“Class retreats provide students and student leaders with an opportunity to look deeply within themselves and find where they feel they need or wish to change.”
Claire Mazelin ‘10
Please note that not all classes listed below are offered each semester.
- English Department
- Fine Arts Department
- Foreign Language Department
- Mathematics Department
- Physical Education Department
- Religion Department
- Science Department
- Social Studies Department
The Mission College Preparatory English Department offers a rigorous college preparatory, aligned curriculum. The overall focus of each English course is to strengthen critical thinking and analysis skills, develop essential writing skills, teach public speaking, as well as audience awareness, hone skills necessary for scholarly study in college, instill curiosity, and enrich an understanding of literature and its value in our culture. Students read from a broad range of texts that cover a wide variety of genres and literary eras, and engage in numerous modes of writing and discourse. Every course within the English department emphasizes how to gather and synthesize information, as well as how to effectively communicate that knowledge, both in the written and spoken word.
Prerequisite: Completion of 8th Grade English or its equivalent.
English 9 is a strong college preparation course that focuses on language arts skills necessary for effective communication. Students learn to respond orally to literature through discussion and recitation taken from selected literary works. Writing skills are also a primary objective of the course with students focusing on mechanics, usage, sentence construction, and paragraph development in preparation for the next level(s) of the English curriculum.
Prerequisite: Completion of Freshmen English or the consent of the instructor.
This college preparatory course is a continuation of the foundation of the principles learned in English 9. Throughout the year students will be exposed to a great variety of British authors, literature, genres, and literary movements as they survey British Literature from 449 to the present. Students will garner a better understanding of British culture through its corresponding literature. Emphasis in this course will be on analyzing and critically assessing literature, increasing skills in writing, reading, listening and note taking, discussion, and public speaking.
Honors British Literature
Prerequisite: To be considered for this course, students must apply for the department's recommendation and have at least a 3.5 GPA in Freshmen English.
Honors courses move at a faster pace and with a greater intensity than non-Honors courses. This college preparatory honors course is a continuation of the foundation of the principles learned in English 9, and moves at a faster pace than the British Literature course. The course stresses mastery of rhetorical skills, as well as literary analysis. Throughout the year students will examine a great variety of British authors, genres, and literary movements from 449 to the present, and garner a better understanding British culture and literature, as well as become critically aware of the evolution of British literature and its far-reaching effects. Emphasis in this course will be on analyzing and critically assessing literature, enhancing skills in writing, reading, listening and note taking, discussion, and public speaking. Students will broaden their understanding of a variety of nuances in language styles through reading, writing, and discussion. Students will learn to synthesize literature as an expression of human imagination and condition.
Prerequisite: Completion of Sophomore English or the consent of the instructor.
Throughout the year, students will be exposed to a great variety of American authors. Students will survey American literature from 1604 to the present, and garner a better understanding of our American cultural and literary heritage from the 17th through 20th centuries. Emphasis in this course will be on analyzing and critically assessing literature through research, composition, and discussion. The process includes the on-going development of sophisticated listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills, with a major focus on literary criticism. This is a college preparatory course and as such, will focus on the skills necessary for scholarly study in college.
AP English Language and Composition
Prerequisite: To be considered for this college level course, students must apply for the department's recommendation and have at least a 3.5 GPA in Sophomore English.
AP courses move at a faster pace and with a greater intensity than non-AP courses. AP English Language and Composition focuses on the art of rhetoric and the effective use of language. Students will study a number of celebrated writers of prose in a variety of genres - the novel, short story, autobiography, biography, satire, and the essay - in order to examine how language works to persuade, enrage, and move. Students will develop sophisticated reading and writing skills as they explore and describe how language works. Students will observe and analyze the words, patterns, and structures that create subtle effects of language. They will learn to describe language, demonstrating a working knowledge of parts of speech and structural patterns as well as an awareness of connotation and shades of meaning in context. Those meeting the requirements of the AP exam receive college credit. The exam - which all students must take - tests a student's ability to read critically and to write in the following modes: comparison and contrast, narration / description, definition, extended definition and academic argument.
Modern and Contemporary Literature
Prerequisite: Completion of Junior English or the consent of the instructor.
Modern and Contemporary Literature is a college preparatory course that focuses on literature generated from approximately 1900 to the present. Students will be introduced to a diverse grouping of multicultural works, and garner a better understanding of the world in which they live. Students will spend the year dissecting / analyzing novels, plays, and collections of poetry from these eras, both in terms of content and structure. Emphasis in this course will be on analyzing and critically assessing literature through research, composition, and discussion, as well as the on-going development of sophisticated listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. In addition to reading, analyzing, and annotating literary works, all seniors will write at least one college essay as part of the senior English curriculum.
AP English Literature and Composition
Prerequisite: To be considered for this college level course, students must apply for the department's recommendation and have at least a 3.5 GPA in Junior English.
AP courses move at a faster pace and with a greater intensity than non-AP courses. The skills and concepts of Advanced Placement English Literature are complex and challenging. Students in the AP English Lit course are required to demonstrate excellence in literary analysis, composition and discussion. This course guides, as well as engages, students in the careful reading and critical analysis of various works of literature. The year is spent dissecting novels, plays, and collections of poetry that vary in length, theme, time period, and subject matter in preparation for the AP English Literature exam. As they read, students will consider a work's structure, style, and themes as well as such smaller-scale elements such as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone. In addition to reading, analyzing, and annotating literary works, all seniors will write at least one college essay as part of the senior English curriculum. Those meeting the requirements of the AP exam receive college credit. The exam - which all students must take - tests a student's ability to read and critically analyze poetry, as well as prose.
Prerequisite: Completion of Freshmen English or consent of the instructor.
This course introduces students to elements and techniques of creative writing in a variety of genres, teaches terminology and concepts needed for successful participation in writing workshops, facilitates writing practice and evaluation, and offers individual guidance on the student's development as a writer. Students will experiment with different styles while working on strengthening their own creative voices. The year will culminate in a student generated literary magazine.
In this course, students receive guided instruction in the fundamentals of journalistic writing, photojournalism, graphic design, advertising, and organizational skills. Students will work with advanced technology, strengthen their analytical and problem-solving skills, and improve their communication skills. Please note: students will be expected to attend school events outside of the class period with the purpose of taking photos for the yearbook. Students do not need to provide their own cameras, although they are welcome to use their own cameras if they wish. Yearbook is a points-based class, and credit will be given for photography, page layouts, active participation, and other projects as assigned.
- Communication: The student will communicate in the foreign language.
- Cultures: The student will gain knowledge and understanding of the Hispanic world, other cultures and his/her own.
- Connections: The student will connect with other disciplines. Art, social Studies, etc.
- Comparisons: The student will develop insight into the nature of language and culture.
- Communities: The student will participate in wider communities of language and culture.
Course description: This class is directed to students with little or no knowledge of Spanish. This is a communication-based course in Spanish on understanding and speaking, along with development of reading, writing skills, and oral communication. The class is taught in Spanish, with a minimum of English. During this level the student progresses to an elementary mastery of the basics. The class requires a lot of interaction. Students will participate in several activities and orals skits that will reinforce the vocabulary and grammar rules learned in the class. Familiarization with the Hispanic culture is included in the text and class material.
Español 2 is an intermediate Spanish class. This program helps the students develop the competencies delineated in the Standards for Foreign Language Learning. This is course in taught mostly in Spanish. Research shows this is how one best acquires a foreign language. Techniques on making the student comfortable, motivated, and successful in Spanish will be through:
- Music, Art, Literature, Games, Movement, Peer work, Cooperative Learning, Homework, and of course “práctica, práctica, práctica” !!!!!
Students coming to this class will have to take a placement test.
The development of the communicative skills continues, focusing on intensive reading begun during level one and two. Besides additional oral and written exercises, composition skills are developed through drills carefully constructed to effect liberalized expression in language. The culture and civilization of the people who speak the language are studied more intensively. Prerequisites: Spanish 2 must be completed with a minimum grade of a C.
Spanish 3 Honors
This course strengthens grammatical structures and introduces new and more complex structures. Emphasis is placed on oral proficiency, integrating a wide variety of topics and materials from the Spanish Language. The reading skill is developed through short stories presented in a supplemental literature text. This course strives to prepare students for the next level of Spanish, Honors 4 or Advance Placement. The goal is to give students the necessary practice and background to express themselves clearly in both written and spoken Spanish. Grammar is reviewed and reading comprehension is stressed. This course is taught in Spanish. Prerequisites: B or A and recommendation from the teacher and Department Chair.
Spanish Honors 4
This course is designed to provide practice in advanced grammatical concepts and advanced conversational skills. A variety of materials are used to achieve an advanced level of written and oral proficiency. This course is taught in Spanish. Honors 4 is designed to develop advanced conversational skills. A variety of materials is used to build communication in writing and speaking. This class is taught in Spanish. A big component of this class is to study the Hispanic World; Art, history, music, traditions, customs, geography, etc. Prerequisites: Honors 3 and/or Recommendation from the teacher and Department Chair.
Advanced Placement Spanish Language
Students taking this class must take the AP exam in May. This course is designed for self-motivated students committed to serious study in Spanish. A prescribed course of study including advanced grammar topics, advanced listening comprehension exercises, advanced reading comprehension exercises, and advanced spoken practice will be presented in order to prepare the student for the Advanced Placement Exam. College credit may be awarded on the basis of the evaluation and the particular colleges' or universities' policies. This course focuses on the development of conversational skills. Grammar is taught only as a vehicle for building basic communication skills in speaking and writing. A variety of materials including text, magazines, internet, news papers, television, video and audiocassettes are used to achieve a basic level of oral proficiency. The College Board guidelines will be followed. The course is taught entirely in Spanish. Prerequisites: Honors 3, Honors 4, Native speakers and authorization from the AP teacher and Department Chair.
Latin 1 is designed to provide beginning level secondary students with a learning experience in a classical language. The students will learn about the culture of the Roman people as well as develop cultural insights through the readings and translations they will study. Students will develop reading, writing, listening and speaking skills in the Latin language. The learning of selected Latin songs will be used to heighten the students’ pronunciation, understanding, and enjoyment of the language. Grammatical importance will be learned as students encounter it in their study. The study of Latin will enhance the student’s ability to learn language in the following ways:
- the recognition of word roots related to Latin vocabulary.
- a greater understanding of English grammar.
- a broader knowledge of English through the study of Latin vocabulary.
- a greater facility in the learning of other languages through the discipline of learning Latin.
Latin 2 is designed to provide intermediate level secondary students with a learning experience in a classical language. The students will learn about the culture of the Roman people as well as develop cultural insights through the readings and translations they will study. Students will develop reading, writing, listening and speaking skills in the Latin language. The learning of selected Latin songs will be used to heighten the students pronunciation, understanding, and enjoyment of the language. Grammatical importance will be learned as students encounter it in their study.
Latin Honors 3
Latin 3 Honors is a course designed to transition the student from the composed Latin in the first two courses to the reading and understanding of the authentic writings of well-known Latin authors. The study of these writings begins with those of the historian Eutropius in the year 64 B.C. and concludes with a selection of the writings of Pliny and Petronius, two authors of the first century A.D.
This course is designed to provide beginning level students with immediately useful language skills in French. The course proposes to allow the maximum interaction among students and between teacher and students beginning with the preliminary lessons. Such interaction is based on tasks to be accomplished in real-life situations. Class time is seen as an opportunity for students to practice the French they will hear and speak when visiting a French-speaking country or when interacting with speakers of French. The students will learn by interacting with one-another. Games, songs, videos and DVD’s will be used to reinforce the material being learned. Application of grammar and cultural understanding are both worked into the overall context of the learning situations presented.
This course continues the aims and goals of its forerunner, using the same approach as French 1. French 2 takes the student into a deeper understanding and practical use of the language. Since the learning of language is a cyclic learning process, that is, it is re-presented again and again in ever more complicated patterns, the process has a built-in review system. Oftentimes what the student might have missed the first time is better understood the second time around and so on.
This course takes the second year student to a higher level of understanding and usage of the French language. By this time the student is developing a more sophisticated understanding and facility with French. The student will learn to write and speak more subtle patterns of the language. By this time, the student should be prepared well enough to carry on conversations with native speakers about ordinary topics within his or her realm of learning experience.
The MCP Fine Arts Department offers students a variety of classes in both visual arts and the performing arts. Courses include Studio Art, Digital Photography, Music and Drama. Out art courses are taught in large studio settings guided by talented, experienced teachers who are themselves professional artists. The courses are project-oriented, and give students hands-on experience in the fundamentals, design principles and history of the arts. Students get a wide range of experiences in both the technical and aesthetics of the arts, and how to produce work of skill and creative expression,
This one-year course surveys the fundamental elements and principles of the visual arts. A strong foundation in drawing will emphasize the understanding of visual elements using several media. The study of basic design principles will reinforce concepts in composition and self-expression. The student will become aware of art history, exploring the way individual expression in the visual arts has been an important aspect to world cultures throughout history.
Art 2 surveys advanced principles of art and design. Drawing skills are broadened while students use line quality, negative and positive space, perspective, and value to emphasize a focal point. Figure and portrait studies will be emphasized, as well as juxtaposition of multiple subjects in one picture plane. Students will explore painting and drawing using different styles, techniques and media. Exercises in advanced color theory will help students to control and understand the use of color to emphasize focal point and unity. Students will explore self-expression as they build their own portfolio of work.
This advanced course focuses on the production of a portfolio that represents a broad sampling of art media and style. The class continues to surveys advanced principles of art and design, while allowing the student to create works of his/her own choosing. A series of final works will represent their pursuit of a personal style and expression unique to the artist.
AP Studio Art
AP Studio Art is a two-semester Advanced Placement course with a focus on 2-D Design. The curriculum provides students with the aesthetic concepts and technical skills to produce artwork that reflects the standards of a first-year college level course. The course promotes a sustained investigation of all three aspects of portfolio development – quality, concentration and breadth – as outlined in the College Board’s AP Studio Art Course Description.
The course teaches students a variety of concepts and approaches, using the visual elements and the principles of design in creating works of creative expression. The course emphasizes that making art is an ongoing process that requires that the student be an informed art observer, familiar with epochs of art history, and that they develop skills in critical decision-making. Learning to critique their own artwork with fellow artists, and individually with the teacher, enables students to learn to analyze and discuss their own artworks and those of their peers, verbalizing the concepts of design and art history covered in class.
Students produce a portfolio of work that demonstrates the quality, concentration and breadth of their work for review by the College Board. Throughout the year students will complete assignments that help them build mastery in the use of visual principles, technical skills and creative expression. This three-section portfolio will demonstrate their mastery in producing works of quality, their ability to concentrate on a particular visual idea, and the student’s breadth of understanding of design principles and artistic skill. The portfolio is submitted to the College Board for evaluation at the end of the school year.
Digital Photography & Design
This overview of basic photographic techniques incorporates the principles of design and composition to develop skills in various forms of photography: Artistic, documentary, photo journalism, studio and commercial photography. Students explore the technical skills required for commercial, architectural, and portrait photography. Digital photographic techniques are employed using Adobe PhotoShop Software™. Students create a portfolio of their finished prints, and learn the basics of web site design for their portfolio. Artistic, documentary, photojournalism, studio and commercial photography are all explored. Students contribute work to the yearbook, the school website and the ever-changing school gallery of photography on campus.
Drama 1 & 2
Drama Courses survey the fundamental principles of acting and stagecraft. The class provides a strong foundation in acting including projection, diction and the execution of a role and a scene. Students will explore self-expression with the use of these acting elements and principles. The student will become aware of theatre history, exploring the way individual expression is used in monologue, song and dance. The collaborative aspects of drama are utilized to give the student a real hands-on, theatre experience. Large and small productions of various genres are performed throughout the year, including musical productions
Music Performance 1 & 2
Music Performance is for students with at least a beginning level of instrumental music. Most instruments are welcome to join the ensemble. Students will be exposed to and perform a varied repertoire of music. Music literacy and creative expression will be emphasized as part of the music learning process. This course is designed to give the student a well-rounded musical experience in a performing ensemble.
AP Calculus BC
This course is structured to include all topics recommended in the College Board course outline for Calculus BC. Algebraic, trigonometric, exponential, logarithmic, parametric and polar functions, limits and continuity, differentiation and applications of the derivative, techniques of integration, applications of the definite integral, infinite series, differential equations and improper integrals are presented. Students enrolled in the course are required to take the Advanced Placement Calculus BC test.
Each topic is discussed conceptually, analytically, numerically, graphically, and verbally. Students use a graphing calculator regularly to solve problems, experiment, interpret results, and verify conclusions, but are also expected to be able to calculate limits, derivatives, and antiderivatives by hand. Most importantly, they are expected to recognize and use the appropriate means (calculator or non-calculator) to solve problems. Oral and written communication of mathematics is stressed throughout the course.
Text: Hughes-Hallett, et. al. Calculus, Single Variable 4th ed. Wiley, 2005.
AP Calculus AB
AP Calculus is a college course taught at the high school. Hence, the homework load is heavier than a high school course, and the students must work more independently than in other math courses. The material is difficult and demanding; it entails mastery of content and critically thinking. There will be a review of all math skills previous to this level, but it will be presented in a whole different format and in much greater depth. Therefore, the students must be comfortable with the concepts before entering the course. The AP exam is a requirement of the course, and many colleges and universities will issue credit for one or two college calculus courses depending on the score earned on the exam.
This is a year long course in both differential and integral calculus. Topics covered include: limits, continuity, rates of change and tangent lines, derivatives, applications of derivatives, antiderivatives, Riemann sums, definite integrals and their applications, slope fields and an introduction to differential equations. A focus will be placed on multiple representations including algebraic, graphical, numerical & verbal descriptions.
Prerequisites: Successful completion of Trigonometry/Math Analysis or Honors Pre-Calculus.
Text: Calculus: Graphical, Numerical, Algebraic MEDIA UPDATE, Third Edition. Authors: Finney, Demana, Waits, Kennedy, © 2010 Pearson Education Inc.
A student who takes this course must be aware of the rigor and fast pace. Therefore, the student must have a well-founded foundation in Algebra 2 to succeed in this course. The course includes within it, an in-depth course in Trigonometry. At least one semester is spent introducing and working with trigonometry (triangular, unit circle, and verifications), and the rest of the course going into Algebra 2 topics with much more depth and breadth (conic sections, exponential/logarithmic functions, polynomials functions, graphing transformations, inverse functions, rational functions, complex numbers, probability, sequences/series, and polar graphing). There is an amazing amount of memorization in this course. If it’s not done, there is no way the student will be able to be successful in this course and to master high-level problems. This course definitely prepares the student for Calculus.
Trigonometry is definitely a rigorous semester course in mathematics. It doesn’t go as fast or as in-depth as Honors Precalculus, but it is still a very demanding course with an amazing amount of memorization and understanding. It is assumed that the student has a fair foundation in Algebra 2 to succeed in this course. The course will prepare a student for the trigonometry he or she needs to succeed in fields like surveying, architecture, etc. and also, for fields that require calculus. It is definitely a challenging course, but it does not go as fast or as in-depth as Honors Precalculus.
Algebra 2 topics (conic sections, exponential/logarithmic functions, polynomials functions, graphing transformations, inverse functions, rational functions, complex numbers, probability, sequences/series, and polar graphing) are reintroduced with more depth and as a form of review for college. Basic trigonometric topics (triangular, unit circle, and verifications) that were not covered in the Trig semester course, because the pace and time did not allow will be completed in this semester course. More in-depth trigonometric topics such as polar graphing, trigonometric for of complex numbers will also be introduced. It is definitely a challenging course, but it does not go as fast or as in-depth as Honors Precalculus.
Honors Algebra 2 and Algebra 2
Honors Algebra 2 is the course that takes a student from lower mathematics to higher mathematics with such new topics as conic sections, exponential/logarithmic functions, polynomials functions, graphing transformations, inverse functions, rational functions, complex numbers, probability, sequences/series, and polar graphing. The course teaches the student to use a graphing calculator as well. The first semester of the course reviews skills learned in Algebra 1 with a few new topics and much more depth. The difference between the honors level and the regular level is simply that the pace and depth of the honors level is significantly faster and more difficult. A student choosing to take the Honors Algebra 2 will have much harder tests and more homework.
Regular Algebra 2 is a very difficult course. This course is designed for the student who finds math difficult and wishes to learn at a slower pace. The first semester of regular Algebra 2, which is a review of Algebra with more depth and breadth, will be covered in two semesters.
This course is equivalent to the 2nd semester of regular Algebra 2. It takes this difficult subject matter at a slower pace for the student who finds math difficult. The second semester of regular Algebra 2, which is a review of Algebra with more depth and breadth, will be covered in two semesters. This course may involve a computer program ALEKS, and it may have a $35 stipend to purchase the use of it (the cost of the program) will be charged, so the student may use this program at school and at home).
Geometry at Mission College Prep is a traditional course in that it includes a substantial amount of proofs that is very foreign and difficult for many students, but will develop a maturity in mathematical thinking and logic in general. First semester will require mastery of vocabulary, axioms, and theorems in order to use them in proofs. The second semester will require significant computations involving algebra in studying right triangles, circles, areas and volumes of two- and three-dimensional figures.
Algebra 1 at Mission College Prep is a rigorous and complete course of study. It is the foundation course for ALL high school and college mathematics. It is a course for students who have never had an Algebra 1 course, as well as students who have taken a course without success. Students who barely eked by in an Algebra 1 course in middle school should seriously consider taking this course to build that foundation for the future. Higher-level math (at least through Algebra 2) is required for MCP graduation and for so many college degrees.
Statistics: A First Course
Prerequisites: Must be a senior who has completed Algebra-2. Semester Course—possible 2nd semester follow-up course. UC Approved
This is an introduction to statistics using a college level text. At Mission College Preparatory, it is school policy that all students must take a mathematics course every semester during their four years of high school. This course is intended as an introductory course in Statistics for those students who have successfully completed Algebra-2. It is not intended to compete with those students who are capable of taking AP Calculus. The course introduces 12th grade high school students to the wide range of relevant issues and questions that can be addressed with the help of statistical analysis techniques by using a text intended for students at an early stage in a college program. Mathematical demands are modest – no college level math background is required or assumed. The emphasis is on explaining basic statistical procedures and interpreting the resulting conclusions. The text employs widely available, inexpensive technologies particularly MINITAB and the TI graphing calculator. The World Wide Web is also used as a source of data in designated exercises.
Computer Technology and Programming
Course material varies widely from recognition of components to the very rigorous design and debugging of complicated (for beginners) computer programs. Use of the internet as a data organizing tool and a information research tool. Computer hardware: what is inside the box. Components and their function. Logic, gates and the fundamentals of computer operation History of computers, luminaries of computer design. Programming in Python Computer art generated from recursive programs. This course offers room for creativity on nearly every assignment and teaches through projects that usually take several days or more to complete. Many projects will build upon the results of early ones. This class covers hardware but is mostly about software. Applications will be used to fulfill other objectives but this is not about word processing or spreadsheets, it is not about business. This class teaches the student to create with a computer, to determine the behavior of the computer, to instruct the computer and program the instructions for a computer. The class is all about problem solving using technology. Students must make choices about their assignments. Investigating how to do something, being self-directed, is crucial to the continuous learning that goes with using technology effectively. Instructions are minimized and discovery is maximized. Computer history, culture, jargon, legend and lore are sprinkled throughout the course to add an academic angle and to add context and richness to the skills learned. A novel will be required reading during the year.
A multi-disciplinary production class that explores the applications and processes which make up moving images in video. Students will participate in all aspects of video production, from scripting and storyboarding, to shooting video and recording audio, to editing and postproduction. All editing and postproduction will be done digitally. All production for this course is within an introductory fine arts context. As such, students will be graded according their ability to deliver basic premises and technical specifications. Throughout the semester students will be exposed to video, audio, and installation works from a variety of artists. Learning and thinking about contemporary video and audio practices will be a key component of the class in both production and theory. Participation in the discussion of these works is required. In addition to the production of multimedia pieces, the students will receive a comprehensive overview of current Social Media and Social Networking outlets.
In Physical Education, the students will participate in both individual and team sport activities. The student will be instructed in proper skill technique and progression in each of the sports presented during the semester long course. In addition, physical fitness (through daily aerobic training) as well as nutritional information (through lectures and projects) is stressed throughout the course.
Weight Training is offered as an elective for students in grades 10-12. The weight training class provides an introductory level, general overall strength program with an emphasis on learning proper techniques and safety while lifting. The lifting days will alternate between upper body lifting on one day with lower body activities the next in order to achieve a total body workout.
Health is available to incoming freshmen. The students develop interpersonal communication skills, decision-making skills, and goal setting skills while examining major health topics. These topics include substance abuse, nutrition, physical activity, and mental, emotional and social health.
The four-year story of religious education at MCP begins with a discovery of who is Jesus, and how he is revealed to us as a historical figure and a spiritual figure. A study of God’s plan for humanity and the role of Jesus Christ as a key figure in that plan follows. The mission of Jesus is further explained in the ministry of Christ with scriptures drawing from the Old and New Testaments. From salvation history the story of Jesus then turns to the personal involvement of the individual. Jesus calls humankind to live holy lives as his disciples in the world through exploration of the Church and its mission in the world. This entails a study of all aspects of Church history and its role in the life of a Catholic. Sacraments, being an essential demonstration of Christ’s love for humanity, becomes a focus of study and exploration. With the foundation of Christ as head of the Church, morality and social teachings assist an understanding of conscience and integrity, that each person must engage in a thought, choice, and action process to become aligned with Christ. Finally, the individual, moves to a stage of self-exploration in that personal decisions are made and enfolded into the personal actions and life styled that are chosen. The process calls for a realistic self-assessment that while challenging must be pursued.
Hebrew Scriptures Religion 9
A one semester course that provides the student with a basic understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures through two components. The first component will focus on an historical level that will be the core theme of each lesson. The second component will be interactive, focusing on the formational and transformational levels. The course brings the student into a mindful dialogue with the Bible as it recorded and affected the history of the ancient Israelite people. The course begins with exploring the individual student's background and religious foundations as his or her personal sacred story, and continues to connect the Judeo-Christian sacred story, the Scriptures, with the individual's story. The expected learning results are that a student begins or continues the process of growth as a faith filled person; becomes a competent and active learner developing spiritual, analytical and communication skills; and becomes an involved community member.
Christian Scriptures Religion 9
This one semester course provides the student with a basic understanding of the Christian Scriptures through two components. The first component will focus on an historical level that will be the core theme of each lesson. The second component will be interactive, focusing on the formational and transformational levels. The course brings the student into a mindful dialogue with the Bible as it recorded and affected the history of Christian people. The expected learning results are that a student begins or continues the process of growth as a faith filled person; becomes a competent and active learner, developing spiritual, analytical and communication skills; and becomes an involved community member.
Ethics, Values and The Human Person Religion 10
The first semester of the Sophomore Religion course focuses on the study of key aspects of Ethics (Moral Philosophy) and Moral Theology. Students analyze the stages of moral development and reflect upon the development of conscience be examining personal and social moral dilemmas and decision-making. The basis for the course is the Christian belief that the natural law guides human beings to be good and that Jesus reveals how we should live and is the model of the Christian moral life. Expected learning results are that students will develop as an active learner and academically prepared individual.
Social Justice Religion 10
The second semester of sophomore religion focuses on Catholic Social Teachings. Social Justice introduces sophomores to issues surrounding the key principles of the Church's rich body of social teachings. These come to from the strong tradition of the writings of the popes, especially since Pope Leo XIII. The course text Catholic Social Teaching attempts to understand how societies work and the values that ought to guide them. This text provides the latest up-to-date applications of the Church's social teachings as it draws on the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church and is organized around the U.S. Bishops' document, "Sharing Catholic Social Teaching". The text highlights two important principles - the life and dignity of the human person and respect for life - as foundational principles that support concepts such as the common good, the preferential option for the poor, solidarity among all people, and stewardship of resources. In this course the student is expected to continue his/her journey as a faith filled person, an active learner and an involved community member.
Sacraments Religion 11
This course will cover the history and theology of the sacraments of the Catholic Church as well as an evaluation of the ideas that shaped Catholic understanding of the sacraments throughout the centuries. Students will become acquainted with the circumstances leading up to Christ's institution of the sacraments as well as the Church's understanding of the sacraments through the centuries. Expected learning results are that students will develop a theological and philosophical vocabulary which to properly articulate these ideas. A greater understanding and appreciation for the Gospels will be cultivated. Students are also expected to continue to develop a Christian moral conscience.
Profiles Religion 11
This spring semester course will cover the profiles of nine men and women from around the world. Each person will have their life contextualized both historically and ii terms of socio-political situation in which they lived. The class will also critically analyze the person's life, faith and legacy. Students will become acquainted with the backgrounds of nine incredible human beings and will learn valuable lessons on how to live a faith-filled life for others. Students will develop the ability to critically evaluate text and film via analytical reflection papers. A greater understanding and appreciation for other cultures will be cultivated. Each student is expected to continue the process of growth as a faith-filled person; become a competent and active learner, developing spiritual, analytical, and communications skills; and become an involved community member.
Senior Religion: Apologetics
The purpose for this class is best summarized by Saint Paul’s prayer for us in his letter to the Ephesians: For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with the power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3: 14-19
Our apologetics course seeks to increase students’ faith not solely by exploring knowledge-based arguments of reason and logic on matters of our Catholic beliefs, but also through a deeper emotional awareness of God’s presence in our lives and the world. In other words, students are challenged to experience the fullness of God using the intellect (the head) and the intuitive (the heart). Although workload increases only slightly compared with prior religion courses, the complexity of material studied increases considerably as students are stimulated to think deeply while engaging in classroom dialogue and critical analysis of works including: philosophical and theological texts, essays, fictional stories, poetry, art, and film. In the end, students are stimulated to build a stronger foundation of Truth upon which to construct a sophisticated level of faith.
While many people think Geography is simply about maps, this year-long course will prove that an incorrect assumption by examining the two main aspects of geography- physical and human geography, with a special focus on interactions between humans and our environment in different physical and cultural settings. After an initial examination of the central themes to geography, the course will follow a regional format to better understand the different ways that people are living throughout the world today and the reasons for those differences. The ultimate goal of this class is to provide context for understanding a complex world to help students appreciate the world beyond the Central Coast and to better understand and value differences among the people of our world. Another goal is to encourage students to pay more attention to what is happening in both their local and global community to become more responsible citizens.
AP World History
Prerequisite: World Geography (A grade of B+ or better in World Geography is highly recommended, though the course is open to all students who are passionate about history and who are prepared for the challenge of a college-level course.)
Created by the College Board in 2002, AP World History is one of the newest AP courses offered by the College Board and like other AP courses, it is a college-level course offered to high school students. It was created in light of changes to the field of history to take a more global approach that is not centered on any single culture, but rather looks for larger global developments and connections between societies. Offered at the 10th grade level, the course is almost sure to be the most demanding course students have ever encountered- the homework load is heavier than a typical high school course, the students must work more independently than in other history courses, and the textbook and material require a level of analytical thinking higher than what is generally expected in high school courses. Unlike other classes, much of the focus in this class is on skills and strategies, with the “content” of the textbook largely as the students' responsibility to learn on their own. To succeed in this class, students will need to learn the content of their textbook on their own and demonstrate the ability to apply rather than simply recall that information. The course covers a huge scope (the last 10,000 years of the entire world!), and the pace of the class is very fast. The course will entail a lot of document analysis and essay writing, focusing on historical comparisons and changes/continuities over time. As defined by the College Board, the course examines five themes of history- 1) interactions between humans and their environment, 2) the development and interaction of cultures, 3) the political processes of state-building, expansion, and conflict, 4) the creation, expansion, and interaction of economic systems, and 5) the development and transformation of social structures. The AP exam is a requirement of the course, and many colleges and universities will issue credit depending on the score earned on the exam.
Prerequisite: World Geography
After a brief look at the “prehistory” of humankind, and the development of agriculture and the first river valley civilizations, the course explores the classical era of history, including Ancient Greece and Rome. The examination of civilizations will include geographic, economic, political, religious, and cultural factors, as well as the effects of cultures coming into contact with one another. The course will continue on to include the Middle Ages, Islamic civilization, the Renaissance, the Age of Exploration, the French Revolution and nation-building, the Scientific revolution and Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, the Age of Imperialism, and the causes, courses and consequences of the First World War. The course is further designed to provide an appreciation for the contributions made by different societies and individuals throughout history.
AP U.S. History
Prerequisite: World History or AP World History.
A grade of B+ or better in the above and/or permission of the instructor. Advanced Placement United States History surveys the period beginning with the first European explorations of the Americas all the way into the early 21st century. The course is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of U.S. history and to provide students with the analytical skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the problems and materials in U.S. history. Students should learn to analyze and interpret primary and secondary historical records, read maps, graphs and tabular data related to historical events, debate and discuss major historical questions and formulate and defend substantive theses based on their knowledge of U.S. history. All students are expected to become active learners who explore ideas and issues by developing logical and critical thought skills and is able to present this in a precise and personal style in both written and oral expression. The students should develop the ability to research information, process it, and present it in an organized fashion. The AP exam is a requirement of the course, and many colleges and universities will issue credit depending on the score earned on the exam.
Prerequisite: World History or AP World History
United States History surveys in a thematic approach the period from colonial times through the 19th century, and then slows down for a more in depth look at US history from 1900 to the present. The course will explore most major events and crises to understand how the United States has reached our current identity and position in the world. It is designed to help students acquire a knowledge of and appreciation for the contribution and sacrifices made by various individuals and groups throughout our nation’s history. Students will develop the ability to research information, process it, and present it in an organized fashion. The course is meant to help students better understand how and why the country took its course to arrive at its present state.
Prerequisite: U.S. History (or AP U.S. History)
This course provides an overview of the structure and actual workings of local, state, and national governments in the United States. It is designed to provide an appreciation for the way that political decisions are made and interact in the United States. All students are expected to become active learners who explore ideas and issues by developing logical and critical thought skills and are able to present this in a precise and personal style in both written and oral expression. The students should develop the ability to research information, process it, and present it in an organized fashion. Most topics are covered through careful reading of the textbook followed by a lecture and/or classroom discussion on the material. Videos, supplementary readings, and student research projects are occasionally used to enrich topics. Analysis of current events through the news media, political cartoons and editorials, and news "pundit" shows are also used. The ultimate goal of the course is to help students understand why out country is structured the way it is in order to have more informed opinions and to become good citizens able to make rational social justice decisions.
Prerequisite: U.S. History (or AP U.S. History)
The course is designed to provide an appreciation for the way that economic decisions are made and interact in the United States. It course covers both micro & macro economics -- looking at economic decisions made by individuals and small organizations up to large organizations such as labor unions and governments. Students will gain an understanding of the “language” of economics and how the decisions we make as consumers and producers affect a mixed capitalist economic system. Students will be able to critique the mixed capitalist system and how it compares to managed, socialist and traditional economic systems. We will also examine the securities and commodities markets, the relationship between consumer demand and producer supply, and marketing strategies. Lastly, the course will evaluate modern industrial economies in light of the concepts of social justice and social responsibility.
Contemporary United States History, “Surviving the Sixties”
This course offers students the opportunity to examine dramatic events and important cultural developments that occurred in American society during the tumultuous decade of the 1960s. To analyze how innocence and optimism changed to anger and despair in ten short years, and in part, to determine what effect this era has had on subsequent American life. Emphasis in this course is placed on the development of sound writing skills and active class participation. Particular focus is placed on critical thinking (i.e., interpreting the past, instead of merely accepting as fact what others have interpreted.) Through class discussions, readings and film, the students will also be asked to interpret many of the most radical cultural and societal changes in the any decade of the 1900's.
AP Human Geography
In the words of the College Board who designs AP courses: “The purpose of the AP Human Geography course is to introduce students to the systematic study of patterns and processes that have shaped human understanding, use and alteration of Earth’s surface. Students employ spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human social organization and its environmental consequences. They also learn about the methods and tools geographers use in their science and practice.” This class is about how and why people live as they do and about the reasons for the differences in how and why people live as they do in different places. After an introductory unit on the nature and perspectives of Geography, the course will follow a thematic rather than regional approach to human existence in the twenty-first century. Units will cover population, cultural patterns and processes, political organization of space, agricultural and rural land use, industrialization and economic development, cities and urban land use, and globalization.
This course is designed to help students understand the mechanisms and principles of the American justice system. Using landmark Supreme Court cases students will learn about legal principles, Constitutional law, legal concepts and terminology, and courtroom procedures. Emphasis is on applications of many principles developing critical thinking and questioning skills through the process of role-playing various roles in the justice system and trials. Other skills developed in this class will include preparing and organizing material, oral presentation and extemporaneous argument, along with listening skills leading into strategic thinking. Students will apply their skills in extracurricular mock trials with other schools.
Students at Mission College Preparatory High School have a core requirement in the sciences, beginning with Biology their freshman year, followed by Physics and Chemistry or Honors Chemistry their sophomore and junior years. The elective choices include AP Physics, AP Environmental Science, Honors Chemistry 2, and Health. The science faculty emphasize critical thinking in lab work, written essays, and classroom discussion. Technology plays a vital role in the curriculum, with extensive use of lab probes, computers, and iclicker student response systems. A goal of the department is for its students to gain such competency in science that many students will consider a science major in college, and all students can begin college level science courses with confidence.
Prerequisite: Freshman status.
This course covers the basic concepts of the life sciences. Students are introduced to the scientific method, cell biology, metabolism, human body systems, genetics, evolution, and ecology. Lab work is important and will give the student a "hands-on" experience with the topics being covered. Individual and group projects will also be used in assessment.
Prerequisite: Junior or Senior status.
Chemistry is the study of materials, their composition and properties, and the changes they undergo. This course will cover the basic facts and concepts of inorganic chemistry-preparing students for a college chemistry course. The students will be challenged to independently problem solve, as well as work cooperatively. Essays on tests require synthesis and analysis. Lab work will emphasize developing lab techniques, writing clear and detailed lab reports, and integrating lab experiences with the lecture material.
Prerequisite: Sophomore, Junior or Senior status.
Completion or concurrent enrollment in Algebra 2. Chemistry is the study of materials, their composition and properties, and the changes they undergo. This course will cover the basic facts and concepts of inorganic chemistry-preparing students for a college chemistry course. The students will be challenged to independently problem solve, as well as work cooperatively. Students are required to be enrolled in Algebra 2, Trigonometry, or Calculus. An understanding of the graphing calculator is expected, particularly graphing of data and linear/inverse regression. Essays on tests require synthesis and analysis. Lab work will emphasize developing lab techniques, writing clear and detailed lab reports, and integrating lab experiences with the lecture material.
Honors Chemistry 2
Prerequisite: Junior with concurrent enrollment in Science Core classes (Bio/Phys/Chem), Senior with concurrent or completion of Science Core classes.
This course continues the Honors Chemistry curriculum. Second year chemistry will provide an in-depth investigation of specialized areas of chemistry. Areas of study include advanced acid-base equilibrium, organic chemistry, biochemistry, electrochemistry, advanced oxidation-reduction, and qualitative analysis. Students will be introduced to college chemistry topics not ordinarily introduced until sophomore or junior years in college. A goal of the class is to develop confidence and competency in students so that they consider a science major when applying to college.
AP Environmental Science
Prerequisite: Junior/Senior level standing
AP Environmental science is designed for the student who expresses an interest in a greater understanding of natural forces as well as human interaction with and impact on the environment. Laboratory and field investigations comprise 20% or more of the class time, taught at the college level. The themes of the course include an understanding of the process of science, energy conversions underlie ecological processes, the Earth is one interconnected system, humans alter natural systems, and environmental problems have a cultural and social context. Possible investigations include water and soil samples, conducting long-term studies on a local ecosystem or environmental problem, analyzing real data sets, and visiting local public facilities such as a water-treatment plant. This course is designed to prepare students for the AP Environmental Science test.
Prerequisite: Sophomore, Junior or Senior status.
Completion of Algebra 1 and concurrent enrollment in Geometry or higher. Physics is the world we live in! We study how and why things work, from sound and light, to effects of solids, liquids and gases, to motion and forces affecting everyday objects, and even the universe. A conceptual approach is used in this year-long laboratory science. Light, sound and waves, behavior of solid, fluid and gaseous matter, and study of motion and forces are covered. Common misconceptions are identified and explained. Concepts are investigated in demos and labs and discussed and before basic algebraic formulas are introduced. This class does NOT use extensive mathematics, although Algebra 1 skills are used for basic problem solving in each unit.. Students will continue to develop their technical writing abilities on lab and project reports. Project work such as building bridges, catapults, hovercrafts, or Rube Goldberg machines is an essential component of the class.
Prerequisite: Sophomore, Junior or Senior status. Requires completion of Geometry with a B+ or A grade and concurrent enrollment in Algebra 2 or higher.
Physics is all about the world we live in! Honors Physics is a challenging course where you will learn through lecture, labs, demos, writing, labs and projects. We study how and why things work, from sound and light, to effects of the states of matter, to motion and forces affecting everyday objects, as well as the universe. A conceptual approach is used in this year-long laboratory science, augmented by significant problem solving based on basic physics equations, at the Algebra 2 level. Light, sound and waves, behavior of solid, fluid and gaseous matter, and study of motion and forces are covered. Concepts are often investigated in labs requiring significant reasoning, writing, and development of mathematical problem-solving abilities. Group project work such as building bridges, catapults, hovercrafts, or Rube Goldberg machines is an essential component of the class. This class provides valuable preparation for students planning to take AP Physics by introducing concepts and providing introductory work, but many topics are covered in this course that will not be covered in AP Physics. This class will prepare you for most topics on the Physics SAT-II. If you decide to take this test, you should allocate time outside of class to study for it.
AP Physics C – Mechanics
Prerequisite: Completion of Honors Precalculus with an A or B+ grade or completion of Trig/Math Analysis with an A grade. Concurrent enrollment in AP Calculus is strongly recommended.
AP Physics is appropriate for students with strong math skills interested in the science, engineering, math, and medical professions. It is a full-year laboratory physics course, taught at the college level. The class covers the recommended content for AP Physics C - Mechanics, including Newton’s Laws, kinematics, work & energy, momentum, circular motion and angular momentum. Mathematical and graphical analysis using trigonometry and beginning calculus are emphasized. Laboratory work is required, and a lab notebook should be kept to document your work. Lecture and problem solving take 80% of the course hours and labs take 20% of the time. All students must take the AP Physics C - Mechanics exam. AP Physics is extremely rigorous. It is an excellent course to take alongside AP Calculus. Every year, students who are in both classes say that they reinforce each other, and make each course a little easier.
Prerequisite: Junior with concurrent enrollment in Science Core classes (Bio/Phys/Chem), Senior with concurrent or completion of Science Core classes.
This semester-length laboratory elective course introduces electric circuit theory and basic circuit devices, including DC power supplies, resistors, capacitors, diodes, transistors, and small motors. Basic circuits and devices are investigated both theoretically (problem solving) and by using discrete components. Most work is completed in the classroom, little outside work is assigned. Soldering techniques are taught, and students build and keep mobile small, single-purpose robots. Electrical safety is emphasized. Programming robot functions is introduced using a graphing calculator interface (Basic-type language) and classroom robots. Sensor interfaces (temperature, light, motion detectors, etc.) are investigated and programmed to work with the robot.
Prerequisite: Junior with concurrent enrollment in Science Core classes (Bio/Phys/Chem), Senior with concurrent or completion of Science Core classes.
Astronomy is a semester long laboratory-based course that guides students through a series of inquiry-based projects involving physics and technology. This is course based on concepts, not math. Current events in astronomy are always covered. Students investigate formation of the solar system, stars, galaxies, and the origin of the universe. Real-time data are used from telescope and satellite web sites throughout the world, such as SOHO, Chandra, and the University of Arizona, and the NEAR project (asteroids). Applications of physics principles such as force and motion, energy transformations and the properties of light and other electromagnetic waves are incorporated. Classroom computers are used heavily, including star-locating software (Starry Night) and for internet research, enable students better understand our place in the universe.
Students are under the supervision of a classically trained professional chef. Students will experience “hands on” production of all the food eaten at both the high school and Old Mission Elementary. Students will prepare/taste all items prepared for morning break at MCP, dual lunch service for OMS and a creative lunch menu for MCP. Private lessons occur on Mondays and whenever OMS does not have lunch service. Areas covered within the course will include both personal and food safety, nutrition and menu planning with emphasis on using fresh quality products without preservatives. The class will stress organization in preparation while working in a team setting.