True, deep learning is a result of the appropriate balance of student freedom and responsibility. Our Upper School’s challenging curriculum and student-led philosophy prepare students to think critically and collaborate professionally. As a premier college preparatory school, St. Martin’s offers numerous advanced placement and honors classes along with in-house ACT and SAT prep classes. The administration expects student involvement in every facet of school life. As a result, students internalize a sense of ownership and responsibility and carry it with them into adulthood.
English I functions as an introduction to literature and therefore includes a study of various literary genres: short stories, poetry, the novel, nonfiction, and drama. The course also includes a study of the Bible as literature and The Odyssey. The writing component includes analytical essays, personal response essays, creative writing, and journals. A review of the basic principles of grammar is included as well. Student-led discussions and presentations using technology are important components of developing competence as speakers and leaders.
English II offers a survey of American literature, including novels, dramas, short stories, poems, and essays. Composition is the other major component of the course, including journal-style responses, in-class essays, group presentations, creative writing, and papers of literary analysis. Grammar review and vocabulary instruction are also elements of the curriculum. Student-led discussions and presentations using technology are important components of developing competence as speakers and leaders. The dual aims of the course will be igniting students’ passion for and appreciation of great works of American literature and establishing a framework for what constitutes effective critical reading and writing.
English II Honors offers a survey of American literature, including novels, dramas, short stories, poems, and essays. Composition is the other major component of the course, including journal-style responses, in-class essays, group presentations, creative writing, and papers of literary analysis. Grammar review and vocabulary instruction are also elements of the curriculum. Student-led discussions and presentations using technology are important components of developing competence as speakers and leaders. The dual aims of the course will be igniting students’ passion for and appreciation of great works of American literature and establishing a framework for what constitutes effective critical reading and writing. Students in Students in English II Honors will read more selections and discuss in greater depth than students in regular classes.
English III surveys representative Anglophone literature from the Anglo-Saxon period to the present. During the year, students read at least three major British novels, one of their own choice. Grammar is taught using the students’ writing, with emphasis on specific problem areas. In addition to a number of writing assignments, students compose a research paper incorporating primary and secondary sources on a topic of their choice relating to the novels they have chosen to read. Students employ technology in conducting research and in producing enrichment presentations for their classmates, and discussion and collaboration are major components of the course.
AP English III offers a traditional survey of British literature, spanning from Beowulf through the greats of the twentieth century—Yeats, Eliot, Joyce, and Woolf—as well as Atwood, Coetzee, Okri, Desai, and other contemporary Anglophone writers. In addition to a number of specific writing assignments and enrichment presentations, the students complete two independent study projects. The fiction study requires that the students read a significant work of literature, present an oral report, write a primary source paper, and then compose a paper employing secondary sources. The non-fiction study also includes an oral report, but the writing is in the format of a New York Times book review. Grammar is taught using the students’ writing, with emphasis on specific problem areas. AP students read more selections and discuss in greater depth than students in regular classes. They also take more responsibility for the leadership of the class. These students take the Advanced Placement Language and Composition Exam in May.
English IV presents selected masterpieces of world literature chronologically from the Greeks to the present in the first semester. The second semester narrows the literary focus to texts from specific cultures around the world and is set up on an elective basis. Electives are Russian literature, Latin American literature, Asian literature. The literature provides the subject matter for work in composition designed to prepare students for college writing assignments. Students employ technology in conducting research and in producing enrichment PowerPoint presentations for their classmates.
AP English IV is a senior AP course that offers a survey of world literature from the ancient Greeks to the present. Students will examine the historical, philosophical, and cultural contexts of the literature that they read. In addition to extensive reading, composition is a major component of the course, and students will be expected to complete a variety of writing assignments, including a personal essay (for college applications), in-class written responses and reflections, weekly contributions to the class blog, timed in-class essays, papers of literary analysis, and ultimately a research paper in which the students will incorporate literary criticism. Students are expected to work at a college freshman level, and they will take the Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition Exam in May.
Creative Writing is an elective credit. The course covers craft-oriented reading (reading like a writer); composition; and work-shopping and revision in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and screenwriting. Each student will submit original works of creative writing to the class writing workshop four times over the course of the year. Class activities include a mixture of creative writing exercises, student presentations, craft-oriented reading, class discussions on the readings, and the workshop itself. All students will be encouraged to submit their work to The Lyre, St. Martin’s own original literary magazine.
Journalism is an elective credit. The course covers the fundamentals of newspaper writing and editing, including interviewing, news writing and analysis, opinions, entertainment, reviews, features, and sports. The study of newspaper production — including layout, online publishing, and photography — will emphasize working as a team, meeting deadlines, and adhering to
ethical standards of print and digital media. Students will apply these skills to produce
the school newspaper, The Halo.
Speech is an elective course for students who want to learn to think clearly and express themselves effectively before an audience, and it prepares students for college and their careers. Students are provided opportunities to increase their fluency as speakers and develop their self-confidence. The course covers multiple aspects of public speaking and gives the students practical experience through participation. The course introduces the beginning speech student to a study of poise, use of body and voice, public speaking, oral interpretation of literature, and beginning argumentation.
This course includes one semester of trigonometry, and one semester of algebra combined with functional analysis review. This course is a senior level course, on par with a first year college course. The topics studied in Advanced Math 1 represent a subset of Advanced Math II topics. Course prerequisites include Algebra 2 and Geometry.
This is a pre-calculus course that covers trigonometry, functional analysis, series and matrix methods, among other topics. This is a junior or senior level course on par with a first year college course. Course prerequisites include Algebra 2 and Geometry.
This is a pre-calculus course that covers trigonometry, functional analysis, series and matrix methods, among other topics. This is a junior level course on par with a first year college course. It is designed to prepare students to take AP Calculus. Course prerequisites include Algebra 2 H and Geometry H, or departmental approval.
Algebra I emphasizes the basic properties of the real number system and applications to solving problems that can be analyzed algebraically. Students solve various problems including those dealing with mixtures, uniform motion, percent, age, money, consecutive integers and angle relationships. The course begins with operations of real numbers and solving equations and inequalities. Other areas include polynomials and their factors, rational expressions, radicals, and quadratics.
Algebra II begins with a review of the properties of the real-number system and includes linear functions and relations, linear equalities and inequalities, polynomials and rational expressions, radicals, complex number systems, polynomial functions, exponential and logarithmic functions.
Explores the concepts of Algebra II in greater depth.
Calculus covers the concepts of limits, derivatives and integrals. This course covers most topics of the AB Advanced Placement curriculum but is not designed to prepare students for the AP examination. The pace of instruction and testing procedures make the course suitable for almost all students who have successfully completed Advanced Math 2 (or Advanced Math 2 Honors.)
AP Calculus explores the concepts of calculus in greater depth. This will be a relatively fastpaced course designed to prepare students for both AB and BC advanced placement examinations (Each student may select which AP exam to take). Because of this, the homework assignments will be extensive and significant emphasis will be placed on speed of work as well as content.
AP Statistics is a one-year college level course on statistical methods and reasoning. This is a relatively fast-paced course designed to prepare students for the advanced placement examinations. Because of this, the homework assignments will be extensive and significant emphasis will be placed on speed of work as well as content. This is a junior or senior class, and students must be concurrently enrolled in Advanced Math 2, Advanced Math 2 Honors, Calculus, AP Calculus, or Multivariable Calculus Honors.
This is a senior level calculus course which covers calculus concepts in higher dimensions. Students enrolling in the course must have successfully completed AP Calculus.
Geometry balances theory and applications, with an introduction to formal proof followed by lessons on deductive and inductive reasoning. Concepts of space geometry are integrated with plane geometry. Algebraic skills are reviewed and strengthened through application to solving problems in geometry. Students explore trigonometry, solid geometry and coordinate geometry.
Honors Geometry covers the course material in greater depth and integrates a substantial amount of advanced algebra.
Social Studies Curriculum
The World History course is an explanation of human civilization with a view to intensive study of how societies establish and modify their political, social and economic infrastructures. This emphasis prepares students for the more detailed examination of these mechanisms which will follow in Civics, U.S. History and social studies electives. The mutual contributions, stresses and conflicts of western and non-western cultures will be explored through consideration of primary and secondary sources, art, literature, science, philosophy and politics. Current events will be incorporated into the course as appropriate in order to identify elements of continuity and change between the past and present in the civilization studied. Critical thinking, writing and research documentation skills are honed in various modes of assessment such as presentations, debates and essay tests.
Advanced Placement World History – Modern is a two semester course constructed according to College Board requirements for this course so that students may earn college credit depending on the score they receive on the College Board Advanced Placement World History- Modern Exam. Because of the scope of this course, outstanding students are accepted by application. Advanced Placement World History Modern utilizes a college-level textbook as well as additional primary and secondary sources to complement the text and classroom instruction. The scope of the course considers the interaction of all world cultures from 1250 BCE up to the present year. Simultaneous chronological treatment of these civilizations allows
AP World History – Modern students to develop strong analytical and critical thinking skills. Student-centered assessments and AP Exam type essay and objective tests allow a breadth of skills development.
The U.S. History course is a survey of events from colonization in the 17th and 18th centuries to the late 1980's. Political and social developments are emphasized. Religious and intellectual movements are placed in the larger historical context. Attention is given to the changing roles of women and to the treatment of minority groups in the nation’s evolution. Involvement with other nations is treated in increasing detail as the United States assumes a more prominent role in international affairs early in the 20th century.
The AP course in U.S. History is designed to provide outstanding students invited into the course with an in-depth understanding of the nation’s development and prepares them for the AP American History Exam. In two semesters the course extends from early exploration to the Reagan presidency. Attention is given to both internal growth and external diplomacy. Minority groups in American society are placed within the framework of national development. AP students also review major controversies in the writings of American historians.
This course provides students with an understanding and appreciation of the United States’ government by studying democratic principles, the Constitution, the concept of federalism, the judicial system, the legislative process, the executive branch of government, the United States’ two-party system, the electoral college, and comparative governmental and economic systems (capitalism, socialism, communism, etc.). The student becomes exposed to a variety of related social, political, and economic issues and relates current affairs to the abstract political and economic concepts they are learning. The Civics curriculum is designed to help students make a more informed and intelligent assessment of their role as American citizens.
The AP Government and Politics course is offered to outstanding students invited into the course upon recommendation by members of the Social Studies Department, and prepares them for the AP Government and Politics College Board Exam. The course is a survey of events and concepts related to American government, placed in historical context. Particular attention is given to the creation and evolution of the United States Constitution, with emphasis upon the Bill of Rights and the issue of federalism. AP students are expected to delve more deeply into conceptual issues and to understand more complex causal explanations and historical connections; they are also required to undertake and satisfactorily complete an AP project, dealing with a legislative solution to a national problem.
This one semester course allows 11th and 12th grade students to master the key developmental experiences of Modern Middle Eastern countries (Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Israel and Egypt) as well as the impact of interaction between these countries and the West from 1790 to the current day. Additionally, students will speak and write analytically about key streams of Modern Middle Eastern thought (Shi'a, Sunni, Wahhabism, Sufism, Zionism, Arab Unity, Islamism, secularism, etc.). Emphasis is placed on the synthesis of viewpoints of various actors and writers (both Middle Eastern and Western) in decision making during the historical background period and the current period of Middle Eastern experience. Students will analyze both fictional and non-fictional (documentary) film accounts of the Middle East, and debate topical Middle Eastern issues.
This elective course designed for 11th and 12th graders prepares students for the AP Macroeconomics and AP Microeconomics exams. In the first semester, students will learn about the measurements of economic performance, national income and price determination, aggregate supply and demand, international trade, fiscal and monetary policy. In the second semester, we will examine the ways in which individuals, firms and governments make economic decisions and how those decisions are made in the product and resource markets.
Students apply economics principles to analyze both real and hypothetical decisions. Students must be able to illustrate their understanding in written, oral and graphical form.
The objective of the AP European History course is threefold; to increase students' knowledge of European History, to train them in the scholarly skills needed to succeed in college-level courses, and to help students succeed on the AP European History Exam.
The scope of this exploration will cover from the Late Middle Ages to the present, considering intellectual-cultural, political-diplomatic and social economic themes of European history. Students will use primary and secondary sources, maps, statistical tables, works of art and literature and pictorial and graphic evidence to develop a cohesive picture of each era and to place literature, art and events into accurate historical context.