for keeping studetns on task, coordinating with teachers and monitoring student performance.

Small Engine Repair
This course enables students to gain comprehensive knowledge of various energy forms and of the methods of harnessing this energy into usable power. Special emphasis is placed on the development of habits concerning safety, good working relationships, and economical use of time and materials. Students work on small internal combustion engines. They dis-assemble, explore the functions of the major parts, reassemble, and run a variety of small one-cylinder engines (chain saws and lawn mowers).

Automotive I
This course introduces students to the various systems that work together in an automobile and to the mathematical and scientific principles, as well as the tools and equipment, that are involved in diagnosing, repairingand maintaining them.

Metal Shop I
This course covers the operation of shop equipment such as drill press, grinders, power equipment, and basic welding equipment and the safety practices used with each machine. The course covers the basic applied techniques of oxyacetylene and stick electrode welding. Class activities and lectures include safety procedures, basic skills, and knowledge of hand tools and identification of structure materials.

Woods I
This basic introductory course in woodworking emphasizes correct and safe use of hand tools and materials, with power equipment usage as appropriate. Students are required to pass a safety test. Student interest in woodworking is developed through construction of practical projects. Emphasis is also placed on cooperative working relationships in the operation and management of the shop.

Bakery Class
This course is a review of the basic life skills in Home Economics and the continuation of these skills into a bakery class. Students will review safety and sanitation, measuring ingredient techniques and detail recipes and preparation techniques. The student will be learning recipe development and working on testing, marketing of products, customer service skills and how school skills relate to the world of work. Students will be baking different foods for a weekly bake sale.

Home Economics
This course is an overview of basic skills. Different areas of focus are classroom study, laboratory experiences in all areas of Home Economics; teaching students how to cook, simple food preparation techniques, recipe reading, and occupational food service. There is also an emphasis placed on learning practicing job and work place skills. Students will also learn parts and safe use of a sewing machine. Students will sew a variety of projects using sewing machines and hand sewing.

Culinary Arts Year 1
This course is a ProStart Curriculum developed by the National Restaurant Association as part of the School-to-Career approach to learning. This course introduces students to careers in the food service and teaches the basic skills and knowledge needed for success in the food service industry. 10th grade and higher.

Culinary Arts Year 2
This course is a ProStart Curriculum and a continuation of Culinary Art I, which is a prerequisite. This course will cover the history of food service and basic food preparation. Culinary Arts 2 will also focus on lodging, tourism and the retail industry. Job-relevant lessons will provide the students with hands on training.

OJT (On Job Training) in Home Economics
This course will be for students who sign up to be an aide in a Home Economics Class. Students will help set up cooking and baking areas for that class. Students will use the copy machine to make copies of recipes and worksheets that will be needed. They will file recipes, decorate bulletin boards and assist the teacher in the variety of tasks essential to a well-run kitchen.

Library Aide: OJT
The student will become familiar with and assist in the daily operations of the school library including processing new materials, proper shelving of materials, light cleaning, and the care of A/V equipment. There will be exposure to and exploration of the different literary genres and variety of resources found in the school library and through our local public library. Additionally, the student will become a more effective evaluator and user of web resources including but not limited to those shared on the library’s homepage. A culminating experience could include a field trip to the Noel Wien Public Library and the UAF Library.

HEALTH
Information covered in the class includes:

  1. Function and basic vocabulary of selected body systems.
  2. Complete vocabulary plus social and emotional aspects pertaining to sex and reproduction.
  3. Specific effects of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs on the body.
  4. Knowledge and basic vocabulary relating to wellness and nutrition.
  5. Diseases of the body; infectious and non-infectious
  6. First aid/CPR
  7. Human growth and development
  8. Mental health/stress
  9. Substance abuse
  10. Topics of death and dying

The emphasis of this course is to help students accept responsibility for their own health and that of those around them.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION
Students will be given the opportunity to:

  1. Understand how to develop a strong, healthy body
  2. Develop good health habits
  3. Develop athletic and fitness skills for use now and in adult life
  4. Understand the social values inherent in competitive activities
  5. Identify the need to maintain an active life-style and develop a wholesome attitude towards their physical selves
  6. Participate in leisure time activities that will allow them to benefit from the social growth these activities provide
  7. Understand fitness assessments and how to develop an individual fitness plan for maintenance or improvement of personal fitness.

CULTURAL VOCATIONAL ARTS (Not Offered 1st Semester)
Students will focus on creative, educational and vocational development by actively participating in traditional Native Alaskan activities. This class will offer students the opportunity to learn cultural awareness, participate in visual arts, become engaged by academic information and develop marketable skills that are transferable to the real world. Students will create products that will be usable, or possibly marketable.