Wasatch Academy requires 24 academic credits for graduation, including the following specific distributions:

4 credits in English (*3 credits for International Students)
4 credits in Math (including Algebra I & II and Geometry)
3 credits in the sciences (including Biology)
3 credits in history/social science (including U.S History)
2 credits in a single foreign language (3 for honors) (*Native English Speaker Only)
2 credits in fine arts
2 credits in Technology

English

English I

Beginning English students are introduced to literary and non-literary genres of reading, expressive, persuasive, and informational writing, and develop 21st century learning skills through the analysis and production of traditional and non-print text. The course culminates with a Presentation of Learning for a panel of peers and instructors.

English II

This course emphasizes the close reading of global literature and non-fiction texts. Students further develop 21stcentury learning skills with particular attention to expressive and receptive communication. Students learn to carefully select research sources and choose appropriate media for the communication of original texts.

English III

Students in English III focus on the critical reading of fiction and non-fiction texts by American authors to develop critical-analysis skills. Students further develop 21st century learning skills with particular attention to accessing and analyzing information. Students learn to synthesize information from a variety of sources into cohesive, original texts.

English IV

Advanced English students focus on developing composition and reading skills in preparation for success with university-level courses. Each course is centered around a high-interest topic, such as, but not limited to, creative writing, technical writing, heroes in literature, and the environment.

AP English Language and Composition

This course emphasizes close-reading skills for non-literary texts and primary documents. Advanced students come to understand and employ traditional rhetorical strategies and post-colonial, gender, and post-modern critical analysis.*

*Students in this course take the corresponding Advanced Placement Exam.

AP English Literature and Composition

Students in this course focus in on close-reading skills for literary texts, with emphasis on poetry, short stories, and novels. Although many readings emanate from the traditional literary canon, careful attention is placed on the inclusion of sub-altern voices.*

*Students in this course take the corresponding Advanced Placement Exam.

Mathematics

Pre-Algebra

Students in this course are introduced to algebraic equations, numeric and graphic representations of data, probability, and methods/strategies for problem solving. The focus is on rules that govern equations, manipulating equations and simplifying methods, and the use of letters to represent unknown or variable quantities for both equalities and inequalities.

Algebra I

Algebra I students express concepts in mathematical terms and use the language of math to solve an unknown for both linear- and higher-order equations and systems of equations. Topics covered include rational numbers and percentages, equations, inequalities, polynomials, factoring, functions, graphs, and linear and quadratic equations with an introduction to the trigonometric ratios and geometric concepts.

Algebra II

Algebra II students focus on more complex linear and quadratic equations and graphs. By adding conic sections, exponential and logarithmic functions, as well as sequences and series, this course helps students develop confidence in advanced algebraic skills.

Geometry

This course emphasizes Euclidean shapes, with non-Euclidian concepts in both two and three dimensions. Students use symbolic logic and proofs to deepen their analysis and develop deductive and inductive logic.

Logic and Problem Solving

The emphasis of this course is on applying specific strategies to solve a wide variety of puzzles and problems. Topics include management science, business efficiency, planning and scheduling, linear programming, statistics, probability, game theory, information science, cryptology, and art.

Pre-Calculus

Pre-Calculus skills focus on sequences and series, matrices, trigonometry and vectors, polar graphs, complex numbers, basic statistics, and probability. The coursework covers and reviews topics necessary for Calculus. Students also review functions and their graphs — linear, polynomial, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric.

AP Calculus-AB

Students in this course focus on limits, derivative and integral for polynomial, trigonometric, exponential, and logarithmic functions, as well as continuity, maxima and minima, concavity, and inflection points of a function. The use of a graphing calculator and computer software is an integral part of this course.*

* This class follows the curriculum established by the College Board for the Advanced Placement test.

AP Calculus-BC

This course focuses on limits, derivative and integral for polynomial, trigonometric, exponential, logarithmic, and polar functions, as well as continuity, maxima and minima, and inflection points of any function. Students do additional work on sequences and series, with a focus on approximating functions with polynomials and the Taylor series.*

* This class follows the curriculum established by the College Board for the Advanced Placement test.

AP Statistics

Statistic students explore data, design and analyze experiments, examine probability and randomness, and infer conclusions from data. Exploring data covers topics including mean, median, minimum and maximum, variance, standard deviation, regression analysis, outliers, confidence intervals, margin of error, and significance tests. Use of a graphing calculator and computer software is critical to the coursework.*

* This class follows the curriculum established by the College Board for the Advanced Placement test.

Individualized University Mathematics

Social Studies

Global Studies I

Students in this course explore the various classical and global historical periods, with an emphasis on Greco-Roman history, the Enlightenment/Romantic period, and current events. Texts include primary documents, The Economist and other news magazine articles, small monographs, and independent research.*

*Global studies students write short essays, develop critical-thinking skills, participate in classroom discussions, and give oral presentations. Students also work on self-directed research and group projects, produce a garage band/imovie composition, and analyze current events.

Global Studies II

Students in this course study various classical and global historical periods. There is emphasis on Asian history and its comparative religious, economic, and social history. Texts include primary documents, The Economist and other news magazine articles, small monographs, and independent research.*

*Global studies students write short essays, develop critical-thinking skills, participate in classroom discussions, and give oral presentations. Students also work on self-directed research and group projects, produce a garage band/imovie composition, and analyze current events.

Transitional Global Studies
Early American History

This course focuses on the evolution of political institutions, social and cultural developments, diplomacy and economic trends in American history until 1865. Topics include European Colonialism, the Revolutionary War, the early Republic, the Age of Jackson, along with sectional division and the Civil War. Student projects focus on Native American History and the Civil War.

AP United States History

Students in this course focus on the evolution of political institutions, social and cultural developments, diplomacy, and economic trends in American history. Students analyze and interpret a variety of historical resources and develop the ability to use documentary materials, maps, pictures, and graphic evidence of historical events.*

*A national exam in May determines a candidate’s eligibility to receive college-level credit.

AP European History

This course focuses on the major social, political, religious, and economic themes from the late Middle Ages to the present day.*

*A national exam in May determines a candidate’s eligibility to receive college-level credit.

AP European History

This course focuses on the major social, political, religious, and economic themes from the late Middle Ages to the present day.*

*A national exam in May determines a candidate’s eligibility to receive college-level credit.

AP US Government and Politics

Advanced Placement United States Government and Politics is a year long college level course that explores the formal and informal structure of American Government and the politics that drive it. This includes both the study of general concepts used to interpret American government and politics and the analysis of specific examples. It will cover the various institutions, groups, beliefs, and ideas that constitute American government and politics. The course provides students with practice in analyzing and interpreting data and other information relevant to United States Government and Politics. This course will operate at an accelerated rate, beyond that of a regular high school class. This includes a college level pace and college level grading.

Modern United Nations
Psychology

Psychology students explore the mental processes and behaviors of humans and animals in this course. Students also design projects and review psychological studies using the scientific approach and statistical analysis.

Modern American History

This course emphasizes the economic and social developments, political conflicts, and cultural responses of Americans to the enormous changes after the Civil War. Topics begin with Reconstruction and continue through today, including topics on terrorism and President Obama. Major authors include John Kasson, Upton Sinclair, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and J.D. Salinger.

Science

Biology

Biology students study living creatures and the processes that allow them to survive and reproduce. Topics include the scientific definition of life and the diversity of life. This course places a particular emphasis on selected phyla of the animal kingdom. Topics on Evolution, genetics, and cell biology also mark the coursework.

AP Biology

This course prepares students for topics covered in a college biology course. Readings are primarily from Biology: Concepts and Connections by Campbell Reece. An emphasis is on the major biological themes detailed in the textbook and 12 required labs. Students read, research, discuss, and produce informative multi-media presentations. Collaborative projects and presentations focus on critical thinking and analysis.

Cell and Molecular Biology

This class emphasizes the core concepts of cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, and molecular evolution. Students develop laboratory skills and learn the scientific methods in cell- and organ-based animal biology. Students also use chemical bonding and molecular structure to examine the structure of DNA, RNA, and proteins leading to physiological function in health and disease.

Ecology

Ecology students study living creatures and how they interact with their environment and each other. The course begins with a description of Earth’s life zones and explores the nature and categorization of ecological interactions. Topics include human ecology, the evolution of infectious disease, sustainable development, data collection and analysis, and outdoor fieldwork.

Chemistry

Students in this course focus on general chemistry principles and application through readings, discussion, projects, presentations, demonstrations, and labs. Topics include the Periodic Table, atomic structure and theory, measurement, the mole, stoichiometry, chemical reactions, chemical equations, gases, and thermodynamics. Collaborative projects and labs emphasize analytical skills, problem solving, and a greater depth of understanding.

AP Chemistry

Students in this course get a comprehensive survey of introductory chemistry, primarily inorganic, correlating with a first-year college curriculum, as outlined by the College Board. Topics include a broad review of atoms, molecules, and ions. Students explore advanced topics, such as stoichiometry, aqueous solutions and solution stoichiometry, thermochemistry and atomic structure and periodicity.

The Chemistry of Photography

This course explores the connection between chemistry and photography. Student projects demonstrate an understanding of the chemical reactions that occur when producing photographs. Topics include building pinhole cameras, the nature of light, reaction in aqueous solutions, creating solutions from raw chemicals, and darkroom procedures. Students take pictures, develop photographs, make developing solutions, and analyze photographic results.

Equine Science I

This course emphasizes the fundamental topics of identifying horses, horse behavior, and basic care and handling, including grooming, foot care, and first aid.

Equine Science I

This course emphasizes the fundamental topics of identifying horses, horse behavior, and basic care and handling, including grooming, foot care, and first aid.

Equine Science II

Building on the basics of the beginning course, Equine Science II emphasizes horse anatomy and physiology, nutritional needs, diseases and parasites, equipment, riding, conditioning, caring for young and aging horses, marketing, and judging.

Equine Science III

Students in this course focus on planning an equine facility and explore breeding issues, including genetics, the reproductive system, and caring for the postpartum mare and newborn foal.

Astronomy

This semester-long course is an introduction to the universe beyond our planet.  Students begin with a macro view by examining the cultural significance of various constellations and their locations in the sky.  Once students have an understanding of the various shapes that are made up by the stars, students then look at more specific objects in the sky such as nebulae, star clusters, galaxies and the other planets in our solar system.  This leads to exploratory questions such as “what are these objects?”, “how are they created?”, “what do they become in the future?”.  Students will also investigate more locally observable phenomena such as solar and lunar eclipses, and the various phases of the moon.  The class relies on projects and regular observation sessions to encourage students to pursue inquiries explaining the universe that is visible every night. This class is taught by Mr. Phillip Gablehouse.

Foreign Language

Mandarin I, II, AP

Mandarin students focus on conversation, basic vocabulary, grammar, listening and piyin skills. Readings include texts and supplemental cultural resources. Students write Chinese characters and develop basic calligraphy skills while developing an appreciation of Chinese culture and history. Collaborative projects include cooking, singing, dialogs, research and interactive project-based learning presentations.

Students in AP course develop fluent conversation skills in Chinese through vocabulary, advanced grammar and translation and listening skills. They read and write Chinese characters and develop calligraphy skills. The course emphasizes critical thinking skills with regard to current political, economic and cultural events.*

*A national exam in May determines a candidate’s eligibility to receive college-level credit.

Spanish I, II, III, IV

In the Spanish section of the World Language department, we have Spanish I,II,III and AP. All classes work to build AP language skills of listening, writing, speaking, and reading. Spanish I is Beginning Spanish/Spanish Fundamentals. Spanish II is Intermediate and focus on verb usage, speaking, and stronger emphasis on reading and writing. Spanish III is advanced and development of use of advanced grammar structures in speaking, reading, and writing. AP course uses all of the skills taught in Spanish I-III (speaking, listening, writing, reading) We work hard to practice these skills to prepare for the AP test. All of the classes do various projects, but one of the biggest is Day of the Dead.

French I, II, III

Beginning French students discover and learn the language and culture of the Francophone world, which encompasses countries around the globe, through reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Readings include authentic excerpts from writers of the French-speaking world.

Students in French II course focus on an intensive extension of the preliminary elements learned in French I. Readings consist of authentic materials intended for native speakers.

French III course focuses on maximizing the potential of the students to navigate successfully through the French language and culture. All four areas of language learning — reading, writing, listening, and speaking — are brought to bear. Readings include Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Fine Arts

Art One

Students in this course explore the process of visual creativity by focusing on the elements and principles of design such as visual problem solving and critiques. Field trips to artists’ studios and exhibits enhance the classroom experience. Guest artists and the collaborative work with classmates in other courses start students on their own artistic paths.

Drawing and Painting

This course begins with an emphasis on drawing skills and leads to painting skills in various media. Students reference master artworks from all cultures and throughout history, critiquing produced artworks. Collaboration, field trips to artists’ studios, and guest artists add creative spark to classroom activities.

Advanced Art Portfolio

Emerging artists focus on creating a variety of artworks as part of individual art portfolios for Advanced Placement Studio Art and/or for college applications in this class. Students participate in at least one group project. Art shows on the road and visits to artists’ studios serve to both instruct and inspire.

Photoshop for the Arts

Students in this course use the tools and features of the Photoshop software to develop their own art projects. Throughout the course students develop a mastery of Photoshop en route to a final design project, which is printed and displayed at semester’s end.

Ceramics I, II

Beginning ceramic students focus on the elements and techniques used in working with clay to make both functional and decorative pieces. Students develop skills in hand-building and wheel-thrown pottery. Techniques learned include coils, slab, pinch, and wheel construction.

Advanced ceramic students build on their developing skills learned in Ceramics 1. An emphasis is placed on aesthetic design and form, as they further improve individuality and personal expression in their work. Students have the opportunity to work on both hand-building and wheel-thrown construction.

Introduction to Music

Beginning students in this course focus on the ideas and concepts to develop musicianship and musical interests. Major topics include sound, scales, keys signatures, rhythm, time signatures, chords, and dictations. No previous musical experience is required for this class.

Composition Class

The emphasis of this course is on the creative, academic, and performance aspects of various types of musical composition. Students work to create everything from instrumental music to rap. Young musicians develop skills with electronic and acoustic compositional tools.

Music History

Students in this course gain a musical perspective on Western history from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age. The class shows the links between historical events and musical events throughout the time period. Previous music experience is not required in this academic music class.

Guitar

This course emphasizes instruction, study, and practice in various styles of guitar performance. The course content varies to adapt to the individual expertise and musical interests of students. Previous guitar experience is not required for this course.

Jazz Combo

Students in this course focus on learning and performing jazz music in small groups while surveying jazz styles. The musician’s ability to demonstrate competency on his instrument helps facilitate group participation.

Fusion Ensemble

This course offers students another chance for artistic teamwork in a musical setting. Musicians focus on modifying genre and instrumentation of a musical piece in a collaborative setting.

Classical Ensamble

Students in this course focus on musical collaboration. Specifically designed for ensembles consisting of acoustic stringed and orchestral instruments and voice, this course emphasizes artistic teamwork.

Piano Fundamentals

Beginning piano students focus on piano basics, such as sight reading, theory, ear training, memorization, technique, and performance. Through projects students explore ethnic heritage, composers, music history, and other subjects of personal interest. Students complete piano levels one and two, working individually and in ensembles.

Intermediate Piano

Students in this course work on piano levels three through six. Intermediate piano players continue focusing on technique, composer style, sight reading, theory, ear training, memorization, and performance. Projects include topics based on ethnic heritage, composers, music history, and personal interest. Students gain proficiency individually and in ensembles.

Advanced Piano

This course emphasizes piano techniques and performance. Students are assigned specific pieces of music that challenge their musical abilities and expand the breadth of their musical knowledge. Advanced piano players learn to present themselves for at least two performances per semester.

Yoga / Pilates

Students in this class focus on gaining physical strength and flexibility while connecting the mind to the body. Yoga styles include power, flow, Baptiste, restorative, and gentle Hatha. Students practice yogathree days a week and perform Pilates, core strengthening exercises, one day a week.

Dance Technique I, II, III, IV

These courses emphasize ballet, jazz, and modern dance. Students spend one day a week working on each dance style, finding connections and differences in how they use their bodies between the three styles. Student and teacher choreographic collaborations, culminating in a variety of dances, are prepared for scheduled performances throughout the school year.

Hip Hop Dance

Hip hop dance students focus on gaining strength, flexibility, and movement awareness in this course. Student and instructor collaboration leads to newfound confidence in dancers. Dances to hip hop music are prepared for scheduled performances throughout the school year.

Beginning Acting and Comedy

Physical activity, team building, and performance through comedy improvisation and theatre games are emphasized in this course. Students gain confidence in comedic timing and stage presence. Performances are scheduled throughout the school year.

Acting

Acting students focus on voice, diction, oral interpretation, and creating characters through scene work from various playwrights. Scenes are prepared for school productions and The Utah Shakespeare Festival’s High School Competition and the Utah State High School Association Drama Competition.

Design for Theatre

This course emphasizes all the elements of theatrical design. Students incorporate sound, stage lighting, costuming, make-up, set and prop design into stage productions — both theoretical or for an actual school production.

Script into Performance

Students in this course develop stories for various media, including radio, animation, video, or live performance. Venues include coffee house performances using student actors, presentations at chapel or other school events, student-made audio recordings, video, and animation. Students can perform but are not required to.

Technology

Intro to Programming

This course introduces students to the concepts, principles, and skills of computer programming. Programming environments include Scratch, Alice, and Java scripting, where students create and troubleshoot programs. Collaborative projects with the English and Spanish departments also allow students to produce simple games.

AP Computer Science

This course focuses on the basic principles and concepts of object-oriented programming using JAVA. Students learn about classes, interfaces, operators, program control, arrays, testing, debugging, inheritance, polymorphism, and event-handling. They also develop techniques for simplifying the programming process and improving code quality in this activity-based learning classroom.

Intro to Robotics

This course introduces students to the basic concepts and principles of robotics. Students use mobile Lego robots as tools and create, troubleshoot, and program progressively more complex robots.

Robotics

Students take a hands-on approach to the advanced concepts and principles of robotics in this course. Using mobile Tetrix robots as tools, students create, troubleshoot, and program progressively more complex robots.

Animation

Animation students acquire the modeling skills and knowledge necessary to create characters and landscapes for animation in Maya software. Concepts covered include polygonal modeling, lighting, rigging, rendering, and animation.

Game Design

Students in this course are introduced to the theory and concepts of computer graphics, human computer interaction, and artificial intelligence. Topics include shading, game physics, and 3D and stereoscopic computer graphics.

Digital Art design with Adobe Suite

Students in this course are introduced to the technical skills and aesthetic understanding of digital art. Using the Adobe CS5 suite toolset, students learn techniques to create projects that match their individual interests.

Digital Audio

This course focuses on the computer technology and technical skills related to music creation and production. Using the software tools of Pure Data, Garage Band, Logic Express, and Logic Studio, students learn techniques to create projects that meet their individual needs.

English as a Second Language (ESL)

ESL

The ESL program at Wasatch Academy targets each of the four language communication skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking.  Students will also be prepared to discuss issues facing a modern global society and have cultural awareness.

Supporting this general aim are three specific goals:  first, to enable students to participate successfully in mainstream classes, second to prepare students to take the TOEFL exam as part of their college application process and to receive an acceptable score for  admission and third to prepare students for future pursuits which would require English language knowledge.

Beginning and Advanced Reading
Grammar I, II, III
Composition I, II
Listening and Pronunciation
American Culture
Current Events
TOEFL Preparation
Transition Classes
Global Studies
English I, II
Physical Science
SAT / ACT Preparation