Minnehaha Academy

Admission Office: 612-728-7722

ACADEMICS

The Upper School provides many opportunities for students to think for themselves, to explore their interests, and to pursue their talents. Our teachers, in collaboration with colleagues and administrators, are free to create and shape their curricula in order to enrich their students’ learning experience. Students are encouraged to take initiative, express creativity and challenge themselves in many different activities and areas of study.

Curriculum
Computer

AP Computer Science
1 credit

Open to 10, 11, 12
Application Process

This full-year course is designed for students who have a strong interest in computer science, who want to learn the principles of programming and who wish to prepare for the Advanced Placement Exam in Computer Science. The languages, primitive data types, dynamic allocation of memory, linear data structures and the comparison of searching and sorting algorithms are included. The Java programming language will be used.

Graphic Design
See courses listed under Fine Arts

English

English courses develop skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening as students read and respond to quality literature in all its forms. Students are expected to write in creative and expository formats and apply grammatical and composition guidelines to their speech and writing as they prepare themselves for the academic rigor of college. Students are asked to think critically and express their thoughts logically.

Selection Process for Honors English or AP English
Students are recommended for Honors or AP English classes by their current English teacher. Students will be accepted into Honors 10, AP English 11 or AP English 12 based on the following four criteria: their English grades for quarters 1, 2, and 3; the quality of their course-work writing; their class participation and attitude. Students already enrolled in an Honors or AP class will not necessarily be recommended for AP English in the following year. Also, any qualified English 12 students interested in taking the AP English exam in the spring may do so.


* indicates a required course.

*English 9
1 credit

This course prepares students for upper-level language and literature study and encourages a life-long love of learning and reading. Students develop their skills in reading, writing, vocabulary, speaking and listening, and critical thinking. Major literary works include The Odyssey (excerpts), Fahrenheit 451, Persepolis (Part I), and Romeo and Juliet, as well as a substantive non-fiction book of the student’s choice. In addition, the class will study poetry, short stories and essays by important authors ranging in time period and style from Emily Dickinson and Langston Hughes to James Hurst and Annie Dillard. Major writing assignments include formal literary analysis essays, a persuasive speech, original poetry, and a writing portfolio that contains original memoirs.

*English 10
1 credit

Over the course of the year, students will practice their reading and critical thinking skills through the study of fiction, non-fiction and poetry that includes both time-honored and contemporary works. Examples of these works include “Marigolds” by Eugenia Collier, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, Peace Like a River by Leif Enger, and the poetry of Robert Frost and Mona Van Duyn. To re-enforce and expand their writing skills, students will write in diverse forms, including full-length literary analysis essay, memoir, in-class essay, research paper, and original poetry. In addition, students will complete an intensive vocabulary program as well as study the rules of usage and punctuation.

Honors English 10
1 credit

Application process, replaces English 10
Centered on the theme of “points of view,” this class incorporates challenging and diverse works of literature including short stories, poetry, a Shakespeare play, a Dickens novel, and other varied fiction and non-fiction. Instruction combines terms, activities and skills recommended by the College Board. Students develop their critical reading and analytical writing skills focusing on diction, syntax, tone and detail. Other assignments include formal and informal responses to literature, a research paper, literary essays, and creative writing assignments. Summer reading and writing required.

*English 11
1 credit

In this chronological survey of American literature, composition assignments are integrated with the study of important works of American literature such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Great Gatsby, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and The Things They Carried. Supplementary readings include nonfiction essays, short stories by American authors, American poets from the 18th century to the present, and at least one modern play such as The Death of a Salesman. Students will gain understanding of literary forms, dominant philosophies and historical background associated with eras of American literature. Writing instruction focuses on the expository essay – narrative, comparison/contrast, literary analysis, and descriptive. Students will prepare for the college application process through grammar study and application; ACT writing preparation; and writing a college application essay.

AP English 11 – Language and Composition
1 credit

Replaces English 11; approval of current English teacher required
This introductory college-level course offers juniors the opportunity to read and carefully analyze a broad and challenging range of American fiction and nonfiction prose selections, deepening their awareness of rhetoric and the function of language. A desire to be challenged in one’s thinking and writing is a requirement. Course readings feature expository, analytical, personal, and argumentative nonfiction from a variety of authors and historical contexts. Students will also examine and work with essays, letters, speeches, images, and imaginative literature such as Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and O’Brien’s The Things They Carried. In addition, students will complete extensive review of grammar concepts aimed at ACT preparation. Summer reading and writing are required. Students will prepare for the AP Language and Composition Exam in May and may be granted college credit.

*English 12
1 credit

English 12 studies a variety of primarily British works while encouraging students to think deeply and critically. Basic and finer points of both persuasive and expository literary analysis are developed and demonstrated in full-length essays, in-class essays, and a literary research paper.

AP English 12 – Literature and Composition
1 credit

Application process, replaces English 12
Advanced Placement Literature and Composition is a college preparatory course devoted to cultivating and enhancing the critical reading and articulate writing of every student. With a special focus upon the aesthetic and philosophical aspects of British literature, this course asks students to write extensively within a variety of different contexts. These writings include Major Works Data Sheets, short in-class writings, formal papers, and timed in-class essay exams based on previous AP exam prompts. Ultimately, students will emerge with the ability to write thoroughly supported interpretations and analyses.

Advanced Composition
.5 credit

Open to 11, 12
Prerequisite: “B” in previous English courses. Class limited to 16 students. This course is an elective and does not replace a required English course.

This course is designed for students who want to expand their writing, take risks, and work hard. In addition to studying texts like The Elements of Style, Bird by Bird, and Warriner’s Grammar and Composition, students will examine and practice the writing techniques used by novelists, journalists, essayists, and poets. Major writing assignments include a satire, an essay about an object that is characteristic of American life, an editorial (that will be sent to a newspaper), a collection of poems, an interior monologue, an interview, a description of a room, and a dialogue suitable for a one-act play. Students will learn the importance of identifying and writing for a specific audience. In addition, students will learn how to be effective peer editors. By the end of the semester, each student will have a writing portfolio to refer to, to add to, and of which to be proud. Students will be encouraged to enter their pieces in local and national writing competitions and to attend at least one author-reading at a local bookstore.

Beginning Journalism
1 credit

Open to 9, 10, 11, 12
This yearlong course introduces students to journalism from both practical and theoretical perspectives. Students will learn the basics of reporting, news and feature writing, editing, photography and design for both print and online media. They will develop a more sophisticated understanding of the modern news media and develop skills in research, organization, time management, decision making, critical thinking and problem solving. The course includes training in desktop-publishing software (Adobe Photoshop and InDesign). Successful students will be capable writers and curious individuals eager to do their best work, which will be published in the school’s newspaper, yearbook and website.

Intermediate and Advanced Journalism
1 credit

Open to 10, 11, 12
Prerequisite: Teacher approval. Successful completion of Beginning Journalism normally required; rare exceptions may be made for students especially proficient in marketing, photography or graphic design. This course may be taken more than one year, with “Advanced Journalism” appearing on a student’s transcript for repeated years.

Students lead and produce the school newspaper, yearbook and website. They must be self-starters who can meet deadlines and work well independently and in teams. With advanced practice in writing, editing, photography and design – as well as leadership, planning and project management – students refine their communications skills, develop software skills and gain real-world experience with many practical applications beyond high school.

Speech Communication
.5 credit
Open to: 9,10,11,12. Prerequisite: None. This course is an elective and does not replace a required English course.
In addition to delivering five major speeches, students will also learn how to deal with stage fright, how to use the voice and body as natural and effective extensions of the words of a speech, how to write a good introduction, and how to constructively critique other classmates’ speeches in practice rounds. The five major speeches are 1) interview of a classmate 2) oral interpretation of a prose or poetry selection 3) non-original oratory 4) personal experience, and 5) Scriptural passage. Other assignments include analyzing public speakers such as the President and local TV anchors.

Argumentation and Debate (offered fall and spring semesters; may be repeated)
.5 credit
Open to 9,10,11,12
In this course students will learn skills for effective informal, formal, and team debate. Students will develop the ability to analyze arguments, conduct in-depth research on selected topics, and speak persuasively. Topics for debate include contemporary issues, Christian apologetics, and other important subjects. Students who complete this course will be prepared to debate competitively on the Minnehaha Academy Debate team, if they choose to participate.

Fine Arts

Fundamentals of Art and Design
.5 credit

Open to 9, 10, 11, 12
Fall and Spring Semester
Students will learn a variety of artistic techniques and gain experience in various art mediums through exploring the elements of art and design: Line, Color, Shape, Space, Form, Texture and Value. Students will learn art fundamentals through assignments in drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture and ceramics. Shortened Monday periods are used to explore Art History and the context of visual ideas.

Drawing
.5 credit

Open to 10, 11, 12
Fall Semester
Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Art and Design

Students will explore the wide range of artistic possibilities in the subject of drawing, and will create works in pencil, charcoal, ink and pastel. The course will include units in line drawing, portraiture/figure drawing, still life, abstract and perspective technical drawing. Students will keep a regular sketchbook.

Ceramics
.5 credit

Open to 10, 11, 12
Fall Semester
Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Art and Design

This challenging course will introduce students to the wide range of techniques involved in creating functional pottery. Students will use the pottery wheel to create bowls, plates and mugs, as well as create large-scale hand built pots. They will also work with glazes and firing techniques to develop colored finishes.

Painting
.5 credit

Open to 9, 10, 11, 12
Spring Semester
Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Art and Design

Students in Painting class will learn how to control color and advance their skills across a wide range of mediums and techniques. Assignments in the course are designed to teach the importance of good composition and use of the elements and principles of art and design. Students will make paintings using watercolor, acrylic and oil paint. They will also get to stretch their own canvases. We will also study famous paintings in art history.

Sculpture
.5 credit

Open to 9, 10, 11, 12
Spring Semester
Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Art and Design

This class will explore art in the 3rd dimension. Students will learn about sculpture through a range of assignments, including figure sculptures and portrait heads in clay, the assemblage of sculptures from found objects, and carvings in wood and stone. Other materials used in sculpting throughout the semester are cardboard, wax, wire and sheet metal. This class promises to be challenging and fun.

AP Studio Art (Drawing, 2D Design or 3D emphasis)
1 credit

Open to 11, 12
Prerequisite: Fundamental of Art and Design and at least 2 medium courses. Application process and approval of art teacher

This class is closely modeled after a college-level art course. Students develop their own unique ideas and express them in a series of artistic works. These works fulfill the portfolio requirements of the AP College Board, and are submitted for judging at the end of the year. Students choose the media and subject matter themselves, work one-on-one with the instructor and receive weekly class critiques. This class is especially recommended for those students with interest in pursuing an art related career or college program.

Digital Photography
.5 credit

Open to 9, 10, 11, 12
Students must provide their own DSLR camera
Digital Photography will provide an overview of photo composition and photo editing. Projects will mix artistic and journalistic subjects, including both candid and posed portraits, nature, sports action and photo essays. Other topics include: using Photoshop software; working with natural and artificial light; experimenting with aperture, shutter speed and manual SLR settings; using different lenses; cropping images; choosing and evaluating compact and digital SLR cameras; creating portfolio websites and displaying work in online portfolios; copyright protections and using watermarks; creating online slideshows; and finding resources for independent learning. Student work may be published in the school newspaper, yearbook and online media website.

Exploration of Theatre
.5 credit

Open to 9, 10, 11, 12
This course may be taken more than one semester.

One thing you can be sure of if you take this class: you will rarely sit in a desk! Daily exercises will challenge your imagination and lead you to understand the cornerstones of performance. Also, a comprehensive study of theatre history will show how the past affects the present.

Acting
.5 credit

Open to 9, 10, 11, 12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of “Exploration of Theatre” course or involvement in theater program or teacher approval. This course may be repeated.

Students in this course will learn the fundamentals of acting through study and performance. Students will learn how to study a text, find a sub-text, create authentic characters, play action rather than emotion, and discover their capacity to portray a range of character types and styles. Performance and Script Analysis will be the assessment used.

Beginning Filmmaking
.5 Credit

Open to 9,10, 11, 12
A hands-on class where students explore and experiment with how to tell (direct) stories visually. Students will learn the basics in making short films: grammatical visual language, shooting plans, screenwriting, directing and editing. In addition, students will gain an understanding of film history and evolution of the moving image. Students will shoot their short films on digital video cameras and edit them on iMovie. During the course of the semester, students will complete (write, shoot, direct and edit) one class group film, one silent film (three to five minutes), one sound exercise (30 seconds), and one dialogue film (three to five minutes).

Intermediate Filmmaking
.5 credit

Open to 10, 11, 12
Prerequisite: Beginning Filmmaking

In this second level course, students will build on the basics learned in Beginning Filmmaking. Students will explore different genres of filmmaking and analyze how these genres can affect their own film work. Students will film and edit 5 films during the semester: a stop motion animation film, a documentary short, a mood piece, an experimental film, and a final film. The final film for this class must be entered in a local film festival for judging.

Advanced Filmmaking
.5 credit

Open to 10, 11, 12
Prerequisite: Beginning Filmmaking and Intermediate Filmmaking

This course is the highest-level course in the filmmaking series for students with strong interest and ability. Students will identify a national festival or contest at the start of the semester, and they will write, film, and edit a script for that competition. Special attention will be paid to the process of revision in all stages of filming.

Beginning Graphic Design
.5 credit

Open to 9, 10,11,12
Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Art and Design. Students will need access to a digital camera with a removable media card. The school cannot provide digital cameras.

Graphic design is essentially about problem-solving. The core of this course is the skillful combining of images and text through computer-aided page design in order to communicate a given message. Through demonstrations, guided practice, and projects, students learn to use the MAC-based software programs Adobe Photoshop and InDesign. Students study basic design concepts, including typography, layout, space, color and form, and apply these to the creation of informative and persuasive materials. Students shoot their own photographs that are then used in the projects that require images. Specific assignments include creating posters, CD covers, brochures, and magazine layouts.

Advanced Graphic Design
.5 credit

Open to 10,11,12
Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Art and Design and Beginning Graphic Design

The course is a continuation of Beginning Graphic Design, expanding to projects that are larger and more complex in scale. Students learn the business and marketing side of design, and create digital art and designs using Adobe Photoshop and InDesign software programs. A final project consists of creating an original brand and all the parts of the brand’s visual identity.

Women’s Chorale
1 credit

Open to 9, 10, 11, 12
Prerequisite: approval of instructor

This course is designed for freshmen sopranos and altos or any upperclass student without prior choral singing experience. It is an introduction to music literacy, vocal technique and the choral art. Special focus is placed on the needs of the developing adolescent voice with repertoire and methods specific to the female instrument. The choir sings for chapel services and may participate in appropriate festivals in the metro area. The choir sings music of all time periods and performs both a cappella and accompanied literature. This class is a prerequisite to Singers. Auditions for Singers will be held each spring. Students may repeat this class as often as they wish. Grading criteria include daily theory work, concert performances, individual lessons with instructor and concert review papers.

Men’s Choir
1 credit

Open to 9, 10, 11, 12
Prerequisite: approval of instructor

This course is designed for freshmen tenors and basses or any upperclass student without prior choral singing experience. It is an introduction to music literacy, vocal technique and the choral art. Special focus is placed on the needs of the developing adolescent voice with repertoire and methods specific to the male instrument. The choir sings for chapel services and may participate in appropriate festivals in the metro. The choir sings music of all time periods and performs both a cappella and accompanied literature. This class is a prerequisite to Singers. Auditions for Singers will be held each spring. Students may repeat this class as often as they wish. Grading criteria include daily theory work, concert performances, individual lessons with instructor and concert review papers.

Singers
1 credit

Open to 10, 11, 12
Prerequisite: Women’s Chorale or Men’s Choir, and audition. (Exceptions may be made for students with at least one year of high school instrumental music.)

This select choir develops the skills of music literacy, vocal technique and artistic interpretation. The Singers share their music in four major concerts a year and in alternate years take an extensive concert tour. They sing for chapel services and frequently participate in festivals and church services throughout the metro. The choir sings music of all time periods and performs both a cappella and accompanied literature. Membership is granted through an audition process where students must demonstrate a good sense of pitch, a basic knowledge of music theory and the ability to read and carry a vocal part. Grading criteria include daily theory work, concert performances, individual lessons with instructor and concert review papers.

Symphonic Wind Ensemble
1 credit

Open to 10, 11, 12
Prerequisite: audition required

Students in the Symphonic Wind Ensemble are selected by audition to participate in this upper level music course. Class time is focused on mastering advanced band literature and applying music theory and history lessons that inform the way this repertoire is learned. Each student is further challenged by taking 12 individual lessons per year that focus on learning techniques specific to their abilities and needs. Performance is a key aspect of this course; all students play in Pep Band, formal Concerts and school chapel services. Wind Ensemble students are invited to take a concert/study trip on alternating years.

Concert Band
1 credit

Open to 9, 10, 11
Concert Band is open to all students that have played a band instrument through middle school. Students in this course will study the fundamentals of good technique and musicianship through performing a wide variety of quality band literature in various styles. Each student receives 6 individual lessons per semester tailored to their specific musical development and participates in band rehearsals. Students have many performance opportunities in addition to formal concerts, including pep band and chapel services. Students will also gain a basic understanding of music theory and music history relating to the pieces they perform.

Orchestra
1 credit

Open to 9, 10, 11, 12
Orchestra is open to all Upper School string players. Students play a variety of orchestral literature representing different styles and time periods. In addition to class rehearsal time, students participate weekly in one full orchestra rehearsal with winds, brass, and percussion. Student solos and ensembles are encouraged, and all students have the opportunity to compete at state competition. The Orchestra takes an extensive concert tour in alternating years.

Symphony Orchestra
non-credit

Open to winds, brass, and percussion students by audition and recommendation from Band directors.
Symphony Orchestra is a co-curricular ensemble opportunity for band students. Wind, brass, and percussion students join the string orchestra to perform advanced repertoire in a full orchestra setting. These musicians gain solo-quality playing experience, while exploring a variety of symphonic literature.

Madrigal Singers
non-credit

Open to Singers members, audition required
This 18 voice elite group of singers is auditioned out of the current Singers class. Auditions are held each Spring for the following school year. Rehearsals are held during zero hour twice a week from 7:30-8:20am. The Madrigal Singers are the featured performers in the Madrigal Dinner and Musical Revue that occur on alternating years in February. Typically comprised of upperclassmen, this ensemble features the highest caliber vocalists in the choral program. The Madrigals act as ambassadors for the school, They frequently appearing in school events like assemblies, chapels, open houses, the Heritage and Hope scholarship fundraiser, sporting events and special awards ceremonies. The small size of the ensemble enables the group to specialize in chamber music, vocal jazz, and madrigal repertoire.

Jazz Band
non-credit

Open to 9, 10, 11, 12
Jazz Band is a co-curricular course that is open to all students enrolled in the band program, grades 9-12. Jazz Band meets two times per week during zero hour and focuses on learning to play different styles, including swing, blues, funk, rock, bebop, and latin. Students also grow in their knowledge of music theory and apply that knowledge in particular through improvisation.

Pep Band
non-credit

Pep Band is required of all members of Concert and Symphonic Wind Ensemble. The Pep Band performs at selected home games of football, soccer, hockey, and both boys and girls basketball.

Vocal Studies (offered as available)
non-credit
Open to all students on an individual basis. Special fee.
These optional 30 minute lessons, which may be taken during the school day or after school as the student’s schedule permits, are especially valuable for choir students. Concentration is on basis techniques for good vocal production, poise in performance and development of musicianship.

Orchestra Ensembles
non-credit

Advanced chamber groups meet before school. These groups perform a wide variety of music and stress good musicianship. Chamber orchestra participation is determined by audition. Other string ensembles, as well as private and group lessons, are also available.

Learning Lab

Learning Lab
.5 or 1 credit

Open to 9, 10, 11, 12
Admission by special process – see counselors.

Organization and study habits are developed as students do homework from other classes. Designed for students with diagnosed learning disabilities or academic needs which require additional classroom support, the class is graded pass/fail based on effective use of class time. Students become increasingly independent in knowing and working with their academic strengths and weaknesses.

Math

The math department applies a variety of instructional strategies including interactive instructor and student presentations, hands-on projects and labs, work as individuals and in groups, and video presentations. Technology in the form of graphing calculators, devices and specific computer applications is used throughout. Assessments are both formative and summative and take many forms, including traditional tests/quizzes, gateways/skills tests, presentations, deeper problem sets, and final semester exams. There are mechanisms for learning from mistakes, including test retakes and continuing opportunities for showing mastery. The department’s goal is to teach for understanding, mastery and the ability to apply concept to new situations.

A minimum of three years of mathematics is required in grades 9 to 12. Students are placed in the appropriate course depending on previous courses taken, grades, testing and teacher recommendation. Parents may request a waiver to place the student in a course other than that recommended or to limit the math requirement to two years. Please note prerequisites.

The courses in the chart below are the courses usually taken at those grade levels. There is allowance for flexibility and individual programming.

Mathematics Offerings

9th Grade
Algebra I, Geometry, Enriched Geometry, Algebra II, Enriched Algebra II, Enriched Precalculus

10th Grade
Geometry, Enriched Geometry, Algebra II, Enriched Algebra II, Precalculus, Enriched Precalculus

11-12 Grades
Algebra II, Enriched Algebra II, Precalculus, Enriched Precalculus, Statistics/Discrete Math, Calculus I, AP Calc I, AP Calc II, AP Statistics

Algebra I
1 credit

Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation
Students build on their basic understanding of Pre-Algebra (variables, like terms, order of operations, and solving simple equations). Ratios and proportions are used to solve for unknown variables. Sufficient time is spent with Linear Functions: graphing lines, solving linear equations, and modeling using linear functions. Students learn to solve systems of equations and understand the real-life meanings of algebra. Students also learn function notation and are introduced to Quadratic and Exponential Functions. The purpose of the course is to use Algebra to solve real-life problems accurately, thoroughly, and carefully with understanding.

Algebra II
1 credit

Prerequisite: Completed Algebra I and teacher recommendation
Students will build on their understanding of Algebra, as they continue to study Function Notation, Linear Functions, Quadratic Functions, and Exponential Functions. Students will also be introduced to Logarithmic Functions and the uses of logarithms to solve exponential functions. Students learn to solve systems of equations and understand the real-life meanings of algebra. Right triangle trigonometry and radicals will also be used to solve and model real-world data. The concept of modeling will be taught and experienced through projects. The purpose of the course is to use algebra to solve real-life problems accurately, thoroughly, and carefully with understanding.

Enriched Algebra II
1 credit

Prerequisite: Completed Geometry and Algebra I and teacher recommendation.
This course covers basic concepts of algebra, inequalities, linear equations, products and factors of polynomials, rational expressions, irrational and complex numbers, quadratic equations and functions, variations and polynomial equations, analytic geometry, exponential and logarithmic functions, conic sections, sequences and series, triangle and circular trigonometry, trigonometric graphs and inverses, trigonometric applications.

Statistics/Discrete Math
1 credit

Prerequisite: Successful completion of at least Algebra II
This course has two parts. First semester the focus is on triangle trigonometry, an exploration of conics sections, and counting techniques and probability. Second semester the focus is on statistical analysis with an emphasis on exploring patterns, sampling and experimentation, anticipating patterns, and statistical inference.

Geometry
1 credit

Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation.
The course begins by introducing the basic building blocks of Geometry, such as the point, segment and line. The course then studies both two- and three-dimensional figures. Comparisons are made between these figures including congruence, surface area, and volume. Inductive and deductive reasoning skills are used and application to the real world are stressed. Algebra 1 skills are reinforced throughout the course.

Enriched Geometry
1 credit

Prerequisite: Completion of Algebra I and teacher recommendation
Topics include the nature of deductive reasoning, planning and writing proofs, lines, planes, angles, polygons, congruence, parallels, similarity, circles, solids, coordinate geometry, vectors and trigonometry. Students develop the spatial visualization and learn methods of coordinate geometry, thus recognizing how algebra and geometry complement each other. They learn to appreciate the role of inductive and deductive reasoning in both mathematical and nonmathematical situations, as well as the need for clarity and precision of language. A drop-in unit will include topics in probability.

Pre-Calculus
1 credit

Prerequisite: Completion of Algebra II or Enriched Algebra II or Enriched Geometry and teacher recommendation
Pre-Calculus is the study of Functions Modeling Change. Students learn the language and notation of functions (input/output, domain/range, and slope/concavity) to describe functions that represent real-world data. Students use Linear, Quadratic, Exponential, Logarithmic, and Trigonometric Functions to model data. They also study Unit Circle Trigonometry, trigonometric Identities and Polynomials. The purpose of the course is to use functions to model data. Data is presented through tables, graphs, words, and equations.

Enriched Pre-Calculus
1 credit

Prerequisite: Completion of Enriched Algebra II and teacher recommendation
This course is designed to be a course to follow Enriched Algebra II. Although the topic list is similar to the Pre-Calculus course, there will be less time spent reviewing topics from Enriched Algebra II and more time spent on extending topics that are covered more briefly in the Pre-Calculus course. Some of the initial calculus topics, including limits, will be explored.

Calculus
1 credit

Prerequisite: Completion of Pre-Calculus or Enriched Algebra II and teacher recommendation
This course description is the same as the AP Calculus I course. The difference is in the pace and depth of the individual topics of the course. The AP class covers the material in a shorter time to facilitate review and preparation for the AP exam in early May. This non-AP class will terminate with a comprehensive exam at the end of the school year. A student in this class will not be prepared to take the AP exam.

AP Calculus I
1 credit

Prerequisite: Recommendation of Pre-Calculus teacher or exceptional performance in Algebra II/Trig and teacher recommendation (Students will attend one required zero hour each week in addition to the regularly scheduled hour. Students taking AP Calculus I will take the AB portion of the Advanced Placement Calculus exam as a required part of the course.)
This course covers topics in differential and integral calculus, including functions, limits, derivatives and integrals of algebraic and transcendental functions and methods of integration. Practical applications are explored through daily assignments and projects.

AP Calculus II
1 credit

Prerequisite: Recommendation of AP Calculus AB teacher. (Note: This course prepares the student to take the BC portion of the Advanced Placement Calculus exam. Students in this course are expected to take the exam.)
This course covers vector functions and their derivatives, parametric equations and graphs and their derivatives, advanced integration techniques, work as an integral, improper integrals, sequences and series and their convergence, MacLaurin and Taylor series and other selected topics. The pace of the course allows for exploration of other topics, including a variety of technology applications.

AP Statistics
1 credit

Prerequisite: Successful completion of at least Enriched Algebra II or Statistics/Discrete Math
The purpose of the AP course in statistics is to introduce students to major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data. Students enrolled in AP Statistics are expected to take the Advanced Placement Statistics exam in the spring. In AP Statistics, students are exposed to four broad conceptual themes:
1. Exploring Data: describing patterns and departures from patterns
2. Sampling and Experimentation: planning and conducting a study
3. Anticipating Patterns: exploring random phenomena using probability and simulation
4. Statistical Inference: estimating population parameters and testing hypotheses

Multivariable Calculus plus Advanced Topics
1 credit

Prerequisite: Recommendation of AP Calculus BC teacher.
This course covers vector and multi-variable calculus.Topics include vectors and matrices, parametric curves, partial derivatives, double and triple integrals, and vector calculus in 2- and 3-space. The advanced topics include introductions to differential equations and linear algebra. This is a hybrid class, with the content delivery via MIT Open Courseware videos, a physical text (Stewart) and other online text and videos. Students meet for problem solving sessions.

Physical Education / Health

The Physical Education and Health department at Minnehaha Academy provides opportunities for students to develop and understand the importance of healthy lifestyle. Students in physical education are given support to sustain a high level of fitness, participate in lifelong activities, use teamwork, be collaborative, and practice sportsmanship. In health classes through a variety of strategies such as classroom discussion, group projects, internet research, writing papers, personal reflection, students are encouraged to use critical reasoning and independent thinking within the Christian context.

Minnehaha Academy’s core value of exceptional academics motivates the department to hold students to a high standard in physical education and health. An important part of this standard is testing and evaluation. Students are assessed in a variety of methods including pre- and post-tests, writing papers, group reflection/ discussion, the use of rubrics, teacher observation and self-assessments.

* indicates a required course.

*Physical Education I
.5 credit

Alternates with Health 9
The 9th grade physical education curriculum is based on the Fitness for Life curriculum. Activities are developed around the fitness components of cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance, strength and flexibility. The student is given the opportunity to develop his or her own fitness level while enhancing skills in selected individual and team sports. Emphasis is placed on social development, sportsmanship and participation.

*Health 9
.5 credit
Alternates with Physical Education I
This course is designed to provide students with information needed to make healthy decisions. Personal health and behavior, decision making, nutrition, drug education, AIDS/STDs, mental health and a study of the human body are included.

*Physical Education II
.5 credit

Usually taken in 10th grade as an alternate with Life and Teachings of Christ
All activities in the curriculum are based on the components of fitness which include cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance, strength and flexibility. Emphasis is on using these components in each of the class electives.

Choose one of the following three electives. (Because of limited availability, students are not guaranteed their first choice.)

  • A. Sports and Conditioning (CS): Emphasis is on sports and activities that develop cardiovascular and over-all fitness. Activities may include weight-lifting, aerobics, indoor soccer, floor hockey, basketball, ball games and student-designed obstacle courses and games.
  • B. Lifetime Sports (LS): Focus is on lifetime sports and activities. Activities may include indoor and outdoor recreational games, tennis, golf, badminton, volleyball, frisbee games and pickleball.
  • C. Team Sports (TS): Curriculum will focus on team sports and activities. Activities may include volleyball, basketball, floor hockey, soccer, football, team handball and softball.

 

Sports Medicine I
.5 credit

Open to 11, 12
Prerequisite: B- or higher in Biology or teacher permission. Recommended that students take Sports Medicine I and II in sequence as a full-year course, but semesters may be taken separately.

Designed to introduce students to the field of sports medicine with emphasis on athletic training, sports injuries and related factors. The class includes background study of anatomy and physiology and the effects of injuries, exercise, nutrition and performance-enhancing drugs on the human body. Students will also participate in practical activities such as taping, training procedures, and investigative computer programs.

Sports Medicine II
.5 credit
Open to 11, 12
Prerequisite: B- or higher in Biology or teacher permission. Recommended that students take Sports Medicine I and II in sequence as a full-year course, but semesters may be taken separately.

This course, a continuation of exposure to the field of sports medicine, is an immersion into emergency care. Students will participate in hands-on training in emergencies in sports, advanced first-aid and CPR. These practical activities will include creating and responding to simulated accidents (moulages). Certification in Healthcare provider CPR is available.

*Current Health Issues
.5 credit

Open to 11 (and 12 for those seniors who have not yet taken this course)
Emphasizing healthy choices and decisions, topics include: ethics and health; stress, depression and mental illness; death and grief; euthanasia; STDs and AlDS; substance abuse; sexuality and morals, using abstinence-based materials; and crisis issues in relationships. CPR and emergency first aid are also included.

Personal Fitness
.5 credit

Open to 11, 12
This course can be taken once as a junior and once as a senior.
In this course students will learn what it means to be physically fit and understand the different components and aspects of fitness. Instruction in proper stretching, weight training and exercise is provided. Students will design a fitness program suited to their own needs and individual fitness goals. They will be able to assess and develop their own personal fitness levels while being involved in weight training and activities/sports that promote cardiovascular fitness.

Sacred Studies

Sacred Studies courses are designed to teach the Word of God by the enabling of the Holy Spirit through the proclamation of the Gospel, instruction in Biblical and religious studies, encouragement of personal spiritual decisions and growth, and direction for life application. Students are recognized as unique and valuable persons created by God.

All Sacred Studies are 0.5 credit courses.


* indicates a required course.

*Introduction to Reading the Bible
.5 credit
Open to 9
(Alternates with World History)

This is an introductory course in reading the Bible in its many types of literature. We examine the Bible’s formation and traditional resources for interpreting and understanding the text. Highlighted is a literary approach called midrash that comes from the ancient rabbinic tradition.

*Life and Teachings of Christ
.5 credit
Open to 10
The format of this course is to study the life of Christ through several portraits. The course begins with a background study of the gospels, Old Testament prophecy and the historical background to the life of Jesus. The portraits studied include Jesus as picture or incarnation of God, Jesus as miracle worker, Jesus as initiator of the Kingdom of God, Jesus as teacher (sayings, parables and ethics of the Kingdom) and Jesus as Savior and Resurrected King.

The Church
.5 credit

Open to 11, 12
This upper level Bible course is a historical survey of the four periods of the Christian Church: The Early Church, The Medieval Church, The Reformation, and the Modern period. This is a college preparatory class with regular reading assignments, exams, and research papers.

The Uniqueness of Christianity
.5 credit

Open to 11, 12
In this class we explore how people throughout time and place have sought to connect with that which is greater than themselves through religious beliefs and practices. We examine the major world religions and some smaller movements as well. Our primary goal will be first to gain a substantial understanding of each religion, then to use our best critical thinking and honest evaluation skills to formulate rational personal responses.

New Testament Studies
.5 credit

Open to 11, 12
In this course students read and discuss the portion of Scriptures from Acts to Revelation. As students read, they uncover issues related to the beliefs, practices, and social, historical, and cultural background of the earliest Christians. Investigations of these issues help students to understand what the writings are saying to their original audiences and to modern readers today.

Honors Christian Ethics
.5 credit

Open to 11, 12
Prerequisite: B+ average in Sacred Studies, Social Studies and English; or permission of teacher

This course is a discussion-based investigation of the topic of morality in the context of a living Christian faith. Students are challenged to think for themselves about what is right and wrong, about how to live lives of moral integrity, and about how to make decisions concerning current social and moral issues. Students in this course are expected to read and write well, to be self-motivated and independent, and to be able to handle sensitive topics in a mature way.

*Senior Capstone
.5 credit

Open to 12
In this discussion-based course students are challenged to wrestle with what it means to be persons of faith in this world. Students are encouraged and guided in the process of making, defining, and defending their own decisions about faith issues. Topics include a range of Christian beliefs, personal discipleship and spirituality, and relating to people who believe differently from oneself.

Science

Students in required and elective science classes are exposed to a variety of instructional strategies throughout the school year that are focused on teaching the student to improve his/her scientific thinking skills and to gain confidence in performing and evaluating the work of a scientist. Students in every science class are engaged in inquiry through student-designed, hands-on lab activities that supplement course content. Students learn the significance of scientific modeling and design using mathematical, computational, visual and virtual models. They participate in problem- and project-based learning as they apply their skills in real world settings. Community collaboration is accomplished inside the classroom through small group activities and peer instruction, as well as outside the classroom through connections with local research scientists. These various instructional strategies are designed to emphasize the overarching science practices that capture important aspects of the work of scientists.

Typical assessments used by science teachers evaluate the student’s knowledge and skill level in a variety of science practices. The College Board1 has defined seven science practices as follows: using representations and models to communicate scientific phenomena and solve scientific problems; using mathematics appropriately; engaging in scientific questioning; planning and implementing data collection strategies; performing data analysis and evaluating evidence; working with scientific explanations and theories; and connecting knowledge across various scales, concepts and content areas. Therefore, students in required and elective science classes are evaluated in their mastery of these science practices. They are evaluated in their daily progress through teacher-designed formative assessments allowing teachers to re-direct learning and work to eliminate scientific misconceptions. Students also demonstrate their progress through performance on summative assessments such as traditional quizzes, tests and papers. Scientific communication skills are evaluated through cumulative lab notebooks as well as formal or informal lab reports. These assignments are assessed on a number of criteria such as skill level in experimental design, scientific observation, organization, math, graphing, data analysis, and literature research. Further communication skills are evaluated through scientific posters and oral presentation of student-designed investigations.

1College Board Science Practices https://advancesinap.collegeboard.org/stem/science-practices

Science teaches the basic principles of our physical and biological world and their influence on and application to our everyday lives. The core courses of physics, chemistry and biology develop a foundation of scientific knowledge emphasizing the use of the scientific method and experimental design. These courses are supplemented with a variety of electives to fulfill college entrance requirements. Lab performance, projects and collaborative group work are significant factors in student evaluation in the science courses, which incorporate 21st century skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Advanced Placement Science classes are rigorous courses designed to challenge motivated learners. They assume a high level of individual responsibility. To be accepted into one of these classes, a student must obtain an application from his or her science teacher, from the science department chairperson, or from the Minnehaha Academy website. The application procedure requires parental input, an essay describing the student’s motivation for taking the course, and an evaluation by the members of the Science Department of the student’s ability to succeed in the class in question. The department evaluation focuses on the student’s prior performance in science and math, class behavior, attitude, work ethic and aptitude. Note: Students who have earned A’s in previous courses are not guaranteed admission to AP courses.


Three years of laboratory science are required for graduation, at least one physical science course and one biology course. The most common sequence is Foundations of Physics or Physics in the 9th grade, Chemistry or AP Chemistry in the 10th grade, and Biology or AP Biology in the 11th grade, and a science elective in the 12th grade. Instances of students following other sequences are rare, but it may be possible with the permission of the science department and Upper School Vice Principal.

Foundations of Physics
1 credit

Open to 9
This course provides students with an overview of Physics and an introduction to experimental design. Through cooperative laboratory investigations, students develop conceptual and quantitative models of different physical phenomena, such as motion, forces, energy, static and circuit electricity, electromagnetism, waves (including sound and optics), pressure, and modern physics. Conceptual understanding is emphasized throughout the course while maintaining an appropriate amount of quantitative understanding. Students enrolled in Algebra 1 or Geometry are encouraged to take this course in 9th grade.

Physics
1 credit

Open to 9, 10, 11, 12; typically taken in the 9th grade year.
This college-prep course provides students with an overview of Physics. Through cooperative laboratory investigations, students develop conceptual and quantitative models of different physical phenomena, such as motion, forces, momentum, energy, static and circuit electricity, electromagnetism, waves (including sound and optics), pressure, and modern physics. Conceptual and quantitative understanding are emphasized throughout the course. Students enrolled in Enriched Geometry, Enriched Algebra 2, or Pre-Calculus are encouraged to take Physics.

Chemistry
1 credit

Open to 10, 11, 12; typically taken in the 10th grade year.
Chemistry is the study of matter and its changes. Topics in this hands-on, laboratory-focused course include properties of matter, chemical bonding, composition of the atom, gas laws, kinetic theory, chemical reactions and stoichiometry, acids and bases, and biochemistry. Through the study of chemistry students develop higher order thinking skills by using STEM methods to solve problems, design experiments, model chemical concepts, and apply their knowledge to everyday experiences.

AP Chemistry
1 credit

Open to 10, 11, 12 Application Required.
AP Chemistry covers electronic and molecular structure, the periodic law, chemical bonding, gas laws, solutions, kinetics, reaction equilibrium, acids and bases, reactions and qualitative analysis, and organic chemistry. The mathematics of chemistry is emphasized, and the course challenges highly motivated learners as they apply concepts in the laboratory and in everyday experiences.  A summer assignment is required. This class is designed to prepare students for the AP Chemistry exam in the spring.

Biology
1 credit

Open to 11, 12; typically taken in the 11th grade year.
In this course, students explore modern biology using STEM tools of scientific inquiry including experimental design, data collection and analysis, computer simulation and model-building. Students develop an understanding of the diversity of life and interrelationships between organisms. Course topics include cell biology and biochemistry, heredity and molecular genetics, botany, invertebrate and vertebrate animals, the human role in our ecological world, and the origins of life. Student-directed laboratory experiments foster creativity and intellectual curiosity. Through communication and collaborative work, students become aware of the impact of modern biological studies on a global scale.

AP Biology
1 credit

Open to 11, 12 Application Required.
AP Biology is an introductory college-level biology course. Students will develop a conceptual framework for modern biology and cultivate their understanding through inquiry-based investigations. They will explore the topics of evolution, cellular processes, energy transfer, genetics, information transfer, ecology, and interactions. Students will have the opportunity to apply biological knowledge and critical thinking to environmental and social concerns. Students develop tools to be collegiate and lifelong learners and are encouraged to use higher order thinking skills as they engage in authentic scientific research and ask questions, make observations and predictions, design experiments, test hypotheses, analyze data, and construct arguments in a collaborative setting. A summer assignment is required.

Honors Anatomy and Physiology
1 credit

Open to 12
Prerequisite: Biology or AP Biology AND Chemistry or AP Chemistry; minimum GPA 3.0 Application Required.

Honors Anatomy and Physiology is offered as a part of the College in the Schools program at the University of Minnesota. This yearlong course investigates the main organ systems of the human body, exploring relationships between anatomical structure and physiological function. Students conduct physiology labs using STEM-based probeware, dissect organs, use interactive anatomical tools and models, take weekly cooperative quizzes, and complete an extensive cat dissection in the spring. Course goals include developing an appreciation for the human body’s design and function, resulting in an improved ability to make intelligent, healthy choices in daily living. Upon completion of course requirements students will receive 4 University of Minnesota semester credits. (An additional cost of $145 is required for University of Minnesota credit.)

Environmental Science I
.5 credit

typically taken in the 12th grade year.
Prerequisite: Chemistry and Biology (or concurrent)

This course provides an overview of the earth’s biosphere, ecosystem interactions, biomes, and environmental concerns. It helps develop an understanding of the scientific concepts governing ecosystems and applies these concepts in the laboratory or in field studies. Current environmental issues are examined including water scarcity and pollution, global atmospheric changes, loss of biodiversity, and degradation of soils. These issues will be studied within the context of sustainability, stewardship, and sound science.

Environmental Science II
.5 credit

typically taken in the 12th grade year.
Prerequisite: Chemistry and Biology (or concurrent)

This course provides an overview of human impact on ecosystems and resources. Students will explore various means of managing this impact with a focus on stewardship. Topics examined through case study include population growth, consumption, production and distribution of food, pest control, conservation, use of energy resources, and environmental law. Students investigate some of these topics through simulation activities and analyzing current research.

Oceanography I
0.5 credit

Open to 11, 12
Prerequisite: Physics, Chemistry and Biology (or concurrent)

This semester-long course provides an introduction to oceanography, which is the study of the biological, physical, chemical, and geological features of the earth’s oceans. It examines the history and development of ocean basins in the context of the physical phenomena that scientists observe today, such as plate tectonics, tsunamis, waves, tides, and weather patterns. The physical and chemical characteristics of various zones of the ocean will be explored through laboratory and online exercises. This class is recommended for students who are interested in ocean sciences, marine biology, or who just wish to know more about the integral role of Earth’s oceans in day-to-day life.

Oceanography II
0.5 credit

Open to 11, 12
Prerequisite: Physics, Chemistry and Biology (or concurrent)

This semester-long course provides a fundamental understanding of the biological and ecological principles that are at play in the world’s oceans. The content covered will include primary and secondary production, characteristics of the biota in marine environments, classification of marine phyla, and relationships between marine organisms. The course will combine lecture with online activities and laboratory work, including dissection of multiple preserved marine specimens. This class is recommended for students who are interested in ecology, biology, or marine biology.

AP Physics C
1 credit
Open to 11, 12.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of AP Calculus I and Physics. Application Required.

This course provides an opportunity for students to receive college credit for introductory physics. This course is calculus based, so a student must have already completed a year of calculus or be enrolled in calculus concurrently. The first semester is classical Newtonian physics; the second semester covers aspects of electricity and magnetism. A weekly laboratory experience is required. Students will attend a weekly zero hour session. All students are required to take the AP Physics exam in May.

Applied Research in Engineering
0.5 credit
Open to 11, 12.
This is a course for juniors and seniors who have completed two or three years of science in the core courses of physics, chemistry and biology.  Students will develop a conceptual framework for modern scientific and applied research and cultivate their understanding through inquiry-based investigations as well as through a review of classical papers in science.  Students have the opportunity to apply scientific knowledge and critical thinking to medical, environmental and social concerns.  Students will also be introduced to the process of engineering design and be encouraged to use higher order thinking skills as they engage in authentic scientific research and design while they construct knowledge in a collaborative setting.

Social Studies

Seeking to develop students who can identify and assume the privileges and responsibilities of United States and global citizenship, these courses give students opportunities to develop skills while analyzing and researching to formulate opinions and answer questions. Students refine communication skills in dealing with controversial issues and are urged to broaden historical perspective, as well as to evaluate history and global studies from a Christian perspective.  Classroom activities include student-led discussion, teacher-led discussion, primary source analysis, formative and summative assessments (both written and verbal), simulations, presentations, and lectures.  Within these activities and assessments, increased complexity is required in the following benchmarks and outcomes: knowledge construction, ability to compare and contrast, recognition of changes and continuities, interpretation of evidence, analysis and application of competing theories, and synthesis.


* indicates a required course.

*World History I
.5 credit

Open to 9
As part of a three-semester, chronological sequence in 9th and 10th grades, the one-semester, 9th-grade course covers the history, geography and culture of global civilizations from their pre-historical roots until about 500 A.D./C.E. Content includes prehistory and the development of early civilizations,ancient Greco-Roman civilization, the development of major world religions, early empires in India and China. Explorations include cross-cultural studies of trade, art and architecture, literature, social class, law and government. A central goal in all upper-school history courses is to teach students to think historically.

*World History II & III
1.0 credit

Open to 10
World History II & III examine the geography, religions, social organizations, histories and current events of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, as well as the history of Western Europe from the fall of Napoleon to the present. The rich and diverse cultural heritage of the people of theses regions will be explored by researching ancient kingdoms, the impact of European invasions and exploration, nationalistic movements and changes to traditional social structures as a result of European domination and colonization. The competition among European nations for overseas colonies during the Age of Imperialism, the formation of alliances, and the rise of dictators in Western Europe will also be explored to explain the outbreak of World War I, World War II and the Holocaust. Other topics include the formation of the European Union in the aftermath of the World Wars and the fall of the Soviet Union.

*Early American History
.5 credit

Open to 11
(Will be taken first semester)
Focusing on political and philosophical interpretations of the nature of the U.S. government through history, this course covers the Colonial Period, the Revolutionary War and the Early Republic, the Constitution, the Era of Good Feeling, Jacksonian Democracy, the Antebellum Period, and the Civil War and Reconstruction Period. Students identify principles of the American political system and address contemporary problems with historical roots by using historical knowledge to refine definition and seek resolution of those problems.

*Recent American History
.5 credit

Open to 11
(Will be taken second semester)
Covering 20th century U.S. History, topics include the Progressive Era, World War I, the 1920’s, the Great Depression and the New Deal, World War II, the Cold War including the Korean War and the Vietnam War, the Great Society, the Civil Rights Movement, and the 1980’s, 1990’s, and 2000’s. Students study the struggles and accomplishments of all Americans as they broaden their historical perspectives. They compare points of view of historical events and form opinions on issues of importance to the United States.

*Economics
.5 credit

Open to 12
(Alternates with U.S. Government and Politics)
The focus of this course will be on the use of basic concepts in economics as a framework for understanding and making intelligent decisions regarding the many economic issues facing our nation and world. Topics such as market pricing, market failure, measurements of the economy, monetary and fiscal policy, and globalization and trade will be among those examined. The course will close with a full critique on the limitations of the economic way of thinking.

*United States Government and Politics
.5 credit

Open to 12
(Alternates with Economics)
This course covers the structure, function, and operation of our national, state and local governments. It will introduce students to the influences of political parties, the media, interest groups and other forces in the political process. The course will emphasize citizenship participation within the political process, and attention will be given to current issues.

Electives:

AP World History
1 credit

Open to 10
(Replaces World History II and III)
Prerequisite: Application process and department approval
This advanced course has its chronological frame as approximately 8000 B.C.E. to the present. AP World History highlights six overarching themes: patterns of interaction among societies; relationships of change and continuity; the impact of technology and demography on people and the environment; systems of social structure and gender structure; cultural and intellectual developments and interactions among and within societies; and changes in functions and structures of states and attitudes towards states and political identifies. These themes serve as unifying threads, helping students to put what is particular about each period of time or society into a larger framework while providing ways to make comparisons over time. For each time period knowledge of major developments that illustrate the six themes and the major civilizations in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe is expected. The course may require the use of zero hour. Students are expected to take the AP Exam in May.

AP United States History
1 credit

Open to 11
(Replaces both semesters of United States History)
Prerequisite: Application process and department approval.
This fast-paced college level course is a comprehensive study of the political, economic, social, religious, intellectual, and artistic themes of United States from colonization through the present day. The course focuses on detailed content and themes of U.S. History. The development of critical thinking, analytical and writing skills are emphasized. Requirements include a summer assignment, weekly essays, readings supplemental to the textbook, and the taking of the Advanced Placement exam in early May.

AP Microeconomics and AP Macroeconomics
1 credit

Open to 12
(Replaces Economics requirement)
Prerequisite: Application process and department approval.
This course combines AP Microeconomics and AP Macroeconomics and is designed to be taken as a full year course. The objective of this course is to give students a thorough understanding of the basic economic principles underlying the behavior of both individual decision-makers within the economy and the market economy as a whole. Topics include basic economic concepts, the nature and function of product and resource markets, the role of government in measuring and monitoring economic performance, fiscal and monetary policy, and international economics. There is an emphasis on the application of theoretical concepts and the use of economic reasoning, graphing and marginal analysis. Students must be able to understand abstract concepts and process new information quickly. Upon completion of the course, students will have the opportunity to take both the AP Microeconomics and AP Macroeconomics exams.

AP United States Government and Politics
.5 credit

Open to 12
(Replaces regular U.S. Government requirement)
Prerequisite: Application process and department approval
This class is intended for students who wish to complete a course in American Government that would be equivalent to a college introductory government class. It is based on the course of study provided by the Advanced Placement program and provides students with the information and skills needed to pass the AP exam. Students will become familiar with the historical development, organization and function of government in the United States. Topics covered include the constitutional underpinnings of United States government, political beliefs and behaviors, political parties and interest groups, mass media, public policy and civil rights and liberties.

AP European History
1 credit

Open to 12
Prerequisite: Application process and department approval
This course closely examines European history from 1450 through the present. The content is balanced between the political/diplomatic, social/economic, and cultural/intellectual history of Europe: however, the history of philosophy in Europe during this time is also emphasized. Students read the following great works: The Prince, Candide, Communist Manifesto, Animal Farm, Frankenstein, and Darkness at Noon. Students are challenged to analyze historical evidence and are taught to demonstrate this through effective writing. Students are expected to take the AP Exam in May.

Leadership Studies
.5 credit

Open to all students entering grades 10, 11
Through the use of texts, case studies, scenarios and other meaningful experiences of consequence, students will study and develop transcendent leadership skills, as well as immerse themselves in the implementation of those skills. The desired outcomes will include:

  • The creation of a collective, ongoing leadership project (centered on the needs of the school/greater community). This project will be handed over to each successive course group
  • A measurable increase in emotional intelligence
  • The discovery of individual leadership gifts and talents
  • The creative and thoughtful application of the aforementioned gifts and talents in common and specific contexts
  • The creation of an individual leadership portfolio (comprised of a Personal Leadership Statement, Leadership Project Proposal, and Learning Logs)
  • Transference of learned content to Culture Field Experience (CFE)
  • Encouraging a lifelong commitment to service and servant leadership (matching the “others-focused” portion of the Minnehaha Academy Mission to the course itself)

Introduction to Philosophy
.5 credit

Open to 11,12
This elective course will enter you into dialogue with many of the great minds of the Western world. There will be a strong emphasis on clarity and coherence of thought as we address two main questions: what does it mean to be human, and why does being human present so many challenges? The readings will come from the four main historical time periods. A natural curiosity and the ability to read well are essential.

Introduction to Psychology
.5 credit

Open to 11,12
In this course students will be exposed to the divisions and basic schools of thought associated with psychology as a foundation for further study of the subject. Students will also study nature/nurture, psychological disorders, intelligence theories, sleep/dreams, and memory.

Introduction to Business
.5 credit

Open to 11,12
Helpful to a career in business or a broader perspective of how businesses function, this course is designed to provide an overview of the current business environment, as well as a survey of current issues and trends in American business. Topics include entrepreneurship and small business, marketing, management, the stock market and investing, business ethics, personal finance, and career exploration. Students will participate in The Stock Market Game, a simulated on-line investing program and develop a professional working resume and cover letter as part of this course.

World Languages

World Languages help students develop a world perspective necessary for future college study, travel or business. All languages require study; they are equally challenging and should be started early to obtain a high level of proficiency. Each language course stresses the development of proficiency in listening, reading comprehension, speaking and writing. Each level includes grammatical concepts, oral classroom participation, and proficiency testing. Technology, field trips, skits, club activities, visual presentations and music enhance language study. In addition, students participate in competition and off-campus experiences with language students from around the state.

Through the Amity Intern program, French and Spanish classes benefit by having native-speaking young adults who assist in the classroom, bringing current cultural custom and perspectives to the class. Every other year students are offered the opportunity to travel to countries where Chinese, French or Spanish are spoken during the CFE week and spring break. These trips include touring, may include a family stay and are led by the classroom instructors.

Two years of language study in the same language are required for graduation. Requests to delay or waive the taking of language due to a professionally diagnosed, language-based learning disability must be made through the guidance counselor. Completing two years of Minnehaha Academy Middle School Language counts as one of the two years of the graduation requirement for languages. Therefore students meet Minnehaha’s graduation requirement for language after completing the second level of a language in the Upper School.


 

FRENCH
One of the most amazing things a student can do in school is to learn a language. French is, along with English, considered one of the most important lingua francas in the world. It is one of the official languages of the European Union, the United Nations, the Olympics and many other international organizations. It is the 2nd most commonly taught foreign language in the world after English. It is spoken by well over 200 million people on five continents and it is an official language of 33 countries. Any student who learns French opens up a myriad of possibilities for his/her future in college and beyond.

French I
1 credit

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
1. Speak, understand, write and read basic French.
2. Engage in basic conversation, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, exchange opinions.
3. Understand the relationship between the practices and perspectives of French culture and the cultures of other francophone countries.
4. Reinforce and further their knowledge English and of other disciplines through French.
5. Understand the nature of language through comparisons of the French language and their own.
6. Understand the foundational aspects of French grammar including past, present and future verb tenses.
7. Understand French pronunciation and be able to pronounce French with a reasonable level of accuracy.
8. Know where French is spoken in the world and by whom.

French II
1 credit

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
1. Speak, understand, write and read French, reinforcing and building upon what was learned in French I.
2. Engage in basic conversation, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, exchange opinions.
3. Understand the relationship between the practices and perspectives of French culture and the cultures of other francophone countries.
4. Reinforce and further their knowledge English and of other disciplines through French.
5. Understand the nature of language through comparisons of the French language and their own.
6. Understand the foundational aspects of French grammar learned in French I and more complex grammatical concepts including reflexive verbs, object and relative pronouns, the past, future, conditional, and subjunctive verb tenses
7. Understand French pronunciation and be able to pronounce French with a reasonable level of accuracy.
8. Know more about where French is spoken in the world and by whom.

French III
1 credit

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
1. Speak, understand, write and read French, reinforcing and building upon what was learned in French II.
2. Engage in creative, extended and open conversation, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, exchange opinions.
3. Understand the relationship between the practices and perspectives of French culture and the cultures of other francophone countries.
4. Reinforce and further their knowledge English and of other disciplines through French.
5. Understand the nature of language through comparisons of the French language and their own.
6. Understand the aspects of French grammar learned in French II and more complex grammatical concepts using all the verb tenses.
7. Express conditions, emotions, wishes and hypotheses in complex sentences.
8. Understand French pronunciation and be able to pronounce French with a reasonable level of accuracy.
9. Know more about where French is spoken in the world and by whom.

Honors French IV
1 credit

This course focuses on three areas: Conversation, the regions of France and French-speaking countries, French cooking and French literature.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
1. Speak, understand, write and read French, reinforcing and building upon what was learned in French III.
2. Engage in creative, extended and open conversation, using specific conversation strategies.
3. Understand the relationship between the practices and perspectives of French culture and the cultures of other francophone countries.
4. Gain confidence in speaking French by understanding that minor mistakes made don’t necessarily impair the listener’s ability to understand.
5. Understand the nature of language through comparisons of the French language and their own.
6. Understand the foundational aspects of French grammar learned in French III and more complex grammatical concepts using all the verb tenses.
7. Express conditions, emotions, wishes and hypotheses in complex sentences.
8. Understand French pronunciation and be able to pronounce French with a reasonable level of accuracy.
9. Know in great detail the regions of France and many francophone countries.

Honors French V – Intermediate French I/II (College Credit)
Students can receive college credit for this course. The credits come from Bethel University and are transferable to other colleges and universities.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
1. Speak, understand, write and read French, reinforcing and building upon what was learned in previous levels of French.
2. Engage in creative, extended and open conversation, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, exchange opinions.
3. Understand the relationship between the practices and perspectives of French culture and the cultures of other francophone countries.
4. Reinforce and further their knowledge English and of other disciplines through French.
5. Understand the nature of language through comparisons of the French language and their own.
6. Understand all aspects of French grammar.
7. Understand French pronunciation and be able to pronounce French with a reasonable level of accuracy.
8. Understand where French is spoken in the world and by whom.


 

SPANISH

Spanish I
1 credit

Beginning language programs introduce students to pronunciation, intonation patterns and basic structures of the language and enable them to use these structures within a defined vocabulary range in speaking, listening, reading and writing. The vocabulary and structures also incorporate material on culture and geography. Students use basic language structures with ease and accuracy, understand the language when spoken slowly with a limited vocabulary, and carry on simple conversations in the language. They express ideas in writing using a basic vocabulary and understand the written language in a controlled vocabulary situation.

Spanish II
1 credit

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Language 1A and 1B at MA’s Middle School OR Spanish I.
The second year of a language continues the study of structural patterns. Classroom activities concentrate on developing listening and speaking skills. Reading and writing skills are developed through authentic reading materials. Slides, films, tapes and magazines develop understanding of culture and civilization while reinforcing language skills and vocabulary. Students develop proficiency in speaking, understanding, reading and writing by focusing on communication with accuracy in an authentic cultural context.

Spanish III
1 credit

Open to 10, 11, 12
Prerequisite: A grade of B- (80%) or higher for the second semester of Spanish II.

The third year course is designed to review and reinforce what was learned in courses I and II while learning more grammar and vocabulary. Special emphasis is placed on learning to use and understand the language in real-life situations. In addition, students read authentic literature and learn strategies which make reading easier and more enjoyable. A variety of media in the language are used to integrate language and culture. Students demonstrate greater confidence and fluency in speaking and writing the language. Daily oral participation in class, in addition to oral and written evaluation, will determine student grades at this level.

Honors Spanish IV
1 credit

Prerequisite for Spanish IV: Grade of B+ or higher in Spanish III; application and teacher recommendation are required.
Students learn to use the language in a personal, creative and realistic way while discussing issues related to the culture. In the fourth year students continue the development of conversation, reading and writing strategies. Real-life situations are used to practice the language skills. Literature is read in the authentic text and discussed. Grammar is reviewed and taught as necessary, and vocabulary is greatly expanded and practiced.

AP Spanish
1 credit

Open to 11, 12
Prerequisite: Grade of B+ or higher in Spanish IV; application and teacher recommendation are required.

AP Spanish Language and Culture is a language acquisition course that prepares students to use Spanish in authentic contexts. It provides students with the necessary skills and intercultural understanding to enable them to communicate effectively in the target language, and offers students opportunities to develop language proficiency across the three modes of communication: Interpretive, Interpersonal, and Presentational.


 

LATIN

Latin I
1 credit

What was Pompeii like in the first century A.D.? Students in this course will be introduced to the language and culture of the Romans by the family of Lucius Caecilius Iucundus, a banker whose home survived the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. In this course, students will learn to read for comprehension and develop an understanding of the history and culture of Roman civilization.

Latin II
1 credit

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Language 1A and 1B at MA’s Middle School or Latin I.
Students will travel with Quintus, a survivor of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, to Britannia and back to Rome as they learn how the Roman Empire expanded northward. Grammatically, students will gain a better understanding of the framework of the Latin language as they learn about verb voices and moods, participles, and special grammatical constructions. Completion of this course satisfies Minnehaha Academy’s graduation requirement for foreign language.

Latin III
1 credit

Open to 10, 11, 12
Prerequisite: A grade of B- (80%) or higher for the second semester of level II.

Latin III is a transitional course in which students begin to read unadapted works of Roman authors alongside those composed by the modern textbook authors. Focus is placed on learning complex grammatical constructions along with rhetorical devices. Upon completion of this course, students will be prepared to read Latin literature with the help of commentary.

Honors Latin IV
1 credit

Open to 11, 12
Prerequisite: Grade of B+ or higher in Latin III, application and teacher recommendation are required.
In this course students will improve their translation and interpretation skills while reading a selection of influential poets including Horace, Ovid, and Catullus. Weekly grammatical and vocabulary exercises will supplement the translation assignments. Additional emphasis will be placed on relevant historical, archaeological, and philosophical elements that are pertinent to the texts.

Honors Latin V (College in the Schools)
1 credit

Open to 12
University of Minnesota: 4 Credits (Equivalent of one year of college Latin)
Cost: Approximately $140 tuition
Prerequisite: Grade of B+ or higher in Honors Latin IV; application and teacher recommendation are required.
In this course, students will read large selections of Vergil’s Aeneid in Latin. The aim of this course is to improve the student’s ability to read, translate, analyze, and interpret Latin. Reading and interpretation of the text will be coupled with vocabulary and grammatical exercises. Additional emphasis will be placed on relevant historical, archaeological, and philosophical elements. The student will gain substantial knowledge of the Latin language and develop a foundation for independent research skills appropriate for university philological research.


 

CHINESE

Chinese I
1 credit

This is an introductory course focusing on establishing a solid foundation in Mandarin Chinese. Students will learn the Pinyin Romanization system and the basic principles of Chinese character writing: strokes, stroke order and radicals. Students will also learn basic vocabulary and sentence structures for use in essential everyday situations through various forms of practice. While linguistic aspects of the Chinese language are the primary focus, introduction to the social and cultural background of the language will also form an important part of the course. This course is designed for students who have had little or no previous exposure to the Chinese language.

Chinese II
1 credit

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Chinese I
This course is a continuation of Chinese I with further development of reading and writing skills in Mandarin. This course will emphasize the mastery of tones and pronunciation, fundamental skills of writing Chinese characters, sentence composition, and more conversational skills. Basic grammar in Mandarin Chinese will be covered. Students will gain additional proficiency in understanding, speaking, reading, and writing Mandarin in practical situations. A supplemental introduction to Chinese culture will also be included.

Chinese III
1 credit

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Chinese II
This course builds on language skills developed in Chinese I and II. Students continue to develop all four-language skills. Many of the grammatical constructions introduced in Chinese I and II will be repeated in this course with increasing sophistication in terms of style and usage. In this course students are required to further develop their ability in reading and writing Chinese characters and comprehend and produce paragraph-level Chinese. Students will also build vocabulary, expand reading comprehension, and practice extensive conversation in Chinese.

Honors Chinese IV
1 credit

The emphasis in this course is on strengthening conversational skills and listening comprehension, as well as literacy. Chinese is required for written and oral work in class. The text used is Chinese Link (Level 2), which integrates these components in an engaging manner. Students in this course will be expected to further their exploration of the Chinese language and culture through the study of supplementary Chinese and English material.

AP Chinese
1 credit

Open to 11, 12
The AP Chinese Language and Culture course is designed to be comparable to fourth semester (or the equivalent) college/university courses in Mandarin Chinese, or the point at which students would typically complete about 250 hours of college-level instruction. The course prepares you to demonstrate your level of Chinese proficiency across the three communicative modes (Interpersonal, Interpretive, and Presentational) and the five goal areas (Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities) as outlined in the Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century. The course aims to provide you with many opportunities to further develop your proficiency across the full range of language skills while learning about Chinese culture and society.


 

World Language Honors Courses, AP Exams and College in the Schools
All students have the opportunity to take the Advanced Placement test after the fourth or fifth year. The college credits received by the following courses may be transferable to colleges and universities other than those through which the course is offered. Additional fees to the college are required and students will be required to purchase texts.

 

Academic Information
AP and Honors Courses

The variety of advanced electives for students requires that both faculty and students occasionally make hard choices. Students need to apply and register, be accepted, and then confirm or adjust their schedules. Faculty need to make the difficult selections of the most suitable candidates for each of the advanced offerings.

Admission to Honors and Advanced Placement courses is subject to the process established by the department. The knowledge and skills required across the academic disciplines vary so widely that the faculty has decided it is most fair and useful to tailor admission processes to each subject’s specifications. In each case, admission depends on the decisions of the department.

Honors sections offer greater depth and challenge in subject matter and related skills. Honors sections of required courses, which are taken in lieu of the regular courses, are as follows:

  • Honors English 10

Honors courses offered as electives are as follows:

  • Honors Anatomy and Physiology
  • Honors Christian Ethics
  • Honors Spanish IV
  • Honors French IV
  • Honors French V – subject to the admission arrangements required by Bethel College and the World Language Department at Minnehaha Academy. This course provides college credit in addition to high school credit.
  • Honors Chinese IV
  • Honors Latin IV
  • Honors Latin V

Advanced Placement courses are designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Tests administered nationally each spring. Scores on these tests range from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest. Colleges vary in the placement and/or credit they award for performance on these tests. Usually colleges will grant placement in an upper division course for scores of 3, 4 or 5. For scores of 4 or 5 many colleges have been known to grant credit towards college graduation, but in every instance the award of placement and/or credit is up to the individual college. Advanced Placement courses which are taken in lieu of Minnehaha’s required courses are as follows:

  • AP U.S. History
  • AP Microeconomics and AP Macroeconomics
  • AP English 11 – Language and Composition
  • AP English 12 – Literature and Composition
  • AP World History
  • AP U.S. Government and Politics

AP courses offered as electives are as follows:

  • AP Biology
  • AP Calculus I (AB)
  • AP Calculus II (BC)
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Computer Science
  • AP European History
  • AP Physics B (non-calculus-based)
  • AP Physics C (calculus-based)
  • AP Studio Art
  • AP Spanish
  • AP Statistics

POLICIES WITH RESPECT TO HONORS/AP ADMISSION PROCEDURES
a) All students who meet the relevant prerequisites are welcome to apply for admission to any of Minnehaha’s advanced offerings.
b) Admission to a particular advanced course is the decision of the department.
c) Most students will find that two Honors/AP classes are an ample challenge and time commitment for a well-rounded high school life which includes sports, arts, service and social involvements.
d) A department may establish a grade threshold by which a student may be excluded from continuing in an Honors/AP course at the midterm or semester break.
e) Students enrolled in an AP course should plan on the course meeting regularly during zero hour.

See the Vice Principal’s office for information regarding application to Honors and AP classes

Faculty and Staff

Course Load

Minnehaha does not allow for part-time students. Students must have 7 classes per day for 9th and 10th grades and 6 classes per day for 11th and 12th grades. Required courses are marked with * in the course descriptions. Students must take a Sacred Studies course each year.

Alternate Courses
Students are required to list alternates for their course choices on their registration forms as not all combinations of courses may be scheduled.

Cultural Field Experience

In March of each academic year, students in grades 9 through 11 participate in a weeklong on-site learning experience called Cultural Field Experience. During this week, students are exposed to people and communities that are different from their own. The goal of this experience is to promote an understanding of another person’s life experiences and point of view and to provide students opportunities to discover their God-given gifts. Students earn academic credit for this experience.

Learn More!

Grade Point Averages and Academic Honors

Grades are on a 4.0 scale and are recorded on transcripts on a semester basis. Therefore, a first semester fail is not cancelled by a passing grade in the second semester. Credit is not given for any course with a fail. Any required course with a fail must be repeated with a passing grade to be eligible for graduation. Eight semesters will be used to determine eligibility for all honors at graduation.

  • Highest Honors – 3.8 GPA or higher
  • High Honors – 3.6 to 3.79 GPA
  • Honors – 3.33 to 3.59 GPA
Minimum Credit Requirements for Graduation

To graduate from Minnehaha Academy a student must earn 26.75 credits in the Upper  School. 9th and 10 graders will earn 7.0 credits per year. 11th and 12th graders must earn a minimum of 6.0 credits per year. Students also earn 0.75 credits by completing 3 Cultural Field Experiences in grades 9-11. With the current schedule, a full-year course earns 1 credit; a semester course is .5 credit.

 

Required Credits for Graduation

English – 4
Math – 3
Science – 3
Social Studies – 3.5
Sacred Studies – 2
Fine Arts – 1
World Languages – 2
Physical Education – 1
Health – 1
Electives – 5.5
Cultural Field Experience – 0.75
Total Credits – 26.75

A program that exceeds the following minimum class requirements is recommended:

Required in Grade 9

English
World History I / Reading Bible
PE / Health
Math
Foundations of Chemistry and Physics

 

Required in Grade 10

English
World History II and III
PE / Life and Teachings of Christ
Math
Biology

 

Required in Grade 11

English
American History
Current Health Issues
Sacred Studies Elective
Math
Science

 

Required in Grade 12

English
Economics / U.S. Government and Politics
Senior Capstone

 

Other Required

World Language – 2 years
Fine Arts – 1 year