College Preparatory School for Girls Grades 3-12

Course Offerings

2016-2017 Course Booklet (PDF) - the same information can be found below:

Contact Information

Chris Lynch, Interim Upper School Director

Shay Squeglia, 11th Grade Class Dean

Joel Seltzer, History Department Chair

Ellen Case, English Department Chair

Stephanie Acerra, Math Department Chair

Cheryl Hansen, Science Department Chair

Roxanna Lopez, World Language Department Chair

Melissa Brown, Director of Global Education

Nandini Giridharadas, Art Department Chair

Mary Jane Pagenstecher, Director of Fine and Performing Arts

Julie Treadwell, Director of Athletics

Graduation Requirements

Graduation Requirements

A minimum of 21 credits including Core Courses in:

4

English

3

World Languages (3 credits in one language)

3

History and the Social Sciences (3 credits - The Ancient and Medieval World, The West in the World: 1492-1870, and The West in the World: 1871 to the Present)

3

Mathematics (3 credits, one of which is Algebra 2 and Trigonometry, in Upper School)

3

Science (3 credits, including Biology, in Upper School; one credit of science must be earned during grade 9)

2

Physical Education (2 credits, ½ credit for each semester or season, by taking physical education or dance classes or participating on interscholastic teams in Upper School; students are required to take Fundamentals of P.E. by the end of grade 10)

1

Fine or Performing Arts (1 credit, in Art, Music, Drama, or Dance, if not taken for P.E. credit)

Electives to complete requirements

The minimum course load in grade 9 is five major courses. In grades 10 through 12, the minimum load is four major courses each semester. The recommended course load for most students is five majors. Students may take six majors with permission of the Upper School Director, although carrying additional academic classes is not advised.

* To graduate, a student must have a 70 average in each of her last two years, and her final grade in Senior English must be at least a 70.

Community Service

Fifty hours in grades 9-11, to be completed by the beginning of the senior year; students may begin during the summer between grades 8 and 9.

Swimming Competency

Students must pass a swimming competency test by the end of the first semester of the senior year.

General Information

Additional Major Courses

Most Holton students carry five major courses during each of their four years in the Upper School. Given the academic rigor of the Upper School, it is not recommended that students carry more than five major courses. However, we do recognize that on occasion a student may have exceptional interests or circumstances that warrant taking more than five major courses. If a student wishes to take six major courses in any semester, she must write a letter of petition to the Upper School Director. This letter should be submitted when she hands in her proposed course selections in the spring. It should cite which of her courses will be her “sixth” and address her reasons for needing to take the course in the coming academic year. Please note that in order to maintain reasonable class and section sizes, a student wishing to take a sixth major will only be allowed as numbers permit.

Community Service

The goals of Holton’s Community Service requirement are to increase each student’s awareness of community needs and to provide her with an opportunity for service which carries with it the possibility of enhancing her sensitivity to others and a sense of her own effectiveness. To reach this end, each student is required to participate in the Middle School Community Service Program and in 50 hours of individual community service in the Upper School. A project proposal, to be submitted before initiation of the service project, is due before the end of the junior year. Projects must be completed before the beginning of the senior year. Students may begin their Upper School community service requirement hours as early as the summer between grades 8 and 9. Complete guidelines are available online, in the Upper School Office, and from the Community Service Coordinator.

Senior Project

During the month of May, each senior undertakes a senior project which she designs and, subject to Senior Project Committee approval, carries out. Some explore possible future careers; others select social service work or creative pursuits. On their return to school at the end of May, seniors meet to discuss and evaluate their experiences. They also submit a journal describing their project experience.

Students whose academic commitments for graduation have not been fulfilled may not do a senior project until those requirements are met.

Consortium Courses

Effective 2014-2015, Holton will no longer offer classes through the consortium. However, a limited number of coordinate classes will be offered in conjunction with Landon. These classes meet outside the school day, either at 7 a.m. or in the evening.

Audit

An Upper School student may audit a course with the permission of the instructor. Arrangements for auditing are made at the beginning of the course. Guidelines are available in the Upper School Office.

Pass/Fail Option

Students in grades 10, 11, and 12 have the option of taking a fifth subject on a Pass/Fail basis. No course taken in satisfaction of a graduation requirement may be taken Pass/Fail. Guidelines are available in the Upper School Office.

Advanced Placement

Students enrolled in AP classes are required to take the Advanced Placement exam for each AP class in which they are enrolled.

Elective Courses

Elective courses will run only if there is sufficient enrollment.

Online School for Girls

Each year a select list of courses is also offered through OSG. Holton will cover the tuition for a student taking an approved class as one of her five major classes. If a student enrolls in an OSG class as one of six major classes, her family must cover the tuition. For further information, click here.

Global Education

Beginning in 2014, students who complete a specialized global curriculum including four years of Upper School study in a World Language and Global Issues and Perspectives, a Junior Journey, and a senior capstone project will receive a Global Scholar designation on their transcript and be recognized at Graduation. (Students who wish to be recognized as a Global Scholar may not also pursue the STEM Scholar designation.)

STEM Scholars

The STEM Scholars program offers students who demonstrate interest, complete required applied science and math opportunities, and achieve a high level in related academic course work at Holton the designation of STEM Scholar. This designation is noted on transcripts and recognized at Commencement. The Class of 2014 is the first class eligible to receive the STEM Scholar designation. (Students who wish to pursue the STEM Scholar designation may not also pursue the Global Scholar designation.)

Suggested Program by Grade Level

GRADE SEVEN

Required:

  • English 7
  • Chinese, French, Latin, or Spanish
  • Mathematics 7
  • World Studies
  • Science 7
  • Art; Guidance; Health; Music; Tools for Learning; Computational Thinking: Explorations
  • Middle School Athletics

Electives:

  • Chorus, Handbells, Strings, Winds, Production Technology

GRADE EIGHT
Required:

  • English 8
  • Chinese, French, Latin, or Spanish
  • Pre-Algebra 8 or Algebra 1 (by recommendation)
  • U.S. Political History: Foundations of American Government
  • Science 8
  • Speech
  • Middle School Athletics
  • Health

Electives to fulfill the Arts requirement

  • Art, Chorus, Handbells, Strings, Winds, Music Technology, Drama, Production Technology

GRADE NINE
Required:

  • English 9
  • Algebra 1 or Geometry
  • Physics
  • World Languages, level 1 or 2
  • Ancient & Medieval World
  • Health Skills
  • Physical Education

Also recommended: one Fine & Performing Arts elective each semester.

  • Fine Arts: Ceramics, Photography, Studio Art
  • Performing Arts: Chorus, Strings, Winds, Drama, Dance, Music Technology, Handbells

Freshman Fall Activity Requirement:

All students in grade 9 must participate in a fall extra-curricular activity at school. Choices include participating on a fall athletic team, serving as a member of the cast or crew of the fall drama production, or joining the 9th Grade Community Service “team.” If numbers allow, outdoor education may also be offered. Preseason for fall athletics begins on August 22, 2016 and runs for two weeks prior to the start of classes. Students who join the other activities must attend “Freshman Fall Activity Day” on September 1, 2016, which is the day prior to Freshman Orientation (required for all).

GRADE TEN
Required:

  • English 10
  • Geometry or Algebra 2 and Trigonometry
  • World Languages, level 2 or 3
  • The West in the World: 1492-1870 (Core 1)
  • Science – Chemistry
  • Physical Education: Fundamentals, if not taken in grade 9

Electives:

  • Fine Arts: Ceramics, Photography, Studio Art
  • Performing Arts: Chorus, Strings, Winds, Drama, Dance, Music Technology, Handbells

GRADE ELEVEN
Required:

  • English 11
  • World Languages, level 3 or 4
  • Algebra 2 and Trigonometry or Pre-calculus
  • The West in the World: 1871 to the Present (Core II)
  • Science (Biology; AP Chemistry (permission only))
  • Global Perspectives (if planning to participate in Global Education Junior Journey)
  • Molecular and Microbiology or Computer Programming and Robotics (if participating in Science Research program at end of year)

Electives:

  • Courses in Fine or Performing Arts, Health, Physical Education, if requirement not yet met

GRADE TWELVE
Required:

  • English 12
  • History, if requirement not yet met
  • Mathematics, if requirement not yet met
  • Physical Education, if requirement not yet met
  • Science, if requirement not yet met
  • World Languages, if requirement not yet met

Suggested:

  • 5 major courses, one in each academic discipline, and performing arts.

English

Department Chair: Ellen Case

The English program provides students with the skills and insights necessary for academic competence and for growth as independent and creative individuals. It introduces students to the literary genres and to many of the great writers. It helps students to see literature as an art form, and as a way to know the world and to extend and understand their own experience. It trains students to be accurate, thoughtful readers and to write clear, correct, and fluent English. Students take English each year in the Middle and Upper Schools.

Four credits of upper school English and a final grade of at least 70 in Senior English are required for graduation.

ENG07 English 7

Grade level: 7
(required)

This course concentrates on the development of basic skills necessary in all subject areas: reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary, research, and discussion. Students study the Arthurian legend, Habibi, poetry,Two Old Women, and A Raisin in the Sun. Writing activities include expository and creative writing.

ENG08 English 8

Grade level: 8
(required)

Students study a variety of genres: short stories, poetry, novels (The House on Mango Street and To Kill a Mockingbird), and a Shakespearean comedy (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). The writing program includes critical as well as creative and personal writing, using topics derived from literature read in class.

ENG09 English 9

Grade level: 9
Credit: 1

(required)

This course familiarizes students with Greco-Roman mythology to provide a frame of reference for understanding universal themes and allusions in art and literature. The students look for these themes as they study The Odyssey, Romeo and Juliet, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Catcher in the Rye, Persepolis,and poetry. In composition, students practice skills in writing paragraphs, essays, and narratives. The course also includes grammar, vocabulary study, research, and speech skills.

ENG10 English 10

Grade level: 10
Credit: 1
(required)

This course stresses skills in close textual reading and expository writing techniques. Students read novels by Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter) and F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby), and a variety of short stories by great American writers. Students also read personal essays, poetry, and plays and write an extensive properly-documented research paper. The class emphasizes vocabulary skills and the basic rules and usage errors of English grammar.

ENG11 English 11

Grade Level: 11
Credit: 1
(required)

This course introduces students to major writers in each of the significant periods of English history from the Anglo-Saxons to the Romantics to the Post-colonial novel. Students study works from a variety of genres—epic poetry, lyric poetry, plays, and novels—to examine the major themes of British literature. Texts include Beowulf, Gardner’s Grendel, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, and Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions. The writing program is primarily expository and includes vocabulary study.

Please note: Students prepare for the English AP examinations in Language and Composition and in Literature in review sessions outside of class.

SENIOR ENGLISH

Grade Level: 12
Credit: 1
(required)

Seniors elect one of the following sections of English 12. Course availability is subject to sufficient enrollment. All English 12 courses conclude with a term paper.

The first semester of this course is designed to help seniors write effectively and to become discriminating judges of their own work. All teachers use Ken Macrorie’s Telling Writing as the basic text. Students read aloud what they write for class, hear comments and suggestions, then rewrite and revise. They also study the writing of professionals and end the course by writing a short story or cultural narrative of their own.

ENG123 English 12/Love in Literature

This course examines women in their relationships with family, friends, lovers, and significant others of all types in fiction and drama. Students read novels and plays that present various roles of women (wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, sex object, ideal, spinster), keeping in mind what Coleridge believed — that a great mind is androgynous. Works include Toni Morrison’s Beloved and others chosen by the class; recent groups have read Nabokov’s Lolita, Chopin’s The Awakening, Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, and Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Impossibly Close.

ENG124 English 12/Banned Books

This course explores the reasons public officials and ordinary citizens alike have tried to limit what others can read, despite the First Amendment protections Americans think they have. We will start with Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, which was banned immediately upon its publication as the “veriest trash. . . suited to the slums”, even though years later others called it “the best book we’ve had” and “the book with which we as a literary people began.” The class will select other classic works considered dangerous, offensive, or both, from the list of “100 Most Frequently Challenged Books” over the last 10 years. Writers will likely include Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood, John Steinbeck, and Kurt Vonnegut.

ENG 125 English 12/Sixties Protest Literature

John Lennon said, “We were all on this ship in the sixties, our generation, a ship going to discover the New World.” This course aims to make the sixties come alive for seniors through the literature that defined and influenced the era. The words of the writers and musicians under study helped fuel the civil rights movement, black power, the women’s liberation movement, and the fight against the Vietnam War. Authors will include: Malcolm X, Norman Mailer, Ken Kesey, Eldridge Cleaver, Sylvia Plath, and Bob Dylan.

ENG126 English 12/War and Literature

This course will examine how artists portray the experience of war in works of art. Students will read works of poetry, fiction, memoir, and drama and also explore other evocations of war—in the visual arts, music, and film. Recognizing that art both reflects and reshapes the way we think, the class will look at how war literature has changed society’s views of war and how war has changed artists’ visions. The course will begin with a brief review of early texts about war and then focus primarily on the works of the twentieth century. Works will include excerpts from Homer, Shakespeare, and the WWI war poets, Catch 22, and The Things They Carried among others. We will also read critical works such as Paul Fussel’s The Great War and Modern Memory. Students will participate in the teaching as leaders of discussion.

ENG127 English 12/Shakespeare

Students will read four of Shakespeare’s finest plays: Hamlet, King Lear, and two plays to be selected. The course will be run as a seminar, with students taking some responsibility for leading discussion on different elements in each play, including the concept of a tragic hero, parent-child relationships, the role of women, and controversies related to race and religion. To the degree possible, we will see local productions of the plays and compare different film versions of them.

English FAQs

How are students grouped for English classes?

Students are placed in heterogeneous groups for English classes in grades 7-12. In the senior year, students choose from a variety of electives. Juniors and Seniors may prepare for the English AP exams (Literature and Language and Composition) outside of class.

How are reading selections made?

Teachers choose for each grade level a mix of readings which represent a range of traditional and less traditional texts, challenging and more accessible works. Grades 9 and 10 are genre courses where students read examples of each of the four main literary genres: novel, short story, poetry, and drama. Grade 11 offers an historical perspective on British literature. The course begins with a postcolonial novel by Tsitsi Dangaremga and then moves back to Beowulf. The first semester of Grade 12 is a required course in personal writing; electives begin in January. Please see the course catalogue for a sampling of the texts read at each grade level and the electives currently offered for the senior year.

What kind of writing program do you offer? Do students get a chance to do creative writing?

The English Department believes that all writing is to some extent creative. The purpose of most writing assignments in Upper School, however, is to help students develop and refine their skills in exposition, i.e., writing organized to defend a thesis statement with appropriate evidence on both literary and non-literary subjects. Expository essays usually consist of an introduction, several body paragraphs, and a conclusion. At every level there is also some opportunity to write in a less structured or less formal way. Examples are a poem in the voice of an Odyssey character in grade 9, personal essays in grade 10, an original Pilgrim’s Tale in the style of Chaucer in grade 11, and personal narratives in grade 12 which are the focus of the fall semester for all students.

Which research activities are offered through English classes in Upper School?

Students have a wide variety of research opportunities in Upper School English classes. In grade 9, a research project accompanies the study of Persepolis on the background of the Iranian Revolution. Grade 10 is home to the Term Paper: a 2,500-word paper on a general (non-literary) topic. In grade 11, students research a trade or profession from the Middle Ages and write their own Pilgrim’s Tale on the model of Chaucer and use critical sources to write a long paper on Pride and Prejudice or Wuthering Heights. A term paper on a subject related to each elective is part of every senior course.

What sort of preparation is available for standardized tests?

The verbal and writing sections of the PSAT, SAT and Subject Test in Literature test a student’s skills in reading comprehension, vocabulary, basic English grammar, and expository writing. Our curriculum is designed to develop and refine these foundational skills throughout the Upper School years.

Is AP English offered?

Juniors and Seniors who wish to take one or both of the AP exams in English are encouraged to do so. Unlike the AP exams in other disciplines, the AP exams in English are not based on a list of required texts or required units as set by the College Board. The Upper School English curriculum in general, and the readings assigned in different senior electives in particular, provide the experiences necessary for most students to perform well on these tests. Beginning in February, students who plan to take either of these exams in May meet in weekly review sessions to become acquainted with the format of the test and to polish their skills on sample questions available from the College Board.


History and the Social Sciences

Department Chair: Joel Seltzer

The History and Social Sciences faculty believes that an understanding of the past is essential in cultivating responsible global and democratic citizenship. Together with our students, we strive to make sense of a complex world by exploring the history of individual countries in a global context, utilizing themes to connect historical events, and deepening our understanding of world cultures. By sharing our passion for studying the forces that shape our world, we inspire life-long learning and motivate students to lead lives of “positive influence.”

In seventh grade, students explore the seven elements of culture by focusing on civilizations in the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa. Eighth grade students examine the historical development of the United States government. In ninth grade, students study the ancient and medieval world. In the tenth and eleventh grades, students simultaneously study the history of the United States and Europe in a global context. Our elective program is designed to encourage students to pursue their interests in other social sciences and histories.

Three (3) credits in history are required for graduation: The Ancient and Medieval World, The West in the World: 1492-1870, and The West in the World: 1871 to the Present.

HSS070 World Studies
Grade level: 7
(required)

This course approaches the regions of the world by looking at geographic, economic, political, social, historical, and cultural aspects of human activity. Major units include regional studies in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Themes typically include political and cultural history, economic development, the effects of colonization, current events, and an introduction to the world’s major religions. Students apply their knowledge in evaluating historical events as they apply to conditions in today’s rapidly changing world. Students develop reading, writing, and research skills necessary for the study of history and social studies. The course includes a field trip relevant to one of our units of study. Sources include text, films, news articles, websites, and other media sources.

HSS080 U.S. Political History: Foundations of American Government
Grade level: 8
(required)

In this course, students study United States history with a spotlight on American government. Topics include the origins, evolution, organization, and operation of American government. The course delves into the foundations of American government based on Greek and Roman influences as well as the Magna Carta. Students examine events leading to the American Revolution and establish a base for investigating the Constitutional Convention. The chronology continues to the present with a focus on the functions of the three branches of government within particular historical contexts. Students will explore these topics through readings, research projects, field trips in the nation’s capital, and discussion of current events.

HSS090 The Ancient & Medieval World
Grade level: 9
Credit: 1
(required)

This course serves as an introduction to the discipline of history and includes significant work with primary sources. The societies studied include those in China, India, Africa, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and Europe. Students will explore the development of religion, government organization, social structures, economic exchange, technology, and examples of visual art, architecture, and literature. Throughout the year, students will work to develop their skills in reading, speaking, note-taking, technology and, most importantly, analytical thinking and writing. Each semester of the course culminates with a research project that draws upon resources both within and outside the Holton community.

HSS100 The West in the World: 1492-1870
HSS100H The West in the World: 1492-1870, Honors
Grade level: 10
(required)
Credit: 1

This is the first year of our two-year sequence emphasizing the interrelationship between American and European history, as well as the relationship of both to the wider world. The course begins with the Renaissance in Europe and the Age of Exploration that led to the first contact between Europeans and Native Americans and the origins of black slavery. The American and French Revolutions are examined as part of the same transatlantic revolutionary age. The course continues with an examination of the industrial revolution and its effects: the expansion of American democracy and the American frontier, the explosion of the forces of nationalism, liberalism, and socialism as well as the countervailing forces of conservatism. The climax of the year comes with the national unification movement in Germany as well as the expansion of slavery and the Civil War in the United States. A multi-day experiential exploration of the Civil War concludes this course.

HSS110 The West in the World: 1871 to the Present
HSS110AP The West in the World: 1871 to the Present, Advanced Placement
Grade level: 11
Credit: 1
(required)

This course is the second year of investigation of European and American history in a global context. Major themes include mass movements of the political right and left, the growth of political consciousness among women and minorities in America, as well as colonial peoples throughout the world, the growing acceptance on the part of government of responsibility for the welfare of their people, and the increasing influence on the West of events and ideas of the non-Western world. An Advanced Placement section is available that prepares and requires students to take both the European History and United States History Advanced Placement examinations.

HSS124 Advanced Placement History of Art
Grade level: 11, 12
Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Departmental Permission)

A global survey of diverse art historical traditions from prehistory through the present. In addition to analyzing the form and content of works of art, students investigate how context shapes artists’ decisions. Topics include patronage, intended function, viewer response, and ways that works of art reflect, reinforce, or challenge societal values. Students learn to compare and contrast works of art from different chronological and regional traditions. The course includes monthly visits to Washington museums. Students prepare for and are required to take the Advanced Placement exam.

HSS128 What is Religion?
Grade Level: 11, 12
Credit: 1

Objectives of this course include an exploration of religion as a significant component of social organization and an introduction to the five major religions of the world: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The course will focus on understanding the salient principles of the major religions, as well as their historical origins and significant evolutions. The course will also address these religions as living traditions observed by a majority of the world’s population, with consideration given both to the enduring appeal of religious devotion in modern contexts and to recent and contemporary issues of religious conflict affecting our global society. Readings for the course will draw from Huston Smith’s The World’s Religions, scriptural sources, and studies of ritual practices and religious art and architecture. The course is primarily discussion-based with an emphasis on class participation, student presentations, and personal-response writing assignments. Films, podcasts, and field trips to local museums and places of worship will serve as supplements to course reading materials. Offered if numbers allow.

HSS260 Advanced Placement Psychology
Grade level: 12
Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Departmental Permission)

The AP Psychology course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and animals. Students are exposed to the major core concepts and theories of psychology, including the biological, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, psychodynamic, and sociocultural perspectives. Most importantly, students will learn the basic skills of psychological research and apply psychological concepts to their own lives. Students prepare for and are required to take the Advanced Placement exam.

HSS190 Advanced Placement U.S. Government
Grade level: 12
Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Departmental Permission)

This course integrates one semester of A.P. U.S. Government with selected global and local issues. Students learn about the institutions of American government, public opinion and voter behavior, public policy, and civil rights. Students link textbook concepts to real world situations by relating current news stories, both domestic and global, to their studies. The course also includes an examination of a variety of media that can be used to convey political messages including film, cartoons and music. The year begins with an examination of challenges facing inner cities in America, including poverty, education, drugs, politics, the urban environment, and the police. The centerpiece of this part of the course is the epic history of a year in the life of inner-city Baltimore, The Corner, by David Simon and Edward Burns, and the HBO miniseries based upon this work.

HSS200 Advanced Placement Economics: Microeconomics
HSS205 Advanced Placement Economics: Macroeconomics
Grade level: 11, 12
Credit: ½
(Prerequisite: Departmental Permission Co-requisite: Pre-calculus or higher)

A study of microeconomic theory that prepares and requires students to take the Advanced Placement examination in Microeconomics. Microeconomics studies the production and distribution of products by analyzing choices made by consumers and firms. Topics include market analysis, consumer choice, individual market demand and supply, cost of production, competition and monopoly, and equilibrium analysis. This course uses data and requires a strong working knowledge of algebra, but it should be accessible to any student enrolled in pre-calculus or above.

A study of macroeconomic theory that prepares and requires students to take the Advanced Placement examination in Macroeconomics. Macroeconomics investigates how an entire economy functions, focusing on total output, inflation, and growth over time. Topics include measuring GDP, inflation and economic growth, aggregate demand and supply, employment, investment and capital, economic growth, money and monetary policy, fiscal policy, the business cycle, trading with the world, and the dollar. This course uses data and requires a strong working knowledge of algebra, but it should be accessible to any student enrolled in pre-calculus or above.

HSS300 Global Perspectives

Grade level: 11 Credit ¼ (Required for students participating in Junior Journeys.)

This one semester minor class is designed to give students the foundation necessary to link what they are learning in their courses to the role they will play in an increasingly global world. We hope the course will promote intellectual curiosity, encourage students to investigate their world, and help them become active agents of change. In this discussion-based class, students will interact with guest speakers, faculty, and media sources as they investigate challenges and opportunities in Latin America, West Africa, and the Indian subcontinent. While this class will culminate in the Global Education Journeys to China, Costa Rica, India, and Rwanda during the summer after grade 11, it is open to, and valuable for, all juniors and approved seniors. The course does not have regular homework and it will be graded high-pass, pass, fail.

History FAQs

What is “Core” and why does it have that name?

The official title of the 10th-11th grade course is “The West in the World.” As we created the course, we asked ourselves the question, “What is the core historical knowledge a graduating student needs as she leaves Holton-Arms?” We referred to the curriculum that emerged as “the core,” and students picked it up because it was so much easier to refer to than the longer, more descriptive title.

The two-year sequence teaches American History in the context in which it occurred. The grade 10 year is primarily U.S. and European History, and the grade 11 year is U.S. History in a Global Context. The AP section of grade 11 prepares students for both the AP European History and the AP American History examinations, so that section continues to have more American-European content.

Why don’t you teach American and European histories separately?

The histories of different civilizations happened at the same time and constantly affected one another. Students understand their own history better if they learn it in the context in which it happened.

Why do you offer an Honors section in grade 10?

We believe that it allows us to better meet the needs of individual students. Since students develop intellectually at different rates and differ in their ability to handle increasingly complex reading assignments, we feel it is in the best interests of all our students to provide more choice in selecting the pacing and depth that best serve their needs.

If my daughter does not take Honors in grade 10, can she ever take an AP in history?

Yes, a student who shows she is capable of handling AP work in her grade 10 year will be able to enroll in AP history in grade 11. She will have to do some extra work over the summer to make up for what she missed, but the AP teacher will help guide her. In addition, AP History of Art, AP Economics, AP Psychology, and AP US Government are open to all students for whom those courses are appropriate, no matter what history they have taken in grade 10 or grade 11.

How do I know if Honors or AP is a good choice for my daughter?

Start by having her ask her teacher. If she likes studying history, reads well, and has a good record of success in the history courses she has taken, she probably should at least consider an advanced program.


Mathematics

Department Chair: Stephanie Acerra

The Mathematics Department at Holton-Arms offers a sequence of rigorous courses that cover traditional college preparatory material. At the same time, Holton recognizes that all girls do not acquire mathematical skills at the same rate or develop the ability for abstract thinking at the same age. There is no grade 9 mathematics course, for instance; rather, our offerings provide a variety of placement options at a given grade level. The goal of placement decisions is to offer each girl a course that challenges her and allows her to take risks, but at the same time provides her with a reasonable opportunity to experience the satisfaction of success.

In Middle School, students review and extend their understanding of skills and concepts in arithmetic, geometry, number theory, and probability and statistics begun in Lower School before embarking on a full course in Algebra 1. Students entering the Middle School having completed a pre-algebra course have the opportunity to place into Algebra 1 Honors in the grade 7. After the first year of algebra, all students study Geometry followed by Algebra 2 and Trigonometry. Goals for students throughout the sequence include mastery of fundamental operations along with development of calculator and problem solving skills and an appreciation for the structure and applications of mathematics. Students are required to have a TI-84 Plus graphing calculator beginning in Algebra 1.

The Mathematics Department recognizes the importance of having students work with data throughout the curriculum. In many courses, including Algebra 2 & Trigonometry and Precalculus, students are given the opportunity to learn about the modeling of functions by using data taken from real world situations. The girls will learn how to apply “continuous mathematics” to data taken from disciplines including science, politics, and current events.

Although any student’s greatest resource is herself, she will, at Holton, learn that even more can be accomplished through working with her classmates and teachers. Individual conversations and one-to-one help sessions between a student and her mathematics teacher are an integral part of the Holton experience.

Three credits are required for graduation: one of which is Algebra 2 & Trigonometry.

MA070 Pre-Algebra Fundamentals
Grade level: 7
(Required if not taking Pre-Algebra 7)

This course is an integrated study of arithmetic, algebra, and geometry. Topics include properties of and operations with real numbers, exponents, square roots, and elementary geometric concepts, and problems. The concept of a variable is introduced to provide a background for elementary algebra. Emphasis is placed on reading a mathematics textbook and understanding how to picture mathematical concepts. This course utilizes activities, labs, games, and projects to help students comprehend and master the topics of the course.

MA075 Pre-Algebra 7
MA075A Pre-Algebra 7 Accelerated
Grade level: 7
(Prerequisite: Departmental Permission)

This course continues students’ preparation for algebra and is designed to address four main topics: number theory, statistics, geometry and basic algebra skills. In number theory students explore the number system through use of patterns, fractions, decimals, and percents. The statistics unit examines probability, data collection, data presentation, and decision-making. The geometry unit investigates properties and patterns of geometric shapes and theories. Students are exposed to methods and skills of manipulating symbolic representations. This course utilizes activities, labs, games, and projects to help students comprehend and master the topics of the course. An accelerated section is available for qualified students, if numbers allow.

MA080 Intro to Algebra
Grade level: 8
(Required if not taking Algebra 1)

This course concludes the general mathematics program with a review of the fundamentals of arithmetic. Word problems and the language, vocabulary, and notation used in mathematics are stressed. Topics from geometry include conceptualization of perimeter, area, and volume, and relationships in a circle. Emphasis is also given to equations in one variable and other basic abstractions of beginning algebra.

MA080A Algebra 1
MA080H Algebra 1 Honors

Grade level: 7 or 8
Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Departmental Permission)

This course includes the study of signed numbers, operations with literal expressions, factoring, fractions, linear equations and systems of linear equations, fractional equations, radicals, quadratic and exponential equations, and their applications to problems. Students are expected to become facile with the basic techniques of factoring and simplifying expressions. The ideas and rules of algebra learned in this course form the foundation for much of high school math and science. An honors section is available for qualified students, if numbers allow.

MA085H Geometry 8 Honors
Grade level: 8
Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Algebra 1; Departmental Permission)

This rigorous course in geometry integrates coordinates and transformations with a traditional approach to 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional Euclidean geometry. A variety of methods will be used to prove geometric theorems. We approach and solve problems from different perspectives to gain an appreciation of the interconnectivity among concepts in mathematics. Writing will be used to help students develop their understanding of geometry by applying concepts to their own experiences and constructing meaning for mathematical symbols, procedures and concepts. Technology, including but not limited to Geometer's Sketchpad, will be incorporated regularly to strengthen and explore geometric properties. The ability to absorb and master large amounts of material quickly and with little review is essential.

MA090 Algebra 1
Grade level: 9
Credit: 1
(Required if not taking Geometry)

This course is a study of elementary algebra, based on the elements, operations, and properties of the set of real numbers. Emphasis is placed on developing students’ skills in factoring and multiplying polynomials; solving linear, quadratic, and systems of equations; and solving inequalities and word problems.

MA095 Geometry
Grade level: 9, 10
Credit: 1
(Required; Prerequisite: Algebra 1; Departmental Permission)

This introductory course in geometry integrates coordinates and transformations with a traditional approach to 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional Euclidean geometry. A variety of methods will be used to prove geometric theorems. We approach and solve problems from different perspectives to gain an appreciation of the interconnectivity among concepts in mathematics. Writing will be used to help students develop their understanding of geometry by applying concepts to their own experiences and constructing meaning for mathematical symbols, procedures and concepts. Technology, including but not limited to Geometer's Sketchpad, will be incorporated regularly to strengthen and explore geometric properties.

MA095H Geometry Honors
Grade level: 9
Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Algebra 1; Departmental Permission)

This rigorous course in geometry integrates coordinates and transformations with a traditional approach to 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional Euclidean geometry. A variety of methods will be used to prove geometric theorems. We approach and solve problems from different perspectives to gain an appreciation of the interconnectivity among concepts in mathematics. Writing will be used to help students develop their understanding of geometry by applying concepts to their own experiences and constructing meaning for mathematical symbols, procedures and concepts. Technology, including but not limited to Geometer's Sketchpad, will be incorporated regularly to strengthen and explore geometric properties. The ability to absorb and master large amounts of material quickly and with little review is essential.

MA105 Algebra 2 & Trigonometry
Grade level: 10, 11
Credit: 1
(Required; Prerequisites: Algebra 1 & Geometry)

This course includes a study of linear, quadratic, and polynomial functions, systems of equations in two and three variables, inequalities, complex numbers, variation, conic sections, exponential and logarithmic functions, and trigonometric functions, including applications. This is a more structured Algebra 2 and Trigonometry course than Algebra 2 and Trigonometry with Data Analysis.

MA105A Algebra 2 and Trigonometry with Data Analysis
Grade level: 9, 10, 11
Credit: 1
(Prerequisites: Algebra1 & Geometry; Departmental Permission)

This course includes a study of functions (linear, quadratic, polynomial, and rational), systems of equations in two and three variables, inequalities and complex numbers, variation, conic sections, exponential and logarithmic functions, and trigonometric functions. The focus is on the representation of problems algebraically, numerically and graphically. Applications include an introduction to data analysis and modeling through the introduction of regression analysis.

MA105H Algebra 2 and Trigonometry with Data Analysis Honors
Grade level: 9, 10, 11
Credit: 1
(Prerequisites: Geometry; Departmental Permission)

This second-year algebra course consists of a thorough and fast-paced study of algebra and an extensive study of trigonometry. Its emphasis is on the structure of mathematical systems and their underlying concepts. The focus is on the representation of problems algebraically and graphically. Topics include a study of functions (linear, quadratic, polynomial, and rational), systems of equations in two and three variables, inequalities and complex numbers, variation, conic sections, exponential and logarithmic functions, and trigonometric functions. Applications include an introduction to data analysis and modeling through the introduction of regression analysis. Strong algebraic skills are presumed. The ability to absorb and master large amounts of material quickly and with little review is essential for success in an honors course.

MA115 Functions of Precalculus
Grade level: 11, 12
Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Algebra 2 and Trigonometry or Algebra 2 and Trigonometry with Data Analysis)

This course is for students who want to develop a fuller understanding of earlier courses and to explore applications of mathematics. Topics include properties of functions, matrices, sequences and series, logarithms, trigonometry, and probability, as well as a review of elementary algebra.

MA120 Precalculus
Grade level: 10, 11, 12
Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Algebra 2 and Trigonometry or Algebra 2 and Trigonometry with Data Analysis; Departmental Permission)

This rigorous course prepares students for study of the Calculus. Functions are emphasized, including polynomial and rational, circular (trigonometric), exponential, and logarithmic functions. Other topics may include matrices and determinants, sequences and series, the binomial theorem, probability, and limits. A strong recall and working knowledge of Geometry and Algebra 2 and Trigonometry are essential for success in this class.

MA120H Precalculus Honors

Grade level: 10, 11
Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Algebra 2 and Trigonometry with Data Analysis Honors; Departmental Permission)

This course includes an extensive study of trigonometric, exponential, and logarithmic functions. Particular attention is paid to the properties of their graphs. Other topics include polynomials, analytic geometry, matrices and determinants, sequences and series, the binomial theorem, polar coordinates, and probability. During the fourth quarter, students begin their formal study of calculus. The ability to absorb and master large amounts of material quickly and with little review of Geometry and Algebra 2 and Trigonometry is essential. Offered if numbers allow.

MA130 Introduction to Calculus
Grade level: 12
Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Precalculus or Departmental Permission)

This course provides students with an intuitive approach to the fundamentals of differential calculus and integral calculus. The language of calculus will play an important role in developing the definitions of derivatives and integrals. Focusing on algebraic functions, students explore limits, leading to the definition of derivative. The concepts of average and instantaneous rate of change are investigated. We develop the rules of differentiation, including the chain rule and implicit differentiation, and apply them to problems in optimization, related rates, and curve sketching. We will introduce the concepts of finding area under a curve, the integral regarded as the anti-derivative, and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. Applications of integration are also included. Generally, the content of this course is not as broad or as deep as the content of Calculus AB. Offered if numbers allow.

MA190 Advanced Placement Statistics
Grade level: 11, 12
Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Algebra 2 and Trigonometry with Data Analysis and Departmental Permission Co-Requisite (for 11’s): Precalculus or higher)

The course follows the syllabus for the Advanced Placement examination in Statistics. Students study the tools for collecting, organizing, and displaying data. They learn about planning and conducting surveys and experiments and drawing conclusions from their results. The course includes probability, the properties of the normal distribution, and statistical inference. Offered if numbers allow. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP Statistics exam.

MA200 Advanced Placement Calculus: AB
Grade level: 11, 12
Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Precalculus and Departmental Permission *)

This rigorous course follows the syllabus for the Advanced Placement examination in Calculus AB. Topics include functions, analytic geometry, limits, differentiation, and integration.

* This permission is seldom granted unless a student has earned at least a B in Precalculus. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP Calculus AB exam.

MA200BC Advanced Placement Calculus: BC

Grade level: 11, 12 Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Precalculus Honors and Departmental Permission)

This course covers a syllabus that is both more intensive and more extensive than that of Calculus AB. Some additional topics covered are vectors, parametrically defined curves, and infinite series. Students taking this course should come with a thorough knowledge of limits, continuity, and the derivative and its applications. Offered if numbers allow. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP Calculus BC exam.

MALA01 Multivariable Calculus
Grade level: 11,12
Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: AP Calculus AB or BC)

This advanced level math course, designed for students who have completed the BC Advanced Placement syllabus, deals with functions of more than one independent variable. Topics will include partial differentiation, multiple integrals, vector-valued functions and differential operators, Stokes’ and Green’s Theorems and methods of differential equations. The physical concepts of flux, circulation, divergence and work will receive special attention, as will the central notion of a conservative field. Class will meet at 7 a.m. three mornings per week at Landon.

MA096 History of Mathematics
Grade Level: 10, 11, 12
Credit: ¼
(Prerequisite: Completion of Algebra 2 and Trigonometry)

Everybody is aware of the usefulness of mathematics. Its practical applications extend from engineering to astronomy, from business to medicine to urban planning. But not everyone is aware of its fascinating nature. In the words of Bertrand Russell, “mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty – a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show.” In this course we will explore this side of mathematics, as an unmatched creative pursuit that will lead us to rediscover and relish the magnificence of its theorems and the brilliance of its scholars.

This course will be one semester in length and will meet two times per cycle for one hour. Offered only if numbers allow.

FAQ’s

What is the difference between an Honors and a Regular class?

The honors sections of a given math course are designed to challenge the brightest students. An honors course will generally involve less review of previously studied topics and proceed at a significantly faster pace than a regular level course. Students in an honors course are also expected to be able to learn skills and solve problems that were not necessarily modeled by the teacher. The expectations on quizzes, tests, and exams are similarly elevated above those in a regular class. Honors sections are offered so that qualified students may see how deeply they can explore a given subject.

Why and how are placement decisions made?

Teenagers have a tremendous range in ability, maturity, motivation, and recall. The math department therefore offers a wide variety of courses so that each student can be challenged and yet still have a reasonable probability of achieving success. This wide variety of offerings creates the need to make placement decisions.

In the spring, the students sign-up for the math class they wish to take the following year. The math department then reviews those requests on an individual basis and either approves or does not approve the requests. The decision is based on a variety of factors relevant to the particular request being made, but in general, the most important factors include Holton teacher recommendations, performance in prior math classes, performance on exams, and (in the case of honors classes) demonstration of expanded capabilities in math. Reading skills are also looked at for some courses (for example, upper level middle school courses and AP Statistics). The most common misconception about placement decisions revolves around grades. There is not a cut-off grade above which a student is guaranteed placement and below which a student is automatically denied placement in a specific course.

Is it a good idea to try to skip ahead by taking a summer class?

In general, this is not a good idea. A majority of summer school programs are designed to review the basics of a subject for those students who did not adequately grasp the topics studied in the previous school year’s math class. For a student to skip a math class, the math department definitely wants the student to understand much more of a course than just the basics. Even summer programs that are designed to cover more than just review often fall short of preparing a student to skip ahead, because a typical summer program will last one or two months, whereas a Holton class will spend about 8 to 9 months studying a subject. Clearly a summer program would have to go about four times as fast as a Holton class while still giving the students time to synthesize and understand the topics being covered. The math department is more interested in what a student learns than in what she is exposed to when deciding if she can skip a class. Most students are not successful when they try to skip ahead; some are successful, however, and that is why we have the following procedure in place.

To skip a class, the student must take the equivalent of a mid-term and final exam in the class they desire to skip. These two Holton exams allow the student to demonstrate that she was exposed to and did learn well all of the material that will be covered in the Holton class. They also allow the student to see what content the Holton course covered and how specifically she was expected to master that content. While a student may skip a course, it may not be in her best interest to skip the content. The math department is looking for more than just a passing grade on both of the exams; we are looking for a good performance, which is typically a B or better.

My daughter wants to take a Science class that will be easier for her to get into if she gets a particular math placement. Will the math department consider this when making the placement decision for my daughter’s math class?

No, a desired science class is not a relevant factor in any math placement decision. We are concerned with her readiness and preparation for the math course in question.

Are students in regular PreCalculus eligible for Calculus BC?

No, coverage of the extensive BC curriculum is begun in the fourth quarter of the PreCalculus Honors course. Regular PC does not cover differentiation and therefore even the best students coming out of regular PC are not prepared for the starting point of Calculus BC. Similarly, a student from regular Geo/Trig is not eligible for PC honors without being tested on the trig covered in the Geo/Trig Honors course.

Are there a predetermined number of sections of a given course, like say an honors course?

The number of sections that will be run for a given course is determined by the number of qualified students interested in taking that course. This final number is not determined until after students have done their course selections and permissions have been completed. This process is usually not complete until the end of the second semester. Only then does the math department begin to determine how best to cover the demand for the courses.

We do not decide prior to course selection/permissions how many sections of a class will be offered and subsequently either limit or expand the number of students approved to take that class the next school year.


Pure and Applied Science

Department Chair: Cheryl Hansen

In a world increasingly shaped by and comprehended in terms of science and technology, it is important that our students be prepared to understand, evaluate, and use the knowledge and methods of those disciplines. The science program seeks to teach basic scientific principles, skills, and habits of critical and analytical thinking through strong foundations of learning in the biological, physical, and environmental sciences. Students with high interest and ability have the opportunity to pursue these disciplines at advanced levels. We strive to instill in each student an awareness of her natural environment, including the principles and processes that govern it. We also hope to offer students the opportunity to explore problem solving through applications in forensics, engineering, robotics, computer programming and our Science Research Program.

Three Upper School credits, including Biology, are required for graduation.

A student typically takes one science course at a time for each of her four years. If a student is particularly interested in this discipline and has received the approval from her teachers, Class Dean, and Upper School Director, then she may consider doubling up in science during her junior or senior year.

SCI070 Science 7
Grade level: 7

Seventh grade science is an integrated science course which will investigate living and non-living aspects of our planet. The topics for the year mostly fall under the categories of life science and earth science. Students study things as small as cells to concepts as large as global climate. There are only 5 units of study throughout year. Each one of these units not only encompasses scientific content, but also includes related scientific skills and processes. The year starts with a unit on cells and a focus on observation, measurement, and microscope use. The year continues with units on biodiversity with a skills focus of dissection and evolution of experimental design. Then, there is a small unit on the history of life on earth that concentrates on graphing skills. Finally, the year ends with a geology unit and a project emphasizing engineering and design.

SCI080 Science 8
Grade level: 8

Eighth grade science continues with a second year of integrated science topics. This exploratory course begins with a study of the properties of matter, classification of matter, and changes in matter. The year continues with investigations of atomic structure, the periodic table and compounds while exploring rocks and minerals. Chemical reactions are studied using cellular processes including photosynthesis and cellular respiration. Other cell processes such as diffusion and cell division are explored as well. A unit on genetics including meiosis, Mendelian genetics, and Punnet squares concludes this year of integrated science. Throughout the year, there is a focus on the development of lab skills, experimental design, and scientific writing, ultimately enabling students to develop independent laboratory experiments and write lab reports. Students are encouraged to apply deductive reasoning to experimental results as tools for understanding the topics of the 8th grade year in science.

SCI090 Physics with Algebra
Grade level: 9
Credit: 1

This is an introductory course that explores major topics in physics including fundamentals of waves, mechanics, and thermodynamics. Students will reinforce the math skills being learned concurrently in Algebra 1 while solving problems throughout this course. Laboratory investigations and hands-on explorations of the concepts will be an integral component of the student learning experience. The course focuses on application of skills and concepts rather than memorization.

SCI095 Physics
Grade level: 9
Credit 1
(Pre-requisite: Algebra 1)

This is an introductory course that explores major topics in physics including fundamentals of waves, mechanics, and thermodynamics. Students will apply algebra skills to problem solving throughout this course and laboratory investigations and hands-on explorations of the concepts will be an integral component of the student learning experience. The course focuses on application of skills and concepts rather than memorization.

SCI095H Physics Honors
Grade level: 9
Credit: 1
(Pre-requisite: Algebra 1, Departmental Permission Co-requisite: Geometry, Geometry Honors)

This is a demanding introductory course that explores major topics in physics including fundamentals of waves, mechanics, thermodynamics, and electrostatics. Students will apply advanced algebra skills in addition to the skills being learned concurrently in Geometry to problem solving throughout this course. Laboratory investigations and hands-on explorations of the concepts will be an integral component of the student learning experience. Students must exhibit a willingness to take risks, learn from mistakes, and manage the uncertainty that learning concepts through experimentation involves. The course focuses on application of skills and concepts rather than memorization.

SCI105 Chemistry Foundations
Grade level: 10
Credit: 1

Chemistry Foundations emphasizes the descriptive perspectives and applications of Chemistry. It takes the approach of integrating theories with laboratory experience and projects. The students are exposed to central themes and enduring principles: the arrangement of atoms, ions and molecules and their consequential physical and chemicals properties, the change in matter involving the rearrangements of atom and transfer of electrons, chemical quantities, and energy involving the chemical processes explaining and predicting the direction of change in matter. The course offers students insights in Chemistry and a deeper appreciation of its strong relevancy to daily life.

SCI110 Chemistry
Grade level: 10
Credit: 1

Chemistry is a quantitative laboratory science in which students investigate the composition of matter and the physical and chemical changes it undergoes. The fundamental structure of atoms is used to understand interactions between matter and energy. Topics include: scientific measurement and problem solving, compound naming and formula writing, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, limiting reagent, electron configurations, periodicity, chemical bonding, phases of matter, intermolecular forces, gas theory, solution properties and concentration, thermochemistry, chemical kinetics, reaction rate, chemical equilibrium, acids and bases, redox reactions, and nuclear chemistry. Students explore many of these chemistry concepts through laboratory investigations and in-class demonstrations.

SCI110H Chemistry Honors

Grade level: 10
Credit: 1
(Co-requisite: Algebra 2 and Trig; Departmental Permission)

Honors Chemistry starts with nomenclature and then gradually builds up students’ knowledge and insights into various chemical processes and reactions. Designed for the students with high motivation and a strong mathematical skill, the course takes a rigorous and aggressive approach addressing central topics in general inorganic and basic organic chemistry with strong integrations of quantitative analysis and weekly experimental experience. The students are prepared to take SATII Chemistry Exam, and to participate in the regional chemistry team competition (Chemathon). This course also readies the students for taking Advanced Replacement (AP) Chemistry.

SCI180 Biology

Grade level: 11
Credit: 1
(Pre-requisite: Chemistry- any level)

A comprehensive view of the living environment, Biology will emphasize the interactions of living organisms with a focus on cell processes, genetics, biodiversity, evolution, and ecology. Major themes will include inquiry, science investigation, relationships amongst organisms, and homeostasis. Student will be encouraged to sit for the SAT subject test in Biology E (ecological approach).

SCI180H Biology Honors
Grade level: 11
Credit:1
(Pre-requisite: Chemistry, Departmental Permission)

A comprehensive view of the living environment, Biology will emphasize the interactions of living organisms with a focus on bioenergetics, genetics and molecular biology, evolution, and ecology. Major themes will include inquiry, science investigation, data analysis, relationships amongst organisms, and homeostasis. Student will be encouraged to sit for the SAT subject test in Biology M (molecular approach).

SCI135 Forensics (Fall semester)
Grade level: 11, 12 Credit: ½
(Co-requisite: Biology)

Using reference materials such as Saferstein’s Criminalistics, Deslich’s and Funkhauser’s Forensic Science and Henry Lee’s Cracking Cases, students will explore introductory forensic science through a variety of class discussion, laboratory experiments/simulations and case analyses. Topics will include crime scenes, trace evidence, fingerprints, ballistics, entymology and forensic serology, and DNA identification. Students are assessed through tests, written critical analyses, and lab activities.

SCI150 Introduction to Engineering
Grade level: 10 (Departmental Permission), 11, 12
Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Algebra 2/Trig)

Introduction to Engineering is a project-based course where students work in collaborative teams. Basic concepts of the engineering design process and teamwork are central to each activity. Students are engaged in hands-on experiences and learn through doing. The course relies on modeling, problem-solving, and documenting progress. The course also discusses the ethical choices of engineering and how technology can make an impact on society. Introduction to Engineering is designed to challenge and inspire. Will be offered if numbers allow.

SCI155 Earth & Space Science (Spring semester)
Grades: 11, 12 Credit: ½

This course is designed to be an overview of topics of Earth & Space Science including but not limited to geology, meteorology, the solar system, and stellar formation and evolution. Methodologies include research, star gazing and weather forecasting. Students will complete projects, presentations, data collection and analysis, and short topic papers. This course is an overview of the presented topics and the focus is on investigations and projects that will lead students towards a deeper understanding of the topics. Will be offered if numbers allow.

SCI165 Molecular and Microbiology (Spring semester)
Grade Level: 11, 12
Credit ½

Using Zimmermans’ Killer Germs, students will explore biotechnology and infectious disease. The course will study the basics of microbiology including a history of microbiology, virology, sterile technique, culturing methods, bacterial metabolism and classification and staining techniques. Molecular biology will include an analysis of DNA technologies including restriction enzymes digests, recombinant DNA technologies, Polymerase Chain Reaction, gel electrophoresis and bacterial transformation. The bulk of the course focuses on laboratory techniques and hands-on activities. This course is required for students wishing to pursue a Science Research internship in the biomedical field, but is open to all students. (Please see Science Research description below.)

SCI160 Computer Programming & Robotics (Fall Semester)
Grade: 11, 12
Credit ½

The focus of this course will be programming, modeling, and problem solving explored through a variety of methods. Students will develop their technical problem solving skills and learn to use MATLAB software. They will also be using ICGUI (a version of C) to program robots and machines. In all cases, students will use logic, problem solving, and programming techniques to create algorithms and functions to solve challenges. Using sensor units we will also discuss control systems and feedback from sensors (biofeedback, security monitoring - for example). Projects will have a group focus and presentations and report summaries will be required for each project. This course is required for students wishing to pursue a physics or engineering Science Research internship, but is open to all students. (Please see Science Research description below.)

SCI190 Advanced Placement Environmental Science
Grade level: 12
Credit: 1

Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry or Chemistry Honors; permission of department

This comprehensive college-level course follows the Advanced Placement syllabus to prepare students for the AP examination in Environmental Science. Topics considered are geology, the atmosphere and meteorology, oceanography, ecosystems and ecological principles, population dynamics, energy, renewable and nonrenewable resources and their management, conservation biology, agriculture, pollution, environmental quality and health, global changes, environmental policy and sustainability, and environmental planning. In addition to lectures and discussions, labs and field work are major components of the course. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP Environmental Science exam.

SCI200 Advanced Placement Biology
Grade level: 12 Credit: 1

Prerequisites: Chemistry or Chemistry Honors (a full year of Chemistry is recommended); permission of department

The Advanced Placement Biology course is designed to be the equivalent of one introductory course usually taken by biology majors during their first year of college. The course covers three general areas: molecules and cells, genetics and evolution, and organisms and populations. The AP Biology course also includes a substantial laboratory component. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP Biology Exam.

SCI210 Advanced Placement Chemistry
Grade level: 11, 12 Credit: 1

Prerequisites: Chemistry Honors or Chemistry (summer work required) and permission of the department

The Advanced Placement Chemistry course is designed to be the equivalent of one introductory course usually taken by chemistry majors during their first year of college. Topics include stoichiometry, equilibrium, electrochemistry, kinetics, thermodynamics and organic chemistry. Frequent lab investigations will be a key part of this course facilitating and deepening the students’ understanding and growth. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP Chemistry Exam.

SCI220 Advanced Placement Physics
Grade level: 12
Credit: 1

The AP Physics 1 course is intended for students who have already completed Physics in the 9th Grade. This AP class is intended to offer a further, in depth course of study for students who are interested in pursuing a physical science or engineering in college. Topics to be covered include kinematics, dynamics: Newton’s Laws, circular motion and universal law of gravitation, simple harmonic motion: simple pendulum and mass spring systems, impulse, linear momentum, and conservation of linear momentum: collisions, work, energy, and conservation of energy, rotational motion: torque, rotational kinematics and energy, rotational dynamics, and conservation of angular momentum, electrostatics: electric charge and electric force, DC circuits: resistors only, mechanical waves and sound.

SCI140 Science Research Program
Grade level: 11
Credit: ¼ (Pass/Fail)

Prerequisite: Permission of department; limited to up to 12 students, to be selected through an application, interview and permissions process.

The Science Research Program prepares students for a summer internship in a field of scientific study. Course registration initiates an application-based process including an interview with the science department, teacher and dean recommendations, and demonstration of student interest. Academic aptitude, as well as social maturity, is considered for participation in the program. Students wishing to pursue a science research internship in a biomedical related field are required to take Molecular and Microbiology (a single semester class offered in the spring); students wishing to pursue an internship in an engineering or physical science lab are required to take Computer Programming and Robotics (a single semester class offered in the fall). The coursework will help prepare the student for work in a professional research lab. Students will be placed under the supervision of an on-site supervisor, with whom she will collaborate to construct a plan for summer study. The time commitment for the internship is 6-8 consecutive weeks to be decided upon by both student and mentor. The student must understand that seeking a science research internship is a priority, and thus it may not be possible to pursue other lengthy summer commitments in addition to the science research internship. At the end of the summer, the student will present her research at a poster session for the Upper School community.

Science Pathways

This chart is applicable for students entering grades 7 – 9 in fall 2016


Science pathway

Semester Electives in Applied Science:

2 Fall Electives:

  • Forensics
  • Robotics & Computer Programming (SRP)

2 Spring Electives:

  • Earth & Space Science
  • Molecular & Microbiology (SRP)

SRP= this class will fulfill the requirement for the Science Research Program

Pure and Applied Science FAQs

How are placement decisions made about grade 9 grade physics?

There are a number of factors that determine whether a student takes Physics with Algebra, Physics, or Physics Honors in grade 9. Students must meet the math requirement for the course in which they wish to enroll. In addition to math placement, the Science Department also considers a student’s performance in Middle School courses, especially science and math. We also consider student performance on standardized testing and her readiness for grappling with conceptual problems, independent problem-solving, and comfort with uncertainty.

Is there “tracking” in science?

There is NO TRACKING in science. If a student does not take an honors class freshman year, she can still take an honors or AP class later on if she meets the course requirements and receive departmental permission.

Are chemistry and physics required to graduate?

The only science course that a Holton student must take is biology at some level. However, many colleges expect to see biology, chemistry and physics on a transcript for strong candidates. A student needs three science courses for graduation, but there are a number of options depending on her interest and aptitude. Students who wish to take AP Biology or AP Environmental Science must meet the chemistry pre-requisite.

Will a student receive credit for taking a science course over the summer?

A summer course does not count toward the three science credits required for graduation nor does the grade count towards a Holton GPA. Families should consult with their daughter’s current science teacher or class dean before enrolling in a summer science course. The science department has found that many students taking summer courses to “skip” ahead find gaps in their understanding and application of the material. It is unlikely that a summer course can cover a year’s worth of topics into five weeks!

If a student wishes to pursue laboratory research over the summer, will Holton help her to find a placement?

Students who apply for and are accepted into Holton’s Science Research program must take a semester course, either Molecular and Microbiology or Computer Programming and Robotics, during their junior year and then be placed into a local laboratory. The student, with the help of the mentor, will formulate a plan for conducting original scientific research. The bulk of the research will occur during the summer in a 6 - 8 week period.

World Languages

Department Chair: Roxana Lopez

The ultimate goal of world language study is to acquire linguistic, communicative and global competences in a given target language. The world language courses at Holton are designed to build these competences through the integration of the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students engage in activities and tasks that require accurate and creative application of learned knowledge and skills. In doing so, they also develop understanding and appreciation of the culture of which the language they are learning is an integral part.

Holton’s world language program offers courses in four languages: Chinese, French, Latin, and Spanish. In Chinese, French, and Spanish, communicative competence that enables students to fulfill real-life functions in the modes of conversation, description, narration and evaluation is emphasized. In Latin, students are trained to gain a solid command of vocabulary and grammar and to become a competent reader of classic Latin literature.

Three credits (3) in one language are required for graduation.

CH070 Chinese 1A
Grade level: 7 Credit: ½

Chinese 1 A is a beginning course in the study of Chinese designed for students who start a foreign language in Middle School. Both Pinyin (a Chinese phonetic system) and characters (the writing system) will be taught so that students will be able to communicate both orally and in written form in most essential everyday life situations. Students will celebrate Chinese holidays and participate in other fun and meaningful activities to gain understanding of the Chinese culture.

CH080 Chinese 1B
Grade level: 8 Credit: ½
(Prerequisite: Chinese 1A)

The primary goal of Chinese 1B is to build upon the content covered in Chinese 1A and continue to lay a solid foundation in oral communication and writing skills for learning at higher levels. The course places a great emphasis on Chinese culture and engages students in research and group projects on such topics as calligraphy, Chinese cooking and the history of China.

CH095 Chinese I
Grade level: 9-12 Credit: 1

Chinese 1 is an introductory course designed for Upper School students who are either beginning learners or do not have a sufficient background in language to enroll in Chinese 2. Both Pinyin (a Chinese phonetic system) and characters (the writing system) will be taught so that students will be able to communicate both orally and in written form in most essential everyday life situations. Students will celebrate Chinese holidays and engage in other hands-on activities to explore different aspects of the Chinese culture. The course is offered only if there is sufficient enrollment.

CH090 Chinese 2
Grade level: 9-12 Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Chinese 1B or Chinese I)

Chinese 2 reinforces and further develops the skills acquired in Chinese 1A and 1B of Middle School. Students tackle more grammatical features and expressions that are Chinese-specific and expand their vocabulary to increase the ability to communicate in Chinese. Development of oral proficiency continues to be a key component of the learning process. Exploration of a changing China in the 20th and 21stcenturies as well as its cultural traditions is incorporated into learning through research projects, videos, and short stories.

CH110 Chinese 3
Grade level: 10-12 Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Chinese 2)

Chinese 3 further develops the knowledge and skills acquired in Chinese 1 and 2. It adopts a balanced approach toward skills in three modes of communication: interpretive, presentational, and interpersonal. Students learn to perform daily practical and social functions in the three modes with increased linguistic complexity and awareness of cultural appropriateness. They continue to build a larger functional vocabulary and work toward mastery of the core of Chinese grammar.

CH120 Chinese 4
Grade level: 10-12 Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Chinese 3)

Chinese 4 is designed for the students who have successfully completed the study of Chinese at the intermediate level. Using the themes that bear much relevance to students’ lives and Chinese culture as the contexts for learning, the course introduces complex sentence structures and builds a significantly larger vocabulary to increase the depth and expressiveness of communication. Students are engaged in the communication tasks that not only develop oral proficiency but also require integration of all four skills - listening, reading, speaking and writing.

CH120H Chinese 4 Honors
Grade Level: 11 – 12 Credit 1
(Prerequisite: Chinese 3)

See CH120 for a general description. The course is recommended for the students who have demonstrated the potential to gain a solid mastery of its content and intend to take a course at the next level or AP Chinese in their senior year. Students will follow the same curriculum designed for the non-honor class, but will develop their skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing in depth and train to communicate fluently in the Chinese language. They will also work to acquire the knowledge of specific aspects of the Chinese culture and be able to present the acquired knowledge effectively in the target language.

CH130 Chinese 5
Grade level: 10-12 Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Chinese 4)

Chinese 5 is an advanced course designed for the students who have successfully completed the study of intermediate-high Chinese in the previous year. It trains the students to increase depth and expressiveness of communication in a variety of personal, social, and cultural settings. Classes engage students in producing discourses on a range of topics in the descriptive, narrative and evaluative modes of expression and in developing insights into the Chinese cultural and social values through discussions and presentations.

CH200 Advanced Placement Chinese: Language & Culture
Grade Level: 11-12 Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Successful completion of level 4 Chinese and Departmental Permission)

AP Chinese Language and Culture is offered to qualified and motivated students who intend to engage in an intensive study of the Chinese language and culture comparable to a second-year course in Chinese at the college level. Students build on the knowledge and skills covered in the previous years and develop automation and authenticity in their use of the target language. They work to achieve a high level of language proficiency and cultural understanding that will allow them to take the AP exam with confidence and success. Students enrolled in this class are required to take the AP Chinese Language & Culture exam.

R070 French 1A
Grade level: 7 Credit: ½

French 1A, designed for beginning French students, introduces students to the French language and helps them build a strong foundation of the language. Students will develop a solid understanding of grammar, work on accurate pronunciation, learn to speak in complete sentences, read and comprehend a basic text, and participate in a simple conversation.

FR080 French 1B
Grade level: 8 Credit: ½
(Prerequisite: French 1A)

French 1B, designed for second-year French students, further develops students’ skills in listening, reading, speaking, and writing. In addition, students will become familiar with the main aspects of French culture and civilization, including the cultures of some of the approximately three dozen countries in the world where French is an official language and where there are strong cultural ties with France.

FR095 French I
Grade level: 9-11 Credit: 1

French I is an introductory course designed for Upper School students who are either beginning French learners or whose background in the language is insufficient to enable them to enroll in a second-level French course. Students are introduced to Francophone culture and learn basic vocabulary and grammar structures that enable them to communicate and engage in simple conversations about daily life. They study the present tense and the past tense of regular verbs. This class is offered only if there is sufficient enrollment.

FR090 French 2
Grade level: 9-12 Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: French 1B or French I)

French 2 is an intermediate course in the French language. Students do extensive work in grammar and vocabulary development. The choice of readers and the depth of concepts studied vary with the needs of individual groups. Students continue to develop communication skills in the French language and to explore the rich and exciting aspects of the French culture. Students will use vocabulary and grammar structures to further develop the ability to communicate both through writing and through speaking.

FR110 French 3
Grade level: 10-12 Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: French 2)

French 3 is a course for students who have satisfactorily completed two levels of French and who wish to increase their communicative competence in French. Emphasis is put on strengthening students’ ability to communicate and function effectively in a wide variety of contexts using the major language skills: aural comprehension, oral production, reading comprehension, writing, and grammar. Exposure to authentic materials will be used to enhance vocabulary acquisition. Cultural aspects of Francophone countries are an integral part of the course material.

FR115 French 4: French Conversation and Composition
Grade level: 11, 12 Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: French 3 or its equivalent)

French 4 is a course for students who have satisfactorily completed three levels of French and who wish to increase their communicative competence. The intensive development of communicative competence in French is oriented around the investigation and discussions of a theme or themes culturally relevant to French or Francophone societies. Emphasis is put on a continued development of spoken and written expressions in the French language through readings and discussions of civilization and culture materials. Conversations and compositions in French are related to the readings. Culture is emphasized throughout the year.

FR130 French 5: Cinéma et Francophonie
Grade level: 11, 12 Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: French 4 French Conversation and Composition or its equivalent)

French 5 is a course for students who have satisfactorily completed four levels of French and who wish to pursue their study of the language and its culture. The focus of this course is to expand and enrich the students’ knowledge of French and Francophone countries primarily through movies, television programs, music, art, and newspapers, with emphasis placed on spontaneous use of the language. It is offered only if there is sufficient enrollment.

FR190 Advanced Placement French: Language & Culture
Grade level: 11, 12 Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Successful completion of French 3 and/or French 4 and Departmental Permission)

AP French language is an Honors course for students who have successfully completed French 3 or French Conversation and Composition. Students are exposed to the current format of the Advanced Placement exam and are trained in aural, oral, and written exercises. In addition, students study cultural topics and more complex language structures through francophone literature, films, and newspapers. Projects and presentations are an integral part of this course. Students enrolled in this course are required to take the AP French Language exam.

LA070 Latin 1A
Grade level: 7 Credit: ½

In Latin 1A, students begin the study of the Latin language and Roman culture. The course emphasizes grammar and builds vocabulary through reading a text in Latin based on the life and adventures of Horace. Cultural information about Rome’s early history includes sections on education, slavery, religion, the role of women, mythology and historical figures and events. Throughout the year, students will learn the connections between the English language and Latin through the study of their derivatives.

LA080 Latin 1B
Grade level: 8 Credit: ½
(
Prerequisite: Latin 1A)

In Latin 1B, students continue to review Latin 1A grammar and vocabulary while learning new grammatical concepts and vocabulary as the narrative follows Horace’s life from his education in Rome to university in Athens. The end of the Republic and the roles of famous Roman figures such as Caesar and Cicero are studied and discussed.

LA095 Latin I
Grade level: 9-11 Credit: 1

Latin I is for students who begin the study of the Latin language and Roman culture in the Upper School. They learn grammar and vocabulary through reading and doing exercises from a text based on the adventures of a Roman family. There is significant emphasis on the relationship of Latin to English vocabulary and grammar and on showing the connections between the ancient and modern worlds. The course is offered only if there is sufficient enrollment.

LA090 Latin II
Grade level: 9-12 Credit: 1
Prerequisite: Latin I or Latin 1B

In Latin II, students complete the study of basic grammar through reading and exercises. They learn about daily life in Rome and follow the political struggles as Romans faced the dissolution of the republic and the establishment of the Empire. There is significant emphasis on the relationship of Latin to English vocabulary and grammar and emphasis on showing the connections between the ancient and modern worlds.

LA110 Latin III: Roman Prose and Poetry
Grade level: 10-12
Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Latin II)

In Latin III, students read selections from Martial, Apuleius, Plautus, Pliny, and others in the first semester. In the second semester, students are introduced to more prose and poetry by reading selections from Ovid, Catullus, Vergil, and others.

LA115 Latin IV: Advanced Readings in Latin Literature
Grade level: 11-12 Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Latin III)

Latin IV course continues the process of introducing students to the great works of Latin literature. Students will read selections from the poems of Catullus, the Odes of Horace, and the Metamorphoses of Ovid. Further readings will be based on the interests of the students, but may include additional passages from Ovid (the Heroides or the Amores), prose works of Cicero, comedies of Terence and Plautus, etc. The course will include a mix of translation, reading for comprehension, vocabulary-building, and review of grammar, but there is significant emphasis on analysis and interpretation of literature.

LA115H Latin IV: Advanced Readings in Latin Literature (Honors)
Grade level: 11-12 Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Latin III and permission of the World Language Department)

See LA115 for a general description. Students taking the honors level (recommended for those who intend to continue to AP Latin in the senior year) will attend the same class as non-honors students, but will meet additional requirements, such as: 1) fewer vocabulary resources on tests and quizzes, 2) additional sight-reading passages, 3) translations of additional passages/poems of Catullus, Horace, and Ovid.

LA200V Advanced Placement Latin: Online School for Girls
Grade level: 10-12 Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Latin IV and permission of the World Language Department. Students qualified for the course will take it through the Online School for Girls.)

This course is designed to prepare the student for the Advanced Placement Latin Exam, with a focus on Vergil's Aeneid and Caesar’s Commentarii de Bello Gallico. In order to earn a qualifying mark on this rigorous exam, the student must not only be able to read and translate the Latin literature, but also demonstrate proficiency in interpretation and analysis of the text. The student must develop a solid understanding of literary devices and the impact of their use and become skilled at scanning and reciting Dactylic Hexameter. A marked proficiency in sight translation is also necessary for success in this course. In addition, the student must be well versed in the overall storyline, the background of both texts and other relevant cultural, historical, political, and social information pertaining to the work. Students enrolled in this class are required to take the AP Latin exam.

SP070 Spanish 1A
Grade level: 7 Credit: ½

Spanish 1A is an introductory course for beginners and advanced beginners in which students learn basic vocabulary and grammar concepts relevant to daily life. Students are introduced to reading, writing, speaking and listening through classwork, including individual and group activities and homework assignments. Primary emphasis is placed on Spanish vocabulary and Spanish and English grammar concepts. Students will learn about different Spanish-speaking countries around the world and people of Hispanic heritage here in the United States.

SP080 Spanish 1B
Grade level: 8 Credit: ½
Prerequisite: Spanish 1A

Spanish 1B builds on the themes and concepts introduced in Spanish 1A. This course further develops student skills in listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Furthermore, students will learn about different lifestyles and celebrations of Spanish-speaking countries around the world and people of Hispanic heritage here in the United States.

SP095 Spanish I
Grade level: 9-11 Credit: 1

Spanish I is an introductory course designed for Upper School students who are either beginning Spanish learners or whose background in the language is insufficient for them to enroll in Spanish 2. The course will focus on building basic vocabulary, learning communication skills and using different strategies to convey meaning and develop appreciation of the Hispanic culture. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to communicate with ease basic facts and ideas in Spanish, both verbally and in writing. The course is offered only if there is sufficient enrollment.

SP090 Spanish 2
Grade level: 9-12 Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Spanish 1B or Spanish I)

Spanish 2 is a novice-high to intermediate-low level course. Students are expected to have mastered the vocabulary and grammar points learned in Spanish 1 (1A/1B) to be able to succeed in this course. Students work extensively in grammar and vocabulary to continue developing their communication skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing in the target language. Students are exposed to the different cultures of the Spanish language so that they learn to identify and find the connections between them. Students will start reading articles and authentic Spanish short stories and poems.

SP110 Spanish 3
Grade level: 10-12 Credit: 1

(Prerequisite: Spanish 2)

Spanish 3 is an intermediate level course. Primary emphasis is placed on verb tense identification and usage. Students work extensively on grammar and vocabulary and continue to develop their communication skills through listening, speaking, reading and writing in the target language. Students expand their knowledge and understanding of the Spanish-speaking world while improving self-expression and comprehension through the use of adapted media and literary sources.

SP 110H Spanish 3 Honors
Grade Level: 10 – 12 Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Spanish 2 and Departmental Permission)

Spanish 3 Honors is an intermediate level course for students who have mastered the content taught in Spanish 2. Students work extensively on grammar and vocabulary and continue to develop their communication skills through listening, speaking, reading and writing in the target language. Primary emphasis is placed on the ability to communicate hypothetically as well as concretely. Students expand their knowledge and understanding of the Spanish-speaking world while improving self-expression and comprehension through the use of authentic media and literary sources.

SP115 Spanish 4: Spanish Conversation and Composition
Grade level: 11-12 Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Spanish 3)

Spanish 4 is designed for students who have satisfactorily completed Spanish 3 and who wish to review major grammatical topics and increase their communicative competence. This course will focus on building communication strategies while developing appreciation of the Hispanic culture. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to express ideas and facts, to comprehend and participate in formal and informal conversations involving an advanced level of vocabulary, and to write precisely, convincingly and correctly on topics of general interest.

SP130 Spanish 5: Hispanic Culture through Media
Grade level: 11, 12 Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Spanish 4 Conversation and Composition or equivalent)

Spanish 5 is designed for students who have successfully completed Spanish 4 and who wish to pursue their study of the language and Hispanic culture at the non-honors level. This course will focus on using the media to develop awareness and appreciation of the cultural aspects of various Spanish speaking countries. Students will be engaged in activities that require a high level of proficiency in language production. The course is offered only if there is sufficient enrollment.

SP200 Advanced Placement Spanish: Language & Culture
Grade level: 11, 12 Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: Spanish 3 and/or Spanish 4 and Departmental Permission)

Students taking this course are interested in continuing an in-depth study of the language and further developing their communicative and reading skills in Spanish. Students read a variety of authors whose work reflects the diversity of Spain, Latin America, and the U.S. Hispanic population. They also review the more advanced grammatical topics. Students taking this course will achieve a high level of mastery of grammatical topics covered in previous levels and will demonstrate the ability to revise their own work effectively. Students enrolled in this class are required to take the AP Spanish Language exam.

SP210H Spanish 5 Honors: Spanish through Film and Theater
Grade level: 12 Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: AP Spanish Language and Departmental Permission)

After many years of learning Spanish grammar, students move on to a higher level of study. Honors Spanish through Film and Theater is a course devoted to expanding the students’ knowledge of the cultures of Spain and Latin America primarily through movies, plays and television programs, as well as music, art and literature. This course will allow students to understand the cultural nuances of the Hispanic world, starting from the beginning of the Spanish culture through present day Spain and Latin America. The course will culminate with an analysis paper based on a play or a film of the student’s choice.

SP220 Advanced Placement Spanish: Literature
Grade level: 11-12 Credit: 1
Prerequisite: AP Spanish Language and Departmental Permission)

AP Spanish Literature is a course for students who have successfully completed the AP Spanish Language course and who are interested in continuing an in-depth study of Spanish Literature. Students will interpret and analyze, in Spanish, works from seven centuries of Hispanic literature from Spain and Latin America. The works include a wide variety of genres that will enable students to trace the history of Spanish prose, poetry, and drama. Authors range from Cervantes to Sor Juana de la Cruz to Neruda to Garcia Marquez. Students enrolled in this class are required to take the AP Spanish Literature exam. The course is offered only if there is sufficient enrollment.

World Languages FAQs

Is the World Language requirement three credits in Upper School, or do Middle School World language credits count?

Foreign Language 1A and 1B each carry ½ credit which are calculated into the three required credits.

Can a student begin a new or second language in ninth grade?

Sometimes, depending on whether it is advisable given the student’s other academic commitments and whether or not a first-year course in her desired language is being offered in that particular year.

How can I be certain that my daughter is being placed in the appropriate course?

If new to the school, she will be given a placement test in the spring. The results of her placement test in conjunction with the other information in the student’s file will be used to determine the best world language placement for the student.

Is Conversation and Composition a pre-AP course?

No, although it might help some students prepare for further work, and students who have excelled in the course may choose to take AP with departmental permission.

Can my child take a language course during the summer and then skip into a higher level?

Possibly, if the child takes a 4 – 6 week intensive language course and earns a B+ or higher on the placement test for a higher level; however, she still needs three Holton credits in World Language to graduate.

Do you know of any summer programs abroad?

Please see the Global Education page.


Art

Department Chair: Nandini Giridharadas

The art curriculum of Holton-Arms actively engages each student in the process of discovering her creative vision while acquiring technical skills and gaining historical and cultural perspectives. Art courses in the Middle School provide general introductions to studio art, photography and ceramics, and reinforce skills and concepts learned at the primary level. Courses in the Upper School offer the student opportunities to concentrate in one discipline. Students work closely with members of the art faculty who encourage inquiry, experimentation, and excellence. Studios are spacious, well equipped, and open to students throughout the day. In addition to acquiring the various skills and techniques involved in a specific art discipline, the experience of creating art directly relates to development of critical thinking, mental discipline, self-confidence, and the ability to solve problems. The art curriculum provides developmentally appropriate and challenging training for each student to express herself while nurturing the artistic process so that it becomes incorporated into her daily life.

All Upper School courses may be repeated for credit. With each successive enrollment, increasing emphasis is placed on individualizing the curriculum to accommodate the student’s personal direction in the visual arts. Students who have taken multiple art courses are encouraged to submit a slide/digital portfolio with their college applications. They may also submit a portfolio for AP art credit at the end of their junior or senior year if they have adequate work.

One credit in the fine or performing arts is required for graduation.

ART070 Art 7
Grade level: 7
(required)

Art 7 is a studio art class that provides students with a multi-media approach to the visual arts. This is a transitional course that continues to build upon skills introduced in Lower School and begins to lay the foundation for further Middle and Upper School art study. Techniques in design, drawing, painting, collage, ceramics, textiles and printmaking are explored. Although these may vary slightly from year to year, emphasis is placed on the development of observation skills and the ability to make aesthetic judgments. Integration with other Middle School disciplines is practiced frequently.

ART080 Art 8
Grade level: 8

Art 8 is a studio art class that students may elect for one semester. A wide range of media is explored, preparing students for more specialized art courses in the Upper School. Techniques in design, drawing, oil painting, print making, photography and ceramics are presented. Emphasis continues to be placed on observation skills and the ability to make aesthetic judgments. This course encourages creativity and a variety of solutions to design problems. Students wishing to take a full year of Art 8 should list this course twice on their course registration sheets.

ART101 Art Minor: Drawing and Painting
Grade level: 9-12
Credit: ½ per semester

This introductory Upper School studio course concentrates on drawing and oil painting, as well as watercolor and collage. Students are encouraged to explore many forms of creative expression as they continue to develop basic skills and an understanding of aesthetic expression. Students wishing to take a full year of Drawing and Painting Minor should list this course twice on their course registration sheets.

ART131 Art Minor: Ceramics
Grade level: 9-12
Credit: ½ per semester

Ceramics Minor introduces students to clay as a medium of expression through hand-building techniques of pinching, coiling, and slab construction. Special attention is given to craftsmanship and the development of aesthetic expression. In both semesters, both terra cotta and stoneware are used, and various techniques of surface decoration are explored. Students will continue to build their visual literacy through class discussions and critiques. Students wishing to take a full year of Ceramics Minor should list this course twice on their course registration sheets.

ART141 Art Minor: Photography
Grade level: 9-12
Credit: ½ per semester

This course explores the art of seeing and self-expression in black and white photography. It introduces the use of the 35 mm camera, film exposure and processing, and darkroom printing. Equal emphasis is given to technical understanding and compositional ideas. The course briefly explores the history of photography and the role of aesthetic principles in making strong images. The school owns 35 mm cameras which students may borrow. Students supply their own photographic paper and film, which are available for purchase in the bookstore. All other basic supplies are provided. Students wishing to take a full year of Photography Minor should list this course twice on their course registration sheets.

RT300 Art Major: Drawing and Painting
Grade level: 10-12
Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: ART 101 and Departmental Permission)

Art Major in Drawing and Painting is an advanced course that continues the study of art as visual language. Students wishing to take Art Major for the first time will be required to take it for the whole year. In subsequent years, students whose course load precludes them from taking the major for the full year will have the option of taking Art Major for one or both semesters once they have completed the full-year course. Art Major explores the more complex issues of color, composition, and space through exercises in drawing, oil painting, and watercolor. While the use of traditional materials and techniques is taught, the focus of the course is to teach students to see the relationship between technical skills and aesthetic expression. The course will also help students prepare a portfolio for the college admissions process.

ART330 Art Major: Ceramics
Grade level: 10-12
Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: ART 131 and Departmental Permission)

Ceramics Major is an advanced course that continues and intensifies the study of ceramics begun in Ceramics Minor. Students wishing to take Ceramics Major for the first time will be required to take it for the whole year. In subsequent years, students whose course load precludes them from taking the major for the full year will have the option of taking Ceramics Major for one or both semesters. Hand-building is the main focus of the Ceramics Major curriculum. Both functional and sculptural projects are assigned in the exploration and development of personal expression. Other important aspects of Ceramics Major include working with a larger variety of different clays, and both oxidation and reduction (when applicable) firing processes. The course will also help students prepare a portfolio for the college admissions process.

ART340 Art Major: Photography
Grade level: 10-12
Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: ART 141 and Departmental permission)

Photo Major is an advanced course that continues and intensifies the study of photography begun in Photo Minor. Students wishing to take Photography Major for the first time will be required to take it for the whole year. In subsequent years, students whose course load precludes them from taking the major for the full year will have the option of taking Photography Major for one or both semesters. Photography Major explores various styles of shooting: landscape, documentary and portraiture, with an emphasis on developing a point of view. Students learn to use different films such as black and white infra-red, and slow ISO films. Selenium and Sepia Toning of prints is also part of the curriculum. Basic studio lighting using strobe equipment is also included. This course includes a unit on digital color photography in which students shoot with digital cameras provided by the school, manipulate the print in Photoshop, and learn the mechanics of color printing. Students are also responsible for providing film and paper, which are available for purchase in the bookstore. All other basic supplies are provided, including 35 mm cameras as well as digital SLR cameras. Students have one field trip in the Washington area. The course will also help students prepare a portfolio for the college admissions process.

Art FAQs

Are there any general art courses offered in the US?

No, general art courses covering a range of media and techniques end at the MS level. In the US art courses are specialized.

What is the Arts Requirement for US students?

A minimum of 1 credit in the fine or performing arts is required for graduation. This can be fulfilled by taking courses in drama, music, dance, or the visual arts.

What media does the US art curriculum cover?

US art courses specialize in Photography, Ceramics, and Drawing & Painting.

Do students have to specialize in a particular art throughout their US years?

No, students often try more than one art discipline on the Minor and/or Major level, and although it’s difficult to fit into the schedule, some end up “specializing” in two disciplines.

What’s the difference between a Major and a Minor art course?

Art Minor courses are introductory level; they receive 1/2 credit per semester and meet twice a cycle; Art Minor grades are not calculated in the student’s GPA. Art Major courses are year-long, advanced classes that meet four times per cycle; Art Major grades are calculated in the student’s GPA.

Why do students have to take a Major class for a full year the first time they enroll?

We strongly believe that students in the visual arts need time and a sense of ongoing commitment to have an immersive experience and achieve a higher level of craftsmanship and performance. When students of art sense that they are in it for the long haul, they are more likely to understand intermittent challenges in context and are less likely to give up when they face difficulty. Ultimately they develop stronger skills as well as the confidence to take creative risks that those skills allow.

Is it possible to concentrate on one discipline in the visual arts in the US?

Yes, students with an interest in a particular studio discipline are encouraged to take the Major level course multiple times; with each successive enrollment in the course students grow in their artistic skills and capabilities through a variety of projects and skill building techniques.

Does the Art Department assist students in making art portfolios for college applications?

Yes, the department provides the opportunity to have a digital portfolio created by a professional photographer in the Fall of her senior year; art faculty guide students through the portfolio process.

Does Holton offer AP Art?

Although there is no specific AP Art course, interested juniors and seniors may submit a portfolio for AP art credit. These students are guided through the AP portfolio process in the context of an Art Major class.


Dance and Drama

Dance and Drama Department Coordinator: Sarah Roney

We believe that a student finds her unique voice when given opportunities for self-expression. At the core of each experience in Dance & Drama is a commitment to collaboration, creativity, and risk-taking. Every creative process represents a journey and every aspect of a student’s Holton education informs that process. Likewise, a student’s experience in the performing arts will inform her work in every other academic discipline. Courses in dance & drama promote the acquisition of knowledge and technical skills while encouraging the development of the imagination and aesthetic sensitivity.

Course opportunities in dance, drama, and production technology are offered during the curricular day. Curricular study in dance & drama also extends beyond the school day. Opportunities include: dramatic productions and workshops (some require an audition), hands-on experience in technical theater and design, and the Orchesis Dance Ensemble (which requires an audition). Spacious dance studios and three theaters (including a Black Box and an amphitheater) support the performing arts experience.

One credit in the fine or performing arts is required for graduation.

PA080 Speech - Communication Skills
Grade level: 8
(required)

Students develop techniques to express and present themselves orally in a clear and confident manner. Skills for effective public presentation are explored and practiced through a variety of exercises and assignments involving oral presentation. Emphasis is placed on thorough preparation and practice, pace, posture, projection, enunciation and eliminating verbal litter. Students practice active listening and constructive criticism. Using the three Aristotelian appeals: logos, ethos and pathos, students learn to persuade their audience and identify persuasive techniques in the media.

PA078 Middle School Acting Workshop
Grade level: 8
(elective)

In Middle School Acting Workshop we focus on playing characters broadly and boldly. Students are encouraged to grow their range of personal expression with a particular focus on physical and vocal characterization. We explore the job of an actor by reading and performing scenes from four plays. Students have ample opportunity to try multiple characters and performance styles. As a culminating project students prepare a present one scene to share with the middle school.

PA0785 Middle School Production Technology
Grade level: 7, 8
(elective)

Students in Production Technology will learn the basic skills, tools, and techniques for creating scenery, properties, lighting, sound, and costumes. Students will learn the safety standards and practices utilized within a working theater and scene shop as well as studying theatre vocabulary, backstage procedures and theater etiquette. Students will also be exposed to the collaborative creative process and will have opportunities to use their new skills to create actual elements for use in Middle and Upper School drama productions, musical concerts, and dance performances.

PA105 Acting Workshop
Grade level: 9-12
Credit: ½ per semester

Acting Workshop provides a foundation in acting technique. Through units on improvisation, devised theater, character study, ensemble-building, physical and vocal expression, and scene study, students explore the work of the actor as part of a theatrical community. Students are introduced to fundamentals of performance and gain verbal and nonverbal communication skills that promote creativity and confidence for the stage, and life. Brief written assignments and readings, as well as memorization and rehearsal time, support class work. Specific assignments will be tailored to the developing skills and interests of the students enrolled. This course may be repeated.

PA106 Advanced Acting Workshop
Grade level: 9-12
Credit: ½ per semester
(Prerequisite: PA105 or permission of instructor)

This course builds on the skills of the Acting Workshop with greater emphasis on scene study. In-depth interpretation, text analysis, and characterization are explored in support of performance. Students work to develop the skills necessary to analyze and perform any realistic scene, including defining specific actions and objectives, living within the “truth of the moment,” and physical and vocal characterization. Students work together to prepare scenes and individually on monologues. Students may also complete projects designed to provide a window into the process of play production, including audition preparation, play proposals and the preparation of a theatrical resume. Specific term projects will be tailored to the developing skills and interests of the students enrolled. Students are encouraged to experiment beyond their individual comfort zones. Written assignments, readings, memorization, rehearsal time, and play reviews support class work. This course may be repeated.

PA101 Production Technology and Design
Grade level: 9-12
Credit: ½ per semester

This course provides instruction in the creation of live performances (drama, music, dance, etc.) from the perspective of the non-performing artist. Creation of scenery, properties, lighting, sound, and costume are explored as well as the safety standards and practices utilized within a working theater and scene shop. Topics covered include the tools and materials used to create a production, the safe and proper methods for using such tools and materials, basic scientific theory supporting these methods, and initial explorations into the process of designing for the stage. Students undertake construction and assembly projects in support of the school’s performing arts ensembles.

PA102 Advanced Production Technology and Design
Grade level: 9-12
Credit: ½ per semester
(Prerequisite: PA101 or permission of instructor)

This course continues and expands upon the basic knowledge and skills acquired in Production Technology and Design. Unusual materials, advanced techniques, and scientific underpinnings are explored. This includes topics such as electrical theory, sound propagation, and color theory as well as the organization of a production company, stage management, and rehearsal techniques. Students also apply the tools and techniques they have learned in previous courses as they explore the theatrical design process and create a fully realized design for a theoretical stage production in one of the areas of scenery, lighting, sound, or costume. Students also undertake more complex projects in support of the school’s performing ensembles. This course may be repeated.

PA191 Dance Composition and Choreography
Grade level: 9 – 12
Credit: ½
(Credit is given for Physical Education or Performing Arts, but not both.)

Dance Composition and Choreography is designed to introduce students to the creative process and compositional tools that are at the core of making dances. Students will explore various choreographic tools through short movement studies and in longer works-in-progress. Each student, regardless of ability level, will be encouraged to expand her movement vocabulary, her perception of dance, and her understanding of music and sound as expressive partners. Solo studies and small group choreographic projects will help students explore the source of movement ideas and movement development and gain a greater appreciation for dance as a vehicle for artistic expression. This course may be repeated.

PA 192 Dance Technique
Grade Level: 9-12
Credit: ½
(Credit is given for Physical Education or Performing Arts, but not both.)

Dance Technique is a minor elective course geared towards the beginning and intermediate dancer, building upon the dance experiences in Lower and Middle School. The primary emphasis is on exploring the elements and stylistic nuances of modern and ballet dance technique. A typical technique class includes warm-up exercises, floor work or barre work, center work, and finally traveling combinations that encourage the dancers to move through greater space. In addition to acquiring technical skills and gaining an understanding of dance as an expressive art form, students will begin the study of dance history and performance appreciation. This course may be repeated.

PA192D Dance Technique & Part-Time Orchesis (after school, fall semester)
Grade level: 9-12
Credit: ½
(Credit is given for Physical Education or Performing Arts, but not both. Prerequisite: permission of department)

This course allows a student to enroll in PA/PE192 Dance Technique outside the conventional school day by taking three technique classes per week (during the first semester) with the Orchesis company members. Modern and ballet technique are studied in depth, with students participating in warm up, center, and traveling exercises appropriate to both styles of dance. Dancers are not eligible to perform in the Orchesis Concert or WAISDEA Festival (unless they audition, and are selected, to be part-time members of Orchesis).

PA193D Spring Dance Workshop (after school, spring semester)
Grade level: 9-12 Credit: 1/2
(Credit is given for Physical Education or Performing Arts, but not both.)

This course allows a student to enroll in PA/PE193D Dance Technique outside the conventional school day by taking two technique classes per week (during the second semester) after school. Dance Technique is a minor elective course geared towards the beginning and intermediate dancer, building upon the dance experiences in Lower and Middle School. The primary emphasis is on exploring the elements and stylistic nuances of modern and ballet dance technique. A typical technique class includes warm-up exercises, floor work or barre work, center work, and finally traveling combinations that encourage the dancers to move through greater space. In addition to acquiring technical skills and gaining an understanding of dance as an expressive art form, students will begin the study of dance history and performance appreciation. This course may be repeated.

PA290 Dance Technique and Orchesis Ensemble*
Grade level: 9-12
Credit: 1
(Credit is given for Physical Education or Performing Arts, but not both. Prerequisite/Co-requisite: PE/PA 191 and permission of department)

This course provides interested students with a more intense dance experience. Company members meet four days a week, for up to two hours, for technique classes and rehearsals. Modern and ballet technique are studied in depth, with students participating in warm up, center, and traveling exercises appropriate to both styles of dance. Students also participate in various aspects of the choreographic process. Performance opportunities are offered through peer, faculty, and guest artist choreography. The commitment to Orchesis as a class and company spans the first two athletic seasons.

* Participation by audition only.

Dance and Drama FAQs

How many plays are there in a year?

There are three major productions per year: the fall and winter plays are directed at Holton and the spring play is staged at Landon. The One-Act Festival and the Directors’ Challenge are smaller shows that offer great opportunities for students wanting to try acting or tech on a smaller scale.

When do the plays rehearse?

Rehearsals are either in the afternoon or evening, with occasional weekend rehearsals. For major productions, students can expect to rehearse 0-4 times/week, 2 weekends, and each night the week of the show. There are far fewer rehearsals for the One-Act Festival and Directors’ Challenge

How can I get involved if I am not a performer?

Holton has a thriving technical theatre program. The production technology courses offer hands-on opportunities for students to learn how to build sets, hang and focus lights, run the sound and light boards, and more. Students also produce the technical aspects for every show (set, lights, sound, props, costumes, hair and makeup, and stage management). There is a drop-in tech workshop open to all students most days from 3:45-5:30pm. There are apprentice and leadership opportunities available to students on every show.

Do I have to enroll in a class to participate in the plays?

N. The classes are designed to provide a curricular foundation and a broader study of the craft, and prepare students for successful involvement in the play(s).

Are all dance and drama performance opportunities by audition only?

No. Dance and acting classes during the school day do not require an audition and sometimes culminate in informal showings of work in progress. Orchesis and the other plays are by audition.

What is Orchesis?

Holton’s dance company, selected by audition. Orchesis meets from 3:40-5:30pm four days a week for technique classes predominantly in modern, ballet, and jazz, and to rehearse original student and teacher choreography to be featured in an annual concert in February. Orchesis meets from September through February. There are two tiers of membership: full members attend all classes/rehearsals; associate members are students who dance extensively outside of Holton and attend 2-3 days of classes/rehearsals with Orchesis.

When are the auditions for Orchesis?

Auditions for Orchesis are held in the spring for the following fall, and again in the fall.

Can I be in Orchesis and a play at the same time?

Yes, but dancers are encouraged to seek a limited participation in a play during their dance seasons. Students performing at the highest dance level may find it difficult to participate in a play because of their many academic, dance and rehearsal responsibilities.

Can I be in a music ensemble and participate in the plays or Orchesis?

Yes. Music ensembles rehearse during the school day and do not conflict with drama rehearsals or Orchesis.

Can I be in a play and participate in sports?

Yes, but athletes are encouraged to seek a limited role (technical or acting) in a play during their sport season(s). Students performing at the highest athletic level may find it difficult to participate in a play because of their many academic and athletic responsibilities.

Can I be in Orchesis and participate in sports?

Yes, but only in the spring when Orchesis is not in session.


Music

Director of Fine and Performing Arts: Mary Jane Pagenstecher

The goal of the music program is to help students discover the value of music and all the arts in their lives. The study of music develops cultural literacy and aural sensitivity. General music classes and performing ensembles promote the development of musical understanding and technical skills and encourage the development of the imagination and aesthetic sensitivity. Students explore music from a wide range of cultures, styles, and musical traditions. In doing so, they develop a deeper understanding of music as a reflection of society and humanity. Opportunities for making music are available to all interested students. The large performing ensembles (chorus, string orchestra, and wind ensemble) rehearse during the curricular day and do not require an audition. Additional ensembles for highly motivated and capable musicians meet before or after school and students are selected by audition. Outstanding rehearsal spaces, two theaters, a music technology lab, and individual practice rooms support the musical experience.

One credit in the fine or performing arts is required for graduation.

MU070 Music 7
Grade level: 7
(required)

Music 7 students examine the role of popular song in American culture and in their own lives from the perspectives of performer, composer, and social historian. The Music Technology Lab serves as a focus for hands-on exploration of popular song styles and their roots, beginning with the turn of the century and the blues. Using electronic keyboards and composition software, students arrange, create, and improvise. In small collaborative groups, students focus on music written to effect social change by creating their own songs and producing a short radio show on a topic of interest.

MU095 Middle School Chorus
Grade level: 7, 8

Middle School Chorus is open to seventh and eighth grade students interested in the study and performance of choral music. Emphasis is placed on basic vocal technique, music literacy, two and three-part singing, stylistic interpretation, and musical understanding through the study and preparation of choral literature from various cultures and musical traditions. The Middle School Chorus prepares music for at least two concert appearances each year. This is a full year course.

MU097 Middle School Handbells
Grade level: 7, 8

Handbell Choir is open to interested seventh and eighth grade students. Opportunities are available to perform a variety of music at school and in the community, frequently in conjunction with other Holton performing groups. This is a full year course.

MU099S Middle School String Orchestra
MU099W Middle School Wind Ensemble

Grade level: 7, 8
(Co-requisite: Private study recommended)

Middle School instrumental music ensembles afford interested students the opportunity to grow through performance. Emphasis is placed on improving tone quality, developing technique/musical expressiveness, and acquiring an understanding of the stylistic characteristics of literature from various cultures and musical traditions. The ensembles rehearse separately. Middle School students may be selected by audition from the large ensembles for instrumental chamber ensembles, Chamber Orchestra, and Jazz Band. These are full year courses.

MU100S Upper School String Orchestra
MU100W Upper School Wind Ensemble
Credit: 1

MU100CO Chamber Orchestra*
MU100JB Jazz Band*

Grade level: 9-12
(Prerequisite: 2 years of study on instrument or departmental permission.)

Upper school instrumental music ensembles afford interested students the opportunity to grow through performance. Emphasis is placed on improving tone quality, developing technique/musical expressiveness, and acquiring an understanding of the stylistic characteristics of literature from various cultures and musical traditions. The ensembles rehearse separately. Students may be selected by audition for instrumental chamber ensembles, Chamber Orchestra, and Jazz Band. All ensembles are full year courses.

* Participation by audition only. Students selecting Chamber Orchestra must also register for String Orchestra or Wind Ensemble.

MU110 Upper School Handbell Choir* Grade level: 9-12
Credit: 1

Upper School Handbell Choir affords interested students the opportunity to grow through performance. Emphasis is placed on improving technique and music expressiveness, and acquiring an understanding of the stylistic characteristics of literature from various cultures and musical traditions.

* Participation by audition only.

MU120 Upper School Chorus Credit: 1

MU120CS Chamber Singers*
MU120SC Swing Choir*

Grade level: 9-12

Chorus is open to interested students who share a passion for making music in a choral ensemble. Emphasis is placed on vocal training, part singing, stylistic interpretation, music literacy, and musical understanding through the study, preparation, and performance of choral literature from various cultures and musical traditions. Attendance at one outside choral concert each semester is required. Upper School Chorus is a minor class that prepares music for at least three concert appearances each year and meets for two class periods per cycle. All ensembles are full year courses.

* Participation by audition only. Students selecting Chamber Singers or Swing Choir must also register for Chorus

MU170 Music Composition and Music Technology
Grade level: 9-12
Credit: ½
(Prerequisite: Permission of instructor)

This one-semester course in the Music Technology Lab is designed for students interested in applying their technical and musical skills and knowledge in creative pursuits. Projects range from songwriting and arranging, to orchestration, to the creation of video soundtracks. Students continue to develop a functional understanding of music theory as well as expertise in using notation and sequencing programs. Instruction in these areas is individualized according to a student’s current level of experience.

Music FAQs

Do performing ensembles meet during the school day?

The large ensembles – Upper School Chorus, String Orchestra, and Wind Ensemble, all meet twice per cycle during the curricular day. Each ensemble has at least one after-school or weekend rehearsal prior to major concert performances.

Class times for select ensembles vary. Chamber Orchestra meets once a week beginning at 7:10 a.m. Jazz Band and Chamber Singers meet twice a week beginning at 7:20 a.m. Handbell Choir and Swing Choir meet twice per rotation during the school day. Swing Choir and Chamber Singers have once-per-month evening rehearsals.

Can I be in chorus and an instrumental ensemble?

Yes, if a student has enough open periods. Chorus does not meet simultaneously with band and orchestra.

Do I have to audition for the performing ensembles?

The Upper School Chorus, Wind Ensemble, and String Orchestra are open to anyone who wants to participate. Students are selected by audition for Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Singers, Handbell Choir, Jazz Band, and Swing Choir. Students must be members of the large ensemble (Chorus, Wind Ensemble, String Orchestra) to audition for the select ensembles, with the exception of Handbell Choir.

How can I fulfill the graduation requirement in the fine and performing arts?

The graduation requirement can be met by taking two semesters of a minor course in the fine or performing arts, or one year in a performing ensemble.

When are the auditions for select ensembles? Are students new to Holton eligible to audition?

Auditions for Swing Choir and Chamber Singers are held in the spring for the following fall. Auditions for Jazz Band and Chamber Orchestra are held in the fall. Auditions for Handbells are held in the spring and fall. Students new to Holton are eligible to audition for the select ensembles.

In addition to performance ensembles, what other music courses are available?

"Music Theory & Music Technology” is a one-semester course taught in our state-of-the-art Music Technology Lab that focuses on fundamentals of music theory, composition, arranging, and exploration of multi-media tools.

Can I take a general music class and be in an ensemble?

Yes, if there are no schedule conflicts.

Can I be in an ensemble and participate in the plays?

Yes.

Can I be in an ensemble and participate in athletics?

Yes. There are no scheduling conflicts that preclude participation in both.

Do I have to take private lessons to play in an instrumental ensemble?

No, private lessons are not required, but they are STRONGLY recommended for all instrumentalists.

Health Education

Department Chair: Lori Herringa

HE070 Health 7

Grade level: 7 (required)

Health 7 meets once per cycle, all year long. Class discussions and instructional activities are designed to encourage behavior choices that will enhance physical, intellectual, emotional, and social wellbeing. Course units include total wellbeing, skin care and sun safety, and drug and alcohol education. Students learn the importance of problem solving and decision making strategies for optimal health and analyze media messages that promote risky behaviors.

HE075 Guidance 7

Grade level: 7 (required)

Guidance 7 meets once per cycle, all year long. Class discussions and activities center on helping all 7th grade students develop a positive attitude toward self as a unique and worthy person. The class is also designed to help students learn developmentally appropriate communication skills with teachers, parents, and other adults in their lives; to help students gain life-planning skills that are in harmony with their needs, interests, and abilities; and to help students develop responsible social skills. The class also focuses upon important character traits such as respect, trust, honesty, flexibility, and compassion.

HE080 Health and Guidance 8

Grade level: 8 (required)

Health/Guidance 8 meets twice per cycle for one semester and is divided into two units. One unit is taught by the Middle School Counselor and addresses topics related to social, emotional, and physical health. These topics include but are not limited to sleep, depression, relationships, stress, cultural diversity, and harassment. The second unit is taught by a health teacher and addresses the physical components of health. It is divided into two areas of concentration; 1) nutrition and 2) reproductive and sexual health. Nutrition topics include the My Plate, fad diets, a nutrient review, sustainable food systems, eating disorders and disordered eating, and bone health. Reproductive and sexual health education focuses on reproductive anatomy, the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections.

HE090 Health and Guidance 9

Grade level: 9 (required) Credit: ½

This one-semester minor course is divided into two units. Unit 1 is taught by the School Nurse and addresses a variety of topics including the human immune system and communicable disease; alcohol and its effect on the teenage/human brain; over the counter, illicit and herbal drug remedies; gynecological and urogenital examinations, birth control methods and STIs; nutrition; and body image. All topics are addressed from a medical and scientific perspective only. Analysis of possible biases of Internet domains as sources of medical information is included. The second unit is taught by the Upper School Counselor and addresses the impact of personal behaviors on social and emotional health through discussions of body image and healthy eating, harassment and sexual decision making, substance abuse, the dangers of technology and cyber bullying, depression, suicide, and stress. There is also a focus on helping a friend with the above issues.

HE110 Current Issues in Women’s Health

Grade level: 11-12 Credit: ½

This one-semester minor course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to translate health knowledge into healthy behavior, now and in anticipation of life after Holton. The emphasis is on the skills and attitudes that will promote healthy decisions about substance use, stress management, sexuality, nutrition, and personal fitness and safety. Offered only if there is sufficient enrollment.

Physical Education and Athletics

Department Chairs: Cami Roth and Janet McCormick

Physical Education is an essential component of a curriculum that serves to educate the whole child. Carefully selected activities and diverse instructional programs promote and encourage lifelong maintenance of habits that contribute to efficient mental and physical functioning in our students. Risk taking is encouraged in an environment that is supported by respect and positive reinforcement. Cooperative team situations provide the student with the opportunity to problem solve and feel successful through a group effort. A major goal of the physical education program is to promote an interest in physical activity that continues throughout the student’s lifetime.

All students must earn two credits and must have passed a swim competency test by the end of the first semester of their senior year. If a student fails the swim competency test, she must enroll in and pass the Beginning Swimming course. Credits can be accomplished by completing four activities, which may include taking physical education classes and/or participating on interscholastic teams. Students earn 1/2 credit for the successful completion of each of these activities. Freshmen must earn at least 1/2 credit during their ninth grade year. Students are required to take Fundamentals of Physical Education for one semester in either the ninth or tenth grade.

Middle School Program

PE078 Middle School Physical Education/Athletics

All middle school students are required to participate in Physical Education/Athletics within the designated time period. Each season middle school students choose one activity from a wide range of competitive interscholastic and non-competitive or fitness-oriented options. Participation in Physical Education/Athletics will occur four days out of every six-day cycle. With the exception of game days and other off-campus activities, practices will conclude by 3:30 p.m.

The Middle School Physical Education / Athletics program recognizes and responds to the unique characteristics of young adolescents in its instruction, activities, expectations, and goals. In the Middle School we seek to develop and strengthen fundamental skills in a variety of activities. Coaches and students should seek to explore rather than specialize in athletic opportunities. Middle School Physical Education / Athletics will focus on teamwork and sportsmanship, health and safety, responsibility and accountability, and building meaningful relationships.

Upper School Program

The Physical Education instructional curriculum places major emphasis on developing lifetime habits of cardiovascular and physical fitness. The following minor courses are open to all students in grades 9-12 and can be repeated.

PE101 Fundamentals of Physical Education 1
Grade level: 9-12
Credit: ½
(Prerequisite: Must have completed swim competency test)

This required course provides students with the concepts and skills which are basic to acquiring and maintaining personal fitness. Instructional components include fitness evaluation and design of individual programs to develop muscle strength and flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, and exercise for stress management. Examples of activities in this course include aerobics, weight training, walking, running, and swimming. The course culminates in a class-wide triathlon competition.

PE105 Fundamentals of Physical Education 2
Grade level: 9-12
Credit: ½
(Prerequisite: PE101)

This physical education course will reinforce and build upon the fitness and weight lifting concepts and skills acquired in Fundamentals of Physical Education. Students will not only implement personal exercise and weight training programs, but they will also be challenged to participate in and acquire knowledge of various lifetime sports.

PE170 Beginning Swimming
Grade level: 9-12
Credit: ½

The Beginning Swimming course provides students with the concepts and skills needed to pass the swim competency test required for graduation. Students will receive individualized attention based on their individual ability. Students will develop their swimming endurance as well as stroke technique in the front crawl, backstroke, elementary backstroke, breaststroke, and treading water. The swim test is 150 yards of the pool swimming nonstop, jumping into the deep end and surfacing, and treading water for 2 minutes. In addition to passing the graduation swim requirement; the goal of this course is for all the students enrolled to have a basic level of comfort in and around the pool setting.

PE172 Lifeguarding
Grade level: 9-12
Credit: ½

The purpose of the American Red Cross Lifeguarding course is designed to teach candidates the knowledge and skills needed to prevent and respond to aquatic emergencies. The course content and activities prepare candidates to recognize and respond quickly and effectively to emergencies and prevent drowning’s and injuries. Students must be 15 years of age or older by the end of the course, be able to swim 300 yards continuously, surface dive and retrieve an object from the deepest end of the pool, and swim 20 yards carrying a 10lb brick. Upon successful completion of the course of 80% or better, students will receive an American Red Cross lifeguard and first aid certification and CPR certification for the professional rescuer. Seniors are required to complete the entire course if signing up during the Spring semester.

PE191 Dance Composition and Choreography
Grade level: 9-12
Credit: ½
(Credit is given for Physical Education or Performing Arts, but not both.)

Dance Composition and Choreography is designed to introduce students to the creative process and compositional tools that are at the core of making dances. Students will explore various choreographic tools through short movement studies and in longer works-in-progress. Each student, regardless of ability level, will be encouraged to expand her movement vocabulary, her perception of dance, and her understanding of music and sound as expressive partners. Solo studies and small group choreographic projects will help students explore the source of movement ideas and movement development, and gain a greater appreciation for dance as a vehicle for artistic expression. This course may be repeated.

PE192 Dance Technique
Grade level: 9-12
Credit: ½
(Credit is given for Physical Education or Performing Arts, but not both.)

Dance Technique is a minor elective course geared towards the beginning and intermediate dancer, building upon the dance experiences in Lower and Middle School. The primary emphasis is on exploring the elements and stylistic nuances of modern and ballet dance technique. A typical technique class includes warm-up exercises, floor work or barre work, center work, and traveling combinations that encourage the dancers to move through greater space. In addition to acquiring technical skills and gaining an understanding of dance as an expressive art form, students will begin the study of dance history and performance appreciation. This course may be repeated.

PA192D Dance Technique & Part-Time Orchesis (after school, fall semester)
Grade level: 9-12
Credit: ½
(Credit is given for Physical Education or Performing Arts, but not both. Prerequisite: permission of department)

This course allows a student to enroll in PA/PE192 Dance Technique outside the conventional school day by taking three technique classes per week (during the first semester) with the Orchesis company members. Modern and ballet technique are studied in depth, with students participating in warm up, center, and traveling exercises appropriate to both styles of dance. Dancers are not eligible to perform in the Orchesis Concert or WAISDEA Festival (unless they audition, and are selected, to be part-time members of Orchesis).

PA193D Spring Dance Workshop (after school, spring semester)
Grade level: 9-12 Credit: 1/2
(Credit is given for Physical Education or Performing Arts, but not both.)

This course allows a student to enroll in PA/PE193D Dance Technique outside the conventional school day by taking two technique classes per week (during the second semester) after school. Dance Technique is a minor elective course geared towards the beginning and intermediate dancer, building upon the dance experiences in Lower and Middle School. The primary emphasis is on exploring the elements and stylistic nuances of modern and ballet dance technique. A typical technique class includes warm-up exercises, floor work or barre work, center work, and finally traveling combinations that encourage the dancers to move through greater space. In addition to acquiring technical skills and gaining an understanding of dance as an expressive art form, students will begin the study of dance history and performance appreciation. This course may be repeated.

PE290 Dance Technique and Orchesis Ensemble*
Grade level: 9-12
Credit: 1
(Prerequisite/Co-requisite: PE/PA 191 and permission of department Credit is given for Physical Education or Performing Arts, but not both.)

This course provides interested students with a more intense dance experience. Company members meet four days a week, for up to two hours, for technique classes and rehearsals. Modern and ballet technique are studied in depth, with students participating in warm up, center, and traveling exercises appropriate to both styles of dance. Students also participate in various aspects of the choreographic process. Performance opportunities are offered through peer, faculty, and guest artist choreography. The commitment to Orchesis as a class and company spans the first two athletic seasons.

* Participation by audition only.

Interscholastic Athletic Program

Holton-Arms is a member of the Independent School League, the Washington Metropolitan Private School Swimming & Diving League, the Mid Atlantic Girls’ Hockey League (local), the Women’s Ice Hockey League of the Mid Atlantic and the Washington Metropolitan Interscholastic Rowing Association. Students who are selected to participate on one of the interscholastic sports teams as a player or manager are granted ½ credit in Physical Education. Team managers may also receive credit by working with both their coach and the Athletic Director as they carry out needed duties and fulfill a personal work-out schedule.

Fall Season

PE300 Varsity and Junior Varsity Field Hockey

PE310 Varsity and Junior Varsity Soccer

PE320 Varsity and Junior Varsity Tennis

PE330 Varsity and Junior Varsity Volleyball

PE340 Varsity Cross Country

Winter Season

PE400 Varsity and Junior Varsity Basketball

PE410 Varsity Swimming and Diving

PE420 Varsity Ice Hockey

PE430 Winter Club Crew

PE440 Winter Club Training

Spring Season

PE500 Varsity and Junior Varsity Lacrosse

PE510 Varsity and Junior Varsity Softball

PE520 Spring Club Tennis

PE530 Varsity Track and Field

PE540 Varsity and Novice Crew

Physical Education FAQs

What is the Physical Education requirement for Upper School students?

Each Upper School student must complete two full credits (4 activities or classes) by taking physical education classes (which includes dance classes) or participating in interscholastic teams. All students must also pass a swim competency test prior to the first semester of their senior year to graduate. Students must earn at least ½ credit during grade 9 and are required to take Fundamentals of Physical Education for one semester during grade 9 or 10.

What courses are offered at the Upper School level?

  • Fundamentals of Physical Education I (required)
  • Fundamentals of Physical Education II
  • Dance Technique
  • Dance Composition and Choreography
  • Performance Group/Orchesis
  • Beginning Swimming
  • Lifeguarding

Does Holton offer a Physical Education exemption for outside activities?

On occasion, special consideration is given to students intensely involved at an advanced level of physical activity not offered at Holton, and where practice and competition schedules leave very little study time. Permission and paperwork must be completed with the athletic director within the first week of the semester.

What interscholastic sports are offered each season?

  • Fall - Cross Country, Field Hockey, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball
  • Winter – Basketball, Swimming and Diving, Ice Hockey, Indoor Track
  • Spring – Crew, Lacrosse, Softball, Tennis, Track and Field

What club sports are offered?

Winter Crew training and Spring Tennis

When do sport try-outs begin in the fall?

Monday, August 22, 2016 at 8 a.m. All fall athletes must be in attendance at preseason in order to participate.

When do practices occur?

Practices take place five days a week, typically from 3:45 - 5:45 p.m., and occasionally on Saturdays as well.

How are teams selected?

Teams are selected according to ability. Prior participation on a team still requires an individual to try-out, and one’s year in school does not determine playing status or position.

What if my daughter is involved on an outside team?

Holton teams must take priority over outside sports.

Does the Athletic Department assist students in exploring potential opportunities at the collegiate level?

The athletic staff provides a Student and Parent Guide for the Student-Athlete. Individual meetings can be scheduled with the athletic director or any coach at any time to assist in understanding the recruiting process.

Library

Director of Library and Information Services: Mike Robertson

The Marriott Library strives to provide access to information for all students, encouraging them to become independent, lifelong learners. An extensive collection of curricular, co-curricular, and recreational materials, as well as state-of-the-art technology, is available to students and teachers to implement this goal.

The objectives of the library program include:

  • Instructing the students in the use of the library and its resources: print, non-print, and electronic;
  • Developing the students’ research skills in accessing information;
  • Developing the students’ information literacy (i.e. not only accessing information but also learning how to evaluate the type, quantity, and quality of information needed and how to make best use of it);
  • Stimulating the students’ interest in reading fiction and nonfiction as sources of pleasure and enrichment.

The library program is integrated into the curriculum at all grade levels and in all subject areas. The librarians work with students individually and in scheduled classes to help them acquire research skills, develop information literacy, and master the variety of changing information sources including books, e-books, online databases, web materials, and multimedia sources. Basic skills introduced in the seventh grade develop in complexity each year and include a formal research paper in tenth grade. Specialized reference sources, services, and search strategies for each discipline are introduced as needed.

Reading Programs

Grade level: 7-12

The librarians, in conjunction with classroom teachers, encourage the students to develop a lifelong interest in the pleasures of reading through a variety of formal and informal programs. These include presenting regularly scheduled reading activities to seventh graders, preparing book talks, bibliographies, and annotated reading lists as requested by teachers, maintaining displays of new and timely materials, providing individual reader guidance, and developing reading advisory pages for the library website. Students have access to not only traditional print books but also a new collection of e-books and e-audiobooks that can be downloaded to a variety of electronic devices.


Holton-Landon Coordinate Offerings for Seniors

Holton and Landon offer a limited selection of classes that meet outside the regular school day. Courses are by permission only, and students are limited to one coordinate course in their senior year. Morning classes begin at 7 a.m. Evening classes, when offered, will run from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. (Holton) and 7 – 9 p.m. (Landon).

Holton-Landon courses count as an academic major and will factor into a student’s GPA. All courses are by permission only and will run if numbers allow (please list alternates).

Courses taught at Holton:

Not offered in 2016-2017: AP Psychology (Holton, three mornings per week: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday)

Courses taught at Landon:

Multivariable Calculus (Landon, three mornings per week)

Course Descriptions:

AP Psychology: HSSLA02
Departmental Permission Required Credit: 1

The AP Psychology course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and animals. Students are exposed to the major core concepts and theories of psychology, including the biological, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, psychodynamic, and sociocultural perspectives. Most importantly, students will learn the basic skills of psychological research and apply psychological concepts to their own lives. Students prepare for the Advanced Placement exam, which is required.

The class will meet at Holton three mornings per week (Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) from 7 – 8 a.m. The class meets for less overall instruction time with the teacher than the section that will meet during the school day. As such, students are expected to show high levels of independence and follow-though with regard to assignments and online learning components.

Multivariable Calculus: MALA01
Grade level: 11, 12 Credit: 1
(Prerequisite: AP Calculus BC)

This advanced level math course, designed for students who have completed the BC Advanced Placement syllabus, deals with functions of more than one independent variable. Topics will include partial differentiation, multiple integrals, vector-valued functions and differential operators, Stokes’ and Green’s Theorems and methods of differential equations. The physical concepts of flux, circulation, divergence and work will receive special attention, as will the central notion of a conservative field.

Class will meet at Landon three mornings per week.

FAQs

Wait -- there are 2 varieties of AP Psychology?

Yes. One section will meet during the school day; the Holton-Landon section will meet before school. Technically, there is an OSG option as well, but with three options here at Holton, the school wouldn’t pay for OSG.

And can I also choose to take AP Art History within the usual Holton school day?

Yes, provided sign-ups call for two sections.

What if I foresee conflicts—like play rehearsals, intense sports commitments, musical ensembles, etc.?

The evening classes will meet on non-game-day evenings as much as possible and after practices are over to ease the impact on athletes. Teachers and schedulers will try to work around the morning schedules of those who sign up; that said, some students might have unavoidable conflicts. Unresolvable conflicts will require students to make a choice.


Online School for Girls

Students may take courses through the Online School for Girls. OSG classes may count toward credits earned for graduation, but cannot be used to fulfill discipline-specific requirements, with the exception of science, for which an OSG class can be used to complete the third of three required years.

Students seeking to earn Holton credit for an OSG class must seek permission in advance from the Upper School Director, who will review such requests with the Class Dean, advisor, and, where applicable, the Learning Specialist. If the course is approved, grades and credits from the OSG class will be recorded on the student’s Holton-Arms transcript. However, grades earned in an OSG class are not included in the student’s Holton-Arms GPA. For further information about OSG classes, such as how to register and payment requirements, see the Upper School Director or the Grade 11 Class Dean.

The following classes are available through the Online School for Girls for the 2016-2017 School Year. All classes are full-year in length. More information can be found through OSG’s course listing.

Girls Courses & Programs:

  • AP Art History and Art History
  • AP Calculus BC*
  • AP Computer Science A
  • AP Computer Science Principles
  • AP Environmental Science*
  • AP Human Geography
  • AP Macroeconomics*
  • AP Microeconomics*
  • AP Music Theory
  • AP Physics 1*
  • AP Physics C - Mechanics
  • AP Psychology* & Psychology
  • AP Statistics* & Statistics
  • AP US Government* and Politics
  • AP Comparative Government and Politics
  • Creating Tomorrow – Designing for a Digital World
  • Forensic Science
  • Independent Study
  • Introduction to Computer Programming
  • Introduction to Engineering*
  • Linear Algebra
  • Multivariable Calculus and Differential Equations
  • Neuroscience

Co-Ed Courses and Programs

  • AP Chinese & Chinese V
  • AP Computer Science A
  • AP Environmental Science
  • AP French & French 5
  • AP Music Theory
  • AP Psychology & Psychology
  • AP Spanish Literature & Culture
  • Advanced Spanish for Heritage Speakers
  • Latin I
  • Latin II
  • Latin III/IV
  • AP Latin
  • Marine Science
  • Multivariable Calculus & Differential Equations
  • This I Believe: Activism in the Age of Disenfranchisement & Extremism
Powered by Finalsite