Intellectual Virtues Academy: Public High School

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Ninth Grade Course Descriptions

HUMANITIES: Introduction to Philosophy (CP & HONORS)

This course will explore the Big Questions of human existence as an introduction to the types of inquiry expected of college students. Throughout this course, students will utilize and build upon their intellectual virtue foundation from the freshman year to carefully reflect and examine deeper questions about life and existence. The Big Questions covered may include: (1) ethical questions, such as ‘What is the good life?’ ‘Is virtue necessary for happiness?’ and ‘How is human personality related to the human character?’ (2) metaphysical questions, such as ‘What is the nature of the Universe?’ ‘Are virtuous actions free?’ and ‘Who am I (or, who are we)?’ and, (3) epistemological questions, such as ‘How can I obtain truth?’ ‘How is virtue necessary for knowledge?’ and ‘What is education?’ This course will also introduce the study of primary sources to expand students’ informational literacy.


Introduction to Philosophy Syllabus



English 9 is a literature-based course, which anchors the literary genres through Common Core-aligned writing tasks that emphasize critical analysis, argumentation, depth, complexity, and coherence. The selection of literature will be representative of modern and classical fiction and non-fiction, including primary and secondary source materials. Curriculum units will be centered on high-interest themes (e.g. social justice, cross-curricular, relevant and real-world), and will integrate writing, vocabulary development, speaking and listening, and research skills.


English 9 Syllabus



Algebra 1 covers the fundamental properties of the real number system. Topics include simplifying algebraic expressions, laws of exponents, solving first and second-degree linear equations and inequalities, solving systems of equations and inequalities, functions and function notation, graphs of linear and quadratic functions, radical equations, ratio and proportion, and the quadratic formula. Many problems are presented in context and students are required to read, interpret and solve such problems. All units will be anchored by performance tasks, requiring students to integrate multiple concepts and skills to develop answers to open-ended problems.



Algebra 1 Syllabus



Geometry builds upon students’ command of geometric relationships and formulating mathematical arguments. Students learn through discovery and application, developing the skills they need to break down complex challenges and demonstrate their knowledge in new situations. Course topics include reasoning, proof, and the creation of sound mathematical arguments; points, lines, and angles; triangles and trigonometry; quadrilaterals and other polygons; circles; congruence, similarity, transformations, and constructions; coordinate geometry; three-dimensional solids; and applications of probability


Geometry Syllabus



Biology focuses on the mastery of basic biological concepts and models while building scientific inquiry skills and exploring the connections between living things and their environment.  The course begins with an introduction to the nature of science and biology, including the major themes of structure and function, matter and energy flow, systems, and the interconnectedness of life. Students then apply those themes to the structure and function of the cell, cellular metabolism, and biogeochemical cycles. Building on this foundation, students explore the connections and interactions between living things by studying genetics, ecosystems and natural selection, and evolution.


AP Biology Syllabus

Biology Syllabus

Biology Syllabus H


Spanish I teaches students to greet people, describe family and friends, talk about hobbies, and communicate about other topics, such as home life, occupations, travel, and medicine. Each lesson presents vocabulary, grammar, and culture in context, followed by explanations and exercises. Vocabulary includes terms to describe school subjects, parts of the body, and people, as well as idiomatic phrases. Instruction in language structure and grammar includes the structures and uses of present-tense verb forms, imperatives, adjective agreement, impersonal constructions, formal and informal address, and reflexive verbs. Students explore words used in different Spanish-speaking regions and learn about the cultures of Spanish-speaking countries and regions within and outside Europe. The material in this course is presented at a moderate pace.


Spanish 1 

Spanish 2 



This course is designed to meet the individual needs of students in the area of fitness, specifically in the areas of cardiorespiratory fitness, strength fitness, flexibility, coordination, basic health, and nutrition. The class includes aerobics, weight training, and body strengthening movements. Instruction in skills will be provided in each activity. Cognitive-based physical- and health-related concepts and grade level physical fitness performance objectives will be reviewed, applied, and evaluated.


Physical Education Syllabus