Intellectual Virtues Academy: Public High School

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10th Grade Course Descriptions

HUMANITIES: Introduction to Philosophy (College Prep & 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 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 10 (College Prep & Honors)

English 10 builds upon students' foundation of critical reading and analytical writing skills.  Through texts that range from investigative journalism, essays, articles and historical documents to a novel, drama, poetry and short stories, students analyze the use of elements of literature and nonfiction.  As they develop their writing skills and respond to claims, students learn to refine arguments and organize evidence to support their position.  To hone their listening and speaking skills, students engage in a variety of media types through which they analyze and synthesize information, discuss material, create presentations, and share their work.  Students build their writing and speaking skills in journal responses, discussions, frequent free-response exercises, and essays or presentations, learning to communicate clearly and credibly in the narrative, argumentative, and explanatory styles. 


English 10 Syllabus

GEOMETRY (College Prep & Honors)

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 (College Prep & Honors)

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.


Biology Syllabus

Biology Syllabus H

Marine Biology Syllabus


World History since the Renaissance covers the development of civilizations around the world from the Renaissance to the present. The course covers major themes in world history, including the development and influence of human-geographic relationships, political and social structures, economic systems, major religions and belief systems, the effects of science and technology, the vital role of the arts, and the importance of trade and cultural exchange.


Topics covered in this course include the Reformation and its legacy, the Scientific Revolution, European exploration, the Enlightenment, political revolutions, the rise of nation-states, the industrial era, the spread of imperialism, and the issues and conflicts of the 20th and 21st centuries. Primary source documents, which appear frequently, encourage students to make connections to evidence from the past. Writing skills are honed through a spiraled sequence of short analytic pieces. 


World History Syllabus

SPANISH 1 (College Prep & Honors)

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.